Field Notes on poetry, music, photography, and cooking


Easy Southwest Black Bean Salad

Easy Southwest Black Bean Salad, originally uploaded by BlaiseAllen.

1 c. fresh cooked corn kernals (or 1 can shoepeg, or 1 c. frozen)
1 Hass avacado cubed
1 shalott or sm. red onion chopped fine
1 large can Black beans drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel mild diced tomatoes & green chilies
1 cup fresh chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime

Mix all together and chilll to let flavors marry. Serve 6 1/2 cup servings.

I served it over brown rice seasoned with lime and cilantro. All I can say is, OLE!


Listmania, originally uploaded by BlaiseAllen.

Listmania defined: On any given day–these are the lists on the wall next to my lap top. I like to stay organized and on top of things, maybe I’m just perimenopausal and have lost some connections in the memory archives. Thank goodness for sticky pads. One of the notes actually says, “Shamatha” Which is Pali for Peaceful Dwelling! Confession, I get a tiny thrill from taking down a note and throwing it away when done!

The way i love rain

The way i love rain, originally uploaded by BlaiseAllen.

The Happiness Project

Today's poem and revisions

If you want to see the finished poem, e-mail or back-channel me on Facebook. I noticed that the poem started halfway down the page and then ideas wove back and forth. I’m a messy writer, I like to jump in and then organize my thoughts, unless I get them down perfectly the first time–yeah like that happens! I spend a lot of time on revisions and enjoy the process as much as the writing of the original idea. I love when you get a passionate idea that unfolds in front of your eyes and can be folded into a flock of origami birds. One word can alter the entire life of the bird sanctuary. We have so many decisions to create our worlds.

I’ve read a new book called the “Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. I started doing some of the exercises in the book after joining a Facebook Group to process the book as we read. As I was posting to FB, I kept saying this is the thing blogs are made of and decided to post my response to the book here. The first chapter is about finding what your values are and what will add more happiness to your life. Gretchen started out by making a list of “Commandments” then broke those down into results oriented projects over the span of a year. One month for each commandment. I believe we are all works in process and ever evolving. What is important to me today, may not even blip my radar a few months from now. Here is my list, subject to as many revisions as my last poem–see photo above!

1. Be more courageous
2. Practice mindfulness
3. To be generous and charitable
4. To find serenity each day
5. To create daily
6. To practice loving-kindness, wholeheartedness, appreciation and gratitude
7. To play and laugh more often
8. Choose health and fitness
9. Treat myself as well as I treat my friends: Do unto myself as I do others
10. “To live by design, not by accident” (thank you Martha Beck)
11. Clear out the closets, garage, book shelves, mystery boxes, and clutter–Keep my life organized
12. Celebrate Life, entertain more, get out of the house more often, enjoy friends, family and nature.

Since each “Commandment” above coincides with a month. I’ll be starting to set goals for July for choosing health and fitness. What comes to mind immediately is to:
Get the dreaded cat scan of my neck and throat I’ve put off for 6 weeks, face my fears of being allergic to the iodine contrast my doctor insists I have and fear of diagnosis.
Have my annual mammogram–just do it
Go back to restorative yoga twice a week
treadmill 30 minutes a day 5 days a week
strength train every other day
dentist time for a cleaning and exam
not too daunting!

Minestrone soup a’la Blaise

Minestrone soup a’la Blaise, originally uploaded by BlaiseAllen.

4 slices cooked bacon (reserve bacon fat)
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans water
4 cups chicken broth
1 package frozen chopped spinach thawed
2 cups cooked ditalini or other small pasta
S& P to taste
pinch of thyme
parsley to taste

In large soup pot, brown bacon, remove bacon and set aside. To the pot add 1 cup chopped onion, saute a few minutes till wilted. minced garlic, carrots and celery and sautee 3 minutes. Add one can diced tomatoes, water, chicken broth, cook veggies till tender. Add spinach, ditalini, S&P, pinch of thyme, fresh parsley and serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Field notes for my new poem “The Glass Elevator”

During the cruise, I was in the library overlooking the Grand Foyer observing people riding the glass elevators while reading a book about attention to detail in poetry, and the only thing I had to write on were these little book tags. I could not stop writing to find paper, I was on a roll and ended up with pages of these little sticky pad notes stuck on top of notes.

The view from where I sit @ Solid Sound Studio

The guys are sounding good. I’m timing their songs while they play so we can have a tight set list. Between starts and endings I’m sneaking in some poetry reading. Life is beautiful in the present moment.