Frost on the daffodils

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March 23, 2009 by 8junebugs

In spite of Mother Nature’s bipolar disorder (not to disparage, but to say that perhaps medication should be considered), this weekend reminded me of the bright sides. Of everything.

I did a training walk on Saturday with some team members (and some spouses, and some former team members, and a puppy!). I managed 7 miles — I can name three possible reasons for being too wiped out to do 10:

  1. I stayed up too late watching the Battlestar Galactica series finale.
  2. It was 10 degrees colder than it was for last week’s walk.
  3. I didn’t have a Sausage McGriddle before this week’s walk.

I think it’s mostly #3.

But I continue to enjoy my teammates’ company. You can learn a lot about your colleagues around the proverbial water cooler, but you learn the really interesting stuff in the Saturday morning sunshine.

Saturday evening, I cashed in a Christmas gift card at Massage Envy, the membership massage place that seems to be all the rage. And you know what? There’s a reason for it. That reason is not Kassuhn, the tool who did my massage (parts of the massage were very, very good, and parts of it made me want to grab his scrotum and pull it right up over his head).

But. The spa atmosphere that they maintain in spite of being a giant relaxation factory is impressive. The Tranquility Room where you wait is more like a resort than like a doctor’s office (sorry, Alexandria Massage Therapy — I call ’em like I see ’em). Everything in the massage rooms is adjustable, from the temperature of the bed and the room to the brightness of the lights. The only thing I didn’t like was the lack of a chair — post-massage, the last thing I want to do is put my socks on standing up.

I do feel the need to call Maggie, my abundantly qualified and perfectly fantastic massage therapist, and say, “It’s not you — it’s your prices.” For a little more than what I would normally pay her, with tip, for one appointment, I can now get two, and biweekly massages are a luxury I’ve wanted to work into my budget for years. Plus, Massage Envy has rollover minutes! If you don’t use your monthly massage, it stays credited to your account until you can use it.

So, if anyone wants to know more about it, ping me. I get points for referrals because yeah, it’s totally that kind of scheme.

***

Sunday? Sunday was one of those days that reminds me how much I love my neighborhood. I did another training walk and picked up Teddy on the way — one fabulous benefit of having close friends within walking distance is that I can borrow their dog for training walks.

Because puppies make everything better.

Together, Teddy and I saw many squirrels, and some ducks that she would like to get to know better. One of the squirrels fell right out of the tree in front of us, and Teddy and I had the clearest conversation of our entire relationship. She looked from the squirrel to me and back a couple of times, whining politely, and I had to agree —  the squirrel was TOTALLY ASKING FOR IT, but we moved on and let the little rodent live. The last thing I need to do with someone else’s pet is encourage her killer instinct.

By the time I dropped the pup off at her house, the rest of the neighborhood was in full Spring swing. As if coordinated, everyone on one block was out resurrecting their gardens. On the next block, it was couples enjoying the morning sunshine on their porches with breakfast, reading material, and the requisite dog at their feet. Then gardeners again. Then the restaurants with full patio seating and lines out the door.

Very picturesque, like a unicorn puked rainbows all over my patently — proudly — bourgeois street.

***

img_09041After stretching, showering, soaking my aching feet, and napping, I made caramelized onion and goat cheese cornbread:

For cornbread connoisseurs: This is Yankee cornbread, cakey cornbread…cornbread flecked with AWESOME. There’s sugar in this recipe, there’s no staunch direction about bacon grease, and, as you can see, I did not make it in my cast-iron skillet.

You can’t taste the goat cheese, for the record. Someone suggested using cheddar to create little cheese pockets, but I think the goat cheese/onion combo should be honored. I wonder if it’s possible to up the goat cheese in the recipe…maybe find a happy medium between the goat cheese and the three eggs? Sprinkle a little on top?

Besides, using cheddar is just an easy excuse to exchange the onions for bacon, and then what have you got? An entirely different cornbread, that’s what.

Not a bad cornbread, to be sure…but a different one, nonetheless.

If I could make this a scratch-and-sniff photo, I totally would. And if I decide to do an Easter brunch this year (I usually do), I think this would pair well with a little bourbon-crusted ham…

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