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Facebooking With Mona

Facebooking With Mona

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Facebooking With Mona

Lunghezza:
285 pagine
4 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Mar 16, 2013
ISBN:
9780988822245
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Mona is an aging hippie. She uses Facebook to connect to others with her recipes. She dreams of starting a cooking blog of her own, with an even larger fantasy of morphing her blog into a published cookbook. She uses her recipes to connect with her past as she journeys through the present, brought together by the food that has formed so much of her life. Starting as a young flower child protesting the war, she meets the love of her life. He becomes a rock star that she chases through most of the story. He is the father of their child, but they are never really together because he loves drugs more than he loves her. Although she has much loss throughout her life, she continues to honor the memories reflected in her recipes of those she has loved and lost.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Mar 16, 2013
ISBN:
9780988822245
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

I have always been interested in writing, for pleasure and for theraupatic value. I started at an early age, and I have always written to commit my thoughts and dreams to paper. I have written several novels, and my specialty is mainstream fiction.

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Facebooking With Mona - Sue S Morris

FACEBOOKING WITH MONA

By Sue S Morris

Smashwords Edition

Silkhaven Publishing, LLC

Silkhaven Publishing, LLC

ISBN: 978–0–9888222–4–5

Copyright (c) 2013, Sue S Morris

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of Sue Morris with the exception in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Printed in the United States of America.

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, places and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are fictitiously used. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Silkhaven Publishing, LLC does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third–party Web sites or their content.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the internet or via any other means without the permission of Silkhaven Publishing, LLC is illegal and punishable by law. To obtain a copy of this novel, please purchase only through authorized electronic or print editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.

PRELUDE

##### 2012 #####

I am sitting in my sumptuous English garden in St. Ives, in Cornwall, England. I have been happy here, although I’ve not been here long. But now my soul mate is gone and this place just isn’t the same.

The love of my life has died. He died earlier this year, on January 12, 2012. A date I shall never ever forget. I never knew I could miss someone as much as I miss him. I suddenly feel old. And sad, forever sad.

I remember when we met. It was at Woodstock, New York. I was seventeen years old. We shared a makeshift tent, ten of us crammed into one over–stretched piece of canvas that shielded us from the sometimes rain. It was heaven.

I tripped on psilocybin for the first time. Never had I seen a world so bright, so crammed with sights and sounds exploding all around me like never–ending fireworks. A euphoric condition, the likes of which I had never experienced before and would never experience again. Psilocybin, a psychedelic drug that was served freely along with fat joints of weed and almost empty bottles of cheap wine. And of course, my brownies that got us there.

I let my mind drift back to 1969. August 15, 1969. The first day of Woodstock. An event of major impact, although we did not know it at the time. We were just there to have fun and hear happening music. A live music event of major proportions, a performance that would transform our generation and change the sound of music forever. It was the sound of change. It was the day I met Allen Jones, the love of my life.

Allen and I shared separate lives, coming together infrequently throughout our forty year history. We started our journey at Woodstock, and ended it here, in St Ives, in Cornwall, in England.

We were both from Dallas, but we did not know each other there. I was born and raised there, Allen was born here in St. Ives, and raised in Dallas. In 1969, we shared a tent, and later, we shared a daughter.

CHAPTER I

BROWNIES

##### 1969 #####

I have traveled from Dallas to New York for the first time ever to leave my home state of Texas. I’m here for a magical music festival with my friends, Hollie, Laurie, Robert, and Luke. I know them from the Peace Rallies I am part of to keep our boys out of Vietnam.

Vietnam. A non–war war. War is good business, invest your sons. Get into Vietnam to keep out the Communists who are there because we are, to keep us out. If we get out, wouldn’t they just leave? If we had not come to keep them out, would they even be there?

We arrive at Woodstock just in time for the best of the best, although all three days promise to present the best of the best. Musicians I have heard of at protest rallies and among my more enlightened friends. First day is Richie Havens, Melanie Safka, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez. And so many more. I don’t know Arlo Guthrie but I know the songs of his father, Woodie Guthrie. I’ve sung his songs forever at summer camps, and they are interwoven into the musical part of my childhood. This Land is My Land has been a huge part of that. Folk is now heavily interspersed with protest songs, becoming largely protest songs for change, and Bob Dylan and Joan Baez lead the pack. I grew up on folk music, but the times, they are a changing. And I am part of that change!

I came to Woodstock hoping to meet Bob Dylan. Now I see the impossibility of that. The compound is huge, swallowing up acres and acres of land and encompassing more people than the eye can ever see. People packed onto the land, tightly one on top of another, grouped for a common cause. Music. We are here for the music that is shaping America. No more silly love songs, no more Sinatra or Elvis, they are the past. We have a cause, we have a song to sing, all over this wounded country. Songs with words that mean something. That hold value and will end this unholy war. Non–war. Police action. Whatever Washington calls it. Whatever they call it, our boys are dying.

I am about to be a senior in high school. My parents forbade me to leave the safe sanctity of their obviously middle class home and lifestyle. I am the oldest of four girls, with one older brother. It is my duty to lead the way for my sisters. The times they are a changing. Girls have value. We matter. I know we are part of the culture change movement that will change the world forever. Beyond all reason, at least beyond the reason of my close–minded middle class forever Conservative parents.

##### 2012 #####

I like to think about Woodstock, and my time there. I remember it as if it was yesterday. I cannot possibly fathom the amount of time that has passed since 1969. It is now 2012, and sometimes I have no idea how I came to be here. To be this old, really, but that’s not a thought I like to dwell on.

I turn on my computer with anticipation and go straight to Facebook.com. What an amazing cure for boredom and loneliness. It’s no fun being sixty and having no life. Well, now, thanks to Facebook, I do, I reflect.

I am back in Dallas, having left England to reclaim my life here, now that Allen is gone.

I go to my favorite cooking group. Today’s entry: Does anyone know of a good whole wheat brownie recipe?

Boy, do I ever, I type. "Here’s my recipe:

WHOLE WHEAT BROWNIES

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup cocoa

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped nuts

In saucepan, melt butter. Stir in sugar, flour, baking powder, and cocoa to mix. Add eggs and vanilla. Add nuts to combine. Pour into 8x8 greased pan Bake at 350 degrees for about 25–30 minutes."

I love that recipe, today as much as when I made it for my trip to Woodstock in 1969. Every time I make those brownies, I go back in time. Of course, in those days, I substituted marijuana for the nuts. And also indicative of my baking back then, I didn’t actually measure the weed. I no longer use marijuana for fun and recreation, or even medicinal purposes. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to get it now. The world is that different. Well, okay, so am I.

I love this world of instant connection, and I am so happy to be able to connect with so many people at once, through Facebook. I want to share my recipes, the recipes I’ve gathered throughout the entire course of my life. I don’t have children in my life now. I don’t really have any family left. Who would I share a lifetime of recipes with?

I hit enter to submit the recipe and wait for a like, which I get almost immediately.

Thanks, Mona, Mama’s Child responds.

You are very welcome, I immediately send back.

Four likes so far. Six, Seven. Lucky seven. That’s good enough for now, but that means more are coming. I love to cook, and I love sharing my love of cooking with other like–minded individuals. I am glad to be connected to people all over the world, and I feel that connection with each like that I get.

My goal is to set up my own cooking website, but I don’t know how and I don’t have the money to pay someone to do it for me. In the meantime, I am in eight different Facebook groups for cooking, and I am saving all the entries I make as well as all new recipes I see that I try and that are successful. If I don’t start a blog, I will write a cookbook. In the meantime, I add each and every recipe onto my own Facebook page.

I wish I had someone to cook for. My daughter, my only child, died twenty years ago. There is no other family, and I live alone. I have scads of friends, aging hippies just like me, here in Live Oak, in Dallas. I’m from Dallas. I was born and raised here. I left for chunks of time, especially when young, and recently, to England, but I always come back.

I used to think about that. I tried to convince myself that it didn’t matter, that my recipes are no more or less special than any of the millions of recipes out in the world that so many cooks and bakers have used, created, and enjoyed. But the truth is, I do feel a special connection to many of my recipes. Not just because I love the food I create, but because food speaks of history. Every recipe came from somewhere. Or someone. Each evokes a memory, good or bad. My mother loved my brownies. No, not the ones with marijuana, which she only suspected I used. I would make a batch for the family loaded with plump pieces of walnuts and sometimes throw in some chocolate chips as well. On rare occasions, when it was just the two of us, I would make a batch, my mother would percolate a pot of rich dark coffee, and we would sit and talk. During those time, and probably only during those times, I had her full attention. I would tell her about my life, my dreams, my vision for the future. I lived for those moments.

But in 1970 everything changed.

CHAPTER II

CHOCOLATE CAKE

##### 1970 #####

In the year 1970, if we can survive, the war will be over. Finally, and at long last, we will quit sending out our boys to be killed. Again and again, more boys followed by more boys. Jimmy is dead. My beautiful brother Jimmy is dead. We got the news yesterday, when two military men in full Army regalia showed up at our home. Mom answered the door. I was there behind her and the minute we saw them we knew. Mom screamed and fainted. I don’t know how they told us. Whatever they said was obliterated by my rapid thoughts, not Jimmy, not Jimmy, not Jimmy.

Jimmy, who thought he’d live forever, to the year 2525, like in the song, and beyond. So young. So very very young. Now in heaven, with his body still in South Vietnam in some jungle he had no business being in.

So how’s it working, President Nixon? How’s it working, you, who have no sons? You, who are in charge of all the sons of America. You, who are sending out as many sons of America who do not resist you and your murderous actions? How is that working for YOU? And you a Quaker, a harbinger of peace, how’s that working for you???

How is it working for you that I’ve lost my older brother Jimmy? Because I know it’s not working for me. And it’s certainly not working for Jimmy. Or any of them, dying by the thousands, thousands of miles from home in a war they don’t understand and had no say in. A death for me and I am one of tens and hundreds of thousands. We are all losing our brothers, husbands, sons, boyfriends, loved ones. How is that working for you, Mr. President? How is that working for you, America!

Today I have decided. I will speak out. I must speak out. This war, this wicked senseless war, must end. NOW. I will dedicate my life to end this senseless war. I will make fighting the establishment my life, until we end the taking of all the lives of all the young men we are throwing away.

I look at the beautiful chocolate cake I made for Jimmy. Tomorrow would have been his birthday. Even though he couldn’t be here, the plan was to celebrate anyway. Mom’s idea was to have a party and take pictures that she would have sent to him. She has a huge gift, all wrapped and sitting in all its’ importance on the table. She won’t tell anyone what it is.

Jimmy loves my chocolate cake. Two large disks of chocolate, filled with a thick layer of rich buttercream frosting. I grab the cake and fling it against the wall. I’ll never be able to make him another cake. As I melt into tears at such a waste of a life, I realize how much I hate this country. I hate it. How could they take my Jimmy from me?

Last year there was a major march in Washington. In November, a few short months after I got back from Woodstock. I should have gone. But I was back to being a high school senior, submitting college applications and preparing for my SAT. Now I know I got it wrong. Jimmy is dead. If we had stopped the war we don’t belong in, he would be here, guiding me on to college.

My parents are in the living room with friends and strangers, here to mourn with us. I hate them all. I hate them all because I know they’re stupid. They keep spouting the same old party line. He died for his country. We should be grateful, he did his duty. He was eighteen years old. His duty was to have a life. A rich full life of the likes they all say we’re fighting for. Presumably well–meaning people who don’t know any better, and are just fooled by an arrogant government. Manifest Destiny. We have the right to democracy from sea to sea and beyond. We have the right to force our will on all other nations. Isn’t that what we’re really fighting for?

Jimmy certainly didn’t know what he was fighting for. The night before he left, he said he wished he had the guts to fight the real battle here. Hell no, we won’t go. He wished he had the guts to refuse to go. He wished he had just said no.

What did he die for? I ask the mourners in the living room, over and over. I don’t get it. Maybe someone has an answer for me.

They merely repeat the same chant, how very sorry they are. If they say it enough, will it bring Jimmy back?

If I protest enough, will that keep other boys like Jimmy from being killed?

Hell no, we won’t go.

Where can I find a way to join the anti–establishment movement? I have to cry out against these murderers in Washington or I am one of them. Just like my parents. My poor, poor parents. My father, who was so terribly proud of Jimmy for doing his duty. And my mother, who didn’t want him to go but couldn’t bring herself to sanction going against my father, either. She’s lost her son. Her only boy. They backed a losing venture and Jimmy paid the highest price of all.

How do I become part of the protests?

I ask my friend Veronica the next day at school. Her parents got her brother a medical excuse. He has back problems, to the tune of $2,000. He’s free to live now.

Veronica, I have to do something. I have to speak out. I have to part of the solution, not the problem. Is your brother involved in the anti–war protests? I ask her, first chance I get.

Yes, of course he is. He’s at UT. I’m joining him next year, she says proudly.

Suppose we gave a war and nobody came? Sit–ins at the University of Austin. Anti–war marches in Washington D.C. Folk songs to protest the war. I am an anti–establishment hippie, crying out for peace. I didn’t choose to be. It chose me. In Jimmy’s death, it chose me.

##### 2012 #####

Today is February 24th, 2012. I am so sad. I am always sad on this day, each and every year, since 1970. The year my brother Jimmy died. Today is his birthday. Would be his birthday, if he hadn’t been murdered in Vietnam. He would be, what? Sixty years old. But he has been forever frozen in time at the age of eighteen. I am even sadder today than in the previous years because my last sister, Miranda, passed away on the first day of the year, New Year’s Day, last year. She waited until the day after New Year’s, and she fought an amazing fight. My twin sisters, Terri and Toni, died several years ago, together, in an automobile accident. They were driving to Wal–Mart at 4:00 in the morning on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, eager to benefit from all the promised savings that they were never able to cash in on.

My parents, long gone, were spared the grief of that. Their single grief was that there were no grandchildren to carry on the family. My sisters, all three of them, did not have children. They had careers. Neither parent understood that. My brother, senselessly killed before he could even consider having children, did not even carry on the family name. Out of four children, I was the only one to have a child. She was the love of my life, but she was born out of wedlock so my parents denied her existence. Because of that, I denied theirs. They died alone, and very bitter.

I shake my head. I have to get out of this funk. It will not serve me well, and it will not bring back the past. Nor will it change it. I do what I always do lately. I log on.

I’m on a baking site, and someone is asking for chocolate cake. I don’t have to think twice

Today I want to share my recipe for chocolate cake, I type. "The recipe was given to me by my beloved grandmother, and it was my brother Jimmy’s favorite cake. It’s his birthday today and since we won’t be together, I want to share this with all of you. It’s simple, easy, and delicious.

CHOCOLATE CAKE

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup cocoa

2 cups sour milk (add 2 tablespoons vinegar to sour the milk)

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine all ingredients and beat to a smooth consistency. Pour into two greased 9" cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool and frost.

FROSTING

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup cocoa

4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar

4–6 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together all ingredients, adding milk slowly until proper spreading consistency is achieved. Use in between layers and to cover cake."

I am about to hit the return key when it hits me. I haven’t made this recipe in forty years. I last made the cake for Jimmy’s birthday and destroyed it on the day we learned of his death. Amazing. Has it really been that long?

I go to the kitchen and start pulling out the ingredients. Forty years is long enough to mourn his death. Time to honor his life.

Three hours later, cake proudly displayed on a platter that belonged to the grandmother who gave me the recipe to begin with, I am again ready to press the enter key. The recipe is gone. Crap. Now I need to retype it.

I’m in my kitchen in Dallas. The kitchen is very small, so this cake is no mean feat. I need to immortalize it in a photo.

When I send the recipe this time, the picture is included. The cake is beautiful and the photo is perfect. As soon as I send it out, the response is swift. Everyone loves it. Lots of likes, anyway.

Mona, my love, you need to blog. Do you? asks Dancing Dan.

Dancing Dan?

It’s on my to–do list I tell him.

Seriously Mona, go figure out how to start a blog and JUST DO IT.

Dancing Dan, brilliant suggestion. Except I’m computer illiterate. One chocolate cake won’t change that. But I appreciate the thought.

Mona, I read your recipes all the time. I follow you on several pages, including your own. I would love to see you blog, Gemma Geranium says.

Do I even trust someone with that name? On the other hand, the support is heart–warming.

Thank you, Gemma. I love it that you like my recipes but they’re among so many others.

It’s the pictures, Gemma immediately responds. And the recipes, of course.

Love the pics, Sally Luna says.

The recipes are good, the pictures seem to be what sells them. Something to think about.

I go to Google. How do I start a blog? I query.

Lots pop up. Wow. It looks, well, not easy.

To start with, I only need to do two things. Sign up for web hosting and choose a domain name, and use the link provided to create a blog. Is that all? Then why are there two whole pages describing it?

MonaCooks.com. CookingWithMona.com. What I need is a name that is simple and obvious. Obvious to what? I’ll get back to this.

Web hosting. Finding a web hosting provider is not easy. Good. Great. 99% of them are bogus. I can go to the one this guy says is good. But who is this guy? Is this just another sales gimmick, one of the ninety–nine percent bogus ones, disguised as a helpful guide? It’s only $3.15 a month. That’s affordable. But then, I have to give up all my personal details, such as bank accounts and the like.

I quit. The more I read the more lost I become. How do people do this? Should I ask Dancing Dan?

Dancing Dan? Where do these people come up with these names? If I have a pet peeve, this is it. No one wants to own who they are. Why are people afraid to admit to who they are? My name is Mona Jane Sandusky, and I am very proud of it, thank you very much. It’s a name I’ve had for my entire life, and I never meant to trade it in for another.

But a blog? That’s my goal in life for right now. I want to do a recipe blog more than anything. Something all mine, that I can own and share. I just don’t know how to do it. I go to loads of blogs all day long. I really did it mostly when I was living in England, sitting out my days in the garden with Allen. I never did anything with them then. I just

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