Blog, SoCS

SoCS – Food Differences

Linda’s son Alex is in the hospital. Hold a good thought for both of them today. Even with all she has on her plate, she always seems to find time for us. Thank you, Linda.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – just check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “difference.” Whatever the word “difference” conjures first in your mind, write about it. Enjoy!

Growing up in the country, most of our food was pretty simple. Most of our bread consumption centered around cornbread and biscuits. I have very vivid memories of watching my paternal grandmother prepare and bake cornbread. She always melted butter in the bottom of a cast iron skillet, added the cornmeal mixture to the skillet, and spooned the butter that eased up around the edges across the top of the bread. It was luscious.

But even as common as cornbread was, there were differences in how it was made and eaten. We always made it with buttermilk, but some people made it with regular milk and some even added water. We often had cornbread and milk for supper. Warm cornbread was crumbled in a bowl and topped with milk then served with a side dish of raw spring onions with a plate of salt to dip them in. My grandfathers both ate theirs with buttermilk, a taste I never acquired. I decided to eat cornbread and milk one night recently. It was not as I remembered. There are certainly differences in our tastes as we age and move around.

One of my favorite ways to eat cornbread was fried in a hot cast iron skillet. It looks much like a pancake and slathered in fresh churned butter – well, there is nothing better. Unless perhaps it is hot baked cornbread with a little apple-butter on top.

Then there is cracklin’ bread which is basically cornbread baked with the addition of cracklin’s – small pieces of fried pig skin and fat – a byproduct of rendering lard. Our families did not butcher hogs, so we rarely had it.

One big difference is also whether cornbread should be sweet or more savory. This decision can be regional or cultural. Mine is always savory, but my son loves it sweetened.

While not really cornbread, my favorite southern side dish is without a doubt, hushpuppies. Hushpuppies are a fried cornmeal/flour mixture, seasoned usually with onions and other spices and then deep fried. Trust me I know every place that serves hushpuppies and the differences between their recipes. (My all time favorite comes Pinky’s West Side Grill in Charlotte, NC.)

I remember going to my maternal grandmother’s house when I was very young. She made a huge 12” pone of cornbread and served it upside down and cut into slices. At my paternal grandmother’s we always broke the cornbread. I was so excited because I thought we were having cake for dinner!

Blog, SoCS

SoCS – Was it You?

It’s that time again and Linda has a left us with the possibility for an infinite number of questions.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – just check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “start with who/whom” Begin your post with either “who” or “whom” and go from there. Have fun!

“Who left the gate open?” My grandfather when the cows got out.

”Who rattled your cage?” My mom when we offered an opinion about things that were none of our business.

”Who left the empty milk jug in the refrigerator?” My dad a million times while raising four children.

”Who peeled the frosting off the cake?” My grandmother when her 15 grandchildren were there for a family dinner. (In our defense that hard chocolate frosting was irresistible.)

”Who died and left you boss?” Me or any of my siblings when having an argument. I think that was our favorite go to phrase.

“Who asked you?” My father when we butted into a conversation.

”Who knew I came from such a sarcastic family?” That would be me!

Blog, SoCS

SoCS – Internal Dialogue

Linda seems to have had a rainy Friday. I hope it was better than our rainy Thursday – we received almost five inches of rain in 24 hours.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – just check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “run.” Use it as a noun, a verb, use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

After reading Linda’s prompt I found myself having some interesting internal dialogue.

”Today, I’m going to run to Target.”

”Are you crazy?”

”No, i feel totally safe since yesterday was the end of my two week vaccination waiting period. I’ll still mask up of course.”

”Seriously? You are going to run to Target? I doubt that.”

”Yes. I know I still need to be careful because people are still going to run amuck with no masks.”

”There you go again. No one is running. They are walking or driving, but no one is running and that includes you.”

”Are you saying my grammar is lacking?”

”I don’t know. Look it up.”

“I can’t do that. I must write stream of consciousness. No research allowed.”

“Ok. Fair enough. So you are going to drive to Target, not run. Where you feel safer because of the vaccine.”

“Whatever. Yesterday our county opened up the vaccine to every age group. Lots of people have received their second shots. I wonder how many will run a fever like I did.”

”I give up.”

“I think you should chill out. Let’s have a cup of coffee. I wonder what time Target opens? I need to run by Costco and fill up my car.”

Blog, SoCS

SoCS – Tools of the Trade

We are back to a more traditional SoCS this week. Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – just check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “starts with cal.” Use a word starting with the letters “cal” as your prompt word. Have fun!

If you have followed my blog for a while, you may recall I am a bit of a tool geek. I was always exposed to tools hanging around my grandfathers very early on in my life.

My paternal grandfather had a career as a machinist with the railroad. He had tools everywhere. My maternal grandfather was a carpenter and had a wood shop filled with the tools of his trade. My dad worked on all of our family cars and I spent hours upon hours as his helper handing him the tools he needed as he called them out from underneath the car. It’s no wonder I love tools.

When I started making jewelry, tools were important. A caliper became my best friend. I graduated from a manual caliper to a digital caliper and truth be told I may buy another one.

I love tools that are precisely calibrated. So I was ecstatic when I found this amazing new tool to draw circles from Makers Cabinet. What is amazing is the fact that it is designed to work like the iris in a camera. It is engineered out of highly polished brass with stainless spring steel leaves. It is beautifully crafted and well calibrated.

Image from

The tool is made in the U.K., and of course after their successful kickstarter, it has been cheaply replicated and offered on Amazon.

I have my eye on the real deal. I am a snob when it comes to quality tools. This one is gorgeous! Machinists, artists, architects, and jewelers will love this tool!

Blog, SoCS

SoCS – What Just Happened?

Stream of Consciousness Saturday has taken a twist this week. Linda suggests since this is the one year anniversary of living in a pandemic, we might want to write about how this year has been for us. Check out her blog if you want to join in – just check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.

Here is what Linda had to say:

“Because this week is an anniversary–albeit a mostly miserable one–for most people around the world, I’d like to suggest something different for this week’s SoCS. You don’t have to do it. You can just choose one of the prompt words and run with it as you always do. I might do that myself. But I thought it would be interesting to see not just how everyone has coped, or not, over the last year, but to share our common experiences as a way to connect, to feel a little less alone, perhaps. Basically, talk about your last year is what I’m saying, whether stream-of-consciousness style or not. Or, if you’d rather not, talk about any time period your heart desires. Without further ado, here’s your prompt for this week:”

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “day/week/month/year.” Use one, use them all, use them any way you’d like. Enjoy!

Outdoor Fireplace

This photo was taken on March 12, 2020, out last night in the cabin. My daughter and I sat up on that big porch in Georgia watching the flames dance having no idea at all what was looming.

On March 13, 2020, exactly one year to the day, I hugged my daughter, my daughter-in-law, my granddaughter and my dear friend and co-grandmother for the last time. Now, one year later, we are all a little worse for the wear. In my extended family circle, there are two ongoing divorces, and of the three people who lost jobs, two are still unemployed.

There is good news, though. Yesterday, we received our second vaccination for the virus. In a matter of weeks now, we will be able to visit with some of our circle who are fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, there are some who are in the final priority which may mean July before they are fully vaccinated. Then we do not know if our vaccinations will still be effective.

A new world began to reveal itself our our respective returns home. One was flying as the airlines were hopping trying to deal with a virus they knew very little of. Our family returning to Florida was advised to buy toilet paper because there was none on the shelves at home. I drove the four hours home alone and stopped at a grocery store to pick up a muffin and some juice for breakfast. It was panic inside. I remember clearly a young mother stopping me in the aisle. She had six gallons of generic bleach in her cart. “Excuse me. Do you think this will kill the virus?” I tried to advise her about diluting the bleach but I do not think she heard me.

News feeds began to churn on the hour and it seems to have remained that way. It was a confusing time of feeling vulnerable and considering the prospect of dying alone. Those were dark days.

A few weeks passed and we decided to do remote pickup for our groceries. It was a mystery when time slots would open up and I discovered if I stayed up until 2:00 am, I could get a spot. We are still getting the majority of our groceries that way.

When the mask mandate happened, you could not find masks. My quilting friend in upstate New York made over 250 masks that she gave away and mailed free. I was able to send masks to our children and grandchildren because of her generosity.

Of course we also showed the worst of ourselves. People refused to wear masks and took it out of the store employees. That mentality seemed to have lingered as mistrust in science took hold.

We attended our grandson’s high school graduation via Facebook Live. I took two writing classes via Zoom. All of our grandchildren soon shifted to remote learning. All the concern about how much screen time was healthy for a child went out the window. They were now spending hours facing a computer screen while they tried to make sense of remote learning. They lost interest in Zooming with family and who can blame them. They were technologically saturated.

We have been fortunate. We know several people who contracted the virus and thankfully recovered. I know of three people who lost their lives to the virus. I still get overwhelmed just thinking about how many people lost their lives to the virus and how many people are suffering long-term consequences.

As the months have passed, the nuances of living ran together, much like the ink runs on paper when it gets wet. Life has been diluted. We have changed and all of us have been affected in some way. I had my first Covid dream the other night. I was in a grocery store for an hour when I realized I had forgotten my mask. I panicked. It woke me from a dead sleep.

I have been counting down the days until the official first day of spring. It’s only 7 days away now. It is symbolic to me. A time of renewal and the end of a hard, dark and trying winter.

I hold hope that people remain cautious and we truly turn a corner with the virus. It has been a long hard year. This community has kept me sane and I thank you.

Stay well, stay safe, and hold onto hope.