Tag Archives: Michigan

Exposure Changes Everything

20 Sep

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gavins first day of school 005 (5)

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The Present

23 Jul

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I am floating.

I can sense light but am aware that it is both radiating from me and radiating from outside conscience. There is a rhythm…distant, yet within that beats in a soothing tempo, tempting me to slip into bliss. My soul is cradled in warmth, unaware that it is water or air. Perhaps both. Something reminiscent of the womb, if the spirit had yet experienced it. Perhaps it is yearning for what is to come. Perhaps it is reminiscing what had been; existing in the past and future, floating in the peaceful present. This present, undisturbed by forces that break conscience, pull us out of the here, the absolute reality of the now, into the dance of awareness of others. I breathe in…and out…relishing the buoyancy of the universe.

I hear something from outside of myself. I am sad to answer it, but it is demanding that it be answered; calling a name. Is it calling me? I want to remain in my cocoon, to stay immersed in the bliss of the present. The name is being called, repeated, with increasing urgency. I can’t ignore it, something in my spirit has to answer. I struggle to break now, from the embrace and comfort that is enveloping me. Pulling me back to it, I struggle with it. My peace is now a shackle because I cannot come up, or out. That name…it is mine. I am wanted outside of myself. I push up and breathe in.

MOM!!!!!

I’m here. I’m here. I see you .

Blinking in the brilliant sun I begin treading water again, the sound of birds and water beating against the shore filling my ears and my deprived senses.

Watch me jump off the dock mom!

I see you now! I can see you! I love it! I am here in your moment. Now.

Yucca Lilly Stir Fry

20 Jul

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After making wild food a decadent dessert yesterday, I thought today I had better make it up to mother nature by doing something wonderful and healthy with my gifted produce. Since my sister-in-law’s yucca plant blooms a full two weeks after ours does, I went and asked if I could snag some of her blooms.

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The buds from the day lilies can work just like a green bean, I don’t know about you, but I have been known to throw about anything into a stir fry, so I decided to take Euell Gibbons advice and eat the buds.

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The idea to stir fry the yucca blooms came from Eat The Weeds.com. That website and you tube channel are really informative. I was so excited to find that resource because he is located in Florida.

Yes! I’ll be foraging all over Disney World when I get there! Wooohooo!

(Just another product of making minimum wage)

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Like any worthy Euell Gibbons follower, I stir fried my veggies in butter. Feel free to improve and use an oil free alternative, or a healthier choice. Being a country bumpkin living back home, there is nothing quite like REAL butter.

I also took the liberty of adding some spice mixes from my collection of Pampered Chef and Tastefully Simple parties (My other bad habit) and of course, onion and green bell pepper.

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I ate this over brown rice (my way of apologizing for using butter) and annoyed my dining partners with taking pictures at the dinner table (I am not sure how I am going to make up for that!).

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Everyone tried this dish, ate all of it, and gave it a thumbs up.

I cried tears of happiness.
(And we are all still living.)

Salking the Wild Asparagus

10 Jul

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Your stalking what???

Asparagus. Really.

This year my goal is to become familiar with edible plants in the Midwest area. My infatuation with foraging for food began while shelf reading at the campus library. I happened to stumble across Euell Gibson’s field guide to edible wild plants while working my very exciting job of reading shelves. I was really excited to find out that Euell just happens to be from the mid-west, and is a foremost expert on all things not planted by the human hand.

My interest in foraging stems from a wee bit of necessity I admit. I have said before that I am a teacher and in case you didn’t know, teachers make just enough money to starve to death…in a good year. While contemplating over the last few years about what I will do for a second and third job so my kids don’t go hungry as well, I fell into researching concepts such as foraging and freeganism. You can imagine how excited I was then, when I literally tripped over Euell in the library. Yea! I will be able to mix yummy things into my white rice!

So, a bit of orientation on Mr. Gibbons before I begin blogging aboyt this stalking is in order.
Euell Gibbons wrote ‘Stalking the Wild Asparagus’ in 1970, including a field guide, which I have and will be using. Wild food adventures.com has a great biography of Mr. Gibbons, it is very well written and informative. Also, should any reader be inspired to go out picking more than berries with me, a quick search on YouTube will provide a wealth of information.

I enjoy Euell Gibbons as a writer; his books are reader friendly and even a bit humorous. As great as the book is, I will be honest in how great the book is also not. My mentor put his chapters together in such a way that is still a mystery to me. I was a bit dismayed that this will be a longer than intended journey because I need to figure out what plants grow when and at what stage they need to be harvested. An example of this: dandelions are in the middle of the book…oops, I read to that point after they needed to be harvested. I really could have used that information FIRST. After all, dandilions are out while the ground is still too cold to plant a garden. However, instead of holding grudges, I simply began using a word document calendar to note when these plants will be ready to eat, and enjoy dandilion tea next spring.

At first I had this grandiose idea that I would post regularly and make methodical progress through my little project, proclaiming myself to be, well, whatever it is I will be when I know how to pick and eat weeds. Alas, this will not be the case. Even so, I hope I will have friends out here in the blogging world that will join us as we blaze trails across Michigan looking for all things yummy. My hope is that my children will grow up knowing where food comes from as well as how to get at it, and that food also grows as a gift right outside our front doors.

“Children who have the opportunity of sharing this fascinating hobby with an interested family for only a single season will learn a great deal more about the basic processes of nature than many years of classroom instruction can teach them.” ~Stalking the Wild Asparagus~

My Child, My Teacher

17 Apr

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The most wonderful thing about exploring life with children, is the second chance to move through elementary school and pick up on things we forgot to pay attention to the first time around. Perhaps having all of our background information that only years can provide, makes their schoolwork far more interesting for us, or maybe it is only that the pressure is off and our children will be tested and graded; we are off the hook!

Whatever the case, I had a great time this last two weeks learning the fine art of Haiku from my third grader. Because we are temporarily homebound with our school schedules, Haiku was our grand adventure this week. With David’s permission, I am sharing our haikus as a tribute to spring, and inspiration for us to get out-of-doors now that we have spring’s official invitation.

David’s Haiku
Fire crackling tonight
In the chimney at midnight
While the gray wolves hunt

David taught mom to write:
The frogs give first chirp
That spring has now awoken
Bare feet seal the promise

Robins seek out worms
Worms come up to breathe fresh air
Now is time to fish

Enjoy the first days of spring everyone!

The Need to Blaze a Trail

13 Apr

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Being a parent is a difficult process.

Being an imperfect parent of four children while wishing I was a child still, is next to impossible.

Being a single parent, living in my parent’s basement while raising my children…well, that must be published!

Entertaining, insightful and inspiring it may or may not be. My purpose here is to think and generate discussion with my children as they mature, and I would love for our world community to join the dialog and enjoy the process with us.

The running joke for the last seven or so years now, is that I am Peter Pan. I have found a way to dive into the fountain of youth, refuse to grow back up, embracing adventure and shirking my adult responsibilities forevermore. The problem is this; I have never actually read the book. I admit that the only reference I have to blazing a trail for Wendy is totally and shamefully Disney. So, my first few Sunday morning musings ( my intended weekly post ) will undoubtedly reflect the classic that I fully intend to read like scripture so that I do indeed blaze a trail for my three beautiful girls and handsome son.

With or without the timeless classic of Peter Pan, my intention is not to show my children how to grow up ( because I certainly do not want that! ) but to share my life path as we explore our world and share our ideas and faith. I have been having wonderful adventures with my family, individually and as a family together that deserve through documentation as well as celebration. I hope to share some great stories and adventures with all of you as we embark on our newest adventures.

In the near future we will be exploring Michigan, moving to Florida to play at Disney for the summer and swim with sea cows ( totally on my bucket list ) then head off to Alaska for a year to witness the Northern Lights. Yes, BLAZE is the only word for this trail!

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