Latest Musings

Wilted Lettuce – Local Style

How many, many posts I have sitting in draft mode – waiting to perfect, etc., but tonight…?

Yup, easy post to do –

Here’s the back story (seriously, you KNOW me by now – there is ALWAYS a back story….)

Yesterday I hauled my outta shape, been working in front of computer/leisurely running around the library body out to neighbors to aide in putting up deer fence around the herb garden – I hammered, I nailed, I stapled, I took frequent breaks, I used a post driver to get a t-post driven further in the ground and straightened up, somewhat –

I also cussed alot – cuz ya know, when you’re out of shape and angry at how far you’ve let yourself go, working on modern stuff, ya just GOTTA cuss over how weak you are (and hope your cursing convinces the nail, hammer or fencepost to straighten up and do what you want, right now….)

And then, I was invited in for lunch/break – and King of the Household whipped up some “Wilted Lettuce” – from his mama’s recipe – and I was offered sprouted garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds and locally raised/smoked brauts to round out lunch –

Man-a-Live – BEST meal I’ve had in ages!!

How?  You ask?

Well, maybe it was the fresh lettuce, onion picked out of the garden about 2.5 seconds before it was cooked – – maybe it was the locally raised/processed bacon….maybe it was time honored recipe –

…maybe, I was just beside myself over sitting down and having a plate of food put in front of me, to eat, with no more asked of me, than, “Glad you are here” –

Who knows, really, in the end, what feeds our souls and tickles our tastebuds?

But, project done, I headed home yesterday afternoon, with gifts of:

  • Bag full of mixed lettuce
  • Bag full of onions
  • Bag full of radishes
  • Bag full of rhubarb (their rhubarb is ahead of mine and getting out of hand on waste not/want not status….)

And later, at home, I received via email, the recipe for Wilted Lettuce –

Which uses sugar, and I asked if I could substitute basalmic vinegar, instead, cuz works for tomato based sauces, right?  And I don’t have much sugar on hand – 🙂

Suffice to say, I experimented for supper tonight – one of a handful of suppers I have actually ‘cooked’ for myself over the past year or so, unless company was here and I realized it’s only polite to feed folks while they visit…

(I’ve been living off cheese, crackers, boiled eggs, beef jerky, canned tuna, etc.  just cuz, who has time to cook?!? at o’dark thirty at the end of a long day?!?)

And so, follows is my poor, poor attempt at re-creating the fantabulous meal of yesterday – I adjusted amounts, then I substituted basalmic vinegar for the sugar, and…added more bacon (real physical labor makes me totally starving with less than 2 meals a day…) and…I don’t have any garbanzo beans sprouted, I’m out of sunflower seeds till this fall, and I sat at my desk, working, and realized,

“It just doesn’t taste as good when eating sans good conversation with friends….”

In the end, I cleaned the entire plate of food, after smacking my lips and shoving down the last 2 forkfulls, cuz my tummy said, “Enough!  You have nutrition enough!!!”

Sighed and came to the final conclusion,

“Edible and satisfying, still – – Not as good as I had yesterday…”

I’m figuring I ought not try to free-wheel it with recipe adjustments, NOR can I ever replace work during eating with Good Conversation with Friends and feel the same way about both –

Follows are the pics of my supper meal – with the  REAL recipe (follow it, trust it 🙂 sugar and all – c’mon, you can use organic cane sugar, right?!?  Promise I’ll let ya know if coconut sugar works – trying that next time, CUZ I have THAT on hand!!!),

followed by my lil ad hoc adjustments for tonights meal –

Bottom line?  I’m still convinced

Good Neighbors & Friends, good food, hard work that makes a difference, and taking the time to cook for yourself, all feed the body and soul more than a quick, easy meal does –

I’ll let you know if I change my mind, this lifetime….

Wilted Lettuce Recipe (Original)

  • Cut up and fry 3-4 strips of bacon.
  • Slice 2-4 green onions, with or without tops.
  • Add to hot bacon and drippings 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 2 T of water (optional), 2 T sugar, salt, and pepper.  Sliced onions can be added to frying bacon or placed with lettuce raw.  
  • Pour hot drippings/bacon over 8-10 cups (or less) of leaf lettuce, toss, and enjoy.
  • A sliced hard boiled egg can be added for more protein.

Picture of a couple half-hearted handfuls of lettuce from my ‘haul’ brought home yesterday from generous neighbor and ONE, yes ONE green onion of many that were plucked  and graciously gifted, from their garden as of yesterday –

I have worked more physically, than mentally these past 10 days, so I boldly did 3 strips of bacon to go with the 2 – 3 cups of lettuce/onion ration – I am a carnivore at heart, where physical labor is included,  no matter how lightweight I’ve become on the physical labor front…. 🙂

And then, do I follow the recipe?  Um, no ….all I can say is my local folks seem to forgive me my idiot ways – – Here’s the ‘pantry items’ additions:

Cook the bacon cut into pieces for a time (add onion half way through bacon cooking, if you’re a  carnivore at heart and cook way more bacon than called for your reduced cups of ‘green, good for ya veggies’ type rations…)

Add the ingredients to make the ‘sauce’ – I admit… I was a lil worried about dumping in the vinegar/water, etc., into hot bacon grease – don’t ask me why –

….don’t I splash a cup or a gallon of red wine into sausage grease with impunity for Italian recipes?!?   No worries, it all turned out good, didn’t splash or burn myself, even given my long hiatus from actually using kitchen implements….

Pour that crispy, carmelized, simmering mess in the skillet all over the bowl of lettuce – toss, cover, and then fix your plate….eat almost all of it – be overtaken by wonderful memories of moments in time from yesterday, take a break from eating the last few bites, and write a blog so your pals know you seriously just cooked AND ate what you cooked, all by yourself tonight – LOL

Seriously, folks, with fresh, local produce?  You cannot mess this thing up, even if you adjust for what you have on hand or your preferences – except…except, fairly certain the bacon grease adds something – not sure tofu will carry it off – just saying –

Wilted Lettuce (Ballybin’s Attempt)

  • 2 cups lettuce
  • 3 strips of bacon & 1 local large green onion, sauteed
  • 2 TBL white vinegar
  • 1 TBL balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
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Yup, lost in new paths or old ways…not sure

There are times when I congratulate myself on re-assessing my life choices and still choosing the same ones –

If nothing else, I’m stable and predictable, right?  Those who confess (or previously confessed) to loving me, have never used the words “stable” or “predictable” to describe me….in their lifetime…. 🙂

On the other hand, I may just be a blind, entitled ole fart that yearns for my own remembered version of the good ole days…

(Not!  I readily confess, the ‘good ole days’  have NEVER showed up in my mind as totally free of NOT good, since my earliest concocted memories – ….)

I can always choose to take yet another run at the brick wall that stands before me, and will bloody my nose….

Or…

I can question myself on IF I really have closed myself off to Life being any other than,

“You live, You Die – Who you are, become, are remembered as, are all the choices you made in between….”

  • Even the rinky dink ones – those split moments when no one died, but you wounded a spirit, because you weren’t at your best –
  • Those moments when YOU think you know about how hard life is, but you really don’t –
  • Those moments when you encourage someone else to shut up before their pain overwhelms you to the point all you want in the WORLD is to shut them down, before you have to face your own pain…

These thoughts, all of these things…

….have been on my radar for nearly two decades – and I’m finally healed from decade ago hits, just enough, to have energy enough,  to be blue enough,  over the whole inner conversation –

Even when work makes me tired enough, to not be willing to fight, or give a crap about the fight…. anymore -Even when I wonder how I’ll will work up enough energy to even be ‘blue’ about something – –

Cuz, it’s a lie, you know –

It takes serious energy to be down and depressed – to my way of thinking – apathy and depression sucks the life blood out of you, JUST because it TAKES ENERGY TO SIT STILL AND DO NOTHING while you are attacked – from within or without, as case might be –

I still maintain – some battles are yours to fight and if you choose to turn your back on them, they will follow you to the ends of the earth -hunt you down and kill ya – ya shouldn’t have turned your back to ’em (pesky lil boogers…..)

Since I’ve had some rest the past 36 hours, sorta kinda,

I truly believe I ain’t resisting, so things persist -in my mind, I’m NOT, which means, so many well meaning people try to help – and I say,

“No, my battle with meself – please do not get in the way because I can’t guarantee your safety should you get between me and myself….”

However, I guess I AM resisting, because guess what?

I’m healed enough and walked the path enough, I now have NO Patience for those who fear doing battle with themselves –

I ABSOLUTLEY LOVE those willing to do battle with themselves –

And they are easier, quite frankly – they don’t expect me to show up and win the battle for them – all they ask of me is my ability to sit by while they duke it out with themselves –

I can do…that…at least – and I understand it…..

Yup – I’m rested up enough on day 2 of my ‘short staycation’ company footed leave, to run my mouth –

I’m ready to fight, once more -even if it’s myself –

To fight me, to fight our culture, to fight alongside anyone who is willing to wrestle with themselves, instead of fighting everyone else…..always calls to me –

For, the minute I lose long-term strength to fight – I seriously don’t know what to do with myself –

Apparently, I haven’t adapted or evolved enough to live vicariously through sitcoms or made for cable dramas – I get it – – truly, I do…. 🙂

But….really…didn’t I learn in my BS life (before stroke OR bull-sh*t,  life, take it how you want…) that expending energy on fighting such overall things was  just a lot of wasted energy?!?

That by fighting, all I was saying was

“Do what I want, or else?!?”

Haven’t I learned this lesson over and over, before?!?

Um…Yess…..

But doing things the ‘accepted, its-the-way-it-tis, politically correct, Victorian manners’ way takes….. OHHHHH….SOOOO….MUCH…..MORE…ENERGY!

In the end?

Less energy and better results, to my mind, still,  to be bull in china shop, speak my mind and let the chips fall where they may – –

I place my bets, pay when they fail – and I get tired of paying, over and over again, but, at least I, at long last have a glimmer of why, exactly….

This ole’ dawg ain’t really into learning new tricks –

Doesn’t work, to my mind…..:)  But, until I’m dead for 500+ years, I can’t tell you if I’m right, wrong or in between, really –

But I do hope you enjoy the below shares, cuz to me, each share shows those who chose to fight themselves AND fight the world, all at the same time and WERE willing to admit, out loud,

In the end, they were fighting/proving themselves, with themselves – –

To me?  The grandest fight you can ever admit to starting and sticking around in hopes of finishing, is the fight with yourself – 🙂

 

Happy Two Blue Moons 2018!

3, 2, 1  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I confess….the whole “Two Blue Moons” in one short, upcoming, quarter has thrown me into a tizzy over the possibilities – –

A Supermoon rings in the new year, here in Colorado, USA, around 7:30ish tomorrow… followed by a blue moon on the 31st, a full moon on March 1st, followed by YET another blue moon, on March 31st.

With a lunar eclipse thrown in., along the way- –

Sigh…this year, saying “Once in a Blue Moon…..” just doesn’t have the weight and import it used to….

( I’m open to the possibility this is all coming about because we, as a species are adulting it enough to handle the chaos delivered by such things- –

Quite frankly, I’m calm and peacefully contemplating just how crazy weird my first quarter of  work days in 2018 will be….I confess to being cynical about the aftermath of SuperFullMoons after years in the Service industry – – but, I’m also optimistic – have I NOT survived Full Moons, Haley’s Comet and years the Broncos made it to Superbowl while working as a bartender, before?  Yup, I can do this, too…. 😀 )

However; It’s NOW OFFICIALLY New Year’s Eve….

And time for my two traditions for New Year’s Eve:

  • Listing my last year’s accomplishments (dutifully back-dated, so I can congratulate myself on ALWAYS keeping resolutions)
  • …AND income tax preparation – (cuz who really wants to be stressed out in March during spring blizzards?)

I Report, Tax Prep all but done – around October of this year…

See, I’m one of those pesky, lazy losers who is on Medicaid by virtue of not earning enough – even though my time tracker for business and time sheets from work indicate I regularly work around 60-100 hours per week – 🙂

Thus, come open enrollment time, your life is ‘teased out’, you are treated nicely by your local rep, but get demanding, threatening missives from the website gurus  ( I use this term loosely – VERY loosely) and higher ups who cow-tow to politicians and lobbyists – all who like to send you missives up till December 2nd with dire warnings and conflicting information – are you going to jail for fraud?  Or not?  Are you on Medicaid or getting dinged for not having insurance for 3 months when you FOOLISHLY believed the ‘determination letter’ you automatically received in September (at 11:40 p.m., when ‘cut off for open enrollment’ ended at 11:59, might I add – and the missive said, “You have been determined to qualify for Medicaid, but now you need to go over to this (defunct, non-working website) to enter all your sh*t again, because we need to determine if you qualify for subsidy to pay for your own health insurance because you don’t qualify for medicaid.” –

(It just occurred to me – I spent 3 hours yesterday coding and making sure that no matter what category a customer chose, the ‘resulting pages’ of their website categorized info correctly and  always showed the Current reality!  Sheesh!  (forehead slap!) once more – if I, as lazy loser on Medicade, deemed  milker of the system (says some) am willing to spend such time over the New Year’s Holiday weekend,  to make sure shit online reflects reality – why is a state/federal funded site so sadly lacking for both me as a ‘user/customer’ ad those who are held accountable for navigating it all AND giving good customer service?!?

…YES!…these are the questions my snark soul asks….and always demands must be truly answered – – )

Sigh – let high powered, not thinking about end-user folks get a contract for building a system and walla!   Broken for me, Broken for the county reps that try to fulfill their job duties, who say, “Fax it to me, email it to me, send it via email, but for the LOVE of All that is Holy! do not use the online system for reporting – it’s Fu**ked!”

Seriously, I and my over 18+ son, who moved into adulting world and is working full-time,  living in his own place with roommates – -yes, we  have both walked this journey off and on since August!!!

🙂  I had to run/save the reports in my accounting software in August, September, back up run and further proof in October – – so a simple matter of changing the end date to “12/31/17” and I had my income, my outgo, etc.   and dutifully did ‘pre-tax’ filling work last quarter –

Coolio – more time, now,  to Back Date the Resolutions List of things Achieved in 2017

Guess crappy infrastructure for legally mandated things still has it’s plusses, right?

This Year’s Back-Dated, “CHECK!  DONE!  BOO-YAH!” New Year Resolution list, which may sound snarky, here and there,  has actually been very liberating….

(Um, yeah, 2017 – just in case you read this in 2020 and think it current post…Facebook feeds/algorithms have scarred me for life over ‘trusting’ the option to view “most recent” is really true….)

  1. Reap benefits from first 4 years of building website business to offer infrastructure to new local entities at cooperative buying price for what makes their life easier – whether you maintain their website or not.
  2. Make deep investments in infrastructure of business, equipment AND still show a profit, for year 5 – Woot-Woot!   Made it past the “90% of new businesses fail in the first 3 years,” dire warning…
  3. Invest time, energy and such into strength of local area network – not wires or tech but – PEOPLE! – Done!
  4. Calculate % of what gross earnings, minus taxes, etc., are spent to support local providers/charities and what is spent out of ‘network’ – after the 53% taken out for taxes and legally mandated things I need to actually legally work (yes, I tracked everything I could, as it was transparent and available to me – figure probably around 58-60% really goes for such things because not sure what, exactly, is the portion of tax, just now, included in the sales price of each gallon of gasoline…
  5. Calculate percentage of ‘charity/non-profit/volunteer time spent’ to benefit your local neighborhood – Um, yeah, over the 4.25% touted as how those making under $25,000 give more than the more affluent members of society (2.1%, if I remember correctly….)
  6. Heal enough to work more than 50 hours a week without suffering illness setbacks, lost wages, and/ or getting fired
  7. Learn to trust again – there are those who hold you to high standards, but also support you when you don’t quite make it – lots of those type of folks showed up, this year – and, finally have a local flock I’m definitely okay flying with and/or taking the field of battle for…
  8. Feel safe enough to say, “Ya know the legal agreement we made that you walked away from that means I lose $24,000 over the next few years?  Maybe $300,000 should I live to be 62 or older?  Um, yeah, at this point, seriously considering it MIGHT be worth the cost to never have to put up with you or listen to you, ever again – – feel strong enough to EARN it, instead – and never have to deal with you or your kind…ever again…
  9. Learn how to live by my values and support those things I feel strongly about, WITHOUT getting hurt when others I’m committed to supporting, don’t see me the same way –
  10. Learn to give just what part of me I’m okay with giving – at any stage of the day – without feeling bad when I place a ‘bad bet’ on folks – Getting ever more okay with walking away quickly and/or, digging my heels in for the long haul in ways that match with my heart BUT doesn’t, in the end, destroy me.
  11. Learn to make homemade dog food.
  12. Expand knowledge of essential oil use and branch into making soap/lotions/body butters
  13. Learn how to keep mouth shut when obvious the loud mouth you’re sharing with won’t really hear a thing you say, anyhoo – –
  14. Learn to be patient and wait for those things let go of, to return to you, if they wish….
  15. Share, in reply, how much Abraham Lincoln got accomplished utilizing his self-deprecating style – and why, just cuz you’re honest about what you see as your current limitations doesn’t mean you have low self esteem….
  16. Learn how to live in house of chaos, and be okay with it.
  17. Learn how to live off of bacon/beef jerky (locally, humanly raised/fixed), cheese and eggs – cuz it’s quick, local and easy to fix supper at 2 a.m. ….
  18. Learn how to waste money on new jeans cuz who knew?  Bacon, eggs and cheese diet apparently leads to weight loss….
  19. Keep quiet when okay to do so, defy all advice to keep quiet when you just can’t live with yourself unless you speak up – –
  20. Be blunt, be harsh, be scattered, be blue, be ill, be workaholic – but most important, be yourself, everyday – those who love you just the way you are, seem to flippin’ show up when you least expect it….
  21. Realize the community you found in WordPress bloggy pals near and far were what paved the way for you to trust once more – they made it easy to trust from a distance and made it easier to take risks by  being yourself loud and proud, locally.

Yes, WordPress, Bloggy Pals, Near and Far!

You are a part of the healing journey that brought me to the gains realized in quality of life this year –

Thanks for putting up with this dissillusioned, old crusty fart type –

You are why I never gave up after the stroke – and not giving up now!

Attached is the sign I made for my lame display at the library, documenting the whole Full Moon, Blue Moon cycle in first part of 2018.

(Funny, no matter how many times I tell my teammates I suck at such things, and better at supporting them through systems/processing to free up their creative time – um…yeah…they all drag their feet until I freak out, throw something together, and then they tell me how wonderful/insightful/funny it is – –

They are exaggerating, of course, but isn’t it grand to be surrounded by people who just shove you out of your comfort zone AND then tell you how grand your attempt was???)

Sigh – I never thought I’d find my ‘niche’ – you know, the ‘industry/specialty’ etc., that I was uniquely me in and could benefit others in – but, alas, at this point?  I’m wondering why it never occurred to me the first 34 years of my work career that me and libraries might go together like carrots and peas….

Here’s the (lame, lots of reading, sign I made – see?  I’m no good at flashy, viral stuff – but, when the conversation it sparks happens?  Yup…happy!)

Happy New Year to you, WordPress Community

I’ve been MIA for longer than usual, but please know – I still think of you all, read when I can…

I continue ever more in focusing on my local backyard first, because, after all, I feel safe to go forth doing “me”…

You are totally responsible for this trend…

Thank you for being here as I got a better life back than I could have imagined and may you and yours have a happy and blessed 2018.

JanuarySuperBlueMoon Display Sign.

And, because I can’t help myself, I’m feeling smarmy and nostalgic – NOT Romantic!  (Sheesh!  You didn’t think I made THAT many gains this year, did you?!?)

You all know who you are – but here’s the song I hear when I think of you:

 

 

 

Merry December!

I have been through the wringer of the washtub of life, as far as ‘work’ goes for some time – as my health, stamina and strength improved, I dove back into old habits – basically, workaholism.

It’s NOT that I don’t appreciate and know how to stop and smell the roses…

It’s simply because I realized a long time ago….

One lifetime just isn’t enough to do and try and learn all I wish to.

Sigh….

Apparently, during my healing hiatus from Life, courtesy a stroke in 2011, nothing has changed much – I’m still lured to try to ‘do it all’ – maybe even more so, now that I realize, my time may be even shorter than I imagined, in those days, when I wished to be done and it wasn’t granted and I had only the day to figure out how I was going to keep myself entertained, until I could (hopefully) go to bed and ‘wake up’ Done.

Dark, I know.  Especially during this season of human thought Light that we generate to keep our spirits up when the Light from above, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, isn’t quite up to our desires….

Christmas – a big deal and maybe, not the deal you thought it was –

I’ve carefully cultivated a local persona of “Grinch” – because anytime I’m in earshot of conversations about how the Christ has been taken out of Christmas and how America was FOUNDED upon this religion and holiday –

I can’t help myself…

“Um…nope, don’t think so” I open and then go on to say:

America was founded by those seeking respite from religious persecution –

(P.S. – along with the rag-a-tag poor people who were dragging down the neighborhood in Continental communities, younger sons who had nothing to lose by trying but everything to gain and, often, the latest batch of convicts to help empty out overstocked prisons and towers…but that’s another whole post….)

Let’s just consider the possibility (and in some circles, fact) that the first religious souls who fled to this new, wild, hard continent didn’t even celebrate Christmas –

First because they were just trying to stay alive, but, once they had a little security, they remembered  the celebrations they were familiar with from their homelands either smacked of holier-than-thou hypocrites they’d spent years being harassed/tortured and killed by and/or secular activities that resembled what I think I would encounter if I ever spent Mardi Gras in New Orleans, New Years Eve in Times Square or just about any holiday in Las Vegas.

A festival full of debauchery, bad behavior and drunks – pagan stuff, ya know? 🙂

It also appears that despite so many being really hooked on December 25th as Jesus’s Birthday, increasing numbers of theologians, astronomers, astrologers, biblical scholars, archeologists, anthropologists and historians (and maybe your local bartender/barista) all seem to agree –

Most likely not – Probably happened in March/April time frame, really –

There’s some disagreement between those who tell time by the heavens and those who tell time by the Gregorian calendar and those who track the sun, tilt of the planet, climate change and just when shepherds would have been out in the fields tending flocks – but yup, they all look to Spring as being most likely.

I’m not really sure what ‘facts’ bartenders/baristas quote – but sure it’s a mixture of the above – When I worked those jobs, quite frankly, ANY STORY would do when I had signed up for hospitality service and ended up wearing my therapist hat for those who felt disappointed by ‘the season’ and what they thought it should/would be….

In addition to early Puritans, and growing evidence we might be ‘wrrrronnnggg’ on the birthday, there were also a lot of Americans that were rather put out in the decades after the Revolutionary War, over the fact there were so few winter holidays – –

Seems as a nation, (and, at least to the public eye) we decided we weren’t going to CELEBRATE anything the British did – just for  pure pleasure of knowing we won and are now too independent to hold onto such colonial ways.

I’m certain there were some rebels who got drunk and engaged in gluttony, just the same – they had to wait for ‘child centered’ parenting trends, Prince Albert’s Christmas Tree and Madison 5th Avenue to bring them Rudolph, so they could celebrate in the open, more respectably….

I’ve also came into contact with theories that say the Victorian Christmas Americans first came to know  and love as an ideal in the 1800’s was written by a guy who had never been to England and didn’t really know much about reality in an English Country Manor – he did, however, have a grand dream of what Christmas could be…

In short – We made it up as we went along

Doesn’t mean it ain’t a grand story – an ideal to aspire to – heck, we adopted the Declaration of Independence with all it’s grand ideals and sometimes we aspire to live up to them and sometimes we settle for less…

I guess my little blasphemous detour of thoughts really boils down to this:

Christmas and our ideal of Christmas is just that – an ideal to aspire to – a reminder that light dispels the dark – whether via a candle, the smile of a loved one or the hope and faith held in one’s heart.

Trying to package this nebulous ideal into something that can be bought, expressed in words, controlled through strict protocol of events or restrictions on just HOW it is celebrated, is, to my mind, rather ludicrous.

We really ought to open our arms to not only Christmas, but the numerous other holidays that pepper the winter season…

Why, you ask?

Cuz cabin fever, sunlight deprivation and unrealistic expectations rather drive humans crazy – we need some food, fun, and community to return us to the path of our better angels.

Otherwise, we just get cranky and not much fun to be around while waiting for the sun to warm and bless us again.

In areas that don’t experience perpetual summer/temperate climates – well, before modern conveniences, you just huddled down, all crowded, to keep warm – sometimes, you were mighty hungry come January or February – and the bossy elder of the tribe also snored so loud, ya couldn’t get a good night’s sleep – whether you and your mama had your kerchiefs on or not – Thus, our ancestors were most likely sleep deprived, too –

All of the above ingredients are the recipe for one individual (or a group) to snap – maybe some in the tribe got greedy and took more than their fair share of the harvest – maybe a neighboring tribe was on vacation all summer and are now eyeing your reserves and thinking you’re an easy target – maybe they were certain war would break out if Olga slurped and smacked her way through a wooden cup of  bone broth, just one more time….

Who knows what straw will break Ye Olde Camels Back?

Winter celebrations, regardless of how we choose to celebrate….

are, to my mind, deeply rooted in our DNA – it’s about the will to survive to see another spring.  Without going crazy, killing or nit-picking each other to death when cold, hunger and illness has us hunkering down in close quarters, instead of having some space and grace to sleep out under the stars away from all the yakkity-yaks or snorer’s of the tribe.

Because come springtime, we really will depend on the extra hands and help from those in our tribe to gather in the abundance, preserve and store it, so we may all survive NEXT winter, too.

I like to think our ancestors were pretty tough and smart – they came up with a slew of holiday celebrations and just adopted new ones whenever they came into contact with the opportunity to do so.

They knew another feast when there was plenty or sitting around keeping warm while singing, sharing and caring, when rations were short, was the way to ride out the long, cold, dark days of restricted freedom and pesky irritations.

Have we lost the ability  to celebrate, share warmth and what bounty there is?  Have we gotten a tad too rigid in what’s ‘accepted/expected’ and what’s not.?

Maybe.

I think probably so. For if we were still open to celebrating staying alive all winter, any way we could, we’d be on vacation from first blizzard till the first chinook winds arrived in spring  and…though I’m not a fan, or follower, pretty certain, if we were still open-minded to winterfest, Superbowl Sunday would have been declared a national holiday, ages ago.

🙂

Happy Hanukah, Winter Solstice, Festivus, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, and about 1,000 others that have been integrated into the preceding or lost to the pages of time. (Saturnalia celebrants?  You get your pick – December or New Year’s Eve or Mardi Gras…. 🙂 )

May you spend the last of December warm & and full of hope that you, too, shall survive to aspire to your ideals for 2018 – it could happen –  2018 brings (here) the double chance to do so –  for I’m told, “Once in a Blue Moon”, this year, means you really only have to wait a couple of months and you get your ‘once in a blue moon’, yet again!

 

 

 

 

Rather Scared Silly…Just Now…

Yup, got hired for the job I Just Nailed THAT Interview for…

(Insert, in your mind, a picture of me doing a  forehead slap/sheesh! on my part…), because, yup, I’m rather stunned –

Why, you ask?

  • I interview POORLY – always have, practice, still do poorly – – FACT!
    • I just can’t get over my vow to live a life of integrity, best as I know how – which means, I usually give into urges to say….

“Yup, I disagree/suck at/am still learning/etc., etc,  such and such”

THIS goes against ALL advice for getting a job…FYI – (I’m often into the ‘long haul’ for making a point…just saying….and will fall on me own sword, in the effort…)

  • I can ATTEMPT to groom meself to cultural standards/dress to impress – but, fail, often – FACT!

I look to 2018 and…um….

  • Am I good enough to do all that needs be done?
  • Can I learn fast enough all I need to, to do this well?
  • How many hidden things from stroke, trauma, etc., will work their way up to be healed, re-learned, as I traverse this coming year?

At some point, during the application, interview, existing annual review needs, etc., I decided to take the advice I give to others…

“IF you LOVE (______ ) AND you can’t bear to walk away without trying…well, go for broke, be yourself, but be open for feedback on how to grow into your ‘next version of self…”

On the other hand, some feedback, you might argue about…cuz it doesn’t quite match up with what you have learned, thus far…and so, go forth in a blaze of glory in all your imperfections and see what happens…..sometimes, the risks are small…

…and sometimes,

“Fish or cut bait”

AKA

Poop or get Off the Pot

(Also Known As…more crudely…and in my family that remembers outhouses and chamber pots….until my Dad, his brothers and brother-in-laws, and….his son (my brother) showed up to get everyone indoor plumbing installed and/or working correctly….  I did try to remember what they told me, but my brother is who I call when I can’t quite remember the formula for calculating gravity feeds over long distances, how to calculate inches of watering over my garden, via readings from the rain gauge or thermodynamics, or other such things the males in my family just seemed to be BORN understanding.

…sigh..face it… I STILL walk out, look at the plants…if I remember check the finer signs… AND, empty the rain gauge out sometimes after 2 weeks or more of collection/evaporation rates – I LOVE data – but to me? 

Mother Nature has been around a lot longer than moi – so whaddya I know?  Either her babies transplanted by me make it OR she’ll strike me dead for my callous blasphemy…still waiting for a tornado or lightning strike to target me…  I try not to be obtuse –

I like to think, I’m just standing firm upon ground of….

“I’m just testing the bounds of tolerance of the universe, ya know?  The universe knows it has leave to take me out the moment I become more of a Minus, than a Plus – good enough?”   

Alas – “Good Enough?” is a HUGE Story, I tell meself, for long time now  – See Below for Life Line Stories if you need more info to understand… :D)

It’s also, now, December

…which means…

Time to compile 2017 accomplishments AND backdate them as

“2017 New Year’s Resolutions”

(P.S. I really recommend this approach to everyone – makes ya feel better after the past year AND gets rid of shame/blame/bad feelings from those resolutions you give up on come March/April time frame…

This approach ALSO saves you from spending money on ‘get fit equipment’ during holiday sales – you can seriously pick brand new stuff up, little (if ever used) in March/April time frame, with further savings, AND still show accomplishment WITH a lower cost – come the following December – as if you set an actual Jan. 1st date for implementation .)

Whatever Works, remains, my Go>To>Motto….

Yup, I STILL do this approach, every year – works for me, and if you likey-likey?   Try it out and send any nay-sayers in your group to me, I’m happy to explain  this approach to them….  😀

As I spend free time this month, ruminating on 2017, I see how many ways I was pulled, called, shoved into things that I WOULD NEVER have signed up for, willingly – on purpose –

Some of them, just, rather, happened…

Was put in front of me, needed be done, supported that which is in tune with my overall life-well-lived-goals, so I did the best as I could, at the time, even if I wondered, seriously, if I was, in fact, the best person for the job.

In retrospect?

This year has been filled with two main conversations – one with myself, and one with the Universe I think challenges us, blesses us and shows us the way to helping hands, when we are lost in our own ‘stuff’.

Top 2 Inner Conversations of Mine – 2017

“Self?  Um, yeah, OBVIOUSLY you just have to sign up to do this, because it may not be perfect, but lots of good folks, with good intents, are, right now, sorta running around with their heads cut off – Sooo….your job to show how to make the whole process a little easier…a little smoother – – you’ve walked this path – – you walked beside others who walked this path…You Can Do THIS!”

…and….

“Thank you, Universe, for the awesome folks you surround me with – those who see my strengths and forgive me my ignorance/work-in-progress self.   Thank you for surrounding me with people who shove me out of my comfort zone to try for the next best version of me….”

For you know, I believe in something bigger than I, and am not okay with limiting it, defining it with my lil human mind, or discounting others who have experienced a connection with the All and call it something other than I do – – so “Universe” it is, for meself, when addressing All that Is –

Who am I to limit All?

I also, truly,  believe in Angels –

I most often come into contact with them when  Nature & fellow humans show up to urge me towards ever higher heights – 😀

Life, can be hard and full of challenges

That which surrounds me in Nature, and my fellow species, are the angels providing opportunities to educate me…

…and sometimes, support or carry me when I’m ready to give up, from sheer exhaustion…

In the end – I don’t wait for miracles to show up in Heavenly splendor –

I really love recognizing the teeny-tiny miracles that show up every day – in a myriad of ways.

Because for me, the miracles that bless my life, are most often delivered by Nature being Herself and my fellow Humans doing what they are naturally good at…and think nothing of, or say,

“It was nothing…”

I disagree – For me, it was SOMETHING!

Ain’t it wonderful, how sometimes, we just go about being ourselves, in our own way, and make a difference, despite all the odds?

P.S. About Life Line Stories….

We all have ’em – sometimes from how we were raised, our hurts, our traumas, our blind spots we never knew existed – Sometimes they are good for us, good for all, or good for none, including ourselves….

Sometimes we are called upon to change them and sometimes, we can’t even hear the call, just because, we are so attached to them –

For me, right now, in my ‘growth-of-a-human-spirit’ journey?

I’m Absolutely, Positively, convinced,,I have Stories that need re-written or once more are in need of an updated edition/revision – –

and every moment, every year, every milestone, shows me the ones I’ve edited and published, the ones that need updating/new editions done, and those I didn’t EVEN know, I needed to edit…

C’mon – if you are here, in WordPress land – You ARE a writer, right?   Take this December to write the Best of 2017 – Re-write/edit, create the story for 2018 – even if feels like you’re venturing into a genre that isn’t within your comfort zone…

Cuz, in the end…I’m not calling upon or asking you to do anything I’m not willing to do meself – –

 

And…here…is the RANT!

Been awhile since I’ve really, REALLY RANTED! here – but for the LOVE of all that is Sacred and Holy, to so many human beans, regardless of race, sex, nationality, fiscal status, political party, etc., I’m just going to put this out there, to see who see’s it the same way…

For ya know – I might be wrong….

#1 – “That’s Just the Way Things Are Now”…Is NOT acceptable answer for issues in need of solving –

 

Nail that Interview!

I recently interviewed for increased hours/responsibility at the part-time place I really love working at.

I’m informed, it’s still the cultural norm to dress for the part, take it seriously, practice your answers, curl your hair, wear make-up, tell ’em how wonderful you are…etc…etc…etc..

Power shoes – Check! No one need know 10 years old and managed not to kill myself the 3 times I’ve worn them for anything other  than to see if I still hate wearing heels on anything other than horse-riding/country dancing boots –
Hair Curled, face still showing age, and sleep deprivation, etc. Trying not to scare folks in cyber land – Tales of the Crypt R Us – 🙂

Thus, I’ll tell ya how someone who hasn’t had this level of interview since my BS life (before stroke) – does such things.

Top Tips to Nail an Interview

  • Apply brand new-to-you make-up, the morning of, for the first time. (You had to buy new, cuz most of your existing supply was dried up or possibly a health hazard, it was so old.  Try to ignore the itchy skin and watering eyes, OR act like it’s not really the make-up’s fault – it could just be the 30-40 mph winds gusting as the winter storm moves in.)
  • Use implements designed to burn your hair, your neck, your ear, your fingers, after the night of rag rollers didn’t achieve what you wanted to accomplish, all while knowing you face Colorado wind and a morning of  shoving your hair back from your face cuz your hair has grown out from the super short bangs that weren’t your style and you didn’t want to risk a trim/chop job right before the interview, you left it too late for demanding an emergency appointment AND you promised the local beautician willing to take on your rebel soul and self-trimmed head of hair, you wouldn’t trim/chop yourself, as she works to try to get your mistakes grown out, trimmed and shaped into some semblance of order – –
  • Stop by store on the way to interview and buy men’s barber comb, Aqua Net hairspray, use the bathroom at interview site to tease and spray your hair within an inch of it’s life and  make it look like you styled with INTENT! Tip:  Don’t light a cigarette during your interview – you’ll just catch your Aqua Net head on fire.  There may be another reason why not to, but can’t think of it, just now….maybe because you forgot to bring your wine flask with you…  As soon as I remember why, promise to share –
  • When asked about about Fails and Flaws – tell ’em the honest truth – let them look under the hood of you – Head that Buyer’s Remorse off at the pass – You tried telling them = no harm/no foul AFTER they hire you.

(unless you are a sociopath or serial killer – then, figure me and thee have different goals but have to ask,  just why is a serial killer interviewing?  Is the Dark Web online payment processing getting hacked, too, and you now have to show up in person and audition, just to get securely paid in person?   

Sigh, yeah, I hear ya,  the whole internet security hits are interfering with my preferred way of doing business, like having 3-4 days in between cascades of security updates from server level down to the nth degree of details….

Hey!  Ya wanna go into business together?  I’m thinking “HackersBGoneRUs” might be catchy…shall I check the availability of the domain name?  Do you buy domain names for the Dark Web?  You’ll have to educate me – I only learned such things as a real Dark Web may really exist after reading a Jack Reacher novel…. Jack doesn’t lie, right?!?

Oh, wait, I was interviewing for job – not you – you are blissfully unaware of such things, most likely – I hear tale those who hire hits pay enough to easily finance your own security team…and this challenge probably isn’t even on your radar – never mind…and while I will question and wonder over your career choice, I do envy your security team back-up team….)

  • Don’t wear red just because it’s your mama’s fave color AND you heard it instilled a subconscious belief you are a power house go-getter, tiger – No, stick with the olive green, 10 year outfit you like.
  • Go ahead and toddle around on the 4″ heels you kept cuz they are the only thing that goes with that fave olive green outfit – no one cares you can’t walk in them without look like you’re trying to commit suicide via stilts – – In some circles, you survive the challenge?   Obviously you are a go-getter and survivor of impossible challenges –
  • At end of interview, ask if it is officially over – They say “Yes”? Thank the team, sigh blissfully and enthusiastically put forth your, “Thank goodness!”, slip off the heels and walk out barefoot  in pantyhose guard.
  • Risk ruining the pantyhose by walking across the decorative gravel landscaping to your car.
  • After you drive home in white out winter storm, breathe a deep sigh of relief for arriving home safely,  leave those 4″ heel shoes over on the passenger floor board where you tossed ’em and what the heck?  Walk across your gravel drive in those pantyhose – C’mon!  You OWN the universe, just now – you didn’t kill yourself getting ready and you didn’t die on the way home – You ARE BLESSED!!!

(plus, the Mega sized coffee you sipped during the 3x travel time home, is in need of recycling – no time to mess with shoes, you’re just hoping you get your triple door locks breached in 1.3 seconds.  If you had Jack Reacher skills and boots on, you could just kick the door off the hinges and make your way to the bathroom…)

Be sure, also, to  bless the Universe as you change from interview outfit into your hand-me down sweatsuit from your son and put forth the wish, once again, that YOU REALLY did own the Bunny Slippers to put on – the ones you tease about working in – (sigh and then don your lumberjack style socks, instead, because you haven’t YET received Bunny Slippers for Christmas – seriously, took less time to get a real tool box under the tree )– AND then marvel, once again,  at how there are no runs in those pantyhose!- Despite your best efforts!- It’s the lil things that make life fun… 

*Have you noticed pantyhose, lately?  Better life through chemistry has made ’em WAY more durable than since last time I wore them.  Seriously, all it used to take to ruin a pair was looking at ’em wrong while jerking ’em on. (it could have been the jerking, but aren’t folks just mad at wearing such things?  Why weren’t they originally engineered to stand up to angry jerking?!?)

I’m currently considering making a sling shot out of the interview pantyhose- maybe making the Y sling out of heels of the shoes –  cuz, yes, I just seriously NAILED this interview – AND I can Nail targets with the sling-shot and I won’t need either the hose or the shoes future interviews – cuz I just sailed through this one, right?!?

  • Argue and question your boss during the interview – no sense him thinking a proxy or watered down clone of you showed up to do the interview for you….
  • Talk so long on multi-part questions, you durn near put the early bird worker interviewer to sleep – Prove you are versatile!!!  You can work early, late, early bird or night owl – whatever works!
  • Pretend there are no trick, reverse- or-double-blind- psychology questions included in the interview, and scoff at such things when you’re informed you just failed the trick question – cuz, such things like double-triple espionage style things only  really happen in suspense novels and Bruce Willis movies, right?

Top Tip?

If the word “Humour” is included in the mission statement of those you are interviewing with?

Ride that instruction as far as you can, to prove you read it, get it – and will fit right in – then go about, proving it – over and over, until they either give up and hire you OR change their mission statement – 🙂