A Dream Deferred

One on my favorite poems, by the great Langston Hughes:

A DREAM DEFERRED

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Southern Weekend: Arabella’s Nanner Pudding

20140404-093533.jpg

Good Morning, my lovelies! It has been a month of Sundays since I wrote a post here, hasn’t it? I can only plead my commitment to getting the current rewrite of my WIP done (aka “the edits that would not end”), and trying to keep everything on an even keel in the home, family, and day job.

But excuses aside, I want to share something really important with you today, to kick off another Southern Weekend. As a true child of the South, there is nothing more important to me than the cuisine of my homeland. Yankees don’t seem to care as much about food as we do – I have yet to hear about the citizens of Northern states running decades-long feuds over the proper ingredients of their favorite foods, but it is a common thing in the South. Don’t ever put a Carolinian and a Texan on the committee to plan a barbecue, for instance.

Now, I agree with some of the people who hold strong beliefs about proper preparation of Southern specialities. I believe that grits should never be instant, that cornbread dressing does not deserve to be called “stuffing” and crammed up a bird’s butt, and that green Key lime pie is an abomination before The Lord. These are nonnegotiable positions, and I do believe that they are mentioned in the King James Bible — right after Jesus decreed that egg salad sandwiches are the official reception food of the Methodist Church.

But I am not a Luddite. I will accept modern innovations, and one of my favorite new-fangled foodstuffs is instant pudding. You can take a package of instant pudding and add it to a cake, put it in a congealed salad, or any number of adventurous uses. And while my Grandma Holley made her nanner pudding the old fashioned way, with cornstarch and milk, and lots of time over a hot stove, I use instant pudding to make something that I think can hold its puddingly little head up with pride. Here’s my recipe for nature’s perfect food, Arabella’s Nanner Pudding:

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, whipped up all fluffy

1 can Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk

1 package instant pudding (banana is best, but vanilla if its all you can get)

3 cups of real cold milk (use whole milk – don’t try to cut calories by using skim — if you’re on a diet, just eat the banana plain and forget about pudding)

1 tub (8 oz) of Cool Whip

3 Bananas (really ripe, but not gone over), sliced into coins

Vanilla Wafers to taste (I use about 3/4 of a box of Nilla brand)

Take your whipped cream cheese, and beat in the Eagle milk, pudding mix, & milk. Then carefully fold in about half of the Cool Whip, followed by the bananas and some of the vanilla wafers.

Get a pretty bowl and line it with vanilla wafers. This is kind of tricky – you may need to put in some wafers & hold them in place with pudding in stages until you fill up the bowl.

Let it sit in the fridge for a good couple of hours. Have the rest of the Cool Whip available for people to top their serving as desired. (But, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT put the Cool Whip tub out on the table – put it in a proper bowl, like a civilized person.)

Now tell me that ain’t some fine nanner pudding!

Skipping Midnight with Laura Kenyon

Good morning, all! I’m chatting with Laura Kenyon over on her Skipping Midnight blog today. Why don’t you pop over and see what we’re up to!
(And you might win a free book!!!)

http://laurakenyon.com/2014/02/19/arabella-stokes-lawyer-by-day-romance-writer-by-night/#more-1592

Friday Foto: The Miracle on Ice

20140214-074713.jpg
I remember exactly where I was – and I’m pulling for a repeat tomorrow!!!

It’s Yule, Y’all!

Merry Christmas from the Western Gate to the Sunshine State, where thousands live the way Millions wish they could!

20131224-072049.jpg

Thursday Thought: On Daughters

Thou art thy mother’s looking-glass, and she in thee recalls the lovely April of her prime.
– William Shakespeare

20131212-063956.jpg

Thoughts on the Winston Investigation

To quote Will Rogers, all I know is what I read in the papers. To be more accurate, I don’t know anything about the investigation into allegations that FSU quarterback Jameis Winston committed rape except what ESPN and social media tell me – and neither are particularly reliable sources.

But a lack of knowledge, as y’all know, has never kept me quiet. And here, I do feel that I have some comments to make from several perspectives.

I’m a woman, who had a minor sexual offense (not rape, thank God!) committed upon me back in college, and I cried with a sorority sister the morning after she was raped by the boy she was dating and a few of his frat brothers. We didn’t report it – back then, if you agreed to stay late at a guy’s house, well, heck, you must have wanted to have sex with every guy in the place. The 70s were an strange time.

I am also a lawyer, who has defended and prosecuted those charged with sexual offenses. I’ve seen photos of injuries so bad that the memory brings tears to my eyes these many years later.

But I’m a Seminole, too. Rabidly committed to all things Garnet and Gold ever since I joined the Jr. Seminole Boosters at the ripe old age of 7. I still have a photo of Lane Fenner’s catch – google that if you want to know how long I will hold a grudge when my team is involved.

So, given all that, here’s what I want to say about Jameis and his accuser:

I was offended by the media frenzy surrounding the Jameis Winston investigation, with people who really had no knowledge loudly proclaiming his guilt. But I am even more offended by the comments about the young lady now that State Attorney Willie Meggs (a very distant relative of mine, btw) announced there won’t be charges.

But remember, “unproven” is a result that only works in the Alice-through-the-looking-glass world of the law. In reality, the facts are the facts, whether provable or not.

Look – either A: she was raped, and there wasn’t enough evidence to bring her rapist to justice. That’s bad. Or B: she wasn’t raped, and someone – an attorney with her own agenda, perhaps – used her to make a false claim. That’s bad, too.

As for Winston, either A: he did it, and he is a troubled young man who will not be court- ordered to receive help he desperately needs. That’s bad. Or B: he didn’t do it and he has been drug through the mud and there will be an undeserved cloud on his reputation. That’s bad, too.

So, My Seminole brethren and sistern, let ‘s not gloat or rejoice. This is a sad, sad situation either way. Having been a 19 or 20 year old kid who made bad choices myself a long time ago, I can’t imagine the awfulness of living through what the media and the public have done with this.

And to those of you who still want to joke about the “Criminoles” from “Forced Sex University,” (I’m looking at you, Swamp Things), stop it. Because it’s either A: an unprovable yet horrible crime against a young lady, or B: an intolerable smear on a talented young man. And neither of those is funny.

Tunesday: Postmodern Jukebox

Good Morning, my lovelies. I’m typing away at my WIP during breaks at a conference for the day job, and realized that it has been simply ages since I’ve posted anything. My bad — I can write the stories or keep up with my social media, but not both. So I’ve concentrated on the WIP for a few weeks. Sue me if its a problem.

But in keeping with my practice of bringing you thoughts on a Tune for Tuesday (see how clever I am with alliteration?), I wanted to share an odd yet appealing set of songs with you today.

One thing I love is mashing up two completely contradictory concepts into a unique, creative whole. Pride, Prejudice and Zombies? Loved it. (Of course, once it’s been done, it’s no longer creative and unique, so Sense, Sensibility and Seamonsters, not so much.)

If you like those kind of weird combinations where good ol’ “A” plus predictable “B” give us an amazing X, Y, or Z, you need to meet the good folks of Post-modern Jukebox. One Scott Bradlee, a music and history buff, got the brilliant idea to reinterpret the ubiquitous pop songs we all love to hate in unpredictable ways. Ke$ha goes country, Lourde becomes a male Pierrot clown, and Bieber swings it ’40′s style.

I love everything I’ve heard by PMJ, but my favorite has to be their doo-wop cover of Miley Cyrus’s We Can’t Stop. It’s tuneful, soulful, and waaaay better than the original. Check it out here:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pXYWDtXbBB0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DpXYWDtXbBB0

Thursday Thought: Charles Bukowski

…it’s not the large things that send a man to the madhouse. death he’s ready for, or murder, incest, robbery, fire, flood… no, it’s the continuing series of small tragedies that send a man to the madhouse… not the death of his love but a shoelace that snaps with no time left …

From the Shoelace
by Charles Bukowski

20131010-100251.jpg

Random Thoughts, including a Small Suggestion for World Peace

There’s been a lot of stuff happening in the world, and I’ve really wanted to post my comments about most of it. To sum up:

1. Miley and Robin at the VMA’s — seriously, any concept that includes a Beetlejuice suit and lascivious teddy bears should have been rejected out of hand. Aside from the ickiness of the whole twerking mess, it was just bad artistically. I can forgive a lot if the art is good, but this was just in-your-face offensiveness without any artistic vision. (Check Madonna’s early stuff if you want to see offensiveness done for the artistic value. Still offensive, but not gratuitously so.)

And I blame the fully-dressed grown man more than the stupid twenty-one year old. I was a stupid twenty-one year old myself, back in the Jurassic era, and I am now very, very grateful that cell phone cameras had not been invented in my Alpha Xi Delta days.

2. The Anniversary of Dr. King’s Speech — I realize that, being a white Southerner of a certain age, anything I have to say about race relations is suspect. But (and like my own, it is a big but) I do remember the sixties and seventies. I remember separate water fountains. I remember not understanding why my brother wouldn’t let me sit in the balcony at a Disney movie. I remember “Greg” a very good student, who was active in school activities and well-mannered — all the things a parent would like — and me being unable to go public with the fact that we had a bit of a crush on each other because he was the “wrong” race.

This weekend, when Princess #2 invited two guys to join her and her friend at the beach, none of the teenagers even thought about the various shades of epidermis that were represented. I hate that I am still enough a child of the South in the sixties that I did notice, but I am pleased that none of the grownups made the noticing noticeable.

When people say nothing has changed, it makes me angry — and sad. Maybe there hasn’t been enough change, maybe there never will be. But my child will never let a silly thing like melanin determine who she loves.

3. The mess in the Middle East — just one generation ago, my father and uncles were fighting the Axis Powers. We lost family members to the War to Save Democracy. But this weekend, Princess 2 joined several friends for a trip to the water park and an ice cream afterwards.

There they were — two Italian and one German exchange students, a first-generation Peruvian-American, and my little American mixed breed, sitting at Baskin Robbins and having fun. There are few cultural differences that cannot be bridged by ice cream.

Maybe, just maybe, if the world leaders could go down the Rocketing Raft Fun Slide and then share a hot-fudge sundae, they could stop being so angry all the time. Just a suggestion.

20130903-103711.jpg