lilacs in bucket

lilacs in bucket

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lovely Food, lovely food, and yes, we have peas in it



This is easy-peasy chicken tretrazinni. Easy-peasy, those are the by-words to this whole operation.


Okay, here is what I did. You can do it too.


A deli-rotisserie chicken.

2 slices bacon, browned and diced.

1/2 a medium size onion.

1/2 cup mushrooms, diced, more or less. If you like mushrooms, add more.

6 TBSP butter.

1/2 cup flour.

1 c. Chicken stock.

3/4 c.White wine (pinot grigio, probably)

3 c. milk

parmeson cheese

16 oz. linguine, broken in half

1 bag frozen peas

Thyme

Salt

Pepper


Cook the linguine for about 7 minutes, drain.


Preheat oven to 400°. Slice and brown your bacon, drain, set your bacon on a plate. Melt your butter in a large fry pan. Throw down the onions, and mushrooms. Let that go for about five minutes, until the onions begin to become transulcent. And then, down with the flour. Slowly, pour in your milk, wine and chicken stock. Begin to season with a little thyme, salt and pepper. Burner goes to high, let it bubble, and thicken, turn your burner down, stirring constantly. Once the mixture starts to thicken, throw in about 2 cups parmesan cheese. Start trimming the chicken from the bone, throw that in as well, with the browned bacon. If your linguine is done, throw that in. Season and reseason depending on your palate. In with the peas. Dump it all into a casserole dish. Top with more parmesan cheese. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes, or until the top is browned.


Accompany with good bread, one with a crusty top and meaty insides, a salad, and a glass of wine. Enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Patterns



My mother passed away this year, on February 22, 2011.


That statement, in and of itself, that my mother, the backbone of my existence, had passed away, still kicks me in the head, leaving me breathless, still on this 20th day of May, 2011.


Funny thing, something I have observed throughout the years. Even numbered years, those years are hard years for me; I don't know why, neccessarily. I lost a job in an even-numbered year; normally I make less money in even-numbered years; I get my heart broken a lot more in even-numbered years...it sounds silly, but, seriously, even-numbered years typically speaking are not stellar years for me.


Well then. 2011 should have been a good year, right? I mean, it's an odd-numbered year, right? It started out good, yes? Things, all things, should proceed according to the abundance plan of action, yes?


Uh yeah. Hunh.


Of course, yes. Well, then, my mother died, and all things changed, moving in accordance to another plan, a plan not my own, not of my making, not of my wishes. Out of my control. I didn't ask for it, wouldn't wish it, but it came anyway, that being the loss. In an odd-numbered year.


Next year, being an even-numbered year, well, it has me wondering what will befall me then. Am I borrowing trouble to wonder? I don't know...


What do you observe about your life, what do you see as patterns in your life?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tribute to the Sunny Girl







This morning I was astonished to realize that my precious Sunny- girl could no longer jump up on the bed to herald me to awakeness. Instead, she remained on the floor, peering up over the top of the bed, whining to be let out for her early morning pee, rather than jumping up and leveling my belly with her two front paws as she once did, every single Saturday and Sunday morning for years and years and years.



This new occurence tells me that I don't have too many more Mays with her, not too many springs and summers, falls and winters. She will turn 12 on July 29th, after all. That may not seem old to other dog owners but, for Sunny, I see the turning of the leaves, the orange fur turning white, the once golden snout becoming more grey, those once bright eyes becoming darker and more autumn-like as the days fly by.


I told a friend before my mother passed, that I believed my losses would go this way: my wonderful mother first, my beloved dog second, and my dear father last. I see now that, since my mother is gone (this past February), that it is now my dog, and my precious father remaining but that Sunny is no longer able or interested in defending my property against intruders. It is harder and harder for her to mount the back steps, she prefers sleeping at my feet above nearly all...she contends with Ella but she'd rather not and her protests about same amount to merely a whine sometimes.


Sunny has been my constant companion for nearly twelve years, the keeper of my secrets, the bearer of all that is me, the only being in my world who hasn't judged me for any of it. I find myself more often than not, lying down with her, spooning as it were, with my faithful friend. Even now, as Ella barks out the front window at some non-existent threat (a bird hopping about in the front yeard, maybe or just the wind blowing a branch past the front window), Sunny remains sleepy, posed on the brink of reality, tired and quiet.


When the day comes that she is no longer trotting happily by my side, when I can no longer stroke that blessed velvet head, I will be truly (again) berefit.


Have you had a pet that meant everything to you? If so, tell me about it.



Friday, May 6, 2011

Words, Images, Ideas, Inspiration



If I, as a writer, a fellow in this writing community, could inspire one thing of my fellow writers, it would be that I would say to you, the writer that you are, love words. Love imagery, love ideas, explore your senses, find inspiration in those elements. Search it out when you are taking a walk, talking on the phone to your child, eating your breakfast, drinking your coffee, listening to the car radio on your way to work. Think about words and what meaning words bring to you when you see a brilliant sunset, when you hear your baby or grandbaby cry for the first time, when you finger a delicate lace, when you smell leaves burning.


Never censor yourself. This is paramount. It's important for me to tell you this, those of us who live in the "Bible Belt" where there is a church on every corner and everyone you know goes to church and considers themselves "good," better than the next guy anyway. No, never censor yourself. If your character says, "shit" (example) then you tell the world he says "shit." Have you ever, in all your life, hammered your own thumb and said, "oh my, look at this, I hammered my own thumb." Good grief, give me a break. It's all about being real, after all. We as writers must be real above all. Above all.


Give yourself freedom. Enjoy yourself in your writing. I am never going to scream at you about formatting or using the word"was" because that word is used all the time and it is published by well published authors exactly that way. "Had been" I might shriek about, simply because it doesn't resonate well in a reader's mind, but I will not tell you to not use "was." Sometimes that is the only word you can use.


Do not feel pressure to "format." No, this is a really easy deal, if you are computer savvy at all. Simply set your margins, set your paragraph spacing, choose your font, at the beginning. There is no reason to "format as you go" unless you do not understand word processing. Don't stress about it in any case. Just get the words out of your gut and onto the page, computer or long-hand. You can revise later but it is so important to just get the words out of your head/heart/gut and get them onto a paper of some sort.


Now people, fellow writers, just know that it is the story that is important. If you have a story to tell, simply tell it. Tell it from your heart or your gut. Easy enough, right? Just let it flow and let it go.


Seriously.


What say ye?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Beautiful Fairy Tale


What a week. So many things to write about, so little space...

The Royal Wedding. Okay, so some may scoff and I also tend to make fun of it (no, I'm making fun of myself more than it), but here in the US we got a little break from the mundane, the every day grind, the fact that nobody in America is royalty, and the closest family we ever had to royalty, well, they tend to die young and tragically and leave a mess in their wake.

So.

Let's celebrate young love and hope and promise and let's just have fun with it, shall we?

I began on facebook and I said something about how I couldn't find my "good tiara," and how my butler, Jeeves, had already left me to fend for myself in searching for the wretched tiara. Not the camo one, I said, the good one. Where did the fictional Jeeves go anyway? Probably out drinking a pint at the local pub, oblivious and uncaring to my very important distress. After searching ALONE for some time, I located a tiara made from newspaper, which I decided would have to do for the royal nuptials. Well. I then planned to move forward with my diatribe about how, when Jeeves finally returned, how he had no idea how to navigate the minivan (seriously, I don't own one of these) across the Atlantic (is he not FROM there???), and how we got stranded in Ireland and although the grass was plenty green there, I was not pleased and demanded a ferry to jolly old England. The planned ending to the whole thing was that Jeeves and I arrived, albiet very, very late and no one was at the cathedral when we arrived, my newspaper tiara was in ragged wet tatters, and so.

I missed the whole damned thing. In my make believe diatribe, that was.

Well, in reality, I watched it all. Sucked it up, every single moment of it. How beautiful Catherine was, how handsome William was...the ceremony, the pomp, the tradition...the fairy tale. How, when she got into the carriage, she was so sweet to everyone around her, those arranging her train, William holding her flowers, all those wanting to make sure the new Princess was comfortable. Oh my.

What were your reactions to the Royal Wedding?