Halloween like everything else in this year of COVID-19 is not normal. So I decided my neighbors needed a little treat. I made up a little bags of candy and delivered them around to their mailboxes!
Happy Halloween 🎃 !
Halloween like everything else in this year of COVID-19 is not normal. So I decided my neighbors needed a little treat. I made up a little bags of candy and delivered them around to their mailboxes!
Happy Halloween 🎃 !
A lot of people will ask what the difference between microgreens and sprouts are. Microgreens are grown in soil; sprouts germinate in water. I love microgreens, sprouts not so much.
Microgreens and sprouts are both baby plants after a fashion. But microgreens are cut off at soil level and are full of flavor and awesome amounts of nutrients. Sprouts grown in water always sort of have a bland dirt taste to me for lack of a better description.
I love microgreens. So when this nice guy Daniel Drew popped up in a couple of local Facebook groups offering trials of microgreens from his farm I volunteered. His business is New Eden Greens. They are a small farming enterprise in neighboring Delaware County.
Now I occasionally get microgreens in my farm vegetable boxes from Lancaster, but Daniel Drew’s product is the most flavorful I have had.
New Eden Greens has two varieties that I tried.
Variety one “Broccoli Blend” contained the following greens: baby broccoli greens, kale, kohlrabi greens, red cabbage, arugula, and mustard greens. This is the more zesty variety. Arugula and mustard greens are in particular delightfully peppery.
Variety two contained purple radish all by itself.
Thus far I have mixed both varieties together because I like all the flavors and use them in my salads with larger greens. I have other friends who used them as accompaniments to fish like salmon.
Others have used them independently by themselves in a purely microgreens salad. I did that as well. I made a salad with a simple vinaigrette out of them with some minced scallions, as well as the salad I photographed below at the bottom of the post.
If you’re looking for the nutritional aspect micro greens are more nutritional than traditional greens. According to the website One Green Planet:
🖌📌 “According to microgreen research conducted at the University of Maryland, the 1-3 inch delicacies were found to pack anywhere from 3 to 39.4 times the nutritional content of the plant’s mature counterparts. Scientists considered the vitamin and antioxidant levels of 25 varieties of microgreens and compared the results to the full-grown versions. Cilantro showed 3 times more beta-carotene, while red cabbage showed almost 40 times greater vitamin E and 6 times more vitamin C.” 📌🖌
To me, when I am cooking, flavor is everything. And these microgreens are incredibly fresh and flavorful. This business has just been launched and if you are a restaurant professional or a home cook interested in trying samplers while they are available, message them via their Facebook page or email newedengreens<at>gmail<dot>com.
As they are a small business, they have a somewhat limited delivery area at present but I don’t know the boundaries of their area so you have to contact them.
Thank you Daniel for allowing me to be one of the home cooks to sample the produce from New Eden Greens! I look forward to being a regular customer! Support your local farmers!
Happy Friday all!
What a grey, miserable, damp, dark day. In a year where many of us have too much time alone with our own thoughts, today’s atmosphere makes it a day to hibernate and ponder, doesn’t it?
Spotify has this time capsule playlist. Listening to it has made me reflective and a little pensive. Right now Simply Red “Holding back The Years” is playing.
Lyrics Holding back the years Thinking of the fear I've had so long When somebody hears Listen to the fear that's gone Strangled by the wishes of pater Hoping for the arms of mater Get to me the sooner or later Holding back the tears Chance for me to escape from all I know Holding back the tears 'Cause nothing here has grown I've wasted all my tears Wasted all those years Nothing had the chance to be good Nothing ever could, yeah I'll keep holding on I'll keep holding on I'll keep holding on I'll keep holding on, so tight Well I've wasted all my tears Wasted all of those years And nothing had the chance to be good 'Cause nothing ever could I'll keep holding on I'll keep holding on I'll keep holding on I'll keep holding on Holding Holding Holding Holding I said It's all I have today It's all I have to say
Those lyrics are still profound, maybe moreso. It makes me think of the friends I have lost. Bright lights, but they burned too fast. One overdosing thanks to addictions they would not admit to, another to I think that their body just giving out after years of substance abuse even though they cleaned up their act for decades. One although still technically alive, had her life end when she wrapped herself around a tree one night…very intoxicated. There was even one who “fell” off their apartment balcony in NYC. There are sadly more, but these are the ones who come to mind.
Now the one in the massive drunk driving incident? She is still alive as far as I know but the traumatic brain injuries at the time essentially made her a child once again, with a child’s memories. So essentially, after the accident she didn’t know who I was, it was like she was a kid again and her memories just didn’t exist after a point. And her parents quite frankly did not make it easy for you to visit and she was also a paraplegic in a wheelchair, so I was young and eventually just stopped going. I still think of her often. She was such a good person and so bright. But one night, someone gave her the keys to her car back after they had been taken away. She would have been an awesome mom, I think, and we will also never know what trajectories her career would have skyrocketed to.
Damned if I know why I still think of all of these people, but I do. I think because I don’t think they would have had a easy time living through 2020. I mean, look at the rest of us, right? None of us are perfect, and even with the blessings our lives have, it’s one damn hard, stressful, sad year.
I have written about this before during 2020, but it all seems to be coming to a head again: COVID19, racism, truly ugly politics, and more. If these friends had survived, where would they be?
It also makes me think of people whom I am no longer connected to by my choice mainly, but sometimes theirs. One in particular whom I felt was so alone before 2020. The thing 2020 has taught a lot of us is the sad lesson that although we should have compassion for the struggles of others, we need to be mindful of our own families first. So what happens to these people? Do they just fall between the cracks of life?
Lyrics Has anyone ever written anything for you In all your darkest hours Have you ever heard me sing Listen to me now You know I'd rather be alone Than be without you Don't you know Has anyone ever given anything to you In your darkest hours Did you ever give it back Well, I have I have given that to you If it's all I ever do This is your song And the rain comes down There's no pain and there's no doubt It was easy to say I believed in you everyday If not for me Then do it for the world Has anyone ever written anything for you In your darkest sorrow Did you ever hear me sing Listen to me now You know I'd rather be alone Than be without you Don't you know So, if not for me, then Do it for yourself If not for me then Do it for the world Poet priest of nothing Poet priest of nothing Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Stevie Nicks / Keith Olsen
Yesterday I posted “A lot of people are struggling right now. This has been a crazy tough year. Send up a prayer to mankind so that people know they are loved.”
I mean that. But where I am conflicted is some people I know who are struggling have to find the inner steel to climb out of the hole they have dug for themselves, all by themselves…as in we can’t do it for them or enable them in any way. And for so many people right now that seems an impossible feat. Why? Because 2020 is the year the unimaginable is happening…every damn day.
And then there are the people who want to climb out of the self-dug hole but say “It’s hard, I tried.” No sugarpuffs, life can be damn hard. But please, do it for yourself and those who love you. But will they? I don’t know. I hope so, but I don’t know.
2020 is the year of self-conflict (in a sense and I will explain.I think. I hope.) Human beings are not stand alone beings necessarily. We need each other. But COVID19 is isolating a lot of us. Some of us could really use a hug or just human contact. But there is the whole virus thing. Today I gave a friend a hug. I kinda know where she has been and what she was up to. She needed a hug. Maybe I did too. Not sure.
I have days where I just marvel at people. Especially on social media. It’s like normal social media has morphed into this whole virtual mean girls platform on steroids. People are just online assassins some days, and often you have to wonder for what? Because you are different from them?
And then there are the people who in the face of 2020 seem to have to post additionally how marvelously their lives are….and you know their lives are anything but happy, and wonder why can’t people admit when they are having bad days or a series of bad days? Would it be so bad? To me it’s preferable to living the grand illusion.
And the people who are struggling? Sadly now you can start to recognize it. So much of our life has become virtual, that you can see far more easily when the cracks are showing. So what do you do? You try to be there…but this is a year we also have to be there for ourselves and our own families.
There are people you would never think suffered from depression…who are. And people who prior to this kept their issues to themselves, but because of COVID19, life is just extra scary. And then there are yes the people who are milking 2020 to get as much free stuff out of people as possible. That really bothers me. And no, not being jaded, it is happening quite a bit.
There are many people I know who are sick or who have been sick. No not COVID19. Just other horrible stuff, like the ever popular Russian Roulette of step up and pick a cancer.
It feels like every day you hear something crazy. I just heard about the barn fire in West Pikeland Township on Yellow Springs Road. It had all of the sets, tools and supplies for the SALT Performing Arts. They do wonderful things and the arts are so at risk thanks to the economic downturn because of COVID19, and prior changes to tax codes that affect charitable donations. If you can give SALT Performing Arts a donation, please do. No homes were lost and no one was hurt, but wow what a blow. Do they do old fashioned barn-raisings anymore? I hope they do because I think that was probably a historic barn too. And don’t forget your local volunteer fire companies and first responders. They are our heroes in ordinary time.
We all just need a break from 2020, I think. Except I also feel 2020 has made us pause for the self reflection that makes us appreciate what we do have. I feel very grateful for my life and family…yes even when they are driving me crazy. (Like the one playing video games loudly a room over from the home office I am typing this in.)
2020 has just been one exceptionally crazy year for the annals of history. It will be the year we all remember with far more detail then the future will want us to. But what will we learn from all of this? I mean we certainly won’t forget the year from hell known as 2020.
I hope you appreciate I made it through the post without mentioning a certain malignant narcissist occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Like all narcissists he hates when things aren’t about him, so the parting shot? #VOTE like your life and country depends upon it…because it does.
Stay safe out there and check in on people.
I woke up this morning and it was a dreary, foggy, dark morning. I turned on the Today Show, and they remarked that we really only have a week of political ad hell to go through. And that is almost a comforting thought, that in a little over a week this will all be over. In theory.
The reality is no matter what happens next week it will not all be over. And if we all don’t come together as communities and as a nation the anger and vitriol will linger and persist. If this trajectory continues we are a country on the brink of a modern Civil War.
Yesterday was two months until Christmas. And oh yes, I love Christmas. Thanks to COVID-19 I have absolutely no idea what our Christmas is going to look like yet, but this weekend also means the Christmas movies are out! (Cue husbands and life partners groaning everywhere.) Lifetime and Hallmark are in a stiff competition.
Yes I have watched a few Christmas movies already. Even one on Lifetime where I was shocked at the amount of bad plastic surgery Charlie’s Angel alum Cheryl Ladd has had.
Are these movies from Pulitzer Prize winning novels or will they win Emmys or Oscars? No. But what they do is give us all a mental and emotional break from politics and COVID19 in the USA.
Things are just starting to literally boggle my mind and even Saturday Night Live and the cold opens can’t alleviate the mind boggling things like someone saying to me the other day quite literally “But you don’t even look like a Democrat.”
What does that even mean? What are Democrats supposed to look like? Am I supposed to have horns or something? And this is someone who might actually know who probably didn’t even realize how that sounded. They are an extraordinarily lovely person I respect. But still. Hard to fathom. Hurtful to hear.
Like everyone else, over the past couple of weeks with increasing intensity I have been inundated with Robo calls, emails, even phone calls and personal messages from people I know. All about voting Republican.
This is no longer the party of Lincoln. Or any Republican President preceding what currently occupies the White House. I don’t recognize any of it. Most don’t if they are honest.
I am still a moderate and more of a centrist. And I believe that extremism in politics on both sides of the political aisle is ruining this country. Politics is a sad and crazy business. And the anger in this country can literally take your breath away. I watch and marvel.
I don’t understand how people who are still Republicans can look at me and tell me how this end result after four years is better than we were for years prior? I don’t understand how they think COVID19 has been addressed and treated properly. I don’t understand how they just don’t see a lot of what I see. But I guess I don’t have to understand, because founding fathers of this country fought for us to all have our opinions and beliefs as individuals, correct? We aren’t and shouldn’t all be Stepford on this bus.
But what is also sad is I know I have not heard from certain friends in a long time because they know I am not voting for Trump. When did Trump become the price of friendship? I might not understand their choice but I don’t begrudge them their choice as Americans so why did they judge me my choices? Of course there’s also the little fact that if you know me you know I have never liked Donald Trump. That completely predates the current iteration of Donald Trump as a politician. I thought The Apprentice was stupid.
This weekend I realized I found all of this political crap exhausting and virtually inescapable. But then I watched the movie titled On The Basis of Sex. It’s about the early career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I also watched the latest movie of fellow Shipley graduate Sarah Megan Thomas, A Call to Spy. This movie is about female spies who gave in many cases their lives to fight the Nazis in Europe during World War II including American Virginia Hall who most Americans do not know ever existed.
Everyone should watch both of these films. Then you really understand what fighting for your freedom and rights is all about. And then there are the Christmas movies. Even I will be sick of the Christmas movies by the time the new year rolls around, but it gives you a little glimpse into a more pleasant universe. And face it, right now we all need a little Christmas magic. Or any magic to believe in possibilities and not ugliness.
NSB. Never Stop Believing.
A couple of weeks ago I went to an estate sale in Malvern. I bought some vintage linens and this was among them. Jennie the Little Hostess Doll from Colonial Williamsburg. I had seen it before and people treated this like a tea towel. But it isn’t. It’s a cloth doll pattern. Irish linen, actually.
So today I decided Jenny the Williamsburg doll would come to life as in I would sew her up. You see, a very special little girl I know has a birthday coming up. I like old fashioned simple dolls, and I hope she likes it.
I did trim the doll up a little with some vintage trimmings I have. I think she looks cute. A fun project on a rainy day!
Thanks for stopping by.
Eastside Flats in Malvern Borough. Still don’t like them how many years later, although I do support the businesses. So who owns Eastside Flats now because I am uncertain at this point who owns the development and who manages it? It’s not the original developer.
Does everyone remember a couple of different things that put Eastside flats in the news early on? The amazingly and shockingly low amount of ratables Malvern Borough would receive for approving a development still out of scale and character for the Borough of Malvern? And the other kerfuffle when The Whip Tavern said no to Eastside Flats in Malvern Borough?
But then everyone heard Christopher’s was coming to town. It was like that one thing changed a lot of perception about this behemoth of a development. I have always felt like Christopher’s was a kind of anchor that drew people to Eastside Flats and other people and other businesses quite possibly. I know they are what initially made me personally give Eastside Flats a chance.
Christopher’s made Malvern more of a destination, which in turn benefited other businesses and the borough itself. And if there was a community event, Christopher’s in Malvern was right there for the community the way Christopher’s in Wayne always has been.
And for years Christopher’s did things like featured local artists on their walls. And they had wonderful staff. If you told one of the Christopher’s waitstaff you had a particular food allergy or a series of food allergies, they all knew the menu so well that they could bring you a flawless order that wouldn’t make you sick. They did this for a friend of mine one time when we went in for lunch. She had a lot of food allergies and they took care of her so perfectly. (it’s because of all these things that I will continue to go to Wayne once life returns to a more normal pattern.)
Recently, Christopher’s closed their Malvern location thanks to the COVID19 of it all, to return solely to a Wayne which leaves a giant, gaping, empty hole in the streetscape,and also, well they will be missed. In addition to being a wonderful business, Christopher’s offered food that wasn’t formula pub food and you didn’t just go there because it was a bar. You went there because it was a restaurant and it was a nice experience for all ages. It wasn’t huge or cavernous and cold as a space it was kind of just right. But can you imagine what the rent nut was to cover in Eastside Flats?
COVID-19 has caused America’s hospitality industry from coast to coast to take a direct and brutal hit. The largest in history for that industry. Restaurants and other hospitality industry businesses are closing left and right from coast to coast. And I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that not only are they getting no assistance, it’s the rents they are being charged.
But I have to ask, what kind of rent do these commercial landlords think they will get? After all, we are in a struggling in the present economy at a minimum, and nobody wants to look at what the other potential downside is, correct? I also think overall the economy has not been as strong as we have been led to believe. And people will argue with me about that but that’s just how I feel.
Malvern’s charm is in it’s history and size, much like the village portion of Berwyn and similarly scaled small towns and villages. Berwyn is in Easttown Township and a present is suffering from potential development implications of its own, but I think they need to look at what’s going on in Malvern Borough right now.
These new developments come in and even with old developments they will offer a lower rent to get somebody in the door. Then those rents get jumped over time to the point that the businesses have to look at their own financial viability and decide if they want to put food on the table of their families and staff or food on the table of whoever the commercial landlords are.
I know plenty of people who have over the years owned other restaurants or brick and mortar stores in various communities who had to make the painful decision to close because after their initial honeymoon when they first came to town and did business with their respective commercial landlords, they couldn’t justify the rents any longer.
And commercial property owners don’t really necessarily care about the empty storefronts in our communities, it’s about what they can make. So they won’t look at continual lease turnover the same way a community might. If one of their property sits empty, I am told they apply those losses to the bottom line of profits from other properties, so for them, it’s business as usual if a place is empty, right? Greedy is as greedy does right? And a lot of these commercial landlords aren’t local. So they don’t get what happens locally nor do they really care do they?
So now we are here in 2020. In October 2020 which has to be one of the most stressful and heartbreaking years a lot of us have experienced in our lifetimes. And a global pandemic known as COVID-19 is bringing the economy down like a house of cards, card by freaking card isn’t it? Drive Route 30 alone from further west to east to the city line. You really see the empty store fronts. This is no joke.
When it comes to local restaurants, not all of them have the space to put things outside and not all of the communities have the wherewithal to let the businesses put tables outside. And because this virus is not under control, and there’s no shot for it, everything is two steps forward and seven steps back is what it feels like. We are in the midst of additional outbreaks now. Which of course then makes businesses fear they will have to shut down again.
Someone said to me that essentially politics is driving all of this. And you can’t just blame it on one party or the other. Especially out here in these smaller municipalities. They don’t really have political savvy or Wiley Coyoteness. And yes, in Philadelphia they do (cue Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and the giant mess there), but out here? The politicians don’t necessarily run much, they are kind of run, aren’t they?
So when I heard about Christopher’s closing, I mentioned it to a chef in search of a space. And they didn’t want just any space they wanted the right space. And this is a chef who will blow a lot of culinary minds. They have the international and national credentials, they have the knowledge base and experience. So I told them about Eastside Flats. Selfishly, I want them to open a restaurant in our area. A lot of people do. They are also the kind of person who would bring people to the community just the way Christopher’s did and say Alba and General Warren do. It would be win-win to our communities and existing fine dining.
I asked this person the other day whatever had happened with them investigating Eastside Flats. And I think suffice it to say, unrealistic rents on the part of the commercial landlord happened. Did I mention this is a person with business experience? They essentially told me that what was being quoted for rent wouldn’t be sustainable during a normal period, let alone a global pandemic. Essentially, a business needs to sustain itself and with what whomever over there at Eastside is currently thinking, it just wouldn’t happen, that they wouldn’t even be able to break even. It’s a typical commercial property dilemma, and the dilemma is the only party who would be making a profit would be the commercial property owner and what small business in their right mind wants to assume that risk?
I am not an economist, but I remember hearing somewhere once that most restaurants only start to turn a profit in the 3 to 5 year mark if they are lucky and survive that long. Profit is revenue minus costs, both fixed and variable, right? Starting a restaurant is fantastically expensive correct? Also what fits into the equation is also not confusing profitability with revenue generating, yes? Even if a restaurant is generating high revenue, they’re not necessarily reflecting a similar profit, correct?
So I think Malvern Borough and other municipalities need to wake up. Stop just bending over for absentee commercial landlords and developers. Recognize that compromise is something that they have to negotiate so we get quality non-formula and not just chain or franchise businesses in our communities. We need a retail mix that has better planning, essentially. In a lot of other areas municipalities have retail coordinators who help recruit businesses to the communities in which they work and help the negotiation process between potential businesses and commercial landlords. Even business district authorities and business associations will do this. And the simple reason for that is nobody is as invested in the community as the community itself.
Eastside Flats is kind of looking like a ghost town. And they just let a huge opportunity for our community and for them walk away because of unrealistic rent expectations. They might not like my opinion but the first amendment allows me to have it.
So that is your food for thought so to speak for the day. How are your communities being impacted by commercial landlords during COVID-19? And how will the hospitality industry survive and what will it look like after this? And when you are formulating your response try to leave the politics out of it because politicians and political parties come and go but these are our local businesses.
Also if you are interested Bon Appétit Magazine has a terrific article from the end of September on how you can help those in the restaurant industry.
Thanks for stopping by.
It’s funny how cooking and gardening have helped make the crazy of 2020 fade for finite amounts of time. Maybe it is because I enjoy both.
This is not a recipe post. This is about how I feel headed into the last quarter of 2020.
I woke up this morning utterly sick of people and the way they are behaving. Between COVID-19 and the election, the constant barrage of smack talking crap is just too much some days. So this morning I started a loaf of sourdough bread and made some fresh tomato sauce with sausages so I could make a pasta sausage bake this evening.
Like gardening, cooking is calming for me. It centers me. Maybe because it is such a basic purpose of life.
The whole feeding and cooking for people thing makes me think of a chef I know. I was taking photos for him once and he said to get a photo of diners breaking bread (each table had a small loaf of bread.) He remarked that people remember that simple act of breaking bread. It was a nice thing to remember this morning in the midst of crazy.
COVID-19 is still here. Infection numbers are rising because people are becoming complacent, or they are listening to #PresidentCOVID tweet his madness 24 hours a day which includes there is no problem with COVID-19 even if he did just get out of the hospital. (And when all else fails, there is the parallel universe of FOX News, even if it seems media mogul owner Rupert Murdoch is predicting #PresidentCOVID will lose.)
It seems the worse the news gets on T-rump, the more fanatical the devoted become. I think people who remember WWII era and post-WWII era dictators are probably the only ones who would have ever seen such behavior before. It’s also like a fanatical religious tent revival from the Great Depression. It’s like watching the proverbial train wreck/car wreck/plane wreck. You know you should look away, only you don’t, and then you get a headache…and the behavior is just depressing…and so sad.
I understand there are those out there who are solid conservatives who feel duty bound to vote the straight party ticket no matter what. Dinosaurs, some beloved to me, but dinosaurs nonetheless. I don’t begrudge them their voting choices, why do they begrudge me mine?
As Americans, we have to vote the way our own heart and own mind tell us to. Or in theory that is the way it is supposed to work, only it’s not, is it? In years past, I was equally appalled and fascinated by people outside polls in Ardmore, PA telling people to “vote the way we told you to.” And it still goes on, every election cycle. If you can even get people to the polls because a lot of people talk a good game and never actually vote, which blows my mind as I find it to be one of our greatest rights as Americans.
I have had a long journey from Republican to Democrat with Independent in between. I still wonder if I am more of a situational Democrat, because it’s the state of this country , the various and continual mind boggling situations that brought me here. I do marvel because I was so resolute in my Republicanism, until 2016. Then it was like I lost and old friend, mourned them, and had to move on. I do not know what my political future holds and that does actually bother me but I know what calls itself the Republican party is not the Republican party I once knew, believed in, or volunteered for during the RNC 2000.
What else do I mourn? Civility in conversation even with supposed long-term friends. Especially lacking on social media. It’s all anger and vitriol, both sides of the political aisle. And when you sit still somewhat Malcolm in the Middle, it just takes your breath away. And more often than not, the worst offenders are women. Ladies we are not Stepford Wives, we all are not supposed to think, drink, chirp, and dress in unison. The behavior is so limiting…for them.
2020 has made me revisit the music of all stages of my life. Supertramp, first listened to in Strasbourg, France in the late 1970’s on a little portable record player. Take The Long Way Home. Old Fleetwood Mac. Old Genesis like Follow You Follow Me and Crosby Stills Nash and Young Our House which I remember where I was the first time I listened to it: the basement of my sorority the fall of 1981. I was homesick and used to do my homework in the downstairs of the sorority and listen to the records there.
Also revisiting Carly Simon, Rosanne Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Dire Straits, Johnny Hates Jazz, English Beat, Basia, Steely Dan, Steve Winwood, Little River Band, Joe Jackson, Alan Parsons Project. Also have been listening to more classical music (but NEVER opera!) which would make my late father happy.
Rosanne Cash actually dropped a new single today. Her take on the year (see bottom video.) Other artists I have been listening to? Taylor Swift. Yes seriously. Me. Her Folklore album was such a surprise. It’s a gem. Every song tells a story and many of them you can identify with. So many of the lyrics made me smile. I have always listened to the occasional song Taylor Swift has written. But when this album dropped on Spotify, I sat and I listened. I must play it at least once a week. It is transformative and it shows how she is maturing as an artist. It’s beautiful actually. In this crazy stressful year, this music is welcome.
Books. I am reading again. And watching lots of BritBox and ACORN streaming because their shows are just well, better. I am working on my vintage quilts which always need a patch or seven. Cooking with my late mother-in-law’s mixing bowls today. remembering my father when I plant daffodil bulbs.
Anything to escape this year where every time you turn around something bad or sad is happening. People I know are sick, friends are taking care of other sick family members. And illness is isolating enough in more normal times, but now? Now it’s just cruel.
And yes, I have had my sad moments in 2020. Who hasn’t if they are honest? Our new normal is anything but and I thought I was done with new normals when I survived breast cancer.
A friend of mine today told me to remember when people give me a hard time about how I run a community Facebook group to remember that today it helped distraught owners reunite with a wandering dog very quickly. She brought me to tears just now when she texted me that.
My friend also reminded me that human nature is backwards and more people complain than express appreciation and also reminded me that people are so unhappy because of the sheer helplessness we have felt since March. A global pandemic, a leader that doesn’t lead but rants on Twitter, confronting racism in this country, protests and rioting and looting and businesses failing…and politics. Politics that to an extent leave almost everyone behind at times. Depression and suicide rates are at all time high. People often are NOT seeking help, so they mistake pain and loneliness for anger. (These are a lot of her words paraphrased, she sums it up so beautifully.)
This is 2020. I don’t think any of us will ever forget it. But God willing and if the creek don’t rise, we will all survive. I met a Mennonite woman the other day. She was delivering something to me. She bid me good day and we talked for a while. She was probably the most Godly person I have met all year, and the simplicity of her belief and faith were inspiring. Her name was Esther and she said to me that she wondered what God was trying to teach us this year, and I replied I wondered if we could really all stop and listen to what he was wanting us to think about. I think a lot of it is taking us all back to basics and not taking life and love for granted.
And that is the thing about this crazy year: in the midst of the crazy and anger and vitriol and UNcivil discourse, there are occasional moments of joyful simplicity and beauty. Beauty in the things around us like our gardens, our friends, our neighbors, our families. If we learn nothing else in 2020, we learn not to take life for granted.
Life can be hard, but it can surprise us. We have to look for the positives in 2020 and it’s hard some days, trust me, I get it. Our next hurdles will be the holidays. How can we do big family gatherings? The short answer is if we love our families, we simply cannot. This bums me out because as much as holidays drive me crazy, I love the sounds of conversation and laughter around my table and Christmas Tree.
I am going to thank you now for meandering on this ramble with me and close with a Langston Hughes quote I have quite literally loved since the 4th or 5th grade:
“Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die
life is a broken-winged bird
that can not fly.
Hold fast to dreams
for when dreams go
life is a barren field
frozen with snow.”
Wishing you all the best in these crazy times. VOTE.
Directions: Mix all wet ingredients except for sourdough starter.
Add spices. If you don’t like as many spices in a pumpkin bread as I do just decrease it. I am a cinnamon fiend I love cinnamon.
Stir in sourdough starter.
Stir in dry ingredients until just mixed. everything has to be incorporated so you’re just going to have to pay attention. I do this by hand not with a mixer.
Pour into a lightly greased Bundt pan and bake at 350° for approximately one hour. I use a metal skewer the skinny kind like you used to close the back of a turkey to test to see if the baking is complete. Toothpick or skewer should come out clean.
Cool in pan at least 25 minutes before removing from pan.
My final COVID-19 cooking note is if you can find canned pumpkin at a reasonable price by it because the prices attached to it now are absurd.
I will state after experiencing this person in East Whiteland at Routes 30 and 352, I wouldn’t vote for the invisible John Emmons for Congress because of people like this. (Not that anyone has seen the man, he’s kind of like the male equivalent to Kristine Howard. You are just supposed to vote for them just because.)
I have carried pickets in protest in my day, but I never stood on a crazy busy street corner in East Whiteland yelling at cars, practically in traffic. Not exaggerating, look at the photo.
I know the photo is grainy I was a passenger in a car and I was not expecting that woman and her friend and their signs. They were startling, alarming, and unpleasant.
Offensive. Something about “DemoCRAPS”. Yelling, smiling, are they unhinged?
This woman and her pal are a completely unnecessary traffic hazard at this intersection and the person I was driving with almost got hit trying to not be too close to this person turning the corner and some fool coming out of the Linden Hall development decided to just kind of gun it through the intersection when they did NOT have the right of way.
I do not care if someone wants to exercise their rights and look like a fanatical jackass campaigning for whomever, in this case John Emmons. What I do care about is not being subjected to additional hazards on already busy roads.
John Emmons train your protestor volunteers better. They should be well in from the curb.
And not for nothing else, that woman on the corner where she was positioned without a face mask was technically not socially distancing from drivers and cars and how is that fair to all of us who are merely driving by on the road?
Oh and I voted for Chrissy Houlahan. Gladly. John Emmons would be my cup of electoral tea the first day of never.
Sign me disgusted with chaos and fanaticism…this country is is such distress it hurts your heart these days to be an American.