Thursday, April 27, 2006

Comfort Food

Three steps to feeling better when you have a cold. First, make sure your sink is shiny after breakfast, even though you feel awful. Second, take advantage of your husband being home to take a long, hot shower and then fall asleep on the couch while feeding the baby (the crick in your neck will be worth it!). Third, make an awesome seafood chowder to eat with your daughters. Why is it that two out of three won’t touch clam chowder, but they love this?

Seafood Chowder.

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 finely chopped onion
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped.

sauté these in the bottom of your pan, not allowing them to brown.

Add in

5 medium potatoes (I used red skinned ones, which are lovely), diced
3 c water
3 tsp lobster base bouillon (I happened to have this. You could use chicken)

Allow to come to a boil, then add
1 c chopped clams, with their juice
a can of salmon, with juice
pepper to taste

put the lid on and let it simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender, then add

1 c half-and-half
1 c finely chopped kale leaf

Bring back to boil and remove from heat. Serve. Oyster crackers would be nice, but there isn’t a lot of broth. We like our soups thick.

Very comforting and yummy.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Four years

Four years ago I was three weeks late with my third child and very ready for her to come. I was only in labor for six hours, and we thought the midwife, who lived an hour away, wouldn't make it in time - she got there 45 minutes before the baby was born. Four years ago we welcomed Philippa Rose Spitz into the world with tears of joy and prayers of thanksgiving. She had a little brown fuzz on her head, and sleepy blue eyes. Today she is articulate, ready to start reading, and loves her three stuffed unicorns named Bob (yes, all three - girly Bob, Bob, and Mama Bob), and Cinderella. She has an imaginary friend named Fedora (she picks the names, not me!) and she will occasionally come to breakfast as him. She doesn't just march to the tune of a different drummer, she has her own personal band.

Happy Birthday, Pippa

Having a mental klutz day

Have you ever had one of these? I just feel like I am running behind and scattered and just can't quite stay on top of things. I have quite a list, and needed to be available for Phil as he prepared for shows, and instead I am running around stomping out fires. *sigh* I can't stand the way this feels. I am not quite sure what to do about it, though. Making sure I always have a list helps a lot, but today it wasn't enough. Feeling tired doesn't help, but I shouldn't feel that way at 8 in the morning! I tried to get dressed and ready for my day, to do my routines, and still... I keep thinking there must be a reason, but I just don't know what it is.

Well, I certainly can't give up, so I'll just keep trying. I just wish I could find my calm and peace again.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stepping out in trepidation

I'm not even going to try and keep up with what has been happening around here - let's just say that we have a bug amongst us, and not a ladybug, either.

I have been writing short fiction pieces for a while now, but I hadn't submitted anything in almost two years, so I took the plunge yesterday and sent two out. One was rejected by this morning, as not being quite suitable for the magazine I sent it to. Which is fine, really, I'm not sure I want my first sub. to be horror. I sent inquiries on it to both Alaska and Fur-Fish-Game, because of the content, and we'll see. The other I don't expect anything on soon. I am going to inventory and polish my finished pieces, and try to write regularly, so maybe soon you will see some interesting news here!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Crocus and Spring Iris at their Peak.

What an exciting day! Not only is it a beautiful day outside, we got our new printer/copier today. We’ve signed up with a program that gives us a new printer in exchange for our commitment to print a certain number of pages each month, and to buy supplies from them. We’ve been thinking about it for a couple of years, but it wasn’t until recently that we knew we could print enough to qualify. So we spent half the day setting that up, but it does lovely work, I am so excited about adding color and quality to my flyers and stuff, not to mention being able to do it all here instead of Staples of Kinkos.
It’s nice and warm out - I took out the bathroom rugs and scrubbed them on the driveway, and did Johann’s exersaucer too. It was pretty crummy from Grampa’s birthday celebration, because we gave him a piece of brownie sundae. Poor Dad, right in the middle of dinner Pippa came down with the stomach bug that Glady brought home earlier this week. That kind of put a hitch in our party. I forgot to give him his presents until this morning. He’s turned fifty now, but he doesn’t look it - or act it, for that matter!
Johann is wearing a little Hawaiian shirt today, and he looks sooo cute in it. His hair is really coming in, and looking more than a bit red. I was carrying him around in the backpack most of the morning, and he really appreciated that. He hasn’t been down to play on the floor as much as he would like - I wasn’t feeling well last week, and the house caught up with me. But today I am catching up with it.
Speaking of which, I have phone calls and paperwork and dinner and dishes and laundry and.... Bye for now!

Friday, April 07, 2006

When you say good morning, you'd better mean it!

My morning started out busy, getting everyone out, with all the assorted doo-dads they needed. But now I am being very quiet, feeling the fever roll through my bloodstream like the tide. Phil will be home for lunch hopefully by then I will have coaxed or threatened Juliet and Pippa into cleaning their room. Johann is sitting on my lap, wanting Down! in the worst way. He has discovered the wonders of perambulation under his own power and he is aching to explore the office. It isn't going to happen, of course. Way too much stuff on the floor in here - cables, boxes, chairs and books. His jolly jumper hangs from one beam and even that is hard to keep him away from things he can reach.
I was reminded yesterday of something Pippa did a while back. Phil had gotten up early one morning - about 4, I think - and was headed back upstairs when Pippa came out of her room. He said "Good Morning, now go back to bed!" and she got very upset with him because he had said it was morning, so it must be time to get up. Never tell a three year-old good morning unless you mean it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A triplet of poetry

Juliet’s Birth

Sweetly, Lord, hast Thou filled my life
With joys unutterable and blessings uncountable.
In the midst of suffering and trials Thou art,
Incomparable, holy, just, Thou art God.
A child born to me is Thine, a gift returned
To thy care even though her father and I
Are her earthly gurdians, Thou art her Father,
And we devote her to Thee, because we love her.
- 8/15/00

Morning Cartoons

Glady, when you’re grown
You probably won’t remember
Sitting on your wagon
Watching cartoons raptly,
Holding your lovey Rusty
In one hand, and in the other,
Holding a cup of milk.
Every now and again,
You laugh or sng along,
Or even get up and dance.
So just to remind you,
And me, of these quiet times,
I’ve written it all down.
- 10/3/00

Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into the here.

Where did you get those eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, my dear?
God thought about you, and so I came here.
George McDonald

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Well, today is the first day in a while that hasn't been nice out. It is cold and rainy. We needed the rain, though, it had gotten pretty dry. Dad sowed the crescent day before yesterday and it had rained a little that night, so with this rain anything that is going to sprout at least has a chance. Green is popping up all over. Phil and I went to Concord Sunday, and the Red Maples were starting to bloom down there. That means that they will be up here within a week.
We were in Concord to do a little shopping. Nana gave me a gift certificate to TJ Maxx, and Phil said he would match it, so we left all the kids at home - even Johann! with babysitters (Thanks Dad, Sharon, and Rachel!). That was fun. I actually got to try stuff on, and Phil has pretty good taste, for a guy :) I didn't buy a lot, it was more that I got to get out and relax that was good. We also got the girls a sparkly soccer ball to encourage them to play outside more, and a birthday present for Pippa. She loves Cinderella, and her "Preschool time" so we got her a Cinderella jewelry box to decorate, and she and I will work on that together.
I am in a quandary with her. I think she will be ready for Kindergarten level stuff next fall, but she is still going to be too young to go off to K, even if we could afford to send her to the Christian school. However, if I do K at home with her, she will be overly prepared for K at school the following year. I don't want to let her stagnate over the next year, and I'm just not sure what to do with her. I really do not want to do K at the public school again. The half day is ridiculous. Transportation is impossible, since we have to pick Juliet up every day she ends up missing days because Phil is working at the time she has to be picked up. And I find two hours a day just not enough to teach properly, especially when a lot of it is snack and recess. As a social learning tool it is useful, academically it is lacking. If they went to a full-day K I would definitely do it, but I don't see that happening.
Johann has four teeth now, and is working on a fifth.