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Kitchen Studio Water Photo

Richard woke up this morning wanting to take some creative photographs. He set up a ton of equipment in the kitchen and began playing with water. I helped every so often when he didn’t have enough hands. I love this one! (If you click on it, you’ll see a larger version.) I’ll share more as he edits more.

drops in blue

Mississippi Science Olympiad 2011

My two younger boys, N and D, are on the Chastain Middle School Science Olympiad team. They competed Friday in a series of events against other teams from all over the state. I’m proud to say the Chastain team won the 2011 Spirit Award and took home medals in two events. I am grateful to Coach Johnnie Canales and Ms. Bigelow for sponsoring the team. Here are some photos from the day.

Austin and Nathan tower 1

Austin and Nathan tower 2

Austin talking to his mom

Chandler listens to Mr. C

Mr. Neyland helps Blake Waldron

Joseph Neyland and Blake Waldron

Hamed

Chandler and Anastasia Bottle Rocket

Anastasia with parachute

Mr. C remembers being a platoon leader

walking away

team chastain

team chastain 2

Roderick Red Jr.

2011 spirit award winners

fossils medal

optics medal

Chastain Team Comes Second in State

The Chastain Science Quiz Bowl A Team placed second Saturday in the Department of Energy’s Middle School Science Quiz Bowl Tournament at the Mississippi School for Math and Science. The Chastain B team lost only one match all day — and that was to the Chastain A team in the round before the quarter finals. It was beautiful to watch these students handle a variety of science questions with verve and aplomb.Chastain MIddle School Science Quiz Bowl Team

You can probably tell I am one proud mama. My two younger boys, N and D (pictured in the middle), are on the A team.

Christmas Collages

Much of Richard’s and my time leading up to Christmas was spent creating collages for my parents and sisters. We scanned dozens of my parents’ negatives (mostly Mom’s), cleaned dirt, and designed 18″ x 24″ collages. Here is Mom and Dad’s:

P & D's collageEmilye’s:

Em's collageJessica’s:

j's collageFor those of you interested in the details, we used an EPSON V600 scanner, which is outfitted with a special tray for scanning 35 mm negatives. I bought a pair of white cotton gloves and used Edwal negative cleaner to prepare the negatives. Richard used Photoshop to get rid of any remaining dirt and to manipulate contrast. He used InDesign to create the collages. He exported the images as jpgs and I took them to a local photo processor. We had custom mats cut at the art supply store and put them in wooden frames. Unfortunately, the only one we mailed arrived with the glass in a million pieces. (We had insured it so we’re getting a new one made.)

Richard is working on one with pictures of me. I’ll post it when it’s ready. We’ve had lots of fun looking back at our lives in the early 70s. So glad Mom took that photography class.

A birthday, a holiday, and a recipe

Richard blowing out candlesRichard celebrated his 43rd birthday on the day before Thanksgiving. We partied at my parents’ house with a light Thanksgiving eve supper of soup and sandwiches.

Those of you who follow the blog may not be surprised to learn that he got a Kindle for his birthday. So, really, I got a Kindle for Richard’s birthday.

This put me back in the sewing room again, making a second Kindle cover. In the time between making the first cover and the second, we discovered that Richard likes to read the Kindle without a cover. But I like to read it while it is in the cover. kindle cover sewingSo, I got the first cover and he got a simple sleeve.2 kindle covers other view
Our Thanksgiving was a team effort. After Richard’s birthday celebration, we worked in my parents’ kitchen. D and his friend S made the cranberry relish. Richard made pie crust dough for two pies (cushaw and pecan). My Dad made two kinds of stuffing and prepped the bird for roasting. I took the bird home and roasted it overnight.

Douglas working on cranberry relish
crushing cranberries
Richard making pie crust for two pies
dave cooking sausage for stuffing
sleeping while others work
Some people (namely G and N) slept while others worked. The big boys appeared to have picked up a bug so we let them doze the evening away.
The Recipe: Cornbread Dressing (gluten and dairy free)
Sarah's cornbread dressing
I have been eating gluten free for more than a year, now. I’ve been eating dairy free for a lot longer. This year, in lieu of the turkey stuffing of my youth, I decided to try cornbread dressing. Almost since the beginning of my gluten free days, I’ve enjoyed cornbread. I merely substitute a gluten free flour mix for the wheat flour in my standard cornbread recipe (from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything). I use a mixture of almond and rice milks with a little vinegar to substitute for the buttermilk. I remember liking cornbread dressing as a child, though never at my house.
I consulted a chef friend and pretty much followed his directions (with a few Sarah touches).

Ingredients:
A double batch of cornbread
1 TBL olive oil
2 onions
1 large red bell pepper
1 lb. fresh sausage
3 c chicken stock
2 eggs
1/4 c craisins
Directions:
Break cornbread into chunks and let sit out overnight until stale.
Heat oil in skillet. Dice onions and cook over medium heat until translucent. Dice bell pepper and add to onions. Cook for only a minute or so. Put the onions and peppers in a large mixing bowl.
Form the sausage into patties. Brown over medium to high heat. Put the patties on a plate lined with a paper towel. Let the grease soak out. Break the sausage patties into pieces.
In the mixing bowl with the onions and peppers, add the cornbread chunks, the sausage, and the craisins.
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs into the chicken stock. Add the liquid to the bowl of cornbread chunks.
Mix thoroughly. Place in a large caserole dish. Bake at 375 degree oven for an hour.
I baked mine in the morning and re-heated it in the microwave for serving on Thanksgiving. I have enjoyed the leftovers for several days.
I plan to make it again for Christmas.

our thanksgiving table
Other dishes besides those already mentioned: mashed potatoes (by N), anadama bread, steamed sweet potatoes, green beans with corn, gravy, Chinese steamed dumplings, guacamole with corn chips, chocolate cake, whipped cream, ice cream (8 types).

douglas

samir at r's birthday

First Day of School

I have taken first day of school pictures for a decade now. Wow!

first day of school

D, Richard, and N


Here are two of the three boys in their traditional first day of school picture. They were not willing to smile for me. I asked Richard to pose with them because their older brother was upstairs in the shower when they had to take their leave. Richard says he’ll photoshop G into the image later. We’ll see.
first day of school II

pookie face


Now for the real one.
first day III

G starting sophomore year

Oregon Photographs

Richard and I went to Oregon with the boys. We visited some friends in Bend and spent time in Portland and on the Coast. Here are some of the photographs we took. A few are panoramas knitted together using photoshop and a few are high dynamic range images.

Bend

Bend

I can already see that these panoramas are not suited well to the size constraints of a blog.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

near Bend

Bend

Bend OR

Bend

Bend OR

Bend

Sarah in Bend

Sarah in Bend

Sarah at Crater Lake

Sarah at Crater Lake

Bend OR

Bend

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

D and G at top of Multnomah Falls

D and G at top of Multnomah Falls

Bend early morning

Bend early morning

Wildflowers in Bend

Wildflowers in Bend

path in Bend

walking trail in Bend

Sarah at Crater Lake

Sarah at Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Wildflowers at Crater Lake

Wildflowers at Crater Lake

Wildflowers at Crater Lake

Wildflowers at Crater Lake

D on beach in Waldport

D on beach in Waldport

Beach Photos

We just returned from three carefree days on Pawleys Island, SC. We visited Uncle Jack and Aunt Kathy. Here are some photos.

Douglas on the beach

D on the beach


sarah and douglas on beach

Sarah and D on beach


Sarah and Douglas on beach

Sarah and D on beach


boys at beach

boys at beach


boys building sand throne

boys building sand throne


good tired

a good tired

A Favorite Poem

trees with yellow leavesYears ago my college roommate Sarita gave me a book of poems by Alice Walker called Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful. A favorite from that collection is a poem called HOW POEMS ARE MADE/A DISCREDITED VIEW. I was reminded of the poem yesterday when someone talked about letting a lover go. I feel inspired to share it, but I’m not sure about the rules about posting entire poems. I’ll post the first two stanzas, and let you follow a link to the rest of it.

HOW POEMS ARE MADE: A DISCREDITED VIEW
by Alice Walker

Letting go
in order to hold on
I gradually understand
how poems are made.

There is a place the fear must go.
There is a place the choice must go.
There is a place the loss must go.
The leftover love.
The love that spills out
of the too full cup
and runs and hides
its too full self
in shame.

Click here to read the whole poem.

More Knitting

Julie with a nesting doll in her sockJulie and I spent some more time knitting today. We picked up the second side of gusset stitches and are beginning some decreases that involve some ssk’s. I love learning new jargon. Knitspeak. Julie said hers looked like little buntings so she asked her daughter to grab a nesting doll. Cool, huh?

skeptical daughter
Julie’s daughter was skeptical of our mirth.

Julie's sock
Julie’s sock.

Sarah sock
Sarah’s sock. I am making mine shorter because that’s how I like my socks. Imagine that? Custom-made socks.