Friday, June 21, 2013

Porch Prayers

Some mornings
I go to the porch to pray.

Other times
I meet the dawn with poetry
studying the world
from one artist's angle,
and then another.

I pay heed to the bumblebees already at work
their busyness a sharp contrast
to the rabbits nibbling clover,
or the woman sipping coffee.

Then there are the mornings
I close my eyes
shutting out everything
but the sun's warmth on my face,
a golden movie played just for me.

It is tough to say

which of these prayers

draws me closest to God.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Post about the Pickles

Here's what you do, friends.

Buy a regular-sized jar of your favorite dill pickle chips. Then drain off all of the dill juice, reserving about two tablespoons. Mix the reserved dill juice with 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Are you with me so far?

Depending on how hot you like it -- and you like it hot, don't you? -- add to the liquid a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (or more, if you're feeling spicy). In my mind, you are especially zesty people.

Pour this hot mess back into the pickle jar with the pickles. Shake it well (uh, shake the jar, too), and refrigerate. If you can resist (you probably can't; we've all been there) give the pickles a couple of days to absorb the new flavors. This is when the magic happens.

Once a month, you will thank me. Oh, yes. You will.

Tossing aside that empty, crumpled bag of mini chocolate donuts, you will head for your fridge and grab the jar of spicy pickles.
You will stand at the kitchen counter in your "Honey Badger Don't Care" t-shirt, and you will eat the pickles straight from the jar with a fork -- or maybe your fingers -- because no one would dare correct you this time of month.

Like you, the pickles are a little sweet, a little tart, and just the right amount of spicy.

You might eat 10 pickles. You might eat 58 of them. It doesn't matter. You are zen.

Your children will run into the kitchen to tell you things that children tell you in the loud way that children tell them -- but you will simply raise your pickle-soaked finger and and give them The Look. Because they are bright children who recognize The Look, or because they learned bear safety tips from the Discovery Channel, they will quietly back out of the kitchen and leave you to your pickles.

When your husband spies you at the counter with the jar of pickles, this will be a sign unto him that he is to run far and run fast and not return without a chocolate malt. If he is very, very lucky, you will maybe forget for five or 10 minutes that you hate his face.

Caught up in pickle euphoria, you will not remind him of that thing he did that one time. Or that you know he doesn't watch Giada De Laurentiis for her cooking.

Whatever. Giada can suck it because she never made pickles like this.

Forget that no one else in your house knows how to change a toilet paper roll. Block out the ball game blaring from the TV room. Who cares that your children are blaming each other for eating the last Klondike bar? Laugh quietly to yourself because you ate it. It's okay; you deserved it.

This is your time. These are your pickles. Carpe diem and all that crap.

But where the hell is your husband with that malt? That's just like him, considering he did that one thing that one time. And who left their dirty socks on the kitchen floor? And dammit, are you the ONLY one who knows how to put a dish in the dishwasher?!

Sigh. Thank you, anyway, 58 pickle chips. It was nice while it lasted. Maybe you can lick some of the chocolate from the donut bag.