It’s A Very Berry Time

Beloved went strawberry picking today.  We don’t have strawberries to pick, but a friend has a large patch of strawberries in need of picking.  So Beloved decided to help out and reap some of the gathered berries.

He came home with a bucket full of beautiful red berries and a grin in his face.  I’m not sure which was bigger, the grin or the bucket.  This wasn’t a regular sized bucket either, it was an oversized bucket that he managed to fill to almost overflowing.  Pies, jam, fools and sauces are in the making.

But first comes the washing and then freezing of some of the berries so we can enjoy them all year-long.  Me?  Well someone has to do quality control don’t you know?! 😊  And rest assured, dear friends, I take my role of quality control on taste testing very serious.  It requires sampling berries from different parts of he bucket.  It means sampling berries of different sizes and shade.  It basically means it’s the reason to enjoy the berries just as they are while Beloved cleans the rest!

I know, it’s not a job just anyone is up for.  It takes dedication and the willingness to sample several hauls of berries.  Sometimes you get one or two that aren’t as sweet as the others, but it’s a small price to pay in order to ensure everything is on the up and up. And for those of you who feel for Beloved, don’t.  For every five berries he out in the bucket, he put a few in his mouth.  I know because he told me!

Messy But So Good

I decided to try a new recipe today.  It wasn’t intentional as per say, it just occurred to me to use what was on hand and be surprised by the results.  And oh my my was I ever surprised.

You see on hand I had some ice cubes, a big bowl of water, a hot puppy, a floating orange toy and the great outdoors.  The process was fairly straightforward and I’m sure you could play with the process as well as the ingredients and still be surprised.

To my huge bowl of water, I added the puppy and then gently tossed in a few ice cubes.  Let the three ingredients settle down into happy splashes and some odd drinking habits and enjoy.  Once the ice melts, gently add in the floating water toy and let the puppy mix the toy in the water until the puppy deems two teams properly mixed.

At this point the puppy will probably want out of the water, to go and get some special flavors to add to the mix.  Mine felt that ants and grass sold be a wonderful addition to the water mixture.  And let the surprises carry on for nth you and the puppy.

Now I don’t recommend trying this recipe indoors, it requires the outdoors for the extra ingredients as well as the method of mixing (it can be a bit messy).  Don’t be surprised if your wet puppy decides to splash you, put wet paws on your or decides dirt should go n the water.

You will want a towel near by, to absorb the majority of the water stuck in the puppy’s coat.  I highly recommend this recipe and have no doubt we will be carrying some variant of this again.  Repeatedly.

My So Called Fairytale Life

Once upon a time there was a princess who lived, quite naturally in a castle. The castle was, of course, located in a beautiful setting where there was never any “bad” weather or fearsome animals. The princess wasn’t lonely, not exactly, but she sensed something was missing from her life, that is when she was awake. You see not only was the princess trapped in the castle, but she had been poisoned with a sleeping potion that left her much like a narcoleptic.

At the same time, in a distance land, a prince had come back from a quest just as he had many times before. Only this time he came back feeling as though something was missing. Perhaps questing was becoming too routine, which would never do. So he sought the advice of a wise-man who was also the keeper of secret knowledge. The wise-man told the prince that he needed a more challenging quest, as he had mastered slaying dragons and finding lost treasure.

The wise-man, after a few drinks, pulled out his magical sphere to consult with the All Knowing One to find out what the prince needed to do next. The All Knowing One told the wise-man that the prince had to rescue a princess of course. Once he rescued a princess the prince would be complete and much happily ever after would ensue.

So the wise-man consulted with woodland friends to learn about princesses in need of rescuing. He heard of a princess who lived in a beautiful land far far away. This princess was trapped in a lovely castle with no way to get out on her own. She, the wise-man discovered, was who the prince needed to rescue.

So a GoFundMe page was set up to help finance the prince’s latest quest (the celebration from the last quest had resulted in the found treasure being lost again…to bill collectors this time) and when the amount was reached the prince set off to rescue the trapped princess. Along the way there were many obstacles, such as construction, one-way paths and a spotty magical positioning system. But the prince would not be deterred from his quest.

Meanwhile back at the castle the trapped princess awoke again, and once more started to search for a way out. As she sat down wearily on the floor to see if there was any trapped door the potion took hold once more.

By the time the prince overcame all the obstacles and arrived at the castle, the princess had managed to fight off the potion, which had clearly been placed in her tea and now that she had finished all the tea and it was no longer in her system she was wide awake. The princess was able to shout down to the prince that the door was stuck in the jamb and she couldn’t get out.

After a few shows of strength and a million uttered unpleasant words, the prince was able to get the door unstuck and rescue the princess.

And…well that story is the same as mine, minus all the sleeping and the whole castle thing. Well unless you accept that a person’s house is his/her castle. And the prince didn’t consult a wise-man. Okay so the doors have needed fixing for a while and today the decided to get stuck while I was in the house. Beloved had to come and force the doors open and the happily ever after? We are getting new doors! 🙂

A Different Tired

Maybe it is because I’m tired, a puppy has a way of changing your sleep patterns. So does a chronic illness like lupus and come to think of it so does a mind that won’t let go of something. Maybe it is because there is simply too much going on these days, or rather I am more aware of things on a global level thanks to items such as the internet and social media. At any rate, finding the reason why isn’t as important as doing something about it.
You see friends, I cannot fathom how we live these days. Fear and violence leading to hatred and then the awful cycle of fear and violence all over again. I know some of you demand an instance where you have shown hatred or violence and I shall have nothing to show for it. But as a global society, we have wandered further down a dark path because we are afraid.

What are we afraid of? What makes us so angry that we act out in violence and that spills to a hardened heart with no room for anything but hate? Studies say (that’s a bit like saying they tell us without know who they or them really is) as our worlds and beliefs collide more strongly with those of others in a “shrinking world” (relax the earth isn’t’ shrinking, although global warming might work a bit like drying your clothes on high heat in the clothes drier, who knows) we have more fear. We are afraid of things we don’t’ understand and things we don’t agree with suddenly become more common place or routine.

Those same studies say that as we grow more fearful of our comfortable space becoming filled with things we disagree with or dislike, we need to push back and make space for ourselves again. The problem is there is less space to be had now. Too many voices, people and such demanding what was once a wide and broad border.

As we struggle with now the item of fear and dread encroaching ever so much closer to our sanctuary we must respond. So we strike out. And when that doesn’t work (be it verbal or physical) we become angry with these beings. Who or what do they think they are to take over OUR place we cry.

And the cry is taken up by other members of our group and soon we are riled up with anger, and hate and violence. And it spills out. Into this ever smaller world. And that anger, that hate, that violence must be answered back. And away we go.

And here I sit, probably most people to be honest, in the middle shaking my head and wondering what is next. Knowing we can’t carry on this way unless our plan is to basically destroy anything that is not to our liking, understanding etc. We can’t continue down this path and hope to find good from it.

So we start small conversations. Pockets here and there for ideas, plans put into action and we hope they spread out to other groups. But we don’t know how to calm the fever of the anger and the hate and the violence. But we try.

What we need, I’ve come to the conclusion is a means to find balance and acceptance. We need to mend our fractured hearts, souls and relationships. We need to heal the illness comes with such hate and violence. We must find a means to forgive, to rise above, to find value and faith in that which we can especially when it is not our norm.

How you ask? And I shrug my shoulders knowing that in some places there are faith healers and herbalists to assist. In other places shamans, spiritual workers or energy workers. Maybe they can help us. And if not, perhaps, just maybe we find the answer in those stories of old when they were how we made meaning of the things we couldn’t otherwise explain.

Chomp

When you stop and think about, teeth are amazing things.  They allow us to eat all manner of food.  They help us breakdown food so we don’t choke.  They help us to form words by how we use our tongues.  The add a certain something to our smiles and it’s always a bit odd when people we expect to have teeth don’t have them.

Yes friends I’m not against teeth.  Other than puppy teeth.  During teething time.  When apparently we must use our teeth on absolutely any surface.  Especially my toes, fingers, hands and well basically any body part.  Because you see I’m pretty sure I wasn’t meant to be a teething aid for puppies or people.  And I have to admit, I’m not a fan of being a human pin cushion. I like keeping my blood inside me thank you very much.

Our puppy apparently doesn’t seem to care.  All she cares about is making her mouth feel better.  And I can appreciate this.  I don’t remember my own teething thankfully.  And my wisdom teeth never came through so I can’t honestly relate exactly.  But I can understand it.  And of course it will be worse for the puppy as she has more teeth in her mouth than I do.

I am sympathetic, but only to a point.  The point of her teeth is where it ends.  When those teeth puncture my soft, yielding, defenceless human flesh.  So for both our sakes, I’ve bought teething toys, some I can freeze so she can find relief.  See I’m not completely horrible.  Am I?

Hope Of Different Sort

At a recent conference someone asked me whether the “child problem” was on my side of things or if Beloved’s little swimmers were not up to Olympic caliber. She wasn’t a close friend of mine, more like someone I knew through Beloved who had once worked with her.

It seems that for some people no topic is off limits no matter the venue. I was a bit taken aback by this comment, but informed her that I wasn’t aware that there was a child problem that could be attributed to my side of things or Beloved’s.. What I did know was that there were countless children in horrible situations who required adult help. Not swimmers, or sides. Just help.

I am sure there are children’s swim teams who require help or assistance. I’m just not sure Beloved would get behind that kind of help. It isn’t that he can’t swim, but rather he isn’t a very sports orientated type of person. So supporting a children’s swim team? Not likely.

Apparently personal lives become public lives once you become a couple it seems. The typical question shortly after a couple becomes a couple is “when are the children coming” or “are you trying” and things of that nature. As time goes by, if no offspring have been sprung, the question becomes “have you seen someone about your problem”.

It’s as if by some unwritten law, childless couples are supposed to have their lives examined by others. Sometimes by people who aren’t all that close to the couple. But somehow, society says this is completely acceptable. Fertility issues? No worries, we can discuss that out in any venue we desire. So what if you and I don’t really know each other and you don’t want to share your story? I know you are in a committed relationship and therefore I can ask these types of questions.

I’m sure the lady, we shall call her Jane, meant well by asking the question. I’m sure Jane at least meant no offense and thought it would be a way to discuss her life with her family. But you know what? It wasn’t okay. Not at all.

It hit me harder this time than most times because Beloved and I recently found that a child we wanted to adopt was suddenly no longer up for adoption. The system had changed a few things and the child was going to be with him biological mother afterwards.

The problem was we had already started to think in terms of what would be the child’s room. Things we would like to do with the little boy. How we would introduce him to our world and learn his likes and dislikes. In other words we had gotten our hopes up and allowed ourselves to dream a very specific dream. One around this very specific child.

And just like early morning fog burning off under the rising sun, that dream vanished. And with it, some of our hope. But not all of it because you see, the child has a biological mother and if he can with her, then that’s a good thing. There is hope in a system that is there to support the child and his mother. Hope that things are in place to ensure neither of them has to go through the anguish of being split apart again.

So when Jane asked me what is really none of her business, in a very public place, I was not only a little hurt by it, but shocked that she would think it’s fair game to go prying into my life like that. When Jane tried to switch tactics by telling me there is a lot of positives to be childless, I wondered what her intentions had been.

A polite lady would probably smile and move away from Jane. But I’m not always polite, not when you start to invade my private life without me inviting you in. And I’m not a lady, despite my mother’s best efforts to make me one. So I had no intention of moving away from Jane. Instead I told her that it must be very hard to need to be “in the know” about things that don’t concern her. I felt bad for her that she thought her comments were acceptable and supportive when there were rude and unwelcome. Most of all I felt bad that she didn’t’ know how to carry on an engaging and relevant conversation in a public place.

Yes friends, I did truly feel sorry for Jane. Sorry that she wasn’t made aware of how rude, inconsiderate or hurtful her comments may be. Sorry that she wasn’t taught it wasn’t taught how to behave in public with a sense of decorum. But again I have hope. Hope that Jane will have learned from this and may be next time not try to get into the bedroom details of someone else’s life uninvited.

Summertime Colors

I’m not bragging, but NASA has our number on speed dial.  I know, it takes some getting used to, but it’s for an important reason.  You see when we get glorious “hot”, sunny days, we try to enjoy it.

And by enjoy it I mean we go outside.  Sometimes with bare legs and arms.  Sometimes we even go out on a friend’s boat, at which boat now and then Beloved has been known to take off his shirt.  And that’s when NASA comes in.

You see Beloved has alabaster son.  Well okay it isn’t made out of alabaster, but he is incredibly pale.  We’ve lost him a few times in a snowstorm!  So when you get pale, almost luminous white skin bent hit by the sun it can be blinding.  Add the water reflectng the brilliant sun rays as well and clearly you have created a safety issue for astronauts.

Tofay was one of those days and Beloved couldn’t result the call of the waves.  Board shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops were on the appropriate attire list for board the boat.  Since I wasn’t up for all that brilliance I stayed home with the puppy.

Which means I took the call from NASA.  “Ma’am, we have a problem,” the voice said in a lilting southern accent. “The glare coming back from your partner’s body is a bit much.  The astronauts missed an important sighting because they couldn’t see past the glare of the sun on pale man-flash aboard a vessel on the water.  Please advise your partner and his friends to put their shirts on.  We are doing important work.  Thank you and have a nice day.”  And then they hung up.

Now I meant to call Beloved, but the puppy required my attention.  And then I forgot.  Until a lobster came through my door.  The lobster had been thoughtfully cooked, dressed in Beloved’s board shorts and saying a shirt was too painful.  Upon his crustacean feet were Beloved’s flip-flops.

The puppy was having none of this creature in our house.  Until the creature spoke to the puppy in Beloved’s voice.  And I remebered, so I told him “NASA called.  Again.  An important sighting was missed because of you and your mates.”

He shrugged his briallant red shoulders and headed off for a cool shower.  By the time evening comes around he won’t be a lobster anymore.  He will be a potential threat to NASA once more!