Author Archives: Michelle

Vegan Pecan Pie

My new favorite thing is to find and experiment with vegan recipes. I’m not vegan, or even vegetarian, and I’m more a fan of simplicity but luckily there are a ton of vegan recipes that are healthy, simple, and delicious.

I recently made a vegan pecan pie that I found on the S.W. Basics blog. It consists mostly of walnuts, pecans, and dates with a little bit of shredded coconut, salt, cinnamon, and coconut oil in the mix. I was so excited when I found it I didn’t even realize it was a no-bake recipe!

It took me maybe twenty minutes to make and was super simple. I used a Nutribullet instead of a food processor and added a few extra pulses when the dates got stuck. Once you’ve got the crust and filling done, just pop it in the fridge for a few hours and it’s ready to go. Because I’m not vegan I ate it with Reddi Whip and it’s probably my favorite pecan pie that I’ve tried.

Check out the recipe on the S.W. Basics blog here.

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It was so good I forgot to take a picture before we started eating it.

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2 Things, 2 Days

I was sitting on my bus, waiting for it to depart from the transit center. I watched a man walk up to a trash can and pull out a Ruffles cheddar potato chip bag, the small kind you get with prepared lunches. He gingerly opened it, peered in and began to poke around the corners for any remaining crumbs. He did this for about a minute, fishing them out of the creases.

I got off my morning bus and crossed the street to City Hall. A man was crouched down, his hands jerking, his knees in the street and the tops of his feet propped on the edge of the curb. Two other men were asking him if he was okay, and a third was hanging on the fringes. I continued to walk towards City Hall to tell our security guard to call Community Safety Patrol. The third person, a 17 or 18 year old, peeled off from the group about five feet in front of me. He walked into City Hall and straight to the security desk.

“Whenever you have the chance, try to raise your head from the busy living of your life. And if everything seems compromised or unworthy, then remember the simple and fundamental aim: to reduce human suffering wherever you find it. At least you can be sure this is a good plan, regardless of God, money, fashion, and the bloody news.” -Pravda

I came home and walked through my neighborhood to the trail. I stood with my face upturned into the snowfall, inhaling deep.

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Thoughts on Friendship

As someone who finds it difficult to make friends (thanks introverted nature), I’m always interested in reading thoughts, reflections, and research on the nature of friendships. Here are some recent ones that have been percolating in my brain:

How Our Housing Choices Make Adult Friendships More Difficult – “But when we marry and start a family, we are pushed, by custom, policy, and expectation, to move into our own houses. And when we have kids, we find ourselves tied to those houses. Many if not most neighborhoods these days are not safe for unsupervised kid frolicking. In lower-income areas there are no sidewalks; in higher-income areas there are wide streets abutted by large garages. In both cases, the neighborhoods are made for cars, not kids. So kids stay inside playing Xbox, and families don’t leave except to drive somewhere.”

How to Make Friends Easily and Strengthen the Friendships You Have

How Friendships Change in Adulthood – “We aren’t obligated to our friends the way we are to our romantic partners, our jobs, and our families. We’ll be sad to go, but go we will. This is one of the inherent tensions of friendships, which Rawlins calls ‘the freedom to be independent and the freedom to be dependent.'”

Here’s How Your Friends are Keeping you Healthy

How to Make Friends When You’re a Grown Up – Proximity, unplanned reactions, privacy.

Dear Sugar Podcast: When Friendships End

Get the Cookies

My boss, who is an amazing human, taught me all about public servitude today with a story.

This is how it goes:

There was once a maintenance man who worked in a park. He worked in several parks, but he was always in the same parks every week.  People in that neighborhood used to see him every week. They got to know his face. They observed him over multiple weeks. They saw what he was doing.

One day, people started bringing him cookies.

You are a public servant. You work for the good of the public and its wants and needs. You are out in the community. People see you. They know your face. They know what you’re doing; the good parts and the less than ideal parts. Part of our goal as public servants is to build community. You help build that community. You are apart of that community.

Get the cookies.

Individuality

I am almost always single. It’s just how things are. Now I am in a relationship. That shift has made me think about the things that have changed in my life and the things that have stayed the same.

These are the things that I continue to do that I think would be easy for me to mindlessly stop doing in a coupled state.

1) Buying flowers. Now that it’s spring and we’re headed into summer, I want flowers in my house all the time. I feel no shame in buying bundles of them wrapped in cellophane that are meant to be given to others. Flowers instantly make me feel happier and brighter. I guess I could wait for someone/my significant other to buy me flowers as some gesture of romance or affection or kindness. Or I could just give those things to myself.

2) Spending time alone. I am an introvert through and through. When I took the Meyers-Briggs I scored a zero for extraversion. Being in a relationship usually means having a built-in adventure partner, and that can be a huge positive in life. I still find times though where I need an evening to myself, reading or relaxing or mindlessly watching Netflix and not feeling bad for not talking to anyone. This keeps me balanced and able to give my full attention to people when I am with them, whether it’s my partner or someone else.

3) Going to things by myself. I may be in a relationship, but I’m still relatively new to the city I live in and I haven’t become close with any new people since I’ve been here. I find this to be a huge flaw in life. My brain knows that relying on one person for all of my entertainment, fulfillment, buddy-buddy needs is unrealistic and potentially setting myself up for huge disappointment. I like to have a varied support network of a few individuals who know me well and that I can rely on, and vice versa. Which means every Thursday I pick up one of the free papers with event listings to see if there’s anything that interests me, and I go to the museum by myself on the first Friday of the month when it’s free, and I peruse the internet and make mental notes of things that sound cool and that I think like-minded individuals will also be at. Then I go to those events and smile and make small talk and hope that I meet a new person or two that has friend potential and try to non-creepily become friends with them or run into them again. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. Eventually people start to stick.

4) in the same vein, I continue to focus on personal growth. I make new fitness goals. I read new books (and try to sneak some non-fiction in there). I make things. I go for walks. I meditate. I think things and write things.

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