Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It is after lunch...

My Chair, 2013

I've eaten my lunch and although it was quite good I did not pay it much attention because I was perched on the edge of my bed pruning my reading list (it now holds 117 books) while eating.  A terrible idea.

Tomorrow I will enjoy my lunch as Charles Arrowby does in The Sea, The Sea, seated in a proper chair, a cloth napkin draped across my lap.

But for now I must get back to work.  I'd rather rent Oma & Bella, or return to The Sea, The Sea, or sleep for a bit.  No, work first.  Hmph.  I know in the end it is what will most please me.  Right after reading this excerpt one more time...

It is after lunch and I shall now describe the house. For lunch, I may say, I ate and greatly enjoyed the following: anchovy paste on hot buttered toast, then baked beans and kidney beans with chopped celery, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil. (Really good olive oil is essential, the kind with a taste, I have brought a supply from London.) Green peppers would have been a happy addition only the village shop (about two miles pleasant walk) could not provide them. (No one delivers to far-off Shruff End, so I fetch everything, including milk, from the village.) Then bananas and cream with white sugar. (Bananas should be cut, never mashed, and the cream should be thin.) The hard water-biscuits with New Zealand butter and Wensleydale cheese. Of course I never touch foreign cheeses. Our cheeses are the best in the world. With this feast I drank most of a bottle of Muscadet out of my modest “cellar.” I ate and drank slowly as one should (cook fast, eat slowly) and without distractions such as (thank heavens) conversation or reading. Indeed eating is so pleasant one should even try to suppress thought. Of course reading and thinking are important but, my God, food is important too. How fortunate we are to be food consuming animals. Every meal should be a treat and one ought to bless every day which brings with it a good digestion and the precious gift of hunger.

-- Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On Indiscretion

Open and Closed, 2013

Do you ever look into that tiny camera lens at the top of your laptop and wonder if it could be controlled from a remote location?  Do you then ponder how what you formerly believed to be your private indiscretions might be television or data collected for marketing purposes?

Your Lucky Charms.  Your unmade bed.  Your Lion Cat hair.  They could be recording each phone call you make, every snack you smear with peanut butter, and your looking in the hall mirror as you dance alone to the songs that require it.

I went down this path recently.  I knew it was ridiculous, but then I didn't.  So I stuck a small blue post-it note over the lens in question.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Good Morning

Fresh Squeezed Tangelo Juice, 2013

Do something nice for yourself today.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Evening

After 5:00, 2013

Looked at again and again half consciously by a mind thinking of something else, any object mixes itself so profoundly with the stuff of thought that it loses its actual form and recomposes itself a little differently in an ideal shape which haunts the brain when we least expect it.
-excerpt from Virginia Woolf's short story, Solid Objects

Wednesday Afternoon

Near Noon, 2013

My 3:00-3:30pm slump has arrived early today.  Noon!  I believe it is my shift in breakfast ingredients.  I should have eaten my beloved Müesli.

I'm becoming interested in the way my energy shifts throughout the day and trying to figure out how it links to food, exercise, sleep, etc.  My goal is to organize a more steady and efficient structure to my days.  If you've read any interesting books or articles on these subjects, please share.  

I've recently become quite addicted to Müesli, made my own particular way.  It powers me through a morning like no other breakfast.  My recipe is inspired by Sarah's recipe, and I've just begun adding ginger based on Megan's recipe.  It is all very flexible.  Play around with it. 

My  Müesli

Use a wide-mouth 1 pint jar with lid, or something similar, and begin by adding the dry ingredients to the jar.

6 ounces rolled oats
1 tablespoon raisins (I've tried dried pluots too--tasty!)
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (I use walnuts or almonds)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (black, brown, or white)
1 teaspoon roasted pumpkin seeds (sunflower seeds work too)
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Add sugar and spices to suit your taste. 

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (I've also used dark brown)
a couple pinches ground ginger (or maybe allspice)
a couple pinches fresh ground cinnamon (anise seed is nice too)
a couple pinches fresh ground nutmeg
a pinch of fleur de sel 
Top jar with lid and shake up the dry ingredients. 

Open jar again and add milk, leaving about 1 - 1 1/2 inches space at the top of the jar.  Shake or stir all ingredients in jar to wet and combine.  Leave jar in your refrigerator overnight.

Take your jar out of your refrigerator in the morning and allow some of the chill to leave your jar, about 15-20 minutes.

Eat as-is or dump in a bowl and add fruit (I've tried Sarah's strawberries, and recently 1/2 fresh banana--both were great!) and have excellent energy that lasts until lunchtime.

The body sometimes does what it pleases, my afternoon slump might be something I simply learn to endure, but I'd like to do some investigating.  I'd like to believe we have at least a little control over such things.  It would be so cool to say goodbye to that drooping part of the day.  

Suggestions welcome.


Wednesday Morning

Thick fog, lots of it.  A wide shallow bowl of bright citrus, and one Bosc pear (Dad's favorite).  Pink and gold tulips, limp yesterday evening and standing firmly at attention today.  A soon-to-bloom cactus flower rising up from a little cactus I've had for years, a cactus that has never bloomed before.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

It Is Not My Sun

Writing Room, 2013

Poetry's only obligation is to the truth. Whether this truth is widely popular or not is irrelevant. It should be the best truth possible and that is the only quality that gives it any hope of survival.

On the other hand I have no belief in the notion that only a few poems are valuable and that only a few people thought to be valuable are fit to tell us which poems these are. Before you can have a cleansing of the temple you must have a temple which people should feel it is their natural right to enter. Old-boy networks are loathsome. I am delighted that Bloodaxe publish as many poets as they do. I am glad that there should be poetry in abundance. There wouldn't be if some had their way. No other poet is in my sun. It is not my sun.

-George Szirtes

The last two lines of this quote have stopped me this morning.  I believe what they state translates far beyond poet.  

The poets speak  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Smiles from Melissa, 2013

Today I am home.  Today is all mine. 
Today all I want I can't seem to find.