“I’m a ‘blue sky thinker’ and dream big.” ~ Hilary Knight
Hello Cutie Pies, and Hello Brand New Year!!
Yes, we’re back. Actually, we’re back and BLUE. Once again.
It feels good to open a new calendar and be a member of the Clean Slate Club. As Anne Shirley said, “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.” Oh, the possibilities!
Come what may, COOKIES are always a good idea — along with warm cups of tea, a comfy chair, and a good book or two or five hundred. 🙂
We’re all bears here (oh, you’ve noticed?). Hibernate is the name of the game. 🐻
So, did you have a good holiday? One of the nicest things to happen here was welcoming a new resident, BLUE BEAR.
He arrived on our doorstep thanks to the kindness and generosity of dear blogger friend Linda Baie, who hangs out at TeacherDance. Not too long ago, I stumbled across a photo of Big Blue Bear online; those of you who are from or have visited Denver are probably familiar with him, as he’s been peeking into the Colorado Convention Center since 2005.
But until a couple of months ago, I did not know he existed! Yes, I lead a sheltered life, but one would THINK that since Len travels to Denver sometimes on business, he would have mentioned Big Blue Bear at some point. He’s lived with over 300 bears for 30-odd years and knows very well I would want to know about this cool 40-ft high, 10,000 pound sculpture. Men!
Anyway, I posted a photo of Big Blue Bear on FB for one of my “Tuesday Bear Hugs,” and Linda, who lives in Colorado, offered to pick up a Blue Bear for me on her next trip to the art museum.
Needless to say, Mr Cornelius and all the other AS kitchen helpers and bit players welcomed him with open paws, and he’s been happily noshing with us ever since. He’s just the right kind of bear to THINK BLUE, VOTE BLUE, AND BELIEVE IN BLUE.
Thank you, Linda — you are a true blue friend. 🙂
Now, to set us on the right path for the new year, here’s a life-affirming poem about embracing joy. January is National Soup Month, so have a big bowl!
by William Palmer
“We should start cooking/the joy soup.” – Rumi
Too much sad soup will turn
your raspberries gray.
Sleeping all day won’t make
them red again.
But Someone is pulling up
humble carrots, rutabagas,
and sweet potatoes.
Someone is busy
in the kitchen of the heart
with the window wide open.
Someone is cooking joy soup
with mint leaves.
Let the aroma pull you awake
and draw you toward the pot.
Watch the light simmer on top.
Someone waits for you.
~ from Poetry East: No. 90, Spring 2017, edited by Richard Jones (DePaul University).
There’s nothing more comforting than soup!
During these tough times (and 2019 promises to be another roller coaster ride), a good way to stay focused and positive is to gravitate towards the light whenever possible. Even better, BE the light.
My favorite part of Palmer’s poem is, “Someone is busy/in the kitchen of the heart/with the window wide open.” I love that generosity of spirit — let’s seek out and cherish the good people who add kindness, tolerance, hope, faith, laughter, and of course, love, to their soups. Welcome nourishment for a weary world.
As I’ve said many times before, no act of kindness is ever too small. When encountering someone as you go about your daily business, do keep this in mind: what you say or do in that moment (a quick hello, even a friendly nod or smile), could make that person’s day. It’s not inconceivable that your smile or hello ends up being his/her final memory. You just never know. You only have one shot to make a good first (and possibly lasting) impression.
Speaking of focusing on the positive, what about this:
I’m feeling optimistic this year with all these badass women in Washington.
Hooray for the BLUE WAVE that washed ashore last November! Now the hard work really begins.
We have to keep taking tiny, measured steps forward,
believe in heroes who know how to rock the BLUES,
and continue to invoke our creative muses:
Did you notice Paul’s blue shoes? Did you?!
*sigh, quickened pulse, flush, swoon*
Wow, all that idolatry can make a person mighty hungry. 😀
Good thing Mr Cornelius and Blue Bear made some restorative ‘Joy Soup.’ Hearty and comforting, Ham and Potato Corn Chowder is just the thing for a chilly winter’s day. We topped ours with bacon bits and enjoyed a slice of oh-so-yummy sourdough boule with it.
Here, taste it:
(If you’d like to make your own, click over to closetcooking for the recipe, which includes tasty options as well as nutrition information.)
Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to serving up more mouthwatering goodies here at Alphabet Soup in 2019. Stay tuned for our regular menu of picture book and cookbook reviews, sample recipes, Cool Things roundups, artist/illustrator features, interviews, and of course poetry every Friday.
THINK BLUE worked last year — together we were able to conjure up some powerful blue juju that made a difference. Join us this year as we continue to BELIEVE IN BLUE, and the truth, heart, freedom, trust, strength, and loyalty it symbolizes. Here’s to the expansiveness of the sky and sea, the widening of civil discourse, the opening of minds.
💙 BELIEVE IN BLUE, I BELIEVE IN YOU! 💙
P.S. The Youth Media Awards are coming up on Monday, January 28, 2019 (ALA Midwinter Meeting is in Seattle this year). Wouldn’t it be totally cool if a “blue” picture book created by a female illustrator won the Caldecott? Just sayin’ . . .
P.P.S. So sad to hear of Mary Oliver’s passing yesterday. What a unique vision of the world she had. I’d venture to say she won over more poetry skeptics (esp. those who considered poetry too elitist) than any other female poet of our time. Her poems were refreshingly accessible, and she opened many hearts.
The beautiful and talented Tricia Stohr-Hunt is hosting the Roundup at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Sail or fly on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up in the blogosphere this week.
* Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.