Posts Tagged ‘fudge’

Deleting Photographs

November 3, 2016

Listening to jazz.

Specifically Art Tatum.

The scratchy sound of the needle dragging though the vinyl is succulent and the glow in my cozy, sweet home is warm and inviting.

I’m deleting photographs in waves.

I had over 10,700 on my hard drive.

They have all been safely moved to my external drive and I’m now in the process of deleting them off my laptop.

I have to say it’s challenging.

There’s a tiny part of me that wants to not delete them, what if they didn’t transfer?

But they did.

And the photos are taking up way too much space on my laptop.

It’s been running slow, telling me constantly to delete files, disk is full.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I hear you, I’m working on it computer.

Thanks to my special help, it takes a village, it does, I was able to secure my pix and now, ha!  Now I can take more.

Well.

Not yet.

But soon.

I’m figuring January.

I’ll be flush enough to get a new camera.

I’m not sitting horribly at the moment, but I did buy a ticket to Wisconsin and a ticket to Paris this past month, just paid rent, just wrote the check from my health insurance and bought my mom her birthday present.

I’ll be sending that off tomorrow.

I love sending presents.

I love the idea of seeing someone’s face when they get something I have gotten for them.

I like to give.

I’m a giver.

Shocking.

I know.

When I have been in financial straits I tend to make things, and truth be told, I’m thinking about doing that this year.

I’m not really in straits, I’m just not as flush as I would like.

I’m doing ok and I’m not going to stress, but I was also thinking that I love cooking and it might be nice to make chicken soup for friends at school.

Last year around this time I went over to a friend’s house and cooked food for him for what probably lasted him weeks if not a month while he was going through a challenging time.

Cream of broccoli soup with cheddar cheese and bacon.

And.

Chili with sirloin and three kinds of beans.

Plus a huge pan of cornbread.

It was right around this time, I do remember, it might have actually have been Halloween, I remember there were trick or treaters going around and I used candied corn and bacon, because I roll like that, in the pan of cornbread I made.

I miss baking.

I don’t miss eating it, though I can get nostalgic for it.

But I do miss baking.

Sometimes I wish I could just get all the stuff and bake up a storm like I used to when I lived in Wisconsin.

Sugar cookies with frosting.

Brazil nut toffee.

Popcorn balls.

Fudge.

With and without nuts, but frankly, it’s so much better with nuts.

I miss making cheesecakes and pies, pumpkin pies and apple pies especially at this time of year.

I miss that feeling that, warm, soft glowing feeling that I got as I puttered around my kitchen, mixing and measuring, baking, and kneading, frosting sugar cookies.

I do.

I always get a bit nostalgic for it when I’m heading into the holidays.

The photographs I have been deleting also reminded me of that.

I’m currently in the middle of the 1,000s of photos I took when I lived in Paris.

And I have to say.

Fuck.

I’m a pretty damn good amateur photographer.

There were some really good shots.

And I loved seeing the Paris around Christmas time photographs.

The lights were so gorgeous.

Definitely different from what you see in the states, but they had an allure.

I was also so broke when I lived there, taking pictures was all I could afford to do.

Although I did splurge during the holidays.

Mostly on postage.

I sent my family and friends postcards and Christmas cards from Paris.

I found a photograph of my table, one of my favorite perches at the neighborhood cafe at that was on the same corner where I lived, Rue de Bellefond, in the 9th, Odette and Aime.

I had a glass of water.

A cafe allonge, which is basically an Americano, or a black coffee–I was already skimping on the milk, the cafe cremes were just too pricey.

My notebook.

My bag of pens.

And tons of cards and postcards and stickers from the librairie that was by Square D’Anvers that I made myself a nuisance at.

I couldn’t really afford the pens and paper there, but I would treat myself once in a while, I would buy a card or if I was feeling extravagant, a Claire Fontaine notebook, I would wander the aisles and look at everything.

I was very polite to the owners and once that got used to me and the fact that I always bought something, even if it was tiny, went along way.

Bonjour Madame.

Bonjour.

And I would wile away the time in the aisles longingly caressing the notebooks and smelling the good paper smell.

I love paper.

I love books.

I love, love, love the way they feel and look and well, Paris was a hard place for that luxury when I was living there.

When I went back last Christmas I gave myself carte blanche to buy whatever I wanted to paper wise.

I actually had a challenging time with it for a little while.

Grow up poor and in scarcity, even when there is none, even when I had fat Euro, for me, in my pocket, Euro that was not needing to go to rent or groceries, or god forbid a cafe creme, I had a hard time spending it.

For a few days I was acting as though I couldn’t part with them.

I actually forced myself the first time to buy a notebook at a papeterie my first day there.

Yes, there are paper stores there.

Exclusively paper and pens and auto collants.

STICKERS.

God I love me some stickers.

Shut up.

I did get past it and I did allow a few splurges.

But truth be told.

I could have let myself have more.

That’s a thing.

Letting myself have more.

Nice coffee.

Nice candles.

Nice hair products.

It’s ok to take care of myself.

I still want to give, I do love gifting, there is just something about it, but I also want to let myself have things.

Whether it is an experience, which is usually where I spend my money–traveling.

Or.

A nice pair of pants.

I deserve to have nice things.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

Lest I forget.

And the best thing about the photographs?

They remind me, gently of how far I have come.

When I moved back from Paris three years ago I was broke.

I mean.

I had ten dollars in my wallet.

I have come a long fucking way.

Let me tell you.

And I’m so grateful for the perspective.

And that I documented my experience.

The photographs have been a joy to relive.

Looking forward to making more.

Having more.

Allowing more into my life.

Happy.

Joyous.

And.

Free.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Yes, always.

Soft Surrender

December 16, 2015

A bending.

An acquiescence.

Leaning slow and strong into the reality of my day.

Being flexible.

Stopping.

Pausing.

Soft and gentle and letting go.

“I don’t know, resigned is not the right word,” I told him tonight as he sat in the leather arm chair in the cafe window.

“You’ve surrendered,” he said.

“Yes.”

I have.

I have surrendered and it is a constant source of amazement when I do what happens.

This softening and letting go, the lack of control no longer a threat, but a welcome respite where I lean into the God that holds me and I know I am held and loved, gentle and benign.

Full and held.

It’s a nice feeling.

When I stop struggling and let the reality of my life be exactly how it is.

Where there is nothing wrong and I am absolutely perfect.

Imperfectly perfect.

Because then I can take care of the things that need to be taken care of.

Like cookies.

OH my God.

The cookies.

I baked a lot of cookies today.

There are 60 residences that the family will be delivering cookies to in the neighborhood tomorrow.

Everybody goes, mom, dad, the boys, the dog, and they hand out a little bag of homemade cookies that are made from scratch–the recipe from the mom’s great grandmother, sprinkled with confectioners sugar and non-pareils, hearts and stars and love, lots of little boy love.

“I want all the cookies for dinner,” the three year old pleaded with me.

I mean.

Pleaded.

“Bug, you have to have some of your regular dinner before we can have more cookies,” both the boys had already had some, but I understand how terrifically hard it is to be three and five and not have instant access to the mounds of cookie goodness on the counters.

The house smelled like heaven all day long.

Butter and brown sugar.

The house also smelled of homemade beef stew.

I was a cooking machine today.

In fact, I never went outside the house once I entered.

Which is pretty unusual for my day, but that’s the way it was and I was ok with it.

I got down and dirty in the kitchen.

Rolled up my sleeves and jumped in.

I love baking.

I used to bake a lot more.

Pies and cookies and candy at Christmas.

When I think about all the cheesecakes I used to make–blueberry being the simplest, to the most complex one, I think I ever made, being a pumpkin cheese cake with crushed hazelnuts and graham cracker crust and maple glazing; either that or the chocolate espresso cheesecake on chocolate graham cracker crust with crushed black walnuts decorated with coffee whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans.

At Christmas time I loved to bake homemade sugar cookies.

Butter, flour, pinch of salt, baking soda, sugar.

Mix, chill, roll out.

I would roll out the cookies extra thick so that they were soft when they came out of the oven, almost a cake kind of cookie.

Then I would ice them with frosting I’d made from powdered sugar, cream, and melted butter.

I would mix bowls of frosting with various kinds of food coloring and paint the cookies.

I had cookie cutters of all kinds–penguins, candy canes, snowmen, Christmas trees, stars, gingerbread men, I would also use a wide mouth glass and make Christmas tree bulbs.

Then, of course, there were many kinds of sprinkles, every conceivable color, red hots, non-pareils in silver and gold, rainbow sprinkles, colored sugars–red, green, gold, blue, and white granulated sugar.

The sugar cookies were the big deal.

But I also would make fudge, plain and walnut.

And.

Homemade Brazil nut toffee with milk chocolate.

I think I once made peanut brittle too.

But the toffee was always such a stellar stand out I tended to go with that.

Who doesn’t want homemade toffee drenched in milk chocolate and then dredged through crushed Brazil nuts?

Hello, please.

A couple of times I made popcorn balls, but man, they were so messy to make, I didn’t do it but once, maybe twice.

Oh.

Holiday baking.

I do miss doing you.

So it was a sweet delight to bake cookies all afternoon and on into the early evening, listening to Christmas carols and singing with the boys.

It was a labor of love.

It really was.

Many things are, I find.

This life I live.

Definitely a labor of love.

I was writing about that this morning and all the things I am grateful for.

“I was grateful,” I said, to my person in the cafe.

“I really was, I wrote about it all this morning and I am just so grateful to be taking care of myself right now and letting things be and go and yes, surrender, it’s so much nicer than trying to control anything.”

It really is.

And I do have so much to be grateful for.

Even when things are a challenge.

Even when things are not a challenge.

The great thing about being at this place in my life is to see how much work has gone into this serene place in time for me.

I am not upset about a thing.

I have feelings.

I let myself have them.

They come.

They go.

I move on.

Always this movement.

“Girl, you have grown, really, this past year, witnessing your growth has been amazing” he said as I relayed running into my ex-boyfriend last night and having a kind, thoughtful, considerate conversation with him on the side walk outside the place where I go to do the deal on Monday nights.

It was still a little stilted, our interaction, but not horrible, and the discomfort will pass the more I see him out and about or around.

Funny, I was thinking just where I was this time last year and how it was all such heartbreak.

Not the relationship yet, that was looming, that ending, but my father, the trip to and from Anchorage, my birthday.

I remember working my birthday and feeling so remiss about my father and not caring, not caring at all that it was my birthday.

Then.

I got the phone call from the hospital that my dad was out of the coma and asking to talk with me.

The conversation was awkward and painful and he said some things I won’t repeat here, he was sick, he is sick, and despite that, I was able to tell him I loved him.

I haven’t talked to him since that time.

I surrendered him as well.

So many surrenders this year.

So many things that I let go of.

And as I turn over these ideas about who I am or where I am going and where I am going to land, I know that I don’t have to struggle, I don’t have to be beaten into submission.

I can just set them gently down and walk forward.

A beautiful.

Free.

Loved.

Graced.

Woman.

Supple.

Strong.

And.

Serene in my.

Constant.

Surrender.

 


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