Saturday, June 23, 2012

reposted: my thoughts on karma

i adamantly resist and reject the idea that past life karma is the reason for suffering in my life. i refuse to believe that any person could have done anything to have deserved the brutality and psychological hell that i went through growing up. it is, in my opinion, a pat lie told to keep a person in their 'place' and under some measure of control by others. to imply that a child, for example, deserves to watch as their sibling is brutally beaten before their eyes by their mother on the basis of some poor behavior in another lifetime is to say that somehow the child has moral responsibility for the brutalization of their sibling and the psychologically abusive effects of witnessing said abuse. i cry 'bullshit' on that.

terrible things happen. sometimes they happen for no discernible reason. frequently, they happen because the person engaging in the traumatizing activity views this as somehow beneficial to their goals (possibly even believing that it is beneficial to their victims). your suffering does nothing to alleviate the suffering of others except in the case where you have actively put yourself into harms way for the sake of preventing the other person from being harmed. we suffer. it is part of the human condition and part of the experience of living.
that which has traumatized one person may not traumatize another. part of understanding this is context. part of understanding it is understanding the other person's psyche. and, there is going to be part of this that simply will remain a mystery because the human brain is a proverbial 'black box' that we have simply no way of fully understanding.

all we can do is strive to live our lives in a fashion that is conducive to accomplishing our life goals and psychological health.

if you want to make your dreams real, do it. make a plan and work each day to implement some part of it. men who built multimillion dollar businesses from the ground up did it based on a plan for what they wanted to achieve and then relentlessly pursued it. authors who have written amazing texts did so one page at a time. these things do not occur in a vacuum. they are the result of planning, hard work, and dedication.
you may have little lies that you tell yourself that serves to uphold the illusion that you can not accomplish your dreams. they are serving some sort of purpose for you. there is some kind of need that you are meeting by NOT pursuing your dreams. the first step in accomplishing things rests in determining what that need is and finding an alternate way to answer it. the second step is making your plan. the third is implementing it.
you can accomplish great things in your life. i know. i've lived through hell, clawed my way out of it, and made many of my life goals come true before i hit 30. it was a LOT of work. there were parts (and still are) that were excruciating. in the end, however, it is worth it because i decided it was worth it.

don't let some other mealymouthed moron with an agenda stop you. they claim past life karma is why you suffer in this life. fuck that. no one knows for sure how past life karma manifests. there's a higher likelihood that you suffered misfortune because the person inflicting it was an asshole then that you're reaping some kind of karmic punishment for being an asshole in a past life. focus on today. focus on what you can do today to move you closer to accomplishing your dreams.

and fuck whoever tells you that you can't do it with a rusty crowbar.

Being a tolerant person isn't easy...

I try very hard not to let myself get annoyed with people around me. I work to be as gracious and pleasant as I can be. I usually manage to be the sort of person that leaves one with a smile on their face after meeting them. It's something of a point of pride, to be honest. I kinda feel like I have a mission of sorts to make this world a better place, even if it is in a small way.

My annoyance with some neighbors flies in the face of that effort. They're not intrinsicly bad people. On the whole, they seem to be decent folks. A tad bit thoughtless and a bit loud, but decent. Some how, they manage to irritate me regularly. To the point where I hide in the house rather then be outside when they are because they grate on my nerves.

I'm not proud of that. I strive to put that aside every time I go to interact with them. I work to be respectful and ladylike. I put in the effort to be charming and delightful for their child. And when my boys want to play with their little one, I don't stop them. I do what I can to encourage the children to play well together because I feel that it can only benefit them.

Despite all of this, these people rankle my nerves. When they are being loud, I restrain the urge to demand that they quiet down. When they decide to take up the front stoop and block the sidewalk with their afternoon impromptu gatherings, I actively work not to let myself get worked up over it. It is, however, becoming difficult. This, however, will pass. (I hope.)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Inspiration & Ideas about Food

Mavis really has something awesome going on with her blog. I find her writing to be really uplifting and inspiring. I'm also seriously considering her 'Reclaimed Food' concept. The idea of getting veggies and fruit for free intrigues me. While I don't have chickens to feed scraps to, I've got the beginnings of a compost bucket. And woods out back where I could possibly feed the deer.

I am really interested in this idea of getting food and putting stuff by for later in the season or in the off season. I don't think I'm going to get much for strawberries out of my plants. I feel rather disappointed by that. If I could get a bunch of them for pennies, I would have not only enough for my kids to snack on (and Snuggle Bug has decided that strawberries are the best fruit ever, after bananas) but I could make some jam. I want to make stuff like fruit leather for the boys as well.

I've been wracking my brain as to how to make this happen. Part of my question is how to obtain the produce for preservation in a manner that makes it financially more efficient then purchasing it the 'usual' manner. The other part of my question is how to make the investment work even in the face of the fact that I am a novice in food preservation and my space that is available for doing such work is limited.

One of the things that I am seriously considering is bartering babysitting time in exchange for some of what I grow/preserve/produce. I don't like the fact that Beloved's parents have done so very much babysitting for us and we haven't been able to do much in return. The idea of giving them a few quarts of homemade soup, canned tomatoes, and a couple loaves of fresh bread sits better with me then much of anything else that comes to mind. With that, I know that it will be appreciated and useful, and not take up extra space in their busy home.

I'm sure that I could work out some other similar arrangements with a few brave souls. It's just all about getting this to work despite the days of depression that descend on me.

Day 5 with out soda.

I have the biggest craving for Coca Cola right now. I've been doing my best to ignore it but it is really distracting me. Drinking tea doesn't do much for that sugar fix and having a popsicle isn't the same as drinking a glass of ice cold soda. I am telling myself that after a few weeks I won't even want it anymore. I feel like that is a rather horrid lie right now.

In other news, tonight makes just about a solid week of my cooking dinner at home with out the use of prepackaged items. I almost caved in and made the boxed macaroni and cheese. Then I remembered that the boys wouldn't do more then poke at it with a fork. At which point I made them PB&J and made up the stir fry that I had planned for tonight.

I've a boxed mix for pizza that I am debating using for tomorrow night. A part of me says that if I scrounge and look under couch cushions, I can locate enough spare cash to spend on pizza as another part of me says that it would be breaking my home cooked streak to do so.

If it wasn't so atrociously hot in the apartment right now, I would totally be baking cookies and a pan of brownies right now. As it is just shy of 80 F in here, with the window open, I'm not doing any baking tonight. Perhaps while the boys are off at preschool tomorrow morning, if it's tolerably cool in here. I've got stuff to make banana bread (or muffins) that I may do. After all, I ran out of waffles and I'm terrible at making pancakes.

I'm still agog that I managed to do the grocery shopping and have the total come to half of what I planned to spend. This makes me optimistic that perhaps I can find more ways to save money and pare the costs down for the household. Cutting out soda and prepackaged food may just be a significant savings financially. We'll see.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pickle report #2

It has been a crazy week. I did try the dill pickles the day after my last post. The next time I make them, I am definitely using more dill. I am also going to throw some garlic in there too.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Pickle Report #1

The dill free pickles are crunchy and with a bit of a sour kick. Aside from that little hit of sour, they are rather bland. I've decided that next time I am definitely not doing them plain. The pickles with the dill are going to be tried tomorrow. I want to give them another day to 'steep'. Now, however, I have to figure out how to use up the 'bland' pickles. Hmm...

Saturday, June 02, 2012

SCIENCE! in the kitchen.

I am making pickles FOR SCIENCE!!

Using this method for lacto-fermented pickles, I am hoping to have something pleasant in a few days. My quart jars were sterilized before I added the cucumbers. One has a bit of dill in it and the other is just the salt water brine. For one jar (the dill), I put a few layers of cheese cloth over it and put it aside. The second jar (with out dill) has the top of the mason jar screwed down but nothing secured. According to theory, this will allow the gases to escape. I'm curious and excited all at the same time.