in my kitchen: 11:50 a.m.

*At the kitchen table, my daughter cuts out sugar cookie hearts.
*Beside her mess sits the cookie cookbook that my younger son pulled out. He, too, wanted to make cookies, but I ignored him and then he got distracted by…
*My husband installing little shelves in the back of my cupboards, to maximize space and organize our junk.
*Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me! is blasting on the radio and my husband’s drill is whine-screaming. Which means I can’t actually hear Wait! Wait!
*The beef, onion, garlic, and jalapeno for the evening’s chili is browning on the stove before getting dumped into the waiting crock pot for an afternoon-long simmer.
*On the cookie sheet atop the stove, the chili ingredients from the freezer: soupy black beans, red beans, corn. I didn’t plan ahead, so I had to thaw them in a warm oven for an hour.
*On the counter, a bag of maseca flour. Ree introduced me to this chili-enhancing method.
*Also on the counter, our new toaster, a surprise gift from the in-lawsTHANK YOU!!!! It has four slots and a bagel setting. For a good twenty-four hours, it was our main source of entertainment. I even bought a couple bags of bagels so we could have the full toaster experience.
*On the dining room table, a pile of discarded coats. Because why bother actually putting them away?
*And also, on the table but out of sight, a pan of cheesy bacon toasts (but with naan instead of bread) for lunch.
*To the far left, a glimpse of the freshly-organized shoe room.
*In the microwave, leftover beans reheating for lunch. (They were not a hit with the fambly, so lunch was an angst-ridden affair.)
*On the kitchen table, lots of weird junk. At some point it disappeared.
*On the counter, dishes from breakfast and a morning of cooking. After lunch, two kids worked together (not very cheerfully) to wash them all up.

This same time, years previous: almond cake, Monday blues, digging the ruffles, coconut pudding, pain and agony, and I don’t feel much like writing.

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