Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Quote: Source of Joy

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

~Thich Nat Hanh

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Before we even dive in I just want to warn you that unless there is a preexisting condition I don't know about you are probably not: drunk, suffering from vertigo, just off of a tilt-a-whirl, suffering from some sort of vision condition. Instead you are looking at the blurry and grainy photos of a four year old (taken before she was five). Long ago we gave Cordelia a camera made for young kids. The photo quality was very poor and we have since upgraded her to a better quality cheap camera, but I wanted to share a few of the hundreds of photos she took. Many of the photos are pretty hard to decipher or at very best unclear. I think the takeaway from this is just the focus...her life and her perspective. I am also omitting all of the photos she took of my art, she went through the whole house and took pics of any paintings she found by me.

Cordelia's photos
Our stove

Cordelia's photos
Light above the couch in the living room

Cordelia's photos
Eric at the window

Cordelia's photos
School art from last year

Cordelia's photos
Eric kissing Elise

Cordelia's photos


Cordelia's photos
One of us took a photo of Cordelia

Cordelia's photos
Toys tucked in for a nap.

Cordelia's photos
Me putting on a record while Bumblebee sleeps.

Cordelia's photos
Sparkling lights on a walk caught her eye.

Cordelia's photos
Street view, such a low is easy to forget how small children are.

Cordelia's photos
Me x 2

Cordelia's photos
Elise's feet

Cordelia's photos
View from our front window.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Phone Photo Friday

Hello! How are you on this fine Friday? What's new?

We had a good week. Beyond the normal there were lows (pink eye), lowest of lows (administering eye drops), highs (cast removal), and lovely family moments. Life continues on as usual.

My best dog friend.

I have this sweet fondue pot calling to me. What shall I make?

Been working in my sketchbook a lot lately.

The girls received coloring books as a surprise gift in the mail from longtime blog friend, Stacy, and have been working on them every day since! 

Elise with her coloring book.

Cold days = hot tea.

Sleeping Lucy.

Cordelia got her new school photos and I lined up the last three years.

An afternoon mess.

Listening to records with the girls.

I woke up with awesome hair one day his week. Just thought you should know.

Lucy tucks herself in under the blankets. It is pretty much totally adorable.

Antelope on the hillside.

Eric and Cordelia waiting at the doctor's office.

Elise having her cast sawed off. After a month of full protection it was time to see what was going in under there. The saw was super loud, hence the ear protection. The vibration made her shift a bit, but mostly she was perfectly still. She was super brave!

Inspecting the free limb, the skin was incredibly sensitive and she held the arm close for much of the day, but now she is using it a lot more. She will probably be back to normal mobolility in a day or two, pretty close already!

Her arm free, being held by Eric.

The temporary tattoo we put on the day that her arm was broken, before the break obviously, was perfectly preserved! New world record for temporary tattoos?

They sawed through the painting which saved me the trouble of feeling like I had to keep it.

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Stink Eye to Pink Eye

I was asleep, but then I heard it with my special mom sense. She began rolling in her bed and I knew she would soon stomp down onto the wooden floor. Her stomp too loud, the kind of loud that children make when they are trying to be quiet. Then the pounding of a five year old flat-footing it on hard wood. It was dark and I didn't open my eyes. I just rolled toward where I knew she would be on my side of the bed right next to my face, wanting to ask me if it was OK to get up and start the day. She has been warned to whisper quietly enough that now she doesn't really whisper, it is a strange breathy clicking that I can decipher, mostly because I know she is just asking if she can get up. Only that isn't what she asked, instead it was like something from a bizarre dream.

"Ummm mommy.."
"Why is there food on my eyes?"
"Um yeah, I picked it off. And can you trim my eyelashes?"

Now the fog began to lift and I just knew. Somehow parents just know. My mind flashed over the shopping cart, the big one with a car that is up top....and then to preschool and some faceless child wiping germy hands on the handrails....PINK EYE. Conjunctivitis. Pretty much the plague.

"Don't touch me. Don't touch anything until we wash your hands."
"Why mommy?"

Ugh, and so I explained pink eye to Cordelia. She had a lot of questions, a lot. She always has a lot of questions and I try my very best to patiently answer them all, because her young mind is so hungry to learn...even before the sun is up and her eye is crusted over. She suggested that she drink lots of water, because that is healthy.

School was called off. A meeting was cancelled. And many hands were washed, again and again.
I called the doctor and he didn't even want us to come to the office, just called in a prescription. So the girls and I went and filled it. We also made a stop for some art supplies....while there Cordelia asked the checkout lady if she was a man or a woman (ahhh).

The silver lining is that pink eye, while crazy contagious, is pretty much a minor annoyance and completely treatable. Happy to live in a day and age where something like this is no big deal. 

Plus, I got to spend the day with my girls.

Vegan Recipe: Coconut Almond Rice Pudding

Almond coconut Rice pudding by Rooted Vegan

Good morning! How about a vegan recipe today? This time of year my sweet tooth is pretty much insatiable. When I say this time of year I mean all times of year. So let's not linger on that fact, instead let's make something to eat.

    Almond Coconut Rice pudding by Rooted Vegan
    You will need:
    2/3 c arborio rice
    2/3 c sweetened coconut flakes
    2/3 c sugar
    1 c vanilla almond milk  (+ more if needed)
    1 13.66 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
    2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    1/4 tsp almond extract
    1/2 tsp fine grind sea salt
    1/3 c toasted coconut (put coconut in a dry skillet and heat on high, watching closely, until golden) 
    lime zest
1. Combine milks, sugar, rice in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. When it starts to simmer add the untoasted coconut flakes.
2. Add everything but the toasted coconut flakes. Stir to combine.
3. Simmer until the rice is tender and pudding-y. You'll need to babysit this a bit to keep it from sticking/burning at the end. Just hang out in the kitchen while you cook. If the rice seems dry add vanilla almond milk  1/3 c at a time.
4. Serve hot or cold and garnish with lime zest and toasted coconut. Enjoy!! ~Maria Rose 

almond coconute rice pudding by Rooted Vegan 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Project: Ice Balloons

 ice balls

It's no secret that it has been mighty cold here in the state of Wyoming. Often that cold is coupled with insane wind which means we spend a lot of time indoors. Thankfully this often leads us to come up with fun projects. Yesterday after lunch the girls and I decided to freeze some water-balloons.I added a little color to the balloons to give them something special. I used it as an opportunity to talk about freezing and solid vs. liquid, see what I did there? Educational points, boom. We also talked about the dilution of color, having added a very dark color to the balloons.

You could also add seeds or small leaves for a more natural/adult look that would also benefit animals.

We set them out in backyard the snow for the night.

ice balls

This morning I gathered them up in a big sauce pan and brought them inside, leaving a few outside to freeze all the way through, in spite of the frigid temps the balloons weren't completely frozen.

ice balls

I cut off the balloons and there was a little gushing as the unfrozen middles poured out over the sink. I wasn't sure if this was a win or a fail at first. I mean I certainly hadn't expected them to gush water from the middle.

ice balls

I decided that I really liked the hollowed out globes, they had a really delicate beauty to them.

ice balls

Then we took them out front and set them in the snow as temporary decorations. If I were having a party I think I would do this with a dozen or so balloons and then insert led lights into the hollow center, it would be magical!

ice balls

The girls were impressed with our little project.

ice balls

I mean really, it's pretty.

ice balls

They look a bit like the glass water balls that people use to water indoor plants.

ice balls

 Who knows, when the balloons I left outside are solidly frozen we might have to invent ice bowling.

ice balls

Monday, November 17, 2014

Slowing Down Weekend


Life has been pretty hectic lately. Between Eric working as co-interim director at the museum, his band schedule, our art careers,  my several teaching jobs, speaking engagements, writing and photography deadlines, volunteer work, oh and parenting, maintaining friendships, life/home maintenance---we are always so busy. People will often ask what we are up to and Eric and I will make eye contact that essentially says,"how deep do we want to take this?" Mostly when people ask what I have going on I just list off a couple of things and then I stop myself. I mean most people are just being polite and don't want to hear or even care what we are doing. We are always doing something! 

I suppose part of that is just being artists. We are working on projects, sketching, working on ideas at all times. We rarely just sit around. I mean even when we watch a movie we will often work while watching. Most artists I know are like this, and while it is work it is also part of being. Creatives tend to work always, we don't stop when the clock hits five.

Regardless of this I don't really think there is much value to constantly being busy. People regularly tell me,"I don't know how you do it." And it certainly doesn't make me feel proud. Instead I wish I could tell people that I did nothing all day. I mean beyond parenting and creating.

With that in mind Eric and I mostly took the weekend off. Sure I gave some painting lessons and Eric had practice, but on Saturday the girls never left the house. They got to wear whatever they wanted; Cordelia wore a dress with no tights (an indoor treat in the frigid cold) and Elise opted to stay in pajamas with a red straw hat. We sat around. We read!!! We played. It was wonderful to just turn off a bit. 

So now I am going to make more of an effort to scale back a bit. I have a lot going on and that is great, but I also understand the value of empty hours.
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