January 7th, 2018

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How Smart People Talk About Themselves

Good observations.  I will add ...

Brilliant people do a couple of things that average people rarely if ever do.  1) They can lock onto an idea with absolutely unshakeable force.  That hyperfocus is actually a change of brain state, sometimes called 'zone' or 'flow' in which a better quality and quantity of output is possible.  2) They can teleport from A to Q while everyone else is still looking for B.  So if you're listening to someone and they do either of those, chances are, they're smart.  And the smarter they are, the more they do that stuff, and the less average people understand them.  Anyone can have an occasional zone or leap of intuition.  A genius does it routinely.
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Fandom Snowflake Challenge Day 7: "Love Meme"

Day 7:

In your own space, create a love meme for yourself. Let people tell you how amazing and awesome and loveable you really are. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so. Surf the comments and find people to give love to.

According to the instructions, readers are invited to say nice things about me.  I'm totally cool with this, but not everyone likes the standard kind of love meme, so ...

As this is my blog, I'm adding that you may also say nice things about or to yourself and/or other folks whom you cherish.  You can even go tell your sweetie that you love them and come back to say you did the thing.  You don't have to do it in semi-public.  It's all fine here!  EDIT 1/7/18: Borrowed from another participant, feel free to use this as a friending meme too.

If you have not grown up with good examples in this regard, I refer you to instructions on how to give good compliments, how to use words of affirmation, how to express affection, how to use positive affirmations, and how to practice self-compassion.

Be excellent to each other, my fen!  Spread some sunshine today.


Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner 2018
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Hawk

When I went out to feed the birds today, I found a pile of dove feathers underneath the fly-through feeder. So someone got lucky. :D We have lots of doves. We also have hawks and owls. I am pleased that the birdfeeders perform across multiple levels in the food chain.  Hawk predation is common around birdfeeders, and my yard is really nice hawk territory, so I am flattered when one takes up residence.  We have some tall emergent trees where they like to perch, open space to swoop through, and brushy areas that attract songbirds and rabbits.  I've only seen the squirrels a few times this year, though.

At lunch time, I noticed that the birds (a couple dozen sparrows and two pairs of cardinals) kept flying away from the hopper feeder and then coming back. As I looked around for the source of their skittishness, I spotted a hawk -- not in his usual tree (the bee-tree walnut about 20 feet from the house) but another on the east edge of the yard.

It was my_partner_doug who thought to get the camera and take a few snapshots through the window. So this isn't a great picture, but you can see that it's a hawk. \o/  Good hunting, skybrother.

This hawk perched in a tree on the east edge of our yard, overlooking the hopper feeder.
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Buddha's Hand Citrus Shortbread Cookies

I have started a batch of Buddha's Hand Citrus Shortbread Cookies.  My observations so far ... 

We paid $9.99 for a large, handsome Buddha's hand.  While expensive for a single piece of fruit, this isn't something you eat out of hand.  One fruit can be made into multiple dishes, so it spreads out and makes the cost more reasonable.  

Buddha's hand gets more fragrant when cut.  I expected this.  The scent is potent, delicious, lemony-floral, and uplifting.  The sunshine-yellow rind is bumpy and leathery.  Inside, the flesh is white and slightly crunchy.  If you could turn sunlight into a fruit, this would be it.

The one we got is actually not bitter.  I had heard this, but did not believe it, because citrus rind normally tastes intensely bitter to me.  This is light, slightly citrusy-floral, and barely bitter at all.  I see why some recipes suggest putting it in salads.  It would be splendid over chicken and salad leaves, if you like that sort of thing, or chipped into a citrus or tropical fruit salad.

One large finger did not quite fill the 1/4 cup I needed.  Adding one medium finger overfilled it slightly.  I chose not to remove the white pith because it was quite good.  If it wasn't good, I would have reduced it.  Taste before you put this stuff in a recipe!  At two fingers per batch, I could make a LOT of cookies with one fruit.  As it is, I'm planning to zest it onto chicken breasts tonight and also candy some.

After rolling out the dough and cutting it, I found that the easiest way to "separate" the pieces was to cover a second baking sheet in parchment paper and move alternate pieces onto that, creating two checkerboard patterns.  Shortbread doesn't spread much in baking so the corners touching shouldn't be a problem.  I did pinch the sharp ends of the outer pieces to make them hold together better and less likely to burn.  I did not put the crystal sugar on top, because shortbread cookies are not supposed to be very sweet.

The original recipe uses only Buddha's hand to flavor the shortbread.  In the future, I may experiment with adding a little bit of lemon juice or lemon extract to punch up the dough a bit.  I'm also on the lookout for an enlightening spice to add in small quantity.  I have already considered saffron or rose.  Lotus is a new one to me but seems very promising; I'll have to keep an eye out for it.  Ginseng is another possibility, although I don't have it as a separate spice.  Another option, of course, would be to candy the Buddha's hand before putting it into cookies, much the way ginger shortbread cookies typically use crystallized ginger, which we love.
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Poem: "Blue Smoke and Mirrors"

This poem is spillover from the January 2, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It also fills the AI square in my 1-1-18 card for the Apocalypse Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth and [personal profile] janetmiles.  It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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Poem: "Imps of the Marginalia"

This poem is from the January 2, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] teigh_corvus. It also fills the "WILD CARD: magic" square in my 12-3-17 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the Acrostic Magery series.

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Poem: "Crimson Inscriptions"

This poem came out of the January 2, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] teigh_corvus, [personal profile] librarygeek, [personal profile] readera, [personal profile] we_are_spc (Jay), and [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah. It also fills the "antlers" square in my 7-1-17 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the Acrostic Magery series.

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