You say, “What’s cooking, good looking?” And I’ll say . . .

HELLO . . .Hello . . hello.

That’s the echo I imagine if these words were being communicated out loud and you could hear them as if I’m across the canyon. Yes, across the canyon or maybe on the other side of the galaxy.

Is anybody out there?

I just checked and the last post I wrote was in November 2017. To say I’ve been distracted is sort of true but not what you might think. I could say, “I’ve been distracted by life!” [Back of hand gently lifted to forehead as if I might faint.] Too dully dramatic for my taste.

If I had to say why I’ve been gone, it would be that this blog has un-distracted me. What I mean by that is I got tired of the routine of creating a new dish, taking photos while cooking it and writing down the recipe for it, then trying to make the photos half-way decent despite not really having the right equipment and posting it.

And to some degree there is that distraction called “life” in which I have been very busy and my cooking has become very simple. Which I like very much in life but it doesn’t make for an exciting blog post, does it? How many times would I get away with showing you lightly boiled kale?

If you look at cooking blogs or YouTube cooking videos, the creator is usually showing you something special or something you might not make on your own or something for a holiday or a party. I actually love those YouTube videos and I admit that I have gotten into the habit of watching a few of them. Maybe I’ll blame them for why I didn’t write in my blog.

I am just not in the mood for creating a bunch of special dishes. That is all.

HOWEVER, I am never out of ideas of what I want to write about! I have lots of ideas and they get put on the back burner as soon as I consider how I would illustrate the post or add a photo or two. I consider that you won’t want to read the post if it doesn’t have pictures. I’m hoping I’m wrong about that. If you bear with me on this, I think I will come up with illustration ideas eventually.

Then there’s the whole dilemma of my blog title – “mycookinglife.” If it’s my cooking life, shouldn’t it have cooking in it? Not necessarily! It is my cooking life and I do have a cooking life because I love to cook and have paid attention to cooking for sixty plus years and I still pay a lot of attention to cooking but now we can talk about it on broader terms because I also have a life that is still “cooking.”

It would be a lot of trouble to change the name of the blog and I really don’t want to anyway. I mean really! What would I say? My Endless Life? My Unretired Life? (Not bad) Six Decades of Growing Up? (I’ll have to remember that one.) If I did something like that I would be trying to sneak cooking into it anyway. You know I would.

(By the way, did you notice in the beginning I said something was too dramatic “for my taste?” Does talking about taste count as being broadly about my cooking life?)

No? Okay what about this – what about if the word “cooking” is modifying life as in my life is still “cooking” in a non-literal sense? Like if you asked, “What’s cooking good looking?” and I told you about my latest adventure creating a costume for a party or about my upcoming dental surgery.

You’re hoping I will never tell you about dental surgery. I’ll try not to. But if I did, I would also tell you how to make stunningly delicious and satisfying soft foods and liquids to consume right after the surgery. That’s right! When you are me in my cooking life, anything can be about cooking literally or otherwise.

To my surprise, while I was off doing other things and not writing posts, other people were still visiting this blog. I was very surprised when I looked at my statistics. This month alone – almost a year a half since my last post – there have been 75 visitors to mycookinglife,com. Go figure!

It is encouraging to say the least. And just for your information, many of them visited to see how to cook lotus root. In case you want to see that too, here it is.

It turns out I have a lot more to say and with your encouragement, you 75 wonderful, kind, brilliant, intuitive and totally hip people, I’m going to say it. I’ll probably throw in some recipes and photos sometimes, too. You know I will.

So that’s what I’ve been up to on my side of the canyon galaxy, how about you?

When I Was Supermom

I don’t know why I never thought to tell you this story before. It certainly is a “My Cooking Life” story. Probably because whenever I think about it, it kind of freaks me out. But then I also wonder at how I managed to get myself and my three little boys out of that scary situation.

Daily Prompt asks todayDaily Prompt: Daring Do. Tell us about the time you rescued someone else (person or animal) from a dangerous situation. What happened? How did you prevail?

I had just gone to the local co-op in Atlanta, Georgia and the Buick Skylark was loaded with a ton of groceries, one boy in the front seat of the car with me and two more younger boys in car seats in the back.

We all piled in and worked our way through the side streets to the highway to go home. It was a hot and sultry afternoon and I wanted to get my food home quickly and get it into the refrigerator. I remember the organic strawberries had been on sale and I had bought a lot of them.

As I merged onto the highway I sped up. I’m not a timid driver, but I never usually went over the speed limit either especially with my precious babies in the car with me. I guess I was trying to get home awfully fast, I thought, as I looked at the rising dial on the speedometer.

I slowed just a little—or at least I thought I would. That ol’ Buick had a mind of its own! It continued to accelerate. Another pump of the brakes. Still speeding faster and faster. A serious push on the brakes. The car was only barely kept in check, yet the brakes did seem to be working.

The boys in the back were nodding off in their seats. The boy in the front was chattering away. The Mom driving was starting to panic as she realized the car was accelerating on its own and not stopping.

As we zoomed down the highway, which was not very busy, I continued trying to slow down and maneuvered the car down the road realizing that soon it was time to get off the highway and back onto regular streets. Streets that had slow-moving cars and stop lights.

I picked my exit—one that went sort of flat for a short distance before there was a stop light and then, if you go right, there’s a big hill. There was nothing to do but take the exit and try it. I could see that there was no traffic, no cars.

“Ramp speed 30 miles per hour” the sign said. Not us! We would exit at over 70 miles per hour.

I glanced back at the two sleeping babies in my back seat and over to my boy in the front. Not sure if he realized something was wrong but he was about to.

I unbuckled my seat belt as we traveled the exit ramp and stood up the best I could in my car while driving down the road. I was putting all my weight onto my brakes which were now only slowing us down because of my physical pressure.

The light was green and I made a right onto a very steep hill still standing on my smoking brakes. I don’t know how I did it so fast without thinking, but I chose a spot to get off the road and stop the car. It was a small group of stores and they were on another pretty steep hill and there was a very long driveway going from the lot to behind the buildings.

I took it. The car slowed enough and I pulled on the emergency brake and brought us to a stop.

Drenched I sat there and looked at my beautiful family. We were all awake and we were all okay. I called my neighbor and she came and got us and our groceries and took us home.

We feasted on strawberries that very day.

I have long since stopped wondering at how fast the whole fiasco went, how much danger we had been in, how badly it could have turned out and how—for the love of God—did I come up with that maneuver on the spot and keep us out of a wreck?

There’s no figuring it out. There was no time to think. I just acted and I clearly recall the feeling of knowing what I was doing and knowing I could make that instant plan work.

English: Strawberries at a market.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. The Train On The Tracks | The Jittery Goat
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Shocking Celebrity Sighting!

Today’s Daily Prompt asks:  Scour the news for an entirely uninteresting story. Consider how it connects to your life. Write about that.

Have you seen MSN or Yahoo home pages where they shout various hot stories at you? There’s always some celebrity gossip available and usually none too flattering. These don’t interest me at all because I respect artists and I’m not into cabal.

The page I saw was this one:

“CELEBRITY TOOB:  3O FAIRLY SHOCKING PICTURES OF CELEBRITIES WITHOUT MAKEUP PHOTOS”

(Gotta love the redundancy here. You can tell this is high-class news reporting.) I looked these pix over and thought most of the celebs looked pretty darned okay without their glam on. Just as I was thinking they shouldn’t be too offended, I came upon picture #25. This was a celebrity I’ve known nearly all my life. One that is beloved the world over and has personally been a part of millions of lives!

I was shocked indeed! No need to tell you who she is—you’ll recognize her in an instant.

Celebrities_Without_Makeup_25

This is just wrong. Barbie deserves way more respect than this. But even so, Barbie looks amazeballs with or without her makeup, doesn’t she? (Perfect hair. How does she do it?)

Of course this connects to My Cooking Life. I was immediately reminded of something that happened just last night!

I was cruising around my natural food store late last night after work looking for some ready-to-eat dinner. I was going through the produce section on my way to the deli hot food when I spotted them.

I couldn’t believe it! Completely whole. No trimming. No preparation. No hiding their large, rough, blemished roots. One of the most famous, world-renowned celebrity ingredients in nearly every cuisine, cooking method and dietary program.

And I caught them incognito without a speck of glam!

CELERY ROOT PAINT

True culinary stars loved by all. Do you recognize them? I didn’t at first until I took a closer look.

CELERY ROOT CLOSE UP

“We’re not quite ready for our close-up, Mr. DeMille,” they exclaimed. “Don’t worry, Miss Celli, you’re gorgeous just as you are!” I answered.

I was so thrilled, I didn’t bother asking for an autograph. I swept these two off their shelf and brought them home with me. Imagine what these will look like when they’re all glammed up! Ahhh, the things you have to endure in show biz.

Stay tuned for that. . .

  1. Sunlight on the lamp | Bright Moments Catcher
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  5. Rural Tourism in Russia. Windmill. Yakovlevo of Belgorod Region, Russia. January 15, 2012 | Bright Moments Catcher
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  14. You’ve got a new PINGBACK!! | Phelio a Random Post a Day
  15. Connect the Dots | Motherhood and Beyond
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  20. Daily Prompt: Connecting the Dots Each Day | My Daily Prompt Blog
  21. Connect the Dots | Going New Places!
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  24. Rorschach Media Inc. | ecriantonio
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  26. 215. Connecting the Dots | Barely Right of Center
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  28. Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots | Basically Beyond Basic
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  33. My Enemy | Life Confusions
  34. “Connect the Dots” | Relax
  35. WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ CASINO | SERENDIPITY
  36. Wrong Is Wrong | Flowers and Breezes
  37. Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  38. connect the dots | yi-ching lin photography
  39. DATASEXUAL / Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots | Communication For Development

What Babies Talk About

Today’s Daily Prompt challenged:  Write a post about anything you’d like, but be sure to include this sentence somewhere in the final paragraph: “He tried to hit me with a forklift!”

*******

English: Portrait of 1-year-old baby girl
(Photo: Wikipedia)

Baby Chloe: “Do they ever try to make you eat green stuff?”

Baby Liam: “No, I don’t think so. What is it?”

Baby Chloe: “It’s oooooh soooo good for you babeeee.”

Baby Liam: “What’s that mean?”

Baby Chloe: “It means I have to eat it and they think it’s easier for me if they talk baby talk. I think it would be easier if it was chocolate-flavored!”

Baby Liam: ” Prolly right. My Mama keeps trying to make me eat carrots, but I can’t stand them when they’re all mushed up out of the jar. Geesh! Let me get some more teeth and I’ll just chew on the carrot whydontcha!”

English: 10-months-old baby during winter stro...
(Photo : Wikipedia)

Baby Chloe: “Teeth? How many do you have to have? I’ve got four so far.”

Baby Liam: “I dunno. I can put just about anything in my mouth if they’d let me. One time Mama got tired of trying to spoon in that carrot stuff and she told Papa to feed it to me. He’s not used to it so he gets a big person’s fork and dips it in the carrot jar and starts waving it around making weird sounds.”

Baby Chloe: “How bizarre is that?!”

Baby Liam: “Yeah, I know, right? Then he gets this wild look in his eye and tells me it’s an airplane and open the hangar ’cause it’s coming in for a landing. Next thing I know, the fork is headed right for my face!

Baby Chloe: “Eewe! What happened?”

Baby Liam:  “I shut my mouth tight and started crying and fussing and calling for Mama. But Papa, he was so busy playing airplane in the hangar, he comes swooping up with that thing and thought he could make me open my mouth by just putting the fork right into it. It’s like he tried to hit me with a fork lift! But it was too late. I already squirmed around in my highchair and the carrot stuff landed in my hair. That was awesome!”

*********

  1. Quintet | Markovich Arts
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  6. Button Factory | Motherhood and Beyond
  7. Rampant Hedgehogs! | alienorajt
  8. Go Ask Alice | Just Visiting This Planet
  9. Romantically Desperate ! | Life Confusions
  10. What the Forklift? | Phelio a Random Post a Day
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  12. Men Swear | Rebekkah Mee
  13. Non-sequitur | As I See It
  14. Organized Labor Rage (short fiction) | The Jittery Goat
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  17. Non Sequitur – The Unfollower. | The Ambitious Drifter
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  27. Non Sequitur, Nonet | Danny James
  28. Daily Prompt: Fork Me!!! | Iam Who Iam
  29. A love affair I have every Autumn. | ExLibrisMachina
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  36. “How to write better” | SueAnn Porter
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  50. Owning the Pronoun, Means Owning the Love (Daily Prompt: Non Sequitur) | Running with Reality
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  57. the DAILY PROMPT | Mary and Lamb | the TRASH BASH
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  69. Daily Prompt Challenge~Non Secuitur | soletusknow
 

That’s A Good Title

Daily Prompt asks: Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.

Way to be on my wavelength, WordPress!  I was just about to re-post my most popular posts while I finish up with July’s chocolate mousse recipe.

My all-time top three posts are:

3.  The End of An Era  Who could have guessed that nearly every single day, someone has found this little piece of news on a search engine and stopped by to read it?  It boggles my mind.  This post was heavily shared on facebook. Not saying it went viral, just saying a few people got the sniffles for it. See for yourself at https://mycookinglife.com/2012/11/28/the-end-of-an-era/

YOGURT DRESSING

2. It’s Rasta Pasta Time  There is no such thing as “Rasta Pasta” since Jamaican cuisine doesn’t particularly use pasta!  But the rhyme apparently strikes a chord in a lot of people.  This one, too, is discovered by someone on a search engine just about daily.  The recipe works and besides, who doesn’t like an inspiring action shot of Bob Marley?  Here is the post at https://mycookinglife.com/2012/07/27/its-rasta-pasta-time/

Bob-Marley

And the number one hit post on Mycookinglifebypatty is:  [Drum roll, please]

3. Preserved Lemons – A Tradition in Moroccan, Mediterranean and Indian Cuisine. Is it the photograph? Is it just that people have heard of preserved lemons but didn’t know how to make them? Is it the fact that I have since mentioned and linked to this post about a zillion times because I love, love, love using preserved lemons in my recipes? Maybe all of the above.  This is certainly one of my favorites so I can understand if it’s one of yours. You can take a look at the preserved lemon post here:  https://mycookinglife.com/2012/07/08/preserved-lemons-a-tradition-in-moroccan-mediterranean-and-indian-cuisine/

add-salt-2.jpg

Is there some sort of magic in this? Not so sure. Did I possibly hit on the right tags so I could get a good ranking on some search engines?  Perhaps. Great photographs? In my case, I doubt that was the connecting factor. If I had to say there was one connecting factor, I would say it was the titles of the posts.

A good title tells you what the post is about or at least gives an intriguing hint. A good title can be short or long, but is never awkward or obtuse.

A good title gets the reader to click onto the post, which is what the “top post” stats actually reflect. Doesn’t mean they read the whole thing, doesn’t mean they liked it. It just means they were interested enough to see it.  You have to be able to accomplish that if you want anyone to read your stuff!

A good post delivers what the title promises. And that, Grasshopper, is where you either lose them or draw them in.

Master Po
Master Po

My method in this is to use a “working title” while I’m writing the post and then when the post is finished, I will read it and discover what the final title should be. Because you never know what will develop while writing a post! That way, I am not locked into something such as the school essay assignment, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation.”

My working title for this post was, “My All Time Top Three.”  Definitely too WIDOMSV. I didn’t know what I thought the connection was with the three posts when I started writing. But when I got to the end, I had the “title” theory and changed the title of the post.

What do you think of these titles? Are they the connecting link for these top posts or do you see another kind of connection?

P.S. For you youngins, Master Po is not the In-Charge Teletubby.

See what other bloggers had to say:

  1. Daily Prompt: The Stat Connection | flow of my soul
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Middle Class Misfits

Today’s Daily Prompt is called, “Island of Misfits.”  We all have something we’d like to write about that doesn’t really “fit” our blog. Write it anyway. I decided to adapt the opening title of the prompt for a flash fiction post.

Middle Class Misfits

“But Jace,” Min whined, “You’re gone so much lately! We hardly get to spend any time together. I practically have to make an appointment to see my own husband! Can’t you take some time off?”

“Sorry, Babe, you know I’d love to spend the day together and we’ll do that real soon. But right now, I’ve got to get going ’cause I don’t want to be late!” he said, blowing her a kiss.

He was out the door just like that. Just like every morning when Jace rushed out, coffee in one hand, keys in the other. Jace looked like an eager teenager on the first day of his first job. He had ‘ bright future’ written all over his 65-year-old face.

Min watched as Jace trotted to the car and took off. She really had no plans herself. The house was perfectly kept, all the bills were paid, the landscapers were taking care of the lawn. Planning dinner was the extent of her exciting future.

“What kind of retirement life is this?” Min complained on the phone to Helen, her best friend.  “The man retires and we’re finally free to do whatever we want and he goes and volunteers full time! He treats it like the most important job in the world! And here I sit— bored, sad, and feeling awfully old! We talked about going to Europe but it doesn’t look like that will happen. Not this year.”  Min paused, “Maybe never, Helen.”

“Min, I hate to say this, but if he’s spending that much time away from home, he is up to something.” Helen carped, “Has he ever cheated? Does he gamble?”

“No! Absolutely not! How could you even ask such a thing?” Min was annoyed.

“Because, Min, nobody loves to work that much,” Helen insisted. “Work is a necessary evil. If you keep your nose to the grindstone long enough, you can stop working and enjoy a little freedom. You and Jace have earned your retirement and this is the time in your lives when you should be slowing down and taking it easy. You two should be enjoying the security you’ve built over the years and spending time together while you’re still can.”

“So they say,” Min sobbed, “But that isn’t how it’s working out for us.”

Min stifled her tears, knowing full well she was overindulging in pure drama-queen mode. Her Jace was an honest man with good intentions. Isn’t that why he was working over at their church— to help people? Jace always did love to help.

“Helen, I gotta get off the phone,” said Min.

“Well, if I were you, I’d go find out for myself what’s going on. That’s all I’m saying,” snorted Helen. “You’d better find out sooner than later.”

It took a while to pull herself together, but Min got dressed, put on some lipstick and climbed into her car. “Yes,” she decided, “I will go down there and see for myself.”

Min stopped for drive-thru coffee and ordered lattes for herself and Jace. “He’ll like that,” she thought.

“How’s your day?” the twenty-something at the window asked. “Thank goodness we’re almost through Hump Day, right? Do you still have to work today or are you done?” he asked.

“I don’t work,” answered Min,

“Lucky you!”

“I’m not so sure I’d call it ‘lucky,'” Min said.

Min drove on. “Just a coffee shop peddler,” she fumed. “What does he know about real work? Hump day! As if he suffers to get through a week of brewing coffee and making change! What’s he do on the weekend, sit at the coffee shop himself sipping an icy drink while he watches other people work?”

“Well I may be bored,” Min sighed, “but I could never work at a place like that. What would be the point?”

Min pulled into the church parking lot taking the last spot. “Wow, there are a lot of cars here for a Wednesday,” she thought, “I wonder if something special is going on. Maybe that’s why Jace was in such a hurry.”

“Hello Min!” said the receptionist, “Here to see Jace? Looks like you brought him a treat! I’ll get him up here.”

“Hi Paulette,” Min said with a smile. Min liked Paulette a lot. She was always so genuinely friendly when she greeted people. “”Such a lovely woman,” Min thought, “She got a smile out of me, didn’t she?”

Min looked around while she waited for Jace. A group of kids and parents were getting ready to go out with two of the staff for a volunteer neighborhood clean-up. The children were laughing and excited as the adults rounded them up and got them out the door.

Everywhere Min looked there were busy people doing all kinds of things. “They all look so happy and productive!” Min thought, “They are the lucky ones.”

In another room there was a burst of applause. Min took a peek and saw five people standing in front of an audience describing their trip to South America where they had been helping disaster victims. Min listened while one young woman told a beautiful story of how she helped a family get through their ordeal and start on the road to recovery. Min was impressed with her generous dedication. “Helen would never understand this kind of drive and purpose,” Min thought.

Just then Jace appeared. He wore a grin that was practically too big for his face. “Hi Honey! Wow, thanks for the coffee!”

They stood arm in arm, listening to the volunteers talk about their experiences helping the South Americans. The team was going back next week and said they needed more help.

“It’s definitely not a vacation,” said the young woman, ‘It’s hard work but it’s a fantastic opportunity that you’ll never regret. They need food, water . . .  everything. Who wants to help?”

A hand shot up! Another burst of applause and cheers filled the room. Then another hand shot up! “I’ve got to keep up with my adventurous wife!” said Jace, looking at Mim. She was glowing.

####

  1. Island of Misfit Posts | Geek Ergo Sum
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Smorgasbord

If we slap a tagline on ourselves, are we helping people understand us or are we limiting what can be understood about us?

Today’s Daily Prompt is called “Tagline.”  The editor asks, “Often, our blogs have taglines. But what if humans did, too? What would your tagline be?”

A tagline is something that gives a viewpoint. Where are you coming from? Where are you looking from? What’s your angle? A tagline is really a label, isn’t it? And a label symbolizes something or someone by imbuing an added significance according to a viewpoint.

We give ourselves and other people taglines all the time.

Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride; Village Idiot; Ain’t Nobody’s Fool; Show Me the Money!; Groceries; Know It All; Earth Mama; Your Worst Nightmare; My Precious; Stands With a Fist; Diamond in the Rough; Hellbent for Leather; the Ol’ Ball and Chain; My Better Half; God’s Gift to Women . . .

God's Gift to Women
God’s Gift to Women (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taglines can be cruel, kind, endearing or damning depending on The Viewpoint. We look down, we look up, we look sideways and cross-ways at people we know or meet. You can go all philosophical  and deep-think with them or just express some momentary whimsy and humor.

Sometimes we ask people to look at us from a certain viewpoint. Like when we put a bumper sticker on the car. I have a neighbor who has a bumper sticker on his car that says, “I poke badgers with spoons.” What is that supposed to make us think? I chuckle at the originality but is he saying he’s extremely brave or that he indulges in animal cruelty? Probably neither. Wry sense of humor, maybe? Pumpernickel? (Work with me here.)

I have no bumper stickers on my car. I resist labeling myself with a tagline. My viewpoint can change in an instant! I can consider in one way and then have another consideration right after that. And so can you, I believe.

That is called “creating your life and being the author of your own truth.” Not indecisive—Flexible. Not fixed—Infinitely Possible. Not living a lie—Honestly Looking. Magic Carpet Ride, perhaps. (See how easy it is to lapse into taglines?)

The tagline for my blog is, “Adventures in Healthy Living.” That is meant to give you a viewpoint that goes along with My Cooking Life. My game is to share my thoughts, ideas and experiences as they relate to my viewpoint about cooking and the adventure of living a great life. And like my blog’s tagline, my personal tagline (if I had one) would also have to be very open-ended Blah, blah, blah..

What good is it, may I ask, to have a tagline if you then have to explain it to people?

So in keeping with the theme of this blog. . . for the moment . . . as anti-climactic as it seems to me now . . .my personal tagline could be

Smorgasbord—Anything and Everything or Nothing At All!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Daily Prompt: Tagline « Mama Bear Musings
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  4. Daily Prompt: Tagline | Mindful Splatter
  5. My Tag Line | Right Down My Alley
  6. Live, laugh, love… | Relax…
  7. Tag, I’m it | Nanuschka’s Blog
  8. Raging Bull [Daily Prompt: Tagline] | unknowinglee
  9. Daily Prompt: Tagline | Books, Music and Movies : my best friends
  10. Phoneography Weekly: The light in dining halls |
  11. Blogging Is Like A Flea Market | The Jittery Goat
  12. Tagging me | 2 times pink
  13. Tagline: It’s All About Me | Mary Angelini Photography
  14. Daily Prompt – “All Humans Need Their Oil Changed” | Create & Motivate!
  15. Tagline: It’s All About Me | Mary Angelini Photography
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  17. I’ll stick to what I’ve got. For now, thanks. | thoughtsofrkh
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  22. Catherine B.’s Blog | My Opinion Not Yours | Daily Prompt: Taglines
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  24. The Tagline I Come With | Things To Rave About
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  36. My Tagline: Daily Prompt | BLUE BEAD PUBLICATIONS
  37. Daily Prompt: Tagline | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  38. Sam McManus: Writer | Sam’s Online Journal
  39. Its all in a tag – describing me. | Random Encounters of an Inquisitive Mind
  40. My Life’s Tagline | Thriving Pessimist…
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  42. A tagline for humans | tornin2’s Blog
  43. A tagline for humans | tornin2’s Blog
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  53. Tagline Me . . . | A Short A Day
  54. Meet the Family… | The Rider

It’s Normal

Today’s Daily Prompt asks:  Is being “normal” — whatever that means to you — a good thing, or a bad thing? Neither?

English: A Butterfly Taken at Tropical Wings i...

(Wikipedia)

There once was a free-thinking man named Norm

Who loved being artistic in every form.

He dreamed and created many beautiful things

Like dresses made from pure butterfly wings.

~

The fluttering dresses so colorful and bright

Stunned the critics and shocked buyers on sight.

“These are ridiculous, they’ll never sell,”

Carped Louie Couture and Daisy La Belle.

~

“Norm’s no designer, he’s just a joke!

Why look at those monarchs stitched to that yoke!

Alert the press! Call CNN!

His career’s over before it begins!”

~

Soon the word spread, Norm’s dresses had failed.

Bronx cheers from Joan Rivers; Jon Stewart railed.

You’d think poor Norm would have changed his style—

“No, I really love this,” he said with a smile.

~

Then one fateful eve at the Grammys, I think

Clad all in butterflies, quite gossamer and pink

A Lady appeared to deliver a song

Wearing one of Norm’s dresses flowing and long.

~

She won the award and after the show

She stood for photos and looked all aglow.

“My dear, what do you call that smashing formal?”

She looked to the camera and said, “It’s Normal.”

~

Butterfly wings were soon on most dresses

And hats and shoes and even in tresses.

Soon there were knock-offs at Harrods and Macy’s

Butterfly frocks on each Sue, Jane and Stacy

~

“Normal” was normal, that’s all there was to it.

Except for Miss Patty who did cleverly ‘tuit

That changing whims and currents of fashion;

Were not where she placed her heart and her passion.

~

“I have my own thoughts and I’m going to write

What’s important to me, what brightens my light.

No matter if this is not mainstream and hip,

I write from my heart and I steer my own ship.”

~~~~~

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My Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool!

My mother was never reticent about accepting a compliment or a gift. She set an excellent example of how one can be sincerely gracious when receiving a compliment and enjoy the acknowledgement fully. And I’m the same way.

If you tell me I done good, I’m not going to say, “Oh! No no no, really it was nothing.” And I’m not going to pump for more, saying “Do you really think  so? I was trying but I didn’t know if I really accomplished anything.”

I’m going to say “Thank you so much!”

And I’m going to enjoy the hell out of the compliment given! Do not confuse this attitude with one of ‘doing something with the hope and intention of getting someone to acknowledge.’ Not the same at all.

All of which is a long introduction to saying thank you to my blogging friend, Debra, for acknowledging me and my blogging.  Debra recently awarded me the “Versatile Blogger Award” and yesterday she also conferred upon me the “Shine On Award.”

I recently found Debra’s blog, Mauldinfamily1, and we have been mutually admiring each other’s posts on a regular basis. And honestly, Debra, I have read some of your short fictional tidbits and some of your poetry and you have the ability to draw me right in to whatever you are creating!

I have also found some awesome bloggers to follow via Debra and she has a knack for finding fine, interesting bloggers.

So on to the business at hand! It is my turn to do the nominatin’ and awarding.

The Shine On Award

The Shine On Award

Let’s start with the Shine on Award.  This award asks for seven things about myself and 5-10 nominations.  And of course you also link to the blogger who awarded you, just as I’ve done.  Here we go:

  1. I’m an east coast girl at heart.
  2. I’d like to live in Italy.
  3. I’d also like to live in Maine.
  4. My favorite color is red and always has been.
  5. I’m lazy as all get out.
  6. I recently learned metric measurements for cooking.
  7. I fancy myself to have a Scottish ancestry. True there is some Scottish but it’s not the primary heritage–just the one I relate to the strongest.

(Now pretend we’re at the Oscars) Ahem! And the nominations are . . .

  1. Human Rights Warrior
  2. British Food: A History
  3. The Fantastical Voyages of Flat Kathy
  4. Cindyknoke
  5. Afroculinaria

Actually the “nominations” are all winners because I said so!

Now, let’s take a look at the Versatile Blogger Award. Hmmmm. What does “versatile” mean?

Ver-sa-tile – Adjective

1. Able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities: “a versatile saw”.

2. Changeable; inconstant.

Okay, so the first definition seems complimentary.  The second is not necessarily if you’re saying something or someone is “inconstant.” But I am going to take the first definition here and see if I can nominate some bloggers who have demonstrated variety and ability to adapt their basic blog theme or purpose broadly.

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

Yikes! Another seven things about meeeee?  (Plus 15 nominations and of course a link to the blogger–Mauldinfamily1–who nominated me.) Okay then here goes:

  1. In the past four years I lost 97 pounds.
  2. I am confident I can handle anything life throws at me and come out on top.
  3. My nickname used to be “Peaches” but now I don’t seem to have any nickname and I really don’t want one either.
  4. I am 100% against psychiatry and also psychiatric drugging.
  5. I think everyone should know their thirty human rights as laid out in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  6. I have at least three Christmas decorations that remain on display in my home all year.
  7. I have three of the most wonderful sons any mother could ask for.

And (drumroll please) the first five nominees are:

  1. Cook Up a Story
  2. Domestic Diva
  3. Fig and Quince
  4. Mama Miyuki Easy Pantsy
  5. Displaced Beachbums

When I find the next five nominees I will announce them.  For now, these are my choices and I hope you’ll visit them soon! Congratulations to all and again, thank you Debra for nominating me.

(Stay tuned – I am very close to starting my own idea of an excellent award to acknowledge favorite bloggers!)

I Am My Own Genie

I decided to take up today’s WordPress Daily Prompt: A genie has granted your wish to build your perfect space for reading and writing. What’s it like?

From miles above the Earth my writing space cannot be seen, but I know it is there. You see, I create this space myself each time I sit down to the keyboard to write and because circumstances in my life change day to day and even moment to moment, the space changes too.

Today as I zoom in to get a closer look, I see my room is in the United States on the eastern coast. Oceanside. Right next to the water perched on a cliff with galloping waves racing toward a crashing explosion against the rocks.

maine cliffs

(Photo credit: kenyee)

The year is still quite young–only February third–and it is quite cold way up north here by the sea. So we are inside, my husband and I. He doing his work and I, with my cup of coffee, am about to tend to mine.

Come, let me show you one of my favorite spaces where magic is made!

We will pass through the grand living room full of warm wood and sturdy stone. It’s such a welcoming place but it is for family activities and guests and hosting parties–not for my most solemn and private endeavor.

Let’s go through the kitchen now. It’s beautiful isn’t it? I love all the cabinetry, my fine professional six-burner gas stove; I love how spacious and clean it all looks. Miles of counters, too! How do you like my pantry? It has space for everything and anything I want to keep on hand. And maybe when we’re through touring, I’ll show you my dish collection which I keep in these antique hutches. I love collecting all kinds of dishes and unusual serving items. So much fun!

The kitchen is my practical laboratory where I create what I think is the most delicious food in the world. I love to put on my apron and see what’s in the pantry and refrigerator and go to town making something that is new and that we haven’t had before. I especially love this little area by the window because it affords just the right natural light to photograph my creations! I love my kitchen, but it isn’t where I write. It’s very close to the kitchen though.

My writing space is just through this door. It’s a warm and cozy room off the back of my kitchen. One whole wall is nothing but windows looking out onto the cliffs and the ocean beyond. Sometimes you can see the faraway lighthouse on the horizon and once in a while you can watch sailboats gliding past on their way to the harbor several miles south. It’s too cold to go out there today, but in the summer there’s nothing better than opening the glass doors, sitting out on the deck, with my laptop on the little table, typing away to the rhythm of the rolling waves and sipping a cold lemonade or an iced tea.

The opposite wall draws me in wintertime. There’s nothing like a roaring fire in that huge stone fireplace during a cold and gray February day! The crackling fire is so soothing and mesmerizing. See where my husband has built me a cast iron crane that holds this wonderful dutch oven cooking pot? Now that’s a cooking method!

I guess you could call my writing room my library.  After all, it is lined floor to ceiling with shelves of books. I have a lot of books! And this entire section here is cookbooks, and these are travel books, and over here is fiction, religion on this shelf–lots of categories. One of my favorite things is the heavy wood sliding ladder we built so I can reach any book on the shelf. Just like a real library!

Have a seat on one of my over-sized cushiony chairs; they’re guaranteed to be comfortable. No doubt you’ll feel like Alice herself because sitting in this huge chair, the library shelves loom above and seem to go on forever. The chairs are big enough for an adult to curl up in or dangle the feet from. Everything in the room is comfortable–the warm lights, colors, textures and shapes that fill the spaces. I’ve collected these things from all over the world and enjoy each and every item and the memories they ignite!

Ah yes! Here is my actual writing table. It is just a plain table with space for my keyboard and monitor and for maybe a coaster for a cup of something hot to drink. Nothing else. You don’t even see the computer, do you? No clock, no knick knacks, no papers. Just a plain table and my writing tools. No television in the library. No radio, no CD player. Those are all elsewhere.

Here it is just my ocean, my fireplace, my writing tools. It’s just me and my thoughts, that is all. Those are the ingredients for writing today.

This is the core. Ground zero. Couched within. The library plays a part in the space. The kitchen plays a part in the space. The deck, the house, the cliffs and the ocean play a part in the space. The cold February sky, the gracefully turning planet, the universe. I use them to help create the space.

Though this is one of my favorite writing spaces, there are others. For tomorrow I may linger above the Earth and locate a desert spot–all pink and purple and green and cream and gray. Perhaps my writing space will be in a tiny old Airstream and I will look out onto the desert and marvel at the huge desert sky and inspect the nuances of the barrel cactus flowers that surround my space. And I will again be free to write–just me, my tools and my thoughts.

Barrel Cactus Flowers

Barrel Cactus Flowers (Photo credit: Lon&Queta)

For you see I am my own genie and my writing space is my creation with endless possibilities. I am so lucky to know that!