Sharing My World 70

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It’s a coyote!  (Click photo for source)  This is a cousin of the one I saw running down our street on Sunday morning, all pointy eared and bushy tailed and NOT A DOG.  And still I ventured outside and walked around the neighbourhood.  What the hell, I’ve had a pretty good life.

Share Your World May 8, 2017

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

All of the above.  I wear shoes when I am getting ready to go out because I forget something in the house and have to go back in to get it and can’t be bothered to take my shoes off for what will probably be less than five minutes.  Then when I come back from wherever I’ve been I might again leave my shoes on because I forget to take them off.  Being forgetful makes life a lot less boring.  There’s always something new to deal with.

I wear socks when my feet are freezing.  I’ve noticed they are great dust and debris collectors.  When I take them off I wonder how there can continually be that much crap on my floors.  I’m sure it has nothing to do with my outside shoes because I always remove them at the door.  Don’t I?  I am not a big fan of my slippers because they make annoying clomping sounds but they are easier to slip into than gigantic thermal socks.

Barefoot has always been my preference, but the older I get the harder it is to pull that off, and even open toe footwear is getting to be an unwise choice.  Feet don’t get more beautiful with age.  They do get more interesting though.  My right foot has a bunion and both feet are developing claw toes.  My left big toe has an ugly thickening nail.  Mostly I cover them up so they won’t frighten small children.

What was your favorite food when you were a child?

Strangely enough it was a concoction my grandma used to make, consisting of cut yellow beans and small new potatoes in a buttery white sauce.  She made it for us on the rare occasion when mom wasn’t home to cook, so we considered it a real treat.  I have the best memories of how delicious it was and how fast a whole big pot full would disappear.  Tried making it myself as an adult but the results were disappointing.  Could be kids just have weird taste buds.

Are you a listener or a talker?

If we’re friends and visiting one on one I’ll probably talk your face off.  If you’re a talkative stranger in a supermarket check out apparently I have “sympathetic listener” tattooed on my forehead.  If it’s a big group I’m probably saying  very little.  Chances are I’m not listening either.

Favorite thing to (pick one): Photograph? Write? Or Cook?

Well I’ll just give you answers to all three because apparently I don’t understand what “pick one” means.  I like to photograph whatever catches my eye when I’m out walking, not because it necessarily makes for a great photo, but more to prove I was actually outside and away from my own property.

I like to write lists.  Must be my favourite thing to write based on sheer numbers of them started, scratched off, completed, lost, crumpled up, thrown away, stuffed into random pockets and bags.  They are everywhere.  They are supposed to keep me organized.  They are not very good at their job.

Soup is without a doubt my favourite thing to cook because it allows for freedom of expression.  You can toss any number of weird things in there and still have a wide margin for success.  W would not agree with that.  He suffers from chronic soup suspicion.  Yes, that is a real affliction.  He likes to know exactly what he is consuming and with my soups full knowledge is not always possible.  Or even preferable.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

My daughter has made some positive changes in her life and I’m grateful to her for inspiring me to make some too.  I haven’t been walking because of a painful knee and fear of making it worse, but on Saturday the two of us (well three of us if you count the dog) got out in the sunshine and took a long stroll.  Here’s the funny thing about that.  The longer I walked the better my knee felt.  So I guess my making-it-worse excuse is total crap.  Damn.

W just sent me a text from Ontario to say he made it to the island safe and sound.  He left early yesterday morning and I am on my own for who knows how long.  Could be a month, could be the whole summer.  So I am REALLY looking forward to the grass growing so that I can cut it.  Haha.  Threw that in there to see if you’re still paying attention.

Soup and walking.  That’s what I meant to say.  Hope I don’t die from all the excitement.  Although that would beat being eaten by a coyote I guess.

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Start the Day

There is something orange in the long green grass. She stands at the kitchen window, barefoot, still nightgown clad, looking into the backyard at the long stretch of overgrown garden that they’re going to turn back into lawn. The grass there is now almost a foot high, tall enough to sway and ripple in the breeze. The coffee pot gurgles and sputters beside her and outside the orange thing leaps.

Well, it really was no springing bound and barely fox-like. The second attempt at a hurdle ends in an ungraceful galumph. But kudos for getting out there and trying to act like a normal cat, she thinks. It can’t be easy.

She has noticed him before in her yard just passing through, looking like a short and rotund fuzzy orange blimp. The fattest cat she has ever seen. This jumping thing is new. There must be lots of creepy crawlies in the long grass that need pouncing upon and he’s giving it his best shot. Surging vault number three. But this one appears to have done him in. He sits and nonchalantly gazes off somewhere in the distance to give the bugs the impression that he no longer cares.

She pours her coffee and leans on the counter cradling the hot mug in both hands, takes that first invigorating sip. Watches the cat pause, consider; perhaps in this ones case, catch his breath.

Suddenly a magpie flaps his way overhead and lands with a squawk on the flat board on the top of the fence. He turns around, stomping his little bird feet, and then he gawks down at crouching orange thing in the grass. Cocks his head. Waits for what will happen next.

The wait is not long. There is no spring left in the cat’s repertoire this fine morning. Perhaps he has had previous altercations with magpies and does not fancy another one at the moment. Or maybe someone just called him home for breakfast. Either of these reasons, or some other mysterious cat notion, gets him up and off and running. Okay, more like lumbering, but moving away from the bird at a pace that’s faster than his normal calm meandering.

The magpie squawks some more. Where are you going? What kind of cat runs away from a bird? Hey! I’m talking to you! And then he takes to the air and is off in search of better less lame adventures.

All is quiet in the garden plot. She was going to get out there this morning and weed whack that long grass to start the process of getting it ready for sod. Maybe today, maybe not. There’s no hurry, really. She tops up her coffee cup and turns away from the window.

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Best TV Cooking Show 1960

It’s mid morning but already the sun is beating down on their heads and freckling their little noses. They are barefoot and sitting cross legged in the sandbox, intent on their latest recipe creation, trying to get it exactly right.

Lara is seven, dark haired, serious and focussed. Ainslee is five, and no less intense at the moment, although her attention will waiver shortly to the hot sand between her toes, to how her blonde curls itch and cling to the back of her prespiring neck, or the great amount of grit she’s managed to collect under her fingernails, or the fact that her clothes are sticking to her hot skin and begging to be removed. Anything really can distract her, so Lara tries to keep talking.

“Place the ingredients in your blue bowl and mix everything thoroughly. Our bowl is shaped like a sand bucket so that it holds a lot of batter. An egg beater would be good to use, but a big old wooden stick is okay too. If it gets hard to stir you can stop and rest, but it’s best to keep going or you won’t get it finished in time for supper. Now this needs something to stick it all together. Water, and a squish of cucumber juice with lots of seeds, and what do you think? One egg or two?”

“One BIG one”, Ainslee decides (because one is all they dared to snitch and thus all they have) and she cracks it open into the pail, bits of shell and all, and watches while Lara stirs it into a satisfying yellow slime. She dutifully adds chunks of green beans, tops of carrots, bits of green leafy lettuce and some colorful petals as Lara instructs her. They are on tv, and she is the helpful assistant. They are making the best cake ever.

Earlier they had furtively raided the hen house, a flower bed, and finally the garden, taking turns being on the look-out for grandma since she frowned mightily on raiding activity of any sort. They had also gathered a few raspberries for garnish, but those are long gone except for the faint red stains on Ainslee’s chin. Mom never pays much attention to what they’re doing as long as they’re not fighting and they promise to keep the sand clean. Whatever that entails they can’t imagine. They both agree that grandma should be on Dragnet. The police could probably get a lot of information out of her with her eyes in the back of her head and all.

“Anything else?” Lara asks her helpful assistant. She sincerely hopes not, because her arm is starting to ache. Her sister looks around to see what they’ve missed and sprinkles some blades of grass and a few pebbles into the mix. All the evidence of their secretive collecting appears to now be safely enveloped into the sandy mix. As they’re finally turning their lumpy composition onto the baking pan (a long flat board which must be manouvered very carefully to avoid splinters and slivers) Ainslee suddenly remembers a key ingredient.

“A pinch of garlic!” she screams. “We almost forgot!” It’s by far her favourite part of the cooking process, the last but most important component of any successful dish. Her favourite part of the cooking show. If it’s not part of the recipe she is always sorely disappointed. She pinches her finger and thumb in the dry sand and waves her hand over their divine creation and pronounces it perfect.

They admire the sodden mess for a minute, carefully tilting it away from them so that the camera can get a better shot for all the folks at home.

“Ladies and gentlemen”, Lara announces, “the Best Cake Ever!”

“Gentlemen don’t even watch this show”, Ainslee informs her as she pulls her shirt up over her head and tosses it into the grass.

“Hey! Assistants don’t take their clothes off on tv!” Lara exclaims.

“I’m not playing anymore”, Ainslee tells her. “And I’m too hot. I’m going to stick my feet in the frog pond.”

She walks away as Lara smiles and appologizes to her viewers for her assistant’s crazy behaviour.

“See you tomorrow!” she tells them gaily with a royal wave. And then she leaves the set as well, and runs off to join her sister.

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