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I’ve started making my own bread again.
It was at least 15 years ago when I first started making bread. Back then I didn’t have a machine for it. The machines existed but they seemed frivolous and expensive.
Eventually I did get a machine, 2 or 3 years ago. Made bread for a few months, then gradually stopped again.
Then about 2 weeks ago, I got the idea to try it again.
It’s one of those lessons I keep forgetting. Fresh, home-made bread is wonderful.
The machine is handy. There’s convenience to it. A lot less messy. And compared to store-bought factory made bread, bread machine bread is pretty darn good.
But doing it entirely by hand… it’s magical as well as wonderful.
I hate messes, I hate cleaning up, and I hate getting my hands dirty. But for scratch-made bread, it’s worth it. It really is.
Home-made bread fills me with joy.
It also feels like a kind of magic.
I mean how did they figure it all out? Grind the wheat into flour… mix it into rubbery dough. The yeast thing was nature’s doing, and probably quite hit-or-miss at first. Then the rising, the kneading, more rising, more kneading. Then baking. Then eating!
I just made a loaf of honey-bread. It’s just bread with honey added. Super simple. Water, salt, flour, butter, yeast, and honey. It’s all light and poofy and as soon as it was cool enough to touch, I couldn’t resist cutting off a piece to try it.
I don’t really have a point I guess. I just love making bread, it feels like a kind of kitchen magic, and I wanted to share my feeling of wonder.
The last couple of days I feel like I’m balancing right on the edge of depression.
If you’ve never suffered from bi-polar or manic-depressive disorder, you won’t know what this feeling is like.
It’s like a fear, a feeling that something big, dark, and doomy is hovering right behind me.
Like it’s just waiting for me to slip, a momentary lapse of focus, a loss of balance.
It’s when you’re dead tired, but you cannot sleep.
When everything tastes bad, so you don’t want to eat, but if you don’t eat you’re hungry. And if you do eat, you feel worse afterwards.
When all the fun has been drained out of your normally-fun things, and all you’re left with is going through the motions and wondering why you bother.
I don’t know what, if anything, has brought it on. Sometimes there’s a ‘trigger’ but sometimes there isn’t. When I was first diagnosed manic-depressive / bi-polar, it was cyclical. I had roughly 4 to 6 weeks of manic then roughly 8 to 10 months of depression. Then for years it was gone and I was ok. Then for a few years I was really depressed.
Then last year, I thought I was ok again. Maybe I still am.
Just now and then, I get this huge sense of impending doomishness and it frightens me that the darkness is going to close in again.
This is Dortmund. He is a squirrel.
Until recently Dortmund and his family were living in my attic. He and his friends were chewing up the shingles and gnawing at the boards. They’d made quite a hole, and quite a mess.
Finally I had to hire a guy to come and install one-way trap doors over Dortmund’s squirrel holes. That way, Dortmund and the gang could get out, but then they couldn’t get back in again.
Now Dortmund and his family are stuck outside. They have to deal with Nature again, and they have no central heating, and no cosy fibreglass insulation to sleep in.
Sometimes Dortmund climbs up a tree outside my bedroom window, and makes Squirrel Alarm Noises while my cats sit and watch in frustration.
I think Dortmund is a bit of a jerk really.
The past six weeks, from Yule to Imbolc, have been pretty unpleasant here.
We had the ice storm, which led to damage to the house and a week-long power outage. My cats and I had to seek refuge with my sister. The house almost froze over while I was away and all my aquarium pets died.
Since the power was restored, my fridge has died, my furnace has needed work twice, the washer and dryer have needed attention, and the stairs to the cellar collapsed.
All in all, it’s been an unpleasant (and expensive) six weeks. Here’s hoping that things will improve between now and Ostara.
Looking ahead, I’m still working hard to get the update to Wicca Plus finished. It’s about a fortnight behind schedule due to the aforementioned issues, but with luck it should be completed shortly.
I’m still digging out of the damage and set-backs caused by the ice storm a fortnight ago. It’s slow going and stressful, and some of it is depressing.
Still, I’ve been trying to work through it, trying to keep a stiff upper lip as they say. Keep calm and carry on, and all that.
More frustrations and setbacks keep piling up though. Like the universe can’t resist kicking me while I’m down.
And I think, it seems like when my stress level reaches a certain point, it overflows and gets converted into depression.
You try and roll with the punches, try and perservere, but finally it’s too much and you realize there’s no point, whatever you accomplish will just get knocked down, so you just collapse inwards.
I was hoping 2014 would be a good year, but it’s already shaping up to be just like the rest of them.
What a let-down.