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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Object Identification

I have discovered that almost 3 year olds have an immense "scope of imagination" as Anne Shirley would have put it. Add to it the tendency to get so many look-alike things confused and you have fun stuff.

For instance...these are "nests." They aren't really clear in the picture, but they are the whites of a boiled egg that I quartered for her lunch. She eats the yolk, but leaves the "nests."

The following item is a "vacuum" which she seems to think is used to clean the shower. I caught her "vacuuming" the walls with it. (Please note; I do NOT let my child play with razors, she had it before I could think.)

And this final montage is where imitative imagination comes into play. Here she has set up a scene from one of her favorite kids' stories.

Can you guess...a mop, a throw rug, a one-armed teddy bear and a pair of shoes.

It's Cinderella, of course. Silly that you couldn't think of it. The mop is Cinderella herself, the bear is the prince (poor prince lost his arm...he gets lots of petting.), the rug is Cinderella's gown and the shoes are the glass slippers.

Is that too funny or what?

Friday, January 29, 2010


At the moment the snow is coming down in flurries, covering the porch and giving the mud a good whitewash. *sigh* Glad I went shopping when I did, yesterday.

During the last snowfall I took Ellen out walking several times. As I was out doing chores I was arrested by our sets of snow prints all over the place. Her little tracks right beside mine.

On this particular set the snow was pretty deep, for her anyway, and she insisted on holding my hand as we walked through it. It kind of gave me a pang to see these prints; a portrait of a little one holding on to her mama's hand to help her through the deep parts of life.

Sometimes I get frustrated because she can be so clingy, so needy. But I looked at the snow prints and was struck by the thought that soon she won't need to hold my hand, soon her prints will match mine. Soon she won't want me to come outside with her, she'll want to make her own prints all by herself.

It goes by all too fast, I know. Heaven help me, my oldest nephew will be 30 this year! La, how did that happen? I remember when he was born, it seemed like he'd never grow up.

Now Ellen will soon be 3, and I wonder what happened to the past 3 years. She grew and changed so fast.

Snow prints made me remember to try and treasure every moment with my daughter, because each one brings some infinitesimal change to her, to our relationship. Every print ought to have a memory attached, something to remember, even if it's inconsequential at the time. A walk in the snow is a timeless treasure.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cross Cultural Cooking

How does a week manage to get by me without a blog posted? I dunno. It's not like I don't have anything to blog about. I guess I must be wasting too much time on Facebook. Last week one of my best friends from high school found me on FB and we have been writing back and forth. We lost touch a year or so after we graduated and I was so happy to hear from her I nearly cried. It's kind of weird how we crossed paths. She spent 10 yrs w/ her hubby and kid in Las Vegas, and I spent 12 yrs in Portland OR. Now here I am out in MO and now she is in Vancouver WA working in Portland OR, in the justice system, same as I did. Kind of freaky.


On to cooking.

One day last week I made this Thai Peanut stir fry recipe. I make it quite frequently, it's easy and good. But I used Italian meatballs in it instead of chicken. Then on Fri I wanted something quick to eat for lunch after I came home from shopping. So I heated up some of the leftovers of the stir-fry, wrapped it in a tortilla and put some salsa on it. So that's: Asian, Italian and Mexican...all in one meal. HA! It wasn't half bad actualyy. Weird, but good.

Yesterday I mixed up my own curry spice mix. I got the recipe out of Taste of Home magazine. (I toned down the chili pepper, though.) Then I made up this East Indian dish using the curry mix; chicken korma. It called for potato, onion, tomato, garlic, gingerroot and sour cream...along with the spices and salt. It was very good and it didn't even give hubby heartburn. I always know a dish is a success when he doesn't have to take Tums later on that night! HA!

Now I am going to try a whole bunch of other dishes using curry spices as seasoning. After else am I going to use up whole bottles of cumin, corriander and turmeric?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lots of Mud

The snow has melted and now we are knee deep in mud in some places. Literally.

At the corral up the road where the dry cows reside I have to do some tricky stepping to keep from losing my boots. On one side of the feed bunks the mud and water came up to about an inch below the top of my boots. This doesn't bother me too much in and of itself, it's when the cow critters come charging in to get their feed that it gets kind of dicey. It's hard to move fast when you are knee-deep in mud. I have started closing the gate to keep them out until AFTER I have put out the feed. I told hubby that I need to take a pic of the mud and post IT instead of the snow pic as my main photo, but he says everyone knows what mud is like.

What else has been going on in the past week?

We got a little heifer calf yesterday. Hubby went and got it today.

At church the teens and I are planning a Youth Night for them, on a Fri night in mid-February. They are so excited. We are going to have this 18 yr old come and speak. I have never met him, but he used to have a Christian band. Now that's on hold and he is doing speaking gigs around locally. Most of the kids know him and are anxious to hear him speak.

I am trying to think of other fun things for them to do that night. But I am coming up empty. Since it'll be Valentine's day that Sunday I thought maybe something like a cakewalk would be fun. I'll have to consult with the other adults.

Last night in Wed Teen class I did my second session on the evolution vs. creation lessons. I read off quotes from evolutionists and atheists regarding the subject. It is reassuring to me that the teens I have are so well-grounded in their faith. Or at least they put on a good show. They love when I do things like that; bring in opposing views and have them answer from a Christian perspective. I figure it's the kind of stuff they will encounter out in the real world and they may as well learn NOW how to answer for themselves.

That's all for now.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Making Memories...

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve baking/cooking in the kitchen with different family members. I guess it is the fun of taking raw ingredients, tossing them together, and creating something fun to enjoy together.

(We'll skip the cleaning up memories for now.)

I determined not to be the kind of parent who would tell her child not to come into the kitchen lest she make a mess or ruin something or for whatever reason parents refuse to play in the kitchen with their kids.

Therefore Ellen and I whip up some fun things together. And look how much fun she has doing it!

Here in the above pic we are "folding" bread dough. Her folding involves grabbing chunks and ripping them out of the dough. But at least she's enjoying it.

And what pleasure would I be denying myself if I refused to let her experiment in the kitchen. Children can learn so much by measuring, mixing, pouring, stirring...whatever. And it is fun to see her wonder develop as she watches flour turn into batter and then into dough. Not to mention the flour on her nose. We do have our adventures...without even leaving the house.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Real Snowman

If you don't have Facebook, here's the latest pic I posted of Ellen over there. I try not to double post, but sometimes I do.

Making this snowman made a couple of lightbulbs go off in my brain. For I dunno how many years I have watched the classic show; "Frosty the Snowman" and never questioned it.

But now I realize: what a load of hooey. A group of kids could not make that size of a snowman in such a short time. A chunk of ice that big weighs I dunno how much. I have to puff and strain to lift a 50 lb salt block. That middle ball there in the snowman seemed to outweigh a saltblock by about 300 lbs. Well, maybe I exaggerate, but it was HEAVY!!

At any rate, the snowman kit was obviously NOT made for snowmen this size; the scarf barely goes around his neck.

Also, the stupid pipe needed to have a cross piece put in it to keep it from turning upside down. Keep that in mind if you decide you make your own snowman kit. It looks dorky like this, but Ellen doesn't know the difference. She was enchanted with it. She helped make a couple of the balls but I put it together when she was down the road at Grandma's house.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm so unco-operative...

I received the following email in my junk folder yesterday. I am going to try to co-operate and fulfill my obligations so I can get my inheritance. When I do get it I will be happy to share with you. Just email me your SSN#, bank account number and any other incriminating evidence that might help you to get into trouble too.

Secondly, if you are one of those "non-officials" I am dealing with...woe be unto you if you hinder my inheritance.


From Zenith Bank ATM Section

From:Mr Victor Oleka
Remittance Manager
Zenith Bank Of Nigeria.

Dear Beneficiary,

This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract inheritance file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract inheritance payment.

Secondly, you are hereby advice to stop dealing with some non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if you so wish to receive your payment immediately.

After the board meeting held at our headquarters, we have resolved in finding a solution to your problem, and as you may know, we have arranged your payment through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTRE in Europe, America and Asia Pacific, which is then instruction given by our president, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar Adua (GCFR) Federal Republic of Nigeria. This card centre will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money in an ATM MACHINE in any part of the world, but the maximum is ($15,000.00) Five Thousand Us Dollars per transaction. So, if you like to receive your fund this way, $15,000 usd for you to withdraw for a day and each transaction is $ 5,000 usd minimum which you have to withdraw $15,000 usd for one working day also be informed that the total amount in the SWIFT ATM CARD is $14.6 million usd.

(1) Your Full Name :
(2) Your Address where you want the payment centre to send your ATMCARD.:
(3) Phone And Fax Number :
(4) Age and Occupation :
(5) Your Nearest International Air Port in your City of residence:

We shall be expecting to receive your information and you have to stop any further communication with anybody or office. On this regards, do not hesitate to contact me for more details and direction, and also please do update me with any new development. Thanks for your co-operation.

Best Regards,
Mr Victor Oleka
Remittance Manager
Zenith Bank Of Nigeria

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Once in a Blue Moon

December 31, 2009 was a blue moon; you know, the second full moon in one month. I don't keep very good track of these things, but this time I noticed. It took me a few days past it to decide what to do that I only do once in a blue moon, but I finally did it.

Yesterday, using a recipe I got off the C's blog; Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island, I made cupcakes. I don't think I have made cupcakes since I was in high school, and even then I don't remember. But this recipe was worth trying, and is so good I think I might make them before the next blue moon rolls around.

They are pretty simple; use a regular chocolate cake mix recipe, fill cups halfway full, then put a dollop of this cream cheese/chocolate chip mixture on top. Yum.

Very, very bad if you are determined to lose weight in the new year.

There are about 21 of them left in the fridge, each calling my name in their little cupcake voices. They are making quite the chorus along with the ice cream in the freezer. It's very annoying. Mind you, I am not at all a cake fan, but it's just the thought that they are there, and maybe I ought to try one again just to see if it's as good as the first.

But no. Hubby and Ellen can have them.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Like Cats A'Fightin'

That's a local saying when it's snowing hard. Snowing like cats a'fightin'. You can look out and see the fur flying.

Ellen had never been outside while it was actually snowing. She was enchanted. She had to have a bucket of it to carry around. It was in the mid-20s but we took a bit of a walk before coming back in for a nap.

The snow is still too dry to be able to make a snowman, it is really powdery. So far we have somewhere between 3 and 4 inches, I would suspect.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

La yawn ya

Per Ellen's pronunciation this is what we had for supper tonight. Actually I wanted to tell the tale about this particular dish. It's just something to blog about. Ellen wasn't supposed to be in this pic, but she inserted herself pretty handily into it, and since she is so cute I went ahead and took it. (Although it took about 3 shots to get a good one, she covers her mouth or her eyes when in front of a camera lately.)

A couple weeks ago I found a recipe for something called "French Dip Lasagna" which sounded really good; you use a carton of French Dip as a couple of the layers in it. I mentally made notes of the ingredients and got them, but then Christmas happened and I had to clean up the kitchen counter. Which meant I misplaced the magazine with the recipe. *sigh*

But I figured I'd just grab a different lasagna recipe and sort of follow it. Well, that was a good idea until I began assembling the ingredients. I had the meat sauce prepared and was working on the rest of the cheeses...etc. I reached for the box of lasagna noodles....

it was awfully light.

Yes. There was ONE lasagna noodle in the box. ONE! Can you believe that?!

Well, not to be denied this treat I just chucked curly noodles on instead of the lasagna...pasta is pasta. Right? You can see the curly noodles in the pic. They turned out nicely.

I never bother cooking the noodles by the way, I just chuck them on there "raw" as it were, and they always cook up just fine.

So, a couple of lessons learned. When making a particular dish, make sure you have ALL the ingredients on hand a week before you want to prepare it. And, if you don't, go ahead and improvise, you might surprise yourself.