juliespeaks

The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.

I HATE YOU

I HATE YOU

 

            “I hate you! the little boy screamed at his mother.  He doesn’t hate his mommy – he hates what she just told him to do, or not to do. We grow up thinking hate is evil but if it’s what – not who – hatred ‘s not always evil., I believe in the futility of negative feelings. I don’t carry grudges, am not jealous, avoid contention.  But there are some things I do hate, abhor, detest; things I want to run away from, ignore. I don’t nurture feelings of hate but neither can I ignore them.

HATRED

Sloppy grammar leaves me cold:

Words misspelled, participles dangling

Prose, redundant and trite,

Punctuation missing.

 

I’m disdainful of paper napkins,

Plastic forks, salt and pepper shakers

In the shape of elephants or coke bottles..

I cringe at carelessly prepared food

That looks like yesterday’s oatmeal.

Overdone steak, dishwater soup, bland beans.

 

I hate snow and boots and gloves,

Loud noise and confusion,

Slimy oysters, pickles and mustard,

Animals in cages, plants thirsting for water.

 

Violence is not for me:

Arguments, contention are anathema.

Nasty humor is not part of my game.

Sloppiness makes me cringe.

 

I avoid people who listen but do not hear;

Those with diarrhea of mouth.

Racists and egotists are not my friends.

Intolerant souls are “Z” in my alphabet.

 

I hate that I am impatient,

Less than well educated,

Am not bi-lingual;

That I cannot afford to take a cruise.

Winter in Florida,

Drive a new convertible.

 

I’ve learned hatred’s sometimes cathartic,

A dose of cod liver oil, a shot in the arm;

The kick in the pants I may need

To move forward, discover what I love,

Appreciate what is.

 

What do you hate?  Post a comment

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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IDIOCY

IDIOCY

I am puzzled by the passage of time. If yesterday begat today, I then live in the  yesterday of tomorrow. If today becomes tomorrow, begat from tomorrow’s yesterday, then tomorrow’s yesterday is today.  Did you get that?

Does the earth revolve right to left or left to right? Is the fact it revolves what keeps it from falling out of the universe? How is it possible for a machine to turn over a sheet of paper for two-sided copying or are there little green gremlins inside of copy machines that turn the paper over? No matter how you explain it, my confusion persists.

“Why is it” questions attack me like hungry mosquitoes. I will never understand why there are Braille buttons on bank drive-up teller machines or why round pizza is delivered in a square box or why someone gest paid for designing toilet paper. It’s easy enough to explain why I sometimes still count on my fingers but I’m at a loss to understand square roots or the theory of relativity.

Is there some good reason why a three year old, with one twist of his wrist, can open a bottle of Jack Daniels in thirty seconds flat and I have to use scissors and tweezers to get an aspirin out of a bottle? What idiot decided to put teeny-tiny pull-off tabs on the back of hearing aid batteries no arthritic person can remove?

A few other questions I can’t answer. Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?  Why can’t a woman apply mascara with her mouth closed? How can there be self-help groups?  Isn’t it just plain stupid for doctors call what they do ‘practice?’  When the sky is thick with clouds how does the rain get through? Why does it take twelve letters to spell abbreviation? And how – please tell me how – we’ve reached a point where see you is cu and thank you is ty and I love you is ilu and on and on – or should I say o&o, ono?

Is it any wonder I’m confused?

I believe in the goodness of mankind. That explains why I don’t understand those who are racists,  mean-spirited, road hogs, jealous, and those who measure their worth in dollars or toys. It doesn’t explain idiocy.

I’ve no hope of solving these conundrums. Why should I care?

EVOLUTION

Evolution

Confusion

Illusion

Delusion

Resolution

Solution

No solution

More confusion


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Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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SAUCY

SAUCY

            My intention was to devote one week of blogs to recipes but I let my mind wander out of the kitchen. Now I’m back on track. I’ve told you I like to do themed diners and the next one will be “Sauces and Dips.”  I wouldn’t dream of dipping a French fry in catsup but good sauces are an entirely different matter. They are the essence of gourmet cooking and once you get the hang of cooking sauces, there’s no limit to the possibilities. They are perfect for experimentation and the exercise of kitchen creativity.

Here is the menu and the sauces I will serve at my ‘saucy’ dinner provided I can find enough bowls and a fresh lime leaf. . Most of these can be refrigerated for several days or frozen and are handy to have available for spontaneous entertaining or snacking.

APPETIZERS 

SWEET & SOUR SAUCE– with egg rolls

¼ C vinegar      ½ C pineapple juice

1/3 C brown sugar        1 t. salt

1 T cornstarch mixed with 1 T water

Combine all ingredients & bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Let stand about 5 minutes.

 

THAI DIPPING SAUCE – with egg rolls

Combine and bring to a boil

1 C sugar         ½ C each white vinegar & water

2 T minced garlic

1 T each salt, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce/paste

Reduce heat and add ½ of a lime leaf.  Simmer about 15 minutes & remove from heat

Add the other half of the lime leaf and 1 T sesame oil

 

GREEN HERB DIPPING SAUCE – with cut up vegetables

In food processor place ½ bunch Italian parsley, ½ bunch dill, ½ bunch watercress. Chop fine & transfer to bowl.

Process 1/2 C fresh spinach the same way & add to bowl

Combine herbs with 2 green onions, 2 C mayo and 1 C sour cream. Fold all together & add salt and pepper to taste

 

TZATZIKI – GREEK YOGURT & CUCUMBER SAUCE –   with cut up vegetables

Drain 3 C Greek yogurt

Dice 2 Cucumbers, seed , salt and let stand 30 minutes.

In food processor blend: cukes, juice of 1 lemon, garlic,

1 T chopped dill, pepper.  Fold into yogurt

 

TOMATO HORSERADISH SAUCE AND KEY LIME SALSA  – purchased from a gourmet food shop – with chips, Doritos, etc.

 

SALAD 

ASIAN VINAIGRETTE – with tossed salad of greens, toasted almonds, mandarin oranges, rice noodles

Combine: ¼ C soy sauce , 1/4 C lime juice

¼  t  . lime zest    1 T grated ginger

1 clove minced garlic

¼ C salad oil    ½ t. sugar         salt  & pepper to  taste

 

ENTREES

SAUCE LOUISIANA – with whole salmon  poached in dry white wine and lemon juice

Combine 1/3 C catsup, 1/2 C chili sauce, ½ t. Tabasco sauce or 1/8 t. cayenne pepper,

½ t. salt, 1 minced garlic clove,

2 T minced green pepper, ¼ C green onions & tops,

2 T.  horseradish

Dissolve 1 t. plain gelatin in 1 T cold water & let stand until thick, then dissolve over simmering water.

Pour melted gelatin into sauce, stir well and quickly. Refrigerate for about half an hour, stirring several times

Can make ahead & store, covered. Let stand at room temperature about 2 hours before serving.

 

ROASTED TOMATO SAUCE – with rigatoni pasta 

In 2 9×13” pans place 20 Roma tomatoes halves, cut side up. Sprinkle with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), salt and pepper, 1 C diced onion, 2 t. minced garlic, 1 T each chopped oregano & thyme leaves.  Bake for 2 hours.  Check after 1 hour and turn down heat if they seem to be cooking too quickly.  Increase temp to 400 & bake another 30 minutes.  Remove & process through a blender, discard skins.  Add 1 C white wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Makes 4 cups.

 

SPICY MINT SAUCE – with vermicelli pasta

1 ¼ C chopped fresh mint         ½ C grated pecorino cheese

½  C EVOO    1 lg. sereno chili, seeded, coarsely chopped

1 smashed clove garlic

Combine all in food processor until smooth

 

DESERT 

CHOCOLATE FUDGE SAUCE – with ice cream and strawberries

Melt 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate and 2 T butter very slowly.  Heat 2/3 C water to boiling.  When chocolate has melted, add water & stir well.

Add 1 ½ C sugar & 6 T corn syrup & mix until smooth. Turn heat up and stir mixture until it starts to boil.  Lower heat.  Allow to boil, without stirring for 9 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.  Stir in 1 T rum.  Makes 2 ½ C.

 

CARAMEL SAUCE – with Bourbon Pound Cake – a family favorite

Mix 1 ½ C sugar and 1/3 C water in a heavy bottomed pan. Cover and heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase  heat and boil until sugar browns ( 5-7 minutes). Watch carefully as it will burn quickly.  Step back to avoid spattering and gradually add  1¼ to  1½ C heavy cream and ½ t. vanilla extract.  Simmer until smooth and thick  – about 2 minutes.  Makes 1 ¾ C.

Yes – send me the recipe for Bourbon Pound Cake.

My e-mail address follows and yours is:

 

_______________________________________

 

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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MOTHERHOOD

            I have three kids and I promise you every word of this is true.  I dare  you to find a mother who would  read this and not say That’s Me!

MOTHERHOOD

You can have one or a dozen.

If you opt for any you become an organ donor.

For the rest of  your life

Your heart waltzes outside your body.

That’s motherhood

 

After you deliver them obstetrically

You’ll deliver them by car – endlessly.

At the end of each day you’ll forget the spaghetti in junior’s hair,

The pitcher of orange juice on the floor;

Remember only his first word, the smell of his chubby neck.

You wish you had time to shave both legs at once.

That’s motherhood

 

You shop for a car seat with more zeal  than a dress.

Collect pictures of baby as though they were diamonds.

You wish for a responsible baby sitter instead of a cruise.

You count the chocolate chips on each kid’s cupcake;

Live on macaroni and cheese instead of tuna salad.

That’s motherhood

 

You become a multi-tasker,

Perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers at once.

You attend every ballet recital and Little League game,

Enter parent-teacher conferences with trepidation.

That’s motherhood

 

When they’re teens you crack the whip over homework,

Give them a hug to sniff for booze or pot.

To remain sane you avoid entering their bedrooms,

Order a second phone line installed.

They become picky about what they eat and wear.

You don another cap and become a nutritionist.

You buy them the sweatshirts they plead for,

Courageously say “No” to the $100 sneakers.

Reluctantly write a check for Driver’s Ed.

That’s motherhood

 

When they’re adults you offer advice not wanted,

Deliver brownies, baby sit and run errands.

You come to believe that grandchildren

Are God’s gift for raising your own kids.

That’s motherhood

 

A Spanish proverb reads:

“An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.”

If you’ve done your job well and remain sane

You’re entitled to the pot at the end of the rainbow;

A pat on the back, a gold star, a blue ribbon ,

For successfully walking through the carnival called

Motherhood.

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Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

 

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HUMANITY

HUMANITY 

With a good amount of perseverance I’m sure I could find umpteen definitions of, and quotes about, what it means to be human.  Though others far brighter than I may have written intelligent and thoughtful reams on the subject, I’m not going to go in search of them. I’m satisfied with my own definition.

 

HUMANITY

If you say you belong to the human race,

are neither a beast of the field

nor creature of sea or sky,

I have a few questions for you.

 

Do you weep on encountering suffering?

Can you cling to hope in the face of despair?

When the snow falls do you feed the birds?

Would you kick your dog, step on a spider?

Do you offer your arm to the blind, avoid the infirm?

Would you invite a hobo to your table,

Give him warm socks and a coat to wear?

 

Do you know the difference between light and darkness,

Honor and shame, attention and neglect?

Between a playground and a jail, between a hug and a punch?

Can you ignore skin – black, white or yellow?

 

When did you last plant a flower, thrill to the music of Bach,

Read a great book, utter a heartfelt prayer,

Enjoy a walk in the woods, a swim in the sea,

Stand in awe at the base of a mountain?

Applaud a child’s curiosity?

 

Have you won the respect of others, the affection of children?

Did you bring a smile to someone’s face today?

Have you an inner spark you keep hidden

That if let loose might comfort another?

Do you believe in the goodness of man?

 

Which are you:

One who enters a room and says “Here I am”

Or one who enters and says “Ah, there you are?”

 

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Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

 

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UNREQUESTED ADVICE

UNREQUESTED ADVICE

Generally speaking it’s not a good idea to offer unsolicited advice but when you have lived 70+ you have learned a few things and it’s difficult not to share what you have learned with your loved ones. It’s unfortunate that some of those things are learned too late.

Had I known earlier in life what I know now, there are things I would have done differently. In the hope that my children and grandchildren wouldn’t make the same mistakes I made, I wrote them a letter a while back and told them what some of those things were. Here are about half of them:

  • I would have home schooled my children.
  • My home would have been filled with good music and there would have been firm, restrictive, rules on the use of the TV. I might have thrown it out.
  • I never would have started to smoke.
  • I would have worked harder to develop and maintain friendships.
  • I would have lived abroad for at least a year, explored the world’s great museums, wandered in Tuscany,  attended an opera in Rome, a concert in Vienna.
  • I would have made one more trip to Israel and participated in an archaeological dig.
  • I would have learned to play the piano.
  • I would have studied Latin.
  • I would have adopted a child.
  • I would have become reasonably proficient at some sport,  probably tennis.
  • I would have returned to school and earned my doctorate. I can’t tell you why.
  • I would have taken classes in photography, bought a decent camera, taken long walks in a forest and photographed flora and fauna.
  • I would have spent more personal time with each of my children. I might even have bit the bullet and gone shopping with my daughter.
  • I would have encouraged each of my children to become proficient at some musical instrument.
  • I would have taught my children to play Bridge.
  • I would have taken my kids to the opera and the theatre more often than I did.
  • I would have worked harder to have my books published, completed two unfinished novels and written a cookbook.
  • At least once I would have owned a convertible – car not couch – a red one.

There’s more but those are primary. Whether or not my children and grandchildren will benefit from that letter is open to question. Probably not. Their goals may be far different than mine but at least the letter gave them some insight into the woman who is their mother and grandmother.

What would you include in such a letter?

Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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WRITING IS . . .

WRITING IS . . .

Over time I have collected some quotes about the craft of writing which I think are worth sharing with others who write. It’s questionable whether to call writing a craft, an art, a talent  or an obsession but that is another matter.

“Writing is a journey into memory and the soul . . . after a few months without writing I fear going deaf, not being able to hear the silence.”  Isabel Allende

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.” Isaac Asimov

“When you make music or write it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about.” Lady Gaga

“Minds so small you could put them in a gnat’s navel with room left over for two caraway seeds and an agent’s heart.” Fred Allen

“Writers will go to stupefying lengths to get the infernal roar of words out of their skulls and onto paper.”  Barbara Kingsolver

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”  Cyril Connolly

“There are many reasons why novelists write – but they all have one thing in common: a need to create an alternative world.” John Fowles

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you, I am here to live out loud.” Emile Zola

“It’s tougher than yak jerky in January, but as any creative person will tell  you, there are days when there’s absolutely nothing sweeter than creating something from nothing.” Richard Krzemien

“Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing . . .  As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.” Rhys Alexander 

“I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries.”   Stephen King.

“If  you have any young friends who aspire to be a writer, the second best thing you can do is to present them with The Elements of Style.  The best thing  you can do is to shoot them while they’re still happy.” Dorothy Parker

And finally, my favorite quote about writing:

“It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating. Today, for instance, as man and woman, both lover and mistress, I rode in a forest on an autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and I was also the horses, the leaves, the wind,  the words my people uttered….”  Gustave Flaubert

Which one really screams at you?

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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NUMBER ONE?

NUMBER ONE?

I don’t profess to be an expert in any area. I’m  unfamiliar with all the facts. I don’t read analyses of how other countries operate their governments.  Nonetheless, I am not blind and I am aware of a few things that that make me question the way theU.S.operates in some areas.

At the time the Shoguns of Japan were overthrown,Japansent delegates world-wide to study other countries systems  of  government, education, welfare, commerce and the like.Japan’s goal was to emulate the best that could be found in each sphere.  The country was open to learning from others.  It puzzles me why the U.S.  doesn’t do likewise.

How can you introduce kids to the beauty of opera when it costs a week’s paycheck to take them to a performance: when a family of five must fork out fifty dollars for admission to a botanical garden – plus  ten bucks for parking.   Such exposure to music and the arts  is nearly gratis in some European countries.

With smiles on their faces, Danes pay far weightier taxes than we. Never does a Dane receive a bill from the doctor.

A Japanese school in the U.S.puts a new student on the same page, in the same textbook, he had in Japan. That is far different from theU.S.where the standards in each state differ. If we ran the military the way we run our educational system soldiers would carry fifty different rifles. What kind of sense does that make? And that is but one of many reasons why kids from other countries outscore our kids in nearly every academic area.

Israel teaches new immigrants Hebrew in a short time enabling them to become self-sufficient. Why can’t the U.S emulate that system for the foreign speaking among us?

We could learn from those role models if we had more courage, a desire to change and improve: if we didn’t pat ourselves on the back and claim to be number one. The pity is our failure to recognize we’re not number one and DO something about it.

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Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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SWEET TOOTH

SWEET TOOTH

In keeping with my decision to make this my “chef’s hat” week, here is another recipe you might enjoy.

I have a nephew who is moving toSouth Africaand am beginning to plan a send-off dinner for his family.  My grandson, who knows of my penchant for holding themed dinners, asked if I was going to serve African food.  “Why not?”  I replied.  I then went on a hunt for appropriate recipes and found this one.  I mentioned it to someone with whom I correspond inAfricaand he confirmed that it was – indeed – more than  yummy – he called it ‘swoony.’. Add a chicken and some fruited couscous and you’d have an African meal to be proud of.

BRANDY TART –  A FAVORITE SOUTH AFRICAN FOOD – VERY YUMMY!

  1. Cut 1/2 lb dates into small pieces.  Add 1 t. baking soda and 1 C boiling water to half of the dates. Stir and let cool. (I don’t like dates and would substitute dried apricots or raisins.)
  2. Beat ½ C  butter and 1 C sugar until creamy and then add 2 beaten eggs. Mix well.
  3. sift together 2 C flour, 1 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt and fold into mixture.
  4. Add the rest of the dry dates and 1 C chopped pecans and baking soda mixture: mix well
  5. Pour into a large baking dish or two 9” pie dish
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degree
  7. Pour hot syrup over the tart when it comes out of the oven. Serve with whipped cream.

Syrup

Boil  1 ¼ C sugar, 1 T butter and ¾ C water for five minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in 1 t. vanilla, pinch of salt and 1/2 C brandy.

Send me your rating of this desert if you’re brave enough to make it in spite of  all dire warnings about sugar and cholesterol.

Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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GARBAGE – A RECIPE

GARBAGE – A RECIPE

            I’ve come to the conclusion  it’s time to lighten up.  Every blog does not have to be of the deep thinking variety.  Accordingly, this week I’ll leave off from rattling on about the world’s problems or the nature of mankind and succumb to my love of cooking.

You won’t find  this recipe in any cookbook – I dreamed it up. I own a patent on it!  But I’m willing to share it with you.

GARBAGE – A RECIPE

Not the stuff  you throw into the dumpster, the waste basket – this garbage you eat.  If you’re anything at all like my family you eat gobs of it every chance you get.  On a 1 – 10 rating scale it registers:

Easy     10

Tasty    8-10 depending on what you put into it – spice it up to your taste

Time     5-10 depending on whether you buy veggies already cut up from a salad bar or cut your own

Cost     10 – cheap

Appearance – 5-10 depends on  color of veggies

Nutrition – 7-9 – depends on veggies, amount of salt, butter or margarine

You will need:

1 stick butter or margarine        1 package of fine noodles

about 1 C of prepared rice        about 2 C of beef stock

about 3-4 C of finely diced assorted vegetables, including green onions with tops (do not make mush  of them in a food processor)

salt and pepper

Melt the margarine/butter and saute the veggies about 5 minute. Remove from pan.

Dump in the noodles, stir often until noodles have browned slightly.

Add the rice and the veggies

Pour the beef stock over the whole mess –  just enough to cover – season with salt and pepper, stir,  cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

An excellent side dish to any chicken, beef, pork, veal entrée.

Try it – you’ll like it.

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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