Tuesday, October 25, 2011

just my thoughts

We did some really fun things today and I did snap a few photos, but I must say I'm realizing I'm not really a camera in the hand girl.  I like taking photos, but with kids it seems like it just barely maxes me to always have a camera at the ready to record moments.  So I venture out, with just my poor memory and then wish oh wish I'd had my camera to record some really great moment.  Like for example yesterday when our 5 block walk to town turned into a 3 hour adventure, much of that spent with me plopped down on a sidewalk, hoping the condo owner wouldn't shoo us away, while the boys mashed up gutter leaves.  And my lack luster photography of late could possibly, maybe be that the quality of my photos just doesn't seem as great as it used to. Is it just that the newness has worn off?  Is it that everyone else now has nicer cameras?  Or could it be that pool of water that it soaked in in the back of the bike trailer on our Yellowstone trip,  oops.  PS if you buy this new model water bottle at REI be aware that the cap can be deceptively askew. 

So today we made leaf banners from the book Earthways that I'm really enjoying and think I will just work my way straight through it and feel really good about myself as a mother.  AND I managed to find my missing sewing machine pedal (well Brian did) and actually use my sewing machine today.  Eason and I busted out a table cloth while Eliot took an unusually long nap today.  I'll toss up some photos soon.  "Mommy, I love doing things like this with you."  Me too, and even though we had some really rough spots in the day, I've got some solid crafty proof that things were accomplished.

Tomorrow we set off to spend the day at a school in town that I've recently discovered called the Gorge Discovery School.  I'm very very excited about it.  In fact I think I'd like to enroll.  It's a two day a week experiential ed. school for home schoolers.  We've yet to decide what we'll do for Kindergarten next year, but this may be perfect for us.  I've always said, "if only the boys could just go to school for two days a week..." and low and behold there was a poster at the health food store advertising just that.  It's a fairly new school with only 19 kids and it sounds blissfully perfect.  It's a mix of place based environmental education with lots of Waldorf sprinkled about.  We shall see.

Oh and if you notice an unusual perkiness to this entry it might be because I GOT A NIGHT AWAY!  I spent the night at my parents house this weekend (another bonus to the move) and after 24 hours away I felt so refreshed.  Yes, I actually do love being a mother.  Yes, I just really desperately needed a break.  Yes, I do actually have energy it's just always tapped. Yes, I spent most of my time running around town collecting goods in order to do fun projects with the boys.  Yes, a mother needs some time away in order to be a good mother.  I'm not sure why this seems to be such a tough tough lesson for so many of the mommas I know out there.  There is so much guilt involved, but man I've been able to face the tough moments with a lot more clarity this week and I think it's no coincidence.  

Quote of the Day:

Tonight I made chicken mole and when I began to dish up the plates Eliot said, "Me have my chocolate on the side."  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

pumpkin, pumpkins, pumpkins

Pumpkin bowling

One of the toughest parts of our move is that I really felt like we were building some good traditions and had a great community established.  Sonora is rich in yearly festivals and events that we really enjoyed going to, and it seems most of our favorite events (like the jack-o-lantern lighting ceremony and the Sierra Waldorf Halloween Festival) were in the fall.  BUT, I always wished there was an actual pumpkin patch that we could get our pumpkins from.  We visited Rasmussens Farms this weekend and it was a hit.  We're finding that there are going to be many favorite annual trips in this area too. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nothing Wasted

For awhile I've been trying to avoid throwing any food away, even trying to avoid any going into the compost (before the move we had chickens to feed extra scraps to, it's a bit more challenging now).  We're big eaters, so there isn't usually much in the way of left overs, but we do end up with a lot of vegetable cuttings.  One way of using them has been to  throw them all into a pot and turn them into vegetable broth.  A favorite around here is to make potato skin chips.   A few Thanksgivings ago my chef brother in-law was horrified to see my mom throwing out the potato peels from the mashed potatoes.  He exclaimed that that was the best part, quickly swept them aside, tossed them with some olive oil, salt and pepper and threw them in an oven.  He served them crispy on top of the mashed potatoes.  We love to have them as a snack any time peeled potatoes are a part of a recipe.  Here is how we make them:

We take any potato peelings (yam peelings also work well) and toss them with olive oil until they are coated.  Then we toss them with some dried herbs (this time we used a mix of rosemary, thyme, basil and lavender), salt and pepper.  Spread them on a baking sheet so they have room (but they don't have to be perfectly spaced).  Bake them at 425 for about 15 min. (or until they look browned and crisp).  They'll crisp up a bit more on the pan as they cool.  It's important to let them brown enough or they end up tasting soggy, crispy is the key. 

That's ginger beer in the background, Reeds Ginger Beer.  I have had an unusual craving for this the last few months and my youngest has been right there along side me.  It's pretty gingery spicy, so I'm a bit surprised he loves it like he does.  He loves to take a big gulp, let out a big "ah" and exclaim "that was hot."  (Yes, I feel like I'm promoting product placement right now).  It's surprisingly not  bad for you at all.  I should take some time to look up what ginger cravings are all about.  Maybe we're deficient in something critical. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Today we spent the day watching salmon attempt to jump up the falls on the Klickitat River.  Wow.  Two things astonished me.  One, that any salmon can ever make it up these falls, continue on up the rapids and have enough energy to mate.  They were getting so knocked around by the falls and smashing into rocks I was surprised that didn't do them in (not to mention that on normal days these fishing platforms would be occupied by big guys with nets to add another challenge).  And two, that we were the ONLY people there the entire time. 

I continue to be amazed that we actually get to live in this area.  Every time we walk downtown to an event or drive a few miles to a spectacular scene I'm pinching myself.  It really makes getting over the job/house loss a lot easier. 

I think before the salmon spawn is over I'd like to go back on a day when they are fishing.  I already considered becoming a vegetarian today when I saw what the salmon had to face to carry on their species and I'm wondering if a club to the head would seal the deal.  Hmm... do I want to give up that tasty smoked salmon they throw in free at the fish stand?