A shirt with sleeves on it

 

My friend shared a quote by Maya Anglou, saying, “I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”-Maya Angelou

It really struck me in a few different ways as I have been struggling this year. Struggling. Emotionally, physically, spiritually. I’m in a place of acceptance and gratitude again, but the season is climaxing and if you sit quietly enough you can sense it. I digress.

I responded, “What about the ones who are Learning to love themselves and others as the same time?
I respond, “What about those who have a hard time loving themselves, but wish to reflect back the love you shine.”
I feel the underlying truth of Maya Angelou’s words, but if love begets love. If love responds and grows and encompasses all it touches (which I see and experience regularly), then perhaps accepting the being’s offer of love, nurturing it and returning it can ripple out in revolution.

I am weaving my shirt. I will use the sleeves to hang my heart on.

Part two: The space we sit in.  I have been emptying our space at home of things that are broken, things that no longer serve us. The trick is to not replace it with more things, but to leave space to breathe and play in.
Likewise, I often fill my hands with community work and engaging my young. Not earning a paycheque drives me to work harder to demonstrate my worth. It’s a modern illness that I struggle with. I have decided that I am going to dedicate my extracurricular time to one cause for one year and focus the rest of my energies into my home space and allowing rest and daydreaming and other things that will lead to production. Or into employment, depending on what happens this month.

Part three: I have openly invited folks to come out and help me break concrete on a future date; it’s a reclaimation project to plant drought tolerant plants into roundabouts. I aim to influence the replanting to include herbs. None took me up on it. I am looking for a  companion to do random community projects with. Someone to be playful with. Someone who enjoys outside and activity and affection. My wife does many things with me (More so now than ever), and she is an awesome mate. Community stuff is not her bag and she supports my going out and doing stuff. I bring my kiddo with me, because he’s human shaped and wants to be involved in the things I’m involved in. The folks who I meet at the events are generally much older than I am, or monogamous. #polyproblems

And now we move toward the harvest season

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A long time coming

I’m not quite ready to return to the writing-sphere, though I am itching to get back into it, specifically in regards to my permaculture/gardening blog Concrete Connection. Jae has been an awesome helpmate in getting the garden pushed further and further along. I’d lost a lot of motivation there, for a few months.

The one year anniversary of my mother’s death has recently passed, and we’re healing but it’s still fresh. The pumpkin is right on track, developmentally, to be a raging threenager. Ooh! Toddlers are a lot of work! And now we’re expecting a kiddo 2.0 for late January. I’m pretty sure if one kid is hard, two is insane, but we’re thrilled to open our hearts and our arms to another little life.
I’ve got some prioritizing and organizing to do. I’m working closely with my o.b. to keep my health and poppy’s in good shape. (I’m calling kiddo 1.4 “poppy” until we know more about his or her sex – (s)he was the size of a poppy seed when we found out I was pregnant.) But, I don’t have enough energy or hours in the day to tackle every project that sounds like an amazing idea, even with the beautiful and tireless wife’s help. I’m grateful for the harvest season and praying we can get a late harvest out of the garden and sow the seeds for an early start next year.

Embracing the Pain

I had a dream that I was pregnant with twin girls.

I woke up and peed on a stick and it came up a very faint positive. I was ecstatic.I had all the right symptoms until I woke up feeling fine yesterday. No morning sickness, no breast tenderness, etc. Today, a week later, I peed on a stick and it was negative. I’m sad about it. Sad about the false hope. Sad about the money lost on pee sticks. Sad about the chemistry and hormones that drives us to want to have babies. I have a baby and he’s more than a handful, adding another one would be a wonderful and overwhelming INSANITY and yet hormones keep me yearning. I’m sad for the lies we tell our kids about how easy it is to get pregnant.

I’m all done with that. My mate and I have just come into a new chapter in our lives. I have spent so long nurturing the spiritual and mental that this age seems to be devoted to nurturing the physical.

I want to focus on enjoying the strength, youth, life, and abundance that are currently in our hands. To wade into expanding our tribe and to enjoy our friends, our work and our time as much as we can. I am choosing to see this as a blessing and vowing to never pee on another stick. If we have another baby, we will welcome them, too, but I am past ready to shift my focus back to living and loving.

Kitchen Witchery

I found a really neat looking gluten-free flour rice flour recipe. Being down for some experimentation, The recipe boasts to work as a cup for cup exchange with a great flavor. I’m pretty impressed!

gluten free flour mixture

Ingredients
  • 1 Bag (24 oz or 4.25 Cups) Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 Bag (24 oz or 4.25 Cups) White Rice Four
  • 1 Bag (24 oz or 4.25 Cups) Sweet Rice Flour (also known as glutenous flour) – I used Jasmine rice which share a lot of similar properties.
  • 1 Bag (20 oz or 4.5 Cups) Tapioca Flour (aka Tapioca Starch)
  • 2½ TBSP (0.8 oz) Xanthan Gum  – I used 3TBSP of ground chia seeds

I also threw in about 1/4C of ground flax meal that I had from a failed gluten free garbanzo bean flour tortilla recipe I found.

and I mixed the lot really well.

You don’t have to buy pre-ground flours or meals. I used a blender to grind the inexpensive bags of rice/seeds I bought.  The entire flour mix cost just over $7, I used 2.5C, of approximately 20 cups making this loaf approximately $1 (including oil and yeast costs) to make. That’s a pretty good deal for no preservatives, no additives, no allergens and a pretty amazing taste and smell. We’ll see what other recipes we can enjoy from it.

So, once I made the dough and allowed it to rise, I unthinkingly punched it down. The nice thing about gf dough is you only need to let it rise ONCE, lol. SO, I decided flat bread was delicious bread, too.

after the bread had risen

I used this really basic wheat bread recipe.

I used 1/2 TBSP of honey to feed the yeast, 2.5C gf flour mix and baked in oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

baked loaf

And it is delicious.

inside the loaf

I’ll post 2nd attempt – one in which I don’t punch down the bread before baking, lol.

It’s a great bread! It comes out of the pan dense but doesn’t taste dense like other gf baked goods I’ve purchased. It has a rich yeasty smell and a subtle flavor.