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Another good bit of personal philosophy:

"Don't be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes leads to knowledge. 'Yes' is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say yes." - Stephen Colbert

Aug. 18th, 2011

I am in Key Largo. I have seen more life, more wild, happening-all-around-me LIFE, in the last few days than I have in the last 10 years. I have the Atlantic Ocean to one side of me and the Gulf of Mexico to the other. Every day, I wake up and am in disbelief that I'm even here. Today, I was informed that there is an 8-foot saltwater crocodile hanging out very near where I've been going to swim, alone, for the last couple of days. Right after that, I watched a snake chase down and eat a lizard. I've seen pelicans and tarpon, osprey, horseshoe crabs and blue crabs, needlefish, fish I can't name, starfish, anemones, and yesterday, two manatees swimming together right inside the buoy line, RIGHT THERE, close enough that I could have swum out and touched them, if I'd had the inclination to do so.

I'm feeling very grateful for my life today.

May. 31st, 2011

I have to ask myself right now, if I have any business owning more than I can carry.

The God Who Only Knows Four Words

The God Who Only Knows Four Words by Hafiz

Every child has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don'ts,
Not the God who ever does anything weird,
But the God who only knows four words
And keeps repeating them, saying:
"Come dance with me."
Come dance.


I've folded it and everything.

I am heroically doing laundry. It's shocking to me that they don't give out medals for this kind of thing.

I'm as surprised as you are.

I guess unless something changes dramatically, as of this morning I can now state: I am a tea person.

If you told me today that I was never going to have another cup of coffee as long as I live, it would effect me not at all.
I only allowed for 50 characters in the answer space last time, and it strikes me that may make it impossible for some of you to answer! I've fixed it.

Poll #1654383 D'oh, let's try this again: it's that time of year that I realize I don't have anyone's current address. Some of you have had the nerve to move on me! Again! So ...

If you don't mind me having your physical address, enter it here.

Mark, I already got yours. Thanks!

Dec. 7th, 2010

Sorry I have been slow to respond to some of the comments in my journal. My e-mail account is dumping my e-mail notifications for some reason, so sometimes I don't realize someone has commented until I get a chance to come back here and look. D'oh!

Highly recommended.

I look at cookbooks like other people look at travel books. They often are travel books. I don't know if I'll ever cook from my French Farmhouse Cookbook, but I love to look at it and read the anecdotes about French country life. Sometimes, cookbooks are history books. I have read and re-read my mom's American Heritage Cookbook, which is as much history book as it is a cookbook. History viewed though the lens of food is both educational and, for me, highly entertaining. I re-read it when I'm sick in body or sick at heart, because it always cheers me up. But I doubt I will ever cook anything out of it.

Then there is The Beautiful Cookbook: Pacific Northwest, that I bought for $4.00 out of a bargain bin about ten years ago. The Beautful Cookbook was, the book tells me, a public television series. One of the few about food that I never watched or even heard of, I guess. I bought it primarily because of the pretty cover photo and you couldn't beat the price. I have since carefully peeled off the sale price sticker. Not just because it interferes with the beauty of the cover, but because I didn't want the book's face marred or its reputation tarnished by the inference that it deserved to be tossed into the bargain bin! The inside cover tells me that it would have cost $45.00 at full price, and while I doubt I would have ever paid that much for it, it is only because I didn't know how much pleasure it would bring me. Not just reading pleasure, but actual eating pleasure! Although it takes its inspiration from a location that is a source of fascination for me, and is full of swoony photos, it is not just a picture book. For here it is, at last: a cookbook that I've actually used for its intended purpose!

It's true that for years I was just a sightseer, paging through the book and mentally bookmarking all the dishes I'd like to try if I had unlimited time, money, and skill. I fantasized that if I ever won the lottery, I would hire someone to cook nearly everything in this book for me, recipe by recipe. Especially the seafood dishes! Then, as it transpired, I found myself in need of an apple pie recipe ... Yes, this cookbook is the source of the apple-cranberry pie I make every Thanksgiving, and my first scratch pie crust, too. Although I must admit that I've never tackled any of the protein-based recipes from this book, not yet, anyway. Whenever I have cracked its pages, it has never let me down. The magical success of that first pie gave me the confidence to continue and expand my baking expertise. Now I have the skill and confidence to make far more advanced mistakes!

Now I'm attempting one of the recipes that first caught my eye so many years ago: Pumpkin-Pecan Cake. The cake is in the oven, and the apartment smells like Mrs. Claus' boudoir! If it tastes half as good as it smells, it will be another triumph! Thanks again, The Beautiful Cookbook: Pacific Northwest. You were a fine investment, and have become a trusted guide. Almost a friend.

One of those days, ya know?

So, I gave that nutritional pep talk yesterday, and now I'm having diet soda and the Anti-Oxident NUT-rition Mix that Tonya sent me, for breakfast. At noon.

C'est la vie.


Maria Jr.

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