Thursday, September 30, 2010

why do they call it butter?

i've heard it's praises. i remember it being on the counter here and there as a child. i have two apple trees, so i thought i'd make some. honestly don't remember what the stuff tastes like, if it's even good or not.

i found a recipe in one of my books and set to work.

first by picking apples and washing them.

boiling them,

grinding the apples to a pulp,

adding sugar and spices,

no butter, no dairy of any kind?

cooking and canning

well, now i can say i've made it. as for the taste? it tastes like fall. makes me want to wear hoodies, sip hot chocolate, go for a walk to crunch on leaves and sit by the fire while being thankful.

and i'm sure there'll be more apple posts to come since i barely made a dent in the tree. and i just love my 50mm lens :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

afterschool pears and bits of happiness

when they come home from school. they bring hungry tummies. they grab a snack and find a quiet corner to talk about recess wars and plan new lego towns to build.

i get a little nostalgic thinking about those days when i walked in the front door and was greeted by the warm safe feelings of home, by everything that's familiar, by the place to be myself.

as mom, i think about homework, piano, reading, chores and the other things that need to be done.

but today, i remembered. and now i cant bring myself to pop their shiny sunny bubble.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

a day in the life of Coop

"I had SUCH a bad today today!"

"It was the worst day EVER!"

"So kids lied to the teacher about something and I got in trouble."

"No one would listen to the truth!"

"I just want to lay in my bed all day."

"Mom, do you EVEN understand how bad my day was?"

After some tears and some time on mom's bed with a warm kitty and some chili cheese Fritos, his spirits were lifted slightly.... How to help him? Pullin' him out of this funk was proving to be a challenge.

We were walking down the hall and Cooper saw something outside. He says, "Mom! there is a note on your car.... It has an owl on it!"

So he runs out and retrieves said note and brings it to me.

(How CUTE is this??) I hand the note back to Cooper, "It's for you."

He reads it and gets this HUGE smile on his tear-streaked face. He starts to giggle and cant get it open fast enough.

Thank You for making Cooper's Day.

Incident at school is long forgotten and he cant WAIT for dad to get home so he can show him his letter from Hogwarts.

Sometimes things just happen at the right time.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Mom, that looks sooooo good.


for adults.

I would like it if you made it taste like popcorn.

::after eating it::

Mom, for all those days, I thought I didn't like avocados and I guess I did.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

we heart nor cal

family walk to the beach.

how wonderful is it?

that we can step out our front door and walk to the ocean?

just to watch the sunset

on a lazy saturday..... boys on an "adventure"

while mom and dad trail behind

lovin' on our new home

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Who are the REALLY?

Have you ever likened your kids to cartoon characters? Well, yes I was thinking about this today and the personalities just seem to fit so easily, I had to share....

Who is Cooper REALLY?

Cooper is Littlefoot. He is kind, a good friend and always wants to make the right decision. He's kind of like a "goody goody."

Who is Sean REALLY?

Sean is Curious George. Trouble seems to follow in his wake. I know if there is a random disaster, it's because of Sean 90% of the time. And yet, he sweet and cuddly and oblivious to the trouble his curiosity causes.

Who is Mason, REALLY?

Mason is Hammy. His has HIGH energy, LOVES to eat (especially chips) and is just plain goofy.

Who are your kids REALLY?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Holy Frijoles I SUCK!

Today's agenda: Relax. Nothing on the schedule. Supposedly mellow. Much-needed respite.

Today's epiphany: My dreams were dashed by the imminent knowledge that home canning and cooking must be amped up. Brought on by several outings to different grocers.

Today's NEW agenda: Canning.

On the menu: "Re-fried" beans.

As I sit here at the computer, I listen to the steady hissing of the pressure canner. The fog is rolling in and there is a frigid bite to the air. It seems to only affect my toes today and the top of me spent half the day sweating in the kitchen.

The cold nature of the coast keeps tricking my body into smorgasbord. All I want to do is eat. And bake. And eat. And cook. And eat.

In a place that is forever cold and cloudy, how do I trick my body into NOT thinking it needs an extra 10 pounds, or 20, or 30?


OKAY... so AS I'm writing this the phone rings (Caller ID tells me that it's the kids' school). My first thought is oh no! what happened? did one of them barf? or get in a fight?

SCHOOL: Hi, I know you probably forgot
MY BRAIN: Forgot what? I didn't forget anything!
EMILY: Uh oh! What did I forget?
SCHOOL: Today is early out day.
MY BRAIN: Shoot! I suck as a mom! How could I forget? I knew that!
EMILY: I'll be right there.
SCHOOL: Oh it's no problem, they're here in the office.
MY BRAIN: YEAH! No problem for you, you aren't the loser parent who forgot "early out day" and subsequently her children because she was so wrapped up in canning and blogging.

Once again, my attempt at balancing motherhood and homemaking duties has failed. The older I get, the more I realize, I'm more prone to failure than I thought.

time to bake some cookies as a peace offering to my traumatized little ones, whose mother FORGOT them!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pictoral Life Cycle of a Loaf

In reference to my last post, I dove into my first California bread making. New kitchen... new humidity, new elevation, new oven and surroundings... I was a bit apprehensive, but.....

I'm lovin' me some baking time today!

Cant you just smell the freshly ground wheat?

Pre and Post 1st rise....

Pre and Post 2nd rise....

The warmth of the kitchen that carries the smell throughout our home.

seriously, is there anything better than the smell of bread baking?
a hot slice with butter and homemade jam?


Waiting for the oil change on the car, I ventured across the parking lot to Lucky, a local grocery store. I thought, well I do need bread, milk and eggs. I've known from the first week I arrived here that groceries are just more expensive in California, but nothing could have prepared me for $4.69. Really? Really!

$4.69 for a loaf of whole wheat bread. I guess I'm back into the mode of baking my own bread. The habit was conveniently dropped during "move time" and hasn't quite found it's way back into my weekly routine.

My kids would love me if I had gone next store to All A Dollar and picked up and loaf of mushy white goo and sent it with them to school this morning stuffed with peanut butter and honey, but instead they got some rice balls with a strip of seaweed and sesame seeds (still hadn't made bread).

So on the agenda for today....

Breakin' out the wheat grinder and makin' me some bread and hoping that the climate and elevation difference doesn't mess with me.

Let's see how it goes......

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Be Grateful

Today as I yawn my way through the wee hours of morning I'm comfortable in my new life. The boys are brimming with excitement over their new school, teachers and friends. Mason and I stretch out at home, either sitting by the fire while the fog rolls over the foothills or immersing in letters and numbers whilst the sun shines through the front window. We are content. No matter where my daily errands take me, I see the coast stretching for miles in either direction. I smell the sea air, fresh and clean although sometimes tainted with that seaweedy rotten smell.

Lately my thoughts have turned towards gratitude. I've thought of the small little things that are sprinkled throughout my daily life that I forget to be thankful for. Whether it's the fact that I can splurge with a book having eyes to read and a brain that can comprehend, cuddle with Mason's cold feet in the morning, or open the kitchen cabinets to find plenty of food to feed the family. Does, "I'm thankful for all that I have" cover it? It seems like this simple phrase just doesn't make the cut. I am beginning to understand the concept of the heaven's pouring out blessings upon me that there will be not enough room to receive it.

"Be Grateful" President Hinckley said so simply.

and I'm trying.