Today is my first day of work at Habitat Sheridan. As with all new life changes it's exciting and scary with innumerable possibilities.
Buuuut, I'm sure in this case it will be good.
It's still hard to believe I'm not going back.
Almost two months after I left Nicaragua, even though I felt very ready to move on, I find myself looking back.
I suppose it's a natural process to reflect on those two years, moments gathered together in a catagory because they happened in the same geographic region.
I'm still not quite sure what to say when asked where I'm from. Saying I'm from that little third world country seems rather presumptuous that Nicaragua would want to consider me one of their own.
But I'm not from anywhere in the US in particular anymore either. I'm headed toward Wyoming, but I'm not there yet and it's going to be temporary too.
So I suppose I'm still between countries. Never quite belonging to one, but not fully adjusted to the other either.
How long does it take to belong?
I have a confession, I am not perfect.
Ok, that's it, I'm not perfect.
I don't have a perfect memory either.
And I don't know everything! While I may have pretended otherwise in front of you at some moment, I really don't (and I've known for quite awhile that I don't).
So, while I love letting you know what I'm up to, my opinions on everything and believing that you think it is just as enthralling and awe inspiring as I do, this blog isn't actually just for you.
It's also for me.
Someday I will go to work at the same place day after day and hopefully I will love it. But it will not be the stuff of exciting posts. And those days that are especially not thrilling at this everyday-job-of-my-future, I will look at these posts, reminise and say to myself....
What was I thinking?!
Because I'm still learning, still changing, still forgetting the lessons I should have already learned.
But this blog will help me remember ancient history, you know, like 2003.
Easter in my family is full of traditions. Being a pastor's kid, it's the end of a hectic week and everyone is ready to sit back and relax in some of the first sunshine of the year.
It wants a light dessert.And so I thought lemons! Lemons can be a light dessert!
And I was right. They can be.But this recipe was not it.
It just wasn't light, it was one of the richest, most decadent desserts I've ever eaten.But man, it was worth it!
Lemon Mousse Recipe:
Lemon Curd Ingredients according to the Pie and Pastry Bible (more complete recipe found there, you can also sometimes find lemon curd already made in your grocery store)
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (I left this part out 'cause I don't like it)
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
Whipping Cream Ingredients
1 cup whipping cream
Beat yolks and sugar until well blended in saucepan. Stir in lemon juice, butter and salt. Cook over medium-low heat stirring constantly until mixture thickens and resembles hollandaise sauce. It must not boil or it will curdle. When mixture thickens (196 on thermometer), pour it through a strainer. Press with back of spoon until only coarse residue remains. Gently stir in zest if desired and cool.
Beat whipping cream until it has stiff peaks.
Fold whipping cream into curd until desired intensity of lemoness! Use with ladyfingers for charlottes, eat alone, or with classy nilla wafers.
Food is traditional. Inherently it is passed down from one person to another, no matter how indirectly.
I wanted to make sure I preserved my families food traditions, so a few years ago, I contacted my grandmothers and mom to make sure I received the recipes they considered theirs and family tradition.
Maybe I should have known since I had to ask, but I didn't exactly recieve an avalanche of information. I got a couple cookie recipes.
So I've adopted recipes from my best friend, too many ex-boyfriends mothers and other random places of recipes I like.
I figure if you can make families in any way, you can make family recipes in any way too!
My memories of my grandparents are inextricably linked to the wafting fragrance of flowers around their homes.
As they have all sold or are selling their homes and moving into retirement places, I try to keep those memories in other ways.
Here, in a photo of the last blooms at the back steps, I even love the imperfections of the bruised petals because that's how they really are.
We've all heard about it, we've all complained about it. We've all thought to ourselves, 'well, I probably shouldn't.'
But somehow, just about all of us manage to accumulate incredible quantities of stuff. Some call it affluenza, others call it the American way.
And in the process of aquiring and maintaining, it can get in the way of living.
My grandparents are having difficulty paring down their posessions to move from their three bedroom home of 24 years into a two bedroom apartment in their retirement village.
I had to leave almost half of my things in Nicaragua after only two years because I didn't want to pay for more than one 50 pound suitcase. I had taken two suitcases there, but managed to accumulate as much as I used up.
With the recession, sales statistics clearly show that people aren't spending as much money, but have we, as a country, truly changed our ways to avoid repeating what brought us here in the first place?
What do you think? And more importantly, what are you going to do (or not do) about it?
A house for the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Housing Authority, built by HOPE VI funding and lots of volunteers!
The Edward Kennedy Serve America Act has been passed by the house and will be signed into law as soon as President Obama returns from the G20 summit!
For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the new service bill will (among other things) increase the number of Americorps volunteers from 75,000 to 250,000 over the next eight years.
It also will increase support for social entrepreneurialism. For those of you with short attention spans like me, here is a link of the highlights.