Saturday, April 4, 2015

C is for Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, and Muggy Summer Nights

Tonight, at the end of a long week, as I sat here trying to think of a C word I could focus my brain on long enough to say something coherent, I found myself wandering down memory lane instead.   I found music offering me a sudden ticket back to childhood and lazy summer nights.

One memory in particular stood out.  It was dusk or shortly after dark, a long afternoon and evening of getting the hay baled and put into the barn just behinds us.  For those non farm types, this means being bone tired with the good kind of full body muscle ache that can only come from hard work (like throwing heavy bales for hours). Your skin is covered with the crust of dried salt left behind from evaporating sweat and the bits of dust and dried alfalfa that somehow manage to get into every conceivable nook and cranny. In your ears, down the back of your neck, down the insides of your ankles under the sock elastic.  And now it is night and the work is done.  You are still sitting out under the night sky, having not quite found the energy to head inside yet. Fireflies are blinking in and out across the hay stubble; the stars are beginning to wink into view overhead.  Somewhere the radio is playing, filling the air with warmth of Creedance or the langorous rumble of Johnny Cash.  There is laughter and conversation and cool glasses of mint tea from which the last of the ice hasn't quite melted. It is joy and fatigue  and a good dose of relief all bundled up.

Memory is a funny, wonderful thing attached in interesting ways to sounds and smells.

What about you? Is there a song you've listened to recently that took you back to a moment of time you hadn't thought of in a long time?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are all about the second chances.  Now, when I think  of these miniature darlings with their delicate, pale green leaves and their flavor punch of crisp tender delicate deliciousness, it is hard to remember there was a time when my nose would have turned up at even the thought of bringing these smelly little cabbages any where near my life. Good thing I gave them a second chance. They are now my favorite veggie!

If you’re looking for a good brussel sprouts recipe to give them another try, check out recipes like  Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Apple  or Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts over at the foodie blog The Bitten Word.  They have long been one of my favorite food blogs and my first go to when I am trying to decide on a dish for a special dinner or holiday.

What about you? Is there anything you’ve given a second chance, only to be surprised to find yourself falling in love? Or do you have a favorite brussel sprouts recipe (or memory) that you'd like to share?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for Alligator

Last week, my sister talked me into canoeing with the alligators. be precise, she talked several of us into it.  We had travelled down to Sarasota, Florida for a few days with my brother to join a friend who was vactioning there from Germany.  The weather was beautiful and warm after the gray, snow-bearing skies of February here in Ohio, and it was our last afternoon before we needed to head back north.   We had already braved about as much sunshine, water, and sand as our winter skin could handle, but it seemed criminal to end our stay indoors when we would be heading back to the brisk chill of early spring weather in a matter of hours.  "Canoeing!" she says, and "Okay," the rest of us say.  And so we headed out to Myakka River State Park and a slightly more Animal Planet experience than most of us had anticipated.   (My sister had apparently been dreaming of the Everglades so this was an acceptable second!)

Or maybe we had all just watched too much Animal Planet?  The alligators we happened to see were peacable and content and mostly just disappeared under the water when we came too near.  Adrenaline and nerves aside, it made for an incredible afternoon of beauty and bird watching. We didn't count, but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw more than 20 different types of birds. Most of them birds we had never seen in real life before.  It made for an excellent and memory making afternoon. And now I can say, I've gone canoeing with the alligators.

What about you? Have you ever done something you never thought you'd do, only to find out it was something pretty special?

A to Z April Blog Challenge 2015

Welcome any A to Z bloggers who happen to be stopping by!  I look forward to getting to know many of you through your writing in the next 30 days.  Feel free to leave a comment, and I will stop by to check out your hard work.

For me, this is my second year participating, and if last year is anything to go by, it should be a whirlwind month of words, creativity, community, and much needed caffeine.   Look for a hodge-podge of posts here at ZincJourney- fiction, reflections, writing tools, ???.  I am approaching  this a bit like making a Bountiful Quilt  (see here and here), grabbing a little of this and a little of that until we see what it looks like at the end.

As for my "regulars", prepare for a blitz of activity unlike anything you have seen since last April! If you would like to know more about the A to Z Challenge, click the badge in the side bar, and it will take you to their site. Also, despite appearances, the Silent Room is still continuing and has not been as utterly abandoned as my sporadic posting sometimes infers. Look for another post soon. Probably Sunday...