Thursday, December 1, 2011

Odds & Ends

Sugar, Chocolate, and Sweet Breads

Yesterday I had to stop and get sugar for the office. I thought while I was at it, I would bring in a sweet treat. Not chocolate because the boss doesn’t know how to stop eating it and will eat and eat until he may get a bellyache. And the few others that may want some need to be quick; and they joke about it because they know. I keep the candy bowl on the front counter and he will sit there, unpeeling the chocolates, until there are only a few left. I scold him in a nice way, “D! You’re going to get sick eating too many.” He’ll stop and then when he has to go by again, he has to stop for a chocolate. But, I only rarely bring chocolate anymore because of his lack of restraint; and if I do bring chocolate, I try to put it out in small batches.

I saw that CVS had a variety pack of 16 individually wrapped Svenhard’s pastries. I thought this could probably last a few days. I then went down the Christmas isle to see if I could find a festive box to keep the pastries in our makeshift kitchen. We don’t really have a kitchen in the office. There is a long folding table with a microwave, coffee maker, postage meter, and shelves above the table for “kitchen” supplies. I found a cute pale blue box with snowmen. Perfect. I made the purchase, left the store, and drove away.

Waiting at the light, the wind started blowing really hard and the leaves were shaking like snow, rolling and twisting. I tried to bring my camera out and I did, but the light changed and I missed the shot.

Walking to work, I had my sweets in hand. I saw a man, that I occasionally see walking the crosswalk after work. He appears without a home and a tad disheveled and usually has a bag or two. Even sitting at the crosswalk, waiting for the light to change, I can see time and toil in his face and his gait. Yesterday morning I saw this man sifting through the top layer of the trash can. Without thinking, I tore open the box of Svenhard’s and started to walk toward the man, but waited until he turned around. I approached him. His body slightly hunched over, but he was not that old. I held out the small sealed package with a bear claw and he eyed me, eyed the package, and in a gruff voice said, “What’s that?”

I too looked at the package. “It’s a bear claw,” I said.

I held it out for him to take. I was waiting for him to reject it, but instead he took it. I smiled. He held the same stern countenance; face ruddy with a scornful twist to it. We parted ways.

As I walked away I felt a small wave of emotion well up inside of me and it led me to a recent email that I received as part of being on an e-mail list for a small local store that sells jewelry, spiritual items, clothing, and many wonderful odds and ends.

In the email, N., the storeowner shared what was new in the store and current sales discounts. She also shared a recent exercise she came upon in her meditation book: Write down five things you are grateful for each morning and each evening. Don’t just think about it. Write it down. I thought I would give it a try and used one of my Apps to record the mornings and the evenings. It’s only been three days, but it feels like much longer. It’s possible I may continue with this ritual or be satisfied when it’s been a week and with the small inner shifts I’ve noticed in the short time.

Book Ends

I don’t recall seeing BookPage at the local library I usually go to. When I was in Carmel, I went into the library for a quick moment. They were closing, so I only had a few minutes. I saw the BookPage in paper format and took a copy. I was pleased to see that they also have an App for iPhone or iPod Touch. Hurray!

Here’s the link from the Apple AppStore description.

Another App I’ve enjoyed is Short Stories e-reader App from the Apple App Store. Free is always nice. I prefer reading on my Kindle e-reader to save my eyes, but this short story App has had some interesting short stories. It’s very easy to navigate and is visually easy on the eyes.

On of the short stories that I thoroughly enjoyed listed under their Top 20’s list is called Death by Scrabble by Charlie Fish. It’s only 4 pages long—on my iPod Touch that translates to 13 pages.

One of my favorite holiday shorts is O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi. I may have eventually stumbled upon it, especially since it’s also on this App. But I first came across this short story when I asked a friend what some of her favorite short stories were and this was one of them. What a beautiful story.

Currently I am reading John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas on Kindle. I was in the mood for something Christmassy to read, yet not too serious and so far this is fitting. It’s made me laugh a lot. I’m half way through, so I have to see how it turns out.

Little Flower – Photo

I took this photo of a little yellow flower that I saw growing from inside the drain cover around a tree. She looks full of hope and happiness with her little yellow wings around a sturdy green shoot, that is her base and holds her head up high amongst the dried leaves and fresh moist soil.

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