3.30.2011

If I Want Tea, I'll Have Tea!

These past few days have been perfect tea days.

I'm partial to coffee, but sometimes instinct asks for tea--and when I take a sip of its steeping goodness, I realize that I've entered a world with luxuries and beauties that are just as pleasant & comforting as any that coffee's universe can boast...even though it's different.


Sometimes we worry about defining ourselves. What if we change? What if I started to enjoy tea more than coffee? What if I suddenly stopped enjoying Sting's music, or finding bliss in mental images of classy (if not admittedly contrived) New York book shops? Where would that leave the people who feel like they really know me? Still, everyone inevitably changes...it's really a simple matter of embracing or denying.



Changing is a blessing. Changing is choosing to step out of my comfort zone every once in a while. Changing is deciding that what I like isn't who I am, but rather the tide of introspective culture within the borders of my mind. Culture is meant to age, mature, change...and it often reverts back to previous versions of itself. In ten years, I may closely resemble the seven-year-old me, but that's the tide; sometimes, it washes things onto the shore that have been buried deep in the ocean sand for years on end, but that doesn't change the fact that it came from the same beautiful, foaming waters.


Drink in the change. Each new tide brings new beauty, and a new dimension of an unchanging reality.

3.21.2011

Simple. Special. Good.

I used to start every one of my journal entries with the simple words, "Today was a good day."

Well...
Today was a good day.



The wind is blowing with a vengeance, but despite its blustery protest, it continues to blow away the clouds, and sweep the spring into our midst!



Evening walks with my momma--racing around mailboxes, and running from a practically rabid dog (don't tell the neighbors I said that)--are pure fun.



A friend of my momma's--whom I like to call Auntie Em--gave birth to a sweet little girl today!! I think that deserves a YOWPAH!



Harrison is a BIG BABY when he skins his knee. But that's ok, because I love him anyway. :)



Writing up a to-do list makes for an extremely satisfying day!



Emotions are the gravity of the earth. Compassion makes the world go round. Love makes it flourish in bright hues of green and blue.



The smell of wet paint stimulates my creativity enormously.



A big ol' salad in the springtime is as appealing as a big mug of cocoa at Christmastime.



Laughing until it hurts at midnight with my broseph, Jared, is one of the highlights of my life.



Listening to Silas and Jonas being dramatic is wildly entertaining...and I think they know it.



So, yes...
Today was a good day!

How was your day?

Of Fear & Faith

"...Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20b

I've been reading through Exodus, and have been constantly amazed at how superfluously God worked on behalf of the Israelites. Yet, they so mildly believed. God brought them out of the confinement and tortuous slavery they suffered under the Egyptians, and still they cried,

"...It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness."

"...What shall we drink?"

"...You have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."


What sort of self absorption can blind man to a God working on their behalf?

The Lord sent plagues to destroy the Egyptians, and spared the Israelites. The Lord set the Israelites free, and fulfilled their vengeance by silencing the Egyptians in the crashing waves of the Red Sea. The Lord parted a sea, creating dry land for the Israelites to pass over. The Lord made bitter water sweet, and sent manna from the skies.

...and still, they doubted Him.

Exodus is a testament of God's faithfulness.

It is a testament of man's nature--to fear, falter, betray, and depend.

The parasitic nature of man collides in a melancholy display with the unendingly compassionate, and ever forgiving nature of God.



What if they had just simply believed?

3.18.2011

Food That Makes You Say, "Mmmm."

"What is that smell?! I can't even concentrate it smells so good!" That's what my daddy was saying as he practically ran down the stairs at dinner time this evening. The smell intoxicating his senses was steaming from a pot of Mulligatawny soup, simmering on the stove top.


I'm not normally one to share recipes on my blog, but this meal is simply too delightful not to share; it's quickly becoming one of my favorites. As Jared says, "It's akin to liquid magic."

I love the buttery sweetness that emanates from the sauteing carrots, and the beautiful texture & color it all takes on after adding a nice heaping spoonful of curry powder.


Pops freaked out a little bit when he saw that I was putting apples in soup...but in the end, I'm pretty sure he agreed that they were amazing.


For a side dish, I prepared a simple, but delicious Indian flatbread.




{I'd recommend serving these warm, folded in half with butter inside.}




Mulligatawny Soup

4 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrot, diced
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (heaping) curry powder
8 cups chicken broth
1 apple, cored and chopped
1/2 cup brown rice
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch dried thyme

{directions.}
Saute celery, carrots, and butter in a large soup pot. Add flour and curry, and cook 5 more minutes. Add chicken stock, mix well, and bring to a boil. Simmer about 1/2 hour.
Add apple, rice, chicken, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer about an hour, or until rice is done.

(makes about 8 servings)


Naan

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2-3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup water

{directions.}
Combine dry ingredients.
Stir in remaining ingredients and stir until the dough forms a ball.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 1 minute. The dough should be soft, but not sticky.
Place the dough into a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a clean, dry towel. Place in a warm, draft-free place for 2 hours.
Form the dough into 6 equal size balls.
Roll dough into 7- to 8-inch rounds.
Cook in ungreased skillet, 30 to 40 seconds per side until lightly browned.

(makes 6)


If you decide to try it, make sure to let me know what you think!

3.17.2011

The Color Grey & All of It's Charms

I've redesigned my blog! What do you think?

I have become quite infatuated with the color grey. Is grey a color? Maybe not. Either way, it's charmed me.

I love grey, overcast skies...
grey linen on lily white skin...
grey hair, peppering heads with it's lovely aged whimsy...


I've had visions of tiptoeing through a forest of naked and gnarled trees, dressed in a Grecian array of grey.


I chose grey as the crux of my new design, because it creates for itself, leaving room for the imagination to spiral and dream in whatever way it wishes.

So, please tell me what you think. Just to make it fun, leave a comment with a few words that you think describe it.

{p.s. I've just set up a Facebook page for Rear Window, and I would be thrilled if you would go over and "like" it, so you can get Facebook updates whenever there's something new to read, or something fun for us to talk about. Thanks so much!}

3.16.2011

Today, I Wear Shoelaces in My Hair

My momma's told me,
"Your whole life, you've been interesting. When you were just a little girl, you insisted on dressing yourself in whatever you pleased, and so I let you; though, it often turned out to be mismatched."

No doubt, I've always been a bit eccentric when it comes to fashion. There have been times when I could tell people thought I looked ridiculous, and other times when I've been complimented on my almost bad, yet magically "okay", combinations. The other day, a Starbucks barista thought I was wearing a school uniform. To which I replied, "Nope. I just dress weird."

That's the simple truth. Beyond styles, color trends, or "in" patterns...I just dress weird.

When I choose my outfits, creativity prompts every decision. I've always felt that what I wear reflect who I am, in some way. Whether it be a general trait of mine, or something in my mood that day, my clothes always create some vision of what's inside of me.


yes. those are shoelaces in my hair.

I think everyone's like that in some way. I love seeing what my sister chooses to wear--she has a style all her own, and it brings me joy to see her being free to express herself in that way. She's a beautiful, joyful, sunshiny girl who likes a fun blend of rusty and shiny, with a fair share of color!


I think I got some of my stylistic flair from my momma--let me rephrase that last part--my dreadlock loving, turquoise adoring, nature basking, Wallabee (shoe) wearing Mum. :) See, we're both hippies at heart.


We're all the same, because we're all unique.

Do you like to express yourself through what you wear? Do you find your style changes based on your moods?

3.15.2011

Endings & Inspired Beginnings

Sometimes I feel old. Sometimes I realize how young I really am...and sometimes, I feel that my days of aspiring youth are still in my grasp, but quickly slipping away.

As some of you might know, I'll be graduating in the next couple of months, and while I feel completely ready for it, there are certain things that feel a little bit like giving up my pacifier--which, by the way, I didn't do until I was almost four years old. A couple of weeks ago, I had my very last orchestra concert. Beforehand, I was looking forward to being done; not having to wake up early every Saturday morning for practices, or having the extra workload sounded splendid. Yet, as I waited to walk onto the stage with fellow musicians for the last time, I realized just how much I loved being able to play sensational music with so many talented people.


I played my best, and enjoyed it thoroughly--drinking in the acoustics of the concert hall, and swimming in the delightful pool of woodwinds, within a warm meadow of cellos. The sweetness of it all only increased my nostalgia.

My teacher, Laura, and I
Now, I await my final violin lesson. What a strange feeling this is! I've been taking lessons for six years, only taking a couple of summers off (towards the beginning). About two years ago, I realized that I really loved the violin. I practiced hard. I auditioned for orchestra, and began to see the results of hard work. My newfound desire to strive and achieve prompted me to seek instruction from a violin teacher who could help build a new path for me, with the aid of my fresh perspective. She went above and beyond what I could hope--instilling, along with skill, a passion for violin inside of my heart. She encouraged expression--my own, as well as the written expression of the composers. I did, regretfully, sometimes shrug opportunities to work hard, and excel. However, I wouldn't change any of my experiences. It's been those failures and consequent successes that have encouraged me to always play my violin. The violin and I could be symbiotic...and I've got a lifetime of independent study to achieve that chemistry.

So, now that you all are further convinced of my hopeless case of nostalgia, I'll bid you adieu, with this, my favorite piece from my last orchestra performance.

Le Roi D'ys Overture - Edouard Lalo
make sure to pause the music at the top of my sidebar before watching this.

3.09.2011

A Joyful Face {One Word Wednesday}

One Word Wednesday at Aspire
One of my precious blogging friends, Hannah @ Aspire started a new meme this week! It was such a fun and inspiring idea, that I just had to link up. Thanks for hosting this fun photo challenge, Hannah! In doing so, you've encouraged me to visit me ole blog. ;)


joy grows wild in a youthful heart.