Monday, September 6, 2010

L is for Lemons

Quite some time has passed since I last added my two scents (lemon and vanilla, in this instance) to the blog-o-sphere.  I would like to report that the absence of hypertext was because we have been sunning ourselves on the rocky shores of Greek isles, or that we have been so busy eating chocolate and trekking through the Swiss Alps that I didn't have time to bake or write, or even that we have been busy digging and planting and turning the arid backyard into a lush "at-home" resort...but those would just be bold faced lies.  No, we have been quietly living on the edge of the desert, desperately trying to tape together the pieces of our once placid existence.  Yes, yes, yes, I know that sounds incredibly melodramatic, but without going into horrendous detail, let it just be said that the economy (and other action packed facts of life) have made big peepee all over the pastoral scene that was once life on Chuckwalla Place. 

But I assure you, this is not a pity post.  That is not my style.  Yes, sure, if you asked me to sit and have a beer or two with you, and around the 30th (or so) ounce of ale you tilted your head a little to one side and asked, yet again, "how was I doing"...okay fine, then you would probably get a 5 minute egocentric monologue decorated with sardonic wit and quick/fake smiles, after which I would finish my pint, order another, and then promptly change the subject to something much more interesting.  But I don't need to spill my guts.  I really don't, nor do I want to.  Saying it all out loud does not work for me.  I prefer to let my mixed-dominance cerebral hemispheres percolate and chug and grind and fester, activating my emotion-controlling limbic system when necessary, but otherwise letting it all flit and flash around inside my cortex, looking for synaptic harmony, trying to make sense of it all.  Sure, perhaps that all sounds very cold and clinical, but it's what I think I need to do right now.

Which is unusual, because I am a talker.  In fact, Nik has told me countless dozens of times over the past 2 decades, "Okay, it's time to be quiet now."  But making conversation, and imitating voices, and telling stories, and making up adventures featuring the fictional lives of our dogs is creative and fun.  Those kinds of ideas and stories and characters live and grow when let out into the open air.  The last thing I want to grow and become even more alive is the reality of 2010, so it is my current preference to keep it crowded and cramped inside my airless cranium. 

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Well, I beg to differ.  Certainly it is hard to predict how you are going to handle difficult times until you are faced with them.  This time, to be honest, I've surprised myself.  What I have learned is that I don't want metaphorical lemonade.  I'm not looking to "make the best of it."  My preference is to ackowledge the fact that, yes, it seems that somehow a truckload of rotten lemons was dumped on the front yard, and many of them are bruised and broken, and alot of them are moldy, and clouds of those annoying little fruit gnats are starting to gather.  I've learned that rather than sorting through the acidic citrus mess to find the good lemons, I would rather just shovel it all into the dumpster, try to remember how those lemons ended up on the front yard in the first place, do what I can to avoid rotten fruit the next time, and move on.  I know what a lemon looks like, so hopefully next time I can avoid it, rather than ending up with a bathtub full of sticky lemonade.  

The fact that I have written these sour paragraphs is, hopefully, an indication that the crap is starting to clear.  Let's hope so.  I've lost the recipe for this lemon cake, so just enjoy the pictures.  It was good but now it's gone.  But, of course, that doesn't mean that there won't be other lemon cakes in the future. 

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