Old conversations, old answers

I’ve recently been engaged with yet another version of ‘forget the past, forget the future, just focus on now’ dialogue with another, and I seriously am having a hard time letting go of my stance of…

Um…living for just now, overall, as a collective society, is what is at the root of many of the challenges we face in going forward….

And all while I re-read the back and forth – closely look at myself, my ‘beliefs’ to find where my theory on Life doesn’t ‘hold water’ as a theory –

I have to say – I have discovered a deep, deep hurt in me that has not yet been healed – as in, those who have hurt me the most were those who ardently asked, then demanded, and finally got mad when I couldn’t just let the past be the past –

And I WAS willing for it to be so, until I discovered, they were just asking me for blank check to forget the past, and let them keep on doing what they had always done, into the space that was our ‘shared’ future reality – should I hang around for the show –

To me – there is the past –

And there are patterns –

And then – there are choices –

One choice is to ‘demand’ another forget the past and just show up and provide what is wanted by another – –

To me, that is manipulative and rather controlling and I ‘choose’ to not be that way – as best as I can –

Another choice is to have strict expectations over who/what/how everything goes and then go off and pout/sulk/whine when one doesn’t get one’s way and/or withdraw attention/affection in effort to ‘punish’ those who don’t do ‘what one wants’ by withdrawal of benefits (love, money, power, attention – whatever….)

Which makes sense over all, given our species early beginnings and evolution – but doesn’t make much sense now, in some of the various contexts I see it played out in…

And then, there’s the Padme option

I am a Star Wars fan – and really, I WANT to be a Padme type of person –

The one who assesses it all, and then just says,

“I cannot walk/follow you on the path you are taking. Please don’t do this – I love you but I can’t follow where you are going” –

And then – I’ve made my choice, voiced it and they make theirs and where it all ends up is where it ends up –

I grant you – this is not shared as evidence of me trying to be enlightened or what have ya – although such things have been presented to me as such – in the past…

But, at some point or another, we must all fish or cut bait –

Show up loaded for bear or decide it’s too rainy/cold of a day to be traipsing around the forest anyhoo –

No need to go tell others what they should believe or how they should believe or what they should do – really – cuz, in the end –

You can lead a horse to water, but afore ya do, remember what a wet horse smells like…

Festus

I’m not entirely sure anyone is completely cognizant of their own every move, every moment, of every day – especially not when under fire/stress –

I know I’m not –

When I get backed into a corner or under ‘fire’ I think I probably do what any living thing does – scramble to survive – and for me, only with the time & leisure later, to look upon my past, and assess past decisions, do I personally have any insights into myself and gain the insight or personal power to choose differently in the future, or NOW…

Getting ‘lost’ in the past is a real danger

It is, I grant that point of the counter-argument – I know it is so, because there have been times when I have done so myself.

I made it out – eventually – and I also learned more about myself each time I got ‘lost’

And yet, I cannot (yet?) embrace wiping the slate of the past completely clean for myself or others or are shared reality – for it feels to me like ‘wiping away any knowledge’ that may lurk in me own world and my collective worlds’ past –

(No, “worlds'” is not a typo – I count my sleeping, dreaming, meditative planes as ‘additional worlds where I show up and experience – and I often venture into the worlds of others, too – just by reading/listening….)

And I’m not willing to let go of all that just yet – what a treasure trove of perspectives – the opportunity to, for a moment in my timeline, live many lives, at once…

Plus, in the past ALSO lie the memories that are treasured – the ones that I pull out to cheer myself up with, or give me hope, when the present seems so full of never ending challenges and I’m tired and not feeling very hopeful or cheerful –

And in the past, my past, my inherited collective past, also lies answers on options on how I might go forth in a better way – today –

And so, though I’m not really a black/white, either/or type of gal –

I realize, after all these years, in the game of Life, I’m still a Poker Player –

If I’m going to play the hand, then chances are – I’ll be all in – past included

Crickets, Grieving the Losses & Egg Beaters….

Tonight I gave up on productive work – and logged in to try to put all of the various thoughts that have run through my head as I go through daily life, over the past few weeks, into some semblance of order for a post –

Crickets

The Crickets are chirping in the evening air here, once more. Their song carries through my open windows that cool the house down at nighttime and alleviate the need, just yet, to install window A/C units to keep myself productive….

(Anything over 96ΒΊ OR 80ΒΊ + high humidity and I just laze around feeling sorry for myself – so thus far, late spring/early summer treating me really well here…)

Cold weather? Bundle Up weather? Okey- dokey – add the layers and let’s venture out to ‘get ‘er done’ – but heat and/or humidity?

I’m human – I have my ‘I don’t care nor do I give a crap what fails’ breaking points – πŸ™‚

That said, good news here –

The crickets have arrived – maybe because after hot, (for this time of year), dry winds have swept across our area, fire danger AND multiple ‘experts’ saying we are in for a drought phase that is ‘worse than anything experienced since…” however long ago they started actually keeping daily records in manner accessible to modern folks doing their job to ‘keep everyone informed…”

AND I KNOW this because so many people shared it on Facebook in one 3 day period (yup – worked through the feed up to the 3 day mark – sure, it’s not really true, what all was posted in the last 3 days, but I can pretend to keep the game alive – LOL)

I do confess….

Crickets chirping in the house, at 3 am, in late fall, rather irritate me – do not ask me why or to be able to explain it – I still don’t know/understand, for certain, that part of me

Maybe it’s their death song or the death song of summer/fall and I just can’t bear the pain of hearing about the end of another cycle – who knows?

Certainly not me – still or yet….

But let it be spring/summer – when it’s not so hot, dry and still at night where I’ve got all the windows closed and still running the A/C at 11pm at night – just to sleep/get some rest –

The cricket symphony drifting through the windows renews my heart and spirit –

But then, that’s just me – I also find comfort in coyotes howling too –

They speak to my heart of home, childhood and the plains I love –

And, since I’m not a rancher that has lost income to take care of my family through the winter, due to a coyote attack – I guess – I’m ‘biased’ or naive in my perspective….

Which brings me to….

Grieving the Losses

It has been interesting to me to watch the human drama on multiple fronts play out over the past few months of COVID-19, all in all.

There are some who are ‘grieving’ various things but still refuse to acknowledge such things –

My personal opinion on why?

Our culture does not openly support, fully, the grieving process –

My definition of ‘grieving’?

When shit happens, whether in your control or not and life changes and things you are used to/familiar with fall away and you have to adjust to the new reality, all while scrambling to figure out how to deal with the new reality, but in your heart, still wishing what was lost, could somehow be ‘so’ again –

Me – my long arse definition on Grieving

Which brings me to Egg Beaters…

As you know, I’ve been ramping up sourdough quick bread/daily bread operations for some weeks now – and seriously, the other day, I was mixing up a batch of oatmeal/walnut/raisin/dried plum bread …..

*Note – here’s the original recipe – for adding in nuts, just take away the equivalent of oatmeal – i.e. if you put in 1/2 cup of chopped nuts, reduce by 1/2 a cup of oatmeal – at least here in dry air/high altitude land – :). Dried fruit? Add a cup of it – let it soak – mix/match however you wish – the raisin/plum bread turned out pretty good once I didn’t ‘over dry it’ by not reducing the oats when I added nuts….

But there I was, over a week ago, churning out ‘dessert bread’ to get the sourdough starter down to manageable size, when I had so many other things to do other than baking goodies that morning- and it occurred to me….

I Grieve the LOSS of the Days when Children Licked the Beaters clean –

Seriously! Ya know, with some recipes? Doesn’t matter how pricey of a kitchen tool you have – if it’s electric driven, it has beaters and someone has to wash those tools –

IF that someone doesn’t have a high pressure/powered dishwasher at hand – there one sits at the sink, hand washing the beaters EVEN after soaking in hot soapy water, and still – when you go to put away the air dried in the rack dishes, beaters, what does your wondering eye behold?

One lil hook, crook or cranny where some ‘bread stuff’ still lurks – and is now ‘air dried on’.

The issue serious trauma via ‘trying to clean the beaters’, is, in my world, courtesy of the rise of centralized food systems that made salmonella a real scare – and the rise of ‘proper parenting’ that didn’t allow the kids to lick raw batter off the beaters AND the rise of not even just “Oops! dropped on the floor and didn’t have the heart to shoo the dog away from it – even though human food is bad for her and I’m single handedly killing my beloved pet by my lazy owner ways…” marketing to spend more money and time feeding our pets than we do the homeless, poor or disenfranchised in our country….

Sigh –

So many things have changed since my childhood, that have made the whole ‘clean-up of the beaters’ a chore – overall – cuz seriously, it use to be easier – and yes….

A CHORE! I say – instead of a moment in the kitchen to show some love – take time out from a day of baking, to connect with one who is feeling pretty special and loved, just cuz they get to lick the beater….

The resting your hands in warm, soapy water and relaxing over the fact you know you won’t see ‘the missed spot’ in drying rack tomorrow and realize it’s dried on now, the bend crook, thingee and you’ll have to scrub, etc., just to use quickly, cuz you don’t have time to let it soak, AGAIN, in soapy water….

I also grieve the loss of when I was a haphazard pet provider that just bought the dog food I could afford and didn’t have to worry that because my pet died near or after their life expectancy for their breed, and regardless their start in life or the fact I rescued them from the pound/being put down, doesn’t matter, should they ever die, I shall be blamed for ‘not getting pet insurance’ or going bankrupt to pay for their cancer therapy –

There are things I love…

….and things I miss….

things I grieve the loss of…

things I wonder ‘what the hell happened with that and who died and made so and so in charge of dictating how we shall all go forth from here on out? Really? WHO in the HELL thought SUCH and SUCH was a GOOD PLAN that 30 years later, I’m STILL having to deal with the consequences of?

WHO?

Nobody and everybody – is my answer –

So the Good, the Bad & the Ugly –

The summer nights serenade for sleep have returned.

I’m surrounded by many who are walking through the grieving path for a multitude of reasons…

and, in the end – I lick the damn beaters or, if the ingredients list isn’t dire – let the dog lick them – seeing as how chocolate is bad for her and I’m not a chocolate lover, it usually works out okay…..

Yes, yes – I fully realize that in some circles, it will be my total fault my dog didn’t live to be 100 years old –

But for now?

The child unit has no interest in licking the beaters….

The ingredient lists isn’t often on the ‘absolutely NOT’ for canines….

She feels loved and special when I say,

You want to lick the beaters?

and, in the end – she gets them cleaner than I do, and all I have to do is sanitize ’em in some hot soapy water –

For now, it’s working for both of us to feel loved, cherished and taken care of –

And at the end of the day – isn’t that what we all yearn for?

Sourdough Oatmeal Muffins

I’m more of a yeast bread or flat bread type of cook – I often don’t have good luck trying to make cakes, muffins or cookies, although, I can usually manage turning out a loaf of zuchinni or banana bread – sometimes I can nail a pie…

So imagine my total THRILL when my first stab at making sourdough muffins turned out nice and tasty and baked up like they should, at my high altitude, after I read a lot of recipes and on the fly, substituted in what I had on hand…

Recipe

Note* the following made at high altitude, with gluten free flour someone gave me and I needed to haul out of the freezer to make room for other stuff – the sourdough starter I have was made with hard red winter wheat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup of raisins/dried cranberries
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup of molasses crystals (or 1/3 cup of brown sugar if you have such fancy baking goods on hand – – – LOL)
  • 1/3 cup of cooking oil (I used avocado)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Stir together the sourdough starter, milk, rolled oats and raisins/cranberries. Let sit to soften oats/fruit.
  2. In separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. Grease or line your muffin pans (IF I hadn’t been cautious about filling/overfilling them, this recipe would have made 12 regular sized muffins, I ended up using my 3rd muffin tin of 6, and filled 4 of the holes – so I actually made 16 just under regular size muffins.)
  4. Preheat your oven (I used my toaster oven) to 400˚.
  5. Add the brown sugar or molasses crystals, oil, & egg to the soaking oat/fruit mixture.
  6. Once blended, add the dry ingredients just until the mix is blended.
  7. Spoon into muffin pans, bake for 20-25 minutes (mine were done in 20 mins.)
  8. Immediately dump out of pan, onto cooling rack, once cool, store in your oversized cookie jar that doesn’t fit anywhere else but on the one counter space you thought you might use for sprouting/fermenting projects….LOL

They are nummy, nummy and I’ll be playing with the fruit amounts, adding in nuts/etc. And report back in – but overall? Really happy with how well this first ‘attempt’ at it went – πŸ™‚

I managed to look through several recipes for sourdough muffins and did the various calculations for batch size, substitutions etc., and didn’t book mark all the recipes I looked at – so sorry – no ‘inspiration’ credit line – πŸ™‚

Stardate – um.. someday – Report

The countertop fizzy soda that I left sit long enough to become some fine sipping, fruity beverage that I had 3 half-full rocks glasses of before realizing – “Um – guess I’ll have to water/ice that down, too! I’m such a light weight”.

The Sima started is mellow, smooth and nice sipping, but doesn’t have the depth of flavors/complexity to it the peach/mango and straweberry/raspberry blends did.

That said, the Sima was ‘salted’ with some additional orange zest and lemon zest, a tiny smidge of more yeast, and more raisins and is now back to sitting and ‘mellowing it/thinking about what it wants to ‘be’ as it grows older – πŸ˜€

The sourdough experiments started off so grand, but still haven’t gotten a recipe nailed down for hamburger type buns, JUST yet –

The sourdough oatmeal, dried cranberry muffins came out good – recipe to follow….

So, update – there are now ten, (yes I said 10!) 2 liter bottles with various fruity sodas fermenting along their way to ‘knock Tamrah on her keister next Saturday night (we finished ’em off during Saturday night game night – they were at 21 days from initial start!).

I now have 2 different sourdough starters going, and am doing something with sourdough starter in the neighborhood of 2-4 cups, every day.

The grass is growing, the weeds are getting pulled, I still haven’t gotten many ‘seeds’ in the ground – but little by little, more areas under sheet mulching or pretty up and mulched and ready to face a hot, dry summer (if that’s what we end up getting this year)

That said, no pictures for this, so used an old one of my iris/rhubarb/poppy bed – irises and poppies coming along and soon! I’ll have rhubarb to start THOSE counter top experiments!

P.S. I just carefully poured off the top clear portion of the fermented ‘hard sodas’ added more raisins, warmed up the fruit/sugar mixture for a new batch, let it cool, added the lemon juice and poured into the 2 liter jug with the yeast sediment, gave it a good shake and man! Did those take off!

I did 3 jugs of blueberry, cuz I had blueberries I could use and also, have sometime soon, a ‘I don’t eat them and have 5 pounds worth – do you want them?” gift coming, and the blueberry ones are trucking along okay – but they started with NEW yeast pitch and are bubbling along as furiously as the ‘oh, let’s just mix the fruit/sugar and dump it into the same jug , let’s see what happens with that” –

Alas, I must be getting old and tired – because I’m not just a lazy gardener – or a lazy housekeeper, I’m trying experiments so I can be a lazy cook from scratch and homebrewer, as well – – but still, with all the kitchen experiments ramping up and getting back to adjusting better for grinding my own flour from grains, still long, long days – can’t wait to have it all streamlined and into a ‘routine!”

P.S. – I did go ahead and snap a picture of my ‘kitchen fermentation projects’ but be kind – I’m still moving things and trying to get my small kitchen more user friendly for daily, multiple, long term projects… LOL