Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cognitive Overload

This is a lovely day.  See how blue the sky is in this view from my backyard:

So lovely that I did not mind leaving the house at 6:30 this morning to head to the Juvenile Justice Center in Orlando.  I did not mind that I had weekend duty.  I did not mind the drive.  I opened the windows and enjoyed the clear air.  I had a very pleasant child protective investigator who had contacted me yesterday and emailed her petition, so we were signed, sealed, delivered and ready to go.  There was a rather nice judge on the bench.  I have no idea who he is.  I looked for him over at the NINJA (Ninth Judicial Circuit) site, but did not see anyone there who looked like him.  Actually, I initially thought he must be the IT guy, checking on the electronics or something behind the bench.  No one called him by name, but no one jumped up and accused him of impersonating a judge, so I'm guessing the order he signed is legal.

I haven't received a call yet for any Sunday shelters, but I have both cellphone ringers on, so if the inevitable happens, I'll be able to hear it.  I normally keep the ringers off because I am in-and-out of court, and when I'm not ... well, I hate the phone and will not willingly use it if I can use email instead.  Right now my office BlackBerry is set for a rather aggressive version of "Fur Elise" (there should be an umlaut over the "u" but I have no idea how to make it happen) while my personal iPhone is set to belt out "Who Are You" by The Who.  I agree, CSI hasn't been the same since William Petersen left.

On the way back, I did something absolutely radical.  I could never do it if my husband or son were around ... I planned my trip back so I would pass the Walmart on Sand Lake Road, then pulled into their parking lot and DID MY SATURDAY FOOD SHOPPING THERE!  I can't remember the last time I did that.  I'm not sure I ever have done that before.  Walking into Walmart usually causes cognitive overload.  The store closest to my office, where I run in on occasional lunch hours to pick up odds and ends, is avoided by the rest of my family.  Too crowded for them, and English is not the primary language.  I speak a sort of fractured Spanish that lets me get by, but my husband and son do not.  Also too touristy for them, as it is on the main road from the Florida Turnpike to Disneyworld.

It was still pretty early in the morning, so the crowds weren't bad, the lines were light, and the shelves were crazy good stocked.  So many choices.  Cans, bottles, boxes in a dazzling display of form and color.  For one brief moment the synapses in my brain flaired from cognitive overload.  Cowabunga, dudes!  I got it under control and began a stately stroll through all of the aisles, the produce section, the seafood counter and freezer, the city block of meats and poultry.  It was grand.  I picked up stuff I needed at better prices than I can get elsewhere, and I also found stuff I haven't seen anywhere else.

Here's the weekend's cooking:  Kielbasa Lentil Soup, Mussels in Wine Sauce, Green Velvet Cupcakes and Hamantaschen.  The soup's on now, and the rest is planned for tomorrow. 

There was one more item that I got at Walmart's that I wouldn't have been able to find at Publix.

Yup, that's a stroller for Teena.  I have been wanting to get one for years, since my beloved Tuffy got too old to keep up with me on our walks.  We've already tested it in the house, and she likes being "driven" around.  I can still walk the boys, Woody and Indy, on separate leashes while pushing my baby girl in the stroller.

Soup's done. The recipe can be found on our companion blog, part of the March 19, 2011 entry.  Please enjoy!

Cook like there's nobody watching, and eat like it's heaven on earth.