Barbecue sauce, cousins, and maybe a sideways grin

Adios, gringos.  Don't go forgetting us any time soon.

Checkered. Sideways. Random photo from Nicaragua.

OK, pals, this is one of those blogs that I sometimes write with nothing to say.  It’s kind of a stream-of-consciousness blog, so stay away if you want something congruent and logical. (Although, who knows, perhaps that may happen!  I cannot predict.)

Memorial Day weekend hath come and gone.  It’s been memorable.  My first cousin Tanzylee and her husband Marty came visitin’.  This is memorable simply by the fact that they built a cabin in our neck of the woods eleven years ago–and we’ve never visited with them yet!  (This had something to do with the fact that we had three cats for years and Marty is terribly allergic to cats.)

We decided It was Time and invited them over and spent almost four hours–four hours, mind you–talking and laughing and drinking and eating and sharing, and all the things one does when one knows someone since childhood.  Tanz was actually in my wedding, back in the 70’s, no kidding.

What’s odd is that we spent almost four hours talking.  As my friend, Ruth, can attest–I have trouble talking beyond the two hour range.  After that my thoughts go fuzzy and the eyes cross and it’s just challenging.  So how this happened–well, it can only be labeled in the miracle category.

Marty remembers EVERYTHING from childhood.  His folks were business owners in my hometown and we both talked about the challenges of growing up when you’re expected to behave or else.  It sounds like neither of us behaved admirably at times, but it looks like we survived to adulthood to laugh about it.

We’ve made a pact in blood–no, no, just in promises–to meet again at their cabin in the near future.  I’m holding them to it.  It was just too much fun.

I adore this art.

This post kinda feels like a guy on a bicycle, doesn’t it?

I also have a terrible confession to make to my vegan friends.  We bought hot dogs–with skins–and chicken breasts for the Memorial Day celebration.  OK, the hot dogs will probably still exist come Thanksgiving, but we have not seen those dogs in our house since the days when my gall bladder existed.  Even then, I did not like hotdogs.  Husband does, though.  I swear I did not eat one.

I am a big fan of barbecue, though.  Slather barbecue sauce on everything!  I will eat barbecue sauce on tofu, tempeh, vegetables, pork–I hesitate to say ribs or beef, because that may not happen.  I basted those chicken breasts in barbecue, the best barbecue sauce our area has to offer, let me go look in the refrigerator, Ken Davis ORIGINAL BBQ Sauce with no high fructose corn syrup, which makes it the best barbecue sauce in the world because those chemicals are simply Not Necessary.

Bleeding heart

Seriously, the bleeding hearts are bleeding just outside our front door. I love them so much.

Changing the subject–although not really–I wrote a one-page run-on sentence three days ago.  Seriously.  I decided that periods and commas and paragraphs were over-rated and decided to write until the thoughts petered out.  It was quite an exercise!  Have any of you ever written an entire handwritten page with no periods or commas?  It tells a lot about a person.  What one will allow to be revealed.  Just sayin’.

For those of you dying to know–I am still faithfully recording in the Unexpected Journal.  It’s been, hold on, let me check, thirty-five days since inception.  However, it has morphed from an Unexpected Journal (please read this blog if you’re utterly confused about what I’m referencing, as it’s a much more sane post than this one) into a Flowing Journal.

What is a Flowing Journal, you ask?  It’s a journal where one records what flowed (sometimes unexpectedly) throughout the day.  What’s Life Affirming.  What shines. What sings.

Driftwood pause

Stream-of-consciousness blogs contain stream-of-consciousness photos.


I also want to report that maybe 86.9% of the days shine or sing in some small way.  (Some days large ways!)  The rest of the days are ho-hum or challenging and then one must dig deeply for inspiration.  Those are the days when the journal is needed.  One prompts oneself toward doing something out-of-the-ordinary to catapult one from the blues.

(Full disclosure:  today has been a hard day.  Thus the need for an entertaining blog.  I really need some levity! Be kind in the comments, or I am may cry.)

I could keep writing for another 400 words, but shall spare those of you who do not like stream-of-consciousness writing, but are still hanging on out of loyalty or confusion.  We are having brook trout for dinner, gifted by Barry’s fishing partner, Nancy and her husband, Don.  They will be grilled with their heads on.  I am pondering fleeing.  I could tell you where I might be fleeing but that would definitely be another 400 words and…for those of you who did not want to try the death exercise described in the last blog…have any of you ever considered writing a stream-of-consciousness post?  It can be very illuminating.

Or not.  🙂

Oh, look at that whimsical fish and not-so-whimsical squirrel!

Tonight’s dinner. (Not the squirrel.)


About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in May 2016 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Barbecue sauce, cousins, and maybe a sideways grin

  1. Fountainpen says:

    Yes I have written without punctuation
    Free flow
    Quite wonderful!!!


  2. Kathy – I can’t say that I’ve ever written without using punctuation, but I can say that I just spent 3 weeks with my sister who puts ketchup and BBQ sauce on anything and everything that gets in her way. I’d forgotten this “phenomenon” from our growing up years. It’s still there, in tact, all these years later. Her eyes simply light up with glee when she sees a bottle of her favorite condiments.

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, that’s so funny. To think that she’s that delighted with ketchup and barbecue sauce! (I am much more tame with my barbecue like–you know, maybe once a month.)

  3. Carol says:

    Stream of consciousness yes. Without punctuation, no. Maybe I’ll try that, but I think it will be very hard for me. As to your hot dogs and chicken – we all have to cross the line sometimes. Actually, I have a hot dog waiting for me for dinner.

    • Kathy says:

      I was shocked to be writing the other morning and discover that an entire page of no punctuation wanted to come out. That has not happened in years. You’ll be surprised, perhaps. One day you’ll be journaling and discover that you can’t end a sentence. It will be eye-opening. (I wanted to post it on a blog but fortunately decided to spare you all…grin…)

  4. That was informational and interesting. I like chit chat sometimes because I’m not a good chit-chatter. Great pics and more will be nice in your up-coming posts. The fish skeleton is a good one- all naked and shiny. 🙂

  5. dawnkinster says:

    I’ve never done a stream of conscious writing, much less one with no punctuation. It could be interesting. It could be weird. It likely would be both.

    I could not eat a fish with the head still on. I have trouble with fish at all. Hopefully you were able to eat something else and your husband could enjoy the trout.

    I am exploring the whole vegan thing. I don’t know if I could go entirely that way, and I suppose a part time vegan is not a vegan at all? I don’t know. I have several friends here that eat that way who are helping me sort it out. We shall see.

    Glad you and the cousins visited and had such a great time!

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, oh yes, I agree with you–it is interesting AND weird Writing a full page without punctuation. But am glad that it happened. As for eating the fish with the heads on–I convinced Barry to cut off their little heads before cooking. We could both eat happily. The fish was flaking and quite delicious! As for being a part-time vegan, I think that would be great. That’s what I am…except, of course, the vegans would disagree. We were vegans + fish for years. Not so much anymore, but I still LOVE eating that way. Let me know if you decide to try that path.

  6. Steam of consciousness writing is fun, though when the gates open it’s more like a river! Love the stream of consciousness pictures. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Lunar, you are so right. And sometimes stream of consciousness writing can be more like a tsunami! Glad you liked the pics–I dug them out of the files in a stream of consciousness type of way.

  7. sherrysescape says:

    I love being privy to the streaming thoughts in your consciousness 🙂 Very James Joyceian (I think, since I’ve barely read anything but know he had a streaming style.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Sherry–glad you enjoyed. If you decide to do the same, I’ll happily read as well. It can be so hard to read stream of consciousness writing sometimes, but other times not as much. Don’t remember reading James Joyce, either. Maybe you better not bring him up as a book club selection. Ha ha!

  8. Karma says:

    Stream of consciousness blogs are fun. I wrote one once, but with punctuation. I think the teacher in me has a hard time letting go of grammar and such, lol. It is fun to me to read what’s going through someone’s mind – it is a way of being invited in.

    • Kathy says:

      Karma, glad to hear you like stream of consciousness blogs, too. And yes–our inner grammar teachers can be appalled to read such essays without punctuation. I know mine was the other day! (But another part had so much fun.) It is a way of really feeling intimate with another person. Not like most of life where we’re always editing what we share so much.

  9. Carol Ferenc says:

    Love this free flowing post, Kathy. I’ve never tried stream-of-consciousness writing and now I’m intrigued. It would be fascinating ~ or scary ~ to see what emerges.
    Isn’t it amazing how we sometimes click with others and the conversation just goes on and on? It would be a shame to let another eleven years go by without that cousin connection.
    Barbecue sauce can make anything taste delish ~ except maybe hot dogs. Or fish heads.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, I will be interested to hear if you explore stream of consciousness writing. In the book The Artist’s Way the author suggests doing three pages every morning. So much gets cleared out of the mind and kind of ignites creativity. Some of it may be suitable for an intriguing blog, but a lot of that kind of writing is just good for the soul. Some of what comes out can be just too personal…

      • Carol Ferenc says:

        That’s a book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. I’m sure you’re right, Kathy. Stream of consciousness writing wouldn’t always be the safest choice for blogging 🙂

  10. Stream of consciousness is the way to flow flow flow like a river with thoughts that show rather than tell and highlight the light that’s flowing, invisible but there, sort of like our heart which when it aches we can’t see it but we sure can feel that tug of ‘ugh’ until the flow begins in the tears in our eyes but eyes, eyes, eyes are the window of our soul, and my soul reaches out to your soul in which you share with a cousin called Tanzylee, (and really, I need to have a character in one of my books called Tanzylee because you know it must be an amazing story just to explain why a mother would call her child Tanzylee) but in your case your visit with Tanzylee created a miracle of a 4-hour talking stream of consciousness, and how neat is that?!

    • Kathy says:

      My goodness she said without any desire to add commas or periods because she was so moved so flowed by your comment, oh never mind she likes commas today because otherwise it will all run together like barbecue sauce into onions into green peppers and cousins and truly truly I would love to buy your book with Tanzylee as a character even though she doesn’t seem like anyone I imagine to be Tanzylee would be named because she’s quiet and yet not-so-quiet and calm and yet can laugh easily and one of my other friends is named Pattijo because that’s what mamas did in those days, at times, they named their babies where they kind of married first and middle names and you know in my case that would be Kathysue but don’t tell anyone because of my last name, please, and you would be? Sincerely and dramatically, someone who likes you very much.

      • It’s 5:30 a.m. my time and I’m smiling so widely it could seem to be an early morning yawn but it’s not it’s a response to a writer friend who tickles me pink…and red and aquamarine and a lovely lavender too.

  11. Lori says:

    Kathy, I just wrote a really long comment and it disappeared! Oh geez. I will try this again, but I have to do it fast. I have an appointment.

    Our lives seem to sync frequently. I wrote a stream of consciousness blog last week, and after a glass of wine. I don’t drink often. One glass once or twice a month. But, the mind and mouth flowed. Then, I did a dastardly thing. I saved it as a draft for a few days and then deleted it. Too bad I hadn’t read yours first. It may have encouraged me to post it. I enjoyed reading yours.

    I don’t think I could type without punctuation. It would be like trying not to blink. It comes automatic now.

    Anyway, that’s the gist of what I wrote before. Hope it works this time. Glad you enjoyed some time with your cousins. It’s so nice to relax with family and friends when we can.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh how funny, Lori, that you wrote one too! I think stream of consciousness blogs would be enhanced by a glass of wine because then everything just flows so easily. I cannot recall if wine was involved in the making of this post. Some posts of this sort become way too personal; maybe your dastard deletion involved that? I am glad you enjoyed this and maybe one of these near or far days you will determine to try again.

      As for typing without punctuation, I might have some challenges with that as well. My page without punctuation was hand-written from a spot far away from the computer and perhaps that’s what allowed it. It was interesting. I wonder if I’ve thrown it away. Going to look… oh here it is. It’s called “Gorilla eyes”.

  12. debyemm says:

    LOL !! Most of my writing, comments, blogs, etc IS stream-of-consciousness. A friend of mine has come to realize that I am “processing” in my writing and so my thoughts are not really meant to have the polish of being intentional. Another LOL moment.

    My birthday “weekend” started on Friday, May 27th. So, in order to fully feel the LONG weekend, as I do with most Monday holidays, we don’t do the Sunday night dinner at my deceased in-laws cabin until Monday. I decided since we went out of town for my actual birthday to do the cake and candles and birthday song thing on Monday too.

    And since it was Memorial Day – I decided to do BBQ as well. We’ve almost entirely stopped grilling because the charring seems to represent some health concern and it always takes a long time to get the cooking going but is easier on the clean-up side. So I did roasted corn-on-the-cob and since we like it so much, did 8 ears, which left no room for the 93% lean ground beef patties (actually hamburgers with buns and pickles and I really can’t remember the last time we actually had them !!) so I did them in an electric skillet. Also some baked beans (vegetarian) and watermelon. Oh My !! I had to buy a new bottle of BBQ sauce when I discovered the one I had had liquor in it and I don’t do alcohol to be kind to my liver. Mine was Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite and I am happy to say – no high fructose corn syrup either. Just cane sugar, molasses, brown sugar and honey – sweet !! oh my !! – plus other “natural” ingredients (or as natural as anything commercially processed can be these days !!).

    Enjoyed your blog, Kathy !!

    • Kathy says:

      Glad you enjoyed, Deb. I have been enjoying this stream of consciousness writing again lately. You never have any idea what will come out. When I wrote Gorilla Eyes I thought it was going to be about restlessness. It gave me goosebumps to see what came out, unbidden! Thanks for reading and sharing about your Memorial Day and enjoying this blog. Have a great week!

  13. I Wilkerson says:

    I took a class in college where we did what they called “free writing” Basically the idea was that if you just wrote, you would break down writer’s block and the results would be far more coherent than you’d ever expect. I think you have shown that. BTW, I think one of the fun things about getting a little older is reconnecting with your cousins…

    • Kathy says:

      Inger, glad to hear you’re familiar with this. I think there’s something true about it–free writing does kind of open the door and so much can pour out that you don’t even expect. And maybe you’re also right–it’s the process of getting older that helps reconnect cousins. Hadn’t thought of that. Hope you’re having a great weekend. It keeps raining up here.

  14. Debbie M. says:

    Kathy… Given the topic of your blog, or rather the randomness of this post, I could go in many different directions to comment! 🙂 I’ll choose one: I used to write with very few paragraphs. In my mind, my writing was “one thought,” so I kept the paragraphs to a minimum. I have a friend (a journalist) who gave me my best writing advice. She described a paragraph as the opportunity “to take a breath!” It changed my thinking and focused my writing on making the most of every paragraph and allowing a more natural flow. (You already know this as evident in your posts!) What will you blog about next? I’m looking forward to the surprise!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Debbie, that sounds like an interesting way to write–keeping paragraphs to a minimum. I have never tried that (well, except for the page of stream of consciousness writing from last week which had no paragraphs either.) I like what your journalist friend had to say. Breathe and rest… Also, I suspect most people wouldn’t read very far with long paragraphs. I try to keep ’em short. As for what to blog about next, so far there are no ideas at all! Nothing is coming to mind. So will wait and see… Have a good weekend!

      • Debbie M. says:

        Kathy, You hit upon why it is fun to read your blog: we come to expect the unexpected in words and pictures! (It is much more fun to write when the words flow. Sometimes, it does feel like someone turned off the spigot of creativity. But then, it comes on full blast again with a refreshing stream of inspiration!)

  15. Heather says:

    I love that you put probabilities in your writing. A definite chance, down to the tenth of a percent 🙂 It’s a Kathy classic!
    Other thought: did you put barbeque on the fish?

    • Kathy says:

      Hullo there Ms. Heather, how nice to see you. You gotta love probabilities! (I think it’s my Business Manager side.) Have never thought of putting barbecue on fish. Ever. Have you ever tried it?

      • Heather says:

        Nope – but since you talked about eating everything with BBQ, and weren’t sure about the head-on fish, I thought it might be the way to go 😉

  16. Val says:

    I can’t recall if I’ve ever written without punctuation. I shall try that sometime (though with my illegible handwriting the re-read might cause me to go mad!

    I love reading stream of consciousness writing and enjoyed all of this post, Kathy. As for writing it, I do, often. Have done since I as a kid.

    Can you touch-type? If you can, may I suggest an interesting way to do stream-of-consciousness stuff? What you do is sit at a keyboard, close your eyes and just type. I do this for memories, I find that it really opens doors for me. When you’re done, go back over it and only then correct any typos, etc. Don’t correct any while you’re typing. (You can even turn off the monitor to avoid that temptation!) 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Val, I am glad you enjoyed reading this post. It’s been fun to include stream of consciousness blog posts over the years. I have never ever tried doing this with eyes closed! I will have to give it a whirl one of these days. You often have such great ideas!

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