Monday, April 9, 2012

Thoughts of stuff and some things as well

This weekend we went to South Coast Plaza and found a dress for me for the wedding in May- hooray! I wore my new Merrell Serene Gloves all day and did not have a problem. I find that when I do not wear the ribbons around my ankles, the back of the right shoe rubs the back of my foot wrong, but with the ribbon it is fine. I still find myself stomping a bit and am learning how to walk softly.

I am so eager to get my shipment of 30lbs of nuts (another 25lbs almonds and 5lbs pecans). I want to get cracking! I have been using cotton gloves sold at pharmacy stores to help prevent blistering and tearing up my fingertips, but I go through the gloves pretty quickly, so I decided to check out a sporting goods store to see if I could find a more durable solution. Many weight lifting gloves were finger-less, and golfing gloves were too thin, so we went with women's batting gloves- dexterous but durable. Very excited to give them a try. I am sure that if I use the fingertips to peel open the sharp cracked pecans I would tear them, so I need to be sure to use a pick and remove a glove for that part. Mostly the protect my hand from the crackers not the nuts.

I was sick last week- I very strange kind of sick- just very very tired and achy and heavy. Slept a lot and didn't eat a ton, but never threw up or had any congestion. I am glad it finally passed- it stuck around a long time! (Sunday to Friday!)

I made some tasty food for a gathering last weekend- all Primal- I made chicken enchilada stew that was too hot for me due to NM green chiles and I forgot to serve with cheese. I made my almond blondies with extra dark chocolate, and my first time trying a toasted walnut (but I burnt all the walnuts so we used pecans) pomegranate and apple salad with home made dressing that I made too olive-oily, but was ok :P. I served butternut squash fries- just dipped in EVOO with salt and broiled/baked that were a big hit!! My bacon crusted sweet potato mash got cold too fast and wasn't a big hit. I gave party favors of my home made sweet and salty trail mix :)

It was an excellent gathering, and I had SUCH a great time- good eats, good times and great company!

Oh we also stopped at our favorite restaurant- Habana in Costa Mesa- truly a delicious and unique experience. The food is ALWAYS great, brunch lunch or dinner- it is the kind of place where they might say- no crab cakes today, the chef said the crab wasn't good enough today- very high standards. They have the best key lime pie I have ever had. We both had the specials- John had pork belly served over wilted spinach and a bacon, bean, sweet potato mash thing. I had the pan seared halibut with cream of mushroom sauce served over garlic mash. Both were absolutely delicious. The fish was cooked to perfection- crispy on the outside as if breaded and tender and flaky on the inside. We also had the crab-cake appetizers which we love. John has iced tea (unsweetened, not fruity) everywhere we go, and Habana has some of the best tea ever - no idea what they use :)

I find myself interested still in learning how to make a fire and build a shelter. I want to read and gather knowledge about wilderness survival, but it seems experience is far more valuable than stocked goods and equipment or books read. I also want to learn more about urban homesteading, urban survival, being sustainable. In reality, I live in a more suburban area than urban (thank goodness) but I still don't really have a plot of land to work with, rather a cemented patio I can put planters on (or hang from). I have a real tickle to do some gardening. I want to try succulents and herbs as those seem hardy and common and cheap and a good way to start. Again, I am tempted to read and learn and print and highlight, but in reality experience and trial and error will be the real learning.

I finished up The Road and now I am going to listen to some H.P. Lovecraft. I want to listen to Brian's Saga by Paulsen, but I can't find a good audio copy of the Hatchet and it is short, so I may try to borrow it from a library. I watched Never Cry Wolf and LOVED it. I think it is largely because the main character is quirky like me, and I think like him. I don't care if the info about wolves is wrong, I really loved this film. I also watched Alone in the Wilderness- the true story of a guy who builds a cabin in Alaska and stays for year- everything from scratch- it is absolutely incredible to see his carpentry skills. I think most people get this sense of longing for being so independent and self-reliable, but the reality is without growing up on a farm or having someone to show me all of this and the opportunity to practice practice practice it isn't very realistic.

I was listening to The Survival Podcast and it talked about the comfort you might feel by having tested yourself and found and addressed your vulnerabilities and strike a balance of preparedness - rather than spend tons of effort, energy and money stockpiling things you never user or know how to use, there are every-day ways to prepare for the more common and likely events- regional disasters- blackout, hurricane, earthquake, fire, etc. Can you go without power and running water for 24 hours in your house? Survival preparedness is more than having a pack of fancy shmancy freeze dried goods and thinking about the zombie apocalypse, it is getting the legitimate needs addressed. Knowing where you would meet if something happened and you couldn't go home. Your nearby family that might need you. How to have light and water at your house for a few days when you need it. I want to read and do more about this- I want to try the 24 hour test. I have to work on convincing John to do it with me :P

I want to garden - yes I someday want a gopher proof irrigated garden that grows veggies I eat, but I also know that if I don't start now, that desire gets further and further away. I have hanging baskets and succulents to take cuttings of. The farmers market has herbs and succulents for sale as well. All I need is soil and determination :)

I want to learn my vulnerabilities, practice for disaster in a not-crazy-person way. Pretend there is a blackout, store some more water in the garage, go in the woods and make fires and shelters. I want to open the zombie/survival kits, inventory them, see what is needed and know how to use what is there. It is crazy to keep adding snares and smoke grenades and a hand chain saw when you can do so much of what you need with a good knife. I want to learn how to use what I have rather than go nuts making an insanely heavy pack heavier with real things that are more of fun gestures (like say a grappling hook... but hey, I want to PLAY in the woods, climb trees, exercise in FUN and new ways. Where is a safe place to play- erm I mean  learn how to use a grappling hook? I know, your answer is, Veronica, there is no safe way for you to use a grappling hook. :P) I want to be strong enough to pull myself out of the water or up from a ledge. I want to be smart and level headed enough to not panic if I am lost. I want to know how to get through a tough time. I want to stockpile and use skills that for me are educational, fun, and functional.

Also, I am still totally on a tea kick. I love Adiago teas black dragon pearls, Irish breakfast and lady grey as well as a hazelnut chocolaty tea like Harney and Sons Florence. I am not turning out to be a big fan of rooibos. Too powerful of a taste- it masks all the other flavors. I like a good spiced chai that isn't too cardamom-y. I like licorice root tea and cinnamon teas. I want to try more oolong and green and black and green and white mixes. Greens alone are not my thing for now. :)

I want to take the stairs every day and try a pull up every day and do my strength training twice a week. I want to keep doing yoga at home. I am doing good at meditating and prayer lately. I want to go and hike every weekend, or at least a nice long walk or some nut cracking in the sun on the grass regularly.

I want to learn not to advertise so much bacon consumption- if you aren't eating organic no extra nitrates added, no or low sugar, great quality bacon like Neiman ranch or Applegate, then bacon IS pretty bad for you. As with pretty much anything, too much bacon is also bad for you. Standard meat carries much of the toxins in the fat- if you can't get grass fed or organic, get lean, the saying goes. I want to not say I am Paleo as that is such a changing and confusing word these days, or even a high fat low carb, as that isn't always the case, but rather I focus on no grains, no gluten and no refined sugar. Real food- organic, farmer's market, etc. If it comes in a package, I hesitate. If it has more than 5 ingredients or ones I cannot pronounce, I hesitate. I eat full fat dairy and nuts and seeds and fruits in moderation. I sleep lots, play, love myself, and challenge myself. I eat what makes me feel good and these days heavy starchy carb-heavy foods or sugary foods or processed foods don't feel good at all. My tongue likes them, and not even that all of the time. I don't smoke or drink, I park farther away and walk a little further and try to think of three distinct things I am grateful for each day. I try to listen to my body rather than medicate, squash, and force it. I try and hear both sides of the story and stay open minded. I choose not to participate in much of the media and news and politics and focus my energies on bettering my little local community where I don't feel so small, overwhelmed and insignificant. I smile at strangers, return the cart, pick up the litter, and try to be like a duck and let troubles roll off my feathers like water.

Happy Monday world.

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