Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Vegan Pizza

Vegan Pizza 

Socca pizza crust
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (chana besan) 
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, I’m partial to large grained salts with some flavor to them, but any salt will do

Pizza toppings
  • 1 avocado, mashed (your mouth won’t know this isn’t cheese, it’s magic)
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce (I told you it was what was in my fridge)

(whatever is in the fridge that looks like a pizza topping. I used these today, tomorrow it will probably be something different)
  • handful of fresh basil
  • 1 thinly sliced eggplant
  • 1 thinly sliced red onion
  • handful of sliced black olives

  • Mix the chickpea flour (chana besan), water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and minced garlic together. Dough will be very wet. Resist the urge to add more flour. Cover the bowl and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour to let the chickpea flour soak up the water.
  • Turn on the broiler with a rack positioned 8 inches from heat. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or something ovenproof anyway) in the oven to preheat.
  • Once the cast iron skillet is hot, using oven mitts carefully remove it from the oven. Pour in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and swirl the pan around so the oil is evenly distributed. Pour in the chickpea batter and place the skillet under the broiler. Cook for 8 minutes or so until the socca is set and the edges are browning and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven, turn off broiler and turn oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • With a large spatula, raise the socca and add the last of the olive oil to the skillet. Flip the socca over and top with spaghetti sauce, the smushed up avocado, and then whatever toppings you decided to use.
  • Return the skillet to the oven and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the veggies are browned and the socca is crisp. Remove from oven and let cool, slice into 4-6 pieces and serve.

There's a story here (there's always a story) but it's going to have to wait for another day. In the meantime, enjoy plant based whole foods and tell the people you care about that you love them.

More info on socca flatbreads at 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

2 Months of Journaling

Two months of bullet journaling and I think I've settled on my weekly layout. I'm sure I'll tweak it a little each time, but it's working pretty well for me so far.

Things I like about bullet journaling:

  • I feel like I have much more intention in my daily life
  • Format is flexible, each week can expand or shrink depending on how busy I am and how many notes I'm taking 
  • Notebooks are cheap, especially in comparison to fancy planners
  • I feel like I'm using every bit of the notebook, less wasted space, fewer unused pages (NONE!) 
  • I like going through multiple planners in a year. I'm almost at the end of this planner, will almost definitely finish it this month, there's none of that end of year "I wish I had a new planner" feeling

Things that don't float my boat:

  • I have less artistry in me than I would like. Professionally designed planners look much nicer
  • When things get busy I don't have time to set up my week the way I would like to
  • There are some things, like my period tracker and a few other layouts that would be good to keep at hand, copying them takes time. I guess we'll see what's worth migrating to the next planner and what gets left behind, which is kind of the story of the rest of my journal

What do you like most about your planner?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Not another Bullet Journal Blogpost

For a while I've been watching these gorgeous layouts pop up on Instagram and Pinterest, and while I love them, ain't nobody got time for that!

A year ago I watched a friend put together her layouts, and don't get me wrong, I loved watching her draw and paint -- and even thought "I can do that" a couple of times, I was still stuck on the time issue.

At the end of 2018 I realized my current notebook was coming to an end so I started poking around for something new. I have tried daily-weekly-monthly planners in the past and found them way too structured. Not enough time for some days, way too much time for other months. I thought I'd look at bullet journals and see what the fuss was all about.


Did that? Ok. Wait, why did you come back? I mean, I'm glad you did and all, but really, Ryder Carroll is who you should be listening to at this point.

Me? You want to know about my experience? Awwwww.

Well, since you asked, here we go:

I've kept a notebook with me for years. It became a habit way back when we still started the date with 1-9 and not 2-0. I had started a new job. My predecessor loved sticky notes, and when I came in I found yellow and pink and blue notes on EVERYTHING. Many made sense, but some had gotten attached to the wrong folders, so it took a while to figure those out. The ones that broke my heart were the ones that said IMPORTANT! or URGENT! and were on the floor, or attached to the outside of another clearly unrelated folder or were crumpled up inside a stack of paper.

I decided there and then that I would not use sticky notes. That was when I started carrying a notebook all the time. I went through spiral notebooks, soft cover, hard cover, loose leaf, you name it. I realized I wanted something smaller than regular paper and loose leaf notebooks tended not to have good staying power. For a long time I carried an A5 notebook with a red leather cover until one day I was told that it was intimidating to see me writing things down in a red notebook. Oh. I switched to a brown cover, the notebook became fairly invisible.

Life changed again in 2006 and that A5 notebook was too big. I downsized again, this time to an A6.
Paper Sizes for those of us raised on 8.5x11 type paper
I experimented with an even smaller A7, which was a bit bigger than a credit card. I loved it, but I couldn't find a consistent supply and I also couldn't fold a sheet of paper up and tuck it into the back cover, so I bumped back up to the A6 size. I've been holding pretty steady at that size for a while now, but while I often spent some time transferring info over as one notebook filled up, I never spent much time going back through the notebook. For one thing it was hard to find things, and for another they were so messy. Sometimes reading the notebooks put me back in the mindset that I'd been in at the time, but most of the time looking at past notebooks was more like looking at a stack of old post-it notes. Sure they were all together, but they were just information, there wasn't much meaning to them. 

Fast forward to late 2018. I'm not sure why I took a closer look at bullet journals, but I ended up on Ryder Carroll's website and it was surprisingly plain. No fancy handwriting, no watercolor mood trackers, it actually looked a lot like my A6 notebooks. So what was all the raving about?

I figured I'd begin at the beginning and see what the fuss was all about: The Index. Ok, yes, I can see how this would be helpful, but I've had indexes before, I don't quite see the big deal.
Future Log with numbered days 

Next: The Future Log. Again, I don't get it, but ok. On a single page I handwrote 6 months of calendars. The Bullet Journal site wasn't prescriptive, but on the Monthly log it did suggest writing out a column of each day of the month and putting items there. I ended up changing my future log to look more like Megan's at Page Flutter once I actually started using the future log.

The Monthly log was next. Meh, I did it, I don't get the big deal. Ok, whatevs.

Daily Log. I kinda put everything together on one page as a weekly log, and I gave it the structure of The Daily Debrief because I was familiar with it and I knew it worked for me.

Ryder Carroll suggests using some very specific notation and if you do a search you can come up with all kinds of other ways to track your day. It made sense to me, so I went ahead with it.
X Task Completed
> Task Migrated (Started as a • and gets morphed into a > to indicate it was moved to the future)
< Task Scheduled (Started as a • and gets morphed into a < to indicate it was put into the schedule somewhere)
° Event Bullet (can also use o)
- Note Bullet
* Priority
! Inspiration
👁️ Explore (I've never used this)
I also added one for myself - this was to indicate my focus or intention, answering why am I doing these things in particular?
🚩 Focus/Intention (I picked this icon because it sorta indicates wind direction)

So I did this for a week, and then the time came to migrate items from one week to the next. (btw, the official bullet journal says to do this at the end of the month, but there was so much on my list!)


I get it.

The magic is in the reflection

Let me back up some. I started out with a monthly log and a weekly log and they were PRETTY!

I was tracking the good stuff and the bad stuff and my intentions, and it felt good. I felt so much more in tune with myself.

About a week in I was on a phone call with our son. I'm not sure why I had my journal out, but I realized that our conversation was more in depth than it usually was, and I credit a lot of it to being able to refer to the good things that had happened in the previous week as well as to talk about why they were meaningful.

Pretty was nice and all, but I needed more SPACE. The next week was going to be simpler.  I'd show you a pic, but I didn't take one at that step.

Later that weekend I was migrating stuff to the new week. I realized my intentions were getting mixed in with mundane to do stuff. I wrapped a rubber band around the spine and created a to-do list in the middle.

Ooh! That worked well. I made a note to make the center spine task list a permanent cutout - or dutch door - the following week.
And that's about when I felt the magic. When I noted my intentions each day I wasn't making an ordinary todo list, I was reaffirming my values and also my goals for the week and for my life. It was kind of funny how some days I interpreted my 🚩 notes in one way, but then a couple days later I would see my intention and realize there was something else I had to do. Yes, some of those got written down as ordinary todo's (Take the paper recycling to Laucala Beach), but they were in line with a larger intention: 🚩 Declutter the office, make it easier to focus in the office.

I'm only three weeks in, but this method is harnessing the habits I already had (carry a notebook, daily debrief) and organizing it into something new and better. Now to work on making the notebook a little prettier.

Good thing I have a bunch of ideas I've saved: 

I think I'm going to need a bigger book.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A Dream becomes a Goal becomes Reality

The difference between a dream and a goal is that the goal is written down and shared. I know this doesn't have all the details yet, but here goes:

I want to start and run a creative incubator / startup village / NGO hub. I'm not sure what title/description is best, this concept seems as though it would work for multiple purposes. 

And yes, this is like a mishmash of Breather (private meeting spaces), WeWork / Knotel (open spaces), Convene (private and meeting)

I'm imagining a facility with multiple spaces, and multiple uses in these spaces: 
- 2 (or more) Large Rooms suitable for conferences, meetings, trainings
- Large workshop space with hand and power tools, sinks, studio space, suitable for teaching
- 4-6 Private smaller spaces, can be used for interviews, 1:1 meetings and client consultations, ie, dieticians, acupuncture, massage therapists, phone calls
- Open, combined use space that includes
---- a Cafe with open seating
---- a commercial kitchen offering low price healthy food for day visitors and long term tenants. Shifts in the commercial kitchen would be available to small scale food entrepreneurs for their catering
---- Open hot desk seating
---- Retail space showcasing food products and products of local entrepreneurs
---- art from local artists

And programming - oh my ideas for programming. Workshops and training sessions on a zillion topics.
But that's another post.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

What's it like to be the product, not the customer?

We are the social media platforms' product, not their customers. When these platforms think we're alienating customers (the people that click on stuff and the people that buy ads) it has policies that silence the production of disturbing content.

This is something I've been aware of for a long time. I've seen transgender friends encounter problems with the "Real Name" policy and I've seen friends lose access to the communities they painstakingly built over time because the topics they're dealing with are too hot (or science-y or kinky or political) to touch.

I try to have more than one form of contact for my friends and family, I try to keep backups of the information I find valuable, especially resources I have created myself, like this post. The seed of this post was originally created over on FB, where I found myself locked suddenly locked out.

Why did this happen? Well, in case you only check my updates occasionally, among other things I think the man who lives in the White House is a traitor to the American people. I have no problem telling everyone that I think that AND why I think that (I don't pile links on top of my comments though - google was invented for a reason, I encourage people to check my facts). I've been blocked because of it, I've had people stop talking to me, I kept on doing it.

Today I was once again sharing a few of the many of the reasons why the godless cretin pushed forward by foreign criminals should be held to the same standards we hold all of our elected officials, and I suddenly lost access to my account. Yes, that's right. Somebody's feelings were so hurt that I have an opinion that they managed to get me kicked off a social media platform.

No surprise there. A social media platform can do that. It is a private platform, and I was disturbing its customers. It happens all the time. A lot of the time it happens and users lose their online voice entirely.

Isn't it lucky that I've been down this road before and was able to bounce right back on?

Sadly, not everyone does. Here are some of the things I do, although most of my content is more of the vaccinating-kids soccer mom with no guns in the house variety.

Mostly it comes down to this: Distribute information and access
- Let people know how to find you online and off.
- Let people know where to find your content online and off.
- Share access/permissions. Have more than one owner for groups and pages and sites. Try to have have a trusted silent partner in the group, someone that is less likely to be targeted and shut out but can update if you lose access.

Good luck out there.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Priming the Pump

I'm all written out.

A week ago this time I was pondering the whys and wherefores of my lack of creative output this past year. Then I spent the rest of that week traveling around the country and then this weekend working on a review of policies and writing up our findings.

And today at SUAW! I have nothing to say.

I get it. All my mental writing energy has been used up. And yet, and yet - I still have so more I want to say, I just need the oomph to get it to bubble up again.

If the first step to fixing a problem is identifying it, then I'm on my way to fixing this. I think what I need is some dedicated concentration time. This next week I'm going to try to walk in the mornings and practice yoga, both of which have helped in the past to restart my creative flow.

Any other ideas for how to keep the creative output flowing when more structured work is dominating your life?

SUAW! Writers

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Gift of Health

It's my birthday!

Just kidding (but you take me out to lunch if you really want to)

We've seen way too many people die in the last couple of years. It sucks. It also sucks that the deadly health conditions came as a surprise to their family members.

That's not cool. 

I don't know when I started doing this, but for as far back as I can remember I've been giving myself the gift of health.

I wish this meant that I was not obese and that I exercised 3x/week and ate my daily fruits and veggies and didn't get quite so many units of alcohol. Nope, not so much.

The birthday present I give myself each year is a medical checkup.

There's a lot going on in my daily life and remembering to schedule and getting organized enough to actually GO to that annual checkup can be a challenge. The way I've managed to make this happen year after year is that I schedule everything before my birthday.

Here's my thought process: Birthday coming up, hooray! Ooooh, I better get that dental appointment and pap smear and GP visit on the calendar.

Each little bit of anticipation for my birthday also helps remind me to get in to the lab for the pre-physical bloodwork and to take care of those niggly details.

And presto! Each year for my birthday I have info about my health so I can jump into the next year of life.

All jokes aside, please get in to a doc and check your own risk factors for non-communicable diseases like
Heart Disease
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic Lung Disease

I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you