Category Archives: RETIREMENT

Incidental Aging Revisited

The physics of it all have had their way with me

I notice in the mirror and the photos that I see

What the hell is that?

What happened to my face?

My hands look like my Mother’s

I see it’s now a race

to see who ages first

to see who ages best

But I’m learning to accept it

along with all the rest

It’s not a cause for shame

It’s not a cause for blame

The lines and sags are signs of life

I gratefully concede

the price we pay for living long

for living strong

for living without greed

I’d rather take it gracefully

if you would ask

than end up like a static, plastic,

sad and desperate mask

fullsizeoutput_154f

 

 

Silly Side of Dark or the Dark Side of Silly

So, take a look at the bright side

Is what she recently said

Just means it might be sooner, not later, 

     that you’re gonna be dead

Shake out those forever thoughts

     you’ve built up in your head

There are songs to be sung

     there are books to be read

Leave it for awhile; all the hope and the dread

Now could be the day for the silly instead

The dark side of humor

Can be found to be kind

It helps to see finally

     that it’s all in your mind

For me, there’s some comfort 

     in accepting the sad

And often the good stuff 

     will outweigh the bad

Not Dull

In spite of the challenges and troubles life can bring

(and sometimes because of those)

My life is good

And I know it…

but….

Sometimes I know it

and some days I actually feel it

Today I know it AND I feel it

Not as something intangible,

but as something distinct and formed

and settled…

for now,

image_b9f842a2-7d25-40d8-82b1-64fea5fa88d4.img_0128That joy has gotten through

whatever it is it needed to get through

to get to me

                                   It’s nice.

 

Soup in August

I feel like I’m getting a handle on what herbs and spices work together to make a delicious soup.  You can add almost any vegetable to round out the flavor.  It’s all about being  a “minestrone” which means, you can use what ever vegetables you have and amounts are flexible!

Here is what I’ve come up with for a milder seasoning.                                                         (I use more of the spicy stuff for chili):

2 teaspoons of Chile Lime Seasoning Blend (Trader Joe’s)

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/4 teaspoon Umami Seasoning Blend (Trader Joe’s – Mushroom & Company)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground fennel

1/4 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 Bay leaf

I mix these up and add them in layers because I read somewhere that it helps the flavors blend.

For the actual soup:

First I sauté (in water or broth) a cup or so of onions along with stalk or two of celery (including some of the leafy part).

Once this cooks a bit, I add in about a cup of the broth and sprinkle in some of the spice mixture, then I add in a couple of carrots and a sweet pepper — sometimes red, sometimes green and sometimes a mix.

Next comes a 16 oz can of diced tomato –  I add a teaspoon or so of sugar to mellow this out — it’s still good without the sugar, though.

Then I add in some kidney beans (white and red) or any kind of beans I have on hand.

For variety, I sometimes include a cup or so of red lentils.

After I add in each item, I sprinkle a little more of the spice mix.

After adding in the beans, I pour in the rest of the broth.  I use about 16 ounces of

low-sodium vegetable broth and about a cup or so of water.  Then I add in the bay leaf.

After the soup simmers for about 20 minutes, I add in sliced zucchini and a cup of peas and a cup of corn — anything that needs less time to soften.

After another 30 minutes, it’s blended and ready to go.

Ingredient list for the soup:

1 16-oz box of vegetable broth

1 cup of water

1 cup diced onion

2 stalks celery

2 carrots

1 sweet pepper 

1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes

2  15-ounce cans of beans

1 cup corn

1 cup peas

1 cup red lentils

1 zucchini sliced (green or yellow – or both)

P.S.  One thing I like about retirement is that it’s so great to have TIME to cook.  It’s kind of therapeutic and fun — and being retired, means I can take my time and I like that!

img_0397

 

Playing with Pencils and Colors ✏️ 🖍

If it’s not worth doing it badly

Is it even worth doing today?

Can I struggle and play and discuss it?

Without getting lost in the fray?

Might have to be willing to fail

Might have to be willing to fall

Who Knows? but I’m playing

with pencils

and colors

as if it doesn’t matter at all

 

ll.

 

Can Hardly Wait 🍅

The garden is so amazing to see

A bit like a miracle — to me

From raspberries on cornflakes

Fresh from the garden

To green beans–Italian–for dinner

And a tomato is ripening as we look on

And it seems like zucchini will suddenly be

And it is

Just like magic

To me

Mixed-up Meatloaf

Being retired means I can take my time and create something good to eat and relaxing to prepare. For example, this made-up meditative meatloaf mishmash.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cream of rice (uncooked)

Small chopped zucchini 🥒🍆

1/2 orange pepper 

Stalk of celery – diced

One small diced carrot🥕

About a 1/2 cup of chopped onion

1/2 cup of panko crumbs ( I used gluten-free) bread 🍞

Two tablespoons of ground golden flax seed 🥄

About a cup of diced mushrooms

Two sliced mushrooms for topping

Teaspoon of chives for topping

Two teaspoons coconut aminos 🥥 (I use Trader Joe’s)

One pound ground turkey

SPICES: about 1/8 tsp each of salt, pepper, paprika; 1/4 tsp each of thyme, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, ground fennel seed; a teaspoon of chopped chives from garden (dried for a couple of days on counter)                                                  🌿 🌿🌯

Lightly sauté onions, celery, carrots, pepper, mushrooms and zucchini. Just to soften a bit.

Mix it all up–spice and everything else.

Fold into casserole dish. Top with sliced mushrooms, chives and about two teaspoons of coconut aminos– if you feel like it.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  From what I gather from other people’s recipes, 160-165 degrees is the temperature to shoot for.  

Ingredients are pictured above.  

Second photo shows the loaf before baking.  

A bite is missing from the third photo – had to try it after baking in case it didn’t pan out but it did pan out — I liked it!

Aw, nuthin’




So odd
Yet,
In a way,
Not so odd

So discontentedly satisfied
So patiently agitated
So freely mitigated
So subversively brave

So intensely moderated
For the flag that I wave

Am I 
standing short 
as someone
who I can imagine
as enough
as is

So extremely vigilant
So hyper-attenuated
So assertively meek

So sublimely uncertain
For the purpose I seek

I am

Instead

Foreword

I’m just not in love with forewords to books.

I want to read the book itself not what someone I don’t even know thinks about it.

This might mean I’m not intellectual enough. But sometimes having someone dissect a work of art just seems condescending as if I won’t get it just by the author’s words. Might be insulting to the writer in a way.

If it needs a foreword, is it because the writer didn’t make things clear in the book?

I might like an “afterword” especially if I don’t feel like finishing a book that I’m not wild about and I want a summary of it. Or if it’s so great I want to have a conversation about it–even a remote one.

Sometimes I’ll read the foreword after i read the book–if it draws me in. I usually try reading the foreword up to the point I become exasperated. That tends to happen if it’s a long ordeal: write your own damn book why doncha’ ?

That’s my two cents!

Anyway…. I wonder what other people think about forewords? Helpful? What do you say, other people?