Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

what muscles look like

The heat here has been, frankly, unbearable.  Having to be out in it for about four, scattered, and ever so slightly back breaking hours a day has been something I decided to view as Training, like for a marathon.  Fortunately we have a 50 foot long hose that weighs about ….oh, who knows how much.  But it’s heavy and has a mind of its own, we know that much.  I’m thinking I should do a You Tube video with it, a new exercise program- this could really be something!

Anyway it was fun when I went to the doctor (no more visits now! honestly, but everything takes about ten times longer than it needs to in the brave new medical world) and he said, wow, look at your BMI! You’re overweight!  I started to giggle, at which he actually looked at me.  Do I look overweight or inappropriately or excessively jiggly to you? I said.  He shook his head no.  OK then, feel THIS I said, extending my arm to him.  OH.  He said.  Yes.  I said.  Muscle.

So muscles are another one of those things that can be there but be unseen.  The usual adherence to preoccupations and entrenched ways of thinking can be continued without interruption.  Everyone’s prejudices and biases can remain intact.  I ruined his diagnostic day, sadly, as he was about to launch into the cholesterol and weight loss speech but realized it was totally off base. ( IN fact at this most recent appointment I had lost a fair amount of weight due to the above mentioned training regime.  And sweating, and stuff.) As he gathered himself, the eventual bright spot was the undeniable truth about my lungs to which he now had to attend.  In last year’s medical fun fest it turns out that in the process of collapsing my lungs, then filling them with fluid, then using god knows what crap to empty them?  Permanent damage was done.  I am pretty sure I can heal this up, actually, and more on all that soon because I am working on Something Big!……  But I am also going to file a formal complaint against the surgeon and anesthesiologist, because the past 18 months of not being able to breathe or do much and having my lungs crink up like squashed dixie cups in the middle of the night? has been hell.  And I don’t think they should have carte blanche to do it to someone else to whom, in their paradigm, attention need not be paid.

So.  You know.  This may be what passes for fighting the evil empire at the moment.

Other than that, it’s largely been armed struggle just to keep things alive out here this month.  We did get straw bales placed against the outside of the yurt, and they do provide some much needed insulation from the heat.  It’s still 85 in here all day but that, GR, is a whole lot better than 95.  Given that it’s about 112 outside, lowering on some days to 95 at midnight.  The Dog has reluctantly understood that it IS too hot out there for his paws and limits his excursions accordingly. We’ve had some Bad Dog Mornings, where he does naughty things like run down to the main road and eat dead things, returning up the driveway skulking and later? for extra fun, emitting the fart to end all farts.  Which, of course, hung in the heat for longer than it needed to.  It seems like a miracle that our garden is still alive and to the naked eye, flourishing.  It’s  really  too hot now for the vegetables to do much but we do have a LOT of cucumbers and chard.  We’ll have a few tomatoes but the plants have suffered since I am not nearly as good as the Partner is at picking those noxious hookworms off the plants.  Still, I’m feeling pretty good about it all at the moment.  There look to be enough San Marzano tomatoes to make some sauce, anyway.

Having it be too hot to cook has been a cha cha cramping sort of thing, too.  But!  I butterflied a game hen and marinated it in shallots and turmeric and chilis and stuff….not too bad, really, cooked in a grill pan.  The surprise was the aroncini I made with the end of it and the left over rice which was its accompaniment.  Aroncini are those wonderful croquettes made from risotto, with vegetables and cheese inside and crisp exteriors.  I thought, OK, left over shredded game hen, rice, let’s make those.  Imagine my excitement when I remembered it wasn’t arborio rice I’d cooked, but basmati in coconut milk. Deciding to do it anyway was touch and go, Gentle Reader and I feared ghastly failure.  I couldn’t get them to cohere (a lot of that going around….) because arborio and basmati are two really different creatures, and bit my lip as I plated their reasonably shaped in the end crispy selves.  Also important because the Partner has not been eating through this illness so whatever I do give him needs to be good.  And you know what? they were.   So further encouragement not to give up, dear friends.  Anything is possible and with a bit of effort, can happen.  From rice balls to evil empire, we can do it.

Thank you all, as always.

pain in my heart

Things coalesced today to remind me that in fact, for all intents and purposes, we ARE in the dumper.

While I realize ever more clearly that we are all in the midst of a pretty volcanic shift, and for the most part I can navigate that with relative success, at the same time there are moments when it all crashes into my forehead and I wonder how much longer I can go on living in this world.  The Dog and the Garden make a big difference, of course and I’m hoping that this weekend’s “cooldown” (to 87 instead of 107) will allow me to at last plant our burgeoning seedlings.  Plus bake some requested cookies for a friend in need- one hopes that 87 will allow the making of buttercream to proceed without incident.   The Dog had a moment of doggie disobedience earlier today and tempers flared; now they’re just at a simmer.  I’ve been handing out strawberries and ice cubes to the parties involved.

Still.  The election on top of everything else pretty much fried my circuits.  People were actually speaking in raised voices in the polling place about things that froze my blood- you know- The Wall with Mexico.  Muslims.  Everyone who either didn’t look white or had a Spanish surname (me) got extra grilling before their ballots were handed over.  I’ve been voting for a long time now and this year? They showed me as having no party preference and thus eligible for only a provisional ballot.  Which may, or may not, get counted. HOW GROOVY IS THAT?  I finally, using my best I come in peace but let’s get serious act, got things horsed around, voted, and then? This county has an electronic ballot counter which, excitingly, puts the name of whoever you vote for up on a video screen that anyone standing nearby can read.   My screen said Bernie Sanders, and it felt as though I barely escaped with my life and a tootsie roll, slamming the door on name calling behind me.

Then, glutton for punishment that I am, we went to the post office.  Where I was greeted by two things: 1) A new bill from my insurance company that was astronomically higher than it was before and 2) A man wearing a tshirt that said “Hillary for prison in 2016” who gave me a wolfish grin and said, funny, ain’t it?  Luckily he accepted silence as an answer. (Later, getting propane, I saw one that said “I refuse to learn a foreign language to accommodate the illegal immigrants coming into MY country” on yet another elderly white man who refused to believe the sidewalk was for anyone other than him .)  Just to add to my joy, I found that essentially now nobody will insure me for anything except my current company, for the aforementioned fortune.  I live in a place with a lot of fires, and my car is old.  It’s kind of like the internet around here: You gotta have it but nobody will provide it to you.  So net, net: the fat white man who crashed into me continues to cause trouble.  I’m betting he voted for turd with teeth, too.

There is of course more, although the good news appears to be the cartels are out of our neighborhood this season.  I constantly remind myself that it’s all a call for kindness, for love and compassion, for rectification of disharmony.  Perched on the high, pointy spot of my current life, it seems dicey but I do it anyway.  And on days when I’m inundated by the effing effontery of life, I do wonder if there is any point at all to what I do. It certainly at times looks like an entire geological age of catastrophe, my little existence.  At the same time it is so clear that there IS intrinsic goodness in our universe, and we can’t wait for results to do what is right and caring.  In that vein I’m going to give the Dog another ice cube, and say bless you to all.


watching sports

I never watched sports before as much as I do now.  Baseball is a favorite and I miss, more than I would have imagined, being able to actually go to a game.  The expanse of green, the zen-like progress of the games, rooting for one’s team with cocktail in plastic glass raised high.   Television is a poor substitute but now I am incredibly grateful for the few times a game comes on- no cable here, G.R.  The Partner has now managed to explain golf and football enough that I can actually enjoy watching them, for a minute anyway.  I can appreciate the parameters but not get lost in them, so they don’t really count when things get rough.

Then there’s soccer.  Egalitarian, dramatic, impossibly corrupt.  How many leagues are there? Championships? Organizations? Zillions, it seems.  It’s hilarious to compare the difference between announcers, too.  The English are dry and understated (a murmur of “he’s been badly treated” about someone who’d got very mauled indeed and no foul called) and the announcers on Univision and Telemundo are hysterical.  !!NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! and the endless “GOLLAZO”.  I even recognize their voices now, Bermudez being a sort of favorite.

So while I’m sitting here today, watching Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid duke it out, coloring an impossibly complicated coloring book drawing, I’m trying to recover from the feeling of being a mirror that got a big rock dropped on it from a height.

It’s the usual thing, enduring the losses life brings and the deaths that occur daily in big and small ways.  Soccer makes me think of my dear friend and the ridiculous coffin story she has about her husband.  You can’t imagine, she said.  NOOOOO, I said.  Not one of those FURRY FAKE VELVET COFFINS? Yes! she said. How’d you know???  I covered my eyes and said- it wasn’t day glo orange was it? Fortunately not, it was the other choice, royal blue.( I guess you have to be in Mexico or Central America to get those orange ones, which just seem too shocking to be real.)  They’d asked if green was available, the color of the favored local soccer team, but that wasn’t available for another few weeks.  We discussed the possibility of her getting a future green coffin, and the overall desirability of a “natural” death.  Meaning, at home.  Meaning, so what if the house burns down at some point down the road and one is in it? Clarity there.  No prolonged illness or hospital or any of that.  We agreed that we’d both like that best.  Good, I guess, to get that settled.

It didn’t, however, help at all this week when we found out that a long time friend has a serious illness.  Really serious.  Just a sock in the jaw out of the blue, and I was amazed by how much this news hurt and made the whole world just look so dark.  Of course the important thing is to think positively, be as supportive and helpful as possible.  Yet and still such news inevitably brings up all the old memories of all the other deaths, the residual pain and questions.  Which gets you smack into Your Very Important Story.  Which is not where you need to be.  Maybe ever.  I suppose it is the actual nature of things that one gets flung hither and yon by life, and the sense to be made of that is always in flux, always being revealed.  All you can ever really hope for in a way is to be able to keep the hooks of fear and anger from taking root in your brain and twisting your perception into some fiendish pretzel shape.

This is what makes watching sports stabilizing in a way.  It’s another story, another constellation of moving parts upon which you can focus until the breathing returns to normal.  Especially important now, too, to focus on something that takes one’s mind off the potential disaster of The Trump becoming….fearless leader.  Watching yet another soccer game, we were aghast to see a red baseball cap on a participant that said “Let’s Make America…” on one side.   As we clenched our collective teeth in eye watering horror, the guy turned his head and revealed the rest of the message..”Part of Mexico Again”.    That may wind up not being such a bad idea.  ‘Course what I think? is it should be Native land again, altogether.  But that’s another train of thought and right now? I’m in the switching yard from Purgatory, trying to make sense of things and see which freight to hop.

The Dog, of course, is like salvation on four legs.  After telling the neighboring cat to clear out of the garden in No Uncertain Barking Terms at 4:20 a.m. this morning, he trotted back to bed, laid down next to me and put his head smack on my heart.  Sighed deeply, went to sleep, and snored just the tiniest bit.  It’s like he’s always telling me things are really OK, don’t worry.  And? come out and play with me.  His advice is always stellar.  I guess I should take it.

what sustains us

I find, still, that when I’m at points of transition or challenge, I cook a lot.  Given that adventure is often my criteria (get me OUTTA HERE!), I make a lot of stuff for the first time and the Partner winds up on extended trips to exotic locales while I work on pickles, chapattis, pasta, Asian noodles, reproducing roasted vegetable dishes from fancy places, or experimenting with cooking whatever protein our friends bring from their various enterprises.

However, of late it’s been tortillas and tacos.  And tamales.  Salsas, rajas,  multi colored rice, and the real mind blower: chile rellenos.  The interesting thing about this is I always thought that ALL this stuff from scratch was beyond my ability as a cook.   Which kind of dovetails with the realization of late that somehow I NEVER think I can do things.  (Which of course is ridiculous since I do things all the time, attempt things, and generally scramble through the air on a fiery trapeze with all the accompanying accidents and revelations.)  All the self doubt which has accompanied me from childhood turns out to be rather hard to let go of.

But I did have what might be a productive insight.  A memory came up in relation to all this flailing about, and although it was REALLY old, it had a lot of current power and pain.  I was blown away by the energy this occurrence turned out to have and how much the event had shaped my attitude about things.   And how inappropriate that attitude is, was, and always will be.  Not to mention that none of the other people involved in the situation probably have any memory of it whatsoever.  But it had a decisive impact on my sense of self and it’s been banging around with me- and all this time I could have just set it down.  Now it almost feels like a body part but really? It’s got to go.

SO.  Last night I ventured forth where I had not dared go before. Ta da, I thought.  Not, perhaps, a huge big deal Gentle Reader, but I made pita bread.  And it tasted like pita bread, split on the interior like pita bread.  Really easy and fun to make, as it turns out.  It went very well with the falafel I made, too.  The thing of it is, there’s so much you can accomplish if you just let yourself.  Give it a go, and shut up while so doing.

There’s still the whole magic question and the what am I now that I’m grown up question, of course, but I think that’s probably a matter of inadequate definitions.  The magic issue generally boils down to whether one functions to build power or express love.  Magic happens both ways but the end results are not the same.  Like non-violence, sometimes it can take a long time but haste is not always the best way.  In that vein, my next project is going to be routinely getting dinner on the table in less than an hour (thus addressing part of the grown up thing).  Balancing the long range with the productive goal of having dinner before total darkness descends.  In short, the middle way.  Still looking for it, but tacos are an immeasurable aid in the quest.

what the heck is time, anyway?

It’s starting to seem like either a huge load of unset jello being poured over me constantly or else? Something that contains everything in it and must be sorted through moment to moment for relevant clues.

Which is to say I haven’t been getting too much accomplished.  Storms, mud, power outages, dog walking and making pasta have been about the apex of late.  It’s all fueled by a massive pressure system of indecision which sooner or later will…burst? Probably.  We just hope for some clarity, as always.

There has always been an equal push pull for me between staying in and going out.  This may mean I am by nature a hermit, or it may mean that I’m just a scaredy cat about showing myself at all, anywhere, any time.   Balancing the demands of world/self, “career”/home- this is challenging stuff, Gentle Reader.  I used to handle it before by functioning at top speed all the time, go go go, do do do, perform perform perform.  Moving so fast I was perhaps just a blip on people’s screens.  This of course resulted in a blown out nervous system and necessary adjustments in the daily trajectory.  As my teacher said, we are human beings, not human doings.  That was one memo I certainly didn’t get in a timely manner, thinking as I did that doing equaled being accepted.

Now that we’re, clearly, living in a manner we might call off the grid remote, I’m finding that the whole prospect of “going outside” is even more challenging that it was before.  I mean, going out for long walks is one thing even if it now is completely tick laden and thus somewhat anxiety provoking.  But what about going out into the WORLD? I *think* I want my writing to be read, my work to be useful to many- but that may mean recognizing myself as something I never saw before, in a good way for once. Not telling people what to expect before they even get to that point. Just…putting it out there.  Quite the endeavor, GR, even if undertaken a bit late in the day.

Meanwhile, Mt. Shasta looks astounding with the top above the clouds, everything sparkling and luminous.  Wild flowers are breaking through the wet earth with their shoots, and the wild pigs are back en masse, eating all the chanterelles before we can get to them.  The stream has only flooded once so far in all these storms, our road here hasn’t collapsed, and the power did indeed come back on, after I found the candles.  It’s all good, in a strange way, especially since I now have the Dog to bounce things off- he’s remarkably perceptive and I now understand “best friend” in a whole new way.  Perhaps progress IS being made, after all.


collective bargaining

I found myself bargaining the other night.  The Partner has been very ill the past few weeks, adding to the complexity of things.  He was going through an episode of hard pain, and I was doing Jin Shin Jyutsu on him.   Eventually, the flow I was doing helped his body release and get past the pain altogether.  But I heard myself, as I was working, say, Creator! Please! Even if it means I can never help another person, please let me take this pain away!

It struck me that perhaps capitalism is a natural offshoot of being human: we bargain for things reflexively.  It’s something we do, and maybe we need to do in some way.  The Partner also brought something else to my attention last night, which was this.  The United States is now a country that virtually precludes all collective bargaining.  Unions are being broken and destroyed.  Adding this to the dismal state a theoretically “working person” finds themselves in as far as even finding work to do that will support them, much less work that will allow them to retain a shred of their dignity, it isn’t hard to begin to understand the level of discomfort, pain, bitterness and hair trigger reactiveness that pervades so much of life now.

As I stood doing my work the other night though, I understood again that it is in fact the work itself that provides the dynamism in a situation.  It isn’t asking for outside help to save you or thinking that YOU are “doing it”.  The work leads you to a higher level of understanding and functioning.  You are not, perhaps, on a peer level with all the energetics of the cosmos, but you are part of them.  Maybe you can’t know it, but you can be it.   There’s a way in which this kind of awareness gives freedom and confidence.  You know you are not alone, in that moment of Being, regardless of outcome.  You know that you don’t have to do it all by yourself or even give any instructions.  You just have to be Present and do the best you can.

How does this relate to the perhaps more mundane issue of Unionized workers?  I think it relates in that when you have the ability to make decisions and see their outcomes in a situation, you feel empowered.  If you work for someone and can bargain, collectively, about issues of concern, it’s far more likely that everyone will get something they need.  Then the possibility exists for self respect and all the things that flow from that.  Removing this possibility removes so many other possibilities, and creates a situation in which about the only thing people can BE is angry.

SO.  While I often fear that my own little boat is just going to go over the edge of the falls despite all my paddling to the contrary, it still seems to me that at this point in time it is vitally important that we ALL remember that there is a better way and that way works better when we have some basic equity in ourselves and our life situations.  I still believe that putting one’s best foot forward, in love, just HAS to work.  Selfishness may work for a minute, for an individual, but in the final analysis, cooperation strengthens everyone and lets them be ever more able to do their best.

Now if I can just retain this calm attitude until I actually get my car back?  THEN I’ll be able to tell that blankety blank body shop that no, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck yesterday and there was no actual reason for the repairs to take TWO WEEKS.  And counting.  Cooperatively, of course.


let the dog decide

We’ve been pondering getting a dog and I was asking the Partner about dog baths.  For some reason or maybe because it seems to me like another Thing To Do That Might Have Disastrous Results. The horse next door, for example, routinely grabs the hose from me and sprays me down thoroughly when I’m trying to fill up their (leaky) water tub.  You see the potential here, don’t you? Anyway.  He said, in his usual judicious way, that it was “best to let the dog decide which they prefer”, in terms of indoor or outdoor sudsing, and that further, they seem to generally prefer a gentle shower such as one might find in a hand held apparatus in a well-appointed bathroom.  My goodness.  I think I WAS a dog in my last life after all.

I thought about allowing such a level of communication to develop in ANY setting, and about how, really, all of us benefit from being given a little space in which to decide which way our actual needs would best be met.  Trial and error is the general mode of the day for humans, however,  and probably what keeps people from thinking all this through on a more regular basis- it’s too scary, we think.  Too time consuming.

In the meantime, while balancing the calm rationality of administering potential dog baths with the raging chaos in my little brain, I had occasion to observe that as usual, it wasn’t only me going off the deep end.  Admittedly, the Hospital Experience from Hell has left a mark on my equanimity and it has taken me what seems like a very long time (a month!) to move through the resultant post traumatic stress- which only gets worse the more I find out about what actually happened, but that’s another episode.  Anyway, I had finally pulled myself together enough to cook and when I turned around to face the TV with a pan of chocolate chip bars in my paws, what did I see but what verged on an outright riot on a soccer field in Mexico.  Guadalajara vs Atlas.  The melee appeared to be set off by an astounding Guadalajara goal and the Atlas fans losing their tiny minds and attempting to rush onto the field.  The Atlas team itself was standing on the pitch, very still, and blenching, and the Policia were immediately present, bagging and tagging.  This is Guadalajara, Mexico, people, and that is not a place anyone wants to just get arrested.  So I had to wonder why all these young men were tempting grisly fate over something like the inadequacy of their team.  The rage boiling up in both the deranged fans and the combat fatigue garbed police was palpable and frightening.  It was transfixing and horrifying.  Was the match fixed? Was it just the last straw in corrupted soccer play? Was everyone on bad drugs? Why didn’t they seem to care at all about what happened to them? Then we went on to the biker brawl in Waco, Texas (and just what is it about THAT place?), and ISIS, and….and…….it seemed as though the entire planet shared my lack of inner peace.

It always helps to put things in a broader perspective as often as one is able.  In truth, there really isn’t an absolute concrete reality and there are always a lot of ways to look at things. (Except, say, methamphetamines, Arctic drilling, Monsanto, child labor, water pollution….) If, as it seems, we’re a planet at the boiling point and it isn’t only flying in planes, driving on bridges and attending soccer matches that place us in mortal peril, then each of us has to acknowledge that and sit with it in order to, well, let our inner dog decide.  We live in a world where I think it isn’t too much to say that Evil is ascendant.  The push of the political is toward the crushing of joy and true human feeling and this manifests throughout society, everywhere.  We’re constantly presented with things we know on a deep level are untrue (how do you feel upon hearing the words “there’s no danger to public health”, or “people don’t have a right to clean drinking water”?).  But those things are also presented as being factual reality, to which we have to conform.

Non-violence takes a long time.  It’s hard to resist the impulse to call someone an idiot or think about decking them.  But it’s also hard to avoid the awareness that in the end this accomplishes precisely nothing.  This uncomfortable place is where we all get to begin again, and as a tribal elder up here said, it is always about peace and equity, this process we must engage in vis-a-vis ourselves and the world.  Sometimes those things seem a long way off, as a proper bath may sometimes seem to be for a dog.  The quest for peace in one’s own heart may be the hardest thing any of us ever does, is what I’m finding these days.  But every once in a while the right shower head comes along.  We live in hope.

thank you, peter tosh

The morning after I came home from the hospital, I woke up with Tosh’s voice in my head, singing “the mighty God is a living man/now you’ve seen the light/stand up for your rights.”

This gave me a bit of pause, Gentle Reader, as you might imagine.  Why then?  Who even knew I remembered that song? Or, more importantly, how incisive and “right” Marley’s lyrics always were?  Anyway, I thought about it to the limited extent available to me at that point.

For one thing.  Stand up for your rights.  I realized that this does NOT mean those ego based rights people think of so often- when I was Slave Girl to the Divorce and Bankruptcy Courts there appeared to be an almost endless stream of people coming in to the attorney’s office clutching soft drinks with gnats in them, waving them in my face and in loud voices asking what their “rights” were in such egregious situations.  (I was not altogether sweetness and light at such times.  Often I said, well, you have the right to party! paraphrasing yet another song.)  So, no.  Not those sorts of rights.  What it seemed to mean to me was that once that larger awareness dawns, you see what is actually “right”, and that is what you must stand up for.  Not so much just your place in line, but everyone’s place in that line.

Then there’s the thing of the mighty God being a living man.  I’m starting to think the Greeks probably had it pretty correctly viewed: THEIR Gods were all over the place and far from incorruptible even if for the most part infallible.  In this perspective, divinity itself has foibles.  Those foibles result in things that we as humans don’t understand and as a result resist.  Which leads to all the hilarity that normally ensues in the course of a day.

And more, if the mighty God IS a living man, then that means that EVERYTHING is divine since we have seen the divine and he is us.  All of us.  Foibles and all.  I contrasted this with the Christian, Catholic setting I had just been released from.  In that paradigm, pain, fear and suffering are the tools of the trade.  You are to believe that a “loving God” sends his son to earth to be pulled to pieces, in essence. You yourself are punished constantly for some amorphous and unknown “sin” (which with a bit of research seems to largely involve sex and poverty- check out Martin Luther’s screed on who was possessed by devils, for example) of which you probably have no concrete memory but for which you must atone 24/7.  In all of this, only God is divine.  I’ve always had problems with this paradigm because it seems to smack, perhaps even stink, of hierarchical, top down, patriarchal process.  The good things are at the top, and where are all of us?  Not, Gentle Reader, at the top.  Nature is, of course, deeply suspect and right there? We should all be very suspicious indeed.  How can the very source of our beings, what feeds and nourishes us and regales us with beauty,  be evil and require such religious scouring as to be death defying?

So.  Even though I fell into a pretty deep pothole post-hospital, I think it did provide clarification of a sort- or perhaps just proof of how far around and beyond the bend one is.  I think, no, really I’m sure, that “religion” is a means of control, plain and simple.  The realization of what is truly divine is something available to us all, and it IS what we all are.  We are all pieces of a mighty divinity and it would certainly be nice if we could remember that a bit oftener than we do.  The fact that there ARE foibles and places we don’t get it doesn’t mean anything except there’s more to see and learn and we shouldn’t bog ourselves down with opinions. ( In that vein, I’m almost over my screaming meemees about the anesthesiologist.  We live in hope and progress is always possible.  I may yet be reunited with the garden shears! ) But I am still wondering what is to be done about the complete insanity we see all around us, and how much longer we’ll really survive as a species if we don’t start putting the truly divine before the clearly profane. I think polar bears and clean water and the Arctic and the people of Syria and Baltimore- ALL OF US- are a HELL of a lot more important and divine than the profanity of profits those at the top derive from the suffering they are inflicting on us all.  Doesn’t it seem as though if we all just stopped collaborating with this paradigm it might make a difference?

Sloth Wins the Day

Oh, well.  Yesterday was yet another Olympic level mad dash at the gold ring of solvency and today? Simply cannot move.  Our neighbors went ice skating this morning- I was still in bed with the covers pulled over my head when they called to ask if I wanted to come.   In addition to exhaustion, I also had an incredibly strong aversion to falling down on hard, cold, ice so it wasn’t all that hard not to go.

There’s simply too much to consider at the moment and, being a bear of little brain, I decided to devote my flagging mind to smackerels instead.  All the things and issues and whatevers swirling around the bleached bones of my brain waiting for Answers are just going to have to wait.  My attention is elsewhere.  On cooking, in short.  I made a tripe-less menudo (the Partner wanted menudo, neither of us was really up to tripe, so….) a few days ago- we cooked our turkey in the Weber at Thanksgiving over mesquite and the left over drumstick and wing from the freezer gave the soup base the requisite oomph.  Our cow horn chilis were the perfect flavor and heat, so on the whole it was a success.  We have a bumper crop of tangerines and on a whim, I juiced one and put the juice and half of the fruit itself in with some basmati rice in the Famous Rice Cooker.  It was terrific with left over chicken, and the tangerine had rolled over into the center of the rice and nestled there in the middle as though by design.  Today, we’ve eaten our way through all the leftovers in the yurt, and I’ve decided that I can probably muster the strength to make calzone.  So now I’m comparing recipes, Deborah Madison vs Chez Panisse, trying to remember how I did this the last time.  I think today’s effort will involve mushrooms and artichoke hearts but that’s as far as we’ve gotten overall so far.  The quest goes on for parsley substitutes since mine is enjoying its long winter sleep.

I used to bake lots of things at this time of year; complicated things like French macaroons, stollen, sugar cookies, all kinds of stuff.   We picked some prickly pears (tunas) earlier this week and I’m hoping to make creme brulee again on Christmas day and infuse it with some of that nectar-like, watermelon tourmaline looking, fruit.  (Ostensibly it was picked for the birds- they LOVE them.  Or maybe it’s the energetic flinging around of gelatinous, wet, bright magenta left over seeds and skins?) But anything more ambitious is probably going to have to wait.    Cake?  Cookies?  Somehow in my current life I never seem to have the “time” I used to, no stretches of a day in which nothing else (you know, like Explosions, or Helicopters or Rattlesnakes or Jehovah’s Witnesses or green water..or….) intrudes and you can spend it making marmalade or some mind bending Italian desert or dinner extravaganza.  I once made a cake out of Gourmet that took me almost a week to do with all different sorts of swiss meringues and soaking liquids and sponge cakes- and I don’t even like things like that.  It was just the challenge.  Cooking is still what I do to maintain what little tattered sanity remains to me; apparently the body is as tattered as the sanity at this point and the cooking doesn’t cover the same cinematic sweeps of imagination and turf as formerly- when probably I was also working through a big spot of Clinical Something Or Other. ( No, now we have chocolate chip BAR COOKIES, Gentle Reader, as we are simply too tired or pressed for time to drop the individual ones on a sheet let alone form them into shapes depicting a journey through the universe.  You think I’m kidding, don’t you?)

So.  The wolves are still at the door, people are still crazy and things are still strange.  Still.  At least I got out of my nightgown today.  And I’m going to cook!  Tomorrow, back out into the so-called Real World.



A One Sentence Summary

Oh, sorry, Gentle Reader.  But the suggestion for next post was just too irresistible to pass up.  It was, write a one sentence summary of each year of your life so far.

The divine revealing itself

Here it is, one size fits all as it happens:

I suppose it could have been worse.


P.S.  Did you notice we have internet today??? Did you??????