Helpless in the face of adversity, aka... the holiday tables... laden/loaded/heavy/groaning with delicacies of every description.
All the pretty little poppers that just fit & fill your mouth and take their time disolving. Insert full body moan here. I like the savoury ones the best. Appies so wonderful you are barely civilized.
Then of course there is the holiday fall from grace, the turkey. Let's talk turkey. The aroma alone causes me to forgo all pretensions of being a non-meat eater. I know, I know, there was that disturbing incident with the elk salami, but this one is even more visceral. There is a bit of the 'honour & adore' syndrome at work here and a lot of salivating. I am happy to know it was free-range, organic etc., but in reality, I really don't care. I eat it anyway. There, I said it. Father forgive me my trespasses and pass the gravy.
I am pleased that we seem to have passed into a phase of celebrating Christmas more with edible excesses, rather than with 'gifts' and I am very okay with that. The few gifts that are received tend to be very meaningful and so delightful in their unexpectedness.
So, 'cheers to that' and 'may the wind be at your back', and 'may you live longer than you imagine' and 'may all good things come to pass' and 'sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite'...oh...we can't really say that one anymore, can we?
So anyway 'tis the season of fantasy. Let us put on our 'PPE' (Personal Protective Equipment) and forge on into the holiday fray. I love this season of indulgence. I am a top competitor in throwing caution to the wind. I dive into that holiday buffet table at party after party with no regard for calories or even ethics...yes, guilty.
I recently ate and enjoyed several types of, godforgiveme, elk salami (!) the other night and would have eaten more if only there were no other pesky guests around. Next was a hearty hello to the salmon/goat cheese pate-filled marinated cherry peppers that were, how you say, to die for?
Then, I heard rumours of a fig/goat cheese appie that was making appearances at parties here. My dental hygienist was describing their deliciousness to me while she was scraping my teeth and hosing out my mouth. I was moaning and spitting at her in agreement...yes, yes, yes, must have some of those. Soooo, yesterday there they were at a little afternoon getogether sitting innocently on a tray, each one in its own tiny pastry shell.
I think I ate an embarrassing number of them.
To be continued...
i learned to drive in the snow.
i remembered how to pump my own gas.
i entered a grocery store and actually shopped.
i used up most of the 'back-up' basement food.
i slept like a zombie.
i spent less time cleaning the house.
i checked in on myself.
i trained the dog to be polite (mostly).
i thought a lot about the future.
i spent time with friends.
i forgot to pay the stupid credit union and got a delinquent notice.
i skied in the woods and enjoyed the quiet of that.
i learned how to make charcoal out of eggs.*
i believe that being alone is not the same as being lonely.
i am not lonely.
i had a birthday.
i read some really good books.
i like to cook for myself.
i am looking forward to having Mr.Big back.
*place eggs in pan to hard-boil, turn burner on and go out on the trail to ski for 2 hours.
**the Nelson Knitting Co-p where we all 'knit for good'...it's our motto.
Every year on my birthday (yes, it is today) to celebrate being alive and ambulatory, I make a point to get outside and work out. It is my birthday present to myself. I like to celebrate still having the use of my body....still having everything in working order. I am thankful that I have legs that can run and arms that are strong and a heart that keeps it all going. So, this year, living in the ice & snow of the lovely north, I took myself and my dog for a ski through the woods.
It was pretty nice.
Hit me with a snowball and push me down the hill. Slipping, sliding and gliding. We are in full snow mode here and it is just starting.Last night was amazing.
It was so cold and the snow was falling so softly that I found myself standing outside on the deck,
and listening to the quiet.
There is a sound to snow falling.
You can say what you want but I will argue that there is nothing more beautiful than waking up to the sun shining and fresh powder covering
Into the oven ...
Flip them over and brown on the other side....
Well, I am going to try and pass on a simple recipe that I have come up with after doing some research on making my own dog treats & food. It is so easy...really. Granted, PonyGirl is not a picky eater and is always hungry. I just want to know that what I am giving her is good. Okay, here it is and remember the proportions are NOT that important. It's the consistency that is key. Drier is better than wetter. (Dry is better than wet?).
You will need: Pumpkin (I use plain, canned )
You can use: oats, milk powder, a wee bit of wholegrain wheat flour, ground almonds, ground peanuts, quinoa, some good oil, nutmeg, ginger, oat
bran, ground coconut. You can use all of these ingredients or some of
Combine all the dry ingredients that you have. My approximate measure is abut
1/4 cup for the oats, milk powder, wholegrain wheat flour, ground almonds,
ground peanuts. A little less on everything else. And just a pinch of any spices.
Add enough of the pumpkin and oil to the dry ingredients only enough to moisten
the mixture and have it hold together. When the consistency is right (remember
dry is better than wet in this case) coat your hands with a little flour and shape
your treats. Here you can use your imagination and have fun. Place on a very
lightly oiled baking sheet and bake in 375' oven for at least 20 minutes (or more)
on each side until the treats are browned and crisp (like biscotti).
Taste them...they are pretty darn good, baby.
Addendum: you can also use shredded carrots and apples to vary the recipe although, remember, this will make the dough wetter, so cut back on the pumpkin or oil or add more dry ingredients. You can also top each treat with a blueberry for cuteness and dog seem to love them. I would love to hear any ideas and suggestions.
Disclaimer: I am not a vet or a nutritionist, although I do play one on the internet. Hah! Good Luck.
Its funny how just a generation or two ago, which is NOT that long ago, people didn't really think so much about what their dogs ate. I mean there wasn't any such thing as 'dog food' when I was growing up. Our family dog (one and only), Rusty, ate what we ate. As did everyone else's dogs. Rusty lived for 19 years! Can you imagine that? A mutt puppy that just showed up at our door on a Christmas Eve in a rural neighborhood way back...well way back in the olden days. Of course, she was dumped on our road by some awful person who just threw her away. Regardless, Rusty was ours and we were hers for the next nineteen years. She went everywhere with our family, without a leash, without a license (didn't exist then) and was just the most well-behaved dog ever. During all the time we had her in our life I do not ever remember her visiting a vet except once for spaying. Was it luck that she was so healthy? I do not think so. I think a big part of her long lifespan was living a fairly natural lifestyle.
Rusty enjoyed a rather traditional 'mediterranean' diet --- lots of fruit, vegetables, pasta, meat, fish and bread, for her entire life. Okay, folks, this is just my opinion but I think if YOU are what you eat, then it just makes sense that YOUR DOG is also what she eats. Which brings me to my point...finally. This new dog gets only real food. Real good food that takes into consideration that she is a dog. Unless you have been living in a bubble, you must be aware of the real food revolution going on. Funny how things come full circle and these days the stuff our ancestors ate (stuff from their garden and farm) are now what we are supposed to (and should) eat. They also got lots of exercise on a daily basis as did our dogs way back then. So real food and lots of daily exercise....any questions?.
I do make a large quantity of 'dog food' every week and freeze half of it. I also make yummy biscuit treats -- it is so easy to do and so much less expensive than buying questionable dog 'food' from the store. Will it make my dog live long? Not so important as being healthy for as long as she lives. I hope it works for me too.
BTW most dogs are omnivores as any one who has a dog knows. In fact, my girl discovered a lovely open compost pile the other day and feasted on old Halloween pumpkins and some other rotting vegetables. Once a Mexican street dog, always a Mexican street dog.
Well I was thinking about changing things up here on the old blog site so I tried a new template and....hated it! There followed a few moments of sheer panic trying to get back to this very basic design and I am so relieved to have recovered it. Phew, certain changes can be way too frightening. I think this 'old' version is just fine. It is simple and not so busy-bee with a dozen other things going on in the margins and on the top, etc. I just want to say a few words, post a few pictures and this format serves my purpose. This is no novel, it's not even a short story. It is just a place to essentially talk to myself and to garner a bit of feedback (which I dearly love) from some friends (whom I also dearly love) to bring me back to earth.
I have decided to make some other minor changes though. One is my 'links' list which I think needs to be updated. There are some more blogs out there are near and dear to my heart and I want to share them. The other reason is that I have noticed that a lot of people start a blog and then let it fizzle....sure there are lots of good reasons for that... but it kind of saddens me a bit when someone just stops posting. I often wonder what is going on. It is kind of like being dropped by a friend with no explanation. Yes, 'e-friends' are friends too, just in a parallel universe, and really, we can never have too many friends, 'e' or otherwise, can we? So, for anyone out there I am posting some random photos for no good reason at all and saying "HELLO".
I have a dilemma. I have been told, on occasion that I have a big mouth. I have also been told that my voice doesn't carry. Huh?
Sometimes I give voice to my opinion in an attempt at being honest and in an attempt to bring about a change. A change I perceive as necessary but more importantly, as possible. I get on roll with something and can NOT, not say anything. I really try to be diplomatic. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, as that is not my style and is never, ever my intention. I am doomed to the endless adolescent pursuit of being 'liked' over and above the nobler pursuits of adulthood. But it is frustrating when you can't get someone to see the brilliance ( oui, mes amis, being funny here) of the argument or the clarity of the point.
What is up with not being able to change the world? I know, I know... blah, blah, blah... one step at a time...be the change that you want to see....and all the rest of those inspirational homilies, but precisely when, should one just shut up? Sometimes, kindness itself, just doesn't seem to be enough and then... small voice comes out of big mouth from soft heart?
Sometimes a friend introduces you to someone so remarkable, that you realize (not that you actually forgot) that there are so many different ways 'to be' in the world. Here is someone who lives quite peacefully right smack dab in the thick of things. Visiting him and spending an afternoon on his property with his goats and his dog and the creek and the view just puts everything in place for me. He is so not preachy or braggy. He just seems so content and so sane. Even though his home is rather off the grid,' isolated ' is not a word that I would use to describe him. 'Full' would be much better.
Thank you Lynn and Nick for a wonder-full afternoon. The pasta and the wine just added to overall pleasure of spending that time with you.
Today I am trying to figure out how to protect myself from this feeling of suffocation. Let me try to explain. I am being suffocated by FOOD. Someone in my family (hint: it is not me) has a food hoarding addiction and is filling the basement with it. There are canned tomatoes, packages of pasta, cans of pumpkin, gigantic bags of flour, surplus baking supplies, bags of coffee, sacks of potatoes, a huge jar of marinated artichoke hearts and other stuff I am starting to forget about. In addition, I have my own small stash of homemade jams and garden tomatoes which is what the basement is for, in my mind. Every time 'this person' goes out, I am in fear of what he will bring home to store in the basement. Inevitably, he returns with some 'deal' that he couldn't pass up because it is something we use and will need again in the future...so into the basement it goes. Things are starting to get piled on top of other things. This is BAD.
Of all the things that aggravate me, and trust me, there are many, this one thing is my worst nightmare. How do I get it to stop? or at least to slow down? I have tried pretty much all approaches except... the ultimatum.
Now, here's the kicker...he wants to get a freezer!
Where is the oxygen tank?
I am loosely using this term to describe an episode (a Proust moment, perhaps) that recently stopped me and took me on a little trip back in time. We all have these moments, don't we? Something sets it in motion...a word...a smell...a look...it could be anything really. Suddenly, we are 'back there' again in all its glory... happy or sad or any of a million other feelings. For me, and not to belabour the issue, I time-travelled back to Cowgirl. Right there, in the woods on the most beautiful of fall afternoons I suffered ' a little death ' of sorts. The details are not so important but here they are anyway. I met a guy and his old, black & white dog on the trail. The dog had a pink, elastic bandage on one of her front legs. That was it. That pink bandage was all it took. My boarding pass. I melted on the spot as she gently pushed into me (the way old dogs do) and let me stroke her head and ears. She had some stitches on her neck, along a ragged incision from her recent surgery, and her guy said she wasn't feeling "so good these days". The tone of his voice said it all.
We continued on our walk and slowly came back to life.
Here are some pictures of a sheer, unabashed, in-your-face, look at me, how could you not, beauty of a night, on the road... somewhere. I remember this night and how cold it was and how utterly clear everything was.. There are no doubts on a night like this. There are no gray areas or half-truths. There is no wondering or questioning or searching. It is all pretty much right there in front you, bright and shining. What more proof do you need that all is as it should be?