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Yesterday, we picked up our second week of CSA from Evening Song Farm. My goodness, I am just amazed at how things are growing so close to our house and I have, with the exception of tomatoes, essentially just seedlings in the garden. Plus, it was nice to meet Kara’s mom – also a fellow New Jersey-ite – and chat over the farm, the old Jersey neighborhood (since I grew up in the town next door to where she lives) and Vermont. I also ran into another acquaintance while I was there and we had a nice chat about the yoga class in town, which I am now going to definitely give a try. I probably could have been there talking for at least another hour, happily chatting away, except Tim was with me and after he was chatting for a while, politely reminded me that he did have to study for exams. Not only do I get my veggies, but I also get to talk to a bunch of very interesting people. Oh well, off we went.
This week I chose a beautiful head of lettuce, baby bok choy, spinach, green garlic, scallions, arugula, and chard. The variety that you can choose from is widely assorted – there were also radishes, salad turnips, mesclun mix, baby lettuce, parsley and kale – although I am sure that I am missing a choice or two.
For dinner last night, we enjoyed the lettuce in a salad. Today, I am sure that I am going to make sauteed baby bok choy again. That was delicious.
Sauteed Baby Bok Choy
1 bunch baby bok choy – with ends trimmed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
Saute the garlic in the olive oil at medium heat. Add the bok choy and Sriracha sauce.
Saute, stirring constantly until bok choy is tender crisp.
Sometimes people come into your life, stick around and make impressions upon you that you didn’t even realize existed.They help to guide you along and their advice is invaluable. As we journey through this adventure called life, we are sometimes fortunate enough to have people, aside from family and friends, who influence us and help to mold us into the people that we eventually become.
Some use the word “mentor” to describe this person, who is an advisor and gives counsel to another, guiding them along. The name “mentor” comes from Greek mythology and refers to a friend of Odysseus and tutor of Telemachus and whose name has become synonymous with true and faithful advisor.
Sometimes, we seek out this mentor, and sometimes, fate brings us to their doorstep. I arrived on this person’s doorstep in the form of a college kid looking for a job. I was seamlessly integrated into his world, he helped to foster me along and maneuver into and through the confusing, trying and exhausting jungle of law school and see me out on the other side with the title “Esq.” attached to my name.
Through many, many years, our paths crossed again and again, our families became entangled — I watched his daughters grow and turn into beautiful strong women who continue to make their father proud each and every day and he watched my family grow through marriage and children. All along that journey, I learned….a lot from him, most of which did not become apparent until many years later.
Even after I left his employ, returned and then left again to move to Vermont, we kept in touch. Phone calls most often since he wasn’t one for emails or cell phones – a little traditional or you might even say old fashioned. He taught me in a lot of ways how to be a good person and a good lawyer — he was both mentor and father-figure when my own dad passed suddenly. Quite honestly, in addition to my own dad and my husband, he was the only other man who could call me “kiddo” and elicit a smile and not a punch.
The last time we spoke was a year ago today, on his birthday. He had of all things, just gotten back from the Peace Corps (if you knew him, this would not in any way surprise you) after retiring from the law. Less than two weeks later, I got a phone call from his wife letting me know that he had passed away, suddenly from an infection he contracted while overseas. I cried… a lot. In a lot of ways it was almost like I had lost my own father all over again. He was there through a lot of the ups and downs of my life and I was gratified to label him my mentor and proud to call him a dear friend. I hope that my children are fortunate enough to find someone to enter their lives and impart upon them the same attention, knowledge and respect that I was lucky to have.
Happy Birthday JDH – Rest in peace. I think of you often and miss you just as much.
- Tracing the Origins of Mentoring and Its Progression Through the Ages (brighthub.com)
- How a Mentor Can Help You (brighthub.com)
You are not connected to the internet.
That was the message that flashed on my laptop screen after my computer and the ether digested my long winded post that I had just written. I desperately attempted to get it back, but no…..it was gone. WordPress was kind enough to keep just the title of post, just enough to remind me that I should be annoyed, and mostly with myself.
See, we have two wireless networks in our house, and my computer was in the other room where it, most obviously, was connected to the internet. Then, I took the laptop and moved across the house and I must have become “unconnected to internet”. Since I exited and then re-entered cyberspace, my words vaporized.
Much like the sign outside of Hannaford supermarket that says “Have you remembered your reusable shopping bags?” (Which I usually don’t remember until I see that sign. I like to inform the cashiers that the sign should really be stationed in my driveway instead of the entrance to the store where my bags and I are miles apart already) my computer should flash the message “You are not connected to the internet” as soon as I leave my office in advance of my needing it, so I would remember to rejoin the network, not after it is too late.
Alas, the trials and tribulations of life. At least know that you were spared having to read that post. Remember, be thankful for the little things.
So, it’s finally Friday. I don’t know about you, but our week has been busy and a tad stressful. Lots to get done, including a surgical procedure on middle son’s toe yesterday which I think stressed out Mom the most. In any event, here is some balloon art sculpture which is cool, whimsical and just down right pretty neat to see.
Thanks to the blog If It’s Hip, It’s Here, I ran across the airigami (that’s the word for air sculpture involving balloons evidently – learn something new every day) and the work of Larry Moss.
Here are just some of his sculptures — check out the website for much more!
- 12 Coolest Pieces of Airigami (oddee.com)
Today was our first CSA pickup! This afternoon, we ran over to Evening Song Farm to chat with Kara and Ryan and Echo (who was behaving himself very nicely with all those potential playmates coming and going) and gathered our first CSA of the season.
After spending a nice chunk of time speaking with Evening Song Farm owners, Kara and Ryan for my article that I did on their farm a month or so ago, I feel a connection to them. They are a genuinely nice couple that make you immediately feel at home. I was so very happy today to see so many people coming and going from the barn that is the CSA pickup location. They are a great addition to the community and I was so looking forward to the first pickup today.
Since I grow my own garden, and quite a large one at that, many people questioned my sanity at joining a CSA. Why would I do that? Simple answer, my family and I use more produce that I can produce and those that know us know that we have a lot of company. Since I usually go to the Rutland Farmer’s Market and purchase at least as many items as I am getting in my weekly CSA pickup, why wouldn’t I want to get a discount (yes it’s cheaper than purchasing the same items at the farmer’s market) and have the convenience of being able to pick it all up within five minutes of my own door? To me, these are good reasons, along with the fact that I’m helping a new local business get a leg-up in a less than desirable economy.
Since Evening Song Farm provides its members with a free choice CSA, I can tailor my weekly pickup to my needs which is another great idea in my opinion. This week’s pick looked like this:
Another good reason for joining was that my veggies are merely little seedlings right now and I’m certainly not growing a lot of what they have to choose from at the farm. We chose broccoli rabe, lettuce, baby lettuce, pea shoots, baby bok choy and these beautiful long and amazingly delicious garlic scallions that are at least two feet long.
Thanks so much to Kara, Ryan and Echo for some beautiful, fresh and delicious local veggies.
Needless to say, tonight’s dinner was angel hair pasta with sauteed broccoli rabe, garlic scallions, olive oil and crushed red pepper. It was delicious!
I came upon this from Learn This and thought it was information worthy to share – since we all need reminders once in a while.
The post was entitled “70 Reminders To Help You Break Any Barrier”
1. Believe that even the smallest compliment can save someone’s life
2. Remember that one person can change an entire nation
3. Understand that kids are smarter than we make them out to be
4. Just because old people are old, doesn’t mean they’ve lost their youth
5. Talent can be found under the dirtiest rock or in the most hopeless slum
6. Just because someone is poor in wealth doesn’t mean they are poor in spirit
7. Poverty is the greatest gift you can give a person. It is only then that they will have a choice to either become valuable or die as a quitter
8. Let the naysayers say nay and allow the criticizers to criticize: in the end you will have found greater happiness having pursued your dream
9. If a baby can smile living off of only breast milk and a mother’s love, you can smile too
10. The prettiest people can do the ugliest things
11. You are no different than the squirrel on that branch. You both eat a lot, hibernate for the winter, and have a tendency to be curious of humankind
12. From the CEO of a major corporation to the lowly janitor who sweeps where his boss stands; they are all insecure
13. To be creative is the most valuable thing in the world; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise
14. People conform because there is strength in numbers, but true strength comes from the person brave enough to stand alone
15. Unrealistic goals are hardly ever achieved not because they are impossible, but because everyone is too scared to make them real
16. Don’t be afraid to let those go who are hindrance to your high self-esteem, the life blood of your success
17. Embarrassment is a pointless emotion that only serves to confuse and over exaggerate reality
18. The only ways to stop negativity is to avoid it completely or face it head on
19. Irrational self confidence is worth more than rational defeatism
20. To live in no one’s reality but the one you’ve created for yourself is to achieve true happiness
21. Giving is one of the most underrated tactics to getting what you want
22. Fear the person who dreams unrealistically; one day he may acquire what he desireshel
23. Everyone has a weakness
24. Live and die as your passion; to be known as anything else is an insult to your existence
25. Do not deprive yourself or others of the gift of cartoons. Their creativity, hilarity, and curiosity have made me who I am today
26. Quiet patience and adaptive persistence are the two keys to perpetual happiness
27. Never feel ashamed of your natural instincts. They are there for a reason
28. Look at the people you are following in their footsteps. Is that the person you wish to be?
29. Don’t indulge in distractions that are short-lived and derail your long term efforts
30. To create a piece of art is to exist as a God within your mental domain
31. The movers in this world are the ones who create and consume only what coincides with their ultimate vision of themselves
32. Things are never as they seem. Always dig deeper to find the gold beneath the rock
33. Stereotypes don’t come out of thin air; all that is left for you now is to disprove them
34. Any crack in your resilience will be exploited if you don’t patch it up from time to time
35. Being assertive is a sign of a steadfast will
36. Negative people don’t deserve your time; positive people crave it
37. When your beliefs are tested, bring evidence to prove them wrong (granted you actually feel the need to)
38. When you have the strength to ask for more even after being knocked down countless times, there is nothing you can’t achieve
39. To look down to the ground is a sign of weakness. Look forward to showcase your unshakable confidence
40. Even one who is deaf can produce the most beautiful music
41. How much do you want success? How far are you willing to go?
42. A true genius is one who can sit for hours intensely focused on what he loves
43. Do not screw around with your time. It is the only thing within your absolute control
44. The only sense of entitlement you should feel is toward living your passion
45. The answers are always right in front of us. Just open your eyes
46. If you do not want to put in the work to make your dreams real then you do not deserve the right to put down anyone who fails in trying
47. The human brain contains 15-33 billion neurons; do not tell yourself that you are not creative
48. Do not let yourself fall into despair; it is a massive waste of time and emotion
49. People don’t tell you to try new things because it sounds “adventurous”. They say it because it actually works
50. If today was your last day, how many of these words would you actually follow?
51. To be an authority of any kind, you must earn and emanate respect
52. When in doubt, just laugh. Find amusement in how absurd your situation is then come out of the gate with full force
53. Don’t admire those who are simply hard workers with lots of awards under their belts. Idolize the people who are successful by working hard doing what they love
54. Life won’t let you you get by with being stupid. You have to have knowledge of some kind to live in this world
55. Don’t confuse being stupid with being stubborn. Sometimes trying harder is all it takes
56. Do NOT allow anyone to disrespect you or make you feel less than you know you are
57. Don’t blame someone else for being better than you. Blame yourself for not working harder
58. Hard work is not something we should run away from. It’s pointless work we should fear
59. Don’t carry everything on your shoulders; that’s what friends are for
60. When you’ve lost your spirit, spend some time with youth. Their thirst for life and exploration will no doubt re-invigorate you
61. The fact that nothing in life is guaranteed is both a blessing and a curse
62. There is never only one choice: you don’t have to go up after you hit rock bottom. You can also choose to stay there
63. Sometimes you have to realize when you just aren’t good at something; this is the best time to regroup
64. Using old-age methods to solve new-age problems is setting yourself up for failure
65. When you’ve been sitting in the same spot for hours, trying to get something absolutely perfect, give yourself more than just a pat on the back
66. Not many people will risk everything in order to achieve what they want; in other words, be a risk taker and you will reap the rewards
67. Even when you know you’re close to the finish line, never let up
68. The only thing you can change about people are your relationships with them
69. What’s happened in the past is done. The future does not exist yet. The only thing in your mind should be what you’re doing now
70. You may be a great writer, a doctor, a lawyer, or a banker, but at your very core, the only thing we are best at is being ourselves
No, I am not speaking of my boys, although they have been referred to as that by me in the past. I am, speaking of The Monkees.
You know, the one with Davy Jones and well, the rest of those guys who weren’t quite as cute as Davy Jones. Can you tell I had a teenage crush? Those other guys, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith are part of the group as well.
Those guys, anyway are hosting a 45th anniversary tour. 45 years…..geez that makes me feel old –not that I was anything but a teeny bopper when they were at the height of their popularity, but still……
The Monkees are however for this tour, one monkey short. Mike Nesmith is not touring with the band, instead he has chosen to escape the limelight and lives, very much under the radar in California. Nesmith’s mother was the person who invented what came to be known as Liquid Paper which she sold for 30 million pounds to Gillette.
The other guys seem to be having a ball performing live for their fans.
- Monkees’ trip through time a fun night for fans (pbpulse.com)
- Monkees celebrate 45th anniversary with tour visiting Pompano (pbpulse.com)
We all want to feel needed. By someone at the very least. Be it our job that needs us, our friends that rely on us or our family who depends on us. It is a basic human emotion and one that we all need to be filled.
Recently I was away. Tom and the older two boys managed just fine without me. There weren’t any phone calls about where something was or how to cook this or do that. That makes me happy….but it also makes me sad.
On the positive side, It’s nice to know that if I drop dead tomorrow, life in our house will go on. The boys are old enough to make their own meals (or something that they consider a meal, I guess) and do laundry and most of those mundane normal tasks that take up so much of my life.
It’s sad however to think that my life and all its mundane simple day in and day out tasks are not missed while I am not here. Tom and the boys have had a great old time with the jokes, “more dishes since Mom is home” “stuff in the sink now that Mom is home” “we ate even when Mom wasn’t here”.
Makes a girl feel loved, doesn’t it?
Well, I guess on the bright side, I can plan to take some totally wonderful alone trip and leave them all behind since they have proved that they do so well without me and evidently my biggest contribution to the house is the mess I make when I’m home. A mess I might point out….that I clean.
It’s not everyday that you open the newspaper and see a picture of your child smiling back at you. At least I don’t think it happens for many people. But it happened for us this morning. Tim and his Odyssey teammates were front page news in the Rutland Herald with an article lauding their achievement at World Finals this last weekend.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, it does. Just when you think your heart can’t swell any bigger with pride, it does. Magical….just plain old magical.
Here’s the entire article from the Rutland Herald:
By Cristina Kumka
STAFF WRITER – Published: June 3, 2011
A group of local high school students recently got a one-up on their careers — with the help of 28 mousetraps.
The Mill River Union High School Odyssey of the Mind clinched second place in the world for conquering Odyssey’s “Extreme Mousemobile” vehicle engineering challenge.
The 33rd annual global competition forced students to work together as a team. The goal was to harness each student’s creative thinking skills in order to solve divergent, long- and short-term problems in fun and creative ways. The results were then presented before a panel of judges.
This year, the Mill River team figured out how to re-engineer the mousetrap’s metal loop, which is designed to catch a mouse, into a device that propelled a “Pi-Rat” ship through one challenge and over the next.
While many engineers have tried making mousetrap-powered cars, the team’s vehicle earned such a high ranking because of its creativity — using the energy of multiple mousetraps and the leverage and shape offered by bicycle wheels to move a ship long and short distances. In addition to movement, the ship also could drop an anchor and raise a flag, among other tasks, according to team leaders.
Through trial and error, the team of youngsters used bike wheels as big pulleys and made the most of a long string by figuring out to use the full amount of force provided by the mousetrap flap, according to Tim Vile, the team’s coach and engineer.
The spring power from the mousetraps powered the wheels and moved the vehicle, Vile said.
The finished ship was revised by the team four times prior to the world competition and it looked completely different than any other mousetrap-powered vehicle, Vile said.
Mill River’s winning Odyssey team is composed of ninth-grader Rowan Dubin-Masuck, ninth-grader Sarah Osmer, eighth-grader Ian Dansereau, eighth-grader Tim Heffernan, eighth-grader Anjelica Carroll, and eighth-grader Elizabeth Bushey.
The team was coached by Vile and parent Nan Dubin.
The accomplishment not only resulted in two awards for the team, but also drew recognition from the University of Vermont’s School of Engineering.
Educators there say the team is comprised of the exact group of students the college is looking for.
Jeff Frolik of UVM’s School of Engineering said America’s workforce needs students like them now.
“To solve a problem, you are going to need more than one point of view,” Frolik said.
Frolik said today’s mechanical engineering field is morphing into something more consumer-friendly and students in his school need to learn how to communicate and present the highly technical information they have mastered to the average audience.
Math is at the core of engineering, but today, communication also needs to be a critical factor, Frolik said.
Graduates of UVM’s School of Engineering have gone on to work in the industries of aerospace, manufacturing, composites and carbon fiber. Graduates also have had the opportunity to work in renewable energy or electrical engineering for state-sponsored projects like Smart Grid installation.
Dawn Densmore, a director of outreach and public relations for UVM, said the Odyssey competition caters to the best and brightest – exactly what the college wants in its engineering program.
“We are interested in hands-on application and students learning creatively,” she said. “We want those students at UVM. Businesses are clamoring for applicable knowledge – how do physics and math apply? … Not just book knowledge, but a tangible way to solve a problem.”
Companies seeking to hire graduates want to know that students understand why they are learning what they are learning, Densmore said.
“The thing that doesn’t work in a given project is what you remember the most. And it’s critical in our world to work in a team because nothing is done without one,” she said.
A team from Stowe Playhouse also earned second place for its “Full Circle” theatrical performance about how different parts of our brains store and recollect memories.
Then Federal Government has ditched the Food Pyramid in lieu of something more visual — My Plate. The plate is supposed to give you a visual indicator of what your plate at any given meal should contain. Immediately, the internet has been flooded with questions such as “what size is the plate?” Seriously, folks, although we seek a “magical” formula to good healthy eating, really there isn’t one. It’s common sense and time and time again, the same old rules resurface.
In this updated version, here’s the USDA’s spin on the classics:
• Enjoy your food, but eat less. • Avoid oversized portions.
Foods to Increase
• • •
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. Make at least half your grains whole grains
Foods to Reduce
• Compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower numbers.
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
Deep down we all know this…..most times we choose to ignore it. Summer is coming though and fresh fruits and vegetables will abound…..Use your noodle, watch your plate.
- USDA Replaces Food Pyramid With Dinner Plate (fitsugar.com)
- Goodbye Food Pyramid, Hello USDA Dinner Plate (michellemalkin.com)
- New plate to guide healthier eating (cnn.com)
- Plate icon to guide Americans to healthier eating – CNN (news.google.com)
- Food pyramid out, ‘My Plate’ in for healthy eating (boston.com)
Tim and his fellow Odyssey of the Mind teammates, Anjelica, Ian, Rowan, Elizabeth and Sarah brought home a Second Place Trophy and the coveted Renatra Fusca Creativity award for their Mousemobile problem solution at Odyssey World Finals at the University of Maryland this past weekend.
We are so very proud of them and all of their hard work!
Here is a video of their award winning performance (note their 28 mousetrap powered vehicle).
Here are videos of the team receiving their Renatra Fusca award