Saturday, June 30, 2007

Three letters came today.

Head on over to Piano Girl to read her letters. I am not sure I could handle it if she wanted to go to high school there. I am not handling her being gone very well at all. Sigh.

Update: Other news

In other news:
I was getting dressed the other morning, when I happened to look over and see Catkin drop a MOUSE on my bed. A few shrieks later, and the Dude has disposed of my "gift". You can be sure that after telling Catkin thank you, I proceeded to change that bed and wash all the linens, faster than you can blink. I will try to get a picture of Catkin today, but with the Girl gone, he rarely leaves our bed these days, and Papa is fighting a nasty headache today.

The Boy made beautiful french toast last weekend. I noticed Papa bought some good-looking raising bread. Me-thinks there is french toast in my future, that I don't have to make!

The Boy also took the bus, transfering once, to his friend's house yesterday. I let him, and yes, I worried about him; and yes, I took time for myself, fitting in laundry and blogging in addition to a nap.

Still no letter from the Girl. I am hoping for one today. I need to write her tonight. I miss her. I am also enjoying my time alone with the Boy. I think he is, too.

Organization and Decluttering Update.

When I am not directly schooling the Boy Scholar, I have been cleaning and decluttering in 15 minute timed sessions. While he reads or does a Grammar lesson, I tackle the Girl's room, or the bathroom. As Patty says, "You may get overwhelmed if you try to do something for an hour, but anyone can do anything for 15 minutes." Both of us are making progress.

In the studio:
I recently read Organizing your Craft Space (I linked to an excelent review) by Jo Packham, which lead me to another of her books, Where Women Create. In this book, Ms. Packham shows the studios of many different artists, and how their spaces work for them. I am lucky to have the space in which to create, but I still need to keep going on the organization. There is one more round of plastic drawers to purchase, and one more layer of boxes of cards I can consolidate. I still need to put label tags on everything. But even then, it is much more organized than other parts of the house! My biggest problem is putting projects away. I think if I do another round of organizing down here, there will be room for another table- I have umpteen different projects all happening at the same time!

The rest of the Basement:
Tons of work to be done here- lots of stuff to be donated or recycled. Decisions need to be made about keeping magazines, beta videotapes, albums, school-teaching supplies, and toys. Good news is, I have a whole wall of shelves, bad news is, they need to be decluttered first.

The mudroom/laundryroom/pantry: This room was filthy, but I am making progress. All laundry that can be done has been, rest is in baskets. I have found the floor, swept it, and taken out garbage and recycling. The Shelves need to be organized, and the microwave, washer and dryer need to be cleaned. I can't find my duster, but there are some big ol' cobwebs in here, too.

The Girl's Room: First layer of stuff off the floor. Filled two bags with clothes for donations, and another with garbage. Re-organized clothing in closet and drawers. Lots more to do in here, but I have 2 more weeks!

Our bedroom: I have gone through all my clothes, and re-organized my part of the "closet". All linens are washed and put away. This big room is where my paper hell is- I need to go through a lot of paperwork, chuck most of it, and file the rest. There is potential room for a writing desk and chair up here, but lots of junk and clutter do be rid of first.

Okay, that's it for that.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Taking care of the Girl's chickens has been good. This is hard work! I think we will be visiting the Seattle Titlth Garden as soon as she gets back. The day PG is due home, they are having a chicken/garden fair. We will miss that, but I think it will be good for her to have her chicken interest to offset the intensity of her piano work.

Ok, so here are some pictures of the mean and nasty blueberry blossom eating chickens. Not really mean and nasty, so much as dusty, but that's okay.THis one is either Goldie, or Chicky-Boo, and no, I can't tell which one is my bird, and which one is the Girl's. They are both golden-laced Wyandottes that look the same to me. Anyway, which exact chicken it is of not the issue. The issue is that she is underneath my blueberry bushes- the bushes my family has been giving me for the last 4 years, on my birthday.

This one is Lucy. Miss K, from our nature study group named her. Lucy is a white-laced wyandotte. Look at the way she is just sitting there, like she owns the whole bed, not just this one poor, berry-less bush. Darn birds.
Now this darn bird has a story to tell! This is Ida, who is some kind of white chicken. (Yeah, Yeah, I know the Girl would know her breed.)

She was out wandering the yard on about Tuesday, and when it came time to put the chickens in, she was no where to be found. The Men took to the road, and I searched the back yard. All we came up with were feathers rom a pile two houses down the road. We thought for sure she had been carried away. I wondered how I was going to tell the Girl I lost a chicken on my watch. Anyhow, the Boy and I slept in the following morning, so I didn't get out to the chickens till about 10 am. Who is waiting at the gate, but Ida. I picked her up, and it looks like she is just missing one row of feathers right down her breast bone- no blood, no teethmarks. Whew! Boy did I luck out- now I have a cool story to tell the GIrl, rather than an admission of guilt from the chicken-sitter. And again, I say, "Whew!".

Tidbit # 14? Hi there!

Hey all.
It has been a weird week for me, but I want to do some updates, and the Boy is gone, so I can use "his" computer without him breathing down my neck. He has been working on learning study habits this week. We started back at 15 minute timed sessions, he schooling, me cleaning. By this morning, he was working for 2 30 minute sessions witha five minue break in there. Not too shabby. He is still struggling with writing and grammar on a daily basis, but he is making an effort. The one on one is good for him. I still struggle with his constant noise making. At some point the child will get that silence is a good thing evry once in a while. Hopefully he will get that life lesson before I did. Sigh. It's all good.

So while you go get your tea or java, I will load some pictures, and let's play catchup!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tidbit #14: FiberPlay 2007

Want to look at cool art? Visit Fiberplay 2007.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

tidbit #13- busy!

I'm here, just been doing stuff instead of blogging. My goal is to have catch-up posts on all three blogs by Wed. Hopefully by then I will have lots of pictures and even a letter from the Girl!

Thanks for all the kind comments lately- I have been in the studio, have cooked and cleaned, been chicken-sitting, and teaching. It was a lot easier to do a lot of blogging when all I was doing was sitting on my bum in the recliner, with the laptop and a cat.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Random musings

Every Sunday, I get the Joggles Newsletter in my email inbox. Every Sunday, I read the wonderful descriptions of new products. Every Sunday, I put a bunch of art supplies on my Joggles Wishlist. But I haven't been creating anything. I don't feel like an artist- I feel like an artist wanna-be. I am not better than my son. I am constantly telling him if he wants to be a scholar, he needs to work- hard. He struggles daily with this. Are we inately lazy? What aspect of our selves (specifically those little voices in our heads that don't seem to want us to be successful) are we letting stop us? What does it take to be a doer, and not a gonna-do-it-someday-er?

One thing stopping me lately are these damn allergy headaches. I am okay during the middle of the day, but by the time I go to bed, my head is jut throbbing, and no amount of over the counter drugs seems to help. When I wake up, the pain is dulled, but it doesn't seem to ever ease up. It has been a month now of daily allergy symptoms/ headaches, and it is slowing me down. I feel extra cranky, too.

Now, I realize in the scheme of things, that this is an excuse for not creating, and making things happen. Whether my head hurts or not, if I want to do/be something, I have to do/be it. Onward and upwards.

The Papa Dude is fetching my Mama right now, she will be here any minute, and will be raring to go. There is a huge pile of clothes on the couch waiting for her, and lots of laundry still to do. It is misting outside, so we will be giving my poor, sad, tired excuse of a dryer a workout insted of hanging the clothes on the line today. There will be no lying in bed for me today. I best stop thinking and complaing, and get on with it. I am alive, and that is a good thing to be.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Me/Not Me Meme, part 3

Last one for awhile, I promise! So far, it has been fairly materialistic, this meme. I honestly think most of you knew I am not a diamonds kind of gal, anyhoo. Let's move into the kitchen, shall we?

Not me.


Not Me. (Damn allergies!)


Okay, the men are ready for supper and so am I. Later Gator.

Me/Not Me Meme, part 2

Hey! You came back! You must be ready for round two! Hey now, what did you expect me to be doing while being anxious about my traveling child? Work in the studio? Or do the dishes? Nope. Not me. I am too busy engaging in mindless entertainment- just for you!

Not Me.


Not Me.


Thus ends round two of the Me/ Not Me Meme. Do I have time for one more round before my menfolk take me out for fish 'n chips? I think I do. Are you happy or sad?

Me/Not Me Meme, part 1

I recently saw this done over at Debra's Design Studio. It cracked me up. She was able to do the whole thing in one post, but Blogger will only let me have five images per post, so I will do it in fits and starts.


Could have been me.

Not Me. Ever.

Me. (sorry it's teeny. click here to see my green ones.)

Not Me. Ever.

Gee-willakers! Now wasn't that fun and revealing look into the psyche of a woman who calls herself Needleroozer?! Aren't you just so glad you stopped by? Stay tuned for part 2!

She's there!

None of her luggage is, but that's okay. She sounded so grownup and excited. I guess I should be posting this to the Piano Girl blog. I will do that tomorrow. Right now, I am just going to be glad she is there and her adventure begins!

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

The Piano Girl text-messaged me at 2:30, and said she was at O'Hare, but I haven't heard from her since. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

I am sitting here, paralyzed with mother worry, unable to move from my recliner. The cat wrapped around my feet doesn't make it easier. So, I have spent the last 3 hours visiting new blogs and adding them to my sidebar. I now have 75 blogs listed. Good Lord, what have I done?!

More when I know she is safely ensconced in her cabin at Interlochen.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday night update

Well, the suitcases are packed, and by the front door. We have washed her hair about a gazillion times, and it looks fresh and shiny. The shoulder-length cut suits her. She fell asleep in both her Papa and my arms, while I sng all her fave lullabies. She woke about an hour later, when Papa began to snore heavily. She is tucked into her bed now, anxious and excited all at the same time.

Papa and the Fine Young Man fixed a beautiful steak dinner, but she barely touched it. She burst into tears at one point, and sat on my lap for awhile, before she could finish eating. Funny- sometimes she seems so big, but not tonight.

The Boy and I are doing better now, though he seems more somber than usual. I think he is really going to miss his sister.

My alarm is set for 5 am, her plane leaves at 8:30. I will update again in the morning. Right now I will go do my best to sleep, though it feels far away at the moment.


The Girl and I are trying to get everything washed and packed today, while she is feeling anxious. She needs lots of attention and help doing things today. The Fine Young Man seems to be at a loss for something useful to do on his own, and I think he is a bit jealous of the attention the Girl is getting. So, I have had him clean the kitchen, and the bathroom.

I sent him out to mow the lawn, and he comes in telling me there is a problem. He poured oil into the mower, then thinking it wasn't the right oil, he dumped it out onto the driveway. Sigh. Now what oil there was in the mower is on my driveway, and he can't mow the lawn. And now, he took litter from the cat litter pan, to put on the huge oil slick in my driveway, and there are cat turds on top.

I find it hard to believe that in primitive and past societies, he would be considered an adult at the age of 15. Sigh. Someone tell me he will grow up. Please. And someone tell me the Girl will be fine traveling on her own and won't puke in the lap of a flight attendant.

I wish the Dude was home. Good Lord, help me get through this day without saying the F word- again. Yes, I admit it, I freaked when I saw the oil in my driveway. I am such a bad mom.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Allergies, hairballs, and cupcake wrappers, oh my!

Hi. I'm not sure what is up with me today- all day I have felt run-down, lethargic, and exhausted. My allergies are really bad, I think that is part of it. I think part of it is anxiety about PG traveling in two days, and no, I am not ready for her to go. We haven't started packing yet, but now have some suitcases (borrowed from PG's piano teacher) to use for the purpose.

I need to be in the studio, but it is just such a mess, I am quite uninspired. I haven't been down there for weeks, what with all the PG projects I have been doing, and unfortunately it shows. There are about five big piles of stuff that need to be organized or donated. The floor is a mess, needing to be vaccuumed thoroughly. And I have decided that Amy is right- in order for the kids to do a better job at scooping the cat litter and keeping the area around it clean on a regular basis, I need to move the litter into one of their rooms! The downstairs pantry/storage closet doesn't have doors yet, and is in an alcove right near my studio.

The other issue is that various people and felines come into my studio unbidden, and leave messes in my space. There are cat hairballs under my sewing table, cupcake wrappers and the cupcake bottoms (you know, the part without the frosting) laying on the floor, as well as loose Lego and KNex pieces. A certain young man I know is going to be spending a great deal of time this weekend helping me clean up these messes!!! I am planning on spending the whole weekend (you know, while I am worrying Saturday while my baby Girl is in the air) down there cleaning and getting ready for Monday.

I have been hearing a great deal about two particular ladies who help organize studio spaces, or have amzing studios. Here is one, Lois Hallock at Clearview designs, and the other is Carol Taylor. Check out Carol's studio. I saw it in this new mag I picked up- Mark Lipinski's Quilter's Home. This is a wierd publication- not sure I will pick it up again, but it was worth it for the glimpse into Carol's studio. I am inspired, and hope I can get my studio space to work as well for me as hers does.

That's all I got for now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tidbit #12

For Pamela:
When I googled sunshine, I came up with this blog, For the Birds. Her name is Jen, and although she hasn't painted for some time, she has some old ones on her blog. I think they are just beautiful.

Wow! Wednesday already?!

This week is going fast. I don't have much news, just more of the same. Yesterday, we got all the paperwork and checks mailed in. I touched base with the good folks at Interlochen. We folded a couch full of laundry. The real fun was when a friend of mine stopped by last night, and we all sat around the kitchen table till midnight eating strawberry shortcake and chatting. I had a hard time falling asleep, even with 2 Benedryl, and am up early after about 3 hours of rest. Sigh.

Today we do what is hopefully the last of our shopping for Piano Girl, then we start packing. That's it. That's the plan. Hope your day goes well.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

New post up at Piano Girl

Just thought I'd let all y'all know I posted over at Piano Girl. I'd like to know what you think. Thanks again for all your support! Love you.

I Hate Shopping

Golly, do I hate it! 4 hours in the mall, with oodles and oodles of people who all look like they do this for FUN! Yuck! But our neighbor gave us some monies for clothes, and the Piano Girl does leave in less than a week, so we needed to get some stuff.

We bout 4 pairs of shoes, including our families first pair of Crocs, the 2 most modest swimsuits we could find ( tough job!), 2 pairs of navy blue chino pants, and 2 of chino shorts, a navy blue skort, a green tshirt, 2 pairs of gym shorts, 10 pairs of undies, and a pretzel (had to be the worst pretzel I ever had) and lemonade for sustenance.

We still have lots of stuff to buy, but I think we will be ordering it from Interlochen. Polo ans sweatshirts, etc. all with Interlochen plastered all over them. I will make sure to buy them huge, and she can just wear logo shirts this fall!

My wonderful Dude told us he was going to just drop us at the mall, and run errands and then go home. Instead, he was at our sides 30 minutes later, and stayed the whole four hours! He carried our packages, helped me find the right sizes, and kissed me on the forehead to keep me calm when I started to get cranky with all the nutso people who seemed to be enjoying themselves walking directly in front of me as slowly as humanly possible.

What an amazing man he is! Those who know me know we don't celebrate mother's or father's day here, but instead choose to acknowledge each other whenever given the opportunity. But I told my Dude I give him 3 gold stars for all his help today.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Art Content- Fabric postcards and a book review

I found this list of tutorials and how-to's all on fabric postcards courtesy of Sharon over at In A Minute Ago. I have just recently discovered Sharon's blog, and am loving it. There is always some good conversation going on there, or good art or a new blog to look at. I love that it is a mixed bag of stuff- lots of art content, which I love, but lots of other good stuff, too.

Anyhoo, I keep saying I am going to do art daily, but then I make excuses that my busy life (ie: these gol-durned kids, specifically) gets in my way, and I let that story stop me. I need to be creating, and can really tell this is missing in my life. I am so less cranky when I am making art! So, this summer, I am challenging myself to spend a couple of hours and make a small piece of art (fabric postcards and ATC's are nice and small and easy to do) daily, starting June 25th.

It had been my intention to read through and do the exercises in The Artist's Way, but even with AmyJo as my integrity buddy, I didn't do it. I think I will just finish reading it and not worry about the exercises.

Robin over Quilt Antics blogged a couple of quotes from the book, Marry Your Muse (see the Hana post a few posts down) . When I read the description of the book, it kinda sounds woo-woo, even for me, but I would like to check it out. I haven't been buying any books (or anything else for that matter!) as every spare penny has been going to the Piano Girl project, but if money were no object, I think my cart at Amazon would be filled with art books. There are a ton of fun artsy quilty books out right now.

What I *have* been doing is working through the exercises in The Art Quilt Workbook by Jane Davila and Elin Waterston. Once I have photo -posting capabilities again, I will post some of the things I have been working on. I absolutely love this book, and the exercises are simple and not overwhelming. Many of the assignments are small 9 x 11 sized quilts- small enough to actually finish! At the end of each chapter is a list of links to modern as well as classic artists whose works utilize the concept focused on in that chapter. I love this feature and find it inspiring to see how differently artists interpret these concepts.

So, once we have Piano Girl safely delivered to Interlochen the end of next week, I plan on spending a good portion of of my days devoting myself to my own art and education. Yay for me!

Friday, June 15, 2007

I'm here!

I'm here, and things are better today. I will try to post later today- I have a bunch of photos, but the photo program is on the FYM's computer, which is not working at the moment. Lots going on today- lots of Piano Girl work to get done.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sun and Storm

This was me yesterday. Totally me. Not what had happened, not what was said, but me. I was choosing to be an angry, nasty, emotional storm cloud who spewed out hard, fat hailstones and sharp, pelting rain down onto those closest to, and unfortunate enough to be the earth people around me. Everything and everyone was wrong. I wouldn't look inside myself to see what was triggering the storm- I just became one.

As the night was ending, the storm cloud that was me had spent itself and I had begun to clear the air with the earth-people around me.

When I awoke this morning, my sky was beginning to clear, still some dark clouds; and there was a great deal of debris around my house to be cleaned up.

All day, I thought on my life and my choices. I was open to the possibility of a muse, maybe in the form of a bright sun cloud to help me clear the air. The storm clouds stayed at bay, but the sun was behind drab grey clouds The storm had subsided, but the remnants still remained. I lived a day filled to the brim with life errands, kept company on my car rides by gentle wind, reminding me of all the earth and sky people who love me. I thought and breathed.

When I picked my son up from school this afternoon, all the thoughts of the day became words. I poured out my heart to him, owning that I had been a raging storm, and sharing how fierce and protecting a mother has to be when given a new sky baby. She keeps them safe and shows them how to weather out a storm. After a time, though, the sky baby learns the ways of the earth for themselves, and wants to begin traveling on its own, whatever the weather brings. Sometimes it is hard to let go- you forgot your umbrella. No thanks, mother, I like the rains. I may also chase storms once in a while.

Mothers can't help but want to make the world safe for their babies, but all babies grow up and learn how to handle life's storms by themselves. I realized that the eye of yesterday's storm, the calm, scary spot in every storm, was that I was struggling with letting my baby grown up and make his own choices. I was trying to control what he did and what happened to him. I realized this is not empowering for him or for me. As hard as it was, I had to give him his own life. I will watch over him, and support him all I can, but he has to start living his own life.

As I finished telling this child, who is still my baby but a young man at the same time, how much I loved him, and that I was ready to let him go, the sun came out from behind the clouds. As my son smiled at me, the bright rays of the sun came out and warmed us. Upsets and storms happen, but if we are willing to look hard at ourselves, and are willing to let go of stories behind them, we can see the powerful people we can become. And we can choose to let our own inner light shine as bright as the sun, instead of choosing to be a hurtful storm cloud.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tonight my name is Alexander

This is how I feel today. It just went from bad to worse, then got a bit better, then went terrible, then went horrible, then bounced back up to bad, and now it is bed time. I have to admit to looking forward to sleep so I can wake up and do it with much less upset tomorrow.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wallace Falls

Saturday, we went with a group of friends (my fellow coaches in the Self-Expression Leasership Program I was involved in for the last 3 months) up to Wallace Falls. It was a tough hike for me, I was huffing and puffing, and really struggling with shortness of breath most of the way up, but it was lots of fun, and it really made me realize how much I miss hiking, and that it would be a great goal to plan another hike near the end of this summer, and to actually be in better shape so I could really enjoy it more, and go farther!

It rained the whole day, but it wasn't a big heavy rain until we were almost finished, so we didn't mind at all. We do live in a temperate rain forest, after all! Rain comes with the territory.

Here is the view of the falls from the bridge that is about a half-mile from the first of the three levels of the falls.

Here is the view from the first level. There is a picneic shelter there, and this is where I stayed while the kids went with a bunch of other folks to the top two levels. I sat and ate yum balls, drew in mysketchbook, and enjoyed watching chipmunks, and talking to the other woman who didn't climb to the top. It was serene and beautiful.

Here is a picture one of my friends took from the third level of the falls. The kids were so proud of themselves for making it all the way to the top!
So, they hiked a total of 11 miles, and I did a total of 5. Not bad for the first hike of the season!


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Yum Balls

Disclaimer: I typed this at midnight, without my glasses on. I will check for spelling errors tomorrow.

Hey there!
First of all, I just wanted to thank you three for commenting on the bus ride post. I know that my son is 15, and there are lots of 15 year olds out there doing things with a lot more responsiblity than just aking the bus into town, but for him, it is a huge deal, and I wanted him to be successful at it. Thanks for your support!

The hike was great- I did 6 miles, the kids' did 11 miles!!!!! We ate lots and lots of yum balls.

Yum balls.
First of all, let me start with the disclaimer that this is one of THOSE recipes- it is more of a concept, an idea, and it is easy to run with it. THe quantities of ingredients, and even the type of ingredient is a very rough estimate here, ok? They will taste different depending on the type of nuts and fruits you use- I just use what I have, and what works for our particular dietary needs and allergies. If you have a question about the "why" of any ingredients, let me know.

Yum Balls-the ones I made yesterday were made of the following:

I use my big food processor for this recipe, and it works best to do it in stages, so you don't burn out the motor.

I filled the bowl of the processor about halfway with almonds and cashews (3/4 to 1 lb. of nuts total I am guessing). More almonds that cashews. Grind till chopped very fine but not into nut butter. Put them in a large bowl and set aside.

Next, put in your processor about 1/2 lb. pitted dates, and 1/4 lb. unsulphered apricots. Puree' till they clump up in a large mass and are galumphing around the processor bowl. You may have to stop it and mush them around the bottom again a few times- you want them really smushed into a thick paste with no super big chunks. Leave them in the processor.

Next, I added about 3/4 cup white sesame seeds (for calcium), 1/2 cup rice protein powder, about 1/4 cup raw honey, 1 to 2 TBSP vanilla (Covers any telltale taste of the protein powder- cinnamon works, too.) and about 1/4 cup (probably a little less) oil*. Blend this for a bit to mix it up, and then add some ( 1 cup?) of the nuts, and a generous 1/2 cup coconut**.

Here is the tricky bit- You just kinda play with how much of each thing to add- if it is oily, you need more nuts, cocnut, or sesame seeds. If it is dry and flakey, you may need more oil. What you want is a pliable, stiff, sticky but not too sticky dough. Most of the time, my processor wimps out, and it isn't mixing all the way, so I end of dumping it in the big bowl the nuts were in and kneading it by hand to finish the mixing process. Yesterday it seemed stickier than usual, so I kneaded in more protein powder. It will stick to your hands a bit, don't sweat it, you can lick it all off when you are all done!

Then, in a tupperware, dump about 1 cup of coconut, and/or some more of your chopped nuts, and/or sesame seeds (my kids like a mix of the three.). Take a walnut sized bunch of the delicious sticky dough, roll it into a ball, and drop it into the coconut mix. After rolling 15 - 20 balls, put the lid on the tupperware, and shake and roll them around so they are coated in the coconut mix. Keep going till it is all in balls. This makes a generous amount of yum balls(think I got about 5 to 6 dozen yesterday). You want to leave the extra coconut mix in the tupperware with the yum balls- it doesn't always stick to the balls so this way, they are always covered, and you get lots of coconut in each bite.

After the yum balls are done, you can reuse the coconut mix by either just making a new batch, and rolling them in it, or what I usually do is use that coconut to put IN the next batch, and grind fresh nuts to add to it, and to roll in. Sometimes the kids just scoop it up and eat it right there!

Variations. You can use dried cherries, raisins, or any other fruit of your choice. You can add ground flax seed ( I grind a bunch of it at a time and keep it in the fridge, so I can just add some to this without having to overthink it) , sunflowers, and use any nuts at all. We avoid peanuts, but have used all the other nuts I can think of. Sometimes I make them very cinnamon-y and skip the vanilla. Sometimes I add a tiny bit ( a teaspoon at most) of Torani's caramel flavored coffee syrup. A little goes a long way with that stuff, but it goes well with the vanilla.

*I like to use a lot of nut oils here- sunflower, almond, walnut, etc. Flax seed oil or safflower work well, too. Olive oil is not a good choice for this recipe. Ask me how I know!

** I buy Bob's Red Mill's unsulphered, unsweetened coconut. It is already finely grated, so works well for rolling in.

Do ask any specific questions, hopefully I got it all down accurately.

Let me know what you think- and did no one else think the momsense video was funny?!?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bus ride

I have been wanting to train the Fine Young Man to take the bus to the high school by himself all year, but just haven't got around to it. Well, the brakes on the van are squealing and sound like metal is rubbing on metal, so I have been doing my best not to drive it. So today, the three of us walked the probably 1 mile to the bus stop, and rode into downtown. Once we were down there, I instructed my FYM on where and how to get back on it for the ride back, and then the Young Miss and I set out to do some errands.

First we went to the bank, and deposited all the monies and checks from the Piano Girl Recital. We also got a bunch of coin rolls so we could work on that here at night while watching the telly. Then we had lunch at Qdoba, an okay fast food chain. We both had mango chicken salads, with no cheese or sour creme, so we at least ate healthy. But I wasn't very impressed. For one thing, I just really have this problem when restaurants charge me for guacamole when I don't get sour creme and cheese, but that is just probably me being cheap again.

Then we hit the grocery store, stocking up on everything we need to make some healthy snacks for our group hike tomorrow. We are headed for Wallace Falls. A friend of mine will pick us up at 8 am. So don't count on a blog post till later tomorrow.

There is an optometrist in the grocery, so we stopped there to fix my blue glasses- I woke up this morning, put them on, and the arm-thingy on the right side just broke off in my hand. So they were nice and put a new screw in for me.

Then we headed to the bus stop, and yes, when we got on, the FYM was on the bus. Yay! I know he is fifteen, but he is such an absent-minded professor when it comes to some things, that I was a tad concerned. We walked the mile home, and are all now complaining of tired feet! Wonder what tomorrow will bring!

Taking the bus made for some interesting conversation about how to be safe out in the world. I have never been one to give my kids the generic "do not to talk to strangers" line, but rather to go with your gut and your sixth sense- you know, the one that makes you want to cross the street when you see a particular kind of person walking behind or in front of you, etc. We ran into an obviously mentally-challenged man who repeated every word he said, a young drunk man who was drinking right out of a bottle in a brown paper bag on the bus, and the kind of young men who all sit together in the back of the bus being loud and obnoxious. We got to talk about all kinds of safety issues with just one bus ride. It kind of freaks me out, but I have to let go to him a bit, and give him some freedom and some control over his own life. He is so much more sheltered than I was at fifteen, but then, a lot of the responsibilities I had at that age were forced upon me. So all is good in the end. He will be fine.

The who trip only took an hour and a quarter longer than if we had taken the car, and we all got some reading in, so that blows my main excuse for not riding the bus. I also got at least 3 miles of walking in. I do think I need to track how far we really walk to and from the bus stop, so I can count that much walking!

Ok, time to go make some yum balls (ground nuts, dried fruit, honey, coconut, sesame seeds, and protein powder all rolled into balls and rolled in more coconut. A good source of protein for hiking!), and then scrounge up something for supper.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

See what I mean?

What was it I was just saying about missing adult company and conversation?
I just went in to kiss the kids, and the Boy asked me, "Mama, wouldn't it hurt of someone cut off your eyelids?" Umm, yeah, I think it would. Sigh. My Dude will be back soon.

I'm bored

I am so bored. I miss my Dude. I love the kids, but frankly, they wear me out. I don't have any grownups to talk to, and I don't feel like doing any of my chores- yeah, I know exactly where my kids get this tendancy from! Ok, so I don't want to do anything productive. I could be doing something creative, like sketching, or working in the studio. I could be reading, or writing. I could even be sleeping, but the bed seems so lonely. Funny, his snoring drives me nuts most nights, but I sorta miss it. Only sorta. I miss the idea of his being upstairs snoring, and being able to hear it down here in the living room. Ok, so I don't miss the snoring, but I miss him being here.

Not much else to say at the moment. I am going to go kiss my big babies, and head off to bed, minus my sweet snoring Dude. Talk to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

For Pamela

Pamela has asked on several occasions, "What is a meme?" Here is as good of an answer as I could find.

What kind of flower are you?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Here's some Total Momsense

Tee Hee. Love it. Kinda sad that I can identify with this Mom!

Feeling Much Better Now, and Some Homeschool Talk

Hi everyone,
Thanks for all the well-wishes yesterday. They help!

The headache really peaked about 4 pm yesterday, but I didn't let it stop me. We headed over to my Mom's, so the kids could spend the evening with Gramma and their cousins while I went to my Classical Ed. meeting. I got home around 10:30, and thought my head was going to explode. There *used* to be a bottle of hydrocodone in my Mom's medicine cupboard, so I didn't bring mine last night, and the bottle was *GONE*! My little sister loves the stuff even more than I do, so I will be having a talk with her soon about sharing. ;-)
Update: My sister says she is innocent, so that means the Blind Mama must have put it somewhere. What a good waste of head-helping drugs!

So I lay on the couch, my head throbbing, watching the interesting pictures in my eyelids and trying not to barf; listening to Piano Girl breathing deep in her sleep, and finally got to sleep around 3 am, only to be woken up by my Mom coming in to turn the heat on (It's June for heaven's sake!). Fell asleep again about 3:30, and then woke again to Mom turning the heat off. Sigh. After about 2 hours of sleep for me, we all got up at 7 am and walked the Boy Cousins to school. The head feels a bit better, back to the manageable headache stage, but I am plum tuckered out.

Mom's Dr. appt. went well. I so love her Dr. He handles her crabbiness so well, and doesn't take offense. He is one of the few people I know who can make jokes about her (lack of) humour to her without her becoming offended. I had to advocate for her a bit with the ladies behind the front desk- I didn't go into the blood lab with her last week (you can bet I will from now on, regardless of her insistence that she is fine alone), and they had her sign a paper without reading it to her. Wasn't a big deal, but they made it one, focusing on which form she had filled out instead of just getting that I wanted the words "Blind lady-tell her what she is signing." written across the top of her charts. We finally got it straightened out, and I think it is good practice for me to be an advocate for her without making anyone wrong.

The good news is that her cholesterol is down quite a bit. It was so high in January, I was constantly worried about heart attacks or strokes. Dr. says it is still high, and wants me to focus on buying/making her healthy foods. If it is not even lower in 4 months, he is going to increase her Lipitor script. She hasn't been experiencing side effects, but gets crabby just having to take it, so she may be willing to work with me a bit more on the diet/food end of things. Her thyroid levels are also in range for the first time in 6 months, so that is good too! I guess the last 6 months of forcing her to get into the routine of taking her pills daily has paid off a bit.

Back to last night:
Even though my head was exploding, I really enjoyed the meeting. We had a guest speaker from New Albion Academy come and talk to us about keeping a classical eye open when shopping for curricula. It's funny, I think every woman in that room could have sat and listened and discussed forever, had we the time. The most intriguing discussion for me was the topic of the trivium (Grammar, logic, and rhetoric) as subjects, not developmental stages of learning (per Sayers or the WTM, for example). It was a fascinating subject, and gave me lots to think about in the ways our school has been successful in the past, and also some insight into why it isn't going so well now.

Two things I heard again last night that seem to be a recurring theme (I think the universe is trying very hard to get this message through to my cute little brain!) lately, is that "The teacher is the curriculum." and "The best teacher is an enthusiastic student." I remember getting this message when I read A Thomas Jefferson Education a few years ago as well. At that point, I promised myself I would read the same books the kids did, and teach myself latin alongside them. I held myself up to this ideal for a very short time, and I can really see where this has harmed our student/teacher relationships, and stifled much of the success and joy that used to be a part of our school. Time for me to poop or get off the pot as my Mom would say.

Anyhow, I think this talk will help me focus when attending the WHO convention next weekend. And for anyone local who reads this, and is planning on attending, I could use a ride this year!

So we are home now, and I am going to get a bunch of stuff done before I crash. If the strawberries and peppers are still alive, I will put them in pots, and it is on my chore list to tidy up the living room. The kids are going to mow the lawn, and mop up whatever that sticky stuff is. I don't want to know what they did to make it sticky, I really don't. I just want them to clean it up!

Oh, Papa Dude, if you are reading this, I want you to know how much I appreciate you and I know how hard you are working for us- sorry about last night, thanks for hanging in. We should both know better than to try to have a conversation when my head is exploding. Love you.

I plan on being in bed by 9 tonight, as we have piano lessons bright and squirrelly tomorrow morning. If the kids don't go right to sleep it won't be my problem- I have the whole bed to myself, and I am going to sleep right in the middle tonight! So only 8 hours to go till I can sleep.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sigh. It finally got me.

Well, the low-level headache I have had for the last 6 days has finally decided to turn into a migraine. I have given in and am tucked up in bed, and will only be going out to take the Boy to school and pick him up. If I knew the bus schedules better, I would just have him do that, but it takes too much energy to look them up.

I will try to post later, but right now, I am just curling up with my favorite quilt, two cats, and some hydrocodone. The Boy is sitting over at Papa's desk, supposedly writing the second draft of a paper. Gotta shake this, as I am spending the day with Gramma tomorrow. I know from experience that a headache and a needy elderly lady don't mix. Think calm, healthy brain thoughts, ok? The last thing I need with the Dude away is one of those scary-daddy migraines from two winters ago!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

Funny how life gives you what you need if you are open to it. This morning I was over at In a Minute Ago, and read this perfect quote for today:

"A dream is a dream
A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline."

Sharon was writing about how she plans, manages her time, and gets things done. She is writing from her perspective as a fiber artist, but I think her suggestions work for whatever it is we are trying to accomplish. For example, I think she hits the nail on the head (for me, anyhow) with this paragraph. It really spoke to me- I really struggle with focus these days.

"Women are particularly good a multitasking and often during the child rearing stage of life they have trained themselves to be so good at it that they forget is how to focus. There are times to multi task and times to focus on getting what ever it is you want to achieve done. Some things are easy to multi task such as putting a load of washing in and letting it run while I attend to mail but other things are single task activities such as designing something. This sort of task requires me to focus on the task at hand, in a sustained manner in order to actually get it done."

Why this blog post struck a cord with me on this particular morning is that the kids and I are planning out the next three weeks of our lives today. We each made a list (thanks, Amy) of everything we needed to do around the house, in categories of chores, school, and self (self-care,bedroom maintenance, and personal goals). Then we made a schedule page, and penciled it all in. So at the moment, our days are scheduled from 7 am to 10 pm. Sounds drastic, but we need this focus right now. We have a lot of work to do this summer, but still want to have some fun- planning our lives seemed the easiest way to go about it.

Another quote from Sharon's blog:

"Mile by mile, life’s a trial.
Yard by yard, life is hard.
Inch by inch, life’s a cinch."

Gotta go, I am determined to be a mom, a housewife, a teacher, and an artist today. I will try to post a photo of the day later.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday Update

I posted an update about how the benefit recital went over at Piano Girl. To be honest, having invited 400 people, I was hoping for a ton more people to show up, but was amazed at who did.

People who have loved me (and my family) for the last 26 years. Many friends from high school, family members from both sides, and from my homeschooling community came, and that was so fantastic. It was great to see everyone, and to delight in their support of my Piano Girl. Thanks again to all who showed up and showed support. I love you guys!

Our Papa Dude left at 5 am this morning, and will be gone until next Monday, so I get to practice my solo-parenting-of-two-hormonal-crabby-mouthy-teenagers this week. We will be focusing on character lessons a great deal. The house is a mess, and we start a new school term tomorrow, so I have a lot of cleaning to do today. Wish me success in enrolling the kids in the idea of working together as a threesome to get it done quickly and efficiently! If I can get the house looking ship-shape today, I can spend some time in the studio tonight- I still haven't even started the 15 fabric postcards I wanted to have done by tomorrow night. Sigh. I also seem to be in the middle of a several-days-long headache as well. Hasn't hit migraine levels yet, but just won't go away. I think it may be allergy-related. Thank goodness for hydrocodone!


Friday, June 01, 2007

Yay! I found some!

Update on the table cloths:
I found some! Party City came through for me. They still cost me more than if I had been able to get them at Costco, but at least I know of a source now. Plus, we got them in nice bright green, instead of the white they sell at Costco. How fun is that?

Freaky Friday

Ever wake up feeling mentally great, but physically ill at the same time? That is me this morning. I am in a great humour, but feel a summer cold coming on. My nose is runny, my head really hurts, and I have a tickle in my throat that I know will be a cough soon. Darn it! I need my voice tomorrow- couldn't the cold wait till Sunday morning to kick in? I will be running to the store to get some Cold-Eze soon.

Everything is ready for tomorrow's recital, except for the minor detail of disposable table cloths. Last year, we bought those long rectangular plastic tablecloths, and cut them up and taped them together to cover the large round tables in the fellowship room at the church. This covered the tables, but looked really tacky, and took time to do.

When we were at the church yesterday, the kids' Godfather (GF) showed me the kind they used, and told me they had them at Cash N Carry (a really wierd store where you buy things in even larger quantities than at Costco) or Costco. We found the CNC store, and they had the tablecloths, but they were $5. each. We have to cover nine tables, I just can't see paying $45. for something I am going to use for 2 hours and then throw away. (I know, I know, I am cheap, but you knew that!) So I went all the way back to my Mom's and drug her to the Costco (she has the membership card, we haven't shopped there in years) near her house, only to find that they didn't have the round tablecloths there. Sigh. I know it isn't a big deal, but I just want everything to look perfect. We shall see what I can come up with today, without it taking up my whole day. We left the house at 8 am yesterday, and did not get home till after 9 pm- I do not want another day like that!! Wears me out just remembering it!

Once I actually get my sick bumm out of bed, I have to get down into the studio today. I have got to get those fabric postcards started. I couldn't get to sleep last night, so was looking at this great blog, FaeryDi's. I watched her Flicker slideshow- she has some great examples of fabric postcards there. So I have some inspiration, now to get down there and do some stuff of my own.

Ok, that is the plan for today. That and listening to the Piano Girl practice for several hours (lucky me!;-). She sounds great, but needs a bit of finesse on just a couple of spots in a couple of pieces. I hope we see you there tomorrow!