Thursday, March 31, 2016

Poetry Thursday, SPRING and almost APRIL...


To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Grief today

I was looking for a grief quote to post to someone's fb page - someone I don't know well, so I wanted it to be general but meaningful. I thought, let me look at the posts I have marked *grief* here as I had in mind a particular quote.  Usually, I would look through the *Poetry Thursday* but I hadn't been able to find the one I wanted, so I tried *grief* instead.

What a trip down the rabbit hole... I kept fearing the ground shifting, losing my bearing and falling back down into the hole.  But I did not.  Instead, with tears welling in my eyes, I witnessed the journey of my grief.

My grief journey began with shock ... trauma that knocked me down and deprived me of words.  I found solace in pictures, holding what had been and could be no more as closely as possible.

There is no vocabulary for this,
the no-langauge of grief.
I can reveal what my brain thinks
but where are the words for 
this vague pain I feel?
-Irene Earis
The Baffling Dead

Slowly, the pictures gave way to word postcards about the feelings -- words coming back before actual feelings.  I was holding my breath most days, hoping the next bad thing wouldn't annihilate me. 

Eventually, stories began to tumble out -- some here, some in real life, and tears... so many tears.  But painful tears.  And those stories were like daggers at the beginning.  Once again taking me to the depths of loss, plunging me into the darkness of sorrow and what could never be again.

So much pain, so much anguish, so few words could contain them.  I used quotes, poems, pictures to hold the place for the pain.

Life continued. I can hardly believe it has been almost three years since we lost my sister.  It was not that long ago that I was still living the dream/waking/nightmare where I would wake and believe it was a very bad dream, that she was not dead. And I saw her everywhere.  My mind unwilling to confront the truth.

And spending time with my beloved nieces and nephews was the bittersweet dark chocolate covering salty pretzels, joy and pain joined in these times my sister and brother could not know.

I can say it is not as hard, not like those times with no words, like that half awake time. The sucker punches less often catch me off guard.  I am learning to dodge the jagged edges of memories so they do not cut into my flesh, into my soul.

But the tears come more easily now. I miss them no less. I feel their loss no less acutely.  I just continue down the path hoping against hope someday their memories will bring me more bitter than sweet, more solace than pain. 

I am told I will get there someday ... changed irrevocably, but not diminished.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Poetry Thursday

If love were 
in the flesh 
I would burn 
it out 
with hot irons 
be at peace. 
But it is 
in the soul, 
~K Gibran
Jesus the Son of Man

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sweet Thursday and such...

"There's a Hole in Reality through which We Can Look if We Wish" [Title to Chapter 10 in the book Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck.

Sometimes when I am walking along and I see the clouds part in just the right way, these words pop into my head.

And I remember, like a wave of warm, amber-colored nostalgia rushing over me, this book.

It is a sense memory that makes my heart pump a little faster, of a time when life and happiness were so slippery for me.

When someone who I admired said, you should read this or you should read that. When that kind of recommendation felt like intimacy ... a closeness fifteen year olds crave but have no idea really about what it might mean.

 I confess that I don't really remember all that went on in this book.  Here's what I know for sure: it was in this book that I found out I love quirky characters, and that I feel at home in my mind and others do too!

It might be time to reread this book, and hope it is just as sweet at this point in my life.

P.S. when I was looking for links for this post, I came across this letter from Mr. Steinbeck to his son who was away at boarding school.  Who wouldn't want to get this kind of honesty, introspection and concern in a letter from your mom or pops?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Poetry Thursday

are only meant
for those
who love with their eyes.
Because for those
who love with
heart and soul,
there is no separation.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Pi[e] Day

If you know me, then you know I am a math-phob. However every March 14th, I try to do my part to support math lovers everywhere. 

Picture me taking a 3 mile walk (to offset in small part the calories I intended to consume) and visualizing the lemon pie I would eat. 

Then the patisserie was closed. 

No problem, try another place, NO - it's Monday, too many restaurants in walking distance closed. 

The coffee shop on the corner! They were open but no pie. The young woman working was sympathetic though. Try the grocery store she suggested, just a few blocks down. 

Now I am buying a whole pie and none of the "fresh" pies looked appetizing. Gonna have to eat the whole thing so it better be good. 

To the frozen section. Ugh. 

So I decided to buy the innards I wanted and use one of the prepared pie crusts my walkmg partner happened to have on hand. 

Despite my recent first, I am not a pie maker. I don't like making crusts. 

Internet a gave me some suggestions and I winged it. 

Peach and raspberry Pi[e].

Really more of a cobbler, but delicious nonetheless.  And it is all gone now. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

NRU Education

So, putting these here, not sure I can stand to read them... some I have read, and cringed.  Uyyy...

New LA superintendent is calling for a truce with charter schools... obviously this plea is aimed at the teachers' union ... I guess it doesn't matter if I show my bias because ya'll know how I feel already, but, really?!  In my opinion, and no it ain't humble, the charter schools in LA are like Netanyahu and can not be trusted not to blow up a school during a so-called truce.  Glad I am not in that negotiation meeting.

Harvard's bold plan to reform K-12 (yawn and eye roll), no, I have not read it.

A principal's meeting with a former student in the elevator, also have not read it yet, but I am considering it.

short but sweet but hoping to have a *real* post tomorrow or Wednesday ;)

Friday, March 11, 2016

NRU super mish mash

Too many of these have been open on my desk top, so some will make it here with minimal to no commentary -- but you will get the sense of what has caught my eye, at least...

This story, hard as it is to get through, is a fascinating look at the inside of an investigation -- both from the perspective of the detectives as well as the victims (though less so here).  It is also the companion piece to This American Life's episode (I haven't listened to it yet).

One of the many and varied jobs I had involved reading death certificates, and it was fascinating. So not hard to see why I would be interested in an article about what you can find in these.

Justice delayed and/or justice denied ... Guatemala's female war victims getting their day in court finally... what will become of Bill?

Uh oh ... P-22 apparently knows how to get into and out of enclosures at the LA Zoo and made a snack out of a koala... and some stupid councilman is suggesting P-22 be relocated.  I am not really the animal rights take priority person, but in this case, P-22 is not in the wrong.  The zoo officials admit as much but let politicians get their hands on this and it will not be good for our roguish, handsome cougar.  I love that guy so much!

In the ridiculousness corner I will put all the naked selfies (please no more, save it for your significant others, the ones you live with not the ones you tweet with - please), I put the ruckus over a Vanity Fair cover.  Really?! You know Donald Trump is about to become the GOP presidential candidate, and it is large measure because you are paying attention to this shit.

To commemorate her life (?), someone drug up an old piece Harper Lee wrote on love and published in Vogue in the 60s.  Here it is for you with love (of course).  If you need more love, here is something from the NYTimes (that is your beware it will be long message) about what women get from friends that they don't get from significant others...lastly, on the issue of love, a new series set in LA titled LOVE.

The rest still open on my desktop will just have to wait til next week... cover letters and resume edits and and and

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Poetry Thursday

I am digging 
the dirt to find 
a way to the sea, 
I see how 
the water of soul 
is imprisoned 
in the vortex 
of this body. 
It's your road, 
and yours alone. 

may walk it
with you, 
but no one 
can walk it 
for you.
 - Rumi

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

making pie out of limes...

While watering the plants last week (yes, before it started raining), I found several of these cute Mexican limes.

I guess I should call them dwarf limes.

Regardless, they are sweet and cute. And there were about five more inside the house.

What to do?

Make key lime, make that Mexican lime, pie! 

I almost forgot to take a picture of it. 

Only a few pieces missing in this picture. 

Only one piece left in real life.

Oh ... plus lovely house guest made the crust -- a unique creation of meyer lemon cookie and (triple) ginger snap cookie crust.


Tuesday, March 08, 2016

NRU the unexplained...

Don't ask where these came from ... I have been opening posts from fb again.  Not always the safest choice, but I enjoyed these.

This pieces is about near death experiences... and claims to relate to the oldest reported event.  Hard to gauge if this is really the earliest in the world, just in this person's experience.  Still interesting... and TNT what happened to that series I was watching?

Witches and women ... what is the deal? This piece tries to explain, if not untangle, the was history weaves women and it reviews the movie, The Witch.

How Catherine de Medici Made Gloves Laced with Poison Fashionable -- um, does this headline even need commentary??

Ok... my favorite author is doing research on Dorset and stumbled on this, plenty of unexplained goodness going on there.

Monday, March 07, 2016


from barrel tasting weekend...  these caught my eye, don't ask why...

I have been too busy drinking wine and hanging out with my friend to even get a NRU up... stay tuned.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Gifts from the universe

Tea time .... and my tea bag came with a little gift.
it was a bit of wisdom, or a reminder:


On that note, I am headed to barrel tasting in Sonoma county.  Only time will tell if I get wet or feel the rain! ;)

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Poetry Thursday

Sadness is 

but a wall 


two gardens. 

-Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Man v Nature

I have been wanting to take some pictures where humankind and plant life intersect, sometimes people want plants to grow in a particular way, or in a certain area, and sometimes plants just don't care. Sometimes people win, too, but not today:

Tuesday, March 01, 2016


why can't I take a focused picture? this is just done...

some raspberry jam for sweetness
I woke one day earlier this week thinking about what to make for breakfast.

I really wanted french toast but had no bread in the house. [It was a theoretically well-laid plan to keep me from carb loading for no good reason.]  

What could I possibly need in order to make pancakes?

in all their glory, a little blurry.

I look it up on my phone, Mark Bittman's recipe on the New York Times.

Flour, milk, baking powder, a bit of salt and sugar and some butter (optional).

Surely I had what I needed in the house.

Alas, there was barely enough milk for my coffee, so off to the store I went. Bought some bread, too, for good measure, and then girl scout cookies, too.

Oops... what happened to that well-laid plan??

pacing myself..

I used regular flour the first day, and the second day, I realized I could make these a healthier choice with whole wheat flour.

I used TJ's fancy berry medley with a little hot water to make a little sauce. 

Also added in a bit of raspberry jam for sweetness.  Yes, count those fibers ... whole wheat flour, berries... at least 15 g of fiber!

Super delicious... who knows what will happen next with the flour ... oat bran?

Why did I ever buy pancake mix??

Oh, and yes, I had thin mints for breakfast dessert... oops!