Monday, July 25, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

7-22 On This Day

I'm awake too early and the coffee wasn't ready so my brain isn't entirely engaged just yet.

I let the dog out when she demanded to do so and she immediately went for the woods. This wouldn't be so bad, except that the only voice she listens to is my husband. If anyone else gives her an order, she takes it into consideration and then, usually, disregards it. Today I don't feel like fighting it so I let her thrash about in the poison ivy and just kind of accept the fact that it's going to happen—the thrashing and the rashing.

I just embraced the morning and the time to walk around the yard thinking about poison ivy and steroid shots, and I noticed that the pokeweed has gotten quite impressive. I need to find some good alternatives to encourage in the woods after I napalm the poison ivy, and maybe this is a good alternative? Oh, nevermind, I just googled that shit and turns out one should "avoid touching pokeweed with your hands" because "toxic."

I'm reading a mixed bag of results, those who encourage its growth and others who clear cut it. I think I'll leave the little patch on the edge of the trees. It's pretty and the wildlife benefit from it, so we can overlook a little toxicity for that, right?

In my more maudlin moments I question why my yard wants to kill me, what with its abundant poison ivy, poison oak, Virginia creeper and now pokeweed. Oh and spiders. Scorpions. Various snakes (as yet unwitnessed).

And then I look again and I'm thankful for the good parts, like the trees. Wildflowers. Birds like cardinals, mourning doves, something called the Chuck-will's widow, whose call fills the air come nightfall, fighting for dominance with the cicadas and the crickets and the frogs.

But that's for later—now it's morning and I'll drink my coffee and look for the silver lining in all that poison ivy.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

7-21 On This Day

Our first email correspondence of the day often includes the sentence: So, what do you want to do for dinner? On days when I'm home and this happens, it's all good because I can pretty much figure out a way to make anything happen as it's literally all right there at my fingertips.

On days when I'm not at home, it's a bit more of a challenge because, much to my dismay, my children are neither classically trained chefs nor are they reasonably-abled sous chefs who work well without supervision. This is my sad confession, I haven't given them enough opportunity to become thusly so. I see those kids cooking challenge shows on the Food Network and it just burns my butter because really, I only have myself to blame for the fact that my kids don't cook on their own.

But I digress.

On those days when I'm not at home, we have a little back and forth about what we should do and today, everything he said autocorrected in my brain to be "Chinese takeout."

I'm so glad he's easily persuaded.

The food is good, don't get me wrong, but I love the fortunes. I hadn't seen these before, and though I only opened one of them (Man knows more than he understands.), I'm taking all of them to heart because I like the bits of wisdom that fortune cookies deliver. A little reminder of where, maybe, my focus should be. It's like a tiny meditation. With bonus leftovers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

7:20 On This Day

I mean, first of all, I should reiterate that I'm not a food blogger nor really a food photographer. I do enjoy occasionally taking pictures of my food at restaurants, but usually do so in a surreptitious fashion—a slip of the phone, a silent click, phone goes away, food goes down the gullet.

Today, it was this delicious lunch from the Iron Star Grill with my friend Rose who happens to have a full time gig at my part time gig. I get to spend time at a desk in a super cold office building doing work and while I really love it, it's put a crimp in the whole free time thing and sometimes even the blogging thing. We like to talk about blogging, she and I, and we both berate ourselves over our own perceived failings. And then she goes I love those 'On This Day' posts that you do, those are fun and I told her she would soon be starring in one with me.

Sort of.

Our lunch was the star at least—a pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and a tub of sauce. oh, and mac and cheese that convinced me Rose's lunch order sounded way better than the salad I planned to have (though, to be fair, this place has really bomb salads, too). And when I told her about the restaurant I sometimes go to as a guilty pleasure she said that it's her go-to as well and she loves that cheesy baked ziti they have and I was just about to tell her that I had recently discovered that dish and realized it was as close to perfect as I've had, which means that it's the closest thing I've found to the rigatoni al forno that I used to get at the little Italian place I loved in Germany?

Well, I don't know that I could have had a much happier lunch today.

A good friend, great conversation that never stopped and amazing food. I'll stick a fork in that.

Monday, July 18, 2016

LTYM 2016

My love affair with Listen To Your Mother goes back a few years. I've written about it several times, from first hearing about the movement, realizing my online friends were involved, becoming a cast member, supporting a new cast, being surprised to learn my husband was a cast member to being one of the director/producers of the show. I'm not going to link to them all—you can find them if you click the "LTYM" up in my header. But wait until you read this one, then do that.

You'll see; it's been a wild ride.

Through these years I've learned so much, my connection to the world has opened up in ways unanticipated. See, that's the thing about Listen To Your Mother—no matter who we are, how different we are, our gender, color, race, heritage or zip code—we all have stories.

Friday, July 15, 2016

7-15: On This Day

It doesn't matter what's happening in the world. Or even what's happening in the other room.
If you walk past the refrigerator, she will hear you and she will come running. She wants ice.

She's an ice addict and her hunger (thirst?) for it cannot be slaked.

It's a relief, really. A tiny bit of normalcy when it seems the whole world has gone crazy. She doesn't see it. Her world is small. All she wants is ice. Oh, and also a good scratch on that weird divot above her tail.

I can give her that.

I can't give her a world that makes sense. I can't make sense of what I see and hear every day. I don't understand it. But she's my mediation, a reminder, a safe place for my fears. She lets me know that small kindnesses add up. That connection and community is good and necessary. She brings me back to my small world, where I can try to offer comfort, love, and hope for a better tomorrow.

Which, for her? Includes ice.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

7-14: On This Day

Sleeping in or up early? Depends on your perspective, I guess. Sleeping in for me this summer means not rolling out of bed until after 6:30am—the dog wants what the dog wants and when she hears people awake, she wants to be a part of it, be fed, be taken outside. During the school year, it's at least an hour earlier, to get the kids out of bed to catch the bus to school.

And to be honest, I don't mind it that much. Sometimes I even wake up a little bit earlier, to go for a walk in the neighborhood, to enjoy coffee in the silence, to sort out my schedule or write in my journal, to take the dog out and watch the new day's light roll up over the trees. And it's cool out. Barely in the 70s, a light breeze that's almost cool.

It's my favorite time of day. Just don't ask me questions or anything. I'm shit until I've had my coffee.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


The moral of the story: don't make salsa before bed.

I learned this lesson the hard way, around two in the morning, when I also learned that I either revert to a five year old and pick my nose in my sleep or I tend to rub my nose in my sleep.

Either way, this was when I learned that though jalapeno peppers aren't *that* hot, they're hot enough to flare up your mucus membranes six hours after you wash your hands after making the salsa.

Monday, July 11, 2016

7-11: On This Day

I woke up, I grabbed my coffee, I checked my Facebook feed and tripped on this video about a teacher in Iowa who tried a radical experiment to try to teach her classroom of third graders that we are all the same.

I've been watching on my phone as I've gone about my morning—taking care of the dog, eating breakfast and so on—and it's fascinating. It's heartbreaking that now, almost 50 years after this was done the first time, almost 50 years, we still haven't learned the lesson.

I'll be watching it again after my kids roll their ways slowly out of bed and into the living room, looking for their list of chores, their breakfast, for me. I urge you to check it out.

We are all the same. When we are told we don't measure up, we feel free to fall short. When we are told we are capable of great things, we rise to that challenge. Let's all rise together.

Friday, July 08, 2016


Energy can be transferred from one to another.
Energy comes in many forms.
Energy is never created or destroyed.

Hate is energy. Hate can be transferred from one to another.
Hate comes in many forms.
Hate can never be destroyed.

But so is love. Love can be transferred from one to another.
Love comes in many forms.
Love can never be destroyed.

Love can never be destroyed. This is what I cling to.