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Happy birthday, blog.

February 25th, 2015

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Yeah, you’re neglected, dear blog. Your 10th birthday was Valentine’s Day, and did I even remember? Nope.

Well, it’s still February, so happy (belated) birthday, baby. I promise I’ll start writing again, soon.

xo

wm

Sunday book review, movie round-up & anything else i can throw in here. Happy 2015!

January 11th, 2015

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“We are the night ocean filled
with glints of light. We are the space
between the fish and the moon,
while we sit here together.”

– Rumi

“Bottom line is we’re all flawed in this world. No one’s perfect,” film director Richard Linklater, accepting his Golden Globe award for directing, “I want to dedicate this to parents that are evolving everywhere and families that are just passing through this world and doing their best.”

I’ll see how many categories I can hit here… Ready? Ready-steady-go!

* Pacific Ocean: It’s beautiful. It makes me happy, i love my negative ions i get from the ocean, and the wildlife is so fun to watch. The sea lions in that picture are making what’s called a “raft.” They all hold onto each other and float around. Hippies :)

* Book review? Here’s what on my nightstand (and on the Kindle): Re-read “Wild,” re-reading “Torch,” re-reading Carol Shields magnum opus, “Unless,” reading “Quiet” and learning all kinds of stuff about introverts, extroverts, high reactives and the modern age, just finishing Dreiser’s “An American Tragedy,” genius, and… that’s all I can think of.

* Recipes:

Oven-Fried Spuds (excellent, best potato recipe ever)
Soup! (Steve’s recipe. This one clears up your head, fast)

1 onion, sliced thin
1 bulb garlic
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
6 cups water

Saute onion and garlic (I like whole cloves, but you can chop or press) on low until soft. Add bouillon cubes and squish. Add water and bring to boil. Can be garnished with fresh slices of jalapeno for an extra sinus kick. Wasabi would be good, too.

Reduce water and bouillon by half to thicken.

* Work… is going well. Super well. I love working at a school (computer lab again this year), I’m with the best staff and boss in the universe (no I’m not saying that because they might read this — they really are gifted, funny, smart, wonderful with the students and everything else I was hoping for) and I love that my students are willing to work on my Spanish with me. #yohabloespanolmasomenos

* My own kids… are great. Whoever said, “Eh, you think that when they’re little they really need you, but when they’re teenagers? That’s when they really need you,” that person was so smart. (Seriously, probably 20 people said that to me when the kids were toddlers, and I thought they were joking.)

* Nekkid Neighborsremember them?

* Sex? Not at work, people, keep that in mind, always. Or with the Nekkid Neighbors. Just a bad idea, aight? Lol. We’ve been watching Californication on Netflix, and swear to God, every time I watch it, I feel like I’ve been in an orgy, and it was kind of great, but equally horrible. Yeah.

* Speaking of pop culturemovies. We saw “Wild,” loved it, “Nebraska,” also great, “Boyhood,” one of the best movies I’ve ever seen in my life. Seriously.

* Holidays: How can 2015 be a real year? It’s so space-age sounding.

* And in the category of Pets, Stupid… Our sweet, loving, funny Wacky Cat 2 passed away last month. I keep looking for him, thinking I see him, missing him. It just sucks.

* Houses & Homes: We’re cleaning & rearranging & opposite-of-hoarding like mad right now because we’re moving again.

In five years.

But, as one of my 80-something-year-old neighbors told me after New Year’s, “Every year, I don’t know what it is. The days go slower and the years go faster.” Then he gave me a big smile, I smiled back, and he pedaled off on his bike. I know just what he means.

All for now, xo,

wm

did you know no one ever blogs anymore? and here’s a book round-up for you… On the Nightstand

October 6th, 2014

that’s right. Blogging is so four years ago, with the exception of those of us who still keep our online journals: Zoot, Y from the Internet, who I’ve known for so long I call her that, Amalah, Doocie, and me.

The big five, baby, that’s where we’re at. Not the big 5-0, the big 5. Kidding.

I will persevere.

I mainly blog nowadays because I need the archives — especially for updates on my kids (my daughter is driving now, btw) (uh, it’s true. This little girl…), a cookbook (you can always buy a hard copy), school work, and whatever else I need. Quotes of the day, funny jokes. Ha. Funny to me jokes.

So you know that your Facebook archives aren’t really archives, right? And that your photos might or might not disappear eventually, if that’s where you’re storing them? Just saying.

So here’s what I’m working on reading this school year. And first things being, as always, first: the potboilers.

I read Theodore Dreiser’s “Sister Carrie” when I was an 18-year-old college freshman and knew everything. I would like to talk with that girl and have her answer a few of my several hundred questions, now that I know nothing. Dear Lord, what a difference between 18 and 50.

“You should see her ass in that dress.” — my friend Nicole, to my then-lover, talking about me and my brand-new little black dress, circa many years ago. We were at a bar downtown. It may have been the Virginia Cafe. Or Hamburger Mary’s, or the Veritable Quandary, or that place where they served the delicious little Cornish game hens? The Vat & Tonsure. Then (to me): “You hit 27 and your ass just falls. I don’t know what it is.”

My main concerns then:
1) how am i going to get these bills paid?
2) where are the parties this weekend?
3) what about this “27 changes everything” thing? (defer)
4) why does she (neighbor/friend/family member/co-worker) put up w/ that shit? (from spouse/children/grown children/neighbors/co-workers)

I have to go water the yard now, and write more when I get back. No more bars, just chores, out here on the farm. I could really use another load of manure for the east 40.

Back! So. “Sister Carrie,” which I always throw together with “Portrait of a Lady,” “Anna Karenina,” “Madame Bovary” and “The Awakening”… Well, it’s its own animal. I just love the book.

Finished it up, and on to “An American Tragedy” (also Dreiser), which I’ve been meaning to read ever since I saw the Elizabeth Taylor/Montgomery Clift classic, “A Place in the Sun.” God, it’s brilliant, too. So I’m happy, with lots to read. And I have a good excuse (for the moment) to put off reading all of these for work (ps check out this week’s issue of The Nation. On the cover: “Saving Public Schools: A Growing Movement Confronts the Failure of ‘Reform’”:

Being Bad: My Baby Brother and the School-To-Prison Pipeline: Being Bad (Teaching for Social Justice)
by Crystal T. Laura
Powells.com

Bon appetit!

– wm

day off…

October 11th, 2013

…means I need to clean the house. I don’t wanna. What’s new with you, Internets?

Daisy with mites

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Post #2,085, Recipe Club: Babs’ Onion Gravy, Haystacks (no-bake cookies) (blogging day 23…)

November 23rd, 2012

Two thousand and eighty-five posts, that’s insane. Who writes that much? I mean, granted, I’ve been at this since… (stopping to look up dates) Valentine’s Day, 2005, which is, uh, I can’t add that high, it’s late at night.

EIGHT YEARS this coming October. I mean February. And sure, that’s a lot of (hours, days, months) years, but don’t you think 2,085 posts is a little over-the-top? Discuss amongst yourselves. Here’s another of Steve’s lovely pictures. Man, he has a good eye. Thank God. I barely know how to use the camera on my phone. My little techie students were jumping around in front of their computers. “We’re taking pictures of ourselves!” Sure you are, kids, please sit down. Turns out they really were — webcams installed on the fronts of all the computers. Yes, I’m a trained professional.

TG on MH

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Recipes…

Here are the menus for the weekend, and here are two fast recipes for you. No, don’t serve them together, obviously.

Onion Gravy, from Babs (for Shepherd’s Pie, smashed potatoes, or any other dishes)

1 medium onion
2 1/2 cups broth
4 tablespoons white flour
1/2 stick butter

Carmelize onions in about 1/4 of the butter. Add flour and rest of butter, stir in, make a roux.

Whisk in broth a little at a time. Bring to boil, then simmer until thick. Done! Bon appetit!

Haystacks (No-bake cookies, from Shawnee TX at Food.com)

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
1 dash salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup flaked coconut

Directions

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, cocoa (I tend to go a little heavy on the cocoa) and salt.
Heat to boiling, stirring frequently.
When it has reached a rolling boil, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove pan from heat and mix in vanilla, oats and coconut.
Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.
Work quickly!
Let cool.
Alternate/optional additions, add any one with coconut: 1/2-3/4 cup mini marshmallows or 1/2 cup walnuts.

You know what line I love, there? Work quickly! I need the encouragement, thanks, hon. Really good recipe, but of course I can never leave well enough alone and had to sub half milk chocolate chips and half white chocolate chips for the cocoa. (I stirred them in after I took it off the heat.) Also left out the coconut because 1) we didn’t have any and 2) I thought the guys in my family didn’t like coconut. Turns out they do! So we’ll go that route next time…

Happy weekend! Hope you’re having fun, whatever you’re doing.

xo

wm

Post #2,084

November 22nd, 2012

I think I’ll start numbering all of them from now on.

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? We do, but without turkey and extended family. It’s less stress that way.

Recipes tomorrow, gotta go, Spocky.

Here’s to gratitude.

– wm

this is my 2,083rd post.

November 21st, 2012

does that seem like a lot to you?

Tuesday Book Review: “A Child’s Calendar,” “Nighttime Ninja” and “Waking Dragons” (day 20: November blogging)

November 20th, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Talk about the opening of your favourite book.

“In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. They left the house at half past nine… The smallest one was Madeline…” — “Madeline,” Ludwig Bemelmans

“A Child’s Calendar” is a book of poetry by John Updike, with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman (Scholastic, unpaged, all ages). I use this book when I teach, and it’s just always what the students and I need on those days. You know the ones. When nothing is running on time, when plans go askew, when we don’t know exactly what it is we need or want. I recommend getting a copy of this for your home library and paging through it when you need to.

November

by John Updike

The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The loss of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
Nevertheless,
Displays a certain
Loveliness –

The beauty of
The bone. Tall God
Must see our souls
This way, and nod.

Give thanks: we do
Each in his place
Around the table
During grace.

“Nighttime Ninja” is a new release from Barbara DaCosta, with art by Ed Young (Little, Brown, 2012, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 3-6). Wacky Boy likes this one and says: “It doesn’t have any really big sentences, so that’s good for the younger readers. The illustrator was really creative with the collage art.” The illustrations were done in cut paper, textured cloth, string and colored pencil.

This is DaCosta’s first children’s picture book. The story is sweet and engaging. Young, who was born and raised in China, moved to America as a young adult, in order to pursue his art. Success! He has illustrated more than eighty books for kids. “The House Baba Built” is about his childhood in Shanghai. He is a Caldecott medalist (for “Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China”) and also wrote “The Emperor and the Kite.” My favorite work by Young is “Seven Blind Mice.” He has been the U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award on two occasions, and has received a number of other award and honors for his work.

Jane Yolen’s latest work is “Waking Dragons,” which was illustrated by Derek Anderson (Simon & Schuster, 2012, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 4-8). Another hit with my son, who says: “It also doesn’t have any big sentences, so it’s good for the younger kids. The drawings are really good.”

I’m a fan of Yolen’s — everything she’s ever done, basically, as I’ve written here before. How many writers can you say that about? Her dinosaur series (“How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You,” “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight,” and others)? Just perfect. Her newest is just as fun as the others.

“Don’t forget
to
wake the dragons
before school.
Love,
Mom”

the book begins, and you know you’re going to enjoy going along for the ride. Derek Anderson (who also illustrated the “Little Quack” series) did a lovely job on the paintings. They’re whimsical and won’t scare the littles.

day 18: November blogging, and another Recipe Club

November 18th, 2012

Fly Amanita

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

My daughter and I go to church; my husband and son go to nature church. Whatever works for you. Getting excited for Thanksgiving, and Steve’s birthday is this week, too. No turkey for us; the kids requested macaroni and cheese. No, not mine. The kind from a box. It’s a holiday, they can have whatever they want. Steve and I will make Shepherd’s Pie (with root vegetables and vegetarian gravy, with spuds on top), stuffing, squash and Pumpkin Mousse with ice cream. For his birthday, his request is always Vegetarian Meatloaf and Polenta. I’ll make a Pear Crisp with ice cream for dessert.

Giving thanks… for food. Shelter. Family. Love. And our three cuddly cats.

17th day of bloggin’ — Saturday Recipe Club

November 17th, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tell us about the best meal you ever cooked.

Probably this one.

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