Several times a week, I take the dog and our boys and we go for a walk. Sometimes we have a destination, like the library or the grocery store. Other times we’re just “going on an adventure.” And quite often, we find “treasures.” Yesterday we found a fancy spotted feather. The day before, we found a little pair of LEGO wheels. Pennies, washers, sticks that look like letters… it’s amazing how many treasures a four-year-old can find during an hour or so of walking. My wanderings around the internet sometimes turn up treasures too. Here are a few I’ve found recently – enjoy!
To start things off, here’s an awesome compilation of 21 pictures that will restore your faith in humanity (and/or make you cry a bit – I figure tears are a good way to wash my eyes, and everything needs to be washed now and again, right?). Big thanks to my sister for finding this and sending it to me.
Now that I’ve got you all teary-eyed, I’ll share a very yummy overnight oats/chia/buckwheat parfait that my guys loved. I made it for dinner last night (because I didn’t remember to put the oats in the fridge to soak the night before, so they had to soak during the day – and because who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner?) and our son said “this is the first time we’ve ever had dinner in a glass!” He thought that part was pretty nifty. I soaked the oats all day in homemade almond milk. Then I added some water and chia seeds and let it soak for another hour. I let the buckwheat soak for about 24 hours in the fridge, changing the water once during that time. I mixed the rinsed buckwheat with the oat/chia mixture and then layered it in glasses with a pretty fabulous (if I do say so myself!) pudding that I created. I put frozen cherries (maybe 1.5 cups?) in the food processor with one avocado, and added about one scoop of vanilla Sunwarrior protein powder (I stocked up the last time The Raw Food World had a super-duper deal on that stuff, so I have lots in the pantry). I blended it all up until it was the consistency of pudding, and then I layered that into the parfaits. It made such a pretty concoction – I wish I had taken a picture before we devoured them! But you can recreate it pretty easily and see for yourself.
I love this article from the Well Heeled Blog asking if travel is the new way to keep up with the Joneses. I absolutely agree, and it’s very good food for thought. I joined the Peace Corps after college, which is obviously a pretty fantastic travel opportunity. After that, my husband and I traveled to relatively far flung places about once a year until our first son arrived in 2008. In the past four years, all of our travel has involved visiting grandparents in neighboring states. We’ve decided that while our boys are little, we’d much rather stay close to home. They wouldn’t appreciate Hawaii right now any more than they’d appreciate the lake a half an hour from here. Don’t get me wrong – I want to travel with them as they get older, and there are plenty of places we want to show them. But I no longer have any desire to plan trips around how cool or exotic the destination is, or to collect souvenirs and display them in my home. I do have a couple of things that I got while I was living in Africa and still love. So those stay. But when I took an honest look at the reason I liked souvenirs, I had to admit that I liked having people ask me where I got something, so that I could say I got it in some far-off place during a fantastic vacation. I don’t need stuff sitting around my house to remind me of a great trip we took – I have plenty of memories, and lots of pictures on the computer if I need to jog my memory. Over the past few years, I’ve started asking myself “would I do xyz if I couldn’t ever tell anyone about it?” If the answer is no, then it’s a pretty good indication that if I did it, I’d be doing it for the wrong reasons. In a much simpler example, I’m also learning to enjoy moments as they happen rather than trying to document them all on camera so that I can share them with everyone I know. It’s been several weeks since I ditched my Facebook habit, and I haven’t uploaded anything to my personal Facebook page in well over a month. Instead of looking at thing my boys do through the lens of “oh, I better get good pictures of this so that I can put them on Facebook for all my friends to “like” and comment on”, I find myself just enjoying the moment more. I still take lots of pictures, but I don’t feel any need to share them with everyone on Facebook. All the awesome things that our boys do are still awesome, whether I share pictures of them or not.
I wanted to share a couple of great posts from Brave New Life. He wrote a great article recently about patching a bike tube instead of buying a new tube. Bravo to everything he said. Our son recently got his first flat tire on his bike, and I showed him how to take the tube out, find the leak by submerging the tube in a bucket of water, patch it, and then put it all back together. He loved it, and we didn’t have to go buy anything, since we had a patch kit in the garage already. Patch kits = one-size-fits-all, whereas bike tubes come in all sizes (stroller, bike trailer, son’s bike, my mountain bike, cruiser bike, husband’s mountain bike – that would be a lot of tubes to keep on hand if we wanted to replace tubes every time we got a flat).
Another great post from Brave New Life includes an excellent commencement address given by David Foster Wallace. I listened to it a few days ago while I was cleaning the kitchen, and I highly recommend it. It takes about 25 minutes to listen to the whole thing, but you can do another task while you’re listening. It’s definitely worth listening to.
Pretty much everything that Christine from 100 Things 100 Days writes is amazing. Her article about talking with kids is excellent. I can’t add anything that she didn’t say already, so be sure to check it out.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!