Don't Sit* so Close to Me

Jan 29, 2010

Warning: I'm about to over share. You might want to look away and read some other blog today.

Know what I hate? I hate it when someone takes the stall next to you when there are nine other EMPTY stalls in the bathroom. And then they decide to take a few moments to solve world hunger. While you're working out the cure to cancer or pondering the meaning of life. Whatever. It's uncomfortable. And disruptive.

So you know, try to remember the stall-buffer rule and give your new friends (really close friends, apparently) a little space. We all need a little space now and then.

*Replace the word "sit" with an appropriate rhyme.

The Really ARE the Miracle Fruit

Jan 28, 2010

From a CNN article on the secrets to a longer life:

We found that all five Blue Zones possessed the same nine lifestyle characteristics. Among them: a low-meat, plant-based diet (all of them ate a lot of beans) and a ritual of "downshifting" each day. They experience the same stresses we do -- kids, health, finances -- but they managed it through daily prayer, meditation, ancestor veneration or city-wide happy hours (like the Sardinians).

Although, I gotta tell you, a city-wide happy hour sounds like a great idea.

Trippin' Across Texas

Jan 27, 2010

Woke up this morning with Luckenbach, Texas running through my mind. Probably inspired by the beautiful drive Handsome and I took on Sunday - Dallas and back in a day.

There is nothing in this world quite so beautiful (to me) than this great state we live in. I could easily live in California or France or Hawaii or any Caribbean island, but my heart belongs to Texas. Through and through.

To a giant, majestic flag pulled taught in a strong west wind. To rolling plains where you can see for miles and miles to forever. To towering loblolly pines that obscure a brilliant blue sky. To seagulls and brown pelicans and kingfishers skirting the coast and floating on a sea breeze. To limestone cliffs and crags full of secrets. To rolling thunder and drenching, torrential storms. To fiery sunsets of crimson and flame and gold and rose smearing together across the sky into a thousand shades of indigo and violet. And to an entire galaxy of stars decorating the heavens.

I love this place.

Getting a Thrill from the Daily Grind

Jan 21, 2010

For Christmas, Handsome gave me a set of Peugeot U'Select variable salt and pepper grinders. Kinda like these. They have six (!) settings, ranging from super-fine to extra-course.

And just let me say that I have used these every single meal. And sometimes I lose myself in the smooth grinding action and smother our food in way too much seasoning. Though I think my husband kinda likes that part. The seasoning part, people! Come on!

Well, ok. You're right. I LOVE the smooth grinding action, the way the pepper or salt meets my exacting demands of size and consistency. Cooking in my kitchen will never be the same.

The Selfishness of Selective Vision

Jan 19, 2010

This weekend, a man approached my husband and me in a parking lot as we were leaving a store. Homeless. Hungry. "I don't have anywhere to go. Can you spare some change?"

Handsome engaged the man in conversation. And then looked at me. "Sweetie, do you have anything?"

Painful confession here: I was looking anywhere but there, at that hopeless man. At my shoes, the store windows, others in the parking lot. And if I've never heard a "still, small voice" in my entire life, I heard it then:

Look that man in the eye. He's not invisible. He exists. He is someone; someone's father, brother, husband, son. He matters. Look at him. See him.

I met his gaze and handed over what was in my wallet, which was pitifully little.

As we parted, the man called out. "Ma'am?" I paused, turned. "Thank you." And he looked me in the eye, and saw me, too. I didn't deserve thanks of any kind, and I'm certain I didn't deserve the gratitude in his eyes.

It's easy to ignore the world we don't want to see. Inside the cocoon of our own thoughts and agendas, everything that doesn't fit our expectations of "the way things ought to be" becomes invisible.

The sick are a burden on the system, unworthy of the same level of care and support that we work diligently to provide for our families. The immigrant steals resources and jobs from legal citizens while avoiding contributing to the system that provides those opportunities. The homeless are just lazy panhandlers who'll use your hard-earned dollars for drink and drugs.

We judge them and then look away, pretend they don't exist. But they do. And they are just as worthy of recognition as any of us. In truth, we are all the same - penniless, homeless, broken, destitute, starving, dying.

Am I my brother's keeper? Yes, I am.

Vocabulary Lesson #26: The Larger Bowl

Jan 18, 2010



Text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Haiti relief efforts. Or donate online here or here.

The Great Good Fortune of a Neighborhood Squirrel

Jan 14, 2010

Presently, two dozen maturing Live Oaks are liberally dropping their bounty upon the driveways and sidewalks of this suburban neighborhood, much to the ecstatic, apoplectic joy of the squirrel families who inhabit our backyards. The sheer abundance of food and ease of collection sets their tails a-twitch.

Makes one wish human happiness was as easy to achieve.

Making Mischief for Fun and Profit

Jan 11, 2010

Advice: don't talk on the phone while visiting a restroom. Your friend might hear more than just your conversation. And they'll assume it's you making that noise.

79 Pricks Later (or The Universe Is Telling Me Something)

Jan 8, 2010

It's official: I am allergic to Central Texas. To ALL the trees, ALL the grasses, ALL the molds, and BOTH cats AND dogs. Every single thing they test for. EVERY. SINGLE. THING. It is any wonder I suffer year-round?

Wanna see a picture? Sure you do! At least I want to share it with you because if I got nothing else out of the experience, it's the opportunity to prove what I've been whining about. Caution: partial dorsal nudity ahead.

That was at eight o'clock this morning. And it STILL hurts. And sucks, actually.

The upside to all this allergy testing and prick tests and pain is that I have a perfect excuse for moving to the beach . . .

It's for my health.

What if . . .

Jan 4, 2010

. . . this cold snap is the universe's way of reminding us how insignificant we really are?

Feels a little like God is laughing at us. I just knew he had a sense of humor.

2009 in Quotes

Selections from Knighton's Quote of the Day for 2009:

We have no idea how long Adam and Eve lasted in [the Garden of Eden] before sinning and thus creating prime rib, which seriously, the Fall wasn’t all bad.
- Anti-itch Meditation, Vegetarian Sex

How much do you have to hate someone to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell someone about that?
- Penn Jillette, A Gift of a Bible

You think you're a ninja but you're not!
- Boy to His Brother, So Cruel @ Testosterhome

Truly, it can be stated: "If you want to impress a woman, bake her a pie."
- Neil Peart, Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill

I think every woman should have a blowtorch.
- Julia Child, Quotes: How to Cook

[S]omewhere in the deep dark unexplored depths of my car, the Goldfish and Gummy Bears are mating and evolving into higher life forms.
- Antique Mommy, Crazy Things In My Car

Remember what all the holidays this time of year are about. It’s the rebirth of the light, the return of the Sun, however you spell it. In the depths of winter’s darkness, on the longest night of the year, the wheel turns and the next day there will be just a little more light, and a little less darkness. That’s what’s its all about, lighting a candle in the dark, and trusting that the planets will turn, the universe will move, and tomorrow there will be just a little more sun to light our way.
- Laurell K. Hamilton, The Magic of the Everyday

In Retrospect & With Anticipation

Jan 1, 2010

I've spent much of today thinking about the past year. Things I've done, wished I'd done, and wished I hadn't done. I took a look back at the writing of the year, and stumbled upon this, from January 7, 2009:

So, here is my resolution: To think, speak, and behave kindly to others, especially my families. To diffuse bitterness when possible, and to ignore it otherwise. God, help me.

Somewhere along the year, perhaps in response to having written it down, I've adopted kindness as one of my goals in life. I am not always kind, far from it. But I'm trying very hard to just be kind to people, especially those I love. If I have been unkind toward you, please forgive my failure and please bear with me as I work this out in fear and trembling.

And for this year, I resolve to live in kindness and patience. To do something new every week and every month. To entertain friends and to meet new ones. But most of all, I resolve to reboot: to jump off the proverbial cliff into the dreams Handsome and I have for this life. To take a risk and know that we can do anything, and if we fail, we can fail spectacularly and with the great joy of having done something we never thought we could. God, help us.