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Showing posts from December, 2023

Finding Zen

“World peace.” Has any pageant contestant who answered that ever won a title, particularly a national or world one? Could that be why it hasn’t ever been achieved?  Cutting out hearts from paper and fabric helps me find zen, I discovered today. No questions asked, not by me. Wow, am I really not going to analyze why this is?  Ha, I finally understand my friend who said to me, “You make a federal case out of everything.” I was 10 or 11 at the time, I thought that was a bad thing. I’m still impressed that KT knew the term. Perhaps it came with the territory of having lived in another state and having a fire chief for a dad.   I don’t know. I could use that incident to spin a make-believe story about a first generation American kid growing up with two cultures, if I had the ambition. Who knows, maybe cutting hearts may help me find a steady spark of passion to wake up the ambition. Unlike last time, I’m letting you dear readers know that I’m meandering away from the blog for the rest of t

Daddy’s Fried Chicken

This is the first in my series of food and flavor memories.  Every so often, the Husband and I get a yen for fried chicken, usually when we’re out and about doing errands around town. Depending on which side of town we happen to be, we’ll stop in at the Lucky’s or Safeway’s deli for fried chicken legs and thighs, which aren’t too salty, greasy, or mostly batter. (Did you know that both supermarket chains are owned by the same company? That surprised me, too.)  Yummy fried chicken.  The best ever fried chicken that I’ve eaten was cooked by Daddy all those many years ago. He got an occasional yen for fried chicken, too.  First he’d butcher a chicken into 10 pieces. Whack, whack, easy peasy.  Next he gently shook the pieces in a paper bag with the right amount of flour, salt, and black pepper, and then he placed them in the right amount of fat heated at the right temperature in Mama’s  revered   Revere pot. Daddy didn’t use a thermometer.  He also didn’t crowd the pot. He fried one side o

Sunday Afternoon Rambling

I shall make a list, to check twice, sometime today. Any tasks undone by the end of the week makes me not naughty or nice.   The weather experts say our area is in for four days, more or less, of rain. Whoot, whoot! That means doing indoor stuff. I need to bring the outdoor carpets inside or drape them in such a way, the rain washes them. Methinks the latter. This morning we treated ourselves to a trip to the cafe for cups of mocha and artisanal pastries. What’s an artisanal pastry you ask? A flaky, robust almond croissant, for example, coated with toasted almonds and tasting of quality ingredients worthwhile of it being six dollars. I’m getting better at not flinching at the cost of treats.  “Baby, it’s cold outside,” the ants are singing as they single-file prance their way into the house. I caught them twice invading the tropical plants by the sliding door window.    So far the ants have laughed at the lavender and rosemary sprigs, the vinegar wash, the spray of citrus-scented house

The Raking Season

I enjoy raking autumn leaves. Love it, to be precise. I like the rustle of the leaves, the scraping of the rake, the scrunching beneath my feet, and the crinkling as I shove them into a box or bag. I don’t rake up all the leaves. I’m not Mama, I tell the Husband. She had raked and picked up leaves nearly every day that she lived in her house, about 28 years. I’ve seen her pull drying leaves off the fruit trees. Be ahead of the game, I suppose. She would definitely shudder if she saw how unkempt both the front and back yards are.  Leaves, leaves, hello, leaves. Yep, I was that kid who loved to stomp through leaves.  P.S. Here are a couple of stories about Mama and l-e-a-v-e-s. Mama and the Leaves   Don’t Take My Picture  


Happy Birthday to meeeee!  I’ve written this post on Sunday. (How strange it is to write this post, which I’ll publish in the future, in past tense rather than present tense.) And now I lost my thread of thought because that parenthetical thought took a while to get the words in order. Only thing I can do then is to sing it again and sing it louder. Happy Birthday to meeee!  Seventy years ago, Big Baby me was born . Whoot! Whoot! Whoot!

One Day to 70: Looking Back at 69

Here are some of the highlights of my 69th adventure around Apo Init, aka El Sol, aka The Sun. For the wanna-knows, the first language in that sentence is Ilocano, the second, in Spanish, and the last, English, the  three languages with which I’m familiar (Spanish, a little bit, and Ilocano in memory). Without further distractions. . . . 1. Knee-haw! Sing, my left knee joint, was renewed with titanium and plastic parts. The 14th of December will mark the prosthesis’ first anniversary. The first step I took after surgery told me I made the right decision to trust Dr. G to open up my leg, saw off the bad parts, insert a new prosthesis, and close up the incision. Did I have to get so graphic?  2. For sale. Good friend L and I held two yard sales to sell our mothers’ collections of stuff. I’m already thinking about what to do differently for our next yard sale. This last one, which was on Saturday, for example, I got artsy-fartsy with the signs, one of which someone either stole or destr

Counting Down to 70: Day 2, Awareness

Lately, I’ve been wandering around the house looking for my prescription reading glasses. I have two pairs, the red ones still yet to be found. Until 2020, I had worn eyeglasses, or contacts, for 50-some years to correct my nearsightedness. That year, the first year of the Covid pandemic, I had cataract surgery in both eyes. The clarity, sharpness, and colors of nature, as well as being able to see words, things, and views far away that I could suddenly see after each surgery was delightfully amazing. The downside was I could no longer see the finer things like tiny letters up close. I can live with that.   Blurriness began in third grade for me. I thought it was normal to see wiggling letters on the blackboard. In fifth grade, the annual school eye exam showed I wasn’t seeing normally, so off to Daddy’s eye doctor Daddy took me. Dr. Green was his name. A nice old man with white hair, smelling crisp and sharp like his white medical top. His examination room was interestingly odd with

Three Days to 70, Gulp.

Like being 70 is any different than being 69. Of course it is! A new adventure around El Sol! A revolution in the making, yes sireee.  Isn’t that a darling angel in the photo? She used to be all beige. And, check out her green sparkly friend. It’s fun to do something new and different. In this case, it was playing with glitter and not making too much of a mess. Simple things. The Husband and I have a rating system for driving mountain roads. Gulp, double gulp, sweaty palms, and, the worse, double gulp and sweaty palms. If this past year was a mountain road, I’d rate the drive so far as a bunch of gulps and an occasional double gulp. Fortunate, am I. 

Four Days to Becoming 70: Full Circle

It felt like Christmas in our garage today. Good friend L was putting up fiber optic trees and Christmas sculptures that she’ll be selling at our yard sale tomorrow. Sparkle, sparkle. She also made sure a bear and small reindeer were twinkling brightly. That was cool to see.  I generally don’t pay attention to the wintery holiday season until after my birthday, wouldn’t you? I’d rather have a birthday two weeks before Christmas than share the same day with a sibling. Or, maybe not. There could be joy in that, but more likely in another dimension for my brother and me. Nobody explained Christmas to me when I was a kid—why you put up a tree, give presents, and go to church at night, and so on. And, what was with that old man with the beard in the funny red suit prowling the five and dime store. Whenever I saw him coming my way, I quickly ducked away.  In first grade, I was assigned the role of Mrs. Santa Claus. How can you tell your teacher that you do not want to be Mrs. Santa Clau

Counting Down to 70: Day 5, Tolerating

Ugh! On this fifth day towards becoming 70, I woke up with another glaring owie. This time, it was my right knee shouting, “You overdid it, Palsy!”  A month ago, I joined a weekly yoga class that focuses oldsters on stretching, loosening up our joints, and building up our balance.  Probably all that bending I did at class on Tuesday would’ve been okay if I hadn’t done a bunch of bending yesterday clearing out the geraniums. Ouchy growl! Until this morning, I forgot that my poor swollen right knee, called Song, is still the bad knee. She  has done quite well keeping up with Sing, the left joint that was totally replaced last year, which was my gift for turning 69. Poor Song. Hopefully, I can find another compatible, trustworthy surgeon to fix her in 2024. Sing’s surgeon retired. He was amazing, even straightening my leg when he said he couldn’t.  The poor Husband. He kept running over to see why I was suddenly groaning, moaning, cursing, or growling so very loudly. Song did not like

Six Days to 70: Imagining

What’s that up there? A portal to other worlds, perhaps.

Counting Down to 70: Seven Days, Balance

I liked how today went. I did a load of laundry in our new washing machine and gave succulent cuttings homes. The Husband and I packaged and mailed persimmons to friends and cousins, got Chinese takeout, and went to an exercise class that focuses on balance for old people.  At the post office, I  talked with a happy guy who was there to get his passport in order because he was moving to Italy. He had sold his business and his home to live in a house he inherited that he didn’t know existed until an attorney got hold of him to ask if he’d like the house. The happy guy gladly said “Yes” before even hearing where it was. The house belonged to his grandfather or great grandfather and somewhere down the line family stopped living  in it. Now the house was his. So very cool!  The best news today came from the happy nurse at my doctor’s office. The results of my chest x-ray were negative, which (after she told me that was a good thing) I took to mean my lungs were clean, intact, and in pla

8 Days to 70: One Wish

9 Days to 70: Health

Mama visited the ophthalmologist twice a year. She begrudgingly went with the hope that the doctor would miraculously get her to see well enough to pass the DMV eye test. That was not meant to be. Her doctor was a charmer. He liked to engage with his patients, to put them at ease.  He never failed to ask Mama for her secret of looking young. Sometimes, Mama would answer, giggling and smiling, “I eat rice.” Other times, “I like to eat fish.” Whatever she answered, he’d follow up with other questions, such as “How often do you eat rice?”or “”What kind of fish?” He sincerely was interested, so I observed.  Another thing he never failed to do after the initial look at Mama’s eyes was to turn to me and say, “Thank your mom for your good genes.” I appreciate that I have Mama’s genes. Mama was a super ager. She lived to a resounding 94 years old before her body hit the wall. That’s how her doctor described it. Mama fell a lot that last year. A lesson for me to build up my balancing skill

10 Days to 70: Appreciation

Scratch out words, string sentences, fill out paragraphs. . . .Today someone told a roomful of people that I was a writer by trade. I love that. It sounds like I put in long, hard hours getting words to convey ideas precisely, clearly, and succinctly. It’s nice to know your work is appreciated.  

Counting Down to 70: 11 Days, Watching Out

My, my, my, what an interesting news day today was. More than two-thirds of the House of Representatives voted to kick out a Congressman for being blatantly unethical. A U.S appeals court declared that the former president is not immune from being tried for criminal activity. And,  California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom went on Fox to debate Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to the discomfort of the latter and the moderator.  The moral for today: Hope is alive.