I can see clearly now…

…the tape is gone!

Well folks, after nearly five months of wearing glasses held together by what medical tape I had with me in the backcountry of Yosemite, I have now returned to normal visioning, and am realizing all that I had missed in the upper left hand corner of my world.

Not really actually – for those who witnessed the calamity that was my glasses whilst broken, it really wasn’t that bad! All that said, I am glad to once more have glasses that don’t slide off my face when I look down. Here’s a look at before, without glasses:

Me pre-glasses with mom

And here’s a look after:

Me post-glasses with mom

Did I mention how great my mom is? She and I had a fantastic time hanging out together in the morning, and the optician we met fixed my glasses for free. Wonderful evidence that the “pass it on” ethic is still alive and thriving, and it certainly left us wanting to spread the good cheer and send folks with vision needs his way.

Today was (drum roll please!) my little brother’s 24th birthday! We all went down to Durham New Hampshire for the night to celebrate with some fine family dining nearby to the res. hall where he works and lives with his fiancee Amy.

Birthday bash

Two highlights, both of which I am going to connect to permaculture principles. Please feel free to roll your eyes if you feel they are a stretch, but the more I run them through my mind, the more I find them applying to everyday life, and not just the growing of food.

Moment one: Overzealous beer ordering
Associated permaculture principle: Produce no waste

So my dad got pretty excited about being out and celebrating, and we decided to order two pitchers of beer. While I’m normally pretty good at being the repository for all unfinished beverages and food items at meals, I was feeling much more inclined to really sit with a feeling of fullness rather than continue eating for the sake of completing (which was actually a really enjoyable exercise – i.e. sitting up and not immediately wanting to groan), and we were left with half a pitcher of unfinished beer.

Mom and Dad

Produce no waste did I hear someone say? Well what better way to make sure that beer wasn’t wasted, and to share in the holiday/birthday cheer, than to pass it on to a couple just arriving at the pub? We got to feel good for not watching beer slip away down the sink, and got to pass on some good vibes for folks just sitting down to enjoy a night together. Permaculture principal – check!

Moment two: Deep-fried Butterfinger Candy
Associated permaculture principle: Get creative with change

So at the end of our meal, we were all hankering for something a little sweet, and I asked my brother what his ideal dessert would be in that very moment. I was delighted to see that he actually gave some real thought to this question, and was even more delighted when he replied “I could really go for a deep-fried Butterfinger bar, served with just some regular vanilla ice cream.” What a response! And as it was his birthday, I turned to our waitress and said, “Say, hypothetically speaking – if I was to furnish a Butterfinger bar, do you suppose you’d be able to deep fry it for us?” Goes to show, you never know until you ask – they would be happy to deep-fry aforementioned hypothetical candy!

I popped across the street, and picked up two Butterfingers and a Snickers for good measure, and was sadly informed upon returning that the restaurant lacked the particular mix that would be required for frying candy. No worries – time to get creative with change! Pancake mix back at the apartment Amy exclaimed! The perfect dessert could be had after all!

Back at the apartment, we discovered that, even coated in pancake batter, Butterfingers were much better at melting in oil than produced deep-fried deliciousness (was going to post photos, but decided it would be wiser not to). Permaculture saved us again though: every function should always be supported by multiple elements, so that if one fails, there’s always more to back that function up. Normally this would mean having multiple ways of capturing and storing water in a garden or at a house, but here of course I mean having purchased multiple candy bars in case two were lost to the oily abyss. Thank you permaculture, for saving my brother’s birthday dessert.

The fam all together

Final note: sandals, meet my old friend snow.

Sandals - meet snow

My love on this wonderful wintry night, on the eve of the solstice,

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