Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It Does NOT Feel Like Spring Today

Yesterday, while chilly and gray, felt like spring was on the way. Not today. Today it's snowing to beat the band and we might get some freezing rain as a frosting on the whole mess. Great, just great, although I am grateful that this is not next Wednesday because next Thursday Lala and I are going to Sheboygan for the weekend. Yay! I thought I was done wearing longies and boots to work but evidently I'm not. I will never be done complaining about something. Complaining is my life. On our first trip to Bonaire 16 years ago, the divemaster, Martyn, turned to me toward the end of the week as we walked across the road and down some wobbly rocks to the entry and said, "I know you're having a good time because you're complaining!" Very perceptive of him. I'm silent when I'm really unhappy but usually complain just to amuse myself.

March 8--Xu Yang, The Quianlong Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour. Mai had been awake for hours and off her sleeping mat since before the last bats came to roost in the thatched roof of the cook house. Today the Emperor's procession would be at the place where the rivers join and it was Mai's job to make soup. She did not think that the Emperor himself would eat her soup, maybe some of the advisers or the concubines would be the ones to eat it, but it had to be her best. She had browned the bones of sixteen chickens and then simmered them in water for a whole day to make a rich broth. She used the tenderest spring onions, tiny carrots barely orange, and she sprouted mung beans in the rafters away from the sunlight so that they were pale and perfect. She ground the chicken's meat until it was nearly paste, then made hundreds of tiny meatballs to float in the soup like pearls.

Mm, soup. This is a soup day and I have chicken broccoli soup to eat at work. This would be a perfect day to spend on the couch sipping tea, knitting and watching TV but I have to go to work and earn my pay. *sigh* Drive safely.

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