Sunday, February 01, 2009

GRATITUDE...SARDINES...AND a health update

sardine bento(u), originally uploaded by chotda.

What happened to my blog? I wanted to write...I thought about writing. Almost every day I thought about writing. But instead I lurked on other blogs...I took naps...I read exalted literature and watched trashy TV shows...I told myself I would do it tomorrow...Maybe. There were so many good things to read elsewhere and I had no story to tell. I drifted back to sleep.

But in the end, or in the middle, where we are now, there was no way I could leave my blog frozen forever on the Horrible and the Miserable. After five months of looking at that dispiriting title, I figured it was about time to change the subject. I could talk about something else. Anything else. Sardines, for instance.

But before we get to that, the health update. The good news is that, nurtured by family and friends, by those of you who were kind enough to check in on me, by exalted reading and trashy TV (and sometimes the reverse) I’m still here. Since my surgery, every (Horrible Miserable) week I’ve spent waitng for a biopsy report ended in the blissful words we cancer survivors live for (often literally): benign, clean, negative. (Who ever thought negative could be such a beautiful word?)

The bad news is that even in an first-rate hospital, with a well-regarded surgeon, I suffered some egregious complications during my cancer surgery. Complications that have led to five more major operations. A year of johnnies, and IVs, and far too much jello--which I never liked, even when I was five. And in the end, or in the middle, where I am now, nothing worked. In the end, each surgery left me little more screwed-up than I was before.

The motto of my story? Stay out of hospitals... Unless they wrap up a sweet smelling baby and hand it to you when you leave...which used to be the reason I visited those institutions...Or you need them to save your life...which I did this time.

So okay, maybe there is no motto. Or maybe the motto is just BE GRATEFUL. I am. Every single day.

Now for the change of subject: sardines! Sardines in salad and sardines mixed with chili sauce. Sardines on rye with mustard or sardines mashed with avocado and garlic...I spent my life saying NO to the little bony omega 3 laden fish, only to find out that I love them.

What have you learned to love recently?


Anonymous said...

Oh, so glad to see your words here! You've been in my thoughts. I'm pleased about the good news, but so sorry about all that other horrible stuff you have been suffering. You do always sound so optimistic and full of gratitude, such a great example to people like me who moan about such minor stuff. Keep on taking care of yourself, dear Patry, never mind if it takes trashy books and TV! I'm not a fan of sardines but maybe I'll try them just for you while sending healing vibes your way.

Olivia said...

I too am glad to see your words and inspired by your attention to self-care. I am glad your life was saved and sorry for the rest.

I too love sardines and they are so healthy. More than sardines, though, I love Hawaii :)

Peace and love,

Anonymous said...

It's such a relief to me to see a new blog here! I've checked almost every day since August for a word of news; read and reread every comment to see if I missed anything about your health; tried to reach someone online at your publisher and was unsuccessful; and ended up trying to cheer myself up by saying, "She must still be with us or her blog would say so." Faint comfort, that. But there was one bright spot in checking and rechecking your blog. You have an army of people who love you and support you and you don't even hear from all of them! Another lovely thing from your blog is I discovered i-land-i-site. The poetry and the scenery are soul-touching. Thanks so much, and welcome back to the blog world.
Ancient Reader

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see you here again! You've been on my mind.

Please, take care...inhale sardines if they make you happy.

Sending healing and fishy vibes your way.

Kay Cooke said...

Soooo good to hear from you again dear Patry. Positive vibes being sent your way from down under. Sardines rule! Love the photo!!! :)

Sky said...

yea, i thought last week, "what a title to leave the blog with if patry has abandoned it!" so glad to see you again! welcome back!

thanks for the update and for the post. i love the image you posted with it! i see your red shoes! :) i am sorry to hear that even now things are not more promising yet in the "patry is back to normal" department, but i am THRILLED to hear the pathology reports were GREAT news!

sardines...well, i grew up in the south where we would grab a can of sardines and a small pack of saltines along with a soda and go fishing carrying our lunch! i have always liked them ok, but i like them better now that they come packed in gourmet mustards and hot pepper sauces. they are so loaded with healthy stuff that i keep them on hand and use them for snacks. low carbs, too! i think blending them with avocado and garlic sounds interesting - thanks. i used to make a salmon salad with canned salmon diced boiled eggs, pickles, diced jalapeno peppers, fresh parsley, and dill, diced cucumbers and red bell peppers, a small amount of cooked elbow macaronni, and spices to taste. i might do that now and add mashed sardines to the mix!

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Hooray, Patry! It's so wonderful to see you post something new and send that old horrible/miserable packing. Your news is the best, despite what it has taken to get that result. I can't say I'll try sardines, but I have learned lately to love and embrace the absurd when it happens. Sending you all the best wishes and love...


Ivy said...

Welcome back, Patry.

Anonymous said...

good lord woman . . . i am so glad to see you writing and kvetching . . . glad you're home and back in the (computer) saddle. does that even make sense? i know the glad part does . . . be well patry . . .

musingwoman said...

It is very good to hear from you! I think of you so often.

Zhoen said...

Such a relief, to know you've come through, scarred and denuded, but through.

Yup, hospitals are to be avoided unless they can't be. Sorry about the jello.

debra said...

I have thought about you often, Patry.
I have simply waited, knowing that everything has its time. Good to see you back.
I have learned to love the challenges that have helped me be who I am; and those who have demanded/encouraged/pushed me to rise to the occasion.

Gary Boyd said...

Welcome home...Or should I welcome you back to your own blog?

We have all missed your storytelling, Patry. You have a talent that few ever master. You manage to draw a "listener" in to the world you create with your words...And you are able to leave us feeling better about our world.

Get well...Get strong

Ah...But on the subject of sardines I find myself again nodding my head. I never even tried a sardine until I was in my late forties when I discovered I really liked them. I tend to prefer them in olive oil...That's probably just the scientific nutrition side of my brain speaking. I should probably revisit the issue and do a real taste test.

Sending a bit of bliss your way...Peace.

robin andrea said...

It's so good to have you back, patry. I have missed your insight and humor. I have to say that I've tried many times to find sardines a palatable thing, especially since they are supposed to be so good for me and my diminishing bones, but I just don't. I do plan to heed your advice about hospitals. though.

I hope you plan to keep writing here, patry. It's great to have you back.

Ric said...

So happy to see you back - I've been worried. With the return of Bernita, my blog roll is returning to the normal craziness I need.
Dealing with hospitals (my brother-in-law seems determined to keep me wandering in and out of ICU's), we discovered the worst thing you can hear is "who did this do you?" AND we seem to be living in a "House" episode.
The whole sardine thing sounds a bit fishy to me.

Anonymous said...

Hallelujah. She's back. And I have to say how extraordinary it is that you can take a break for so long in this short-attention-span world and your community continues all the while. A real testimony to your spirit and charisma. Also, need to say that sardines are ranked by NY Times nutritionist as one of the top 11 healthiest foods (along with blueberries).

Lisa said...

I have missed you! Although I have to say that checking in and still finding the Woody Allen quote about the miserable and the horrible put a smile on my face anyway -- you know how nuts I am about him :)

Larramie said...

It was but a few minutes ago that I learned to (at least) love a picture of sardines! But do they really taste better than slimy Jell-O, Patry? ;)

Welcome back to a blog, most visited.

Anonymous said...

I love sardines. Always have. A lot of the Italian cookbooks have great ideas for them.

Yes, I've learned to be grateful, especially now that I've lost my insurance.

Can't wait to move to Mass., so I can actually GET affordable health care!

sorry about your additional surgeries, etc. although I've been out of touch, I'm thinking of you.

Perfect Virgo said...

Good to see you return Patry. I look forward to more of your usual nuggets of wry observation!

Carleen Brice said...

Hi Patry! So glad to hear the "negative" news.

Believe it or not, I've learned to love kippers, which are basically smoked sardines. And they are delish!

Deirdre said...

I've thought of you, and worried too, so much in the last several months. It's good to hear from you.

As for sardines - love 'em, hate 'em, love 'em. There's no middle ground, just an occasional craving I give in to and feel much better for having given in. My choice is always with hot sauce.

Anonymous said...

SO glad to see an update my friend.. I'm sorry to hear it has been a long road.. but happy that you are on your way to better each day! I've been looking and looking to see if there was a new blog! Hmm.. have never tried the sardine thing.. maybe I will.. you know me healthy girl.. I'll let you know what I think. Continue to heal P~

Patry Francis said...

marja-leena: I moan over little things, too, but big things have a way of summoning hidden reserves. Enjoy the sardines!

Olivia: I've never been to Hawaii, but I'm intrigued by the Aloha spirit. Thanks for sharing a little of it here.

Ancient Reader: Thanks so much for continuing to check in on me. I'm truly humbled by all the support I've received. So happy to hear you discovered Floots!

Mardou: There's nothing quite so healing as a fishy vibe! Thank you, writing sister.

Kay: A voice from summer! And a fellow sardine lover, too. It's so good to reconnect.

sky: You know, I hadn't thought of the red shoe connection, but of course, it's there. (Unfortunately, the sardines have worn their shoes more frequently than I have. I've been mostly an Ugg slipper girl this year.( Your salad recipe sounds scrumtious...but you know I love salmon in all forms.

sharon: I like the way you put it. Here's to sending all our miserable horrors packing!

Ivy: It's SO good to see the friends who have been here since the beginning. xo to you, too!

kate: kvetching feels good. Thanks for being here to do it with me.

musing: Thanks, J! I've been thinking of you you, too--even when I'm silent.

zhoen: "scarred and denuded, but through." You have the most wonderful and succinct way of expressing things. I've missed that.

debra: Since we have no choice but to deal with the challenges, we might as well love them...well, at least most of the time...Thanks for your wise, encouraging words.

gary: It DOES feel like home, especially with all the familiar faces. Consider me officially floored. Thanks for sharing your bliss and your peace...not to mention your thoughts on sardines. I like them in olive oil, too.

more later...(my thirteen year old dog just had an "incontinent episode. gotta clean up...painful times.)

Crockhead said...

Thanks, Patry for coming back and sharing your good humor and sparkling writing. I've missed you. I hope the medical problems are under control. Hospitals are nasty places these days. I hear more and more horror stories about super bugs.

Fred Garber said...


Laura J. Wellner (author pseudonym Laura J. W. Ryan) said...

Oh, happy day, I'm glad to read you again! It's nice to have a negative be a positive once in a while. My Fred and I thought about you often these long months and we wish you all the best.

My Fred and I happen to like sardines, and we always forget to pick up the wee fish in a tin (convenient Omega 3)...only thing is, one must be in the mood for something so fishy...and there's always the risk that the fat greedy tabbies might overwhelm us and...well, there's no telling what they'll do to get at sardines...(They love ham too!) I swear they try very hard to trip us up so we drop food on purpose...

Best wishes dear friend! Keep feeling better!!



Patry Francis said...

robin: There are so many good, nutritious things in your life--on all levels--you don't need the little fish. Thanks for your continuing friendship.

Ric: Thanks for checking up on me on a regular basis. I'm so glad to hear the ever-lively Bernita is back, too. I'll be sending good thoughts to your brother-in-law.

susan: Isn't this community incredible? I've been thinking of you all the time--especially since the arrival of Alice in Wonderland. As for nutritious food fads, I'm also mad for turmeric. I even put it in my bolognese tonight.

Lisa: The only thing that made the horrible and miserable tolerable was humor--both the quote and the actuality...I've missed you, too, though of course, I've been checking in on Eudamonia.

Larramie: I'll take sardines over jello any day, but as I say, I've had far too many weeks of the liquid diet.
Love your new blog by the way!

Devon: They know how to eat in those Mediterranean countries! Looking forward to seeing you here in Mass...

PV: Good to see you here, old friend; it sounds as if you are in a good place in your life. Decisions made, the future ahead....

carleen: Good to see you! And thanks for telling me about kippers. I've heard the word, but never had any idea what they were.

Dierdre: EVERYTHING is better with hot sauce! Thanks for being here.

TK: Thrilled to see your initials here! I've missed you..We'll have to get together for sardinis and some healthy red wine one of these days soon!

crockhead: No! Thank YOU for coming back. I've been enjoying your blog even when I don't say much.

Fred: I love your caps. They make me SMILE SO WIDE. Thanks for being here.

Patry Francis said...

Laura: Just saw your comment. We must have x-posted. Anyway, thanks for checking in on me regularly. As for cats and sardines, I found they were a dangerous combination the first time I opened a can. My Jasper, a notorious thief, immediately pounced. Love to you and Fred.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Patry,
How cool to see your presence here once again. Aroha from Aotearoa. I am not a big fan of sardines but I love smoked mussels.
Kia kaha Patry.

paris parfait said...

Patry, so happy to see you writing again! I can't even imagine the impact of so many major surgeries in one year. I think I'd be lounging on the sofa and doing much the same things as you have been. And I'm looking at sardines in a whole new light. :) Thinking of you and wishing you strength and improved health. xo

i beati said...

all surgeries post have been unsuccessful.with me .there comes a time when we heal from within I'm convinced and sardines not a bad start..Are you familiar with IP-6??Sandy

rdl said...

As much as i like woody allen I am so glad to see him go ans see your new post. I love the pic. i have never eaten sardines but maybe now i will have to try if you did. I realized this winter that i love snow. it seems to make the winter more bearable somehown, maybe its the light thing- but it seems a little less dreary, a little less cold. I still hate driving in it tho.
oh and i love you of course.

The Life of Mel said...

So glad to see you still here!
You are of course in so many thoughts and prayers, that you will be put on the right track soon with healing.

Thanks for popping in (but of course we want you to focus on yourself!)

Aimee said...

I too am glad you are back. I hope you are recovering and feeling better.

As far as what I have learned to love? Irish whiskey up. I never thought I'd be a whiskey girl, but the Irish seem to do it for me.

Beth said...

Oh, Patry, I've thought about you so often and this is such good news, plus to see you're writing again! I'm learning to love tofu. Never thought I'd say that! And not straight up, but pressed and flavored and cooked into veggie pates and other forms. Sardines have been swimming in my life for a while now -- glad you've discovered them too!

Amber said...

Oh, I am so happy to see you are doing okay!! Just sorry you have gone through so much.


Patry Francis said...

Ruanines: Smoked mussels? Hmm...I'll have to check them out. Kia ora to you, too. (I'm not sure what it means, but I'm sure it's something GOOD.)

tara: Thanks for keeping in touch in all kinds of ways over the past year. And yes, you'll have to try sardines!

Sandy: Healing from within...that's where it all really happens, isn't it? Not familiar with IP-6. Should i be?

r: I knew you'd like my sardines in red shoes! Good to talk to you today. xo

Life of Mel: I hope you know that your comment was the tipping point for me. Thank you for that!

aimeepalooza: Irish whiskey, yes! When I was in Ireland (several years ago), I ended up with a persistent stiff neck from sleeping on a lumpy mattress in my bed and breakfast..That was when I discovered the curative powers in a shot of Jameson. Thanks for reminding me of that...and for being here.

Beth: I've been eating tofu for years--out of a sense of virtue, mostly--but I've never exactly loved it. I'll have to research pates. Thanks for that and for all the good thoughts.

Amber: Thanks for coming back to check on me! It's been a long road, but I feel incredibly fortunate.

Anonymous said...

Like many others, I've checked this blog countless times, just to find the same title sitting there. What a wonderful surprise to find that you have written something NEW!! I haven't given up.... Is Liar's Diary available in Australia?

Allie said...

So glad you posted!

As a kid, my grandfather and I used to eat sardine sandwiches - bread & butter with sardines and sliced hard boiled eggs with a few pieces of onion. Sometimes, I still crave them.

floots said...

so pleased to see you back
i may even have sardines on toast
by way of empathic celebration :)

Anonymous said...

This isn't a food response but recently I have been sitting still for at least 20 minutes a day and I LOVE it. This would have been unheard of two months ago! Isn't there any laundry to do? Lunches to pack? Toothpaste left in the sink to wipe up? Too bad! It loosens that little knot in my chest and makes me kinder.

But I guess sardines might do that too..:)

So glad you are blogging and healthy!


Sustenance Scout said...

Yippee, Patry's back!! I was just recommending your book to someone and realized I hadn't stopped by in a while. So glad I finally did! Hugs and more hugs, kiddo. K.

p.s. sardines were one thing my parents could keep in the fridge and not worry one of their zillion kids would devour. :)

Patry Francis said...

karen: Thanks so much for coming back--even during the months when there was nothing much going on but the horrible and the miserable. Unfortunately, I don't think the book is on sale in Australia. I never give up hope though...Some foreign sales have come in late in the game.

Allie: You and your grandfather had the right idea...I don't know about the butter though.

floots: So GOOD to see you here...with or without sardines on toast.

Susie: Ah, the joy, the transformative power of sitting. I've tried it in fits and starts--and always felt the benefits, but then laundry or sardines or laziness disrupted my discipline and I stopped. Maybe I'll try again...

K: Many hugs in return, dear. Thanks for the continuing friendship throughout the past months. As for the sardines, you and your zillion siblings didn't know what you were missing!

Anonymous said...

Patry!!!!! It is so great to see you back. I'm very happy about your health update good news, and I'm very excited to be leaving this comment! :-)

Lately, I've learned to love breathing deeply again. I've learned how to relax amidst a total work immersion -- I've gone completely zen, and I'm planning on staying this way awhile.

Again, it's really good to read your post! Welcome back.

leslee said...

I read this on Bloglines last weekend and I have to tell you how much it cheered me up. I meant to comment to say so. So glad to see that you got a clean bill of health, but sorry that it's been such an ordeal (and sounds like still not completely fixed - sigh). Happy to hear that your friends and family are nurturing you. And wishing you continued healing and many sardines. :-)

LitPark said...

My kids love sardines on saltine crackers. The little one adds tabasco.

I'll have to think on what I've learned to like. But mostly I just want to say how great it is to hear your thoughts again. xo

Anonymous said...

So good to hear from you!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Patry,
A quick lesson in Maori:
Kia ora, keya or ah : means both Hello and Thank you

Kia kaha , Keya kah ha: means Be Strong, or Remain Strong

Rangimarie, Rahnga mahree a : Means Peace
Aroha, ah row ha: Means Love
Have a wonderful day. Kia kaha.

Anonymous said...

Sardines are so good for you! And this update is so good for us, your readers. I agree that we needed a new title, something with some red and high heels.

Now that I'm well into my "wild thing" "second child (hood) thing," I've taken up chewing gum again with all the gusto and snapping that I use to do all through high school. I gave it up because my jaw got tired but now, it just seems to go with the territory.

It's so good to hear from you, Patry. I'm so sorry for what you have endured.

Patry Francis said...

KG: I feel more zen just reading your comment! Calm amidst work--that's true power.

leslee: Sardine enchiladas maybe? Thanks for your good thoughts and inspiring recipes.

susan: They love sardines? No wonder your children are so brilliant and talented! Of course, good genes and fabulous parents might have something to do with it, too.

diana: My first commenter and still here... Good to see you, too!

Robb: Thank you. In a few lines, you covered alll the truly important words.

colleen: So happy to hear from my "cousin" in Floyd. Did you ever chew Teaberry gum? That was my favorite when I was a gumsnapper. These days, though, I don't think my teeth could handle it.

Kristin Ohlson said...

Just echoing along with the others: glad to see you writing here and to read that you're doing well. I've been completely absent from blog land myself, for no particular reason.

Becca said...

Patry, so good to hear from you! I'm sorry you've been through all this - I think of you often and and hoping so hard that you get better and feel well and strong again soon!

Heidi the Hick said...

Is it ever good to hear from you!

(sardines in the can with mustard sauce. Lowbrow, but tasty!)

Anonymous said...

Patry, so glad to see you back and happily negative! Someone dragged me to a local vegan restaurant earlier this week. The name is Cafe Gratitude and what I'd heard was the waitperson would ask you upfront what you're grateful for today. It kind of felt like a test so I was prepared. Instead they asked us what inspires us right now. Fortunately my gratitude answer applied (inspired by and grateful for a reunion of sorts with the person I was with). I got to thinking later about the link between gratitude and inspiration. It's sort of like the chicken and the egg, I think, which comes first? Am I grateful I can be inspired? Or inspired because I can be grateful? I decided not overanalyze it other than trying to keep myself aware that if I let one in, the other will mostly likely be right behind it. And (with thanks again to you for all your wonderful words), often it's really a matter of simply waiting, isn't it?

bloglily said...

I have been learning to love every good thing, no matter how small, I see and feel. And right now, the thing I am really loving is your voice on this blog.

Plus, the red shoes on the sardines.

xoxoxo, L

Kenna Coltman said...

I echo everyone else's sentiments - it's good to see you back. I thought I had this on my alerts list - good thing I come out to check periodically!

I hope that you are on the upside of the illness, and that soon the last year will be a fading memory!

Take care, and keep writing (please;)!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to finally know you are okay! Perhaps not perfect, but okay! I have learned to love Norman Mailer :-). I never gave him a chance because I thought he was a jerk, but now I am reading him and find I like him a lot :-).
Sending much love. XOXO

Patry Francis said...

kristin: The further you drift away from anything, the more difficult it is to come back. Blog land is no different as I discovered. But I so enjoy your words. I hope you'll meander back.

Becca: A little stronger on most days...Thank you. I hope you know I've been checking in on you even when I was too immersed in silence to leave a comment.

Heidi: I just bought a can in the mustard sauce this week. Haven't tried it yet, but if it's "lowbrow" I'll probably love it! Thinking of you and the horses.

Lily: "loving every good thing however small"--Oh yes, that's where the bliss is.Thanks for sharing YOUR voice here.

kenna: Thanks for checking in. I'm hoping all is good with you and your family.

Annie: Not perfect, but okay. That's life on this earth, eh? Interesting about Mailer. Maybe I should give him another try. What's your favorite among his books?

Anonymous said...

Patry! Hello friend - it's so good to see you again, I want to just hug my computer screen! Though I and many others have missed you, I know you've been doing your most important priority - doing what you needed to do to take care of you. Even if that meant lurking and jello (which I'm just sort of 'iffy' on - though it can sometimes taste good, if you're hungry enough), or eating sardines - which I can't seem to bring myself to do as an adult - but I used to eat them as a kid, with my grandpa - just because he ate them...I guess I should try them again someday, since they are supposed to be so good for you...I'll try my best not to whine while dining on them ;)
I'm so glad you keep getting those positive negative reports! Keep on taking good care of you - sending many, many healing thoughts your way!

Anonymous said...

Well I'll be! So nice to see you writing - I didn't have any idea of your trials when I sent you a one-liner back in Aug 08 'begging' for another book and gushing over Liar's Diary. I'm happy that you are doing well and what a good day for me to find you on here!! I'll definitely be checking back.

Carla Murphy
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

PS - I've always said I hate sardines too... but I've never tried them. Hmmm

Anonymous said...

Hi, Patry, I have only read one book so far and some letters in the New Yorker. The book I am reading is Picasso, and I find I can't put it down :-).Have a wonderful(painfree) day! XOXO

Patry Francis said...

tinker: I'm surprised how many people used to eat sardines with their grandpas. I remember eating creamy bowls of oatmeal with mine--a tradition I carry on almost every day. Thanks for being here!

MARY!: I love your story about the gratitude/inspiration cafe. If I ever have to waitress again, that's where I want to work. Where would I have to move?

Carla: So happy to see you here! And thanks again, for writing to ask for a new book. Readers like you have inspired me more than you know.

Annie: Picasso is a fascinating subject. I read the biography by Francoise Gilot some years ago, and loved it.Today was not only a pain free day, it was a warm one. We even walked on the beach.

julia said...

I just discovered you from a comment you left on Katie's blog and I've spend too long this morning reading your older posts and getting to know you...
There's so much I'd like to say but the clock is ticking and I need to be moving towards work...
But, I love the way you write, espcially about your time in hospital, I love your energy and spirit...
And I really love the picture of the sardines, even if they do look horribly like my own legs!

Lorna said...

Such a weight off my mind to see you post again. Is there such a thing as trashy books? Well, maybe because I know there is trashy tv and trashy chocolate, but I find it hard to accept that there are trashy books. I always think, if I don't want to finish a book, that I wasn't part of the targeted audience. The glass half-full Pollyanna approach to reading.

with your recommendation in mind, I will try sardines. But I do love avocado, which I waited until I was in my 30s to try. Maybe an avocado-sardine sandwich on rye-with-caraway....

Anonymous said...

Patry, I was going to say you'd have to move to Paradise (aka northern SF Bay Area) but then I realized you're doing a great job serving up gratitude and inspiration right where you are!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back! Happy to see the word "benign" but, yeesh, so sorry about the rest. That is exactly why hospitals are scary.

Meanwhile, sardines: I love seafood but sardines, nah. However, your description of mashing them with avocado and garlic sounds oddly delicious. I'll have to try it!

Unknown said...

What a sweet surprise to see your post. You are often in my prayers and thoughts. I am so happy to hear that "negative" word as well -- congratulations. I have no doubt you'll overcome those other beasties.

I won't pretend to understand your love of sardines...little slimy salty fish. Yuck. However, I believe we are never too old to acquire a taste for the new.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy your day was painfree!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Thanks to you, I'm loving the negative. Yea for negative! Oh, and my husband this year has started loving sardines - perhaps you and he are soul mates? - in mustard sauce. Keep being negative, doll.

Beryl Singleton Bissell said...

Not only to do you return to your blog, you come in flying. In this post you have shared so much, answered so many questions, and made us laugh while doing so.

About those sardines . . . maybe that exalted literature and the trashy TV shows took you into your right brain where you could experience them in the now. I'm reading Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight. Apparently, the left brain is the one that retains memories of what we hate and with its buggy little voice continually reminds us that we hate "sardines."

I wonder if my right brain will allow me to sample a snail.

Patry Francis said...

julie: Thanks so much for taking time out of your bright morning hours to read my old posts, and for your kind comment. P.S. Looking at those sardine legs gives me a twinge, too.

lorna: I absolutely love your attitude toward books. They're all good; some are just written for other readers. I also like your idea about the avocado sardine sandwich on rye (with hot sauce!)

Mary: Ah, another reason to wish I was in SF... I could work at the gratitude cafe. But as you say, we must serve it up wherever we are with whatever ingredients we have at hand.

lisa: I made the sardine/avocado mash last weekend and served it with onion foccacia. Not conventional, but everyone loved it. Good to see you here, too!

Julie K: No, never to old to love something new. I may even try anchovies next. Thanks for those good thoughts and prayers.

Annie: Thank you!

Lauren: I'm so happy to see you here--and even going negative on my behalf (generally, not your style.) Please give my mustard-sardine loving soulmate an extra kiss for me on Valentine's day (but only if he's not eating sardines.)

Beryl: Taylor's book sounds interesting...though I'm surprised the left brain is the enforcer when it comes to food prejudices. Isn't that the flowy, creative side--or am I confused? As for snails, I'll try them if you do.

Alice M. said...

I had to check it out for myself! Our talk today put an extra spring in my step -- am on pins and needles for Orphans of RP so keep writing away! (and for anyone who hasn't yet read, The Liar's Diay, you should! It's fabulous --the perfect bookclub read!)

Patry Francis said...

Every time I talk to Alice M. OR Alice T. I get a spring in my step! xxx to you.

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

You've heard and possibly even said, "Pizza with everything except anchovies." That used to be my food mantra. Until last Wednesday at a lovely little restaurant in Loreto, Mexico (Baja), where I was handed a cheese and anchovy pizza. Grateful for the kind service and loving the pride of the proprietors, I bit into the slice and was absolutely delighted. Like you, I found something I had always assumed I wouldn't like. My next pizza will come with anchovies, maybe even anchovies in a caesar salad, too.

Love you.

NoVA Dad said...

I am SO pleased to see you back on this space, and am so happy to hear how things are going with you. I hope this is the start of a lot more writing by you -- although even I have to admit that an occasional bit of trash t.v. (morning judicial shows are a guilty pleasure from time-to-time). As far as something new that I love? Well, it's nothing new, but I love seeing how friends are doing!!

Unknown said...

Welcome back, Patry. Here's to soup and other ordinary wonderful things. x

MB said...

maybe the motto is just be grateful
Wise words, no doubt. I'm glad to see you posting again, Patry. I trust your writing continues well.

Patry Francis said...

carolyn: The best part about your story is that you were led to something new by your kindness and gratitude. In your honor, I'm going to try an anchovies on our pie next Wednesday when we have family pizza night.

Matt: Hmmm....morning judicial shows? Is that like Judge Judy? One of my hospital roommates watched that every day, and I've got to admit I was fascinated. I don't think I'd much want to stand before the woman myself, but it was entertaining to see her rant about much more than the crime at hand. Collective irresponsibility seems to be her real subject--a limitless and rant worthy subject if ever there was one.

fiona: Yes, to soup! I'm making a delectable sweet potato and spinach concoction (with extra cumin seeds!) today and the house is full of its fragrance. Thanks for the recipe.

MB: I was just thinking of you today...and then your bluebird landed here. Who says these connections are merely virtual?

artfoodsoul said...

so glad to see you back -- patricia in hyannis...i'd been googling around and almost asked at the centerville library if they'd heard anything...and no, you don't know me from a hill of beans ;)

Patry Francis said...

Hey Patricia from Hyannis! Thanks for checking in on me.

Dale said...

Wow, you came back! I'm so sorry about the complications. I'm glad you're still with us though!

Hugs and hugs and hugs

Patry Francis said...

Dale: Hugs always welcome--and returned!

Dawn Anon said...

OMG!!! I'm so glad to see you back here! I check in a few times each month to see if you've written..and ta-dum!!! here you are!

sardines? really? I don't know about all that....


Anonymous said...

So great to see you back here (and in twitter-land) Patry, and to know that you are doing well. xo d

Patry Francis said...

Dawn: Thanks for checking in on me while I was away. Now I've just got to convince you to try sardines!

deb: Thanks, deb. It's great to be here among friends--but this twitter thing, oy vey, I could spend my life...

daringtowrite said...

So glad to see you back here, Patry. I passed along my thoroughly enjoyed copy of "Liar's Diary" a couple of weeks ago to my niece and I have so often wondered how you were doing, hoping that no news was good news.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful health news! Also, I'm glad you're able to write about other subjects- must be very freeing. I'll be checking back for your how-to book on planting vegetables!!

Patry Francis said...

Wenda: Thanks so much for checking in--and especially for passing along The Liar's Diary!

Sarah C.: Yes!! It feels good to be writing about something besides the HOSPITAL. As far as the veggies go, Ted's the gardener around here, but I'm planning to get out there this summer.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you are back. I did not know if you had abandoned your blog, or something even worse had transpired.

Your health travails cannot have been much but miserable, and I wish it hadn't been your lot (or anyone's, for that matter).