I Can Do This With One Hand Tied Behind My Back!

Sure sounds like a brag, doesn’t it? It really isn’t.  Just a thought that arrived as i was pouring my coffee and thinking about writing this post on my little Nook.  It’s more like texting than actual typing, the keyboard is too small to use both hands.  Who knew hunt and peck would ever be so useful?

And, in another story, two days in a row it snowed first thing in the morning. And two days in a row most of the snow was gone by sunset. Is the universe noting that we really have had enough?

I was introduced to the work of Anne Lamott the other day. My daughter-in-law put the book in my hands and i read it cover to cover by the next morning. Helen asked me if i had ever heard of the author…the name seemed a little familiar…but i coudn’t remember the context.  Seems my friend Karen has recommended her…has it been a couple of years ago already? Can’t help wondering why i didn’t follow up on the suggestion sooner. I really like the way Anne Lamott writes.  Plan B Further Thoughts On Faith is such a good book. Now, of course, i must find and read all of her other published works. Funny how i do that with some authors and not others.

Now the hand behind my back has fallen asleep. I have to wake it up and get busy doing other stuff.

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I’m Glad I Don’t Know Everything…..Anymore

There actually was a time in my life when I thought I knew everything….worth knowing.  Okay that’s not really accurate.   Even then I didn’t have the hubris to believe I knew EVERYTHING.  However, I did believe I knew quite a lot.  Then life started teaching me.  Now I realize how little it is even possible to KNOW.

What I have learned through experience is life is fluid and words are like mercury. We see life as we are…not as it is.   Having made decisions and judgements in several different frames of mind it is fascinating to discover just how much influence there is in perspective and attitude.  So, how is it possible to “know” things, if that is true?

While living life from intellect seemed the only safe and predictable way to go, there was always a flatness to it.  And mistakes were embarassing…to say the least.  Allowing feelings to run the show was a whole different can of worms.  Some days little or nothing got accomplished while other days were action packed from dawn to dusk.  You could call that balance, I guess.  Either way…something seemed to be missing.  Certainty.  I know what I’m doing.  Or, I know what you are doing….

Living without certainty, predictability is not new to me anymore.  It may surprise you, as it did me, I have gotten more comfortable than I ever thought possible.  The surprises are more often pleasant, the shocks are fewer.  It’s not that life is all peaches and cream….more an acceptance of pits in life as a bowl of cherries.

I have a VERY limited understanding of quantuum physics.  Perhaps it is even a misunderstanding. That said, I believe we see the effects more often than we realize.  Should we ever decide to work in unity, the world, as we know it, will no longer exist.

You won’t see me walking around with a sign saying THE END IS NEAR because that’s not what I’m talking about.  I did actually see someone with a sign like that when I was a kid.  Fifty years later, we’re still here. The end I’m perceiving is quite different and nothing like the destructive scenarios Hollywood is so fond of.  And it’s still a long way off….for better and for worse.

What I’m seeing is more people disatisfied with intellect and machines as the be all, end all of human development.  More people are seeking meaning in life outside work, money, religion, politics, etc. More people are seeing how faulty most of the doctrine is.  If we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water…we should be okay.

Having jumped into this rabbit hole I feel compelled to continue.  Bear with me or not as wisdom leads you.

I am in contention with “new age” religion, as I have seen and heard it, because I perceive it as sugar coated wishful thinking.  Perhaps I didn’t give them a fair try, judged them by the little I have experienced and read of it.  Entirely possible, even likely.  I get quickly annoyed when people go on about positive and negative thinking in a superficial way.  It does not gel with my experience. When I hear people announcing far and wide how happy, joyous and free they are my first thought is, liar.  Lately, being in a more compassionate space it’s more like…wishful thinker……or…who exactly are you trying to convince?  Changing attitudes and perceptions requires effort.  Examination and ownership of mine. As they are now. Living with the discomfort while finding the honesty, openness and willingness to change. Knowing all the while that it won’t happen over night.  Oddly, not as grim as it sounds…although. there are moments, days, sometimes weeks or more.  Even at the grimmest times there are rays of light, moments of joy and laughter, grace.

And that is why I don’t believe the end is near…unless we really do have Hollywoods’ cataclysmic destruction.  We have the tecnology for it.   That’s a scary thought I choose not to dwell on.  I accept the reality of it and keep putting one foot in front of the other seeking ….ways to change from inside out and demonstrate that change so others may choose to follow.  Moving on whether others follow or not.  Knowing that because I don’t know everything I could be wrong in my perceptions and beliefs, or,  just in a different place.

Aftermath

There is intentionally no space between words above. I have not gone back to school….probably wouldn’t take a math class anyway.

The title refers to the processing that has gone on since my last post. What i finally realized, once the detritous was dumped, was that it was a convenient cover for old time behavior.  I don’t want to look at, be aware of or accept powerlessness in my current situation.

I lost my biggest client around Christmas time.  Since then i have attempted putting out flyers and business cards, talking to people, joining and following up with an online service that helps find my kind of work….so far…NADA…as in not a thing!

I still have a few jobs and i suit up and show up for them. However…i’m in this apartment now and i’d really love to stay here….being self supporting through my own contributions is paramount.  I got the okay before i moved in to have a roommate…so, i signed up with another online service to find a roommate.  Thought i had one, for about three days…until he informed me he was moving to Delaware.   Just put it together….he was going to move in Saturday….had the melt down Sunday.   Doing all the right things….unpredictable results….powerless

The weather hasn’t been much help.  Reminds me of a winter in Sacramento. El Niño was keeping things very wet at the time.  We didn’t see sunshine for more than thirty consecutive days. It was almost biblical….forty days and forty nights….i digress.

Keeping my spirits up, continuing to put one foot in front of the other happens in fits and starts.  Some days i can convince myself that god, life, the universe is not limited by my imagination.  Most of the time i remember that things have a feast or famine style curve to them…i just happen to be on the famine side….at the moment.  My sunny disposition is not entirely dependent on actual sunshine, although sunshine helps.

There is SO much i am grateful to have, experience and share.  In the material realm i have enough and more of the necessities, food, clothing, shelter,heat,light,water. I have friends and family, people i value beyond price.  There would be no life without them.  And i have a program that comes with a well stocked tool box that helps me even when i can’t see the people and start feeling isolated, hopeless, helpless.  Those thoughts and feelings don’t run the show for me anymore.   Thank god…God.  I generally don’t give much thought as to whether or not i use capital letters.  Life. God. Love. The universe….spell them how you will….the power is the same….i’m good with that.

I think that about covers it….still won’t be playing any games made by King…just don’t have to kid myself about the meltdown anymore.

Try…Try again

This is, in fact, my second attempt at a post today.  With all the alertness of a single cup of coffee I wrote and then evidently deleted a post first thing this morning.  Oh well, lots more where that came from.  I guess.

Have you ever stopped to count the number and variety of thought streams you go through every day? Do they all seem to pop out of nowhere?  Sometimes it’s the smallest, seemingly most insignificant things that jumpstart mine.

Yesterday I was driving behind this little red KIA and was suddenly laughing like a fool.  The thought was, he’s got a soul, because he bought one!  Wonder what they were thinking of at KIA when they named that car.  It’s a little thing.  Bigger than the ones I think of as toy cars or clown cars, but, not much.  I imagine it’s fuel efficient and can probably turn on a dime…still…shouldn’t one want or expect more from a soul?

Sunday I had a meltdown over a stupid game…if you have ever played Candy Crush Saga, you may agree with me, or, not.  The result of the meltdown was I have removed all vestiges of it from my Facebook page and my Nooks.  I think I was on level 76 and thought I had FINALLY discovered the challenge of the level and what was needed to beat it.  BUT NO…things kept going round and round on the rest of the board, but NOTHING would move in the top left square…the only place where things could be dropped from the board.  All the while this mechanical voice kept saying crap like “sugar crushed”, “sweet” and whatever other bullshit phrases they have programmed it to say.  What a load of crap!  And the even bigger load of crap is that survey thing they do every so many levels.  They have this meter like a speedometer and at the zero level it says “boring” and at the highest level it says….can’t remember…so innocuous and inapplicable it didn’t merit mental storage space.  A couple of times I swung the needle down to boring and pressed enter….all the while thinking,,,,they don’t ask the right question.  Perhaps “not at all challenging” at one end to “I,ve completed the level WTF just happened?” Because those were my responses more often than not.  I have come to the conclusion that the cloyingly sweet, cutesie games designed by King were never made for me.  If they would be straightforward and just sell the game outright I might view them differently. Then again, maybe not.  I guess they are meant to get people to interact, ask for help, communicate.  Maybe I give them undeserved points, undeserved credit.  All of this right here is meant to delete it all from my mind as I deleted it from my machines.  Just be done with them.  I guess I can’t help wondering about all the people I know still playing those games.  More than one of those folks has referred to the games as addictive.  Like any addiction they have a deleterious effect whether acknowledged or not.  See, some of the boards are exceedingly difficult or seemingly impossible to complete for seven or eight attempts in a row, then boom, you can’t lose.  I have sent and received “extra” lives more times than I can count, yet NEVER had more than five lives at any time.  Same with “extra” moves…unless they were added together to the preset number of moves allotted. In which case WTH, I should be the one who determines when and if I’m going to use them.  Hard to enjoy playing a game when the words arbitrary and capricious are locked into the forefront of my mind.  In my personal opinion these games should be described as gambling…it’s more about luck than skill.  I like a challenge, if it is a challenge.  I am more likely to abide frustration for a practical purpose.  The games don’t serve any observable practical purpose….according to me.

Ah well, No one ever forced me to attempt those games.  I have deleted them from my machines.  I have now taken the time to verbalize some of the more raucous protestations that overcame me while “playing”, perhaps they can now become part of history and not travel around in my head. 

Where there is life, there is hope!

It’s Been Awhile!

Wow! I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve written something more than a shopping list!  I’m tempted to say and believe it’s due to burn out. When I finished nanowrimo  2 years ago (?!) I totally stopped writing.  So much has changed in that time; where do I begin?

I have moved, technically, three times.  First from a big room to a small room in the same house.  Then to a medium sized room in a different house and finally to an apartment all my own. It is, for the time being anyway.  I’m looking for a roommate.

I still have my little netbook and it still works.  I also have a regular size laptop, two nooks and a smart phone.  I note these things not to brag but to remind myself of the several ways available for writing.  And I have resisted them all.  Until now.

The urge to begin writing again has been creeping in and becoming more urgent for awhile now.  Just last week I told two of my grandsons that I used to blog.  They were astonished.  So was I.  What in the world was I thinking?  Why poke the dragon after all this time? It was sleeping so peacefully!  Too late, it’ s awake now.  And had some coffee!

Have you ever stopped doing something you really enjoy? Something nonaddictive, nonfattening, legal….something you could do in any amount of clothing and didn’t require special shoes or equipment? Ok, blogging requires something with an internet connection. And you do need paper and pen (crayon, pencil) if you’re going to write without publishing….but, you get the idea, right?

Looks like I’m back to the old drawing board….keyboard
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How is it possible? November is half gone!

Snickers.

Image via Wikipedia

 

I  keep checking the calendar, the one on the wall, the one on my phone and the little one in the lower right corner of my handy-dandy Netbook and they all say the same thing!  How is it possible?  November is half gone!  Where did it go?

Yes, the Snickers bars and Milky ways are long gone.  Had some help with that, just so you know.  And I’ve made great headway on my novel.  You know, NaNoWriMo! I apologize that things seem to have fallen by the wayside here.  My intentions were good, but we all know about good intentions; don’t we?  Having made several round trips in the course of my life, I assure you, it’s true.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions! Would I lie to you?

And believe it or not, I do have a life that is not tied to a computer and the internet.  I know, it surprises me too!

There were even a couple of days when the only writing I did was the morning long hand pages.  Some things must go on, no matter what.  those couple of days were a combination of the good and the bad.  Not awful, just not real happy.  I guess they weren’t really “bad” as I think about them now.  No bad news or upsetting events or anything.  Just, no good news or sources of delight either.  Guess I’ve gotten kind of spoiled recently in feeling just so pleased with life I felt like dancing more often than not.  I think I’ve found a balance point.  it could happen.

Still, it is now minutes into the 16th of November and whether I write it or not, I’m thinking already!  I’m still not certain when the downhill run begins.  Might even be as early as September.  Then again, late October is more likely.  When dawn still looks like the middle of the night and dusk arrives sooner every day.  Wonder if that’s what makes time seem to fly.  Shorter daylight hours, no matter how they play with the clock!  Seems once November starts it’ll be a New Year before you can blink twice!

Could just be that I’m getting old.  I heard somewhere that time moves faster for old people.  Maybe I’m just having fun.  I’ve been doing a whole lot of laughing recently.  That helps.

The one thing I know for sure to slow things down is to wait for something.  The more impatient I am, the slower time moves.  Mostly, I don’t wait much anymore, even when standing in line.  Fortunately, I am often easily amused.  If I haven’t brought a book or some portable game, There are usually people to watch.  And wonder about.  And make up stories for.  Never a dull moment.  Once in a while, though, I do find myself waiting, impatiently.  It’s one of the main reasons I have done my best to stop doing that.  Cause waiting in my mind is often followed by, impatiently.  Like string on a yo-yo, they work together and in just about the same way.  Mood goes down, comes back up; mood goes down… you get the idea.  I prefer not to wait.  Seems better for all concerned if my attention is focused on something, anything else.

So, I’m still kind of wondering; How is it possible? November is half over already!

Better than canned bread or sliced beer

Evaporated milk

Image via Wikipedia

 

I like turning old sayings around just to see what happens.  The other day when I was thinking about something the thought came across; this is better than canned bread or sliced beer.  Don’t know much about the beer, but, I do have a recipe for canned bread.  It’s one I’ve had for so many years, I don’t even remember when I first found it and tried it.  Just remember, its excellent bread.

The recipe comes from Sunset Cook Book of Favorite Recipes, Lane Books, Menlo Park, CA, 1973.  It’s called Rich Batter Bread

Dissolve the yeast in water with the ginger and one TBSP of sugar in a large bowl, stir and set aside until foamy. (about 10-15 minutes) Stir in remaining sugar, milk, salt and salad oil.  Using a mixer on medium speed add flour, one cup at a time until too thick for mixer Beat in last cup of flour with a heavy spoon; and flour until dough is heavy but too tacky to knead.   Prepare lidded metal coffee can by removing lid and greasing generously with butter.  If using a 2lb can place dough within, snap on cover and let rise in warm place until cover pops. Place in oven preheated to 350 for one hour. Crust will be very brown, brush lightly with butter.  Allow to cool on rack 5-10 minutes.  Loosen crust around edge of can and slide out loaf.  Allow to cool standing upright.  Enjoy.  Baked bread can be stored in can.

If you are using 1lb cans, divide raw dough into two equal portions and place in well greased cans covered with snap on lids.  Bake 45 minutes, then follow cooling directions.

Once the dough is made and placed in covered coffee  cans it can be frozen and baked at a later time.  Just remove from freezer and allow to thaw and rise, bake and cool as above.  Allow 6-8 hours for a 2lb can and 4-5 for a 1lb can.

This is delicious bread and is great toasted, goes well with soups and stews and I like it for tuna salad sandwiches.

They listed alternatives I haven’t tried, but, you might like.

Light wheat bread, in base recipe replace 1 1/2 cups of regular flour with whole wheat flour and use honey instead of sugar.

Corn-Herb Batter Bread, to yeast mixture add 2 teaspoons celery seed, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage and 1/8 teaspoon marjoram.  Substitute 1/2 cup corn meal for 1/2 cup flour.

Raisin-Nut Batter Bread, to yeast mixture add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.  Stir 1/2 cup each raisins and chopped walnuts with final flour addition.

Wonder why I never tried the alternatives, they sound tasty enough!

There are other examples of canned bread, I’m just not familiar with them.  I used to see Boston Brown Bread in cans at the grocery store.  I understand it’s great with baked beans.  I haven’t looked lately, but, probably will, now that I’ve thought of it again.

Took a day off yesterday and enjoyed it, now back on the task as NaNoWriMo builds steam.  Onward and Upward!  Better than canned bread and sliced beer!

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