The Blue Room…

I was wondering if some of my fellow bloggers and writers would like to get together for a virtual hangout or chat.

It could be pretty informal, laidback, and relaxed, so that it wouldn’t be another thing that we all “have” to do with the craziness of the times, and especially how much time we all probably spend online anyway. (I know I have a pretty intense schedule, but it might be worth a try, even if it’s just for a week, a month…or a day! *laugh*)

We could just talk about life, writing, the blues, coping strategies…whatever.

Any suggestions for online venues? I know that some are fond of Discord, and I believe that’s free?

Or maybe something like in an online game venue…I’ll use YoWorld as an example, since I just happen to be on there, but they have rooms and avatars which could make it feel more like a hangout.

How do you all feel/think about something like that?

A Clean Slate…

When I first moved to New Mexico, I was able to get on Medicaid and food stamps, and I finally managed to land a steady job, after striving since about 1996 (and going back to school twice as part of the process…yes, I still have student loans I have not been able to make a payment on in years).

Basically, having that assistance helped me play catch up, and I was able to go to places like the dentist for the first time in probably seven years or so.

Even with the financial support, and with a fairly decent set of medical doctors (compared to Florida and other places I’ve lived), the state of the medicine in this day and age still feels like it hasn’t made any progress. I’m all for science and knowledge, but I couldn’t help but think “No wonder why so many people turn to herbal remedies and other forms of alternative treatments” when going to a doctor feels futile, if not terrifying in that the doctor(s) flat out dismisses serious conditions (of which I’ve had actual experience with).

On that subject, I’ve wanted this book since it came out: https://greystonebooks.com/collections/health-wellness/products/pain-and-prejudice.

I also keep thinking to myself how it is the twenty-first century/2022 and how ineffectual the medical industry still seems.

Here’s a blog from a fellow blogger that I’ve followed for almost as long as I was looking for work that has their own take on the state of “modern medicine”: https://whenwomeninspire.com/2021/12/31/why-modern-medicine-wont-save-you/.

I look around and all I see is humanity (generally speaking) doing the same old thing…like nothing whatsoever has changed.

I see that, in response, the slate just needs to be wiped clean and we need to start anew. To build everything up from scratch, because nothing seems to be working the way we might have hoped it would, once upon a time.

Or simply stop continuing to make bad (same ole same ole) decisions and continuing the same practices that led us to the spot we’re in now.

I hardly need to recap things of this nature, but I’m still astounded with issues like how we are still drowning the world in pesticides and chemicals and toxins, for example.

And yes, it’s most likely well past the point where we humans can voluntarily wipe the slate clean and start over, but my experience in New Mexico made me realize that certain things are not a foolish pipe dream, but they really do make things so much better, and that’s something I wish everyone could have.

You know, initiatives like:

  • In addition to a proactive health care system that is cutting edge and focuses on optimum health and healing, I want full (and free!) health care coverage for everyone, with no strings attached. Although, yes, I find the state of medicine today to be disappointing, I never once took it for granted that I could go to the doctor I needed to go to, and receive the kind of care I needed when I needed it. It provided such an intense relief from the anxiety and stress created by my years of health insecurity and instability. It’s something I dearly wish everyone had (again, in addition to the type of medicine of the Dr. McCoy/Star Trek variety).
  • Educational systems available to all that encourage curiosity, exploration, and awareness of both one’s self and the external world. A world where everyone has the luxury to be an artist, for example. Plus, a universal basic income, of course.
  • A world that puts nature and animals first and foremost; a world where humans are the ones who make sacrifices to protect the planet. (I am aware that it feels futile and ineffective, but in my own way, I’m trying to pare down my lifestyle to the essentials to make more room for animals.)

There are so many more things I wish for the world, but the reality is becoming harder to stave off, and I wake up to a new heartbreak every day (or the same ole same ole one)…heartbreak for the bees and the poisoned wolves and for animals tortured in laboratories and for trees being cut down and more wilderness razed for development and for all the abandoned shelter pets that don’t have loving homes and I can’t help but think it’s all being irreparably destroyed just so I can sit here and write this blog and drink warm drinks and eat chips and how is that even remotely worth it?

And the only fix is, again, to wipe the slate clean, to make 2022 the year that really is a fresh start, to let everything we know and think and believe go, not just for us individually, but for every single one of us down to the littlest insect or the tiniest bit of algae.

Impossibilities upon impossibilities…

I knew Kansas wouldn’t be my happily-ever-after homestead, but it was affordable and had internet access (which New Mexico lacked).

Plus, despite the tornado threat, the risk of some other climate-change issues of the coastal environments I preferred (flooding, etc.) seemed more immediate. (Like Vancouver, Canada; one of the cities at the top of my maybe-someday list.)

But it ended up being a disaster all the same…

So, I may have to relocate. Again.

There’s a lot of factors that have to be sorted out before (if and when) I can leave…naturally, the financial wherewithal being at the top of list…

So hopefully the next place I choose will be much more ideal.

(There’s always the HGTV dream home giveaway, which this year is in VERMONT!!!!)

So, yes, once again, I’d like to reach out to the blogging community if they have any recommendations for promising places to put on my new maybe-someday list.

I found a list of top affordable cities in the U.S. and have been checking out places like Peoria and Youngstown. And Clearlake in California looked like an interesting option. Yellow Springs, Ohio seemed cool but there doesn’t seem to be anything available to rent there.

Share your favourite places below!

“To Sleep, Perchance to Dream…” Shakespeare’s Hamlet

fairy 2
Image Courtesy of Canva.com

I’ve been sitting here staring at this picture, and trying to figure out what words I want to use for this post.

Yesterday’s in-my-head draft was so clear but didn’t hold up today.

I know I want to post something, but everything is all reflection and inner worlds and impossibilities and dreams all surrounded by the discomfiting reality of the world-as-is that doesn’t make sense anymore, if it ever did.

So, even though there’s not much I believe in these days, there’s a little part of me that always hopes the winter season will bring some transformative magic.

Maybe this year…

Best wishes for what’s left of 2021…

Cozy
Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

Time Distortion and Rabbit Holes

“A big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff…” –The Tenth Doctor

Alice: “How long is forever?”
White Rabbit: “Sometimes, just one second.”
― Lewis Carroll

Whew.  A very, very strange couple of weeks.

I haven’t felt like I’ve been moving in slow motion, but time has speeded up all around me. Like, I’ve done one little thing that shouldn’t even take that long to do, and all of a sudden, the whole day is gone. It is a very surreal sensation.

I read some sort of science-y article a few months’ back about why time speeds up when we get older, but couldn’t find it again, but it’s similar to this (I thought it was on brainpickings, but no luck): https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/why-does-time-speed-up-when-you-get-older/.

What was even weirder is that I read on a fellow blogger’s blog that they had something similar happen to them. Like I said over there in the comments, I was like “time for my lunch break” and then realized it was almost four o’clock.

So, of course, what do I do about tackling this time management/productivity issue? Why, go to the library and get four books about time management strategies, of course (well, one’s about building yourself as a brand, but close enough)!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36665726-off-the-clock

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/112471.No_B_S_Time_Management_for_Entrepreneurs

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/253532.Time_Management_from_the_Inside_Out

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3808706-managing-brand-you

So, back into the rabbit hole, as it’s already THREE O’CLOCK here.

How’s all ya’ll’s week been?

Talkin’ Turkey #TurkeyFreeThanksgiving

 

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/turkey-free-thanksgiving-fourth-thursday-in-november/

Well, I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving, but I did kinda want to have something a little different then my usual burritos this week, so I kitchen-indulged in a “Stir-Fried Radish” recipe that was posted up over at Tanooki Homemade Cafe: https://tanookihomemadecafe.wordpress.com/2021/10/01/stir-fried-dried-radish/.

I tweaked the recipe a teeny bit, and used fresh radish and mushrooms–mainly because I decided to do this last-minute–so if you want the authentic dried ingredients the recipe suggests, they’re on the original blog post link I shared above.

And I didn’t have any sake to accompany the meal. The grocery store didn’t carry anything other than “some beer” according to the staff person I asked. They suggested going to a local liquor store, but, you know, going to a liquor store during these (COVID/Mass Extinction/Climate Emergency/Liberal-Democrat-Vegetarian-Living-In-Red-State/Insert-Your-Own) times would have probably meant I would have walked out with not only sake, but something like this or just the whole kit and kaboodle.

Anyhoo, the stir-fried radish dish was heavenly, so thanks again, Tanooki Homemade Cafe, for the great meal opportunity! I’d definitely make this again.

So, yeah, it probably goes without a reminder that I’m vegetarian, and even if I weren’t, being up close and personal with a family member’s rescued (They were strays. Seriously.) turkey(s) would make me have second thoughts. Who knew turkeys made such interesting and charismatic pets?

These turkeys were (with a turkey-ton of creative license) the inspiration for the story I wrote for Jersey Pines Ink’s Whodunit anthology (“Two Smart Turkeys”). Care to feast on your own copy? Check it out here: https://bookshop.org/books/whodunit-9781948899161/9781948899161,

And, I have successfully (well, as of today) weaned myself off TV. I already didn’t have cable, but I’ve been renting DVDs from the absolutely fabulous Wichita Public Library System (my most favourite thing about Kansas, so far), so I switched them out for audio books. But for some reason, my quirky calico Moon Pie is not so fond of lap- and brushie time to the accompaniment of audio books, so I may cave and go back to renting DVDs.

The things we do for our pets, right?

And with the cold weather, I’m enjoying curling up with a book (and a few cats!).

As I commented on Twitter, I think this book titled Omens would be a good choice for winter reading, right? Check out the Antimony and Elder Lace Press store, for Omens and all their other great books: https://aelpress.com/index.php/store/.

Yes, it’s got my story in it, too, but I am so thankful for all the publishers that have included my stories in their anthologies, journals, and online publications. I need to update my “Wordcraft” page with my more recent publications and, yes, I’ve being meaning to redesign it…

Thank you to all the great publishers/publishing companies out there, including the absolutely amazing one my alter ego (alter alter-ego?) works for, Bronzeville Books. I’m endlessly grateful for the opportunities you all have provided.

Happy feasting, everybody! Thanks for all the support over the years/months/days!

 

Where was I?

I have been just all over the place this week. And feeling pretty unmotivated to do anything but sit in front of the fire, with a cup of hot cocoa. I don’t have a fireplace, but I can dream of zipping off to a posh ski resort. Who’s with me?

Untitled design (3)
Photo courtesy of Canva.com

I don’t know why I just can’t get back in gear. C.M. Saunders came up with a fitting explanation as to why, here, with his response comment to mine on his own blog, here: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/22425301/posts/4799#comment-3419. Makes complete sense…

I didn’t even post up about a recipe on Friday, either, like I had planned.

I just forgot. *gasp*

I did try a fellow blogger’s recipe for pumpkin rigatoni a little while ago, and now I can’t find it among the blogs I follow, to share the link. I’m visual, so I know what the blog looks like, and when I come across it again, I’ll put in the link for the post with the recipe. (If you’re the pumpkin rigatoni creator, let me know!)

It looked amazing, except I totally made a mess of the recipe, and didn’t get the ingredients…down-portioned?…correctly, and even used the wrong-sized pot…so it was a complete disaster.

I’m sure the recipe would have been really good, though. I love pumpkin.

So, I’ll just share how I make red (or green) tofu curry:

  1. Sauté a bunch of your favourite veggies and tofu in a frying pan. I like to use olive oil for frying. I’ve tried other oils and I do notice the difference in flavour. My go-to veggies are onions, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and some kind of greens, like kale or spinach. Sometimes I’ll add in bamboo shoots. And tofu, of course. I just put it on a fairly low heat and wander off while it cooks (probably shouldn’t recommend that, eh?) because I have ADHD.
  2. Anyway, when the veggies are all done frying (I like it when the carrots are cooked until they are soft and a little caramelized around the edges), I take them off and cover the the veggies so they stay warm, because I usually cook off a single burner hot plate. Plus, it helps me with timing so I don’t burn anything while I’m wandering around my house doing four thousand other things.
  3. I then boil up some rice noodles. I like the red rice noodles variety the best. Yum. Plus, rice noodles cook so fast I don’t have to worry about wandering off and burning down the house. Drain the noodles and leave in the colander.
  4. Next, I spoon in some coconut milk from a can into the pot the rice noodles were in, and add red or green curry powder (paste works too) into the milk. I heat it up, stirring frequently. I probably don’t need to stir it, but it gives me something to do while I’m waiting for the mixture to heat up. It should still be liquidly, maybe just reaching a boil. Then I raise the heat a bit, stir in the sauteed veggies, till they are coated and warmed up. Then I add the noodles, stir, and let it cook until the liquid reduces to a macaroni-and-cheese type consistency (I.e. not too watery. It’s not supposed to be soupy.).

So, that’s it. That’s my makeshift curry recipe!

If you try it, let me know!

How’s ya’ll’s writing going? I’m a little behind, but I already knew I wouldn’t make the word count…my book project is a little complex for NaNoWriMo, but I wanted to at least get motivated to start writing on it. And so I resolved some problems I was having with the book’s concept and have already written an amazing 427 words! Woo hoo!

Now if I could just remember where I put my pencil…

Warhol/Factory Series: Girls of the Years by Willow Croft

A big thanks to Fevers of the Mind for posting my poem!

Fevers of the Mind

Girls of the Years

Once,
I was you,
a hippie friend said,
just like you, when I danced.
I didn’t believe it, until
she dressed me up in Edie clothes.
And I saw me, through Superstar eyes
We sparkled in the same way
We looked lost in the same way
We’d said Ciao to everything we’d ever known,
everything that had ensnared us,
but it still wasn’t enough, and so I
didn’t want to believe
(no such thing as reincarnation, I said)
but really because
I’ve dreamt of her through a million pasts,
seen her in a thousand mirror ghosts,
saw she knew me
Inside and out and very far
From the world’s stage
From the critics,
the ocean hid us away, where
we dreamt in unicorns
star-wished above the clouds
danced like kindred spirits under full moons
Barefoot and wild and free and holding
a million futures in our…

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