I am…

7:00 a.am.

The Internet has sketched human weakness in unique ways.

I am…

Blogs (I originally typed bogs by mistake, but corrected the Freudian slip), and online journals, including mine, usually have an “About” section. This is where we explain to strangers just who we are, how we identity ourselves as unique entities in the sea of humanity. It is in the entries that we reveal how we see ourselves.

Some bloggers identify themselves primarily with broadly defined groups, such as Mom, Wife, Activist, Professor, Writer, Retired, Journalist and the list goes on. These groupings are, I think, meant to place the individual within the current social hierarchy. There is little in the way of meaningful information about the individual in these broad descriptive categories, other than to display how the person would like to be placed on current scale of social value.

Self-definition is an important aspect of personal growth and maturity. Identifying oneself with a specific social grouping is a starting point only. If the individual comes to rest on that broadly shared and vague definition of self, personal growth all but ceases. Energy is directed into achieving status within the chimera of markers defined collectively, and easily controlled by large power/profit-seeking entities, such as corporations, or the church. Such is the sea of mediocrity.

I believe that every single human being born on the planet has the potential to mature into a natural work of art. When self-definition moves beyond identification with socially created groupings, awareness and appreciation for “other” allows dramatic personal growth.

In my view, every subversion of personal growth is a crime against nature.

The Internet is a canvas painted by many small strokes. Some are applied with brilliance and integrity. Others slave to cunning and strategic patterns. As in the universe, no mortal guides the designs of destiny.

10 a.m.

During the autumn I had occasion to bring water to a boil in our two large stainless steel pots, for two kinds of pasta. Attila likes penne, I like spaghetti.

Our two large stainless steel cooking pots are of differing heritage. One descends from my past, one descends from Attila’s past. My large cooking pot was part of a set, of medium quality at that time, from Sears, in 1973. All of the pots and pans from that set are in very good condition, all have handles, and none of them have warped during the last 40 years of daily use. Attila’s large cooking pot is of unknown origin. My guess is that it is a much newer cooking pot than my 1973 model, and it is of lower quality. One handle has broken off completely, leaving a large protruding screw on that side of the pot. The other handle is very loose. The base of the pot is warped and uneven.

In boiling an equal quantity of water in both pots, on electric burners of the same size, set to the same temperature, Attila’s large pot took ten minutes more than mine to come to a boil. That was the final straw! The next day I began my search for a new, stainless steel, large, cooking pot for Attila.

I looked at a lot of pots. The first priority was quality. This pot was going to see heavy use. Attila is a soup maker, every turkey we roast leads, in the end, to a pot full of Attila’s soup. The second priority was that the pot be at the very least manufactured in North America, and at the very best manufactured in Canada. The third consideration was price. A good pot has a high price tag, so I found.

Paderno pots and pans are made in Nova Scotia, Canada. I focused on Paderno products, but found the price range for large pots prohibitive. So I kept looking.

Over Christmas we visited the little house in the city. One the days we were there was shopping day, a day spent visiting the various contiguously located stores in town. Attila was still digging through the remains of the previous ice storm, so the shopping expedition fell to me. I had a list. One item on the list was inexpensive curtain rods for the country house. The Home Hardware seemed like a logical place to begin the search. Walking through the aisles I was drawn towards a display of shiny new pots and pans, and other stainless steel items. They were all manufactured by Paderno, made in Canada!

There were several large cooking pots “on sale.” I looked at all of them. I picked them up, examined the bases, the handles, the lids, and finally chose the one I liked best. The price tag was $219, gasp. But wait, I turned the tag to see the “sale” price, $69. With the pot under my arm I headed for the check out!

The new Paderno 6.5 L, stainless steel cooking pot. Already christened, producing a batch of delicious beef and barley soup, from scratch using soup bones, and a batch turkey vegetable soup, from scratch using a turkey carcass. This pot has a 25 year warranty, and it can be used on any type of heating device, including induction burners.
Paderno pot DSCF4655

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Mist
-2°C
Date: 3:00 PM EST Friday 10 January 2014
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Visibility: 10 km
Temperature: -1.7°C
Dewpoint: -2.6°C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: SE 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -6

Quote

“If I have to suffer fools, please, at least let them be interesting fools!”

“When other people describe something about their existence that they do not like, it is called complaining. When you describe something about your existence that you do not like, it is called a description.”

Maggie Turner, 2014

Tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to I am…

  1. Tom McCubbin says:

    Hi Maggie!
    Wonderful entry today. I guess I stumbled on to your writing through Crow’s Cottage. Gosh, now you’ve got me wondering if I should go back and rewrite my “About” section on my WordPress site. 😎
    Tom

  2. Maggie says:

    Hi Tom! I have discovered your writing in the same way! And I must say I do enjoy your entries.

    Those About things are problematic to me! I only read them AFTER I have learned about the writer through their own writing, and have been captured by honesty and insight.

    My pet peeve is the semi-commercial blogs by young women, who have the “About” right up there where you cannot miss it, with a charming best-photo of themselves, the ultimate selfie, mostly “moms” and “wives” by self-definition, who are presenting entries on how to do things that anyone who listened to their mother and father, for even five minutes, would already know how to do. Their sites are covered with ads, and other than their selfies, the photo’s of their offspring who benefit from their Mom’s magnificent benevolence, there is no depth or breadth to the entries. The copious comments usually run to “wow, what a great idea.” The entry and the comments could all be written by the same woman, as far as I can tell. Suffragettes must be rolling over in their graves!

    I run into these blogs while researching topics that interest me, mostly related to domestic subjects, such as stainless steel pots, or recipes.

    Fortunately I have discovered some truly genuine and thoughtful writing by young women on the net.

    All this just to say that your About is completely overshadowed by your writing. I read your About for contextual information to enhance my understanding of your entries.

  3. Maggie says:

    P.S. Tom, I love the title of your blog, Talking Stick, and the concept of passing the Talking Stick around. Wonderful concept.

  4. Bex says:

    This is too funny. I started a new feature to my little blog called “Shout Out Sunday” as you know, Maggie. I’d just found a site I loved and was all ready to decide to use IT this coming Sunday, but when you described that website by the Mom/Housewife above, it almost sounded just like the one I was going to use. I might use it anyway as I am having so much fun in it this morning – I though you all might enjoy it too. I love a site with good ideas. I tend to dwell in the same old ones I’ve always had – mainly about house things, decorating, cooking, etc., so I love a new slant on things.

    Oh, and that bargain you scored with the cooking pot is amazing! Was it marked right? $69 down from $200-something? Wow.

  5. Maggie says:

    Bex, I look forward to your “Shout Out Sunday” entry! I was describing a lot of sites, all so similar that I would not be able to tell them apart. There are Mom blogs I really like, The one’s I like usually focus on the family, the kids, what they are doing, funny things they say and do, the parent/s, grandparent/s, guardian/s, what they are up to and the funny little things they say and do, the extended family. I prefer writing that relates the small lived life to the larger world, or at least attempts to.

    Yes, the pot was marked down that much! I could not believe myself, but the cashier who scanned it got the same price. Attila advocates waiting for such fortuitous events, and doing without until they happen along. Luckily we could wait indefinitely for the new pot, and could wait for the right moment to purchase it. We are not always so lucky. Sometimes we are forced to buy something immediately, like the refrigerator for the country house. We paid about $300 more for the refrigerator because we bought it locally. But it was worth it, for a variety of reasons, one of which is giving business to a local retailer. You win some, you lose some.

  6. I enjoyed your entry today (or was it yesterday’s entry?), too. I hope the stainless steel pot gives you many years of happy service. I suspect it will…

  7. Maggie says:

    Thanks Joan! Can you love a pot? Some inanimate objects become old friends!