0

On Quitting

You know, I said, I think I’m just going to quit, at least for a while.
The scene, you mean?”
No.. Well, yeah, I guess so. I mean I’ll just… you know.. be vanilla. Quit, you know?

He laughed, then looked a little sad.
“Yeah. Good luck with that. You can’t just quit.”

But I did.

And I’d recommend every kinky person does at least once.

I quit BDSM.
And I grieved, for a while.

I grieved and floundered and struggled for so long because when you quit something, especially something that has been such a big part of your life, no great, shining moment of revelation happens about what to do now with all that time and energy and self-image that used to be connected to the thing, which makes the absence of the thing a thing in itself. And the thing just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and you feel emptier and emptier.

I was still grieving when last I wrote, so I quit that, too.

Then, when I didn’t think I could get any more empty,  I started to blindly throw things into the void. Tiny, stupid, little things. Things that made me feel awkward. Things that I thought wouldn’t have a hope in hell of actually making a difference.
But, eventually, the small, tiny things that I’d been fruitlessly flailing with (I’d thought at the time) had added up and the empty blackness was retreating.

I quit sugar and overhauled my diet and lifestyle.
I bought a fitbit, because apparently it’s totally socially acceptable for vanilla folks to want to be micromanaged by a little black buzzy thing at all hours of the day.
I started exercising.
I’ve lost 20kg (44lbs) and laughed when the clothes started to fall off me.
I had the pain relief surgery I’d been putting off because I was too scared.
I increased my volunteering and teaching commitments threefold.
I took a course.
talked to strangers.
Therapists.
Made actual friends for the first time since I was at school.
Gave presents with actual thought in them and told people how I felt.
I pushed at work.
I pushed at home.
Decluttered. Donated a ton of stuff to charity. Threw out tons more.
Made decisions. Too-hard ones. Ones I would have put off indefinitely.
Challenged myself to do things that brought me out in a cold sweat. And then did them again.

I feel new.
I feel alive and healthy and strong.
And now again, or just maybe still- I want to be dominated.
Not because I can’t do things, make decisions, take responsibility-
For the first time ever, because I can.
I’m ready — finally — to be taken.

2

Love and other things

“What about all those times I told you I loved you, and you didn’t respond, ” he spat.

And he was right.

I do that.

When I hear the words and they ring in my ears like they’re hollow, like they’re dust, when I hear them and I feel nothing, I don’t react.

And what I’m starting to realize is that without ownership, action, intent, those words hold no power over me at all.

Because words lie.
Words conceal and manipulate.
Words tell me I’m the only one and the same words tell the same thing to somebody else.
Words hurt.

So when I think of times I’ve felt the meaning behind them, very rarely is it when they’ve been slipped into a conversation or drowned out the silence. Very rarely are they actually mentioned at all.

I want you to wear my collar
I’m going to mark you
I’m proud of you for taking that
Good girl, I’m pleased with you
You are mine
I need you to do this for me
I haven’t told this to somebody before

Sometimes no words are said at all.

When every strained breath echoes through my body
With every stripe of the cane
With the chorus of feeling shared

With silence.

0

Logging On

So, after this week, work begins to slow down a bit.

Which is great, because I feel like it’s been a long time since I could stop and think about anything apart from work.

Looking forward to being able to clean is a really, really odd feeling.

 

But it’s daunting, too.

Because once those blinders come off, I’m not quite sure I remember what to do that isn’t working.

 

I suppose getting to those 600+ unread blog posts sitting in my reader might be a good start.

2

Word for 2016

I’m an insanely goal-driven person.

I think that’s why I can relate to dogs so much, because I’m always looking for a task, too. An instruction. When I know what I have to do, I’m straight onto it, and I work hard until that objective has been completed.

Then onto the next one.

Until I’m out of jobs and I’m stuck in limbo, waiting for more.

And that’s the part I suck at.

Because when I have nothing to do, I either freak out and do nothing, or I freak out and give myself things to do, which is guaranteed to be more than I can handle or to a standard that is either not achievable or not maintainable. When I don’t have a focus point or priorities set, I really struggle to do those things because it feels like everything is the most important thing, everything has to be done right now.

When I’m answering to somebody else, all’s well because I can just follow or infer the priorities from them, but when I’m not, it’s hard.

All of which is stupid, I know. That’s another thing I struggle with, feeling like I should just be able to do this. But I can’t.

 

So I’m trying not to set goals for 2016. Instead, I’ve chosen a word to try to keep in mind when I think about the year ahead.

Practise.

 

Because I have to stop obsessing and paralyzing myself over doing everything perfectly, in order to learn and get better at anything.

Including setting goals by myself.

 

18

Aussie Smooches

So I was complaining as usual about not knowing what to cook for this year’s great cookie exchange, when JZ suggested I make something Australian. 

Awesome! That’ll give me tons to work with, I thought. Easy.

 

A few days later, I was stumped.

 

The thing is, we Aussies don’t typically do much baking for the holidays. It’s hot- getting well into our summer, and while there are some of us crazy enough to turn the air-conditioning up full blast in order to make shortbread, it’s not exactly a baking time of year for most of us.

“What about ice-cream pudding?” Mum suggested.

“Or a pav?”

And even as I shook my head with a no I couldn’t possibly just do pav, I knew that I couldn’t get any more Aussie, or any more festive, than pavlova. So, as they say, here we are.

 

I don’t know where this dish came from. I don’t know if it’s originally Australian, or from New Zealand, or from somewhere else entirely, and I couldn’t tell you why there are such fierce and heated debates over where it comes from and what kind of fruit should go on it, but every year for as long as I can remember we’ve had at least one over the new year period.

To cookie-fy them a little bit for this exchange, I wanted to do little dainty meringues and sandwich them with passionfruit curd and have them with coffee. But somewhere along the ‘holy heck this piping thing is fun’ trail, they ended up big, so they’re not so much cookies as small desserts. I called them aussie smooches. These aren’t a prim and proper little christmas holiday peck from a distant and somewhat-stranger-than-when-you-last-saw-them relative. These are mushy, messy, passionate smooches with a holiday tipple in one hand and the other just a little bit too close to bottom squeezing.

‘Cause, let’s face it, I love you guys.

All of which is my excuse for sandwiching them with whipped cream. But, y’know, you do you.

 

Meringue cookies
Makes 24 large meringue kisses, 48 small

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup caster/superfine sugar
  • vanilla, flavouring essence or food colouring, optional

Method

Preheat oven to 225F / 110C

Clean the bowl and electric beater / stand mixer whisk attachment and dry thoroughly. Wipe with paper towel and white vinegar to make sure everything is super clean and remove any traces of grease or oil.

Beat egg whites until just frothing, add cream of tartar.

Continue beating til soft peaks form, then begin to slowly add the sugar, beating all the time.

Beat until all the sugar is incorporated and the meringue is thick, glossy, gravity defying when you hold the whisk upside down or the upturned bowl over the head of a loved one, and you can’t feel any sugar crystals when you rub a dab of it between your fingers.

 

Cover baking trays with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and pipe shapes onto baking trays. Get totally out of control and end up making huge cookies because piping is fun.

 

Bake for 45 minutes, then turn the oven heat off and prop the door open slightly and leave the meringues to cool in the oven, approx 1 hour.

To me, these meringues are perfect. A crispy shell with marshmallow chewy middle. Store unfilled meringues in an airtight container, dividing the layers with baking paper. They’ll keep for ages as long as you keep them dry and cool-ish.

For the filling, I made

Passionfruit curd

makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • two egg yolks, extra, beaten
  • 1 cup caster/superfine sugar
  • 175g passionfruit pulp/juice, approx 1/2 cup or 6 fresh passionfruit
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 150g butter, chopped into roughly 1-inch cubes.
  • If you find the curd too ‘eggy’ tasting when you’re at the final stage, feel free to add more butter to even it out.

NB- I sieved the passionfruit first to remove the seeds, then added back in two teaspoons of the seeds, so there were a few but not too many.

 

Whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar, passionfruit and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Drop in cubes of the butter, a few at a time, stirring until incorporated before adding in more butter.

Once all the butter has been added, reduce the heat to low, keep stirring until thickened.

 

Also, that feud I mentioned above – which fruit goes with pavlova? I threw some frozen berries in a saucepan with sugar and boiled them down to make a raspberry sauce to avoid the issue entirely. Serve the meringues beside fresh whipped cream, berries, sauce and curd, fresh summer fruit or something else (peppermint chocolate ganache? espresso whipped cream?) and– well– be merry.


 

 

 

 

Now that’s done, go give a holiday smooch to all the other bakers participating this year:

abby

Ashly

Bleu (private blog, also posted here)

Blondie

blossom

Cat

CollaredMom

Ms. Constance

Ella

greengirl

Julia

Jz

little monkey (private blog, also posted here)

Maggie

Misty

nilla

ronnie

rose

Ryan

Tom

1

It’s almost that time again

Once a year, some seriously awesome bloggers get together and post a holiday inspired recipe for the Great Online Cookie Exchange. It’s great fun and a wonderful way to meet new bloggers or check in with old friends. This year, it’s on December 9- that’s US time, but we’re from all over so the posts tend to spread out a bit, clearly one cookie day is more than 24 hours and that’s kinda poetic somehow, don’t you think? Brings a tear to the eye.

Anyway, this crazy awesome thing happens and occasionally, I get myself organized enough to join in as well.

(And I don’t want to jinx it or anything but I actually know what I’m making this year already, rather than having a tantrum two days before like usual has maybe happened once or twice. Adult award to me!)

If you’d like to join in and post a recipe for some delicious (not necessarily cookie related) holiday food thing, you need to email JZ with your blog URL before Monday 7th December. Jump on over to her blog www.areluctantbitch.blogspot.com and sign up.

If you don’t have a blog and want to post a recipe, feel free to email it to me and I’ll post it here.

Signed up yet? Okay, good. See you on the 9th!

2

Lateness and Lurking

So, I was busy, for a whole heap of reasons really, but mostly because life–
and then I started volunteer teaching puppy obedience classes on the weekends and training three times a week.

Then, BUSY.

But sometimes, amidst the busy,
when I’d flick through my favourite blog feeds and see people HAVING ALL THE KINKY SEX–
or I’d notice how dinners ’round here had pretty much turned into whatever’s in the fridge… and/or wine… and/or means I don’t have to cook..

I started to feel like I didn’t have any words–
Nothing good enough, worthy enough.

So, I did what I do-
what, from reading around the past few years or so, more than a few people out there do;
I lurked.

But the thing is, lurking in your own life and going ’round on autopilot just plain sucks, and the other thing is, I want the words. All of them. Even, for better or for worse, mine. I feel like me so much more with the words.

So– even though it’s late, the thing I want to take away from this LOL day is that all words have meaning, and that feeling like they’re not good enough doesn’t mean I shouldn’t put them out there if I want to. And neither should you.

2

Mister

We have a small group of elderly people who come into work on a regular basis. Corporate tried to discourage it, they wanted all the accounts moved online because hello efficiency, and it was always a hassle when we had new staff starting because nothing on those few accounts was on the computer system and who even writes on paper index cards or calculates things by hand or looks at a calendar anymore why the heck would you want to train me to do that–
So their numbers dwindled when more and more sons-in-law took over the accounts and nobody really cared that their index draw had dropped from 60 plus cards to just a handful.

I asked a few of them one day, why they were resisting the change. We could set it up for you so it just does everything automatically, you wouldn’t have to walk all the way down here every week to settle your account.
There were a range of answers. To keep the legs working. To meet friends for coffee. Routine. Don’t want to have to rely on a computer or son-in-law when I can do it just fine by myself.
And the last one that stuck with me: because otherwise how would I get to chat to you girls every week?

He was joking of course; we all laughed. But it changed something in my head somehow. We all thought of those accounts as a burden, a chore. They were extra work and sometimes we brushed them off or hurried them along or tried to ignore them altogether. But the best moments, the moments we could be proud of were when the actual account card writing was the smallest bit of the service.

That joke-maker for example. Every week unless there was a useless new kid working he was greeted immediately by name. Hello Mister Smith, how has your week been? Take a seat, would you like a tea or coffee?
Every week on the same day at the same time he’d sit and his card would be updated and receipt handwritten and he’d make the same joke about spelling the start of his first name with Mr or quietly smile as I blathered nervously about my handwriting mistakes or remark about how quickly the year has flown.

Card completed, sometimes I’d have to rush off or the phone would ring or something else would give me an opportunity to leave, but sometimes it wouldn’t. Sometimes he’d tell me about his life or the town or his dog who died some years ago and sometimes he’d just sit in silence by the heater until the coffee was gone or cold. And he’d smile and get up and say “Same time next week?”

Yesterday, I received a clinical phone call from the bank letting us know that he had passed away and they needed to close the account. I guess there was no son-in-law to take over.

So today, even when it feels like my life lately is a freight train plowing ahead at an eye watering speed, immune to anything I do to slow it down, I’m going to stop and consider my service, whether I provide all I could be in all interactions throughout my life. I’m going to hand write something. And I’m going to try to appreciate little moments that happen when I’m engaged to do something simple like fill out an index card or check a calendar.

1

You know

You know you’re overdue for an ass whoopin’ when all you can think about is fun-punishment beatings–
(y’know, for funsies ones like oops I burnt the roast or did you really just roll your eyes at me).

And I have a million and one ways to brat in my head–
And the cahones to actually go through with exactly none of them.

So, who’s gonna spank me for the holiday post being so late it’s not even funny?
😉