Thursday, October 30, 2008

"You can anticipate good news..."

We have had an eventful couple of days. Last week, a friend of mine from the YMCA homeschool PE program asked me why I take 'the long way' to Trader Joe's. "Long way?" I say, "What do you mean?" Well apparently, I was putting a lot of time and effort into my drive where I could have just gotten off the freeway 8 miles earlier and had an easier drive with many less traffic lights.

Now, you say, 'Why the heck is she telling me about her route to a grocery store?'

Well, because as we were driving there, we saw a 'for rent' sign... and we decided to stop and take a look. We had actually been taking a look at every house for sale, etc all morning long. I had asked Don to take this route home as well so I could look at this particular house. Don didn't really want to, because it was for rent, instead of for sale, but he humored me and we stopped on the way home.

When we stopped, we were pretty impressed by the area. I checked the back yard, and it was nice and big, and so I called and scheduled an appointment to come and look at it on Saturday, even though she said that she had had many calls on it and it would probably be rented by then. On the way home, Don and I talked about the pros and cons of renting again, etc... and it took a while, but I started to hear things from my husband that I haven't ever heard before. He said that he was worried about us all being in this tiny house for this winter, and that he was starting to feel really restless here, and he wanted to try to live closer to work if he could... on and on. My husband doesn't really talk like that. It was odd. But I really heard him wanting a change. So during nap time I called and asked if we could come look at the house that night.

The house is beautiful. Most of it is the same size as this one, maybe even a bit smaller. BUT... it has a very couple very important features that this house doesn't have. #1: Second bathroom. #2: Laundry room. #3: a HUGE add-on sun room (about 300 sq ft by itself) that we could use as a 'great room, homeschool, office, playroom area' and it has a WALL of huge windows (after three winters in this tiny dark house, that will be HEAVENLY). It is in a less expensive part of town, but right next to the really expensive part of town, so it is in a nice area without the crazy price tag.

We put our application in right away. And today she called to let me know that she was very happy with the results of our application so far, and that we "can anticipate good news tomorrow or Monday".

It happened so very fast. We will be fully moved by Thanksgiving. I am feeling overwhelmed, but I honestly think that it was part providence. I would feel strange getting into it all, but there are so many things that feel like this is the right thing to do... and she offered to sell it to us if we still liked it after 6 months.

We may get everything we want out of that alternate route to a grocery store.

For everything else that is going on, check out my homeschool blog. Homeschooling in the Rose Garden

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday... blissful Tuesday

Now that Monday is over, it is open to have a good day. Today is that day. I have decided.

Leaves outside are falling like snow. They are dropping so fast that the kids called me from the other room to tell me about it.

Then, of course, they went out to help the old oak along:

It is a day for warm coats, rainboots, and being outside. It isn't overly wet (which isn't something I have been able to say very often this year) and the kids are having a blast playing in the leaves. Even Logan brought me a baby doll stroller full of leaves and knocked on the slider to let me know that he had it. So cute.

I am making cocoa for my little outdoor champions right now... Today will be a good day.


Fall sure is beautiful.

BTW, Cyan's pumpkin pie from yesterday was completely wonderful. The cooking time was longer than the recipe showed. You really do have to wait for the center to set before you pull it out of the oven... but it was oh so very good.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I hate Mondays

You know it's bad when you tell your daughter she is grounded from the tv tomorrow, and she says "That's ok mama. Alex is grounded tomorrow too."

Time to try again tomorrow.

PUMPKINS!

Our pumpkin patch field trip was Friday. Now my kids are FULLY in the spirit of the season. We don't do the freaky Halloween stuff. No decapitated heads hanging from our doorway, or dead people coming up from a patch of soil in the front yard. No sir. I hate that part of Halloween, and frankly, don't understand it. There is enough terror and nasty war going on in this world to create a time to romanticize it. But I do love Halloween. Black cats, spider webs covered with dew, turning leaves, jack-o-lanterns, candle light, dark evenings, being something that you are not normally for a day. I just love the season.

In that spirit, the kids and I made today: "Fall Foods From Scratch Day". lol! Cyan made a pumpkin pie, and Alex made cheesy zucchini bread (I will post recipe and picture later).

It is surprisingly easy to make a pie from a real pumpkin. And also surprising how often I don't get around to doing it.

Before pie:

1 pie or cheese pumpkin

Cut pumpkin in half and take out the seeds. Bake for one hour in a 400* oven or until a fork can go through skin easily. Let cool for a couple hours and peel. Then chop up the inside and scoop it into a blender. Blend until very smooth.

From Pumpkin to Pie Recipe

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tea salt
1/4 tea ground ginger
1 tea ground cinnamon
1 tea flour
1/4 tea nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
2 Tbs water
1/2 tea vanilla extract
1 9-inch pie crust (homemade or otherwise)

Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices, and flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add eggs; mix well. Add evaporated milk, water, and vanilla; mix well. Pour into pastry crust (in pie pan). Bake at 400* for 15 minutes, and then turn the oven down to 350* and bake for 35 - 55 minutes or until pie is set in the center. Allow to cool at least 1 hour before cutting. (recipe adapted from For the Love of Pumpkins)

Serve with good dose of whipping cream and enjoy!

Pasta E Fagioli

I am having a hard time believing that I don't have this recipe on this blog, but an intensive search through the last two years, and then through the "recipes" tag didn't give me this amazing recipe... so I will post it.

I got the idea from the pasta soup at Olive Garden. But very honestly, mine is better. :p We love it and I make it pretty consistently throughout the year here in WA. It is quick, VERY good, and not terrible for you. I do use some canned items, but I think the ease of this soup outweighs the need to soak your own cup of kidney beans and butter beans. If you want to, then by all means, you can... I just usually don't. Last time I used fresh herbs from my garden and from the farm. Rosemary, oregano, thyme, and tarragon were the ones that I chopped and put in this beautiful soup.

~~~~

Pasta E Fagioli Ala Val

1 lb mild Italian sausage
1 28oz can of stewed tomato with basil (Mur Glen has the perfect ones)
1 can of white butter beans
1 can of dark kidney beans
1 HEAD of garlic, skins off and chopped fine
1/2 lg onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
28oz water (just fill the tomato can)
1 Tbs oregano
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp tarragon
2 Tbs basil

Brown Italian sausage. Add diced onion, green pepper, and garlic and saute until onion starts to clear. Add can of tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Add beans, and all spices. Stir for 1 minute. Put a lid on the pan and let boil on Med for about 10 minutes or when the spices are not all sitting on top of the soup.

As you are making the soup, boil 1 cup of small shells (or any small pasta) until al dente making sure to salt your pasta water. Add them into the soup at the last moment, and mix well.

Serve with good bread and salad. It is the best soup I have ever tasted.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bird Watching

The shear number of birds that hang out at our house right now is pretty amazing. I love having full feeders, and a nice big backyard. I can't wait to have more of both (yard and feeders), but for right now, I am pretty happy to have done what I can to what I have.

All day yesterday, the birds came. The variety list was pretty amazing.

First came the Junco's (above and #15) then came the Jays. First the Scrub Jay (below), then the Stellar Jay, who were in a battle for the fence bird feeder for a while. I never got a good clear shot of the Stellar Jay, so I am guessing that the Scrub Jay won the rights to the feeder. At least until the Junco's came back and chased him away. lol...

Then came my newest bird visitor. The House Finch (below left). Isn't he pretty? The female came as well, but I couldn't get a good capture... she was much to skittish and quick.

Then this morning it started all over again... first with the Robins. There was a family of four in my yard at daybreak today, eating worms that came up for air out of the damp ground.

Our window feeder. What a constant source of sweet bird buddies that brings us. I am so glad we built it.

Here is a Nut Hatch that came for breakfast (below).


Our sweet little chickadee friends are below. These ones are so tame at this point I have thought about trying to get them to eat from my hands.

Cyan was sitting on the porch with her bunny for these last couple pictures and she said I missed the 'really pretty one with the pink face and yellow wings'... not sure what that was. I have a sneaking suspicion that it was a House Finch again, and she just happened to see a Nut Hatch after that... but perhaps a new bird is in sight.

Dreaming of a Towhee...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Of course I am.

85

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!


Someone has to be shocked. :p I got a lot of points for staying home with children and making money anyway while in depressed finanacial times. Got lots of points for 'loves to cook' and 'speaks well of husband in public' too. What can I say? Aside from a bit of complaing and too much occasional chatter, as Don tells me daily right now: I'm a hell of a catch.

LMAO!

Oh the joy of soup

In fall, I love soup. It is no secret. I make new recipes for soup all the time, the entire fall. I have noticed that men don't really like soup. I keep wondering if it is because of the low meat content, or if it is just not filling enough for them. For me, this soup was perfect. It even made me feel warm and cozy.

Chicken Rosemary Soup

whole chicken, innards removed and rinsed
large potent onion (not sweet)
4 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs course salt
Water to barley cover

Add later:
Tiny noodles
4 green onions (sliced, saving one for garnish)
parsley (garnish)

Cook for 5 hours on low heat in a crock pot. Transfer liquid to a large pot. De-bone the chicken. The chicken should just fall off the bone at this point. I kept the breast meat in reserve for something else and dropped the dark meat back in the soup. I then added the noodles and three of the green onions. I let it get to a boil to cook the tiny noodles, and that was it. If it isn't salty enough, add one bullion cube.

You could add anything to this soup. Celery, carrots, more sweet onion after the broth was made... that would have been wonderful. But I kept it simple this time.

It was so terribly good. I had it with a romaine and red cabbage Cesar salad. YUM!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Counting birds

The Northwest Nature Nut is counting birds. That is very timely for me, as I have gotten three new varieties of birds in the last three days. Woot! I know you can't see it in the picture, but the bird above is a House Finch. I have never seen this type of finch this close to my house, but I have seen a lot of Golden Finch here and at my Aunts house. I wish that I had gotten a better picture. But honestly, the darn chickadees chased him away! I hope he comes back.

This is the type of finch I saw. This picture is from a bird website.

So far, this October, I have seen all of my regulars, which include:
#1. Black capped Chickadees
#2. Chestnut Backed Chickadees
#3. Stellar Jays
#4. Scrub Jays
#5. Bushtits
#6. Robins
#7. Golden Finch
#9. Woodpeckers
#10. Humming Bird (but not for about two weeks)
#11. Cedar Waxwing
#12. Varied Thrush

This latest few were:
#13. House Finch (above)

I am not the bird collector Nut is, but at the same time, along with my bird collection, I have started to collect small critters and the neighbors cats as well. I have visitors all the time in my yard. The evenings esp, chickadees will be playing in my bird bath and coming over to the window feeder for a snack of Oil Sunflower Seeds right next to squirrels eating sunflower heads out of my fence feeder, right next to Stellar Jays (ie: the boldest bird in the world!) screaming at the cats and chasing them off my covered patio.

And of course, my resident birds... my chickens.

Back yard nature life...

Northern Flicker. The first one I have seen so close to the house. It was at the suet feeder. Gotta love that thing. I have gotten so many more birds to come close enough for pictures with the suet feeder! Isn't he pretty? Those markings are so distinctive.

And guess who has come to visit us? Really, I know that some people are against racoons and I do not blame them, but these ones are totally tame. They get along with cats, dogs, squirrels, and even birds around here. They have never even tried to get in my chicken coop. I don't know why they are so tame... but I don't mind them being around.

The pic above was from this morning when they were playing with the cats next door and came lumbering across the street to peek in on my kids in the back yard. Looks like two have left the litter, leaving just the little baby with the mama (which is who is pictured here).

The are our buddies. At least until they arn't.

Will someone let me know what this bird is? I can't find it in my book anywhere...

But there was close to 40 in my tree last night.

The NorthWest Nature Nut

I am enjoying the above blog quite a bit. As I do with most very like-minded blogs. I have added her to my ecofriendly and farming blog list. I hope to go and visit often.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Some good, some bad...

...but a heck of a lot more normal. This afternoon.

Alex was upset when he found out that he has broken his arm so badly that he has to have an entire arm cast until after Thanksgiving. BUT, he got a glow in the dark cast, that I promptly put cool drawings all over with help from Cyan. Who is recovering, and the liquid meds seem to be more agreeable. No vomit since breakfast so far.

Logan got some much needed one on one time reading books with me while Alex went to the library with a friend and Cyan jumped on the trampoline with friends in the back yard. And everyone (including me) got a bath today. Clean hair, clean nails... I even cut both Alex's and Don's hair, and both look good.

I had three cups of tea, and made snacks for dinner. We ate lunch out. I got to fill out a survey about weather I liked the food and got my lunch for free.

We fixed Alex's cell phone.

We cleaned Cyan's whole room. No more glass in sight.

Tonight, I watched massive amounts of TV shows on DVD and had leftover snacks for 'dinner' that started after my children were in bed.

My husband got to work on time.

It's pay day. And CSA day.

I don't have to work this Sunday.

I start my new Yoga class on Monday.

Tomorrow's a school day... and I am prepared.

The cut on my foot is now band aid free and seems to be staying shut. My house is a wreck, but it looks loved and lived in... not broken.

My marriage is great.

My kids are great.

I even have hope that I will sleep well tonight as my children are both in less pain and trauma then they were yesterday.

Little things.

Normal things.

Not the best of days... but hell, it is good. And I will take it.

Oh, and I forgot. I spawn comedians:

My 12 year old's new famous quote: "When you can't use logic, use volume."

Can you see the steam coming out of my ears?

Lets just say, Murphy took over the week.

Cut on the bottom of my foot from glass from second broken snow globe.

More vomit from prescribed medication to the point where we are going to get her a liquid version.

Oh and I failed to mention the reason the kids got the new snow globes in the first place is that Cyan's entire armoire fell on her with her beautiful snow globe on top of it... smashing into her carpet and all over her clothes which came out of the armiore as it fell... we found some more of that glass this morning, while doing laundry. In my foot (twice) and then in Don's thumb. Luckily the doors were open, so she was not badly hurt, but.... how to put this delicately... she was a whiny mess before.

Grrrrrrrr...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The day Murphy's Law took over

I have had one of those days where it feels like Murphy is in charge. Injuries, crying children that have to deal with things they have never dealt with before, on top of the daily things of living with an active (read: destructive) toddler… I feel for my children today… and my nerves are fried.

Cyan had her first ever filling done yesterday. She was numbed for the first time, and she bit her cheek so badly that her entire right side of her face is swollen and she can't eat. I tried to give her a Mortin (which is what the dentist recommended) and she threw up from having to swallow the whole pill. One pill. She has pretty much spent the whole day crying, when she wasn't trying to eat and then crying from that. Poor sweet kiddo... but wow. That can grate on your nerves like nobodies business.


Alex is all agro because he has that splint on his whole arm. Only until tomorrow afternoon, but he is about to loose it from not being able to do anything for the last 10 days. And then, the brand new snow globe I bought him yesterday (of a wizard that lights up and it sings what a wonderful world), Logan took a butter knife too and broke all to smithereens when we got home today.

Logan has already ruined a DVD today... and grabbed a candy bar from the check out line (he was in one of those car shopping carts where you can't see the child that you are pushing. Great idea there. NOT!) and had destroyed it before I even knew he had it.

Good thing I am going out tonight.
I bought the Dh Annie's Mac and Cheese so I don't have to cook for anyone. I may buy coffee... I may eat out. I may sit and stare at books for hours and hours on end.

I may not come home.

The nicest thing that I can say right now is "mommy is not available" when the children try to talk to me. Bad day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas

Pintos, cheese, sauteed onions and red and green bell peppers, grass fed beef made with taco seasonings, and homemade pico de gallo. Beautiful, healthy and tasty. YUM!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dinner for family


Sometimes I go out. I know... shocking. But it is true. Sometimes I get to leave my house and go be with people that are not my family. lol... But even when that happens, I am the cook in the house. I have taken that roll so completely, that I end up cooking for my family even when I am going out to dinner with friends. Don is branching out and starting to cook... but habit is habit. Which means that last Tuesday, when I was going out to Thai with my friend Sarah, I cooked this meal for my family before I left. It turned out so well that I had to add it in here. :)

Chicken Sausage and Pasta

1 pkg rotini pasta
2 leeks
1 lb chicken sausage (we used sundried tomato and provalone)
3 ripe tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
Provalone cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

First, I made the pasta, and Don cooked the sauages until they were hot and plump. Then I cut the sausage into slices and put it aside. I put some olive oil in my large saute' pan and saute'd the leeks, cut into little rounds. When they were nice and tender, I added in the tomatoes and peppers, diced, until the leeks were seperated and almost clear and the peppers were cooked through.

I tossed the sasuages back into this mix and tossed until everything was good and hot. Then tossed with pasta and added in the provalone cheese, cut into small chunks.

It was really really good. I served it with small carrots, pealed, and green beans, both saute'd in butter and tossed with a little bit of summer savory and salt.


I made these with Cyan Saturday morning. They are this recipe, with WW flour instead of Spelt this time and put into muffin tins. Notice they are on sweet little red flower plates that I found for $.40 a peice at Goodwill. They don't totally match my bowls, but I really liked the compliment... so they are here to stay. And even if they were not, the whole set cost me less than a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Gotta love buying used.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Siblings without Rivalry


This book is like a tool box of great ideas for the stressed parent... but most of all, it is a breath of fresh air. You are not alone, and probably, your kids really are not that bad. lol... That is the feeling I got when I walked away from the first part of this book. It is an easy, informative read, that gives you tools that you can take with you. And examples that will make you feel much better about your children as siblings... and perhaps your siblings as siblings as well.

Vegan Lunch Box

What a great book. Whether you are vegan, or going in that direction, or a total carnivore, this book is a great one to have on hand. Great recipes, good ideas, all sorts of good.
I personally recommend the Quick Peanut Sauce and the Black Rice Pudding.

One thing that I didn't like about the book. There was a lot of fake foods. For me, healthy eating isn't cutting out meat and dairy to add in soy meat, soy milk, and soy dairy. Those foods are just as processed as Kraft Dinner... and often just as bad for you. She doesn't put them in every meal. There were many recipes that I couldn't wait to try. And of course, these foods were included to make the child's meal more 'normal'. I totally understand the motivation. I, of course, don't send my children to school at all... so it is easy for me to say that it shouldn't matter while the children in my 'lunch room' all eat the exact same stuff and don't have to worry about fitting in at school. But the fact remains, I would rather find a humane way of eating chicken nuggets than getting nugget type foods made from soy products.

My favorite section was in the front where they had she put down several menus for all different types of lunch packers. That was brilliant. There is a bit for those of us who pack lunches the night before, a section for those of us who are early risers, and a section of quick and easy for those of us who like to have things on hand and don't think about it till morning. Great idea! I think more cookbooks should learn from her organizational ways.

I can't wait to try her Savory Autumn Leaf Pies. They sounds so good...

Sigh...

My husband is wonderful. That is all.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Broken bones.

Alex broke his arm yesterday. Broke it bad.
It is amazing how much a kid can handle when he has to.

My son, who sounds like he is giving birth when he stubs his toe, barely made a peep when he fell, hard, while rollerblading (he was racing and I was watching) and dislocated and broke his wrist yesterday. It was incredible. I went through this mental dialog out loud as I watched... He won the race, but as he hit the finish line, the guy leading the race yelled "RED LIGHT!" and Alex stopped and dropped to the ground trying to stop as fast as possible. I say, out loud "Ooooo... you're ok buddy. Ok, get up." As he rolls over, looking at me with this strange look, then tries to put weight on his wrist and I say "unless you broke your wrist..." and go BOLTING across the roller rink floor, scoop him up and set him down on the side of the rink. I turn over his wrist and it is literally bending backwards at an impossible angle. Immediately I start delegating what needs to be done. "YOU! You help him take off his skates please. CYAN! We gotta go. Bookit sister! NOW. Can you help her take off her skates, I will go get their shoes and the car. Can you get something for his arm to rest on? Thank you." I go get the car, pull it up to the very front of the roller rink, toss Cyan's car seat in the way back so Alex can sit closest to me, go back in, and someone has gotten Alex a roll of paper towels to lay his wrist on and they are handing me a gauze roll to wrap it with. I do this, carefully, the whole time helping Alex breathe. "Ok buddy... in through your nose, out through your mouth." "Mama, it really hurts. Oh god, it looks so weird! Mama, I'm scared. Will it hurt when they put it back." "Yes Alex, but then, honey, it will feel a LOT better. Very very soon. We are going there right now. Right now bud." "Ok, but it looks so weird! I'm scared." "It's ok to be scared, just keep breathing, in through your nose out through your mouth. Cyan? You there honey? Put on your boots. No honey, we can't stay. Don't start crying... we will come back next week ok? You're ok. We have to go right now. Can you get my purse. That is a really important job. Can you handle it? Great!"

We get to the hospital. The dr looks at it. He says yes, it is both dislocated and broken. Looks like a fracture, just in one of the bones. We need an x-ray. Before that, we are going to give him a shot for the pain and the nausea (he was feeling pretty sick because of the pain) and then we will take him to x-ray.

X-ray shows where it is broken and dr immediately says that we need to go to the neighboring hospital for the Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon. I ask why, he can't really explain it, but it is more of a repair then he can handle in the urgent care.

This whole time, Cyan is starting to freak out. She, of course, is crazy worried about Alex, and has nothing to do. She has a scratch from the bunny the day before, on her belly and she needs to have the dr look at. The dr, catching on very quickly to what was going on, gets her a cold pack for her scratch as I go out to call Don to get him to come and get her. He is still asleep. When I come back, Cyan is sitting next to Alex, with an icepack on her belly, while he has one on his completely broken arm. They splint his arm and we are off and ready to go.

So off to the other hospital we go. To wait, apparently, for the Orthopedic Surgeon to get there and set Alex's arm. On the way, Alex says he feels a 'pop'... and then his arm feels better. (His wrist popped back into the socket on the way there... probably because he was so relaxed at this time.)

Alex is totally loopy on the pain meds at this point. Talking in circles, showing me what he can do with his broken arm all of a sudden because it doesn't hurt (as I try to get him not to move it), being 'very serious' about lots of things where I 'need to listen' or 'am not listening'... lol... '

It was interesting.

Cyan's emotions are hitting fever pitch about this time. The poor little thing is crying, following me as I am trying to help Alex walk, saying things like "Nobody is paying attention to me. It doesn't even matter if I am here." I try to reassure her... giving her the 'really important' jobs of watching my purse and making sure Alex is sitting down while I go to the vending machines to get water and try to find her a snack (it is nearly 7pm at this point)... I know that she is having a really hard time feeling useless, and I am not sure I did anything to help, as she knows that if I take my wallet with me, the job of watching my purse isn't really that important, and Alex is sitting there watching tv like he is stoned. So nothing big to do there. But I was all out of creative parenting tips for that moment.

We sit for about an hour (this is a total of 3 hours so far) in the waiting room watching America's Funniest Home Videos (which, btw, shows TONS of potentially bad injuries and then everyone is expected to laugh. At this point, I am not laughing... in fact, I was disgusted by some of them). When we finally get to the triage nurse, she tells us she has no idea what she is expected to do here and it is completely odd that they would send us to a different hospital to set a broken arm. I didn't fully understand myself, so was of little help. But somehow, magically, we get placed in a room almost right away.

Then dr #3 comes in to look at Alex. He is a real piece of work. Total jerk. He tells me that my son can't have his arm set tonight because I gave him water and they have to put him to sleep. I said that didn't make any sense. I gave him water because they gave him heavy duty pain meds that gave him cotton mouth and that was what they were doing so they could set the arm. Now all I needed was the ortho dr guy to come and fix it. "Ortho dr?" "Yes, the man that is coming to set my sons arm... right now." "Well he won't be able to do it tonight either because you fed him." "I gave him water because he is ALREADY on pain meds." "Whatever." and he leaves. Seriously, this guy was an ass.

Then, in walks the 'ortho guy'. Oh gosh. What a life saver. So sweet, kind, talkative, honest. And good at what he does. Don showed up while he was telling us what was going on, and then left with Cyan after the nurse came and gave her a pudding cup, a graham cracker, and some stickers. Ortho guy tells me that Alex's wrist isn't out of socket.

To which I say: 'Yes, I know that, it popped back in when we were on the way here, is that all that was wrong with him?'

Ortho guy: "Oh no. He broke it. Broke it good. But... he broke it right at the growth plate. So if it isn't fixed correctly (like perfectly) he could not grow in that wrist again."

Me: Deep breath. "Hence, why they called you."

Ortho guy:"Yes, and also, why you had to come over here. We need to do the repair under live x-ray to make sure it is set just perfect."

Ahhhh... it is all clear now.

So they give him more pain meds, but this time locally (just in his wrist) and hang his OMG messed up wrist from two fingers from the ceiling... that was an experience. Seeing my sons wrist bent the wrong direction, but hanging from the ceiling with a water weight hanging from his elbow to help it pull down. OMG... I still can't get the picture out of my head.

Anyway, about 10 minutes after ortho guy gave Alex the local med, he comes back in, and asks Alex how he is doing... Alex says it feels weird and looks totally wrong, but it doesn't hurt more than a 3 (they were doing a pain scale with him the whole time to see if he was going to throw up or pass out). The guys says "Ok" and grabs his arm, shoving the bone back where it needed to go. I think my eyes nearly bulged OUT of my head at this point... and I had to turn away. Alex just gave this gasp, turned white as a sheet, and then looked back at his arm. It looked 100 times better. "This guy is good!" Alex says, with his drugged, loopy overtones. "You'd think I'd done this before or something" says ortho guy. lol...

The next hour, I wasn't allowed in there. I stood by the door and watched, but they had to use constant x-ray for the rest of the setting to make sure they got it right. Everyone in the room was draped in led vests. Including Alex. So it was a good hour of doing that... then they were finally done. They set up his arm in a expandable splint, because apparently he can't get it cast until it stops swelling, which could be a full week and a half with this bad of a break. So we have to meet with ortho guy in his office and get that done Monday after next.

We got home just after 9:30pm, and we got there just before 4pm. It was a long, hellacious day. But Alex is doing great. The guy was really really good. And as long as Alex babies his arm for the next week and a half while the bone is starting to heal up again and the body is recovering from the strain of the dislocation, he should recover completely in the normal 6 - 8 wks.

What a day.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Taming bunnies and tomato sauce

We had a summer, in that it got warmer, things grew, and we had a harvest season. But in the fact that it only got over 90*, like twice... it was the coldest summer we had yet, and I am suspecting, regretfully, that it will not return to 'normal'.

This is Cyan and her rabbit, Domino. We thought, up until this week, that we would have to get rid of her, because she had a horrible habit of peeing on us when we would pick her up. I am not sure what the change is, but she has really calmed down over the last three months. Cyan holds her every day right now, and Domino seems to be getting used to it. She LOVES when the kids let her go in the garden to snack on all the yummy things she can reach out there, and we will bring her nasturtium flowers, rhubarb stalks, and occasionally fresh beets and beet greens while we are digging some for our dinner. Hopefully, she can stay a sweet member of our family for a while longer now.

Today I finished off a huge batch of roasted tomato sauce. It is showing me that I am on the mend. I think this will make a couple more quarts to put into the freezer for winter when you need those fresh tomatoes and fresh garlic the most. I have been thinking that it would make a really amazing soup mixed with heavy cream and perhaps a bit of sugar. I may be experimenting with that in the next few days. Couldn't you just see it? Crusty bread dipped in fresh roasted garden tomato soup?

My mouth waters just thinking about it.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Forbidden Rice Pudding


1 cup of forbidden rice (black rice in a health food store)

1 can coconut milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tea vanilla

Rinse and drain rice. Put it in a pot with the coconut milk and boil until the rice was tender, stiring occasionally (can take 45 minutes). Add sugar and vanilla, and mix. Allow to cool, and then chill before serving.

I LOVE rice pudding. It is one of my favorite desserts. I got the Forbidden Rice idea from the Vegan Lunch Box cookbook. So I thought I would try this out. It is really good. I personally added too much rice (I cut the recipe above down by 1/3), which made it really chewy, but it was still really good. As all real food is.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Runny noses and deep thoughts.

I have a cold. It is a real cold this time, and not allergies with me thinking it is a cold. My bones ache. My nose is runny, but not painful, and my eyes don't itch. So I have a cold. This makes me want to sit. Sitting makes me want to write. So here I am... when I should be going to bed, writing. lol... Please bare with my rambling thoughts.

I have been thinking about new things lately. How much they are really worth. It is a revamp of the thoughts I had right after watching this video The Story of Stuff. It is amazing how this theme can come up again and again in your life.

I have never bought much new stuff. I try to buy used, not just because it is cheaper (sometimes it isn't... Goodwill rivals Old Navy for prices) but because it has way more character. No one is going to have the outfits I find for Cyan at Goodwill. Nor the old, Transformer sweat shirt that I found for Alex. But mostly, I have always done it because it is the ultimate in recycling. I have found AMAZING things at Goodwill. Sometimes I will search for long enough, and really need something enough, to go to a store like Target (never Walmart). But for the most part, I find everything I need... from furniture to clothing (aside from underclothes) at Goodwill and Value Village.


The birth order, and years I had my children made it impossible to do the hand-me-down thing. They are 12, 7, and 20 mos and boy, girl, boy. lol... Want to keep those gender neutral things for 5 or more years at a time? No thank you. No clutter for me. So Goodwill is my hand-me-down place. I have been lucky with my younger two, that I had a close friend, both times, with a girl, and then a boy, just a smidge older to pass down those gems that survive toddler hood when they are growing the very fastest. But for the most part, I have had to buy everything 'new to us' for my kiddos. It doesn't take time for me. I spend about an hour there a month right now.

Just this week, I have found Cyan two jean skirts, long enough for me to be comfortable with her wearing them, two long sleeved white shirts to go under those short sleeved shirts we got to wear for so little a time this year, and a sweatshirt. All pre-shrunk, so I knew they would still fit after I washed them. I also, in that same trip, found three tiny vases for flowers (I collect tiny vases, and serving platters, but I am picky), six salad plates with tiny red flowers on them, and found Logan a pair of jeans, and a blue down vest from GAP. New, that sucker would have cost me $40. At Goodwill, it cost me $3.99. The entire trip cost me $25.72 (with tax). Two pairs of toddler jeans I was looking at in Old Navy next door were $16.50 a peice/ $35.45(with tax)... that is more than my Goodwill total for three outfits (and more) by $8! lol!

Some places don't have good thrift shops. Ours are not great. You do have to work some magic to get anything out of them and often it is a hunt anyway... but sometimes, you are able to just pick up some gems you never thought you could. The last time I was there, I picked up Cyan's ball gown. I had to take it in... because I bought it size 12 and my daughter is only size 7... but it was long and beautiful and no one knew the difference.

I enjoy living like this. It is built in to me, though. That is the way my parents did everything. The shelves I bought were used, the table we got was used (and the one it replaced was used too). The desk my computer sits on, our bed... in every room in our home, there is stuff, that used to be other peoples stuff.

Some people call that poverty, I call it smart character.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A trip to the garden

A basket of beauty from a neglected garden.

Ready to be made into sauce for the freezer for winter. Except the Daliahs, of course.

Off to the ball

When the pumpkin coach shows up at your door on a Tuesday morning, what are you to do? You go to the ball of course!

Yesterday we went to a Masquerade Ball for the 7th birthday of my best friends daughter. It was amazingly fun!

It was set at the Lakewold Gardens, a beautiful site, even if everyone isn't in evening gowns.


Here is the beautiful birthday girl. All bedecked in sequins, frills and feathers. Everyone had on a mask in the beginning, but by the time the dance lessons came around, we had all taken them off.

Sarah had hired a wonderful dance teacher to teach everyone who wanted to learn ball room dances for part of the time. She was amazingly understanding as Sarah told her that these are homeschool girls... which could mean they will be your best pupils ever, or as Don puts it "They will do interpretive dance... which means, they do what they want, and you interpret it."


They turned out to be very attentive students as she showed them everything from the Cha-Cha to the Waltz. It was pretty much the most adorable thing ever.

"And where were the boys?" you ask? Outside... throwing balls around. I think that is their training for later in life... I know many a guy who would go throw a football at prom or the last part of his wedding if he could. I wonder if this is in the genetic code or something... because by the end of the dance lessons, the only boys who were still dancing, were also the ones who are still nursing.

Happy Birthday sweet Hannah!

My husband... all decked out on a Tuesday morning. Isn't he sweet?

It was a beautiful dance.