Friday, March 30, 2007

schoolhouse productions

D and I went to see the school play tonight, "The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood." For the second year in a row I managed to get the same seat number as somone else. Not sure how I get so lucky but at least this year there were extra seats. Last year it was a bit tight and I had to squeeze in on the end.

It was a very amusing production. Energetic, enthusiastic cast, silly play, great costumes. We loved all the random bits although I confess I didn't understand about the yodels. Funny side note when Friar Tuck passed out the yodels a kid sitting behind me said, "Ding Dongs?" His mom said, "No Yodels, same food different shape."

I don't want to give out any spoilers, especially since I just this evening discovered that a neighbor of mine reads this blog [hello L - waving uphill] but it was well worth the price of admission.

weak at the knees

Going shopping today I came across a display of plants, bulbs, small shrubs and more. Do I need any more plants? Not really. Especially when you consider that I am still working on plans to get rid of part of the garden.

But walking past the greenery, luscious and sweet smelling, I was unable to resist temptation. I came home with a bag of gladiola bulbs to plan in the front bed and 60 strawberry plants for the fruit garden. *sigh of happiness* it's supposed to be warm this weekend. Time to start cleaning up the garden.

Favorite Ingredients Friday

Vegetarian Dirty Rice

Steve and I both like this a lot. The kids preferred the carnivorous version, but I think it's still tasty without the meat.

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic diced fine
1 C. TVP rehydrated
1/2-3/4 C. vegetarian broth
2 C. brown rice, cooked
1 1/2 C. mixed vegetables, steamed
salt and pepper
splash Bragg's Liquid Aminos
olive oil

Sautee the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Add the TVP and some of the broth. Add more broth as needed while cooking the TVP. Add the Bragg's, salt and pepper to taste. Cook 5 minutes or until TVP is heated through. Add in rice and vegetables. Add more broth if needed so it is not too dry.


Check out Overwhelmed With Joy for more Friday Favorites.


Yesterday was the Big Girl Scout Bingo Bonanza. Every Girl Scout in town is invited to play. Admission is donations of food for the Food Pantry Easter Baskets.

Imagine a room chock a block full of Girl Scouts of all ages, Moms included, cheering, excited and the occasional shriek of BINGO!

D and I didn't win, as usual. But in a stunning turn of events D actually won the raffle. A bottle of truly noxious, admired by pre-teen, stinky perfume. She loves it and was busy sharing with everyone. I opened the windows for the ride home.

It was a fun evening with lots of laughter and all for a good cause. Can't wait till next year.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

wfmw - measuring

Here is a great little tool that I bought for myself and love it.
It's an angled measuring cup by Oxo International. No more crouching down and to see/gauge the line. Look from the top and there it is. I have the one for teaspoons but am going to get the cup measures when my current ones are no longer useful.

Check out other WFMW tips over at Shannon's.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

small town happiness

One of the best things about living in a small town is that the rules are a little different here. This past weekend was the Library Book Sale. I missed it because I was out of town. Not that I needed anymore books mind you, but it never hurts to see what's available.

When I went into the library today bemoaning the fact that I missed out I was given permission to sneak wander downstairs to peruse what was left. It's probably better that I wasn't there in the beginning because I might have been tempted by more books. What I did manage to find was:

A copy of May Byron's Jams and Jellies!! Score!
Greene on Greens (another score! I have his Greene on Grains and love it)
On Being Happy by Patrick Yee (a sweet little book on with cute drawings)
A book on the language of flowers (total impulse buy but neat to have)
I also got a three other books for a friend by an author I know she likes.

I almost bought a couple of herbal remedy books but restrained myself. I also resisted the siren call of the fiction stacks. No knitting books sadly. All for
$10 and some of it not even for me, what a deal.

Jams and Jellies and the Greene on Greens books are going to be very useful soon. Jamming season isn't quite here but is on the horizon as is my farm share (our third year) of greens and other fresh, local organic goodies. Yum!

tackle it tuesday - sweaters

Today's tackle is a seasonal one. Swapping out my sweaters for summer clothes. I'm probably jumping the gun here and so will leave out a sweater or two "just in case" but the spate of warmer weather has me in the mood for lighter clothing.

Get inspired to tackle-it yourself by visiting 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, March 26, 2007

awesomely bad

The weather was so warm and springlike today that after school we, D, V, Tobi and I decided to head down to the school field for some exercise. D brought her friend S to walk to the track, V and I brought tennis rackets. I would like to report that I have not lost any of my stunning form. Balletic and graceful I managed to miss every single shot.

After D and S got tired of having Tobi drag them around the muddy, gloppy track they brought him over to the courts and shut him in with us. They then escaped to the school playground where it was drier. Having Tobi on the court made the game much more interesting as he was eager to play ballboy but not so eager to give up the balls once he had fetched them. Considering how much tennis golf we were playing it's a miracle that we managed to keep any of the tennis balls to play with as Tobi is amazingly fast on astroturf.

Eventually, soggy footed and worn out, we headed for home. I can report that a good time was had by all.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

not for tobi

The above picture is from Lionbrand. They are suggesting that I would want to crochet an adorable pet bed just for Tobi. Given the fact that he has managed to chomp his way through two expensive cedar filled pet beds and a number of blankets I don't think so. I also have to wonder...who has that much time??? It's bad enough trying to knit sweaters, socks and other items without throwing in pet beds. First sweaters, now beds. What's next? Pajamas?

kitchen scribblings

I've decided to join in on the Sunday Scribblings. This week's assignment is the kitchen.

I love working in the kitchen. It really is the heart of the home. Think of it, when you have a party, where does everyone hang out? In the kitchen. Kids home from school, working on homework? In the kitchen because Mom is probably working on dinner while helping with homework.

Some of my favorite memories took place in a kitchen. Watching my Nana make nockerli (I still can't make it the way she did). Learning to bake her "secret" blond brownies with my Aunt. Learning to make Challah with another Aunt. I loved when my kids were small and they wanted to help. Their chubby little fingers poking into the flour, rolling out their own little bread creations, dumping ingredients into the pot to stir. It was so great to dress them up in aprons and cook with them. It still is, minus the dressing them up part. I love meals where we are all in the kitchen together, chopping, slicing, stirring. Sometimes I'm in charge, sometimes they are, but it's wonderful to all be working together and somehow makes the meal taste so much better.

I love working in the kitchen in part because I love to feed people. Not just daily meals. I enjoy preserving foods; making jams, jellies, pickles, chutney. Serving them throughout the year brings me enjoyment. To know that my efforts have created a tasty treat for those I love. The same with any baking or cooking that I do. I truly love watching people enjoy what I make. As my kids get older they want to learn how to make some of their favorite dishes. I like sharing this with them, knowing that "our" recipes will go forward through time as part of our family heritage.

Two of my nieces love to cook. It is my pleasure to give them cooking things for gifts to encourage their love of the kitchen. As a matter of fact this past Christmas I gave them each a vintage apron that I had embroidered with their name on it. As they say, what goes around comes around. I recently received a gift that I treasure greatly. V made an apron for me, designed and sewed all by herself. I love it and wearing it is like getting a big hug from her every time I put it on.

I guess the kitchen is a large part of my identity because the connotations of food, family, and togetherness all center around it.

whitethorn woods

I recently read

and liked it very much. I have always liked Maeve Binchy's books, I find them to be a light, enjoyable read, perfect for travel or summer reading.

This one just happened to be on the shelf at my library so I grabbed it. One of the reasons I liked it so much is because she creates such great characterizations. You really feel like you understand them even if their appearance is only for a few pages. The other is because this particular book is written in vignette style, something that she does very well. Following the threads of the story through the intersecting lives of the characters is very entertaining. This was a good book, my only regret is that I finished it because I honestly could have kept reading if there were more to the story.

grains of gratitude

As with last week I find that I have so very much to be grateful for. But I'll just mention a few:

* My in-laws picking Steve up from the airport. It saved me a long day of driving down and back plus was a great reason for a visit with them.
* Spring like weather. It always lifts my spirits to see the buds and shoots starting to appear.
* I held a baking class this week and it went really really well, a big boost for me.
* D and her Girl Scout Troop who were so sweet and awesome at their meeting this week.
* Hearing from a friend who may be coming to visit soon.

With hopes for a wonderful week ahead for everyone.

off and away

We went to my in-laws this weekend to pick up Steve. He had driven the little car down to S and they very graciously picked him up from the airport on Friday. Saturday the girls, Tobi and I went to visit and to retrieve him.

It was a short visit but very nice, hanging out watching movies together, reading, chatting, very low key. This morning we went out to brunch to celebrate my father-in-law's upcoming birthday, V's birthday and D's upcoming birthday. Lots of birthday love and enjoyment at the table.

The place where we went is a really fabulous buffet brunch loaded with seafood, eggs done three different ways, steak, fresh waffles, fresh donuts, pancakes, crepes, many salads, several soups, and a dessert bar that is just sinful. We all enjoyed the meal, came home and went for a walk in a vain attempt to walk off some of the calories. Tobi, who had not been to the restaurant (in case you were wondering) was very happy to go for a walk.

The weather has turned and it feels like spring!!! As we walked we saw small bulb greens pushing their way through the soil. Birds were chirping and the wind was gently wisping by. Spring is in the air!

hum of contentment

I received an email from a friend today. She shared that her kids had been gone for sleepovers and she was able to take a quiet evening for herself to read Reason for Hope by Jane Goodall which I had lent her. [I wrote about it here. It was a really lovely book. She is an amazing person and to read about her calling and her spiritual journey was so enjoyable and uplifting.] She also had bread baking in the oven and wrote "life is good."

I got a little hum of contentment. It was great to hear about her little moment of contentment and resonated with me, it's so nice to feel that happiness for others.

Friday, March 23, 2007

gs tonight

GS=Girl Scouts. This troop is so sweet, these girls are truly wonderful and it boggles my mind that at 12 and 13 they can be so sensitive and so aware. Projects for tonight's meeting were:

  • Voting on their end-of-year activity (going to a waterpark won over rock climbing)
  • Volunteering to serve at the local food kitchen instead of simply donating food to the Easter baskets
  • Making Happy Spring/Easter cards to send to our troop in Iraq

Swilling down Dunkin Munchkins, drinking milk and doing good in the world, who can ask for more?

podding along

I got an ipod for the holidays. It's pretty and pink and little. Fits in my pocket and goes anywhere.

It's great because I can listen to my podcasts on the road or around the house without the formerly clunky method of having to download, burn to CD, play only in the minivan with CD player.

But I'm discovering an addiction here. I don't listen to music on my ipod. Only podcasts. Why? Because I think I am listening to too many podcasts! Of course I also have this bizarre problem of wanting to listen to every single episode so I have to go waaaay back in time to get all caught up.

My first podcast was innocently suggested to me by my friend Meg, Cast-On by the wonderful, witty, melifluous-voiced Brenda Dayne.

Somehow I then found my way to Geek.Farm.Life with Misty and Andrew. They are very funny, very interesting and occasionally mention knitting (Misty not Andrew).

From there the list began to grow, and grow, and grow. I finally had to winnow it down when I realized that I was unable to stay on top of even just a week of podcasts.

So what's on my podlist now?

Aside from the above mentioned two there is:

Sticks and String - more knitting
Car Talk - no knitting but I love listening to Tom and Ray laugh
A Prairie Home Companion - where all the women are strong
Wait Wait Don't Tell Me - always hilarious, I want Carl Kasell to leave the message on my answering machine.
60 Second Science - got a minute?

Then I discovered I could get free audio books!

The Age of Innocence - read by Brenda Dayne. I waited until I had all 34 chapters. Now I'm waiting for...time? quiet? Will start soon.

Librivox has more audio books that you can download for free, classics of literature. Now if only I could learn to podread in my sleep!

whose room is it anyway

Warning: serious post ahead.

Being a Mom has many challenges. Lately I've been running through a big one, learning to change my perceptions as my children get older. When they were young and I was in complete control it was easier but now I'm evolving along with them. Understanding that at some point they have to make their own decisions and learn from their own mistakes. With two over 18 you'd think I'd have that part down pat but I don't. I'm still working on it and I suspect it's a life-long endeavor.

I had an interesting discussion the other day with someone whose children are still in elementary school. I was talking about how I have learned to let go of certain things that I used to control very tightly (what my children watched on tv, what books they read, those kinds of things). I casually mentioned that I had turned off the parental controls on V's computer access because I felt that at 18 she was old enough to have learned the lessons we hoped to impart to her and that at some point she's going to have to learn to deal with what is out there in the big wide world. This other person disagreed with me mentioning that she felt I allowed my children too much access to things that she wouldn't let her children near.

Another friend told me she thinks my children are too sheltered and too naive because her children know "how things really are" and that she feels I am doing my children a disservice by not allowing them to see the world as it exists around them.

Someone else told me I am too soft on my children and they need to be exposed to harsh realities to help them "get tough".

That's okay, everyone has different view points but it's been an interesting couple of weeks. It also made me think. How the heck do we do this? How do we learn to make these decisions and when to allow our children to grow into their own sense of responsibility and maturity? D is about to turn 13. That means PG-13 movies will now be allowed. That's a big thing in this house. Of course about two weeks later it will turn into a request for R movies because "everyone watches them" and the movie ratings battle will continue for another 4 years. I've been through it with the other two and I know it's coming. My response is always, "But you're going to be over X for the rest of your life, why are you in such a hurry to get there?" It's also because I do believe that if they are overly exposed to some of this stuff it is densensitizing. So I pull parental rank and say no.

A new area of "letting go" has been their rooms. In the past I had certain expectations about how they kept their rooms. Beds had to be made, closets neat, a place for everything and everything in it's place. But as the kids have gotten older they seem to have gotten messier. And the mess spread out all over the place, the kitchen, living room, hallway, basement. It radiated all over the house. I spent hours working with them (and frequently by myself if the truth be told) picking up the house. Then we would work together to reorganize their rooms, literally hours spent sorting, hundreds spent on organizing thingies, only to have it fall apart again. Meanwhile I was becoming exhausted, frustrated and felt that I was at my wits end trying to stay on top of this.

Talking to another friend I have changed my viewpoint. I now allow them to keep their room however they want it as long as it is not unhygenic (in other words too smelly). I simply close the door every morning when they leave for school and ignore their rooms completely. In return they keep their junk out of the rest of the house. If they don't I ask them once to pick it up. If they don't I put it all in a bag, open the door to their room, put the bag in there and then close the door. The end result? The house is a lot cleaner! It's amazing how that works. Their rooms? Well let's just say I'm tempted to buy a "this property condemned" sign or some of that "police line do not cross" tape. But the good news is, I just close the door. I take a good whiff every morning before I do, if the room smells I tell them and they are required to take care of it. I'll be honest if I look at their room too much it drives me absolutely insane. I can't imagine trying to function with toys and such all over the place. But it's worth the price of my sanity to let them try to figure this out for themselves.

I guess the answer is we just keep trying. Talk to others, try those things that sound workable for us and if they don't work try something else. In other words, keep evolving.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

march 21

The first day of spring!!! Temperature? 21 degrees! Aaaah, cold.

This is the time of year when I start getting really tired of winter. Forget the fact that this year we had an unusually warm January and winter has only been two months long. Somehow I am preprogrammed to want warm balmy weather starting right about now. I want to see buds on trees and little flowers poking through the soil. I want to smell that deep verdant green of spring, wet and mooshy. Soon it will be here but not quickly enough for me at this moment.

knitter's anonymous

Last night one of the sisters mentioned that her son now officially refers to us as Knitter's Anonymous. "Hello, my name is Marissa, I've been knitting since I was 16, I've tried to stash is...." We all had a very good laugh.

We also finished the pins... whoo hooo! Have to see if I can get a picture to post here. I know I'm not good about pictures but do want to post this one.

I did managed to de-stash a large amount of fabric. The bits that are left are being dropped off at the school for the art teacher today. It feels really good to be getting rid of that stuff. It's been hanging around unused for far too long and I'm happy to see others make good use of it.

wfmw - potting plants

It's getting to be that time of year when we start thinking about outdoor plants, at least I do. I especially like to have a couple of large pots by the front door, I think it's very welcoming to have that cheery bit of color as you come up to my front door. Those pots get REALLY heavy though. One way to help drain the soil and reduce the weight of the pot is to save your mailing puffies and put them in the bottom of the pot. Just make sure that you have enough soil for your plants for the entire season, I usually put 1/3 puffies and then the dirt, a layer of weedmat and then the dirt. The weedmat helps keep the dirt a little bit separate from the puffies so that I can throw the spent dirt into the compost pile at the end of the summer.

For other great tips wander over to Shannon's.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

tackle it tuesday - de-stashing

Yes, it's the "D" Nope, not yarn. I'm not ready to part with any more of that. But in rearranging rooms in my house (still going and going and going and...) *sigh* we have disarray all over the place. I have decided that I REALLY need to get all the sewing, knitting, scrapbooking stuff in one place as much as possible. It may not be possible but I'm certainly going to try.

So I have committed myself to de-stashing my fabric. Again. Actually about a year ago I gave a bunch away. But the rest was in boxes. Whatever does't fit on the shelves assigned for fabric does not stay. Simple as that. It's probably going to be a lot easier to say than to do but I am determined to show up at Stitch Sisters tonight with a big huge enormous basket full of fabric lovliness to give away to my quilter sisters. Anything they don't want will be dropped off at D's school the next day as a donation to the art teacher. Wish me luck.

To see what others are tackling don't forget to check out 5 Minutes for Mom.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

grains of gratitude

I have so much to be grateful for today (and everyday). Here are a just a few:

*My wonderful daughter, V. At 18 she has become an amazing young woman. I consider myself so fortunate to be her mother and am thrilled at the future laid out in front of her and her enthusiasm for it.

*My wonderful family who came out in droves to help us celebrate. And all of the dishes they helped wash!

*My sweet daughter S who couldn't make it home due to the weather. She was so bummed and has called several times each day to talk with everyone and still be part of the celebrations.

*My other cutie pie, D, who has been helping to clean up, fold blankets, etc after the guests have left.

*The sunshine!!

*My neighbor who invited us down to see the twin baby goats at their farm (D even got to hold one). Two sets of adorable twins. We fed the horses and dog (?) carrots, let the baby goats nurse on fingers and listened to all the little meh meh meh noises.

*That I have so much leftover food I will not have to make dinner tonight.

it was a party indeed

We had a huge family party to celebrate Miss V's 18th. My in-laws and brother made it in safely although it took both families much longer to make the drive than normal due to the bad weather.

Saturday, the day of the festivities, started off with a call from the local IGA stating that the bread had not arrived yet for our wedges. Luckily it did make it here in time.

Followed by streams of relatives, Aunts, Cousins, Babies, and even a long-time family friend from all the way across the country. We ate, drank, sang (repeatedly) and had lots of fun. The twins are two and have discovered the joys of M&M's. It's the only way I was able to convince Miss E to let me hold her. Her brother M was delighted to discover Tobi's cage, crawled right in and shut the door behind him. It was a picture perfect moment that no one caught on film.

With all of the cousin dogs here it was a bit riotous as well, a HUGE golden, a boxador and our Tobi who suddenly looked rather small in comparison. The dogs chased, played, knocked over stuff with their tails and two (who shall not be named) ate cake off the counter. Chloe prudently hid out in my bedroom stoic and aloof.

In order to make my life easier everything was bought prepared, it's the first time I've ever done that. More expensive but definitely worth it...less time spent cooking means more time with guests. Lunch was chips and dips and vegies and snacks and wedges. With an enormous birthday cake. We still have half the cake left, luckily it's going to school with V on Monday to remove the temptation. It was a chocolate mousse Costco cake and I have to say they are the very best.

Enough people stayed for dinner that I was able to make a lovely turkey dinner complete with broccoli, salad, potatoes and my mother-in-law's amazing chocolate nut brownies for dessert. mmmmmmm delicious and worth every extra pound.

The only bummer about the entire weekend? I have a sinus infection. I'm on antibiotics so my sinuses feel better. Unfortunately when they opened up the floodgate of snot running down my throat caused me to lose my voice. Those who know me know that this was complete torture. A houseful of people I love and unable to talk with them! But we managed to visit and hopefully everyone had a really lovely time.

If the number of items left behind is any indication* they must have.

*For those who don't know it is an understood custom that you only leave things behind in places where you want to return.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Favorite Ingredients Friday

I haven't participated in this for a while but do enjoy going through and reading other people's recipes at Overwhelmed with Joy...lots of good ideas there.

Since we are having a party tomorrow I'm going to share one of my favorite party recipes. I'm not serving it tomorrow only because we have so much food already that it would be overkill. This may sound really disgusting but it truly is wonderful and people just gobble these down.

Texas Meatballs

In a slow cooker combine:

100 meatballs (the small appetizer ones, obviously)
1 can Hormel chili no beans
1 jar grape jelly

cook on low for at least 2 hours



s n o w

and lots of it!!!

Woke up to school cancellations today and no snow in sight. A happy birthday gift for V. However the snowless condition didn't last long. It has been coming down with a fury. Steve and I went to Costco to pick up the party food and cake (party is tomorrow) and almost didn't make it back up our street when we came home.

The roads are slippery and icy. Steve has been out to clear the driveway twice and it doesn't look like the snow will let up any time soon.

S was supposed to come home but her flight was cancelled. My in-laws and brother are on the road...we're thinking good thoughts for their safety. Happy that they will be here to be snowed in with us but hoping they get through okay.

It's strange really because two days ago it was 70 degrees and Steve and V washed all the cars. Today...22 degrees and snowing like a banshee. Very strange.

bippedy boppety birthday

Happy Birthday to my sweet V who turns 18 today. And what a wonderful young woman she has become. Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

birdie birdie in the window

We have been assaulted lately by a cardinal who obviously thinks that he lives here. He keeps dive bombing our office window. I'm really afraid that the poor thing is going to give himself a concussion or do some serious damage. Of course the fact that he has been at it for over a week doesn't seem to have slowed him down any.

I'm not sure why he is so attracted to this particular window. At first we thought perhaps he was seeing his reflection and chasing away a rival. But even when it's rainy and foggy, like today, he's still at it. Truth be told it's getting a little annoying to keep hearing this thump against the window.

The cat is immensely entertained, she thinks this is the best thing ever. One moment that I wish I had caught on film was when I hear a very loud thumpf and looked up to see the bird spread winged on the window and the cat stretched out on the inside of the window. Then they both fell down.

When he's not flying into the window he is gripping on the trim and pecking at it. We've tried putting up things on the window to prove that it is not open. Doesn't work. I wish he would find himself a nice lady cardinal and just go somewhere else.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

only on the 15th day

Come the Ides of March or May.

So today is the Ides of March. Don't know what an Ides is? Other than perhaps remembering that it is the day when Julius Caesar was murdered.

It's a Latin way of timekeeping but in a bizarre, never-to-be-understood-by-me way, the Ides refer to the 15th of March, May, July and October and.....the 13th of all of the other months! Wha???? Like I said, makes no sense. And why does the rhyme only mention March or May but not July or October?

But then again the Romans added a couple of months to the calendar to suit themselves and ensure their place in history. July was named for Julius Caesar. And has an Ides on the 15th. In case you didn't know the other added month was August, named for Augustus Caesar (adopted son of and heir of Julius) which has an Ides on the 13th. Very confusing.

wfmw - grout/mortar containers

It's Works for Me Wednesday. Don't forget to check out all the great tips at Rocks In My Dryer.

My tip this week is courtesy of my wonderful husband who is tiling our kitchen walls. When mixing mortar or grout cut a clean, empty milk gallon bottle in half the long way. Use that as your mixing/dispensing container. Easy to dispose of when you are done and a great way to get one more use from the container.

pi day

3.14, the first three number of Pi. That makes today Pi day, celebrated by mathematicians and nerds everywhere. I imagine that in the year 2015 the celebrations will be really big!

We brought a chocolate creme pie in to D's math teacher who knew nothing about it but loved the idea once D explained it. And the manager of the local pie shop said, "I wish I had known, I would have advertised." I pointed out that there is always next year.

If you are looking for more information you can always check here.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Okay, I admit it. I've been making the no-knead bread just like everyone else. And it comes out great! My family loves it. My big problem is that I want to make it with whole grain flour. So far in my experimentations I have gotten a successful rise and a beautiful crust. It tastes pretty darn good too. But the crumb leaves something to be desired.

My latest incarnation of the recipe will be 1/2 spelt, 1/2 hard white, add a little gluten, and play with the hydration factor. The last loaf was delicious but didn't hold up well.

So in the meantime I occasionally make this.

Just to keep the family happy you understand.

breakfast for dinner

I don't know about you but sometimes when the dinner making brain cells are not available and I don't know what to make for dinner I make breakfast. It's easy, delicious and the kids love it.

Tonight was just such a night. So we had whole grain pancakes, soy sausage and canteloupe. It was absolutely yummy.

The pancake recipe you ask? Right here....

3 C. whole grain flour (I used spelt, hard white and a touch of barley)
2 eggs
1 C. oil
2 C. milk
5 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 t. vanilla

mix together
let rest 10-15 minutes
cook in pan, flipping as soon as bubbles start to appear
serve with hot maple syrup

Sunday, March 11, 2007

movie review

Recently I saw a couple of movies; I'm very fortunate that my local librarian is wonderful about getting new movies as soon as they come out on DVD.

D and I saw Marie Antoinette. It was okay, I was a bit upset as I had really high hopes for the movie. The costumes and the scenery were stunning. The acting was okay, not great but passable. Unfortunately the entire movie was completely ruined for me by the score. They juxtaposed contemporary music with this piece. Imagine seeing the countryside around Versaille while listening to "I Want Candy."

Okay, maybe the sentiment behind the song fits but the score itself most certainly does not in my opinion.

Steve and I watched Mission Impossible: III. We were so tickled by the rating notice that there was frenetic violence that we kept remarking to each other about the frenetic action and the frenetic dialog, etc. It was okay entertainment, sort of more of the same in that franchise with a lot of blowing up things and huge fireballs.

Note to self: I need a rating system - so many somethings. Have to think about this. Ratings for the above?

Marie Antoinette - 2 1/2 whatevers
MI:III - 3 whatevers

top o' the day to ye

Aye and 'tis a week airly doncha know...but whe're celebratin' ahl the same.

Just got back from the annual neighborhood St. Patrick's Day party. Yes it's a week early but there were logistical reasons behind the need for the switch. Trust me it didn't stop any of us from enjoying the party. They're up to 25 pounds of corned beef at this thing every year. And three people to bring the Irish Soda bread to make sure there's enough. Lots of goodies and munchies and great conversations.

The amazing thing is how much bigger all the kids seem to have gotten over the winter. You have to remember that when it's as cold as it has been around here we don't see each other until spring. The most we do is wave in passing or chat in the IGA when we run into each other. We all enjoy these opportunities to catch up with each other. Soon enough it will be spring and we'll all be busy with gardens and sports and outdoor activities...probably won't see most of them until the annual Memorial Day get-together.

This sense of rhythym is part of our neighborhood life; it's comforting in an odd way to know that you will be seeing people at the annual events in the neighborhood or around town. Nice to catch up, admire each other's children, enjoy the company of neighbors.

grains of gratitude

Today has been an amazing day. They all are really but for some reason knowing that I was going to be writing this post I found myself being more conscious of the little gratitudes (and big ones) all around me.

I am grateful for my church. The people there are amazing, the Minister is wonderful and the fellowship is strong.

I am grateful for the warmer weather.

I am grateful for daylight savings and the fact that it didn't get dark until 7 pm tonight.

I am grateful for V making dinner tonight.

I am grateful for the neighborhood that I live in and my neighbors and friends who are here.

I am grateful for my wonderful husband.

I am grateful that we live in this country where my daughters can live an independent, self-determined life. Lately it has really been on my mind to realize how much we have in that regard that is not available to so many women around the world. It truly is a wonderful thing.

I am grateful for the laughter of my daughters as they are working together on a sewing project.

It's been a wonderful day.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


In my last WFMW post I mentioned a couple of recipes. I got a few requests for these recipes so I thought I'd post my top three favorites here and share.

Taco Powder Mix

1 C. dried minced onion
1/3 C. chili powder (or to taste)
2 T. cumin
3 t. crushed red pepper
1 T. dried oregano (crumble up a bit)
1 T. garlic powder (or to taste)
1 t. celery seed (pulverize in a coffee grinder)

Combine and store in a glass jar. 1 T. per pound of meat or beans.

Cocoa Powder Mix
1/4 C. Cocoa powder
1 C. Evaporated cane juice crystals (can use sugar if you don't have this)
7 C. Dry milk

Combine all ingredients and store in a jar. 4 T. per cup of boiling water.

Cream of Whatever Soup Mix

2 C. powdered nonfat milk
3/4 C. cornstarch
1/4 C. instant chicken bouillon
2 T. dried onion flakes
1 t. basil leaves
1 t. thyme leaves
1/2 t. pepper

To use instead of canned cream of... soup. 1/3 cup of dry mix with 1 1/4 cups of cold water in a saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened. Or simply add to a casserole calling for cream of... soup.


the spindle

I learned something new today. On the envelope from my friend Freye was a stamp.

Of a galaxy called The Spindle stamp note: 72p - The Spindle C53This is the only galaxy featured on the stamps and is an amazing 32 million light-years away from the Sun, near the constellation of Sextans. It contains a black hole (which is about one billion times larger than the Sun) and a very bright nucleus, making it visible with powerful binoculars.

I liked it because I like fiber-related things so I thought it was neat that there was a galaxy called The Spindle. I also wound up spending some time on astronomy sites looking for other fiber-related named objects but didn't find any.

I think this stamp is going to have to go in my scrapbook because I like it so much. Steve and V are the stamp collectors (I collect first day covers) but this stamp is mine!

my friend freye

I have a friend, Freye. We've been friends for almost 18 years (has it really been that long???). We started as penpals...the snail mail kind back before there was any other option. Over the years we've been lucky enough to visit each other a few times (she lives in the UK we live in the US).

As technology has changed so has our communication. Now we occasionally send real letters which are always a treat and a joy to receive; but we email more. Now we both have blogs that we check to see what's going on in each others lives. Amazing!

She called tonight -- I feel so happy and blessed to have such a wonderful friend and to still be in touch after all these years. And how neat that technology allows us to "see" each other more.

oooh, new toy!

I love when I find new toys on the internet. This one is h/t to Il Bloggo and courtesy of Bylberg.

Isn't it cool? Dang, I wish I could print them out exactly on little cards I like them so much. Fun, fun, fun, but then again I'm a goofy for stuff like that.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

wfmw - make your own

Today's Works for Me Wednesday challenge from Rocks In My Dryer is kitchen ideas. Make sure to check them out.

Mine is that I have a list of several 'make your own' recipes that I rely on a lot. Taco seasoning, vegetarian soup base, cream of whatever soup, cocoa mix, etc. I have created a little flyer for these recipes in it so that when I need them I always know where it is. I also have another one for our 'family favorite christmas goodies' which include tiger fudge, regular fudge, meringue cookies, etc. I only use it once a year but I always know where it is.

What works for you?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

stitchin' the night away

It was Stitch Sisters again tonight. Lots of giggles and companionship as always. We're all working on different things, hats, sweaters, socks, blankets. One sister didn't know how many to cast on for a particular hat. We had to make a Stitch Sisters Emergency Call(TM) to an absent sister. The answer is...32. Guesses had ranged from 58 to 86 - she'd be knitting a hat for an elephant there! Luckily she hadn't gotten too far before we found out the real number of stitches.

Me? I'm finishing the leaves for the pins. We're assembling them next week, whoo hoo!. I can't wait until we hand them over to the Ladies Luncheon Committee and see their reaction, I'm sure they are going to LOVE them. Then it's back to my sweater, I'm really thrilled about this and plan to finish it before summer so I can wear it at the beach.

It's funny, while we were sitting there so peaceably the conversation turned to tv. Apparently many of us have a fondness for this tv show which is on Tuesdays at 9:00. The time our meeting gets out. Hmmmm, maybe we need to get a tv in the church parlor. Then we could hang out knitting and watching the show. Not as much fun as knitting and talking together, but it would extend our meetings by an hour (always a good thing) and we could talk during commercials). Truthfully it's not gonna happen since I'm ready for jammies by 9:15 when I get home and I'm sure everyone else is too...I just like the idea of spending more time with my Stitch Sisters.

tackle-it tuesday

Oooh, it's Tuesday. Time for another tackle. Today's job is...

the office. No pictures because I'm too lazy to run and get the camera, but I am going to start working in here as soon as I get off the computer. It has become a catchall for the kids junk and is rather disorganized. Hope to fix that by the end of the day.

Don't forget to visit 5 Minutes for Mom, get inspired to tackle-it today!

baking yesterday

Yesterday was baking day. Don't know why, I was just in the mood to bake. What did I bake? Well, I'm glad you asked.

1 batch of hazelnut barley biscotti - for some reason the biscotti came out "fluffy" and so they are not as dense as usual. They are still very crisp and crunchy and I think I like them this way. Now I'll have to figure out what went "wrong" so that I can duplicate it.

1 loaf of whole wheat bread - half gone, devoured by fiends the kids as soon as it came out of the oven

1 dozen rolls - unfortunately they cooked just a leetle too long. Tasty and soft on the inside. Not burnt but definitely crunchy on the outside

8 breadsticks - just like the rolls. But they're supposed to be crunchy so I guess that's okay.

word cloud

It's been a while since I've done one of these and I've been seeing them around the blogosphere. So I decided to do another one.

You can go to snapshirts and make one for yourself.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

winter reading

Seasonal Soundings had the Winter Reading Challenge up on her blog. February is over and so is the challenge.

As usual I wanted to read more than I did and I also read things that weren't on the list simply because they were available. I'm discovering that my life is so hectic these days that structured reading time is just out of the question. I also seem to be going in so many different directions that although I have a list of books I want to read I am easily sidetracked by recommendations from others or new offerings on the library shelf.

I think this means that at least for now I won't be participating in any more challenges. But if I hear of good books or have read good books I will certainly share them here.

Having said that here is a book that has been suggested by my sister-in-law and I'm adding it to my list, Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral.

grains of gratitude

Thanks once again to Christine for starting this thread in the blogosphere. If you google it you'll find lotsa folks have a lot to be grateful for..

I am grateful for sunshine today...
for a hug from V this morning...
for a woodburning stove and for heat...
for Tobi to snuggle with on the sofa while reading a book...
for the patches of grass I see poking through the snow...
for the moments of quiet reflection that I have been able to take today