letter-c day 54, & film challenge

https://sandmanjazz.wordpress.com/2020/07/15/30-day-film-challenge-day-15/

Today is day 15 and the prompt is a film that broke your heart.

I’ll begin with the film that broke my heart. It was the Notebook, a 2004 romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes, written by Jeremy Leven and based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fall in love in the 1940s. Their story is read from a notebook in the present day by an elderly man (played by James Garner), telling the tale to a fellow nursing home resident (played by Gena Rowlands, who is Cassavetes’s mother). ~ Wikipedia.

The reason for my sadness was my grandparents passed away in a similar style. My grandma had dementia and didn’t know anyone but my grandpa patiently buffered as did Garner in the movie. The difference in my world is my grandpa passed and my grandma joined him a few months later without ever speaking again. So it hit on so many emotional levels, I haven’t been able to watch it without tears. Yeah, I know I’m a sappy one at heart beneath my gruff exterior.

54 days into the letter -c, nothing has changed except I’m getting familiar alternative resources that exist out there to help me win this battle.  I am not interested in chemo or radiation but if changing my food consumption, and daily activities along with immuno-therapy can kick this disease to the curb, I’m in. I’m reading everything I can so every decision I make will be beneficial to me.

“While we long for life without difficulties, we’re reminded that oaks grow strong in contrary winds, and diamonds are made under pressure.”– Peter Marshall

Cancer ….I’m watching you, I’m the stalker you’re going to wish you never met.  With that note let’s go to my song choice for today.  Every Breath You Take.  If you’re not familiar with the background of this story, Sting said it’s about jealousy, ownership, surveillance during the break up of his first marriage. He stalked like I will this disease.

https://ig.ft.com/life-of-a-song/every-breath-you-take.html#:~:text=It’s%20about%20jealousy%20and%20surveillance,arena%20tour%20of%20the%20US.&text

Every Breath You Take
The Police
Every breath you take and every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you
Every single day and every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay, I’ll be watching you
Oh, can’t you see you belong to me
How my poor heart aches with every step you take
Every move you make, and every vow you break
Every smile you fake, every claim you stake, I’ll be watching you
Since you’ve gone I’ve been lost without a trace
I dream at night, I can only see your face
I look around but it’s you I can’t replace
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace
I keep crying, “Baby, baby, please”
Oh, can’t you see you belong to me
How my poor heart aches with every step you take
Every move you make and every vow you break
Every smile you fake, every claim you stake, I’ll be watching you
Every move you make, every step you take, I’ll be watching you
I’ll be watching you
Every breath you take and every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take (I’ll be watching you)
Every single day, every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay (I’ll be watching you)
Every move you make, every vow you break
Every smile you fake, every claim you stake (I’ll be watching you)
Every single day, every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay (I’ll be watching you)
Every breath you take, every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take (I’ll be watching you)
Every single day, every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay (I’ll be watching you)
Every move you make, every vow you break
Every smile you fake, every claim you stake (I’ll be watching you)
Every single day, every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay (I’ll be watching you)
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Gordon Sumner
Every Breath You Take lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
I have no intention of letting this disease have the upper hand, battle lines drawn and I’m a fierce competitior.  I own this body, not you cancer so get used to being stalked. This is a vow I will not break.
Cancer Culinary toolkit addition for today is:
Edamane or soybeans are anti-inflammatory, they supposedly jump start our immune system in addition to putting up roadblocks that starve new cancer cells.
Eggs are anti-inflammatory according to the authors of the Cancer Fighting Kitchen  but there’s a lot of controversy about their benefits versus risks. Trust your gut on this one. For me, eggs have always been a staple in my diet and my cholesterol numbers are excellent so I’m not inclined to kick them to the curb unless instructed to.
I’ve posted a lot of links today to help if you know someone like me battling the letter-c. Knowledge is power. Even if you’re not facing this battle, healthy food consumption is key to your continued health.
“You have to be willing to give up the life you planned, and instead, greet the life that is waiting for you.”– Joseph Campbell
My pleasure reading has taken a serious hit the last couple of days with getting the taxes out of here. My husband suffered with the brunt of the nightmare which I am grateful for. I helped with the organization but all the data entry fell upon him. Now that it is in the mail I’m looking forward to digging into Rebel Yell by S.C. Gwynne in addition to finishing diyMFA and Queenie and Steering the Craft. I enjoy reading different topics in my day. diyMFA and Steering the Craft, I’m doing practice exercises along with the reading material so they’re definitely not bedtime reading. Queenie fulfills that position whereas Rebel Yell is a thick book that I do better sitting upright in a chair holding. What about your reading habits? How do you do it? I’m curious.
On Writing.com I’m organizing another virtual blogging trip for our group of writers. I’m looking forward to the mental distraction. We had a blast the last few times we did it together. Basically, I prepare an itinerary, and they either look up on the web about the location, and discuss what would appeal to them if they were actually there in person. Would it be the food, the setting, the people they’re with (fellow bloggers) the nightlife, history or art? Other bloggers must comment on at least two blogs to make it enjoyable.

 

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/immunotherapy

https://news.llu.edu/patient-care/7-foods-fight-cancer-heart-disease-and-enhance-health

https://www.webmd.com/cancer/features/top-cancer-fighting-foods#1

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cancer-fighting-foods

https://www.mskcc.org/news/truth-behind-three-natural-cures

https://www.roswellpark.org/cancertalk/201810/activating-your-immune-system-against-cancer

https://www.dana-farber.org/for-patients-and-families/care-and-treatment/support-services-and-amenities/nutrition-services/faqs/soy-and-cancer/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cancer-and-diet

Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson.

Contradictions

Proverbs are interesting and complex things. They appear, on the surface, to be gems of wisdom which have been passed down through the ages.  I don’t know how many times I have nodded my head and accepted without further discussion until someone pointed out to me  that most proverbs have an opposite. It seems so obvious to me now that I can’t believe I didn’t note the contradictions myself. Next time you find yourself nodding along to a proverb, stop and think of its opposite.

Look before you leap.
He who hesitates is lost.

Opposites attract.
Birds of a feather flock together.

Hitch your wagon to a star.
Don’t bite off more that you can chew.

Many hands make light work.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Clothes make the man.

The squeaking wheel gets the grease.
Silence is golden.

Clothes make the man.
You cannot judge a book by its cover.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Don’t beat your head against a stone wall.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Out of sight, out of mind.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it.

Two heads are better than one.
Paddle your own canoe.

Haste makes waste.
Time waits for no man.

You’re never too old to learn.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

A word to the wise is sufficient.
Talk is cheap.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Nice guys finish last.

Strike while the iron is hot

All good things happen for those who wait.

 

letter -c day 49 and 50

Yesterday blogging didn’t happen because my migraine spiked really bad . The impending storm probably added to the pressure my head was feeling. Staring at a computer wasn’t in the picture with the auras. So much for setting a new record. Oh well. It is what it is.

Garden:

I secured my tomato cages and trellises before Tropical Fay visited New Jersey.  I took some pictures of my flower beds before the storm arrived. It was a good thing I did because the wind broke four of my gladiolus, snapped the yellow lily and the white lily and splayed my rose bush knocking lots of blossoms off the bush.

Thankfully, my veggies fared better.

Reading:

I read one of Ray Bradbury’s short stories Cat Pajama’s out loud to Macavity. He wanted to curl up in my lap while the wind was whipping and the rain slamming against the glass. I think the storm was upsetting my fur baby. It reminded me of the last time I read Cat’s Pajama’s. My granddaughters were down from Maine visiting with us. Grandma and Grandpa took turns reading to them before bedtime. Cat’s Pajama was a hit even with the age difference. The older granddaughter thought she was too old for bedtime stories.

Veggie Burgers:

Two cans of garbanzo beans (chick peas)  drained and rinsed I mashed them but you can toss in food processor
1/2 green pepper finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion finely chopped
1 carrot shredded
1 yellow squash scoop out seeds and then finely diced
4 whole mushrooms finely diced
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 egg
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of tahini
1 tbsp of black pepper
2 tbsp of Italian seasoning
1 tsp of salt

Mix together, put in fridge for an hour or longer for flavors to blend. Makes 8 patties.

Shape into patties bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then turn and bake final 10 minutes.

I had Swiss chard ready in the garden so I chopped it up and tossed it in. You can add cilantro to this recipe as well but I didn’t have any so I skipped it this time.

They came out awesome.  Vic did a lot of complaining, swears I’m trying to kill with veggies.

Culinary tool kit against cancer:

Chick peas are anti-inflammatory as well as being loaded with protein. Their high fiber helps flush toxins from our body.

Chocolate is anti-inflammatory and it has four times the anti-oxidants found in tea.

Cilantro and coriander is a digestive aid, as well as an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. Cilantro is helpful for anxiety.  Unfortunately, I have lots of that lately.

Birthday and a Dark Memory

CJ is sixteen today. He’s my oldest grandson. I wish we could go to see him in Virginia but that’s not in the game plan with COVID-19 and my health. This is the second year in a row we haven’t been able to get together. Last year on CJ’s birthday we were inside a church for Johnny’s service in Skowhegan, Maine.

There were two songs played during his service. One song was by Brad Paisley, When I Get There and the other song was by Band Perry, If I Die Young.

 

 

CJ complained about how grownups don’t really hear. Johnny said, the same thing about grownups. They don’t listen. One of the lines in the song, is funny how people start listening when you’re dead. Did I listen enough? I’ve wondered that a lot in this past year.  If nothing else I hope you never ask that question of yourself. Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that’s what makes you strong.

“A penny for my thoughts, oh no I’ll sell them for a dollar
They’re worth so much more after I’m a goner
And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singin’
Funny when you’re dead… how people start listenin’ “~ Band Perry

 

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” Napolean Bonaparte

 

Whisper so sweetly
enchanted words of love
hold them close
like sweet honey on a comb
locking withered dreams away©

 

Tanka is a classic form of Japanese poetry related to the haiku with five unrhymed lines of five, seven, five, seven, and seven syllables. (5, 7, 5, 7, 7)

 

 

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/health-benefits-chickpeas#1

https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/is-chocolate-good-for-you.html#:~:text=Research%20shows%20that%20flavanols%20in,can%20lead%20to%20cancer%20development

Cilantro and Coriander: Powerful Anti-Cancer Duo

 

 

 

letter-c day 46

46 consecutive days of blogging almost a record for me. I made it 90 days one another time. Maybe I’ll surpass my previous record this time.

The weather alerts are blowing up our phones. The sky went from a hazy blue to a very definitive stormy looking one. Yay, no lugging water for my veggies, or dragging the water hose around for the flower gardens. Speaking of flower beds, I posted a couple of years back a picture of my rose bush. I couldn’t believe how much it has grown since then.

They’ve completely covered the fence and grown over to the hostas. They’re very happy with their coffee grounds, chopped banana peels and eggshells every month and corn meal every March and September.

Charlie Daniels passed today. He was 83.  He’s probably most noted for “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” a 1979 song about a fiddling duel between the devil and a whippersnapper named Johnny, Daniels originally called the devil a “son of a bitch,” but changed it to “son of a gun.”  I love how he made a fiddle sound. He was the best, although Alison Krauss and Mark O’Connor tried to outshine him.

Just like there is no other guitar player that can top Jimi Hendrix. I know Chuck Berry, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton all tried but no way.

Just like when it comes to saxophones, no one can top John Coltrane in my opinion. He knows how to make it come alive. My favorites vary but I know what I love. Some say my music taste are eclectic.

 

My music, my reading choices, my hobbies are all signs of a well lived life because they all show how it has evolved continously. For that matter my friend choices are from all different walks of life and ages.

Books I’m currently reading are Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Gile Hilton. It’s a fascinating behind the scenes of the UK and Hitler in the early days. I’m working my way through Ursula Le Guin’s Steering the Craft, Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story and Writing the Life Poetic by Sage Cohen. Churchill I save for nighttime. The writing books I use during the day as stimuli for my writing and editing. My muse needs lots of guidance. Sometimes my rebellious muse needs more than words so I grab my camera which I did over the weekend. This was a shot I captured of a seagull just after it took flight at sunrise.DSC_0183

I’m working on a short story for Esther Chilton’s contest with the line required and this picture as my muse.  I didn’t know what had happened. Not at first. And then I knew.  I’m having fun working on it, which considering all that’s on my plate I need this kind of distraction. I’ll post it when I’m done.

My sweater crochet project has 8 new rows on it. I would have been further but I discovered I dropped several stitches which really changed the alignment of the double crochet clusters. So I had to rip some out. GRRRR

Letter-c  in case your wondering, I’ve got you shoved to the back of my mind. I can’t/ won’t allow more of my time, it’s bad enough you’re stealing my sleep still. I barely sleep as it is and you’re stealing that. One more day of mindless waiting. Though I’m dreading more delays, which I know is probably likely because the doctor will want to wait for the diagnostic tests on August 11th. That makes you happy doesn’t it, letter-c.   I’m going to keep my food battle against you in high gear, so don’t go smirking too much.

 More Culinary tools for fighting cancer

Cashews, yummy. Even better they’re copper rich and have the potential for suprressing tumors.

Cauliflower, we discussed yesterday with cabbage.

Celery is an anti-inflammatory. It’s also great for reducing blood pressure, too!

I have a funny story about celery. Back in school bus driving days , I would take a whole of celery, washed and cut into pieces with me everyday while I drove. I had done this for months consecutively. I complained about feeling light headed so I went to the hospital. The triage nurse couldn’t believe I had driven a school bus to the hospital with my blood pressure so low. Come to find out, you can overdo celery. Don’t eat it excessively, it does reduce your blood pressure. I already had low blood pressure so I compounded the situation.

Nothing exciting on the menu today, using the remainder of the  tuna casserole left-overs Right now I’m thinking about a chunk of sharp cheese and a granny smith apple to tie me over. Trying to keep my stress eating reined in, too!

Birthday approaching

Hard to believe CJ’s going to be 16 on the tenth of this month. CJ, is my second son, Chris’s boy. CJ already towers over me and I’m not short for my age.  Nor is his dad short and CJ is really close to passing him too. The doctor thought CJ would be easily 6 foot 7. He’s got a helluva start.

In my youth, I was 6 foot, now at least according to the last doctor’s appointment I’m 5 foot 10 inches. They lie to you about the golden years on every level. It’s more than getting old… you get creak and groans, you shrink, and your body malfunctions. WTF?????

“youth
it leaves you quick
and it never comes back”
― Emmy Marucci

 

“I was thinking about how people seem to read the bible a lot more as they get older, and then it dawned on me—they’re cramming for their final exam.” ― George Carlin

 

I haven’t taken up reading the bible so I guess I have time yet.

 

 

https://www.statnews.com/2017/05/17/nuts-colon-cancer/https://food.ndtv.com/health/7-

https://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20060519/broccoli-cauliflower-fight-cancer

incredible-benefits-of-celery-in-fighting-the-risk-of-cancer-1651693

 

 

 

 

 

letter-c day 43

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I was remembering Vic and my early dating times as I tried to decide upon a plan with the vignettes. Do I want to do ten year time frames with random stories or do I want to group a collection of stories that show my personal growth with happier memories. I’m tired of the bad crap always getting my focus.

This picture appeared in the facebook feed. We had been in Camden, Maine driving when I asked Vic to stop so we could simply enjoy the ocean’s salty smell. We walked around the town a bit enjoying the peacefulness of a small town after the tourists have left for the season. Vic loves snapping pictures which is uncomfortable for me. Usually it’s me behind the lens taking the photograph not being the one before the lens. I feel awkward because pretty and photogenic are things that don’t apply to me.

This photograph surprised me…  he captured the introspective me and the harbor lights beautifully.  Anyway, looking at the photograph Eric Clapton’s song came to mind. Do you remember Wonderful Tonight?

My very first date in person with Vic was at DeMillo’s in Portland, Maine. I didn’t have an extensive wardrobe. Shopping was never something I enjoyed or could afford to do. I decided to wear white dress shorts, a black tank top with a red mesh sweater over the tank to dine. Vic wore an orange and blue polo shirt and khakis. We were comfortably dressed for a summer night. The restaurant was a short drive from the hotel. Our view from the table was perfect as the sun set on the ocean. The candle glowed upon our food as we talked about different things.

I still remember how special he made me feel, opening the door, taking my hand as we walked around for a bit after dinner. These may seem like small things to you but prior to him… no one opened a door for me, or took my hand or even took me to a nice restaurant. It was a perfect first date.

I don’t say or write it as often I should but Vic is a loving kind man. He’s the perfect man for me. I feel wonderful whenever we’re together even when he’s beating me in cribbage. Our time together means so much to me.

We’ve shared many dates since in fancy restaurants and some not so fancy but with good food. He teases me because I tend to want to stay with places that make me feel like I’ve come home. Like this diner near us, its not fancy looking at all. It’s owned by a Turkish family that work well together. The food choices are many and the taste is excellent. But that’s not what keeps me wanting to go again. It’s the way we feel while there… as if we’re part of their family not a customer.  They remember what we like, how it’s prepared which is awesome. The small talk we exchange is genuine prior to ordering and after makes the evening for me.  Not many fancy places make that extra effort.

“It’s late in the evening; she’s wondering what clothes to wear
She puts on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair
And then she asks me, Do I look all right?
And I say, “Yes, you look wonderful tonight
We go to a party and everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady that’s walking around with me
And then she asks me, Do you feel all right?
And I say, “Yes, I feel wonderful tonight”
I feel wonderful because I see
The love light in your eyes
And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don’t realize how much I love you” ~ Eric Clapton

 

 

culinary

Tonight, we’re having stuffed zucchini since the ac is on. It’s humid as all get outside I don’t like running it but on days like today, it’s a necessary evil. So since we have climate control oven day it is. I wish I could say I picked the zucchini from my garden but soon. I have a buds with fruit behind them. And no more bunny or chipmunk invasions either.

More things for your culinary pharmacy-

Brazil nuts are selenium rich as well as anti-inflammatory which is helpful against colon and prostrate cancer but did you also know they’re helpful for your heart, brain and lowering your blood sugar. That’s a lot for your crunch.

Broccoli is also an anti-inflammatory. It can inhibit breast cancer growth as well as slowing leukemia and melanoma growth.

Buckwheat is another anti-inflammatory. It’s high fiber content helps regulate bowel movements as well speeding up the removal of toxins in our body.

writing:

I edited the short story that transpired from the prompt about an island suddenly appearing. I don’t know if i made it better or worse. 

Dear Johnny,

Last night, Dad shared a picture of Jacob at work with him.  Jacob was making him laugh. I’m glad for your Dad and Jacob that they have each other since you left us. You’re little brother looks so much like you. Except for one thing. He doesn’t hide his smiles like you always did.

I wish you could see Jacob choking the hammer as he nails. He looked more comfortable with the drill than he did the hammer. I wish I had taken pictures of you at that age using a hammer.

Zach has a tribute painted on the hood of both of his cars for you.  It looks so beautiful. Racing this year is crazy. The drivers and crew only at the track. No spectators allowed because of COVID-19. Zach missed a gear yesterday and didn’t finish where he hoped. I’m sure you can imagine the language that transpired.

This poem was reviewed on WDC today and it reminded me of the morning in the restaurant when you ordered my breakfast and then explained how I was wasting the waitress’s time by not knowing exactly how I wanted my food prepared. All that time you spent at the restaurant with Momma paid off. You taught us all.

two fried eggs on corned beef hash
sizzling in the pan
tantalizing my taste buds
with salty cravings
scrambled mess
bliss!

Gramma and Grandpa love you always. We miss you. Maybe when you have a chance could you rattle all the chimes again for me.

“So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325000#heart-health

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-broccoli

https://www.naturespath.com/en-us/blog/health-benefits-of-buckwheat/

Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson

 

Quote and Poem

“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. ” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

 

rose-764267__340

 

Loneliness struck at the oddest times.
I caressed a rose in the garden today.
My heart clenched like back then, startled by the chime
when I saw you holding my first bouquet.
Our lives always felt like they turned on a dime
but then harsh realities pulled us astray.

Tears roll down my face as one memory hit
home, so long ago I hate to admit it.

Loneliness and melancholy of times past
when adventures took us to crazy places.
Laughing back then, never thought it wouldn’t last.
The chimes rang to remind me of embraces.

My tear streaked face haunted with if only we
could turn time back to when it was you and me.© Lyn Crain

 

letter-c Day 39

As I posted the blog title, I wondered why I was capitalizing the l in letter still, I had already changed the c to lowercase putting it in its proper place because I refuse to give the c-word priority in my life.

“Action expresses priorities.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Once this is all said and done I’m changing my title to the Letter-P. Aren’t the words beginning with P much more practical skills set to have.

“Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.”
― Criss Jami

Poetry:

My day began with black coffee followed by me writing a limerick responding to Elaine Chilton’s prompt screech. Facebook shared a picture as I was pondering of a turtle I snapped a picture of creeping away from the noise created by screeching child on the beach at Barnegat Bay.  Timing is everything, the perfect picture for the limerick. Serendipity at its best. 🙂

Two mornings in a row my first writing attempts have been poems. I’m very pleased with both of them. I’m going to share the limerick in my writing group but the cancer poem I’m not because I don’t want the dynamics of our group discussion changed.

Short Stories:

On Sunday nights, my writing group, although it sounds and feels awkward to refer to them as my. We’re all so different, we write different genres, like different music basically march to different drums except for our love of the writing craft.

Sunday nights on zoom, we discuss a different short story each week. This week was Chance by Alice Munro.  I enjoyed the way the story meandered from present to past and back, fantasy to reality with the occasional wave breaking as Jane Alison would say.  The initial indication that the story wasn’t going to be a sweep me off my feet romance was the protagonist’s name Juliet and in the second paragraph out on movie date with her friend that shares intimate details of her own relationship and she confesses a similar issue.. That detail was also reinforced with the mention of Shakespeare later on.

Once our protagonist is on the train heading unannounced to her paramour’s location she is approached by a total stranger while reading who is seeking a chum. It immediately raised the feminine cry in me, why do men always assume because you’re alone you must have company. Added to the presumption was placed an expected need of her, to be his chum. People make the assumption women will be nicer than men when interrupted. She quickly departed to another location to avoid any further engagement. Unfortunately later on she learns the man who wanted a chum committed suicide using the train they were riding on. So now she has a self-imposed guilt burden all because of her desire to be left alone. The author’s demonstrated for every action is a reaction vice versa. Was it fate or karma? If that’s not enough stress she has the awkwardness of her period when the train isn’t moving and she can’t clear the toilet water of her blood but also a recall of the man’s blood sprayed on the train. In her mind it would be no more foul or frightful than her own menstrual blood. Keeping in mind the story’s time frame was in 1965 when discussion of women’s cycles was taboo.

Juliet discussed what happened with Eric Porteous about the man’s death and he tells her initially that she may want to be careful in the future but when she calls him out on his dismissal of her guilt. He tells her that things will happen in her life that will actually make this moment minor in the grand scheme.

We later learn this is memory of her first meeting with her paramour who she decides she will go to see at his home. So we have meandered a bit before we arrive at the final destination where she discovers not only has his ill wife passed but he’s intimate with another woman or at least that’s what the woman who cleans for Eric discloses. Instead of fleeing she stays and instead of him sending her on her way they settle into an arrangement that meets their needs or does it.

This was my first time reading Alice Munro’s work. I enjoyed the story immensely and will definitely be reading more of her work because I enjoyed how she inspired me to think about a woman’s life in general. I remembered the fear I had initially getting my period and then being told women were cursed that’s why we had periods. The embarrassment of the huge pads showing at the time and having to sneak to buy tampons.  Then I recalled my first job and discovering  I was hired at the same time as a man but he was receiving higher wages than me even though we both had identical jobs and identical dates of hire. The damn system at the time wasn’t fair. Unfortunately, there are still many examples still happening. Our conversation in the group wandered off topic a bit with each of sharing similar incidences.

If you haven’t read Alice Munro, I recommend you do.

Dinner at the Crains tonight:

I’ve been sharing culinary tools for you about fighting cancer. Tonight’s dinner is from the Cancer Fighting Cookbook, with the recipe Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms. I know when I was younger I was intimidated making Asian fare because I was clueless on how to prepare it since it wasn’t a typical dish in my family. The recipe is very precise on the preparation for those still inexperienced. I’m going to serve it with poached salmon. Asian vegetables are loaded with healthy phytochemicals. This particular recipe the author, Rebecca Katz assures has two power houses of phytochemicals bok choy and the shiitake mushrooms. Bok choy and mushrooms are anti-inflammatory. Bok choy is also anti-bacterial. Both are good things.

Continuing on our helpful list is:

Barley is anti-flammatory. Lignan one of barley’s phytochemicals binds with estrogen receptors and is said to help women with estrgoen related breast cancer. The high fiber content of barley aids in our digestion and bowel function which we all need.

Basil is a digestive aid, anti-flammatory, anti-microbial. It has two flavonoids that protect human cells from radiation and free radical damage. I’ve used basil to flavor salads, prepared dishes for years but I also found it very helpful when I’ve had a sore throat or irritated mouth. I chew on the raw leaves. If you would rather not chew it simply add the basil leaves to boiling water and let it steep before straining and drinking.

Song of the Day:

 

Black by Pearl Jam feels appropriate for the clouds hanging over us.  I know there’s a light in the tunnel, we just haven’t found the right switch yet but I know we will because together Vic and I have the greatest gift ever, love. We may need some help but we will get there. We’ll find the path back to what’s beautiful even though right it now seems impossible.

 

“Life is messy. Grit and grace come at us fast, side by side. Sometimes the grit becomes overwhelming and diminishes our spirit. What’s good seems lost and gone forever. ”        ~ Sharon E. Rainey

 

 

 

“I take a walk outside, I’m surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter, so why do I sear
Oh and twisted thoughts that spin ’round my head
I’m spinning, oh I’m spinning, how quick the sun can drop away
And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass
Of what was everything
All the pictures have all…” Pearl Jam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter-c Day 37

Garden Update:

Vic and I dug into some much needed housekeeping this morning before heading to a local greenhouse to acquire Plantskydd granulated animal determent for rabbits, voles, chipmunks, and deer.  Yesterday morning, I had 24 green beans plants, last night I had 2. The bunnies I mentioned in another blog post had a green bean dining feast. GRRRR … This stuff you sprinkle on the ground around raised beds or at least 2 feet away from your in ground garden. Mine are in boxes so I applied it heavily around each of the boxes. Then I did it around the perimeter of our fenced in yard as an added determent. I’ll let you know who wins the next round of the gardening wars with the bunnies. The cinnamon sticks and peppermint oil did work with the chipmunk. Now to figure out what will work with the squirrels other than using a have-a heart trap and relocating them to Pennsylvania. They’re territorial creatures and can return within a 5 mile radius. Taking them across the Delaware River minimizes their return. Yes, they’re cute creatures but they lose their novelty when they dig up your plants and eat your bulbs.

In the pictures are basil, oregano and kale that are happily thriving in rail planters away from the bunnies. The squirrel seems to ignore them, he prefers the strawberries, mint and the lavender. He digs them up but doesn’t eat them unless there’s ripe strawberries.

Reading Update:

diyMFA has interesting printouts available for download. I’m really enjoying this book immensely . The chapter I’m reading is about bringing characters to life. I always feel like mine are flat. So I’m hoping there’s insight as to how to make them feel more alive and realistic.

I started Ursula K. Le Guin’s Conversations on Writing with David Naimon this morning with my coffee. Delightful read, it’s like we’re sitting down at a table discussing different thoughts on writing. I was particularly amused when I read, “Children know perfectly well that unicorns aren’t real” says Ursula K. Le Guin. “But they also know that books about unicorns, if they are good books, are true books.” My granddaughter, Olyvia (7 years old)  would agree, she’s a huge unicorn fan. I remember her telling me that if they’re in books, they’re real.

Conversations on Writing is broken down into four sections, Introduction, Fiction, Poetry and Non-Fiction. So you can read whatever section you want or in whatever order you want.

Cooking:

I sauteed mushrooms, scallions, tomatoes, kale and zucchini in olive oil with fresh oregano, basil and coarse black pepper than tossed it on top of spaghetti with shredded mozzarella cheese for dinner. I made us garlic toast to go with it. It tasted awesome but it didn’t take long for the heartburn and shoulder pain to show up. I took the Prilosec as instructed before dinner as instructed too!  Frustrating.  The scallions, kale, oregano and basil were picked fresh from our garden. I can’t wait until the tomatoes ripen I have lots of them on the bushes already. I have zucchini blossoms but no fruit behind the bud yet.

Crocheting:

I’ve switched to the magenta, but have only done one row thus far. I wasn’t sitting long enough to work on it.

Song of the Day:

I chose When Will I See you Again by the Three Degrees. This song’s background I learned from reading America on Coffee’s blog this morning. I hadn’t thought about this song as a choice until reading the blog but it feels appropriate with the first almost upon us. It was written by a pair of Philadelphia song writers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.  Shelley Ferguson sang the lead,  with back-ups Fayette Pickney and Valerie Holiday.

The reason I feel it works is because we’re approaching the one year anniversary and its just as painful as the night we got the call. Johnny.  I want so much to share precious moments with you again. If only we had more time. Thirteen years is not long enough for any of us. You’re just too young to be dead. Mom and Dad and your little brother Jacob miss you.  Your sisters Mikhayla and Caitlyn miss you. Grammy and Grandpa miss you. You’re other Grammy and Grandpa miss you. Our world just isn’t the same without you.  We love you Johnny.

“When will I see you again?
When will we share precious moments?
Will I have to wait forever?
Will I have to suffer (suffer)
And cry the whole night through?”~ Three Degrees

 

“When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.”~ Madeline Miller

“Sadly enough, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that are left unsaid and never explained.” Jonathan Harnisch

Cancer today, you’re not a priority,

Quote

“Imagination is not something we merely do in our spare moments, an idle act but the very faculty that makes us who we are. Think about people that deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From Within.”`~ David Naimon

Celebrating Joseph Brodsky

A Russian/American poet that won the Nobel Prize in 1992.

“The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even—if you will—eccentricity.” ― Joseph Brodsky

I Sit By The Window
 by Joseph Brodsky
I said fate plays a game without a score,
and who needs fish if you’ve got caviar?
The triumph of the Gothic style would come to pass
and turn you on–no need for coke, or grass.
I sit by the window. Outside, an aspen.0
When I loved, I loved deeply. It wasn’t often.

I said the forest’s only part of a tree.
Who needs the whole girl if you’ve got her knee?
Sick of the dust raised by the modern era,
the Russian eye would rest on an Estonian spire.
I sit by the window. The dishes are done.
I was happy here. But I won’t be again.

I wrote: The bulb looks at the flower in fear,
and love, as an act, lacks a verb; the zer-
o Euclid thought the vanishing point became
wasn’t math–it was the nothingness of Time.
I sit by the window. And while I sit
my youth comes back. Sometimes I’d smile. Or spit.

I said that the leaf may destroy the bud;
what’s fertile falls in fallow soil–a dud;
that on the flat field, the unshadowed plain
nature spills the seeds of trees in vain.
I sit by the window. Hands lock my knees.
My heavy shadow’s my squat company.

My song was out of tune, my voice was cracked,
but at least no chorus can ever sing it back.
That talk like this reaps no reward bewilders
no one–no one’s legs rest on my shoulders.
I sit by the window in the dark. Like an express,
the waves behind the wavelike curtain crash.

A loyal subject of these second-rate years,
I proudly admit that my finest ideas
are second-rate, and may the future take them
as trophies of my struggle against suffocation.
I sit in the dark. And it would be hard to figure out
which is worse; the dark inside, or the darkness out.

“For darkness restores what light cannot repair.” ― Joseph Brodsky
Elegy
 by Joseph Brodsky
It’s not that the Muse feels like clamming up,
it’s more like high time for the lad’s last nap.
And the scarf-waving lass who wished him the best
drives a steamroller across his chest.

And the words won’t rise either like that rod
or like logs to rejoin their old grove’s sweet rot,
and, like eggs in the frying pan, the face
spills its eyes all over the pillowcase.

Are you warm tonight under those six veils
in that basin of yours whose strung bottom wails;
where like fish that gasp at the foreign blue
my raw lip was catching what then was you?

I would have hare’s ears sewn to my bald head,
in thick woods, for your sake, I’d gulp drops of lead,
and from black gnarled snags in the oil-smooth pond
I’d bob up to your face as some Tirpitz won’t.

But it’s not on the cards or the waiter’s tray,
and it pains to say where one’s hair turns gray.
There are more blue veins than the blood to swell
their dried web, let alone some remote brain cell.

We are parting for good, my friend, that’s that.
Draw an empty circle on your yellow pad.
This will be me: no insides in thrall.
Stare at it a while, then erase the scrawl.

“For a writer, only one form of patriotism exists: his attitude toward language.” ― Joseph Brodsky