Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The End of an Era

I seem to be on an 'I can't believe how fast my kids are growing' kick.
Here is one more evidence of this sad fact.

Doodle started taking tap dance when she was just 4 years old.
I think we decided this will be her last year.
She is interested in way too many other things and dance seems to getting pushed to the bottom of the totum pole.
She has loved every minute of dance.
She loves her simply amazing teacher, whom I adore as well.
She loves her classmates, many of whom have been in her class every year since she began.
She loves the music and most of all ,
she likes to move it, move it!
Me? I love the ruffles. I just can't get enough. So many days around here seem rough and tumble with all the little boys.
Doodle in her own way is also very rough. She never got into Barbies (which I don't complain about) and is perfectly happy to play with rocks and sticks right along side her brothers.
But now and again it's fun to get all fancy and wear ruffles and curls.

In fact these photos were taken at a dress rehearsal about an hour after she had come home from a horse ride with her grandpa and her favorite aunt. During this ride she was

bucked off her horse at the top of the mountain and hit her head rather hard on a rock.
The men there gave her a blessing and she got right back on the horse and rode all the way down.
She came home dirty from head to toe, dirt smudges on her face and hands and knees.
She had dried blood in her otherwise blond hair, turning it a strange shade of pink.
We washed her as quickly as we could and opted for a side pony to hide her gouged head.

She cleans up nice, don't ya think?
She insisted she felt fine and wanted to dance.
And dance she did.
She got on that stage with a smile on her face and did not miss a step.
I sure do love this girl of mine.
She's quite the trooper.
She's way tougher than I ever was at her age.
In fact, I still don't think I'm that tough!
Way to go babe, you rock!

Monday, June 29, 2009

I need a new rug!

The other day I fell on my forehead and landed in a patch of poison ivy, which resulted in the worst case of hives I've ever enountered, but I was able to soothe the pain by brushing my teeth on my brand new, beautiful area rug from CSN rugs! Now if that's not a run on sentance I don't know what is! Click here to enter to win a cute new area rug.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

There's Magic in the Air

I love this time of the year.

The sun is out to stay and there is fun to be had.

The days are long and the kids are getting tanner and blonder as the days pass.

We spend the days eating watermelon and playing at the park with friends.

We ride bikes and horses and go on Sunday drives.

We go to free movies at the Library to get a break from the heat.

We eat our lunch outside nearly every afternoon and play in the florescent green grass and watch the silly chickens look for bugs to eat. We make homemade lemon ice and chocolate slushies for desert.

We hike up to waterfalls and find caterpillar piles and watch beautiful butterflies flutter around the spectacular wild flowers.

We find little mountain streams and take our shoes off and walk in the cool rushing water.

We find robin eggs that have fallen from the trees and inspect the oh so delicate shells and try to find the nest it fell from.

We go to farmers markets and fruit stands and buy baskets and baskets of fresh strawberries and huge watermelons and corn on the cob.

We swing from the tree swing hanging from our willow and see how high we can get before our toes start to touch the droopy leaves.

My kids are constantly climbing trees and scraping knees.

The kids play in the pasture grass that is almost as tall as they are. I look out the window and see three little heads bobbing up and down through the thick grass, waiting to be cut and dried and bailed to feed our cute horse next winter.

We bask in the sunshine and wish it will never go away.

I watch my kids as they are going through yet another season and wish that I could just push pause to make these days last a little longer. I try not to think about their babyness vanishing before my very eyes.

I relish the fact that they still see the fairy dust floating in the air and are in awe that real live fairies must be near.

They pause to listen and watch, eyes full of wonder, in hopes of catching a glimpse of their magic.

They know they are really close when the fairy dust floats over head.

It gets really thick this time of year. Sometimes it's so thick it looks as if it were snowing, it collects at the edge of the grass in white cottony mounds. Other days there are only a few specks of fairy dust floating through the otherwise clear summer sky. They flit and float on the breeze attempting to land at the edge of the lawn, only to be caught by another warm draft and pushed upward yet again through the air, floating away on a breeze and finally coming to rest on an outstretched finger or at the feet of my baby.

We went to a nearby park the other day and Dubs and I found the best discovery of the season. As we were walking through the park we found the biggest pile of fairy dust we have ever seen.

Then, we looked up.

We discovered sheer wonder.

Huge pillowy piles of fairy dust in the leaves of the tree.

This MUST be the fairies homes!
We found out where they live!
We are so lucky!
Shhhhh, it's a secret, we can't tell you where they are.
We watched for a long time to see if we could catch one unaware.
As we looked more closely we discovered that a wild cherry tree was growing above the fairy tree. That must be why they live there, they LOVE cherries. We were sad that we could not reach the cherries to have a treat for ourselves, but we felt better knowing the fairies would have plenty to eat.
I don't know if the fairies will stay there once all the cherries are gone. They may move on to find other, more delicious food. I don't know if they'll be back next year. But just for right here and right now the fairies are in full bloom.
We are perfectly content to play in the fairy dust and bask in the magic of this thing I like to call

Monday, June 15, 2009

Just Me and My Lover

Hello my lover!
This one's for you.
I love you for all the fun family camping trips we have.
I love you for the grueling hikes I never thought I could finish.
I love you for staying by my side during natural child birth.
I love you for getting me bowls of cereal in bed during morning sickness.
I love you for your fix it attitude.
I love you for the horse rides that made me fall in love with you.
I love that you make me laugh.
I love you for rescuing me from all the nasty eight legged home invaders.
My knight in shining armour.
I love you for the steam rolls and doggie piles and piggy back rides.
I love that you will not let me stay mad at you.
I love you for your music.
I love you for Tuesday nights and Sister Saturdays.
I love our Forever Family and Forever Foots.
I love that you are so quick to forgive.
"I love the way you love me."
I love you for the family we are creating together, forever!
I love you for the Sunday drives and spontaneous picnics.
I love you for eating my cooking, even when it's bad.
I love you with 3 hand squeezes.
I love you for loud music and wild dancing in the living room, with the blinds closed of course.
I love you for your kisses.
I love you for date nights and milkshakes.
I live for your hugs.
I love you for feeding the stinky chickens in the squishy, rainy, sloppy weather.
I love you for thinking I'm beautiful, even when I was 9 months pregnant.
My love for you has grown each time we have welcomed a new baby into our home.
Our love has seen us through the deaths of loved ones.
Our love has seen us through many happy summers full of BBQs and watermelon.
Our love has seen us through heartbreaking disappointments.
Our love has grown deeper with each passing year.
Together we have seen 9 Christmases, 9 Mother's Days, 9 4th of July's, 9 Easters, 9 Fathers Days, 9 St Patrick's Days, and 35 birthdays.
And now, 9 anniversaries.
Happy Anniversary my Lover!
Here's to another life time of memories and camping and birthdays!
I know it will only get better.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Life in Cakes

I need to move.

I need to move to Atlanta, Georgia.

Specifically I need to move to 655 Highland Ave #10, Atlanta, Georgia.

Why, you ask?

That is where the most incredible bakery on earth is located.

I thought I'd just show up and ask if I could be an apprentice, FOREVER.

They would not have to pay me. I would just watch and drool as they create these masterpieces they call cake. Yup, that pumpkin fantasy land is CAKE.

I am so in heaven. I love to look at really cool cakes and I just can't stop.

I realize I may never have that level of talent, but I'll never know if I don't try, right?

That's why I must move to Atlanta.

I was reading my friend Brittany's blog the other day and she had a post about another blog called Cake Wrecks.

When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong.
That is such a funny site.

People send them pictures of cakes gone awry. Many of them are from local bakeries that totally mess up.

I could spend hours on that site.

They also post really incredible cakes too, like these from Highland bakery in, you guessed it, Atlanta Georgia.

Doesn't this one look like a Disney Princess wedding cake? It's fantastically fancy.
Doodle and I spent the better part of an hour looking and dreaming about these creative confections.

Somehow we got stuck in the wedding cake section and could not get out.

I love, love, love the name on the cake.

Doodle liked this one better. It is very colorful and it really matches her personality.

This white one is so elegant. I think it would be gorgeous surrounded by millions and millions of red roses.
We called this one Fish in the Stream.
It only took me a minute to realize my 7 year old was
picking out her wedding cake.
I only freaked out a little bit. Then I joined in. I think being the mom will still be fun then, too. As long as she still likes me and wants me to help her pick out the wedding cake.

Then I saw this one with the red cherry blossoms and the two white love birds.


I'm in love with a cake!!!

This is the cake I want for my 50th wedding anniversary when all my kids and grand kids are forced to come to a lame old anniversary party for the old geezers when they'd rather be boating with their friends. Only mine will not be lame. We will have a BBQ and water games and fiddle music and dancing and THIS CAKE!

Just remind me in 41 years so I don't forget, OK? Thanks!

And then if wedding cakes were not enough I started picking our baby shower cakes for when I become a grandma.

Since it has become abundantly obvious that there will be no more baby birds for me, I can't wait to have grand kids.

I decided that might be even better than having another baby of my own.

I can snuggle and love it and spoil it and squish it's cheeks and smell it and play with it, then send it home for the sleepless nights and the diaper changes.

The only problem is, it might be a while before we have grand kids since Doodle will be locked away in her closet until she's 30!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sour Dough English Muffins

"Hey Mickey, he likes it!"
When ever I make something new I test it out on the baby.
He can be quite finicky sometimes, so if he likes it the rest of the heathens are sure to love it!

I have been on a sour dough kick again.
I go through phases.
Some weeks I put the start in the fridge and don't touch it once.
Then there was the time I forgot about it and left it out on the counter without feeding it for about a week and it rotted and I had to go begging some more off my wonderful sour dough friend.
She said it's gonna cost me next time, so I better get my act together and
stop killing the sour dough!
Other weeks I can't get enough and I use it at least once a day.
This week has been one of those weeks.
I have used it in sour dough pancakes, blueberry muffins, chocolate zucchini bread (with spinach instead of zucchini) ,pitas and these little lovelies.
Home made English muffins are to die for.
They put the ones in the store to shame.
Shame, I tell you, SHAME!
And when you find out how easy they are and how cheap they are to make you just might die.
You'll never buy another English muffin as long as you live!
In fact I made this recipe twice in less than a week and I even doubled the recipe the second time and we have eaten every last one of them.
Oh my, the nooks!
Take a look at the nooks!
How I crave the crannies.
Warm out of the oven or toaster the honey drips into each perfectly formed crevasse and makes the whole thing a gooey, chewy delight.
Have I mentioned that I love sour dough?
Oh good, so glad we're clear on that!
As usual I found a recipe on the Internet and then changed it to my fancy. One of these days I might try a recipe as written...maybe.
I'll share my top secret recipe with you, but only if you promise to come get some of my sour dough and try them for yourself.
Shhh, don't tell my friend, she's charging big bucks for the stuff now. I don't think you could afford it.
Sour Dough English Muffins
½ cup sourdough starter, fed
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup water
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp honey
cornmeal (optional)
Combine all ingredients in mixer and mix until well incorporated. Cover and let sit out overnight (about 7-10 hours) I actually mixed the dough in the morning and let it sit all day long and continued from here in the evening, just before dinner. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and shape with fingers to look like a round flat thing resembling a hockey puck (I never said I was a professional recipe writer, I just do what works for me, OK!). Place rounds on an ungreased baking sheet, covered with cornmeal (I don't have any cornmeal so I left it out and placed them on parchment paper so they would not stick). Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with cornmeal and leave them to rise, covered with a clean dishtowel, for about 45 minutes. Heat a lightly oiled or nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot (I used the griddle since they don't burn as easily), then reduce the temperature to medium/medium high. Cook the muffins for about 5-8 minutes on each side, turning only once. The muffins will reach a light or medium brown (turn down the temperature slightly if they cook too quickly) on both the top and the bottom when they are cooked through. Before the first flip, the sides of the muffin will start to look dry, like the edges of a pancake, when it is ready to be turned. You can peek at the underside, too. Next bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for an additional 5-8 minutes. Cool completely before storing.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Future of Food

This little video is quite eye opening and frankly, scary. It really is a shame how much red tape and politics have taken over our food supply. Whatever happened to farmers planing seeds and selling the fruits of their labors?
I guess those good old days are gone.
This video is about an hour and a half, but well worth the time.
Here is the link to watch online if you can't get the video to play.

So now the question is, what are we going to do about this?
*Visit local farmer's markets this summer and support your local farmer.
* Know the legislation about food and be involved.
*Write letters to your congressmen about hot food topics.
*Get invloved and make your voice heard.
It's our future.
Some of my favorite lines were (these are paraphrases, not exact quotes):
"Let's watch the American children for the next 10 years before we buy into this Genetically Engineered food." -China
"Our Children are NOT lab rats!"
"This is a Nation by the people and for the people. We have the rights and means to take it back!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


One, uno, un unum, einer, een, um, один, en, 1

One nation under God

One drop in the bucket

One Little Monkey jumping on the bed

One is the loneliest number

“In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing."

A jet with only one wing could never fly.

A man with only one eye could never see straight.

A book with only one page would be boring.

A tree with only one leaf would be nearly dead.

A one calorie cookie would be a mere speck.

A fork with only one prong would be a sword.
A song with only one note would have no harmony.

A car with one headlight would be a traffic ticket waiting to happen.
A test with only one question would be too easy.

A butterfly with one wing could never flutter nor fly.

A razor with one blade would leave lots of stubble and nicks.

A salad with one piece of lettuce would be, well, not a salad.

Today I am without my other half.

I am incomplete.

I am like a fire with only one charcoal briquette.


I love you, my lover.

I'll keep your side of the bed warm for you, if my heat does not go out, that is!

Sheer Wonder

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lemons and Pickles

After I made the chocolate slushie the other day I could not get slushies out of my brain.
Then as I was grocery shopping I spotted this bag of beautiful lemons.
Our eyes met and it was love at first sight.
I just had to bring them home with me.
Their destiny?
Lemon slushie, of course!
I love my blender.
I peeled 3 lemons like an orange and put the whole darn thing in the blender, seeds and all.
Then I added 2 cups water and 1/3 c of honey (hence the dark color).
You could use 1/2 c of sugar instead and the color would be perfectly yellow.
I blended that all up for quite a while, until the whole lemon was totally pulverized. That way if there had been any seeds they were totally undetectable.
Then I turned off the blender and filled it up with ice cubes and blended more until the ice was totally pulverized.
The result?
Perfectly sweet and tangy lemon slushie.
So, so, so refreshing on a hot, hot, hot day!
Why was it such a hot day, you ask?

You see I had been canning these beauties all morning.

Yup, I made homemade pickles.

I googled a recipe for dill pickles and found about 1,000 variations for the same thing.

I took the really simple route and made my pickle brine using 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar and pickling salt. Then I added 1/2 T dill seed to each jar and boiled them in the water bath for 10 minutes. And voila!

Home made pickles.

The only problem is that most of the recipes say to let them sit in the brine for 4-6 weeks (to let them cure) before you eat them.
HA! Like that's gonna happen.

I did have left over cucumbers and brine after I ran out of jars and dill seed so I just put the left over cucumbers in the brine in the fridge with some red onions.
They have been in there for a few days and are perfect. These may hold me over for about a week, unless the kids find them, then they'll be gone in about an hour.
I love summer.
I can't wait until I have my own baby cukes growing in my very own garden!
Not to mention tomatoes and corn and peppers and onions and watermelon and squash and zucchini and green beans and herbs. The possibilities are endless.
Ah, I love summer!