Thursday, November 21, 2013

pretty, happy, funny, real

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

~ pretty ~

I love this shelf that is high on the wall in my kitchen - pretty canisters all lined up!  And my pretty Earl Greyer tea tin and the hand-thrown mug made by my old college roommate!

Pomegranate seeds are so pretty, I think, after you have finally gone to the trouble of opening the thing up and picking them all out!  There is a pomegranate de-seeder device in the produce section at our store, but I doubt its functionality.  But I will go to the trouble of getting all the seeds out of a whole pomegranate a couple times a year for the benefit of my children, so they don't grow up to experience embarrassment like I did when (here comes another mention of my college roommate, oddly enough), as a young college student, my two close friends and boyfriend at the time couldn't believe I didn't know what a pomegranate was.  They even decided we were all going to Wal-mart then and there to find one and buy it for me.  Apparently they were out of season, because we didn't find one.  So, in order to spare my own children that awkward moment of realizing their parents failed to fully prepare them before turning them loose into the big wide world, since they are the only ones who have never heard of a pomegranate... yeah.
Please tell me there's somebody else out there who hadn't seen or eaten a pomegranate by the age of 18.  'Cause I was looking at the three of them like they were some kind of cultured snobs with this exotic fruit knowledge, which then turned to doubts that perhaps it was me who was the freak in this situation...
Anyway, pomegranates are a lot more popular now than they were 15 years ago.

~ happy ~

Hungarian coffee cake to celebrate the feast day of St. Elizabeth of Hungary (shaped like a crown since she was a queen) and...

...our 12th anniversary!  Marriage makes me happy.  Commitment makes me happy.  He makes me happy.  :) :) :)
We get to go celebrate next week with dinner in the ATL while we are there with family (aka built-in babysitters) for Thanksgiving!

The kids were happy with the coffee cake, too.  Except for Lucy.  She's iffy on grain consumption.  Give that girl bacon and sausage and plain yogurt, and she's a happy camper.

I am also happy to have cleared off these bulletin boards in my kitchen under the canister shelf.  They were completely covered and overflowing, and they had Christmas cards on them from two years ago, people.  I am trying to make things look simple and less cluttered.

~ funny ~

I am not actually sure what this is.  Okay, so I know it is some baby dolls with play food and blankets in wicker baskets, and I know that the big thing is one of my clothes drying racks... but I never envisioned the two of them put together.  My best guess?  Baby doll apartment.

~ real ~

Homemade marshmallows.  I splurged and bought a good-quality, grass-fed gelatin (Yes, gelatin eats grass, didn't you know that? ;).  I will also be using it to make beef bone broth since I have neckbones in my deep freeze.  These marshmallows are made with local raw honey... they are truly and honestly a health food.  But the really real part of this is that, when you are mixing the hot liquid in with the gelatin, it smells like... well, a barnyard.  When they cool off, though, the smell fades, thankfully!  The smell lets you know they are real - it hasn't been processed out, I guess.  So, marshmallows at my house, anyone?? ;)

We will be attempting to roast them over a bonfire tomorrow.  I am leery of how well they will hold up, being made of honey, but they really are a true marshmallow consistency, so maybe they won't instantly melt off into the fire!

And my very real schoolroom.  I am always trying to find ways for it to look less cluttered (and be Houdini-toddler proofed yet not five-year-old-proofed).  Maybe getting rid of that big cheap painting would open it up a bit more.  And I tried a wall hook for my purse so it wouldn't have to sit on top of the shelves, but apparently 3M hooks don't go above five pounds, and apparently my purse surpasses that weight! ;)  And if I put it down lower on the little table where the basket of hats and toddler shoes are, then guess who would be applying chapstick to the walls and pressing the van's panic button on my keychain??

Here is another part of the same room.  It should look lived-in, of course, and I am not going to stop hanging up Kindergarten work since we are teaching a Kindergartener here... I keep going back to the idea of wall-mounted shelves.  Up high.  Clear the floor and lower wall spaces to open it up a bit and make room for toddler tornadoes to pass through, but still have all our materials easily accessible.  I saw that idea here at Wildflowers and Marbles and love how open the room looks.  Of course, that room also has windows and hardwoods, which help make a room feel more opened up and larger.  
Simplicity versus practicality.  We really do have too much stuff.  And when you are going to have to have 13 years' worth of school materials, then it makes you want to simplify and minimize all the other stuff, too!  Less clutter, simple, yet lived-in and pretty: a goal that is good, yet hard to attain!

**Know what else is real??  How hard a time I have had getting this post done!!  Formatting problems with Blogger, as you can see from the weird white bar behind the bottom of each photo... I think it is due to my black background and copy/pasting text into my blog post from elsewhere.  I think I just need to ditch the black background when I have the time to redo it... And in my attempts at getting a postable post up, I accidentally deleted last week's Pretty, Funny, Happy, Real post and can't figure out how to recover it.  But it's just been that kind of a day... toddler poop falling out of diapers, that sort of thing.  But we survived, and it is almost time for dinner now, yay!

(linked up at Like Mother, Like Daughter)
round button chicken


Rachelle said...

Homemade marshmallows...yum! It's been a long time since I made those. They're worth it though! I hope the smores hold up for you!

Karen said...

I was 14 when my history teacher brought in a pomegranate for the class. It was to go along with the Greek myth about Persephone. I was hooked on it after the first encounter. My parents had never heard of them before and we were really surprised to find them in the produce section of the local supermarket. I've met lots of people who didn't know what a pomegranate was prior to a few years ago when pomegranate juices and things of that nature suddenly became very popular. I like to point out to my husband that I knew what it was and liked it before it was cool. Same deal with Kumquats which I discovered while pregnant with my eldest daughter. Most people have no idea what they are and have never heard of them. I guess I just like my obscure fruits that you can only get a few months out of the year.

Erin said...

I am so glad that it's not just me, then!! It was in 1998 when I first learned what one was - and I really thought it was weird that three other people my same age were shocked that I hadn't ever eaten them! The only reason it came up is because I taking a painting class and chose to paint a Salvadore Dali painting with a pomegranate in it... leave it to me to choose a painting with something in it that I never even heard of, ha ha. I chose it because it had some awesome-looking tigers in it that I thought would be fun to paint!

Kumquats... I heard of those before pomegranates because they were referred to on a comedy show I watched as a high schooler. And persimmons... I never knew what they were until my mother in law made muffins with them.

Carrie said...

Let's never get Lucy and ruby together! They just sound more and more like kindred spirits every time I read one of your posts. She also cannot be trusted. We joke all the time that we just can't have anything nice anymore and it's all her fault lol. I gave up and put all our school stuff in a closet this week. So we only have out what we are working on at that very moment. Of course that's easier with 4/5th than it would be with kindergarten.

Carrie said...

Oh and ruby also isn't crazy about bread and other starchy foods. But she loves some bacon and sausage!
You are looking great I love that pic of your and your husband! Happy anniversary!

Erin said...

Thanks, Carrie!! And yeah, it might be a total disaster if Ruby and Lucy were put in the same house at once, ha!