Archive for October, 2007

A kitchen witch who knows when to back down

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

I was born a native in the kitchen and luckily had four hungry older brothers and a thin sister who ate like a field hand (certain foods) who could appreciate my cooking along with a mother who wasn’t organized enough to get it together most of the time. So began my long journey of doing all the cooking, all the time.

In 1990, when Steve and I got together, he had no desire to cook anything – not even toast a bagel – and so I did everything – the shopping, the prepping, the cooking, and even the cleaning. But a decade later, we had evolved into him cleaning but me still doing all the cooking. But at this point, I wanted some help because I was tired of doing it all – read: doing it all sucks – but then it was difficult to change the dynamic that had become so ingrained for both of us – I do most everything and he accept it.

This isn’t a slight on Steve or anyone else who crossed my path then – people who do everything for people are possibly control freaks at best – trying to control the process, outcome, as well as the feelings of the other person involved. And it does tend to polarize couples – one is essentially the doer all the time, and the other becomes a passive recipient and all the resentment that can get steeped into that arrangement is perfectly fostered.

Meanwhile, in the post-everything version of Rachel, I’m in the process of trying not to dominate – the social agenda, the cooking, the planning, the interaction. So when S proposed dinner tonight, I let him decide what that entails.

I’m trying to move from kitchen witch dominatrix to kitchen angel participant – the pendulum knows the sharp left and now is manuevering the sharp right – and I think on this Halloween night, the witch and angel might ultimately find the middle ground – where no one is in charge, and yet everyone is a participant.

Holy cupola!

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Our Lady of the Rosary had its cupola restored to its natural copper luster. All the green patina was shined away and now that the scaffolding is down (it’s been up since Katrina) even the bells clang a little louder. This morning, my wake up call were the bells – I haven’t actually heard them so well in a while (but then again the a/c has been running in my little cocoon). My neighbor says the dome has been green for so long she’s not sure she can get used to the brownish copper look. I like both, but what I like best is the scaffolding finally down – a signal that yet one more thing storm-related is behind us.

A nice run darkly

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Last night, I met S on the footbridge and we went for a nice long run in preparation for the cemetery run on Sunday. Makes a big difference to run at night with a big guy running next to you. I didn’t think about my safety at all. I remember trying to explain to TL a while back why I wouldn’t take his bike route through City Park – because it positioned me in an isolated, undefendable position. He didn’t get it – his response was, “you’re on your bike, you can ride away?” I don’t think men think about what women think about in these situations – women are targets and hey, vulnerable given the difference in body strength – we’re not making this up or trying to be demure for no good reason. Safety is a concern.

At the end of our run, we plucked some citrus fruit from the trees growing in the Pitot’s garden. It is some sort of hybrid between an orange, satsuma and grapefruit – extraordinarily refreshing after our nice run. Then last night, I slept the sleep of the dead on all hallow’s eve – ready to trick and treat today.

3 reasons to celebrate

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

1) Took a stress test and the technicians were marveling at how good of shape I am in (always a good sign).

2) Eddie Jordan resigned – hip hip hooray!

3) There is one and half more days to the end of hurricane season!


Guess who’s at the door?

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

H, my down the hall neighbor from when I lived at the Can Company, the guy who used to proposition me on a regular basis in the elevator, knocked on my door today at around 1:30 this afternoon. He said he had seen me on the front porch on Saturday and my face looked so horrible that he had to come by and check on me because he didn’t know what had happened.

I told him all about the chemical peel and he was relieved. He kept saying – “I was just asking myself how you could have gotten so badly burned on just your face. I just couldn’t get that image out of my mind of how bad you looked.”

More on the topic of acceptance

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

From one of my friends I was speaking with last night about accepting who you were before and who you might be changing into now:

Today I will take it easy.
I will accept that I’ve made mistakes in the past.
I will also accept that I did the best I could.
Maybe I wish I had made different decisions or handled things differently.
But wishes don’t change the past. I can only begin making changes today.
I will accept myself, knowing that I did my best. I did what I thought I had to do.
I am and have always been worthy of being loved the way I want to be loved.

First jack-o-lanterns at the LaLa!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

My pumpkins are getting drenched right now but up until today the weather has been outstandingly beautiful – even the waning moon last night was fat as a tick and bright.


Do you know when the pendulum is in the middle?

Monday, October 29th, 2007

I came back from dropping off Jake – and stopped to say hi and goodnight to some friends on the way. They were in the middle of talking about how to know when you are changing your past behavior that didn’t suit you to going overboard in the other direction – the pendulum swinging too far to the other side – and I asked, well how do you know when you’re in the middle. I haven’t known my pendulum was on one side and then I certainly saw it swinging to the other one, but will I know when it is safely, comfortably, tolerably in the middle?

Keep your head in the game

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Typical Monday – too much to do on the to do list to ever think you’ll accomplish any of it. Then a deep breath and picked up Jake this afternoon from school and I was trying to tell him about all the stuff we had to do – get Halloween candy, scrape the barnacles off the canoe, get gas, carve jack-o-lanterns. He said “Halloween candy?” and then became monomaniacal about the idea. Finally, I was like this is candy for me to hand out at Halloween – you have your own candy at home and you’re not eating any of this candy. “Halloween candy?” he said and repeated like a mantra till we were finally in the drugstore and you’d have thought I told him we were getting crack.

When we finally were making our way home – I reminded him that we had to scrape the barnacles, now set up the cheap train set, and carve jack o lanterns so we didn’t have time for Scooby Doo or other movies today. I said, you got that Jake? – He said, “Yeah, keep your head in the game, Ocho.”

Good grief – I had to swallow my tongue to keep from belly laughing. We played in the haystack that my neighbor built, we scraped the barnacles, we set up the cheap train with the tracks that didn’t meet, and then when we started to carve the jack o lanterns – by now Jake was bored. Thankfully, Mignon, the cute little 5 year old next door came over and piqued his interested in pumpkins again. And then S came by to help carve the faces – Jake liked the scary one S made with the stitches over his eye.

Later, I took him home and walked into parents with two babies in their arms and I took Ava and in minutes she was sleeping so they begged me to put her to bed. I felt like Mary Poppins. As I drove down Napoleon on my way home at 8:30, I got a text from M, the extra train tracks were in the bottom of the carton – I just had to turn it over to find them. Sigh.

The skinny on the TCA Chemical Peel

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Here is the progress on the peel – and a photo journal or expose. First, for six weeks prior to having the peel I used prescription strength TriLuma (an acne cream) and my skin care routine became glycolic wash, TriLuma and moisturizer at night and then glycolic wash and daytime moisturizer in the morning and every two weeks a visit to my dermotologist – Elizabeth Dimitri – and she applied for longer periods each time glycolic at a higher dose. My skin actually looked incredible during this time – so much so that people were wondering why bother with the peel. My friend is getting it done but she has darker skin, so her routine actually includes a lightener. The derm told me here’s what to expect – 2 days of the worst sunburn you ever had, 2 days of the worst sunburn and blistering, and 2 days of peeling and then WALA – you look five years younger.

So here are the photos:

This is the day before I went to get the peel:


This is day after the peel – Day 1


This is Day 2


Day 3


Day 4


Day 5


Day 6


Day 7 – almost completely peeled and now just a red and raw


Day 8 – just in time for Halloween – most fine lines gone – a little red and sensitive but mostly recovered!