Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Room allows only one item per child, and Bunny chose a clay mask she formed and glazed.
I keep this on my desk to gather paperclips, etc.
Bunny and I went just the two of us, and we had fun looking all around at the other classes and grades' displays. This one made both of us laugh.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
I’m working my way through a cookbook again! Recently I checked out “My Father’s Daughter” from the library, and I have been having fun trying many recipes through the past few weeks. I have a weird can’t-stand-her/am-fascinated-by-her-ridiculousness thing going for Gwyneth Paltrow, but I have to admit, her recipes generally rock. I have been saving the longer ones for the weekends, and making less time-consuming ones as weeknight meals.
This one came together pretty quickly one night last week. The rice is the only aspect that takes time, because it is brown rice, but next time I make it, I’ll cook that the day before, since day old rice fries more nicely anyway. I really liked both the chicken and the ‘green rice’, though I think I used about 2/3 as much brown sugar as her recipe calls for. Both recipes are available online, too, so if you’re interested HERE they are. :)
Sunday, December 08, 2013
putting the kid labor pool to good use // okra! Cole said it was “terrible” // warm fires // making pumpkin bread with my baby // a Staw Wars Lego guy “guarding” the bacon as it cooks // Carter loves to shake the pot for popcorn // weekend breakfasts \\ kitchen sill full of regrown onions, a ripening mango, pie scented candle, hothouse tomatoes, and this silly kitty that moves around—a nomadic knick knack…
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Winter is near and I am starting to become excited. Yes, we still have a few weeks left until the official start of winter, but it sure does feel like it's here. It gets dark outside early enough that I am always driving home in twilight, after enjoying the lights downtown, which are already lit. The heat pump has been running constantly for days on end, even when I nudge it down to 67 at night, which makes me wonder if there is even any point to lowering it if it runs all the time anyway? I’m even wearing socks—sometimes to sleep. We are craving stews, soups, roasts, and other comforting foods. I’m chasing light around the house when I am here during day, and, like a cat, sitting in a sunbeam if it presents itself. Lights are popping up on homes and businesses around town. I’m even thinking about putting up a tree this coming week, and I usually wait until closer to Dec 10. It feels like the holidays here. After so many years without distinct and very different seasons, I admit I forget simple things like: sunshine doesn’t mean warm, and my hands are dry and red… and I sometimes scurry across the street from parking to the lobby at work regretting not wearing more layers…
Here are a few more things that i am looking forward to as winter arrives...
eating / reworked leftovers: ham, mashed potatoes, collards, green beans (Bun’s fave veg), stuffing, biscuits
drinking / gallons of pumpkin spice coffee (me), egg nog (the kids, especially Carter), cocoa (all of us)
mastering / real deal Christmas cookies
learning / how to *really* can, but maybe wimping out and using the freezer
playing / in the snow if/when it comes (I keep hearing this year will be a heavy year, but maybe that jinxes it?)
finishing / setting up our home, thus ending the world’s longest (feeling) move
reading / All That Is, a book I found on a critics’ best of ‘13 list and reserved at the library
slathering / lotion onto my red, dry hands (THIS kind at night; THIS kind at my desk)
walking / through the neighborhood in the evenings and looking at the lights
wearing / warm sweaters and corduroy, boots and woolly socks
cooking / my way through a book I got from the library, and making food gifts
traveling / here and there, but mostly to close-by places to explore with the family
wanting / a happy, healthy holiday season full of smiles
dreaming / about a warm weather getaway this spring, perhaps camping in a key in FL
p.s Otis only put up with this getup for a split second. I couldn’t resist it, though. This—and cuddles—are what you own pets for, right? I call it fair trade for all the scooping.
Friday, November 29, 2013
I like the Thanksgiving meal just fine. I mean, it’s delicious, of course. But, leftovers are where it’s at for me. I have plans for smoked turkey jambalaya, cottage pie, stuffing, ham & collards strata, and I can’t decide if I’m making split pea soup or red lentil & ham soup with the bone.
Today, though, I awoke fully given over to a head cold that has been brewing since Monday. So, this was brunch, with some icy OJ.
If I’d been feeling more up to it, I’d have done mashed potato pancakes, but this’ll do.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Sometimes during lunch I simply go up to the ‘cafe’ for our employees and, depending on the others there and my own mood, either socialize or enjoy a quiet few moments reading while I munch on whatever I packed myself while I was making the kids’ lunches that morning. Other days I need to stretch my legs and get a little fresh air.
I’m lucky that the area of Raleigh in which I work is culturally rich. As I was commenting to my brother in-law recently, it “feels like a real place.” My sister laughed and said she wasn’t sure what on earth I meant by that, but, it’s the only way I know how to put it. I like a real city. There needs to be a ‘there’ there, to mangle Gertrude Stein’s gist.
After a particularly “must do all this just so” morning where I focused on only one, important, detailed and multi-step task for hours on end, it was a nice reward to get out and simply walk quietly and snap a few photos.
I admire the artistry and relevance of statues, and decided to really take a good look at them as well as enjoy the last gasps of fall’s brightness fading into the bareness of winter, which will be adorned in other ways to celebrate the holidays.
Each of the 50 state capitals received an exact replica of the Liberty Bell in 1976.
I took these photos only a week ago, but in the time since, the trees are more bare and they have lights in them. Wreaths hang from every street lamp on Fayetteville Street and the other streets have oak leaf & acorn decorations on them (Raleigh is the “City of Oaks”), and soon a large tree will be up in front of the Capitol. I was a little grump-ish about the lights being up before Thanksgiving, but I admit they’re very pretty lit up at night as I exit in the dark.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
This weekend we officially celebrated Carter’s 8th birthday with a party at a bounce place in town. I tell you, those places have it down to a science, and it was exactly what Carter had wanted. He loves bouncers almost more than anything—except Lego Star Wars, which was the theme. ;)
I am so happy he enjoyed his party as much as he did. :) It also was a special treat that his Grandma & Gramps, plus his Aunt & Uncle, and cousins were there to celebrate.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
I did some calculations, ran some sophisticated algorithms, and have concluded that last weekend was it. THE peak of fall color here. Thank goodness we took the time to get out and really see it.
This weekend the leaves are still very pretty, but trees are thinning, and there is that undercurrent of brown. Speaking of… I think it’s time to buy a rake! Those kids need to learn what leaf piles are.