Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Frida Kahlo cult

My friend Elizabeth reads the New Yorker and she will occasionally print off or emails articles to me that she thinks I would be interested in. They range from articles about social issues to essays by David Sedaris. She is so good to me! Today she passed along article about Frida Kahlo because she knows that I am, in fact, a due paying member of the Frida Kahlo cult. The author of the article said it best when he described her work as "assuring me of two things: first, that things are worse than I know, and second, that they're all right." Seems fitting today.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


It seems impossible that we are getting close to the end of 2007. Time is flying by a record speeds. But the end of the year is full of things that we are looking forward to. There is a lot of good stuff on the horizon for the Bean’s crew-
A trip to Atwood over the holidays
A trip to Louisville the first week of 2008
A birthday celebration for a little guy
Christmas and Thanksgiving with my family.
Jason and Mandy are coming to visit and we get to spend the weekend with them at the Circle S (Which means I can scratch off #20 )

Family, friends and travel to close out 2007--We can only hope with 2008 is full of more of the same.


I’ve got some stuff to work on.
Big stuff.
Life changes.
Questions that I need to answer.
Priorities to reorganize.
Relationships to invest in.
Relationships to let go of.
Time to find.
Memories to create.

I haven’t worked though all the details but I have a starting off point-
First -no more television-wasted time.
Second -no more road rage-wasted energy.
Third -no more negative people-more wasted energy.
Forth-find time for exercise-I miss it and I need it.

I want to put my time and energy into things that really matter to me. Into creating a life that follows my personal truth with determination and honesty but also with gentleness and an open heart. Simplicity, peace and happiness- that is my mantra for now.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

When I die they will laugh about my insane cookbook collection

or....If I don't show up to work come check on me to make sure I wasn't crushed by my insane cookbook collection. Either title will work.
I got a coupon from Amazon for being such a great customer and I got an email from Compassionate Cooks about Colleen's latest cookbook and so I decided it must be a sign and I ordered two more cookbooks. That's it! I must stop now. I have more cookbooks than I know what to do with and probably 80 recipes I have found online that I have printed off and need to try. But today, for my Things that make me happy post rather than focusing on my addiction to cookbooks I will focus on the fact that they make me Oh So Happy! And the fact that I have a wonderful spouse that never comments on the fact that my cookbooks and recipes take up 1/3 of our kitchen counter. Love you honey!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Wade started his "new" job today so he had to go in at 7am (instead of his old noon to midnight shift) and we got to take a lunch break together. I am hoping that this becomes a regular date for us because we so rarely get to spend any time together-alone and not asleep. We had brunch at my favorite brunch place, Miltons, and I discovered my new favorite fru-fru coffee-The Heavenly Latte. White chocolate, coconut and vanilla. I don't know if they put the little feather on all their lattes or if it is just for the "heavenly" variety but it is almost too cute to drink....almost...

We decided that the best way to boost the resale value of our house is to add a bathroom and so I started looking for bathtubs. Of course this probably won't happen for a couple years but it is good to be prepared for these things. I found this tub on the web. It is a couple that restores old bathtubs. I LOVE IT! So...I reserved one. It was free to reserve it and there is no obligation. I think it is just so that the people know what type of bath we want so that when they find it they can contact us. YAY!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Five

Top Five repeats on my i-pod

1. Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da:::The Beatles
2. The Food:::Common
3. I Feel for You:::Chaka Chan
4. One, Two, Three, Four:::Fiest
5. I’ll be Rested:::Mavis Staples
Hit me with yours......

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Two thoughts

I love people that blow up stereotypes. Today in class we had a guest speaker, he was recruiting undergrads for the teaching program. Apparently there is a major shortage in the US and so KU has developed a program for undergrads to get their major degree and a teaching certificate. Anyway, so this guy looked like a football player. He was probably 6 foot 5 and weighed 300 lbs. He had a combed out fro and was covered in tattoos. He is a 7th grade math teacher. He was funny and bright and passionate about teaching and, I have to admit, by the end of his presentation I had a little crush. He is a recent KU grad but I got the impression that he does not teach in Kansas. These are the kind of people I want teaching my children because teachers do so much more than present a subject, they help build self-esteem and have a big impact on their students future. After listening to his presentation I wanted to be a teacher.

Then we had a nurse do a presentation. I started thinking about when I was pregnant and the nurses I encountered both before Henry was born and during our stay in the hospital when he was born. I love being around pregnant women, and a good nurse can totally change a pregnant Mom’s experience. Our delivery nurse, Colleen, was totally amazing. I hugged her four times in our two day stay at the hospital. Wade did too. She was awesome and after Henry was born I sent her a thank you note (I also sent our doctor a thank you note because she was also awesome). After listening to his presentation I wanted to be a nurse.

But then I love cooking and baking and cupcakes and chef school sounds like so much fun. Yikes! Will I ever figure this out? I suppose I would rather feel overwhelmed with choices then feel as though I don’t have any options….and a positive way to look at it is that either way I think I will be happy with my decision. And either way is better then what I am doing right now. Oh so much better.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


As a kid I always wished that I had an October birthday. For starters my birthday is in August so I never got to bring birthday treats to school. Second, it just always seems like it would be so fun to have a birthday costume party. Henry's birthday falls so close to Thanksgiving every year that I imagine it might be sort of hard for him to have birthday parties when he is school age...maybe we will have early birthday parties over Halloween instead....

Well, these cupcakes are for my Mom. My parents spent the weekend in Chicago celebrating her birthday and so to surprise her and do something for the woman who is always doing something for everyone else, I put made these and left them on her kitchen counter with a bunch of sunflowers. I had Henry do a quality control on the cupcakes before we took them to Gigi's house. His analysis "Henwe like cupcake. More please. Nother Mama?" Fingers were licked as well as arms and shirts, so I think we were good to go.

Black bean soup, grilled polenta and salad

I know, noodles and beans's weird. But it actually really works. This recipe is super easy too. The only downfall is remembering to soak the beans the night before. Polenta is a piece of cake to make or you can buy it in tubes at the store.

I missed Saturday but that's okay because I didn't really fix anything. We had Amy's veggie burgers, baked beans and broccoli.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lentil Stew, salad and biscuts

There is no way to make lentil stew look appetizing in a photo so you'll just have to trust me on this one. It was good lovin.

5 Years

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Self-portrait #8

I finished my Frida necklace last week. I think it turned out really great.


I put the recipe together in honor of my friend Lisa. We used to work together and would often run into each other around lunch time in the break room with our matching stuffed shell pasta Amy's meals. One afternoon she told me that that this was the one meal that she could eat every day.

This dinner was oh so close...but not quite. The flavors were great. The spinach puree was a little too smooth for our taste, it needed some body and some crunch. I haven't given up on it yet might see it again soon.

Things That Make Me Happy Thursday Part 2

I got on the subject of San Francisco this afternoon and it brought back all my great memories of our trip to SF many many years ago. We weren't married at the time but so far this is the closest we have come to a honeymoon. There is a ton of great stuff going on in the Bay Area, we didn't even scratch the surface during our visit. Alcatraz was really cool. Shopping in Berkeley was fun. But my favorite part of our trip was Muir Woods. That is a place I could go back to over and over again. It was breathtaking.

Green is great

My friend MC tagged me to list 3 ways that I live green. Well, sort of meme is right up my alley (who am I kidding, any meme is right up my alley)…so here goes-

1) Transportation- We have really been working on carpooling here in the Kelly household. We are trying to work out the kinks of having just one car with plans of selling the van and the civic next spring for something more reliable. We live so close to our jobs and are jobs are so close to each other, there really is no reason for us to have 2 cars, and honestly, so far it has been a really easy transition. Plus I hate to drive so it is good for the Earth and good for Mama.

2) Household- We recycle everything. We use energy efficient light bulbs and own energy efficient appliances. We are going to plant our first garden this spring and I am hoping to grow enough vegetables to stock up our kitchen all summer, plus some to can for the winter, and some for our friends and family {gardening tips would be greatly appreciated}. We compost our scraps and only mow our lawn when it is absolutely necessary (wait, that might have more to do with being lazy than living green) ;)

3) What we eat- Did you know that not eating meat, especially beef, is the best thing you can do for the planet? Why? Raising cattle for slaughter is a tremendous waste of water, a major contributor of pollution in our streams and rivers, plus it destroys rain forests and produces massive amounts of carbon dioxide and methane and many other things. This link is a fascinating explanation of why skipping that hamburger is so good for our planet. By not eating beef you will----
~avoid polluting our streams and rivers better than any other single recycling effort you do,
~avoid the destruction of topsoil,
~avoid the destruction of tropical forest,
~avoid the production of carbon dioxide. (Your average car produces 3 kg/day of CO2. To clear rainforest to produce beef for one hamburger produces 75 kg of CO2. Eating one pound of hamburger does the same damage as driving your car for more than three weeks);
~reduce the amount of methane gas produced;
~reduce the destruction of wildlife habitat, and
help to save endangered species.

What are you doing to live green?

Photoshoppin' it

This photo was my first attempt at photoshop. I cropped it, changed it to black and white and then adjusted the contrast and the brightness. It is a little grainy because it is actually a scanned photograph originally taken with my 35 mm camera but I love it as a black and white. I am so excited about using photoshop, there are so many great things you can do in that program. Thanks babe, for showing me how to do it!

Dinner for 3

Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup ala Martha Stewart---my photos could never compare to her photos. A salad and some garlic toast on the side. Filling and tasty, for sure. Recipe here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Things that make me happy Thursday

*I had to put Henry in a sweatshirt and a jacket this morning. The breeze was cool and we could see our breath. Henry would take a breath and say “teem Mama. Hot.” He thought it was steam, like his hot veggies at dinner. *The leaves are just starting to change. On my way to work I spotted little specks of yellow in the green canopy over the streets in our neighborhood. *We have a maple tree in our front yard. I peak outside every morning, anticipating its fall show---what color will it be? *The Halloween decorations are up at Gigi and Grandpa’s house. “Keleton keleton” Henry yelled when we pulled into their drive this morning. Then he grabbed my hand as we walked into the house and pulled me from room to room-“Bats. Bumpkin. Bumpkin. Ghost. Bumpkin lights….” *Many of the decorations at my Mom’s house I made with my sisters when we were kids. Construction paper pumpkins and spiders made from pipe cleaners. I can’t wait to fill my house with homemade decorations made by my children. Until then I will just have to decorate myself and I am thinking that candy wreath and paper lantern pumpkins (above) are a great start*Rolling Prairie is still going strong; we still get our bags of locally grown produce once a week. I am hoping for butternut squash, raspberries and green beans this week. I have roasted squash with a raspberry dressing, cornbread stuffing, green beans and mashed potatoes and gravy on the menu for next week. *Plans are underway for Halloween care packages for my sisters. Chocolate truffles rolled in orange sprinkles are packaged and ready to mail*I found a porch swing made of sustainably harvested wood from South America and the best part is that it is on sale. We are going to order it this weekend. I have always wanted a house with a porch swing. *Halloween cupcake ideas are flowing in. My favorites are above....especially the monster one. I think we may have to do a trial run this weekend ;) *I am listening to the new Radiohead CD *We are going to the pumpkin patch with my parents and Aunt Kelly next weekend. Pumpkin carving will follow. I am thinking of doing a dot pumpkin, like the one in the center of my mosaic. * I put some mums on our front porch. *Wade taught me how to use photoshop *41 days until my sisters arrive. *Grandpa is off work today so Henry gets to spend the whole day with both of his Grandparents {and my Mom gets a break}. *I am going to leave for my lunch break to buy some pumpkin spice candles from our favorite candle shop. The house will smell like October tonight :) Happy Thursday to you.

Autumn always reminds me of J&M

A few days back I went on and on about all the fun events coming up in the next few months. Well, I think I might have another one to add. Last night we got to talk to our good friends (and Henry's god parents) Jason and Mandy and we starting making plans for a visit this winter. I can't tell you how ecstatic I am at the prospect of sitting in our living room laughing and playing music with them until the wee hours of the morning.
The last time Henry saw them he could barely walk but every time Jason picked up his guitar Henry would toddle over, stand next to Jason and dance and dance and dance....
Can't wait to see you guys.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Side salad

The other day I was visiting with a coworker and mentioned that I forgot to bring my lunch. She quickly and very kindly offered up her crackers, cheese and salami. I said no thanks but she pushed a little saying that she had a ton of it and didn't want it so I told her that I don't really eat that stuff too often anymore. She asked "What part of it do you not eat? The salami?" I said yeah the salami and the cheese and probably not the crackers either. "Are you some kind of vegan or something?" she asked. I told her that I am sort of a vegan. I just don't eat much dairy, meat or eggs. "So what, you just eat salads all the time then?" she asked.

Of course this is a common misconception about vegans and it is totally untrue. Not eating meat, dairy and eggs opens up a whole world of good stuff that you might miss just eating the staples of an American diet. So I thought that I would try to go all week taking photographs and talking about what I ate for dinner. Of course, it is Tuesday so I have already missed Monday but I actually wrote a post a while back about what we ate on Monday, so I guess I am still on track.
Tonight we had Hot Tamale Burgers, Spanish rice, broccoli and a salad. And tonight confirmed for me what I already suspected, I love cookbooks but I hate following recipes. I'm no good at it. The recipe uses brown rice as the glue for the patty. I had already planned on making Spanish rice and had left over quinoa from yesterday so I thought I would just substitute one for the, didn't work...tasted great but fell apart and in the end we had something more like a stir fry then a patty. I made a chipotle garlic alioi to go on top the burgers, it is one of Wade's favorite sauces (he loves sauces) so we drizzled that on top of the quinoa and it was super spicy and tasty. Henry had one bite and said "No more for Henry. Too picey!" But Wade thought is was the best vegan dinner he has ever had. I think I am going to try it again but make it into a bake instead of a burger. The recipe is too long for me to type out but if you are intrested let me know and I will make a photocopy and send it to you. Good stuff I tell you...way more than just salad :)

Monday, October 8, 2007


A few years ago Wade’s sister had a benefit concert for her trip to Europe. She asked Wade to perform a few songs and Wade excitedly got to work on two group songs and two solos. The following weekend we packed up the car and drove to Western Kansas for the performance. Wade practiced the songs with his siblings on Friday and Saturday while I visited with the extended family that was in town for the benefit show, spent time with his best friend from high school, finished reading 2 books, knitted a scarf and watched the gang practice. On Sunday we got to the theater early to set up. People started to arrive about an hour before the show. Wade’s Dad, his Dad’s wife, cousins, aunts, grandmother…all trickled in about an hour before the show. I went to greet everyone at the door as they arrived and then headed to the front of the theatre where his Dad and his Dad’s wife were sitting. I moved toward the middle of the row so that there would be plenty of room for the rest of the family. No one sat by me. I sat in the middle of the 4th row alone. Family filled in the rows in front and behind me, to my left and to my right but there was a radius of at least 3 empty seats all around me. In typical small town form everyone was whispering about the new girl. I could feel all the eyes beating down on me. I only looked behind me once and decided that I wouldn’t do it again. After the show I ran up to Wade and did not let go of his hand for 2 hours.

This story pretty much describes my entire experience with his family. Sometimes I wonder what they don’t like about me. I think I am a pretty decent person. I smile, I listen, I ask questions, I share my experience, I’m sincere, I’m open, I’m non-judgmental and I honestly want to be a part of their lives and to get to know them. I am by no means perfect but I think I am pretty easy to get along with. And I love their son/brother/nephew/cousin/friend with my whole heart and spend every day trying to make our life together as true to us, and make him as happy, as I can. That should count for something.

Wade says it is an issue of expectations. Wade says he doesn’t have any expectations for his family. He says that he learned that it was easier on him and everyone else for him to just take them at face value and in turn he doesn’t pay attention to their expectations of him. That is such an interesting notion to me…no expectations. My expectations have gotten me in trouble on numerous occasions. I have been let down by people because of my expectations more times than I could count. But to not have any expectations, to just turn them off…can people actually do that?

Wade says he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of me or him or our relationship. And I believe him. But I remember what it was like for him when I told him that I sat alone the night of the benefit show. I know that he cared that night.

On Friday I watched Meet Joe Black. For some reason it sat with me all afternoon; the connection between the family that we are born into and the family that we create as adults. How unique and beautiful and dynamic and difficult and wonderful they both are. I am part of my parents; I have my Dad’s nose and my Mom’s hands. They shaped who I was and who I am today. Now I am married to this person who is helping to shape who I will be and together we have made this amazing person who sings and laughs and yells and runs and has my eyes and Wade’s nose. I cried easily for the rest of the afternoon. Henry woke from his nap and started dancing in the living room. He grabbed my hand and said “Dance Mama” and so we danced and ran in circles and I cried. Our connection to each other is so beautiful and so delicate and so important. In fact, I am willing to say that in the end, it is all that really matters.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Holey Shomoley!

I got an 82%

I am certain that I don't deserve it...but I'll take it :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Things that make me happy Thursday

Today has been a difficult day for me to come up with my things that make me happy Thursday post. It has been a very very long day and the end is not in sight as I have to come back into work this evening after Henry goes to bed. But, I suppose these kind of days are precisely what things that make me happy Thursdays are for.
So what is getting me through the day?

Iced coffee. Fiest, MF Doom, Dead Prez, Nina Simone and Otis Redding. Short breaks for blogging. The most recent Radio Lab podcast. Knowing that Henry is with Papa at the toy store right now having a great time (apparently playing with puppets with Wade, his favorite puppet?- Dr. Moody). Post-test relief, even if it means a bad grade.

Sorry...that's all I got. It's like trying to squeeze water out of a pebble at this point. Hopefully I'll really rock it out next Thursday. Hope you had a good one.

Question 1

This morning I-
A) Likely flunked my first test since my freshman year at KU
B) Guessed on 19 of 50 questions on my exam (that leaves 62% not guesses)
C) Discovered that they make scan-trons with answer options up to N
D) Stopped on my way down the hill to put my stupid exam in my bag, thereby missing the parking guy by 3 minutes and getting another frickin $10 ticket
E) Got my period and bleed through my jeans while taking my exam and then had to bring it to the front of the classroom and walk down the hill with a red stain on my ass
F) Saw the annoying guy in class that always tries to prove the teacher wrong turn in his exam after only 15 minutes and then attempt to have the professor “pound it” on his way out.
G) On my return to work found a hand written note on my chair that pretty much said I had to meet my deadlines despite the fact that the person providing the information to me got it to me 3 days late.
H) Slept in and sat out on the veranda listening to NPR and doing a sudoku
I) Realized how out of place I am when I stood over a large tin trashcan with a lighter and copy of my exam in hand and looked back to find all of my classmates in a herd excitedly comparing answers.
J) All except E. Ever heard of TMI, sheesh!
K) All except H which is something I imagined while staring at my exam.
L) All except F, even biology nerds are not that ridiculous
M) All of the above
N) None of the above

The answer is K, by the way

Monday, October 1, 2007

Last year at the patch

Looking forward to...

If I ever complain about anything that has to do with my parents again in the future please send me an over the Internet smack. Two reasons-1) Henry and I have stopped at my parents house unexpectedly and uninvited for 4 days in a row. Today, my Mom had to have a procedure done that made it so she couldn't watch Henry for us. So what did I do? I popped by to check on her at around 5 and stayed for dinner and an evening walk. My parents are incredibly generous and never say a word about spending every day with a wild 2 year old and his exhausted mother, although I can only imagine how tiresome that must get for them.
2) My parents just bought me this house- Just kidding. My semi-retired Dad has been working so that our whole family (all 10 of us) can spend a week next summer in a beach house on the East coast and today they decided on this place.
It is on a private beach and has amazing views of the Atlantic from every bedroom.

On our way to the beach we are going to stop in St. Louis for the night (we figure 4 hour stretches with Henry stuck in the car is about the best we are going to get). In St. Louis I think we'll visit my Aunt P and go here (take the photo tour and you will get a sense of how awesome this place is). Then we will drive to Louisville to visit Nana. Nana is Henry's Great Grandmother. She is wonderful. Wade grew up in Louisville so it is always fun to swing by his old haunts. Nana's mother, Eva, lives in Indiana. That's Henry's Great Great Grandmother. If I can find a way to bring Alex to Louisville that same weekend then we can get a 5 generation photograph and I can check off #28. We'll probably stop one more time between Louisville and the beach house, in Tennessee or North Carolina. I'll have to do some research on fun things to do in that area.
I am hoping I will get to do #5, #23 and #30 while we are there. Oh and I will definitely get to do #2. And, on the long car ride I might do a little of #27.
I have to say that this trip has me more excited than I have been in quite a while. Spending a week with my family on the ocean sounds like a dream come true. I am literally counting down the days {I'm not kidding guys, it's on my calendar at work}.
Other future events that I am counting down for-Our annual visit to the pumpkin patch (I'll post pictures from last year and this year). Our 5th wedding anniversary. Henry in a Halloween costume. Thanksgiving. Henry's 2nd birthday. The end of the semester. Christmas...This year is going to go out with a bang.
Tell me, what are you counting down the days until?

Enry sanwech?

I ate this for lunch
with this kid. What could be better?