Thursday, July 19, 2007

Return of The Prodigal Crazy Neighbor

My crazy neighbor has been pretty quiet lately. I’ve been pretty happy about this. I don’t know if her stay in the pokey made her feel a little averse to behaviors that could land her back in the pokey, but she has, by and large, refrained from her usual serenades for fine summer evenings. I’ve heard her muttering in her kitchen (“Garbage! Nothing but garbage! Human garbage! Envy! Nothing to eat! Nothing to eat!”), which, of course, is sort of creepy to hear as one is walking to the back yard to do something like water the tomato plants (which have tomatoes, but it'll be a while before they're ready for eating), but, hey, it’s better than a full-volume serenade, which has its most traditional end in her calling the police, and then the rather nice officers coming apologetically to my door to ask if I’d really been lurking behind the lavender to try and spray her. They regularly let me know how I can get a restraining order should I feel I need one.

So, I got a telephone call from another neighbor this morning, who is several doors down the block. My crazy neighbor, the day she got put in the pokey, had hit the van of the contractor who was working on his house. And now… she’s visiting him, because 1) he’s more readily available than his contractor, and 2) he is (shocker!) reluctant to give up the name, address and telephone number of the contractor, which is what she wants, because she believes it’s the contractor’s fault that she struck his parked van, and now cannot obtain insurance (it couldn’t be because she doesn’t have a valid driver’s license and ran into a parked car and is insane and mostly deaf… and judging from the number of dings on her car, I would have to guess it might not be the first time she struck a stationary object). The poor guy is unaccustomed to having an insane person with good endurance shouting obscenities at him and finds the whole thing pretty upsetting. Which is, you know, normal. Is it awful that I’m sort of relieved that she’s shouting at him, and not me? I feel guilty feeling that way- he and his wife have a boy Curly’s age and a 4-month-old baby. They’ve got enough on their plates, and they are not used to the… habits of my crazy neighbor.

Anyway, I’ve been toting all three kids to swim lessons of late, and trying to get dinner together while The Incredible Eating Nephew goes to an afternoon hockey clinic. Desserts have been on the menu most nights, which is unusual for us, but when you have The Incredible Eating Nephew around, you have to find a way to get enough calories into him (he’s thirteen, so although he needs to eat a lot, he also grumpily objects to being told to eat enough). We’ve had raspberry ice cream (which turned out to be a super match of flavor and texture). My husband took a bite of the pictured raspberry ice cream I made Wednesday and looked so, so, so happy, and then he glowered and said “It’s that Lebovitz guy, isn’t it?” Heh. It was, too. We had cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes last week, which evaporated. Last night we had cherry pie, and I Marth-ed out a little, since I’d gotten a tiny break while the kids pitted the cherries, and went ahead and tried a lattice top.
The pie was pretty, and tasted good, as a warm-from the oven fruit pie is pretty much bound to do, but I need to tinker around a bit with it. It could be better. It was just okay. We’re eyeballing making a peach upside-down cake for tonight’s dessert, and taking The Incredible Eating Nephew to Red Mill Burgers, because he is a boy who loves things with meat, which is why I made a bolognese sauce (from Marcella Hazan) last night to have on penne. While we’ve been getting dinner ready (and when she's not outside wrestling with her brother), Curly and I have been discussing potential team names for her fall soccer team, which it turns out I’ll be coaching (do I know much about soccer? Uh, no. My use on my soccer team is largely as a bird dog to chase people down and force a play, not actually as a skilled player). Leads for team names are: Pink Piranhas, Piranha Pirates, The T-Rexes and The Water Buffalo. Curly has suggested all names.

Tomorrow the kids don't have swim lessons, although The Incredible Eating Nephew still has his afternoon hockey clinic, so we're planning on going to see the piranha feeding at the zoo, and before-hand will probably go to either Le Fournil or Le Panier for breakfast, because life feels better when you've got a pain au chocolat in your belly.

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