Resolutions Pot Pourri


What are you cooking this weekend?  Many of us have New Year’s resolutions related to our health.  Weekends can be a good time to cook up a big batch of healthy food.  That way, you’ve got it on hand (in the freezer or the fridge) on those weeknights when you get home late, tired, hungry, and facing a bunch of chores.  I’m continuing to work through the recipes in Clean Soups:  Simple, Nourishing Recipes for Health and Vitality by Rebecca Katz .  This week, I’m trying her recipe for Kitchari Soup.  Ms. Katz explains:

Head to India and Pakistan, where they’ve been practicing Ayurvedic medicine for 5,000 years, for detoxing and improving memory.  Kitchari, which means “mixture,” is a thousand-year old staple, and its really quite simple, traditionally being made with basmati rice, mung beans, and ghee.  I’ve kicked it up quite a bit, adding onion, ginger, cauliflower, coriander, turmeric, and cumin.  The result is the spice mixture of a dal combined with kitchari’s texture.

I’m omitting the rice because I’m trying to cut out low-fiber carbs.  I’m going to add chopped up sweet potato, instead.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Please permit me to climb back up on one of my favorite soap boxes.  National politics are important and I certainly spent some time this week celebrating the Big Blue Wave that has washed over Washington, D.C., as Speaker Pelosi and a host of newly-elected Democrats (many of them women, and some of them also people of color, Native Americans, LGBTQ people, etc.) were sworn into office.  If you worked to bring this about, please give yourself a pat on the back and take some time to simply enjoy what you achieved.  Whether you did magic, wrote postcards, canvassed, donated, registered voters, made phone calls, or simply showed up to vote — you helped save America.

But we can’t focus solely on national politics.  Hopefully, while you were in the voting booth you also voted in good people for local offices such as county or town council, governor, sheriff, the zoning board, etc.  The Blue Wave extended to those offices, as well.  As you turn your focus to how you’ll be involved in 2019 (an election year for some of us; my state will be electing delegates and senators to our state legislature and there are a number of county races, as well; the beginnings of the 2020 race for others), please consider how to get involved at the local level.

Here’s a list of simple things you can do to improve your local community.  A number of the items on the list relate to using public transportation whenever possible.  A few others include:

Speak at City Hall in support of something good for your community and city, rather than just going to oppose things.

Take every opportunity you can to participate in civic life. Linger in and enjoy good parks, places, and streets every day, not just during special events. Your very presence and engagement adds life, vitality, and safety to a place, and helps them be more enjoyable for everyone.

Tell your elected leaders that you insist on real action on homelessness, starting with actual homes and supportive services, whether you can see its effects in your neighborhood yet or not. Remember that this is about human values, not property values. Remind them that providing homes for the homeless actually saves us all public money.

Support local arts and culture with your feet and dollars every day, so you won’t have to fight to save them when they’re under threat of closure. Support local stores and services, especially those like bookstores and theaters that not only support the local economy more than chains, but also contribute to local culture and character.

Plant a tree in your front yard, and fight for street trees on your street, in your neighborhood, and across your city. There are literally dozens of ways they make life better in cities.

I’m definitely planning to speak in favor of measures I want, to support local culture, and to spend more time at my local parks, library, and historical society.  What will you do?  What other items would you add to the list?

Do your resolutions include spending more time reading real books and less time hitting refresh on the internet?  Mine do.  Had dinner this week with Mrs. Whatsit and came away, as I always do, with several titles to add to my list.  She recommended Dope Sick and several others.  I’m also adding Martin Shaw’s  new book, The Night Wages.

The Night Wages by Martin Shaw from Martin Shaw on Vimeo.

What’s on your list?  What have you recently enjoyed?

Picture found here.


5 responses to “Resolutions Pot Pourri

  1. We just started a feminist reading group at my town’s library. 😃

  2. That’s another book Mrs. Whatsit mentioned. Not sure I can read it w/o getting too angry at this point. Please consider The Chalice and the Blade for your group. I think it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for recommending people read The Chalice and the Blade! I think that a deeper understanding of how patriarchy become established is crucial for dismantling it. The book’s language is slightly out of date now as Riane Eisler wrote it before there were words like transgender, non-binary, etc. However, she acknowledges this now and her current work is excellent.

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