Looking back on 2014…maybe not so much

We have just a few days left of this year and many bloggers have decided to write some sort of retrospective of the past year in blogging, and/or in life.

Me, not so much.

I don’t go in for resolutions and plans as each new year dawns. I simply don’t keep up with those plans, although I would have good intentions if I did make a resolution or two. I might follow through for a time, especially if I published those goals in a public format such as this, but I know, eventually, the plans would fizzle away either out of boredom or life changes, or just being not very well thought out to begin with.

I think that I need big plans, life changing goals, bucket list sorts of resolutions, to invest myself enough into follow through. Like college. Once I started I knew that I couldn’t stop. Or like my decision to drop some weight and improve my health last year. The fanaticism is gone, but the overall plan is still going mostly strong.

Everyone always wants things like happiness for their families in the form of good jobs, financial stability, finding love and partnership…all those are covered (mostly) for my family at this point. Daughter Alison is still up in the air on a few of those areas, but I don’t spend sleepless nights worrying. She’s only 21 and the right path will appear for her because she’s smart and capable and when truly needed, driven.

I’d really rather not speculate on what 2015 might hold for me. I can dream and wish and hope, and then maybe be disappointed in the end and you all would find me writing some sad blog post about this time next year. I also don’t really want to look to the past and recap my 2014. Honestly, I do that enough as it is-in my head-as I wonder why and how and when and what if. I know it does me no good, but turning off the voices in my head is harder than it might seem because I can’t come to a simple resolution to all those questions. So I keep asking, and getting answers that I dismiss, even though I ultimately know the answers are sound.

2014 held very happy moments, okay moments, sad moments, and frustratingly angry moments. Real life folks, without a lot of fanfare or drama. So we shall see what comes along in the new year and maybe just prior to 2016 I will be writing a ‘this was my life in 2015’ post. Probably not though.

Here’s to life altering events in 2015, if you want them, and if not, then here’s to another year of just plain old living.

 

“Deehubs” for a public voice

For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook I want to share this:

deehubs.com
deehubs.com

That is a building, obviously very near the Seattle Spaceneedle and those are my words plastered to the side of the building.

I was watching the news yesterday and they featured a story about a local start-up (trophos–the creators are from Georgia, not the state) who take the words of individuals and project them onto buildings. It is free right now, although I don’t know if it will remain so…capitalism is king you know. You can quote, you can post a short personal message, you can offer opinion/commentary…this is their ‘About’ page:

People Deserve Public Stages

Deehubs is a social network where people post in streets. We use projectors and digital billboards to broadcast your messages. Today we are operating in Seattle and plan worldwide expansion starting from 2015.

In Deehubs we are “vandals”. Some people want to become cops to protect the system, while others want to become vandals to create better looking world, we are looking for vandals. People who never abandon their dreams and even in their hard times they are chasing for their stars. In Deehubs we will make you stop, activate your brain, even just for a second. Deehubs is not only a social network, it is the public stage.

My words, literally the first, and very un-profound, words that came to mind when I decided to do this.

Some of my readers are among the voices that I would call outspoken, or opinionated, or activist. If you have a voice, this might be another place to let it be heard.

Blog Share # 7

The featured blog today is one that I have talked about here before so rather than being a true ‘share’ I think we’ll call it more of a recap.

Cecilia Gunther writes about living life as a mid-western sustainable farmer at thekitchensgarden. I believe that I’ve talked about Celi, or Miss C, as we of the Fellowship refer to her, during the time The Fellowship was putting together our first book Letters For My Little Sister. 

Celi is transplanted from New Zealand where much of her family still lives. I believe she’s been in the mid-west for about six years. I am envious of Celi. She can accomplish more in one day as a single force than I and a crew could manage in one week. There have been very few times since I began following her blog that she’s not been able to accomplish a full day’s work running her farm, cooking, photographing her life, writing on her blog, running errands, and probably doing numerous other tasks that don’t get a mention in the blog. I think amazing is a good descriptive as I often find myself really wondering how, or even why, she has set about to live a very demanding lifestyle. Actually, I can understand the why, (guilty of secret farm life dreams I am) it’s the how that puzzles me. I have some theories that she may actually be more than one person…

I came to Celi’s blog through an odd road after posting some random photos of my own, tagging them as such, then following some of those ‘you might like this blog’ type of links from WordPress. I discovered a witty woman with a passion for raising healthy and healthful animals and crops, and that was pretty appealing to someone trying to cut all the crap from their diet and looking for a better food experience.

This blog reads like an ongoing journal. Readers get a peek into each day on the farm, usually from Celi’s perspective, but sometimes, we are surrounded by the voices of her animals, both pets and livestock. The words are often brutally honest and Celi is not one to mince about with either the joys of raising animals or the raw facts. I have laughed out loud at so many of her descriptions simply because her animals all have personalities that are often outrageously funny, annoying, wise, and eccentric. I have also shed many tears. Celi runs a farm and life both happens and ceases on any farm. These stories are the ones that help me to realize that I would never be cut out to live this lifestyle. Celi has her pets, and Celi also has her animals raised to go on her table, or to be sold for someone else’s table. That final destination isn’t often an easy one to read about.

The pictures posted each day usually focus on the animals, but Celi often puts up photos of the farm itself…flat prairie lands, covered with feed crops and so different a landscape from the views out of my home windows.

The most important part of this journey though is that of friendship. Celi is genuine, as are the Fellowship of followers. I have made connections with other bloggers by simply taking part in this blog and it’s community. Celi welcomes everyone, and the Fellowship is open to all. We’d love you to join us…especially Sheila.

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What began as a blog share has become a ramble

Good intentions you know…and apparently my attention span is lacking today as my brain is leading me to speculate on a few completely diverse topics.

Eyebrows.

Do you think people would notice if the person they were conversing with didn’t have eyebrows? I ask that because I wonder just how many people really look their companion in the eye when they are talking. If you never look in that facial region, would you notice if the other person was wearing a full set of brows, or was hair-challenged. I admit that I skip around between the eyes and mouth when talking with others, and my attention tends to fall to the mouth more than the eyes. I used to believe that I was drawn to the mouth of the speaker because of my dental background. I have come to admit that I feel more comfortable when I’m not constantly staring into someone’s eyes as they speak. I like seeing their lips move while I hear the words. Anyway, I focused on my thinning eyebrows again this morning. For months one eyebrow was noticeably thinner, now the other is joining in. It’s a menopausal thing. I am not one of the women in menopause who gets the rush of testosterone doing crazy hair growth parties on her face. No chin hairs for me, and now apparently no more eyebrows before long. I’d prefer not to resort to painting them on, although if I don’t add a bit of pencil enhancement now they both look like they stop at the middle of my eye.

*I have tried for 10 minutes to find an acceptable image of painted on eyebrows and they are all so offensive to the people wearing them that I can’t include a picture, but I’m sure you’ve seen many shapes and sizes and colors for yourself so…

I don’t know if anyone would notice on my face though, as the frame of my glasses sits right along my eyebrow line…when my glasses stay in place that is.

Bangs.

Camouflage for eyebrow challenged women. The only reason someone of 55 or beyond should wear bangs, in my opinion.

Word challenged people. 

This surrounds a conversation from yesterday among other things. I am positive I used the correct word, although I admit that most folk would associate the word with one specific meaning. Mine was also correct. I just Googled it to be sure. In the context that I used the word I was justified. This alternate meaning however, was completely lost for the receiving person who listened to me say it. It was easier not to make a thing out of the lack of knowledge for this alternate meaning in this case. Way easier given the circumstances. It also irritated me that I was assumed to be stupid simply because my word usage held no credence to this other person and their minutely focused world.

Writers.

What makes someone a writer? This thought was actually inspired during my attempts to highlight the next blog in the ongoing series, but then the wandering mind took over.

I keep hearing Jeff Foxworthy and his tired old comedy routine You might be a redneck… when I ask myself that question about writing and writers. You might be a writer if…

See, to me a writer is a really ambiguous term or label. In a broad general sense anyone who has put pen/pencil/marker to paper and made some coherent letters turn into words and sentences and complete thoughts might assume they are a writer. Folk like me, beating out words onto a computer screen that reach one or fifty or five-thousand other folk, well we might decide that we are writers. Anyone of any age, cultural affiliation, gender, sexual orientation…anyone can be a writer, yet so many people define themselves with this label and also believe that they are magically, even profoundly important, or special, or gifted, or better.

Here’s my view. If you are profoundly important to the world because of the words you put down on paper or computer screen, or papyrus; if those words are special enough to bring joy, inspiration, anger controversy, or any other of a bazillion emotions to one person; if you have the power within your being to make people understand, question, ponder, feel; and maybe, (and I question myself on this one) if you have published something that is being read by millions or will be cataloged as worthy, or just touched one person in a meaningful way; if all those things are a part of who you are, then can we agree to label you as an author. The word author holds weight. The word author (to me) commands respect. The word author signifies a great deal of skill and training and command of language. The word author sounds strong. The word author is what many writers are striving to be.

I am a writer. I am not an author, nor will a most likely ever be. I am also quite guilty of using these two terms interchangeably and this is my call out to myself to stop doing that. This is also a personal thing. You don’t have to agree, it’s my semantic hang-up. I have a lot of semantic hang-ups. Enough hang-ups actually to wonder why I didn’t take up linguistics.

This section was inspired by 1) word challenged people, and 2) the memory of a fellow student in a creative writing course that ticked me off with her attitude and inability to accept criticism about any aspect of her ‘writing’ simply because she was a ‘published author,’ whatever the hell that means.

Okay, done for today. The real blog share will be coming soon.

One way to describe an egotistical asshat

Minimize a woman while you make yourself look strong and tough.

Marginalize a female because she is not employed.

Show your affinity for sexist beliefs when you joke it up with another guy.

Really show what an assh*le you are when you feign an imagined perilous existence under the hands of an outspoken woman.

Tough, better, funny, pussy-whipped…no, I call you a misogynist.

 

One tradition we still uphold

No presents to unwrap, no young kids clamoring at 6 AM…just the senile old cat wanting her breakfast at 4:30…thus was the way Christmas day 2014 began.

I did continue the tradition of Christmas breakfast though. I don’t feel ready to give that up yet. So after the cat was happy, and curled back into her bed human food was the priority.

This year it was a simple latke recipe, sautéed apples rather than applesauce, pumpkin-cranberry scones with orange glaze, oh and a little bacon, because it’s been ages since I’ve had bacon. Strangely it wasn’t all that great so maybe I’ve finally gotten over my fixation with pork.

The scones, yes from one of our mixes without any flair or fuss or even any actual wedge shaping. Easiest way at 5 AM.

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The latkes and bacon. Along with a close up of the latkes frying. Just used a bit of green onion and some parm inside and they fried up better than any I have ever made.

 

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The latke toppings: salsa (jarred) for the husband, sautéed apples, and the little jar holds pear chutney. This amazing stuff came in my Christmas present from Meredith, along with an assortment of other homemade goodies. It was fantastic with the potatoes…not too sweet. I had two latkes, but I’m considering going back for another so I can top it with more chutney. If Alison doesn’t get up soon, the chutney will just be gone…

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Now, for some coffee, and maybe another scone…

I hope that you all enjoy all your own eating adventures today.