Odd title, I know. It doesn’t really make sense unless you are inside my house or on the front lawn right now. My entire world is coated in the sweet, delicate, feminine scent of lilacs.
I love these pretty plants and how their scent completely fills up our house from the east side kitchen to our west side bedroom. The driveway smells lovely. The barn cat, Jockey, who lies in these bushes during the afternoon, smells fantastic. And good old Sport, our Siamese, brings in a bit of the pretty smell when he goes on his early evening survey of the grounds (when Jockey is in the barn, of course.)
What’s interesting this year is that the backyard lilacs bloomed a month ago. Normally they burst onto the scene first but not usually a full month ahead of the front yard.
We had a fairly wet and cool spring, though, so perhaps that’s the reason. Whatever it is, I just breathed in the amazing scent through the open window to my right.
The “learnings” the title of this blog are referring to are the cooking class I’m enrolled in, a bit of golf and Bebe’s health.
I finished my final exam last night (49/50) (araaaagh! I got one wrong!!!) and am tasking myself with a challenging but amazing-sounding pasta dish this evening. I’ve made many different pasta recipes over the years but none have required as much planning as this Pasta Boscaiola does. But I’m pumped!
The pasta sauce has prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh thyme so its going to be an interesting, flavorful cream sauce if I don’t screw it up. If I can figure out how to go “live” on some social media platform maybe I will. I’ll probably get my ‘mise on place’ in place and go from there.
I was tasked with making Spaghetti Aglio e Olio the other night and I rocked it. It helped learning how to choose better quality store-bought dry pasta (go for pale, rough-textured pasta) which holds onto sauces better. This particular sauce was basically garlic, red chili flakes, olive oil and fresh basil. And it was yummy!
It boosted my confidence and I feel ready to try this Boscaiolo recipe tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes.
As for me learning about my own golf game, I’ve learned that I can achieve goals I’ve set with a bit of hard work.
I had the goal last summer of making par on the four par 5’s on our local course. I made the 13th hole but that was it.
But this summer something has clicked for both Alistair and me. In his case, probably having that final, annoying, restrictive pin removed from deep within his pelvis likely helped but we both are actually playing golf like, well, golfers.
And with some cool length to my drives (when they work) thanks to my Hideki Matsuyama-inspired swing, I conquered the par 5 18th a couple of weeks ago and the 9th just last week! (Ball-for-the-wall video at the end of this blog for your enjoyment… make sure your volume is on!)
I’m learning each time I’m out there and even though I still make a lot of crappy shots I know I’m capable of big, fun things.
And what about Bebe’s health? I guess I don’t know. Which is what I’m learning, or trying to learn.
Bebe, herself is a bit of a conundrum in that she lived in the shadows of 7 other cats for most of her life until we lost sweet old Boomer over a year ago. Babs got along with everyone and shared the cat beds with Oscar, Boomer, and Cooper but once it became just her and Sport in the house, she became a brand new cat.
A Domesticated Indoor Cat, as she says.
Bebe now vocalizes regularly, joins me on the Magic Blanket for Couch Time at night, cuddles up with UB from time to time and has a real, present personality within the house.
So it was noticeable 2 days ago when she didn’t demand her 3 or 4 Greenies pieces first thing in the morning. And I could tell she hadn’t eaten any kibble through the night and she didn’t eat her canned food that evening. Yesterday wasn’t much different although I always saw her drinking water and she continued to join me on the couch at night.
She definitely seemed a bit weak these past couple of days and Doctor Mummy wasn’t liking this very much.
I couldn’t find anything on physical exam, which is a challenge with this particular Domesticated Indoor Cat. Despite being a real presence in our world, Bebe has never liked being held. All 4 limbs stiffly jut out the instant you pick her up so handling her for palpation is tricky.
But there she was this morning asking for and then gobbling up 6 Greenies pieces and she ran towards me when I put fresh kibble into their food dish. She’s using the litter box and appears a bit brighter today so hopefully the antibiotics I started her on 2 days ago are working on whatever needed working on.
Regarding the Ladies League, I’m learning that I actually fit in. The local women, many of whom have been my veterinary clients since 2007, have asked me to come out and play with them since we took golf up a couple of years ago. I’ve always resisted, fearing I would embarrass my competitive self or that I would slow them all down.
Finally, with Alistair in Bismarck last week, I joined the group on Wednesday. I liked it so much I joined again on Friday.
And I am happy to report that I do fit in. To quote one of the women as she introduced me to a lady I hadn’t met, “Tanya can drive the shit out of a golf ball.”
So this has opened up an entirely new chapter to our golf experience and maybe Alistair and I will try Couples League down the road, too.
Things are a bit different when you’re playing exclusively with women. For starters, we talk about our golf outfits a lot. Generally, the men don’t ask what brand my duds are and I haven’t shared how comfy a certain outfit is or how much give a particular skort has when swinging before.
And Girlfriend Golf is very cheerful and congratulatory, particularly when I manage to hit the shit out of the ball on a drive.
And then we all gather in the clubhouse and visit and talk about upcoming visits to the doc for someone’s hip and how one gal would rather be euthanized than go through rotator-cuff surgery again and how I can actually help with that (not the surgery, the other thing) and that maybe this is why the gals invited me to join them in the first place because I’m 10 to 20 years younger than most of them and I have the tools and the skill set and almost everyone has grandchildren and its so hot where most of these women live during the winter that the planes can’t lift off from the airports and gosh, they all miss me and my clinic but they totally understand the situation and one lady was worried because she hadn’t done her hair that morning and so-and-so has dinner guests and she was making “better than sex” cake and I’m taking a cool online cooking course!
And finally, in reference to Loki in the title of this blog, our little friend is home again only, sadly, its a boxed version of our adorable companion.
I made it to Missoula last week and managed to hold my shit together when Alex handed me the two little boxes that contain her ashes. Whitney wants some of her very special friend so someday when we get back to Kauai or she gets back to the mainland we will share Loki with her once again.
And the other box will remain with us, firmly ensconced in Fyfe Life once more.
It seemed fitting that she go back to the living room to enjoy Couch Time again.
So this is how the summer of 2017 is beginning around the farm and on the golf courses. I’ll keep you posted on how I do during the league and what new recipes I’m trying and how they turn out.
I’m still slinging the bling and if you’re interested I’m doing my annual fundraiser this month for our local pet shelter, Paws Up Safe Home. I’ve done this for 3 years now and I give all of my 40% commissions earned this month to the shelter so every dollar really helps. And every necklace and bracelet is 25% off so its a win-win for everyone (head over to http://www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/tanyafyfe if you’d like to treat yourself and feel great about it.)
And of course I’ll share Bebe’s tale because the blog is an outlet for me to share my thoughts, fears, hopes and feelings and most of you are pet lovers and I know you’ll be thinking about her.
So thanks for letting me share and for coming along on my journey. Now get out there and enjoy some summertime and don’t forget to check out the video below…