Thursday, March 31, 2011


The other day as I walked out of church with one of my daughter's little friends, she said, "My mom and I are going to go outside and I'm going to smell today."
I thought this was a funny thing to say. The ground up here is still frozen and covered with snow, leaving only hints of frozen water to be smelled as the wind blows across the snow. But as she played on the sidewalk I opened my eyes to the drips of water gently falling off of the roof and the blue sky gently brushed with wisps of clouds.
She knew something I didn't. She had been paying attention; taking time to smell the changes of a slow spring happening around us.
I think I'll take the advice of the little girl today and go outside and just smell, allowing the fragrances to gently open my mind and allow me to be aware of where I am at that specific moment.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Foto Friday: Spring in Wyoming

"Frozen like a popsicle," is what my little girl likes to say when we open the door and head out into the cold. This week was no exception. On Tuesday we left and were gone for 3 1/2 hours to come home to a driveway covered in snow. As you can see, I got stuck. High centered, to be exact. Thankfully I had one bar on my cell phone and could call my husband to come and rescue me.
But living in any remote part of the world means you have to be prepared. I still had all of our snow gear in the car, and promptly got everyone dressed so we could walk up to the house. The snow came up at least knee high, at some places up to my waist. I couldn't carry both kids through this snow, and knowing my husband was on the way, I trudged through the snow up to the house to get the snow plow. My goal was to get the kids home.
Plowing my way to them, my husband got home to pull out our suburban and finish the daunting task of clearing out all of this new, extra snow.
In reverence to other conversations this week, I think if I had an Indian name it might be "One who pushes snow."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My March Madness

As I hear of other places where the temperature has risen to the point where the grass is greening and the buds on the trees are coming out, I can't help but look outside my window and see my six foot mound of snow. In fact, my lane, on both sides, has a continuous mound at least four feet tall. I can still cross country ski around our small pasture; which is a good thing, I guess.
But I'm ready for the spring cleansing to begin; to open my back door and let the fresh air move through my house; to hear the river water running.
Alas, there has to be some way to fix my situation, and I don't mean a plane ticket.
With a Jack Johnson radio station on Pandora- mixed with 311, Bob Marley, and Jason Marz- I think I'll put on my Bermuda shorts and my tank top with palm trees on it. Some flip flops and a pair of sunglasses will be needed. I'll make a smoothie with mango, banana, frozen blueberries and yogurt. I'm sure I have a little umbrella I can stick in it, a blue one. Then I'll turn up the heat, sit in my chair and read my book.
With an imagination like mine, I can be anywhere I want in seconds.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Foto Friday: Winter Sunset

Remarkable sunrises and sunsets are so much more vivid across white plains of snow. The vibrant colors are a feast for eyes accostomed to the monotones of winter. We were traveling over Togwotee Pass, which is breathtaking any time of the year, right as the sun slipped off to the west and illuminated the sky and the Tetons. It was one of those moments when you knew you were in the right place at the right time, and nothing else crossed your mind except for the picture in front of you.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meatball Recipe

Getting the suggested amount of vegetables in my diet to have a healthy lifestyle has always been difficult. Mainly because I just don't really care for them. So like a little kid I have to sneak them into my own food. This week I made meatballs to go along with pasta (but forgot to take a picture).

I'm like my grandma and don't write down recipes. I should; but like her, I add something new every time. This time when I made meatballs and marinara sauce (made with vegetable juice) I chopped up fresh spinach and put it into the meat. The recipe went something like this:

1 lb hamburger
two handfuls of fresh spinach chopped up
a handful or two of crushed crackers

Mix everything together, brown in a skillet, once brown add to marinara sauce, bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 45 min until sauce bubbles and meat is cooked through.

They were excellent; and had I not been the one to put the spinach in, I never would have known it was in there!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Recent Reads: Winter Morning Walks: 100 Postcards to Jim Harrison

Over the winter I have begun to read and write more poetry. I am very interested in form and have found that the best way to learn about it is to read more poems.

Unfortunately our library does not have too much to offer in poetry, nor do some of the book stores I go in desperately searching for modern poets' books. But searching through the poetry section in the library I did find one book by Ted Kooser, a modern poet I was somewhat familiar with, and happily took it home- that was almost a month ago.

I know that poems are meant to be read slowly and savored, only these poems I am letting stew. They are comforting to read, and worth reading over and over, as Ted Kooser displays an artistic construction of words describing the simplicity of life in complicated and frightening situations, finding strength and healing in the natural world, and enjoying each day for what it is.

Kooser, former US Poet Laureate, wrote this book over a series of postcards he would send to his friend as he recovered from cancer. Each day he would take a two mile walk and then record what he saw, felt and experienced on his walk down a country road in rural Nebraska. Some days he might intricately describe what he saw, where other days his despair might fall among his words even if the weather was sunny.

A round hay bale,
brown and blind, all shoulders,
huddled, bound tightly
by sky blue nylon twine.
Just so I awoke this morning,
wrapped in fear.

Oh red plastic flag on a stick
stuck into loose gravel,
driven over, snapped off,
propped up again and again,
give me your courage.
-Ted Kooser, November 29

Kooser finds distinguished ways to describe each day, and shares his soul and a bit of humanity as he relates how each day holds its own feelings and its own outlooks. His poems tell of the natural world around him and ease the soul with his truthful descriptions of life. I can certainly relate to many of his poems, and appreciate how he articulates the story in them to appreciate the simple details in our lives.