[sticky entry] Sticky: A simple hello.

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 10:33 am
ofearthandstars: A picture of a lotus and lilypads. (lotus)
Since my profile is sparse, I thought I'd make a small introduction.

I'm a 34 year old environmental scientist; my work is related to air toxics and climate change regulation. I'm also a mother of three boys (ages 10, 12, and 14), and partnered to an excellent nerdy and handsome gentlemen who happens to be my best friend of 15+ years and who happened to move into our lives 2 years ago (and hasn't run yet!)

I'm into voluntary simplicity, green living, and gardening, and I spend a lot of time cooking - I'm vegan, although the rest of my family is not. I'm currently trying to reintegrate yoga into my life and learning to run through C25K. I'm trying to teach myself to play guitar. I'm passionate about science and astronomy, and have a love of math.

I'm also a voracious reader and an occasional writer (I'd like to get back to that more when my life is not so crazy). I have a fondness for poetry. I'm not hugely fannish but I occasionally enjoy reading fanfic (I don't have a lot of time to write it). My current guilty pleasure is Syfy's Defiance. I also am mildly fannish over Avatar: The Last Airbender and Adventure Time, The Walking Dead, and Person of Interest. I have great geek love for Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Cinematic Titanic, and Rifftrax...and just watching and riffing on the awful Syfy Original Movies for fun. I'm also a fangirl for the Welcome to Night Vale podcast because, well, Cecil and Carlos... and Khoshekh!

This is a Day-in-the-Life journal; more measured posts may happen by my brain is usually not that organized. I write here a lot about my family, particularly parenting my three boys, including one child who has been diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar NOS. I keep most of the specifics of this on a filter for our privacy. I also write about my own depression from time to time, but I'm honestly trying to focus on living a joyful life. That includes lots of love and laughter; adventures in cooking, creating, and trying to make a mark on the world; and sometimes long bouts of navel-gazing.

With these considerations, this journal is largely access-only. All protected content is confidential and may not be shared or reposted without permission. (I don't mind sharing of public posts, but a heads-up would be nice).

That said, I don't have a strict access/subscribing policy and I love interaction. If you'd like access, please leave a comment below. If you're here from Livejournal or another blogging site and would like access or to leave comments, here are instructions for creating an Open ID.
ofearthandstars: (Default)
"Look how he abused me and beat me,
how he threw me down and robbed me."
Live with such thoughts and you live in hate.

"Look how he abused me and beat me,
how he threw me down and robbed me."
Abandon such thoughts, and live in love.

In this world
Hate never dispelled hate.
Only love dispells hate.
This is the law,
Ancient and inexhaustible.
You too shall pass away.
Knowing this, how can you quarrel?


--From the Dhammapada, translated by Thomas Byrom
ofearthandstars: (Avocado)
Tonight I started out with thoughts of using a book recipe but then wildly diverged, and it came out very well and got good reviews by everyone, so I thought I'd put down what I did here so I can re-do it (L. requested that we have it again).

Ingredients

-splash of veg broth for sautèing
-about 3/4-1 cup diced onion
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-2 cups long grain brown rice
-4 to 5 tsps vindaloo curry seasoning
-2 13.5 ounce cans coconut milk (I used one full-fat and one light b/c that was what I had on hand)
-1 cup veg broth
-Salt to taste (about a 1/2 tsp)
-1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
-1 fresh mango, diced
-about 1/4-1/2 cup sweet mango chutney (I used storebought, although homemade would be good, too)
-pepper and ground cardamom to taste

Steps:
1. Saute the onion and garlic in a splash of veg broth in a large pot until onion is translucent. Add the rice and curry seasoning and stir for a moment or two to mix.

2. Add the coconut milk and 1 cup veg broth, stirring well. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, then turn to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the salt prior to turning down the heat.

3. After rice has cooked/thickened, add peas, fresh mango, and mango chutney. Allow the mixture to continue to cook without the lid, if necessary, to further reduce the sauce. Add pepper and cardamom to taste (I was generous with the cardamom).
ofearthandstars: (Love is a verb)
As many of you know, several years ago I was in an abusive marriage. A good friend of mine (some of you know her as [livejournal.com profile] similiesslip) is now in a place where she faces a similar situation and needs help getting out of it. It would mean a lot to me if you could donate even a little to help her to get to a better place, for her safety and the safety of her children. Please also feel free to share this campaign (being mindful to maintain privacy).

Every little bit helps.

Sometimes...

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 10:44 am
ofearthandstars: A bunny facing away towards paisley wallpaper. (bunny butt!)
...it is difficult to make out what people are saying, especially on the phone. And I have to ask them to repeat themselves. Sometimes I have to ask people across from me, at the same table, to repeat themselves. Sometimes twice or more. It's even worse when there's a conversation or background noise going on nearby. Sometimes those people seem to get frustrated.

I don't really want take on their frustration as my burden to bear. I understand that it can be annoying to have to repeat yourself, but it also comes across as really hurtful when people get snippy. I understand that I could probably go out and spend $7,000 on a hearing aid, but I'm not exactly inclined to spend that amount right now.

It's not that I'm not listening, it's just that I can't make out what you're saying. Sometimes your voice sounds like it's wrapped in warm cotton or that you're trying to speak through a tiny megaphone. When other conversations are going on in the background, all the words just blend together and my brain fuzzles on the translation of this new Martian-speak.

Believe me, I want to hear you. I'm not trying to be disrespectful. I'm not daft. Just a little deaf.

The Word

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 12:05 pm
ofearthandstars: View of starry night through treetops (stars in the forest)
To recap - back in 2008, I began the tradition of "The Word". It's easier than attempting to define a rambling list of resolutions, and it gives me something to hold on to throughout the year and a simple way to focus on developing personal qualities that I value. Seven years later, I still find it valuable.

In 2008, I was still healing from my divorce, and the word I chose was "clarity", hoping to find a new path in my life.

In 2009, I found myself feeling more whole, but less focused than I wanted to be. I settled on "deliberate" to guide my thinking and actions.

In 2010, I was feeling more loved than at any other point in my life (because Lucas was so good to me!), and I wanted to share that. So I went with "generous".

In 2011, I was learning to deal with my anxiety, as I was preparing for our wedding and struggling with my son's diagnosis. I chose the word "yielding" to remind me that I don't need to obsess over having constant control of my life.

In 2012, I settled on "strength" to remind myself to hold fast even when everything was falling apart around me - it seemed to a lot, that year. I still don't know if I have that one conquered, but then again... I am blessed by having a partner who gives me strength, and a supporting and loving family that buoys me when times are tough.

In 2013, I wanted to recognize that I am blessed in a multitude of ways, even when I don't feel it. I chose the phrase "desperately seeking joy", and tried to hang onto it during the most difficult parts of the year (and believe me, this year has been one of my most difficult). Having my depression come back to the degree that it did made this one seem unreachable. But, I'm still here, I'm still hanging on, still clawing around for joy in the corners where no one else has looked.

This fall, I have been moving towards a focus on the interconnectedness of our lives on this Earth, and reflecting on the suffering of life and the beauty of compassion and kindness. And I would like to live in a way that recognizes these connections between us. I want to connect deeply with others, to reflect more on my interactions with the world, and to live in a way that creates peace and diminishes violence. I've been thinking a bit on the practice of metta, or loving-kindness meditation. I think the words of the Metta Sutta capture the feeling:

So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings,
Radiating kindness over the entire world,
Spreading upwards to the skies, and downwards to the depths,
Outwards and unbounded, freed from hatred and ill-will.


I like to think of it as radical compassion and love, in which you work not only to extend compassion and kindness and love towards yourself, but to those closest to you, to those not so close to you, to those that you wish weren't so close to you, and to those who you do not personally know, but with which this universe has you inexplicably twined. I believe that peace comes through love - selfless love - and through practice of this selfless love towards others. I know that it is needed in my heart, and it is needed in my household, and it is needed in this world. And so I think for 2014, I will focus on cultivating and bringing loving-kindness to my life.
ofearthandstars: A flame-haired woman knees in the forest that speaks to her. (flame in the forest)
    
 "Liberating and honoring the feminine principle is perhaps the most pressing task in our culture’s evolution toward peace, sustainability, and spiritual maturity. The feminine principle, cross-culturally, is concerned fundamentally with nurturing, receptivity, making connections, intuition, and bringing forth new life. In our herding culture, these qualities are not respected because the work of herding animals requires men to become hard and cruel, and to emphasize their separateness from and superiority to animals, nature, and the life-giving processes of the feminine. This has led to a patriarchal mentality concerned fundamentally with domination, control, separation, rational analysis, commodification, war, and killing. Its basic dictum in human affairs follows from its fundamental herding orientation toward animals, which is that might makes right. And yet the feminine principle is still alive, longed for, and beloved, because we know at the deepest levels that this is a vital aspect of our essential nature."-Will Tuttle, Ph.D., World Peace Diet

"Never get tired of doing little things for others. For sometimes, those little things occupy the biggest part of their heart." -Ida Azhuri

"Despite our technological prowess, our individual and cultural intelligence is so severely hampered that we create massive systems of violence and abuse that damage the earth and cause enormous suffering to both humans and animals, and simply ignore the damage and suffering we impose. When any living system ignores feedback and refuses to make the connections for which its unique type of intelligence is suited, that living system is less alive, less aware, less free, less able to respond or adapt, and is, from its own survival perspective, in a dangerous situation. The larger wholes, which the system is harming through its loss of intelligence and sensitivity, will naturally, as part of their intelligence, restrict and remove it." -Will Tuttle, Ph.D., World Peace Diet
 
"This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."-Walt Whitman

"God is peace: let us ask him to help us to be peacemakers each day, in our life, in our families, in our cities and nations, in the whole world." - Pope Francis

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion." - Rumi

 
Between rewatching Baraka tonight and the above, I am having a hard time denying what I would call a longing of the soul.

Happy Everything

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 07:17 pm
ofearthandstars: (Default)
L, to me: "Without you, I'd go nucking futz."
Me: "Are you kidding? Without you, I wouldn't be here."


Proof we are not (yet) gone.

Hope everyone wraps up 2013 with as little stress as possible.
ofearthandstars: (Default)
I am so happy, and so ready, for the return of the light.

Lernen.

Friday, December 20th, 2013 09:27 pm
ofearthandstars: (Unstoppable)
I have finally finished my Coursera class (David Archer's "Global Warming: The Science of Climate Change" offered thru University of Chicago), and although I'm awaiting my final grade, I was really pleased to see that I got a perfect 10 on my term project. Yay.

I am mostly excited because I will now have some more time to do other things, like read, and play guitar, and get back to German (which I have been ignoring for a few weeks).

Of course then I found several other MOOCs I'm interested in - like this one, and this one, and this one. Ergh. They start in January; that seems way too soon.

And then I found MOOC list.

*sigh*

I think I shall take a break for a little bit. Make it through winter. Delve into some creative projects. Write a little. Paint a little. Indulge my quiet side.

Still, so glad I've stumbled across these free courses, they're fun and engaging and I feel like I'm not too old to learn. ;) Somedays I'm still so amazed at what the internet brings to my fingertips.

February 2014

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