Thursday, June 29, 2006

i have to write to get that awful last entry off the top... yeah, i was angry at someone. not my mother, someone else's mother.
bryan's blog was so good today. it always is, but today, it resonated. and right when warren buffett and bill gates are taking a stand for shedding billions for the sake of generosity and philanthropy, we all might be thinking about it a little.
when people try to convince me that wealth is a blessing that we should not shirk, i just can't stifle the "bullshit!" retort in my mind.
but then, i start to rationalize. i know that it's envy. my parents have always struggled to make it work, and in my own young family- we went in over our heads for an education that cost far beyond our means. investment, blah, blah. maybe. we had a wonderful time, we met wonderful people. but it is difficult to not feel like a slave to the debt.
but in a way, i am grateful. without it- we would be doing ok, we would have enough to save up, but more than likely, play with. and boy- we love to play.
i am cheap. i always joke about my jewish heritage being the reason i am so tight. not that i won't spend- i will, but i must first agonize and compare and research and hunt down the best deal i can find. and i hate to waste. and i hate to throw things away. thankfully, brady is the opposite- and he's happy to toss things when i am gone (apparently i never miss them)...
anyway- i tell myself that it's envy and i really secretly want to go on mediterranean resort holidays and drive a shiny black hatchback bmw and wear lots of marc jacobs and bcbg and fancy shoes and pricey haircuts. and that's true. on some level- a very shallow one, i really want that stuff. i want everyone to know how valuable i am by just looking at me. don't bother talking to me- i'm too good for you, anyway. can't you see my brand affiliations, high quality stuff.
i want it long enough to add up that tab. a years worth of living up to that standard could do so much more than try to convince myself that i'm important, that i'm on top.
i'm with bryan (and buffett and gates) on this one, do your best, make all that you can- then let it go. and see how it feels.
i really hate to admit it- but a couple of months ago is the firt time we really started to tithe. not just when we made it to church, not a chunk here and pocket change there. 10%. gone, off the top, buh-bye. and man, it has taught me how selfish i am. it hurts. i want to cling to it. it's crazy.
but when it's in the box, and i would look a fool trying to pull it back out- i feel better, lighter, safer. God doesn't need that money, i don't even know if our church needs it. but that's completely beside the point. i need to let it go. i feel lighter because i just took one more step of faith.
i hope that good stuff is done with it- but believe me, i am not going to a church committee meeting to try to tell them what they must do with my hard-earned cash. they will figure it out, i just need to let it go.
and that's so much of trying to work it out and growing up in Love- just letting it go. ironic really that the most difficult task of a christian is learning to let go of our lives and our stuff and our relationships. we know, all of us that that accumulating wealth and senseless consumption is bad. it's bad for the world and it's bad for us- because we have to justify it, and that requires little tiny, bitey lies that eat away at us and make us resent the moralizing system of faith that's dragging us down.
the Truth is hard, and trying to drown it out after attempting to embrace it has to be one of the most miserable frustrating and fruitless experiences a christian can face. at least for this christian.

so i would like to end with a recipe. something cheap, fast and yummy. something to share. something we have been eating a lot of lately.

Granola Bars
2 1/2 c. crispy rice (generic is fine)
2 c. old fashion or quick oats
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. lt. corn syrup or honey
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon (optional)

1. In a big pot, bring br. sugar and honey to a boil (md heat/6ish on electric). Remove from heat, stir in peanut butter, cinnamon and vanilla.
2. Add crispies, oats and raisins. Stir together with a big wooden spoon. (This almost counts as a work-out)
3. Line a big pan with foil (supposed to be a 13"x9"- but they are more like real box granola bars if you put them in an 8" square- whatever you have will work, though). Plop the mixture into the pan, and press it down.
4. Let it cool, then cut into squares or bars or whatnot.

* This is adaptable- you could nix the raisins and cinnamon and add chocolate chips (and marshmallows and bits of graham cracker, or dried cranberries and pecans- you are a granola artist!) - just make sure, like i did not, that you let the mixture cool a bit before you add them- they will melt and make a big mess (a delicious one, but, still)

I don't mean to let martha creep in-but i am bored to death with my cranky little blog. i am going to switch gears a bit.
stand by for more grounded domestic stuff.
and seriously- more pictures. even if it's a painting of granola bars- i'm really going to try harder with the pictures this time.


Bryan Tarpley said...

Yummy!!! Sunny recipes are great. We still make those chocolate pudding cookies and sweet potato muffins. And, of course, plenty of Cincinnati Chili :)

asperse said...

This was a knockout! Very health concious.
How about some decadence? Do you have a recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies you could leave?