Sweet Tennessee!

Sweet Tennessee!

September 29, 2011

A Motley Array of Thoughts!

Hmm.. what should i write about this glorious autumn afternoon?  Many things on my mind.  Feel paralyzed by options.  The fabulousness of fall?  I lost my appreciation for this sublime season for awhile there.  Was truly longing for perpetual summer.  Then long about last last week.. i had an ephiphany!  Fall is fun, and delicious in its own way.  The vivid colors.. the pungent scents.. the sparkling, dancing light.  Indeed, autumn has many pleasures unique to its time.  The nutmeggy, cinnamony flavor of a slice of savory pumpkin pie.  The loud crack and crunch of that first bite into a perfectly ripe, but not always perfectly red.. apple.  The gorgeous late afternoon sunshine when the light sparkles like a flute of champagne.  A taste of tart apple cider with a cinnamon stick touch.  The cider hard or 'soft' whatever your heart desires at the moment.  The crunch and scrape of fallen leaves under my feet when i go for one of my long treks in that late afternoon sunshine.  Leaves that i don't think of as dead.  They'll be raked, placed in compost to 'ripen' in a different way.  To be placed in our garden to fertilize it in the spring..  To aid in the renewal and growth of flowers and veggies galore.  The wonderful, miraculous cycle continues...  And my very favorite thing about late fall.  Thanksgiving!  :)  When we celebrate our families, friends (and football for some,)  :D and the late fall harvest.  To show our gratitude for everything and everyone we have in this life....

Or.. do i want to talk about our 4 cats?  Who S and i adore with our whole hearts and souls.  Who are also enjoying the scents of fall floating on the breeze.  We don't have human children, so in a sense they are like our (furry) kids.  Two of them had health scares in the early months of this year.  Tortie, one of our little girls, had part of a lung removed due to cancer.  She is healthy now, and as playful as ever at 13.  For that, we are eternally grateful.  Otis, our big emerald-eyed black Maine Coon, had a radio-isotope procedure done on his thyroid.. due to hyperthyroidism that almost killed him.  Down to 5 pounds before the procedure, he is healthy and back to his 13 pound big-cat self!  More fur than he's ever had.  I call him my big lion-boy.  :)  Though he has so much fur around his.. ahem.. rear end now.. that sometimes, when he 'does his business' a little kitty doo-doo gets stuck on his butt, and i need to wipe for him.  :D  I never pictured myself needing to wipe a cat's hiney, but i love him of course.  And willingly do the stinky task.  I shouldn't complain anyway.  I've never changed a diaper in my entire 48 years on this planet of ours.  So this isn't going to kill me.. is it?  :)

I could always, i guess, talk about the latest awesome cheese i've sampled.  Maybe.  Pian Rosa, Manchego, Al Vino, a Cotswold with bits of chive.  All absolutely out of this world!  Or maybe a little bit of brie spread on a few slices of a crunchy, ripe Honeycrisp apple!  Or one of my very favorite fall 'meals', a grilled cheddar and Monterey Jack on dark rye bread with a mug of cold, tart fall apple cider.  No chips necessary.  Would 'totally' kill the flavors!  Okay. Enough about that.  I'm getting hungry, but promised S i'd wait for him so we can go out and dine together.  Like we usually do Thursday evenings.  :)

Perhaps i could talk about the books i'm currently reading.  'The Living', by Annie Dillard.  Splendid writer, Ms. Dillard.  And as the title states, it's a novel about living.  The different lives people live and the choices they make.  Am reading 'Spectator Bird', by Wallace Stegner.  Yet another magnificent writer.  I've already mentioned him in a post, i believe.  He deserves a segment of this blog all to himself.  I could rave on and on about the pleasures of reading that man's wonderful prose.  And i'm reading a non-fiction book, which i don't do often.  Not more that 3 or 4 non-fiction books per year, in fact.  But every once in awhile, i find one that strikes my fancy, and makes me crave more knowledge about a particular subject.  This one is 'The Vikings, A History', by Robert Ferguson.  I adore history and am a kind of armchair archaeologist.  This book is right up my alley.  Full of historical fact, but also some excellent photographs of archaeological finds.. interviews with scientists and forensic experts, etc.  But be warned.. the Vikings were NOT nice guys.  Seriously.. not nice at all.  Daring and ruthless, yes.  'Good'.. NO.

Geez.. well, i just 'bout guess i've talked myself out!  Gettin' to be close to time for suppah!  More later on, and next time i'll try to stick to one subject.  Hope none of you were bored.  :)  But i guess if you were, you didn't make it this far in and listen to me yammer this long.  So that's all for now, folks!

Hope you've all had a fabulous Thursday the Twenty-Ninth of September, Two Thousand Eleven...M...  Bahahahaha  :D..  for Much Too Long Winded!

September 14, 2011


Magazines!  The glossies.. !  The Literary Journals.. !  Mags about the environment.  About cooking.  About travel.  About politics.  (Mainly liberal politics.)  There is a magazine i love with my whole heart and soul that is devoted completely to... CHEESE!  Name one, and i have purchased and read it from cover to cover at one time or another.  Or borrowed it from the library.  I rarely subscribe though it's cheaper, because i absolutely cannot bear it when one comes crushed or even bent a tiny iota.  Wait!  That was redundant, wasn't it?!  lol  Anyway.. even when i tell myself that mags are made out of the trees i also love with my whole heart and soul; i still buy 'em.  I do, however; when i can bear to part with them, donate them to the library.  But this post is going to be about my two favorites.  They are two that have absolutely nothing in common.

 I ask myself how, if i'm an environmentalist, and i am, can i adore 'Vanity Fair' the way i do?  It's the first on my list of favs.  It's all about materialism.. consumerism.  And worse.. i love the ads the most.  I mean, we're talking some SERIOUS eye candy.  You know what i'm saying if you've ever looked at one.  I'm drawn to those ads like a bee is to honey.  (And yes, i know that expression is as old as the hills.)  The colors, the models, the layout, all of it.  And the models in these print commercials are always rail thin.  They set bad examples for young girls everywhere.  These airbrushed faces and bodies.  The ads all shout 'buy our product!', which of course, is what they're made for.  Thing is, as much as i love looking, i have no desire to buy any of it.  I'm a lookie-loo!  Of course i picture myself a much thinner version of me wearing the Donna Karan.. the Calvin Klein.. the Burberry, etc.  My imagination works overtime.  But to me, these ads are just beautiful candy without calories.  Then i think of the amounts these items cost, and i think bahahahaha!  Never in a million freakin' years would i purchase any of it.  No matter what i could afford.  This frugal Maine Yankee could never do it.  And i can't believe many 'real' women do.  And if they do; they must be deep in the quagmire of debt.  So there really isn't any logic to my love of 'Vanity Fair'.  It feeds my imagination well, though.  It satisfies my girly-girl desire for pretty stuff.  I just don't take it seriously.  Like i like to say often.. imagination is much more fun than logic.  And i stand by that statement.  :)

My 'second' favorite.. which is sometimes my first favorite.. it depends on what mood i'm in at the time.. is 'Orion'  It's sort of an environmental journal with a subheading that reads, 'Nature - Culture - Place.  It's hard to put my love of this journal into words.  It's everything that 'Vanity Fair' is not.  'Orion' is NOT a glossy. The pages are magnificently matte!  The cover is always brilliant.  Sometimes gorgeous artwork.. sometimes amazing photography.  And the articles and essays!  Well.. i just can't say enough about those.  The writing is superb.  I never miss an issue.  Ever.  :D  It contains work by some of my most favored writers.  Bill Mckibben, Rick Bass, Janisse Ray, and on and on.  Always well thought out and intelligent.  I don't read this one from cover to cover right away.  I savor it.  Every word is a treasure to be discovered.  And there are NO ADS!  Not a one.  It's the anti- Vanity Fair or Vogue or Bazaar.  Well, i suppose it is trying to sell the idea that we should pay more attention to the world around us, endangered species and cultures, global warming, etc.  But i don't find it preachy in the least.  This past weekend i bought both magazines at the same time.  And i thought to myself.. what a hypocrite.  Seriously.  Took me a couple days to get over that feeling.  Of guilt.  I just decided that VF will be my guilty pleasure.  It's okay if i just look once in awhile, right?  Hah!  I'm a healthy well-adjusted female.  :)  And for a vice (not that it's my only one, mind you,) perusing a materialistic magazine is pretty harmless.  Don't ya think?  And i never have been good at... logic.  I also love to look at 60s era classic gas guzzling cars every so often.  Those are some pretty decent eye candy too.  But i'd never drive or own one.

So that was my dilemma the last few days.  To admit my addiction to a 'bad' mag, or to keep it a secret.  Well, it's certainly no secret now.  My love for pretty is out there for the world to see.  Pretty is in the eye of the beholder after all...And that's it for this Wednesday, the Fourteenth of September, Two Thousand Eleven...

M.. for Magnificent Reading..  :)