This is a question people used to ask me really often. Then, when I became a mother, the question changed to, "How did you lose the baby weight?" Sometimes, these are just rhetorical questions, a way of saying, "I see you're thinner than I am, and that bothers me." (See Jessica's article "Stop Telling Me … Continue reading How do I stay so thin?
Here are four books I read to myself and two I read to my daughter Lydia in the past month. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty Nine people check into a ten-day wellness retreat in rural Australia. Three of them are a family, two others are a couple, but otherwise they've never met before. Each … Continue reading Books for Myself; Books to Read to my 5-year-old
Looking for something gluten-free to bring to a potluck? My family recently tested 4 varieties of gluten-free pasta and two pasta alternatives in my Sunflower Pasta Salad recipe. One of the alternatives that didn't work well was brown rice--the size and texture just aren't right for that recipe. But we had a recipe for a … Continue reading Brown Rice Salad
Once upon a time, there was a stuffed bear. It was a very soft bear, with shaggy white fur and a pink nose. It held a pink plush heart with a stiff taffeta ruffle around the edges, and on the heart was embroidered, Hug Me. The bear could never let go of that heart, for … Continue reading How Repurposing Brings Abundance
I haven't written any book reviews since January, but I've been reading! These books are very different from one another, but a lot of the covers have a certain color scheme. Beige isn't always boring! I really like some of these cover designs. Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham Rowan is a 21st-century teenager with a … Continue reading Beige Book Reviews
Earlier this year, I wrote about strategies for eliminating disposable plastic garbage from your daily life. Then we needed a paper document on the subject, to hand out at some showings of plastic-trash documentaries here in Pittsburgh. I made this, and people seem to like it! Click here to download "12 Easy Ways to Cut … Continue reading 12 Ways to Cut Back on Single-Use Plastic PRINTABLE
We may be able to look back on 2019 as the year when the most people realized just how stupid it is to destroy our own planet and started changing their own habits and crying out for systemic change. I certainly hope so. It's about time! In fact, it may be just about the last … Continue reading Now Is the Cool of the Day
This year I've been helping with a local challenge to reduce single-use plastics. My church hosted a screening of Plastic Paradise, a documentary I highly recommend for learning more about where plastic stuff goes when we throw it "away." Of course we wanted to serve some snacks to welcome people to our parish hall and … Continue reading Party Without Plastic! How to serve less trashy refreshments
This is a simple homemade version of the delicious "creamed spinach with cheese" dish popular in Indian restaurants. We've tweaked the recipe enough that it's become our own, and meanwhile the recipe we started from is no longer online. Paneer is a firm, white cheese you can buy at an Indian grocery store--it's the best … Continue reading Palak Paneer
Garam masala is an Indian spice blend available in bulk at the food co-op. We've often boiled green lentils with garam masala in a pot on the stove, as a high-protein main dish to go with whatever Indian vegetable dish we were making. Sometimes that's been kind of annoying, though, as the cooking time is … Continue reading Garam Masala Baked Lentils
I was raised Unitarian Universalist in Oklahoma. In theory, UU is a religion in which you can "build your own theology" and believe basically anything that works for you. In practice, Unitarians living surrounded by evangelical Christians (or rebelling against Catholic or Jewish childhoods) tend to be outspoken in their criticism of certain beliefs, so … Continue reading Pick Up the Receiver
Here are some upcoming events in our Challenge to reduce single-use plastic products in Pittsburgh: Tuesday, March 5, Allegheny County Council will consider a resolution on plastic reduction, 5:00pm at the City-County Building. Saturday, March 9, a "No Plastic, Please" Awareness Blitz will train volunteers to visit (the same day) restaurants in Squirrel Hill to … Continue reading Help Save Pittsburgh from Instant Garbage!
Here in Pittsburgh, we're having a challenge to reduce consumption of single-use plastic (SUP) products. If you live somewhere else, launch a challenge in your area! Even if you make it just your personal challenge to use fewer SUPs yourself and to ask the stores and restaurants you visit to stop pushing so many SUPs on … Continue reading Go Green in 2019: Cut Back on Single-Use Plastic!
Split pea soup is one of the first things we tried making when we got a slow cooker 5 years ago. We made a basic recipe with carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, and thyme, and it was okay, but only Daniel really liked it. I thought it was boring. Then I spotted a recipe for split … Continue reading Split Pea Curry Soup for Slow Cooker (vegan) (GF)
I recently read two novels translated into English, a book written in English that attempts to translate "boy world" into ideas parents can understand, and an English mystery with some parallels to the Swedish mystery I'd just read. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami, translated from Japanese by Alfred Birnbaum A young man finds … Continue reading Wild Sheep, Wingmen, and Dueling Detectives [book reviews]
Executive Summary: This is a C+ sauce. If you don't have time to make your own, this is better than no curry sauce at all. The flavor is not fabulous, probably because it's made with a lot of the wrong ingredients. My 14-year-old asked me to buy this sauce as a quick meal option, now that … Continue reading Trader Joe’s Thai Yellow Curry Sauce review
Like last year, this was a year in which The Earthling's Handbook drew more readers to the articles that have been here a long time (and therefore have been linked to more often, on other sites as well as in my own articles) than to new articles. The list of overall most-popular articles is so … Continue reading Top 18 Articles of 2018
We've had two cast iron skillets in our home for years, and we use at least one of them almost every day. This year, we inherited three more! That's what inspired me to collect a whole bunch of recipes for foods that cook well in cast iron. My friend Alison Frane (of Chickicheesinara Sauce fame) offered … Continue reading Magic Breakfast Burrito + 70 Things to Cook in Cast Iron
Three weeks ago, a man drove into my neighborhood, stormed into a synagogue, murdered eleven people, and shot and wounded several others. Well, that's old news. Why I am I still talking about it now, after there's already been a mass shooting of twelve people elsewhere in America? Because NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL, none … Continue reading The Tree of Life in the City of Steel
"Wildlife" sounds like something that lives out in the wild, right? We picture wildlife in the jungle, in the desert, or at least deep enough into the forest that it can't hear motors. But wild animals live in almost every acre of Earth's surface. Squirrels are wildlife. Ladybugs, ants, and even pigeons are wildlife. Leopards … Continue reading A Certified Wildlife Habitat in an Urban Churchyard