Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ten on Tuesday...oops Wednesday

I missed Ten on Tuesday yesterday. I had planned on doing it last night but got caught up making baby food once I got the little ones to bed. Husband is in his load-in week, so I'm all alone with the kiddos. I made a batch of carrots, apples and pumpkin but the last one was a epic fail.

So, Ten Ways to Use Fresh Cranberries.
This is a topic after my own heart. I love cranberries. I'll go through about a bag a week. When they are in season I try to buy enough to last me the whole year.

1. Eat them right out of the bag...raw. They are so good and tart and I love the pop they make in your mouth. I'll grab a handful almost every time I open the fridge.
2. Make cranberry relish. It's one bag of cranberries, one orange (unpeeled) and one cup of sugar. Grind the cranberries and the orange and mix in the sugar. All done. I drain the juice and drink it separately.
3. Cranberry sauce. Throw them in a pot with some liquid (I like to use apple cider) and cook. I like adding this to my oatmeal in the morning.
4. Toss some into your salad. Throw some walnuts and Gorgonzola too and you've got a great salad.
5. Dry them. Though I used my dehydrator for this and they took quite a while.
6. Scones. So many great cranberry scone recipes out there.
7. Pie. One of my favorite recipes that I make most years is Cranberry Pie with Hazelnut Crust from Mary Engelbreit's Tis the Season cookbook. I think I could eat the whole thing in one sitting. It's wonderful with some tea or coffee and some knitting on a cold day.
8. Bread. Lots of great quick bread recipes. Pairs well with orange or pumpkin.
9.Jam/jelly/preserves. Considering my 3 year old's new obsession with jelly on everything, I'll be taking this one to heart.
10. Going old school with this one: string for garland. One for the string, two for me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I don't know how many of you heard, or how many of you were affected but we had some weather relate hell here in Connecticut last week.

Now I know snow. I grew up in Upstate NY. Boy do I know snow. I've seen it in October and I've seen it in June. I've lost my car in it. Not, 'oh-where-did-I-park-my-car' losing it. No, I mean, 'it's-in-the-driveway-but-I'm-not-sure-where-and-only-found-it-when-I-hit-the-roof-with-the-shovel-while-digging-out" lost my car. The storm October 29th was unprecedented. I will admit we really didn't prepare as well as we should have. Of course we heard snow and didn't really pay attention to the forecasts.

We'd yet to hit peak leaf season here. Many of the trees were still green, especially the oak, which tend to hang on till the last minute. My maple, which is the first to turn and lose it's leaves, was halfway shed. Well, the snow came, wet and heavy and in abundance. The trees didn't have a chance. We lost power around 3pm Saturday after it flickered on and off for about an hour or two. Of course after the power went out he peed his bed during nap and she pooped all the way up to her neck.

Little Dude was napping when we lost power, and when he woke up I told him that we were going to have an adventure. And boy was I right. We spent Saturday night listening to the trees being ripped to shreds around us. Our neighborhood is called Timber Village for a reason. I can't explain how exhausting or surreal it is to lay in bed all night hearing crack!!! and then bracing for the impact. We were exceedingly lucky. For most of us in the neighborhood the trees fell around our houses and cars. One guy down the street did have a branch breech his roof, but it could have been much worse. Some people in the state had trees go right through one or two stories of their houses. The swing-set in the neighbor's yard (that our kids play on) took a double hit and is currently unusable, but still fixable. The thing is these were perfectly healthy trees. The weight of the snow on the leaves just started to rip the oaks apart. (We have mostly oaks in the yard). Our beech shed a few more large branches, as it does every major storm. The branches in our maples were so bent over that they looked like weeping willows. Our neighbor's weeping cherry was peeled like a banana.

And with all these branches came down the power lines and the phone lines. No phones, no power. Luckily we are on town water, for many we know have a well. We also have a gas stove and old water heater that has a constant pilot light. It may be inefficient but it means we still had hot water. Many of our friends weren't so lucky. My husband's shop is a 1/4 mile from the power station and they rarely lose power, so we took as much of our fridge and freezer we could stuff into the one in the break room.

So Sunday came and went with no power. Then Monday came...daycare and my work were closed. We pulled the mattress from our bed into the living room where we have a fireplace and had both kids sleep with us. We spend the day in my husband's breakroom where there was heat and power. We had a cookout that evening where we attempted to cook as much as we could from our big freezer before we lost it all. A lot still ended up in the dumpster. Tuesday came and still no power. Wednesday I took the kids over to the Painted Sheep's apartment for baths and to do a load of their laundry. For though we had hot water, the house was just too cold to bathe them especially since they were both sick. The smoke from the fireplace and lack of humidifier turned J's hint of a cold into croup. Wednesday night we drove by daycare and saw that they had power. So Thursday and Friday the kids had a touch of normalcy and went to daycare. Thursday I hit the laundromat with some of our essentials. By Friday evening power was creeping closer and closer to our neighborhood. We saw the trucks all around us and decided to go out to dinner (not like there was much of a decision. We had limited food in the house) and prayed that when we returned it would be back on. When we got back home everyone had power except our block!!! Once again we huddled together in our mattress in the cold. I convinced my husband not to do a fire that night since the smoke was causing more issues than the heat it was generating. At 4:35am Saturday morning, just after changing Little Miss, we were blinded by bright lights all around us. We had thought that we had shut everything off but suspect that Little Dude just might be responsible for the blinding light show.

So now we have heat and light (and TV). It took all weekend to do the mountains of laundry with some still remaining. The cloth diaper pail was near toxic. We lost so much food. I lost an entire day's worth of breastmilk and had to use the freezer stash. I now have nothing in reserve. I can't let the kids play in the yard until we get a tree company out to get the remaining broken and hanging branches.

But we are alive, our house is intact, and now we are saving for a generator.
How was your Halloween?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


It's time to bring this back to life. I've often thought of this little blog. I've endlessly written posts in my head during the months I've been away from it. I just never made it to the keyboard to give them life. So I'm back. And there's so much to tell.

I guess first and foremost would be the birth of my beautiful daughter back in March. Introducing my little princess Miss A.

She came to us with more warning than her brother did. I woke on Sunday March 5th feeling different. I told my husband as such. We put our babysitter for Little Dude on warning and I had Braxton Hicks much of the day. I went to work as usual the next day and about mid-morning I called my doula. No sign of my water breaking, but I was having contractions about every hour or so. I wrapped up the project I was working on, had lunch with all my co-workers and told them that I didn't expect to be in the next day. My husband met me at home at the end of my work day, (yes, I worked a full day while in labor) we picked up Little Dude, hit the grocery store, had some dinner and then called the babysitter, the doula and the doctor. The babysitter came as we were putting him to bed, and he didn't want to let Mommy and Daddy leave. We arrived at the hospital around 8:30pm and Little Miss arrive at 12:13am on Tuesday, March 8th.

Little Dude adores his sister. He's such a good big brother. He informs everyone that she belongs to him. She's such a happy baby. She's a little girl who likes to watch what is going on around her. She loves to watch her brother. She has recently taken notice of the cats, much to their dismay. She's my delight. Especially in the morning, when I'm surrounded by grumpy boys, I love seeing her smiles and giggles.

Today she's 8 months old and here's what she looks like

Isn't she a cutie? Can you blame me for wanting to spend time with her instead of writing blog posts?