crunchy

Can you do #VEGAN without a Blender?

Eight years ago I had a beautiful food processor and an amazing blender. Now I have neither. The food processor had a date with the floor that ended in heartbreak. Every blender I have had since then has been burned out or dropped.

I miss pecan ground “meat”, nut cheeses I make myself and the ease of making cookie dough in a food processor. Smoothies, blender pancakes, and smooth mashed potatoes… The mashers broke my last blender.

Alas, it is fucking hard to go vegan without a blender and pretty rough without a food processor… That said if my rice cooker broke today I would cry.

However, it can be done.

So scratch the hummus and smooth creamy soups off the list. Seriously just buy Trader Joes Hummus, it is worth driving an hour to buy. Cut your veggies super small and push it through a sieve if you want a smooth soup.

Stick to whole foods and forgo the transition foods altogether. Start with the basics. Learn what food tastes like. Each vegetable and each grain have a unique flavor. Can you tell the difference between ground cinnamon and ground cardamom? Can you taste the difference between a yellow summer squash and a zucchini? What is the difference between a yellow, red or white onion? There are definitely differences.

Steam up some broccoli and cauliflower. Test a few different dressings.  Steam some cashews until fork tender and then use a knife to smash them with some roasted garlic,  a little salt, and NUTCH, then add a little olive oil and whisk. It is a killer simple sauce.

You don’t have a whisk? I recommend this one.   A good whisk can do amazing things when it comes to sauces. you can use it to make ranch, chia eggs, flax eggs, suds up the water to convince the kiddo to do dishes or splatter paint all over the house (More on that in a later post.)

Now as to the giant knife in the photo… Make sure you have at least three good knives, A paring knife, a bread knife and a good larger knife. I do almost everything with the beasty in the photo. I have a teeny tiny paring knife that kiddo uses and an old but amazing bread knife. I also have two other knives that keep showing back up in my kitchen when I have put them in the donation box a few times.

My brain is a little on overdrive right now so I will get back at yall later.

Peace, Love, and Great Vibrations,

Steffi AKA Ben’s Mom

#failure #coaching #autism – My challenge for this past February

I Hate Paperwork.

It gives me anxiety like no tomorrow.

I managed to put together every shred of paperwork in my house and then sat for the majority of the month just staring at the 3 large and one huge reusable bags overflowing with paper.

I avoided them… I.e. I did everything in my power to not be in the room with them.

So finally the last full weekend of the month I finally sat down to do the papers. I dressed in my nicest top, put on a pretty bra and my nicest jeans, I packed up the bags and drove to a friends house. Two cups of coffee, one sandwich, and one long-winded lecture later I began.

Eight hours later I was still going through the papers on their kitchen table. Two bags held files that had been sorted and organized; one with the taxes, hubby’s stuff, my stuff and all the other miscellaneous important stuff, the other bag was filled 4/5ths with Ben’s IEP’s and medical record. On the floor there was a large box was filled with papers I needed to sort into; recycle and shred.

I was one bag away from finishing my paperwork on my RESPITE day, when I got three texts.

“Come home please

Ben is missing

Hurry”

My heart hit the floor.
I dropped everything. Literally, I dropped the papers in my hand.  Bolting upright I ran for the door, the words, “Ben is missing,” came out as the screen door slammed. I drove down the street like a bat out of hell. There were cops in my neighborhood when I got there. No one told me what was going on.
Hubby was freaking out, Unicorn was walking down the street with a cop. I parked the car and started thinking like my son. The open gate across the street called to me and I walked through it. On the next street, I lost all signs of my son.
Panic set in. I walked down the street hollering that my son was missing and asking everyone on the street at almost 9 pm  if they had seen him and to help. I wanted to pull my hair out and scream and cry. How could either of the adults in my house have let him run off? How long had he been gone? What was I going to do if we didn’t find him? I walked almost twenty blocks as I circled back to the house.
“Has anyone gone down the hill?” I cried out to the police officer standing in my yard. I was trying to remember I I had put the flashlight back on the hook, praying that Ben hadn’t taken it or pulled the batteries out again.
“We found him”.
The panic eased and all I wanted was to hug my son. Then the rage hit me. “Where is he?”
D and Unicorn tried to half-heartedly stop me as I stormed into the house and down the stairs to my son’s room. I wanted to beat some sense into him, but I didn’t.
I marched my punk ass, two days away from being seven, son up the stairs to apologize and say thank you to the pretty shocked police officers. At that point, I found out how the police had been involved.
My half-naked son had wandered into the first unlocked house. The wonderful people figured out pretty quickly that kiddo was special-needs and called the police.
We were incredibly lucky that Ben was found safe and sound. Most kids with autism that wander off into dangerous situations.  Wandering AKA Elopement is terrifying. It also causes more paperwork to deal with.
Oh and if you are wondering my paperwork is still sitting… waiting for me to finish it. I’ll get back to it in a few days.
Untill Next Time,
Confession of a Special Needs Mom

#FinalisFinibusTractus – #scifi – #poetry #TheEntrusted

Alone,

on the oil-soaked beach,

a monk,

in bright orange robes.

and

a respirator

watched as thousands of streams of steam

diffused

in the red smog-choked sky.

 

 

The job had been described as a death sentence.

 

She volunteered.

 

Along with 10,000 machines,

eight hundred monks

and

four hundred scientists

together they

would bring back the garden

called

Earth.

 

~~~

SRWM

~~~

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#solutions #FinalisFinibusTractus #scifi #spacetalk #hubble #speculativefiction #reality

How Much Space Does an Individual Need on a Ship? Why?

So if you look at this question from a sociological and cultural perspective, as well as practical perspectives, this is a question that will take some exploring.  For the sake of keeping this a decent length, I will save my perspective on working for another post.

We can safely assume that every person will need a location to sleep, a location to eat, a location to store their possessions, communal entertainment space, a location to exercise and a location for bodily waste. When you take into consideration that each person will need both private/semi-private space as well as public space and storage space, the question becomes even more complex.

Proxemics varies from culture to culture.  A native of New York City has a different personal bubble than a native from rural Texas. In general, Texans have Huge personal bubbles and New Yorkers have much smaller bubbles. This is due to cultural differences based on the available space of their environment. If you want more info on the cultural aspects of personal space read this article from NPR.

The ISS (International Space Station) has the cubic volume of a Bowing 747 and holds hundreds of experiments and 6 crew members. In this case, space is relative because the experiments and equipment take up a lot of volume. Also remember that the majority of space is shared space. From the video I looked at each astronaut gets what looks like a sleeping bag and a small space for personal possessions… plus a few small areas around the ship for food and waste storage.

Toiletting can be consolidated for multiple people, people already share bathrooms in office buildings and homes. There are a few options in regards to actual toilet facilities, dry toilets AKA composting toilets and wet toilets, AKA conventional western shitters. Personally, I think that composting toilets that incinerate the waste will be the best solution because the matter that is left can be safely added to the soil in the food production area or added to the soil production for colonies.  Liquid waste can be processed for mineral separation and refiltered into plant production.

Greywater from bathing can also be used for washing clothes and growing food, provided it is treated. Showers are a necessity, and baths would be a luxurious communal affair. If ship inhabitants were to adopt the Japanese and Scandinavian bathing policies of steam and scrape, short shower then soaking, water consumption would be greatly reduced.

Options in regards to sleeping arrangements are endless, consider the crew cabins in any of the Star Trek series, many are spacious and could potentially hold whole families. The bunk rooms in Battle Star Galactica also offer a cramped but viable option. I have to question if communal bunks are a good idea or if pods like the Japanese pod hotels make the most sense. A major point to consider is; if part of the crew is in cryo,  if they are strictly a generation ship or if the ship is capable of rapid travel. If the crew is in cryo then they would only need enough space for the cryo unit, a small space for personal belongings and then the space for the skeleton crew, and a location to house the crew as awoken.

When it comes to food consumption it would be wise to only have food in certain areas. I believe that any ship needs a galley and a communal mess hall as well as a captains dining room for formal and planning events. This being said the space required for a mess hall will be determined by crew size, shifts, and duration of travel. Communal eating has an added bonus of reducing food waste, increasing moral and minimizing consumption in gluttons. If artificial gravity is produced on the ship I  would think an open salad bar and a school cafeteria style set up would work well, given much higher quality food. Or the tray setup that was seen in the Doris Day film,  That Touch Of Mink.

Considering that majority of the objects on the ship will be for public and communal use, I can see each person carrying two 30 quart tubs for their personal possessions. These could be housed in personal quarters or in storage facilities that are set up like warehouses.

In regards to entertainment and exercise, I feel that both are vital to psychosocial stability. Considering the recently release virtual reality headsets entertainment and exercise can be intermingled. I would still recommend movie nights and socials for people to congregate but VR marathons can be done on exercise bikes and treadmills (Check out this ISS astronaut attending a marathon from space).

Taking these points into consideration picking a number arbitrarily is silly. This is a design problem best left to the engineers. However, hypothetically 500 square feet (46.45 sq meters) is a good number for personal space if each family unit is given their own quarters, must cook for themselves and have personal Toiletting spaces. If the individuals are in strictly communal spaces then each person would need a minimum of 38 square feet of floor space and exceptionally well-designed storage space. Arbitrarily the space needed would be somewhere between 38 square feet and 500 square feet.

 

Talk to you again soon,

SRWM

 

 

#FinalisFinibusTractus #spacetalk #scifi #writingprompt #HumanRights

Honestly I think that both are vital to survival once we leave the planet. Air can be created in space, as can water. If you look at the first link you will see how breathable air is created on the ISS and the reclamation system in the last link talks about how the ISS gets its water.

In The Expanse(TV), a speculative fiction currently on Syfy, water is mined from the asteroid belt in the form of ice. It claims that water is more precious than air… In a way this is correct. On the ISS air is created by Electrolysis of water. I would be interested to see if any of the international space organizations or one of the commercial space companies can find a way to safely use the jettisoned hydrogen as part of a propulsion system. Also if there was a way to harness the methane that is produced by vegetation and human waste that could also be conceivable if used as a propulsion system.

 

 

#FinalisFinibusTractus – Grub Time

Food? Hum. Well I guess that depends on the type of ship we take and the amount of space we have to produce our own food.

As a space ship is an indoor self-contained facility without the benefit of a star at the correct distance, I imagine that the majority of our food will be grown using grow lights. Currently, there are lights that have a wide color spectrum which is vital for indoor plant growth.

What about growing mediums?

Hell we can grow green beans in an old boot with some dirt here on Earth but what will we use in space?

Soil is heavy so an aeroponic system might be the most efficient system but some plants have to have soil and will not thrive in any type of hydroponics. Their root structures are too fragile or complex to survive without a sub straight. If we want to have fish of any kind aquaponics might be a good solution.

I imagine variety might be an issue but then again, with enough space and ingenuity, seed wouldn’t be a huge problem. Between the seed vault in Norway, the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation and the thirteen other seed vaults I think we might have a decent chance of bio diversity.

Now if we can manage to build ships like the one with an ocean in it or one with a whole forest growing in it then we are talking a whole new ballpark. We could create an entire biome that housed not only humans but animals as well.

However, I would think that after a long time in space on a generation ship people would probably have evolved away from the current state of being omnivorous. Cryo-chamber people… I would guess still crave bacon to a large degree… unless the need to eat meat had been eliminated prior to travel. In which case I would wonder how and if humanity evolved to a point where they did not consume meat.

Back to the food forest. Insects would play a large role in the fertility of said forest unless you had an army of people to hand pollinate the biome. Personally, I would love to pack a hive of bees, a legion of grasshoppers, an army of caterpillars and a kaleidoscope of butterflies in the ship.

Honestly we will have to look at food production and consumption from a wholistic perspective.

 

#oblitusverba – #writingprompts – Word of the day – Deed

What are the deeds and responsibilities of a citizen?
It varies from culture to culture but in my head the biggest deeds a citizen can take are:
1. Vote or share your voice loudly
2. Learn to use a clipboard. (If you missed this live it is worth reading or listening to!)
3. Participate!
4. Feed and talk to your neighbors.
What does it take to fulfill a position in public service?
I live in The United States and I regularly listen to politicians. Right now I am wondering how certain people have been nominated for certain positions. One comedian said, “It is like all the nominations are being put in charge of things they hate.” That is a paraphrase and I can’t remember who said it but it seems true. Wouldn’t it be better to have public servants serving in areas that they are passionate about?

How many people need to follow through with their destiny?

Simply everyone should pursue their passions regardless of perceived obstacles. Those obstacles are the way to  the solution. Keep looking if you are hunting a passion and your personal destiny.
What will it take to do the multitude of deeds to achieve our ideal future?
(My humble opinion?)
Well if you want to get technical each person has an ideal future that is individualized. However, as a collective humanity is in search of an ideal future that is based on collective good, compromise, and individual freedoms.
Peace,
SRWM

#FinalisFinibusTractus -Is that apple poisonous? #scifi

209 people stood around the tree. It looked a lot like an apple tree from back home. The scientists were cutting open the bright red fruit. On was thinking, ‘Apple seeds are in our seed stock,  if this is close then apples may be a viable crop!’

The six children in the group were looking longingly at the red orbs.  “One whispered,”apple pie?” Myths from Terra. One child spoke, “Apples used to be given as gifts at the winter holiday called Christmas.” Another child laughed and said, “Stupid those were oranges.” Another asked, “What are oranges?”

The adults who were old enough to remember apple pies salivated at the memory. The apple trees in the upper New York Biome only produced half a dozen each season and only for seed stock.

“We need to draw lots.” It was the voice of the team leader. No one liked or trusted the guy. So far he had jumped every time they came across a native herbivore and whenever someone sneezed.

“Oh, I think the illustrious leader needs to taste it first. That is the medal of a true leader,”  the philosopher of the group spoke up.

The grandmother of the group spoke up, “Every one of us is valuable and I agree that we need to draw lots. Who else agrees?”

Only a few hands raised. Then the voices began to get louder

Unseen by the arguing adults the youngest child had shimmied up the tree. It was like climbing a fire escape but better. There were all kinds of places to grab ahold and pull up. He saw two animals in the tree that looked kind of like the serpents in his picture dictionary. He avoided them. He scooted out onto a thick branch and reached for one of the bright red fruit.  It was heavy. Smelled sweet. Licking the skin, he tasted air, water,  and something he had never known before. He took a small bite. It was good. Taking a bigger bite, he couldn’t help but laugh. It was like… he didn’t know. It was so sweet.

The boys laughter grew and the adults looked towards the tree some afraid and others curious. “I volunteer! They are really tasty. I’m going to eat another one!”

#poetry #oblitusverba – Word of the Day – passive

5

Passive

The mountains sit,

passive observers of the world.

They watch the feeble ministrations of humanity,

moving about like ants.

Some will build dwellings on the rocky face,

others will dig out ore.

Many will come and many will leave,

a blink in the time of the giant.

Passive in humanities eyes,

The mountains feel timeless and unchanging,

Yet they are dynamic,

Their time moves in a completely different scale.

That rock-slide took minutes yet was a fraction of a single heart beat in the life of the mountain.

It’s birth took millions of years.

We humans are but a fraction of a fraction of an instant in the mountains existence.

I have to wonder… A #parenting #reflection

I have to wonder… A #parenting #reflection

Recently a politician in the USA said she feared for her grandchildren’s future. She spoke of the environment and climate change. When the ice sheets melt and the ocean changes, changing the weather what will we do? Our children will on day face problems we can barely imagine. Speculative fiction is one of the ways we as adulting adults can look for solutions. Reflecting on life now and viewing it from a new perspective gives us more to work with.

I often find myself saying, “I have to  wonder…” The thought of wonderment and exploration fill my mind and as I watch my son I have to wonder. I wonder about the beautiful things he can and may create if given the opportunity. I wonder what technology he will have that I can’t even imagine right now. I wonder if he will marry. I wonder if he will build or paint or play with numbers and words.  I wonder where he will be safe and if he will be able to live on his own.

 

My son is tenacious, imaginative and a problem solver by nature. He has also died a number of times. I credit his desire to explore and push every boundary that he encounters to having so many near death experiences before the time he turned one. He can take anything apart with a screwdriver and enough time. Then he will lego the pieces back together in odd ways to create what he wants or needs. His imagination is vast yet he is only now finding that words have meaning.

I started reading to him the first time I could get to the NICU.  I was on book 18, full chapter books. I remember the day I was told he was deaf. Ink Heart… I never finished it. I couldn’t bring my voice back. He suffered for my pain, even though I do the best I can that event traumatized me.

His visual primer included Curious George and Cosmos. Now he watches science documentaries with his father. He watches the ice melt. He watches species go extinct. He watches fires burn and hurricanes destroy the planet. Yet he carefully watches the universe.

So I have to wonder what his life will be like in four years. I have to wonder… What will he push me to create? What will the ripples create?

I have to wonder, “What steps will be taken from here onwards to give him a home worth being proud of?”

#NICU

#SCACETALK

#parenting

#climatechange

#imagination

#questionstohumanity

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