Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

The Weekly photo challenge from WordPress this week is Merge. The world is made up of many things. There is a saying that opposites attract, and this is true for relationships and other things. Let’s see what you can MERGE in a photo!

I have more fun with these bear slippers. Most people do a double-take when they see them, because they look so “real” when I’m walking in them. They actually look like they belong on me. :-) Kids have either been fascinated by or scared silly by them. Dogs and cats even react to them (one cat got so scared it “peed it’s pants” and ran off and hid). Rarely are these slippers ever ignored…

To me, they merge reality and fantasy into something almost believable!

Here are some other takes on Merge that I think are interesting:

  1. http://creativityaroused.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/weekly-photo-challenge-merge/ 
  2. http://ronmayhewphotography.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/weekly-photo-challenge-merge/
  3. http://greywolfphoto.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/weekly-photo-challenge-merge/
  4. http://cherylandrews.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/weekly-photo-challenge-merge/
  5. http://bodhisattvaintraining.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/weekly-photo-challenge-merge/
  6. http://outandaboutinthecity.com/2012/08/17/weekly-photo-challenge-merge/
  7. http://thedailypost.me/2012/08/17/weekly-photo-challenge-merge/
  8. http://davidrwetzelphotography.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/weekly-photo-challenge-merge/
  9. http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/08/17/weekly-photo-challenge-merge/
  10. http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/weekly-photo-challenge-merge/
  11. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/weekly-photo-challenge-merge/

What does merge mean to you? Does this photo portray merge in your mind? I’d love to hear your comments.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge: Growth. Share a picture that means GROWTH to you! Here are a couple of my takes…

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing. – William Butler Yeats

If you’re a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. – Author Unknown

 

Here are some other examples of growth that I like:

  1. http://autumninbruges.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/
  2. http://canoecommunications.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-grow/
  3. http://stephenkellycreative.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/
  4. http://passiontocreate.ca/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/
  5. http://justsnaps.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/
  6. http://ohmsweetohmdotme.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/
  7. http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/
  8. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/
  9. http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-growth-project-365-day-250-2/
  10. http://bashert04.com/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

The challenge this week: Purple. Another color post! Subtle, waning purple of a sunset; vibrant purple of grapes or eggplant – what kind of purple caught your photographic eye?

Share a picture that means PURPLE to you!

Stepped out in my town, when you see me you know everything. Blue and purple, blue and purple, blue and purple, blue and purple. – D Pryde

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. – Alice Walker

Here are some other interpretations of “purple” that I like:

  1. http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/
  2. http://ahecticlife.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/
  3. http://shaanthz.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/
  4. http://emma1988paris.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/
  5. http://ronmayhewphotography.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/
  6. http://curlsnskirls.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/
  7. http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/07/27/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/
  8. http://thedailypost.me/2012/07/27/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/
  9. http://gaylealstrom.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/
  10. http://mezzaphonicallyspeaking.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/
  11. http://lonelytravelog.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/
  12. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/weekly-photo-challenge-purple/

What does purple mean to you? :-)

Matcha Green Tea Bread Recipe (for the machine)

“Do you like green eggs and ham?” “I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham!” “So how about green bread instead? Flavored by matcha?” is what I said!

I bought some Matcha Green Tea Powder from Stash Tea and thought I might try using it in bread. This is the recipe I came up with…

Matcha Green Tea Bread

  • 1 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into pan of bread machine in order listed. Make a well to put the yeast into so it doesn’t touch the liquid.
  2. Bake on basic setting . Cool at least 20 minutes on a wire rack before slicing.

The verdict?

It was moist and dense, and delicious, especially still warm from the bread machine! I watched some people’s eyes close in pleasure when they tried it. :-) I made it to go with my Red Veggie Soup (http://lifeofcolors.com/2012/07/10/red-veggie-soup/)  Most people totally enjoyed dipping it in the soup and eating it that way. The flavors really complimented each other.

It’s also very tasty toasted.

Next time I would use less of the Matcha Tea. The tea is really expensive and it would probably still taste wonderful with a tablespoon or less of it.

“We do so like green Matcha bread! Thank you! Thank you”, they all said!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

The weekly WordPress photo challenge: Share a picture that means INSIDE to you! http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/weekly-photo-challenge-inside/

Is the fence inside the tree, or is the tree inside the fence? :-)

********

Here are some others I thought represented “inside” well…

  1. http://disorderlychickadee.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/weekly-photo-challenge-inside/
  2. http://asaenz.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/weekly-photo-challenge-inside/
  3. http://mystiic.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/weekly-photo-challenge-inside/
  4. http://missperfectlyimperfect.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/weekly-photo-challenge-inside/
  5. http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/07/20/weekly-photo-challenge-inside/
  6. http://lostinagreatbook.com/2012/07/20/weekly-photo-challenge-inside/
  7. http://marantophotography.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/weekly-photo-challenge-inside/

Wheat, Oat, Hemp Bread Recipe (Machine)

I’m in a six-week seminar that is teaching me how to teach. On Thursday It was my first presentation and I was being videoed. The class was listening intently as I spoke about hospitality… until the fire alarm went off! So I was asked to start over. And guess what? After a few minutes the fire alarm went off again! On the third try, I was able to do the whole presentation.

Now, I don’t know about you, but getting up in front of people is not my favorite thing to do… especially when it’s being videoed and critiqued by the others. And, having two fire alarms kind of messed with me. But, I survived. :-)

It helped that I had the bread machine going in the classroom and served bread just before I started. The more you can involve the class, the better. And through the bread, the butter, the home-made jam, the plates, and the specially folded napkins, I was also showing them hospitality… doing the little extra things to make each person feel special and cared about.

True hospitality is marked by an open response to the dignity of each and every person. – Kathleen Norris

I didn’t take pictures of the plates because I was in class. And, the bread was done with the timer on the machine, so I couldn’t supervise the process. But here is a picture of how the bread turned out:

Wheat, Oat, Hemp Bread for the bread machine – one 2 lb. loaf

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 4 tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into pan of bread machine in order listed. Make a well to put the yeast into so it doesn’t touch the liquid.
  2. Bake on basic setting . Cool at least 15 minutes on wire racks before slicing.

The verdict?

Everybody said it was really good! I will make it again.

The verdict on the video? I’ll find out on Tuesday when I get individual feedback from my teacher.

The verdict on the fire alarm? I think my presentation would have been better if I hadn’t been interrupted twice, but there was grace extended. :-) And hopefully it won’t go off again during my next presentation…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreaming…

of being a pirate!

“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”  ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”  ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreaming

This week’s WordPress challenge for this week: Share a photo that makes you DREAM!

Welcome to Narnia!

“It is as hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste. Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass. And as you turned away from the window you suddenly caught sight of that sea or that valley, all over again, in the looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different – deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

The Wizard of Oz – There’s no place like home (handmade journal cover)!

Dorothy: Follow the yellow brick road.

Munchkin: Follow the yellow brick road.

Munchkin: Follow the yellow brick road.

Munchkin: Follow the yellow brick road.

Munchkin: Follow the yellow brick road.

Munchkin: Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road, follow follow follow follow follow the yellow brick road.

*****

Wicked Witch of the West: And now, my beauties, something with poison in it, I think. With poison in it, but attractive to the eye, and soothing to the smell.
[cackles]
Wicked Witch of the West: Poppies… Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleeeeep. Now they’ll sleeeeep!

*****

Dorothy: Oh, please! Please, sir! I’ve got to see the Wizard! The Good Witch of the North sent me!
Guardian of the Emerald City Gates: Prove it!
Scarecrow: She’s wearing the ruby slippers she gave her.
Guardian of the Emerald City Gates: Oh, so she is! Well, bust my buttons! Why didn’t you say that in the first place? That’s a horse of a different color! Come on in!

*****

Dorothy: Oh, but anyway, Toto, we’re home. Home! And this is my room, and you’re all here. And I’m not gonna leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all, and – oh, Auntie Em – there’s no place like home!

What kinds of things make you dream? :-)

Red Veggie Soup

On Friday I had my monthly bread and soup night. When people came in and saw the soup, they said, “It’s red!” It’s true. It’s red and cold. And why would I serve cold, red soup? Why not? :-)

We had been having very hot weather, sometimes record heat for at least a couple of weeks. The idea of making hot soup was just not appealing, even if it were to be made in a slow cooker. And I didn’t decide until after lunch that I would even be having a soup night… as so many of my friends were gone – on vacation, or even out of the country.

When one of my friends stopped by to say they were coming, and they had asked others to come, I decided to go ahead with the soup. (I had the ingredients and didn’t want them to go bad anyways).

At the grocery store I was attracted by a few seasonal, red items in the produce area. I picked up some beets, swiss chard (the stems are red), tomatoes, and a pomegranate. I thought they sounded like an interesting combination. I didn’t want something that would be bitter. And they looked pretty.

Here is my red veggie soup:

I took my little portable oven out unto my balcony so I could roast the beets and the swiss chard. I didn’t want that heat in my home. Those were the only items I cooked.

I roasted the whole beets by putting olive oil on them, wrapping them in foil, then putting them into a 375-400 F degree oven until they were soft (times can vary greatly depending on the size and the age of the beets). Once they were ready I easily peeled them and let them cool off.

In the meantime I prepared the swiss chard. Here are the simple instructions with photos: http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/how-to-prepare-swiss-chard-00412000074774/   I folded each leaf in half length-wise and cut the stem off. I then took several at a time and rolled them up like a cigar, slicing them into sections, and then cutting them across so the pieces would be small.

I put them on a cookie sheet, dribbled them with oil, and put them into the oven along with the beets for about 15 minutes.

Red Veggie Soup

Makes approximately 11 to 12 cups of soup.

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium beets roasted in olive oil
  • 4 cups sliced and roasted swiss chard
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds only
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 6 tomatoes

Directions:

Place all items except tomatoes into the blender (in batches) until it reaches the desired consistency. Dice tomatoes and add to soup. Chill for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

The verdict? “Interesting. Different, not what I was expecting. Very refreshing. Wow, this is really good!”

This is a light, nutritional powerhouse of a soup, yet a little of it goes a long way. I will definitely make this again. It’s also really good the next day.