Monday, January 31, 2011

Of Fetching Doggy and Tea

I want a fetching doggy...


Pretty pleeeease.....

My kids definitely know what they want. I wish I could say that it is easy to distract the little boy from his current obsession, but it's not. Ever since he found small balls yesterday and I told him that they were for the dogs, he has been talking about playing ball with them. He is sorely disappointed that neither of our dogs play fetch. When I throw the ball for Lucy, she stands in place, looking at me, with eyes asking, "Am I supposed to do something?" My daughter tried to play fetch with Pippin when we first adopted him and he didn't act like he knew what to do with it either. We have never taught the dogs how to fetch. Frankly, I don't have the time and no one else in our household wants the responsibility. Anyway, the dogs don't seem to be less happy because they *can't* fetch; they are perfectly content.

After we came home from our errands today, I made dinner. I enjoy having tea sometimes with my meal. My children asked to share some with me and I was happy to oblige...especially since it took my son's mind off his "fetching doggy".

I opted to make some herbal tea. I chose one from Teavana that is supposed to help calm my nerves, relieve my aches and pains, and relax my body and mind. It smelled so good - chamomile, rose hips, orange blossoms. My little girl marveled that she already felt sleepy. I figured, how perfect...maybe it will help them sleep better. I can only hope...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baked Apples

Tried to make Baked Apples for dessert today. Coring the apples was a pain. The knife got stuck a few times; I feel lucky that I didn't seriously hurt myself trying to pull it out. I wished that I had bought that apple corer that I saw at the thrift store this morning...Grrrrrr

After I cored them, I filled them with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon (Oh Cinnamon, how I love thee). I anticipated the warm smell of fresh baked goodness and the sweet yet tart yumminess that was to be our dessert.

Alas, it didn't work out too well. The sauce was too watery and my husband complained that it was too tart, probably because the apples weren't cooked long enough. Many comments for the recipe suggested to bake the apples in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes (instead of the 15 that the recipe instructed). They were in there for close to that time and the apples were not close to being soft.

Boo hoo for me, but the kids liked it. This isn't surprising...I think if I give them anything made with butter and brown sugar they will gobble it up.

They made for interesting pictures though. And yes, I bought more apples to try it again. I am a culinary masochist, but at least my kids eat healthy.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Of Bat Ears and Taco Night

Pippin has bat ears. He also has a very expressive face, which my husband finds irresistible.

He likes to cuddle up next to the heater, on the couch, in his bed, inside a blanket, on a warm lap. He's a funny little dog.

Like all dogs, he likes to eat. His favorite times of the day (next to his outdoor times) is lunch and dinner. His favorite place to camp out is next to my son's chair, where he *knows* he can snack up on all the yummy food droppings. Tonight (Taco Night) was no different. The ground beef, the tomatoes, the cheese, and the fact that my little boy has serious trouble keeping it all together make Taco Night the best night for him.

Today, I found a way to make Taco Night a good night for us, too.

I wanted to find another recipe that included tortillas because we always have extras. I usually make breakfast burritos the morning after, but this time, I wanted to try something different. I found a great tortilla recipe called Apple Enchiladas from Hmmmm apples, cinnamon, and sounded interesting and the ingredients promised a wonderful smell.

My family loved it. My daughter said, "I think this is the best dessert you have ever made mommy. Thank you!"

I would've taken a picture of the dish, but we don't have any left. I guess this one is a keeper.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Desperation Lunch

Okay, I'll admit it. Since my daughter started homeschooling, I haven't kept "lunch items" on my grocery list. I usually double my dinner recipes so that there are enough leftovers for my husband's lunch. Whatever is leftover from that, the kids and I will eat for lunch. For those times that the kids didn't like last night's dinner, I will buy Chef Boyardee pasta. In a pinch, I can whip up grilled cheese (or any type of hot) sandwiches or fried rice when they want something hot; chicken sandwiches for when they want something fast. Easy peasy and fast - that is how I like to operate.

This weekend, however, I didn't restock the cans of Chef Boyardee because I *thought* I had a couple cans of tuna for sandwiches and the Tuna Helper that I have in the cupboard. Oops.

So I went into desperation meal mode. Thank goodness they both like fruit and peanut butter, with a side of crackers.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

About My (2) Girl(s)

My little girl...she is growing up too fast! She made a Chinese Dragon Puppet at her school workshop today. She flew it to the car, with her Buggi.

I bought hula hoops for both of my kids, and she is a natural at it.

And of course, my Lucy. Her thick fur is a magnet for dirt. It was very evident this morning during our walk. Yuck! I felt compelled to buy a grooming kit so that I could groom her myself (why pay someone else to do something I could probably do myself, eh?)

I did a decent job, if I do say so myself:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

About My (2) Boy(s)

My son likes to help me cook. I always give him something to do - stir the mix, pour the noodles in the pot, pour the milk. Today, I made Baked Lemon Chicken with Mushroom Sauce from and decided that Mac and Cheese would make a satisfactory side dish. His job was to make it (with my help, of course). He was very happy to oblige and was so proud that he did most of the steps himself.

And of course, my Pippin. He sure likes to cuddle up under things...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

By Dawn

There is something about taking a walk in the morning - the quiet of the streets, the cold air, the soft light. During this time of year, I have often been struck by the fog that lays right on top of the school field near our house. Fog isn't like this on the East Coast, where I grew up. Or perhaps I was too young to care...

White Pea Soup in a Soccer Field bowl. Frankly, I think it is weird that it settles just like that. I remember telling my daughter once that fog really is just a cloud that sank to the earth. She seemed bemused by this.

This morning, the fog was there again.

Pippin was patient enough (5 seconds - hey, that's a long time for a dog like him) to let me take a picture.

We walked along the streets, taking in the morning air. I wasn't quite sure if the time of the morning was still considered "dawn". I was looking for the colors that I associate with the early morning. It turned out that I was looking the wrong way. As soon as I looked behind me, I saw pink.

I also saw the orange glow of the morning sun. Forgetting caution, I looked at it and took a picture.

I walked home, ready to start my day. My plan for now is to make my morning walks a habit. I am not good at making habits; however, I am sure that if I slack, Pippin will remind me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

All Aboard

My daughter is learning about California History in Social Studies.

How perfect that we live near the California Railroad Museum! After we completed most of our lessons for the day, I took my kids on a field trip. I used to take my daughter to this museum when she was younger and her favorite part was playing with the Thomas the Tank Engine Trains on the second floor.

Things don't change much, I guess.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Today is Sunday, the day of rest. So when I woke up this morning, I decided that I would have some quiet time for myself. I went to Babetta's and enjoyed a cup of tea while I worked on my shawl.

I then drove to a nearby thrift shop to peruse around. I didn't find anything that I was looking for, but I did find some things that we need...Never mind that we don't need them RIGHT NOW, but I know that we will need them someday. However, Prudence won out and I didn't buy anything. It was interesting to hear the comments of other shoppers though - "I know there is something here that I need, I just have to find it".

Since the day was so nice, I took the kids outside to play. Oh the joy of childhood. They humored me as I stopped to take pictures.

My daughter picked these berries, stating that these were the kind of berries that Jesse's chickens ate. I replied, " Interesting...sure I'll take a picture."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Nirvana

Today I got to spend some knitting time during my daughter's dance lesson. My current WIP is the Hardenburgia Shawl on Ravelry. I am using Madeline Tosh worsted in a hunter green colorway. The lace pattern is really easy to work and I like that each pattern repeat gives me two inches in length, which means that I only have to knit 15 repeats each side before I need to seam it together. I found a really nice shawl pin at Babetta's and I am enjoying wearing it with the very first shawl that I made (Convertible from

I hope that I have more time this year to knit. Time will only tell...

Friday, January 21, 2011

All about contrasts

Another nice day. I really enjoy taking pictures...I guess I must, because as tired as I was today, I got all excited about taking these pics.

Can you guess what these are?

On a more serious note, I had "the talk" with my daughter today. She is growing so fast and I can swear that has matured in the past month. What else can I say? As her mother, I must prepare her for the inevitable, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. It is important to me that she is not frightened or confused about the changes that are happening to her. I foresee many of these talks in the upcoming decade of her life and I look forward to them. I hope that I can be the mother that I have always wanted to be.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Is it Friday yet?

It's been a long week...

I won't bore you with the details, so here are my pictures of the day:

Me, with my puppy Pippin

Pip, sleeping on my lap (it is so nice being a dog)

My son, at the library

Me and my silly kids

And more outside pictures

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Branch and a Wagon (with some cookies)

This morning, my children and I went out for our walk with our friends. One of them lent us their wagon, on which my son rode while we walked around the neighborhood.

We spied a sassy looking branch, which my friend decided to take home with her. Imagine the possibilities...

When we got home, my son helped me make Easy Lemon Cookies from

They are...err...were very tasty, and surprisingly yummy without any chocolate!

I still have a lot to do...a mother's work is never done...