Saturday, March 30, 2013

Could I Please Have Another Spleen Sandwich?

Last night we were watching "Lidia's Italy", a food program that focuses on traditional Italian cuisine. She was in Sicily visiting a street vendor that served up traditional spleen sandwiches. Yes. SPLEEN sandwiches. Yummy. I laughed and laughed - there is something funny about the word spleen, and to have it in a sandwich... well... could I please have a liver stick on the side?

The creek and river are in full flood now. This is the time of year that I fear most for Spike's life. He sometimes gets onto a scent and follows his nose farther from the house than I like, and with a flock of geese on the other side of the creek it might be too much temptation for him. A slip into the water these days is a death sentence as the current is so strong. When we walked down to the river to see close up what was going on we left the dogs in the house.

There hasn't been much going on here, just a trip into town for dr. appointment, lunch with Carm's mom, shopping, and lying around reading. The weather has been on again, off again sunny and warm enough to start the snow melting. The snow is too soft and granular to get out for a walk, and the gravel road is wet and muddy. I feel antsy to get outside. But apprehensive about the big task awaiting us - bucking up the weeping willow that fell - with the chainsaw.

Grace is the bravest African Grey that I know (they are known for being phobic). Today Carm trimmed a few apple trees (the ones that the darn rabbit ate all the bark on), so we brought the biggest one in for her cage. It goes from one side to the other with its branches every which way. She eyeballed it for a short time but quickly started breaking apart the small branches as only a parrot can do. She never fails to amaze me :-)

Spike came in this afternoon all covered in goo or was it poo. Whatever it was, it stunk so he went straight into the shower with Carm for a double shampoo. Unfortunately he got some soap in one of his eyes which I didn't notice for ages. By the time I washed it out his eye was red, swollen and squeezed shut. It just breaks my heart to see him hurting like this. Hopefully after a good nights sleep he'll be all right. Poor guy.

Every day that is born into the world comes like a burst of music and rings the whole day through, and you make of it a dance, a dirge, or a life march, as you will.
Thomas Carlyle

Habitual Nourishment - Off to the Right Start

I'm starting this blog to help me on my journey to better health. I believe that a whole foods, plant-based diet is best for health and weight loss. More and more doctors are coming to this realization and promoting this healthy lifestyle.

Several years ago my doctor gave me a book called 'Eat to Live' as my blood sugar and cholesterol levels were elevated. I stuck with the program for several weeks and lost weight. But demands of work, and a lack of commitment led me back onto a "standard" diet which led to more weight gain and a return to elevated blood numbers.

Finally a few years ago I again made the commitment. I've found and developed many recipes. The vast majority of the meals I cook at home adhere to these principals. Both my husband and I enjoy the food. However, we still succumb to unhealthy choices when eating out, or eating at others homes. This has led to a yo-yo of weight gain and weight loss, but thankfully over the last year we are slowly reducing this up and down effect. But we aren't there yet...

My goal for the next several months is to lose more weight, get more active, and become more committed to this lifestyle.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The March winds are the morning yawn

We had some visitors yesterday - two little cats appeared at the back door while I was drinking my morning coffee. I heard them meow, but thought it was Grace, as we have no cats. I heard it again and turned around to see two furry faces pressed against the glass. It wasn't long before the dogs were going berserk at the window... the kitties made their way to the barn where I could see them sunning themselves in the doorway. A few phone calls to local vet offices revealed no potential owners.

I went out a bit later to see what they were like - the black one was very sweet and affectionate (on second visit I believe she is in heat), while the male holds his distance. I took the dogs out there one at a time on their leashes with the hope that an official meeting would help them to realize the cats aren't prey :-( I don't know how much luck I had with that, but the fact that the cats made it alive until the end of the day says something.

As dusk fell I could see them making their way back up to the house, looking for food. It was ever so hard, but we held out hoping that they would move on to a safer location. It seems that they have as the barn is empty of them this morning.

Yesterday Carm returned the Ikea poang chair frame that had cracked while assembling it. The holes were mis-drilled making it hard to assemble. Ikea gave no trouble, and even gave a gift card for his trouble (now that's customer service!). We now have the new frame assembled and paired up with its leather seat pad. After pestering him incessantly, Carm finally helped me to remove the old heavy recliner and put in the new chair. With cushions, tablecloths, etc. it looks so nice, but perhaps overdone. It certainly isn't what I'd think of for a CAMPER.

It was a (mostly) bright sunny day and almost 8C, creating rivulets and streams of water working it way down the laneway. Unfortunately it did cloud over, but it was still warm(ish). Since it was Carm's birthday we went for a drive down to the Basket Case in Morrisburg for Club Sandwiches. Yum. I couldn't leave without a peek into the used store. I lucked into a Mountain Equipment Coop spring coat for $6.00 and in brand new condition. I also picked up another jacket that will be good for winter around the place. It is long (over my hips) but doesn't have a hat. There is lots of room in the pockets for my camera and dog treats. This one was $5.00. I was a pretty big spender today!

The pink hydrangeas have started to wilt, while the blue ones still look spectacular. Come spring we will plant them outside for the summer and then bring them in for the winter (they aren't winter hardy in our arctic zone).

Trudie & Leo joined us for a piece of Burnt Sugar cake and a glass of bubbles. Happy Birthday Carm!

Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.
~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard in Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You

Monday, March 25, 2013

Will Spring Ever Get Here?

Spring doesn't seem to be in any hurry to get here and frankly I'm getting sick of winter. Which is a bit funny as I did have a 5 week break from it (it seems so long ago now). I find I'm in a bit of a funk, not depressed, just yuck. The grey days are sapping my energy and motivation, it is all I can do to get out of bed. Sure, I had that little flurry of activity last week with sewing, but now... nothing. I can't even settle into a book.

It looks like the weather might improve by the weekend... but that's what they said for the beginning of this week :-(

Welcome, wild harbinger of spring! To this small nook of earth; Feeling and fancy fondly cling, Round thoughts which owe their birth, To thee, and to the humble spot, Where chance has fixed thy lowly lot.
Bernard Barton

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.

Today we are downtown checked into the Marriott Courtyard to celebrate Carm and his friend Bruce's birthdays. It is nice to stay in town as we don't have to worry about the weather, nor do we have to be concerned about an extra glass of wine. We came in early to have time to have a quick shwarma and a good leisurely browse in a giant liquor store (with an excellent Vintages section). And then a bit of a nap while watching golf (what else is there to do while watching golf?)

We gone to a few different restaurants over the years but have settled on the Keg as our favorite (at least for now). So tonight we will be carnivores and gorge on large slabs of meat. The idea kind of turns my stomach a bit, but once I smelt the charred meat my stomach said yes! (and my brain said, okay, but you'd better enjoy it cause we aren't doing this again for a very long time...)

There would have been a time years ago, that after supper we would have been putting on our dancing shoes and painting the town red. This year, Bruce & Tina came back to our room for a short visit, and then we were getting ready to saw logs. We are no longer in our 20s!

Our friend's son Marc is home babysitting the pets (Spike was back under my feet when it was time to go, I think he sensed a longer outing). I'm not worried (okay, I did have some anxiety), but the dogs like him so all will be well. His family has had dogs his whole life, including Irish Wolfhounds, so he's a pro. And this year we were able to text a few times which really put my mind at rest.

Good night, sleep tight!

Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First Day of Spring?

The calendar said that yesterday was the first day of spring, but I'm not so sure. We still have high snowbanks of unmelted snow, not to mention that it snowed all day yesterday.

I've been anxiously checking the weather to see when we can put the slides out in the camper to put in the new chair, pillows, etc. We also bought a rolling island cart to increase the counter space, I think it will be too big, but Carm seems to think it will be fine. We'll do a "test" by putting something on top of a tall stool and seeing how it impacts our space. If it is okay we'll put it together, if not it will go straight back to Ikea (maybe to be exchanged for a smaller one).

I was looking back into my weight records and saw an interesting trend - by the end of last winter I had gained 15lbs back, whereas this time I only gained 7lbs from my lowest weight. It is a bit of yo-yoing, but I am getting better at keeping a constant weight. Once Carm's birthday is done it will be back to the straight and narrow to lose those 7lbs, plus another 10lbs. Practice makes perfect - right?

Carm brought a lovely treat home today - two beautiful hydrangeas, one pink and one blue. The will certainly brighten up the place and help us feel a bit like spring.

O, wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Monday, March 18, 2013

What We Yearn to Be

Today was a bright sunny day, but cold - little Spike was lifting his feet up as we came around to the barn on our walk this morning. The last few mornings I've heard the red-wing blackbirds singing in the cold. I wonder how they'll survive tomorrows blizzard with a forecast of 15cm snow and cold winds. If only I were Cinderella and could open the doors of the house for them to all fly in. Alas, I'm not.

Carm and I headed out to Ikea for some shopping. I lured him out with the promise of lunch (at Ikea of course). We each had a nice enough lunch for $7 something for both of us. The store was fairly quiet making for a pleasant experience, but we didn't find everything that we were looking for. But we did get a chair for the camper to replace the one that is just too big (it fits, but just, with no room for error). We'll bring the other into the house so we'll have 2 matching recliners - the livingroom will be filled with chairs and sofas!

Last night we watched an old film by Roberto Rossellini with Ingrid Bergman. It was an interesting movie to me as its theme seemed to be about finding meaning in our lives (among other things). The link below goes to an essay about the meaning of the movie. Sometimes movies are just pure entertainment, but sometimes they speak to us on a personal level. At one point in the movie she did a soliloquy that I hoped to find the words of, but I haven't had any luck.

Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.
Jose Ortega y Gasset

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Out of the Mouths of Birds

My sewing has been going pretty well for the most part. There have been some machine binding, broken threads, stabbed fingers, etc. I didn't THINK that I'd been very frustrated. I learnt otherwise though - as I was puttering around cleaning up I heard Grace say a new phrase... I had to think what it was for a moment and then realized she had said "What the hell". I can't tell you how much I laughed! And laugh even now thinking of the vocabulary barometer we have. We do try not to swear and for the most part have succeeded in keeping her vocabulary clean. But she does have a few, "bugger" being one of them. And of course she burps and farts. Luckily for us she mainly likes to talk about what a nice bird she is, and how good she is, and call the dogs (by name of course), and she loves to laugh and woof. She's quick to admonish the dogs when they bark with a "HEY". Her whistling is sometimes surprising - she's very musical and makes up her own tunes, some of which is pretty good. You really haven't lived till you've lived with a parrot!

I stood at the kitchen sink for a while watching some crows hassle a hawk. They eventually left it alone to soar higher and higher into the sky. It looked like it would fly right to the moon which was a faint white crescent in the sky. Beautiful. I can see why people like to sky dive, ultralight, and balloon - oh to soar so high.

One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
Helen Keller

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Grey Suit

I "got" to wear my grey travelling/funeral suit today - sadly it has gotten worn for funerals (or visitations) three times since I got it. I guess it is either really bad luck for people around me or it was a good buy. Regardless, today we went to our (past) neighbor's visitation. You may recall that I mentioned that he went missing several months ago, well, they found him... I don't know how Louise (his wife) kept herself so composed, I'm quite certain I'd be hysterical knowing that my spouse had been murdered.

On the bright side, I saw a few neighbors that I haven't seen for a long time. I often think of these people but time seems to spin away and we never get in contact.

I haven't seen a Canada Goose, or a Robin, or a Red-wing Blackbird since I last wrote about them. The weather has been cold - well below freezing - so maybe they moved back south. I hope they are okay. With the cold weather I've been able to walk on the crust of snow so the dogs are getting a good run in the field. I've even tramped down around the creek (which is flowing).

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Soren Kierkegaard

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sew Terrific

I got the second sofa cushion done today. It went pretty well except for the 6 inches that I had to rip out and re-do... but at least I didn't stick a pin up my nail bed like I did yesterday (ouch).

Merikay commented that she doesn't decorate her camper, everything is functional, and I've gotta say that is the sane thing to do. But since I'm INSANE ;-) I like to pretty things up. I think part of it is creating a calming visual environment for when my mood is a little high and my thoughts are erratic. It gives me pleasure to look around and see things looking a certain way. It helps me to order my mind. Luckily for me Carm just goes with the flow, whether it is flowery pink roses or crazy blue paisley (he's a keeper).

There haven't been any gratuitous dog photos lately so here are three.

I'm afraid that the devil got a hold of me again today and dragged me to D&S Southern Comfort BBQ... oh my. Beef brisket with sides of mac & cheese balls (think gooey cheesy mac & cheese deep fried), and coleslaw. I ate about 1/2 of it, and if I had been smart would have left it behind, but the leftovers are now chilling in the fridge. So don't ask me how the plant-based whole foods diet is going, unless you mean am I eating a whole bunch of foods that are no good for me. Carm called it when we were finished eating by saying that he wished we had stuck with our grilled salmon, green beans and lemony quinoa dinner.

We got home just as the sun was setting.

For the mind disturbed, the still beauty of dawn is nature's finest balm.
Edwin Way Teale

Thursday, March 14, 2013

If All Else Fails, Read the Manual

My head must be in the clouds or somewhere else that isn't here... This morning I was looking for the fabric that I'm using for the pillow backs... well... I looked and looked, and looked some more. No luck. Finally, in the last place I looked (yeah I know - I'd already looked in all the other places two and three times when I walked into the spare bedroom) there it was, plain as day, sitting on the bed. WTH? I must have put it there just a few days ago, but I had NO memory of doing so. Scary!

Back to the manual - in all my searching (I seriously looked everywhere), I came across my sewing machine manual. I'm sure I haven't seen it for 25 years. I brought it upstairs, just in case. Wouldn't you know it, first line that I'm trying to sew the machine binds. Oh bother. Well, I got out the manual and some machine oil and gave it the first proper oiling it has ever had. We'd oiled it before, but this time I got all the right spots. Closed up the machine and bingo, it ran like a charm. Things went well, but I still had to almost pull the fabric through. And of course I can't pull evenly. As it happens I was taking a break and thumbing through the manual and what to my wondering eyes did behold - a part that can move up and down to control the speed of the feeding bits. Guess what - it worked! My machine has not run this well as far as I can remember. I'm playing around with the foot thing too and trying it out at a different angle. Who knows, maybe I'll start to like sewing :-)

The colours didn't turn out right in the photo as I just used my tablet and it is not very bright in here. I'm really happy with how my first attempt turned out. I like the piping(again, fabric I already had), and the backing works well too. I'm happy :-) I guess looking through 1000s of ebay entries, not to mention 3 big fabric stores was worth it. I've cut out the 2nd cushion and a tablecloth. Once those are done I'll do a cushion for the chair (these ones are for the sofa) and two small ones for the dining chairs.

I'm going to be sew busy these next few days ;-)

In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.
Nikos Kazantzakis

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Fabric Arrived!

After putzing around the house this morning and early afternoon, I was struck with the idea of going down to Morrisburg for the best club sandwich around. It was already 2pm when I came up with the idea, so a quick phone call to the restaurant to find out what time they served lunch until, then zoom we were on our way :-) It was a nice day and the truck hasn't had a run for a while so the dogs got to come for a bit of a ride as well. They may have felt gypped though as they didn't get out of the truck the whole trip. Oh well, they seemed happy enough I guess - except for Spike who watched out the window the entire time we were eating, saw us come out of the restaurant, then watched us amble a few stores over to the used store. I'm not really sure what to do to help him over this.

Of course we had a delicious club sandwich (made with real chicken breast), and it even came with a lovely little salad. Nice. No supper for us tonight! And we may have to fast tomorrow...

On to the used store - I scored two candle holders with matching bud vase of Norwegian Pewter all for the horrendous price of $4.00. Yup, all together it was $4.00. They'll go into the camper. I also found two curtains that match the curtains in the camper's bedroom. They are the perfect size to throw over the dog beds. And with two of them I'll always have a clean one to swap out. Again, $4.00 for the pair. I love shopping these bargain places :-) (Carm, not so much)

And I can't forget the best! My fabric arrived safe and sound. It was with bated breath that I opened the package - were the colours on eBay the same as the actual fabric... YES! And it is a nice quality too. I've already started gathering my pillow forms, and getting the pillow backs out (I'm saving on the expensive fabric by putting a different fabric on the backs of the cushions). I'll start cutting and sewing tomorrow. Wish me luck - my sewing machine is somewhat temperamental... I just may have to send Carm to Costco for the machine they have on sale that has a speed setting!

And woven into the fabric of this harsh existence was music.

Lesley Garrett

Monday, March 11, 2013

One Skein of Geese

This morning I heard it - the unmistakable sign of approaching summer - the trill of Red-wing Blackbirds. We get tons of them here on our property and the sound always reminds me of warm weather. Poor things - the snow is still deep with very little bare earth showing. I hope they find something to eat.

The funny thing is I also saw a goose. Just one, but there must be more on their way. I keep a log in my calendar of when I first see each bird and many years I see both the blackbirds and the geese on the same day! Perhaps they travel together?

I was on my way to the mailbox to check for the parcel delivery notice for the fabric when I heard all this birdsong ... but no such luck with the fabric. Maybe tomorrow, although I suspect it won't be until next week. Still, I can dream can't I :-)

A nap of dogs beside me.

One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of March thaw, is the Spring.

Aldo Leopold

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I Saw a Robin Today!

Poor thing - there is barely a patch of grass for it as the snow is still very deep. The forecast is for more warmer (but cloudy) days so perhaps it will have a chance.

I think I mentioned that last night we had supper in the camper. Well today we pulled the slides back in and with the addition of Grace's cage things got a little tight. Something is going to have to go - either our popup coffee table or the (uncomfortable) oversize, heavy armchair. If we got rid of the armchair we could replace it with the Ikea "poang" chair like the one we had in the last camper. It is much lighter, a smaller profile, and just all round easier to move about.

Today I was inspired to make a healthy vegetarian chilli - but then wrecked it all by making biscuits (butter anyone?). I like to make my biscuits with cold butter cut into small pieces and don't work it very much so they are flaky and totally delicious - and totally bad for us! But at least the chilli was healthy (and delicious).

Oh, the lovely sun too another vacation from here, and it looks like it won't be back for the foreseeable future :-( I'll have to get my sunshine elsewhere.

The Robin by Thomas Hardy

When up aloft
I fly and fly,
I see in pools
The shining sky,
And a happy bird
Am I, am I!

When I descend
Toward the brink
I stand and look
And stop and drink
And bathe my wings,
And chink, and prink.

When winter frost
Makes earth as steel,
I search and search
But find no meal,
And most unhappy
Then I feel.

But when it lasts,
And snows still fall,
I get to feel
No grief at all
For I turn to a cold, stiff
Feathery ball!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Back from the Land of Nod

There hasn't been much going on the last few days - I've been in a bit of a slump and couldn't get myself to do anything, including write in my blog. Luckily it didn't last more than a few days, perhaps speeded along by the nice sunny weather yesterday and today (over 4C both days).

With the warm weather and cold nights the snow has compacted and was firm enough for me to walk on this morning. I took two walks around the field and down below along the creek before the sun softened it too much to hold my weight. It was lovely to get outside into the sun and walk my land. It was surely this that drew me back into the land of living. Nature is my solace.

I did do some sewing on Wednesday though - coats for Kabira and Spike out of this funky camouflage fleece fabric. Sewing is not my thing, but Carm did comment that there was less swearing than usual! Sometimes I fight with the sewing machine as it jams and behaves badly. I discovered a tensioning screw on the bobbin holder that might be part of the answer (I'm keeping my fingers crossed).

Since the weather was forecast to be nice we put out all the slides in the camper and today also turned on the furnace so we could do a few things inside. We even ate supper and played around with the new blueray player. We were bookmarking radio stations which was sometimes a bit funny with the bubbles in our head (cause what other way would we celebrate the first dinner of 2013 in the camper but with a bottle of the bubbly stuff!).
It was lovely little driveway getaway. I'd sleep out there tonight as well, but it will be just a bit cold overnight - I can wait a few weeks till it is warmer (but just barely!). It isn't long till our first real camp (41 days), but I'm not counting or anything ;-)

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

Charles Dickens

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A World About to Dawn

I am reaching, but I fall
And the stars are black and cold
As I stare into the void
Of a world that cannot hold
I'll escape now from the world
From the world of Jean Valjean.
There is nowhere I can turn
There is no way to go on!

Red - the blood of angry men!
Black - the dark of ages past!
Red - a world about to dawn!
Black - the night that ends at last!

Can you guess where I was today? Yup - it was my second time seeing Les Miserables! I've never gone to a theatre twice to see a movie, but there you have it, I'm addicted. I went with my Mom and her friend Ann, I'm not sure if they loved it as much as I did, but I did hear some sniffling at the end. In fact the whole theatre was filled with the sound of tissue dabbing eyes. It isn't showing at any first run theatres anymore, but it was playing at a 2nd run one and today was $2.50 Tuesday! Can you believe it - just $2.50. I can't wait until the DVD comes out - I'm sure to burn a hole through it...

As I stepped out of the car to close the gate when I got home, there was a strong smell of cow feed in the air - I just love that smell so I stood and enjoyed it (until the car exhaust blew my way). It was warm too - well over freezing. Maybe this week it will be warm enough to have supper in the camper :-)

When I got in the house Carm informed me that Spike cried for the first 2 hours I was gone. Poor little guy (but really - what a baby). The dogs were all ecstatic - I wonder if each time I leave the house they think I'm never coming back.

Happy Tails!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Fabric of the Universe Unravels

I ordered fabric today!!!

I tried to get a photo of the carpet, but the colours turned out all wrong - it is actually the same colours as in the fabric - at least how the fabric appears on the internet - my fingers are crossed that the colours are actually the same as in the photo...

First though, we dashed into town to hit up a few fabric stores, just to make sure there wasn't anything that I could find here. No luck though, not even close. Carm was a good sport and sifted through the bolts of fabric in piles at Fabricland. You really have to be committed to shopping to find anything there.

We did pick up some polar fleece in a green camouflage so I can make a new coat for Kabira. I'm going to make it somewhat like Spike's hoodie, without the hood. She'll be happy to have another coat.

I ran across this on youtube today - the creation of Sam McGee - a wonderful reading by Johnny Cash.

One of the things we picked up at the Asian market was Thai Basil - it is SO GOOD! We had it in a Thai/Asian soup that I made yesterday, and today in a stir fry. I'll tell you, it is an addition that really pops the flavour. One epic failure today though - remember I talked about adding parsley to my smoothie? Well today I thought I'd be smart and just put the whole thing in, stalk included. Gag, puke... the stem changed it from a smoothie to a chunky - and it was YUCK. I still chocked it down though - all those good nutrients! Grace wasn't even fussed about it, she spit out all the chunky bits. Tomorrow no stalk!

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.

Lao Tzu

Sunday, March 3, 2013

O Tannenbaum

I played around with to put in ingredients to my morning smoothie that I’ve been sharing with Grace. This morning I put in 1/2 cup of parsley as well and after looking at its nutrient profile I’ll be adding it all the time.

It has a lot of calories, but 70% daily calcium and 56% daily iron, not to mention A, C, etc. I don't worry about the sugars as except for the bit from the molasses they are all from fruit.  It is a good start to the day :-) And it leaves me feeling energized.

1/2 banana, 1/2 cup blueberries, 3 cup spinach, 1/2 cup parsley, etc.


I also spent some time on the internet looking at fabrics… I brought in the carpet from the camper and lined it up with the chairs that are also from the camper.  I found one that I really, really liked, but on closer inspection it was dry clean only, and spot clean with some solvent. WTF! So, back to the drawing board. This is supposed to be fun right – I’ve got to remember that there is no deadline.

Oh dear – closer inspection of the trees in the grove at the front of the house revealed that at least 1/2 of the spruce trees have either broken in half or are so far bent to the ground that they will surely break as well. Some of them just had side branches ripped out. My stomach just felt sick looking at them. They were mature trees, over 20 years old. Some of them were over 25 feet. Hopefully new growth will come out of the broken stumps – I wonder what we can do to help them?


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches!
In beauty green will always grow
Through summer sun and winter snow.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
You are the tree most loved!
How often you give us delight
In brightly shining Christmas light!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
You are the tree most loved!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
Your beauty green will teach me
That hope and love will ever be
The way to joy and peace for me.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
Your beauty green will teach me.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Kids in the Hood

Happy Tails!

Signs of Spring

I'm a little late getting yesterday's post out, we were out all day and then had company for supper.

Two sure signs of spring - we made some campground reservations on Thursday, and yesterday we went to the Spring RV show. JUST TO LOOK! We were hoping to find some carpets on sale (the kind for outside on the grass), but only found some step covers, which we needed as well. We poked and peered through several units, none of which held a candle to ours (except for that Big Horn, but it was huge). I did run into an old friend from work. Nicole retired 8 years ago and no one had heard from her since. I guess retirement was a lot of fun for her! It was fun to catchup :-)

After we were sick of RVs we drove up to T&T, the Asian grocery store. It is a giant mecca of Asian delights. They have a good meat department where we were able to get pork neck bones and these other beef bones for the dogs. The produce department had lovely bok choy, snow peas, red peppers, ginger, basil, mint, etc. After our trip to Costco where we got brussels sprouts, green beans, mushrooms, spinach, salad, broccoli, and goodness knows what I've forgotten, our fridge is FULL of produce and I'd better get cooking. I think I let myself get a bit carried away. And I didn't mention all the fruit!

What am I going to make with all this abundance? An Asian soup with bok choy, mushrooms, snow peas, ginger, basil & mint - with some rice noodles. I'll stir fry the snow peas with ginger, garlic, mushrooms and red peppers. The green beans will be roasted and tossed with a tahini lemon sauce. Brussels sprouts will be roasted and served with roasted sweet potato and white kidney beans. Spinach in my smoothie, salad with mushroooms and chick peas for lunches. Broccoli will be for Grace & the dogs. That about covers it - I think it is manageable, but we won't need a trip to the grocery store for several days!

I knew we were going out for the day so had to plan a meal for Friday night that could be somewhat made ahead. I got out my favorite Moroccan cook book and got cracking on Thursday night. All the ingredients for a Moroccan couscous (except the couscous) were assembled into the crockpot and stuck in the fridge. Next up, Moroccan bread. This was an experiment for me - I made the bread, kneaded it, shaped it, put it on a baking sheet, made sure it was covered with olive oil, then covered it and stuck it in the garage, which was hovering at around 1C (freezing). I picked out two salads that would be easy to make when we got home from the RV show and that was that. The stew turned out great, the bread baked perfectly, the salads were weird but good (carrot orange salad with cinnamon, and a cucumber salad with orange blossom water and black olives). Carm really helped with the salads so we actually had everything ready when the guests got here (Trudie & Leo, just back from their trip south ; Vashek and Marie, just leaving for their trip south). It was a congenial evening.

This morning so far all we've done is do more dishes and tidy up. And drink coffee.

I am going to notice the lights of the earth, the sun and the moon and the stars, the lights of our candles as we march, the lights with which spring teases us, the light that is already present.

Anne Lamott