Wednesday Reader March 8 | Amanita Muscaria

WEDNESDAY READER | MARCH 8

Hello – Hello!  Happy Wednesday.

I present today’s Wednesday Reader for your enjoyment.

Stephanie Hayes’ column “Tips for Completing the Following 89 Chores in our Airbnb” is super funny.

Leslie Elman’s Trivia and Fascinating stuff is … well, fascinating and interesting.  Leslie’s collections are def material for making us the most interesting person in the room.

Recipe for Chicken Fried Steak and Muzzleloader gravy is tried-and-true.  If you love Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy – you gotta put these in your recipe box.

And the “Daffodil Principle” story is one of my favorites.  Daffodils are popping up everywhere here.  I see them and this story comes to mind.  Very cool thing.

As always, thank you for being here.

Have a fabulous day!

POP Quiz

POP QUIZ

  1.   WHO WAS THE FIRST REAL-LIFE ASTRONAUT TO APPEAR IN THE “STAR TREK” TV FRANCHISE?
    a)  Buzz Aldrin
    b)  Samantha Cristoforetti
    c)  John Glenn
    d)  Mae Jemison
  2.   CINEMATOGRAPHER EMMANUEL LUGEZKI EARNED CONSECUTIVE OSCARS FOR “GRAVITY,” “BIRDMAN” ANE WHICH WESTERN SURVIVAL EPIC RELEASED IN 2015?
    a)  “Brokeback Mountain”
    b)  “Nomadland”
    c)  “The Revenant”
    d)  “Unforgiven”
  3.   DNA STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT KING TUTANKHAMUN SUFFERED FROM WHAT ILLNESS?
    a)  Cancer
    b)  Malaria
    c)  Rickets
    d)  Tuberculosis

Wednesday Reader March 8

QUICK QUESTION

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO FORGIVE RIGHT NOW?

Wednesday Reader March 8

POP QUIZ ANSWERS

  1.   Mae C. Jemison, who flew on the space shuttle Endeavour, appeared as Lieutenant Palmer in an episode of “Star Trek:  The Next Generation.”
  2.   Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki earned consecutive Oscars for “Gravity,” “Birdman” and “The Revenant.”
  3.   DNA studies have shown that King Tutankhamun suffered from malaria.

~ COPYRIGHT LESLIE ELMAN, 2023
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

THE DAFFODIL PRINCIPLE

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.”

I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead.

“I will come next Tuesday,” I promised, a little reluctantly on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy.  Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there.  When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children.

I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.  “Forget the daffodils, Carolyn!  The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and the children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!”

My daughter smiled calmly and said, “We drive in this all the time, Mother.”

“Well you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading for home!”  I assured her.

But first we’re going to see the daffodils.  It’s just a few blocks,” Carolyn said.  “I’ll drive.  I’m used to this.”

“Carolyn,” I said sternly, “Please turn around.”

It’s all right, Mother, I promise.  You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.”

After about 20 minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church.  On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, “Daffodil Garden.”

We got out of the car, each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path.  Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped.  Before me lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain and surrounding slopes.  The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow.

Each different coloured variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its unique hue.

There were five acres of flowers.

“Who did this?”  I asked Carolyn.

“Just one woman,” Carolyn answered.  “She lives on the property.  That’s her home.”  Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory.

We walked up to the house.  On the patio, we saw a poster:
Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking,” was the headline.
The first answer was a simple one – “50,000 bulbs.”
The second answer was, – “One at a time, by one woman.  Two hands, two feet, and one brain.”
The third answer was, “Began in 1958.”

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience.

I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, almost fifty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop.  Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived.

One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.  That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time, often just one baby step at a time and learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time, often just one baby step at a time and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time.

When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort we, too, will find we can accomplish magnificent things.  We can change almost anything.

“It makes me sad in a way,”  I admitted to Carolyn.

“What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five years or forty years ago – had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years?  Just think what I might have been able to achieve?!

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way.  “Start tomorrow,” she said.

She was right.

It’s so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays.  The way to make learning a lesson of celebration, instead of a cause for regret is only to ask, “How can I put this to use today?”

Use the Daffodil Principle:

Stop waiting … until your car or home is paid off.  Until you get a new car or home.  Until your kids get out of the house.  Until you go back to school.  Until you finish school.  Until you clean the house.  Until you organize the garage.  Until you clean off your desk.  Until you lose 10 lbs.  Until you gain 10 lbs.  Until you get married.  Until you get a divorce.  Until you have kids.  Until the kids to go to school.  Until you retire.  Until summer.  Until spring.  Until fall.  Until winter.  Until you die …

~ Author uncredited
from www.poeticexpressions.co.uk with permission
Thanks so much Mike and the team

IT’S CURIOUS THAT WE SPEND MORE TIME CONGRATULATING PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUCCEEDED THAN ENCOURAGING PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT.

(( Starve the Landfills.  Recycle. ))

RIDDLE ME THIS

WHAT 5-LETTER WORD TYPED IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS CAN BE READ THE SAME UPSIDE DOWN?

Wednesday Reader March 8

COWBOY CHICKEN-FRIED STEAK

It’s no secret that there are die-hard fans of chicken fried steak all over the country.  Me?  Never was my deal, however, this is the recipe for the Chicken-Fried Steak we served at Hippie Cowboy.  We were told by numerous customers (one being a veteran over-the-road driver – connoisseur of Chicken-Fried steak – from Diners all over the map) that it was the best Chicken Fried Steak they’d ever had.

Inside secret:  this recipe was adapted from my Grandma’s fried trout recipe!

IN A LARGE BOWL WHISK/COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 TBSP Spanish paprika
  • 2 TBSP cayenne

IN ANOTHER BOWL WHISK TOGETHER WET INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

VEGETABLE OIL FOR FRYING

4 X 6 OUNCE CUBE STEAKS (Round steak that has been pounded out & tenderized).

NOW …

In a heavy skillet (I use a cast iron skillet), heat oil on med-high while prepping the steaks.

Keep on eye on it so it doesn’t get unruly (too hot)

Take each steak and press firmly into the flour mixture with the heel of your hand.  Turn it over and repeat.

Next, dunk it in the egg + buttermilk mixture.

Easy. Easy. Easy.  — Carefully dredge in the flour mixture again, coating evenly.

When oil is “spitting” hot (put your hand under the faucet and flick water drops on the oil – if it “spits” or sizzles at the water, it’s ready).

Ease the steaks into the hot oil and cook about 5-7 minutes per side.

Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels.  Transfer to a preheated 250* oven until ready to serve.

Serve with mashed potatoes, green beans and Muzzleloader Gravy ladled over the top.  Muzzleloader Gravy recipe follows.

MUZZLELOADER GRAVY
This is my version of great diner gravy.  It’s thick and delicious and a snap to make!

  • 1 stick butter, sliced in about 8 pats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 2 TBSP pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium to medium high heat until it begins to foam.  Watch it like a hawk so it does not burn.

Whisk in flour.  Continue whisking until the flour becomes a pretty golden brown color.

Slowly whisk in the milk, making sure to break-up any flour lumps.

Add the salt and pepper and continue simmering and stirring (on low) until ready to serve.

~ Hippie Cowboy recipe box

RIDDLE ANSWER

SWIMS

Wednesday Reader March 8

TIPS FOR COMPLETING THE FOLLOWING 89 CHORES IN OUR AirBnB

Thank you so much for choosing our Airbnb, Gentri-Vacation.  We hope you enjoy yourself and take advantage of the ample amenities we are happy to provide.

This will be an unforgettable experience, despite what people on the internet are saying about hotels being better than Airbnbs and vacation rentals contributing to the current housing crisis.  Answer us this:  Do hotels supply a half-used bottle of mustard in the fridge?  Do hotels have a curious neighbor with a preponderance of iguanas?  Do hotels maintain a footlocker of pool toys pulled from the nearby river?  We thought not.

We only ask that you follow a few simple rules in order to keep our place in top condition for you and all future guests.

Our plush beds are wonderful places to sleep, but we ask that you sleep on the floor next to the beds.  If sleeping on the floor is impossible, we ask that you submit current medical documentation as to why, notarized, with three witnesses.  There will be no exceptions.

If you must sleep in the beds, we have conveniently provided a roll of clear plastic wrap for you to unspool prior to reclining.  Some guests like to wrap their bodies rather than the bed.  This is your getaway, so choose the path that sounds most fun!

You’ll notice the closets are stocked with premium fluffy towels.  Please only use one towel per four bodies.  The other towels are there for emergency use only, and if you have used more, we will assume you are having an expressly banned party.  You can find the list of approved emergencies on pp. 12-23.  For your drying convenience, there is a metal wire and chip clips on the patio.  Any excess towel usage will incur a $40 charge per towel, per day.

You are welcome to use the washer and dryer, but please use all-natural detergent, as conventional detergents dull the finish on the inside of the washing machine, and we would like to keep this washing machine gleaming.  All-natural detergent is available at Whole Foods.  The nearest Whole Foods is 63 miles east.  Also, you may not wash the towels.

We’re pleased to offer a smart TV that works some of the time, but only under a Netflix profile by the name of “Hugo.”  We’re not sure who that is, but the algorithm tells us he watches a lot of World War II films.  If the account locks you out, please help yourself to our collection of DVDs purchased at a liquidating Blockbuster in 2005.  May we suggest “The Pacifier” starring Vin Diesel?

Upon departure, please wash, dry and replace all dishes.  There are invisible blacklight tick marks on the bottom of each mason jar wine glass, so we will know if they are put back out of order.  The fine is $10 per glass.

Please strip the beds, even if you did not sleep on them, or if you were wrapped in plastic.  We’d also appreciate it if you would launder and press the drapes, but that is optional.  This is vacation!

We do not hide cameras here!  But if we did, we wouldn’t tell you where they are.

Thank you so much for choosing to stay at Gentri-Vacation, and we hope the four hours you have to relax while not cleaning or wrapping and unwrapping yourself in plastic are blissful.

Sign the guestbook.

~  Stephanie Hayes is a columnist at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida.  Follow her @stephhayes on Twitter or @stephrhayes on Instagram.  COPYRIGHT 2022 CREATORS.COM
**  Column originally published on Saturday, July 9, 2022 **

Fascinating Stuff

FASCINATING STUFF

  • Founded in 1908 with just nine members at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Alpha Kappa Alpha is the oldest Greek-letter organization for African American collegiate women.  Among its notable alumnae are actress Phylicia Rashad; singer Cassandra Wilson; comedian Wanda Sykes; tennis champion Althea Gibson; and the three NASA mathmaticians portrayed in the 2016 film “Hidden Figures,” Katherine Johnson, Dorthy Vaughn and Mary Jackson.
  • Despite the fact that he didn’t receive an official Academy Award nomination, cinematographer Hal Mohr won an Oscar in 1935 for his work on the film version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” starring James Cagney and Mickey Rooney.  Mohr is is the only  person to have won an Academy Award as a write-in candidate.  The Academy changed its rules about allowing write-ins the following year.
  • Hatshepsut was a notable pharaoh of ancient Egypt, not least because she was a woman and it was unusual for a woman to rule alone.  (This was about 1,400 years before Cleopatra was born.)  Over time, Hatshepsut adopted the wardrobe of a man and even wore a false beard.  Her successful reign included grand building projects and a trade expedition to what is now Somalia.  But not everyone loved her.  When her stepson/nephew Thutmose III succeeded her, he tried to have all traces of her obliterated.

~ Leslie Elman’s Trivia Bits
contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com
COPYRIGHT 2023 LESLIE ELMAN
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

Day Maker Readable Art

6 replies
  1. Marty Martin says:

    I love comfort food. Chicken fried steak is my deal. I’m fixing’ it this week. Thank you.

    • Cheryl clarson says:

      Hi Marty!

      Comfort food is the best! Agree!

      Not like liver and onions that my mom would fix from time to time.
      When I rolled in the front door as a teenager – coming in from track practice or hanging out with friends – and smelled the liver and onions aroma – I knew immediately I would not be hungry for supper that night! Ha!

      Thanks, Marty.
      You’ll love the Chicken Fried Steak recipe!
      Appreciate you! Very much!

    • Cheryl clarson says:

      Hey, Laurie –

      We are totally in agreement.

      Indeed, we somehow (sometimes) forget that we live today.

      Super happy that you enjoyed the story – same me.
      Powerful, for sure.

      Appreciate you and your thoughts! Powerful, as well.

  2. Carol says:

    Love this issue! Especially the daffodil story and all the interesting tidbits throughout. Thank you, thank you!

    • Cheryl clarson says:

      Carol – Hi!
      Yes, the daffodil story is totally cool. From the first time I read this beautiful story to forever … whenever I see a planting of daffodils (large or not so large) this story finds me. Thank you, Daymaker friend!

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