Saturday, March 31, 2012


Seems like ages since I've done a quiz-like thing... saw this on my friend Janet's blog, and thought it sounded like a bit of fun on a Saturday night. I know, I should get out more!

1. You have been awarded the time off from work and an all-expenses paid week anywhere in the United States. The catch is that it must be somewhere you have not been before. Where do you choose to visit? Florida Keys.

2. Name three of your guilty pleasures.
*Revenge, that trashy ABC show. I can't believe I'm admitting it.
*Marshmallows. I buy every kind of silly seasonal shape that they now make. (We just finished a bag of bunnies and are now into the jumbo egg-mallows...)
*Queso, from a jar.

3. The best kind of Girl Scout Cookie is: I haven't had one in years, but to the best of my memory, Thin Mints are pretty good...

4. What do you value most in other people? Integrity, wrapped in tenacity. I could go on, but if those two things are present, I'm usually good.

5. Be honest. Do you sneak some raw cookie dough when you’re baking cookies? Whyever not?

6. Have you ever looked back at your life and realized that something you thought was a bad thing was actually a blessing in disguise? Oh my goodness, yes. Just thinking about the last decade, it's chock-a-block full of such blessings.

7. What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited? Really hard to choose. Amazingly, my first thought is that I haven't been anywhere stunning, but then I realize that I probably live in such a place of beauty, I'm inured to it. I do remember thinking that the scenery in Langkawi (small island in Malaysia) was pretty spectacular, back in 1994 or so... and I would also put Sydney Harbor quite high on the list... but I am also quite fond of the Oregon Coast, and the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon is also jaw-dropping at times.

8. Are you more of a thinker or a feeler? On the spectrum, I'd veer more toward the thinker. That's what many, many tests have told me, anyways. So the crying at Hallmark ads? Go figure.

9. Name three things you are thankful for right now.
*My family, from the boys in the room with me right now, to all the more extended family, scattered across Canada and the U.S.
*My health.
*My Creator.

10. Have you ever participated in a three-legged race? Of course. What childhood is complete without that humiliation?

11. When you are at an event that plays the National Anthem, do you place your hand over your heart? Absolutely. And I usually tear up too, so what does that say about #8???

Feel like playing along? Please do, either in the comments or on your blog!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday night grateful moment

The Net of Gratitude

Giving thanks for abundance
is sweeter than the abundance itself:
Should one who is absorbed with the Generous One
be distracted by the gift?
Thankfulness is the soul of beneficence;
abundance is but the husk,
for thankfulness brings you to the place where the Beloved lives.
Abundance yields heedlessness;
thankfulness brings alertness:
hunt for bounty with the net of gratitude.

as translated by Kabir Helminski and Camille Helminski

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Midweek inspiration: The wind blew in and woke the deep

the wind blew in and it took no time to take it all, to take what’s mine

the wind blew fierce
took my youth
what I used to love
what I used to do

and all things haunted
by wrong and right
by time that moves and endless nights
a violent rescue, a brilliant feat
the wind blew in and woke the deep

woke it up and set it free

i thought it bad when first it blew
but when i saw the truth i knew
that all the winds of change can't scatter
is all that really, really matters

so from the form of rules and things
toward the breath of which God sings

I stood in awe and watched it blow
quicken my blood and wake my soul

the wind blew in and woke the deep
woke it up and set it free
-Summer Mayne 

When I first read this poem, I loved the meter and rhythm best; I read it again and fell in love with the words. Now, of course, I love both aspects.

I've known Summer for a number of years, through my brother and sister-in-law, and her energy is infectious. And her yoga teaching is legendary; if you're in the Seattle area, you should check her out! Thank you, Summer, for sharing your words.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Common Miracles: Week #46

If you've clicked over to this blog itself, whether you came in via RSS or email subscription, you'll notice that it looks a little different...

Such a silly girl am I, I thought I'd change the blog banner last night to something un-resembling a Valentine's Day theme... not really a hearts gal, for all my Sweet Tea and Sunshine-ness...

And so it began.

You know that thing they tell you about backing up your blog (if you don't, take my word for it)? Well. I didn't. And so, POOF, much of the formatting I'd customized a couple of years back vanished... After a brief pause, and a realization that no, indeed, I did NOT back up, I regrouped. No worries, I'll just pick a new blog theme, and we'll have a fresh look. Yep, that's what I did. And in the process, I found some really cool, fun templates, but they didn't meet my "needs," exactly... Hours later, I was texting Jen in the middle of the night for guidance and thinking of course that I HAVE to stay up until it's beautiful again.

What's the Common Miracle here? None, that I can see. This is a truly "first-world" problem, if ever there was one. I am happy to be back up and running, in a mostly clean and attractive format, and I will play and tweak and maybe even work on something Even Better over spring break... I just wanted to share how this new look came about.

But my common miracles for today include:
* Blue skies after the rain... and a sunset to top it off beautifully.
* That fabulous scarf, which continues to ward off bad days.

* Great citrus... makes me happy in a glass or in a salad or just straight out of the peel.
* A few minutes of watching Seth play doubles tennis this evening, in the sunshine.
* Laughing with coworkers... problem-solving with coworkers. (A coworker helped me solve one of my blog issues, many many thanks!)
* Sending packages off into the international postal stream (it will be a miracle if this one arrives at its intended destination, for sure. This is the THIRD attempt; don't ask.)
* My first good strawberries of the season. Can't wait until I can put "local" in that sentence too...
* Gray fingernail polish. (Trust me.)
* My favorite salad (or, one of them--I have a lot of favorite salads!) available at a drive-thru lunch spot: greens and roasted pears and blue cheese and candied cashews and champagne vinaigrette. Perfect mid-day revival.
* Quiet. Absolute, peaceful stillness. Having less of that these days, I cherish it more.

Not a very original list today... but those were my pause-and-enjoy-it moments. My cherish-it-because-things-can-change-in-an-instant moments. My... OK, I'll stop with the over-hyphenation. You get my drift.

I hope you had some savoring moments today too.

To see how the Common Miracles project began, go here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday night grateful moment

Sun! The day ended in sun! The whole grateful list could be summed up right there. But, of course, I can't possibly be content to leave it at that... 

So, if we HAD to have snow this week, which apparently we did, I'm grateful that it was so pretty and big-of-flake. AND, it was a quick wintery moment--GONE BY NOON. So, all the prettiness, none of the real hassle. Sweet. Now cross your fingers with me that the sweet and lovely apricot tree made it through unscathed--the blossoms were still there after the snow, but I'm fearful that the slightly freezing weather may have harmed the actual fruit-making stuff. (Very agricultural sounding, "stuff," eh?)

The "extra Seth" this week was bonus, and I'm so grateful for that time. He actually doesn't head off until tomorrow morning, so the sweetness continues for a few more hours. We've had some great conversations and time together, reading or watching Endgame (our new Hulu+ fix--a show set in Vancouver, B.C., so beautiful!) the past couple of weeks... a true joy that boy is. And, seven short days from now, spring break begins! Oh the joys of looking forward to things and having them finally come around.

 Grandma wearing Seth's fedora on our most recent visit.

I bought some birthday cards today--some special birthdays are coming up! One of them was for my grandma, who will be 93 in a couple of weeks. 93! I am so grateful to have a grandparent still around, in my advanced years. I guess I should thank my parents for having children while they were young, eh? (Thank you, Ma and Pa!)

I'm grateful for Chief. He has evened out a bit, not nearly as clingy and glued to our sides as the first couple of weeks after Darby passed. He comes in, he goes out, he comes in again. (He has a hard time making up his mind.) He stands and watches me cooking in the kitchen, and I encourage him to stand back a bit and that petting time comes AFTER dinner time... But he's sweet and constant, and strangely enough his barking has gone waaaaaay down since he's been an only dog. What's with that? Was he barking for an audience? Funny guy.

I spent the better part of today at a nonprofit learning session hosted by a local foundation. I'm grateful for opportunities to learn and grow, asking questions (not necessarily unanswerable ones, see above) in good company. Some information I had heard before, but I also learned many new things or ways of looking at things, and the woman who taught it was on the ball. I am always impressed at people's memories, when things click for them. She remembered quite often, after introductions of 25 groups (consisting of 2-5 people per group), which nonprofits were being represented by whom. And I have a hard time with names of people I've met a few times, even.

Conversation. Dialogue. Back and forth. It is not a common thing to be able to converse without judgment, without either person hijacking the conversation for their own agenda, and with honesty and a real desire to know truth. I am very grateful to have a precious few in my life who I can engage with, in that way. It never fails to make my heart happy.

Husband is a big part of my favorite conversations. We talk, debate, laugh, talk some more, laugh some more, continue with the debate... always interesting, and I know I (usually) learn something. I'd like to think he does too (sometimes). Seth told me a couple of lovely things about his observations of us this week that touched my heart, and his love of his step-dad (and vice versa) is something that really does make all of our lives immeasurably richer. I am so very grateful for our family time together.

With the weekend upon us, I can't help but be grateful for the sleep I am sure will come. My weeknight sleeps have been good, but probably not quite long enough. I'm thinking that the weekend sleeps will (hopefully) stretch out in their gloriousness, to catch me up and get me ready to go another round.

I hope your weekend is filled with the things you need to get you ready for another week! What are you grateful for tonight? May the list be long.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday 13: 13 links re: Pinterest in the news

First off: this is not an opinion piece. How you use or have used Pinterest (if you do) and how you feel about copyright issues isn't my business--until you take a photo of mine or a recipe of mine and claim it as your own. Then we'll talk!

But with the general vibe on the interwebs the past month or so, and the posts getting pinned around Pinterest as well, I felt like I needed to do a bit of investigation. (Work tends to get in the way of daytime pinning, go figure, and evenings I've been trying to disconnect a bit more, so I definitely feel a little late to this whole conversation.)

Second, the whole thing seems a bit anticlimactic now, anyway (see #11). Maybe. We'll see if the developments in recent days really do to protect the copyright of those who want it protected, in the way they want it protected.

However, what with my overt proselytizing of the gospel of Pinterest, I felt that I should, at the very least, share some of what I found.

This past weekend I finally read and researched the latest in regards to Pinterest's Terms of Use and how various artists are handling the issues that have come to light most recently, namely:

1. This is the first article I read: A Lawyer Who Is Also A Photographer Just Deleted All Her Pinterest Boards Out Of Fear. My mom forwarded it to me from a friend who had posted it on Facebook. 

2. Which led me to: How Pinterest removed all my pinned images in minutes (#1) (There is a follow-up #2 post you can link to from #1). I understand this artist's perspective that she doesn't want her stuff pinned, and was hopeful when I read it that Pinterest would GET that and assist her and other artists.

3. And then there are a few people who disagree about how big a deal this whole copyright conversation is, as this TechDirt article details.

4. That opinion is shared in this post: Copyright isn't the issue, you are.

5. And of course, the TechDirt article (in #3) pointed to a couple of posts by the copyright librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. Her articles are here: Using Copyrightable Materials and A few clarifications on Pinterest/Copyright/TOS worries.

6. I appreciated these tips on:
How to use Pinterest without breaking the law.

7. Pinterest, change your terms or we're leaving. Pretty straightforward.

8. My favorite sentence of this post, The genius of Pinterest's copyright dodge: "...the most likely outcome of this saga is not a Grooveshark-like end to Pinterest, but an admission by many publishers that they simply don't care what anyone does with their images, as long as it helps drive users back to their sites."

9. What people are talking about: Pinterest and copyright issues. Even more on the topic. Tired of it yet? I was getting a little filled up with it all!

10. Visual inspiration from Pinterest. This post doesn't address specific copyright issues, but I learned a bit about how to better use Pinterest, and by the time I got to this piece, I was tired of even thinking about these issues! (Specifically: Skitch, and I second her ideas about private boards--can I get a holla, Corinne?--and RSS feeds.) (My gifted florist friend Corinne has competitors follow her and glean ideas from the places SHE gleans ideas from, and so there's this feeling like she's doing all the work, and others are benefiting. Private boards would be great!)

11. Finally, after weeks of controversy and not really meeting the issue head on, Pinterest addresses issues with a copyright infrigement legality statement. And another piece on the same topic, but from CNET here. We'll see if the artists that don't want their work on Pinterest will be pleased with this outcome. And I'm curious to see how big the clean-up is to the past pins... will our boards be depleted? Probably not mine, as I rarely post to my Pretty Pictures board. Most of the bloggers/sites I pin from are asking you to pin and spread the word on their craft, recipe, etc.

Which leaves me with two more items to fulfill my Thursday 13, and I'm sick to death of this topic. What to do?

Oh, I know! How about two images from Pinterest that I found recently, and adore... seems only fitting. Both are crocheted items, and made me smile.

That's all from this peanut gallery today! I hope you're having a lovely Thursday, and if you're not a Pinterest fan/freak, I doubt you've made it this far. But if you are, I hope it's been at least a little bit helpful. What with the last post, Pinterest's statement and resolution to the issue, it might all be moot. But still, the more you know, right?

For more Thursday 13s, go here. Happy Thursday!

(We have snow. Just had to mention that. On March 22. How nuts is that? My poor apricot tree with it's frosty blossoms...)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mid-week reminder: Grace in the turnaround

As I continue to explore my word for this year--grace--I was delighted to discover this image, tucked away, forgotten, on my iPad. It was the perfect reminder I needed for today... this week... this year.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ten Word Tuesday + a picture

Prettiest scarf ever = bad day antidote and, "Hello, Spring, welcome!"

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Luck 'o the Irish!

May the blessings of each day
Be the blessings you need most.
-Irish Proverb

Remember this shamrock, from just last night?

Well, I'm sure you didn't have a hard time imagining what was underneath that green four-leaf clover...

Which made for a lovely mid-afternoon snack, but was rich enough that now we're all craving something NOT sweet!

Inspired, of course, by this cake at iambaker, there is no real recipe to share, other than: be prepared to part with a good portion of a bottle of green food coloring. And my other tip: be delicate in the adding of this food coloring. You can always go darker, but it's pretty impossible (without another cake mix) to lighten up.

Side note: I learned just yesterday that there are moms who make little Leprechan footprints around the house on St. Patrick's Day, and that little green treats are left by these Leprechauns... I had no idea I had fallen down so resoundingly in this world of "mythical characters are real." I had never even heard of doing that. It's well documented that I've never been big on Santa as a real guy, and I thought everyone knew the Easter Bunny is made up (I've since learned otherwise). I think the one little lie I went along with was the Tooth Fairy, for a while, but even that got me the sideways wary eye from Seth...  

Anyway, this cake is my nod to the Leprechaun dude and his compatriots! Anything for a little green, I say! (Although I've been told that I should be making an orange cake, what with being Protestant and all. But MY green cake is not affiliated with any religious or political ideologies, so there.)

I complained that I had no shoes 
Until I met a man who had no feet. 
-Irish saying

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday night grateful moment

So very much to be grateful for, as this weekend kicks off.

I am in love with our apricot tree, in full bloom! The scent is positively heady. And so far (knock on wood) no major frosts to crumple my fruit desires... I am grateful for everything that nature brings right to our door.

It was a week with a lot of rain--that made everything pop and bloom and green up nicely! I love having blooms in the yard, finally, as well as the house.

But I'll take blooms anywhere and everywhere right now. I have primroses inside...

And tulips too. Beautiful peach tulips.

I have a soft spot for holidays that give reason to hauling out the food coloring! (Tomorrow when we cut into the sweet treat, I will share what's inside.) (And no, it's not a leprechaun.) I'm grateful for frosting and flavoring, and silly ideas that somehow come to life in the course of an hour or two.

OK, I may have gotten carried away taking pictures of the shamrock cake... I will admit that much.

I have the dearest nieces and love to hear about their fun accomplishments. Maizy just finished her first sewing project, and that brings back a lot of memories for me!  In related crafty news, I spent some time painting pottery this afternoon for a local fundraiser, and thought of my nieces a lot, and how I'd love to take them there one day. For crafty stuff, it's great to have girls around!! I am grateful for Maizy and Lucy.

I finally succumbed to the pull of the Instagram, can you tell? I had quite a bit of fun playing with the different filters and settings this afternoon. I can see why people get so "into" it... my favorite filters seem to be ones that have borders, with a kind of vintage-y look. Grateful as always for technology and all it's able to assist with in our lives. I'm thankful that Seth is home safely from his tennis match, and that he and his doubles partner won solidly. They had a good time, too. (What's not to love about hours on your butt in those school buses? Ow.)

Husband is a frequenter of this grateful list, and for good reason. He's truly a gem. I could spend the whole list just on him, but he would not find that very good form, being modest and what have you. So take it from me, I am grateful and blessed.

Oh the weekend, the weekend, the joyous, restful weekend. I am grateful to be here, right here in this very spot, at the start of two lovely days with my men, and anticipating what it will bring.

What does your weekend hold? I hope only good things!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday 13: 13 things I'm looking forward to

What's better on a windy, rainy day, than to look ahead to days that will involve sunshine and family and garden-fresh produce?

Hence, my Thursday 13 this week: what I'm looking forward to. Some are practically immediate, others are a bit far off... but still, just stating them out loud makes me joyful.

1. Lunch with a girlfriend today. Pho!

2. Seth's first tennis match on Friday. I won't be there--an hour drive both ways? Um, no, especially since he'll be on the bus with his buddies--but he'll do great and I can't wait to hear about it. (He had a super-close challenge match yesterday. Came down to breaking a 6-6 game tie with an 8-10 victory in his favor. I got there for the very end, and it was great to see him prevail.)

3. The weekend. Of course. And our weekend breakfast traditions, which are legendary. (Well, to us they are, anyway!)

4. Apricots on the apricot tree this summer. I know, that sounds a long way off, but the tree is blooming just beautifully right now, and I'm crossing my fingers we don't get a hard frost, since that has killed off the crop the last two years. I'm ready for a 400-pounds-of-apricots year, I am.

5. Spring break. I am feeling very "cabin feverish" about not having left town since December. Itching to go somewhere! And I will sneak in a long lunch with Jen in PDX too, which makes me smile just thinking about it. Will it involve fondue, she asks, hopefully?

6. Some work issues to be ironed out next week. Good things are happening, but next week should be pivotal, and I'm eager to get there, and beyond!

7. The garden. We have our little seed packets ready to go and are going to start seeds inside this weekend. Nothing makes me more anticipatory for spring and summer than plotting and planning the vegetables, herbs and flowers!

8. Family visit in April. So looking forward to having everyone here together. Makes my heart so happy just thinking about it, planning, getting goofy about Easter stuff for the nieces...

9. Summer plans that involve girlfriends, food, good times, Outstanding in the Field, laughter, music, sharing, more laughter and probably more food. (OK, I will probably sneak in a little crochet time, but they can handle it. And if there's a crochet intervention need, I am sure I can handle that too!)

10. Summer eating. Follows naturally from summer garden planning, but can't help but mention that I'm hankering for fresh basil, garden-grown tomatoes, peas, beets, carrots, kale, arugula... and the list goes on... yum.

11. Extra time with Seth. It's magically delicious that we have all of next week with the lad too, and I savor Every Moment. (And then spring break too, wa-hoo. I may have mentioned that already?)

12. Weather that is consistently more than 50 degrees, at night. Is that too much to hope for, long for? You'd think we'd had a hard winter, but that's not really the case. It's the dragging out of this in-between spot that's killing me. Snow, sleet, rain, hail. Please.

13. A visit to Grandma this spring. Not quite sure which weekend Seth and I will sojourn north, but we'll carve it out in May, I'm thinking. Ready for my Tim Horton's fix! Well, and seeing Grandma too, of course!

That's it for today... but I'm sure as the spring progresses I will find more and more to look forward to.  Thinking about these items has definitely brightened my morning; I hope you have some fun things to look forward to this spring and summer, as well! Care to share?

For more Thursday 13s, go here. And have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Midweek reminder: Beyond the heart of things

Once upon a time (and for a limited time--three years) I spent my days cooking, many hours on end. It was a mixed bag, like with any chosen path. While there are aspects of catering/personal cheffing that I truly miss: having multiple pots on the stove, various dishes in states of prep, oven always on and baking, having a walk-in fridge with some of my favorite ingredients just feet away at all times, bringing smiles to people's faces when I'd arrive with food... There are things I do not miss, as well: events eating up my weekends and weeknights, tense brides and their even-more-tense mothers, being asked to make some not-my-style menu items, earning on the low side, money-wise, and of course, sore feet and cut-up hands...

I saw this poem and it really took me back, in a very good way, to those days; especially the sore feet and cut-up hands! I wish I'd taken a picture of some of the worst weeks, with bandages on at least three fingers... Good times.

Each night you come home with five continents on your hands:
garlic, olive oil, saffron, anise, coriander, tea,
your fingernails blackened with marjoram and thyme.
Sometimes the zucchini's flesh seems like a fish-steak,
cut into neat filets, or the salt-rubbed eggplant
yields not bitter water, but dark mystery.
You cut everything to bits.
No core, no kernel, no seed is sacred: you cut
onions for hours and do not cry,
cut them to thin transparencies, the red ones
spreading before you like fallen flowers;
you cut scallions from white to green, you cut
radishes, apples, broccoli, you cut oranges, watercress,
romaine, you cut your fingers, you cut and cut
beyond the heart of things, where
nothing remains, and you cut that too, scoring coup
on the butcherblock, leaving your mark, when you go
your feet are as pounded as brioche dough.
Jane Hirshfield

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ten Word Tuesday

Tuesday: Just like Monday, except much better. Bite that, DST.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sourdough bread: an all-day affair

Fiddling with my sourdough starter since getting it to a ripe-ish state has been largely experimental, so far. I made a couple of loaves, but no recipe to date has really stood out as a keeper. I think a large part of the blame lies with me, as I have been improperly adapting recipes to whole wheat (or so I learned when reading a few recipes this weekend)... something you have to be a bit careful with or you'll get some pretty dense (er, heavy) loaves of bread.

Enter Pinterest, once again. And having good pinners to follow (in this case, dear friend and neighbor Laura)! I saw her pin a "slow rise sourdough" this past week and promptly tucked it away on my baking board without really looking it over. As I pulled my starter out of the fridge yesterday to warm and rest before feeding it again this week--that happens every Sunday whether I bake or not, I've been pretty good about that--I started to peruse some new sourdough recipes, and landed on the one I'd pinned just this week. I wasn't thrilled to see that the recipe was really-truly slow rise--15 hours (approximately) for the first rise, 4-5 hours for the second, but I happened to see that if your kitchen is warmer (ie, it's summer, which of course it is not), it could move along a little more quickly.

Given that my schedule isn't quite as flexible right now, getting things done on Sunday or having it timed just right for after-work baking, is kind of important. So I stuck the dough for its first rise in my convection oven with the light on, which can warm to a happy 80 degrees... and sure enough, it rose and bubbled beautifully in about 7 hours. Feeling optimistic, I hopped on to the next rise, which was also accomplished in about 1/2 the recipe time--2 hours... 45 minutes or so of a pre-warmed dutch oven and a hot oven, and voila! A lovely bedtime snack of warm bread and some of that heavenly blood orange jam I mentioned last weekend. Yum.

This bread is definitely a keeper. I'm already looking forward to making it again next weekend, though I may start earlier in the weekend, and finish on Sunday--theory is that the slower the rise, the deeper the sourdough flavor, and I'm all for that. If anything, this was more a crusty loaf of peasant-style bread, not truly SOURdough. But if getting it done quickly is on your list, this recipe adapts a-ok.

And one last note: best crust I've achieved on a loaf, ever. Crispy, crunchy, oh-so-good.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday night grateful moment

Imagine the most happy sound you can think of, something between a squeal of glee and a sigh of contentedness... that's me right now. It's Friday night and that itself is sheer bliss around here.

A week with some sun didn't hurt, either. Well, OK, it wasn't the whole week, but boy these last few days have been lovely. I have been so grateful for the sunshine! Getting up in the morning, peeking out behind the blinds and seeing clear skies? Fabulous! Rumor has it that Chill is returning, and bringing its dear friend Rain with it... I won't argue, since we need moisture, but I sure wish it could be scheduled so that weekends are lovely and whatever rain is necessary falls between Monday and Friday. Just a thought...

As I sat in Seth's school conference this morning, with his teachers all chiming in on his freshman year, I felt grateful indeed for the thought they put in to this semester review of his classes, and the time they take to meet with us. Seth's doing well, and that's always good to hear, but aside from that, it's nice to learn a bit about these people who spend time with my kid. One observation: he has more male teachers now than he's had to this point, combined. His only female teacher is English (and he adores her), and the rest--science, algebra, history, music, PE--all guys.

The work week was a pretty good one, progress made, slowly but surely. I'm grateful for the weekend to recharge and take some time to think about a few aspects of the project, and hopefully return Monday with some ideas and energy again. I am also grateful for the more technically-inclined who are working on the project with me, very much.

I attended a training session (two sessions, actually) this week relating to nonprofit leadership work and it was time well spent. The training and approach to problem-solving has applications for so many areas of my life, personally and professionally, and I'm grateful that I had the opportunity, AND for the people I got to train with. Good, thoughtful, intelligent people with a real heart for sharing their skills with others. I am intrigued to see where this goes...

This week we had an event at work, and I made that delicious s'mores pie for everyone. Actually, the s'mores pie came about in anticipation of that work event, and I was experimenting with it to see how making large-ish amounts would work. I'm grateful the recipe turned out so well when multiplied over and over (I made 150 squares, 5 pans of 30) and I'm also grateful that it was one of those recipes that you can make a day ahead and it tasted great, was nice and gooey and exactly what you'd want a s'more to be. Shocking as it may sound, I'm kinda over s'mores for the moment... overload? Maybe a little...

I'm grateful to have a mother's heart. I remember when I was pregnant with Seth and I would be driving home from work and see a local man who quite obviously struggled with daily life functions and mental health issues, walking along on his way here or there. (If you live in a small town you know what I mean. Every town has a few people who wander and talk to themselves. Or maybe it's just our small town?) My heart would soften and invariably I would start to cry--partly for the man himself, but also for the mother who bore him, and all the hopes and dreams she undoubtedly had for him. And of course I would also cry because I knew I would soon be having a boy that I would have hopes and dreams for too, and how would that all work out? Some things you think you can know (especially in your 20s), and other things you realize you won't be able to impact to the extent you'd like... and so you (I) cry.

Big side note: I do not think you have to be a mother to have a mother's heart. In fact, I don't even think you have to be female. I just chose that word because it's coming from my heart. Maybe it would be better to say an "open" heart. A heart that empathizes and sympathizes.

Words of love and affection. Words of blessing and worship. Words of encouragement and hope. Words that elicit laughter, or tears, or deep sighs. All these, and so many more, I am grateful for. Sometimes I reflect that my high interest in information and reading and discovering really all comes down to words. How they are put together and what meaning they can convey. I certainly don't mean to sound like I only read lofty things--as if!--but I do think that the world opens up with words in a way that is unique. I am grateful every day for the ability to read what others have written and be moved by it, and the ability to put words together too. It's such a blessing.

Can you tell I've got shoes on the brain? I feel like I'm in a "black flats rut" right now--actually I'm feeling like I'm in a black-brown-gray rut, period, ready for some spring and summer COLOR--and was just thinking this morning: "I need to go shoe shopping!" So I'm sharing my top dream picks with you! (Rhonda, my dear shoe friend, shall we go soon?)


I am grateful for colorful shoes!

What are you grateful for on this Friday evening?

I hope the list is long and includes those near and dear, as well as possibly a few further away. I am grateful for you, wherever you are tonight.

Blogger Template By Designer Blogs