Tie Dyed Eggs for Easter

I’ve been eyeing Easter eggs dyed with silk ties on Pinterest for years. A couple years ago my friend and I went to a Goodwill store and actually bought the requisite ties, but they were stashed away in a drawer like so many other unfinished projects.

Yesterday I finally mustered the energy to dye the eggs…It turned out to be a lot more work than I anticipated, mostly because I wanted to try it with blown out eggs I could keep. Hello, my name is Adrienne, and I am a Hoarder.

In case you want to try it, I have a few suggestions. I’m not sure why, but for some reason the ties have to be 100% silk. You have to pick apart the ties and you’ll probably only be able to get about two pieces big enough to wrap the eggs. The ones that worked best were made of the thinnest silks. I was disappointed that the tie in the next photo, for example, did not transfer its dye at all. The tighter and smoother you can wrap the eggs the better.

Shall I even bother to tell you how I blew out the eggs? It was such a pain and a mess, I don’t think I’ll ever do it again! Again, I’m not sure why, but it’s supposed to be helpful to put the eggs in warm water for about ten minutes before working with them. My daughter and I made holes on either end with an unfolded paper clip and wiggled it around to make the holes large enough. The paper clip also breaks up the yolk, which makes it easier to blow out. We used a bulb syringe to blow out the eggs. We used that same syringe to try to fill the eggs with water so that they would sink in the pan, but they still floated up and bobbled around in the pan. We tried weighing them down with various utensils with little success.

After filling the eggs with water, (or just using hard boiled eggs like a normal human being!), you wrap them with the right side of the silk. You wrap that with some light-colored cotton fabric. I cut up a flour sack cloth for the purpose. We used flexible wire cut to length to twist around the top of the eggs, but you could also use twist ties or rubber bands.

Cover eggs with water and add about 1/4 cup vinegar. Bring to boil, then simmer 20-30 minutes.

Mary, Mares, Meteor Showers, and other Miracles

One Sunday morning this past December, my daughter was the lay reader for our church’s Zoom advent service. She read a passage from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1, Verses 26-38. This is the part of the Christmas story in which the angel Gabriel drops a bombshell on a very young girl, who is about to be married to a carpenter named Joseph: “Oh hey, Mary, you luckiest of girls! Guess what? You are about to give birth to the baby Jesus.”

“Ummm…Hang on. How can this be?” Mary asks, “since I’m a virgin?”

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God.”

My daughter is probably about the same age as Mary was when Gabriel revealed his startling message to her. As she read the passage, I tried to imagine the panic and terror she would feel if she were in Mary’s shoes. I imagined my own crushing dismay upon suddenly learning that my baby was about to have a baby.

The true miracle is Mary’s reaction to Gabriel’s astonishing revelation: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word.”

Seriously, Mary?!

During this year of unsettling, sometimes devastating news on the personal, national, and global level, I have not been able to muster anything even close to Mary’s preternatural aplomb when given the news that she is about to become an unwed teenage mother. Her radical attitude of trust and openness to the possibility of the miraculous seem too passive, too naive.

Later that same evening, I cajoled my husband and daughter into joining me on a late night adventure: “The Geminid Meteor Shower is supposed to be amazing this year. It’s supposed to be really easy to see a ton of shooting stars tonight.”

For years I’ve been dragging my husband and children out to fields in the middle of the night on futile quests to witness celestial phenomena. We’ve shivered for hours in the dark, craning our aching necks to the heavens. What almost always happens is, just as we settle in and turn our gaze skyward, a thick blanket of clouds rolls in to obscure the view. Based on past experience, my husband was rightfully skeptical, but he pulled on his coat and merely noted with a wry sigh, “You really have a thing for these kinds of events.”

We drove a little way from our house and stopped on a quiet country road that traverses gently undulating fields. As soon as we stepped out of the car, a shooting star streaked through the sky directly in front of us.

We set up our camping chairs on the side of the road and burrowed under a shared blanket to watch for more meteors in the deep silence. Suddenly, we heard a strange noise. Our eyes strained in the darkness as we tried to discern what was making the noise. We could barely make out the outline of a horse. She had walked through the field and right up to the fence line to be near us. That night we saw more shooting stars than I have ever seen in my entire life. Our breath curled and intermingled with the horse’s in the chilly night air as we stood watch together. I couldn’t say which was more miraculous: the celestial fireworks, or the presence of the horse, who matched our every cry of wonder with earthy, companionable nickering.

In the darkest of hours, may we be open to the possibility of miracles. May we recognize the miraculous in whatever shape it may take. And may we accept these gifts from the universe with open arms and open hearts.

Dearest Yang, Pt. 5

I have so many pictures of our kids, but this is the only one I have of us together…IMG_0610Remember when I stopped by to visit you on my way back from the doctor’s office, after I had gotten my cancer diagnosis? I knew you’d just had surgery, but we didn’t realize until then that we both had cancer. It was so terrible to discover that we were both going through the same thing, but it was also a comfort to have a friend who truly understood.

Remember how we texted back and forth comparing appointment schedules, biopsies, and scans, and how we tried to fit in visits in between? Remember the time we spent together as you were undergoing chemo treatments? Sometimes we chatted, sometimes I just sat next to you while you slept. Sometimes we continued our conversations over lunch after your infusion was finished.

Remember when you had your son drive you to my house to visit me after my surgery? You were still weak from undergoing treatment, but you wanted to bring food to me. Remember how you asked, “Are you ok with pig feet?” Yang! Could you tell I was having a bit of a panic attack trying to figure out how to politely say that I didn’t think I’d be able to eat pig feet?! (I’m so sorry)! Remember how when I was worrying about what was going to happen to me you texted me: “I am together with you“? Yang, even though we can’t see each other right now, I am together with you too. Thank you for being such a good friend to me. When we see each other again, let’s take another picture together, OK?

xoxoxo,
Adrienne

 

 

Dearest Yang, Pt. 4

Just a quick note today…Remember the Lunar New Year party you had at your house a couple years ago? It was both exhilarating and terrifying! I wrote about it here…

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If I had a lantern to light this evening, my wish would be for good health: for you, for my own family, and for everyone around the world who is suffering right now.

Thank you for being a light in this exhilarating and terrifying life, my dear friend. We’ll get through this dark night together.

“Though we are far, our hearts our near.”

Love,
Adrienne

#Goals

img_7351Yesterday I had my scheduled “Be Well” visit, one of the many annoying assaults to my dignity that I must endure, like a pigeon pecking a button for a pellet, to earn a lousy (taxable) $600.

A slim, bright-eyed doctor strode into the room. He looked all of twelve years old.

“So! Let’s talk about your Be Well goals for the year!”

I was taken aback. “Oh! I actually have been thinking about those all week, but I’m still working on them. I promise I’ll have them by my next phone appointment with my Be Well Advocate though.”

“Mmmhmmm,” he said with his fingers poised over the keyboard, “But I have to put them into the system, so let’s go ahead and work on those now.”

“NOW?!” I said in a mild panic, “Well, OK. I will…ummm…try to exercise four days a week.”

“Good one!” he said with an encouraging smile, “One more.”

“I’m blanking. Do you have any suggestions for me?” I asked.

“How about…I will meditate three times a week for five minutes. That seems easy enough, right?”

“Yes, but…shouldn’t it be something that I would realistically do?”

I continued to muse out loud, “I know I should lose some weight, but I also feel like the goal should be something that would actually be achievable…”

“Drink less?” he proposed.

“I don’t drink.”

“Eat less sweets at work?”

“I don’t eat a lot of sweets.”

“Eat a greater proportion of vegetables at meals?”

“I don’t eat meat.”

“Well! You’re just perfect.”

Exasperating medical health professionals is one of my special talents.

Until this year, it used to be the case that instead of going to a doctor, the Be Well program would require you to move through stations set up around a large conference room. At one station you would get weighed and measured. At another station you would get your blood drawn. At the final station, a nurse would interpret your results and give you recommendations to improve your health.

One year, a well-meaning nurse tried to get to the bottom of my high cholesterol numbers.

“Do you eat a lot of sugar?”

“No, I really don’t.”

“Do you eat a lot of fried foods?”

“No.”

He started to look at me with suspicion.

“Red meat?”

“I don’t eat meat, just fish occasionally.”

His eyes narrowed and he asked, “Fatty foods?”

“Not really, although…I do eat cheese,” I conceded.

The nurse pounced: “You MUST. EAT. LESS. CHEESE.”

Now, under pressure to come up with something, anything, I blurted out to the doctor: “OK, I have my second goal!” Forgetting all my scruples about setting a goal that was both realistic and achievable I announced: “I will eat less cheese.” I cringed as the words spilled from my lips, fully confident that no stupider-sounding goal had ever been set in the history of the universe.

Doogie Howser exacted his revenge on me.

“Hah! That’s the exact opposite of MY goal. My goal is to eat MORE cheese. I fantasize about quitting medicine and becoming a cheesemaker! But my wife says I have to pay off all my med school loans first.”

Well, I suppose we all have our crosses to bear.

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Ten years ago

Shutterfly has jumped on the “Memory” wagon and I love it…Last week they emailed me these photos from a Christmas card photo shoot ten years ago!

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We’re going to see that no-longer-little-sprite-on-the-right very soon…I just bought his train ticket. He’ll be home for the holidays from his first semester of college by the end of the week!

Thanksgiving Weekend

Waiting for the rest of the family to arrive…

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What a joy to see our college boy…

So thankful for my sis.

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Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life…

Skyping with our niece in Edinburgh…

Showing her my mom’s inexplicable “Man Lady” purse.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Big cousins appreciating their little cousin’s creative efforts…

Sad to say goodbye to this boy until Christmas.

After we dropped Grandma & Grandpa off in Arlington, this guy drove us almost all the way to Charlottesville.

…and home, sweet home.