Smallish Bloggery, Day 21: The best thing about Summer…

…is Fall.

Seriously, in case I hadn’t made it clear,

*inhales* uuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
uuuuuuuuuuuuuck Summer.


(Sorry, I know this is a pointless post, but our internet is down again, and I’ve had a splitting headache all day, so I lacked the spoons to do a real post.  I’ll do better tomorrow – I’m still not sure why I even included a prompt about something I hate, maybe to force me to find a positive thing to say about Summer? But I’m definitely not feeling that today, so.)

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Smallish Bloggery, Day 20: A high and a low


YAAAAAAY!  The cable guy fixed the wifi!  It’s still working two days later!  OMG!


(next day)  …fuck.


(Sorry guys. Our internet is broken again, and I didn’t have a chance to do any real writing for this post.  Tomorrow’s should be less lame. They can’t all be literary gold after all, heehee.)

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Smallish Bloggery, Day 19: Today the sky is…

Today the sky is a hazy blue warning:  Don’t go outside, don’t go outside.  The high is set to hit 108F (that’s 42.2C) in the next few days.  Parts of the state are already on fire.

It feels like everything is on fire these days. 

At times the world seems oddly foggy and extra heavy because the air is full of fine dust blown here all the way from the Sahara.

It’s poetic, I suppose, and a moment to ponder the interconnectedness of everything on our little blue planet spinning in space, but to be honest I’m too busy coughing and sneezing and itchy and feeling drained and exhausted from the heat and the glaring sun and the dust and the outdoor mold (also at a high level right now) to really think that deeply.  The gears in my brain are all gunked up with dust.

This is the time of year I absolutely loathe, to be honest.  When other people talk about Summer being so awesome, I look around at Texas and I’m like, “…are you HIGH right now?”  I can see being excited about it if you live somewhere with real seasons, or where the weather isn’t constantly trying to murder you, but…here?  Oh hell no.  

I’m an Autumn baby anyway. I don’t own any shorts except as pajamas; I don’t own a swimsuit anymore since I bought one for the cruise my BFF and I went on several years ago and it got lost somewhere (it was hideous and awful anyway, because fuck swimsuits, but still I have no idea where it went).  I don’t own any flip-flops (that’s partly because they make my feet hurt, though).  I have about eleventy billion scarves, though.

I apparently have a reputation for never going outside ever, but I actually do at other times of the year.  Not from mid May through late September, though.  Not for love nor money.  I used to say I was only a Pagan from Mabon through Ostara and the rest of the year I was an Air Conditionerfarian.  Still true!

Now if you’ll pardon me I’m going to dunk my head in a sink full of iced coffee and then lay down on the floor under a fan.


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Smallish Bloggery, Day 18: A recipe

I suppose I could do one of those “how to make a happier world” type recipes that are so cliche, you know the ones that go 

1 cup love
1/2 cup kindness
1 tsp fairy dust
2 heaping cups Impeachment

…and so forth, but I think I’d prefer to give you something you might actually be able to use before November.

Since it’s summer and officially hot as balls, let’s have something cold and refreshing, shall we?  This is my favorite iced coffee concentrate that doesn’t require any sort of fancy equipment, just a fine mesh strainer and a quart-sized jar.  

As we all know (okay, millennials and we millennial-adjacents know) cold brewing coffee drastically reduces the acidity and makes for a much smoother beverage.  Plus it’s stupidly easy, and you can use cheap coffee if you want; since you’re cold brewing a lot of the sharp weirdness of crappy coffee leaches out.  I’ve done it mostly with store brands, and it’s always been awesome.

This makes 2-4 servings depending on the people involved and how much creamy stuff they add. I usually cut it half and half with Very Vanilla Silk, which is my nondairy milk of choice, but whatever milk or coffee creamer type additive you like is groovy.  You can also double the recipe and make a pitcher instead of a jar.  And feel free to add more sweetener if you’re so inclined.  The brown sugar gives it a nice flavor, but I typically add a squirt or so of vanilla syrup too.  

Don’t be snooty about sediment here – unless you’re using an actual coffee filter to strain, which will take forever (trust me), you’ll probably end up with a bit of sludge in the very bottom of your jar.  If you pour with care it won’t make it into your glass.  Trust me on that too, I’ve made gallons of this stuff over the years.

Oooh hey, I can use my fancy recipe card plugin! Check it out!

Gorgeous Cold Brew Concentrate
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
  1. 2/3 c coarsely ground coffee
  2. 3 c water
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon
  4. 1/4 c dark brown sugar
  1. Place all ingredients in a quart size or larger jar and shake the bejesus out of them.
  2. Lid up and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Run through a fine strainer and discard sediment.
  4. Pour over ice, cut with creamy thing of your choice, and add extra sweetener if desired.
Dianne Sylvan

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Smallish Bloggery, Day 17: My Patronus

Sing it with me now:  Ma-ma-ma-MYYYYY PATRONUS!


If I had to face down a cadre of Dementors, and waved my wand with a (hopefully) commanding “EXPECTO PATRONUM!” what animal form would jump out and defend me? 

I think when I took the Patronus test on Pottermore I got a Rottweiler or something, but as wonderful as Rotties are, I think I’d be more likely to show up with a bear or possibly an elephant – someone big and protective and able to stomp bad guys with a single big ass foot.  

Or, if we’re going on animals I love and who mean a lot to me, I’d have a pig Patronus – aside from being cute as hell, pigs are very smart, loving, and sort of my mascot animal already as a vegan practitioner.  I have an “adoptive” pig at Farm Sanctuary I support each month, and she reminds me that even when I feel like I’m not making a difference, I’m at least making a difference to one amazing animal, Miss Junip Sydney.

I love that thought, in fact.  An animal people dismiss as dirty and dumb who historically has been exploited and killed but who is in fact a joyful, smart, caring creature, running down the embodiment of depression and despair, making the world a little kinder in the process.  That’s the kind of Patronus I’d love to have.

But I’d take a Rottweiler too.

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