Look: No hands! (On the computer.)

I tried not to use my computer all weekend — so difficult! I did not write. I did not surf. I did not email (much). Instead, I put all my creativity this weekend into cooking and drawing, both with mixed results.

You might ask why I couldn’t have written in a notebook, by hand. I have no good answer to that except to say that I am stubborn and had decided that if I was not going to be able to write the way I wanted to write, I wouldn’t write at all.

You might also ask why it was so hard to stay away from the computer, and to that I say, I am a slave to technology and completely addicted to knowing what’s going on and being on the Internet. I admit it. I’ve actually gotten better about this, believe it or not. Still, briefly, on both days, I did turn on my laptop, though I told myself that I was using it to do practical things, like rent a car and pay a bill. I am having to use my left hand to steer and click my mouse, and I’m getting more proficient at it. The tendinitis in my right hand makes it painful to click, and to some extent, type. Which is frustrating to say the least. Last night, despite not using the computer much, I looked down at my hand and noticed that the fleshy area between my thumb and forefinger was (and is) quite swollen, and a little discolored. Argh.

In any case, it was nice to focus on other creative things. I drew in a sketchbook, with pencil. I have never enjoyed drawing as much as painting, and it’s rare that I would sit down and make an attempt to create a likeness of something in pencil, but I did, and I actually found it pretty satisfying. I even drew a person, which I never, ever do, because I am generally not good at drawing people and get frustrated by all of the difficult body parts, like hands, and elbows.

And I cooked. I made a pot roast, the French kind, with the wine and the garlic and sage and the long cooking time. It wasn’t my best pot roast (though it was, I think, only my second attempt) but still, it was comfort food and it was good. And yesterday I made an autumn risotto — sort of an experiment, actually, in that I didn’t quite follow any one recipe. In my opinion gooey rice that has wine, butter and cheese in it can’t be all bad no matter what else you do to it, and that theory held true. I threw in some pumpkin and acorn squash that had come in the box of organic veggies we get every couple of weeks, and it wasn’t half bad. Which is all the more surprising since neither Billy nor I like acorn squash much, and I had never cooked with fresh pumpkin before.

Also, apropos of nothing, this weekend a squirrel threw a pine cone at me. I was sitting on my deck, talking on the phone, and I heard a huge crack and then a large pine cone crashed to the deck a few feet from me. Howie scuttled away, a worried look on his face. I looked up and saw a fat red squirrel flashing his tail at me. I suspect he was trying to say that it was no accident, that pine cone. I had, in fact, sent Howie after the squirrel that morning, when I saw the little guy digging in my garden. I guess we’re even now.

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