There are many things going on in my life right now.

Do I write about my sister’s visit last night?

The fact that I fell down some stairs, turned my ankle and then went into your classic vasovagal syncope (also known as fainting or swooning)?

Or the fact that I’ll be singing in Carnegie Hall in November?

I’ll start with my sister’s visit. It was short, but sweet. She lives in Paradise, which is about a 5 hours drive from here. She doesn’t make it down this way very often, so it’s always good to see her.

It was short because she is participating in a workshop in San Rafael, which is about 2 hours from here. So she was here and awake with us for two hours. Keno decided that he wanted to bake cookies for his Auntie; ordinarily he would have just asked me to make the cookies. And, ordinarily, I would have simply made them. Luckily for both of us, I fell at about 5:00 yesterday afternoon. Three hours before my sis showed up. So he was on his own in the cookie-making adventure.

We discussed the fact that there were no chocolate chips in the house (they get eaten by the handful by everyone but me) and came up with the idea of using hot cocoa powder instead. I’ve done this before and it works quite well.

So Keno heads off to the internet to get a recipe for TollHouse cookies to modify. Heads into the kitchen with the help of his father and gets started. Dad leaves him to his own devices, not realizing that Keno’s never baked before in his life.

Keno makes a very logical decision about this line item:

2 1/4 cups flour

He does the math, and puts a 1/2 a cup of flour in the batter.

Keno has Auntie and me taste the batter. It tastes great and I don’t pay any attention to the fact that it is much more like a cake batter than cookie dough and say “yum!”. My sis tastes it, saying quietly to me “there’s no flour in this.” It just doesn’t register with me that this is a problem, so I send Keno off to bake the cookies.

Well, with that much butter and sugar, and that little flour, the cookies spread right off the pan. They taste great, but we have to scrap them off the cookie sheet with the back of a spatula.

(Why is it that the utensil you use to scrap down the sides of a bowl with and the utensil that you use to flip pancakes, which are very different instruments, have the same name?)

As Auntie is heading to bed her phone/alarm clock turns itself off, so she asks Keno (who’s the only one still in the living room) for an alarm clock. In the process of that exchange, my sis tells my son about her first adventure making cookies. She was at home alone, and not allowed to turn on the oven, so she makes the batter and waits for Mom to come home. Mom tastes the batter and says “How much flour did you put in here?” Auntie says “Two and a quarter cups, why?” Mom says “What cup did you use?” Auntie pulls out the pyrex two-cup measure and says “This one.” So, Keno had too little flour, and Auntie had too much. The end result was the same, semi-edible cookies and learning experience.

I’m hoping to get Keno to make another batch of cookies today with a small amount of guidance (or maybe just overseeing, biting my tongue as much as possible as I tend to over-help), so he can have positive results.

Auntie and Keno have reminded me that baking and cooking has its own language and assumptions, just like anything else. If you don’t know the rules, it’s easy to make mistakes. My recipe cards are simply a list of ingredients with a few sparse instructions to fill in those gaps that are different from how I would normally make something.

Regarding the ankle. I’m fine. It’s a little tender. It was not a bad turn. The whole vasovagal faint thing is just embarrassing. It’s your typical “swoon.” A reaction to the falling. I was just reading about it on the internet. It’s a little disconcerting to read that it’s an “exaggerated or inappropriate reaction” to the “severe pain.” At least that’s the item I’m choosing from the long list of things that usually cause that reaction. I picked it from these:

* Emotional distress, including panic attacks, anxiety attacks or fear (uh. My life is pretty calm, or at least I thought it was until this morning)

* Standing in a hot, crowded area (definitely not, it was chilly yesterday)

* Having a bowel movement (especially if straining) (Okay, I thought about just leaving this one off of my blog, but in the interest of integrity, I left it in. I fell; there was no pooping involved, strained or otherwise.)

* Coughing strenuously (no pooping, no coughing)

* Unpleasant situations, such as the sight of blood (unless you count the pile of laundry I was carrying as an unpleasant situation. . .)

* Urinating (okay, some small amount of this happened, but that was after I hit the concrete floor of the garage.)

* Standing in one place too long (duh. I rarely stand too long in one place, now if it had said sitting. . .)

* Breathing too fast (hyperventilation) (nope. slow deep breathing for me.)

* Severe dehydration (I drink water all day long.)

* Severe pain (calling the fall severe pain is arguable, but it’s the closest thing in this list!)

* Heat exposure (nope, it was lovely and chilly yesterday.)

As for the Carnegie Hall thing. I’ll wait to write about that until I know for certain when it’s happening and if I’m going to participate.