Someone to Blame

There once was someone else to blame –
– “Toblame” was the name of the game
– the Millennials, the Boomers,
and media with “fake rumors”
were targets for the blame and the shame.

There once was someone else to blame –
Just fill in the blank with a name –
the Jews, Muslims, Christians,
atheists, or immigrants from immigrations
were handy to blame when they came.

And then one day there was a metacognition
we shared in a moment of clear vision
when we saw we each held the key
– a better world could start with each “me” –
and we laid down the blame for our mission.

There once was something else to blame –
Anonymouses or those who had fame,
the poor and the rich,
or a computer glitch
– things never got fixed
when we had something else we could blame.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

earth NASA

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In the Kitchen with Karen

First, I will don my way cool apron that my friend from Canada sent me, and that has the Canadian word “Eh?” written on it in really flamboyant letters.  Of course, putting on the apron isn’t going to actually keep me from having flour all over me by the end of my culinary adventure – but I think I look sort of cute in it. And that’s the important thing.048

Next I will haul the turkey out of the fridge, where it’s been thawing since Sunday. I will dice home-grown onion and garlic, apples from our orchard (yes, apples – using apples in turkey stuffing is a Karen tradition – because I, traditionally and invariably, FORGET TO BUY CELERY!!! and then I find myself scrambling around the kitchen, looking for something crunchy I can throw in the dressing… and… yeah… well… apples …and, true to tradition, I just realized that I, once again, FORGOT THE CELERY!!!), and toasted Dave’s Killer Whole Grain Bread (the bread will be toasted, not Dave).  I’ll sprinkle sage and rosemary over everything that’s within arm’s reach (this includes the dog, the cats, and the sons). Then I will yank out the turkey’s innerds, and replace it with toasted Dave, and put the whole shebang in a pre-heated 325 degree oven.

Pie-making comes next. I love making pies. There’s something kind of comforting about pie-making. I especially love making pies when there’s rain pounding against the windows, and a fire in the woodstove – the rain adds a certain ambiance, and it looks like we might be getting a lot of ambiance today.  I’ll combine the flour (2 cups), and butter (2 tbs, plus 2/3 cup) and water (6 tbs) in a bowl, and then grab half of it and roll it out on a floured cutting board, and lay it in the bottom of my glass pie plate. The bottom crust will be a picture of perfection – it will be seamless and smooth. Next, I’ll put the frozen blackberries that I picked last summer into the pie shell. I’ll add 4 or 5 tbs of flour, and 6 tbs of sugar, and loosely mix the pie’s filling.  Now it’s time to roll out the top crust and place it on top of the pie. The top crust is the crust that everyone will see. It will have holes and tears in it. That is another Karen tradition. Once I’ve got my holey crust attached to the pie, I’ll lightly sprinkle sugar over the top, to make the pie look sort of sparkly when it’s done.

By the time we sit down for our feast, our plates will be full of turkey, stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon, and cranberry sauce, and we’ll be half-way through dinner before someone – probably one of the sons – will ask me about the dinner rolls. And they will either be burning in the oven, or still sitting in the cupboard. It is another Karen tradition.

May your holidays be filled with a feast of love and laughter.  And don’t forget the dinner rolls.

– Excerpt from The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book

Ode to Black Friday

Ode to Black Friday

I do not like Black Friday, sir
I do not like the brrr, grrr, whirrr
I do not like to fight over socks,
I do not like to get crammed in a box
store, you will not see me at the Mall
I do not like it, no, not at all.
The crazy, scrambling, hunter’s race
doesn’t fit my ambling, gatherer’s pace
I like to feel, I like to sniff
I like to take my time and if
I take more time than Sally and Sam
it’s the way I shop, and it works for me, ma’am.
So you will not find me camped outside the store
You will not find me standing at dawn at the door
You will not find me wedged in the mall’s lot
or crammed in traffic, with wares newly-bought.
For I do not like Black Friday, friend.
Well, except online shopping maybe – they’ll send.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

And now some shameless family plugs – because we wouldn’t be entering the holiday season without some shameless plugs, right?
To order any of Karen’s books, click here.

adventures with dad book cover

Latest book!

To order Dee Molenaar’s books click here.
BookCoverPreview - Memoirs of a Dinosaur Mountaineer

To order Xander Terrell’s books, click here.

xanders-book-cover-dream-voyage

 

 

New Book!

In loving memory of Moz.
For Gwen Black and her crackerjack team of caregivers.
For all the friends who encouraged me to publish this book.
And for Dad – my hero. 

A new book, my friends! This one is a collection of the conversations and escapades Dad and I have gotten ourselves into since Moz’s passing. I think Moz would be proud. 🙂

In print form: Are You Taking Me Home Now? Adventures with Dad
In kindle form: Are you Taking Me Home Now? Adventures with Dad

adventures with dad book cover

Fixing the Fixing Nut

After I visited with Dad I just lost all my oomph. I lay down on the couch and just sort of… drifted in and out, I guess. And then I realized how ridiculous that was. Why waste my day like that?

My bicycle has had some problems this summer – two or three times now the pedal has fallen off as I was riding it. Scott has hammered the pedal back in – but we both knew that was just a temporary fix. I’ve kept my bike trips to mostly short little outings – 5 or 6 or 7 miles – because I never knew when the pedal might fall off again and I might have to walk my bike home. I rode my bike to the post office this morning – but I was afraid to go any further because I thought the pedal might fall off. That, my friends, is no way to live a life. 

So when I roused myself off the couch I decided it was time to load my bike into Rosalita Ipswich O’Molenovich and take her to the local bike shop.

Skagit Cycle Center in Burlington totally rocks! Every time I’ve been there I’ve been greeted by friendly, helpful people. Today was no exception. It took just five minutes for Isaiah to fix the fixing nut on my bike.

And during those five minutes I met a nice man and his high school son who were waiting in line behind me to get the son’s bike fixed (even the customers are fun there!). I think the father had overheard me talking to Isaiah about teaching – somehow we got on the topic – and I told him I was a high school teacher. The father asked me what was being fixed on my bike. I told him the fixing nut was being fixed. “The nut being fixed is a fixing nut…?” he asked, looking a little confused. “He’s fixing the fixing nut…?” I nodded my head in the affirmative. He grinned and said he was a little confused.

And then – because I recognized a fellow Humoristian – I said, “Yes. I’m a teacher. That’s what we do.”

He started laughing, and said, “It’s a conspiracy. Send our children home from school more confused than they were when they went in.”

I nodded my head. “Yes. Every day my fellow teachers and I get together and plot how we can confuse the young people…”

The son was cracking up now, too. 

I thanked the bicycle people and paid my bill and loaded my bike back up into Rosalita Ipswich O’Molenovich and headed to Fred Meyer’s. I was in one of those “browsing-in an-air-conditioned supermarket moods” – sort of meandering down aisles, trying to remember what I’d forgotten to buy the last time I was in there. And everyone I made eye contact with gave me a smile today. I bought the new Dan Brown book, some cat food, photo printing paper, grapefruit juice, an avocado (life’s necessities, right?) and headed out to the car. As I was walking to Rosalita Ipswich O’Molenovich I passed a young woman and gave her a smile – and she gave me a dazzling smile back, and even added a sort of shoulder hug – she brought her shoulders up like she was giving me a friendly hug. It was very sweet.

I love people. 

“Are we almost there, yet”

I remember one time, as I was coming down
from a hike, when I got near the trailhead
I saw a couple hikers just starting out who
looked like they had a sense of humor.
“You’re almost there!” I told them. I had
judged correctly: They laughed.

Today as I was coming down from a hike –
just two quick switchbacks from the top –
a sweaty hiker asked if she was close
and I could tell her, “Yes! You’re almost
there! You’re going to make it!” It was
awesome to see the smile come to her face.

Today the hike back down was no bed
of roses, either. It seemed to go on forever.
The further I got down the trail the more
I felt my gait turning into the gait of an old
mariner – lurching from left hip to right hip
as with the rolling waves on the ocean.

I wanted to ask the people coming up if I
was “almost there, yet” – was I almost back
down? But I didn’t.

I found another way. The tired, sweaty
folks panting for breath showed me I still
had a ways to go. As I got nearer
the trailhead the faces weren’t as red,
the breathing not as labored. And when
I saw happy, smiling  hikers still fine-
tuning adjustments on their packs I knew
I was almost back to the beginning.

The hike isn’t just the getting there –
it’s the getting back.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Cat’s Pause: A Homonym Poem

The calico jumped on-two my covers as eye red
inn bed this mourning, and curled buy my feat.
Soon her little bro joined her up their. Calico
licked the we won’s face four a thyme and then
they were wrestling and boxing, and calico
was on her back, her pause rapped around
her we brother’s neck, while her back feat
playfully pushed against his wriggling bawdy.
He escaped and pounced on her a-knew and the too
of them bounced and bounded oar hour bed –
letting mi no it was thyme to get up and feed them.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell