Monday, May 12, 2008
People who are (mostly) vegetarian & cook a lot of beans from scratch (that is, using dried beans) need to return to using pressure cookers. That's what my husband & stepdaughter told me. I was hesitant, since as I was growing up the pressure cooker was in use every day at our house but there were some scary accidents with it.
Turns out that these days there are some amazing pressure cookers with multiple valves, locking handles, & other safety features. We read some reviews & decided to go with the best, a Duromatic (Swiss made). Our order arrived last week, & on Saturday I tried it out. Since I had dried garbanzos on hand, I found a recipe for curried chickpeas. I soaked them ahead of time, & then they cooked beautifully in 10 minutes in the pressure cooker. We served them over skinny little Japanese noodles--really great!
Next I'm going to cook up the rest of the garbanzos & make hummus.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
I just heard that I'm accepted for the writers' workshop I had applied to attend this summer (the 2nd half of June). It's in Boston & will bring together many wonderful writers & activists; the focus is "war & its social consequences." I have a deep desire to become a stronger public poet, more skilled at writing protest poetry. This workshop is tailor made for that, & the instructors are wonderful.
I'll be staying in a dorm on another campus. Today I checked on MapQuest & saw that they are 3.7 miles apart! Maybe I'll walk (or run) back & forth each day; it would be great exercise, & I will have NO OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES that would require me to hurry! Of course I'll make sure I'd be going through areas that aren't too dangerous. I don't know my way around Boston at all.
I'm hugely excited!
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Today's NY Times has another good article on how we learn new habits--& why constantly trying new things (in small doses) is good for us. On lots of levels--for one thing, interestingly, when people do a small new thing every day (such as listening to a different radio station), they tend to lose weight! Now that one the scientists aren't yet able to explain. Also it's part of keeping our brains thriving as we age. Here's the link:
I do like my habits! Trying new things constantly is stressful. The article acknowledges that; one researcher says that the goal is to increase our "stretching," not to put ourselves under constant stress by trying to make huge changes all at once.
For some time I've felt a need to stretch as a poet; I'm hoping to attend a two-week workshop in Boston in June, to learn from some accomplished poets & try some new strategies/approaches.
The habit that I'm having a hard time establishing is earlier bedtime. Now that I've slept better for several nights in a row, it's time to try again to wrap things up earlier. Maybe I should try it in 15-minute increments: go to bed at 11:15 instead of 11:30 every night for a week, & then 11:00 & 10:45 & so on. The ideal, I think, would be 10:30.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
& I've officially started on my mongo freelance project. Still, I took time for a run up to Morse Market. I came home running with two containers of oats, a jar of molasses, & a smallish papaya bouncing in my sling bag against my back. Felt as if I should be wearing a 'CAUTION--WIDE LOAD" sign. It definitely winded me more than normal running does, but there's no way to track the difference in the SP tracker. Guess I'll add 5 minutes to my running time to allow for it.
I'm going to shower now & get dressed for the funeral. Thanks so much for your kind words & prayers.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
My daughter-in-law's ex-husband, her daughter's father, was found dead in his apartment a couple of days ago. He had overdosed & died a whole week earlier.
My stepgranddaughter is 14 & going through a difficult adolescence. Her mom & stepdad (my son) are great, but her dad's issues (which I won't go into here) have cast a dark shadow over her life for years. Now he is gone; tomorrow E & K are helping his family clear out his apartment, & the funeral will be Saturday.
Please pray for them, & especially E, that God will comfort & strengthen them as they deal with the shock & grief (& maybe twinges of guilt for sometimes feeling relieved that he's gone).
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