Oregonians don’t tan, they rust

Good afternoon, whoever’s out there. :) I’m seated at my kitchen-slash-worktable, listening to the grinding drone of the breadmaker as it kneads dough for pizzas and glancing occasionally (and a little ruefully) at my latest painting, which I haven’t touched much over the past couple weeks.

I’ve been happily occupied elsewhere.

We’ve been canning like maniacs, my mom, my son Jesse, and I… A few weeks ago my parents borrowed a cider press and we had a lot of messy fun pressing apples from their trees so we could can quarts of cider, some of which Jess hauled off to friends who know how to ferment it, and most of which we stashed away to warm with cinnamon for the coming holidays. For two full days we chopped and assembled tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, etc in order to can salsa and pasta sauce, and another day was dedicated to canning peaches and pears. Two of my kitchen cupboards have been designated to hold all the resulting treasures and I’m definitely going to need more room! In another couple weeks we plan to can potatoes, chili, and whatever else we can think of. Canning our own food is very satisfying, and the best thing for me right now is that I know exactly what’s gone into it. All fresh ingredients. No preservatives! No added fructose! It’s great.

I’m off fructose as much as I can possibly manage to be in this crazy mixed-up world we live in. Since I’ve stopped eating it I’ve felt about a million times better and have lost weight and that sense of heaviness I was carrying for so long in my body. When your body suffers, even in the smallest amounts, so does your mind, your emotions. Well, and vice versa. Everything about us is so intricately linked. I’m also off coffee, another item that tastes good but really doesn’t do me well. The nicest thing is that once I’ve been away from fructose and caffeine long enough I don’t miss them at all. There’s tea for hot beverages, and candy that uses dextrose if I absolutely need something sweet. Thank you God for Vanilla Chai, Smarties and Red Vine Licorice.

I do feel a couple points more intelligent.

Last night I was playing cards with my parents and Jesse and my mom went to the freezer and opened it. “Are you still off sugar?” she asked me. “Yes,” I replied and she said, with visible relief, “Oh good, then there’s enough,” and brought out the box of three remaining ice cream bars. We had a good laugh at that and I SWEAR it wasn’t sour grapes when I said I didn’t want one anyway.

Autumn has officially blown into Oregon now: it started raining–COLD rain–yesterday and is planning to keep it up, oh, for the next four or five months, probably. Occasionally the rain will concede to our wishes and transform into snow for a few days here and there in December before turning back into rain again, and then spring will come and at least the rain will be warm. Ah, rain. You keep everything green and our skin so soft and moist. We love you despite our many curses.

A few days ago, while I was seated on a chair arm petting Horatio, who was lying on the back of the chair, I saw a dry yellow leaf bobbing and whirling in place in the breeze outside the window. It literally looked as if an invisible spirit was holding it while swirling around in a graceful dance. I figured it was caught on a loose web thread but for a few long moments I allowed myself to be agog with amazement and delight at the magic I was witnessing.

I’ve been in that state a lot lately. It’s really an attitude you have to develop and maintain; it doesn’t come naturally. How could it? We live in a crazy mixed-up world, remember?, very difficult to maneuver through. People use lots of different methods to keep their heads above water, but for me it’s reading metaphysical books, meditating and contemplating, singing, paying attention to my dreams–all that inner stuff that’s so exciting to me. The aroma of burning cedar needles instantly transports me into an altered-consciousness place… I keep a small clay pot on the mantel full of them to light whenever I need a pick-me-up. Opening my mind and heart to discover my own path of spirituality has made all the difference to me, though there are those who can transcend within established religious traditions as well; it really doesn’t matter, once we realize we’re all looking at the same thing. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Anyway, in other happy-making news… Scott got a new job! He’s given notice at his old one and will start the new in a week. For the past three years he’s been commuting to Vancouver for work–over an hour’s drive each way–and now he’ll be three minutes away in our own town! He can ride his bike to work! We’re all thrilled. Plus, he’ll have a normal schedule and won’t have to go to bed at eight o’clock every weeknight. As a night owl, this was always hard for him, missing all the fun and evening events. Now my mom will have to be sure to have more ice cream on hand.

Welp, time for me to toss a few little pizza crusts to freeze. Yes, I AM such a domestic goddess, amn’t I? :) Love on this misty moisty day. xo



Filed under Beloveds, Cold places, Creative, Fambly, Folderol, Yum

8 responses to “Oregonians don’t tan, they rust

  1. christineepiphany

    Hello, sweetie!
    I’ve been considering getting into canning, next year~ love hearing about your experience with it!
    I’ve been consuming natural ingredients for a few years, now, but recently had an impressive 10lb weight gain in less than 2 weeks! Since I’d been doing butt-kicking workouts 5 days a week and eating healthy stuff (mostly whole grains, veggies, fruit, a little meat, and a little bit of sugar), it was baffling!
    I (thankfully) heard that overnight weight gain of a couple of lbs or more (like I was seeing on the scale every other day!) can be a sign of a food sensitivity or intolerance, with the probable culprits being gluten or dairy. I realized that the last time I’d lost all my excess weight, I wasn’t just suddenly eating natural ingredients, i was also eating very little flour-grain-gluten stuff, and all of it homemade.
    The upshot is, I started being gluten-free on Friday. Tuesday, I weighed myself and I was down 5 lbs. I’m going to wait at least a week to get on the scale again, as I settle into this no-gluten thing, but I can see that the puffiness is leaving my face, my cheekbones are coming back, and I’m feeling lighter and brighter~ so I think this might be it!

    • Hello, Chrissy pie! I was incredibly daunted by the thought of canning until I got in there (under my mom’s tutelage) and actually tried it. Now I know how easy it is, and when you have lots of helping hands it feels more like a fun daylong visit than tedious labor. You know, like it surely was in pioneer days. (O those romantic pioneer days. ha! I probably wouldn’t have lasted a minute, though I like to imagine that I would have been that crazy woman living in the woods, fending handily for herself and her cat. :)

      It’s excellent that you’ve found success being gluten-free! My parents stopped eating gluten foods quite awhile ago and have lost weight and feel a lot better. I’ve limited my intake of bread products, mostly because so many of them contain fructose, and I feel better too, but I have a feeling that’s also due to less gluten and dairy. (Another clue is the tummyache I get after eating a bowl of plain Cheerios with milk. Hello, right?) The way food is hybrid-ed, mutated and processed these days is making us SICK and our bodies just can’t take it anymore! And organic food can be outrageously expensive. I’m so excited to be canning now. I think you’ll enjoy it too, once you get started. It’s well worth the effort. :)

  2. flibbertyjen

    If you’ve given up coffee but are enjoying tea, I have a great online tea shop to check out. They have a TON of caffeinated teas, but also a pretty tasty selection of decaffeinated or herbal/roibos teas. Some of my favorites are their vanilla almond roibos and their coconut roibos. Anyway, head on over to Arborteas.com and feast on the yumminess that is TEA!

  3. Domestic goddess indeed!
    I am giving up nothing! And canning nothing! you almost make me feel lazy :)

    • Ha! Give up nothing if you don’t have to, my friend. The word hedonism was invented for a wonderfully delicious reason. :) Speaking of which, we went out for my mom’s birthday the other night and I drank coffee and wine, ate chocolate cake and positively gorged on bread, not to mention rich pasta. I think I licked my plate it was so amazing… even though afterwards I wanted someone to stab me in my bloated aching stomach and put me out of my misery and I kid you not. (Still worth it.)

  4. Lorraine

    Oh my, I am thrilled about your canning. Something I’ve always wanted to can is Salsa. Someday. You are going to be the healthiest pioneer woman around. Fantastic. Oh, yes, I am back from vacation and popped over to see what your latest post was rather than doing my work. You’re way more interesting. Yay for Scott!!!!

    • Baine! I’ve been thinking about you, sure that you were back from your European extravaganza by now… We HAVE to have lunch. Lunch! I want to hear all about it. Did you wave up at Sweden for me? Welcome back, pal. :) And I’ll bring you a jar of salsa.

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