Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Playing and Enjoying Mindless Creativity...

I booked off today.  After teaching for 2 days and getting a call to substitute teach for tomorrow and Friday, I decided last night that I needed a day to catch up on laundry, cooking, sketching and the piles on my desk.  A few weeks ago, we bought 10 lbs. of beets and tucked them in our cold storage area down in the basement.  Nick and I love beets, but 10 lbs. is a LOT of beets, especially since both of my girls are rather iffy about them.  There were also bits and pieces of other veggies in the fridge to use up, so once the girls got home and started in on homework, I decided to make a huge pot of veggie soup and process the beets.

My cookbooks all explained how much easier beets were to peel once they’d been cooked or steamed.  “The peels will just slide off!” they promised. Remembering earlier attempts to make borscht a few years ago where my hands were stained pink for weeks from peeling piles of beets, I was ready to try another technique.

Along the way, as I stood at my sink rubbing the peel off cooked beets and staring into a huge pot of blood red water, I started getting crazy, creative ideas, especially when Erin wandered by and said “Cool! Didn’t they used to dye things red with beets?”

Reaching up into the cupboard, I found a rather old dishcloth I’d knitted about 6 months ago.  (I knit a LOT of these on car trips!)

I decided to throw it into the pot to soak as I scrubbed the peels off the beets.

When I was almost done with the beets, I decided to peek at the cloth.  What a colour change!

Dumping all that colour down the sink was “Creepy Cool” according to the girls because it looked like blood!  Can you tell they are SO ready for Hallowe’en?

Of course, without a setting agent, the dye didn’t really stay long in the dishcloth.  I decided to toss it out with the scraps rather than put it in the wash and risk turning socks or underwear pink.

With all the beets processed into freezer bags or made into beet salad, it was time to relax for a while and enjoy someone else’s Creativity.

I used to fill in doodle posters like these all the time as a kid.  I bought one a few years ago and rediscovered it today while tidying my office.  There is something incredibly soothing about colouring in a few shapes at a time and watching the colours play with each other as the design begins to come to life.  I still have a LOT of white space to fill, but it was FUN... and that’s what this adventure has been all about... finding more ways to add fun and creativity to each day.

INHALE:  The Amish take delight in treating every task as important and worthy of doing to the best of your ability.  By playing and being a bit off the wall, the job of peeling and chopping up 10 lbs of beets became less tedious and more of an adventure.  I don’t think I will ever find a way to make chores like dusting feel Creative (though I’ve been known to doodle things in the dust when it gets really thick!) but for today, the challenge of looking for Creativity worked, then I got to take great delight in enjoying someone ELSE’s creation. All I had to do was colour in the shapes!

EXHALE:  When was the last time you bought a colouring book, doodle poster or printed out a mandala to colour?  Try to find one that makes your fingers itch to play with a new box of crayons or package of markers and keep it handy so that the next time you are talking on the phone, helping a child with homework, relaxing before bed or even watching television, you can colour in the next page or section of your project and have something Creative to show for your time instead of wondering where the hours went.

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