Archive for the month “October, 2009”

day 10 and i’m “it”

3 down. 1 to go. it looks as if my girl is going to be the last one to say good-bye to this illness. poor thing sounds like a frog when she talks. a quick library run by me this afternoon made her face lit up when she saw the stacks and stacks of good reads i brought home.

you know all those little projects we’ve been doing have only been possible because they are taking the place of formal school. and because for some reason i didn’t get as sick as the kids. i hope i don’t get deathly ill once everyone is better. that would be just my luck.

i am wondering about a field trip scheduled for tomorrow. still debating whether we should go or not. i may end up staying home and letting my husband just take the boys. i feel so bad because they’ve been stuck at home for so many days now. you know it’s bad when you are letting your kids do things like ride scooters in the house.

well, sweet christine who is just as darling as can be has tagged me for this meme, so here goes…

Six names you go by:
mom. mama. regina. precious dove from heaven (don’t laugh. my husband calls me that). monkey. and ruby begonia. both childhood names. can you tell?

Three things you are wearing: a t-shirt. a pullover. and a crocheted shawl i bought at a thrift store.

Three things you want very badly right now: for an elf to sew the kids’ halloween costumes. without any mistakes. for my girl to get better. and a million bucks. no, better yet 100 million so i could share it with you all.

Three things you did last night/yesterday: read some of the nuts and bolts about knitting. trying to figure out increases and decreases. made turkey burger tacos. washed every single dirty dish in my kitchen.

Two things you ate today: chocolate covered coffee beans. chicken-rice-creamy cilantro and cheese.

Two people you last talked to on the phone: my mom and my EF.

Two things you are going to do tomorrow: clean the bathrooms and carve pumpkins.

Your three favorite beverages: triple shot espresso with breve cream. green tea with vanilla soymilk. earl grey tea with half and half and a pinch of sugar.

now if you can hardly contain yourself because i am  just  so darn exciting and you want to play along too….then consider yourself tagged! just leave me a comment so i can read. i don’t always participate in memes, but this one seemed harmless enough. although i felt sort of like i was baring my soul with the childhood nicknames thing.

setbacks and bright sides





still under the weather here. the two little ones had a minor setback. early wednesday morning was met with a lot of coughing and fevers again. this is day #9. and i am tired. it is chilly and windy outside. which doesn’t help. my hands smell like garlic and vicks.

the bright side to all this: shadow puppet shows, jack-o-lantern lights, spooky icecubes, bat cut outs and funny sandwiches made with cookie cutters. if i didn’t know better i’d think we just might really be having a grand time with this visiting flu. perhaps that’s why it doesn’t want to leave us. 

or maybe it’s just all that vicks i’ve been sniffing.



halloween and saint’s day costumes aren’t even close to finished. but i am wondering if they’ll even be well enough to go anywhere. we are expecting sunny weather this weekend saturday. so that is yet another point for the bright side.

so if there’s all that brightness what am i griping about, right? it doesn’t really matter that i haven’t been able to start my sit ups regimen. or bake that apple pie i’ve been dying to make. (and not necessarily in that order.)

so i’ll be going now. i am being summonedsomeonesomewhere needs something.

hope you are able and willing to find at least a few bright sides amidst any setbacks you might be experiencing too!

almond butter leaves



because we have all decided that cooking with butter is a wonderful thing and i don’t want to bore you with all the gory details of my sick family i will share with you this bit of baked loveliness we made before things went south. 

almond butter leaves. they were soft. yummy. buttery. and for the second batch we added a teaspoon of pumpkin spice which was really just wonderfully fallish.

i can’t tell you much about doubling this recipe because we made it twice.  some of us are still so enthusiastic about baking that we don’t mind doing things twice. there is actually less fighting about who gets to measure what this way too! but that’s just here of course. your children might get along perfectly lovely whilst baking.

oh, that’s right, i was supposed to be giving you a recipe….

almond butter leaves

1/4 c. butter, softened

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar

1 egg

1/4 t. vanilla

1/4 t. almond extract

3/4 c. flour

1/2 t. baking powder

-pinch of salt

1/4 c. milk

*optional 1/4 c. finely chopped nuts

heat oven to 350. grease and flour pan. (we were super generous when we did this step). in a large bowl combine all ingredients. blend on low-speed 1 minute, scraping bowl often. beat on medium speed 2 minutes. pour batter into prepared pan. bake 20-22 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. cool in pan 5 minutes; turn out onto cooling rack. cool completely. makes 6 leaves.

i’d kindly like to thank and acknowledge the nordic ware  company for their sweet maple leaf muffin pans and this recipe!

these are the kind of leaves i wouldn’t mind scattered all over my yard! they are actually nourishing. (and yes, the dirt and chicken poop could be a minor deterrent.)

well wishes


thank you, thank you well wishers. your sweet notes were so lovely to read. so i am sharing my flowers with you. they are from one of my sister-in-laws. she is just the nicest sister-in-law ever. and i say that even knowing that she’ll never read this. doesn’t even have a computer. but look at all those flowers from her beautiful garden…maybe i’d have a garden like that too if i didn’t have the internet!


can you see i am trying to find ways to be fashionable even though i am sick. one has to be creative you know. after days and days in just pj’s. these little socks made my morning.

daddy has taken the well kids to the pumpkin patch and to buy another rocket as the one they launched yesterday disappeared. i am deeply saddened that i can’t take pictures of either of these endeavors so instead i will use my free time to sketch and plan my bend-the-rules garden. more on that later. when this tired feeling is gone.

i’ll leave you with an up close of those flowers. and some well wishes from me to you….stay healthy friends. and if you can’t, then at the very least find your prettiest socks and put them on. they will make you feel just a little bit better.




where the sick things are

they are here. and i am one of them. so in the spirit of making the best of a bad situation i started this:


a perfectly imperfect monster softie for a little boy who had us all very worried with  a terrible fever. unfortunately middle son had it the longest. 5 whole days and the cough isn’t even completely gone.

we are experiencing it all. fever. chills. coughs. sore throats. body aches. watery eyes. throwing up. etc. and the nice thing is that everyone doesn’t get it at the same time. instead it creeps slowly into every day. making me (us) feel like …will. it. ever. end?

 tomorrow will mark our second week of being hosts to this nasty virus. hopefully we’ve seen the worst of it. especially since no one is getting that awful H1N1 shot. i’ve made up my mind.

i am running out of things to do with the younger sick kids. my throat hurts too much to read aloud. i guess we’ll stick with stories on cd and activity books for now. as for me i don’t care much for t.v.and besides our eyeballs hurt so bad that they feel like they’re going to fall out. (note: this has not stopped the bigger boys.)

well, if you’ll excuse me i am going back to my bed. a stack of pillows, a cool quilt and a book on the art of the renaissance  awaits me. and i’ll be shutting my door so i can’t see the dirty dishes multiplying. or the piles of barfed upon laundry.

my husband is really trying to help. but his way of helping is by building a rocket-from a kit-with the children who aren’t too sick. and we won’t discuss the kind of mess that is making on the kitchen table right now. glue. paint. scissors. you name it. why he didn’t just go for the ready-made one will forever remain a mystery to me because i am not even in the mood to ask.

ps. i want to to formally apologize for a few errors in this space lately. i don’t know what is with me. i spelled earl grey incorrectly. i didn’t even really notice until i picked up another box the other day at the store. forgive me that i didn’t rush home and fix it.

and then a reader kindly pointed out that robert frost, not robert louis stevenson wrote o hushed october morning mild……and i did know that. but for some reason my fingers didn’t and so they went and typed the wrong thing! for crying out loud i was reading it out of a book with big huge green letters on the cover that said ROBERT FROST.

so just know, my dear readers, don’t always trust me. and feel free to point out any misinformation that i might be spreading!

one last thought:  bloggers really should have editors!





afternoons and evenings





because it has been so hot i have  forgotten how much i love fall afternoons. the weather. the way the sun shines just so. making everything golden and bright. it is probably a lot like the very early morning. but i have never been a morning person so i don’t always appreciate its’ beauty.

today, captivated by that beauty i vowed to bring the kids outside every day around 3. no matter what they are doing they have to bring it outside. we have plenty of chairs and a table.

do you like how the jack-o-lantern doubles as a place to collect nature treasures we find on our walks. we started out with just a plastic mummy who came along for the ride. but as you can see we had quite a haul by the time we were done. we were especially on the look out for twigs as my girl is working on some twig furniture for her fairies.

the only creative thing i had time for were a few simple little ghosts. i have been told our house is not spooky enough. too many pumpkins. so i am hoping between the spider webs and the ghosts we are progressing to a higher level of “spooky”.

i started dinner really early again today. i am never sorry when i do. it makes our afternoons and evenings so much smoother. i browned two roasts in a little bit of olive oil and spices. marinated them in soy sauce, garlic and red wine. 2 buck chuck from trader joes. and let them cook slowly for about 2 1/2 hours. while we were outside i kept getting little whiffs and they smelled so yummy. i also made rice and a lentil stew. just lentils, carrots, onions, butter and olive oil. have you noticed i put butter in every thing? really i do. and i always try to justify it by adding olive oil too.

it is evening now. everyone is in pajamas and ready for bed. but i hear cutting. and drawing. and now someone just slipped me a note. it is really a picture. it is me and him. on a magic carpet ride he says. i could really go for one of those about now. but there is still so much to do around here. so at least for now i think we’ll stay put. and with that, i will say goodnite.

an earl gray day

i am sharing the name of my new favorite tea in todays post title. at least it’s my new favorite tea for this week. 2 bags of earl grey, vanilla soymilk and a dash of organic sugar. i don’t have the slightest idea what bergamot is. but i like it.

i just realized that i am suffering from a little deja vu or groundhog day. depending on how you look at it. as i found myself in the kitchen. making lunch. it is wednesday again. piano and guitar lesson day again. and there i was making spaghetti. again. only this time i did not use a jar of some overpriced organic sauce. today it is just good ol’ hunts traditional.

so if it is just a bad case of groundhog day i have learned my lesson. i spent less money this week on sauces.

the deja vu thing could just very well be that this is my life. love it or leave it. and maybe i haven’t really learned anything because i could swear that by wednesday of last week my kitchen was cleaner. what did i do differently?

maybe i didn’t have the blahs. maybe i wasn’t trying to read and understand a tale of two cities so that i could share long drawn out conversations about gothic themes in british literature with my totally disinterested teenager. who btw is currently napping with a blanket over his face. bored out of his mind.

maybe i’m bored out of my mind too. the most exciting thing that has happened to me today was when in said kitchen, attempting to tackle said mountain of dirty dishes, i somehow squeezed the soap bottle and a bunch of little tiny bubbles came bouncing out. floating up into the air they caught the light reflecting in the window from outside and were so colorful and pretty.

being at home too much can be a dangerous thing, wouldn’t you agree? this post just might very well reveal me to be on the brink of insanity. at least maybe a mild case of it.

my girl is standing at the window whistling to the bird next door. it is answering her back. that insanity thing could very well be genetic.

must. attempt. to socialize the children. this. week.

i really loved the discussion over at jaimie’s regarding introverts and extroverts. i have sort of been thinking about the whole issue a lot lately anyway since my girl had a crying fit the other day because she was lonely. the boys had been gone all day with dad. my parents came and went. it was just me and her. and i was no fun because i was feeling under the weather. anyway, after a few aspirin-for me- and a nap i invited her on a bike ride. it was a good distraction for both of us. fresh air does wonders. but the whole incident left me thinking about not just her mental health, but all of the kids.

but i’ll save that for another post.

and i’ll close with some constellation cards.


aren’t they lovely? we were sorely disappointed to miss the meteor showers last night. middle son was terribly sick with a cough and fever. couldn’t really see the logic in ripping him out of bed at 2 am to take a trip outdoors. it sounded so adventurous and fun. at 8 or so last night everyone was willing to go. but when i failed to wake up for the alarm i had so carefully set for 2 am i knew it just wasn’t in the stars for us to venture out.

maybe next time.

and i didn’t even entertain what superwoman would do in a situation like mine. she probably never even has sick kids.

what would superwoman do?




the pictures:

some new-to-me thrifted glasses. 5 english stoneware mugs and 2 little jars.

faux fall fairy foliage. say that fast. 5 times.

a home-made astrolabe. just like amerigo vespucci. or not. we think his was much nicer.

the dilemma:

do you ever feel like at home science experiments are just humongous failures? like your kids do them and go, “oh. that was it?” and then you want to hide somewhere and cry because you went to three stores to make sure you had everything you needed to do this list of carefully prepared experiments. and come to find out you missed 2 things. or is it just me?


my head is spinning with science information. constellations. perseus. nebulae. and that’s not even biology….

sometimes, at the end of the day i feel like that dinosaur on meet the robinsons and i say to myself….”i just don’t know how well this plan was thought out…”

how much of what we are doing is overkill? do we really need well-trained minds?


needless to say my house is not clean anymore. it is, after all, monday. and good school days are usually horrible chore days.

somehow i wish i could learn to do it all. and keep things perfectly orchestrated. all. the. time.

more nonsense:

i think i am going to dress up as superwoman for halloween and keep the costume on forever. maybe that’s all i need.

i really want to be superwoman.


 that crafty-ness bug is gone too. my hands and wrists are hurting.

the weather was cooler today. a nice change from the high 80’s and 90’s we had this weekend.

sunday morning my husband caught the falcon taunting the chickens. he was on top of the rabbit cage playing a sort of “peek-a-boo” with them. (the falcon, not my husband.) probably not the friendly sort of peek-a-boo we all know and love. but i think we’ve already established that his visits aren’t ever friendly. and he’s really not even that big. i wonder if he once belonged to someone and got out.

another dilemma:

oh, and tonite the baby is sleeping in his own bed. he fell asleep in about 5 minutes flat after the little mother read him 2 short stories. and piled 4 blankets on top of him. now i am debating whether i should sleep on the floor next to his bed or not…i wonder what superwoman would do?






hers and mine.

are you getting tired of post titles ending in -ness yet? i am, but my brain can’t seem to come up with anything else. have you seen the new geico commercial? it’s got my husband saying the bees knees for everything. it’s much cuter when the gecko says it. but that was so my line.

nothing terribly exciting going on here. lots of moving stuff about. switching beds and toys around. trying to get the littlest boy interested in sleeping in his own bed. i am ready. i think. and he thinks so too. when asked if he is going to sleep in his bed tonight, he said, “yes! but can you sleep up here with me too?”

maybe it’s not time.








downstairs there is a mixture of murphy’s oil soap smell and a pumpkin and cinnamon candle is burning. wonderfully clean floors make me wonderfully happy. and sore. because i am the one who mopped ’em.

i carved myself out a knitting niche in the library. it is a seasonal thing i guess you could say. although it was in the 80’s again here today. good ol’ sunny california.

the house is too quiet. my children have not returned and i went out on a limb and left them another night with my mom and dad. they are up in the mountains doing things like watching the deer come down from the mountains as they often do up there at dusk. just mamas and babies though. such pretty and graceful creatures they are.

as for me i really had to get the notebooks organized and finished because they are vital to any sort of homeschooling success (for me, that is).

my hands smell like grapefruit, saffron and sage because i made some cleaning spray. it works so well. no streaks. usually. except i think i put too much of the saffron and sage oil. that could be a problem on the mirrors. but it wasn’t while i blissfully cleaned miles of white wood molding that lines every wall in this house.

i spied some yellow leaves on my walk to pay the water bill this afternoon. we have three ginormous trees in our yard. each a different kind. and i am really enjoying watching them change colors. now all the raking that need to be done, well, that is another story.

my husband is working late. but we have an actual dinner date. and we can do that. go out late. because there is no one here to need us. i wonder how people without kids survive. i don’t even know what to do with myself. except maybe learn a few new knit stitches with that lovely skein of halloween colored yarn. albeit a tiny skein. which means tiny stitches. i do know a dolly who could use a new scarf and hat.

this was a long day and frankly i accomplished way too much. i need my children…….

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