Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Head in the sand

Beethoven's 5th piano concerto in E flat major.

That's what they played on the radio on my way home this morning. It was really beautiful so I wanted to be sure to write it down.

I listen to the radio in the car until they start to give the economic reports. When the announcer says, "And the markets are down today. The Dow Jones is down one hundred and..." at that point, I snap off the radio. Just one touch of a button and there is silence, and I can drive down the highway without anybody telling me that there is no money in the USA anymore.

Head in the sand. Yes, I do put my head in the sand. What else can I do? You try to live as responsibly as you can, but at the end of the day you can't do anything about the system in which you live, even if is is supposed to be a democracy. You vote, but if you aren't the majority, your vote never actually makes a difference. You try to save some money, and then the FAFSA tells you that you can afford some ridiculous amount of out-of-pocket college expenses, and you think, "But hey! I never even took my kids to Disney World! I drive a rusty, ten-year-old van because it is paid for, we wear generic label clothes and we buy our sneakers on clearance. My kids have never owned a current season's full-price article of name-brand clothing. We don't eat out. Our cable package is so small it doesn't even include ESPN. And yet somebody out there is telling me I can afford to fork out over $69,000 per year for college expenses... because we made a bunch of sacrifices so we could save a little bit of money."

When life gets insane, I stick my head in the sand. And listen to Beethoven. I turn off the news and make whole grain kefir pancakes. I go for a walk and come home, drink a glass of water, and take a nap.

What else are you going to do?


**Whole Grain Kefir Pancakes** (in case you were wondering how...)

Strain 2 or 2 & 1/2 cups of homemade kefir into your blender
(or use store bought, or maybe you could use buttermilk, I don't know)
3 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 & 1/8 cups (eyeball it) dry oatmeal
1 & 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla

Blend together in blender until smooth. You want to get the oatmeal pulverized a little, so blend for at least a minute. You may need to stop and scrape the sides a couple of times.

Cook on a griddle preheated to medium heat. Turn when bubbly and edges are set.

I think these are absolutely delicious with real, 100% pure maple syrup. I am not much of a pancake eater, but these are really, really good.


Hope T. said...

Ruth, I have had two long comments just disappear, one on this post and one on the carpet post. This is a test to see if I can get a comment through.
Hope T.

Hope T. said...

Okay, I think it is a problem with my google acct. I'm sorry about that. I'll try to come back later to retype my real comment.

Ruth said...

Well, I am very sorry that your comments didn't come through. I'm all curious now!

Hope T. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hope T. said...

Ruth, I'm sorry about these commenting snafus. I haven't had a problem before and of course, I lack the computer savvy to know what is going on.

What I wanted to say was that I really like this post and I can relate to it in several ways! I used to keep up more with economic news but now I feel pretty hopeless about it. My fifth grader had to tell me the details of the possible government shut down because I haven't felt like following it. I am not even a good citizen anymore because after the last presidential election, I decided that voting was useless. I was trying to vote for a candidate who was not on the ballot here. In attempting a write-in candidate, I somehow "broke" the voting machine which had "never happened before". I will say that I have found that the feeling of not being able to effect any change does bring a kind of peace with it that eluded me before. I liked your description of taking a walk and a nap and eating pancakes. That recipe does sound good; I will definitely try it.

We have just received the financial aid offers from a few of the schools to which my son was accepted. We are still waiting on one. It does seem we are expected to pay a ridiculous amount, especially considering that we have other children to feed, clothe and educate. Your list of ways you don't spend money could be my list with a few details changed. My van is 13 yrs. old and not rusty but has plenty of dings. You probably have a lot more miles on yours, though. The interesting difference is that you have 3(!) in college at once. Because of the age range of my children, they will hardly overlap college at all. So we will have one at a time in school but it will last for 19 years. I don't know which of those scenarios is more head-spinning but when my last one graduates (in the year 2030), I will let you know how it all turned out.

ruth said...

Ha! I was talking on the phone to my dad a few days ago, and he told me about the possible government shut down. I had no idea. My husband filled me in more after I got off the phone. My understanding is that it did not happen.

I cannot even imagine having a child in college until 2030. But maybe it goes more gently if it is one at a time instead of three at a time. For your sake, I hope so.

You broke the voting machine, eh? That is the sort of thing that would certainly happen to me. It isn't so bad if you can wear it proudly... dumb old system, after all. If, however, your family is sheepish about it, that makes it pretty awful. But anyway, I say good for you! That's actually one of the best things I ever heard. :)

Anonymous said...

I've always been fond of the moonlight sonata