Most if not all of us are self-isolating right now – if not under outright quarantine. That means that we are all stuck at home, with our loved ones, who we may or may not be about to strangle if we have to spend another second with them. Everyone goes stir crazy eventually, and if hasn’t happened to yet…..it will. So here are some things that I have been doing to keep myself from climbing the walls!
Reading- You might be saying to yourself, “duh,” as this seems like a no- brainer given the fact that we are a literary website, BUT I’ve been reading, wait for it, outside. The great outdoors, god’s country, or, as it’s more commonly known, my back porch. I’m exploring the forest and becoming one with nature, from the comfort of our outdoor couch. The days have been nice here, even if the news hasn’t, and a cup of tea and a little escapist literature never hurt anyone. And if you ever find yourself a bit down and in your own head a bit of a sit or walk outside clears the head if you can manage it. If you are truly stuck inside trade bouts of reading with any kind of exercise – even walking in place!
Here's a poetry submission by Ryan Flanagan!
Half in the Bag
A single brass antique candle holder,
the top protruding out of a passing floral patterned
purse that rushes by in a hurry,
she must be late the same way pregnancy scares
are late, rushing around in flushed chubby panic
like that; with the bottom part of her new
brass candleholder half in the bag
slung over boney shoulder…
I can only see the top,
the various arms in need of dusting;
not quite Menorah or octopus,
but enough arms to do the job
which is all any of us can really ask for
on this living breathing Earth.
What can be more calming during a time like this than gardening? (That is if your cat doesn't put his giant, hairy bottom on the tray of strawberry seeds you painstakingly sprouted in plastic bags and transferred to the growing material with tweezers! But I digress...) Today friend of the chickens, Kathy Melton, gives us tips for growing a garden from vegetable scraps.
Looking for signs of life during social distancing, I’ve started focusing on the small. Sometimes even the very tiny things around…well my house…because that’s where I am. I have some advice for Sacred Chicken’s readers based on my observations of table scraps. (Yes, you heard that right…keep reading!)
Take care of yourself so you can take care of your plants!
I’m sure every gardener has at some point pulled a muscle or strained something in the middle of a big project. I have reached that point in my gardening career, but it requires a bit of backstory. I decided in January, when everything was still normal, that my front garden needed expanding. So, I set about removing sod from the existing flower bed, expanding it from 1x10 to 4x 20. I also decided, in my infinite wisdom, to do it all in one day. Oh, and get this, it had rained the day previously, so it was mud. Yeah, I’m smart. So naturally, I was sore after, but I was experiencing pain that was worse than normal in my lower back. That’s when I started to worry because I know people with back problems and being injured is never any fun…but the biggest problem…it puts a real damper on gardening! Nevertheless, I got through it in about two days with plenty of Tylenol.
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?
Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death
by Caitlin Doughty
Review by Roy Peak
Caitlin Doughty is a mortician living in California, known for her charming YouTube videos in which she answers questions about death. In this, her third book, she tackles questions from kids about that same morbid subject. And you just know that kids are going to come up with the best questions—right? Questions such as "Can I keep my parents' skull after they die?" and "If I died making a stupid face, would it be stuck like that forever?" and of course the always fun to think about "Will I poop when I die?" These are the kind of questions that when kids ask their parents, the parents hardly ever have the real answer and just make something up: "Um, no Uncle Ken gets to keep daddy's skull. Your father did lose that bet to him all those years ago," and "Of course, it would. Now stick your tongue back in your mouth,, and eat your asparagus," and "Duh. Doesn't everyone?"
by Sohrab Homi Fracis, Knut House Press
Review by Roy Peak
The protagonist of Sohrab Fracis' novel, Go Home, is a young college student named Viraf, from India, in America during the time of the Iran hostage crisis. (Viraf, rhymes with giraffe, and if you're a regular of this website you know that we think highly of anything that reminds us of a giraffe.) Truly torn between wanting to stay in America and going back to India, Viraf loves rock music, has intense feelings for his neighbor's girlfriend, drives around in a Ford Pinto (Remember those? And why no one wanted one?). He works hard, and often has trouble telling the difference between his long-haired American friends and the dangerous rednecks in his town.
by Julie Carpenter
I bet a lot of Sacred Chickens followers are going to be spending their time reading during this time of quarantine. Probably a number of you are going to order books: classics you’ve always wanted to read; brand new best sellers; fantasy trilogies; or dusty historical tomes you promised yourself you’d get around to.
So, this is a good time to remind all you guys that you can order pretty much any book with an ISBN number from an independent bookstore. Check out the picture that goes along with this blog post. That’s my latest purchase from Poetic Justice Books and Arts. It looks like a great read. (Besides, it goes really well with my turquoise bookshelves.) I’m planning to grab a couch and get started on it later this afternoon.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Written by Leslye Walton
Review by Jarad Johnson
Sometimes, a book comes across my reading pile that has a striking title and nice cover, but doesn’t give any indication of the contents hidden within. This particular book cover featured a feather. (Please note the slight pathology of a person who buys books based on the cover without even knowing, based on the cover, what might be inside. I may have a problem. I buy a lot of books, okay?) I pondered the jacket, wondering if I had bought a book about birds. In a way I had, but I couldn’t glean that from the cover. Nothing to do but open the cover and stop puzzling over it in the middle of the Starbucks line. People might start to think I was weird. We can’t have that, can we?
One of the many things that I don’t enjoy about living at school is that I have no opportunity to garden. There’s no garden bed to tend, no weeds to pull, and no flowers to enjoy. So, I started taking horticulture-based classes a few semesters ago, and that has saved my sanity, what little I had. At least I have something that I can do that’s related to plants.
Do you ever have some odd, random thought pop into your head…and instead of simply thinking the thought you start thinking about thinking about the thought? Yeah. Me too.
This morning, while I was brushing my teeth it suddenly occurred to me to wonder about Mona Lisa’s smile. Yes…I know a million other people have had this question. My main concern is not with the cliched and random idea that suddenly popped into my head, it’s more about where the thought came from, the snap conclusion I came to, and why the whole train of thought landed in my station in the first place.