Showing posts with label community. Show all posts
Showing posts with label community. Show all posts

Friday, September 26, 2014

tractors and ice cream

Dairy Store Employees/Students circa 1950s

Last week, we finally had a sunny day so Mike and I took the day off and took our kids on a road trip to Lincoln. I wanted to find the Backyard Farmer's garden. We never found it, but we did see the show's host! And we found lots of other cool stuff on East Campus.
First, we saw some signs directing us to a tractor museum. The Larsen Tractor Museum showcases antique tractors. It is in a very modest building, but the kids LOVED it. It's also a free will donation to enter. The staff was SUPER kind, too.
Then we got a free tour of Nebraska Horsepower Testing Site. I learned that Nebraska is the only place in the Western Hemisphere that tests ALL the tractors that are made here. It was a great tour given by a UNL student. This student then sent us to the Dairy Store. Did you know that UNL has a working dairy farm? And they make ICE CREAM and CHEESE with the milk??? I did not. And I went to school there. Needless to say, we all got ice cream. It was delicious. You can even watch them make the products!
We ended the day at a new park development (where I say the BYF host!) with an amazing Children's Garden.  It was a great end to a great day. Please check these places out. You won't regret it!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

coming soon...weekly bounty box

Not feeling like you can or want to commit to a CSA? Weather you travel a lot during summer or don't cook often every, single week...or are a picky veggie eater (you know who you are)...we offer you the Weekly Bounty Box! Every week you'll be offered the chance to purchase a box full of veggies, recipes to make them delicious, and a shopping list to make it easy. Bounty Boxes will available for pick up at our farm or in Midtown Omaha. Payment can be made beforehand with a card or cash payments can be made at pickup. Newsletter recipients get first dibs and there will be limited quantities so sign up to receive our newsletter. Email Eat local without committing to more than you want. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

the essentials

earlier this week i taught a cooking class to the pathway program ladies of the heart ministry center.  thankfully, i had help from friend and fellow volunteer, julie, as well as, hendrix.  the class went well and we were able to provide a crockpot to the ladies who didn't have one.  generous donors donated enough for all the women.  a crockpot may not seem like an essential kitchen item to some, but to a new mom it certainly can be.  or to a mom trying to get back on her feet without a spouse.  one of the women came up to me and said how much she wished she had the ten crockpot recipes when she had her baby a year ago.  she was alone, with a newborn, and stressed out.  she lost a ton of weight and couldn't find time to cook herself a proper meal.  another item that we brought were some chef knives.  this was exciting for some of the women since most of them do not have a proper kitchen knife to prep meals.  i remember when i first started cooking and i was chopping onions with a steak knife.  not  particularly safe or efficient.  and let's face it, when you are just getting started in the kitchen, every little slip up can seem like a monumental failure.
the clients of the heart ministry center are all lacking in some sort of life essential.  some worse than others.  a few days after the cooking class, i read this story on the heart ministry center's facebook page:

“When two young men came into the HMC on a very cold afternoon, they cautiously approached Dana and I at the front desk. You could see how scared and cold they were. We welcomed them and provided a hot cup of cocoa, and soon they shared their story. These young men were stranded in Omaha, having traveled here from Las Vegas on a job promise that fell through. Now, they were isolated in a city with no family, friends or funds. An HMC volunteer met these young men at another non-profit, and steered them in our direction.

Their names are Stephan and Alexander, brothers, 18 and 19 years young. We immediately noticed how lost and afraid they seemed, and how they were unable to stop shivering. They told us of having to stay in the streets during the day with clothing not nearly warm enough to fend off the cold. Our attempts to find other agencies to help get them home were unsuccessful, so we took their information, gave them our home phone numbers, and asked them to please come back the following day. When they returned the next morning, they looked somehow different. We could actually see a glimmer of hope in their eyes, and a smile on their faces – because they knew someone was ready and willing to help them.

The HMC Executive Director, John Levy, approached me and told me the Center would be happy to help Stephan and Alexander. When I told the boys we were going to put them on a bus home, they immediately cried tears. Mother Nature intervened before they could depart, however, postponing their bus ride for a day due to inclement weather. In the interim, we put together enough food to last them the duration of their trip. I rummaged through my purse to find what little cash I could find to help them while another member of the HMC staff, Keith, transported Stephan and Alexander to and from the bus terminal so they did not have to walk another day in the cold in an unfamiliar city.

The brothers thanked us profusely before they left and late last week I got a text message from an out of town phone number stating, "Hello. We made it, happy to be home. Wanted to thank you again so very much. We will always remember you." It was Stephan and Alexander.

We will always remember them too.

For me it was unimaginable for any human being to be in such a situation. I saw my own son in them, and thought if he were ever in such a hopeless situation, I would hope someone would come along and help him too.

The small family (staff) we have here at the Heart Ministry Center is one I’m proud to be a part of. Each and every day I learn life’s great lessons here, because this is what we do." - June Bear, Operations Director

(to read john's blog post  about the outstanding HMC staff, go here)
stories like this are why i am constantly talking about the heart ministry center.  the kindness and amount of giving that happens there daily is overwhelming and humbling.  the staff there is extraordinary.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

resolve to be good

so.  i am guessing we all have some sort of food resolutions going on in our head.  it is the new year, after all.  i don't really have one since i am pregnant and have been eating pretty well.  i've already gained less weight then when i was prego with hendrix.  the first time i really thought i was eating for two.  turns out, you're not.  so.  my only resolutions are to mentally list every night (or morning if i was too tired the night before to think)  what i am grateful for and what i did RIGHT that day.  as well as, to commit to completing something creative every month.  i know, as a mother and wife, i put myself on the back burner. a lot.  then i start to feel guilty or short tempered.  then it is a domino effect of bad decisions weather with my eating, sleep, money spending, or how i am talking to others.  so, i am going to try to be kinder to myself and to do things that bring me happiness.  i am confident that this will spill over into all the facets of life.  the first half of this year will be growing this baby.  the second half will be taking care of newborn and introducing a new person to our family of three. i am going to take easy on myself.  because you know what?  most of us are doing good.  there's nothing wrong with wanting be better, but sometimes "good enough" needs to be enough.
HOWEVER.  we all have some food battle we want to win.  mine is my battle with sugar.  i love it.  the good thing and the blessing in disguise is that this baby does not.  if i eat sweets, i get sick.  baby does not like.  hendrix loved sweets and still does. i pretty much lived on apple fritters and cherry pie when i was pregnant with him.  healthy, i know.  so, i thought i would share some yummy and pretty darn healthy recipes & ideas with ya'll.  as well as, a cake recipe.  because who can resist?

my new favorite salad.  cabbage, apple, and walnut salad.  we made out on NYE.

got clementines? make this cake.  it's actually not the most unhealthy cake.

take the 7 day challenge.  7 new recipes in 14 days.  jump start dinner and get out of the rut!

make $20 stretch and help folks with real food problems

start planning.  month of meals.

this is the next salad that i'm going to make out with.  i love salads that can hold their own in the fridge for a bit.

finally, breakfast tacos!  i crave protein like nobody's business with this baby.  i made these up earlier and have been eating them for breakfast, lunch, and snack time.

breakfast tacos
1 egg, scrambled
1 fajita size tortilla, whole wheat ot whatever your prefer
1 1/2 T. salsa
small handful of shredded cheddar
2 T. smashed black beans or refried beans
dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt
avocado or cilantro, optional
in toaster oven or microwave, melt cheese on tortilla.  fill with beans, eggs, salsa, and sour cream. enjoy! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

monday jumpstart

photo via bhg

hello! did ya'll have a nice weekend? we did, but towards the end got pretty sneezy. ick.  however, we are plowing ahead because who has time for such things.  here are some things to jump start your {food} week...

peanut butter banana bread with quinoa flour - yum!

let's open the conversation between farmers

preserving {food + friendships} house

the mornings feel like fall around here.  which always makes me want this one dish dinner.

these placemats are on the "craft to do list" this week

overloaded on cherry tomatoes? make this!

mike got a fire ring to cook food on. we're having a halloween party to unveil it's greatness!

garden inspired food + drink ideas for the last days of summer

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

forget flowers, feed the family

angry hendrix who was not a fan of carriers.

when i had hendrix i was not too wise when it came to preparing meals beforehand or asking a close friend to set up a meal train.  by the time he came i was so tired and overwhelmed that we relied on take out and other packaged snacks.  which did not do our pocket book or bodies any favors.  i then vowed that i was going to bring food to the new mommas in my life if i lived in the same town as i did.  unless, they were my friend summer who premade something like 40 meals before she had her second.  the girl took nesting to whole new level.  my friend, alissa, who lives out of town did do the next best thing for me when i had hendrix.  she sent me a spa certificate for mother's day.  it was then that i discovered the power of a massage.
so, our family friends just had a baby.  john is a very good cook, but they now have a newborn and a two year old so it's about to get real around their house.  today i am going to share some of my favorite freezer meals to bring.  i typically like to bring 3-4 frozen meals (that will last up to 3 months) and maybe one meal for dinner that night, something sweet + healthy, and a print out of my top ten crockpot meals. a lot of times, folks may get bombarded with meals and help in the beginning so freezer meals are good for when the excitement settles. 
the meals should be stored in such a way that they do not take much room in their freezer.  also, using the foil pans found in the grocery store for things like pot pie, quiche, lasagna, and enchiladas are a nice touch since it cuts down on clean up time for the new parents. things like soups and sauces can be frozen flat in a freezer bag.  things like burritos and runzas can be individually wrapped and stored in a freezer bag. all food should be frozen before delivery unless one is for dinner that night.  this time of year, it would be nice if you brought some recently preserved item from your garden, as well.  canned or frozen would be appreciated, i'm sure.  all food should include directions on thawing, reheating, and general use tips.  also, be sure to be aware of any allergies or food restrictions the parents have before bringing something like cashew chicken or spicy yogurt shrimp, for instance. ok.  here's a list of ideas...

pot pies
pizza dough
butternut squash soup
pizza pockets
pork tacos
quinoa pancakes

what do you bring when someone has a baby?  am i missing any must have? 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

harvesting rants

i was going to share with you several ways to use those over sized cucumbers of yours or how i was re- purposing some old shoes to look like these puppies or what to bring to people who just had a baby. but i didn't quite get the news i was hoping for yesterday and it put me in a funk.  so instead i turned the sprinkler on for  hendrix and worked in the garden.  this is today's harvest.  obviously it is time to get to preserving tomatoes and cukes.  maybe even green beans.  but that is a post for another day.

while i was working in the garden, i was working out a lot of bad energy.  just letting it sweat out.  thinking about the conversation my friend, marti, and i had yesterday about people prophetizing about the state of food, posting pics of dinner, and then spending their nights watching four hours of television. it got me riled up.  then i was too short with hendrix and felt bad about my mommy abilities. then he made this face.

then i realized that i needed to calm the eff down.  i may not of gotten the news i wanted yesterday, but it was still good news.  i have a good life.  for god's sake, i get to spend the morning in the garden while my kid plays in the sprinkler. i get to have a garden.  period. i get to.  there are a lot of things and people that annoy me. (people who take themselves too seriously, the food network, and mommy judgement/guilt being some of the things) but in the end they probably do because i see something that i don't like about myself in them. so that being said.  (i know i'm brilliant, aren't i? also, i am a slow learner with a sarcasm problem) i'm going to have a banana smoothie and i am going to cheer back up. i'll be back soon with cucumber strategies, silver shoes, and what people with new babies really need. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

monday musings

hendrix got a new swing this weekend.  i forgot that we had this old sky chair in storage.  it works better then that the tire swing idea i had, although he still calls it his tire swing.  we also got a new washer and dryer.  which has brought me more happiness than it probably should.  but laundromats are soul crushing and the units seem to symbolize that we are in the beginning stages of climbing out of our streak of bad luck.  the county is also here doing work on our road and i do believe redoing our driveway.  the driveway that is a safety hazard and we have been trying to figure out how we could afford to repair it.  well, the county came to clear trees and replace drainage.  you know, the 15 feet of trees mike was going to clear out by hand and chainsaw.  now, they are redoing the driveway after they replaced the drainage below.   turns out, bulldozers and backhoes are much better equipped and if the county will do it - even better.  even if they don't make the driveway better it will still be great to have the trees cleared and the drainage replaced.   our road kind of gets ignored since there are no other homes that are on it for miles.  now there is a school going in down the street, though, so they will be able to devote more time to the road.
last week was a rough one, but this week is already looking better.  i am waiting for news that i hope is good and that i can share later today.  hendrix and i are going to the wizard of oz exhibit at the children's museum (which he is beyond pumped for) on thursday.  friday, i get to see my dear friend at her baby shower.  plus, this weekend is the sarpy county fair.  ya'll should is so awesome and what fairs are made of.  hendrix and i might even go bowling this week if the weather stays hot.  speaking of weather...saturday was so beautiful here, wasn't!?!? it sure seems like it wants to rain today, too.  *fingers crossed* oh, and i really want to check out the bittersweet bakery in ashland this week.  you see? it's guaranteed to be a good week!
....also going on this week in the omaha metro (all free!)
jazz on the green on thursday, free family flicks at aksarben cinema, and the westroads kids club science show about weather.  have any other ideas or events to make this week great?  please share!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

back to school

it is almost august which means that school is almost here.  hendrix goes to a mom's day out program once a week, but it doesn't start until september.  his cousin, however, is starting kindergarten (!!) and all the crayons and milestones are making me panic a little bit.  it means the summer is almost done and i still have lots of things on my list.  it also means that my kid is growing up to fast and so are his cousins.  so, instead, of feeling sorry for myself i am focusing on what i like about back to school time...cooler weather (please!!) and SCHOOL SUPPLIES. 
what do a 3 1/ year old and 31 year old need school supplies for?  crafting, yo.  oftentimes, things like crayons, markers, glue, colored pencils, and watercolors are on sale at this time.  especially at the end of the august when they are trying to liquidate the leftovers.  plus, hendrix's head is going to explode when he sees all those crayola packages in the target cart.  so is mine. so we are going to go stock up and stock the craft closet. that way when we are snowed in (please!!) we will have plenty of tools to help the time pass.
while, i have been dreaming of a color coordinated, craft closet, i have also been going through hendrix's old clothes.  like a smartie when i bought summer clothes in april for him, i also picked up some fall shirts. but no pants.  if they made boy's pants with a 24 month waist and a 4T/5T length, we'd be in business.  alas, they do not.  so i am stuck going with the adjustable waist ones at old navy which are about $8 more a pair then i like to spend.  i prefer the consignment and last chance shops for kids clothes shopping. do they make toddler belts?
anyways, that is how we are participating in the "back to school" craze.  i also realized that with back to school came fall gardens.  and fall food.  oh, beef i long for you.  this year, my fall garden may or may not happen depending on if we get any rain.  it is so dry that i am not sure how well my seed will germinate without some decent rain.  if we do luck out and get some rain then i will be doing beets, spinach, garlic, kale, collards, buttercrunch, and turnips. are you planning on a fall garden? getting excited for apples?  counting the days until the kids go back to school?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

heavy hearts. weary minds.

the last few days, and posts for that matter, have been pretty depressing.  there has been a lot of heavy stuff happening in our backyards.  everything from a mass shooting in a neighboring state to a drought encompassing the whole region to a hate crime in our capital city.  life is hard enough without all of this bad news.  parenting is tough enough without having to try to explain to kids why other kids die.  or why some adults hurt people.
my son is only 3 1/2 so i don't have to do much explaining, yet.  however, i know the time is near since he already asks about the sick kids on the st. jude commercials and the animals on those terribly sad "stop animal abuse" commercials.  kids are little literalists and i think the standard answers "sometimes people get hurt", "sometimes people hurt people", or "i don't know" are the worst thing to tell them.  but what else are we supposed to say?  because i really don't know why hate crimes against gays are still happening.  i really don't know why some guy thought he was the joker and killed 12 people.
i could speculate for days about gun control, climate change, the lack of aid for the mentally ill, GMO vs. non-GMO, violence on TV, and so on and so forth.  however, i am not sure how much that is going to change the world.  i think those are all important things to discuss and even change, but those don't do much good when i am trying to parent. 
this may seem hippy dippy to some of you, but i believe that somewhere along the way we lost our sense of community and sense of belonging to one another.  we forgot the power of kindness, generosity, and taking care of our neighbors.  being kind to people.  giving to others less fortunate. knowing your community.  that stuff speaks to kids.  that stuff makes people want to pay it forward.  more people paying it forward, knowing their neighbor, feeling pride in their community can only lead to a brighter world.
will it change the world, though?  will it eradicate all the bad news?  probably not, but it will make the world brighter.  and it will make it a better place.  slowly but surely. at least i think so. 
this article talks about how an urban community garden in chicago set out to solve the food desert issues in their poorest neighborhoods.  what happened was not what they expected.  basically, they sell most of the food now, but they employ people from the neighborhood and the "green space" helped reduce crime, give the community pride, and made it more beautiful. here's a quote:

‎"We don't delude ourselves that we're solving the food desert problem," Harry Rhodes, Growing Home's executive director, told me. "It's to use food as a tool to change individual lives and to change community." Research has shown that if you diminish violence, people will be less stressed, and less-stressed people eat healthier.

what if this practice applied to more of the world and in different ways.  what if we changed the way we thought of ourselves and our impact on the community?  perhaps people selling loads of ammo to a 24 year old young man that seemed off or troubled would report it instead of minding their own business.  we've all done it.  opted to not help someone because we thought it wasn't our business.  or maybe someone who overheard a group of young men talking about the "dyke" they hated would tell them to knock it off or report them to the police.  we perpetuate crime when we ignore it.
or how about if we took notes from what one farm family did for another farm family during the 80's farm crisis.  one farmer could not get the lending he needed to continue to run his family farm.  he went out on a limb and asked a neighboring farm family to help him.  they did.  he is now a millionaire.  and you guessed it.  he now helps the family who helped him.
so, instead of letting all of this incredibly sad news get us down, i propose we try to perform one kind act a day. it doesn't have to be much.  you could just send a note to a friend with a sick baby or give a homeless person a cold bottle of water or hold the door open for someone.  again, let's just try to be kind and see where it takes us.

Monday, July 23, 2012

what the drought means to my family and families like ours

i think by now most people in nebraska and beyond understand that there is a serious drought happening in the corn belt.  perhaps, not all people understand what that means to family farms such as ours and  our fellow farmer friends. our family is in recovery mode from a few years of bad luck, effects of the bad economy, and unplanned, major life changes.  so if we had a gotten a bumper crop, like it looked like we would in april, then that would put us on the path that brought us closer to financial security.  however, at this point we may be lucky to make any money at all.  and if farmers cash in their crop insurance they basically have their inputs covered but no profit.  also, if the snow fall is minimal this winter and does not adequately replace all the lost water we might have to consider just planting beans, which bring in much less money than corn, since they don't require as much ground water as corn.  thus, prolonging recovery mode for us. there are still plenty of family farms out there that are not farming 10,000 acres and rely on farming to feed their families.  farmers that are still operating off the homesteaded land of their families. families that have only ever farmed and have rode the ever changing wave of farming.  for my family it means a significant loss in this year's income, a possible loss in next year's income, and a few years more of  not being as financial secure as people need to be in  this world.   for a lot of families it will mean a tighter budget, postponement of debt payoff, less christmas presents, and for some it may just push them out of farming.   a lot of farmers will not be able to pay the rent on the land, make the payments for their equipment, so on and so forth.  farming was one of the last industries doing well in this economy so in the end, this drought will affect all of us. weather related issues are always a factor when you are farming.  no matter what you are growing.  however, this particular disaster is, of course, historical and record breaking.  so, do me a favor will ya?
do a rain dance. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

no comment

earlier this morning i was reading about the tragedy in colorado.  while doing so i, unfortunately, came across some pretty insensitive and irrelevant comments.  for instance..."who brings their 3 month old to a midnight movie?  that baby should be in bed." or "i would never let my 12 year old go to that movie at midnight"....which quickly reminded me of why i almost never read the comments section on news stories or even on facebook, really.  it seems in this social media and 24/7 news-heavy world, that people leave a comment either stating the first thing that comes to their head or to be a total anonymous asshole.  i am the first to say that the first thing that comes to my head is, 95%  of time, what i should not say. somewhere along the way folks forgot that words matter and the news is about actual people going through actual horrific stuff.  i am not really sure when or how this all happened nor do i care to get into it, but i would just like for more folks to be little bit more kind.  especially if you are a fellow parent making those comments.  we, parents, are all in this together.  parenting is tough stuff and judging a fellow parent when they have lost a child or have a seriously injured child is beyond insensitive.  it is cruel.  so, this weekend let's be kind to all those we love and all the strangers that look like they could use a little love.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

liz asks about lemon verbena

liz asks: It's not a vegetable but I'd love any tips for an overabundance of lemon verbena. It is threatening to take over the lawn, and we only have a tiny garden. It has already eaten two footballs...

clementine's says: right off the top of my head...why not make some sun/ice tea and add the lemon verbena in with the tea bags or just brew it with the lemon verbena and some citrus peels? or make a homemade infused vinegar or...infused vodka with it? or a lemon verbena simple syrup to add to cocktails or sparkling water? oh, lemon verbena scones?!? you could make a double batch and freeze them.  also, how about chopping some up and throwing it into your salads to add some flavor and brightness. or drying it and making a fragrant wreath/flower arrangement.

to infuse vinegar: go here.
to infuse vodka: go here.
to make sun tea + simple syrup: go here.
to make scones: go here.

clementine's asks: what do you think liz should do with her aggressive lemon verbena?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

garden updates

our garden is becoming very bountiful these days.  the eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, onions, peppers, chard, kale, collards, green beans, potatoes, and herbs have been providing pretty regularly these past couple of weeks.  it is really great because we have been able to share with our family and friends and still have plenty.  i hope the regular summer temps hold so that i can {comfortably} get some canning done this week.  i realized that i did not feature a garden last week, so while hendrix and i are on an adventure today, i will track an awesome garden down for {garden}REVOLUTION.  in the meantime, do have an overabundance of veggies in your garden or did you get something new in your co-op that you need to some cooking tips for?  email me at, leave a comment on this blog, or on facebook.  i'll send you some of my best ideas and we can share them with everyone right here.  i was lucky enough to work for almost three years in a restaurant where everything was made from scratch and seasonal ingredients...and the cooks were generous with their knowledge.  not everyone is, so let's all share our knowledge and tried & true tips.

Friday, July 6, 2012

things i love this week

oh darling nursery photo by ashley + colin dworak

so many lovely things and people this week....

oh darling {mom + baby} boutique is now doing a nursery design + decor set up at the beginning of each month.  this will be a great way to help new parents envision the nursery of their dreams. or better yet, visit with ashley + colin about adding unique elements to your nursery...they custom paint stuff, people!

like bbq? check out the heart ministry center's 7th annual holy smokes bbq dinner and fundraiser at anthony's steakhouse on thursday, august 30th from 5:30 - 9:30.

amy is killing it....this week she debuted homemade nutella (!!!) on her blog.

this vet office is the best.  our cat whitey is now back home, healthy, and happy...thanks to their excellent care.

i am lucky to be part of such a kind and proactive community. please sign this petition for a couple of high school sweethearts to have the chance to share their big news in our school newsletter.

another community i am lucky to be a part of...gretna has banded together for baby knox thomas lewis.  donate or come to the spaghetti dinner on july 14th at st. pat's in gretna!

fast, veggie laden, summer dinners that can be prepped in advance.

a friend from high school's husband is chronicling the life and times of their new baby girl

this week's posts in case you missed them:
hello, july!
breakfast and the oven are my enemies
next week's dinner

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

48 children

this summer the heart ministry center will be supplying backpacks every friday, for 8 weeks, to children.  the backpacks will, hopefully, be filled with healthy, non perishable foods to get them through the weekend.  monday through friday they can come to the center to receive a free lunch and bottled water, but on the weekend there was no option until now. today i had the awesome oppurtunity to help decide what foods would make it in the bags and what else should go in....things like wipes, sunscreen, and more.  for their first bag, the kids received hygiene products.  john, the executive director, also would like to get the kids their own reusable water bottles.  as i worked on a list, i asked him "will the kids eat this? or that?".  the answer was always "yes." because, of course, when you are little and hungry, with no other options, you will eat anything. some of these children are as young as four.  in this city, omaha, we have children who are hungry and are not sure where their next meal is coming from...1 in 6 children, qualify as food insecure in our fair city.  this is not right and it breaks my heart.  i wanted to be able fill the bags with more.
if you would like to help, think about donating food or reusable water bottles for the children to use.  most of the food needs to be non-perishable and if it comes in a can, please make sure it has a pop-top.  we did include some fresh fruit since we figured it could be a treat or would at least last for 24 hours.  yes, fresh fruit is a treat. here is a list of things that would be appreciated, i am sure:

reusable water bottles
individual packages of wet wipes
resealable packages of tuna
pop top cans of beans {pinto or black}
tortilla chips
dried fruits
unsalted nuts
granola bars
individual containers of peanut butter
disposable utensils
individual containers of applesauce
granola bars
packets of oatmeal

the heart ministy center is located on 22nd & binney street. right in the heart of where they need to be. donations can be made at the center and, of course, you can always send a cash donation. you can always recieve a receipt for your donations, as well.  i would be happy to pick up your donation if i am going down there, too.  just send an email. 
to learn more about the heart ministry center and all they their food pantry, free legal clinic, free urgent care clinic, iva's clothes closet, or self sufficency prgram for women...go to
also, some things i noticed on the wish list board.  the wish list board is where the staff fills out what certain clients of the center need. 

sewing machine
bed frames

if you have any of these items and would like to donate, please contact the center and they can arrange for it to be picked up.  thanks, folks.

Friday, June 22, 2012

things i love this week

finding rogue lettuce growing in the nooks and crannies of our garden

you know what's nice about posting what i love this week, every week?  it forces me to be grateful and kind even when i am having a rough day and don't want to be nice.  it's good for my soul to search for pretty or neat things to share with you all.  it's even better when they happen to have something to do with my friends or community. so, thanks for reading.
 this week, i love....

the omaha public library offering a free lecture on how to eat seasonally

cloud dough...this stuff is awesome on a rainy day or too hot to go outside day
{boredom buster!}

splash pads! {boredom buster!}

customizable chore charts to help kids understand what it means to be part of a family

this nectarine rice pudding with an indian twist. it's calling my name.

amazepack!  i'd sign up, but i have an entire art::workroom that is filled with projects. {boredom buster!}

this house... i want our next house to be an a-frame meets shipping containers sort of dwelling.  preferably, in the middle of nowhere.

this picture....
i have to blow this up.  it's too great. my heart hurts looking at it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


where: westwood church, omaha ne
awesomeness: the church contributed not only property but funds to build this community garden for the neighborhood they are a part of...there are 30 raised beds for the neighborhood and church members to grow food in which is....
totally awesome.

july for free

free is good.  some of the best things in life are free.  especially when it comes to entertaining the kids.  i have found that children are fickle and dirtballs which is why i don't like to spend much on entertainment or clothes for hendrix.  so a  few months ago, i provided a list of free (or nearly free) stuff to do around the omaha metro.  here is the list for july, as promised. august will come out next week.  let me know if i missed anything or if you tried any of the free stuff i listed.  don't forget about the splash pads, schramm park aquarium, farmer's market, and gene leahy mall slides....they are almost always open and are free or damn near free.


Kids Bowl Free

Every Tuesday @ 10am {doors open @ 9:30 am}
Free Family Flicks @ Aksarben Cinema

July 4th in Ralston

July 4th
Swim for $4 at all Omaha City Pools

July 7 @ 9am
Free Fishing Clinic @ Mahoney State Park

July 12 @ 6pm
Free Family Fishing @ Halleck Lake in Papillion

July 11th @ 10:30am
Whiz Bang Science Show @ Westroads {free}

Every Thursday from July 12 - Aug. 16
venue opens @ 5pm, show begins @ 7pm
Jazz on the Green @ Midtown Crossing {free}

July 14 @ 10am
Lowe's Build & Grow Workshops {free}

July 15 @ 2pm
Lowe's Build & Grow Workshops {free}

July 20 - 22nd
Gretna Days {nearly free}

July 20
Muppets @ The Holland Center Courtyard

July 27- 29
Benson Days {nearly free}

July 28
Playing with Fire Concert {free}

July 28 @10am
Lowe's Build & Grow Workshops {free}

July 29 @ 2pm
Lowe's Build & Grow Workshops {free}

July27 doors open @ 7:30, movie begins @ dusk
The Muppets @ The Sumtur Amphitheater