Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Simple blessings

Today marked the final day of teaching my Kids A Cookin' and Movin' curriculum in the elementary schools for this year. It was my final class at Hope Elementary in the itty bitty town of Hope, Kansas. I often forget how fabulous attending a small rural school can be and how easy quality education comes with small class sizes and rural values. They were my favorite class. This would be due to the fact that they were the most behaved children. They were often sitting quietly waiting for me to show up and begin class. These were the kids that actually raise their hand to answer questions, and the kids that actually pay attention and give me correct answers. These are the kids that fight over who gets thirds on snack time, and also the children that gave me the greatest reward. I know that my time at the other schools has been worthwhile and rewarding as well but a girl feels extra special after a moment like today. Let me explain.

Today I was the recipient of a classroom group hug. The second grade teacher at Hope asked if I would like to participate in something they do for special people. It's a tradition in their classroom when somebody does something extra special to make them the center of the group hug. Quickly room was made in the middle of the classroom for me to be the middle of such group hug. I almost fell over with the 15 children that blessed me with their love. As I was leaving I was also handed a stack of handmade thank you cards. These children simply made my day. They were amazing and as I think back on the five weeks spent with them, I should be saying thank you for all the simple blessings I received!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Curbside pick-up

Tonight I made a curbside pick-up of some other person's trash. Actually, my good friend Ryan with his truck helped me out. Now that I've been biking to work I notice a lot more about the streets that I travel. I have the opportunity to make stops more frequently and with less of a hassle than pulling over and getting out of the car. I found these two really great chairs on somebody's curb and decided that after a little cleaning they would be perfectly good. These are definitely better than the three bar chairs I picked off the side of the road a couple of weeks ago. These were my finds:

They were definitely originally a green color and I've discovered that somebody spray-painted over them in blue. The wooden part could use a little sanding and vanish and I'm debating whether I want to take the time to do that or just leave them as is. Maybe spray paint them again? But they are definitely sturdy chairs made with quality wood and steel. Furniture is just not made like this anymore. 

My favorite piece in my living room right now is my rocking chair. This was the chair that my parents used when I was a baby and I had to do a lot of sanding, staining and varnishing to get it looking like this again. Definitely worth it, it's amazing. 

I'm still waiting to show complete pictures of my new place just yet because it's still not all put together nor do I have anything on the wall yet.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sans-Couch Surfing

Couch Surfing is a social networking site dedicated to the art of traveling and staying in really great places for free. Meeting new people and experiencing a little part of different lives near and far. It is a fabulous way to extend a generous hand and offer up empty spaces of our homes for others. I have had the great opportunity to take part in couch surfing twice while traveling across the US and this past weekend I had the great opportunity to host my first couch surfer. It was a great experience and I feel very blessed to have hosted a fabulous couch surfer. This couch surfer was a young man traveling via bicycle up the Chisholm Trail. Even though I am still without an actual couch in my apartment, he slept on the floor with his camping gear and then out at the farm for two nights. After a most pleasant Easter weekend in Abilene, Kansas he departed to travel to Lincoln, NE. His complete trip will be on a bicycle from Austin, TX to Lincoln. Amazing if you ask me.

I just may have been inspired to do more of this biking action. Today, after biking with Michael down to the Dickinson County Historical Society, I biked across town to Alco and Dollar General. Then I biked over to some friends' house. It was even a little wet and rainy but saving on gas and contributing a positive effect to my body and the environment are definitely worth a little moisture and cold.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I'm 25 years old and I'm moving into my own place for the very first time. This means that I have zero furniture and will be starting from scratch. In my mind this sounds completely ridiculous but I've always lived with other people and in furnished places. So where to start? It is the perfect time of the year for garage sales and such to find furnishings, and I've actually made it a little goal of mine to not buy anything new. So far I've dug through the giant pile of random furnishings being held up in a grain bin on the farm and have decided to use several things. These include a really comfy full size mattress and box-springs, a lovely antique dining table, several other antique tables, the rocker my parents used with me when I was a baby, a dresser, and two very old trunks. The apartment I'm moving into was built in the 70s and I thought I would round out the decor with more vintage things. I spent the entire day sanding, staining, and painting this old furniture and while doing so thought that I really should have taken before and after pictures. You'll get the after pictures after I get everything arranged in my new abode! Coming soon...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Happens

I'm going to blame my lack of recent posts on several things.

First, my ghetto camera. Every time I go to use my camera to take a picture of something worthy of a blog post it doesn't work. I now have two ghetto cams, both with some kind of wire malfunction. The screen does not always work with this camera and I've been trying the method of shaking it to get it to work. Failure.

Second, spring time brings many things to do outside and blogging about them gets put on back burner. This afternoon I rushed home from work early so that I could get outside and plant the remainder of my potatoes. If you know anything about planting in Kansas this is definitely late to be planting potatoes, but due to my inaccurate planning my potato planting was delayed. I desperately needed to get them in the ground before this crazy storm that is presently traveling through dumped all the rain. So far I have in the ground: potatoes, cabbage (although 90% of them already died), onions, garlic, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, turnips, mustard greens, swiss chard, and three protected tomato plants.

Third, finally moving to town. I've been talking about it for about 6 months now and I finally got down to it, looked at a lot of really crappy places, some great nice places, and decided on an average two bedroom apartment in a 4-plex. I'm a little apprehensive about living by myself, but I think it will be good for me for a while and I'm excited to finally make my very own space.

Fabulous sunset I captured.
I think it looked like a genie coming out of the bottle of earth.

Watering my new herbs with water from the full rain barrel!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Burger Delight

I had a recent success in the creation of my very own veggie burger. It was definitely inspired by the random contents of the fridge and a new blog find.

The contents:

  • Mung beans- these are tiny little green beans 
  • Quinoa- a fabulous complete protein File:Red quinoa.png
  • Carrot
  • Green onion
  • Oatmeal, I used some prepared and some dry
  • Egg
  • Curry powder
  • Salt & Pepper
I pureed all together in a food processor and then added additional oats until it was the consistency I wanted. Mushy but not too mushy. Then I slapped into the handy non-stick skillet and cooked on each side until crispy. Place between a toasted whole wheat bun, add some pesto, cheese, sprouts and lettuce and you have my fabulous burger delight!

On a most delightful day!