Month: June 2014

Utter Dependence & Utter Confidence (Week 32)

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Some days or even weeks go by when all seems unprovoked, steady, just easy. Then the surprising turns may come that remind me I am small, I am not in control, and I must utterly depend on my Higher Power for direction, hope, sustenance.

This last week has presented such turns and twists in my life. In a whirlwind 48 hours this week I learned of complications with my pregnancy (I’m half-way through) and, a day later, was told my mother has cancer. Saying the wind was knocked out of me would be a gross understatement. But I am beginning to understand real gratitude in a Higher Power who clearly sees a road ahead that, to me, can at times appear blocked or flooded or like the wrongest way I could take. Image

This week’s creative project: Reading

Yes, reading. Though not in any kind of recovery, my immediate family has great and lasting experience with a Higher Power of our understanding. This last year and half for me of 12-Step Recovery has focused my heart in the discipline of utter dependence on a Higher Power who I have known all my life but am just beginning to truly see and know. I know it was my path into and through recovery that is giving me a basis for trusting my Higher Power with the biggest, most precious things in life. So, gratitude isn’t a strong enough word to describe what I feel today–when I see my parents clinging to the traditions and words of their faith tradition, when I speak words of life and wellness over my mom and even myself. I can say I began to know how to call serenity through my recovery, but today I am experiencing it in new and deeper ways. The realest ways I have ever known. My “project” this week and through the indefinite future is reading about the promises of my Higher Power. Through utter dependence on my Higher Power I am able to say with utter confidence that my Higher Power controls the uncontrollable and loves me, my mother, my unborn baby unconditionally.

I ask you as my friends and readers to encourage me with positive words and thoughts as I walk this path with my mother and this pregnancy. If you know and share my faith tradition, I ask you to stand firm in agreement with my prayers for my mother’s healing from cancer. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but today, my Higher Power gives me enough for the journey.

Fresh Salsa (Week 31)

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downloadSummertime means fun, warm weather food. I love expressing creativity in the kitchen. And this week I made one of my favorite recipes to share with neighbors.

This week’s creative project: Fresh Salsa fun in the kitchen

I love the bright colors of this salsa. It’s like a party in a bowl! Fresh ingredients mix with a surprising sauce to make a tasty and filling summer cookout companion.

 

Ingredients:
2 avocados, diced
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced (depending on onion size, I may only use 1/2 onion)
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 packet Zesty Italian dressing
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2 tbsp water

Directions:
Combine fresh ingredients with beans and corn. Mix dressing, oil, vinegar, water. Pour dressing over vegetables and stir. Serve immediately with chips! (Serves 10 people)


*Wish I could say this is my original recipe. I was given the recipe by a friend years ago and have simply tweaked some of the ingredients amounts to make my own. Make it your own by tweaking what you don’t like!

 

 

Cement Containers (Week 30)

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cementI have noticed a new trend of planters/pots at garden shops: various shapes made from cement. I have been curious to try to make my own cement creations, and this week decided to give it a go.

This week’s creative project: Cement Containers

This blog is very helpful and offers some great ideas I’d like to try. I kept it simple this week and stuck with wide-mouth vases/containers.

Materials:

  • Quick-crete or other easy-mix concrete. (The blog recommends contractor-grade counter-top mix, but I wasn’t able to easily find this at Lowes/Home Depot)
  • Container(s) for mold (non-porous, pliable plastic or glass work well)
  • Insert for center (I used a swimming pool noodle–cheap and flexible–but the blog recommends other options, like plastic tubing)
  • Duct tape and a flat surface for dry-time
  • Oh yeah, and some patience (minimum dry-time, 20 hours)

How recovery fits into this week’s projects rose to the surface pretty quickly… The final products pictured above were NOT mycement1 first attempts. They are my 4th and 5th. I firmly believe trial and error is a natural part of art and creativity in general. However, I’m always frustrated when my first attempts aren’t successful. Hasty impatience, self-imposed deadlines (trying a new medium for a quickly approaching birthday gift, yikes!), cutting corners–these did contribute to some of my cement fails & frustrations. Thankfully, though, my recovery allowed me to learn through making mistakes and enjoy the process (…by the end of the week!).

I will definitely continue working with concrete. It’s cheap, easy to work with, and offers a neat way to recycle unused containers (old salsa containers, spice bottles, … the extra swimming noodle you have laying around, haha). I learned some valuable tips and successful (and not-so-successful) methods that will aid my future attempts.

I hope you’ll share how you may have worked with cement. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with this fun and tactile material!

 

Shadows in the Trees (Week 29)

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tree1While in New York, I visited the new 9/11 Memorial and museum. Being there was a humbling and breath-catching experience.

Just alongside the site, there runs a sidewalk, and here the trees painted themselves before me. Like an unfixed watercolor, the tree shadows were lovely and made my eyes dance.

This week’s creative project: Tree Shadow Capture

Finding this spread of natural art reminds me that creative inspiration is everywhere, even under my feet 🙂

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