Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I had incredible, happy dreams last night.  My dreams are always vivid, and I nearly always wake up feeling that same emotion from my dreams.  But for some reason, when I awoke this morning, the reality of life came crashing down on me.  And it was heavy.  Ordinarily, I'm a take-charge person; I get things done.  If I want something out of life, I chase it down.  Maybe this is why God gave me such strong legs? 

But the past year has me feeling helpless and as if my life is out of my control.  This is such a foreign place for me that to say that I feel lost would be treating it with kid gloves.  There are frustrations with life that I just cannot fix on my own; I cannot put in enough elbow grease to shine up the situation.

I woke up this morning with the word "Can't" reverberating through my mind.  That word and I are not friends, and we never have been.  I do not identify with it, I do not empathize with it, I do not comiserate with it.  But this morning, I feel as if there are a million of billboards screaming at me from within my own bedroom:  Can't clear up your skin!  Can't get married!  Can't afford things!  Can't fit into your jeans!  Can't have babies!

That last one makes me pause.  It makes me gasp if I dwell on it for more than a few seconds.  It's not referring to a physical inability to have children, but my inability to have them now.  And with each passing day, my body ages toward a point where physical inability becomes a very real enemy, lurking from within. 

There aren't many things in this life that I can say without an ounce of doubt that I am good at.  But, I have always known - from the depths of my being - that I will be a good mother.  When I feel insecure with my career or filled with doubts in other areas, I ache to devote my energies toward something where I know I will thrive.  And it always goes back to one, unshaking thought:  Motherhood.

I am aware enough to know that things can be done to help fix my world of "Can't."  Enough creativity and enough trying will resolve most anything.  I need to return to that place of creativity and effort.  Because I know me - feeling lost and helpless isn't something I tolerate for long.  Like a gypsy, I feel the pulls of change in the wind, and there's no keeping me still once I feel those whispers across my skin.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cooking with Sara: Mom's Potato Salad

Mmmm.... my mom's potato salad...  In my book, it's the very definition of summertime comfort food.  There are zillions of potato salad recipes in this world, but there's only one receiving more than a passing glance from me.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Scrapbook 3

Another weekend has rudely flown on by.  When will they ever learn to stick around a little longer, to move a little more slowly?

I spent some time on Saturday in the garden center at Lowe's.  Just being among the flowers and plants brings me peace.  It helps get me back to centered, in a way.  And it doesn't hurt that the Dahlias and Daisies were blooming so bright and cheery for me.

And of course, while I was there, I became enamored with a plant that just absolutely needed to go home with us.  This time it was a half-price Hibiscus, and the only one left with red blooms.

I've since named her, "Jane."

Jane has lots more buds, just ready to open up and say hello.

For scale:  Rory meet Jane.  She will block the path you've stubbornly been using, despite our having put up hazards and blocks.  She will force you to walk around so that the grass in that patch will finally have a chance to grow.  Make nice with Jane, you hear?

Jane might possibly have been my reward for accomplishing this: On Friday, I finished up an order of 216 cake pops for a local wedding and then delivered and set up on Saturday.  The groom made the stand, and I filled it up with 5 different designs and flavors of cake pops.  Hurrah for being finished! 

(For the curious, there are more photos over on the Sarandipity blog.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cheater Cheater

By now, I'm sure you've heard all about the cheating scandal going on in the Atlanta Public School system.  It sounds eerily similar to the one described in Chapter 1 of Levitt and Dubner's "Freakonomics" book - teachers filling in answers for students and erasing and changing answers on standardized tests. 

We don't have children, so I don't know a lot about the details and impact of this hideous affair, but the fact that it's going on here and has been investigated in other major cities has me worried.  I'm an extroverted, social girl, and I've never given serious consideration to home schooling.  Until now.  I certainly don't want my future children cheated (pun intended) out of a good education when I'm fully capable of teaching them, and teaching them well, I might add.  I suppose I should be grateful that by the time I do have children in school, this will - hopefully - all be cleared up?

But in the midst of all this seriousness, the following quote had me doubled over with shocked laughter.  Who says something like that?!  Apparently, the APS teachers, that's who. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Speaking of Hot

Do you see that large number, there?  The one saying it's one hundred and eleven degrees outside?!  Goodness gracious, it's toasty out there.  I'm still used to summers on the West Coast, where it cools down in the evenings.  Last night at 11pm, our heat index was 94 degrees.  I'm incredibly miserly with running our air conditioning, but there's no beating temperatures like that.  I won't even begin to tell you what it feels like to go for a run when it's nearly 100% humid and 80 degrees.

Instead, I'll leave you with the formula to calculate the heat index.  It's way more complicated than I thought it would be!

Fine Print: I'm mostly blaming the weather here in Hot-lanta for my blogging absence.  I wish I could say that I've been on fun trips and reading some amazing books while I've been awol, but alas, no.  My brain pretty much shut down and left me with zero inspiration and creativity.  Here's to hoping I come up with something enlightening by the time it cools back off... in October.

Crazy mathematical formula courtesy of

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cooking with Bo: Apache Hot Sauce

This time around, Bo made the recipe.  And grew the peppers.  And took the photos.  Basically, I'm just acting as his cute secretary, minus the pencil skirt and 4" heels.

This hot sauce turned out delicious!  And I'm so proud that Bo made the product from start to finish.  We're new to the world of gardening and harvesting, and these little peppers are such a boost of inspiration and sense of accomplishment.  Bo will probably dig up more hot sauce recipes as more peppers pop up on the plants.  I'll be sure to get that recipe from him as well!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend Scrapbook 2

Can you believe I took that picture with my cell phone?  Can you believe I had been carrying my phone in a ziploc, squished into the front of my sports bra, while running and getting completely soaked by sweat and humidity?  Sorry, that's a little gross.  But I strive to be open and honest, and hey, I'm certainly not perfume and roses even half the time.  Anyway, Rory and I ran twice this weekend on the Greenway - a set of forested paths about a mile from our house.

The paths mostly follow a creek and are paved except for the footbridges that cross over marsh and wetlands.  What you're staring at is a forest cloaked in 97% humidity.  Oh, yes.  That air out there was heavy.  My clothes were completely drenched, and it should be noted that running in humidity like that is exhausting.  It just saps all endurance and wears you out in no time flat.  Running a slow three miles in that feels like a fast five miles in cooler and dryer weather.  Which probably explains why we saw almost no one either day.  But I'm not complaining; it's really nice to have forested paths all to ourselves.  One of my favorite sounds is the hushed rhythm of footfalls in nature.

Rory gets tuckered out in the oppressive humidity too, so I stopped to let her take a mid-run swim break.  Actually, I had planned to stop to let her get a quick drink, but she ran and jumped right in and then swam around. 

Flowers?  Lovely.  Wet dog?  Not so much.

Bo has been dutifully tending to our back yard and patio garden, and these Zinnias are just one of the blooms thriving out there.  I haven't lifted a finger with anything regarding our backyard except to get inordinantly excited over picking out seed packets.  Which he then planted and grew for me.  Such a spoiled life I lead.

Of course, I then oblige when he asks me to make cookies. Cookies with more chocolate than usual.  Cookies made with my fancy-dancy Sarandipity melting chocolates.

I may or may not have eaten cookies for dinner last night, and nothing else.  Whoops.