Christmas In May!

My universe thinks it is Christmas! I just brought home a glass vase filled with fresh, deep red roses found abandoned at a nearby parking lot (a suitor's unwelcome advances?) Unthinkable to discard such beauty. Within these last 24 hours, I was gifted, out of the blue, with a neighbor's somewhat bulky treasures he desperately wanted to re-home so as to create space for his new acquisitions. He brought me an almost new single black futon base with a white cotton futon, down duvet with two matching sheets and  pillow covers, all in very good condition. This bedding had not been used in 10 years and only rarely before by occasional yoga students of his that would stay over for an intensive.
Furthermore, I became the happy recipient of a Le Creuset Dutch Oven (or melting pot) those red enamel, heavy kinda pots from which my dear European friend would produce the most delicious casseroles. Gratins made from potatoes and fennel smothered in a rich sauce of cream, cheese, and likely white wine. I have wondered for a while about coming up with a heart healthier version of the above. Now I have no more excuses with my almost new, only lightly used Creuset. The experimenting will have to begin. I had been entertaining the idea of cooking another whole chicken like I did for the Occupiers last winter, it was such a hit with them and so much fun for me - and my pups. Mind you, I have been a vegetarian cook ever since I left my parent's home as a teen,  since decades. While I have been eating occasional white meat I avoided having to look at, touch, or mess with raw meat. That was until I brought my first dog, my Isabella-girl home. Dogs are not vegetarian, I got a bit more used to the idea, the looks and the smells and the handling of meat since. Gifted with two more fairly large, high-quality pans for grilling or baking fish or meat may mean I will have to invite company to help polish of such quantities of food, although my pups are doing a pretty good job by themselves.

Last, but not least an earthen ware carafe now graces my outdoor living room area. There always seems to be a shortage of water containers so this is a welcome addition to my household utensils.

Now with so much goodness coming my way, I wonder if I should consider this man that called to inquire about my VW van a good omen? He inquired if I might have an interest in selling my beloved "Schneggehuus". Of course, he has no idea how attached I am to the darn thing, the money guzzling contraption that has served me as a second, to boot mobile home for extended periods at a time. There isn't a more comfortable vehicle to travel in then a VW vanagon, except maybe an RV. But the van is nimble has a great turning ratio, good traction, can get up in speed and will make life easy and enjoyable on any road. 
If I sell, I am afraid I will never ever drive again. I will not be able to afford another vehicle, most certainly not another VW vanagon. But I really can not afford the fixing, much less the maintenance of that monster. Not even 3000 miles on the new/old engine after 3 attempts  of replacement were followed by two explosions for no discernible reasons. The mechanic's estimate was $800, no doubt the costs would have run higher than, 1 1/2 years ago, but most certainly now. Well, I will sit with it a bit longer, contemplate all my options while I try to entertain the idea that no matter the decision, I will be o.k. since my universe believes in Christmas during the month of May.

2 days later all items found a new spot, but in the process I discovered that the bottom drawer of my stove can actually be pulled out. This had never ever occurred to me. So what I found must have been a quarter century old dust balls! I am comforted by the knowledge that my German mother had a very similar experience when moving out of a home she had occupied for 40 years. She too discovered places she did not know existed and this despite her germanic love of cleanliness. The roses still look pretty, except for the center one that I brought to the memorial of one of our community leaders.


  1. The time of gifts is any time. I - and, I'm sure, many others - have had gifts which were a lot less welcome than those you received this May.
    Make good use of them.

    I am the very proud owner of black, cast iron, cookware, casseroles as well as grill and frying pans, a wonderful collection of COPCO, Le Creuset and AGA. I use all of them (I like to cook, meat, fish and veg, rice and pasta, whatever comes). Soon these monsters will be too heavy for my wrists; heaving them out of the cupboards and on to the stove is already quite a job, even without contents. But they do produce the most wonderful meals.

    I have learned that what I call casseroles, you call Dutch ovens, thanks for the info.

    A Schneckenhaus for a van; I love the name of your VW. How hard it must be for you to have to come to a decision about your favourite mode of transport and occasional living. That's the trouble, we're none of us getting any younger, and certainly not richer.

    Life's simply not fair !

    1. My parents brought me a set of Rikon, water less cooking pots, that I deeply appreciate. A gift from my Dad to my Mom I assume she did not like the lack of handles, so they schlepped them across the ocean to the home of their daughter.

      The black cast iron pot did go with the ex, so what is left is a wok and a steamer, the later I use most frequently.

      Finding fresh flowers, a gorgeous bouquet, within 24 hours of receiving those unexpected gifts, from a neighbor I have little contact with sure makes it feel like Christmas, a holiday I have not celebrated in my adult life. Thanks for looking in and leaving your footprint, your comment, Friko.