Thursday, February 27, 2014

currently reading #3

I don't usually have a lot of time for reading during the school year, but this semester I actually have enjoyable reading assigned to me!  I'm taking Devotional Poetry, and I must's a pretty rad class.  Anyways, here are the books I've been reading lately:

John Donne: Selections from Divine Poems, Sermons, Devotions, and Prayers (Edited by John Booty)
May I just recommend to you the divine poems for sure.  His devotions are also thought provoking, but much  For me, anyways.  I have not read the other two sections of the book.

Dune (by Frank Herbert)
This one is a classic science fiction.  It's long, so it's taken me awhile to read it while in school, but I've enjoyed it.  It's very elaborate, with plenty of culture and science and history at play, and I can definitely respect that.

Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics (by William Dunham)
We're using this as our main "textbook" for my History of Math class.  It probably won't appeal unless you're into math and history, but it is very well written and I find it entertaining.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

on flowers

Let me talk to you a little bit about flowers.

I'm going to try really hard not to sound like the crazy hippie that I am, but no promises....

The last two years, around this time in the spring semester, something happens to me.  I go flower-crazy.  I think it's spring fever, usually, that makes me angst to get out of the classroom, and the only thing that calms me down is studying flowers.  If I'm in a bad mood, the immediate reaction is, "Oh, I must not have looked at enough pictures of flowers this week."

(Where?  This book is the love of my life.  Also on the internet, here, here, and here.  Incidentally, I find I have a lot in common, ummm, personality-wise, with many flower-bloggers on the internet, so maybe this is a thing?)

I've tried to figure out the reasoning behind my sudden obsession.  I mean, as a kid, I remember being all like, "Flowers are meh," because I thought it made me sound cool and tomboyish.  Honestly though, I don't think I cared much for them.

So why like them now?  Sure, they're beautiful.  Is that it?  Beautiful and fragile...maybe that's it?  Hang on, I'm going to google the effects of smelling daffodils on mental moods....

Yep, I think it's probably scientific.  Your sniffer cells are connected to your limbic system.  Seems legit.

Anyways.  I love flowers.  I want to grow them.  I'm not sure why, but they calm me down, slow me down, help me cope.  Maybe it's the inherent beauty?  The aromatherapy?  Maybe the colors, shapes, and stuff I read about them form the perfect balance of aesthetic stimulus for my weirdly overloaded brain?

No matter what, I think it's important to have things like that, things you could count on to make you feel better.  Do you have a similar reaction to flowers or something else?  What do you think?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

beef + barley soup

This is a great hearty beef soup, perfect for rainy days or wintertime or feeding a big family of six, haha!

Whatcha Gon' Need: 
  • beef stock
  • onions
  • carrots
  • celery
  • potato (optional)
  • garlic (optional)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • pearled barley (we use 3/4 cup for a giant batch, but I'd use about 1/4 cup for a smaller batch)
  • frozen corn
  • beef (shank cooked in a crock pot, lean browned ground beef, whatever you've got on hand)
  • salt, pepper, basil, bay leaf, paprika

Whatcha Gon' Do:

Pour enough broth to make the amount of soup desired into a pot and bring to a boil.  Chop up the vegetables into small pieces and cube the potato.  All of that is by eyeball depending on how big a fan you are of each veggie, haha!  Add the barley, reduce heat, and simmer until everything's soft.  Then add the frozen corn and the beef and let it cook up to heat.  Spice it up with plenty of salt, a little pepper and paprika, some basil and a bay leaf (just remove it before eating!). If the soup is too thick (especially the leftovers) add a little more broth.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

hello again

So yeah, it's been a long while since I've said anything here.  Despite a dozen or so drafts that I had lined up to post when I stopped.  And I didn't intend to say anything here, but on a whim this morning (I should be getting ready for class) I decided to show my face.

By way of explanation for my absence.... Well, you may recall one of the last published posts said I was going to Mexico.  And I did.  When I came back...everything here seemed so...frivolous I guess?  At least, it was too much, posting every day like I was, and I had developed a sort of distaste for it.

Of course, I've had time to, you know, lose my perspective from this summer (sarcasm) and anyways I think this blog could be a lot more than what it has been.  Maybe not kill all of the fun frivolous things, but definitely tone it down...make it more worthwhile?

I don't know how often I'll post, but I've got stuff I'm thinking about, and I might try to share them.  So if you want to come along--subscribe/follow/all that.  Maybe I'll even formulate a plan!  Three times a week, maybe?

I'll see you back here soon.