Store bought no more: Salsa you won’t come back from

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I recently went in on a CSA. I first learned about CSA goods and the wonder of local, farm-fresh food during graduate school when I moved in with some fellow grad students. I haven’t had a chance to participate as easily until this season. So for 12 weeks I’ll now be getting a full share, that I’m splitting with a co-worker. I believe my freezer will be well-stocked and my tastebuds in wonder.

This last week there proved to be an abundance of tomatoes, so I decided to bring salsa to a gathering this weekend so that they didn’t go to waste (you can also freeze tomatoes). I’ll never go back to store bought salsa. It just isn’t even comparable.

Homemade Salsa
15 minutes
In a food processor, process separately and then combine (tomatoes will be too small if you do them all together):
– 3C tomatoes (about 3C), any variety you’d like
– Half a large onion (yellow or red, your choice, I use yellow or vidalia since it is easier on my stomach)
– 1 green pepper, cored and deseeded

In a purée machine (I used a nutribullet):
– One handful of cilantro
– 1/4 tsp cumin
– 1/4 tsp garlic powder (or one clove of fresh garlic)
– 1/4 tsp dried cayenne pepper OR 1/2 deseeded fresh jalapeño pepper
– 1/4 tsp salt
– fresh ground black pepper
– 1 tsp vinegar
– juice of 1/2 lime (you may deseed and purée the half instead of squeezing)
– 1/4 tsp sugar or natural sweetener

Once rough ingredients and puréed ingredients are done, mix together, let sit for 15-30 minutes and enjoy with your favorite salsa chips.

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Sleepless in a Land of Exhaustion

I can’t wait until going to bed feels normal again. I hate dreading bedtime and laying in bed awake, just waiting for exhaustion to take over. I hate the feeling of tension and overwhelming sense of impending tears that sometimes are just too much to take and the subsequent dryness of the salt on my skin.
I miss the touch of a familiar leg against my foot and the way my body would twitch in comfort of safety as my brain shut off. I miss the familiar sounds. It’s too quiet in here. I thought perhaps I’d sleep better  Continue reading

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Less than arbitrary, more in the now

ScotlandIt seems that since about late July, my life took a turn for a country-western song playing forward, complete with the dog that went away. In the past few months, I’ve allowed myself time for reflection, renewal, and attempted revival. This seems to happen amidst major life changes, sometimes even minor ones, and this is no different.

As such, I’ve taken advantage of the opportunities before me and some time on my hands, to reconnect to some pieces of me that I had long thought were gone forever and happened upon some really helpful realizations.

What I’ve learned in the process is certainly worthwhile, though I’m really quite tired of learning in such ways: through pain and heartache. Yes, life teaches us lessons, but honestly, I’m tired of learning life lessons… can’t I just learn random facts? I’m still learning and still healing, but here are two core pieces I’ve uncovered so far. Continue reading

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Alumna response to SU Administration handling of THE General Body

Dear Syracuse University Administration:

Students are not inconveniences, they are your livelihood: start acting like it and respond accordingly. Take down the walls, both the literal one assembled this morning and the more figurative ones you believe exist between upper-level administration roles and students’ roles on campus. We are meant to be a community that listens, absorbs concerns, and responds in a manner that strives toward justice, access, equity, and support: there is no place for ego in such a process.

Unilateral changes without stakeholders’ input and incorporation of their values is never a good organizational management move. Syracuse University is better than the behavior of its leadership in the past several months. I strongly encourage Syracuse University, its Board of Trustees, and the Administration doing its bidding to try again.

Sincerely,
CCG, ’99

Cc: Kent Syverud, Chancellor; Bea González, Dean of University College; Office of Alumni Engagement

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#YesAllWomen: Calling all allies

Calling on the male embodied allies to women’s equality to use their privileged status to have real conversations among fellow men (all) about why #YesAllWomen is the telling of real experiences and how #NotAllMen isn’t the point here*. How systemically disadvantaged groups require that those with privilege do the heavy lifting (emotional labor and activism) to change the system from within. I’ll continue to do my part with my privilege where I have the opportunity to do so.

Source: Grinberg, Emanuella. (5/27/14). “Why #YesAllWomen took off on Twitter”. CNN.com.

I am asking–as a woman who experiences fear, stigma, and oppression regularly in this patriarchy, in small and large ways–that the men who I know who have the knowledge to and desire to have Continue reading

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Newtown Memorial Collage – Sandy Hook

It’s been a year and we still have shootings happening; yet, there has been no legislative oversight to reform gun laws. According to Mother Jones, there have been 194 gun related deaths of children ages 12 and under that were covered in the news since Newtown. However, they also state that in a study by Boston physicians, about 500 children and teens die each year and 7,500 are hospitalized due to gunshots. When will we ever learn?

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I wouldn't have it any other way.

Been working on this collage for the last three nights, wanted to wait until all 27 photos of the victims of the Sandy Hook murders were available. I’ve included Nancy as well. The last was posted today. May their families be consoled, our communities come together, and action occur so that this never happens again. Gone, but never forgotten.

Charlotte Bacon, 6;
Daniel Barden, 7;
Rachel Davino, 29;
Olivia Engel, 6;
Josephine Gay, 7;
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6;
Dylan Hockley, 6;
Dawn Hocksprung, 47;
Madeline F. Hsu, 6;
Catherine V Hubbard, 6;
Chase Kowalski, 7;
Nancy Lanza, 52;
Jesse Lewis, 6;
James Mattioli, 6;
Grace McDonnell, 7;
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emile Parker, 6;
Jack Pinto, 6;
Noah Pozner, 6;
Caroline Previdi, 6;
Jessica Rekos, 6;
Avielle Richman, 6;
Lauren Russeau, 30;
Mary Sherlach, 56;
Victoria Soto, 27;
Benjamin Wheeler, 6;
Allison N. Wyatt, 6

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Zero taxes for zero work

Challenge Take Back Congress: Change your federal tax withholdings to zero tomorrow/today. Email your congressional representatives and tell them you’ll pay your taxes when they go back to work for the people (not corporations) who pay them. (Remember that you’re still responsible for paying your taxes on April 15th, so save accordingly.) Feel free to tell your friends!

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How the American Dream is still hurting us

“You’ve got 3 million jobs right now that nobody wants,” Mike Rowe stated speaking with Bill Maher about the skills gap and hit upon some of the issues with our educational system. Rowe’s experience with Dirty Jobs has shown him that there is an undeniable desperation for people with trade skills and plenty of jobs available for them. I heard the same story while working with the nuclear industry – both the brain trust and the manual labor in the nuclear industry are aging and we’re going to be in trouble very soon.

I wrote about this a while back when Mike Rowe spoke to a special congressional committee –How the American Dream got us into deep… – the lesson still stands today and is only getting worse. It’s time to view trades differently. It’s time for a campaign to reinvigorate our being a “fan” of those in the trade sector and blue-collar positions. Correction, it’s 3 million jobs past time.

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When you can count the bones…

It breaks my heart every time I recognize that someone is struggling with their self-image. Society/media is very hard on women and men and none of us can live up to the constructed and false expectations. I do think that women tend to absorb these negative messages more and pass them on unwillingly to other women. I also believe that all parents need to be careful of how they pass along these messages to their children in all combinations; children also reinforce the social norms they are taught – we are not born with these expectations/thoughts. I think the hardest recognition on my heart is when this struggle with self-image is so visible and in the form of a struggle with weight, particularly when it trends toward deadly: when you can count the bones.

Image by Francois Robert. Taken from: http://walyou.com/real-skeleton-art/

On my way to work today, I saw a woman on a morning run. She was in shorts and a tank top and thus, her body shape was clearly visible. Her legs were unnaturally thin, as were her arms. She was running in the same direction I was driving and as I passed her, I glanced to my left across the street and quickly scanned her face. She appeared to be older than her mid-twenties and ranging all the way up to her forties. For those who have struggles with weight, known or not, often the

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Race in America: Part 2 of ?

Want to understand some of the outrage about the Zimmerman verdict a little better? Read the linked articles below – and read them with an open-mind and open-heart. Do not underestimate the *fact* that a teenager was shot and killed and that his killer, who had the option to stay in his vehicle and avoid confrontation until authorities arrived, walks free.

I’ve already written on this topic and my view has not changed. We desperately need to openly engage in conversations about race in this country. White folks need to check our defenses and leave them outside of the halls of conversation. This is not an individualized issue, it is a systemic issue in which we all play a part. White people need to stop saying things like “slavery ended 200 years ago, get over it,” when in fact, it ended 150 years ago (two 75 year olds lives, back to back), and at the time, no one told many of the slaves and they were not allowed to go free. De jure segregation (Jim Crow) was in effect in Southern states from 1890 until 1965. Yes, 1965… that is not a misprint. Yes, much of the US population grew up in that era. And yes, the ending is a full 9 years after the Brown v Board of Education ruling of 1954, which overturned Plessy v Ferguson’s “separate but equal” 1896 ruling in the case of education.

Both of my parents were born in the late 1940s, with their parents being born in the 1920s. Though I was raised in the military and generally did not Continue reading

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