Saturday, December 27, 2008

Your results:
You are Iron Man

Iron Man
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Green Lantern
Inventor. Businessman. Genius.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Feta-Stuffed Hamburgers

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. preheat outdoor grill to med heat, lightly oil grate.
2. knead together ground beef, worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. form mixture into 8 equal-sized balls; flatten to make thin patties. place about 1/4 cup of feta cheese onto each of four patties. make "patty sandwiches" (patty+feta+patty); press edges together to seal.
3. cook on preheated grill, 7-8 minutes per side for well done.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ah, bram. still the king of non-sequiturs

me: Bram, you have the quietest spirit, and i think that is so beautiful.
bram: yes, and sometimes i crunch cookies. because cookies are sometimes crunchy, right, mommy?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bram’s bedtime prayer

Dear Jesus,

Thank-you for Mommy, Nana, Blithe and Asher.

Thank-you for making the world so different.

And thank-you that we get to meet the real Santa.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

this is heartwarming

blithe had a hard time at school today. once we got home, she broke down and cried on the kitchen floor. i scooped her up and held her. her heart was broken, and it hurt.
i held her as she cried. then something wonderful happened. just typing this, i have tears in my eyes. (get a tissue, then come back and finish reading... got one? ok.)
asher came up to blithe, put his hand on her arm, and leaned over to hug her. he held her for a moment, then stood up and signed "sorry." it was breaking his heart to see his big sister so upset. then, he pointed and said "tin" ("train"), and looked back at blithe and said "glithe" ("blithe"), then pointed back at the train and said "tin" and back at blithe, "glithe." then he took her hand in his and led her over to the train, where he played with her.
with everything he's been through, he has learned compassion and mercy. what a special gift for all of us, to see this beauty in my boy. and tonight, what a special gift for blithe.
i don't care what any doctors tell me, asher has the biggest heart of anyone i know.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

For Staci... and anyone else who wants to read this, really

Yesterday i wrote about trying new things. Well, today, I practiced something "new-ish"... cooking for one. I don't have money right now to eat out (because, you know, I've been so wealthy in the past! Lol), otherwise i'd have gotten myself some sushi or A&W or a nice salad (quite a variety, no?). so, i looked in the fridge. I was originally going to have some carrot soup, but decided against it for some reason, i still don't know why. But... i did find eggs and a bunch of other goodies, so i threw something together...

An omelette!

Staci asked what was in it, and i know how much she likes my recipes, so here it is:


2 eggs

Some milk

A couple mushrooms

Some ham

Some cheddar cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste


Crack the eggs into a bowl, add some milk (this makes the eggs fluffy!), and salt and pepper. Beat.

Put a small frying pan on the stove. Turn on the stove to, say, medium-ish heat, and put some butter in the pan. Watch the butter melt, or grate the cheese. Whatever. It's up to you, i guess, what you do with your time.

Pour the egg mixture into the frying pan. I guess you could chop the mushrooms now. Whatever.

Once the eggs are looking almost done, add the rest of the ingredients. Watching cheese melt can be fun, so i'd recommend you do this now. (oh, the things i do to occupy myself when the kids are gone... oh, yeah, i'm just that cool. Lol)

When it's all done cooking, put it on your plate and enjoy!

There you go, stac, my super-dee-duper omelette recipe. Hope you like it! lol

Monday, October 27, 2008

Garlic and Ranch Turkey Burgers

I've decided that I need to really work on expanding my dinnertime repertoire. I'd like to add some variety, instead of making my usual "go-to's" for supper. Frankly, I'm getting tired of the same things week after week. Not that I don't like my usuals, but really, one can only have pasta with alfredo sauce or lentil casserole so many times, you know. So, I've been making good use of the internet lately.

The other day, I received a lovely newsletter from the lovely people over at, inviting me to check out their newest recipes. One of these recipes was for, yup, you guessed it, Garlic and Ranch Turkey Burgers. The recipe looked pretty good, and very easy, so I decided to give it a whirl. And because you know I'm all about sharing the minutiae of my life on my blogs, here is the first recipe i tried. (i will be posting more recipes as i try them.)


1lb ground turkey

1 (1 oz) pkg ranch dressing mix

1 egg

3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

Seasoned salt, pepper to taste


  1. Preheat outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate.
  2. Knead together the turkey, ranch mix, egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a bowl until evenly combined; divide into 4 equal portions and form into patties.
  3. Cook on preheated grill about 5 min per side for well done.


This was AWESOME!!!

If you haven't worked with ground turkey before, a warning: this recipe will look wet. Very wet. Don't worry; it all works out in the end. Just go with it. Also, I cooked my burgers on the stove instead of the grill (I was afraid the patties would fall through the grate. If you try yours on the BBQ, let me know how it worked for you). This recipe was delicious, and stupidly easy to make. I will definitely be adding it to my menu on a more regular (but not necessarily frequent) basis. And the turkey is nice, and certainly healthier than beef all the time. I dig it, and you will, too, I think.

Sorry there's no picture. We gobbled them (no pun intended... ok, it was intended, cheesy, I know) before I could snap a pic. But they're yummy, so try them. And take a picture. And share it with the rest of us, if you feel so inclined. J

Friday, October 24, 2008

Carrot soup... by me! :)

i tried something new today... i have never made soup before. i've always wanted to, but i was afraid. ok, well, i'll be honest. i made soup once before... but, well, it didn't work out so well. that was years ago now, and it's taken me until today to try again.
well, after seeing all the wonderful produce i got at the farm this week, especially all the carrots, i was inspired. i LOVE autumn veggie soups. so, i thought i would try one out. and the reviews are in....
here's my (big) recipe:
14 carrots, sliced, diced, whatever. make sure the pieces are small enough, so they won't take so long to cook.
4 potatoes, cubed
1 sweet potato, cubed
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic (but i really like garlic. i don't think you'd need to put that much in if you didn't want to)
water (enough to cover plus a bit more. sorry, i didn't measure. i just poured the water in straight from the tap)
butter. i don't know, a couple tablespoons worth? sorry again, i should have said earlier, i never measure. anything. it's why i don't bake. but i digress...
cut up the veggies and toss them in the pot.
pour in the water.
bring to a boil, then simmer on medium until the veggies are tender.
add the butter. stir it all up.
blend until smooth.
i liked this soup. and the "recipe" made quite a bit. i filled 2 1L jars, a 500ml jar, and a couple smaller jam jars (for myself, on days when the kids are with ed). i also got about half of another 1L jar, which we'll enjoy likely on sunday for lunch.
so, there you go. my first attempt at soup, and it's good! and so, i thought i would leave you with a fitting quotation this evening, since we're in a soup-y frame of mind at the moment:
Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.
- Ludwig von Beethoven

Hamburger Stew/Soup a la Annie Brown

ok, i'm totally stealing this recipe from annie. mostly i'm just posting this here, because i'm at her house now, and i don't have anywhere to copy it at the moment, so here we go:

1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed tomato soup
3-3/4 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
4 carrots, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 stalk celery, chopped (optional, thank God! nothing more disgusting than cooked celery)
1 (15 oz) can corn or peas

1. in a large pot over medium heat, saute the ground beef. add the taco seasoning, soup, water, onions, carrots, potatoes, celery and beans. reduce heat to low. cover and simmer about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
2. just before serving, thicken with corn starch to more of a stew consistency.

now, here's those extra little tips that are never in recipes, but that you always get when you talk to the cook herself. so, here we go:

  • use frozen veggies, not canned. easier, healthier, yummier.
  • really, just add whatever veggies you have on hand. peppers, green beans, whatever you've got, throw it in.
  • brown the beef ahead of time, like when you bring it home. toss it in the crockpot all day, turning it over every couple hours. just toss it in on high; it's an all day thing, but if it makes things easier in the long run, i'm all for it. once it's done, toss it in some ziploc bags and freeze it. then when you go to make the stew, you just toss in the meat already browned. makes the whole process go faster.

there you go. i'm going to give it a whirl in the next few days, and i'll let you know how it turned out. although annie says her family loves it, so i'm guessing mine will like it, too, since her kids are pickier eaters than mine. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fairmeadow Farm CSA

i joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) today. every two weeks, i go to a farm outside of Sparta, and pick up vegetables. the top picture shows you the amounts i get of each of the vegetables.

i should tell you that there is still room at the farm, so if you're interested in getting lots of good organic vegetables, grown locally, it's still possible. in fact, you would get a double share next time.

i'm so excited. i think tomorrow i'm going to make carrot soup for the first time ever! yay!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

"First" day of school

blithe and bram, after their first day at school.
bram, tired and a little shell-shocked after his first day at JK. he had a wonderful time, though at this point he was still somewhat overwhelmed by the whole experience.
bram made a friend who helped him at school.

what a day. i don't know quite how i feel about the whole thing. i'm glad they're enjoying it so much. blithe has informed me that i did, in fact, make the right decision, so i guess that helps. they are both really happy to be at school. bram has decided to learn to put on his own shoes by himself, because "that will make Mrs B- so happy." oh, yeah, it's already starting.

so, there you have it. their first day of school.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh, yeah, today was fantastic. Ugh.

I got no sleep last night. Asher wasn't sleeping very soundly, and kept tossing and turning. Which meant that his tube kept kinking. Which meant that his feed couldn't go through. Which meant that his alarm kept going off. Which meant that i had to get up.

A lot.

The longest chunk of sleep i got was an hour and a half.

Yeah. Not cool.

Needless to say, i'm tired today.

I went for my second workout at Curves today. It was good, lots of fun. But afterward i was tired. And sweaty. Yuck.

Then i came home.

To my messy house.

And my rambunctious children (including my 3.5-year-old who didn't go to sleep till 11 last night. Yeah).

And a sandbox still full of water and tank engines (but no immunodeficient, medically fragile toddler today).

And my front steps still needing to be repaired.

You can see where this is heading, i'm sure.

This evening, my Facebook status says, "Heather is drained, exhausted and feeling like the world's worst mother." Wanna know why? Ok, here's the list:

  1. I'm tired. So i'm cranky. I can't think of a single person today i didn't yell and/or snap at. Oh, yeah, i was at my most delightful today.
  2. I registered my kids at the public school nearby today. They start there next week. There are several points to this one:
    1. I feel like a failure, because i just couldn't do homeschooling. I want to. But right now, i just can't. I feel like i'm giving up. And i hate that.
    2. The kids are excited about starting school. Which should be a good thing, right? I mean, i should be happy that they're rolling with this change so well. Except that i feel terrible, because i feel like they think i'm a bad teacher and they're glad i won't be teaching them anymore.
    3. There are all kinds of viruses and bugs at public schools. Which blithe and bram will likely bring home. To my toddler with half a heart and no t-cells. So it puts asher at risk.
    4. Homeschooling has always been my dream. I'm letting go of my dream.
    5. I'm looking forward to time away from my kids. So i can finally get stuff done around the house. Like purging, organizing, painting, repairing, dusting, dishes, tidying, vacuuming, sweeping, laundry... do i really need to go on? The point is i'm happy that they'll be out of the house for the day. What kind of a mother does that make me?
    6. I need them out of the house so that i can deal with lawyers and bank/mortgage people, as i divorce their father.
  3. Last night i ordered a refill of one of asher's reflux meds. Lansoprazole. Yeah, it's still at shoppers. And all the kids are in bed. And i'm the only adult. So i can't go get it.
  4. The house is a mess, but all i want to do right now is curl up on the couch with a case bottle glass of wine and a book.
  5. For lunch today we had pizza pockets and Doritos, and for supper we had A&W.
  6. On our walk tonight, i actually told the kids to stop using their imagination and talking about tank engines. But seriously, when blithe started talking about somehow getting Pinchy off of Diesel 10 with some weird trick that involves throwing sticks and yelling "Yeah! We got Pinchy!" in the street, honestly, i thought i was going to cry.
  7. I've lost blithe's birth certificate. And mine, for that matter. But i needed hers to register her at school today. So now i have to drive to London to get our family doctor to fill out a form that says that yes, in fact, blithe was born, and then we can send her to school. Blithe, that is, not our family doctor. I'm pretty sure Tracy's done school.
  8. The stuff from supper (which was, you'll remember, A&W) is still on the table. But blithe still had some chocolate milk left, and i just finished it off.

Ok, i think that's about it. Oh, no, wait, it isn't. Today blithe told me that when i yell at them, she gets scared and nervous and doesn't love me as much. And another time, she said she doesn't want to live with me anymore.

I know these days happen sometimes when you're tired and therefore overwhelmed. Most of these things would never bother me on a normal day. Well, except blithe's comments at the end there. On the other hand, on a normal day, i wouldn't yell at them, so that wouldn't have even come up. But really, it was an all-around horrible day around here.

But at least they're all asleep now. Or at least, asher is asleep and blithe and bram are quiet. So maybe i should just curl up in the corner under the covers on the couch and dream of someone to rescue me and take me away from this life drink myself into a stupor read a book.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

hi everyone,

i'm writing to let you know that edwin and i have now separated permanently and will be getting a divorce. this has been a long, painful and sorrowful journey for each of us, but in the end, we are parting amicably and peacefully.

we still care for each other deeply, and will be supportive to each other for the rest of our lives. we continue to be best of friends. but we also now realize that we make better friends than spouses.

in all of this, the children are doing well.there is now, at long last, peace between us, and this will help the children.

i really appreciate your prayers and support during this difficult time, and would ask that you continue to pray for us, as the road ahead during the next while will be stressful for all of us.

thank-you so much for your understanding. if you wish to talk, please feel free to contact me.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bram, the King of Non-Sequiturs

bram and i were cuddling a bit at the park this afternoon. we were chatting.

me: you sure love to cuddle, don't you?

bram: yes, and i have skin.

ok. whatever.

Monday, September 29, 2008

crockpot chicken wings

ok, someone asked about this, so here are the uber-easy instructions for crockpot chicken wings.

buy plain ol' chicken wings at the grocery store. not in the freezer section. go where you would grab chicken breasts, pork chops, ground beef and sausage. the chicken wings should be with the chicken. makes sense. anyhoo...

pay for the wings. i don't want to be held responsible for oodles of people stealing chicken wings. that's just madness. so pay for the wings.

take them home. i'm sure they wouldn't appreciate you setting up a crockpot in the middle of the store.

if you want, spray a bit of cooking spray inside the pot, but you don't have to. i forgot to once, and the wings turned out fine.

dump in the wings.

dump in the sauce. again, i recommend the Diana chicken n' rib sauce, though i'm sure just about any BBQ sauce will do. it's a matter of taste. i prefer Diana, though.

cook the wings on high for about 6 hours. this gets them good and cooked. and when you go to eat them, the meat will be just falling off the bones and melting in your mouth.

there's my "secret" recipe for crockpot wings. i stole it off the "A Year of Crockpotting" blog (the link is on the sidebar). enjoy!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

mmm... wings... this is why i can't go veg!

i made chicken wings for supper tonight. i'd post a picture of them, but they're just a pile of bones now, having been devoured by a ravenous hoard of young and old. that's right, they were DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! mmmm... chicken.... {drooling like homer simpson}

i put some parchment paper in a pan (haha! makes clean-up so easy - just crumple up the paper and toss it out! God bless whoever invented parchment paper!). i dumped in some raw chicken wings that i picked up at No Frills. then i drizzled them generously (read: obscenely) with sauce. the stuff pictured above. then i tossed them in the oven to bake at 425F for the next hour or so (i don't do recipes, i don't do clocks. i cook it till it looks right. that's what i do, and it works for me. when i time stuff, it doesn't work for some reason. don't ask; i don't understand, either.)

i have tried doing wings in the crockpot, and they're lovely, too. when you cook them slowly all day, the meat just falls off the bone and they're a messy, meaty dream. but i've never used this sauce before. i think it's the sauce that makes all the difference. delish!

they turned out fantastically. and i mean that literally. if you could imagine your ideal chicken wings, this is them. yup, straight out of a beautiful, drool-y, carnivorous fantasy, they are! anyhoo, give them a whirl... you'll drool, too, i promise! :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

meet Sally

this is Sally, the newest member of our household. isn't she lovely? blithe found "her" at Springbank Park the other day and she just had to bring her home.

i'll admit, for a while there i didn't think Sally was even "with us" anymore, but then it occured to me that we hadn't given her anything to eat, so the night before last, i dropped two spinach leaves in there. by morning, there was only part of one leaf left. so, spinach it is. and actually, one of the most fascinating parts of the day is sitting and watching her eat (which would leave me unable to actually eat, if i had several people just sitting and watching me eat. but i have issues. obviously, sally is a little more well-adjusted than i am. lol)

i'm using this as an on-going science lesson for the kids. they're absolutely loving this caterpillar! they're both enjoying watching her eat and move around and sleep and... well, actually, that's about all she does. so far, there's no coccoon or anything. just a lot less spinach in my house. ;) but if anything develops, you know i'll post.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

our evening walk

most evenings after supper we go for a walk to a garden/parkette nearby. bram calls it our "calming down walk." it (usually) helps the kids to unwind before bed. i thought i would share some pics from our walk tonight.

asher loves these walks. as soon as you mention "go for a walk in the stroller" he goes racing toward the front door and waits impatiently for the rest of us to get ready. tonight, he's learning how to whistle while he waits. :)

my mother introduced bram to these flowers, and taught him a funny little pun. it's now a running joke in our family, since these flowers are very popular in our area. they're now his favourite flower. tonight, he ran to the plant laughing, "do you sedom, mommy? do you sedom?" lol

ok, i have no idea what these are, but they were too Dr Seuss-ish to ignore. if you know what they're called, please tell me. their leaves look very marijuana-esque, and then the flowers are these hot pink spiky balls! how weird, yet how very, very cool. i dig 'em.
blithe loves to ride her bike on our walks. she's getting really good at it, gaining more confidence every day. it's so nice to see her grow up right before my eyes. tonight she was figuring out how to pedal standing up, and she's so proud of how fast she can go on her bike. she can be a surprisingly nervous girl; she wants to do something perfectly the first time, and she can get really down on herself if she fails. it takes a lot of encouragement to get her to keep trying, but as soon as she achieves some success, she keeps working on it herself until she's got it. i'm so proud of her!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

a bedtime story

tonight, blithe was overtired and a bit fussy at bedtime. so, i turned on her bedtime music, cuddled up with her and started to tell her favourite story, all about Princess Blithe and her puppy Mufu. she didn't want that story tonight, she wanted another one. here's the story i told her:

once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a beautiful girl named Princess Heather. Princess Heather didn't want to be a princess, though. no, she wanted to be... a clown!

Princess Heather went to her mother, Queen Nana, and said, "Queen Nana, can i be a clown?"

"but Princess Heather," replied Queen Nana, "you are a clown!"

"no, Queen Nana, i mean a real clown!"

"but you are a real clown! look at your big red nose! honk honk!" well, they both laughed at this, because of course Princess Heather was not a real clown and did not have a red nose.

the next day, Princess Heather decided that the time had come for her to become a real clown. so she put on some enormous shoes and ran down the road to join the circus. she snuck in with the clowns. she put on a big rainbow wig, lots and lots of make-up, and of course, a big red nose... that honks! then she put on her silly costume, including a flower that squirts water!

Princess Heather the Clown had so much fun! she ran around playing and squirting people and dancing to the circus music and laughing the whole time! oh, what fun!

but at the end of the day, she was tired. she just wanted to crawl into her comfy bed and go to sleep. so she walked home, went to her room, and fell asleep. and she lived happily ever after.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

now, i know what you're thinking...

"heather, how can afford to just go and buy a new camera? without saving for it? i don't understand." the answer, gentle reader, is two-fold:

  1. VISA. 'nuff said.
  2. FACTORY DIRECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i bought my new Kodak EasyShare, 8.2mp camera at Factory Direct for only $79.99! can you believe that?! i couldn't... at first. then i grabbed a memory card (yes, my memory card is gone, too. you can stop laughing now. lol). and a 2GB card was only $9!! can you believe that?!

i'm completely serious about those prices, folks! ask annie! she was there! she witnessed the whole thing!

moral of the story... if you need a new camera, go to Factory Direct, at Wellington and Bradley in London, right by Jack Aster's and McDonald's. awesome deals. just check out the link, and start coveting! enjoy! :)

ok, this is the funniest picture ever...

i have no idea who set this up, putting blithe's Polly Pocket purse on bram's monster guy. but seriously! this is just too funny!!! my kids rock! :D

Sunday, September 14, 2008

career goals... and sit down before you read... bram's will surprise you...

ok, so tonight we read a little board book about different jobs/careers. sort of a "when i grow up i wanna be a..." kind of thing. well, here's what the kids declared:

  • Blithe: a veteranarian (sp?). that way she can be a doctor, but also work with kitties and goldfish and horses. honestly, she listed those animals in particular.
  • Bram: (are you sitting down? i'm not joking here, folks) ok, so, if you've met bram, you're likely thinking farmer or trucker. or perhaps a combination of the two. or a conductor on a train. nope. that's not what he said tonight. he has two goals: painter and actor. stop laughing. i'm not joking.
  • Asher: he yelped something from the other room (he was already in bed, but likely heard my jaw hit the floor), but to be honest, i didn't quite catch it. something about "anything but paeds cardio for me, thank-you very much!" (or maybe i'm just projecting a bit there, lol)

there you go. my kids' career goals. interesting, wouldn't you say? ;)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

yet another blog... yup, i'm obsessed... but only a little. lol

just so you know, i have started a new blog. it's called "homeschooling my kids" (the link will be on the sidebar later). it's about, you guessed it, homeschooling my kids. so i won't be posting too much about that subject here. check the new blog if you're interested in our schooling.

enjoy (once i post there, that is).

Sunday, August 31, 2008

a quote

i don't know what this has to do with anything "simple," but i just re-discovered this quotation, and it's going on the sidebar here so it won't get lost, but i want you to read it, so it's a post, too (don't mind me, i'm a little odd...). here it is:

beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
- Benjamin Franklin

a wise, wise man, that ben franklin... ;)

Friday, August 29, 2008

ah, the joys of purging...

well, it's that time of year again, when you can't walk down the street on a saturday afternoon without taking other people's junk and unwantables... that's right, folks, it GARAGE SALE TIME!!!

ok, annie, i know, it's been garage sale time for a while now, like since the spring. but i don't really do garage sales. i have too much of my own junk, so why would i want someone else's? but... i have a LOT of stuff to get rid of, so i'm having a garage sale of my own. my mom also has quite a bit she needs to purge, so we're doing it together.

it'll be fun, i think. i'm getting rid of my stuff, mom's getting rid of her stuff, the kids are going to sell lemonade or iced tea or something (and they get to keep whatever money they make, so c'mon out and buy some lemonade from them!), and mom and i tossed around the idea of putting asher in the playpen and selling tickets. you know, "two bits a gander!" (which, for those of us from the generation who never got to go to a freak show, means, "if you wanna look, it's gonna cost you 25 cents). i don't think we're going to do that, though. he's too cute! we could get far more than a quarter! lol ok, totally joking about the asher sideshow. please don't come with your toonie all set to gawk at my boy. but i digress... (wow! i say that a lot on this blog, don't i? i wonder why? maybe i talk to much, you think? lol)

anyhoo... so, yeah, garage sale at mom's house on saturday morning. she's getting rid of a lot of stuff. me, specifically...

  • kids' clothes. everything up to girl 4 or 5. boys, up to size 24 months or 2. something like that. stuff that won't fit the boys (and they fit opposite seasons. so asher could wear bram's winter stuff right now, but that won't work, because, um, yeah, it's summer. who'd've thought that these boys, with their b-days 3 days apart would be so vastly different in size? or, rather, the same. there's only 4 lbs difference. seriously.)
  • cloth diapers. Kooshies. i have the baby size and the toddler size. i also have extra cloth liners, and flushable paper liners which makes clean-up much easier. i also have a cute hanging thing to hold the baby sized diapers in.
  • scrapbooking. lotsa paper and magazines.
  • Stampin' Up! stamp sets. for cheap. i think the biggest set is only $10.

i have other stuff, too, i think. but that's all i can think of off the top of my head. well, i've gotta go now. we worked on my stuff all week, now i'm here in hamilton to help mom get her stuff organized.

so, if you're out and about in hamilton on saturday, stop by our garage sale. we're right by Queensdale school, which is on, coincidentally, Queensdale ave. we're one block north of the street; the backyard is right by the playground. see you then! :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

thank-you, sarah, for finding bug info. be warned, though, readers: don't click on the links if you don't like bugs. tanna, this means you! lol

ok, remember my post the other day about that creepy bug in my backyard? i think we all do, and now we've all got the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. well, sarah looked it up for me, and here's what she wrote:

I looked it up on a site called 'What's that bug' and figured it to be a Hellgrammite. Yeah, an interesting name to say the least. But it is the larva of a dobson fly...if that tells you anything. Apparently they can pinch but other than that, pretty harmless. So if you want to know more about it, just google it.Just letting you know as you peeked my curiousity,
Sarah S
so, there you have it. a creepy bug with a creepy name. now i'm off to google "dobson fly," because i don't really know what that is either, although i think i have an idea. i'll post a link when i find it.

UPDATE: here's the link to What's That Bug?
enjoy. or don't, if you're squeamish. be warned. it's all about bugs. if you don't like bugs, don't click on the link. but, if you're into bugs (and i looked around, they're not all creepy), check it out.

also, i don't think it is a Hellgrammite, they're all black, and this one has some grey on it, not as many legs, and the pincers look brown. i'm going to send them the pic of my bug and let them figure it out. but thanks for the tip, i'm definitely taking advantage of this site now.

and a bonus about the bug site: there are these weird black and red bugs in st thomas (i've seen them in a couple places, one of which was, you guessed it, my backyard... what is it about my backyard and bugs! sheesh! i know it's got lots of grass and mature trees and a garden, but seriously! leave my backyard alone, creepy crawlies!!!!!! oh, yeah, i'm SUCH a girl, lol). well, i found them on this site. they're called boxelder bugs, or garagebugs. and, joy of joys, they tend to come indoors as the cooler weather approaches. fortunately, they're harmless, so i don't have to worry about trying to kill them (so, pam, tell hal i won't need him too often in the next while). but still... a world without bugs... a girl can dream, right? here's the link to that specific bug:
nice, eh? glad they're harmless, but i'm also thankful for the nice tip on getting rid of them. dishsoap and water, what could be easier (or greener)?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

mmmm.... couscous salad.....

so, my mom and i went out for chai lattes and cheesecake this afternoon (ed has the kids today), so we weren't overly hungry at suppertime. but, i've been craving couscous lately. don't know why. i'm just weird, i guess. i mean, really, who craves couscous, other than me? anyway, i made a delightful little couscous salad for supper, and it turned out rather nicely. here's what i did:

2/3 cups couscous
1 cup water
a drizzle of olive oil
a wee bit of salt (like the exactitude of the quatities there? lol)

bring water, oil and salt to a boil. stir in couscous. cover and remove from heat. let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. this makes 2 servings of couscous. then...

add spinach, diced tomatoes (from my garden, no less!), green pepper. drizzle lightly with oil & vinegar dressing. stir it all up, and enjoy!

this was SO good... i'm totally making it again. mom and i enjoyed it in the backyard. a nice, light supper (would also make a good sidedish or even a lunch in the hospital or something). if you try it, let me know what you think. we liked it a lot, and i'm going to use this again.

my next couscous adventure will likely include garlic, black beans, corn, feta, tomato, green pepper and oil & vinegar dressing. can't wait!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008


so, every once in a while, i check out one of my favourite blogs, A Year of CrockPotting. not only does she post a good recipe every day (well, most days it's a good recipe, other days, by her own admission, not so much). but i love her blog because she's funny! think me, but funny and domestic!

anyway, you know how much we all love mexican food here. and even asher loves refried beans. but as yet, i had not quite figured out how to make refried beans. well, thank-you very much, crockpot lady, you have provided me with the recipe i need! yay! i'm going to go soad some pinto beans overnight now, and cook them tomorrow, and i'll let you know how it turned out.

meanwhile, here's the recipe.

and feel free to peruse her blog while you're there. she's awesome! :)

Theology 101 at Blithe Peters Seminary (i don't know what denomination, or even if it's accredited, though)

and i'm quoting here:

"mommy, you know what? God is an alien."

that's it. no room for questioning. just "God is an alien."

*****here's her reasoning: Daddy told her that God lives in heaven, and that heaven is in outer space. she made the leap to "God is an alien." how's that for systematic theology?! yup, she's gonna be a famous theologian someday... or maybe, infamous... lol

WTF???????? (pardon the profanity, but you'll understand when you see the pic...)

ok, i haven't been this creeped out by a bug in a long time... well, at least since last week, when i had to borrow hal to kill a centipede in my bathtub. but i almost think this one is creepier because...


seriously, i have never seen anything like this in my life! what is it? if you know, please let me know. if it's dangerous and could kill us all, please let me know ASAP, since my kids all love playing in the backyard. and most importantly, if you have any idea how to trap/eliminate thse creatures, please let me know. not only for safety issues. i just think it's gross, and i want it gone from my home. thanks.

does anyone else have the creepy-crawlies right now? or is it just me? yuck!

Friday, August 22, 2008

is there anything more fun than tea with little girls?

yes! ice cream cone cake and iced tea in teacups... with little girls!

it was blithe's birthday party today. (and sorry to all my scrappy friends... i forgot my camera in the van, so i don't have any pictures. but i'll take one tomorrow of her balloon, so at least there's something.) anyway...

we had so much fun! blithe had 3 friends come over, and we had a little garden party in the backyard. they painted flower pots, blew bubbles, played in blithe's room, had cake and ice cream and iced tea, and then opened presents. it was so nice to see blithe so happy with her friends. she really did have a wonderful time this afternoon.

oh, i wish you could have seen them all dressed up in their pretty dresses, they looked lovely. oh, and the giggles! and one of the girls gave blithe some make-up, so at the end of the party, they went up to blithe's room and played with that. and of course, just like we all did when we were little (come on, ladies, admit it, lol), they went straight for the bright blue eye shadow, orange blush, and bright red lip gloss. absolutely lovely! :)

it really was a fun afternoon, and it was heartwarming to see blithe so happy and playful. :)

happy birthday, sweetie; i love you very much! :) xoxo

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

more toronto pics

i said i had more to share, so here you go...

blithe and bram got the chance to dig for dinosaur bones at the ROM. they loved it. they each went back to the sandboxes a couple times. they had loads of fun.

asher insists that everything blithe and bram can do, he can do, too. so, he raced over to the bone-digging, grabbed himself a pair of goggles, and called to nana to come lift him up. he had loads of fun, too.
would you be at all surprised to learn that this was blithe's favourite display at the museum? and that it wasn't mine?
the Delta Chelsea has an amazing thing for kids - they can check themselves in!!! they get to climb up to the counter, and then they get an activity pack. all three kids got one, and they loved it. our room (which i got for cheap, by the way - $129 for a premium room! woohoo!) was a mess almost from the moment we got in. lots of crayons and colouring books, and toys and plastic bags and ribbon ties and squealing, delighted children. so much fun!
ok, here's the story. wednesday morning, we had to go over to SickKids for asher's immunology appointment. and of course, because of the parent rate at the hospital versus the cost of parking anywhere else, the van was parked at the hospital. so we had to walk from the hotel. problem is, it started to pour just as we were checking out. nice, eh? so, we walked. in the rain. we weren't impressed. but, at least we were wet. because, of course, we didn't have umbrellas. i am not exaggerating (for once) when i say that within 30 seconds outside, we were all soaked. so, we scrambled under a canopy and dug the towels out of our bags and draped them over our heads. i threw a blanket over the stroller in an attempt to keep my child out of the rain before consulting a doctor about his compromised immune system. and i say "attempt" because asher refused to have the blanket over his stroller. he and i walked all the way to the hospital with him peaking out from behind the blanket, unbeknownst to me. at least, until we got to the hospital and he was wet and cold. oh, yeah, i was thrilled. anyway, with the towel over my head, i couldn't see mom and the other kids, because they were behind me, so i just barrelled along on my way to shoppers. you see, at shoppers, they have umbrellas. well, i got to the store, and looked behind me for the rest of my party, and there they were, standing on the corner, looking wet and pathetic in their towels. and to all my scrappy friends, you'll be proud to know that i have trained my mother well: you see how she's standing off from the kids a bit there? yeah, she's taking their picture. are you proud? i sure am. teehee!

so there you have it. a few more pics from our toronto trip. i have a couple more i want to post still, but i'm tired and sick, so i'm going to bed. maybe i'll post tomorrow. i'll try, anyway. talk to you later! :)

UPDATE: ok, so i'm showing the older kids the pictures here tonight, and blithe says, "we should have took a taxi." bram adds, "but there's no taxis in this world." i says, "bram, you know what that green and orange car is? the one right behind you in the picture? it's a taxi." yeah. conversations with my kids are funny. lol

but really, what else would i be doing at 5am?

so, here i am, awake (on purpose) at 5am. i have to get out early this morning, so i'm up early. and of course, since there's really nothing else to do at 5am (well, i think i vaguely recall something called "sleep" but i'm not entirely sure, having been awake so often at this hour anyway...), i'm going to make my lunch for today. and what am i making at this hour? well, let me tell you:


from scracth, no less!

proud? why, yes, i am, as a matter of fact. here's the ingredients:
my "honourary" mom taught me how to do it. and like most real cooking, she taught me without a real recipe. she said, "about half the package of flour, and then some water and salt until it's right." now, that, my friends, is my kind of recipe. how much to add? until it looks right. seriously, that's how i cook, so those are instructions i understand (especially since she told me what it should look like. otherwise, what does tortilla dough look like? i don't know).

anyhoo... i'm going to get working on this now. i'm going to make my own corn tortillas, pressed in my very own tortilla press (which i picked up at mennomex in aylmer), and then fill them with refried beans, which i am going to cook up with a bit of onion. then i'm adding cheese and tomato and maybe some peppers.

and yes, in case you're wondering... the tomatoes and peppers are from my garden. awesome. ;)

anyway, i've never really done this before. so i'll post later and let you know how it all turns out. i'll try to remember to take a picture of it all when it's done. talk to you later! :)

UPDATE: the tacos turned out great. i will never again buy corn tortillas. they're so easy to make, and i did up the tacos in about half an hour this morning. this means:

  1. make the dough, and roll it into balls
  2. press the dough into flat tortillas (thank-you, tortilla press!)
  3. fry the tortillas on a dry skillet
  4. add cheese and beans to the tortilla, fold it, and place on baking sheet
  5. broil until done (well, this was done while i dressed the kids)

and they were so yummy! i didn't quite use Mom R's recipe, but only because it would have made a billion tortillas, and i wanted about a dozen. the recipe on the bag makes approx 16 tortillas. i got 15 out of it (i guess i made them a little big). i still have 4 balls of dough in a container in the fridge, so maybe for snack tomorrow or something... anyhoo... i highly recommend making your own tortillas. give it a whirl! so easy, so yummy, so healthy, so cheap. good, all around. ;)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

long overdue... our mini-vacation in toronto!

waaaay back at the end of july, my mom and i took the kids for a little mini-vacation to toronto. we went to the ROM on the first day. here's some pics:

these are the coolest chairs. they have them in the lobby at the ROM. they're metal and angular, and surprisingly, very comfortable. anyway, the kids loved them. never mind the look on bram's face. he thought the chair was really cool, too.
ok, mom, you're going to have to help me out with the names of some of these dinosaurs. this was a flying one (pteranadon? i don't know. paleantologist, i ain't). and hokey doodle, the wingspan is huge! i think it said it was 12 feet or something terrifying like that! honestly, this picture doesn't do it justice. but it's right there, as soon as you come onto the dino exhibit, there it is screaming at you like that. "hi, i'm looking for the dinosaurs... and a clean pair of shorts." lol
this is a turtle. a giant turtle. a dino turtle. don't know the specific name. don't really care, to be honest with you (i'm really not that into all the names. i call this one dino turtle because it's a turtle from dino times. original, i know). and to say it was big, would be an understatement. if you look up from the funky metal chairs, it's right over your head. and then when you're on dino floor, it's right there, "swimming" out over nothing. it's gotta be 40 feet up in the air, just hanging there. and it's bigger than me. a lot bigger. yikes! but uber-cool!
this is blithe's favourite, the long-neck. and really, do i have to tell you what it is? you know, when you read in books "the such-and-such-a-saur was a million feet long" it's hard to picture, i find. but then you see it, and suddenly it's even bigger than you thought! wow! bram couldn't care less about this dinosaur. seriously, not even interested in the quiet ones. nope. he's all about...
the ultimate boy dinosaur. ever noticed that? for some reason, girls tend to like the brontosaurs and the like, but show the boys the fast, carnivorous giants with blood dripping from their fangs and claws, and those boys are clutching things only little boys clucth in public (or maybe that's just how bram reacts when he's excited. whatever. there was a lot of "bram, let go of that" at the museum. and he wasn't grabbing the exhibits. {roll eyes}) so, yeah, bram enjoyed this dino, and blithe still says, "mommy, i'm scared of the big dinosaur, the one with sharp teeth. it's the one that eats meat. i don't like that one." never mind that there were lots of dinos, and indeed animals today, who eat meat (including, ironically, blithe). never mind that this is not the biggest dino we saw. i think it was how they had it displayed (and maybe how it's always portrayed, as the "bad guy" dinosaur). if you notice, at t-rex's feet, there's a dino skull. i think it's a triceratops. no body, just the head. pretty.

so, that was part of our trip to the ROM. there are other pics from the trip, but i'm going to have to post those later. right now, i'm off to check on the kiddies, who, miracle of miracles, all seem to have gone to sleep nicely tonight! delightful!

Monday, August 18, 2008

ok, this is just too funny

so, last night, i took the kids to my friends' 25th anniversary open house. we were sitting at a table, munching and chatting. well, the kids were very tired, and granted, i may have forgotten the "be on your best behaviour or we're leaving" conversation, but whatever. they know the rules. anyway...

let's just say, the kids weren't at their best. so, i said that if i had to speak to them one more time about their behaviour, we would leave. blithe was not impressed with that idea. (which is fine, i wasn't impressed by her behaviour, so whatever.) anyway, i said, with a smile on my face, "blithe, who's the boss in our family?" she answered, sullenly, "you are." "that's right," said i, "so what does that mean?" "we have to do what you say... but can't someone else be the boss for once? like bram or me? please?"

um, let me think.... no. but still, nice try, kiddo. lol

Thursday, July 31, 2008

zucchini bread recipe, as promised

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sour cream


  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). grease two 9x5 loaf pans.
  2. beat together eggs, sugar and oil. blend in the grated zucchini, and then the sour cream. mix in the flour, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon. pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. bake for 80 minutes. cool on wire rack.

the original recipe called for 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips as well, but i think that's disgusting, so i'm leaving it out. call me crazy, but i just don't think chocolate and zucchini quite mesh. so, yeah, i'll post my review tomorrow, and let you know how it all turned out. and i'll post some pics of us all cooking and baking, as well as a list of all the things we made.

ps - here's the link to the recipe on

check it out and read the reviews. sounds like a good one to me. i'll let you know.

the first real harvest from my garden... 2 zucchinis! and check out the size of them! seriously, i'm so proud! we're going to use these tomorrow in our cooking and baking. i just printed off a recipe for zucchini bread, which i'll post next, then review tomorrow. i'm also going to use some zucchini in some pasta dish, either lasagna or some other noodle concoction, which i'll likely freeze and have on hand for the coming week. so there you go. i'm going to use food i grew myself. eep! i'm so excited! giddy, almost! anyway, got to type up a recipe, so i'll stop this post now. :)

try this one on for size, part 2

so, i don't know if any of you noticed, but i missed something kinda major on my housekeeping schedule. so, i've had to add something:

clean the bathroom
clean the kitchen

oh, gosh, i can't wait for saturday. woohoo. can you feel the excitement oozing out of this post? really? you can? huh, that's funny. because i'm gonna be honest here, folks, i'm totally being sarcastic. ah, well. at least at the end of the task, it's done and it'll be nice and clean. so, um, that'll be good.

anyway, i went grocery shopping today, and tomorrow the kids and i (and mom) are going to be cooking and baking up a storm. so that will be fun, at least! the kids are really looking forward it, too. and...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

try this one on for size

ok, before i start on this, i'm inspired by the title here, and a little bit of vanity, and i have to share this with all of you. if you've been reading my blooming blog, you've probably noticed that i've been rather depressed over the last few months. so depressed, in fact, that i've almost entirely lost my appetite. well, i like to look at the positive in situations, and i think i've found something great about crippling depression: weight loss! i've been carrying around a lot of extra "stress weight" for a while now. but.... not anymore!!! it is official, i have lost quite a bit of weight in the last couple months, apparently. i'd guess about 2 sizes! that's right, folks, on monday, i wore my "skinny" jeans (and had some room to spare in the rear), and today, i'm wearing my "goal" skirt, which is a size 14, and 2 months ago, i couldn't get it further than half-way up my thighs. well, i'm wearing it now, and it's quite comfy! yay!!!!! very pleasing, if i do say so myself. and this just goes along so nicely with my newfound self-confidence. i also feel attractive again for the first time in years... in fact, looking back, it's probably been about 7 years since i've felt this good about my appearance. so this is a delightful change for me. :)

but the real subject of this post is this: i'm trying out a new regimen at home. a housekeeping plan/schedule. i was inspired by my grandmother (and her generation) who always managed to have a clean, well-organized home/life, despite the busyness of 5 kids. her schedule was slightly different, since she washed and dried clothes on mondays and ironed on tuesdays. i don't iron. i believe that's why God gave us dryers with fluff cycles. so, i have tasks divided up by day. here's the schedule:

appointments for Asher (as often as possible)

outdoor work (gardening, lawn work, etc)
big projects (eg, painting, decorating, etc)
the kids are with ed on tuesdays and wednesdays, so i'm using those days to tackle the bigger jobs that might be more difficult with them around.

finish projects from Tuesday
taking items to BFM, storing for future garage sale or off-season
appointments for me (as often as possible)

menu planning and grocery shopping

cooking (meals to be frozen)

about friday's plan: i kind of like meals made ahead of time, and kept in the fridge or freezer. given how busy our lives are, this is a great way for us to eat healthy, avoid expensive take-out (thereby saving a LOT of money), and enjoy home-cooked meals that we made ourselves (i plan on getting the kids to help with some of it). i can also use it for schooling, since the measuring is math, and the planning and budgeting and shopping can all be used as math, "home economics" and basic life skills.

so there you have it. a little housework schedule that i'm going to try on for a while. i'll likely tweak it as i go, but i'm feeling pretty good about this as it is right now. so today is groceries and floors etc. should be good. i'll try to post in a week and let you know how it's working.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

finally... a garden update...

ok, yes, i know it's been a while since i posted an update on my garden. well, there's not really all that much to say. but before i continue, i'll admit, i've been a little neglectful toward it over the last week or so especially. lots going on at home, and since i'm the only adult here, i easily get pulled away from my beloved garden.

what else can i say? well, the non-picture update: my cucumbers are dead. they did well there for a while, but apparently they don't like the lots of rain then lots of wind combo or something like that (i don't know, ask a farmer). so, yeah, no cukes for me. the peas are coming up nicely, albeit surrounded by clover. i've simply got to do some clover-pulling. i've also got a couple carrot plants coming up, which is exciting. um, what else? hot peppers are doing ok, as are the potatoes. but they're not so exciting, so i left them off. but, i've learned what does really well in my soil here:

squash!!!! pictured above, in no particular order (mostly because i can't tell them apart anymore, since they've all mixed together), zucchini - 2 plants, acorn, butternut and pumpkin. ok, i'll do my best here and tell you which is which in the pic: way at the back and in the bottom left corner is the zucchini. in the middle somewhere is the acorn squash. the giant leaves, that's the pumpkin plant. and down in the bottom right, with little leaves and looking very "don't mind me"-ish, is the butternut. you might remember that i moved this one a while back, and since then, she hasn't done much. but when i checked on her tonight, i was thrilled to see that she's now spreading! go butternut go!!!
again, more pics of the pumpkin plant. seriously, those leaves are enormous! but this picture is really of the raspberry plant. doing quite nicely, don't you think? it'll still be a couple seasons before i get any berries from her, but that's ok. this garden is teaching me patience.
here's my giant tomato plant. it started to tip over the other day, so i had to stake it. it's huge! and earlier this evening, it had 17 tomatoes. but, i accidently knocked one off, so now we're down to 16. but it's all doing rather nicely! :)
ok, on to the herbs. oregano, lavender and rosemary are doing doing pretty well. in fact, i have already used the rosemary a couple times. yummy! :) as for the others, well, earwigs got at the dill and cilantro, so they're pooched. and the basil, well, i think that was my fault. i think basil might actually like water or something silly like that. i don't think it likes drying right out repeatedly. oops. :( and i really like basil. maybe i'll see if i can find another plant, or maybe some seeds, and grow it again. and water it. and take care of it. you know, learn from my mistakes and all that.
anyway, there you have it. my garden, such as it is. well, i'm heading into another not-so-simple week, but lots of fun planned. a trip to toronto for a couple days. first we're to the ROM to check out the dinosaurs, then swimming at a hotel, then clinic on wednesday. while we're in TO, i'm hoping to see a friend who's there with her baby after his open heart surgery the other week. well, i'll talk to you later! :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008


yesterday i got the most amazingly heart-warming surprise. someone, i don't know who, bought tickets for us to go see Thomas the Tank Engine here in town. we weren't going to go due to the cost ($20/person! yikes!) but then some wonderful person made a way.

in case you don't know this (and the only you wouldn't is if you've never actually met us), bram is OBSESSED with thomas. honestly, day and night, all he talks about is thomas and all his tank engine friends. so you can imagine how thrilled he was to actually get to see his favourite fussy little engine! here are some pics from the day:

bram watching thomas pulling up.
me & bram, cuddling on the train.
the kids had so much fun on the train ride.

and here they are, posing with thomas. and, before you think bram's ticked off or something, he's not. that's how he smiles lately. isn't is lovely? ugh. ah, well, this is the real bram, folks. and he's all mine! lol

so again, i'd like to say thank-you to whoever it was who paid for us to go. it was extremely generous of you, and we had a great time! thank-you thank-you thank-you! :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

what a week!

well, it's been quite a week here this past week. if you'll remember, i think i mentioned that i was going to attempt freezer jam, after the disastrous attempt at crockpot jam (the recipe's a good idea; maybe i'll try it again and actually follow the instructions! lol). anyway... mom and i made freezer jam on wednesday night. the batch we made gave 5 jars, which are now nestled in amongst the ground beef, enchiladas and buns in my freezer. mmmm.... can't wait to try it! :)
another new addition this week was the rain barrel. ed came over on wednesday and got it all set up, including re-routing the eavestroughs a bit. the 2 downspouts from the main roof now come down the roof of the kitchen and the down into the barrel. i've already been using it for laundry, and the kids are loving it for making mud with all the sand from the sand box. i'll have to pick up some more sand this week, since it's asher's happy place, but that's a whole other story.
so, there you have it. a productive week, in a lot of ways. anyway... um... i guess that's all i have to say here today. i may post to "blooming" later tonight, lots to update there, but yeah, i think that's about it here. i hope you have a simple week! :)

the garden this week

the weekly garden update. this week i'm showing off the peas, which were only planted a week ago, and we have 13 little sprouts. only one hasn't popped up. i'm assuming a bird or sqirrel got to it.

then the squashes. look at them! the pumpkin is the one with enormous leaves. i moved the butternut squash to the front corner; it will get more sunlight there. but the squirrels seem to like that corner, too, so we'll see what happens there. but the good news about the squashes: the zukes are already starting to grow, i must have 10 already, though they're still in the very early stages. and the pumpkin and acorn have the beginnings of flowers on them.

next up: cucumbers, which are doing wonderfully. especially the middle one. it's huge, so we've moved it so it will climb up the fence instead of over the peas. three of the plants now have flowers, and there are several cukes in the making. ooh, i'm so excited!

then there's the tomato plant - huge!!! one of the branches actually broke off this week, because it was so long and heavy from the leaves. but, if you'll notice in the pic, there's a tomato now! actually, there's 2, but i only shot one.

at the bottom here, you'll see the full garden, in all its glory. i'm proud (and yes, i know i need to do some weeding this week. probably wednesday).

so there you have it. lots of progress this week. woohoo! :)

but one quick thing: it seems i have a problem with earwigs. they really like my dill, and they've gotten into the basil and oregano. if you have any solutions, please let me know. thanks! :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

20 Ingredients

i just found this on and i was intrigued. they give you a list of 20 ingredients, and then they give you 20 recipes you can make with these ingredients. don't know how many of them i'll actually try, but i thought it was interesting, and i thought i would pass it along. enjoy!

ps - if you try any of the recipes, let me know which ones and how they turn out. just post in the comments section here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

so, i woke up this morning...

and all i wanted was banana bread. truly, banana bread. so... i came downstairs, and looked in the cupboard for a mix. but, alas, no mix in sight. what to do, what to do?! well, i did what any woman with an irrational craving does: i looked up a recipe on the internet.

and eureka! i found one! and i had all the ingredients! even better!

and then... i followed the recipe, and it's in the oven right now. the banana bread, that is, not the recipe. i'm not that inept when it comes to baking.

here's the link, if you're interested:

so, yeah, the bread's in the oven, baking away, and i am hungrily anticipating my breakfast. i'll update when it's done, and let you know how it all turned out.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


check it out! strawberry freezer jam! i'm so proud of myself. and it was so simple! why have i never done this before?!

also this evening, we had strawberry shortcake for dessert, and i made the whipped cream myself. oh, i'm so domestic! maybe i should change my name to Martha. lol

Sunday, June 22, 2008

weekly garden update

my tomato plant (from plant). it's huge!
blithe's tomato plants, from seed. doing really well!
zucchini. there's a bud on there, not quite a flower yet, but it's coming.
hot banana peppers. lots of flowers on the top plant, and a pepper is starting on the bottom one.
there are now 6 potato plants.
these are the highlights from the garden this week. but there were a couple of other exciting happenings: 3 of the cucumber plants now have flowers, and there's a couple buds starting on the pumpkin plant. as for the beans i had planted, yeah, nothing's happening there. so, this afternoon, i dug up the 2 rows (and found nothing - i'm guessing the birds ate them - i need a scarecrow), and the kids and i planted one row of peas and one row of carrots. i had no idea carrot seeds were so small! they're tiny! did anyone else know that, or am i the only one who didn't? i don't know what i thought they would look like, but they're even smaller than sesame seeds! who knew?!
anything else this week? well, um, i removed my acrylic nails. i don't mean i had them removed. i mean, i removed them. snapped/pried them all off. now, before you ask why i would post this on my simplicity blog, there's 3 reasons i took them off:
  1. they kept peeling off at the ends a bit, and dirt was getting in between my nails and the acrylic ones. so, even though they made my nails so much stronger the rest of the time, they really weren't practical for gardening, which is my new passion.
  2. i really felt they were the antithesis of all things simple. they represent a lack of genuineness, a dissatisfaction with the natural, and an elitist "ok, so, like, you mean you want me to work? like, seriously?" kind of approach to life. and is that really what simplicity is? is that what i'm aiming for in life? um, no. i'm the girl who was on her hands and knees in the garden this afternoon digging up the rows for seeds. so the whole pretty-girl-refusing-to-work-and-wreck-her-nails image just wasn't jiving. the nails had to go.
  3. i was too lazy to get them filled.

anything else going on in the house this week? my mom is working on stripping the paint off the banister in the front hall. some of it was coming off anyway; it looked like they had put latex paint over oil paint, and that's not the best combination. so, it's coming off, slowly but surely. and mom and i are working on a plan for the front hall, mainly involving what to do with the stairs (that carpet has to go!) and paintable wallpaper for texture, since the hall is too narrow for art, but it's so boring in there.

so that's the house this week. hopefully in the next month or so, i will be painting the bathroom a delightful powder blue, and i'm working on gathering what i need for the master bedroom, which has not been re-decorated since we moved in. so that's the house at the moment.

well, that's all i got right now. have a delightfully simple week, if i don't "talk" to you sooner! h

Why I Write Here

i like this blog. this is where i write about homelife. my kids, my pets, recipes, natural cleaning products, gardening, cool finds... that's what i write about here. this is the hands-on part of my personal journey. i'm reclaiming myself, a self i lost in a hospital somewhere, among all the meds, plastic, waste and complexity that comes with Special Needs parenting. i crave simplicity, and this is my journey to create it for my family and me.

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