Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blessed feast of the Ascension!  Sad to no longer shout Christ is Risen, and I will miss the sounds of "The Angel Cried,"  but Pentecost is nearly upon us, and the rich green of this feast is bursting with life.  I love the beauty of the church calendar, everything in its season, and this year my hydrangea have decided to make certain they are wearing green in time for Pentecost.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Magic" Kale

My new favorite recipe, garlic kale salad.  I fell in love with it last year when I tasted it at Wh*ole Foods.  So I finally worked out a ratio of ingredients that seems to replicate their taste pretty closely.  It's so very nice of them to list all of the ingredients on the label when you buy it there!  Since we get at least 2 bunches of kale a week from the CSA, it is helpful to have a few recipes people love, and this one has been a hit.  I made it last week for a picnic evening at our local vineyard (yes, even in the south we have a few vineyards and local winemakers!), then again over the weekend for a potluck karaoke evening.  It was at that event one of the guys asked if the dish was "that magic kale."  Made me grin; a bunch of meat and potatoes kind of guys who discovered kale can taste pretty good!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gardens Blessings

240. Seeds are in the ground.
241. goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms, lightly fried and served with balsamic vinegar

242. First peek at corn rows

243. My mother's day gift from my god-daughter..... even more meaning after having completed CGS Level 2 formation which revolves around the parable of the true vine.

244. Father came to bless the garden.  Even the fish in the little pond received a blessing!

245. First CSA box for the season.  I have been looking forward to it for weeks, a box full of the first vegetables of the spring.  Kale, arugula, green onions, lettuce, and the last of the season's strawberries.

246. karaoke with friends

247.  my mom and my husband singing "I've Got Friends in Low Places", cause 'round here that's a family tradition since 1991.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Conference Find

I love used book stores.  I love old books; the musty but in a good way smell, the way they feel in  your hand, the sound of the page turning, the slightly yellowed paper.  Can you tell I don't have a K*ndle yet?  Well, amongst the crazy throngs of people, the hundreds of vendors, the stacks of shiny new books, kits and plastic manipulatives, at our state homeschool convention you will find a little piece of heaven.  It is a small nook.  They bring in rugs to lay down on the concrete floors.  The shelves are wooden, real wood, not pre-fab.  And they must be 8 feet tall.  And they make a little room, a little room closed out of the rest of the chaos.  And those tall wooden shelves are filled with old books.  Out of print treasures and old hardback copies of classics sans dust jackets.  It is my favorite stop at the conference.  You never know what you might find.  And this year, I found a treasure.  Well, several really.  Fifteen to be exact.  Am I the only one who loved these as a child?  My parents had a shelf in the den where these books were kept.  Many hours were spent sitting on the green shag carpet leafing through these books.  The crafts!  The stories!  The science experiments!  I could have kept myself busy all day with one of these books.  I made doll house furniture out of found household objects, build little boats to float in the tub, and read about fairies and princesses of long ago.  Mom long ago passed our set along to another family.  I have a few times looked to replace them, but never wanted to spend too much.  Then there they were.  And under $50!  How could I walk away?  So, they are now mine, and I can't wait to find a shelf where they can live, and my children can sneak a moment to sit and devour their contents.

Friday, May 18, 2012

To what end

Headed out to our curriculum fair, for the first time in 4 years.  It has a bad habit of landing on our anniversary, so I don't often attend.  So what am I mulling over as I enter the sea of books?

"But withal, let my teacher remember to what end his instructions are principally directed, remonstrates Montaigne (1933):  'That he imprint not so much in his schollers mind the date of the ruin of Carthage, as the manners of Hanniball and Scipio, nor so much where Marcellus died, as because he was unworthy of his devoire (duty) he died there:  that he teach him not so much to know Histories, as to judge them... To some kind of men, it is a mere gramaticcal studie, but to others a perfect anatomie of Philosphie; but (by) meanes whereof, the secretest part of our nature is searched-into."

Norms & Nobility p.4

Monday, May 14, 2012

Blessing # 231 and love

231.  eighteen years

232. the Orthodox wedding service, such a beautiful sacrament and blessing - mine lasted 1 hour 15 minutes, yet it was over in a flash.   I still recall the feeling, staring hard at the back of the priest's vestment, the cross my focal point as I blinked back tears.  When I realized he was praying the closing prayers, I wanted him to just keep going, I wanted to hold on to that moment forever.

233. a husband hard-headed enough to keep me from always being right :)

234.  getting married young - it's a lot easier to learn to live with someone that way

235. that He has indeed blessed us with children like olive shoots around the table
236.  yellow satin bows and girls in white dresses

237. celebrating our anniversary at another Orthodox wedding

238. dancing like no one is watching

239.  my mother and my god-daughter's father line dancing into the night - priceless

*I was cleaning out some old draft posts, and found this list of thanks that I never published.  I wrote it last year right after our 17th wedding anniversary.  I think I was waiting to get photos downloaded, and then life got busy and I never went back and finished it.  Since this is our 18th anniversary, I decided to go ahead and publish now.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tie Dyed Eggs

This year we tried something a little different with egg dyeing during Holy Week, and while I was a bit disappointed with the results, the eggs were still lovely and I learned a few lessons, so maybe we will give it another try next year.  I am behind the times on this idea, apparently it has been around awhile, but I just stumbled across it this spring.  So, a trip to the Go*dwill store for silk ties.  It is important they be 100% silk, which is a shame since the really cool outrageous designs are all in polyester!  Here is a look at our ties, before we took a pair of scissors to them.
Cut the ties up into squares, and tie up one egg in each square.  The trick is to have the fabric flat against the egg.  This is where we could have done a better job, too many wrinkles.  

Don't the look pretty?  All dressed up in silk gowns!  The next step is to cut squares of cotton muslin and wrap each egg again.  This prevents the dye from spreading to other eggs.  After they are wrapped a second time, we put the eggs in a pot of water and boiled them for about 20 minutes.  I also added a splash of vinegar to the water.  

Results?  Well, the places the fabric was flat against the egg, the patterns transferred beautifully.  Then, there were a lot of white spots.  In all, they were pretty, just not quite what we expected to see.  Maybe next year?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On Educating our Children

"We can play a role as the instruments of our very God and savior in nurturing their souls.......And preparing them for that moment, when they stand before our Lord and Savior .......  When you want to quit ….. Remember this, you can play a role, you can see them one day, before their Lord, as they hear His words “well done”, and when He says that to your children, it will echo in your soul, it will echo in your soul forever.  That is what it is about.  That’s it."

-Andrew Kern from  Analytical Learning