Friday, January 29, 2010

dreaming of spring

The daffodils are starting to show up in the grocery store.

I can hear tiny little birds outside my window every now and then. 

If you are going to start plants indoors, you better get pretty serious about doing some planning in February.  I have tried it in the past, with little success, as my patience level does not match what that project requires.

But with my new budgetary constraints this year, I may have to learn some patience, and convert a corner of our already overflowing basement into a seedling area.

Doesn't this young lady look like she is tired of the dreary winter days?  I came across a whole bunch of vintage photos, that I will be posting occasionally.  I also copy them to use to make cards.  I love old photos, they have really withstood the years, and I enjoy the way that people used to be posed for professional photos.  We had a professional photographer on my dad's side of the family, I will dig up some of the pictures and figure out how to use our scanner and show them to you. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

my favorite canvas

What's on your fridge?

Mine is covered with family pictures we received over the holidays, Charlie's lunch menu, party invites, and our weekly calendar.  And vintage winter photos, and summer photos of dirt bikes riding through the woods so the guys can have something to dream about.

Our fridge is my favorite place to display what is going on in our lives.  We may be one of the few families left in the world that doesn't have a stainless steel fridge, I just feel they are so cold looking.  You may have noticed I prefer warmer tones.  But wait, what is that on the top of the fridge? 

A little find that I came across in Country Living magazine, and I scooted on out to Pier 1 to pick them up.  China measuring cups. 

When we were looking for a house eighteen years ago, and we first walked in to this one, the fridge was the first thing I saw when we walked in.  It gave me a glimpse into the life of the people who owned it at the time.  I saw smiling, happy faces, and it made me feel like it was a place I could be happy in.  Just from seeing their refrigerator.

So it's kind of like carrying on a tradition, I think of it every time I put something on the fridge.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

recipe box Wednesday

Back to the old wooden recipe box today, for a sweet treat to warm up a January kitchen:

Cracked Sugar Cookies

1 c. shortening
1 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. soda

Cream together shortening, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and egg.  Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar, and soda and blend into the creamed mixture.  Shape dough into balls the size of walnuts by rolling in hands.  Dip tops in sugar and place on greased cookie sheets.  Put 1 or 2 drops of water on each cookie and bake.  Let cool slightly before removing from sheets.  Makes 3 dozen.

Chase away the winter chills and the cabin fever that is settling in by baking up a batch of warm cookies!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

bathroom re-do

The info on last night's news report made me understand why my post yesterday was so gloomy.  The last Monday in January has been identified as the most depressing day of the year!  (They didn't explain how they figured it out...)

But today is Tuesday, and time to move on.

Finally, I present to you the bathroom re-do.  East wall, before:

The checkered wallpaper HAD to go.  It reminded me of a restaurant.

It had lasted us TWELVE years.  Definitely time for a change.  So I ripped the wallpaper off, scraped old glue.  And as usually happens whenever we try to remodel something in this old house, we found a surprise.  When the previous owners had remodeled the bathroom, they had not bothered to mud one of the walls that they removed the plaster from, and slapped sheetrock on.  So when I removed the wallpaper it left the wall in bad shape for painting.  Mike spent a whole day just dealing with that mess.  Ugh.

But now it's done!  Not a huge change (hey, it's a little tiny room....)  East side:

And the west side:

Basically just new paint, shower curtain, towels and rugs.  We do need a new light, but haven't made it that far yet.  But the best part?  When we completely emptied the room out to do the work, I went through every single item, and I now have perfectly clean medicine cabinets and baskets full of lotions and dust free bottles.  And all of the expired medications and broken barrettes (when is the last time I wore a BARRETTE?) are tossed.  Ready for the new year.  One room at a time....

Monday, January 25, 2010


January started out on such a bright note, all kinds of shiny possibilities in the days ahead. 

We were going to do lots of cleaning, and organizing.  Thank you notes for holiday gifts would be sent in a timely manner, and our winter cards would get mailed out to family and friends (since Christmas cards just don't fit into our retail schedule anymore....).  I would be completely ready for the craft day I am planning, days ahead of schedule. 

I was even optimistic enough to re-do our main floor bathroom (photos to follow in a later post...)

And suddenly it is the last week of January, and the thank you notes are still sitting on Charlie's desk.  They are written, just not addressed.  He is further along than me, I haven't even started.  Maybe I need to nag myself.

The winter cards are sitting in a pile in the office.  Is it now too late?  Are we all just over the thought of winter and holiday wishes?

The bathroom is done, thank goodness.  At least when you re-do a vital room in the home you can't really delay things.

But I have accomplished not one single solitary thing in the last four days, and still am not feeling like I can do anything more than load the dishwasher, and perhaps start a load of laundry.  (with big rest breaks in between). 

Oh where or where did January go?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

down and out

A rare Saturday post, to explain my absence yesterday.  I have been kicked in the butt by a major sinus infection, and have spent the last several days suffering under my flannel sheets.  Finally on the other side of it, but not 100% by any means.

Sometimes I am really organized, and write posts ahead of time, and schedule them to appear, luckily I had done that early last week, or you would not have heard from me for days!

The sinus pain prevents me from sleeping more than 20 minutes at a time, and yesterday afternoon I finally felt like I could settle in for an extended nap.  Mike and Charlie were off to ski club, and wouldn't be home until at least 9 pm.  I was just drifting off, I could feel my body starting to float.  Right outside my bedroom window, I heard the sound of heavy equipment.

Oh no, not just ANY heavy equipment.  This was a drill, a big drill that they use to drill holes in frozen city streets.  It was soon joined by a backhoe, with a BIGGER drill.  They drilled and drilled, until they could make a 6 x 6 foot hole in our street.  The giant dump truck arrived, the work continued.  Really???  What are the chances, that in the entire city of St. Paul, they would need to do this work RIGHT OUTSIDE MY BEDROOM WINDOW????

No nap for me.  Luckily I was up getting a glass of water when they knocked on my door to let me know there was a water main break, and they would be turning off my water for the next few hours.  I completely abandoned the whole nap idea, and curled up on the couch to watch Season 2 of "Rosemary and Thyme". 

Have you seen it?  Have you heard of it?  I stumbled across it in the library one cold fall day, and it is just delightful.  A British series about two women, one a former cop, one a horticulturist.  They go around England designing gardens, and stumbling across crimes that they end up helping to solve.  Just perfect for a cold January night, when you are under the weather and can't do anything more productive than lift a remote.

Making lemonade out of lemons...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

a little help here-

My husband hates the name of my blog.

I am not overly fond of it either, I grabbed it when I was working up the guts to even publish a blog, and have just been plugging along with it.

But his disdain has finally wore me down.

I need a new blog name, and it is a monumental task.  "Sellabit Mum" is perfect for my friend Tracy-quirky, double play on words, all kinds of fun. 

I want quirky.

So I am asking my dear readers to suggest some new names for me.

And thank you for your patience as I keep tinkering with my blog headers, and my template.  I'm not quite where I want it to be yet, but haven't had much time to spend on it.  Eventually I will find the look I want (maybe at the same time I find a new blog name!)

And I thank you for your creative assistance.  Maybe I will even have a fabulous prize if you can come up with a new name for me!

I have already asked Mike, he is no help....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

recipe box Wednesday

Rather than share an old recipe from the recipe box today, I had to share with you what I made last night instead. 

I bought a turkey breast when they were on sale in December, as the three of us like white meat, so it doesn't make sense for me to cook an entire turkey.

And in between getting my December sales done so I could pay sales tax, and redoing our main floor bathroom, I decided Tuesday was the perfect day to roast it.  Not my brightest idea...but I had kept promising, and it is darn fine comfort food for when you are stressed...

After reviewing multiple recipes, I went with one of my favorite chef's:

And here is the link:

The verdict?

It was tasty.  I made some skin on smashed red spuds, heated up some Trader Joe's Turkey Gravy (not bad, pretty close to homemade...), steamed some Green Giant white and gold corn, and cracked open a can of cranberries.  (So is this now considered semi-homemade?)

The recipe calls for a cup of white wine in the bottom of your roasting pan, I used twice that much and it all cooked away-unfortunately the only roasting pan with rack I have is far too large for just a turkey breast, which explains why my liquid cooked off.  I threw in some chicken broth to replace the wine, it was fine.  Next time, I will cover it about 3/4 of the way through cooking time with foil to keep more of the moisture in.  Or throw the turkey on a bed of sliced onions instead of using a rack, and use a smaller pan.

The flavor was divine, and it was still really moist.  And I have PLENTY of leftovers, for sandwiches, or our favorite poultry wild rice hot dish.  Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

a milestone

This is my 500th blog post.

I can't believe I just typed that.

In my dreams, I never imagined I could create 500 of anything. 

(other than loads of laundry, or toilets cleaned...)

500 times I sat at my laptop and shared myself with you.

500 times, in almost exactly two years.

And my mom thought I would never keep a diary...

Thanks for caring enough to stop by and check in!

Monday, January 18, 2010

yarn nirvana

My first skeins of Noro yarn,  made in Japan.  "Silk Garden", made from silk, kid mohair, and wool.  Stunning colors.  See?

If you don't know how to knit, and want to learn, let me know!  I would be happy to share my passion....

(The little bag that the scarf is spilling out of was made from Brown Sheep Company wool yarn, then felted.  I can teach you that too.)

Coming up this week, the great bathroom makeover (more misadventures in fixing up an old house...)

Friday, January 15, 2010

keep plenty of water handy

If you have looked on my sidebar (under "What's Cooking") this week,you will have noticed I have had Chicken Chili on it for a few days.

I have good intentions, and generally try to plan what I am going to cook at the beginning of the week.  But often circumstances (or my mood) cause me to veer off course.  Which is what happened this week.

Chicken Chili finally got made on Thursday, I whipped it up before heading in to help with the Knitting class at Charlie's school, and I threw it in the crockpot to stay warm.

I guess I shouldn't say I 'whipped' it up, making it sound like I casually passed through the kitchen and threw some things together on my way to the basement to collect laundry.

This Chicken Chili is a bit labor intensive, you spend almost as much time prepping ingredients as you do actually cooking it.

But oh, it is soooooo good.  And spicy.  Very spicy.  But you can adjust for that, so I highly recommend it.  And I am so thankful to have found a link here: I didn't have to retype it.  I have modified it a bit from the original, I use two jalapenos, and Medium Hot Chili Powder (hotter than the basic grocery store version) from Penzeys.  Adjust the jalapenos and chili powder based on your heat preference.  For the tomato base, I use a 28 oz. can of tomato puree and a 15 oz. can of petite dice tomatoes, rather than two 16 oz. cans of puree.

This chili has the usual suspects, fresh peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes.  But what really makes this one special, along with a pinch of cinnamon, are the dark chocolate, and the beer.  (crappy photo, but you get the idea...)

Chocolate and beer.  Really, how can you go wrong?

I cannot take credit for discovering this gem all on my own, we first had this at my friend Karen's house, many many years ago.  And it has been on regular rotation ever since.

So if you are in the mood to spend a little time in your kitchen, and make a really wonderful pot of goodness, give this one a try.

And the cookbook it came from?  First published in 1984, it is a standard in my collection.  Sadly, Sheila Lukins passed away last August, at the age of 66.  I have several of her cookbooks, and use them on a regular basis.  My favorite? 

"Ten", the last one she wrote.  It has recipes for "all of the foods we love", with 10 recipes for each.    I plan to try the 'Olivada', and the 'Spiced Goat Cheese Slather', both served with 'Ficelle Toasts' for my next party.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

in times of need

We are saddened, and heartsick, at the images crossing the TV screens. Children, mothers, and fathers are suffering, beyond anything we could possibly imagine in our very safe, very cozy lives.  We can help.

And people ARE helping.  The reactions of so many individuals, companies, organizations, and countries are quickly mobilizing to help the very poorest nation in the western hemisphere.  While I am shaken by the devastation, I am immensely heartened by the response.  We CAN take care of each other. 

brain work

In addition to all of the other things we are celebrating in January-it is National Puzzle Month!  And National Jigsaw Puzzle Day is January 29th.  Are my hard earned tax dollars being paid to someone who sits in a cubicle and dreams all of these days up?

I am a long time jigsaw puzzle fan, and we just started a new one this week.  Occasionally I can even drag Charlie away from the video screen to help me.  I strategically place a few easy pieces so that he can enjoy success right away, and then he becomes hooked and hangs out with me for a bit.

Sitting at night after dinner, with the candles glowing and my glass of red wine beside me, I am content to work away.  Sometimes I sit way too long, and my legs fall asleep, but that's another story.

My Grandma Doris was a long time puzzle aficianado, until the blindness in one eye and her arthritis took their toll.  I used to love picking out a new puzzle to buy her for a gift.  I bet she misses it.  So I will continue to carry on the family tradition.

We did puzzles when I was growing up, my dad would pull out the big bread board from our cabinet, and set it up on the floor.  He had a very specific way of doing the puzzles, he liked to pull all of the pieces out, and organize them.  I prefer to pull out a few pieces and work on one section at a time.  Good thing we don't do them together anymore, or
we would have to adapt. Or fight a lot, like we did when we played Monopoly.

Puzzles are excellent brain work.  They develop your abilities to reason, analyze, sequence and deduce.  They help develop logical thought processes and problem solving skills, as well as increasing hand to eye coordination.  I just think they are fun.  But what a bonus that they work my brain, and hopefully keep me young!  (just wishful thinking on that part...)  And they are affordable entertainment, the ones I like run around $5 a pop.  Cheaper than buying a movie!

My favorite puzzles are the 1000 piece Charles Wysocki's, or Jane Wooster Scott.  They are very folk artish, remembrances of simpler times.  They aren't exceedingly difficult and are fun to do.  I scored a whole bagful at a church yard sale this summer, I think they were a quarter a piece, and like new.

And it's a good idea to take a break from that TV screen, every now and then.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

recipe box Wednesday

It being National Soup Month and all, I figured I should pick a soup recipe

from the wooden recipe box today.

Imagine my surprise in finding SIX recipes for Broccoli Soup.  They were all

cut from newspapers, and each one is a bit different.  Was the person who

owned this box really fond of broccoli soup, or was she trying vainly to find

the perfect one that matched a restaurant favorite?

I will never know, but I am sharing one with you today:

Cream of Broccoli Soup A La Decathlon

1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 small carrot, diced finey
1 pkg. frozen broccoli chunks
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 qt. chicken stock
1/2 pint whipping cream
Salt, white pepper, garlic to taste.

Saute the onion, carrot and frozen broccoli in one stick of butter.  Add the

flour and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Then add chicken stock, whipping cream,

salt, white pepper, and garlic.  Check for taste and consistency.  Makes 6-8


Sounds pretty fast!  And yummy.  Happy Soup Month!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

five stars

I do not fancy myself a food critic, but I know what I like.

Sunday night Mike and Charlie and I had an opportunity to try a new

restaurant (not new to the Cities, but new to us).   Kona Grill is located

in Eden Prairie, and one of our fine crew members holds another job

there, so we went to check it out.

It is a beautiful space, lots of warm wood and stone, unique lighting,

and many options for dining.  There is the main room, with comfy

booths lining the walls, a bar area, and the patio.  A roaring fire and

metal furniture can be found in the patio, enclosed for winter dining

and football watching.  They throw open the windows when it's warm

enough, and there is another outdoor patio during the summer months.

I can't wait to sit out there with a nice glass of wine., and the sun on my


Here is a link:

But the food.  Oh, the food.  We started with a plate of potstickers,

homemade and absolutlely delicious.  They also have a sushi bar,

and Charlie mentioned he had always wanted to try it.  So our kind

host brought over two types of rolls for him to try, one with tempura

shrimp and cucumber, the other with crab and avocado.  Oh, delish.

If you like sushi, this is the place to go.

Our main entrees were fabulous.  I had a lemon grass crusted halibut,

with a coconut curry sauce.  They make over 40 sauces from scratch

at this restaurant, and the care they put into the food really shines

through.  The sweet sticky rice and steamed spinach were the perfect

sides.  Mike tried another of their signature dishes, the macadamia nut

chicken, and pronounced it perfect.  It came with a side of skin on

white cheddar mashed potatoes and wok fried veggies, a plate full of

color.  Charlie went mainstream, ( he had already tried sushi, for heavens

sake) and ordered the big Kahuna cheeseburger with fries, and pro-

nounced it the best burger he had ever had.

Yes, I am a loser, and didn't think to bring my camera, to share photos

with you.  The sushi plate was simply a work of art.

Unable to finish our meals, we opted out of dessert, but it would have

been fun to try something new.  Next time!

We will absolutely be making the trek to Eden Prairie again to dine at

this spot, and I can't wait to bring friends and family there as well.  If

you happen to be in the cities, (or any of the other sixteen places where

you can find the Kona Grill), you must make a stop.  It is kind of pricey,

but every penny spent is well worth it.

Monday, January 11, 2010


January has been set aside for many things, it is National Hobby Month,

National Blood Donor Month, National Hot Tea Month (is Iced Tea Month

separate, perhaps in August?), National Oatmeal Month, and National Soup

Month.  So many ways to celebrate, where will you begin?

In our house, January is National Clean out the Closets, Attic, Drawers, and

Basement Month.  So far, we have made a dent in it, and it's only mid-

January, so I have high hopes.

This weekend Charlie and I tackled his closet.  After much moaning and

gnashing of teeth, I dragged him in to help me.  Our house was built in

1937, so our closets are small and oddly shaped, usually with a skinny

door on one end and a closet that reaches far back along the side of the


Sometimes when we do a closet clean, we just take things out and toss

and put things back.  This time we took every single item out, and a

decision had to be made, toss, keep, or donate.  And we scrubbed the

walls and shelves and floor.  And I found the box where I had saved

Charlie's art projects, and spelling tests, and first stabs at writing, from

all the way back to preschool.

Oh dear.  My heart traveled back in time as I found the beautiful haiku he

had written in 2nd grade, with the sweet painting.  His seder plate from

preschool at the JCC.  His rendition of the ice palace, and many many

pictures of loaders and construction vehicles and airplanes.  I remembered

how he always wrote his numbers backwards in kindergarten and first


What to do?  If I had been smart, I would simply have selected a few

items back when they were current, and taken a picture of him holding it.

But a photo of him now, holding the Thanksgiving turkey he made when he

was four, just wouldn't have the same effect.

So I took a deep breath and a garbage bag, and ruthlessly tossed

memories away.

I now have a small folder, with a couple of things representing each school

year.  And the intention is that I will take photos of these items, and store

them on a cd, so I can then toss the folder too.

Ruthless, simply ruthless.  But now there is lots of room for ski gear, and

dirt bike gear, and weekend backpacks.  Time flies...

Saturday, January 9, 2010


"The wind was blowing, but not too hard, and everyone was so happy and gay for it was only twenty degrees below zero and the sun shone."  Laura Ingalls Wilder

And she didn't even have a furnace.

See?   It's all in your attitude...

Friday, January 8, 2010

healthy favorites

One of the things I love about Ellie Krieger's cookbook, is that along with

new, fun recipes, she takes family favorites and makes them healthier.

Today, I share with you her Sloppy Joes.  Here's the link:

My guys love Sloppy Joe night, when dinner is casual and we have potato

chips (a rare treat in our house).  This night I added the healthy option of

roasted sweet potatoes.  I LOVE sweet potatoes.  Here's the link:

The verdict?  Charlie thought the sloppy joes were "okay".  I had to force

him to take some sweet potatoes, he said they "weren't his favorite."  He

isn't a sweet potato fan anyway, but I thought I would keep trying.

Mike said they were "fine".  When asked if I should take the time to make

them again (they are a lot more work than throwing a can of Manwich in

with some browned ground turkey), he said I could stick with the Manwich.

I thought they were really yummy, I loved the addition of the red pepper,

jalapenos, and pinto beans, but neither Mike nor Charlie are fans of the

bean family either, unless they are long and green.  Maybe they were

thrown off by the beef, as we usually eat ground turkey.

Lesson learned this week?  You can make your favorite foods healhier, but

sometimes it is best to stick with what you know.  The cake I made earlier

this week?  When asked if they wanted some the next night, they both

declined.  In Charlie's words:  "Mom, if I am going to eat cake, I want REAL

cake."  Enough said.

Next week?  I am going to try some of her recipes for foods we don't already

know and love.  They won't bring any prejudice to the table that way.

I wish you a delightful weekend, stay warm and find a good book to read!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

time flies, part XII

How many of you remember (perhaps painfully) the awkward years?  Those

junior high/middle school years, where you felt like you didn't say the right

thing, wear the right thing, do the right thing?  (well, I do occasionally step

back in time and feel like that now, at 47...)

My dear sweet Charlie has hit them, full force.  What happened to my

confident little boy, who would wear a flight suit to school for picture day,

because he really wanted to?  And didn't give a hoot that the older kids

on the school bus made fun of him?  Who wore reindeer antlers to school

for the holiday party?

Charlie has confided in me his feelings.  It warms my heart that he feels he

can talk to me, but then I panic and worry that I will say the wrong thing,

and won't be able to help him.  He worries about so much now, and is

concerned that his jeans don't look quite right, and he says the wrong thing

in class, and feels bad part of the time.

I reassured him that everyone goes through this, at this age.  He argued

that the "popular" kids don't feel this way.  I told him they definitely do,

and what he is feeling is perfectly normal, and the kids who are

"popular" today, will be different kids in a few years.

Oh, I wish I could help him fast forward through these years, but I

know they are important to help shape him into the adult he will

become.  Hopefully the guidance and advice Mike and I can give

him will help him survive!

And if only I could give him permission to punch out the bullies,

life would be so much easier.  Instead we have armed him with

some wonderful comebacks that he can use when the need arises-

the whole "tongue being mighter than the sword" deal...(I know,

I know, it's a pen, but in this case the tongue works better.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

recipe box Wednesday

Recipe Box Wednesday starts the shiny new year with this entry ( I first ran

across one for Leverpostej, also known as Liver Paste, but I thought it

sounded a tad revolting...).  This recipe is never one I would pick up and

try, not being a huge cabbage fan, but the more I read it the better it

sounds.  Served up with some wonderful bratwurst, or pork roast, it could

be quite tasty!  And I can just hear my dad now "Oh Kris, you don't know

what you're missin' !"  He would probably request it be served with ring

bologna (oh no, evil childhood dinner memories come flooding back...)

Let me know your thoughts....

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

1 med head chopped cabbage

1 tsp. salt

Almost cover cabbage with water, add the salt.  Simmer until almost soft

about 1/2 hour.  Pour off some of the water, leaving about 2 cups in pan.

Then add:

1/4 c. vinegar

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 1/4 cup sliced tart apples

scant teaspoon caraway seed

Simmer about 1/2 hour.  If U wish, add a little butter or bacon fat.

As always, this is typed just as it is written on the card.  I am sure your

house will smell quite fragrant after a few hours of cabbage cookin'....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

spreading the goodness

I have gone on and on about my love for the "Julie and Julia" movie, and it

got me thinking about what I could do on my blog to create a little more

food excitement.

I have no illusions that I could recreate the recipes from an entire cookbook

(let alone one as tricky as "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"), but I do

have a vast cookbook collection that needs to be shared with all of you.

I have decided to pick a cookbook a month, and throughout that month

share recipes with you that I have tried and enjoyed.  And since it is

January, and it is the month for resolutions, and buying new fitness gear,

and starting diets, and feeling like we need to get healthier, my selection

for this month is:

Ellie Krieger has some amazing recipes that you may want to try.

I decided to start with sweets, and cake.  If Ellie can make a tasty

yet healthy cake, I am all for it!

I was thrilled to find a link to it on the Food Network web-site, so I don't
have to retype it:

And the verdict?

Charlie:  "It explodes with flavor".

Mike: "Exquisite".

Me: nice and light, yet plenty of texture and chocolate flavor.

 Loved the hint of mocha!

Monday, January 4, 2010

back in the saddle

The ribbons have been salvaged and the wrappings tossed, the pine tree

needles have been swept away (although I will keep finding them in strange

places until springtime).  Ornaments are tucked in boxes (including the two

tins of them I found that got missed when I was trimming the tree) and it is

all shoved deep in the attic, where it will rest until I drag it out again next


Early January is so cleansing, I want to go through every cupboard, box, and

shelf to pare down.  But then my comfy couch, and a soft blanket, and a

good book call to me, and all good intentions fly away on the frozen breeze.

Today we jump back in the saddle. Charlie reluctantly heads off to school,

with the sounds of his Xbox, and his beloved Travis Pastrana movies

dancing through his head.  I head in to the piles in my office, and the glow

of the tax package as it sits there on the shelf, waiting for me to dive in.

Mike will head out to the gym, ready to get fit for another year of dirt bike


And the world turns, and the snow crunches, and the afterglow of the

holidays lingers in the candles that still light the night.

Friday, January 1, 2010

a shiny bright new year

Welcome to a fresh year, a new decade.  I read in the paper today that

people were having a hard time defining the last decade, and in a contest

only came up with depressing names.

Yes, we can choose to reflect back on the last 10 years as full of pain and

misery, or we can choose to remember the bright spots, and learn from

what has occured.

I am a glass-is-half-full kind of gal (most of the time).  Often we cannot

control our situation, what we can control is how we choose to handle

what happens to us.  And some days it is easier to think that way than

others, but I hereby resolve to face this year with calmness in the face

of stress, and to try to radiate light on a dark day.

I have picked my quote of the year, perhaps I should embroider it on

a pillow or calligraphy it and frame it to hang in my office:

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not

sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." 

(Anne Bradstreet)

For the new year, I wish you the best life has to offer, and a full

glass of cheer!


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