In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm 65, the magic age for Medicare, thank you very much! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
It's summer! The time to hang out with friends and wander aimlessly. The husband and I did just that on our first summer 23rd date. Our friend Kathy guided us up wooded paths to a lake where I saw my first red dragon flies and heard my first bullfrogs. On the way to and from it, we came upon jack rabbits, deer, bugs, yellow-tail butterflies, a slow-going garter snake, and much, much more. What a glorious and, yes, joyous, day!
I feel like giving you, dear readers, a break from me today and possibly tomorrow. And, maybe the day after and the day after that. We shall see.
In the mean time, I'd like to introduce you to a few writers whose blogs I like to read regularly because of the fun and joy they bring in many different ways. Maybe you'll find their blogs part of your own regular reading routine. Enjoy!
Arrmac's Blog. Arrmac is the husband. When he left the 9 to 5 world, he pursued his dream of being a cartoonist. He hasn't drawn in awhile. Not since he started writing career books with me. Hopefully, he'll feel moved again to go back to his drawing board. Until then, he writes about the creative inspiration behind each of his cartoons. It's a great blog, especially for aspiring cartoonists.
Ed Pilolla. Ed is a writer I met through the 2010 WordCount Blogathon, but I only recently began to find myself looking forward to reading his new offering daily. He is one kind of a poet. Years …
Yesterday evening I stood in the upstairs hallway window sanding and gluing cups and saucers together for bird feeders. Yep, dear readers, I've actually attempted my first craft for the summer. But that's not the tale of today's post. At least I don't think that's where this is heading.
So, back again to me working by the open hallway window. I was enjoying the long light and soft breeze of the summer solstice evening. I was also liking the sound of the running water below. The husband was enjoying the summer solstice by hand-watering the lawn. Who knows where he mentally transported himself while he stood and inched his way around the lawn with the green hose.
The blackbirds who have claimed our lawn as their pasture also were enjoying the summer solstice. They padded along the cement, hopped over the snaking green hose, and walked on the wet lawn behind, beside, and far from the husband.
It was a great way to end a fabulous first day of summer. Our…
Yesterday the mama asked me to explain something she was reading in an AARP flyer. It was a short article about what a woman can do about vaginal dryness so that intercourse isn't so painful. Uh.
The mama is a voracious reader. She likes to learn. Both things I didn't know until the husband and I became her roommates several years ago. English is not her primary language, and I would say on a scale of 1 to 10, her English reading comprehension is about a 4, more or less. She doesn't let complicated or unfamiliar words get her down. If she's interested in a story, she plows through it. If she's really interested in what words mean precisely, she asks me.
So, she asked me. Hoo boy.
The mama hadn't even taught me about sex when I a kid. The only instruction I received that came closest to the topic was the afternoon of getting ready for my senior class prom. She showed me a gigantic safety pin, then put it in my purse, saying something like "In case you need it…
Today, I read a recipe for sunflower cupcakes by Megan Berry at her blog, Fowl Single File, that had me drooling. Her cupcakes are not made of sunflowers, but I'm sure you could probably add sunflower seeds or sprouts to the batter. They are chocolate cupcakes with yellow cream cheese icing edged around an Oreo cookie middle. Yummm. They look like sunflowers. See for yourself! Be sure to come back and finishing reading here. Click.
Did you notice that she used a pastry bag to get the sunflower look? I've never used one, even though I have one, because I feel kind of scared about using it. But, those cupcakes look so tasty, I'm now willing to conquer the fear.
No scaredy cat me!
That, in turn, got me thinking about recipes I've bookmarked from food/craft blogs that I like to read, but haven't tried making for one reason or another, including being lazy.
Before the beginning of winter, I will have made the sunflower cupcakes and these recipes. I don't …
The little old lady walked slowly, slowly, painstakingly slowly across the street.
The grandpa waited impatiently for her to cross completely pass his car.
"C'mon on, Rebecca," he muttered from behind the wheel.
"Do you know her, Grandpa?" asked his young, earnest grandson.
"How do you know that's her name?"
"They're all Rebecca," the grandpa said. "All little old ladies."
The earnest young grandson was the husband. He told me this story (of course not exactly in those words) after our first time sitting together in a car waiting for a little old lady to slowly, slowly, painstakingly slowly do something. I say "something" because I don't remember what it was, though most likely the little old lady was in her car, and we were waiting for her to turn left or right, drive across the intersection, or edge into a parking spot.
Don't you just hate it when you can't find find what you want?
And, you know it's where it ought to be.
Back in April, I wanted to start reading Craig Ferguson's memoir, American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot. (Click on that link and it'll bring you to Amazon. Just saying.) It was one of the books that the husband and I got for ourselves last Christmas. He finished it at the beginning of the year and placed it on my pile of books to read that I stacked on the recliner in the bedroom.
Because I got tired of feeling bad that he had to move all the books onto the bed when he wanted to sit on the recliner to read, and then back again when he was done sitting, I thought I'd switch the books elsewhere. I did in February. I brought the pile into the office and wrote a blog post (not an amazon.com link) about what I was not reading. I must have been still in a got-to-be organized mood because I stacked them neatly away somewhere.
If you want to know what a woman will be like, look at her mother.
That's what I overheard a friend say to the husband long ago. He had said it with a goofy smile and a mix of pride, exasperation, and complacency. I had met his mother-in-law. If I believed in such a saying, I would still be running to get far away.
If that saying is true, then one day I would be picking up leaves off the ground, as I gripe about the neighbors and their messy trees and growl at the the wind for carrying the leaves into my yard.
I would also be sweeping the ground everyday, while the dust gathers even deeper inside the house.
On the plus side, if I ended up looking like the mama, I would finally be svelte, which would go better with my petiteness.
Sometimes I wonder if the husband looks at the mama and shudders because he thinks I may end up with some of her more crazy habits.
When I was a single gal many, many years ago, I lived in a funky one-bedroom apartment on the top floor, which was the third floor, on Walnut Street in San Francisco. Across the street was the Jewish Community Center, but that is and was neither here nor there. It's just a reference point, mostly for me.
I liked, no, I loved my apartment. My solace. The one place that was mine. It was the place I looked forward to after a hard day's work. It was the place I holed up in during my bouts of unemployment. It was the place I began seriously writing. It was home.
Sometimes I would let the phone ring and ring. Sue, when are you going to get an answering machine?
Sometimes I would just unplug the phone.
Hard knocking. Open the door. Sue, plug your phone back in.
Sometimes I wouldn't answer the knocking at the door.
Good habits continued onward into years later with the sharing of space, wherever it may be, with the husband. Today, that is the second and top floor of the mama's hous…
"Oh, my God, my God, my God," I cried, just seconds after saying a bright "hello" to the black bird that landed on the neighbor's trellis, which was the day before yesterday.
"What? What?" said the husband, looking up from washing dishes.
The other neighbor's fat grey cat was walking along the top of the fence, firmly grasping a torn-up blackbird in its mouth. The black bird that I had seen was swooping at its head. The fat cat did not care.
God, how I dislike that neighbor's cat.
"I wish she'd keep that cat in the house where it belongs," growled the husband. "Or, just get rid of it."
The husband dislikes the cat, too. He's constantly picking up its poop off the front lawn. The mama picks up its poop in the back yard, but unlike the husband, she throws the poop over the fence so the neighbor can pick up after her cat. The mama feels sorry for the cat. The mama thinks the cat kills birds because the neighbor doesn'…
I am not comparing. No, I'm not. This show-and-tell is more like contrasting the things I saw from the car on our quick trip to and from Humboldt County last weekend. It's all beautiful, don't you think?
Last Friday, the husband and I headed north to Eureka for a wedding. Over 300 miles of perfect driving weather on the 101. Sure, it was overcast and it rained some, but I prefer that to being uncomfortably hot. And, as the husband says, when you're under the redwoods, it doesn't matter if it's sunny or rainy.
Because we were just off the leash for the weekend, we didn't dally much coming or going. On the way up, we stopped for a food break in Ukiah, which is the county seat of Mendocino County. It's about a two hour drive, more or less, north of San Francisco. For info about Ukiah, check out the city's Web site.
Although we were in the middle of wine country, we felt like drinking a beer when we saw the Ukiah Brewing Company and Restaurant. Are we glad we did! The business is the country's first organic brewpub.
Organic beer is definitely the way to go. I tried their Coops Stout. It's described as a "heavy stout with chocolate and roast character.&q…
No doubt, dear readers, you've read a sign, knowing that the person who wrote it was very sincere and serious about the message, but you laughed anyway. Hopefully, it was not in sight or earshot of that person.
Today, I give you three signs around my hometown that I think are pretty funny.
You know what? I haven't been around for three days now. Today, the husband and I are driving back home from Eureka, where I'm sure we had a blast partying at the husband's cousin's wedding last night.
So, yep. I wrote this post several days ago and scheduled it to automatically publish when I said so. It's very simple to do on Blogger. Here's how: Write your post. Click on Post Options at the bottom of the composition box. Go to Post date and time in the third column. Click on Scheduled at.In the first box, enter the date on which you want your post to be published. In the second box, enter the time.Finally, press PUBLISH POST.
The other week, I said to the mama and the husband that I would make an apricot pie for dinner. Then added, "Maybe." Just in case I couldn't.
"Where are you going to get the apricots?" the husband asked.
"I took a bag out of the freezer yesterday." I was sure they were apricots and not persimmon. We still have a few bags left of last year's harvest in the freezer. Of course, none of the bags have labels. Like almost everything, baking can become an adventure for me.
Flour. I had less than a cup of unbleached white flour. At least I thought it was wheat flour. For good measure, I threw in a handful of garbanzo flour and another handful or so of brown rice flour to make 2 cups. Two-crusted pie was what I wanted to bake.
Shortening. I used coconut oil. I cut it into the flour until everything was nice and crumbly. Then I added 1/4 cup of ice cold water. Dry. I added another quarter cup. Dry. Another quarter. Still dry. By then I suspected I …
That's right, I admit it. I'm a craftsgal wanna be.
When I was younger and lived in San Francisco, I thought it would be so cool to sell my handcrafted wares on the sidewalks. It didn't matter that I had no wares or skills. I've been daydreaming again about selling my handcrafted wares, but this time at farmers markets and online at etsy.com. Still, no wares and no skills.
When I get tired of writing, I visit crafts blogs. Sewing, knitting, beading, whatever. I especially like the blogs by crafts ladies who repurpose old stuff into fantastic things that I want to make, such as clutch purses out of used skirts.
Last fall, I finally had the space and time to try my hand at crafting. My first attempt was a hedgehog. That's it in the photo. It only has one eye.
Next, I made was a pinwheel. I go gaga over pinwheels. They're what I associate with Fourth of July and family picnics. One day, I would like to learn to weld so that I can create one crazy gigantic pinwheel…
It's a type of Japanese poem that is similar in format as the haiku.
Okay, this is not English class, but I know you wish to be enlightened. If not, you will, by golly. Or, you can simply scroll down to the poems. My education of all things haiku came last night when I finally wrote the last line to my haiku-in-progress. I felt that it wasn't really a haiku. So, off to Google my questioning mind and tippity-tap fingers went.
In short, the haiku and senryu are three-line poems composed of 17 syllables. The pattern is five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. Haiku poems are about nature; no mention of human foibles allowed. Senryu poems are about human nature; no reference to the natural world at all.
Now, you know. It didn't hurt, did it?
Here's a true haiku by Basho Matsuo, who is said to be the first great haiku poet. He lived during the 17th century. An old silent pond... A frog jumps into the pond, splash!…
Back on the first of May, I wrote: "Can I think up something to post everyday for the next 30 days? Will I miss a day or two because I've forgotten? Shall my slacker self balk at the discipline? Stay tuned."
So, here we are, dear readers. Thirty-one days later. To sum up: I wrote a post a day in May. I almost forgot to write something for the 30th. The slacker self would've probably balked if the anal-retentive self hadn't written two or three posts at a time to stay ahead of the game.
Now comes the big question: Shall I continue writing and posting daily? Here's my roundabout answer.
Once upon a time I used to jog regularly and got to the point where I entered fun runs for the t-shirts. The longest run I did was the crazy Bay to Breakers. I ran, well jogged, all 8+ miles. It took me about 50 minutes, I'll have you know. Pretty good for a fat chick. When I crossed the finish line, I was exhilarated and numb. I just had enough energy to walk another mile…