My grandmother has probably been one of the most influencial people in my life. Still is. Not necessarily because she was always around me to teach me things.She has always been learning things, trying things, asking things, and staying occupied. Not a bad thing to emulate. We moved to Oklahoma when I was nine and couldn't manage to escape back to Texas until 21 for me (the rest of my family escaped earlier and left me stranded).
However, I always saw her for one or other of the big holidays (Christmas or Thanksgiving) and in the summer I would be shipped out to her house in Houston for several weeks. Possibly so my mother could stop worrying about commiting a justifiable homicide.
Grandma (she's the one we call Baba in this blog) was an aerobics instructor--land based and water. She was always trying new things--one summer we macrame'd fish and door knockers and, well more fish (I was destined to macrame fish). We rode bicycles (three speed tour around town bikes) like we were professional mountain bikers and paid the price later. She rode the rides at Astroworld and she was also a Trekkie. She kept a journal and still does today. On the cover it says, "Captain's Log." She was also an LVN and went to a modeling school and gave us a set of her proofs.
I remember waking up at their lake house to the sound of the wind through the pine trees. I always woke up way earlier because over half the main walls of the house were glass. I'd go downstairs and she'd make me this giant pancake.
She was an awesome cook. I always looked forward to her food and there wasn't a thing she couldn't make, but there was a day--I don't know which one--that she decided that she needed to be eating healthier. Therefore, all others would bear the brunt (more of a defacto thing than by proclamation). Not only did she start cooking low-to-no sugar and fat free (and I mean free), but she also restructured meals to have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner.
So the next summer when I sat down to the table and she plunked a plate of turkey, broccoli, and squash in front of grandpa and I for breakfast, well, let's say I was not even sure I could keep it down. Grandpa muttered something about "twigs and berries" and did his best to eat, but I couldn't do the
broccoli. Go ahead, try to stare broccoli in the face at 6:30 a.m. with out hiding it in a seriously fruity smoothie. The idea was that you burn more calories from your breakfast and lunch meals versus dinner. So...obviously if you eat dinner for breakfast it wouldn't be adding as many pounds to your--whichever pound-heavy part. And I mean it. If you were visiting, just coming for a meal, whatever, you had to jump on the bandwagon for that meal.
I don't know why she gave up that plan. Perhaps it was the fact that grandpa kept going to Edo's for some "real food" and "seriously chocolate cake." Or it could be the steady stream of fudge the ladies in grandpa's class kept making him. Maybe it was too much of a pain to do all that cooking in the a.m. for hungry people waking up at different times. All she gave up was the dinner for breakfast thing. The "twigs and berries" menu stuck and is sticking today. And I can still hear grandpa muttering under his breath as he shakes his head..."twigs and berries."