Sunday, March 29, 2009

garden update

Garden update: we had to move a few things around, and pull out all of the lettuce and swiss chard. Apparently we put it in about a month was so bitter it was really inedible. If we had a compost pile, we would've thrown it all in there, but our homes are just too close to one another to be both good neighbors and have a healthy compost pile. Some of the tomatoes weren't thriving, so I moved the sad ones into the swimming pool. I think they'll be able to get more nutrients there.

The beans are thriving. We have about 20 plants coming up.

I also trimmed all of the deer grass. Now it looks like hedgehog grass. No, we haven't converted to buddhism. The rock pile is a cairn...our homage to hiking. The girls call it the "Mousie Church".


While in church this morning, Ilsa was picked up the hymnal from the slot in the pew in front of us and told me, "Mommy, this is a beautiful music bible."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

it's starting to feel like I'm on an episode of "house"

Moms, do you ever thing you have "Munchhausen by Proxy"? You know, that weird disease where a parent gets some pschological satisfaction from seeing their children being treated at the doctor, so they either invent disease or heaven forbid, get their kids sick so that they'll be given special attention. I know I don't have it, I'm just venting....trying to lighten the mood around here.

Ingy is just not getting better, and I had to "grow a backbone" with the Tricare appointment line to get seen ON BASE and not get shuttled off to the off-base-no-continuity-of-care urgent care clinic again. So off to the Clinic AGAIN this morning. Does "scream therapy" help? (a report on NPR's Morning Edition this morning says, "no" by the way).

Oh by the way, I'm not the only Christian who likes to settle back for an episode of snarky "House" once in a while. Read this opinion piece over at World on the Web. I guess you could say the writers are Calvinistic in their outlook...House sure does have one thing right, he just hasn't recognized the remedy:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick;
who can understand it? - Jeremiah 17:9

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Have about 30 tomatoes on the vine, and 16 bean plants poking through. The herbs are beautiful.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

what would jane say???

Marvel Comics has come out with an illustrated serialized version of Pride & Prejudice. Yep. You HAVE to check this one out, Jane fans. I'm not sure what to think of it. First thought was, "Oh. That's interesting." Second thought was, "Could you dumb us down any further?" Third thought was, "How in the world are they going to get all of that dialogue into those little boxes?"
Or..... you could just go down to the library, onto Amazon or the nearest bookstore and get a REAL copy and savor the language phrase by phrase without the distraction. I promise, you'll be excessively diverted!

Monday, March 23, 2009

10 things for which I am thankful

What a two weeks this has been. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say, I'm glad we are out of the forest and into the it seems.
So here's my list. I am thankful for...
  1. people who want my stuff on eBay
  2. Tricia who brought over dinner tonight
  3. 30 tomato sets as of March 23
  4. cooler weather
  5. Tricare; we have had 5 urgent care visits and 2 doctor's office visits, and 1 x-ray in the past 14 days
  6. Ingrid, who even giggles when she feels awful
  7. Ilsa, who can sense when I need a hug and a kiss
  8. Chad, who didn't wake me up yesterday morning
  9. my being able to go back to Bible study tomorrow morning
  10. Peeps, Cadbury Mini Eggs and Reese's peanut butter eggs (they DO taste better than Cups, you know)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

a roll o' fun

Cheap entertainment rules! This was a good 1 hour bit of fun. Are these the Two Towers, and if so, which girl is Sam and which girl is Frodo? The paper towels were reconfigured into a castle, a boat and a dragon's cave.

erin go braugh

Despite her Scandinavian/German name, Ilsa has some o' the Irish blood in her wee veins. My Mom's Dad, Victor E., was 100% Irish, had black hair and piercing onyx eyes. I believe that Ilsa's hair color is from him. Notice even on St. Patrick's Day, she has to have a bit of purple on.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

age trumps youth...the bible says so!

If you have a moment, click on over and read this article by the always interesting and challenging Tim Challies about the value of age.

more garden pix

Chad counted 25 little green tomato sets tonight. Mmmmmm, I can just taste the caprese salad on bruschetta...

missionary aviation festival

On Saturday Chad took the girls to a local missionary aviation festival. Different ministries shared their work, and even offered test rides, so Chad and the girls went up for about 15 minutes. (This cute picture is only a couple of hours before Ingrid developed pink happened SO quickly.)

I remember being so impressed by missionary aviators when I was a child. I hope this event made an impression on them, as well.
Is it my imagination, or have churches dropped the emphasis on world missions? Seems like they are more interested in making sure the praise band members coordinate with each other...

scary mary

I'm copy-catting my friend Mr. Wince over at potcallingkettle. This made me laugh...but it could be the antibiotics, too.

Monday, March 16, 2009

at least something is healthy at our house

I guess this is the benefit of living in Almost Mexico, AZ: it is March 16, and we have several tomato sets, lots of tomato blossoms, lettuce, and sweet pepper starts. The potatoes, carrots, corn, onions, swiss chard, stringless green beans, basil, mint, oregano, cilantro and italian parsley are coming along nicely, as well.

Monday, March 9, 2009

sickiepoo central

I have felt really off-and-on lousy for a couple of weeks now. One day I would be fine, the next I couldn't get enough sleep, would feel okay the next day, and then back to yucko. In fact, we cancelled dinner plans with some friends last week because I thought I was coming down with the flu...then, of course, I felt fine the next day, and felt sheepish for cancelling. I was beginning to think I was a hypochondriac.

Well, yesterday morning right as we were about to walk out of the door to church, Ilsa in her unforunately normal-of-late whiney voice came up to me again with the lament, "I don't feel better," an Ilsaism for "I don't feel good." I took her temp, and it was up a bit. Then she said that her back hurt, and she pointed to the same spot over and over again over the course of a few minutes. I knew at this point that this wasn't some flukey thing. So Chad and Ingy went on to church, and I took Ilsa to the urgent care clinic. Long story short, she has strep. Then the Doc turned to me and asked me how I was feeling; I told her, "lousy" and she tested me; I tested positive, too. Ingrid was tested today, and she is negative (I think she inherited Chad's germ-deflection force field).

I learned a few things yesterday: strep can cause a back ache, you don't always have a fever, and you don't always have a sore throat. I also learned that Ilsa is exceedingly whiney when she doesn't feel good. Can you say, "Mommy guilt" for thinking she was just being crabby?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

awesome 100% whole wheat bread -- finally!

I found this Peter Reinhart 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf recipe that ROCKS. The recipe states it makes two loaves, and I believe it now, after the fact. But I did one humongo loaf in a large 10" breadpan. I think two 8" pans would have been fine, but the two dough blobs looked so sad and teeny when I divided the dough...but then I couldn't believe how large the shaped single loaf rose. It actually rose like white bread! It was HUGE.
It was a really different technique: about a cup of flour and some water on counter overnight in a container (the "soaker"); about 1 1/2 cups of flour with some water and a 1/4 tsp of yeast on counter for 2 hours, then overnight in fridge (the "poolish"). Combine these two with some more flour, a little bit more yeast, salt, honey and an egg; then hand-knead about 10 minutes. Satin. Smooth as a you know what. Gorgeous! Requires some planning, but was sooooo worth it. The toast was great, and made wonderful sandwiches as well. The crust was crunchy but not too thick.

So all of you bread bakers, which Reinhart book would you get? "Crust & Crumb" or "Bread Baker's Apprentice"? Both have great almost 5 star reviews on Amazon with zillions of people reviewing. I would like a bread baking book that has both artisanal and loaf/sandwich style breads represented. I love going up on the web, but honestly there is just something about opening up a book...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

10 things for which i am thankful

In no particular order...
  1. The 10 pound bag full of home-grown lemons from someone in Chad's office, and my food processor with juicer attachment
  2. The new magnetic alphabet letters
  3. My Baking Illustrated cookbook and the best chocolate chip cookie recipe good that Chad calls them Satan's Cookies
  4. Circular knitting needles and nice cotton yarn
  5. Benadryl, Cortizone-10 and Aquaphor...and discovering I'm probably allergic to wool (hence the cotton yarn)
  6. Almost Mexico, AZ weather in February -- warm, breezy, dry and outdoors-worthy
  7. The big oilcloth dropcloth underneath the stools at the counter where the girls eat most of their meals
  8. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, self-cleaning ovens and Method grapefruit-scented dishwashing liquid
  9. Ilsa's sweet kisses that are so soft on my cheeks, and Ingrid's sweet greeting every morning
  10. That Chad pushes me to expand my mind and read books that I wouldn't pick on my own
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