It took longer than expected to shuffle through the darkness of the valley. Mental quicksand feels like a good way to describe it. Slowly, you sink… the more you struggle, the deeper you get. Every lifeline seems out of reach. But slowly, you shift, and you crawl, and you claw yourself back up on to firm ground.
A lot can happen in five years. New jobs, new lives, new ways to avoid picking up where you left off. It’s been long enough that the despair from the publishing shills has worn off. Let’s check that off the bucket list.
Listeners have likely fallen by the wayside due to the long hiatus. But I’m here, again, hoping I can get this idea train to pick up speed and leave the station far behind.
Hardness remains where hope once was. What didn’t kill me has made me stronger, stranger and ready to do some damage.
Can’t wait till I have some peppers ready!
I’ve been meaning to share my chilli sauce recipe with you for a while, and now that I’m having my second miraculous straight day at my computer I’ll have at it. This is a very malleable and forgiving recipe – it’s also great fun. Just don’t fiddle around with your eyeballs for a bit afterwards.
Apple Cider Vinegar (around 2 cups for this batch)
Juice of 2 fat lemons (or more – you can change with vinegar as per your own preference)
1 Whole head of garlic – peeled and chopped
2 Chopped medium onions
About a finger-length chopped Lemongrass (optional)
1 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
4 to 5 Cups snipped green Chillies
You’ll need a blender for this recipe.
I suggest using empty, unwashed Vodka bottles for storage to begin with.
1. Put the lemon juice, salt, half of the vinegar, the garlic, onions…
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The humdrum of the ferocious winter is finally starting to lift <it’s Spring damnit, start acting like it!> and as the snow clears and the comfort food coma lifts, the focus on the year ahead starts to come in to focus. (I know, I know, we’re almost 4 months in to the new year already, so sue me!)
In the deep winter tundra, everything takes two times longer than you think it should. Getting dressed <6 layers might be enough to keep me warm in the -20 walk from the parking lot>, getting to work <I haven’t seen a snow plow in hours, is that an intersection or a white out?>, even getting groceries becomes a task equal to that of scaling Everest. Needless to say, for those of us in the North, in the winter things seem to go just a little bit slower as keeping warm, fed and out of the ditch consumes both our waking and sleeping hours. (Try waking up at 3am to a house that’s 30 degrees because the furnace. just. couldn’t.)
After the temperate torture sessions have finally lifted, it’s easier to get back to thinking of things that are ‘enjoyable,’ not just necessary for survival. Back to the keys, back to the projects, back to setting up in a little pool of sunshine and letting the imagination run wild.
I’m waiting on baited breath to be able to announce the formality of some shenanigans that have been in the works for almost a year now. It’s exciting on many levels, and daunting on the rest. But even when the snow is blowing and everything seems dormant, rest assure that the roots are gaining strength and preparing to burst out in flagrant <and maybe fragrant> color at the first sign of light.
This year promises to be all Lion and no Lamb.
I’ve been waiting to post something until I had something nice to say. It’s been a whirlwind summer and I’m still recovering. Lots of new things, lots of old things, and lots of tiring things.
I’ll start simple.
I like leather.
I like wine.
I ordered new business cards! Woo!
Now, why is it only Tuesday?
Why keep trying to beat someone at a game you don’t want to play? Interests and focuses evolve and change as we learn new things about our world and ourselves.
THEY say “Hold On!” But whose dreams am I holding on to? What do you do when you realize you’re still trying to measure yourself by goals you set before you even joined the adult world? Naive expectation based on the way things “should” be, informed only by hope, logic and fairy tales.
This is not the way of the world.
The legacy of civilization carries with it inherent flaws which have defied evolution, lurking in the shadows of subtext. A generation is a small window of time, educated by its peers and environmental influences; it fails to grasp the bigger picture of how the machine began or the necessary evils that make it tick.
There is no level playing field and there never will be.
I neither want nor expect to have the life I wanted at 20. The world changed, forcefully, not long after that. The bright hopes on the horizon flickered and faded. Things got harder, things got leaner and the competition for merely enough to pay the bills increased.
It’s been that way ever since. Wondering when the other shoe is going to drop has become a way of life. Someone stole the brass ring and sold it for scrap.
It’s a new game… the old rules are useless.
Some of my girls like conflict, I admit it. We… They … thrive on being able to best an opponent, no matter what gender, age or size. My dames dig damage. The rest of the world doesn’t always agree.
It’s not proper. It’s not ladylike. Don’t let them know that you’re stronger, faster, smarter. They don’t like that. Don’t talk that way. Don’t like those things…. it’s not appropriate.
Things that aren’t lady like are the best kinds of things. It’s no fun being a lady, I’ve had to do it a lot. No one says “Remember that time I knew what the shrimp fork was?” though they might fondly remember “Remember that time I ripped apart that entire chicken* with my bare hands?” Carnage is awesome.
Some of us are drawn to opposition, conflict and the like. Not because we want it, but because we’re not scared. It’s encouraged for boys to be brave. Why shouldn’t we be? Because it’s not ladylike….
I make a horrible damsel, it’s true. My hair isn’t long enough, I don’t wear dresses and I tend not to trip awkwardly when running away from things. IF I bother to run away. If a conflict can’t be neatly sidestepped, I’m more than happy to meet it head on. This tactic has had mixed results over the years but I rarely regret not running away. Bullies don’t know what to do with that, even as adults. It’s not always a matter of physical confrontation, but of self esteem and emotional control. You can’t make me cry. You can’t make me run. Your. Move.
“Princess” culture has never been my thing, despite being raised to know when to be a lady. Even as a kid, I wanted the princess’s horse, screw the girl in glass heels. (They’d hurt terribly anyhow. No wonder damsels trip.) What the modern self proclaimed ‘princesses’ fails to realize, is what the life of a REAL princess would entail. Extensive schooling, extensive training on etiquette, trivia, sewing, philanthropy, dance, strategy, arranged marriages for political gain…. it’s not all tutu’s an bon bon’s.
Keep your tiara, I’d rather have my soul.
I encourage all girls (and women) to add a little ‘warrior’ to their ‘princess’. Test your limits. See how well you can aim. Don’t be afraid of a friendly tussle. We get older and we forget… how we ran and played and bounced off the ground or tree or rock without a second thought. How we physically interacted with our environment beyond a keyboard and a screen.They are useful extensions for thoughts and ideas but they don’t compare to the feel of rough bark sliding under your fingers, or a cold stream shocking you awake as the water permeates the seals on your ‘water resistant’ shoes.
Learn strategy and how to pick your battles. Life shouldn’t be a constant fight nor a constant retreat. There’s no use ‘playing small’, because the more you do, the smaller you feel. You will be invisible if you act invisible. It’s a super power I’ve seen… or not seen… first hand.
Don’t be afraid to make them think. Make them nervous. Make them wonder… Even if you are wearing a skirt and a smile.
*Cooked. I’m no monster.