Tuesday, June 10, 2014

LET THE SUNSHINE IN…


Blues on Blue...Painted by Me aka Lee
Enough Said...the Picture Says It All!
View from Main Western Road Across the Valley Below
Another Angle from Main Western Road Across the Valley to the Mountains Beyond...
Grey Day....painted by Me...aka...Lee





One morning a few weeks ago I awoke feeling gloomy; maybe the grey clouds hovering low shrouding the sun were to blame.  However, I doubt it because I love rainy days, and on the morning of my despondency rain threatened from above. 

Who knows why the blues decide to pay a visit or when?  Like uninvited visitors they always arrive when you’re not expecting them; and like some uninvited visitors they’re not welcome. I hadn’t extended nor mailed an invitation.  I’d not planned a blues’ party, but there they were, as large as life, ready and rearing to take hold and control. 

I considered burying my head, and whole body under the doona for the rest of the day; going into hiding; camouflaging myself as the bed, but I fought against the temptation. Added to my dreariness I’d pulled a muscle in my back at some time or other. I couldn’t remember doing it, but it was done whether I remember the occasion or not.  It’d already been giving me grief for a few weeks. My arthritic hip having felt it was hip to play up, as well, decided to join the fray.  Whoohoo! Party! Party!  How could I not join in?

Grumbling and mumbling I dragged myself to the shower refusing to glance, even briefly, into the mirror above the vanity basin. I figured I wouldn’t like the look of the person in there; in the mirror, not the basin!

I have no explanation why this strange person took up residence in my bathroom mirror. She lives there permanently. I don’t know who feeds her; and she’s always wearing my clothes!  I wish she’d get some of her own. To make matters worse she copies my hairstyle, too; even when it’s a bed- messy mess.  I ask you - how weird is that? Sometimes she looks okay, other times not.

I knew on the morning I’m describing I could do without seeing her glum expression looking at me. One would think she’d get a life of her own rather than spend her time annoying (at times –scaring) me. I was not in the mood for her silly, mindless antics.

After showering and dressing I headed off to the supermarket. Maybe while there I’d purchase a box or two of my favourite ice cream…Peters Chocolate Drumsticks; and perhaps, a box of Vanilla Drumsticks, too…when all else fails….

Driving along Main Western Road looking across the valley below to the mountains beyond my mood lifted a little; not a lot, just slightly.  Up above, the clouds, although fading to a softer shade of grey, still lingered. They, too, appeared to have lost interest in the day.  It was that kind of morning.

As my purchases were being checked and bagged I must have unconsciously winced because in a blink the solicitous, observant young checkout lass asked if I’d like someone to take my trolley and to load my goods into my car. Expressing my appreciation at her thoughtfulness, I smiled at the kind young woman telling her I’d be fine.

Still thinking about her warmth while transferring my groceries into my car, I leapt skywards when a deep voice broke the silence behind me. Generously a man offered to return the shopping trolley to save me the trouble. Thanking the stranger I let him take the trolley.

As I slowly climbed into my car an arm suddenly appeared out of nowhere. The owner of the arm had noticed my discomfort. He perceived I was struggling a little with my debilitated decrepitude. 

The helping hand belonged to the same compassionate trolley-returning gentleman; a man I’d never seen before; but he, along with the caring lass at the checkout brought sunshine into my day. 

I looked at the sky; the clouds had disappeared; the sun was shining brightly. My earlier dismal mood had dissipated with the melancholy clouds.

Credit must be given where credit is due; and thanks where thanks are deserved. I drove home smiling, giving silent thanks to two considerate strangers who, out of the blue, had changed my day; chasing my blues away.

Blue Cheese Dip: Blend 240g softened cream cheese, 120g crumbled blue cheese, 1/2c sour cream and 1tsp Worcestershire sauce. Stir in 2/3c chopped walnuts and 2tbs chopped chives; place into bowl; garnish with chopped chives; allow flavours to infuse.

Blueberry-Corn Salad: Cook 4 corn cobs; cool; cut corn off cobs. Dressing: juice of 1 lime, 1tbs each olive oil and honey, 1/2tsp cumin and pinch of salt. Combine 1c blueberries, 1 sliced cucumber, 1/4c finely-chopped red onion, 1c chopped fresh coriander, 1 seeded, chopped jalapeno and dressing. Add cooked chicken pieces or prawns, if desired.

Kale-Quinoa-Blueberry Salad: Dressing: blend 1/4c x-virgin olive oil, 1/8c balsamic, 1tbs low-salt soy sauce, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1tbs honey or brown sugar, 1tbs minced ginger, 1/2tsp toasted sesame oil and 1tbs water; process until smooth. Combine 1tbs dressing with 2c chopped kale; coat evenly; add 1-1/2c cooked quinoa, 1 grated carrot, 1c halved cherry tomatoes, 1c blueberries and 1/2c sliced almonds; add more dressing if desired. Top with toasted nori/seaweed, sliced thinly. Save remaining dressing in fridge.

Blueberry Clafoutis: Liberally butter a 25cmx20cm rectangular dish or 25cm round one. Sift 75g plain flour and pinch salt into bowl; stir in 75g caster sugar. Beat together 2 medium eggs and 1 egg white; pour into centre of flour; whisk in, gradually incorporating flour; slowly add 300ml whole milk, whisking all the while until a smooth batter. Spread 400g blueberries in the buttered dish; pour in the batter. Bake in 190C oven, 35mins. Dust with icing sugar; serve warm or room temp with cream.

37 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

The kindness of strangers is wonderful isn't it? Reassuring and comforting.
And how long have you been hiding your light under a bushell for? Love your paintings. Do you still paint? I hope so. I really hope so.

Lee said...

Yes, EC...it's the little gestures; the small things; the thoughtful actions when you least expect them that can change your mood within a blink. :)

I've not done any painting for a couple or more years...I'll get back to it one of these days...when the urge strikes. I keep telling myself that!

Thanks for coming by. :)

River said...

I had a blue day myself last Monday, out of nowhere I was grumpy and out of sorts. Took plenty of naps and felt much better on Tuesday.
I like your first painting there, the Blues on blue one.

Carol in Cairns said...

Lovely paintings Lee. So sorry to read about your sore back, but lovely that your two strangers brightened your day. Take care x

Lee said...

Hi River...that blue painting hangs on my wall here just behind my monitor.

The blues can hit us out of nowhere and they're a damn nuisance when they do.

Thanks for popping in. :)

Lee said...

Hey there Carol...touch wood all is good again with my back. It was very annoying there for a while, though.

Glad you like the paintings.

Thanks for dropping in. :)

Helsie said...

Lovely story about the kindness of strangers. What a talented girl you are. Love the paintings especially the first one. Your gloom was probably caused by the back and hip pain. Nothing gets you down like back pain. Hope it gets better soon.

Dexter Klemperer said...

I think those photos should be enough to pull anyone out of a grey day, especially the bleu cheese and drumsticks!

Lee said...

Hi Helsie...I'd just yanked a muscles somewhere along the way..all is okay again now, thanks.

I'm glad you like the painting...I must take another photo of it...the yellowish sections in the actual painting are really a pale pinkish shade/hue.

Thanks for coming in. :)

Lee said...

Hey Dexter...Drumsticks sure beat the blues away. I love them, and always have some in my freezer and at my fingertips!

Thanks for popping in. :)

OldLady Of The Hills said...

How wonderful your day got changed by these simple acts of kindness...There really is a lesson in that, isn't there? Be kinder to people when you can, because you never know how that might change their day...! I Love That!

Makes me think of that song..."CHASING THE BLUES AWAY"......

LOVE that first painting a lot! It's really quit extraordinary, my dear Lee!

Lee said...

G'Day Naomi. So true...a smile; a kind word; crack a bit of a joke with someone...it doesn't matter if they're strangers and you'll perhaps never set eyes on them again...it costs nothing, but it sure can mean a lot.

What a better world it would be if everyone was more considerate.

I'm astounded how many people like that first painting...it's made me look at it through fresh and new eyes.

Thanks for coming by, Naomi...it's always nice to see you.

Wendy said...

I had to read this paragraph countless times, because it's so bloody good! 'I have no explanation why this strange person took up residence in my bathroom mirror. She lives there permanently. I don’t know who feeds her; and she’s always wearing my clothes! I wish she’d get some of her own. To make matters worse she copies my hairstyle, too; even when it’s a bed- messy mess. I ask you - how weird is that?'

So, not only can you write well, and cook with expertise, but you can also paint. That's very selfish you know. Because, let's face it, it's not very fair to the rest of us now is it?!

Take care. Hope the sun always shines over your horizon :)

Lee said...

Oh! Dear! *sob*

I feel duly reprimanded, Wendy...but it really isn't warranted, you know...I've not picked up a paint brush for a couple or more years; and nowadays, I cook the simplest of meals for myself. Can I come out from the naughty corner now?

Thanks for dropping in. :)

Wendy said...

No. Five more minutes.

You should feel positively proud of yourself :)

Lee said...

Dammit! I snuck in to have a shower and to wash my hair...but my shower recess is in a corner...that should count for something!!

Arlynda Lea Beuterbaugh said...

You sure helped chase my blues away yesterday (just barely yesterday now). Thank you so very much for that! Hey, it just came to me that I beat Jerry over here. YAY ME!

Adullamite said...

Little kindnesses change things.
Could you ask that checkout lass to do my ironing.....?

Adullamite said...

The paintings are good. How much did you get for them...?

Lee said...

Arlynda...don't let narrow-minded, mean-spirited people like that woman get to you. She had no reason to upset you so. :)

Thanks for coming in. :)

Lee said...

I'll check out the checkout lass when I'm at the supermarket tomorrow, Adullamite...I'll ask if she's interested in your job offer.

The paintings are still in my possession, Adullamite. I wouldn't get enough for them to pay an ironing lady for an hour's ironing! lol

Nice to see you. :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I know exactly what you mean aqbout the blues, Lee - and about the small things that make us feel better. The clafoutis sounds delicious.

Lee said...

Hey there, Pat...I love Blues music, but the blues aren't much fun, nor are they welcome; but they seem to enjoy knocking on my door. Will they ever learn?

Hugs to you and to Simi...thanks for coming by. :)

Riot Kitty said...

That is a really nice story, Lee. And I didn't know you painted! I like it quite a bit.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love the kindness of strangers. Always gives me so much faith in humanity. And I am craving an ice cream drumstick now :-)

Lee said...

Thanks, RK. I just dabble with pencils and paint brushes once in a while...for fun and relaxation. I mustn't be having much fun or relaxation lately because it's a while since I've done any. Very slack!

Thanks for coming by. :)

Lee said...

Thanks for dropping in Optimistic E...it's always nice to see a new "face".

Yes...the simple things in life; the small kind actions of others when least expected brighten one's day.

Kay G. said...

It is the little things in life that can make a big difference!

You are an artist! You should wake up every day and be happy that you have such talent!
I love your paintings!

Lee said...

Hey Kay...you are more than generous with your praise...but I thank you. :

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I also love rainy days when I do not have to get out into it. Oh, and I let Arlynda get here first (you know).

Lee said...

Jerry...I adore rainy days...and very, very rarely do I go out during them. Nothing requires my attention that much that it can't wait until another day...when the weather is fine.

I knew you were a gentleman...'tis good you let Arlynda in first! ;)

goatman said...

"Grey Day" appears to be a water color -- very difficult, water colors. I never could master the flow myself.

Lee said...

Yes, Goatman..."Grey Day" is a water-colour; whereas "Blues on Blue" was done with acrylics.

Mostly I use acrylics, but I have done quite a few water-colours, too. I enjoy both.

Nice to see you...thanks for your comment. :)

Lynn said...

It's difficult to shake the blues sometimes when they set in. I'm glad you were able to do that and that some angels helped along the way.

Love the paintings!

Granny Annie said...

Yikes! Strangers approaching me plus touching me would send me screaming into the hills.

I thought I had you on my sidebar to catch all new posts, but alas, I did not. Now I shall catch up.

Lee said...

Hey there, Lynn...sorry...I've just now seen and read your comment. Thanks. :)

Lee said...

Hey Grannie Annie...I live in the hills, so I'd have to run down into the valleys! lol


Thanks for coming by. :)