My part-time job as TV news editor has been sort of hateful lately.
So on Thursday, when all my assignments were preempted yet again by another assassination, this time in front of Parliament, I opened my Facebook page to a string of hateful posts related to other crises in America.
I’d had enough. So I started my weekend a little early. And I took time off from Facebook.
1. On Thursday afternoon, driving down Walnut Grove, I laughed out loud at a Blue Screen of Death on a digital billboard. I’ve never seen one that big. Maybe another media conscript was feeling mutinous.
2. On Friday, I walked to the Art Center to buy origami paper. I decided to step into Inz and Outz Gift & Cards, thinking I’d shop for Father’s Day.
Y’all should have told me what that place was before I went in there.
I didn’t buy any cards. I did, however, consider some of the leather thongs. Bet those zippers get awfully hot in this heat.
3. On Saturday, I perfected an origami envelope for a direct mail project and designed an outdoor sign, a non-digital one. No BSODs here.
Sidebar: I used to have a recurring dream, working at my old job as a graphic designer. Today I’m literally living that dream. Life is full of surprises.
4. On Sunday, I was grateful, grateful, grateful for so many things. I’m grateful that I have air conditioning in my entire apartment now and my butter doesn’t melt if I leave it on the table.
I’m even grateful for my part-time job as TV news editor, even if it does make social media unbearably redundant some days. There’s lots of love at that job. My co-workers bring it every day. Otherwise, I just couldn’t cope.
Actually, there’s lots of love at all my jobs, some of which necessitate my using Facebook. I just have to remember that I have a choice: I can unfollow people or pages that post stuff I don’t want to read.
I am one lucky girl. I live in America. I get to read about it all, the bad and the good. Life is full of surprises. It’s also full of choices.
1. Today I choose to be grateful.
2. Today I choose to show up for the love.
just two hours away
the storm grows heavy
the trees bash the sky
with great bales of wind
and the unlikely spout
of an ice cream van
burbles “jingle all the way”
down a childless avenue
in the first week of April
in the middle of the day
the dove falls silent
with her rooftop forecast
my body sings with tiredness
as my thoughts take cover
even napping now and then
in a lullabye of weather
One street over
celebrate their faded glitter bows
One street over
phlox and jonquils
push through thatch and leavings
One street over
piled onto a windshield
End? Hiatus? Who can know
this crazy Memphis winter.
In most circles of geekery today, I would not be considered a gamer. That doesn’t stop me from referring to myself as one.
Why? Because when I get tense, I find an online game to distract me from work and make me feel superior to myself.
Since I am tense during most of my waking hours and some of my sleeping ones, I pretty much play online games way more than a silverish lady should. And “gamer” is a much nicer label than “fanatic” or “nutjob.”
Now it happens there’s been an all-out war against the much-despised Flash platform that locks up your browser, hogs your memory and requires updating every 3.2 days. Firefox even blocked it for two days in mid-July 2015. And while Adobe “fixed” Flash, the latest FF/Flash update left my favorite king.com games unplayable.
I refuse to play games on Facebook because “the popular social media site” (as they say on CNN) wants too much of my attention. It wants to rat me out every time I play Candy Crush. And it keeps asking me for stuff, like all my pictures, my email address and sensitive information, like whether or not I shave my legs every day.
So this week when I got tired of watching the wheel of infinity/browser timeout on king.com, I wandered over to Google and found my way to the Famobi game site.
Aside from the grammar-twisting hyperlink labeled “What is HTML5 games?” and a few misspelled words, it’s a nice, quiet little place to go and waste some time or reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, depending on your perspective. There are typical match 3, bubble shooter and mahjong selections, all sorted into tabs at the left side of your browser.
Girls? There’s a Girls section?
I resisted looking at it for days and then curiosity got the better of me.
There are a lot of makeup games in that section (as in putting it on your favorite actress’ face), one called Fluffy Egg (I cannot figure out why this game is gender specific; it has nothing to do with reproduction), a few about baking (see previous comment) and one called — I kid you not — What Does Your Boyfriend Look Like?
In order to avoid barfing on my keyboard, I quickly went back to the home page and located a few games that you might enjoy.
I think if you click on the pictures it will take you there.
If not, the Web address is html5games.com.
Don’t tell the authority figure(s) in your house I told you about this.
This is an all-calorie creation.
Do not look for carb substitutes here.
This is for when your sweet tooth is really aching.
I like to make this in a deep baking dish — less likely to bubble over in the oven.
Also, my pie crust box said to put in an ungreased dish but it stuck after baking so next time I’m prepping with cooking spray.
1 9″ pie crust (make your own or use refrigerated premade)
2 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin (I used Fujis)
1/4 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 jar caramel ice cream topping, heated until pourable
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Center your pie crust in a glass baking dish or a deep dish pie plate.
If the crust is too big just let the edges hang over the sides.
Put sliced apples in a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
Pour over apples and stir until each slice is well coated.
Spread apples evenly over pie crust.
Drizzle first with melted butter, then with caramel topping.
At this point, if you have pie crust hanging over the sides of your dish, just fold the edges over the top of the filling.
Cover with foil.
Bake for 20-30 min or until crust is brown.
Serves at least 4 if you’re polite.
I dreamed that I was on the phone with a nurse, trying to complete the information necessary for Dad’s hospital stay.
I dreamed that my brother and I went to a group therapy session where Mom said that I was not actually born in January and that she had two other children that we did not know about. We looked at each other while trying to decide if this was the truth or delusion.
I woke suddenly, my desperation and confusion as vivid as it was nearly a year ago, when it was real and daily for almost three weeks.
In the recovery community we are well aware of the emotional tides that an anniversary brings. And while some brush it off as folklore, others of us invariably have a using dream around the time of our sobriety date.
When I was a young woman, a beau took me to his aunt’s beach house for a holiday. The sea was rather rough on our first day out.
“If a big wave comes along,” he said, “just duck down and let it wash over you. That way it won’t knock you down.”
That advice has been a metaphor for me throughout recovery, reminding me that humility and surrender are not evidence of weakness, but of courage. They are also the biggest windows one can open to allow grace to enter one’s life.
So this morning I am letting the waves of grief wash over me. I am giving myself time for my heart to slow down and my panic to subside, reminding myself that it’s over. I got through it. And I am OK.
I am remembering I have more than a dozen friends who’ve lost a parent, a sibling, a child, a grandparent, even an ex-spouse in the past three years. From time to time they reach out to me, surprised by the intensity of their sadness.
This is for them. I love you. You will get through it. And you are OK.
when Faith is a well-chewed pencil point breaking mid-page,
on the periphery, Hope quietly burps and squints through a frazzled curl.
The skyline returns to its place in the distance
while Love finds a spot not far from the marker,
merrily beaming and resolute as the greening wood.
~ for Rachel
I’m never hungry in the morning. I’d always rather have breakfast for supper. Give me coffee with milk and I’m good until noon. However, I tend to get foggy by mid-morning, so I try to have a light snack. Nothing tempts me like granola bars, especially in the winter when cold fresh fruit seems like a bad idea.
Satisfying, high in fiber, these are also high in calories, a whopping 300 per bar. The culprit here? The almonds. They’re higher in calories than either the coconut or the condensed milk. You can make a lower calorie bar by eliminating some of the extras and increasing the oats and still have a great snack.
You can substitute any dried fruit, nuts or seeds. This is what I happened to have in my pantry the day I made them. You just want to end up with a sticky ball of dough that isn’t too runny and that presses easily into the pan.
2 c oats
1 c chopped toasted almonds
1 c shredded coconut
1 c raisins
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 can condensed milk
Preheat oven to 300.
Line 9×12 cookie sheet with foil.
Spread oats evenly and toast for 10 minutes.
Pour oats into bowl to cool.
Set aside foil-lined pan to cool.
Increase oven temp to 350.
Put open can of condensed milk on rack to warm.
Spray cooled foil with cooking spray.
Combine toasted oats, almonds, coconut, raisins and cinnamon.
Slowly pour warmed milk over mixture and stir in completely.
Spread evenly onto greased foil.
Cut length of waxed paper and use to press mixture evenly into pan to edges.
Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and lift bars from pan.
Flip upside down into pan and peel off foil.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes then use pizza cutter into bars.
Allow to cool completely before storing.
Makes 16 bars.
P.S. They were crunchy coming out of the pan. After overnight storage in Tupperware, they’re chewy. I like them either way.
If you are lucky enough to live where you can pick up a hot rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, you can have the wings and leg quarters for dinner another time and make this soup with the breast.
Or dice and saute your own boneless breast.
If you have the time and the presence of mind, cook your own Great Northern beans.
But a can of white beans works fine — you can sub cannellini, navy or limas.
A mild yellow onion is my preference here, Vidalias are best but a white onion works.
And you can sub bell pepper (any color) or jalapenos for the chilies.
Add handful of chopped greens (turnip, spinach, kale) if you need green leafies in a meal.
Add a cup of cooked macaroni to tempt the kids.
Throw in some diced cooked carrots for color. It’s all yum.
I keep ground cumin in my pantry, but if you’re out, no worries. Use chili powder or oregano or basil. Or not.
1 c diced onion (1 cup)
2 T cooking oil
1 small can chopped green chilies (1/4 cup)
1 T minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
1 entire chicken breast, cooked and diced (2-3 cups)
1 quart cooked beans with broth (1 can beans with broth to make 4 cups)
1 t ground cumin
Salt to taste (1 tsp)
1. Saute first 4 ingredients in a hot kettle until onion is soft.
2. Add next four ingredients, stir and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Serve with hot bread (try the Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread!)
A pooling of efforts to illustrate, in color, all five of the Walker treasuries