Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Weekend Musings ~ First Batch


I had procrastinated enough.
I had filled our freezer full of cut mangos. There is little room for anything else.
I had not settled down to make jam until the other day. 
I had finally found the mood to get down to making some jam.
It was an order, actually, that brought the mood on. Well, it was more a mood of "I HAVE TO make some jam". I was asked for 3 jars, please, by Sunday. 
Thank you to my previous customer who placed the order, you have lifted me out of my anti-jam making funk.

Voila, my first batch of mango jam.
First Batch Mango Jam 2020

This batch, I am told, is better than last year. Hubby was the taster - compared the very last bit in the very last jar I have from last year with a taste of the slight overage of this first batch.

His conclusion was that this year's batch was better than last year's. 
It has a great flavor and set very nicely. 

So I am not sure really if I tweaked the recipe differently, I may have been a bit more heavy handed in adding the lime, or I just caught the mangos at the exact right time. 

Or, it could be all of my 'offerings' to the earth.
I have saved nearly all the skins, dug holes around the yard, and put them in the earth. My way of composting in little bits, giving back to help the soil.

Or it could be that there was also an offering to the dump. One jar from this first batch of six jars was accidentally knocked off the counter. The jar shattered, and the jam was in a pile on the floor mixed with tiny shards of glass. Now on its way to the dump, and now it is a batch of five jars. 
So perhaps this sacrifice pleased the gods, and this season's batches of jam will continue to be stellar. 

Whatever it was, if this first batch of jam is any indiction, this year's batches will be slow in coming, with frustrations and losses mixed in, keeping with true 2020 style, but turn out to be better than last year's batches. 

The year started out with high hopes, but sadly plummeted to the worst ever. Is it turning around perhaps?

Well...so far... we have the jam. 
And more piles of mangos. 

Hubby said he felt like a king as he wolfed down at least four fresh mangos this morning, from a pile of mangos I cut last night.
More Mangos

I hope there is more than that to make 2020 stellar.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Music Monday! The Man in Me

It is never a bad way to end the weekend, watching The Big Lebowski.
That we did, for the I don't know how many-eth time. We have seen it a lot.
(Plus a little Monty Python, always a good time for that really.)

But now back to work from my completely do nothing vacation, well staycation really.
Honestly, I did a little more than nothing, but not much.
I hardly cooked, didn't go anywhere but the grocery store, did minimal laundry (that still needs to be folded). I sat on the couch most of the time. I successfully lounged and read several kindle fun books.

So this is a nice way to ease in to tackeling my work emails, a nice tune from Bob Dylan. (website here if you want to get lost in Bob) Besides hubby requested it, and it is kinda nice to hear him sing along, even if he is immitating Bob, he is a bit better than Bob.


But, if I have to play it again, and read him the lyrics, having heard him say one too many times 'What is that he said there?', I may ditch the whole 'play music while working' thing.

Ah, working from home. Serenaded by hubby.
Good thing I am going in to the office tomorrow........

Monday, June 29, 2020

Music Monday! Hooked on a Feeling

Yup. Hooked on this song apparently.
I heard it on the radio driving in to town the other day.
I cranked up the volume, and sang along as loud as I could.
And then over the weekend it came up in conversation...can't remember that conversation now but I got to hear it again. And there it has been in my head, stuck.

Every time I hear it, I want to sing it, and sing it loud.
I like sing along songs, particularly since singing is good for you.
Plus, both sing and dance are on this great list of advice for living.

What a GREAT feeling that was in the car, though! There is something so liberating about singing alone in the car while your driving. I hadn't let loose like that since, well at least since before the lockdown. And honestly, I didn't let loose much before that because traffic was so bad people sitting in cars right next to me would have seen me blaring out the song and doing a little dance sitting behind the steering wheel and that would have just been weird.

The other day? Traffic was so little no one was stuck next to me having to witness such craziness. I was all alone with my craziness. That in itself was a great feeling. Thank the lockdown for less traffic. Though we have been slowly opening up, traffic wasn't too bad. I had a safe space in my car, to belt it out good.

But seriously, there really is a great feeling singing at the top of your lungs to a great feel good song, and getting to say ooga chaka over and over and over and over again. And in this video, what about those boots, those are pretty crazy too.


Blue Swede's version of Hooked on a Feeling, a cover of the original, is the one I remember from when I was a kid.  I probably heard it on the AM Radio in my parents kitchen when it reached #1 on the US charts in 1974, and then was played for years and years afterwards on that AM Radio station. It is probably the one most referenced, in the movies it saw a real resurgence with Gardians of the Galaxy back in 2017. (a great movie series....).

It sure is one of those songs that gets in your head, but in a good way! Just humming the tune lifts the mood. Maybe some of that great feeling is knowing or remembering someone loves you, or you love someone. Love. Knowing everything is alright because of that love.

Perhaps just what is needed for a Monday. You can ooga chaka through the day, and it won't be so bad of a day! It makes for an awesome car ride too, traffic or not. I probably would sing this out even if there were people staring at me in the next car over.....

Monday, June 15, 2020

Music Monday ~ Carry On

Carry on.
What we must do. It is hard, these days, but in the end, we must carry on.
A popular WWII slogan the English came up with back in 1939. Much unknown then, it's resugence took the world by storm in the 2000's. The original was Keep Calm and Carry on.

The original displayed at Barter Books

Many Keep Calm and.... slogans are out there. So, so many variations; some are funny, some are motivating, and they all have Keep Calm to start, because that is actually very good advice in so many situations.

This song is a fun song, (yes I know, the name of the band too, but it really is an uplifting fun song), it lifts the sprits. Mine anyways.

 

Cause we are
We are shining stars
We are invincible
We are who we are
On our darkest day
When we're miles away
So we'll come
We will find our way home


A good reminder to keep that one foot moving forward, carrying on. We are who we are, after all.
We must remember to Keep Calm and then, Carry On. Keeping calm is key, moving forward a necessity.

Sometimes, a nice upbeat song is just what it takes to get through a Monday.
In the meantime, I do believe it is time to have a nice lazy afternoon.
It is a holiday here, The Queen's birthday.

Jolly good, let's have some tea! If you want to see The Queen's celebration, you may need a full pot of tea, or two.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Weekend Musings ~ Mango Madness

This year, we had the mangos come a wee bit earlier than last year.
And (thankfully) not quite as many mangos.
This year, I wasn't sure how I would be able to keep up with the mangos.
Working full time doesn't leave much time for jam during the week, and mangos don't wait until the weekend to be ready.
So that is why this year I am thankful we are getting them off at a more mangeable rate.
About 1 - 3 every day or so.

An amount I can deal with, even with the gifted Carrie Mangos from my SIL.
Then, yesterday, my sister-in-law gave us a bag full of Carrie Mangos. I had a slight panic moment. How am I going to use all these mangos?? Ours are Valencia Pride mangos, my favortie for just pealing and eating. Carries I have to figure out what to put in, because I don't like eating them outright much. A slightly different flavor, and texture. Still good mangos, don't get me wrong! But I will use them in something, just have to decide what that will be.

I have been battling with the 'jammed out' feeling. I just can't get the gumption to make jam. It is an effort I just am not excited about at this time. A little internal battle I am having. It is added to the battle I have about not wanting to be in the kitchen much. So nothing complicated, time consuming, or particularly messy, please.

I have spent the weekend brainstorming for ideas on how to use mangos.
I saw fish in the freezer, and Mango Salsa popped in my head.
A simple salsa, of course.
What is left of the Mango Salsa.
Sorry, only thought to snap a picture after the meal. It was so good, we ate all but that little bit. So little effort for some big flavor. It was more a star of the meal than the fish.
Here are the ingredients for my simple salsa:
  • Mango
  • onion
  • hot pepper flakes
  • lime juice
  • parsley

That's it. Mainly because I didn't have cilantro, or red or green peppers, the typical additions to a mango salsa. I used what I had. And three of us ate four mangos worth of salsa with out fish, rice, and beans dinner.

But I had more mangos. What esle could I do? I didn't have enough butter for mango cobbler, nor the energy to make it. Not up for the mango bread either. So what was simple, uses mangos, and delicious?
Duh, Milk and Mangos, what is easier than that? 

Milkshakes! Of course!
We now have a constant supply of milk, thanks to my daughter who requires it for her coffee. I used to have a hard time getting through a half gallon of milk by myself, but with her here we go through gallons. So because there was a full gallon in the fridge, it was so easy to just pop the mango in the blender and pour some milk on it.
Thick and creamy shake. YUM.

This morning, I added a squeeze of lime, and more ice cubes. So easy.
And filling. It is like a full meal in a glass.

I did little else but think about mangos, and eat mangos. Mango madness!! I will be searching for mango ideas the rest of the day, week probably. Until there are no more mangos falling off the tree.
There are worse ways to spend the days, right?

If you have any mango ideas, let me know!

Monday, June 8, 2020

Music Monday! Float On

Another Monday, another week of what the heck will happen this week?

source
And we are just floating around waiting for the next WFT moment.
I say, it is time to enjoy some Modest Mouse then and we can all float on together.



Alright, already, we'll all float on, alright
Don't worry, even if things end up a bit too heavy
We'll all float on
Alright, already

I kind of love that the video has the band in a little puppet show, moving around with magnets. Being controlled by someone. Read into that what you will, I sure we could draw some real life parallels.
And then there are the sheep. All singing along, as we float along. Perhaps another real life parallel can be found here. But I won't be drawing or finding any parallels today, it is Monday after all.

Asked about the song in an interview with The A.V. Club, Isaac Brock, the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band, said that he consciously intended to write something that felt more positive than some of his previous work:

It was a completely conscious thing. I was just kind of fed up with how bad shit had been going, and how dark everything was, with bad news coming from everywhere. Our president George W. Bush is just a fucking daily dose of bad news! Then you've got the well-intentioned scientists telling us that everything is fucked. I just want to feel good for a day.


That quote was from back in 2004! Back when things were GOOD, in retrospect of course. It seems things were pretty bad then too, but I do believe they are much, much worse now. I actually miss the days of good ole Bushisms. At least we all knew Bush cared for the American people, he was was humble, and he listened and did try to learn. A feeling we do not get at all from the current leader. We so need that to change.

But, again, it is Monday, so I will not go too deep in to this now. It is just, well those really were better times, we can all agree to that now that we have experienced the last several months. Right?

source
Summer is almost here, places are opening up from the COVID-19 quarantines and lockdowns, little by little at least. And hopefully, the protests will lead to some long overdue changes.
And then we will can all float on, alright, already.

(Actually, that picture reminds me, I have to get 'floating' on because I really need to start training for the sea swim. The COVID-19 curfews and such were a nice excuse to not train. But now that the beach has opened up for exercise, and I can go any day, I am no longer restricted my my last name, there is no excuse. I need to go float and swim!)

For today, let's just float on and get through this Monday. Well, through this week, and this month, too. You get the idea.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Music Monday! ~ Space Oddity

As the daily news keeps plugging the negatively and violence, this past weekend we were reminded that when we work together we can accomplish huge things.

We can go to SPACE!

We were reminded to look to the stars to remind us how small we really are, and to strive for big goals regardless of the hurdles. And soon, we could possible hitch a ride with a commercial spaceship!!!

Of course, what other song is appropriate when thinking about going off to space?


This past weekend, we were reminded we can get the heck off this earth and live in space by none other than NASA with SpaceX and of course Bob and Doug  - the astronauts.



(NO NOT Bob and Dough McKenzie, though I could not get them out of my head whenever someone mentioned Bob and Doug taking off..., and I was tempted to use their song, but really Bowie's is better, imho, so take off, eh? You hoser!). 

It didn't sink in to me that we (humans) have been in space, living there in the ISS (International Space Station) for 20 years (!!) until I started streaming the live launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and docking of the Dragon ship events and tangents about space and such that took up most of my weekend.

I was glued to the coverage, a very welcome reprieve from the news of the most recent heartbreaking death and racism and hate. It has been one of so many lately, deeply saddening news just piling up this entire year so far. More than enough to cover more than 20 years.


So I settled in to another distraction over the weekend (I look for distractions these days). A hopeful distraction, a distraction that shows we can work together, we can reach for the stars. We are capable of so much good.

That immediately begs the question why do we keep doing so much bad to each other? A philosophical thought I am not up for.

In the meantime, let David Bowie take us on a journey of Major Tom, a wonderful story of a strange astronaut. A lovely distraction for a Monday.