Except for:Stating the Obvious

No one and nothing is 100% anything. Relative to ‘nothing’ I’m going out on a limb there because my knowledge and understanding of physics is very limited.

Chromosomally  females are xx and males are xy, yet females produce testosterone and males produce estrogen. Humans are dichotomous. In everything, in every way. Or so I believe.

I will back away slowly from anyone who says they are 100% in anything. There is always an ‘except for…’ As in – personally I hate folk music, except for – Judy Collins, Donovan and a number of Peter, Paul and Mary tunes. This example can be applied to anything.

Hmm, in this little pondering of absolutes I seem to be using a lot of them.

Politics for instance. Using the criteria sane and intelligent, I would be willing to bet no one is 100% liberal or 100% conservative, and if they insist they are then they don’t meet my original criteria. (Well that’s a little judgey now, isn’t it?)

It took me a long time to realize, acknowledge and celebrate that there is no black and white, only shades of grey. And that being dichotomous is one of the great joys of life. (Defining dichotomous as: “If something’s dichotomous, it’s divided into two distinct parts. It can describe a plant whose leaves pair off in opposing buds or anything — a government, a relationship — that has two divisions that are sharply opposed.”

If, at any time, while reading this you say to yourself “She’s contradicting herself,” then Bingo! – you’ve got it.

I could babble on with no end of examples but instead I will ask you to examine your own contradictions; your own dichotomousness – and take pleasure in them, laugh at them, enjoy them. Who knows, you may even re-think them, testing their validity and truth for you.

Not only should we embrace the diversity of the world in general, but embrace the diversity within ourselves.




All the things I do not do

Reading blogs this morning I once again am bemused at all the things I do not do. Ann grilled a pork chop in the rain Sunday. Ann’s recently deceased husband always did the grilling and he swore up and down that you cannot grill in the rain. Ann always thought otherwise and proved it. Okay – I don’t get ‘grilling’, nor do I understand why people like to eat outdoors, especially sitting directly on the ground with food spread out over a blanket or some such. Or people who eat at sidewalk cafes – don’t you just want to grab some food right off their plate as you walk by? I grant you Ann did not eat her pork chop outside, raining you know and all that, but ya know, my father would occasionally cook meat on a charcoal grill out in the yard, and I grant it can smell delicious and also taste delicious, completely different from something cooked inside on a stove but still – why? Especially since I was the one who had to clean that damn grill thingy. All the Brillo in the world was useless against burned to a crisp bar-b-q sauce.

It’s the whole ‘outside’ thing I don’t get, or do. Camping? Sleeping in a tent on the ground? Oh my sweet lord, NO. Oh, no, no, no. As the late great Joan Rivers said “My definition of roughing it is staying in a hotel that doesn’t have room service.” Oh right on, lady, to say the very least.

And my friend Lin, who just came back from a vacation, stayed in a cabin and hiked. What is this hiking stuff? Is it not just walking? I walk, I do not hike. Tho some of the walks I have taken could be called hikes if you define ‘hike’ as a very long walk.

I just looked up ‘hiking’ and found this definition “Hiking is the preferred term, in Canada and the United States, for a long, vigorous walk, usually on trails, in the countryside, while the word walking is used for shorter, particularly urban walks”  I would have thought hiking referred to walking on more vertical than horizontal surfaces. Now I have done some serious vertical walking, both literally and metaphorically, but is seems the location defines the terminology.

Ah, countryside. I don’t do countryside. Miss Lin likes nature – well who doesn’t. I can’t live without trees, something I took for granted until I lived for 4 years in Filthadelphia where there are no trees to speak of.  I spent most of my life in New York City which is chock-a-block with nature, everywhere you look – trees, birds, small animals (and yes, that does include rats, mice and cockroaches), rivers, lakes, waterfalls – all right there in the concrete jungle. I didn’t have to ‘go to the country’ to wallow in nature.

I have no doubt many, if not all, would argue that urban nature is hugely different from countryside nature, but I don’t see it. Besides urban nature is just so much more convenient – you don’t have to travel anywhere to experience it, it’s always right there wherever you are.

I live in an urban/suburban area now. And my view from my third floor windows is – trees! Nothing but trees as far as my eye can see. Unless of course I look down and then there is concrete and cars. This morning, early early I watched some nature from my window. A skinny little squirrel scampering all over the Japanese Dogwood scavenging for food. As skinny as he was the branches aren’t really thick enough to support him very well and I was laughing as he bounced from branch to branch trying to stay upright…so funny


Whoopsie – He’s wondering how the hell did he get upside down

But he did manage to find something to eat in that tree, look close at his front paws…

(If you wanna see the photos larger and in more detail you have to right click and “open in new tab.)

And Yet Again

It is July 25th, the temperature is 86º, the humidity is 65%, the dew point is 73º and the heat index is 93º. It is cloudy and overcast. As befits the external weather the air conditioning is on. And my husband and I sit and shiver even with our hoodies on. 

If we do not glance at the calendar we would declare it a dreary, damp and dank Autumn day. 

         the windows are closed tight
Disconnect-Perception-and-Reality-David-DeWolf         and the sky is grey and dreary
         and it is chilly inside
         and I am wearing a sweater
         my mind registers ‘Winter’
                  in July.
Perception Disconnection.

(© Grace St. Clair July 2015) 

It’s cool and rainy and sticky

and that’s a good description of my mood of late. But that’s another story, or not, or just SOP – whatevs.

If it weren’t for the sticky part, it would be a good day to burrow under the covers and wait for sunshine – of every kind.

It is always amusing that the cats, more often than not, will adopt the same position –

Stressing a bit about the possibility of a complete kitchen renovation. I haven’t gotten the estimate yet but it is going to be a boatload of money and I am so paranoid about spending money,  and being old and poor and winding up living in a discarded refrigerator box on the street and also there is that little part of me that thinks I don’t deserve to have anything nice. And then there is the reality of living in an apartment while a kitchen is being renovated – and that is a big “there’s that”.

And then there is the weather…

It was a dark and stormy

20 minutes. Thunder, lightening (sing with me), far from frightening, with just one blip of power loss, long enough to shut my computer down, and just long enough for me to get some quick pics…

Whee-oo but the wind was whipping –

And the rain was pelting down in torrents –

It went as fast as it came, didn’t do a thing to relieve the heat and the humidity, but who doesn’t enjoy a thunder storm?

Dusting off some of the cobwebs

around here. And as I was typing that headline it occurred to me that ‘cobweb’ is an odd word for a spider web, so of course I had to stop and look that up. If you are wondering, now that I mentioned it,  explanation is HERE.

Now, what was I saying…

I know I always say I hate to cook, and I do, but sometimes I do enjoy the meals I throw together, like last night. Trader Joe’s chicken sausage with sun-dried tomatoes and basil and…the most tasty mish-mash of vegetables. Last week I was sautéing onions to go with my roasted eggplant and I had a boatload of caramelized onion, more than I wanted to use, a Google search turned up the idea that you can freeze them! Sweet!

Last night I steamed some zucchini, while that was working I sautéed some mushrooms, added the (steamed) zucchini to them, popped in my frozen caramelized onions, added a healthy chunk of garlic, a little salt & pepper and let that whole thing sit on a very low flame, flavors mixing and blending, while the sausages cooked. Whee-oo – was that ever good.

Tonight, a  salad with shrimp. But you know there is no such thing as just plain food in my world. I marinate everything. Shrimp are now luxuriating in a bath of olive oil, white wine and 21-Seasoning Salute. Later on, I will drain those puppies and throw them in a hot frying pan, and when done, top our salads with them. It will be delicious. Trust me!

Just as an aside – the shrimp is frozen, from Argentina, $9.99 a pound from Trader Joe’s. The shrimpies look and taste like – shrimpies. I love shrimpies and living in Virginia, you just don’t get fresh shrimpies. Also, if you were wondering, 21-Seasoning Salute is also from Trader Joe’s. If you don’t live near one, you need to move.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we have a meeting with the kitchen renovation guy. Stay tuned for further details.