This post is a little bit of everything… recipes, pictures, stories, and reflections.
Its Spring Break! (well, was Spring Break… basically over.)
The break brought… lots of work. But after working the first half, I did get to go home to Lexington from Thursday to Saturday to see family/friends and to eat and to play the Wii. Yes, that is what my time at home consisted of, and I am definitely not complaining. It was a relaxing trip.
On Friday night, we made a dinner of new recipes Mom and I had our eyes on: Winter Lentil Soup from Real Simple and a Quinoa Risotto from Prevention. Funny thing… I picked out the soup, and Mom made it. Mom picked out the risotto, and I made it. Cousin Melissa and her little guy came over to eat with us. We had too much fun!
First the food:
Winter Lentil Soup (click the link above to see the recipe) was so great! Kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, leeks, lentils. Yum!
Beautiful salad Mom made… spring mix with blueberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges, craisins, feta cheese, toasted almonds.
Quinoa Risotto (again, see link above for recipe) with sugar-snap peas, carrots, walnuts, and grated parmesean. Never had quinoa before? (Pronounce it keen-wa.) I hadn’t cooked it before, and I am now sold! It is easy and tasty and versatile. I’m going to look for some new recipes. Did you know quinoa is a good source of a complete protein?
And now, I introduce to you… Eli, aka Mr. Silly Face, aka funniest 2 1/2 year old ever. I hadn’t seen Eli since Christmas and I can’t believe how much this kid talks! Eli has figured out that he can make people laugh… and indeed, we did laugh. Fake sneezing is the funniest. He’s going to be a great big brother in 7 weeks.
Well, there’s another Mr. Silly Face! Look who joined us from Japan!
Speaking of Japan, if you turned on the TV or got on-line at all this weekend, you would have been hard-pressed to find a station or news source that wasn’t covering the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I woke up Friday morning, opened my computer in bed, and was greeted with some pretty horrific pictures and headlines about the disaster. I quickly scanned an article on MSN to see that the earthquake was north of Tokyo. Whew. Checking a map, I reminded myself of the distance between Osaka and Tokyo. Whew. Logging onto Facebook, Patrick had already posted a status to say that he was unaffected by the quake. Whew. I had messages and wall posts communicating concerns and prayers for my brother and my family. Whew.
Downstairs, Mom and Dad had received an email from P with a few more details. In Osaka, they felt several tremors – aftershocks from the original earthquake. There wasn’t any damage, although they had a tsunami advisory and were expecting a wave no higher than 1 meter. Osaka is in a bay in the southwest of Japan, relatively protected.
I feel personally grateful that Patrick and others we know/know of in the at-risk areas are safe.
All that to say, the disaster in Japan is horrific. The damage is great. The death toll is rising still. On Ash Wednesday this week, I smudged ashes on my church members’ foreheads and said to each person, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The ashes represent mourning; the phrase represents that life is fragile, fleeting. Natural disaster brings us face-to-face with our human-ness and our mortality. Not in the spiritualized way of the Lenten season, but in a very real, physical way, we remember that we are dust.
My prayers are with those in the greatest affected areas and with those who are still waiting to hear word from loved ones. I can only imagine, from the few moments of slight panic I felt, how that might be. Not knowing whether to hope or to mourn.
Reach out. Pray. Give. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is sending $5,000 to Japan for relief. You can contribute.