Friday, March 18, 2011

this kind of woman

We have these ideas and ideals for ourselves after each rite of passage (and probably more often than that as evidenced by yearly resolution-building). I married. I've had my children (let's hope), and they are young. I have worked now long enough not to be a complete newbie at my profession. So I have these ideas and ideals. You know, like the vintage mom thing. mary jane's farmgirl thing?

By the way, before I wanted to be Anne of Green Gables, period. (I might still?)




Let's see where we are now though. I want to be strong/fit--so healthy that no psoriasis can even find a place to pop up. When I eat food, I want to taste it really well. Maybe it's close to the perfection of C.S. Lewis' Perelandra. I want to make Wendell Berry, Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Pollan proud of me and my homegrown purity. Dig in the soil as we plant seeds and realize that dirt is in so many ways us.

I want to let any quirky ingenuity have a place to come out--maybe I could knit, maybe I could actually keep a journal regularly. I'm sure it comes out in some of the girls' experiences these days.

There is the kitchen floor, also . That Eureka steamer-ma-bob: so lovely. I actually like tidying up now. (Don't mention that to Mom--it could add some bitterness to the years of being patient with me in my messes.) Maybe I'll embrace cuponing and find ways to bring that CRAZY electric bill down (tell me yours is also crazy!?).

And what about sophistication? I find in these last two or three years that I like jewelry and some modicum of fashion (at least during the workday--I'm a still mostly a slob at home). The BBC is so good that it makes you want to slap your momma (Thanks, Fran.) Masterpiece Theatre, Sci Fi, Jane Austen, ahhhh.

I also hear Billy Joel's "Keepin' the Faith" echo in my ears from time to time. It's hard to stick with everything I assumed as a younger person. And then after reading awesome books and other sources devoted to making you really think: you don't care if it makes sense maybe? I don't really know how to describe this part. But I do think that if there really is a "God," that God is a whole lot bigger and more gracious than any of us could qualify and quantify. I feel a need to understand the unity of things these days.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Saint Patrick's Day

Some great Celtic/Irish bands: Lunasa, Solas, Peatbog Faeries, Shooglenifty, Kila.

A recipe definitely worth trying: Soda Bread (yum!--my neighbor, Marnie, always brings me some for Saint Patrick's Day.) Then, bread pudding made with the leftovers! We definitely need to try that. Here's another one: white and dark chocolate bread pudding.

A nice film for the day: The Quiet Man

Here is a cool page of blessings.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Belgian Endives

Typical Tuesday night in the Weldon household after getting bebes to bed and awaiting Sweetness: experimenting in the kitchen. I'm supposed to do a lentil coconut soup, but I'll save it for a night when I have more time.
 

Belgian Endives have always been a mystery to me. I can watch French films and read cookbooks all I want, but bitter is bitter for me typically. And then there is endive lettuce which I don't care for, but I decided to give an inviting recipe a try--I blame Molly Wizenberg for always making things sound so tasty and warm!
 

Check out her blog entry (from Orangette) on preparing these in a way that's tasty and not at all bitter. Get ready to kill most of the nutritional value though? Chicken stock, heavy cream, prosciutto, roasting/braising, butter and extra virgin olive oil. Need I say more?
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Waiting for...I dunno.

This isn't really a new post--I just put in with flannerybomb before I created this one. It probably belongs here rather than there. (Originally posted February 20th)



Eric and I watched a good portion of "Waiting for Superman," the documentary that supposedly exposes all of the failures of our school system. My heart was so given to the cause in general. The system is so behind in and of itself so I feel the frustrations that many involved parties also feel. But (there has to be one...) this documentary fell so short of actually getting us a panorama of the problems (or any viable solutions). We also saw nothing past the fifth grade, and all parents were painted as involved/caring and the charges of obviously brilliant children. There was no investigation into why the Nordic schools do better--just that they do. How about let's look at their culture in general also?

Where to we get to talk about the system at large? Where do we get to talk about potential community involvement via relationships? I didn't know that the American people truly wanted a government establishment to raise their kids (from motivation to fitness--you name it, the schools are now responsible). Most Americans would be appauled by invasive legislation that decided what practices occured at home, but we want the school systems to do it instead?

It's hard to understand that Bill Gates (a part of this new 2.0-3.0 world we live in) isn't familiar with the research on motivation for the new generation. Maybe we all need to read some of Daniel Pink's books.

I get that it takes a Village. As a teacher, I feel honored to part of that village. I'm just wondering what happened to parents, community groups and religious groups?

It would've been so interesting to me to see a two-parter that then went on to explore innovative ideas and practices that might REPLACE the system if we wanted to go there (especially since as a society we expect the schools to raise our kids). At least that would be more proactive and honest.

Cleanse


To improve my health (especially for my psoriasis), I'm planning a cleanse. I'll do the doTERRA GX Assist as a detox aid, and then I'll do the PB Assist as a probiotic addition. But during the cleanse, I want to make sure what I'm eating/drinking is helpful but not impossible with the rigors of life/family.

Bon Appetit's website is my first stop for inspiration. They have a Food Lover's Cleanse with days, plans and recipes. While I don't plan to actually cook each breakfast, lunch and dinner, but some recipes can add extra ideas. I've never done avocado smashed on whole grain toast, but some of my Miami friends swear by that as their breakfast each day in the peak season.

I need to get some basics to have around like almond milk and rye crackers. Giving up (at least most--besides a little parmesan?) cheese for a couple of weeks will probably be the hardest thing. I think I'll keep the really good carbs around instead of really veg-fruiting it.

This week I already had some fun making roasted sweet potatoes and a brussels sprouts/almond dish with balsamic. We also grilled squash and had some salads. All delicious! (The lentil casserole was a bust, I must admit.)

Old stand-bys like garlic roasted brocolli and smoothies will likely come in handy. I need to work in grains with fruit into breakfasts--oats, bulgar whatever. (A simple fiber bar is all I normally eat.) I'll throw things into yogurt here and there too.

I see room for miso soup.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stella and Dot


Here's dear Heather Carraway's Stella and Dot Website.

The cutest jewelry...ever. I mean it. I know it's pricey, but between the quality and the style, it turns out to be worth every penny. I wear everything I have ever purchased and often. I always look forward to what's coming out. Obviously I pace myself given the reasonableness of our income, ahem. It's also fun to cultivate a wishlist!

I don't do much with the huge/chunky stuff. They have beautiful delicate pieces that you can layer (stackable rings too which I probably wear the most!).

doTERRA essential oils

I'm starting to really fall in love with the doTERRA essential oils. They are the reason I don't have a headache anymore tonight (even after this extremely heavy, rainy day). They're reason my nasal passages are opened up well. They're the reason that I fell asleep two nights ago and slept soooo deeply.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Inspiration

It has been an inspiring weekend for me.

Some things are the same in that I miss Eric when there's a great Hapkido Seminar he goes to; and as regards the girls, I miss his help. :) I get nostalgic about him when he's leaving and even tear up some. Once we knew we should be together and get married, we never wanted to be parted again. Dating was short, and I'm sure that was part of it.

This time I decided that the girls and I had a special opportunity. For one, I was in charge of how things went so there was a distinctly personal flavor to the things we do. Most afternoons have that flavor, but we don't have enough hours there to let things ruminate. (That reflection in no way takes away from the flavor of Eric or the fun they have--we're just different which is brilliant.)

Our schedule was flawless--we transitioned into each part of the days gracefully, and there was little fussing. There were no ostentatious plans to make every craft or climb every mountain, but we did some making and going, together. We played music more than relying on the tv and had lots of snuggling. We had the sleeping scattered just right so that each girl got one on one time here and there.

Another magical part was the gift of realizing how much I can get done when I make some goals and get to it. I didn't have Sweetness and our plans/lack of plans to blur tasks at hand. I managed to clean the house and keep it clean all weekend. I paid bills, organized some papers, started some healthy goals, explored recipes and folded a lot of laundry. In any case, it's liberating to realize that sometimes we really do have enough to get things done and be happy at the same time.

Fun pictures at http://flannerybomb.blogspot.com/

Granted, I didn't take a lot of sleep or reading time. Those things are a luxury indeed. But that Mayan Chocolate surely helped!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spicy Maya!

Oh, merciful heavens!

I bought this chocolate bar on a whim from Wal-Mart (of all places!) to have some different chunks around to spice up my indulgence of hot cocoa. This Spicy Maya from Chuao is now one of my favorite things. Dark chocolate + Chile + Cayenne + Cinnamon!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mint.com

Budgets are an interesting attention-getter after the holidays. We start thinking about Spring Cleaning in January (and might get to it by Spring Break, ha!) and all sorts of purging. Purging of toxic foods, plastics, air. And purging of toxic habits like not watching the spending quite well enough to our liking. We want to have that 3+ months of spare income siting in savings. We want to have enough extra investments (outside official retirement plans or instead of them, depending on the earner) to feel like when we age more openly, it'll really be okay. We want to have enough saved for our girls to get them a dandy college/continuing education when they fly our nest in the first way.

Enter, Mint.com. Mint has a lot of possibilities built into it, and you can use whatever parts you want. It tracks your spending without having to figure it out, and it's free. (For what it's worth, if you bank with USAA, you already enjoy this service with graphs and everything.) So we'll give it a try and see if it will perk up our perspective more since we don't have the daunting task of crunching so many numbers ourselves.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eat Pray Love


I added "Eat Pray Love" to the list of books I'm reading except that I'm actually hearing it from CDs while I have my driving moments in the car. It might take an eternity to listen to this one, but I think a lot of the point is to slow down and get real so there we go. So far I think I like the book. It's not as contrived as I judged it to be the first time I tried to listen to it about a year ago, but perhaps I'm more patient. Which shouldn't be a bad thing.