Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Her Head is Bald



She asked me to shave her head.  This wasn’t the first time, but I was always able to dissuade her before.  This time, she was adamant.  If I didn’t do it, she was going to.  So I shaved her head.  I shaved off the beautiful red locks that everyone loved as she grinned and reassured me that this was what she wanted.  I asked again, are you sure, she was sure.  She was excited.  Then one off glance from her sister, a comment taken the wrong way, and all the strength fled from her.  She was ashamed of her decision, wished she had a time machine, knew everyone would hate her new look. 
She had made the decision, this bold and brave six year old, only caring about her own wants, which is fine in this case because it is her hair, and not a permanent choice either, but that strength we hold to be ourselves is so easily broken by those we care about. So easily shattered.  She was so vibrant in her crew cut beauty, until she wasn’t. 
It has been a few days now, and her confidence has returned a bit.  My hope is that she will carry the idea that she doesn’t have to be someone else’s version of beautiful, that she can boldly be herself without bending to opinions of others.

I grew up in a house where appearances were important.  It always mattered how we looked.  I did not have control over my own hair.  It could be trimmed but never cut.  Girls have long hair.  Women who have short hair are less than feminine.  Women should be feminine.  Boys can have long hair though.  That doesn’t make them feminine.  It is silly.  I struggled with cutting my daughters’ hair, still with the notion that girls should have long hair floating around my brain.  Then they looked at me, saying I don’t want to have to brush it anymore.  Why was I fighting this?

We all have our hang ups from how we were raised.  We all have those lessons so engrained in us that we forget they are not truth. Our world is so awfully hard on women.  There is still so much pressure to be something more than just you. Appearances are so very important to the world, but in the end they mean very little. 


Be Courageous.  Be Genuine.  Be Yourself.


Thank you for reading,
Sarah

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

To Be Me




I need a day to breath
To sit and not care about anything around me
To only know that I exist
And nothing else
I need a day to be silent
To hear the subtle whispers of the earth
To let my ears stop throbbing
From the constant assault of noise
I need a day to be still
To rest this weary body
To let the ever present tension go
And remember what it is like to feel my own energy
I need a day to be me again
To be immersed in the knowledge of me
To be reminded who I am deep down
Because I have lost myself in other peoples’ worlds
I have been enveloped in other peoples’ wants
I have been covered in other peoples’ dreams
And I need a day to be me.

Thanks for reading,
Sarah McTernen
www.anardentlife.com
 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Serendipity of Mayonnaise






She wanted an egg, without the yolk, my youngest daughter was being specific and stubborn.  I just wanted her to eat some protein. I gave in, and separated the yolk from the white.  The white was fried up and served, but what to do with the yolk?  Mayonnaise.

Mayonnaise is either a condiment that you hate, or just kinda use.  Most mayonnaise is bland and acts as a moistening agent for otherwise dry sandwiches.  I have always been a big fan of mayonnaise on sandwiches, but I gave up buying mayonnaise quite a few years ago because I didn't care for the ingredients, the cost, or that fact that it didn't get used all that often, so it just sat in the fridge. 

Over the years I have tried my hand at making mayonnaise.  A whisk in the one hand beating furiously at the egg yolk and the measuring cup of oil pouring a subtle stream into the bowl with the other.  Normally too much work for something that was going to go bad within a few days according to the recipes.

I was stuck with what to do with this solitary egg yolk.  Another attempt at mayonnaise was the end result.  This time I used my mini prep, a scaled down version of a food processor.  Why hadn't I used the mini prep before? Because I neglected to see the holes in the top used for the oil..

Into the bowl went the egg yolk, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.  I closed the lid and started blending while pouring a oil into the top of the unit for it to drizzle into the emulsion below. I didn't measure my oil, most recipes say 1 cup oil to 1 egg yolk.  I know I didn't use a full cup, it was the end of the bottle.  I finished it off with a bit of wine vinegar and then put it in the fridge to meld.  It is exactly what mayonnaise should be: simple, subtle, and tasty.

Mayonnaise
1 egg yolk
dash of salt
squeeze of lemon
1/2-1 cup oil (I used EV Olive)
wine vinegar to taste

It is your mayonnaise so use the flavor components to taste, even the oil in my opinion.  The main point behind mayonnaise is to create an emulsion with the yolk and oil, which means combining them steadily and slowly.  The mini prep, or food processor, is an easy and consistent way to do this, though you can do it with a whisk.

Give it a try and let me know how it turned out.

Thanks for reading,
Sarah

http://www.anardentlife.com
https://instagram.com/anardentlife/



Monday, September 28, 2015

Purple and Green Makes Me Smile

Star of February by Sarah McTernen

I love creating jewelry with purple and green. 

Every time I pair the colors together I am reminded of a friend who loved to where a purple t-shirt with dark green jeans.  I looked at him quizzically and told him purple and green do not go together, but he most rightly informed me that the colors where complimentary and did, in fact, work well together.  Though I am still unsure of my friend's choice in attire, I do have to agree that I love the color combination.

Thanks for reading,
Sarah

http://www.anardentlife.com
https://instagram.com/anardentlife/

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Don't Let the Opportunity Pass You By



When you are a kid, pictures with your parents are inevitable.  They are around you all the time and even a simple get together can bring the opportunity for a candid snap of you hugging your mother or talking with your father.  As you walk your way into adulthood and have your own family or move away to pursue your life, those candid shots become fewer, and sometimes just stop. Then one day, you are thinking back, realizing that you do not have any photographs of you as an adult with your parents. 

With Father's Day approaching, and Mother's Day just a few weeks past, I started to muse about those precious photographs of children with their parents and realized that I have very few. I have photographs of them, of them with the grandkids, but I want some photographs to put on the family wall to remember them as they are now.

I am not the biggest fan of having my photograph taken, silly, I know, and for the most part, I do not exist in the captured history of my family.  I think memories need a little help sometimes, and photographs are a great way to give them a boost.  In that vein, my goal in the next few months is to take portraits with my parents.  Maybe I'll let the grandkids join in on a few.

If this sounds like a good idea, but you need some help in the photography department, contact me and book a portrait appointment.  I would love to help you capture this memory.

Best wishes,

Sarah McTernen
www.anardentlife.com
sarah@ardentphotography.com
253-376-6141

http://smcternen.etsy.com
http://ardentlife.etsy.com