Day to day stuff....a memoir without order.
Imagination is described by Webster as...The act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses in reality. Albert Einstein said "Logic will get you from A to B, but imagination will take you everywhere."
I never realized it until I read it somewhere but there are ways to boost one's imagination:
Create a visual journal
Draw whatever you see for 15 minutes a day. You don't need to be an artist.
Think like an artist
Cut out pictures from magazines & piece them together to create an original image.
Listen to Bach
Close your eyes while playing your favorite music. Or listen to the sounds of nature on a CD or in the great outdoors.
Play word games
Try thinking of as many words as you can that begin with MAR...or you pick.
Let your mind wander, or focus on a single object & study its characteristics.
Everyone has a story....here's mine.....c
|I just had my nightly snack, a smoothie of 1/3 cup yogurt, 1 cup strawberries, and a splash of almond milk, so good. Strawberries are relatively cheap right now, at least as cheap as they're getting. Blue berries didn't seem to last long this year...or get cheap. Love them too.
I'm having a hard time getting away from the business of treasurer of my writing group even though a new treasurer has been elected and taken over. Board members continue to email me for information after I continually tell them I have turned over all the financial records to the new person. They think because what they want is historical, I should have it...which some of it I do have on my hard drive...but the point is I'm not the treasurer anymore. And I have given all that information to the new one. What to do?
I need to go shopping for a birthday present for my daughter...her birthday is July 1st...and I have not the slightest idea what to get her. When I ask, she says she doesn't want anything, she has everything she wants, not a help at all. She will be 54, divorced, living alone in an apartment with her cat and she's an insurance agent. Any ideas?
|I enjoyed a nice get-together with some writing friends yesterday. Lunch included some delicious hummus with rosemary focaccia bread. I hardly ever eat bread so it was a real treat. Afterwards, at one of the friend's home, each of us read some of our writing. One guest, a gentleman of 80-something, had recently published a book about the suicide of his brother some 60 years ago, something he had kept inside himself for so long. He said the book was "releasing" and recommended writing about traumatic events especially events of which you might hold some guilt. I've read that before but never truly believed it. I wonder....
Anyway, I downloaded the Kindle version, Beyond Suicide: Conversations With My Brother and started reading it last night. It's very difficult for me to write about certain things and I figure this must have been difficult for him to write about. Maybe it will give me some guidance... perhaps.
All the readings were interesting, everyone was friendly, and I'm thinking I will do it again next month.
|Not much doing today. Pulled some weeds in my little garden area and tried to prop up my huge basil plant that was beaten down by all the rain. I don't think it will hold, too big with woody stems but it smells so good still. Mums continue to bloom and have changed color from a rusty red to bright yellow. They have now bloomed steadily since November, never had that happen before.
I have a couple writing critique group meetings next week, Monday and Wednesday. Monday has a "lunch before" at a local pizza place, and then on to a member's home for the writing part. I must do some writing for it, must put my seat in the seat and do it. Once I get started, I'm okay. It's the getting started part that's the clinker.
I made pasta with veggies for supper, so simple and so good. My secret ingredient is a few big splashes of balsamic vinaigrette when the veggies are almost done, then when that has cooked down, add some pasta water to scrape up the goodies from the bottom of the pan and make it a little saucy. Spoon the cooked pasta on top and turn off the heat. So good with veggies of your choice. I used a Japanese mix, diced onion, halved grape tomatoes, garlic, and some chopped up romaine on top, cooked just until it wilted.
|Picking blueberries with Aunt Fanny was an adventure I never wanted to miss. Toward the end of May or the first of June I could expect to get a phone call letting me know local blueberries at a certain farm were ripe and abundant, and would I want to be picked up around 8 tomorrow morning? Absolutely!
Aunt Fanny usually had a couple of other ladies with her but she always kept the front passenger seat reserved for me. Containers were stowed in her car trunk as well as ropes or belts to loop through the handles of the farm’s supplied buckets and then tied or buckled around our waists, leaving our hands free for picking. Once we arrived at our destination the owner directed us to the next in line picking spot, always in the hot sun and getting hotter by the minute.
Fanny was a fast picker, outpacing me two to one, but I didn’t pay much attention, just enjoying the company and munching a few berries as I picked, making sure they were good and sweet, which they always were. Like the others I started picking at chest level, but if I didn’t want to be admonished, I eventually had to bend and reach for the berries, picking the bush clean of ripe berries before advancing on to the next bush up the row. Sometimes the bushes might be next to a pine forest and depending on the sun, some shade might come my way, but this was unusual, and within a short period of time, I and the others were hot and sweaty. We dare not take a break because the sun was advancing in the sky, and soon, remaining in the field would be unbearable. At some point, upon agreement, we’d have to be satisfied with what we had picked, grab up our filled buckets, and return to weigh and pay.
I never picked blueberries with a group that Aunt Fanny was not part of. After she passed away, I always bought bags of berries already picked. Of course, they had been cooled and I never got that warm juicy flavor of the ones fresh from the bush. Not picking with others was just a sentimental thing. Aunt Fanny was a good friend and had a special place in my heart. I always think of her when the blueberries are ripe.
|I have finally handed over the job of treasurer of my writing group to another volunteer. I was beginning to think no one would ever want the position, and after five years I could understand why. Not that there was a whole lot of work to do, just the idea that I was tied to it all the time. Five years is long enough. It does seem strange not having to go the post office to pick up mail or to the bank to make deposits, and my emails have decreased with no "please reimburse me for blah blah." And now since I'm only doing the group's Facebook page and updating a few things on the website, I'm not even obligated to attend the monthly meetings. So happy and free.....
Free to devote more time to writing and art. My memoir has been on hold for a while now but with no excuses, I'm digging out all those pages and getting down to business. I joined another critique group to keep me answerable, believe me, it works. When you know someone or two or three are counting on seeing those new pages on a certain date, you make sure you are writing and ready. I never liked bookkeeping when it was my job, and I can't imagine why I volunteered in the first place. Up for a new beginning.
|I made some darn delicious banana muffins this afternoon! I had this poor little, almost black banana lying in the fridge, I'm sure you know the kind, so I posed the question to Google, who answered with the following easy one banana muffin recipe:
Ingredients for 9-10 banana muffins (preheat oven at 350 degrees)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 mashed banana
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk (mine was almond)
1 beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
I melted the butter in a bowl in the microwave and let it cool some, then added the mashed banana, the two sugars, the milk, and the egg, and stirred them all together. Into that mixture, I dumped the rest of the ingredients and stirred it well. I dropped 2 heaping tablespoons into each of 10 paper cupcake holders, and baked them for 23 minutes. Let them cool completely (if you can) before you try to take off the paper or you will lose a lot of your cupcake.
I went back to Google and added up all the calories for each ingredient ending with a total of 1500, which divided by 10 cupcakes gave each one a caloric total of 150...not too bad considering how good they are. I'm really looking forward to having (another) one with a cup of green tea later on this evening.
Lots of other things could be added in but I had nothing else handy...walnuts, chocolate chips, craisins. And they are so good as is!
|My Jax daughter was to come today but she texted this morning that her sciatica was bad and couldn't stand the long ride. I understand because I've had sciatica too. Unfortunately, I had just put a peach cobbler in the oven. And have a whole pound of fresh asparagus in the fridge. Oh well, I'll think of something. Her kitty is not well either, 21 years old, not eating much and shaky when he walks. Hope they are feeling better by now.
It got up to 98 degrees today, 96 right now. I'm having to water my outside blooming flowers twice each day to keep their leaves from shriveling. No rain in forever but I'm sure in June it will be raining every day. That's Florida's rainy season...one of them at least. Grass is scorched too.
County rescue took my neighbor across the street to the hospital this morning. He's having problems with his dialysis site plus other things, been on dialysis for over 15 years. He's such a pleasant fellow, hope he is okay.
I just had my planned Memorial Day dinner minus the cobbler, gave that away. Coconut shrimp with oven baked asparagus and a sweet tater. Then, vanilla ice cream and strawberries. Life is so good and I am so grateful. Hope everyone had a good and restful Memorial Day.
|My husband, who passed away in 2012, always took care of any maintenance on our home. Either he did it or he hired someone to do it. It seemed not a big deal when he was doing it, but now that I have to deal with it, reality has arrived.
I've had to make the decision on having several things done and who to do them in the years since his death. Some decisions have been okay and some have not. I remembered he would always get three bids on any big job so I try to do that too. I never remember him giving contractors any advance payments but he may have and I didn't know it. Now, that seems to be a standard policy...30% minimum of the contract price. And always make sure they have general liability and workmen's comp. But how do you really know they will do a good job, and do it within a reasonable amount of time? Sure, you can get a written contract, but how do you enforce it when things go wrong?
Even friends' recommendations have turned out badly. But saying anything is not a good idea...if you want to keep your friends. You can check out some things on the internet but who knows if they are true or not. Have you seen all those 5 star reviews? Are they real?
I'm looking for an exterior painting contractor. Our house was last painted in 2005 so it is due, and showing it. I talked to my fourth painter today because one thing or another wasn't agreeable with the other three. And this one had alcohol on his breath. He's to email me his bid sometime next week. I'd like to say forget it all but that's not a possible solution.
|I was reading on the back porch today, something I do often when I'm not napping, and when I looked up, this black snake (racer I think) was slithering through the grass. It stopped and seemed to be looking up at me and the end of its tail was sort of twitching back and forth. I watched and watched and wondered how long this snake could stay in one position like that. It was nice and warm and sunny so I guess it was enjoying itself. Then I saw a little baby snake slithering toward it. So...mama (or papa) must have been calling junior and I didn't know snake talk. They both wiggled off into some taller weeds that are growing where I had two pine trees cut down last fall. Fascinating to watch.
|I went for a walk today and saw two dead animals. Both had been laid beside the road near the sidewalk and both were badly decomposed, but I could tell one had been a squirrel and the other a Siamese cat. I had to turn around and go back home, so very sad. The Siamese must have escaped its home somehow because I've never seen one roaming around anywhere ever. Up until that it was a beautiful day and a nice walk. I'll probably dream about it tonight. People drive too fast. Animals don't have a chance.
And then on my Neighborhood website some lady was complaining about a black cat stalking her bird feeder, and she facetiously threatened to do something to it if the owner didn't keep it in its yard. She said if anyone reading her message knew who owned it, they had best be told about it. Like "or else."
Sorry, it's been a rough day.