Diary

8 Uncomfortable Truths that We All Need to Accept

1. Happiness is where you are now, or nowhere at all.

It’s not a new relationship, it’s not a new job. It’s not a completed goal, and it’s not a new car.

Until you give up on the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.

2. Quitting is for winners.

Contrary to popular opinion, quitting is for winners. Knowing when to quit, change direction, leave a toxic situation, demand more from life, give up on something that isn’t working and move on, is a very important skill that people who win at life all seem to have.

But don’t quit because it’s hard.

Quit because it sucks.

3. If they really wanted to, they would.

If you apply pressure, they’ll do what you want them to.

If you take the pressure off, you’ll see what they’d rather do.

Never waste your life fighting what someone would rather do.

Let them go. Move on. Do better.

4. Taking no risk is the biggest risk.

You have to risk failure to succeed.

You have to risk rejection to be accepted.

You have to risk heartbreak to love.

If you’re always avoiding risk, you’re risking missing out on life.

5. Call yourself out.

The most common reason why people keep making the same mistakes is because their insecure ego prevents them from taking responsibility for their ‍own bullshit, their own toxic traits and their own mistakes.

6. Closure is your choice.

Closure isn’t an apology, or justice, or answers.

That’s insecurity.

If the situation made you feel awful, seeking closure by reopening it is insanity.

Closure isn’t something htye can give you.

Closure is moving on. Closure is your choice.

‍7. If you’re happy alone, you’ll be happier together.

There is no type of affection that can fill the void of a person who doesn’t love themselves already.

There is no independence in dependency.

There is no personal security in attaching yourself to a secure person.

Until you have a healthy relationship with yourself, you won’t make healthy decisions about someone else

8. It’s not your job to fix damaged people.

Your responsibility to hep someone will never outweigh their responsibility to help themselves.

But, it’s worth asking yourself why you resonated so strongly with someone that so desperately needed “fixing” in the first place.

Often, our own toxic romantic and non-romantic attachments tell a story about an issue we have within ourselves.

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Diary

ESPRESSO ALMOND CASHEW BUTTER

I love nuts. And they are good for us.

I’ve been known to make my own nut butters on occasion but when I saw this my ears perked to attention.

Nuts and coffee — nuts and caffeine— yum-oh!


INGREDIENTS

1 cup (150 grams) raw whole almonds
1 cup (150 grams) raw whole cashews
1 tablespoon (8 grams) whole espresso beans
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (*I use Diamond Crystal brand)
1 teaspoon pure dark maple syrup (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C) degrees with a rack positioned in the center. Spread the almonds and cashews evenly on a half sheet pan. Toast for 10 – 12 minutes, tossing them halfway through, or until the nuts are lightly golden and fragrant.
Allow the nuts to cool for 1 to 2 minutes and then transfer them to a large food processor bowl fitted with a blade attachment. Add the espresso beans. If you have a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix), you can use this instead of a food processor.
Process the nut/espresso mixture until it is coarse and clumpy. Once it clumps, it will form a ball and quickly begin to become smooth. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula every few minutes. Continue processing until the nuts release all of their oils and the butter is loose, smooth, and can easily drizzle from the end of a spoon. Depending on the power of your food processor, this process may take 5 to 15 minutes total.
Add the vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract), salt, and maple syrup (if using) and process for an additional 30 seconds. Transfer the nut butter to a small glass container, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

If you have roasted nuts on hand (instead of raw), it is best to warm them in an oven for several minutes before processing. Warm nuts will release more oils and produce a smoother nut butter than raw nuts. If you prefer raw nut butters, feel free to skip the roasting step.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS:

If you prefer an ultra-smooth almond butter (without crunchy flecks of espresso bean), substitute whole espresso beans with 2 teaspoons finely ground espresso. Do not substitute instant espresso powder.

WAYS TO USE THIS ALMOND CASHEW BUTTER:

  • add a spoonful to your morning or afternoon smoothie (such as this rise and shine smoothie or this simple berry smoothie)
  • dollop a small spoonful on a piece of dark chocolate
  • spread on half a banana as a great pre-workout or afternoon slump snack
  • drizzle on pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, or overnight oats
  • blend several large spoonfuls with cold water in a high-powered
  • blender for an instant homemade espresso almond cashew milk
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Diary

What’s the point?

I love to eat. And I’m pretty open to what I eat. I’ll try (and in most cases really enjoy) just about any food short of insects which I struggle with mentally, not gastronomically. Eating bugs just creeps me out.

And I have lived through a lot of food trends in my 70+ years. Including nouvelle cuisine when it seemed that chefs were intent on not actually serving you anything to eat! Horizontal food, vertical food, food trends come and go. Duh….

I was looking at Tumblr this morning and came across the idea of Spaghetti Grilled Cheese sandwiches. And my brain just kind of exploded.

I LOVE spaghetti. I LOVE grilled cheese sammies. I love bread. But why, oh why, oh why would anyone bother making a grilled cheese spaghetti sandwich.

Of course that all brings me to a trend over the past few years of strange combination / and combinations for the sake of complexity.

Folks — sometimes more isn’t more. Sometimes more is excessive, unnecessary, and downright dumb. Not stupid. Just senseless.

Sloppier, bigger, more decadent is just … well… more decadent. And in case you haven’t noticed, “decadent” isn’t a sign of wonderful thing but a sad and negative thing.

I like to taste the things I’m eating. I know that chefs and foodies love to maximize flavor and give you a little flavor bomb in your mouth but I really do think that most of the time enough is enough. You don’t need flavor on flavor on flavor on flavor. I’m not even sure it’s “nice” getting more flavors. I can get more flavors by eating other kinds of food. But I love tasting whatever I’m eating when I’m eating it and too many combinations are just … TOO MANY.

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Diary

You’ve changed

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Quitting

Popular culture is filed with so much garbage. So often I hear people saying that quitting isn’t an option, or that the only acceptable outcome is to win. Not only is that attitude impossible, it is also harmful. One person cannot win all the time. It never happens. Eventually even the hardiest, the most skillful, fail or are overcome. And knowing when to quit has prevented uncountable human tragedies — it is a basic life skill whether fight or flee.

If you watch any contest shows on television — and there are plenty of them (athletic, romance, food, etc., etc..) — the introduced contestants are always the “best” and they always give 110% (which is actually impossible — you can’t give more than you have), and they are going to beat all the other contestants. By the end of the program you find out that all of the contestants save one have lied — they have all been beaten no matter their cockiness or arrogance.

Why do people think it’s so important to brag in that manner? Why do they insist upon making fools of themselves?

I’m sure you’ll hear some people say it’s all part of the game; that they are psyching out the competition. Personally I think they would be better served by being better prepared for the competition than filling the air with empty promises.

Then there are the people who lack training/experience/confidence who put up a bold front to hide their lack of credentials. Kind of silly when you think about the fact that no matter what you say at the beginning of the contest your actual ability will soon be on display no matter what you say — and if you brag and are taken down you only look the more foolish.

It’s also funny that so many of the eliminated contestants can leave the contest prematurely and still they claim to have accomplished what they set out to do — or have “won” as they are being eliminated from the contest having fallen short of the goal. I don’t get it.

I have pushed myself to the limit a great many times. Fortunately I’m not having to do that a lot anymore, but I haven’t forgotten the strain and the effort it takes to do what no one else thinks is possible. And I have to admit that I have never been a great advocate of the visualization technique — visualizing yourself “winning” or beating your opponent. Believe me, just picturing it in your own mind isn’t going to get the job done if you aren’t ready for the contest. Bravado alone won’t make anything happen. And you can say, “Fake it till you make it” but that only works if the competition is likewise ill prepared. If that really worked the world would be filled with more and more small successful companies instead of more and more multinational corporations. At some point, faking it falls short.

Learn to succeed. Learn to assess a situation. Count your resources. Count the costs of success. And then decide if this is a battle worth fighting, or one you’re better off walking away from in order to return another day for a more successful contest.

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Diary

Voter Suppression

It did not escape my attention that on the very day last week the nation was celebrating the lives of those brave soldiers who give there all to secure for this country the freedoms that we enjoy the media were focussed upon three states, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania where legislators were engaged in restricting and limiting the voting rights of oppressed and poor and disenfranchised parts of the population.

Democracy is a fragile thing. It requires constant vigilance to maintain. And a great many people in this country are demonstrating that they really aren’t all that much in favor of democracy if it jeopardizes their power.

I’m saddened by the virulent strain of white ascendency that the blot on our national character named Donald Trump has released on the world. Before him at least the worst of White Supremacy kept it’s ugly face hidden most of the time. But his in-your-face style made it OK for the worst parts of society to poke their ugly faces into the light and to make their presence known again.

Ideas need a face and he gave hatred a semblance of respectability. This nation surely isn’t the nation I thought it was. Bad on me for thinking any differently in light of 200+ years of history. I should have known better.

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Diary

A battle of wills

I spent most of last weekend with our daughter, son-in-law, grand daughter, her hub, and our great grand daughter. It was our first in person, maskless, meeting and extended visit in over a year. Need I say we loved it?

We met at our place in “The Dells” and the weather was cool — quite a switch in one week from the low 50’s to today’s 91º forecast. Mike cooked a brisket on the grill, we all ate more than we should, and laughed just the right amount, and hugged almost enough.

Our great grand one is approaching her 2nd birthday. I am not going to say anything about “terrible” twos, but I am fascinated by the way we humans come to terms with our individuality, and the concept of “personality.”

Drew & Melanie have been proactive about teaching and encouraging little Sophia. She’s learning lot of words and she’s using them, not always at times when they could help her get her way, but she is using them.

Therein lies the rub. We humans quickly learn that WE are the center of the universe — at least we are to ourselves. Infancy frequently teaches new borns that adults love nothing more than to care for and coddle them. And it comes as a great shock to most of them, most of US when WE were infants too, that at some point in time we are no longer our parents priority; that parents have wants and wishes too; that we infants are expected to meet some of those expectations, and that they are not always going to give in to our assertions of self, or our demands for things.

The battle of wills commences.

I was watching (and listening) to the parents trying to encourage a 21 month old to “use your words.” Such an easy thing to say as an adult, but making the connection in a 21 month old brain between the idea that speaking a word can change the world is really a huge thing. It’s no wonder that little ones struggle to get that into their head. There is no connection between what they want and the utterance of a syllable or two — why should I say something now when it’s always worked for me just to scream? They get the idea eventually.

Personality is, at the bottom line, all that we really are. Our bodies grow, and age, and regenerate themselves in a regular cycle of weeks, months and years. The cells that form my body have not existed for long snd soon they will be replaced by other cells — yet my personality continues pretty much unchanged except by experience.

I could get all metaphysical and say that the personality — that unchanging part of ourselves — is what people talk about when they refer to their soul — their uniqueness — but I’m not going to go there today. Because today is all about getting our way, or not; about expressing who we are or having who we are determined by another.

The “Twos” don’t have to be terrible. Our daughter had a period of learning; I don’t think either Peg nor I considered that time to be terrible though we’d be lying to say it was not without challenges. But we went into it aware that growth is difficult and when you are starting off with a blank slate you can write any story you want upon it so why not make it the best story you can.

Of course our desire for our daughter to grow up in one way had nothing to do with her desire to grow up the way she wanted to… and we had our parental/child disagreements — you bet. Learning to encourage controlled growth without stifling it was, and is still, a challenge. And each generation has different tools to accomplish their personal objectives; and each generation also has it’s own biases and beliefs (true or untrue) that factor into raising an infant/child who has only one priority — to express themselves and become what they want to be.

I’m going to enjoy the next year or so. As great grandparents who live 300 miles away we will never be able to have the same kind of closeness to Sophia as my parents enjoyed who lived in a different apartment in the same building. We accept that. But that doesn’t mean that our love for the little one is any less; just that it will be expressed in different ways.

I’m confident in the parents. They are progressive and thoughtful people. I’m sure they’ll do the best job they can. Still, this isn’t 1951 when I was at that point, nor is it 1974 when our daughter was there, more 1993 when our granddaughter faced her second year. At each point raising your children was a very different experience and so it will continue generation by generation.

At some point the child will assert themself and from there on it will be a battle of the wills.

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