Saturday, January 18, 2014

Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 C butter, softened
3/4 C white sugar
3/4 C packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups rolled oats, I used instant.
1 C craisins (any flavor, but strawberry would be best)
3/4 C white chocolate chips
8 fresh strawberries
1/2 C chopped pecans

Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, whisk your eggs until the yolks are runny, this will help make lighter cookies.

Process your strawberries in a food chopper or a food processor. 

In large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Make sure the mix is not grainy.

Add the eggs and vanilla, beat until super fluffy.

Gradually, stir the flour, adding the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into butter mixture.

Gradually add in oats, craisins, white chocolate chips, strawberries, and pecans.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly, remove from sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Yields approximately 4 dozen gems of sheer goodness!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wedding face

My brother is getting married this Saturday, and I thought about doing my own face. What do you all think of this look?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Remy Shand, first listen

I remember late night collge parties, coming home in the wee hours of the morning, relaxing to soothing music. Old school Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles with CDs, smooth rides from far places (too hung over to recall where in the hell we were), listening to Jamiroquai, Glenn Lewis, Cody ChestnutT, and best of all Remy Shand. Take a Message. Robin Thicke, did you take a cue from Remy? Sultry, smooth, and sensual, Remy has been a resonate sound in neo soul, and he's back with a new single. Where are we going takes me back to those days in college. It just has that old school, 70's feel. I listen, and think of the movie Life, in that scene sequence after they broke up that final time, and everyone is aging, and time is passing along with the lives of their fellow inmates. The instrumentals alone are enough to make you want to just vibe out. It's on repeat for me, y'all.
Jam out and let me know what you think of the new hit.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Visual vacation

 She sat on the grey storage tub and stared out the window down past the steep bright green hill speckled
with tall willows fresh leaves turning bright in the warmth of the spring. Her eyes caught the last few winter worn trees, empty and blackened. She looked at the ferris wheel in the distance going round and round and the double swing of the screaming pendulum rounding closer to completing it’s thrill.

“Mommy,” her son touched her hand, and jarred her from her visual vacation, “juice.”

He did his best, as a two year old could only do, to ask for something to drink. She gathered herself, and trudged the heavy body that felt aged each moment by moment to the kitchen. She opened the old, yellowing fridge and beyond the quart of 2% milk, left over spaghetti and exposed red grapes, maneuvered her way to a jug of cran-grape juice. She turned to the small laminate wood covered countertops and struggled slightly to untwist the lid she securely tightened in fear that it would leak and dribble onto the toddler’s shirt, or worse even, onto the despised nylon carpeted floor.
She poured the red purplish colored drink into the boy’s cup half way up, and leaned her body over to the
right and opened the tap, cutting the sugar saturation. Once again, twisting the lid with her might, she thrust the cup the boy’s way.

“Te-ku Mommie,” he said.

“You’re welcome, baby.” she slowly pushed out of her mouth. “Go, sit down, and watch your cartoon sweetie.
Mommy is trying to do something in the bedroom.”

Before returning to the sight of blue intermingling black, gray, reds, pinks, khakis, greens, baby blues, and white swells of clothes strewn over the queen sized mattress, unsightly by the unkempt and unmade sheets and comforter in the nearby bedroom, she opened the cabinet to her left hand, grudgingly pulled out the box of reduced fat cheese squares. She moved to the entryway of the kitchen, there she pulled the yellow children’s bowl- which were actually perfect proportions for such snacks- out of the cabinet. The door would always remain ajar, no matter how much force was placed upon it or how many dishes from its shelves were in the sink or dish rack below. This time, once again, she closed it. No sooner than the
cabinet facetiously clicked, the door popped from the socket, and opened once again. Never wanting to bother with it anymore, she skulked in the kitchen just moments more.

“Mommie. Eat.” her son cried. 

She thought, “if you give a mouse a cookie…” as she slightly formed a smile and proceeded to the entryway
where he was standing cup in hand, shaking up and down to ensure all liquids had been consumed and nothing else remained. Once again, “Te-ku Mommie,” as he grabbed the bowl from her.

“Two hands baby. Don’t want you to spill your crackers and make a mess.”
“A mess?”
“Yes, baby, a mess. Mommy doesn’t want you to make a mess with your crackers.”
“Oh kay Mommie.”

Conversations like this made her eyes twitch and her heart warm. He could be so sweet, such a good boy. At times.

Tirelessly, she entered the bedroom ignoring the linens and things strewn here and fro on the once charming bed. Hesitating momentarily, she grabbed the notebook on the side table next to the night lamp that did create such ambient lighting but now mostly dimmed the room and was more bothersome than romantic. Nowadays there wasn’t much that didn’t seem dark and inefficient. She opened up the book and flipped to the next empty page, which was well past the middle and not to far from the end. She paused, letting out a quiet, pregnant sigh. Then lifting her ink pen, her hands began to move atop the lines of the page, word by word, thought after flooding thought until she had filled one and a half pages, including the back. Looking over the first page, the words were small and compact to the pages, neat, fitting in as many as she could, and as she got lost in her own mind, the words spread out and were curved to the margins. She held the pen up to her pursed lips, nibbling the top and pondered if she had any residual thoughts she needed to flesh out.

No sooner than she decided to close out the entry, “Mommy,” her son came to the bedside, where she had chosen to write today, rubbing his brown eyes. His chubby little face was turning a cherry red, all indications that he was sleepy and ready for his afternoon nap. She stared for what seemed like an eternity, lost in an almost trance as he held his arms up towards her.

“Yes, baby. Are you ready for your nap?” She lifted the four year old sized body of her two year old and placed him into her lap, legs dangling over her right thigh. She thought, “God. He’s getting so big.” She smiled a quaint little smirk and cupped his head, gently placing it on her left breast. She held it there for a moment as she placed a small kiss on his forehead.

“Night night baby.”

“Night Mommy.” he replied.

“Love you.”

“Lub you too.” he whispered. He always whispered this to her, and she had started to think about what that meant. She would have to tell him next time she tucked him in that if you really love someone you aren’t scared to say it, and it’s okay to say it loudly.

While he was napping she folded the clothes and put them away. Towels, sheets, socks, underwear., and so many inside clothes she had to wash because of spilled juice, or spaghetti sauce stains, or dirt that kids have an inherent knack for attracting. Thinking to herself, if it’s not clothes, it was dishes. Pots, pans, plates, plastic forks and spoons… and if it’s not that, then it’s toys. Cars, trucks, blocks, puzzle pieces, toddler leggos, crayons, and various knick knacks her son found and used to entertain himself. There is always something to do.

She then picked her pen up again, went to the fridge, opened up the door and overviewed the dwindling shelves. She got the pad off the front door and scribbled,

Green beans
Turkey ham

She opened the freezer door that unsuspectingly actually let out cold air as the rubber around door ensuring suction was not completely flush with the inside walls.

Haagen dazs
Chicken tenders
Tator tots
Single serve pot pie

Standing on her tippy toes, she yanked open the cabinet doors, in part by accident as she countered her lack of reach, and because the doors that did remain closed were painstaking to pull ajar. Remaining on her tippy toes, she retrieved the red box of butter crackers and examined the remaining contents. She noticed there were still some lady fingers that were probably hard as concrete now, still in the sealed kitchen storage bag. She had never finished the cookies because she rather enjoyed the way cookies got soft when they were dipped in milk, and no matter how much milk or for how long they would be submerged, these would never soften. Much like her son's father. She decided to can the package. She scribbled down the rest of her list

Apple Sauce
Sphagetti sauce
Easy 4-minute Cheesy Noodle Bowls

While at the store, she wandered up an aisle and down the next. Focusing on her list just enough that she didn't miss anything but also abandoning all sense of it that the cart was filled with just... Things... Things that she didn't want to fight her son over in public. Things that would fill the sense of emptyness by stocking the shelves in the kitchen, which was supposed to be the heart of a home, and at one point was the engine that sustained love. Things that would give her purpose. If she cooked, then she was doing something constructive, she wasn't idle.

She got to the last aisle in the store she was going to gather goods from, the dairy aisle. She picked up some sour cream and two blocks of sharp cheddar cheese. She pushed the buggy, heavy from the groceries, lack of energy, and the weight of her son, down towards the closed in case, stopping to examine the egg cartons. As soon as she opened the carton he exclaimed, "Eggs! Mommy, eggs!"

Embarrased by his outburst, her face reddened. "Yes, Pace, those are eggs, baby."

She hurried through the dozen and a half eggs nestled in their cardboard carton, quickly examining the eggs to ensure there were no cracks, that there were none stuck to the carton, and were just all around good eggs. She placed the eggs behind the boy, and proceeded further up the isle to pick up a quart and a pint of milk. Since her son's father was no longer there to eat his sugar coated corn flakes, getting a gallon of milk was a waste of money. A quart lasted enough for the warm milk her son sometimes drank at night, and left enough over in conjunction with the pint for her cereal.

She rounded the corner and pushed her way through the frozen foods towards the check out lanes. She picked up a last minute snickers bar and put it on the conveyor belt that was speckled with some sort of dried on sticky something or another among the rest of her groceries. Much like the daze of the entire grocery experience, so was her exit from the supermarket.

Her pewter colored car was covered in yellow pollen dust. Pressing the remote, she opened the unlocked driver's side door, sunk into the seat and shot the key into the ignition. The radio began playing and she returned from the cabin to retrieve her son from the red plastic shopping cart. As she fastened him into the carseat, her ear caught the tune playing. "I'm no classy lady. But I'm All Woman...
She stands there and lets the tears flow Tears that she's been holding back so long She wonders where did all the loving go..."

Thoughtlessly transferring the bags from the cart, her mind was deeply into the lyrics as the artist sang, "She says yes I look a mess But I don't love you any less I thought you always thought enough of me
To always be impressed
I may not be a lady But I'm all woman From Monday to Sunday I work my fingers to the bone I'm no classy lady
But I'm All Woman This woman needs a little love..."

Suddenly, one of the bags spilled over its contents into the blacktopped parking lot; she had lost the grip of the bag's second handle. "Son of a bitch," she exclaimed, inadvertently out loud, as she saw the cracked brown shells and bright yellow yolks of about half a dozen or so eggs. Almost breaking into tears, her trance was now officially broken, and a man was headed towards her cart. She tried to compose herself enough to blurt "Go ahead and take the cart, I dont need it anymore."

She noticed he looked a little confused. "I didn't come for the cart. But, I'll take it back into the store with me when I go in there to get you some more eggs."

Her eyebrows wrinkled, lips tightened and she looked at him in disbelief. "What?" She was slightly disgusted but moreso perplexed.

"I'm sorry! Its just, I saw you when I was pulling in, and you looked so... So... I don't know. And then I saw you spill the eggs. Would you believe me if I said something told me to stop by the grocery store? I was coming by just to get some cereal."

With the look as though she smelled raw sewage, she immediately retorted, shaking her head back and forth for extra emphasis, "No!" She thought, why would you come to the grocery just to get cereal?

"I didn't think so." He smiled, and she felt a genuine sense of his response. "Would you mind if I went in and replaced the broken eggs?" The cold look on her face, with her slighly squinted eyes and straight, pressed lips didn't indicate she wanted to continue, yet this man asked, "What were you going to use them for?"

Completely caught off guard, she couldn't figure this situation out, and without trying to think too deeply about it, answered in hopes that it would all end soon. "Uh." she choked up a little, "Maybe breakfast? Or for a quiche. I'm not too sure. I guess I just like to have eggs in the fridge..." She trailed off, and her eyes fell to the yellow membranes on the ground.

"Okay, wait right here. I'll be right back. I am going to go get you those eggs!" And he darted off towards the store, gliding the cart in front of him. Half way to the store, over his shoulder, he yelled, "Please don't leave, I promise I don't mean any harm."

She felt strangely compelled to wait for him, and ciphered through the many grocery bags to find the tube of crispy chips. Opening the lid, she took out a few and handed one to her son. "Te ku mommy."
"You're welcome sweetie. We're going soon. For some reason, mommy is waiting on this strange man to bring back some eggs since she just wasted the ones she bought." She had given him several more chips when the man came trotting up to the car with a carton of eggs in his left hand.

"Thank you for waiting. I was so scared you thought I was some weirdo and decided to leave."

"Well, I do think this is weird, but, for some reason I didn't think it was right to go. And I shouldn't accept your gesture, I mean, I don't know you from Adam."

The glimmer in his eyes faded. "Well, I've already bought them, and the name isn't Adam, it's Emery. Well, actually, its James, but that's my grandfather's name, so I've always gone by Emery." He smiled again, even bigger this time, "What's your name?"

She hesitated, formed a small smile, and then said, "Linda."

"So Linda, since you won't accept the eggs, I'm going to hold onto them. That way, I'll have something to make you for breakfast."

She couldn't help this feeling of amusement bubbling up. It had been so long since someone had tried to pick her up, and what kind of man picks up a woman in the grocery store parking lot with a dozen eggs? Didn't he see her son in the backseat, who was actually getting antsy? She was curious, so she gave in.

"Okay James Emery. I'll give you my number. I don't know about breakfast yet."

"Don't worry. All good things happen in time."

He pulled out his cell phone and began to enter the numbers she was listing to him. He pressed send and in her purse, a cell phone began to sing. She took out her phone, looked at the Caller ID and called out the area code and first three digits. He nodded, and again smiled. "That's me."

Her son was beginning to work himself up into a cackle.
With her left hand on the wheel, she twisted her body around to him,"Okay, sweetie, we're going now." Looking back out the door, which was still open, she said, "Emery. It was nice meeting you, but as you can see, I need to be getting home. Thank you for the eggs."

Still smiling, he explained he understood, and they said their goodbyes. She closed her door and fastened her seat belt. Too busy thinking about how she got picked up over some eggs, she didn't notice Emery getting into a deep navy blue luxury vehicle as she pulled out of her parking space and drove towards the street.