Writer and plant addict, sharing both.
1718 words
https://listed.to/@tda233066@tda233066

Thanksgiving 2020

As I sit here in my thoughts this Thanksgiving. I would like people to realize that whichever imaginary side they may be on at this time, you are not as right about everything as you may think you are. And those people you consider on the opposite side are not necessarily right either. And both of you may very well be more wrong than you think. Let alone you, I, and them all think a little different from each other. This is what I consider diversity in thought. So, between you, I, and them we strike a balance that hopefully guides us all a little further in the right direction.

You see, you, I, and them are all neighbors inhabiting the same little spot in the cosmos. So, I'm not saying change all your thoughts, just consider if there maybe isn't something better. Then discuss it with you, I, and them. Through listening, empathy, and a lot less shouting we may all just make this place better than it was when we arrived. Remember, none of this is ours alone. We all share it and will be leaving it to the many who come after you, I, and them are long gone.

Standard Notes for Writers

For a couple years now I have been a Standard Notes user. It is a great secure and open source note taking app. Lately I have changed how I use it though. Instead of taking regular notes with it, I have changed it to be my standard writing platform. It actually fits to this task pretty well. This is how I have it setup.

I install the following extensions:

  • Markdown Pro Editor - This is a great markdown editor that has side by side preview included.

  • Folders - this helps me stay organized, here is a view of how you could set it up.

  • Quick Tags - It may sound confusing, but this helps me place what I'm writing in the correct folders. In Standarnotes folders are just a representation of tags put into a structure.
  • Action Bar - This gives me word count, paragraph count, character count, and estimated read time.
  • No Distraction - This is just like the many other no distraction themes for other services. It puts my writing area full screen with everything else hidden. This is easily toggles on and off with a mouse click here is a peek at it.

  • The Autobigraphy theme - this is just a nice look that is easy on the eyes.
  • Cloudlink - this lets me link to onedrive, google drive, dropbox, or webdav for backups and versioning of my notes. (Standardnotes promises to keep versions for 100 years, which I can honestly say is more time than I need.)

So putting this all together you have a pretty good writing setup with plenty of redundancy in backups for very little money. I believe if you pay for five years up front it is only $2.50 a month. It does have mobile apps also.

And I saved the best for last. There is one extension I did not mention. Your looking at it now. It's called Listed. Listed is a blog platform built into Standardnotes. Now it is not the most feature full platform out there. It is nice, simple, and clean. You can tweak it some if you know basic web programming. But it is nice just like it is.

So this is a great package to store and publish your writing. For the price I really think it's a no brainer if your still looking for that right platform for yourself.

Family shortbreadish buttercookies.

My family made these cookies every year for Christmas throught my youth. We would spend a whole evening decorating them, creating 15-20 dozen cookies on the spot.

Recently I have started making them again. Not as much for the holidays, but to replace Peppridge Farm Chessmen or Walkers Shortbread. Oh what a mistake that was. Now I find myself making a smaller batch 2 times a week. Luckily they are so easy and since we have them with our coffee or tea in the house they don't get decorated. So here is the recipe as my mother gave it to me.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter - I use Kerrigold Salted Butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt !!! only if you don't use salted butter !!!
  • 3 cups flour

Instructions

  1. Combine butter vanilla and sugar in a bowl and beat till creamy
  2. add 1 tsp water and the egg and continue beating till light and fluffy.
  3. add baking powder and flour and mix in. It will look crumbly
  4. At this point, if you are doing some sort of holiday cookie you can break the dough up and color it with food coloring of choice, I leave it plain these days.
  5. work the dough into balls and wrap with foil. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350
  7. Roll out your dough and cut out cookies.
  8. Place cookies on greased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on if you want the crispy or light.

Notes
I have experimented with thickness. I've been rolling them out at 3/8 thickness. It seems to get me a little lighter soft cookie. Go thinner if you want crispy.

Recipe makes about 6 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

How To Make a Plant Love You - review

So I finished reading Summer Rayne Oak's book "How to make a plant love you". I really thought I would be a how-to book of sorts. Instead I was surprised by a very insightful look on plants and our relationships with them. I really did enjoy it.

This book dives deep into knowing the how, where, and why of plants without throwing a bunch of jargon at you. Instead it leaves the discovery of that to the reader. It makes you ask why do I want this plant? or more importantly, am I right for this plant? Will we be bffs so to speak, and it makes you understand why you need to ask those questions.

The last couple of chapters did have some of that how-to type of information. But not to much. This book ended up being more of a self help book than a houseplant guide. As I think of it now, having read it. I am very happy it is that way. Every plant book I own is much more in that tutorial or guide style. This was so very refreshing.

So if your a plant geek, check it out for sure.

New plant dad

New plant dad

I am new to this whole plant thing. About four months ago our family pulled up our roots in Texas and moved to New York City for my wife to take on the role as bread winner and start up her medical residency. While I transition to taking care of the children and learning all about home schooling. I also working on myself and doing a career switch to software development.

One day in Trader Joe's I picked up a Rosemary plant. It's one of my favorite herbs and would look great on the windowsill. So, I brought it home, put it in a new pot and started caring for it. I really was enjoying caring for this little herb. It smelled so good too. Suddenly I found myself surfing the web looking at houseplant stuff.

The Rosemary that started it all.

The Rosemary that started it all.

I'm not exactly sure what happened, but one day I stumbled upon tillandsia (airplants) while I was surfing around the web. They seemed interesting, there wasn't a requirement for a pot, soil, or much of anything and they were small. Next thing I knew I was on Amazon ordering a few. While I was waiting for them to arrive, I got my hands on some Thyme seeds and started a little grow project with my girls.

The tillandsias arrived and they really were beautiful little guys. Now I wanted bigger ones. So, I ordered a Xerographica, Cereicola, and Seleriana. Why I waited for them to arrive I found some Mint my wife bought at the store sitting in the fridge. I wondered what would happen if I threw one of these in a glass of water.

Things are really picking up now. I have a small Snake Plant, Christmas Cactus, Pothos Marble Queen, a little Fiddle Leaf Fig, and a beautiful Maranta. Of course, I have already ordered a ZZ plant, Tineke Rubber Tree, and a Medallion Calathea which I am awaiting to arrive. I don't see an end in sight.

As you can see things ramped up quick. I am going to have to start pacing myself. Oddly enough I am the plant person, and my wife isn't as interested, if interested at all. So, I will have to be strategic in what future moves I make. I already need to convince her we need a new bookcase in our living room near my east facing window. Now that I think of it, we need one in the dining area also which is my south facing window.

Only time will tell.

At War

Butterflies,
in my stomach.
Anxious and shaky.
I hear the snaps,
the pops,
Time slows.
Fear sets in.
Prayer,
begins.
I am at war.