Monday, March 30, 2009


Ok. So, you know how in this very beautiful, but very different blogworld we find ourselves lost along a path toward home? And we discover new places and new people whom we would never know if we saw them, but somehow, in such a short time, we love them? And they give to us, and speak to us, and make us laugh out loud and make us cry, and even though we don't know them, we SO know them?

I still consider myself a new blogger. My beautiful friend Edie, she told me about this different place. I love her blog. So I figured, I would love the bloggers she loves. She led me to Carissa. And from her site, on it went... and somehow I ended up at Her Bad Mother and today, she linked me back to Chookooloonts, where I know I've been before. That's where I found Amy. Oh, my. Are you in for a feel-good kinda cry...
I've been touched, my wet eyes evidence. (Really, how does someone I don't even know make me cry?)

This is so beautiful. You have to go.

(Thanks, Edie, for the tutorial!!)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sunday Words

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
                                                                                                    Proverbs 13:12

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gone to Visit a Friend

Come see me! I have something important to say at:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I  know that it is a humble aspiration, to have 1000 hits, knowing that this open for all the world to see.... but it just pleased me so to see that number roll around, I had to celebrate. I know it's not like I hit that 100 or 200 posts mile-marker (yet), but still, a milestone for me! I decided to celebrate by sharing with you a list of things that I've probably done 1000 times (I say probably, because without a counter, who the heck knows?!).

 1000 times:
1. Hugged my kids (in the last 4 months).
2. Told my husband that I love him (in the last 4 months).
3. The number of photographs I've taken in the last 6 months (no lie, this I know because iPhoto tells me so)
4. Said, "so funny," just like that, "so funny," (today).
5. Wished I had more time.
6. Washed someone else's dirty underwear.
7. Taught a fitness class (didn't know that about me yet, didcha?)
8. Told my kids to "CLEAN UP THIS HOUSE"!
9. Lost time worrying.
10. Visited a TJMaxx, somewhere in this world.
11. The number of dbl-stuffed oreos I've eaten.
12. The number of emails I've sent.
13. The number of crickets I've bought over the last 8 years for my son to feed to a reptile.
14. Made a special trip back to school with something someone forgot (well, it at least seems like 1000 times!)
15. Thought about organizing something, but then, didn't.
16. The number of stitches I've knit; beads I've strung; paper I've stuck; flowers I've arranged; creative impulses I've fed.
17. The number of tears I've shed, because, well, because I cry. A lot. A real lot.
18. The number of cookies I've baked.
19. Was at a loss for words.
20. Said a prayer of thanks.

And, tomorrow? A first... Tomorrow, I am so excited to be guest-posting at Seth's Mother Letter Project. Go visit now, and see what Mother Letter is all about. It's a beautiful thing. Then, go back tomorrow to see me there! :)

Thanks for stopping by, and making my counter spin!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating around the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in the needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
That which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

       Robert Frost (1915)

Monday, March 23, 2009


**WARNING** The following is NOT intended for the light-hearted, kitchen-fearing mamas or papas! Proceed with great CAUTION!**

So here's the back story:  
We have friends who host a wine-tasting/pairing party each fall. Guests pair up with other couples to compete in categories: Best Wine, Best Food, and the coup (I'm mixing my French and Spanish here, aren't I?): Best Pairing. I, ah-hem, am proud to say that I have been the food-providing part of the winners of Best Pairing for the last 2 years in a row. (I have a secret, but I will not share it here, as I know some of my readers attend this party...) (and yes, I'm a little competitive!) (sorry!)  This last year, our wine-providing friends chose an Argentinean Malbec (a dark colored, full-flavored red wine). And I made Argentinean Empanadas...

First, you need something sunny and fresh to inspire you... mostly because this is a labor-intensive, sweat-producing, feet-hurting recipe. Just sayin'. It is. Truth.

Then, enlist a friend...

...Or two, to keep you company and to help with clean-up, 'cause when you get tired, you might get a little messy.

Watcha need:
Pam, and a little bit o' butter for sauteing onions
2 onions, chopped
1 lb of good quality chopped meat (I used sirloin, or low fat beef)
2 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika (or just sweet paprika)
3/4 tsp hot paprika 
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbs distilled whited vinegar
1/4 C raisins
1/2 C pitted green olives, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets (I used 2 packages)

(The original recipe also called for 2 hard-boiled eggs, and, well... I just couldn't stomach that... eggs, olives, raisins...? Trust me, it's fine without the eggs! I also didn't have any fancy paprika, so I just used my regular paprika in the quantities stated above. Also, just fine!)

Chop, chop, chop away. This is probably the most time-consuming part. I mean, you have to stop every 30 seconds to wipe the tears away! PLLLLeaaasssse!

Saute the chopped meat until cooked through.  Drain very well, and set aside to allow to cool and harden. Stir in the vinegar & cumin. Saute the onions in butter, because, sorry! It tastes best that way. But be careful; use the butter sparingly. If the filling is too greasy, it will affect the dough. Saute until the onions are almost translucent.  Add the paprika & pepper flakes and saute just a few seconds longer. The heat "opens" up the spices and makes the flavors a little more intense.  

Mix together the meat, onion mixture, olives and raisins. (Doesn't that just sound gross? But it is really good. Trust me on this, too!) Salt and pepper to taste. Don't be skimpy with the peppa...

It's about here that your feet might start to hurt. (Did I remember to tell you to wear your favorite, most cushy gym shoes? Definitely do that.)

Cut about 3.5" circles from the pastry. I happen to have the perfect sized plastic monkey cup to accomplish this! I was able to get about 9 circles from each sheet of pastry. And I was thinking about this. If you made bigger circles, you would have bigger empanadas with more filling in each. It would save you time in construction, and you would eat less dough (for you carb-watchers, you!) per serving. Just a thought.

Here's the fun part, and the part where you need to call in your dog friends! Put about a tablespoon of filling in each circle. Use water with your (cleaned) finger along the outside edge of 1/2 of the circle. Be careful to not get the meat mixture on the edges because the grease will prevent the empanadas from sealing. Then, using your fingers, pinch the edges together. And you can sorta wrap the edges around your fingers as you're sealing and make it really pretty (but you don't have to).

Sometimes, they will come out perfectly and look like they are store-bought, like this...

... and sometimes, they'll look more "homemade", like this.

Brush them with egg, put them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

For sides, serve with oh-so-easy boxed Spanish rice, chips and home-made guacamole and salsa.  And extra red pepper sauce for those who like it spicy. And red wine. Don't forget the wine.

Serve alfresco (and there's some Italian for ya, too) to an eagerly awaiting, most deserving family. (Did I mention, don't forget the wine?)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Family Wrestling

You've already seen that we play ball in the house, but have I told you that we also hold family wrestling matches? 
Three boys and a man in that photo...

The only smart one in the bunch is my guy in brown... he keeps a safe distance because daddy shows no mercy.

The two he's holding here? 6 foot tall teenagers... no problem for daddy-o.

She's not afraid... she jumps into the mix, and lives whole-heartedly.

Finally, they get smart, and work together as a team... and he decides to give 'em a break...

A mass of humanity, rolling around my unfurnished living room...

"Dog-pile on daddy!!"

Who doesn't love a man who gets down on the floor and plays with his kids and their friends?

And he concedes ... for a moment ...

And then, she almost takes him with a rear-naked choke!

(Oh yeah, and if you look directly up from her head, you will see that there are REAL dust bunnies at my house!)

Hope you're having an exciting, playful day, too!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gone Wild

See that pretty little counter over there? Over to the right? I added her early last week. I'm getting so few comments, I thought I'd see if it's that no one is visiting, or if it's that my visitors just don't like to talk.

My pretty little counter stroked my ego all week... I was pumped to reach 243 this morning. 
I'm considering redecorating, so I've been tramping around blogworld, looking for ideas. I clicked back over here and wHaT?! 


Is it my pretty little counter? Has she gone wild?

Please say hello and let me know you were here... Otherwise, I go on believin' I have  a psycho counter....

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Colors of Spring

Today, finally, is the first day of spring. Though I love my winter sunsets, dramatic against the stark silhouetted tree branches, and gray with the season, I'm looking forward to color, and newness, and beginnings, and all the things that spring births...


...mornings wet with dew...

...vibrancy, energy...


After coming to terms with disappointment and anger, and after a chaotic day yesterday, I took a walk by the lake alone last night. It was quiet (except for the flock of birds I accidentally scared away-who, in turn, sared me), and it was beautiful, and 0h-so-peaceful. It was so orange-y red, my pictures don't do it justice. It made the gray trees it shined on red. This photo is untouched.

The only sound was the water rhythmically washing onto the crushed stones. It seemed to slow my breathing again, rocking me back into a state of calmness and peace. I can't help but think -hope?- that with the end of winter, 

the dawning of spring will bring new peace.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Making Good Choices

Don't you think that, as grown-ups, it's our responsibility to make good choices? I mean, I realize no one ever teaches us how to do this... (well, maybe Experience teaches us, if we are paying attention.) I think it's up to us to LEARN all the little nuances, the facts, that are important in the decision. Then, we must weigh them carefully... Consider the circumstances, the precedences, the alternatives.... Mentally live out the affects of our choices. And most especially, if these choices affect another human being - or. her. child. - most especially then, the decision should not be judged quickly, carelessly. Most despicably, decisions should not fall along social lines, or to satisfy an immature need to "stick it to 'em," or to derive power, to show dominance over another.

Even more, if one is given the responsibility to govern. over. another., oh please, please, do not make haste. Do not pre-judge. Do not choose before you are given the choice. It is NOT your right, your privilege to tell another what she can or cannot do; nor should you stand in her way or put up roadblocks to her endeavors, especially when it comes to growing her children, to raising her family, to making choices for those little souls with whom she was entrusted.

Do not wear your church on your chest like a badge, and at the same time, show no compassion for a family. Do not boast of your accomplishments, and not reach out your hand to hold another up. Do not express false concern, and contrive when out of sight. Do not speak untruths in attempts at persuasion. Do not choose out of spite. And most certainly, do not rejoice in another's defeat, even privately.  

Rather, consider as if you were she choosing for you. What would you want her to weigh heavily? What would you expect her to do for you? What choice would you have her make if it were your child? Your family? What hurtful things would you not want said after you left the room? 

I think they call this "do onto others as you would have done onto you". 

Who would you expect to put a stop to ugly words? Hasteful motions? Changes in protocal? Arrogant exclaimations? Who would you expect to stand up for your rights as a parent? Who would you expect to stand up for your child?

Whether you expected it or not, she would.  And so would I.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


These are some of my favorite action shots from Crested Butte, in no particular order. 

Gabe on skis...

Drew with a grab...

J-man (you've already seen this one!)

Stranger-boarder, but it was such a great jump, I couldn't resist.
(I figured there's no identifying features here, right?)

Little man making a jump-no fear!

Austin off the box...

J-man at another terrain park...

Lexi and her friend tucking down a blue...
We used to call this "bombing" the mountain.

The kids impressed me so much with their snowboarding that I had to take lessons before we left. I was lucky enough to get some video footage of it, and FINALLY, figured out how to copy and paste it here. I think I did ok. What do you think?

Oh, I am SOOO kidding.  :)
Maybe next time...