Monday, April 30, 2007

Weekend Fun

We went out of town this weekend, and we had a lot of fun. We visited the local historical sites - we had to try the "lean on the flag pole shot".

We ate at a Mexican Restaurant - I'm such a Mexican food junkie...

And we found a city park that was straight out of the 60's (maybe earlier). The Man-Cub played on the Jungle-Gym

And there was this great slide - like we used to have in elementary school - but have long since been dismantled as safety hazards.

There were swings and see-saws too.

And we walked along neat paths beside the river...

And saw some geese...

And even a woodpecker...

The Man-Cub played in the hotel pool and I knitted on my TKD socks and I read a great book - Two Old Women - and we all had a nice restful weekend.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Everything Bagels

For some unknown reason, they don't sell "Everything" bagels up here - except for the fact that the Man doesn't like them (something about onions and garlic for breakfast) - I can't imagine why they are not popular...

Anyway, it finally dawned on me that the "everything" part doesn't have to be in the bagel - it could be in the "cheese".

I make a simple "Cream Cheese" - I've tried the ones from the "Uncheese Cookbook" and several from the web - but most are too sweet for me.

1 cup extra firm silken tofu - I wrap this in a clean kitchen towel and rest a saucer on top for about 1/2 hour.
1 T lemon juice
1 1/2 t tamari
Just a few drops of Blue Agave Nectar
Dash of Salt

Mix all this in the food processor until creamy.

Then add - "everything" - I add:

1 t. minced dried onion
Dash of garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder

Then I just store that in the fridge and after I toast my "plain" bagel - I top it with the cream cheese mixture and sprinkle on poppy seeds and sesame seeds - YUM.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Mrs. Killdeer is back

The Man-Cub named the Kildee that nests each year in our yard "Mrs. Killdeer". We've read all about her habits in our Audubon Bird Guide. And for 2 summers now, we've watched her raise her young. The first summer we were here they put tar down on the road - it's a better version of paving than asphalt for the winters here. They put down sticky tar and then cover it with small gravel during the heat of summer - then after everything smooshes together, they come back and scoop up the excess gravel.
Anyway, Mrs. Kildeer and 4 of her 5 babies got stuck in the tar - what a racket that was - and the Man-Cub and I rescued them all - it was very exciting - and a lot of fun to see the happy little reunion. We saved other birds that year and one snake too.

So here is Mrs. Killdeer being pursued by two suitors. I wonder which she'll choose. They're being very noisy right now - but things will settle down soon and we'll go and look at her nest each day while she's away - last year we saw a new egg every other day for about a week.

That's not snow in the picture - it's the alkali that seeps out of the soil here.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Finished Cassock

I finished the cassock after church last night. The Man-Cub fidgeted during the final fitting but I got it all hemmed up and it looks really good on him. He really looks like a little Man. The program is Monday night - I'll post some bug-y pictures then. His best friend is a Maggot (Ewww!) dressed in white and wrapped in Saran - Ewww! - They love it 'though...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spring Music Program Costume

The Man-Cub will be a "Praying Mantis" in the upcoming Spring Music Program. When he first came home with this news - we looked through the National Geographic's spectacular article on Praying Mantis - and made plans for a costume. Then he came home with more specific costume requirements. He has to dress as a priest - (it's a funny program about a stink bug - the other bugs go to the praying mantis for advice on how to get rid of the stink - haha) so I thought I would just cut up one of the Man's old clerics, but the Man-Cub wants a cassock - and since he tells everyone that his Mom can make anything...

I used his existing white acolyte's robe for a pattern. But since it has a hood I needed to add a clerical collar.

I used one of my old shirt patterns and squared the edges of the collar - that should be perfect.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Tae Kwon Do Socks

Of course I immediately cast on for a new pair of TKD socks as soon as the others were finished. These are navy - to wear with my Cub Scout uniform. My same old pattern - maybe I'll try something new one of these days - these are just too comfy to change...

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Arcade - The Final Day

The little Pizza Place/Arcade (sort of like Chuck E. Cheese) that we used to have here in town closed its doors yesterday. We took the Man-Cub for pizza and games one last time - he had $10 to spend on tokens and he got 744 tickets. He had a lot of fun and exchanged his tickets for about $10 worth of junky toys - a fair trade...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

More Bubble Fun

We had a nice springlike day and the Man-Cub got another bubble wand. I guess we never get over the magic of bubbles...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Scouting for Food

The Man-Cub went with a couple of his den members to put out the bags for Scouting for Food -

It was really windy and they had to tie them to the doorknobs. On Saturday when we go to pick up the full bags it's supposed to be raining. I drove very slowly up the street while the boys ran from door to door tying on bags. They had a lot of fun and they were finished with their allottment in record time.

I love this picture - it captures some of his joy and enthusiasm...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

TKD Socks

With all the work on the Easter Sweater the Tae Kwon Do socks fell by the wayside for a little bit. They are finished and I really like them a lot - they're thicker than the last pair I made - hopefully they'll last a little bit longer too. I used a thin worsted weight and my same easy pattern.
I love these socks...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Now the Green Blade Rises

One of my favorite hymns – we always sing it during Easter. Finally, we are getting some green grass. Everything still looks pretty brown, but if you look closely you can see the green starting to sprout.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


At our den meeting last night all of the Cubs made toolboxes. One of the Dads cut all of the pieces but one - then had the boys do all of the measurements on that one - Some of the Dads (I’m the only Mom there) did way too much of the work for their Cub ‘though – that’s usually the case. I helped the Man-Cub steady and hold pieces but I didn’t do any of the “work”.

You may notice the "Conduct Candle" and the jar of marbles in the background - No marbles were taken away - I have such a good group of boys in my den.

He is very proud of his toolbox and it’s quite well-made (just a little bit better than square – haha).

Monday, April 16, 2007

Updated Recipe Link

I put a Recipe Link on the Sidebar - I'll try to keep it updated and in alphabetical order...

A New Game

The Man-Cub made up a new game to play with his Lincoln Logs. You both build a fort and a catapult and then you pelt the other guy with the small logs from your catapult until all of his "men" fall down.

It's lots of fun - that's my fort to the left...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Blackberry Cobbler

My sweet MIL sent us a box with the "southern" flour that I like to use for biscuits - you can't get it up here - the flour here is perfect for making risen breads 'though. She also sent several pints of canned blackberries that she and Papaw had picked last summer.
I used 2 pints of blackberries and a cup of sugar - and my super easy pie crust for the top.

Super Easy Pastry Crust:
1 3/4 c. flour - I used White Lily All Purpose
1/2 c. oil
3-4 tbsp. cold water

Mix oil and water together and add to flour, mix well and roll out between two sheets of wax paper.

What could be easier?...


Friday, April 13, 2007

Guacamole - or as the Man-Cub calls it Whack-A-Mole-y

He really did have a Whack-A-Mole game for a while when he was younger - seems sort of mean doesn't it - whacking little moles - a gift from his Grandma J.

We were at the grocery store buying the goods to make tacos and the Man-Cub carried about 6 avocados (all he could get in his arms) over the the "buggy" - that's a word no one uses up here - they say cart - I told the Man-Cub to "go put the buggy up" one day and the clerk looked at me like I was from another planet. She said "you're not from around here are you?" I laughed and asked how she would have said it - "go put the cart away" was the answer. Anyway, I asked him what he wanted 6 avocados for and he said for Whack-A-Moley - I said that would go perfectly with dinner - and kept the ripest of his avocados and put the rest back.

This is my recipe - if I got it from somewhere - I don't remember where - and this is how I always make it - nice and mild.

1 ripe avocado - pulse in food processor or mash with a fork
1 medium tomato
About 1/2 a medium onion - chopped fine - I microwave it for about 30 seconds just to take a bit of the edge off.
1/2 a can of chopped green chiles - if you can get them fresh - that would be better - but of course I can't get them fresh...
1 T. lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

That's all there is to it. Served here with my "homemade" corn chips - really just fat-free corn tortillas cut into eighths and baked for a few minutes until crisp - they're the best...

Remembering Vonnegut

I was so sad to hear the Kurt Vonnegut died - I loved all of his books - and Cat's Cradle was probably my favorite - I first read it in a college humanities class - and then as is my bent when I find an author I love - I went on to read everything that he wrote - I loved his dark humor and his slightly sci-fi/futuristic stories (I'm really not a science fiction fan at all) - anyway - I'm mostly sad that there won't be any new Vonnegut books to read in my lifetime...

Laughter and tears are both responses
to frustration and exhaustion.
I myself prefer to laugh,
since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

-- Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Favorite Breakfast

This one is so easy - I blend some homemade soy yogurt with a pint of frozen raspberries and a couple of Tablespoons of sugar if the raspberries are too tart (these were) - recipe from the Fat Free Vegan (my only substitution was 1/2 teaspoon for the agaragar - when I used a whole teaspoon my yogurt was like jello and I like it a little bit softer than that).

This is my Deva Bridge yogurt maker - I got it when we lived in Florida - it needs no electricty and makes perfect yogurt - I searched the web for them and didn't find any so maybe they've gone out of business.

These are the raspberries the Man-Cub and I picked last July - that was a lot of fun...

I just sprinkle about 1/4 cup of walnuts in a bowl

and pour the yogurt/raspberry blend over them...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Friend to Knit With

The Man-Cub came up to me last night and asked me to teach him to knit. Imagine my surprise - I immediately got out my old needles - the blue ones - and the leftover Camo yarn - and showed him how to cast on 30 stitches. I showed him the basic knit stitch - we'll save purl for later and he caught on really quickly. I used to teach a knitting class at the Community College and none of my students caught on as quickly as the Man-Cub - age probably has something to do with it...

I was also 8 when I learned to knit...

...not bad for a beginner - this is his progress in one night - pretty soon he'll be saving preemie babies with little knit caps...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Monday

The Man-Cub was out of school for Easter Monday and I took the day off from work too. He loved the big bubble wand the Easter Bunny left and used up all of the bubbles.

It was still very cold but we bundled up and went to the skate park - the Man-Cub is quite the little "skater"...

I think that just about catches us up on everything - if I think of anything else interesting that we did over the Easter weekend I'll update later. The wind is blowing hard now and it's snowing - we're supposed to get about 5 inches of snow from this spring storm...

The Organ

I managed to muddle through with the organ on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter morning. We had seven hymns Easter - plus all the liturgy - Whew - I'm glad that's over...

This is also the only picture of the skirt and top. I'll have to get a better one...

Easter Morning - the Easter Bunny came

The Easter Bunny managed to find us once again - the Man-Cub knows that Mama and Papa are the Easter Bunny - but it doesn't lessen his enthusiasm or happiness about the gifts the Easter Bunny brings. Pictured here is the Man-Cub's "real" Easter Basket woven by his paternal Great-Grandmother - Mamaw.

Last year the Easter Bunny brought a pair of Camouflaged Zip-Off trousers - this year he couldn't find the zip-off variety so just brought regular camo instead.
The little chick "lays" gumball eggs - too cute...

Easter Sweater Finished - Saturday Night

I sewed the Easter Sweater together while watching the Man-Cub play at the park Saturday afternoon. Then when we got home I tried it on and didn't like the look of the collar - so I took it out and re-did it - I finished about 12:30 AM and still didn't like it (I'll re-do again it later) but it was too late to do anything about it - so I left it to block overnight.

Easter Egg Hunting

It was really cold Saturday morning - about 18 degrees above - but we bundled up and went outside to hunt Easter Eggs. I had stuffed 24 of them with money and candy.

His Easter basket here is a Baseball one that we got last year at Wal-Mart - his real Easter Basket that his Mamaw made for him is too small for all the eggs.

We came inside to open the ones the Man-Cub found first - and to warm up and then we went back outside and found the rest.

In past years we have hidden and hunted the eggs multiple times - but this year once was enough...

Decorating - Saturday

I finally got around to doing a little decorating Saturday Morning. I'll leave the Easter decorations out for a while so we can enjoy them...

Our front door...

Our table...

Polishing Silver - Friday

Boy, that's a job - I think my arms are still sore. I also think it only gets done about once a year - when I do it. The Altar Guild needs to schedule this at least twice a year I think. The Man-Cub helped a lot too...

This is at the church - isn't the apron adorable...

Spring Break

The Man-Cub gets a two day Spring Break - this is the picture on the front page of the local paper - it looks really "Spring-y" doesn't it with everyone all bundled up...

Easter Sweater Update - Front

Of course, I finished the Easter Sweater. I finished the front Thursday night at a reasonable hour - blocked it and went to bed.

Maundy Thursday - Communion Bread

We tried several different recipes for Communion bread this week - and finally decided that the Luther Seminary Communion Bread is the best - -
they are all pretty easy to make so that's not much of an issue.

It's the darkest one shown here. The other two are Matzah breads - one with sugar - and one without - Of those two I prefer the one without sugar.