Thursday, October 31, 2019

Here's Lookin' at You, Kid

If you see a spider on Halloween night, it means that the spirit of a dead loved one is watching over you.
-Medieval Superstition

Monday, October 14, 2019


Earlier in the year, this piece was published on J.G. Lewis' website: Mythos and Marginalia during his Where We Are project. Fall has always been a time of renewal for me, so it feels fitting to share it once more.  Enjoy!
Photograph Courtesy of J.G. Lewis
A fresh, new year is finally upon us!  I know a lot of us have spent the dwindling days of the previous year ruminating on our lives and loves, and for some, even love-lives; we take stock of where we are, and look ahead with hopeful eyes—Hopeful that this year will be better than the last, hopeful that we've learned the lessons we were supposed to learn, and hopeful that we'll be strong enough to face whatever comes.  It's a time for intentions, and a time to let our day-dreaming hearts run wild across three hundred sixty-five empty spaces longing for the color of life to be splashed across them.  But more than organizing the year ahead, and making resolutions we'll break by mid-January, it's the perfect time to recognize that where we are at any given moment, isn't actually a place that we are forced to stay.

The truth about nature is that it's much more fluid than we're often conditioned to believe, and as disconnected as we may think we've become, we can't ever truly be apart from it, therefore our lives, our understanding, how we relate to ourselves and one another, and all things human are also a lot less rigid than we have convinced ourselves that it all is.  And so it is, we're never absolutely stuck anywhere.  I don't mean physically ... Of course, there can be circumstances in the material world beyond our control that limit the action some people would prefer to take, and it reeks of ableism to pretend otherwise.  No, I'm talking stuck in one attitude, stuck in one's thoughts, stuck in unhealthy relationships, stuck at a soul-crushing job, stuck with a cramped perspective, that kind of stuck, the one that doesn't always necessarily depend on a person's geography.  A lot of these things can feel pretty permanent at one time or another, and frankly, we're met with enough well-intended adages, and mixed messages that make it seem that way, but it doesn't have to be so.  And just like in nature, a little nudge can improve your immediate circumstances significantly.  Rainstorms are natural, but you don't have to stand in them getting drenched when there's a massive tree to duck under, or a welcoming cave ready to shelter you.  Those options are both "natural" as well, but it takes a little bit of work (albeit, minimal effort) to connect the dots, consider the benefits, and act on it.  There is nothing enlightened about sitting around waiting for divine intervention to fix things that we are more than capable of handling on our own, yet we let ourselves get so insecure about the decisions we make, we allow ourselves to lose touch with our true essence, and can easily find ourselves trudging along in these unfulfilling, shallow existences so completely preoccupied with the wrong things that we're oftentimes clueless as to how we even got here in the first place.  What's especially sad is that, even though it's conceivably wholly temporary, this lack of depth pervades every aspect of our lives.

Matt Kahn tells us, “Despite how open, peaceful, and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you, as deeply as they've met themselves.”  That's how folks are meeting you, that's how you're meeting them, and it's how all of us are showing up and greeting the world.  It's all a choice, however, we can decide at any moment if we're splashing around in the paddling pool, to take a lesson, get stronger, and move to the deep end.  Perhaps you slide in as effortlessly glamorous as Esther Williams, but if you don't, there's no shame in needing a life vest, water wings, goggles, or a nose plug, and it's not important if you arrive flailing, and sputtering, the point is that you're willing to do the work.  You may, indeed, lose touch with those who prefer stomping aimlessly through mud puddles, but you'll find yourself swimming toward the person you're meant to be, engulfed in purpose, and creating ripples that affect everyone around you.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Cottage Conservatory

Black Eyed Angels - Delphinium

When I first started gardening on my own as an adult (especially with heirloom varieties) I was interested in seed saving, but kept coming up low on info, and images to walk me through the process for some of my favorite plants.  I mean, I know it's all pretty straight forward; wait for the petals to fall off, pods of some sort to form, and eventually dry out, but I wanted to know what I should be looking for, and when to clip & collect seed pods - whether to wait for them to open on their own, or catch them right before.  So.  Necessity being the mother of invention, I patiently observed what was happening in my garden, and found a method for a couple of my early bloomers that has been successful thus far.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

We Want You! We Want You!

We want you as a new recruit!
Deadline for application: July 25, 2019
Well, not "me" we ... I don't actually have anything to do with it, except for spreading the word, really.  Anway, that writer guy, Pat Rothfuss, is looking for a business manager to handle daily minutiae so he can get back to focusing on the things he does best, like ... creative minutiae.  So hop over here, and read the job listing, and if you happen to be an expert at a little bit of everything, you should totally apply by sending your cover letter and resume to jobs(@)!  I know a couple of people already who could fill the bill, but it should be noted this is NOT a remote position, applicants need to be in the greater Stevens Point, Wisconsin area, or willing to relocate (I hear it's quite a lovely place).

This is such a great opportunity for the Jack/Jill of all trades, or anyone looking for a fresh start in a new career, or even just a change of scenery.  They are asking for serious candidates only, so if you're in a place where you're half-jokingly just throwing resumes at walls to see what sticks, sit this one out, but if you're really ready for something new, go get 'em, Tiger.

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

If You Like Piña Coladas

In my neck of the woods, there has been a steady Summer rain falling for the entirety of this balmy National Piña Colada Day, and I can't help but think, somewhere, Rupert Holmes is very pleased.  With that, I give you my personal piña colada smoothie recipe —

Here's what you need:
4 Cups frozen pineapple chunks
3-6 bananas chunked & frozen
1 Cup full-fat canned coconut milk
1 Cup filtered water
1/4 Cup pure, organic maple syrup
1/2 lime juiced
1" knob grated ginger root
1Tablespoon unsweetened organic shredded coconut

Here's what you do:
In a 72 oz sturdy blender place pineapple chunks around the bottom, and fill the pitcher the rest of the way with pieces of frozen banana (Tip: when you freeze bananas you'll want to peel them, and chunk or cut them up first, then bag and freeze).  Throw in the rest of your ingredients, and blend the hell out of it (you may need to stop a few times in order to scrape the sides of your blender's pitcher).  That's it!  If you'd like to enjoy this as a dairy-free "nice cream" option, transfer your mixture to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for 2-4 hours before serving.

This is an incredibly easy, but delicious, and festive concoction to have at Summer gatherings, and is a perfect alcohol-free option that can accommodate a good swath of guests, and their needs without singling folks out, and excluding them from the fare.

Happy sipping!

Monday, July 1, 2019

Say What?

"They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?"
-Diana, Princess of Wales

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Can I Take Your Temperature?

'Cause you're lookin' HOT today!

I don't know about you guys, but my Summer got off to a rocky start, miraculously however, the temperature blanket is still in full swing.  I think I've been clutching it like a life-ring; as if getting each day's color on it will bring some semblance of order to chaos, and do a minor task like hold the entire universe together ... Or something.

In this moment it feels pretty marvelous to be able to come up for air after losing the larger portion of both April and May flattened by back-to-back viruses (or a cold + relapse, or some damn thing) which unceremoniously rolled into a month-long Facebook fast (that actually feels a m a z i n g, to be honest), with a good old fashioned tech flub thrown in for good measure.  Incidentally, did you know that when you upgrade your iPhone, you have to flip the little "messages" toggle to the "off" position in settings so that your new iMessages aren't sent to your old phone that's lying dead in a desk drawer for a month?  Oh, it's just me who had to Google that?  Super.  I'm now officially time-to-have-kids-so-they-can-explain-your-own-tech-to-you years old.

What's so irritating is that I thought I had everything all set up, but when I signed into a streaming app to try out a little adapter (the third one that didn't work because it didn't have audio capabilities like the description SAID it would!) for my clock-radio that keeps my office-space full of fresh tunes ... The one I refuse to junk simply because newer models are available--
Do you remember when people would keep their stereos, and all sorts of sound equipment for, like, decades?  Or even when parents would give their kids an old set, and all you had to do was upgrade the speakers if you wanted it to bump with a little more bass than the Perry Como records used to in your living room?  I miss that.  I also only buy things I really like, and refuse to throw them out by virtue of companies that make billions of dollars per year telling me I should buy the next new thing.  It doubly grinds my gears when they stop selling the parts, and adapters that let you fiddle with your gadgets, and make them work with newer components - there was an entire industry, and chains of stores dedicated to this very thing for the majority of my life, and now we're all just supposed to let our perfectly functioning small appliances wash up on some beach kids are trying to play on because Some Company decided to change the shape of the ports on their devices?  That's a negative, Ghost Rider.
End. Of. Digression.
Anyway, when you log into an app from an old device (and you haven't toggled your messages to "off") you run the risk of having all of your iMessages moving forward, rerouted back to that phone.  Allegedly, there was a notice that was supposed to accompany this switch-a-roo, but I don't remember such a thing ... Which means, I either swatted it away (because who just reads EVERY notice on their smartphone anyway?) or this all happened during a fever-dream, and I never noticed it.  These are both equally likely to have happened.

At any rate, if it's possible to simultaneously exist in a state of refreshed + flustered I think that's my current location.  And really, my mellow is only being harshed because I don't want folks to be thinking I'm out here just giving them the cold shoulder ... I mean, I'm pretty aloof as it is, but that's a new level (even for me)!

The good news is, with me finally mending up, and things being so quiet around here, I've been able to explore some ideas, and finish some old projects.  So, if that's the sort of thing you're into, and hanging around here for, look for some new to-do's, how-to's, and diy's coming a little later.  Also, if you haven't heard from your people in a while, charge up, and check any devices rattling around an old junk drawer just in case! 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Ostara Calling

Fuchsia Chickadees
On a shortlist of the top three things that performed the best in my garden last year, two of them were a nest of birds, and a few wascally wabbits that hunkered down in the roots of my peppermint plant.  It's safe to say that my garden soil is thoroughly depleted at this point, so I'm spending the first few weeks of Spring looking for ways to bring abundance back to my veggie patch!
Peppermint Patch Bunnies
Ever the optimist, I'm still starting a hefty batch of garden seed indoors this year, mainly so my fine feathered friends don't throw a block party, and pick everything out of my beds before anything has a chance to sprout, but also because I'm hopeful I'll find the right trick to revive my jungle.  I'll report back when I've found the correct formula ... Until then, happy planning & planting!