Monday, February 28, 2011

the order of things

Photo provided for Magpie Tales by the lovely Tess Kincaid

"Twelve more orders of Crab Louie and we are all out of cracked crab!"
"Well, get the new kid to do it. Hey, but wait don’t tell him. See if he figures it out for himself."
Hey new kid, “What’s your name? Go crack the crab legs for the Crab Louie.”
“Okay Jeff, here are the crackers and the bucket of steamed crabs, be sure to pick out all the meat. We have twelve more orders of Crab Louie and when you are finished with that go slice about twelve lemons for tea."

Photo lifted from Google images

For dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup-based chili sauce
1/4 cup minced scallion
2 tablespoons minced green olives
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon bottled horseradish
Salt and pepper to taste

For salad

1 1/2 lb jumbo lump crabmeat
Iceberg lettuce, shredded
Tomato wedges
Avocado slices
Hard-boiled egg

When I lived in San Diego, I used to eat the Crab Louie at Point Loma Seafood. It is by far my favorite salad. If you happen to be visiting the San Diego area I highly recommend that you stop there for lunch. It may seem a bit pricey but I assure you it is worth it. The seafood is fresh and delicious.

However in the meantime the recipe above looks like it might just do the trick to satiate my desires for a Crab Louie!

The month of February, the year 2011

Whether you follow my blog or not, I participated in the Haiku Challenge hosted by Someone is Special. The gist of the challenge was to compose one Haiku for each day in February. It provided me the opportunity to link with, then read and comment on fellow challenger's created Haiku. Each day we were provided with either a word or photo prompt by Haiku author and writer Someone is Special. From the prompt we gained inspiration.

Most interesting to me, how our differences and similarities were highlighted throughout this experience. People from all over the world participated. I received comments from readers and writers I would never meet otherwise and yet here we connected. Here our points of view were respectfully shared.

Most of the writers I encounter are individuals that through one experience or another have had to reevaluate their lives and at times completely reinvent them. For me personally, life is about invention of self, adapting to life's changing tides and this challenge certainly opened up a lot of uncharted personal territory. I am richer for having taken this journey and for the wonderful people I met along the way. Many blessings to you all.

In the spirit of this final Haiku, I inserted the text into the photo prompt. I hope you enjoy it.

Parallel footfalls
Personal Cosmographies
Corridors bestowed

Sunday, February 27, 2011


When I try to equate eternity I think of the sand at all the beaches around our planet. If we had to count each and every grain, to me that is as close to eternity that I could imaging, in terms that are measurable. I can’t even fathom the possible number. The video at the end is a song I have always loved and one that I grew up with. I hope you enjoy it. Tomorrow is the last day for the Haiku Challenge, this experience has been a wonderful and satisfying adventure.

No lucid measure
Ponder spirit or matter
Arcane mystery

Friday, February 25, 2011

Nature's Cotillion

Nature’s Cotillion
Kingfisher leading our dance
Floating through the air

Here is a little video to put a smile on your face. Enjoy!

No More Hazy Days

Cataracts cloud clear
Precision of Incision
No more Hazy days

I was at my doctor's office  yesterday and one of my contact lenses decided to fold itself like a taco inside my eye. I struggled to get it fixed and could only tell when it wasn't back in the correct place because I couldn't see a lick without it. It got me thinking about people who suffer with cataracts and how difficult that would be. I started to wonder what they actually do to fix the problem. I found this interesting video about the methods of removing cataracts.  In the spirit of learning something new and sharing it with others, I am using today's prompt Hazy for the Haiku Challenge to demonstrate what I learned.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Obscure Writing

Committing nothing
Obscuring page like your word
Easily erased

A low vibratory words gurgled and when she couldn’t be understood he handed her a pencil. Her brow furrowed in clear dismay. A pencil she thought, commits nothing to paper. It must be a pen for this is the last time I will commit anything to paper in this life again.

The following video is a little bit of obscure writing done by a true master Weird Al about another true master Bob Dylan. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


When I was six months old or there abouts my parents moved from Newport, Rhode Island to Poway, California. I mention this because I feel as though this qualifies me as a native. Having lived in California most of my life I experienced a number of tremors and earthquakes. I understand all too well the distruction. I have been very fortunate to never be involved in one as tragic as the recent earthquake in New Zealand.

Today's Haiku prompt Scintillate  fit well with my piece I hope you enjoy it.

Magma Exudate
Convulsing palpitation
Sparks Earth's pulsing heart

If you can help with a monentary donation I have included the Red Cross link for New Zealand. However, I don't know much about the Red Cross and how it donations work in other countries. I just figure,I could at least add a link to try to help those out that are currently suffering.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fair-weather People

Photo generously provided by Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tale 54

I never said I wanted to end our union
Just the social media voyeurism
Emotional obscurity massive curiosity
Puzzling misunderstandings and confusion
Harbinger of missing pieces

You say you can’t stick around because the picture
Is askew, it’s not a travel brochure or an island cruise
It is here as it always claimed it would be
Just as you did, a solemn vow
Knowing, then claiming you just couldn’t see
Ostrich or emu thriving by ignoring
Clamoring to look away
Plenty of your cronies will support you
But will they?

Have you become fodder for their secrets?
Where they use you
As the one person
They wouldn’t be and the things they wouldn’t do.

Heavens Ascension

who doesn't love lasagna?

My Dinner Plate

Please be sure to enjoy the Haiku at the end of this Post

I don't know about you but I love lasagna, to eat that is but making and calorie counting, well that is another story. Below is a new recipe that Steve and I pulled off of sparkpeople. We both love to cook but the recipe seemed like it needed a little tweaking. We did just that and the results were amazing. The best part we were able to cut the calories and fat in half while enjoying this full flavor dish.

Without further ado here is the recipe:

Lasagna Roll-ups
9 Lasagna Noodles
1 pound of turkey Italian sausage (casing removed)
24 ounce of your favorite Marinara
2 cups of low fat cottage cheese
¼ cup of Parmesan cheese
1 egg beaten
1 package of frozen spinach or fresh steamed
4.5 slices of mozzarella
1 cup of mozzarella cheese shredded


This is an easy dish to make if you follow a few tips.

  • Start by cooking 9 lasagna noodles, as the package directs. Set them aside on wax paper on your counter while you get everything else ready.
  • Brown a pound of turkey italian sausage (remove casings). I buy it without the casing and it is a lot easier that way.
  • Add a 24 ounce jar of Marinara to the sausage and heat through. Turn it off after hot. We used Barilla and it was excellent for this.
  • In a large mixing bowl or food processor add a 16 ounce (2 cup) container of low fat cottage cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and a package of fresh spinach, steamed for three minutes and paper towel dried. You can also use a box of frozen spinach, defrosted and paper towel dried. Using a hand blender or food processor, blend until mixture is smooth.
  • Spray a little olive oil pam or other non-stick cooking spray in a 13" x 9" glass baking dish.
  • Have your cheese slices and shredded cheese ready.

After spraying your baking dish with your non-stick spray add about ¾ of a cup of sauce-meat mixture to the bottom of the dish. Set it near your assembly area.

Think of this as kind of making a jelly roll. Smooth the lovely green cheese mixture along approximately 3/4 the length of the noodle and start to roll. Once you have a nice roll lift it and place it in the baking dish. Do this for all nine rolls.

After this is complete, take half a slice of mozzarella cheese and drape it over the roll. Repeat for all rolls.

When this is finished you can spread the remaining green-cheese mixture over the top of each roll.

After everything is finished spread the marinara over the whole thing and sprinkle with the cup of shredded mozzarella. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until nice and bubbly. Enjoy.

In the spirit of world peace why not make this meal for someone in need right now.  Give them a little bliss which is today's Haiku Challenge.

Earthly Elysium

Feed the world with your goodness

Be yourself world peace

Sunday, February 20, 2011


The Zinnia native to the Southwest region of the United States and Mexico is a flowering plant that comes in a variety of species most with gorgeous bright colors. It grows very well in containers and beds alike and is a snap to grow. 

I am not a gardener but I do love beautiful flowers and this one is super easy.  Put it in decent soil, a sunny spot, and water and that is about it for care. Each year the Zinnia makes its way to my container garden beause it is a faithful beauty. I dead-head it to keep it blooming all season. I am not talking about the Grateful Dead here but the act of removing the spent flowers from their stems. I just pinch off the flowers when they are looking a little haggared and this plant will keep blooming.

They like a well draining, rich soil but I use the moisture control Miracle Grow because it is easy and I don’t have to do a thing to it for the whole growing season in Southwest Missouri. Here in Missouri and other climates where it freezes this plant is an annual. This means it completes its lifecycle in one season and will not re-seed itself but in Southern California or other places with milder climates it will re-seed itself and come back year after year. To learn more about the Zinnia be sure to watch the video.

In the spirit of today's prompt, the beautiful photo above, here is my Haiku for another favorite the Zinnia.

My faithful Zinnia

Your magnetic colors thrill

Natural attraction

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Dinner Plate Dahlia Image Borrowed from Google Images

If you have ever planted a dahlia tuber before you will know that it is a fairly easy tuber to plant. However, if you have not planted a Dahlia I highly recommend this tuber. I am not a gardener by any means. In fact, I tend lean on the side of a black thumb but this is one plant that I was successful with and the pay off was incredible.  This spring I will be planting a few Dahlia's in containers for my deck. In previous years they did great and the flowers were gorgeous and showy. Today's Haiku is all about debris. In the spirit of taking our trash and turning it into something precious and beautiful here it is. Please be sure to watch the video at the end for helpful planting tips for my favorite dahlia.

Compostable Garbage

Undergo Metamorphosis

Dinner Plate Dahlia

Friday, February 18, 2011


I have always been fascinated with sea tales. An early childhood notion, I hoped I would see a mermaid or perhaps meet a Selkie. Either my Great Grandfather or Great-great Grandfather was an Irish Sea Captain; I often wondered what stories he would share with me if we could have lived during the same period.  My Scot/Irish bloodline has always piqued my curiosity, it is their legends I wish to inherit and in particular the legend of the Selkie. Little wonder my favorite exhibits at Sea World always involved the seals.

Selkies are stealthy seal creatures that come from the sea. They are capable of shifting from seal to human and back again. They are dark, lovely, and irresistible. For a man, a Selkie woman makes a wonderful wife. They are assiduous, amenable, and gorgeous without trying. They raise beautiful children. Those men are usually the envy of the village. However, if the husband wants his Selkie wife to stick around he better hide her seal skin and never ever give it back to her. If a Selkie finds her skin she will leave her family forever and return to the sea. The allure of the sea is magnetic and all that keeps them from it is their missing skin.

Sweet Vaporous Gloam
Fair Selkies Shifting Ebb Tide
Her Sheltered Vestige

In 1994 I was introduced to the Selkie legend when I watched John Sayles film The Secret of Roan Inish. I fell in love with the folklore of the Selkie. There are other films such as Ondine, music The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry  and stories about Selkies. My personal favorite is The Secret of Roan Inish; this one is especially sweet and enjoyable with a very happy ending. However, if you want something really romantic go for Ondine. That film is down right mystical with Colin Farrel playing the leading man, Ooo La La!

Movie Trailers for The Secret of Roan Inish and Ondine

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dedicated to My Mother

This is a small detour from my Haiku vocab lesson. I needed a little break but will be back tomorrow with another tricky (at least for me) Haiku. This one is for my mother who passed away December 18, 2010.

Comforting shoulder
My mom flies with the angels
Heaven hear her sing

My mom loved animals and she would have loved this as much as I do! I hope you enjoy it!

John H. Langley

Photo generously provided by Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tale - 53

Blue Swim trunks
His towel caped
Running down the beach like superman
Entertaining my toddler self
Building sand castles and
Wave jumping
A snapshot reminder that he even exists
Yet for him, he knew me
Only I gather him.

A ball scrub off the thirteenth hole
Thousands of balls I cleaned
Right in his back yard
Pilfered salt shakers
Lined up like chess pieces
A laundry shoot
Wishing upon wishing
I could make the slide
Yet for him, he knew me
Only I discover him.

Driving permit days old
His cigar wafting its sweep
“Turn left!” He exclaims.
Timid I, “but grandpa it’s a one way street.”
“Oh malarkey,” he’d say, “It never used to be that way.”
“Turn left,” he insisted.
I couldn’t refuse
It wouldn’t matter anyway
Everyone knew him
Expected it from him
Last thing he gave me I still have
A tiny gold sand dollar charm
Laced with memories
Yet for him, he knew me
And I knew him.

Kristen Haskell
February 14, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

reasons to avoid permanent solitude

I can't resist using this video to demonstrate my Haiku. However, I really wanted the scene where Mr. Udall brings Simon soup but I couldn't find it. I think this video works fairly well too. Enjoy.

Ugsome seclusion
Injurious intrusion
Queer companionship

Easy Vocab Look Up

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

This post is dedicated to my husband, Steve. He is the most honest, trustworthy and loving person I know and I love him dearly.

Care Conscientious
My Scrupulous Harbinger

Easy Vocab Look up

Friday, February 11, 2011

a little bit of wedding bliss

all things red

Austrian crystal (not Swarovski)
I made this pair for less then $10.00

Austrian crystals have such a dreamy quality to them. When the sun hits them they reflect gorgeous colors. Even if your personal taste sways away from wearing the bling you have to admit the prisms crystals make are fascinating and beautiful.

If you have never taken the time to visit a Swarovski  store you really should. They are probably the world's leading crystal maker. The founder Daniel Swarovski invented a crystal cutting machine in 1895 and six his descents are still managing his legacy. There are stores in most of the major cities in the United States. I personally have visited the Las Vegas and Chicago stores. There I learned that Swarovski started his crystal empire by making lenses for field glasses.

Chic Multi Red Ring
(Gold Plated)
Retails for $270

Galet Pierced Gold Plated
Retails for $75.00

The jewelry is beautiful but as you can see very pricey. I personally work with Swarovski crystals all the time when making my jewelry pieces and I have to admit they are a step above most other crystals on the market. However, I think my pair of red earrings are beautiful and if I decided to make them in gold I would use gold fill which is a lot better then gold plated. I could still keep the price down to about $20.00 a pair, too!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Water Color

Soulful Eyes Enshroud
Retrospective wanton muse
Addlepated love

Sharing Something Special

Last July while surfing the tide of Internet waves, I stumbled onto the blogs of Tess Kincaid  Life at Willow Manor and Magpie Tales. Since then, I find myself taking up residence a fair amount of time here. Heck, I wrote one of my very first poems and posted it on Magpie Tales and have written a new poem each week since that very first week!

What are Magpie Tales? Magpie Tales is a blog dedicated for writers to stretch their imaginations and write a poem or vignette from an inspired photo posted weekly by Tess. It is there that we can link our work, read and enjoy each other's take on the photo provided, and be part of a community of writers who comment and provide encouragement and feedback for each other.

Magpie Tales turned one this week. I felt it was fitting to share how special it really is and what it means to me personally. If you have never tried a Magpie or even blogging, it is a wonderful outlet. The other writers in the blogisphere are charming and engaging. There are times I laugh with them and times I cry with them and they do the same for me. One thing for sure, I learn from them all.

Some of my favorite writers are listed on my blog list. Go check a few of them out. There are no borders here, we are from all over the world. Read some of their comments and you will see how encouraging they can be. Friends are made this way. I may not be able to see them face to face but they are an important part of my life and I am grateful for the gifts they give me. Best of all it is a safe place to write what you feel and just be yourself.

Life at Willow Manor, who lives there? Tess Kincaid an amazing and accessible poet and writer of all things interesting and beautiful (well at least they are to me and the other 1600 plus blogger that follow her site), her talent never fails to amaze me. I am not a student of poetry or a critic but I read her work and I am better for it.

I feel something in her writing, can't put my finger on it exactly but I do know that my day would not have provided that something otherwise. She inspires me to write more, read more and learn more. Don't take my word for it go read for yourself or if you like, she will even read her poetry to you. For me that is the real treat, her voice brings her work to life. 

Currently at Willow Manor you can learn about watercolor artist Charles Burchfield (1893-1967). Tess describes his work as having a mystical quality and I certainly concur. I am particularly taken with his work Orion in December 1969.

To learn more about this painting check out  Education / American Art and
Tess' site linked above. If you love art, food and poetry I think you will really love reading more from Tess. Her talents are many and she writes with great feeling and grace. I learn so much from her. Thanks Tess for all you do to keep Magpie Tales and Life and Willow Manor engaging!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Scottish Lilt

Scottish Highland Dance
Gaelic Sobersidedness
Rhythmic Percision

The Anniversary Edition - Home

Photo by Tess Kincaid
Five trivial steps
My listless climb
Exerting just enough to make me wonder
Yet I brush aside my trifle contemplations for what’s inside

Beneath years of lacquer
Too many decades to count
My fingers trace her hearth
Thick braille fashion a peacock’s spray
Surrounding her mouth where little fires crackle
Bewitching my senses with hickory and pine
And thoughts of blizzards and other seasonal hazards

Fantastic reveries become real from pages
Curled with a cozy throw and tea steaming
A chair too comfortable allowing those pages to meld into dreams

 I look around now seeing my sparse decor
The kind only youth can afford
Carnival glass home to a philodendron cutting years old
Leggy with its feet firmly attached to the silver frayed edges
Of her ancient eye
I look and stare back at its dated beauty

Little drawers frame her walls
Solid in their fashion
Jointed little duck tails secure
My mish-mash of belongings
A black and white photo of a scowling toddler
Shoes that hurt his feet and
Tight little newsboy cap
A plastic toy soldier
Keys whose locks are long forgotten
A menu from Six You Get Egg roll
Items too precious to discard
Unless you are not me

Her loss haunts my future
It’s only a matter of time before
The beauty of her heartwood
Whose holes I filled, sanded and oiled
Are discarded for asphalt

And yet I can’t wrap my arms around
The safety net she provided
My limbs in perpetual decline

My sense of drifting away in her deep tub
For years she soothed away
All the pains stored in muscle memory
Her passage too narrow for the
Motor that becomes my legs

Salty water spray my face
Not for me but for her
As all traces of her now
Exist only in my memory
Five colossal steps that part us forever

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Continual Love

Feeling conjured
Color my world
In ways I never imagined
Time mixes creating new color
Offering new memories
Painting the lining of my soul
Our firings meld thoughts
Weaving a new spectrum
Our Paint cans never empty
We live in continual replenishment
We skip through the spills
Leaving permanent footsteps
The color many change but the love it stays the same.

Haiku Challenge for Monday, February 7, 2011


Cozen demeanor
Pert draconian deceit
Fuel wrathfulness

Kristen Haskell

ALAL or A Little Affordable Luxury

My little Mama Jean’s has expanded to include a deli. What is a Mama Jean’s, you might ask? It is Springfield’s answer to a health food market. Our demographics don’t really support a Wild Oats or Whole Foods but we would love one. I even went so far as emailing Whole Foods trying to convince them to set up shop here. Did I hear from them? Sadly, no.

The other day I was cruising through our local grocery store and I came across a jar of garlic stuffed jumbo green olives. I wanted it bad! but there really could not have been more than 15 olives in that jar. Instantly, I thought it would be great if I could just have a couple. Perhaps garnish a nice martini, bloody Mary or heck just to snack on a few but the jar was $8.00.

Now that is the kind of thing I would buy for company or for a party but since neither was happening I just skipped right on by. I couldn’t justify it. I don’t need a whole jar. I just want maybe three, four at the most. I certainly don’t want to pay $8.00 for a jar of olives either.  So I put that little luxury aside and forgot about it.

When it is time to refill spice jars we head to our local Mama Jean’s. They have the best spices, most if not all are organic and the smell is divine. Buying like this in bulk, the savings are unbelievable. Why anyone would buy a spice any other way is beyond me.
Our Spice List for this trip:
Enough to fill a normal 4 oz. spice jar

Basil Leaf  .45
Ground Cumin 1.87
Garlic Powder 1.02
Parsley Leaf Flake .75
Thyme Leaf .66
Rosemary .28
Oregano Leaf .48

Grand Total $5.51 for seven completely fragrant, wonderfully delicious full jars of herbs and spices. That is a bargain!

The Bonus - Mama Jean’s just put an olive bar in.


Nice, I saw my treasure, my luxury for $8.00 for a pound. I wasn’t going to even get close to a pound. I actually bought 5 and it cost me .92 cents. Yes, that is right five jumbo garlic stuffed olives for .92 cents. They were scrumptious! I ate four and gave one to Steve. That fifth olive was my back up olive. I knew someone would saunter on in and envy my stash so I prepared for that.  YUM and what a bargain I could buy 15 olives for $2.76 vs. $8.00. I think I know where I will be buying my olives!