Obama’s Promised Land

#perlesaerie Although I bought it the day after it hit the store, I just opened Obama’s Promised Land last night thinking I’ll read a chapter or 2 every evening. Or so I thought. Not. I couldn’t put it down. I had to force myself to turn off the light at 2am and go to sleep. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Today, I made my coffee and went back to bed to read n sip. I’ve ignored chores all day and a holiday open house this evening to just curl up in my favorite corner of the couch and keep reading. Made a pizza n beer run to the corner store, so I didn’t have to cook. I just kept reading.

I actually got a few texts from concerned friends asking why I was not on social media or our n about much today.

I’m fine. But with a good book, I’ve been known to dive head first down the rabbit hole. I really need an exercise bike so I can read and peddle. Riding the couch isn’t going to help me shed this Covid 30.

Mañana y’all. I’ve hundreds of pages to go.

#photooftheday #urbanlife #citylife #reading #books #pleasure

@barackobama @michelleobama

It’s Pecan Season

Wow. Forgot it was pecan season. Instead of walking circles at the Park, I took off down 10th court and in to 10th Avenue. For some reasons these folks never bother with the pecans falling from their trees. Actually seen them raked into the piles of leafs to be bagged. So no guilt this morning as I filled both my pockets to overflowing.

Tomorrow I’ll take a bag.

December 2020

Rabbit rabbit rabbit. Spoken aloud for luck on this 1st day of December 2020, as last night’s full moon begins to wane along with this most trying year. The wheel turns, and Rona still roams the land.

But 2021 seems brighter for so many reasons. Make it so. Make it so. Intelligence and better yet, sanity, return to the people’s house. The vaccines show promise. And I always choose hope.

Rabbit sculpture photo was taken @beverly last year.

Shop Local – Pass It On

Most of us travel w a smart phone. So when you visit a local small business or restaurant, snap a picture, check in and post it on Facebook and/or Instagram.

We all have a diverse sphere of friends, and every little bit of exposure helps.

Let’s keep all our struggling entrepreneurs in business. I really want them all to make it into the new year. 💕

Sunday, That’s My Funday

The moment the last days of the month can be seen on next month’s page, I impatiently fast forward to that page. I’m inking in all the things I’ve planned for December. Rather sparse this year with Rona roaming in our midst.

Yes, I have an iPhone calendar – but I still put everything on my kitchen calendar.  It’s on the small sliver of wall space next to the counter that holds the coffee pot and toaster. I like seeing my month at a glance as, I pour my first cup of dark brew. Mom says my coffee is more espresso-esque.

Last year’s calendar was doors as incentive to open new ones. This year I chose Sunrise & Sunsets.

Bacon is in the oven, as I’m too lazy to nurse it on the stovetop.

I miss hearing Jazzmine purring loudly in anticipation of a bite or two or three. She always sat in the chair across from me as the aroma filled the kitchen.  

I’m sipping my third cup of coffee, just poured my first glass of champagne and watching CBS Sunday Morning on the TV in the corner of the kitchen.

I love Sundays. Cheers y’all

 

Saturday Shopping Local

Saw these sweet Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls when I stopped in @homewoodantiques to get an estimate from Ricardo Hernandez on some antique chairs mom needs redone. Such a cool store.

My source for the most amazing Jalapeño Raspberry Jam – one of my guilty pleasures.

Also scored an amazing Bill Lett Brutalist bronze sculpture of a horse a few years back.

There’s a back room of vintage photos.

I got a cup of complementary hot spiced cider and wandered a bit before continuing on my round of chores.

Now home; made some spiced mulled wine; watching corny Hallmark Christmas movies Golden Christmas 2 followed by 3. I love corn this time of year.

Later the evening will include, TGD leftovers hot from the oven and curling up with Obama’s Promised Land.

Later y’all.

Walkabout

Walking at six in the morning is pleasant especially now that the air is cool and crisp. Summer finally loosed her hold on Birmingham. It’s miasmal humidity is now heavy dewdrops strewing diadems on leaves, fading blossoms, and blades of grass.

Most of my neighbor’s windows are still dark; it appears that I am the only witness to the day’s dawning. As the sun lifts night’s the hazy veil from the city, I walk out my door and turn onto 14th Avenue toward the part of town we call Southside. There are houses, apartments, small businesses, the SouthSide Police precinct, a wonderful old house restored and housing a B&B, restaurants, and more. On Highland I pass by silent offices of attorneys and architects; churches and synagogues; restaurants cleaning up from the night before; and the coffee shop just opening to a waiting crowd and putting out the outdoor tables; people running themselves or being walked by their dogs; the Golden Temple Health store is receiving goods through a darkened door; the post office with a single light on in the back where a few postal workers sort the day’s mail.

The sky is blue and the fall sun is politely warm knowing winter is just around the bend, and no longer can he beat on us unmercifully. To each season…

Home, up the stairs and put the coffee on, a little time scribbling in my journal on my balcony to contemplate my blessings.

Life is good.

The Rock of Ritual & Rote

The Rock of Ritual & Rote

with rote of ritual

rock bottom can become our

solid foundation

Ritual has many forms. Some as simple as making your morning coffee or tea; performing morning ablutions; etc.

I would add to those a few of my favorites – I’m sure you have more:

    Taking my early morning walk sans the distraction of headgear, so I can listen to my own thoughts and the sounds of nature around me.
    Writing stream-of-consciousness by hand in my journal on my return, before the noise of the day intrudes and crowds out my own internal voice.
    Preparing food for the day whether breakfast, lunch or dinner.  The cracking of an egg, butter on toast; the simple act of dicing carrots, celery, pickles for a tuna salad; julienning vegetables for a stir fry. All these rote preparations have a Zen affect when we pay attention.
    Lighting candles on my small home altar.
    Memory of stroking my cat’s soft fur and relishing her soft purr as we settled on the couch with a good book and a glass of Pinot Noir. I miss that.
    Writing in my gratitude journal nightly a list of at least 5 things I am grateful for before turning out the lights.

If we stop and pay attention to the small rote rituals of our day they can be that rock that anchors us after an otherwise stormy day.

What are some of yours?

Zen in the Kitchen

Zen is a good chef’s knife and food to chop, dice, mince, a pot to stir. So much this year has been out of our control, but in the kitchen I control it all.

Other than my walkabout, one of the most satisfying places where I can really get into the moment, the zazen, is when involved in a kitchen chore.

With my writing and painting there is no immediacy. I paint or write for hours and it never quite feels done. I drop one piece to begin another and in the end, I have 5 paintings half done; 2 novels unedited; and numerous essays that don’t quite hit the mark.

So today at mom’s I sat at the kitchen bar and diced, minced measured, sautéed, and mixed. I now have 2 pans of dressing, 2 of broccoli casserole. The bird is cleaned, patted dry and awaits tomorrow’s roasting.

We watched cheesy Hallmark Xmas movies, chatted, sipped beer and ate take-out from Acapulco’s – socially distanced of course – she sat on the couch, me on my usual perch at the kitchen bar.

Tomorrow will be a breeze as everything is ready to just pop in the oven. First a long walkabout, then coffee, morning pages and Macy’s Faux Parade before heading over to Mom’s after noon. Plenty of time as we rarely eat before seven. Happy Thanksgiving Eve y’all.

Roots

Train Child

a woman now she

lives each day that is given

past has no import

to a young farm girl

nor the woman she became

husband, ten children

it would change nothing

the moment is what matters

today’s crop is all

the long train ride west

just words from a past long gone

that child’s tears long dried

lineage of blood

incarnations of the soul

paint her here and now

One day my mother recounted a long ago conversation with her own mother, Herminia (Minnie). She said she was a Bohemian* and adopted into by the Lozanos, a Hispanic farm family. Any memory before that was long gone, and now she is long dead. 

Was she one of many of the Orphan Train children, sent out to work the land, and forever to never know her roots?

Bohemian?  I always knew that old photograph of my grandmother and grandfather, Minnie and Blaz, looking for all the world like the famous ‘American Gothic‘ seemed somehow not to fit into the mold of the neighborhood where she and he were raised. According to my father. Her husband, Blaz Guzman, was referred to as the squarehead*** by some neighbors.

Notes: *Bohemia, Czech Čechy, German Böhmen, historical country of Central Europe…

**Orphan trains. East Texas became a significant milestone in the children’s journey. Between 1854 and 1929, over a quarter of a million orphans and unwanted children were taken out of New York City and given away at train stations across America.

*** Squarehead. An ethnic slur directed at German and Scandinavian immigrants.

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