Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sometimes you just need a smile

I sat down the other day to do some browsing on my laptop. I slipped into our formal living room, a place that is rarely (read ever) used. I figured that the room was so obscure and unknown to our children that they would never find me in there. I sat down for two seconds and was startled by the sound of heavy breathing. Now, I know this will seem silly to you, but remember I am in a room that is never used, and from every vantage point is completely empty save for myself. And yet, there is distinctively heavy breathing. I thought it was a rat. Haha, you say. No, seriously, my mind is so warped that it tricked me into believing there was a mongo sized rat in my house, breathing so loudly that I could actually hear him! My heart leaped into my throat, and then my brain took over. The smart side of my brain. It was Esther. Curled up between the couch and end table, smushed between the two in what had to have been the most uncomfortable sleeping position ever. He little face was crammed against the wooden sofa leg, and she was sound asleep.

She is my smile. Every day. Even when she wakes up and refuses my help getting dressed. Even when she decides to look like a ragamuffin and make me look like the worst parent on earth. Sometimes I want to put a sign around her neck that says, "She dressed herself". But, I have to admit- I kind of like her style. OKay, I REALLY like her style. It is fun and fantastic and I wish I were as brave as she is, facing the world in a chaos of stripes and flowers, and hot pink holey tights. At the same time- I am hardly even brave enough to go out with her in public.

Would someone like to make some guesses what this style will translate into when she is 15???

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Whoopee! Aieyieaie!

There were yells of joy at the Toasty-Toes Mansion today. Crackers. Crackers brought us the gift of exuberant joy! We are wheat free here and are really missing crackers. and bread. and cookies. and tortillas. But today! today we ate crackers. And, they are good by anyone's standards- not just those freaky gluten free freaky weirdos.
I need to thank my aunt Denise (who is my hero by the way- I always say I want to be her when I grow up). Anyhow, she sent me an email about a dinner menu site. Saving Dinner. This reminded me of another menu service that I had read about and was wanting to try. KITCHEN MUSE. I read about them over at my friend Val's. (aren't I crazy link happy today???)
Anyhow, I chose Kitchen Muse over Saving dinner, simply because they use whole foods and everything can be modified to be gluten free. And from this, I gained the best recipe for GF crackers EVER!!!!
Oh, and also, a nice Finnish Summer soup recipe.

These two recipes were freebies on the site, but my menu for next week came in and I am uber excited to try it out. everything looks delicious.

Finnish Summer Soup
Ingredients Directions
2 c chicken stock (or water)
6 small potatoes, peeled and halved
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
6 green onions, cut into 3-inch lengths
½ # carrots
½ # young fresh green beans, cut into 1-
inch lengths
2 cups peas, fresh shelled (or frozen)
1 c cream
1 c milk
3 T unbleached flour or brown rice flour
Sea salt to taste
Heat water to boiling in a wide 5-quart pan;
add potatoes.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add salt, pepper, butter, onions, carrots, and
green beans; simmer for 8 more minutes.
Add peas and cook for another 2 minutes or
until vegetables are crisp-tender.
In a small bowl, stir together milk, cream and
flour until smooth; stir into simmering
Cook, stirring until soup slightly thickened
(about 5 minutes)
Serve with cream cheese on rye and oat
cracker (see recipe)
Dairy free: replace milk and cream with a nut
This traditional Finnish vegetable
soup is known as "summer soup"
because it is made with the first
new vegetables of summer and
traditionally always contained milk
or cream along with stock.

Finnish Oat and Rye Crackers
Ingredients Directions
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups rye flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 cup milk
! T yogurt
3/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1 tablespoon rapadura
Mix oats with rye flour, milk and yogurt. Cover
and leave in a warm spot overnight. Add the rest
of the ingredients and a little mor emilk if dough
is to stiff. Roll thin.
Bake on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about
10 minutes- watching carefully.
Once cooled, break into pieces for serving.
Gluten free: Use 2 cup certified gluten free
oats and 2 cups gluten free flour blend with 2 t
xantham gum.

These recipes belong to the Kitchen Muse and were copied from her free recipe list. The cost of one month's menus is just 9.00. So far, just for the cracker recipe, it has been worth every red penny. Oh, and you can thank her for an accurate and detailed recipe. No vagueness for her. Which is why she gets paid.

I'm evil

Or an angel. Take your pick.
I have been playing at matchmaking and enjoying myself thoroughly.

And I looked this up- just for you. Enjoy.

And, if you catch yourself dancing in your kitchen, or while doing your laundry... don't forget to thank me.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Oh snot

It's Monday again. I don't have anything to say. My life is so far from decluttered that I wouldn't know where to begin in giving you advice to declutter yours.

Right now, I am dreaming of running away. Canceling every activity, and moving into a camping cabin at carlyle Lake. I will throw my phone into the water and cook every meal from a campfire.


I did however get together a bag of books to donate to the children's hospital. Didn't do much for decluttering my life, but at least one bookshelf looks a tad better.

In other news:
Today, Esther turned Four
No more
No less
So for her I wish to bless
Just a little wish to say
I wish she were well on this special day
But since she is not
I hope she doesn't drown in her snot.

I never claimed to be a poet.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Could it be?

I am almost afraid to believe it, but the birds chirping outside my window seem to believe it with all their chirp hearts.
My rose bushes tell me as well, that winter has turned the corner.
But winter is so fickle. Perhaps she will decide to come back.

I am feeling a bit pessimistic about the whole thing. Honestly, I was convinced we would never see the sun again.

The little birdhouses on my mantle are child made. THey are just painted bricks with some dried something or other poked in the holes and cardboard roofs. Grammy Pammy helped the kids to make them and they turned out beautifully. Far better than any decoration that is store-bought.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Crazy is contagious

We have a really great chiropractor. But he is crazy. Seriously. We call him Dr. Quack behind his back. However, I take what he says very seriously (after I make fun of it). So, when my regular physician (who is brain deaf) refused to help me with some health problems, I took my issues up with Dr. Quack. Dr. Quack says he knows just what to do (after 200.00 and a slew of bloodwork).

Something something (I forget what it is called), is out of whack. And, according to the crazy man, we can knock it back into whack by drinking green tea with honey and lemon for two days. ONLY tea with honey and lemon. Nothing else.

So. I am on this crazy fast, suggested by a crazy doctor. Which infers that I too am crazy.

But, hopefully my something something (whatever it is called) will get back to normal and my health will return.

Meanwhile, I am a big cranky (and crazy) mess.

Friday, April 04, 2008

It didn't stay for long

The sun came out for a day. Just long enough for the kids to have a good old romp at a friend's house. Weston woke up the next morning complaining of severe neck pain and had what looked like an indian burn across the back of his neck. It was hot to the touch and our chiropractor sent us on the way to the emergency room. Meningitis was a huge fear. Mommy paniked and rushed to drop the other two off at a babysitter. Babysitter said it looked like sunburn to her.

It was.

Good thing I didn't rush him to the ER for sunburn. THe doctors would have surely had a great laugh at my expense. It's hard to think of sunburn when the only patch of sunshine that we have seen for weeks was that teeny bit where Weston played outside.

Here are some pictures I took of the kids that day.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

So, have you missed me?

We had some computer problems around here. Problems as in our laptop went belly under. There was a blessing hidden in the disaster though. I had just decided to back up my photos and my badly written novel before it kerflunkt. After a couple of weeks of trying to fix the thing and looking for a new computer, we went with what we were familiar with. Only I am not as familiar as I thought. It took me two days to figure out how to get a photo exported to load into blogger. The new I photo is super cool...but so distant. And I don't think she likes me very much.

Anyhow, while I was gone I curled up with some books. Here's the funny part of this otherwise boring story: I have packed away all my books in order to stage the house for selling. I am not able to go to the library because I think they may have out a warrant for my arrest (I owe them 53hundredmilllion dollars). So, I was stuck with the kid's books. I re-read every one of their collection of Beverly Cleary. I felt like a kid again. In honer of the occasion, I put a scoop of whip cream on every cup of coffee. It was fun. A nice break from reality. But, I am going to miss Klicklakit Street.

I also highly recommend a book that Danielle lent to me. My Side of the Mountain and it's two sequels (By Jean Craighead George) are some of the best children's literature I have ever read- and I have read a lot. Show me a child, and I will show you a human that at one time has wanted to run away and try to make it on his own. This book is like a dream come true. Sam runs away to a mountain, carves out a house in a tree and begins to live a happy healthy life on wild veggies and meat caught by his best friend; a falcon. The imagery is superb, the values are life enhancing, and the story is so much fun.

The only problem is that I am now convinced that if I leave my house, with my children, who are throwing legos at each other, my yard that is flooded, my basement that is seeping water, my kitchen with never ending dirty dishes; that I will be able to survive. The only thing holding me back is the fact that at no time in the story was Sam able to find some chocolate. or coffee. He lived on tubers and Squirrels. And I don;t think I am quite ready for that yet. But. If the kids get any more unruly...I might be.