Wednesday, April 25, 2007

wfmw - magazine recipes

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

I have a rather impressive collection of food magazines. Some of them are Cooking Light from when I had a subscription. Quite a few are Bon Appetit or Gourmet or that ilk collected from my library's Free Magazine basket. If you have magazines you don't want you bring them to the library. Take the ones you want, keep as many as you like. That works for me (hey, this is turning into a twofer).

My biggest problem with the food magazines is remembering which recipe is where. Such as my favorite Texas Chocolate Cake from Cooking Light. I know I could go online and print another copy but the waste of paper really bothers me. So after I've read a food magazine and decided to keep it I write down all of the recipes I like and their page number on an index card and staple the card to the cover of the magazine. The collection has gotten so big that my next step is to organize them by season instead of by magazine and put each season in it's own magazine box. It makes finding favorite recipes quick and easy. It works for me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Speaking of books in the last post I somehow started reading two books at the same time. Given that my reading time has decreased to a painful sluglike pace I'm not sure how this happened.

The first one is Marley & Me I keep snorting with laughter causing my children to believe that I have finally gone round the bend. When I share passages with Steve he laughs too. I think it's laughter of relief. While Tobi is rambunctious and unrestrainedly lovable in his own special way he is not quite energetic as Marley appears to be. This gives us hope because after all Tobi came to us completely un-housebroken and with no manners. He now IS housebroken and has manners. His only *ahem* challenges are learning that not everyone is dying for big wet sloppy puppy kisses and that compost is not meant to be edible. As you can imagine the book is very humorous, I like the writing style and am enjoying it tremendously.

The other is Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping I picked it up because I had seen a blurb about the author and thought the premise of the book was interesting. She and her partner decide not to buy anything that is not essential for one year. Of course his idea of what is essential sometimes varies from hers but that just adds to the entertainment. On a more serious note I've only read up to February and it's making me think about how we view ourselves and our spending; not to mention the over consumption going on all around us. Well written and definitely enjoyable.

birthday knitting

Not my birthday, but one of the Stitch Sisters. We had a surprise cake, a surprise birthday plant and a (surprise) lovely card designed by D. Amidst the knitting of the stash blanket, the scarves for a project and personal knitting everyone stopped to enjoy a fabulous Boston Creme Pie. Ooooooooooh, haven't had one of those in years and boy was it delicious!

The stash blanket is looking lovely. It was passed onto our stashless sister tonight...along with donated stash so that she could work on it. When it comes around to me again I'll take a picture so that people can see it. It's a fun project. We're not sure what we're going to do with it though. I thought the original purpose had been to donate it to something like Project Linus. Now a couple of members are saying that perhaps when it's done it goes to one of us and we start another one until everyone has a blanket that has been worked on by the entire group. I confess that while Project Linus is a VERY worthwhile endeavor there is also something appealing about having a lovely blankie made by the whole group. I guess we'll have to see how it turns out when this blanket it done. It may be the no one wants it..."No dear, you take it I don't mind waiting for the next one", "I'm sure those colors suit you much better than they do my poor sallow complexion", "We think you should be the first one to experience the love." On the other hand there may be a flurry of needles and yarn as everyone dives for it...who knows.

Today was also apparently bookswap night. We have a club book that is going around (I forget the title, when it's my turn I'll let you know) plus some paperbacks that some members were trying to foist onto share with the rest of the group. My only problem being that I haven't learned to read and knit at the same time and how the heck do you flip the pages anyway?

peepity peep

It may be a blazing 85 degrees outside today. It feels like we have gone from winter straight into summer. I confess that I love the warm weather and the cool delicious evenings. What I love most is that even though it may not feel like spring the peepers are back. Their little chorus is definitely music to my ears.

Monday, April 23, 2007

here there be dragons

With today being St. George's Day I thought you might like to see this fun link., a dragon's head made from cat food cans.


Today is the day of William Shakespeare's birth and death. I imagine not many people die on their birthday but it does happen.

I read a lot of Shakespeare in college (Theater major, English minor, it's expected that Shakespeare would be on the curriculum). One of my favorite quotes is

Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts

It's from Henry the Sixth. Unfortunately it's not truly a love scene as the two characters being asked to hold hands are Warwick and Clarence, but taken out of context it is a sweet thought.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

happy earth day

Whether you are doing something special to celebrate the day or not it's good to remember it as this is the only Earth we have.

Wikipedia info here.


D and I went to volunteer at a local horse rescue operation today. It was absolutely wonderful. The organization takes in all sorts of abused, abandoned, neglected or subject-to-slaughter horses and cares for them. It rehabilitates and then finds good homes for them.

We went for our initial tour and were set upon by horses eager for treats. They've obviously been well trained that people come with horse "cookies". We went through 10 pounds of apples and carrots before we got to meet all of the horses. We were then set to the task of grooming under supervision.

D's grooming customers were :



and Bronson.

Many of the horses are either Premarin mares (forced into successive pregnancies under harsh conditions), the results of Premarin pregnancies (which are usually unwanted), abandoned race horses, damaged show horses or horses that people don't take care of. There are currently 35 at the farm and I have to say they all look pretty content and are certainly "people" trained. A few of them will be leaving for new homes within the next month or so and then others will come.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and plan to go back.


Those of you who know me know that I am a bit silly about laundry. Having said that the first load of the year is hanging on the line. Waving in the breeze. I just love fresh laundry not-from-the-dryer.

A while back my mom shared an interesting article with me from the New York Times about laundry. Unfortunately it is no longer available for free, but if you have an NYT account you can access the article.

As I may or may not have mentioned, in my neighborhood it is against the rules to hang your laundry outside. Luckily for me I have a rather large screened in porch so that's where I hang my laundry. It helps to protect it from bugs and light rain so that's great. Not so great when we want to sit out there and enjoy the porch and the laundry is in the way. That seems to be the battle of the season but somehow we manage to make it all work out.

first garden day

It's the first day of the year that I have been able to get into the garden. It was mostly clipping woody residue, pulling out dead undergrowth and some weeding. The grass is very opportunitistic and has started it's lovely little runners. Even with the little bit that I did today that part of the yard is looking better.

The treehouse is in good condition, the furniture ready and waiting for leisurely iced tea and book retreats. I love this time of year.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

when was the last time i...

tagged by Dawn I've decided to play along.

1. kissed someone? lots of kisses today, hubby, kids, even the dog tries to get in on the kisses here.

2. drank coffee? ummmm...about 8 or 9 years ago

3. read a book? Just finished The Ageless Woman

4. cursed? sounds too good to be true but unless you count dagnabit and darnitall I really don't curse

5. had a nightmare? maybe a few nights ago? I really don't seem to remember my dreams anymore

6. checked your email? A few minutes ago

7. had a crush? ummm...28 years ago, it was Steve

8. drove a car? A week ago

9. rode a roller coaster? I hate them so it was probably when I was a teen

10. took a nap? Yesterday, yah for vacations!

11. went to the movies? A long time ago, I usually wait for them to come out on DVD. I think the last movie I saw in the theater was Eragon which was very disappointing

12. drank alcohol? Tonight, a glass a white wine

13. went to a party? March - the neighborhood St. Patty's Day

14. said “I love you"? not that long ago

15. cooked a meal? Too long ago

16. exercised? A week ago? Amazing how lazy I get on vacation

You're next. If you are reading this you are tagged.


I've been gone. Headed south for a few days to soak up some sunshine. It was really wonderful. We went to FL and visited my Aunt.

Funny side story:

I once received a compliment on some clothes that I was wearing. My friend asked where I got them. I told her that they were from this exclusive shop in New York called My Aunt's Closet. Her response was, "Really? Where is it, I would love to go there." I had to tell her that it was REALLY my Aunt's closet."

The exclusive shop has moved to FL and I came home with a jacket, two shirts, four pairs of pants and a pair of shoes! Score!!!!!

Steve and I got to see lots of wonderful beachy views, nice sunsets, spend time with great people, it was a lot of fun.

I will say that I managed to get some kov (knitting on vacation) done. Finished (except for the fringing) a scarf for the latest charity project with Stitch Sisters. I also started a pair of wrist warmers that I have been meaning to do for two years! I've had the yarn sitting in stash for that long. It's finally in process.

The single yarn shop that I saw on vacation was CLOSED!!!! Aaaaaaaaugh! Steve was not too distress, I on the other hand.....

And in a true display of how knitter stick together, the flight attendant on our flight home and I had a lovely conversation about knitting, projects and stash in general and all sorts of other knitutia (knitting minutia). It was great.

Vacation is over, just in time to really see how much work is required in the garden. However, it was a good getaway.

Monday, April 16, 2007

rainy day

Rain rain and more rain. Thank goodness it's not snow like Melissa's area. However, we've had enough that some streets are flooded, cars have been abandoned in the middle of puddles big enough to be called lakes and I'm grateful that I know my way around well enough to detour everywhere.

I had a dentist appointment this morning to get fitted for a mouth guard. I've got TMJ and the drug store mouth guards just aren't doing the job anymore. From there to the grocery store, a couple of other stops while I was in the area, post office, library, bank and then back home. All by very indirect routes. Lots of police officers out, flashing lights and barricades; it's amazing how bad the floods are. All of the local rivers are seriously swollen and murky.

Luckily we live at the top of a hill. One of my neighbors, who has goats, horses, etc, once told her insurance agent, when being questioned about the flood plain, that if it flooded up here he should start looking for an ark. So now I'm home, warm, dry and safe.

funny fotos

Saw these on the internet and just had to share because they made me laugh.

from Oliver Daily.


from Cute Overload.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

media update

Got a fair amount of reading and movie watching in this weekend. It's been very rainy and a good time to do that.

I finished reading "The Boleyn Inheritance" by Philippa Gregory. I had also read "The Other Boleyn Girl" and liked it very much which is why I picked up this book. The characters are so well built and the way she carried the story line from person to person was well done. Her characters and descriptions are full-bodied and even though I know that this is historical fiction it was not hard to imagine the scenes taking place exactly as she had written them. I liked this book so much that now I feel I must get "A Constant Princess" and read that as well. I hope this author continues writing in this vein because she is very talented at it.

V and I sat down to watch "Memoirs of a Geisha." We had both read the book and were wondering how the movie would compare. Stunning is all I can say. Definitely an epic film with amazing actors, costumes, sets and scenery. It is one of my new favorite films, I truly love that epic novel set (well) to film. "Vanity Fair" and "Pride and Prejudice" come to mind when thinking of this sort of sweeping sumptuous production. Changes were made, of course, to the story line but it was so well done we didn't mind at all and both sat totally enraptured for the entire two plus hours of the film.

Tonight I plan to watch the "Prairie Home Companion" movie and let you know how I like it.

grateful grains

Grains of Gratitude started with Christine over at Brady's Bunch.

Today I am grateful for:

*A thought provoking and touching service at church about Yom Ha'Shoah, the Holocaust Remembrance Day. Our minister read passages from a book "The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million" by Daniel Mendelsohn plus shared memories of her own visit to Auschwitz.

*A call from a friend who I haven't heard from in a while. We spent over an hour on the phone catching up, it was really great.

*A call from my folks. Always great to talk to them. If anything they have more rain and bad weather than I do.

*That we still have firewood at this point in the year (probably due to an overly warm January), so the house is cozy.

*Leftovers for lunch!

Friday, April 13, 2007

picture in progress

Nina had asked if I would post a picture of my sweater and the blanket that I mentioned in the last Stitch Sisters post. I can't show you the blanket yet because I don't have it, but I'll try to get a picture the next time I see it and post it.

Here is the sweater in all it's unfinished glory.

And a close up in case anyone want to see the lovely stripeys.


A lovely blogosphere person offered to share a kombucha culture with me. I've heard a lot about this. It's very expensive in the healthfood store so I have never tried it. Apparently it is delicious and supposed to be good for you. My tea bath is cooling right now, I'll add in the mother and wait to see what happens.


A Prairie Home Companion. It's a radio show that I like a lot but hardly ever get to listen to. I do get the opening monologue every week on my iPod but just can't seem to be setting still when the program is actually broadcast.

My lovely lovely small town librarian (who does amazing things with the budget that she has) got both the documentary and the movie.

Tonight I watched the documentary and loved it. I laughed, enjoyed the music and was thoroughly transported for a couple of hours. Tomorrow I plan to watch the movie, should be interesting to see how it compares.

observations of the day

Getting out the door with D this morning was a comedy of errors. Every time we went out to the car we (mostly she) closed/locked the garage door behind us, necessitating my getting out of the car, unlocking the door, getting back in the car only to start the process over again. It got so ridiculous that I had to laugh. In the span of 5 minutes or so she had to go back into the house for:

CD Player

Observation: why do they call it a senior moment when children are probably far more forgetful than adults?

Flowers that I have seen in bloom today include profusions of daffodils on the hillside by town hall and a few lovely purple crocus next to my front door.

Observation: No matter how cold it seems it must be spring

While driving today I saw the most bizarre thing it has ever not been my priviledge to witness. Hung on the back of a Ford F-350 truck that cut in front of me (very rudely I might add) was a pair of testicles. I'm sure they weren't real but they were pretty realistic looking.

Observation: It's not enough that you drive a huge gas guzzling truck, now you need to ensure your masculinity by proving it's a guy truck? Really. *sigh* people never cease to amaze me.

Also while driving today I almost hit a turkey. Man those things are big. And they look funny when they fly. I was coming down a hill, around a corner and there it was walking across the road. At the last minute it flapped it's wings and became airborne.

Question: Why do they all disappear when it's turkey season, are they really that smart?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

wfmw - small stuffies

My kids have way too many stuffies (little stuffed toys). Everything is miniaturized these days. Unfortunately these little toys can be hard to corral...until now. I bought an over the door shoe holder and stuffed them all in there!

Check out other great ideas at Shannon's.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

stitching serenade

Tonight was Stitch Sisters. We were lucky in that the church choir is practicing again. It's wonderful, we get to sit there, stitching, talking, enjoying each others company and in the background is this lovely lovely music.

We have a couple of new members which is really great. Not everyone shows up every week but it's great to see whoever is there.

My personal achievement is that I finally have joined the neck on my sweater!!! Yay!!! I'm so happy as this means I have the other sleeve to do and I am done. I'm praying that I have enough of the solid color yarn as I have lost the yarn band and do not think I will be able to buy more (stretching thoughts appreciated from the crowd). I'm really happy with the way it is turning out. I did find an error too far back to rip but hopefully no one will notice. I figure the big test of its lovliness will be if any of my children try to steal borrow it from me once it is complete.

The charity blanket is making its rounds on to the next stitcher. Unfortunately it's the one of us who has NO STASH!!! We've all offered to help her with her stash deprivation and had a rather large conversation about stash, hiding of said stash, acquisition of MORE stash and how on earth one can live without a stash. She's getting the blanket and volunteeer stash which may get her back on the road to a stash of her own.

We were having such a good time it was well after 9:00 when we ended. As the days get longer so do our meetings, what a fun thing.


Yellow is the color of the day. Today D tested for her next belt in Tae Kwon Do. While I admit to being a little prejudiced I have to say that she was very very good. Her moves were crisp, her form was impeccable and she did so well that at one point in group forms the Master said, "For those of you in the back if you get lost in the Chunjee pattern follow D because she knows it solid."

What a great accomplishment for her.

tackle it tuesday

One word...


Monday, April 09, 2007

baking today

Just a simple boule but it smells so good. It's for tonight's dinner but I am severely tempted to cut into it and eat some now. I think the rest of my family would notice if I did that so I'll resist.

I fresh milled some hard red and some spelt.
Approximately 5 C. mixed with 1/4 C. of ground flax, 1 T. yeast, 2 T. evaporated cane juice crystals, 1 T. salt, 2 C. water
Knead, rest 1 hour until double
Form into two small boules or one large one
rest 15 minutes
place in cold oven (I put mine on tiles) and set oven to 350
bake 35 minutes

It will be an accompaniment to tonight's dinner of oven roasted rosemary sweet potatoes, chix patties, spinach salad with tomatoes and avocado. Now I'm hungry so I guess I better to make dinner.


Bulbs are poking their little green heads above ground. I can see the sad sight of daffodils severely denuded by the snowplow along the road/driveway. I think I'm going to have to replant them further away from the asphalt.

Robins are flocking EVERYWHERE, little squirrels are chasing each other up and down the trees. The sun is shining. I think it's spring!


D had an orthodontist appointment today. Afterwards we made a special treat stop for *buck$ across the street. She loves the place. Truth be told so do I if only because they actually serve tea.

I got a China Green Tea with just a couple of ice cubes. She got a decaf, mocha frappachino extra whip. This girl loves whipped cream. She sucked it straight off the top through the opening in the container. I remarked that it was a good thing you couldn't get only whipped cream because I could just see her ordering a venti straight whip!

We sat and chatted for a little bit enjoying our drinks and the sunshine before heading home. Now she wants to go to a spa...she's upping the ante here.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

doing good

Today D and her Girl Scout Troop served at the local food kitchen. I think it was an eye opening experience for all of them. They were surprised to see so many people for whom this is their only hot meal of the day. They were surprised to discover that many of them have a roof over their heads but must choose between housing and food. I think they were also surprised to discover how good they felt helping.

They dyed the Easter eggs for Sunday. They helped prepare and serve meals and bag lunches to 30 people. They cleaned dishes, served drinks and kept looking for more that they could do. Three of them asked me if they could come back tomorrow and help again.

We learned that our local food kitchen feeds an average of 35 people per day and requires $2,000 in donations every month to pay their bills and buy the food. The entire operation is run by volunteers. No one makes a salary at this place.

We are thinking that we will serve again probably in the summer and we may do a fundraiser for them in the fall. I was truly touched by the girls compassion and desire to help. It was wonderful to see.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

color chip

h/t to The Thinking Blog for this little nugget of fun.

Colorstrology apparently tells a lot about you through your personal color, picked by your birthday. My personal color apparently tells me that I am enduring, active and intelligent. A trait I apparently share with my known birthday twins, Faye, Liz, Sarah, and Mini.

Want to find yours? Visit the colorstrology sniffer.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

wfmw - car edition

Today is a themed Works for Me Wednesday. For other great tips check out Rocks In My Dryer.

I keep a few snack bars in the driver side door of my car. That way when we are out running around if someone is hungry it keeps us from having to stop at a fast food place. My favorite are Lara Bars, the kids like the cereal snack bars.

To help with trash patrol I keep a plastic grocery bag strung between the front seats. The arm rests hold the bag in place. When it's full or once a week when I clean out the car I empty the bag...makes clean up much quicker.

Keep napkins, hand wipes and potty seat covers in the storage compartment under the front pasenger seat. You never know when they will come in handy.

Three tips in one, but they all work for me.


My two little bluebirds have returned. I saw them poking around "their" birdhouse at the top of the yard. I'm really thrilled that they're back and love that they've chosen the same house. I can see it from my desk and really enjoy watching them.

I don't know how long bluebirds live but this is the third year they've been here. Spring is springing folks!


Yesterday Tobi got two playdates. One with Colby, a lab boxer mix who lives down the street. The other was with a lovely german shepard named Uva who is apparently his girlfriend from when he was named Chester (almost a year ago).

When his cousin dogs were here he played and played and growled and jumped and generally had a lot of fun. Afte they left he was sad a mopey. Colby isn't always around because his people are busy. But I had a chance to meet/talk with Uva's owner yesterday and encouraged her to let Uva off-leash anytime Tobi is outside. She was happy to hear that because it's good exercise for both dogs.

We had a really lovely time chatting, seem to have quite a bit in common and I'm hoping I'll get to see more of her and Uva.

Tobi slept well last night.

tackle-it-tuesday bedroom

Okay, I admit it, I've caved. After writing about letting my kids keep their rooms as messy as they want here I have decided to "take back" D's room. The straw, if you will, was the two baskets of her clean laundry that seem to have taken up permanent residence in my bedroom because she has "no room" for them. I'm admittedly embarassed to take a before picture but will hopefully post an after when I'm done.

I can take her being messy up to a point but not having room for her own laundry crossed the line. *donning protective gear, antimicrobial body spray, gas mask* Wish me luck, I'm going in.....

it's a birthday

My sweet D is having a birthday today!!! Hard to believe how little she used to be. She's still sweet though. Happy birthday pumpkin!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

cardinal catastrophe

That dratted bird is still here. Still banging on the window. It's driving me crazy since it's my office window and startles me everytime he thumps into the window. We don't want to do him bodily harm but are beginning to despair of his ever moving on to someone else's window.

Any suggestions?

grains of gratitude

No picture of grain...blogger is NOT cooperating today. Kind of like my kids. Which leads me to my list:

* That both kids are a playdates at the moment
* Going to church this morning, a wonderful service and some great conversations after
* That our DRE at church was well enough after cancer surgery and chemo to be there today
* We have leftover Ben and Jerry's ice cream from last night (Fossil Fuel, mmmmm)
* That we even got Ben and Jerry's last night
* Soup for supper