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January 2011

A Year of Good Things : Week 4


I am just barely squeaking in here on time to share some beautiful (and fun) photos from this week.....

sorry about being MIA these past few days..... I don't even have a good excuse.

I guess I just needed some quiet time.

Here are a few of my favorite good things from our fourth week.

Thank you everyone that is playing along..... visiting the group pool always brings a smile to my face.

As always, you can join A Year of Good Things any time.






by hand at home



Notes From The Trees











Good night everyone, hope you all enjoyed a fabulous weekend.


Mindful Monday


I thought maybe on the Mondays that I don't have a recipe to share I would pop in quick to share a quote or a thought along with a photo. Sort of a mindful moment.... a good start to the week, I think. Food for the soul.

Our weekend was busy.... Joe & I celebrated our 13th anniversary with getting a pile of house & paperwork to-do's done. From the girl who celebrated a water heater for Christmas (& quite honestly so) I can also earnestly share this with you.....

The master bathroom door latches, and I love it. This means I can finally lock the door. I hid in there for hours on Saturday in a hot bubbly bath with this dreamy book. It's the little things in life, you know?

And while my mind was waist deep in farm dreaming this weekend, it somehow wandered back to this simple quote that brings balance always to my soul, bringing it right back to where it needs to be.


I know, I mentioned it once before, but really.... it's a favorite worth sharing again

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."  ~Theodore Roosevelt




Have you ever noticed how kids do this so naturally..... beautiful isn't it?


Happy Monday my Friends


I wanted to tell you....


the sullen stature of a boy in a man's body trudges along next to me.... quiet...

these years can be uncertain ones... it becomes harder to read the language...

sometimes I crack a joke.... sometimes I say something.... 

mostly I try to just put both hands over my mouth and listen.

I hold onto these fewer spoken words like treasures....

the laughter is like precious gold.

I bite my tongue so as not to interject and run the chance of silencing him.

I try to remember what it was like to be 14.

I don't remember liking it.

This morning there was a spider in my sink.... my oldest boy always scoops them up & carries them outdoors.... and I realized, someday I'll have to take care of own spiders. All of this made me become aware of something, these are the years of slowly letting go, of watching those once so dependent little people transform before your eyes. Of stepping back, just a little, and letting them become who they need to be. Oh my, it's tough at times. In my mind my big boy doesn't seem a day pass 10 and a half. And I suppose, as a mama this will always be so in some sense. But I also know, that I can't fully embrace the now without letting go of a little bit of the then.....

And so, my sweet boy young man,

I wanted to tell you.....

that your kindness makes my heart sing...

that I do remember what it's like to become an adult...

even though it was forever ago.

That when I look misty eyed and smile all at the same time,

I am remembering that little boy who is,

and hopefully always will be

right there, in your heart....

with the same sweet and hilarious antics that have made me smile

and jump through hoops from the moment you first smiled.

That I dearly, sorely miss your tiny hand in mine...

or intertwined in my belt loop as we walk along...

but I am learning to trade it for a smile, a laugh and 

a "night mom, love ya" with a sideways hug

from a boy young man that towers over me.

I'm learning to slowly let go.

Whatever you do, wherever you go,

I will always be here with an ear to listen,

a plate of cookies and a mama bear hug.

I know you will be great, do well...

and become a wonderful man.

I just wanted to tell you....


A hat

I know, I know.... I need to get that sweater finished.

But you know by now I get distracted rather easily.....

I walked into the Yarn Nook to buy a friend a set of dpn's and found the most luxurious skein of yarn. Thick & thin style bulky weight and so, so soft & squishy. And orange! I didn't need yarn. I mean, I really didn't need yarn. But somehow not one, but two little skeins hopped in with the needles. Finally finding a yarn shop could prove to be very dangerous!

So I had been eyeing Quince & Co's Kelpie hat and noticed someone on ravelry compared it to Elizabeth Zimmermann's Maltese Fisherman's hat. I have the latter pattern, so I modified it just a wee bit to look more like the Kelpie hat and voila! I love it. {full details on ravelry}

So, while my big girl was at piano my littlest guy & I went for a photo shoot at the lake.....












I wonder how kids feel about being chased around with a camera.... mine certainly think it's a bit of a game and give me run for my money so to speak.... I've been taking a self portrait a day for a flickr group and decided one with my boy would be fun.... he insisted I wear the hat and he take the photo....




Fortunately he let me have a turn too.....




Yes, I am most certainly trying to inhale him.

And the sweater? It's the sleeves I tell you, they're  k--i--l--l--i--n--g  me! I plan to finish it over the weekend.... I hope. I have one sleeve complete. That leaves one sleeve left. I can do it, I can do it! 

Unless, of course I have the need to knit my boy his requested "ear hat like mama's"......


coming up for air....

oh it's late....

and it's been a long week.





Poor Joe has been sleeping on the couch and I have been keeping a coughing little boy propped up, humidified and cough syruped every four hours (Boiron, I love you).

Has anyone else ever noticed that sick children only sleep sideways?

and now the girls have it too...... oi....

'tis the season....

so, I'll pop in for a bit on Sunday to share some goodness..... and hopefully to ramble on about life as I usually do early next week. 

Cheers! (said while slurping a spoon full of elderberry syrup)

Monday Bites :: Bertha's Hard Run Fuel


These aren't for dogs.... but named after our new dog, Bertha.

Our friend found her in a grocery store parking lot. She was running all around trying to get someone to take her home. She was flea bitten and nearly 10 pounds underweight. My friend called to her and she came bounding over, eager to jump into a warm car. After 4 days, no one had reported a missing dog. And though this young stray turned out be a love, my friend was all ready squeezing a family of four and two dogs into 800 square feet. There was just no room for a should be 65 pound dog.

Maybe it was because it was Christmas time, maybe it was knowing no one ever seems to want an adult dog at a shelter. Either way Bertha traveled just over an hour to us, to see if she would fit in at our house. (she was called Chocolate then) After realizing she must have been an outdoor only dog, we basically had a 58 pound puppy on our hands. She sure added some fun to the all ready busy season of Christmas. After a month, after we were sure no one was looking for her, we decided she could stay.

Due to her being an unwanted stray.... on the run.... we decided to call her Bertha. Yes, after the Grateful Dead song of the same name. It fits her well, and no one names their dog Bertha, so it makes people laugh.




She is doing fantastic! We assume she's a lab mix, but your guess is as good as ours. The vet thinks she is a young two year old. She's put on weight, learned basic commands, is house broken and mostly chews on just her own toys. She is the most submissive eager to please sweet easy going dog and wonderful with the children. She tries hard not to chase the cat and to get along with Sid. Her fur is glossy and a beautiful reddish brown in the sunlight. And even though she most certainly has a naughty streak, we all adore her.

I swear every night after taking her out for the last potty run of the day she pauses at the door for just a minute, as if she's still surprised to be heading in for the night. I don't know if dogs can really be thankful, but she sure seems it.




And since Joe let her stay, and I made this snack mix for his stocking as quick fuel for his lunch time run... it seemed only fitting to name it after Bertha.

So there you have it. A story of a stray that ends happy. Now if we could just convince her the dog bed is really more comfy than the sofa.




Bertha's Hard Run Fuel::

4 cups raw almonds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw pumpkin/pepita seeds
6 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp ginger powder
2 cups dried cherries & cranberries (1 cup of each)

mix lime juice, salt, maple syrup & ginger in a small bowl. pour over nuts and stir well to coat. bake in 300 degree oven for 20 minutes stirring every 5-7 minutes.
when cool, add cherries & cranberries.

*this recipe is inspired by a very similar one that I found over the internet during the holidays.... however I cannot find the link to the original... so thank you, wherever you are!