Friday, November 28, 2008


How many cooks does it take to stuff a turkey?  One, but you really have to squeeze him in...
Would you like some crackers to go with that cheeeeeze?  It made me laugh, but I'm not that smart.  So, I wearily hung up my apron as we observed one more milestone to mark the passing of yet another year. There was something very satisfying about having a quiet day at home with just Hunky Hubby and the little ones, even if they are not all that little anymore!  I talked to some 'far away' family too. Always nice. Brother was baking a lemon custard pie with Meyer lemons off the tree in our parents' yard.  Yummy!  I wish I could have been there to try it.  He gave me a hard time for serving chicken instead of the traditional turkey, and omitting some of the less healthy albeit customary dishes of Thanksgiving.  He can be quite set in his ways at times! Our dinner was perhaps different (lighter) than the standard Thanksgiving fare, but in the end it was tasty (yes, I do say so myself) and we enjoyed the nice day together--thankful for family, friends, food and a nice, cozy home.  I hope we all take this spirit of gratitude into the coming holidays and the new year.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
Quote of the Day: "I am thankful for our house because it has a family in it."
--Rebekah accomplished 1st grader, ballerina and future princess

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving all.  We will be spending a quiet day at the house with our little fam.  Here is the menu for the day...
Roast Chicken--the six of us cannot eat a whole turkey, plus I found a good deal on organic freerange chicken--go with the flow ya know!
Asparagus --with a nice sauce I saw Emeril make on TV
Sweet Potatoes --not sure how I am going to do these yet, I will see what they say on Thursday
Mushed Potatoes --This is Idaho--it's the law!
Apple Cake --Thanks to my friend Eve for the recipe, really yummy and easy. I can use the last of the apples from my own tree, and it is great topped with fresh cream from the dairy down the road--let's hear it for eating local baby!
Pumpkin Pie --wimping out with canned stuff, but I will do my own crust--does that count?
Crudites, Crackers & Cheese--gotta have something for everyone to munch on while we are cooking. Of course everyone will be full by the time dinner is served, but hey, it is Thanksgiving, right?
Salad of course will make its way to the table as well, and we will top it all off with a nice sparkling cranberry/lime punch that I am going to make up as I go along :)
The most important part of this holiday is celebrating our earthly abundance with food, family, friends and gratitude for all of it!  I hope that each of you has a pleasant day and that we can all be truly grateful for the blessed lives we lead.  For those friends and family whom I will not see around my table this year...I love you and God Bless!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Adventures in Simplicity the Final Chapter

Today we are playing hooky. The kids have a day off school today, so we are eating yummy whole wheat banana pancakes (recipe will come up soon) and lounging around for now.  The weather looks to be quite nice today, so we will eventually venture outside to play in the leaves or perhaps head to the water to feed the geese the leftover pancakes.  The "Adventures in Simplicity" are at an end, for now.  I had so much fun I intend to revisit the theme periodically.  It taught me something quite miraculous.  I was forced this week to really look each day for something that brought me a simple bit of joy.  And darn it, if I haven't had a pretty great week!  Sometimes it only takes noticing the wonderful things that surround us to make us grateful.  We do have to look though.  I am as guilty as the next busy woman of sometimes neglecting to do this.  But, if we look, it often is the simple things that bring us the most joy.  So, I loved my little adventure, and even though I may not blog about it everyday, I will try to be more conscientious about noticing.  Simplicity rejuvenates! 
Quote of the Day: "In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity."
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poet

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Adventures in Simplicity Chapter 4

Sunshine, Saturday, wooly yarn & football! One of those simple, lazy weekend afternoons.  I do not get these very often, so I know how to appreciate them when they come my way. Just getting started on a few wintery hats.  I always seem to gravitate toward little homey projects this time of year.  The weather forces me indoors & the holidays are just around the corner.  Nesting syndrome I suppose. Comfort foods make their way to my table more often than they probably should this time of year as well.  If it had not been unseasonably warm, I would have likely had a fire going too, but the sun shining in through the big picture window was warmth enough today.  Just a few simple pleasures for a somewhat simple gal and a rather lazy cat, who kept trying to play with the yarn! Simplicity comforts...
Quote of the Day: "If there is a solution to a problem, there is no need to worry.  And if there is no solution, there is no need to worry."
--The Dalai Lama

Friday, November 14, 2008

Adventures in Simplicity Chapter 3

I said when I started this blog that it was to be an "experiment in reaching out to long lost friends and perhaps making a few new ones."  So far, it has worked.  I have reconnected with a few old friends from the college days.  Better than yearly Chirstmas cards, I am so thankful to feel truly engaged in their daily lives now.  What a wonder this modern age is!  I have also been able to make a few new friends (AW!). I did not know, however, that some of the new friends would be in my own family.  I don't want to single anyone out, but just as an example...I have a niece that I inherited when she was about 11 or so (that is, I married her dad's little brother).  I watched her and the other nieces and nephews I inherited (perk of marrying the youngest of 6 children--lots of built in kids), and the ones that have come along since, grow up over the last 18 years. Many of them now wonderful adults with families of their own.  But, like most extended families, we spend a few birthdays &  holidays together and see each other at weddings and funerals.  So,  I have not really had the opportunity to know all of them as well as I would like.  Back to Niece...through this 'experiment in blogging' I have been able to get to know her as an adult, and I just adore her!  I have been able to stay up to date on other family members that perhaps I have know better, but have moved far away.  My own sister, only a year my junior, read my blog for the first time and said, "I never knew you were so serious!" Good relationships enrich our lives.  Sometimes we take for granted the simple pleasure of knowing our own family, perhaps because they are right there under our noses. Simplicity connects!
Quote of the Day: "Real love stories never have endings."
--Richard Bach author 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Adventures in Simplicity Chapter 2

I captured this picture of my little girl enjoying the simple pleasure of stretching out on a freshly mopped floor with a set of American Girl books that she discovered on her closet shelf--leftovers from a big sister who has now outgrown them and is reluctant to admit that she ever liked them at all!  This is a child who really knows how to relish a moment.  She reads aloud with enthusiasm and dances spontaneously to music we can only assume is in her very soul.  One of my greatest lessons in life came from this little one.  She is now going on 7, but when she was around 3 years old, one evening she dutifully prepared for bed by changing in to jammies and getting her own teeth brushed.  She then hollered out, "I am ready to get talked in!"  Our ritual, then and now, involves a story and a discussion of the days events.  It is only a few minutes interaction, but it is time for her alone with Mom and Dad.  I try to remember every night to take just a second with each child to say goodnight. It is my time to slow down and remember that someday, these beds will all be empty.  That incident was years ago and she is much bigger, but even now,  I am not sure she knows that she is being "tucked" in...  Simplicity inspires!
Quote of the Day: "Don't worry about [kids/people's] behavior so much, as keep affirming their potential."
--Steven Covey author and speaker

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Adventures in Simplicity Chapter 1

This week I would like to do a series of short posts called Adventures in Simplicity--celebrating the wonderful, simple little moments that should bring us pleasure and gratitude in life if we let them.  I must tell you, I live on a hotbed for entropy.  Yep, it is true.  For some reason unknown to me, my husband or the children, there are high concentrations of entropy in almost every room of our house, especially in the closets! I despise clutter, but somehow, it sneaks in through the cracks in the mailbox, goodie bags at birthday parties, and the kids' school backpacks.  This week however, I had had enough!  Hubby and I staged a coup, the likes of which have not been witnessed in this part of the world for centuries.  That is, we took back the closets and the cupboards, the drawers and even the kitchen pantry.  Not a single unused appliance, outgrown item of clothing or broken pencil was left standing!  Yes!  I feel like I have my life back.  Keep in mind that I have to do this about every six months, so I have little hope of it staying like this permanently, but perhaps, and for now my space makes me smile.  Simplicity rocks! 
Quote of the Day:"Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you."
--Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A little Advice...Act II

Create a life that reflects your dreams--
 Live a life that defines your
I think I am a bit pensive today.  Those of you who read often might quip, "So what's new?!" But today it seems more serious.  I came across this quote on a blog I follow (a delightful young woman 2000 miles away, whom I have never met) and it really struck a chord with me.  I am trying to figure out what it means for me.  I really do want a life that reflects my dreams, but first I think I have to figure out what those dreams are!  Yikes!  THEN on top of that, I have to then live my life in a way that defines what I believe to be my purpose here on earth.  A bit easier, but still...Yikes!  The description of my blog says, "live life simply and naturally, surrounded by people and things you love".  I think that is my philosophy in a very teeny tiny nutshell--like a pistachio.  There is more to me than just that, but it is a good start.  My dream life is clutter free, physically and emotionally.  No extraneous papers piled, filed or strewn about.  No trivial tchotchkes, no matter how carefully placed, displayed on every flat surface of each and every room.  No fancy choppers, slicers or toaster-cooker-griller-thingamajigs in every kitchen cupboard.  No emotional baggage crammed in the closets or hidden under beds either.  No "she did this" and "he said that"...ugh!  It is also important to me to be a good steward of my physical body and of the earth.  My dream life is simple and natural and I am surrounded by family and friends who mean the world to me.  I like the idea that I can create that. Dig in, get my hands dirty, make something I love.  I am in charge of this life of mine. Number 2! Live a life that defines my purpose.  My purpose?  The purpose of ME?  Ultimately, as a Christian, my purpose here is to bring glory to my Heavenly Father and His Son.  My goal is to return to their presence.  Am I living a life that reflects that purpose?  Hmmm... Somedays, yes. Somedays, not so much.  But again, the choices are mine to make. I truly believe that this earthly mortal journey is ours to relish and appreciate! Like I said in a post back in August, "This last year or two, I have been really trying to open myself up to the possibilities of this glorious, God-given life!  I don't want to just enjure it, I want to embrace it, enjoy it, and truly LIVE it!"  I did say that post was to be continued...I suppose this is the conclusion.  I am going to work on creating my dream life and fulfilling my purpose.  Whew!  Now all that is left to do is the work!
Quote of the Day:"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."
--Joseph Campbell writer