Sunday, 31 July 2011

"One Little Daisy"

Yesterday I found a poem I wrote when I was nine or ten. It is scribbled on a piece of white printing paper (the kind without lines), so I know it must have been a "serious piece of work". (White paper was reserved for "serious work" when I was little.)

Here it is, typed out exactly as it is written on the page:


One Little Daisy

One little daisy goes out to play,
Outside, the daisy plays all day.
When suddenly a noise comes through,
That sounds quite harsh and mean!
But daisy just stays in the grass,
For there's nothing to be seen.
Daisy just stays out in the sun
listing[sic] to the awful noise, when
a big red thing comes towards
her toys and takes her off
her poise. The noise stops.
The red thing stops, and
daisy is relieved, until she
is plucked out of the dirt,
and put between a book. after [sic]
A while, daisy's dry and taped
onto a paper. So daisy's days
are filled with hours stuck on a
big caper.


You don't have to classify this as a poem if it's too painful for you to do so. ;)

I remember imagining a big red lawn mower charging towards a little daisy. I think my original plan was for the daisy to get eaten by the lawn mower, but my sister must have vetoed that idea. Perhaps I confused daisies and dandelions? I really didn't like dandelions when I was a little girl.

If I could talk with my nine year old self, I would ask her the following:

1) What do daisies play with? What are her "toys"? Did I mean June Bugs? Other flowers? A rubber ball?
2) What do I mean by "Caper"? I don't think I was referring to the pickled bud. I knew what those were, and they were gross. (My sister ate them.) Did I mean some sort of shenanigan? What can you do while taped to a piece of paper?


I was a fairly odd child... My poor Ma and Pa.

Apparently I wrote them another daisy poem for Christmas. Let's hope this one was a bit less...strange.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Good Eats

Well, I kept my promise. Ellie and I had fun, and we ate very well, too. Rather than spending my vacation money on traveling, I indulged in a most amazing grocery splurge at Trader Joe's. It was important that my fridge be filled with delicious yet allergen-free foods since Ellie and I both have sensitive stomachs. Grocery shopping is always such a pleasure! Especially when your options are limitless and your pocketbook is feeling a bit less tight.

Ellie and I filled our cart with everything delicious: hummus, salad greens, a red and orange pepper, grapes, apples, sausages, bacon, different kinds of meat, ice cream, chocolate, and two kinds of cheese (herbed goat cheese and English Cheddar with caramelized onions). It was a very good day.

It was a very good week!


Despite the fact that I am not a very good cook, Ellie and I still managed to eat delicious suppers every evening. We agreed that they got better each time. I think I'm finally learning how to properly season and bake chicken tenders. Finally.


Sometimes remembering our meals helps me feel a bit less sad now that Ellie is home in N.M. Here you go:

Proof That You Can Eat Delicious Meals sans Gluten/Corn/Soy/Nut/Nitrites/Guargum/Tropical Fruits:

Monday's Supper
Rice Noodles alla Puttanesca with Herbed Goat Cheese and Salad Greens.

Tuesday's Supper
Burgers topped with Caramelized Onion Cheddar and Bacon.
Served with Salad Greens and Steamed Sweet Potatoes.

Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake drizzled with Rum and served with Coffee Ice Cream.

Wednesday's Supper
Pasta with Sautéed Squash and Herb Seasoned Chicken

Thursday's Supper
Wednesday's Supper was so very delicious that we cooked the same meal again.

Friday's Supper
Pan Fried Chicken Sausages served with Green Beans, Squash, and Potatoes sautéed in Garlic Butter.  

Saturday's Supper
Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, and Tomato and Green Bean Hash.  

Sunday's Supper
Pork Chops with Apple-Onion Chutney
served alongside Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Sautéed Summer Squash.

Dessert: Dark Chocolate Mousse
My little food adventures with Ellie taught me a few things about cooking:

-Garlic Salt. Use it. Enough said. 
-Chili Pepper Flakes. Use them. Also enough said. 
-Squash tastes delicious when cooked in butter. Everything tastes delicious cooked in butter. (Almost.) 
-Garlic Salt. Salt. Don't under salt. 
-Taste your food throughout the cooking process! Avoid over salting! 
-Be patient with yourself. Cooking is hard! There is no definite right or wrong method, but you know when something tastes good, and you definitely know when it tastes bad. Delicious or disgusting. You know what I mean. Think of term paper writing: Practice, practice, practice. Have a plan. Ditch the plan. Fail. Try again. Fail again. Try again. Practice, practice, practice again. 
-Perhaps the activity of eating becomes "meal-taking" or "partaking of a meal" when you are joined by all the people you love. Maybe this is why people get married and buy dishes together. They want to cook meals! What a happy little thought.


Happy meal-making to you all!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Hurrah for Thrift Stores!

Ellie and I visited the local thrift store,
and I found these treasures for my personal Children's Literature Library:

I am especially excited about The Grouchy Ladybug, since 1) I'm a fan of Eric Carle books, and 2) Sam and my sister have decided that I get infected with "grumpy bugs" after 11 P.M.  

Grumpy Bugs,




Poor, poor Ladybug. 
I empathize with you! 

But wait! It's after 11 P.M. and I am not grouchy, or cranky, or pokey, or filled with grumpy bugs!
Well, what do you know about that?

I should go to bed before this wears off!


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Old Friends...

My dear friend Ellie is visiting me this week.
We spent our wee little-one days together in the New Mexican desert
learning violin, singing in choirs, and generally being very, very silly. 
 Ellie also suffers from the same kind of gastrointestinal problems that I have.
Partners in pain?

 (Circa 2008?)


We both tried being music majors (at different schools),
quit our attempt,
and are now re-attempting the arts again. 
(She's in theater and I'm in music.)

We used to improvise opera during long car rides.
Actually, we still do! 

Ellie is one of those sorts of people who can catch on and join in when I hum the first few measures of the Overture to Candide or Borodin's Polovtsian Dances.

We had a jolly time making cymbal clashing noises.

(Go listen: Here and Here)

When I am with Ellie, I remember why I love music so much. 
We can enjoy music without the pressure of being perfect performers.
We can joke about violinists being divas,
because we have both played violin,
and I'm sure we have both been divas.
(We would love to eat bon bons from a silver tray. At least I would...)

Yesterday we sat on the drive way and talked about babies,
because girls sometimes need to talk about babies. 

Then we came inside and ate a late night snack.

Thank you, New Mexico and the M. Family, for sharing your daughter with me!
I promise that we will have fun. :)

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Have you ever experienced the immense relief and bliss that accompanies a decision well made? (Or in my case, finding a solution that works tremendously better than the current option.)

It's the kind of feeling that makes you want to jump about and run around and sing sing sing.






Try this!

"I fixed the faucet!!!"

"I found my lost sock!!!!" (I wish!)

I don't have to finish now,
at the school where I began,
with the same programs and majors.



I'm a silly goose. 

But Sousa Marches are the best, so hopefully the piece is adequate payment for the abundance of exclamation marks and caps.


Friday, 8 July 2011

Summer Reading and Not So Very Long Ago...

Shakespeare 2009
The best of times...

 The French Royal Family Portrait.
My mother was my brother, 
and my father was my friend. 

See the resemblance? 
But where is Choo?

Monday, 4 July 2011

In Honor of The "American Sound"

What forms the American musical ethos?

Hint: It has nothing to do with Rebecca Black's "Friday". May good American music have nothing to do with
Wikipedia, I ask you this: Must "Americana Music" be synonymous with "Country Music"? 

What makes the music of Aaron Copland sound so distinctively "American"?

Again, what is the "American" sound?
Brass? Why so much brass?

Sometimes Wikipedia is helpful: ...Don't kill me.

"The open, slowly changing harmonies of many of his [Copland's] works are archetypical of what many people consider to be the sound of American music, evoking the vast American landscape and pioneer spirit. ~*cough*courtesy of wikipedia*cough* 

Do you want to witness the vast American landscape? Try road-tripping across America. 
In fact, why not do it twice? 
You might appreciate Copland more if you do. ;-) 
You'll also appreciate fresh vegetables more than you ever thought you would. 
(But don't try to drive through Texas and New Mexico in one day. Bad, bad, bad idea. Never again.)


 In honor of today:
(please excuse the Space images.  I picked this recording because the of the sound quality. However, watch this video if you have time. James Levine! His epic conducting face.) 
Fanfare for the Common Man
(Composed by Aaron Copland)

Apparently this piece was inspired by a speech about "The Century of the Common Man" given by former vice president Henry A. Wallace. You can read the excerpt here if you are interested. I especially suggest it to all you Johnson House Sophomores. Yet whether or not you agree with his arguments, please, please spend some time listening to Aaron Copland's music. :D

In fact, go out and buy a CD that includes his Appalachian Spring*. Wake up early in the morning, pour yourself a cup of tea (toaster waffles are suggested, too), and listen to the entirety of this piece.

(*It's funny that Copland did not write this ballet/piece with the title in mind. In fact, the title came after the piece was composed. However it's hard not to think of Spring (the season) or springs (water) when listening to the piece. Why? Maybe the power of suggestion is too strong. Hmm.)

when you need a pick me up in your day, skip the drink and instead listen to Leonard Bernstein's Overture to Candide.
Oh, why not watch it now?

Conducted by the Bernstein himself!
(Fine, fine. Have the drink, too.)

Saturday, 2 July 2011

"We would picnic by the James River...

...shielding ourselves with a yellow umbrella in a manner befitting those from the Orient."
~September 20th, 2010