Tag Archive | joy

Enter Title Here

Sorry for missing a post yesterday, but here ‘tis. As I didn’t get frantic messages looking for it yesterday, I’m thinking no one was emotionally distressed by its absence.


Anyway, I have been able to rediscover a part of me that had to be shoved aside for the past few years of shelter instability: cooking and baking. I cooked: made one-dish dinners, pan fried meats, built salads and microwaved stuff, but it wasn’t my kind of cooking. I am one of those freaks that loves the challenge of Thanksgiving dinner. I experiment with meatloaf. My grandmother was one of the greatest cooks I’ve ever met and I can make her stuffed cabbage (Haven’t mastered her pot roast yet, though). Other than the cramps in my upper back from stuffing cabbage leaves, it’s all good.

This past week, I made a pan of brownies. Just an 8” x 8” of the family brownie recipe (that I tweaked and improved, much to my mother’s annoyance). They were fantastic.

And I’m going to do it again. Producing something to share with others feeds me as well, especially when it turns out well. I like to give back. (well, on my terms. Someone asked for my tiramisu recipe and I laughed at her. I think she whined to Mom afterwards because I heard about it).

Way back in the 1970s, we had a subscription to Gourmet magazine. I pored over those things, studying the pictures and the recipes. As a pre-teen in Vermont (not knocking the state, but this was before the foodie movement was born and garlic was an exotic spice), I didn’t understand a lot of the ingredients or cooking methods, but I did take on one recipe:

Baked Alaska.

I don’t know how I persuaded my parents to let me give it a shot, but Dad (whose birthday was today, Feb 7) cut a small board for me to use as the platform (according to the directions) and the folks bought 3 kinds of ice cream, brandy, and rum, and everything else. I studied that recipe for  a couple of days before making it, and then…

Game day: supporting cake made, soaked in brandy. Ice cream whipped and frozen into 3 layers, and egg whites beaten into fluffy insulating meringue. Assembly, quick browning under the broiler, which caused a leak which made me cry but then, who else has made Baked Alaska? At 13? I was too stupid to know I could fail.

Anyway, I made another one later and it worked. Unfortunately, that was the last because my brother took my board and used it for his fish gutting operation.

I’m looking for that recipe. I’m going to make it again. And cheesecake. And stuffed cabbage. It brings me joy. Joy is in short supply these days.


Liberty of a different sort

I love hummingbirds. I love cats. Sadly, though, the two do not mix.

Meet Exhibit A:


Udacity study buddy


This is Tiggers. He is a cat. He takes it seriously.


Meet Exhibit B:


DSCN1223 (2)


His name is Calypte anna or Anna’s Hummingbird.  I may start calling him Evel Knievel.

Exhibit A has been trying his best to make a snack (albeit like eating a single Tic Tac level of snack) of Exhibit B.

On June 1, Exhibit A knocked Exhibit B off the hummingbird feeder in an assassination attempt. Humans interfered and Exhibit B made a stunning entrance to a birthday party (mine) and eventually flew away.  I though that was the end of it.


You may be thinking Sylvester and Tweety. Too obvious. No, given the intellectual levels and luck going on, we’re talking more Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner.

Apparently, Exhibit B has a thing for crashing birthdays because today, Independence Day, the Fourth of July, The US’s birthday, Exhibit B showed up IN MY BEDROOM.

Exhibit A was in hot pursuit. Exhibit A got his furry ass thrown into the bathroom.

First things first: shut off and stop blades of ceiling fan.

Open window.

Easy stuff, right? Nay, nay, I say.

How do you convince a very small creature who is scared out of his mind and doesn’t speak Human that he’s in good hands, but needs to fly just a little lower?

How do you gently shoo something that weighs a tenth of an ounce without causing physical harm and or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Try 10 minutes of waving a towel and a pink plastic cup (it was in my hand. Don’t judge).

DSCN1224 DSCN1225 (2)

The stopped ceiling fan proved to be a nice safe perch for him and yes, he did eventually fly away.  And Tiggers was released from the bathroom.

After the close encounter, I looked up the meaning of hummingbird as an animal totem: “The symbolic meaning of hummingbirds differs from regions. However, in the Native American culture it symbolizes timeless joy and the Nectar of Life. It’s a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances.”

Be joyful. And try something impossible.