October 6, 2023
by Dr. Plastic Picker
Good morning Dear Readers! My body feels right again. It’s 5:27am and I’m back onto a semi-normal sleeping schedule and I put my phone away last night and wasn’t re-watching my reels on Instagram endlessly. It was so fun though! I think all of us were essentially making our own music videos of our lives. But I had to get my taxes in on time, and it was a rude awakening how inefficient it is to gather your tax paperwork and listen to Instagram reels at the same time. It reminded me that being able to focus my brain is really important. But I was so happy on the Instagram reels honestly. LOL.
But my tax paperwork is all gathered, and Mr. Plastic Picker and I are happy with our savings rate and our general trajectory of our financial lives. Our savings rate dipped but still over the 40% range because we chose to love the earth with some decisions we have been making. But going over the tax paperwork, there is quite a bit of fluff still that we can cut out of our lives. We have in general made very smart financial decisions and life decisions, and many of those decisions now have to do with ensuring a livable planet for all of us. But we’ve tried as much as we can to make contingency plans, and those include investing in property up in Oregon. I’m realizing how much it costs us yearly and it is a chunk of change, but honestly in the grand scheme of the price of timber, the happiness to our family, the value of the land going up, and water rights and salmon and all that – it’s 100% worth it. I only took AP Micro-Macro Economics in high school, but I am also the daughter of an accountant. In the end money and economics, is what you think something is worth. And for me, the 197.5 acres up in Oregon with the forest that we are able to preserve and prevent logging, the farm house , and the mountain and the peace we have found there – it has been well worth it. It keeps me motivated to keep on working, and reminds me why I’m an environmentalist and a climate and health advocate.
Why did I come onto the blog this morning? Oh yes! I wanted to remember the Lentil soup that happened a few days ago. I honestly don’t think the lentil soup can ever be replicated. There are still leftovers that I’ll have at the airport today because we are flying up to UC Berkeley for homecoming and to see our son. (I doubt Prof Adam Aron is reading this, but if he is – yes I know I am flying and the carbon is spewing but it’s systems change and I need to see my son!). But the lentil soup was so wonderful. It was honestly free, because I had to use up the lentils we had bought months ago. The tomatoes were from the leftover cherry tomatoes that were not quite good to eat, and I stewed during the crazy end of summer harvesting time. It’s on Instagram reels if you want to check it out. The rosemary was from the garden, and from a sprig that I propagated from a friend’s plant. The sweet potato and onion were honestly all the veggies we had in the house that day. Next time I’ll put carrots in. The spices were what I could approximate from the recipe. I used chilli powder, probably too much garlic powder and some oregono/basil. And I didn’t have vegetable broth, so just put in hot water and a bit of extra salt. I threw in some quinoa because we had some we again needed to use up. And the result, it was really delicious! Mr. Plastic Picker and my daughter, they thought so too.
So the finances are done for Tax Year 2022. The new inspiring lentil soup adventure was unexpected and will be on the rotation again. And Oregon properties? Worth it, because unfortunately I do think that my children will need to migrate north. And the same kdrama in our lives? Worth it. Buried at the end of this post? I look at the single picture I have of a certain boy, and I smile because for some reason I think I know him. And I really do think he is going to be my son-in-law. It’s uncanny the feeling. But that is not my narrative, but I always smile for some reason when I look at that picture. Just one picture amongst thousands of pictures I have of my daughter and 6 shots of my lentil soup from a few nights ago!
That’s me ! Dr. Plastic Picker. Wearing my mommy heart on my sleeve. I’m open and honest, and I have nothing to hide. But fossil fuel companies????!!! I see you! A bunch of text messages were sent to me by friends, and fossil fuel companies have infiltrated the very core of academia through board positions and “funding” research. In California, in particular Stanford and the UC system. Wow. That’s a fight that some of my very brave friends are fighting. I joined in with them during the recent protest that brought exposure to this fact, and includes other demands that these academics and students have of the UC system. They are so brave and as a friend and the climate and health voice, I was there too.