Friday, October 29, 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday --Chocolatini Edition

Seven Quick Takes are hosted by Jen.

1. I totally thought I had already posted here this week. But no, I put a note up on Facebook. NOT the same thing. This does not bode well for NaBloPoMo.

2. Yes, I'm going to try NaBloPoMo again this year. Wish me luck!

3. We had chicken mole for dinner tonight. Well, a women's magazine version of chicken mole apparently designed for wimpy kids on a low-sodium diet. A saltshaker and a bottle of Tapatio made it much better. Next time I will kick it up several notches!

4. We had a chipmunk in our basement. It entered by falling down the dryer vent pipe, and Roger wasn't quick enough to keep it in the bucket when he untaped the vent to let it out. We set up a Havaheart trap, but the cat (or dog) didn't have one (a heart, that is). So now we have a chipmunk grave in the yard. Sniff.

5. Tomorrow is a don't-have-to-go-anywhere day. So we won't. We will, however, do the overdue dusting of all the furniture (me) and put shrink-wrap plastic on all the windows (Roger). And then we will have wine and cheese and shrimp cocktails for dinner, to celebrate our diligence.

6. Today was the first day all week that neither of us had an evening commitment. Next week will be the same. I thought empty-nesting was supposed to be more laid-back. Silly me.

7. The chocolatini in the title is one of my favorite weekend drinks -- chocolate liqueur, vanilla vodka, and Irish cream in a martini glass drizzled with chocolate syrup. Dessert in a glass! And now you know why this post was quick and (possibly) incoherent. Goodnight!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday -- Totally Random

Seven Quick Takes are hosted by Jen.

1) I Right now my kitchen (where my computer is) smells like onions. Dinner tonight is Creamed Chicken with Corn Bread Dressing. (The recipe for the dressing is coming in November.) I did all my prep around lunchtime, including chopping the onion for the creamed chicken, which I then put into the pan I'll be using and covered with the lid. I just took the lid off. Whew!

2) It is a gorgeous fall day outside. Lots of red and yellow, fading to brown, but still enough green for contrast. I love to look at fall, but I don't really spend much time outside enjoying it. Good thing there is a window right by my desk.

3) We went to our local Right to Life banquet last night. Well, actually, except for the food part, we ran it. Tickets, seating plans, speaker, decorations, programs. you name it. But Roger didn't have to be emcee this year, since somebody has finally stepped forward to take over as president, after almost two decades. So next year there will be a banquet committee, and all we'll need to do is show up. The new president has the people-motivation skills we lack, and I expect a lot of good things to happen. Thank you, Joe!!

4) Election day is in less than two weeks. Michigan is not electing a US senator this year, but every other state and local office is up in the air. Some races have a clear (to me) best choice, some are a little fuzzier. But I'm putting on my patriot hat and telling you -- no matter where you are, or where you stand on issues -- to get out there and VOTE! A country where people take their responsibility in this area seriously will be a better country than one where they don't, even if the "wrong" candidates win.

5) Our local park system is awesome! I've mentioned the walking/running/biking trails before, but the beaches and museums are also great, and we just acquired a lighthouse! Furthermore, local groups have gathered donations and grants to repair it and care for it. So if you ever come to visit I'll be sure to take you to see it.

6) My stomach is growling. I've been cautiously trying to lose some weight but eating only when I'm physically hungry. Well, I am! But I'm going to wait for the Cornbread Dressing, because man, is that tasty!

7) Those of you who care about grammar may have noticed that I lean toward the use of the "Oxford comma"; that is, a comma after the item before the "and" in a list separated by commas. Example: I like vanilla, butterscotch, and chocolate ice cream toppings. Modern usage says the comma after butterscotch isn't necessary, and should be omitted. Go read this, (specifically the photo caption) and see if you agree!

And that's it for this week's version of Seven Quick takes. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

15 Authors in 15 Minutes -- edited

I tried to use some keyboard shortcuts, and this is up in two versions. I'll read all comments both places :-D

This post was originally a Facebook note for which I was tagged by a blog-friend. I decided to put it on here as well (with added commentary) because there are a couple of people whose lists I'd like to see with whom I am not Facebook friends. And frankly, if you wind up here and this looks like fun to you, by all means play along -- leaving a link here would be wonderful -- and maybe expand my reading horizons!!

Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who've influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag as many friends that are passionate about reading as you can, including me, because I'm interested in seeing what authors my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note.)

(My comments on each author were not part of the Facebook post.)

1. The Holy Spirit -- As the ultimate author of the Bible, in the same way I'd list Edward Stratemeyer as the author of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. Somebody else did the actual writing, but the inspiration was his.

2. CS Lewis -- He's the ultimate reason I have more than two kids. (Read That Hideous Strength.)

3. JRR Tolkien -- A daughter named Arwen. Any questions?

4. Robert Heinlein -- He was my first introduction to sci-fi. Some of it has palled after 40 years, but he was definitely formative for me.

5. Jan Karon -- I want to live in Mitford!

6. Barbara Mertz (Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters) -- Amelia Peabody Emerson is what keeps me reading her, but I got hooked by the Readers Digest condensation of Ammie, Come Home.

7. Rudyard Kipling -- For the poems, although I like his stories just fine. But I'm a creature of rhyme and meter, and his poems suit me.

8. Dr. Seuss -- He's one of the authors who make reading the same book to your kid 72 bazillion times bearable. Ask me how many I have memorized!

9. Georgette Heyer -- She never palls. Romance with true literacy and period clothes!

10. George and Helen Waite Papashvily -- If you don't know them, Google them and then find one of their books, especially Anything Can Happen.

11. C.J. Cherryh -- For the Foreigner series.

12. Madeleine L'Engle -- I remember the day I was handed A Wrinkle in Time, and read it in one sitting. Some of her stuff has what I consider slightly whiffy theology, but I like her anyway.

13. Edith Schaeffer -- If anybody knows where my copy of Hidden Art is, I want it back!

14. John McCrae -- "In Flanders' fields the poppies grow..." The most awesome of one-hit wonders.

15. Louisa May Alcott -- Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, and Jack and Jill! And yeah, the famous stuff, too.

 I have to admit that I spent 5 of my 15 minute circling the bookcases in the hose to make sure I didn't leave somebody out, or put somebody of lesser importance in. I figured (correctly) that I would get good guidance from what I own a lot of.

And I would LOVE to see lists from Enbretheliel and Mighty Maggie and Rae, if you guys even see this............


Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who've influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag as many friends that are passionate about reading as you can, including me, because I'm interested in seeing what authors my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note.)

1. The Holy Spirit*

2. CS Lewis

3. JRR Tolkien

4. Robert Heinlein

5. Jan Karon

6. Barbara Mertz (Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters)

7. Rudyard Kipling

8. Dr. Seuss

9. Georgette Heyer

10. George and Helen Waite Papashvily

11. C.J. Cherryh

12. Madeleine L'Engle

13. Edith Schaeffer

14. John McCrae

15. Louisa May Alcott

 I have to admit that I spent 5 of my 15 minute circling the bookcases in the hose to make sure I didn't leave somebody out, or put somebody of lesser importance in. I figured (correctly) that I would get good guidance from what I own a lot of

A Solemn Warning (giggle!)

For all you Word and Question/Poetry Game participants who haven't weighed in -- you have one week, and then I may have to post your names on the WALL OF SHAME! (snicker!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Word and Question 5


So I guess I've been channeling e.e. cummings .....

Word: slay
Question: Will the dish crack after all?

i would really like
to get rid of that cockroach

he's lurking now
somewhere in my kitchen
i saw him yesterday

i'd have stepped on him
but i was barefoot
and anyway i'm not
heavy enough to crush him

i could slay him with poison
but i have a cat
and besides, i'm scared of the stuff

maybe i could hit him with something...

i bet a blow with a dinner plate could work...

but first i have to find him

Don't forget to comment here with a link to your own poem when you post it. There are eight of you out there, and I know who you are! ;-D

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Emails Are Out! -- Updated

OK, folks, the Word and Question emails have been sent. I'll have my poem up on Wednesday (or die trying??) We have 8 players this month, three of them new, so be sure to leave a link in the comments here when you post your poem, so that everybody can find you!

(A note to new players: if it wasn't clear, the words and questions are distributed separately, so if you want to see a poem from "your" prompts, you'll have to look at two of them! I like the way some random submissions came together in interesting ways. )

I received an additional entry after I had emailed the prompts and posted this, and because I'm a pushover a very nice lady I sent that person the prompts I had left for myself and took the ones they sent. The part of me that used to be a math teacher is objecting strongly that the distribution of words and questions no longer fits the scheme I had devised, but the part of me that thinks I need to grow in flexibility says this is a good opportunity to practice. So welcome, player # 9!

Friday, October 08, 2010

A Quick Reminder

Don't forget: if you want to participate in this month's Word and Question poetry game, send me your word and question by the end of today.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Word and Question/ Playing Poetry -- October Edition

letter W Ampersand Q number 5

For the last couple of months I've (as those of you who show up here regularly probably know) I've been playing the Word and Question poetry game started by Enbrethiliel of Shredded Cheddar. Being a generous sort, she has been sharing the hosting duties! Last month was hosted by Dauvit at Crosses and Cradles, and this month it's my turn.

The full rules are here, but the general pattern is that if you want to play, you email me by Friday with a word and a question. I email you back by Sunday with a word and question submitted by others, and the game is on! I have to post my poem by next Wednesday, but everyone else gets until the 27th. And if you don't have a blog, you're welcome to post your poem in the comments here.

If you're waffling about whether or not to play -- please do. The entries are all over the map in terms of style and execution, and the rules state that we all have to say something nice about each poem. And your eighth grade English teacher isn't playing!

My email is in my profile, and just in case anybody is wondering -- my name really is Salome Ellen, but I've gone by Ellen all my life. Let's Play Poetry!!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday , or HOW Long Has It Been Since I Did One of These??!!

1) Today is the first of October. I am reminded by the mail in my inbox that NaBloPoMo starts November 1st. In one month. Thirty posts in thirty days. I think I am posting more often and more regularly than I ever have before, but for some reason the 30/30 sounds scary this year. We shall see...

2) One post I will certainly be doing is the one hosting Word and Question/ The Poetry Game here for October. (Well, two, since I have to post my own poem.) The rules are here, and we would love to have more participants. So think about it, and please join in! Your word and question should be emailed to me by October 9th.

3) My husband is baking bread today. Eighteen loaves. (Yes, I know I'm spoiled!) Some of it we will freeze, and some of it will go to Branwen, for easy lunches for her boys. And some of it we will eat for dinner. Yum!

4) When I am finished with this post, I am going to go out and buy apples. This is sad. I phoned our regular u-pick orchard to find out what varieties were ready, and discovered that due to a badly-timed spring freeze, they don't have ANY. The apple crop in Michigan is off 50% this year, which explains why prices have been staying so high. But we have to have some apples, since Roger can't get along without his pies, so off to the Farmer's Market I go...

5) Our bird-feeder is getting a workout. We never had one at the old house, but Roger has so enjoyed watching the variety of birds we get that he went out and bought a new one when the one that came with the house broke. (I blame the squirrels.) Also a hummingbird feeder and a suet-cake cage. I am glad that unlike the dog and the cat they require no effort on my part, even if he's gone for a few days.

6) We have talked about giving away the dog and cat, especially when having to make arrangements for them foils the spontaneity of buzzing off to see the grandchildren for the weekend. We can think of somebody who might want Joe-dog, and we could get a self-feeder/waterer for Lucas-kitty, who doesn't need to be let out. But Roger would hate to separate them, so expect we will have pets until these (relatively young ones) die. And anyway, the grandchildren would miss them.

7) And we will be seeing some grandchildren later today! Branwen and Larry, Daniel, Matthew, and Lauren are coming for the weekend. (They are also bringing Tirienne, who I am going to help make fondant for a wedding cake she's doing for next weekend.) I'd better go make sure the guest room is ready! Lucas-kitty has taken to dragging random items in there, so there might be a cake of soap, or a chewed-up postcard, or ???

See you all next week, and Happy Feast of Saint Therese!

Seven Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary.