I'd much much rather be behind the lens than in front of it; in fact, I generally do everything that I can not to be in front of it. But for the past several years, I have gotten into the habit of taking a "selfie" on the morning of my birthday. So, here I am, looking 60 squarely in the eye and loving it. I'm coming to peace with who I am, "warts" and all. I know where I want to be, and I'm learning what I need to get there.
It's been an awewome day, a day filled with "pigeons" roosting everywhere in my classrom (more on the story behind the story later), a "pyramid" from my students filled with what I need for my next life (I teach a unit on ancient Egypt.), a bucket of ashes filled with dead flowers for my "passing," and a heartfelt eulogy at the end of the day! All of it done with love and laughter.
Dinner with friends, flowers from Phil, good chocolates to nibble on, and a gift from my own kids coming tomorrow.
Over at Artsyville's "List It Tuesday," we were asked to come up with some quick easy room changes that would create a bit of an instant "life" for these cold bleah wintry days! Extra points could be had by actually making these changes. (I didn't earn too many points as yet!)
So here goes:
Dining Area: Take the tree down. Accomplished! Our tree stays up through Ephiphany at the very least, sometimes longer. I push it to the point where it becomes a fire hazard, and them much to Phil's chagrin, it has to go. (I hate to tell you this, but the decorations are piled on the table...still.)
Kitchen: Give the cabinets a good wiping down and investigate new curtains. We inherited some very 70's type curtains, which serve their purpose, but...
Family Room: Pick up the grands' toys. Accomplished, and it will be again and again. Need to investigage new window coverings here as well.
Bathrooms: Just clean them.
Bedroom Keep eyeing that new comforter set and hope the good fairy brings it my way. My taste far exceeds my budget. However, since the good fairy hasn't seen fit to fly my way, I'll settle for cleaning up the clutter. Accomplished. (By the way, I like the curtains in here!)
Art Room: Clean up. Hang up some more art. Make a vision board! To be done, maybe this weekend? Maybe Friday if we get snow?
Son's Room: Blissfully ignore and pretend it doesn't exist.
Please note: I am actually getting this done and linked on time!
We put on our gypsy shoes, and went in search of stairs to photograph today. I need 2 images for a photo book collaboration, which makes for a great excuse to go wandering.
First stop: Brunswick, MD, where Phil hoped to visit a train museum. Although their web site promised to be open, no such luck. So, we wandered through the tiny town, just to see what thre was to see. Found "Beans in the Belfry," a church turned into a coffee shop!
I enjoyed this...
while listening to a jazz trio.
And, on the way out, I shot tons of pics, including this one:
So, when I read the prompt over here, I thought, "Oh, no, Paula, you are not off to a good start."
You see, the list goes up on Tuesday, and I posted several days after that. Determined to do better this week, I promptly become stumped, thinking, "I've got nothing," but then I began to wander through everyone else's lists, and the memories came flooding in...
My Baba (grandmother) guarded her kitchen with a righteous fierceness...no one messed with her cooking. As a result, my mother, began her wedded life barely knowing how to boil water. She, in turn, guarded her kitchen as well, and if life hadn't interrupted, I'd probably have married with the same limitations.
However, being married to a milkman, who worke many a second and sometimes third job as well, and trying to raise the 4 of us, mom reluctantly entered the work force. She'd leave explicit instructions as to how to cook the side dishes, with strict emphasis on "wake up your father when it's time to start the meat." That meat was far too expensive to trust to the likes of me.
Dad, however, saw things very differently. Up at two, he saw no reason to pull himself up off the couch. Squinting open one eye, he growled, "You have a brain in your head and your mother has a whole shelf of cookbooks. Go figure it out." You can insert several swear words into the preceeding sentence.
So, figure it out, I did. And, when mom said, "Eddie, the meat is wonderful;" he simply smiled and said, "Thank you." I knew better to own up to my part in this, and the gig went on for years."
I can cook, and I can do it well, but I don't enjoy it, but using that same brain my father so frequently reminded me that I had, I married a man who loves to cook. From bread baking to smoking meats to Christmas cookies, he does it all, and does it well!
Over the course of raising our own three, we developed our own traditions...
1. Christmas Day dinner is steak on the grill whenever we're ready to eat. I quickly realized that hours of back breaking huge meals held no appeal to our young kids. So, we relax, take it easy, and eat when we get hungry.
2. Easter morning brings homemade Babka, a Polish Easter bread...yumminess.
3. Every holiday involves cookies of all sorts, especially pitzelles. Heart attack in a cookie, but, oh my!
4. Lent means a trip to an area Eastern rite Catholic church each Friday... homemade peirogies and halushki, and homemade nut rolls as well. We buy several dozen each Friday, stuffing extras into the freezer for when Lent ends, and so does this awesome food.
5. If someone in our family gets really cranky, they are offered a hot dog. Long story, but quite simply, if you are asked if you "need a hot dog," you know you are being a royal pain.
And, I could go on and on, but I'd like to throw in some the traditions we had growing up...
1. Pancakes every Sunday morning, made by dad, who also made a huge mess. He served his coutry as a Navy baker on a ship during WW II and the man could cook, but he could also make a mess. For the longest while, I hated pancakes. I still don't eat many of them, because I just had far too many as a kid.
2. Dad took 3 of us camping once, while mom stayed home with the new baby. Known for combining unlikely foods, he served us chicken noodle soup with cut up hot dogs floating in it. We loved it and bragged incessently to Mom, pleading with her to get dad's recipe. She bascially told us to stuff a sock in it! Typing this, I can see that hot dogs play a rather important part in my life!
My foods of choice? Dark chocolate takes a starring role...and when stressed, I've been known to resort to cream cheese and potato chips.
Head on over to Artsyville using the link above, and explore some of the lists. I'd love to hear about some of your favorites, either now or while growing up.