Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
JoAnn's Potato Salad
5 lbs. potatoes, cooked & peeled
1 whole onion, large, raw
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp dill seed
1/4 tsp celery seed
2 T. sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon (or more for zing)
3/4 jar of Best Foods Mayonnaise (only Best Foods, if you use another mayo add more lemon, some white vinegar, and more salt)
Cook potatoes and let sit in 'frig overnight
Peel and cube to about 1/2" square
Place onion in blender w/ all ingredients and blend well (it will look runny)
Mix well w/ potatoes and let stand in 'frig overnight or all day
Granish w/ paprika and sliced, boiled egg
Monday, September 1, 2008
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I don't knit hats.
I don't knit scarves or things like that.
I knit socks.
So when I bought a chunky alpaca yarn and size 19 needles for a 15 stitch wide cartridge rib scarf, I had no idea what to expect. I needed a gift in a hurry.
HA! Two and a half hours and it was done.
I felt cheated, though, like I'd had a meaningless affair. I didn't get to k-n-o-w the yarn, it's every quirk and twist. We didn't spend hours and hours and hours together, gazing at one another. I didn't make plans or dream with it. We got down and dirty and got the thing done.
And guess what? We're getting married! I'm keeping it. It was such a clever feat to finish so quickly, it came out so lofty and lovely that I may have to change my mind about affairs. (HA again.)
Friday, November 2, 2007
??? Shouldn't I be living my own life instead of watching people pretend to live out some other lives?? At the very least, shouldn't I be reading about these folks (whom I never met, etc.) At least there would be some imagining involved.
Is this our version of tales told around fires in caves? Are there life lessons in these movies? Should I emulate these over-paid people? Could I?
What should I be doing instead? (Yes, yes...charity work, volunteer stuff....mmm hmm.) This is the question I mull over. I'm watching to relax after work. I think t.v. just hacks me up more with all its conflict, though (as if there weren't enough of this in my so-called "real" life.)
Everywhere you look and listen, people talk about the newest movies, the most popular actors. I'm ready for something new to capture the nation's attention, something uplifting and worthwhile.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
It struck me that human beings are like snow globes. We are trapped inside the orb of perception, the orb of self. We can only view the world from that perspective. Born in the U.S. in the 50's on the East Coast, I can not view the world from the point of view of an Icelander born in the 80's. Impossible.
So we have an earth populated with orbs, each having a self-contained reality. How do we ever make sense to each other?
Friday, October 5, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Now don't get me wrong. I was in therapy for a goodly number of years with a talented and compassionate professional. So I've been there, looked in all my closets, and have a grip on what's fixed and what still needs work.
This woman was a fix-your-grief wanna-be. Think of every trite saying about death you can come up with. Apply them during moments when the other person is as vulnerable as possible. Make general statements like "you need goals." (Oh!) Act like you're better than the person you're talking to, like you are class and they are crap. Suggest they leave key people in their lives. Now you've got "grief therapy" at Hospice.
So the long-run lesson is this: I have to deal with it myself. I have to get all the old stuff out of my head and start looking forward before there is no more forward to look toward.
That's too bad. I was hoping for an easy out.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Here's the message to the one person who's making it happen. You're the grinch who stole Christmas, who kept every single crumb, every item of sentimental value, and you've got your hand out for more. That kind of selfishness is pathetic. We were all their children, not just you.
I'm done. It's over. I'd be sad about that, too, but it's hard to miss a bottomless pit.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
There we are. The Fab Four. 1964. There I am, on the right. LOOK AT THAT OUTFIT! I remember the day the photographer came to our home for the pictures. We were in the living room. My mother made me wear a bozo suit: pink top, HUGE white bow with pink polka dots and a skirt to match. I don't know how I managed a smile after the FIT I pitched over the outfit. A clown suit, something you'd see on the monkey next to an organ grinder. Hop, hop, scratch armpit.
I remember those clothes with chagrin. Looking at them now, they don't look so bad. It's funny how a powerful memory, something that feels written in stone, can change under the hard scrutiny of present day. It makes me wonder if the things we remember are as true as we think they are.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
It's hard to see through the fence to the other side. There are plants, flowers, sunshine, my life before losing my Mom and Dad, and my before-death-became-real self. Grief is the fence, blocking me from that former self.
Grief is like a cave you fall into. There is no light, no escape from the pain of loss. The light that can be seen through the fence is the result of lots of hard work, trying to get back to my former life. The life I had before those deaths is over. I just can't let go.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
During my visit to L.A. my niece came over to her Mom's house and showed me some quilts she had done (photos,) and this quilt, her first. I pretended it was for me, making a clowning, "Oh, for ME? How kind!" I started to hand it back to her and she said, "I was hoping you'd like it. I brought it for you, but if you'd hated it, I would have kept it."
So I feel a little guilty taking this perfectly beautiful quilt, her first real one, but greed took over and I accepted it. Isn't it bright and lovely? Could you have handed it back?
I used to quilt, when I was in my 30's, and now she's in her 30's and quilts. It was too wonderful to resist.
She's really taking off with the craft and it's lovely to see. YAY for family, yay for my niece, yay for me.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
When someone leaves you, all you have left is what you remember. There are the happy memories, where life was liquid and lovely and you were unselfconsciously a part of things, where you did the right things. There are niggling memories where you were angry or frustrated but did the right thing anyway. There are the bad memories where there was nothing you could do but watch everything go wrong, and finally, the memories where you were at fault and there's no way to change it now.
I've been dreaming about my father. It's been 4 months since he died. I see him, sometimes, the way he was 25 years ago, hale and hearty, not yet humbled by disease and disgust with his body. But I dreamt about him dying again the other night and awakened in the midst of the loss and terror I felt at his dying. My heart was slamming in my chest. I was short of breath, tears in my eyes. Oh what a horrible nightm.... oh...
The dream was a surprise because I feel like I've been dealing with his departure rather well lately. I've been thinking of his life as a book: beautifully bound, lovely illustrations, gold-edged pages, exquisite typeface. I think of his sharp wit, great mind, sharper tongue and I laugh. I miss him. I see, over and over, the back cover of the book slowly closing. I think, then, that I will never be able to open that book again. I will see him only in my mind, only through the dim light of memory.
The past has been calling to me and I've answered...wandering through the houses we lived in, the talks we had, the effort I made to connect then and throughout my life with him. The tape of his last months plays in my head, a bittersweet loop of how I tried to help him and how he resigned himself to leaving.
The past can be a vacation from the present, a time before loss. As much time as I've been spending in it, I'll have to make sure I don't get caught there.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
by Rupert Brooke(1887-1915)
In a cool curving world he lies
And ripples with dark ecstasies.
The kind luxurious lapse and steal
Shapes all his universe to feel
And know and be;
the clinging stream
Closes his memory,
glooms his dream,
Who lips the roots o' the shore,
Superb on unreturning tides.
Those silent waters weave for him
A fluctuant mutable world and dim,
Where wavering masses bulge and gape
Mysterious, and shape to shape
Dies momently through whorl and hollow,
And form and line and solid follow
Solid and line and form to dream
Fantastic down the eternal stream;
An obscure world, a shifting world,
Bulbous, or pulled to thin, or curled,
Or serpentine, or driving arrows,
Or serene slidings, or March narrows.
There slipping wave and shore are one,
And weed and mud.
No ray of sun,
But glow to glow fades down the deep
(As dream to unknown dream in sleep);
Shaken translucency illumes
The hyaline of drifting glooms;
The strange soft-handed depth subdues
Drowned colour there, but black to hues,
As death to living, decomposes--
Red darkness of the heart of roses,
Blue brilliant from dead starless skies,
And gold that lies behind the eyes,
The unknown unnameable sightless white
That is the essential flame of night,
Lustreless purple, hooded green,
The myriad hues that lie between
Darkness and darkness!...
And all's one.
Gentle, embracing, quiet, dun,
The world he rests in, world he knows,
An eddy in that ordered falling,
A knowledge from the gloom, a calling
Weed in the wave, gleam in the mud--
The dark fire leaps along his blood;
Dateless and deathless, blind and still,
The intricate impulse works its will;
His woven world drops back; and he,
Sans providence, sans memory,
Unconscious and directly driven,
Fades to some dank sufficient heaven.
O world of lips, O world of laughter,
Where hope is fleet and thought flies after,
Of lights in the clear night, of cries
That drift along the wave and rise
Thin to the glittering stars above,
You know the hands, the eyes of love!
The strife of limbs, the sightless clinging,
The infinite distance, and the singing
Blown by the wind, a flame of sound,
The gleam, the flowers, and vast around
The horizon, and the heights above
You know the sigh, the song of love!
But there the night is close, and there
Darkness is cold and strange and bare,
And the secret deeps are whisperless;
And rhythm is all deliciousness;
And joy is in the throbbing tide,
Whose intricate fingers beat and glide
In felt bewildering harmonies
Of trembling touch; and music is
The exquisite knocking of the blood.
Space is no more, under the mud;
His bliss is older than the sun.
Silent and straight the waters run.
The lights, the cries, the willows dim,
And the dark tide are one with him.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
It looks like a dandelion to me. At a glance it could be a petri dish, water under a microscope, a closeup view of sperm swimming around. It looks like a marble, looks like formica, or the inside of my eyelid sometimes. It's the night sky. It's all I can take in.
The older I get, the more I try to understand the universe. The more I try to understand, the more it all blends into one grand truth. Everything is part of everything else.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
The doors and windows sealed
The train going faster and faster
No stops in sight
Except that last one
Nothing I did
Or ever could do
Would change it
I looked at you and
You looked at me
The train kept going
Nothing I did’
Or ever would do
Could change it
The train kept going
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
There's the quick stab, the crying out
But there's joy behind that
There's a twinkle of hope hidden there,
A fierce affirmation of self,
There's hope that life will be better
After the emptiness,
Promise of reaching out, and finding
. . . just no promise of keeping.
Monday, July 9, 2007
About to fly away
I grabbed your tail
And begged you to stay
You were the kite
I was the string
And when you died
I lost everything
You were the kite
Beautiful and strong
You soared away
Wouldn’t take me along
You were the kite
Who disappeared in the sky
I lay awake at night
And ask myself why
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Saturday, July 7, 2007
As I've gotten older I've actually started saying this! A friend tells me her grandpa is 97 years old. "Bless his heart," I say. A neighbor's mother has cancer. "Oh, bless her heart," says I.
I haven't come to believe that saying "bless your heart" will change anything. It's a comment made with hope and love and sincerity. Maybe it's exactly because I can't do anything else to fix these things.
So, dear reader, bless your heart, and thank you for stopping by.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
So some people believe and some people don't and an awful lot of people have died one way or the other. (I like the one where each person in a group goes on and on about what they believe in and then they get to the guy who says, "Me? I believe I'll have another beer.")
Take the stars...how can you look at them and think they came from nothing at all? (Oh, right. The Big Bang.) Bangers believe that the universe is in an endless cycle of expansion and contraction, (an endless orgasm of planets and galaxies,) with lots of complicated ideas about everything compacting down to nothing after having expanded out past some limit or other. (This leads to lots of mental gymnastics, trying to picture the edge of everything and imagining just one mote of dust floating around past that, etc.)
I've tried to go along with the Bangers. I have, but it's like evolution. They're as bad as the hard-core religious folks. They believe it, goddamn it, and you should, too, or you're a moron.
Evolution sounds good, doesn't it? There was nothing on earth. Just water and hills and rocks. Then there were plants. That's good. Plants are nice. Then jiggly things in the water bumped into each other and made eenty-beenty things that look weird under a microscope. (Uh-huh.) Those things somehow got together and made more of themselves. Then they kind of turned into eyeless fish, then fish with eyes, then fish with legs. They walked out of the water and turned into everything else.
WHAT??? Anyone believes this? Come on. Eyes are complicated. They are reeeally complicated. Legs? They just showed up? Sure. Believers say, "but it took millions and millions of years." Oh.
I find these ideas much harder to believe than my own version, which is this: the math says that there's a very, very small possibility that everything just happened by itself. I'm fine with the idea that some being that's too complicated for my limited, human mind to grasp gave the evolution of life some help from time to time...that it didn't accidentally turn into the complicated and achingly beautiful variety of life that exists on earth today.
Why do we have to insist we know, for certain, what happened? When did theories become fact? When I was in school everyone talked about theories, and said things like, "We think..." and "We believe..." Now everybody knows for sure -- until they don't.
Monday, July 2, 2007
There's nothing like a collie. Robbie is the rough coated tri color, and Jazzy's our smooth coated collie. Both are smart, sweet, loyal, and great companions.
These dogs go to the dog park every day. I mean e-v-e-r-y day. Our dog park is larger than a football field, perfect for their far-ranging collie selves. They keep an eye on us while acting as greeters for all the new comers and, in Robbie's case, policeman for the entire park full of dogs. No fights or aggression allowed when he is there. He breaks up squabbles and keeps an eye on known offenders. He's a great, great dog.
Jazzy is gentle and sweet. We've only had her for 2 months now and so she is still blossoming.
While this may be mild info to others, these two are my good friends and contribute greatly to my happiness.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
My father died on March 19th, 2007.
Imperfect and brilliant, he was my Dad
and I loved him dearly.
I can say the words, recall the details
But my heart, Dad. My heart.
Sometimes, just for a minute
I think I’ll be fine.
Then my heart boomerangs back to your house
A house of echoes and unanswered phones
Empty bed, where you lay so long
And I’m shattered again.
Even though I knew you were dying
I couldn’t see it, wouldn’t see it
I thought you were strong enough to stay.
And when I saw that you weren’t
I thought I’d be strong enough
To keep you here. I was wrong.
I’ll always remember. Forever remember
And love you.
So long, Daddy. So long.