Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Musings - June 2018

Books: There was a pleasure trip, so I got to read a good bit - after what may be my prerequisite airport book binge. The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne which is a very good book set in Michigan - is one of those airport buys. It's not a mystery but more of a survival guide with a point of view. It was a very enjoyable plane read! Lab Girl by Hope Jahren was boring on the "human" parts and utterly amazing in the pieces about plants. Powered through the my Kindle Unlimited edition of Pamela by Shannon Meyer while waiting at the DMV. Brotherhood in Death by JD Robb. (Not quite sure how we are up to like 20 in this series but they are all a good read.) Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz which is a good beach read -  and cults seem to be a persistent theme....

And if you got to this blog from a note you picked up at a Little Free Library - hi! I tend to share!

Gratitude: Steam cleaners. Book kittens. Evening mist across the fields. Beach. Family hula hoop contests. Tiny harvests. Pretty to-do lists.

Listening: Susan Hyatt. Christy Wright's Business Boutique. Sting. And so much Pandora.

Perfume: I'm all about wearing out my upstairs perfume (Paper Flower by Love and Toast). And when I forget it - which happens several times a week - then Hardcore Happy by Pacifica. 

Recipes:  I have been absolutely gorging on Southern Living magazine. I have about 3 years of backlog going. Kind of ridiculous as it used to be my favorite source for recipes and design inspiration! This month in a summer issue, I spotted a Strawberry Rhubarb Pretzel Pie. And the season is right for all these ingredients! Several of the kidlets liked it, and we decided it could easily be made with other fruits. (Spoiler alert - the crust smells AMAZING as you cook it.)  

I also made up a quick salad based on what was in the pantry and the garden. I have a returning fennel bulb that's just kicking up stalks like crazy - and it may have split to 2 bulbs - we'll find out. Plus I had lentils just hanging out in my pantry and some diced tomatoes.....

Lentil Fennel Salad

- 6 cups of water
- 2 cups of dry lentils 
- 3 long stalks of fennel, sliced thin
- 1 small yellow onion, slice thin 
- 1 can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar or coconut vinegar

Cook lentils with water according to package directions. (I used brown, green would probably taste even better.) Broil fennel and onions for 12 - 15 minutes (a little olive oil, salt, pepper on them.) When everything is done. Mix in a large bowl with the can of diced tomatoes. 

Juice the lemon, mix with oil and vinegar to taste + salt and pepper. Dress the salad with the mixture.

This takes about 25 minutes to make - and not all of it hands on. Plus while this is good right off, it's better if it sits overnight.

Accompaniments: A touch of feta cheese. A bit of fresh mint.

And life tip... keep a bag of mixed, triple berries in your freezer. Quick pie! Saved Father's Day dessert since the place we selected did not have dessert. (What?!? But really, no dessert at Silver Beach Pizza. Just awesome pizza.)

Self-Care: I'm continuing to love the 100% Pure line. In addition to the Blood Orange Cleansing Balm (which as mentioned last month is the bomb), 100% Pure offers a night lotion that has CoQ10. This is the thing my skin loves to help fight off wrinkles.  I used Avalon Organics Wrinkle Therapy for a good number of years. (I've abandoned it due continuing issues with the pump across multiple purchases. Ease of use is a thing. If I can't use it easily, I'm done.)

Sunscreen. An absolute must in southern climates. My favorite is from Alba. (pictured.)

Things 11 told me:

- She was doing a project with her sister and when I told her she was covered in glitter, she replied, "And now I glitter like the stars!" - and when I said she'd made the kittens glittery, she replied, "I made them fancy for the vet."
- She was in a splash fight with her brother at the lake. As he was losing, he claimed handicap. (She was also fighting one armed as he has an arm in a cast.) Her answer to him quitting? "No quitting! You chose this war."

Watching: I finished out Devious Maids and that is a super fun show! Total mind candy. Frivolous. A mystery. And fun. Also rocked out Season 2 of Wynona Earp; it has the best soundtrack ever. Now I'm currently watching Empire.

Random: Austin, Texas is GORGEOUS. There is art literally everywhere! You can't walk down a sidewalk without seeing art! The food was fantastic, too. We took a long weekend and went to see friends. It was so nice to take a break from all the things.

And... 18 graduated! She also won several scholarships for college. We did the required pix with dad and with siblings. I was touched when I asked if she needed any other shots and she replied, "Yes, one of you and Dad with me." (I had on the wrong make-up for photos but whatever! )

Take-away - Take time off. Go somewhere new to you. Have an adventure. It will change your perspective.

PS - FYI, I do invest in the parent company (Hain Celestial) of the Alba sunscreen pictured. Because I believe if you love and use it, so might other people! That's literally my 401k investing philosophy. And I'm sharing with you that the sunscreen is awesome because I love to share.

Original musings posts you may enjoy:

All photos by moi! And you can tell...

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