Life Changes and Trying New Recipes

July Garden = Green

How was that for a title?

I stacked up Mr. B’s books for the coming year and was determined to get his schedule input into Homeschool Tracker so I could have his weekly checklists done before we headed into August. My heart was just not in it yet so I lined the books back up on the shelf, waiting for another time when I was ready to dig in and get it done.

In the meantime I have been busy doing lots of stuff around the house and yard. My oldest son (Mr. D-24 years old) moved out three weeks ago into his own little house. It happened pretty fast so I still haven’t totally accepted that he is out on his own. I am really happy for him and I know that it will be a great experience for him to gain some independence but I miss him. I know he is but an hour’s drive away…still miss him.

#1 Dishcloth

One way to cope with change is to get busy with some new ideas. I have some projects that I have been working on during those hot afternoons of the last few weeks. I shared my lavender wand, I finished my first ever knitted dishcloth (thanks to YouTube), and I have been working on sewing some cute cloth napkins since our current sets are looking pretty ragged.

New Napkins

I have been diligently working in my own nature journal….page a week so far. I love the process of nature journaling and it gives me great pleasure to thumb through the journal and see all the completed pages. (You can see my Flickr set HERE...my 2011 images.)

Eating is always a good coping mechanism as well and the energy of trying something new makes me feel happy. I have made it a goal to try one new recipe a week and that has been a lot of fun! Since the weather is so hot, many of my new recipes revolve around salad preparation. I wish I had taken photos of everything to share but I didn’t. Here is a short list of things we have tried:

Asian Noodle Salad – we add grilled chicken to the top to make a dinner salad
Candied pecans – for my salad creations. The linked recipe is actually a tasty salad idea but we use feta instead of blue cheese. The combination of balsamic vinaigrette, pecans, and cheese is out of this world.
Rosemary bread – I did a variation of this recipe for my breadmaker….the fragrance as it baked!
My next recipe to try: Classic Caesar Dressing from my online friend Jami at the Oregon Cottage.

Cheesy-Chicken-Tortilla Lasagna (made with homegrown tomato and cilantro) Big hit with the guys!
Thai Peanut Chicken and Noodles – Another smashing success with the guys!
Black Bean and Grilled Chicken Quesadillas – I sort of make up my own recipe but this one is close.

It looks like I have been on a “chicken” theme but honestly I love being able to fire up my George Foreman Grill and cook chicken without heating up the kitchen too much. If it is really hot, I take the grill outdoors and cook outside. Perfect for a summer evening. Most of the time I change a recipe to use ingredients I have from my garden or in my pantry….I have never been one to stick too closely to a recipe, well maybe the first time but then when I make it again I change it up.

So what is on the plan for the rest of the summer? Gardening is still going strong and the flowers are just about ready to all burst out in color which means it will be time to start my art projects. I want to try my hand at sewing a new skirt. I do still have some writing going on for Harmony Fine Arts (grades 1, 7, and 8). There is always that empty space to fill out in the family room. Watch for a post about the space soon.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

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