Friday, July 31, 2020

What Are You Reading?

These hot days have sucked the will power right out of me. I manage to get down to the garden every other day to pick stuff but that's about it for me.  But it's never too hot to read.  A Blink of the Screen is a delightful compilation of Pratchett's shorter fiction (the story in which Granny Weatherwax wreaks havoc by being 'nice' is wonderful) and it whetted my appetite for more. I may at last work my way through the entire DiscWorld series so I'm starting with a re-read of The Color Of Magic

My reading (mostly re-reading) has been all over the place-- the Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell books, whatever Harlan Coben we have in the house, September by Rosamund Pilcher (so predictable; so enjoyable.)

Predictable may be the key. In these most unpredictable times (demon sperm? Federal troops vs. a Wall of Moms? postpone the election?) the comfort of predictability is not to be denied.

What about you? What are you reading? Or watching? 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A Little Sazon

When the head guy of Goya Foods announced his whole-hearted support for 45*, many folks called for a boycott. I've always liked Goya's products but I had to think about this. Of course Mr. Goya (not his real name) is free to support whomever he likes--but does this support mean that some of my grocery dollars will end up as campaign donations to a man who has done major harm to this country--a man I despise?

Then 45* used his presidential position and the historic Oval Office and desk to hawk Goya products. And the first daughter followed suit in her own inimitable fashion. 

Done. No more Goya products for me. The decision was easy--especially as there are many alternatives to the canned beans that were the bulk of my purchases. 

But what about the Sazon--the little flavoring packets that I've always relied on for Spanish Bean Soup or Arroz con Pollo or Black Beans and Rice--the foods of my youth? Would life be the same without Sazon?

Thanks as always to Mr. Google, I found a recipe that purports to duplicate the Sazon I wish to avoid.  And here it is:


1 TB garlic powder
1 TB onion powder
1 TB cumin
1 TB turmeric
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 TB ground anchiote powder (anatto) OR sweet paprika
2 TB fine sea salt

Combine and store in airtight container.

Double this recipe fills a half pint jar.

Easy and cheaper than the original.


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Josie's Important Work with Color

I like to play with my little color cubes but I have to be careful not to let them fall on the floor because Bobadog will chew them up.

He already got a red one and a purple one.

That's okay; I still have a lot.

I even shared so Meema could play too.

She likes to build towers.

                          I tell her she is doing a good job.

Then I go over with my bulldozer hand and knock the tower down and grab all her cubes. It is good for her to share, I tell her.

I made a rainbow redorangeyellowgreenbluepurple tower but it is lying down. 

That way is safer. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Lemon Balm Tincture

I am blessed with Lemon Balm. One plant added to the herb garden years ago and now I have great wodges of it scattered about the place. It's a mint (though not minty) and inclined to spread.  Over the years I've tried to find uses for it--chopped and added to frosting, dried and used as a tea (didn't much like this,) used instead of mint in iced tea (okay but not as good as mint.)

Then I saw a post on FB about Lemon Balm Tincture-- a herbal Valium, it said, good for these anxious times. So I shoved a bunch of fresh cut Lemon Balm into a jar and made some tincture, using vodka--and when that ran out, gin.  A couple of weeks in a dark cool place and I had a tasty tincture . . .

Or, a lemony gin.  In these anxious times, it makes a nice adult beverage, on the rocks or mixed with soda water.

Then the other day, I had used some fresh ginger root and was going to store the remainder, as I always have, in a jar of white wine. Wait a minute! I thought.

Gin and ginger tincture, anyone?

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Covid Time

Time runs slowly now

Measured by the corn's tassel

The sunflower's first bloom 

And our breath's thankful measure
In, out, in, out, and again . . .

Friday, July 24, 2020

God's Thumbprint

Heading out to fill the bird feeder a few mornings ago, I saw this odd oval cloud and thought at once, "God's thumbprint!"

It morphed into something else almost immediately but I was left to ponder why that should have been my immediate reaction, what with being a non-believer and all.

I realized that religious imagery has been a part of my life, from early Methodist Sunday School, to Episcopalian confirmation classes. I still think the language of the King James Bible is beautiful. And as an English major, I found religious imagery everywhere I turned. 

And my life is richer for it. But I'm still a non-believer.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Josie Does Art and Some Rearranging

I did some art yesterday. I drew my family. I make big O's and put in eyes and nose and mouth. 

I used my art supplies and different colors to make pictures for Mommy and Daddy.

When I had made enough pictures, I decided to go see my friends in The Room.

In the morning Meema puts the curtains over the windows to keep the hot sun out. She has to leave a little open so I can see to play.

Something is different. Now I have two shelves for my stuff.

I can reach the next shelf too. Maybe Meema will move those books also.

I move my babies to the big bed because it's time for their nap. They say they aren't sleepy and they are very oppositional but I make them lie down with Meema. I read then a story about Pete the Cat and then I say GO TO SLEEP!

Next I have to check under the bed to see what Corycat and Angeline are doing. They are taking naps.

A tea party is happening over here. 

I pour tea for everyone and help Panda sit up to drink his.

Then I get some of Meema's shoes out of her closet and put them on the bed with my medium-sized poop book,

Meema gets fussy. Josie, why do you put my shoes on the bed? she says.

Because that's what I do, I say, and I go to get some more stuff. There is plenty of room for everyone on the big bed.