Quote of the Day


works for me: 4 amusing podcasts

In keeping with my podcast list series, here are 4 amusing podcasts that work for me.

Comedy - deemed suitable by a woman who considers dang to be
nearly a cussword.

1. Abbott and Costello

2. CBC Radio Comedy Factory

3.Old Time Radio Comedy ~ Amos & Andy, Abbot &
Costello, Burns & Allen, Fibber McGee & Molly and more

4. Reliable Old Time Radio Comedy ~ even
more Amos & Andy, Abbot & Costello, Burns & Allen, Fibber McGee
& Molly and so forth


My other Works for Me posts.


Meat Pie

Comfort food so yummy that I nearly welcome bad days.

Meat Pie

Hamburger & chopped onions in a 2 to 1 ratio
Season with salt & pepper

Layer in pie plate:
1 sheet puff pastry
½ the hamburger/onion mixture
sliced potatoes
dots of butter
½ the hamburger/onion mixture
dots of butter
1 sheet of puff pastry

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes

Can also be made as individual pies by cutting into portions and crimping edges together. Cut a little hole in top and refill with cooking juices 2x during baking.



blogging is out ~ gardening is in

Don't expect much from me for awhile. We turned 216 square feet of sod yesterday and have 108 left to do today, then My Gift can till it. A very kind coworker of his loaned him a rototiller and is also sharing two-year old manure with us.

Last week I was asking, what is God trying to teach me? as my appliances were falling apart and all sort of needs were popping up with no money to meet them.

In the chaos of 2007, we grossly overspent our income, so this year we are paying for it. We are on a Just Say No! campaign. I spent NOTHING last week, not a cent. Yes I did use some gasoline, but I bought nothing. We are clearing with one another all our purchase in advance; this week I'll be buying laundry detergent and sunscreen. I figure that ~~ as it takes 30 days to change a habit ~~ it will take us about a month to move our thinking from Do we need it? to Can we afford it?. The answer to the latter trumps the former.

Anyway, when one is trying to spend nothing and the cooktop dies and the garden needs to be tilled and the seeds need potting soil and there is an anniversary to celebrate and so on and so forth, it is easy to start fretting.

So what is God trying to teach me? As best I can tell it is that He will take care of us. I know that in my head, but it is harder for my heart to remember it, especially at 1:00 in the morning as I lay away and fret. (lie away? argh. If you have a good trick for sorting out lay/lie do let me know, gently of course).

Rotortiller? check
Potting soil? Mom
Cooktop? friend coming over this morning to look at it.
Anniversary Celebration? Mom again (dinner and Kottke tickets: Mom's cool that way)

Fretting? I just have to say no.



Friday Poetry: A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost

A poem blessing for our day, as we head out to till the garden.

A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

~ Robert Frost

Here is the coding if you want a button with a link to this week's round-up.

:: this post is part of the Friday Poetry roundup hosted by The Miss Rumphius Effect.



wedding meme

Happy Anniversary to Us! Here, for your reading pleasure, is our wedding & marriage meme, alas I do not recall where I ran across it.

Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.
~ C. S. Lewis

1. How long have you been married? 14 years

2. How many people came to your wedding reception? Between 50-100, not all at the same time. We had an open house at my parents' home and people came by all afternoon.

3. What kind of cake did you serve? A white cake that I decorated with pansies which I picked the morning of the wedding.

4. Where was your wedding? In my parent's living room, in the same spot where my parents married.

5. What did you serve for your meal? Mom's friends brought finger-foods, I think. I wasn't really thinking about food.

6. How many people were in your bridal party? Two -- the matron of honor (my mom) and the best man (his dad).

7. Are you still friends with them all? Yes.

8. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony? No, but he trembled.

9. Most special moment of your wedding day? My sister singing for us and my brother playing the piano for us.

10. Any funny moments? I hugged him in the front hall prior to him walking me down the living room and in my big hug, I broke his glasses which he had tucked into his front pocket.

11. Any big disasters? We forgot the camera and sent a nephew back for it right as we were about to drive away; in handing to me we fumbled and dropped it, breaking the camera and losing all the pictures.

12. Where did you go on your honeymoon? We went to a lovely bed-and-breakfast on a nearby island.

13. How long were you gone? One day.

14. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change? I would have invited more people to the actual ceremony.

15. What side of the bed do you sleep on? The right side.

16. What size is your bed? California King - these are a bit longer and narrower than a standard king.

17. Greatest strength as a couple? We are both hermits.

18. Greatest challenge as a couple? We are polar opposites in our way of handling conflict. I charge in. He doesn't dare to tread.

19. Who literally pays the bills? Me, with his hard-earned dollars.

20. What is your song? Right now it is "Revolution" by the Beatles, but that is more of a political statement than a romantic one.

21. What did you dance your first dance to? No idea. It was some tune on the radio on a boat that we were on. He started to dance with me and then . . . the first kiss! Bliss! Until we heard the snickering of his nephew who was spying on us.

22. Describe your wedding dress: White, tea length. First dress I tried on and absolutely perfect. $50.

23. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? The flowers for the ceremony were posies I made from flowers I picked in my mother's garden the morning of the wedding, while everyone else was a church.

24. Are your wedding bands engraved? Yes, they each have the dragon of Wales on them.



what next?

So about an hour after we got home last night I encountered a dangerous-smelling odor in the back half of the house. I shouted "run to the neighbors" to the kids (who instantly obeyed - yeah for evacuation plans that work), got the pets out, turned off the one remaining heater and the stove and called 9-1-1. They came out and found nothing. I had left the doors open as I fled, and as it was very windy yesterday, the house had aired out already. Nevertheless they turned off the gas and left it off. No heater, no hot water, no cook-top. Whaa Whaa Whaa.

This morning the Gas man came out and found two leaks -- neither in the area of the intense odor -- but good to know about nevertheless. He fixed the leak near the water heater and turned the cooktop off forever. At least we have hot water and heat in the bedrooms. Cooktops? Who needs em?

To clarify, we have two heaters, one in the old house and one in the addition. The old house heater is still out-of-commission.

What is with my appliances this year? fridge? heater? dishwasher? cooktop? They appear to have made an evil alliance with servicemen. Well I am done with it. We are not spending any more money that we don't have. If it breaks, we will do without. I'm saying this loudly so that the remaining appliances will know that any wamby-pamby behavior will not result in any extra attention. Only positive behavior is rewarded around here. HRMPH!!!


works for me: 5 podcasts on Christianity & Modern Life

In keeping with my podcast list series, here are 5 Christianity and Modern Living podcasts that work for me.

Christianity & Modern Life

1. Alistair Begg

2. Alistair Begg's Truth
for Life
Bible Teachings

3. John Eldridge ~ of Wild at Heart fame

4. The Kindlings Muse - a conversation about American culture from a God-seeking perspective

5. Pray As You Go ~ daily scripture and devotionals prepared by British Jesuits.


My other Works for Me posts.


will bake for tilling

If you live near me and have tiller and a few extra hours (ha!) I would happily swap tilling for bread baking: Orange Caraway Rye? Honey Nut Oatmeal? Rosemary Whole Wheat? Sesame Egg Bread? If we can't find a thrifty way to get this tilled, we'll be doing it with shovels.

edited to add that a very nice guy that works with The Gift has offered us his tiller and free aged compost. WHooo-hooo!



We've just place our Seeds of Change order and will certainly have more seeds than we need. If you would like to go halfsies with me on any of these, please let me know:
American Spinach
Black-Seeded American Pole Bean
Blue Ballet Squash
Buttercup Squash
Cocozelle Bush Zucchini
Detroit Dark Red Beet
Forest Green Parsley
Golden Chard
Golden Scallopini Bush Summer Squash
Italian White Eggplant
Northern Pickling Cucumber
Red Deer Tongue Lettuce
Roxy Lettuce
Scarlet Nantes Carrot
Slow Bolt Cilantro
Small Sugar Pumpkin
Sweet Dakota Rose Watermelon
Sylvetta Arugula
Triple Play Sweet Corn



angel hair casserole

I have never ever been able to accurately guess the amount of noodles to make. If I try to cook less than a full package, I always end up with not enough, so I have just given in and cook up the full amount which leads me to recipes for leftover noodles. Here is one of our favs.

Angel Hair Casserole

3-4 C leftover Angel Hair pasta, cut into 2 inch chunks as it is all cold and congealed by now (actually most any pasta would work)
1 C ground walnuts
1/2 C finely diced raw onion
2 T butter
3 T olive oil
1 t garlic paste

1 t salt
1 t pepper

Add any or all or none of the following:
1 C diced fresh tomatoes
a couple of sauteed and slivered chicken breasts
1/2 C feta cheese

Heat in a casserole dish. Feel thrifty and resourceful.

As with any of my cooking recipes, quantities are flexible. Not so with baking of course.


free shipping at Seeds of Change

We plunked an ugly tarp over our future garden patch today, to start killing off the sod in preparation for next weekend's ground-breaking. When I sat down to place my seed order with Seeds of Change, I was pleased to find this free shipping code over at thedailygreen. The free shipping offer is good til the end of this month.

edited to add that the website check-out process is wonky, so I ended up calling in my order and still got to use my free shipping code.


growth report


October 3rd
at age 6 yrs 11 mths:
48.5 inches (62nd percentile)
50 pounds (47th percentile).

May 9th
at age 7 yrs 6 mths):
50 inches (63rd percentile)
55 pounds (56th percentile).
:: Total gain of 1.5 inches & 5 lbs in 7 mths ::

June 28th at age 7 yrs 8 mths):
50.75 inches (68th percentile)
57 pounds (60th percentile).
:: Total gain of 2.25 inches & 7 lbs in 9 mths ::

August 8th at age 7 yrs 9 mths:
50.75 inches (65th percentile)
58.6 pounds (64th percentile).
:: Total gain of 2.25 inches & 8.6 pounds in 10 mths ::

April 16th
at age 8 yrs 5 mths:
52 inches (60th percentile)
62 pounds (60th percentile).
:: Total gain of 3.5 inches & 12 pounds in 19 mths ::


October 3rd

at age 5 yrs 3 mths:
38.25 inches (less than 3rd percentile)
34.6 pounds (9th percentile).

May 9th
at age 5 yrs 10 mths:
40 inches (less than 3rd percentile)
37.6 pounds. (12th percentile).
:: Total gain of 1.75 inches & 3 lbs in 7 mths ::

June 28th at age 5 yrs and 11 mths:
40.5 inches (less than 3rd percentile)
38.6 pounds (15th percentile).
:: Total gain of 2.25 inches & 4 lbs in 9 mths ::

August 8th at age 6 yrs:
40.5 inches (less than 3rd percentile)
39.6 pounds (18th percentile)
:: Total gain of 2.25 inches & 5 pounds in 10 mths ::

November 2nd at age 6 yrs, 3 months:
41 inches (less than 3rd percentile)
42 pounds (25th percentile)
:: Total gain 2.75 inches & 7.4 pounds in 13 mths ::

April 16th
at age 6 yrs, 9 months:
42 inches (less than 3rd percentile, still)
42 pounds (14th percentile)
:: Total gain 3.75 inches & 7.4 pounds in 19 mths ::

Technorati , ,



April: a month of co-pays

ER ~ 1
Vet visits ~ 1
Eye Surgeon Visit ~ 1
Mammogram ~ 1
Psychiatrist Visit ~ 1
Heart Doctor Visit ~1
Children's Hospital ~ 1
Mental Health Therapist Visit ~ 1
Annual Exams ~ 2
Dentist Visits ~ 3
Speech Therapist Visits ~ 5
Occupational Therapist Visits ~ 5



Friday Poetry: The Windhover Gerard Manley Hopkins

The Windhover

To Christ our Lord

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

~ by Gerard Manley Hopkins

You can hear this expertly read by Don at Classic Poetry Aloud.

Here is the coding if you want a button with a link to this week's round-up.

:: this post is part of the Friday Poetry roundup hosted by Well-Read Child.



Resolution Check-In

We are four months into the year. How are we doing with our resolutions?

I resolved:

:: to be a more prepared and attentive teacher ~ well I am not teaching at all this quarter so I'm 100% prepared and completely inattentive.
:: to be a more patient and gentle Mom ~ I am trying. I've torn up my "Permission to be Crabby when Provoked" card
:: to get back in the habit of regularly attending church ~ not so well here. I think we've been twice. It doesn't help that our church split and we don't know which camp we want to be in.
:: to read more to my kids ~ a little better
:: to call my friends more often ~ complete failure
:: to do whatever I can to help get Dr. Ron Paul elected President ~ doing my part here
:: to better defend my husband's rest time ~ when he is here I do a great job. It's harder to help him rest when he stays at work though.
:: to work on my manuscript ~ Hmmm. I wonder where it is.
:: to drop 10 more pounds ~ I was doing fine until PW posted her carrot cake recipe.
:: to exercise more ~ a bit more, as gardening season has started
:: to spend very little time in hospitals or nursing homes (although I really don't have any control over this, so I ought not to include it, but it is my fervent hope) ~ so far, so good; only two hospitals this month.



works for me: iPod for cultural literacy

For any other families adopting older children, here is my best idea yet for helping your children catch up with all the nursery rhymes, stories, and folktales of their new culture.

First, I went to eBay and got a cheap iPod shuffle, the old style. Then I gathered together a huge selection of children's lit and music via iTunes (which is a free download). I install a random collection of Lit and Music onto the shuffle and we are all set. I got a little adapter so that the shuffle can run on the stereo speakers, so when we are just hanging around the house we have "Coming Around the Mountain" or "Jesus Loves the Little Children" playing, or someone reading to us "The Three Little Pigs".

On our list we have:

Podcasts ~ free

1. StoryNory Podcast ~ this is a current podcast and is our favorite, read by a woman with a voice like a chocolate truffle.

2. BigStoryTime Podcast ~ common children's books read by a cute cute little boy.
3. Karen & Kids Pod cast ~ this is a current podcast of Bible stories & songs
4. How Stuff Works Podcast ~ under 2 minutes
5. Lit2Go Podcast ~ stories and poems, read aloud by a variety of readers, some better than others

~~~~~ just added ~~~~~

6. The Story Home ~ classic and original stories posted every other week
7. BrainStuff: How Stuff Works ~ fascinating sciency-stuff in about a minute & a half
8. Kid's For Truth ~ daily devotions in under 5 minutes
9. Paws & Tales ~ 30 minutes of Bible-based stories

Purchased or Received as Gifts or Already had as CDs.
1. 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs~ Stephen Elkens
2. 100 Bible Songs for Kids - St John's Children's Choir
3. VeggieTales Sing-Along CDs

4. Children's Sing-a-long Favorites - St John's Children's Choir
5. More Singable Songs - Raffi
6. Peter, Paul and Mommy
7. Return to Pooh Corner- Kenny Loggins
8. Songs Of The Cat - Garrison Keller

9. Music Tales: Popular Children's Stories Accompanied By Famous Classical Music
10. Sing Along with Putamayo
11. Where the Wild Things Are
12. The Cat in the Hat

Apple iTunes

~~~~~ just added ~~~~~

13. Selections from The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language: Genesis 1, Exodus 20, I Samuel 17, many Psalms, Isaiah 53, I Corinthians 13
14. Steve Green's Hide 'Em in Your Heart: Bible Memory Melodies, Vol. 1 (thanks Kate)

What am I missing? What do your kids enjoy/learn from?