Monday, June 10, 2024

IN PRAISE OF THE GRUMPY

 


And as you stand there
Arms crossed
Managing to look both infinitely patient and impatient at the same time
Trying not to roll your eyes and wonder how much longer all this will take


Let us now praise you.


You: the grumpy, the grouchy, the grumbling.
You: the beleaguered and the put-upon.
You: our hidden hero.


Because while you are
Short-tempered with the witless
Furious with the shallow and
Yelling at the television


It is only because you are so thoughtful
That everyone else seems so thoughtless.


And while you insist that you do not care about
What anyone is wearing or
What anyone said or did or
What so-and-so said or did back,
Nor do you give two figs about
The disenfranchised urban-dweller of today or
The illiterate or
The underprivileged of some foreign land or
Whomever it is we're supposed to be caring about today and that


You will not, under any circumstances,
Attend the choir concert or
The holiday party or
The 12-step meeting or
The neighborhood street fair or
The fancy dress ball or
The class reunion - for God's sake especially not the reunion - and that


You mustn't be relied upon for
Donations or
A ride home or
Free advice or
Help moving in to your new townhouse or a
Damn birthday present or
Whatever it is that all those people with all those
Outstretched hands
Seem to want


You must know that we all know
That you do, indeed, care and that
You will, if pressed, attend and that
We all do rely
On you.


We can tell that you care,
Because you so assiduously refuse to conform to
Some greeting-card version of caring
And instead insist on caring about us as individuals.


You remember the conversation we had about
Ry Cooder's guitar playing, and
Six weeks later you slip us a
Homemade cassette tape with no label.


You shun the collection plate, and yet
You shove a hundred dollars into the Youth Group's coffee can
(A check, of course - no sense missing out on the tax deduction just because you had a weak moment.)


And when you go to greet us,
You look us in the eye and take our full measure
And if you should
Notice that we look a bit sad,
You will grab our hand and
Kiss us roughly on the cheek and say,
"You OK, darlin'?"


You might grouse about Christmas Eve,
But you do love Christmas morning.


And while you would never voluntarily look at a
Photo album,
You forever hold a picture in your mind of
How we looked in
That Halloween costume
That prom dress
That uniform.


And we know you will attend
(Quit squirming - this poem isn't that much longer)
Because underneath your self-proclaimed
Disdain for all humanity
You are curious.
Intensely, insatiably, incorruptibly curious
And while you act repulsed
I suspect you are truly fascinated by us -
This clamoring horde of strangers you are compelled to share the planet with.


OK, OK: with whom this planet you are compelled to share.
Good grief you can be a pain sometimes.


And oh, how we rely on you.


And finally,
While you have largely succeeded in getting yourself off of
The phone tree
(That tactic you had about boring everybody silly with the excruciating details of your latest Water Filtration Project did wonders for removing you from any thinking hostess' guest list)
We do still rely on you.


Oh how we rely on you.


Oh how we rely on you.


You are our voice of sanity
Our comrade-in-arms
Our truth-telling ally in a world of endless bullshit.


You are our hidden hero
Deceptively chivalrous with
Your tender heart clad in dented armor.


And you must know that
When you are gone
We miss you.


So go ahead and
Sneak out at intermission and
Have an extra drink to get you through the reception and
Just turn and walk away from the
Over-gesticulating and the infuriatingly self-righteous.


Save yourself from these petty cruelties so that
When the world becomes just too much for us poor mortals to bear
We can rely on you to save us.


Oh how we rely on you.
Oh how we rely on you.


Oh how we rely on you.


Now stand still, because we're going to give you a nice, big hug. 



Samantha Bennett
© 2009 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Some days you get what you need . . .

 

So.


Did we lift our glasses in a toast to the judge, the jury, the Manhattan DA and the American justice system just after 5:00 p.m. the afternoon of May 30, 2024.


Damn right we did.






Drank a little, smiled a little, even danced a little, while watching MSNBC.


Because that guy is a criminal, a crook, a thug, a racist and a rapist.   And a felon.  A convicted felon.


A disgrace.


(Feel free to enter your own word of choice:  _________________________________ )


And dangerous to our country.


It took only minutes for the headlines to start shouting the news





And then came memes, and political cartoons, and the political columnists having their say.

And I participated.  

Watched the interviews and applauded.  

Shouted "Oh, hell yeah," at the TV.

Posted and shared more than my share of vitriol and contempt in regard to a man who deserves every insult, curse, gesture, and stream of invective thrown his way.


But still, even with a celebratory glass of bubbly in hand, there was sadness.  So much sadness for this country.  



Those 12 brave men and women were in agreement regarding all 34 counts.  


I wish I could tell each of them how much I appreciate them and what they did.








But.


As you well know, we have some very tough days ahead.


The Republican party has lost its collective heart and soul along with its spine.  This is NOT our parents' Grand Old Party.


And we know for sure that the Supreme Court won't be any help in the days ahead, quite the opposite. (Yet another huge concern that needs tackling).


It's up to us.


And I am hopeful.


But.

You all know all of of this.  I am preaching to the choir.


Once again, I forgot one of my goals in writing this post (imagine that).


Where I was going with all this before all my detours was to say that after hitting a wall today and needing to back away from the disgust of seeing that monster's face and reading the garbage he spews and exhausting myself by reacting, a little bit of serendipity found its way into my path.


In the words of The Great Rolling Stones . . .


"You can’t always get what you want

But if try sometimes, you just might find

You get what you need,

You get what you need."



Yes.


Poetry is, for me, an escape.


An entirely different sort of escape than immersing myself in a novel.


And it was just what my tired old self needed today.


And, thanks to NetGalley, I have been able to put my mind at rest, and my heart in a soft place to focus on the joy of the words of Billy Collins.


And was able to remember that, by golly, Life is good.






Description from NetGalley

From the former Poet Laureate of the United States and New York Times bestselling author of Aimless Love comes a wondrous new collection of poems focused on the joys and mysteries of daily life.

"[Billy] Collins remains the most companionable of poetic companions." —The New York Times


In this collection of sixty new poems, Billy Collins writes about the beauties and ironies of everyday experience. A poem is best, he feels, when it begins in clarity but ends with a whiff of mystery. In Water, Water, Collins combines his vigilant attention and respect for the peripheral to create moments of delight. Common and uncommon events are captured here with equal fascination, be it a cat leaning to drink from a swimming pool, a nurse calling a name in a waiting room, or an astronaut reciting Emily Dickinson from outer space. With his trademark lyrical informality, Collins asks us to slow down and glimpse the elevated in the ordinary, the odd in the familiar. It’s no surprise that The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both call Collins one of America’s favorite poets.

The Monet Conundrum

Is every one of these poems
different from the others
he asked himself,
as the rain quieted down,

or are they all the same poem,
haystack after haystack
at different times of day,
different shadows and shades of hay?



May serendipity do the same for you.  ❤


In the meantime . . .

A Toast



Tuesday, May 28, 2024

How to Be Old

 

It is easy to be young, (Everybody is,
at first.) It is not easy
to be old. It takes time.
Youth is given; age is achieved.
One must work a magic to mix with time
in order to become old.

Youth is given. One must put it away
like a doll in a closet,
take it out and play with it only
on holidays. One must have many dresses
and dress the doll impeccably
(but not to show the doll, to keep it hidden.)

It is necessary to adore the doll,
to remember it in the dark on the ordinary
days, and every day congratulate
one's aging face in the mirror.

In time one will be very old.
In time, one's life will be accomplished.
And in time, in time, the doll––
like new, though ancient––will be found.

            -  -  -  May Swenson

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Anniversary Dinner - Out or At Home?


 Dinner (lasagna) at home won the toss -


So i had fun doing an Anniversary Tablescape


Fun and whimsical with Williams-Sonoma Heart Dishes, a hodge podge of silver, china, pottery, crystal, and candles.















HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US !










Tuesday, May 7, 2024

What's Cooking in Meat Camp?


Today I have two crockpots hard at work.

I may be retired, but I still rely (heavily) on my slowcookers.

I've heard people say they don't use/don't like crockpots because everything tastes the same.

To that, I'd have to say, "you're doing it wrong."



Today's menu - - -




https://showmetheyummy.com/slow-cooker-flank-steak/


Slow Cooker Flank Steak


This Slow Cooker Flank Steak is ultra tender and coated in a flavorful brown sugar chili powder rub. This easy weeknight dinner requires less than 10 ingredients!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 15 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 15 minute prep, easy, slow cooker

 

Servings: 4 people

 

Calories: 511kcal

 

Author: Jennifer Debth

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 (1 oz) packet ranch seasoning mix
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper omit if you don’t like spice
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Honey mustard for drizzling, if desired

Instructions

  • Grease a 6 quart crockpot with cooking spray, then pour in olive oil. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together brown sugar, chili powder, ranch mix, paprika, salt, and cayenne. This is our spice rub.
  • Rub a few spoonfuls of the spice rub onto the steak to fully coat it.
  • Place steak into the prepared crockpot, then sprinkle on remaining spice rub.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
  • Remove steak from the crockpot and use a sharp knife to slice it into strips against the grain (this will basically shred your steak, but will prevent it from creating long and stringy pieces).
  • Serve as desired - on a bun, in a quesadilla, over mashed potatoes, on top of Mac and cheese, as nachos, etc. with a drizzle of homemade honey mustard sauce, if desired!
  • Take 5 seconds to rate this recipe belowWe greatly appreciate it!

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 1307mg | Potassium: 913mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 1731IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 5mg






 

https://www.simplyhappyfoodie.com/slow-cooker-green-beans-bacon-potatoes/


Slow Cooker Green Beans with Bacon and Potatoes


Slow Cooker Green Beans with Bacon and Potatoes is a delicious Southern style side dish. Tender green beans seasoned with bacon, garlic, and onion makes the best crock pot green beans recipe!

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword crock pot green beans bacon potatoes recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 283 kcal
Author Sandy Clifton

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Green Beans (fresh or frozen, ends trimmed)
  • 1 sm Sweet Onion, sliced
  • ½ lb Thick Cut Bacon* (cut in 1.5" pieces)
  • 1 lb Potatoes (new or baby potatoes, or larger ones cut)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt (or ¾ tsp table salt)
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • 3 cups Chicken broth, low sodium

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to the crock and stir gently.

  2. Cook on High for 3-4 hours, or Low for 6-7 hours.

  3. Serve with some buttered cornbread.

Recipe Notes

*You can use ham or smoked turkey wings or legs in place of the bacon.






And what will I be doing while dinner's cooking?


Reading  TABLE FOR TWO by Amor Towles.  Oh, how I love being retired.











Happy Reading
and
Bon App├ętit!