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A little sick.

Remember the barn I showed you last week? The one that is historic and I took the picture of the “coming soon” sign with it? (http://www.amaranthineimage.com/?p=97)

They began tearing it down today. They weren’t supposed to do that. It was legally supposed to be moved and incorporated into the design of the new development. The barn is an historic structure but at this point, it appears to be destroyed. It was a legal requirement that the barn, silo and house be restored and incorporated. I simply do not see how it can be recovered. Demolition of the barn would have required approval from the council and I don’t think they had it, despite the appearance that they were in the process of tearing the structure down prior to the town ordering a halt to the project earlier today.

This is not going to sit well with the residents of my small town.

You can find the statement of our mayor here. (http://www.purcellvilleva.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=368)

I’m thankful I took my picture of the barn when I did. Who knew it would look like this less than two weeks later.

The above images are not mine. They were taken by my friend and neighbor.

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Scrapbooking

It’s been almost a week since I spent any time with you.  I went to a scrapbook retreat last weekend with some of my besties so that’s what has had me all distracted.  You know how it is, you get a little crazy in the lead up to time away from home and then you come home to all manner of things that need your attention that had to wait until you got there.  So, that puts me here with you on this fine Wednesday.

I want to talk to you today about Project Life.  It’s like a hybrid that is just right for those of us who like to “scrapbook” but also are just too dang busy to make every page some elaborate masterpiece.

It really isn’t rocket science, but it is a huge step forward and a total relief to me.  The meat of the system is a series of pages that you drop your 4×6 horizontal photos into along with 2×3 slots for journaling cards.  Sounds pretty mundane, actually.  But there is beauty in the mundane!  (That, too, is a theme for Project Life but you’ll have to discover that part on your own.)

I began scrapbooking somewhere around 1997.  I have scads of traditional scrapbook albums with many beautiful layouts in them.  I was super pleased that when I became a mother, I was able to remain pretty up-to-date in my chronological scrapbooking method.  I was routinely scrapbooking and my current page was pictures taken within the last three months.  Until… 2004 when we moved.  With the move, all the supplies went into boxes and they just were not the priority when it came to settling my little family of four into our new home.  Eventually they did get unpacked but I also got pregnant and had a third child.  With the move, the pregnancy, some knock-me-down illness and a new baby I just couldn’t keep it up.

As of this writing, my “traditional” scrapbooks are up to December 2005.  My youngest child is about six months old in those albums.  He needs to be able to see the pictures of his role in our family too, don’t you think?  This was reinforced to me recently when a friend who has 7 children told me about her youngest child.  She too is up to 2005 in her chronological family albums.  Problem is, her youngest child hadn’t been born yet.  That sweet little girl recently asked her why there are no pictures of her!

Enter Project Life.  I heard about this method in December and I ordered it up for our family.  The premise is that you would take a picture every day and journal the highlight of the day.  The problem for me is that I simply don’t want to commit to a 365 picture-a-day project.  I have enough commitments, thankyouverymuch.  For me, I use the album to highlight the 7 most important images of my family that week.  At some point, I’ll show you my actual album week-by-week.  But not today.  It’s the end of March at this writing and the album for 2011 is virtually up-to-date.  Each week consists of some pictures of what we did that week along with the journaling about what happened.

There are 8 slots for each two-page spread for both pictures and journaling cards.  One of the 4×6 slots is used to note the week’s date.  The other seven 4×6 slots are for your pictures.  The kit comes with the 4×6 date cards for you that coordinate with the journaling cards and some decorative 2×3 cards. (7 cards to journal the 7 days of the week and one extra just to look pretty.)

I love that I can use the kit and add to or subtract from it to make it fit perfectly for our family.  Recently, we had two rather dull weeks.  I don’t think I took 7 pictures total in either week!  For that situation, I simply had the two page spread represent two weeks.  It is totally adaptable.  For someone like me who can sometimes fail to start something simply because I don’t know that it’s going to work out perfectly, that makes Project Life very attractive.

Another key reason – and probably one of my absolute favorite reasons – I love Project Life is that when one of my children says or does something that I want to remember, I run right over to my little desk in the kitchen and jot it down directly on one of the journaling cards.  I date it and slip it into one of the slots for the week we are currently in.  No longer do I have a journal where I record the funny things they say and do and hope that I can find it when it comes time to “scrapbook” that time in their lives.  It is right there where is should be – in the album.

If you are still reading this, I commend you.  As you can see, I can go on and on about Project Life.  I will likely do just that in the weeks ahead.  But if you are thinking you might want to try it – don’t think for a second that you have to wait until January to begin.  You can start at any month.  Just do it.  I highly recommend it.

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All of this chatter about documenting our lives via scrapbooks is the prompt for my picture of the post. Last week we had a lovely sunny day. I decided it was time to document some of the changes that are happening in our town. Someday, it won’t look anything like it does right now. I always love seeing those old pictures of what a town looked like before progress came and made it what it looks like today. So, I thought I’d do my part for my little piece of history.

Wordless Wednesday

I don’t know why we call them Wordless Wednesdays.  I’m sure I’ll always have something to say.

I’ll be so happy to see spring and summer arrive!  In addition to all the other normal glorious reasons, I’ll be able to drop my ISO again.  I’m pretty tired of 1600 ISO.  Just sayin’.

This past weekend we went to my niece’s bridal shower.  This is all the girls in her immediate family – up and down the family tree.  (not including aunts, cousins, etc.)

Lasagna Garden

Yep, I’m going to talk about dirt today.  One of the things on my bucket list is to successfully grow a vegetable garden.  I wanted to start it last year, but I didn’t get to it in time.  So, last year I started by making a compost pile.  That’s what’s in the wheelbarrow.  I had to take a picture of it since I made that dirt myself.  From my kitchen and my lawn.  It’s the simple things sometimes.

Last week we had a all-to-brief day of semi-nice weather so I thought we’d layer our garden.  We began by laying down some cardboard where I plan to plant.  Then we covered it with dead leaves, followed by cut grass and finally topped it off with my pretty compost.

I probably need more compost but this is all I had for the moment.  The good news is it prompted me to begin composting again.  Carrying mucky stuff out to the compost pile just didn’t happen during the winter.  Sorry to say.

If you’re interested, Google Lasagna Gardening Method and you can start a garden too!  It’s one way to make sure there are no GMOs in your food.  And it’s a lot less expensive than buying organic.  And it’s a great family project.  (At least that’s what they tell me.)

I am officially ready for spring now.  And dirt.  And vegetables.

South Beach Chili

My husband and I have been doing the South Beach diet for the last two and a half weeks.  We’ve had some success with it in that we’ve both already lost some weight.  However, a few of the recipes leave a bit to be desired…

Last night we tried South Beach Chili and found it to be *good*!  Not just good enough, but actually good!  Two of my children actually asked for seconds.  So, I thought I’d share the recipe.

This is a Phase 1 recipe for anyone who cares about that.  Diet Chili will be enough for most people to know, I’m sure.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin oil

2 bell peppers (any color), chopped

1.5 cups chopped mushrooms

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chilli powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans

1 (14.5 OUNCE) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juices

 

Directions

 

In a large sucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell peppers, mushrooms, onion, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring, until vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Add chilli powder, oregano, cumin, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes more.

Add beans and tomatoes with their juices. Bring to a gentlesimmer and cook, stirring occasionally, untill chilli is fragrant and slightly thickened, 25 minuted. Serve warm. Garnish with nonfat plain yogurt if you like.

 

–Really good with wheat pita triangles on later diet phases.

 

Number of Servings: 4

Picture for the day – last week my husband was working from home.  This is how I served him his South Beach snack.  (A reuben lettuce wrap.  Another yummy one if you like Reuben sandwiches.)

 

Welcome

Welcome to my new blogsite!  I’ve been blogging for awhile, but through a series of issues, mostly stemming from thinking I’m smarter than I actually am, all my older blog posts are gone.  So, I’m starting over.  If you knew me before, you can bet that you’ll see some things again as I recreate them.  Since I like pictures, here is my picture for today.

This is my husband and my daughter last month as they were getting ready to leave for the annual Father/Daughter Valentines Dance at my church.  Even though it was freezing outside, I wouldn’t let them be inside for the annual picture because I still had Christmas Santas decorating my staircase.  I didn’t want Santa in the picture because that would just be confusing in the future.  True story.  But I told them it was because I needed better light for the pictures.  Keep my secret for me, would ya?