Thursday, April 30, 2015

weekend photos

I have to give a speech tonight at a Co-op event so this week's energy was consumed by that anxiety. I'm actually very excited about it but there is always a certain level of anxiety involved before these events. I didn't have to help plan the event this year which relieved some of the stress. But I still have to show up and speak.

So just now getting around to posting these photos which I also posted on Instagram. I'm always so late to the newish things! While it is easier to post to instagram when I'm out in the woods, I'm dealing with this new problem of whether I should post to my blog or to instagram. Feeling lucky to have these kinds of first-world problems.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

hunger satiated

If you know anything about me you know that I am hungry. I am hungry for great food and I am hungry for community. Put the two together and you end up with a very satiated Lotus.

A friend of mine from the co-op (who is also a former board president and great mentor while I take on the role) invited me over for "test kitchen" night. She and the co-op's cheese buyer were preparing some food items to feature in the upcoming newsletter that will focus on dairy and cheese. Another co-op staffer who also happens to be a great poet and photographer was invited over. So I asked my foodie friend to join me. It was a night of cooperative friends working on the cooperative newsletter. A night of wonderful community!

First up: the wine. I'm not much of a wine drinker and that night I realized the reason is because I'm rather bored with wine. That night I was introduced to a sort of wine I've never had before. This one was sour and dry. Everyone else informed me that I was the only one tasting the sour and that's fine because I loved it.

Next up: cheesecake, specifically Italian cheesecake. I need to pause for a moment to say that I am lactose intolerant which is why I brought my foodie friend because I knew that she could make up for my not eating much cheese. Yet I found myself eating cheese that night. I paid for it the next day but the experience was well worth it.

This cheesecake was light and fluffy, not dense at all.

That's my friend Jeff! He took the final food shots, while I took the in-process shots. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they plan to use both sets of photos in the newsletter. That night there was also a turkey meatloaf made with cheese curds and a salad with toasted pecans and blue cheese. I've never liked blue cheese and I discovered that's because I've never had good blue cheese.

Speaking of blue, it was a wonderful to see these flowers bursting up from the ground all over the yard!

Lingering thoughts from that night:
*Community is easy to find when there is food involved.
*Cooking and photography are so much better when done in a group.
*As board president at our local co-op, I think a lot about bringing in new Owner/Members to the store. Some of the food items found in the co-op can be intimidating, cheese for example, especially if you come from a culture that does not eat much cheese. Or a big variety of cheese. The goal of that night was to feature some recipes that would appeal to the general population of NE Minneapolis, not just the foodies or adventurous eaters. Therefore turkey meatloaf with cheese curds.
*I sound uber snobby when I  mention I am bored with wine, don't I? I don't mean to. I should mention that I was super excited a couple of summers ago when I had a rosé for the first time. Yep, just a plain old, ordinary rosé.
*Hunger of all forms can be satiated if I take up the opportunities that come my way.
*The photographer brought one of those bright garage cone lights. Awesome cheap lighting hack!

In the next few months I hope to write more about the local cooperative movement. Due in part to Minnesota state statutes, the Twin Cities has a vibrant cooperative community. I don't expect to be board president much longer (perhaps another year if I am re-elected) so I want to take advantage of being in the middle of this intentional community that has much to offer this great state and the nation at large.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Holiday complications

Holidays are complicated in this family. Easter is a good example. Dave was raised Lutheran but no longer wishes to pursue that faith. I was born a Hindu but raised by an engineer so I'd say maybe raised atheist in a way that rejects rituals rather than deities. But it is more correct to say that I was left to defend for myself, find my own sense of meaning. As a cultural and religious orphan, I reserve the right to choose the best from the world's religious practices. We think a lot about how to instill upon our daughter a sense of spiritual gratitude, stewardship, and compassion for those around us. Yes, it's a bit complicated but also simple.

I realize that the complication comes mostly from the fact that many of the religious holidays in the States is flooded by consumerism and sweets, both of which we wish to limit. So while Dave talked very little about what Easter means in a Christian faith, he ramped up the idea of an Easter basket loaded with candy. Whereas I emphasized the crafty aspect of dying eggs. We argued a bit over it and my need to limit sweets won out. He took most of the various Easter candy into the office.

Then we went to Easter brunch where the Lutheran part of the family mingled with the Catholics resulting in a strange recitation of the prayer before eating (not the prayer itself, it was the family dynamics). Strange because most of the people at the table had the prayer memorized, while the others seeking to pray in a different way stiffened their shoulders with discomfort. All the while, my little family looked about with amusement and curiosity. And then that was over and everyone dug into ham, turkey, salads, potatoes, etc. Eventually bunny ears were put on and everyone (excluding our daughter) began to drink. Heavily. I should add alcohol to the list with consumerism and sweets.

After a bit whiskey (believe me, I held out for an hour or two) we returned home and I asked for the meaning of Easter. He wasn't able to explain it to me without frustration. That is my issue with some of these holidays observed in his family. The adults are pretty much unable to share the meanings with me because they interpret my misunderstanding as disdain. They assume I don't respect the tradition but really, I just want to know more since I come from total lack of tradition in this area.

OK. Now's the time to fast-forward to the next weekend when we were able to drive to the 4-acre wood and engage with our own little tradition: scattering the the dyed eggs amongst the trees.

It's all about starting and maintaining our own traditions right? We began doing this when the little one was born. It engages our respect for the woods in an annual ritual sort of way. And it is fun.

Daddy, the belated Easter bunny!

I suspect that the eggs drew the fox into our area. It's just a guess but also a way to explain the boon of having a fox around to chase away the woodland mice.

While our holidays are complicated about our varying approaches the importance boils down to our ability to share time together out in the woods, just the three of us, giving thanks for the abundance in our lives and the love in our hearts. Love for each other and for our environment. Thus making me feel like anytime we get to spend in the woods is a holiday.

Ain't nothing complicated about that.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

so many good things

I remember when I moaned and groaned about not having any photos, not having any energy to take photos. Now I have so many that I don't even know where to start. So what do I do? I start with this semi-crappy one of pistachios where I fooled around with the B&W edit on my phone. It's really just a stand-in for the beginning of a resurgence of photos and blogging (I think).

Every year, perhaps every single dang month, I think about why I blog. There are so many successful blogs out there that focus on one thing or another. I'm too scatter-brained to do that. I have tons of series ideas but I never actually get around to doing them. I have tons and tons of plans and ideas. I'm a strategic visionary thinking but I'm not very good with follow-through. I'm a gemini ENFP and those two words should be enough to explain my brilliance and my weaknesses.

ENFP isn't actually a word. Just go with me on this, OK?

Truth is I have way too many projects going on right now. And I'm not doing any of them in a good way. But there is also truth in the fact that I love having a lot going on. I'm not too busy but I have a lot going on. Make sense?

Maybe it's a Spring thing. Spring has a lot to do from the budding leaves to the migrating birds. Spring's got a lot going on but is not overly busy. Spring even has the time to spit out some sleet and snow on us today.

And so I get pulled in different directions. Like Spring I just want to give into the random busy-ness and just let myself be pulled in the directions that seem right. Like a human in the 21st century I want to organize the shit out of my life. I don't know what will happen just yet. I do know that I don't want to just sit down and eat all the pistachios at once. Because that just makes me fat.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Self care

I had tea at a friend's house. We don't know each other that well but we've known each other for a long time. That length of time makes her dear to me. 

She asked me how I am with self care. I look into her searching face and admit the truth. The truth is I take self care to extremes. They are the results of desperate longings from a stay at home, free-working Moogy. 

I remember her slightly bewildered face as I sit at the breakfast date with myself.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A post about hot-ness

There is a whole lot of Spring going on in these parts. Warm sunshine. Ice out on the lakes. Bud bursting in the trees. We even found a couple of wood ticks. I do hope we get a couple of more weekends without many ticks. When tick season hits we stay in the city. And in the city we have projects to complete but also awesome pizza parties to attend (pizza baked in an outdoor pizza oven -woot!).

So what was I going to write about? Ticks always distract from all that's good in the world.

Oh, yeah, so I was going to talk about the new glasses. The Big D finally got new glasses. He's needed them for about 10 years now. I think they are hot! I'm trying to figure out to talk about them and I keep coming back to the idea of a "reverse Clark Kent." With them on, Dave looks smart and a bit menacing. Take them off and he's my fun-loving, wild guy again. I find "menacing" to be very sexy and I think this every time I see him with his glasses on. He, on the other hand, is not happy at all with the fact that now he has to wear glasses. He doesn't believe me when I say they are hot so I'll just keep telling him until it sinks in.

It's too hot to knit but I've managed to find some projects that can be done in warm weather. The best thing is that I'm knitting with my stash.

Finally, the last hot thing about this post. The air conditioning in Dave's Jeep conked out and so we had a very warm drive back to the city. I can't believe how miserable it was with the temps only in the 70s. Can you believe this was the norm just a decade ago? I can't.

I pine all month long for Spring but now that it's here, I'm complaining about the heat. And that's just dumb.

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Friday, April 3, 2015


Fall is apple season, right? So how did I discover an apple that I've never tasted before? A quick search on the internet reveals that this apple traveled all the way from New Zealand to Minnesota. It was found in a high-end conventional grocery store. For some reason I feel a little bit creeped out. I enjoyed eating the apple and looked forward to adding it to my list, but now I feel a bit sullied. I suppose it is Fall somewhere in the world.

To eat or not to eat. Ugh. Another first-world problem identified.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Happy Little Cloud

I know I should be focusing on subjects that will help improve my photography but I saw this cloud just a few minutes ago and it reminded me of summer. A happy little cloud that just made my day a little happier! Sometimes you just need to turn to the ordinary to make life a bit more extraordinary.

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