Just like all of you, I'm busy. I manage family responsibilities, a full time profession, and a huge writing project involving research, a working memory and mental processing. Not to mention that my yoga/meditation practice requires that I get up early every morning and do that routine, which always is a blissful respite from the sometimes abrasive world. But blogger friends, I have to come clean, tell the truth, spill the beans-or peas, that is. I admit it, I burned the main pasta dish that I had intended to bring to Noche Buena dinner, last night. Yes, I had to make it again. Then I packed it and set it in the car. I think. When we arrived to our destination, I couldn't find the food-any of it! Not the main pasta dish, nor the specially prepared seasonal pasteles; not the fresh veggies or the spinach dip. I couldn't even find the red and white holiday tray I bought to serve them on. I remembered that I had packed everything and I did carry it to the living room. Did I leave it on the chair -or the couch? When we unloaded the hastily wrapped gifts, and I couldn't find our food. Then I had to suffer through the uniform cries of disappointment for my negligent behavior. Oh yes, I defended myself. Someone should have helped me: I was too busy! Why was misplacing our food such a problem? You see, we're vegetarian-the kind that never eats any meat at all- and one of our foolproof solutions to causing food inconveniences at family gatherings is to bring our own. It turned out fine, my dear mother-in-law had made us vegetarian arroz con gandules-rice with pigeon peas. No, it doesn't have poultry in it, that's just the name. Later that night, when we returned home, I looked for the misplaced food. I couldn't find it- not on the couch, not in the kitchen, not anywhere. I went out to the car and looked again. No, the bags were not there. I looked around the house again. Seriously, I even checked the hall that leads to the bathroom. Where could the food be? I gave up and went to bed. The next morning, I returned to search the mini van but this time, I moved everything out of the back storage area. ..and there, dear readers, under a white plastic bag full of newspapers, was our now spoiled Christmas evening dinner. You might wonder why I couldn't find or even remember where I had set the dinner? Excuse me, I left out a little detail in this somewhat tedious narrative, I had been blogging. I blogged through the first batch of burned seashell pasta. I blogged through and around in my mind when I recooked dinner. The pasteles water pot went dry and the paper burned, "Oh, they'll be fine, I'll just add a little more water." I took unheard of short cuts with the pasta. Usually, the time consuming preparation does not bother me in the least. I left the kitchen and got caught in the bloggy world again. I was brought back to real reality (verses virtual reality) when my husband called out, "Are you burning something again?" I left my laptop oasis in the bedroom and rescued my second attempt at preparing dinner. I feel like I should be in a bloggers 12 step program; "Hello, my name is Cynthia, and I'm a blogger." Here's the problem, I'm addicted to blogging. My neglected-feeling teenage daughter says, "Mom, what are you doing?" "Oh, I'm writing something here, do you want to read it?" Amid groans, she quickly signs the cross at me. I have to laugh. I've been reading her my postings, telling her my discoveries, insights and connections, relentlessly. I'm on vacation, I tell myself. I quickly think about all that I'm doing. Yes, I'm off the blog quickly writing some Christmas letters. I'm still reading but everything of interest connects to my next idea. And I'm cleaning, too, at least enough to make a space to walk through to the kitchen. What has happened to me? I just want to keep writing and finding out who else is in this bloggers world. I'm sure this emotional roller coaster will stop or slow down but for now I need a bit of support, "Dear, will you tell me when I've been at the computer too long? Dear??" Forget about it, he's stuck on his own TV crime story addiction. (We've just gotten satellite hookup out here in the mountains.) "Son, will you...can you hear me?? Son!" He's hooked on the computer chat that never ends-he's no help. "Daughter of mine...daughter! Where are you?" She's got her face in Facebook; no, she's downloading music, I can hear her singing. "Son!" I try again. He can't hear me because he's got plugs in his ears and is listening to screaming music; he's also on the cell phone. What is this? Can no one help me? We're all living duel lives in parallel worlds! Where's my mindfulness practice? Oh, I remember, "A yogi, never feels tension, when she does something, she does just that. ..there is no resistance...no tension." Wait! Is that permission to immerse myself in blogging-to give myself over to the blogging experience entirely? I think it is...or is that my procrastination-persistently-rationalizing to the blogger me? Write about it! Yes, that's what I'll do.
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Five pounds of these gandules verdes (green pigeon peas) were bought fresh at the Rio Piedras mercado (market). Abuelo (grandpa) spent all day shelling them for the evening cena de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve meal).
Abuela (grandma) prepared these locally grown peas with rice, vegetarian style so we were able to participate in the eating aspect of the celebration despite my negligence.
We ate this traditional meal minus the pasteles, which were MIA due to a blogger's obsession.
Wouldn't it have been nice if I had cooked this traditional Puerto Rican dinner? Even though I bought the plantains, I couldn't prepare them because I was too busy- blogging, that is.
Arroz (grano mediano) con habichuelas rosadas y tostones
Rice (medium grain) with pink beans and fried platanos (large green plantain bananas)
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Christmas day, I pulled away from the computer for a few hours by fortifying myself with George's Bangladesh DVD (mentioned in the earlier posting) and focusing on the uphill climb of making a special-ish dinner. For motivation, I reflected on my daughter's morning face when she said to the blogging me, "I guess we're not having a special Christmas breakfast." I still have the chastising and mildly disappointed expression in my mind. Christmas evening, we had a little blessing, dinner, and talked. I didn't rush anyone. After waiting for everyone to leave the table, I dove into the computer world again. Sigh. The table is still dirty and the dishes await. It's almost 11:30pm!