Saturday, July 31, 2010

: Thursday : Nature :

This week, I haven't been out much with my camera. Perhaps, next week will look a bit different. I have been seeing a lot more worth capturing. It is just that I put it off until later and inevitabley never get to it.

So, here I am capturing another sweet pea in my yard with several buds that haven't bloomed, which is lovely, being that most of the sweet peas in the area are dying off in the dry heat of summer.

These are growing everywhere! On each stem, this flower resembles the miniscus of a water droplet on a surface, but when one looks closer, they will find hundreds of teeny tiny blooms that create the shape seen from afar. I was glancing around to figure out exactly what flower this is that grows everywhere this time of year where I live, but the closest resemblance is to that of yarrow or elderberry and I am pretty positive it is neither. If anyone knows what this flower is, that would be wonderful if you would share with us in the comments below.

There are numerous moths with elaborate patterns and varying colors that we see around all the time, from icy blue to buttercup yellow to oddly striped to..... you get the picture. I actually like this photograph because if you look closely, you can see Dylan in the house at the window looking up and pointing at the conversation piece of that moment.

Our cat is the opitomy of kitty cliches. He loves to capture mice, birds, lizards, moles....and apparently large bugs, too. I am not sure what this insect was, and though I feel bad for the little guy, I still thought this picture was pretty interesting. We generally do some saving of critters if we see our cat toying with them, though.

That is all for now in my sparse collection of this week's edition of Nature. Get outside and enjoy!!

: Wednesday : Love :

I love sitting in my garden on the plank with Jared, having a conversation. It is so invigorating.

I love fresh veges.... and pesto and gazpacho...both under the umbrella of fresh veges.

I truly love dear friends.

I love these free revamp patterns on the web that I plan on making in the near future:
yoga pants
this version
circle skirt from an old sheet

I am loving these cookies this evening. We just took a trip to the Grogcery Outlet, which amazingly carries a wonderful selection of natural and organic foods. Here they are:
Back to Nature Classic Creams
Newman's Own Peanut Butter Cookies

I do so love little things in life.........

Friday, July 30, 2010

: Wash Wednesday :

Summer Domesticity ~ Warm Breeze ~ Luminous Sunshine ~ Fantastic Color ~ Meditative Simplicity


Thursday, July 29, 2010

: Tuesday : Creations :

I am finally featuring the cotton wash cloths. I had them finished weeks ago, but I never seemed to get around to tying in loose ends. For some reason, I often put that off on many of my knitting projects, even though I enjoy sewing by hand. My friend made hers in two different variegated yarns. It is very cool to work on the same project simultaneously with another person because you can see equally wonderful variations of essentially the same thing.

Goodness, I feel so funny posing for pictures....maybe I should have Daniel take photos of me actually doing something... I do so love pictures of actual things going on, rather than staged photos. They capture so much more about the people and the moment. Anyway, now that I am finished with my tangent, I would like to point out the 2 skirts I made, completely based on improvisation and the hope that they would turn out okay. I have no pattern, nor do I have experience. So the first skirt was made with 2 knit camisoles, cut up and pieced together. The second was a pair of frumpy capri pants. Both were experiments that turned out pretty decent. I have had some positive feedback about the first skirt when I wore it out today. Not perfect by any means, but a stepping stone to future apparel design. A success in my book.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

: Monday : Nourishment :

Consumption of food is a celebration of life. Why not reflect upon it? Why not nourish oneself with really good food? Why not take some time to prepare fresh food with love and mindfulness? Slow down. Enjoy.

This dinner was purported to be light and satisfying by both Luke and Daniel. The younger boys ate it right up with no problem, too. The main course had very few ingredients: lightly sauteed mushrooms, collard greens, and walnuts in olive oil and various spices. Amaranth, a less than common grain used in American cooking, accompanied our meal. I usually try to guage my dinners by making sure there is a grain (or carb), some type of protien (usually nuts, seeds, tofu, legumes, sometimes chicken or turkey), and a dark green (kale, chard, spinach, beet greens.....) ....iceberg lettuce doesn't do it for us. Oh, and I often try to include several veges if I can, as in vegetable chili or gazpacho, which I plan on making tonight.

These fantastic chocolate drops were an amazing experiment gone right. I have made these once in the past, so I haven't much experience with these cookies and how to make them. Yet, somehow, I managed to utilize the general cookie knowledge that I possess to create these from my own internal improvisation. They were decadent, light, chocolatey...perfect. I am being told I must make them again, so this week I will hopefully recreate them and pay more attention to my own recipe, that which I will share next week if this is a success.

Light meals are good, especially in the Summer months. Raw foods are beneficial to the body, as well. So, I simply threw together a salad everyone enjoyed. It included organic baby spinach, organic beets, organic carrots, pepper, zuchinni, tomatoes, and chicken breast. I didn't even need dressing, but the boys used buttermilk ranch, their favorite. We ate these with freshly baked oatmeal muffins.

So, if anyone has any recipes they think I should test out and feature next Monday, let me know in the comments below. Have a great week in great eating.

: Sunday : Reflection :

Perhaps I will reflect in a different fashion this week. I guess I will compile a collection of words that come to mind, describing my family as a whole, from A to Z.




Monday, July 26, 2010

: Saturday : Journey :

Nothing new lately. No fun excursions. No visiting of exciting places. Just life. Many positives.

Our discontinued unemployment is supposedly going to be continued soon, which is extremely fantastic! We have a little more than 4 months of school to go... 

I just attended a parent meeting at my son's new Waldorf-Inspired Charter School and I am getting really good vibes from other parents and the teachers. Jared starts in 3 weeks. We are so excited.

I went to my increasingly good friend's house on Friday and we had a blast, kids included. We have decided to make it a weekly tradition.

I am feeling more organized than I have in quite a while.

I started doing more yoga lately.

Hmmm....not a whole lot else that I can think of...... So, I will leave you with this final thought:

~ Life itself is about the journey, not the pursuit of a destination ~

Thursday, July 22, 2010

: Friday : Moment :

This moment : A typical tradition : The capturing of a memorable time within the last week : Generally, no words, though I like to bend that rule slightly : Inspired by Soulemama : Join in by adding your link in the comments below

This week in gratitude......
I am grateful for:

People openly speaking their minds with truth.

Cheap, simple meals that are still healthy and balanced.

Bare hands digging in the soil.

Having many people to love.

The deer not entering my garden but once this year...knock on wood.

Color.... colorful food, greenery in all sorts of plant life, the bright blue sky, the plethora of floral varieties throughout the year, people's hair and eyes, yarn, clothing.............

Dreams for the future.

How about you????

: Thursday : Nature :

The nature of this entry is interesting in that it is remotely related to nature itself. I suppose I can make connections, though.... This first set of photos is my family and me at the local lake the other day...the lake itself is somewhat natural....well, actually it was originally man-made....bummer. The second sampling of photos is a small reflection of our garden, which is, I suppose, woman-induced nature in this case.

~The Lake~

~ The Garden ~

This portion of Summer + My region + No Money to go anywhere else = No Notable Occurences in Nature that I have experienced lately. Perhaps ongoing change will bring beautiful things even before Autumn's inevitable approach. Perhaps I should simply look more closely....


: Wash Wednesday :

Wash Wednesday was originally inspired by GardenMama, a terrific growing collection of beautiful photographs pertaining to the domestic splendor of simply hanging clothes out to dry in the sun and breeze.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

: Wednesday : Love :

I love these items from Etsy: Handspun Yarn from a Family Farm, Eco-Friendly Recycled T-shirt, this bedspread, and this fabric. I would love to wear this skirt, this skirt, or this skirt.

I love to dress lightly, very lightly, which is probably partly why I like Summer.

I love when the boys help eachother can be rare at times, but wonderful just the same.

I love both coffee and tea.

Lovely clothing is something I love, but cannot afford right now....besides, it would get ruined by pulling children and inevitable stains.

I love Love...........

: Tuesday : Creations :

Ok, so, I said I would have the wash cloths ready and I am nearly done with my apron, but I am honestly too lazy tonight to finish them and take pictures, etc... So, instead, I have decided to feature a knit baby blanket I made for Dylan in 2008. He still loves to cuddle with it around his neck. I love it. It was made with an alpaca, silk, wool blend...extremely soft and warm.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

: Monday : Nourishment :

Summer has been cooking us. We decided to be a little cooler on some nights with cold meals including pesto pasta and this cold pasta salad with fresh sweet white corn, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, shallots, herbs, penne pasta, sea salt, Italian dressing and anything else I may not be thinking about right now. We crumbled chips on top and served with fresh organic baby spinach.

This was an easy, satisfying mixture. I would say it was a pasta turkey keilbasa casserole without the casserole dish.

Easy and simple.... fresh sweet white corn, uncooked...... steamed kale..... a sweet onion, garlic, turkey keilbasa, golden zuchinni mixture....... oatmeal seed muffins.

Muffins made with oat flour, oats, buttermilk, and sunflower and flax seeds.

This was a recipe my mother-in-law brought over from having seen it in the Sacramento Bee. This is where to find the cool summer recipe that includes bacon, fresh corn, canellini beans, fennel, and so on.... Another one of those delicious cold dinners in our house.....


Blueberry bars with oat crust were a fantastic breakfast treat that should have been made for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

We recently found a cute recipe book at the thrift store called Alpha Bakery and Luke picked out Lemon Bars.....they were very delicious...a little too delicious.

Strawberry shortcake is a classic dish....but perhaps this might be called strawberry angel food cake. I baked this recipe as follows:

Angel Food Cake Recipe

12 Egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons Cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups Sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Almond extract
1 cup Sifted cake Flour (I used wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon Salt

 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Basically, mix everything together. Pour into ungreased 10 x 3 3/4-inch Angel Food pan, which I didn't do, but that is what you are supposed to do. Gently cut through batter with metal spatula. Bake until top springs back when lightly touched with finger, about 30 to 40 minutes. Invert cake in pan on funnel or bottle neck. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

I topped it with strawberries from our local farmer's market, cut up and marinated in sugar. And, of course, whipped cream topped it all off.


Monday, July 19, 2010

: Sunday : Reflection :

Today, I will reflect upon my current goals. I always like to set small tasks or habit changes for myself. It brings a sense of accomplishment once something has been completed or carried out. Plus, this heat has been getting to my brain. I need to jot my thoughts down to keep it all straight.

My goals for the near future are to:
  1. Knit a farmer's market bag.
  2. Sew Luke's quilt in reds and blues.
  3. Start better money management practices....I should...I have an accounting degree.
  4. Enforce daily rhythms with the kids better....they like them.
  5. Find more time with Daniel.
  6. Get on the treadmill in the morning and hop on the bike after dinner every day.....this would be ideal.
  7. Incorporate yoga into small increments here and there during my day.
  8. Organize all my crafty materials.
  9. Take more time to read about environmental issues.
  10. Go through my pictures.

: Saturday : Journey :

This weekend, we planned on taking the boys to several caves just south of here along the Sierras. We were planning on taking a day-long tour to the Black Chasm Cavern, the California Cavern, and the Moaning Cavern, but we decided expending the gas money was an impossibility at this time. Oh well, we make due in our region. We have gone nowhere recently, which sometimes drives us crazy, especially when we would always take little weekend excursions when Lukey and Jared were little.

So, I haven't much to show for journeys in our family recently, but here is a new picture story of one of our days down the street at the madrones.

Friday, July 16, 2010

: Friday : Moment :

......This moment, a tradition inspired by Soulemama, to be savored, no need for words, a memory in the making....

Gratitude this Week
I am grateful for:


Our lucky situation, despite our unfortunate situation


The fact that Daniel has only to endure 4 1/2 more months of school

Our growing children...wonderful to continue to watch them develop both physically and mentally

Every day being a new beginning

Balance....hard to attain at times, but fantastic when it is achieved


I really do love when you share what you are grateful for, though I may not always have time to comment back. I definitely do appreciate your thoughts. So, go ahead and continue sharing with all of us. By the way, have yourselves a dandy weekend.  :o)