Monday, June 29, 2015

End of the Month Miscellany

A mixture of this and that from my Facebook page over the past week. The second Item was from a year ago. 

I. I am sickened as well by many events over the past days, weeks, month ... Just when it looks like a storm has passed, another larger one forms. I fear for our land, because a negative energy has built and is sweeping across the plains and mountains, When there are respite moments, times when we could individually and collectively rest, renew, there always seems to be more vitriol waiting to be unleashed ... lines from an old song come to mind - "It's time for a cool change."

II. Very sad to read on the WCYB website of the discovery of the body of an infant near Castlewood on Saturday. For those not from this area, Castlewood is a town in my county of residence. I am sure the end result will be another tragic story. Safe again in the arms of angels a young soul has taken flight. I commented in a group I belong to here on Facebook very recently (paraphrasing myself) that the pain of death is pain for those who remain, because death is release from pain. We mourn the lives that were well lived and well loved. We also mourn the lives that never really had time to learn the sorrow and ecstasy that is life, those who leave so soon. A baby is a sacred responsibility, and the wording of this news story is predicative of a tragic story unfolding. Such sorrowful events happen, and we collectively are lessened in their wake. Sorry for such a meandering post, it has just really upset me to see the headline, Body of Infant Found. How and why was this baby lost? Discarded? Such questions will never have acceptable answers. ( From 2014)

III. The fickle fates are not going to make this week easy for me ... 

IV. Several years ago, Roger and I were in a local grocery store standing in line to check out. Directly in front of us was an older gentleman holding a young girl, she looked to be maybe 18 months old. Riotous blonde curls, big blue eyes, rosebud mouth, porcelain complexion. There was a red balloon tied to a shelving support. She wanted that balloon. She had big crocodile tears, puddling up in her eyes, looked as though they would spill down her cheeks at any minute. She had on hand clasped around the man's neck and was reaching out to the balloon with the other. Her little lip was just quivering and she was saying , "Boon. Boon". Now he was having none of this, he stoically held his ground and paid for their items and left. Rog and I, well were we the grandparents in that situation would probably have bought her a dozen "boons". I do not think that he was being mean, just firm. Not giving in, you know? Because little girls with crocodile tears welling up in their eyes can really work on a person's heart, as can little boys with pouty mouths and soulful looks. 

V. I have a personal friend whose home was bombed in Louisiana by the KKK. That is why I think it is time for the Confederate Battle flag to make a graceful exit from public display. 
I have personal friends who have been shunned in public by complete strangers because they are openly homosexual. That is why I changed my profile to the rainbow of celebration.
If you have a problem with my standing up for my own personal beliefs and opinions on my own personal Facebook page, be you real life friend, online friend, or relative, feel free to unfriend or block me. 

VI. Homemade Banana Pudding
Yes, I did.
With cooked 'from scratch' custard
And real meringue
(And I don't just use vanilla wafers, I make peanut butter vanilla wafer sandwiches and use them instead of the plain cookies)
Oh, yes I did

** This was not on Facebook. I use the recipe that is on the Nilla Vanilla Wafers box. Here it is:

Original Nilla Banana Pudding

Ready in: 60 mins.

Layers of Nilla wafers, creamy pudding and fresh banana slices 
are the stars of this American classic.

3/4 cup sugar, divided 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
Dash salt 
3 eggs, separated 
2 cups milk 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
45 NILLA Wafers, divided 
5 ripe bananas, sliced (about 3 1/2 cups), divided 
Additional NILLA Wafers and banana slices, for garnish 

1. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. 
Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water, 
stirring constantly for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove 
from heat; stir in vanilla. 

2. Reserve 10 wafers for garnish. Spread small amount of custard 
on bottom of 1 1/2-quart casserole; cover with a layer of wafers 
and a layer of sliced bananas. Pour about 1/3 of custard over 
bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard to make 
a total of 3 layers of each, ending with custard. 

3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add remaining 
1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Spoon on top of 
pudding, spreading evenly to cover entire surface and sealing well 
to edges. 

4. Bake at 350°F in top half of oven for 15 to 20 minutes or 
until browned. Cool slightly or refrigerate. Garnish with 
additional wafers and banana slices just before serving. 

Makes 8 servings

287 calories, 6 g protein, 50 g carbohydrate, 7 g total fat, 
2 g saturated fat, 117 mg cholesterol, 134 mg sodium, 
1 g dietary fiber. 

Preparation Time: 30 mins.
Cook Time: 15 mins.
Cooling Time: 15 mins.
Total Time: 60 mins.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Poem I Came Across - 2 years old

A Monday Poem
The calico cat sits
In regal pose upon a shelf
Placed beneath a window
For the pleasure of cats
A perch to gaze out upon the world
The rain drips from the porch eave
Her heads tips to one side as she
Does she wonder where
The water begins?
Where it ends?
Does she contemplate
Catching the drops?
She stands
And settles again
This time gazing upon
The world she knows and understands
Her indoor domain
and slowly comes to rest on her haunches
To nap
Ellen Apple 06/17/2013

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ever morphing in the sky

I sit in the car during my lunch hour at work, listen to NPR, and observe - sometimes people, sometimes the landscape, sometimes the sky. This is what I saw today, written as I watched ...

Ever morphing in the sky
Gazing as the clouds float by
Goddess in white with flowing hair
Fairies frolic with nary a care
Pale blue heart in field of gray
Wisps of dreams drifting away
Pirate ship with sails unfurled
Ancient denizens of alien world
Eagle drifts on current aloft
Tumbling lambs fluffy soft
Eye of Horus with such a gleam
Followed by a shark it would seem
Profile of a man abed
A line of chicks by mother led
Ever morphing in the sky
Gazing as the clouds float by

~Ellen Apple 6/16/2015

Friday, June 12, 2015

I Still Miss You Just Because

You were not supposed to leave me
That was not a part of the plan
We were going to go our separate ways
Then in golden years be together again

In a different day and time
We would have maybe had a chance
But fate in her fickle way
Led us an impossible dance

Remember that mountainside house
Resting among the trees
Well, I live in it now
Though the yard is grown to weeds

Our parents thought we would marry
Your sisters did as well
They never accepted your lifestyle
Thought you would burn in hell

I never looked at it thus
And I think you knew this truth
You were more than that to me
In your death and in our youth

I will admit it still makes me pissed
When I remember you broke our pact
Then I will wryly chuckle
Because you were really a class act

You lived your life to the fullest
Drank long and full from that cup
And even in death you stay with me
My memory won't give you up

They burned you and scattered your ashes
Had a blow-out party to boot
I could not (would not) be there
To watch your vibrancy reduced to soot

You ever live in my heart's core
As we were when we were twenty
And even when I have bad days
Those days uplift me plenty

I hope you forgive me these lapses
Into what might have been and was
They come to me unexpected
I still miss you just because

~ Ellen Apple 06/12/2015

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursday Throwback - One year ago

Spider Spider

Clear and Light

Tiptoeing in 

Bright sunlight

Skipping across

A leaf so green

Your day so carefree

It would seem

~Ellen Apple 06/11/2014

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

From My Heart You Can Never Resign

I wept for you this morning
Just wanted you to know
To work through your problems
You have chosen privacy to grow

I understand your reasons
How the world can be a mess
And that by exiling for now
You can heal, no more - no less

The world can be so distracting
And people, well we're mean
Everyone has their own issues
Time to wipe a few slates clean

But truth is I miss my friend
The warmth your presence brings
The stories we share from childhood
The way your laughter sings

If love can travel the distance
Between your earthly home and mine
Then know I am right there with you
And from my heart you can never resign

~ Ellen Apple 06-10-2015

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Just June

Right now I can hear
Your breath as you sleep so deep 
The whoosh wheeze rhythm
A cadence of life woven
Your breathing sustains me

~ Ellen Apple 05-17-2015

A father's love for his little girl (as drawn by Roger Apple) : 

This picture reminded me of when I was very young, maybe still three. We lived in a log cabin that was located on my paternal grandparents land. There was no driveway to the cabin. Common access was via a path from Granny's yard, between the orchard and grape arbor. There was a small wooden foortbridge across a little creek. To your left was a chicken house and the pathway wound up a hillside and terminated at the side porch of the cabin. Daddy walked home from work and we could hear him coming up the path when he crossed the bridge. My sister and I would run down the path to meet him and launch ourselves at him, so happy he was home. He would sometimes carry one of us in each arm, saying we were like "sacks of taters". 

Another memory from that time, before our younger brother was born, is sitting on the side porch eating breakfast. Oatmeal, toast with cinnamon sugar, and milk. We had  a small metal folding table similar to a TV tray and little maple slat-back chairs. Mommy would let us sit on the porch and eat if the weather were warm and dry.

The cabin was actually built by my father's older brother, JT. He and his wife lived there until they built a larger home. The cabin was small, consisting of a kitchen, bedroom, front room and a bathroom. There were bunk-beds and a single bed in the front room where Mac (he would have been barely school age), my sister and I slept. Mommy and Daddy slept in the bedroom. 

Other memories from living there are hearing train whistles in the middle of the night, riding the wooden kiddie car on the hill and wrecking, and watching the construction of a bridge directly below the cabin that made it more convenient for our household goods to be moved across the street to the Myers house. We moved there just before Eddie was born. I was 4 in December of 1962 and he was born in March of 1963. This is how I know I was 3 when we would run to meet Daddy and eat oatmeal on the porch.

Once, years ago, I read a book titled "Unlocking the Secrets of Your Childhood Memories". There was a suggestion that you remember the earliest thing you can from your childhood, and ask the sibling closest in age to you to do the same. I called my sister who is 18 months older than me and asked her, and she remembered the oatmeal and cinnamon toast breakfasts on the porch of the cabin, just as I had. We agreed that those little moments, the kiddie car, the porch breakfasts, greeting Daddy in the evenings, were wonderful shared memories. 

How fortunate we are that we share good first memories, not trauma. We came up with little, but we had parents who loved us and gave us all they had. 


The poem at the beginning of this post was just a short poem I wrote one morning when Roger was still sleeping and I was thinking of how dear he is to me.