Monday, December 31, 2007

Tres Leches

On New Years Eve this year, my daughter Sky and I made a Tres Leches Cake, which I discovered to be a popular dessert in Ecuador (where I grew up). Surprisingly, I hadn't ever heard of it, and so we decided to try it. Wow! It was really rich and it was really good! And it was so easy to make!


Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour

Ingredients for the Syrup:

  • 1 can (410 g) evaporated milk
  • 1 can (400 g) condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream or whole milk

Ingredients for the Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbs. sugar

Procedure for the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Grease and flour a 9x13 in. pan.
  3. Beat the egg whites in a clean metal bowl until stiff peaks form. For best results, use cold egg whites directly from the refrigerator.
  4. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a separate bowl until it forms a creamy yellow mixture.
  5. Stir the flour and sugar together in another bowl.
  6. Add the egg yolk mixture to the dry ingredients and blend thoroughly by hand.
  7. Fold the whipped egg whites into the creamed mixture with large, gentle strokes.
  8. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20 to 30 minutes or until light brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Once the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and put it into a deep dish. Let cool slightly before adding the syrup.

Procedure for the Syrup:

  • Blend the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and cream.
  • Pour over the cake, making sure to cover it entirely. R
  • Refrigerate and cool completely.

Procedure for the Topping:

  • Beat the cream with the 3 tbs. of sugar until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread over the cake.
  • Refrigerate - or eat immediately.
Options and Variations:
  • Some recipes in the region add a cup of rum to the milk mixture.
  • The recipe itself is neutral enough in taste to handle a touch of flamboyance. It can be lightly dusted with ground cinnamon or instant coffee.
  • Berries or bananas can be layered beneath the cake mixture and placed atop the meringue.
  • Toasted coconut or chocolate shavings can be sprinkled on top.
  • Caramel sauce can also be drizzled over the topping.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Fortune Cookie





My Fortune Cookie told me:
Pensioners are plotting to steal your lawnmower.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Questions for God

Spawned by the Question of the Day, I now have a gagillion questions for God. It's quite a list.

  1. What is my purpose in life?
  2. Am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing?
  3. Am I supposed to be doing anything in particular?
  4. Is the concept of "supposed to be" even a valid one?
  5. Do you love me?
  6. Am I acceptable?
  7. Am I a miserable failure?
  8. Who are you anyway?
  9. Why am I here?
  10. What do you want from me?
  11. How do you expect me to know what you want if you don't tell me anything in plain english?
  12. Do you speak english?
  13. Who am I really?
  14. Why am I having so much trouble doing and/or being ... (insert long list here) ... ?
  15. Can I please have a bunch of money so I can get out of debt?
  16. I would very much like for you to call me up on the phone every day so we can have a nice long talk, would you please do that for me?
  17. How can I make sure that the answer to the previous question is "yes"?
  18. You could give me a big red phone. It could say "hot line to God" on it. Everyday it could ring, and I would answer it. We could be friends, you could help me with stuff, wouldn't that be fun?
  19. Maybe I could even help you with stuff, don't you think that would be fun?
  20. Of course, you probably never need help... (insert big sigh of relief on my part), that's true, isn't it? You're the Master of the Universe, you don't need any help with anything, do you?
  21. Especially not from me, right?
  22. Maybe you don't even know who I am. Do you know me? Have we met before?
  23. What is actually true?
  24. Are you reading this list of questions right now?
  25. Do you think maybe you might answer one of them today?
  26. What if I said "please"?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Quote for today

I like flaws and feel more comfortable around people who have them. I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.

~Augusten Burroughs

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Toothpaste For Dinner?

toothpaste for dinner

I found this wonderful silliness at toothpastefordinner.com, and now I'm sharing. Isn't that special?

-oOo-

toothpaste for dinner

-oOo-

toothpaste for dinner

-oOo-

toothpaste for dinner

-oOo-

toothpaste for dinner

-oOo-

toothpaste for dinner

Monday, December 24, 2007

My Christmas Wish For You!

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  • May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.
  • May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills.
  • May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
  • May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires and may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.
  • May the problems you had forget your home address!

Oh, and by the way our contract of friendship has been renewed for the New Year 2008! It was a very hard decision to make. So try not to screw it up!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What crappy christmas gift are you?

You Are Ugly Underwear!

Comfortable and soft, more people like you than let on.
But it's very difficult for you to show yourself in public.


OMG!
I can't believe I just posted what has (up until now) been super secret confidential TOP SECRET information about me!
LOL
Ok, now it's your turn!


What Crappy Christmas Gift Are You?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sweet Talk

Sweet talk - that's my astro.com horoscope for today.

This is a very agreeable influence that makes you feel quite positive and friendly toward everyone you meet. Also you are in tune with your feelings, and you speak with considerable sensitivity.

This is a good time to meet new people, because you can project the most agreeable side of your personality. If you like to make sweet talk, that is this is the time for it. Of course this is an excellent time to talk with someone about your feelings of love and friendship, for it will be easier than usual to talk about these feelings. Often embarrassment or shyness prevents you from doing this, but that should not be a problem now.

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In general, your approach to life today will be lighthearted, and you should enjoy the day very much. You may find it difficult to adopt a serious attitude about anything, however.

The Winter Solstice Planetary Alignment

On Dec 22 at 12:09 AM Central Standard Time there will be a rare planetary alignment. This particular line up of planets hasn't happened in 26,000 years. Because I am now consciously working to create a connection to the rhythms of the earth, I thought it might be beneficial and helpful to take a look at how the alignment falls on my natal chart.

And, WOW, the alignment is right on right on my ascendant. What that means exactly, I'm not entirely sure, but it certainly looks really interesting. My chart makes a kind of a bowl shape with the alignment shooting right into it. Here's a picture of it, the transits are shown around the outside of the circle.



The best site for astrology, charts, and horoscopes is Astro Dienst. Check it out! For the most accurate horoscope and natal chart, you will need to know the place and time of your birth. If you don't know what that is, and cannot find out, the chart created will still be useful and, for the most part, right on target.

Interestingly, I will be Christmas Shopping at that exact moment. I thought about putting it off, but we have an ice storm moving in on Saturday, and this is my very LAST day to get it done before Christmas. So.... I wonder what will happen! I'm open and I'm willing and I'm wading right in!

What DO I want?

Today, I actually took the time to write down what it is that I really do want. I expected the list would look a little bit different than it does. I fully expected my list would say that I want money, and I want to be healthy, and I want a Vardo Van, and I want my dog to live as long as I do, and I want to be enlightened, and I want everything to be OK. And while those things are certainly embedded, the list itself came out somewhat different, here it is:

FREEDOM: To be free financially, not tied down to a boring job; not worried about how all the bills will be paid; no debt hanging over my head; free to go where I want to go, to do what excites and interests me, to be free from the obligations and problems that deplete my energy and "bring me down."

CONNECTION: deep real and intimate connection... to what? To the earth, to primal energy, to creativity, to love, to truth, to the tides, the seasons, the rhythm of nature, to magic, to... insight, intuition, the innermost resources of my own heart.

I really want to be wide open to life. Raw and real. Sharp and soft at the same time. Honest. Willing to walk through fear, to wade right into whatever presents itself. No more running, no more hiding, no more closing the windows and locking the doors.

And it occured to me that the list is actually in a sort of reverse order. When I am wide open to life, willing to walk through fear and wade right into whatever presents itself, when I am done running, and hiding behind closed doors, that's when I will begin to feel that deep and intimate connection to life itself... to magic, to the innermost resources of my heart. And when I accomplish that, I WILL be free.

So, there it is. Osho Open Door Meditation, here I come!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Eight Principles and Fun

So, I was thinking about the Osho Playfulness card, and found myself on a small journey. First, I stumbled into a cute little flash movie about fun.

You can find it at Eight Principles. I watched the little presentation, found it enjoyable and next thing you know I'm answering questions like this one: Like a little more fun in your life? And signing up for this: A free 5 part e-course: The Five Questions for a Life of Fun, Inspiration and Action. It's short. It's practical. And it's free.

So, starting tomorrow, it looks like I'll be investigating how to have a life of Fun, Inspiration, and Action. I'll let you know how it goes, and if it's interesting, I'll post it here or on The Prosperity Project. In the mean time, I really like the principles - especially that first one - Stop Following the Rules. I think I'm going to do a series of posts on them. Look for it sometime after Christmas. I'm going to see if I can find some fun pictures to illustrate each one.

They also have another flash movie: The 5.75 Questions You've Been Avoiding! Interestingly, I avoided watching it. LOL. If you happen to check it out, let me know if it's worth a look see.

Playfulness

When I was at Osho.com the other day, I played his online Tarot, and pulled this card two times in a row, I decided that maybe I should take it seriously, so here is the commentary:

Life is rarely as serious as we believe it to be, and when we recognize this fact, it responds by giving us more and more opportunities to play.

The woman in this card is celebrating the joy of being alive, like a butterfly that has emerged from its chrysalis into the promise of the light. She reminds us of the time when we were children, discovering seashells on the beach or building castles in the sand without any concern that the waves might come and wash them away in the next moment. She knows that life is a game, and she's playing the part of a clown right now with no sense of embarrassment or pretense.

When the Page of Fire enters your life, it is a sign that you are ready for the fresh and the new. Something wonderful is just on the horizon, and you have just the right quality of playful innocence and clarity to welcome it with open arms

He also said this:

The moment you start seeing life as non-serious, a playfulness, all the burden on your heart disappears. All the fear of death, of life, of love - everything disappears. One starts living with a very light weight or almost no weight. So weightless one becomes, one can fly in the open sky.

Zen's greatest contribution is to give you an alternative to the serious man. The serious man has made the world, the serious man has made all the religions. He has created all the philosophies, all the cultures, all the moralities; everything that exists around you is a creation of the serious man. Zen has dropped out of the serious world. It has created a world of its own which is very playful, full of laughter, where even great masters behave like children.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Got the blues?



I found this nifty widget! And since the blog loads so slow already, I didn't want to bog it down with yet another sidebar widget. So here it is as a blog post! I wish I didn't have crappy dial up.... It won't play properly for me... so this is just for you guys... my gift to you! And if you don't like blues music... well... too bad. Here ya go anyway!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why can't I stop eating?


Here's what Osho says in answer to that question:

Food is always a substitute for love. People who don’t love, who somehow miss a life of love, start eating more; it is a love-substitute.

When a child is born, his first love and his first food are the same thing — the mother. So there is a deep association between food and love; in fact food comes first and then love follows. First the child eats the mother, then by and by he becomes aware that the mother is not just food; she loves him too. But of course for that a certain Growth is necessary. The first day the child cannot understand love. He understands the language of food, the natural primitive language of all animals. The child is born with hunger; food is needed immediately. Love will not be needed until long after; it is not so much of an emergency. One can live without love one’s whole life, but one cannot live without food — that’s the trouble.

So the child becomes aware of the association of food and love. By and by he feels too, that whenever the mother is very loving, she gives her breast in a different way. When she is not loving, but angry, sad, she gives the breast very reluctantly, or does not give it at all. So the child becomes aware that whenever the mother is loving, whenever food is available, love is available. Whenever food is not available, the child feels love is not available, and vice versa. This is in the unconscious.

Somewhere you are missing a life of love so you eat more — that’s a substitute. You go on filling yourself with food and leave no space inside. So there is no question of love, because there is no space left. And with food things are simple because food is dead. You can go on eating as much as you want — food cannot say no. If you stop eating, the food cannot say that you are offending it. One remains a master with food.

But in love you are no longer the master. Another being enters into your life, a dependency enters into your life. You are no longer independent, and that’s the fear.

Ego wants to be independent and ego won’t allow you to love; it will only allow you to eat more. If you want to love then the ego has to be dropped.

It is not a question of food; food is simply symptomatic. So I will not say anything about food, about dieting or doing anything. Because that won’t help you, you won’t succeed. You can try a thousand and one ways; that won’t help. Rather, I will say forget about food, go on eating as much as you want.

Start a life of love, fall in love, find somebody who you can love, and immediately you will see you are not eating so much.

Have you watched? — if you are happy you don’t eat too much. If you are sad you eat too much. People think that when they are happy they eat too much, but that is absolute nonsense. A happy person feels so fulfilled that he feels no space inside. An unhappy man goes on throwing food into himself.

So I won’t touch on food at all...and you continue as you are, but find a lover.

Above All,
Don’t Wobble

My Osho Horoscope

August 23 - September 22

Pain is a function of your mind’s holding. Fear is an opportunity to open doors too long left closed. Nothing to change, only to watch. In meditation fear is the guide to be loved. "If you move deep in meditation it will happen. Fear will disappear, because you know yourself endlessly. You go on spreading endlessly – back into the past, forward into the future, and this very moment, this present moment, in the depth of it you are there. You simply are – you never begin, you are never going to end."

What does your Osho Horoscope say?

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Four Forces

I found this today:
It's the Daily Message byPublished by Paulo Coelho on December 14, 2007

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Paulo Coelho, he wrote a book called "The Alchemist" that I really love. Apparantly, he's also a blogger. How cool is that?

So this is what he said in his message titled: The Four Forces

Father Alan Jones says that in order to build our soul we need the Four Invisible Forces: love, death, power and time.

We must love because we are loved by God. We must have an awareness of death in order to understand life fully.

We must struggle in order to grow, but without becoming entrapped by the power that is gained through that struggle, because we know that power is worthless.

Finally, we must accept that our soul, although eternal, is at this moment caught in the web of time, with all its opportunities and limitations. We must therefore behave as if time existed and do everything we can to value each second.

These Four Forces cannot be treated as problems to be solved because they are beyond our control. We must accept them and let them teach us what we need to learn.

-oOo-

So what do you think? Agree? Disagree?


I was especially struck by that last sentence about "the four forces cannot be treated as problems to be solved." And I have been wondering in what way do I see love, death, power, and time as problems to be solved? And beyond that, how do I allow them teach me what I need to learn? I will be mulling this one over for days.

If anyone has any insights... please share them!

Friday, December 14, 2007

I should have been a doctor! Who knew?

You Should Be a Doctor

You are practical, sharp, and very intuitive.
Optimistic and energetic, you are a problem solver who doesn't get discouraged easily.
You are also quite compassionate and caring. You make people feel hopeful.
You're highly adaptable and capable. You do well with almost any curve ball life throws at you.

You do best when you:

- Are always learning new subjects
- Use your knowledge to solve problems

You would also be a good therapist or detective.

Go Get The Money!

I got this letter via email today, and now I'm sharing.

Hi guys,

You all know that I am a sweepstakes lover! Good Housekeeping magazine is sponsoring a sweepstakes random drawing to give away $250,000 - go to mortgage.goodhousekeeping.com to enter. One entry per person. Deadline is Dec. 31st. Be sure to click on the link that says you don't want to purchase the magazine, you just want to enter the sweepstakes. If I don't win, I would love it if someone I know wins! :) Good luck!


Melissa
Make your travel plans with us!
http://www.johnsonadventures.com/

PS. Be sure to LOOK for the link that says you don't want to purchase the magazine. It's hidden in the box ABOVE the submit info. There are also places to click UNDER the submission info if you don't want special offers etc. Silly me, I saw the down below ones and clicked there but totally missed the "I don't want to subscribe" link. So, now I'm subscribed. At least until my first magazine comes, at which point I'll just send it back with a "cancel my subscription" note. Unless, of course, I happen to WIN the money in which case, what the heck... I'll give the magazines to my daughter.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In 1989 I did this:

Here I am, with my arm in a sleeve successfully inducing an aggressive little Rottweiler to bite me.

What you don't see in this picture is how my knees are like water, my stomach is churning, my heart is pounding, and I am terrified.

By the time I had finished dog training school, I was no longer terrified of large aggressive dogs - and I never did protection training again.

This morning I uploaded a collection of my dog training school pictures at Flickr, go check them out. The quality of the photos isn't that great, but I think they are pretty interesting. I added explanatory captions and everything.

I am now amazingly inspired by ... me! Wow! How cool is that?



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dear Shirley

The other day, I found an interesting post at Writing from the Inside Out. Here's how it starts out:

Dawn tagged me with a meme called "The Letter" The idea is to write a letter to your 13 year old self. I almost passed on this one because that was a life-changing year for me, but not in a positive way. The adolescent and teen years can be painful for many of us. I would be interested to know how many people can look back at their youth and say "I had a good childhood" and how many would look back and feel like crying.

I thought today might be a good day to write just such a letter, and I also wanted to post a picture of myself at age 13. So, I went scrambling through scrapbooks and photo albums, and while I was flipping through pictures, I was thinking of what I might say to that 13 year old me. And I was also wondering when exactly it was that I "lost" the "real" me, the "special" and "wonderful" me, the "all that I can be" me and became this "other" me that I don't take very good care of. Was it before or after boarding school? Have I lost "me" and found "me" and lost "me" again? Am I lost at all? Have I ever been found? What happened? and when did it happen?

Interestingly, every time I found a picture of a time that seemed to signal the "beginning of the end" of "me being me" - it would be closely followed by a time of me stepping out of established boundaries and doing something interesting, or inspiring, or foolhardy, or brave. All the way up until the situation I find myself in RIGHT NOW, my life has consistently been a series of me taking leap after leap in the dark!

So, while I am going to write that letter to the 13 year old me, I am also going to write a letter to the right now me. It goes something like this:

Shirley


Dear Shirley,

All your life you have done an admirable job of making sure that you maintain your integrity and your individuality. I am so proud of you. Yes, you get scared, and yes you often find yourself in dark places, but you persevere. You are awesome. All the astounding things you have accomplished in your life are just the beginning of what is yet to come. I know for a fact that you can do whatever it is that you set out to do. Right now you are in a nice safe little box, and it feels way too much like a box. So you have challenged yourself with debt, and you have challenged yourself with other interior obstacles because you will never be happy or comfortable in a safe little box. Go ahead and climb out of that box. Whatever you do, it won't be as terrifying as dog training school, it won't be as heartbreaking as boarding school, and it won't be as horrendous as that one year... you know the one...

So, get busy. Sell your stuff, liquidate your assets, go get your
Vardo Van. Start now on a program of regaining your physical fitness, begin now to eat right and to exercise - you are going to need to be healthy and fit when you start this next new thing. You know this is true because your intuition is telling you this, and your intuition is always right on. Remember, you don't have to do a goddamn thing unless you want to. So, pick what you want to do and do it full throttle. I support you 100%. If it comes down to us living in a cardboard box under a bridge - so be it! I still support you 100% and we'll have a hell of a time there and a lot to talk about if and when we ever get old.

I love you,
Your Best Friend Forever,
Shirley

Did you know I used to write stories?

Today I found a story I wrote years ago... I had totally forgotten it - and surprisingly - I really enjoyed reading it this morning. So I said to myself, "What the heck, I'll put it on my blog." It's a 3000 word story, which is kind of long for a blog post. So, I thought I'd introduce it here and then post it in four parts or "chapters".

The name of the story is Satisfaction Guaranteed. I must not have sent it to very many publishers because it doesn't have a bunch of return envelopes and rejection letters attached to it. This leads me to believe that I wrote it and then got discouraged because of other rejection letters received for other stories; or I wrote it and then got discouraged because the people around me didn't "rave" about how wonderful it was; or I wrote it and then got discouraged for totally unrelated reasons...

So, here it is: Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four

If any one has the fortitude to read the whole thing, I'd love it if you would let me know. You wouldn't even have to say that you liked it or didn't like it. Just knowing someone besides me actually read it would make my day.

Smiles and hugs!

Satisfaction Guaranteed

A short story

by Shirley Gibson


When Andrew Deacon Tritus moved into the vacant house with the 5 acre lot, he didn't ask the owner for permission, nor did he put money down for rent or lease. No one knew who the owner was anyway, and it didn't much matter. After all, the place was a falling down wreck out by the dump, an eye sore, and a menace to the roving bands of unwary children who scavenged the outskirts of town in the summer, looking for treasure, or trouble of one sort or another.

At first there had been some hope that he'd fix the place up. But, as old man Taylor used to say, (and he'd say this several times a day, managing to work it into darn near every conversation, particularly when the missus was present), "You cain't make a silk shirt out of a pig's ass." Which of course, always sent Missus Taylor into a regular hissy fit, and was probably why old man Taylor said it so often in the first place. After all, when you live in a place called Willard, a spit-in-the-road town in eastern Colorado, you don't see much excitement, and pretty much have to make it where you can.

So, Andy Tritus moved into the small house and spent his mornings fixing lawnmowers, radios, and whatever else came his way. He spent his afternoons making inventions that never quite worked because he was always having to use jury rigged parts scrounged from the dump instead of regular store boughts. And he spent his nights dreaming impossible dreams, reading science fiction, fantasies, and weird tales from the odd little magazines he sometimes found in the landfill.

On Saturday afternoons, Andy rode his wobbly 3-speed bike the five dusty miles into town. One day he hoped to have a car, but so far all he'd managed to scrounge up was the chassis of a burned out '65 Ford, four bald but well patched tires, and an engine block from a '76 Olds that was in pretty decent condition. How he was going to put it all together, he hadn't quite figured out yet.

Once in town, he'd pick up a few groceries and then stop in at Floyd's. The tavern was a dark little place, and Andy usually sat at the bar, hunched over the beer he'd bought with his hard earned cash; his one clean shirt, dusty from the long ride, hanging loosely on his narrow frame, and tucked into a pair of tan baggy pants that were cinched tightly with an old leather belt on which was burned the name Mike Barnstedd.

The bar girls never had much to say to him. Not even Lila, and she'd hit the sack with darn near every man who set foot in Floyd's. It wasn't because he didn't have money (which he didn't), or because he wasn't much to look at (which he wasn't - not with his long skinny neck and dishwater blond rough cut hair), no, it was because he just didn't seem interested.

And he wasn't. He wasn't interested in brassy middle-aged redheads (Lila), or hard edged girls with sharp eyes, and even sharper mouths, (Lix and Carrie). No, when Andy sat in that cool, dark, nearly empty bar on those late Saturday afternoons, he didn't think about the all too available girls lounging at the far table, smoking and sipping their diet soft drinks, making their evening plans. He thought about his dream girl, about what it would be like to one day walk in on a Saturday night, when the evening was in full swing, and the bar crowded, with a delicious looking blond draped over his arm - a delicious looking blond with a mouth like warm honey, and a body that really know how to please a man.

Of course, he knew that it was just a dream, and an impossible one at that, but it helped to pass the time, and like his old man used to say: "What good was a man if he didn't have dreams?"

And that's how things were until the day he found the advertisement. (read more)

Satisfaction Guaranteed - chapter two


And that was how things were until the day he found the advertisement. He never could remember where it came from. It was just there one day, sticking out from underneath an old coffee cup precariously balanced on a pile of old books and papers - a postcard, like the kind that fall out of magazines, or show up in your mail box addressed to "occupant".

He looked it over while he ate breakfast (stale donuts dipped in lukewarm coffee).

Mail order brides.
Tailored to fit YOUR individual needs.
We can MAKE your dreams come true!
Do not delay!
The lover of your dreams could be in your arms TODAY!
Satisfaction guaranteed!
Send for FREE information.
DO IT NOW!

"If I had me a bride the donuts would be fresh and the coffee hot," he thought as he chewed through a tough chocolate coated donut, and imagined a cheery white table cloth, flowered curtains blowing in a lilac scented breeze, and a beautiful blond with big brown eyes and a warm sweet mouth.

For some reason he always imagined her draped - draped over the kitchen counter, draped over his arm. A tawny golden female with a body that - he sighed, wiping chocolate off the side of his mouth with the back of his hand, thinking of an old Juke Box song - 'wraps all around me like a rubber band'. "That's what I'd have, if I could have me a made to order bride," he thought to himself.

Of course, he knew there was probably a catch to it somewhere. What kind of a girl would be that desperate these days, he wondered as he fiddled with the pop-up mechanism of Mrs. McCurdy's six slice toaster. But the words of the ad kept coming back to him, and he was tinkering with Emma Lacey's ancient upright vacuum cleaner, when it suddenly occurred to him that possibly some foreign girl (he had a temporary vision of an exotic sultry eyed beauty) just might be desperate enough to marry someone mail order. So he sat down and filled out the back of the card.

Just then a red faced Jack Riddle blustered in lugging his brand new 31 inch color TV. "The stinking lousy thing don't work." he shouted. "I spend $800 cash money, and the lousy piece of junk don't even work. So I take it back to make the assholes fix it under warranty but they say they gotta send to Jersey for the parts, New Fucking Jersey for crying out loud. It'll take three weeks to fix it, can you believe it? Three weeks, and my son, MY SON, is going to play in the Cotton Bowl game tomorrow afternoon."

Of course everyone in Willard knew that Jack Riddle Jr was going to play in the big game. Jack Sr had made sure of that. And Jack Sr could probably have watched the game on any number of 19 and 20 inch color TV's. But he had gone all out for this one, and by God, if he owned the biggest TV in town, he wanted to watch Jack Jr win the game on the biggest TV in town.

So Andy saved Jack Riddle from a stroke and a massive coronary by fixing the TV in a record two and a half hours. Jack Jr did not win the came but he did make a touchdown in a play that was played and replayed on the Riddle's VCR until folks quit going over to their house and the video tape began to get all dinged up from overuse.

In all the excitement, the strange little advertisement was forgotten. But Andy must have mailed the card, because a couple of weeks later he got a big manila envelope in the mail covered with odd looking stamps and strange foreign writing. The mailman hung around the mail box for 15 minutes talking weather, and speculation on who would win the super bowl, all the time hoping Andy would comment on the contents of the envelope. But Andy didn't know what was in that envelope, and he wasn't about to open it in front of Charley Shafer. The last time he'd done something like that, Charley'd let the whole town in on the news that his mother had left his father for a 25 year old male stripper named "Bubbles." It had taken Andy months to live that down, and while no one razzed him about it much anymore, folks weren't likely to forget it either.

When Charley finally left in a flurry of disappointed curiosity, Andy opened the envelope. (read more)

Satisfaction Guaranteed - chapter three

(go back to chapters one or two)

When Charley finally left in a flurry of disappointed curiosity, Andy opened the envelope. Inside was a full color brochure, forms, and a letter from "Acme Mail Order Brides." He looked at the pictures, glanced at the forms, and read the letter. The girls in the pictures were beautiful, all three of them. But no where in the letter did it say that THOSE girls were the mail order brides. It did say in the letter, that he would get exactly what he wanted, exactly what he ordered, and exactly what he paid for. And the service wasn't cheap either - $189.95 per bride - satisfaction guaranteed.

Foreign girls, Andy decided, it had to be. Well, he'd have to think about it. And think about it he did.

He thought about it that afternoon as he bent over the remains of the brand new riding lawn mower Sally Eckert had set on fire the night she caught her husband John kissing Carla leBeau on the mouth for a very long time in the kissing booth at the 4th annual School Daze Fair. Carla LeBeau was a foreign girl. She wasn't exactly his type, but she was built for pleasure, and not shy about it either.

He thought about it that evening while his TV dinner cooled, the turkey gravy congealing over spongy instant potatoes, and he sat at the dining room table and looked around the room actually seeing it for the first time in years. Thick cobwebs crowded the corners of the windows, piles of rumpled clothing, boxes of junk, scattered books, papers, oily rags, and gutted machines littered the floor and covered the faded sagging furniture.

And again that night as he lay in bed, alone, he thought about brown eyes, warm lips, a body he could get lost in... a golden beauty who would care for him, pleasure him, love him.

"I need a woman," he decided, foreign or no.

The next morning, he looked the forms over - $189.95! Andy pulled a battered bank book out of his back pocket. The balance was $62.17. Well, he could always sell the microwave oven. He'd found it in the landfill, boasting nothing more serious than a faulty timer. He didn't have much else to sell. There was the TV, his complete set of Space Alien comics, and his bike, his trusty bike. $189.95 was a lot of money, but he could scrape it up.

It took the better part of a day, but Andy worked steadily, answering questions, filling in the lines, and even adding a few of his own. From physical attributes to inner qualities, he painstakingly described the ideal woman, his dream lover. If he was going to have to sell his cherished possessions, he definitely wanted the most for his money, the best - and why not? at those prices!

At last it was done, the forms filled out, the money collected, the order sent out first class mail to a post office box in an obscure country overseas. Not even Charley Shafer was sure where it was.

The days dragged by with such irritating slowness that Andy found it impossible to sit still. He cleaned the little house inside and out, trimmed his hair, mended his clothes, washed the curtains, and cut the straggling grass in the front yard. Once a week he walked the 5 long miles to town to pick up groceries and other small necessities. But he never stayed for his Saturday beer. What if she came while he was gone?

Every day he burned a hole in the long dirt road, watching for her bus, her car, her cab....

How was she going to come anyway? Maybe he was supposed to pick her up somewhere! Did it say in the brochure? Andy tore through the house in a frenzy, dumping out boxes, rummaging through drawers, upending the furniture. He finally found it carefully folded and tucked into the inside pocket of his only good coat.

UPS - yes, there it was in small print on the bottom of the last page of the brochure. "Your mail order bride will be shipped UPS. Please allow 4 - 6 weeks for delivery."

Andy stared at the brochure. "Holy shit!" he said out loud, "It's some sort of robot! I've ordered a goddamn robot!" he was so upset at first, that all he could do was sit and stare out the window. He didn't eat, he didn't sleep, he didn't clean up the mess he'd made.

But after a day or two of sitting and staring, it didn't sound quite so bad. So what if she was a robot. She'd be beautiful, beautiful and capable, or by golly he'd send her back.

He tried to imagine his beautiful robot bride draped lovingly over his arm, but all he could come up with was a vision of a round metal canister, crushing his arm, looking like she came right out of "Lost in Space" saying, "I love you, Will Rogers."

The days ticked by. He was in a fever of anticipation on day - a robot! It must be state of the art equipment, he'd duplicate her and make millions! - and deep in a fit of depression the next, as his dream of tawny golden love and delicious sex filled nights expired in a tangle of microchips and chrome.

Then one day a big brown truck pulled up in front of his house. UPS! Andy broke out in a sweat. His heart thudded painfully against his throat. He could hardly walk to the door. (read more)

Satisfaction Guaranteed - chapter four

(go back to chapters one, two, or three)

Andy broke out in a sweat. His heart thudded painfully against his throat. He could hardly walk to the door. He had a sudden urge to pee.

"Sign here."

He signed, his fingers shaking, and slipping on the pen.

"You OK?"

He couldn't get his mouth to work, all he could do was nod. He looked around for the box, but all the UPS man had was a small brown package. That must be the control module, he thought, licking his lips. Or maybe it's for someone else. My box must be too heavy to lift. That's it! He'll need me to help him with it.

The UPS man handed him the package. It felt soft inside, like it held cloth.

Clothes! These were her clothes. Of course!

Andy followed the UPS man out to his truck, waiting for some indication of what to do. But the UPS man tipped his hat, said "So long," got into the truck and drove off leaving Andy standing there in the driveway, his mouth hanging open, holding the package.

He looked at the package. He looked at the rapidly disappearing truck. This couldn't be it. He looked at the return address. "Ace Mail Order Brides" it said. And marked on the package in bold block print, it also said, "Fragile. Handle with care."

Inflatable? he wondered. Did I spend $189.95 on an INFLATABLE BRIDE? Andy wanted to scream. He wanted to rage and kick and break things. But he didn't. He walked slowly into the little house holding the brown package. He put it down on the table and stared balefully at it.

I'll send it back, he thought. They'll return my money or I'll sue their butts off. I'll... I'll... kill those motherfucking con artists! Just as he was working himself into a frenzy of violence, the package moved.

Or something inside of it did. He looked at it, all thoughts of extreme violence forgotten. The package moved again. he heard a small scratching sound.

He reached out his hand slowly to touch the package. He poked at it with a finger - nothing. Then the seal began to separate. The package was opening itself. And there before his eyes unfolded a beautiful, breathtakingly beautiful table cloth of tawny gold. It shimmered and spread itself out, almost covering the table. Then the eyes opened. Large deep brown eyes set into the thickest part of the "table cloth."

Andy reached out to touch it to see if it was real. The edge of the cloth lifted and traveled warmly up his arm. "Draped over my arm," he thought, remembering the descriptions he'd so painstakingly written, "a vision of tawny gold."

The edge of the "tablecloth - that was all he could think of to call it - reached around his neck and fiddled with his ear. It felt delicious. He tried to ignore how nice it felt.

"Do I please you?" she purred.

Andy was speechless. She was a tablecloth for crying out loud! A talking purring tablecloth. Of course he wasn't pleased. Was he?

The "cloth" lifted off the table in a light graceful motion and settled around his shoulders. Brown eyes stared at him from his arm, and he could see that the edges of this strange creature were fingers, like fringe. And while some of those fingers were still playing gently with his ear, others had found more personal places, and soon she had wrapped herself warmly all around him.

"Do I please you?" she purred, and a thousand fingers took off his clothes.

Andy made a sound deep in his throat. One thing was sure, he probably wasn't going to send her back just yet.

* * *

Sometimes change happens slow, like moss growing on a rock -- the years go by and you don't notice until suddenly it's there, moss covered and looking like it's been there for centuries. That's how it was with the tumble down house out by the dump. No one paid much attention, and gradually the grass grew, flowers bloomed, shutters were fixed, and the paint on the trim shown like spit polished boots.

And Andrew Deacon Tritus didn't drop in at Floyd's on Saturdays anymore. He'd drive into town in the car he'd built, pick up his groceries, and smile when Leona May said that he sure did eat a lot for such a skinny young man.

Only the children had a notion of strangeness on the outskirts of town when summer afternoons would sometimes find them running home, eyes big as saucers, shouting about a golden tablecloth leading a small group of shimmering doilies on a rambling flight in and around the mounds of debris in the Willard County Landfill.

~the end~

Monday, December 10, 2007

I would be happier if

Ok, so today you are all in for another installment of the never ending "I would be happier if..." series.

I am healthy and I would be happier if my body wasn't covered with fat, and if I didn't have heartburn, and if I knew I was getting plenty of exercise and fresh air. I would be happier if I ate healthier food, if I had compassion and love for my digestive system, if I gave my physical self the care and the quality upkeep and maintenance that she deserves. I would feel better. And I would be happier.

Is this really true?
Yes! I think so. And if it's true, then why don't I do something about it? Why don't I at least make a stab at the cleansing fast that Daniel has actually done and that I haven't even tried to do? Why do I continue to buy my "groceries" at the local gas station?

Don't I want to be happy? Don't I want to take better care of Shirley? I can't even be nice enough NOT to post a picture of a donkey munching in a refrigerator. It looks too much like how I feel about me! So why don't I do something about it?

I don't get it...

Interestingly, I can't even find a current picture of myself to upload here. So, what's up with that? I went on an internet search for "fat" pictures to post instead, and came up with this awesome picture of someone named Teresina:

Wow! I love her outfit! She looks very powerful, doesn't she. Like a barbarian fertility goddess or something. I wonder if she hated her body, or if she liked pushing her "weight" around. I wonder if she avoided mirrors or not, and did she have lovers and suitors, and did she enjoy her life and if not why not, and if so... why?

And no, I'm not that fat, although I'm afraid that it could happen to me. And if I was that fat, I would be hiding in my bedroom, every mirror in the house would be disappeared, and nobody would have a picture of me ever! I wonder what it would be like to have a figure like Teresina... and at the same time to feel really good about yourself... confident... and beautiful. Willing to pose for a photographer wearing my best furs. I wonder how that would feel. I bet if I felt that good about myself, I'd be eating better - eating less - exercising more - going outside - and feeling happier.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Me? A Tortured Genius?

You Are 87% Tortured Genius

You totally fit the profile of a tortured genius. You're uniquely brilliant - and completely misunderstood.
Not like you really want anyone to understand you anyway. You're pretty happy being an island.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I am now an abstractionist!

I found this post at Flickr, and since I have done "The Work" on sabotaging every good thing that comes to me and how I should stop it now, I thought I'd act on it instead of sit on it:

Pedro C. says:

Hi, Just released a new online gallery, and we would love to have your art there. abstr.actioni.st. We are looking for a few people that want to show their work. The site is integrated with PayPal for all payments processing. And its absolutely free for those who choose to join now, but beware that paypal does charge a small commission (around 1eur for each transaction, check PayPal for detailed information on this).The site is its initial version so we are looking for some people to join in, promote themselves and at the same time help us improve the site reporting problems, or making suggestions of things you would like to have on the site. So, feel free to browse around and you can signup for a free account .

Between other things, you can also have your own domain name instead of abstr.actioni.st. Just drop me a line if you want to do so. You can report any problem or suggestion to the following email:pedro@abstr.actioni.st thanks for your time and hope to hear from you soon

Pedro Costa.

ps. feel free to pass on this information to who ever you think may be interested. Posted at 4:33AM, 26 November 2007 PST ( permalink )

I signed up right away. Check it out!. I only have a few things up today, and the plan is to put up a something new every week until there is a nice selection available.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I should stop it now!

My sister and I are doing "The Work" every day. Today, we are "working" on this statement: I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. We are both artists, and I found the dialogue about this subject really interesting, so I'm sharing it here. I hope she doesn't mind.

Grace: I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. True. My art commissions come and I accept them with reluctance. Opportunities are everywhere for me and I skirt them, ditch them and avoid them. Even the work I do get is subtly sabotaged by certain thought processes about it - especially about its worth, value and monetary symbolism.

The last time I framed mementos for the Race for the Cure, I put a hex on them so I would never have to do them again. They were gorgeous and they haven't called me since! Some of the commissions I get that require me to use artistic licence are fraught with such a subtle fear of failure that I can't really be original, creative or even enjoy the work (because and especially because it isn't original or creative).

I feel like I don't maximize my artistic potential because I sabotage that potential from the get-go. I wonder how much more money and work would come to me if I took the jobs I do get with wonder, joy, enthusiasm, excitement and gratitude and speedy love...


Shirley: I have got to stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me because if I don't stop it, good things will stop coming to me. Why would the universe continually present me with opportunities if I am too stupid, too lazy, to inadequate, and/or too frightened to take advantage of it. How many times would YOU offer something to someone if EVERY SINGLE TIME they either turned it down flat out, or made a huge freaking mess out of it? My guess is that pretty soon, those opportunities would stop being offered at all.

As for opportunities as an artist, I make damn sure that those opportunities never even arise. Look at this blog for example. As you can see, other than a few half hearted stabs at selling stuff, I have done absolutely nothing all year long. And the year is almost over!

Would my art be selling like hotcakes if I put myself 100% on the line with it? Would my cafe press store, my etsy store, and my finer works page be well traveled and and well shopped if I put some of my energy into that direction? I don't know ... because I haven't done it. Those little online shops aren't successes and they aren't failures. They are dead in the water.

And I don't exercise my artistic potential, nor do I exercise my other potentials because I am too busy putting all my time and energy into projects and ideas that will NEVER turn into anything. And I am too busy putting all my energy and my drive into avoiding anything at all that might actually turn into a success. As a matter of fact... "Much Ado About Nothing" pretty much sums up how I spend the majority of my time.

If someone came to me tomorrow and said, "Shirley, I will give you $1000 if you will do a Middle of the Night art piece... you choose the content, you choose the subject... do it your way... and I will buy it." OMG, I would be paralyzed. I would lose my paper. I would lose my art supplies, suddenly I wouldn't have any time at all, nothing I put on that piece of paper would be good enough, I might not even be able to get out of bed in the morning. Would that picture ever get done? I don't even know. Maybe... Maybe not.

Grace: I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. Is that true? It feels true.

Shirley: Yes, I do think it's true that I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. It does feel true. Desperately true.

Grace: Can I absolutely know I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me? No. I can't absolutely know anything.

Shirley: Can I absolutely know, beyond all doubt, that I should stop sabotaging every good things that come to me? Well... maybe not EVERY good thing. I don't have to be open and receptive to EVERY good thing. And actually, instead of sabotaging, I could simply say "No, not this time, thank you!" So, while I can say that yes, I should stop sabotaging the good that comes to me, I can also say that I do not have to take advantage of EVERY opportunity that comes my way. I do not have to play this elaborate, time consuming, energy depleting game of avoidance and sabotage - I could instead, be straightforward, and honest, and just say, "Thank you, I think I'll pass on this one. "

Grace: How do I react when I have the thought I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me? Put upon, overwhelmed, as if I should try to tackle and digest everything that comes my way. I feel uncertainty in my decisions, I feel awkward in my choices, I feel confused and muddled and disgusted with myself. My self talk is very harsh and scolding, and I despair of ever being successful.

Shirley: How do I react when I have that thought that I should stop sabotaging the good things that come to me? I feel pressured, and squeezed. Like I'm on trial for some terrible crime, and the long arm of the law is about to pound me into submission and defeat. I feel like I want to lock my door, unplug my phone, and hide under the bed. I feel like a failure, like a bug or a worm waiting to get squished. Interestingly, it feels sort of like a death sentence... or at the very least a really long prison term in a very bad place.

Grace: Who would I be without the thought I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me? Free to live and do what I do when the spirit comes my way. Free to enjoy what I'm doing when I do it. Trusting, safe, sure.

With the thought confused and muddled; without the thought free and sure. There is no stress free reason to hang on to the thought that I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me.


Shirley: Who would I be without the thought that I should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes my way? I would feel so much more confidence. I would stand taller, have more self assurance. I can see myself walking out the door each new day feeling sure of myself and my place in the world, knowing I have value and worth.

With the thought I'm huddling under the bed, without it I'm heading out the door ready, willing, and able to tackle just about anything that comes my way.

Grace: The turn around: I should sabotage the good things that comes to me.

  1. Well, if something good comes to me and I sabotage it, then it is reality. I can't argue with what is, so if I sabotaged something, then obviously I should have.
  2. I may not know that the thing that I have labeled as "good" is really good. Maybe I should sabotage it for the well being of the planet or me or someone else or some other unknown.
  3. Maybe by experiencing the frustration of self-sabotage I can be more compassionate to people who suffer from the same affliction - maybe if I didn't have to experience the pain of it I would be insufferable and pious.
  4. Maybe the pain of self-sabotage brings me directly to this place where I want to know the truth and I am willing to go inside and inquire.

Another turn around? My thinking should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. No kidding. Amen to that.

  • Four F's on a report card comes to me as the best possible thing and I sabotage it by thinking it is terrible.
  • A stray dog comes to me as the best possible addition to our family and I sabotage it by letting him linger under a tree for four days while I entertain thoughts like I don't want the hassle, the expense, the poop, the extra work...
  • The neighbors cut down a tree and I sabotage it by thinking that is the worst offense - for all I know the hastening of global warming could also hasten our collective enlightenment. We may never evolve without the end of the world looming over us! We may never fix our individual selves if we fail and fail and fail to fix our collective selves. We may be stuck in the material, outer reality if it doesn't start becoming scary and tragic. If we believe in an outer cause and it doesn't reward us with miserable failure, we could be stuck forever as missionaries and never turn into saints. We may need the destruction of our sacred religions to drive us into soul work.

I look forward to sabotaging the next good thing that comes my way. I will be very interested in inquiring about it. I may find another stressful thought behind there that wants to be met with love and understanding, like I might fail or I'm not good enough or I just don't want to do this but I feel like I have to... Who knows?

Shirley: My turn arounds are as follows...

  1. Sabotage is no longer necessary because I can just say "No, not right now, thank you very much."
  2. I do not have to say "yes" just because it's a good thing.
  3. When I find it impossible to just say "No", it is perfectly acceptable, logical even, to use the fine art of sabotage. I might even find something interesting and valuable under that bed.
  4. I am a master saboteur! Kudos to me!

As for that other turn around: My thinking should stop sabotaging every good thing that comes to me. Hmmm... I disagree. My thinking can do whatever my thinking wants to do. I can look at life however I want to look at life. I am not willing to put rules and shoulds and fetters and snares on my thinking. I am a free thinker. Therefore, it's OK for my thinking to sabotage whatever it wants to sabotage. I know that as brilliant as my thinking is, those acts of sabotage will lead to wisdom and compassion. Because wisdom and compassion are the places that my mind always wants to go. That the same thinking that sabotages my good might even lead to a really brilliant piece of art. Why wouldn't it? I'm an artist. And that same thinking just might lead me straight into the hands of God - which is where I'm always headed anyway - no matter where I run, no matter where I try to hide. Which right now at this moment gives me an idea for a brilliant piece of art... and right after we do "the work" on procrastination, I just might get started on it!

Oh, and by the way, I did create a brilliant piece of art about this subject a couple of years ago. It's called "I Crucify Myself A Thousand Times."

I Crucify Myself

I Crucify Myself a Thousand Times

I crucify myself
a thousand times every day
I keep thinking
that
I'll cut it out
but I don't
there is all this extra baggage
and unfinished business
and this nebulous thing about
"being nice"
even when
I'm trying to be pointed and honest
strings are attached
I forgive them and then
forget to forgive
myself
this is my crown of thorns
my Crown Royal
and this is where
I stab myself
in the back
driving the point home
just literally pounding it in
is this really me
or do I still have my blinders
on shattering self images
counting down the years
time is running out
burning the candle
at both ends i'm trying to get a
handle on it
I want to be "good"
I want to get all my shit
into one small bag
I want that last piece
of the puzzle to slide
easily into place
and is that once in a blue moon
pie in the sky happily ever after
magical thinking
did i make my bed and now
i have to lie in it
feels deeply rooted
am I still a girl fragile
easily shattered
or just an old hag
with a bunch of screws loose
this is my slippery slope
the not so soft place
where I land
the quick sand I thrash around in
every day

-Barbie


Like it?
See the slide show at Green Dolphin Studio or visit a complete set of photos at Flickr.
This piece, by the way, has been sold.

Sabotage

Sabotage - what does that mean?

The word "sabotage" comes from the French word "sabot" and means "to trample with wooden shoes." A sabot is a clog with a leather top. At the beginning of agricultural mechanization French farm workers threw their "sabotes" into harvesting and processing machines (which were taking their jobs), thereby blocking the complicated mechanics of the mowing and threshing machines and rendering them useless. For the sake of their labor, they engaged in "sabotage".

Interesting.... I wonder if this means that self sabotage is actually a way to create "work" for ourselves. I mean, we wouldn't want things to be too easy, now would we? My sister and I recently did some "work" on this subject. You can read about it here.

These are fun!

Host unlimited photos at slide.com for FREE!

Host unlimited photos at slide.com for FREE!

Host unlimited photos at slide.com for FREE!

Host unlimited photos at slide.com for FREE!

The Color Quiz

ColorQuiz.com

Shirley took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

Here's what it said: "Urgently in need of rest, relaxation, peace, and ..."
Click here to read the rest of the results.


Check it out!
I'd love to know what it says about you
I thought it was nifty, and fun! And surprisingly accurate!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My New Mantra

Host unlimited photos at slide.com for FREE!

I will remember what I was. I am sick of rope and chain.
I will remember my old strength and all my forest affairs.
I will not sell my back to man for a bundle of sugar-cane,
I will go out to my own kind, and the wood-folk in their lairs.
I will go out until the day, until the morning break,
Out to the winds’ untainted kiss, the waters’ clean caress:
I will forget my ankle-ring and snap my picket-stake.
I will revisit my lost loves, and playmates masterless!

~Toomai of the Elephants,
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
special thanks to:

Master Cleanse - Lemon Diet

Daniel and I are going to try this diet. It's supposed to work wonders for your body, clearing and detoxing, and giving you a fresh new start.

Here's the Lemon Drink recipe for a Master Cleanse

  • 2 tablespoons FRESH squeezed lemon or lime juice (approx. 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons genuine organic maple syrup, Grade B (the darker the better)
  • 1/10 teaspoon (a small pinch!) cayenne pepper, gradually increase (the more BTUs the better)
  • 10-14 oz pure water

Important notes:

  • Use fresh lemons or limes only, never canned or frozen lemon juice (organic, vine ripened - if possible).
  • Use only real (and organic, if possible) grade B or C maple syrup. (Don't use Grade A maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup. They are over-refined, which means that they are mostly refined sugars and lack essential minerals.)
  • It's best to make each drink fresh, but if that is not possible (or practical) you can make a larger batch to drink throughout the day. Just be sure to make it fresh each morning.
For larger batches, in a 2 liter bottle mix together the following:

  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 6 oz of grade B or C maple syrup
  • 1/4 teasp of cayenne (or more)
  • Spring or purified water (fill bottles to the top)
  • Mix all the ingredients by thoroughly shaking

Wish us luck! I think we're going to need it!

Castles in the Sand

I don't know about you guys, but sometimes the way I "plan" "vision" or "think about" life feels exactly like this picture. A large, complicated, amazing, interesting structure built on sand, with sand, not really liveable, not at all practical, mostly make believe, and only ever real in a "virtual" sense. Not even really "my own".

This photoshopped image uses a variety of other images, other ideas, other realities, other experiences - which are then carefully spliced together to create something that "looks" real. The person who created this image did NOT go to that beach, gather all that sand together, and actually MAKE that castle. They didn't even go outside when they made it. And I'll be that they made it using photographs that THEY didn't even take. Someone else probably took the picture of the ocean and the sky, and just as someone else probably created that sand castle, someone else also took the picture of it.

And I'm wondering just how much of what's in my head is ACTUALLY mine? And why are my hopes and dreams, my goals, wants, and desires, in my head and ONLY in my head? Why am I not out immersed in the actual DOING of it? What's up with that?

What is it, do you think, that takes a cool idea like that sand castle by the beach... and transforms it into the actual reality of say, for example.... this?

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Ask Auntie Moss

Auntie Moss

Ask any yes or no question, and Auntie Moss be givin' you an answer. This old witch woman is wiser than you think. Go ahead, give it a go.
Your question:
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