Monday, May 16, 2011

Sometimes the Paintbrush Chooses the Colors

"You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself."

Can I just say that I'm exhausted? Cause I am. Wow.

Those kids drained me today. I taught them about prepositions and introduced them to prepositional phrases. Try explaining prepositions to a captive audience of 12 year olds. Yea-- not happening. They're not too interested. Can you blame them?

It might have required me to dance, act, and sing. I'd die if anyone from my real life would have spied the insanity.

One kid actually said, "I like this preposition stuff. It's fun."

"Well, hallelujah," I secretly sighed.

But, regardless, we learned together. We're ready for day two of prepositions. Good stuff, I tell you.

It looks like next year is going to be bringing some big changes my way. I'm excited. Very, very excited. Who would have ever thought I originally wanted to be a kindergarten teacher? It's funny/interesting/strange/ironic (you choose the word, ok?) how life plays out. I never really saw myself working with older kids. But dare I say that I really like them? They're hysterical and sensitive and they kind of get it.

If nothing else, I am reminded of how very real life is. I'm continually understanding that the picture is big and that sometimes the paintbrush chooses the best, most fitting colors.

I suppose we are all works in progress. I enjoy the adventure and find crazy joy in the mystery surrounding each new day. I mean, if all the gumballs were pink, life would be pretty boring.

I'm off to begin a new chapter, saddle up to a daunting challenge, embrace a crazy big responsibility.... Sometimes, ya just have to jump-- feet first.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Plan on Delicious

"The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me and I to them."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

My mind is working over-time these days, planning my herb and vegetable garden. I won't lie- I have some long lists and rather brilliant ideas. But, as space continues to present an issue I'm forced to get creative with my planting.

Although I dream of a huge garden, with tilled earth and composted soil, I'll continue to find joy in watching onions emerge from flowerpots. Gotta make due, right?

So, although this will be my third year of herb gardening, I'm planning on taking it to a new level. I've got myself a folder of recipes, ideas, and crafts (yes- crafts!) that I plan on using my herbs and veggies for.

Today I experimented with this heavenly recipe. I'll be planting extra parsley this summer, because I can see myself whipping this up on a weekly basis. Try it. You'll be in love, too.

Tabouleh (or Tabouli)

1 cup bulgar wheat

a ton of chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tomatoes- chopped finely

a ton of scallions

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and then add bulgar wheat. Remove from heat and cover. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

Then, make dressing. Pour dressing over bulgar wheat and allow to sit. This will let the dressing absorb.

Finally, mix in the veggies. Chill, then serve.

For The Birds, With Love

"The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for faith is necessary to have wings."
- James M. Barrie

For months now, I've been collecting my yarn scraps. It amazes me how at much mass these tiny pieces, little remnants of this and that, add up to.

I'd knit and purl and snip. I'd bind-off and finish a project and snip. I'd sew on buttons and snip. Each snip of my childhood Fiskars scissors yielded another morsel of soft nesting goodness.

I don't remember where I saw this idea, but I certainly won't claim it as my own. It might have been in a Birds and Blooms magazine, but I can't say for sure. Either way, right then and there, I decided to start saving my yarnish and stringish scraps.

And save them I did.

A very special jar served as a home to many colorful artifacts of projects gone-bye. One day, when the yarn could no longer be squished or squashed, I decided to begin making my "Nest Helpers".

All this required was a ton of yarn scraps and a few suet holders. My kind of project, wouldn't you agree?

So, the way this works is simple. All you do is save yarn scraps (or other things like twine, ribbon, string) and then stuff the scraps into a suet holder. Easy.

Then, hang the Nest Helper outside and watch as your little feathered friends enjoy choosing their favorite colors and textures to make the perfect, soft, and colorful home.

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