My house is sticky, as if a band of 3 year olds came over when we were at work and played with melted chocolate and marshmallows.
But of course, that's not the case. My spouse made an amazing main dish last night: bacon-wrapped salmon with a glaze made of blackberry syrup, smoked on the grill. And I made a side dish of butternut squash with a maple syrup glaze.
Ordinarily, for my spouse, that would be too many sweet dishes on one plate, but the bacon transformed the blackberry glaze into something more savory. Plus, I made a "salad" out of sliced grape-sized tomatoes, black olives, shaved parmesan, with a vinaigrette.
We ate outside in the back, so my spouse could keep an eye on the salmon that he was smoking for today's quilting group gathering. Once that smoking was done (delicious! one must sample what one is bringing for brunch!), he moved the smoking logs over to our outside fire circle, and we enjoyed a fire.
It was a lovely way to end the week. It has felt like another week of long days, with times of fulfillment and times of long meetings and times of feeling a current of tension without fully knowing why we're all stressed. It's one of the disadvantages of a small campus.
In these times, self-care, like a good meal or relaxing with a fire, becomes even more primary. In that spirit, I bought a bouquet of tulips on Thursday when I shopped for Friday dinner:
I couldn't get a great picture, but I wanted to record it anyway. I love the vase too, bought to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, a work in ceramics made by a NC potter. Each time I've seen the flowers, I get a double shot of joy.
This week, I will have more moments with the potential for joy: I've scheduled time with friends throughout the week. I can feel my shoulders relaxing away from my shoulders just thinking about it.
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