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Archive for October, 2007

time capsule

Before Ava started preschool she was given a white paper star to decorate and add her picture to for the class bulletin board. It has also had several questions; here are her answers.

Where do you live?
At my home with mama and daddy

Who’s your family?
mama and daddy!

What do you like to eat?
soup, bread and jam, and enchiladas

What do you like to do?
play hide and seek, read books

What do you want to do when you grow up?
drink pop and be a good girl

* * * *

Today after Sunday School, she added a few more things to the list.

“Daddy, when I grow up I want to be a mama and a teacher!”

“A mama and a teacher?

Yeah, I wanna be a mama and a teacher. And a bus driver!”


It must be in the genes.

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alrighty then

So, thanks to some freelance work, my laptop has been in Nate’s sole possession for the past week. And since I’m not at all flexible, it is entirely impossibly for me to conceive of posting from another computer, such as the desktop in the office.

I have been so long divorced from my laptop that it was actually Nate that posted about the contest winner. In fact, I didn’t even know who had won until he returned to my parent’s cabin from his extended excursion at the internet cafe. And due to a miscommunication and improper instruction on my part, he was unable to locate and publish these important pictures:




Yes, there it is. The official drawing. I find it necessary to point out that Ava drew the number that corresponds to her age. She is clever like that.

So congratulations to you, Shanel! And to me, since I no longer have to ship the soap across the country. I can just keep forgetting to bring it to our lunch dates.

And now that I’m able to type freely on my laptop, I would like to send my love to all the lovely lurkers who said hello!

It was seriously so much fun to hear from you!

Thank you, thank you to all the former roommates, old highschool friends–of course I remember you Beth, favorite co-workers, and new internet friends who brightened up the dreariest of days during the wettest week of the rainiest month in my memory. (You know it’s bad when six urban woman–read non-farmers–get together and their number one prayer request involves the weather. “Please Lord, make the rain stop, please.”)

I had know idea that delurking week would be so rewarding, I wish I could give you all a huge hug.

But since my arms won’t be able to extend all the way out to Northern Ireland again for sometime, I will give you the next best thing: the recipe for Ava and my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookies ever.

And they are so easy to make that the resident three-year-old now “reads” me the recipe.

In fact, the hardest thing about these cookies is figuring out how to get your microwave to properly soften butter. You could just leave the butter on the counter for a couple hours, but that would require planning ahead. And in my experience, these are the “I’m-craving-something-warm-soft-and-gooey” kind of cookies that are made on very short notice and generally include knocking on the neighbors door for an egg while the butter and sugaring are creaming upstairs.

While you will have to supply the butter and eggs, I promise they will return the smiles you sent me.

Virtual Hug Cookies

3/4 cup of butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cup of brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together dry ingredients (including oats). In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Taste to make sure that the sugar is sweet and the butter is creamy, then add the egg and vanilla. All samples now contain raw egg, taste at your own risk (a risk I tend to ignore repeatedly). Slowly add in flour mixture. Add in chocolate chips. Resist temptation to eat all of the cookie dough. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 9 to 13 minutes. It’s suppose to make 3 dozen cookies. This has yet to happen for us–I blame Cookie Dough Monster Nate. Cool for one minute or let them cool in your mouth. Either way–Enjoy!

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And the winner is

Shanel!

Have a great weekend. We are spending the weekend at the Lake with my family, where Emily sees phantom fish jump by the dock.

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or just settle for the therapy.

Thanks to a recent trip to the fair with Papa, Meme, Uncle Chad, and Auntie Emily, and a day at farm with Grandma, Auntie Carrie, and Katelyn, Ava has settled on a new pet:


A bowl of three spotted goldfish, that is so last week. What’s in? A life size version of My Little Pony, minus the pink hair and flower tattoos.


“I really wish I could have a pony. Don’t you wish that I could have a pony, Mama?”

Of course I do. Who wouldn’t want a 200 pound pet that eats bushels of hay and grain? Or a pet that enjoys taking you for walks?

Because, really, if you think about it a 1500 square foot, second floor flat smack dab in the middle of a city is the perfect place to raise a pony!

And our neighbors down below are in the process of adopting a greyhound. Give or take a saddle, there really isn’t much difference.

After reviewing the potential living accommodations, dietary regimen, and grooming needs with my three-year-old, I was truly shocked that she didn’t pull out a clipboard of printouts to support her obviously researched game plan. I mean, she already has an abundance of plastic, purple My Little Pony combs, which she showed me upwards of ten times. So clearly she is ready for a true pony commitment.

That was until we got to the part of about the poop. Because as we know, Everybody Poops (and let me just say, that book is disgusting. I was about to link to it, but I just couldn’t do it).

“Ava, who is going to clean up the pony’s poop?”

Without blinking, Ava held up her hand and pointed directly at me.

“Oh, no I’m not. I’m not cleaning up the pony’s poop.”

“Daddy will.”

“Sweetie, Daddy does not like cleaning up poop. I think he hollered just about every time he changed a poopy diaper. He will certainly not clean up pony poop.”

“But Mama, my shovel isn’t big enough. I don’t have a big Shovel!”

A shovel. That’s what she said.

How she ascertained that one needs a pooper scooper is beyond me? But one thing is for certain, she has really thought this pony thing through.

Anyone out there want to stable a pony for Ava?

‘Cause as far as these two city-cats are concerned


hay is not for shoveling or eating for that matter. It’s for sitting on, while enjoying a six-piece polka band consisting solely of accordions!

Anyone else know of a my-fish-died-and-my-mama-won’t-buy-me-a-replacement-pony support group she can join?

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Apologies to all you wonderful, internet friends who tried to comment yesterday and were thwarted by some strange “comment moderation” apparatus.

Somehow I unknowingly jammed up the system. And believe me I was quite worked up about it last night, thinking that I must of hit some chicken noodle sore spot.

Thanks to a kind phone call from Shanel, my trustworthy source of many good things, I was able to locate all the hidden (and oh so nice) comments. It was like happening upon kaleidescope of butterflies caught in web. I pulled back the silk and let them fly.

The pipeline is flowing freely now, so comment away. I’m not going to tell a lie, I do love hearing from you.

And if you are ever in a pinch, call Shanel, really, she works wonders!

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sore throat.

Nothing wraps your throat in a warm blanket like the soothing comfort chicken noodle soup.


Sick days from my childhood taste of buttered wheat toast dipped in Campbell’s Homestyle Chicken Noodle and apple juice. To this day if I drink apple juice with chicken noodle soup I feel like I have just received a warm hug from my mom.

It is hard to know if the soup’s comfort comes from its famed curing potency or the warm fuzzy memories infused in its broth. Either way, when my sweet girl has a “scratchy frog” in her throat, I’m piling carrots, celery, and chicken broth on the counter before she can sneeze.

In my experience, most of life’s pains, troubles, and “worries go down better with soup” (Yiddesh proverb). And of course, this includes “my throat is all burning in here” troubles.

Today I serve up my warm hug with zucchini and rice. Here’s our family’s favorite recipe adapted from the Williams Sonoma soup cookbook.

Chicken Rice Soup with Garden Vegetables

8 cups of chicken broth (Pacific Natural’s chicken broth is delicious)
1/2 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
1 celery stick, sliced thinly
1 onion chopped
1 cup of white rice
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
ground salt and pepper to taste

In a stockpot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add chicken pieces and simmer for two minutes or until cooked through. Add carrots, celery, onion, and white rice; simmer for fifteen minutes or until vegetables and rice are soft. Add zucchini and simmer for two more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve in warm bowls with a hot ciabatta roll!

Last night after being warmed through with soup and tucked under her down comforter, Ava made a little appeal to Heaven. “Dear Jesus, please help my throat to feel better so that I can go to the pumpkin patch. I love you, God. Amen.”

Thanks to prayer, zinc tablets, and her mama’s soup, Ava is on the road to recovery and the preschool bus to the pumpkin patch.

I’m curious: Is chicken noodle soup the universal comfort for colds or are your childhood memories shaded another way? What are you using or planning to use to comfort your children’s sniffles?

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Correspondent Ava reporting:

“Did you know that Santa has a cell phone. He does. I called him on his cell phone when I was in bed.”

Really, what did he say?

“Ho, ho, ho, I have reindeers!”

Hear that good girls and boys: no more need for written wish lists or waiting in long lines, Santa is apparently now reachable by mobile phone. And just in time for the holiday rush. So get your list together and give ol’ Santa a buzz.

It is not immediately clear if he is able to receive instant messages. If anyone hears of an update of this nature, please send your news here.

Ava was able to reach Santa on her Parents polka-dot phone, whose antenna was chewed off months ago. So just about any phone should do the trick.

It is also important to note that while Santa has modernized his means of communication, his traditional mode of transportation remains intact. Apparently Rudolf will not be replaced by FedEx anytime soon.

Happy Chatting!

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like a hot ulster fry,

part your lips and yell:

“Mama! Why did Jesus turn the sun on too bright!”

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lurkers come clean

You know you have always wanted to say something, and here’s your chance.
It’s Delurking Week!


This is that special time of year when bloggers acknowledge all the lovely lurkers–those of you who come to visit this blog, but forget to say hello.

Today is the day to step up and hit the keyboard!

And to help you come clean I am hosting the very first giveaway. By leaving a comment, you will be entered into a drawing for a bottle of green tea patchoulie Caldrea hand soap. It’s the best (and my favorite).


Made with essential oils and all natural ingredients, Caldrea smells so good it makes me want to clean. Seriously.

Hopefully it will inspire you to wash your hands of secrecy. I will keep the comments open until Friday, and announce the lucky winner on Saturday. (Oh, and the giveaway is open to everyone, not just lurkers)

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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