Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Now that's what I call a reading nook!
Baby sleeping turtle just because, obviously
The band on my sushi naturally formed into a heart
Another baby turtle because, do I actually need to say?
One day I will be able to do this pose... one day
Upside down eating an apricot on a stem
Words from the wise Thich Nhat Hanh
 Bathtub kisses are the cutest ever

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recent Existential NYT Reads

Grant the sufferers the dignity of their own process. Let them define meaning. Sit simply through moments of pain and uncomfortable darkness. Be practical, mundane, simple and direct.

From The Art of Presence, an eloquent and deeply touching how-to-guide for those seeking to help people who are suffering. It is equally difficult to support with quiet steadfast presence as it is to be the one in pain.

"The first year was really hard. I went through what I can only describe as withdrawal — waking up at nights panicked about running out of money, scouring the headlines to see which of my old co-workers had gotten promoted. Over time it got easier — I started to realize that I had enough money, and if I needed to make more, I could. But my wealth addiction still hasn’t gone completely away. Sometimes I still buy lottery tickets."

A brave and honest look into the love of money by former "wealth addict," Sam Polk, who left his job on the Wall Street trading floor and went on to establish Groceryships, a nonprofit that helps underprivileged families feed themselves real, whole food. 

"In a way, though, the certainty of death was easier than this uncertain life. Didn’t those in purgatory prefer to go to hell, and just be done with it? Was I supposed to be making funeral arrangements? Devoting myself to my wife, my parents, my brothers, my friends, my adorable niece? Writing the book I had always wanted to write? Or was I supposed to go back to negotiating my multiyear job offers?"

What happens when a neurosurgeon receives a lung cancer diagnosis? He becomes a powerful storyteller, sharing in his own words the truth of what it means to live through the acute discomfort of oblique uncertainty. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Crazy good song, Get Free remix
Schuylkill River frozen into shards of ice
Cool abstract painting for a living room
Love park lit up and looking shiny

Thursday, January 9, 2014

If You Forget Me - Pablo Neruda

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Spiced Pumpkin Loaf Cake

Last night my dad and I made this spiced pumpkin loaf cake, loosely using a recipe from one of his ancient Bon Appetit recipe books from what looks like 1970.

We changed a few things about the recipe both intentionally (fig jam instead of orange marmalade) and unintentionally (my dad added an entire can of pumpkin  instead of 1 cup...) but it still seemed to turn out well!

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup sucanat (or regular sugar)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. fig jam
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ fresh ground nutmeg
¼ cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously grease 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan. Line bottom and sides of pan with waxed paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Combine pumpkin, sugar, sour cream, oil, egg, fig jam, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in large bowl of electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well blended.

Reduce speed to low and gradually blend in flour mixture.

Stir in nuts and cranberries. Transfer batter to pan, smoothing top. Bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and discard waxed paper. Let cool completely on rack. Enjoy!