Musing, discoveries, thoughts and opinions about family life and the lady who coordinates the calendar.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Love me some roller derby. Mad Rollin' Dolls has some of the best flat track action in the midwest. An excellent family outing. Big bang for your buck. Watching strong athletic women do there thing. A grassroots movement that gives back to the community. Lots of room for the kiddies to run.  And don't we all dream of being a derby girl?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rest for the Weary

Laid low. Low energy. Our bodies are doing their job and need rest. Magic happens when we rest. Lucky to live in a town where you can buy such good food at a food store. Lucky to have the resources to have choice about our food. Grateful. On-line reading. Off-line reading. Knitting.  And a continuous side car of sipping. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Days and nights, both cold and warm, in an oddly inviting way. More active followed by less active. Layers of snow. Layers of cloths. Layers of flavors. Whatever it is, I am digging this winter season.

Trees stretching out and taking up the sky view. Awesomeness in every way. The snow and ice showing off on the branches. I want to take their pictures all day. Q said, "Are you still taking pictures of the trees?" Yep.

Could you resist that face? Subzero
temperatures and willingly I go. We constructed and patted. We froze. Then retreated to hot coco and chai.

love the low lights, the flicker of flames and the many many books. 
Moments, games, chatter... these are a few of my favorite winter things.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Our Lilac and Rose Bush
So suddenly, winter is upon our home and life.  We've been preparing for Holiday gatherings and the sharing that happens with the shortest days of the year.  Q and I are working on a gift or two for those we love.  I have been quite busy bakin' and makin'.  I really do love it. It keeps me so in the moment.  

This is our 6th gingerbread house season and our first to make the house from scratch. And of course, there are plenty of cookies too. I added the challenge of making both GF/DF and traditional wheat based doughs.  This one comes from Cynthia Lair's "Feeding the Whole Family".  I substituted Buckwheat (2 cups) and Sorghum Flour (1 Cup).  I've been kinda surprised how much easier 
GF/DF recipes are getting to be.  Q demands complete control of decorating so I thought it would be fun to make several of them for our friends too.  Sorta nuts. For sure, not well thought out. And most definitely, lots of fun. Be prepared for a mess and lots of stickiness.

I have been overcome by the need to try new recipes. One of the best holiday treats I found, was Candy Cane Truffles.  How could something so heavenly be so sinfully easy to make? I made both milk chocolate as the recipe indicated and vegan GF/DF substituting DF/GF dark semi-sweet chocolate chips and coconut milk instead of cream. The recipe yields about 20-25 truffles. I will be making more of these babies. 

clearly proving the need for aprons
Finally, the joy of giving the delicious Spiked Cherries we put up last summer, to our friends and to ourselves, of course! Yummo and packs a wallop. We have to remind ourselves to not over indulge as the sweetness and warm juices do try to tell you otherwise. The slow warmness that rises up and settles in, brings you into the moment and leaves you deeply satisfied. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Living & Creating

Avoidance. Avoiding what needs to be done. And yet, hadn't been doing a whole lot of what I wanted anyway. Needs to be done? Who says? Isn't what I am doing in the the moment, exactly what I need to be doing? Moving towards the edges of loving what I'm doing while I'm doing it and letting go of everything else. Keeping my energy on what I love. Loving where my energy is at. And learning that it takes less time to get something done by just doing it. Simple and oh so challenging.

As winter settles in, we're settling into a rhythm for the darker days. I'm over the half-way point of overhauling my studio. Owning my artist within. She's so excited. Reminding me daily, that I can make art anywhere, for any length of time. (sighing with joy)

Home care and Family care are always on the agenda. How much, for how long and to what extent remains flexible. And the whole family is participating. Almost as awesome as making stuff.  The family is moving more and playing more. The smeench is working on stretching and growing his comfort zone and those hard developmental milestones where we learn to find joy in everything including care of self, care of belongings and care of the furry family members. Learning to love what we do so we have lots of time to do what we love. As always, the boy and I are in rhythm together. The Big Handsome Fella has been getting up at the crack of dawn and playing at the gym. Interesting how that has brought joy to all of us.

Just shy of one year since my last post. Lots of living and no writing. Sad and true. The Little Handsome Fella had his tonsils and adenoids removed. The nuttiness that is my life, included my mother falling down our stairs the morning of his surgery and breaking her ankle. One month later, she promptly fell and broke her other ankle. Same surgery on both ankles. Lots of me caring for them and PT appointments for the boy too. Both are recovered and thriving. We took care of each other and we healed.

Sometimes you wait. Sometimes you plan. Sometimes you do. Sometimes you are fast. Sometimes you are slow. Sometimes you are bored. Sometimes you are creative. All times you are living. I hope you are loving and having joy. Here's a peek into some of our past year of living, loving and joying.

Lots of Football...
literally told me, "not cool"
love the 'tude

Lots of out door time camping and exploring...

Kohler Andre State Park

Lots of growing and cooking...
part of our garden

our first pick, many followed
roasted 6 pans of these

Lots of Community Time...
Willy Street Co-op Party

Pride Parade


Lots of people's voices being heard... 
President Obama
DC Rally for Sanity

Lots of making stuff...

bird mobile for baby Bennie
ball for Abbie

Lots of fun...

the only way i play golf

science & fun

more art

zombie & "scared to death"

Lots of Family time...
George Webbs & Milwaukee Zoo

gave in to his joy & let go of my fears

Sunday, February 7, 2010

To Thine Own Family Be True

We had a ruff and tumble couple of months. Just sorta sucked my energy and focus. We've all been sick on and off.  I've got a chronic auto-immune disease that flares up and makes illnesses challenging. But worst of it, my little handsome fella got sick. So sick with Croup, he was in the hospital. Then it became a bacterial sinus infection which led to a reaction to antibiotics. That one bout took him 5 weeks to get back to his normal self. By 8 years old he should have grown out of this but it actually has gotten worse. In all of this, there was a happy accident as we learned he had Sleep Apnea which has just completely changed our lives.

Now we know what's going on. His tonsils and adenoids have always been quite large. Introduce a virus and often his air way is the size of a straw. He's always been a light sleeper both waking often and not waking up completely, even being combative at times. He has had night terrors for most of his life. He hates going to bed -- fears it actually. Never wants to wake up. Complains of tiredness and inability to focus all day. The list goes on and on. Hmmmm... sleep apnea is the root of all these problems?  May be not all the struggles but it was a great reminder that he's doing his best and maybe, just maybe, many of these things are out of his control.

Just having him sleep in a position that keep his air way open has moved things forward. The ENT said that children in his situation, haven't ever experienced the complete person they are because every day is tainted with lack of sleep. Not just not enough sleep. Lack of sleep. Our sweet boy doesn't get REM. That takes a toll on your body and psyche. Did I mention, he sleeps 8-11 hours each day!!!

He'll have a both tonsils and adenoids removed in March. We've had lots of judgement in both directions. Why wait so long? Why do it at all? Haven't you tried alternative methods? What about this? What about that? It's all very annoying. 

I'm so very glad to know who I am. My life is alternative methods which the reason he's done so well for so long. He's seen several alternative practitioners. We've tried herbs, oils, supplements, rinses, gargles, foods and energy work.  He's been sick twice more since the hospitalization. I do not sleep soundly as I'm always repositioning him while he sleeps. Worth it, but taking it's toll on me.

The point of this ramble? To thine own family be true!! You are all always doing your best. You know that feeling in your belly? Listen to it. Teach your child to listen to it. Have talks about it. Learn to pull back the veil of fear and get to that belly feeling. That knowing... often called intuition... will hold your hand and guide you in every situation. While it is very challenging to remember that others opinions of you are none of your business,  I do find it easier to remember that others opinions are always a reflection of their journey and their need to learn about themselves. Compassion for your self and others, will never lead you astray and neither will your intuition.

Here's one of my favorite authors Sonia Coquette and one of my favorite books "The Wise Child".

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spinach, I love you!

Mmmmm, spinach. I just never expected to fall in love with spinach. Most of my childhood was spent thinking canned French-cut green beans, was spinach. Sad? Maybe. But true.

My brother loved Popeye so my mom told him that's what the green stuff on his plate was.  My overall vegetable knowledge and exposure was rather non-existent until I got to college. We ate ice berg lettuce, those green beans, sweetened carrots and peas and the occasional broccoli.  Oh, and corn if you count that. It is just how my parents rolled.

Flash forward... in our house, we eat quite a variety of other veggies as well as an extensive amount of spinach.  You'll find it in almost any dish. Is there a recipe spinach cannot go in you ask? I've used spinach puree in smoothies and in baked goods. Makes awesome green cookies. Our latest fave has been spinach dip which is just a great excuse to eat mayonnaise in large quantities.

Today amongst the Sunday Pokemon gaming event, a hot family game of DC Monopoly and reading, I made Spinach Cheese Pastry.  I made it up and I'll write out what I did along with some ideas to improve it.

Spinach Cheese Pastry
8 Tb unsalted, butter, softened
3/4 container of sour cream
2 T grated cheese (parmesan type cheese, I used romano pecorino )
1.5 C (plus extra) Spelt Flour
1/2 t coarse salt

In mixer, I whipped the butter and added the sour cream until blended well.  Add the flour and salt until it is combined but not over worked yet holds together in a ball. Add more flour if needed. Divide into 4 balls, wrap in plastic and put in fridge for 30 minutes. Then take out for about 10-15 minutes before rolling it again.

Flour your surface and your rolling pin well -- you'll use lots of flour. One ball at a time roll it out, flipping and adding more flour as you roll, to create a rounded blob. If you don't add enough flour, then it will stick. Somewhere around 6-8 inches diameter stop. You could cut out a circle with a big enough bowl as your guide.

Add what you want to the center so you have plenty of blob to wrap still, much like a stramboli. We put chopped spinach, chopped basil, ham, salami, and diced tomatoes ~ topped with grated white cheddar and just enough tomato sauce to cover the top. Slowly flip the two shortest edges onto your pile of yumminess bring each of the larger sides flipped over -- looks like a burrito or an envelope. You could work it all to look like a crescent folding over the edge to seal the sides or pinching closed. Poke the dough to make a vent hole -- with a fork.

Preheat oven to 375 and place on a butter or lined baking sheet, as I used a pizza stone and it made the bottom to0 soft.  Bake 20-25 minutes.

Tips: Spelt is tricky and needs extra time to bake so check frequently after 20 minutes. Let it sit for 5 minutes before you eat. I found that oiled baking sheet worked best when I used the dough to make dessert pockets later. Also if you leave the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and just roll it out, it worked really well for me, again with the dessert.

Dessert Pockets: As noted above, rolled out the dough, cut with 5 inch circular cookie cutter, and put one teaspoon of Fig Preserve made early this week, into the center. In some I added whole almonds or chopped walnuts too. In some I put just chocolate chips or sugar-free Hershey's bars cut up with above nuts or cashews. I also took a small bit of dough and rolled it with chopped walnuts and in the center I put some Fig Preserve with Sartori BellaVitano Merlot.