Guys. This is the best curry I’ve ever made. I borrowed from like four different recipes, so I can’t even claim to have invented it, but I can definitely share it.
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 medium yellow onion
2 Tbsp curry powder
0.5 Tbsp cumin
0.25 tsp black pepper
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup lentils (I used yellow because I had yellow, but color doesn’t matter)
4 cups vegetable broth (I used bullion + water)
1 can (13-14oz) unsweetened coconut milk
Heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, curry, and cumin. Cook until onion is softened. Add carrots, potato, lentils, broth, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add coconut milk, and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally. Serve over basmati rice.
If you wanted more spice, I’m betting this would be amazing with the addition of some red pepper flakes. I’ll add some next time!
I hate it when people say, “New Year, New Me.” As if there was something wrong with the old you? I promise I’m the same person I was a week ago. And I’m good with that.
I’d reflect on 2012, but I kind of really don’t want to think about it. Much of it wasn’t fun. I did get this fantastic new nephew and a fabulous sister-in-law. And I’m claiming to be Aunt Meg to my friends Jen and Patrick’s new baby. I adore all of them. Those are my favorite things from 2012. So I’m keeping those and leaving the rest of it behind.
I rang in the new year with my BFF, friend Kristi, and their little family of housemates in Baton Rouge. It was a fantastic and relaxing few days, and I’m grateful that they opened their home to me. I ate (mostly) vegetarian and gluten-free while I was with them, and I survived – EVEN ENJOYED – the delightful food they prepared. I also got to see my friend Brooke and talk wedding details with her for her April wedding (yay!). AND I got to meet up with my brother Aaron and his girlfriend Cam for a little while on New Year’s Day.
People make these long lists of things they want to do or accomplish in the new year. That’s fine, and all, but mine looks a little something like this:
-Turn 30 – this will happen, whether I’m ready for it or not, at the end of this month
-Graduate – pleasepleaseplease
-Find a job – pleasepleasepleasepleasePLEASEpleaseplease
That’s about it. All the change I can handle for one year. I mean… I’d like to write more and read more and help more and learn more, but I’m just not sure I can promise anyone (even and especially myself) that I’ll do any of that in the coming year. I’m just going to work on those three things up there.
I hope your 2013 is fabulous so far.
I love Easter. It’s my favorite holiday, and not just because I’m passionate about Cadbury eggs. I mean… I am, but…
Top: Reed, Ansley, Mary, Aaron, Cameron, Anna, James
Bottom: Uncle Bill, Grandma (Barbara), Dad (Buddy), Ansley, Dad (Buddy), Mom (Kathy)
Today was fantastic. It was a bright, sunny day. The three church services I sang in were full of energy and life. My brother and his girlfriend were up from Baton Rouge, and our visit as a family was awesome (even though we missed Daniel – he’s studying abroad in Paris!). And the food was good, too, even if I’m a tad bitter about not having any Peep cake.
It’s Christmas break, right? Right.
So why have I spent my ENTIRE day doing separations homework?
I’m so frustrated with this assignment.
Joey and I took a break from homework to take his precious Auggie to the park. It was a delightful break for ALL of us.
D’awww! You can tell his daddy is his hero, right?
This is SUCH a typical Auggie expression. And look at the sand in his beard!
Forsythe Park at sunset was a glorious place to be.
Back to the grind… Joey and I were just lamenting the lack of “cool” places to do homework on a Friday night. When we realized…
I love this place.
So when I got my new camera, I knew it was the first place I had to go to play around with it.
I don’t claim to be a great photographer – or even a good one. But I love taking pictures.
This morning was perfect (early, anyway – before it got cloudy). The sky was clear and super blue.
My grandfather had a huge love for this place – Black Bayou NWR. He volunteered many hours there. He also loved photography and taught me to love it. So this morning, when I spent some time taking pictures in one of his favorite places, I felt really connected to Gramps. I think he would have liked these.
This looks like a bad photo of a regular coat hanger right? Until you read what’s in the card. In my grandmother’s handwriting:
“Grandpa didn’t like cardboard on his hangers so he took them apart and replaced the cardboard with wooden dowels. This hanger should remind you of grandpa’s legacy. If you don’t like something, make it better.”
This Christmas present might be my favorite this year. What a great thought with which to end 2011 and look toward 2012. Merry Christmas, everyone.
I had my annual-ish “friendsgiving” party on Sunday night! Everyone comes over, eats lots of Thanksgiving-type food, and helps me decorate my house. Always a good time. Here’s a glimpse of Christmas at my house:
I made this fantastic wreath using this tutorial. Cute, right? And it only cost about $7 to make and took about 30 minutes!
Stockings, Christmas village, tree! I put up significantly fewer village pieces this year than I usually do. Trying to scale back, you know.
And here’s my Nativity and my Star Wars Advent calendar! Woo! (Yes, Jesus is already in the Nativity scene – He’s stuck in with double-sided foam tape.)
Just a peek. What’s your favorite part of Holiday decorating?
Okay. I’m not one of those crazy obsessed Twi-hards. I’m not one of those creepy old ladies who tattoos herself with Edward Cullen’s hollow gaze. I don’t swoon every time Jacob appears shirtless (I’m not sure how you have time to recover from one swoon before moving along to the next). I’m not gaga over Bella’s trembling bottom lip. I was reluctant to the fandom (and I still don’t really like most of the Twi-verse).
But I still love it. I devoured the books (except the second one – ugh), and I’ve been looking forward to the release of the last movies. I think the story says interesting things about our culture and… well… us. So here are 5 reasons Twilight appeals to me. And maybe to you.
1. There’s something to be said about the allure of two mythical creatures fighting over your affections. Amirite? I mean… come on. Who can’t get into that?
2. Sometimes there’s more than one right choice. Team Jacob? Team Edward? Team Bella Sandwich? I think everyone can relate to the feeling of having to choose between two equally valid, acceptable, even desirable options. Especially knowing that a choice means devastation on the part of someone else. I’ve been here a handful of times. And I’m not just talking about love – we have to choose which candidate to hire, which employee to lay off, which the-same-as-every-other politician for whom to vote, which bill to pay, which music to remove from an iPod to make room for more, whom to choose for our kickball team, and on and on and on. Life is full of decisions that are exquisitely, excruciatingly painful, and we get to watch that played out on the big screen in Bella.
3. Bella is just like me: awkward, clumsy, mousy brown hair, nothing all that extraordinary to look at. But there’s something special in her un-special-ness, and people see it. Sometimes people just SEE us, and those are people with whom we want to connect. We want that. It’s part of that need for interaction and connectedness that makes us wholly, perfectly human. Something in me sparks when I see someone recognize Bella as special, because it means someone might see ME as special.
4. Even when something is terribly written, the content can still be worth your time. We live in a world where one typo on your resume’ can eliminate you from consideration for the job of your dreams (or any job, for that matter). I’m the most guilty of the bunch. If there’s a typo in the local paper (about 2341234124 times/day) I tune out. If a blog has a gazillion misspellings, I move on. Heck, I might not even read my own blog – my punctuation is terrible, I use parentheses entirely too much, and I have a million fragments. But the person behind the imperfect resume’ could be an extraordinary employee, the local paper still has news I need to know about my area, and blogs worldwide can have an incredible impact on our communities. The MESSAGE is still there. The content is still relevant. I just need to get off my high horse and learn to appreciate it.
5. The perfect guy is still kind of an asshole. People make mistakes. Sometimes people abandon us, heartbroken and helpless, in the middle of the woods for several days. Whatever. It was a mistake. Even several-hundred-year-old vampires who should know better are imperfect. Because everyone is. The perfect guy doesn’t exist. I think that’s an important message for our young people (and those of us who happen to be 28-year-old, divorced, bitter old hags). Everyone’s human, and we should extend the same sort of acceptance and forgiveness we want for ourselves.
And there you have it… The five ways I see a little bit of myself in Twilight. If you’re human, I suspect you can see yourself in there, too. If you’re a vampire or a werewolf, it’s even easier.
Gramps adored Grandma. Anyone could see it – even at the very end. Once, in the CV-ICU at Glenwood Hospital during the last week of his life, a bunch of family members were standing around visiting with him. He turned to Grandma and said, “They can go” and motioned us out of the room. He wanted to be alone with her.
Grandpa & Grandma on their honeymoon
Gramps had an amazing sense of humor. About to undergo open heart surgery, he and Grandma were explaining the procedure to my cousin Mary. The anesthesia was starting to kick in. Grandma explained that they would crack his ribs open and spread them apart, and Gramps chimed in, “And then they’ll put barbeque sauce alllll over me!” and promptly went unconscious. He was in the hospital in ICU for a long time after that, following a complication during the surgery. For a while, we were sure those would be his last words. He proved us wrong.
Also before that surgery, Dad was sitting with Gramps and they were talking. He told Dad the story of walking to work during the depression and walking by his family’s business. His father was being evicted from his store, and Gramps was unable to stop and help him, knowing that if he were late for work, he would be fired. This memory still haunted him more than 60 years later.
Gramps had a box of saltine crackers with a faucet attached. He said it was where he got his “cracker juice.”
Gramps loved the environment and said it was our obligation – even a Biblical obligation – to take care of the planet. His work with the Black Bayou NWR and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is part of his immense legacy.
Gramps was so proud of his Eagle Scouts – my three brothers. He wrote poems for each of them when they received their awards.
Gramps loved to see me sing in the church choir. He also loved to hear me sing with Dad.
Gramps holding me as a baby
Gramps loved computers and wanted to be on the cutting edge as much as possible. He was fascinated with my iPod and iPad. He once called my iPad my “play pretty.”
Gramps loved to take pictures. He loved to see pictures we took wherever we went, always praising anything that was even a little bit artistic about our snapshots. He taught me how to use his darkroom and what the different chemicals did. He is one of the reasons I was interested in chemistry from a young age.
Gramps was an Army hero – a proud World War II veteran – a Bronze Star recipient. He loved to tell us stories from World War II and show us artifacts from his time there.
Grandma and Gramps loved to travel. From missions trips to Africa to Caribbean cruises to traveling the Netherlands, they got to see a lot. Gramps loved sharing all the photos and slides he made during their trips and teaching us the new words he learned when he was away.
Another large piece of Gramps’ legacy is the group of adults he taught to read in adult literacy classes. Reading and writing was very important to him, and he wanted to offer the chance to read and write to others who thought they never could.
Gramps was an artist – a graphic designer by trade. When my Dad and his brothers were little, they would walk through Sears or another store and Gramps would point out the packages he’d designed. He even used my Dad’s baby brother as a model for Sears brand barbells!
Gramps wouldn’t go to church without a coat and tie, if not a suit. Dad explained that he came a long way from the generation before him – at his parents’ house, they wore a coat and tie to breakfast!
For his 70th birthday, Gramps went parasailing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gramps was an amazing son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. He was an amazing Christian, steward, activist, and teacher. He loved his family, the beach, crabbing, putting random objects on his nose, meeting new people, the United Methodist Church, beer, peanuts, art, birds, and life. He would tell you that he is WAY behind on his fishing. We bury Gramps’ body tomorrow, but his spirit is already somewhere else doing incredibly cool things. We’ll miss him like crazy.