Monthly Archives: September 2017

Kitchen Update

I can almost get all my tea into one basket

It’s been years (well, a year and a half anyway) since my kitchen cupboards started falling off the walls.  I’ve looked at bank loans, city loans, housing support, county programs, Habitat for Humanity and in the end gotten nowhere.

My regular readers might have an inkling of how much time I spend in the kitchen.  I enjoy cooking.  A lot. I’ve been making do without my serving dishes, casserole collection, my Tajine and other specialty cookware, and about 1/2 of my already limited counter space.  (All those machines that were in the cupboard are on the counter.)

This under cupboard used to be filled with bakeware. I think there’s still room for the electric tea kettle.

This week I’ve finally found a friend who’s willing to step in and see what he can do.  It may get much worse before it gets better.  In fact, I’m sure this week it will.

This is not a kitchen re-model.  The overhead cupboards are coming down before they fall down all the way.  Then we’ll see.  Either they will go back up more securely attached or they will go away.   I might have a better idea of why they came down in the first place.

If the overhead cupboards go away I’ll still need to figure out something to do in the kitchen.   I can’t afford new cupboards (and they wouldn’t match).  I might be able to put in some open shelving.  That would be serviceable, but still a bit down the road.

In the meantime I’m trying to pack away what’s left in my kitchen.  Can Orion and I really get by with 2 plates, 2 bowls, 4 cups and no cream pitcher?  Do I pack it all and pull out paper plates and frozen dinners?  What do I do with the jar of lentils, the jar of pasta, the jar of black beans, the can of coffee and the olive oil?  Can I really survive without access to my spices?

Honestly, I’ve already pared down by better than half. This is the bare minimum!

I sound like an ad for a mystery series.  “Stay tuned and find out!”

 

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Standing in the Wind

Orion and I enjoy learning about other cultures so we visited the Greek Pride Festival

We, as a nation, are being buffeted about by hurricanes and firestorms, floods and droughts, protests and political manipulations.  It’s a scary world out there.  Today, September 11, is the anniversary of the fall of the Twin Towers in NYC.  For many Americans, it was the day we learned what it was to be afraid.

In spite of all that, people persist.  They stand up in the winds of change and hardship and continue on with their lives.  This morning Orion listed all the people he knows, and there were a lot, who have birthdays today.   Forever, their birthday is 9/11.  How odd that must be to want to celebrate in a world determined to grieve and remember.

I know the other side too.  I understand what it is to be overwhelmed with circumstances and appalled that the rest of the world doesn’t just stop alongside you.  I know what it feels like to dig into a huge job, to work, eat, and sleep, and then come up for air and find you’ve lost days, weeks or even months.

Sharing food is one of the easiest ways to share culture and pride

Sometimes standing in the wind is taking an opportunity to use a public platform to call out bad behavior, racism, terrorism (thank you Miss Texas Margana Wood even when it might cost you a crown.  Sometimes standing in the wind is choosing to skip a few meals this week to buy a birthday cake for your kid with food stamps.  Sometimes standing in the wind is getting out of bed in the morning, getting dressed, and doing one of the 100 tasks that have been put off because it just seems too hard.

I know people who are on the front lines fighting fires in the western states.  I know people hoping that they have homes to return to on the gulf.  I know people who are in the streets day after day fighting against injustice in many forms, in many ways.

We have a culture (white culture) that allows us to take credit, take pride in the work other people are doing.  We sit in front of our TV’s watching people standing in the wind and say, “Yes!  They are US!”  None of us can do all the work.  No one can stand in all the storms at once.  No one can stand again and again in all the storms.  But cheering on the workers and having pride in what others have done isn’t enough.

Sometimes just showing up is enough

How can we shift our culture, our attitudes in a way that allows us to truly stand, acknowledge our own storms, our own ability to survive and still reach out and honestly support others?  Can we recognize our own work, with strength and pride, and still be grateful for the support we had that allowed us to stand there?  Can we encourage people to celebrate and still recognize the work that needs to be done?  Can we find a way to come together when the storms rage, and to stay connected when the storm is over?

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