Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Soup and Seeds

Life is busy: up by 6:45, off to work by 7:50 (of course always aiming for 7:45), work until 4:30, get a workout in, get home by 6:45...DINNER? It's a lot to think about. Of course there's also chores (dishes, laundry, bills, trash), and then yard work, not to mention some quality time lounging on the couch with my husband. When's a girl to focus on GOOD FOOD? What to cut out? Job? Workout? Bills? Nah, I can't cut anything out right now, but what I can do is make quick and easy meals using what I have in my cabinets. Last night, I had beans, spinach, canned tomatoes, and some leftover stock. I googled these ingredients in that order and found this recipe on Epicurious! Delicious. In some ways I feel bad that I have foregone most of the beautiful and colorful cookbooks I own and simply resort to the world wide web, but gosh it's so easy! It accommodates to what I already have rather than me having to accommodate to the recipe.

White Bean and Tomato Soup
in the making!

And the delicious finished product paired with some crusty garlic bread! Flavor heaven.

Another thing that was on my to-do list last night (or for the past week) was to plant some of the seeds that will be our hardier plants this season. My husband is currently traveling in the Middle East for work (but really touring places like the Dead Sea and Petra). He has become very passionate about organic gardening and farming. In fact, that is his newfound life goal. This works quite nicely for our family, because it also excites me. I love to see things grow from nothing to something. I love to make things beautiful. I love to cook with fresh ingredients! and one day, we hope to sustain ourselves almost solely on what we produce. We're the perfect match - I take care of the beautifying (flowers, perennials, herbs, landscape) and he takes care of the edibles. But since he's been away for almost 3 weeks, he's missed one of the warmest springs Boone has seen in a long time! Hence, he has requested that his lovely wife take on the job of planting the seeds. No biggie. I can do that. I'm very capable. This could just be another chore to add to the list, right? Or is it? Part of me is suddenly feeling the weight of our family farm's future on my shoulders! He's spent the entire winter reading and researching gardening methods, ordering the perfect heirloom seeds, and everything in between, and the culmination of all of that time spent and our future is now falling into my little fingers? Every one of those teeny tiny seeds has to find its way to the perfect section of soil to become the perfect little seedlings like these. Amazing.

I realize I'm exaggerating, so I just planted the dang seeds, just like any other person who plants seeds every year, but I must say there was definitely some stress in my shoulders.

After I had a chance to get over my stress about planting the precious seeds, and after I found my center in yoga today, I realized that this was likely one of those moments that maybe felt intimidating yet ordinary at the time, but in reality was quite a historical moment for our family. Kind of like Neil Armstrong's step on the moon. "This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." I prayed that God would bless my efforts for our family farm and multiply them by 10,000...or a million.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Experiencing Some Technical Difficulties

Ok, let's be honest right up front. I chose Blogger or Blogspot because of its user-friendliness. I googled "easiest blogs" or "user friendly blogs". Blogger was settled in nicely at the top of the list. I had tried an alternate one before and got completely overwhelmed, to the point where I didn't even get the first post in. I couldn't even figure out how to change the dang title of my blog for pete's sake! Pete? Who's pete? This entry has nothing to do with Pete. Anyway, so as I was setting up my banner for this blog, along with various other things, I found myself once again confused? I have shopped around at other Blogger blogs, and see much more creative sites. I too aspire to be just like them. Will someone please assist me in achieving my dreams of having a unique and creative looking blog? I'm sure it's simple. It has to be. Blogger is Google's top rated "user-friendly blog"! I'm starting to get a little concerned that I'm somewhat slow here.

And just because I think blogs are boring without some visual stimulation, i'd like to add a few blogs that come to mind. First, a blog that belongs to my brother-in-law, Dave. He is an intelligent man with eloquent words and introspective thoughts. He's also a pastor and a fantastic dad. You may also find a few photos of Chicago's finest 1 year old, my favorite nephew, Eliot.

Another blog I enjoy following is my friend Ashley's. She writes just like she talks. She enjoys discovering new creative things each day, just like I do. I think we're kindred spirits who have an inherent need to create and cultivate things. She helped a friend make these over the weekend:

Lastly, I woman I aspire to be like, The Pioneer Woman. She is hilarious on all levels. She's also creative and crazy. She cooks, lives on a farm, raises a few kids, gardens, takes beautiful photos, and hops from talk show to talk show because her blog has become so successful. Whenever I settle in to read some of her posts, i'm always prepared for lots of belly fact, that's why I visit her site on a regular basis. She's like Ellen - but blog style. I first discovered her when Googling a recipe, and discovered that she does step-by-step photos of her cooking process. Some may say it's overboard. I say it's super helpful and colorful. I was going to post a picture from her site, but i don't think I'm allowed to do that?? Annoying and confusing, yet again. I'll leave you with this since it's all I know to do, but obviously not as eye-popping as the color photo would be.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day trip to Black Mountain!

Welcome to the world, Graham! I spent the day oohing and aahhing over the newest resident of Black Mountain, NC. Graham is seriously cute. He was easy to stare at for 5 hours.

My friend, Carla, and her husband live on a mini-farm. My husband and I think they are the coolest. It's like an amusement park of wonder. They have chickens, rabbits, gardens, fruits, a huge compost pile, dogs, a beautiful view of the mountains from their back porch, and now a perfect little baby.

Straweberries will be ready in a few weeks, yum!

I won't say what happens to these cute little bunnies, uh hem, rabbits. Isn't this a great backyard view?? Black Mountain hold a very special place in my heart.

New to Blogging...

Ok, this will be my first blog ever! I decided it's time to take the plunge, so bear with me as I learn all of this blogging stuff!