Monday, April 29, 2013

The Month of May

Life is like a miniature three-ring circus sometimes.

I've missed this blog. It was never my intention to leave it for so long; to wait for an elusive muse to strike before I write. It was better when I forced myself to post something every day, if only to help me stay connected to writing. I've lost that lately.

Life is still a little too hectic to go back to writing a post each day. But I did read an idea posted by another blogger that I think I may try this May. Asha Marie suggests choosing one theme every month and then taking one photo per day for the month that represents that theme. As soon as I read the idea, I was excited. I think I can manage this.

The hard part is choosing a theme for May. Work will settle down a smidgen for the month, before it gears into overdrive in June. My daughter's soccer season is well underway, and means we're at the soccer field four days a week. The school year is wrapping up. I'm hoping against hope that I may see my son for Mother's Day. I'm already trying to cram too much into Memorial Day weekend.

So, theme...theme... what can I use as my theme?

I think for May, which is sure to be busy, my photo theme will be: ACTIVITY.

Hopefully, activities won't get in the way of this project!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Yay for Earth Day!

These are trees we planted from free saplings we got at
Earth Day events 4 years ago.
I love Earth Day. Now that it's stretched to a week, and there are community programs going on everywhere, it's even better. I usually try to get out and pick up cans and bottles along the road to recycle, but didn't do that this weekend. Instead, we loaded up the car with broken-down electronics and headed to an e-cycling event.

We've been stepping over old computer hard drives, monitors, and televisions for years. They just pile up in our garage because we never knew what to do with them. Best Buy will recycle them for $10 each, but I just never got around to it. Then a local bank sponsored a program this weekend. You could bring a carload of electronics for a $10 donation (that turned into $30, once they saw all our stuff). Still, it was probably the best $30 we've spent in a long time. It made me feel good to get rid of all that junk and know that it wouldn't just be piling up in a landfill.

Earth Week 2013 is off to a good start, but there are more festivities to come.

Look for these Earth Day activities in your area:

Free Coffee at Caribou Coffee

Here's an Earth Day freebie to get you up and going. Bring in a reusable mug or tumbler to your nearest Caribou Coffee on Earth Day, April 22, and you'll get filled up with a free coffee.
For every new like Caribou Coffee gets on Facebook, their sponsors will plant a fruit tree in Central or South America.

Free Reusable Bag From the Disney Store

Bring in 5 plastic shopping bags into your local Disney Store on April 22nd and you'll get an Earth Day freebie of a free reusable bag. Looks like you'll get to choose between a Brave or Cars 2 bag.

Free Packet of Seeds From Pottery Barn Kids

Stop into a nearby Pottery Barn Kids store on April 20-22 and pick up a free packet of seeds from PBK.

Free Ball Jar Planters and Reusable Bags at Jo-Anns

Stop by your local Jo-Ann fabric and craft store on Sunday, April 21 and participate in a free make-and-take where you create a free Ball jar planter.
In addition, the first 50 customers on Monday, April 22, will get a free reusable tote bag.

Free Milkshake at EVOS

EVOS has a tasty Earth Day freebie. Stop into an EVOS on Earth Day, April 22, to get a free organic milkshake.

Free Entrance Into National Parks All Week

This Earth Day freebie will really help you celebrate the Earth! Go out to almost 400 national parks this week (April 22-26) and you don't have to pay an entrance fee.
Check with each national park as well because there are many free events happening this week.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Immediate Reactions to Boston

Naturally, the news of the bombings at the Boston Marathon came as a shock. More than that, it just didn't make sense. I couldn't, and still can't quite wrap my mind around it. I don't understand what a terrorist was trying to accomplish by setting off bombs at a marathon, other than to instill fear. If that was the mission, then mission accomplished. At least, for those who have anything to do with marathons.

My husband and son are marathon runners. My daughter and I usually sit in the spectator stands, just like the families did there. So my husband's immediate reaction was that we couldn't go watch anymore. And that he needs to start running faster (or slower, I pointed out) since he would have been crossing the finish line just as the bombs went off. The bomber certainly timed that right to hit the majority of runners and spectators.

But these were knee-jerk reactions. There's no reason to think that this will happen again, or that precautions won't be taken. There's really no reason to be alarmed. Especially because that plays into the objective that the terrorist(s) had in the first place: to instill fear. And I'm not going to give him/them the satisfaction.

After 9/11, I vowed not to let terrorism affect my actions. I don't want to let fear prevent me from living and enjoying the things I do. So I'll go to my husband's next marathon and sit in the stands, terrorists be damned!

But at the back of my mind, there is that tiny niggling; that slight hesitation in wondering whether or not it will be safe.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fool-proof Eggs

I am not a crafty person. Most of my artwork and projects look like a toddler did them. I don't even care, because doing crafts doesn't give me any sort of pleasure. But tie-dying eggs was an exception. Not only did I have fun picking out the materials and prepping my eggs, but I was tickled pink with how they turned out. I want to dye all of my eggs from now on!

My daughter-in-law sent me instructions she found on Pinterest. She'd dyed eggs at her house and they were beautiful. I told her I was going to try it, but she probably didn't believe me. But, surprise! I ended up sending her pictures of our masterpiece eggs, too.

The process is simple: buy 100% silk ties at the thrift store. There were more there than I'd thought!

Cut them apart so that you only have the silk, not the backing. Then, wrap pieces of silk around the eggs tightly, with the front of the tie against the egg. Use a twist-tie to secure it closed. Then wrap the egg in a piece of white cloth. (We cut up one of my husband's old t-shirts.) Twist that shut, too.

Boil the eggs in water with 1/4 cup white vinegar for 20 minutes.

Another craft project gone wrong?

Here's where I thought we went wrong. I removed the eggs from the pot with tongs and was skeptical that they would turn out as anything but purple eggs. I thought maybe we hadn't tied them tightly enough to stop the red and blue dyes from swirling into a pot of purple.

After they cooled, we unwrapped them, and were excited to find pretty patterns and swirls inside. They were gorgeous!

I want to dye more eggs now for the heck of it. I may start bringing a lot of hard-boiled eggs to work for lunch, now that I've finally found a craft I enjoy. Who cares if I don't really like eggs? I like dyeing them.