Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just the Suppers...

Wednesday Supper:
I was out tutoring so Ted bought Sobey's roast chicken & made potatoes etc to go alongside.  I got home just at bedtime and had a nice supper with Ted.  Leftover Shabbos soup - squash & chicken mixed.  Nice!
Thursday Supper:
(yes, I finally made supper this week!)
~ Salmon Croquettes
~ Mashed potatoes
~ Elisheva-made rotund rolly cake - mostly whipped cream but YUM!  :-)
Elisheva stayed home today, YM was off in the afternoon, Sara came over, GZ wouldn't sleep... busy day and I am exhausted.  Gnite!
<3 J
Oh - picture-less garden update:
Sprouting this week!
~ Lemon Bee Balm
~ Multicolour sweet peppers
~ New batch of coleus in the tinfoil coleus pan
~ New batch of dill because the old batch doesn't smell!
Oh - my parsleys also aren't smelling much.  I'm wondering if this is something I'm doing wrong?  I ought to taste one to see if I need to start those all over again, too.
Growing well!
~ Teddy bear sunflowers
~ Single leftover Purim sunflower
~ Gaillardia
~ Red & pink coleus (but NOT the frilly)
Coming along slowly...
~ Double-decker echinacea; three leaves but no further progress
~ Butterfly bush - buddleia, just seems to be sitting there.  No more leaves, but they are bigger
~ Petunias - ditto - leaves are growing much bigger now - slowwwwwwly...
Going downhill:
~ Frilly coleus - all are dying - why???
Next up:
~ Starting tomatoes next week!!!  I have so many kinds!  Resolution:  label every pot so I keep track of which is which!
In full bloom:
~ Two Superstore Hydrangeas - $4.99 each, wow!  Didn't plan on having hydrangeas, but why the heck not!  One pale, one hot pink.
~ Mantel Hyacinths... atoning for throwing away last year's hyachinths with some hot pink ones that are slated to go out in the garden when they're done.
SO MANY SEEDS!  It's a cliché to say "so little time" but oy, vey... what's a lousy lazy gardener to do?  :-)))
Already I feel bad for not planning to save tomato seeds this year.  I just figure I'll be too busy, but maybe I will do it.  The way Claire showed us is so easy - no soaking or anything, just squoosh the seeds out of a very ripe tomato.  But then how do you dry them and pack them up???  Hmmm... stuff to think about.  At least I'm thinking about saving them and not just buying or finding new ones each year.
Oh, also - we sat down and drew out the Garden Plan for the year.  So Ted can start building beds and we can think about where my new trellises (ok, not yet bought or built) can go.  Looks lovely on paper...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wish I had a camera.

Just put Gavriel Zev in the swing with a rice cake.  He was reasonably content but because the temperature is +6, I decided to open the wooden door and let him look out.  I turned the swing to face the bright outside light & street scene and it's like a Wall of Wonder just opened up for him... he is staring, enraptured...
No idea.  I'm out tutoring - we'll pick up Ted at 4:30 and I'll tutor up north at 5 so I can be home by 8 at bedtime.  Everyone's on their own for supper.  The dishes are washed & I'm folding laundry and trying not to care.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ha - Ted's out & we have SUPPER!

On my way out this morning, Ted said "there are perogies in the freezer in case you don't get a chance to make anything."
Well, ha.  To me, that sounds a LOT like a challenge!
And I've been thinking about his idea that cutting wheat and dairy might be very good for Yerachmiel Meir, based on their experience on Taanis Esther, when by the end of the day, YM was calm & clear-headed, compliant and totally non-argumentative.  Unlike himself in every way, in other words.  I thought it was just due to hunger, but Ted thinks maybe there is something to the "wheat-n-dairy" thing.
I am more leery of it because a) how could so many people suddenly develop an intolerance to what has been such a staple of our diet for millennia???  And then there's b) how do you go about changing the diet of an opinionated 13-year-old???
Anyway, I figure I can start by offering a few non-wheat, non-dairy meals each week.  Last night was a rough start - no dairy but PASTA.  So tonight I figured I'd use Ted's new Tofurky sausages to make:
~ Minute Rice brown rice
~ Gluten-Free cornbread
However, it turns out that the sausages have a big chunk of wheat protein in them.  Sigh... this stuff is hard to get away from.
Anyway, we're definitely doing dairy-free, even though this looks like the kind of stuff that would benefit from a little sprinkling of something melty.  And what's cornbread without butter?  But we'll try it and see...
<3 J

Taking the boys (& Naomi Rivka) out!

How to entertain a red-blooded 13-year-old video-game addict, his 11-year-old history-buff friend, a nummy-interested baby and a squirrelly spring-yearning toddler?

Bring them to see flowers!!!

That's what we did today at the historic Allen Gardens.

The boys were actually reasonably captivated by the warm temperatures - and the varying temperatures from room to room - as well as the numerous plant species. Doesn't that sound dull?I had a great time, loved seeing all the living stuff!

But I wish they had labels for the plants. I seem to remember saying that last time, because otherwise, unless you're "in the know" all you end up doing, a lot of the time, is standing around going, "Oh, there's another one of them floppy things, Edna!" I seem to remember saying that when I went with Sara also. This time around at least I knew some of the more obvious things. Lots of fabulous spring things in bloom; the "spring" room was easily our favourite, with everyone's least favourite being the "desert" zone, which reminded me of everything I can't stand about summertime - hot, hot, hot, and dry as a bone. Other rooms were also a bit hot & muggy for my taste... but spring. Wow. Can't believe it's almost here.

This one (at left) was pretty obvious, even to me... it's a BANANA tree, in full fruit, or whatever it's called when it's not really a tree and the bananas aren't really fruit (the bracha is borei pri ha'adama, which I actually just pointed out to Luka this morning over breakfast!).

And now, here's one of them floppy things. :-)

And this is what a coleus is supposed to look like.

Supper: Ted-made Ground-beef pasta sauce with Ted-made pasta, frozen bread, plop of carrots on the side.

Not the most inspired supper ever, but my back has been in extreme pain for the last two days (hmm... when did it start? maybe from carrying Naomi in the ergo?).
Suprisingly, it didn't hurt much when I had Gavriel Zev in the Moby going downtown today - that thing gives a TON of support! But when I took it off, I could barely lift him. So I played on the floor with the littles while Ted made the supper.

I caught Hydrangea madness at the gardens today. Picking Ted up from work, we went to Superstore to buy the meat for supper (I was supposed to have been going tutoring, that's why I was picking him up) and they had a bunch of hydrangeas for $5 apiece. I bought one but now I want another... at Lowe's, they had ones not even as nice for $15-20! At the gardens, there was no end of hydrangeas, and they were so lush, not huge and floppy. I wonder if the trick is in the gardening of them, of if they are a special dwarfish kind?

Can I just say I HATE the Blogger /Picasa interface sometimes??!? If you accidentally press backspace one time too many - and there's no way to tell if this will happen - it will delete one of your images for you. And there's NO undo! No way to get it back except to cancel out and start all over again. Sure, you can copy and paste the text, but you'll lose all your formatting. VERY, very crude design. This booboo has happened to me many times, maybe a couple dozen and I want to scream and cry each and every time. Just an innocent press of the backspace key and all is lost! Never mind that it won't let you select more than 4 images at a time... why four?!?

But enough about me... what do you think of me?

Oh - Purim was lovely. Thanks for asking! 30 baby sunflowers made their way out into the world with the following poem:

It’s a great time of year to get outside & growing!
With raking and hoeing, with seeds we are sowing.
This Purim we’ve chosen a "gardening" theme:
Spring’s taken so long that it felt like a dream.
But soon we’ll see buds and branches and shoots,
Soon little veggies will spread out their roots.
May your flowers grow strong, may they cling to the soil,
Like the Jews cling to Torah in times of turmoil.
May your spring grow so bright & so easy and sweet…
And may the seeds of redemption soon "grow" complete!

I realized too late that this was perhaps a tad heavy-handed, especially for some of the more secular recipients. Oh, well! I don't care!
The sunflowers were potted up (pots from Dollarama aka $ama) with a tiny wooden ladybug ($ama), stuck on a plate ($ama), accompanied by a baggie with sunflower seeds & raisins and a pair of hamentashen. All wrapped up in cello basket wrap and tied with a nice bit of ribbon (been in the basement for years). They looked beautiful, albeit somewhat insubstantial when opened. I just didn't want to give away crud.

Costumes: Ted, sergeant pepper beatle, I was a shemittah farmer, YM = "boy in a suit", Elisheva had a readymade cow costume, Naomi was a cat, and Gavriel Zev went as a sock monkey (costume made of socks). Maybe someday I'll have pictures developed so I can post them here waaaay after the fact. Oh, joy.

Life is okay. Tired now - I've been making wipees for two days and now find out they're probably too big for what she wants them for. (wipees cases). Oy. SO tired and my back hurts SO much. :-(((

<3 J
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Weekend without camera...we went MAPLING!

We didn't have a camera, but we DID manage to get out to the sugarbush - aka Kortright maple syrup festival! - before the maple syrup season ended this year. The only problem was, we got there before it started! With an expected high of -1 yesterday, there was no chance the sap would be running. Many trees had trickles of frozen sap running down them, but no signs of the "cold nights, warm days" that they need to get the sweet stuff flowing again.
BUT the fun part is we all went! How, you ask?
Well, we borrowed the parents' car. I drove the littles and one big (EC going, YM coming back) and Ted drove whoever was left.
Everybody behaved reasonably nicely. YM started out kind of snitty but later cheered up a lot - maybe because he got a taste of maple syrup.

One of the ladies stirring the pots at the old-fashioned mapling station (at left) mentioned something I never knew... when the pots threaten to boil over, which would a) lose precious sap and b) jeopardize the fire, they would let fat drip into the pot to create a thin layer, like people do with pasta so it won't boil over.

A naive park visitor asked what type of fat they would use but I already knew... BACON. They'd attach a chunk of it to the chains and the heat of the steam would melt off just enough that it would drip in the pot. The bonus, the lady said, was a nice smoky taste to the syrup. Ummm... okay.

So then Elisheva asked if we could still have our customary taste of the finished syrup. Well, I said yes. I mean, they don't really, really use bacon in this day and age, with so many Muslim, Jewish and vegetarian visitors, right??? In the rare event that they had, maybe it would be bottul b'shishim? Anyway, yikes!

It was a real pleasure going out with everybody. The baby refused to be content in the ergo on my back, so Ted carried him in his big yellow jacket (sorry, no picture!), but then it was okay because the way back up the valley was very steep and I ended up carrying Naomi Rivka up in the ergo.

We did the usual wagon ride while sneering at the depressed-looking ponies trotting around in a circle for the folks who felt like paying $3 a "ride".

Which reminds me... in Sears tonight, I saw a little girl holding a piece of "Dora" merchandise - just some kind of cruddy doll or something, a plasticky thing in a package. But the expression on her face, well, sheer rapture.

And I really felt sick, what a piece of garbage, how could they dupe that girl into thinking that what is basically - excuse the expression - oh, I can't say it, but just substitute any term you want for poorly made crud - was so divinely wonderful that she absolutely must have it right that second. Dora & the ilk horrify me to no end. And then I came home and Naomi's new DVD is here and the Dora poster Elisheva made her, and the stickers Dr Rosen gave her and - it was like waking up in a body snatchers movie and you're the only one who hasn't been body-snatched yet. (Ted would like the analogy because he loves zombie anything)

Anyway, Ted thinks I am overreacting because a) he thinks we all grew up with advertising and merchandising and we turned out okay, and b) so what, because it's kind of cute. But he has no CLUE the scale that this goes on on, or the quantity of garbage merchandise that they're turning out (this isn't the Barbie or Hot Wheels car or Sesame Street stuff of our childhood!). A little girl could conceivably go through life seeing Dora in every "frame" of her day - wake up on Dora sheets & pillows, in Dora pyjamas, and the day just goes on like that until she's back on her Dora pillow at the end of the day. I'm sure Naomi could! We have so much of the stuff, just from family gifts...

Anyway, Ted said he'd speak to his sister. How to say it nicely, though, because I love the fact that they feel connected to the kids here? But I do not want them - with their clothing, toys and play scenarios - to be walking, talking billboards and commercials for products I feel are little short of EEEEeeeeevil. I said to maybe suggest fewer things - and not just videos, either - but maybe things that are harder for us to come by - like wooden trains, which are very expensive. A few new train things would probably rekindle Naomi's interest for quite a while, and it won't be long before Gavriel Zev is interested, too.

Aargh. She was all over him today. I know I'm doing this out of sequence because THIS post is about yesterday and the NEXT one is about today, but bear with me. She was everywhere - climbing over him, nibbling his fingers, "boodoo-badda-ing on him" (which involves rubbing his hair, actually kind of gently). I tried to channel it constructively - I got out the doctor set and said we could check if he was healthy... then I redirected her into checking the health of Dorothy and Tracey, her two main dolls-of-the-moment.

Dorothy is named after Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
Tracey is named after our dance teacher in Creative Movement with Parent last session. It's kind of cute because the real Tracey is black and the doll Tracey is very pale pink. But the real Tracey isn't made of rubber either, and she has hair, which the doll Tracey doesn't, so I guess Naomi doesn't see or care about one more incongruity.

I'm looking forward to the next session of the dance classes. They cut into naptime a bit, which will be hard, but may give me a chance to spend "alone time" with Gavriel Zev either upstairs in the library or at the plaza, okay, getting coffee! It's only half an hour, but it's hard to believe Naomi's ready for classes all by herself. Her swim class is also by herself but there is no library or plaza nearby, so I'll have to stay, sit on the bench, watching and waving.
All that excitement starts next week.


Sunday - Mommy-made PANCAKES (weird) and tinned soup and salad. Very simple supper, which is what we all needed after a few days of Purim, Shabbos, etc.
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Thursday, March 20, 2008

OK, can't keep pouting.

Hmm... where to begin?
Sunday - pizza at parents
Monday - hmm... what was Monday?  Oh, yeah... supper pout failure - matzah brei & macaroni-tuna casserole (which Elisheva made)
Tuesday - Ted was off - Ted-made stir-fry!  (I was out tutoring & had stir-fry waiting for me when I got home)
Wednesday - quiche night - tinned spinach w/fried onion, nuked veggies on the side
Thursday - Purim - tonight!  Umm... oh, yeah, Shake n' Bake chicken
Camera still broken.  Lame-o "estimate" from Nikon people says it's too expensive to fix but they'll give us an upgrade to a new camera for $120.  Same deal they gave us last time.  Aargh.  Meanwhile, for Purim, I had Ted buy a disposable camera.  There are NO choices here, that's the lousy part.  Either buy an inexpensive film camera and spend a ton on developing lousy pictures, spend $100-120 for a digital camera and have it break in 6 months, or waste $10-12 on processing-included disposables.  Ten of them would pay for a digital camera.
Mind if I swear?
I hate this situation.  I feel broken.
Mary asked a while ago what Naomi wanted for her birthday - I wonder if I can say she wants her picture taken???  But I think perhaps that window of opportunity has already passed (her birthday having come & gone a month ago and all).
Taanis Esther today - must eat lunch before the fasting kids come home.  What a switch from all those years when I was fasting & had to feed them... weird!
<3 J

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fw: plants on Craigslist...

Stood up at a CL pickup today - almost a first for me. Waah. These would have been lovely plants, too. :-(

What a bummy week.

----- Original Message -----

From: XXX (me)

To: XXX (him)

Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 1:15 PM

Subject: Re: plants on Craigslist...

Well, honestly, that's just plain not nice. I hadn't heard back from you this morning, so I called him before going out to make extra-sure you guys would be there.

Then, about 12:30 at the Convention Centre, I called his number to find that not only weren't you there, but that you weren't interested in selling at the price I mentioned in my very first email.

I do apologize for not sticking around (did I mention the baby, toddler & friend waiting in the car?). The whole deal just seemed too complicated by the lack of clear communication at your end. Ultimately, we just came home.

I'm sure this must have been an astonishingly busy week for you guys (I attended the show on Thursday & had a great time!)... but I'd recommend you not try to sell anything on Craigslist unless you're in a position to follow through. :-(

Take care,


----- End of Original Message -----

OK, we did get a lovely visit to Riverdale Farm out of the doomed plant pickup. Realized too late, though, that I'd rather go to Allen Gardens. Maybe next week! I just keep thinking it will be wonderful warm and sunny next week. So far, though, it looks like more of exactly the same:

Another Supper Failure tonight:


Matzah Brei.

Gack. Elisheva is making macaroni-and-tuna casserole in protest.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

OMG, the camera broke

How are we going to get along without a camera???  And why do these stupid STUPID okay DAMN stupid LCD viewfinders keep breaking?
And why are the warranties so very, very bad???
I am not exceptionally abusive with cameras, but there is everyday wear and tear and in this case, one bump and they are DEAD dead DEAD.
Shabbos Food:
Garlic/onion parmesan bread
Canneloni with spinach/ricotta filling & ez sauce (2x tins sauce, 1x tin tomatoes)
Bean salad (from mommy)
Fruit salad
YM-made Tiramisu - he did a great job!
4-layer white-brown cake - I baked the layers, Elisheva iced with chocolate icing
My heart is SO not in this suppers thing at the moment... SO sad about the camera??
Steak salad
Carrot salad
pasta salad
YM-made brownies - another great job, he used OJ instead of water.
Guests admitted to Ted this morning that they don't eat meat... WHY!!!?! don't people mention this ahead of time...???
Ironically, last week's guests said they don't eat dairy, after I'd lovingly prepared tortellini salad.
If only I had switched the weeks somehow.
SO sad.
So very, VERY sad about the camera.  It is easily my favourite possession and now it is GONE. 
Here is one of the final pictures from it.
<3 J :-(((

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Eco Whatever Thru the Ages

We watched Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home the other day - you know, the funny, spock-directed one where they save the humpback whales.  It was like a window into the 80s. 
What struck me was how gentle and earnest environmentalism used to be... like, "here's a nice cause - let's think about saving whales!"
These days, it's more like, "oh, my Gd, we're all going to die!  SOON!"
I dunno which is more likely to be effective.  I mean, I understand that scientists have new information, and I know we all have to cut back on our consumption of the planet rather drastically, but... I suspect people may be either petrified into inaction or feel the task is too great for them alone. 
My guiding principle comes from Pirkei Avos:  "Lo alecha hadavar ligmor, aval lo (ayn?) ata ben chorin l'vatel mimena" ("It's not upon you to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it.")
That said, here's a video that gives a lot of food for thought about our society's "STUFF addiction" and, at the end, some gentle inspiration:
Warning:  it's 20 minutes long... great for grabbing the kids and sitting them down, especially if they think reusing stuff isn't cool like certain of MY children.
I woke up thinking about ways to save water that wouldn't be too gross, like showering with a basin and saving the water for the garden.  That garden really does drink up tons of water.  I hope I will have more energy this summer so I can water the front-yard perennials at their base instead of sprinkling the leaves.  Maybe Naomi Rivka can help me...
Wish I could afford a rain barrel - would be nice if the city had a subsidy program for them.
Breakfast time now while the baby sleeps!  Woke up all achey and fevery again, but pills are kicking in.  NEED to get more than 3 hours' sleep in a row to start getting better... I can't even blame it on Gavriel Zev anymore.  :-(
<3 J

Gavriel Zev's Purim costume!

Oh, why, won't blogger let me post more than 4 pics at a time from Picasa???

Anyway, here are shots of Gavriel Zev's costume-in-progress. He's being a sock monkey.

BEFORE shot:
Actually not quite before as I had already cut the socks up before I realized I might want a picture.
I have used 9 socks so far. They are all from Dollarama, $1 per pair, so if I use 10 socks, that'll be $5 for a costume!!!

AFTER shots:
Sewing is kind of the opposite of food photography... everything looks so masterful and accomplished even if up-close it looks kind of horrible. I am hoping people will see only the cuteness of my baby and not so much the flaws in his sock-monkey suit.

Thanks to Big Purple Bunny as usual for his modelling prowess.
NOTE: I haven't decided what to do for the head yet. There is a head-thing that I am deliberately leaving unformed while I decide - I originally wanted it to be a hood with monkey ears, and that's still my first choice. Right now, it's just a hat which is open on one side. For these pictures, I have turned it around so the opening is at the back and not visible.

Front view:

Back/side view (or backside view... ha ha ha):

Detail of front zipper opening:
Yes, this does look slightly risqué: "zipper open, Big Purple Bunny reveals his wilder side... or at least the purple check ribbon which was previously concealed by the zipper."

Once again, proud of myself. Not everybody can turn 9 socks into something that passes for a baby costume.
And I personally have come a long way from my Glue-Gun Years, when even a straight seam would be "sewn" with glue. Ick. I mean it works, but it's terribly STIFF. I wish I could redo Yerachmiel and Elisheva's baby-dino costumes but properly applique the spots instead of gluing them on. On the other hand, I doubt anyone seeing the costumes would have known the difference.

The thing I am most proud of with the monkey suit is it actually resembles (kinda) functional clothing. The zipper was so easy to do, and putting in the arms and legs was crazy-easy after all the woollies I've made in the last year. Serger didn't conk out either, although it came close at one point, stitching in the tail, when it had to cut through four thicknesses of sock fabric. I wish I wish I had the $$$ for a tune-up. :-(((
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No clue! Last night's supper!

How do they manage to get tantalizing photos of food for magazine & cookbook photo shoots???

These are the best I could do with last night's supper...

The soup was a beef-based barley-mushroom soup. There's a tin of tomato paste in there also, but fresh onion, mushroom, barley and no artificial anything. Mmmmm... Ted says it was a meal in itself.

Sticky chicken - chicken wings floured, deep-fried and then transferred to a pan of the same Teriyaki Sauce I made last Shabbos.

And there was rice.
It was all SO yummy together; I was very proud because I'd been feeling so thoroughly horrible just a few hours before.
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Indoor garden update, Part 3

OK, this will be it about the garden and then I'll shut up.

(today, YM got mad about something and said "if I was a plant you'd pay attention to me!") (oh, I remembered why - he was late going out to meet Sara and go to the NFB together, and he'd neglected to think about or ask for TTC fare... aargh)

So here are the original 3 coleus who started it all. I call them (left to right) Frilly, Reddy and Orangey-Pink. The stems have gotten quite thick. They do look a bit mangy where I've taken bits off, but actually, they're really getting quite leafy now. I've left them alone for a good couple of months now in preparation for going back out into the garden.

Close-ups of the three types (best example of each):



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Indoor garden update, Part 2

This is exciting! Elisheva's spider plant is having a baby! I laid it gently on the soil of another pot - the one from her second spider plant that she divided badly (hint: roots go below the soil level). I haven't been able to see what's happening because it's on top of the bookshelf, so I held the camera high up to get a close-up... looks like new leaves are starting to form; maybe some roots, too!

Here are the recovering coleus in their Coleus ICU - I took the sad-looking ones from downstairs and lined them up on the upstairs windowsill. I figured it would be less light but more warmth, and warmth, apparently, is what they need (okay, I also remember to water them a bit more often). All but the farthest-left one are now totally out of the woods.

This may be my last wintersown container - found some of the Amaranthus Velvet Curtains that I have been dreaming of and stuck it in a soda bottle I found at a neighbour's curb last Thursday (recycling day). There are holes in the bottom of the bottle. I just remembered I didn't tape around the bottle where I connected the two halves... oy; I hope that doesn't mess anything up. :-(

World of Coleus!
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Indoor garden update, Part 1

Moved some parsley into an orange crate "flat" - this is an experiment. I hope it thrives, although I tried orange crates two years ago in the garden and they did miserably. This is only a temporary measure, and so far (this picture was taken five hours post-relocation) they're doing okay. They're in their little peat pellets still, so maybe the transition won't be so hard.
Left: Double-decker echinacea; Right: Gaillardia; Background: Mystery Coleus. Coleus has true leaves now, as does the gaillardia. Echinacea is being slow to start; maybe I need to water with kelp again.
Close-up of the Mystery Coleus. Leaves are looking promising - I can't wait to see their colours!!!

And here are some baby petunias, FINALLY starting to leaf out a bit. Someone posted online that once petunias get started, they really go fast. The teeny-tiny ones in the background are my Butterfly Bush (buddleia davidii). Some have one true leaf, but they are slow starters as well, apparently. I have to remember that the petunias were that size just a week or so ago, so I have high hopes that they, too, will start to grow soon...
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Wooden spoons

YM lost his tefillin at shul but actually FOUND them today... so immensely relieved, since we definitely can't afford to replace them. I said he was supposed to label them before the day was out today, but of course, I forgot and they never did get labelled. Tomorrow.

Supper! Oy... just realized I never posted the pictures I took of last night's supper: or did I??? Just checked - nope. Yummy chicken wings and a yummy beefy mushroom barley soup. Will post those next (out of sequence, but oh well).

Here's tonight's supper:
~ Broccoli-Rice Casserole (yummy recipe here)
~ Easy glazed carrots (* recipe below)
~ Slushies! I sent Ted out to finally buy Rosh Chodesh slushies for the kids. They got stuck in traffic & were gone over an hour... but at least everyone knows Adar is here. Too cold for slushies, really, but Adar is Adar. During the winter months, we are not so strict about observing Rosh Chodesh this way; we have to draw the line somewhere. Today was still -2 and miserable, but there was tons of sun, so okay.

Speaking of the sun, I looked up at the clock during supper and realized to my amazement that it was after 7:00!! It felt so early, like we were eating at 4 in the afternoon or something, from the angle of the sun. I don't remember having trouble with the time change like this before.

Easy glazed carrots, in case you care - my own invention and highly salty but yum!
1) Heat oil / butter or combo in pan (NOT nonstick)
2) Add carrots; cook until almost brown but not burnt - do NOT add salt. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
3) Sprinkle with a few spoonsfull of chicken soup mix & stir (carrots will be coated with mix and kind of sticky)
4) Add white wine & stir with wooden spoon until the carrots slide around easily in the pan again.
5) Add more white wine until carrots are shiny & nicely glazed.
6) In season, or if you have some sitting around, add fresh parsley - not dried, ick. I suppose dill would be an interesting touch, too, but I've never tried it and can't vouch for the results.

Why a wooden spoon??? I love wooden spoons! For $1, you can buy three of them! And they are almost indestructible in the kitchen. As Alton Brown says, short of catching fire, there's almost nothing you can do to damage a wooden spoon. They don't scratch teflon, they stir gently but firmly - what more could you ask?

You can also do this with green beans and red wine. (Why do I keep typing "whine"?)

Tomorrow is the garden show. Sara's not coming... I guess she went to the website and discovered it's bloody expensive. These shows are such big business... they charge everybody: advertisers, exhibitors, visitors...
I just hope there is something cool to buy. There will be $40 burning a hole in my pocket. ;-)))

<3 J
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A movie to miss...

Saw it already, urgh.  CanCon, but still... urgh.
Nice that they email these instead of phoning, though!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Mar 11, 2008 4:10 AM
Subject: Library Notice

Tuesday, 11 March, 2008

         XXX AVE
         XXX 3R3

                           HOLD NOTICE

The following item(s) are being held for you until the date shown below.
Please pick the item(s) up at the branch shown below.

1   Bon cop, bad cop [videorecording].
     Canuel, Erik.
     call number:FEATURE BON                                 copy:1
       Pickup by:17/3/2008
     hold pickup library:Maria A. Shchuka Library


Feeling much better...

Out tutoring last night, then woke up SO painfully engorged at 6:30 - 12 hours since I'd nursed anyone: eek!

Chills, fever, and a bunch of tylenol/ibuprofen later and I'm starting, STARTING to feel human again.

Called mommy to beg her to make us supper, but she was out & hasn't phoned back, so I guess we're on our own, and I'm okay to make it as long as the littles don't bug me too much.


Sticky chicky wings with same teriyaki sauce as last Shabbos
Umm... supposed to be beef/veg soup but no veges in the house. Urgh.

Remembered today that I invited the parents for Shabbos dinner this week, AND Judy, and now Sara... oh, well; that's only 4 extra and Sara will be here to help cook! Oh, and guests for lunch, too. Can't just have ONE person; we have to invite a million at a time! If you think that's not a problem, well, you've never seen our living room.

Dug up these costumes on Sunday. Mary bought them for YM & EC when they were babies; size 2 and size 3 matching leopard costumes. It's a cheapo copout but I am thinking of zipping Naomi into one and having Elisheva do her face. She's both excited and nervous about "being a cat for Purim."

We've started practicing Mah Nishtana! She said today, "at Pesach I will stand up at the table and sing Maoz Tzur." I reminded her that Maoz Tzur is for Chanukah time and she got flustered and embarrassed. She actually remembers most of it from last year - amazing!

Must run while the littles sleep.

<3 J
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Monday, March 10, 2008

The Sock Truth

Shhh... don't tell Sara...
we buy mismatched socks BY THE POUND to save money!
(and then have her spend hours on the floor trying to pair them all up)

Bwa ha ha ha ha...
Um, okay. I just had that weird thought as I looked at the laundry basket FULL of unmatchable socks.


~ Perogies
~ Potato Leek Soup from a tetra pak
~ Soy/sesame green beans

Out tutoring tonight; joy! bliss!
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Blog muse...I'm not telling...!

It's said that every writer should find his / her muse:  the person who you're writing for, theoretically, even if that person will never end up reading that particular piece of writing.  Because you use a different voice for speaking to different people in your life, and some are more formal, some are too informal, etc.  I realized the other day that one particular beloved person is the muse for this blog.  I have known for a long, LONG time that this person - who will remain nameless:  maybe it's YOU! - is an inspiration in so many ways, but I suddenly realized that (he/she) is also, subconsciously, the person I'm writing this blog to.  Or rather, "to" because he/she may or may not be aware that I actually have a blog.
Oy.  I guess it's confusing.  But it's nice to know who the muse is, because now I can just pick up the conversation easily where we left off... and I know exactly who my audience is, even if he or she (!!!) has no clue.
So there.
This is meeeeeeee... going to bed.  Sooooooooooooooooooooon.
<3 J

More wetbag (aka zippered lined pouch) pics

Again, I know the zipper is wonky. Forgive me; I'm not perfect just yet.

Oh... exciting!
I have my birthday money from the parents and since the Sewing & Needlework Festival is smack-dab in the middle of Pesach this year, I decided I'm going to take the $$$ and go to the Canada Blooms garden show instead on Ted's day off this Thursday (ok, no more links!)

There is a workshop on "Vertical Vegetables" at 11:30 am - sounds like fun!
I didn't want to go cuz I thought it would be mostly flowers, but now it seems like there might be something for everybody...
except maybe crappola gardeners like me.

Lucky you don't have to show credentials or photos of your past gardening successes to get in. Doubt my powdery-mildewed bee balm would pass muster. :-(

OH, yes! The birthday money will more than cover cost of admission... leaving me with a certain cozy sum left over for just plain squandering!!!
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Ohh, la la... wetbags, MASTERED!

Yay! I have at last mastered the art of the zippered lined pouch, a/k/a wetbag. Here's a small one - I made a pair and I'm giving one away to someone who's buying the stack of wipees underneath. (24 for $12 - bargain of the century, folks!)
(makes a great new-baby gift!)

Ignore how yinky the zipper is; I finally figured out how to sew it so the lining and the outer fabric are well away from the zipper so they don't get caught in the teeth. The lining here is Procare, a waterproof polyurethane-lined fabric. The pouch isn't truly waterproof because the procare lining is cut and stitched together at the sides and bottom. You couldn't fill it with water because it would just leak out, but I'm sure it'll do a fine job of holding some damp wipees for travelling purposes! Next up: a full-sized wetbag to hold icky diapers.


Mommy-made Lasagna
Mommy-made Garlic Bread
Mommy-made Sweet potato oven fries

Everything was amazing and I vowed to keep my big stupid mouth shut and not complain about a thing, for a change. And it worked. It may have sounded ridiculously effusive, but after a day of Freecycle errands, Value Village and whatnot, I felt like the luckiest person in the universe to have dinner set before me so regally. All I had to do was show up at the table. How many people in the world are going to do that for you, ever??? Where's the "gratitude" smiley?
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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Erev Shabbos Snapshots & Shabbos Food

Seen here: challah rising under plastic, chicken soup brought in from the porch (Elisheva's inscription)

Shabbos Food - traditional dinner!
~ Soup
~ Challah
~ Farfel
~ French green bean & onion casserole
~ Teriyaki chicken with homemade teriyaki sauce
~ Corn (of course)
~ Carrot Cake
~ Abba's Marshmallow Dessert

Shabbos Lunch!

~ Gefilte Fish
~ Cholent
~ Steak Salad
~ Carrot Cake
~ Abba's Marshmallow Dessert

And here are pics of everybody rushing around crazily getting ready... :-)))

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