Eccentric and Bent

Come on a fantastic voyage in the backwaters of my mind.

Category Archives: Me

Craft Time


I’ve been on a jewelry kick lately: not wearing it but making it. I’ve had a great deal of fun setting up my improvised work bench, selecting tools, selecting materials and playing with fire. My husband purchased a torch for my 40th birthday but I didn’t use it until after this last birthday. I tend to get tools and materials but then my frugal cheap side kicks in and makes me just hoard things because I’m hate to waste anything. I finally bit the bullet because I was tired of just playing with my micro torch. I’ve made some rather lovely (if I do say so myself and I do) flame “painted” copper pieces. I’ve always loved copper as a good Arizonan should (it’s one of the 5 C’s of our state: citrus, copper, climate, citizens and something else that I can’t remember right now.) I’ve been working with it as the main element of my jewelry for a few years. I started with different gauges of wire but as the pics will show I have graduated to sheet and tube copper. (My next goal is to work quality turquoise and lapis lazuli into my designs.
The majority of the components in these pieces are handmade, from jump rings to the closures. The only portions that were ready made are the stringing material, beads and felt used for backing. I still have a clasp to make for the necklace but I’m feeling pretty darn accomplished. I wish I knew how to keep the flame painted colors vibrant. The initial colors are beautiful but as you work with the pieces some of the patina is rubbed away revealing subtly elegant coloring. It’s beautiful too but I’ve never really been the subtle type. I guess that’s part of the fun though; never knowing exactly what you are going to get. I guess it’s a lot like life in that respect. Some of my most beautiful moments have happened because I went full tilt even in uncertain situations.
Since I am writing this from my phone, the pictures will be in another post called Craft Time Pics. Hope you check them out.
Craft Time Pics
https://aresthegoddess.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/craft-time-pics/

Craft Time Pics


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Craft Time
https://aresthegoddess.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/craft-time/
My phone decided that I should do two posts instead of one. So if you would like the explanation behind these pictures,click the link.

Depression or Just Unmotivated?


It’s been a while since I posted. The last posts were related to the death of my grandmother, Mrs. Irene Lujan Primous. From that point until now, I haven’t written anything more than some FaceBook statuses. Poetry left, my essays dried up and my short stories have no imagination. I thought I was just going through a down cycle, as they have happened occasionally in my life. I always viewed these cycles as times I was subconsciously recharging my creativity. They have been viewed as periods of rest for a super active mind. I have just recently had what some may call an epiphany; I may just be depressed. I battled with what a doctor diagnosed as manic depression from the childhood until about age 27, when I decided to take life as it comes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those who believe that therapy is a racket dreamed up by folks to push pills and make money. I just knew that constantly rehashing the BS of life wasn’t helping ME. I needed something different and eventually I found it. I guess the reason I am unsure about whether this is depression or a motivation issue is because the only “symptom” I am exhibiting is a lack of desire to partake in some activities. Yes, these are the activities that make up the facets of my personality but they aren’t the sum total of me. I’ve still been eating, laughing and spending time with my loves. I’m not withdrawn or angry. I just haven’t had any desire to engage in my god complex. ūüėú I’m still putting out (what I think is) inspiration. I still feel happy on the surface so could I really be depressed? I really don’t know but I hope whatever this season is ends soon because I have another death to deal with. I know I would be able to process my grief better if I could “create” it out of existence. So what do you think my problem is: depression or just unmotivated? >

Peach syrup


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Peach syrup in a recycled jar.

image What it should look like when it is time to begin stirring and mashing.

image The finished product after chilling for 2 hours. It was still slightly warm.

Today, my daughters and I (later, my sons joined in too) went on a culinary adventure. The 13 year old has been wanting to make “plastic bag” ice cream all summer. We bought the rock salt and cream but we just never got around to doing it. Well today we did. We decided on an ice cream base using cream, milk and sweetened condensed milk. We found a technique for ice cream making without an ice cream maker/freezer. (I will update with links to the recipe and technique we used.) We modified the recipe to make chocolate for the kids. We also modified the technique to work with the size of our home freezer. I wanted to try the ice cream without additional flavorings mixed in, but wanted the option to add a topping. I had some peaches in the fridge that were getting soft. The light bulb came on…because I opened up the fridge of course. Anywho, I had three that needed to be used immediately.¬† That led to me coming up with a peach “syrup” based on the proportions of simple syrup, or at least what I think they are. I am not a real exact cook, which is good for my quick dessert recipes but not so much for quick dinners.
The recipe I used is as follows:
3 whole fresh peaches; pitted, finely chopped, but leave the skin on.
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
The juice of 1/2 lemon
A dash of salt (1/8 teaspoon or so.)
*Optional: cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or vanilla extract*
Put sugar and water in saucepan, set on stove aisle but do not turn it on.
Chop peaches and add to saucepan. Stir. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into pan. *squeeze over non-dominant hand to catch any seeds.*
Stir. Add dash of salt. Stir. Cook over medium heat without stirring until sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble moderately.  (See the second picture)  Begin mashing the peaches while stirring. Cook and mash until the peaches are a fine pulp.  When you raise a metal spoon or rubber scraper out of the liquid, and there is a thin coating left on the utensil, remove from heat. (20 mins- 45 mins. The longer you cook it, the thicker the final product will be. ) *Add any optional spices or extract you chose now, and stir to fully mix in* Let cool in pan for about 10 mins. Then pour into a clean heat safe container. Let cool at least 2 1/2 hours before use. Store in the fridge.
This can be used anywhere you would use a syrup: ice cream, pancakes, biscuits, beverages, oatmeal, grits, etc. Mix it in a class of your favorite lemon lime soda, and you have an instant spritzer. Mix it with iced sweet tea for a southern themed quencher. For those that drink adult beverages, substitute it for simple syrup. As you can see the possibilities are endless. I would say that for beverages, it may be easier to use if you cook it for a shorter amount of time. You could also strain the pulp out but I couldn’t imagine why you would want to.
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Photos of the ice cream base. One is being mixed with cocoa powder and chocolate syrup while sitting in an ice bath. The other stayed vanilla flavored.

I went here and found the nesting bowl technique, http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-ice-cream-without-124210 ,unfortunately all of my mixing bowls are too big to fit the narrow freezer of my side by side refrigerator. So we started in mixing bowls in the first step, then transferred the base to a rectangular storage container and the ice/salt combo to disposable roasting pans. I doubled the roasting pans for strength. The ice cream base came from the same website. It is their sweetened condensed base; found here, http://www.thekitchn.com/easy-recipe-extraquick-nocook-106539. Just omit the Meyer lemon juice. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla for a basic base.
My kids decided that they wanted chocolate, so when we took it out of the freezer for the second mixing they added 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and two heaping spoonfuls of Kroger brand chocolate syrup topping for ice cream.

And the saga continues


I wrote about losing my phone. I told you how I was disappointed to lose pictures and information. I don’t remember if I told you about trying to remember my passwords to change them to new passwords. But I had to do that too.
I have a new phone. I have new passwords. What I don’t have is complete control over my email address. Someone has been sending out mass amounts of spam in my name. I have changed the dang password several times due to not being able to access my mail from my phone. I changed it on the 28th and actually restarted a paid account. I tried to open my email today and could not. I went to the desktop site and saw that my account had been suspended due to suspicious activity. I then was able to set up another password.
My issue is why can’t AOL suspend my account without me being a paying customer? Why does $6.95 a month make such a huge difference? Does the “hacker” now have my credit card info? Losing my phone was such an small thing but the ramifications can be huge. I am frustrated by the lowest common denominators of society. If they want people to buy their crap, be honest. Because as PT Barnum purportedly said, there’s a sucker born every minute.

Black


I decided earlier this year that I would start to take my crafts more seriously. One of the items on my list was my writing. That is why I am trying to take my blogging more seriously. ¬†To that end I have started following some writing blogs. ¬†One of the writing prompts that I received today came from The Daily Post as a weekly challenge. The the prompt was to write about something divisive. ¬†I immediately thought that I would write about something near and dear to my heart, “Race”.

As an American who is also Black, race is part of my daily life. ¬†Even when I am not actively thinking about race and the issues that come with it, it is a part of my day. ¬†People will interact with me based on their preconceptions. One of the easiest ways to categorize me, after gender, is by the color of my skin and the kink of my hair. And we all know that humans like to take the easy way. ¬†Hell, I do it too. I have preconceived notions based on a person’s skin and hair. I automatically assume that the peach colored chick with the sandy blonde silky tresses is not Black. ¬†I automatically assume that the dude with Dreadlocks and Mocha skin is Black. I would approach them with these notions in my head. ¬†I know that there is ¬†chance that I am wrong in both cases, for I have met Latinos who look black and Blacks who look White. I also know that “race” is a purely sociological and psychological construct invented to prove the superiority of Europe over the rest of the world. Yet, the talk of “race” does not offend me.

I am more offended by those who claim to be “color blind”. By you choosing to be an enlightened liberal, you are taking away my ability to speak my truth. You don’t see race, so how can you see me being followed around a store when I am doing nothing more than trying to find a way to spend my money? If you don’t see race, how can you see the inequality in education? How can you see that the media contributes to institutionalized racism? How can you even see the institutionalized racism? You are color blind so when I mention an injustice based on race you say I am throwing out the race card. ¬†This is not a game so why would I throw out a card? There have been books written about the color blind phenomenon. Most of them agree when Blacks say that something is racist, Whites deny it. But if the same topic is reviewed by another White person it is like a veil is lifted from the eyes of the others. I am not bitter just aware that this is my lot in life. ¬†I can either embrace race or try to pretend it does not exist.

I choose to embrace race. I define my race as Black American (sometimes Negro American). ¬† I am not African American. I am not dissing Africa or Africans because those are my “cousins”. It is just that I have never been to Africa. I have not spent a lot of time around the different varieties of people from Africa. I have a few friends on FB that are Naija ¬†or from S. Africa. I was raised in a family that stressed learning all of the history I am entitled to have. I know that I share history from the African Continent but my experience and life has been purely American. ¬†As such I would not feel right claiming something that is not totally mines. I claim America as my own because I am the perfect example of America. I an admixture of a few cultures, but I am most definitely Black. I am proud of the accomplishments of the Americans who look like me. I try to be good example of Americans who look like me. ¬†I am raising my children to be the best examples they can be. ¬†I am instilling in them a sense of pride for their brown skin and kinky hair. I let them know that they should be Black and Proud. I know I am. What else can I be.

http://wp.me/p23sd-3CP

Determination


Sometimes in life we suffer loss and grief. Some people seem strong and unshakeable. Others quiver and shake like gelatin treats. But we all will go through it. This past month has shaken me to my core. In a week’s time, my Aunt died, we buried her, my sister went into labor 4 months early, the baby died within 3 days of being born, my son became suicidal and had to be committed for his own safety and then I went to the baby’s funeral. At the time I was going through this I did not know how I would make¬†it to the other side. Now that I look back, I see that it was more about determination than strength. I got up every morning and put my feet on the floor. I¬†followed those steps with other steps until they led me back to my bed at night. Each day that I did that¬†everything became easier to face. I don’t know what comes next but I know that I will have the determination to face it. I say all of this to say, you don’t have to be a superhero (although that would be totally cool) you¬†just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will eventually make it to your destination.

My Perfect Life


I have had people talk about my perfect life. They compliment my perfect marriage or my awesome children. They tell me that they wish they could be a “Kept Woman” or a “Woman of Leisure”. I just look at them and wonder what in the hell they are talking about. Just because I am happy in my life does not mean that it is perfect. It just means I am satisfied that things are going as well as can be expected.

My husband and I will be married for 18 years in August and we have been together for almost 20 years. That does not mean we have a perfect marriage, that just means we have worked through the bullshit that could tear us apart. I love this man with all my heart. I would not trade him for another husband. But that does not mean that he doesn’t work my last nerve. He is a neat freak and I am not. I would probably be a hoarder or at least a serious pack rat if he didn’t keep throwing my shit away. He reads my fucking journal because he wants to know what I am thinking when I don’t feel like talking about it. I know I get on his nerves. My mouth is filthy and caustic. I don’t think before I speak and therefore some of the shit I say makes me cringe. He accepted that I left in our 7th year of marriage and had a child outside of our marriage. He gave my child his name, love, and fatherhood. So while not perfect it is still a great relationship.

My kids are awesome but they are still assholes. I mean I am their mother.¬† Yes they are honor roll students but that just makes it easier for them to be smart asses. I have one who has chosen to be homeless at 17. He has spent time locked up for tresspassing. I am on probation right now because he is an habitual truant. He uses any and all drugs that come his way. I love him with all of my heart but I don’t like his ass. I hope that one day this will change but I don’t know. I have a 20 year old who is spoiled beyond belief. I don’t see her and her girlfriend getting their own spot anytime soon. My 14 year old keeps trying to tackle me because he wants to prove his gangsta. ( He is taller and more muscular than I am, so it pisses him off that I am still stronger and quicker. That is left over from my time as a hoodrat gangbanger.) My 12 year old is a sarcastic motherfucker that makes me want to break my rule about calling folks “bitches”. I have a 10 year old who has regressed in behavior due to the fact that I had another boy 18 months ago. And my 8 year old has split personalities like the Gemini she is. I also have two dogs and two hermit crabs. These motherfuckers keep me on my toes 24/7 because if I slip, it will be mutiny.

I say all of this to say no one’s life is perfect. Everyone has issues and stresses. Some people just choose to focus on the great parts. I am one of those. I love my life and would not change it for anything. Not even to have a perfect life because where would the fun be in that?

Hello world!


I am a social (media) butterfly who flits here and there. You may have seen my name on FB, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, Huff Post, or even Blogspot. If you have seen any of my previous posts, you know I am not quite right. I am mostly Left.¬† I am a mother, wife, sister, daughter, and aunt. I am not PC. I am happy being just the way I am. If you are easily offended, are republican, or don’t like talk about race relations in America and the world, I suggest you don’t follow. Also if you expect me to be a regular poster (as opposed to a Farrah Fawcett Poster), you will be disappointed. I will only write about those things that really get my dander up which may be frequent or far apart. There will be no theme to this blog other than what is on my mind. I am just forewarning you so that you won’t be disappointed or cursed out. If you are still here then I happily extend an invitation to take this voyage with me.