Just Roll With It

“I try not to make plans. Because, even the best laid plans etc. etc.”

Author: Brent Spiner

My plan for Sunday was rather easy.  Get up (always a good way to start the day), have a coffee, eat some breakfast, have a second coffee, then get my heinie outside for a good walk.  Upon my return will deserve a nice bowl of my veggie soup, take a shower, prepare supper, pick up my mother, enjoy our meal, drive her back, relax and go to bed.

As Sundays go, it started off nice and slow.  Slept in until 9 (never mind I was awake from 2 till 5).  Stoked the fire and made myself a cup of coffee.  Got onto the Interwebs to catch up on my readings.  Ate my bowl of Raisin Bran by 10, continued reading and next thing I knew it was past noon.  Well, dang.

 

If I was going to walk for any reasonable time, I’d have to eat sooner.  Continued reading and commenting and whatnot and then around 1:30-ish, had a small bowl of soup, then dressed up to go out.

Shovelled the back porch and along the back of the house up to the side gate (must have all exits free from snow, in case). Once that was done, grabbed my camera and was off.

After the cold we had on Saturday, Sunday felt positively balmy!  Off I went in the direction of  my willow, planning to keep walking until I reached the discovered secluded walkway.  I got to the first park and decided to take a pic of the play area as this week’s theme in my photo group is “a touch of blue”, and there is blue on the monkey bars.  I slid-shuffled across the skating rink, passing by a lady who was clearing the snow off the rink.  I took a few pictures then noticed a flash of something on my camera….

“No card in camera”.

What. The. Fuck?  What an amateur move! I completely forgot that I had taken a few pics of the sky from my living room window the evening before, uploaded them into my computer. Where I left the card. Sonova–

I grumble and take out my cell phone to snap a couple pics.  Would have been a grand day with the camera as the day was beautiful, for sure.

However, there was no way in hell I was lugging my camera bag without being able to take pictures!  Get a sore back for nothing? No.  So I turned around.  As I crossed the park, I thought, hey, all is not lost, I have lots of time. I shall go home, change and go back out for a run.  Once I turned on the next street, the wind in my face determined otherwise.  The day was bust. I just wasn’t feeling it, anymore anyway.

So I took my shower then slowly started preparing my supper. It was nice to not feel rushed.  Chopping and sautéeing and browning. It’s when I feel the most zen.  Just as I was putting my coat on to leave to pick up my mother, Iain’s CAA arrived to boost his car (dead battery).  I told him that, since he had to drive his car to get his battery full, it would be a wonderful idea if he could go and get his grandmother.  He agreed.

We had a lovely and simple Sunday dinner.  To be repeated!  I made my “Chicken à la Tuscan à la Dale” – one of those recipes that I actually wrote down.  (Years and years ago, Mick asked me to please stop winging it and write things down so that I could potentially repeat the good stuff.)  Of course, I never follow it, but the fact that I wrote it down means that I potentially remake it sorta-kinda the same way (ish).  It just so happens I was looking for this recipe to share with someone else – and ended up not doing so coz I never did get around to sending out Christmas cards in which I was supposed to include a recipe on a 3″ X 5″ index card; said index cards that I actually bought for the occasion and will be potentially used next year – so it was top of my mind when I asked Mom if she wanted dinner.

Plans are great and all but hey, when they are broken, doesn’t mean all is lost!

 

 

 

 

Mom and Me Time – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday and I’m on the ball here to play Friday Fictioneers.  I had to go down memory lane again only this time, I imagined I was my younger child.  I am still, to this day, reminded that it’s been an awful long time since we had our adventures. (Did I mention said child is now 22?)  Never mind the store no longer exists but hey, I take it as a compliment that I am actually worthy of spending time with.  Wonder if Indigo would do?  Wonder if I would still get a “Yes, let’s go!”  Till then, a special thank you to Ted Strutz for supplying this week’s photo as well as an always thank you to Rochelle for hosting! If you’d like to play along, click on the frog below to add your 100-word story link.

©Ted Strutz

Book Frog Reading Stock Illustrations – 147 Book Frog Reading Stock  Illustrations, Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstime

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When Mom said:  “Let’s go to Chapters!” my heart leapt in joy.  It was the coolest place.  There were four floors of books!  I always looked forward to this adventure.  We’d start off on the main floor, me tugging Mom’s hand to pull her towards the stairs that lead down to the kids’ section.  So many books!

When I was old enough, she’d leave me to walk around alone, to choose the ones that I want.  “I don’t suppose you want us to go and have a hot chocolate when you’re done, right?”  Don’t know why she bothered to ask!

Tuesday Poetics – Food!

On Tuesday, Sarah from Sarah Writes Poems hosted  dVerse Tuesday Poetics – Food being the subject du jour.  Well now. Anyone who knows me, knows I do food. I love food. I love to make food to feed others. I love to share pictures of my food.  I am all over this prompt!

Funny how I knew exactly where I wanted to go and then, started writing and it went here. That muse just took over and ran roughshod over my idea!  She might have had the right idea, we’ll never know because she squashed my original words. Hope she used a quality masher, is all I can say.

My Food is Love

Chatting about food with my cousin one day

She says: What do you mean, you cook for others?

You should cook for your own pleasure

 

I retort:  What is the point to go all out

If it is just for me?

I show my love with my food

 

As did my father with his famous BBQ ribs,

His secret recipe held close to his chest

Or that one special meal made for my birthday, which I’ll never forget

 

And my mother, who can magically

Rummage in her freezer and find the ingredients

To feed a last-minute group of fifteen

 

I like to think I am a mix of both parents

Able to create something with nothing

Or to go all out with a six-course feast

 

My joy of creating fancy meals

Has caused others to fear receiving me for a meal

As if I would ever judge what they serve

 

The purpose of an invite is never to show off

Nor make others feel intimidated

It’s to gather my loved ones and share, even in the prep!

 

So, in my house, do not be surprised if on Tuesday

There is duck breast with raspberry sauce

Because Saturday it might be grilled cheese or frozen pizza

 

Creating food, simple or complex

All has the same goal, in the end

To show my love, sitting around my table

 

So, if I’ve gone through efforts, big or small

And no one comes to join me (kids? where are you?)

I guess my cousin was right, in the end

 

I best cook for my own pleasure, then
I suppose I could even convince myself it is a form of self-love

Yeah well… I’m not buying what I’m trying to sell

 

Subdued Celebration

On Monday, Lisa hosted a dVerse Haibun with the theme “Celebration”.  Like most people, Christmas and New Year’s were not the celebrations we were hoping to have.  for this prompt, I kept it to Christmas mainly because New Year’s was a whole lotta nuthin’.

The plans were set in motion. This year, we were going to retake Christmas, government be damned. It had been cancelled last year, thanks to measures to combat COVID. Not this year!  Christmas Eve at Tracy’s (all dressed up) with game gift exchanges, a potluck feast and scratching of Chinese gambling cards. This would be followed, the next morning, with brunch at my house where we all squeeze in (still pyjama-clad) my kitchen and living room while Iain makes the omelets and the rest of the breakfast goodies.  Don’t forget the “mimosies” as Mick used to call mimosas. After naps, we make our way to Lisa’s (casual) for our turkey dinner that ends with a Texas Hold ‘Em poker game.  We were so excited.

Then December 23rd happened.  COVID hit and we had to cancel.  A scramble to buy a turkey, hope it thawed out in time. Iain made us three our brunch and, later that day, while the delicious scent of Christmas permeated the house, Iain went to get my mom and we shared a perfectly roasted (if I say so myself) thirteen-pound bird with mashed potatoes, canned peas (don’t ask, traditions are what they are) and homemade gravy. I even found jars of my cranberry sauce and pickled beets, preserved previously. All was not lost.

Parties are cancelled

Celebrations now subdued

Love remains present

Traditions – Friday Fictioneers

Oh that Rochelle.  Why she does this to me, I cannot say… Putting up my picture between Christmas and New Year’s. Da hell, Rochelle? Of course, I tease. I am honoured to be asked to use my photo at any time of year. I shall gladly play along. Would be rude not to, anyhow 😉  So, here goes. For Friday Fictioneers, a little discussion betwixt a few friends… Click on the Christmas frogs below to play by adding your own 100-word story link.

280 Christmas frogs ideas in 2021 | christmas, frog, frog and toad

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Traditions

How’s it work in your houses?

Mom starts December first.  Christmas everything and everywhere.   I can’t wait for it to come down.

We put up our tree with Dad on Christmas Eve, while Mom makes her meat pies. It comes down January second.

My guy’s birthday is December 18th, so we don’t put it up until the 19th. Keep the two separate, yanno? Spent his life getting one gift as a “two-fer”. He hated that so I made sure to separate them. 

Wonder what their story is? Friends with nowhere to go? So they share together?

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

 

Hot Chocolate (and Toast)

One of Mick’s Coca Cola mugs, worn down, much loved

I was reading Pam’s wonderful Christmas tale, “The Last Christmas Gift”.  Do please go and read it here … it might help explain my sudden inspiration to “pen” this.  Pam’s story was so beautifully written that I found myself sitting in the circle she described, drinking my own cup of hot chocolate or coffee, or both, that I stopped reading and went to make myself a mocha coffee before returning to her tale.

Fry's Cocoa - Baking Cocoa (227g) – GoJava TorontoMemories were now evoked of the times my mother made for us, and that I later made for my kids, hot chocolate, using real cocoa from the yellow and red Fry’s can, sugar, and a small amount of cold milk to create a smooth, mud-like texture before slowly adding the hot milk while stirring it all together.  No lumps guaranteed if you make it this way.  Sometimes there were marshmallows, most times not.  Mom wasn’t into instant anything, except Minute Rice, but that was only for her rice salad, never anything else.

Why is it that things that take just a bit longer to make, meaning you had to wait for it, taste so much more?  To make this come-in-from-the-cold treat all the better, Mom served it with buttered toast.  And that’s another thing, what is it about afternoon or nighttime toast smells and tastes like it comes from a whole other dimension?  You can’t even compare it to the toast served with your eggs and yet it’s the same product.

Now I’m mad at myself for not making a toast to go with… then again, it’s not late enough in the afternoon to justify it.  I think this is my cue to go out and get my 10K steps.  There are only seven days left for me to be able to say I did it for one whole year.

For the Canadians and Brits and the areas in the States that celebrate, Happy Boxing Day!  For those with no holiday, Happy Sunday!  I hope you have been able to take time away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations and over-eating and just be.

 

Tinsel

Quadrille Monday for dVerse and I’m actually posting on the same day?  Will wonders never cease.  It must be because we had to use the word Tinsel…

 

 

Silent Night plays while
tears stream down her face
like tinsel cascading from the branches
of a Christmas tree

 

Where the silver strands hang on
hers roll off her chin
disappearing into her shirt
over her heart

 

It is but her yearly ritual
Remembering

 

 

 

 

Overstock – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday and I was not going to play Friday Fictioneers this week. (No apologies after all, Rochelle!)  I was going to work on one of the two dVerse poems that have piqued my interest. However, after a crappy night of sleep and a repeated pressing of the snooze button, my morning walk was forsaken.  Plus, it’s damn cold out there.  My motivation was lacking (of course, when it hits mid-day and I realise that I still have not half of my steps, I shall curse this morning’s decision. Until then, however, I hope you enjoy my little exchange that, while not exactly verbatim, is pretty damn close.  Should you feel like sharing your 100-word story inspired by Claire Fuller’s photo, do click on the frog below and add your link!

 

©Claire Fuller

Frog made out of old tires" | Frog decor, Tire craft, Tire art

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I want my garage back.  Now.  I bought a house with a garage so I could actually park my car inside and it’s getting cold.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I’ll take care of it.

Whose tires are those?

Mine.

And those?

Mine.

These ones?

Yours.

And those?

Mine.

Bloody hell. It’s December seventh. By law we have to have our snow tires on our cars by December first.

Ours are!

I know! So eight of these tires are our summer tires!  The others are what?

Going to be sold.

It’s too late!

They’re out of the way now, right?

Sigh.

As you can see, the garage situation was taken care of and yes, the tires are out of the way… as well as all the other stuff that had taken over.

Giving Thanks… and Pie?

I do this to myself all. the. time.  I get a prompt in my inbox and I think, “Oh yeah, baby, I know what I’m gonna write”. And then some annoying person comes and asks me for a stupid pen or lead for their pencil or whatever. And so I have to put it aside.  And then two days pass by, nothing written, and a new prompt shows up and I think, “Oh yeah, baby. I know exactly what I’m gonna write…” And then. I gotta send out a box… Well, you get the idea. I have come to realise that work is getting in the way of me doing what I really want to do. And it is NOT fetching office supplies (supplies, by the way, that they could get all by their own damn selves if they just walked into the supply room room which is not ten paces from where I sit).  But I digress with my impromptu mini-rant.

So Last Monday, dVerse was Haibun Monday – Giving Thanks.  I know where I’m going with that one.

And then on the Thursday that followed, dVerse was Pie Poetry – didn’t have to be related to Thanksgiving, though it was the ‘Murican Thanksgiving, of course.  I gots me pie stories to tell…

So here I am the following week, having written three (four?) other posts with this one still hanging out in drafts.  I almost left it in drafts to die a slow death but then decided, nope. Let’s go crazy and actually finish it!  So I decided to mush the two prompts together, somehow.

Giving Thanks With My Family Pie

My family means the world to me.  And I’m talking the whole gang:  from my grandmother, to my parents, to my aunts and uncles, to my sisters, my cousins, down to nieces and nephews, and my children.

Many are sadly gone now but they left their mark and they deserve a place at this table, in this peculiar pie.

No matter the situation, either one of us is a phone call and a drive-past-the speeding-limit drive away, urgency dependent, of course.

The birth of a baby, the death of one.  An injury sustained by a saw or a skull-cracking fall takes but one phone call, and the invisible director has called “Action!”.

It’s not only in moments of distress that we come together.  We join in celebrations: shopping for prom/wedding dresses, attending each other’s children’s recitals and games. And yes, we can even travel together!

They’ll call me on my shit, tell me I look like shit, give me shit, tell me my decision was shit.  But here’s the thing; so will I when they merit it.

They’ll celebrate my victories, tell me I look fabulous and let the world know they are proud of me.  Just like I will for them.

My family is a complex pie (it’s not even round) made up of varying slices (they’re not even, even) that you might think shouldn’t work together, but do.  Maybe they don’t all belong on the same plate, (some are savoury, some are sweet, some are spicy; all of them tart and not a few of them nutty) but they definitely belong in the same meal.

Holidays are fine

To give thanks to those we love

But every day’s best

 

 

 

Living in the Now

I so wanted to do this one last night but Yellowstone won over on my time!  Lillian has chosen to honour Björn Rudberg, one of the facilitators/keepers of the Pub of dVerse, who happens to be of Swedish descent and when you think of Sweden, what music comes to mind?  ABBA, of course!  So we are to take one line and one line only – word for word – from the song Dancing Queen and build our poem around it.  How cool is that?

 

Living in the Now

 

Gone the crunch of newly fallen snow beneath my running feet

Gone the rustle of the marcescent leaves holding on to the oak trees

Gone the scrape of shovels on sidewalks, the screech of snow ploughs

 

For now, we are baking in the Mexican sun, discovering pyramids

We are snorkeling in Roatan, discovering brightly-coloured fish

We are drinking Champagne cocktails and eating like royalty

We are dressed to the nines, far away from the office grind

 

We are at the back of the boat (the stern for the purists)

Where they play the right music

And the wind dries our sweat as we dance with a frenzy

That only happens when you are away from the real

 

Because for this one week of the year

The surreal is our real

And we want to live it at its fullest