The Real ME

11 04 2008

I am passionately, totally, helplessly hot! I am just limp with it, and my entire body is glazed with sweat. This house, I swear! Only two windows in the whole place actually open, both at the front of the house. It is beautifully cool outside- a perfect spring evening, but this house (and the kitchen especially) is a furnace. Making it worse is the fever I’ve been running for over a week now. I’m thrown between cold chills and sweating. This is obviously one of the latter.

Finally drug myself into the doctor’s today- I apparently have bronchitis. When I try to draw in a deep breath, I feel like I’m wearing a corset. Did you know corsets used to be made of iron before they were made of whalebone? When I was in Dieppe, France they had a nautical museum full of all kinds of shiply artifacts like scrimshaw, harpoons, and nautical instruments. Incongruously, one room was given over to a collection of cast iron corsets and chastity devices. Most of them locked with a key, even the corsets. The waists were unbelievably small- My Patrick has a waist larger than some of those scrolled iron cages. Really, they make the comic book superhero females look thick around the waist. Hmmm… I may go dig out that photo from under my bed and publish it on my site, so y’all can get a little education here. But it may have to wait until I can breathe again.

I finally finished D’s afghan today. I have the stuff to make a splendid cake. I had wanted to make one for my soi dissant roommate from the conference, but I have been too sick to do much this week. I had been planning a cake for her in one of the sessions. I want to do a 2-layer, with the top layer smaller (like on a wedding cake) and decorated like a basked. See, you decorate the lower layer, then ice some large leaves in a circle on the top. Take the second layer (on a cardboard circle) and ice it in brown basket weave and fill it with fondant flowers. Add a wire covered in ribbon for a handle, and it makes a very, very pretty cake.

I thought she would like it, because June was talking about the “Ace of Cakes” in the car on the way home- I love that show. I love making cakes. She commented that she didn’t like fondant, and I was trying to explain that homemade fondant tastes much better than store-bought. (Though when I did the cake for Lisa I didn’t know much about making it and I messed up the cake trying to use a new recipe, so it didn’t turn out well- sorry!) Anyhow, as I was trying to explain this and tell how to make it (very simple) they were all staring at me like I had grown a second head. I had already become familiar with this look- it appears any time I mention writing for the newspaper, too. At one point I mentioned to Bobby (an artist) that I had once drawn a good deal and would like to share my portfolio with her. We had been comparing our drawings during worship, so this was not out of context or egotistical. Then later, when we were talking about music ( I know longer remember how) I said something about playing piano for years and years but never being able to play by ear. When I said this, another women across the table said rather snidely, “Oh! Another gift!”

Since when did telling the truth become bragging? I suppose the modest thing is to just sit with a look of saint-like patience on my face and wait for my gifts to be mystically discovered and then simper, “Oh no dear, it’s nothing! Just a little thing I do…”

I am not a bragger. But there is no way to get to know someone without sharing who you are. And this is who I am: I am a straight-A student who won a National Merit Scholarship to college after scoring a state record on the verbal section of the PSAT.  I graduate from college suma cum laude, mostly because I deliberately failed two classes in my senior year (too busy getting married to finish some of my unneccessary electives.)  I have artistic gifts and have taken three years of art classes to develop it. I can’t produce art anyone would like to buy, but I have produced some beautiful sketches and pencil drawings, and I can take good pictures. I know how to do layout, and produced three really nice yearbooks for our homeschooling group. I’m an amateur poet and writer who intends to be a professional and I have spent three years publishing a column in small monthly papers, one year in Spartanburg and two years on The Good Life in Wilmington. My column was popular.  When I was in high school, my writing won several awards.  I majored in literature and creative writing in college.

I took piano lessons for eleven years.  I played flute for six, rose to third chair out of twenty eight, and toured with the symphony my Junior year.  I can sew, crochet, and cross stitch well enough to make very pretty projects, I love animals and have raised chickens and kept rabbits. I can make beautiful cakes when I have time- I taught myself to make homemade fondant and do a lot of the decorating techniques from books. I can really good jelly & my grandmother’s pickle recipes, I know how to make home made bread and apple butter, and I make good pies. I can garden a little, decorate a little, and I know how to organize a committee. I’ve homeschooled my children for seven years now, and though my house isn’t always very clean, it’s a nice place to live. Lots of house plants.

That is who I AM. Anyone who doesn’t like it can suck it up. Of course, there are always weaknessess to go along- I’m scatter-brained and disorganized, I start more than I finish, I talk too much at times, and I am not a polished or poised person. I’d rather eat somewhere where you can put your elbows on the table and pick up things with your fingers. I tend to kill plants. I pick my nose in the car (I know- TMI) and yell at my kids. I can be a little shrewish and nagging, and I hate for anyone to try and control me. I prefer very blunt people to very polite people, and I would rather read than eat (fortunately for me, God has made it possible to do both at the same time!) I am also, for better or for worse, and endless experimenter. I once made a ganache and made my own chocolates. They were good. Other projects have not turned out so well. Like the sewing class I taught two weeks ago- which was more like mass chaos with pins and scissors. Sigh…

My second sewing class is tomorrow afternoon. One girl has signed up to come other than my children. I’m running a temp & I haven’t picked up the fabric yet. Should I call and cancel? Hate the thought of going through the phone list & calling all the people who didn’t call me to confirm but might be planning on coming anyway, and this post is way too long. Must go set the table and serve Stoffer’s chicken alfredo. Did I ever tell you the burnt-rubber-alfredo story? No? Have to put that one in next time.

Love to all,




One response

11 04 2008

Angela, The real you is, well, real. Don’t let people leave you feeling wierd about that. Stay true to yourself. I tried to change when I moved from my Yankee roots to the south because people said I was too pushy. Big mistake. I almost lost the real me, and darn it, I am a pretty cool person! I am a talented hair stylist, writer, singer and a real good friend. And, yes, I am pushy on occassion. In the now immortal words of my friend Angela, Suck It Up!
Love ya girl. Keep it real and I hope you get well soon.

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