Brussels Sprouts Crisps

DSCF9337When my friend Becky posted this link (Beyond Kale: 7 More Chips Made From Leafy Greens) on Facebook, I knew I had to try some of these delicious looking recipes. I mean, who doesn’t love crispy, salty, veggies? Once I saw the recipe for Brussels Sprouts Chips, I knew I had to try making those. And. oh.my.goodness. They’re yummy. Here’s the link to the original recipe from thekitchn. I basically followed it with a few adjustments and was thrilled with the results. One of the adjustments was to use 1/2 expeller pressed coconut oil. I did that to raise the smoking point of the oil and as the expeller pressed oil has no coconutty flavor, it worked like a charm. The second time I made them I added some tumeric and cayenne powder to the mix and loved the spicy/curry flavor. As you can see in the picture above, I cooked mine until they were quite crisp, but if you want to preserve more green, follow the original recipe and don’t increase the oven temp to 400° (oops). Here’s how to do it.

Brussels Sprouts Chips

  • 1 to 2 cups (or more) rough outer leaves from your Brussels Sprouts 
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon expeller pressed coconut oil
  • salt to taste
  • curry spices or other spices

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Wash leaves. Dry thoroughly. Place Brussels sprouts leaves in a bowl and add the oils, salt, and any spices you are using.

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Using your hands rub each leaf to ensure that it is coated with oil. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet (you may need two). I lined the sheets with parchment paper and that ensured the the leaves didn’t stick and cleanup was a breeze.

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Place in hot oven and let cook for 10-12 minutes until crisp. Remove and serve immediately. These are perfect hot from the oven when you can hear them crackling. They do start to wilt after a little while so this is not a make-ahead dish. And they taste best when they’re warm.

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Enjoy!

 

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January recap

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Well this blog is barely chugging along isn’t it? I checked out how many posts I managed in January last year and it was 27. Now we’re in February and I think I posted twice last month. Of course, when you have photos of Paris posting is a lot easier. Just pop a picture of something beautiful up on the blog and you’re done.

January was busy and strange for both Scotty and me. Scotty’s family got seriously hit with two family members in the hospital, another sick with mono, and everyone trying to figure out the logistics of caring for the patients who were in New York and Florida. All this meant that Scotty and I spent a good amount of time (10 days for Scotty, and 16 days for me) back up in NY, making runs to the hospital in Erie, PA and caring for Scotty’s mom when we were able to bring her home from the hospital.

Scotty and I became experts in ostomy care and have a new vocabulary to prove it. If you’ve ever had the experience of caring for someone with an ostomy, you will understand this next paragraph. If not, you can skip it and move on to the pictures! We know where to get ostomy supplies in upstate NY and western PA (basically tiny little pharmacies in remote locations or amazon!), we know the difference between one-piece and two-piece ostomy systems.  We also know that skin paste, skin barriers, and stomadhesive don’t work. We know the different between convex flanges and flat ones. We figured out that heating the wafer with a blow dryer before attaching it to the skin is key. And we know more than the home nurses about making sure the skin around the stoma isn’t too irritated. Thankfully, all of this is a temporary state of affairs and Scotty’s mom will be going back for corrective surgery in a couple of months.

While we were in NY we experienced some really strange weather. I arrived at the tail end of the “January thaw” and was treated to one day of balmy weather. During the thaw the warm air meets the cold lake water and creates this lovely fog that hangs over everything.

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The next day the temps were down to the mid 20s (F) and snow was on its way.

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Snowfall #1

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And it just kept on coming.

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If I was a bird and had wings…I would not have stuck around for this. In fact, all these crazy birds just stayed there despite tons of snow, temperatures below zero and the fact that the lake eventually froze over so much that people were driving their snowmobiles across it!

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DSCF9255While we were in NY, I celebrated my birthday. My sweet mom surprised me the morning of my birthday with a text saying that I had an appointment for a massage that day! And Scotty baked me a gluten-free birthday cake! It was definitely an unexpected way to bring in this year of life but I was grateful that Scotty and I had the flexibility to be able to pitch in where there was a need.

We got back home a week ago only to learn the next day that a dear member of Scotty’s family had passed away. We’re all going to miss Annie very much. She was a dynamic woman who thought for herself, has a great sense of humor, and brought joy to many people. I always loved talking with Annie because she had great stories. As the Presbyterian minister’s wife in a small town she argued against censorship in schools by saying that if books were going to be banned from schools for inappropriate content they’d better include the Bible on the list. That sure shut down the school board. Annie’s personality was both feisty and loving and she will definitely be missed.

And that about covers it for the month of January. I am looking forward to posting more this month because I got an awesome birthday gift from my mom and sister, a Staub cocotte and I have been having so much fun cooking with it. I can’t wait to share some of my recipes.

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A Year of Reading

Oh my! It’s been almost a year since I’ve done a book entry. I guess that would indicate that I’ve either been doing too much reading to keep up, or not enough reading to keep it interesting. It’s sort of a combination of the two. Here’s the standouts from the past year, categorized in a way that seems logical to me:

Classics

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The Divine Comedy by Dante

In the past I had read selections of Dante’s famous work and I had read Inferno in its entirety, but this was the first time I had read the entire work. The earthiness and physicality of Inferno always makes for entertaining reading…I mean, really, that scene with the guy chewing on the other’s head, it just doesn’t get more revolting than that. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed Purgatory. It seemed to me very relatable to life, if one believes that life is a process by which we are to be conforming ourselves to the image and will of God. There is a graciousness and humanity that I found very appealing. It stood in stark contrast to the brutality of Inferno and reminded me that in life we have the capacity to create our own hells, or choose to strive for lives of truth, beauty, and grace. I truly enjoyed Purgatory and would easily say that it is my favorite of the trio. Paradise was difficult for me. I found it to be unrelateable and confusing. Jumping from planet to planet in a pre-Copernican understanding of the universe was too bizarre for me. While the ending, with its blinding encounter with the love of God is beautiful, the rest of it was just too much for me. What that says about my soul is a matter I’d rather not consider!

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Reading Shakespeare again was such a treat. I am embarrassed to admit it had been years since I had sat down with the bard. Maybe the absence made it even better, but I cannot think of another time I’ve more enjoyed my reading. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I was reading the two works that are arguably his best comedy and tragedy. The juxtaposition of King Lear and Tempest is so striking. The common themes of premature divestiture, warring brothers, wise fools, natural and social upheaval, all became so much more clear when read together. It was a great reminder to me that while these works were read for one of my classes, there is nothing stopping me from picking up my Complete Works of Shakespeare simply for my own entertainment. 

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The Republic of Plato adapted by Allan BloomI’m still reading through this so it may not be fair to count it as a 2012 read but I’m putting it in here anyway. As I haven’t read any Plato since college it’s felt good to give my brain the workout required by this text. The brilliant use of the Socratic method, the challenging dialogue, the verbal acrobatics, are what make this work so incredibly brilliant and teach you to challenge the assumptions that are so often presented as fact. Bloom’s commentary makes is more accessible and I really appreciate that!

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Beowulf in a new verse translation by Seamus Heaney has been a piece I’ve wrestled with and grown to love. Having read it at least two times in the past two years, along with other translations, I would say I’ve become pretty familiar with the work. The more time I spend with Heaney’s translation, the more I enjoy it. I am not a medievalist, an expert in old English, or a scholar of early English works so my opinion is simply that of a reader and I think that Heaney’s version is fantastic!

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John Milton’s Paradise Lost was surprising to me. At first I really didn’t like it but the more I read of it the more I understood why this is such an important work. Milton’s use of linguistic styles to separate the chaos of Hell from the order of Heaven and the lies of Satan and the truth of God is brilliant. Scenes in Hell are weighty, confused, written in Baroque language. Scenes in Heaven are light, orderly, written in clear and concise language. The “grandeur” of Satan’s boasts and his posturing is fantastically portrayed and the drama of the Fall is captured as I’ve never seen before. It’s epic in every possible way.

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Reading Aristophanes, the father of comedy, is so much fun. He’s earthy to the point of crudeness, hilarious, and utterly human. I didn’t read the entirety of The Complete Plays of Aristophanes by I did read BirdsCloudsPeace, and Frogs. It was the perfect selection to begin to encapsulate Aristophanes’ worldview as Frogs takes place in the underworld, Birds is a world created between Mount Olympus, home of the gods, and earth, while Peace is the story of one all-too-human hero who makes his way from earth to heaven (on the back of a dung beetle) in order to entreat the gods to end the wars that are ravishing Greece. Each play is unique in its own way and thoroughly entertaining. I would love to be able to time travel back to see the original productions of these works.

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I came across Medieval Literature in Translation edited by Charles W. Jones during my research for work. It is an excellent resource for those who want to add a bit of medieval to your reading. It contains excerpts from great works like The Song of Roland and other classics, as well as poems, hymns, songs and ballads, prayers, and letters.

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The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper was a selection for a book club I’ve recently joined. It was so much fun to read an American classic. I’ve read quite a few recent “classics” from the late 20th century over the past years, but it had been a while since I’d read one of the earlier ones. And it was clear while reading it why this is one. The language, the story line, the slice of American history captured, it all comes together to create a story that tells its readers a bit about what it means to be an American, what ideals guided the formation of this country, what injustices plagued the young nation, and what great moments set her apart. Contemporary readers will probably be annoyed with Cooper’s depiction of women and native Americans, but he reflected the time in which he wrote, and to me, seems improbably fair despite the prejudices of his time.

Historical Non-Fiction

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Joan of Arc by Mark Twain, yes, that Mark Twain is an excellent biography of the famed French maiden who led her country to victory against the English. Twain spent twelve years of his life researching Joan and is said to have considered this his greatest work. It’s fantastic and I highly recommend it!

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Martin Luther, A Life by James A. Nestingen was one that I read for work and while I feel like I learned a lot, I don’t think it was all that enjoyable. It’s written in the style of an academic conference paper and so lacks some pep. I basically felt like I was the object of a barrage of facts. I’d give it a “meh”.

Contemporary Non-Fiction

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I love Annie Dillard’s writings so I was thrilled to discover that she had written an account of her childhood. An American Childhood is a wonderful snapshot of mid 20th century America. It’s not idealized in the fashion that is so common, it’s simply related in Dillard’s smart style. Dillard’s gifts for observation and questioning were clearly traits that emerged early in her life and caused her to see the world differently and it is this fresh perspective that makes this such an interesting read.

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Peace Meals, Candy-Wrapped Kalashnikovs and Other War Stories by Anna Badkhen was easily one of the most intriguing reads of the year. And it’s one that I recommend to everyone. It’s fantastic. While reading this I laughed out loud, gasped, cried, and marveled at the strength, grace, ferocity, cruelty, kindness, madness, and love expressed by the people I encountered in its pages. Badkhen, a war correspondent for a US paper, has covered the wars in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, the genocide in Rwanda, and basically every other horrific conflict of the past two decades. Originally from Russia, Badkhen brings a fresh perspective to each of these events and instead of focusing on the politics or the horror that would be so easy to obsess over, she shares the stories of the meals she ate with people she lived with, was embedded with, and who she grew to love. Whether eating with a Palestinian in an Israeli occupied neighborhood, drinking vodka with a Russian general in Afghanistan, or simply cooking a meal for her sons at home in the States, Badkhen shows the role that food plays in drawing people together. Sharing food turns strangers into friends, enemies into allies, it unites us and calls upon the “better angels of our nature.” Maybe it’s because everyone has to eat and everyone enjoys food, it’s universal and it may just remind us that the things we share in common outweigh the things that drive us apart. I’m not sure, but this book is excellent. Get it now and read it!

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Ever since reading The Year of Magical Thinking, I’ve admired Joan Didion’s beautiful writing. Blue Nights did not fail to satisfy. In her melodic and haunting way, Didion addresses the challenges of aging and the isolation she feels now that she has lost her entire family (the story of the unexpected death of her husband and only child is chronicled in The Year of Magical Thinking). Didion writes in a reflective manner only possible when one has lived long enough to have developed perspective. She wonders if she loved her daughter enough. She reflects on what it means to be a parent, a wife. This is not uplifting stuff, but I was struck by her brutal honesty, her ability to look back and express regrets most people keep silent. This book affected me in the same way that The Year of Magical Thinking did, it made me sad, it made me want to be more compassionate, and it made me want to focus on those things that make life meaningful.

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Another story from an American living in Paris…except this one is good, very good. Adam Gopnik’s thoughts on being a foreigner, raising a child in Paris, and finding parts of his personality that surprise him, is highly enjoyable. It’s written in a style that is almost meditative and I appreciated that Paris to the Moon was thoughtful in a way many other “living in Paris memoirs” are not.

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The Kindness of Strangers, Penniless Across America by Mike McIntyre is the story of how one man decided to quit his job, sell his stuff, and trek across America with nothing but the clothes on his back. He was determined to make it from California to the East Coast relying entirely on people he had never met before to provide food, transport, shelter, and companionship. Very entertaining, this book provides a nice snapshot of average America with all its strengths, weaknesses, kindnesses, cruelties, and quirks. I think that McIntyre was wise to avoid south Florida, as any adventure here would have probably changed his book title to something like There is No Hope for This Place.

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This book has proven to be unsurprisingly controversial in American Evangelical circles, but I enjoyed it. A Year of Biblical Womanhood is Rachel Held Evans’ attempt to understand exactly what the bible says about what it means to be a woman. For one year she concentrates on a characteristic or aspect of womanhood (ex. submission, purity, silence) and takes a very literal approach to exploring it. For example she “praises her husband at the city gates” by standing at the entrance to her town with a sign that says something like “Dan is Awesome”. She also camps in her front yard during her period to more fully understand the Levitical purity laws, and she spend a month being silent in church and wearing a head covering. At first I was a bit put off by Evan’s perspective and style. It all seemed a bit reactive but as the book progressed I saw an increasing thoughtfulness  in her perspective. She explores the Jewish roots of many of the aspects of Christianity, she reads the church fathers, studies the writings of the Contemplatives, spends three days in silence in a monastery. Each of these experiences and explorations expands her understanding of what the bible says about womanhood and helps her to see that what many take as “biblical womanhood” today is far too narrow and restrictive. I came to appreciate this book and its author for her heartfelt questioning and exploration of a topic that has been monopolized by the ultra-Conservative for far too long.

Fiction

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When my sister, a close friend, and my dad recommended this, I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. Peace Like a River is a moving, beautiful, and heart-wrenching story of a motherless family, a miracle-working father, and a son whose role is that of a witness to the wonder of it all. One of my favorites from this past year.

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The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov relates the fantastical story of the Devil visiting Moscow. Hailed as a 20th century classic, this book was written in Soviet Russia and is said to be the most accurate portrayal of life under communism. It’s funny, strange, dark, twisted, and bizarre. The heroes are Satan, the Master, Margarita, and an odd bumbling Jesus. Easily on of the most bizarre books I’ve ever read. Pontius Pilate even makes a couple of appearances as a migraine-wracked responsibility-weary philosopher. 

51vvi4dJRfLI saved this one for last because it was easily the most disappointing read of the year. Helprin has long been one of my favorite living authors and I loved his brilliantly funny Freddy and Fredericka. So, I had high expectations for Mark Helprin’s latest novel, In Sunlight and in Shadow. And it started off with these delicious lines:

“If a New York doorman is not contemplative by nature, he becomes so as he stands all day dressed like an Albanian general and doing mostly nothing. What little contact he has with the residents and visitors who pass by is so fleeting it emphasizes the silence and inactivity that is his portion and that he must learn to love. There is an echo to people’s passing, a weak int he air that says more about them than can be said in speech, a fragile signal that doormen learn to read as if everyone who disappears into the turbulence of the city is on a journey to the land of the dead.”

I thought those lines were positively pregnant with promise…and for 705 pages I kept looking for a meaty story to come forth. And it never did. So sad.

So there is a selection of the books I read this year. There were a few more, The Mockingjay (enjoyed the entire Hunger Games trilogy for its easy breezy-ness, as well as books on traditional eating, the American food and agricultural systems, some books on education and educational theory) but those are all boring and I wouldn’t want to add anything more to this entry that is already far too long. I would love to hear from you now! I’m putting together a list of books for next year, starting with When I Was Young I Read Books by Marilynne Robinson. I’ve already started it and it’s fantastic. There’s a whole pile on my bedside table waiting to open worlds to me, and I would love to add some of your favorites. 

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Snowy Chautauqua

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My favorite barn in the county.

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My view from my favorite place in the house.

We spent a lovely nine days in Chautauqua, celebrating Christmas with Scotty’s family. We got to meet his sister’s fiancé, eat lots of yummy foods, cook for hours, celebrate Tim and Beth’s 41st anniversary, and see lots and lots of snow. It was a great time, even though all that snow delayed our flights by two days so our week-long stay was extended until New Year’s Eve.

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“Thunder Bridge” on the grounds of the Institution.

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Quite possibly the sweetest church ever.

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The Boys and Girls Club at the Institution.

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Looking up toward the Hall of Philosophy.

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The Atheneum Hotel, where Scotty’s sister’s wedding reception will be held.

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Winterized houses on the grounds.

As you all know, I’ve not been terribly inspired to take photos recently but all the lovely snow ignited a spark and I spent part of a morning walking around and taking pictures. Some of these are taken in the areas around where we were staying, others were taken on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution. DSCF9194 DSCF9189 DSCF9188 DSCF9186 DSCF9184 DSCF9183 DSCF9182 DSCF9177 DSCF9170 DSCF9165 DSCF9162 DSCF9161 DSCF9157 DSCF9154 DSCF9143 DSCF9141 DSCF9139 DSCF9138 DSCF9135 DSCF9129 DSCF9119

The view from the house. It was incredibly peaceful to sit inside, Christmas music playing, and just stare out at the lake.

The view from the house. It was incredibly peaceful to sit inside, Christmas music playing, and just stare out at the lake.

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I hope you all had a good holiday break. Thanks for spending another year checking up on me here. I would say that my new year resolution is to blog more, but I am not sure that it is. I may be blogging less, but trying to be more intentional with what I do write. We’ll see.

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2012 in Review – I found this interesting.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 27,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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Thanksgiving recap

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As most of you know, Thanksgiving is my family’s favorite holiday. There’s something about the simplicity of the day that appeals to us. And the fact that we all love good food certainly doesn’t hurt. I think it also has something to do with never having TV at the Berg household. Due to that wise choice on the part of my parents, we never had football, the Macy’s Day Parade, or Black Friday competing with our celebration. Thanksgiving has always meant time with family, giving thanks for our blessings, and enjoying delicious and lovingly prepared food. It’s really quite traditional and I love that so little of modernity encroaches on our lives during the Thanksgiving weekend.

This year the girls were treated to a morning yoga session led by Grace. Grace received her yoga certification this year and so it was really fun to have her lead us in a practice. It sure was fun to do some yoga with the beautiful ladies in my family. And what a setting, huh? Yoga on a cliff overlooking the Pacific really is perfect.IMG_0591

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Impressive, no? Our fearless instructor, Grace.

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Hilly had her hands full with the boys but managed to join us for the headstands.

IMG_0624After that it was off to the kitchen to prepare our French-style feast.

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Escargot…so delicious!

I didn’t end up taking a whole lot of pictures, but I did get some shots of Hilary and her adorable family.

The weather was so gorgeous we had appetizers and champagne on the patio.

Sweet Tot!

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Josh and Grace

Scotty with Hilly and Brick.

And here’s the only picture I took during dinner. So silly of me.

Grace, Becca, Mom, and Solomon.

I really need to take more pictures. There are some important people who are missing from my photographic record…sorry Pop and Kate:(.

It was a perfect Thanksgiving and as we went around the table and shared things and memories we are grateful for my heart was very very full.

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Moving on…

cropped-img_04291.jpgSome of you may have noticed that I have changed the name of the blog. With Paris long behind me and knowing I needed to move forward, I decided that yesterday was the day to do it. I’m not a huge fan of the new name but it will work for now. I do feel like I need to come up with a name that isn’t tied to a specific place. Scotty and I seem to have chosen a life that requires regular upheaval so the idea of home is one that is fascinating to me. Ultimately we believe that the earth (at least in its current state) is not our home and everyone is imbued with a longing for that more glorious home that is to come. And yet, in all the moves and transitions I’ve come to value the idea that home is a state of being…one that you can take with you and nurture no matter where you are. While my current address does not feel like it’s where I am most comfortable, I still have a sense of home. Despite the fact that we’ve only hung three pictures on our barren walls and we could use some more furniture (chairs stripped to the studs do not make for an inviting place to sit), there is a contentment in being where we know we’re supposed to be. Sure, this new place is lacking in a lot of the things I think make life beautiful and inspiring, but I am finding things to value. There are opportunities here for both of us that we didn’t have in our other homes and we’re starting to find our footing. So here’s to finding a sense of home no matter where life takes you.

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San Francisco

After four beautiful days in Chicago Scotty and I made our way to San Francisco. We had decided to combine the conference trip with our Thanksgiving visit to my family. Doing so meant we would get to hang out with my brother Solomon and his lovely wife Becca for a day and take in a bit of San Francisco. I think SF is a great city. Its topography makes it fairly unique. We didn’t do the whole tourist thing as we only had one full day and had made a visit a few years ago. Going to SF always brings back childhood memories for me. It was the “big city” we visited when we left our tiny little country town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. I didn’t end up taking many pics but did snap some in China town. I wanted to teach Solomon how to make coconut curry so that sent us on a bit of a wild goose chase for curry paste. Note: try the grocery store first.

We also got to check out Becca’s office at Causes, a cool charity oriented start-up. They occupy the top of the Citibank building and have some amazing views.

It was super fun staying with the newlyweds. They have a beautiful apartment and I even took a catnap in front of the fire. Bliss!

And, of course, a trip to SF isn’t complete without a stop at the city’s best bakery, Tartine. If you go to the city and fail to stop by Tartine for a morning bun you are seriously missing out. Seriously. I even broke from my strict no-gluten status to have a couple bites…buttery, sugary, a hint of citrus. Perfection.

With fingers slightly sticky from the yummy goodness it was off to San Luis Obispo to meet up with my entire family for our not-so-traditional Berg Thanksgiving celebration.

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Chicago continued

Our time in Chicago also included some other fun experiences. Along with walks up Michigan Avenue and enjoying the gorgeous architecture, we ate at a Lebanese restaurant with a group of friends. The food was delicious and the entertainment included a very enthusiastic belly dancer.

Ashli and Matthew at the Lebanese restaurant.

I also spotted a bit of Edinburgh in the Tribune Building. Thanks Becky for pointing this out.

We also dined on the 95th floor of the Hancock Building. What a fun experience. My friend Anna recommended checking out the restaurant for lunch and it was a winner. One floor above the viewing platform the restaurant provides wonderful views of the city along with a moderately priced, and delicious, lunch menu.

And here’s a pic snapped by a stranger of Scotty and me.

Thank you Chicago for providing me with a much needed break and an excuse to wear boots and sweaters.

 

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Chicago!

Well, this blog has collected a bit of dust. Have any of you caught on to the fact that I’m not finding much inspiration in my new surroundings? Despite my best efforts to see the beauty, this place just hasn’t grown on me yet. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Either way, I was thrilled to be able to go to Chicago with Scotty for the SBL/AAR conference. The weekend before Thanksgiving saw us enjoying gorgeous weather in the Windy City and catching up with dear friends over deep-dish pizza and Lebanese food.

Scotty had a paper accepted to the world’s largest conference on Biblical and religious literature so we took advantage of the excuse to book tickets to a city we hadn’t visited in over five years. Can I just say that it was good to be back in a city? After getting used to the bustle of Edinburgh and Paris and growing accustomed to walking everywhere I have definitely grown to appreciate the city. And I miss seeing beautiful buildings and Chicago is packed full of them. And we were blessed with gorgeous, sunny, mild weather.

Most importantly we got to see old friends from Edinburgh. I even got to get caught up with a friend from college who I hadn’t seen in a decade (it’s scary that I can now measure time in measures so large). It was soo good to see these faces that are so dear to me, to talk about life shifts, new and expected babies, the repatriation process, and recall memories from other times and places. These periods of reunion give me an even deeper appreciation for friendships forged over time. I’m not the best at keeping up with people once I move somewhere new but trips like this show me how important it is to maintain those friendships. So, it was an encouraging and fun time and one I’m deeply grateful for.

One gorgeous afternoon I went on an architectural boat tour with my friends Becky and Ashli. It was gorgeous. Here’s the pics:

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