March 18, 2014

Over break I had another Avett moment

Break was good.  Here are some of the reasons why:  

Last September I wrote a warning to my children about the Avett Brothers concert that never was.  I have a postscript:
Dear Bear and Ace,
C and I DID follow through.  Our 1 year minted friendship with Central Park J,  recently led us back to Manhattan.  Back to the Avett Brothers and as a serendipitous bonus, Mama's beloved "Old Crow Medicine Show".  What started a year ago as a rainy, anonymous meet-up, has come full circle into generous offerings of a warm bed, concert buddy, and subway navigator.

                                       the view from J's apartment

Now I'm not saying I would be cool with either of you doing what I have done.  In fact, I would be terrified for your lives.  However, these past two NYC visits have done nothing but to reinvigorate my notions that in general: people are good and honest, and life is ours for the asking.  That's the takeaway, not so much "run off to NYC with a girlfriend to meet up with strangers and see a major concert at the Barclays Center."

Love Mama,
PS: Scott and Seth Avett are brothers.  Just sayin'... 


Champ had a conference in Newport, RI. and the boys and I got to tag along; a rare, rare treat!

                                                "Save the Bay" educational center 

My Mom received an award for all her hard work at the school district she recently retired from.  Much deserved, Mom!


My sister-in-law and brother had twins.  TWINS! 

                                                                  nephew E

                                                niece H

They are as awesome as you could guess and my sister-in-law is now a minted rockstar!  Here's what I'm finding though- twins are hard to keep track of.  I don't even have great photos yet because you are either holding one of them, or accidentally taking a photo of one you already have a photo of.  Not that multiple photos is ever a bad thing, but can you see my dilemma?  I'm gonna work on that for the future.


Be back soon,

March 15, 2014

Winter humors me

I totally rode that blog break out, didn't I?  I plan on beginning back up next week; that is unless we get yet another snowstorm.  In that case, I plan on shoveling and building a few snowfolk.  And in the meantime, photos from our most recent snowstorm.  You aren't tired of looking at snow, are you?

Still not tired of it?  Cool.  I've got two more: happy dogs and freezing water.

What's with all the random winter pictures?  Well.. you kind of had to be there.  Let me just say that it's a joke between me and myself; involving eagerness in learning to use my 85mm lens, and distraction causing me to photography e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g in black and white (while thinking I had captured color).  A bursting reminder to self that I'm still keepin' it real.  Well done, TJ.   Seriously, you just had to be there.

enjoy your weekend!

February 19, 2014

Ready? Break!

Hey!  It's winter break around these parts.  Granted the word "break" is a little misleading, but I'm gonna attempt to put it to good use.  See you in a bit.

February 15, 2014

Peg people saints eat soft pretzels on Valentine's Day

Why yes, it did snow.

                                =Huckle is in both these pictures...=

It's still snowing tonight, as I'm sure it's currently doing (or recently did) in at least 40 other states.  Want to wager your own state bet?  Whoever guesses correctly gets a new snow shovel, my treat.  Let's move on.

It was Valentine's Day!  We shoveled snow.  We made yoda valentines.  We subsisted on sugar, strawberries, chocolate (it's own sugar category), sugar cookies (yet another category of sugar- I'm finding there are many), and pink cake for an entire day.  Atticus proudly gave Bear his valentine; one that he had insisted on buying when out with Champ one afternoon.  Champ is a good good man for looking into Valentine future and thus answering the request with a "yes".

 All good things end, but in this case when our sugar rush subsided, we became crafty little love bugs and that wasn't so bad at all.  I'm kinda into peg people right now, so we made St. Valentine to keep our other saint friends company.

                               (St. Blaise and St. Brigit.  Sooo obvious.)

And since I like cooking almost as much as painting wooden pegs, we made soft pretzels in honor of St. Valentine (with a nod to my Penn. Dutch childhood roots).  Carbo loading after a sugary blizzard is always a good idea- especially with some high quality mustard.  I practically scream "I love the world" when biting in to one.

"Perfect Pretzels" soft pretzel recipe (I have no idea who to credit this with, but I bet it was someone who once lived within walking distance to me)

1C warm water
1.5C flour
2t salt
1t (or package) yeast
2T soft butter
1T sugar
~ dissolve yeast in water with the sugar.  Add in remaining ingredients and knead until dough is pliable and not too sticky (I use my Kitchen Aid).  Divide dough into 12 balls.  Roll balls into 18'ish lengths about a pencil thick.  Loop and twist into a pretzel.  Place on a greased baking sheet and allow to double in size.  Preheat oven to 425*.  Make a boiling solution of 4C water and 5T baking soda and drop pretzels into it for 1 minute or until pretzels rise to the top.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake for 12 minutes until crisp.

February 13, 2014

Give A Boy A Fish

We all know the old proverb: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Bear developed his own take on that advice: when taken to the local pub for family favorite "fish and chip night" eat all but one fillet; it feeds you for a bedtime snack.

Mmmmm, cold cod with milk...

Today's snow is just beginning to fall- a few hours earlier than expected.  That can only mean you folks south of us have had some decent snow accumulation these past few days!!!!  Celebrate Valentine's Day, build snowfolk, and stay warm.