Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Work Day

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Weston is such a helper.
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He even lays down flooring. It's like having our own personal slave,
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who takes continuous breaks for dog licks and snuggles.
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"come on Heidi. Time to get to work now. Out of the way."
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Heidi scoffs at our attempts to move her and lies down right on the flooring we are trying to lay.
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And she says, 'I ain't movin'. Just try to make me."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Good Morning Monday!!!

Fall is here and the skies have become gray. My Monday morning pep has gone the way of the Canadian geese. South.

It happenes every year. Fall is my favorite season but I can hardly enjoy it due the the foreshawdowing of winter. winter is cold, gloomy, and lonely. And every year I fret that my trees will not burst forth in new foliage come spring. By the time winter gets here I am tired of gloominess and seek out medicinal help. It happpens every winter. You would think my doctor would see a pattern and diagnose me with seasonal depression. or whatever it's called.

But, because I have a goal to declutter my life, and because gloominess has no room (I filled it up with smiles, and laughter, and soft-voices remember?), I am going to be proactive. I have heard that there are special lightbulbs that can help with SAD (seasonal affective disorder- I just looked it up) and I plan to buy some. It can't hurt. I also plan to do some research and see if there are some herbal remedies that may help.

Do any of my readers suffer from SAD? Have you heard of it? Do you know of any non-medicinal remedies? Let me know.

no picture today because blogger is broken. How depressing. I think I will go back to bed...

Friday, October 12, 2007

And so the aging process goes

and I guess my eyes have volunteered to be the first to go. Since I am having to go from wearing glasses none of the time to wearing them all the time...I decided to go for shock value. Aqua and Brown. I think they make me look writerish.

It's Friday

and time for Show and Tell.

Today I want to show a before and after. And this is the second SnT that I will make my sister cry (the first was a gigantic spider web). This one is not as frightening.


I am not a fan of dark wood, and I adore painted wood. So paint it I did, and I love the way it turned out. I used the directions I found at (oh boy, I forgot where I found them and a half an hour search has tuned up nothing) Anyhow, I also colorcoded my books which is something else I saw on a blog somewhere. Blogs are great for ideas.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is this true?

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

Do I talk too much....and maybe you should ignore the fact that this is my third blog post in one day.

I wanted to be Pooh. He's so stupidly wise and lovable.

Ten Wishes

1. A whole day to sew.
2. A pattern for a great skirt and smock. Something that feels homey and cozy to wear around the house.
3. These boots. Oh how I wish I had those boots. And if I had a whole day of sewing, I could make myself some cool non-tight leg warmer thingies too.
4. A long walk in the park.
5. A week of camping.
6. My dining room, kitchen, and foyer floors to be completed and all painting done.
7. To be in Ecuador.
8. To be in Rome, NY...with my sister.
9. To know how to knit.
10. To be able to eat chocolate cake all day long and still lose weight.

So, what are your top ten wishes at the moment?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

It's Tuesday

And I missed my Good Morning Monday!!! post. really and truly, I had it all written up, but I just couldn't make myself satisfied with it. Here's the gist of it. By adding good things like smiles, and laughter, and happy voices INTO your life...out goes the clutter of bad attitudes, grumpiness, and bitter whininess. Okay? So smile more. Laugh more. And make your voice happy and soft.

See? That was short and simple and you didn;t need all that gabber goo I wrote up yesterday. trust me, it was boring and obnoxious.

I have been messing around with my house a bit lately...

Re-arranged my front porch, but didn't bother swiping away the cobwebs (I like spiders even though a nasty one gave me a nasty bite while camping this weekend). I figure gigantic cobwebs make for a natural and eerie Halloween decoration. I also decided "to heck with my mantle". I never can get it arranged the way I want. It always looks cluttered and frumpy and so I piled it with my favorite worldly possesions- books- and called it done. I like it. It won't end up on a magazine cover- but I really do like it. It's like having a free bookshelf, and no one can have quite enough bookshelves.
Dinner tonight was yummylicious. Chicken Souvlaki. Whatever that is. It was good. No one liked it but me. Which is sad, because I LOVED it. It was basically marinated chicken tenders, fried until done and piled on top of rice, shredded spinach, red onions and topped with a yogurt- cucumber sauce. It was the cucumbers that got to everyone. I'm not a fan of them myself- but this dish was devine.

Talk about Tuesday : Follow the link to find out what it's all about...and to see other people who like to talk...on Tuesdays...or any other day...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Show and Tell Friday

My great-grandmother is one of the most talented crafters I have ever met. When I was just barely old enough to remember it, she began to teach me how to crochet. I watched the yarn slipping through her fingers and became addicted to the rhythm of the art. Loop, turn pull. Loop, turn, pull.

She also quilted. As a child I thought the quilts were made of magic. I never saw her quilting, but everytime I visited, Voila. A new quilt. Like magic. One of her quilts was made for my father when he was just a boy. It had a Davy Crockett print on the back and was my absolute favorite blanket. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a lovie and therefore it was well-used, and ill abused. I still had it in highschool but somewhere along the way, the threads gave out and it became more shreds than blanket.

Last year I was given the one in the picture. I love its cheery colors. Don't you?

By the way, she also made the pillowcases. I got those when I got married and I just recently got brave enough to pull them out and use them.

Check out all the other Show and Tells at Kelly's site and join us by adding your own.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Don't have much to say today

I am rather tired because my annual seasonal insomnia has set in and I am running on two straight nights of three hours of sleep.
I thought you might enjoy this little video.

Want to know something interesting about me? That video made me cry. It was the standing ovation. I always cry at standing ovations. It's a fact. I'm weird.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I think my children have taken over my blog lately, and I thought maybe I should post a recipe to even out my homemaking journal. This is another "diet" meal. Let me tell you, this new way of eating feels a bit like luxery. I have really enjoyed trying new foods and this was no exception. Although, it's not quite new anymore...we have had it twice now. Yummy both times.

Apple-crusted pork with sweet potatoes (core)
2 servings cooking spray
1 lb lean boneless pork chops or pork tenderloin
1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
2 medium apples, MacIntosh, cored and diced
1 c unsweetened applesauce
1 TBS red wine vinegar
___________________________2 tsp Dijon mustard
___________________________1.5 tsp ground cumin

Preheat oven to 400*. Coat a shallow roasting pan with cooking spray.

Season pork all over with salt and black pepper. Place pork in prepared pan and place sweet potatoes and apples alongside. Spray apples and sweet potatoes with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine applesauce, vinegar, mustard, and cumin. Pour over pork.

Roast pork until cooked through and sweet potatoes are fork-tender, about 40 minutes. Let pork stand 10 minutes before slidcing crosswise into thin slices. Serve pork with apples and sweet potatoes on the side. Yields about 3 oz. of pork and one cup of vegetable-fruit mixture.

Guess What?

This child is almost impossible to photograph. But he has a surpise that he wants to he patiently waited until I was able to capture this "growing up" moment.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

On Fall:

I officially declare it Fall- which happens to be my favorite season. Just this year I realized what I like so much about Fall, and ironically I realized it while sipping coffee, double chocolate chip drink, and Italian Sodas with my family at Barnes and Nobles. We were all sitting there, around this tiny table, in cushy seats and I took a deep breath and suddenly thought..."this feels like Fall." It was a weird thought in the middle of a Starbucks and I curiously digested it . At first I thought it was the coziness...but I discarded that notion. Starbucks at Barnes and Nobles is not cozy- even if you ARE drinking a 4.00 pumpkin latte. Speaking of's outrageous to pay that much for coffee. By the time we paid for all the drinks, I felt...Aha. I zeroed in on THAT feeling.

Extravagant. That is why I love Fall. It feels extravagant. It's an overabundance of rich colors and smells. Food full of cream and spice. More crunchy leafy goodness than one human can bear. Fall is the season that God bestows upon us the extravagance undeserved but oh so loved.

So enjoy the turn of the weather. The crispy air that refreshes our lungs, the spiders busily building webs on every conceivable surface- Enjoy it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

hmmmm. maybe I have a problem.

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Good Morning Monday!

Let's Simplify our lives shall we?

These Monday Morning posts come to you from an effort to make my life less cluttered. Read this post to understand better.

Todays tip is:
Slow down your morning. Take at least the first hour of your morning and press the sllllloooooowwwww button on your life's remote. There is no need to zip through your morning routine as if your life will pass you by unless you hurry hurry hurry. actually, I have found it to be the opposite. Life passes you by while you hurry and scurry doing things that don't really count as living. However, if you slow things down a bit (ok- a lot) you will find that you have time to do a lot of living in those simple mundane moments.

Choose something you love for that first hour of the morning. If you have a task that MUST be done, find a way to enjoy doing it. Do it slowly with reverence and calm for the gift of a new day that God has given you.
*Make your bed and take a deep breath. Sigh with pleasure about crawling into a nice soft bed after a long day.
*Take your dog outside and don't hurry him. Even if it's raining. Take time to enjoy the rain. Take a deep breath.
* SIT DOWN with a cup of coffee and your favorite magazine. Take a deep breath.

I want to also say that in this age of rushing, rushing, and more rushing our children are likely feeling as frazzled as we are. Let them slow down too. I payed close attention to my mornings for a week, and I noticed that when my children sat down to curl up on the couch, went outside on our deck to snuggle with Heidi, or laid down on the floor for a good old fashioned stretch, I was quick to give them a barrage of to-do questions.
Did you make you bed?
Have you gone to the bathroom?
Did flush the toilet, wash your hands?
Marcus, take this washcloth and wipe down the bathroom sinks.
Weston, bring down your laundry baskets so I can do the laundry.
Esther, go straighten up the shoes in the foyer.
all of you, get over here and eat your breakfast.
Are you done with that?
I need to wash these dishes. Hurry up.
Lets' get our school work started. Sit down. get your glasses on. Go get your math book.

And on and on and on.

No wonder it felt like our lives were cluttered

Our new mornings are clear from all this garbage for at least one hour. We have things we have to get done. Breakfast has to be eaten, the dog has to be taken out. But we slow it down, and we enjoy each other while we do those things. Anything that can wait until hour two, waits until hour two.

For those of you who have to leave the house in the morning- you will probably need to wake up and hour early for this to work. I homeschool and can allow ourselves an extra hour in the morning. However, I have found myself getting up earlier in order to extend the morning calm. Now I usually have at least half an hour of time to myself before the kids wake up. I slllloooowwwwwly make myself a cup of coffee and stand on my deck watching all the suburban wildlife scamper through my yard.

This slow time always feels a bit like camping. Which hapens to have been the point.

And because it's Monday: Here's my weekly menu

Fennel-Crusted Pork Loin with roasted potatoes and pears
Roasted pacific cod with olives and lemons
Spanish chicken and rice
Easy Shepherd's Pie
Chicken Picada
Tamale Pie
Autumn veggie Minestrone (Crockpot meal)
2 14.5 oz cans vegetable broth
1 18 oz can crushed tomatoes's undrained
3 medium carrots -- chopped (1 ½ cups)
3 small zucchini -- cut into 1/2" slices
1 medium yellow bell pepper -- cut into 1/2" pieces
8 medium green onions -- sliced (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic -- finely chopped
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Mix all ingredients except rice and basil in a 3 ½ to 6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in rice. Cover and cook on low heat setting for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender.

Per serving: WW Points: 1; 195 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; 7g Protein; 39g Carbohydrate; 1mg Cholesterol; 1198mg Sodium