Friday, May 27, 2011

Back Porch Beverages-Blueberries Gone Wild

This week's cocktail is berry delicious. {hehe} Here are the ingredients that you will need:

12 blueberries, 4 skewered on a pick
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce agave nectar
Ice cubes, plus crushed ice
1-1/2 ounces gin
1/4 ounce all-natural grenadine (we used Minute Maid Pomegranate juice)
1 lemon wheel

Muddle blueberries, lemon juice, and
agave nectar. Add ice, pomegranate juice,
and gin. Shake well.

I was raptured.
Comments: There wasn't anything that I would change. It was a great drink- sweet, but not too sweet.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's that Time of the Month

So in the last several years I have been reading more about gender equality. For me it started with my faith and the idea that because of my gender I wasn't allowed to be in a leadership role in the church. As I began to become more aware of the bias against women, I was drawn to the way general media, music, and movies portrayed women. I have found myself wrestling through what I see portrayed verses who I am. I have started keeping track of these moments. Here are a few imagines and writings that have left an imprint.

                                             TV.Shows (a young woman forming her own ideas about life.)
"Sometimes it seems like we are all living in some kind of
prison. And the crime is how much we hate ourselves. It's
good to get really dressed up every once and a while and
admit the truth. That when you really look closely people
are really strange and so complicated that they're actually
beautiful...possibly even me."
Angela Chase

Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth

        • Gender and Grace by Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen
        • Women in the Church by Stanley Grenz and Denise Muir Kjesbo
        • The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd
        • Here all Dwell Free by Gertrud Nelson Mueller
        • A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown
        • The Road of Innocence by Somaly Mam
        • Take this Bread by Sara Miles
        • All about Love by Bell Hooks                                          

Soon I hope to visit Birmingham's own Tragic City Rollers.

In the face of these images, I am reminded that women are more than a sex symbols or an images to sell products. We are complex beings with hopes and dreams to change the world, and we crave to find and share our voices despite repeated messages that we are at best usable and at worst disposable. Women are both strong and tender, and I appreciate struggling alongside others to be freed from this subtle oppression. I love being a woman.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Juicy Art

I say I like change, but the truth is I am a slow changer. I am excited about our upcoming adventure, but I am also nervous about all the unknowns. Will and I have looked up the extra circular activities in Lusaka and have found that it looks much like Montgomery, AL. They have two shopping malls, a movie theater, and several dance clubs. I am sure we will explore these places while we live there but we are hoping for more cultural adventures. 

I want to find some local artists since I won't be able to work on projects regularly. I am excited to explore the art forms that are native to Lusaka. I am also interested to see how my creativity is affected by the lack of modern technology.  I won't have the chance to get jealous about other peoples creative talents. Sometimes I feel like my creativity is drying up because I am so busy looking at what else is out there instead of devoting time to my own talents. I enjoy getting ideas, but there seems to be a point where it turns into obsession and then discouragement   

One way that I have decided to keep my creative juices flowing is to start sketching. I bought a sketch book and I am currently debating where or not to buy a small set of paints. Depending on space issues I might bring my stamps too since I would like to keep in touch through letters.  Any suggestions for me on how to keep my art juices flowing?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekend Wrapup

We headed to the panhandle of Florida this past weekend to hangout with some West coast friends. I worked for the Miller family as a nanny when I lived in Seattle. They have two adorable little kids who have grown so much since I last saw them. We also got to introduce them to some southern beer and crawfish.
We stopped at an antique store in Florala.

Who doesn't need an over-sized chair?
Will's photography skills at work. Did you see that on the
satellite Georgie?

visiting Seaside

more Seaside

I don't think it gets better than this.

Miller family enjoying the crawfish.

Will caught a fish!

A morning bike ride.

Some self timer action.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Back Porch Beverages-Cucumber Martini

This week we went with something light and refreshing. We are making Cucumber Martini's. You will need the following ingredients:

2 English Cucumbers (or use regular ones just peel and seed them)
crushed ice
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
2 tsp of granulated sugar
3 tbsp of fresh lime juice
4oz vodka
1oz triple sec

Peel and deseed the cucumbers.
Puree them in a food processor and strain the solid parts. In the shaker muddle the mint, add sugar, a handful of crushed ice, lime, cucumber puree, vodka and triple sec. Shake and serve. This recipe makes enough for two. If you like them strong you may want to increase the amount of vodka.

Serve and enjoy!
Claire joined us on the back porch.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My December Daily

Last year I made a point to collect or write something for every day in December. I got this idea from a friend's blog who linked the idea to Ali Edwards. She calls this project December Daily. Here is my version of December Daily. I went a few days before December and a few days after. It was a lengthy project but I am glad I did it. I am not sure I will attempt this every year but maybe every several years.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Birthday Assignment

Had another reason to stamp.
More Anthropologie Pages
Everyone needs a mad lib
These are the invitations I kept and reused.

 A friend of mine turned 30 this past week. Her husband compiled different people to write her notes and give clues to where he is taking her. He asked me to compile these pages together.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I have an Announcement to Make:

We're Not Pregnant but We are Moving to...

Lusaka, Africa

You may be thinking what in the world. Will and I were both offered positions with CIDRZ. Will's job will be to help institute a program training Zambian health care providers to expand care to patients with HIV. I will be working with mothers and children affected by HIV. We will be gone for 10 months. We have to be there by August 1st and will return at the end of May. We are now accepting applications for pen pals.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekend Wrapup

This past Friday was filled with second hand jewels. Will and I recently heard about a book store called 2nd and Charles. They sell new and used books. Will and I thumbed through all the summer readings for students and picked out a few that we haven't read yet. After that we walked around to Plato's closet where I found this lovely dress. It is so cute. I plan on replacing the plastic read buttons with wooden ones. 

Our friends Parker and Leigh Ann came into town and we had dinner and made a few cocktails. There will be more about those on Back Porch Beverages.

Saturday morning we all woke up and Will fixed us all a lovely breakfast. We sat around and chatted. It wasn't long before I was itching to work on some projects that had been lingering longer than I liked. I finished up my December Daily book that I had been working on. I will show more pictures of it this week. Bare came over and brought Will some fishing lures that he had made. I was pretty impressed with his abilities. Then last on my to do list was to convert the Tequilla bottle into a vase. I had to figure out how to get the plastic neck off of the glass bottle. It may sound easy but I had to get out the needle nose pliers. After much hard effort I was the victor much to Will's disbelief. He thought I would cut my hand off before salvaging this great bottle. I can't wait to fill it with dried flowers.
December Daily
Bare's fishing lures
Wouldn't you agree it is nice?

Saturday afternoon we headed to Atlanta to see Fleet Foxes at the Tabernacle. We grabbed a bite to eat at a little pizza place several blocks away. We were fully prepared to stand in line so we could get good seats.
Bare is practicing his line stance.

A little of Bare's photography skills.
All of us at the concert.
Sunday we watched Part 3 of Roots and then we both read and relaxed. We headed off to our book club and then home for more veg time. That is what we did. How was your weekend?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Back Porch Beverages-Lemon Sorbet Surprise

You may be thinking Rachel this isn't a cocktail and my reply to you would be, but it has alcohol. Here are the ingredients that you will need:

1 1/3 cups of caster sugar (or granulated sugar in a food processor)
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup limoncello

You want the consistency to be
between powdered sugar and granulated
Place sugar and water in pan and
bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes,
remove and let cool.
Squeeze those lemons.
This is lemoncello that Claire brought over.
Stir lemon juice and limoncello into sugar
mixture and transfeinto a bowl to freeze for
 4 hours.
Wala! A yummy summer snack.

*Adjustments- This is a very sweet and lemony treat. If I make it again I will limit the amount of sugar and lemons.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Telling Stories

I made this book for Will two Valentine's ago. It is the story of how we meet. There is a saying in the Chronicles of Narnia that says "it is always winter and never Christmas." That became somewhat the theme of our wedding. We both agreed that the people we had dated in the past felt a lot more like winter than they did Christmas. 

I took a children's book and covered it with pages from an Anthropologie magazine (I really like trying to re-use what I have and their magazines are so colorful). I printed pictures throughout our relationship and told our story in third person. I was really pleased with how it turned out.