It’s a cool, cloudy morning. I’ve got a cup of steaming hot tea, three sleeping pets, and an empty apartment. In a word: heaven. I sit down at the computer, open up my laptop, and take a satisfying stretch before delving into fantasy land, when I hear the most obnoxious sound…
A leaf blower.
Not only is a leaf blower one of the loudest machines I’ve ever heard, it’s also the most useless. People seem to use these odd contraptions to collect the fall leaves from their lawns (translation: hot air blasts out of smelly machine and blows leaves in every direction). And then? Oh, that’s simple, you place your pile of leaves into trash bags and put them at the end of your driveway because then your lawn will be perfect again and the neighbors won’t judge you. Plus, it gives you a sense of “I am the ruler of this castle and with my bare hands I shall rid it of all evil (translation: leaves)”. Frankly, I don’t see why you can’t just leave the leaves (no pun intended) on the ground. Perhaps it’s more of a “man and his machine” syndrome, otherwise known as the urge to lift heavy objects made of metal, gas, and lava that make absurdly loud noises and do “masculine” things like blow, cut, slice, dig, and screw. It also helps if the machine has a hose, saw, or spiky things shaped like…(let’s just say- pickles or the Washington Monument). Extreme weather conditions, a midlife crisis, and alcohol will make these machines even more exciting. Because there’s nothing quite like a good snow plowing in the middle of a blizzard or mowing the lawn after a bottle of wine or powerwashing the garage after buying that Harley you always wanted. Upon finishing such herculean tasks, a man may enter the kitchen victorious, smelling of gas, sweat and blood. He may have lost some good men out there, but the mission was clear, and he had to see it through. His expression looks like a combination of “the few, the proud, the marines” and John Wayne. He might as well be wearing chaps and saying something like, “courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway”. This is the time when you must notice his battle wounds (translation: miscalculation of branch height on lawnmower due to alcohol consumption = small cut on forehead) with a level of concern bordering hysteria. “It’s just a scratch,” he replies, his voice a full octave lower than usual. He is a man and men don’t feel pain.
Solution? Bring out your tweezers, and pluck one hair out of his back.
When you’re out on your horse, and there’s no time to visit the saloon for a whiskey and some grub, what are you supposed to eat? A nutty granola bar of course! These little guys are easy to make and will fill you with energy to ride out on the plains and look for the Native Americans who stole your cousin.
Nutty Granola Bars
1 cup raw almonds (soaked for an hour = pour water over almonds and let sit, then discard water)
1 cup dates, pitted & any variety (soaked for an hour)
1/2 cup roasted, unsweetened peanut butter (I use Santa Cruz Organic creamy peanut butter)
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (I use Let’s Do Organic unsweetened coconut)
1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat grouts OR finely chopped raw almonds
2 T sesame seeds
1/3 cup ground flax seed meal
2 T raw honey
2 T virgin coconut oil (I use spectrum organic or Dr. Bronner’s organic)
1 T vanilla extract
1 T + ground cinnamon
In a food processor, process dates and almonds until crumbly, not pureed.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and add all other ingredients, combine, and press into a glass baking dish or dish or your choice. That’s it! Serves ten bow-legged unicorns in the wild west.