Trapeze and Elderberry Jelly

Goodness, what a couple of days can bring. Yesterday, I began the day with an aerial class that a good friend is offering at her studio. I was enchanted to learn silks and trapeze not only for the beauty of the art form, but also for the fun... and to build some core strength.

I was not sure of what to expect or how I would do, but after getting up on that trapeze, I felt my confidence grow. It reminded me of when I used to do gymnastics, and my years of martial arts training also helped me with balance and coordination. When I STOOD UP on that bar, I felt my soul soar!! I cannot wait until next week; I found that I was actually much stronger than I had anticipated, and my muscles didn't even ache later in the day. In fact, my abs felt so great today, a good kind of sore. Yippee.

The rest of the afternoon I was happy to spend with one of my best friends, a big sister type who really gets me and offers so much wisdom and humor. I love that she calls me on my shit in a fun and friendly way. Her motivation is always fully fixated on helping me to grow by seeing my reality as well as the perspectives of others ever so clearly. She's incredibly perceptive. I love that woman.

Today I finally made the elderberry jelly! It came out AWESOME!! Guess what everyone's getting for holiday gifts this year? Yup. Elderjelly. nom. Here's a tip: I used Pomona's Universal Natural Pectin for my jelly. Great stuff!

{{I utterly failed at the beach plum jam using the regular pectin from the grocery store... it just wouldn't gel, plus I was really unhappy about the other ingredients in that stuff. I don't want to imagine those lovely plums are ruined. I suppose that sweet, saucy stuff will have to become mead or something.}}

I had a short-lived snafu when my food mill became gooped up with the sticky, snot-like residue that squished elderberries leave behind, but it seems that a small amount of Citra-solve cleaner on a sponge will take care of that in short order. So, there's another tip.

This evening I attended a town meeting where citizens were invited to give their opinions about a proposed zone change for a gorgeous piece of land from residential to industrial. Hundreds showed up! The land in question includes the top of the gorge known as "Satan's Kingdom" and has rare geological features, offers a corridor for wildlife between two refuge hubs, several rare plant species and unique diversity. The developer wants to take the top of the ledge off and the rest of his plans are vague at best. People were passionate, intelligent and eloquent. I was really proud of my community. It doesn't look good for the developer and I am happy about that. Maybe some jelly will cheer him up and sweeten that nature-hating disposition.

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