Really, has it been that long? New thoughts for 2013

March 17th, 2013

I am still Terri Clauss, but am going into 2013 with a a burden I hope to unload this year.  Prefaced by my 2012 blog, I continue here with an update, the story of WHY I abandoned my entrepreneurial endeavors and my yearly “new direction.” I have been teaching all year, but  have not pursued a masters degree. I have completed 2 TESOL (English Language Teaching) certificates in hopes that, if necessary, doors will continue to open to me in this field here or abroad should I need to continue in it. 

Why did I return to teaching instead of making my local business successful? It was hard, I didn’t have enough capital and then my I.T. professional husband was laid off. There you have it. I HAD TO go back to work. I have been doing so for the last year now, and since I guess I’m pretty good at teaching ESL, I have more work than I want. I am making money, I am tired and stressed from the schedule and the record keeping. That is not to say that on a daily basis, in the moment, I don’t enjoy actually teaching, being with interesting people from interesting cultures, and being instrumental in people’s journeys to their life goals. It’s a rewarding task and I am grateful to have a great place to do it and a great group of people to work with. I continue, primarily, because husband still hasn’t found work. REALLY!  He has 15 years of I.T. software development and project management experience. He has a masters degree in computer science. His company like many others in our country has become a humanity-denying-soul-sucking-outsourcing-to-India money factory for the highest management and stockholders. Though he survived a number of lay-offs, the hollowing out finally included him. Resting in the knowledge that had been so incessantly drummed into us that I.T. professionals could always find work, he took some personal time (4 months) then started looking for a job. Fast forward 1 year and 7 months. All our retirement savings are gone, our credit cards are heading for default, his student loan is growing by $500/month on “forebearance” and I am obliged to take on more work.

Knowing that we are not alone is no consolation. In fact, it is MORE discouraging because it shows that there is something seriously wrong with this country, this culture, and this economy. It is a sign that the working life-blood of this country has become a disposable commodity to a system that rewards those who take their money and run with no concern for their employees, society, or country.  Oh Verizon stock is strong all right. Our family’s circumstance is the direct result of that. Wealth redistribution to the top appears to be the law of the land. 

All this being said, I want to get back to my local business passion. I can’t open another business now, (though I have an idea)

It is my hope that, in my new direction this year,  I can support and advocate for some amazing, hard-working, and creative people who are working their businesses diligently hoping for the day when our collective illusion that the chain/corporate restaurant or retailer is the best place to spend our money  is exposed as the exploitative conduit of money to the already-wealthy that it is.  It is my hope that the multitudes in the suburbs will break through their mass fantasy that downtown Denver is dangerous and that East Colfax is nothing but hookers, drug dealers and creepy homeless people.  I live here. I love it here. I am raising my kids here. I’ll tell you why in upcoming blogs.

What is a conservative? and What’s wrong with that?

October 11th, 2012

About.com not being an extremely scholarly resource, I am using it anyway. Academicians are welcome to enlighten, but keep it  accessible.
The Cultural Conservative – This type cares less about religion in government than just preserving the American way of life.

My reading of this type is that they want the Norman Rockwell illustration. Everyone is the artist and architect of her own life. So I say to them, go ahead, make your life pretty as a picture, and good luck when the policies of the other conservatives make it difficult for you to do so.

The Fiscal Conservative – This type desires to reduce government spending, balance the budget, lower taxes and trust the economy to be great for everyone without government intervention.

This group goes awry when they start deciding where to reduce government spending and on whom to lower taxes. Their ultimate delusion is that  the corporate decision-makers of OUR time are still like Henry Ford.

     There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible,

      paying the highest wages possible. – Henry Ford

With some exceptions, the amount of money many of them stash in off-shore tax havens rather than paying the highest wages possible is proof positive that THEY ARE NOT.

The Neoconservative – This type likes  diplomatic foreign policy, lower taxes, finding alternative ways to deliver public welfare services, and stops short of providing guidance on social issues.

I don’t know where About.com got its information here, but further reading paints a very different picture. This group seems to nod to religion to earn the support of the religious. The neoconservative likes to always have an enemy image. It keeps the poor busy struggling to make ends meet or  fighting in the military so they don’t notice that their business and government “leaders” are profiting at their expense.

The Paleoconservative – This type wishes to protect the family from the vulgarity of popular culture, keep out immigrants, and  completely withdraw US troops from foreign countries.The REAL conservatives – in their minds.

Apparently these folks feel that the (conservative) Republican party has abandoned them in favor of, as Mike Lofgren former Republican Congressional staffer puts it, “their amorous solicitude for billionaires”, “unbridled militarism”, and “Pandering to fundamentalism”. Called  RINOs (Republicans in name only), they could get more with the Republican platform of 1956 which read: America does not prosper unless all Americans prosper. This type is marginalized within the Republican (read – conservative) party.

The Social conservative – This type is similar to, but not to be confused with the cultural conservative, it wishes to write all its conservative Christian beliefs into law.

I grew up in the Bible belt. I know how sincerely Christian fundamentalists believe that God will favor America if it is a righteous nation. Righteous means that abortion is illegal and gay people cannot get married. I have talked with people who believe beyond a shadow of a doubt  that everything else will fall in line  if we can just stop abortionists from killing pre-babies and turn all the gay people straight.  I could go on and on here, but suffice it to say that IT WON’T

Crunchy Conservative -  This type desires to nurture the family, be good stewards of the natural world and  avoid materialism.

I’m mystified at this group, but I think I like them.

What I want to write no longer fits in a Facebook post

October 11th, 2012

I have a day off today and have been doing the usual news-reading and facebooking when INSPIRATION struck. Yes, what I want to write no longer fits in a facebook post again. I’m probably not the only one, but I don’t always feel that people give me a thorough hearing out before stepping on my words with their next or contrary idea. If you are so inclined, make yourself comfortable and give my next posts a thorough reading out. True curious seeking dialogue is welcome here or on Facebook.

I will call this series: “Always Questioning”  in which I will take some of the millions of questions that pop into my head in a day, do a broad range of reading on it and spit out what I think. Isn’t that what blogs are for?

This is  October and our presidential election is in a few weeks. I am deeply concerned about what is happening in America so probably, the next few questions will revolve around this theme. My deep concern here makes me even more dedicated to the idea of loving local living because nationally, the living is more and more confusing.

Enjoy – if you enjoy such things.

New Thoughts for 2012

December 31st, 2011

I am still Terri Clauss, but am going into 2012 with a new and different direction. I have tried being an entrepreneur for the last 3 years and have learned a lot. I am happy and proud that I can say I tried these things.I opened and closed an art gallery then opened a bake mix and flour packaging company. The second is available for adoption and is not really closed.  “Failure” ? No. “Adventure”? Yes. “Education”? Yes. Did I lose a lot of money? Yes. Do I wish I had been smarter about what I did? Yes. What am I doing next?

Fortunately, I have been able to return to ESL teaching, and the hiatus did me good. I enjoyed teaching last term and hope the school has classes for me again. I’m considering returning to school to get a Master’s Degree.

In the mean time, I’m praying for peace and abundance for all beings on this planet including me, you and even the mean ones.


				

Popcorn and….

December 31st, 2010

butter

melted butter with tabasco, worcestershire or tamari

garlic

parmesan

grated cheddar, swiss, pepper jack,  bleu cheese

tabasco

any spice blend: cajun,chili powder BBQ, rosemary & pepper, taco seasoning…

Sweet:

Drizzle with honey,maple syrup, agave syrup, molasses

Melt any jam or jelly & drizzle

Melt any candy bar & drizzle

Shake in red hots while still hot

Drizzle with melted chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch chips

sugar and cinnamon

Black Bean Patties – Veganlicious

December 10th, 2010

VEGAN Cuban Black Bean Patties
Prep in advance:
1C chopped tamari roasted tofu
2 C Black Beans
1 1/2 cups beans, garlic, cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl; partially mash with a fork.
Place 1/2 cup beans and 2T  ground flax seed in a food processor; process 30 seconds or until well combined. Add bean puree to mashed beans in bowl, and stir until combined. Add chopped  tofu and onion to bean mixture; stir until combined. Divide bean mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.
Place cornmeal in a shallow dish. Dredge both sides of each patty in cornmeal.

Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with olive oil. Add patties; cook 3 minutes on each side top with Nayonnaise/tabasco mixture or arugula pesto

Arugula Pesto- Vegan

December 10th, 2010

4 C washed and dried arugula

2T almond butter

2T honey

Salt

Pepper

1/4 C olive oil

Puree arugula with salt pepper, honey & almond butter.

Drizzle in olive oil.

Salt & Pepper to taste

Vegan with a Cuban Twist

December 10th, 2010

Cuban Pineapple Rice

Prepare 3C beautiful blend of rices according to directions

Chop 3T fresh Cilantro

Heat 2 T veg oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add 2C crushed pineapple; sauté pineapple begins to brown. Add pineapple mixture, cilantro, and 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)to rice in bowl; cover and keep warm.

Is it a cult?

December 10th, 2010

     Vegan… We all know what vegetarian is, but vegan? To some people, vegan is to vegetarian as AlQaeda is to Islam. A kind of spooky radical offshoot of  an already mysterious and misjudged community.

Vegan eating a new trend but a growing one. There are already fine vegan cookbooks, recipes, techniques, tricks and creative cooks who have mastered the art.

What new can I add? Here is my approach: What if we are not trying to create replacements for the foods we are leaving out, but that we never ate them to begin with. Combine this idea with my  irreverent sense of creativity in the kitchen and let’s see what comes out. When the Egyptians asked Moses’ people to make bricks without straw, nobody said, “Oooo I like a brick-making challenge like that!” I, however am taking on vegan cuisine with that kind of attitude. I have had to laugh at myself a few times already when I’ve started cooking, reached for the butter and had to stop and think…”Is this an animal product? …Oh yea (duh)” and come to a screeching halt.”

This is the first in a series of blogs with vegan recipes from the Clausshaus.

Parsnip Nips

Cut parsnips into strips and boil in shallow water for aboug 5 min.

Pour off the water and add 2 T olive oil.

Toss to coat and leave for 5 min on med-low.

Add 1/4 C. Brown Sugar

Toss occasionally until browned

Drain

Salt & Pepper

Vegan: Peanut Butter- Honey Fruit Dip

November 2nd, 2010

Since this IS about Loving Local Living we start with a couple of easily accessible, locally made peanut butter.

Justin’s Nut Butter &

Rose’s Creamery Nut Butters

Both available at Denver Urban Homesteading Farmers Market 200 Santa Fe Dr. Denver

Wed – Fri 1-6 p.m.   Visit with the vendors! Saturday 9a.m. – 3 p.m.

Ingredients:

1T Smooth peanut butter of your choice – or try another nut butter or a chocolate-infused nut butter WOW

2 T Honey

1/4 C. Silken Tofu

Coconut Milk to dipping consistency

Optional: Pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg

Have ingredients at room temperature or warm for 10 sec in a microwave

Wisk together.

Dip your fruit or celery. Use as a fruit salad dressing !