A few things the boys found in the (finally, mostly snowless) backyard yesterday ... an owl pellet (ew), a dead robin (aw), leaves fossilizing in the sandbox (neat!) and a snowdrop growing by the chimney ...
The weather is quite seasonable this week - partly sunny, with temps in the high 40s/low 50s. And as of this morning they're calling for a sunny, mild Easter Sunday! That would be so lovely ...
A bit later today Soon I will post our Easter Dinner Menu ... just have a last few nuts and bolts to work out with my mum.
(I was going to make this a "Wordless Wednesday" post, but I'm too excited not to babble a bit!)
So today's big news - since the smoke was black and not white :) - Earlybird and I just spotted the first chipmunk of the year! As I'm sure most of you know, chipmunks go into hibernation in mid-fall, and emerge at winter's end. We like to keep track of when they leave and return - and it's always a cause for celebration when they are spotted sometime in late winter/early spring. We're big fans of chipmunks around here!
So take heart my northeastern friends - spring can't be too far away! And boy is it ever a lovely day here in New England - the light is bright and the ground is nearly clear of snow. And the air! Oh, the air ... soft and cool, but not cold. I have a few windows open because the temperature is near 50 degrees!
Can you tell I'm just a wee bit excited for spring?
(And no, I'm not paying any attention to those snowflakes in next week's forecast. Nope. None at all.)
Lest you've forgotten (and apparently, you have) Spring is just 12 days away ...
How's your Friday going, my friends? Snowy and blowy, like this? Or is your weather a tad milder?
We had plans to see Oz: The Great and Powerful today, but that field trip has been - for obvious reasons - postponed. So instead, here's another quiet, cozy day at home with my fellas ~ puttering over lesson plans, layette lists and dinner menus for next week ...
Happy Friday, my friends! I hope this post finds you well.
Thanks for all the encouragement and suggestions regarding a possible FCS video ... it seems I've got some thinking and planning to do! I also feel inspired to get cracking on my weekly planning sheet - *digging up old copies and seeing what's what* - and thanks for the feedback on feedburner ... so far it seems to be working pretty well. :)
I have just a few things to share with you today ...
First of all, I'll definitely be checking into this series of posts this weekend:
Each part (there are four) features several family-friendly recipes for the crockpot - to be prepared ahead - ingredients only - and then frozen in plastic bags. You end up with all these flat frozen bags of ready-to-go crockpot meals - I LOVE this!! How great it would be to have several of these meals stocked for after the baby arrives? (Plus crockpot cooking is wonderful for the hot summer months.)
Speaking of slowcooking, Bill has me looking at this Healthy Slowcooker, to replace the old Rival we are currently using ... anyone have experience with this model? Or, may I ask, what kind of crockpot do you use and are you happy with it?
The 22nd is also George Washington's birthday and I love to make a cherry cobbler on this day. (Referencing, of course, Washington's alleged childhood indiscretion with a rather unfortunate cherry tree.) So a cobbler will be made later today using up a can of cherry pie filling I had in the pantry. :)
And yes, the snow is still coming - though with less impact than originally forecast. It will begin sometime tomorrow afternoon and last through late day Sunday ...
This is the updated snow map for our area:
We'd be in the purple neck of the woods ...
Here's a short video preview from PBS featuring a glimpse of Call the Midwife and Mr. Selfridges.
I'm thrilled to learn CtM will be moving to the 8 p.m. time slot. That is music to this oft-exhausted, expectant mama's ears!
By the way, Sarah asked about catching up with CtM and as best I can tell, full episodes are no longer available on the pbs website. The first season is out on dvd now - perhaps it's available at a local library? Netflix has it as well.
Will you be watching the Oscars Sunday night? I have yet to see even one of the best picture nominees, but we do have Argo in our Netflix queue. And - Oscars aside - I'm itching to take the kids to see Oz: The Great and Powerful, which, going by the previews looks pretty fantastic. I'm hoping to pull together a field trip for opening day.
Well I think I've chewed on your ears long enough, lol! Just wanted to pop in and catch up and wish you all a very happy weekend. :)
Oh, the sun rising this morning was a sight to see! The whole neighborhood looked so pretty as the sun rose, its light making all that white sparkle. Lovely. :)
Life is getting back to normal here ... if it's one thing New England is good at, it's storm cleanup! Storms don't slow us down for too long - much to the schoolkids dismay. ;) So the boys are off to a birthday party, and I have that roast in my crockpot ... I'll serve it tonight with red potatoes, asparagus and some freshly baked bread. It's a quiet Sunday here and we're surrounded by snow - a good day for a nap - but I left that to the cats ...
Tonight on the "telly," we'll be watching Once Upon a Time with the older boys, and then Downton Abbey at nine. Or at least half of it ... I understand it's a 2-hour episode tonight? That might be stretching it for me, but one way or another I'll have my "Masterpiece Monday" post up tomorrow morning and I'll chime in with my thoughts just as soon as I can.
Have a great night, my friends ... see you here again very soon!
Well as you can see we got a LOT of snow last night!
(Those are our cars buried beneath all that snow!)
I'd guess there's about two feet or more out there right now and it's still snowing steadily. (More to come throughout the day.) Thankfully, we have not lost power here - or heat or even satellite tv! *knocks on wood* AND ... our stove is working again! I did some googling last night and found several sites that suggested unplugging the stove for a few minutes, then plugging it back in to "re-set" everything ... and it worked! *more knocking on wood* So we were able to cook as usual last night and hopefully for the rest of the weekend ...
I'll post more pictures once the day lightens up ... wait till you see the birdhouse!
7:30 a.m. Saturday ...
Very glad we filled the feeders yesterday - no way are we getting out to them today, and the birds are flocking around like crazy!
Road traffic is still prohibited due to the state of emergency, but the plows have been quite diligent ... they've been up and down our (quiet, back) road a few times already this morning.
9:30 a.m. Saturday ...
Now for some shots around the yard since they give a better picture of just how much snow we're talking about here!
Looking out our basement door ... Bookworm guestimates we got close to two feet - it's kind of hard to tell with all the drifting. Our snowblower is electric, hence the extension cords. :)
The birdfeeder stations ... a hub of activity today.
The table and chairs on the deck ...
It's hard to see in this picture - it was taken through the back windows - but there are some lovely winter birds in those snowy branches. :)
So Bill and Bookworm are out taking care of the driveway, walkways and cars while the younger boys and I putter about here inside. They've talked me into making a "snow cake" later today - they even conspired and worked together to find that extra box of cake flour I had down in the pantry ... ;) And lunch for today will be grilled cheese panini and minestrone soup, simple but hearty and warm. ❤
Back in a bit!
11 a.m. - Still snowing steadily ... wind is whipping!
(Oh, and the snowblower just died ... )
1 p.m. - Although it's much lighter now, the snow is still flying out there - and the wind is really tossing it about. It's beautiful to watch! (Not so pleasant for shoveling.)
1:30 p.m. Saturday
A last hurrah, before the skies started to brighten ...
2:30 p.m. Saturday ...
3:00 p.m. - Well, the blizzard has finally lost its bluster - but not before leaving 25+ inches of snow in its wake! The driving ban has been lifted in our state, though the governor is still asking people to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary. And the sun seems to be working its way out from behind the clouds ...
It is truly a winter wonderland out there ...
Inside, we're keeping warm, taking naps, and baking cookies (the aforementioned "snow cake" will accompany Sunday dinner). Well, some of us aren't so much napping or baking as shoveling, but thankfully that's all wrapped up for the day. (And also thankfully, wonderful neighbors stepped in with their working snowblowers to help Bill and Bookworm out.)
And the cats are enjoying the windows (watching the birds, especially), the sploshy ice puddles by the doorways, and the splashes of sun on the woodwork ...
Oh, to be inside a warm, comfy house on a cold, snowy day. :)
Well I think I'll now wrap up my "blizzard tracking" for the day ... but I will most likely be back tomorrow with some more pictures to share ... the sun will be out so things should be sparkling! Thanks so much for joining me, and as always, for your prayers ... I hope and pray all my readers are warm, happy and safe this evening. ❤
I'm reporting in from "the red zone" where we've been warned to prepare for the brunt of a potentially "historic storm." (2+ feet of snow, damaging winds, coastal flooding, etc.) Happily, my family is all hunkered in, and thankfully will be home for the duration ... so I thought it would be fun to take the same picture several times throughout the storm so as to capture the progression (deterioration?) of conditions. I'll update as often as I can ... and as long as we have power and charged batteries!
And to everyone in the storm's path - stay safe and warm! - my prayers are with you.
7:30 a.m. Friday ...
No snow yet in the air (just a dusting from flurries overnight). All is calm here ... though the feeders are a frenzy of fur and feathers right now. I'm sending the boys out after breakfast to fill everything up to the top ...
Back in a few hours ...
9 a.m. - Snowing so very lightly you have to squint to see it ... the boys came in from filling the feeders asking for oatmeal - it's a winter miracle!
9:45 a.m. Friday ...
So that looks like pretty much the same picture, lol ... no snow to speak of yet, but we're keeping watch!
10:15 a.m. - Snowing now at a good clip - light stuff, but steady!
12:15 Friday ...
And here we go!
The National Weather Service has updated its snowfall amounts for our area - up to 3 feet of snow is now expected! WOW. Just ... wow. (Am I ever glad I don't have to shovel!)
Just realized we only have ONE roll of toilet paper left! So Bill is heading down the street to the store - fingers crossed there's still some left!
1:30 p.m. - Snow is getting serious now! Trees and most surfaces are covered. At this point it's just very pretty ... I'm sipping a cup of tea and watching the birds at the feeders. ❤ And in other storm-related news, Bill was able to get to and from the grocery store safely, and found - not only the tp we needed, but also - a big, lovely roast for Sunday. :)
2:15 Friday ...
(What a difference 2 hours make!)
2:30 p.m. - First plows go down the road. Massachusetts declares a state of emergency - no cars/trucks/non-essential vehicles allowed on the road after 4 p.m.
4:15 Friday ...
Wind is really picking up now, and blowing the snow around. Looks a bit like a whiteout when this happens ...
4:30 p.m. - Just to keep things interesting, there seems to be something wrong with our oven! For the past hour we've been getting an error code, which advises us to call an authorized repairman - ha! And while the burners still work, neither of the ovens are functioning - so much for that Sunday roast! :(
5:30 Friday ...
Dark out now, and it's really snowing and blowing out there!
With regards to the crockpot suggestion - Bill bought a "top round" oven roast as opposed to a pot roast. Can I still cook that in a crockpot?
7:30 p.m. Friday ...
I wish I could get a good picture of the streetlight (not shown, just off to the left of this shot) because the snow is just so wicked and intense in the lamplight. According to the weather folk, we are in for quite a night ... heavy snow and 50 mph winds. This might be my last picture for the night, though I won't rule one more out before bed. It will be so interesting to see how things look at first light tomorrow!
(Yep, we live in the red zone ... guess I should be careful what I wish for!)
To begin sometime Friday, with potential blizzard conditions overnight ...
(Disregard my robin post from yesterday - apparently I was getting ahead of myself!)
My friends, how do you prepare for a snowstorm?
* Groceries gathered?
* Snowblower checked?
* Plans reshuffled?
* Good movies (and books) in queue?
* Birdfeeders filled?
* Candles and flashlights stockpiled?
* Cell phones (and other devices) charged?
* Firewood laid in?
Now, the timing of this storm's not too bad since school kids should be home by the time things really get going, and most folks I'd guess could leave work a little early. Since I usually do my marketing on Saturdays, I'll be shifting those errands to later this week. (As will the rest of the community of course.)
So it looks like Old Man Winter will be getting his jollies this weekend ... and I for one am somewhat pleased. I know not everyone enjoys snow, but I do - in February, at least, when it's what to expect in New England. A snowy winter is traditional in our parts, and somehow it makes the spring all the sweeter. :)
Off to start my day now ... hope you all have a good one!
Sunrise through a frosty bedroom window ... another cold day upon us!
Taking a breather from our daily survey posts ~ stopping in to say hello and check in ~ and wish you all a happy weekend!
Any special plans for this bitter winter's day?
It's "Burns Night" in the UK (and elsewhere), a time to toast the beloved Scottish poet, Robert Burns. I'm American of course, but I've got a good deal of Scottish in me, and I love to share that part of my heritage with my boys . My beautiful grandmother would always make sure people knew she was Scotch-Irish when discussing her ancestry - her mother, my great-grandmother, was from Scotland, in fact. :)
In fact, Jamie Oliver has a lovely sounding recipe here for a "Cranachan Sundae" which I may have to try. It involves berries, cream, oats, honey, shortbread and a splash of whiskey. All marvelous things on their own - all the better together - and all things we just happen to have on hand ...
So I'll be putting myriad male hands to work on that dessert (following a typical American supper - sloppy joes, waffle fries and corn) because it's a few days more "rest" for me.
And while I rest (by the fireplace, I might add), I'm knitting and sipping cup after cup of warm earl grey tea (decaf, natch) ... I'm also catching up with all your wonderful comments, working through my reading basket and writing out a layette list for the wee babe ...
And I'm focusing on all the blessings in my life ... the baby's doing great and I'm very fortunate to be able to relax, surrounded by the comforts of home and the support of my family. "Going slow" and "letting go" can be hard for me, but like any mother, my children come first - and right now this little one needs for me to go slow. So I'm enjoying these quiet, homebound days ...
Quiet being a relative term in a family of three (soon-to-be-four) boys!
So I wish you all a bonny day, and I thank you for stopping by. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and I will see you here again very soon!
O my Luve's like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June: O my Luve's like the melodie, That's sweetly play'd in tune.
Happy Wednesday, my friends! What's up in your kitchen this week?
Are you trying a new recipe? Is your sink shiny, a la Flylady? Are you happy with how things are organized?
Well, it's a snowy winter's day here, which is lovely ...
... and a quiet homey day is just what I need. :)
According to my weekly routine, it's "kitchen day," but friends - my kitchen is in such a state, I can't tell you! I really haven't cleaned it much since Christmas. Or maybe even before that, I'm afraid ... Because first there was morning sickness slowing me down, and then there was the rush of the holidays, and then we got sick ... so I've mostly just been keeping up with the dishes, sweeping the corners, and giving the counters an occasional swipe - just to keep things somewhat sanitary. Clearly then, this room's due for a deep cleaning!
And as if I needed further inspiration, I came across a picture I had taken a few years ago - a snap for a post, I'm sure - and in this particular picture my kitchen is the cleanest it's ever been. It looks so fantastic! I showed it to Bill and the boys and they didn't even recognize it as our kitchen at first!
So I've posted that picture near my workspace as a reminder of what can be. The kitchen is the heart of our home and when it's looking its best, my "homemaker heart" feels its best. That may sound shmaltzy, but it's true - for me, anyways. And all that open space really makes me want to cook up a storm! Nothing fuels the urge to bake/cook/create like a ready-to-go kitchen ...
Now, I have a couple of cookie recipes to share ...
The first is a recipe I've shared off and on over the years: my favorite (and dare I say, signature) Christmas treats - lemon snowballs. Reader Joanna brought it to my attention that the posted link no longer leads to the original recipe. So I searched through my (seriously disorganized) recipe collection and found the print-out I'd kept. (Good ole paper to the rescue again!)
1 cup powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon Kool-Aid lemonade unsweetened drink mix powder (Mix these together in a bowl)
Cream butter, sugar and flavorings. Add flour and mix until a dough forms. Roll into 1" balls and bake 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 F. for 15-18 minutes. They will not be brown on top. While cookies are warm, toss them in the lemon powdered sugar mixture and put on a plate to cool.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
(My print-out does not say where I got this recipe, but I know I found it somewhere online. Also, when I make these, I roll a few in plain powdered sugar so that Earlybird may indulge if he wishes.)
And as I was searching through all those recipes - making plans for a major pruning and sorting - I came across one for lavender tea cookies. Generally speaking, I love the idea of herbal cooking moreso than I do the actual flavor, but I'd like to give this one a try. Because I read somewhere that the expecting Princess Kate has been craving "lavender biscuits" lately ("biscuits" meaning cookies in Britain). As you all know I'm a certified Anglophile as well as a big Princess Kate fan ... and I also happen to have a large lavender patch in my front yard. So yes, I'll be trying these cookies this summer ~ I've even made a note in my summer planning pages. (Had I managed to dry and save those lovely buds last summer I'd have some to try now, but alas, I must wait till my lavender's in season.)
In case you'd like to try this recipe as well, here 'tis!
Lavender Tea Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup minus 1 tbsp. superfine sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup minus 1 tbsp. self-rising flour
1 tbsp. fresh lavender flowers
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugar, add egg and beat well. Stir in flour and flowers. Drop by teaspoonful on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, spacing widely to alow for spread. Bake 15-20 minutes until pale golden and edges tinge brown. They will be soft until cooled on waxed paper. Store in airtight tin.
(From The Summer Book by Susan Branch. I find all those SB cookbooks so charming - I've had my collection for years. ❤)
Speaking of cookbooks, then ~ can you recommend any new/good ones?
Also on my hold shelf - The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier and Meat-Free Monday: A Full Menu for Every Monday of the Year. The latter I read about in a magazine this week, and the idea of more meatless days really appeals to me. While the former is chock full of meat recipes, I'm sure - but hey, it's all about balance, isn't it? And finding what works best for my family. We'd never give up meat entirely, but we are trying to cut down on our consumption - for economic, environmental *and* health reasons. Ironically I was told to up my protein intake at my last OB appt., so I'm looking for ways to do this without just adding more meat. I've never been a big meat-eater really - except it seems when I'm pregnant. ;)
OK, one more kitchen topic before I go - how are your coupons working for you?
I myself am giving up on coupons ... for the time being at least. Yes, there, I said it. No more coupons for me. I'm just not finding the time to deal with all the steps involved in successful couponing - clipping, sorting, comparing, matching - and they get to be such a mess ...
So instead I'm concentrating on other methods for keeping grocery costs down ... cooking more from scratch, buying in bulk, meal planning, etc. Perhaps I'll revisit my Money $ Monday posts for more ideas? I'll let you know how it goes. :)
Well my friends, I guess I'd best wrap up this post. Goodness, I can be wordy!
I hope wherever you are - on this earth, in this day - you are feeling healthy, happy and hopeful ...
At 6:12 this morning, Autumn gave its final bow and Winter settled in for good. And yes, I was awake to "see" it happen (the Solstice that is), but since it's dark at that time of day, AND rainy this morning to boot, there was not much to see. That picture above was taken a couple of years ago after a proper snowfall. (We haven't had one of those yet this year. According to the forecast, maybe next week.)
So, plans for the day?
Well, per family tradition, the boys woke to the smell of "Solstice Rolls" for breakfast ...
NOT homemade this year, just a can of Pilsbury - but hey, the sentiment's there! One of these years I'll make homemade yeast rolls filled with fragrant fruits and earthy spices ... but this would not be that year. ;)
I also lit the Solstice lanterns:
The older boys made these lanterns many years ago, when EB was but a baby! We attended a Solstice party thrown by homeschooling friends, and this was one of the projects for the kids. The night before, the family had filled old soup cans with water and then let them freeze - the kids then punched holes along the sides using hammers and nails. (Adult supervision and assistance was required, of course.) When the ice melted, a "starry" lantern was left behind. We light these every year on the Winter Solstice, in honor of the returning light and in fond remembrance of our friends.
Later today, we'll make some suet treats for the birds - though perhaps not as elaborately as this post describes! (Simple is my motto this year!) I picked up some suet at the market yesterday and I have some mixed fruits, nuts and seed on hand. Suet's not always easy to find, but if you ask your butcher I'm sure he'll be able to provide you with some.
And while the rain pounds and the wind roars, there will be good books to read - see my "Winter Basket" at left - and we'll also work on our Snowflakes for Sandy Hook ... I've got paper plates, glitter, and glue set aside for that craft. :)
For dinner, we'll have our traditional Solstice supper ~ a potato-topped cottage pie, crusty rolls, small salads (for the picky eaters) and a lemon sun cake for dessert.
Oh, and we'll have some hot spiced cider, of course! Our own "family wassail."
Dear readers, how do you feel about this season? I myself love Winter - "O king of fireside enjoyments and homebound happiness" - though I admit I find myself eager for Spring come the first of March! What kind of Winter do you have where you live? New England Winters are usually snowy and cold, though last year was quite the anomaly - aside from a freak Halloween storm, we had no snow to speak of!
Well my friends, I'd best be off - I've a busy day ahead and my boys are all up now. (Tucking right into those rolls, of course!) Thank you for your visit and your kind words about my new "look" here at the old blog ... I'm still tweaking, but I'm liking the change so far. :)
S - turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn muffins, cranberry sauce
Dear Baby ...
You are a very active baby, my little one! I'm feeling lots of movement every day - little pops and twirls. Daddy and I were watching a documentary on The Beatles and you seemed particularly rambunctious! So much so that Daddy could feel you from the outside!
Mama has some labwork this week and we're praying everything is OK.
The Winter Solstice
"Animals of Christmas" continued - donkeys!
Excited About ~ Working On:
Watching Christmas specials with the kids, when it gets dark in the mid-afternoons. I love it when the house is lit only by Christmas lights.
Beginning my Winter Journal ... brainstorming homey, cozy thoughts for January and February. :)
Choosing/organizing a new 2013 calendar.
Making time for a Christmas "Tuesday Tea" this week, whether it's Tuesday or not.
My heart is so heavy this morning, so full of sorrow over the tragedy in Sandy Hook. Praying for those dear little souls, such beautiful children ... I can think no further on it, nothing makes sense and it's all too terrible to process. Just feeling very protective of my own children and praying for all those involved, especially the families of those lost.
Well my friends, I hope your week's going well ... thanks so much for stopping by today. I know we're all busy, especially as we enter this last week before Christmas, so posting will be slow for me ... but please know I am always thinking of you all and keeping you in my prayers.
Mum's birthday (26th), Cyber Monday (26th), A Charlie Brown Christmas on ABC (28th), Full Beaver Moon (28th), Feast of St. Andrew, Patron of Scotland (30th), B&N Educator Discount Day (1st), First Sunday in Advent (2nd)
Quite chilly, in the 40s - mostly sunny. Flurries on Tuesday.
Beautiful bittersweet vines growing alongside the river out back.
Make plans (themes/practical considertations) for winter nature walks.
Watch for the full moon Wednesday night.
Put up Christmas decorations.
Do outdoor lights/decorations.
Begin online Christmas orders.
Organize boys' holiday outfits, haircuts.
M - pesto pasta, crescent rolls (boys' fave), leftover meatballs
T - meatball/tortellini soup, garlic rolls
W - pulled chicken salad wraps, leftover soup
T - taco potatoes (ground turkey), fiesta salads
F - homemade pizza night, raw veggies/dip
S - *takeout*
S - pork roast, potatoes & squash, apple-cheddar muffins
I felt you move for the first time on Thanksgiving morning! Oh my, what a wonderful feeling!
Feeling much less nausea these days! Just a little when I take my prenatal vitamin and sometimes around suppertime.
Keeping to home as much as possible - a quiet schedule helps my energy level!
Earlybird has noticed Mama's belly, but when he asked "What's wrong with your belly?" and I answered, "Well, it's getting kind of big, isn't it?" he simply shrugged and said, "Yeah, wow!" Nothing else, lol.
Waiting for Winter
"Animals of Christmas"
Work on using nice language - how we speak matters.
Christmas "food shopping" lists with EB.
Excited About ~ Working On:
A simple, peaceful Advent ~ reducing noise and clutter, both visual and auditory.
Bill set up "Classical Christmas" music for me on my phone - I park it on the kitchen counter with little speakers ... soothing background music for this time of year.
Happy Tuesday, my friends! I hope your week is off to a great start! I apologize I am so behind on comment replies ... I will be catching up over the next few days. (I always seem to think I have much more time (and energy) than I actually do!) I truly appreciate the time and thought you put into your messages. :)
Well, have yourselves a good day ... I will see you here again very soon!
Thanksgiving Day (22nd), Black Friday (23rd), Small Business Saturday (24th), The Feast of Christ the King (25th), Stir Up Sunday (25th)
A beautiful week is forecast! Sunny skies and milder temps - around 50 degrees which is very nice for New England at this time of year. I really love these days ... the weak sun hovers low in a milky sky ... there's more gray and brown, but that only makes the small bits of autumn color stand out all the more - the deep russet, auburn and gold. Beautiful!
Get a small potted evergreen tree for the deck.
Keep the feeders filled - start our "winter guest book."
Bake apple crisp.
Prepare cranberry-orange relish, artichoke dip and celery dish.
T - beef fajita wraps with Spanish rice (prepared)
W - homemade pizzas, salad
T - Thanksgiving Dinner!
F - roasted turkey kielbasa & mixed autumn veggies, cornbread
S - *leftovers night*
S - slowcooker soup (veggie) & meat/cheese calzones
Desserts: caramel apple cider, crockpot bread pudding, golden crown cupcakes
Dear Baby ...
13 Weeks today!
According to my books, you are the size of my closed fist this week!
Excited About ~ Working On:
Seeing our loved ones on Thanksgiving Day!
Thinking about loved ones who can't be with us this year.
Writing out my "Advent Joy" newsletter.
A crown craft for Sunday's feast day.
Though I don't like to rush Christmas, it's practical to urge the boys to get their Lists together around this time. Sometimes they hope for a special item that must be ordered in advance or even be hunted down. :)
This year I'm going to make fruitcakes! I'm researching recipes and ingredients ...
We've just returned from the library - driving through snow of all things! So beautiful, how the tiny flakes mingled with falling leaves on this dark and windy day. Also beautiful - and quite surprising! - were these brilliant pink roses still in bloom, just outside the library itself. Just a tiny cluster, at the top of a thorny, hip-laden bush. How many people stopped and noticed them I wonder?
Well, I'm sure you're not surprised I simply had to get out and take a picture. :) And in another part of this bush (not shown in my picture) ... sat one solitary, plump-breasted robin. How very dear! He let me get close and chat with him a moment ... but he just would not sit still for a photo!
That's ok, though - it was enough just to see him - for I'll carry this happy little moment in my heart until Spring.
Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday, my friends ... I'll see you here again very soon!
Good Monday Tuesday morning, my friends! Time to discuss our favorite little show ...
But first, a quick note ...
Thank you for all your prayers for our safety during Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately, New England was was spared the worst of it, and this morning it seems the storm has passed. As I type, it's still dark here, but we have power and the skies seem to be clearing a bit - in fact, we can see the Full Hunter's Moon through the western windows. We never did lose power but oh, how that wind wailed last night! And we got lots of heavy rain, but no flooding in our parts. So we were very, very lucky ...
By contrast, other regions did not fare as well. New York and New Jersey in particular, bore the brunt of the "Frankenstorm's" wrath. The images and stories shared on the news are so shocking and frightening! This morning I'm thinking of all those dealing with Sandy's destruction, and saying prayers for their safe and speedy recovery.
(If you were in Sandy's path, please check in if you have a moment - let us know you're ok.)
Ok, on to this morning's discussion ...
So, what did you all think of this week's episode? As usual we had some pretty sad, heavy storylines, interspersed with lighter more humorous moments.
The Peggy and Frank story - well, I will admit, I had a hard time getting past the fact that they were brother and sister. I don't know, that was just so disturbing. Everything else about that storyline was quite poignant and ultimately, very sad. I'm curious - who was Tip to them? Was he just a young lad who worked with Frank at the stand? Or was he a relation?
Jenny's rejection of Jimmy broke my heart ... I was so rooting for him! But you could tell all along her heart was just not in it. And maybe not just because of this lost love, but because of her work and strong need to commit to it. Bill wondered if Jenny may actually become a nun by the end of the tale ...
And the mysterious Gerald placed a beseeching phone call. Wow, so he's still out there and pining for Jenny. Do you think he is/was married? Is that why they could not be together? He certainly sounded older ...
The pig story was cute but I'll admit, I was honestly pulling out my hair when Chummy nearly ruined her planned visit with the Constable's mum. I was literally yelling at the tv, "Take the dress off! Just change first!" Ay-yi-yi ... maybe it's the hormones, but I was sooo aggravated by that scene, lol! Thankfully, her beau is a good man indeed, and was not only able to accept the situation but he pitched in to help out. They are SO well suited for each other, and I just love that he's so smitten. Chummy is just a doll, I love her. :)
Not too many babies this time, save for the fisherwoman's. Poor Trixie (who I don't really care much for) having to deal with the awful smell as she tended to the delivery ... I found myself holding my nose during the scene and trying desperately not too think too much about all that drying fish. Ick.
Previews for next week - a trial, a visit from Chummy's mum and a whole lot more drama. Can't wait to see what happens next!
Now, for some thoughts on Once Upon a Time ...
I must confess I fell asleep before the end of the show so I had to have the boys fill me in. And I also must admit, I was a bit disappointed in Dr. Whale's big reveal. We were so excited to find out who he was - perhaps the whale who swallowed Pinnochio? Or maybe Peter Pan? But Victor Frankenstein? Was not expecting that. Maybe because he's not a fairy tale character, but I guess they're expanding their horizons.
And wow, Cora's a really bad seed, isn't she? I wonder if they're slowly changing Regina - redeeming her even - so that she can ultimately save Storybrooke from her evil mother?
The storyline with Captain Hook is intriguing ... so now Emma and Snow are going to help him find this compass so he can buy his life back from Cora? And next week we encounter a giant in the form of the wonderful Jorge Garcia - aka Hurley from Lost? Cool. :)
And from what I've read ... and don't read the rest of this paragraph if you don't want to be spoiled ... next week we learn the identity of Henry's father. It also so happens that unidentified man from the first episode will be making another appearance next week. So, hmmm ...
Well, that's all I have time for right now ... the day has gotten light enough to see and at first glance I see a lot of leaves, puddles and small branches out there. Nothing too bad at all. Feeling very grateful this morning that we weathered the storm fairly easily, especially in light of what so many others are going through ...
I think we'll all be glued to our news devices today for updates on the aftermath and who needs our help. In the meantime, we can offer them our prayers.
Have a good Tuesday, my friends ... take care of yourselves and your loved ones and I'll see you here again very soon.
Follow my family through the seasons of the year! I am Dawn ~ wife to Bill, and mom to 3 boys with a baby (boy!) on the way. ❤ Here I chat about lots of things - family, food, faith, nature, crafts, planning and home education. I hope you enjoy your visit!
Three beautiful deer in the neighbor's yard very early this morning! They were grazing beneath the bird feeders and my cats were positively glued to the window watching what I'm certain they thought were monsters of some kind. ;D
Another gorgeous day - after morning thunderstorms rumbled through, the skies cleared up and the sun came out. Should reach 70 today! We've been hearing peepers from the woods - really have to get out there to visit the vernal pool. :)
Beautiful spring day! Sunny and 60 degrees. Just had a wild turkey walk through the yard! Also spied a brownish butterfly floating past the kitchen window. :)
Click here! This link will lead you to a post where you can leave questions and comments on the file crate system. There is also a link to my FCS archive, which includes all the posts I've done on the system through the years. ❤
My Housekeeping Blog
Daily Bits of Domestic Bliss A place for me to keep all the nitty gritty housekeeping notes that will more than likely bore most readers, but may be of interest to some. :)