Five Things Friday: where I assemble assorted favorites, oddities, announcements, discoveries, random thoughts, life tidbits and whatever else wasn’t quite long enough for a real post.
This week’s randomness: best tool for cherry season, greening the desert, my favorite place to sit – always – iceberg lassoing, and more.
Tool I Am Beyond Grateful For: My Cherry Pitter
In addition to the nice harvests from my own trees, the good people at the Washington State Fruit Commission send me a giant, 18-pound box of dark sweet cherries late last week.
Now, I’m very grateful for the free cherries, and I’m excited to share some of my creations with you next week, but – as always – the real champion of cherry season is my Norpro Cherry Pitter.
I’ve mentioned this cherry pitter before. I think I’ve mentioned it for five out of the past six Julys, actually. I went back and checked – I bought the thing in 2012 (see below). I still use it, still love it, still recommend it, and still wouldn’t want to be without it for bulk cherry processing.
One Weird Thing About Me
In libraries, cafes, restaurants – pretty much any place where I might sit in public – I am a zillion times happier if my back is to the wall and I’m facing out, into the room. Seated in a corner with two walls at my back is even better!
This is probably a sign of something psychologically damning, but screw it, at this point I’m too old to be bothered about it. I’ve always been happier tucked in a corner and looking out and expect I always will be.
What I’m Reading: Article Roundup
Articles and miscellany from around the web that I came across recently. If it’s on this list I nodded slowly, chuckled ruefully, or tut-tutted softly as I read it.
I Can Tolerate Anything Except the Outgroup (Slate Star Codex) “Outgroups may be the people who look exactly like you, and scary foreigner types can become the in-group on a moment’s notice when it seems convenient.” Very interesting longform essay about ingroup and outgroup tribal affiliation, and how this applies to US bubble politics.
How to protect offshore oil platforms from roaming icebergs (The Economist) The subtitle on this article is “It is best to lasso them” and that just says it all. The article describes the work of ships that intercept and divert icebergs that threaten shipping and oil platforms in the North Atlantic. Apparently there are both more oil platforms and more icebergs in that part of the world lately. Somebody cue Alanis Morissette.
The Artful Propaganda of Soviet Children’s Literature (Atlas Obscura) Not enough coverage of Russian propaganda in your life? I’ve got the solution. This is a look at vintage, early Soviet children’s books featuring the Cotsen Children’s Library collection at Princeton University.
Video I Like: How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change with Allan Savory
In this TED talk Allan Savory discusses the global increase in desertification – the transition of marginal shrub and grass land into full-on dessert. He covers the causes, impact, and the solution to this ecological problem.
What I’m Pondering: Being Present
“Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is life itself, it is an insane way to live,” said Eckhart Tolle.
Be less insane is a life goal I can relate to. Turning off the brain-chatter and living in the moment isn’t something I’m naturally good at. On a friend’s recommendation I’m listening to the audio version of The Power of Now at the…uh…present moment. Shit. I think I just screwed that moment up.
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Ok, friends, that’s it for this week’s Five Things Friday. Hope your weekend is awesome. Don’t get sunburned – wear a big floppy hat!
Nancy Sutton says
Again… right on the nail head! 🙂 Since reading ‘Power of Now’ nine years ago, I’ve been searching for someone else who experienced what I did. A frustrating zippo until this past year, when some have miraculously surfaced within driving distance 🙂 … and now theirs you!
I’ve purchased everything you’ve recommended, including the cherry pitter… what is more precious (and $$ saving!) than a recommendation from a ‘doer’ who’s tested the field.
Yes, Savory is another reason for hope 🙂 For the vegan backlash, he suggests not eating the livestock… just let them live their natural lives, which includes regenerating the soil! (I’m looking forward to reading ‘Drawdown’.. )
Now, on to the other brilliant ‘notices’…. fine minds 🙂 and I believe there are far more brilliant minds than the MSM wants us top know about! (This is probably my favorite of your ‘gifts’ …. thx)
That cherry pitter is amazing–we have the same one and I totally agree on your recommendation. On year three of our sour cherry tree I knew the one-at-a-time hand tool and/or paper clip trick was not going to cut it. This year we’re heading towards 30 pounds (from one little tree!) and it makes processing these little gems so much easier. Not a gadget-y person but when it comes to giant harvests the right tool is such a lifesaver.
I love these musings! Thanks for sharing what’s on your mind this week!
I hate unsolicited advice, so this definitely isn’t intended in that vein…. I read a book last summer called Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist, and your comments about the present moment reminded me a lot of her book. Just thought I’d share the title in case anyone wanted to look into it. The book is a collection of short essays, and the basic theme is not letting a desire for perfection, whatever the heck that looks like for you, detract from living in the present. (Heads up- she’s a Christian writer, so the book does have some religious tie-ins and undertones, but I do think the basic ideas are applicable for people from any faith/non-faith, background.)
Here’s a link that has an excerpt of the book, for anyone who’s interested in checking it out. http://www.zondervan.com/present-over-perfect
Your little blurb about being present and “screwing it up” made me LOL. I can so relate as I too am trying to be more present using yoga, mindfulness, and meditation to assist me. I’m making progress but it’s slow and I’ve slipped back in the past couple of weeks. The one nugget of advice I’ve heard from my teachers is this: Be Kind to Yourself and Don’t Judge Yourself. That keeps me going. As long as you’re making an effort, no matter how small it may be…..You are making progress. Namaste 🙂
Nancy Sutton says
Absolutely… as Dan Harris said in his quick how-to on mindfulness meditation (’10 % Happier’ book.. a good one for agnostics, btw), don’t fret about the ‘endless thoughts’… every time we return to ‘here & now’, we are strengthening our ‘meditation muscle’…. win-win! Mine should be very strong by now ; )
Your recommendation for the cherry pitter came just in time – I snagged the last one at Amazon!
Cool articles, thanks!
After pitting 10lbs of cherries this morning with my lackluster one-at-a-time cherry pitter, I’ve added your pitting suggestion to my birthday list.
I also like to sit with my back to the wall when in public. My spouse jokes that I’m worried about my gambling debts, afraid a gunslinger will come in the door after me.
There is an interesting article in the Utne Reader about Allan Savory’s theory–worth checking out.
I love that cherry pitter. We borrowed one from a friend a few years ago and finally had to get our own. It is THE best.
Neta Courcey says
I watched the Savory talk with such excitement and hope. Then my dearest skeptic husband sent me this from the Sierra Club. Sobering thoughts. I think Allan is well meaning and there may be some applications but there are problems. Darn, I so wanted it to be the solution. Thanks as always Erika for thought provoking watching and reading. Neta
Damn, that’s….sad, actually. Like Fox Mulder, I want to believe. 🙁
Neta Courcey says
OOps here is the link.
Nancy Sutton says
Re: Savory, I’d suggest reading the comments on the linked Sierra article, including listings of the prominent soil scientists who support his proposals. It appeared to me that the article’s author had a definite agenda…. as I also found when researching anti-Savory essays, and typically vegan ties surface. (BTW, even Elliot Coleman is adding a cow to his market garden farm, specifically for the health of the environnment… can provide a link, if desired 😉
Just wanted to say thank you for that article on outgroups. It was incredibly thought provoking, and I shared it with my friends. It’s making sense now how we get into such intractable bubbles and why it’s so hard to get out. And it is really difficult to have someone point out the language that we blues use and how much it hinders rather than helps. Recognizing there’s a problem is the first step to fixing the problem, though, and I’ll be working to retrain myself. Please keep sharing stuff like this, and please keep writing 5 Things Fridays. They’re always so much fun to read!
Thanks for this, Karen. Honestly, I appreciate this feedback. I had a similar reaction to this article but I am so hesitant these days about saying or sharing things that could be read as political.
Erica, I think it’s perfectly normal and actually advisable to sit with your back to the wall/facing doors. You are not alone :).