Once upon a time.

Did I ever tell you about the time that Christmas was cancelled at my house?

I was a little kid. 

My Father was dead.  

My Mother was left  with three little children.  

Like all little kids, we were excited for Christmas. 

It turned out to be the worst Christmas ever. 

Mother was upset.  

I did not know why but I felt as if I had done something wrong.  

There were no presents under the tree.  

All was quiet.  

I am an adult now.

No more tears.

Crying Time

These days, it does not take much for me to get teary-eyed or even to weep.

I weep when I read about someone’s good deed.

Or, I hear a song that brings back a memory, either sad or happy.

Continue reading “Crying Time”

Masking for a friend

Saturday Morning November 12, 2022

Good morning from chilly, but not rainy, Portland.

I surveyed my front and back patios to see if the leaves had taken over.

So far, the score is 1-1.

A friend loaned me a leaf blower so I have an advantage.

I hate using a leaf blower…so loud plus, I can use the exercise. Still, I am grateful to have it for the sidewalk and driveway.

When I am not in a hurry, raking leaves makes me slow down and smell the leaves.

Continue reading “Saturday Morning November 12, 2022”

Crossing the finish line

I am so close to resolving my window shade problem.

For several months, I battled Hunter Douglas and Home Depot for replacement of defective shades.

Four of the five shades fell apart and could not be repaired.

I paid a workman to take them down and bought temporary paper shades to cover my windows and protect my furniture and hardwood floors from the blazing sun.

So, instead of custom shades from Hunter Douglas in my living room, I had paper shades. Really sad!

Continue reading “Crossing the finish line”

Thursday Morning

I started my day by breaching the alarm system in my home.

Continue reading “Thursday Morning”

Beans

I love black beans.   

I  buy small containers of black beans from a local Cuban restaurant. 

They are  good but expensive.  Plus, the restaurant is far away, adding the feeling of a pilgrimage to buy them.  

I could eat one container in one sitting, but I stretch the beans by adding them to burritos, salads, or rice.  Sometimes, I do eat them plain.  They are so good.  

Yesterday I decided I would break the cycle and cook my own black beans from scratch.

Dried organic black turtle beans sell for $3.99 a pound at my grocer, less than the cost of one small container of cooked beans.  

I approach this with trepidation. 

I have not had good luck cooking black beans.   Probably too much liquid or too little attention to the beans as they cooked resulting in mushy, flavorless beans.

To begin this rustic cooking journey, I measured one cup of dried beans and soaked them overnight in the refrigerator.  

This morning I rinsed them and tossed any questionable beans.  

While the beans drained in a colander, I toasted cumin, smoked Spanish paprika and a few chili flakes for less than a minute.   The smell was incredible.

Then I added the beans and water, bringing them to a boil.

Now they are simmering with the lid halfway over the pot, a compromise to covering or not covering the pot.   

Wish me luck!

Love Hate

I have a love/hate relationship with this tree.

It frames the window of my office and brings me joy all year long.    

In spring, soft green buds appear.

In summer, the leaves are a rich green.  

Fall brings leaves that are gold, yellow and orange.  

Even in winter when the leaves are gone, the bare branches offer a lacy pattern against the daily gray skies.  

So, what’s the problem?

Everyday, for what seems like weeks on end, I sweep and rake the fallen leaves.  

I go out at first light, often in the  rain.  

I clean up the leaves knowing that I will repeat this the next day and the day after that until all the leaves have fallen.  

Like many beautiful things, there is a price to pay.  

In this case, well worth it.   

Ned Ludd

A friend sent me this post from Eater Portland.

One of Portland’s leaders in the hyper-local movement, Ned Ludd officially announced its closure in September. “Bittersweet to say goodbye to the last 13 years of wood fired fun, farm driven fare and all the culinary adventures this little space on MLK brought me,” owner and chef Jason French wrote in an Instagram post. “I’m the man I want to be, the husband and father I’ve imagined since my youth and the chef I’ve dreamed of since 1986.”

I was sad to learn that another unique and Portland restaurant had closed. Locally sourced food, an involved owner and chef, Ned Ludd had a presence and a story as well as excellent food beautifully served.

My friends and I miss Ned Ludd.

All Shall Be Well

All shall be well, and

All shall be well, and

All manner of thing shall be well.

Julian of Norwich, English mystic and author of Revelations of Divine Love

This was one the first thing I read this morning,

Even before leaving my bed.

These simple words comforted me.

Simple words written over 600 years ago.

Political scandal and upheaval here and around the world.

Epidemics that just keep coming.

The world on fire, the world flooding.

Unease and distrust among neighbors and citizens.

The constant drumbeat of urgent requests for political donations.

Feeling guilty when I enjoy the pleasures of my life.

Feeling tearful and upset that I don’t know how “to fix” the world.

All manner of thing shall be well.

All shall be well.

I will do my best to make it so.