Walnut and Roasted Beet Empanadas (Also, Hi)

Been a while. I'm posting this exclusively for the purpose of remembering what I made last night so I can make it again. But not on a weeknight - this was way too involved for that, what with two small and hungry children clawing at my ankles.

At least the results were fantastic - Child Unit 1 spontaneously said thank you and that it was delicious! They're empanada-like, but I'm pretty damn white so it's likely I missed something vital. Apologies on that front.

I was going to take a picture, but it didn't end up very photogenic. I didn't bother with the egg wash, so the pastry looked pretty blah, and the cream sauce looked exactly like the "grey stuff" from Beauty and the Beast. Shocking that Child Unit 2 didn't want a bite of it to tide him over.

Walnut and Roasted Beet Empanadas*
2 extra large beets (like seriously, huge), cubed
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. onion, chopped
Greens from the beets, washed and sliced
4 oz cream cheese…

Personal Action Plan: A Rough Start

I loved Madison Mahdia Lynn's suggestions, so I'm writing them out here. If you're feeling like a bit of flotsam in a sea of tears, give this a try for yourself - feel free to start from my list. Also, it's often the case that others can see you more clearly than you see yourself. Do you have insights for me? Let me know.

STEP ZERO: Give yourself a moment to breathe.
This was the first two weeks. Now I need to multitask.

STEP ONE: Make a list of what you’re good at. Writing (incl. coming up with effective slogans and bringing humor)
Attention to detail
Discount shopping
Using the phone
Passion for ALL THE THINGS

STEP TWO: Make a list of your limitations. Public speaking (I can do it, and I might be good at it, but it's emotionally taxing) Inability to directly confront problems ... which is going to be fun for me Constraints due to having a toddler (time available, time of day issues) Limited funds Few connections to organizations Tim…

The World Turned Upside Down: A Modernization

The World Turned Upside Down was written in protest of Parliament. Legend says that the song, referenced in the musical Hamilton, was played by the British Army upon their surrender to the United States.
Listen to me and you shall hear of government gaslighting, opulence, fear:
Since Galileo in days of yore, you never heard the like before.
The truth is despised, “alt facts” are devised,
And science is kicked out of town.
Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turned upside down.

Astrophysicists did rejoice to see gravity waves; others sang with one voice
That climate change is humanity’s thing, that now genes may receive editing.
(Let all honest folk take example and note
That truth is not false, being bound.)
Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turned upside down.

Activism in a "Post-Factual" America

The next four years will be hard for this country. Our rights will be hacked at with ice picks, machetes, toothpicks that introduce cracks in the foundation. It is Day 1 and the White House's climate change webpage has already disappeared, along with the LGBT, civil rights, and ACA pages. Trouble is not brewing; trouble is here.

So what can we do about it? Groundwork has some great starting points on their site, and I listed a few details more below.

Educate yourself. What issues matter to you? Learn about them. What issues matter to others? Learn, and then fight for those too. "A healthy society is one in which those at the center scream in agony when those furthest away are cut."
Make calls. Phone calls are the most effective method of contacting elected officials. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to call on a regular basis. Keep your senators' contact info bookmarked (or on speed dial) so you don't have to look them up every time. Take 10 minutes out of…

Activism in a "Post-Factual" America: Donations

If you're looking for causes to donate time or goods to or volunteer for, here are a few. You can find another list here. If you want to check these out more carefully, view them on; I haven't done so for all of these yet. Please share this with others. 

Boys & Girls Club
Big Brothers, Big Sisters

Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Prevention
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Freedom of Speech/Press

Global Warming

Legal Defense

LGBT Rights

Political Activism

Racial Equality
The Anti-Defamation League

Personal Goals: 2017

Having made lists like this for many years, I'm starting now to better recognize my limits and reasonable expectations. Here are 20 goals for the year; I hope to accomplish 15 of them.

The above paragraph makes me feel old.

1. Have specific "me" time once a month

2. Complete three home projects from the following list (roughly in preferential order)
Fix the drivewayFix the toiletHem the white curtains that are floating around the basement somewhere (for the bedroom)Have Troy and Sam over for a renovation party (yaaaaay)Paint bedroom trim whiteGet and hang new bedroom blindsGet an A/C tune-upRedo the tea room (more shelves, hang calligraphy)Paint and re-carpet the basement stepsReplace a window?3. Continue to attend NOW meetings

4. Go to Dragonfly Yoga regularly and/or do yoga at home once a week 

5. Knit Ingrid another sweater

6. Knit myself hand warmers with a freaking I-cord so I don't lose the damn things a fourth time
Bonus if I also finish the second sock in the pair I …

Personal Goals: 2016 Recap

Hi! It's been a while. Consider this my attempt at getting back to it. Um. Again.

I didn't post it here, but at the beginning of 2017, I made a list of 21 goals for myself.

1. Reread The Happiness Project's chapter on clutter - done
2. Complete at least three home improvement tasks - done

Replace front window with a bay windowGet tools (jigsaw and sander, not that I used them)Get rid of stuff we don't use, including a lot of clothesFix the driveway ... kind of. It still needs new asphalt.Paint houseGet/make a file cabinet/bench
3. Do an activity with Tickle once a month over the year - done, including an awesome family vacation
4. Exercise more - nope
5. Play mandolin more - I broke one of the strings; does that count?
6. Create craft corner - done, and I love it!
7. Send Grandpa lefse - hand delivered, along with cookies made from his grandma's recipe
8. Make krumkake - nope
9. Start food/garden share with neighbors - sure, I'll allow it
10. Craft and hang Ger…