Saturday, February 28, 2009

End of Trimester

Dear Mom,
To celebrate the End of 2nd Trimester/ Finals are Over/ Birthday Weekend, the Young Man had his Buddy spend the night. EASY!
All they need to be happy are:

Doritos and root beer,

Video games,

And breakfast.

Homestyle Omelet

1 lb bacon (or leftover ham, or sausage- I've tried them all and they are all good)

1 1-lb package frozen hash browns

6 eggs

2 T milk

salt and pepper to taste

8 oz shredded cheddar

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove to drain on paper towel and crumble when cool. Pour off all but 1 1/2 T bacon grease. Add frozen hash browns and cook over med heat until thawed. Press down into an even layer.

Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes. Top with cheese and crumbled bacon.

Cover and cook over med-lo until the eggs have set, about 15 minutes.

I use my electric skillet for this. You can also add chopped green onions or mushrooms- whatever sounds yummy. It also can be modified for health- you know- turkey bacon, egg beaters and 2% cheese. We actually have this for dinner more often than we do for breakfast.

Have a good weekend.



Friday, February 27, 2009

Pure Silver Maple Syrup

Dear Mom,
The sap has been pouring out of the trees. We produced and bottled a total of 48 jars of syrup...and this is just the beginning! All of the neighbors received a jar and were encouraged to return it for a refill. The men have done an excellent job of collecting sap, cooking, bottling and labeling each jar. Despite my grumbling over the mess, I am very proud of their efforts and hard work to make this "project" a truly meaningful and memorable one!
Love, Bonnie Jo

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Twelve Years Ago

Dear Mom,
I became a Mom for the first time 12 years ago today. The teenager hasn't change a whole lot (technically, not a teenager but the teenager alarm has buzzed even though I want it to be in "sleep mode" for "a few more minutes")!! Still sleeps a lot, eats whenever and answers me in grunts but still some coos, too.
Thank you, Mumsie, and Kim and Bonnie, too, for teaching me how to be a great Mom (if I say so myself)!! This is the best rollercoaster ride I've ever been on. (Well, except maybe the first time I rode the Racer with you!!!)
Love, Wendy

Computer Conversation

Dear Mom,
Here is an actual conversation I had with Kim this morning:
Me: My freakin' internet is down.
Kim: That freakin' internet!
Me (getting a little whiney): I wanted to blog about the teenager's birthday today.
Kim: Okay, why don't you email me the picture you want and I can do a little post for you. Do you want me to do that for you?
Me: Really? . . . . okay, that sounds good!
Me again: Wait. I can't.
Kim: Why?
Me: My freakin' internet is down!!
Love, Wendy


Dear Mom,
The Young Man has finals today and tomorrow. Things are a bit tense. Lots of reassuring, pats on the back, quizzing off study guides and more reassuring. An intense moment yesterday when a study guide went missing. More reassurances. Thank goodness it was such a nice, warm day. He was able to go out and hit some tennis balls to relieve stress, clear his head and get some fresh air. He will do fine. He will do better than fine; he always does.
A Happy Birthday SHOUT to your youngest grandSON. Have a fun day!
Love, Kim

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cage Match

Dear Mom,
After a weekend of listening to fights, squeals of pain and "stop touching me" sorts of positioning, we have removed Lucy (aka Lucy Fur) from the guinea pig cage.
She is now sharing a cage with Smokey, the rabbit who lives. Henceforth, this shall be known as the geriatric cage. Actually, I don't think Smokey minds the company and Lucy seems happy. Maybe all along she has believed herself to be a rabbit and has finally achieved her goal.
The young pigs cannot believe their good fortune to be living Lucy-free. No more turf wars. They are both hopping around the cage, bravely scurrying in and out of the guinea pig hut and unable to believe they can do this without risk. Kind of like a classroom when the teacher steps out for a bit.

Knitting Update
While still under the spell of Startitis, I cast on the third project in 2 days. The Young Lady's Easter top, which is NOT A DRESS!!! is now on the needles. Actually, I think I started it about 5 times yesterday evening before finally getting it right. (Lots of interruptions.) It is a modification of the girls dress I designed. (Still haven't heard anything about that submission, I'll let you know.) Because this is NOT A DRESS!!!, I am calling the Young Lady's version "Tights are the Enemy".
Maybe because I had so many start overs last night, or maybe I am getting immune, but I no longer feel that Startitis has a grip on me. I imagine that it won't be long before I am feeling the inevitable Finishing Fever.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A sweater makes her Debut

Dear Mom,
I finished the February Lady Sweater as planned and wore her on Friday to my favorite local yarn shop, The Village Yarn Shop, in Zionsville. The owner purchased a couple of my
patterns to sell and I took them in to her.

I had also given her a sample of the Diagonal Surprise sweater for her to display ~ it looks nice up there, I think.

There were some strong knitterly vibes in the store that day. I stayed to knit awhile. Like pretty much until I had to be home to meet the bus. There were expert knitters enjoying the company of other knitters. There were two friends there; one teaching the other to knit. Knitters love to get new knitters addicted. We oozed support and encouragement. Because the New Knitter was trying to learn on hobby shop needles, one veteran knitter was compelled to step in with a needle intervention. Quality needles were provided in a flash, maybe even before the New Knitter knew what was happening!
So. Being at the shop on Friday wasn't enough. I went back on Saturday. Basically to spend all the money (and a little more) that I made selling the patterns. I got some yarn, a book and some knitting needles. And I must have knitters ADD right now, or this cold I am fighting has brought on a serious case of "Startitis", because I cast on 2 new projects on Sunday (a pair of socks and a sweater with the yarn I purchased on Saturday) and probably since I want the Young Lady to have something special to wear for Easter, I should get started on that, too. So, when I am not taking care of the housework, running to the orthodontist, doing laundry or cooking a meal, (which doesn't sound like there will be much time left over) I will be right here:

In my winter knitting nest, listening to books, and knitting.
Love, Kim

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My weekend

Dear Mom,
I had a fantabulous weekend!! It began on Friday night with some serious pottery painting with my BFF Brooke and my separated-at-birth-sister Tobie. We went to The Mad Potter for a girls night out. Lots of chocolate, gossip, laughter and paint.
Brooke painted a darling tea pot for lots of future tea parties with her nieces. By the way, Brooke did all of that freehand painting ALL BY HERSELF! Tobie painted a sweet heart plate for her daughter.I painted a black polka dotted platter. For me. And I'm so excited!
Brooke, Tobie and I then spent Saturday together at the yarn store. We worked but mostly there was more chocolate, gossiping and laughter.
So--today. The diva and I went to our monthly mother/daughter tea and book club at one of my most favorite places. Ever. Magic happens here. Always.
This month's book was Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater. Loved it. Again.
We talked about the book and decided that Mrs. Popper is the real hero for tolerating all of those penguins in her house! The diva also made her own penguin. Which she named Olivia.

This is the room we meet in to drink our kid-friendly tea, eat our cookies and discuss our books.

There is something to look at in every corner, something to read everywhere on vintage comfy couches, and ideas and imagination run amok!
I am finishing my weekend with some movie magic. I love the Academy Awards. I love to watch Brad and Angelina. Kate and Leonardo. And I love Mickey Rourke. There is just somethin'-somethin' about him. Love him.
I hope your weekend was sprinkled with a bit of magic, too!
Love, Wendy

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hot tea

Dear Mom,
All these weather games- winter to spring to torrential downpours to bitterly cold with snow flurries- has me feeling like I am fighting a cold. And FIGHTING is the word. I refuse to give in. One of the things I do to pamper myself when I am feeling this way is make tea with mulling spices, orange juice and lemonade. This delicious tea is good for making winter days special, or special winter days even more special, and is not just for my-head-is-stuffy days.

Mulled Spiced Tea
Steep 3 tea bags and mulling spices of your choice in 8 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes.
Remove tea bags and mulling spices.
1 c sugar (yeah, that is alot of sugar, but we don't make it every day, do we?)
4 oz of frozen orange juice, thawed
2 oz of frozen lemonade, thawed
Stir until sugar is dissoved.
Serve warm.
You can make this in a teapot if you have one big enough or stir it all into a 2 quart pitcher and reheat by the mug. Tastes better the longer it sits.

I am taking my vitamins, too, so don't worry. And I have lots of wool to keep me warm.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sunflowers and Dragonflies

Dear Mom,
It is only 22 degrees outside. My cheery window thermometer says so. I am longing for warmer days...I want to smell the fresh cut grass, listen to the hummingbirds buzzing and twittering, see the tops of the hosta pushing through the earth, and feel the warm garden soil in my hands! I know it won't be too much longer!
Love, Bonnie


Dear Mom,
This yellow week has been interesting. I thought it would be a challenge to come up with yellow stuff, but now that I've been looking, I see yellow everywhere. I have too many yellow pictures to show in one week! So today I am giving you two. Yellow slides, one at the indoor pool in the Monon Center and the other in my back yard.
The slide in the backyard doesn't get much use any more. The kids have mostly outgrown it and actually use it more to climb up into the tree fort than to slide down, but it is a touchstone to the toddler years and the memories of the Fathers Who Built It, and so it shall remain in my backyard.
Yesterday, I finished knitting the February Lady Sweater. She is washed and blocking and if dried in time to sew on a clasp, she will have her debut tomorrow. I will definitely take a picture.
But today, the hampers are full of laundry, a pattern needs to be proofread before sending it off to the magazine editor and I imagine I will take the vacuum cleaner out for a spin before the kids get home from school.
Keep warm. It is cold out there!


Dear Mom,

Sunflowers are David's favorite flowers. I think we would plant sunflowers all over the hill every summer if we could.

This is a picture that I bought for David a few years ago. It is the first thing we see when we come in from the garage. It makes coming home from the grocery store and lugging in all the groceries, or all the boxes from Costco, much brighter.

This is the sunflower picture we have in our front entry way. This is the first picture we bought together when we bought our first house. It was in our bedroom in our old house and when we moved to our "adult" house, we hung it in our entry way to welcome loved ones.
Hope your day is full of sunflowers and warmth!
Love, Wendy

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Apple Pie Wannabe

Dear Mom,
My neighbor gave me this beautiful pie plate for my birthday! And it's yellow! I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends. I think I need to bake an apple pie tomorrow; I have a super yummy recipe from Susan Branch. Granny Smith apples, walnuts and cranberries . . . . on second thought, maybe I'll start baking now!!

Love, Wendy

Fiber Therapy

Dear Mom,

I'll be spending my day knitting with friends and I. Can't. Wait!

p.s. If I don't talk too much, I will finish my February Lady Sweater today!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spring Chicks

Dear Mom,
On their 42nd birthday, I think Wendy and Will are still like spring chicks...energetic and full of life!!
Love, Bonnie Jo

42 Years

Dear Mom,
You saved the best for last! Thanks for showing me how much fun life is!
Love, Wendy

The Twins

Dear Mom,
10 Things Being the Sister of Twins Taught Me

1. People will ask if your brother and sister are identical twins.
2. These same people will ask which baby is the boy and which is the girl even when one is wearing pink and the other blue.
3. Twins do have an exclusive, secret language.
4. Two toddlers, working together, can rearrange the living room furniture.
5. Being able to make car and gun sounds is something boys are born with, but not girls.
6. BOO-NO-BOTTOM-SHOE-COT is a seriously foul toddler curse word.
7. The best doll dress is the one that will get flushed down the toilet.
8. Listening to someone learn to play the violin is painful.
9. They do not like being called "The Twins".
10. No matter how old they are, we will still call them "The Twins".

Happy Birthday Will and Wendy!
Love, Kim

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Dear Mom,
I had a particularly grueling weekend. Mentally. I did a photo shoot for a man who is my age with stage 4 cancer. His kids are my kids' ages. His sisters are my sisters' ages. I was able to capture the tenderness, care and kindness of his family. But it's hard to keep yourself removed so you can do a job well. On the way home, I thought and cried. Resolved to be a better wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter. I went to my BFF Brooke and her mom and cried all over them. I went to the grocery store and I bought healthy cancer-fighting food.

David bought me a pizza. The teenager bought me a movie. "The Italian Job". Which I've seen once. Not particularly a romantic comedy but he was thinking of me. I think. The girls twittered about me, the ladies-in-waiting, showering their love on me in their special ways. Even Keeper snuggled quietly with me.

So today, one day before my 42nd birthday, I have been spring cleaning and singing. I sing like Kim. "Hey there, Delilah, somethin' somethin' . . . . . somethin' Delilah. . . somethin'" But the sun is shining and the kids are home from school. I worked on my photography, we did the dentist (all of them), the orthodontist (the teenager), the library (stocked up on comfort books and got to see my dear Audrey Kay), the laundry (me), the dishes (me), and the birthday cake baking (me again)!! It feels so good to spring clean!

Love, Wendy

The Farmgirl Apron

Dear Mom,
Thank you for surprising me with a new apron, lovingly hand-made by you! The yellow & white buttons are the perfect finishing touch. Since a farmgirl's official uniform IS an apron, I will be wearing it as I work in the garden, tend to the chickens, and gather eggs!

Look out neighborhood gals, this is my new style statement!
Love, Bonnie Jo

All Girls All the Time

Dear Mom,
Erin is sponsoring Yellow week this week, to perk up February. So, my first yellow picture this week is the box of chocolates My Hero brought me for Valentine's Day. He knows that Whitman's reminds me of the little boxes Daddy gave us on Valentine's Day when we were little. I don't need a fancy $$ box of chocolates. Whitman's=love.

My Hero and the Young Man spent the weekend in Detroit and went to a Red Wings game. The Young Lady and I enjoyed an ALL GIRL weekend.

We shopped for crafts and crafted.

We bought Friendship bracelets and crafted some more.

We had dinner delivered.

And we had a "sleep over" in my bed.

And the next day.....

We did more crafts and watched more tv shows and the Young Lady had a friend sleep over.

Time flies. It was a good weekend.

Love, Kim

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Brown Betty

Dear Mom,
For at least a year now, I have been looking. Not actively pursuing, just keeping my eyes open. And in the clearance section of the recent Plow and Hearth catalog, of all places, I found her.

A Brown Betty Teapot.

She arrived yesterday. A sturdy 6-cup Globe teapot from The London Pottery Company, Ltd. Perfect.

We'll be spending alot of time together.



p.s. Next week is Yellow week....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Dear Mom,
I love you!

My Pet Makes Me Breakfast

Dear Mom,
This morning I fried a fresh egg and ham.

I ate eggs, ham and cheese on a toasted English muffin; it was the perfect breakfast for a frosty February morning!

Love, Bonnie Jo