Thursday, March 31, 2022
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Tonight's dinner was a choose your own adventure. There were a few leftover options and pantry items for anyone to make their dinner dreams come true. I opted for some ramen with fresh spinach. I wanted something warm and soupy. It fit the bill.
Then I found myself craving something sweet. Growing up, we rarely had sweet treats. My snacking as a kid was primarily chips with salsa and veggies. I liked sweet things; we just didn't have them in the house.
As an adult and a mom, this is mostly still true. We usually have some sweet snacks for school lunches and an occasional bag of licorice hanging out in the pantry. We also almost always have fresh fruit, probably the most consistent sweet treat.
I did that thing where you stand, staring at the fridge, waiting for things to change. Contemplating--I wanted something with chocolate, but I also wanted fruit.
With that, I grabbed my vanilla almond yogurt, blackberries, strawberries, and some chocolate chips. That little cup of delightfulness was better than expected and better than the handful of licorice I did consider eating instead.
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
|My tea cupboard is a point of pride. I love having an organized cabinet.|
|A bit of sass.|
Monday, March 28, 2022
Sunday, March 27, 2022
- crab legs
Sometimes an almost 15-year-old gets lucky and all the things desired are acquired. I think I'm ready to celebrate my youngest tomorrow. What is your favorite birthday meal?
Saturday, March 26, 2022
Today I was wrapping birthday presents for my 14 soon to 15-year-old. I got to work organizing the gifts, wrapping, and taping. I found this pretty paper with a plant design and it sent me into a memory.
When I was little, we shopped at this store called Milliken's. It was in downtown Traverse City, and at the time, it was a large department store. It had a basement where you could get things gift-wrapped. I LOVED going downstairs to watch the gift wrapping process. The sound of the paper swishing off the roll, the scrape of the scissors searing through the paper. The rolling of the tape and snapping sound of it being pulled from finger to paper. My favorite part though, the ribbon. Often the gift wrappers would double bow and double wrap with ribbon in a layering design. The craft of this whole process was mesmerizing and beautiful.
I recall I would later find empty boxes and wrap them, perfecting my bow and ribbon designs. It was so rewarding and fun. They would become little decorations in my room until I decided I wanted to try a different style or color. One of those oddly amusing activities I found myself doing as a child.
Friday, March 25, 2022
Credit: @themodernnonna via TikTok
Since I had some leftover rice (I always make way more rice than I need), I asked Arie if they felt like having fried rice for lunch. It was a yes, so I got started. Fried rice comes together so quickly and is so delightfully umami-full. For some crunch on the side, I air-fried some breaded cauliflower.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
When it's possible, I love to include photos in my slices. It adds a little interest and a peek into my life beyond the words. Had things gone a bit differently earlier today, perhaps I would have included a picture with the story I'm about to tell. Then again, I don't think this would have been a story I would tell had things not gone the way they did.
My husband forgot his coffee this morning, so I made a quick run to his school to deliver the much-needed caffeination for the day. He was grateful.
On my way home, a short five-minute drive, I decided to detour at the pharmacy. I had a couple things to pick up, and it was a good time to make the stop.
When I got inside, I noticed some eyebrow waxing, care, and shaping cosmetics. Since high school, I've been doing my own eyebrow shaping and am pretty adept with tweezers. I don't always reach for the wax, but I decided to get a kit. This kit was one with pre-waxed strips.
I got home and decided it was the right time to handle the crazy brow situation I had been neglecting. The kit was straightforward. I opened the strip and carefully applied it to my right brow. Pressing firmly, I prepared for the rip. It was perfect! Which only added to my confidence. Ready to repeat, I set things in motion for an equally mirrored brow on the left side.
Adjust the mirror.
One little bit of the strip was stuck in a small tuft of essential arch-dependent hairs. And there they went. It's been so many years since I had a brow mistake I was utterly taken aback. I quickly accepted that it would be several weeks, maybe a couple months, before regrowth. So, brow pencil it is.
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Today has started off as a day of wrestling. Not the, pin them to the mat kind. Instead, it's the, making my brain hurt kind. My day began with the need for some intense parenting. Then I listened to some of what I'd missed regarding the supreme court confirmation hearings of Ketanji Brown Jackson. This caused both bewilderment at some of the questions posed and was quickly replaced with awe and pride witnessing the patience and integrity of Judge Jackson. Then I wondered into thoughts of tackling the pantry today or reading my new book Culture As Weapon by Nato Thompson. Am I in the mood for mindless progress or thoughtful progress? I'm not sure. I'm sometimes just not sure about a lot of things. Do we just need to wrestle with thought and then accept that what is, is, and what isn't, isn't?
I'm sitting here wrestling with what to focus my attention on at this moment, and the answer is not clear. There are more profound things at work here in this mind of mine. Sometimes I wonder if my intent on thinking things over, if the process of reasoning with turmoil, if it is burning away my abilities to sustain such thought. And I suppose, lucky for me, the answer is also not a sentence to some binary consequence.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
In the summer of 2017, we bought our first camper. Before and during parenthood, Shawn and I had been camping in tents for 20 years. It felt like it was time to upgrade. We were so happy we did! It was a small camper but a perfect size for our young-ish kids and us.
Now, our adult-sized kids' feet hang off the bunks, and their adult-sized clothes take up multiple spaces. We have a bigger dog than we did back then, and we'd like to take more long-distance trips. Maybe even do some completely off-grid camping with solar! We've got some camper dreams.
When I was scrolling Facebook last week, you can imagine my surprise when a near-perfect camper came across my feed from one of the groups I follow. When I say near-perfect, it checked all the boxes of what we are looking for. Not too long, but double bunks. A little more internal space, but not too big overall. I gasped.
Me-"I think I just found...the one!"
I immediately read more about the camper, so did Shawn and the kids. We all agreed it seemed like it was meant to be. I sent a message to inquire, and we determined we would pick a day after the weekend to set up a time to take a look.
And, you can imagine my disappointment when I messaged the seller, and there have been crickets. Trying not to be too pushy, I sent another message last night. Still nothing. I had hoped today's slice would be about camping dreams fulfilled, but I guess we are still looking.
Monday, March 21, 2022
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Ah, spring is official, and the day matched it perfectly. There have been some years here in Michigan where we might have had drizzle, snow, or ice on the twentieth of March. But not today. I was outside for a good portion of the day. It felt WONDERFUL!
What did spring reveal?
Saturday, March 19, 2022
- egg rolls
- breaded fish fillets
- tater tots
- roasted corn
- fried pickles
- fried cauliflower
- fried mushrooms
- roasted root veggies
- roasted chick-peas
- brussel sprouts
- corn or lentil fritters...
Friday, March 18, 2022
Gentle pulling led to two very intact root systems.
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Yep, that little blur is what put a bright clear smile on my face. I love seeing robins this time of year.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Over the past few days, I've been thinking about my blogs and the evolution of my blogging life. I started my first blog called "Teaching Young Writers" over ten years ago. Since then, I've had three blogs using the Blogger site service.
In 2013, when I joined Stacey and the new team at TWT, I got introduced to WordPress. I've loved WordPress for TWT, and lately, I'm feeling pulled into organizing the other blogs in my life into one nice space on WordPress too.
I was reading up on it last night and this morning, fighting the urge to start. Wondering, is this my way of procrastinating the other responsibilities I have today? I think it might be. Making the change will take a bit of my time and energy. Not to mention, doing it in March would be a terrible time to make the switch. Even though I may have some time and energy today, I don't have to use it for something that isn't really all that urgent.
Do you find you do this too? You have that list of things to do, but your mind is thinking about something else, and for whatever reason, the less urgent thing feels--well--more urgent?
I'm going to fight the urge and put this item on my calendar. Maybe if I give it a space and time all its own, the idea of it will stop nagging at my brain.
Monday, March 14, 2022
I love food. I also love food blogs. While growing up, cooking was always seen as a labor of love. Many staples live among the recipes in memory, books, and on slips of paper.
After the first of the year, I got one of those coupons for a discount on a food box subscription. I have long wondered and been curious about these kinds of delivery services. That coupon came when I needed a bit of a lifeline, so I jumped and started an account.
We've received two meals a week, all plant-based (yay for me), for the past four weeks. It's been great. I've loved getting new recipe ideas. I think my favorite part, though, is the seasonings and sauces that come with the kit.
I talked with my mom about the kits and told her what a great idea they are, especially for new cooks. The recipe cards read much like a blog post, minus the anecdotes. All the photos are there, and the timing of the steps allows for all the parts of the meal to come together simultaneously. So much of making a meal is the planning, preparation, and then all of it coming together. I have loved not having to think about this as much each week. AND I have all these new recipes too!
Here is tonight's meal--Peruvian Spiced Cauliflower with Avocado Slaw and Quinoa
Sunday, March 13, 2022
I have long loved a good football movie. In my growing wisdom (really just aging), I've realized that most football movies, and nearly all sports movies, can be problematic.
That "based on a true story" stuff, well, it's typically more "based on" than "true." At least, that's been my experience when looking deeper into a film that makes me feel a certain way, in particular, a movie centered on racism as the core problem.
It doesn't change that sports and stories centered on sports attract an audience. It's fun to watch drama wrapped up in a competition. I have to admit, I love it. I also ask myself to think past the plot's surface.
Just enjoy the movie.
Well, that would be easy for me to say, so I try to at least think on it longer than that feel-good feeling I might find myself getting.
This weekend, we've watched Remember the Titans about four times. This is a movie I enjoy (again, check Google, you'll see major parts of the plot are just plain false), but we were watching it for a different reason. My son was working on a paper for his communications class. He was tasked with choosing three characters and picking apart their leadership skills. I thought it was a pretty neat assignment. Also, I didn't mind watching the movie four times.
Similar to reading a book multiple times, I saw how aspects of the storyline were inflated and falsified for entertainment. Now, I know a movie is meant to entertain. My question, the one swirling in my head over and over, when is entertainment more important than the truth? If someone says a story is based on truth, people may watch and believe it as truth. So, what narratives are created when this happens? That's what bothers me and picks at my thought process. And, I don't mind. I'll keep letting it pick.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
Today is my nephew's 27th birthday. We celebrated over Zoom with family since we would all be in different places today. One of those things learned by all of us because of the pandemic.
We've had a lot of Zoom birthdays, anniversaries, and family celebrations over the computer. Even though it isn't the same as being together, it is a nice substitute for no other alternative.
During the call, my sister told the story of Adam's birth, minus a few details. We all talked about where we were, what we were doing, how different things were back in 1995. Like, we all had to make calls on payphones from the hospital to tell other family members. My husband was my boyfriend, and I was still in high school. So much has happened.
It was a fun chat, catch-up, and birthday song sing-along. Even when you are 27, you can still have a little family party.