Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Okay, I know what you're thinking....'This girl is crazy. She's excited by terribly mundane things in life.' Well, perhaps you're right. I admit I have an inordinate affinity for beauty all around me - in the Faith, in nature, in books, in homes and in pretty lemon zest. It does seem rather silly, doesn't it? I mean, zest is zest. And it unfailingly adds that ever-so-delicious hint of citrusy tartness-without-bitterness to a recipe, curls or no curls. True. But for the same effort, why not make your dish pretty and lemony? You can have function and beauty in one! How fun is that!
Now I warn you, if you do decide to go out and purchase one of these little gadgets for as low as $2.99 online or at your local grocery store, beware. You'll be adding zest to your desserts and salads and vegetables nearly as much as your main courses, just to see those pretty curls!
Now I was planning to make and post a fabulous and easy recipe for grilled lemon chicken, but after having zested my lemon (and snapped about twenty shots of it!) I realized I was out of olive oil. Ah well, at least I know what's for dinner Tuesday night!
Friday, April 18, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I grew up on white bread. My parents still eat white bread. My healthy grandparents ate white bread their whole lives, and my good grandfather still does at a ripe age of ninety. But years ago I made the decision to fore go the refined sugar-simple carbohydrate-bleached flour in favor of more nutritious crusts of whole grain-complex carb-wheatness. I switched for the sake of nutrition, yes, and I can't say I regret it. Eating healthier is always a good thing.
But I'm glad I'm back. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches taste best on white bread, and there's nothing like a warm, melty grilled cheese sandwich on white bread. Paninis are most delicious on white, and egg salad too.
Now, I won't argue with anyone on the subject of nutrition here. I won't even argue on the basis of taste - hey, if you love dark, whole grain breads - good for you! As for me, these past few years I've tried every possible bread variety and brand that exists, whether from the grocery store or the local bakery, and all I have to say is.....well....I've already said it.
This morning I consumed pan-toasted potato bread with rosemary and raisins, topped with a hint of boysenberry preserves. Mmmm......
Life is good.
Monday, April 14, 2008
~Lost four pairs of children's shoes (on different occasions!)
~Discovered our lawn mower had been stolen from the garage
~Eye-witnessed a fisherman catching a shark at the beach - right where we were swimming. Sorry, friends, I'd left my camera at home.
How was your Saturday?
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
My own home is run generally the same every day. It is not a pristine home, but nearly at all times it has the appearance of order and tidiness. I think this comes from not having a lot of stuff - even when toys are strewn about, there aren't enough of them to make the house appear messy. That said, having less has been my greatest asset to a beautiful home, because I certainly am no Martha Stewart when it comes to cleaning and scrubbing! The floors get mopped once a week as well as the bathrooms cleaned, but really they could use a wiping down almost daily. Dusting, again, is accomplished on a weekly basis. Vacuuming is performed daily, as are laundry and dishes, not because I'm organized, but out of necessity. The shower is my weak spot - I DO NOT LIKE CLEANING SHOWERS. I've struggled with shower scrubbing from the day I married, and it is still a struggle. I've got mold, people!
My husband is a very neat and tidy man. Though I can be distressed by a general lack of order in my home, he appreciates cleanliness and tidiness far more than I do. I've realized over the years that he is generally much more at peace, and even more pleasant, when the home is orderly and appealing. I love him and I want him to be eager to come home after a day at the office, so years ago I made a plan that has worked remarkably for us since children (and toys and crayons and fingerpaint) entered the picture.
It is very simple, really. During the day, the girls and I go about our business of playing, reading, having fun and making the inevitable messes that accompany the beautiful relationship between mother and child. Forts are built with blankets and pillows in one room, books are strewn on the sofa and coffee table in another, and dolls and bunnies are sipping their tea in yet another. This is the life of mothers and children. It is a beautiful life - a whole world of imagination, wonder and endless possibilities for magic and learning and discovery. But it doesn't always make for a very appealing home. So every day, about an hour before my husband walks through the door, we run through the home and put everything back in its proper place. Some days it takes us ten minutes - others almost the whole hour. Somehow dinner gets made while the cleaning is done. The last five minutes I spend putting a little powder on my cheeks (I have very oily skin), brushing my hair and finishing with a dash of neutral lipstick. These last minutes freshening up are for my husband, yes, but they also lift my own spirits at the end of the day when it is easy to tire out.
Often I stop to check myself, and double-check my routines and habits. Some are very good, while others need a considerable amount of tweaking. When I do pause to reflect on how my home is being cared for, I try to focus on three things: Beauty, Simplicity, and Order. Though a wall may be decorated with fingerprints on a given day, or fabric and thread under the dining table at a given hour, or a bathroom in desperate need of a good scrubbing, if I can look at my home and see a semblance of beauty, simplicity and order, I am content.
Our routine works for us at this stage in our family life. Tomorrow it may look different. If and when we have ballet or soccer practice at five o'clock I'll have to change my plan. If and when we are all struck by the stomach flu I'll have to change my plan. But for now this works, and it makes a pleasant home for our family. My routine will not work for every mother, nor should it. A great beauty of our Heavenly Father's artistry is the infinite array of colors and textures He uses in the palette of faithful family life. I find myself marvelling at that more than a perfectly clean home.
Years ago before Gianna was born and my husband was in graduate school, we had the priviledge of knowing an incredibly beautiful family. They spent nearly every waking hour serving others, and their physical home was less than appealing as a result. But I longed to have a home and a life as beautiful as theirs, and I still do.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
She is very fair and sweet,
As she trips among the grasses
That kiss her dainty feet;
Her arms are full of flowers,
The snow-drops, pure and white,
Timid blue-eyed violets,
And daffodillies bright.
She loves dear Mother Nature,
And wanders by her side;
She beckons to the birdlings
That flock from far and wide.
She wakes the baby brooklets,
Soft breezes hear her call;
She tells the little children
The sweetest tales of all.
Her brow is sometimes clouded,
And she sighs with gentle grace,
Till the sunbeams, daring lovers,
Kiss the teardrops from her face.
Well we know this dainty maiden,
For April is her name;
And we welcome her with gladness,
As the springtime comes again.
From Buttercup Gold by Ellen Robena Field
I don't normally share poetry, and I realize it's not Friday, but this is one of my favorites. It's timely, and it always makes me smile. :)
Saturday, April 5, 2008
On a related note, you know you're a seasoned, happy wife when at the dinner table your husband reaches over, pulls a gray hair from your head and your only thought is utter gratitude. (After all, who else would do that for you?)
The signs of true love. :)
Friday, April 4, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Here are some pictures of recent work and pattern information (in case you'd like to join me!). Modifications were made to the patterns to get what I wanted from them, so feel free to drop me an email for those specifics.