Broccoli, Chicken, & Rice

Picture it – Pennsylvania, 2011

The pots on the oven sputter and steam in a not-big-enough kitchen. The grease from the chicken splatters angrily out of the pot. She is frustrated and flustered, she feels like the chicken she’s cooking, like she is running around with her head cut off. This timer is going off here, that timer is going off there. “Oh dear! Oh me, oh my!”

Psssttt…steams rolls into the air as she removes the lid from the boiling water. “What do I do? Oh, what do I do?!!” She moves to the left and flips the chicken again, jumping back as its sizzling grease lands on her arms. One side of the chicken is nearing charcoal but checking the temperature shows not quite 160 degrees, another 20 degrees and it’d be perfect. She turns the heat down on that burner, hoping to slow cook it and avoid even further blackness.

Psssttt… “The water is boiling over again!” Whisps of hair fall over her eyes as she moves back to the pot of boiling water. She tries to brush them away with her forearm, but a second later they fall over her eyes again. She lowers the temperature on the water as well. As she dumps rice into the pot, the oven buzzer goes off and scares her half to death. Rice flies across the counter and speckles the floor. It sticks to her feet as she runs for the broom. She sweeps it off to the side for later and then goes back to the cupboard for more rice. It is now safely poured into the pot, and soaking up the water.

“Now for the broccoli!” She pours it into a microwave safe bowl, thanking God every second for the invention of the microwave. She throws it in for the specified amount of minutes and then turns back to the chicken to find it completely black on the other side now. Testing the temperature, she smiles. “180 exactly!” She takes it out of the pot and attempts to scrape off the black parts without loosing too much of the meat. Moving the empty pot to the sink she turns to the rice.

“Oh no!” She exclaims as she realizes she forgot to set the timer! “Well, if the broccoli’s been in for that long, and it could have only taken me approximately this long to do the chicken…” She ponders a moment and then decides it’s been the right amount of time. She removes it from the heat and stirs it. Suddenly it dawns on her, this is Minute Rice. How could she have left it on the stove?! The rice on the bottom of the pan is brown instead of white! She again begins scraping out the burnt parts. “Now for the easy part.” She thinks as she places the rice in a baking dish.
She gets out two cans of cream of mushroom soup and moves to the can opener. She places the can on the opener and prays as she pushes down, the motor runs, but the can doesn’t move. “UGH!” She resets the can and tries again, it moves for a second and then gets stuck. She resets it again. “It can’t be that hard to open a can! Come  on!” She exclaims as she presses down again. It runs smoothly and she is able to open the second one without a hitch. Pouring it onto the rice, she begins to mix the two together. Once that is done, she places the chicken on top of the mixture and throws the dish in the oven. She sets the timer and just as she bends her knees to sit down and wait…BEEP! Broccoli’s done!

The Rest of the Story

Picture it – Pennsylvania, 2011

The annoying and all too familiar buzzing begins. She reaches her hand up and hits the snooze button. Just 9 more minutes she sleepily tells herself as she drifts back into soft, sweet darkness. The buzzing begins again and she groggily opens her eyes to check the time, 6:15, she decides it’s time to get up. She shuts off the alarm, but doesn’t move. It’s so warm here. I’ll just lay here for one more second. She hears her guest moving around in the bathroom. See, I have to wait for her anyway she thinks as she closes her eyes again. It feels so good to lay on the soft mattress…
She opens her eyes and her heart starts beating rapidly. 7:04 her clocks reads in harsh red numbers. She stumbles out of bed as she realizes she should be getting into her car right now. She reaches the bedroom door and flings it open, heading for the bathroom. Suddenly realizing she is topless and her guest could be right around the corner, she covers her chest with her arms and slips inside the bathroom, shutting the door as quickly as possible. She can barely think of what to do next as her mind slowly wakes up. She gets to brushing her teeth and putting her contacts in, she suddenly has a revelation and feels almost stupid at her actions before. Her guest had already left as she needed to be at work by 7 and it is now 7:10. She brushes out her hair and quickly throws it up in a pony tail. It doesn’t look great or even good for that matter, but it doesn’t look terrible either.
She rushes back into her room, heart still pounding and throws on the clothes closest to her. She runs to the kitchen, packs her lunch quickly, not taking time to eat or even pack breakfast. She races back into the bedroom, puts her wedding and engagement rings on, not bothering with earrings or a necklace. She sighs as she realizes she also will not have time for makeup, but that she could live without as well. She puts her socks on and runs to the edge of her bed, giving her husband a rushed kiss and telling him she didn’t have time to reset the alarm for him, she again runs back into the kitchen. Her jacket is thrown on. Her purse, lunch box, and sweater in one hand as she reaches for the door knob.
She barely has time to think of the fact that her guest forgot to lock the door on her way out. She sees the garage door is wipe open as well (not as surprising as the inside door being unlocked). Thanking God quickly no one was preying on them, she locked the door and moved to put her shoes on. While swinging herself into the driver’s seat, she throws her lunch box, purse and sweater onto the passenger seat. She starts up the engine and backs out quicker than usual, praying as she pulls out of her driveway that there will be no cops on the road. She speeds toward the light and checks her clock. 7:17. She shouldn’t be too late…

Blogging

I have never finished anything I really love. Somehow I let the stuff that I love the most slip away. I am happiest and most relaxed when I am either taking pictures or writing. I have half written books and a picture blog that I just sort of stopped updating. I want what I have to say to mean something. I want my pictures to show the beauty of the simple things we’re surrounded by everyday. I want to make some sort of difference in someone’s life. I may have no true talent but I am encouraged by people that I trust to be completely honest with me. I don’t know if anyone will ever read this or if it will catch anyone’s attention. The purpose of this is to provide me with some sort of release as well as the opportunity to try and fine tune whatever talent it is I already have. I would love outside constructive criticism, but the key word here is constructive. Only comment if your really trying to provide some help.
Thanks for reading!

30 Minutes Before Lunch

Picture it – Pennsylvania, 2011.
A young woman sits in her rolly chair and ponders life’s biggest questions. Do plants kept indoors go through seasons like plants outdoors? Is that why the flowers went away and are now coming back? Why do most truckers look like they haven’t shaved in days, months for that matter, or like they would rather be dead than be caught without a hat on? What the hell is that a mold of? Why is there dust on my desk 15 minutes after I cleaned it?
These are the complex and unexplainable questions that pass through her mind as she looks for things to do. Someone had mentioned bringing her a project, but has yet to do so. The to-do-list she had created is all checked off (besides those two minor things that are of low importance and she doesn’t much feel like doing right now). She looks at the attendance sheet for the hundredth time, knowing there is no change she needs to make. No one has left and no one has come in. The silence is only broken by the hum of her heater, the occasional telephone ring, and the very rare sound of the printer in the neighboring office. The sun shines deceitfully outside, she knows it may appear warm, but it is really lying to her.
“What shall I do, o what shall I do?” She asks herself again. She glances around her desk again, shifting papers and aligning things, not really doing anything productive. Browse the internet? No, she isn’t in the mood. Look through the pictures on her hard drive? No, she’s already done that today. Play on her phone? No, she doesn’t really feel like doing that either. Check her email? YES! That is what she will do! She goes to her browser in anticipation. Clicking as quickly as she can she goes to her bookmarks, selects the link…it loads…she enters her username and password and waits for her inbox to load…
Her excitement drains and she is disappointed, nothing new…only lame forwards and Fashion Bug deals she will not be taking advantage of. Now she returns to her former position. “What shall I do, o what shall I do?”
Her eyes widen and her heart skips a beat. The light bulb flashes inside her mind and a smile grows on her face.
“I know what I shall do! I shall write a story and send it to those I love. They may get bored with it, but I will avoid boredom in doing so! Yes this is the perfect idea!” She quickly presses the button “Compose Mail”. It populates a screen with a large blank white area. Her pulse quickens as she thinks of what to write. She can feel her heart pounding inside her chest now as her fingers touch the keys.
“Yes, this will be the perfect story! One that they will have to read.” She begins the story with fervor and gusto and soon realizes – Lunch Time!
Tune in tomorrow to read The Rest of the Story!