Wednesday, June 30, 2010

52 Projects Week 23: no real project :-(


Okay, so I must admit project for week 23:-( Wisdom teeth pulled on Monday put a damper on getting much done. In a way, I guess I could say it was something of a project for me to just rest..not my strongest suit. But really, it was a recuperating week, followed by a quick weekend getaway, yay!

Not sure what week 24 be, but there are a few days left!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

52 Projects Week 22: Fresh Rolls!


One of my very favorite things to eat is Fresh Rolls. I first discovered them at the Taste of Thai Booth at the IthacaFest 2 years ago. Mmm....I was working a booth, and went back many times over the weekend for these.

This post, at Beauty that Moves inspired my week 22 project.

Can you believe I forgot to take a photo of the finished results? Oh well, they were really good and pretty simple to make. I already had the baked tofu on hand. We added shredded carrots, cabbage, lettuce and a mix of mint & basil. I love that combination of tastes.
I made a dipping sauce by combining a cup of Hoisin Sauce with about 1/4 cup peanut butter and 2 TBSP of rice vinegar.
Helena loved making them and became the master roller after a few tries. We brought them to a picnic and they went fast. Mmmm, really worth a try if you like this sort of thing. Also, vegan in this case (though they'd be great with chicken or shrimp too!), and gluten-free.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

52 Projects Weeks 20 & 21, Paint & Engage


Week 20, Paint!
I really thought week 20 would come and go without a project. It was a CRAZY week. Helena started school, had her big dance recital, had a bad heat rash. Then Sunday, everything opened up...magically.

We had to go to the store, and I FINALLY bought finger paints. I've been wanting to finger paint with Helena for awhile now, and just hadn't gotten around to getting the paints. She's really into drawing and painting, has a knack for this kind of art that escapes me, which is fine. We had SO Much FUN! And it was a soothing end on a rainy day to a crazy week.

Week 21, Engage
I have been reading this book, The Power of Self-Coaching, by Joseph Luciani. This is a really amazing book that is giving me tools to unblock some really stuck areas in my life.
One of patterns I have identified through reading this book is that when overwhelmed, I tend to pull way inwared, in an attempt to feel better, or less overwhelmed.

This hasn't not been very effective for me. I end up feeling more overwhelmed and behind in the long run, and more isolated.

So last week, starting Tuesday,I made a choice to engage. I woke too early that day after a broken and restless night's sleep, with a time sensitive to do list a mile long. I made a choice to move through that day with as much grace as possible, and to make eye contact and smile at everyone I encountered.

I also made my choice to start my day with a run (which ended up being a walk), deciding to care for myself despite the intensity of my schedule. I smiled at and greeted everyone I passed, and had this sweet little interaction with a woman walking along side me for a moment that went something like this:

Me: "What a beautiful morning!"
Woman: "yes! I'm so glad I decided to start my day in this way."
Me: "Me too...I almost told myself I didn't have time."
Woman: "So did I, and it's only a 40 minute loop, and what a way to start the day."
My day progressed in much the same way. What an amazing difference it was for me to feel tired and raw, and still stay open and receptive.

Later the in week I spoke with two people, one I was very slightly acquainted with, the other I had just met. Both poured their hearts out to me in very personal ways about some fairly intense, even tragic things. I used to wonder why people do this, talk to an almost stranger about something very personal.

I get it now. Get the need to just be heard, and sometimes it's better when it's someone who has no agenda for you, even a loving and helpful one. Sometimes we just need to speak our truths, pains, heartaches, and simply be witnessed and heard, not soothed, not fixed, just heard.

This is quite a new adventure for continue to show up whether I'm at my best or not. That was an interesting thing to discover, actually, that I tend to withdraw when I'm not feeling at my best, rather than show up as I am. Time for more growing up, I think, and much less perfectionism.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill and Efficiency

At work today, while waiting for an amazingly slow computer to respond (really, it's like watching grass grow!), I picked up the June 7th copy of Newsweek with heavy coverage on the Gulf Oil Spill. I blogged a bit about the Spill and something we can do about it here.

I feel physically ill thinking about this, and have mostly avoided media coverage on it. I can't look at photos. I don't want to be stunned and depressed, I want to DO something, have contacted my salon (see above link), am pondering other ways to help.

But I digress. While reading and waiting on uber slow computer, I came across this article by Daniel Gross. I thought it was thoughtful, pointed, poignant. I loved the ending....which calls for, not extreme measures to tap resources, but extreme efficiency so we can use less.

Which makes me want to talk about my husband, who passionately teaches one aspect of this topic, building science. It's a funny story about how he got into this line of work, one that I'm too tired to relate tonight. But I'm so very grateful that he's found something so wonderful to do that he loves so much!

What he does, simply put, is teach people how to audit homes and buildings and look for ways to make them much more efficient, and also safe. It's essentially physic; pressure, air flow...someday I'll take his class so I can understand it better. But it's good stuff, and dispells a lot of myths about building techniques with hard science to back it up.

One of the neat things about this stuff is that making a building more energy efficient is sustainable in multiple ways. Less use of energy has obvious benefits, in light of the Gulf Spill and other related issues. But it's also financially sound, a win win, if you will, better for all. Sometimes something as simple as $300 worth of caulk can save the occupant thousands in heating and cooling costs over the life span of the caulk (15 years give or take).

There's so much more I'd like to say about it all, but don't really have the vocabulary or understanding yet.  But stay tuned if this interests you, I'm sure to have more soon.

Friday, June 4, 2010

52 Projects, Week 19, Photo Screen Saver


Recent complexity in our lives necessitated a simple project last week, which I'm once again late in posting. But this simple project is bringing me a lot of joy.

This is a relatively simple process, to set up your screensaver to scroll through the photos on your hard drive.
 Click Choose Screen Saver.
In Windows XP, go to Control Panel, then Appearances and Themes.

In the window that opens up, click on the Screen Saver drop down menu (right next to the settings button). From there, selecy My Pictures Screen Saver.

That's pretty much it, except that you need to make sure that your photos are actually stored in My Pictures.

I'm really loving this! I get to see photos from the past 10 years or so that I don't often have time to sit down and look through. Everything from Helena as an infant forward, to photos of our SD house before and after, to pictures of other loved ones, near, far and some who have passed on.