Tuesday, March 12, 2013

{8/52} - Photo

Just a quick photo of me doing what I do on my days off. Making oatmeal in my favorite pan (named The Workhorse)with my porridge spoon. It is such a calming activity and something I savor. A nice little thing to do for myself to feed my soul and belly. 
A very impromptu picture.

Friday, March 1, 2013

{7/52} - Food

Another late start weekend. A break from the usual though. Instead of the wonderful brown sugar cinnamon cream cheese popovers, I made scones. 
Another Smitten Kitchen recipe. I added dried cranberries. Sonny described them this way:
Me: "what do you think?"
Him: "Not good."
Me: "What don't you like?"
Him: "It's like bite...cardboard,cardboard,cardboard....cranberry."

The texture was good, but they could have used more flavor. Like some cinnamon and a friend suggested soaking the cranberries in OJ before adding them. I'm going to do that next time I make them. 


{7/52} - photo

This week a quick, quiet moment to be silly in the middle of a whole bunch of shit. 
We lost a dear family friend and it still doesn't seem quite real yet. 
I took Sonny to school last Friday as Lou was speeding towards us on the train. In the quiet of the morning, I couldn't resist taking advantage of the fresh snow to build a snowman. Even if it was just me, 37 years old, hunched over a baby lump of snow coaxing it to grow with my slow rolls down the sidewalk, I knew it was what my soul needed. I love fashioning their smiles and finding a hat for their heads. I like thinking of people driving down the road giggling at me building him. I needed the quiet of the fresh snow to take a step back from being sad.

I have lost many people in my family and friends that I'd call family. I've learned what gives me comfort and I guess you might call it my golden rule for life. Make sure the people that are important to your heart know in their hearts how you feel. 

My mom was also my first example of learning to laugh through the bad times. I was 24 the first time I'd really experienced a death that shook me to my core. My niece that I'd basically raised, died suddenly. My Mom and I were in shock. But I'll always remember sitting around a long table at the funeral home; my Mom, me, my uncle, and my sister, attending to all of the details. It was sobering to realize all of the things we had to decide at a time when we just wanted to quit everything. We wrote the obituary, picked out caskets, set times for visitation, chose clothes etc. So many choices. Music, photographs, programs, pall bearers. At one point the man helping us through this process left the room and my Mom leaned across the table to say that the pen she was using was amazing. She said, "You see how he makes sure he gets it back from me after every signature? I want that pen." He came back and the planning process continued. As we were walking to the car, my Mom pulled that pen from her purse. All of us dissolved into laughter. It felt good.

I shared a moment like that with C Friday when she whispered, "You know she'd be saying, 'Seriously? The median age is 62? That figures.'" It is exactly what she would have been saying. 

Another thing I believe in is doing something for myself that honors those I've lost. I signed up for the bone marrow registry after my niece died. Still ready to get a call and help a family.  

For Shanti, I'm going to write a 3 Minute Fiction submission for NPR. Writing was such a big part of our relationship, and we'd always talked about creating a final submission. I even stumbled across some we'd started at work one day. So in her memory, I will carefully choose 600 words before the deadline and send it out into the world. I think that would be a great way to honor our friendship. It was one that will be impossible to forget.

{6/52} - raincheck

No post for this week. I'll make it up when I'm feeling especially cute later this year ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Not the picture I wanted for this week. But my feet are peeking out and it's a glimpse of what it looks like as soon as I finally sit down on the couch for the night. My Moe-Moe, who likes me just fine when Lou is gone, and my Mary Bones. I was trying to knit, but that didn't happen.  I like Sara in the background too.

I don't think we did a new recipe this week. We were going to, but then went back to our tried and true apple tart. I've been making this for about 15 years and it is always delicious for dessert or breakfast the next morning. 


A quick overnight getaway was just what we needed. We arrived at Starved Rock after the rain so we didn't actually get to hike due to warnings saying "seek shelter immediately, stay away from trees". We did get to poke around lots of thrift stores resulting in me finding another $5 Yashica Electro 35 gsn. I'm going to make sure it shoots and then sell it to someone that admires mine. 
We found a cute rootbeer stand to enjoy an afternoon snack of apple pie ala mode and a pint. Of course I had my knitting and listening to other peoples' conversations was a wonderful way to spend a rainy afternoon.
We had a delectable dinner at our favorite place in Ottawa, Tracy's Row House
Photo by C

The next day we fell in love with a mansion. Both of us were hypnotized by the combination of grandeur, detail, and mystery.  We will be back there, probably soon. 

Our new recipe was simple, but has been repeated several times already. Another Smitten Kitchen recipe, I swear she does no wrong. Everything is always delicious and more perfect than I could imagine. This time it was her hummus recipe. We are mastering our blending skills and C says peeling the chickpeas is a bonding experience for her and the Shorty. We pack this in our lunches, snack on it while making dinner, or just eat it for dinner in our post-work Saturday night daze. I can't wait to begin doing different variations. And to try it with dried chickpeas. We've already sourced the most affordable tahini we could find. I need to get better about taking pictures of the food we make.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

{3/52} - Photo

Lou went back to Chicago today. It will be strange getting used to her being gone again. On the plus side, I get to send more mail! 
It made me feel better to send her back wearing the scarf I made her. Seven feet of wool to keep her warm in the cold. Weeks I spent knitting it with that special feeling in my heart that makes me feel like my soul is singing. On the train, in the car, at work, during Matthew's unexpected surgery - I took it with me everywhere. 


And today, I bought the yarn to make her a hat. 
I never would have known I was a knitter if C hadn't commented that she'd always wanted a homemade scarf. The day I decided to knit one was so random, I had no idea the people I would meet or the things I would create. 

It calms me. It passes the time when I am idle. It clothes the people I care about. In some small way I feel that I am protecting my family by knitting for them. I can't really explain it and it may not be reasonable, but there is power in what I make. Because it is made with love. My love. Every. Single. Stitch.   
I am a knitter.