arif

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sisters!

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

image

In the midst of everthing

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2013 at 9:59 pm

in the midst of everything, tonight I watched a bumblebee visit and pollinate the blossoms on all my tomato plants. Cherry tomato bushes first, heirlooms after.

I crouched quietly, mouth agape, watching in wonder as it carefully, attentively, saw to each flower on each plant, clearly skipping those visited earlier before buzzing away.

What a gift to receive its attentions that will soon produce tomatoes.

And a greater gift to experience that greater source which made the moment possible.

Nora’s Greens Pie recipe

In Uncategorized on July 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Nora’s website seems to be having an issue with its archives, so I’m reproducing the recipe here:

Via www.noraleah.com

Two Greens Pies

The way I figure is: if you’re going to make one, make two; they’re excellent as leftovers, and frozen pie shells come in packs of two.

  • 2 frozen 9” pie shells, preferable whole wheat (I used Wholly Wholesome Organic Spelt shells — really wonderful, flaky and subtly nutty)
  • 4 bunches of fresh greens (any type of kale, collards, chard, spinach, or the like), cleaned and chopped into 1” strips
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan or Romano (or another type of cheese entirely, perhaps crumbled feta or fresh chevre)
  • 2-3 eggs (use less eggs and cheese — or none at all — if you’re feeling particularly holy)
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a big pot of water, liberally salted, to boil. Add the greens, cover the pot, and cook for 5 minutes, then drain the water with a colander. Allow the greens to cool slightly before chopping very finely.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a big saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and a big pinch of salt, and saute until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the greens, two big pinches of salt, and saute for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid in the greens has cooked off.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool a bit. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl. Add cheese and eggs to greens. Taste and add black pepper and salt as needed. (If you’re squeamish about tasting something that has raw eggs in it, taste before adding them, but after adding the cheese.)
  4. Transfer the greens mixture to two frozen pie shells and smooth the tops. Bake for 45 minutes. I like to serve the pies just above room temperature but of course they are good hot — and cold, for that matter.

do you know birds?

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2013 at 11:59 am

There’s a bird that’s been singing outside my office all morning and though I’ve tried, I haven’t been able to get a glimpse of it. If you know bird calls, can you take a listen and tell me which bird it is? Thank you!

Recording of birdcall

Lilacs

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm

image

The view from my backyard office. Yes, it smells lovely.

so you want to be happy?

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

It turns out that the old “money can’t buy happiness” saying turns out to be true. Scientifically proven even. Here’s the article, and spoiler alert, here are the big punchlines:

  • stop trying to earn more when your income hits roughly $75,000 (over that amount and there’s no statistical increase in happiness)
  • regularly abstain from things you enjoy (it tends to make you enjoy them more)
  • and give away or share more of what you earn/have

sounds pretty straightforward to me, and although that $75K number is (structurally) out of reach for a large swath of our economy, I’m heartened to know that there is a point of declining returns on the income to happiness ratio, and that the “magic number” isn’t in the stratosphere.

It is also gratifying to know that taking a break from things like ice cream and chocolate can make us enjoy them more, and perhaps the icing on the cake here is that while we like giving to ourselves (i.e. buying things), what really lights up the happiness meter is sharing and/or giving to others.

h/t to Gideon for sharing the link.

what does your “best today” want to be fed?

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm

My friend Ashindi shared this bit of writing with me:

“Do not feed today the leftovers of yesterday. Today has teeth and is hungry. Feed today what you want it to be and let it become that.”

It’s from one of her favorite poets, Shane Koyczan (@koyczan on the twitters), and I have to say that it really resonated and got lodged in my head like an earwig, but with words. Is there a term for that?

Anyhow, this mind-wig if you will, keeps coming back to me because it invites us to actively make today the best today that we can make it, and that in the process of doing so, we get to learn what makes for a great today and perhaps even get a bit better at intentionally bringing to the world what we want it to be.

And so it’s prompted me to ask myself, and now to ask you:

What does your “best today” want to be fed? What is your today hungry for, generally, or perhaps in this very moment?

For me, it’s some or all of the following: exercise, snuggles, being present for and seeing the beautiful precious soul that each member of my family is. It’s having some time for spiritual practice, listening to great and inspiring music. It’s time spent with interesting people who’re deeply passionate and curious about their work. It’s time spent writing, digging deeper into the heart of something. It’s good food shared with loved ones, and it’s time spent in being present.

That’s what my today is hungry for. What about yours?

springtime in St. Paul!

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I’m far too pleased with this solution to excessive water from the ice/snow on the garage that was threatening to flood my office:

writer’s block

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2013 at 10:28 pm
via http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/

via http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/

nearly every night that I’m in town, I tell my daughters a bed time story that I make up, on the fly.

The stories are almost always silly, funny, gross – appealing to 4 and 9 year old humor, and rarely have any hidden, underlying, socially redeeming message. As a father, I think it’s important that I do my fatherly duty and teach my girls about things that are silly, funny, gross, and utterly without any redeeming quality other than their amusement value. Slapstick must be learned! Early!

Tonight, 1,500 some miles from home, I’m trying to channel that gestalt to write a story that my wife can read to them. The fact that my wife will be reading it opens up grand new vistas for tomfoolery (sorry in advance C) but I fear the wealth of possibilities may be impeding my “flow.”

In other words, I have writers block!

info-dieting

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2013 at 11:24 am

now that I’m a student again, and a distance learning student at that, I’m finding that there is just too much clutter in my inbox, and frankly just too much clutter in my info-intake.

So, inspired by the Information Diet, I’m starting to cut back. First on email subscriptions, then on rss feeds, soon on online media in general.

To the progressive groups that I’m unsubscribing from – it isn’t personal.

If there’s something you think I should know about, do me a favor and tell me about it!