When I graduated high school, Mom and Dad gave me a really nice sewing machine, and Aunt Helen, Mom’s sister, gave me my first cookbook.
She Cooks By Ear was written by my Uncle Buddy’s cousin, Frances S. James, and Aunt Helen got her to autograph it for me.
There is great cooking advice and many great recipes between its covers, but, as you can see by all the stains, this is the family favorite. Most often it was made just as a chicken gumbo, but we did make the full recipe for company and special occasions. (Except for the oysters. Oysters are nasty.)
Today I made the full recipe (with the previously noted exception) as a celebration for the bright-and-shiny New Year 2021. We had our requisite black-eyed peas yesterday, but this tastes way better.
I decided I want to make friends with crows so they can bring me bright-and-shiny presents.
I told Steve I wanted some kind of feeding platform in front of my writing window, so I would be able to see the crows when they come to eat the peanuts that I read would lure them. He kindly obliged.
We did not get crows, but we did have blue jays visit.
What I didn’t consider was how interested Gracie would be in the peanuts. I thought she was just guarding the backyard from the squirrel invaders, until I saw her eating off the board when she thought I wasn’t looking.
Obviously, an alternate strategy was called for. So, I bought a hanging feeder.
Steve dismantled the low platform, found the shepherd’s hook, and we were good to go. Except the birds stopped visiting. Back to the drawing board.
After some engineering and hard work on Steve’s part, we now have a new feeding platform.
Within a couple of days, we started having visitors!
This titmouse pair are now regulars at the feeder. I put out about ten peanuts when I first sit down for Morning Pages, and they almost always show up before I’m done.
This morning was especially exciting, because the jays have finally returned! Not only that, but in addition to my titmouses and the jays, a woodpecker stopped by, and I saw a cardinal pair watching the goings-on from across the yard. I may have to start buying more peanuts.
So, today I cut up my first fresh pineapple And it really wasn’t all that hard to do First cut off both ends, then trim away the sides, and slice as you like Eventually, you’ll have a plate full of sweet, luscious, juicy bites
Watch out for the slippery juice, though Or you’ll lose your heavenly ambrosia bits to the floor Right where the dogs are waiting, waiting, waiting for any little morsel to Drop
Still catching up with OctPoWriMo, I offer this playful acrostic based on prompts for the sense of taste: delectable, tantalizing, explosive, creamy, bitter, sour.
Tags in clothes are scratchy Wool is itchy Socks choke my ankles Shoes smother my feet Turtlenecks try to strangle me And don’t get me started on bras or shapeware I really don’t like wearing clothes much at all
When I go out All the people, at the store, at the mall, everywhere They’re all trying to breathe my air Or pollute it with their perfumes, colognes, aftershave Getting too close, bumping into me Don’t even say excuse me
And the big box stores, with all their stock jammed everywhere Fifteen-foot shelves crammed with stuff So many colors, shapes, sizes, choices So overwhelming
I can maybe go to the mall, on a Tuesday afternoon Except in November, December or early January Or when there’s some big sale I’d rather pay extra, thanks anyway
So, really, while I don’t like the idea of having to stay home all the time Not having a choice in the matter The truth is Sheltering in place, keeping safe, minimal outside contact I’ve kinda been training for this my whole life
Catching up some more. OctPoWriMo offering based on a prompt on exploring touch. Kinda free-verse, kinda prose, kinda Friday night free-for-all.
I love the mockingbird’s bright tune The fussing of the squirrels in my Backyard
Big band music gets me moving With blues and swing, I find my own Rhythm
Children laughing, puppies yipping Church choirs singing, filling the air With joy
Airplanes roaring overhead Hot rods revving up their engines So loud!
My lover’s voice, just a whisper Caressing my heart strings, touching My soul
All this, creation’s song of songs The theme that fills our days with life And love
Y’all have heard of tinnitis, right? Ringing or buzzing in the ears Growing
Mine is like a cicada’s song At least I’ll never be lost in Silence
Still playing OctPoWriMo catch-up! At least I’m not falling any further behind. Today, on the 22nd, I offer poem #19, in a form called Synchronicity, based on sensing your surroundings and the prompts: roar, dripping, rough, smooth, dark, putrid, sweet, stale
Write Your tears Or your fears Pencil or pen Clear the pain of the years But where to start, where to begin It doesn’t matter, you know where you’ve been And you know that you want to escape from the night To find yourself and your feelings again Remember how you felt back then The skies and your mind clear Remember when Grace appeared Revered Right
More OctPoWriMo catching up. A Diatelle poem, based on an invitation to explore how you process your feelings, and the prompts: rejuvenate, reboot, breathe, meditation, process, healing