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morning and night :: 4


My kitchen is a funny place. It produces amazingly yummy things, yet photographing those vey things is a task I've yet to master. Close to zero natural light equals, well, you know. Still, green smoothies are making me very happy and keeping me nicely focused these days.

The Time is Now


What you do when the neighborhood girls stop by, it's 93 degrees, and you do not have a pool...

I have so many good problems right now. Every single one of them is a huge blessing and a huge obligation simultaneously. Work starts on Monday. I love my work so very much, working Monday through Friday in a Montessori classroom at Emily's school is just about as soul-fulfilling as it gets. But leaving the house five days a week is not a natural rhythm for me, I have so many thoughts around this and I won't get into all of it right now... but it's no wonder to my little mind that a culture/family-unit has virtually spiraled into demise only a few short decades after both parents routinely started leaving home full time. Who exactly is nurturing the home-front across the land? I don't think it has to be gender specific at all, there are plenty of men who stay home and women who win the bread and it works beautifully. I just think someone needs to be home, as idealistic as that may seem. For our family, it is best if I am the one who breathes life into our family and Adam is the one who sustains it. That is the correct balance for us. But times are what they are right now, and public schools are not a match for our family, so we choose private, and it's expensive (almost like having two mortgages expensive), so my job there is a huge benefit for our family and I do love the work, so so much. It just gives me an insiders view on what I've always thought to be a system of failure for a society... a curious perspective I know, and of course very debatable as is anything, though I REALLY hope this post doesn't create a debate. I'm just purging a few thoughts in my cluttered brain right now...

I volunteered for several years at a homeless shelter in our town... my time there spent with all of our guests late into the night left me with two concrete thoughts. The first; there was never a single person who walked through our doors needing shelter, a job, a detox program, or psychiatric help, not one that had grown up with what could be called a normal childhood; dinner around the table at 6:00... kids riding bikes in the driveway... a parent that surprised them with cookies after school or volunteered at their school library... another parent that taught them how to change the oil in their car... a family that functioned, lived and loved together. Not one of them in the three years that I was there had grown up that way. I also learned that each of them remained emotionally stunted at the point where their greatest emotional/spiritual trauma took place. For one it was the point that they remember only having ketchup in the refrigerator while mom was out selling herself to get more food for her thirteen children, for another it was the night they were repeatedly raped by their uncle, and for many, so very many, it was Vietnam... or Desert Storm... but it was always intense and horrible, and they each stayed and lived right there.

I had NO idea this post was going to go there... purging.

Back to those very good problems of mine... school begins for Emily the Monday after I return. I've got a huge pile of orders to complete (I'm getting there!). We need to get our house on the market within a month, so there are the remaining items on the looong checklist to complete for that. The Farmers' Market continues through October which is awesome and a little scary at the same time, it's been hard maintaining a super-full looking booth this year with my etsy shop keeping me busier than ever. I have a "reply needed" folder in my email account that is filled to the brim with emails from you and from friends. I have no idea when it will be empty, some have been there for months... we are full steam ahead with a new soccer season and I love love love that my embroidery has come out again as I sit on the sidelines two nights a week.

And yoga... right now I'm thinking the very best thing a yoga teacher could ever do for herself is to stop practicing. After a few solid weeks of not practicing at all I reconnected with my mat and my breath late last night and it is amazing how quickly (at my age) the muscle memory of a pose can leave the body. It puts me right back to that place of a beginners mind, but with the knowledge of a teacher. I spent an hour going patiently and deeply into the corners of each pose, self-adjusting and aligning myself along the way, no lights were on in the room which further heightened my senses and awareness to these things. I even released a few tears and was grateful for the safe space to do so. Practice is good, practice from the place of a beginners mind, the best. I feel myself wanting to teach again soon... but for now, more practice.

We took the raft out onto the lake last night for a little sunset run... it was the first time we were on open water this summer. I'm feeling a strong need to squeeze every last drop out of this season before it's too late.

With all of that (and boy, wasn't there a lot of that in this post), I'm going to shift gears here for the next week, or two, or three. I'm going to step away from the keyboard a bit and place more energy on noticing and living. Months ago I did a series called morning, noon and night. Right now I feel like returning to that idea, leaving out the 'noon' part as it won't be practical when I'm at work. ;)

I'd love it if you visited me, morning and night... the time is now.

Kid Friendly Pad Thai

My child likes her veggies diced to smithereens. I hope I've shared this here before as it is my number one secret/tip for getting the correct variety of veggies into my picky eater. It took me many years to figure this out, but I'm glad I did as it has greatly expanded our dinner repertoire around here.

I was not a picky eater as a kid so it's hard for me to relate to texture and taste issues. When Emily eats (or tries to rather) certain foods, her eyes will literally tear up, her face turns red... it's quite a visceral reaction, she is not pushing certain foods aside just because. I look back on when I was a kid and a good portion of the foods that we eat today weren't even available then. Things like goat cheese, avocado, swiss chard, kalamata olives, mango, sundried tomato, baby field greens... you couldn't buy them where we lived, food was much simpler then. The variety that we have come to love and appreciate today just wasn't available when I was a kid. Maybe I would have been a picky eater if my mom put sundried tomatos, feta cheese, and kalamata olives in my scrambled eggs... who knows! All this to say, I try to be sensitive about expectations around food, we all have our own preferences and Emily's are very clear and very real. I do make an effort though to creatively get a wide variety of fruits and veggies in her, and I have two simple methods that work beautifully.

Smoothies are the obvious choice for getting fruits into her, but veggies?

DICE THE HECK OUT OF "EM!! Works like a charm... I pretty much make it a practice now to dice most of the vegetables (for things like soups, stir-fry, quiche, sauteed dishes, etc) so they are all about the size of a kernel of corn. It sounds tedious I know, but really it is not and soooo many more veggies make it into my girl this way.

I recently re-worked a Pad Thai recipe, taking out the spicey heat and giving the tofu and veggies a fine dice. In the end, it's a great family recipe. Even for my fussy eater. I hope your family likes it too.

Kid Friendly Pad Thai

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2-3 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 pound firm tofu - diced 1/4 inch

  • 2 tablespoons tamari

  • 1/3 cup all natural peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup water

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown rice vinegar

  • 1 large sweet red pepper - diced fine

  • 1 small-medium zucchini - diced fine

  • 1/4 cup peanuts - coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 pound dry linguine - cooked

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives if you have them (scallions are fine)

  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the tofu, a little salt and pepper, saute for 10 minutes on med/high heat stirring often. You want it nice and brown. Add the garlic in the last minute or two of cooking.

Meanwhile, combine the tamari, peanut butter, honey and vinegar. Mix until smooth, add water to thin the sauce a little.

Pour 1/2 the sauce into the pan with tofu, add the other veggies and cook for a 3-5 minutes. Your not cooking the veggies too much, because they are diced small they will cook super fast. You're almost just getting them and the sauce hot, that's enough! Add this mixture once done to the cooked linguine (toss with tongs, gently). Add the rest of the sauce, chopped peanuts and chives. Toss a little more. Yum!

This made enough for the three of us with a little left over. Go ahead and double if you have a larger group.

Maybe even squeeze a little fresh lime juice over the top. ;)

Wishing you a fantastic weekend!

If You Can Remember


If You Can Remember

If you can remember that it takes three of my steps to equal one of yours;

If you understand that I must view life at an eye level three feet below yours;

If you can touch my life with your faith, without taking away my need for self-determination;

Then I can grow, learn, and become.

~ ~ ~

If you can remember that it takes time for me to gain the experience in living you have already had;

If you can understand that I can only relate to those things which have meaning on my levels of maturity;

If you can let me take a step of independence when I can, instead of thrusting me out or pulling me back;

If you can touch my life with your hope, without destroying my sense of reality;

Then I can grow, learn and become.

~ ~ ~

If you can remember that it takes courage for me to try again after failure, just like you;

If you can let me find my own path when I want, instead of choosing for me the way you think I should go;

If you can touch my life with your love, without taking away the space I need to breathe;

Then I can grow, learn and become.

~ ~ ~

Marti King For The Montessori Foundation