We survived another week!

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President Barack Obama was here in Lawrence, Kansas, on Thursday, a few short blocks away on Mt. Oread.  The University of Kansas hosted him and I would have stood in line for hours to get a free ticket, and then for hours more to see and hear him, if my face didn’t look like a jigsaw puzzle and feel like rubbish.

As you know, there was no throwing it back on Thursday because the pitching arm was sleeping it off.  No Friday Funnies, because twern’t funny, McGee.  Which brings us to SaturYAY and a guest editorial, graciously loaned by my dear friend, playwright Philip Grecian.  Thank you, UncaPhil, for sharing your unadulterated thoughts with us.

(By the way, Kim and I love Lawrence because it isn’t just for Smurfs — everybody gets a say here, and plenty took advantage of that opportunity in reference to the president’s visit.)

And here’s Philip …

Been lookin’ over fboo today and see that an awful lot of ignorant people said an awful lot of stupid things while the president was in the area.

I understand if you’re a racist (and some of you are and think I don’t know it), and I understand if you’re a moron (Most of you aren’t. A few of you are, and demonstrate it regularly. I try to deal with you charitably).

Some of you are just blindly Republican (The thoughtful Republicans don’t spew hateful, stupid things. Some of you would be surprised how many thoughtful Republicans are actually reading this. I pray they’ll wrest some power away from the others. It could happen).

When George Bush was president I admit that I didn’t much care for him in the office and said so. Usually I waited till he’d done something that seemed…odd…or clueless…or thoughtlessly mean-spirited, and I’d comment. Usually making a little fun because, well, let’s be honest, he was easy to make fun of.

But, you know, my comments about George Bush…and comments made by others who didn’t like him much…were never as bone-deep mean and hateful and angry as what I’ve read here about Barack Obama. Some of you folks take my breath away with your hate.

And when I ask you why you feel that way…you give me some boilerplate FoxTrot talking point…one that’s usually made up out of whole cloth by some Foxy Barbie or Ken or dissolute Jabba the Huckabee. And if you’re called on it…if it’s pointed out that somebody just made up that “fact,” you’re quiet, retreat, and bring it up elsewhere on somebody else’s wall…like some extremist whack-a-mole.

Whaddya got? “Obamacare?” Wanna bitch about that? Hey, idiot, IT’S WORKING. Wanna talk about how we need to “Take Back America?” Yeah? From whom? He handily won office by vote of the majority. Twice. He reminded you of that, didn’t he?

Wanna talk about how he’s “ruining the country” and how you “can’t wait till he’s gone so we can put America back together?” Yeah? Really? Show me how he’s doing that. Jobs are up, economy’s up, we avoided a Great Depression–The Sequel. We’re better off than we’ve been in a long time.

So why all this palpable…hate?

Racism is all I can come up with…racism spiced up with a little party loyalty on steroids…a lot of “poor me” victimology…and a lot of foolish belief in the Murdochtrine of Fox News.

If George Bush had accomplished what Barack Obama has accomplished, you’d be building statues to the guy. And, except for a very few days when President Obama first took office (No, not two years…not 365 X 2. Do the math to see when Congress was in session during those 24 months), he did it with Congresspeople whose main raison d’être was to keep him–and by extension, the American people–from having any success at all.

And look what he accomplished in SPITE of that.
And just think what he MIGHT have accomplished beyond THAT, if the House, especially, had been working for the country…instead of for their exclusive club…and instead of for the Koch Brothers.

Just think.

For once.

If you are this clueless after all this time, you will always be this clueless. The world isn’t just passing you by, it’s passing over your head.

And you just sit there…engorging yourself with Fox News lies and Koch Brothers treachery.

I pity you.

So very much.

~ Philip Grecian

Finally over THAT hump …

Today was the day, kids — Quasimodo for the win!!  The cunning little Basal Cell Surprise has been routed, three cheers for the good guys!

Muy painful, but that won’t last long, right?  The eye will remain surgically closed for the next six to eight weeks while the graft (skipping right over the details here) establishes itself.  Meanwhile, functioning with one eye when I’m used to two is an adventure in staying upright.  Depth perception and a gyro are dicey for me on a good day, so all respect to people who manage to excel at this!

Wanna see what the MOHS procedure-thing looks like?  Holy cow, what a poor sport!

Okay, I’ll just post it for my aunt and that one friend …

DISCLAIMER: Possibly NSFW

WARNING: GROSS!!  ICKY!!

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CAN YOU NOT READ???

And yet here you are … lord knows I tried.

Sharing to say this:  IF YOU HAPPEN TO NOTICE AN ODD BUMP, DON’T IGNORE IT.

 

 

 

 


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Here’s a picture of Maltese puppies to make up for that! 

 

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On a sunny Tuesday afternoon in January …

So tell me you’ve been finding every opportunity to dance since last week — it’s such a good habit to get into!  By dance I mean sparks of any sort inside the person that is you.  You give your heart permission to feel not just okay, but fabulous, even if it’s only a hit-and-run, and should it leak out your fingers and toes, by all means … make rhythm out of it.

It’s a bits & pieces Tuesday.  Here’s a glorious bit that Mary Oliver wrote about her partner of forty years, Molly Malone Cook, that makes my heart dance.  “The dance” is often The Blues …

“She was style, and she was an old loneliness that nothing could quite wipe away; she was vastly knowledgeable about people, about books, about the mind’s emotions and the heart’s. She lived sometimes in a black box of memories and unanswerable questions, and then would come out and frolic — be feisty, and bold.” 

I love that so much.

And these two pieces made my brain boogie today …

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Is it just me or is there a connection in all these jangly bits?    Seriously, anything’s possible when your brain dances with your heart.

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The Monday (anti)rant …

There is no rant in me today, because the sun is shining and the doors are open and life is good.  I could find something to bitch about if I wanted to, but I haven’t found the want to.  I hope you don’t want to either, because look at this tiny green beast that reminds me of my little dog.  If you happen to have either one, you know exactly what I mean!

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Sunday scenic …

Sometimes I like finding nightmarish photos that creep me out, because it just feels so gosh darn good to know I’ll never have to set foot in those places.  I mean, work with me, universe.  Rehab has been mentioned, but I happen to know it doesn’t do any good unless the rehab-ee is on board with the whole thing, and it’s a perfectly harmless little habit.  I’m not giving it up, because when that Zen rush hits, it’s just too good.  Perspective is everything.

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Sweet, sweet tapioca …

Are there dishes from your childhood you’d give your right earlobe to duplicate?  (Don’t fear it, Stephen Colbert’s doing okay without his.)  I finally came across my mom’s potato pancakes when we moved here — miraculously, they’re made every morning by the nice folks at The Roost, just up the street — who knew?

Still looking for a few things, most of them cooked up by one of my vimmens … the collection of interesting females who shaped my concept of personhood, for good and ill.  My grandmothers, my mom, my aunts … they’re a warm honey-pot in my heart, part perfume, part tears, part crazy, part food.  Like peach cobbler.  I have my grandma’s recipe, but not her homegrown peaches that I helped pick and blanch and slice.  So there’s that, but it’s fixable, except for the grandma part.

Still-warm lemon-meringue pie that’s at least four inches high, baked from scratch with my mom’s recipe.  Actually, somebody I know might have that recipe …

My Aunt Bette’s meatloaf.  That one could probably be solved, too.  The list gets really long, though, once I open the Food Memories file folder — might have to leave the rest of the salivating and crying for another day.  Meanwhile, here’s a thing I’ve looked for and tried to whip together and just happened across today because that’s how the universe works sometimes … the clone of my mom’s tapioca pudding, which, trust me on this, is equally incredible warm or cold.  But I like it warm.

Tapioca

tapioca pudding recipe

Notes from 12 Tomatoes, where I found the recipe:

“A dessert that’s a favorite among many is tapioca pudding. It’s similar to other sweet puddings like rice pudding to a degree, however there’s something unique to the taste of tapioca. What exactly is tapioca, though? It’s a starch harvested from the cassava plant.

Far too many tapioca pudding recipes call for an instant mix or come in the ‘instant’ variety. So much of the creamy, delicious flavor is lost this way. Instead, our recipe calls for small, pearl tapioca. This wonderful, sweet dessert is a great way to end a meal, or even as a night-cap before you head off to bed. Some tapioca requires soaking overnight. If that is the case, soak overnight and reduce the milk to 2 1/2 cups.”

 

http://12tomatoes.com/2014/04/dessert-recipe-sweet-tapioca-pudding.html 

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I don’t remember dancing …

Did we dance on Tuesday?  I don’t think we danced on Tuesday …

It isn’t an insignificant omission, is the thing.  Because life really IS a dance and if we let the silliness fall off our cracker even once, we could be setting ourselves up for a lifetime of resting bitch face.  Yeah, see, we meant to have fun but we forgot.  And then our faces got bored with smiling and now we feel powerless to, you know, like, fix any of that.

Seriously.  Okay, the rules have changed then — we’ll just dance ANY old day and preferably EVERY day, and even if we happen to forget once in a while, RBF won’t have time to set in!  It’s important, and I’m thinking this could be a breakthrough.  Register your opinion in comments!

 

beautiful story

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Still slightly displaced …

… but here’s a Thursday Throwback while we wait — my Great-Grandma Cummings holding little me.  That, of course, was my I-am-so-done face, which may or may not resurface from time to time.  I love my GG’s wonderful outfit and her sweet face.  And after seeing this photo a kazillion times, I all-at-once get who she reminds me of — Mrs. Doubtfire!  I love that.  I love it so much.   

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Dear Diary,

It’s been a jumbled week since I last sat here with you, my un-judgy alter ego, and you aren’t the only one I’ve neglected.  Three straight days of seeing doctors from Wichita to Kansas City, helping a friend get moved, no in-house wifi all weekend, feeling behind on all my projects BECAUSE I AM, trying to keep chilblains from claiming my extremities (because sometimes I have to step away from the fireplace), it’s been grueling.  I can’t even get my head wrapped around it enough to describe it to you.  I might as well just sign off and go look for a recipe.

Back later, of course … because you’re the only one who actually gets me.

x0x0x

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HumpDay Drivel

Yesterday was a little crazy-making and today is a deep-freeze.  Applying coffee, a hot shower, and M&Ms, and trusting that the immediate world will right itself before day’s end.  Snuggle up, kids, might as well make the best of another HumpDay!

So an attorney and a senior citizen are sitting next to each other on a long flight.  The lawyer’s thinking that older people are so out of touch he could easily get one over on this guy.

He asks the retiree if he’d like to play a fun game.  The guy’s tired and just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and tries to catch a few zzz’s.

The lawyer persists, however, saying that the game is too much fun to miss out on.  “I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me only $5.00.  Then you ask me one, and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll pay you $500.00,” he says.

This catches the man’s attention so to keep the annoying passenger quiet he agrees to play the game with him.
The attorney asks the first question.  “What’s the distance from the Earth to the Moon?”
The senior doesn’t say a word, just reaches into his pocket, pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the lawyer.

Now it’s the older guy’s turn. He asks the lawyer,  “What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?”
The lawyer googles everything he can think of but can’t find the answer.  He sends e-mails to all his smart friends, to no avail.
After an hour of searching, he finally gives up.  He wakes his fellow traveler and hands him $500.00.

The senior pockets the $500.00 and goes right back to sleep.
The lawyer is going nuts now, not knowing the answer.  He wakes the guy up again and asks, “Well, so what DOES go up a hill with three legs and come down with four??”

The weary older guy reaches into his pocket, hands the lawyer $5.00, and goes back to sleep.

(Shared by my friend and fellow old person, Rudy Loewen)

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Life in the unicorn nursery …

Today we get the pathology on my eyelid biopsy and find out where it goes from here — nowhere, or back for more carving.  Either way, we dance — it’s Tuesday.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, if anything potentially negative is coloring your day, focus on the unicorns!

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A self-rant …

2015 looks fine so far, relatively speaking, but there is much to do as the year rolls by.  Each of the eight points delineated by Neil is a rant aimed specifically at me — a kick in the shorts toward a more focused writing experience.  So on January 5, 2016, remember to ask me how I feel!

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Good Writing Practices:

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Still thinking about the year ahead …

Journeys

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Devils on Horseback

From the brilliantly clever people at The Crepes of Wrath … Bacon-Wrapped Dates!  With surprises!!

 

bacon-wrapped dates

No wonder these little beauties are known as “Devils on Horseback” — they pack a powerful, naughty punch with spiced poached pears, crispy bacon, and sweet, chewy dates. Recipe here.

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A story for the new year …

Dandelion_wine

 

 

Μaybe old people were never children, like we claim with Mrs. Bentley, but, big or little, some of them were standing around at Appomattox the summer of 1865. They got Indian vision and can sight back further than you and me will ever sight ahead.”

“That sounds swell, Doug; what does it mean?”

Douglas went on writing. “It means you and me ain’t got half the chance to be far-travelers they have. If we’re lucky we’ll hit forty, forty-five, fifty. That’s just a jog around the block to them. It’s when you hit ninety, ninety-five, a hundred, that you’re far-traveling like heck.”

The flashlight went out.

They lay there in the moonlight.

“Tom,” whispered Douglas, “I got to travel all those ways. See what I can see. But most of all I got to visit Colonel Freeghleigh once, twice, three times a week. He’s better than all the other machines. He talks, you listen. And the more he talks he gets you to peering around and noticing things. He tells you you’re riding on a very special train, by gosh, and sure enough it’s true. He’s been down the track, and knows. And now here we come, you and me, along the same track, but further on, and so much looking and snuffling and handling things to do, you need old Colonel Freeleigh to shove and say look alive so you remember every second! Every darn thing there is to remember! So when kids come around when you’re real old, you can do for them what the colonel once did for you. That’s the way it is, Tom, I got to spend a lot of time visiting him and listening so I can go far-traveling with him as often as he can.”

Tom was silent a moment. Then he looked over at Douglas there in the dark.
“Far-traveling, you make that up?”

“Maybe yes and maybe no.”

“Far-traveling,” whispered Tom.

“Only one thing I’m sure of,” said Douglas, closing his eyes, “it sure sounds lonely.”

(Ray Bradbury, “Dandelion Wine”, 1946)

… grateful to my friend Angela Petraline for sharing

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