It’s easier to run and harder to be still

😉 – When I’m tired

How many of you can reach for a snack from where you are sitting?

The window behind the computer

What is that outside my computer window? 

are those berries outside my computer window

Are those the black raspberries I have been patiently waiting for?

why yes, those are berries outside my window

Why yes, yes they are!

hello delicious berries

Hello delicious, conveniently located healthy snack!

om nom nom

om, nom, nom

I relish the thought of the pies to come.

Toots

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Madam, I’m Adam

Aurelia says, “Hey Mama, isn’t it funny that race car is spelled the same front ways and backwards?”

And I say, “Yep. When that happens its called a palindrome.”

And Patrick says, ” Its words or phrases spelled the same both ways. Hang on, give me a second here with the internets.”

Then he shows her this.

Do you wonder why I love the man?

Toots

Gone now is the Willow Wren

😉 – The leaves will fall to feed the ground, and in their falling, make no sound 

It  is Silent Poetry Day.

I was thinking about our maples and their winter nakedness and my recent birthday and my husband, love that man, and in my searching for a poem for today I found this. I love the last 3 lines. I can imagine the two of us there.

Bare Trees

Quietly falling, 
Painting winter’s captives
Bare trees sleep shimmering 
Beneath ice and mist.
In the frigid air your breath scrolls 
A pattern from gently spoken words 
The cold wind has kissed.
We follow the Trail 
Passed the sleeping orchard, 
Recounting old stories 
Like a well read book.
Your warm hand outstretched 
To help steady my step 
From faltering on
The frozen path we took.
The hour’s a guess, but it doesn’t matter.
So much to remember, too many years gone.
We’re like two bare trees, 
Dusted white, and laughing, 
Winter’s happy captives, content to walk on.

Maria Dalonas

Tonight we’ll be having oatmeal cookies and a glass of milk to honor St. Brigid

Toots

They keep trying to tell me all you want to do is use me

😉 – Oh you just keep on using me until you use me up

We listen to lots of NPR around here. Mornings, afternoons, weekends, its a staple. So, imagine my surprise when this appreared in the ole inbox:

Hi!

I’m a producer for a public radio show,
and I’m contacting you because we might be interested in using one of the photographs of your cake on our website. Please email me, and I’ll tell you more about the show and the context in which we’d like to use the photo.

Thanks!
Jonathan Mitchell

Well, they used it.  For those of you unfamiliar with Weekend America it is unfortunate that this is your introduction since this weekend was the final show. You can access their archives and see what you’ve missed for the last 5 years, there is some awesome stuff over there.

The original pic is my little coconutty heart cake from last Valentine’s Day. You’ll see – here– it sitting on my washing machine. They dolled her up a little and gave her a velvet curtain. Enjoy.

 

(can I just say….awesome!!!!!)

Toots

And I feel a little better than I did before

😉 – much further that I thought we’d get tonight

As promised.

In an effort to keep from going insane during the 12 Days of Being-at-home-with-my-girls, I have endeavored to find all sorts of things to keep the girls occupied and engaged and away from each others throats so that everyone will remain well away from my last nerve.  To that end, my Mom sent home a huge bag of heavy stuff – mumbling something about fun with the girls and didn’t I used to like these things – which turned out to be 5 old Make-it Bake-it sun catchers and bags and bags of extra colors of plastic beads. These had belonged to a family friend whose own grandchildren had outgrown them. Lucky me. It was fun with the girls and do I still like these things.

seabs-mb

The 5 that we had in the bag were from the Disney Small World Series. Aurelia chose the French Can-Can Girl and the China Boy – seriously those were the names. Saebra chose the African Native and the Hula Girl. uh-huh. I’m not telling you what I did, you’ll find out next week,  but here’s a pic – sorta.

my-mb-detail

It took 2 hours with spoons and tooth picks and tweezers to fill these things in and I ended up helping Seabra with hers, she chose all the colors though. Then we pop them into a 375 degree oven and wait for the plastic beads to melt and the gentle scent of hot plastic to waft through the house.

res-mb

See, the whole “smell of the eighties thing” from yesterday,  this was what I was talking about.

girls-finished-mbs

The girls are thrilled with how they all came out and can’t wait to hang them up/gift them away….uh, they’re a little undecided at the moment. 

hula-girl-detail

After the suncatchers were done I was feeling all nostalgic, food wise, but we are at Defcon 4 in the kitchen – cabinets almost bare! With the holidays and all we didn’t do a big shopping trip last week and we’ve eaten most of the leftovers and well it doesn’t bode well for baking until I realized I had everything I needed for 7 layer bars! Psyche!!

cooked-bars-detail

You will need:  

 

1 package of graham crackers crushed to bits – it is so theraputic! 

1 stick of butter

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup coconut

1/2 can sweetened condensed milk – I’m not sure what to do with the other half of the can but I don’t want a double batch of this in the house!!

butter-melted-in-pancruched-packet-of-graham-crackerscrumbs-poured-over-butter

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place your 9×13 pan in the oven with the stick of butter in it. When the stick has melted – and may be bubbly around the edges – take it out of the oven and pour your cruched crackers on top. Smooth this all out to the same thickness with the back of a spoon and try not to burn yourself – that thing was just in the oven for cryin out loud!

chocolate-chips-and-pecanswhite-chocolate-chips-and-coconutand-now-with-sweetened-condensed-milk

Pour on your chocolate chips, pecans, white chocolate chips and coconut – you could add in butterscotch chips, these were my Nanny’s favorite – blech to me, peanut better chips, walnuts, whatever add as many layers as you want! Once you are all layered up drizzle on the sweetened condensed milk.  Pop it into the oven for 20 – 25 minuted or until the milk and coconut have turned a dark glossy brown. Take it out and let it cool!! You can not unpan these goodies until the butter mixed with the crackers has had a chance to set. It will still taste just as good but you’ll have to eat it with a spoon.

soon-to-be-devoured-bar

We ate ours while we watched Stardust. Enjoy!

Toots

When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold…

😉 – When green is all there is to be

 

The Crone hit me up for this, something to do with bees and penguins…

The Guidelines:

2.Link to whoever tagged you
3.Include meme number
4.Include these guidelines in your post
5.Answer questions (erm – that bit’s quite important)
6.Tag 3 other green bloggers.
1. Name two motivations for being green: 
My kids.
Their kids
2. Name 2 eco-unfriendly items you refuse to give up
I have to go with the Crone on this one and say toilet paper. I would also have to add my washing machine. On the plus side for those 2 things, we have a low flow toilet, a mellow yellow philosophy and a well and small septic tank. So, we’re not relying on town water or sewer systems.
3. Are you at peace with, or do you feel guilty about no.2?
I’m sure if I really dredged the heart there would be a shallow pool of guilt but we do so much more around here than the average American household that it doesn’t bother me on a daily basis.
HA! – some how this one got deleted before I posted and I’m just noticing 🙂
4. What are you willing to change but feel unable to/stuck with/unsure how to go about it?
The vehicles mostly. Pat works about a 35 minute drive from home and I work about 10 minutes away. If the local buses ran early – I leave the house at 6:15am – and more than once an hour I think we might use them, well that and the mile walk to the nearest bus stop.

5. Do you know your carbon footprint for your home? If so, is it larger/smaller than your national average?
110 tons is the U.S. average for a four-person household.
22 tons is the world average.
There’s a calculator here, and our household of 4 comes in at 59.2 tons per year or 14.8 tons per person in our home. Of course I’ve figured into our calculations the fuel we burn in the sugar shack each year and I slightly overestimated our heating fuel, commuting miles and electricity usage – kind of a 5 year average.
In my Plant biology class 3 years ago we figured our footprints and wonder of wonders, little ole’ married with 2 childen me came up with a better footprint than most of the college kids in my class. Score!
 6.What’s eco-frustrating and/or eco-fantastic about where you live?
Eco frustrating: 
Lack of serious public transportation outside of the 5 college area
the BIG car mentality of most americans 
the obsession with manicured green lawns – we mow, maybe, 4 times/year 
towns that don’t recycle
Eco fantastic:
The Local Hero movement in the Valley
I saw 2 Smart cars last week. 2!!
A pile of friends that feel the way we do
Hungry Ghosts’ local wheat program
The ongoing and usually successful, land conservation movement in our area.
7. Do you eat local/organic/vegetarian/forage/grow you own?
We do eat locally though not exclusively. We hit the farmer’s market when in season, we have our garden – it’ll be bigger next year. And hopefully in the spring we’ll have a few chickens and…rabbits. The rabbits are not bunnies, not pets, they will be raised for food. Our land is zoned agricultural but we have less than an acre and therefore, technically we can’t have any “domesticated farm animals”, we’d need an acre for each animal but rabbits are considered pets. I’ve spoken with the town inspector and he says as long as no one complains about us having chickens that we can have as many as we want – the rabbits are backup. Plus I think its healthy for the kids to understand where our food really comes from.
8. What do you personally find the most challenging in being green?
Its a shitload of work. All the recycling, composting, all the work that goes into the garden and raising animals. But mostly its all the work that goes into steering the kids onto the right path, and helping them understand that the life society points us at is NOT healthy or sustainable.
9. Do you have a green confession?
yep, sugar – love the stuff.
10. Do you have the support of family and/or friends?
yeah, petty much. We all work at it a little differently but we’re all getting there.
Bloggers whose answers I’d love to read:
Toots

But my heart is still unknown

😉 – Now inches from the water, about to disappear

My week started off in a wonderful place. 

Patrick has had Mondays off all month and we’ve been able to spend some nice days in each others company. This week we took a slight road trip north for goodies.

See, Kristin mentioned awhile back that she and The Farmer had this amazing old abandoned apple orchard on their farm, then she went and said that if anybody wanted to come pick apples they could! We don’t live all that far away and I’ve been trying for 2 years to get together with her, so we decided we would go make a morning of it!

It was one of those great blustery autumn days with really warm sunny patches and cool breezy patches – just a beautiful day. We got there around 11, said hi to Kristin, the Farmer, lovely neighbors, the dogs, chickens, mamma sheep and their fall lambs, the guinea fowl and the orchard – oh that orchard.

They are the wildest apple trees, there is such life and a magic about them, all tangled together, gnarled, broken, canted, wild, rose covered – you should see al the little cuts on my hands and all the little thorns I pulled out that afternoon 🙂 – and quiet, so quiet but alive with sound at the same time. I remember days like that as a child spent wandering the hills behind my grandparents place and spending hours without hearing human sounds. I loved every minute of it!

After an hour or so of picking we were at hauling capacity for our little station wagon and we headed back up to the house for a bit. Kristin showed us around, introducing us to the reasons for patricks newest blog posts, showing us her studio, piles of works in progress and recently returned test knits for her latest book-in-progress. Truly amazing stuff. She also gifted me with a nice little stack of postcards of some of her pictures and paintings – she has them for sale on her site scroll down a bit.

The apples were hard to get to in places and we only explored and picked in a very small portion of those 4000 trees. Most of the fruits are very high in the trees now – one of the reasons comercial orchards prune their trees is ease of picking – but we had a wonderful time and filled a huge bin with a falls worth of cider fodder! This weekend, when Patrick isn’t working on his sugar shack, we’ll be grinding and pressing apples. 

The girls have 3 soccer games this weekend but I’m sure I can get them to help me wash the apples inbetween. I can’t wait for that fresh cider!

Thank you Kristin!

Toots

Comfort and consultation

😉 -she removes him like a ring

So as with all the women in my family – and by that I mean me and my oldest daughter – Saebra survived her rite of passage from babyhood into childhood; she got her ears pierced on her sixth birthday.

As I did with her big sister, Aurelia, I took her to my local tattoo joint to inflict the damage.

WHAT!?!?!? You took a JUST 6 year-old to a tattoo place?!?! Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick! Whadya do that for?

Well, 2 reasons.

One, piercing is one of their specialties. What would you rather have, someone who is trained and specializes in the placement of holes in human flesh – so that those holes heal well and are placed attractively, OR some teenager who gets paid minimun wage and will line up a gun on your child’s ear and “shoot” them with what may or may not be properly aligned adornment?

Two, studs are hard to sleep on when you’ve had your ears pierced for the last 27 years, imagine how much harder it is when the holes in your ears are new and hurt and now the thing that’s hurting in also stabbing you in the head just behind your ear. The “tattoo people” give you great little hoops – no stabby.

So she’s pierced, with blurple hoops (blurple: iridescent blue and purple) with little steel balls and she loves them. Her piercer, Becky, was a doll and thought Saeb was a model patient – the kid smiled through the whole thing, never jerked, cried out or even teared up – she was rewarded with a juice box ( by the girls at the shop, they loved her). Awesome!

Have an opinion? How would you do it? I like a good discussion.

Me, I think she’s friggin adorable.

Alright, I’m off to try and finish this

I have to teach this square on Thurday night, and I need a finshed product to show them.

toots

In the Gloaming

The Twilight socks are done! Patern ready to go.

Of course I have no finihsed pic of the socks, nor will I since I have cankles and the expansiveness of them isn’t the best way to showcase this pattern. I’ll wait till some other lovely person has worked up a pair and I’ll post their pics!

So Here you go, grab the Pdf and knit your heart out! Yeay!!

twilight-cover-socks

I’m gong to go finish the last 100 pages of Breaking Dawn *sigh*

Toots

Purple clover, queen anne’s lace

😉 – its never been this close before

The girls ran back into the house gabbling excitedly after their morning excursion to the garden.

“Mama! Mama! Look at all the green beans!” – there were 8.

Since we had such luck with slicing up snap peas and adding them to quesadillas the girls suggested we try the same with the green beans.

They had also picked a handful of purple clover and as i was making lunch Re pointed out to her sister that purple clover is edible – imagine the look on her face as the light bulb turned on – , “Mama! Can we have clover quesadillas?”

Sure darlin’. Yum

Toots

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