Monday, April 6, 2009

The Accident Panda

Josh and I decided to spend the first few days of Spring Break at my mom's house in Atascadero. It's beautiful there--every day is warm and sunny, every evening is nice and cool for maximum good sleep. The coffee's always on by the time Josh gets out of bed. Mox has all sorts of fun exploring and playing with my mom's two big farm dogs, Madison and McKenzie. And I get lots of quiet time for reading or knitting. Plus, the farm house is just pretty, and there's always something exciting going on--like this time, we adopted a family duck and helped Mom plant potatoes. Okay, planting potatoes isn't that fun. But ducks! So cute.

Mom and Grandma Dee sent us home with way more candy than we should eat--an early Easter present. Even since I moved out of my mom's house five years ago, she's taken to sending me presents and decorations for every major holiday every year. They're silly little things, socks and scarecrows and Christmas doodads, but they're critical to my mental health and sense of good cheer, especially during the winter holidays. This time, I've got pretty pastel-wrapped chocolates.

Oh, and also my mom almost cut her thumb off.

We were working in the kitchen. Josh was making rice, and I was making coconut rice, when I heard a stream of obscenities that would burn your screen if I typed them out--you're welcome--and said, without looking up, "Mom's cut herself."

You see, my whole family's got this thing for sharp knives. That little round sharpener thing that comes with most classy knife blocks--we don't use that. We use real sharpening kits. The kind that look like a cross between pick-up sticks and a set of lockpicks. The knife my mom was using--she was shucking oysters in the sink, although we've learned since that there are knives made just for that which aren't sharp--was especially sharp because it had been prepped for use in the Great Turkey Slaughter of 2008, but never used. Long story short: this knife could definitely cut cans.

It was also more than sharp enough to leave a 2-inch gash in my mom's thumb. While she hopped around on one leg, spewing words that have only been uttered in this hemisphere by supremely salty wenches, I made her a bag of ice and Vicki and Grandma began the long process of talking my mom into going to the hospital for stitches. This is actually quite difficult to do--my mom is a nurse and a stubborn lady, so she's almost never willing to go get medical attention for anything short of exposed bone. But she acquiesced this time, and proceeded to get ten stitches in her thumb and thirty Vicodins--which she won't take.

Anyway. With Mom, Vicki, and Grandma off to the hospital--Vicki wanted to go, but couldn't drive, so Grandma did--Josh and I were left to finish dinner: barbecued steaks and shark, rice and coconut rice, and grilled veggies. Also, it was dark. And we couldn't find flashlights. Or any grill tools. We barbecued by the light of my cell phone. No kidding. It's a wonder the meat got cooked at all.

When Mom, Vicki, and Grandma got back a few hours later, we were almost asleep on the couch, dinner was in foil-covered bowls all over the kitchen, and the oysters, having been spared by fortune this time, were still sitting smugly in the sink.

It was, however, a damn tasty dinner.

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