Mid-week mash up

My last post was a bit of a downer, but, in the interest of keepin' it real here on Speed Bump, some days are like that. While I focus on the positive events in my life on this blog, I don't ever want to give the impression that every day is sunny and rosy. Life is messy and hard sometimes - and I think having challenges and obstacles in our lives is what helps us appreciate the good stuff. In the words of one famous Scarlett O'Hara, "Tomorrow is another day!" and I'm looking up. Next week I am going to a science conference in San Diego to give an invited talk. If I were just getting by in my work, they wouldn't invite me to speak and pay my way, right?? Positive self-talk is something I am still working on.

circa 2006?
As an added bonus, I will meet up with two of my dearest and oldest friends - just like we did at this same conference in San Diego several years ago. I doubt we'll stir up much trouble like in the good old days (Susan!), but I know we'll have fun! Susan and I are going to be roommates at the meeting and I am really looking forward to some shopping girl time . She has just taken on a new job, throwing that whole career/life balance out of whack for the time being. She's been doing the juggling act longer than I have and I look to her for advice. We have lots to catch up on - several drinks will be in order. I will not tell you how many we actually have. Some things are sacred and best kept to ourselves.

Checking in on the kids mid-week, here is what they've been up to at school:
Izzy painting in the world's largest t-shirt and Princess Charlie doing...??

Here's what we're having for lunch this week in the Maniger household, if you're interested:

This is a yummy and fresh salad from my very talented Aunt Cynthia's cookbook. I am really loving salads with kale right now (I was previously in a quinoa salad phase). I make a slightly larger batch of this salad than the original recipe (not quite doubled, but maybe 1.5x the recipe) and add feta cheese and it lasts the two of us most of the week. The recipe calls for wild rice but I had brown rice on hand and just used that. Cynthia's salad recipes are fabulous and I make them all the time for lunch. What I like about them is that you can substitue a few things here or there if you don't have an item on hand, and they always taste great. You can find the recipe for Emerald City Salad here and a link to my aunt's cooking website here.

And finally, we have a very interesting nature study going on at home. A mama cardinal has built her nest in the rose bushes just outside our sunroom window. Charlie is fascinated! The mama bird flies in and out of the next and sits on her eggs, right in front of our noses. I counted 5 eggs in all. Can't wait to see what happens when they hatch!

Yes, Charlie has no pants on. It is a regular thing at home. I hardly notice anymore.

I'll try to get a picture of the actual nest, you can only see a faint shadow of it here in this picture. But I don't want to disturb the birds anymore than our regular gawking already does.


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