Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

I was very fortunate to be in Arlington Cemetery last week with my students and their parents. I have been there many times before, but the experience never gets dull. I weep every time I see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Did you know the Honor Guard there has been guarding that spot since 1930. Non-stop. During hurricanes, blizzards, the September 11 attack. In fact, I sometimes wonder if the guard actually saw the plane crash into the Pentagon from high up on his watch. Whatever he thought as he witnessed evil, he continued his orders to guard those tombs.

My deepest gratitude and respect for the family of this soldier. 
I share this tombstone with you because I think it captures what Memorial Day is all about. Being grateful for men and women like this. Incredible devotion to our country.

One very graphic reminder of the horrors of war…. Revolutionary War medical tools. The tool on the far left is for dental work. Root canal, anyone? 

We also made a stop at Gettysburg and got to hear the breathtaking story of the daring charge George Pickett made at the Union troops, inspiring his men by shouting, "Up, Men, and to your posts! Don't forget today that you are from Old Virginia."…. oh, dear. Didn’t go well for him that day. 

Whatever plans you have for picnics and barbecues, beaches and parades, house work and gardening, please take a moment this weekend and be thankful for those Americans who gave their lives for their country. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hummus Dressing

Confession: After I took this picture, I poured lots more dressing over this nummy salad!
I am a salad freak; I love washing, peeling, chopping, shredding and putting together the beautiful colors. I find the entire process very peaceful. I simply cannot believe that Mother Nature (well, GOD, actually) gives us such vibrant colors in our food! Red peppers, carrots, black beans, spinach….and how about textures? Avocado, anyone? Bring it on!

This dressing is based on Dreena Burton’s recipe….I omitted the herbs she suggested and instead of plain old olive oil, I used the oil from some oil-packed sun dried tomatoes to create the most luscious dressing on earth.

Here’s what you need:
¼ C chick peas
¼ water
2 ½ T tahini
1 T lemon juice
1 T red wine vinegar
1 t soy sauce
½ t Dijon
1 small clove garlic
1 t maple syrup
1 T olive oil from oil packed sundried tomatoes

Here’s what you do:
Put it all in a high speed blender and whirl until totally smooth.

This is what I used to call “homemade”…. You, too? Won’t you graduate to a real homemade dressing? 


Other news: I have seen some great birds at my house lately: these are the first Sandhill Cranes I have ever seen. Huge birds!

Lots of great food being eaten at our house lately! 

I saw the cutest dioramas recently at Valparaiso University! They were all made from Peeps and they depicted various scenes from the Bible..... I couldn't stop looking at them! Here we see Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came down as flames of fire. Below you see the parting of the Red Sea! LOVE these!!

Other news: I leave for a week-long  field trip with my students in a few days.... we travel to Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, Washington DC and Gettysburg. Highlight for me? Monticello-the home of my favorite President, Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas and Tracy

Thomas and Tracy and that pesky Alexander Hamilton.