Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Category: Just for Fun

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat | Edward Lear

Time for a mid-week break and a bit of nostalgia! Were you treated to this poem when you were a child? My father used to recite it from his phenomenal memory. Of course the entire poem is non-sense, given the history of cats and birds! But then again, we can always dream, can’t we? See below for the text.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
By Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

I think I’ll read this to Smudge tonight!
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 25 March 2020
Video found on YouTube

She sights a Bird — | Emily Dickinson

Here’s a fun Emily Dickinson poem written early in her poetic career. My brief comment follows.

She sights a Bird — she chuckles —
She flattens — then she crawls —
She runs without the look of feet —
Her eyes increase to Balls —

Her Jaws stir — twitching — hungry —
Her Teeth can hardly stand —
She leaps, but Robin leaped the first —
Ah, Pussy, of the Sand,

The Hopes so juicy ripening —
You almost bathed your Tongue —
When Bliss disclosed a hundred Toes —
And fled with every one —

© Emily Dickinson, #507
Found at wikisource.org

Reading this is a hoot. An almost perfect picture of our housecat Smudge (above) stalking a mouse or cricket. I love the part about running “without the look of feet.” To which I might add (having watched Smudge stalk prey), not a single muscle ripples through his furry coat. Not even one toenail clicks on the floor. Not a whimper of excitement gives him away. All antennae are 100% engaged, even though this takes hours, not minutes.

Perhaps the excitement is the chase and stalk. This could be unnerving for an outdoor cat. Regardless, the excitement of the hunt seems as wondrous as actually catching prey. Patience is called for. Many times. Plus persistence.

So here our Pussy of the Sand glides silently in on his prey, already salivating with anticipation and high on adrenalin. Followed by nothing to show for it but Robin’s hundred Toes, all present and accounted for, disappearing into thin air.

Wishing you a Happy Friday!
Elouise and Smudge♥♥

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 20 March 2020
Smudge in Kitchen Window taken by ERFraser, March 2019
Photo of outdoor cat found at i1.wp.com

Monday Beauty

A sweet blossom just for you! And for me, of course. The sun is shining, the temperature is rising. Spring is just around the corner. It isn’t Christmas anymore. Or is it?

This lone Christmas Cactus blossom, seriously out of date and right on time, began pushing out about two months ago. I can’t believe it made it! It’s sitting on our kitchen table, looking out at the back yard.

So I grabbed my iPad and gave it my best effort.

Praying your week is filled with small reminders that Christmas can surprise us any day of the week, in any season of the year.

Elouise 

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 2 March 2020
Photo taken by ERFraser, 2 March 2020

On a cold morning

Like clockwork
On a cold morning
in February
the air comes alive

Fluttering wings
and hopeful
wannabes
strut their sweetest songs

A maybe pair
of small song sparrows
flits from twig to twig
male in patient pursuit

While nearby
streaking through air
landing on a dime
and taking off again

beak stuffed with
twigs and detritus
a tireless common pigeon
weaves a crude nest

Fragile hope springs
from the ground
sending up small fireworks
of purple and gold

All seen in my backyard this weekend and this morning. I think I’ve got the pigeon nest spotted, just outside my kitchen window. They’re not the most exotic of birds, and their offspring look like awkward adolescents. Still, I’m won over by the parents’ loyalty and their remarkable ability to endure all kinds of weather without abandoning each other. All in my backyard.

Happy Monday!
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 24 February 2020
Photo of wood pigeon nest found at commons.wikipedia.com

Valentine’s Day at Longwood 2016 | Photos

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here are some flower children to brighten your day, chosen because my eyes love looking at them. The couple above make me laugh. Creatures from another planet welcoming us with open antennae and open arms. Or are those gullets? And how about those imposing hats?

All photos in this post were taken at Longwood Gardens by D, my partner for over 54 years. Sometimes I ask him to take a particular picture. Most of the time, though, he just shoots away, and I post whatever strikes my fancy. A fine arrangement.

Here are two photos in gorgeous pinky tones. The second may look like it’s upside down, but I don’t think it is. The small, single-petal blossoms seem to be hanging down on stems, floating in the air.

The next plant, not an orchid, has beautiful pink and orange tones. Muted cool-blue/green background and foreground colors make it a standout. Not a stunningly beautiful plant, but serene and sure of itself. What’s not to love?

Next we have three members of the orchid family, each different, and begging for attention. I’m torn between the first two. The first is rather imposing and sure of itself. Just below, we have a quiet, gentle type. Which shows how little I know about orchid anatomy. In the third photo, we seem to have a family competing for attention. Or maybe they’re celebrating someone’s birthday? Or Valentine’s Day?

Finally, perhaps my favorite. It’s totally calm, serene, and happy in its subdued non-orchid outfit. Elegant. Not flashy.


Wishing you an elegant day no matter how messy things get from time to time. Thanks for visiting!

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 14 February 2020
Photos taken by DAFraser in February 2016 at Longwood Gardens

In spite of everything

In spite of everything
The sun came up today
Brilliant rays pierce shadows
Illuminate dust and beauty
Alike without warning
Igniting fanciful thoughts
Banishing gloom and doom
Dancing on airs of expectation
And gratitude for what is
Imminently bloom-worthy

All things considered, today I’m choosing nature’s reality over other options screaming for attention.

Yesterday I had a wonderful, unexpected call from my youngest sister. It was the first time she’s called me since her health crisis on Christmas Eve. Hearing her voice was like discovering a determined crocus unexpectedly pushing up through cold winter earth. Clear, grounded and intent on living.

Happy Monday to each of you!
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 3 February 2020
Photo of early spring flowers found at pixabay.com

Lulled by promises

Cold air rushes into the void gasping
Shaking rafters and startling trees
Grown soft in mild winter sunshine

Radiators crackle and pop
Kitty curls into a ball of white fur
Humidifiers bubble and sigh
Cars rush by with home on their minds

How cruel to be lulled by promises
Whispered yesterday beneath a balmy sky

No major winter warnings. Just a run of bitter cold weather this coming week. Maybe a bit of snow.

OK. I can’t help myself. Fake weather. That’s what it is! Don’t believe a thing you see, hear or feel. It’s a warm, sunny, beautiful day! Enjoy! 🙂

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 17 January 2020
Photo of Smudge hibernating taken by DAFraser, Winter 2014

Easy (cooked) Kale Salad | Recipe

I haven’t posted a recipe for ages. But this morning I woke up inspired, and now have in my refrigerator a chewy but not tough, green but not raw, tasty yum-yum kale salad–or kale salad starter! All thanks to my 8-quart pressure cooker and Lorna J. Sass.

Lorna Sass transformed the way I use my pressure cooker. Of all her recipe books, I especially like Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure. Along with recipes, she almost always includes tips and techniques, plus easy variations.

So here’s one for all you kale-lovers and wanna be lovers of kale-lovers out there. It’s simple and super good with just about anything. Or…if you decide you don’t like the taste of kale salad (don’t tell me!), you can add it to a bowl of vegetarian (or not) soup.

This recipe is on pp. 84-85 of her vegetarian cookbook. The recipe is for Collard Spaghetti (also yum yum). I used one of her variations.

Ingredients:

  • About 1 pound of pretrimmed kale, washed and drained (This time I used a big bag of precut ruffled-leaf organic kale.)
  • 1 cup water (Don’t vary the water, no matter how much kale you have.)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or put through garlic press (optional, and I love it)
  • Pinch of salt (optional; I leave it out)

Instructions:

  • Cut off thick stems. Since the kale I used was pre-torn, I trimmed off thick pieces of stem using my kitchen scissors, then rinsed the kale in water.
  • Bring the water, garlic (if using), and salt (if using) to a boil in a large (8-quart) pressure cooker.
  • Add kale and lock the lid in place. Leave heat on high; bring pressure up to high. At this point, you can turn the heat off, or turn it to low. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes (I used 2 minutes).
  • Reduce pressure with quick-release method (run cold water on edge of the the lid until the pressure indicator drops all the way down).
  • Remove lid (facing away from you), transfer cooked kale into a strainer; let it drain and cool a bit.

Optional (I NEVER omit this): Sprinkle the cooked kale with some (not too much) toasted sesame oil and toss with salad forks. You can also add some tamari soy sauce if you’re OK with salt.

In sum: you now have a side dish, an addition to almost any kind of soup (bean soup, lentil soup), or the beginning of whatever strikes your fancy.

Happy Thanksgiving the day after!

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 29 November 2019
Book cover photo found at amazon.com
Vegan kale salad photo found at ambitiouskitchen.com

hoard of robins | Happy Monday!

hoard of robins
juicy holly berries
bright morning feast
scramble for preferred seats
squawks of indignation

As heard and seen on my early morning walk, along with

  • hoards of kindergarten students shrieking in the playground
  • a friendly dog walker with friendly dogs
  • my first sighting of a presidential election campaign bumper sticker
  • wasted acorns languishing on the sides of the road
  • autumn leaves piled up in a large trampoline with no visible way of escape
  • grade school children on a run-and-shriek-it-all-out-of-your-system break
  • and a handful of gorgeous autumn leaves still hanging on

If you watch the video above, you’ll need to supply your own squawks of indignation!

Hoping your Monday is/was happily filled with unexpected beauty.

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 25 November 2019
Video of Robins in Portland, Oregon found on YouTube

Waiting patiently . . .

Waiting patiently
On my back
Clothed in the same
Blue gown they gave me
On my last visit
I pass the time of day
Searching for the
Least medicinal
Prop in this
Antiseptic space
Adorned with trifles
Like boxes of throw-away
Vinyl/non-vinyl gloves plus
Hazardous Trash receptacles
For dangerous substances

Suddenly I see it
Off to my right side
Hanging on the wall
A hazy pastel depiction
Of a perfect summer day

Somewhere in paradise
Blue air floats above
A small tree-covered
Island in the distance
A stream flows
Past a sweetly perfect
Cottage for one or two
Flowers in light pink and yellow
Blossom in a small garden
Lush green grass invites me to
Rest on my back
Taking in the imagined
Sounds and fragrance
Of a perfect summer day

I wrote this after returning from a long day at my heart doctor’s office. A good day, in the end. And long.

I’m always interested in art work hanging in doctor’s offices. Most often it’s a beautiful nature scene chosen to engender a peaceful, relaxed state of mind and body. No, the image above is not what I saw in my doctor’s office. Definitely a cut or two above it. Nonetheless….

I got home rather late, took a lovely walk in cold drizzly air, and then wrote the above. Not to be sentimental, but this time I took the medicinal art work as an invitation to practice deep breathing and relaxation. A handy skill, especially when I’m lying on my back, unable to jump up and leave, no matter who walks through the door!

Now it’s Tuesday, so I bid you Happy Tuesday, and hope it’s even better than your Monday turned out to be!

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 19 November 2019
Pastel Painting of Cottage Garden by Kathleen Kalanowski found at pinterest.com

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