Monday, November 16 2020

spark notes, hide and seek, and pokey bread

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Monday. It feels good to be here, and even though I'm feeling a little groggy this morning, it feels good to be caught up on sleep and heading into a new work week with a clear head. Sitting down at the computer just now I had the realization that Thanksgiving is next week, so if you too have lost track of how far into November we are, there's your warning shot. If you have aspirations to do something fancy with a turkey, it might be a good week to start thinking about it.

Speaking of which, what's the deal with Thanksgiving only being a week away? The more terrifying reality is that we're officially beginning the holiday season. Waiting around the house in an enduring quarantine, I would have thought this part would take longer. But here we are.

I have a lot of work to catch up on. And knowing I have some holidays around the corner is going to help me find the extra push to get it done. We have an intern project to kick-off. I have a bevvy of slack messages to reply to this morning. And on top of it all, we have our first book club meeting at work, and I have yet to begin the reading assignment. It's not often you get to say I have yet to begin the reading assignment, is it? I feel like a disheveled high school student, and much like I used to do in high school I'll either have to find a quiet corner to power skim the first chapter or just see if I can track down the spark notes. It's been a while - spark notes are still a thing, aren't they?

Sip. When was the last time you had to look up the spark notes for something you didn't read? And more importantly how was your weekend?

I had a nice long weekend. Even though the art show wasn't quite what we expected, plenty of good still came out of the effort. Marissa has a clean studio and a big empty table on which to start something new. I got to enjoy a few days off work. And while Marissa was waiting around for her paintings to sell, we had plenty of time as a family to hone our new favorite craft: hide and seek.

Hide and seek, the de facto choice for how Rodney delegates his precious minutes of Rodney Time, is becoming a real passion of ours. We have a great house for hide and seek, too. The doors, halls, and stairs leading from the kitchen to the dining room to the living room to the upstairs form a single continuous spiral. We have deep closets, thick curtains, and dark corners. Our old wooden stairs creek, adding an extra challenge to hiding.

Rodney is under the impression that before each round begins, everyone needs to be in agreement as to where each player is hiding. Before sending Marissa off to count, he initiated a huddle in the living room.

"OK, Dada, you come with me," said Rodney out of breath. "We'll hide in the closet with Hauncy, and Momma - you come find us."

Rodney's natural command over hide and seek has surfaced some amusing new vocabulary. While explaining the rules to us, he kept repeating the phrase the goal is.

While playing, I found a good spot in Rodney's room. I couldn't quite fit under his narrow bed, so I instead balled myself up in the corner by his bookshelf, throwing his blanket over me. Cleverly disguised as a balled up blanket thrown aside, Rodney went in and out of his room twice without noticing. He even absent-mindedly and unwittingly patted me on the butt.

When we weren't playing hide and seek, Rodney and I were sword fighting. Spending almost all late Sunday morning swinging our light sabers at each other, I was grateful Rodney wanted to take a break and build a blanket fort instead. We mounded the blankets in the middle of the room, watching cooking videos while the dogs curiously circled us.

For dinner, we had a pizza themed menu all weekend. On Saturday I made two thin crusts pizzas, and last night we used the rest of the sauce to make calzones. Rodney joined me in the kitchen to play with a spare notch of pizza dough. With focus and poise, he lovingly punched, floured, and stabbed his weird little mound of dough with the pride of a craftsman. Together we came up with the name pokey dough for Rodney's specialty.

His final product looked like a flying saucer with a perfectly round ball resting on top. I obediently brushed his creation with egg wash and baked it next to our calzones, serving it with dinner as a deconstructed side dish.

2020 11 16 pokey bread

Rodney expertly crafts pokey bread from dried out pizza dough.

"So this is pokey bread, Momma," I said. "Rodney worked really hard on it. Dude, why don't you tell us a little bit about it, and show us how to enjoy it."

Rodney smiled, plugging the round dough ball off the top with his hand, nibbling a soft piece off the bottom. He placed the ball, now wet with saliva, back on top.

"Oh interesting," I said. "So we take turns just eating small nibbles off the top."

After putting Rodney to bed, we opened a bottle of wine and started a movie. Last night's pick was Silver Linings Playbook. The movie is energetic, upbeat, and well-acted.

So that's what I got today. Here's to the last week before we head into the holidays. Heck - while we're at it, we can probably just call this the last regular week of 2020. Let's attack this week ferociously. A mere five day work week stands between us and paid time off, weekend naps, and turkey.

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone. Have a great Monday.