Saturday, January 28, 2017

This Week (Birdwatching, Veggie Cooking, and Being)

My brothers-in-law, hitting the water with sticks, because this is the best thing ever. See the flock of swans in the distance?

Last week was full. Not busy, but full. I am reminded again of why I’m so stingy with my commitments, why I always leave huge chunks of blank space on my calendar: I get overwhelmed easily, and I like to create space. This week has felt kind of breathless, even though I haven’t been doing that much.

Last Saturday we spent an afternoon at the Riverlands Audubon Center with Zach’s two youngest brothers, Calvin and Preston, where we admired a rescued great horned owl, hiked around through the grasslands, picked our way through piles of dead fish on the lake shore, and looked for bald eagles (we didn’t see any, but we did watch a flock of trumpeter swans, which I had never seen in the wild before). Climbing a dead log was the highlight for Calvin and Preston. Rediscovering my love of birdwatching was mine. The next day as I took a walk in the nearby park, I spotted all sorts of birds— downy woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice, even a huge pileated woodpecker— and resolved to start carrying my binoculars with me from now on.

A big chunk of this week has been taken up with cooking: Zach and I have decided to do a two-week sugar detox, avoiding sweeteners, fruit, and (alas!) grain. It’s alarming how many vegetables you blade through when you don’t have tortillas or bread or pasta to give them substance; we can hardly keep up. I know that eating a more nutrient-dense diet is good for a while, but I’m happy to announce that I’m not going permanently low-carb any time soon. I love my grains!

In the meantime, I’ve been working on student papers, as well as draft three of my PCT memoir (I’m calling it “the hack n’ slash version”), and I’m probably going to start work on writing some grants for the Historic Frenchtown Association, a skill I’m eager to learn. 

Shredded carrots and beet greens with eggs and curry powder.
Actually delicious.
Right now there’s a bit more on my plate than I would like, but I’m trying to be intentional about slowing down and creating breathing space. I’ve mostly stayed off Facebook, and have been taking time to read, notably a reread of Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway. (I love love love this book— it’s the first book that made permaculture make sense to me, and I’m getting so much more out of it this time through). I’ll post a proper review when I’m done with it.

May we all continue to weather the winter gracefully! I hope today that you’ll fix yourself some tea and create space to just be.


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