You are viewing jamarattigan

head shot 2

September 2011


All content © 2007-2011 Jama Rattigan. Please do not reproduce in any form without permission. All rights reserved.


Powered by
summer jam

jammin' into june

"Then followed that beautiful season . . . Summer . . .
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape/Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood." ~
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Okay, how did this happen? It's June already?

Doesn't matter what the calendar says. Summer has already hit Virginia with my "favorite" menu of H's: hazy, hot, humid. Hell's bells, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

Since I can't and don't want to do that, I'll just have to requisition a few extra hunkalicious hotties to cool me off with palm fronds and tall glasses of sweet tea. (It would help tremendously if they all resembled Colin Firth and/or George Clooney and had the songwriting chops of Bob Dylan.)

Ooh, ooh! Have to share this video that was posted on the When Bob Met Woody Facebook Page. Hubba hubba! Hopefully, this will temporarily silence some of the misguided folks who constantly complain about Dylan's singing voice. Every word is intelligible.

Okay, where was I? So, what mischief have you been up to? Did you have a good Memorial Day weekend? We took it easy and slow; actually, we were forced to on Sunday since we had a morning power outage. Couldn't plug in, charge up, cook or flush -- when the power goes out, our well pump doesn't work, so no water to wash or rinse. You'll be happy to know we somehow managed to remain fair of face. Amazing what bathing in a few dewdrops will do. ☺

Though I often complain about the heat, I remain enamoured with the idea of summer -- long, sun-drenched days marked by leisurely mornings, lazy afternoons, relaxed, starlit evenings. And the food is the best -- lots of fresh fruits and veggies and good things on the grill. I'm perfectly happy with all-American burgers, steak and ribs, but like my share of marinated Portobello mushrooms, green peppers, eggplant, zucchini, asparagus and onions. We also enjoy grilling seafood and teriyaki chicken; Len feels especially accomplished when he slices fresh corn off the cob and grills the kernels with lots of butter in a foil packet.

And who doesn't welcome the much-anticipated "summer reading?" Books you've been dying to get to all year, saving them for those extended, uninterrupted periods of pure immersion. Summer also gives us permission to indulge in the guilty pleasure of "trashy" books, so-called beach reading. For me, this would include rock/celebrity biographies and memoirs, anything food-related, some popular women's fiction. I do draw the line at formula romances, though (even though I actually wrote one once), and continue to avoid anything self-help. But one girl's "trash" is another girl's gold, so who's to judge? 

Jules of 7-Imp would say, "whatever blows your hair back." There is inestimable value in reading as widely as possible -- especially in those genres you may have avoided for most of your life, say, politics, science fiction (collective gasp!), economics, Westerns, travelogues of people trekking to the ends of the earth and getting lost or eaten by the natives, or anything written by public figures SP, NG, GB, or RL. No guarantees but I'm willing to give it a go. You often learn the most from what you don't like or consider to be sensationalized drivel poorly written.

Speaking of Jules, have you read
her excellent interview with Aaron Mead at Children's Books and Reviews? This time, she's the interviewee. So thorough, insightful, fascinating and positively Julie. What would we do without 7-Imp? I'd love to know what she puts in her coffee to be able to do all the things she does.

Mmmmm, Greek yogurt.

A few more links to get your summer off to a good start:

♥ Hawai'i author/illustrator James Rumford can now be found online at his
official author website, Writing and Illustrating Books for Children blog, and website for Manoa Press, his fine press/letterpress business. With the ever-encroaching world domination of the e-book, handmade books, one-of-a-kind or limited production, will be treasured and valued even more. And for you Horace fans, Jim is still blogging about reading the man's poems in Latin and translating them into Latin prose at Horace et al. A very ambitious project, but Jim is the only person I know up to the task. In case you missed it, my interview with him is here.

♥ Zoe Toft at
Playing by the Book did a marvelous job with May's Carnival of Children's Literature. Check out all the interesting posts.

♥ If you've got itchy shopping fingers, click through to 
A Likely Story: Items for the Bookish Sort. I especially like the Poetry Book Love earrings and all the cute charm bracelets. Thanks to Debbi Michiko Florence for the link.


♥ No matter your dream or struggle, you need to read this poem, "The Fighter," by S.E. Kiser, posted the other day by Tanita S. Davis. Writers, especially, will nod in recognition -- but as Tanita says, tough times are all over and we have to keep fighting. Don't miss this dose of inspiration!

♥ Found
Orangette's post featuring Kimchi Fried Rice interesting and mouthwatering. Some spicy Koreanish cuisine is just the thing to jumpstart your summer and set a fire under your keister. Please pardon my small-mindedness, but I'm fascinated whenever a "haole" writes about Korean food. It's a rare occurrence in my world.

I leave you now with Greg Brown's "Canned Goods." Whatever your summer plans, let's distill the season's essence, the very best moments, memories and mmmmm's. Time has a way of slipping through our fingers, along with ideas and impressions. Perhaps that is why so many of us value the written word. Truth lovingly preserved with flavor unending. Keep on jammin'!

"The grand essentials of happiness are: Something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. " ~ Allan Chalmers

Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan's alphabet soup. All rights reserved.


Orangette! Poetry earrings! A strawberry-furred bear! Bob Dylan! What's not to like about June and this post?

I have my stack of summer reading, too, ready to go to Hollins with me. I move the vintage suitcase in the back seat of my car to the hearth in my faculty apartment and fill it with books I've been waiting to read.

And I have *always* understand every word of Dylan.
You're better than me, then -- there have been times I've seen Dylan live and couldn't understand him. But he's intelligible on all his records. I think people who can't get past his voice (the "twang") and therefore dismiss his music are missing so much. No one writes lyrics like he does; it always surprises me that so many young writers won't give him a chance.

Summer reading is such a treat. It's like waiting all year for dessert. :)
How appropriate! I picked my first two strawberries out of my garden this morning! :D

(Ahhhh - food that tastes the way it's supposed to. How dull our tastebuds have become on commercial produce!)
I'm jealous of your strawberries. Len had a patch at our old house, but of course here we don't get enough sun and then there are too many hungry critters about.
reading your posts always makes me hungry! I hope we get a ton of peaches from our tree again so Bob can make his awesome jam!
You're so lucky to have your own peach tree. I LOVE peaches. So cool that Bob makes peach jam :).
if we get those peaches, I'll send you a jar! (We have a wait list of ppl who loved it from last year - will just add your name!) ;)
Wow! Thanks :)!!


tanita says:

WHOA, what a fun-filled post!!! I LOVE those earrings. Sometimes, I think it's a good thing I'm NOT in the states just now and it's less than simple to just pick things up from Etsy and such...! You'd bankrupt me with the cool things you find!

We're not on strawberries yet, but I rejoiced - yea, REJOICED in the find of ripe avocados and made a big bowl of guacamole and dove in. YUM. That's summer to me.

(And I want to know more about this formula romance, chick. I'll be emailing you...)

Re: tanita says:

Yay for avocados! Think I'll have one for lunch. :)

Etsy is a dangerous place -- so many cool things. At least when I do weaken and purchase something, I'm happy to be able to support an independent artist.
I am celebrating the hazy, hot, and humid, too. It was a long time coming here in the north.
Glad your part of the world is finally warming up :)!