Simplifying

I love to cook. I forget that when the kitchen is a disaster, but I really do love to cook. In the few hours since my last post, I’ve put up dried peppermint, cleared out all my cabinets, reorganized them, run the dishwasher twice, made broccoli casserole, made quiche, fixed a big crock of blackeyed peas, and am thinking about making a batch of bread-and-butter pickles. 

The blackeyed peas are good. Here’s how I made them:

1 lb. blackeyed peas
1 c. frozen roasted bell pepper strips
1 small can chopped green chiles
2 tbsp. lard (vegetarians: olive oil is fine, but the flavor will be different)

Put blackeyed peas in a crock, cover with water, add remaining ingredients, and bake at 350 until tender, checking periodically and adding water as needed. Simple but wonderful.

Major disappointment: I opened a box of Ralston tonight to find it had been invaded by grain moth larvae.

I wasn’t sure what else to do with it, so I gave it to the hens. Their reaction was swift and merciless: They went after those larvae the way I go after the white chocolate pieces in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk. It still ticks me off that the larvae ruined the Ralston — which I was saving for winter — but it was almost worth it to see the girls’ enthusiastic response to an unexpected treat.

I’ve got to start storing cereal in the freezer….

Emily

Reboot

This was the daily thought yesterday from Spirituality.com:

“Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy.”
— Mary Baker Eddy

I needed that.

Mrs. Eddy advises us not to “stand aghast at nothingness,” but I’ve gotten a bit overwhelmed lately. It feels like I’ve gotten a lot done all summer, but really, I’m not sure I have.

Have you seen Wall-E? (NOTE: Sound starts automatically when site loads.) Remember the giant towers of compacted trash that cover the Earth’s surface in the beginning of the movie? My life looks a lot like that right now … just piles upon piles of physical and mental debris that needs to be cleared away so I can breathe.

The garden is so overgrown, I’m lucky the neighbors aren’t complaining. The kitchen, which is being taken over by small black ants, is an absolute disaster. I don’t remember the last time I cleaned the living room, which is cluttered up with boxes and catalogs and beehive parts and dog toys. I cleaned my desk, only to cover it up with CDs and gadgets and boxes and papers and clutter again. I still haven’t finished reading the book Zaphod loaned me in April. I still haven’t finished reading Prose Works. There’s a questionable smell coming from Juliet’s cage, the headboard of my bed is covered in clutter and a thick layer of dust, I don’t remember what the floor next to my side of the bed looks like, cucumbers are piling up on the counters and in the refrigerator because I haven’t gotten around to putting up pickles, the pond filter is so clogged that I had to unplug the pump lest it drag down and burn up, the potting table is absolutely full of junk that belongs in the garage, I can’t put anything else in the garage because the garage is packed full of stuff I haven’t used in years, and I still haven’t decided whether I want to train for the Route 66 Marathon, which may be a moot point because I haven’t run a step since November. 

Underpinning the whole problem, of course, is the fact that I don’t remember the last time I sat down and studied the Lesson like I meant to learn something from it. I’ve read it (except, y’know, on the weeks when I got sidetracked and forgot), but I haven’t really studied it in months.

As I think about it, Wall-E is actually a really good metaphor for my life at the moment. In the movie, when our little robot hero finishes a hard day’s work, his batteries are pretty drained, and he has to stand in the sunlight, recharge, and reboot before he’s ready to start a new day. If he doesn’t do that, he reaches a point where he simply can’t go any more.

For the better end of five months, I’ve been going at warp speed, handling one flavor-of-the-minute crisis and tackling one project after another and draining my batteries in the process. But I haven’t taken the time to stop every day, turn toward the light, and reboot. I keep thinking that if I can just shake free to spend a weekend curled up in a motel room in New Mexico with my books and my thoughts, I’ll be fine. But that really doesn’t make any sense. Thanksgiving dinner is terrific, but it’s not a substitute for daily meals.

Enough.

In a little over a week, I am beginning a new adventure full of new challenges and exciting projects. I need to be at the top of my game. And I can’t do that if I’m dragging along in the dark with my batteries run down and my life buried under mountains of detritus. Starting now, I’m going to get back in the habit of studying the Lesson for a few minutes before I dive into my chores and projects and hassles.

I expect it won’t take long to reboot and get my thought going in the right direction again. Stay tuned….

Emily