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I work at a Walmart store,
and one advantage of working in retail,
is that you can often catch a clearance bargain.

About a year ago,
after I got married to Tonia,
and found out that we could cook for her three brothers and her uncle,
if we wanted to,
I noticed a large stock pot
at a clearance price,
a 16 quart Better Homes and Gardens stainless steel,
for $30.

I've used it a few times in the last year,
but just a few hours ago,
I filled it more fully with food
than ever before.

I cut up four heads of cabbage,
two small and two very large
heads of cabbage,
along with
five large potatoes,
six carrots,
a full stalk of celery,
three small onions,
two sticks of real butter,
and seven heaping plastic spoonfuls of chicken bullion,
with a little water to start it off.

I think I cooked it less than two hours,
on a hotplate,
on "high,"
which would be about medium
on a regular stove.

A good three gallons
of cabbage stew.


 Join us every Tuesday afternoon at the Daily Kos community political poetry club.
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TUES 5:00 PM Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left bigjacbigjacbigjac
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM LGBT Literature Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
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SAT (fourth each month) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm Chitown Kev
Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid

I planted more seeds in our garden,
the rest of our
tomato,
cucumber,
turnip greens,
and green onion seeds.

I only dug up an area about four feet by two feet this time,
rather than the four feet by four feet we dug up each time before.

My wife's brother, Isaac, was in the back yard with me,
keeping me company.

I showed Isaac the artifacts I kept digging up.

I dug up a metal and fabric item,
maybe a polishing head,
to polish the finish on a car.

I found part of an old sock,
two bottle caps,
and the usual broken glass.

Plenty of earthworms and millipedes,
along with ants;
all good for aerating the soil.

I found some cantaloupe seeds Tonia had saved a while back,
dried on a paper plate,
and I put them alongside our packets of watermelon seeds.

I've always had good luck with cucumbers and cantaloupe.

I don't recall ever planting watermelon before.

Tonia's looking forward to everything growing in the garden;
she especially asked about the watermelon:

"Did you give the watermelon seeds enough space?"

I haven't planted the watermelon seeds yet, sweetheart.

It feels so good to call her sweetheart.

Time to go to bed.

Thanks for reading.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 02:00:10 PM PDT

  •  Well done bigjac :) (5+ / 0-)

    Sitting here, the sky grows dark
    Grey clouds rolling in once more
    The puddles from earlier already withdrawn
    Drained into dry earth
    Dark mud waiting for more to fall
    From the clouds lurking above.
    Night falls early in dribs and drabs
    With the rain.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 02:59:06 PM PDT

  •  Your stew and your vegetable garden both sound (6+ / 0-)

    colorful and appetizing (though I realize the seeds will take awhile growing and preparing, before they're delicious).

    I'm very fond of a good cantaloupe, but picking them at the store is a form of roulette. Some of them turn out to be rich, just saturated with flavor; but others have hardly any flavor at all. Flavorless cantaloupe is a disappointing breakfast.

    I'm glad you have a sweetheart to keep you warm at night, and call you sweetheart back.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 04:07:40 PM PDT

    •  A little salt on the cantaloupe, and it's pretty (4+ / 0-)

      good,
      even a low flavor melon.

      But I know what you mean.

      My Tonia truly does everything I could hope for.

      We're dedicated
      to taking care of each other,
      from the lovey-dovey words and caresses,
      to the practical managing of our money.

      I'm so lucky.

      Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

      by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 05:52:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  personal question (4+ / 0-)

    been reading that walmart employees often need to rely on public subsidy for food, medicine, health care, income needs. . .etc.  

    Is that true for your household?  Is it true for the other people you work with?

    of course, no worries of its too personal, just wondering if it is true.

    •  In my household, I have a wife with some income, (6+ / 0-)

      and we have no children,
      so we don't get "food stamps"

      (It's now called the SNAP program.)

      I know a man who makes six figures,
      but his common law wife,
      since her legal status is not his wife
      (I could explain, but I'm not a lawyer,
      so I might get it wrong)
      and she has children,
      she gets food stamps.

      I'm saying that amongst us working class folks,
      whether we work at Walmart,
      or other low wage jobs,
      some qualify,
      some don't.

      I have a great deal of money held out of each paycheck,
      some for medical insurance,
      some for my health savings account.

      Those two things cover my wife and I,
      with whatever we need in medical care,
      dental care,
      prescription eyeglasses.

      Those who qualify for medicaid,
      yet work at Walmart,
      might use medicaid.

      In general,
      don't accept the idea
      that working at Walmart is hell.

      Living paycheck to paycheck,
      working physically hard,
      as I turn 58 this summer,
      my lifestyle in general,
      is challenging at times.

      It would likely be just as challenging
      if I worked for any other job in
      retail,
      hotels,
      restaurant.

      But my wife is smart,
      and she and I will work out a way
      to live our lives,
      one way or the other.

      Thanks for the question.

      Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

      by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 04:18:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  these are nice (4+ / 0-)

    they feel like poems, they look like poems

    ah, poems!

  •  I'm still experimenting with the "poetry from (4+ / 0-)

    Prose" idea. Here is my latest effort:

    Reflections on Coming Home, (the Second Time) after Losing You

    I've been haunted by your ghost
    The entire trip back
    Florida to Portland,
    By North,
    To your sisters', Karen first:
    Maryland, places where you grew up,
    Went to high school,
    Found your love of dance and SAABs;
    Connecticut, where you found and lost
    Matrimonial love, the first time,
    Were a Morris Dancer, and an EMT.
    Met our Facebook friend Janet there,
    Lives touching because of you.
    Massachusetts, dinner with Lyrl,
    (Beaded pendant with your picture)
    Beautiful Martha’s Vineyard
    Lee, another treasured Facebook friend
    And Deborah, your old dance partner, and her Andy.
    Then by West,
    To my aunt, my mom’s only sister
    and some of my cousins in Indiana and Ohio,
    Foregone before, as had been planned
    Because of your departure from mortality.

    You've been with me
    With every step,
    With every turn of the wheels,
    With every sunset.
    So strange
    To be completing a cycle
    That can never be completed,
    Because you will never be
    At the end of it,
    Ever.

    ---------
    Still haven't planted the vegetable starts yet. Maybe this week before it ends....

    •  A very nice poem, Kit RMP... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kit RMP, bigjacbigjacbigjac

      that tells a moving story.

      And another fine diary, bigjacbigjacbigjac; thank you for this.

    •  That poem is too big for me. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      By that I mean,
      even though I analyze all seven billion of my fellow humans,
      all over planet Earth,
      I can't,
      or haven't yet,
      written anything very satisfying,
      unless it's about something small.

      That cross country trip,
      including Martha's Vineyard?

      Isn't that a place for the rich and famous,
      such as the Kennedy clan?

      I like the last part:

       You've been with me
      With every step,
      With every turn of the wheels,
      With every sunset.
      So strange
      To be completing a cycle
      That can never be completed,
      Because you will never be
      At the end of it,
      Ever.  

      I still feel that clear words,
      given line breaks when you feel a pause,
      can always be presented as poetry.

      Thanks for the story.

      Sorry it felt too big for me.

      Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

      by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 05:22:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I like the last part best, too, actually... (2+ / 0-)

        I was probably trying to do a bit too much with this. But, that's what experiments are for: to figure out what works, and what doesn't--and learn from both.

        You know, the "rich and famous" do not own Martha's Vineyard--even if they'd like to think they do. That is where Deborah and her husband, and Lee live. I went there, because they were there.  They were kind and gracious enough to want to share it with me. Beautiful places are, or should be, for everyone.

        One more, on the topic of Andy's passing, and then I'm going to leave that topic for awhile, at least, here, and go on to something else.

        --------
        Anniversary

        Today is the sad, sad anniversary.
        The day my son, Shaun discovered
        Beyond all doubt
        What at least a few of us
        Might have begun to fear by that point.                
        Andy was gone.
        This date - June 7th, 2012
        That his death certificate gives
        As the "official" date of death.

        I have thought of
        And referred to this
        As the end of "hell week,"
        And the beginning of the ongoing purgatory
        Of life without Andy,
        My beloved husband.

        And so we all go on,
        With our lives
        And our memories
        Of a truly sweet, talented man,
        Too soon gone....

        •  This is great. So glad you weren't too upset (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          that I couldn't connect well
          with the road trip poem.

          Expanding the road trip description,
          giving us more details,
          visual,
          landscape,
          seagulls,
          green fields,
          what kind of home Debora lives in,
          and who is Debora again?,
          that kind of detail
          might bring me along on your road trip.

          I would love to do that,
          sometime.

          And,
          this anniversary,
          June 7th,
          what exactly happened on that date?

          Your son was told by police a body was found?

          I suppose you told us already,
          but I want to read it again,
          I want to relive that time,
          if you write about it.

          I hope I'm not overstepping my boundaries,
          acting as some kind of mentor to you,
          giving you ideas for making it better,
          better for my eyes.

          I've never been any kind of leader.

          Except recently,
          with my new bride's family;
          they're letting me,
          no,
          they're encouraging me
          to take more of a leading role
          in the way we run this house,
          this house with Tonia and I,
          her Uncle Randall,
          and three of her brothers,
          Terrell, Mike, and Isaac.

          Tonia and I are paying the house payments,
          and the utilities.

          And we're planting a vegetable garden in the back yard.

          You may remember all that
          from something I wrote a while back,
          but I wrote it again,
          to demonstrate how I try to bring the reader along with me,
          by explaining,
          even if I already explained it recently,
          explaining again,
          the context of my passions,
          the context of my fears;
          in this case,
          my fears of pissing you off,
          my fears of pissing off my new family.

          Do you see what I mean?

          Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

          by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 01:27:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I started a previous response to this (0+ / 0-)

            And then I hit a wrong button on my mouse or keyboard, and lost it all. I was so frustrated and angry that I almost destroyed the last working computer I have at the moment! What this told me is that I'm close to "hitting a limit" for myself, and if the grieving process has taught me anything at this point, it's that I must pay attention when those "red flags" that I'm getting close to some kind of breaking point pop up.

            I do get what you're saying, and I am not in any way upset with you. But, I'm going to have to make you do some of the "heavy lifting" on getting answers to the questions you ask about what the "back story" is for these recent writings here. Please go back to my original (and so far, only) diary here on DK, read it and that should help, at least some.

            I am also going to be hosting this coming Monday's TGR, so look for that as well. More of your questions will probably be answered there.  Since I'm still working on that diary and need to get it finished tomorrow, I'm going to put my focus there, and not here for the time being.

            See you Monday at TGR.

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