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Friday, June 27, 2008

Extreme Adventures in Blueberry Pie;)

blueberry pie tutorial
Extreme Adventures in Blueberry Pie:

2 pints washed and picked blueberries stems removed
1 cup (ish) sugar
zest and juice from a small lemon (or 1/2 lg)
1/4 cup (ish) cornstarch
pinch of salt
pat of butter

pillsbury pie crust (ref section)

preheat oven to 350

line pie plate with 1 crust

mix sugar, berries, cornstarch, salt lemon zest and juice in lg bowl

dump all into crust. top with the butter cut into bits-

put on top crust, crimp with fork, then brush with a bit of milk and sprinkle with sugar

poke a few vent holes into the top.

bake for about an hour-

best blueberry pie ever. I based the recipe from some filling I bought at William Sonoma- it’s the fresh lemon that makes it YUM.


serve with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream:)

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Over-reactive parenting with a side of "I don't know what I'm talking about"

Cleaning, top to bottom, with a deadline, it makes me cranky. As does working in one room, only to enter another, and find a NEW mess.

All of which happened the other day. It was a perfect storm of circumstance and over-reaction. It was not pretty.

I was in the living room folding laundry, while the dishwasher ran, the washing machine and dryer tumbled, dinner was cooking, I was sweating and everyone was supposed to be getting ready for dinner. (Multi- tasking- I am gifted, in it.)

That's when I suddenly noticed "the quiet". Not good.

Quiet, in a house with 3 sons, 2 cats and a beagle, does not equate peace, it is a siren of warning, louder than the weather alert. I looked up from my multi-tasking duties. The living-room got the "all clear". Hubby was relaxing on the couch after a long day, the beagle was sleeping. I walked through the kitchen. No smoke. (this is good) When I hit the foyer, the scent of raspberry handsoap filled my not so sensitive, nose. That was not right. (Our house usually smells like: dinner, a locker room febreeze or a pet shop... not so much, like raspberries.)

Faster than a cheetah on Starbucks, I flung open the bathroom door. Slimey, pink handsoap dripped like honey from the countertop, slid down the cabinet fronts and puddled onto the bath-rug. It took 20 minutes to eliminate the slimey foaming mess. During which, I built up a rather foamy head of fury.

Careful examination of the sticky evidence, clearly revealed the culprit. The lid lie on the counter, removed from the pump bottle. The bottle lay on it's side and perfectly formed, 6 year old handprints outlined in foam, dotted the countertop left uncovered by liquid slime. I'm sure the neighbors fled to their rooms, when I demanded the little delinquent to go there, for his own safety. (WHOOPSY windows were open when the yelling began.)

I heard some kind of defense being raised, by the delinquent, from his jail-cell, but this judge had already delivered her verdict: GUILTY AS CHARGED. I returned to the living-room to inform the husband of the delinquency, via continued tirade. Not quite speaking to him.. (or anyone really) just on a really good (or bad) yelling roll.

At some point, a deep, calm voice sounded. "I took the lid off the soap, when I washed my hands." "Oh." "crap" was my response. Every bubble in the foam of my fury popped and left me a slimey mess. I'd cast judgement on a situation, that I knew nothing about. I was wrong. I hate that.

I called the unjustly tried prisoner, down from his cell. I apologized. I set him free. Of course, part of me wanted to build up another fury towards the actual culprit. And part of my knew that the little handprints were proof that he had indeed participated in illicit acts of mess. I was justified, wasn't I?

The small voice in my gut that is usally right, said "NO." I realized the real culprit, was me. I'd let the stress of current events pump me full of hot air like a bubble on the verge of popping. It didn't take much to turn me into a puddle of momma- fury.

I took a deep breath, let it out slowly. Then, shut my mouth. (unbelievable, I know) The current deadline, is one of my own making. I cannot expect life to not go on, just because I have a goal in mind. Stuff happens. My family lives here. This is not a magazine shoot, it's a party, to celebrate.

I am resolved to try to enjoy the preparation process (and the bumps it may bring... ) without diminishing the event's joy, by creating stress, instead. Oh- I still have my spreadsheet. I still have a deadline, and goal.... but, I've also asked for some help... from friends, from family, and from the only one who can change my cheetah like, anger reflex.....God.

"Dear Lord- please help me to honor you... and not overreact to normal to things just because I have an agenda. God, it's hard to work only to find it totally undone in a moment- it's frustrating! Please help me to be patient.... and not to kill anyone- emotionally, with my fury. I love you Lord- and am glad I;m not alone in this... oh and Lord... good weather for this deadline would really be nice;) amen"

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Condiment Conspiracy

Extreme Adventures In Motherhood, Live Mom Report:

Leaking condiment bottles are a capitalist conspiracy of waste and consumerism. The condiment producers have formed an alliance with the cleaning supply manufacturers.. they have created a self maintaining vortex of mess making and cleaning… Be forewarned.

Which means- no matter HOW often I clean the fridge- it’s disgusting.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Nest Unrest

nestFor weeks last summer- I watched and waited...Daily I snapped pics and excitedly posted them to my blog. I saw bits of my yard being woven into a home for a tiny red-breasted family to be. I saw a devoted momma , carefully build. I watched her darling keeping a careful eye over her as she gathered.

Finally- came the big day and I watched her tend her eggs. They were an amazing color of blue.

I watched because she had built her nest in the light next to my patio door. The light is a motion detector light. It was NOT a good place for her to nest. The eggs never hatched. I, cried.

A few weeks ago- I again noticed bits of my yard, again being woven into a home in the light. I felt sad for her. The light and constant interruption of my rambunctious family would make it impossible for her new nest and eggs to survive. She just didn't know better. Before it was too late... I begged hubby to pull out the yard bits that she'd carefully woven, to encourage her to move her home... he did. I cried.

A few days later- we watched as yard bits, again became woven. This time? It is in my favorite willow tree. A much better place for her to nest. I'm watching. I'm waiting. Maybe- maybe this year there will be a tiny family. For now- I glad we did the hard thing- and un-rested her nest.

To be honest- I've experienced this in my life. I've tried to settle in where maybe I shouldn't have. Only to have God lovingly reach down... and unrest my nest- encouraging me to move along to a safer place- or a better place to nest. Maybe today- when you popped by- you were feeling a little like you're nest is in unrest. If so--- I pray you find hope- in the truth that if God is unresting your nest--- it will be for your good.

much love- ts

One of my favorite passages that give me hope in all nesting circumstances is Jeremiah 29:11-14-

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. [b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."

Dear Lord- I pray that you'd guide and direct the weaving of our lives and homes- I love and trust you- amen

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Slow is good- even when you're busy

cookies slow food

In third grade choir- we sang Simon and Garfunkle's "Feeling Groovy" . (Don't laugh. It was the seventies and, and yes- I went to a pseudo-hippie, somewhat progressive, elementary school. ) I still remember all the words.

Just in case you don't remember- (or have never heard them) here they are:

Slow down, you move too fast, you've got to make the morning last
Just kickin' down the cobble-stones, lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy

Feeling groovy

Hello lamp-post, what's cha knowing, I've come to watch your flowers growin'
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me, do-it-do-do, feelin' groovy

Feeling groovy

I've got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me

Life I love you, all is groovy

All this slow-fooding has brought this song back to mind. This morning, in the middle of printing off the end of the graduation announcements, spread sheet creation of my to do lists, list making printing etc... I decided to catch up on a bit of baking. (I owe someone, some promised cookies;) Yes- it's possible there was a psychotic break in the making. Wasn't I busy enough? But, I knew- I needed to bake.

I have to say- at first it *did* feel like "just another thing to do". But- once the butter sugar and eggs and vanilla were in the mixer... the most effective aromatherapy ever, filled my nose. Chocolate chip cookies. Somehow- my nose bypassed my emotions and told my brain to chill out, and I started to enjoy the process of baking and announcement making.

It's true- I was multi-tasking. It's also true- that I was working to finish much needed projects... but- a little like knitting on a deadline- I still found both enjoyable. Whole wheat oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were cooling on racks before the printing was complete. Then- I picked up my knitting needles- and settled into my current project. A nice simple "Birch" wrap in Rowan Kidsilk Haze... a pretty deep sky blue.

birch wrap- point up

I still have loads to do. I need to get to the post office, I need to continue cleaning and getting things ready for the big day. But right now? I smell cookies. I feel soft, pretty knitting.

In the next room, is the graduate- whom I am so proud of. Cuddled next to him- is my youngest- chattering away and watching him play. If I move too fast- this morning won't last...

So, I won't. At least- not today. I can accomplish my goals without losing the moment.

Years ago- I read a book called "Too busy not to pray". In my current life phase- I am busy. Very busy. Really- I'm too busy not to pray- too busy not to catch and savor moments and enjoy them... I hope you make time to do the same;)

(and maybe a batch of cookies too--- these are whole wheat/ and I add half a cup of oatmeal too- whole grain yummies- that's nearly , healthy:)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Random Updates

updatesThings are busy here. The graduate is filling out job applications. The parents are cleaning for the party.

There are tomatoes and peppers growing in the yard. (That is a I hate dirt- with the exception of sand;)

I have sold of loads of excess yarn- and in return- bought the bestest mixer I've ever owned;) A refurbished Kitchenaid.. and yes- they really are that wonderful;)

The slow food movement and locally grown adventure has continued with a quick side-track for chinese last night to round out our "Kung-Fu Panda" theme night. (I t really HAD to be done) Movie was cute.

There has been continued knitting- I finished up my Shetland Shawl , in Sundara's Silky Aran- which I cannot recommend highly enough. I've cast on for a variation on the Birch Shawl- this one is point up- so much less aggravating than castin on hundreds of stitches:) With the added bonus of the ability to stop when ever I am sick of it;) Yes- I am probably the last knitter on earth to knit the Birch- but- I am like that- we know this.

Tomorrow will be a mixed bag of emotions as the oldest graduates.... for now- I'm just trying to figure out what to wear that will coordinate with running waterproof mascara. (I think I could cry that much- let's just say we are experiencing the "perfect storm" hormones + life change + child's life change= buckets of tears. Even Maybelline can only hold upto so much:) I may have to cry the ugly cry before hand- just to get it out of the way.

Also- there is nothing like planning to invite everyone you know to your home to make you realize how shabby things can become in 9 years of living in a house...the carpet- the bumps and bangs in the walls... but- then- it's been lived in with love and memories.. (I'm telling myself) so we'll just enjoy it:) (and pray for a nice day so folks can enjoy the yard.

More later- when I can think of something beyond pomp and circumstance;)

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Now- for something entirely poo.. I mean NEW.

"Did you forget to flush?" I asked the culprit, without a doubt that he was, in fact guilty.

"What color was it?" He asked slyly avoiding the question.

"Ummm brown" I replied- parrying his dodge.

"Was it lumpy, or smooth????" He asked- evasive, once again.

"Both." I answered- readying myself for the next blow.

"It was probly Keeb* " Was his answer. *keeb aka: the cat

"The cat does not use the toilet and you have toilet paper hanging out of your pants. Please , flush next time!" I shouted, exasperated by his attempt at "tefloning" and pointing the blame at an innocent kitteh.

"I can't" He replied.

"Why?" I ask- afraid of the answer.

"Cause I want my brothers to see it.. it was HUGE" He says, eyes the size of saucers with pride and awe.

Parenting- the stuff they DO NOT tell you in books. But, I will, in mine;)

I shall refrain from a picture today... the word picture here should tide you over;)

PS- this morning I was the mom of 2 highschoolers and a kindergartner- now I have a college kid. *sigh* grief and joy-- I have it:)

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