Quote of the Day


family portrait


New Year's Resolutions

:: to be a more prepared and attentive teacher
:: to be a more patient and gentle Mom
:: to get back in the habit of regularly attending church
:: to read more to my kids
:: to call my friends more often
:: to better defend my husband's rest time
:: to work on my manuscript
:: to drop 15 pounds
:: to exercise more
:: to do a trial run of a gluten-free diet to see if it impacts the arthritis
:: to visit my folks more

If it looks familiar it is pretty similar to last year's.



Miracle on 34th Street

We don't watch many movies but we did indulge over Christmas break. One night we watched the old version of Miracle on 34th Street. We loved it. The budding romance was believable and the lawyering was clever. The next night we watched the new version. It was abysmal, nothing clever, nothing plausible - just a bunch of melodramatic sentimental hooey. Avoid it at all costs.



Have you discovered zazzle yet? Turn your blog badge, your photos, your kid's art, whatever into note-cards, mugs, t-shirts, spoon-rests, skateboard decals, shoes, and oodles more. I had fun turning some of my favorite quotes into bumper stickers and making my own little profile cards:

Right now, you can get 12.26% off of any zazzle purchase by using using coupon code: BOXINGDAYUSA.



Christmas Pics

And here is our holiday, in photos.

Christmas Eve eve blessed us with a visit from the Christmas bunnies. They stayed for dinner and then went on to Gma's house for some decorating.

Christmas eve morning, we gathered together with our cousins on my Dad's side and all their littles. We took lots of pictures, ate lots of yummy food, and enjoyed watching the snowballs fly.

Christmas morning, we opened presents from Santa at home.

And then enjoyed the view on the drive in to my Mom and Dad's for Christmas dinner with my siblings and nieces.

Chickadee and I ended up staying over to give my folks a hand in the morning, as their regular care-giver had gone home for the holidays. It was a beautiful snowy happy Christmas.

Oh, and presents? I got many nice prezzies, with my favorites being a hilarious Disappearing Civil Liberties Mug, a long dark green robe, and a beautiful pot from Kuhn-Rikon that my dear husband - bless him - got for me.


Mary's Song by Luci Shaw

If you are not familar with Luci Shaw's poetry, give yourself a gift this season and pick up one of her beautiful books.

Mary's Song

Blue homespun and the bend of my breast
keep warm this small hot naked star
fallen to my arms. (Rest ...
you who have had so far
to come.) Now nearness satisfies
the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies
whose vigour hurled
a universe. He sleeps
whose eyelids have not closed before.
His breath (so slight it seems
no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps
to sprout a world.
Charmed by dove's voices, the whisper of straw,
he dreams,
hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eyes
he is curtailed
who overflowed all skies,
all years.
Older than eternity, now he
is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed
to my poor planet, caught that I might be free,
blind in my womb to know my darkness ended,
brought to this birth
for me to be new-born,
and for him to see me mended
I must see him torn.

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 MissRumphiuseEffect.



a perfect Christmas

Fresh snow, clear skies, bright sun. We had yummy food and thoughtful gifts of a reasonable quantity.

I could hardly sleep the night before as I was so excited to give My Gift his gift. Back in October he had found a 12-string Yamaha guitar that was THE guitar. He would visit it in the store and talk about it at home and go on and on about it. And I would go on and on about the huge credit card debt we are carrying thanks to last year's medical adventures.

His persistence wore me down, and I finally gave my reluctant consent. He piled the kids into the truck and took off for the guitar store, but returned empty-handed and down-hearted. The beloved guitar of his dreams had sold.

Tee hee.

As soon as his truck had pulled out I had called the store and bought it right out from under him.

He says it was the nicest and naughtiest gift he has ever received.



Simple Woman's Daybook

For Monday 22nd December 2008

Outside my window I see Black-Capped Chickadees (my own special bird) eating sunflower seeds that we threw across the snow. I see a white meadow and dark blue hills with white lace shawls across their shoulders.

I am thinking about how nice it is to be ready for Christmas several days ahead.

I am thankful that I have such a nice husband who works hard to support us and encourages and helps me with the kids.

From the kitchen I'll be bringing out cookies and a potroast later today.

I am wearing flannel pajema bottoms that my mom made for me, white silkie long-underwear top, green fleece jacket, fuzzy slippers.

I am hoping I can get sorted out this mountain of medical insurance paperwork that my husband just gave up on and that I foolishly said I would handle for him.

I am hearing my daughter singing as she tidies up her room and my son talking to himself as he prepares breakfast.

Around the house there are quite a few dust-bunnies, Christmas decorations, and drowsy heat-loving pets.

One of my favorite things is a hot bath. I love the 'aloneness' of it, but mostly I love the heat on my aching arthritic joints.

A few plans for the rest of the week include baking and cooking for the following events: Christmas eve morning party with cousins (holiday strata), Christmas eve dinner for our own little family (chippino), Christmas Day breakfast for our own little family (smoked salmon quiche, kringle, mimosas), Christmas dinner at my moms (twice-baked potatoes, rye bread).

Here is picture-thought I am sharing:

hosted by The Simple Woman



Chickadee ties her shoe

Yipee. She is now in the shoe-tying club.


Remember the poor . . .

Remember the poor when you look out
on fields you own,
on your plump cows grazing.
Remember the poor when you look into your barn
at the abundance of your harvest.
Remember the poor when the wind howls
and the rain falls,
as you sit warm in your dry house . . .
The poor have no food except what you feed tham
no shelter except your house
when you welcome them,
no warmth except your glowing fire.

~ From Celtic Fire

from The Wisdom of the Celts, compiled by David Adam



pictures in comments

I think, if I read this right, that you can now upload a picture into your comment. Anyone want to give it a shot?



Friday Poetry When Will My Heart Arise

I haven't been able to find the author of this beautiful piece which I first heard on Sissel's album Northern Lights. It is listed on her album as a 'traditional' piece.

If you haven't yet heard Sissel sing, you need to click on the link to her website, after you read the poem.
On this glad Christmas morning
When will my heart arise?
The dew will rise the dawning
The sun rise to the skies

Oh Jesu, while you're sleeping
The whole world sings its joys
But I am filled with weeping
When will my heart arise?

I am the thorns that crowned you
I am the whips that scourge
I am the chains that bound you
Who all my sins did purge

I am the cross you shoulder
A cross that crucified
Against your tongue the boulder
When will my heart arise?

I heed here by your manger
Oh blessed winter child
Great, do not have me stranger
Into the winter wild

I kneel here for forgiveness
And all my sins despise
Forgive me gentle baby
Then will my heart arise

Sissel's website.

:: this post is part of the Friday Poetry Round-up hosted at Author Amok.


kid-friendly Gingerbread cut-outs

I know, I am a little tardy in posting this, but just in case you haven't baked these yet these season, here you go:

Kid-Friendly Gingerbread Cutouts

Cream together:
1/2 C butter
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C brown sugar

1 C dark molasses

Sift together:
2 t baking soda
1/2 t cloves
1 t cinnamon
4 t ginger
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

6 1/2 to 7 C flour

Measure out 2/3 C water.

Alternately add the spice mixture, the water, and the flour to the butter/sugar mix. You want the stiffest dough you can get without crumbling apart. You may or may not need all the flour, depending on the wheat it came from, the grind, and other variables to nebulous to itemize.

Roll out dough. Cut into cute shapes.

I use a dough scraper to lift the cookies off the rolling surface. If you bake a lot, and you don't have a dough scraper, Santa needs to bring you one. They are not expensive and make post-baking surface clean up a breeze.

I like to dip about half the cookies into sugar before baking and frost the other half (after baking, of course).

Bake 7-8 minutes at 350.

This recipes makes a crunchy crispy cookie. If you want a softer cookie, reduce the amount of flour, keeping in mind that you will lose some kid-friendliness thereby.



gift idea

Have you seen this book?

The Better World Shopping Guide - 2nd Edition: Every Dollar Makes a Difference is a must for everyone on your list. So that you can vote with your dollars, this book grades companies on these five elements:

HUMAN RIGHTS: sweatshops, 3rd world community exploitation, international health issues, divestment, child labor, code of conduct.

THE ENVIRONMENT: global warming, rainforest destruction, pollution, recycling, renewable energy, greenwashing, toxic waste, eco-innovations, illegal dumping, sustainable farming.

ANIMAL PROTECTION: factory farming, animal testing, humane treatment, wild animal habitat.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: family farms, local business support, volunteer efforts, sustainable growth, philanthropic donations, nonprofit alliances, establishing foundations.

SOCIAL JUSTICE : fair wages, fatalities, union busting efforts, health & safety records, discrimination based on: race, gender, age, ability, religion, sexuality, ethnicity.

What a clever and useful project.



this and that

I just submitted the last set of grades for the quarter and am scurrying around getting ready for our field trip tomorrow. We are riding the train down to Seattle to do a little shopping and visit the Science Center. It's mighty cold around here, with temperatures in the high teens and low 20s and significant winds (23 mph and windchill to 5 degrees).

My Gift had to come home from work today to deal with the zillion foot poplar tree that toppled over in the night, taking out 2 goat fences, but no goats.

That's all my news. What's happening at your house?




It's been two years. Why do we have to have a windstorm right here at the anniversary?

Dad is doing well. Here's gearing up to learn PowerPoint to use in leau of a whiteboard as he will be teaching Sunday School next quarter. He is reading a lot and settling in to his new routines.Last night I stumbled on this video footage. I didn't know I had it.


I still miss him popping by the house and having lunch with me. Maybe he'll learn to drive and can do that again. I liked our lunch-chats.