Like most members of the modern world, I have been struggling with my weight. There is just way too much good food around, and I have not really had the discipline to refuse it when it was in front of me.
A few years ago, I reached a point where I realized that if I continued along the rising road I was following, I was going to have serious difficulties with my knees. So I went on a Mediterranean diet and lost a grand total of 49 pounds. I relaxed my guard during the festivities surrounding my birthday, and promptly regained 17 of those pounds before I noticed what was happening and called a screeching halt to it.
It helped that I got a puppy around that time, to encourage me to exercise more and get long walks in the fresh air. Ruby has been a blessing in more than one way.
Anyway, I have been maintaining that weight for a year and a half now, and I think I’ve been on the plateau for long enough. So I started actively trying to drop weight. Sort of. I mean, when there is a plate of brownies sitting there, don’t you pretty much have to help eat them?
But I was getting regular walks. Except when there was ice or it was pouring down rain.
Anyway, the other day I was feeding Ruby. She has been getting a little pudgy lately, since her major winter activity of choice (other than the daily walk) is to toast her belly in front of the fireplace. So, as I scooped out her ration of dog food for breakfast, I said to myself, “Ruby, my dear, you are a little too heavy and you are a large dog and if I let you get too fat you will pay the price in arthritic hip pain in your later years. This is all you get.” And I cut the ration by about 15%. Later on, when Smokey was wandering around demanding another can of cat food, I told him, “We can’t afford to pay for more than two cans of cat food for you. There is dry food in your bowl, you can eat that or wait until 4:30 when I will open your second can.”
I walked into the bathroom for a moment, and as I was looking at myself in the full length mirror on the back of the door, all those statements came flooding through my head. I realized, “I need an owner!”
I didn’t get an education for nothing. I immediately denied any idea that I thought I needed to be owned or enslaved. Who was my owner, anyway?
So, anyway, since then I’ve managed to lose 4 pounds.
At least until yesterday. When we went on a float on the spring-rain swollen Niangua. The food was as good as usual. We fought our way downriver against winds so strong they could blow you upstream against the current with only your boat’s freeboard and you as the available sail. So when we finally settled on a gravel bar, we were all pretty hungry. We built a very small fire and cooked bratwurst over the coals. There was goat cheese and fruit and sundry condiments to accompany the brats.
After we had all dined sufficiently well, we poured water on the ashes of our fire and headed off down the river. The redbuds are really glowing right now.
All five members of the party traversed the river yesterday without dumping. We had a wonderful time despite the brisk gale we were canoeing into. The sun was shining, it was early spring and a beautiful day. Our shuttle arrived at the very moment we were pulling the last canoe out of the river.
When I got home, we dined on wonderful minestrone soup and then headed off to enjoy the usual monthly Sauna night with our friends. We had a wonderful time, drinking wine and enjoying the cleansing of the sauna. The conversation ranged far and wide over the world of gardens, politics, and personal relationships. We are all concerned about the economy, but coping well. We are all terribly concerned by the promise of a hard freeze tomorrow and what that means for our fruit crops. It is so wonderful to spend time with people who actually like you and really want to be with you. We all have such a great time together.
While I was enjoying the river, Jim made an angel food cake stuffed with lemon curd to take to share. In addition, there was a spinach and ricotta dip, an amazing spicy bean dip, brownies, deviled eggs, carrot cake, mushrooms stuffed with artichokes, cookies, salsa, roasted vegetable dip, mango/pineapple/coconut rice pudding, and probably more I don’t remember. The party-goers enjoyed a sumptuous repast.
I’m not exactly sure what a good owner I’ve been lately, although I’m not the only one who has been indulged lately. I got Ruby a giant cow femur at the meat market the other day. She and I have to talk about that . She has buried it next to the newest crepe myrtle in the new garden behind the bench. Fortunately, I have nothing planted there. Yet.