21 December 2013

Days grow longer

Today is my favorite day of the year.

There was a time where I prefered the summer solstice because hello, it's summer time: food is growing, birds and squirrels and rabbits and bees and worms and me all enjoy the bounty of my organic garden. And it's the longest day of the year. 

-- But --

The winter solstice is a turning point and now we get a few extra minutes of sunlight with each passing day. 







15 December 2013

(24 x 24) + (24 x 4) =

...the number of square-inches I am tiling.




I hope it turns out okay. 

02 December 2013

Pictures from Thanksgiving

I drove down to the east side of St. Louis to spend Thanksgiving with my family and just as I was leaving, my dad wanted to take pictures. 

First, he took a picture of me with this animal, Jeff. He's been a close family friend since before I was even born. 

Then we went in the kitchen and I took a picture of my dad and Gramma Sue.

Then my dad took a picture of Gramma Sue and me.

Then Gramma Sue took a picture of me and my dad.

Then I took a picture of my mom sleeping on the couch.

The end.

21 November 2013

Mosaic ice cream cone

The glue hasn't yet dried.


The ice cream is made of "sea spikes," but I don't know what exactly that means. Maybe I should ask.

Also: Mosaic Staticy-television Face


14 November 2013

400 O'Clock

I spent a lot more time in the kitchen today than what I have been at my new job.

I mentioned something to one of the chefs about how I noticed he never sets a timer and I have to use one always. He said that after years of professional cooking, he just knows when to go back and check on the various foods he has cooking all at the same time. So then I said something along the lines of, "I mean, it's difficult to keep track of time since the digital clock on the oven is stuck on 4 o'clock."

"Hey, Jeannette, in case it ever comes up at your house.....you should know that four-zero-zero means four hundred degrees, not four o'clock."

D'oh!

I blogged about this


13 November 2013

Same Mosaic, Different Job


Other than visiting family and catching up with a deeply-loved and missed friend, I haven't been up to much. Gardening season is over....maybe next year I'll venture into cold-weather growing. I'm dragging my feet on the robot mosaic. Normally I work on a project and can't seem to get enough, but I'm not motivated on this one. I ordered some materials and hopefully can settle on the boy's ice cream and his face and chest. Then I need to figure out the girl's bow. Then maybe tape off and grout all that stuff....or figure out a way to make myself feel like the bike chain pieces aren't going to easily detach. Then I can worry about the background, which I have no idea what to do, except maybe have all the pieces shaped like triangles. What to do; what to do?

Very slowly figuring out the #robot #mosaic. I may have finally found materials for the boy's face and ice cream.

In other news, I love my new job at Just Right Eating. It's been eye-opening to learn about food and what it means to eat balanced meals. I've spent the last several years learning about processed and packaged frankenfoods, realizing they are a substance created in the lab for people (and their pets) to eat in place of whole foods. I didn't figure that one out until age 33.

I've spent the last couple of years growing vegetables, canning food, preparing homemade meals and portioning them out for leftovers, and so on. My next step is to grasp what it truly means to eat a well-balanced diet. Heck, I'm not even following the meal plan true to the way Stephanie has intended for all of the people who are eating her food four times a day seven days a week, but I've noticed I have more energy, I don't feel tired after meals and I don't feel bloated. I am eating a much wider variety of foods than what I am used to and I feel better. Stephanie educates and inspires me to eat healthier and work harder every day.

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Listening to: The Twilight Zone - The Midnight Sun
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30 October 2013

Sometimes I feel like-- I'm my mom

Other times I feel like-- I'm my dad.

One Score and One and a Half Decades Ago
1979, I think.

I don't know how to explain it well enough to recreate the moment; sometimes I'm just doing my thing and I suddenly feel like I'm my mom. It's not that I feel similar to her -- but I feel like I am her. My mannerism, posture, tone of voice, something triggers a sensation where I suddenly become aware that I am her.

And it's not like she's dead and I'm being contacted from beyond the grave. In fact, both of my parents are alive and well.

My parents, brother and me, 20+ years ago.
My parents, brother and me, last Christmas (2012).

There are other times when I find myself feeling as if I am my dad. I was sitting here paying bills and deleting emails earlier tonight when I suddenly became aware - never realizing the moment where I zoned out - but then I came to, rocking out to some bad ass head banger shit.
It's what I imagine Déjà vu feels like. 

And then I wrote this post.


24 October 2013

Last Day

I found a new job in Springfield and it's awesome. 

Conversely, I'm going to miss Food Fantasies like crazy. Come to think of it, I've been in three times in the six days since I stopped working there.


Oh-ba-dee
Oh-ba-da

09 October 2013

Sunflower seeds

Have you ever wondered where sunflower seeds come from? Untitled

They come from a flower.
 Sunflower Seeds

One giant flower.
Sunflower!

I actually felt really bad holding the decapitated head of this behemoth.
Untitled



02 October 2013

Adventure






Any guesses as to what I explored today?

UPDATE:
Thank you Iggy and Desotoe Joe for their guesses!  ...it's the old Matheny school behind the post office on Cook St in Springfield, IL. It was a super awesome behind the scenes tour.

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Listening to: Family Guy!
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25 September 2013

I forgot to tell you

I finished this mosaic last week.

#mosaic :: #complete

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08 September 2013

Knock, knock, knock... Hello? Anybody home??

I've been doing so much lately, I have tons to write about, but no time to write anything because I'm too busy gardening, canning, cooking, cleaning, mosaicing, working, reading books. I visited Sasse's Apiary last week and had most of a post written via my phone and somehow lost it all. I hate when I do that. I'm not sure why it isn't auto-saving, but even as I type this an error message keeps popping up at the top of my blogger window, "An error occurred while trying to save or publish your post."

Though I'd like to rewrite a post about my visit to the apiary, I probably won't. I never even wrote anything about my awesome trip to Oregon at the end of July. Heck, I don't think I ever even wrote about setting the alarm off at work and three cops showing up.  I have a lot of blog ideas but haven't been bringing them to fruition.

-------No photo available. Flickr is being uncooperative--------

Flickr seems to get slower and less responsive with time. I also am not a fan of the new look....it discourages the social aspect of photo-sharing. I barely use the site anymore (though I may upload a bunch of pictures from my phone today.)

--------Another spot where I'd like to insert a photo.......

I can't believe how much I'm starting to enjoy cooking. I've tried two new things in the last week:

On Monday, I made salad dressing on my own for the first time. It was so freaking easy, I can't believe I've not done it before. Bonus: the dish I made it for got rave reviews at work. That day I picked quite a few tomatoes and several cucumbers in my garden (along with corn and okra). I wanted to make a tomato/cucumber/red onion salad. So I chopped those up along with some cilantro, then looked at my bottle of olive oil (Bragg's) and scratched my head for a moment.

I searched online for olive oil recipe, found a few and made up my own.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice concentrate

1 tablespoon sea salt

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped up

I mixed those few ingredients then dumped it over the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and cilantro. I then laid down for a nap and upon waking, I realized I should just add some couscous, garbanzo beans and feta cheese. So I did. And it was delicious.

I do not have a picture.

But today I'm making vegetable broth so here's a photo of that:

------Syke. (Flickr sucks today.)-------

So that's my second new food adventure, homemade vegetable broth. I have a giant container in the fridge where I've been keeping all the vegetable trimmings

Okay, let me see if I can add a photo from my trusty iPhone.


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Listening to: Country Teasers - Please Stop Fucking Each Other
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22 August 2013

Canning

.....I've been doing it a lot lately. 




09 August 2013

04 August 2013

Cukes

Each I year I attempt to grow a few new vegetables and I've been completely obsessed with my cucumber plants this summer. I had no idea how quickly they'd grow. And tall. It's beautiful, the way their tendrils reach with intent to climb higher and higher each day. I'm amazed.

Current Status: Obsessing over my #cucumber plant. #keepclimbing

Before I left for Oregon, I had one small cuke who'd barely started growing. Eight days later I picked six cucumbers within five minutes of arriving home. And today I picked two more.

There are a whole lot of little tiny cucumbers just starting out. Two weeks from now I may be in cucumber overload. Maybe now's a good time to start research pickling.

Any advice? (start pickling!)

Cucumber growth amazes me.

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Listening to: Shannon and the Clams - Troublemaker
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02 August 2013

Leaving Oregon

I don't want to go back to Illinois. I'd rather live in Eugene. I loved it. I met so many great people, saw so much, had an overwhelmingly positive experience. I have the Whiteaker Hostel to thank for that. (Mom, please remind me in a couple days to write a proper blog post dedicated to them.)

Making my way north toward PDX now. Sigh.




17 July 2013

Me at work

I startle easily. I'm the easiest person to sneak up on and get a reaction from. So a coworker tonight was all like, "heeeey. I saw a video and it reminded me of you."

This is what he sent.

And it really is me, except I am not a man and this video is not of me. But it's how I act when startled. Which is all the time. Nobody tries to startle me ever, but this is what I do when I see people. All the time. It's so ridiculous. There's probably a similar youtube video of me, but Beefy didn't have the heart to tell me.




09 July 2013

I should start a new mosaic

....or at least post 'real' photos of the last one I finished.

26 June 2013

Today's my dad's birthday

He's super awesome and I sure do love him a lot.

My Dad and his latest thrifting score

Recently I tried to update my phone and inadvertently wiped it clean. I was most sad about losing the videos my dad has sent me, but quickly realized that he'll keep making more.

Over the weekend my mom repainted some concrete yard statues and my dad made up a story about the group of them drying in the yard. I can watch these countless times and never tire of them.

video


Listen to some of his favorite bad ass head banger shit: Pantera.



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Listening to: Pantera
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25 June 2013

Creamer?


Each thought feels vast - exploring any little idea turns into a production. The large gap in blog posts stemmed from the problem of writing about ingredients in my coffee creamer. Compare the old creamer's ingredients to the new creamer's ingredients...but each word turned into a deep web of thought.
Coffee Creamer Ingredients
Vs

My "new" coffee creamer ingredients

I'm not sure my "healthy" creamer is eating the best I can. I haven't tried this yet, but feel the cleanest option is for me to make my own vanilla sugar and my own nut milk - I'll have to experiment with different nuts to see which milk tastes best in coffee. When it comes to the fake stuff, I haven't been a fan of hazelnut, but I'm willing to make my own and give that a try. From what Christopher has taught me, to make any nut milk, soak the nuts for several hours then blend the nuts and water until it gets milky, then run it through a cheesecloth. Sounds easy, but I haven't attempted this yet myself.

Use your favorite search engine to see what some of the above words and phrases mean, you might be surprised to learn what you're putting into your body.

partially hydrogenated soybean oil
partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil
sodium caseinate
disodium phosphate
mono- and diglycerides
natural flavors
artificial flavors
color added
colored with titatnium dioxide
dipotassium phosphate
carrageenan
natural flavors
cellulose gum
cellulose gel

not to mention the "good" stuff like

organic coconut milk
dried cane syrup
water
guar gum

Roxanne's plants

I stopped providing links a while ago. Utilize your Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V commands, people.

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Listening to: The Yolks - Temptation
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29 May 2013

Advice from a teenager

My biggest weakness, by far, is self-doubt. No matter how great other people tell me I am there's always a voice in my head telling me I'm not good enough, I didn't try hard enough, I screwed up, I'm not worthwhile, I'm not creative, I'm ugly, I'm inadequate, I'm gross, I could go on but you get the point. I have a tendency to overly criticize myself.

I used to attribute this to low self-esteem, but Prescription for Nutritional Healing has me convinced it's due to depression. The book discusses a "chronic low grade depression called dysthymia." Harvard Medical School's dysthymia page sums it up well by writing, "The Greek word dysthymia means 'bad state of mind' or 'ill humor.'" It lists a variety of symptoms and a few that stand out for me are: disturbed sleep, low self-esteem, excessive guilt.

What I don't like about this page is that nowhere will you find the words nutrition, nutrients, food, vitamins, essential fatty acids, amino acids, or anything of that sort. So let me go back to Prescription for Nutritional Healing. I have the fourth edition and on page 352, it explains: 
Foods greatly affect the brain's behavior. A poor diet, especially one with a lot of junk foods, is a common cause of depression. The levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which regulate our behavior, are controlled by what we eat, and neurotransmitters are closely linked to mood.
I'm making a concerted effort to control my mood through diet and while I feel better, I still have a tendency to excessively look for (and invent) faults within myself.

I digress.

This was a bit of background information for the story I actually want to tell. 

Today at work while we were pricing new products in the back, I was talking about how nervous I feel regarding this important thing that may or may not happen in my life. I didn't realize I was talking badly about myself but our newest employee, Beth, who is 17, walked in the back and shut me up quick! "JEANNETTE! You better knock that off! You're awesome, you deserve great things and great things will come to you. I better not catch you talking shit about yourself again!!" Then she walked back onto the floor.

When I got home from work I called her to thank her for talking me down from a ledge of negativity. I tried saying, "I can't help myself. I should've ____ and I shouldn't have ___ and I probably ____" but she immediately cut me off.
Jeannette, you better keep those negative thoughts away. Don't even let them linger! Listen to your friends and family. Everyone is telling you, "You got this!" Attract what people are saying to you. DO YOU WANT THIS!? (me: Yes!) Envision it. See it. You got this, girl!
Advice from a teenager
Actual notes I wrote during our one-minute phone conversation.

A couple hours ago she sent me a text, "Just keep remembering you can have anything you want in life if you are willing to let go of the belief that you can't have it."

Pfft, teenagers. What do they know?

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24 May 2013

Stuff on my phone

I want to write about a lot of things at the moment, but my blog doesn't seem the best place for such personal thoughts. 

I spend a lot of time thinking about the past, analyzing the now and looking toward the future. I currently feel a bit mumble-jumbled inside, so I present a photo montage from whatever I find immediately meaningful on my phone. Probably all of these have been posted online somewhere before, so explanations feel unnecessary.

GO!


 
 
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ps - I'm still listening
to that same song
by the Country Teasers - I'm a New Person, Ma'am.
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