Time For A Rain Room Chat

Thinking Out Loud…

Sometimes, you have to say the bad stuff.  The depressing stuff.  I hit that point this week.

A growing edginess, slightly short of grumpy, fiercely pressed to smooth out the wrinkles of negative thoughts, finally, finally got to me.  I know how fortunate I am to be in a safe place and with my life partner and love, Jim.  But pressing in, intruding, is the passage of time—time out, yes, but time gone by too.

So last night we settled in the rain room, our quiet, peaceful place with comfy chairs, and talked about the stuff we have been tip-toeing around.  I hadn’t wanted to bum Jim out when I grieved over our canceled road trips, so I had been dismissing those thoughts when they showed up.  I hadn’t wanted to admit to the sadness I was feeling over life on hold, so I made myself look “on the bright side” until I could not stand it any more.

It reminds me of a thing I often told my students about the effect of repeatedly saying “no” to myself when I was having a bad day in the studio—depression.  When all my ideas were being shot down by my own inner critic, I taught myself to say “yes” and “yes” to every idea I had.  It worked me out of the slump every time.  Yes.

And here I am doing the same sort of thing, different context, yes, but the same negative spiral—telling myself not to feel the way I feel is the same denial, the same, the same, the same.  And it doesn’t work.

What a relief to know that Jim had been feeling the same way!  What a relief to admit it to each other, and to stop worrying about worrying—even if it’s just until the next unwelcome thought barges in.

Well, we both felt better, relieved, and encouraged by telling ourselves and each other the truth.  Simple idea, not always easy to do.

A chat in the rain room helps.

Just Because…

Thinking out loud…

Summer has officially shown up here in my neck of the woods, and it is going to be a warm one today.   There is a saying around here that summer doesn’t arrive in Western Washington until the middle of July.  That has held pretty close to true this year.  Today, we may see 90 degrees, which has me soaking up the morning cool in my coffee drinking station.

Where ever you are, keep cool thoughts and be well and safe.



I have a pound of yeast

Thinking out loud…

Initially, there was a plan.  I wanted pizza.  But we only had old yeast.  Then we discovered that most of America was apparently in bread baking mode—no yeast left in the stores!  I began a search on line and after a couple disappointments and a few weeks, I scored a pound of yeast.  We would survive.

Then it arrived.  A pound of yeast.  A brick’s worth in size.

I haven’t made serious bread in years, and I have been in the mood for home baked bread.  I want to whack bread dough on the counter just like they do in The Great British Baking Show.  English Muffins, Hamburger Buns,  Bannocks (not sure what those are, but I wants ‘em).

But…I admit it, a brick’s worth of yeast intimidated me.  Time passed.

I finally mustered my forces (?) and found a recipe for easy Hamburger Buns.  So here goes!  (You know, whenever anyone says easy, they don’t necessarily mean for anyone else….)

Mise en place!  I am big on mise en place….(I like to say it, a lot).

This mixer hasn’t been out of the appliance barn in a long time, a loooong time.  It knew what to do with bread dough.

Just how long does one need to knead bread?  There is a mystery here. What happens if you over knead it?

There is also a trick to making dough into little balls.  It eluded me….

But here they are!

And they worked just fine, even if the burger kinda hung out the sides, and the buns were a bit on the tall side.

Next baking with yeast adventure is going to be English Muffins!  Because I have a whole pound of yeast to use!  (Minus 1 tablespoon)

Step By Step

Thinking out loud…

Or maybe it should be “hop, skip, and a jump“—Game plan, a way to go forward, or a time to look back and consider where we have been, what we want to keep (and keep doing), and what we don’t.

For how long?  It’s hard to answer that one just yet.  This is a big time out, a BIG time.

Right here, right now.  No matter what if, what might, even what will be, right now there are good people, people who are caring,  and daring to work towards making things better.

That’s what I am celebrating today.