Friday, January 29, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010



Today is the beginning of the One World, One Heart give-away. This year I will be posting contest information on my art blog Taffeta Moon. I hope you drop by and enter to win!

Taffeta Moon

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Best Gift

There is nothing more wonderful than opening a gift on Christmas morning and realizing that your husband really does know you very well... and that he loves you and your craziness too. For Christmas and my birthday (which falls in the same week) Bob gave me a very special gift. On the surface it was a little odd.. a cardboard box filled with tissue paper and bits of glass and metal but hidden at the bottom was a receipt for six weeks of classes at a glass studio. I have always wanted to learn to work with stained glass but years ago I decided that it probably wasn't ever going to happen and I moved on to other obsessions. But Bob didn't forget.

My first project was a little rough but I was so proud of it that I had to show it to everyone.

I had several projects I needed to complete for homework. I have to use a gigantic soldering iron that heats up to something like 6 million degrees (actually it's 600 but it helps to keep the kids away if I use really big numbers) and the only safe work area for something that hot is in my kitchen. Zane, the kid who refused to eat anything I cooked for two weeks after seeing "The Sixth Sense", was convinced that I was contaminating his food with lead solder. But by the end of the week I had finished my homework without burning down the house or sending anyone to the hospital.

In the second class I learned how to cut glass and miter corners.

There isn't really a sufficient way to express how much I appreciate my husband. He constantly encourages me to try new things, consistently compliments my efforts, and truly believes in me. HE is the best gift!

Monday Menu

This is week two of semi-single parenthood for me. January always seems to be a busy travel month for Bob and I'm not going to complain about it because I know how lucky he is to have a job to travel for. However, it is a little bit difficult for me to get excited about cooking when he is gone. The kids just don't appreciate my culinary expertise as much as he does. So, faced with a run of days that are going to be gray and husbandless I am seriously tempted to repeat Soup Week.. but the kids have threatened to run away if I do. So.. here is what we will be eating.

Monday - Fried Chicken, Mushroom Fritatta, Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole, Salad

Tuesday - Veggie Lasagna, Italian Sausage (Turkey or Vegetarian)

Wednesday - Beef Stew, Lentil Stew, Dinner Rolls

Thursday - Breakfast for Dinner

Friday - Daddy is home and he wants Meatloaf!

Saturday - Chili and cornbread

Sunday - TBD.. maybe leftovers

More menus can be found at Check it out!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Soup Week!

Like Shark week with fewer fins!

Winter seems to have returned to the Pacific Northwest with a vengeance. Unfortunately it's not the pretty white version but the evil gray, sloppy, drippy version of winter. So, since the weather is awful, and my husband is escaping to nicer climates for the week (uh huh.. he says he has to work.. right), and our January budget could definitely use some help, I've decided that the menu for this week is going to be soup.. lots and lots of soup!

Monday - Corn and Potato Chowder, Debbie's Beer Bread

Tuesday - Tortilla Soup, Nachos

Wednesday - Chicken and Dumplings, Veggie Stew and Dumplings

Thursday - Shredded Beef and Potato Soup, Vegetarian Chili

Friday - Homemade Pizza

Saturday - Steak, Mushroom Barley Loaf, Potatoes, Asparagus

Sunday - Leftovers, snacks, cereal or whatever Bob wants to cook

Check out for more (and probably more creative) weekly menus!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What I'm reading this week

By some strange coincidence I find myself reading Martha Stewart's Housekeeping Handbook, the ultimate instruction manual for creating order, while also reading two works of fiction about the fall of modern civilization. The combination has left me with an irresistible urge to build a chicken coop and convert my flower beds to vegetable gardens!

Into the Forest tells the story of two teen aged sisters surviving at the edge of the state forest in Northern California while society collapses. As, piece by piece, they lose everything, electricity, community, parents, goals, they learn how to depend on themselves, each other, and the forest's provision.

How I Live Now is the story of a New York City girl who travels to visit her Aunt and cousins in rural England, which would have been culture shock enough, but shortly after she arrives London is bombed and suddenly the country is at war, adult supervision is gone, and five teens are on their own in a war torn, enemy occupied country.

Both books left me with a deep uneasiness about the fragility of the things we depend upon. Yet they were both filled with hope and the inspiration of the human spirit rising above the ruins and moving on.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

One more...

I don't make resolutions because they just make me feel guilty when I break them. I don't make commitments because I'm afraid of disappointing people if I don't live up to them. I don't make plans because plans just make God laugh at me.

But I do choose words and I try to choose them carefully. The word I chose for 2008 was "No". It was a bit negative but it needed to be said. The word I chose for 2009 was "tenacity". It was a good word. It may not have been a very active word but it kept me hanging on.

2010 has been waiting for it's word while I have been wrestling with my defeatist tendencies. I wanted a word to inspire me to plan, to encourage me to commit, to strengthen my resolve... Hmm... I think I just heard an angel giggle...

So, my slightly cryptic but ever so inspiring word for 2010 is..actually two words. "One more"

Can I write a blog post every day in 2010? Probably not. But today I can write one more. Can I lose 80 pounds? Unlikely. But I'm sure I can lose just one more. Will I finish a book? Let's focus on one more chapter. Will my children ever listen to me? Maybe if I say what's in my heart one more time.

One more healthy meal, one more patient word, one more kind deed, one more dollar saved, one more happy day lived...

One more year.. 2010 is going to be a good one.

Monday, January 4, 2010


This is the first Monday I am 45 years old...

It's the first Monday of the month, of the year, of the decade...

It seems like I should do something momentous to mark this moment in time.