Thursday, June 30, 2011

I wish I were here.

A Summer Favorite

This is my favorite summer treat: frozen grapes. We keep them in our freezer almost all summer.They are better than Popsicles. I never thought I would say that since I was that person that shamelessly ate 2 or 3 Popsicle at a time. Things are changing the frozen grapes stole my heart and are now my favorite summer treat. 

photo via

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Night With The Family

Last night we had my brother and his family over minus one kid. We fixed veggie pizza with an asparagus base. We made sure to divide the pizza into appropriate sections. The girls only like cheese. My brother doesn't like onions and the rest Will, Kim, and I enjoyed.

Look at that toss.

Making the asparagus base.

Will added a little oregano and garlic to
the crust.



After dinner we got out a map and showed the girls where we were going to be living for the next 10 months. 

Meg is so smart. She pointed to where
she lives.
We also showed her where Georgie lives.

Then it was on to fixing Uncle Will's hair.
Looks fun well not for Will. I love how
intent Holly is on getting his
ponytails right.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend Wrap up

Friday we headed to Troy, Alabama for Will's 10 year high school reunion. I met a lot of nice people and we made our way around to several of Troy's local hangouts. I found these shoes at Sikes and Kohn Country Mall. I asked Will "What do you think about these shoes ?" to which he replied, "It looks like you stepped on a rabbit." I laughed and decided to get them. I have been looking for warmer shoes since it will be winter when we get to Africa. 

On Saturday our friend Ruth flew in to take a tour of the South. We took her to Rojo and then on to Walmart. We really spared no expense.

Saturday evening we headed to a peace vigil that was being held in opposition to the new immigration bill that was signed by Governor Bentley. It was a peaceful event where people of all faiths came and joined together in a prayer walk around downtown Birmingham. It was my first peace vigil. The presence of all the people was beautiful. They had several faith leaders in the community to offer prayer and then everyone filed out and we walked a 5 block radius. It made me think of the Civil Rights movement and the energy that everyone must have felt because they were exercising their voice for justice. I am proud that we participated in this vigil. It it is often easier to convince ourselves that we have no power at all and so in despair we do nothing.

Everyone brought candles and held
them as we walked.

A sweet little girl in the crowd.
As we walked.

Later that evening we headed to Moe's barbecue so that Ruth could get a taste of something Southern. Will picked out several of the Southern brews so that she could give them a sampling. We were glad that she wore a different shirt so she could break up our v-neck family photo.
On Sunday we took Ruth to float the Little Cahaba. Some other friends joined us as we meandered lazily down the river. We all headed back to the apartment for dinner and then dessert at Edgewood Creamery.  All in all it was a great weekend. I am tired, but it was totally worth it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Back Porch Beverages-Cucumber Margaritas

It has been a little while since we have invited the cucumbers to the back porch party.  This drink offers a lighter twist to the original margarita. You will need:

  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled, sliced, seeded, and diced
  • 1 lime, juiced, plus a wedge or slice, for garnish
  • 2 ounces tequila reposado
  • 1-ounce simple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1-ounce sweet and sour mix
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper powder

Lots of Limes
De-seed and peel cucumbers. Muddle
cucumbers, lime, tequila, agave, sweet
and sour mix, and a pinch of cayenne.
Salt chilled glasses and pour.

Parker and Leigh Ann joined us on the back porch.
Will's photography skills at work.

Comments: I would puree the cucumber instead of muddle it. The cucumber wasn't as strong as I would have liked. One of the drinks turned out perfect as far as the amount of cucumber, but the other three lacked that great cucumber flavor.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Homemade Veggie Sliders

I used to have an old roommate who loved veggie burgers. When I first saw one I thought how could that be any good, but I tried it and really liked it. I have recently decided to reduce my meat intake. I don't personally have anything against meat, but I felt like it was taking up a large portion of my diet. Will and I have started adding a couple of veggie dishes to our weekly dinner mix. I have really enjoyed it because I am learning how to make a variety of other foods. Without further ado here is the veggie burger/sliders.

1 can of kidney beans, strained, and rinsed
1 cup of oats
1/2 cup of flour
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup of mushrooms
1/2 cup of onion
1/2 cup of carrots shredded
1/2 cup of red bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbsp of Worcestershire
1/2 tsp of salt
English muffin
I made some substitutions, but I will
tell you more about that in a minute.
You want it to be sticky but not too sticky.
I would put half the beans in the food
processor and  leave the other  whole.

Cook on medium heat for 6-7 minutes.

Here is the final product. I added avocado, cheese and sour

Here are the changes I made. I didn't have carrots or red bell pepper so I substituted an orange bell pepper instead.  I used bran instead of oats because that is what I had on hand. I put the bran in the food processor.

The sliders turned out really good. Next time I think I will trade the swiss cheese for some feta (mix it in with all the other ingredients). We had left overs and ate the others with a fried egg on top the next day which was really delicious.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

That Time of the Month - Women in Advertisement

I first became aware of women in advertising when I watched Jean Kilbourne's series called Killing Us Softly. It is a four part series that deals with media's  portrayal of women. I wanted to share some of the ads I found when I googled the word women.The two glaring themes were violence and sex. You should try this google experiment - it will shock you. There is no question that women are daily sexualized in ads, movies, and t.v. shows. The question is what is this doing to our self image? Do we find ourselves limiting who we are based on media? There is so much more to being a woman than big boobs, a skinny waist, and a pretty face. 

This ad was pulled because it resembled a gang rape.
Who thought this was ok?

Overt oral sex reference.

We almost got pegged intellectual, but in
order to sell she needed to have her clothes

We must be complete idiots or the weakest of all human life.

There are no words.

Women belong on the floor?

We have to be pretty and put together
or no man will love us or want us.

In this ad she is equated
with being a servant.

Have women ever played Rugby in bikini bottoms and a scoop neck
shirt? Exactly

The men are playing an intellectual game.
The woman is playing a mindless game looking
like a prostitute, smiling like she has no

Resembles a rape scene

Kilbourne talks in her series
about women of color being
portrayed as animals,
something exotic
to be conquered.

I didn't even include some of the more violent ads.Women are universally hypersexualized. I didn't come across one ad that promoted women as intelligent, athletic, tender, or strong ( not dominant).   These are qualities of everyday women and we rarely see them in advertisement. Why? Who are these ad agencies selling to? What do these ads tell me as a woman?  They imply that I am worthless, except for sexually satisfying men.  I am simply a vehicle for pleasure.  I am not a person with thoughts, ideas or value.  I am certainly not capable of engaging men in real conversation.

It is painful for me to think how prevalent these ads are for young women growing up today.  Young girls, who are remarkably aware and impressionable, are shown that their value is in their sexuality.  Trying to fit into the mold of what it means to be a woman, their intelligence and creativity is rarely championed.  There is no wonder that women do not believe they are men's equal.

My question, then, is how do we fight against this constant tide of degradation?  Do we boycott advertisers who demean women?  Would we ever be able to purchase the products we need if we did?  Or do we support companies, like Dove, who champion women for who they are in their variety of shapes and sizes?

It is a complex topic that can be easily dismissed due to the fact that advertisement is EVERYWHERE we look. There is something to be said for being aware of the images and making a conscious effort to remind ourselves what is true of women.
How do you think advertisement affects the way you see yourself?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Wrapup

Will has been out of town for the past two weeks so we made it our goal to spend some quality time together this weekend. On Friday evening we went to City Kid's Summer Art Camp. Some of the kids that we know from church were performing. They had various entertaining methods such as: step, dancing, singing, instruments, and a song solely of noises. They are an impressive group of kids and youth.

We had a date at Sanpeggio's for lunch on Saturday.
On Saturday afternoon we headed to the West End Garden for their Summer Solstice Salutation Party. We had a great time there was food, arts and crafts, music, and spoken word poetry.

Making smoothies on a bike. I'm still not sure how it works but the smoothies
were delicious.

Watermelon and local artists selling their work.

A community painting project.

Will and Clarissa listening to music.

Our friends Arnette and Kenny came to join us at the gardens.

Jazz and Funk Band
These youth are a part of Neo Jazz School of Music. Their ages range from
13-19 years old. They are so talented.

I thought she was pretty awesome.
Sunday we had a great day resting. We exercised, read, napped, ate, and practiced our Spanish. I met Laura for yogurt. It was great to see her and catch up we were way overdue. That was pretty much our weekend. How was yours?