A day like this only comes together by some serendipitous alignment of schedules. When they happen, I imagine myself like one of my Jack Russell Terriers when allowed the rare treat of lying on the bed -- they roll around and snuggle in with the pure, physical joy of it all.
Saturdays are half days for work usually followed by cleaning -- not my usual after-work cleaning where I make strange little deals with myself to get out of doing it all, as it should be done in a house with five dogs. No, Saturdays are everything days.
Thankfully, this is a tiny house and, once I pushed myself to get started, it didn't take nearly as long as I had built up in my mind.
And there I was, all alone in the house, having put in a good amount of work, a dusting of snow on the ground and my ABE order that I bought with the portion of my Christmas money that didn't go toward Dirtman's gift or bills. I hadn't opened it, since I figured it was my reward for getting my work done.
And so -- flannel jammies (the infamous FJ with the Popsicles on them that Heir1 considers my Oxymoron jammies), Elizabeth Goudge and...
...what for dinner?
Ohhhhhh....nothing aggressive. This was not the evening for culinary acrobatics. Something simple; mild; comforting -- macaroni and eggs.
I had a beloved aunt who did not know much about cooking. Whenever I went to visit, I cooked or we went out to eat. But during one visit, I came down rather rapidly with the flu and she made me "macaroni and eggs." It was the one dish she knew how to make.
Basically, you boil some sort of pasta (if the kids were still little, I'd have the perfect pasta on hand -- pastina -- which I used to smuggle out of New Jersey when visiting the self-same aunt; we can now get pastina here, but I didn't have it handy -- I used boring old elbow macaroni) but, when it's almost done, instead of draining all the water, you leave a little water in there, toss in some butter and salt; then, just as it's done, you slowly add a beaten egg or two, tossing the whole thing as you do.
And there it is.
The quintessential comfort food.
And so -- the oxymoronic flannel jammies, Elizabeth Goudge ("Pilgrims Inn," for the aficionados), macaroni and eggs, a comfy couch with fuzzy blanket and cuddly cat that makes no more noise than little beeps and rumbles. All I would have needed was Itzhak Perlman to be performing Vaughn-Williams' Lark Ascending in the corner to convince me I'd achieved the ultimate salvation of heaven.
There were no Israeli violinists performing early 20th century classical music, though, so I'm still among the living. But I did read a bit, nap a bit and dream a bit, all luxuries in my book. And that night I slept for an unprecedented nine and a half hours -- I haven't slept for that long since the days when my in-laws would be gracious enough to take my two toddlers for the weekend.
Heir 1 arrived home from staying with a friend at 12:30 in the morning. Heir 2 arrived home this afternoon. Two different genres of music compete with each other from their respective rooms, along with the sounds of video games and laughing friends. All the Linguinis are "in the house," so to speak.
And that's lovely too.