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Bento

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This has been a good summer for eating delicious, healthy food. It is so easy to slip out of good eating habits once the school year is back in session. While I cooked dinner this evening, I prepared a bento box lunch for tomorrow and made lunch food enough for the next three days. Make ahead lunches are definitely the way to go.




It's vegan. emoticon

On the left: grapes with fresh basil, steamed sweet potatoes with walnuts (and no sugar BTW), and a fresh cauliflower and romaine salad.

On the right, steamed rice and lentils.

I cooked the lentils with carrots, sweet potato, spinach, tumeric, spicy curry, and half a hot pepper with a little bit of salt.

We had the lentils and rice with a side salad and serving of steamed sweet potatoes for dinner tonight. We both loved it!

But back to the bento box lunch:



The containers stack,



and fit neatly into this jaunty little insulated lunch box.

I don't really have the bento artistry yet, but it will make a healthy and appetizing lunch and snack.


Now I need to get back into the habit of preparing food in advance...

"Let the wild rumpus begin!"
(Maurice Sendak)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 9/12/2012 7:28AM

    Beauuuuutiful!

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ALEXSGIRL1 9/1/2012 8:25PM

    love your healkthy lunchs emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 9/1/2012 9:43AM

    What a lovely, yummy looking lunch!! Sweet little Bento boxes and such a neat carry/cool case! You'll be into the preparing all meals pretty much in advance right away, b/c you're the organization queen!! emoticon
Hope you and your students have a super school year! emoticon

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MAWRTIAN 8/30/2012 9:28PM

    Love the bento!! The bento I had for lunch monday was not nearly as healthy :)

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CLAIREINPARIS 8/30/2012 6:32AM

    What a lovely bento meal! Good for you for planning ahead!

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MEOWMAMA3 8/30/2012 1:21AM

    Yum! I hope all your school lunches are relaxed and yummy! emoticon

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MUSICNERD1993 8/29/2012 7:45PM

    Looks delicious! Great job planning ahead!

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KOMAL53 8/29/2012 11:48AM

    Looks delicious and appetising!!!I love the Tiffin (Lunch) Box--specially the insulated Box!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MCGS62 8/29/2012 8:36AM

    sounds like a plan !!!!

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GINNJEN1974 8/29/2012 7:03AM

    Plan ahead always seems to help. Leaves less to chance good for you for putting in the effort.

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IUHRYTR 8/28/2012 10:49PM

    Good going on planning ahead. Sure must make it easier while at school instead of heading to the cafeteria. Just looking at your meal makes me hungry. Glad you enjoyed it. emoticon -- Lou

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MARY1313 8/28/2012 8:43PM

    that looks so good!

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OVERWORKEDJANET 8/28/2012 8:22PM

    I like the boxes.
I live daily by my large "six-pack" size igloo and utilize 3-4 disposable zip-loc containers

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JLITT62 8/28/2012 7:49PM

    The lentils & rice do look a bit boring, if tasty, but tbe other meal looks lovely!

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QUEEN-EYDIE 8/28/2012 7:17PM

    I love bentos and your food looks delicious!

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CHALLENGER15 8/28/2012 7:03PM

    Yum!

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WATERMELLEN 8/28/2012 6:55PM

    Such a pretty box! Gotta admit, I'd need a much bigger one for my gargantuan lunchtime salads . . . but your menu looks and sounds delish!

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PUDLECRAZY 8/28/2012 6:52PM

    LOL, LTMurphy! I love spicy food. You could always fill it with spaghetti or a sandwich or mac and cheese.

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KAPELAKIN 8/28/2012 6:50PM

    That looks so great, it's making me hungry! You can't get much healthier than that for a packed lunch.

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LTMURPHY7 8/28/2012 6:48PM

 

I like the box but not sure about the food

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GUITARWOMAN 8/28/2012 6:45PM

    Looks delicious! And healthy too!

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DOR2BFIT 8/28/2012 6:41PM

    Mmmm! Looks Delicious! I love the bento boxes. emoticon

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0309COOKIE 8/28/2012 6:35PM

    Your made ahead lunches look healthy and delicious. I hope you enjoy them.

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It's That Time...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Here we go! I have been spending every day getting both my house and my classroom clean, organized, and cheery. On the home front, I am trying to simplify and organize so that things are easier to maintain when the school year takes off. I have hauled bags of clothes that no longer fit, household items I really don't need, and things I no longer use off to Goodwill for someone else to enjoy. Closets and cabinets have been emptied and streamlined. I have a bit more to do, but I am pleased with my progress.

On the school front, my boxes of new materials are opened, emptied, and materials put away. I have updated my class webpage, sent welcome letters to my students, made gift bags for each child for when they return to school on Wednesday, and organized most of my teaching materials. Today is the Back-to-School Work Bee. Hopefully, I will have some parent volunteers to help with getting computers up and running, guitars and ukuleles tuned, windows cleaned, and general dusting done. I have garlands and pretty things to hang and plan to let children at the work bee help with that.

Yesterday there was a wedding at our school! One of my long-time-ago grads decided that she would like to get married at the school. She and her fiancee came all the way from Massachusetts to Ohio to do this and other grads came from as far away as California to attend. What a joy to see all of them and hear about what they are doing! It was a joyful and beautiful wedding. I have to say, this is a first, but I don't think it will be a last. Quite a few of my grads told me that they thought Lila, the bride, set a new trend. I think we may have more weddings at the school in the future.
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Today's Photo



A few weeks ago, I managed to have my camera when this indigo bunting was sitting on the our fence . They are like natures jewels of the animal kingdom. Such a pleasure to see!

At the moment, I am still keeping balance in my life. With everything I have been doing at home and at school, Stella and I have been keeping up my walking program and I am getting in an hour of music time daily. My only regret regarding music is that summer is usually a time when I can get in two or three hours of practice time. Of course I had no music time in China, and have been busy with catching up on household tasks since I returned. That said, I am pleased to be able the balance work and fun so far. I hope I can keep it up once the school year starts. Once the children arrive, it is harder to maintain my energy level.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 8/30/2012 1:27AM

    Hi Chris! I'm impressed by all your preparations....but NOT missing them at all!
It is only now starting to hit me that I'm retired. I've registered with a tutoring website called WyzAnt. I'm close to closing the deal with a parent of a 6th grader near me who needs support in writing and math. Mom wants me 3-5 days/week, for the long haul... Should be interesting, I'll keep you posted.

How lovely that the students got married at school! That says a lot about her experience with you!

Give Stella a Meowmama rubbie and you have a great start to your year!
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MCGS62 8/28/2012 9:39AM

    Hey ! That's a cute little chainsaw in your new picture!

If I lived close I would help with the guitars and uke's.

coming back to have a wedding at one elementary / intermediate school.
that's intriguing!!
You should have a conversation with her.
You have obviously impacted her in a very positive way. Aren't you curious which events and memories have motivated her ?

Well Congratulations to the teacher of the bride!!
Good job !


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MCGS62 8/28/2012 9:32AM

    Hey ! That's a cute little chain saw in your new picture.

If I was closer I would help with the guitars and ukes.

coming back to have a wedding at an elementary / intermediate school----
that is intriguing !!
Being a teacher you should have a long talk with her because you have impacted her life in a positive way-- aren't you curious what specific events and memories are motivating her and why?
I guess congratulations to the teacher of the bride!!!!



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MARY1313 8/27/2012 3:25PM

    I love the little bird! I'm enjoying a hummingbird feeder that I have attached to my window with suction cups. They are that close!!!

I also love that you write welcome letters to students! AWESOME!!!

Mary

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OLDERDANDRT 8/27/2012 11:25AM

    You sound absolutely, wonderfully organized and ready for a new school year! Way to go! Though, I have always thought of you as one of my MOST organized SPark friends!
What a gem of a bird! Never have seen an Indigo Bunting here, but I suppose they are around here and there!
Sorry you've been shorted on your music time, but I'm sure you'll be getting it in now. It always fit pretty neatly into your previous schedule.
So glad you and Stella are getting your walks. I know SHE certainly is happy about it! I know she missed her time with you while you were in China!
emoticon and glad you're back and getting back into the swing!
( emoticon to Stella, too!!)

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OVERWORKEDJANET 8/27/2012 5:31AM

    Sounds like satsfaction to me!
I love getting rid of things that have accumulated or now serve little purpose.

Can anyone help me move this snoring item on the couch?
emoticon

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IUHRYTR 8/26/2012 3:54PM

    I, too, am decluttering, going for a minimalist situation with "stuff and things." The more I take to Goodwill, the more I wonder how we collect so many things we don't need and why do we keep them? I feel I've given away two household's of things and am not making progress. Oh, I know I am, but there's just so much more to go through. Aaarrggghhh! Come help me? -- Lou

(Very thoughtful of you to make up gift bags for your students.)

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MUSICNERD1993 8/26/2012 3:37PM

    Great job preparing for school! I hope you have an awesome first day!

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FIFIFRIZZLE 8/26/2012 1:44PM

    How marvelously organsed of you. Your blog reminds me of the feeling I used to have when I looked at a pantry of preserves I had put up for winter. Deep satisfaction. I love the wedding at the school. What a compliment to the school and teachers.
emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 8/26/2012 9:54AM

    Sounds like you're doing great! I wish I could have cleaned and organized my house! Hopefully next summer. A wedding at the school sounds so fun! She must have had a great experience there, and that is no doubt partly your doing. I'm sure that must make you feel great. One of those rare moments when teachers actually feel appreciated! Good luck with the start of your school year -- may this be your best year yet! emoticon

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GUITARWOMAN 8/26/2012 9:16AM

    Great preparations, and a lovely pictue of the bunting!

I once saw a mountain bluebird in Utah, it was so bright it looked like a neon light!


emoticon

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SUNRISE14 8/26/2012 7:39AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Up The Creek..

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Without a Poodle!



Today's giggle - I just had to post this.

emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNRISE14 8/26/2012 7:40AM

    emoticon That's to cute ! emoticon emoticon

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MCGS62 8/23/2012 10:58AM

    just subscribing !

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OLDERDANDRT 8/20/2012 6:37PM

    emoticon Now, you wouldn't do that to sweet Stella, now would you? emoticon

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MCGS62 8/20/2012 8:55AM

    It's you !! good one!

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KOMAL53 8/20/2012 8:48AM

    emoticon emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 8/20/2012 5:56AM

    emoticon

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KRITTERKEEPERS 8/20/2012 5:11AM

    emoticon

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DOR2BFIT 8/19/2012 7:50PM

    Love it! emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 8/19/2012 11:23AM

    Hah!
emoticon

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WILDHONEYPIE1 8/19/2012 10:57AM

    emoticon

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JLITT62 8/19/2012 10:29AM

    Very cute!

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CLAIREINPARIS 8/19/2012 10:27AM

    emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 8/19/2012 10:25AM

    thanks for makng me smile.

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0309COOKIE 8/19/2012 9:50AM

    That was very funny, lol. Nothing like a little poodle humor to start your day!

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LASKIE2 8/19/2012 9:33AM

    emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 8/19/2012 9:23AM

    Hahaha!!! emoticon

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Up The Creek..

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Without a Poodle!



Today's giggle - I just had to post this.

emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MHNGJR 8/27/2012 4:21AM

    Got a giggle out of me too! emoticon

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MARY1313 8/27/2012 12:11AM

    I love it!!!!

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MERRYMARY42 8/21/2012 7:37PM

    got a giggle out of me, Thanks

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BECCABOO127 8/19/2012 12:27PM

    Wonderful! lol!

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China - Entry Six, Tao Hua Yuan

Tuesday, August 14, 2012



Tao Hua Yuan translates to Peach Blossom Park. Located in Hunan Province, it is now one of China's national parks. This park was formed according to "On the Land of Peach Blossoms" written by Tao Yuanming, a famous writer of the Jin Dynasty. In the poem, "On the Land of Peach Blossoms", Tao Yuanming writes that there is a place with a cave. When you pass through the cave, you come to heaven on earth.

This park, a wooded mountain with both Taoist and Buddhist temples, is very lovely. We were there well after the height of tourist season which made it quite pleasant as we could enjoy the park without crowds. The heaviest tourist season is when the peach blossoms are in bloom.

We really enjoyed our time here.



There is a lovely entrance to the park.


With, of course, a moon gate. Love those moon gates!




And stone monkeys....





There were lush trails to follow. This trail took us to the cave you pass through to get to Heaven on Earth.









There were some really interesting and beautiful rock formations.





And lush foliage.



Here's the cave you pass through.




These are statues representing the poet, Tao Yuanming, talking to a farmer.







We brought a young waitress-in-training from our hotel with us for the day. She really enjoyed the trip and her time with the girls, and we all really enjoyed her.



There is a lot of hustle and bustle in China, especially in many of the places we went. It was delightful to spend the day in natural surroundings with very few other people around. This pretty, serene park was definitely worth the visit!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAWRTIAN 8/30/2012 9:31PM

    Wow! I feel like I have been so out of touch this summer! Looks like you had a ball!

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IUHRYTR 8/20/2012 8:39PM

    Fascinating! -- Lou

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CLAIREINPARIS 8/19/2012 1:04PM

    What a gorgeous park! You are showing me a whole different side to China, it makes me really want to see it. Thank you!

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JUDYAMK 8/19/2012 1:00PM

    Thank you so much for sharing the photos & the History of the places you go to.
Judy

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KOMAL53 8/17/2012 10:25PM

    Stunning Pictures Chris!!!I'm literally speechless with admiration as I look at these----this Trip has truly enriched your Soul with such wonderful and heavenly Memories!!!Hoard the sights,smells and sounds in your mind to drool over whenever you need to get refreshed!!!Thank You My Friend--for taking me with you on your journey through this incredibly beautiful journey--it has been my privilege to be a part of your Peer group through your beautiful Pictures!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDASI 8/17/2012 5:10AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 8/16/2012 6:42PM

    Absolutely beautiful photographs!
They all convey a sense of serenity.
Thank you very much for continuing to share with your SparkFriends!

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MARY1313 8/16/2012 3:44AM

    I loved these pictures! I love to see and learn about other cultures. The beautiful rock formations were awesome, as was the yellow fan the young girl was holding. I collect fans and even have some framed in a shadow box.

Thanks Chris!

Mary

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OLDERDANDRT 8/15/2012 1:15PM

    Just gorgeous!!! I think, to me, that if this was the only place I ever visited in that vast country, I would be content! So much beauty!!!! Thank you so much for posting these lovely pictures of your trip! emoticon

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IDLETYME 8/15/2012 10:04AM

    Wonderful pictures. Thank you for showing me places I will never really see!
emoticon emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 8/15/2012 8:25AM

    That's gorgeous!

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JLITT62 8/15/2012 6:44AM

    Stunning! That first photo looks like a painting!

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PHEBESS 8/14/2012 10:06PM

    Wow, what a beautiful place! We plan on time in China - it looks so interesting!

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OVERWORKEDJANET 8/14/2012 9:05PM

    Very pretty

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MUSICNERD1993 8/14/2012 8:44PM

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

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WATERMELLEN 8/14/2012 8:40PM

    Lovely pictures: what a great idea, to include the young waitress!

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GUITARWOMAN 8/14/2012 8:29PM

    Beautiful!

And a lovely legend!


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0309COOKIE 8/14/2012 8:23PM

    What beautiful pictures and everything looks so lush and serene. That first picture is just breathtaking. I really enjoyed this blog. Thanks.

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DOR2BFIT 8/14/2012 7:45PM

    Beautiful!

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JIBBIE49 8/14/2012 7:43PM

    beautiful.
My brother had a friend who went with his wife on a two week tour of china and all they talked about when they came back was the pollution over there.

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KATIEGARCIA2 8/14/2012 7:40PM

  WOW!!!

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