Channeling My Old Man

I was just scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across a picture of a little kid in lotus position. The caption read, “If all our children learned to meditate, what a peaceful world it would be.”

While I personally agree with the sentiment, and believe it would be nice if everyone could relax and get in touch with themselves, I heard a little voice in my head say, “And the world would be full of sissy crybabies.”

Who the hell said that?

I immediately smiled and shook my head when I realized it must be my dad’s words I had triggered.

It’s almost two years since he died and often his voice and words come through loud and clear. I realize that the “colorful” phrases I heard him say throughout my life weren’t always PC (is that even a thing people say anymore?) and yes he did occasionally hurt our feelings with mean words, but it was his environment growing up and the people who raised him (or didn’t) that resulted in his behaviors.

The remarkable thing was the magnitude of love he was able to show us till the day he died; love that he had never personally experienced growing up. He learned how to be a responsible and caring person despite his inconsistent childhood and lack of a solid parental figure whom he wasn’t afraid of. He worked his butt off and supported our family so my mom could stay home and raise us better than he was raised. We were the perfect nuclear family. Together, my parents led by example and taught my brother and I to be hard working responsible people they could be proud of. To date, I don’t think either of us has been arrested or committed any major crimes, so they must have done a pretty good job, right?

My dad had his quirks, but he was nice to everyone. He never said the F word in front of us and set good examples of honesty and hard work. I saw him drink too much only one time in my life. We were out with all the cousins and the dads were drinking beer and eating pizza. I knew he had too much when mom was driving and we had to pull over a few times on the way home. So gross.

Dad was who he was and in the end that’s what I loved about him. I’ll take all the memories and voices in my head, warts an all, and I’ll never forget him just the way he was. He did it his way.

He used to tell us he was the lost twin brother of Elvis. This is one of the songs he’d sing and I’m so glad he did…I can picture him now…

Sissy

Blood on the Moon

I almost missed it. I went outside when the Moon just began to be overtaken by the shadow of the Earth and I took over a hundred pictures until the Moon was completely obscured. There was no more light so taking pictures was impossible. I stayed, looking up, appreciating the orb hanging in the sky. It looked so much more spherical than usual, and close. I waited and it just stayed that way.

At one point, my neighbor came out of his house, looked up and said, “Huh. I thought it was going to be red. That’s disappointing.” And he went back inside.

I have to admit that he had voiced my thoughts, though I wasn’t really disappointed since it was, after all, cloudy. But it was still incredible. I had been outside for over an hour in shorts sitting on the sidewalk and it was getting chilly, so I packed in my camera and tripod and went in to upload my pictures and see what was happening in other parts of the world.

eclipse1eclipse2eclipse3

 

 

 

 

I took these pictures from near the beginning of the eclipse to just before the final slice of Moon light was gone. It was really cloudy at the start and some of the pictures I took were really cool and looked like nebulae. It was fun playing with the light and cloud cover. I look forward to doing some crazy Photoshop stuff with them.”

NASA had a fantastic live feed, of course. Can’t beat NASA for pictures of space. Then Tiffani messaged me on Facebook and said, “Go take a picture now.” I didn’t respond, I just grabbed my camera with the zoom lens and ran out the door. The moon was aflame and I just barely got this shot, the only one I took that wasn’t too shaky. I didn’t have time to run in and grab my tripod before the Moon went dark again. I’m so happy I didn’t miss it completely.

I think I’ll print a copy and take it to my neighbor.

Blood Moon

Blood Moon, April 15, 2014 with Spica (star)

Click here for more Space related stuff!

 

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Puddin’ Pops

I know you just said Puddin’ Pops in a Bill Cosby accent, you couldn’t resist. Neither can I. I love that guy. I got hooked as a kid and got my kids hooked when they were little. We have his cd’s, records (yes, the vinyl kind) and videos. Bill Cosby Himself (1983) is regularly quoted in the Kolesinski household and my husband has many times told the kids, laughingly, “I brought you into this world, I can take you out.” He was the coolest dad on TV with the most colorful sweaters. We’ve learned so much from this wise guy and today I was inspired to make puddin’ pops.

PuddinPops

They’re vanilla and pistachio, my hubby’s favorites, and they’re sugar free. You should make your favorite flavor then enjoy the full version of Himself!

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Whimsy on Wednesday

Last Wednesday I made fried chicken strips and waffles for a house full of kids. It was a first for many of us having fried chicken and waffles at the same time, but we went for it pouring syrup over everything and devouring the whole delicious mess. Fast forward a week and it’s Wednesday again…hubby asked if we could have waffles this weekend and I said that’s a great idea, in fact I planned to surprise him with his favorite turkey sausage for just such an occasion. Then @BrutalStephanie tweeted:

ilovepancakesI responded that I was a waffle girl myself to which she replied, “I love those too!”

Twice in one day waffles came up in conversation…coincidence? I think not. That’s when I decided to officially re-name hump day at the Kolesinski’s Waffle Wednesday. It’s the one day of the week when everyone is coming and going and the perfect time for a light, easy meal that can be different every week.

Waffle Batter

Tonight I added a bunch of cinnamon to whole wheat flour and I even added a few cinnamon chips to hubby’s batch. I didn’t add very much sugar, about a quarter cup to 4 cups of flour, but I also added about 10 drops of liquid stevia to make the batter a little sweeter. We used the sugar free syrup when they were done and along with a few sausages I cooked up a couple eggs each.

Two Eggs

As you may have assessed, we’re trying to watch our cholesterol and sugar while increasing our fiber, but I have to say the waffles were really delicious and not too dense.

Wednesday Waffle nightHere are a couple tips on waffle making:

  • Make sure your iron is good and hot.
  • You shouldn’t need to oil your iron since there is oil or butter in the mix, but if the batter sticks, brush with a little veggie oil which has a high smoking point. Soon your iron should be nicely seasoned and stick free.
  • Try a few recipes and play around with different flours and goodies in the batter. Brownie batter on the iron is sooooo yummy!
  • Fruit, honey, jam, peanut butter, whipped cream, chocolate chips…it’s all good on a waffle!
  • Don’t make your batter too thin or put too much on the iron…you’ll end up with something messy (but still delicious) like this -

Waffle Mess

Here’s the age-old question…do you prefer pancakes or waffles? And what is your favorite topping?

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Ode to spring

Spring…Longer days, new beginnings, a well-needed break from school on a well-needed spring break, softball…

I love to see the flowers and trees in bloom even though my allergies tend to go off the chart when they do, but I take my allergy meds and muddle through. The birds singing and especially the robins showing up in my yard make me smile.

I’m so thankful for spring and for my family’s health so we are able to enjoy it.

Today I wish everyone a wonderful and happy spring!

One of my goals this spring is to make my back patio as homey and inviting as this one and enjoy it every day!

My backyard...I wish!

My backyard…I wish!

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The Ginger traveler

OrangeDragonflyThis little ginger caught my eye on a sunny afternoon. He landed on my antennae and posed. He was so beautiful and I was thrilled to have my camera handy so I could shoot him. What I couldn’t see until I looked at the pictures in Photoshop was how tattered his wings were. It makes me wonder what the tiny guy has been through.

He started by hatching from an egg in a pool of water somewhere and as a nymph swam around feeding on mosquito larvae. He breathed through gills in his rectum and could propel himself forward by farting, basically. Most of his life would have been spent in the nymph stage, anywhere from a couple months to a few years before emerging from the water and beginning to breathe the air around him. Eventually his skin would split and the dragonfly would climb from it’s larval state, flap it’s wings and fly off to feed on flies. Capable of flying in six directions, the naiad would explore and feed for the rest of his life; only another five or six months. *

Catching him for a few seconds, enough to shoot a picture, is  a miracle, really, if you consider the amount of time he will be an actual dragonfly. And by the look of his torn gossamer wings, he seems to have been pounced on by a curious cat or pecked at by a territorial bird.

Dragonflies mean different things around the world, mostly they are thought to be sinister or demonic. Some Native Americans equated them with swiftness and activity and often used them in pottery, jewelery and rock art. In Japan they are generally symbols of courage, strength and happiness.

I didn’t realize before how long the dragonfly’s metamorphosis, incomplete as it may be, from egg to adult took. I’ve only heard lots of references to the butterfly emerging from her cocoon.

I think this diminutive flame skimmer and his pals deserve just as many stories as the beautiful butterflies.

The Dragonfly

By Louise Bogan *

You are made of almost nothing

But of enough

To be great eyes

And diaphanous double vains;

To be ceaseless movement,

Unending hunger

Grappling love.

Link between water and air,

Earth repels you.

Light touches you only to shift into iridescence

Upon your body and wings.

Twice-born, predator,

You split into the heat.

Swift beyond calculation or capture

You dart into the shadow

Which consumes you.

You rocket into the day.

But at last, when the wind flattens the grasses,

For you, the design and purpose stop.

And you fall

With the other husks of summer.

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* Here’s where I got the facts…check it out…there are a lot of cool pictures there too!

*Here’s where I got the poem…Dragonflies.