Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recycling and Recipes

So I've spent a lot of time the past few days cooking and freezing some food in preparation for not having a kitchen for the next 12 weeks or so. I love to cook and I crank up the iPod and chop and boil and taste and dance my way around the room. In between, I did other stuff, including checking out the blog of this guy Dave who, instead of throwing it away, is saving all of his trash for a whole year. Yes, you read that correctly, he is SAVING all of his garbage for a whole year!!

He documents his trash each day and then puts it in his basement. And yes, he does have a worm composter for the food waste so he's not stinking up the whole house. Amazing! I keep thinking about this idea. Not that I want to try it per say, but I have been making a big effort for the past year or so to use less and pay more attention to the garbage our family produces and to try to reduce it. I realized I was recycling, but not so much. I would throw the plastic and glass and the newspapers in the bin, but I wasn't thinking about everything else that could be recycled.

I started cutting up all the boxes, large and small. I also started putting all the junk mail and the millions of papers that come home in the kid's backpacks every day in the bins. I already give my sister all the boys old clothes for my nephew, but I started calling the Salvation Army regularly to pick up toys and books and household items that we don't use anymore. I asked my mom to get me a composter for Christmas so that we have less food waste (I like the worm composter Dave uses and I think the boys will like it too!)

It just seems more urgent than ever to do our part to help the environment. I know we didn't necessarily create this mess we're in now, but it's hard to imagine that this is the legacy we're leaving our children and grandchildren. So I've changed all my lightbulbs to the energy savers. And I bought the reusable grocery/shopping bags. And I ride my bike, Daisy, around town as much as I can. And I make the boys walk to school no matter how loud they scream that they hate to walk and everyone else drives to school blah blah blah. And I try to think more about what I'm purchasing and why. It's not a lot, but I figure every little bit counts, right? What do you do to live more "green"?

Just for fun, I'm recycling a recipe that I cooked today. It's a favorite here in our family, and I thought I'd pass it along:

Spaghetti Pie

1/2 box whole grain spaghetti
1 egg
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 pound ground turkey
1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes or 1 jar of marinara sauce
1 12 oz container low fat ricotta cheese
1 package shredded low fat mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in pan. Add onion and garlic, cook until soft. Add basil and ground turkey. Cook until slightly browned. Add tomatoes or marinara sauce and simmer 15 minutes. In a large pot, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain well and put in large bowl. Mix in egg, butter and Parmesan cheese. Place mixture in a pie pan and form a "nest" or crust. Spread ricotta cheese over noodles. Spoon meat sauce over ricotta. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes until cheese and "crust" are lightly browned.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rainy Day (Gratitude) Friday

So it's raining and gray here, and I had a WATERFALL in my DINING ROOM this morning. We are in the middle of construction on an addition on our house and we're about 3 days from roofing so when it rained last night, the water came pouring into our house, which wouldn't even be that terrible as they are ripping down that room soon enough, but it also drained down in to our finished basement and I spent the morning helping my father-in-law wet vacc the new rug AGAIN! Yuck!

So anyway, despite all that, or maybe because of it, I decided to follow in my friend Amy's footsteps and begin my own Gratitude Fridays. It seems to be easier to be grateful when things are good, but I like to find the silver lining--so here goes.

1. I'm grateful for the roof over my head, because even though it's really wet right now, I'm damn lucky to have one when so many people don't.

2. I'm grateful that my husband still has a job, even though it's shaky in this economy. His job affords me the chance to stay home with the boys and to do amazing things like attend Squam Art Workshops.

3. I'm grateful that I got to have lunch with a new friend today. We met briefly at Squam and had no idea that we lived so close to each other; so I'm hoping we'll get together more often and maybe even encourage each other to do some art! No more excuses!!

4. I'm grateful that school seems to be going so well for the boys this year. Even though it's a struggle to get them to remember their books and to help them study for those dreaded spelling tests and work on those tricky math word problems; they both love school and I don't have to drag them out of bed in the morning and cattle prod them out the door.

5. I'm incredibly grateful for chocolate ice cream and for the Guinness beef and mushroom pot pie that is warming up in my oven right now because what could be better on a rainy Friday!?!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just a quick post before bed.

"Suede is leaving." : ( sniff. Gotta love Suede and his 3rd "person"ality.

But the best line of the night? Michael Kors talking about the country outfit Leeann designed for Korto: "She looked like a woman who was going out to eat ribs." Oh my lord, can you just picture her at the Chicken 'n' Rib Crib in that outfit? Hilarious!! God, I love Project Runway.

good night.

Happy Anniversary

Today is my parents' anniversary and my friends Cathi and Adam's anniversary. They were married on the same day, 40 years apart. At Cathi and Adam's wedding, a friend of theirs read this piece, which made everyone laugh and also made us all think.

Loving the Wrong Person: A Reading from the Book of Daily Afflictions, by Andrew Boyd

"We are all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow into your own wrongness. It isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems––the ones that make you truly who you are––that you’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person––someone you lovingly gaze upon and think “This is the problem I want to have.”

I loved this reading so much. It wasn't typical at all; but if you know Cathi and Adam, it fit them perfectly. It wasn't mushy and gushy. It wasn't all about love and baby's breath and cherubs. It was real.

Love isn't easy. It takes a lot of work to be committed to another person for any length of time, let alone a lifetime. My parents have done it for 42 years.

They were young when they got married. They didn't necessarily do a lot of living before they chose a mate. But it has lasted. And I'm sure in all those years they have been frustrated and angry and ready to chuck things at each other and walk away, but they didn't. And whether they realize it or not, they took Andrew's words to heart. They stayed because they realized that this is the problem they chose to have. So happy anniversary, Mom and Dad and Cathi and Adam. Keep up the good work loving the "wrong" person!

Monday, September 22, 2008

a brand new day

Okay, so here goes. I have been reading and reading and reading other blogs and today is the day I've decided to create my own. I don't know how often I'll post, or how well I can write, or how weird it will feel; but it doesn't matter. I'm just gonna go for it. Sink or swim--I don't care. I just want to connect and share and this seems like a damn good way to do it.

So in order to keep from getting to freaked out by this blogging thing: I'll post my post-SQUAMmy feelings that I shared on Elizabeth's blog as my first entry (since it's already out there is cyber-world, how scary can it be, right?):

"What I really wanted to say is that I didn't head up to SQUAM entirely for the art . . . but I really wanted to force myself to do something I'd never, ever done before, to cause a shift. And wow, the shift has been of SEISMIC proportions, like really, a tsunami of shifting. I came home a better mother, daughter, sister, wife, lover (oh yes, I said it, LOVER), friend--just a better me. I feel my heart is bursting and my head is spinning and everyone can see it. The checkout girl at ShopRite can see it, the mailman can see it, the man walking his dog past my house right now can see it. It's immense and epic and life-affirming. . . . thank you for helping me to create that shift. I'll be riding the wave, no SURFING it, hanging 10 dammit! for the rest of my life."

And I, like so many others whose blogs I've read the past few days, have had trouble with the transition back in to "reality". It is a challenge to find your way back from that kind of love and support and downright goodness 24/7, but I'll keep searching for ways to be creative and to ride my wave. And I know they'll be searching with me. And that feels good.