Friday, May 18, 2012

"But I would not scare my pony on my boat out on the sea."

I wanted you to be my friend even when I was throwing seafoam green hairbrushes at you.

I was jealous of the height of your bangs.

I hoped to one day take cool pictures in front of stop signs like you, Nathalie, Elizabeth, Lisa, and Chad did.

I pretended my boyfriends had Dodge Stealths and crustaches. 

I always thought your room at Mom and Dad's house, your apartment in Bowling Green, and your own family's house was so much more well decorated than any space I tried to "design."

I could eat 64 of your truffles in one sitting. 

I think you're really funny.

I love that the backseat of your car is now almost as messy as mine. 

I admire your devotion to your little girl, your family, your life. 

I appreciate the friendship we've created as we've gotten older. 

I love the type of mother you continually prove yourself to be. Thank you for letting her play and take chances, but always being there to catch her; thank you for not fussing on me when I get her M&M cereal dispensers and 16 suckers anytime she asks for them; thank you for showing pictures and reminding her of her "Pa"; thank you for letting her get a pony. Love you, dear sister. 

My May "Draw a ________________ a day" Project

One of my favorite spring/summer combinations...
Aunt Carolyn was kind enough to share some of her black bean salsa with me yesterday (Mom: "It's in that Cool Whip container in the refrigerator." Liza: [immediately picking up the sour cream container I had no doubt she was talking about] "Okay, thanks.")

I'm not sure exactly what Carolyn puts in hers, but this is what I would do: black beans, corn, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, fresh cilantro, salt & pepper, minced chipotle peppers, lime juice, cumin

If you're in Cumberland County, don't forget the Farmers' Market opens this weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2012

My mother, the most frustrating person alive.

Her daughters’ tractor warnings illicit the ol’ “grin and nod”…yet inevitably fall on deaf ears,
for a quick glance out any window, always, without fail, confirms our rather wasted fears. 
A master of humoring, while simultaneously thinking, “oh, if they only knew;”
you see, Jackie Turner does whatever Jackie Turner wants to do. 

A woman whose compassion is rivaled only by an unfathomable energy and fiery zeal;
a woman whose generosity is without motive, whose strength, tangibly real.
Bruised ribs and a pulled groin couldn’t get her off the mower the very next day.
But, she will stop mid-supper when a certain little girl exclaims, “Nonna, lets go play.”

As frustrating as this abandon can occasionally be, I know my mother no other way.
She will insist on single-handedly painting sheds…when not throwing or hauling hay.
She will check on her one grandkid and her 624 granddogs and cats….
and do so without exasperated huff, purposeful sigh, or call to ask where we’re at. 

You see, if ever there were a stride-taker, my mother is it;
the woman who moves mountains, the woman who rarely, if ever, sits. 
If we are lucky, we will one day find ourselves as strong-willed and foolishly obstinate as she…
and drive our own kids crazy until they finally shrug and respectfully say, “oh, just let her be.”

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  We love you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I got down a beet, spinach, banana, cranberry juice smoothie. I'm good.

About 40 hours.  That's how long I made it.

The cleanse came to a crashing halt last night at the hands of peanut butter and Diet Pepsi.  And, you know what, I'm okay with that.  I tried.  I had beets and bananas together.  I made my own salad dressing.  I drank more water than I have in probably the last year. The fact that I did these for roughly two days is unimportant. 

Profound discoveries:
*I like cheese in salads.  I miss it when it's not there.
*Giving up bread was harder for me than going caffeine-free.
*I don't "have" to have coffee when I wake up.  In fact, I haven't had coffee at all today.
*Regarding the point above, I'm pretty sure it is the habit I'm addicted to and not the actual product.  I missed the experience of playing with my herd, watching the news, and picking out my morning coffee mug of choice much more so than actually drinking my Seattle's Best #2.
*I'm often not as starved as I think.  Knowing that my food choices were restricted kept me from checking my cabinets and refrigerator.  And you know what? I never felt hungry. 
*Making homemade salad dressing is easy. I should do it more often.
*I'm a pretty healthy eater. I ate things I would typically eat anyway. 
*I never had a headache (but I did take Tylenol every few hours as a precautionary measure).
*I do realize that if I had gone the full two weeks, I may have noticed some of the things other cleansers have praised: sounder sleep, more energy, overall general sense of "feeling better." The thing is though: I already sleep enough; I typically feel energized; I consider myself a healthy person.  I just didn't feel invested in a project that may or may not have improved upon a bar that I already consider fairly high.
*24 tablespoons of peanut butter necessitates a 1/2 mile drive to the Curves Fitness Center vending machine.
*I don't feel bad for giving up. I said all along that this was an experiment driven by curiosity, not one designed to yield emotional, spiritual, or physical "growth." I know I'm happiest when I simply do things in moderation. If I want to eat dessert most nights of the week, I'll just eat healthy stuff during the day and occasionally run a weekend mini marathon.
My menu for those 40 hours...
Breakfast - Homemade yogurt, bananas, a little bit of honey

Lunch - The concoction in the title, one slice of whole wheat bread

Supper - Salad (greens from my garden, apple, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, green pepper, homemade salad dressing [olive oil, lemon, balsamic vinegar, herbs]) and whole grain brown rice with broccoli and cauliflower, topped with homemade salsa

Dessert - Pecans
Breakfast - Homemade yogurt, honey, cantaloupe

Lunch - Rice concoction leftovers, apple

Snack - Whole almonds

Supper - Homemade sweet potato fries (no oil or seasoning) and salad

Dessert - Yogurt and pecans
2 hours later: Peanut butter extravaganza

For supper tonight...
Salad, whole wheat bread, and this little number I would recommend you all try:

Cook for 5-6 hours on low in a Crock Pot - boneless pork chops, apples (quartered or cut into 1/8), chicken stock, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon (I rarely measure so just put in whatever amount "looks right" to you:))