Stirring And Mixing To The Solution, Or Problem Solving My Style

There is something comforting about home baked, warm chocolate chip cookies!  Well, unless you happen to be the warm, baked chocolate chip cookie.  Then I suppose you might feel far more than just uncomfortable!😊

But since I am not a cookie, I find the smell of them to be comforting.  A bit of a time machine because they can let me get back to my childhood, or at least memories from that time.  And the taste, that first warm and melting bite is even more amazing at transporting me back!  😊

So it’s really not that odd that when I’m working through something, or trying to sort things out, I turn to making cookies.  Sure I will make other flavors too, but I must always start with chocolate chip cookies and end with them again.  I consider it a tradition, Beloved calls it a ritual.  Either way it’s what I turn to while others might turn to yoga or a run.  The bigger the issue, the more cookies that I bake.  It can’t be helped!

Now in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal, it just means we have a well stocked freezer and kitchen at times when it comes to cookies.  How bad can that be? 😉    If you happen to be someone with almost no willpower, then I guess this may be somewhat of an issue.  Fortunately for me, after eating a few of the freshly baked cookies, if I haven’t solved whatever it is that is bothering, I simply move onto making more cookies.

Where this becomes an issue is because in my life, this seem to come in spurts.  Smooth sailing is interrupted by several waves (issues) at the same time or one right after the other before I get back into smooth sailing.  So it means that the freshly baked cookie cycle in my house is literally feast or feminine.  Sure there are frozen cookies to be had, but they don’t provide the same comfort.  And to be honest it’s the making and the eating of the fresh cookies that provides the magic so often times when I have made several batches, I simply give away a whole bunch.

To me this is a win-win situation.  I let the magic of the making of cookies help me find the answers I seek and friends and loved ones get to consume my problem solving methods!  The only downside, really, is the dishes.  Now if I could get the magic to clean that up, I’d be all set! 😉

What They Say vs What It Is

It’s a phase, they say.  A stage you will out-grow they say.  Of course no one will give you a definite timeframe for when that specific phase ends or when you will out-grow something.  Oh so helpful!

I’m still waiting for that moment when I’ve out-grown that sense of everyone watching and judging me.  Of course I’m also waiting for the stage of being awkward in certain situations just disappears!

Since neither of these things have happened and I’m adult settled well into adulthood for that matter, what I have come to learn is that you don’t always outgrow things and phases don’t always end.  What changes is you.

How I deal with those awkward moments, or what I perceive as awkward, has changed.  I’ve gotten better at not worrying about being awkward and moving through social situations differently.  I’ve also come to realize that just as I think everyone is watching and judging me, thus making me self-conscious, everyone else has these same feelings and concerns.  The reality is we are all too worried and self-conscious to really scrutinize others to that extent.

So to those people who’ve told me it’s just a phase and that I will out-grow it, I say hooey to you!  To those who feel all awkward and self-conscious, I assure you that at some point you will learn how to handle these things in a way that works best for you!  Hang in there and share your experiences with others if you feel you can.


Forgiving and Second Chances

Who am I to judge another person’s transformation for authenticity?  Thankfully I don’t have to, unlike a few of my friends who make their living doing just that.

Both of them work in prisons as chaplains.  While they minister to the incarcerated they are asked to write letters to parole boards, for pardons, reduced sentence and such.  They don’t always write those letters or speak on behalf of the people.  However they say, if the change is an honest change, they will go to bat on behalf of the individual.

I distinctly recall, in one of the classes I took with my friends, that something like 80% of all people who are incarcerated claim to find religion or strengthen their beliefs while they are locked up.   I guess that it’s like the old saying that you don’t find atheists in foxholes during battles.

I do believe that these kinds of transformations can and do take place.  I’m grateful that I don’t have to figure out if the transformations are just for show or are the real thing.

One of my friends says he doesn’t worry too much about that, he looks at the evidence he sees and feels and listens to what his heart tells him.  Of course he also believes that actions show dedication, or lack there of, to the words that are read or spoken.

Both of my friends tells me that even when they go to bat for someone, they do so in a respectful way so as not to negate or diminish the crime/actions that led to the person being incarcerated.  They both believe in second chances, even third and point to the scriptures of how and why we must do this. As they point out, what makes one person better than another.  Human’s, according to scripture, are not perfect and as long as we learn and move in the right direction that’s all they can ask for; that’s all anyone can expect.

Scriptures are black and white, or whatever color the text is printed in!  Humans and our behaviours aren’t always black and white, we are bound to make mistakes as we go on our journeys.  We are fortunate to have people who understand that forgiveness doesn’t equate to approval of what we have done in the past.  Rather forgiveness and second chances are an opportunity to show what we have learned, apply the lessons to our lives and be better people.

Who Is Responsible, Or What I’ve Learned About Justice As A Child

I grew up with some very close friends, they went with me every where I went and partook in all my fun and activities.  They also tended to be a bit on the naughty-side.  I’d like to say I’ve out grown them, but now and then they still make an appearance in my life.  Their names say it all:  Wasnt-Me and I-Dont-Know.

So many times, while I was growing up Wasnt-Me would break or damage things.  My parents would insist that I had broken or damaged an item.  When I protested, insisting Wasnt-Me was responsible, my parents became more frustrated.  If something was moved or hidden, you can bet your dollar that I-Dont-Know was behind the act. But of course no one believed me no matter how earnestly I offered up the name of the offender.

I suppose though, part of my parents problem was that they couldn’t see either of my two friends.  That may be why they struggled to accept that I was in fact answering their questions and not being a brat!  😉

It wasn’t that I asked for these friends, rather they chose me.  I think they probably were a bit like elves or such where they visited lots of children, caused mischief and then ran away leaving the children to deal with the fall out.  Woe to the child who had parents such as mine.  We were left holding a bag that we couldn’t possible explain away.

In a fit of rage, although now looking back now I’d  say it was ingenuity, my father claimed to dust for finger prints after a clock was broken.  According to my father it was impossible for Wasnt-Me to have been responsible for the breakage because only my finger prints were found on the evidence.  Well of course my finger prints would be in the evidence, I had touched it after it was broken.  Had been less scared and a little faster on my feet I could have argued logically that since Wasnt-Me was invisible it stands to reason that the finger prints perpetrator would be invisible too.

Instead I got punished because I made the mistake of touching the evidence after the fact.  But I learned a valuable lesson from my two friends, always wear gloves around them so as not to leave finger prints! 😉  Actually what they both taught me is that sometimes justice cannot handle the full truth, blind or otherwise.

The Bounty This Time Of Year

The four-footed ones have taken the idea of outdoor living indoors to a whole new level. I know she people take indoor living outside, but not my dogs.  They’d prefer to have the great outdoors inside at all times.

Colourful leaves are almost a given in the house at this time of year.  Some times they dogs can’t help it because he fallen leaves get stuck to their fur.  But other times they deliberately bring leaves in and drop them all over the floor so they can roll around on them and thus grind the crumbly leaves into the carpet.  Such fun!  For the dogs I guess, not so much for me.

They also bring in their outside playmates, insects get stuck in their fur.  And because they simply cannot make up their mind if they want to be inside or outside the door is constantly being opened and closed, allowing the flies to find warm places in the house.  And let us not forget the insects they have “sampled” outside and decide to spit out inside the house.

Youd be surprised at how well beetles get by without being able to use all of their legs or a crushed antennae.  Or maybe you are a bit more like me and it’s a disgusted fascination that the poor beetle served the trip in the dog’s mouth! 😝

Dirt is also plentiful this time of year.  Dirt to roll in, sit in, flop down on and get stuck to fur.  Dirt that requires you shake hard to get it off your body.  This is best done in the house, preferably a room that a human has just cleaned! 😉

N top of these delights, this is the time of year that some of the vegetation is rotting and who can resist rolling around in that?  Of course it’s best done when the vegetation is still a bit damp because the scent lasts long and clings perfectly to fur and toes.  Best of all this stuff isn’t easy to clean off so the dog can happily spread it around the house while you try to get the dog into the tub for a bath.

Of course my dogs aren’t finished, they can then spread that dreadful, smelly stuff all through out the bathroom.  Once clean and nice smelling again, the dogs will go back to the door to repeat the process.  Now granted some people are a little more relaxed about this stuff and allow bits and pieces of the great outdoors inside their homes.  I guess it’s a bit like saying I’d you can’t beat them you might just as well join them.  But what part do you give into?  Do you let the leaves just stay getting ground in?  Do I accept bugs as new pets?  What about the dirt or rotten vegetation?  Which is the least of the evils to accept?  Or am I just crazy to fight this battle?  After all, some people have told me it’s unnatural to fight nature thusly.

The Seasons Two View Points

It’s the time of year where I can finally exhale, even if just for a few moments.  Summer has wrapped up, which means wedding season is winding down completely thank goodness!  😉

Christmas season hasn’t started up yet so I don’t have to go through that torture just yet.  Don’t  me wrong, I don’t have anything really against Christmas, other than that there is some false cheer, and worst of all, dressing up!  Yep almost like wedding season.

After Christmas there is a bit of time to exhale again before spring and summer hit us.  And once again it’s time to stop exhaling and get on with the getting in of whatever it is that is happening.

Basically shoes that aren’t comfortable, dresses I will never wear again and gifts to buy.  Oh wait sounds like Christmas, but with better weather!  OKay honestly it isn’t all that bad, but those tend to be my immediate impression of it.

Beloved doesn’t see it this way, to him Summer is time to spend with friends and make peace with nature.  Autumn is a time of color and getting away with embracing your inner child with Halloween.  Christmas is time with loved news and finds and then Spring comes along with fresh color and a new beginning again.

Beloved also will tell you that Spring and Summer are times of weddings.  That Autumn is a time of bounty and harvest and then Christmas rounds out the winter.  Of course he likes getting dressed up, mostly because he doesn’t wear heels and he can wer the same suit without worry.  Just once I’d like him to have to get the uncomfortable shoes and spend way too much in a dress he will never wear again!😉

I guess it is all matter of what you want to see and take from it!

Apples, Ponies and Its Not What It Seems

When I was growing up my parents had friends who owned a small acreage  with a pond where the ducks liked to visit.  They also had two ponies, older ones.  I used to lean over the wooden fence and pick apples off the tree to feed to the ponies.

This behavior was frowned upon.  The apples on the trees were for people, the ones that had fallen on the ground were for the ponies.   Clearly this was a rule that everyone was just supposed to know naturally and if you didn’t follow it the most stern of looks would be sent your way.  The ponies would get in trouble as well, for being naughty enough to eat the apples that didn’t belong to them.

I was always puzzled as to how the ponies were supposed to know the difference.  I also wondered how it was such a big deal if the ponies got a few apples off the tree since the people couldn’t possibly eat them all.

Of course the fact that some were turned into jelly, others juice and still others baked or frozen never occurred to me as a child.  The only thing I could think is that there was no way they could eat all those apples on the tree before they spoiled.  Well that and the fact that the ponies deserved some nice apples too!

Now as adult, I realize it was hardly a farm, and they weren’t farmer.  The man had a regular day job in the city, he worked with my dad to be exact.  I can’t recall what the woman did, but she was working somewhere too.  Their home and property was their way to have a bit of the rural life, complete with ponies, without being committed completely to that style of living.  Instead they managed to find something that worked for them, a balance of time in the city and time out with nature.

As a product of city living, I always find the absolute silence and stillness in rural areas to be unsettling.  It’s a bit like waiting for something to happen when nothing is supposed to happen.  I am not able to relax the same in this silence the way I can in a city, and yet I yearn to have a small space that I can go to and find silence or what have you.

I mentioned this to real estate agent, who told me it would be possible to live that life if I wanted to, but she asked if I would be truly happy with at type of balance.  Maybe.  If I got some ponies, and a donkey, oh and some deer…  So basically the answer is no, no I wouldn’t really be happy that way.