Thursday, October 25, 2012

As Of Late, I Am::

 Awakening: to white and silence, filling the air, covering the ground

 Spending: a lot of time drying off a bedraggled li'l ole Cricket bug
 Enjoying: the changes to my everyday scenes
Covering: up with hand-me-down quilts and
Sipping: nothing but steaming, hot mugs of tea & coffee
Painting: over green walls to a nondescript eggshell (or maybe it's vanilla? or bone?)
Wondering: at the metamorphosis throughout the day.  Snow in the morning, clear, blue skies of autumn by noon...
Snapping: often from my iPhone through the windshield of the car - because, well ... that sky?!?!  
 Looking:  up.  Because . . . that sky?!?!?!  :)
What is it like in your world, as of late?

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I grew up with only a mama.  I don't know how she managed me on her own.  I was a handful +.  I've been thinking about her a lot lately and trying to remember her quirks and endearments.  Mostly I remember her love, and the way she laughed, but this morning I was smiling over her repeated admonitions - you know, the ones that are drilled in to you?! Both my mama and my grama were famous for their 'life lesson' quips:

  • "Close the door child!  I know I didn't birth you in a barn!" 
  • "Don't speak to me as if I'm your dog, or treat me like pond scum! I am not your peon."
  • "Stand up straight!  Just because you weren't born into money doesn't mean you can walk around with poor posture and remove all doubt."
  • "Think before you speak, child!  Saying 'Uh' or 'Um' just makes you sound like a troglodyte." (or ignoramus or hooligan)
  • "Behave!" (said in a very strong, hoarse whisper)
  • "Mind!" (said in a curt tone just loud enough for the immediate vicinity to hear - a tone that said, 'go ahead, make my day'... she was really good at this one.)
  • "Slang is a lazy man's vocabulary, and I did not raise you to be lazy ... nor to be a man!"
  • "Please don't embarrass me by dying in hole-y socks and dirty undies."
  • "First impressions will get you in the door, but character will close the door behind you and leave a lasting impression."
  • "Never let them see you sweat.  No, seriously.  Ladies should never be seen sweaty."
  • "Kill them with kindness."
  • "Be more than what anyone believes of you."
  • "At least one bite of everything." (and then after eating one bite...) "Clean your plate.  Never take more than you can eat - there are starving children who would be happy to eat your leftovers."  
  • "I'm like a potato with eyes going in every direction.  You'll never get away with anything." (followed with under her breath laughter)
  • "Faith and love are the only way to go through this life."
  • "So you crash.  So you get burned.  You're still alive aren't you?  Must mean the good Lord wants you to go on trying."
  • "Fudgecicles!! Do I have Nincompoop written on my forehead, Missy?" (said when she didn't believe a word you were saying)
  • "Fiddle sticks!" (said when something wasn't going right) 
I couldn't stand these repeated governances (I'm still not a fan of verbal repetition). And, like most children, I vowed never to do it to my own children "when I grow up"!  There is something about growing up, though, that makes you appreciate and understand the genius of mom-ism simplicity.
Of course, remembering all this made me evaluate my years of being a mom.  I sat for a long while wracking my brain trying to come up with just one 'mom-ism' that issued from my lips.  I  could only think of the 21 rules of our house:
The 21 Rules Of This House
by Gregg Harris

1. We obey God.
2. We love, honor and pray for one another.
3. We tell the truth.
4. We consider one another's interests ahead of our own.
5. We speak quietly and respectfully with one another.
6. We do not hurt one another with unkind words or deeds.
7. When someone needs correction, we correct him in love.
8. When someone is sorry, we forgive him.
9. When someone is sad, we comfort him.
10. When someone is happy, we rejoice with him.
11. When we have something nice to share, we share it.
12. When we have work to do, we do it without complaining.
13. We take good care of everything that God has given us.
14. We do not create unnecessary work for others.
15. When we open something, we close it.
16. When we take something out, we put it away.
17. When we turn something on, we turn it off.
18. When we make a mess, we clean it up.
19. When we do not know what to do, we ask.
20. When we go out, we act just as if we were in this house.
21. When we disobey or forget any of the 21 Rules of This House, we accept
the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

#'s 15-21 we did as a responsive reading (so-to-speak).  These (esp. #14, & #21) were repeated often.  A laminated, large print of them resided on our refrigerator until about 4 years ago.
I called the kids this morning to ask if I had ever done verbal drilling.  They could only come up with dad-isms!  (J has quite a few of his own, & some that he plagiarized from movies to make his point.)  I'll share some of those another time - - - - - maybe.
T said I was a 'one hit wonder' when it came to drilling home my point.  Just one thing was repeated consistently.  Not the same words each time.  Just the same meaning.  What was it, you ask?  Well, basically, it boils down to, "Would you like to have some discipline over yourself right now or would you like me to impose discipline upon you?"  :D  "Do you need an attitude adjustment?"   "I have a dowel with your name on it if you need some help with obedience."  or even more simply, "That's one."  M concurred with him.

Looks like I succeeded in escaping at least one motherly trait.  C made sure I knew that I still imparted much,  it was just through action and example rather than words. (that's my sweet, concerned girl) :)  Still, I sort of wish that when my kids are parents they would have mama quips to shake their heads at and smile indulgently over.  Maybe I can come up with a couple as a grandma?!

What were some of your mom's "isms"?  Did you manage to escape using them?

Monday, October 15, 2012

B&W Night

I love the girls from my old office.  We've been trying to get together as families for ages and it never seemed to work out for all of us, until last Friday!  Carrie had all of us over for a B&W BBQ.  We each brought black and white contributions to the meal, & let me tell ya, trying to come up with healthy things that are black and white is difficult!  Carrie did chicken & black olives.  Ash made a delicious wild rice salad, and black figs stuffed with goat cheese!  Kris brought black bean brownies (which everyone decided tasted like gingerbread) and apples and black berries on a skewer for me.  I made forbidden rice sushi (fishless) and my quinoa and black bean salad that gets great reviews every time I bring it somewhere.
I forgot to get pictures of it all.  The excitement of being together, coupled with very little sleep the night before and a glass of wine is to blame, I'm sure. Here's the sushi though.

Layers: Seaweed, rice, sprouts, mushroom, daikon, scallion, cucumber, dry skillet tofu...

There were only 4 pieces left to bring home.
And the salad did get great reviews again.  When guys, who swear to never touch health food, eat my food and like it, I feel like I just won gold in the Olympics!  
Here's a link to the recipe for the salad.  My changes to it are simple.  No sugar or honey, and no corn nibblets (J doesn't care for corn IN things).

 I had J snap a quick pic of us ladies with his iPhone before we took off.  They are my girls (I'm the oldest by far)!   Hopefully it won't be a year before we can be together again.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cider Press

Every Autumn we make our way to Rocky Creek Farm to pick apples and pumpkins.  I decided not to do pumpkins this year, but I couldn't pass on the apples!  C invited her roommates to tag along with us and they wholeheartedly accepted.  The morning started off so warm that we didn't really need jackets, but by the end of our time there we sure were happy we had them.

October is a fickle month in Bozeman.  Winds, snow, sunshine, and and rain can happen all within an hour's span of time.  This October's early snowfall made the remaining apples fall as well so, there was nothing to pick.  :(  What we did do was press our own cider!

We chose from bins of Jonagolds, Jonathans, and Romes.  Steph made a comment about not wanting to choose ones with worms, C was trying to find 'pretty ones' - but here's the thing, when you aren't doing anything with them but pressing cider, none of that matters.  In fact the over ripe, bruised and worm-eaten are the only ones we pressed on the ranch growing up.  They make the best cider! Honest! This was no exception!

We tasted it right as it came out of the press, before we ever bottled it up - perfect balance of tart and sweet.  That wonderful hazed carmel color.  Foamy.  Sticky.  Heaven!  Larissa found a very cold, slow, docile yellow jacket to sip some nectar from her thumbnail.  She is too cute for words!

After we bottled we walked around the farm.  I fed the pigs some apple scrap mush.  They were ever so thankful and went back to rooting happily when it was gone.

The only goats this year were babies.  Sweet little fellas.  We could have stayed to watch their antics and scratch behind their ears a bit longer, but the wind was picking up.

It was time for a few memory shots and pay for our cider and head home.

We did stop @ our favorite coffee shop on the way though!  The warmth and scent that greeted us was aWe-soMe!
I've definitely got the autumn bug now.  The geese were flying south this morning as the sun rose.  The cattails have puffed.  The chill is almost constant and I can smell wood smoke from chimneys when I let cricket out in the mornings.  I think I'll freeze a half gallon of the cider for our Wassail tradition @ Thanksgiving. The anticipation will make it sweeter, I'm sure.
Have your autumn activities begun?