Seven surprising foods you can freeze

Have you ever had a quantity of some food that you couldn’t use right away? Maybe you had some egg whites from separating eggs for a recipe that only called for the yolks, or you bought butter on sale. Of course you know about freezing fruits, vegetables, meats, and leftover meals. But you don’t know you can freeze this food item, and you don’t want to waste food. So you stash it in the refrigerator thinking you’ll use it soon. Then you forget about it, and then it goes bad and you have to throw it out anyway.

The solution for many food items is to freeze them. Here’s a list of seven surprising things you can freeze:

  • bread
  • butter (I mean the real thing, though I’ve read that margarine also freezes well)
  • cheese, grated (whole chunks of cheese don’t freeze well)
  • eggs: whole, yolks, and whites (if freezing whole eggs, remove them from the shell and store in a small container)
  • heavy whipping cream
  • nuts (I always freeze nuts anyway; their high oil content makes them go rancid, so freezing helps them stay good longer)
  • ginger root, fresh

As with anything  you freeze, be sure to store these food items in freezer storage containers. For fluid items, allow room for expansion.

Making the world a better place

One of the best things you can do to improve your world is to dedicate yourself to truth. That means being honest with yourself, as honest as you possibly can be. If you aren’t used to it, it can be hard to figure out where to start or even how to distinguish the truth from the lies you’ve been telling yourself. But the first time you successfully tell yourself a truth where you’ve been lying to yourself before, the results are profound. It feels good down to a supremely deep level of your being. You’ll wonder where that good feeling has been hiding. You’ll want to do more of it.

Next, start being honest with others. This doesn’t mean blurting out everything that’s on your mind, but it does mean telling the truth instead of lying. Yes, I mean even those little white lies. If someone doesn’t look good in a dress, find a way to say that kindly. Pair it with something positive that’s also truthful: “The cut of that dress is lovely, but that’s not the most flattering color on you.” Or, “Dude, I love your enthusiasm about the game, but let’s talk about something else now.”

If you can’t figure out how to be honest with everyone, an excellent place to start is with family or friends. When my daughter was born, I vowed to never lie to her, and I haven’t yet. We have a great relationship, and much of that is due to her having a mother she could trust to always tell her the truth.

So choose a few people—maybe your closest friends—and vow to yourself that you will never lie to them.

Why is this so important? Because all lies are based in fear. When you lie, you create a unreality that resonates with fear. Unless they are evolved, the person you lie to senses that fear and responds with their own fear.

Because love is the opposite of fear, telling the truth is one of the most loving things you can do. The more love you spread, the more you improve the world and the closer you are to understanding what’s really real.

How to alleviate fear and loathing in the political season

Instead of focusing on your fear for and hatred of someone or some group, see what it feels like to focus on loving, compassionate thoughts for them. That person, those people, got there because of their own pain and fear. It won’t help their situation to send more pain and fear their way, and filling yourself with fear, anger, and hatred certainly doesn’t help you. In addition to disturbing your peace of mind, such thoughts affect your physical health in very real ways. If you want to know more about how to change your thinking, see my book on forgiveness.
book faire

If you live in or around Sonoma County, I’ll be at the First Annual West Sonoma Book Faire on Thursday, November 10, starting at 6 p.m.

Cover for The Forgiving Lifestyle

Free fonts, paid-for fonts, and font licensing

Everyone who loves typography would say there’s no such thing as too many fonts. Even if you have a hundred Bodoni clones in your library, you still want more. Not to mention the many gorgeous new fonts coming out. So here are some listings of the best resources for all you typography-loving folks.

Free fonts

Here’s a list of some of the best places to get free fonts (free, shareware, donation-ware; personal and commercial licenses). I’ve commented on the interface because when you are browsing for fonts, the easier it is to find the type and style you want, the better. See my note on licensing (below) for information on when you can use free fonts.

  • 1001 Fonts. Nice interface. Font licenses are clearly indicated when browsing.  You can browse by category. They offer the Ultimate Font Download: a bundle of 10,000 fonts that are normally free, shareware, or donation ware, but in buying the bundle, you get the commercial rights to them all. Quality varies.
  • DaFont. Clean interface. Licensing info clear when browsing. You can browse by category.
  • FontSpace. Attractive interface. The Browse page makes browsing easier with many, many categories. License are indicated only on the individual fonts’ pages. This makes it harder to pick out the fonts with the licensing you want.
  • Font Zone. Tons o’ free fonts. Interface is okay; license details are only on the individual fonts’ pages.
  • Font Squirrel. My favorite source for free fonts. Specializes in fonts that are free for commercial use (see my note below about licensing). Beautiful interface; licensing info clear when browsing.. You can download most fonts from the site directly, but some links are to offsite sources, where the font might not be free.
  • Simply the Best Fonts. A nice interface; the landing page has a list of categories to make browsing easier. Licensing info clear when browsing a category.
  • Urban Fonts. This site has paid-for fonts as well; this is the link to their free fonts. Free, shareware, linkware. Includes trial versions of paid-for fonts that you have to buy a commercial license to use.

Added July 9, 2016: it’s unusual, but possible, to discover a well-made font that is also free. As in many areas of life, you get what you paid for. Free fonts are fun and useful in a lot of ways, but the powerhouses are the paid-for fonts.

Paid-for fonts

The heavy lifters. The quality of fonts you purchase from the following should be top-end, with many many glyphs and alternates that font-savvy programs like InDesign can use.

  • Adobe. You used to be able to purchase perpetual licenses for fonts from Adobe. They split their font services into two:
    • A subscription-based service called  Adobe TypeKit. As long as you subscribe you can use any font on TypeKit. But if you drop your subscription, the fonts are gone.
    • Perpetual licenses for Adobe fonts through their partner, FontSpring. (To purchase fonts with other currencies and languages, visit Fonts.com.)
  • Linotype. Linotype has some great fonts, but I’ve been unhappy with their customer service and the quality of some of the fonts I bought from them.
  • MyFonts. My favorite source for paid fonts. Offers fonts from many foundries, ranging from the monoliths to small one-person design houses. Some fonts are free. Watch their sales; you can sometimes get a font family for 90% off. This is great for the expensive fonts. Also, if you are trying to identify a font, use their “What the font” identifier. Some member of the active forum will usually identify your font within a half hour to an hour. If you want to find a font similar to one you want to use (but can’t, for some reason), you can use the My Fonts tool for that, too.
  • Monotype. Fonts are excellent quality, but seldom cheap. Monotype sometimes has awesome sales, and also has a subscription service like TypeKit.
  • T26. If you sign up for their email, you’ll get a monthly font showcase–kind of like a bakery sending you images of their best cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.

A recommended font manager

If you have a lot of fonts, you’re going to want to use a font manager. I’m particularly fond of High-Logic’s Main Type. Their free version is just right if you have 2,500 fonts or fewer. If you have more than 2,500 fonts, buy the standard version.

The only reason to get the pro version (as far as my needs go) is that the pro version will automatically activate fonts for InDesign and other such products. For example, if you open an InDesign file and the fonts you used for that file aren’t installed, Main Type installs the fonts for you.

A note about font licensing

Many free fonts are free to use for any use—commercial or personal. And if you intend to use your font for personal use (homemade greeting cards you are sending to your family and friends, flyers and posters for your own use, and so on), that’s all you need to know.

But if you are using a font for a commercial use (that is, if you are selling something that uses the font, or advertising something using that font), make sure the license is for commercial use. For example, if you are creating a template for someone’s book, and you are being paid to create that template, that’s commercial use and requires a commercial license. Or if you are selling t-shirts with a quotation on them that uses that font, that’s also commercial use and requires a commercial license. When you purchase a font, the license almost always includes commercial use.

Free fonts fall into the following categories when it comes to commercial use:

  • Free for commercial use. Sometimes a donation is encouraged, but no payment is required.
  • Donation-ware: can be licensed for commercial use with a small payment to the font creator.
  • Strictly personal use; cannot be used commercially. If you really love a font and want to use it, track down the font creator and get permission to use it in writing. If you can’t get permission, use another font. Period. Don’t use a personal-use-only font for commercial use, even if you think you’ll never be caught. It’s just not right.

If it is a free font and you don’t know what the licensing terms are, don’t use it for commercial use.

Are we maturing or just getting older?

Are we maturing or just getting older? You might be asking, “What’s the difference?”

We’re just getting older if we just live life as it comes. Life lived that way tends to repeat itself. We make the same mistakes. We hurt the same people in the same ways. We think of ourselves in the same ways. In short, we never change. We just get older.

To mature, we must be aware of what we are thinking and doing, and ask ourselves questions about those things.

  • Why am I thinking that?
  • Why am I doing that?
  • What were the consequences?
  • What am I thinking in response to someone or something?
  • Is there another way to think about that, a way that is more peaceful and loving?
  • Is there another way I can respond to other people, a way that is more peaceful and loving?
  • And so on.

And we must ask ourselves deeper questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Who do I think I am?
  • What are my principles in life?
  • Do I have a moral code? An ethical code? If so, what are they? If not, do I want one? What kind of code do I want?
  • And so on.

Although philosophical, these questions are also deeply practical. The answers to our questions will lead to more questions and more answers, until eventually we find ourselves maturing, becoming more aware human beings; more understanding, both of ourselves and other people, and more compassionate and kind.

Can it hurt? Maybe, if you don’t like finding out something about yourself that needs improvement. But what’s going to hurt you more in the long run:

  • living a life of denial and self-ignorance, so that nothing ever changes and nothing ever gets better; so that you continue to hurt yourself and others without any idea of the cause, or
  • living a self-examined life in which you come to know yourself more fully and so are more in control of yourself and your life?

Mindfulness and the idealization process in a nutshell

Why do people turn against other people they admired, or against groups they belong to?

It’s the idealization process. Here’s how it goes.

Individually, you admire certain qualities in another person and you want to actualize those qualities in yourself. But you are unconscious of the idealization you’ve made–that you’ve put that person on a pedestal and expect them to do no wrong. And then you realize that the person you admire is not perfect.

The same process happens when you belong to a group. You admire the group and all its members, and you think everyone is special. And you’re special because you are part of that group.

But if you start to question the group’s self-image of their own perfection, then you no longer feel special. So you start to attack the group members individually and the group as a whole as completely wrong and false, because otherwise, they are still special and you are not.

When this happens, you mourn the loss of a belief in something bigger and better. Your idealizations are still on the unconscious level, so you don’t realize what happened or why you are sad and angry. So your idealization becomes a negative one; now, instead of idealizing that person or group, you demonize them.

When someone is hate-filled or bitter (such as hating the rich), they want to make a connection, but feel it is impossible.

Mindfulness, the act of being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions, and the motivations behind them, can greatly help circumvent this process.

You might think a book on forgiveness has nothing to do with mindfulness, but in fact it has everything to do with it. My book describes nine principles of thinking that are vital to mindfulness. The book is clear, practical, and doable. Buy it. You won’t regret it.

The Forgiving Lifestyle: How to Forgive Everyone (Including Yourself)

Cover for The Forgiving Lifestyle

Some agendas making the rounds

Here are some agendas being pushed in the media, movies, fiction. Whether you choose to go along with them or not is your right; I just encourage you to do it consciously and not be stampeded.
  • Aliens are wonderful, advanced beings who are here to help us.
  • Cyborgs/artificial intelligence is sexy and better than humans in every way.
  • Humans are a disease that should be wiped off the planet. (This statement always seems to exclude the person making it.)
  • Everyone who disagrees with you and has different beliefs than you do is evil and deserves to be feared/hated/deported and definitely banned from speaking.
  • Conspiracies are everywhere and we are all powerless against them.
  • The greater a person’s education and intelligence, the more likely they are to go rogue and commit heinous crimes.

Forgiveness and mindfulness

My book with the new cover is done! It is live now on CreateSpace (click the picture of the cover to be taken there), and should be live on Amazon in the next few days.
 
Bunny-tails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My book tackles three questions: why should you forgive, how can you forgive someone, and how can you live in such a way that you don’t need to forgive people?

For the first question, I give an overview of the emotional and physical ill effects of carrying grudges, anger, and resentment.

To answer the second, I give a simple three-step method for forgiving anyone. (Simple, but not always easy.) If that approach is difficult for you, I provide another even simpler way to forgive people. It can take more time, but is easier to do. It’s a sort of “set and forget” method. I call it the epiphany method.

I answer the third question by describing nine principles of living a life in which you don’t carry grudges, become resentful, and so on. Again, the principles are simple, but not necessarily easy. Some people have called my principles a mindful practice. I shy away from that term because it’s a bit of a buzzword, but I agree that it is, indeed, a mindful way of living.

I wrote this book from compassion and in a clear, practical way. It isn’t religious, in case that concerns you, and it isn’t finger-pointy. If forgiveness is for one, it is for all.

My life gave me plenty of practice at learning how to forgive and learning how not to take offense in the first place.

I hope you buy it, enjoy it, and get value from it.

Click on the image below for a link to the Amazon page: you can buy it in print and Kindle formats.