3.9 miles for one yellow onion. 7.8 miles if you count the trip home.

Yesterday I was adamant about making dinner. (This was immediately after an unexpected morning conflict around being bad at making decisions together, planning vs. not planning, budgeting–woof, what time TJ would go to the gym, and how starting the conversation was to avoid conflict in the first place.)

Adamant may be the wrong word–more like stubborn. I was stubborn about making dinner. If TJ really needed to do his own thing and has had too many stressors, then I will take the burden upon myself, "selflessly" providing some ease. All out of my love and compassion for him and nothing to do with my genetic stubbornness or proving a point.

Yes, TJ–I will find a creative way to use some of the unusual produce in our fridge. Like the cauliflower that's trying to hold on for one more day just to be the shining star in a meal that was originally planned, but never quite executed. (Hey, Taco Bell and the Costco food court are cheaper. Plus, with a Costco pizza there are leftovers. It's the gift that keeps on giving...well, I mean, until it's gone...an hour later.)

In addition to trying to do a little something for me (take a short hike) and running errands, it took me 2 hours yesterday to shop for dinner when we had most of the ingredients at home already. Before I even headed to the store, I found a recipe, triple-checked what was in our kitchen, and made a list with 5 items. That's right. Only 5.

For some perspective, that is 24 minutes spent shopping per item.

Did I mention I had to go to 2 different stores as well? And the 2 hours of shopping for those 5 ingredients doesn't include travel time; it was just the time spent wandering the aisles.

After the weird whirlwind of being out in civilization (civilization meaning anywhere outside of our house and the blip of a town we live in called Gearhart), my brain turned to mush. I walked into the house and TJ, having apologized for his part in the conflict (I wasn't quite ready to own my part in it, if I even had a part in it), offered to make dinner instead.

Fast, easy, quick, delicious, healthy, dinner. I was very hungry so naturally I took him up on his offer, but not without kicking myself for spending 2 hours at the grocery stores (yes, plural–I still can't believe it), for a dinner that would have to wait another night.

Hold on for one more day little cauliflower. We need you!

I'm such a wonderful cook that TJ has told me that I should have a youtube cooking show. My show would be all about how to turn a 10 minute meal into an hour...on accident. How? Well, I actually don't know. It could be the possibility that I'm in the running for the world's slowest chopper? Or maybe because things never go quite right and sometimes I have to start over or because multi-tasking in the kitchen is a necessary skill for successful cooking and definitely not my forte.

The show would be difficult for me, but excruciating for the viewer, although I bet they wouldn't be able to stop watching. Like videos of horribly embarrassing moments. Or late night show hosts commenting on 300, oh I mean 1,000 hamberders.

Tonight's episode would be featuring the barely hanging on cauliflower to be turned into a curried soup. After 10 minutes of (painfully slow) removal of ingredients from the cabinets and fridge, I realize that I don't have an onion.

I had an onion yesterday (so I thought). Today? Vanished.

The recipe calls for a whole onion. No skirting around it; I had to go brave civilization once more to get an onion from the closest location.

7.8 miles and 35 minutes later (I don't drive slow, I shop slow), I'm back. Ready to go.

I'll spare you the details, but let's just say this episode would be trending out of pure absurdity. I technically didn't have the correct pot, so instead used a large cast iron roasting pot that took over half the stove. I could have roasted the cauliflower while I went to the store to get the onion, but that didn't occur to me until halfway through cooking, having already added 35 minutes to the preparation time. I decided to double the recipe and failed to realize I only had one of everything (except cauliflower); but I had already started so, well, I went with it and got creative. While vigorously zesting a lemon (1 teaspooon's worth to be exact), I may have included grating my knuckle in the process. And to top it off, my stomach was growling before I even started making dinner. (Taco Bell is right next to the grocery store and it took everything within me to not give up and instead just grab some quality, healthy, organic, grass-fed burritos and a crunchwrap supreme–TJ's choice.)

2.5 hours later, dinner is served. Soup and bread that I didn't make. That's it.

It would've taken even longer if I made the side salad that I had hoped, but totally forgot until the hot soup and warm bread were already plated. I was tempted to do it anyway, at the expense of the hot meal getting cold. It wasn't until TJ said he didn't want salad at least 3 times that I realized it might be a bad idea.

Time: 4.5 hours

Distance: 53.4 miles (yesterday and the 7.8 from tonight)

Grocery Items: 5, plus an onion

Worth It: Absolutely

Beside my very unexpected post-dinner rant and cry about, ya know, things related to the meaning of my life, dinner was really, really (magically) good as I sit here and think about it.

Somehow the soup tasted wonderful and was the perfect meal on another unexpected wind/rain storm filled night. We cleared off the table (from our latest board game) and sat together to eat. I lit candles (but forgot to turn the overhead light off), used cloth napkins (it's more fun; but we also only have cloth ones that belonged to my grandma so not much of an option there), and tiredly chatted between shoveling down our food (remember how hungry I was before dinner?).

My tendency is to be critical of and focus on the ridiculous details, instantly narrowing in on the points that might make something more interesting or humorous, and as a result, I often experience them negatively. As true as the details are, and as much as they make for a medium-witty read, it is not in the critique of them that I will find the satisfaction or the worthiness I am seeking. It's in the pausing, the presence, the appreciation of the details that open up our hearts to the goodness in the madness.

As the week draws to a close (and I try not to flip out that we are already over halfway through January) I want to remember to hold onto the goodness. To see it, to name it, to experience it; and if it requires a 7.8 mile drive to get an onion, to know that it was worth it–mostly because we have leftovers.