Quote of the Day


odd google hits

Over the last year I've occasionally taken peeks at what Google words have brought people to this blog. Some of them are amusing, some rather concerning:

boot camp punishment list: I hope they were disappointed.

china adoption 2007 lexapro: Tee-hee. Apparently we are not the only ones to have a rough go. Lexapro, in case you don't know is a life-saver anti-depressant.

cleaning dog barf on wool rug: yes, we have lots of experience with this.

i love belly lint: bizarre, just bizarre.

paraplegic people up for adoption: and even more bizarre.

problems with daily living as a paraplegic: well, for starters, you can't walk anymore.

puppy malnutrition legs: yes, they get soft and bendy without proper food. The good news is that with proper food, they straighten out quite nicely. Works on humans too.

scabies pics leg: no, I do not have scabies pics. I was too grossed out at the time to think of taking pictures.

Grendel by CS Lewis: I do hope they got this straightened out before turning the paper in.



career planning

Chickadee: I'm going to be a cowboy, a woman who has kids, or a Mary Poppins.



I'm not very crafty, except for when I am, in which case I'm crafty-manic. I either do no crafts or I binge craft. Currently, I am in a no-craft mode (though I occasionally think I hear my beads calling me faintly from afar). Nevertheless, when I saw Scribbet's post about The Quiet Family I declared that I was going to make a set for Chickadee. That lasted about 30 seconds. I ordered one instead -- there is only one set left, btw.

It was then that I discovered something; I discovered Etsy. I had stopped beading -- in part -- because everyone I knew had plenty of zipper pulls, bracelets, key rings, mirror dangles, earrings, etc. I was creating homeless lovelies. I know, I know, there are 14207 bead items for sale on Etsy, but even the slimmest hope of off-loading selling my wares is enough to get me going again. Yes, I do hear those beads a'callin'.


spring gardening hopes & Breck's bulbs?

Even though it is snowing thickly right now, we had a few bright days last week with clear skies and lots of sun, so I'm starting to think of the gardens. We missed gardening last spring. The nice thing is that the gardens are still there, waiting to be cleaned out and tidied up and restored.

$25 off $50

I'd love to get more bulbs planted and I notice that Breck's is offering $25 off any order of $50 or more, which looks like $25 of free bulbs to me. Have you any experience ordering from Breck's? Do I really want to plant that many bulbs?

I need to rake and prune and weed and bark and then think about planting. My corner garden, the one most visible from the street, is the shabbiest. I need a sturdy and low-maintenance ground cover there. My south garden is my best garden; I filled it with perennials shortly after we moved in and it faithfully produces blooms, whether or not I have tended to it. My sidewalk gardens are abysmal, poorly planned, ill-groomed, and generally a mess. I need to uproot everything and just let grass grow there.

My Gift hopes to get a vegie garden in, but we are both on the infirm list, so I'm not too optimistic. At the very least, we will try tomatoes again. Last year's tomato efforts were a bust, so this year we will do fewer plants and invest more money in virgin potting soil and locally grown starts. We may even try to start some from seed. Anyone want to organize a Territorial Seed co-op?

Why Territorial Seeds? No other reason but that my nearest and dearest neighbors are organic vegie farmers and they use Territorial seeds, so if it is a good choice for them, I'm not about to buy elsewhere.

The smallest package they sell is 1/8 of a gram. According to Seeds by Size, "Tomato seeds count is approx. 250 to 400 seeds per gram", so 1/8 a gram is about between 30 and 50 seeds, far more than I need. I'd be interested in a few heirlooms and a few cherries.

Oops, I think I have to go start another TaDa list.

What are your garden plans?

Any tomato advice you'd like to share?


I just heard a CBC Radio Two (Canada) broadcaster say that Clinton's lead over Obama is a mute point due to Florida's process of awarding delegates. MUTE point!? CBC!!!!!




well what do you know . . .

My Lying to Our Children post is featured in today's top stories at Parenting Watch. How about that.

. . . what is your policy on these sorts of deceptions? AND, do you adhere to your policy?



eye patches

For six hours a day, Chickadee dons her eye patch in an effort to force her lazy eye to "get to work" as she puts it. We let her hard-working eye take a nap while the lazy eye starts doing its job. She is pretty cheerful about it and hasn't fussed at all, once she was assured that her Papa still thought she was cute. (This being, for the time being at least, the end all of necessary conditions for a worthwhile existance. As long as Papa thinks she is cute, all is well with the world.)

We bought ordinary eye patches and a couple packets of stickers. Every day she gets to decorate her patch with the stickers. Next week we'll pick up her freshly re-lensed glasses with a heavily modified prescription.

We'll do this for 5-6 weeks and then check in again with the pediatric eye specialist. There is still a chance we can avoid surgery.



Ree at Pioneer Woman Cooks! has posted the definitive post on quesadillas in which she even manages to use the word verdant. She also coyly mentions that she has been nominated for the 2008 bloggies, so hop on over and give her a vote. Why should you vote for her? Because she brought us the make-ahead mashed potatoes for which we are oh so grateful.


Almond Pastries

This is our new favorite holiday cookie recipe. Even my suger-abstaining brother was spied snarfing these down. They are pretty, delicious, and freeze beautifully.

Almond Pastries

Mix together:
2 C sugar
6 T flour
1/2 t salt
2 T almond extract
4 egg yolks (save the whites)
1 C chopped walnuts
4-6 T milk - add until mixture looks like a thick pudding

In a separate bowl cut together:
1 C butter
2 2/3 C flour
1 t salt
9 T cold milk

Divide into three equal parts. Roll one out into about a 14 by 9 inch sheet. Spread 1/3 of the filling onto the dough, leaving 1/2 inch margins. Fold the short ends in just 1/2 inch (you don't want filling oozing out the ends. Then fold the long sides in to about one inch per fold. That is, fold the top one inch and the bottom one inch. There is still probably some exposed filling, so fold the top and the bottom again until they meet. Set into a greased & floured glass 9 x 13 baking dish. Repeat with the other dough portions.

Brush the tops with egg whites and sprinkle with white sugar. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until everything is golden. Let cool for no more than 5 minutes and then loosen the edges of each roll. Take out of pan and let cool again for no more than 5 minutes. Cut at a slant into 1 inch strips. Eat the stubby little ends yourself.

recipe shared with my by former classmate M. Symes.

know before you vote

If you, like many others, are stilling weighing the candidates, this website may be useful for you: know before you vote.



stodgy meatloaf update

Thanks for all your good ideas. It went very nicely into a big pot of vegetable soup.


lying to our children

Mrs. G., over at Derfwad Manor, has posted for all to see a extensive and photo-illustrated list of the Lies Mrs. G. has told her Children. It has a zillion comments and is all very amusing. It got me thinking. When is it okay - if ever - to lie to our children, and, that being said, is there anyone who can (truthfully) say that they have not?

My most recent lie (and clever) that comes to mind is the cover stories I had to create on two consecutive nights when the tooth fairy forgot. As those are lies to perpetuate a lie (the tooth fairy herself) do they count as half? or double? Oh yes, and there is the candy fairy lie to which I am very attached.

I'd especially love to hear from you: what is your policy on these sorts of deceptions? AND, do you adhere to your policy?

I would have to confess that my policy is that I oughtn't and my practice is that I do.


Kremlin, Moscow, Russia



meatloaf help

I made a stodgy meatloaf yesterday and forgot to add salt. So now I have a too-dense flavorless hunk of meatloaf in the fridge. What can I use it in?

  • meatloaf omelettes?
  • meatloaf soup?
  • meatloaf ___________?????


My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My sister gave me Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper: A Novel for Christmas. I came home Christmas Day, unpacked, kissed everyone goodnight and sat down and read it straight through.

I've loaned the book out and have forgotten everyone's names, so I'll have to tell you about it with placeholder names. Sister A has cancer. The sort that requires an exact match donor to keep her alive. Mom and Dad arrange for an exact match donor to be born: Sister B. The novel opens with Sister B announcing that she is seeking legal medical emancipation, i.e. that she, not her parents, will determine if and when she donates more blood, marrow, organs etc. The story is -- obviously -- compelling. What would you do? as the sister? as the parents?

In addition, Picoult's writing is transparent; never once did I stumble or backtrack or in anyway become aware of the word-crafting. The story flew off the page and into me, and that is what I count as good writing.

And while we are the subject of designer babies, what do you think of this story in the London Times: Deaf Demand Right to Designer Deaf Children?
DEAF parents should be allowed to screen their embryos so they can pick a deaf child over one that has all its senses intact, according to the chief executive of the Royal National Institute for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People (RNID).
It comes down to -- if parents are to be allowed to screen embryos: whose ideas of 'good' qualities should prevail? Clearly here the RNID folks have a view of what is desirable that differs greatly from the view of the hearing community. Very interesting . . . may have to revisit this in another post.


the great dolly hunt

I had no idea how hard it is to find the perfect dolly. Or perhaps, I had no idea how important it is to find the perfect dolly. Chickadee has been weighing and discussing the relative merits of dollies for days now. She is craving a side-kick dolly, you know, the dolly that stands in for a playmate.

Thus far Chickadee has decided that :: dolly needs to be a girl, not a baby, because dolly needs to take care of the house when we are gone.
:: dolly needs to have dark hair like Mama.
:: dolly needs to have green eyes like Chickadee and Mama.
:: dolly needs to have cute clothes.
So, we have been surfing for dollies.

We found this one, which she loves, but does not meet her criteria. It is interesting to watch her try to resolve her immediate affection for this dolly with her pre-established requirements. One of them is going to have to give. This is, btw, American Girl's Emily dolly.

In the meantime, I found Scarlett dollies (12-14 inches) from Madame Alexander which are dark-haired and green-eyed. There are many of them on eBay, so I am watching a batch to get a feel for the pricing.

But we must consider Dorothy (also from Madame Alexander), who is also darling, and comes with a puppy and sparkley shoes. Very hard to resist both a puppy and sparkly shoes. Oh sad, we just realized that she is only 8 inches, which is too small. We'll leave her here though, as she is so cute.

And then of course there is Edith, The Lonely Doll, who is 12", has a bear, and a series of books, starting with Edith and Mr. Bear.

Prior to the great dolly hunt, I knew nothing about Madame Alexander (1895-1990: two world wars and all this technology!).
Beatrice Alexander lived with her parents above her fathers’ doll hospital.
She was deeply touched by the young girls being upset and crying as their mothers brought them with their broken porcelain dolls to have them repaired. She was determined to make a doll that would never break. ~ Florida Atlantic Universities Library

According to Dollsville, her Dad founded the first dolly hospital in America and Beatrice was one of the first woman entrepreneurs, opening her doll business and launching Cissy, the first full-figured, high-heeled fashion doll in 1955, four years prior to Barbie.

As best I can tell, Madame Alexander has 1,000s of dolly off-spring. Some very upscale and pricey and some affordable ones available from Amazon and Target. Quite a few are the 'just for looking at' sort, which wouldn't work around here.

So far, this is our leading candidate, featuring blond (I guess Chickadee changed her mind) hair that can be styled -- big big selling point: may I introduce Madame Alexander's My Little Girl Style-Me-Pretty Blonde. Standing 14 inches high, wearing pink, and sporting hair that can be played with. I think she may be the one.

Oh no! more choices. I just found this one, an American Girl that looks like Chickadee curly blondy/light brown hair, green to hazel eyes, happy little face. What to do? What to do?




G'ma wants to go to Baja and someone needs to go with her so she won't be lonely . . .

We'll be taking Dandy out of school for this, but as he is learning Spanish at school, we'll count it as an educational trip.

We're going in May. Is it too early to start packing?