Thus The Wheel Turns And Time Begins Again (plus, bonus mushroom soup recipe).

I have now, officially, re-written this post five times.  Or rather, I have wrote 3 different posts yesterday while making mushroom soup, scrapped them 4 times, and am now working on another one, because there’s so many things to say and it’s hard to pick what direction to go in sometimes.

Today is New Year’s Eve, and this wretched year is almost done.  I mean, it had good points.  I figured out roughly what I want to do with my life.  I got the sweetest asshole of a black kitten. I accepted that I don’t actually want to be a Fine Art painter, but that I do love painting silly little things and while I might be a landed person now, I’m a routewitch at heart and I need to be out exploring and that’s a thing I’m allowed to be.  It also had far more death in it than any year should have, and I’m so tired of burying people.  It had far too much horror and despair in the overarching national and world arenas, and just…blarg.

It’s been a long century, this last year, and I’m glad that I chose the word “Play” for my word to focus on for it.  It was a Very Needful Thing to remember to engage with, just to stay reasonably sane and functional.

Some people make resolutions or goal lists for the year, I pick a couple of words as focal points to work with.  Last January, I only picked one.  I knew it was going to be a rough year to start with (we knew my step-mother was dying at the beginning of the year, and we knew that it was going to cause a lot of sweeping changes in the family…I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect there to be as much as there was, so that was a thing), and so I wanted to keep it as simple a thing as I could.

This year, I’m choosing three words:

Wonder.

Focus.

Build.

The world is not going to become a magically better place when the clock ticks over tomorrow, and so I will need to cultivate and maintain a sense of wonder to carry me through. My curiosity and inquisitiveness will be something that will stand me in good stead for what I plan to do, as it is always a good thing to start a question with “I wonder…”

I will need to take what I learn and find, and focus on what I can do with it.  Instead of being scattered and drifting through, I will need to hone in and bring things further into focus and clarity.

With this, I will work to build the framework onto the foundations that I have found, and shape it into the life I want.  I will build more networks and strengthen those I already have.

I will spend time contemplating what these words mean, and how they apply to the situations I find myself in, as each can have multiple ways of being interpreted.

That’s the idea, anyway.  I look forward to seeing where this all goes, as I look forward to having y’all along for company on this ride.

And now, as a reward for slogging through all that… have a copy of my mushroom soup recipe.

Ingredients:

4 Tbs. butter

1 small, or 1/2 medium onion, chopped fine

8 oz. package baby bella/crimini mushrooms, chopped fine

2 cups unsalted chicken broth

2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped (dried can be substituted, if you don’t have fresh)

Pepper, to your taste

Cooking sherry

Directions:

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, and cook until soft and getting a translucent (maybe 10 minutes or so).  Add chopped mushrooms, and cook for 8 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add chicken broth, parsley, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about an hour.  Remove from heat and add cooking sherry to taste (I usually use about 2 or 3 tablespoons).  Using a stick (aka immersion) blender, puree to desired consistency.  I like to leave some chunks of mushrooms for texture, but ymmv. Enjoy!

This soup is one of my favorite things to have on cold, grey days, along with a  nice bit of peasant bread.

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