Perhaps it’s my interest in weather, or the seasons. I mean, I wrote an entire doctoral thesis on natural phenomena [read: WEATHER] in Pope’s Epistles to Several Persons and Thomson’s Seasons! In any case, going back to at least 2018, I’ve had this habit of organizing my instagram posts around a monthly hashtag of my own devising.
Most of these hashtags seem to belong to me and only me, offering a way to sort through my old images with fewer posts by other people poking in. I’ve replaced at least one [#junejunejune] because it was too “popular” to be of any use. Though, I’m far too taken with fall’s #aworldwherethereareoctobers to change to anything else.
Need an example? Check out my recent sunrise post, tagged with my signature July hashtag: #answerjuly
I suppose, if I were to choose my hashtags all over again, I might veer towards utter personalization, perhaps starting with my initials or a nickname: not #answerjuly but #roseanswerjuly.
Though, there’s something watercolour-edged about the way in which these non-personalized personalized markers exist in conversation with other folks’ posts that I love, too.
Several people have asked for the sources of and meanings behind my hashtags. So, I’m listing them below. [Mostly poetry! No big surprise!] Do me a favour, though, and, instead of using mine, CHOOSE YOUR OWN HASHTAGS! Play Nice!
SICK OF HASHTAGS? CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO MY SPICY DILL PICKLE RECIPE!
MY PERSONAL MONTHLY HASHTAGS
The fourth line of “January,” by William Carlos Williams:
“Again I reply to the triple winds
running chromatic fifths of derision
Outside my window:
The first lines of “Pieces,” By Wallace Stevens:
“Tinsel in February, Tinsel in August
There are things in man besides his reason.
Come home, wind, he kept crying and crying…”
I only post black and white pictures in March as a challenge to myself.
From the Simon and Garfunkel song. This one’s probably gotta change. But I really really love that song – because it’s a catalogue-by-month!
From “On May,” a short poem by James Thomson, who also wrote The Seasons:
“Among the changing months, May stands
confest the sweetest, and in fairest colours drest!…”
I really like the line break between “stands” and “confest.” It’s HOT.
[replaced #junejunejune from “June is Bustin’ Out All Over” for obvious reasons] from Neruda’s Sonnet XL :
“Green was the silence, wet was the light
the month of June trembled like a butterfly
and in the south dominion, from the sea and the stones, Matilde, you traversed the midday…”
Also, seriously HOT
From Emily Dickinson’s Poem 366:
Where is the Bee—
Where is the Blush—
Where is the Hay?…”
Original, I think? We travelled in the summer of 2018, and I wanted to encapsulate the mood. Also now the title of a poem-in-progress of my own.
Henry Rollins, from a 2012 column in LAWeekly called “Summer be gone!”
“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.”
Anne Shirley, from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 16: Diana is Invited to Tea… [Therefore it could also be #teamraspberrycordial ]
“I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers!”
Emily Dickinson again, this time in a letter of 1864 to Elizabeth Holland:
“It is also November. The noons are more laconic and the sunsets sterner, and Gibraltar lights make the village foreign. November always seemed to me the Norway of the year. —— is still with the sister who put her child in an ice nest last Monday forenoon.”
That’s December [month twelve] in Toronto [a.k.a. “the six”].
Now, for something else I really need to bookmark, this recipe for Spicy Dill Pickles. I made a dozen pints, plus a tiny jar of wee smaller slices I’m calling “cocktail pickles,” this week. But, based on the rate of consumption in the household, I’m pretty sure it’s only going to last the month.
Spicy Dill Pickles
- Canning pot, tongs, and accesories, pint jars, lids and rings for hot water bath canning.
- 6 lbs Pickling Cucumbers As close to 4 inches as possible, or trimmed
- 8 cups white vinegar cider vinegar works, too
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup pickling salt plus extra for optional crisping period
- ice for optional crisping period
- 12 fronds fresh dill optional, 1 per jar
- 12-48 cloves garlic optional, 1-4 per jar
- 4 tbsp dill seeds 1 tsp per jar
- 4 tbsp whole peppercorns 1 tsp per jar
- 4 tbsp mustard seeds 1 tsp per jar
- 2-4 tbsp red pepper flakes optional, 1/2 – 1 tsp per jar
- Scrub the cucumbers in clean, cold water.
- Slice the top and bottom tips off of each cucumber and discard. [Pay careful attention to those point where the cucumber grew from the plant. That's where dirt and bacteria can hide!]
- Quarter each cucumber lengthwise into 4 inch spears, or slice into thick coins, or otherwise slice so cukes may be packed to fit below the entire height of the screw-top area of the mouth of a canning jar. NOTE: I usually end up with several undersized cukes which I place in a separate pint jar whole or chop into finer slices and place in a half or quarter pint jar for charcuterie plates.
- OPTIONAL: For extra-crisp pickles, if desired, soak sliced cucumbers in ice water mixed with several tbs pickling salt for 4-5 hours before, rinsing, draining, and moving on.
- Bring a hot water canning bath to a boil.
- In a large pot, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and 3/4 cup pickling salt to a boil over high heat, so that the sugar and salt dissolve. Leave to simmer on the stove.
- In sterilized warm pint jars, add the spices and optional fresh dill, pepper flakes, and/or garlic, divided evenly.
- Pack the first six jars tightly with sliced cucumbers.
- Fill those jars with the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
- Seal with lids and rings, making sure the rings are not too tight.
- Place the first six jars in the boiling hot water bath and process, covered for 10 minutes, counting from when the water has come back to a full boil.
- In the meantime, fill the remaining spice-filled clean hot jars with cucumbers and then the vinegar mixture and seal with lids and rings.
- Remove the first batch of cans from the water after 10 minutes and allow to cool completely on a rack.
- Process the second batch of cans as you did the first – that is, for 10 minutes, once the pot has come back to a rolling boil, cooling afterward on a rack.
- Check to insure that all lids have properly sealed and tighten rings.
- If any have NOT properly sealed, just pop them in the fridge and eat them first, or share with friends with the instructions to refrigerate promptly. As is, the pickles should last in the fridge for at least 8 weeks.
- Properly sealed pickles may last years in your pantry. Refrigerate after opening. And consume within 8-12 weeks.
- Hot tip: Flavours sharpen over time. Pickles may be eaten right away. But you'll get a better kick if you let them cure in their brine for a week or two at very least.
- Hot tip 2: Make sure to label the pickles, especially the spicy ones! The red pepper flakes might clue folks in, but not everyone can SEE the spice before they taste it!
SPICY DILL PICKLES!
Check out these awesome labels I made to go with!