The sun set; dusk fell on the shelf, and lights began to appear along the stove. That which blends, so held, in hand or all alone, such power, to mix, to mash, to merge, to fuse, once individual, now as one, together. The upper reaches, the place of monstrous leftovers, marked ominously with a date, huddle in the brooding gloom of fridge light, mocked by the enticing garish glare of magnet cradled take-out flyers.
“And this,” she noted suddenly, “has to be one of the dark places of the earth.”
In the static of their surroundings, the slightly scornful pots, pans, knives and other pointy things lurked, growled their promise, ready to play the food game.
She doggedly tried to follow the medically suggested diet; the worst that could be said of her was she wanted to believe.
Food is not for the faint of heart, it beckons, it bubbles, it boils, it brews, it even burns...Food, as perplexing as the definition of fake news. My food feelings? Let’s just say, my kitchen and me, we’re officially changing our relationship status to, “It’s complicated”.
Let’s Play – 7 Ways To Survive Your Kitchen!!!
1. Have your recipes, like blog posts and/or synopsis ready – in your head, online, or written down. Have all your ingredients out first, nothing worse than being halfway through and notice you’re not rising to the occasion.
2. Cooking is time-consuming, like blogging, like writing, like life itself, but if you clean up as you go, it’s easier. Try baking soda and vinegar – ecofriendly, frugal, and together they’re an explosive combination, seriously you can make a volcano while cleaning. Don’t forget to snap on your rubber gloves and clean that dirty, dirty oven. Maybe you’ll have naughty dreams about kitchens – hot, steamy dreams about someone else cooking/cleaning for you, oh yeees!!!
3. Tempted by takeaway/takeout, fast food, even processed foods? Remind yourself it’s bad for your waist and wallet. Same goes for blogging, fast and processed, you can get that anywhere, isn’t it better to go for the real thing.
4. Easter is an egg-cellent time to dye eggs, naturally, with family, friends (even imaginary ones), and furfriends. Then you can still eat them, the eggs, not family, friends, or furfriends. Is your egg a good egg? Fill a bowl with water. Gently place “suspicious” egg in the bowl. Does the egg stay on the bottom sideways – a good egg! Does it stand up, but lean drunkenly to the side – still good, but better really a pickled egg. Stands straight up, still ok, but use, like right now. Floating? A bad egg (cue the Veruca Salt song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). I am the maker of merriment, the dreamer of dreams (in case you were away https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/03/09/heres-to-the-ones-who-dream/).
5. Beware The Pointies! It seems like kitchen gadgets, utensils, tools, gizmos, appliances, etc. are designed to somehow maim, mangle, or even murder those innocently trying to cook.
Kitchens are deathtraps. Be safe.
6. Lettuce us celebrate cooking! Like blogging, writing, social media, friendships, relationships, work, and life in general, it can be a time-eater. Orange you glad we didn’t make a big dill about this game? Romaine calm, even if you feel like you’re playing ketchup with all the relish you can mustard. Just beet it and spaghetti out of here.
7. Life is like a paper bag…You just never know when you need to cover, conceal, meltdown, carry, ripen (seriously easy way to ripen your avocados, bananas, apples, tomatoes, etc.), and you really never know when you’re going to need a puppet. Be ready.
Oh life, it’s bigger
It’s bigger than you (doesn’t feel like it on a bloat day)
And you are not me (not even on a bloat day)
The lengths that I will go to,
the chocolate that adds to my thighs
Oh no, I’ve ate too much
I didn’t eat enough?
That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my willpower….
I thought that I heard you baking
I thought that I heard you grill
I think I thought I saw you fry
Consider this, a hint of cake and cookies
Consider this, the stroganoff
That brought me to my knees
That was just a dream
Try, cry, why try
That was just a dream
Just a food dream
Just a food dream
Well, dear readers, do you want to keep playing? Awesome, then tell me your: food battles, food love affairs, diets, tips, advice, recipes.
I’d like to thank those who inspired the game: food, Joseph Conrad, Martin Sheen, R.E.M., Liam Neeson – I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for onions or garlic, I can’t have them. But I do have are a very peculiar set of skills, skills I have acquired over years of cooking…
I know this might be a stressful time for some, but I hope this finds you in good stead. Every choice has consequences.
In the course of human events it
becomes necessary to distract ourselves at times, I don’t know about you, but there’s no limits to what I can accomplish when I’m avoiding doing something else, yet we hold these truths to be self-evident, some choices must still be made, hopefully informed choices.
Some choices are easy. Some hard. Some seem like a joy or a joke. Some involve danger, some choices even have underestimated peril, ie. household chores – germs, cleaning tools, boredom, hiring strangers, using pets (who hasn’t wondered if pets could help with household chores?) and imagine trying to really ‘clean house’?
Then there’s the danger of choosing ice cream or chocolate and/or chocolate ice cream as a remedy for the common cold, it may not lessen the tyranny of the infirmity, yet if you add whining, comfy clothes, and sniffling, the choice is clear. Sniffle.
Admittedly, choices would be easier if everything was simply spelled out for us, without: lies, manipulation, false promises, hidden agendas, threats, deceit, complex small print, and if we weren’t at the mercy of drama ‘monsters’.
Life is a leap, we’re always jumping into the unknown – every second, minute, hour, day. Life changes, there are peaks and valleys, but as long as you breathe, there’s hope.
Remember, even if…
1. You did something, said something that embarrassed or cost you, and/or offended, disturbed others. Learn from it. Social media can be flat, most humans are 3D. Keeping your dimensions, they’re important.
2. You stayed too long and gave too much, trying to save a toxic relationship with: a partner, friend, family member, group, organization, political party, etc. That doesn’t mean you’re trapped, mentally chew off that leg and get away.
3. You got caught up in the hype machine, most have at one time or another (even if they won’t admit it). Simple answer – accept responsibility, and change, start again.
4. You fell head over heels, with stuff, especially during the holidays. We instinctively hunt and gather, now for stuff. You felt momentarily joyful but less than triumphant. Don’t feed addictions, accept them to overcome them.
5. You found out the hard way talk is cheap – words, words everywhere but not a lot of truth, common sense, or depth.
6. You gave your trust, your love, your dreams to people who sometimes didn’t deserve or care about those gifts; that’s about them, not you.
7. You forgot, while you’re responsible to many in this life, in the end, you’re only responsible for yourself and your words/actions.
8. You took things for granted, got comfortable and forgot everything can change, end or disappear. It can, they can, it does, they do…so don’t.
9. You gave up, settled, but it’s never too late, at least to have a modified version of your dreams.
10. You’ve worried, fretted, brooded, hoped, believed, over thought, agonized and still things didn’t go your way, the other shoe still dropped. You fell and it looks like you’re down for the count. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, get up, dust off, there’s no time limit on getting back up.
Halloween has come and gone, election buzz drones on and on, even if it seemed more like The Hateful Eight and clickbait than democracy. We lived through this horror for 9 years in Canada until we were,er, ‘saved’ by sunny ways.
Thanksgiving – we should be thankful every day, but maybe we shouldn’t eat that way.
Even before we take a day to remember and honour our soldiers,
Black Friday and CyberMonday deals send cash registers pinging, Christmas bells start ringing, everywhere there’s singing. What will it be like this year? Still holiday cheer? More chances to learn and grow, to stop seeing each other as us or them.
Love is all around, going backwards wastes it. You can never tell what’s next so just keep going. You’re gonna make it after all.
How many times
can you fall off
the planet before
you start to think,
hmmm, maybe I
My strange week began with me frenetically organizing and cleaning my house.
At first, I thought it was simply having finally read Marie Kondo’s book, the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and tidying. Really impressive, commonsense. Now my house looks like a poor woman’s Martha Stewart, with fewer prison ponchos (it’s a good thing).
Then came the gut punch, the calendar explained my sudden need to keep busy – a year ago my 30 year friendship stopped, just as my best friend’s heart had stopped https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/06/goodbye-dearest-friend/ I wanted to do anything but think about my losses, all of them, before and after this one. I wanted to drown my sorrows in the bottom of a neatly folded and lined-up sock drawer. To gamble I could keep the traveling elastic bands and pens all in one place, just one more time.
Even after everything was organized, sorted, recycled, and donated, my feelings of pain, loss, and fear still cluttered my house, heart, and mind. So I purged some of those feelings blocking me from respecting joy, hope, and love. I folded my memories into my life; if I keep hanging them, they’ll take up too much space in my emotional closet.
We’re told we need to be smart, work smart, have smart things, but where is smart really getting us?
For example, if credit cards are so smart, why can’t they pay off their outstanding balances, huh?
If TVs are so smart, why do we have to spend so much time looking for something good to watch?
Maybe we need smart pets that feed, groom, and even walk themselves.
I have a feeling if I got a smart fridge, I’d hear things like: “Are you here again, girl, get yourself a life!” or “What are you doing, Donna, this is highly irregular!”
Why stop there? Smart coffee machines, ha, amateurs, how about smart coffee that changes itself from espresso to latte to whatever passes as coffee, depending on your mood.
Someday your smart car will hold you in contempt without a valid high IQ score.
Smart wine that critiques itself so you can sound like a wine connoisseur, although then everyone will sound the same, so it will be just the wine talking.
Smart couches that tell us the best spot to park our caboose.
War, depression, corruption, terrorism, anxiety, climate change, poverty, prejudice, ignorance, disease, political games, scams, abuse, addiction, melodrama, not to mention simultaneous epidemics of starvation and obesity – we don’t need a zombie apocalypse, we’re doing just fine on our own.
We self-scan, aka us working for a store for free, while putting others out of work (and already over-paying), all the while supporting companies that destroy the environment, while using what amounts to slave labour. Really?
And our complaints are many: my laptop is too heavy, there’s too much food in my house, my smartphone isn’t the latest model, my smartphone doesn’t have a long enough battery life, there’s too many movies/TV shows to stream/watch. I clearly have the wrong definition of ‘smart’.
So I will try to be smarter.
I will thank my body for it’s hard work, especially my heart which has taken a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.
I will commune with my mind, who has respectfully stayed with me through thick and thin.
Everything in its place and a place for everything…as long as it sparks joy.
Happy Valentine’s Day…Who loves ya, baby?
I had too much to dream last night.
I feel like I have a dream hangover.
I woke from my confusing, at times,
A Christmas Carol-like dream
(unfortunately no Muppets), but
filled with revelations.
First, I was visited by Donald Trump who told me 3 others would visit that night. It was terrifying, he wore the chains of greed, intolerance, and suffering he’d forged link by link…it seemed like there was more of the hairspray than grave about him.
Then Colin Firth showed up as my Ghost of Christmas Past in the white shirt from Pride and Prejudice (you know the one ladies). This dream just got a whole lot better. He reminded me that all things past are actually always still with us…
1. Christmas songs are playing everywhere yet I rarely hear Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsman. It’s my all-time fav, it’s about peace on Earth, goodwill, and about how even the worst of enemies can put aside their differences, if only for a little while…we sure need more of that.
2. Dean Cain and many others we haven’t seen in a while do still have careers, kinda, hey, I like Christmas movies.
3. And even on a crummy morning a gingerbread man still makes his bed with cookie sheets.
Then Taylor Kinney (without fiancée, Lady Gaga…hey, it’s my dream) floated in as my Ghost of Christmas Present (subconscious you’re so good to me) dressed as Fireman and reminded me that despite the season, it’s getting hot in here. Whether it was just a hot flash or I’m watching too much Chicago Fire (is that possible?), I woke up in a sweat. Back to my dream, rescue me.
4. Christmas is about giving. Though I’m broke and obscure I still believe in giving to others and weirdly, sometimes you get stuff back. For example, by donating, I won a month gym membership and a few other goodies. So now I can be buff like Arnold, though I’m saying this in Schwarzeneggar accent, the buff part seems unlikely.
5. I’ve noticed my Mom (a senior) and my son (a teen with Autism) have a much fuller social life than I do, I need to work on that. And the only action I’m getting is from my latest mammogram.
6. I don’t have to wait in line for some guy in a red suit to make me promises, I’ll make some to myself.
My Ghost of Christmas Future was Norman Reedus, well, actually Daryl Dixon (my dream, so he’s holding a cat reminding us to Shop Cruelty Free https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/ – I’d like to add, that goes for people as well), who showed me that…
7. Christmas could be a little late this year, instead of making toys, Santa and the elves are already lined up to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
8. The Christmas feeling could be there, even without the gifts, the lights, the decorations, chocolate (this one is iffy), turkey and toys, even without the Christmas.
9. Ordinary rules of time and space don’t apply to Santa or The Doctor (Hello Sweetie, Doctor Who Christmas Special on almost Boxing Day – Christmas but late, can’t wait, but it’s times like these I miss David Tennant), but they do apply to us, we only have so much time in this world.
Can happiness or success be measured by what we have instead of the joy and comfort we bring to others? Do we really think in the end, we’ll care about how much we shopped, what car we drove, how big our home was, if we had the latest iPhone, or what we were wearing? Or will we remember the good times, the fun times, the laughter, the kindness, the little moments.
This season, remember a date on a calendar is just that, but life, life is for living, every day.
Oh yes, and if you don’t see me around here for a bit, I’ve checked myself into Clementine rehab.
I can quit anytime I want.
if after all
To go over
Hello, can you hear me?
I’m in Canada dreaming about who I’ll one day be
Hello from the other side
Feels like I’ve blogged a thousand times
I sometimes forget, uphill can make you rest
And at least I can say I tried
Not as much tears me up anymore
So hello from the other side
Feels like I’ve blogged a thousand times
Thanks Adele, like ‘Hello’ is ever leaving my head.
Hello, I’m probably one of the most honest people ever – except I lie.
When I say I’m fine, sometimes, I lie.
Even if it’s mostly to myself.
I haven’t been well for a while now, even more so than usual, which is saying something. I’ve been pushing through with sheer force of will, but even that is wearing thin.
Apparently I need more ‘self-care’, which apparently, I’m very not ‘good’ at it.
So when an unlikely source, Groupon threw me a line – 50% off movies and popcorn (I brought the popcorn home for my son), I thought, why not? I wasn’t disappointed to watch The Hunger Games take its final bow on the big screen, except the title Mockingjay Part 2, really, that’s kind of boring, how about The Mockingjay Awakens, or Mockingjay Hurray! or an Australian version, Mockingjay G’day! I wasn’t thrilled by The Hunger Games books, but I did enjoy exploring our world, choices, freedoms and illusions of, through this world, onscreen more. When Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) keeps asking Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), ‘Real or Not Real’, I understood. Too often the world can feel violent and even surreal, but what is real…or not real? I suppose the best we can do is try to stand for something, or we’ll fall for anything.
Christmas music jingled away as I waited for the movie to begin, and I realized, blogging and Christmas have a lot more in common than I thought, like…
1. It’s better to give than receive. Even if you feel you don’t have enough, try to help others in some way. In blogging you can give by: ‘liking’, ‘sharing’, and/or ‘commenting’. You may not agree with every word, but appreciate that blogger took the time to post (as you wish to be appreciated).
2. Connection – you never know who you’re going to virtually meet and how they’ll change your life, or you theirs.
3. Fruitcake and posts – love, hate, like bits of, or given time, both could be used to prop open a door to…
4. Lots of surprises, awkward moments, comfort, joy, regifting, and more than a few ugly sweaters (still, it’s all in the eye of the beholder).
5. Plenty of glitz and fancy bits, yet sometimes, the substance and what really matters still shines through.
6. Gingerbread, yes, delightful, but sometimes hard to handle, especially without breaking.
9. Posts hung like stockings by the internet chimney with care, with hopes that readers soon will be there.
8. Cookies, meals out, eggnog, and other holiday treats, all awesome, but too many and you start to feel sluggish, tired, irritable, and overwhelmed. Blogging can be the same – know yourself, know your readers.
9. We can all be Santa’s Elves filling Santa’s shelves – bringing posts, perhaps comfort and joy…
10. Cookies, carrots, comments, posts, shares, maybe some milk (or in some cases, more adult libations) – all left for those we hope will show up.
11. Visions of sugar plums. Hoping to inspire and please, but sometimes, as hard as we try, our posts, our holidays, our days fall flat. There’s no time limit on getting up, or starting over. Dust off and try again!
12. Christmas trees, all different, just as all blogs are different. Don’t worry if you have the right niche, enough followers, comments, likes, etc. Don’t overthink. Send your creativity into the world, who knows what will come of it…anything, everything.
With blogging and Christmas and everything else, be brave, do what you feel, even if it goes wrong, you tried and that can’t really be wrong. Slow down, take the time to really enjoy and take it all in (including chocolate).
Christmas is a time of cheer…right?
Yet during the
with images of
Everything from: Family dinners, parties, drinks with friends, hugging, skating in pairs, walking together looking at lights, Secret Santa and gift exchanges, spontaneous snowballs fights, eating roasted chestnuts, and of course, people running into the arms of loved ones at airports…
But what if those things aren’t in your life?
The social media holiday barrage, Christmas FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), anticipointment, Facebook, Instagram, TV, Google+, Twitter, MySpace (kidding, just wanted to see if you were paying attention) – all bursting with shiny images of happy people enjoying the holidays together. It can be overwhelming yet it’s only a day, like any other.
So if you find yourself less-than-surrounded by family and friends during the holidays, try to:
1. Marathon your way through the season, which apparently now begins in July with brief visits from other holidays. Don’t limit yourself to Christmassy stuff…be glad you’re not invited to a Game of Thrones Christmas party; see who survived (Christmas) on The Walking Dead; try to figure out what they’re cooking on Breaking Bad; or catch up with Mrs. Brown’s Boys (Dear Santa, I can explain…). Soon it will be January (sorry, I skipped ahead, was I wrong in assuming you don’t have anyone for New Year’s Eve either?), then you’ll have a few weeks to recover before the Valentine’s Day trauma begins, maybe.
2. Gently add yourself to someone else’s Christmas or add someone to yours.
3. Find dating sites/apps and go on a holiday dating spree. Eggnog your way through stories about his/her ex, mom, ex’s mom, work, football, baseball, hockey, fashion, cars…Who knows, maybe you’ll find a Christmas miracle.
4. Adjust your expectations. Social media is one long high school reunion. Everyone is wearing their best outfit, just lost weight, and sharing only highlights of their life.
5. Read, write, blog, sing, bake, work, clean, declutter, exercise, sleep, go to a movie…flashback to the 70s – dance, wear turtlenecks, bellbottoms, ponchos, and go see Star Wars, or not. It’s all good.
6. Have a Single Christmas Party (not for singles, just you, be your own party).
7. Ignore the season, the gaudy decorations, the commercialism, multiple Santas in multiple malls (unless you work there, try to stay out of the malls altogether) and create a Michael-Bublé-Bing-Crosby-Burl-Ives-free #safespace.
8. Start a new tradition with yourself or others, hopefully one that doesn’t involve eating your feelings (and don’t forget legal).
9. Help others this season – the best way to keep your mind off your problems is to help others with their problems.
10. Under no circumstances drink too heavily, that could lead to calling, texting, or emailing an ex, or watching other people having family time, especially through their windows. Though oddly specific, it’s good advice.
It’s not about what you have, what you get, or even who you’re with, this season is about anything being possible.
Want to know how to get away with Christmas? Simple, enjoy the season and each day, not the way everyone tells you is enjoyable, but the way you enjoy it.
I triple dog dare you.