I always love how Amber and Lisa do these great recap posts...who knows if I'll keep up on these but I think they're great ways of summarizing where one is at for a period of time.
Clothing: I also haven't posted many thrifted looks in a while and truthfully I've been in a black/gray/beige phase so it's ironic that two of these pictures have color :)
Thrifted dress with a black long sleeve under, thrifted leather coat (recent purchase that I LOVE), scarf from local artisans in Tanzania.
This I LOVEd as I'm so into just plain basics these days: same thrifted coat, old belt, old leopard print flats, old thrifted skirt, long black sleeved shirt
And this is only half (I needed a picture for those who wanted to see the new hair), but this was St Patty's: thrifted green tunic, thrifted replacement gray cardi (w/ ripped capri jeans & old leopard flats)
I've been debating just streamlining the wardrobe to basics....but I've been thinking about this for months and have yet to do so. But I pretty much have a uniform down these days: pencil skirt or work appropriate pants with a regular long sleeve top or short sleeved business top, chunky accessories, tall boots or flats, and a cardigan or sweater. :)
I also started compiling my travel wardrobe for Tanzania of culturally appropriate pieces:
Maxi dresses/skirts (totally NOT my favorite but good for travel), a variety of coordinating short sleeved shirts, 3 interchangeable cardis/wraps, 2 scarves (for shoulders/head/beach wraps), and I've had my eye out for super light weight flowy black/tan pants (but I might have missed the boat on this one....)
Food: This term I made it 11 out of 12 weeks pre-gaming meals for the week and making sure to have food to take for lunch at the office.
Sweet potato with a salad of mixed greens, purple cabbage, broccoli, & salmon.
From scratch waffles (w/ blueberries, pecans, & coconut shreds here).
LOTS of sauteed veggies happened this term. Here we have asparagus, broccoli, carrots, onions, garlic, garbanzo beans, mushrooms, greens, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds seasoned with loads of olive oil, s&p, and turmeric.
I started getting down on lots of herbal tea...and made some of my own from sage in the garden.
A few days at my parents produced this gem for breakfast: berries, banana, grapes, & macadamia nuts with almond milk.
I also made two pans of a take on this awesome white sauce & chicken lasagna for the dinner party (and the remainder fed me for a week). (I layered differently, doubled the recipe, and mixed the cheese/chicken/spinach into one concoction....but it was a hit!) I also had a rhubarb/blueberry cobbler which is a usual go-to at dinners...which became breakfast for the week :) AND I had chicken breasts for everyone, which the left overs of that got shredded and much got frozen. Those left overs are being used in soups, fajitas, sautes, chicken salad sandwiches, etc. I LOVE left overs!
There also was a 2-3 week period in here where my body no longer wanted meat...and I seriously contemplated going back to being a vegetarian. I'm listening to what it says and right now I'm just eating meat in moderation....
Reading: I've been halfway through a handful of books:
1) I taught about food ethic/social justice issues out of Food Justice this term.
2) I'm several chapters into A Year of Plenty about a Christian family (pastors) who decided to get off the rat race and live more mindfully/locally for a year...and all that they learned in the process. (I'm a BIG advocate that Christians SHOULD be leading the charge for environmental & social justice issues, so I LOVE reading material on these notions....).
3) I'm almost halfway through Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream....and this is about where I got stuck last time I tried to read it. There's things I like about it and other things I don't. I'm going to make it through this time though :)
4) I'm a couple chapters also into Jane Goodall's A Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating. I've read many of her other books (and hope to reread them) and so far am enjoying this one.
5) I also started reading a few of the short stories in the Oprah endorsed Say You're One of Them, which gives stories of children's realities from across the globe. Heartwrenching at times...and I stopped where I was because I read the following two books and needed a break:
6) The heart-wrenching story of Somaly Mam (The Road of Lost Innocence), who lived through an abusive childhood and forced existence in the sex trade in Cambodia...and was eventually able to create a non-profit on advocacy and legal work against the international sex trade. These types of stories really muddy my mind & heart for weeks and tend to give me a bleak outlook on how humankind treats each other......BUT I also feel like it's so important to know more, advocate more, & spread the word/advocacy..without it we just do nothing and only further perpetrate injustice.....
7) I also read Children of the Jacaranda Tree, which was an unfortunately similar story to the Dirty War of Argentina...and also had me researching more of the history of Tehran/Iran in the 70s. This story is "safer" than the one above and also captures some of the beauty and connection that exists even in the most desolate of times--worthwhile read!
(Also while all the links are to Amazon, I actually found about half of these books at my local thrift store and the other half came from our regional new/used book store. I still use Amazon when I absolutely cannot find what I want local, but due to not wanting to encourage wasted resources for packaging/shipping...I highly endorse finding books where you are if possible :))
I've also been reading a TON of "pins"/articles on pinterest about homesteading pigs, goats, cows, expanding gardens, considerations for buying property, and reading some medicinal herb blogs/books to increase my knowledge of how to plant/harvest more.
On average, I'm also skimming headlines of about 100 articles a day & reading about 10-30 articles a day on sustainable/simple living, global health issues/programs, food ethics/concerns/policies/interventions/programs, environmental considerations/concerns/policies, and local health items. I've pretty much converted my FB feed as an easy way to follow the organizations, agencies, etc that are working in the fields I'm passionate about and as a way to stay up-to-date on other news/research findings. To say that I'm immersed in the topics of global & environmental health (with a focus on nutrition & food) might be a tad bit of an understatement these days.....and if you're following me on FB, just know that I only share a VERY limited amount of what I'm actually reading (so I apologize if even that bit seems a little overkill). :) I've been contemplating trying to create a new/separate blog for storage of the various items I'm referring to but I know that right now I just don't have time/energy/ease of doing so. (I barely blog as it is...and my tech skills are nil these days :))
Documentaries/Watching: If you know me, then you know that I'm not big on TV. It's rare that I even sit down for a real movie these days and I usually have to be absolutely convinced (and really care about someone) to binge watch anything. But I DO love having one day/night every couple of months where I watch through a selection of great documentaries or travel shows or immersing in a few TED/YouTube learning options. (I also will totally admit that I'm super into Fixer Upper when it's available on Netflix too...)
So what have I watched this term? Well..several important items mainly on food, of course. :)
The Cooked series by Michael Pollan on Netflix was really neat & further inspiring to be cooking routinely again.
Food Chains shows the too frequently unheard voice of those farming and producing our food. Talk about human and ethical rights issues.... (Please watch...)
Farmland showed the various stories of a diverse group of young farmers.
And I re-watched and required students to watch Soul Food Junkies.
On the topic of farmworker rights, I also showed several of the Tedx Fruitvale clips to students...and I wish more awareness/advocacy/policy change would focus on these issues.
I also showed part of this documentary on Living in a Food Desert.
And I encouraged students to watch these two inspirational Ted Talks: A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA and A Teacher Growing Green in the South Bronx
I also attempted to start watching the Call the Midwife series as I've heard lots of good things about it....and I just couldn't get into it.
Miles: We logged 80 miles in February (somehow) and are more or less on target to make the 850 for the year. I plan on making a separate post of some of the treks we've been out on in recent months however, although I'm nervous to keep posting pictures of the amazing Oregon beauty :) We were able to get out for a handful of snowshoeing/hiking treks, some regular hikes/trail jogs on our most frequently traveled trails, and then lots of plain neighborhood jogs over the last several months. I also was able to finally get back out kayaking on Friday and on most running days I have been throwing in sets of burpees, push-ups & abwork also. I'm definitely hoping to be able to get in some longer hikes again in the coming months, but it's looking like snow levels will be staying low longer again this year (much needed!) so backpacking probably won't be too much of an option until I'm back from Tanzania this summer.
One other item that's been on my mind a lot: I'm still in awe so many days that I can just say these things....Tanzania, Argentina, east coast travels, holidays. There are days where I'm completely exhausted (although in denial) but I also feel like I'm truly back to living a life of authenticity. My hippy/survivalist side is in full force and I am intrinsically aware of being human while being one tiny dot in a greater culture, environment, universe. Some days I wake up with texts and emails from various corners of this globe and I'm still so in awe wondering how I wound up here at all or even how quickly....but I'm grateful. When I mention to family/friends that I'm unsure that I should stay in this field long term, the resounding message in response is that this is the life that so many of them imagined that I would be living. And I know when I'm tired I don't sound it...but man, am I oh so in awe and grateful for what life has presented....and all that it pushes me forward toward.....