Sunday, October 31, 2010


oh! someone's at the door...

happy halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

show & tell {it's almost halloween!}

ned brought his
multicolor, bright & flashy,
halloween light stick
for show & tell yesterday.

his class had a super-fun halloween party,
and we got crafty:
{i am adding a page with directions for all of these crafts...
link coming soon!}

yarn spider necklaces

origami bats

chocolate covered spiders
{so fun & so easy & so delicious...
they would be great at an adult party}

{melted chocolate chips}

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
more halloween fun...

this is not my dog, but it cracks me up.
from a why dogs hate halloween email

mr. monster

ms. supermom

miss poodle skirt

{emily is still gathering the pieces for her fairy costume...
photo coming soon!}

Friday, October 29, 2010

better together

look who's back!
♥ patito! ♥
{our sweet petites!}

with pippa by her side...

after five long days away,
she is back home where she belongs.

yesterday was about separateness.
today is about togetherness.
today is a better day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

do you ever... simmer spices just for the scent?

orange rind

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

duck update

here is pip,
looking sharp this evening.

{milling about with potential suitors} 

i am worried, though,
because we have not seen patito
since saturday.

we have had some stormy weather
and nighttime temperatures near freezing,
so it is possible that she has migrated.
the living is very good at this pond, though,
and most of the ducks stay year-round.

sweet patito is so dear to us.
we will watch the skies until she returns,
and so will her sister.

Monday, October 25, 2010


i dug deep into our halloween bin
to dust off a costume i made
ten years ago...


{emily} was 6 years old

{marian} was 1 year old

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

just a little cape,
a headband thingy,
& a letter S...
any other supermoms want to join me this year?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

apple cake {from all things farmer}

virginia told me about a beautiful blog
called all things farmer.

james farmer is 100% adorable.
his recipe for mimi's apple cake is 100% fabulous.
{i don't have a bundt pan, so i used 2 standard loaf pans.
it worked just fine.}

click here for the recipe.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

cheese ball {recipe & lore}

it really needs a different name,
but ball-o-cheese & cheese loaf are just not appetizing.
even holiday cheese ball sounds better.

here is my personal cheese ball history...
when i was growing up,
my mom would make various cheese balls
around the holidays.
for thanksgiving and also christmas parties.
i would have a little,
but i was just not that interested.

enter ned.
my third child.
born on thanksgiving day 2004.
i came straight home
{from mad river community hospital}
where my mom was
making thanksgiving dinner.
she parked me with newborn ned
in my plush new nursing chair
and fed me wheat thins
with cheese ball
and a little glass of chardonnay.
having given birth only hours before,
i was ravenous.
i was happy.
it was thanksgiving day 
and i had a brand new baby boy
and i was surrounded by everyone i loved most.
{and i hadn't had a glass of wine in nine months}.
something in me finally
:: clicked ::
:: shifted ::
:: aligned ::
with the cheese ball.
i was hooked.

as soon as i was on my feet,
i wanted to know the recipe ~
the how & the what
behind this simple yet substantial appetizer
i had long ignored.
i made cheese ball at every opportunity.
i would sometimes eat so much of it
that i coined a new term:
{as in, "ugh... i've been cheese-balled."}

during the cold weather months,
cheese ball is our cheese & crackers.
i make it to go along with popcorn & sodas
{& carrots & olives & dry roasted peanuts}
for movie night.

knowing how to make cheese ball
makes me feel like a bona fide grown-up.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
:: cheese ball ::
mix together
1 lb. grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup minced onion
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup chopped pecans
and shape into a ball.
{note: i always roll the cheese ball in more chopped pecans to coat.}

top with good raspberry jam
and serve with wheat thins.

{note: it's not really necessary to measure... i just wing it.}

p.s. emily is the only one of us
who doesn't get cheese ball.
just you wait, emily...
someday in the future,
when you are extra happy & extra hungry,
cheese ball might cast its spell on you, too.

Friday, October 22, 2010

show & tell {plus, ned reads to you!}

it's friday...
ned's show & tell day.
today, he brought his jacob's ladder:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

and in other news...
ned is really learning to read.
each day, he brings home a new
"book in a bag" from his teacher.
when he read kip the ant to me last night,
my heart did a little flip when he sounded out
"tuh... aaahh... puh.... tap."
and i knew i had to make this:
{this morning, before we left for school}

Thursday, October 21, 2010

do you ever... bake bread? {plus, memories of NOLS}

i used to bake bread all the time.
maybe it's time to start that again.

although, i have a hunch
that the likelihood of a person to bake bread
is inversely proportional
to the number of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
that person makes. 
{and i make lots.}

baking bread is such a cozy thing to do
when it's chilly outside.
and there is nothing better
than the smell of baking bread.
{stroll with me, down memory lane, if you will...}

way back in 1989,
after my freshman year at vanderbilt university,
i did a semester course with the
national outdoor leadership school
{ N O L S }
my course was
fall semester in the rockies...
i originally registered for the
alaska sea kayaking course in prince william sound,
but, due to the exxon valdez oil spill, it was cancelled.
it was the 8th and last session that fall
{FSR8, we were called}
our course was divided into:
~ general backpacking ~
~ rock climbing ~
~ canyonlands ~
~ caving ~
{winter = backpacking on skis & building snow caves to sleep in!}

on that course i turned 19.
for my birthday,
my friend, sarah, made me a giant C pancake.
and one of my instructors, morgan,
took me to see a herd of buffalo...
up close.

ahhh... those were the days...
{i'm searching for a photo from that time.
i'll post one when i find it.}

well, i still receive the NOLS newsletter,
and my latest issue had a bread recipe.
the recipe is really for backcountry baking
where you build a "twiggy fire"
on the pan's heavy lid
so that it gets heat from the top & the bottom.
i remember this well...

but this recipe had a
"frontcountry" recipe conversion
for baking in a home oven.

i gave it a go & it was great.
we ate both loaves in very short order.
it's a flexible, adaptable recipe,
well worth trying.

here it is:
everyman's bread
{click image to enlarge}

p.s. thanks, mom & dad,
for going along with my crazy ideas.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

fall treasures

gift-giving season is nearly upon us.
here are a few ideas to inspire you...

these, i received 
{♥ from my friend, emily ♥}

:: fall flashcards ::

:: potpourri & a vintage dish ::

:: scarves & wooden bracelet ::
{all vintage}

{another view of that incredible bracelet}

these, i gave
{♥ to my friend, diane ♥}

:: vintage cups ::

:: vintage books ::

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

what's new with ned?

1. loose tooth {his first}

2. caterpillar

3. reading

4. general silliness

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