Food and the Forties

I have been extremely absent lately, dear friends. It was a “write-full” semester (with a grand total of twenty-three papers), and I was struggling to find the motivation and time to write. Ryan Hood will be continued, no worries–I am just at a crossroads with the story. I am not sure whether I should try to make it historically and geographically correct, or if I should just not care. I suppose for now I could just go with it, but I hate inconsistencies in stories (though mine have plenty).
I have been very interested in my historical fashion hobby as of late, and have been perusing in some other eras. I have successfully completed an 1860’s corset and chemise–my first two sewing projects. I have dinked around with a sewing machine. But yes, my first true project was a corset. I will have pictures soon. I have it in my head that I MUST make a regency gown and a 14th century kirtle. The regency dress is a little cheaper, and will probably be made first. I’ve been drooling over some clover lawn for a while now. Either way, I have stumbled upon an era that takes less money and sewing to accomplish: the forties.


It’s not faultless, but I thought it was very forties-esque. I’m actually tempted to start dressing like this all the time. It suits me. I have a wool skirt that I wear with the blouse, but I’m searching for a good pair of shoes.

There are courageous people in every era, but the women of WWII were definitely women who understood frugality, creativity, and resourcefulness. We could stand to learn a few lessons from these people. We live in a world of wastefulness and excess. Historical costuming is frivolous, yes, but learning about the people who wore this clothing is enlightening.

Speaking of resourcefulness, I have to say that holiday food leftovers are some of my favorite leftovers EVER. The food tastes good in the first place, but it can also be combined into all sorts of tasty concoctions.

THUS, I present the holiday leftover sandwich, two ways:

HEAVY:
Two slices of fresh dense bread
Stuffing
Cranberry Sauce
Turkey

Warm up turkey and stuffing, scoop a generous amount of stuffing onto your bottom slice of bread, top with turkey. Spread cranberry sauce on other slice. Put together. Eat.

LIGHT:
Two slices a ciabatta
Cold turkey
Cucumbers
Dried cranberries
Spiced mayo

You should be able to put together a sandwich… C’mon!


Keep those heads in the clouds!

-HH

When Life Hands You Lemons… Make Salad?

I’m somewhat stealing this post from my friend Chloe, but I came across the pictures today… so with full credit to her and her blogging- here, I will expound.

Last month I was visiting her and for lunch one day she made salad.

“You don’t have to eat the lemons.”

She had just thrown them into the mix of leafy greens, garbanzo beans, peppers, and carrots for color and maybe some juice, but I am the type of person who was raised to eat anything that was placed in front of me, regardless of my preference. So shrugging my mental shoulders, I stabbed a lemon with some lettuce and chewed it up.

It was good! Really good, rind and all. The lemon rind isn’t bitter like oranges are, and combined with the other vegetables and balsamic vinaigrette, the sour wasn’t overwhelming.

I thought it was interesting how life can be like that- we avoid the lemons, or try to sugar coat them, when in reality we should just try them. Who knows? You may actually end up liking them.

Try both this week; the real kind AND the kind life throws at you.

Pessimists pucker at lemons. Optimists smile and chew.

Keep those heads in the clouds~

-HH-

The Simple Things

The other day, I had a mini-epiphany. A mini-epiphany is something akin to an epiphany, but it’s not quite original enough or earth shattering enough to be considered quite the whole thing. Kind of like when you forget to register Microsoft Word, and you’re left with the reduced function version… anyway-

It was a day or two after Christmas break started, and I was enjoying being disentangled  from school. My first semester of college has been good, but I tend to be the type of person who enjoys discovering what her day brings, rather than planning every detail, then carrying it out.

So on this day, already on my mind, was the absurd satisfaction I find in having a large pile of tarped wood sit outside our house. It looks like we’re trying to hide an elephant out by our wood burner, but every time I see it, I feel a connection with every other family, past or present, that relies on an ample supply of wood to get them through the winter. My Laura Ingalls Wilder (that I don’t have to dig very far to find) surfaced with a vengeance. I almost ran upstairs and threw on my hoop skirt- yes, I do own one. However, I opted to grab some apples instead.

We have a large box of Granny Smith apples sitting out in our laundry room, and since they are probably one of my favorite baking “mediums” I started peeling…

 

I had forgotten how much I love to bake. It felt so useful. It was only apple pie and cran-apple crisp, but I felt like I had accomplished more in those two dishes than I had in my entire first semester.  I honestly believe that it is the simple things that last. The rosy red cranberries clinking into the metal bowl will be the same today, tomorrow, even fifteen years from now. It is so nice to do something you enjoy, and have it benefit others… life doesn’t always work like that, but when it does, I hide it in my heart.

In our world, we don’t appreciate the simple things. They might look silly in the eyes of the “worldly wise” or the “driven achievers” but they are the things that make life beautiful. What are some simple things in your life this season?

Keep those heads in the clouds~

-HH-

 

The Thin Places

A week or so ago, my dearest darling, Rubyring and I were talking about books and imagination and whatnot, when she accidentally spelled fantasy- “fantasie”. We laughed, and then I remarked that I rather liked that spelling better. It looked more… like a word from my imagination. It looked more like what real fantasie should be. Upon both agreeing, we wrote a definition for our new word:

Fantasie means more than Twilight or Harry Potter. (Sorry to any fans out there.)  It refers the beauty of mind and soul… the world in our subconscious, all things beautiful and imagined.  Things are only impossible when they cannot be imagined.  All possibility is contained within imagination.

Things that are in our imagination are existing in our imagination… thus, they exist! Okay, okay, I know… it’s a little heady, but conversations and readings and feelings that had been compiling for months, all began to tie in.

The ancient Christian Celts had a term for the moments when heaven and earth seemed to collide- the thin places. I instantly latched on to this concept- The thin places. The places where the breath of God blows my hair; where the greens seem greener, and the blues, bluer. How lovely. How absolutely wondrous!

Now you may be a dry old codger who is wondering, “Why does this matter? Thin places… BAH HUMBUG! And what does imagination and fantasie have to do with it anyway?!”

IT ABSOLUTELY MATTERS

We must be able to see the thin places in order to find them, but so often our eyes have become scarred over. We have blinded ourselves to the thin places. A blooming flower is merely a chemical reaction; no longer a happening of wonderment and awe. We have lost our fantasie. Don’t you see? Our fantasie is our ability to accept happenings and feelings that are outside of our realm of understanding. We lose our fantasie when we are so uncomfortable or embarrassed with it, that we explain it away.

No matter your theological persuasion or life background, to limit the scope of what our omnipresent, omnipotent God can do is a prideful, hard, and self-reliant thing to do. I believe our failing comes when we say, “God, that’s silly… I don’t like it. Perhaps you should work in a more logical manner? Maybe you would consider removing some of the wonder and mystery, and replace it with some calculated facts?”

Why do you think Jesus praised childlike faith? A child can imagine a mountain jumping into the sea, or calling the stars by their names… they might even imagine a tea party with the stars. This fantasie/faith is the same that can surrender at Jesus’ feet and submit to be carried on His back. This is a fantasie that can see the thin places. That embraces the thin places and runs to them, because HE is there.

I don’t believe that there is anything much sadder than watching a child outgrow their father’s hug. I sure don’t ever plan to. However, if we believe that spiritual “maturity” is growing too old and wise to visit the thin places; we have reduced ourselves to thinking that we are too old for our Father’s hug. What a pity that would be.

Dear friends… this is the goal of ~head in the clouds~; to promote the pursuit if the thin places, the beauty of mind and soul… the world in our subconscious, all things beautiful and imagined. Optimists and dreamers everywhere, rejoice!

Keep those heads in the clouds~

-HH-

The Fabric of Family Continued

I have had a very specific reason for putting off this follow-up post for so long. When I wrote the original “Fabric of Family” post, I had just returned home from an engagement party for my cousin and his fiance. This past weekend was their wedding.

I have the wonderful advantage of being close to my cousin and his wife. When two families are beautifully grafted together, I can only smile despite my general inclination to become melancholy at weddings.

Just yesterday I was talking with my new cousin-in-law Ruby, (my cousin’s sister-in-law). While both of us have the discouraging and morbid tendency to look at weddings as an end, as we talked, my mind was convinced of happier things. Yes, it is an end to the way life used to be, but it is also a beginning! A beautiful beginning that can only continue on. Friendships have been forged that won’t be broken. A union was forged through love and commitment. Things have changed, but I find I can embrace the change. Oodles and oodles of new friends and family have been woven into the tapestry of my life.

It reminds me of a quote from Nicholas Nickleby. Nicholas and Smyke had just been “adopted” into a large and colorful family of actors. As they sit watching the joyful chaos below, they make the following remarks.

“We have fallen on wondrous times…”

“But a good wondrous…”

That is how I feel right now. Regardless of any other doldrum-like thought I may be dealing with, I still feel like I have fallen upon good, wondrous times. My family has grown. As I sat, eating my potatoes and mozzarella during the evening reception, I found myself zoning. Ruby insisted to know what I was thinking (being a fellow dreamer), but at the time I really couldn’t put words to it. As I reflect now, it is becoming clearer. I was in a swirl of bliss. A sensory overload of swirling colors and emotions and love.

My life is changing… I’m changing… but with the growing pains comes a newness of life that feeds my very soul.

Keep those heads in the clouds, dear friends~

-HH-