A kiddie pool freshly filled. Dad home from work and hosting a rousing game of catch. And me, sitting back and ruining my appetite with a 12 oz. beer and bag of chips. It was a redneck moment, to be sure. It's not that there was anything wrong with what I had prepared for us to eat, roasted sweet potatoes and summer salad. It's just that the other tasted so good and fitting on this summer evening.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The garden has fared pretty well during this summer heat. I'll admit, I'm surprised how hardy basil is. I thought it would be a more finicky herb, much like an elderly woman, wilting under the harsh sunlight and impossible Florida temperatures. Turns out, its a rather sturdy plant, acting as if it was meant to be bathed in scorching temperatures all summer long.
Now cilantro, on the other hand, has completely let me down. Being such a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine, I assumed this plant would flourish in the heat. Mexico = Hot, right? In the spring time, if you happened to walk past our garden bed as a breeze blew by, you'd be hit with an intoxicating aroma of delicious young cilantro plants. They were bushy and green. I'm not sure what happened from that point on. Perhaps I over picked them. Soon they stopped producing leaves, and then those leaves turned into flowers. Neglect from the people inside the house caused the living things outside the house to take their natural course, and if you know anything about cilantro, you know what proceeded the flowers: coriander. Little, bright green, fragrant balls hanging from the once leaf-laden stems.
The other day I went out and picked a bunch and brought them in to dry out. I squeezed one open, and inside was the concentrated flavor of the cilantro leaves packed in each tiny little ball: lemony, minty, and fresh. While perplexed over the loss of my thriving plants, I was excited by the prospects of what I could do with this new harvest from the plant. I wanted to try using them fresh, but truth be told, I never got around to it, and there they still sit on my counter, drying out. They've lost a little of their fresh aroma and their bright green hue has given way to a dull brown, but I am excited about my first attempt at home-dried herbs.
Somehow I was a little comforted by this journey of the cilantro plant. It seemed as if I'd let it down, let it wilt, neglected it in a time of need. But when I discovered that the plant had adapted, though taking on a different form, I felt hopeful. It continued to produce fruit, just of a different kind. In some ways I see a parallel to life. Just when I think I've neglected things beyond the point of repair, grace and healing come in and show me the saplings of new life. There is always hope for new life. Who knew a little green ball about a quarter the size of a pea could produce something so vital in me?
Posted by Alina at 1:51 PM
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The wedding weekend was wonderful. (what's with the w's?) It's true. We made it through the hustle and bustle that is a wedding weekend. And I survived being the sister-of-the-bride/matron-of-honor. Sure, I know. It's not like I was the one getting married or anything. Somehow it just seems like being a bridesmaid is a lot of work. But it is work well worth it the moment you see the bride walk down the aisle in all her radiance...and you know she's in love...and she's found a really wonderful man.
The bride and groom were grinning and smooching the entire time. Truthfully, it was a wonderful thing to be at a wedding where the bride and groom are so madly in love and infitinitely confident in their decision to marry one another. In a time when getting married is considered a last resort in a relationship, a googly-eyed couple was a refreshing site.
I also found my mojo this weekend. My wedding photography mojo, that is. Seeing my sister's photographer being a little too shy with her camera, I went into action taking pictures in between the ceremony and reception. Afterall, it was a beachfront wedding at sunset. This was NOT the time to be shy. I couldn't stand the thought of a single moment being wasted. So I dodged in and out of the photos I needed to be in and spent the rest of the time running around on the sand, snapping shots of the wedding party, and getting inappropriately sweaty. When I walked into the reception hall, my legs were covered in sand and my hair quite disheveled, but I didn't have room for another picture on my memory card. It was a good feeling. After all, a beautiful wedding is a terrible thing to waste.
Here are some of my favorite shots.
Posted by Alina at 10:19 PM
Friday, June 12, 2009
Yes, your eyes are not mistaking you and your computer is not broken. I've posted yet another beach-themed picture. What can I say...I am loving our close proximity to the big, wide, and lovely Atlantic Ocean. I actually posted this picture for more reasons than my love for the moment captured...seagulls in flight and colorful umbrellas blowing in the sea breeze. No, I posted this to let you know I'd be gone for a few days. We're off to the beach. But this time we're going to the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida. My sister is saying her vows and tying up the proverbial knot. We're all thrilled to see it happen and can't wait to be a part of the lovely sunset ceremony.
I am excited we'll be staying on the beach as well. It will be a short getaway at the end of one of the most difficult weeks of my life. Yes, dramatics aside, it's been a doozie of a week. I'm still formulating my thoughts, gathering the data, and processing the whole experience. When I'm done, I hope to share an internet appropriate version of the events with you. For now, I'm so thankful for life, family, good health, and a little trip to that place we love so dearly these days.
Posted by Alina at 8:10 AM
Monday, June 08, 2009
::in my hands
I recently ordered a batch of business cards from Moo. They are miniature, affordable, and completely adorable. Each card contains a little taste of some of my recent photography. It's really, really nice to see my work in this form. Just another step towards my dream.
As she sat at the table waiting for lunch the other day, I had to take her picture. From the sundress to her bare feet, messy pony tail, and even the bug bites on her arms and neck...she was the very definition of summertime.
::in my brain
We've been discussing more seriously the idea of buying a home this year. We toured some neighborhoods yesterday that we are interested in. My brain is weary with numbers and choices. So much to think about, especially considering that a home purchase says a lot about a person.
I'm glad to be back writing in this space. It's been a long two weeks of sickness, and I rarely care to write when feeling bad. I just don't think you want to hear me moan and groan. Either way, I am feeling quite a bit better. Though starting this post was not easy. I sat here and stopped and started for some time...typing then erasing, typing and erasing again, etc. So here you go. It's my final draft (for now).
Posted by Alina at 12:31 PM