Monthly Archives: October 2009

check.

  • attend community meeting where we spent a great deal of time discussing recycling containers?  Check.
  • accidently pushed car’s PANIC button on keychain after bedtime and most certainly woke neighbors?  Check.
  • made lunch for tomorrow?  Check.
  • made some guacamole?  Check.
  • ate said guacamole?  Check – check…check.
  • tired of the media coverage of the ‘balloon boy’ not-news mess in Colorado? Check.
  • put laundry from washing machine into dryer?  Check.
  • found old rusty wok; washed and seasoned it?  Check.
  • cleaned up clutter in kitchen so that i can now cook?  Check.
  • made and drank raspberry tea (that is good for women’s health)?  Check.
  • am going to turn in for the night before 10:30pm?  Check.

goodnight.

greens glorious greens

there’s kale in my refrigerator.  which needs to be cooked & eaten.  so… I’m in the process of decluttering the house so that I can free up some head space and cook… be creative… and enjoy some crafting or something else along those lines.

Am thinking of preparing some kale for lunch, with a sprouted grain bread sandwich (perhaps turkey? roast beef?).  And some grains for the week… and some beans.  Maybe make some spinach brownies for breakfasts this week, too.

and bok choy, too.  I really liked it the few times I’ve had it.. t here’s something to be said for stir fry – got a wok at IKEA a few years ago, and just used it for the first time a few weeks ago.  Time to break that puppy in!

Ok – off to finish the declutter project, to prepare some grains, and think about holiday gifts, which house project I’ll choose next, and laundry.  Yes, must think about laundry.

the ‘umph’ factor

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about the relationships in my life, what is working, what’s not working.  Seeing things from a different perspective.  Now I’m in the phase of starting to think about the next step.

Recently, I filled out a questionnaire.  One of the questions asked me to list the relationships that I find draining.  That was kind of easy to answer.

A different question asked me to list the relationships that give me energy. This process (including other questions) was enlightening – because I could not think of an everyday relationship that gives me energy.  In most of the immediate relationships, I’ve somehow set myself up as the ‘giver’ and the one who ‘counsels’ and ‘takes care of’… this fits with my personality, but this can also be exhausting in the long run if there’s not much in my daily life to help me refill my emotional / energy basket.  I had a conversation a long time ago with a family member about this – I think women in general struggle with this – and it makes me wonder why.

Now I know this sounds a bit new-age-y… but it helps me to literally understand the “umph” factor – literally, how much emotional stamina does one  have to give/share with others?

Maybe the new, unprocessed, whole foods I’m eating will help on the long run… giving energy, clearing cobwebs, and burning cleaner in my daily life.

smashing the attic

if i were to write an album, that would be the title.  or perhaps “stomping up rainstorm”.  maybe that could be the music group’s name, then the other one would be the first album.  …it’s ok – i’ve got plenty of time to decide.  seeing as i’ve only marginal musical talent.  must practice.  first step? choose instrument.

the air has started to turn cooler, and i’m getting excited about snuggling under covers w/ a good book or movie.  am home early today b/c last night we had parent-teacher conferences until late evening.  it’s nice to be home at this hour… hope i don’t waste it!  ~~~~~

~~~~~er, apparently i wasted most of it, because it’s just under 20 hours later and i didn’t accomplish anything except take a nap & bake a squash for dinner.  and watch television.  and read a book.  and, well, i *did* have long conversations with two different friends… so, yes – in essence, it was a productive afternoon nothing was wasted.

i’m off to an all-day seminar on healthy nourishment (it’s a 5 week course, this is day 1).  hope to learn a lot and connect with new people.  maybe when i get home i’ll accomplish something… like clean the clutter, organize something, or do some laundry.  just because my mind is cluttered doesn’t mean my house needs to stay that way …it just means i need to work harder to ‘declutter the clutter’.  maybe i should put that phrase on a bumper sticker.  i’d make millions.

spinach brownies

yes, that says “spinach brownies”
…now, i know what you’re thinking (eeeeeeew!) but keep reading – these are delicious!

here’s the original recipe:
1 (10 ounce) package spinach, rinsed and chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 onion, chopped (add garlic to taste)
1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese (and/or monteray jack, feta, swiss, parmesan …or a combination!)
– Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
– Saute onions, then place chopped spinach in pan. Cook about 3-5 minutes (until spinach is limp).
– Remove from heat and set aside.
– In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in eggs, milk and butter. Mix in spinach, onion and mozzarella cheese.
– Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before serving.

here’s the link – i switched the recipe a bit… i don’t recommend boiling the spinach (lose nutrients) and sauteing is yummy! and i added some garlic. and combined a few different cheeses. and…that’s it :)
**variation** use kale or chard (or a combination of both, quite possibly with spinach, too!)

i made a pan of these brownies, and will eat a  square or two en route to work this week.  it’s like a breakfast quiche… yum.

metacognition

i’m waiting for one of these to come out of the oven, while the tea is steeping… am enjoying sitting at the computer in my office where everything has recently been reassembled (the office was in quite dissaray since purchasing my new laptop in august – now the new cords & external hard drives & USB ports and adapters and such are all sorted out.  thank goodness)

the food thing over the past week has been ok, i’m cooking more at home which is a huge improvement. whole foods (just cut up some sweet potatos, have squash in the oven, and need to dice some apples & bake in the next day or so).

need to get out my winter wardrobe – went from hot summer to frigid temperatures in a matter of a week! which means the holidays are right around the corner. i’ve put my thinking cap on for WISE present ideas…

went to a friend’s 40th birthday party last night – very fun, got to meet new people. unfortunately, me being an introvert, this meant that i had little interest in being social today — need to bank some down-time and restore some of that energy!   staying home was all well and good, because i was able to do some laundry, cooking, cleaning, some movie watching, and loads of thinking. some say thinking is overrated, but i respectfully disagree :)

i’ll think tonight on thoughts to share here with you about thinking.

cuts like a knife

when you do something more frequently, you’re more likely to have an accident.

or, if you’re cooking in the kitchen more with sharp utensils, you’re more likely to slice your thumb.  with a *really* sharp knife.  because you recently sharpened it.  because you’re in the kitchen more… cutting apples for a baked apple crumble sort of thing (because you just went to the farmer’s market).

my first thought was: wow.  that sliced through pretty deeply.

2nd thought: whoa.  i cut myself.

3rd thought: should i take photos to post on the blog?

4th thought: there’s a lot of blood – hurry, stop thinking about photographs – make it clot!

so, unfortunately, you have no photos.  but while holding my arm over my head trying to make the bleeding cease this weekend, i thought about ian’s post a few years ago (recently mentioned by miss lisa how odd is that??!  ian, your layman’s finger infection certainly made an impression)

so i’m happy to report that 7 bandaids later, my thumb is in the process of healing. edges of skin are together.  healing underway.  no stitches necessary.

~.~.~.~ the food thing is going ok – sauteed some swiss chard, added sunflower seeds, the last bit of my mexican-flavored tofu/beef, cheese, salsa, remnants of tortilla chips, and an avocado for dinner.  was really hungry, but didn’t eat but 1/2 of it.  so there’s another 1/2 for lunch tomorrow.  finished dinner off with the baked apple dish from the epic thumb-knife-flesh-slice incident.

tried a new church this weekend.  didn’t get up the nerve to make a decision until I was already going to be 15 minutes late…but i rationalized that by 1) not having to do the awkward new person thing; walk in after it started and 2) i could make up some of the time by driving really *really* quickly on the highway.  i was almost outside of myself as I was getting ready…luckily i didn’t get in the way and stop myself from going.  it was a very nice service, i was comfortable, the people were nice but not too intense (although, for some people it may have been).  talked to a nice couple after the service, they were very engaging and solicitious, but not in a weird way.  before we left the conversation, the husband asked if they could pray for me. i said yes.  it was really nice.  and then they asked if i’d like to meet the pastor?  i said no thanks, if i run into him on the way out i’ll say hello, but don’t track him down on my account.  then i turned to leave… and as i was walking toward the back to exit the church, he was hurrying toward the exit from the opposite direction – to intercept my path.  we had a nice conversation – i didn’t get any of the yucky vibes i’ve gotten when i’ve gone to churches in the past.  and apparently in this church it’s ok to be a single woman – they don’t treat you like a pariah.  the pastor’s granddaughter came up while we were talking, and he picked her up & they cuddled – she’s 3, and showed me her coloring page (a little drawing with sheep and a shepherd).  i wonder, sometimes, about people’s spiritual gifts.  because i wonder if the pastor was able to see something about me or my life through his gift.  because during the sermon (which was about love, being lovable, finding love thorough our relationship with G-D…  many of the things i’ve recently been wrestling with) he looked directly at me multiple times while preaching.  now, this could have been because i was new.  or he saw me enter after the service started.  or perhaps it was the bright green vest i wore to keep warm in the cool weather… or perhaps it’s because he could see something.  or maybe he’s just friendly.  yah…we’ll go with that.  he’s just friendly.

so all in all, it was a positive experience, and i’m actually looking forward to going again next weekend.  i’m gonna plan to get there early for the ‘coffee hour’ that starts 15 minutes before the service… or 25 – 30 minutes before.  whatever.

just can’t go home again?

Luckily the weather is starting to turn…the days have begun getting shorter and darker and cooler – winter will soon be upon us. Perhaps it’s time to start going through last year’s clothes to find long sleeves and sweaters and jeans and pants and leggings… or maybe I’ll wait one more week, dress in layers, and enjoy the crispiness of the season change.

I got very nostalgic for past things & people who came with autumn. Earlier in the week, became very nostalgic. Momentarily sad. But then I had a very stern talking-to to myself, and things are a bit more on track. Sometimes we’ve got to go to extreme in order to begin change & make progress in a positive direction.

Hmmmm….wonder if that’s what has taken me so long with this food thing. Now, when I’m in the grocery store or out & about or with friends & food, I can see very clearly what’s a good food to fuel my body.  Am starting to create a new normal about what it means to eat, fuel my person, what will taste good, what foods will make my body feel good… the infamous dream-inducing pizza? total crap. And it’s good for me to have experienced this… this is a trial & error process.

This morning I went to two farmers markets – one is closer to my home, but I’d never been before. It was nice, but a little bit trendy and $. And few farmers/vendors. So I stopped by the cash machine and went to a second farmers market (this one is open year round) and was able to score some ripe bananas (good for banana bread & frozen to make smoothies in the future) and a variety of apples (whooo-hoo, love apples) and some goat cheese… lots of good finds.

I still don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I work with children, so there *are* children in my life. Just none that are mine. And maybe I’m gonna be ok with that. In the future. And I saw so many wonderful young families and couples and fathers & husbands at the markets today… providing for their families and loved ones. [edit: i know, i know…stop whining.  it’s just that this is where I am right now] And this observation is not necessarily envy. Because I’ve had a few people in my life who have said they loved me. I’m not sure how valid it was, based on the context…but that’s a story for a different day. Therefore, my logical mind concludes that I’m lovable. And I was created to love & give (am learning that it’s important to be a bit more reserved in this area…the ‘giving to people who are gentically programmed to take’ and have  a predisposition to not meet needs or give anything of themselves in meaningful way) It’s more of a noticing that these things are not present at the moment. But perhaps that’s because I’m not ready for them. [edit: i know – i get it…truly: get on with my life.  Ok, so it’s not how i thought it would be.  so pick yourself up by the bootstraps and create a new normal, a new future, a new present – just do it!] It is tiring to hear friends and acquaintances tell me about waiting, it’s when you’re not looking, or when you’re busy living love knocks at your door. Ok. I get it.  That’s ok. Fine. I’m a smart woman.  I’m just trying to wrap my head around more years of the same… there’s only so much of this independent-I-can-do-it-myself-so-I-don’t-get-hurt-or-disappointed-style I can do. It’s exhausting. I need people. I need my friends. I need to care. And I’m tired from pretending that I don’t care. Because I really, really do. But it’s ok. I’m going to be just fine. There *are* people in my life who edify me. I just need to let them know that I need them. Perhaps that’s a significant portion of the problem. Letting them know. But how often is someone supposed to ask for help and share his/her need with people when they don’t respond or attempt to meet some/any of those expressed needs? Again, it’s exhausting. Perhaps I’m my own worst enemy. That thought has crossed my mind before. Then there’s the whole notion of moving… will moving really help me address these issues? yes, I’ll be closer to my parents and old friends from 15+ years ago…and my roots & old stomping grounds. But I’m still me. I’m still gonna be there. Moving is just geography. And there’s the old saying that ‘we can’t go home again’…to which I agree.

My thoughts sometimes get loud, and I can’t really think because there’s so much going on in my head…  so over the past few years I’ve figured out a solution: listen to music really *really* loudly… then I can enjoy it without my thoughts interfering with the enjoyment. So today’s loud musical craving is Ingrid Michaelson. here, too. And John Mayer. And Jason Mraz.  Loudly.