Dear Tom, I’m sorry I haven’t written but I’ve been busy going insane.

First off let me say this – it is no fun, as in zero fun, to drive to the Oakland Airport and back four times in ten days, San Francisco and back three times in ten days, and get an injection of radioactive shit, be forced to drink three liters of water in three hours, and then lie flat on your back on a hard-ass plastic table, not moving, for an entire hour, while the bones in your foot are scanned. (Both of my feet were taped to a plastic form so I couldn’t move them if I’d tried.)

You know, I used to model, as in life-model for art classes. You would think the hardest thing was being naked in front of like forty people. Nope. The hardest thing in the world was not moving. That was super hard. And if you have one of those drawings of me stashed away, please keep it stashed away. In my defense the money was really good. And I had bills to pay.

On the bright side my youngest DOES NOT have lymphoma- yeah, been dealing with this, and it has been confirmed~ I am, as I’ve been saying all along, a super taster.

Brain

Oh, I’ve also been doing stuff with books, lots of stuff, which makes me think I should quit writing altogether and take up painting. Again. I like painting. It’s messy good fun. And I won’t have to think about the bazillions of awful books sold every single day while my amazing books sell one or two copies a month.

So yes, she DOES NOT have lymphoma. Scared the crap out of us, as you can imagine. But I got to sit in a Radioactive lab, as in I was the only person, place or thing in the room not encased in lead. Even the syringe used to inject the radioactive substance into my vein was encased in lead. But we know I’m a super taster because… well, I have said it for years. Cilantro tastes like chlorine gas. Arugula makes me vomit. The tap water tastes like penicillin mold. Raisins taste like poison. That wine tastes like creosote and sweat. (This is supposed to be a good thing?) Ladybugs are bitter when you accidentally ingest one. The dog’s feet smell like popcorn. The cat smells like bacon. There’s a skunk five miles away…) Anywhooo… So Debbie, as in her name was Debbie and I really liked her despite her lead get-up, started an IV. (A feat in itself. You try starting an IV wearing lead gloves.) She said, “All you’ll feel is the IV. You won’t feel a thing with the injection. You won’t get sick. There are no side effects. You won’t even know I’ve injected it.” Thus she injected it. Within a second of the injection, I said, “Ewwwwww. That’s not true. There is a side effect.” And she asked, “Oh? What?” And I said, “That injection tastes like the inside of an old tuna can dipped in garlic.”

And she said, “Huh. So you’re one of the one-percent who can taste the radiation.”

Ha! Again~ Brain

Perhaps I can get a job tasting for radiation.

In the meantime it’s fall, which means harvest. So…

Yesterday I used the last of the beets, the last head of cabbage, and some of the potatoes to make borscht – with beef. No, I didn’t grow the beef. My daughter did.

Today I’m pulling the skins off the mucho tomatoes I harvested to make tomato sauce to go with the eggplants I harvested so I can make eggplant Parmesean. And I have been ordered by my children, yes, my children still order me about, to make both chocolate croissants and a Coca-cola cake. Yep. There is such a thing as a Coca-cola cake. And I have been ordered to bake one as in this afternoon. The croissants I’ll freeze raw so they can bake and eat as desired. But since one of the children DOES NOT have lymphoma I will bake and freeze and can and sauce whatever she wants. And I will do it with gratitude in my heart.

Oh, about the books… What books? Who has time for books???

XOXO! Miss you, Tom. My thoughts are with Ishbel and your kids and grandkids. Julia

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13 thoughts on “Dear Tom, I’m sorry I haven’t written but I’ve been busy going insane.

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Thank you, Alicia. It’s been quite a month – but then you have way too much experience with health issues.

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  1. Diana Stevan (@DianaStevan)

    Yes, thank God you and your daughter do not have lymphoma. Wow, what life brings, huh? All these tests and challenges. By the way, I make borscht, too. Without meat, vegetarian, though I use chicken stock. So does the mean it’s not vegetarian? I don’t know. Anyway, I grew up eating the best borscht in the world, my mother’s. Mine, I’ve been told, comes close. (Opinion given by daughter and husband, so don’t know if they’re telling the truth. πŸ™‚ )

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Not vegetarian, Diana. But close! I make it both ways. The vegetarian version is definitely beet-y-er, but my stomach seems to tolerate the nonvegetarian version better. My grandmother’s borscht was great. Hers was vegetarian. And you must serve it with sour cream!

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  2. Marylin Warner

    I am SO glad your daughter does not have lymphoma, Julia. An answered prayer.
    But I do have one question for you about your sense of taste: How many times have you tasted the inside of an old tuna can dipped in garlic so you could know how the injection tasted? Just curious… πŸ˜‰

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Marylin – LMAO! Too funny. Apparently I’ve tasted the inside of an old tuna can dipped in garlic too many times! Ick! I know every mother knows how relieved I am, we are.

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Thank you, Roberta. Blessings back at ya! Been reading a whole lot of food-related stuff recently. You too?

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