Monday, April 26, 2010

52 Projects Week 14: workout!


This is a simple one, and hopefully a powerful one. I started a workout routine, one that I could include Helena in, since we're together more than not, and also because I want regular exercise to be something she sees me prioritizing.

We have a small area in the basement devoted to exercise. Much work really needs to be done to set up the entire house, let alone the basement. 5 months in a new house isn't really a lot of time to get settled, I'm finding.

This winter I had many excuses for why I did get down there to exercise. Mainly, the cold dark weather made the cold, dark basement unappealing. But it would have made me feel so much better if I had!

So, in our small area, we have a small weight bench (still needs to be set up), an inexpensive elliptical machine gifted to us several years back by a friend, and a mini trampoline we found free on the side of the road.

We decided to take turns using the elliptical and mini tramp. I put in one of Helena's CDs which we haven't used much, Play, by Milkshake. It was great to bounce to! 80% of the music was fast and upbeat and kept us going, and it was really fun.

My mom recently told me (my mom really does know EVERYTHING, it seems), that rebounding, or bouncing on the mini tramp is exceptionally good for you, because the up and down motion positively impacts the lymphatic system. There is a lot of great, clear, easy to understand information about this HERE. I remember from massage school the discussion on the lymphatic system, which is not connected to the heart and therefore is not impacted equally by all forms of cardiovascular exercise. Massage, particularly Lymph Drainage Massage, which is an very very light form of massage, and certain types of exercise will cause the valves within the lymphatic system to open and close. Rebounding is one particularly effective form.

My goal is to do this, or, when, weather permits, another form of exercise 4 times a week. More would be great, but startly off modestly is better for me.

Happy Week!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Things that made me smile this week...

and I happened to have a camera!

An abundance bell, gift from from Carrie. Ring it to bring in what you'd like an abundance of. She gave a bunch out last week at our local unschool meeting. A few great stories have already come out of these gifts. I'm currently ringing for stamina.

My redone pillows...these are 2 of the 4. I have one more to do, and one I may redo, because I'm not in love with it, but these I'm thrilled with, my favorite being the one on the right.

Free coffee! Patrick gave me these full cards from our favorite local coffee house, Gimme Coffee, easily a year ago. And into the pile on my desk they went, since we lived far enough away at the time that I didn't visit often. Monday, I sorted through part of said pile, and found free coffee for Lynn and I, while our girls went to dance class!

The endless creativity of our sweet daughter and her homemade sandal!

Friday, April 23, 2010

{this moment}, Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Participating in {this moment}, introduced by Soule Mama.

A single photo from the week, no words.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sweet Potato Walnut Burritos

These are really yummy!

I used black beans instead of lentils, at a friend's recommendation. I'm going to try them with red lentils this week.

I especially like this recipe because you can make all or part of it ahead of time. I'm cooking the sweet potatoes and lentils this morning since I'm home and have the time. Tomorrow I'll assemble the burritos to bring to my parent's house for dinner Wednesday. The can also be assembled and then frozen, ready to cook. About 45 minutes if you cook them frozen.

Sweet Potato Walnut Burritos

Monday, April 19, 2010

On Children

This has been on my mind, in my heart, of late. More thoughts later.

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

52 Projects Weeks 12 & 13


Better late than never, I say often these days! Here I am, once again, posting two weeks at once. I console myself with the fact that I am actually doing the projects, just bogging down in getting them posted.

Week 12: Homemade corn tortillas!

This project was born of my utter disgust with the corn tortilla options available locally. If you have ever lived in San Diego, or some other city where you are fortunate enough to coexist with a strong hispanic population, you may have been lucky enough to have eaten warm, soft fresh corn tortillas. If you haven't, I recommend you add it to your list of things to do during this lifetime, truly worth it. They're good absolutely plain! If you have, and compared them to the shelf stable kind, than you can probably empathize with my utter dispair when biting into the corn tortillas available to me in Upstate New York. They resemble not so much food as something that you should ship something in or store something in. In other words, cardboard.

So there I was, about 2 weeks ago, at Wegmans. I must digress further for a moment to mention that I LOVE Wegmans for many reasons, largely because they make available a large variety of foods that would otherwise be hard to find in a town of this size. Anyway, so there I was, with Tacos on the menu plan, feeling the stiff packets of tortillas. Then the inspiration struck! It was not hopeless! I could make my own! So Helena and I cruised over to the International Foods section and grabbed a bag of Masa.

It was a fairly simple process to make them. You mix in the water and let it sit to absorb, then form it into balls.

Then comes the tricky part. You press them with your tortilla press. Aha! But I don't have one. Did, back in San Diego, but never needed it, so it didn't make the cut of things moved with us. Little did I know....
So we rolled them between wax paper. Then cooked them on a dry pan for about a minute on each side. You can see below, our results were unattractive. But ever so tasty! I thought 16 tortillas would be way too many, but we had only these two left after dinner.

Going to hunt for a tortilla press.

And Week 13:

Clipped the cat's claws. This is such a silly, simple one. But I bought the clippers about 8 months ago, and hadn't done it until now. Partly because I just found them in the boxes of yet to be unpacked goods. But also because I was petrified that I would hurt her.

But she really needed it. She's 16, getting slow, and her nails are long. She's an absolute sweetheart and has never ruined furniture until now, because she uses her claws to pull herself up, now that jumping is getting harder. She's incredibly gentle which made it easy-I'm not sure I would recommend trying it on a feisty one, might be worth paying a groomer.

I watched this great video, made locally, which took away my fear.

No photos of the process, but here's the proof.

Happy Week!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Oh so grateful!

Just to be alive and in the thick of it all! Sometimes, especially after sitting for awhile balancing the checkbook and other sometimes nerve wracking tasks, I just need to remember.

Remember that life is so good, that I had today, and if I'm lucky I have a lot more tomorrows. That their kisses are sweet, that those purrs and meows are there to remind me to slow down, that the sunshine was bright today, that the big fat earthquake in SO Cal spared the so many that I love there, that the piles I wade through are actually smaller, that I have SO so very much to be grateful for every day. I ache when I think of the moments I take all of this, and so much more for granted. And am so grateful for the reminders (thank you Jane!) when they come, just when I need them.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

52 Projects Week 11: Eggs


We've had this packet of clay (Das, Air Hardening) sitting around for over a year. My mom gave it to me because Helena was interested in using it. I felt like a guilty mama everytime I looked at that package and did nothing with it...why not? Not sure. But this week, I pulled it out, we were both excited, and then Helena didn't like the feel of it, or the fact that her hands turned terra cotta colored-yes, my girl is such a Virgo!

So I had fun with it myself, and made these few eggs, in honor of spring, and Easter, and all things fresh and new.

I thought the clay was fun and easy to work with, although it definitely does harden quickly when exposed to air, so I recommend pulling out only a piece small enough to work with and keeping the rest sealed until ready to use. The bumpier texture on the PEACE egg is due to the fact that that piece had begun to set a bit already.

We're going to paint them this week, Helena is excited about this part :-)

Happy Spring!