Tuesday, March 14, 2017

National Pi Day

Today is National Pi Day - did you know that?

My husband brought home a pie recipe along with an article from a Costco magazine... talking about pi and someone decided to make 3/14 National Pi Day, celebrating of course, with pie - according to Judith Fertig who wrote the article, "Celebrate National Pi Day with, what else? Pie!"

Since I'm the pie lady of the family, my hubby thought this one would be tasty - Cherry Berry Berry Pie - adapted from Sweetie-licious Pies: Eat Pie, Love Life by Linda Hundt and Clarissa Westmeyer.
I'll be trying this one out for - what else? National Pi Day!

I recently baked a pie for my Aunt Lee honoring her 93rd birthday. Her two favorite pies are Lemon Meringue and Coconut Cream. I made her Lemon Meringue another year, so this year - Coconut Cream, only it wasn't Coconut Cream, it was French Coconut Pie. I was searching for an easy pie to make as Coconut Cream was more labor intensive than I had time for. I worried: new recipe and simple, but it was a Paula Deen recipe and having been successful with her recipes before, I thought, why not?

According to those who ate the French Coconut Pie, it was delicious. (A bit of a bummer I don't eat processed sugar/flour anymore - and well, pie certainly falls into that category. But I'd much rather do without than have the issues I had when eating sugar/flour.) I have to admit, I came real close to cheating... not with eating pie, but with buying a pre-made frozen pie crust. Then I said, "Oh Lynn, come one, don't be so lazy... you're already making a simple pie." Making your own crust is really easy-peasy and for me, the crust can make the pie - in my humble pie opinion.

I have a class at my church this evening where my fellow classmates will be treated to a pie... not sure which kind I'm going to make, and tomorrow night is my writing critique group, where we will be celebrating (with pie) Sioux's story that was selected to be read at the Listen To Your Mother show. YAY Sioux! You can purchase tickets to the show... I'll be attending as Sioux's story is hilarious (part of the perks of being in the critique group). And yes, for those of you who I yammered on and on about auditioning for the show, well, I didn't make it. But I'm super excited for Sioux! Every time I think about her story, I giggle.

Giggling is good. Pie is good too (if it's made well and you can eat it).

Giggle with Pie!

And as Sioux would say, inquiring minds want to know - what's your favorite pie?  According to the above mentioned article, apple is the all time favorite.

Oh, my favorite is, um, was cherry, but made with red tart pitted cherries, not that canned cherry pie filling. Here's a recipe that I blogged about on another blog I used to do: Lynn, What's for Dessert?

Monday, March 13, 2017

47 Years Ago...

I'm not sure how many years ago I started this blog -  but it was in honor of my mother, who translated (another term for died - in my religion, we are Soul and we live on after we leave this physical body behind - translate to another place)... so she translated 47 years ago today... and I know she's been with me ever since (even before I found my religion with this belief, I knew she never really left me).

Let's see if my memory serves me, I think I started this blog on the 40th anniversary of her being gone.  I just looked... yes, seven years ago.

It's hard to believe it was that long ago... sure my physical self misses the physical being of my mother even after all these years. In six years, she'll have been gone as long as she was alive - she had just turned 53 when she translated. Just a few weeks ago, had she been alive in this physical body, it would've been her 100th birthday!  If she were alive, I would celebrate with... (who wants to guess?)

Come back tomorrow when I talk about pi - e.

To see my first post about my mom, go here.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Jessica's Sculpture "She Is Here"

My daughter Jessica is a second year MSA candidate in sculpture at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (S.I.U.E.) Last summer, she was awarded a $750 grant to create a large scale sculpture for a project called Sculpture on Campus – a program that’s been going on for over a decade. Every year students submit proposals and 12 students are selected by jurors.

Jessica worked hard all summer on this project. Yours truly gave her a hand now and then. This gave me a better understanding of what is involved in the creating process of sculpture.

First Jessica sculpted her “lady” from clay. I modeled my arm and hand for one portion of the sculpture… you know she needed someone “older.”

Jessica made a mold of this clay model and then casted each piece three times.

And then she needed a hand with welding the inner armature for each piece.

Even though I didn’t weld, I still had to wear all the protective gear. This gave me a new perspective of welders and I have a much higher respect for the kind of job they do. It can be very dangerous and the school takes high precautions for everyone involved. You have to take a class in order to weld.

We were in this full get-up when the temperatures outside were above 90 degrees by the way.

In the process of putting the lady together, fiberglass resin was used—requiring ventilator masks.

This too was a hot deal – outside in the scorching heat, wearing masks and working quickly with the resin before it hardens.

Fiberglass is itchy and the resin burns if it gets on your skin. It’s pretty nasty stuff.

Jessica faced some challenges with putting the lady together, but I knew she’d figure out a solution to her problems and the three models all came together. There was more work involved that I was totally unaware of, but just the part I played was enough for me to have a deeper appreciation of all the time and effort involved.

The day of the walk – where folks were invited to participate in seeing each Sculpture on Campus, with the student giving a talk about their sculpture was a fun and eye-opening experience.

and drumroll .....


Here is what Jessica had to say when it was her turn to talk about her sculpture:

Hello, my name is Jessica Hunt and I’m a second year graduate student in sculpture. I first want to dedicate this piece to my mother, Lynn. She guided me through my worst days on this project and kept me from feeling defeated. She also helped me resin in 99-degree heat for hours on end. She is forever my light. Thank you, mom. I also want to thank my partner Patrick for his constant support emotionally and domestically this summer, my friends and family, my SOC colleagues, and most importantly, Thad, for running such an amazing program, and for being our mentor and cheerleader always. 
She is Here was influenced from aging individuals collected voices within our society, and particularly women’s. So many don’t feel relevant in the dominant cultural narrative any longer. The messages our elders are constantly trying to reinforce tend to disappear but I believe much of their wisdom is crucial to our understanding of self. 
She is Here is reminiscent of the cicada shells I used to pluck off trees as a child. I never actually saw a cicada as a kid but I knew they were there. Their sound was comforting, constant and reliable. The shells are something the cicadas emerge from as they cycle into adulthood, like a rebirth. At 31, I’ve already come to understand that aging is kind of like a constant rebirth. One continues to re-define who they are as they get older. Like a skin or shell, you shed off what’s less important and morph into something new. 

Needless to say, I was shocked to receive such an honor—the piece being dedicated to me. The little I did compared to all the work involved seemed like nothing, and I was happy to help.

And by the way, Jessica placed second!  Whoo-hoo. The mother in me feels she placed first.

You can still see Jessica’s sculpture at S.I.U.E. in the back of the Art & Design building. Unfortunately, some inconsiderate person decided to try and steal one of the sculptures. Since it was secured to the ground, the only thing they were able to do was destroy it. It saddens me that some people lack the respect of others’ property… not to mention time, effort and finances that goes into creating something of this magnitude.

If you’d like to see more of Jessica’s work, check out her website: jessicalynnhunt.com