Friday, February 04, 2011

The Other Day.

The other day I was filled with disappointment, once again, as I found that one of my favorite bloggers (and friends) hadn't up-dated her blog - in now what was over a month! How could she deny us of her rich writings and challenging thoughts? I was outraged!

That was up until I realized that it had been over a month since we had spent any time in this space and was quickly put in my place.

Up-date? Here are some highlights from this last month:

I've come to find great joy in preserving. I've dabbled in dehydrating, canning, and preparing/freezing food for our little one (who, as of Feb. 1st. is now basking in the glory of avocados & bananas!). Over time our home has become littered with dried pears, apples, bananas, pineapple, tomatoes, oranges, and green peppers.

Canning has taken on a completely different level of excitement! Tomato spreads, pickled onions, lemon honey jam, spiced apple jam, carrot marmalade, corm relish, gajar ki chutney and many more recipes waiting for the right time! I'm beginning to think I'm becoming addicted.

Our little topless, tie-dyed hippie

And yes, there is all to much knife handling and baby wearing happening at the same time in this house. Yesterday there was even some fire extinguishing mixed in too!

Speaking of addictions though... I've also been on a biscotti making craze: anise & almond, hazelnut, chai, oats & nuts, cinnamon mocha, double chocolate, spiced and a few more I can't recollect right now. Creating is truly invigorating!

Needless to say - much of my time is taken with obsessing over books filled with baking & preserving knowledge & recipes.

That is, of coarse when my time is not taken up with the following:

Yael & I have begun to volunteer at Carpenter's Corner three out of four Mondays a month. It's been such great fun to get to know not only the various volunteers who dedicate an amazing amount of time to preserving (there that word is again!) and caring not ony for the soup kitchen itself but for the participants who come for a warm plate and good conversation three afternoons a week. Needless to say, Yael's hospitality far outweighs mine. She is so gracious with the great number of people who simply just want to love on her. This extended hospitality often comes crashing after our afternoons there and a long nap is the next order of business. Together we are learning so much about our community & community members through this very sacred time together.

one of our afternoon together

Each morning Yeal & I (with Jake tagging along on his days off) make our way to the YMCA and library. It has been such a gift to slowly come to know the women (and a man too, here and there) and children who frequent these community hang-outs. Great conversations have already been happening and help assist me in getting to know our community a wee bit better every day.

On Wednesdays we are finding ourselves spending time with the women from Beckley Mommies. Still, a hard pill to swallow that Beckley Mommies thing. The kicker here is that we're enjoying it! Although we are primarily just listeners during our time with these great moms, we're slowly building relationships and that can't be all that bad, can it?

Speaking of relationships... Jake & I decided that we are going to continue to attend Beckley Pres. We have so much enjoyed not only our times of worship but more importantly, our times together with others who are a part of this congregation. They have been so gracious in inviting us over/out for dinner as well as connecting us with others in the community - such a gift!

Speaking of gifts... due to a number of circumstances we also made three get-aways this past month (I love nurses schedules!). At the beginning of the month we made an unexpected (yet, wonderfully necessary) trip to Chicago to visit one of our favorite families who had just experienced a significant loss in their lives. Our time together with some amazing folks left us missing them all the more.

spending an afternoon with Grandpa D.

Later that month we found ourselves in a remote cabin in the woods with a good friend, some sweet wine and a hot tub on a snowy back porch. What more could one ask for? Let me share that I almost took back our vow to live simply after two nights in the hot tub. There is nothing better on a cool winter weekend.

Lastly, we traveled to Kentucky in late January to spend some time with my parents. We have made a vow to spend time with them at least one time each month before they head back to Michigan in June. Accompanying them at the food pantry I couldn't hold back and let my "grocer daughter" complex rear it's head and was thrilled to stock shelves, bag flour & flax seeds as well as make a grocery run. Nothing better than working grocery.

working in the food pantry with Grandpa R.

So there you have it - in additions to frequent trips to thrift stores and grocery marts, this is how we are spending our time - in addition to the many hours of reading, playing, singing and resting we do in our home.

This rhythm feels right, right now. It's fitting, although may be difficult to get on sometimes, once in the groove it feels good, it feels right.

Thank you for the kind comments on previous entries whether by e-mail, facebook or otherwise. I cannot share with you how very much your love and support have meant during this time of transition. We are so grateful.

I'm beginning to hear the little one waking - off to begin our day!