IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE #weekendcoffeeshare

Hey, Let’s have a cuppa and Just, you know, make fun of stuff.

If we were having coffee, I’d spill the beans. I’d fess up to voraciously consuming this sitcom about four misanthropes and their zany views of everything and everyone, even themselves.

 

Recently I added Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee to my queue.

 

And then I noticed WordPress posts beginning with the line “If we were having coffee….”

It seems that bloggers publish posts about what they’d say to their readers if they were sitting down together over a cup of coffee. *Waves* to this buoying bunch, happy to meet y’all.

Mostly I live in Connecticut but am mad for the eternal sunshine of Florida. Aside from spending hours with books, I get a kick out of insane yoga poses, any film with Al Pacino in it, world travel, making things grow, 85% organic dark chocolate, and a succulent Barolo.  I don’t like pepperoni, loud noises, and grey skies.

I know every word to Desperado (no shame) and have a Netflix subscription, which is pretty much the best thing ever.

Currently I’m listening to this and this, and reading this.

And I’m itching to hit the road.

Last weekend I got a wicked bite from an insect/spider(?). I moved off the pavement to avoid a truck and stepped into a mulchy-scrub area. I felt an excruciating ‘sting’ – curses! –  swatted the nasty nuisance away and kept going. But whatever took that chunk out of me set off a walloping allergic reaction.

Rash, itch, pain,ugh. Blotches and welts and red marks spread over both arms and legs. So I got a shot.

And a prednisone pack and topical cream from my dermatologist, a one pound jar?!?! that looks like it’s enough for a water buffalo. I hope to see the back end of this mishap sooner than later. It’s ugly, unpleasant, and annoying. There won’t be any five-milers for a while but I find that driving to breakfast/lunch/dinner soothes the cranky self.

So I’ve had lots of couch time to focus on the dull and necessary dross of life.

During my little crisis (ahem), I put my long ( aka big girl) pants on, checked emails, and listened to stultifying politicians and wall streeters.  The To-Do List? Done.  Another coffee? Why not. I have a latte on my mind.

Oh, and there was plenty of time for binge-watching. Seinfeld is my now-and-forever-feel-good show but I stumbled onto the Aussie series Offspring.

It’s the story of the impossible loves of a 30-something obstetrician, Nina Proudman, and her messy family. It’s warm and comforting and complicated. Can you tell I’m hooked?

 

The dermatologist is calm.  She says let’s watch and wait. Until Monday.

I’m doing my best not to be a difficult patient.

 

Thanks for stopping by for a cuppa.

Wanna espresso yourself? Tag your post #weekendcoffeeshare.  And take life one cup at time.

Toni 3/26/17

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: IT’S EASY BEING GREEN

Michelle W. says this week is all about color. Specifically green, like my harvest of joy.

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But green isn’t just a color anymore.

 

Published over forty years ago, The Greening of America received a cosmically massive reception.

The New Yorker ran an excerpt in their September issue and it got more letters than any other article. Ever. The book was No.1 on bestsellers lists and sold skadoodles of copies, knocking reality for a loop. Leagues of media types discussed, praised, and criticized it.

 

Have you read The Greening of America?  Confucianist wisdom, it is not.  Charles Reich says his book is very straightforward about what’s the matter with us. He says we’re using up material resources at an unacceptable rate. And so, he advocates a less materialistic way of life.

Authority, schedules, time, accepted customs, are all forms which must be questioned. Accepted patterns of thought must be broken; what is considered ‘rational thought’ must be opposed by ‘nonrational thought’—drug-thought, mysticism, impulses.

The questions he poses ~ What’s happening to the individual in America? Is the individual going the way of the environment, being destroyed? ~ struck a chord with readers. The interesting angle?  Reich was no overgrown hippie, but a former Supreme Court clerk, a forty-two-year-old Ivy League professor, a seemingly serious person.

Annie Leibovitz photo of Charles Reich with Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead and Jann Wenner, 1971

Reich was a fan of the hippies and radical students on campus, the dropouts and rock ‘n’ rollers.  He felt they were pointing the way, not only with a refusal to join the power structure, but with their flower power, patchouli, and love beads.

Bell bottoms have to be worn to be understood. They express the body, as jeans do, but they say much more. They give the ankles a special freedom as if to invite dancing right on the street. . . . A touch football game, if the players are wearing bell bottoms, is like a folk dance or a ballet. . . . The new clothes demonstrate a significant new relationship between man and technology.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines greening as “becoming more mature and less naive, esp. in one’s understanding of social and political forces.”  (Entry note: Word origin of ‘greening’
after The Greening of America (1970), book by C. Reich.)

Might Reich’s countercultural (some might say flaky) concepts, like listening to the Grateful Dead and using marijuana, fix what’s the matter with us?

“Green” was a broader term to Reich than it is to us today. It was not just about environmentalism, but the whole package ~ feminism, gay rights, racial equality, military conflict, rampant consumerism, corporate power ~ issues that are still front-page.

It’s not likely that our society will undergo a total about-face of cultural and political institutions.  But we can look at the clouds from both sides, can’t we?

 

 Toni 3/23/17

WHEN ITALIAN EYES ARE SMILING

The Catholic calendar is chock-a-block with saints’ days.  Check out the plentitude just in March.

St. David’s Day, Patron of Wales————–March 1
St. Katherine Drexel————March 1
Bl. Charles the Good————–March 2
St. Chad————–March 2
St. Cunegundes, Empress————–March 3
Pope St. Lucius I, Martyr————–March 4
St. Francis of Assisi—————March 4
St. Casimir————–March 4
St. John Joseph of the Cross————–March 5
St. Phocas————–March 5
St. Fridolin———-March 6
St. John of the Cross————March 5
Sts. Perpetua and Felicitas————–March 6
St.Colette————–March 6
St. John of God————–March 8
St. Thomas Aquinas————–March 7
St. Frances of Rome————–March 9
St. Dominic Savio————–March 9
The 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebast————–March 10
St. Eulogius————–March 11
St. John Ogilivie————March 10
St. Sophronius————–March 11
St. Nicholas Owen————–March 12
St. Gregory the Great————–March 12
St. Euphrasia————–March 13
St. Josaphat————–March 13
St. Rodrigo———-March 13
St. Matildis————March 14
St. Maud————–March 14
St. Clement Hofbauer [Haufbauer]————–March 15
St. Longinus—————March 15
St. Louise de Marillac—————-March 15
St. Abraham the Hermit————–March 16
St. Joseph of Arimathea————–March 17
Saint Gertrude of Nivelles ————–March 17
St. Patrick—————March 17
St. Cyril of Constantinople——–March 6
St. Joseph—————March 19
St. Photina————–March 20
St. Cuthbert————–March 20
St. Benedict————–March 21
St. Catherine of Sweden————–March 22
St. Gabriel the Archangel————–March 24
St. Dismas————March 25
St. Ludger————–March 26
St. John Damascene————–March 27
St. John of Capistrano————–March 28 [Trad.] Oct. 23 [New]
Sts. Jonas, Barachisius and Companions————–March 29
St. Zozimus of Syracuse, Bishop————–March 30
St. John Climacus————–March 30
St. Acacius————–March 31

We just celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in style. It’s a day to really whoop it up for the patron saint of Ireland~  wear green, drink Guinness, and belt out killer pub songs between bites of corned beef and steamed cabbage.  All topped off with strong coffee, Irish whiskey, and a generous layer of cream.

 

You saw the calendar of March celebrations. Another day, another saint.

Today, March 19, belongs to St. Joseph.

 

As in Jesus, Mary and…. 

 

Sicilians honor St. Joseph because he saved them from starving during a serious drought in the Middle Ages. Parades are, well, inevitable. “Viva la tavola di San Giuseppe!” Let the feast begin!

They set up St. Joseph’s tables, Tavole di San Giuseppe, covered in food. The bounty of the altar is shared not only with friends and family, but with the needy. Everyone gives thanks for blessings received during the year.

The altar sports a variety of meatless foods like minestrone and pasta with breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs are a symbol of the sawdust on St. Joseph’s floor and, yes, are even a form of protection. (Sicilians wrote the book on protection. They’ll scatter salt on the floor by the front door to ward off the evil eye, or, if necessary, employ more combustive measures.)  I’ve learned to keep some in the freezer so that when a storm threatens, I can scatter them in the yard while saying a prayer to St. Joseph to spare me from harm.  I’m not afraid of any upcoming storms: Theseus, Ursa, Valerie, Wyatt, Xavier, Yuri or Zeno.

All hail the conquering breadcrumbs. (Watch for #conqueringbreadcrumbs on Twitter.)

And always, always, there are fava beans on the altar. They are undeniably lucky because during that Sicilian drought, the fava thrived while all other crops failed.

The table is blessed by a priest and has three tiers, a nod to the Holy Trinity. The top tier is the statue of St. Joseph surrounded by flowers and greenery.

The other tiers hold food, flowers, and candles.

The day ends with each person taking home a bag of bread, fruit, pastries, cookies, a St. Joseph medal, Holy Card and/or a blessed fava bean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That lucky bean is to remind you to pray to St. Joseph. I always pray for zeppole.

 

It’s the most famous indulgence of the Feast of St. Joseph.

Zeppole were invented in 1837 by a Neapolitan cook named Ippolito Cavalcanti. Apparently he was quite the baker as well as Dante’s BFF.

Few saints used to hang out with gourmands and men-about-town.  They were hermits or monks like St Cuthbert, on deck for tomorrow’s feast day. He was all about miracles and healing. And ducks. St Cuthbert  is associated with Eider ducks, known in Northumberland as Cuddy’s ducks. A colony nests on the Farne Islands where the saint had his hermitage.

St. Cuthbert discovered local people liked to eat the eider ducks and their eggs.  So he introduced the world’s first bird protection laws to protect them and other sea birds nesting on the islands.
These are believed to be the earliest bird conservation laws in the world.

There’s a two-day celebration for this region’s beloved Cuthbert. A man of vision. Like the courageous and fervent Patrick.

 

Clearly the heavens are populated with thousands of saints. It’s a staggering task to celebrate them all. The crowd faves are eternally commemorated but what about St. Cunegund? St. Nicanor? St. Carpophorus?

So, pick a saint. Have a frolicsome festival. Make something yummy.

 

Write a note to a great teacher on St. Ita’s Day. Make a donation to a feline rescue organization on St. Gertrude’s Day. Give your dog a special treat on St. Roch’s Day. Take your mother out to dinner on St. Martha’s Day. No matter what saint you celebrate, break out the fireworks!

Toni 3/19/17