Healthy Beans & Rice

I ended up working from home today because the internet at work was out.  That meant, amongst other things, that I pretty much ate everything that was edible in the house.  So for lunch, I had to get creative.  Tim had made some delicious brown rice on Sunday.  He mixes a little wild Ojibwa rice (from Greatest Grains) with some brown basmati rice and then cooks the whole bunch in chicken broth.  Wow, I almost wrote, “chicken juice.”  Chicken juice sounds gross, but chicken broth sounds delicious.  Yet they are exact same thing.  Ah, the power of language.

ANYWAY, Tim made some delicious rice of which we still had plenty left over.  I got creative and mixed the rice with about 1/2 a can of Aduki beans (excellent for a weak spleen) in a pot on the stove.  When it was all hot, I put it in a bowl, drizzled it lightly with olive oil, doused it thoroughly with Sriracha, and peppered it heavily with salt.  It was, I must say, absolutely delicious.  Feel free to steal my idea.

An Evening Stroll

Tim and I were in a quandary as to what to do last night.  We talked about going to the fair, but we didn’t feel like braving the crowds and the heat just for access to delicious, horrible junk food.  We talked about seeing a movie (Captain America or Rise of the Planet of the Apes, perhaps), but we missed the matinee cutoff and so were dissuaded by the expensive ticket prices.

Finally we decided to just leave the house and follow the wind.  Actually, there was no wind last night – just heat and humidity, so we followed the lights instead.  We drove past the fairgrounds, and everything and everyone we saw there convinced us that we did not want to go in.  Teenagers now, evidently, think that white booty shorts are the pinnacle of fashion and sexiness.  I saw outfits I have not seen on a walking, talking human being since watching “The Dukes of Hazard” after school 20 years ago.

Just writing that paragraph made me realize how my perspective has flipped.  I am at the age now where I can refer to something that happened 20 years ago and that something happened when I was a fully functional, remembering human being.  I am also complaining about the clothes of “young people.”  Well, to be honest, the clothes of slutty young people.  I’m sure I complained about that when I was “young person” myself.  I use quotation marks because “young person” is completely relative, both to the person saying it and the person hearing it.

I digress.  After driving past the fair, windows down and eyeballs boggled, we coasted downtown through some west-end neighborhoods bursting with non-Central Davenport personality.  We finally hit River Drive by Credit Island and followed 61 into downtown.

Davenport recently create a new park, Centennial Park, which is where the RAGBRAI riders deluged the Mississippi.  The City created a spray park, replete with garish shower heads that look like the sexual organs of plants and oddly shaped, very steep hills.  It’s actually a very cool, unique site.  The randomness of the hills and banks hides the spray park from a river view and provides some somewhat challenging hiking for kids.  The City even built, or is in the process of building (growing, I guess?), a meadow.  A real meadow.  Davenport has planted (or allowed to grow naturally – not sure which) prairies/meadows all along Duck Creek.  The intent is to keep pollutants out of the creek and to reduce the amount of mowing that needs to be done around the creek.  The meadows are absolutely beautiful.  Over the course of the spring and summer,  the flowers, grasses and colors change, providing something to distract your eye while you’re pounding the pavement or cycling past.  I am hoping that the meadow downtown turns out similarly.  It will be really beautiful down there eventually.

Next we strolled over the Veterens Memorial Park.  It’s not quite done yet; at this point it’s just some granite boxes, some lights, and 3 huge flag poles jutting into the sky.

Finally we headed over to the basketball courts/skate park, only to realize that the park is bifurcated by a fence north of the rail road tracks.  From what we could see in the night, visitors to the park cannot walk between the two park sections unless they head out to Marquette Street.  I don’t know why the park designers would set the park up this way.  Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

We strolled back to the car, admiring the lit-up Centennial Bridge and the sapphire sky.  What a beautiful evening.

I read an article in Women’s Health yesterday about happiness.  What I got from the article was that you can’t rely on the “big” moments in life to keep you happy – getting married, having kids, buying a house, etc.  These moments happen too infrequently, so those highs are followed by too long of a valley.  Humans have a remarkable ability to adapt, too, so we adjust to the new level of happiness quickly and fail to notice our transformed state.  The article recommended finding happiness in daily life – the evening stroll with your best friend, a baby frog chilling out in your flowers, the sleepy eyes on your warm chihuahua, a breeze that brings a scent of salty ocean. These moments happen every day, every hour, if you take the time to notice them.  Like so much in life, happiness is a matter of perspective.