Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Friend

I watered Kay's plants today.

I pulled weeds, too.

Not sure why.  I guess I just felt like it.  I know how much she hates weeds.

Yesterday, I visited the funeral parlor.  I talked with her.  Then she told me to leave and enjoy the day.  "Don't waste time here with all these old people."

Today, when I was pulling her weeds, I felt like she was watching me out her kitchen window.

Tonight, I'll look out my kitchen window and look for her doing her needlepoint. 

and all of her lights will be off.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nervous

This morning, I'm doing something out of the ordinary. After seeing my blog, I was approached by the Tour coordinator of the AHA Moment sponsored by Mutual of Omaha. I will record a short video of my "AHA! Moment".

I am still struggling with the 'hook' of my story. It keeps changing, draft notes after draft notes, they all end up differently. It focuses on my photography and the Affirmation Project, at least the latest notes read that way!

The best thing about this...I'm so much better under pressure.

I'll add some links once I find them, but until then, you can read about Mutual of Omaha's AHA Moment Tour right here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bow Ties and Little Graduates

When my boys ask me to make them something, I usually do it. Eventually, anyway. Sometimes their requests are a little beyond my time constraints.

But when the request is for a bowtie...heck yeah.

I made this one Wednesday night, scratch that, Thursday morning at 1:30 am. A mere 9 hours prior to this little guys Pre-K graduation. I practiced tying it via YouTube and a roll of paper towels. Quite a sight at 2 am on a Thursday morning.


He loved it. Wore it all day. He really looked cool, and asked for more. Oh yes, little O, you will have one for every outfit if you so desire. I found the pattern here.

The reason I didn't start the bowtie before midnight...I was decorating these Nut Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Artificial Dye Free cookies. They were quite delicious!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thunder Night


The long awaited thunderstorm arrived last night at 12:30, along with the frantic, frightened voice of my oldest son. I can't blame him, the blinding light and tumultuous thunder woke even me from my sleep. Into my bed he came with his 8 year old stuffed giraffe named Giraffey.

Our night continued with interrupted sleep. Elbow to my nose, water pounding on the patio, snoring, sniffling, boy on my pillow. It was a long night.

But I loved it. I was with my oldest son. Snuggling. He needed me. He felt comforted by me and we were quiet together. Quite the opposite of daylight hours that included another marathon math session, dislike of baseball, fighting with his brother. I loved last night.

I also loved what I saw this morning. The rain not yet done filling the lawn, the garden not swamped and the fish swimming about, trying to get into my blooming water hyacinth photograph.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Celebration Central

May 21st through July 7th is a rush of cupcakes and presents and treats and stress.

We have Tom's birthday, Memorial Day, Father's Day, Oscar's graduation from Pre-K, Sam's last week of school, Sam's birthday, Fourth of July and Oscar's Birthday. 

Yowser.  Being that I can barely keep my eyes open while crocheting yet another suction cup for an octopus bag I'm working on, I haven't stopped by this blog lately.  I miss it.

Here are some bad, late night, pictures of the bumblebee cupcakes I made for Oscar's birthday celebration at school.  They were fun, aside from the gluten free (I needed to eat this cupcake, minus the bee), nut free and artificial dye free.  I think I spent more time in the grocery store finding available items than I did baking and decorating.  The kids enjoyed them.


But then again, when does a child not like a cupcake?  I could have iced them with my fingers and they would have loved them.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Simplicity

We all want it.  At least I can't think why someone wouldn't want simplicity.

I feel like my life is in such a transitional place that everything seems so complicated.  Some days, I feel as if nothing works, nothing gets done correctly and most things I try to complete fail. 

I read a book.  I know, crazy, me actually reading a real, complete, book.  This was the Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell.  It is the story of two gentlemen that buy an old farm in Sharon Springs NY and the issues that face them in balancing a relationship, farm life, business and their jobs in NY City. 

At one point in the story, Josh and Brent, the gentlemen farmers, are part of a Historic Tour of Homes in their area.  They escape to their garden after hearing rude comments from tourists about how they should improve the home and how it isn't the way it should be and it's so empty.  When in the garden, a sweet woman comes to them and discusses their garden in relation to her own.  She uses the term "Wabi Sabi", which, as she explains, is over simplified, it defines beauty as imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

"It's fine that one strives for beauty, but if one only finds it in perfection, then it will remain forever hidden."  She goes on with, " When you two bought the Beekman [the name of their farm], you began using it.  And with use, comes decay.  And with decay comes work.  And with work comes dedication.  And with dedication comes creativity.  And on and on. You two will never be finished with the Beekman, it will never be perfect, and it will always be falling to pieces around you.  I think what I'm saying, is that the Beekman is now the most beautiful it's ever been."

So that's what I'm shooting for:  Wabi Sabi.  Beauty in imperfections.

Friday, June 10, 2011

When You Give a Boy a Camera...

...this is what you get:
 Baseball feet;
 Papa's elbow at an odd perspective;
 
 Great colors;
A silly Dad;

Nostrils (you can see that, right?);
 And one fun boy.  
I think he's got talent.  
He has great composition, could work on distance/focus a bit, but he isn't even five years old yet.
Momma's boy, that kid is.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Quinoa = Keen wah


I jumped on the Quinoa train.

I've been thinking about making this for some time now.  My neighbor, Sam, has delivered two different samples of her Quinoa salads, both fantastic.

My favorite on line shop for grains and nuts (and even Gummi Bears with no artificial colors) sells washed Quinoa at an affordable price.  This company is fantastic.  Take a look, seriously the best on-line company I have ever purchased from.  I ordered on Wednesday afternoon at 4 pm, received Friday morning.

The benefits of Quinoa are so immense, that everyone needs to try it.  "Because Quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis."  This information can be found at WHFoods.

So, good for you.  And the taste?  FAB!  I cooked it just like rice, but instead of being starchy and flavorless, this has a faint nutty-ness to it.

On to my preparation...

Fried Turkey-Bean Quinoa
1 cup uncooked Quinoa (cook per package directions)
1 small onion
3 tbls butter
15 grape tomatoes, quartered
1 can black beans
10 baby carrots, chopped
2 turkey burger patties, cooked and chopped
Cumin, pepper, salt to taste

Saute onion in butter, add 1/3 of cooked Quinoa and carrots.  Once Quinoa is toasted (10 mins. or so), add remaining ingredients.  I served this warm with some crumbled feta cheese.  It would be good cold, as well.

I went heavy on the cumin, we love cumin.  This is great to add whatever you have in your fridge or pantry.  Next time, I'm thinking sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts.

Quinoa would be good in soup, too!

Give it a try!  I highly suggest buying from here, you won't be disappointed.  And these pistachio are truly HUGE!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Affirmation Project: The Aftermath

This project began after attending a Laugh seminar.  How to laugh through pain and laugh for your health.

A motivational speaker stated:  "We say negative things about ourselves 80% of the time."

I wanted to change that.

I did.

My month was filled with encouragement, kindness, and introspection.  It was a phenomenal exercise.  One that some of you participated on publicly and some privately.  I thank you for that.  It was good to know and feel that I wasn't alone.

I hope that you didn't find it self-absorbed.  The way I feel about myself has changed because of this Project.  I still have work to do, I still make mistakes, I still need work on walking the walk, but being positive truly helped.

We become what we think about.

Think good things.