Thursday, January 31, 2008

If you only read one book this year,

Please, let it be Affluenza. Astounding! Life altering!
Perceptive. Necessary. Inescapable.
Read it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Learning little lessons

Have you ever wasted half or more of a bunch of parsley or cilantro? I have. It would go bad in the refrigerator from lack of planning, forgetfulness, or simply not cooking enough that week. Well: I discovered a solution to this last week on accident; a way that will probably make everyone's eyes roll to the back of their head, saying in unison, "Duhhhhhh!"

Freeze it. Freeze it, and use it in soup later.

A half-bunch of cilantro was inadvertently frozen in the cooler in our vehicle last week, en route [due to the recent thrillingly low temperatures]. Instead of throwing it away like I would have done in the past, I transferred it to the freezer. A couple of days later, I thawed it out, chopped it up, and tossed it into a Creamy Chicken, Rice & Vegetable soup as the finishing touch. It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Delicious, and I saved something that might have been thrown away.

I've realized I'm learning more and more about this kind of thing as I get older: how to maximize ingredients or items in ways that I didn't realize I could. Things as simple as 1) using old socks for rags or 2) saving the tomato juice in a can of whole peeled tomatoes to use in another dish, to 3) carrying a small canvas bag in my European Carry-all [aka Diaper Bag] to use at stores instead of accumulating one more dratted plastic shopping bag or 4) saving egg shells to grind up and use in the place of lime in the potting soil mixtures that Squeeze makes.

I've also been saving the fat off the chicken stock I make to use for later: using it in the place of butter. Delicious, cost-effective, pipe-saving, and as old as the hills. Why didn't I learn about this until age 30?? I must not have been paying attention.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Oh my

I haven't posted for almost 2 weeks.

I'm alive, I exist. The last couple of months have been a doozy, as far as excitement goes: hither and thither, visitors and visiting, planning and organizing. We are going to have our kitchen remodeled soon, probably within the next month, as it is presently completely wheelchair accessible: nice for someone in a chair, but not-so-great for a tall family with young children. I am really excited about the changes. Plus, we'll be getting rid of that dratted microwave and installing a dishwasher. I can't wait!

Speaking of drat, I hear Pumpkin waking up so I need to sign out. I will start posting more regularly again next week, I promise. Thanks for hanging in there with me! I've missed writing my thoughts out and I'd like to think you've missed me too. Just maybe.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Gather ye rosebuds

... To the Young Mothers, to Make Much of Time ...

Sorry things have been so sparse around here these days. I've found that the more my sweet little Pumpkin is awake, the less free-time I have. Not that I mind. I am contentiously trying to remember to enjoy him to the fullest. Having a baby is very time-consuming, but it is also very precious. This time is fleeting. I had forgotten how sweet and infant's breath is, and how spastic their movements are.

Pumpkin is getting to be a lot more fun. He's adorable, of course; but now he is starting to coo and semi-squeal. He responds to us with big open-mouthed smiles and a sweet "ah-ooo". He interacts with us to an extent, and follows our movements with his eyes and the turn of his head. My guess is that he'll be laughing within the next couple of weeks. I could cry looking at him, with how absolutely dear to me he is.

I've been feeling this way towards Starbeans of late as well. It is like I am taking a step back from reality and surveying my sweet babies from a distance, looking at their faces and appreciating them more fully. It is hard to explain, but feels very good. It allows me to notice things about them that might otherwise have slipped my attention, or at least, might have slipped my appreciation, like Starbeans' little lisp, or his very round cheeks, or how he says, "heeheehee!" while he's playing. Or Pumpkin's attempts at keeping his hands in his mouth long enough for a good suck, his pathetic little, "mwahh!" when he needs to sleep, or his unfathomably beautiful complexion. It is so important to me to stay centered. I don't want this time to be wasted!

I memorized this poem when I was in high school and always liked it, but it makes a lot more sense to me now that I'm older. Seize the day! Seize each day.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Brothers: A Comparison

Starbeans at 10 weeks

Pumpkin at 12 weeks

I can hardly stand all the cuteness in this post. Two things strike me as adorably humorous in these pictures. First of all, Starbeans was 2 weeks younger than Pumpkin in his picture. Secondly, these layette gowns are, quite literally, the exact same size. I knew we had a chunk the first time around, but now I really know!

I have other pictures of Pumpkin in this series: laughing, smiling, and grinning; but I had to post this one, as their arms are in inverse positions. It is just so cute.

Lastly, doesn't my MIL make amazing baby blankets?? She doesn't go from a pattern; she creates the little animal herself and then goes with the flow. I think they are just darling. She has made a blanket with matching stuffed animals & bibs for every grandchild. Pumpkin is #12

Monday, January 07, 2008

Where is my mind?

Way out in the water
See it swimmin'

Yes, my mind is gone. After two blessed weeks of visitors (loving every single one of them and the time they spent here), it [my mind] is way out in the water, see it swimmin'.

First our good friend from college, Sam

Then my brother Brent

Then my brother Erik and his girlfriend, Ashley

Then Sam again

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Gorgy [as in, gorgeous]

My MIL volunteers at a thrift store; her job is sorting through and pricing the jewelry that comes in. She really enjoys it and has stumbled upon some real beauties (though sometimes hidden).

Example A: She fashioned this necklace, one for each of my 4 neices, from a broken bracelet. Isn't it lovely?