Friday, August 23, 2013

Several things, no connection...

Heart Cloud
It's Friday. This has been a great week - for no particular reason. It's been a lot of little things strung together and I'm very thankful.

Work has been challenging for a while and I've been kind of down about it. This week I may have finally crested the hill. I am actually totally current in one aspect and that hasn't been true in months. CURRENT. Woo.

One day last week, I was talking to my co-worker and I said "Look at the sky the clouds are just beautiful." She came over to the window to look and said "Do you see the heart?" And there it was.  This is the photo I snapped with my phone.  There is the big heart and below to the left is a small heart.  Life is really amazing.

I've been seeing signs of love everywhere, lately.  I took a rubberband off a stack of mail a couple of weeks ago, set it down on my desk and sorted through the pile.  A couple of minutes later I glanced around to find a pen when I noticed the shape the discarded rubberband created. Both of these are unexpected, yet tangible proof that love is all around and we only have to be aware and open to it.

Everything I've pickled so far has turned out amazing. It's such a giant high. Two nights ago we tried the 2nd batch of fermented pickles, the spears. My oldest said, "Did you have any idea when we were stuffing cucumbers into jars that we were making the best tasting pickles in the world?" It really was a laugh out loud moment. He is naturally funny and has this way of phrasing things that really makes me giggle. Anyway... They are delicious. Sour, salty, crunchy, spicy. I may have mentioned the Dilly Beans and Spicy Grape Tomatoes, so I'll skip those. I also made pepper rings. The thing about canning your own peppers is that they are crunchier than anything you might find in a jar from the store. I'm not exactly sure why, but they are not mush and I'm enjoying it immensely. Also, canning your own peppers means they can be as hot as you like them. I put mild banana peppers in with a couple of jalapenos, which give all the peppers heat, but not as hot as just jalapenos. Another reason I think we find the canned items so great is that we are only putting in things we like. When you buy from the store, you have to take the spice combos as they are. But, not if you're canning. If you don't like star anise you leave it out. If you like it dilly, you have three ways to add it. Like garlic, add. Don't like garlic, skip. So, because our canned items are customized to us, they really are "the best ever".

Do you know people who fictionalize their life? I'm not talking about keeping private things private or even mis-remembering the occasional detail. I'm talking about the systematic re-writing of their personal history. It's puzzling to watch. That's really all I have to say about it. It's puzzling.

Yesterday I put a chuck roast in the crock pot on low before I left for work. I added a cup of beef broth, some black pepper, and a sliced onion. Oh, and couple cloves of garlic. I left it on low all day. When I came home, I shredded the beef with two forks and smashed the garlic and mixed it all together with the broth. I made mashed potatoes (peeled, diced, boiled, drained, etc). We had a scoop of mashed potatoes, smothered in the shredded beef and broth, surrounded by buttery peas. (I love peas and mashed potatoes, do you?). What would be really good here is a picture. Dang. Anyway, I promised to share my successful dinners and this is one. It was ready in under 30 minutes and was a hit with all.

Well, after working so hard on this post, I needed a little sustenance, so I had a pickle. Fermented pickles rule!

A family member had a mishap with a riding mower and though fine, was a little banged up. In telling the mower's sibling about the incident, the sibling starts complaining about the mower and the work that will have to be done and what was so and so thinking and isn't this a fine mess. Oh, there was more, but you get the idea. It's the sort of response that makes the sibling look like a GIANT weenie. Rather than identifying and owning true feelings, the sibling was raging about the mower. As if the mower is anything at all to the sibling. But, it was easier and habit to be pissed and pissy about the mower, thus avoiding the fear or worry that your sibling could easily have had a serious accident or worse. So, the lesson in there for all of us, when you catch yourself emulating the GIANT weenie, stop. It's okay to be scared or worried. It's okay to cry. Heck, it's even okay to say nothing.  By witnessing the weenie up close and personal, I get a chance to choose something else. And for that, I'm grateful!

Well, that's about all there is for this Friday. I'm considering dusting off my sewing skills and making something fun. Happy Friday!

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