Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
What I Did on My Summer Vacation
Summer was fun. I feel a bit sad that it is coming to a close because it seemed too short. It started with my son's return from his first year in college, then on to an exciting high school graduation in which the co-valedictorian was my daughter. We had a party with family and friends and entertainment by my son's jazz trio. High school graduation parties continued throughout the summer. There was lots of eating.
Hence, I decided I needed to kick up my exercise life a bit. I stumbled upon a program called the "Couch to 5K". I really struggled to get off the couch. But when I finally started, I felt great. My daughter Annie is my running partner and she really helped me. I am thrilled that I am now running 5K and will participate in my first race in a couple weeks. It's at a winery.
I drank a lot of wine this summer. I like wine. Mostly reds: Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz...
I also went out a lot. For a home body like me, that was hard. I don't like to go out on weeknights. It makes me tired. But my son started a weekly jazz jam session at a very nice coffee house. His trio played for the first hour and then musicians were invited to join in the fun. It gained quite a reputation and by the last week it was standing room only! It was amazing to see generations of people brought together by a love of music.
We explored some of the other venues at which he played, including a small bar at a high class high rise. Some of my funnest memories of this summer took place at that bar, listening to my son's piano music and enjoying dinner with my mom and other friends. I realized that sometimes its OK to go outside of your comfort zone.
I have a big family. We had a lot of reunions. We had a lot of parties. We went to see my nephew in a hotdog eating contest. That was kindof gross but also kindof fun - and also on a weeknight....
I went to the beach as much as possible. Sometimes it was to search for sea glass. Other times it was to swim. My son took a sailing camp and I dreamed of sailing.
I also dreamed about all the things I want to knit and sew. I accomplished some of them, but never the amount that I had hoped.
I started working as a seamstress at a small boutique. It is fun to try new things and I love being inspired by creative people.
I prayed. I prayed that my son would return home safely from his jobs at 4 AM. I prayed that my daughter would be ready for college. I prayed for my neighbor who lost her husband. I prayed for my friend that died and her boys that were critically injured. I prayed for all the people that struggle...I know so many. I don't know if it does any good.
I went to baseball games and watched my son's team lose every game. I saw the thrill in my son's eyes when he received the game ball for catching every inning. I got to chat and knit with a knitting friend at the baseball games which made it all the more pleasant.
I ran kids here and there and if I wasn't driving them I was worrying about them driving or who needed the car when. I think my mind aged about 10 years this summer....
I took the boys to see "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." We all loved it. The boys had a "bro night" recently and rented the classic Planet of the Apes. I secretly watched it the next day and loved the themes in it. I appreciate them more, now, as an old lady.
I saw musicals at an old barn theater on warm, summer nights. I saw my daughter play piano for the theater camp musical for which she worked. I swam in my friend's pool and shared lovely food and yummy Sangrias! I met amazing and inspiring people on Twitter. I tweeted. A lot.
I took my daughter off to her first year of college. I heard my son share his wisdom gained during his first year and felt proud, for a moment, that maybe I did something right in raising these kids.
Because the doubts never go away. Did I do the right thing? Did I say the right thing? Am I loving them enough? Am I hovering too much? The only thing I can say with certainty is that I love them.
And now that summer is over, I hope I can find a few minutes for peaceful reflection. To be grateful for all that I have. Grateful for a summer of connecting with friends, enjoying good music, food, and wine. Grateful for a loving husband and family. And grateful for a return to routine.
Monday, August 22, 2011
|Fiona Designs Personalized Notebook Stationery Set|
I always loved school and buying fresh paper and notebooks, so I feel like a schoolgirl again with this fantastic note set!
|akaCinders Recycled Glass Necklace Gift Set|
|Ponytail Holders by Polka Dot Skies|
I hope you are enjoying the end of summer and back-to-school preparations!
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Does this look like your house?
(Not the messy counter with money yogurt cups, colored pencils and the like....)
But yummy Romas for my husband
And gigunda grape tomatoes for me!
I just finished chopping cucumbers from the garden and made two separate salads from Betty Crocker (my favorite cookbook in the world.)
I also have a number of various salsa recipes. In general, I add
chopped green & red peppers
a dribble of oil
I sometimes add:
cilantro (we're not really fans)
The fresh salsa tastes great after it's been in the fridge overnight!
But you can only eat so much salsa before your belly hurts!
So I want to try this recipe I found in our newspaper for Freezer Tomato Salsa. I'll report back. Please do the same if you give it a try!
Freezer Tomato Salsa
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 med onion, finely chopped
1.5 stalks celery, minced
2 Tbsp serrano chiles, seeded & chopped (wear rubber gloves)
1 clove garlic
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and quartered
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp mild honey
1 tsp chopped fresh basil (1/2 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
Note: Salsa will be thin, but delicious.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Add the onion, celery, chiles and garlic. Saute for five minutes or until soft. Add tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, honey, basil, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes (fish out tomato skins as mixture cools).
Ladle into two 1-cup freezer containers and let cool. Cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Label the containers; freeze for up to three months. To use, thaw in refrigerator.
IF YOU HAVE ANY RECIPES FOR USING YOUR GARDEN FRESH VEGETABLES, FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A LINK!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
The cicadas are singing in the trees, a sure sign that school is on its way. However, we are in the dog days of summer here in Northeast Ohio: hot, hazy, and humid. A perfect time to unveil my late summer collection of oversized totes. Inspired by the bright colors on the beach, I decided to sew up some bags in the very sturdy duck cloth.
Each of these bags is one-of-a-kind! They sailboat was designed by my friend Fiona of Fiona Designs. You can read my interview of her here. Check out the cooordinating note cards in Fiona's shop here!
This is the perfect time to release these bags because my son is in a sailing camp this week. I spent the entire day at the beach yesterday. Despite the heat, there were amazing breezes off the lake. I was so jealous of his time out on the boat!
Growing up on Lake Erie, the water was a huge part of my life. There were power boats in and out of the family with many hours spent cruising, skiing, and having fun. But I was introduced to sailing by my husband. He crewed with a friend back when we worked together. We were not dating at the time, but he invited me out on a Friday night to sail downtown during July 4th weekend. Some friends joined me and we had a lovely evening. I was invited the next evening and we enjoyed another lovely night out on the lake. On Sunday we sailed the boat from downtown back to their marina. Spending 8 hours together on a boat helps you to know someone. Furthermore, I fell in love with sailing! I loved the quiet, the wind, the peacefulness, heeling over in the high winds....I was hooked. (I tell my husband it's the only reason I fell in love with him.)
We enjoyed sailing with our friends, but pretty soon marriage and kids followed. My dreams of having a sailboat were put on hold. Now my youngest son has the advantage of enjoying the hobbies that his parents loved. He is having a fantastic week learning to sail.
As of writing, two of these bags have sold. They are constructed of sturdy duck cloth and are longer than my "standard" oversized tote. They include a key clip and two outside pockets, including a pleated one for sunscreen or sunglasses.
You can find all my oversized totes on my Etsy shop here.
THANKS FIONA! I HAD SO MUCH FUN WORKING WITH YOU!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I had the opportunity to work with these lovely laminated fabrics from Contemporary Cloth. You can make this wonderful bag using my tutorial. This is a great way to try out sewing laminates and there is a sale on them now!
If you want to buy my sample bag, it is in my Etsy shop here.
Summer is fading fast, the cicadas are singing in the trees, but we are still enjoying the sun. This week my son is at a sailing camp. Stay tuned for some pictures of my late-summer tote collection!