Mag 113~ "The Red Roof of Wendy's House"

It's Monday~

And that means its a gift of poetry for you, from me.

I've been researching "Peter Pan" for my Storybook Club...
which led me to the interesting topic of the "Peter Pan Syndrome" ...(men who don't grow up)
which led me to their enabling topic of "The Cinderella Complex" ...(i.e. the Wendy syndrome)...

when I saw this week's picture prompt from "The Red Roofs" by Marc Chagall,
I had to put them all together.

I hope you like it~

A former Wendy

Red Roofs, Marc Chagall, 1954

The Red Roof of Wendy's House

The red roof, my highest ambition
Is how a woman sees herself
But grown women, wish childlike as Wendy
of being saved by mothering Peter Pan

The man in the moon tells us stories
ones which we all snuggle up with tight
and yet, in falling for them,
we, ourselves, fall to our deaths.

The end of self esteem and independence
comes on the wings of a Lost Boy's promise
with scented flowers to tempt us,
sweet as Hook's poisoned cake

But it is the shadow of my dream self...
that flies to mine own window
and bids me fly to Neverland
For I am the creator of mine own delirious fancy.

I am Hook.
I am Peter.
I am Wendy.
I am Tinkerbell.

And now, having fallen once, I dust off my shadow
I see the moon, and the 2nd star to the right
and I think and I ponder it
while sitting here firmly on my red, red roof.

If you like this poem to this picture, then go read what other writers have written to its' inspiration! Click here for more Magpie Tales!

Week 9 of 52~ "Alone Time"

Following along in the book "52 Small Changes", I've made some adjustments to my life every week since starting with my friend, Lorie, back in February.

Major changes include:
Walking everyday
Drinking lots more water (I even bought a BPA free 64 oz. jug I liked for my daily intake...I got tired of counting sobe bottles..)
Setting a regular bedtime and trying to get more rest for ME...
Keeping a food journal
Being more Positive
Taking a Multivitamin (which reminds me now....this one is always an effort)
Eating more vegetables (I got creative with this one and my cooking has been sparked again!)

This next week's Small Change?

Enjoy Time Alone

This one I have personally struggled with for most of my life. Those of you that really know me, know I haven't cared to be alone much. Oh, I like a little down time and time to myself as most folks do...but I don't like a lot of it.

I have some friends who are quite comfortable with being alone, and some who are lonely, and they are ok with it...but me? I always crave company. There have been times in my life that have been tragically effected, and I'm dealing with them still....So, I guess I've tried to surround myself with people, pets, events and social situations so I don't have to be lonely anymore.

I've been writing my memoir, and the interesting thing is that by facing the demons...they become easier to deal with, and my alone time has been more happy of late because of it.

Some alone time is good for the soul. Since my girls and roommate have moved out, my home has been an "Empty Nest" for me and Harry, a bit. Not liking it at first, I have grown into it.

I am really starting to enjoy my "Alone Time" and most especially my walks with my dog in the morning. (Ok, so with him being with me, I'm not technically alone then, but I am with my thoughts.)

In the bathroom of my home, "Squirrel Haven", there are a multitude of sayings, pictures, and comments taped all over the wall...

one of them is this quote by Marilyn Monroe:"I restore myself when I am alone, a career is born in public, talent in privacy."

And I really like that....So this week, I will savor my time....with me...

Weird Vegetable Experiment!

Here's an update for you~

According to "52 Small Changes: A Year to a Happier, Healthier You" book I'm following with my friend Lorie, we are supposed to "Eat more vegetables" this week as one of the small changes.

But I always eat veggies and love how to add "more?"
I have added eating, either a salad or a lunch of veggies everyday. Been enjoying that and I also decided that once a week, I could serve a dinner that is features vegetables only with no protein or carb included.

So to kick it up a notch, and a bit just for fun....I took a shopping trip to Wegman's and my mission was to find some fun veggies to cook with, and in particular, I stretched myself to find things I've never had or cooked with before!

Basically, my approach was this, pull up to the produce section with my cart, look around... if I saw a very unusual item of produce, and my first thought was "WTF are you??"- I then put it in the shopping cart and made a note to research it and cook it!
It WAS great fun!

I found some adventure in the art of cooking!

I also enjoyed some veggies that I've used before, but splurged on colorful veggies as well as those that I really love eating. For our "veggie dinner" this week, I made Colcannon and great salad made from Kumatoes, brine soaked feta and seedless cucumber. It was filling and very tasty!

Here are some of the veggies that I adventurously delighted in this week...

Seedless Cucumber (also called "English Cucumber") These were not much different than regular cukes in taste. I found that they weren't as "wet" or soggy as the ones I usually buy...and there were no seeds. I liked it right fine. Would buy it again.

Brown tomatoes?? YES. The sign said that Kumatos were "sweeter than Beefsteak tomatoes, and they were right. VERY flavorful and wonderful! A bit unnerving in the color, but made up for it in taste.

Multi colored peppers-
I always love buying these! They are great for snacks. A bagful of little sized multicolored baby sweet peppers! Red, yellow and orange and they made anything I cooked a beautiful fiesta color and added a delicious flavor. I even stuffed a few in Shawna's lunch bag for a treat. :)

Gemstone Potatoes
- These were small baby potatoes of different colors! White, beige, brown, purple, red. Too cute NOT to buy!! I love potatoes~ I wonder if they'll taste any different?
- will be using this in this recipe, or maybe the one below with the Chayote squash....methinks?

Ensalada De Jicama:
8 oz. Jicama, peeled and cubed (1 1/2 c.)
1 lg. cucumber, sliced
1 orange, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. chili powder

Will let you know how I like it....

Chayote Squash- This looked weirdly interesting...will be trying it on it's own or with the Jicama in a recipe called "Chayote Squash and Jicama stew" (chayotes, red peppers, onions, jicama, lettuce, with orange cilantro dressing) Again...will let you know. It's going to be a fun experiment!Daikon- Chinese radish. Looked sort of like a parsnip to me. It's a lot more mild than regular radishes, and I decided to try it in a Beef and Veggie Curry Stew. A radish that you cook?
YES. It was awesome! I made stew w/ stew beef (braised) and added, sliced onions, medallions of daikon, a bunch of those colorful peppers, carrots and potatoes. Drizzled some olive oil on it all and sprinkled it with curry powder, soy sauce and pepper. Put it in a roasting pan for about 45 minutes to an hour. A definite do again recipe!
~ I have had kale a lot before, and I adore it. I saw it in a HUGE bag and I bought it and made Colcannon with it. (It's like mashed potatoes with sour cream, kale and sauteed onions. Delish!) With 2 scoops of the leftover Colcannon, I even made a potato cake for us and sauteed it for breakfast. How very Irish :) I may also make some "Kale Chips" and bake them in the oven.
from the Nightshade family (as are tomatoes) and they reminded me immediately of the Japanese lanterns I used to grow. (which are posionous...). But these are edible.
Evidently, this is the veggie that they make that yummy green salsa from!
I will make Chicken Chile Verde with it on Sunday!
Thought you'd want to know.....

Just sending messages back to you in a bottle :)

Enjoy life, lovies, sneak up on it, peek into places you've never been....and savor it.

Great Moments in History~ Harry is Spring Cleaning!

The Planets are aligning this week. It's true, but you didn't have to tell me that because I already knew it when Harry announced yesterday morning that he was going to clean one of the back rooms.

You see, I've been putting my dear lovable, hoarder of a husband on a strict diet of time management scheduling, timed interval nagging and loving reminders that in order to be happy and healthy and productive that things need to change.

Evidently, my mapped out daily and weekly schedule for him for the next 4 months set up in his psyche, and he saw some wisdom in my madness, and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Always risky, that....but entertaining.

So Harry announced yestermorn....
"We are going to empty the cellarway of all the stuff in it, sweep it out and restack everything out there. I know you want me to clean the office, but I don't have any place for the stuff to go. This is what we are going to do, and while it will make a huge mess, it will be better."

Yes, the planets are aligning.

Or hell has frozen over, but I don't care.

We started at 10:30am and started hauling out box after bag after container of all the incredible treasures that he has been squirreling away back there. We should've taken pictures, but don't have a way to upload pics to share with you. (i.e. his camera cable to computer is missing)

To preface this, I will tell you that I have NOT been in my cellar for about 4 years. I don't go there anymore, because it upsets me so. But I am undaunted in my list making and had put it on my "schedule" that we were to tackle one room, or back room, or cellar bit at a time over the next few months. I am one brave woman and I have to say that I am PROUD of him.

Although I got very frustrated several times yesterday and had to leave. I left on errands for him, willingly, so as not to tangle with him.

You see, Harry has a plan. The cellarway is a room that is the shape of an "L".
8 feet from door to north wall...and then another leg of the room that goes down to the basement. An old canal house, stone foundation, and with the ancient dust of the years in your nostrils.

He and I emptied the room in no time, having to squeeze through the mud room door and back door to the deck to spill out its contents all over the deck, the hot tub, the patio.

There is now, outside my back door, a gargantuan sized disrupted spill of:
sound gear, parts, computer CPUs, old fax machines, piping, stage skirting, packing materials, a sound man sized collection of paper egg cartons (to be sound baffles), missing parts of a fog effect that will be used for "Screamers", parts to 2 mixers that will be combined into 1 mixer, a bunch of microphones, heat shrink, some interesting half done projects, assorted plastic sculptures made from 2 liter soda bottles/duct tape and other interesting drunken epiphanies...30 missing 3M brand new Switchcraft connectors for mic cables (they sell for about $6 a piece), 50 foot of pristine 6-gauge copper wire, Styrofoam peanuts everywhere, junk, paper, batteries.I am not immune to the collection. Some of my found treasures were:
a collection of glass bottles (for making Herb vinegar for presents), a collection of 2 sets of Encyclopedias (one is a kids set that I may still use for collage), many old mason canning jars (some with glass lids and bales) a set of jars that I had my girls use as banks for proportioning their allowance when they were little (the girls are now 24 and 26 years old), a broken framed "Beauty & The Beast" picture that was never fixed, and an old broken clock under glass (which I may save for next month's StoryBook Club's table centerpiece for "Peter Pan").

When I got too frustrated with the carnage hemorrhaging out of the split seams of the cluttered room, I happily went to the hardware store for parts for Harry to rebuild the funky old metal shelves out there (he needed a torpedo level, some nuts and bolts and wood shims). He took apart the old shelves yesterday and started rebuilding them for strength with metal perforated pre-punched angle rail.

He even went and found his Shop Vac in the barn.

Once in awhile I would get yelled at when I would cynically say something like, "Where is the "SUPPOSED' "Possible" Junk pile?" with a definite sneer and all the while holding an armful of crap...

See, he needs to critique EVERYTHING before it gets thrown away. Like plastic bags and broken things. While I admire the spartan and the modest Yankee in him, (I too, am thrifty) I draw the line at saving old mouse traps and empty paint cans.

But surely I digress.
This is when Harry would say, "How about you go get us some lunch?" ( or dinner, or parts or coffee....)

He worked late into the night, fixing one more shelving unit, admiring its beauty before coming to bed at 1am.

Even though the deck and back yard looks horrid....

I think he looks very handsome today :)

Week 8 of 52: "Eat Your Vegetables"

How are you doing on your "Small Changes" for your health?

I'm doing ok....
*Managing the walking, sleeping and water as best as I can in the proportions I need.
*Most days I am remembering my multivitamin...
*Have tried doing the "kick your shoes off" thing here, but it's mostly a bust with family and company coming in....oh well....C'est la vie!

This Week's Small Change?

Eat 4-6 servings of Veggies a day~

While I do eat lots of veggies, do I eat this many servings a day?
Some days.
I used to be a Vegetarian. Enjoyed it a lot, but my canine teeth got lonely.

So, this week, I will strive to make at least one dinner meal a week totally veggie, and will try to make most lunches salads.

I am SO in love with this salad I've been making lately!
Dark mixed greens
Sprinkling of Feta or Blue Cheese
a few Banana Pepper Rings
and Lite Ceasar dressing.

OH MY. Delish!! I could eat it every day!!

And also for this next challenge.....
I promise I will also buy one incredibly weird vegetable at Wegman's, that I've never tried before and figure out how to cook it and eat it.

These look interesting....

Purple Okinawa Sweet Potato...
Romanesque Broccoli....
Will let you know.

If you don't hear from me next week....

ah, ask the Coroner what was the last thing I ate....
and ah...don't eat that. :)

Hardboiled Dreams

Mag 112
image: djajakarta

And my Autumn dream said to me,
All will be new in the Spring.

If you grow and learn and be
and evolve in the lessons of the Ring

Eostre and Fertility, being born again new
Redemption, beginnings, break open the shell

The Alien child within me, so childlike and true
A new planet to explore, maybe Heaven, maybe Hell.

A land of my own making
But who am I to say?

A dream is a dream, after all, upon waking
And sunrise brings a very different new day.

Magpie Tales are poems and vignettes written by other poets, in a weekly prompt photograph. To read what other writers have done with this poem, click here

Week 7 of 52: Keep the Outside...outside...

Hope your doing well on your Healthy Quest!
I'm hanging in there~

The hardest thing for me so far is to remember to take my damn multivitamin.
I even washed it down late in the evening last week once with rum.
But I remembered!
That counts, right? :)

This week's wee small change is something simple, logical, helpful and healthful...and elusive.
It is to keep the outside outside.

By keeping the outside out, germs and bacteria and dirt do not come in to make us sick and it helps to keep the dust down, lessening the possibility for colds, allergies and asthma!

I mean, the Japanese and Asian people have long adopted this healthy habit, so as not to bring dirt and sickness to their tatami mats on which they sleep. Seems logical.

While "nice in theory" (as my husband says...who doesn't always like implementing new things) it may be a bit harder....

Like a real Magicians' trick here at Squirrel Haven!

My front door opens right into my front living room carpeting (which is looking distressed and ragged even tho' we've tried fixing the threshold several times). There is no "mud room" to act as a break for the weather. To my credit...I have always wanted to cut away the rug and put down some lineoleum there for a buffer for my poor carpeting!
But it's just one of those "to do" wish list jobs.

We have a lot of company and while most folks take off their shoes without being asked or prompted...sometimes they don't....
and I never wanted to give an order first thing upon their entrance to the house to "Take your shoes off!"

So in thinking about a solution....
I may just put a wee sign up on the front door...
"Please get comfy and take off your shoes and stay awhile"

I also like this poem I found~
Or how about this one?
"Life is made up of choices.. take off your shoes or shampoo the rug" :)

Taking off my footwear is never a real problem for me, as I am almost always barefoot or sock footed (much to Harry's chagrin, he's always so worried that I'll step on something and hurt myself)...
so getting me to take off my shoes is never an issue... getting me to keep them ON... IS.

Harry on the other hand, was trained to never go will have to work on that.

I know!!

I forsee a NEW pair of slippers for Harry!

The Nest

Mag 111
image: ParkeHarrison

He had been accused
of not putting down roots
and being sort of fly by night

So in a call and response
Peter built a nest

He started small
not wanting to foul it

As he had before

Just a wee small space
to call his very own

A frugal place for a Scot

Wi' his tings aboot him.

This poem was written in participation with Magpie Tales...Linka place for poets, wordsmiths & wonderers
Click here to see what others might have done with this week's pic~