Not exactly quotidian, but close

Saturday morning meant a continuation in the granola experiment. This is flavor two of this brand, and also my third granola ever. I believe this one is the basic offering from Bob’s Red Mill. Last week I tried their maple sea salt variety. On its own, it was a bit over-sweet. I tried it with some raisins and that was much better. But, Saturday, and today, I gave this one a shot.

It’s a bit cleaner, a bit simpler. And quite tasty. But it is missing something. And while I’m no taste expert and even less of a granola connoisseur, that might be as precise as I can get.

Today, I put a box of raisins — the generic store brand of raisins, which is always the preferred dried grape — in the bowl. And today, this tasted like a favorite cereal of my youth.

Crispy Wheats ‘n Raisins was introduced in the late seventies. It found its way in our cereal cabinet, the low one to the left of the oven, alongside the Froot Loops and Cookie Crisp and Rice Krispies and Apple Jacks. Only one of those I ate so much of I can’t consider eating today. It seemed like Apple Jacks got stuck on the grocery list every day. But despite all of those hyper cereals, Crispy Wheats ‘n Raisins was the best. Sales plummeted somewhere near the turn of the century and General Mills discontinued the brand. But it was good stuff, and definitely the best raisin-based cereal. This bowl this morning is the closest thing I’ve had to that taste. I’ll have to remember this combination.

Phoebe likes it too. She’s in danger of ruining her good girl reputation with her aggression for milk. She’ll sit and stare and if you get distracted by things like putting the milk cartoon back in the refrigerator, she’s over in a flash.

You’ll note that she’s not on the countertop, which is against the rules. She’s on the box which is on the countertop. We don’t have a rule against that.

And when she gets down, Poseidon is ready for his shift.

Buncha jailhouse lawyer cats around here.

Poe is much better about milk. It’s one of the few times when he isn’t an active bother. When I’m done, I’ll give Phoebe a tiny bit. Poseidon sits patiently and watches. This is the only time he will allow her to do a thing when he doesn’t insert himself. I’ll give him a tiny little sip of what’s left, just so he can have a taste. But not too much.

This big bad cat can’t handle his milk.

This weekend I finished Studs Terkel’s Hard Times. It’s an oral history of The Great Depression, with interviews all conducted in the late 1960s. Terkel worked for the WPA’s Federal Writers Project during the depression, particularly in radio. He spent a significant part of his career keeping the craft of oral history alive. A few decades after this book, he would win the Pulitzer Prize for another oral history series. That book is in my queue, as well. But, today, The Great Depression!

He traveled all over the country talking to people from all different walks of life, and different generations, about life in the 30s. And some of these stories are tough, but just as many of them are comically funny. I don’t think any one anecdote can explain the time to the rest of us, but it’s pretty obvious that one person’s experiences can inform us about them. And so, in this book, you get dozens and dozens and dozens of people’s experiences.

In this collection, at least, I think you can group people into one of three broad categories. You had people who lost everything, of course. And some of them learned to survive, and some learned how to thrive. Among them, you’d see people have a wide array of reactions to what the U.S. government did, or didn’t, do to solve the problems of the day. Among them, you find a certain group of people, particularly those that were young and previously of some means, that had a eye-opening experience when their parents lost it all.

In the second, smaller group, you’ve got people who weren’t directly impacted by the depression, or at least, a generation later, wouldn’t admit to anything of the sort. Throughout, people talk about how people who lost everything reacted, how they felt it was a personal failure, how that informed everything about them for a time, if not forever. But in this second group, you would have some people who weren’t touched by the Depression. People who thought others who were down on their luck deserved to be there. Or they just didn’t see it at all. No soup lines in my town, no apple sellers on my corner, this sort of thing. No direct exposure makes denial that much easier. And this second group would be people full of people in this general condition.

The third group of people would be the youth. The children of people who experienced The Depression. Teens and twenty-somethings in the 1960s. Unless Terkel was cherry picking, these young people were almost entirely ignorant of the Depression. At best, you’re left with the impression that people didn’t want their kids to know about their struggles. And sometimes bliss looks dumb.

Last night I started a new book, something I picked up for the Kindle. It starts with the death of Terry Tempest Williams’ mother. And it grows from there.

Mother tells the daughter that all of her journals are hers, but don’t read them until she’s gone. And soon after, she dies. Later, the daughter feels ready to look in those journals. They’re all neatly arranged, waiting. They’re all empty. And, from this, the author has put together 53 other essays on womanhood, memorializing her mother, musing on her faith and filling the empty places.

It’s lyrical in its own way, and it feels like a journal. I’ll probably be through it in a few sittings. I didn’t really know what I was getting into with this one. The title and the blurb were intriguing, good reviews on Amazon and sometimes that’s how you uncover something you wouldn’t otherwise happen upon. It’s a fast read, When Women Were Birds. I bet, by the end, the already accomplished writer will find her true voice.

And if you don’t want to read, we can always go diving. Let’s go!

Here are a few more shots from our recent trip to Cozumel. Here’s one of me. My dive buddy took this one.

I think it’ll eventually wind up as one of the rotating banners here on the blog.

And if you think that a photo of me means I’m running out of other fish of the sea, nope.

In this one we have three or four different species, including grunts and a stoplight parrotfish and an angelfish.

Also, the classic pufferfish flyover.

But, for my money, this is still the best fish in the sea.

Tomorrow, more underwater scenes, something on the bike and something about campus — where I must go to right now — ya know, the usual Tuesday stuff.

Comments are closed.