Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Roadside Memorial

I’m a noticer. Well, I notice things that are out of the ordinary. I notice things that have gone missing. I notice things that are different than the day before. During the school year I have the same thirty-minute commute, both ways. Some time ago, I’m guessing two yearsyou’ll see more of my logic shortlyI noticed an accident off the side of the highway, on a rural road. Like any accident I got that sinking feeling of dread; not for me but for family and friends who, of course, I don’t know. But you don’t have to know them do you?

A week or so later a memorial constructed of a cross, flowers, balloons, and many mourners began to appear. Each day new things showed up and new people pulled off the road to share their sentiments. This constant flow of traffic on that rural road persisted on my evening commute for some time. I remember thinking, “How lovely,” of the continual flow of support. Of any roadside memorial, I have never seen this kind of activity.

And then it seemed to fade away. Or maybe I stopped lookingbut I doubt that because one day, seemingly 4 seasons later, same time, same place the traffic picked up again. And one day there was an entire crowd of people. This, I’m guessing, was a one-year memorial. While it made me sad it also filled my heart. All that support, one year on, amazing.

Even now, another year later, I still catch glimpses of friends stopping by. Today was one of those daysa man, sitting on the hillside, leaning against his truck; simply sitting there in support. Each time this happens I think, hope, and pray that whoever that was knows how loved they are.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

On Purpose

Do you ever wonder if things happen for a reason? I mean, I believe in the grander “everything happens for a reason” saying but I’m talking about the little things. Like, do I want something only because my husband just ate the last of it? Was I going to be extra focused on an afterschool task only to realize I have to leave early that day? Does this happen to you? It’s been happening to me a lot lately but it could simply be that school is back in session and my responsibilities have kicked back up.

And every time something like this happens I say to myself that I’m going to write it down and keep track of it. But do I? Not so much. The only one I can really remember as of recent deals with a dirty windshield. For weeks, driving into the morning sun on the horizon has proven difficult because of the fogged-over state of the window. Every time this happened I got frustrated and I’m quite sure I said something to myself along the lines of, “If I had a towel in here I’d wipe this entire thing clean.” So, the time finally came and I remembered the towel-a huge feat in itself. And what do you think happened? First, it sat in my bag and made the daily circle-living room floor, car seat, classroom, car seat, living room floor. I finally took it out of my bag and then it spent another week resting near the center console. Why does this happen? Why do I let this happen?

I’m going to try and keep better track and see what happens.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Change of Habit

I think my husband thinks I’m out to get him. Or make him starve anyway. You see, he gets really bad heartburnmainly from the crap he eats. So, I’ve started to change the foods I make for meals, as well as, the foods I keep in the house. Duh silly, shouldn’t I have been doing that from the beginning? Well, probablybut you know, if he wants potato chips he can have them. Ugh, and here’s the dilemma. So lately we’ve exchanged potatoes with polenta. Instead of a baguette we had bulgur (which, by the way, he hates the name of!). Ranch dip? Nope, meet freshly made hummus. Bacon and eggs for breakfast? No wayapple cinnamon pecan oatmeal with barley.

You get the point. How’s he handling this? As good as can be expected. He’s actually eating more than I thought and has even liked most things. Just not the bulgur mainly. I’m in love with the oatmeal lately. Especially topped with freshly chopped apples and pecans. I can hardly wait for breakfast now.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Recipe #3

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Oatmeal

2 cups water

3/4 cup apple juice

1 cup steel-cut oats

1/2 cup regular barley (quick cooking)

1/2 Tbs ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup chopped pecans (I use salted)

2 green apples, diced (I use Granny Smith)

In a small or medium saucepan, combine water, apple juice, oats, barley, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.

Simmer over medium low heat for about 30 mins. You will need to stir continually. Just before removing from heat, stir in brown sugar.

When serving oatmeal, top with diced apples and chopped pecans.

Recipe #2

Zesty Hummus

1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans (do not drain)
the juice from one lemon (this is why it’s zesty-feel free to add more or less than this)
1 1/2 Tbs tahini
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp salt (I use Kosher salt and/or sea salt)
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth-or desired consistency. Voila! Make sure to refrigerate leftovers
if there are any! I eat my hummus with pita chips, pita bread, carrots, and English cucumber.


Coconutty Granola

2 cups rolled oats (not instant- I use Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2cup pecans (I use salted pecans, yum)

1/2 cup slivered almonds (these can be toasted first)

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup sunflower kernels

1/4 cup flax seed meal (if flax seed is cheaper, buy that and use a coffee grinder to make the flax meal)

3/4 cup coconut (I use sweetened)

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

3/4 cup honey

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped, pitted, dates

Combine the oats, pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seed meal, and coconut in a large bowl. The cranberries and dates get added at the very end.

Blend in grapeseed oil and honey. Mix very well.

Pour entire mix into a baking dishyou need something with higher sides than a cookie sheet because you’ll mix at 10 minute intervals.

Bake at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes. When it is golden brown, it’s done.

Remove dish from oven and pour granola back into the bowl. Mix in cranberries and dates. Let cool and then cover. Enjoy! I eat mine over organic vanilla yogurt with a fresh drizzle of honey.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Back to School

It’s that time of year again, Back-to-School time! This makes year five for me. You’d think the ideas would just flow, but that’s not the case. I brainstormed and researched for several days what to do with my door. To no avail! Then one afternoon, in the midst of a (now averted) life crisis and a much-needed nap it came to me. A tree of knowledge. Shall We Dance? Leaves. Birds. Ahhh.

The finished product has no birdsseems too chaotic. A dear friend of mine suggested stringing birds at different lengths from the ceiling around the door. If I have time and the gumption to decorate birds, I’ll do that.

This year has afforded me the opportunity to de-clutter! It’s the first year I’m not freaking out about curriculum and finally feeling like I know what can goto the big waste can in the sky! I’m trying a couple new organizational things this year. One is bins. Magazine binsthey’ll each house table partners things: clipboards, writing notebooks, drafting folders, etc. Each set of partners will also have another bin for their utensils and reading materials. I’ve coordinated them by letterwhich will match a table. Since we switch tables monthly, all the bins will be cleaned monthly! Also, the bins have a special shelf where they’ll be kept nightly so tables can be washed and chairs can be put up easily.

Lastly, for tonight, I changed up my job board and lunch choice board. I still need the titles for both…but no more cookie-cutter boards from the teacher’s store.