Friday, April 30, 2010

Food Your Grandparents Like

What a pretty soft, color this cabbage has.

Tried a stuffed cabbage recipe from this book since I have the dreggs of fall cabbage left in the garden. (That sounds appetizing: Stuffed Dreggs)

Anyway, it seemed like the kind of recipe my mother or grandmother would've made.

So, I poured couscous and water in the bottom of the dutch oven instead of rice,

lay cabbage leaves over that,

mixed the meat, egg, carrot, onion, garlic, herbs, and tomatoes to layer over the cabbage,
and layered a mixture of tomato juice, lemon juice, seasoning, and sugar over that.

Then I repeated layers of meat, cabbage, and juices.

I have no pics of it after that because we were starving and ate it up as soon as it was done, but it was great. I love the slight sweetness in it. Only drawback is that my children have discovered they don't like couscous, which is crazy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My 70's Dream

No more droids for me! It came!

(365 Day 114 Photo)

I've wanted one of these for long time, but, silly me, I couldn't justify the purchase unless I could get a hold of the film. I should've had faith and bought one while they were cheaper, at the risk of it being a dust collector.

So, here it is- missing hinge pin and all- awaiting a film order.

Now I'm a little afraid of being disappointed- that it won't work or I'll take such awful photos that I feel guilty ordering the film.
I have no idea what I'll end up with.

Ah the mystique of polaroid.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Weird Potatoes

Just an update on my Potato Tire Experiment:

I let the potatoes tops in the first tire grow to about 8 inches, then added a tire and more dirt.

My son and I planted the next few seed potatoes and watered it really well.

It is really too late to expect much more than this. It just stayed too cold too long this Spring, and has warmed up really quick.
But we are hopeful that we'll get two tires worth of red potatoes.

Potatoes are so weird.

(365 Day 113 Photo)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lot of Sole

I know, what a cheesy title. And you just thought blogs were the non-dairy way to say, "Dear Diary..."

I run. It's just something I have to do.

(sole, 365 Day 110 Photo)

It probably started when I was a girl trying to escape an older brother in a neighborhood full of boys.
But even as a teenager, when no one was chasing me, I would sometimes just take off running in the middle of the night. It didn't occur to me that this was unwise. I just felt so frustrated, I had to.

I ran track, but hated being timed and managed. Trails were (and are) my favorite.

It still doesn't matter how fast I move as long as I move. I can be a little old lady doing the Tim Conway's little old man shuffle down trails one day, and still be in my own happy world.

It can be hard, against the wind, cold, boring (if I run the same old route), but it is THE perfect metaphor for discipline in life.
Like Paul's letter to the Hebrews about laying aside what weighs us down to run the race set before us, with our eyes fixed on the source of our faith.

I can apply it to every situation.
Example: "I can smile and be polite to this person though it feels like it will kill me. It's just like running uphill. I feel like I can't go farther but I always do and feel better for it afterward."

I just started back a few months ago after taking a year and a half break to heal a foot injury (not from running) and once I got back into it I realized how wired I'd been, wound up. There weren't as many ways to burn off my pent up energy. Yoga was great, but sometimes I felt like I would burst if I couldn't just take off down a wooded road and physically go someplace while my mind went some other place.

So, I went today, down a supposedly haunted road where I almost stepped on a dead alligator. Just me and God for only a half hour and now I feel calm, and a little spent, inside.
Nap time.

The Moth

Drawn to light, but rarely settling enough to savor it. Not self-destructive, just sometimes self- defeating.

I can move through life, craving more, but not stay in one place long enough to experience it. The last year has been an effort to slow down.

(365 Day 108 Photo)

But, I do like blur. It implies a moving story. Or change. I think in blur and remember in it too.

If I capture light in a photo the way I capture a moment or memory, particularly a difficult one, in my mind, it will likely be distorted this way.
I like me better this way, if I can get the lesson from that time in my life without the harsh edge in my memory.

Even wonderful times in my life (when all I had to do was play with my little children all day, and when I was a girl) are a bit fuzzier, no- softer, each year.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

" Say Good Morning and to Really Mean it."

(365 Day 107 Photo)

I had that song "12:30" in my head yesterday as I was braiding these flowers. It's one of my favorites from the Mamas and the Papas.
I know they were pretty messed up, but I have a soft place for their albums and when I hear this song I'm overwhelmed by that feeling of melancholy nostalgia and hopefulness. I feel like I need to fly through the front door and just run as fast as I can.

I tried to catch a little flare in these and was successful in the first one. It gives such a serene, warm feeling to the photo.
Unfortunately it wasn't really that kind of moment. I was in such a hurry to go somewhere that I didn't bother with a tripod, so I had to crop my contorted arms out of the picture.

Ha! The original has a whole different, circus-like feel to it. But, these are the woes of 365 and a busy life.

Today, however, is that kind of day! : )

On a totally unrelated note, I've been about 50 days without using traditional shampoo on my hair and though it is still untamed and in need of a cut, it does seem healthier and is definitely less oily. I can now go 4 to 5 days easily between washings without having to pull it back in a ponytail if I don't want to; whereas, I used to have to wash every day or it was a grease pit.

(this pic on my Flickr)

Take a look at these images of the band.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Perfect Yoke

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden light." - Matthew 11:28-30

It's' the solution to my diatribe of yesterday.

(365 Day 106 Photo)

I got to my study group late tonight, having done none of the "homework", just in time to hear Beth coin this phrase to describe what's been wearing me down: "The captivity of activity."
That about sums it up.
I can trade the bricks on my back for an easy yoke. All I have to do is walk along with Him and learn. And who wouldn't want the company of Someone gentle and kind. Really kind.

What does rest look like to me?
To back out if I need to.
To rest from trying to please any person.
To rest in the fact that I really tried in situations where someone let me down, and that was all I could do.
To be still and let Him defend me.
To rest in knowing it will all be worth it one day.
To loosen my grip on my daughter and replace the control with more love.
To be good enough for Him as I am.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Give Up!

I give up! I can't do it and I'm not going to try.

Seems like every time you turn around, someone is recruiting: a noble cause, the PTA, classes I take, the church, the neighborhood, or my own inner voice of doom. The whole of society is telling us that with one more membership, meeting, certification, or upgrade we'll finally be all that we were made to be.

That if you're good at something, there's an unspoken responsibility to pursue it with abandon, master it, chair a committee on the subject, bring covered dishes to their meetings, and then write a book about it.

What if a just want to dabble at some things?

(365 Day 105 Photo)

Do I have to constantly one up my last commitment by adding another hour or two of service each week. Will this make me involved enough? Or should I be pushed into outdoing my latest goal of learning a new skill by becoming so proficient at it that I can teach it at least once or twice a week?
As if a few solid commitments or goals beyond that of family is too flimsy or, even worse, too selfish.

I want to be a good child of God, a good wife, a good mother, a good daughter, a good friend.

Everything else is just hobby. And who wants the words hobby and success in the same sentence. Or hobby and business? It's self defeating.

What are we giving up here? Lazy days with our kids? Home cooked meals? Permission to quit? Permission to fail? Silence, for goodness sake?

I'm not knocking honest work or volunteering, etc. Just this pressure to do more and more of it than any generation ever.

Let me dabble quietly, maybe or secretly, often. Let me wander about and leave off a project that bores me instead of finishing it and turning it into a network marketing scheme.

I can play at Jack of all trades.
And I can die happily as a master of none.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

With Silver Bells

How does it grow? Beats me.

(365 Day 103 Photo)

So far, I have underwatered (that was two seasons ago and this year some of those seeds are finally sprouting- huh?) and I've overwatered (hence my pathetic fall tomato crop- like, one.)

Oh, how to know, when you don't know, exactly how much water is right. I usually just hold the hose over an area until it "feels right" to move on.

But I read somewhere that I could put a tin can in there and try for about an inch a week. This sounds a little more dependable than using The Force to guide me, so I'm giving it a try.

However, I noticed that the can is almost empty every day. I guess its just really warm here. So, I used the force to fill it today, then I'll go by that amount each day to estimate how much is enough. Did that even make sense?

Oh well, we have company for the weekend, so that's as intelligible as this is going to get.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Have Lots of Plans

(365 Day 101 Photo)

I'm going to sweep the garage.
I'm going to finish the book I'm on and read some Jane Austen.
I'm going to start Rosetta Stone Spanish again. Just 30 minutes a day.
I'm going to bake bread for sandwiches.
I'm going to practice piano.
I'm going to figure out Gimp.
I'm going to do a back walk-over.
I'm going to write some letters to relatives.
I'm going to walk my dogs after supper.
I'm going to organize my closet.
I'm going to cut out silhouettes of the kids.
I'm going to pull weeds.
I'm going to finish that sweater.
I'm going to get a nap.

Of course, I didn't do any of it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Through a Glass, Darkly

"For now we see as in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I am known." -1 Corinthians 13:12.

(365 Day 84 Photo)

I wonder how many things have been titled that since the first century.

What is the most important thought there for you? For me, it is the words, "just as I am known." I may have to wait to know everything else, but I don't have to wait to be seen,
to be searched,
to be truly known.

(365 Day 100 Photo)

I think ten years ago that would have been little comfort, because I am like a child. I wanted an outcome. I wanted to steer, not hang on for the ride.

Well, now I'm hanging on, tightly, and I want to know the One I hold on to. But, honestly, right now, being known means everything to me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Mary-budde that Shuts with the Light

She "goes to bed wi' th' sun,
And with him rises weeping.' - Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale

It does seem to be craning to look at the sun for guidance through the day.
The name Calendula came from it's tendency to bloom with the calendar (each new moon.)

Once it's petals and leaves were used to cure sore throats, rub on bee stings, inhaled to induce sneezing, rubbed in lotions on sprains, boiled in broths to strengthen the heart, and distilled to treat sore eyes. (One herbalist, Macer, declared just looking at they're sunny color would draw evil humours out of the head and strengthen eyesight.)

A dye could be made by boiling the petals down, which Eleanour Sinclair Rohde said some would use to color their hair when discontent with the color God gave them. (Harsh)
Then there was the claim that an amulet of marigold leaves, bay leaf, and a wolf's tooth would cause all who spoke to the wearer to be kind.

I planted a patch last summer to use the petals in my soap (it really does have antiseptic and immunostimulant properties) and loved the idea of such a useful beauty. But, alas, it became a sad little caterpillar farm.

(365 Day 98 Photo)

But the the good thing about planting heirlooms, is that they will reseed and come back stronger than before. And they have. Yippee, I'm not a failure!
Now, where did I put my wolves' teeth.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Occasionally I actually dress up, wear nice shoes, put on jewelry, or at least comb through my hair. I've never been big on "pretty." It just wasn't in my vocabulary. Good, yes. Useful, yes. Honest, kind...yes and yes. But pretty seemed overrated and silly. My thinking was that as long as a person's clean and true to themselves, they're the beautiful that God made them to be.

(365 Day 96 Photo)

Why these musings on my appearance?
I sent my daughter off to her first Prom tonight and thought how well she handled her nervousness and awkwardness at being so fixed up and in the spotlight.
Needless to say, I never did the Prom thing.

(feeling "forties" in my thirties, 365 day 92 Photo)

She chose a real classically pretty dress with low heels and a simple jewel necklace. She has good taste. But she also has someone to coach her through it, even if that someone shleps around in sneakers and ratty jeans most of the time.

I had my grandmother and only the memory of my beautiful, gentle mother to teach me what beauty was when I was her age. So, maybe I found my way to being comfortable with beauty on the outside a little more slowly. I did adjust to it, then re-adjusted in my mid thirties when my confidence was tested again.
In fact, the whole 365 thing is a challenge to me for this very reason. I've found many more ways to look at myself than that quick glance in the bathroom mirror accompanied by, "ugh."
I always knew there was beauty in faded t shirts and lazy hair. In motherhood, or noticing how someone's feeling, or just being who I was made to be.
But I have mellowed and decided if everyone can be pretty, then it's okay to want to look pretty. (I say this, then realize my head is cut out of all of these pics.)

(hoodie, 365 Day 59 Photo)

So, I let myself be pretty too. Just like I am. But once in a while, it is nice to do something extra, even if it's just a pair of earrings under a hoodie to feel extra pretty.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another 365 (Pic, Not Kick)

(365 Day 94 Photo)

I really like this one. I think martial arts is the most fun thing I do. I think I was made to do this. Did God create me with this in mind? I would learn it all if I had the money, instructors, and energy. But for now it's just taekwondo class, books, and the garage.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Mom, That Crazy Lady is Rolling Around in the Grass Again."

And that's how we know its spring. There are stains on the knees of my boy's jeans and little blades littering the floorboard.

(365 Day 93 Photo)

There's the smell of it and the Saturday morning sound of it being cut (or not, another possible point of contention with neighbors.)

But even when it's long and itchy, it looks pretty in the breeze, like suburban fescue.

Kids, tomorrow lets lay in the mounds of clover and make flower crowns for the dogs.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Camp Ttv

A little more of our trip through the viewfinder.