Thursday, April 30, 2009


She was my friend. A different kind of friend. She was a friend in the melodramatic way that only teenagers can experience. She was broken, we all were. She felt too much of everything and not enough of what she needed. When I saw her I saw myself. She gave me what I needed. I needed freedom. I needed to say what was inside without judgment, without repercussion. And that's what she gave me. We never spoke we only wrote. I knew her, really knew her and I felt like -finally- there was someone who knew me. And she still loved me. And I loved her like she lived somewhere deep inside me. That's how it felt. Like part of her soul was intermingled with mine. When I saw her, the times when we were both pretending, she was someone else and I fell in love with that part of her person as well. I can still conjure her laugh, her smile. And my breath still catches when I do.
But she is not who she was. Maybe in some ways she is, I don't know. We all changed, we had to. But I recognize the others. I don't know who she is now. And her laugh sounds different.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


1. Jungle Jims' oatmeal whoopie pies

2. Yo Gabba Gabba. I had no idea what we were missing. We don't have cable so if you love me you'll send me the dvds

3. Kenai said they were playing basketball at church but she couldn't "dunkle"

4. Finally moving forward with something I should have done ten years ago. Then again, maybe we're all better equipped for it now

5. A surprisingly funny movie. (Ghost Town, i <3 Ricky Gervais)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mommy's Job

"That's not your job"
This phrase gets plenty of use seeing as it's the easiest way to tell the kids to back off. Kid being bossy? It's not your job to tell her what to do. That's Mommy's job"
The most recent example?
Do not throw shoes at the dog, that's Mommy's job.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


1. Woodpeckers

2. An answer to my celery problem. They're called stalks! (thanks, Swistle)

3. Seeing an old friend

4. Meeting her new baby

5. New friends who make me workout

Yep, I skipped a couple. I know you're here everyday. Waiting. Now that I've skipped I can give up my goal of posting them every day for a year. It was a big goal and one I'm not sorry to let go of!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


1. Dirt under my fingernails

2. My face getting warm under the sun

3. Elliet, the squeamish child who is terrified of bugs, holding an earthworm. She even said, "awww"

4. Freshly weeded flower beds

5. Muddy shoes on the front porch

101 Uses For Ham

Last week I bought my first ham. It was spiral sliced, smoked and had honey somewhere. It was really cheap because now that Aldi has had a makeover I can buy perishables without shuddering. For the first few days we just pulled slices straight off the ham and heated them up or ate them cold. It's pretty good for maybe three days. After that you're left with more than half a ham and a family that is thinking of skipping Easter to avoid the ham being served.
So I needed to do something with it. Ham and beans! Easily one of the best dishes using ham. What else? I've never made split pea soup, let's try that!

I started with the stock. Jt had trimmed the meat off the bone (leaving a nice bit on there) so I put it in my biggest pot which is now not very big since Jt ruined his second piece of cookware not long ago and it happened to be my nice, big stock pot. Anyway, in goes the ham bone with water to the rim of the pot. Add celery and half an onion, the first onion I've EVER purchased and cut in my own kitchen. Blech. Salt and pepper and simmer all day.
Around dinner-time I diced some carrots and celery and cooked it in a little oil. Next time I'll skip the oil and simmer the veggies in broth which is what I ended up doing anyway. I poured two cans or chicken broth into the pan with the veggies and put it at a near boil until it was all soft. Next goes the ham, chopped small, and four cans of canellini beans, rinsed and drained. You can use any white bean, I just happened to have these in the cabinet. (I was going to make Garlicky White Beans and Kale from The Expatriate's Kitchen but never got around to it) Since the stock was still simmering in the pot I poured four or five big ladlefulls into the beans. Then I topped off the stock with more water since I had a few more hours I could let it simmer.
These came out really good. Jt eats his with ketchup (ew) and my mom said she sometimes puts a tiny bit in when she first makes it.

On to the split peas. I haven't had this in ages but I liked it as a kid and I love anything that can be made in the crockpot. I put this together that same night so that I wouldn't have to find room in the fridge for the ham stock. If you wait, you can chill the stock and skim off the fat.
In the bottom of the crockpot I put chopped celery with the leaves, maybe three good size...things (any idea what those are called?), about a cup of carrots, diced small, and two crushed garlic cloves. Then goes two bags of rinsed split peas. I poured all of the stock over the top. I'm not sure how much broth there was except that once everything was in there it was very close to overflowing. I'd suggest using one bag of split peas and less broth but I wanted to use up the broth. (I just looked it up and you'll want 1-1/2 quarts of liquid for 1# of peas) I cooked it on low for 10 hours. Stir it really well when it's finished to break up the peas even more. This came out very, very good. The kids didn't like it and Jt hasn't tried it yet but I like it so whatever.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


1. Children's ibuprofen for the one with the sore neck

2. Infant's ibuprofen for the one with the teething

3. Extra Strength Excedrin for the one with the headache

4. Pepcid complete for the one with the spicy dinner

5. Ibuprofen for the one with the muscle pain (from that damn Jillian)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


1. Sending the kindergartener back to school

2. Time alone with Kenai, watercolors, a batch of muffins and a sink full of soapy water

3. Automatic nightlights

4. My new down comforter

5. An updated MySpace profile

Monday, April 13, 2009


1. Clean kitchen

2. Making a good dinner without a recipe

3. Laundry running

4. Another parent offering to take Elliet to her field trip

5. Tomorrow's dinner in the crockpot

Sunday, April 12, 2009


1. A joke passed between good friends with only a look

2. Homemade mac and cheese

3. Fat, roasted asparagus

4. Grandpa recording video of the kids:

G: Say "Happy Easter!"
Elliet: "Happy Easter!"
G: Kenai, say "Happy Easter!"
Kenai: Happy Easter!
G: Jayden, say "Happy Easter"
Jayden: Nope!

5. Cottage cheese

Saturday, April 11, 2009


1. Easter choirs

2. Little girls in their Easter dresses

3. Little boys with clip-on ties

4. The two out of thirty kids who say Jesus is their favorite part of Easter. Yeah, sure. Whatever, kid

5. Kindergarten altar calls

Friday, April 10, 2009


Companies that are making my life easier

1. The place hold feature at the library

2. Ikea's Smaland

3. The mini carts at Kroger

4. Walgreen's pharmacy drive-thru

5. Target's popcorn and Icee deal

Thursday, April 09, 2009


1. Frisch's cherry coke

2. Frisch's ice - it's small and sort of...soft

3. Frisch's ranch dressing

4. Frisch's hot fudge cake

5. Frisch's french toast with extra powdered sugar

Why no, the diet's not going so well. Why do you ask?

Purple for Maddie

I didn't know about Maddie while she was alive. I'm sorry that I didn't because what a funny little cutie. She died suddenly and unexpectedly. So the blog is going purple in her honor for a little while.
There are pictures of Maddie here or visit the family's website, Remember Maddie.

Donate to the family (Paypal - send money to or donate in Maddie's honor to The March of Dimes

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


1. New baby goats

2. New baby calves and the way they stretch their heads waaaay up so I can scratch their necks

3. The little hop new baby calves do when they want to get somewhere

4. Crazy goat eyes

5. The one little goat who would only take one little piece of food at a time

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


1. A good stroller

2. Dinner of hot dogs at Ikea

3. The new couch was delivered today

4. The love seat we got in college whose prior life was in a hotel is now at the curb

5. The teething, SCREAMING baby is finally asleep

Monday, April 06, 2009


1. Thoroughly enjoying Elliet's spring break

2. Found the cutest jacket for Ziva at Target today

3. Fresh sheets

4. Penn Station fries

5. A new rose bush

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Tardy 72

You may have noticed that I missed two days of Gracing. Or maybe you didn't and I've outed myself. Either way I'm here to explain that Friday night I was recovering from a nasty stomach bug. Saturday night I was re-learning how to knit and I completely forgot to post (as opposed to forgetting just a little?)

I have been wanting to pick up the needles again for a while now. I tend to focus better on things when my hands are busy. I learned this about myself when I was working in a parking garage downtown. I occasionally had a shift with one of our friends who liked to listen to books on tape. I have NEVER listened to a book. I cannot retain a single piece of information if I hear it and do not DO something with it. I religiously take notes in school or church even though I rarely go back through them. So when our friend would listen to his books I would play a handheld solitaire game. I found myself following his book because some part of my brain was occupied with the game.

Anyway. I also have a killer addictive nature. I have been addicted to so many things it's not even funny. I'm hoping to replace my habit of eating -any time I'm not moving- with the knitting. It's harder to eat that way. Yes, I've already tried.
I started with this tutorial by Jen at Amazing Trips who happens to be one of my favorite bloggers. I also watched this video.

And now on to Grace
1. I've already come this far with my knitting!

2. While it does have to be earned by a night of horrible, acid puking the day spent in bed recovering is pretty nice

3. I'm in another good book, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

4. Tonight at dinner I traded Kenai some of my omelet for a piece of bacon while Jedd traded Elliet toast with jam for a piece of her bacon

5. The other night Ziva found one of Kerewin's squeaky toys and scared herself when it squeaked

Thursday, April 02, 2009


1. Thunderstorms at night

2. Anticipating how the air will smell when I walk out tomorrow morning

3. Dark Willow (why yes, I am a Buffy geek)

4. Late night beer/formula runs

5. Living in a neighborhood where nobody looks at you twice when you're buying beer and baby formula

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


We'll just call today Humor in Small Things. A day so ridiculous I had to laugh at it

1. After I showered, I went to bathe Ziva. On the way to the tub I undid her diaper with one hand. It was not just wet. It got on my shirt

2. On the way to Kenai's therapy I drove through for a diet coke. Which spilled directly into my lap

3. When we got home from therapy and I was getting ready to put both(!) girls down for a nap Elliet's teacher called. Could I bring in a change of clothes?

4. Load up the girls. Bring new clothes to the school. Found her usual spare set still clean in her school bag

5. Decide to go to Target to kill an hour since the girls missed their first nap window. Run in the house to get a bottle for Ziva. The dog has torn into the favors I put together for Elliet's Easter party. Clean it up. Get the bottle. Get outside and Kenai's squealing. I NEED TO GO POTTY!!!