Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What do you do for fun?

I can't remember what I used to do for fun when I was single.  I'm sure there was something.  I guess I liked reading, listening to music, shopping, playing my guitar, hanging out (is it just "hanging" now?) with friends.  

After I married my Mister, and even more so when J was born, I couldn't answer if someone asked me what I did for fun.  

Last week, someone asked me that, and I surprised myself with how many things I thought of.  I think maybe it just took me awhile (nearly 10 years?) to figure out how to be a wife and a mother and still be me, and have things that I do for myself, for fun.  

Running the 1/2 marathon was really good for me in that way- It forced me to put myself ahead of other things.  I had to run, or I wouldn't be able to make it through the race, so instead of running if I had time, I made time, I let go of some other things in my life and made running a priority.  Sometimes it messed up dinner times or nap times, but we all survived, and I'm happier because of it.  

I'm cutting back running to three times a week now that the race is over, but I plan on keeping my running time a priority.  It makes me feel good, gives me more energy, and it gives me time to think about whatever I want to think about.  Same with gardening.  I love getting my hands dirty, and watching things I plant grow.  Right now the raspberry canes I planted awhile back are starting to sprout tiny leaves and it makes me happy to know that I did that (and especially happy about the berries, I can't wait!).

So when someone asks you what you do for fun, what do you say?  (I'm embarrassed that it took me so long to realize I have a better answer than "I know I used to have things I liked to do, but I can't remember what they were".)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Baking Day

A spurt of energy, aging bananas and lack of things to eat results in this:

I had to open the oven to take this picture.  Whole Wheat Bread

Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Artisan Bread Dough (to put in the fridge and bake later in the week)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Strawberry Jam

I found strawberries for a great price, and bought 12lbs.  I spent the day making three batches of low-sugar jam.  I think I ended up with 6 pints and 13 half pints.  Hopefully that will be enough to get us through the year.  Between PB&J's and yogurt, we go through a lot of jam.  We also have a bowl full of sliced strawberries to eat.  

I find that I feel less overwhelmed by things when I've been getting stuff done.  A shelf full of strawberry jam certainly doesn't hurt (but drat, we're out of regular bread, guess what I'll be doing tomorrow).  I finished the last slice with a thick layer of the jam foam (I love Jam Foam...for a random flashback of jam foam drama, and a description of what jam foam is if you don't know, see here),

In other good news, I now have a ceiling fan in my bedroom (and really nice sheets, I can't wait to go to bed tonight!) so the warm weather isn't going to make it hard to go to sleep and I won't have thoughts about turning my AC before my mom does.  

My tomato seedlings are getting bigger and bigger and are doing well outside.  They've been out all day so far with no signs of sunburn (although it has been overcast) so hopefully they're about done with the hardening off process and I can plant them after this next storm passes.  Saturday maybe?

The surviving chicks seem to be doing well, they enjoyed a nice treat of strawberry stems today and were very happy.

Soccer practice & Game tonight, and then I can crash.  

Lunch with friends tomorrow, then a play date (and bread making somewhere in there).

Soccer game on saturday, and maybe I'll take the kids and go for a bike ride.  I might make it through the weekend!

Monday, April 20, 2009


It's finally spring, the chicks have been doing fine with our older hen, and I've been feeling pretty good, then this weekend, I felt so frenzied with all the activities we had, and feel a little overwhelmed with all the stuff going on this week, and My Mister heading to Moab for a few days.  

Add on today's events and I'm ready to climb into bed.  This morning I took the chicks out to the coop and left them there.  Several hours later I hear much squawking, and run out to see Taja over one of the chicks.  I have no idea how they got out.  The one I caught her with seems to be okay, but will need some antibiotics and to be separated so the other chicks don't peck her injury.  She's missing most all the feathers on her back, and might have some small puncture wounds.  After I brought that chick inside, I noticed that there were only two of the small chicks in the kennel.  I looked inside the hen house, and they weren't there either, so I started looking around the yard and eventually found two piles of feathers on opposite sides of the yard.  We're down to the older hen and three chicks now, assuming the injured one survives.  

Then this afternoon, J arrived home from school with a sore on his lip- where he said another boy slapped/punched him.  There was apparently also a headlock involved- having something to do with J getting off the bus before him.  I hate speaking on the phone and having to confront people, so this was not easy for me, but I called the boy's mom to talk to her about it.  It went okay, and I hope that it doesn't happen again.

I'm in the mood where I'd like to go to sleep and have a good dream and maybe not wake up until life calms down a bit.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Homemade Pretzels

I love pretzels, and I found this recipe today. I'll probably wait until tomorrow, although pretzels for dessert tonight don't sound too bad...

Laura’s Amazing Soft Pretzels:


1 c. water
2 T. yeast
2 t. honey
2 1/2 cups milk
1 stick butter
1/2 cup honey
4 t. salt
8 cups whole wheat flour

(You can make these with white flour and white sugar if you want to have a delicious mound of empty calories…but I have found that using these healthier ingredients does not make us like these pretzels any less!)

Okay, here are the directions for preparing the pretzels that are to die for:

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup very warm water, 2 T. yeast and 2 t. honey. Stir this together and kind of mush the yeast around. Let this sit for a few minutes while you melt a stick of butter in a large saucepan. Add 1/2 cup honey, 4 t. salt and 2 1/2 cups of milk. Heat this to 120 degrees. Pour milk mixture into yeast mixture and stir. Stir in 8 cups of flour, 2 cups at a time. (add more if you need it) Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. Plop it into a bowl, cover it and let it rise for 1-1 1/2 hours. Pull it out of the bowl and knead it a few times to get the air out.

Pull a ball of dough, about the size of your fist off and get ready to make your very first pretzel! (such a proud moment) Roll into a snake and shape into a pretzel (there are step by step photo's on the blog in the link) Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Melt a stick of butter in a saucepan.

Right when you take the pretzels out of the oven, slather them with butter. Lay it on thick. Don’t hold back. Shake salt over the tops.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Pictures by A

A (my 5-year-old) saw the camera on the table (I had it out to photograph my groceries again- don't worry, I'm posting them on their own blog now), and decided to take some pictures. I was going to delete them until I saw the focus he put into them. It's an interesting glimpse into his little head.

Throw-Up Pot

He's been sick. (A few nights ago, he ran downstairs, got a pot, went back upstairs and threw up partly in the pot partly all over the bed- he doesn't get the concept of throwing up in the toilet).


This one seems kind of random to me.

Self Portrait

Little Brother

Bowl and Spoon, Used

Since he's been sick, we haven't been letting him eat as much as usual, so this bowl of applesauce was much wanted. He's feeling hungry, which is good, but he still isn't keeping food down.