Cool, damp, dreary – a good day to start with oatmeal. Like Malika at nobody’s fool
(see SUNDAY 3 MARCH 2002), I’ve also reacquainted myself with oatmeal, though I prefer quick-cut rolled oats. I don’t have the patience for steel-cut Irish oats:

Put almost 2 cups of water, a pinch of salt and a handful of raisins in a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn down the heat and simmer until the raisins are nice and soft (just a couple of minutes). Then toss in about 3/4 cup of oatmeal and stir frequently until it thickens. Remove from the stove, stir in a healthy dose of cinnamon, and it’s ready to eat.

I like mine with lots of soy milk and brown sugar, my wife with brown sugar and a little butter. If we’re feeling health-conscious (and I’m not too groggy), I’ll grind some flax seed and mix it in at the end. It adds some fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids
without changing the flavor. I also like to substitute tart dried cranberries for the raisins, if I can get them cheap enough.  

21:31:58 PM

Cloudy; Mist
1°C (33.8°F) I don’t mean to go on about cardinals, but… today we have a slow, steady rain, a rain of regret, of penitence. The cold drizzle reminds me of many departures – long flights, awkward airport good-byes. Yet in the midst of all this despondence stands a little spark of a bird, uncowed – not just hopeful, but brilliant. It’s no wonder the cardinal is the state bird of 7 states
, more than any other bird. We need
it on days like today.