Tag Archives: recommendations

Look Up

25 Jun

I was having a bad day and walking the dog. It was about 7:00pm on a cool and cloudy Monday a couple years back. Oblivious to the world around me and in a deep state of musing (as I am wont to do), something made me look up.

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Arroz Con Pollo

4 Jun
Jennifer Pasinosky, Angela Hylland, Angela Taylor, kayaking, Lummi island

Jen and I, before embarking on the uncharted waters of motherhood.

As most of you know, since my mother-in-law’s death I’ve been on a mission to find ways to keep the memory of Sue alive for my baby girl. That desire, in turn, sparked a passion to help other families in the same situation.

Unfortunately, I have many close friends mourning the loss of a parent, right at the time when we’re figuring out how to be parents ourselves. The idea that our little ones won’t know those special people—people who would’ve been such integral parts of their lives, our lives—is simply unfathomable.

That’s why I was intrigued when my friend Jen told me about her continued connection to her mother through food, particularly the native Colombian dish, arroz con pollo. I asked her to write about it, so I could share it with all of you. The result is this beautiful guest post.

Thank you, Jen, for your support, understanding, inspiration, and willingness to share. You, like your mother, make this world a better place. I’m so glad I know you, and through you, her.

Without further ado …

FROM JEN:

Nothing brings back memories of my mom better than food. It’s been nine years since she passed away, and I can still taste her arroz con pollo.

As early as I can remember, I loved spending time with my mom in the kitchen.

She taught me how to make patacones, papas choriadas, pan de yuca, arepas, ajiaco, and on one ambitious day, empanadas. We would sing along to Colombian music playing from the family room. Yo me llamo cumbia, yo soy la reina por donde voy… Or of course, to Julio Iglesias.

She would tell funny stories of learning to cook in the early days of her marriage to my dad, an American. Here’s one of my favorites:

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How to Apologize

14 May

If you ever want to feel really REALLY shitty about yourself:

Leave important people out of the obituary.

Yes, I’ve done that. Me, the editor. The supposedly thoughtful, sentimental one. And let me tell you, add that feeling to the general crumminess of grief, and you have the perfect recipe for a clammy pit of self loathing.

May my misfortune teach you something.

Here are five things I learned about how to apologize for something beyond the normal realm of, “I’m sorry.”

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Word Art

1 May

Last month I offer several fun ideas for Poetry Month. But words can be much more than a carefully crafted phrase, poem, script, or story. They can be visual art as well.

Here are 3 easy “Word Art” projects for execs, parents, bloggers, teachers, kids, crafters, photographers, and anyone else I’m forgetting.

1. The “Wordle”

I discovered www.Wordle.net the other day and quickly became addicted.

  • Bloggers: Simply paste a link to your site, and Wordle.net will create a Wordle for you, sizing words according to frequency. Quite enlightening.
  • Business Types: You might be creating a lot more message “static” than you think. Plug in your text and see what you get. It could help you pair down that site or presentation to what you really want to say.
  • Scrapbookers: Type in words or phrases that remind you of the person or place you’re featuring. I had fun creating this Wordle from words my daughter was saying at the 20-month mark.

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Words of Wisdom

30 Apr

As I venture forward into a future without Sue or Shirley, I’m comforted by these words of wisdom from Shirley herself. They are from a speech she wrote for our wedding, and I read them at her service.

Take advantage of the insight that only a century of living and loving can truly bring. I think you’ll find there are lessons in here that speak to each and every one of us.

From Shirley:

I learned that life doesn’t always go the way you plan, but I also learned that is not always a bad thing. Sometimes the curves life throws us can unexpectedly lead to a better path.

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Poetry

6 Apr

Whether you realize it or not, poetry is an everyday part of your life: the lyrics of a song, the prose in a childen’s story, the cadence of the evening news, and even the order and choice of the words you say are all types of poetry.

“And why should I care?” you might ask. Well, it depends on you and what you could get out of it. That’s how poetry works: creatively, individually, unexpectedly. Why not try it for a month and see for yourself?

Here are some easy ideas, courtesy of the folks at Poets.org. For the full list, created in honor of Poetry Month, click here.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to write one. Unless you want to. In which case, go for it!

The Daily Poem
Just sign up, and Poets.org will send a daily poem to your inbox for the month.

The Unexpected Poem
Put a love poem in the mirror for your honey in the morning. Drop one in a lunch box. Write a special poem to your child in the cover of his or her favorite book. Need poem ideas? Here’s a wonderful list to get you started.

The Pavement Poem
I’m not sure why I love this idea so much, but I do. Write a fun poem in chalk on your sidewalk. Might I suggest something from Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein?

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Play Dough!

3 Apr

What can I say? It’s a classic.

There are a million different play dough recipes out there. (There’s even a whole site dedicated to that fact.)

But don’t let that dissuade you from giving any old recipe a try. Otherwise, if you’re like me, you’ll spend so much time researching “the best” that you’ll get bored with the idea and end up doing nothing at all. Where’s the fun in that?

Miracle of all miracles, for once I did NOT do that, and I’m so glad I just took the plunge. When will I finally learn that’s usually the best way to go?

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