Posted on October 20, 2016
— Bela Lugosi’s Dad (@gabrielgironda) September 27, 2016
— Bela Lugosi’s Dad (@gabrielgironda) September 27, 2016
“The child intuitively comprehends that although these stories are unreal, they are not untrue . . . ” Bruno Bettelheim, from The Uses of Enchantment: the Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. Published December 1986 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (First published 1975.)
We Pay Our Fare in Apples Here
by Megan Arkenberg
Everything in this station has a story, he said.
The walls are curved in such a way that the echo
of a penny dropped in the exact center of the tunnel
sounds like an apology from your late father.
If you crawl beneath the turnstiles in the wrong direction
the next train you board will take you
to every place you’ve ever forgotten,
and the ride will last for seven years.
One time, a woman fell off this platform
and touched the edge of a rail.
She turned into a swan.
Commuters find feathers in their briefcases,
sometimes. They always smell like summer.
Photos taken by Robin Whittle, at Lake Daylesford, October 2015.
Poem source here.
Dear Audible, if they are “recommendations based on past purchases”, why are they mostly books I’ve already purchased? From you.
Dear Amazon, I order things for myself, my mom, my sister, the kids, my husband, my friends and even my dog. You should probably stop trying to figure out what to recommend for me. I don’t really need the latest sci-fi romance starring a wise-cracking werewolf on a space Harley. Probably.
You’re right about the shoes though. I love the shoes.
Miranda, it would be great if you could stop telling me how hot I am. Frankly it makes me a touch uncomfortable. And while I think you’re cool, the truth is you’re better at lulling me to sleep than you are at waking me up.
To whoever does this to flowers, why? Have you not looked at flowers in nature? They’re kind of the greatest thing ever. This just isn’t necessary.
Photo and text by Sandra Peterson Ramirez.
joy may be a more demanding mistress, requiring a novice’s passionate heart. but in this place of vulnerability and willful trust, i have found a happiness. is it less than the joy of the soul? or are they really one and the same? more likely they are both pieces of my puzzle.
i will carry on, fitting the jagged pieces together; not working logically from the outside edges in, but tinkering with those infuriating center fragments that alone make no sense.
Photo and text by Sandra Peterson Ramirez.
1. Melt three quarters of a stick of unsalted butter in a cast iron skillet. If you only have half a stick, use that plus a quarter of a stick of salted butter. No one needs know and this is not a sign that things are going to go badly.
2. While the butter is melting get the brown sugar out of the pantry. When reaching for the sugar, knock the chia seeds on the floor. Since you didn’t close the container all the way last time you used it, you will need to sweep up the chia that’s now all over the floor. Which is about as easy as sweeping up feathers. Also yell at the dog because she is playing in the chia on the floor. Kick the uncooperative chia under a counter or stove. Add the brown sugar to the butter and do not burn it. Trust me. It’s bad.
3. Arrange the pineapple pieces on the butter-sugar concoction. Bear in mind that this will be the top of the cake and you may want it to look “nice” and not at all like a crazy-quilt.
4. Sift together the dry ingredients. Wonder why you have to sift anything ever. Wonder about the freshness of the baking powder. Dismiss that thought. It can’t be that important.
5. Beat three quarters of a stick of unsalted softened butter until light and fluffy. Revisit item number one regarding the unsalted butter. Since you probably neglected to set the butter on the counter to soften, you may want to employ the microwave. Remember the idea is to soften it though, not to melt it. Good luck with that.
6. Gradually add granulated white sugar. Remember that you used the last of the white sugar the last time you baked. Consider the options: honey or raw sugar. Go with the raw sugar. How different can it be?
7. Add room temperature eggs one at a time. No, you didn’t put the eggs out either, but you did have the foresight to put them in warm water when you started this. So you’re good to go.
8. Add vanilla and rum. When measuring them assume that the cap to the vanilla is half a teaspoon and the cap to the rum is one teaspoon. Let someone else prove otherwise. Taste the rum for freshness. This is much more important than the baking powder. Oh and speaking of baking powder, never substitute baking soda for baking powder or vice versa. Just trust me on this one.
9. Mix in half the dry ingredients. Since you didn’t get out the big mixer (too much trouble) and the hand mixer only operates at fast and very fast, you will now have flour pretty much everywhere. Still easier than getting out the big mixer.
10. Mix in pineapple juice. Since it comes in a six ounce can and you only need four ounces, you now have something to add to your test rum.
11. Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients. You will once again be misted with flour. But you don’t have to clean the big mixer.
12. Pour the batter over the pineapple topping and bake. Every dish in your kitchen is now dirty so if you don’t have a dishwasher, now may be a good time to run out and get one. Or just enjoy your rum and pineapple juice. And the fact that your kitchen smells like a tropical heaven.
Also, you might want fortify yourself since you still have to flip that sucker out of a hot cast iron skillet onto an appropriately festive, and probably delicate, plate. You’ll be fine. Oh and any of the pineapple that sticks to the pan will have it’s place handily outlined on the top of the cake, but remember you’re dealing with hot butter and sugar so use a utensil for goodness sake.
Later, when you think what’s that smell, and not in the good way, it may be the clean iron skillet that you set on a hot burner to dry. Take it off immediately.
The recipe I use is from Smitten Kitchen and really is delicious.
No dogs were harmed in the baking of this cake.
Your birthday is already happening on my side of the world, but it’s yet to arrive on yours. (It all seems to be going just fine, so far 😉 I thought you should wake up to a hot and steamy cup of coffee and a special birthday post. How better to begin the day but with birthday haiku? These are three of my favourites:
Years may come and go
but our friends and memories…
what was I saying?
It is your birthday!
Drop everything and have cake.
You don’t have to share.
(Since I am not there.)
(And since I added that line, this is no longer a true haiku; but will it do, since it is true?)
Happy Birthday, friend!
May today’s coffee be strong
and the day inspired.
A great big, heartfelt Happy Birthday to you, my wonderful and beloved friend! I wish I were there to share those delectable cakes with you — and a bottle of bubbly, too. I hope you have a delightful day and an even better year ahead. And now, I am off on a bike ride to celebrate!
With love and wishes that all good things come your way,
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the apocalypse–actually make that the apocalypses. Not that it’s a new obsession. My theory is that as soon as we had something to lose, we started worrying about someone taking it away. Growing up, I heard lots of talk about THE Apocalypse, but that was mostly on Sundays and the idea that Jesus might be a zombie almost never came up. But nowadays it seems to be apocalapooza* with possible supernatural annihilation coming from all directions.
Zombies are a popular possibility, as even my co-blogger has noted. And of course we are constantly at risk of attack from vampires and werewolves. (Except Alcide, he’s clearly on our side–but I digress.) It’s a good thing we have the government keeping us safe from the bogeymen. I’m just assuming that the presidential monster killing mantle got passed on after Lincoln, but I haven’t seen the movie yet so I’m not sure. And speaking of presidents, apparently we Americans expect our president to take care of all sorts of invasions, even those from outer space.
Yahoo!, with its usual helpfulness, is here to help us prepare. Recently they listed apocalypse-proof homes in their real estate section. They were a bit pricy, especially for the end times when funds will be in short supply (I assume), but it’s good to have the pointers anyway. Which brings up the question: what will I need for the apocalypse? Canned food, safe water, durable clothing, garlic and silver, and, maybe most importantly, several good pairs of reading glasses. After all, what’s the point of a good apocalypse if you can’t enjoy it?
*I think I just made up a word!
Photo by Sandra Peterson Ramirez
There are a few things that (almost) never fail to perk us up. Like seeing a reference to yourself, however obliquely, in print. I remember picking up a book by A. S. Byatt to give it the sentence test* and finding my birthday on the page. Naturally, I bought the book (as it was obviously a sign). I enjoyed it and read several more by Byatt.
This week I picked up another book and saw my birthday listed. I did not buy it.
Perhaps my cynicism held me back?
Another potential source of delight is the receipt of a handmade gift from a child. Two year old Addison made this for me:
Her mother insists that it was meant to say “Love you, Addison”. She also said it was a drawing of me. Not in crosshairs.
So I’m feeling sufficiently perked up now thankyouverymuch. The universe can stop trying so hard and make me a cocktail instead. Really. It’s better that we just sit and drink and discuss this no more.
* Sentence test: picking up a book, turning to a random page and reading one sentence to see if you like it enough to read more.
Photos by Sandra Peterson Ramirez