Monday, March 25, 2013

Time to kill...

I can't even use that phrase without thinking of some quote I once read... "you can't kill time without injuring eternity." I thought it was a profound statement at the time that called us all to action and chastised the boredom away. Meh... I'm older now. I prefer to just call killing time "wait training". Before you go thinking I'm so witty, I'll confess that I saw that term in a devotional a few weeks back. THAT seems profound. Sometimes the most rigorous of our seasons of life are when we are waiting for what's next. How do we train ourselves to wait with eager anticipation, but not dissatisfaction with the present? If I knew, I'd tell you.
I started this post just to say that I am at the gym, finished with my workout (thanks to the Run Keeper app), waiting for Julian to pick me up. So I could be weight training for real, but I'm wait training.... so tangled, my brain.
So yeah, I'm hoping to get back to running. It seems that I do this once a year and about week 5, I am overcome by the world, catch a nasty bug, and quit. Here's hoping...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bunny dress... process. Come on big snow.

Update: just a dusting but friends and family in Va. will celebrate another snow day cancellation tomorrow.

Miss Maggie Rabbit is as easy and delightful as I had hoped.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


After a reasonably good night's rest, a productive day at work and a tail-kicking core fusion class, I'm hunkered down with homemade ice cream topped with homemade chocolate syrup. I'm not really a fan of chocolate syrup and basically banned it from the house when I realized how artificial its ingredients are.
A few weeks ago, I found this on Pinterest. Julian and I both think that it is a really good homemade substitute for Hershey's. The best thing is that it stirs into milk pretty easily.
Last weekend, I decided we were past due for owning an ice cream maker and we happened to have a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon for 20% off. So now we own one of these.  I can sense that this is the beginning of a long and happy appliance relationship. The homemade ice cream recipe is from my mother-in-law and is as follows:
1 c. Milk
1 c. Sugar
1 c. Half & half
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 c. Whipping cream
Dash of salt
Scald milk (aka heat it til its steamy), pour in sugar, stir until it's dissolved. Pour in remaining ingredients, mixing well. Chill over night in air tight container. Freeze according to your appliance directions.
Note: this chocolate syrup is not to be confused with Julian's chocolate SAUCE that is reserved for special occasions with pound cake or banana splits. I s'pose I'll have to talk about that too...someday.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hawks Lacrosse

Yesterday was the first Hawks lacrosse game for which Julian was assistant coach. It was a nerve wracking time; an early and confident lead by our team, second half comeback by Mercersburg Academy, two tied scores late in the game, and finally a 10-9 victory for the Hawks.
'Twas a wee bit chilly with wild winds but we were all very glad that the rain had come and gone earlier in the day. You can tell from the picture how gloomy it was, but the Mon River is pretty as ever. I'll close with a picture from when I picked him up today, under a much brighter sky.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pam's Apple Cake

I now plan to do something I despise: review a recipe that I have changed beyond all recognition.

As I said yesterday, I made an apple cake. I used a recipe from a newish cookbook which I'm really enjoying - Cakes:River Cottage Handbook #8  by Pam Corbin. The book ought to be purchased because it is certainly worth owning. But I'll let you in on a little secret: you can see many of the recipes here, thanks to Google Books. This apple cake was on page 138, just in case you really wanted to know. ;)

I did as the recipe said except:
  • instead of part whole meal and part plain, I used all plain flour,
  • instead of a coarse dice of the apples, I used grated (juice squeezed out) because its what I had stored in the freezer from last fall,
  • I left out the cloves and added cardamom and allspice,
  • and I did not put sliced apples on top but I did reduce the squeezed-out apple juice to a syrup and drizzled that over the top when it came out of the oven. 
All that said, it was good. I was a bit surprised in the moment, but in hindsight not at all, that the cake was not very sweet. It is a PERFECT cake to pass as breakfast, or snack, or something to wash down with your coffee. A friend said that it was a cake that made you want a glass of milk without being a cake that needed a glass of milk. I think I'd like it better with part wholemeal, to make it even more breakfast-y. Don't put in the cardamom, I really think it should be left to pears, not apples. Do put in the cloves.

I suppose in summary, this is a note to my future self saying, "Make the cake, just do as the recipe says."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Peas, please!

I'm happy to be blogging from my phone. :) I will attempt to not publish any egregious auto correct errors. I can't promise anything, though.
Today we planted peas. I've never tried peas before and I can't recall my parents growing them when I was young. Can you believe its that time already?
We've put in three kinds: green arrow (heirloom shell type), burpeeana (conventional shell type), and sugar snap (eat the pod type). Sixty days from now we should be in pea heaven. If I were more patient I would have started only a few seeds of each kind this week and done the same two weeks from now. But no, slow and methodical? I'm not feeling it.
Now I'm off to make an apple cake from last fall's frozen apples.  Interesting dichotomy of the days...

Linking up with the Homestead Barn Hop

Friday, March 15, 2013

Short Days, Long Days

Knock-Out Rose at sunset

Until yesterday, it literally had been MONTHS since I had even looked at the blog. I found this picture sitting in my draft folder. It was taken back in the fall when the days were short and the shadows were long. Isn't it sweet?

My rose bush looks pretty dead at the moment but I'm happy to report dafffodil buds which will be opening any day now. This past winter was the first time I realized that the longest days and darkest nights really do come and go so quickly, before Christmas. So when we all have the winter humdrums, we really are getting longer days and more sunshine each day despite the fact that it still seems so gray.

Anyhow, here's to a new spring and soon-to-be-green-again rose bush.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

OK is OK, but I'm glad to be home

Good morning! Here is a [shame-on-me-for-taking-a-picture-in-a-museum] Renoir snap for you. It is at home in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma and is part of the Weitzenhoffer Collection.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
France, 1841-1919
Oil on canvas
10 1/2 x 9 3/4 in.
The Aaron M. and Clara Weitzenhoffer Collection, 2000

I've just returned from OK City. The art there was wonderful and the BIG 12 Development conference I attended was even better. We got a tour of the OU campus - a lovely, lovely place. Got a kid who is fascinated with the weather? Send them there to school.

Oklahoma was as flat as I expected but much more living-in-a-movie-set than I had planned. The old downtown looked like it was a scene from the Untouchables and the rest felt like a scene from some imaginary Kevin Costner movie in which he was a struggling pig farmer whose wife left him to move back east. All in all an OK place but I still like it here in the east.

We're so busy we don't know what to do! Julian is coaching lacrosse which has turned into the time commitment of a part time job. I'm happy for him to do it to meet new people and have something to think about besides work.

Since January, I've been serving as "interim director" of sorts since January and next week we are bringing in a strong candidate. Let's hope I like her, because we have an office of very strong personalities already and adding another woman to the mix could be perfect or a disaster, so I'm a bit nervous.

That, in a nutshell, is a life update from where I'm standing. I'm trying to figure out how to blog from my phone because that seems to be the easiest for me since I am on the go so much. Also, I'm giving up on trying to have any kind of theme or cohesive thought to my blog posts because that's not really a true reflection of my life. The blog is supposed to be a journal so I'm going to let it be that and only that for a bit.

Last but not least, I am always inspired by Posie Gets Cozy and I have only recently discovered Ginny Sheller's Simple Things blog, both of which make me long for a day when I'm measuring life in daylight not dollars, and help me find joy in the grind.