Wednesday, November 16, 2011

business as usual

I was awake early this morning thinking of weird things. As usual.

One of the things I pondered was the difference between my blog and Facebook. Regis told me on Sunday, on our drive back from Canby, that I put too much out there. What? I didn't really understand because I think I am discrete on Facebook and nearly as discrete on my blog. I don't think I feel like writing all the rules I have but just know that even though I process and eventually write about almost every thought I have, written versions of those thoughts differ depending on the medium.

So, I wake up thinking I will ditch Facebook because I waste some of my best lines there. Last night I wrote that one of the good things about getting old is that you can enjoy a glass of very expensive birthday wine while you hem a pair of flannel pajama pants. I meant that I don't have to wait for a special occasion to make the wine worthy. Being home with Regis in front of the fireplace, hemming pajama pants, listening to big bands on the radio...made the wine worthy and I enjoyed it immensely.

I read in the paper this morning that Facebook has been plagued by hackers who post violent and disturbing images on profile pages. This is not something I want. I have an aversion to violent and disturbing images. I'm reading a very good book but it is way darker than I usually appreciate. It's called What Is Left the Daughter. It's disturbing with two suicides, a murder, a ferry sinking, and a war so far and I'm only half done. I am sure there is redemption in the end because the narrator is telling the story to his daughter so I'll keep going.

My point about Facebook is that maybe I will abandon it and come back to the blog exclusively.

But first, here is a review written by Howard Frank Mosher:

As my sainted grandmother used to say, with a hard look right straight at 12-year-old, misbehaving me, let's not mince words here. Okay, let's not: Howard Norman's new novel, What Is Left the Daughter, is the best story of love in the time of war I've ever read. And yes, that includes Cold Mountain and A Farewell To Arms.
It's the early 1940s in Halifax, Nova Scotia. World War II, in all its fury, has come to Canada, as the dreaded German U-boats are sinking ferries and passenger ships just off the coast. In the meantime, 17-year-old Wyatt Hillyer's parents, caught up in a love triangle in which they've both fallen for a local switchboard operator and aspiring actress, have without warning leapt to their deaths "from separate bridges in Halifax on the same evening." Bereft and adrift, Wyatt soon moves to the tiny Bay of Fundy outport of Middle Economy, to work in his uncle's sled and toboggan shop.
It will come as no surprise to Norman's readers to learn that, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez's jungle-village of Macondo, Middle Economy is a universe unto itself. What's more, its residents are every bit as strange and wondrous. For starters, there's kindly, plain-spoken Cornelia Tell, a one-woman Greek chorus of information and assessments. The town's aspiring stenographer, Lenore Teachout, takes down every conversation she overhears, and even transcribes the most awful war news over the radio. The casualty reports so distress Wyatt's eccentric uncle that he's papered the side of his toboggan shop with newspaper accounts of ships sunk by U-boats. Wyatt's beautiful, adopted cousin, Tilda, is obsessed by obituaries. Her dream in life is to become a "professional mourner" at the funerals of people who die without family or friends.
When Hans Mohring, a likable young refugee from Hitler's Germany, visits Middle Economy and falls in love with Tilda, all hell breaks loose in the village, including the bloodiest and most shocking murder in recent fiction, the strangest (and, in places, funniest) courtroom sequence I've ever read, and the unspeakably sorrowful, total dissolution of the Hillyer family.
Or does Wyatt's beloved family come totally unraveled in the onslaught of the war and its madness? Suffice it to say that What Is Left the Daughter, which is structured as a long letter from Wyatt, written in 1967 to his 21-year-old daughter, just may hold out the prospect of a transcendent love so powerful and enduring that it affirms the value and meaning of our lives even in the worst of times and despite all of our tragic flaws.
What Is Left the Daughter affirms what many of Howard Norman's readers have known since he published his magical first novel, The Northern Lights. Norman is most certainly one of America's three or four best novelists, with a uniquely wise and tolerant vision of his characters and all human beings everywhere. So let's not mince words. What Is Left the Daughter is a literary masterpiece that will, I guarantee it, live on in your heart, and mine, forever.

So, there you go.

I took yesterday off, for the most part. I woke up weary and it didn't get better. I went in to do the necessary banking then I came home to take a long nap. I woke up and tackled the back porch which has been a mess since we did our floors. There is a big pile by the door that is going out, a pile was hauled to the basement, and a pile was discarded in the trash. Whew. Big job.

Regis and I were looking at crazy pictures on the internet the other day when we decided to do our own crazy Christmas card and picture. I'm sure it will end up being posted here so don't go out and buy an extra stamp to send us a card. The PO is about 5 billion in the hole anyway and it will be amazing if they can hang on that long.

I can tell you one of the reasons the PO is in trouble. We drive through a tiny town called Porter on our way to Canby to visit Mom. Porter has about 700 hearty souls who live there and they have their own PO. Seriously. How often in a week do you get mail that is worth anything? Maybe one time. So, they support a building and at least one employee for a PO in a town that size. Crazy. They don't have a liquor store or a grocery store and I bet more people drink beer and eat frozen pizza than mail letters. Now, that's funny.

I was perusing the coupons in the Sunday paper and found that were appalling: a coupon for a "pumpkin bread kit" and a coupon for a "turkey wrap kit". What the hell, I say. And what the hell again. A kit? Grocery stores have become places to buy food products and packaged dinners and sandwich kits. Those things are edging out the real produce. It's revolting.

Yesterday, one of our customers who is a little kooky came in and asked the sweet, young barista what she would call that hair-do she was wearing. A messy bun, she said. Hmmm, it looks like a bird's nest, he said. I'll take that as a compliment, she said. Yup, I like birds, he said. It was very funny when I heard it.

My Thanksgiving menu and grocery list are finalized for the most part. No big surprises so we can all relax. No roasted root vegetables or venison puree. The usual old standards and some new twists on old things. Some catered things from River Rock: a pumpkin cheesecake, a loaf of Buckwheat bread, and a loaf of Country Wheat, maybe some herbed cream cheese to have with jalapeno jelly.

Here's how it looks right now:

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
Deviled Eggs
Antipasto Plate

Main Course
Turkey with Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Side Dishes
Traditional Bread Stuffing
Cornbread Andouille Sausage Stuffing
Emerill’s Sweet Potato and Corn Pudding
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Buckwheat Bread
Country Wheat Bread
Hope Creamery Butter

Apple and Cranberry Salad
Spinach and Bacon Salad
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Ella’s Pumpkin Pie
Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake
Pumpkin Truffles

Things to do before work so I am tearing myself away from the sofa and the fireplace. On to Wednesday!

1 comment:

Joanne said...

That sounds like a book that I would love!! I am going to have to put it on my list. Your menu looks delicious, as always.