Sunday Night Check-In: Red Gravy, Drag Queens and An Adventure Cat

It has been so long since I wrote a Sunday Night Check-In. If you are new to my blog, I used to “check-in” every Sunday night (or most of them) with a report of my adventurous weekend, silly little thoughts and anything else I found interesting on my time off. For the last year or three, I’ve had a heavy heart or just needed a break from anything more intimate than a review of a coffee shop. I don’t trust like I did years ago, and dang it, I just don’t like a lot of people in the world anymore. Being light-hearted and open has just been a struggle for a long time.

Right now we are in the midst of a reckoning, and I believe good will come out of this. I don’t know what that will look like, but when my world has fallen apart, it’s always ended up being a good thing. Even if it’s a childish notion, I’m going to hang onto that. If there’s anything I’ve learned through the challenges in my life, it’s that I will survive and often thrive. I hope that applies collectively as well.

I started this weekend like I like to start all weekends. I hid out Friday night. I watched TV, walked my dog and basically holed up in my house doing whatever I damn well pleased. I think I binge-watched Season 5 of Schitt’s Creek for the third time. I also watched a silly little drag queen movie called “To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything”. It put me in a light-hearted mood knowing that we all have our gifts and drag queens are just so damn fashionable and funny. Saturday I met a friend for breakfast at Caffe Tosi’s and then walked around the Farmer’s Market. It was light on vendors, but I did manage to snag some fresh asparagus and strawberries.

I came home and met my friend Michael over video chat. We both chose a recipe for Focaccia, and had a virtual bake-off. Over the course of the morning, he texted me that he was also making Red Gravy, and, of course I had to have some. I ran out and got the ingredients and started mine, too. I’d never made Red Gravy before, and it was super easy. While it bubbled away making its magic, Michael and I revved up our blenders, compared notes on our Focaccia recipes and chatted about current events. By the time we laid our rising dough to rest, his husband had planned a dinner party and I decided to bake a Grape-Nuts pudding for dessert. We hung up and texted our next steps as we baked and stirred and kneaded our way through the afternoon. At some point we both were dipping Focaccia in the most delectable red gravy I’ve ever tasted. I didn’t even need pasta.

With all of my cooking done for a few days, I used my time this morning to take Ashok for a walk to the beach. Silver Beach is beat up pretty bad after the high water and winter storms. They’ve dredged sand from the river, but it’s not very clean. I noticed a lot of trash down by the beach and wondered if the city was short-staffed or struggling to keep things up this year. I made a note to bring a garbage bag the next time and do my part to help keep our little town clean. We walked and sat for about 2 hours. It was a lovely morning, and the rain that was forecast never came.

I spent the rest of the afternoon visiting with friends from Memphis, Boston and Nashville on the phone. I felt very connected and loved after catching up with them and understanding that we are all on the struggle bus right now. While a lot of people don’t like to talk about their burdens, I find that sharing our burdens makes them lighter. I felt so good I loaded up my new kitten Luna and Ashok and we went down to the bluff to lay out in the shade and people-watch. I chose a spot with a view of the river and the lighthouse, and I watched my kitten play and the boats go by. Time stood still for a bit, and I even closed my eyes for a daydream.

I cooked an amazing smoked pork chop and some collard greens for dinner. When I took Ashok out for a final spin around the block, an odd desire bubbled up. I wanted to write about my weekend. I remembered how fun it used to be to tie my weekend in a pretty bow with a blog. Writing it down always made me feel grateful for the meandering weekend and the simple life I’ve chosen. I actually couldn’t wait to get home to start writing. It’s been a long time since I felt this way. I’m grateful for whatever set of circumstances led me to this place.

Have a great week, y’all. Now that sounds weird given the times we are in. Have the week you need to have, y’all! That feels more congruent with the sentiment I need to express. And know that if I can support you in any way, I’m right here. Share your fears and your burdens with somebody. I promise you’ll both be the better for it. If nothing else, light a candle for our world. We can all use some light.

8 Comments on “Sunday Night Check-In: Red Gravy, Drag Queens and An Adventure Cat

  1. Your Bow was Perfect, I’ll go light a candle now❤️

  2. The focacia and red eye gravy look yummy! I’m so glad we could catch up over the weekend. We drove back from Atlanta today – always a little tiring.

    Wishing you the best for the coming week, my friend. So many changes….

    • Yes, lots of changes. I have a little red gravy and one focaccia slice left for today! I think I’ll go eat it now. 🙂

  3. I used to look forward to your Sunday Night Check-ins and it was nice to hear how your weekend went and what you’re up to. Getting down to the wire until retirement, aren’t you? I’m interested to see what you put your energies and talents to next!

  4. Thank you. Yes. I’m in my last full week. I have two days next week, and then I’m done. I’m getting excited for a little time off.

  5. The focaccia and red gravy look amazing! This Yankee is almost embarrassed to ask, but what exactly is red gravy? I could google it, but figured I need to ask an expert!

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