Project Monday

Yes, I realize you are reading this on Tuesday, but you see I have off on Mondays this summer so I’ve decided from now on Monday is Project Monday! This week I found  a recipe for kale chips and I have been craving kale for a few weeks now. Since my only other recipe for kale is to make it slimy and add rice I figured I might like this version.

Step 1- buy a ridiculous amount of kale, not realizing you will eat half of it during the lunchtime project.

This was about 1/3 of the amount of kale that I bought. Sales are sometimes not as beneficial as one would hope.

Step 2- spread the kale out over a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. The equal distribution of the kale is important. Or else it might take 20 minutes plus another 10 minutes later to get the kale to get crispy. Not that I know from experience. I got it perfectly right the first time around, obviously.

Step 3- You can’t really see how crispy they are or how much kale there was left to crisp. I eventually started adding spices to see how it worked.

Spice options:

1- mustard spice- ok, not spectacular. Next time I would probably add sea salt to it as well.

2- garlic- I inevitably put too much garlic powder on anything I make and then suffer through the meal. The same thing happened this time, but at least the house smelled yummy!

3- cajun spice- you know those spice combos you can buy? I used the cajun spice (sprinkled lightly after the garlic fiasco).  This was my second favorite flavor.

4- sea salt and oil. This one won out by a long stretch. The kale flavor was not overwhelmed and once I figured out how to get the chips crispy it was fantastic. If they aren’t crispy enough they get slimy and cold. And well that’s just not appealing.

Final Step- eating them! I may need  a break from kale for a few days because my entire lunch was taste testing kale chips. My roommate helped with the tasting and had similar favorites as well.

What’s your favorite healthy snack?

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Bike Lanes

Not everyone is as lucky as I am living in a bike friendly town. For example this guy got a ticket for not riding in a bike lane. But sometimes there are obstacles in the lane. What to do then? Make a video!

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Finding My Speed

As a music teacher I am constantly reminding my students to play their pieces at their own best speed. If they play a passage too fast their violin might not speak as well, or the phrasing might be muffled, or the character they have worked so hard to create is stifled. As I was plotting out this blog and project I realized I need to find my own speed. So far this speed is a walking speed. It is a bus riding, schedule following speed. I enjoy knowing when I will leave a location to catch the bus to go home. I can plan my day better than my frantic attempts to make a list and finish it before I could go home. Now there is a time limit set for me and I need to finish the tasks or let them go until the next opportunity I have to work on them. That rule goes for both work tasks and home tasks. Perhaps cleaning the bathtub right before I leave to go teach is not the best time. And the regularity of a bus schedule has reminded me to look for my own speed.

Organizing my schedule has also led to other unexpected benefits, namely time for hobbies. For the summer the list of projects now includes sewing, learning to play the piano with more than 5 fingers, scrap booking and writing. Ready for some pictures and project inspiration?

If you could take life at your best speed what would you change? Would you go faster or slower or perhaps stay the same?

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Lessons I’m learning from the Internet

By all means don’t get used to me posting more than once a day. I’m trying to keep this project reasonable. But as my roommate is having a quartet rehearsal in the living room and I’m on the porch searching the internet for interesting transportation tidbits, I found this article: Lessons We’re Learning Riding Mass Transit. I wish there was a way to leave a comment, but since there isn’t I will have to post it on my own blog.

 

I always assumed the very second I dreamt of having kids I would also have to get a car. Then I read this article about a family with 6 kids using mass transit. As a former nanny, I have to admit I shuddered a little. When I was watching the 3 kids on a regular basis we would go as far as those little legs would carry them. That was it. I was not going to herd cats on a bus. But I suppose if you make it a joyful game as the author suggests the cats or kids might follow directions.

 

The one point I didn’t agree with for my situation was the last one- “How to live with less control.” I think the fact that the transit system I use has a schedule helps. If I were just waiting for a bus that would show up every 15 -20 minutes when it felt like it, I would probably have trouble with letting go of schedule control. But following the transit schedule is easier for me than creating a schedule with the car.

 

I did however like the author’s third point- “How to deal with Humanity. ” As the introvert I tend to be around people I don’t know, that is probably the hardest lesson I will have to learn. Sometimes people are in my space, sometimes they smell different and sometimes I’m not sure they are all in the same reality I am currently occupying. But part of my adventure is to get out of my comfort zone and as small as this is, I think it’s a great place to start.

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True Costs of Owning a Car

Until I got to the point in my car ownership where the engine died and I did more google searching, I hadn’t really thought about what are the full costs of owning a car in a town with a great public transportation system. In many parts of the country and even with many of my friends here, NOT having a car is impossible. There are tight schedules, lack of public transportation, or items that need to be carried back and forth to work everyday which prevent a car less lifestyle. But for me the total cost of owning a car was far more than expected and frankly, needed, for my situation.

Some of the online tools to help people decide if a car less or car free situation is in their best interest are:

Edmonds.com True Cost to Own calculator. Sure their might be some magic in there, but put the numbers in and see.

Bikes at Work Inc. is a company which delivered goods to folks in their neighborhood. When the bike trailers were insufficient for the loads, they started to build their own trailers.  In addition to calculating what it costs to use a car, their calculator figures out what you could do with the money saved. If I had used this before my car died I’m pretty sure I would have attempted a car less lifestyle sooner.

Once you put your numbers into either of these calculators, did you rethink whether your situation warranted a car free lifestyle?

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Bike to Work Day

June is Bike to Work Month which was assigned by the people who designate what we are supposed to celebrate each month. I supposed they picked it out of a hat like their choice for April as Mathematics Awareness Month. Or it was that June usually has pretty good weather.

To celebrate this amazing month of biking to work our area holds many events, free breakfast stations and seminars about alternative ways to commute. What does your community do to promote secondary means of commuting in your area?

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Beer Bike Holder

This adventure has also led me to start researching fun bike items. For example you want to ride your bike and have a cold microbrew? Well here you go!

 

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