Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Listen to the evening.

sometimes in the evenings when
everything is still
with nothing but the sound of
wind in trees, and the call of birds is
faint and far away,
ideal thoughts fill my mind
pipe dreams of many things
of love and life and
where I’m bound.
flights of fancy tickle
my brain
spin me around with never
a sound
in their coming and only
a trace in my memory when
they’re gone.

© Perle Champion

Monday, January 30, 2012

Rise and shine.

Monday and I have nowhere to be. I work a 4-day week and it begins on Tuesday. I usually get up at 5a.m. anyway, but this morning I languished until daylight broke through my windows.  The landlord calls this the sunroom, I call it the best of all possible bedrooms. 7 windows 3 facing south, 4 west so the room is sunny all day.  Still posting from iPhone w/o pix.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I need some good mojo to revive my old Dell.

My Dell laptop of 8 years caught a bug yesterday, and I left him in the capable hands of Elizabeth at Office Depot. I’m hoping she can retrieve my docs & pix. She’s hopeful, but no promises. Either way, it’s time for a new computer. Crossing my fingers and asking all to send some good vibes my way.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.  – Fran Lebowitz But there’s a little of each in all of us, and I assure you many of those great, average and small people speak of their ideas and things over a glass of wine or two and pause to talk about the quality of that glass as well. Also, it is not people who are great or average or small but the way we are in the world.  We can speak of ideas, but speaking isn’t doing; we can speak of things but know nothing about them; we can speak of wine as a pseudo-connoisseur or a true lover of the of the beverage in all high or low variations. Rowling as Dumbledore said it best, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Friday, January 27, 2012

Change rides the night wind.

My future rides the night wind
ruffles curtains, caresses skin
whispers promises at the edge of dream
leaving traces of something almost seen
© Perle Champion (2007)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Are you keeping your resolutions?

Call it Winter Solstice, Yule, darkest night or just plain December 22, but the day after, the days began to grow in length minute by minute.  That almost imperceptible lengthening of days is suddenly so obvious.  It is with indescribable pleasure that I walked out the door of my office building this evening to day instead of night just in time to bear witness to the most glorious sunset.

Next up, Imbolc (February 2) considered a traditional time for rededication and pledges for the coming year.  I made my pledges, née resolutions as usual on darkest night with candles lit, sipping iced champagne in a Baccarat  flute, and Blackmore’s Night streaming on Pandora.

Realizing that the reason most resolutions fail is because we try to change too many things at once, I began with just one on January 1 (post a blog a day).  I’ll add 2 new things on February 1 or Imbolc eve (sending out one query per day Monday – Friday, and drawing or painting one new thing on Saturday).

Each month, I’ll start one new thing and each day I’ll be grateful for the lengthening days to hold each new thing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is envy really a deadly sin?

ENVY:  wanting what somebody else has: the resentful or unhappy feeling of wanting somebody else's success, good fortune, qualities, or possessions transitive verb…

Envy.  It’s a natural reaction to another’s success, beauty or apparent ease in the world.  But is it deadly?  Or is the deadly part how we act on it.

Truth is, envy can be a good thing, if you leave out the resentment part.  Be the object of your envy has succeeded, and if it’s the kind of success you want in your life, decide what you need to do to accomplish similar success.

Bless it and you’ll be blessed, curse it and you curse yourself – it’s an old adage, which proves itself daily in our lives.  I don’t consider envy a deadly sin.  As with most things in our world, it is not the thing that is deadly, but how we use it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Have you checked out Club Bacchus yet?

From 5:05 until 6:30 this evening I and a number of my fellow-travelers enjoyed food, music and drinks courtesy of Club Bacchus and BankCorpSouth at one of Operation New Birmingham’s famous 5:05 meet and mingles.

The club is sparkling, and the dance floor on the second level took me back to my dancing days, complete with disco ball.  I finished up the evening, sipping, and chatting at a window table occasionally gazing out the window at 11th street’s lights twinkling below and Vulcan shining just beyond on the mountain.

Listening to the singer on the bandstand, playing his acoustic guitar play to an inattentive audience, gave me pause.  I’m accustomed to people paying attention to me – good or bad, but never ignored.  I stopped mid-sentence and started a round of applause as he finished his last song.

I like this place.  They allow smoking on the second floor which opens late for dancing,  my smokin’ (literally & figuratively) brother will love that, but no smoking in the pub on the first level.

Check  Club  Bacchus out if you get a chance.  I know I’ll be back.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year – Do you know your whole sign?

Pisces here with Sagittarius ascending (water & fire) unless I use the Chinese zodiac. 

Many websites determine a person's Chinese horoscope animal sign by the Chinese New Year's day or birth year which doesn’t tell the whole story.  A true Chinese horoscope puts more import on the month and day of your birth.

Born on February 23, 1949, my Chinese horoscope declares, “Perle is a Tiger (birth month) born in the year of the Ox on the day of the Green Monkey.”  I like the sound of that.  I mean who wants to be a plain old Ox?.  

In that same horoscope I had cast a few years back, I found a chart for my luck level.  Seems that from age 62 to 72 my luck should be at its peak – ‘make it so, oh make it so.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Don't you just love Pancakes?

Some Sunday mornings just call for pancakes - not those ordinary non-nutritive, white flour, sugary things.  It called for my own special recipe.  Alas, my recipe box, which I never got around to committing to computer, went the way of so many things in the fire.

But the thing is, if you’re a real cook, you don’t always need a recipe.  Years of cooking gives you a feel for food and its many combinations.  Some things are just instinctual.

I poured leftover buttermilk from last week’s soda bread into the blender and tossed in some old fashioned oats to soften, sliced in a half banana, sprinkled some cinnamon, and a dribble of blackstrap molasses and hit speed two to blend.  Beat a few eggs in a bowl and poured in the mixture from the blender.

Next, I added 2 tbs or ground flax, 1tsp of baking powder, ½ tsp of baking soda (essential if you use soda) to more or less a cup of whole-wheat flour, and mixed it into the liquid mixture.  I adjusted with a bit more buttermilk to get it just right.

The iron pan had been heating all the time, and when I added the smear of bacon drippings, the aroma of bacon set my mouth to watering.  I poured the thick pancake mixture and formed it to about a 5-inch circle (toaster size, so I can freeze extras for later quick healthy breakfasts).

I ate the first one hot off the griddle smeared with butter, as I poured the next one to cook.  When the last one cooked, I smeared it with butter, poured a bit of real maple syrup (grade B – it’s the most nutritive) and savored every bite with my steaming cup of spicy coffee.

The remaining 4 pancakes, I let cook before putting them into a Ziploc bag and into the freezer for another day.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Does Jazzmine talk to Sabrina's ghost?

Jazzmine:  This time around, I’m a cat.  But this has not always been so.  I could tell you stories of who I was in past lives, but bragging about that is what brought me to this pass.  I’m told I abused my power over others, and so now I am a cat and at the mercy of this human world for food, shelter and more.

Actually, I lucked out yet again.  Initially born to a stray, along with a brother that ate most of the food the lady from ‘Save our Strays’ put in the cage for us and our mother, I was adopted by a lady with hair as black as mine.  As humans go, she’s not bad for the most part.

I’m not the first and that’s a bitch.  Worse, still, I’ll never be able to live up to ‘Sabrina’.  I’ve heard her on the phone bemoan the loss of Sabrina, who lived past 23 – darned old for a cat.  You think I’m exaggerating; here’s what she said to her friend over wine.  I really miss Sabrina, she was an aristocat, Jasmine is a slut.  Maybe it’s the upbringing, Sabrina came from a large family of people and menagerie of animals.  Jazzmine came from Save our Strays.

Sabrina: Get over it.  At least you’re alive; you get the treats, the pats.  I’m a ghost and she doesn’t see me anymore except at memory..

Jazzmine: Lucky her, lucky me..

Friday, January 20, 2012

Do you know your genealogy?

We thought we knew who we were, even if we did not know the family tree farther back than Grandmother and Grandfather on Mom’s side.  Mom was German and Hispanic we thought.  Her mother, Herminia was a Lozano, a sturdy Hispanic name. Her father’s name was Blaz Guzman and he was called the square-head (German) by the neighbors, no one knew where he came from or when, nor did they care.  He spoke Spanish and English and was a good hard-working neighbor.  He may have spoken German as well, but it was the early 30's - admitting to being German was not advisable.

Then one day mother remembered a long ago conversation with her mother.  Seems her mother, Herminia (Minnie), was adopted into the Lozano family, a Hispanic farm family.  She told Mom that she was a Bohemian and adopted and any memory before that was long gone, and now she is long dead. 
Herminia Lozano Guzman - she was a woman who lived each day that was given to her as it arrived.  The past had no importance in the busy life of a farm girl or the woman she became with a husband and ten children – it would change nothing.  She lived in the moment not the past.

Bohemian?  I always knew that old photograph of Minnie and Blaz, looking for all the world like the famous ‘American Gothic‘ seemed somehow not to fit into the mold of the neighborhood where she and he were raised.  The light hair, pale skin and eyes the color of straw (according to mom and my dad) - hazel?.  Who were they, this woman and this man? Where did they come from?  What was their journey from there to here, that I could be born on down the line in these United States?
Was she one of many of the train children, sent out to work the land, and forever to never know her roots? Was she an unfortunate/fortunate child of immigrants taken in through the kindness of strangers?  There are no birth certificates and only a few baptismal records and they are vague.  Was he an adventurous man who made his way to the land of opportunity? We’ll  never know.

I looked in the archives of census documents and found a 7 year-old Herminia something (the last name is scribbled and not Lozano) in a Lozano household - there are no other clues.  There are a few Blaz Guzman’s in various parts of Texas, any of which could have been our grandfather, but we’ll never know that either.

I wonder mostly out of curiosity as I stare at their wedding photo.  It’s a picture of a picture - the only surviving picture of them which hung on Maria’s (the eldest of the children) wall in 1974.  She would not trust it out of her sight, so my sister took a picture of it on the wall behind the couch, and that is all we have.

I think the lineage of my soul’s incarnations carries more import than the blood that runs in the veins of this its current temple.  But I’d still like to know where the flow originated - what path, which forks in the road lead them on and brought them here to me.

© Perle Champion

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Do you watch movies made from your favorite books?

Do you ever feel sad when you finish a book -  get to the final page.  So much so that you must open it back up immediately to page 1 and begin again.  What does that say about your life.  Is real life so dull that you must climb between the pages and re-visit this new cast of characters/friends?

There are times in my life when I have done just that.  It’s a loop. Like the movie groundhog day, I read a series of books.  Love it when I can find a series that already has 8 or more books.  A series lets you get to know the characters over time – they become so  finely drawn, so believable you can hear their voices.  That’s the kind of book, you almost hate to watch if made into a movie because you have already cast these characters in your mind.  I mean Tom Hanks as Professor Langdon - NOT!  He was more Sean Connery to me.

I came late to Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series and read 15 straight before having to wait for 16, 17, and now Explosive 18.

They’ve made a movie of  number 1 - ‘One for the Money’ and I’ve agreed to go see it with some trepidation, as these characters are fully formed in my mind’s eye.  With the exception of Stephanie Heigl as Plum and Sherri Shepherd as Lula, I think it’s almost totally miscast.  The two leading men do not exude the sexiness of my ‘Ranger’ and ‘Joe Morelli’..I’ve agreed to go to ‘One for the Money’, but I don’t think ‘Two for the Dough’ will make it into film.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Have you scanned your old photos yet?

I opened up the weathered trunk and started pulling the old photos out to scan before they faded beyond recall or restoration.  Time is of the essence, for even though they survived the fire in February, they took a good soaking in the process.  My mother took them all out, carefully dried each one and laid them out to dry on every surface of her dining and living room but still the water took its toll...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Do you notice all the Unseen Hands?

I've been reading Breathnach's 'Simple Abundance for the umpteenth time, and after re-reading her essay on keeping a Gratitude journal, I remembered this piece of mine previously published in PavoMag back in 2009.  It bears a reprint.

Unseen Hands.
I rise at five of five in the morning; feed the cat; do toilet; dress; stuff a small notebook and pen in my pocket and with keys in hand, head out the door by five past five.  My morning five-mile walk is an everyday ritual – rain or shine.  It is my sanity, my walking, meditating, mantra reciting and brainstorming time.  There is clarity at daybreak.  I see things rarely observed in our work-a-day world.  Although I cannot see Campbell's metaphysical helping hands I see those very real but rarely notice “…unseen helping hands.” 

We live in a land full of largely unseen helping hands.   At five in the morning those hands have faces.

I put my overflowing trashcan on the curb Tuesday morning just as the rain came.  I do it every Tuesday and Friday morning rain or shine, hot or cold.  Every Tuesday and Friday evening when I come home from work, an empty can awaits me.  At five in the morning, I see the hands that do this for me.  The men with gloved hands holding on to the back of the passing truck wave, and the driver honks as they collect the refuse in countless cans on countless streets.

At five in the morning those unseen helping hands have faces.

As I pass by Caldwell and then Rhodes parks, I see the crews with mowers and trash bags going about the job of keeping these small city oases clipped and clean for all of us.

On the back side of my walk, I pass the darkened pancake house on a corner of Southside, there is a light on back in the kitchen.  Preparation for the morning’s meals is in progress.  A lone pair of hands cracks eggs, grates cheese, mixes batters.

Farther down the street, there is a tall dark man in an orange vest with a broom, a shovel, and a trash bag.  He cleans 5-Points’ streets almost every morning, humming to himself, as he goes about his work.  He always looks up as I walk by.  He smiles at me and says good morning and I return in kind.

I drop a few letters and bills in the slot at the post office and check my box for incoming.  I hear the cheerful banter beyond the slots and boxes.  The bills containing my checks get to Virginia and New York; the letter to my navy brother crosses the ocean; the card gets to my sister, Barbara, in Atlanta; and the birthday check for my daughter, Dawn, gets to Pineville, Louisiana in just a few days – I never doubt they will.  As I open my box, Charlie’s face appears with a cheerful, “Perle, hang on a minute; I’ll make sure that’s all.” As I peer through the little box, Charlie’s hand reaches through and passes me one last piece of mail.

I come home late at night and flip a little switch and my home is lit with an ambient glow of light.  How many hands keep the power flowing?  I saw many of them during the blizzard of ‘93 as I slogged through snowdrifts.

I turn a knob and water comes to me for drinking, cooking, bathing and more.  I turn another knob and my waste is flushed away.  I raise my thermostat, and I am warmed.  I lower it and I am cooled.

I go to the grocery store and there is a bounty of foods to choose from.  I can only imagine the hands that milked the cows, made the cheese, and picked the fruits.  There are fresh foods, frozen foods, and canned foods, and more.

I lift my phone and ask for numbers and they come.  I go online and find places, people, information, maps and more.

How many hands did it take?

We are surrounded by far more than a thousand, unseen, helping hands every day of our lives.  There are dedicated, passionate individuals who work behind the scenes to better the lives of the disenfranchised; they write letters, give speeches circulate and sign petitions.  There are hands, that give anonymous gifts and monies for the less fortunate – all the angels of all the Christmas angel trees. There are people working day after day, both here and on foreign soil, that invisibly turn the wheels of our lives.

I am grateful for them all.

First published in PavoMag.com 11/15/2009

Monday, January 16, 2012

I love the aroma of baking bread?

I watched Julia on pbs last weekend and she was baking quick breads.  I've made all kinds of bread, from sour dough, yeast, biscuits, tortillas, chapati's, etc., but I've not yet done Irish Soda Bread.  The recipe was so simple (see below), but I wondered how it would do with 100% whole wheat.  Thing about whole wheat is the bran; it can not only break that delicate elasticity needed for breads to rise correctly, it requires more moisture or it bakes up dry, or dense and crumbly because it doesn't rise as well

I thought I'd give it a try, and it's in heavenly aroma is wafting through the apartment as I type this and sip a dos Equis.  Being a quick bread, it doesn't require kneading, which is great if you're in a hurry.  I love the process of my sour dough though, because I love the zen aspect of kneading, rising, and kneading again.

The bread knife is ready, and the butter is softening, and I will eat the first slice warm and have a slice or two more with leftover soup from yesterday.  Note: Done, and sliced heal perfectly, next slice a little crumbly, but oh it tastes so good.  Maybe when it cools, it'll slice easier, but I couldn't wait.

Simple Irish Soda Bread
3 Cups flour (white recommended,  used organic whole wheat)
2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1-2/3 Cups Buttermilk (must be buttermilk)
Mix dry ingredients
Cut in butter till flour mixture has mealy look
Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in buttermilk
Mix thoroughly with spoon, spatula or hand till forms ball.
Turn out on flour dusted surface
Form into ball place on greased cookie sheet

Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes will sound hollow when tapped on bottom.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

No Aroma says Sunday Like Soup simmering

My mother did it and I do, too.  I toss leftover vegetables into a container in the freezer. When dinner is over there's always a smidge of peas, 2 spoons of carrots, a scoop of mashed potatoes, half cup of cauliflower or a cup of beans.  I could toss them, but it seems wasteful.

My Mom used Tupperware; I use a large yogurt container and various Ziploc bags. Mom's was called 'Soup Surprise'; mine is called 'Mystery Soup'. Note: Save meats separately.

When the vegetable container is full it’s time for soup or a hearty pasta with vegetable sauce.  Bear in mind that a hearty soup needs more substance than just broth and vegetables: a can of diced tomatoes, potatoes or sweet potatoes.

Sassy Sweet Potato Soup
1-2       Tbs extra virgin olive oil, butter or oil of choice
1          Small onion chopped
1          Clove garlic smashed
1          Tsp cumin
1          Tsp coriander
1/2       Tsp ginger
3          Cups chicken or vegetable stock or water with 2 dissolved Knorr bouillon cubes.
3-4       sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1          Lb bag of carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1          Container of ‘Mystery Soup’ vegetables.
  1. Sauté onion 1 minute; add garlic and spices and stir 1 minute more.
  2. Deglaze pan with a splash of vermouth, or any item in step 3.
  3. Add stock or water and bouillon cubes. Stir well to deglaze pan completely.
  4. Add chopped sweet potatoes and carrots and simmer till al dente. (Note: you can substitute all carrots or all sweet potatoes if you prefer)
  5. Puree potatoes/carrots using immersion blender or in batches in regular blender
  6. Add ‘Mystery Soup’ vegetables whole or cut into small pieces.
  7. When soup comes back to boil, turn down to simmer for 10 more minutes stirring frequently to avoid sticking.
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste.
  9. Garnish with dollop of yogurt or sour cream or chives.
  10. Serve with garlic or pesto toast.
Servings 4-6. Prep/cook time: 35 minutes

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Does anyone really enjoy shopping for jeans?

Arrrgh I have to go jean shopping today.  My only pair of blue, blue jeans have finally worn through in not so strategic places.  To wear them again, would be beyond un-PC and possibly considered indecent.

I own several pair jeans that survived the fire tucked away in a closet that only got smokey and soaked.  There are 5 pair of black Ralph Lauren – I love black and Ralph fits my shape.  But, I only had one pair of blue jeans.  They’re Jones NY.  As well as Ralph’s black jeans fit me, his blue ones do not – go figure.

Knowing how styles and cuts of clothing change from year to year, I doubt if Jones will still fit like my old ones.  I’ve had them for almost 10 years.  I’m trying Jones first, but I don’t have my hopes up.   I’ll probably keep the old ones to run around the house.

So, sigh.  I have to go jean shopping today.  I’ve called Jane (mom) and I’m picking her up at noon; she is a shopping pro and when I ask "do these make me look fat, she'll tell me the truth.  We’ll hit the Galleria for a 2-fer lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s and a glass or two of liquid courage for the task at hand.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Do you fear Friday the 13th?

Do you have friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskavedekatriaphobia - fear of Friday the Thirteenth, or just or just triskaidekaphobia - fear of the number thirteen.  You’re not alone.  It’s not so much a fear these days as a superstition handed down through the generations.

No one knows exactly why 13 or Friday the 13th particularly is unlucky.  In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness.  Consider the things that come in twelves: months in a year; hours in a day; tribes of Israel, apostles (Judas was the 13th).  Thirteen obviously throws off the whole and bad things happen.

Historically, the 13th Street and 13th Avenue are often omitted in street numbering; the 13th floor skipped in tall buildings.  As if the not naming it 13 belies the fact that it is 13 carrying another label.

Personally, I have adopted it as a pseudo holiday.  I don my all black attire, pat my black cat on the way out the door and wish everyone a happy Friday the 13th.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Who do you see in the mirror?

Amy Tan wrote,  "I did not lose myself all at once.  I rubbed out my face over the years washing away my pain, the same way carving on stone are worn down by the water.”

She is right.  That is why the process is so insidious.  One day we simply do not know who we really are because day by day, year by year, layer by layer that unique individual – that child who was I – is buried in the silt of life’s rushing river.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What is more soothing than rain on the window sill?

There is no sound so soothing as rain.  The steady drops’ rill on the window’s sill sing to me.  It is best at night before sleep comes and even better at dawn as sleep leaves.  This is when the mad dash of our lives is still.  The tide of distant traffic has ebbed or yet to flow.

It’s raining now this afternoon, and from my aerie I hear then see the passing cars sluicing down the glistening black way that is 11th Place.  Already dusk comes and the blue Christmas lights I strung this Christmas in homage to Mark Roberts on my balcony shimmer in their subtle brilliance mirrored by the clear plastic barrier against the screening that shields me, my cat and plants from winter’s elements.

The weather persons assure me, the rain will last through the night and I hope they are right.  I could wish for no sweeter lullaby.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Have you started working on those resolutions?

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.” -Karen Lamb

That's the thing about resolutions, until you begin, you haven't a chance of getting anything accomplished. 

Trouble is, it is so easy to make the resolution, make the plan to accomplish it, to ponder the plan and refine the plan.  The difficult part is to start and then one step at a time keep moving.  If you mess up here and there along the way, no big deal.  The toddler falls and gets up and tries again.  Take a lesson from that.

So quit planning, from wherever you are, just begin.  Take baby steps until you can take bigger ones.  I'm talking to myself as much as you.  These daily blogs are my baby steps. 

I'm taking the 365 Blog challenge.  I committed to posting one Blog a day for 2012.  Some will will be good, some not-so-much, but if I wait for each to be perfect, few would get done.

I don't want to wake up in a year and look back at this day wishing I had started today.

Monday, January 9, 2012

PSA Monday - Does your smoke alarm work?

There’s no doubt in my mind that my smoke alarm saved my life last February, and that of the neighbors downstairs that I was able to awaken.

I was so thrilled to finally have a new apartment 6 months later, that it never occurred to me to check the smoke alarms.  They’re supposed to work.  Right?  Yes, they’re supposed to, but sometimes in readying a apartment for a new tenant, things get over-looked.

I took some cold medicine Saturday afternoon which made me groggy enough to fall asleep on the couch.  I woke (cat loudly meowing) to an apartment filled with smoke,  I quickly got the chicken soup off the fire, covering my mouth with a kitchen towel, opened the back and balcony door, turned on the air conditioner and retired to the back porch landing with the cat, iphone and a cold beer.

It was there I realized what was wrong with this picture.  There are 2 smoke alarms in this apartment and neither of them went off.  They’re being replaced as I type. 

I would not have burned to death, the chicken would have slowly become ash in it’s deep pot, but the smoke may have sent me to a more permanent sleep.

So here’s my PSA:  Whenever you move into a new place, immediately test the smoke alarms and of course
When, you change your clocks; change your smoke alarm batteries. Working smoke alarms increase the chance of surviving a home fire by 50 percent.
For more safety info:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What is a poet?

he drank and drank and sought oblivion - none came.
Imagethere was no euphoria, no altered plane
just a steady numbing
yet he heard it all and saw all - missed nothing,
he was indeed a poet of no mean proportion
a short-lived van gogh of words
bent to self-destruction on his path to knowing.
lips a line drawn thin - no resemblance to a mouth.
lids distort the sound of eye and crepe covers the brittle bones
dry laughter dying, dying pall.  might as well not have been here at all.
times he wonders why we bother.  what’s the draw?
raw pleasure of flesh, the painful parallel of love and hate.
do we want too much to feel or taste anything that we take it up so easily?
do we expect more of it than what it is that we so desperately seek the siren’s call?

© Perle Champion

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Where's the scarecrow when you need him?

ImageOnce again, I find myself at a crossroads, wishing for the scarecrow to point the way to Oz?  He is nowhere to be found; and if he was ever there, he's left the field without me, and I've no idea which path of the yellow brick road he took. Somehow, I don't think he's coming back, and once again the decision is all mine to make.

There are endless forks in the road whose choices forge the person we become. If we had more time to pause and consider each, would we do better, end up wiser or fail to move forward at all, stymied by the hesitation?

How many folks just sit and wait pacing a rut back and forth between the paths, never daring to risk either?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Do you do lite, or do you want the real deal?

Vindication. I've been seeing more and more print and tv  stories about ‘obesegens'.

Friends and family have long looked askance at certain of my so-called fetishes.

Long before the bad news started coming in about the artificial sweeteners, lite this and light that, I declared ‘Give me the Real Deal or No Deal.  I want real chocolate, real beer, real coffee, and a real Coke, and most definitely real cheese, etc.   Yes, I buy Lean Cuisine, but I remove it to a glass cooking dish with top and cook it in a real oven.

I’ve always refused to eat or drink from Styrofoam at all costs, and plastic as much as I can avoid it.  When my favorite Duke’s Mayonnaise (one of few I could find with no sugar added) went plastic, I stopped buying it and opted for an almost comparable albeit more expensive brand that still came in glass at Whole Foods. 
My friend asked what I’d do when they all come in plastic.  I’ll make my own from a Martha Stewart recipe, I told her. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Is over-eating killing you?

I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand.- Benjamin Franklin

Good old Ben and his common sense, speaks the simple truth. Most disease is directly attributable to over-eating and wrong eating.  This temple that is our body is abused by our many vises, not the least of which are food and drink. From cradle to grave it is the single thing that is in our grasp to change if only we would.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Don't you hate those negative political ads?

I truly hate the mudslinging side of politics, all those people against this and against that even each other.  We'll soon be queueing up to vote again and I'm looking for  some positivity out there.

Negative people never learn the rules.  Give your attention to what you are for, not what you are against. I want to know what you are for.   The mind focuses on the thing; it doesn’t discern if you want it or don’t want it.  So give your attention to what you want.

 If you think you are surrounded by thieves, you will be robbed.  If you think you will fail, you will more often than not. 

I want someone in office that is optimistic about our future.  I want to stand in line to vote knowing I have a good choice.  I'm still looking.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What is your journal to you?

My journal, my little 5x8 spiral notebook goes most everywhere with me.  From my nightstand, to the kitchen bar where I sip coffee, to breakfast whether home or at a restaurant, tucked near at hand in my purse throughout the day, and returned to the nightstand at day's end.  It is my friend, confidant, psychoanalyst.  I firmly believe I owe my sanity to committing my day good or bad to the page. 

Natalie Goldberg said, "Take out another notebook, pick up another pen, and just write, just write, just write. In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the centre of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write. Say yes, stay alive, be awake. Just write. Just write. Just write."

I agree.  Last year with so much loss, it took my pain and grief.  These days when death stalks a sweet friend, and we can only watch and wait, it helps to put pen to page and voice the feelings there that cannot be voiced aloud. 

It also helps to end the day by listing at least 5 things I’m grateful for that day as well, whether that thing is as simple as birdsong, sunrise or a gentle rain.  Gratitude soothes the soul.  Yes, Natalie, I’ll keep taking out another notebook and I will write, write, just write.

© Perle Champion

Monday, January 2, 2012

Does your horoscope ever hit the nail on the head?


Does your horoscope ever hit the nail the head? 
Mine did today.

Pisces: 1/2/12
 "You may grow tired with the thought of returning to the daily grind and want to retreat into your own private space instead. Even if you need to be around others now, you're still likely to feel a bit withdrawn. Fortunately, this isn't a problem because you can still do your job while letting your imagination wander. Just continue to do your work while keeping your personal thoughts to yourself. "

This one was written for me.  I've gotten accustomed to the rhythm of my life at home over the holidays.  I like the commute from the kitchen with coffee in hand to my sunny studio/office with the big sunny windows, Jazmine purring an arm's reach away on the corner of my desk, my music streaming in the background.