Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday

Jesus Christ is risen today! Alleluia!

And yet, I am still sweating the small stuff because it hasn't felt like small stuff. I have been worn down lately and emotionally vulnerable. Resilience has never been one of my strong points. It is rather embarrassing 'cause I preach resilience and positivity, but there are those times when I just don't want another challenge.

Today's challenges included breaking the coffee pot and getting some cuts on my hand from it and finding the picnic ham I had purchased was just slightly too big for my crockpot. The good things were that Diana put bandaids on me and took me to get a new coffee maker, I remembered that ours had a short anyways, and I was able to cut the ham and fit it into the crockpot.

I am tired from it all though! (Well, hiding 201 eggs in the briars might have something to do with it.

In better news, money is good enough, and we keep getting financial blessings. I had good connecting time with Joseph yesterday. I am joyfully hopeful about the future.

The kids are outside searching for those last 14 eggs. They are good!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Up-front

When I am alone is the only time that I am able to feel my emotions untainted. That makes alone time very important to me regardless of what my emotions are. Nothing wrong with being with other people, but sometimes, I just want to know what I am feeling, and to let it go and not be holding onto it anymore. Sometimes in the right circumstances I can achieve the same experience in a crowd, but when I am at home with my family, it is nearly impossible. Their emotions are so important to me, and I am at this point in my life incapable of not taking them on.

This is my truth.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

On the Table This Week

Here is the weekly update on what we're eating here at Faerie Gardens. I had to adjust the menu plan several times this week to keep it in budget while still planning for our Solstice party! I am proud that I have stuck so closely to a food budget this month (with my family's help of course!)

Thursday - hot dogs, french fries, mixed vegetables

Friday - pesto spaghetti w/chicken, winter salad, cinnamon bun cake

Saturday - Solstice Party: homemade buns, barbecue-cheddar meatballs, macaroni and cheese, salad, fruited gelatin salad, peanut butter fudge, candy cane fudge, festive velvet cake, soft ginger cookies

Sunday - chicken-stuffing casserole, creamed spinach, biscuits

Monday - bottomless Mexican casserole, baked sweet potatoes, homemade bread

Tuesday - Christmas Eve party at my brother's

Wednesday - Christmas dinner at my mother's

Thursday, December 12, 2013

On the Table This Week

I haven't been making meal plans as strongly as I was for awhile. A bit less money for food had me scrambling to create 3 or 4 day plans and go from there. I think I am back to a regular schedule now. Here is our plan for this week!

Thursday - chicago style hot dogs, tater tots, buttery garlic broccoli w/parmesan

Friday - chicken pot pie, chocolate chip cookies

Saturday - baked potato & bacon soup, sandwiches

Sunday - dinner at my sister's house

Monday - cheese ravioli, salad

Tuesday - pizza

Wednesday - beef stroganoff

Still less planned out than I use to do, but I am just adding vegetables from what we have in the house or what is on sale. Tonight's dinner was quick and easy. I love hot dogs topped with pickle spears and thin tomato wedges. They taste so fresh and make one hot dog feel like a real serving.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Book Review: The Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey

“The Mermaids Singing” by Lisa Carey starts slow. Three women of different generations, Cliona, Grace and Grainne, provide the focus for this winding tale that switches between various points of view and points in time. By the fifth chapter, I was hooked and not wanting to pause for other things between chapters.

Lisa Carey’s first strength is an excellent portrayal of sensuality and sexuality. Her description of lust describes perfectly the feeling of intense longing brought about by that rush of hormones that accompanies desire. Beyond that, “The Mermaids Singing” exemplifies the strength of emotion caught in anticipation that typically becomes diminished by actual sexual contact. Underneath blatant displays of sensuality, we sense a drive for true connection to meet each person’s need to know and to be known.

As we get to know Cliona, Grace and Grainne, we see periods of both growth and stagnation in their lives. Their lives together and apart show three very different woman connected by fierce loyalties to their own personal values. Unfortunately, none are able to share themselves in a way to truly connect and understand each other.

In the end, themes of both family bonds and alienation work together to bring the individual story lines together in a way that shows the universal conflict between expressing one's individuality and experiencing personal growth while remaining a loyal and loving family member. I recommend this book to those who enjoy entwining tales about strong women, myths about the sea, and picturesque descriptions of quaint Irish villages.

Always Learning: Seals

This morning, Diana was looking at images of an art doll by Rosa Grueso that featured a seal. We got to talking about seals, and I was wondering if seals only live in saltwater so I decided to do some research. It turns out that there is one species of seal that lives in only freshwater, there are two subspecies of the ringed seal that have evolved to live in isolated bodies of freshwater, and most seals will chase prey into freshwater without any ill effects.

The Baikal seal is the only species of seal that lives exclusively in freshwater. This small species is found only in Lake Baikal in Siberia. It is the smallest species of true seal. It thrives in the lake which continually holds about 100,000 specimens in spite of its polluted state. Hunting of the Baikal seal is legal and common, but the numbers never drop. This may be due to the hardiness of the Baikal oilfish which is the seal's primary food source.

Baikal Seal

The freshwater sub-populations of the ringed seal include the Ladoga ringed seal and the Saimaa ringed seal. It is hypothesized that the subspecies developed when populations of ringed seals got trapped in freshwater lakes when pursuing prey. The Lagoda seal consists of a population of around 3000 seals in Lake Lagoda, Russia. The Saimaa seal, which is endangered, includes only around 300 specimens in Lake Saimaa, Finland. 

Because I am always interested in organizing and categorizing information, I also looked into the classification of the seal group in general. Seals are divided into two groups: eared seals which include sea lions and fur seals, and true seals which include ringed seals, spotted seals, harbor seals, harp seals, leopard seals and many other species. Together with walruses, they make up the clade known as pinnepeds. (A clade is a group of animals that is believed to have all descended from a common ancestor.)

Seals are closely related to both bears and musteloids. The musteloids include red pandas, weasels, otters, martens, badgers, skunks, raccoons and several raccoon-like animals that I don't know much about like coatis and olingos.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

On the Table This Week

Thursday - spaghetti, salad, homemade cookies

Friday - party food: pizza, chips & dip, cider, diet soda, layer cake

Saturday - pumpkin pancakes, Polish sausage, fall fruit salad

Sunday - sauteed boneless chicken thighs, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots

Monday - chicken & stuffing bake, broccoli & cauliflower, muffins

Tuesday - chicken stroganoff over spaghetti, salad, french bread

Wednesday - chicken potpie, green beans, coleslaw

***
We are running out of meat. This week the plan is heavy on chicken which I hope they have at Price Chopper. Last week, there were some last minute menu changes due to having to get rain checks on sale meat items.

We are having a mini-Halloween party on Friday with Esme and Joseph as guests of honor. Josie and I have been in the mood for a layer cake so that is our dessert. We are also having Halloween-themed pizza, potato chips and homemade dip!