Moving & Roasted Carrots with Tahini Dill Sauce
I’ve written in previous posts about the fires, but didn't know at the time that it would affect us in a round-about way.
Just a few days after my son was born we received a call from the new owner of our complex saying that he would be remodeling and nearly doubling the rent. This wouldn't have been so devastating had the rental market been in good standing, but with the ravaging of so many homes due to the fires and the already low availability of rentals, it created a volatile market. Hence the excuse for a new owner to have us leave and then charge an extravagant amount of rent!
The news was more daunting because we have two small dogs, and Sonoma County isn't very animal friendly. I quickly grew compassion for people who must give up their animals because they need a place to live. I absolutely love my dogs but when you are looking for a place, your options for affordable rentals are drastically cut. I'd never experienced a housing market like this. Things moved at the speed of light, the prices were out of control, references and compassion were hard to find and even a junky place was advertised as a palace!
It felt like a 100 meter dash but I had a newborn, was learning to nurse, adjusting to my hormones, my new way of life and schedule, AND attempting to enjoy my maternity leave and my sweet boy. Even being as optimistic as possible I was without much hope for almost two months. I spent many days in my rocking chair nursing and emailing landlords. I would drag my newborn to see place after place, put on a happy face and try to win them over. On too many occasions I tried to force myself to like a place, smile through the tears and muster up what courage I had left. It was a journey for the strong willed!
We would apply the day after we saw something and it would already be gone. I can remember holding back tears when we hoped to get one place, but heard they gave it to someone else. One posting said “one dog” and I asked him to consider us with two extra references, a bigger deposit and having them in doggie daycare each day. His response was void of any emotion with "Again I said one dog!" I lost faith in humanity for a while, and wondered if all of Sonoma County lost touch with humankind.
I did see the strength of my community though. People encouraged me every day, feeling my anger with me, and many searched to find places for us. I also felt my own vigor because I started advocating not only for myself and my family, but the community at large. I spoke to a L.A. Times reporter and was on the local news. I learned that I wasn't the only one being affected by greed and the housing shortage, and my neighbors were going through the same thing all over the county.
The weeks were going by slow and fast at the same time. Our deadline to move out was coming up, but our new home wasn't manifesting. We were invited to take over somebody’s lease but it didn’t feel right. My heart hung low because it was one-bedroom with $150 extra a month for pet rent, and a new fee every time we turned around! We were over our sixty day notice, but I had a feeling if I pushed forward on one more place, that it would be ours. I got all my ammo in a row: solid references, filling out our applications before we even saw it, showing my excitement to the property manager and anticipating the landlord would pick us. I was tired and almost time for me to go back to work.
Then it happened; it was ours. The place was ours!!! Aw, what a relief; now we just had to move and begin our new life.
I always like to reflect on what an experience has taught me. This one took me a long time to find the diamond! My emotions had been running high and included many tears. But there ARE always gifts that come out of tough situations.
One thing that I learned is that I almost always must stay in the muck until I can move onto solid ground. I had some people try to cheer me up or tell me “everything would work out” but sometimes that made me mad. I had a mentor who would let me release my grievances and get angry with me. This helped me to feel heard, and then eventually move on from the feelings of being hopeless. I know sometimes it can be uncomfortable to be in feelings of anger, resentment and rage. Also, it can be uncomfortable for other people to see us in it, but we can't move through it if we don't feel it and get our feelings validated. Who knew that if you let a friend roll around in the muck with you, that you might help them move through their sorrow faster?
I used my voice and it felt liberating. I couldn't see the ripples of what it did but it felt good to speak out and not just be complacent. There is always an impact even if it isn't always seen by us. As a child, my voice wasn't always heard or what I said was received with rage and anger. It made me afraid to stand up for myself for a long time. I now have years of working on letting my voice be heard. Even if it isn't received well, it’s easier to say what I feel. At times I still hold back, but anger helped to honor those feelings and send them out into the universe.
Change can be hard. It can be hard not only for you but people that love you. A lot of times we thrive on routine and when it gets ripped away, it can feel like we are on a teeter totter. It’s challenging to find our balance, and other’s may be frightened when we are hanging in the air.
Change is an opportunity to be gentle with ourselves, and to honor our process. To encourage ourselves and lean on other people when we need it, and show that vulnerability like it is something to be proud of!
My advice is to give yourself the love you so freely give to others.
Roasted Carrots with Tahini Dill Sauce
This recipe is simple and delicious. Sometimes we feel roasted by life but just like the carrots in this recipe it can bring out the sweetness. The tahini, lemon, dill sauce gives it a tang and earthy flavor. With just the right amount of lemon it will give us a little zing but won't leave our mouth puckering. In life we can use that zing to motivate us without knocking us down. The avocado provides a creamy flavor and helps remind us that there is always a little cream to remind us life is beautiful. The pistachios give a little crunch that keeps us moving.
This recipe makes a great side for any spring festivity or dinner.
2 bunches of carrots
1/4 cup of tahini
juice of 2 lemons
1-2 teaspoons of honey
1 tablespoon of freshly minced dill
1/4 cup of roughly chopped pistachios
1 avocado; cut in chuncks
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Wash and cut off tops of carrots. Let dry. Place carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roll them in the olive oil so they are covered with a thin coating. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 20-30 minutes, turn once or twice to brown on most sides. Remove once nicely browned.
2. While the carrots are cooking prepare the tahini sauce. Mix tahini and lemon juice. Add one teaspoon of honey and add more if still to bitter. Add dill and mix well.
3. Chop pistachios and cube the avocado. Once carrots are done put on a serving plate. Drizzle with tahini sauce, sprinkle pistachios on top and put avocado as final touch. Put a little dash of salt and pepper.
Side dish is done. Serve.
Take a deep breath. If change is upon you in your life know that it too shall pass. Maybe the gems haven't been revealed yet but they will come. Feel all the feelings, express them, surrender to them and know you will find your balance again. Being held to the fire of life can help bring out the sweetness you've been desiring. Until next time, cheers to you my friends!