Friday, November 21, 2014

Phone Photo Friday

Hello! How are you on this fine Friday? What's new?

We had a good week. Beyond the normal there were lows (pink eye), lowest of lows (administering eye drops), highs (cast removal), and lovely family moments. Life continues on as usual.

My best dog friend.

I have this sweet fondue pot calling to me. What shall I make?

Been working in my sketchbook a lot lately.

The girls received coloring books as a surprise gift in the mail from longtime blog friend, Stacy, and have been working on them every day since! 

Elise with her coloring book.

Cold days = hot tea.

Sleeping Lucy.

Cordelia got her new school photos and I lined up the last three years.

An afternoon mess.

Listening to records with the girls.

I woke up with awesome hair one day his week. Just thought you should know.

Lucy tucks herself in under the blankets. It is pretty much totally adorable.

Antelope on the hillside.

Eric and Cordelia waiting at the doctor's office.

Elise having her cast sawed off. After a month of full protection it was time to see what was going in under there. The saw was super loud, hence the ear protection. The vibration made her shift a bit, but mostly she was perfectly still. She was super brave!

Inspecting the free limb, the skin was incredibly sensitive and she held the arm close for much of the day, but now she is using it a lot more. She will probably be back to normal mobolility in a day or two, pretty close already!

Her arm free, being held by Eric.

The temporary tattoo we put on the day that her arm was broken, before the break obviously, was perfectly preserved! New world record for temporary tattoos?

They sawed through the painting which saved me the trouble of feeling like I had to keep it.

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Stink Eye to Pink Eye

I was asleep, but then I heard it with my special mom sense. She began rolling in her bed and I knew she would soon stomp down onto the wooden floor. Her stomp too loud, the kind of loud that children make when they are trying to be quiet. Then the pounding of a five year old flat-footing it on hard wood. It was dark and I didn't open my eyes. I just rolled toward where I knew she would be on my side of the bed right next to my face, wanting to ask me if it was OK to get up and start the day. She has been warned to whisper quietly enough that now she doesn't really whisper, it is a strange breathy clicking that I can decipher, mostly because I know she is just asking if she can get up. Only that isn't what she asked, instead it was like something from a bizarre dream.

"Ummm mommy.."
"Why is there food on my eyes?"
"Um yeah, I picked it off. And can you trim my eyelashes?"

Now the fog began to lift and I just knew. Somehow parents just know. My mind flashed over the shopping cart, the big one with a car that is up top....and then to preschool and some faceless child wiping germy hands on the handrails....PINK EYE. Conjunctivitis. Pretty much the plague.

"Don't touch me. Don't touch anything until we wash your hands."
"Why mommy?"

Ugh, and so I explained pink eye to Cordelia. She had a lot of questions, a lot. She always has a lot of questions and I try my very best to patiently answer them all, because her young mind is so hungry to learn...even before the sun is up and her eye is crusted over. She suggested that she drink lots of water, because that is healthy.

School was called off. A meeting was cancelled. And many hands were washed, again and again.
I called the doctor and he didn't even want us to come to the office, just called in a prescription. So the girls and I went and filled it. We also made a stop for some art supplies....while there Cordelia asked the checkout lady if she was a man or a woman (ahhh).

The silver lining is that pink eye, while crazy contagious, is pretty much a minor annoyance and completely treatable. Happy to live in a day and age where something like this is no big deal. 

Plus, I got to spend the day with my girls.

Vegan Recipe: Coconut Almond Rice Pudding

Almond coconut Rice pudding by Rooted Vegan

Good morning! How about a vegan recipe today? This time of year my sweet tooth is pretty much insatiable. When I say this time of year I mean all times of year. So let's not linger on that fact, instead let's make something to eat.

    Almond Coconut Rice pudding by Rooted Vegan
    You will need:
    2/3 c arborio rice
    2/3 c sweetened coconut flakes
    2/3 c sugar
    1 c vanilla almond milk  (+ more if needed)
    1 13.66 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
    2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    1/4 tsp almond extract
    1/2 tsp fine grind sea salt
    1/3 c toasted coconut (put coconut in a dry skillet and heat on high, watching closely, until golden) 
    lime zest
1. Combine milks, sugar, rice in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. When it starts to simmer add the untoasted coconut flakes.
2. Add everything but the toasted coconut flakes. Stir to combine.
3. Simmer until the rice is tender and pudding-y. You'll need to babysit this a bit to keep it from sticking/burning at the end. Just hang out in the kitchen while you cook. If the rice seems dry add vanilla almond milk  1/3 c at a time.
4. Serve hot or cold and garnish with lime zest and toasted coconut. Enjoy!! ~Maria Rose 

almond coconute rice pudding by Rooted Vegan 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Project: Ice Balloons

 ice balls

It's no secret that it has been mighty cold here in the state of Wyoming. Often that cold is coupled with insane wind which means we spend a lot of time indoors. Thankfully this often leads us to come up with fun projects. Yesterday after lunch the girls and I decided to freeze some water-balloons.I added a little color to the balloons to give them something special. I used it as an opportunity to talk about freezing and solid vs. liquid, see what I did there? Educational points, boom. We also talked about the dilution of color, having added a very dark color to the balloons.

You could also add seeds or small leaves for a more natural/adult look that would also benefit animals.

We set them out in backyard the snow for the night.

ice balls

This morning I gathered them up in a big sauce pan and brought them inside, leaving a few outside to freeze all the way through, in spite of the frigid temps the balloons weren't completely frozen.

ice balls

I cut off the balloons and there was a little gushing as the unfrozen middles poured out over the sink. I wasn't sure if this was a win or a fail at first. I mean I certainly hadn't expected them to gush water from the middle.

ice balls

I decided that I really liked the hollowed out globes, they had a really delicate beauty to them.

ice balls

Then we took them out front and set them in the snow as temporary decorations. If I were having a party I think I would do this with a dozen or so balloons and then insert led lights into the hollow center, it would be magical!

ice balls

The girls were impressed with our little project.

ice balls

I mean really, it's pretty.

ice balls

They look a bit like the glass water balls that people use to water indoor plants.

ice balls

 Who knows, when the balloons I left outside are solidly frozen we might have to invent ice bowling.

ice balls

Monday, November 17, 2014

Slowing Down Weekend


Life has been pretty hectic lately. Between Eric working as co-interim director at the museum, his band schedule, our art careers,  my several teaching jobs, speaking engagements, writing and photography deadlines, volunteer work, oh and parenting, maintaining friendships, life/home maintenance---we are always so busy. People will often ask what we are up to and Eric and I will make eye contact that essentially says,"how deep do we want to take this?" Mostly when people ask what I have going on I just list off a couple of things and then I stop myself. I mean most people are just being polite and don't want to hear or even care what we are doing. We are always doing something! 

I suppose part of that is just being artists. We are working on projects, sketching, working on ideas at all times. We rarely just sit around. I mean even when we watch a movie we will often work while watching. Most artists I know are like this, and while it is work it is also part of being. Creatives tend to work always, we don't stop when the clock hits five.

Regardless of this I don't really think there is much value to constantly being busy. People regularly tell me,"I don't know how you do it." And it certainly doesn't make me feel proud. Instead I wish I could tell people that I did nothing all day. I mean beyond parenting and creating.

With that in mind Eric and I mostly took the weekend off. Sure I gave some painting lessons and Eric had practice, but on Saturday the girls never left the house. They got to wear whatever they wanted; Cordelia wore a dress with no tights (an indoor treat in the frigid cold) and Elise opted to stay in pajamas with a red straw hat. We sat around. We read!!! We played. It was wonderful to just turn off a bit. 

So now I am going to make more of an effort to scale back a bit. I have a lot going on and that is great, but I also understand the value of empty hours.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Quote: Universe Conspires

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
~Paulo Coelho

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Vegan Recipe: Raw Halvah Balls

Here is another fantastic recipe by my friend Kate.
 Raw Halvah Cookies |

Kate writes:

Sweet, sticky, nutty and brimming with healthy fats, vitamin-packed dates and low-glycemic agave nectar these Raw Halvah Cookies are a fitness freak's dessert dream. Halvah is a Middle Eastern sweet traditionally made with nut paste, such as tahini or sunflower seed butter, combined with a hot sugar syrup, cooked to hard crack stage, to a brittle texture.

The raw version has all of the lovely flavor of halvah but the added bonus that your blood sugar level won't go through the roof and your teeth won't crack under sugar-bomb pressure.

Feel free to play around with the recipe. Use a combination of dates and raisins or throw in a few dried cherries for a totally non-traditional version. Toss in some pistachios or walnuts or a little cocoa powder. If the mixture isn't sticky enough just add a little bit more agave nectar to make them come together. 

Serve with coffee or tea as an afternoon snack or eat before or after a rigorous workout for a burst of clean, raw energy. I sneak a small ball before my morning workouts and I have energy to tide me over until breakfast.

1/2 cup raw tahini
1/2 cup sesame seeds + 1/2 cup for rolling
3/4 cup raisins or medjool dates (soaked if they are too dry) or combination
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs amber agave nectar (I love Agave in the Raw)
2 Tbs ground flax seeds
Pinch sea salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse four or five times. Scrape down the sides and then turn on medium high and let run until the mixture is well blended.
2. You don't want any big chunks of dried fruit so keep working the mixture in the food processor until it is crumbly and sticky.
3. There will be a lot of oil in the bottom of the food processor, but don't worry, this is just a result of the sesame seeds giving off their oil.
4. Grab about 1 1/2 teaspoons worth of dough and roll into a ball. You can make them bigger or smaller. There are no rules.
5. Once all of the cookies are formed roll in raw sesame seeds and place on parchment paper.
6. Refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours or until they have firmed up a bit. The cookies will never really 
firm up completely and will have the consistency of a raw cookie dough.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Phone Photo Friday

 Well hello there. It is that time of the week once again. I am dumping out my phone photos and reviewing the week that has passed.

The dogs got new dog beds and suddenly they get a taste of their own medicine as the girls invade their space. Betty in particular is a notorious sneak. She waits until we leave and then quietly crawls into the girls' beds.

Last Saturday Eric and my mother took the girls to the symphony. I normally teach on Saturday mornings, but last Saturday Eric suggested I take a morning to myself as both of my lessons had been cancelled. I used the two hours to read, paint, bathe, groom, cook, it was insane. The girls and Eric had a nice time at the symphony, read about it here.

Yep, just tearing it up on sax, see more here.

We were living in the coldest city in the country at one point this week. I drank tea and stayed indoors.

Seriously cold. For international readers the temp is Fahrenheit. There is frost inside of our home! I don't look forward to the heating bill this month, but the bonus has been lots of snuggles and using all of the great vintage quilts.

I was given a bunch of leftover flowers! One of the perks of being a PK is that on occasion I get flowers that would otherwise find their way into the trash. I was visiting my dad at work and the secretary, a lovely woman, asked if I wanted an enormous basket of flowers. I instantly agreed and brought them home and put the flowers into all of my vases only to realize that Lucy will tear them down if she can get to them, so they are all up high. It smells amazing in our house this week! Flowers in the winter make me so very happy.

Cold, just so so cold. Bedroom window looking out.

Elise showing her freshly painted cast to a sleepy Lucy.

Cordelia at the dentist. When the dental tech told her that she could take the shades off Cordelia opted to wear them for the rest of the appointment. She did a great job and is cavity free. We even got to see her big teeth lurking below the surface in her x-ray. It will still be a bit before they come in, but I cannot believe we are nearing the point of losing teeth! What?

Vegan hot chocolate with marshmallow. Did I mention that it is cold? So cold.

Late night movie watching with my husband. I had a space heater blasting my feet while we ate noodles and laughed about nonsense until we cried. Actually I laughed until I cried and Eric just watched with amusement.

Dog bed chillaxing.

How has your week been?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Painting her Cast

elise cast art

If you know one thing about Elise you will know that she marches to the beat of her own drum (and sometimes to her sister's drum). She likes what she likes. Her absolute favorite dress up costume is a hula skirt, green cape, astronaut helmet and/or red straw hat. She is just a bit quirky and that makes me super proud.

When she first got her cast I asked if she wanted me to paint it and she enthusiastically agreed. She wanted me to paint her pink So I explained to her that probably isn't the best plan and she insisted. So I just let it go, because I didn't want to paint a pink cast pink. Then she started asking me to paint a crocodile or an alligator on her cast. That was something I could get on board with.

So yesterday afternoon I spent about 10 minutes with the acrylic paint and made her a little alligator on her cast. I always though that a cast was plaster, but her cast is kind of like a hardened net, it was difficult to paint anything with a fine line so I stuck to cartoony detail which suited her tastes anyway. She was so pleased with the results and has been proudly showing it off ever since.


She cried today when I forced her to wear a coat and cover up the alligator. It was -18F when we woke so there was no reasonable argument that would convince me that she should go without a heavy coat today.

elise cast art

The cast comes off in a week! I am so excited. Yes, I am excited for her, but I am also excited for more accidental cast to face contact.

elise cast art

Sometimes it is about the little things people, but sometimes it's specifically about an alligator on your cast.

elise cast art

Glad to make this girl happy. Hopefully she will be OK with letting it go next week. Although when people ask her about it she warns them that it is probably stinky in there. So, we'll see....
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