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I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
It’s a rather happy and chill Sunday, my favorite “soft” Radiohead tunes playin’ on the hi-fi, singing, typing, the hubster working next to me, the cats on their respective cushions. We’re all fine here; how are you? Even a little nod to Han Solo. Indeedy.
First, two minutes ago. The office/yoga studio, though you’ll see below that I am not afraid to bust a move in the kitchen. You’ll also see that we need to remove some bolts from shelves long gone and get a new layer of paint on the walls. No worries though, we’re on the fifty year plan. Chipping away.
That’s a Checker hood emblem, a 1978 to be precise. The owner of said automobile came out for a chat, hollering “Yoo-hoo!” after I snapped my photo. I don’t know which was better, spotting the car or having someone holler yoo-hoo like it was the Fifties. I told you it was an awesome day.
We saw this magnolia a few blocks before the Checker, and it wrapped us up in its scent, happy as Christmas.
Moss grows everywhere in these parts, everywhere.
Just in case you need a direction.
Or to feel safe. I’ve got you covered.
Our walk brought us here, two hungry bellies to magnetic north.
It’s a fine place to find yourself on a Sunday afternoon.
Right after you’ve gone bowling.
Or taken flight.
Or heard some siren song.
After an old school fill-up.
It’s all about balance, after all.
And not kicking the dishwasher.
While protecting your bacon from predators.
After a fine evening with friends and their adorable children, epic eating and catching up on the little bits that make a life.
And mixing their chalk art with ours.
Sitting in the warmth of the sun, listening to birdsong and a purring cat.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
How-dee-do to you this fine Tuesday, with chocolate on top, Guinness Chocolate Cake, to be ever more precise. This was part of our St. Patrick’s Day feast. Normally, I do not pull out the big guns for this holiday, but we were having our friends Matt & Kelly over, so I dove right in.
I corned some beef, which turned out dee-licious, despite not being in its marinade for ten days (I thought I was pretty on top of things with four), roasted potatoes, made red cabbage with apples, and the aforementioned cake. We were stuffed to the gills and that doesn’t even count the lovely conversation and my wild peals of laughter, of which there were many. I was on a roll, to say the very least.
Now to the cake because my Grammy asked. I adapted this from Smitten Kitchen’s Chocolate Stout Cake, which tastes nothing like beer, just chocolate heaven. The reason for the post name is that I bought half and half instead of the whipping cream she calls for, so a ganache was turned into a sauce, and I gilded the lily by adding Bailey’s. I could not have been happier with the result!
1 cup Guinness
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
6 ounces milk chocolate chips
5 tablespoons half & half
1 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Cream
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a bundt pan really well. Bring the Guinness and the butter to simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and yogurt together in another bowl until combined. Add this, along with the Guinness mixture to the flour until completely combined. Pour batter into the bundt pan. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 35-45 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before turning onto a pretty plate.
Melt the chocolate, half & half, and Bailey’s over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Drizzle over individual slices of cake.
Me, Matt, and Kelly about a year ago. We need a new photo, one with the hubster. Love you guys!
I’ve been thinking a lot about space lately. On all levels, including the final frontier kind, with my favorite Spock whispering those fine words in my ear, especially when I gaze out the front window whilst brushing my teeth on a clear night with Venus and Jupiter, right there, nearly close enough for me to touch. The space between them the coziest of hammocks, and if I run and jump onto Don and Katie’s house, putting some sort of trampoline on their roof, I could spring onto it and lie swinging between their two stellar bodies.
I would watch my house the same way Jupiter does whilst brushing his teeth at night. Or maybe think about how the universe and everything we are is expanding, see if I could observe it from that high perch, all the while not really understanding the concept of dark matter or infinity, save for maybe infinite kindness, which I strive to possess, but come up short from time to time. Probably because I am human and flawed.
But I’m working on it, the human part, every single day, giving myself the space I need to discover all that I am, all that I strive to be. I read Pema and the signs, whatever they may be, and try to get less trapped in my own thoughts and occasional wickedness, watching, sometimes getting very lost, other times dancing like a child, blissfully aware of how damned good it all is.
But it’s all about space. The space to observe myself (and you, dear reader) with kindness. The space to grow. The space to know I deserve every happiness and success. The space to be and learn. The space to mourn something I scarcely remembered losing, yet loving the sweet discovery, too. Oh space, inner and outer, infinite and ever confined, how marvelous you are.
p.s. The hubster works in the tall building at the very left. Hi Buddy!
Don’t ever become a pessimist … a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.
Disparate populace of my thoughts
Once unwelcome interlopers
Now fine silken threads: flawed, broken, gorgeous, old
Woven into one
No shame in examining, admiring, pondering, remembering
Touch my cheek
Caress the whole
Wrap my soul
A magnifying glass
Ten steps back
Then ten miles
Moon and stars
This is my life
This is my love
This is what binds my heart
and makes me WHOLE.
Some ever so random bits and bobs for you today. My mind is a wandering one. Its oft preferred state, which, after some overly obsessive and incredibly tiresome thinking suits me fine. Uh-huh.
First, a little more leg than I anticipated, but whatever. Call me a slut, but my neighbor beat you to the punch on whore. Because if a little leg, using birth control before having my internal lady parts removed (read about it here: 1, 2, 3, 4) , and enjoying sex with my husband make me one, I say, in for a penny, in for a pound. Anyhoo, the socks beg to be seen! They are from Gumball Poodle (oddly, I bought mine at New Seasons) and are perfect for roller skating, even when hidden under cropped pants, with many other neat-o options. Meat, anyone? Beer? Bacon?
Second, a little listening. Do you know about Poking Smot? I must say that I, in no way or shape, like this moniker. Really? That’s the best you got? Well, I shall forgive you because your website is so freakin’ awesome that it nearly makes my head spin. Music, so very much music: new, old, jazzy, synthy, rocky, poppy (currently jiving and toe tapping to Sandy Bull’s “Blend”). Merde et zut alors! This place could be the site of my downfall. I’ll just listen to one more song and be on my way, oh and another, but wait, they’ve got that? Down for the count peeps, d-o-w-n!
Third, a little reading. This is a shout out for local writer K.B. Dixon who sent me a copy of his book, The Photo Album. It is a very quirky, Colleen-style tale. A warm breeze of an afternoon read and well worth the time, it’s an imaginary photo album (hence the title) with captions. What was happening there? What was intended? What don’t we see? Filled with details of places I love and very much home. It made me think, laugh, and sigh with wonder.
Fourth, a little watching. And contrast. First, another one of my man-crushes, Zach Galifianiakis (I’m not kidding), in a supporting role (with Jason Schwartzman and Ted Danson – a fine trio if ever there was) in a truly awesome and also very Colleen-style comedy series, Bored to Death. I think I’ve mentioned this bit of kooky before, but dang, do I love it so. The hubster can’t get enough of it either, I might add. We laugh until we cry and always want more. Luckily we’ve got DVD number two waiting for us to-night. It’s on, bitches! (Just for you, Amber)
Now to the contrast, The Yellow Handkerchief. It follows Brett (William Hurt) after his release from prison, searching for a new hold on life and remembering May (Maria Bellow), the love he left behind. Then there is Martine (Kristen Stewart) and Gordy (handsome Eddie Redmayne), young and inexperienced, escaping home, awkward and yearning for a connection, to no longer be outsiders and first forgotten. They travel in Gordy’s car, through the post Katrina aftermath, taking ill used highways and discovering unexpected places, especially within themselves. Sweet and sad and happy.
Fifth, a little love, for you, sweet readers, and Friday. Have a tip-top, hat’s-off, groove-on weekend!