Tuesday, May 18, 2010

All The Ladies In The House Say "Yea!"

A few of my "now over 40" friends and I were talking the other day about the "changes" we were warned about but didn't believe before we were actually 40. My one friend said she started noticing those changes about 20 minutes after she woke up on her 40th birthday.

So, in honor of all of my beautiful friends, (and yes, each and everyone of them IS beautiful) and because it is a very rainy day here and I'm in this kind of a mood, I share with you this:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Darlin' I love you but give me Park Avenue"

For the past week I have been immersed in "nature", and I think I'm ready for the SPA, thank you.

On Tuesday and Thursday, I acted as a chaperone and photographer to the 4th grade of our school. First, we walked to the town park....

where the classes were divided up into groups of 3 and each assigned a task..

My charges were assigned to find things in nature that catch their eye....

They got right to work....

ME: Hey, guys, how about this?

well, maybe...

I guess....

Sure, if you say so....

You think?....

OH COOL! Come here, Mrs. T. You've gotta see this! Mom, take a picture of this!!!

Two days later, we walked back to the park and the kids' project was to create artistic designs using nature as discovered on our first trip....
I kept my mouth shut, ( I did to!!!) and kept my camera clicking and after a 1/2 hour of strategic planning and unabashed creativity - this is what my group came up with:

They were very proud of their achievement. Particularly their use of thorns to hold down the fragile leaves to the sticks.

They weren't quite as impressed with the fact that I had to practically climb a tree over the water in order to actually take any pictures of their masterpiece. It was worth it anyway.

On Friday, I took my Brownie Troop on our first overnight experience. We went here:

And stayed in here:

As close to a tent as I hope to get with my troop!

Cost to stay here and have my daughter and troop study animals up close and personal,

Learn about constellations, and make star charts, all during a scream-seeking lightening and thunder storm...

And stuff themselves silly full of SMore's

before going to sleep in these posh accomodations?...

The cost of new sneaker's for my girl the next morning, after going on a hike .....

to do a pond study....

and play in the mud collecting samples,

About $30, if I catch a good sale.

The cost to witness the awe,

and excitement in her face as "Kermie" was caught, studied.. and then

released back to his home in the pond?

Let's say it all together now: Priceless.

Maybe Green Acres really is the place for me.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Inspired Reading

A Book Review

About a week ago, Thomas Nelson Publishing sent me a complimentary copy of the book I Am Hutterite, by Mary Ann Kirkby because I agreed to do a book review of it. I was thrilled at the opportunity to do this as it combines both my love of reading AND of writing and a free book just made it all the more exciting for me. I Am Hutterite is not a book I would have picked up off the shelves on first glance, which makes me all the more happy to do this review because I have to say – the book was delightful. If you enjoy this type of read, I wouldn’t want you to miss out on it.

Just as a point of reference if you aren’t familiar with “Hutterite” ( I wasn’t). It is a religious community of people much like Mennonites or Amish colonies (of which I am familiar), with one of the biggest differences, in short, being that Hutterites practice communal living – shared responsibilities, shared possessions. They are mostly located in the Pacific Northwest. This true story is written by a woman who began her life in an Hutterite colony and enjoyed the predictability, security and relationships within it. However, events occur that result in her family leaving her beloved community – uprooting the author at age ten, and plunging her into a modern society that she is completely unprepared for.

Her story chronicles the history of her family in the Hutterite Community and takes us on a journey of self-discovery as she navigates through her young life learning to deal with prejudice and doing without, and the lessons she learns about the value of a strong faith, hardwork, family and forgiveness. The honesty of her story is raw and emotional and I just wanted to sit and hold her hand as I read. The voice of her writing is easy to listen to, as if she is sitting at the table with you telling her story over a cup of tea (or several) and at the same time full of rich detail about day to day tasks so that I could picture being there on the prairie with her. At times I envied her simple life in the Hutterite colony, and at others – completely horrified. Even more difficult, though, was reading her transition into life away from the colony. I am so glad she has so openly shared her life with us. I believe we can be reminded of the important values in our own lives as we delve into hers.

I’ll give this book a 4 out 5 stars on the Beth Blog–o-meter. You can read more about this book here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Soup's On!

A few weeks ago, Maria and I did the "DuPont Estate Tour" (as named by me). On Day 1, we visited Longwood Gardens, as I shared here. On Day 2, (one week later), we visited Winterthur, as I mentioned in my last post.

Winterthur is a musuem and "country estate" with both beautiful grounds and period furniture within the home...

Look at this WALLPAPER!!!

I just love soup tureens.

And as luck would have it, the museum was having a special display of soup tureens while we were there!
Here are a few of my favorites...

maybe a sweet, cold strawberry soup in this one?

Chicken and Wild Rice I'm thinkin'

How about creamy lemon artichoke soup for this one? oohh or lemon asparagus!! Both so springy!


This one is different!

Frogmore Stew? (Actually, I don't even know what is in frogmore stew so scratch that)

These little individual soup tureens really had me:
Yes, I suppose I could eat soup out of rabbit -

But this?
I'm thinking Ham and Bean.

And this one?

I think I'll order out!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Name the Movie

"Donkey, you HAVE the RIGHT to remain silent. What you lack is the CAPACITY!"

Sometimes people say hurtful things. Sometimes those hurtful words come from a person who claims to be your friend. It could be just a fragile moment for the friend - or maybe that person just has a different definition of what being a friend means.

Recently, I had a friend say some things that were completely untrue about the essence of who I am - in front of me, and other people who didn't know me as well as I THOUGHT she did. I actually believe that she didn't even think there was anything WRONG with what she said. Because I tend to handle things very differently than she, I didn't react to what she said in front of those other people. Overthinking the whole situation (something I tend to do), at first I let her words make me feel all knotted up and twisted inside.

But then I realized, her words don't define me.

My life and who I am is defined by the One who created me. That is something that this friend doesn't get about me. My motivations are different than hers. So my actions - and reactions, are different.

Sometimes, I need gentle reminders of that fact. And once I wrap my head and heart around that again, I can see the forest through the trees. And the view is beautiful from there.

These pictures were taken at Winterthur - yet another DuPont estate in the area. I have more pictures to share of this blissful day, which I'll share, along with a recipe, tomorrow! (or next week...) In the meantime, I have a friend that I need to go talk with.

PS: The words of wisdom are from the movie......SHREK! Did you guess that? What a smart audience I have...