Thursday, January 24, 2013

Riffday: bar codes, worries, and venison

I got off to a couple of false starts, but I really am going to try posting Monday through Friday for a few weeks until I get through the backlog of posts, because otherwise I will never get around to doing some of them, and often--in distant hindsight-- my favorite posts are the ones that I wrote just because I made myself sit down and start typing.  So here I am again already.  But this one is just a collection of odds and ends.

I had a (thoroughly minor) bad experience on GoodReads about a year ago and deleted my account.  Which wasn't really a big deal since I hadn't used it much anyway.  But I read somewhere a couple of weeks ago that the GoodReads phone app has a bar code scanner, which got my little literary-techie heart all excited.  Oh my word, the fun.  So I've been going around the house and scanning the bar codes of all the books I want to read during my no-book-buying year. There are 92 already. ha. If I make it through 40 of them, I'll be happy.  If you want to follow along, my username is BarbN. 

Several good ideas came in about how to deal with worries (after the don't worry be happy post).  LondonMabel said that the right side of your brain is always in the present moment with no worries about the past or the future. So we don't need to work to learn how to be fully present, we just need to relax into what our brain already knows how to do.  I don't know if this is actually physiologically true, but it's a great way to approach meditation without the stress of worrying about having to learn a new skill or whether or not you'll be good at it or whatever else we worriers can think of to worry about. 

Laurel said in an e-mail: "I really and truly try to suss out "what's the worst thing that will happen if this "bad thing" comes to pass?" and I MAKE myself spell it out.  It's not death, loss of shelter, starvation, etc.  It's usually "embarrassment" or "delay in getting something I want/need" or "I'll have to talk on the phone every day for a week to get it straightened out" or whatever."  Then once you have that figured out, you can figure out if there is something you can DO to solve the problem, and then DO it. 

Which is a great idea.  I've found that action is a great way to stop worrying about something--often a large part of the worry is feeling immobilized.  Doing something, almost anything really, helps with that helpless feeling.  -- which is probably why Debbie's suggestion of cleaning helps.  Even if your worries are unrelated to what needs to be cleaned, the act of doing something reduces the frozen-up, helpless feeling.  And you get a clean bathroom/kitchen/whatever out of it.

Also, Julie wrote a post about three-minute meditation that is worth reading.   It's a good one.

***** If you're vegetarian, stop reading now-- graphic description of meat follows.  :-)

MadMax got Dean a meat grinder for Christmas.  I thought it was a GREAT idea, since the two of them love their hunting time, and they do their own butchering.  In the past, we've eaten the good stuff pretty quickly, and then we're left with quite a bit of less-tender venison we don't know what to do with.  So MadMax thought if we could grind that stuff into burgers and sausage, it would be usable again.  Thus the meat grinder.

But Dean was not all that excited about the grinder.  I didn't really think about it ahead of time, but he is overly busy as it is, and I think it must have just looked like one more thing he had to do.  So--since he is gone this week--I thought MadMax and I would try it out and see how difficult it was.  First of all, it was a MESS.  Oh my word, did it make a mess.  Venison is so lean that you have to grind fat in with it, so we added in some pork sausage, and can I just say.... yuck.  That's probably enough detail right there.

Secondly, it took us awhile to get the hang of it.  As in, at one point we were both mad and frustrated and thinking this was a really dumb idea.  But we did end up with seven full-size burgers and a mini-burger, and in hindsight, it wasn't so bad.  It will get better with experience, I suspect.  When Dean gets home we'll cook them up and see how we did. 

And that's all for me today.  Have a good one.


  1. Here I am showing up tardy. But I made it!

    Thanks for the mention. I hope it's helpful.

    The meat grinder would totally be a father-son activity that both of my guys would enjoy, mess or no. Sadly, we have no game meat to run through it, and they are the only two who would eat it anyway (oh wait, both of my parents totally would). But I'm so glad you and MadMax were able to take it for a test drive.

    Do you have a local butcher shop near by (or in your College Town)? They would be very helpful with "fat" suggestions. And blends that will be tasty. Sometimes it's more about the spices and flavors you mix in than the "grease" quantity. Or so I understand it.

    1. You know, we don't have a butcher other than the ones in the grocery stores. But we do have 2-3 meat processing plants-- lots of cattle around here, and they also do venison, elk, buffalo, antelope, and whatever else people bring in. But Dean likes doing it himself, so we've never used them. I bet they would be good sources of advice, though. Maybe I'll try that sometime.

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    1. Thanks, Dale! Have a great holiday!