Highs and lows

I’ve been avoiding a Highs and Lows post because quite frankly, I have not had many domestic highs lately. But maybe if I acknowledge this openly it will motivate me. Right? Riiiight.

In cooking, I’ve been coasting on the fumes of tortilla soup. Talk about beating a dead horse. A dish that once was eagerly anticipated, with every bite savored, is now met with dread and disappointment. My husband’s favorite joke: “What’s for dinner? Tortilla soup?” Effer.

So. I need some new tricks.

However. I have griped about how recipes overwhelm me, so I feel the need to share my newfound love for The Pioneer Woman. I am way late to this game since she’s basically an Interweb celeb, but I love her step-by-step recipes – with photos. The photos are key.

I made this macaroni salad and it was the least stressed I’ve been when attempting a new recipe thanks to the handy visual aids. The only thing that would make it easier is if she were holding my hand, saying things like, “Excellent job dicing those olives.” Or “I have heard the legend of your tortilla soup.”

But despite this discovery I am still struggling to find my mojo when it comes to making dinner. The hours of 4-6 are easily the worst of my day. At least one kid is always having a meltdown. Today it was the 4-year-old, who was in a fit of hysterics for more than 20 minutes because she couldn’t say the word “world.”

  • “Ward. Waaard. Ward. WARD.” Sobbing. Screaming. All with the volume level on eleventy billion.

Inevitably both kids are hungry and cranky at this time. But since I can’t yet feed them the same food, it’s a chaotic scramble to calm, cook, distract, feed, rinse, repeat. Meals that require much preparation are less and less likely to happen.

So I am excited by my other discovery – A Year of Slow Cooking. Oh snap! I loves me my slow cooker. I mean, it gave me tortilla soup. So I cannot wait to dive in and find other recipes I can throw together in the morning and spare myself some dinnertime pain.

As for the rest of my domestic pursuits, the one thing I did finally accomplish was to stain the swingset. Voila.

At last, I can cross something off my check list.

The only other item of note, or not really worth mentioning but oh well too late, is that I decided to abstain from toenail polish for the rest of the summer. Maybe the rest of the year. Why? I had the urge to feel rebellious. To throw caution to the wind. Also? I can’t afford a pedicure anymore and I’m too lazy to paint them myself.

So I am pretending that my naked toes are symbolic. A rejection of unnatural beauty standards. A protest of war and evil things. A refusal to distract from the real star of this show, Paul Bunion.

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