Thursday, February 25, 2010


Do you do leftovers?
Cold pizza for breakfast, the last corner of last night's lasagna for lunch, or spicy pieces of baked chicken cut up and stirred into some barbecue sauce for a sandwich?
Diced baked potato, skin and all, thrown into a skillet after the onions and slices of beef are nice and brown?
Broccoli or baby peas on top of a salad?
Cooked carrots in place of pasta, making one last bowl of spaghetti with the remaining half cup of sauce?

Do you savor the velvety warmth of day old soup, hanker for a piece of bread and some steak from last night's cookout, or go into stealth chef mode to hide the one remaining pork chop for your lunch tomorrow?

As soon as you walk into your mother's kitchen, do you yank open the refrigerator door, searching for whatchabeencookingandcanIhavesomewarmedup?

Are toasted turkey sandwiches with a little bit of dressing and cranberry your friend the entire Thanksgiving weekend?

Ah, leftover loving foodies, lend me your sympathy today as I attempt to pack my lunch bag. Last night, we had breakfast for supper, and this morning there is nary a scrap of bacon to be crumbled. *gasp* I am having to cook something to take for my lunch!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thistle Seed Junkies

Thistle seed junkies, that's what they are. Goldfinches swarms by the dozens around the feeders at my mom and dad's house. Mother keeps the feeders filled with goldfinch crack, and the birds let all their friends know where to get the hook-up.

My quest to get closeup pictures of the little yellow-feathered devils has not been a successful one. It was eventful at first, but then I quit attempting to lie flat on the ground near the feeders in hopes of getting a real cloooooooooooose close-up (that had to have been pretty damn amusing for the rest of the family, watching me try to get warm and comfy on pieces of cardboard on the cold ground). I've made sporadic attempts since then, but hey, sometimes it's best to just open your eyes and peer from a window.

Soon, we'll visit Grandma and Granddaddy, and I'll be stalking the goldfinches and the sandcranes yet another time. It's not about the capture (of the perfect photo), it's about the hunt, right?? In the meantime, I'm stalking knowledge of how to use colored pencils to make decent drawings. Once again, it's the hunt, right??

Actually, there are some pretty cool tips and tricks to be found online. (Executing them is another story.) Try googling "drawing with colored pencils," and you're bound to stumble across some good sites, maybe even the ones I discovered and then forgot to bookmark so I could send you to them straightaway ;-)

First tip-- toilet paper. Toilet paper is your friend, and not just because you want to wipe what you think is turning out like crap off your sketch page, LOL. Using colored pencils is more about layering than I realized, and toilet paper is supposed to be great for rubbing and polishing each layer of color. I didn't try it until after I drew the bird feeder, so taking pictures would only show you a few swatches of colors. Second tip-- makeup applicators and wedges. Seeing as how I never wear makeup anymore, it's nice to find a use for that bag of makeup sponge-wedges that were still in the bathroom cabinet! Once again, it's all about the layering of colors. So, get out there, people, and scrounge through your bathroom for art supplies!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cozy Day

It's a rainy, drizzly morning here. . . and it's perfectly cozy.
Dark days wrapped around the edges in foggy wisps of clouds cuddle us in the crook of Nature's arm.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What Is the Meaning of the Universe?

Patience, love, compassion. . . and the ever reborn chance to achieve them.
When the sun sets on your day, may you look behind you and see footprints of at least one of them left in your path.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Never Enough Garlic in the World

This is my son drooling over his paper plate appetizer of shredded mozzarella and garlic powder. The boy was not faking enthusiasm. He fixed himself two more helpings while I was giving the chicken breast pieces a blanket of garlic powder, paprika, and pepper to keep them warm in the already toasty oven. The appetizer he created tided him over until the chicken was baked. Then, he ate garlicky-peppery chicken with baked onions.

Given his boychild fascination with fart power, you would expect that he was purposefully loading teh artillery with stinky food, but I heard not a peep about that aspect of the garlic lunch. Nope, what I heard was a plethora of questions. "So, Mom, why do people say vampires don't like garlic?" "And what do they say about people and onions? What do onions protect us from?"

Uh. Oh. Given his boychild fear of monsters and scary things, maybe the three plates of yummy garlic cheese actually were artillery in his mind, a sneaky weapon for fighting off vampires that might materialize whilst he was playing outside in the snow. Nope, never heard a peep about that, either. That's a good thing, by the way.

All I know is that the child loves spicy food. Garlicky, peppery, bite your tongue hot, you name it, he's likely to try a nibble and then wolf down the rest with gusto. Heck, he's a kid, and likes the cheese with nachos but loves the salsa.

Come to think of it, maybe the concern about vampires wasn't protection against them but pity for them. . . Tsk, tsk, a world without garlic? What a pitiable thought!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yep, the Kitchen Has an Echo

Uh-huh, the kitchen makes a wonderfully up-close-and-personal-coffee-house-feel stage for young performers!
It also carries an echo. . . smile at that if you are now a grandmother or just have grown children and think a noisy kitchen is something for rejoicing. . . smile at that and send cottonballs or earplugs if you are a mom who can empathize with the goodside-badside of an echoing kitchen, LOL
Have a terrific weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Takes Me to a Happy Place

This picture takes me to a happy place. Is it purely mom-tuition working it's magic on me? Because those are Kate's hands, because I was there in the sunlight with her to take the picture, and because I think that monochromatic "happiness" on the bracelet works as an almost subliminal hint, then my brain connects to this picture.

Kate and I went to feed the geese and ducks at a park one afternoon last fall while the boys were busy. We doled out stale bread to the masses. We laughed at the bossiest gander in the world bossing around every other fowl from lowly duck to regal swan. We gingerly stepped around fowl poop all along the built-up path that divides the small lake. She happily hung her head over the edge of the little (and steep) bridge that allows the water to flow between the halves. I quickly scooted up and over the bridge to the other side so I could take a breath :) We watched the ground for pretty feathers and watched the lake for interesting photo opportunities.

One glance at this pic, and my brain is smiling :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Been Practicin'

Believe it, or not, I actually came close to meeting my goal of sketching something every day in January! It made a big difference at first, mostly in my confidence. Proportion is my nemesis, but practicing gives me the nerve to keep trying :)

Before this feather, there was the painstakingly done body of a peacock. . . the body that was then ruined in a flash by not-so-painstaking attention to the details of the way feathers lay. Back pedaled. Used all reserves of patience. Sketched just a single end of a single feather. Lesson learned (or at least, lesson reiterated).

February, and the practicing continues. . . sorta, kinda. Sophie the medicine woman has some pretty neat shading, but I cropped off the top of her hat because it looked about two sizes too small, LOL. The thing is, once you get some confidence, you start stretching yourself some. Once you start stretching some, you go back to failing! Argh! No wonder why that old saying about "one step forward, two steps back" hangs around in our lexicon. It's a truth. It's not necesarily a bad one, either. It's simply a reminder of the way of life, a reminder that it's okay to fall as long as you learn from it and keep on walking. Happy trails!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Shhhhh...Be Very, Very Quiet

The loudest sounds in the library at the moment are the hums of the computer hard drives and the conversation of the librarians as they try to fix a circulation problem. . .and I'll bet you've never heard a librarian speak very loudly, so you understand exactly how quiet it is, right?

After a long day of reinforcing the idea that Monday is a work day and not just a warm-up day, I'm ready for the quietude. During my lunch break, which happens to be later in the afternoon and fairly solitary, two teachers passing through offered to turn on the fluorescent light. Each time, I quickly thanked them and said "the window light is fine with me, you don't have to bother unless you need more light." Each time, they smiled a smile of recognition.

You see, if every day of the week were equal, we wouldn't need seven different names, would we? We could just call five of them Weekday, Weekday, Weekday, Weekday, and Weekday. Those would be followed by Weekend and Weekend. They aren't all the same, though, are they? Ever had a case of Sunday night blues, that sinking feeling of dread of the coming Monday that makes you almost too paralyzed to enjoy the last hours of your weekend? Ever experienced the limitless possibilty of an early start on Saturday morning? Ever mistaken a Tuesday for a Thursday and felt letdown for the rest of the week? Ever wished that Thursday was indeed Tuesday because you've had a good week and don't want to lose the momentum? Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. . . each has its unique position in each of our minds, doesn't it?

Some times (and yeah, I really mean it), Monday can be one of my favorite days. I think today might have been a toss-up Monday, not all bad, not all good, just "Monday."

May life give you a few moments of quiet on a Monday when you need it. I think that pretty much sums up my blessing for today :)