Friday, June 25, 2010

Haiku State of Mind

Morning's first coffee;
 a cup of inspiration
in my writing hands.

It's dragging me down -
this chapter, unexpected;
the tunnel light, dim. 

The struggle is hard,
but the reward is myself;
soul cracked, not broken. 

Cold, creamy, tangy,
graham cracker crust, crumbly;
key lime pie - yummy!

Brown, papered table;
hot, steamed crabs, cold beers, mallet -
unrestrained pleasures.

Shirts cling, wet armpits -
the smell of summer's perfume;
money can't pay for.

Skin peels off scorching
hot, leather seat; beads of sum-
mer sweat, abandoned.

The sound of magic
lures me; pocket full of change,
sweetness on a stick.

The shade of a tree,
a fly-swatting tail, and the
taste of summer grass.

Driving away from
her, six weeks of camp - dress re-
hearsal for college.

Dragonflies - river
dancers; quiet observer,
enjoying the show.

Patio seating
available; ice cold beer,
good food and laughter.

(photo credit - Leslie Morrissette)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why Does Everything Taste Better On, or In the Form of a Stick?

I don't know if you are familiar with Terra Chips.  They are "potato" chips made out of root vegetables, such as sweet potato, yuca, and parsnip, to name a few.  I think beet juice is used for coloring.  Afterall, part of the attraction is the contrast of colors - the red, the orange, and the golden brown.  It would not be nearly as fun to eat,  if all the chips were the same color.

Some people don't care for Terra Chips.  Personally, I could eat the whole bag, just like I could eat a whole bag of regular potato chips.  I try to keep potato chips (and any imposters) out of my house, for that very reason.  For me, it's all about the crunchy texture and the salty flavor.

Recently, though, I found myself in the chip aisle at the nearby Whole Foods. 
I had been having a "crunchy snack" craving for over a week, and I knew that I had to approach this problem from a tactical point of view -

           Get in, get out - get on with my life.

In other words, buy the bag of chips, dive right in (enjoying every bite), and deal with the consequences later.  At least, since I was at Whole Foods, I was hoping to find something that was not as fattening and unhealthy as regular potato chips. 

That is when I stumbled upon Terra STIX. 

For some reason, I love anything that comes in the form of a stick.  Remember those potato sticks that come in the cylindrical container, with the plastic, peel-off lid?  LOVE those!

Potato      chips      are      good. 
Potato sticks?   EVEN BETTER. 

Remember the corndogs on a stick that they used to serve in the school cafeteria?  I think they still serve the corndogs.  I doubt they still serve them on a stick, however.  Though I don't remember anyone ever getting injured from their corndog stick, apparently, it is much too unsafe for today's sheltered children.

At my favorite Chinese restaurant, as an appetizer, you can order beef, chicken, shrimp, or salmon..........................ON A STICK!  My kids LOVE these. 

Nothing beats the Renaissance Festival, though.  I am not a big fan of the massive turkey drumsticks that some people like to tear into with their teeth, like some uncivilized rogue, but............................cheesecake on a stick?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

So, I bought the bag of Terra Stix, and wow, were they good.  I say "were", but there is still one-third of the bag left, which technically means one-half of the bag, since the other third was full of air.  So, since I ate one- half the bag, that means I ate the equivalent of four servings.  One serving equals one-hundred and fifty calories.

You do the math.

Of course, that does not include the Corona that came (complimentary) with the meal.  Though, I normally do not associate calories with anything that comes in a liquid form (denial), and it could have been worse.  I could have eaten the whole bag.  I'll save the other half for yet another day, when I cannot resist the temptation. 

In the meantime, MY dinner has been taken care of, but what do I feed the kids?

(Leslie Morrissete - photo credit)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

No Hurry to Leave, and Nowhere I'd Rather Be.

Everyone has a favorite coffee cup.
It may be because of the way that it fits, perfectly, in your hands.
It may be the shape of the handle, or the amount of coffee that it holds.
Or, it may be the story behind how it came into your life.

Driving around the bend, it is within sight.
My favorite little vacation coffee spot.
I pull into the parking lot, lightly spilled over with gravel. 
I can feel the "bump, bump" and hear the slight scraping of the rocks, underneath the tires.

As I place the car into park, I can feel the anticipation of pleasure.     

Adirondack chairs garnish the small, grass-covered front yard,
   as well as the charming front porch.
As my sister and I climb the short set of stairs that lead to the entrance,
   I hear the familiar sound of the front door, squeaking open and shut;
happy customers walking out with their drink-filled cups and pastries, in hand.

Once inside,
I experience the pleasure of the simultaneous aromas of books and coffee.
There is a little sitting area to my left,
adorned with inviting chairs and comfy pillows;
and, people - sipping their morning drinks of choice, chatting with friends,
or wrapped up in the pages of a paper-bound story.

The line extends all the way to the door.

But, that is okay.

There is no hurry to leave, and nowhere I'd rather be.

As I stand in line, I glance over the books,
soaking in the titles and the artwork that adorn the front covers.
I reach the front of the line, and order my iced cafe latte.
I love that they serve it over crushed ice.

Growing up, there was a fast food restaurant called, Burger Chef. 
I used to love going there with my family. 
My sister and I would sit at the two-person table with the swivel chairs.
Our legs, barely long enough to reach the floor,
   we would swivel until our heart's content, as we ate our "fun meals".
A "fun meal" came with a burger, fries
a packet of cookies, and a prize.

And, a soda that was served over CRUSHED ICE.

I pick up my latte from the counter, grab a straw,
and give the books one last glance-over.
Passing the sitting room, I exit through the same squeaky door. 
My sister and I walk down the stairs, and in the direction of our usual spot -
   a shop lined boardwalk that overlooks the sound.
Along the way, we soak in the hidden oasis -
on the backside of the coffee house, there is a life-filled pond,
bordered in tall cattails and grasses.

A window, with an awning, overlooks the pond.  
Inside the coffeehouse, it is the room
with the best view - the bathroom.  

During the short walk to the sound, I am aware of everything: 
the sound of my flip flops on the wooden walkway,
the blue color of the sky,
the smell of the fresh, sea air,
the feel of the ocean breeze on my skin,
and my sister's company.

We settle down in two Adirondack chairs,
in what we feel is the perfect spot. 
Just as the seagull (who has decided to join us),
we perch our feet on top of the railing,
and with the warmth of the sun, shining down on our faces,
we sit with our coffee drinks, and enjoy.

There is no hurry to leave, and nowhere else we'd rather be.         

Duck's Cottage
Duck, North Carolina

Leslie Morrissette, Photo Credit

Friday, June 4, 2010

We Must Not be Talking About the Same Thing

"Neuter - to remove the testicles or ovaries of an animal." (Encarta Dictionary)


      I was standing in my kitchen the other day, suddenly finding myself in the month of June.  With school winding down,  my thoughts were shifting toward those upcoming summer projects - you know, the ones that you put off until summer, because you think THAT is when you will have the time to do them?   

Unfortunately, for my dog, Charlie, one of those projects involves taking away his "manhood", otherwise known as getting him neutered or, as some like to refer to it -
                                             "snip, snip". 

As if he were reading my mind, my youngest son walked into the room and asked,

          "Did Charlie get his 'you know what', yet?"

           "Funny you should ask!  I was just thinking about that," I responded. "Not yet." 

           "Can I give it to him, then?" he inquired. 

           "What???" I asked. 


           "You know," he said. "Can I give him his T - R - E - A - T ?"

I laughed.  I LAUGHED, and I laughed.

        "I thought you were talking about something else," I responded.  "I already gave him his        T - R - E - A - T."

            "What did you think I was talking about?" he asked.

             "You know," I said.  "Snip, snip."

             "Ohhh!" he said.  "Well, he does need that, too, but maybe wait awhile.  I like it when it's a little bit longer."

             "HUHHH????" I asked. 

Once again,

             "I like it when it's longer, especially around his eyes," he announced.

When I realized that he was talking about a haircut, I laughed.
 I LAUGHED, and I LAUGHED...........................................and I laughed.

              "What's so funny this time???" he asked.

              "That's not the kind of 'snip, snip' I was referring to. I was talking about getting him neutered," I explained. 

               "Ohhhh," he said.  "OOOHHHHhhhhhhhhhh!"

As the humor of the conversation caught up to him, suddenly, the only one NOT laughing.........................................was the dog.