We added another hen to our flock, a cull from another flock across town. This one is also a golden-laced Wyandott but she is altogether darker than Violet; we’ve named her Dahlia (which we liked better then Waffle, her previous name). All of our “flowers” are prospering, still enjoying daily run of the backyard, grass, worms, bugs, seeds, and household leftovers. In return, a clutch of eggs for the house, and companionship. There’s nothing like a chicken looking in the door at you and asking for food to make you feel wanted.
I had been making crafty gifts to sell at Sunday’s craft fair at Temple Israel, and so looking forward to it, but I caught Fabienne’s cold and am still in the middle. Since the sale is tomorrow, I would have spent today baking and labeling, but instead I’m drinking tea in my bathrobe and reading old National Geographics and wishing I could bake and label. Oh, well. Clearly the Universe is telling me to chill out. So I chill.
I’m not much for television, but I did watch a little Food Network yesterday and mildly enjoyed Paula Deen and Rachel Ray and Giada de Laurentiis. I think I liked Giada the most and Rachel the least — but cooking is fun and it’s nice to watch masters (mistresses) at work. I wish they’d say “I’m gonna compost this” and that they’d use the “unpretty” parts of vegetables — I saw Giada throw away half of some scallions that were perfectly usable — they could have a stock pot for vegetable bits or a compost bucket somewhere, but nope, not very green, any of it. Rachel Ray was serving veal, which I have never eaten and never will, and a truckload of garlic, which I don’t eat too much. Paula was very entertaining and I loved her homey accent and cheerful count of how many sticks of butter she had used thus far, but I couldn’t eat like that and I don’t think anyone should, really. Talk about gilding the lily.
So there’s my assessment of the only daytime TV I could stand to watch — aside from a little PBS international news. That was also instructive — to remind me how many people there are in the world, and those on the edge of poverty don’t give a rat’s ass about composting or recycling; they just want to get by. It is terribly alarming, actually, looking at numbers in China and India, where people who drove rickshaws and bicycles now drive cars that need gas and spew exhaust — the smog, pollution, toxins, fuel consumption and other issues are just frightening. And then I go get into my car and tool around town buying stuff and playing chauffeur, and how is that any different? It isn’t.
So many troubles in the world. [deep sigh]
I’m not the sickest I’ve ever been — the Swine Flu 18 months ago was the worst — but when I have a snootly-sneezy cold, I ought not to be in the kitchen handling food. On the counter is a bowl of tomatoes asking to be made into sauce, and a bag of apples that really want to become a pie, a cake and some muffins. I hear their little voices calling me, and I can’t answer — wait a few days, I think, but the fruit flies race for another meal, and pretty soon it will all end as chicken feed. So I feel a little sense of urgency to recuperate. And I would have liked to have done that craft fair, dang it, because I have the stuff to sell, and that was gonna be our Christmas budget, and instead we’ll have to reach deeper and find more pennies and resources. Disappointing, to say the least, and the table fee is non-refundable.
Well, that’s the way of it sometimes. Happy weekend to you, and start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas and how to stay warm and be jolly. If jolly’s what you do.
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward.
Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others.
Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.
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