Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lots of minesweeper and pinterest

And you know what else I've been doing? Well, video games, old school. I play an alarmingly lot of "minesweeper". It's a thoroughly frustrating game. I have to turn the sound off, because when the bombs blow up and they usually do (I'm up to a 2% success rate) it hurts my self esteem.  So why do I wile away my extra minutes playing "minesweeper"? Elementary, my dear Watson. It's because it's free, it came with my computer, it's mindless (thus the 2 % rate), no one actually gets hurt when the bombs go off and numbers are not emotions. A number is always a number and it can not lie to you. Now the written word is a whole other subject, that whole "i" after "e" except after "c" and in "neighbor" and "weigh". That's when the letters start to lie, or is it lay? In any case, I also stalk a number of my friends and a fair number of total strangers on pinterest.
I never did figure out the whole "facebook" thing.  I'm just not the interesting or clever. Trust me, there is very little I need to share on social media. But, I'm starting to develop a very bad pinterest habit. Look what I did today...

 Just be fore warned, this is not for the dieter or the faint of heart. I used an entire pound of butter, that's right all 4 sticks just for the brownie batter.
I was reminded of a valuable lesson, just because you read it on the "web" doesn't make it so. Just like all your favorite television shows.... they have producers, they set the stage, they are fiction. So even though the recipe said to bake for 15 lied. It was more like 28, otherwise we would have had "chocolate soup".
Once it's baked, you frost it. I used doterra peppermint oil to flavor. Then you put it in the fridge, like who has room in their fridge for a full sheet cake, but then I like challenges, remember all those attempts at "minesweeper"? Once it is sufficiently chilled, you melt chocolate chips.
This is a tricky process that requires that the butter frosting layer be HARD, otherwise you create swirl patterns. And then you chill again.
And then you serve. Okay, my offering may not look as good as the picture on pinterest... but I can pop mine in my mouth.
Here's a teaser of what else I'm creating with my pinterest boards. (You know they only count if you actually do the things you pin, right? Otherwise it's just cyber-hoarding)
Take a guess, as to what I'm up to if you dare?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where have I been?

I was recently queried to "where have you been?" And it's true I've been absent from all of my usual haunts. I haven't shown up on facebook except to express my dismay when someone backed into our car, damaging 2 doors and drove away. Not one of my better days. I haven't returned phone calls, text messages or emails. I've been in a dormant state. Truth is I've been grieving.
I'm trying to learn a new "normal" that doesn't include daily visits to check on and care for my mother. I'm not picking up the phone to call her and tell her about the cute thing her great grandson said. Grief is a wide chasm that can devour you whole if you are not careful.

Some of my days since my mother's passing have been better than others. The day my daughter fell from her bike during a triathalon and suffered a subdural hematoma, not so good. The day I held my new grandson for the first time and looked into the faces of his brothers that were so happy that "duchess" would fly all the way to Missouri to be with them, better.
The grief comes and goes, not everyday is painful. When someone dies and leaves you in charge of everything they ever owned on earth, you have occasion to open a box and wonder, "What on earth was she thinking?" My mom's treasures were her own. Some make me giggle and some make me ponder her sanity. I opened a box today and found a yellowed newspaper clipping with a photo and a caption announcing the success of a recent March of Dimes Walk-a-thon. Valueable? It's absolutely questionable. But there in the center of the photograph was a 12 year old me walking with her best friend. This clipping had value to my mother.
I've come to understand something about empathy. It's that emotion you have when you are truly listening to what someone else is saying. Being so involved in their "story" that you forget to prepare your response. As you grieve, you push people away. You don't know what to say. They don't know what to say and so everyone is just uncomfortable.
Recently, an 11 year old girl through her arms around me in a hug and told me she knew just how I felt. She had recently lost her new puppy. Before you judge, realize that her empathy was perfect. Her words a little flawed. Her puppy was probably the only thing that she had thus far in her life loved and lost. She is a shining example of not being afraid to say something stupid. She didn't keep me at arms length, she plowed right into my personal space and empathized. So my challenge to all of you out there that may know of someone grieving. Do that hard thing, get past the fear of possibly saying the wrong thing and at least say something. From experience, I can tell you that the silence is nearly as debilitating as the grief.