This day started badly for me…disappointment with the way a meeting went with a group I cherish. Apprehension about facing a much loved family member with fear. With the help of friends and space, things can turn around. I found this poem by Thomas Merton on the On Being blog .

“There are days when I am convinced that Heaven starts already, now, in this ordinary life, just as it is, in all its incompleteness, yet, this is where Heaven starts. See within yourself, if you can find it.
I walked through the field in front of the house, lots of swallows flying, everywhere! Some very near me. It was magical.
We are already one, yet we know it not.”

~Thomas Merton (via crashinglybeautiful)

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Photo from above Hilo. I love flying above Hilo.

One of the best things about making corned beef and cabbage for Saint Patrick’s Day is having the leftovers to make red flannel hash.

Sauté chopped onions, celery and fennel. Then add blanched, cubed potatoes, cooked cubed beets and cut up corned beef. Add herbs to taste.

It’s fantastic served topped with an over easy egg!

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IMG_9687Ryan Peters taught a fabulous workshop in Volcano on fermentation. It was a fabulous learning experience and FUN! He took your fear of fermentation away by demonstrating the art with ease. It was interesting to see the variety of kraut chi (sauerkraut/kim chi hybrid) that everyone created from the same selection of vegetables. We selected from head cabbage, carrots, won bok, round onions, green onions, jalapenos, beets, turmeric, ginger, green onions, radishes, turnips…yes, you can use them all…and more!

We all used salt for the initial breakdown of the vegetables. Mashing them with our hands or other available tools (such as a handy carrot).

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We packed our mixtures into canning jars. Ryan said that the type with a narrow mouth is better as it will help keep the veggies below the water line.

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He talked about all the good things the fermented veggies do for your gut…and they are super delicious. The first photo in this post shows the variety of colors, textures and tastes that our small group created.

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For more information from Ryan, check out his blog: Ferment to Be:

http://fermentedherbs.blogspot.com/

He’s got some classes coming up:

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I wanted to learn more so I purchased the Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, one of the books that Ryan shared.

IMG_0162 I’m teaching iPhone camera workshops and loving every minute. I promised the most recent class that I would give them a list of apps that we talked about in class as well as apps that we didn’t have time to cover. This is a short list of the apps I use most often. Please feel free to add any that you’ve discovered in the comments. With so many apps out there, there is much to explore. It’s so exciting!

Camera+ (be sure to get the one made by Tap Tap) – This is the best camera app that I’ve found. It’s good for processing (cropping, straightening, correcting exposure and color), has pretty good effects with good controls. I use this app in place of the camera app that comes with the iPhone because it has so much more functionality.
Pro HDR – Best app I’ve found for HDR (high dynamic range). When the scene has a dark foreground and bright background, this app takes two photos and combines them. You can use this for some cool double exposure effects.
Snapseed – Does a pretty good job of an HDR treatment even if you don’t use the app to take the shot. Has some great filters for a distressed look.
Waterlogue – A favorite of a famous football coach who took the class. Turns your photos into a watercolor painting. If you have an image you love that’s not technically perfect, try Waterlogue to give it a different look and forgive the imperfections.
AristaOil – This is good one for an oil painting look.  Maintains more detail than Waterlogue.
Blender – Easy to use to combine two images. Just import the two images to combine and adjust the opacity to your liking.
Photogene2 – For processing – has cool collages and effects. It also will watermark your photos (that makes it harder for thieves to steal your masterpieces).
Book-making apps for the iPhone or iPad:
SimplePrints ($29.99 for 20 pages) or Mosaic ($20 for 20 pages – shipping is $10). Mosaic makes a cool-looking mosaic cover. SimplePrints will give you more control – you can put multiple images on a page.
Lenslight – This app has great flares and colored filters, bokeh lights and the effects are editable.
Instaeffect – Layers rainbows, colors over the photo and you can adjust the opacity. Very fun!
Shapely – Put an image in a heart or teardrop, add texture and color.
Flipagram – make mini video clips from your photos, choose your music and share.
PixlrExpress+ – Free app that has a fun interface. Periodically, it has seasonal graphics packs that are also free – like Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year. Use it when you want to add text to your photo.
Tangent – Adds geometric shapes.
Slow Shutter Cam – Use this for slow shutter effects – long exposures and light trail effects.

I also promised a link to the iPhone case with the strap that I adore. It’s http://www.bandolierstyle.com. I wish I had thought of this.

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I love Brain Pickings by Maria Popova. Her posts are so very interesting. This one is one of my favorites.

David Ogilvy is writings are much admired by many (and me.) Here’s practical advice most of us can benefit by.

“The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well.

Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.

Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:

  1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
  2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize,demassificationattitudinallyjudgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
  5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.
  6. Check your quotations.
  7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.
  8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
  9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.

If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.

David”

I’ll be sharing more of my favorite posts from this site..Or check it out yourself for some really interesting reads.

I’ve always said that procrastination is part of my creative process. It’s an excuse to, well, procrastinate.

I want to write in a journal…daily. But I procrastinate. It’s January 3 and I’ve got a brand new beautiful journal. Beautiful blank pages..still…waiting…

Posting favorite photos from 2013 is another thing on my want to do list. I guess I better begin before we get further into 2014.

The other day David Whyte posted an essay called Procrastination from The Reader’s Circle essay series. Wow! My Dad always told me that I could find an article to support anything I believed. Here it was…there is an upside to procrastination!

Here are parts that especially resonate with me:

“Procrastination, when studied closely, can be a beautiful thing: a parallel with patience, a companionable friend, a revealer of the true pattern, already, we are surprised to find, caught within us; acknowledging for instance, as a writer, that before a book can be written, most of the ways it cannot be written must be tried first, in our minds; on the blank screen, on the empty page or staring at the bedroom ceiling.”

“Procrastination does not stop a project from coming to fruition, what stops us, is giving up on an original idea, because we have not got to the heart of the reason we are delaying, because we have not let the true form of our reluctance instruct us in the way ahead.”

And I love the way he signs it:
“Studying the nature of our own reluctance can be a strangely illuminating act. Procrastination was written on a flight from Seattle to San Diego, Jan 26th 2011, the lights of Los Angeles on one side, a dreamy sunset over the Pacific on the other, after finding myself practicing the subtle art of delay with regard to that enormously difficult task: the simple act of getting my laptop out of my bag and onto the tray in front of me.”

To read the article in its entirety, here is a link to a downloadable pdf:
http://www.davidwhyte.com/pdf%20files/Readers_Circle/Procrastination.pdf

 

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The blank journal…waiting

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