Hatching Free Range Ideas

Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Oh, Live

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm

I have a friend who fell into the olive business and fell in love. This poem was written with her in mind.

“Why love?” he said, “For time is growing up, not growing.”

Sigh. “Love,” she said, “No time for it to find me.”

“We’ll hide,” they said. “In heat and flat, made greening.”

“My love!” They cried.

And having heard its name three times, Love stayed.

“Ah, Love,” they asked, “What shall we, now that you have found us?”

Love answered them,

“O Live!”


Seat of the pants cooking – substitution

In Let's eat, Make something on August 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Friends tell me that I’m a good cook. I know that I like most of everything that I cook and that the failures are fewer and farther between, although they still happen every now and then, when I stretch too far beyond the bounds of normal.

I think the key is to know when and what can be substituted. For example, I’ve learned that when baking cakes substitute almost nothing. Like don’t put in duck eggs for chicken eggs; they’re not the same. For bread, you can substitute/increase/decrease and still get good bread.

Then there are times when I know best. Like when I cooked Puerco Pibil exactly as Robert Rodriquez had specified. The ingredients seemed to be too much sour but I did it anyway, ’cause it was the first time for me. Remember, I had learned that lesson of “The first time follow the instructions“?

Here’s the caveat: Unless you have the experience to know better. That means that if it’s a version of something that you do know, go ahead and second guess the cook. So, in this case, for my tastes, I was right and he was wrong. Sorry, Robert. I love your movies.

So what’s my point? Finally, there is a cookbook, really an instruction manual for us seat of the pants cookers. Ratios! I still love reading cookbooks and cooking magazines. They inspire me. And, I refer to them for something that I haven’t ever done or do once in 10-15 years. Like a Black Forest Birthday Cake.

But THIS BOOK!!! It unlocks secrets so I don’t have to break the code myself. I’m making pencil notes in the margins. This one is going to be well used, oil spattered, flour covered. . . a kitchen workhorse.

Finally, there’s a book for us seat of the pants cookers.

Visual storytelling

In How we learn and think, Images, Make something, Visual Thinking, Wandering on August 13, 2010 at 3:54 pm


Recently, I was struggling to create a small course on how to tell your leader story and I tried to craft mine. I ended up in the mire. If I can’t figure this out for myself, how in the world can I teach it to anyone else?!

You know that’s what instructional designers do, right? They don’t have their own ideas, they just package other people’s ideas for consumption and memory.

I worked on this for a week or more, knowing, that Stephen Denning’s promotion of story as The Secret Langugage of Leadership is resonant. How could I get there?!!!!

I read Donald Miller’s A million miles in a 1000 years. . . twice! And I thought about inciting incidents, the point of change that Denning talks about. Still, too much to think through. No focus.

I drew a straight line and added action points, like a friend of mine showed me when we were writing a screenplay together. Repeat.

Then yesterday, I flipped through David Sibbet’s new book, Visual Meetings. There was a bit in it about drawing story line of your life, with peaks and valleys. Okay, I can’t find it now, but I’ve got the whole book to read through and I know it’s there.

So, I drew a line of peaks and valleys. Change in dimension made all the difference. It caused me to look at a chapter. The line led me back to leading events and forward to a desired future event, marked present.


What’s your storyline?

The red load

In Sustainability on August 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

My mother didn’t own a dryer. Hanging out the laundry was one of her meditations. I haven’t ever purchased a dryer, although we’ve had a couple that were left in houses we bought. No more. South Texas provides acres of dryer property.

She used to have to take the clothespins off the line because her neighbor said they looked like little birds sitting there and it made her sad. I would have thought that looking at a line of little birds would make someone happy. Hmmm.

I love when all the red clothes are finally dirty. Remember what I said about red being a neutral color? 

Reds and pinks hang together in the South Texas August sun, replacing the few weak blossoms of the now defunct garden. Laundry thrives in the dry heat, unlike my zinnias.

And finally, the red and pink bedsheets come off the line, still smelling like the sun. I crawl between those crackly sheets at the end of the day. Sigh.