Monday, March 24, 2014

A thought on the origins of Theatre...

Where does theatre really begin? If you asked Aristotle, he would have said, look at your children. It originates in the make-up, or wiring, of human beings themselves. It's one of the things that makes us human. In the third chapter of his great critical treatise, his Poetics, he writes:

Imitation is natural to man from childhood, one of his advantages over the lower animals being this, that he is the most imitative creature in the world, and learns at first by imitation. And it is also natural for all to delight in works of imitation.

-John Sutherland, A Little History of Literature

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Let Go of Christmas Perfection...

Sweet Hayley, over at Firefighter's Family, just put together a fabulous post about the pressures we face as women in our media-saturated society, so full of Pinterest glamour and Instagram perfection and shiny Facebook fronts.

(Honest insert here> I love Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook!<)

And with Christmas, the pressures and inadequacy can really pile on, can't it?

But don't give it a place in your life-choose something different, choose to be content.

Choose to be real.

Haley gently and truly reminded us:

"My problem is not my mess. Your problem is not your mess. Our problem is pretending we don't have one. Everyone has a mess. In fact that's the very reason, in very simplistic terms, that Jesus, while every bit God, came in the form of man to Bethlehem, to a very big mess:

Birthing room? Sweet moments? Perfect circumstances?  Warm welcome? Not so much.




That's what He's about.

That's really what Christmas is about.

Let Him have your mess.

Merry (real) Christmas."

I love what these honest women shared through their thoughts and pictures. It's awesome! You'll get to see a picture of one of my messes, too, and you know you wanna see that. ;)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Meal Ideas for the busy Cook

Need new dinner ideas to spice up your kitchen? I've got some favorites, old and new, to share with you.

Here are some of the homemade meals we enjoyed during the month of September (click through for recipes!):

One Pot Chicken Spaghetti

Beef & Bean Taco Casserole

Steak, mashed potatoes, peas and corn

Secret Ingredient Stovetop Mac and Cheese, sauteed peppers and onions with Italian turkey sausage

Mexican Skillet Pasta

Campfire Packets (beef patties, sliced potatoes, onions, and carrots)

Fish and Chips (fried fish and potatoes)

Chicken Potpie Soup

Vegetable Potpie

Balsamic Roast , mashed potatoes and veggies

Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken, rice, salad

Nachos (melted Velveeta with Rotel) with all the toppings

Friday, September 6, 2013

A little something for my morning

I love this mug! I found it in a random bookstore we popped into during my last trip to London. You can take a peek at the "Slightly Foxed" bookstore here.
It reads:  
"Charles Lamb once told Coleridge he was especially fond of books containing traces of buttered muffins."

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Amy's Birthday

The Seine River in Paris

Amy would have been 32 today. 
She will always be loved and missed by her family and friends.
See you on the other side, Amy!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My life!

Recently I was grumbling over the state of my house.
Due to all the remodeling going on, or about to begin, I am reorganizing and packing up the house. We have new windows to install, walls that need drywall and paint, floors to put down...this isn't a little cosmetic job to do on the side, this is major renovations! :O

Somehow, the piano ends up being a catch-all for items that don't have a permanent home yet. I stood before the piano, sighing at the mess it had become once again, and feeling grumbly over the general chaos.

I have everything to be thankful for, and I was frustrated over a little mess on the piano! (Oh, the humanness I struggle with!) As I stood there looking at it, I realized that I was looking at my life. It represented so many things I have to be thankful for...

My husband's wallet and papers. I love that hard working man.
Drew's birthday cards. I have a six year old! How precious is that?
Hosanna's artwork. Her creativity inspires me.
Caleb's music and misc coins. He's always learning something new.
Books sent by my sister.
Gifts from friends.
A plant that, amazingly, I've kept alive for three weeks straight.
Paint color samples. (Those are everywhere. Life confetti in this house!)
Art books. Cookbooks. Travel books. Rocks discovered by the kids. Fingerprints.

I'm thankful for my life, no matter how messy it gets.
I love my family, no matter how annoying they can be.
I love my life.

I am properly humbled.

I didn't clean off the piano.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Crates

I have two wooden crates flanking my front door, filled with wood pieces, lights, and fresh greenery. I need to add pine-cones.
I can't decide if I love it or think it's a little on the tacky side, but regardless, they're staying until after Christmas because I'm too lazy to do anything different.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Maegan's African Tea

This morning I was craving a delicious cup of tea that my friend Maegan served me after her trip to Africa, where it was served to her as an evening beverage at her African hosts' home. Since I couldn't remember the exact ratios of tea/sugar/milk, I texted her for the information and was so glad she replied promptly so I could enjoy my tea this morning while tackling the paperwork stack.

Make yourself a cup of strong, hot tea (really hot, because once you add the milk it will cool down, of course). I used orange pekoe black tea. Then add 2 teaspoons of sugar (mine was organic evaporated cane sugar) and 1/4 cup milk (I poured in half-n-half, because it's Tuesday). I love Maegan! I love Africa! I love this tea!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 8: The Finish Line!

This morning feels so good! It's sunshiny and warm outside, and I've successfully completed the cleanse!

I weighed myself: 1 more pound gone, making that a total of 7 pounds lost this past week! This wasn't all about weight loss to me, but I loved feeling more trim as the week continued.

The proponents of this diet are right: if adhered to, you will feel your tummy shrinking, you will feel more fit and the bloating go away. It's noticeable!

As my Mom said, this cleanse isn't difficult physically, just emotionally. You want those comfort foods! The first couple days were the hardest, but as the week went on those cravings lessened and I became more and more focused.

This was an excellent lesson in self-discipline for me. I have a tendency to not practice delayed gratification. Am I craving something sweet? Okay, I'll have chocolate now!

This past week was also a reflective one for me. I thought: "What do I want more, this ____ (pizza, sweets, etc) or a healthy and more fit body? I will prove to myself that I want the greater good!" I was more aware of what I was eating and why.

I walked around a couple of my favorite food stores (the Whole Foods cheese and pastry selection is to die for!), plus visited the Cheesecake Factory and MacDonald's during the course of the week, as if to prove to myself that I could be there, without being sorely tempted to buy or sample, and I could choose to eat a salad and be content while others ate differently.

My reward this morning was a small piece of dark chocolate, from Trader Joe's, 85% cacao. It's amazing how sweet and fruity it tasted after a week of no desserts! I really savored it.
Breakfast this morning is Fage 0% Greek yogurt with honey, and fresh fruit.

I'm going to maintain my little pocketbook food diary (stays in my purse as a reminder!) and track my weight to help stay accountable.

My reminders to myself:

Fresh and raw is best- we need lots of fruits and veggies in our diet!

Lean meats, good fats, complex carbs and proteins are excellent for our body as well. (Brown rice over white!)

Eliminate processed foods or keep them to a minimum.

Drink lots and lots of water.

Exercise! (Definitely something I need to work on.)

Take it one meal and snack at a time:
Think before you eat, do not indulge in gluttony, watch portion control, be thankful and savor every bite!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 7: Miracle Soup

Nutritious brothy soup with veggies

Written in the a.m.:

Today is soup day! While soup sounds cozy and appropriate this time of year, today projects to be a warm one-in the 70's! No complaints, though. I love this sort of weather!

I'm sure I will want to eat ice-cream instead of soup. And I have some lovely Trader Joe's pumpkin ice-cream in the freezer.

Another half a pound lost!

Evening update:

Here is my "Miracle Soup" recipe":

Saute 2 onions in a bit of olive oil.
Meanwhile, chop up an entire head of cabbage and throw that on top.
Add, finely chopped:
1 bell pepper
5 celery stalks
Stir in 2 cans organic diced tomatoes, in their juice.
Add a couple cloves freshly minced garlic and spices to your taste.
Pour a 32 ounce carton of your choice of stock over everything. I used Trader Joe's turkey stock but you could use chicken or beef or better yet, your own.
Simmer until veggies are soft.

So that, and water, was on the menu for today. I like cabbage, and enjoyed the soup! There was plenty, so I reinvented it for the family's dinner with leftover chicken and rice.

Then, for some reason, I got a pounding headache in the late afternoon. I know I'm not dehydrated, so that's all good. I made myself some French press was divine, all black and aromatic! That and ibuprofen helped the headache.

I'm pleased the 7 days went so well...more thoughts on that later!

This was a light and tasty way to end the cleanse. The soup was easy to make, and surprisingly filling.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 6: Fowl and Vegetables

Fowl and veggies, no potatoes

Felt wonderful this morning!

I've maintained my weight, no loss or gain on the scale today.

Started out with a crunchy cucumber.

Mid-morning I had a bit of chicken.

My late lunch was a salad of mixed greens with shredded carrots, zucchini, chicken, and a few other veggies in a light vinaigrette.

Dinner was more chicken...

then hot tea!

I really want a piece of dark chocolate.

So nice to pair the meat with a variety of vegetables. I planned on cooking zucchini and onions along with my chicken for dinner, but I still felt full from my lunch salad and so kept it simple. That's the great thing about today-so many options for chicken and veggie combos!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 5: Fowl and Tomatoes

Fowl: Chicken and/or turkey, 6 tomatoes

Another version of this diet says you can eat lean beef today, instead.

Yay! When I woke up I got to eat some MEAT! I didn't eat very much, just a little bit was satisfying, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I chose an all natural rotisserie chicken for today and tomorrow, and 6 ripe, organic tomatoes.

I ate the tomatoes like apples, spaced throughout the day. I made sure to drink lots and lots of water. I had servings of chicken at lunch and dinner.

Today was a good day! Easier and easier!

Oh, and I lost another 2 pounds. Remarkable. I'm very curious as to what the scale will say tomorrow.

I think the combination of white and dark meat, right off the bone, tastes wonderful after 4 days of no meat, and was much more appealing to me than cooking up plain chicken breasts. The fresh tomatoes were good! I decided earlier to keep tomatoes out of my diet until today, since I would be eating so many (I actually only made it to 5).