Thursday, July 28, 2011

And I am so sad

A first!  Diego has a loose tooth.  Lower-bottom-left.  He is excited and interested about it.  And me...?  A little teary.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

White Thunderhead

The view from our driveway last night

Monday, July 25, 2011


Garlic Scape Pesto has officially entered the Halls of Seasonal Delight in our household.  It is absolutely scrumptious.  I've been eating it slathered on buttered toast almost every morning for the past week.

So do yourself a favor, and if you ever run into garlic scapes at the co-op or your farmers' market (available in JULY only), buy a tassel and bring them home to make this.  Yo.  You won't regret it.

  • 1 large handful garlic scapes
  • 1 medium handful basil leaves
  • 1 medium handful parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Add everything but the olive oil to a food processor and run until the ingredients are roughly blended.  Then add the olive oil slowly until the desired consistency is reached.  Feast or freeze, your choice.

Friday, July 22, 2011

And boy, did it hurt

So . . .

I really need to update you all on Blaine's puncture wound.  It is un-un-un-un.

As a sidenote, I'm starting to look at this blog as more than just a tool for connecting with long-distance family and friends -- it has simultaneously morphed into a historical log of our life.  Eventually, I'll have it printed into a blog-book to look back at.

(Incidentally, I have recently been enjoying looking back to the previous year's month of late.  It is so fascinating to see what we were doing and what I was thinking about.  I am also amazed by all "the little things" about the boys that I have forgotten.  I am so glad I have several avenues to help me remember it all -- daybook, kid calendars, kid journals, blog, picture emails.)

And so . . . Blaine's puncture wound.  It is amazing, really.  It happened on Saturday, July 9th.  We were putting up fencing for the tomatoes from a roll that we got from our elderly neighbor (it was just sitting in her trees).  Not rusty, thankfully.  He cut the desired length, then we would finagle it into the already knee-high tomatoes, connect it to the fence-posts he had pounded in, and weave the tomato-tops in as gingerly as we could.

After we were done, and we have 41 tomatoes this year, btw, all started from seed, we wondered if we should put up a fence for the melons in the East Garden to grow on.  There isn't much space, so it would be good to give them room to grow.  Mainly, UP.  We figured it was "now or never" and why not? since we were already in the groove.  So it was decided.  The baby woke up, I went inside to take care of him, and he went to cut another length of fence.

Not long after, I heard some major hollering from outside and saw Blaine effectively bear-walk (bear-hop might be a more apt description) up to the house as fast as he could.  There was a lot of yelling and moaning from him and while I was totally unable to tell what had happened, I ran for an ice-pack pronto-pup.  There was no blood and all parts appeared to be in order, but I could tell there was something was seriously wrong.

And what had happened?  A spine-tingling, scalp-raising 2-inch puncture directly above his right ankle.  Straight in.  Two inches!  With a 12-gauge wire fence-end, just clipped, so it was extra-sharp.  Un-un-un-un.  He had walked right into it.  It was in the grass and he wasn't thinking, he just took a step and schhhhhloop, in it went.  He didn't even feel it at first, and only knew that it was inside his leg when movement was impeded.  He pulled his leg back and that is when it started to hurt.

We iced and elevated and did a saltwater soak.  We could tell it hadn't been broken, so we decided to take our time and assess the situation vs. rush off to the ER.  I consulted a Nurse-Practitioner on Duty over the phone and read about punctures in the various health books and online.  We called his parents and asked that they bring over a pair of crutches and a cane from their well-stocked "for when we get old or injured" collection.  That night was the worst -- it was hard to sleep and he said that it felt as if his foot had been smashed with a hammer.  Yeouch.

It did swell, though not like you would imagine.  It seeped some blood, but not much.  He was able to walk with a cane the second day.  But it was painful, very painful.  He was totally side-lined.  For an entire week.  And strangely, after a few good days at the beginning, he had a few bad days towards the middle-end of the week, with pain and tingling.  Warm comphrey soaks helped with that a lot.  I also applied Dr. Christopher's Complete Tissue & Bone Ointment several times a day to aid in healing.

He went to the Foot & Ankle clinic the following Monday.  They recommended a tetanus shot and a round of broad-spectrum antibiotics, which we went with.  I felt apprehensive about all that, since it was for what could happen vs. what was happening . . . I couldn't help but wonder if we were contributing to the over-use of antibiotics.  I'm so dramatic, I know, but I couldn't help it.  Ultimately we decided it was for the best.  The doctor said that with how close the puncture came to the ankle joint, it would not be worth the risk of waiting to see if an infection would develop.  "An infected joint is a destroyed joint," he said, "and not worth messing with."  And since we would rather work on replenishing the gut with good bacteria vs. fitting Blaine for a prosthetic foot, what other choice could we make considering the circumstances and medical access?  (As you can see, I still feel uneasy about it.)

All in all, he missed an entire week of work.  I am so glad he did, because he really needed that time to heal.  It was almost like a vacation, aside from all the pain and worrying.  He finally went back to work this past Monday and did all his usual duties, albeit more slowly.

Additionally, we thought that he had only 4 paid days off for the rest of the year before the puncture (one week off for the babe's birth, one week off due to a bout with influenza in March), so when he took 5 days off, we were a little worried.  As it turns out, he received an additional week off in June (his 4 year mark!).  So that time is zeroed-out and we are back with 4 days off for the rest of the year.  Ha!  Not that great, but certainly better than zero.

And that is the saga of the 2-inch puncture.  May it never happen again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The East Garden

 Gorgeous cabbage
(envision sauerkraut galore)

Yellow Wax beans and scallions

East Garden
I took this picture last Friday --
things have already grown so much!

Baby Crockett

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Who has the Magic? (I did last year)

Magic- A Belly Grows from The Panic Room Videos on Vimeo.

I have so much to update on . . .

A (real) tornado, an unfortunate 2-inch puncture wound into Blaine's leg, and the most gorgeous garden ever are the most pressing items.  The combination of these three items has kept me hopping for the last two weeks.

But since I don't have the time . . . I'm just going to post this vid instead.  I think my friend Laura and SIL Ashley are going to be the most entertained by it.  I love the playful celebratory nature of the whole thing. 

And pregnancy...?  Magical, def.  Ditto on giving birth.  Though giving birth might actually hold the trump card.  It is awesome.  It makes me feel lucky to be a woman.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Cheeeeeeese Grits

In recent weeks I finished going through The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond.  Maybe you've seen it on my reading list...?  I think I mentioned it at some point, being so impressed with her hearty dishes.  And as someone with a fast metabolism who also happens to be nursing, hearty-n-fillin' is right up my alley.  So neccessary for happy days.

The most fabulous discovery gleaned from it was a recipe for Cheese Grits.  Cheeeese, George, cheeeeeeese.  It is SO GOOD.  Perfect with breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Scrumptious warmed up over low heat in a cast-iron skillet.  Filling.  Nutrient-dense.  A great accompaniment for pretty much anything.  And it makes a large amount, so there are leftovers for almost a week.

That pretty much fills all my requirements, howz abouts youz?

  • 9 cups water
  • 2 cups grits (coarse-grind cornmeal)
  • 4 (warm) eggs
  • 12 TBSP (1.5 sticks) butter, chopped
  • 3 cups grated cheese
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
First, I soak the grits in 1.5 cups of lime water (like the cornbread I make) for 7 hours.  Quoting myself from the cornbread post, soaking corn with lime is a traditional practice, one that releases the full spectrum of B-vitamins; and arguably, fuller flavor as well.

  • With soaking, I cut the water down to 8 cups
  • Let the eggs come to room temp. and/or soak in hot tap water while cooking the grits
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 F 
  • Bring the water and grits to a boil on the stovetop and simmer until done
  • Stir in the (warm) eggs, butter, cheese, salt, garlic, and cayenne
  • Pour into a well-buttered baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until hot and bubbly
  • FYI: Grits will become firmer as they cool

What led me to soaking grains...?

Again, quoting myself, . . .[from the cookbook] Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Truly, this cookbook has been a radical influence on my understanding of food: as nourishment vs. hunger-filler, traditional ways of preparation, vital nutritional fats, etc. It has given me a sense of direction, not to mention form and substance, to my whole foods gut instinct. (Which is, basically, "If it doesn't occur in nature, or you can't create it in your own kitchen, don't eat it.")


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Steady Days

I rarely take notes on what I'm reading, but the book I just read, Steady Days: A Journey Towards Intentional, Professional Motherhood by Jamie Martin, required it.

My notes pretty much sum up everything I've learned about the most important survival skills in mothering these six years:

Problem-solving and adaptability

Check it:
  • Create a steady routine
  • Be flexible and open
  • If something is not working, there is a reason -- find a solution
  • Adaptability -- things change, work towards keeping up with it all, which will include shifts in your plan of attack and/or solutions
  • Find inspirations -- !!!  Yes.  An inspired mother will inspire her children.  (I'm happier when inspired anyway -- def.)
  • Analyze what isn't working
  • Be intentional and take a moment to decide
  • Life with children: constant training and teaching without always seeing an immediate result
  • Consider both the problem and the potential solution

The boy-ohs

 We use a wet rag to erease our chalkboards and realized
last Friday that we could do particularly fabulous outlines
when they press their hands and feet to the wet board.
Fun!  A perfect afternoon project.

 My BIL & SIL made these chalkboards
for the boys this past Christmas.
They are old metal serving (or lap) trays.
We use them a lot.

Little Stinky can't participate in the mini-art projects,
but he sure likes to EAT them.  Yum, yum.
In this case, one of Diego's
toilet-paper roll Daleks went straight into the yapper.
It was there for less than 20 second, I swear it.