Friday, June 18, 2010

Nightminds - Missy Higgins

Recently my husband reunited with some old high school buddies. They were meeting up regularly for a couple of beers a few times a week and really reconnecting. My husband would come home and say, "When you meet Dan, and you will ...". Well, unfortunately I never will because he passed away on Monday in the saddest of circumstances. You learn to love and appreciate people while you have them. This song is for Dan, whom I never met, but surely would have liked.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Uniform Project

This morning I put three bags of clothing on the front porch to be picked up the The Kidney Foundation. I think they have me on speed dial. I donate to them pretty regularly, and I like that my gently used clothes might go to someone who needs them.

When I was a child in school, I had to wear a wool plaid uniform to school every day. Like most girls of a certain age, I found this confining -- at the time. This may, perhaps, explain my overstuffed closet(s) and my conflicting need to simplify.

In retrospect, the idea of having one frock (or five identical ones) strikes me as a kind of saving grace. No more trying to match blacks or whites in the dim morning light. Imagine the ease with which you would face each day! Whatever flair you decide suits your mood that day can be added at the last moment, but you know what you are going to wear.

The Uniform Project not only solved the what-to-wear problem for Sheena Matheiken, but has also raised $103,177 for poverty-stricken children in India so they can go to school. The designer of the famous little black dress, Eliza Starbuck, was ready to drop out of the design scene when she met Sheena and was convinced to design this special dress. As I watch the video, I think, "I could really use a dress like this." Couldn't you? Go, help me convince her here and perhaps we can all have one soon. Also, check out some of their fans' answers to, "what should I wear today?"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Snapshot Aesthetics

There's a school of photography called 'snapshot aesthetics.' It's been around a long time, but didn't have a name until recently. You've seen it on famous blogs like The Blue Hour, Simply Photo and 3191 Miles Apart (which comes with a really neat story behind it, so look for the "about"). The premise of this style is to know the rules of photography, but break them from time to time. To capture things just as they are. Sometimes the composition and white balance are perfect; sometimes not. But the images have a real life quality that makes them more intimate than more traditional photographs. There is a stillness to them, an elegance of seeing the ingredients to a meal, laundry in a basket, a bicycle parked outside a café. It is life as we know it, not poised for the camera. Go and look - and tell me what you think.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Essence of Summer

As we head into the general elections, I thought I'd give you all an opportunity to practice voting. There's a new photo contest at Midwest Photo Exchange, and they want pictures of summer. There are all sorts of interpretations being submitted, but I wanted to submit something that reminded me of childhood, when I could experience summer fully, without the cares that maturity brings. A bumble bee, the smell of home-grown tomatoes, and crab apples that have fallen to the ground. So, please, go here and vote for me and I promise to lower your taxes and improve the education system. Or at least take more pictures.

How do you envision summer?

A Baby Shower for Shannon & Kenny

If you've been around here for a while, perhaps you recall my dear friend Shannon. And then when she got married. I'm pleased to report that this past weekend the happy couple drove from Kentucky for a baby shower - their own! To see them two years later, they are so obviously smitten with each other, and have this lovely way of making those around them feel important and loved. A little girl seems such a natural addition to the family.

We can't wait to meet little Sophia Marie!

Some things bear repeating ...

About a year ago, I gave you my recipe for pesto. I was a little stunned this weekend to find that I'd already had more than enough basil to make more. Life can be good that way.

Pesto by Food Processor Method

2 cups tightly packed basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons romano cheese (optional)
3 tablespoons butter (I skip this step)
Briefly soak the basil in cold water and pat dry. Put the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and an ample pinch of salt in the food processor and blend until you have a smooth, uniform consistency. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and fold in the cheese. (If you choose to add the romano and butter, you would do so at this point.)

I often throw the pesto in the freezer until I'm ready to use it. It keeps its flavor nicely.

What did you eat this weekend?

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