Friday, May 30, 2008

Fashion Fridays

I'm still having fun with the color *yellow* this Spring/Summer.

It's not a color I tend to wear, but it has become such a prevalent accent lately that it's easy to feel fashionable with an inexpensive purchase.

This past week I found a sleeveless polo horizontally striped with yellow, white, and kacky. Now I can mix and match several pants and skirts with this combination and economically update my wardrobe.

I never would have thought to put together yellow and kacky.

What's updating your closet?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Margaritas

6 cups crushed ice

6 oz frozen
limeade concentrate

6 oz tequila
(Cuervo Gold)
1 oz Triple Sec

Shot of Amaretto
(optional)








In a blender add the above ingredients and whirl until smooth. The time depends on how powerful the motor of your blender is :)

Serve in chilled mugs or highballs.   I prefer not to salt the rim of my glass, but some do.  So, do that, if desired, before pouring a generous portion for each of your friends.

Makes enough for three adults.



Oh, and for some reason, it tastes better through a straw.


We had these before our BBQ ribs on Monday.


What's your favorite aperitif?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Family Photographer

It's a big job to rear a family.

Whether you're the parent of one or twenty-one (and anything in between), it's a constant challenge to keep the group cohesive.

While there are many ways to encourage solidarity, allow me to suggest the power of sharing family photos as a possible *gluestick.*






Metaphorically speaking :)




From birthdays to graduation, from weddings to reunions, many of us take pictures.

But what do you do with them?

One of my muse's, Donna at Quiet Life, is quite the photographer. Not only does she share her knowledge with us on her own blog, she's also a contributing writer at the famous site of the Pioneer Woman. I've known her since college when she was head photographer of the college yearbook. Now she's branching out into the bigger world of photographing others and improving her skills by taking workshops. Recently she shared pictures from her local farmers' market. Even now she's thinking ahead and taking a family photo for the Christmas card!

But back to the gluestick.


Here's another photo of our family photographer who received her first camera at age seven.

Self-taught my mother has photographed the family as long as I can remember.

There a funny series of us in front of a camera on a tripod, timer set for the precise moment of portraiture :)

Though what I really want to mention is the way she shares her photos.


They are all
organized and
ready for viewing in albums.

That is a monumental feat.

Worthy of commendation!

I know that too well because most of mine are still sitting in boxes in the basement.

But, no, she doesnt stop with editing, printing, and cataloging.

Sharing is the key.

She makes a family birthday calendar for each of us (six children with spouses and 29 grands!) and gives it at Christmastime.


My father contributes by laminating, collating, and binding.

 At this moment I can glance up at my calendar flipped to May and be reminded that MargaretAnn and James have birthdays this month.


Then she creates her own greeting cards, artistically using her archive of thousands of images. Inside the card you're likely to find a CD containing lots of pictures of yourself with family.



Furthermore, there's an entire hallway of family photos and a family website.

So, when you visit home, there's no question about the roots of the family tree.









Thankfully, all my daughters love taking pictures, too!





I'm looking forward to their glue.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Graduation Speeches

For the past two weekends, we have attended commencement exercises and heard fine speeches.








One of my muse's, Magistramater, recently lamented over the lack of zest in one she had to sit through. But true to her positive nature, she directed us to one worth sharing. It's Neil Postman's, readily available online with permission for others to use it!

In turn, I will highlight what we heard.

The first was at Hillsdale College where former director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, addressed the crowd on the beautiful Saturday afternoon of May 10th, under the pink dogwood tree. More here later...when I find my notes :)

The second was delivered by Bernie Marcus, the chairman of Home Depot and a host of other foundations, on Sunday, May 18th. He gave sound advice to the the Lovett graduates by relating three signficant experiences from his own life: how he handled the disappointment of not getting into medical school; how he turned the lemon of losing his job at age 49 into the lemonade called Home Depot; and the principle of giving back or helping others (actually a faith-based life-long habit modeled in his family).

There were short comments/speeches by others, including mothers, principals, chaplains, and alumni. A couple were worthy of thank-you notes and requests for copies. All this made me try to remember who spoke at my own graduations and what they said.

Since I left high school early, I did not attend my class's graduation, which was held on Sunday, May 30, 1976, at the Cathedral of St Phillip here in Atlanta. I know that Lovett's Chairman of the Board, Richard Denny, was the speaker, but do not have a copy of his address.

Thirty years ago today, I graduated from Hillsdale College and I could recall without help that Frank Shakespeare was the speaker. However, I could not remember his advice. Thanks to the internet and the College's online access to Imprimis' archive, I was able to read his speech The Uncertain World and the Eternal Truths.

Now my scrapbook will be more complete :)

Who spoke at your graduation?

What do you remember?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Beef Barley Soup
















2 tsp olive oil
1 lg onion, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup pearled barley
6 cups beef stock

Saute veggies on medium heat until golden brown. Stir in barley, and saute 2-3 minutes. Add stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 mins.



Super easy, super nutritious, I fixed this anytime-soup in about one hour one rainy Sunday afternoon. A week or so later, when we had it again, I had to add more stock. Apparently the barley continues to soak up liquid :) Furthermore, I needed to stretch the soup (for more diners), so I added some leftovers from back of the 'fridge: steak and green beans.

At the second serving, I paired the soup with chipotle hummus and a cucumber salad.

Totally yummy.



Oh, and a glass a Front Porch Cabernet, too. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day














The second Sunday in May is the Lord's Day like any other first day of the week. But 20th century culturalists label it Mother's Day. *Cringe*

When I awoke I was away from home, in a lake cottage, after a college graduation, far away from my spiritual family, and foregoing corporate worship.

Then I spied this Goose Family.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cream of Spinach Soup
















1 Tbs Safflower Oil
1 lg white onion, peeled and diced
2 med potatoes, peeled and diced
2 qts chicken stock (veggie would be good, too)
10 oz fresh spinach
1/2 C heavy cream

In a 6 qt stock pot, saute the onions and potatoes until the potatoes soften some. Do not brown. Add 1 1/2 quarts stock; stir well. and then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add spinach and stir until wilted - only about 1 minute. Remove from heat immediately. Cool slightly. Puree in batches in food processor. Season with salt and pepper, but I did not find this necessary as I used bouillion cubes to make my stock :)

Just before serving add 1/2 cup heavy cream and reheat, but do not boil.

Click here to see the full table setting.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Fashion on Friday

About a month ago, I mentioned how much *Yellow* I saw when I was out shopping with the Bride-elect. And I bragged about not making any purchases, posting a picture of myself in a yellow turtleneck and yellow foral scarf, both found deep within the recesses of my closet.

Today, however, I'm confessing that I succumbed to the popular trend and spent a few dollars.

In a small way.

Since yellow is not an easy color to wear all over, I found myself shying away from the bright lemony yellow dresses, blouses or jackets.

The solution?

Accessorizing!



What else did I wear, you ask?

Brown poplin slacks
Brown patent croc (faux) wedges
Brown/green vertically striped shirt
Brown wooden beaded bracelet


Here's a link to Steinmart's Accessory page with a list for summer necessities.

How do you stay fashionable?