How did I ever get anything accomplished before this app? If you have trouble with procrastination or focus, you should try this. The app fits with the Pomodoro Technique, but you can adjust the time and the sounds to suit you. You can choose water sounds, rain sounds, forest sounds, piano music without lyrics, or café sounds. My preference is for the piano music, which in the app is called “Muse.” Water sounds of any kind are never good for me staying focused. I’m also not one of those people who can work in a café. If I have other people around me, I’m paying attention to them. The forest sounds are okay, except I’m more of a city/suburb person, so my mind has a tendency to wander when there are too many nature sounds. There’s a timer that automatically is set for 25 minutes, but you can adjust it to be longer or shorter. It’s a really useful tool and it’s also available for other phone platforms. Try it if you’re like me and are a product of low attention span theater.
I know I’m a coffee snob, but this is the kind of coffee you don’t want to share with anyone who doesn’t drink their coffee black. It’s so delicious black that there is no reason to waste it by loading it with milk and sugar. I know that’s wrong. I know it shouldn’t matter how people drink their coffee, but I don’t care. At almost twenty dollars a bag, it’s criminal not to drink this black. It’s sweet and mellow and chocolatey all by itself. Save the cream and sugar for lesser coffees.
You might not think a book about the potato would be that interesting, but this was a really good read. The potato has had a tremendous impact on every country it’s been introduced to. John Reader goes through the entire history of the potato and it’s journey across the planet. He spends a significant amount of time on the Irish Potato famine, and the late blight, which was its cause. Late blight is still the most significant problem with raising potatoes and Reader addresses the various methods for dealing with blight, including genetic manipulation and spraying copper based fungicides. Because the potato is relatively easy to grow in a variety of soils and climates and is a complete food when you pair it with a little fat, it has tremendous value as a food source. It also has a fascinating history, well worth the read.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Whisper to The Blood is a direct sequel to A Deeper Sleep, which I reviewed here. This is a very interesting book in that it explores all the complexities of living in such a rural community so far from any direct outside influence. One of the things I like about Dana Stabenow’s books is that all of them can be read individually and understood, but they are very much enriched by reading them in order. In this novel, Kate becomes temporary head of the Native Association that runs The Park. While Jim struggles with the fallout from Louis Deems death, a new mining company is wooing the park rats in order to start a massive new open pit mine in the far reaches of The Park. When a man from Johnny’s past appears in The Park, the bodies start to pile up and it’s up to Jim and Kate to figure out what’s going on.
Here’s a moment of zen brought to you via The Chalice Well Trust Garden in Glastonbury.
Shoulders of Giants is the second batch of coffee from the Craft Coffee subscription I got from my friend Jen. I enjoyed Shoulders of Giants. It’s a light roast with citrus and chocolate notes, but it’s too floral for me to truly love it, but it’s still very good. If you get a chance, taste it for yourself.
Here’s a moment of zen brought to you via The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.