reading, book
In the Acadian land, on the shores of the Basin of Minas,
Distant, secluded, still, the little village of Grand-Pré
Lay in the fruitful valley. Vast meadows stretched to the eastward,
Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks without number.
Dikes, that the hands of the farmers had raised with labor incessant,
Shut out the turbulent tides; but at stated seasons the flood-gates
Opened, and welcomed the sea to wander at will o'er the meadows.

West and south there were fields of flax, and orchards and cornfields
Spreading afar and unfenced o'er the plain; and away to the northward
Blomidon rose, and the forests old, and aloft on the mountains
Sea-fogs pitched their tents, and mists from the mighty Atlantic
Looked on the happy valley, but ne'er from their station descended.

There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Acadian village.
Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and of chestnut,
Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the Henries.
Thatched were the roofs, with dormer-windows; and gables projecting
Over the basement below protected and shaded the door-way.

There in the tranquil evenings of summer, when brightly the sunset
Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on the chimneys,
Matrons and maidens sat in snow-white caps and in kirtles
Scarlet and blue and green, with distaffs spinning the golden
Flax for the gossiping looms, whose noisy shuttles within doors
Mingled their sound with the whir of the wheels and the songs of the maidens.

Solemnly down the street came the parish priest, and the children
Paused in their play to kiss the hand he extended to bless them.
Reverend walked he among them; and up rose matrons and maidens,
Hailing his slow approach with words of affectionate welcome.
Then came the laborers home from the field, and serenely the sun sank
Down to his rest, and twilight prevailed. Anon from the belfry
Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of the village
Columns of pale blue smoke, like clouds of incense ascending,
Rose from a hundred hearths, the homes of peace and contentment.

Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers,—
Dwelt in the love of God and of man. Alike were they free from
Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics.
Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows;
But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of the owners;
There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance.

Becky's note: This last bit makes me cry.
For bbwoof and I dwelt together in love at WinneBagEnd.
We lived there for eight years, free from fear, free from envy.
Neither locks we had to our hopes, nor bars to our sympathy for each other.
We were open as day, open to each other's hearts.
No matter how poor we might be we lived in abundance, generously, giving selflessly to friends.
Giving selflessly to each other.
And now those days are gone, gone as if they were a dream.

Poem of the Month: Evangeline, Preface

reading, book
Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.

This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman?
Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers —
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!
Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October
Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o'er the ocean.
Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pré.

Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient,
Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman's devotion,
List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines of the forest;
List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.

Nov. 6th, 2013

never give up, patience
A great drawback to self-education is that it frequently leaves you with odd holes in your knowledge inventory.

I thought I knew all the basic financial terminology and understood, intellectually, all about how credit scores were derived and how to save money. But, no, it turns out I had a few odd holes here and there.

I've just spent an hour going through this consumer financial literacy site, Call Better Money Habits and designed by Khan Academy. Much of the information is very basic; but since it is presented pleasantly and without condescension, I'm able to stick with it and pick up a few important and previously-unknown nuggets of info. I mean, debt-to-income ratio was not at all what I thought it was!

Sure, Bank of America can be atrocious, but they got the "Better Money Habits" site right.

Tags:

What's Cooking

Cooking, Indian food
I keep thinking of things to cook, then realizing that I'm not home and I don't have any capers here. Or smoky Spanish paprika, or a food processor, or a host of other things I had in the snug, cheery, kitchen at Winnebagend. My Woof used to mock-complain about the colors I'd had it painted, lavender and mint-green. It was just right for me.

So... I don't have the whole week of menus planned yet, here at the home of maiabee8 and alataristarion. I'm just posting what I've got so far:

Sunday: Grazed on leftovers.
Monday: Leftover enchilada casserole (if there's any left by then); tortilla salad made hearty with cheese, avocado, and hardboiled eggs. Squash and lentil soup; chopped kale and blue cheese salad. (Add the meat from the one leftover cooked chicken leg.)
Tuesday: Squash and lentil soup; chopped kale and blue cheese salad. (Add the meat from the one leftover cooked chicken leg.) Leftover enchilada casserole (if there's any left by then); tortilla salad made hearty with cheese, avocado, and hardboiled eggs.
Wednesday: Pasta with tuna tomato sauce (dress up this recipe); broccoli chopped salad.
Thursday:
Friday:
Saturday:

edited to switch Monday and Tuesday

So. I know I also want to make spiced pumpkin cookies, and banana bread, and maybe cranberry oat bars. Probably freeze most of what I make, because nobody here has a sweet tooth. But the idea of baking feels very comforting.

Officially back at LJ

LJ (love it)
I have missed journaling so so so much! This format is good for me to think out loud with feedback from people I respect. And also, the way I used to post in LJ provided some needed structure for me. It might not sound like much, knowing that "Oh, today's Sunday, I have to post my menus. And I should figure out what music video I'll post on Monday, and which poem I'll post on Wednesday" -- but, yes, it made a difference in how well I had my life together.

So I'm back to LJ posting. My budget is very tight right now, but I decided that a paid account was worth it, for the icons. A big part of LJ for me has always been the icons.

Hey, it's almost time to post menus. I better see what my daughter has in the house!

Unhelpful Airlines are Unhelpful

at work
My daughter's friend zephyrofgod was almost stranded in Qatar -- she needed to pay $1500 to get back home, and American Airlines and Qatar Airways are pointing fingers at each other, passing the blame. Frankly, it looks like it really is American's screw-up.

Please read her account of it, and boost the signal.

A Facebook friend who works in customer service for United has told me that it seems to her that it's clearly American Airlines' responsibility to make this right. She says that when the AA desk agent reissued part of the original ticket, they took over control of the entire ticket, all the way to Qatar and back, regardless of whose ticket stock issued it originally. She says AA created the problem because their agent in Chicago dealt only with the outbound flight, and reissued that portion WITHOUT re-protecting the return.

But American Airlines' customer service is giving zephyrofgod the runaround. So, if you feel inclined, you might boost that information, too!

Curried Tuna Salad

at work
I have had a couple of requests for the recipe for tuna salad that Woof liked.
Here it is. Just mix together:

Two cans (7 oz each) tuna, well drained
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Add more mayo if you like a wetter tuna salad. Woof prefers it dry and well-spiced. (I shook a little extra curry and garlic on his portion.) Good on a sandwich, but super yummy served with green onions, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes and hardboiled eggs.

Tags:

What's Cooking

at work
I've staying with my daughter these past few weeks. I don't know what she calls her house, or if she has named it at all.

But! I have shook off my lethargy and started to cook. I had started cooking again at home, just before everything fell apart, but for the past few weeks I've been too stunned and sad.

It feels good to cook again. It feels like hope.

Sunday, Monday and Wednesday were snacks-and-pizzas-in-front-of-the-TV nights, watching the World Series. But on Tuesday I made a jambalaya, and tonight I made a really good chicken enchilada casserole.

Friday night will be sausages and salad. On Saturday night my daughter and her husband are going to a wedding, and I'm going to my sister's house for dinner.

OK. That part of my life is planned. This is a good thing.

Monster Movie Meme

at work
OK. So I am cheering myself up.

Looks like my monster movie is "Attack of the Flying Snuggle Badgers". Heh -- Woof's is "Beware! the Disco Sock Puppets"!

OK, that makes me smile.

Greggs Monster Movie Meme

Tags:

Sad News

thoughtful, serious
Four weeks ago, bbwoof told me he didn't want to be married to me anymore.
I moved out three weeks ago. We saw a marriage counselor once together, and once separately.
On Monday Woof emailed me that he wanted a divorce as quickly as possible, and asked me not to contest it.

We met twelve years ago to the day, on the day before Halloween.
Eight years ago, after we handed out candy together on our first Halloween night together in the house on Winnebago, Woof asked me to marry him. As he likes to recall, my answer was a grin so large it threatened to knock my ears off.

Four weeks ago, just a few hours before he told me he didn't want to be married, Woof had called me to say how much he liked the curried tuna salad in his lunch. He'd asked me to make that a regular in the lunch rotation.

I am still in shock. But I have come to realize that this is really happening, and I need to make plans accordingly. I have friends and family rallying to help me.

Woof needs friends right now. I think he's going to be so much worse off than I will be.

This entry was originally posted at http://beckyzoole.dreamwidth.org/107116.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

edited to add subject

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