Archive for December, 2008

All You Have Done…

It’s the darkest day of the year — the Winter Solstice. It’s cold. And snowy.

I’ve had a pretty crappy year in a lot of ways – I will certainly not be sorry to see 2008 go. My husband calls it The Year of the Bitch. Actually, he doesn’t but he wouldn’t really deny it if I asked him (though he is sleeping at the moment so I can’t.) I’ll not go on about it. You all know most of what happened, anyway. Besides, I can’t stand pessimism and mindless, endless complaining. I complain plenty but it serves a purpose — it moves me forward. Usually reasonably quickly though sometimes it takes longer. People who can’t get out of the Bitter Barn are toxic. Bitter people sap their own energy and that of everyone around them.  With that…

I am Queen of Silver Linings. Lemonade from lemons and all of that. The eternal optimist in me sees the many good things that have happened this year. The Fall (not coincidentally, when life finally settled down) was *glorious.* There is no better place than New England for holiday spirit. We have happy, healthy kids; good friends; good health;  close families; good jobs that pay well; a lovely house.

It’s the darkest day of the year — the Winter Solstice. It’s cold. And snowy. And absolutely gorgeous outside. Here’s one way I’m continuing to move on… a stolen meme that celebrates achievements and things accomplished.

99 Things (cross off the ones you have done)

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band (I sang – I’m saying that counts))
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill 
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (does pig latin count?)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing (tried to — foiled by a hurricane.)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
(do crabs count?)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee


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Jake O-K!

My kids have a saying for foods that are safe for their dairy-and egg-allergic cousin to eat… Jake OK!

As much of Christmas dinner as possible will be Jake-OK but I was struggling with the baked squash and pesto gratin. As it is Winter Wonderland-ing outside to the tune of 8-20″ (YAY for SNOW, SKIING, SNOWSHOEING, and SLEDDING!) I’m here doing a lot of cooking prep for the holiday this week. For those not blessed with either being born Italian or a Foodie, Pesto is a basil-garlic-nut-cheese paste that is often used as a sauce for pasta. Anyway – after combing the net and my own recipes for ideas I created this one and is is YUMMY *and* Jake O-K, and I wanted to write it down before I forgot it. Since Christmas is the season of giving, I’m giving it to you, too. I intended it to be all parsley but I mistakenly grabbed cilantro instead of parsley at the store this morning and just went with it.

Parsley-Cilantro Pesto

1/2 bunch of flat leaf Italian parsley leaves, washed and picked over

1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, washed and picked over

3 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered

1/2-3/4 cup shelled walnuts

kosher salt

1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 slice of good-quality bread (1/2 a slice it they are large slices), crust removed and bread crumbled

good quality extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process for a few seconds. With processor running, pour in the oil in a slow, steady stream until a smooth paste forms. You’ll need to scrape the sides down a few times. I’d guess I used about 2-3 tablestoons of oil but I go by look/taste/feel more than precise measurements.

p.s.: You’re on your own, kid, with your daddy’s scalloped potatoes…there’s only so much I can do.

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And because I can’t get it to embed here, you have to do it hte old fashioned way and click the link. Go ahead – it’s worth it.

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Another “dictation” that came home from school the other day…


I don’t like the green coat. I don’t like it because it’s really, really puffy. I  just can’t get around with it at school. It’s really difficult to do. I really, really, really don’t like my coat.


p.s.: I can only move my hands a little in my gloves.

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