Humble Pie

Humble pie! These days I eat a lot of this. Let me share with you from topic to topic how I might have once defined myself but now, not so much.

*Witty Conversationalist (or at least able to assemble full and lively sentences)

In my day, I spoke to crowds of several hundred people about cutting edge topics. Now I say things at dinner like, “Could someone cut my meat?” and “Look how I can wiggle my fingers.”


This time of year I usually have a pile of knitting on every seat in the house and a hot glue dispenser at my hip. This December, I am fighting with the cats over who gets to lounge on the clutter free sofas. The cats are as bewildered as me by this knit free world but just as determined as I am to claim the empty real estate.

*Never a Fashion Icon (but at least things matched and I could dress myself).

My standards are at an all time low. Take yesterday for example. Lizzy and baby Grace took me for a walk with my new BFF, a ski pole. I was quite a vision.

Earlier in the day, my valet, Jim, helped me dress as I still can’t do shirts very well by myself. Fortunately, he doesn’t have too much of a wardrobe to keep track of as his twelfth job. I have only one sweater that fits over the cast. It’s a kelly green cardigan with blue polka dots. I wear it 24/7. At the end of this adventure it will either be a beloved object like a blankie or I will burn it. Maybe I will need to hang onto it so baby Gracie recognizes her Grandma.

Of course this signature sweater was part of my assemblage. I have a couple big t-shirts to choose from that fit over the cast. On the top of the laundry pile (Jim’s ninth job) was a yellow pale yellow dingy, much washed, gray t-shirt. This looked spectacular with my pink and raspberry striped pajama bottoms (there for warmth) and olive green skirt. Voila! I was ready for fashion week.

Nota bene- Kelly green and olive don’t look as bad together as you might think but maybe that’s because the pajama bottoms commanded all the attention. My cast also drew the eye. It is now purple- replacing the last one that was a more restrained royal blue.

In any case, maybe it is a good thing to be garish- It certainly makes it less likely someone will add insult injury and hit me with a car because they don’t see me on the side of the road.

All in all, when imagining my fashion choices….Think bag lady. Think Fashion Police. Think “What Was She Thinking when she got dressed.” Very little apparently.

*In the Kitchen

I usually have a lot of items simmering, marinating, stewing and melding this time of year. On the shelves, there are usually a lot of peculiar ingredients for brittles, pane forte. biscotti, rugelash, preserved lemons or homemade vanilla extract- I say ridiculous things like, “Why buy puff pastry when we can make own.” or “Let’s hand grind our own micro-batch of honey mustard.” or “Do you think we can make our own pomegranate molasses?” Yes, usually I am an obnoxious, even smug, participant of our food nation.

This year I cannot open a can. I cannot unscrew a lid. Saran wrap is beyond me as is tearing open a cellophane bag. I cannot use scissors and teeth aren’t as good at opening things as I would have thought.

Thank goodness for wandering staffers who can cut things open for me during their lunch break. At breakfast and dinner, I gratefully eat whatever is put in front of me by Iron Chef James. About a month before my arm break, Iron Chef James said he wanted to increase his repertoire in the kitchen. Santa answered that request early.

*On the Road

My mother never did learn to drive. Wherever we took her we called it, “Driving Miss Betsy.” One memorable night she barked at designated driver, Jim, as we left a restaurant parking lot, “ Get out there and step on it.” This became a sort of sarcastic mantra of car travel for our family.

Twenty years later and chauffeur Jim is no longer “Driving Miss Betsy”. Now it’s “Driving Miss Molly.” Going on an errand is such excitement for Miss Molly that her new mantra is, “Start off slow then taper off.” I also beg for takeout because the round trip from our farm to civilization is so fascinating. Ahhhhhhhh the bright lights of Broadway West Lebanon, NH.

*Cat Whisperer

Now this is an arena where my skills might actually be improving. I have covered my bed in buckwheat pillows so the cats each have a nest for daytime visits. They come and go keeping me apprised of all Green Hope Farm gossip: squirrel census, chipmunk activity, dog misbehavior, who is sashaying around the neighborhood with what fellow cat.

But maybe I am not doing such a fabulous job at this either. I have just noticed that all the pillows are empty today. I think maybe I have become a bit needy, wanting them to help me feel I know the pulse of anything, anything at all even if it is squirrel gossip.


Thank goodness for baby Grace. She doesn’t care that I can’t pick her or anything else up. She likes our games with her favorite caterpillar toy as much as I do. She is not bored that I know nothing about anything. Funny noises and the same three songs seem to be sufficient to qualify as good conversation. She likes when my clothes clash or my hair looks like dreads. She is not expecting homemade designer crafts or snacks for the holidays; she has her mom’s round the clock milk bar and that’s enough.

Yep, Grace is the grace of this time for me. The whipped cream on my humble pie.