Last weekend we threw Iris a proper (belated) first birthday party, complete with a theme (fish), decorations, kids and too much cake. The weather was perfect, and it was an absolute blast.
Pressed for time the day before, I picked up a cupcake for Iris to demolish, as is the custom. The Meijer bakery was without any fish-themed cupcakes, and so I settled on one with a big pink rose. I suppressed the little voice that said I should give her a whole grain muffin with coconut glaze, and focused instead on how cute she’d look with her personal confection.
I must say, I’m quite proud of the gusto with which she inhaled the cupcake. Sweets are a rarity for our wee one, and she never turns down fruit, let alone the gooeyer treats. Her concentration was complete, and the whole cupcake was gone in just minutes.
Yes, Facebook is a HUUUUUUGE timesuck. I waste seconds “liking,” minutes commenting and hours staring blankly far more than I should.
There are days when I close the Facebook tab, so as not to hear the little blip noise, or see the parenthesed number indicating a new interaction. I tell myself I do NOT need to know everytime someone else got into a heated conversation, or liked that lame eCard.
It’s the only way I can get any work done.
But, I want to say, for the record, why I think Facebook isn’t all bad. Why it might even even be a valid timesuck from time to time.
Not all that long ago, I bought a bag of spelt berries. This is the latest advance in my crusade to vary our whole grains beyond the dominating wheat and brown rice.
Bottom Line: I do like barley better. However, I have a cooked batch and the rest of the bag, so we’re going to use it and enjoy it.
The Drawback: Rubbery texture from a thick skin. In all fairness, this could be due to the way I cooked the stuff.
The Upside: The taste is good. Nutty and a bit more complex than other grains. It also has this great color… a richer, redder brown than the tans and greys of oats, bulger and the rest of them.
One time, when I was, like, three, I ate a buttload of strawberries and broke out into hives.
Fortunately for me and my love of all things red and berried, it’s never happened again. I can enjoy strawberries just like almost everyone else, as long as my intake doesn’t come too close to my own body weight. I imagine that’s basically what happened back in ’84, knowing me.
Before now, when I was a restaurant slave, I spent a lot of time prepping cases of strawberries for salads and desserts, and it was all I could do not to eat the best of the lot.
I could write love poems about strawberries.
I have this running list of things to do that are at once entertaining and productive. Things like “read Smithsonian and Natural Health magazines” (to which I subscribe) and “write for fun.”
Rarely do I get to them, or for more than three minutes at a time.
While these to-do items make me no money and add nothing to my resume, they do remind me why I love to work in words. They remind me of the best of fiction and non fiction. They let me take a tiny break from being Wife, Mom, Freelance Writer, and connect me with both a younger and an older self.
Reading and writing for pleasure have always been preferred pastimes, and always will be. They are at my essence. Further, as a writer, I think it’s vital that I seek out new fascinations and keep tabs on old passions.
I am endlessly fortunate that I get paid to write, even if in a non-glamorous capacity. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to do it freestyle.
Is the Blue Ribbon.
No other prize necessary.
There is so much we don’t know about pre-historic civilizations… like, what their names were, their language and how they ended.
One thing seems to happen repeatedly in our quest for understanding, however – we discover that we do not credit these ancient people with the knowledge and abilities that they in fact held.
For example, recent findings suggest that Stonehenge, as a cultural location, was occupied as early as 7,5000 BCE, which is 5,000 years sooner than experts knew of. That’s almost 10,000 years ago, which is about the time people are thought to have really started using agriculture as a way of life.
Can you even imagine what a world without farming would be like? The radically different mindset these folks had? Wild.
Read more about the findings here, and never underestimate what your earliest ancestors were capable of.
As I said to a world-weary friend on Monday: “Being an adult with access to information is exhausting.” Work, family, Korea, taxes, questionable food sources, social obligations, blasts at public events… It’s a lot to take in every day.
I don’t know about you, but I simply can’t turn it off most of the time. When there are people starving, dying, losing their homes and worse, I don’t feel right disregarding my privileged state and the information available to me. I need to do, and feel, something.
But that’s never where it starts.
Quick tip to anyone out there hoping to make their way as freelancers – find yourself a buddy. Hook up with someone who provides a service that complements yours. For me, as a writer, I have benefited greatly from knowing a local web designer.
He’s been in the game longer than I have, and has generously connected me with some super awesome clients. It’s so wonderful to have a sort of colleague who’s in town, easy to talk to and able to advance my career as I support what he’s already got going.
The situation makes me feel good about my decision to go freelance. Despite the moments of doubt, and the tougher financial stretches that do sometimes occur, I am, once again, certain that I am light years better off than if I were still punching in at the office gig I left over a year and a half ago.
Somewhere along the branches of human history, we developed the ability to speak. It’s an amazing ability that I’m now watching blossom in my 12.5 month old.
Of course, we’re not the only species that uses our mouths to communicate. I’m always fascinated to hear about ways in which animals talk to each other; the non-human variety repeatedly proves to be more complex than for which we give it credit.
Until recently, there were no primates known to couple “lip smacking” facial expressions with vocalizations – an action required for human-like speech. But now, there is the gelada. This is the first primate researchers have seen that appears to communicate in much the same way we do. Perhaps this will give us some insight into how humans started using speech.
I’ve got to get back to work, but you can read all about it here.
The more I learn about primates, the more I’m amazed at how similar we really are. ..