I love this year! 2014 has been unbelievably amazing – being 40 rocks, let me tell you. With 41 just around the corner in January, it just keeps getting better. Not that there haven’t been some crazy ass moments and I get stressed about the things I cannot magically change overnight, but each day I am so grateful for where I am and the possibilities that exist for the future.
So with that peppiness, here’s my finds of the week, readers:
* This week we had one of my dearest friends in the whole wide world over for dinner and I wanted to go all out and create something special. As my longtime Winter Solstice party tradition – it lasted almost 15 years – has fizzled out after being out of the country last year and honestly, just being exhausted at the thought of entertaining this year, so when she asked I said this dinner, just the three of us, would be our Solstice “party”. Woo hoo! So I found this amazing Slow Cooker Butter Chicken recipe and it was a hit! It’s dairy-free and gluten-free as well. I modified it to use half-coconut and half-almond milks, and substituted Bob’s GF all-purpose flour (I don’t have 8 kinds of GF flour anymore, it just got too confusing in my pantry). Side note: here’s a recipe to make your own garam masala as well – a seriously awesome addition to your kitchen spices and cheaper than buying the mixture in the store!
* When discussing the Constitution, the unfortunate thing that we often see happen is the way it’s interpreted and what its writers intended for it. There is a certain camp that thinks it must be looked at literally, with possibility for multiple interpretation, no understanding that it was meant to evolve over the years to adapt to the country’s changing needs. The thing is, this document was written primarily by slaveholders, giving no acknowledgements of slaves as humans, leaving out all who didn’t own property, and omitting women altogether. While some amendments have come up to fix certain aspects that desperately needed it, there are so many things that still need to happen. The Equal Rights Amendment was introduced NINETY years ago and while Congress technically “passed it” FORTY years ago, it still has not been ratified by all 50 states, and missed the required 38 states to go into law. So yes, folks, in 2014 women are still not mentioned in the United States Constitution. What. The. Fuck. With a primarily Republican congress (WTF, voters? So glad Oregon wasn’t part of that!), it’s going to be even harder as they try to strip protections away from women, the environment, and much more.
* With everyone talking about the holidays here in blog-land, I thought I’d share what we’ve decided on for our little family this year! As from last week’s post, we did get a tree, which will be composted at the end of the season (gotta love Portland’s yard waste/compost weekly pickup who will take the trees as well, yay!), but beyond that no other decorations are up. We love going to see the houses who do the holiday lights, and plan on driving around on Christmas Eve to see some of them as it’s not the huge thing in Oz like it is here (our friends who are out of town for the holidays are letting us borrow their awesome Prius, wheeee!). After the crazy amount of food we made on Thanksgiving, our plans for Christmas dinner are easy – organic Chinese food at Seres Restaurant in the Pearl District. Or, as the Portland Mercury states, “Indulge in upscale Chinese cuisine and forget about your crappy family and all the damn holidays.” Heehee! As for gifts, while I was fine with skipping them as I usually do, husband wanted to do a few since it’s our first Christmas as a married couple, so we agreed to do stockings only, with homemade, repurposed or service-y type gifts instead of “stuff” – with the allowance for one “new” item inside. So, things we like are easily obtainable for this – like a cool old used book or a gift certificate for a spa service or building something out of scrap materials, etc.
* And while the baby-brain thing might be kicking my ass these days (we agreed to start in 2015 to coincide with my husband’s eligibility for family leave, vacation time, etc.), I won’t be the blogger that posts 24/7 baby stuff, just here and there. So my share for this week is A Minimalist Guide to Baby Essentials, stressing buying second-hand, items that can be repurposed for other things in the future, and waiting until you have the baby before buying a bunch of crap you might never need. As my mama friends have reminded me, everyone’s story is so different. Being minimalist folks already, it was a nice reassurance that my gut instincts are right in that we don’t need a ton of the “stuff” that some websites say you “can’t live without!”
* On a wholly different note, we were considering getting the Doggy Doolie to compost our pup’s poo, until learning we’d have to dig a 3-4′ hole in the ground, that still is not guaranteed to work (i.e., you might have a long tube of shit in your yard), and it only works if you pick up the poop daily instead of weekly. So, I found this site chock full of pet waste composting options that we’re considering for 2015.
* Finally, in an “I’m SOOOOO jealous of these attendees” moment, I’m enamored with the All About Women event in Sydney next year and would just love love love it if we could have something this rad here in Portland. I’ve been fortunate enough to see Maya Angelou, Iyanla Vanzant and Elizabeth Gilbert speak in their own events over the years, and attended the California Women’s Conference in Long Beach, but I am craving something again for 2015 that’s all about empowering my gender that takes place right here in Portland! Any ideas, PDX readers?
“Women are in league with each other, a secret conspiracy of hearts and pheromones.”