Dinner Blessings

Last week my preschool aged son came home from his secular (I thought) daycare singing a (rather religious) meal blessing they’d taught them in school. I was a little…miffed, I guess…by this. I’ve always been very much of the opinion that religion should be taught at home and in church (if that’s your path), but not in school (unless, of course, you’re attending a parochial school). I was brought up very liberally and encouraged to sample religions not of the mainstream (at least not in the rural-ish South) as a kid, a teen, and a young adult. Most of my formative years (from about 11 to about 17) were in a Unitarian Universalist church and that’s where I’ve found myself drawn to repeatedly as I’ve wandered (and wondered). Personally, I’ve never been one for much formal prayer. I’ve always been more of an ongoing informal conversation with God kind of girl. A very wise man…whose name escapes me at the moment…once said that if the only prayer you say in life is “Thank You.” that that will be more than enough. As a result of this kind of mindset, I was kind of at a loss for what to do.

 After talking to my (very wise) mother, I decided not to take issue with the school, but to go ahead and institute a meal blessing more to our taste in our home…and, also, to redouble my efforts to get us to our nearest UU church (almost an hour away…le sigh) on a more regular basis. So, tonight I’ve found a few blessings to set beside a candle on the table. I guess we’ll rotate through them until I find which one works best for us. 

This is my current favorite: 

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything your goodness sends,
Thank you!
—Adapted from a grace of Ralph Waldo Emerson by the
Rev. Phil Lund

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Feeding the Mind, Feeding the Body

I went to a workshop for work today and, in essence, it was all about incorporating different kinds of art forms (writing, music, visual arts…) into programs based around books for kids. It was very rejuvenating for me both professionally and personally. We created different projects as we went through the different types of programs. One was a poetry workshop using word webs. It was based off a poem about a lazy day, so thus were the poems we created. I tried to use most of the words we put onto the web as the group brainstormed and this is what I came up with:

A Perfect Day

Slothful, swinging Saturday

Sleepy and slow in my ease

Rain taps a restful beat

Upon the old tin roofed porch

Book, hammock, and a tea cup

Closing my eyes on the day

 

I’ve also made collages, toys of recycled materials, letters to fictional characters, and more today. Very good day creativity wise and it’s set me on a new direction for where to go with our older kids and teens programs at work.

Then, tonight, a little culinary fun occurred when I couldn’t find the recipe I was supposed to be making. So, I said, “What they hey…I sort of remember what’s supposed to be in this.” and created this instead.

Tex Mex Peppersteak Pockets

6 serving(s) Arnold Pocket Thins – 8 grain
2 medium green pepper(s)
1 small uncooked onion(s)
1/8 cup(s) fat-free sour cream
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz Goya Salsa, Verde, Medium
1 1/3 lb Rancher’s Reserve Tender Beef Beef Steak, Bottom Round
Instructions
Cut beef into strips and saute in olive oil. Begin adding your spices and 1/2 c. of the salsa. Meanwhile, slice your peppers and onions. Once beef is almost done, add peppers and onions. Saute until onions are translucent. Mix remaining salsa and sour cream. Stuff beef mixture into a pita half and top with salsa/sour cream mixture. Serves six.

That’s about it for now. Now to tidy up the house in prep for tomorrow’s busy day capped off with a *gasp* date night with the husband.

Hello!

Let’s see how many blogs have I had in the past? The longest running  one was probably the one I wrote from grad schoolish time up until right after my son was born. He’s three now. So, I guess I’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus. 

Recently, I’ve been re-evaluating the things that are important to me and to my life. A little too existential for my comfort zone really, but really it’s about finding happiness in all it’s myriad forms. I do love my life and my job, but I’ve begun to realize that in the last let’s say five years, I’ve been self identifying myself very narrowly. Wife, Mom, Librarian, Chief Cook and Bottle washer…and that’s about it. 

I feel like I’ve disconnected with the things that made me me in my younger life. I realize that a lot of times we grow out of things and leave them behind and that’s more than acceptable, But much of this feels like a loss…a lot of it is a lack of art. I’m a good writer. I won awards and praise for mine at a stupidly young age. I’m also a decent photographer and artist. I have a natural eye for composition and color. I was also a decent actress at one point in my life…I play crazy particularly well and I suppose that should be worrying. For the most part, I’ve done none of this in the last three to five years. And, yeah, I’ve been a little busy. Being a young wife and mom, kick-starting my career…all of that responsible adult stuff. However, I think it’s time to re-expand a little. 

Also, I’ve recently been diagnosed with some health problems all of which are related to my weight, so I’m trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle. I want to be a better role model for my son. I want to be healthy when he graduates from high school, college, gets married, have kids. I want to live a good long time. Being a diabetic with fat strangling my internal organs is not the way to do any of that. Thus, I joined Weight Watchers about a month ago. I’ve started a regular exercise regimen. My body has, rewardingly, shed 5 % of it’s weight in the last month. Speaking of…It’s time to get moving a little before bedtime and check my sugar level and all that jazz. 

Sweet Dreams world!