Monday, February 23, 2015

motherhood tourettes

posted by: jennifer

it is
   a crazy morning.

breakfast for three
lunches for two

no work space on the countertop
      cat         ed
       dirty dishes.

should have
would have
   .....but Downton

   wet laundry sits in the washer.

so now,
  random thoughts bubbling to the surface
of my brain
     c att     
                er        d

i yell out 
to no one in particular
or maybe just to me?
                   LITTER BOX!
                                    P.E. CLOTHES!
                EPSOM SALTS!

it is.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Art Journal

a scattering, smidgen of, sample, snippet,,,
some pages from my journal
XO, April


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Reducing guilt and fat one apple at a time

Apples make me think of

back to school
the height of a Smurf
keeping the doctor away
Johnny Appleseed
that twinge of guilt I used to feel whenever I threw away an old apple.

You know, the very ones that kept being passed by.  Who's going to choose the soft, mealy, bruised fruit when sitting right next to it is a crisp, juicy, and firm beauty?  Not me.  (Oh dear, I suddenly see an analogy here between youth and old age!)

So those less than desirable apples in my larder used to roll around in the bin until they were so wrinkly, I could finally send them to the mulch pile.  I looked the other way when I tossed them to minimize the remorse.  Food waste denial.

I have a dear friend who told me years ago that she made applesauce from her "old" apples.  This sounded both very frugal and a lot of work.  Despite her insistence that "it is so easy",  I continued tossing apples and buying jarred applesauce.  I double-downed on my regret whenever I threw out leftover applesauce gone fuzzy.

A few years ago for some unknown reason (too much time on my hands?),  I decided to make applesauce from some poor old apples.   It WAS easy and I continue to do it. 

 I have an apple peeler/corer, which makes a snap out of the prep work. 

The peeled and cored apple slices go into a pot all by themselves. No water, sugar, or seasonings. 

I turn low heat under the pot and the apples cook while I do something else.
I stir the pot occasionally and smash the softening apple pieces with my wooden stirring spoon to create a puree.  The puree is sometimes chunky and sometimes pulverized, depending on my mood.
When all the apples are soft and mashed, I turn off the heat and let the sauce cool.

Then I measure the sauce into 1 cup packages and put them into the freezer.

6 apples made 1 1/4 cup applesauce.

The frozen applesauce thaws quickly.

That's the reducing guilt part of the story.  Now here's the reducing fat part, which further reduces guilt.  Really this is a win-win effort.

You can reduce the amount of fat in baked goodies by substituting applesauce for some of the fat.  
My favorite recipe for doing this is for Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins.

Here's the recipe:
1/2 cup butter is what is called for, but I only use 1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tea. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup applesauce is what is called for, but I increase it to 1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter, gradually add brown sugar and cream until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat well.  Mix well next 5 ingredients and add alternately with applesauce to creamed mixture, stirring well.  Add next 3 ingredients and mix well.  Spoon into 12 baking cups which are lining muffin tin cups.  Bake in preheated 350○ oven for 25-30 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This works deliciously. I have used this method successfully for Gingerbread, 

Zucchini Bread, Pumpkin Bars, Chocolate Cake, well, you get the idea.

I guess this is proof that I am getting saucier as I get older.

t.t.f.n. ~ Carol

Sunday, January 25, 2015

a haiku for january

posted by jennifer

                                                               Ocean in the sky
                                                                    Churning swirling
                                                                    Clouds above...
                                                               Horizon lines blur

coming home from the river
near boulevard, ca




Tuesday, December 30, 2014

on dodging dingle berries

posted by:  jennifer

so it always good to find the positive in a negative situation right?  and let's face it, life has a good way of throwing shit  your way every now and then.  usually,  they are little dingle berries of shit... like fortunately in my case.  but i do think that if you have practice not letting those little dingle berries stick when they come flying your way, you might have a leg up when and if a dump truck full of shit lets it load out on top of you.  wow, mrs. daly would 
love that run on sentence.  

here are a couple of my negatives that i feel i am navigating in a positive way.

first, i mentioned recently about going bald.  so i have found out more about it.  alopecia areata is its name, reeking havoc is its game.  no really.  what i have learned about this condition is as follows:
   -it is an auto immune disease (white blood cells attacking hair follicles)
   -it does not make you physically sick.  just fucks with your head.  ( ha!  i didn't even mean 
     for that to be a pun)
   -it is unpredictable.  you could have a quarter size bald spot or two where the hair grows 
     back and then you never experience hair loss again.  or it could grow back only to fall out
     again in a year.  or 5 years.  or whenever.  you could have a massive bald patch (me raising
     my hand)  and then a quarter size bald spot on the opposite side of your head (me raising
     my hand).  the point is, this is one fickle disease.  you just never know.

what i do know is that i love to wear scarves.  i have worn them for years.  and if i have to start wearing them daily, or to wear larger ones to cover more or all of my head i will.  yes, i am going to keep taking my evening primrose oil, and eating more essential fatty acid rich foods.... but i am determined not to let this get me down.  and if i can face the day with a smile after my 12 year old tells me upon waking that my bald spot is "really showing this morning" i am doing okay.

secondly, our sweet cat blue was hit by a car last week.  such a sad discovery... and we all lamented that he didn't ever have his first christmas.  so sad.  we all cried, and still look for him sleeping on one of our beds, or on the deck waiting to be let in the house.  

but, we also know that when we head to the san diego humane society today, we will likely return home with another sweet ball of fur that will brighten up our days.

here's to looking for the bright spots.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

8 days before Christmas....

Oh by golly,
these 10 things are making me holly jolly...

1. Picking up $30 in the street.

2.  Finding the perfect gift for the Duke of Earl.
 I hadn't had a clue as to what to give him 24 hours before going to the estate sale, where I scored a gift that is going to knock his socks off.
(Do you ever go to estate sales?  If not, you should give it a try.  It's a treasure hunt with potential bargains, and a great way to recycle.  And for me, they are also a poignant reminder that my stuff's value is only in the significance I place on it.  Here's a link to the estate sale site I use to find sales near me.
 Remember in light of the world's diminishing resources, "any attempt to recycle instead of buying new is a foot on the brake instead of the accelerator". 

3.  An owl in our backyard.

4.  The monarch butterflies in our gardens. 
 Oh my gosh, the milkweed I planted and let have its way, is working passed my expectations.  We have monarchs in every stage of their life in the garden all the time now.  Plant some milkweed, you will not regret it.
Did you know that the average caterpillar has 248 muscles in its head?  Who counts these things?

5.  The Christmas tree in the lobby of the Grand California Hotel at Disneyland.

6.  The Santa Fe Cranberry Salsa at Rutabegorz Restaurant.  
It's their 44¢ appetizer for December.  It is served with tortilla chips.  If you live in SoCal, Ruta's is a great place to eat.

7.  My December tablescape,
 which I put together with no new purchases...other than the candles of course.  
I can't get a good shot of it, but here it is.

The mirror has a nice weathered look to it, because it is normally a garden mirror.  It was a hand-me-up from April several years ago and has lived outdoors ever since.  I'm liking it in the house on top of this cabinet so much, I think it will be an indoor mirror for awhile.

That's me reflected in the mirror, still in my robe.  I thought the morning light might help in catching the blend of all the tablescape's elements, but it didn't.

8.  Pope Francis.

9. Celebrating my Dad's 94th birthday. 
 ( However, I am not liking that the DMV continues extending his driver's license.)

10.  The rain we've been getting. 

For you readers who have young children, know that the Christmas' with your young children are going to be the happiest ever for you.  I hope you enjoy every magic moment.

t.t.f.n. ~ Carol 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

sticky fingers: stealing* from ANTHROPOLOGIE

*in the creative sense that it

posted by:  jennifer

while flipping through a recent Anthropologie catalog last month (making a dog ear corner every other page.... so many things from calling to me), i came upon a page where a table had been set for a feast.  and while looking at the picture, i knew that i had to make my own version of it come to life.  

the main thing on the page that jumped out at me was a bunch of grapes, hanging down from above.   suspended over the table.   i thought what a great idea.  have a hanging center piece.   table space is so precious.  

i decided to expand on the grape idea.  along with the grapes, i added eucalyptus boughs and
vintage rhinestone baubles.  

this is what i ended up with:

i loved the way it turned out.  in fact, after i took everything down, it just seemed something was missing.  so i returned the rhinestones above the table.   they are now hanging among the snowflakes.  

when i host book club next sunday, i plan on adding some greenery, maybe grapes again, or whatever strikes my fancy.     i highly recommend when decorating for a meal, if you don't want to use table space for your centerpiece, look up, and your probably won't look back.  

thank you anthropologie for letting me steal inspiration from you.  

as for my many favorite pieces of clothing from your store.... those were always acquired quite legally.  i am a good girl after all.