Cancer Calling

I knew when I looked at the caller ID.  Before I even hit the decline button. I didn’t want to hear those ugly words come out of anyone’s mouth.

Of course there was a message …We got the report back today… You need to call. I hit the delete message.

Voicemail/caller ID/merge calls…all this technology designed to enhance phone communication sometimes works at cross purposes with Humans.

I  think about how to dismantle this feature.

I pour some wine. Cut a pain pill in half. My jaw is still aching from the abscessed tooth. And promptly fall into a dreamless sleep.

The next day I call. No answer. I leave a message on the voicemail that no one ever listens too.

I continue with my day. Busying myself with all kinds of move related tasks. Dropping off clothes at a Baptist church clothes bank… someone will be happy with these cute dresses with tags still on them, shoes worn once still in the box, purses just like they came from the store paper wadded inside.

I think they call it a shopping addiction. I call it retail therapy. It seems to fill some void I have had this summer. But my new life cannot handle all this excess so I happily give it to the church.

Next stop Salvation army. Men just waking file out the door. One directs me to the office. The smell of urine and maleness  is strong in the dimly lit hallway. The worker who welcomes me is genuinely happy to see me.  I load her arms with comforters, pillows and almost new sheets. She thanks me warmly. I leave.

On to the hip upscale trendy part of town. Ironically, only a few blocks away from the seedy army of salvation. The owner of the upscale consignment shop greets me cheerfully. We have talked and she is anxious to see my wares…The mid century Swedish folding rope chairs I bought 20 years ago. They are worth $800 each. I have 4. They are in excellent condition. How much do I want for them. She is excited to have such a find in her little shop. She can see the dollar signs. Where do I sign. I just want to sell them and move on. They are a reminder of a time when monetarily my life was good but otherwise bad.

The phone rings. The caller ID flashes their name. It is their legal name.  Not the familiar one.  Too emotion engendering. I take a long deep breath.

I watch the squealing ancient coal cars scream past my car. I wonder what it would be like to disappear among those fast moving cars now. To be taken away from the insistent ring of this cell phone. Whisked away in a snarling, screeching mess of iron and steel. Destination unknown.

I hit the accept button.

 

Poised on the Precipice

5am and I’m soaking in the too short tub Again

Me and Kem and My thoughts

Swishing swirling like waves

I watched today in the Chesapeake bay.

Summer almost half gone.

feeling unsettled anxious afraid?

Poised on the precipice of something/somewhere.

Exciting/ unknown

Unknowable/ Unrealized

Writing taking flight.

Book deal.
Blog.
Canada sponsorship.
Offer for lecturer @ Univ.

Everything you hoped for

and more baby girl

So why don’t I sleep?

Why

Am I and

my Twitter

insomniac comrads

doing yoga sleep moves

at 3am.

Where is the great love

I wished for

Chanted for

Prayed to Allah/God for.

Friends mostly male

Listen distractedly

They don’t know what

it means to be Black,

Female, 60+, in these Times

Even the select few

the Circle

I have let into

My Secret World

Don’t really comprehend Me

Girlfriends I don’t have many

Concerned with menopause

Failing health weight gain

Why are all the men in prison or way down Low

Gurl you are blessed what you complaining for?

I reply yes I know

and pour

another glass of Wine

Is this what 60 plus is really for.

Memories/regrets/ half lives lived.

Wanna be happy

Wanna Really smile.

We women wear the mask that

Hides and smiles.

Tired of frowning fretting brooding raging

Eating my feelings at 3am

Good black still cracks and gets fat.

You’re so funny

Can make everyone laugh

The tears of a clown are just that

So talented

so thin

look at that Smile

…Got good genes

even the physician scribes.

Ask Robin Williams,Anthony Bourdain, Phyllis Hyman, Donnie Hathaway Gerald Levert

Lt. Steven Nettles…thank you for your service/Your UnwaveringFriendship

All gone before their time

How does it feel to have a graveyard

For a friend?

Bath water so warm

murmurs hush.

Be still.

Peace
Be still.

The one you seek has yet to be born.

Guess I’ll see you next lifetime

…may Be a Butterfly.

(Love and Light!)

SUMMERTIME…and the livin’ is…

C’mon singalong, you know the rest.

…Easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.  Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good -lookin’. So hush, little baby, don’t you cry. (Ella Fitzgerald)

Well, Memorial Day, the unofficial start of Summer is behind us and although the calendar has not fully reached the ‘official’ start of summer, many of us sun worshippers are in attack mode.

The weather is appropriately hot/humid, mosquitos are abuzzing, flowers are drooping, grass is dying, ice cream trucks are a dingalinging, honeysuckle blossoms perfume the air, long lazy days/ hot, heavy nights, wet swimsuits/towels drying on the porch, lazy afternoons in the hammock/Adirondack, Vacation days circled, car packed with surfboards, jet skis unearthed from garage, crab nets cleaned, sun hat/sunshades and suntan lotion packed (yes, Virginia, people of color burn…just takes longer to get through that God given melanin). free movies/concert on the beach/river/town center lawn, charcoal grills ablaze and starry, whisper filled nights spent out on the patio/front porch.

All over the country, people are making the transition from spring to summer and the memories that I have are probably not to different from yours.

Girl, I dunno…you have some weird stuff going on in your life.

It IS time to slow down. Take a break. Leave the hustle and bustle of our technological, I am not a Robot filled lives.  Time to dress lighter, eat healthier, drink sensibly (except h2o, beer, tequila and wine…got to stay hydrated), and for once, truly marvel at the World around us.

The question Reader is how many of you have taken the summer plunge? And how many of you are still in everyday rush, rush, type A, can’t get it all done mode?  No, I’m not advocating wholesale abandonment of your job.  That would be foolish, reckless and a chance for another country to come in and take over…start producing all our goods, buying up all our real estate, outsourcing all our jobs…oops, Damn, that’s already happening…

What I am advocating is that you devote some time in the next 2 months to an activity ( be it solo/with a partner/family) that conjures up/recreates memories from your own childhood.  Some pleasurable memory/experience that means summer to you.  What is that, you ask?

Well, in my best soothing yoga voice, Relax.  Remember a time when life was simple and uncomplicated. When summer meant playing outside with your best friends for hours stopping only for a quick glass of  ice cold lemonade and a baloney sandwich.  Roaming the neighborhood like an Explorer in a Foreign Land squashing beetles, capturing butterflies/ladybugs and swatting mosquitos along the way. Jumping rope, hopscotch, hide and go seek, Marbles, dodge ball, softball, stickball. Kicking rocks. Begging for money for the ice cream man, and  please can we get wet with the garden hose … staying out until the streetlights came on. All because it was Summertime!

Would love to hear your memories in the Comment section below. Love and Light!

HOT JAM

Some like it hot.

Boy, there so many ways I could go with that opening. But lets keep it PG for now. I’m referring to my penchant for hot, spicy foods.

No doubt, I inherited the gene from my dad’s side of the family. I still marvel at his 10+year old jar of peppers and vinegar aging in the kitchen cabinet, which he sprinkles liberally on just about everything he eats.

Must explain why he is approaching 94 in remarkably good health. And still drives, watches TV/ reads without glasses,takes the stairs,  refuses a cane even though he has arthritis in his knees, and has mastered email, searching, Skype and how to delete the history ( just in case snooping relatives are using his prized pc). But I digress.

The subject of this post is not my IwasaBuffalosoldier father, but rather hot foods and more specifically, hot peppers.

Many of you know, thanks to Dr.Oz and other health promoters, that capsicum is widely believed to be a “cure for much-of-what-ails- you.”

Hot peppers,particularly, are touted as a good source of Vitamins A,B, C, and high in potassium, magnesium, and iron.

A number of studies show a correlation between a person’s intake of foods containing capsicum and the decreased risk of certain cancers and diabetes.

Hmph.. I knew this child had a paralegal background, but now she  done gon and got some medical learning!

At any rate, as part of my quest to eat healthy, I have long satisfied my need for hot, spicy foods by cooking with a variety of peppers; selecting the starred** items on the Chinese, Mediterranean, Carribbean, and Indian restaurant menus, and, of course, growing peppers in my beloved jardin.

This summer’s bounty was unrivaled after I found some varieties of peppers beyond my usual habanero, jalapeño, and Serrano staples on a trip to No VA. I returned with a box of healthy seedlings that included: Tabasco, super hot chili, and a habanero guaranteed to light your fire.

I planted these among my perennials because the soil was richer in that area and it received the most sunlight (a few went in pots). Within 2 months, the Tabasco and Hottest Habanero had turned into 2 foot bushes and by August, were producing bucketfuls of these hot gems.

I decided to freeze some of the brightly colored heat bringers so I could use them in the winter and also experiment with some pepper recipes, namely hot jam and Tabasco sauce.( My foray into jam making thanks to my co-foodie JB aka flyboy was documented in my previous year’s blog).

A pic is worth a thousand words. The habaneros became  Pineapple mango hot jelly spread, and the tabascos that took the form of a science project (fermenting them for 30 days in a jar with salt/water in a dark cabinet) resulted in a hot sauce so hot I am almost afraid to eat it!

A few hardy friends and family received these treats for Christmas gifts. Most of them are used to getting my to-die-for banana bread and/or lemon blueberry bread as gifts, but this year I thought I would stimulate their palate and help ward off the Big “C” and”D” so pervasive among our community.

Dad even remarked on my last visit that… Its good on bread and chicken and everything ! When are you making some more?

Bon appetite, Readers

 

 

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