Posts Tagged ‘whatnot’

Moving…

I have decided to recreate an old blog at a different website.  In time, I will close this site.  For now it will stay open to guide people over to my new site.

Please visit me at:  http://abirdinhand-ckb.blogspot.com.  If you wish to subscribe, please click on “Follow” at the very top and become a public subscriber. 

Almost all of my recent blogs have been copied over.  Some very old posts are there as well. 

Exciting changes are coming though.  I am working with Karen Valentine of Valentine Design who is Building Beautiful Blogs right here on my very own page.  The change will probably show up in a few weeks, so please…..stay tuned as the antics continue.

Links and Recipes

I just realized this morning that I had incorrectly typed the link to Seeds of Change in the list to the right.  I have since corrected it.  I also added a few new links to new-to-me blogs. 

Chelsea Blue Whispers is a lovely blog from Australia.  The author is in business with Cathy Penton of Simple Things-Small Joys in Queensland.  They each have their own blogs as well as the business blog. 

52 Flea is a new blog to me entirely.  I actually picked it up (and the others) from Chelsea Blue Whispers.  That is how the word spreads on this interesting medium.  I used to be referenced on others’ blogs with my first blog a few years ago, but not this one….not yet.  Anyway, 52 is most interesting.  Just looks that I love and wish to share.

What luck I had in running across Cannelle et Vanille.  I have no idea how to pronouce this pretty-looking set of French words.  The author is a chef, food stylist, and photographer.  What a great combination! Interestingly enough, especially for me, many of her recipes are gluten free.  They look absolutely yummy, something not always found with gluten free.  I can’t wait to try a few.

And finally, Heather Bullard.  Another woman after my own heart.  Her entire site is quite lovely.

PINEAPPLE-GINGER RICE WITH EDAMAME ~ I tried this new recipe last night.  I had intended to make it while Glenda was visiting.  I even had it clipped to the refrigerator, right in plain sight.  I finally made it last night and it is my NEW FAVORITE!!  I can see me making a batch each week for me to take to work for lunch and nibble on for dinner.  For me, it is a complete meal.  For some, it would be a side dish.  I got it from the Whole Foods Market website.  Please click on the link for the full recipe.  I think I will put my own spin on it in the future by adding different nuts and/or seeds, other herbs from my garden, and maybe apples or pears in place or addition to the pineapple.  The more I add, the more vegetable broth I will need to add to compensate.  It is good warm or cold.  For lunch today I added a drizzle of Drew’s Rosemary Basalmic dressing on top.  YUMMY!!  Hope you will try it and love it as much as I do.

“Those who don’t pick roses in summer, won’t pick them in winter either.”  German proverb.    HUH???

All Grown Up

Almost every day is filled with something wonderful and something not so wonderful. 

Here are some of my wonderful moments so far today:  My granddaughter, Kloe, gave me a sweet soy-milky smile while wrapped in her daddy’s arms as I kissed her forehead goodbye this morning (I kissed my son’s forehead too.)  My husband brought home a beautiful pint of blackberries from his walk to the grocery store.  All day I have been thinking of delicious ways to enjoy them and was once again reminded how I love that we can walk to the grocery store.  At lunch today, I began reading a beloved book, A Way to Garden by Margaret Roach (more on that later).

Here are some not-so-wonderful moments.  While sitting in my truck at lunchtime, enjoying my beloved book, I noticed how old my arms are starting to look.  Scars on my hands and some new cuts from pruning dead wood from my roses add to the damage caused by growing up in the Florida sun.  It was a not-so-gentle reminder that I’m almost 50.  (I still have 3 years to go, but my husband likes to call it almost 50.  Thanks, dear.)  Then I glanced again at the cover of A Way to Garden and noticed my favorite part:  the author’s hands look like my hands did this past weekend, covered in dirt with dirt embedded in my nails.  It has taken me almost three days to finally get the last of the dirt out and it doesn’t even bother me!  (So did I categorize this correctly after all?) 

In my constant struggle with my weight and how I really want to live, I feel defeated that I give up on my attempts to eat gluten-free/vegan.  It is truly what I want to eat and be, but it is an effort when I am the only person in my household who embraces it.  I am encouraged to be that, but I am the only one to eat that way, so that means two different meals or variations of a meal.  I don’t have the energy for all the prep and the result is that I will not be presenting my best self to my long-awaited friend.  (I hear my husband telling me that I am too hard on myself.  Yes, I know and I know that only I can make it happen.) 

And finally, I have just learned that a dear colleague where I work has died.  He was sick for about a year.  His quality of life was not good, so does one feel sad or silently rejoice that he is now in peace and with the Lord? (Perhaps both?) When a friend said to me, “Why does this always have to happen to the good ones?”  I found myself saying, “We will all have our day.” 

When I hung up the phone I thought, wow, I feel like an adult….all grown up to know that I will not live forever on this earth.  I pray I will live forever elsewhere, as I pray this gentleman does as well.  I even feel comfortable expressing my wishes for my own end.  I want to be cremated with some of my ashes scattered at the Bass Harbor Head Light on the coast of Maine and the remaining planted in the ground with a new tree in someone that I love’s yard; be it my son’s or one (or more) of my grandchildren’s yard.  I am hoping that it will be a long time off and that all my grandchildren will be all grown up with yards of their own and can say “That’s Grandma’s tree.  She is planted there too.”  This may gross some people out and may greatly upset my mother, but I really don’t want to be buried in a cemetery taking up space where some trees and flowers could be growing instead.  And NO FUNERAL!!!  I want a party, if the living feel there must be something.  It is depressing enough that a loved one has passed, but to have everyone endure a week or more of preparation so everyone can stare at my casket and weep?  No thank you.  When a friend died a year or so ago, we all met up by the beach to honor her love of the beach.  It was lovely. I want that.  Eat, drink, and be merry.  Shed a tear if you feel you must, but be outside enjoying all of nature…the trees, the birds, the flowers, the water — all the things that I love.  Play my favorite music.  And just to save my mom from the phone call that I know will follow this post, No, Mom.  I am not sick.  I am fine, just all grown up.  I love you very much and will see you soon!

And so while we all speak of our friend’s death, we also prepare to welcome another colleague’s granddaughter who is in the process of being born right now.   It is a continuum. 

So bascially, in their own way, all the moments have wonderfulness in them.  Even those originally considered not so.  When one can have these thoughts, see the good and accept the not so good, but carry on nonetheless….that is pretty wonderful. 

“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.”  …Unknown

“If growing up is the process of creating ideas and dreams about what life should be, then maturity is letting go again.”    …Mary Beth Danielson

 

Fake It Till You Make It

Someone said that to me years ago and it just stuck.  Today I will fake that I really don’t have a nagging sore throat; that the projects I always have on my list each night will really get done; that I really am not worried how my son will make it in this life and that his son and daughter will grow up to be perfect and well adjusted; and that I really don’t want to just be out in my garden up to my elbows in dirt instead of where I really am.  There – just writing all that down seemed to unload it all just a bit.  There isn’t much there that I have control over, so why let it continue to stew?

Over this past weekend, when my sweet little Kloe fell asleep in her swing, I ran out into the backyard in the hopes of planting a few new plants:  Russian sage Pevovskia and Powderpuff Mimosa strigillosa. 

To me the sage almost looks like lavender with stalks of lavender blooms.  I think two more will create the drift I am hoping for.  They only go to Zone 9, but I often have good luck with that still.  It is planted in a semi-shaded area under a tree that I wish I knew the name of.  It is a tropical tree native to South America (I think), with beautiful yellow blooms in the winter (which was why I wanted it) and BIG thorns (which is why I was asked to please not plant it a couple of years ago).  I planted it anyway.  I cannot fully stand under it yet so I am on my hands and knees digging a hole with my small hand trowel while trying not to get thorns in my back. 

The pink powderpuff mimosas are native to Florida.  I planted them in and amongst some other groundcovers…a creeping jasmine and dune daisies.  I like the idea of the pink powderpuffs popping up their little bushy heads there.  All in keeping with the backyard color scheme of purples, whites, pinks, and yellows (and shades thereof).

 Any gardener knows that when you are out there on your hands and knees (or finally just sitting there in the middle of the bed), weeds seen have to be removed.  I have a pesky weed that likes to invade everything in the yard….grass included.  As I was pulling it up and flinging it into a pile, I turned to look over my shoulder and saw our chickens feasting on them.  First of all, I didn’t even realize they were out.  It is a different view to be sitting on the ground when they are having their walk-about.  They look so much bigger.  Secondly, it was pretty cool to just watch them pecking all the leaves off the weeds I had discarded.  My pest was their feast. 

Out of nowhere, these lyrics popped into my head:

To everything: turn, turn, turn;
There is a season: turn, turn, turn;
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven.

I guess seeing the chickens eat what I had considered to be trash reminded me that everything has a purpose and place in this world.  And since I basically think life is one big musical anyway and that in certain situations one should just break out in song, I was not surprised that a song came to mind.  However, that particular Byrds song had not entered my mind in forever.  And right then and there, I felt peace.  I enjoyed just sitting in the middle of a flower bed, under a thorny tree, watching a chicken dance, and humming a song in my head.

Next scene, my husband is walking out of the house with our granddaughter, who is now awake.  He sits down in the grass so she can see the chickens up close and I can finish getting my few plants in the ground.  Here Comes the Sun, the James Taylor/Yo Yo Ma version, is next on the In Carol’s Head jukebox.  Truth be said, there is almost always a song going on in there.  Kloe mostly bears the brunt of my constant singing and often looks at me quizzically.  The other day I made up a little ditty that almost made her laugh.  She goes to sleep every night listening to Jewel sing lullabies.  I have no idea if it helps or if she likes it.  She seems to.  It makes me feel better anyway.

In my Fake It Till You Make It world, I often don’t have to fake it for long.  I just break out in song and everything seems better!

“I miss my singing career very much.”  Elvis Presley

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”  Ella Fitzgerald

And finally….

“If your lifeguard duties were as good as your singing, a lot of people would be drowning.”  Simon Cowell

Who Knew? Cinco de Mayo

I have to confess that once I actually said that I did not speak Spanish so I did not know what Cinco de Mayo meant.  As I was stared back at dumbfoundedly, he said, “Uh, cinco, as in the number five…”  The light went on.  Sheepishly, I said, Oh, yeah.  Cinco – five; Mayo – May…the fifth of May.  Admittedly, I catch myself saying “blondish” comments like that every once in awhile; thankfully, though, less and less as I age.

I also have to admit that I had no idea what was significant about the fifth of May to Mexico.  After a bit of research, I learned that Mexico defeated the French unexpectedly at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. 

Here is something else I learned in that research.  There are basically only two entities, worldwide, that celebrate Cinco de Mayo:  the State of Puebla (naturally) and……wait for it…..the good ole USA.  We just love a party, don’t we?!  Not even elsewhere in Mexico is this day celebrated, interestingly enough.  Perhaps it is that this country began as the melting pot of people from the world over.  We love playing host still and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so let’s be sure to celebrate every countries’ holiday (there is probably more truth to that than we know). 

Or another school of thought.  It’s all a marketing ploy.  Let’s find the common denominator, shall we?  St. Patrick’s Day….Irish beer (think Guinness); Oktoberfest….German beer (think Beck’s); Cinco de Mayo….Mexican beer (think Corona).   Yes….it is beer.  Not being a big beer connoisseur, it never really hit me before, but yes, I believe the beer industry is behind it all! 

I’m not complaining, mind you.  I’m thankful for the help with tonight’s dinner menu:  tacos, refried beans, chips/salsa, and an ice cold Corona Lite (with a twist of lime).  I am a marketers dream afterall.  To Mexico!  To Puebla!  Salut!