Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

I sit here swatting at fruit flies and further procrastinate on the daily writing grind. Oh! I'm writing, yes! but not on what I should be writing on. And it's really not much of a grind to write out a story that has beautiful mythological elements- but I still have to procrastinate over it because it's work.

Well, I got all hardcore today and made a pizza dough out of wheat-free mix. My first time using yeast and thank God, it was a success. Wheat-free flours or mixes are always a little funky and this pizza dough was too but it's definitely good enough to eat and eat…and to keep eating. Success, in my book.
Oh- and in case you don't know, I'm allergic to wheat and dairy. I can only take one letting go of at a time and wheat is the first. It's a slow process, this letting go of wheat. In case you haven't noticed, we live in a society saturated in wheat. I'm surprised there aren't wheat babies yet (whatever that means). Eating food without wheat is very tricky. In most cases, I can get around it but the two things I can't resist are 1. pizza and 2. hamburgers. It's hard to order a salad when there is pizza to be had. It's darn well impossible. I did bravely resist all forms of incredible sandwiches and had a salad on Sat. at this rockin independent bookstore cafe but that wasn't pizza, was it? Or a hamburger.
So yeah. If I eat wheaty things I get tired. Not just tired but oh my god I just turned into an eighty year old sort of tired.

So yeah. That was babbling enough.

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Life Lessons from a Cardinal

Outdoor living is coming in fits and starts now that it’s June. Last week it was in the 90’s (30C) and today it is gentle and cool with thunderstorms passing by north and south, bringing coolness in the wake of their stormy skirts. The sun shines but the thunder rumbles nearby and my cats retreat farther indoors to snooze on chairs instead of near windows.

It is tempting to join them. The heat break means that deep good sleep is possible again. Even with air conditioning, I sleep poorly when it’s hot. I sleep best when it rains.

And it has been raining at night but in great torrid thunderstorms where the house shakes and the windows rattle. Sometimes I lie in bed as the thunderstorms march by and wonder at the fate of all the creatures and people living outside.

It is summer and I have no arguments with it. It’s too hard to argue with the seasons. On the beautiful days, I sip my breakfast tea outdoors and watch the birds and squirrels to start my day. There’s always a drama playing out in the backyard. My favorite is the cardinal who walks along the deck rail, casting his bright black eye here and there and then breaks into song until a robin kicks him out. When the coast is clear, he returns and does the same thing all over again. Despite my nearness, he doesn’t mind me at all and I adore his bright red plumage and courageous laughing heart. His song cheers my soul and I’ve come to recognize his particular song. It falls under the same lines as all cardinals but it has a bit of improvised trill at the end. I think he’s been hanging out with song sparrows and got Ideas.

He’s a hard individual to photograph (all flash and movement) but I’ve shared a photo of a cardinal from National Geographic so you can get the idea. He’s hard to ignore and is a permanent on the robins’ blacklist. I aspire to such a level of happy insouciance.

How to Get Through a Big Book

How to get through a Big Book and have a little fun too.

  1. Make and eat food mentioned in the book (big books always include food, usually in meticulous detail).
  2. Read a little bit each day.
  3. Make a soundtrack.
  4. Dress like a character from the book for a day. Or a week. Or a month if it really grabs you.
  5. Ten minutes to kill? Daydream about the landscape or what the characters are seeing as they move through their day.
  6. Read passages you enjoy out loud. If you’re in the right mood, record yourself reading passages and share it (Instagram is great for this). Include illustrations if you like (thank you, Shirin).
  7. Whip out a highlighter or some sticky tabs for those great parts.
  8. Pace yourself and remember, reading gigantic books isn’t a race. It’s about the journey. Might as well bring along snacks, good drinks, great lighting, and enjoy the ride.