Might I Suggest

The History channel's documentary mini-series "America: The Story of Us." In my never- to- be- humble hobby historian, visual learner, movie buff opinion, it was darn good. The program airs Sunday nights through Memorial Day at 8pm CST. Aside from the pop-culture commentators, the retelling of what happened as this nation grew up is excellent. History in the round, not just from the top, down. And not just from the bottom, up either. The stats were interesting that are peppered throughout the narrative. Did you know that a New England Puritan family in the late 1600's and early 1700's had an average of eight children and they were twice as likely to survive to adulthood than their English counterparts back in England? Fascinating. And that 10% of American citizens today can trace their family back to a couple from the Mayflower who had 5 children after both their previous spouses had died soon after the Mayflower landed? And that more American rebels died in the British prison ships of small pox than fighting in battle? The first episode got us through the revolution--next week is Manifest Destiny stuff. Can't wait!!


Pinky Tuscadero Would Come

The tall one in the pink survivor shirt arranged for us to do the Race for the Cure. We are unofficiallly calling ourselves the Tah-Tahs. Not to be confused with the Hoo-Hahs or the Cha-Chahs. I have never run the Susan G Komen 5k--I immediately felt this pro-life vibe walking around within the first few minutes we arrived. People celebrating one more year of being cancer free or people getting hope from those who have. It was energizing. So I stuck my pink pom-pom in the back of my pants for a tail and went for it. I am not in good shape this year. I have a ways to get back to about last October. Such a roller coaster. But the run was fun because I did it with friends (Susette, Becky, Ellen and Michelle), people cheered on the side, music blared from all sorts of bands, and it was a beautiful day!! Our time was about 35min. Not bad.
There was a pink helicopter, pink bull, pink tractor--you name it. Pink.

Even Fros.

Michelle was one of the youngest survivors along with having one of the highest numbers for years of survival. Go Margo--Way to fight like a girl!

Post race healthy flush. Healthy tah-tahs intact. This might have to be one of my spring rituals. I have a prescription for a mammogram rotting in my "To Do" folder. I need to get it this week. This week.


Never Say Bored

Since I have a huge mouth, I am now on the Youth Conference committee to feed 340 teens (you heard me, 340) next Friday. Do you know any Distance Learning or Continuing Education Programs through a University or College that offer the "How to Keep Your Mouth Shut" class?

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Ellery said it was her turn to teach FHE. She is very devoted to doing what she is taught. She wants the kitschy wooden FHE board with pegs and ornaments with our names toll-painted on it so that we know who is doing the lesson, the song, the prayer, the snack. (Is she really my daughter?) But I am committed to my children knowing the scriptures (and mythology, and fiction/poetry) so that they might learn to interpret for themselves instead of depending on someone else to tell them what's what. Can't say I think everything in the Bible is historical fact but there are lessons there. Many many lessons. So she told us about Daniel and his friends refusing the king's meat and wine--the lesson we got from it is that it is healthy to eat fresh vegetables and whole grains and it is important to know from whence your food came. Were the animals humanely cared for, were additives put into the food, did the King want to seduce the youngsters to support his invasion of their homeland and become 'Babylonian'? Anyway. . . afterward she had us sketch a pic of the event. And then--(we were looking at eachother like "Are we done yet?")--she told us riddles. Natural born teacher that one. Here are a few for your enjoyment.

Who was the most successful doctor in the Bible?
Job, because he had the most "patience".

Who was the most popular actor in the Bible?
Samson, because he brought the house down.
When is high finance first mentioned in the Bible?

When Pharoah's daughter took a little "prophet" from the bulrushes.


The Back Forty

We have a fun backyard--sports court, pool, trampoline, small firepit, and Soren's shooting range.

It's so nice to see it getting used again. The weather has been so nice--a bit wet this weekend but more rain means lower watering bills.

Blooming behind the pool equipment fence. Why these volunteer Irises grow where no one can see them beats me. The white ones I have out in front eek out a few blooms every year, but not like these lavender over acheivers.

Lexi is our homeschooled neighbor. Her Oma is a WWII immigrant from Austria and has lots of interesting stories about living in Germany during the war and being in Hitler's Youth. She thinks Obama is the anti-Christ ("Really" she tells me "You can see just by looking at him") and makes pickled herring salad at Christmastime. In spite of these two things, I really like her. She makes up for it when she makes deviled eggs with black caviar on top. Lexi, the blond pixie elf in the photo is a character--she tells it like it is. I had my hair in a messy bun-ponytail thing one time sitting at their table outside coloring eggs. She walks past me and as an aside, mentions, "Nice hairdo" and keeps walking. I fell out!

The shooting range. The wood is for throwing knives. (yes thank you I know I'm crazy for allowing this). It makes me feel like I live on a Branch Davidian or a Sandinistan compound. Any weapons training to go with your Bible study, anyone? Anyone?

We have also in the back forty, lots of lovely seed pod wormy things from either the hickory or oak trees that act like the soft side of velcro when the dogs come near. I am forever pulling these things off my dogs. I'm glad to see my extra free time since I have become unemployed is being used in such a practical ,useful way. Blah!!

Bodhi has made the cut. We are keeping him (how can I possibly sell him??? when neighbors are giving their male havaneses away)--so we got him cut, his hair not his babymakers. No shows, no fame, no beautiful girlfriends from JoLain Havanese. Instead he gets free range of the property, and emasculating yellow flowers in his hair.
You never know what you might find in the back forty.


Black Bear Breakfast Bread

Who hates fruitcake? Then don't read on. For the rest of us--who loves fruitcake? And who loves to stay (ahem) regular? I do I do. These prunes go into the bread I made so that when I yell "Time for breakfast kids!" (7am on Friday mornings when I myself am still in bed) they have something quick and healthy to eat. I call it Black Bear Breakfast Bread because the prunes are black and they help you have good (ahem) "growlers"--as Cyler and Ellery call them. I didn't tell the kids all this--I just find that they are more likely to try a new recipe when it has a good name.

3/4C all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 C brown sugar, firmly packed

3 C coarsely chopped nuts (1/2 walnuts and 1/2 pecans work well)

1/2 C dried cherries (I used prunes)

2 C dates and figs, cut into quarters (I just had dates and it was fine)

1/2 C dried apricots, cut into quarters

3 lg eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven 300 degrees and place rack in center of oven. butter 8 C (9"x5") loaf pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
In lg bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in brown sugar, nuts and fruits. Use your fingers to coat all fruit and nuts well.
In separate bowl, beat eggs and vanilla till light colored and thick--takes several minutes. Add egg mixture to fruit and nut mixture and mix till all fruit and nut pieces are coated with batter. Spread into pan, press to even out.
Bake 60-75 minutes will batter is golden brown and pulled away from the side of the pan. If loaf starts to over brown, cover with aluminum foil. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. When cool, lift loaf from pan. Let sit a couple of days. Keeps 2 weeks at room temp or 2 months in fridge. Cut into small slices with sharp knife.
It was gone in 2 days. Here's to lots of happy growlers!


Officially Unemployed

After two days of being homebound, I was asked if I was bored yet. Frankly I am. But I know I am the only one who can fix that. I need a life project outside of wiping surfaces and holding up my half of the marriage/family sky. I like doing these things--does it have to be my whole day though? So while I look for my next adventure I am trying to take pleasure in little things. Doing babyshower invitations. I did three separate designs for the same babyshower. I am ADD I just know it.
Making faces on lunches for kids. Not Soren-he would probably be mortified.
Ideas for my next adventure--homeschool my kids so I don't miss them terribly during the day like I do now, start a PhD (Cyler's vote), work part-time at Old Navy, build a pan-denominational chapel on my property where the weeds presently reign (a la Mel Gibson and Russell Crowe), grow a hobby Elderberry farm and make juice, pancake syrup, wine, and cough syrup, lose some of this body weight that has crept up on me, conduct/transcribe oral histories for people doing family history research. My kids threatened mutiny if I were to find Bodhi a new home so being a dogshow -maven-superstar is probably out of the question. What is a middle class slightly talented ADD quazi-intellectual WASP with blond moments and short term memory loss to do?



Azalea Time Keeper

ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding


Easter Peeps

These are the cutest eggs we've ever done. I will buy gluey bobbles and trim and google eyes along with glitter, fuzz and mush feathers next year.


Egg Hunting

and chicken enchiladas.

and chatting outside.

and Halo and Rock Band.

and egg decorating.

I hope you had a good day too.

Pre Easter Throw Down

I bet my kitchen floor rubbish can beat up your kitchen floor rubbish.


Easter Estrus Estrogen Eostre Ostara Aurora Asteroid

This breakfast brought to you by the "goddess of the dawn." The ancient Anglo-Saxons thought new life came from a female until Christians came and taught them to believe it comes from a certain male from Galilee. In my mind, they're both right.

Original Latin: (Bede 8th C)
Eostur-monath, qui nunc Paschalis mensis interpretatur, quondam a Dea illorum quæ Eostre vocabatur, et cui in illo festa celebrabant nomen habuit: a cujus nomine nunc Paschale tempus cognominant, consueto antiquæ observationis vocabulo gaudia novæ solemnitatis vocantes.[4]
Modern English translation:
Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated "Paschal month", and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance."[5]