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Archive for September, 2010

Goodbye, Monkey Mind

Writing the cookie blog this afternoon served as a way to get back into blogging more. But much more importantly, I hope it also served to focus my thoughts a little in order to keep my “monkey mind” from jumping from thought to thought to idea to idea to idea without really focusing on anything.

I used to meditate regularly. And I thought that moving into the little RV would make that practice even easier in the small space. However, as sometimes happens, the expectation and the actuality turned out to be completely different. Perhaps in traveling from place to place, living and working in such a variety of spots, my mind also reverted to doing the same. I’ve found I can no longer sit still or focus on something for longer than a minute at most lately, spending lots of time on Facebook instead. As fun as that is, I feel a need to begin a regular practice again.

There is much to consider, many things to think about, people to see, jobs to do. However, I would like my meditation practice to take precedence, beginning today. After all, my experience for several years was important and challenging enough to help me decide to become a minister and appreciate the wonderful experience of three years in seminary in Seattle. But somewhere along the way I changed. And I miss that other me very much.

More later.

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The Cookie Lady

While volunteering at A Third Place Community Center in Turley, Oklahoma last year, I became known as “The Cookie Lady.” Simple enough–every time I drove the 35 miles down there from Bartlesville, OK, I took along a supply of homemade cookies. They disappeared quickly and people started expecting them. And, who was I to disappoint such wonderful people! Of course, that’s when I was living in a small house and had the use of a regular oven and even a bit of counter space.

Remembering how much people appreciated those cookies, I started making them for the night front desk people at Parry Lodge here in Kanab, Utah. This time it’s a little more difficult because the RV I’m living in doesn’t have an oven nor counter space. I use the toaster oven and shuffle things around a bit in order to get enough room to make the cookies, and it works. Just takes a little patience. I’ve also started taking them on the nights I need to show the Western movies in the hotel coffee shop instead of in the barn, figuring since we can’t have popcorn, soft drinks, or ice cream, at least people can have cookies, coffee, and ice water. After all, who ever watches a movie without something to nibble on?

The most popular ones are the Oatmeal/Raisin/Chocolate Chip cookies, followed by regular Toll House cookies. I even found a great recipe for gluten-free oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies for a friend.

Ingredients are the key. I use real butter, fresh and unsalted, that I’ve found at The Dairy Store in Colorado City, AZ, a short drive through the desert on the way to Hurricane or St. George, Utah. That makes a mediocre cookie into an excellent one. We’re lucky here because we can order really fresh eggs from a friend. Those also make a huge difference. And I always wonder, why bother using fake chocolate chips when real ones taste so wonderful?

Of course, it’s so hard not to chow down on the cookie dough or the finished cookies. I haven’t figured out a good way to handle that problem except willpower. Unfortunately, that’s sometimes in short supply!

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