Old Man Winter is slow to give up this year, which I suppose is fitting because he was slow to arrive. Fitting, perhaps, but not welcome. The past two days, we have gotten up to freshly fallen snow. Not a lot, just enough to remind us who is really in charge here – it’s sure not me. Nature is giving us winter white and I’m ready for spring green.
I sit here, still in my robe because why not? There are pleasant scents coming from the kitchen behind me, where I have my own version of refried beans simmering on the stove top, and spicy scented essential oils in my diffuser. It’s an odd mixture, but pleasing. Lately, my go-to snack at night has been refried beans and tortilla chips. Healthy, right? I mean all that protein and veggies – because the chips are corn after all. I’ve been making my own refried beans for awhile now because it seemed to me there wasn’t all that much to them, really. But then I mix a spoonful of salsa in with them when I heat a dish for my snack, so I thought “why can’t I make refried beans with salsa in the first place?” Because I have lots of time for thoughts like that to appear. So this morning I took some of the chili bean mix that I had cooked a couple of weeks ago and frozen, and added them to sautéed onion and garlic and red chili pepper in my skillet, then added a can of diced tomatoes and water and simmered until the beans were very soft. When I finish here, I will get out my little Cuisinart hand blender and blend it all together, after which I will put it in Mason jars and vacuum seal. I’ll let you know how that all works out.
If I haven’t already overwhelmed you with the excitement of my lengthy explanation of my refried beans, a few other thoughts have wandered into my brain occasionally. Like, how nice it is to have a computer on which to type that will correct my typos as opposed to the typewriters we used back in the day. Until autocorrect decides, because I hit one key wrong, that when I was trying to type sending, I really meant sledding. Say what? Moral of the story is that I still need to proofread, just like I used to do with a typewriter. I went through a period of time where the finger that rested on the “j” key apparently was twitchy, so on an electric typewriter “j” kept appearing in odd places in my text. At that time, I appreciated white-out – which was imperfect and did not always make a really neat correction. Then a glorious advance – typewriters that came with a correction tape already installed, and all that needed to be done was to hit the back key and remove the unwanted letters. Progress was a wonderful thing. Now we’ve moved on to computers and things like the iPad with attached keyboard I’m using to type this. Devices that too often consider themselves much smarter than the lowly human attempting to operate them. I think those who create work to be printed on bright, colorful paper and posted for the world to see need to remember that, although these devices are very smart, they haven’t yet figured out correct grammar and have been known to accept a word you don’t mean for what you do mean – like, for instance, they don’t know the difference between our and out. Additionally, if you don’t take advantage of auto-correct and if no one does a proper job of proofreading, there’s a good chance that publication you present to the world will contain a spelling error or two – to me, that is a major embarrassment if you’re trying to convince me your product or your plan is the best thing for me.
Have you ever thought about some of the common sayings we humans use? Like “I could care less”, which interpreted literally means you really could care less, despite the fact that you’re trying to say you don’t give a hoot. Then there’s “it is what it is” – which of course is true. Things are what they are, unless there’s been some nonsense going on to make them something other than what they appear to be. Like a lot of people. The saying that rankles me the most is “life will show us the way” – I had a boss once that used to say that when I would try to pin him down for an answer on something that needed to be tended to (like a bill heading towards being past due), that he really didn’t want to deal with at the time. Major case of avoidance. Sometimes, maybe, life will show us the way if we are to listening and watching carefully, but usually life expects us to take care of things because we were after all, given a brain.
We were given a brain – although more and more often lately I wonder if some people know what the brain is for? You know, things like working ideas out for yourself, making your own choices and decisions, paying attention to the facts rather than blindly following the path of another, that kind of silliness. We seem to pick a side (I hate that everything seems about one side against the other anymore), and blindly stay with that side no matter what happens. Yeah, I fall into that trap too often too, but if you present me with facts that dispute my side, I will listen. I will listen, then I will make my own choice. But don’t bombard me with unfounded fake facts, or something someone said that you’ve chosen to believe without investigation. Do that, and you’ve lost me.
Which makes me wonder – has anyone reminded our government that we all have brains and we could think for ourselves? Including them, I would assume. Then again, maybe I would assume incorrectly. I will continue to hope. And disagree. And speak my mind. And applaud the students soon to be voters like the kids in Parkland that use their brains to think for themselves and speak their minds. They deserve to be heard, they deserve praise, they do not deserve to be put down and disbelieved because they are kids.
On a more friendly note, I have been spending some time doing recreational painting, for my own pleasure. I do this because I enjoy doing it. I share one of my recent painting, because I want to.