Category Archives: Uncategorized

2/17/2023 continued

Meal plan for the week:

* Zucchini spaghetti and meatballs with pesto cream tomato sauce

* Slow Cooker Maple Smoked Brisket with creamy whipped parsnips

* Spatchcocked chicken with herbs and lemon over roasted veggies

* Galen’s birthday: pizza, ice cream cake

* Roasted Beet Salad with chevre green goddess dressing

* Caprese Chicken Sheet pan

* Nicoise Salad



A few years ago Iain built a set of shelves for me in the living room.  One part can be viewed from all over the room and that is where I keep my very special books; the old, hardbound copies and collectors editions that set my heart fluttering.  I planned it this way because I knew that getting to see those books every day would bring me joy.  This morning I immediately spotted a missing book and knew that Elijah must have taken it to work.  I’m not sure how long Steve had to witness me staring wide eyed and sputtering.  “But, but, but…these are *special*, handle very carefully books, not throw in a bag and bop around town with them books.”  Really, I can’t even begin to tell you how long it took me to move on from the somewhat horrified, “But, but, but…” in my head.  I don’t think I heard a word that anyone said all morning.

Later in the day that boy of mine posted a little video saying something along the lines of, “Sure I hate my job, but at least on my lunch break I can kick back with some Brontë and a spot of tea.”  And there he was, in his auto body parts uniform with a travel mug and my book.  And here was I, smitten and amused, because he is *so* my child.  He even insists on using the cursive font, just like I do, even though he must realize that most of his contemporaries probably can’t even read it.  When he got home I didn’t say anything about the book, I just kissed the top of his head.

Sera had a major disappointment this morning and refused to be consoled.  We finally ended up watching the first part of Anne of Green Gables; the 1985 one with Megan Follows.  Mairi baked lemon bars.  Even with such a pleasant diversion I had to work really hard at not feeling anxious about my day being turned on it’s head.



~Nest found by Seraphina after a recent wind storm~

If you are someone who can walk into a messy room and just start picking up random items and putting them away like some kind of freaking wizard, I am truly happy for you.  I am not like that.  I will wander around feeling overwhelmed for twenty minutes and then give up.  Or I’ll start picking up random items only to hold them and set them somewhere else they don’t go before getting sucked into some tiny project that doesn’t matter like organizing my yarn collection.

~Read this morning in bed from the book How to Keep House While Drowning~

This is me exactly.  Except I reject the premise that organizing my yarn collection is unimportant.  I also once saw a friend describe her ADHD way of cleaning as taking all 3000 items in a room, heaping them in the center of the floor, followed by totally panicking and trying to avoid it for several weeks.  Oh, the number of times I’ve lived that one too.



Seraphina and I finished reading Anne of Green Gables, all except for “A Good imagination Gone Wrong”, because she’s a sensitive little soul, as I have always been, and I remember the descriptions of the ghosts they imagined being too much for me as a child.  We’ve started in on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Already she is asking for Turkish Delight for her birthday.

Those moments at night, with just the two of us, cuddled up under her pink canopy, lit by the stars lights that I wove through her headboard are often my favorite part of the day.

**I made the star frames for Seraphine.  She likes them.**



Rose covered dresses for all!  Apparently, the new dresser is just a giant photo prop.  Even though they are merely grocery store flowers, my Valentine’s bouquet this year looks quite regal.  Winter rose season (the time from my birthday until the Valentine’s flowers fade) is almost over.  I won’t take hundreds of photos of roses again until they are blooming in my garden, somewhere toward the end of June/beginning of July.  I need the reprieve at this time of year.  To be surrounded by flowers, at least on a small scale, helps me to make it through to the end of winter.



Sleepy this morning.  I was up most of the night, talking to the kids.  This happens.  It’s something that I’ve found with mothering teens and young adults.  Sometimes those quiet hours, when no one else is around is the only time to truly talk and be heard, so I always try to make the time for it.  Even though I know that it will take me a while to recover from the sleepless night.  It always seems worth the exchange to have that time alone with them.

Last night we were not alone.  It was all four of my older children, plus a few friends.  I think it must be hard for new people to come into our house.  There is this scene in the National Geographic show Genius, in the first season which was about Einstein and was excellent, where Einstein goes to stay with a family in Switzerland while he attends school.  The family is like nothing he’s ever come across.  Everyone is debating philosophy.  Everyone is outspoken.  We are like that.  Philosophy, politics, everything under the sun really.  Sometimes multiple debates and conversations going on at once.

Like this:

Then when I think that others are getting overwhelmed, I tell everyone to shush and stop and at least two of them go pick up instruments and everyone starts harmonizing on songs that no one else has ever heard of.  I think it must be rather over-whelming for outsiders.



I found a new dresser for Seraphina (actually both girls will use it for a while yet, but eventually it will be her’s) for free.  Steve and Galen went to pick it up today.  I’m thrilled!!!!  Iain and Elijah are absolutely horrified and disgusted that I would consider painting it (and pink at that!), but it’s what she wants.  And also it would really be quite dark in that room.  The finish is pretty beat up in sections, even to the point of splintering raw wood.  But on the whole it’s solid and most importantly….drum roll please….the drawers open and close easily!  The fatal flaws of their current dresser are a) it’s too small for their ever larger clothing, and b) the freakin’ drawers will not stay on their tracks!  It’s endlessly frustrating for me and downright impossible for a small human to handle and maintain.  If I could refinish it and stain it a lighter color, I absolutely would, but I don’t think that will be possible.



This week’s meal plan:

*Beef enchiladas- Every year we get half of a grass fed beefer from a local farm.  I’m trying to come up with new and exciting ways to prepare all of the stew meat and roasts.

*Valentine’s Day: potato pancakes, bacon, virgin strawberry daiquiris- The idea for the daiquiris came from one of the Susan Branch books.  Chocolate piled up by each place setting.

*Yam, steak, and kale bowls- Our twist on a dish from our favorite Mexican restaurant

*Pork roast with sweet potatoes, onions, and apples

*The AIP Taco Bowls from The Casaway Kitchen

*Kale, brussels sprouts salad with butternut squash, pomegranate and candied pecans from Two Peas in their Pod

*Super Bowl Sunday: pizza, chips, seltzer


I took down the winter decorations- dried oranges, paper stars, the swag I made from bittersweet berries and other assorted things.  It felt like time.

The Eagles are in the Super Bowl, which is a big deal for some members of the household.  Me?  Couldn’t care less.  But I’m happy for the excuse to sit and knit for several hours straight.  I am genuinely a baseball fan and watch and enjoy games fairly regularly throughout the season.  But football?  Ever since I had children, all I see is other people’s babies getting concussions.

It’s a very funny thing that only one of our children has ever lived in Pennsylvania, but none of them would ever think of rooting for another team.