Monday, September 30, 2013

Back In The Kitchen

I don't have any real recipes to share today. I did make some pretty good things in the kitchen, though.

I started with Pickle Things: Deconstructed. Softened cream cheese, chopped up sliced honey ham, and diced dill pickles. I used our homemade pickles and added a little pickle juice to thin it out a bit.

The dish above is now empty, so I think that tells you how good it was. A special thanks to Jehremie's cousin Amber for suggesting this! So simple and so freaking delicious!

I made a salad for dinner. Halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced carrots, celery, and cucumbers, and sliced green onions marinated in olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

I poured the veggie mixture over chopped Romaine lettuce and added some crumbled baked bacon. It was light tasting, but very filling.

I also baked bread today. One large loaf and two small round loaves.

I'm thinking about taking one of the round loaves to a luncheon on Wednesday, since we are having a soup potluck.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A (Not) Starving "Artist"?

I'm not going to claim that I am an artist. I am still very far away from that. Maybe if I put that word in quotes, "artist", I can say it with a straight face.

On my Life List, there is a bullet point that says "Create art, even if it sucks." I've started actually doing that, spending part of my day most days sketching or painting. Here are two of the pieces I've done.

This is hanging in our bedroom. Frank and Lola was the first song J and I picked together as "our" song.

This will soon be hanging in an adorable little girl's room. Her grandfather is a true artist and has painted a large mural on her wall. This pales in comparison to his work, but I'm hoping it will compliment it.

I want to make the Move Mountains piece for another friend who was blessed with a little girl earlier this year. And I want to work on a piece for Matty's room, too. I'm thinking I might put something together tomorrow to send down this week, so they can hang it in his room at the hospital.

This isn't something that I expect to ever make money doing, but J pointed something out - he thinks it is therapeutic for me. His reasoning? "Because you worked on that piece from start to finish without a break." I think he might be right.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Knitting Needles Go Click, Click, Click

I am knitting. And praying while I knit, which sometimes leads to dropping stitches and having to pull out two or three rows of this scarf that has been an unfinished project for at least 3 years.

I remember when I bought this yarn. I remember the inspiration scarf I saw online. The inspiration scarf came with a hefty price tag and even though I had only finished one scarf in my extensive knitting history, I decided to go to Michael's and buy the yarn. And some new knitting needles, because new needles were obviously the key to finishing another scarf.

About a month ago, my friend Brandi started talking about learning how to knit. I sent her a link to the video I watched when I first learned to cast on and knit a row or two. And her learning to knit inspired me to pull out the scarf I started so many years ago and never finished.

I have been working on it off and on, adding at least a few rows each day. I am halfway through. And I have found that while I knit, I am able to focus on talking to God.

So tonight, when I got word that Brandi's son, my godson, Matty was in the ICU and was not doing well, I picked up the scarf and started knitting. And talking to God.

I'm trying to make sense of this whole situation. I know God is in control, I know that He has this plan, but I cannot wrap my mind around how this benefits anyone. I'm just going to keep praying for healing, whole, true healing, for Matty; for strength, and peace for his mom, who is the strongest person I know, but will need so much more strength to get through this; and for wisdom for the doctors, who with God's help, can turn the situation around.

It is going to be a long night. And who knows, I might have a finished scarf by morning.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Statue of Liberty - You Can't Beat That

Yes, this is another September 11th post, probably one of hundreds you will see today. I'm not going to tell you the story of where I was when I heard the news, or what phone calls I made, or what the faces of the people around me looked like. Everyone has their own version of that story and I think it is personal and tragic and hopeful, all at the same time.

What I do want to do is share with you one of my memories from the following weeks after the attacks. As a college student in 2001, Jon Stewart was the voice of the news for me, as I'm sure he was (and still is) to many of you. And he didn't come back to the airwaves quickly, he took time to get it together and prepare himself and to be respectful to the fact that maybe we just weren't ready to laugh yet.

And on September 20, 2001, 9 days after the towers fell, he came back to us. Here's what he had to say.

12 years later and I can remember so clearly that feeling of togetherness, united-ness, help each other-ness, that pervaded the nation in the days and weeks and months after the attacks. And then, it was gone. Business as usual. Every man for himself.

I'm not on a soapbox or a high horse about this, because I am guilty of what I speak. But maybe if everyone took the anniversary of that day and used it as an annual reminder to be a little nicer to the person standing next to us, to take a minute and be thankful for just being here, maybe then we could get back to that place we were 12 years ago and really unite as a nation. Maybe.

Monday, September 9, 2013

MSABC Fundraiser: My Paint Party

This is my second year as a member of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Team Grandmama's Girls. Last year, we did an assortment of different fundraisers, including a Premier Jewelry Party, a yard sale, a musical cabaret, and a paint party with Tana of My Paint Party.

Out of all of the ways we raised funds, the paint party was the most enjoyable. So much so that we decided to do it again this year.

The other girls on the team were nice enough to let me cater the event. I am considering this my first official catering job and I think it turned out pretty darn good!

This was the full spread, before all of us hungry women attacked it!

We started the day out with a mustache picture - It's not really a party unless everyone is wearing a mustache!

Cucumber Sandwiches with Whipped Dill Cream Cheese.

The cutest little BLTs you've ever seen!

Veggie Shooters with Homemade Ranch Dressing.

Rainbow Fruit Skewers.

Checkerboard Cake. There are no pictures of the inside of the cake, because when we cut into it, it kind of fell apart. This was my first time attempting this cake and I know what I will do differently next time. Lesson learned!

My mom brought these desserts and they were just delicious!

All of the paintings turned out great!

Mom and me with our paintings! Such a fun day!

We raised around $250 for Making Strides with this party - not too shabby!!