Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Vision-Morning Toast

Morning Toast
Making Toast In The Oven
8" x 12 " watercolors
Each school morning, my grandson and I have breakfast together. We have some nice conversation to start the day off in a calm way, which takes away some of the anxiety we both have. He's always had anxiety about going off to school, but it has been better in the past few years. No more screaming and crying, kicking and resisting, until he has gotten settled in for the day. And I was always in a rush to get dressed and out the door, feeling anxious about going to school, when I was young, and being there as a teacher in later years. I would cry, too, when I was in school, and my mother had to even chase me to school with a switch or the hairbrush-even to graduation. I wanted to stay at home. Some days, even when I was teaching, I could imagine my mother coming closer with her switch or her hair brush, urging me to hurry up and get to school before I was late.
Now, I fix breakfast for the young one, and we sit and talk, or even watch "Sponge Bob" on tv. His favorite breakfasts are French Toast, although I have a lot of trouble with consistency on that, and toast and juice. I try to sneak in some fruit with the juice and toast. Oatmeal was good, but he got tired of that. He did love cheese toast, but eventually tired of that, too. So, I put butter in each corner of bread, put it on a pan, and under the broiler in the oven to toast. I tried a toaster and a toaster oven, but oven toast is just the best. He likes this even more than cinnamon toast. Sometimes, I make the pats of butter form a happy face, or something appropriate for the day. Later in the day, we may even have toast with soup, or just for a snack.
"I wonder what has happened to bread!" I said as I put the bread on a cookie sheet. "I used to put four slices of bread on this pan and it filled it up. Now, I have to use six or eight slices of bread to fill the pan. Even when I make sandwiches, I have to make two sandwishes to be as large as one sandwich used to be. And, not to mention the smell and the taste. What ever happened to that good, sweet, yeasty smell of bread! We used to drive past the big bread bakeries in the cities, and that smell was so good! Just like another tourist attraction. Now, you can hardly smell anything, even if you put your nose right on the bread. It has about as much taste as cardboard too. Goodness only knows where it comes from. It's probably made in some foreign place, like everything else these days, frozen, and shipped a long way to us, and passed off as being fresh. I guess they cut corners in ingrediants so we have to pay a lot more and get a lot smaller bread. Or, maybe some do-gooder is trying to make us eat less. It doesn't work. We just have to eat twice as much."
I put the pan in the oven, leaving the door open so I could take the pan out when the butter melted and the edges turned golden. The cheap pan began to curl up like a piece of plastic. "I'll bet that supposedly metal pan is really covered with plastic, is why it curls up like that. We're probably getting poisoned from that pan, even though it is new." I complained as I watched.
My sister had explained to me that you need the vision in both eyes to have depth perception. At this point of my Wet Macular Degeneration, I caught myself closing the affected eye often, attempting to clear things up that I looked at. I hadn't noticed a problem with depth at all. Just having trouble reading things at a little distance, things were wavey, blurred, had spots sometimes, and colors like blue and black, beige and lavendar, green and purple, were a bit of trouble to distinguish except in the sunlight.
"It's ready!" my grandson advised me that the toast was just right to take from the oven. I picked up the hot pad and reached for the pan. As I lifted the pan from the oven, I touched my hand to the top of the stove. It felt hot, but really didn't hurt that much. But, I could see the red from the top burner on my hand.
I put the toast on plates and my grandson took the plates to the table attached to the couch. I ran cold water over my hand as an angry red welt formed. I didn't know why I ever put my hand on the top of the oven. There was plenty of room, and I never had missed the correct space for moving my hand away safely before.
I put antibiotic ointment on my hand and a large bandage to protect it.
"Now that was a stupid thing to do," I lectured myself after everyone had gone off to school. I put the dishes in the sink and turned on "The Golden Girls" to watch as I finished my toast. It was nice to wave goodbye to everyone as they went off to school, while I could leisurely eat some breakfast, watch tv, or even go back to bed, if I wanted. I would have to remember to pull my hand out of the oven lower, the next time, though. I guess it would be easier to use a toaster.
This painting makes me think of the book, "Burnt Toast", which was given to us at the George Bush Library last spring by the author, Teri Hatcher, of tv fame. The book certainly has her voice. It reads just as if you are listening to her talk. Thanks to Teri for the book. That was really a nice surprise at the leadership program hosted by former president Bush. Other participants were Harriet Miers, Eileen Collins, and Chris Evert. Some days, I end up with the title to Hatcher's book-burnt toast in my oven, and I have to start over.
"Morning Toast" was painted with Winsor Newton watercolors on 140# strathmore watercolor paper.

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