Tasty Victory

I did chana masala for the first time! There are a million recipes for it online, and I found one that uses cocoanut oil for “blooming” the spices, which I wanted to try.

The chickpeas were soaked overnight and simmered with lemon rind, olive oil, onion, and salt for a long while; about a half-hour before dinner, I began with more onions and spices in hot oil, then the crushed tomatoes. The resultant stuff went into the chickpea pot for the last simmer. I was nervous about the whole experiment–there were a lot of chickpeas to throw out if this went wrong–until the very end, when I dumped in the garam masala and stirred.

That was what it needed, and finishing with a little lemon juice just made it OMG WOW. My faith was utterly vindicated and restored at once, especially since the kids both pronounced this something they’d eat again. (They’d better, we have a lot of leftovers.)

So at least this week has contained one (very tasty) victory. Heaven knows I needed it, and I hope your week had at least one victory as well, no matter how small.

Onward to the weekend, then, once I get today’s work finished. (There’s always a catch…)

Foot-Stomach, Home

I could barely see this lovely stomach-foot clinging to a rain-wet tree trunk. The dogs crowded my knees, interested in whatever Mum was looking at–is it sniffable, is it snackable, is it something to chase? Boxnoggin put his paws on the trunk and stretched, aiming to get his nose close.

Fortunately, he’s not quite tall enough even while sploot-stretching, so the little gastropod was saved. Not that I think Boxnoggin meant any malice, but he is hardly the most delicate of dogs, and stands a real chance of crunchy-smashing the thing he’s interested in. Miss B could carry an egg in her mouth for miles at a dead run, did I ask it of her (I would never, because why on earth would we need to?) but Odd Trundles was untroubled by any sort of self restraint and Boxnoggin, though just as sweet and loving, is similarly untroubled.

I feel rather like this snail, actually, wishing to blend in with a handy trunk and get some rest. I wonder if they know they’re hiding? Carrying one’s home on one’s back only seems a burden until one longs to curl up somewhere safe, I suppose.

Happy Juneteenth, my friends, and I wish for your health and safety. I’m glad we’re due for a weekend; after finishing proof pages yesterday I could use one. We’ll see if I can actually settle enough to rest.

Over and out.

Rock Possibilities

I saw this little fellow again while on walkies with Very Excited Dogs yesterday. The painted rocks move around the neighborhood in odd patterns; I half suspect someone knows I’m keeping an eye on them and moves them just to say hello. Or, you know, the rocks are moving of their own accord.

Of course the real reason is that the people who paint them are trading them, and people who like them are moving them around like goods in an economy. But I wouldn’t be much of a writer if I didn’t consider the other possibilities.

And, of course, there’s the fact that this particular stone seems to be following me. While I’m not sure about the “stay positive” message–unfounded optimism tends to give me the hives, not to mention the willies–I can get behind the “laugh” bit.

I’m waiting for everything to reach the pitch of absurdity that makes me break down in helpless laughter. That’s generally when I know I’m going to be all right. It’s taking a while, though–there’s nothing laughable about current national events, and indeed there rarely is. Rather, I start laughing at the absurdity of my own personal life.

Sooner or later I’ll get there, I’ll hear that peculiar internal snap, and the giggles will flood free. It’ll feel like lancing a boil, a painful relief, and I’ll know I’m going to be okay.

It might even be the next time I see this damn painted rock, so I suppose I’d best get out the door with the dogs soon. Whoever daubed it knew what they were doing.

And, since this is a Friday, I’m curious. Do you get the giggles when you snap too, dear Reader? What happens when you reach the end of your rope and fetch up against the knot? When do you know you’re going to be okay again? Tell me.

I’m all ears. And, apparently, amusement.

Imaginary Cats

I’ve gone back to Neko Atsume lately, because… honestly, who wouldn’t want to? Sprawling on my office floor with the dogs while feeding entirely imaginary cats is one of the few things that doesn’t make my heart hurt right now.

Stay as safe as you can, my friends, and take whatever self-care you can, in whatever fashion you can. I am braced for the worst, but hoping for the best.

Hope is an agony. But it’s better than the alternative.

Older, Better

One of the joys of adulthood is finding out that yes, I am good at cooking and yes, I do have preferences that are okay and can be indulged. Case in point: I made a totally bombin’ cherry tart-type thing, square because I didn’t want it round (for reasons of crust ratio) and it was exactly to my taste.

The Prince ended up eating most of it, but that was okay. Just cooking it and having a single warm slice of something that was exactly how I liked it was amazing.

Lots of people say they’d like to go back to childhood or high school and do it all over again. To hell with that. The older I get, the better my life becomes. Hitting 40 was the best thing ever, because all of a sudden the field where I grew my fucks was barren and I had not a single one left in the warehouse.

I wish you a marvelous Friday full of things you like, my friends. It’s never too late to make a cherry tart the way you prefer it.

Over and out.

Firework, in Sleeping Dark

The blood lily my writing parter gave me has resurrected once again. First as a tiny little green nubbin, but now it’s a firework stretching for the window. Each year I wonder if it’ll come back, and each year it comes through like an utter allium boss.

It gives me hope, especially since I feel like I’m clawing up out of ashes lately myself. Makes me wonder if it hurts plants to grow, even if that growth happens in the sleeping dark. Gods know most of my own growth is painful–but then again, would I notice it, if it wasn’t?

It’s been a difficult week. Not as bad as some others lately, but still… difficult. I just keep breathing and moving, hopefully forward. Eventually endurance pays off–I know this, and yet each time I doubt.

May we all rise, may we all find some peace, and may we get to where we’re going even through the doubt.

Have a lovely weekend, chickadees.

A Rose is a Rose

It was quite a shock to take the dogs through the rose garden and find this fine lady, opened up early and enjoying our mild, warmish spring. I get so wrapped up in what’s happening online or politically or with publishing, I forget that there’s a whole world just outside the side gate.

Forgive the blurring–I was trying to take the picture with two eager dogs strapped to my waist. They wanted their walkies and were not inclined to pause so I could fiddle with the shiny little pocket-brick that holds so much of their human’s attention, like the glowing box on said human’s desk.

Anyway, I never expected the roses to survive. They’re finicky creatures, greedy for attention. But they seem to be doing quite well in the side yard, maybe because all the squirrels I’ve buried there are ghost-cavorting enough to please them.

I wish you a pleasant weekend, dear Reader, full of nice things and relaxation. My own will be spent doing some library maintenance–I meant to put it off until Saturday, but the past couple evenings my resistance broke down because I was already cleaning and organizing, why not just continue and keep the momentum? I’ll probably take a whack at cleaning the rest of my office and getting the printer set up, too.

I’d like to think that eventually I would have done this anyway without *waves hands* all this, but that’s probably untrue. Or maybe I’m just finding silver linings on very, very heavy clouds. Who knows?

In any case, we’re all clinging by teeth and toenails. It helps, in however small a fashion, to know someone’s clinging right next to us.