Sunday, November 20, 2011

Still kicking

Can we all just agree that I think about blogging more than I actually blog? On the rare moments I'm in the yard (panic-stricken, lately, generally-speaking), I think about blogging. And why I don't have my camera with me. When I'm doing something with the kids, I think about blogging -- even if I have my camera. When I'm cooking or making shopping lists, I think about blogging.

I think about friends whose blogs have better pictures or nicer layouts than mine. I think about people who post more frequently. I think about all the blogs I wish I were reading and commenting on.

Think, think, think.

But precious little, you know, blogging. Mostly, if I sit down at the computer lately, I feel as though I should be working. This current crop of students is a challenge, and I'm just pleased that I'm halfway through a course.

And generally, this bloglessness is a good barometer of my entire approach to life for the past. . . fourteen months? I'm just not running as smoothly as I am wont to. Feels like sugar in my gas tank, a stuck cylinder, or jogging, veeeery slowly, through cold molasses.

But every once in a while things kind of get better. And I have faith that this is merely a transformative, sort of chrysalid, phase, rather than the New, 100% More Sluglike Me!

One thing that might be still going well, or at least keeping the whole enterprise from tanking, is that I retain some competencies. I may not have the mental energy to accomplish much, but my hands still remember how to do some things. And for that, along with some other things, I'm really grateful.

Competence, even in only a few areas, is still competence. As my children have all suddenly increased their eating - winter? Simultaneous growth spurts? Innate evil? - I'm reacting by baking twice a week, and paying more attention to filling meals.

So I don't only make challah and bread on Tuesday,

I make foccacia and bread on Monday too. Dinners are. . . bigger.

And tonight, after a day that saw me up early, fishing with Tor and Cat, driving Tor to a practice for his Parkour performance, taking the dogs for a walk with the oldest girl, racing back to watch the performance, then taking all the kids out for a photo shoot, I made calzone to use the rest of the lovely sausage I got from our local butcher. Assembly-line style made it easy for Tor to be enticed in to put them together. As we rolled dough and heaped-up filling, then took turns pleating the edges together, I realized that my hands were perfectly at home.

Roll, pat, fill, tweak, over and over. I could stand back and let him do it and give pointers, but only because I knew that I was in the groove with it. I may not make the money I wish I did or have the impact on the world that I'd like to, but I can throw together some serious handmade baking. That has to count for something, no?

That one was one of the "low-filling" ones, with too much dough to filling. Sarafina's (below) was hot, although I don't remember why she was laughing so hard.

By tomorrow I have more work to finish and I never did get that yearbook schedule worked out to email to the parents who are just as overwhelmed with it as I am, but I will, or at least I will do some of it. And tonight Eric will read to me and I'll fall asleep listening to the rain and then it will start again. I'll try to focus harder on the areas that I'm really good at (easy with a food-centric holiday coming up) and overlook the areas that make me feel inept.


Janet said...

Lovely post. I'm sure I do as much thinking about blogging, talking about blogging and mucking about with texts and photographs as I do actually post!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I've been eating (and baking) more recently too, but I can't blame mine on growth spurts (well, not upwards anyway)! Your breads look beautiful. That little extra time you take to bake for your family, to craft real foods, is much MUCH more important than blogging. Nice to know you're still kicking though. Happy Thanksgiving!

Stefaneener said...

Janet, thanks. I have pictures on the camera right now for today. . .

CVS, the guilt I feel about not commenting on other people's blogs is pretty acute! Good to hear from you, too!

Jill said...

I've been thinking about your post for the last day, especially the part about competence. I think it is easy to concentrate on all we haven't done and need to do in our lives - but it is really important to recognize competence and how many things we do well without even thinking about it. It is one of the things I love about getting older...the more times I try to do something the better I get at it. Those core competencies give me the courage to try even more complicated tasks.

I just wanted you to know that your post really resonated with me today and as I embark on a few new challenges I'll be sure to remember that there are some things that I am really good at doing. In a little time I'll probably be good at the new stuff too.

Peggy said...

Your breads look simply amazing! I have just started bread making using the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day technique. I felt accomplished to have not killed the yeast!! :)
I also think of all the more beautiful layouts, witty posts, more frequent posts on blogs. Although I wish I was all those things, reading other's blogs is inspiring. We all contribute what we can, when we can, where we can.