Friday, September 26, 2014

you cannot discover new oceans unless you are willing to lose sight of the {south} shore

They say life comes full-circle, and today my little blog is returning to a theme that started it. I began here documenting my first adventure away from home for an extended time, and today marks my final week living in the only home I've known.

You cannot discover new oceans unless you are willing to lose sight of the {south} shore. 

The term bitter-sweet fits perfectly for how I am feeling. While part of me is excited to have my own closet (a walk-in!) I am certainly going to miss these walls and doors and people still living there. When iI was little and we would leave on vacation I would always request that we return to my "little, lellow house" and I've been a total homebody ever since. Yes my little, yellow house is too small, and there isn't enough storage, and if you're over 5'5 standing in the basement is a major problem, but it has still been home for almost 25 years.

I remember huge fights and plenty of angry tears within these walls, but beyond that I vividly remember the mud pies I made behind the garage, climbing the Dogwood, waking up to find my mom going to get us a new kitten, Smokey Joe, the last Thanksgiving with my Nana where there were so many people you couldn't push back your chair, and of course the many adventures of having our only puppy, Will.

Over the years our house has changed along with its occupants. I began in a small, ivory twin bed with flowers stenciled by my mom, but my room grew to incorporate a sister, and then bunk beds. We've gotten a new kitchen, a new bath, and a variety of furniture. With the introduction of Will, we've had some chewed wood work, chairs, and shoes, and several baby gates but he rounded out our family and made us all a little more humane. Jill and I have gotten older and taller (me older, Jill taller), my mom has had many different hair cuts, and my dad has remained resolutely steadfast through it all. Will is the hands-down family favorite and it wouldn't be the same without seeing him sit at the gate when we return home.

As I go about mentally wrapping and packing all of the bits and pieces of my life in my little, yellow house I feel my sentimentality growing. First a catch in my chest, then a tightening of my throat, a prickling in my eyes, and a slow (but sure) welling up of tears. I try to blink and look around hoping the tears will spontaneously dry up, alas I've gone soft in my old age.

This house has seen me through a variety of stages from refusing to sleep without my mom, to sleeping with a Virgin Mary nightlight, to sleeping with Cordy the teddy bear. It's seen me through groups of friends and many different styles but it really hasn't changed.

It is easy to make broad statements about the superiority of large houses, but I can see the merits of small houses, too. My little, yellow house fostered humble beginnings that provided a solid foundation on which my world view developed; I wouldn't trade that perspective for all the large houses in the world. 

As I go about actually wrapping and packing all of the bits and pieces of my life in my little, yellow house I feel my sentimentality growing. I remember one of the first weekends I returned from college quick to scoff at my small house and blue-collar town. My father in his omnicient way reminded me to "not forget where you came from." 

In my senior yearbook my parents placed a photo and a quote,

there are only two lasting bequests that we can hope to give our children - roots and wings.

Although I may be losing sight of the {south} shore for now, my little, yellow house will remain with my roots intact. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss."
--Eric Roth

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

coconut shrimp with fruit salsa *gluten-free*

I never use to be a fan of coconut shrimp but then friend first made these for us and totally opened my eyes to how delicious they are! Thanks to Lisa for the recipe.

Coconut Shrimp Ingredients
As many peeled and de-veined uncooked shrimp as you'd like
Corn starch
Flaked, sweetened coconut
Two (or more) egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Take your prepped shrimp and coat them in the corn starch.
Dip them in the egg whites and then coat liberally with the flaked coconut.
Lay them on a foiled-lined pan.

Bake the shrimp for 3-4 minutes on one side, carefully flip and bake for a final 3-4 minutes.
The coconut will be lightly browned and the shrimp nice and firm. Serve with fruit salsa!

Fruit Salsa Ingredients
10+ strawberries
2 kiwis
1 nectarine
1 heaping tablespoon of fruit preserves (peach, apricot whatever you like)
1 tsp of finely diced jalapenos 

Dice the fruit into tiny pieces (think half of a pinky nail sized).
Add the jalapenos.
Mix in the fruit preserves and stir well.
Serve on top of the coconut shrimp!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

hens and chicks

Love my Hens and Chicks. Looking for an adorable, very hardy, self-propagating plant? Try growing them!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Gluten-Free "Sand"

My gluten-free "sand" pudding turned into "dirt" with a lack of vanilla cookies. Still tasted great! Recipe to follow.