Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It is not the first day of Fall.  I am not sure why, technically it is...and it feels it outside.  But it is not.  Now, before you get all huffy that today is not "technically" the first day, that tomorrow is...I beg to differ.  Actually here in the US it starts tonight - all calendars that claim it starts on the 23rd must have been made in Europe.  it won't start there until tomorrow...look it up! 

K, I just checked and my calendar (which claims first day of fall as the 23rd) was printed in China.  Hmmmm

I think that it might be a mental thing on my part.  I can't claim fall when it is supposed to be 100 outside next week.  90 degrees on Michaelmas just seems wrong.  Oooh, I shall have to do a Michaelmas post and tell you all about it why I love it.  I have been writing on Wednesdays lately and as luck would have it, Michaelmas falls on a Wednesday!

I just realized that in the last three paragraphs I managed to drink an entire cup of coffee and I have no memory of even tasting it.  See people, this is why I order my Starbucks at 200 degrees, I don't want to miss it! 

Life has been tinged with purple lately.  I would even venture to say it is pink with a purple rim.  Almost like the very end of a magnificent sunset.  Peaceful, a good thing!  I am feeling better.  Things have settled into routine.  Though the routine feels far busier then I ever expected this fall would be.  Some days I feel as if I am in the car all morning carting people from place to place.  And I know it will only get worse! 

I have been taking a bit of a break from Target.  I have only been twice this week.  Nothing really interesting is on clearance.  And they made me mad yesterday so I am boycotting them for the day.  They wouldn't take one of my coupons.  Scandalous!  It would have meant I could get a dress for under $2 but when the coupon wouldn't scan (and they don't scan all the time, the machines are very finicky) they said it was because it was for just the dress pictured on the coupon (not computer failure - I don't remember ever seeing the dress pictured for sale there) and not any Merona brand dresses like I had thought.  Perhaps they are right, it still made me sad!  I will spend under $2 on a dress that I like but don't need.  I wont spend $4! Much too expensive. 

This morning Ayla and I are taking it easy.  Perhaps later we will make a small grocery trip to Walmart.  Though if I am going to do that I should do it soon to avoid the crowds.  Any ideas on what to make for dinners this week?  I have been coming up stale lately.  I need some new ideas! I know I say that all the time.  But it is always true.  I get so bored so fast!  There is such a frustrating divide in recipes.   Healthy and interesting vs. not so healthy and easy.  Sadly interesting almost always means more work, which is ok.  But it means I have to think ahead and I am not always good at that.  So when I am faced with only 20 minutes to make a meal I then have to choose a tried and true meal that I am bored stiff of, but I know I can fit it into the time I have to prepare.  So let me think - you all can be my sounding board.  A meal list for the week.  Ready?

Chicken Taco's - boring, but fast

Hamburgers?  That means I need to get some beans and buns (unless I make them, I really should just make them).  Ryan will likely BBQ then for us.  He has been having fun with his charcol grill lately

How about meatballs and rice?  I should get a veggie to go with that.  And I should check and see how much ground beef I have....only 1lb.  Guess that should be added to my list...maybe I should actually be making a real paper list here.

BBQ chicken pizza.  Perhaps we will have that for dinner today.  Not the healthiest with all that cheese and pizza crust.  But ok. Ooh, that reminds me I need to add cheese to this list.  We have been going through it too fast lately.

ok, that is 4 meals.  I should do at least 3 more. 

BBQ Bask chicken and home made rice pilaf?  That sounds good.  And I have everything to make that (Except a veggie - we should go to market tomorrow and get some).   Always good! 

And with the leftover rice I could make fried rice.  Oooh, reminds me, we are low on eggs. 

1 more.....I think I will find a recipe for cheese and veggie stuffed pasta shells.  I have some of those.  I used to have a good one and lost it.  Anyone have a good one?  I like having at least one meat-free meal per week. 

So have you enjoyed this my dear reader?  Or did I loose you long ago once you discovered I really had nothing interesting to say?  I know my shopping list is not the most exciting...but just having your ear made this dreaded task less gruesome.   I hate making this list, and hate even more the shopping for it.  But it must be done, so I shall close and off we go to the store.  Wish me luck!

Oh, and happy Autumn to all.  Perhaps I shall get some apple cider to celebrate.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Coming to you LIVE from my own website!

So you've gotta try this:

See?  No more "blogspot" in the title!  Ok, so it still goes to the same place, but it is kinda fun for me! 

This will be a short post (Hey I saw that!  Rolling your eyes at me, as if you don't think that last comment could possibly be true.  it will be a short post! You'll see!) Before picking Taylor up from school today I have to stop by Target to check on my clearance items.  Either today or next Wednesday I am predicting the garden section will go 75% off.  I actually think it will be next week, but I have been wrong in the past so Ayla and I will stop by there just to check.  I am also waiting on a bag for my yoga mat to go 75% off and I think that will happen today.  Since we stopped by there briefly on date night last night; if Ayla and I go today, and I stop by there on my alone time tomorrow, that will mean I have been to Target  5 times in the last 4 days.  Do you think I have a problem?  I don't buy something every time and unless it is something that is already on my list and needed I never by something just because it is one clearance....unless it is 75% off and I REALLY like it. 

Oh no!  Hold on.............................................................................Oh yay!!!  Got the trash can out in time!!!  We are not always the best at remembering since we still feel new in this house and the days are different then the last few places we have lived.  But we cleaned out the garage this weekend so it was more then full!   I heard him and ran out to make sure it was out and it wasn't.  He saw me struggling with the heavy can and waited for me.  Such a nice trash man! 

Whew, now I am tired!

Oh, Ayla and I played in the dirt this morning.  We planted lots of baby seeds for our fall garden.  Hopefully the currents predictions are true and we will have a mild winter with not too much frost so my plants can make it to adulthood!  Want to see pictures?  While I wait for them to load I will steal Ayla's peaches.  She is not eating them and they look good to me! Mmmmm, peaches!
Here we have two tomato plants in the back.  Pepper plants (though you can't see them very well here) right in front of the tomatoes.  And I just planted LOTS of onions in the front of the box.  Oh, and there are chives there too. 

This one has leeks in the front just about ready for picking.  And behind those giants I planted cilantro, parsley, bok choy and spinach. 

Look, so full of promise!  Heehee, here we planted LOTS of carrots and some more Bok Choy. 

Here is my pumpkin patch. Well, what is left of it. I have given many haircuts to the pumpkins.  They will really take over if you don't watch out.  I was watching the news this morning and they mentioned how the cooler weather this summer has made for a good pumpkin harvest.  No kidding!    Here is another one just starting to change color:
And that is one of four full sized ones still in the garden (that I know of) and who knows how many more babies are out there! 

These are the only flowers I have at the moment.  My morning glories LOVE the elephant!  And the grasshoppers love the morning glories.  Pest control in my garden?

Find the grasshoppers and give them to Ayla to play with!  She will find one, run into the house for her "gloves" "house" with them.  There is always a mama and a daddy and they will go into old flower pots for their "houses."  She makes them give each other kisses and hugs and when they feebly try to jump away she says "hey guys! come back here!" and since they are usually disabled at this point it is never hard for her to find them again...and the torture continues!   I would have pity for them if they didn't cause such destruction to my plants.  But when it comes down to it, I have more pity for plants then grasshoppers so this is my revenge!  I also found another preying mantis today.  Ayla did not get to play with that one.  I left him where he was.  I figure I have enough of them as pets and I"ll leave him in my garden to keep down the grasshopper population! 

Here is my cantaloupe/watermelon patch:

See the cantaloupe growing there by the fence?  It is one of three I can see.  So excited to try it! 

And lastly, here is my oak tree! 
Ok, so this is a crappy picture.  But I was the one taking after all, so there is little you can expect.  It is about three feet tall now and so very happy.  I think he needs a name....

Oh goodness, if I am to keep my promise of a short post (and I always do my best to keep my promises)
it needs to!

Friday, September 10, 2010


I've lost myself I can't be found- I've looked and looked and looked around.
I've lost myself I don't know where - I've lost myself oh dear, oh dear!
                                                                                           - Unknown

I remember the above poem from a child's nursery rhyme book I had growing up.  Well, like the child in the poem, this small snippet is also lost.  I don't know if the author of the book wrote it and we held the only copy or if it is just not popular....but google can't find it.  Correction - couldn't find it.  Just wait until I hit "publish post" then it will be on there!  Perhaps the author of the poem will look for it, find this blog, contact me and we shall become fast friends!  Err...ok maybe not. 

The fact of the matter is, I have felt very lost for the past month or so.  No real reason, which makes it all the more frustrating.  I have pictured that book many times recently; next to the poem was a picture of a child hiding under a blanket.  I have too often of late felt like that child.  Hiding from something unknown.  I can't seem to think, my jokes don't make sense.  I have been forgetting things or just not listening and it has also been frustrating those around me.  I will get annoyed at small things, have no patience and have felt drained of energy.  I think a lot of this started when Geneva moved out.  I was so heartbroken and it caught me so off guard that even though I logically know we did all we could, I still have that feeling like I failed miserably.  That thought has made me unsure of all of my relationships.  If I didn't know she was unhappy then what else am I missing?  I start second guessing everyone around me, not trusting my instinct. But not trusting myself results in me not trusting others which makes me constantly on the defensive...and that is no way to live. 

I claim 'found' because I am done. Sometimes, when my kids get emotionally out of control, instead of coddling what they need most is a hug, and in a strong firm voice for mom or dad to say: "That is enough, it is time to stop fussing now."  Then they can stop. It is like they get so caught up in the moment that they can't get out of it.  All they need is permission to let it go and they can.   I believe God is saying the same to me.  I have had my time of fussing.  I need to stand up and look past the fog now.  Usually, when I need a inward change what helps it along is some form of outside change.  Sometimes that means re-arranging my house or a new haircut.  Sometimes times that means cleaning something or planting some seeds in my garden.  I walked around Michaels yesterday during my alone time.  I was thinking of getting a book on painting and trying my hand at that.  I used to spend hours as a child drawing.  But sadly I have never been good at it.   I loved it, but it was always so discouraging to spend hours on something only to see what my sisters could do in ten minutes was 100 times better then mine.  I am not bemoaning, just stating a fact.  I think I will start with organizing my cookbook.  Anyone who has seen it shudders, papers shoved in there covered in spilt food.  I think I will re-type my favorite recipes out and put them into a scrap book.  I have one already actually.  That way they are in plastic and can't be removed.  Convenient as it is to have them on little cards that can be taken out and placed back in, I know myself.  I take them out and lose them, or simply shove them back into the book so everything is out of order.  They need to be stuck so they can't be lost. 

I also need to plant my fall/winter garden.  Any suggestions?  We have picked 13 pumpkins so far ranging in size from 1-10lbs and there are more out there.  Two more big ones (that I can see) at least 4 baby ones still growing and tons of flowers...not to mention the plants are healthy and there is more time for many many many more to grow!  Here is about half of what I have picked.  I am picking them mostly green now since they will get orange and it means there is less chance of losing them to rot (I have lost 2 so far) Ayla ran through the picture just as I was taking it:

 I always have considered her to be rather blurry around the edges, the girl won't sit still! 

Ryan looked at our living room the other day and said "You know what this room needs?"  Here I thought he was going to spout off some decorating genius and his answer instead?  "More pumpkins!"  I think he was making fun of my pumpkins.  I think the look very fall-ish!

I picked several huge zucchini today...want to see?  THIS is what happens when I neglect my garden for 2 days:

The apple is there for comparison of size.  That is a normal apple and probably a 4lb zucchini!  I think I need to make some bread. There is little else you can do with them when they get that size.  I have made stuffed zucchini, steamed, fried, sliced, grated; I have put it in soup, in stir fry, fried rice, salad and eaten it plain.  LOTS of zucchini!  Next logical choice is bread!  Perhaps after rest time the girls and I will make some bread.  A good Friday afternoon project!  Hmmm, I wonder what pumpkin zucchini bread would taste like...

As much as my situation is petty in comparison - this song has been in my head as I wrote today so I shall close with it:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

May your pumpkins be orange and your zucchini's small and dainty.  And may you have the strength to lift the blanket off of your head.