The Village

by | Apr 4, 2019 | Blog | 0 comments

The Village

by | Apr 4, 2019 | Blog | 0 comments

We are very fortunate to be part of a great group of people we call “The Village.” The Village consists of the extended and blended families that support and nurture our grandchildren. As with many modern families, we have joined with a single purpose and welcome new members with open arms instead of meeting them with aloofness or hostility. These grandchildren have five sets of local grandparents that attend sports, performances, life events, that mentor and listen, that teach lessons and learn from them, that love and respect them. You could call them spoiled or just blessed. The Village adults also support and nurture each other in true friendship.

But our village doesn’t stop with family; it continues to spread to friends and their children that are enfolded into the group. Like a pebble tossed in a pond, the actions of the Village cause ripples in our relationships with others. The sense of community that makes up The Village extends to our neighbors, our city, our state, our country, our world.

Because we’re all family, we don’t exclude anyone based on race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, or political preferences. The only thing that matters is the human being within. If that human being is kind and respectful, the rest is secondary. The key words are respect and humanity. Let’s all be a respectful member of the global Village.

Photography Tip

I’m often asked how to take better pictures. That’s a very broad question! Many times the problem is subject matter. How do you go from taking a snapshot to taking a photograph?

Focus – it’s not just a camera thing. What is the focal point or subject of your setting? What is your story? When you look back at this photo years from now, will it evoke a memory of the day, recall the laughter and joy at the time? Mindfulness is another word for focus. We hear about practicing mindfulness in many aspects of our lives and jobs, but it also works in photography.

By stopping and taking time to concentrate on the moment, you can capture it. Stop, breathe, and focus on the sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings of the setting. Look around you and find a focal point that is meaningful. Maybe it’s your daughter discovering a seashell, and you capture that radiant smile with the ocean in the background. Or your son is building a sand castle, and you capture his intensity before the waves take it down. Stop and look at the whole scene before you press the button. You’ll be pleased with the beautiful results.

Chicken Artichoke Pizza

Are you a fan of artichokes? Those marinated leaves add tanginess to chicken dishes. We love to make homemade pizza and one of our favs is Chicken Artichoke Pizza.

You will need a pizza crust. We are constantly experimenting with different dough recipes, but if you want the taste of homemade without the mess, Publix has fresh pizza dough in the deli section. Let it sit at room temperature for about an hour. When your ready, stretch it out and place it on your favorite pizza pan and add toppings.

Toppings:

Olive oil and garlic – spread the olive oil on the pizza dough and sprinkle with fresh minced garlic

Mozzarella cheese

Fresh spinach

Chicken – pulled rotisserie chicken works great

Red onion – chopped or slivered

Artichoke hearts – chop in half and separate the pieces

Sun-dried tomatoes – make sure you soak them for about 10 minutes if you get the dried ones

Mozzarella cheese – add a little more to hold all of the ingredients together

Feta cheese – adds more flavor

Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 425°F. Bake it to your desired cheese toastedness (is that even a word??)

Experiment with your favorite toppings and don’t be afraid to try new ones. Let us know what your favorites are.

We are very fortunate to be part of a great group of people we call “The Village.” The Village consists of the extended and blended families that support and nurture our grandchildren. As with many modern families, we have joined with a single purpose and welcome new members with open arms instead of meeting them with aloofness or hostility. These grandchildren have five sets of local grandparents that attend sports, performances, life events, that mentor and listen, that teach lessons and learn from them, that love and respect them. You could call them spoiled or just blessed. The Village adults also support and nurture each other in true friendship.

But our village doesn’t stop with family; it continues to spread to friends and their children that are enfolded into the group. Like a pebble tossed in a pond, the actions of the Village cause ripples in our relationships with others. The sense of community that makes up The Village extends to our neighbors, our city, our state, our country, our world.

Because we’re all family, we don’t exclude anyone based on race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, or political preferences. The only thing that matters is the human being within. If that human being is kind and respectful, the rest is secondary. The key words are respect and humanity. Let’s all be a respectful member of the global Village.

Photography Tip

 

I’m often asked how to take better pictures. That’s a very broad question! Many times the problem is subject matter. How do you go from taking a snapshot to taking a photograph?

Focus – it’s not just a camera thing. What is the focal point or subject of your setting? What is your story? When you look back at this photo years from now, will it evoke a memory of the day, recall the laughter and joy at the time? Mindfulness is another word for focus. We hear about practicing mindfulness in many aspects of our lives and jobs, but it also works in photography.

By stopping and taking time to concentrate on the moment, you can capture it. Stop, breathe, and focus on the sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings of the setting. Look around you and find a focal point that is meaningful. Maybe it’s your daughter discovering a seashell, and you capture that radiant smile with the ocean in the background. Or your son is building a sand castle, and you capture his intensity before the waves take it down. Stop and look at the whole scene before you press the button. You’ll be pleased with the beautiful results.

Chicken Artichoke Pizza

 

Are you a fan of artichokes? Those marinated leaves add tanginess to chicken dishes. We love to make homemade pizza and one of our favs is Chicken Artichoke Pizza.

You will need a pizza crust. We are constantly experimenting with different dough recipes, but if you want the taste of homemade without the mess, Publix has fresh pizza dough in the deli section. Let it sit at room temperature for about an hour. When your ready, stretch it out and place it on your favorite pizza pan and add toppings.

Toppings:

Olive oil and garlic – spread the olive oil on the pizza dough and sprinkle with fresh minced garlic

Mozzarella cheese

Fresh spinach

Chicken – pulled rotisserie chicken works great

Red onion – chopped or slivered

Artichoke hearts – chop in half and separate the pieces

Sun-dried tomatoes – make sure you soak them for about 10 minutes if you get the dried ones

Mozzarella cheese – add a little more to hold all of the ingredients together

Feta cheese – adds more flavor

Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 425°F. Bake it to your desired cheese toastedness (is that even a word??)

Experiment with your favorite toppings and don’t be afraid to try new ones. Let us know what your favorites are.

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