soup to nuts {life}


Honestly? I don't have a lot for today. As I was straightening up some papers last night (again), I came across some notes I jotted down during our Blogging Your Way Course. I'd said several times that I for the blog I wanted "more evocative photos and writing." Ha! You won't be getting that today! Yesterday kinda knocked us flat around here. Poor Neel had an awful day. He actually handles illness pretty well. If you ask how he's doing, he'll usually say something like Fine, just stuffy. Not Sunday. On Sunday, we got responses like, Pretty awful, actually. He had a big day yesterday. Lunch meeting with the president of the medical school where he works. Neel's also the president of the school's faculty senate and they had their usual monthly meeting last night but it was their first with their new dean. And yesterday morning Neel accidentally too nighttime cold medicine instead of daytime cold medicine. Oops. He mucked through but still feels pretty crummy.


I had a migraine all flipping day. Fighting technology all day long and freakishly warm winter weather will do that to you. And poor Callum, who has really stepped up his game and is working so hard at being a good kid lately, had to get rubber bands in his teeth in anticipation for bottom braces coming next week. This January has been weird and hard. Maybe I'll start my new year in February from here on out.


We're all really fine though. Just overwhelmed. The queen-sized sheets I got barely fit our bed, and I think I accidentally washed the pillow cases three times. And I fail to understand how we can start each day with a clean (relatively) kitchen island and end the day, homework aside, with it looking like such a disaster area. At least we found Callum's iPod. Even though my phone continues to misbehave. It works in my car though, so maybe I'll just drive around all week.

And Squarespace! Don't get me started! I have felt nothing but love for this blogging platform since I moved over in November. Until lately. Comments are hard to make and needing approval and this CAPTCHA thing is so stupid. The upside is that I've decided to blame that on the fact that my comments are dropping off and not the fact that all I write is self-indulgent drivel which is how I was feeling about things over the weekend.

I think about these things, you know. I mean, I take pictures, but this isn't really a photography blog. Although I've been asked to talk about my photography process. I'm happy to do that, if you'd like to hear. Would you? I talk about my family and tending to them and raising Callum, but this isn't really a parenting blog. Although I've been told that if I wrote a parenting blog, I'd have at least one reader! (Hi Jenni! I know I owe you an email!) Food plays a big role here too, both as part of the photography and the family-tending, but I rarely include recipes. Would you like that? I'll give you one today, how about? I love to tend to my home and peruse design blogs, but I almost never talk about that here. How weird is that? This is how it always seems to happen for me. Just when I'm trucking along, putting one post in front of the other quite happily, I suddenly panic. There's no theme. There's no niche. What the heck am I doing here?

Yesterday, my very first photography instructor from the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art asked me (and I'm sure several of her former students) to come and speak to her current advanced class about my photography journey. I am so touched and humbled by this opportunity, alternately fearing that I'll have nothing to say and that I'll talk too much! And the timing was interesting. Right when I was trying to figure all this stuff out. What should I tell them? What should I tell you? So I thought I'd just ask. If you were sitting in that class with me, what about my journey would you want to hear? And to stretch the question, what in general do you want to hear?


We did not have this soup last night. We had leftovers and Callum had to eat his hot wing dip with a fork because his mouth was too sore for chips. Callum has always been a soup boy. We used to have soup and quesadillas for lunch almost every single day. So I do know what to feed him, even if winter isn't really winter this year. But if it's cold where you live, this minestrone is perfect for winter. It's a good Friday night soup because it's easy, and it's a good Sunday soup because it smells so good bubbling away on the stove. I had a recipe once, but now I just make it up as I go, depending on what I have in the house.

4 slices of bacon, chopped

1 medium to large onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/3 - 1/2 lb. ground beef

1 cup each, minced celery, carrots, zucchini

2 cups tomato puree

2 cans stewed tomatoes

1 cup chicken or beef broth

1 can French onion soup

5 cups water

1/4 cup red wine

1 teaspoon each basil and oregano

2 cups sliced spinach

1 can garbanzo beans

In a stock pot, cook bacon and drain off fat. Add onions, garlic and beef to bacon and cook until the onions are translucent. Then add celery, carrots, tomatoes, broth, soup, water, wine, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. After about 15 minutes, add zucchini, spinach and garbanzos. Simmer another 15 minutes and serve with grated parmesan cheese. It's even better the next day.

So dear readers, weigh in, if you will. I'd love to hear what you're thinking. And what you'd like to hear. And I'll try to be a little less needy tomorrow!