Short and Sweet

A few small things I have noticed, all of which make me smile, in no particular order:


  • A precious friend who is both amazing and humble. 
  • Summer Honey beer, by Big Sky Brewery in Missoula, Montana.
  • My own impatience with a slow computer. Silly me! Even the slowest is still faster than going through the encyclopedia!
  • My boss' dog does not wag his tail. He wags his whole back end.
  • Waking up next to my sweet hubs. Falling asleep next to him. Living my life next to him.
  • The spotted fawn who went bounding across my back yard last night, tail up, head high and having a grand time like only a child can.
  • Fritos.
  • A great pair of jeans that fit just right.
  • Sweet, creamy coffee in my cup this morning.
  • Being alive, healthy, happy, free on the earth and in the most beautiful of places. 

To Be Better

Working in customer service, and directly with the public, for so many years taught me a lot of things and most of them were good things. Only recently did I come to realize that those years also put a serious tarnish on my compassion. I need to work on getting my compassion back in glowing condition.

I need to cuss less. It is important to me that profanity is used in a descriptively appropriate way. If I drop an F-bomb, it should be necessary to the point I am making.

I want to be more active in my community. I work 15-20 fewer hours a week now, and I want to use some of that time to give something.

We are going to eat better, in that we will be growing more of our own food than we have done in the last few years. Until we can get that garden going, I'll be hitting the local farmer's markets and participating in Bountiful Baskets. Saturday's basket was great! Plums, two beautiful cantaloupes, onions, baby romain, spaghetti squash, zucchini, green onions, bananas and some other stuff I can't recall right now. Check out Bountiful Baskets and see if there is a co-op in your area.

More writing. More writing!!! Finish that book! Post more regularly. Yes. I want to write more. I NEED to write more.

Speaking of that, I want to start a blog with my sweet hubs: a blog about this Montana adventure. I want it to include photos of his many projects and chores, the wildlife in our yard, the garden, the dogs, and my kitchen adventures. Maybe include some bits on local life, such as that farmer's market. Sweet Hubs writes very well, in addition to all of his other talents, and I think you'd love to read him. Now, if I can only talk him into it. :-)




Faces

Somewhere, I can't remember where, I heard some famous person talking about why we omnivorous humans feel differently about eating animals like mollusks and shellfish than we do about eating beef and pork and other animals with faces. It seems like the "cuter" the animal, the more difficult it is to eat it, and "ugly" animals may hardly even cause a hesitation. No one ever said, "Awww! Look at that oyster!"

I touched on it briefly in a previous post, but let's explore it just a little more: eating an animal "with a face" is one thing when you buy your meat at the grocery store and it arrives to you in a neat and anonymous little styro tray. It is so easy to pick up that ribeye and not even make a mental picture of a beef steer. Maybe this is one reason why people like me, who grab a package of meat out of our freezers and are choosing a cut of a single, identifiable animal, tend to look at our food a little differently. It doesn't really matter if it is an animal we raised or one we harvested, there is nothing anonymous about it. That beautiful, marbled steak in the butcher case is a sterilized way to look at meat.

The notion of being that connected to our food goes much further than just my freezer full of neatly marked packages. A friend mentioned her son's contentment at sitting down to a meal of food he had grown: the meat, the potatoes, the veggies... it all came from his patch of ground. It is very satisfying to feel personally responsible for your own food.

That responsibility comes with a thorn, of course. It isn't always easy to pull the trigger on a deer some 300 yards away. It wasn't easy to swing that hatchet to put a turkey on our Thanksgiving table, or to dispatch an animal whose personality you know. That we can do this at all seems to me to underscore our human position in the food chain and our biology as omnivores. It is also hard work to get meat into the freezer, but it is worth that work when you know what you're eating and when you can have a truly full appreciation for it.


How I Know

I think this is true of many, many people, though most of us keep it hidden: even though I may seem self-confident and capable, on the inside I actually feel like rather a fraud. I have enough self-doubt and -criticism to make me question why someone likes me, or whether I really can do the job and so on.

It seems like most people have that insecurely chewy center in the middle of our hard shells. Even though I am a very happy person who feels amazingly blessed in a myriad of ways, I always have that hesitant, unsure, oddball inner girl to console.

And yet, I know I must be pretty darn amazing.

I know because I am married to one of the most wonderful man I've ever met. He is brilliant and loving and all-around awesome; he says he loves me, acts like he likes me, too, and he keeps coming home. So I know.

I know because I have the two best sons anyone could have. They are fine, honorable, beautiful men who I am immensely proud of. I also know because my son's girlfriend treats me like a mom (and not a scary Marie Barone kind of mom, either). So I know.

I know because there are some incredible people who are willing to be my friends. Insightful, discerning, funny, intelligent, accomplished, brave, beautiful, well-balanced people who actually will hang out with me. People I have worked with are willing to be my friend. If you can spend 8+ hours a day with me and not want to bludgeon me with a keyboard, I must alright. People who supervised me and (a few of the) people who were supervised by me are willing to be my friend. People who have seen me at my worst: angry, or scared, or bitchy, or just plain quirky, are willing to be my friend. Even people who have lived right next door to me are willing to be my friend! So I know.

I know because people tell me their stories. They tell me their secrets, their sorrows and their joys. Strangers, even, will tell me their stories. They will take time out of their busy day to tell me something that is true and real and deep about themselves. So I know.

I know because people laugh at my jokes (well, some people laugh at some of my jokes), they read what I write, eat what I cook, stay at my house and sometimes they try a wine or a book I suggest. So I know.

When I stop for a moment to look at the people who are willing to share their time and their heart with me, I realize that the uncertain little girl inside has nothing to worry about. Because all of the people let me know.