What has taken me away from art, art challenges and writing has been infrastructure work. If you can call re-designing my website and building a store "infrastructure." Every year I try to work up a business plan for the coming year. I got a bit delayed with my 2017 plan due to unforeseen personal issues. However, along with my trusted advisors, the plan is now in place and time has come for implementation. One major change was in how and where to sell my art online. Heretofore I have utilized 3rd party sites such as 'print on demand' sites. But, it became cumbersome and time consuming to juggle multiple sites. What made the most sense was to do e-commerce on my own website. Ok. One decision [a major one, to be sure] down. Then, in order to accommodate an online shop, I needed to re-design my website. After research and trial and error, what you see here is the result. Me? I love it!
I know a couple of folks who got one last year and love them. Seems for the time savings element more than anything else. One person says it produces food 'just as tasty' as a slow cooker but in less time. Another said it means she doesn't have to keep stirring or checking the pot on something requiring hours. And, again, in a much shorter time span. The negatives I read had to do with the fact that if you want crunch, this appliance won't provide it.
Here's the thing, however; I love the stirring and watching and assessing that goes into cooking. Even when using a slow cooker, I'll lift the lid occasionally, taste and adjust flavors. Add a pinch of salt or a dash of herbs. For me cooking is a participatory sport. An art form that requires attention. But then I don't cook for convenience. When I make a stew I like participating in the process from the mise en place during prep, to the adjustments of taste and temperature, to the serving and enjoying. Don't get me wrong, I love convenience as much as anyone else. Yes, I do buy "bagged" salads. Especially those that have a mixture that includes kale and spinach and carrots and broccoli and cabbage. I buy them because the ingredients are already chopped up. However, I still sort through it discarding anything not up to my standards and then I still add other stuff. I'll add chopped apples, raisins, sunflower seeds and chopped hard-boiled egg. And grated cheese. Maybe even a handful of sauteed shrimp. Hmmm, is it lunchtime yet?
Wherein lies dreams allowed to fly.
Dreams tethered not to posts or tacked to boards,
but adorned with wings of thought and whimsy.
Slashed with ragged jagged electric arrows
through billowed tortured clouds black and opaque.
Dreams torn apart but not disintegrated.
Wherein colors temper dreams pink and orange
and bright yellow at dawn only to repeat at dusk.
Cerulean and Indigo and Ultramarine are
the blues of daytime hopes.
Draped and shuttered and made to sleep
when the mantle of night gently falls.
Dreams darkened but not extinguished.
Wherein Sol burnishes light that can’t be seen
Dreams become gold and precious and more valuable.
Subatomic crashes morph one into another
yet maintain internal integrity.
It is the glasses purposely shaded that
hide dreams from their maker who pretends they are forgotten.
Until it is remembered that dreams fly,
adorned with wings of thought and whimsy.
--original poem by Linda C Smith