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Restarting starter

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Well, it happened. I didn't feed my sourdough starter for several days, and now it smells different. It doesn't smell bad, but to me, different is bad enough, so I tossed it and will begin again this afternoon.
It may have been salvageable, but I can't take that chance. I had such an awesome sour smell going, and the bread from it was great in flavor, evidenced by requests for starters from my original.
Like losing weight, these things will be met by challenges that sometimes can only be answered by throwing out the base and starting anew.
Even in my adventures in baking sourdough, I had to consider what to do differently to get a better looking crust, a shape that stayed a shape, and things of that nature. I'm not done, and I'm not done on this journey to a smaller me. Call me an amateur sourdough loaf.


Onward christian soldiers

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I had a rather sad conversation with a patient today. Her son is in Afghanistan and by the time he returns stateside, will have been there some 18 months. She said that he spoke of not wanting to be christian, of prefering atheism, because he couldn't wrap his head around going to another country and killing people he didn't know, who hadn't directly or actively harmed him, and worst of all, felt that combat service would bar him from going to heaven when he dies.
While the human race is in general a peaceful one, we are certainly capable of committing acts of great harm to one another, and even killing with impunity another living being, for no other reason than that we can.
I don't know what it feels like to be a human who values life, any life, who also finds a calling in military service and thereby ends up killing innocent others, just because they fall under that nebulous marquee of "The Enemy". I don't know what it feels like to be part of the police forces, and causing death or serious injury to someone because that person represents a danger to himself or to others.
I don't know what it feels like because I've never killed another person, and my personal principles also restrict me from killing other living creatures, if there are alternatives.
I know a little bit of how it feels to question the sanity of my actions, even if they were the necessary evil. I know that a lot of what I've done in my life are not things I can discuss with others, because to me they are too horrendous to bring out into the open. I know what it is to be judged on superficial levels, and I know how much it hurts even so.
So here was the question: How can someone who kills another, even in a justified situation, reconcile that act with his or her soul?

I don't know the answer. There might not be one.
I don't know much about Jesus. It seems to me, however, that Jesus actually had only one rule for anyone wishing to gain entry to heaven after death. His only rule was, "Accept me".
There are quite a few people on this earth who have done reprehensible things, sometimes because they had no choice. I don't see the sense in complicating the conscience with threats of eternal damnation as a result of those choices. It just doesn't make sense.

I hope that those people whose job it is to sometimes take lives can -some day- learn to accept that they are still worthy of understanding, help, and Love.


I'm caring for my soul

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Started reading a book, "Care of the Soul" by Thomas Moore, and it's an interesting concept, especially as I am reading two other books with similar philosophical ideals, one about blessings and one about being a green witch.
In the realm of religion, I call myself heathen. I follow no gods - or goddesses for that matter.
My spiritual path is connected with the Earth of which I am a part, because I am of Nature. My belief is that we, as humans, are the caretakers of the Earth and for this we have been blessed with that higher understanding that makes us so unique: we are self aware.
I am learning to give blessing for things that ordinarily I'd set aside as disdainful or upsetting.
I am not one thing or the other; I am not a good person or a bad one; I am not selfless or selfish. I don't sacrifice or gloat. I am, simply and completely.

Today, I will honor my Self by cleaning my home till it sparkles. I don't have a choice; the other day Blaze found a bag of toasted pecans that fell off my kitchen table and had "grazed" halfway through it before I discovered it. It was 3 lbs of pecans. My carpet ... well, 'nuff said. Bless her, because when she has to crap, she does it in one spot. I won't dwell on the fact that that one spot is in the entryway to my bedroom... no, I won't dwell. She is a Good Girl, and I love her. I love her even when she has an accident and I'm right there in the house to let her outside if she just lets me know she has to go.
Bless Dorian, who is so good about wearing a diaper to bed, because she still has no control over her bladder when she's asleep.

If anyone needs to know how to diaper a dog with regular baby diapers (more effective than cutting a tail hole in it and letting all that fluff spill all over the place), ask. It takes two at a time, but even that is cheaper than buying doggie diapers. It will work for senior citizens as well, and I wish I'd figured this out when I had my old dog Naya.

Have a wonderful day. I hope that each of us finds a reason to smile.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TALENKARR 4/18/2010 10:10AM

    ....... Well at least your dog has good taste in nuts. You have a very positive attitude. good for you!

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So this woman walks into a pizza place...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Damn it all.

I decided to get pizza from the BEST pizza place in 3 counties. I ordered a small gourmet veggie pizza and brought it home and started munching on it. Ate nearly the whole thing.
All of the sudden, my entire gut just blew up and out and I had the most awful gallbladder protest pain in a long, long time. It was terrible and painful and I thought I was going to be sick. Two hours later and I felt a lot better but even the smell of the leftover pizza makes me nauseous. The only thing that will relieve this kind of episode is sips of plain water, as much as I can get down in the shortest time possible.

So, Sparkpeople, you have created, for me, an intolerance for high-sodium, high-fat, high-calorie foods. I guess that's a good thing, but I sure wish I didn't have to figure it out the hard way.


Flirting with danger

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I have lost a total of 14 lbs so far. My usual reaction to this kind of realization is to start eating like there's no tomorrow.
I also went a bit further into the danger zone... by talking about having lost this weight with folks at work. It's been a running joke now with some of the other employees because they all see me eating non-stop (it seems), and I've talked about giving myself permission to eat what I want, when I want, and as much as I want.
And I still lost weight!
It's interesting to note that, as soon as I had the freedom to eat with abandon, I stopped eating with abandon. I pack my lunch bag with an eye to proteins, complex carbs, filling foods that aren't calorie-intense, even if it's all "instant" food, such as canned soup or a frozen meal. When I can, I make a fruit smoothie to take for an instant breakfast, and supplement with nuts for protein and good fat. I'm still not counting calories or fat grams or anything like that. I'm not measuring or weighing portions. I'm just eating when I feel I need some food, some nourishment.
The binge cycles are slowing down and lengthening out. Will I ever overcome them completely? I doubt it. I think we all have a few binges in us, that we will never evict. And it's okay.

What's also okay is that I know I'm going to fall down - a lot - before this life is over. Life will never be perfect or ideal, because it isn't meant to be that way. What I can achieve, and have here and there, is happiness, and the ability and desire to love who I am.

A post isn't complete without bread news. My latest dough finally doubled, but I'm not really impressed with its sluggishness. I'll shape it and leave it to rest overnight and then bake it in the morning. I'm going to rest it in a bowl, wrapped in a flour-infused towel, and then turn it over to bake, and at that point I'll give the top a slash. I'm an amateur, I admit it, so I'm taking liberties with technique.
I've kept the house pretty cool lately, so I'm doing an alternating day feeding for the starter, and only using 1/2 cup each flour and water. So far it seems to be alright, the smell is definitely coming along. In another month or so it should be amazing. Some day I may buy some starter from King Arthur Flour's mother sponge, that's about 150 years old, just to see if I can make something as good. Anyone interested in bread baking, sourdough or other speciality bread knowledge, I subscribe to The Fresh Loaf, which is a fascinating website for bakers. It's mainly for people to share bread "stuff" but there are off-topic topics as well. I feel very much a fish out of water there, but the truth is that there are quite a few subscribers who are just as new to bread baking as I am. Have fun!


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