Monday, April 26, 2010

Art Geek

High schools need to prepare you for the world and in that sense I think it completely did. Located in the heart of down town one of the ways we were spoiled was with the food from local businesses. Many of our lunch times were spent sitting in pizzeria's, bakeries and coffee shops. I just couldn't help but notice the delicate placed garnish's or complex sauces bordering the plates. Before I knew it I was drawn into the art of presentation.

In addition to its prime location, H.B Beal was very much esteemed for its Art Program. In the basement of our three story school we had black rooms, animation rooms, pottery kilns, fabric presses, model stages and what-ever else. I was eager to join the lower level club but at the same time they were also the people I felt I was nothing like. I wouldn't allow myself to be who I wanted to be but what was wanted of me. I knew that this was pretty typical, so I allowed the building itself to give me the courage to become me. To be creative, even if it meant that it would have to be in the basement of my heart.

Today, I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go to school that wasn't as academic as it was creative. I know now that what I experienced there was an introduction to my life. I was able to see groups of kids that didn't follow trends, but make them. I was also able to see how "nothing" became "something" and what happens when the heart leads the hands. Absolutely, did that make an impact on my life and today I finally confess that I am an "Art Geek".

During a craft night a couple months ago, I made a bow. Well a couple days later that nothing became a something and my hands were lead. Even though I only added a pleated skirt and a bow to an existing tank top, I loved the transformation so I feel a need to share. Perhaps you too have a little spark in your heart and just in case you may also have a tank top just lying around. Be encouraged in knowing that our god is a creative god who made us in his image.

My verse this week:
God saw all that he made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31

This week I needed security in that.

Confident, hope.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Portion

Sharing is not dependent on feelings, likes or dislikes but rather a willingness to give away regardless. A portion of your portion.

Honestly that was the hardest for me, learning how to give away something that I believed was a part of me. I felt that my successes were ME, so to "share" would mean I would have to let go of the one thing I held on to. My pride.

Isn't that what it is? Family recipes? Special Sauces? Best kept Secrets? We are people that want to have something to claim, something that would set us apart from the person sitting next to us. To give away my best, I usually need to make a choice. And this was me, up until I read this.

Once you wrap your mind around the favor God has had on you and the richness of the portion He assigned to you, even through disaster, you can't help but share your portion with others.

Lots of times it is when the world is being shaken around you that you see what you have been given. I have been given an opportunity to share. To give you my portion of the portion I have been given, because sometimes a change in action does not mean a change in perspective.

Chipotle-Rubbed Salmon Tacos

2 tbsp Mayonnaise
1 tsp. Fresh Lime juice
2 tsp. Chipotle Chile Powder
2 tsp. Grated Orange Zest
2 tsp. Sugar
1 lb Wild Salmon
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Extra-Virgin Oil
8 Corn Tortillas
1 Hass Avocado, Mashed
1 cup shredded cabbage
Apple-Cucumber Salsa
I used an assortment of fish and tripled the recipe.

Apple-Cucumber Salsa:

1 Granny Smith Apple- Peeled, cored and diced finely
1/2 cucumber-peeled, seeded and diced finely
1/2 red onion, diced finely
1/2 red bell pepper, diced finely
1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
Salt, add to taste
* I used only half of the apple.

1. In a bowl, toss the apple with the cucumber, onion and pepper. Stir in the vinegar and sugar, season with salt.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a small bowl whisk the mayonnaise with the lime juice. In another bowl, combine the chipotle powder with the orange zest and sugar. Rub each piece of salmon with 1 tsp of the oil and then with the chipotle-orange zest mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes.

3. Wrap the tortillas in foil and bake for about 8 minutes, until they are softened and heated through.

4. Meanwhile, heat grill pan. Season the salmon with salt and grill over high heat until nicely browned and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

5. Gently break each piece of salmon in half. Spread mashed avocado on the warm tortillas and top with the Salmon, Apple-Cucumber Salsa and the Cabbage. Drizzle each taco with the lime mayonnaise and serve right away.

Pieces of me, hope.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sunny day

Statement necklace made by Nadia Chernichenko

There are days when it feels like I am extremely busy. And not the good, doing something purposeful kind of feeling but more like running around in the same circle, continually. The beginning of last week was kind of like that, except I couldn't stop because I wouldn't let myself. I worked on this piece for hours and if no one was dependent on it, giving up would have been easy but the problem is that sometimes I promise things I don't know if I can even deliver. So be warned. It was exhausting up until I decided to take the opportunity to learn from it. The desire was definitely there, it was just the skill that needed to be mastered. I do believe that our desires aspire to something and even though it took a couple of days, several runs to the store and probably one to many burns. I was nearing completion.

Trial and error proved itself to me this week, but with all this work I was drained. I needed some bounce back into my day. With a name like "Sunny", I would expect to get nothing less. Two hours later I not only felt better but I believed it and only a certain kind of person has that kind of gift. I have recently realized that feeling better and believing it's going to get better are two different kind of things. I left her house energized and glad I had people in my life who know just what to offer, what to say and what to do.

By Friday, I had finished the three pieces and still had the day ahead of me so I took a big break and went on a hunt to find a lamp. Along with adding a lamp, I hung up some curtains to keep the bugs out on days when the weather allows for our doors to be open. I also added an extra blanket and a few more pillows for when the rains come in. The kind of days when we hang out on the couch. Lazy days, cozy days, sick days and Sun-days.

As I sat and looked around I felt happy. Happy that I have a family and thankful that I have a home. The simplest things can make me happy, when I do the things I love. Those little extra's that seem so irrelevant to my family are things that are actually for them. I know that my mood and the atmosphere of our home sets the mood for the entire family. I sighed, took a deep breath and smiled as I waited for my stomach to butterfly. It still does when I hear the sound of the door being unlocked. Bags dropped, keys placed and shoes taken off. Nothing can be better then hearing the familiar sound of "Honey....I'm home".

Verse of my Week:

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Feeling Down

Last week I got to think and cruise the web. This in fact, got me a little discouraged as I looked back on my blog. It seemed that everybody else had an effortless, talented gift given to them and I scrambled to find words to write. With both a negative heart and a complainant mouth I poured into my husband for some relief. What I got, changed my perspective.

The things I gained were by far more then I could ask for from an internet-based information site. I strengthened relationships, learned how to collect thoughts and ideas together, grasp the basics on camera skills, and communicate my ideas a little better.

Now that I know how to do all these things I feel like I can add to my blog, not just the how-to's and do's of my day but everything else. I want to add another side to the hope that keeps me going. The people that are sent to encourage me and the kids that put smiles on my face, everyday to tell me that it will be okay. It is about how I see God and when. My life journal but with photos of the beautiful things that I love to look at, do and see.

I feel better, Thank you!