Daddy’s Dairy Is A Real Place

 

Daddy's Dairy ice cream

A few weeks ago, I was out and about somewhere and overheard a conversation. Two people were talking about ice cream places and one mentioned that someone told them about a place called Daddy’s Dairy. They didn’t believe it was a real place and said the name sounded fake.

I thought this was hilarious and was cracking up — in my head. Also, I was thinking about how my super extroverted brother who talks to everyone and can strike up a conversation anytime anywhere, would have definitely walked over to them and gotten into the conversation. My introverted self did not.

First, let me tell you that Daddy’s Dairy is a very real and wonderful place. Actually places. Daddy’s Dairy has five locations: Braintree, Brockton, Stoughton, Randolph and Norwood. I’ve visited the Brockton locations several times. I’ve driven by the Braintree location dozens of times, but never went inside.

I love this place! There are so many varieties of ice cream and it’s delicious! I must admit that the first time that I heard of it I thought the name sounded funny too. Maybe that’s why they picked it. Because it’s a name that you won’t forget.

A friend and I did some catching up yesterday and cooling off over some ice creams at their Brockton location. I had a regular Funfetti Cake ice cream in a cup. I forgot that they pile the ice cream high and should have gotten a kiddie size. It was a lot!

But yesterday was a scorcher, so the cool sweetness was appreciated. Summer is here finally and visiting ice cream shops, along with cafes, is on the must do list for the season!

16 Years Blogging

jars of spices for 16 years blogging

Today is 16 years blogging! Sweet Sixteen!

Sixteen years isn’t just a milestone for the number of years. It also represents a dividing line. I blogged for eight years and a few months on my old blog, when it was Anali’s First Amendment. Now the number of years on this domain, Anali’s Next Amendment, is also eight years.

April 29th is not only my blogging anniversary, it’s also the day I choose my word for the year.

When thinking about this new word, what first came to mind was that people enter our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. It’s up to us to figure out the difference. That discernment is part of our life’s work.

I started thinking about how a season is really quite short — just three months. But each season repeats in an endless cycle of seasons. I think this deep noticing of seasons comes with age. Because after living through so many cycles of seasons, we notice them more. That might be a reason why I was drawn to reflect on the seasons with the year long Collection of Moments project.

Life is all about the seasons of it. Like that Frank Sinatra song, “It Was A Very Good Year.” He reflects on being 17, 21, 35, and then the autumn of his years. It’s such a beautiful song — his sharing memories of these four seasons of his life. And yet season can take on other meanings.

I grew up learning to well season my food. Using spices and herbs to season our food improves taste and increases our enjoyment. Baking oil onto a cast iron pan, seasoning, prevents rusting and preserves it.

After thinking about the word season, I thought that I might have already used it as a word of the year. It seemed so obvious. But after looking back, I had not. So, I guess the word hadn’t been right before. It is now. ‘Tis the SEASON.

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Links to posts for past years are below. Thank you for being here!

Community, DNA, Kin & Black History

DNA description and genetic community

“Your ancestors are always your ancestors. But their communities may not be your communities.”

                                                                                              ~ Matt

The quote above is from an article called “To Be Good Kin” on the website Midnight Sun and it makes a lot of sense.

Just because our DNA says one thing, doesn’t mean that’s our community — regardless of the percentage. The article is an excerpt from the book, Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future, by Patty Krawec, which will be released this September. The author is Anishinaabe and writes about how settler colonialism tried to change Indigenous ways of life and the idea of kinship.

Kin & Community

I feel like I sort of understand the big picture idea of kinship. But not so sure I understand the exact detailed meaning. There are many definitions for it.

Merriam-Webster says it’s a group of persons of common ancestry or clan; one’s relatives. According to Oxford, it’s our family and relations. Vocabulary.com says it’s a group of people related by blood or marriage. However, I would also add that it should include people related by adoption. But I don’t think these definitions cover everyone.

What about a neighbor who takes in someone who is unrelated and there is never a formal legal proceeding to make them family? What about close friends who are like family? We all have “aunts” and “uncles” who aren’t blood relatives, but they are part of our families. Are they kin? They’re definitely part of our communities.

Each of us has more than one community. But sometimes, because they are so intrinsic to our identities, we may not really think about it. We may take these different groups of people for granted. One group might center around our work or school. Another may revolve around our spiritual life. Another may revolve around a sport or hobby. One of the most central is based on blood relatives. Friends who enter our lives through one or more of these groups also play vital roles in our lives.

Maybe depending upon how close we get to certain individuals in these groups, any of them could be considered kin. Maybe all of them. I’m not really sure. What if you don’t spend holidays or other special occasions with your blood relatives, but with members of your church or your book club? What if you combine all of them?

The idea of kin and community is fascinating and worthy of much discussion. Thinking about the quote above made me think about my DNA results. They are all over the map, but heavily concentrated in West Africa. While I don’t know the names of the individuals, the blood in my veins is from my ancestors. The majority who hailed from Cameroon, Congo, Nigeria, Benin & Togo, Ivory Coast & Ghana.

Black History Month

I hadn’t planned on writing a Black History Month post. Often the celebration feels forced and fake. Like when conservative Republicans have the nerve to say they are celebrating it on Twitter at the same time they are doing everything possible to prevent Black people from voting.

Anyway…. The countries that my ancestors are from reveal a pattern showing the history of this country. A horrible and frightening trend by many states and localities seeks to prevent teaching American slavery and the history of Black people in this country.

My DNA connects me to three specific genetic communities: Early North Carolina African Americans (1700 -1800); Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama & Mississippi African Americans (1775 – 1950), Mid-Atlantic Coast African Americans (1750 – 1950). Where certain Africans were taken from and brought to in the United States is evident in my DNA now and in the DNA of all of us who descend from Africans enslaved in this country. No matter the attempts to erase what happened, it shows in the science.

Slavery severed generations of families and communities in countries all over Africa. It contributed to the growth of the African diaspora and the creation of African Americans. These ancestors’ communities may not be mine, but at least knowing the countries lets me be curious in a more specific way. And maybe I can learn more about these communities in the future.

If you’re interested in learning more about Black History, during the month of February, you can stream for free a three-part class: Black History, Black Freedom and Black Love on MasterClass.com.

The Wordle Craze Of 2022

Wordle

At the beginning of the year, my Twitter feed filled up with Wordle squares. I had no idea what was going on. There were more and more everyday. Then I started reading articles about how these Wordle squares were a word game created by Josh Wardle as a gift for his partner. So romantic!

Word games have never been my thing. Sure, I’ve done crossword puzzles and similar games, but overall I tend to not enjoy them. I get a few words quickly, then some I don’t get, so I stop. I’m but a mere mortal. How much of my very limited time on this earth should I spend playing games that start annoying me? Ahem. Not much.

The older I get, the easier I abandon things that don’t bring me pleasure. I used to always finish books and movies no matter how much I disliked them. I would grind it out to the end, because I’m not a quitter. Then after, I would feel frustrated thinking about how I couldn’t get that time back. These were things done for fun. Not for school or work. I started wondering why I was doing this to myself. I’m the boss of me and get to decide.

Let me clarify that these games annoying me are done alone. I love board games and playing word games with other people. I’m an introvert, so I don’t quite get why for games I’m all about the social aspect of it. Something to explore about myself I guess.

Anyway, I love Wordle! It’s a game that you can play alone, but it has definite limits. You can only play one time a day. All the words are five letters. You only get six guesses. Then you’re done! No agonizing endless hours of guessing and then not even getting all the words. It’s usually around 10 or 15 minutes, then it’s over. On with the rest of your day!

For the past 13 days I’ve played. It brings such a simple yet complete sense of comfort and satisfaction every time. There’s this moment when I’ve guessed a couple of times and gotten a few letters and I’m going over so many words in my head, then I feel like giving up.

There’s absolutely no way I will ever find this word. Then I get another letter. That was no help! How will I ever get this word? How has anyone gotten this word today?! But I see them. They got it. It’s possible!

Then I’m feeling kind of sad for myself. Again, I look at the letters that I know the word contains. Nothing. Then they start sort of melting together in different ways and suddenly I think of a new word. Aha! Could it be? Yes, it be! I did it again! Yay, I’m so smart! Then I go about my day.

Up until now, Wordle has been free. Last week, The New York Times bought it. Hopefully it will remain the same wonderful Wordle that I enjoy each day.

This game that so many of us play each day is a bright spot in the pandemic. It feels like a very specific moment in history. One of fairly few things that I will savor from this time. So I want to make sure to capture this feeling. This simple little game brings a wonderful escape in the midst of so much that is not wonderful and for that I am grateful.

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*Updated 2/10/2022* Just learned that there’s a Wordle Archive where you can play previous games. Not sure how long it will stay free, but for now you can find it here.

*Updated 4/27/2022* Unfortunately, the Wordle Archive is no longer available. ☹️

Into 2022 & Plant Medicine

Hoya Lisa my plant medicine

Three months ago was the last time that I wrote on this blog!

Between regular life, work, continuing to settle in my new place, the holidays and then getting COVID, I didn’t prioritize my writing. Which is wrong, because I always start feeling off when I don’t write. I’ve had this nagging feeling for a while that I should write something here. Anything, no matter how short.

Recently, a friend and my mom both separately mentioned to me that I should start writing again. So I’m here. Getting back to my practice. Like I do when I return to yoga or meditation when I’ve been away for awhile. Which had been the case for a few weeks when I stopped those as well.

I like to think that I’m good at taking care of myself. But we all slip up every once in a while. Things get overwhelming and we lose track of time and don’t center our wellness. When we don’t center our wellness, we get sick.

In 2020, I didn’t gather with anyone during the holidays. It was awful. So it was wonderful to spend time with loved ones this past Thanksgiving. It was a small gathering. We were all vaccinated and things felt mostly safe.

A COVID CHRISTMAS

In December, when I heard that Omicron was quickly spreading everywhere, I knew that gathering for Christmas was going to be a risk. My mom, brother and I spent three days together over Christmas.

My brother had sniffles by the time he went home. Pre-COVID, we would have thought nothing of it. Luckily he gets tested regularly and soon tested positive. Most of his housemate were sick as well.

My mom and I started to have similar symptoms. I tested positive soon after, but we were never able to get my mom tested. Thankfully we’re all fully vaccinated and boosted, so our symptoms never got worse than that of a bad cold. We assumed my mom had COVID as well, so we all isolated for ten days. The new five day CDC guidance seems questionable at best.

Anyway, now I don’t even know what to think. I took extreme measures not to get COVID. My activities have been extremely limited. I haven’t eaten in a restaurant in almost two years. I never stopped wearing a mask indoors when out in public. I’m barely out in public and work from home.

Even though my case was very mild, we don’t know the long-term effects of COVID. Until the past few years, I had never known that there were long-term effects from getting chickenpox until I learned about shingles. This summer I also got the two doses of the shingles vaccine. 2021 was about getting all the vaccinations! Got the flu shot too!

Although I might have a somewhat heightened immunity to COVID right now, I know that it won’t last. Especially with all the variants popping up. I don’t want to get it again. I’ve heard of people getting it two and three times! So I’m still being very careful. But I do want to find a way to be out in the world a bit more, because I’m missing out on a lot and it’s getting to me.

PLANT MEDICINE

Taking care of my plants, learning about plants and even talking about plants makes me happy. It’s bringing that peaceful feeling from being out in nature to the indoors. From being more immersed in the wellness community, I’ve learned the new (to me) way that many refer to things that help you feel better as medicine. If there’s a certain song that you play that makes you feel better, that song might be your medicine.

It makes sense when you think about the definition of medicine – a treatment for or prevention of disease. Usually we think of it as a pharmaceutical made by a company to fight disease. But what is disease? Dis-ease. When we are not feeling at ease – feeling unwell. Many things can make us feel at ease and they don’t have to be pharmaceuticals.

I’ve realized that plants are a medicine for me and plant therapy is good for my soul. The plant pictured above is called Hoya Australis Lisa. Yes, I have a namesake plant! She is the latest addition to my plant family and a Christmas gift to me from my mom. I usually get plant cuttings from friends and family, so I don’t buy many plants.

I don’t think I’ve ever ordered a plant online, but this was a plant that I really wanted. I’m not going to many stores nowadays and the stores that I do visit, I haven’t seen one. I don’t know anyone with this plant, so I couldn’t get a cutting. I ordered her from Horti and the delivery was very fast, so I was happy with the experience and finding this plant medicine. This is my first Hoya, so I’m looking forward to learning more about this plant as I move into 2022.