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+16 Personal space

+16runtreeWhen I need to clear my head, I run. A year ago I never would’ve imagined myself uttering those words. Every step forward is a physical reminder of my inner strength and when I don’t think I can go any further, I pray. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Yesterday, I ran with a pack of angels. Normally, I run alone. (Pictured above is my most favorite running trail)

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+15 Family trumps all

+15 Family trumps all

I always find ice and snow captivating. This morning I awoke to ice-covered trees. The landscape reflected shades of gray and white with warm flecks of rust and gold. I embrace the feelings that a gray and desolate day can hold. Little glimmers of hope amidst desolation. A visual representation of the valley of death with a shadow of light hinting at the coming renewal.

I spent the better part of today thinking I’d be writing a poem about what was occurring in nature but life and the mundane had other plans. My son needed to make a recipe from Madagascar to bring into his Global Cuisine class. What we thought was going to be a simple coconut pudding turned out to be a late night cooking fest. The recipe stated that it only served 4, so we doubled it in order for us to be able to sample some at home. Little did we know that the Madagascaran (?) appetite must be huge because the recipe made enough to serve at least 20. While the recipe’s name indicated it was a pudding, it most certainly was not, nor was it a cake by any true definition of the word. It involved boiling large quantities of coconut milk and then cooking a whole box of Cream of Wheat in the milk with a fantastic assemblage of spices. The topping was made out of carmelized sugar which took an eternity to achieve the correct consistency. Below are a couple of photos of the “cake” and my son experimenting with the carmelized sugar.

What was learned in the kitchen tonight? My son is enjoying listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has a knack for choosing the most time intensive recipes as this was not our first foray into lengthy food creations (don’t get me started on homemade ravioli), and that spending unplanned time with my son in the kitchen into the wee hours of night will always mean more to me than expressing myself through a poem.

So… family trumps all.

+15cake+16

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+14 Just another day

+14 Just another day

I worked on my intertwined tree drawing a little more today. I have ideas swirling around in my head now of possibly incorporating the tree with this week’s theme of nemesis. We’ll see. This tree is becoming particularly hard to finish drawing because I am using a photo as a reference and the branches are getting to tiny to see so instead I have to replicate them on my own. This kind of tree bends and twists in ways that I am not used to and I don’t feel like I am doing a good job of conveying that fact.

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+12 My muse for nemesis

+12 My muse for nemesis

Today during a conversation over breakfast with my husband and eldest son, the inspiration for my Soulful Saturday theme of “nemesis” came to me. I know exactly what my nemesis is and I am using a painting by one of my favorite artist’s, Gustav Klimt, to inspire me further. In particular, “The Three Ages of Woman,” featured in the photo above is what came to my mind when I figured out what is my nemesis. I truly hope I find time to devote to the project this week since it’s been next impossible to do anything more than live and research coal boilers recently.

As a side note, here are some things I am grateful for this weekend:

1- Being able to see a tiny bit of God’s plan at work.
2- The unexpected help of a complete stranger expecting nothing in return in helping us with this coal boiler process.
3- The much appreciated help of friends coming together to figure out the logistics, lend tools, and lend muscles in moving the very, very heavy coal boiler into the basement via very small stairs.
4- The generosity of friends providing hot showers throughout the week.
5- Breakfast out with my eldest son and youngest daughter and hubby today. It’s always amazing to me how the participants in Sunday breakfast change each week. There used to be a time when it was all 7 of us. Now, that combination changes on a weekly basis.

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+11 Soulful Saturday, week 2

+11 Soulful Saturday, week 2

This week’s theme is nemesis. Feel free to share a link to your drawing, painting, poem, short story, photograph, etc. below in the comments section when you have completed the project.

Last week’s theme and entries can be found here.

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+10 Intertwined

+10 Intertwined

My Soulful Saturday contribution for this week. It is not finished. The physical side of life occupied my time and my mind for most of the week. Keeping this daily journal is going to help me get over the guilt I have for not “doing more”, “creating more”, etc. It’s easy to tell myself in retrospect that I wasted my time when thinking back on various periods in my life. But, this journal is a time tracker and so far has revealed to me that my time for the past ten days has been spent the way it needed to be spent in order to take care of my family and myself.

Tomorrow, I will be posting the theme for week 2 of Soulful Saturday. If anyone wants to join me in creating a piece of art, writing, etc. please feel free to do so.

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+6 Food for the soul

+6 Food for the soul

Sometimes food for the soul is truly food and not some mind expanding theory to meditate upon. Today was. (as in, it happened) A skinny latte at the mom and pop coffee and tea house followed by a fill-your-belly-up breakfast at our favorite homey diner, Cross Keys Diner. Sometimes that’s what our bodies need when our minds are preoccupied with solving the unsolvable. And, our bodies can distinguish the difference between run of the mill take out and the extra love tucked inside the nooks and crannies of a well-crafted meal.

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+4 Soulful Saturday: Week 1

+4 Soulful Saturday: Week 1

This week’s theme is: Intertwined.

My son and I were driving last night and talking about intertwined relationships. Interpret intertwined in your own way. I immediately was reminded of my favorite tree growing up… even amidst busy highways this short yet aged tree stood out. It had bark and branches that tangled together and a thick trunk. I’m not sure if my creation will go that direction, but it’s a starting point.

Once you have completed your piece of writing, photograph, drawing, painting, etc. Post a link below this post to your blog, so that anyone who participates can view it and comment.

Thanks!

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+3 Laughter and boasting

Laughter and boasting

When you are intentionally watching for that which causes you the greatest happiness, it reveals itself all the more easily. Sharing a boisterous belly laugh after boasting about who’s taller with my 13 year old daughter last night was by far the highlight of my day. Due to this change of mindset, I was able to savor the moment and recognize it for what it was. (And, yes, I wrote this memory down and placed it in the jar)

Tomorrow, I am starting a weekly project called Soulful Saturday. I plan to post a word or phrase to (hopefully) inspire myself and anyone who wants to join me to create a work of art in the form of a piece of writing, a photograph, a funny joke, a drawing, a painting, you name it. You have a week to do so and can post a link to your blog within the reply, so that we can comment on each other’s work.

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+2 My box of rain

My box of rain

With the beginning of this new year, there have been several people on my facebook page who have posted about creating a memory or happy moment jar. A place to store quickly jotted down notes of something special that happened that day no matter how small the event. As someone who tends to feel more down than up, I thought I’d create my own jar, my own personal box of rain to ease the pain, as Phil Lesh would sing in one of my most favorite songs…

“Box of Rain” by the Grateful Dead

Look out of any window, any morning, any evening, any day.
Maybe the sun is shining, birds are singing,
No rain is falling from a heavy sky.
What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
For this is all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago.

Walk out of any doorway, feel your way, feel your way like the day before.
Maybe you’ll find direction,
Around some corner where it’s been waiting to meet you.
What do you want me to do, to watch for you while you are sleeping?
The please don’t be surprised when you find me dreaming too.

Look into any eyes you find by you, you can see clear to another day,
Maybe been seen before, through other eyes on other days while going home.
What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
It’s all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago.

Walk into splintered sunlight,
Inch your way through dead dreams to another land.
Maybe you’re tired and broken,
Your tongue is twisted with words half spoken and thoughts unclear

What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
A box of rain will ease the pain, and love will see you through.

Just a box of rain, wind and water
Believe it if you need it, if you don’t, just pass it on
Sun and shower, wind and rain
In and out the window like a moth before a flame

And it’s just a box of rain, I don’t know who put it there,
Believe it if you need it, or leave it if you dare.
And it’s just a box of rain, or a ribbon for your hair;
Such a long long time to be gone, and a short time to be there.

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