Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It is in the intent and the details

Thanksgiving, where did the word thanksgiving come from? I don't have to do lots of research to grasp it is meant as a time to be thankful and to give. This week my sister and I are planning our family Thanksgiving. Remembering why we are celebrating seems in order. It is not about stress, fitting into our schedule or long hours of cooking.

Last night I visited with my mom, she is preparing a dinner for 17. Yesterday, was Monday and she had already done her planning, shopping and started baking. We figured this would be about a 6 day project; lots of energy, lots of money, lots of time, lots of work. As we talked, I was sad I couldn't be with her to help, she is in Colorado I am in Washington. She reminded me this is not a chore, she does this for love. She always has.

When I was little, she would cook special meals on Sundays. Even though she worked all week, went to church in the morning. Sunday was special the dinner felt rich. When there was a holiday, we would get out the grandma dishes. She taught me to set the table with care and detail. The plates one inch from the edge of the table. The colorful grandma dishes needed to be arranged so like colors never touched. The water glass directly over the knife and the blade should always point toward the plate.

Why would someone who worked hard all week go to such detail and work to prepare a special meal? For love, she did it for love. There is something special about preparing a meal with the end result to bring those you love together, feeding not only their bodies but their souls. A time where the world stops, even if there isn't much money in the bank, we can enjoy a time of great abundance in just being together in a setting created with tender loving care.

My mom taught me many lessons, most of which I probably forgot. And until last night I had forgotten why my mom would go to so much work- for love.

This was a good conversation to have before I start my own cooking- to remember why I will be cooking this week- for love, there is much love in the details.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Smacked in the face with smelly dryer sheets

The dogs are walked and I'm back in for the evening. As I was walking, I noticed how earthy it smelled outside. All the leaves decomposing on the ground, it smelled so rich.

As we trotted along- whack- the smell of dryer sheets covered up all the autumn smells and flooded my nose with thick fake flowers. Fake fragrances are like having plastic flowers. Maybe, I'm jaded from being in the cleaning industry for so long. No, tonight the dryer sheets were powerfully obnoxious!

When I smell plastic fragrances I cringe. Partly from my own sensitivities and partly because the man made fragrances pale in comparison to nature and yet are so strong they smack you over the head. Those smells are out place and sneaky, like an invading pest attacking our sense of smell. The evening smelled so fresh, so clean, so earthy and then -wham- fake plastic rose smells. Yuk.

Have a residue free stroll,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Toilet paper doesn't smell like chocolate chip cookies

Yesterday, I swear I was being enticed by toilet paper! I was on a supply run picking up towels and a special stripper for an upcoming job. Costco was on my list, as I shopped, I found myself back by the toilet paper smelling chocolate chip cookies. It smelled delicious! I thought about swinging by the bakery until it dawned on me " toilet paper doesn't smell like chocolate chip cookies"!!?? Was the odor from the bakery drifting all the way back to the toilet paper or was this mouthwatering smell being piped in?? I don't know, all I know is there were no cookies around the toilet paper and toilet paper doesn't usually smell like cookies.

My next stop took me to a janitorial supply house. As I was loading up my stripper I smelled pumpkin pie - outside! I know this place carries cleaners, strippers, mastic remover, brushes and squeegees but there are no pumpkin pies baking there! However, it does carry toilet paper-hummm!!!!!

This isn't my first awareness of mouth watering odors enticing us to eat and buy products. I have also smelled apples and cinnamon spice at discount stores and grocery stores. I hate it when I forget to notice this stuff. It is funny and scary all the same time. If I wasn't on my toes I might have stuffed myself with chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin pie yesterday!!!

It's not so much the odors I found that surprised me as much as my lack of smell awareness. How many hundreds of stores have I been in with no clue what I was smelling. Learning to be awake as I go through the day is the lesson I learn, not if a store adds odors or not. Truly, I have no idea if they do or don't but I do know I'm not paying attention and that is very interesting.

What a cool practice: learning to smell as I shop.

Happy shopping and sniffing,