April 8, 2013

A Canuck in Kantuck: A miscellaneous ramble

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Oh dear readers, how nice it is to have little to write about this week. After 10 weeks of recognizing column topics as I lived them, today my mind is blissfully blank and, rather than sit at the dining room table writing, I’d prefer to run from it and head instead to the garden.

So far, despite my early March planting of peas, onions, shallots and Swiss chard, the garden hasn’t sprouted a thing. We had it tilled before Christmas, so for the first time I have a big space in full sun with excellent soil. I’m itching to see some green spring forth from it, but so far, it’s still pretty brown out there. I’m surprised about the peas, as I thought they would have popped out a little by now, but no dice. I’ve considered digging up one of them to see if there’s any action, but it seems a little like cheating, like opening the oven door to see if the soufflé has risen.

Last night, I watched the season finale of “The Walking Dead.” Woah, what a nail-biter. My husband was already sleeping by the time I finished — he’d watched it the night before — so I haven’t had anyone to talk to about it. For those who haven’t seen it yet, I won’t spoil it, but I can say “The Walking Dead” has completely revolutionized watching TV. It’s the only show I can think of whose creators habitually kill off main characters. Usually, even when the action gets really tense, you can settle into the couch a little, confident in the fact that Bruce Willis or Jason Bourne isn’t going to die. But not with this show: Nothing is sacred and you can’t predict who is going to get knocked off next.

At first, it was shocking, especially when they got rid of the old guy who was always fixing the RV and Laurie, but now I’ve come to expect it — and become just as cut-throat as the show’s writers.

“I’m sick of the sheriff, just kill him off already,” I found myself offhandedly telling William the other week while diving my fist into the popcorn bowl. “The PTSD plotline has gotten old, and his hair is bad.”

William looked at me slightly concerned, but didn’t say anything.

Anyway, I have a huge crush on Daryl, the redneck survivalist who is increasingly looking like a character from “The Lord of the Rings.” The crush has almost everything to do with his biceps and how well he can shoot the bow and arrow. My husband is also slightly concerned about this.

The six pounds I lost while William was sick have come tumbling back, three of which I’d been trying to lose for a year. Yesterday afternoon, starving, I found myself looking up the 50 Best Diet Tips online to see if I could find the magic answer to not eating so much. Then I came upon an advertisement for My Fitness Pal, an application for your phone with which you diarize all that you eat in a day. It then calculates how many calories you’re still allowed to consume and still lose your goal amount of weight.

Mostly just entertained by having the application ask me easy questions like my height and weight, I filled it all in, slightly hoping that by just doing so I would lose weight. But then I promptly started lying about what I’d eaten. For example, I had a sandwich with a leftover pork chop yesterday, not the ham sandwich that I said I had. But I filled in ham because how in the heck was it going to calculate a pork chop sandwich? Then, when I typed in ham sandwich, it gave me two very different calorie options: one for a ham sandwich with white bread, which cost 308 calories, the other ham sandwich on wholemeal bread for 180 calories. Well, I had my sandwich on homemade bread that had some rye in it, so was that considered wholemeal?

Anyway, by the time I was finished filling in breakfast and lunch, I had 702 calories I could still eat for dinner. So of course I had a slice of chocolate cake while watching Walking Dead.

That cake is leftover from my stepdaughter Gabrielle turning 13 this past Saturday. Man, was that an emotional day; she looked so grown up when she opened her presents and read her cards with perfect diction. The next morning, she sat eating Jelly Bellys from her Easter basket, reading Bop magazine and listening to Lady Gaga on her new bedroom stereo, so we’ve definitely got a teenager on our hands. So far, she doesn’t seem to hate us too badly though.

Next week, we are heading out on our first vacation of the year, just a quick trip to Tennessee, but I’m very excited. For the first time in 10 weeks, I won’t be cooking, which is the biggest treat of all. I’ll also get a break from writing, which is why there will be no column next week. So until April 19, dear readers, I hope you enjoy the warmer weather, the season premier of “Mad Men,” and those days when life doesn’t get much more complicated than this.


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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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