Sunday, November 26, 2023

Starling Murmurations - Dylan Winter

image credit: Alain Delorme
This video of Dylan Winter's about Starling Murmurations is just exquisite! Guaranteed to lift your spirits and give you that peaceful feeling of surrender, knowing there's a great mystery that weaves through this amazing universe we're in! Enjoy!

And here's another excellent one:

...and another beautiful example: Murmurations set to a waltz...

Friday, November 24, 2023

A Family Reunion at the End of the World

"Have you ever been at a reunion or a big party, when the plates are empty and conversations wind down and you think about leaving? Then you hear peals of laughter, the clatter of dishes, and contagious giggles from behind the kitchen door. Thats where the real party is, as the aunties portion out leftovers to be taken home, scrape the dishes, and laugh with their hands in hot soapy water, snapping damp towels as they dry pots and pans. Its one thing to be invited to the party. Then you have a choice: to remain a polite guest in a distant armchair or to walk through that kitchen door and roll up your sleeves, to be washed in love and laughter..." Robin Wall Kimmerer shares more in this excerpt from "Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations."

To read the full excerpt: CLICK Here

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

How to always have a perfectly ripe avocado on hand...

Avocados are a favorite food of mine; such a creamy, rich addition to salads, or on toast. The trick is to catch them at just the right time of ripeness. Too green and they are slightly bitter and don't spread easily. Too ripe, and they also take on a bitter taste and frankly, are a bit disgusting. Add to the challenge that I rarely get to the grocery store more than twice a month yet would gladly eat avocados almost every day had I a steady supply of perfectly ripe ones.

I learned this trick from a book. I'm sorry to say I don't remember the title of it but it systematically analyzed a collection of 15 - 20 culinary myths and scientifically proved or disproved each one. Here's the trick. It works!

Purchase avocados when they are still thoroughly green, before their skins have begun to darken. Don't squeeze them as they will be hard at this time anyway and you run the risk of bruising them. Ideally, find ones that still have the little brown stem plug. It's my understanding that this helps them ripen (though I don't know this for a fact).

Take them home and keep them out of the refrigerator in an open bowl out of direct sunlight. I've heard that, to ripen them more quickly, you can put them in a paper sack where the gasses needed for ripening will be more concentrated (though again, I don't know this for a fact).

Check in on your avos at least once a day. When they are the perfect ripeness (skin dark, slightly yielding to a gentle squeeze) put them in a sealed container in the fridge. This part is important. They must be in an airtight container or they will loose moisture in the cold, dry air. We use a Tupperware-type plastic container with a snap-on lid, big enough to accommodate 6-8 avos. Then we simply take out avos as needed. They will hold that perfect ripeness for 8-12 days...just long enough to always have one of the perfect ripeness on hand till we restock our stash on our next shopping trip.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

No Impact Man! - Great Book...

Recently, I finished reading "No Impact Man" by Colin Beavan. For one year, Colin Beavan swore off plastic and toxins, turned off his electricity, went organic, became a bicycle nut, and tried to save the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his young daughter and his Prada-wearing wife along for the ride. Together they attempted to make zero impact on the environment while living right in the heart of Manhattan, and this is the sensational, funny, and consciousness-raising story of how they did it. With No Impact Man, Beavan found that no-impact living is worthwhile--and richer, fuller, and more satisfying in the bargain.  

I would recommend it to anyone who wants to live more lightly on the Earth. The author isn't a guilt-tripper...He's funny, self-reflective and inspiring and, as my Mom says, "I heartily recommend it to any and all of's extreme, but one picks up practical ideas from this tale of intentional living that someone at any level of 'sustainable living' will find useful."

Though the author makes the point that unless our society collectively makes the decisions to move towards a more earth-friendly agenda, individuals have a steep, uphill climb trying to do it on their own. At the same time he says that every bit helps/matters and encourages people to get involved with volunteer opportunities that align with their values so one doesn't feel so alone. Great book!

And, for a shorter read on the topic of reducing one's household waste, here's an inspiring article from the Washington Post which interviews several people about their attempts to become a zero-waste household.