lemon sea salt

my brother's girlfriend, a fabulous professional chef, told me the secret to good cooking

1. use more butter
2. use more salt

oh gosh. twist my arm. I love both.

its hard to improve on nature's products of salt and butter. but jaime oliver did. he added lemons to sea salt. i'm puckeroo-ing. which is a tricky combination of puckering and drooling at the same time.

wouldn't this make a nice wonderful mother's day gift for a cook? (kids...are you reading this? kids?)
or for someone who likes to eat? or for someone with normal blood pressure? or for someone who is a pepper snob and needs to become an equal opportunity condiment lover? or for someone who loves gimmicky overpriced designer food and can't simply grate lemon zest into their own salt? or for those who love cool packaging?

i gotta get me some!

ms fish music pick: lemon tree by fool's garden


motherhood monday: top ten

TEN reasons why I love being a mom

10. get to breathe in the fresh smell of TIDE at least three times a week

9.  have gotten so fast at stringing my kid's names together (seanjanessastocktonlandon) I could be hired as an auctioneer
8. have enviable skillz for my resume: 1) expert indoor voiding coach, 2) whiz at handling all kinds of bodily fluids, 3) authority on creative nagging

7. never need to worry about my soda-stained, crumb-infested, soccer-smelling tank car being stolen

6. don't have to actually throw a frozen burrito at the car in anger. can get my kids to think I did based on my reputation alone (inside joke...i'm crackin' myself up!)

5. get to be all haughty when icons screw up: "what do you mean the tooth-fairy forgot? AGAIN. What kind of irresponsible pixie does that?"

4. get to re-live all kinds of 'firsts' (first piano recital, first time driving, first kiss) 

3. a) have become good at change (easy...there is never any in my wallet)
    b) have become good at change (I changed their diapers. they changed me)

2. the love for my own mother has increased ten-fold

and the number one reason why I love being a mom....

....get to give and receive love.

I love love.
and I love being a mom.


great essay about Motherhood here


buggy cool

a few days ago, I posted a flow sheet on how to pick a font.

now here is another way to pick a font: risk your bowel health, grow e-coli in a petri dish, and you'll get a seriously cool font.

at least the judges of the Dutch Design Awards thought so. they awarded Jelte van Abbema the Rado Prize last november for his innovative font design which was actually printed in e-coli bacteria. van abbema stamped bacteria into the paper and incubated it. He needed just the right humidity and warmth for the organisms to multiply and die. the font is called symbiosis.

dude, the results are totally sick (ha...finally a legit use of the teenage word sick, which means cool). every letter is unique in shape and color [and colony count].
you can read more here.

Other typography inspiration here


so you need a typeface

a little confession here... I love typeface. serifs and san-serifs alike. I will spend hours searching and stewing over the right font for a project. in fact, I love fonts so much that I made my kids sit through the documentary film Helvetica. (strangely enough, they didn't quite share my enthusiasm for this two hour movie about LETTERS).

so you can imagine my delight when I found this. turns out, I love fonts so much, I don't just like reading them, I like reading ABOUT them.

anyone else share a passion for print?


Motherhood Monday: Swim With the Sharks

The other night my daughter came home from being with a group of girls and sprawled herself out over my bed. I love it when Daisy sprawls. It means we are in for some serious girl talk. Then the sprawling was followed by deep sighs which meant we were in for the kind of girl talk where my gills get all ruffled. And ruffled they did. What I heard could have been a trailer from the movie Mean Girls

So herein lies my great parenting dilemma:  How do I help my teen-age daughter swim among the sharks without becoming a piranha?

And how do I hurt the 'mean girls' and make them pay?

As we talked, once again, my daughter taught me a great lesson because she understands the bigger picture (that she would rather be called a 'slut' than have a mom in jail). I was amazed by her attitude. She harbors no ill-will against her supposed "friends." Daisy recognizes that gossip is an inescapable part of adolescence, and simply a way to cope with insecurities. It is a girl's way of publicly announcing her jealousy. Gossip serves a very useful function by revealing the true character of the gossiper and helps to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Ok...Daisy didn't come right out and say all that directly....but that's exactly what she meant when she pleaded:

"mom, do NOT call the girl's parents!"

So I guess it's time to be honest here. The real issue is this: how does my daughter swim among the sharks and keep ME from becoming a piranha?


Motherhood Is Easy

Mother's Day is coming.... which means obligatory popsicle stick and tissue paper flowers and chocolate-covered peace offerings. To celebrate this, I am declaring every Monday until May 9th: MOTHERHOOD MONDAY, and will share thoughts about the ups and downs of being a mother. I hope you'll weigh in.....

Motherhood is easy.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a mother.

Sure, it all starts off easy enough…buzzing through the pollination process. But once the little pollywog meets his eggstra special mate and forcefully invites himself in for dinner {in YOUR house}, the EASY-ness of independence takes cover like the sun on a cloudy day, emerging only sporadically to provide bright respite from the shade.

Pregnancy itself is such an accurate symbolism of motherhood that not even Shakespeare could come up with better foreshadowing. For example, when reflux is causing grief, and you plead for the mercy of delivery, just swallow down the waterbrash and realize that heartburn will return in 15 years when your teenager is learning to drive. And you will again plead for mercy of delivery (your own this time). Pregnancy back pain? It's just a hint of the back pain you’ll get hauling around a 15 pound kiddo, a 20 pound diaper bag, and 60 pounds of mommy guilt.

Pregnancy also mimics parenthood in many other ways. The symbiotic swelling of both belly and babe portends a dependent growth that will continue through the lifespan.

If one doesn’t grow, neither will the other.

I am understanding this interdependent relationship more and more. As my children grow increasingly autonomous, I realize that I thought I was teaching them. But as it turns out, I have really been the student. My kids have helped me realize that motherhood is about raising, and celebrating the child I have, not the child I thought I would have. It is about understanding that my children are simply the people they are supposed to be. Joan Ryan states, "And if you are lucky, [they] just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be." 

Yes, motherhood is not the freeway to my unrealized dreams, but rather, it is a gym to increase wisdom fitness. So, I'll keep wearing my metaphorical stretchy pants to accommodate growth and keep on plugging away at the give and take of motherhood. I'll keep receiving lessons from my children.

And give them my love. THAT is the easy part!



Sand Hollow Triathlon

When I was in the 9th grade, I was cut from the volleyball team. I joined the swim team, but quit after learning I would have to do a flip turn under water without plugging my nose. I tried tennis, but could never find a racket big enough to ensure I'd hit the ball. I did play basketball. Third string. On the church team.

So you can imagine what I thought when my 15 year old son told me he wanted to do a triathlon: "Whose child ARE you?"

Luckily for my kids, I married someone whose athletic genes trumped my contribution. Although believe me, it takes great athleticism to be such a good non-athlete.

Well...my son's determination to do the triathlon wasn't a passing fancy. Last Saturday, (April 3, 2010) Otto swam 400 yards, biked 10 miles, then ran 3 miles in 1:05. His goal was to place in the top 100. Instead, he placed 2nd in the 15-19 age category and 29th place overall out of 236 participants. I was SO proud of him..... and for more reasons than that!

-he had no training partner or anyone he knew that ran the race with him
-he didn't have a bike, so he took the initiative and found one to borrow
-it was a mountain bike with huge knobby tires and crazy shocks not at all convenient for road racing
-he borrowed a bike helmet
-he ran in worn out tennis shoes
-he researched what to eat, cut out sugar and soda & carb-loaded with low-glycemic foods
-he would go on a run or bike ride even when he was tired or hurting and didn't feel like it

Stockton...you are so inspiring. You make me want to start exer.... to watch you do another one next year.

Thanks to my parents who came to cheer him on! It was a great, great day.


The Art of the Ort

This morning I woke up and saw the remains of my delicious snack from yesterday on my kitchen table and started laughing out loud. I realized that I am turning into my mother. My mom is notorious for not finishing the last bite or two of her food, especially if it's a banana.

No matter whether she is eating a little or lot, a small morsel....called an ORT... remains uneaten.

I've been thinking a lot about this and about my mom. It's her BIRTHDAY today!! And even though I do NOT want her getting older, I am glad to have a day each year to celebrate her existence on this planet.

1. When mom was in college, she was a student-body officer. And because of her comedic skills, sparkle and uninhibited charisma, she was the emcee of all student assemblies. On one particular occasion, a very important bigwig was speaking at a school devotional. True to tradition, my mom introduced the gentleman, named Mr. Richard* Wooten. Finishing up, mom ushered Mr. Wooten to the podium with this enthusiastic welcome: 

And now....let's hear it for Rootin' Tootin' Wooten!!

2. When I was in the 12th grade, my friends were pressuring me to ask a guy to Preference. I hadn't been to a girl's choice dance. I was too shy to ask anyone. Sharing this dilemma with my mom, she asked, "who would you want to ask, if you did go?" Without realizing the danger of disclosure, I blurted out, "Brad Baldwin." My mom smiled...stood up...marched over to the phone....posed as my girlfriend... and called Brad Baldwin. Right then and there. I had a date for Preference!

3. Mrs. E is an opinionated, feisty German spinster with a high degree of education (doctorate in music) and a low degree of sociality. She was a loner, having estranged many people...including her own family...due to her outspoken nature. But my mom saw through her crusty veneer...and befriended her when no-one else would. Faithfully, EVERY single week, my mom would drive the music and literature loving Mrs. E to the library. Mrs. E softened. And both lives were blessed by this enduring association.

I have decided that my mother's quirky habit with leftovers are simply symbolic of the way she lives her exemplary life.

The trail of ORTs she leaves behind 
are so much more 
than food!

     photo by Justin

I love you dear wonderful, blessed mother!!

You are a fulfillment of scripture.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. - Proverbs 31:28

*name changed to protect the forgetful....


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