Literally Pieces Of Cake

I started the day with the plan of making a cake.  Not just any cake, but a blood orange cake with blood orange cream and layers.  The recipe was rather long, a whole page with extremely detailed instructions.  There was also a warning about being careful if it was too humid out and such.  Okay so not just a long recipe, a bit challenging.  Okay so daunting is the right word.

But the whole day stretched endlessly in front of me and why not.  The cake was for a friend who had just started up a new business and was in need of a pick-me-up.  So yes bring on this daunting recipe.  I’m ready.  Or so I thought.

And then the daunting recipe was brought forth with ingredients and measuring implements.  It may have been the apron that started the process. Yes the apron.  The one I never wear.  Except today for some reason I felt the need to wear it.  That may have been the beginning of the great unravel.

Or perhaps it was when the first orange decided it didn’t want to be zested.  I mean it did  protest via squirting me on the eye when I set about to juicing it.  I should have taken all those signs into account and questioned if the cake would really do justice for my friend.

But that’s just not me.  I’m too determined or stubborn.  So I carried on making the cake.  I mixed and stirred and sifted and baked.  I whipped and spread and tried like crazy to make it all level.   Surely it’s okay if the cake looks homemade.  I mean we all know I’m not a professional baker.  It’s the thought and all that after all.

So it is a bit lopsided and the blood orange cream wasn’t spread perfectly.  But no big deal.  Nope the big deal wasn’t even all the dishes, amount of time or anything like that.  Driving the cake to my friend, not a big deal. Making the cake and delivering the cake are what you do for a friend after all. Dropping the cake on her floor?  Priceless.  In the wrong way.  Other than she had a few good laughs, the kind of laughs that make you cry.  But the thought and the heart-felt intent is there right?

Fresh Air, Do You Care

My mother used to say fresh air would help you sleep better.  I never really understood how simply being outside would help me sleep better later that night.  Whether I read a book in the house or read a book outside,  seem to sleep the same.  So I had always assumed this to be an excuse to get me outside.

And yet.  And yet friends who have small children say that they notice a difference if the children are outside during the day to how they sleep that night.  It’s apparently a deeper sleep and the potential for the child to sleep in the next morning is greatly increased.  But is it the outdoor air or is it the child playing himself to exhaustion?

You see here is what I don’t understand.  Animals live outside.  Some even spend their whole lives outside.  Do they sleep better than animals that go into borrows or dens or barns?  I have, on occasion, nursed an injured animal or two in my house.  I’ve even raised some orphans until they could manage on their own.  I didn’t notice a difference in how they slept.  But again I’m no expert so I may be missing the cues.

Does this mean if I want to stay awake longer or sleep fitfully I should not go outside?  By the way the dogs don’t seem any different if they have been outside or spent all day indoors.  Perhaps I shall have to send Beloved out for a period of time and then observe his sleep.

What do you think?  Does fresh air, even that with pollution, help people sleep better?

Medical Mania or My Crazy Medical Mind

I have at least three terminal illnesses and a few rather exotic ones as well.  At least according to my research.  On the Internet.  Which of course is always the best way source of diagnosing oneself.  Especially if you allow yourself to go to the most extreme measures.

For instance, I have no clue how this happened, but I have a small area on my finger tip that feels as if something is embedded in it.  Now there is nothing visible to the naked eye, so after some research it’s rather clear that I have only a short time left before my finger falls off.  Hey it could happen.  Perhaps.  But I hope not.

I had developed a strange pain the area of my ribs so that’s clearly a collapsed lung.  Has to be right?  At least something serious because a strained muscle is umm not the fun stuff the Internet brought up.

Even better is that friends will use the Internet to help me solve my concerns.  So when I mentioned that I was feeling more exhausted than usual, it was determined that I must have terminal cancer.  That was from a close friend who was trying to help me.  She struggled trying to break the news to me.

Broken toe?  Hardly.  My toe wasn’t broken, the bone was dissolving and the foot would clearly eventually fall off.  So that’s going for me too.

And I know I’m not alone in this fun.  And that’s kind of what it is, I mean I obviously have some serious health issues with lupus, but it’s also amusing in a strange way.  It wouldn’t be if my bones were dissolving and my foot was going to fall off.  It wouldn’t be, if I took this as my only form of diagnosis.

Waterscapes Of A Sort

Some people have swimming pools on their property.  Some of those swimming pools are big affairs.  We had an inflatable pool, for the dogs, but it didn’t last the whole season.  But some people have big pools, made of concrete.  He’s humans can swim and even dive in.

Clearly we are not those people with that kind of pool.  Because if we were those people, our dogs would be in that pool and not an inflatable pool.  And that’s not even because we’d want the dogs in the pool.  Nope, that would be because the dogs had made up their minds that they belonged there.

But we don’t have those problems, because as I said we don’t have a pool.  We do, however, have a canal.  Yep a canal.  They are all the rage I think, or will be.  I mean anyone can have a pool.  But a canal?  It takes a bold  person to dig a canal in their yard.  Especially when that person’s land doesn’t go into open water.  But these, my friends are minor things.  Because we have a canal.

We didn’t start off wanting a canal.  Wasn’t planned.  We simply ripped up some paving stones because we needed to re-level out the area.  The problem is once we ripped up these massive paving stones it rained.  Rain gathers in depressions.  Paving stones leave depressions in the earth.  Add a considerable amount more rain and viola, you too can have a canal.  If you do it right you can even have boats in your canal.  We do.  Granted they are small, paper boats, but hey.  It all starts with a dream!

Not So Simple Really

It was a simple question really, emeralds or pearls.  I just wanted to know which necklace to wear to the fancy dress party.  But somehow the simple question lead to a much larger discussion.  A larger discussion that somehow ended with me not wearing either necklace.  Of course it also resulted in me not going out to the party either.

What I thought was a discussion about whether the emeralds or pearls went better with my dress somehow ended up being a discussion about ethics and morality.  I’ve never managed a short discussion about ethics or morality, certainly not with Beloved.  Beloved lives for these discussion.  The man spends his time thinking about these things and then trying to figure out how to fit them into conversation.

apparently emeralds are unethical what with having to be mined.  Mining is not safe.  Mining though really doesn’t pay the miners well.  So emeralds are unethical and frankly according to Beloved somewhat immoral.  Of course he bought me the emeralds, but hey who’s keeping score? 😉

Pearls, on the other hand can be farmed.  But that’s wrong too because we are forcing a poor animals to create something solely for our gain.  As far as the animal is concerned, the process is an irritating one.  Certainly not the polite or right thing to do in the grand scheme of things.

By the time we were done the discussion I frankly had no energy or desire to attend the party.  I just wanted to get comfortable and forget all about which went best with my dress.  I’m not even a fan of dressing up so there is that to!

Food For Thought

Belived came home with some freshly caught fish.  Not fish he caught, because I have a feeling he’d feel a need to set the fish free.  He doesn’t, however, have any issue with bringing home a fish someone else has caught and cleaned/dressed.  Maybe it has to do with the eyes.  Maybe the fish looks at him with those innocent doe-like eyes and he is compelled to send it back home, back to freedom.

It was a lovely fish and he had grand plans to grill it with some lemons and dill.  With brilliant sun and not a cloud in the sky he decided to fire up the outdoor grill and cook the fish out there.  This is a nice touch, when the weather cooperates because then the whole house doesn’t smell like, well, fish…cooked fish.

He managed the whole prep work outside as well.  With some assistance from the four-footed ones of course.  The minute they discovered what was in the package he brought home they were stuck to him like glue.  Well actually they followed the fish and it just so happened he was the one who moved the fish to the great outdoors.

He was a bit occupied outside with slicing lemons and chopping dill.  Bravery he had turned his back on the dogs.  And the fish.  Now the dogs love fish.  They adore fish. But they’d prefer that it’s cooked.  They just keep forgetting this tiny little detail.  It’s just a small thing really.  Except when they act on their desire for the fish.  Before it is cooked.  Then it’s a huge deal.  Like today.

They grabbed the now open package and took it out under the tree where they suddenly remembered they don’t like sushi style fish.  Not one bit.  Not even with a coating of dirt and bugs.

The thing is, we aren’t fans of dirt and bug crusted fish either.  Certainly fish that has been in the mouths of the dogs, which I know some might call extra seasoning.  So the lovely fish that was supposed to be cooked on the grill with lemons and dill was n t be.  But it’s the thought that counts right? 😊

Picnic Problems

They say when you have a picnic, the ants will find their way in case you forgot to send them invitation.  After all, no picnic is complete without all the right elements:  food, weather, company, blanket and ants.  Ants somehow make the picnic complete.

And yet knowing this, I’d just as soon not share my picnic with ants.  I know that sounds mean, rude and in fact arrogant.  And I mean really who am I to say that the ants aren’t allowed to partake of a picnic?  And I don’t really want to say no to ants at all picnics, just that I’d prefer to not have them at mine.  I know, it’s a horrible thing to say…but it’s the truth.

So when I was invited to a picnic, my first thought was how to ensure the ants wait their turn, like until I’m gone.  It’s not as if you can ask the host “So have you figured out how to relocate the ants?”  Well okay so technically you can ask that question, even provide some suggestions on how to get ride of the ants.  But it’s not really appropriate.  Besides, some people need ants at their picnics.

Now thankfully it turns out that this picnic I was invited to happens to be indoor and no sitting on the ground.  So for me the ant deal is not really an issue at this picnic.  But there will be other ones and right now the best answer I’ve managed to find for the ants to still have a picnic and not cause a major issue on my part is to out a little picnic out just for them.  A little distance between mine and theirs, but still somewhere near by each other.  Hey it’s the little this!

Full Of Living Life

I was listening to a man explain that the key to living your passions in life is to just simply do it.  If you dream it, or have a passion for something, you should simply go about and try to live it as fully as you can.  Abandon all paralyzing fear, set aside judgements and excuses and just do it.

it all sounds so easy, I mean you boil this down to a few simply phrases and viola you are on your way.  Except it’s never that easy.  First you must find you passion.  Not a passing lust, but a pure passion.  Next you need to take you passion and apply it to your whole life.  Sometimes at the cost of things.  You must put you full energy into this without excuses.  Try that when here is so much stuff going on in the “sidelines” of your life.

My father once told me that if you got to the end of your life with little regrets and no energy leftover, you probably lived a full life.  He also told me that to move a full life you had to set aside things like worrying about what other people would think about you.  He told me he didn’t think he’d make the grade on living fully and he was okay with that.  He may have a few more regrets, but he certainly wouldn’t have had to kick out some space to light the way for what he wanted so that was an ideal trade-off.

perhaps to live your passions you have to be willing to have that become your whole life.  Sure you make some space here and there for the other stuff and people, but you must live completely for and with your passion.  And that can be daunting as well, when you consider how many aspects of your life might be ignored or placed on a lower priority.  I know my dad wouldn’t be happy living that kind of life.  The question is, where do I fit into that equation.  How about you?  Where do you fit?

Dance of Success

When I was a little girl I was enrolled in ballet.  I have no clue what the real motivation was for my parents to think I belonged in ballet.  Maybe they thought it would be a way to teach me discipline.  Perhaps it was because at some point I liked to dance around or twirl on my toes.  I honestly do not know, it wasn’t something that we ever discussed.

I was simply enrolled in classes, provided with shoes and less than frilly outfits.  I learned how to stand and bend.  I learned positions and the barre.  I learned that my ballet teacher had once danced in a ballet troupe, but not a huge one so she had to settle for teaching to stay with her passion of ballet.

She told us that it was not a case of broken dreams or not being good enough, rather it was a story of success.  A way of holding onto her dream, keeping her passion alive and sharing it with others.  To her dance, and where she ended up, was a dream come true.

At that age, I had no clue what she was talking about.  When I was a teenager, she was once again my ballet teacher and she shared her story again.  I remember thinking that she wasn’t fooling anyone with saying she had a successful life.  She hadn’t become a ballerina with a major company.  She taught ballet to some girls who were gifted or talented, but primarily to girls who lacked any real skill or talent.

Looking back now, her true success was finding a way to keep her dream alive, make a living doing what she loved and being free and comfortable with her life.  She didn’t care if she wasn’t the star.  She cared that she had made her self the best she could be and knew talent when she saw it.

She recently got in touch with me via one of my friends who happened to be talented.  My friend put in the work and effort required to master those positions and dance.  I struggled with discipline.  You see I wanted to leap and twirl and do what I wanted to do and no that did not include practice.  Apparently I had left an impression upon her and so when my friend was back in town and visiting the studio she asked my friend who gave her my contact information.

When she asked me if I still danced, I explained that while I learned an appreciation for the grace that came from hard work, I personally did not dance.  I didn’t dance because I knew I wasn’t that good and because my health didn’t permit it.  She told me that inside everyone is a graceful dancer of sorts, even if only in our dark bedrooms when no one else can see us.   See?  Even know in her older years this lady is still successful at living life with dance and connecting me back to it.  Perhaps, if I grow up, I too may find a way to be successful in that same model, but with my passion.


Despite Meaning

When people ask me about the meaning I’ve found to my life I have no clue how to answer this.  I don’t know that I’ve found the meaning to living my life.  I’m still trying to figure what the heck it means to have a meaningful life.  Meaningful based on what?  According to whom?

I can tell them that the meaning in my life is not to nurture plants.  I mean if that was the purpose of my life I’d be failing dreadfully and the plants would be the opposite of nurtured.  They’d be dead.  So clearly not the purpose of my life, thank heavens!  The plants are most grateful too.  😉

As a matter of a fact the plants seem to thrive, well some of them anyway, in spite of my inability to nurture them.  The plants have found purpose and meaning to their life without relying upon me to assist them.  Which is a good thing.  The added bonus is that I can enjoy the cheerful colors they provide without guilt or dread.

Do our lives have to have purpose or meaning that is clearly defined and explained for all to see?  Does the life purpose have to somehow enrich or better the lives of others?  Can the meaning be simply to live life without causing harm to others and enjoying our interactions?