Say It

Talk to me, friends. I love this piece by John White, blogged on his site doubleupoet.wordpress.com. Tell me what you think.

DoubleU = W

It’s not so hard to admit,

When you are being honest,

Though it can make you feel weak,

And at another’s mercy.

The grim coldness of it all,

Its utter finality,

A heartless uncaring hand,

Taking you away from here.

Say it:

You, Friend, just like I, fear death.

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Goodbye Candy Crush

Today is a momentous day. I’ve deleted Candy Crush and its demented sister, Soda Crush, from my electronic devices. Gone, as well, is Bejeweled Blitz. Snap! Just like that.

Now that I’ve discovered the joy of cooking for Studly Doright I want to spend my hours in pursuit of the perfect Studly-pleasing recipes. That and I need to get up and move more. My chair and I are starting to look like conjoined twins connected at the ass.

I must admit when I hit the little “x” on the quivering Candy Crush app icon my heart squeaked in protest. After all I was on Level 657. Let that sink in. If every level took just one minute to solve, and if I’d solved each of those levels on the first try that would have been 657 minutes of my life spent playing Candy Crush. But I spent WEEKS on many levels. I could have earned a Masters Degree in the time I spent playing Candy Crush alone.

And that was just one game. Soda Crush required roughly the same time commitment, and Bejeweled Blitz, well, it was addictive on a whole different level. Some nights I’d lie awake trying to picture ways to boost my scores. Fruitless, pointless, insomnia-inducing thoughts.

I’m sure there will be some withdrawal issues. My fingers might have to learn to relax, and my eyes to refocus. There was one game I didn’t delete, though. I’ve kept Words With Friends. It seems to serve some educational purpose. How else would I know that qi and qat were words?

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Peace, People!

Smack Dab in the Middle

First place rules
Last place sucks
Somewhere in the
Middle is the norm.
I’ve certainly found
Myself there
More than once.
I can count on one hand
The times the blue ribbon
Has been placed in my care.
Yet seldom have I come in at
The pack’s end. The
Absolute centerpoint has
Entertained me more than a
Few times over these
Many years.
How should I feel then?
Content? Restless?
Unfulfilled?
Human.

And then there is Steelers Wheel’s take on this:

Stuck in the Middle With You

Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.

Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
And I’m wondering what it is I should do,
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place,
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Well you started out with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please…. Please…..

Trying to make some sense of it all,
But I can see that it makes no sense at all,
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor,
‘Cause I don’t think that I can take anymore
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Well you started out with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please…. Please…..

Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you,
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
Stuck in the middle with you.

I never realIzed they were Scottish!

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Cooking for Studly: An Update

Since Thursday I have cooked three major meals for Studly. That might be a record-setting accomplishment for me. We’ve had roast chicken and potatoes, steak with some healthy veggies, and French dip sandwiches. I even have his meal for tomorrow night planned.

What has happened to the carefree, happy-go-lucky member of the No-cook Cathedral of the Coast? I guess I’ve been converted, baptized into the House of the Holy Homemaker.

I have had help from friends all over the country, indeed, from all over the world! Recipe suggestions, cooking tips, do’s and dont’s have been so welcome. I guess I’m not as alone as I imagined. Thank you friends!

Studly has raised an eyebrow at the amount of money I’ve spent on various cooking gadgets and ingredients. I told him the initial outlay would pay off in the long run.

I bought a new, larger crockpot, a tenderizing hammer, a new hand mixer (my old one was a wedding gift in ’76, and somewhere along the way I lost one of the beaters), a new grater, a new paring knife, and a new Calphalon saucepan to match the cookware we bought when we moved to Tallahassee.

My poor old mixer. Goodbye old chum.

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I’ve spent quite a bit on spices, too. And I’m making an effort to cook healthy. Continue to send good thoughts and recipes. I hope this is a journey and not just a phase.

Peace, People.

Aging Gratefully

When I am old
My cheekbones will be
Exquisite reminders of the
Beauty I never had,
My lips will quiver with
Unsaid words:
Apologies,
Explanations,
Regrets.
Unlike some,
I always knew I could
Not stay young forever.
I could always picture
The veiny hands,
Crepe-y skin,
Varicose legs
Beneath my youth.
Now I find myself
Somewhere between;
Not young
Not old,
Past the boundaries of one
On the brink of the other.
If I could I would
Not go back, but
I gladly go forward with
Small apologies for what I
Might have been, but no
Excuses for who I’ve
Become.

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Cooking for Studly: What, Again?

One would think that after I’d produced a beautiful roast chicken dinner on Thursday that I could rest on my ass, er, my laurels, for awhile, but noooo! Studly is asking what I plan on cooking tonight. Slave driver.

I did get a reprieve since Friday was pasta night at the golf club, and there is a steak in the fridge. All I need to make are a couple of side dishes. Of course Studly Doright would be quite happy with corn and a salad, but by golly if I’m going to cook, I’ll put some thought into it.

He needs the exposure to veggies, so I’ll fix a salad anyway. Now, what else? His little heart would flutter if I made a green bean casserole. I hate green bean casserole, but this is cooking for Studly, not cooking for Nana, after all.

I’ll cook some squash or Brussels sprouts in a little skillet for me. What do you call it when it’s not fried, just cooked with a little olive oil? Is that sautéing?

Any thoughts? Tips? Suggestions for mild, yet lingering fictitious maladies that might get me out of this cooking gig?

Peace, people!

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Occupied/Ocupado

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Picture this, if you will: You find yourself far from home and in need of using the restroom. Your only option is at a convenience store gas station. The bathroom is a one-seater, and you carefully lock the door behind you before placing at least three layers of tissue on the well worn public toilet seat. Even with the toilet thus protected you still hover slightly above the seat, anxious to keep a distance twixt your pristine nether cheeks and the oft used porcelain. Whew!

Then, someone turns the knob, or gives a polite knock. What is your response?

“Just a minute!”

“Someone’s in here!”

“Hold your horses!”

“Ocupado!”

My personal favorite is, “Hey, don’t get your panties in a wad!”

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I heard this question posed on NPR’s “A Way With Words,” last week. Surprisingly, a good many English speakers admit to saying “Ocupado” (Spanish for “Occupied”) in this situation. The hosts of the show thought perhaps this response could be traced to the bilingual labeling on restroom door locks on airplanes. It also could reflect Americans’ love of foreign phrases: ciao and adios for goodbye, for example.

I’m curious. What do you say in this bathroom scenario?

(Program plug: I highly recommend the program, “A Way With Words.” They can be found at http://www.waywordradio.org and on Facebook, as well. If you love words, like I love words, check them out.)

Just in case you need a bathroom etiquette guide, I found this one on Pinterest:

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Peace, people!

Looking American: On culture, nationality, and immigration

Worth a read, my friends. Reblogged from notesfromtheuk.com.

Notes from the U.K.

A few months ago, M. told me, “You’re looking very”—and here you have to imagine a short pause— “American today.”

When I stopped laughing, I asked what American looked like, and you can insert another, somewhat longer pause before you go on, because he had to think about it. Or else he was looking for a gentle way to say it.

“You walk as if the sun always shines on you and you own the world,” he said. Not unkindly, I should add, although from someone else it might have sounded like a complaint.

Semi-relevant photo: The sun shining on a herd of cows. (Actually, they were making sure we left their field, and I can't remember if the sun was shining on them or not--it looks like diffuse sunlight. Does that count?) Semi-relevant photo: The sun shining on a herd of cattle. Actually, they were making sure we left their field, and I can’t remember if the sun was shining on them or not–it looks like diffuse sunlight. That may or may not count.

The sun wasn’t shining on me that day. I’ll skip the details, because they’ll…

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A Walk in the Park

The weather this week in Tallahassee has been just beautiful. Temperatures have been in the low 70s with no wind, so I’ve been walking every day, which happens to be real exercise, or so I’ve been told.

Most days I just stroll around the neighborhood, but yesterday afternoon I left the crockpot on low to cook Studly’s much-anticipated dinner and drove into town so I could walk around Lake Ella.

Just about a mile from the Florida capital building sits this scenic little lake surrounded by gigantic oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. Lake Ella is a popular destination for walkers and bird watchers.

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Above is pictured my favorite feature of Lake Ella, a huge oak tree that spreads its generous branches near the ground for children to climb on and around. Such a sweet tree!

Little parks like Lake Ella are just a part of what makes Tallahassee so appealing to a girl from the arid southwest plains of The Texas panhandle. When I die, don’t bury my heart on the lone prairie, just spread my ashes somewhere near a lake. The little fish will love feasting on me!

Peace, people!

Cooking for Studly: A Rousing…

Success!

I’ve had three lovely glasses of wine, and can now report that dinner was a huge hit. Studly walked in the door and declared something “smelled good enough to eat!’ Thank goodness, since that was the intended purpose.

Truthfully, I thought the chicken was slightly overcooked, but Studly Doright declared it was just right. He is a fan of the slightly overcooked, you see. The seasonings were absolutely perfect. I believe I’ll add a little olive oil to the mix next time, maybe that will make it a little more moist. I’m open to suggestions.

There is one thing that’s missing–someone to clean the kitchen. I hardly ever have to do the clean up when we go out for dinner.

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Studly gave the meal two thumbs up!

Peace, people!