Sunday, June 26, 2011

bloggers must borrow

There is nothing quite as cute as a German blog. I've rediscovered a few of them this week (favorites here and here), and it's reminded me of the rampant use of past participles to sum up a week (see below). It's such a great way to keep people updated in a few bites and be held accountable to your blog space. So I've decided to adopt it. If all goes as planned, you can count on weekly Sunday updates.

But. I'm going to keep the labels in German. And here's why. Most past participles in German begin with "ge". This gives the exercise a cute sort of rhythm. Try reading them all out loud. I bet you'll ge-giggle. It's hard not to. So the English translations are there, but I think you'll want to adopt the German too. Let me know what you think!

~~~

[gesehen] (watched) A cute kitten falling asleep.
[gehört] (listened to) Home
[gelesen] (read) Why School? by Mike Rose. Methinks a published review will be printed in September. Updates to come.
[getan] (done) Barbeque with old teacher friends in Providence.
[gegessen] (eaten) Vegan pizza. The verdict? Good, but it tries too hard. And it's better cold.
[getrunken] (drunk) Beer! Three beers in one week is more than I've had in awhile.
[gefreut] (made happy by) Crocheting in the sun, and having a stranger quote, "And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days."
[geärgert] (irritated by) Rain rain rain.
[gelacht] (laughed) While holding a friend's baby. How could you not?!
[geplant] (planned) My trip home for the July Fourth weekend!
[gekauft] (bought) A new clothing rack. It's a bit necessary when your old one collapses.
[geklickt] (clicked) Lytro's picture gallery; this will be the coolest camera ever.

~~~

One more good update on this Sunday-Funday. Inspired by these beautiful vegan breakfast parfaits, I have been wanting to try overnight oats for forever. I finally bought some chia seeds, and had this for breakfast yesterday:


Sugar-Free Overnight Oats (adapted from here)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
7/8 cup almond milk
8 drops vanilla creme liquid stevia

Combine all ingredients and stir together well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir well the next morning and mix in any other desired ingredients. Enjoy cold.

I added cocoa powder, peanut butter, and a bit more stevia to mine. Then, I layered it with Ezekiel 4:9 cereal and fresh banana slices. Un-be-lievable.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

sometimes we have to remind ourselves how lucky we are

On Sunday, J left for a loooong conference in Georgia. Of course, I would be sad to see him go under any circumstances, but the first few days of his absence corresponded with a series of slightly unfortunate events in my day-to-day, and the poor guy spent the last three nights doing damage control over the phone as I related the oh-so-tragic moments of my lonely days.

Today, I got over it.

True, I miss him dearly and am counting down the days (4 down, 11 to go). True, work today was insanely frustrating. True, it was rainy and cold and just unpleasant in Boston.

But.

...

I am lucky to be employed.

I am lucky to have the means to eat a farmers market salad for dinner.


I am lucky to have a roof over my head, keeping out that icky rain.

I am lucky to have the snuggliest kitty to keep me company.


And I am lucky to have found a guy so wonderful that I would miss him so much.

More soon. xoxo

Saturday, June 18, 2011

classics don't go out of style; they get updated

I am lucky to be surrounded by a lot of people who like being healthy. It's a great way to learn new things, get ideas, and feel supported. A co-worker of mine recently decided to improve her breakfasts, and her weapon of choice was bran muffins from the Joy of Cooking cookbook. What a classic!

She shared the original with me, I made a couple of easy adaptations...and I was amazed by how much I loved them! These muffins are just barely, delicately sweet. They taste fantastic with peanut butter, maple jelly, or butter. They're filling, and loaded with fiber. And while I haven't done any experimenting yet, this recipe just begs for additions. I'm dreaming about coconut, chopped dates, nuts, cinnamon...



Bran-d New Muffins

Note: The following recipe makes about 20 muffins. It works just as well halved, for a week's breakfast supply!

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 egg
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first four (dry) ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the last four (wet) ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until just mixed. Pour into a lined muffin pan and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

sharing is caring

This is one of many catchphrases over at one of my favorite blogs. And because she uses it so often, I know this blogger won't mind if I borrow it for a little while.

In my last post, I described how overwhelmed I get when thinking about blogging. The culprit is that list I mentioned, full of great blogging ideas. I can hear them whispering to me when I'm doing things I enjoy less than blogging. But...while I would love to dissect that list and make it into a few really great posts, sharing is caring after all, and as I put it off, those ideas become yesterday's news. So I'm going to clean out my blogging closet and share a few fascinating tidbits:

-Here's an opinion piece from the NY Times that reminds us that if teachers are as important as we believe (and as research shows), we might do better to send some resources in their direction. In addition to paying teachers more, we should also be promoting a culture that supports and values their work.
-Here's an article that describes how difficult it can be for low-income families to access healthy foods...and they are the ones suffering from the highest rates of obesity and diabetes.
-Here's another opinion piece from the NY Times chiding McDonald's for its "healthy" oatmeal production. It's really eye-opening. And it's too bad we have to examine everything we eat so closely.
-And here's an article on Sketchers toning shoes made for little girls (to help them get sculpted legs). The author explains that the Sketchers commercial embedded in the article sends a dangerous message to girls about how we value women and how we expect them to look. I couldn't agree more.

And finally, here's an ad against the debated soda tax:


Setting aside my personal beliefs about health and sugar, I think there is a logical train of thought worth following here. Processed sugar has no nutritional value and in fact, does damage to the body. Therefore, like alcohol or cigarettes, it is a luxury item. Also like alcohol and cigarettes, it contributes to preventable disease and rising health care costs. Like alcohol and cigarettes, it should be taxed to discourage people from overindulging and to offset the cost of paying for that indulgence.

Just me?

I'm ok with some polite disagreement.

I've shared all this stuff because it makes me quietly angry. I read these stories and simmer a little in my desk chair, not really sure what to do about it. But I think the best thing I can do is share, care, and hope that a little love and a lot of awareness can help us start talking about important things.

But to end things on a light note, I met this guy on my way home tonight. And I just had to smile.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

life is a journey


Lately, I've been thinking about blogging just about every day. But I've been thinking about it in that stressed-out it'sbeentoolongsincei'veposted sort of way that entirely takes away from the point of blogging. I've started my full-time summer position, and adjusting to that schedule, on top of the other demands I've put on myself, has left me a bit short on time. I have a big, long to-blog list that includes recipes, crochet projects, stories and adventures, and my latest musings on education and health. But...for now...I think it's time to cut myself a break.

I sat down to post a new recipe, and then realized that it wasn't really a recipe I was ready to post. So instead of forcing it, I'm trying to remember how important it is to really make the most of our moments, and "do" for enjoyment, not just to get something done.

When I feel stress building and my balances beginning to tip, I like to watch this video, narrated by a favorite philosopher, Alan Watts. I think it's a beautiful message for everyone, but it resonates with me especially, because I think he gets at exactly where our educational system seems to fail in the most fundamental way. Remember, life is a journey, and we're supposed to dance and sing...