April 29, 2010

You Capture: Spring

Today's "You Capture" was a rather interesting experience... 

It snowed yesterday and today's assignment was "Spring".  

Hmm, almost an oxymoron, but I muddled through- after all I did have some fun daffodil shots from earlier in the week (you know, when the calendar date and the weather actually matched up).

Spring means

Goats!  What, you don't get excited to pet them at the farm, too?  Well, Ok then Spring also means

flowers.  Lots of flowers.

Let's not forget the fact that Spring also means we can now get our milk without having to truck through snow to get to the parlor door.

Oh and Spring means flowers

have I mentioned that already?  Bet you can find more botanically lovely samples if you head here.


Before I go, A Big Thank You to everyone who commented on yesterday's post regarding my photo uploading problems with Blogger.  Things seem better today, but I am going to look into many of your suggestions over the weekendIt also helped to hear I wasn't the only one having problems (because who wants to feel dumb, right?).  My readers are the best!

April 28, 2010

Forget Christmas in December

Apparently around here, the winter holiday can be held in late April just as easily.

I had a completely different post planned for today, but when I woke to this

I decided a change of plans was in order.

 A pick-me-up.
An "ignore what's going on outside and post about something fun and light and happy".

So you know what that means folks...
time for a recipe since food always cheers me up!

The thing is, I knew it was going to continue to be a bad day when I started to pick out the picture for the recipe and accidentally deleted it.  
Then I started to upload the photo and Blogger and I got into a fight which still isn't resolved (anyone else being forced to use a whole new system when uploading photos?!).

Argh!   I think I'm headed back to bed to hide until the snow melts, but do try the recipe while I'm gone.  It was delicious earlier this week, topped with a berry sauce and whipped cream, eaten outside during our bonfire with friends who were wearing jeans and tee shirts rather than snowsuits *double sigh*.   

That warm night is such a distant memory right now... 

Pound cake (adapted from Jill Henderson, Gooseberry Patch)

1C butter              1/4t baking soda
3C sugar               1/2 pt sour cream
6 eggs                  1T vanilla
3C flour                1t almond extract and 1t orange extract

Preheat over to 300* and grease a Bunt cake pan (or large cake pan).  Allow butter to soften, then cream well, gradually adding in sugar (I end up using about 2 3/4 C).  Add eggs one at a time.  Combine dry ingredients together and alternately add dry ingredients and sour cream to butter mixture.  Bake 1 1/2 hours or until thoroughly cooked.  Let cake cool in pan, then flip over to remove.  Can use honey or maple syrup in place of some of the sugar- just adjust the flavorings to taste.

April 27, 2010

10 things X 2

Yesterday was a test of the bloggy broadcasting system and today is a two for one sale here at Any Given Moment.

Yup, it is the monthly "10 Things to Smile About" over at

you should head there and link up your own list. That same wonderful Emmy recently gave me this award

which also requires me to list 10 things that make me happy.  So a big XOXO to Emmy and thank you for the sweet (seriously, yummy sweet) award and inspiration for today's post.  You Rock!

10 things that made me a happy smiling TJ this month

1. Being able to still capture the occasional snapshot of Bear sleeping (and happy thrilled that he ended his "no nap" strike.)
2. Having an awesome Spring Break spent with family and friends
3. FINALLY getting back in to the running habit and not having to leap across piles of snow (but we're due for about 1" tomorrow- YARS!)

4) even so, it's Spring- I checked the calendar- and I'm so happy about that!
5) for fresh, clothesline hung sheets on the bed
6) the noisy racket outdoors that I wake to each morning- welcome back geese, songbirds, beaver, ducks and spring peepers

7) the latest Thrift Shop find that proves once again, "The Secret" really works.  I needed a wok for a friend and found one FOR FREE.  Couple that with prayer and I could rule the world (um, just kidding)
8) co sleeping with Bear (oh, how I miss that!) while Champ enjoyed a well deserved (and rarely taken) boys night out
9) open toe shoe season: crack out the flip flops, untwist the nail polish cap
10) Fun summer music that our friend D burnt for us.  The house now resounds with "The Be Good Tanyas" and Ray LaMontagne

I'm passing on the award to this fine list of bloggers.  They make me happy.  They make me smile.  The deserve a cupcake (and perhaps a visit from you).

1. Katelyn at The Bird's Nest
3. Erin at The Mother Load
4. Caroline at Frog-Photoblog
5. Christy at Mommy Brain

April 26, 2010

Buttons are so square

So I spent my weekend warming myself in front of our inaugural Spring bonfire, planting my carrot and beet seeds and creating this...

Any Given Moment tips button

Yippee my blog now has a button and I met my first blogging goal!  See it over there on the sidebar?  Feel free to take one and give it a good home.  My bird only needs love and a few jelly beans to survive just fine.


Also?  I had won a giveaway over on Jenilee's blog and got it in the mail this week.  It was the very first thing I have ever won on someone's blog and I was super excited!  Thanks again Jenilee!!!!   

Dad listen up, this is mainly for you: I migrated all of Bear's stats over from where they had been.  You can keep up with his crazy growing body any time you want by finding this picture  over on my side bar and then clicking on 2009.  His stats are located in September.  So since I gave you a shout out, feel free to leave a comment (wink, wink)!

Welcome to all of my newest followers/subscribers.  I am thrilled to have you along!!  As usual, if I'm not following any of you back, it means I've been unable to link up.  Just send me an e-mail with your blog address and I'll move into your digs ASAP.  Same goes for anyone who takes a button, please let me know if you've added me to your blogroll (in any form) so I can return the favor.

And Karen from This Old House I'm sending you an SOS... hello?  hello?  For some reason my link to you is frozen and I'm not getting any feeds.  If you're out there, I miss you!

This concludes the test of the bloggy broadcast system, I will be back to my regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow.  Thank You. 

April 23, 2010

Five Faves Friday

FFFpub copy

You didn't think I'd let you sneak through the week without getting at least one last glimpse of my Spring Break, now did you?!

I mean, after all I promised you.

Ha!  Yeah, that would be fun for all...  no, no I've spared you the full (potentially boring to you) details and narrowed it down to my favorite five, so listen up and then head to Caroline's for more...

Bear tried his hand at farming... 

and had an official first shoe fitting/purchase with his Nona and Pa (I got a little teary eyed)
Who do you think I look like, my Mom or my Dad?  No wait, if you want to talk about look alikes, check out this

                        (did they rehearse that expression?)

I took in the Springy flowers everywhere since my daffodils here in Vermont are only starting to bloom this week.

and I savored having a group of some of my closest friends gathered together in one spot.

This photo session was A SCENE to pull off: 

no one looking at the same camera, children falling asleep or crying, dogs walking in to the frame and a four wheeler cruising out of the frame, a Mom or two directing the photographer on how to use the camera...

We all have group moments like this, don't we?

And in the flurry of it all, I stopped and laughed and got a bit teary eyed (again).  The moment was so special that with all the chaos and directing and the not so spectacular photographs that resulted, I wouldn't have traded it for anything. 

It's striking to me that the photographs I favor the most are ones like these; they might not be perfect or even photogenic, but the moment?  It's timelessly captured.

April 22, 2010

You Capture: sweet


Ahhh...   I do love to shake things up in my life, but it is still so lovely to revisit routine.  Oh "You Capture", how I have missed you!

This week's theme is SWEET a perfect choice for me to be reentering on.

I might like to think I don't need sugar in my life, but friends, I do, I do.  I need like, 25 pounds of the stuff at a time...

to bake treats like Hot Cross Buns.  I mean, look at these things!  If you had sugar in your house, would you be able to resist baking (or at least eating) these bits of Heaven?  I think not.

Or we can avoid the calories all together and go for another meaning of the word.

 but any way you look at it,

Sweet is certainly a fun word to photograph.

Head to Beth's for more sweet shots and fill your day with sugar and spice and everything nice. Tah, Tah for now!

April 21, 2010

I heart Earth

I figure since tomorrow I might actually be able to get back on the You Capture wagon, today I will celebrate Earth Day After all Earth Day should be everyday anyway, right?!

Some of us do lots and lots of things to help the Earth, some of us can only do a few.  Some people are a little zealous, shall we say, about their stewardship to the Earth and other people consider those people to be quacks from Jupiter.

I do tend to cringe if I'm at a house which doesn't recycle or if I see someone use a paper towel to mop up a water spill and then throw it right out, BUT as much as I like to advocate care of our planet, I try desperately to do it by example rather than nit picking or being judgmental.  The funny thing is, I've found I'm able to influence more people in this way, than I ever would be able to do by getting up on my soapbox (disclaimer: I suppose I do climb my butt up on to that box from time to time though when I'm... impassioned!)

Just what is it we do here at Any Given Moment to help the Earth?  Well we...

1. use cloth napkins and only keep a roll of paper towels on hand for dog vomit (I mean, come on- ewwww!!!)

2. buy most our foods/dry goods in bulk from the health food store and food club/co-op we belong to.  This helps cut down on packaging (among other things)

3. Champ bikes to work just about each day (a few years back he did it for a FULL school year through sleet, snow, moose...) and we got a bike seat for me and Bear so we can start biking rather than driving to the Post Office etc.

4. I love to garden and I raise my crops from seed.  Homegrown food is a great way to help the enviroment and even better if it's non GMO, organic and pesticide free.

5. from day one we used cloth diapers and wipes with Bear

6. we hang the laundry whenever we can, but seriously I do it more for the delicious smell of the clothes rather than any Earth friendly ways!

7. when it was time to buy a new (used) car last year, we downsized even though we had upsized in the human department with a Bear addition.  Went from a Forester to a VW Golf.  It conserves way more gas and taught us how to pack lightly for longer trips with 2 dogs, 3 humans and suitcases.

8. during house renovations,  we replaced the old carpet upstairs with bamboo floors and the carpet in the basement with a click and float floor which we didn't glue down.  Both floors are holding up wonderfully.

9. we get 99% of our veggies from our CSA.  I serve them fresh through the Summer season and can or freeze the rest to eat throughout the year.  I also process all our berries and apples to last the year through.

10. I make all our cleaning products and call them "potions".   I use essential oils to scent them and the coolest thing is that Bear can now help me clean since they aren't harmful to his skin or lungs.

In no way am I doing all I can, but every bit helps and these changes work for our family at least for the time being.

Have you made any Earth friendly changes?

Are there any environmental actions that you think would be ridiculous to try? 

April 20, 2010

Do you speak Runsa?

I have a quirky, interesting and tasty recipe to share with you today.  It actually caught me off guard with how great it ended up being!  Hope it does the same for you.

They are called Runsas.  

Ever heard of 'em?  Me either, but boy am I glad to have made their acquaintance this week.  We will be life long friends.

There's cabbage in these - DON'T FLINCH- it's a perfect balance with the meat and no one who ate them even SUSPECTED any veggies were residing in the filling.

RUNSAS (adapted from Pam Patterson, Cook's Country '07)

3/4C warm water
1/2C condensed milk (about 1/2 can)
1/4 C vegetable oil
2T sugar
1 large egg 
3 1/2 C flour
2 packets (or 2 T) yeast
1t salt

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 chopped onion
3 C chopped cabbage 
salt and pepper
8 slices your favorite cheese 
Start the dough first.  I will assume you have a mixer, otherwise just mix it up quickly my hand.  Dump all ingredients into mixer fitted with bread hook.  Begin on low and gradually increase speed until dough comes together- about 4-6 minutes.  Set aside to rise for about one hour or until doubled.  

While it rises, prepare the filling by browning the beef and onions for about 6 minutes.  Toss in the cabbage and cook only another 2-4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350* and grease your baking sheets if needed.  Divide dough into 8 equal parts and roll each into a circle (doesn't need to be exact).  Place one dough round into a cereal bowl, place 1 slice of cheese over it and then top with about 3/4 of the filling.  Pinch together the edges of the dough to form a bun and transfer it seam side down to the baking sheet.  Repeat 7 more times.

 (Bear didn't quite get how to roll a  circle)

Bake the buns for 20 minutes until golden brown and run a quick glide of the butter stick over them when they come out of the oven.  Seriously- SO GOOD- even the next day! 

FIELD NOTES: you could divide the dough into 16 and make appetizers.  I had leftovers of meat, but just froze it to toss in with my spaghetti and gravy some time.  Actually, I LOVED how far the meat went considering my recent revolution causes me to solely buy "local, happy" meats which we only eat about 1-2X per week.

April 19, 2010

Montessori Moments: silhouette project

Happy Patriot's Day to all my Massachusetts friends and well wishes for a painless race to all who are running the Boston marathon this yearGODSPEED!

So, hi everyone I had a super fab time over Spring Break.  In fact, you can bet your bottom dollar I'm not done posting some pictures from it, but for now I plan to shake it up a bit.

Grab your watercolors, some poster board and a child or two as today we will be making the coolest silhouettes ever!

The full idea is here 4 Crazy Kings: water color resist sillouette and I followed it pretty closely.

To begin, I gathered up the supplies, tweaking the watercolors to these nifty watercolor/roller marker things that Bear has.  I also already had taken a silhouette picture of Bear in front of the window and blown it up to the size I wanted. 

Champ, being the sweet guy he is, traced Bear's silhouette onto clear contact paper and then basically cut out a large sticker with his Exacto knife.

I peeled and stuck this silhouette sticker onto white posterboard  (pre cut to fit a 8X11 frame) and then let Bear have at it.  After a while, Bear's artistic expression looked a little something like this

He continued on with his painting and I only had to fill in a few spots around the sticker so that all the positive/negative space would be even.  Once the painting was done, we let it dry for a bit then peeled the sticker off.  The final project looked like this

we were all very please with the outcome AND it was quick and painless.  I want to hang on to this idea and do it again some time: like some kind of cool, personally graffitied silhouette when he's a teenager.  Know what I mean? 

Anyway, to top this one off, I wrote his name and age on it and framed it.  I had great plans of showing you the happy recipient opening it and Oohing and Ahhing (which she did... eventually), but I lost patience in holding my camera poised as both Great Gram and Bear were clearly more interested in discussing the lunch at hand...

but with a homecoming feast like that- straight from our MOST FAVORITE PLACE IN TOWN- can you blame them?

We did finally get around to opening up the gift- after ice cream for dessert of course, but by then I was way too happily stuffed to even raise a finger, much less a camera.

April 18, 2010

I mean, would you...

give up a single moment of snuggle time with this adorable little guy?

Thought you might say that, so for now, forgive me while I savor these last few moments of Spring Break with sweet baby C, friends, family and a few DIVAS

 thrown in for good measure.

I'll catch up with you all on Monday!


(ps: you should know I miss you all since I usually NEVER post on the
weekend! XOXOXO)

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