My Chili Attempt

Perhaps some of you remember my Oven Saga where I survived without an oven for 4 months and only one stovetop burner for 6 years. The culinary arts are not my forte, and I blame the ineptitude on my childhood. When I was growing up, we had a garden, but everything else came out of a box or can. I never learned to cook.

But I try.

To fill some of my new free time due to my writing break,  I decided to make chili. How hard can chili be?

You might also remember my post about how I learn by Failure. This approach to life I also attribute to my childhood and my dad’s tendency to jump into projects high on enthusiasm and low on planning. That’s me. So here goes:

First I defrost the lamb burger (acquired from a local farm). Add it to the skillet with some chopped onion and fresh garlic, and since the only pepper I have is an orange bell pepper, in goes the orange bell pepper. Good so far.

Everything is cooking nicely, so it’s time to add the tomatoes and tomato paste, but I don’t have any. Uh oh. It’s already time to improvise. I rummage around in the cupboard and… aha! I have some canned tomato bisque soup! So in goes the tomato soup. It’s a little thin, but I can doctor that up. Just you watch.

Add the kidney beans. Check.

Now, I sent my husband to the store last week for chili powder, and he brought home two little jars of red stuff. “Chili Powder” the jar says. I scrounge in the cabinet, grab the jar of red stuff, and a jar of coriander seasoning. No cumin, oh well. I add coriander and open the jar of the red stuff, scoop some into the skillet and taste test.

Hmmm. Doesn’t taste very chili-ish. So I add some more. Tastes sort of odd, not bad, just… different. Hmmm.

To counter the lack of chili taste, I add garlic powder and more coriander. Still not right. Add more chili powder. Then I notice the label – Red Curry Powder. He got two jars of red stuff, but only one was chili powder! Now, what to do? The answer is obvious. Dump in a huge helping of chili powder and garlic powder to counteract the red curry powder.

All the powder is starting to thicken up the tomato bisque soup nicely. I told you I could doctor it up!

Add a little garlic bread (made with bagels because I’m out of bread) and the husband said it was good!

ALL TRUE!

Guest author: D. Wallace Peach – Room to Breathe

I’m honored to guest post over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo today. If you have the time, stop over to say hi. ❤

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Photo: Sue Vincent

I’m delighted to guest blog today on Sue’s wonderful Daily Echo. I’m sitting in my recliner looking up, wondering what to write. There’s a ten-foot long spider web hanging from the ceiling fan to the beam over my head, gently blowing with the heat circulating around the room. Tapestries of cobwebs grace the corners of the high windows that I can’t reach without a ladder. More delicate threads crisscross the Christmas star that I never took down – from 3 years ago. I kid you not.

When my grandson was 2 years old, he said the house was “spooky.” I laughed but didn’t whisk them away despite the cute commentary.

It feels good to sit and stare for a few minutes, to breathe and relax and study the floating web and the way it catches the light.

I’ve been writing full-time for seven years and blogging…

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SULLY AWARD COMPETITION NOW OPEN!

If you haven’t visited Mike Allegra’s blog Hey Look a Writer Fellow, now is the time to do it.

Mike is running a writing competition until March 28. It’s free to enter, there’s a max of 200 words on just about anything, and there is a cashlike prize. BUT best of all, the winner will receive the Sully Award – a pink Salamander doodled by Mike.

His doodles are highly coveted. I kid you not.

I recommend giving it a go. Comments are closed here, so just hop over there and check out his post for all the details. His blog is pretty funny, so if you don’t want to compete, you might visit anyway for a laugh or two.

Happy Writing!

Oregon Moss

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The moss in the Oregon rainforest is magical.

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I discovered it during my first spring here when it rained 29 days straight.

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It grows on almost anything and the varieties are astonishing.

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On my fence, I find elfin gardens and green seascapes.

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The alders are adorned with brittle beards growing on air and rain.

frontyard8-dianapeach-jpgThe stumps of long-dead forest giants sprout with tufts of feathery growth.

Spring is coming. So is the Moss!

My Holidays Limerick

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My Holidays Limerick

A cold has me stuffed in the sack
How I sniffle, I sneeze and I hack
The laptop is dusty
Inspiration is fusty
Yet, it feels mighty grand to be back

Oh, the holiday season was fun
Though I’m gleeful the chaos is done
Bye family and friends
Eating fudge had to end
Or we’d all end up weighing a ton

Saint Nick wanted cookies this year
And carrots to feed his reindeer
But Grampy was fast
The treats didn’t last
No cookies for Santa, I fear

You might get a laugh or a shock
To hear we got mittens and socks
A boy named Tornado
Got Legos and Play-Dough
All wrapped in a colorful box

New Years was dreadfully lame
No fireworks bursting in flame
No bubbly or wine
I was snoring by nine
All sickly and achy and tame

The blog suffered scarcely a peek
Between games of hide-and-go-seek
I was tempted to read
But the days passed with speed
And they rapidly turned to weeks!

No, I didn’t prep one single post
of which I can merrily boast
I finished draft two
A feat that will do
Now to blogging or my butt is toast

To my pals in the wide blogosphere
I wish you world peace and good cheer
The blessings of health
In friendship great wealth
And a bountiful, happy new year

This poem was inspired by cough medicine that made me a little loopy. I pre-scheduled it for JUNE and wondered why it didn’t post this morning.

I have a ton of catching up to do! It’s going to take me a bit, but I’ll be over to say “hi” soon. 🙂

Tornado Boy

The Real Tornado Boy

Love, Gratitude, and Friendship

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love that we don’t give presents, only our presence.

In lieu of my usual post, I invite you into my secret garden

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These are some fall photos of my yard, taken on my ancient camera.

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The last brave roses are still in bloom

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And the grape vines are really this ridiculous, glorious color!

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Of course, this wonderfall color has submitted to the rain.

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When the leaves fall, many of the trees are covered in silver moss that looks like snow

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And my doorbell. Did I mention that dragons live here?
(Ignore the cobwebs.  Clearly, spiders live here too).

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May your day, wherever you are in the world, grow a peaceful garden of love, gratitude, and friendship.

Happy Thanksgiving

I’m traveling for a few days. See you soon.

The Power of Fear

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“Fear,” the man said. “Fear has long, fine fingers.”

Grigor Phelan found fear intriguing, full of subtleties, an art form one contemplated because nothing of its shape or color or texture was what it appeared. Fear spanned a spectrum from the subtle edge of respect to unbounded terror, and he was most attracted to what lay in between, in the murky hues of human sentiment. He was charmed by the guises of fear, how it hid itself from its host, how it crouched on the rim of consciousness. Like a child’s kaleidoscope, fear proved changeable, multi-faceted, and often lovely as it turned. It might wear the face of generosity or compassion, decency or loyalty, adoration or threat. It could be manipulated by the most benign of words or actions, or pace like a wolf at the edge of a nightfire, seeking a way in.  (Myths of the Mirror)

***

Few will deny that fear is a powerful force. I wrote the above words as the puppeteers geared up for the invasion of Iraq. Fear was the weapon of choice to convince otherwise rational adults to ignore facts and engage in some shock and awe. The Oxford Research Group estimates that 6,700 civilian men, women, and children died during those 3 weeks of “awe.”

Fear is empowering. We all know that invoking the “other” unites us, fires our collective will, and rallies our troops. How thrilling to identify a monster, threaten to lay it low, and scream our slogans. If you want to unite a people behind you, find a common enemy – a racial or ethnic group, a religion or gender, lifestyle or point of view. All other problems, all other responsibilities, every other option falls away.

Few are impervious to fear’s influence, though some are bolder, braver, and willing to see beyond the lurid illusions. No matter how one felt about Barrack Obama’s policies, it’s hard to deny the remarkable fortitude, dignity, and grace he exhibited while facing eight years of fear-based racism, bigotry, smears, and lies. The baseness of the attacks brought a whole nation to a standstill. They accomplished nothing and served no one, least of all the fearful.

Peace, unity, and progress require hard work. Fear is easy. It does away with the pesky time-consuming need for listening, dialog, collaboration, and compromise. It requires no research, no curiosity, no empathy, no diligence, no ethics, no time, no compassion, no truth. It’s so much easier to lay blame, to hide behind righteousness, to repeat the lies, to say what others want to hear, to feed and fan the flames until it becomes the norm for political discourse and cements walls of cynicism and suspicion in place.

Fear is ravenous. It claims those who wield it and makes them slaves to their own words and actions. Few who have unleashed the monster will risk the backlash should they try stuff it back in its cage. Once the beast is fed, it’s safer to keep feeding. Who would have thought kindness requires such courage.

Today, the US votes. I hope that we as a nation aren’t ensnared in fear’s talons. I hope we can stuff it back behind the bars and elect leaders who will knuckle under and start the tremendously hard work of finding solutions to the massive problems riddling our country and the world. This is serious business with lives at risk, real lives that depend on our leaders to stand up against fear and proceed with, at the very least, mutual respect.

What wonders we could achieve if we believed in the power of love.

My one political post for the year. Thanks for listening ❤

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