November 24, 2010

Long story short

The day started out normal enough:
I was on a mission to mix up my house cleaning supplies potions.

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I make my own cleaning products; partly because I care about the environment, but mainly because I adore the many different ways I can scent them to my taste.  It was a nice day so I had all my bottles strewn about the yard (see the cross sample of them up there?) and I set about to my work.

Suddenly this face passed by...

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and as he actually willingly paused to get his photo taken (which is so rare!) I began to wonder what he was up to.
Well,  first he thought it would be funny to put something NON BLOG WORTHY on my work table.  Ha, Ha Champ you are so funny.

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As you can see, I solved that problem pretty easily.

What I wasn’t expecting, was the sudden crunch of tires down our dirt road as friend after friend began to pull in.  It seemed, Champ was throwing me a surprise birthday party!

So, long story short.  It recently was my birthday and I’ve been celebrating with family, friends and lots of yummy cake.  I know a few other Scorpios who I helped (or will help) celebrate their big day with and our favorite friends from Chicago stopped in for an overnight- YAY!!  

Who can complain about that kind of busy schedule?  I loved every minute!

Here’s hoping that your holiday isn’t quite as busy, but still full of the love, laughter, warmth, family and friendship that I’ve been feeling this whole birthday season long.

WISHING THAT ALL YOUR THANKSGIVING WISHES

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COME TRUE!!!

XOXO

November 10, 2010

swing safety

Bear enjoys exercising


swing safety


any time he

 takes to the air.























one can never be



too





sure.



(some children collect cars, or dolls or marbles.
 My child collects helmets.)
 

November 09, 2010

So happy together

Let me start with props to 2 delightful discoveries:
The First


The lovely combination of timer and crock pot.  Today is busy: an event at the bookstore to celebrate Jeff Kinney's newest "Wimpy Kid" book being released, dropping off the car to get, among other things, snow tires STUDDED SNOW TIRES put on (which is a good thing what with our recent rash of sleet and snow around here!), Champ's at a conference, blah, blah, blah...

of course you don't need to hear about my packed agenda- I'm sure yours is quite similar, but don't you love being able to still enjoy a warm, yummy meal whenever the clock allows you to arrive home?  I DO, especially as the thought of a stress free, yet home cooked dinner keeps me that less grouchy throughout my day!

The Second

take a look over there at my Followers list.  Then stare in stunned amazement along with me as I point out that in the past few days I have gained a new followerDear, sweet "Suebee" you must be simply wonderful.  I mean, I've recently turned off comments, only blog about 2 times a week, have random things to say when I do and yet in the midst of all this, you decided to join us here at "Any Given Moment"!!  Welcome "Suebee" and thank you.  You are one cool cat (a cat I'd love to follow back, but couldn't find a link :(  contact me so I can give you some official blog love- you know, besides this P.D.A!)

Bear's not been quite his usual self these past few days and last night we finally discovered why.  He was wrapped in a towel about to get in his pj's when he threw back his head to laugh at something.  There in his mouth was the last of his molars, pushing with all it's might through his pink, swollen gum.

the poor guy!  But as soon as I thought those words, my next reaction was to nearly cry out because I realized that this was it.  The final tooth to come through a pristine gum.  No longer a baby; from here on out, Bear will lose and replace teeth, but never again have one burst on to the scene as this final molar was doing.


I wanted to take a picture, but then thought better of it.  Instead I just snuggled him a little closer, peered into his mouth one last time and framed that moment in my memory.


and to be honest?  The Mama realization that my baby is truly, truly starting to grow up is what will need to be most comforted tonight by my timer crock pot comfort food.


November 05, 2010

black bean soup in the crock pot!

black bean soup

 
I was at a very unique yard sale last month.  A restaurant was going out of business and  selling off everything I mean everything. 

I, of course, went straight for the food items and found can upon can and jar upon jar of varied foodstuffs: lemon juice, salsa, Worcestershire sauce, a huge box of breadcrumbs and beans.  Lots of cans of beans.  I ended up buying (among other things) a 6lb. can of black beans- hence this post because honestly, even in a bean eating family, what does one DO with 6lbs of beans?!  

While this soup barely put a dent in my surplus bean supply (I froze a bunch), it did turn out perfectly balanced with spice and warming to all of our bellies.  This was a welcomed thing as it seems to currently be raining NON STOP here in New England and our damp, discouraged bones needed a pick-me-up.

Black Bean Soup (inspired by a bucket o’beans and invented by TJ)

3C cooked black beans             

                    4C veggie stock  
  
                                     drizzle olive oil   

                                                        1t oregano   

                                                              1/2t cumin 
                                                   
                              1/2t red pepper flakes    

                                           2 minced garlic cloves  

                                  *1/2t chopped hot peppers   

                                  salt/pepper            

                    1 small can of tomato paste   

2 chopped onions

*I have a bag of pre chopped hot peppers in my freezer which I dip into for purposes like this.  It’s a hodgepodge mix of red hots, jalapeños, habaneras and some others I have no idea the names of!*

Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté garlic and onion until golden and tender.  Dump onions, garlic and all remaining ingredients into a crock pot.  Add at least a cup of water to the mixture and stir.  Add more water if you will be away longer than 9 hours or if you like your soup thinner.

Turn crock pot to low and head off to complete your day.  Return by supper time (6-9 hours) and dig in!  I used my hand immersion blender to smooth the soup out a bit (I had only roughly chopped the onions and thrown the garlic cloves in whole) and then I added in even more beans (if you were me, you know you would have done the same.)

We ate it with what my house now refers to as “Magic Bread”.  I have a constant bowl of bread dough in my refrigerator and pull from it for a quick, easy bread whenever needed.

The bread is WONDERFUL!  I picked up this tip from Ivory Hut who was trying out some “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day” recipes.  Notice there’s no picture of the bread with the soup.  I pulled that particular loaf out of the oven and it was like Siafu ants on a carb loading campaign. 

Trust me on this one though and whip up some cozy soup and bread for the autumn weekend ahead!

*my "no comment box" experiment is going well.  I miss checking in with everyone, but I will say that resetting my priorities has alleviated some of the "crunch" I was feeling.  Love to you all!*

November 02, 2010

Does a snowy Halloween give you grey hair?

because on Halloween, it was extreme enough trick or treating around these parts to raise my temperament a bit!


trick or treat

Quite snowy, huh?  Although even with the flakes flying and chilly temperatures we still had a blast of a time I especially liked using the excuse of needing to eat lots of candy as a way to stay warm.
What with all that snow and cold it was not a very photographic night (my fingers preferring to hold candy instead of my camera didn’t help the situation).  I captured a few shots before the snow really started to fall 
 
halloween buddies

and I had to get a picture of the cutest gnome ever who came trick or treating with us.

Little gnome

All in all it was a great kick off to Bear's Trick or Treating experience.

knock knock copy



In response to my original question though;  I know the answer to that is no since I found this on my head

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a few days before Halloween.  I was working at the bookstore and stepped in to the notorious lighting of the unforgiving bathroom.  I tilted my head this way, then that as I washed my hands because I was certain I saw something- my first evident grey hair.  I’ve sometimes wondered if I had grey hair yet or not since I henna my hair and rarely get to observe it’s natural color (or lack there of!).  I guess I can confirm it now for sure since this teeny tiny barely 1/2 inch piece of hair made it through!

How do I feel about it?  Well I just finished reading “Jitterbug Perfume” by Tom Robbins which didn’t entirely HELP the situation (if you’ve read that book, you’re so laughing right now), but overall I remain calm and inquisitive.  I even left the hair in for almost a week before I decided I should pluck and document it for posterity’s sake.  

My Nana had the most stunningly gorgeous head of  white locks and I would love it if perhaps I’ve inherited that.   I’m sticking with red for the time being, but I feel a hair overhaul coming on in my (probably somewhat distant) future.

You know what else makes a person feel their age?  birthdays!  We celebrated Trot’s birthday yesterday. 


Trot's big day 

Happy Birthday Trot!  And a very special happy Birth Day to baby G and her Mama  A!!!!!!  I can’t wait to meet you little G!!!