(content previously published on old Filigreen blog in 2016)
I haven't made any blog entries since my announcement that we lost our home in the May 20 tornado. Recovery took precedence over creativity, and truly, I just didn't have it in me to continue at that time. So here we are months later . . . Several nudges this past couple of days have inspired me to take up my blog again and the first day of the new year seems like a perfectly appropriate time to start.
I am sitting at the kitchen bay window that looks out over our backyard, at the "new" house. We have been here now nearly three months, and for me, it has begun to feel like home. My children are taking longer to feel a connection, but they are usually gone all day at school, and the other house had been their only home. My feelings of being connected to a homeplace are more grounded in functionality - where do I cook? where do we return to sleep? where do we feel a haven from the world? Both kids made more of a connection to the rental house we stayed in while we were house-hunting, while my husband and I were too freaked out by the bustling insect kingdom that was part & parcel of the neighborhood full of old and established maples.
My hope is that downtime spent just hanging around the house during the school break will foster a little more of the home feeling for my children. Now that the usual round of holiday gatherings are over, there are more free evenings to tuck in with blankets on the couch with a book or movie marathon, more meals at home with both Mama and Daddy here together, and a whole new year ahead of us to look towards as we plan and dream.
New Year's Day usually involves some incarnation of black-eyed peas, to ensure prosperity (perhaps through frugal living) for the coming year. My family is not really that fond of the humble black-eyed pea, and I really only have two ways to serve them. One is to open a couple cans of them, and simmer them on the stove for an hour with a little chopped bacon, some shaved onion, a bay leaf, generous salt & pepper, and a half-tablespoon of vinegar added at the end of cooking. They DO NOT reach the full glory of baked beans, but they are not half bad, either. The second way we eat them is as part of "Texas Caviar" - mixed in with the basic Pico de Gallo recipe: a can of black-eyed peas opened and drained, 3-4 good tomatoes chopped, green onion and white onion minced, 1 raw jalapeno seeded and minced, a couple tablespoons of fresh lime juice, small bunch of fresh cilantro chopped, and salt & pepper. Mixed and refrigerated for a couple of hours, it's good with tortilla chips or alongside meat as a savory condiment.
Black-eyed peas always remind me of a story told by my Grandpa Wynn. Growing up poor as a sharecropper's son in East Texas, he ate plenty of beans growing up, cheap and filling and easily grown in his mother's well-tended kitchen garden. After church one day, he overheard another lady say to his mother, "Well, we better get home, I need to check on my beans. Lord, I am so tired of eating beans! Don't you ever get tired of eating beans day after day, Rosie?" Grandpa's mama replied, "Why, no I don't! We don't just eat beans, we have black-eyed peas, green peas, pinto beans, butter beans, pole beans, lima beans, and more! We eat something different every day!"
I am Kelly - a wife, mother, cook, gardener, sewist, and much more. Creativity is the gift that I have been blessed with, and it has been a river of blessings to me. A creative outlet is good for you, body and soul. This blog is about helping you find ways to fit more creativity into your life, to enrich your own life and that of others.