Every human need

“Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”
— Mary Baker Eddy

My department at the Tulsa World was eliminated Tuesday, and all of the employees were terminated with no warning.

There’s no good way to lay people off, but there are approaches that are more compassionate, thoughtful, and gentle than others. Unfortunately, our company’s leadership didn’t choose any of those approaches — which made my job as an editor that much more challenging as my close-knit staff and I struggled to make sense of the situation.

At a moment like this, the idea of supply becomes very important.

Two thousand years ago, Christ Jesus admonished his followers to “take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on” (Matt. 6:25) and to “take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” (Matt. 6:34)

Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good at “taking no thought” for where my next meal, my next car payment, or my next paycheck is going to come from. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about finances. Mrs. Eddy’s assertion about divine Love meeting every need is so firmly embedded in my consciousness — and has been demonstrated so many times in my life — that nothing the human experience can throw at me is likely to shake it loose.

For me, then, the challenge Tuesday was not in figuring out what to do next. I already know my needs will be met; in fact, by the time I pulled into the driveway Tuesday afternoon, I’d already landed a gig making alligator burgers and chicken-fried steak at the Rock Cafe on Route 66 in Stroud.

The big challenge for me Tuesday was in controlling my mama-bear streak.

As the situation unfolded, I had some good intentions about getting through it without anger or profanity, but the publisher’s cavalier treatment of those who live paycheck to paycheck left a pretty foul taste in my mouth, and when I saw the effect his actions seemed to be having on my staff, whom I love dearly … well, I’m afraid Mama Bear roared. And growled. And snarled. And cussed like a gangster in a Quentin Tarantino movie.

But here’s the thing: All that roaring and growling and snarling and cussing didn’t help Mama Bear’s cubs one little bit. It didn’t bring back their jobs. It didn’t elevate their thought. It didn’t show them what they needed to do next. It just reinforced the anger and fear and frustration we all felt when the announcement was made.

I’m still pretty mad at Yoko the publisher for breaking up the band my staff. But now that the initial shock is behind me and I’m not looking at a roomful of stricken faces and teary eyes, I know what I need to do:

I need to keep knowing that we all have the same Father and that divine Love meets every human need (and not just mine), and I need to dig in my heels and refuse to accept this false suggestion that the actions of another human, however callous, could somehow keep any of us from seeing the blessings that the Father is pouring out on us every minute of every day.

Every human need, guys. Always. I promise. And I can’t wait to see what amazing adventures the Father has in store for all of us in the coming weeks.

With much love,
Emily

Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes

It’s a glorious day in Red Fork — dazzling blue skies, blazing sunshine, and warm temperatures. I’ve got Jimmy Buffett on iTunes, an afternoon off, a head full of dreams, and a grand old road calling my name. I’ll have some deep thoughts to share later today, but for the moment, I’m just going to get on my road and have a marvelous day, and I defy anybody to stop me.

(That’s right, Eye Candy — I’m talkin’ to you.)

Film at 11, kids. In the meantime … enjoy your afternoon, wherever you are.

Emily

Backyard chickens

By special request, I’ve posted some advice on raising backyard chickens at our House of the Lifted Lorax blog.

If you’re thinking about getting a few chickens … do it. A small flock of hens will help you prepare a garden plot, provide fresh eggs for your table, and keep you in stitches with their antics. They’re versatile, entertaining animals that cost very little to keep and require less maintenance than the average dog. I don’t know how we ever got along without our flock.

Emily

It is done.

The skies were gray and oppressive this evening as I changed from khakis into work jeans, pulled on my battered old Birkenstocks with the hole in the bottom, and headed outside to find out whether I had enough love to sacrifice one hen for the safety of the rest of the flock.

Ron moved the work table from the deck to the yard while I went back to the garden to collect our little inmate from our avian version of Ellis Unit One, where she’d been serving two days in solitary confinement for attacking another hen and attempting to instigate a riot in the chicken tractor. I felt a little pang of guilt when I saw that for the second day in a row, she’d laid an egg in her lonely prison cell.

I’d modified an old pair of pantyhose to serve as a sort of makeshift straitjacket to keep Honey from beating her wings and flailing about in panic as she finished this phase of her journey. The restraint seemed to calm her, and I held her as gently as I could and spoke to her softly as I took her to the table, trying to keep the experience from being more traumatic for her than it had to be.

Tiny pellets of ice bounced off my jacket as I began dressing the bird, with Ron reading step-by-step instructions from a book on farming while I worked.

The kill itself was neither as clean nor as quick as I’d intended — certainly Honey knew what was going on, which I didn’t want, and I’m afraid she may have felt pain for a few seconds — but I daresay I did a better job than the mass-scale processors sometimes do, and I know my hen had a longer and much happier life here than she would have on a factory farm, which I hope makes up for my clumsiness at the very end.

The whole experience was much less disturbing than I expected. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing, but at least I know now that I can kill my own supper, and I know I can do whatever it takes to protect my animals from harm. And that, I think, is valuable.

Emily

Dark and stormy night

I’m blogging from the iPod tonight because the weather is too rough to leave the Mac plugged in.

We spent the day on 66, getting more photos for my picture-per-mile project.

The big news today is that one of our hens — Honey, the brown leghorn — has gotten so aggressive with the other birds that we had to separate her from the flock today to protect them, and when I get home from work tomorrow, we are going to find out whether I have the gumption to butcher my own dinner.

Stay tuned … we’ll see how this goes.

Emily

Falafel

falafel.jpg

This is a hybrid of two recipes — one from The Gradual Vegetarian, by Lisa Tracy, and one from The Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen — with a little improvisation thrown in ‘cos I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients to make either version and wasn’t in the mood to go to the grocery store tonight.

This is a vegan recipe, meaning it counts toward No. 60 (try one vegan recipe per week) on my 101 Things list … and because it was great, it also counts toward No. 62 (blog the recipes that turn out well).

Falafel

1 can chickpeas
Five or six baby carrots
Two ribs of celery, cut into chunks
Five or six cloves of garlic
1/4 c. chopped onion (I used frozen, and it worked fine)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. paprika
A little ground red pepper
3 tbsp. dried parsley
1/4 c. flour
Canola oil for frying

Put all ingredients except oil in food processor and process until smooth. Remove batteries from smoke alarm. Turn on exhaust fan. (These are important steps in my house, as I seem to set off the smoke detector every time I fry anything.) Pour about a half-inch of oil into a heavy skillet and heat for a few minutes. Form falafel mixture into 1-inch balls, flatten a bit to make small patties, and fry in hot oil until browned and crispy on both sides. Makes about 30 pieces.

You can serve this with tahini sauce (2 parts tahini, 1 part water, and 2 parts lemon juice) for dipping, or stuff pita pockets with falafel, tomatoes, cucumbers, and tahini or tzatziki sauce to make a great sandwich … but I didn’t have any of that stuff lying around tonight, and I was too lazy to make a Wild Oats run, so I just sprinkled the finished product with a little Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Salt and scarfed it down all by itself.

Signs of spring

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We’ve got crocus blooming in the front yard. I’ve seen several robins in the past week or so, and Ron saw the scissortails in the backyard the other day while he was splitting wood. I saw some henbit blooming like crazy the other day when I was out taking pictures, and we’ve got purple deadnettle all over our yard.

I had a good morning. We had breakfast at Ann’s Bakery, which I plan to review for Indie Tulsa. I had a very good doughnut, a sausage roll, and an absolutely wonderful creme horn, which got powdered sugar all over the car but was totally worth it … especially since we were in Ron’s car. (Ha, ha!)

When we got home, I put a coat of lacquer on the new house numbers, aired up my bike tires, and installed the basket on my bike. I bought my basket in November or something but never got around to installing it. It’s the kind that slips into a bracket mounted on the front of the bike, so you can take it off easily and use it as a shopping basket when you’re running errands. I’m supposed to work in the Reading Room this afternoon, but when I get back, I’ll probably ride for a little while. I think I’ll plan on two miles. That’s not very much, but I’m really out of shape, and I want to ease into it gradually so I don’t wear myself out and decide it’s too much trouble (like I usually do,  unfortunately).

I have to put on the bee suit and take the menthol pellets out of the hive this evening, too, but I want to wait until the girls get settled in for the evening, ‘cos they’ve been busy all day and are likely to cop a serious attitude if I go out there and mess with the hive before sunset.

Here are a couple more signs of spring:

blueweed.jpg

whiteweed.jpg

Not sure what either of these little wildflowers might be, but they’re both tiny and seem to like shady areas.

Emily

UPDATE: I spent the afternoon at the Reading Room, where I picked up a Spanish-language edition of Science and Health (the first step toward No. 5 on my 101 Things list) … rode my bike around the neighborhood … took the menthol pellets out of the hive (I have no words for how much I love the bee suit we bought from Dadant last fall) … retrieved an egg from the henhouse … and am now trying to figure out what I want to make for dinner. Maybe I’ll see if there’s something interesting in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.