sunrise over swamps

sunset over melancholy seas

NaPoWriMo + ReWild

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April 2014 is shaping up as a month of personal challenges: namely, Napowrimo* (National Poetry Writing Month) and the We Are Wildness Rewild Challenge** (30 minutes a day for 30 days of deliberate, purposeful outdoor time). So far, so good.

Rewild comes with daily prompts, if you sign up for their emails. Today’s task was to spend time with a tree. I was rewarded for my efforts with getting close to a flock of crimson rosellas. (See the above photo – if you notice the flash of red feathers amongst the leaves, that’s a rosella!)

*www.napowrimo.net
**www.wearewildness.com/30-day-challenge.html

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Is it March already?

I am amazed to see that my last post on here was November 2013. I can account for my absence: life got crazy. Really crazy. Between pulling the mini-mes out of their school, getting a kitten (thus proving to all that I am, indeed, the crazy cat lady I threatened to become), moving house, Christmas (the less said, the better) and just about everything else that life could throw at me in one summer, little things like “blogging” and “maintaining a social life” were thrown out the window. Things have barely settled but I am starting to find moments to waste time on iPhone games: between Tiny Death Star and Townsmen I have effectively drained my time to the point where I am eating, sleeping, and adding levels to an 8-bit space station with the weaponry to annihilate planets, or taxing angry little cartoon villagers while forcing them out into the snow to harvest wood.

 

As always happens when I go on a bit of a gaming frenzy, real life creeps in and eventually shakes me by the shoulders and cries, “You’re wasting time!” So, I reluctantly set aside the tantalising glow of the iPhone screen. Let’s face it, after I dropped my relatively new 5C in the toilet a few weeks back it hasn’t really glowed that much anyway. (I put it in a sealed ziplock bag with desiccant sachets, and that seemed to help. As did sticking it in a ziplock bag full of ground psyllium – though the psyllium gets everywhere!) I picked up some books that were sitting in a pile after we moved house. Ignoring the boxes that are yet to be unpacked, I have managed to make a good start on a few books. I hope to maybe review a few on here.

 

I follow the Anne Rice Facebook – I have done since I first joined the social networking site in 2007. And I notice that she is part of a campaign to get rid of trolls on book review sites. It’s such a good idea. I have generally only given reviews for books I actually read and liked – there’s no need to turn every corner of the Internet into a cesspool of human misery. I do have eclectic tastes – at the moment my bedside table has poetry manuals, fantasy novels, a Star Wars Expanded Universe guidebook (always Star Wars), and a book about historical Christian views of heaven and hell. If I can get onto it, and seeing as I often do Facebook status reviews of the books I’m reading anyway, perhaps it’d be nice to bring that back to the land of blog – where they might reach people that are actually interested. And I won’t be out to bully any authors!

 

In music news: I have been listening to classical music radio, folk metal, and iTunes radio. Also, if you like metal with an Aussie flavour, look at AndrewHaug.Com, an online heavy music radio station. In film and tv news: normally my response is, “I haven’t heard of it,” as generally I find the passive attention span necessary to watch tv is beyond me – I’d much rather be getting a high score in a video game! But I have been watching a lot of Star Trek. This, folks, is what happens when a Star Wars fan-woman (me) marries a Star Trek geek. We even went as far as naming our new kitten Commander Riker. I feel like such a traitor! 😉

 

I also recently helped set up a new little blog for someone I know, and you can check it out at Middle England Earth Art.

 

 

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Clues that there may be a vegetarian in your household

It occurred to me that anyone on the standard Australian / Westernised diet (and by diet I mean pattern of eating, typical modes of consumption, not “weight-loss”) would probably find my pantry and bookshelves a little odd. We have four vegetarians in the house, adults and children, and as we journey along the path of plant-based eating, we have progressed to the point where our cupboard is full of some interesting grocery items. These are things that I had never heard of when I first gave up eating meat back in 1995. Since then I have learned a lot more about eating well as a vegetarian. Part of that has meant adjusting to eating foods I may not have considered in the past.

With no further ado, here’s a little photographic tour of some parts of my house, that may be the giveaway that vegetarians live here. I took all the photos on 19 July.

Clue, Number 1:

A box of fruit, veggies, sprouted bread and raw chocolate is delivered to your door by a guy from biodynamic produce suppliers.

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Organic and Biodynamic Veggies

Clue, Number 2:

There are bits of animal rights paraphernalia scattered around the house.

Sea Shepherd Badges

Sea Shepherd Badges

Clue, Number 3: 

Everyone’s kindle contains vegetarian and environmentalist books.

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Moby Duck, Kindle

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Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day – Kindle

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Artisan Vegan Cheese – Kindle

Clue, Number 4:

The milk compartment of the fridge only holds oat milk, soy milk and/or almond milk. The egg compartment contains plant-based food colourings and containers of dairy-free probiotics.

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Plant Based Milks

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Plant Based Food Dyes, Probiotics

Clue, Number 5:

One of the members of the household successfully made vegan cheese based on the recipes in the Artisan Vegan Cheese book. It is a fascinating process involving sprouting legumes or grains, forming a culture, and using cashews or other nuts.

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Homemade Vegan Cheese

Clue, Number 6:

Malt extract and peanut butter on toast is considered a valid snack option.

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Malt Extract

Clue, Number 7:

You went to university with the intention of getting your degrees in school teaching and journalism. You came out with a degree in environmental sociology, instead.

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Environmental Sociology

Clue, Number 8:

Your bookshelf has books on plant-based nutrition, animals, food gardening, and the environment for fun – not for the aforementioned university studies.

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Books on Food

Clue, Number 9: 

You actually read the ingredients on wine to make sure it wasn’t filtered through animal products… (It’s really common to find fish, milk or eggs in the early stages of the wine-making process.)

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“Suitable for vegetarians and vegans” Wine

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Yalumba Wine

Clue, Number 10:

Your pantry has these sorts of ingredients and dietary supplements… Raw sprouted protein powder (also a clue that at least one athlete lives here), quinoa, Celtic sea salt (a good source of minerals), yeast flakes (nutritional yeast), lentils, agar, maca powder, apple cider vinegar, algal omega 3 (why eat fish when you can just eat the food that the fish eat?), chia seeds, organic cold pressed coconut, methylcobalamin spray (it’s a B12 supplement that the body is able to absorb more readily than cyanocobalamin B12, so I’m told), seaweed sheets, quinoa energy bars, and organic and Fair Trade herbal teas.

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Vegan and Vegetarian Ingredients

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Vegan and Vegetarian Ingredients

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Vegan and Vegetarian Ingredients

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Organic Chamomile Tea

Clue, Number 11:

Bowls of sprouting legumes can usually be found in the kitchen at any given time.

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Sprouting Lentils

Clue, Number 12:

You realise you’ve subscribed to a number of e-newsletters and video channels with names like NutritionFacts.Org, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Dr McDougall’s Health and Medical Center.

  • As we read in the 2013 edition of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Dietary Guidelines (Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council, page 35), appropriately planned vegetarian and vegan diets are considered valid eating patterns for healthy Australians at all stages of life. (Accessed 19 July 2013.)

Books shown here include:

  • Slaughter of the Innocent by Hans Ruesch.
  • Creation – Chance or Design? by David Tyler – an interesting Bible study about the Biblical book of Genesis. Shown here because it has a good chapter on a Christian framework for environmentalism.
  • Food For Life by Neal Barnard.
  • The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.
  • Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli.
  • Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal by Rosemary Stanton. An Australian nutrition book, not strictly vegetarian.
  • Big Vegan by Robin Asbell
  • Thrive: The vegan nutrition guide to optimal performance in sports and life by Brendan Brazier
  • The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates and Linda Schatz (not vegetarian, but a useful guide to probiotics)
  • The Death of Nature by Carolyn Merchant
  • Environmental Sociology by John Hannigan
  • Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature edited by Greta Gaard
  • Ecofeminist Philosophy by Karen J Warren
  • A Whale Hunt by Robert Sullivan
  • Nature and Social Theory by Adrian Franklin
  • Moby Duck by Donovan Hohn
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