Summer Swan Song

Dear Summer,

Thank you so much for coming to visit. It seems like just yesterday that you arrived.

I am sad to say it but, farewell fun in the sun, fireworks, and family picnics. So long to sipping lemonade, sleeping in, and slip-n-slides. Goodbye going to the park, pool parties, and play-dates. Your favorite activities will be left behind and the playgrounds will be abandoned for a while.

But, we enjoyed our time with you. There are so many wonderful memories. Don’t worry, I’ve enclosed pictures for you.

Remember all the walking we did in the Las Vegas heat. And the littlest dude was sick with strep. That part wasn’t fun but we made up for it by eating well the rest of the trip. The fast food tour of the West coast was worth it.

I loved seeing the family for the first time in five years. WOW. How everyone has grown? Me a little wider. LOL. It was nice to sit and reminisce about childhood. Celebrate graduations and the next phase of life. Soak up some vitamin D on the front porch with you.

I’m so thankful that we were able to stay up late and sleep in. No where to hurry off to. People talk about lazy days and stopping to smell the roses (as the expression goes). Such beautiful blooms to admire, it was wonderful to stop and smell them along the way.

What fun it was to see the sights. Play tourist and buy souvenirs. Like trips to the USMC base, Camp Pendleton, to see the helicopters; the LEGO store; and the children’s museum in San Diego. Imagine an exhibit on garbage and recycling. We learned a lot about taking care of our planet because of it. We won’t forget our time together in California.

The thing I love about you, Summer, is the meals we share. We had a lot of great gatherings; breaking bread and catching up with all of our friends. Chicken and burgers on the grill; fresh fruit; ice cream … making s’mores over an open fire while watching the sunset … all of your favorite smells and flavors.

We read lots of great new chapter books with the boys. And they did some reading on their own which makes me smile. I’m glad it wasn’t all video games and movies. They managed to unplug a little bit too.

We will cherish the laughter and the tears of our trip to Chicago for Comic Con and LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Two LEGO locations, in two different states, during your visit; how funny.

I admit that it wasn’t all good times. There were those moments we had to say goodbye, not like I’m saying goodbye to you now, but final goodbyes to life long friends. People who lived full lives and people who were taken too young. Thankfully, you were here and, we could comfort one another which made it bearable.

Another one of my regrets is that we didn’t really make it to the beach. We drove by several while on vacation, but our feet never touched the sand; our toes never tested the water. Oh well, maybe next time you’re in town we can make that happen.

Thank you for helping us make the most of the season. Now we have new stories to tell; to hold us over until next year. Summer, it’s always hard saying goodbye. We wish you didn’t have to go but it’s time for the boys to go back to school and the rest of us to fall back into our routine.

We’ll miss you … Please take care until we see one another again.

Love Always,

PS. Next year come a little earlier and stay a lot longer.

The Booker Award

Thank you to my dear blogger friend, Jenni, of News of the Times for the nomination of this award. Her blog keeps me informed of issues in the world but not like reporting the news. She also has some stunning pictures that she shares. Take a moment to check out her site.

Accepting this award includes:

  • Nominate other blogs, as many as you want but 5-10 is always a good suggestion. Don’t forget to let your recipients know.
  • Post the Booker Award image.
  • Share your top 5 books of all time.

Listing my top 5 books of all time is more difficult than listing 7 things about myself, but here goes …

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” The injustice that takes place in this story still amazes me. Even with proof we choose the path of ignorance and conformity to maintain our status in a flawed societal structure. We hide behind the law or religious belief and label our crimes against our fellow man as something other than what it is. I read this for the first time in high school with the naïve hope that one day it would not be true. And even though we’ve come a long way there are still places in this world where this type of injustice exists.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

One of the teens in my life suggested this read. It’s a great book for generating discussion around topics like teen pregnancy, adoption, abortion, and government involvement in such issues. It shines a light on how our decisions for the sake of humanity can be just as horrific as the travesty we are fighting against. It has a creepy factor, like slowing down as you drive past an accident. Wondering if you’ll see something you don’t want to but secretly hoping you do.

Earth’s Children Series by Jean M. Auel

  1. The Clan of the Cave Bear
  2. The Valley of Horses
  3. The Mammoth Hunters
  4. The Plains of Passage
  5. The Shelters of Stone
  6. The Land of Painted Caves

Book 1 is my favorite in the series. Watching a young orphaned girl who is different; because she’s capable of forming words and has a rounded forehead, get adopted into a nomadic family who communicates without sounds. It shows us the first structures of authority we learn:  familial hierarchy, community, and then world. It gives us the chance to experience being different to the point of being ostracized. I have to admit that I haven’t been able to read Book 6, which came out in 2011, because it didn’t get good customer reviews and I don’t want to ruin a story line I’ve been following for 14 years. Eventually, I will read it so I can see what’s next for Ayla and Jondalar but for now I am content.

Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

  1. The Hunger Games
  2. Catching Fire
  3. Mockingjay

Again a recommendation from a teen reader, she keeps me in interesting books. Although this story is one of personal discovery, fighting the system, overcoming and a romantic subplot, the real story is about power. How we gain and lose it. How we wield it. How when liberated we may make the same choices (or worse) as those who were relieved of their power. There is a burden of responsibility, to do what’s right or best, that goes with the authority we have over others. Violent and tumultuous but a good way to look at the world we live in today.

Watership Downby Richard Adams

The first time I read this book it was because I wanted to know the story behind the animated movie I watched as a kid. For some reason animation can make something serious seem a lot lighter than it really may be. The struggle to get to safety. The challenge of deciding who to follow and why.

Again, a difficult list to narrow down but hopefully, you’ll add some new books to your “must read” list both from here and from the following nominees, once they’ve posted their lists:

Thank you again to News of the Times for giving me the chance to share favorites from my bookshelf.

Happy reading …

… And They Lived Happily Ever After.

I love fairy tales and romantic comedies. There is something about a boy-meets-girl kind of story.

Writers and filmmakers are good about letting us enjoy the emotional high of the story. Ending the story with “…and they lived happily ever after.” Fade to black or “the end” with blank pages. Sometimes this line is implied, not stated.

As much as I love a good romance, seeing the moment they knew, no one ever tells you what living happily ever after means. It’s a vague concept that deceives us into believing that everything is rosy. It lulls us into a false sense of security. It tells us that there aren’t any challenges after the issues from the “Meet Cute” to the “Happily Ever After” are resolved.

Every story is packaged in a blue box with a white bow (or something similar).

Don’t be deceived by Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty or whichever fairy tale resonates most with you.

Here’s the truth …

After their Prince Charmings swept them off their feet and carried them off into the sunset to the castle in the clouds … A new day dawned and stuff needed to get done.

Someone had to run the household. Even with servants or maids … someone had to supervise all those rooms being cleaned and organized.

Someone had to prepare dinner even if you have a kitchen full of chefs. Someone had to work with the head chef to plan the meals.

Money had to be managed so that the household affairs were in order.

Children were necessary to carry on the royal line. And even with nannies or nursemaids the children are still the responsibility of the parents.

The relationship fires had to be stoked to keep it burning hot. So they had to “show up” in the relationship. They had to learn how to communicate with one another because their filters and upbringing affect their world views.

First fights were inevitable after the honeymoon was over.

The struggles they overcame to be together are indicative of life. There’s always a conflict that needs resolving.  There’s always something. “Happily Ever After” does NOT mean you go through life together without any problem or challenge. They just don’t tell us that part of the story.

 “…to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part.”

The secret to “Happily Ever After” is compromise, sacrifice, humility, and submission. You have to come to the relationship ready and willing to do these things.

My husband and I are living our “Happily Ever After”. We’ve had (have) our ups and downs. We had times we didn’t think we were going to make it. We’ve learned a lot over the years …

The first two years we were together when we would argue I’d get in my car and go to the store to think about things. I am confrontation adverse in that way. He would follow me to the door saying, “Can’t we talk about it?” Over time we’ve learned that I need a little more time to process and he needs closure quickly so I can’t ignore the conversation. We meet in the middle.

I kept a calendar for paying my bills even if I still paid them late. He paid his bills the day they arrived. Eventually, I decided that it was better to let him handle the bills. I always know what’s in the accounts. We’ve agreed that we keep one another informed of purchases but for the most part … managing money is his deal.

We have different ideas about parenting. One example, he believes in paying for “A” grades. I believe children should do their best in school and that reward shouldn’t be monetary. We find ways that allow both our needs to be met without confusing the boys in our expectations.

We have a mortgage and children. Our time is limited and we’re stretched thin. We don’t agree on everything. We are faced with the needs of aging parents. We have family and friends who need and want our attention. But our lives would be boring without all the struggle.

It’s NOT perfect, but …

I will fight for him and he will fight for me. We’re in this together. We compromise and sacrifice our way to “Happily Ever After” with submission and humility. It can be done. But it takes hard work.

What about you? What’s your definition of “Happily Ever After”? Have you found it?

… They Fall in Love …

My rings including my anniversary band …

On my journey to meeting Mr. Right, I often wondered how I would know who I should spend the rest of my life with.

When I was working retail, I met lots of women who were buying new clothes for their honeymoon or engagement party or rehearsal dinner. These women were so “in love”. You could tell by the way they talked about their intendeds.

What a great pool of test subjects? I would ask these women how they knew that this person was the person they should marry.

At this point, they would get that look. You know the one … Eyes roll heavenward … hand falls on bosom some where near the heart … smile goes lopsided … their breath catches in their throat … they check out for just a moment.

Then they would remember that you’d asked them a question; that you were still standing there, eyes wide, head tilted to the side waiting for an answer.

“I just knew. You know?”

It never failed. This was ALWAYS the response. Always. And I have to say, I hated it! I wanted to understand. I wanted to know the “how”. I needed to know so that I wouldn’t make a mistake when it came my turn to choose a life partner.

They would usually tell me the moment they knew. Like:  “I got on the train to go home and realized …” Or, “I was sitting on my deck having a cup of coffee …”

I would say, “Yeah, but how did you know?”
“I don’t know. I just knew.”

How annoying! As a person who is ruled by her emotions you would think this answer would be reassuring, even appealing to me. But it wasn’t because too much was on the line. My forever was at stake.

So enter my hubby to be … We attended my girlfriend’s wedding (remember I needed a date) and when the weekend came to an end, he drove me to the train station. I found a seat on the train. Waved until he was out of sight. Then was immediately plagued by nausea and regret. A series of thoughts running through my muddled head:

  • Why am I on this train?
  • Do I really need to go to work tomorrow?
  • Do I really need a job?
  • Why am I leaving him here?

That was the moment I knew he was the one. That was the moment I understood the, “I Just Knew” response.

Two months after meeting him, my forever fell into place because I’d fallen in love. It reminds me of the movie Father of the Bride when she says, “I met a man in Rome and we’re getting married.” And Steve Martin’s character hears the words like they are coming out of the mouth of a 7 year old.

Two months after that realization, I quit my job, packed up and followed him across country. My family was a little concerned because this was drastic for me. Chasing after a man?

No promises were made (yet), he’d talked about having a surprise for me. I decided we would play 20 questions … “Is it bigger than a bread box?” He said, “It’s bigger than a tree.”

It didn’t matter what the surprise was … giving up my career at the time and leaving my family behind all seemed like it was worth the risk. And it was.

The engagement ring in it’d talking box …

When I got off the plane he helped me load my luggage in the trunk. I peered inside expecting to see a beautifully wrapped package the size of a small tree. But there wasn’t a gift in the trunk. The gift was the promise to love me for all time. A gift that’s bigger than anything you can imagine. Wrapped in the smallest package:  a ring box, containing an engagement ring. He proposed.

Two years later we were married in a planned elopement. Our families and friends met us in Las Vegas for a ceremony at the Chapel of the Bells. Followed by a reception dinner at the Rio Hotel & Casino buffet.

I am so thankful; I didn’t have to question my decisions. I followed my feeling of “I just knew” and getting to the feeling of “he’s the one for me.”

Fourteen years of love …

Boy Meets Girl …

When Harry Met Sally...

When Harry Met Sally… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The “Meet Cute” is a Hollywood filmmakers’ term. defines it like this:

“Scenario in which two individuals are brought together in some unlikely, zany, destined-to-fall-in-love-and-be-together-forever sort of way (the more unusual, the better). The way the characters meet in “Serendipity” or “When Harry Met Sally” or at least half the romantic comedies out there.”

That about sums it up.

And I love those moments. I get to experience the trials of romance without having to live through them. Which is what great storytelling is, right?

For a romantic like me it gives me a chance to “fall in love” over and over again.

But did you know that the “Meet Cute” can happen in real life and not just in films or books?

The year was 1998 and I was tired of being perpetually single. Of my friends, I was always the single one. It needed to end.

I was ready for a real relationship. Something that lasted longer than it’s-so-new-and-wonderful three month period. I was determined to not spend another Valentine’s Day alone or as a first date vehicle. I wanted someone to spend my birthdays with and take home on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

It’s the year I talked to God a lot about what I was looking for. I even wrote down on pretty stationery the characteristics I was looking for in a man, so I wouldn’t forget what I asked for. I kept my wish list in the back of my planner.

I knew I had to be open to possibilities that my usually particular self would automatically dismiss. And when my girlfriend from college invited me to a weekend long wedding shower event, I knew it was my chance.

My mantra every day leading up to the event was, “I will meet a man this weekend.” While working or running errands, I would play this in my self talk player. Silly, right?

The weekend of the shower I hopped on the train to San Diego … ready to spend time with my friends and finally find a man.

The bride to be took us dancing in the Gaslamp District. I danced with every guy that asked me. Even the guy whose pick up line was, “You know, the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice.” Really?

I gave my number to the guy who offered me his. Call me old-fashioned but I wanted to be pursued. I’m sure he pitched my number after I walked away. I never heard from him that’s for sure.

I smiled and nodded; joked and laughed; my way through a number of interactions. It was great fun because I wasn’t running anyone through my filter. I was just being open.

But when Sunday came and I needed to catch the train home, I was sad. I’d met a number of people but none of them had the potential to be “the one”. I was exhausted from being open.

So when my sister said her husband was bringing a friend home for lunch, I wasn’t fazed. I’d already given up hope. When she said, “Don’t you want to comb your hair and put on some lipstick or something?” I thought sure why not.

My brother-in-law walked in with a guy in glasses. We were introduced. I said hi and so did he. And then I left to get on the train.

I called my sister to let her know I arrived home safely. She informed me that her husband’s friend told her husband, “Man, she was cute.”

Wow! I hadn’t expected that. We’d said barely two words to one another.

With my girlfriend’s wedding just around the corner here was my opportunity. I told my sister, “If he thought I was cute, give him my number and let him know I need a date for a wedding.”

Yeah, leap of faith. I’d given permission for him to call me. LOL. (I know I have issues.)

A week went by and nothing. I called my sister, “He didn’t think I was that cute.” Not that I should have hinged my hopes on this guy. An hour later he called and we talked for almost 2 hours.

He agreed to be my date for the wedding. And we decided we should squeeze in a couple of dates before than, thanks to my sister’s recommendation, just in case we didn’t like each other. I even have pictures of the first date.

Who knew that I’d meet the man I was going to marry in the last minutes on the last day of a crazy scheme I had to find a date for a wedding? Those few moments were just the beginning of our story.

We joke now, 14 years later, about how I did meet a man that weekend. I just didn’t realize he was THE man. And of course my husband tells the story differently … I asked him out?

Consider me thankful for the “Meet Cute” God gave me despite my approach and persnickety personality. Thanks also to my sister who could see what I couldn’t see at the time.

What’s your favorite “how the met story”? Real life or from the movies, it doesn’t matter.

Reading to My Children, Books They Love to Pieces …

My husband and I have been reading to our children since the womb. We would crawl into bed and choose from a stack of rhyming books to read my rounded tummy.

When my husband read he could usually illicit movement as a response, a kick or punch. Sometimes there would be a somersault or full body stretch.  One of the things I loved most about pregnancy.

Our oldest son, at birth would try to turn toward my husband’s voice because he knew it so well. It was amazing to see a swaddled baby turn his head in the direction of his Daddy’s voice.

We received a copy of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom as a baby shower gift. A sing song story about the alphabet which I still have memorized to this day. Its bright colored pages took us from womb to tummy time. We would prop it up in front of him while he lay on his tummy. I would read it to him while he played in his bouncy seat.

As a toddler the book went with him everywhere as a constant companion; it was always under his arm. He carried it to and from the sitters. We eventually had to buy a copy to keep at her place. He carried it to Grandma’s house. He held on his lap during car rides. We had to read it every night at bedtime. This is how he learned his alphabet.

Here’s his third (well worn-well read) copy:

We had to buy our youngest son his own copy to destroy. And since we’d changed sitters we had to buy a new copy for her daycare library. So we’ve paid retail for this book at least 6 times, I’ve lost count. Crazy? No.

Reading to our boys is a joy, not just for them but for us as well. They still find comfort in hearing the sound of our voices as we experience new or favorite stories together. It’s humbling really.

It’s not just reading the words but finding ways to make the words come alive for them. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is more fun if it’s read (or recited in my case) with drama. Reading out loud is like performance art (think Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam). Reading is NOT boring and I want my boys to understand that. When my oldest says, “I can see it playing like a movie in my head,” I know we’ve done our best by the author’s words.

Transitioning from rhyming books to picture books and now chapter books has been a wonderful journey. Watching my oldest read to my youngest fills me with a sense of pride and peace.

Here’s what on their bookshelf right now …

I love it when they laugh at the funny parts. I am thankful when they are empathetic to characters’ embarrassments, disappointments, and triumphs. Their comprehension is evident when I hear them tell the storyline to others.

We are reading, The Genius Files:  Mission Unstoppable, which I feel is too mature for them. But it just means we can have conversation to unlock the mystery of what they don’t know.

No matter what … my boys understand that words have power. And they love a good story. They know good stories are meant to be shared through voices of love.

What about you? … What are the books from your childhood that fell apart because you read them so much? Is there a book that you always have a copy of on your bookshelf?

Inspiring? Who Me?

Let me say a special thank you to my blogger friend Zen of zenscribbles who graciously nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Zen is a writer and a foodie (usually desserts). She tells quirky stories which keep life interesting. Please take a moment to visit her blog.

Accepting the nomination includes the following:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post the award some where on your blog
  • Tell 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate 7 blogs

So onto the hardest part … 7 things about me … that I haven’t already told you:

  1. I squint a lot. Not because I can’t see but because I’m thinking. Squinting makes me think of the TV show Bones in which they call the super smart people who work at the Jeffersonian “squints”. Oh not to imply that I think that I am super smart.
  2. I am obsessed with using I can’t watch anything without looking up the entire cast. It shouldn’t matter but I just need to see who they are and what they’ve done before.
  3. My husband says I snore but I deny it (vehemently) even though I’ve woken myself out of sound sleep before. (Please don’t tell my husband I said that. He’ll consider it an admission of guilt.)
  4. I am a horrid housekeeper, decent cook, and SUPER wife and mother. Well maybe SUPER is an exaggeration so I’ll go with super.
  5. I can read in the car and feel sorry for people who get motion sickness when they try to do it.
  6. I got my driver’s license late in life (I was 20) and I barely passed. Why do you need to know how to parallel park? Anyway, I think my driving is indicative of the “barely”. Oh but I wasn’t driving during the Chicago fender bender (just saying).
  7. My kids have started asking for cereal for dinner. And I don’t have a defense to say no since it’s usually my dinner choice. Did I claim “super” mom-ness? Oh well.

Forgive me for the short list of nominees …

Thanks again Zen!

Postcards from Chicago: The Comic Con Event I Missed

Chicago Skyline 2008

Chicago Skyline 2008 (Photo credit: TomC)

We’ve been planning this trip since last year when my husband took my oldest on a “Daddy & Me” date to Comic Con 2011 in Chicago.

They had so much fun we though it would be a great 2012 family getaway. You know, one last hoorah before school starts. One last weekend road trip to bid farewell to summer. But it didn’t happen the way I envisioned, the way we talked about it.


Well first off, it was a gray cold rainy day. And then there was the fender bender with a black SUV. Maybe it’s payback for a certain post relative to a black SUV.  But I don’t believe in karma. Or maybe it was the mix up with our room reservation where they only had single king beds left when we reserved a two bedroom.

Maybe I’ve mentioned before that my youngest is petrified of people in costume? I believe I briefly talked about an incident with Ms. Green M&M at the M&M store in Las Vegas?

And the very heart of Comic Con … the fun of it … is seeing the fans and enthusiasts dressed as their favorite characters. But for my littlest dude it would wreak havoc on his fragile psyche… it would be a fear filled emotional experience. Forcing him to attend would equate to zero enjoyment for the family.

So we decided that Comic Con 2012 would remain a “Daddy & Me” date for my husband and oldest son. However, we will all traverse to The Windy City together.

Dare I say I am disappointed about not getting to attend the main event:  Wizard World Convention – Comic Con 2012. Sigh. So much for getting my geek girl on.

“How’d I spend my time?” you might ask.

Having a “Mommy & Me” date, which included lounging in our lovely hotel room with a 5 (and a half or is it two-thirds) year old. We watched movies, played Nintendo 3DS, and ate snacks that aren’t particularly good for us. I also had the chance to read and write and rest. Not a bad way to spend a day.

And we managed to do some family fun things as a whole. We went to the LEGOLAND to indulge the boys’ current obsessions. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory to indulge one of my obsessions:  Dulce De Leche Caramel Cheesecake (Sorry I didn’t get photos of it but trust me it was good. I did get a picture of my Over the Top Meatloaf Sandwich.)

Keep in mind though that the trip to LEGOLAND ended much like our trip to the M&M store in Las Vegas i.e. with a little one scream for an exiting. Blaming us for not knowing about the mascot which was celebrating his 4th birthday and making a special appearance. Don’t’ get me wrong there were some really cool things to see there:

The important thing is that we found ways to connect as a family. It really isn’t about what we did but the fact that we did it together.

We listened to the sounds of the city, the hustle and bustle of the people, the airplanes taking off from O’Hare and cabs zooming to and from. We enjoyed the smooth silver buildings against the golden sunset.

I hated the traffic and having to drive through the city but all in all a wonderful trip … I love Chicago for its fast pace, shopping and food, and gorgeous skyline. Next year I hope to add Comic Con to the list of Chi-Town loves.

Uh Oh! It’s Happened … I’ve Run Out of Things to Say

English: WordPress Logo

English: WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Readers,

I have officially run out of things to say, which may directly impact your reading pleasure due to a disruption in the post schedule.

I am surprised I made it this far before getting this feeling … It’s been a little more than 3 months of me posting every few days.

When I thought about starting a blog the first time (3 years ago) I abandoned the idea because I didn’t think I would possibly be able to come up with enough content for a weekly post schedule.

But when I decided to take the plunge into the blogosphere 3 months ago I found I had lots of things to say, enough to post almost daily.

The beauty of blogging is that you can say whatever is on your mind and hopefully someone will read it, but if it sits unread you’ve still expressed yourself. Right? It doesn’t have to be profound or witty or pithy.

But I’ve spent the past week or so wondering about what I have to say. And I realized that the posts I like most are the ones where the topics are closest to my heart or my curiosity or my worries.

Now I have to figure out how to deliver my passions – these curious heart worries of mine – in a way that others will relate to or enjoy them. It’s daunting. I’m sure some of you, as fellow bloggers, feel my pain.

And for a woman who thought she’d be blogging in oblivion I wasn’t initially concerned about readers. The WordPress world gave me more than I bargained for … it gave me community … it gave me all of you. (Thank you for all the support and love.) Now I carry the weight of disappointing people or “pleasing” people, when I originally thought maybe a few family and friends would even care to read what I had to say.

So this post doesn’t really match the title because I’m doing a pretty good job of rambling on about not knowing what to say …

My dilemma is that I want to say things that are worthy … interesting … authentically me. To achieve a level of sophisticated simplicity in my writing that will resonate with you as well as with me. (I guess I better go live some life to make it happen.)

I’m holding out hope that inspiration will come – quickly.



I just love this!

Dianne Gray author

This recipe is for writers, but ingredients can easily be substituted

depending on the creative outcome desired


1.5k – brainpower

6 cups – fresh air

100 litres – time

150 litres – patience

Bouquet garni – ideas

3 cups – subject matter knowledge

20 cases – wine (can be substituted for favourite beverage)

1 dash – weirdness

5 cups – memory (for binding)

12 months – privacy

Assorted spicy bits (to taste)

1 tablespoon – image

1 human – editor


  1. Preheat brainpower to 98.6 C (37F) – or until sizzling
  2. Add fresh air, time, ideas, subject matter knowledge, patience, weirdness, privacy and memory
  3. Stir gently, ensuring memory is fully infused and weirdness does not stick to the edges
  4. Add  wine (or favourite beverage) and continue stirring until more ideas bubble to the surface
  5. Refrigerate and allow to set
  6. While setting, roughly chop assorted spicy bits (ensure you do…

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