Sunday silence

"Spring Storm" by Wendilee Heath O'Brien

Well, not exactly silence. I am, after all, writing words which (unless you read out loud) are sounding in your mind.

But “silence” applies, at least in my small world. Oh, there are sounds: the little shhhhhh of the space heater fan that’s warming my feet and legs and the rather ferocious March roar of the wind outside the open window (even though, yes, it’s actually April. It’s lion-like out there today). Then there’s the soft ticking of the keyboard as I type, and the susurrus of snores from the beasties on the bed, enjoying a nice Sunday snooze.

But there’s no shattery blare of noise and yackety-yakking from the television. No one is blasting industrial-techo-rock on the stereo. Still, I wouldn’t mind a little music; just something soft and melodic. Background, to stimulate creativity. Perhaps something classical.  Mozart would fit this quiet spring Sunday, with its lowering, tonal gray sky and blustering wind that smells of rainstorms. There will be more snow in the mountains above us tonight and tomorrow, but nothing more than sideways rain here. The rapid change in the weather and the barometric pressure has made my hands and wrists cranky, but I’m fighting back with tramadol and my Spidey gloves. No complaints.

I like silence. I like the soft peace of it.

As I did my morning ablutions I noticed that my face is ruddier than usual. In fact, I have an elongated triangle of redness on my skin below my eyes, right at the crest of each cheek. I looked at them, blinking. Triangular-shaped. Is that a butterfly rash? Ack! Lupus!

Then I caught hold of myself, reining in my too-vivid imagination. Nooo, silly wabbit. It’s a little sunburn. You’ve spent a goodly number of hours in the garden these last few days, soaking up the bright, cool spring sunshine. And were you mindful? Did you rub your SPF-50 sunscreen into your skin? No and no. I wore a hat and sunglasses and sleeves to my elbows, and jeans, but that was the most I did to protect my pale Scandahoovian skin from UV rays.

Of course I got a little sunburned. Pale skin plus rheuma meds make a girl look ruddy.

Nevertheless, back at my computer I googled “lupus symptoms” and looked at photos of the telltale butterfly rash that’s one of the disease’s trademarks. Heh. I don’t have lupus. But I do read too much.

Matt is marinating a big, 3-inch-thick tri-tip steak in the ‘fridge; it’s his favorite meal, so that’s what our Sunday evening supper will be, all broiled up medium-rare and sizzling. I’ve been trying to think of something to go with it, since I’m feeling chef-ish today. A salad, sure. But also something hearty and vegetable-y that I can disguise as not-good-for-you, since he religiously avoids foods that have vitamins or fiber in them, and I know he won’t eat any salad. It makes me smile that even though my daughter and her young man are adults, I’m still searching for ways to trick them into eating nutritious foods. When Cary was a little slip of a girl, I’d add a tin of mixed vegetables to her Kraft macaroni and cheese. She barely noticed …

Wow. I just thought of what I’ll make to go with that tri-tip!

Here’s hoping you all have a lovely, pain-free, quiet and enjoyable Sunday, filled with laughter and rest before the workweek begins. Namasté.

6 thoughts on “Sunday silence

  1. Enjoy your silent Sunday, Wren – it sounds ideal! And glad to hear the red cheeks are just the result of too much sun…we’ve been having a couple of nice, sunny days here, too, and they’ve been lovely.

    🙂 L


  2. Silence used to drive me crazy, now I enjoy it. I find that when I am hurting bad, I like to be left alone and most of the time prefer it to be quite. Stark contrast to my younger days. And where would we be without Google? A few years ago I hadn’t even heard of them, now I can’t make it through the day without googling something. Ahhh, technology. Grilled steak sounds great, but you gotta have some veggies.


  3. can’t wait to read more about your vegetable garden…i am in the process of starting one in a raised bed this year. my RA has been fine except the d@mn ankle. i’ve never had much in the way of fatigue or anything, just the local joint pain, and usually just a joint or 2 here and there. it’s just the ankle now, but man, what a pain in the…well, ankle.


  4. Whew! No butterfly rash! What a relief! I’m glad you don’t have an additional dx with which to contend. As a fair Scandinavian, you probably are an expert at dealing with sunburns. I hope it’s not too painful.

    …and the susurrus of snores from the beasties on the bed…
    Wonderful 😀


  5. I love music, and certainly watch t.v., but I simply adore silence. So calming and relaxing. My silence is also usually accompanied by snoring and loud breathing from a beast on her bed 🙂


  6. I know it’s too late, but may I offer my recipe for baked cauliflower for next time? It’s a very traditional british dish, and it’s deeelicious.

    1/2 lb sharp british-style cheddar (a good indication is the color – if it’s white, it’s probably the right stuff. The taste is different)
    1 qt milk (sometimes more!)
    1 head cauliflower
    3 tbs butter
    2-4 tbs flour
    ham or bacon, if desired

    Break cauliflower into roughly 2″ florets. Slice ham or bacon into small pieces.

    Quickly cook the cauliflower about 1/2 way. I usually steam or boil for about 8 minutes. You can do this while you’re making the sauce, if you can divide your attention like that. Remove from the heat and put in a baking dish deep enough that all of the cauliflower is below the top of the dish.

    If you’re using the ham or bacon, throw it in the bottom of a 3 qt saucepan and cook it first.

    Don’t drain the pan. Toss in your butter, melt it, and then mix in enough flour to get a paste that looks like cookie dough. Cook over low heat until it begins to brown slightly and the flour smells cooked.

    Remove the pan from the heat briefly and add about 3/4 qt of milk. Put back on the heat, and raise the heat to medium. Whisk until smooth!

    Reserve about 1 1/2 oz of cheddar.

    Once the milk is good and hot, add in the remaining cheddar a small amount at a time. Keep whisking. If the sauce gets too thick, add some more milk. Continue adding cheddar (and as necessary, milk) until all the cheese is mixed in and melted.

    Sprinkle ham or bacon over the cauliflower. Pour the cheese sauce you’ve just made over the top. The cauliflower should be covered. Sprinkle reserved cheese over the top, making certain to cover any spots where the cauliflower isn’t covered by the sauce.

    Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

    I’ll admit, it isn’t the healthiest recipe, with all that butter and cheese, but it is one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever had, and a big favorite at my place! When I lived in the UK, we’d make this and eat it by itself for a meal with bread to sop up the remaining sauce. Even my boyfriend, who can’t stand cauliflower, likes this!



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