Friday, January 11, 2013

Finishing

The week began in process and so, it has been a week of finishing things.

Main Street is almost finished.  I thought it would be done sooner, actually, but I had some other left-over December dramas to resolve.  Now that those are over, I'm confident I can plow through those remaining 50 pages or so and post about the novel tomorrow.

I finished the cardigan I was working on.  It's really just a very plain, very simple cardigan, but I love it.  I love it precisely because it's very plain and very simple. 

It was knit all in a single piece, believe it or not, from the neckline down.  This got a bit fidgety and bulky at one point, but I weathered it.  It's loose-fitting and open and wonderful.  No buttons.

And it has that cool little cable pattern in the back that gathers it together.  See?

 I really don't know why I like that fact about it so much, but I do. 

I also spent a bit of time making ravioli from scratch.  Which was also quite a bit of fun. 

 Here they are, whole-wheat ravioli with spinach and 3 cheese filling:

So now those are waiting in my freezer for me. 

I found that the recipe made far more than it said that it would. 

Or perhaps I am just turning into a Master Hand-Roller of Whole Wheat Pasta.

Anyway, after doing all of that, I was "over" my whole-wheat pasta making addiction (for now). 

The nice thing is, if you get on a roll (pun!), you can make enough to store for a while, and then you don't have to do it again anytime soon.

I also made my own homemade ricotta to fill them with, and while that might sound difficult, it's not.  (As you'll see if you click on the link to the recipe.) 

There's no need to pay for ricotta in plastic tubs at the store, if you already have milk and lemon juice on hand.  And a quart of cream has many uses besides ricotta, so... you save money making it yourself.  (Of course.)  And for me personally, store-bought ricotta has always tasted... funky.  I don't know what's in it, but I like cheese and that stuff is just not cool, IMHO.

The other thing I had to finish up this week involved discovering the capacity for sneaky vindictiveness in otherwise intelligent and seemingly reasonable individuals.  That kind of thing always shocks me, and I always wonder why I am shocked, only to eventually conclude that it will be a sad day when I just accept such behavior as the norm and don't feel shocked at all. 

In this case, shock is always a bit of a good thing.

So discovering that rendered me a bit speechless, which was why I didn't get as many things done as quickly as I wanted to this week and why my blog went silent for a bit, when I hadn't intended for it to go silent at all.

I've had a headache that lasted for three days.

As I spluttered and steamed my way through a controlled (but nevertheless potent) little hissy-fit, I was counseled to practice compassion.  I in turn indicated that although my store of compassion for such people is running a bit LOW right now, I will try.

I think this is a very good time for me to be rereading The Idiot, because in many ways Dostoevsky's novel is about precisely this problem:  a man opts to practice integrity, kindness and generosity of spirit in a world in which those qualities are not always (or even occasionally) practiced by others.

The sci-fi writer Anne McCaffrey once said, "Make no judgments where you have no compassion." 

I think this is good advice, although it's a bit hard to follow when you also feel like you've had to spend a couple of weeks figuring out how to get the knife out of your back. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't like sneaky.  If you ever want to ensure that I will always regard you with a wary eye and never again trust your word or your sincerity, go all stealth and sneaky on me.

When people attack me openly, I respect that.  I don't like it, mind you, but I respect it.  Those people have the courage of their convictions.  I don't share those convictions, obviously, but I can still admire their integrity.

They mean what they say, and they say what they mean.

People who do sneaky things have neither courage nor conviction nor integrity.  They mean nothing and at the end of the day, they're nothing but mean. 

I guess that's me being judgmental and not very compassionate, but at this point, there 'tis. 

But at least it's finished.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."