Ras El Hanout ~ Three Feet from the Twilight Zone

Most people are aware if the tree outside their window goes missing during the night. There is usually some sort of sound, either unpleasant or terrifying, that accompanies this phenomenon which causes one to sit up and take notice.

Sister Madly is not one of these people.

It was a grumpy Sister Madly, with her Medusa Hair and “I Am the Bad Guy!” t-shirt, that opened the blinds Saturday morning to find her horrified neighbor staring back at her. While she had always known about her neighbors, this was the first time she had seen one, and it was quite unexpected. It was difficult to say which was the more startled, but by all the commotion, it was the neighbor’s incorrigible dog, Leland.


It seemed unlikely that she should sleep through such an incident, but try as she might, Sister Madly could not deny the fact that there was no longer a tree outside her window- and oh how she tried! She managed to recall a dream during the night, one that involved the Dodo and changing the national currency to black-eyed peas, but she’s uncertain as to whether this was in any way related. After a lengthy discussion amongst herself, she was reasonably certain that she was not responsible for its disappearance.

It wasn‘t until a few hours later that she realized how much she missed that big-ass tree. Not only did it block out the sun, the horrified neighbors and the incorrigible Leland, it stifled the sound of the horrified neighbor’s big-ass wind chimes. All morning, it sounded like something magical was happening outside her window, and that was just too much sunshine, rainbows and happiness. She is currently plotting on just how to replace big-ass wind chimes with bamboo ones, a plan that includes a Mick Harvey soundtrack and a machete.

Evil Wind Chime

To escape the magic, Sister Madly spent the afternoon wandering around the park, comforting herself with thoughts of tiki lounges and beautifully dismembered wind chimes, all the while lamenting the terrible signs of spring: flies, road construction, daffodils. Lemonade stands. Hipsters without hoodies. Militant cyclists with sociopathic tendencies. Sister Madly’s one saving grace is that bikes cannot climb double-stacked picnic tables.

But it was impossible to escape the magic; in fact, her entire day was what she would expect to find three feet from the Twilight Zone. The butterflies were more vicious than the bees, a man in toreador pants juggled meat cleavers nearby, and a moment’s pause to smell the flowers resulted in Sister Madly pitching head first into the bush after being side-swiped by one of the sociopathic cyclists.

Her time spent in the flower bush was probably the most relaxing of the weekend, but even this did not last. She emerged from the bush to find a toothless lady with a bottle cap necklace handing her a fistful of birdseed and Panko crumbs. It would seem that this lady’s sole purpose on the planet was to feed all of God’s lesser species, which she took to heart, leaving Sister Madly with the same cheery “Eat up!” that she beseeched the rest of the woodland creatures.

Sister Madly never made it home that night. Her attempt was intercepted by the Professors, as there was a game they wanted her to play…


To he who stole the big-ass tree: You should have left it alone.


  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried rose petals, crushed (opt)
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground anise (opt)
  • 1/4 tsp saffron, crushed (opt)

Mix spices together.
Store in cool, dark place.


Please accept this lovely picture in exchange for Sister Madly’s
not-so-photogenic attempt, which looks like a pile of dirt.

POST’S THEME SONG: Twilight, the Raveonettes

12 responses

  1. Spices are the spices of life. Or something.


    April 16, 2014 at 7:27 PM

  2. That was delightful. I am so glad somebody else has a personal issue with wind chimes.


    April 17, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Bamboo ones I like, although I don’t consider them chimes, per se. Really, if the neighbors want to hear metal clanging together, I stand outside their window and beat two saucepans together every night. I have no problem with that.


      April 17, 2014 at 2:40 PM

  3. I once came home to my entire back yard full of trees having been plowed and replaced with millions and millions of wind chimes.

    It felt that way, anyhow — there was a large row of very tall shrubs which served as a lovely divider between our street and the next. Unfortunately the maintenance company decided the shrubs had to go. After that, I became painfully aware of just how many screaming children, wind chimes, yappy puppies, and obnoxious fighting couples lived back there.


    April 22, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Nothing like being assaulted by all the inhuman cacophony all at once!


      April 22, 2014 at 3:22 PM

  4. That picture kind of looks like a fire ant hill. Of the two, I’m good with the dirt.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 19, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Well now you’ve gone and given away the secret ingredient!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 19, 2015 at 8:24 PM

  5. Huh? How did I get here?
    There was a thing about trees, and then something about a Tuareg warlord who seemed to be masquerading as Picasso’s dog, and then the beginning of agriculture left a pile of dirt that looked like you poured your entire spice rack onto a tin of shoe polish.
    I just woke up.
    I think I’ll start again… later.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 16, 2017 at 1:17 PM

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