Monday, August 31, 2009

Book Review

Dear Mom,
I just finished the best book. Ever. I only get books from the library but this is worthy of a bookstore buy. To have on the shelf. Forever.
It is called, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. The book is written from the dog's perspective. It is absolutely and utterly charming. Sweet. Touching. Funny. A 27 (at least!)-hankie book. It has also given me an entirely new appreciation for Keeper. I am her dog whisperer. She whispers to me as well.
Find the book. Consume it and let it seep into your soul.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Fish Tale

Dear Mom,

I suppose every generation worries that their children's childhood is not as rich as their own. I don't know if it is just a worry that emerges when you become a parent or if it just a symptom of not wanting to give up your own youth and trying to keep things as much the same as you can so you don't feel so old. I hate it, though, that kids aren't able to go out and get lost in the fields like we did, disappearing until the church bells told us it was time to come home. Nowadays you feel like you need to know where they are at all times so you don't have to go issuing Amber Alerts when they aren't home exactly on time. Too much Play is Planned leaving little time for adventure, discovery and imagination.

Last week, the Young Lady grabbed her fishing pole, and after we untangled the knot in the line, she hopped on her bike and pedaled over to the nearest neighborhood lake. She wasn't gone too long when the phone rang. It was the Young Lady calling on her friend's cell phone to inform me that a fish had been caught. (The kids with cell phones thing is a topic for another day, but let's just leave it that if carrying the cell phone allows the child a little opportunity for adventure and discovery then so be it.)

Back to the story...

"You caught a FISH!?!", I cheer into the phone.

"Yeah and we called Boy to come and get it off the hook."

note the hook removal technique

"Wait for me," I shout, "I am bringing the camera."

As I round the corner, camera in tow, I see Boy pedaling furiously on his way to perform the Hook Removal. I could feel the energy. This was an Event worthy of taking the short-cut on your bike. (The Boy rushing to the scene reminded me of the time I stepped on the mouse in Julianne's backyard and the psychic alarm that reverberated through the neighborhood, attracting every neighbor kid to witness the slow and torturous mouse death; compounding my guilt with each new arrival was the inevitable "Who did it?" and fingers pointed in my direction.)

It surprised and cheered me to see a cluster of kids beside the lake, fussing over fishing poles, sharing bait, spying turtles and fish in the water.

I took my photos, started to warn them to be careful and not fall in ..... and then I stopped myself. This was their time to be lost in the fields. No planning and no parents. I quickly and quietly got back in my car and headed for home.

p.s. Yes, those are dangly feather earrings on the Young Lady. They are not lures. Let's just say it was not worth the battle and leave it at that. She loves them.

Friday, August 28, 2009


this is how the inside of my brain feels- hot pink and flying in different directions all at the same time and a bit frazzled

Dear Mom,

The random thoughts of a brain in creative turmoil....

The knitting design ideas (and yarn deliveries) come in faster than I can knit them.

GinaWhoCanParallelPark is now afraid that she will have to come in and clean up my yarn mess if something happens to me someday and I had better get started knitting. (in other words, stop spending the money I make selling my designs on more yarn and start knitting with what I have!!!)

I have some compelling ideas that won't quiet down. Do I take a safe sure route or get out of my "comfort zone", and Take a Risk! ??

My wonderful knitting friends help to fuel the creative fires. You do, too, because like a Good Mother, you sigh approvingly when I tell you my ideas and make "ooohh" and "awww" sounds.

WWDD??? What Would Daddy Do?

Love, Kim

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Dear Mom,
I started and completed this project yesterday. Chunky yarn + big needles + inspired design = motivated knitter who can't wait to see how it all turns out. Quincy by Jared Flood. I love the way this hat looks on and off my head. The yarn was purchased at a deep discount when a local yarn shop closed its doors. Always a sad thing, losing a yarn shop, but I would never have splurged on this yarn otherwise. It is 100% Merino wool, "Unikat" by Zitron.

With the exception of sock yarns, I am not a big fan of variegated yarns. Generally, I don't like the way the colors pool, worrying about how they might pool and/or doing all the tricks I need to do to avoid the pooling. However, the colors in this skein of yarn pulled me in and with only one skein available, I figured it would be a hat or scarf someday and pooling colors would not be an issue.

Along came Made In Brooklyn, Jared Flood's booklet filled with beautiful, wearable designs and I knew the yarn I bought last spring would be perfect for Quincy. I cast on yesterday afternoon, knit in between bits of housework, feeding kids, and meet the teacher night. Once the evening settled in, I settled into my knitting and didn't stop until Quincy was done. Simple garter stitch to relax with and enough design details to keep it interesting.
Making wool hats in August may not make sense, and I certainly don't want to rush the cold weather our way, but I kinda can't wait to wear my new hat.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Day of School

Dear Mom,
There they go. My babies.

(Edited after post: I made Pipsqueak's backpack out of a pair of David's old jeans. And yes, Pipsqueak can almost fit into her bag!)


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Family History

Dear Mom,

When you dream of someday becoming a mother and you imagine the traits you may, no, WILL, pass on to your child, they are always good things like "your math smarts and my science smarts" or "my eyes and your ears", and "my nose and Not Yours." Things, however, do not always go as planned.

It would seem that I have passed my Clumsy trait on to the Young Lady. Shortly after noon today, the phone rang. Intermediate School, the Caller I.D. prompts. My heart skips a beat. In a quavering voice, leaving no doubt that tears are imminent, the Young Lady asks me to bring her a change of clothes. She has spilled juice all over herself and cannot go on.

As I drive the required clothing to school, I cannot help but recall what has become known in Family History as "That Day Kim had to wear Susan Templin's Pantyhose" or "The Day Susan Templin Saved My Life".

Yes, that day in ninth grade Home Ec class when I snagged my L'eggs pantyhose (color Suntan) on the sewing machine chair leg. Snagged is really not the word for the absolute massive hole that erupted. All that white flesh shining out from behind nylon suntan-y goodness was unacceptable and a potentially social life altering disaster. The shock and horror has left such an impression that I can remember what I was wearing on that day- the rose and gray plaid skirt and vest I sewed in Home Ec class. And yes, for those who may be wondering, my plaids did match.

I know that just stating the fact that I wore pantyhose in ninth grade and then adding the fact that they were L'eggs pantyhose has pretty accurately placed me in High School in the 70's. And proud of it, sister. Such was our Need to wear Suntan L'eggs pantyhose, that my friend, Susan Templin, had an extra pair in her purse. Just pause and think on that a moment. Fourteen, maybe fifteen years old, carrying a spare pair of pantyhose in her purse, for just an emergency such as this. And she was friend enough to come to my rescue and let me have them.

Big deal. I borrowed a friend's pantyhose.....except that Dear Susan with the emergency L'eggs in her purse was about 14 inches shorter than I was. And she didn't have an emergency pair of pantyhose in her purse in case I needed them. She was carrying a Susan Templin sized pair of emergency pantyhose. A pair that allowed the waist band, with several desperate stretches, to come up exactly as far as my mid thigh, leaving the crotch at my knees. I wonder. How many times did I keep tugging at the waist band and pulling the legs hoping that this time they would miraculously and actually FIT? We all suffer for our beauty, though, and walking like a penguin was far better than all that exposed and blinding white flesh, so, with the crotch at my knees, I waddled through the remainder of my school day. When that last bell rang, I exhaled. I made it. I was almost home.

And then I had to get on the bus. That first step onto the bus never looked so high and required a lifting of the knee. The current Situation would not allow this to happen. With my thighs strapped together by the pantyhose waist band (which was trying its best to roll down my legs), a tremendous amount of arm strength and using a rolling sideways kick, I hoisted myself up those bus steps. One. Step. At. A. Time. Heaven only knows what the bus driver was thinking.

I am sure the image of me hobbling down those bus steps and penguin walking up the driveway will be one you never forget. The quizzical look on your face is one I will never forget. Nor will I forget the gut busting laughter as I pulled up my skirt and in answer to the unspoken question in your eyes announced, "Because I am wearing Susan Templin's pantyhose, that's why!!"

There were many other calamities along the way- and I am really, really sorry to think that the Young Lady's mishap with the juice at school today may only be the beginning.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Five of the Nicest Words . . . .

Dear Mom,
"You haven't changed a bit"!! Aren't those wonderful words?! I recently found a long lost friend and have enjoyed our friendship again through emails. He works an evening shift and usually replies to my emails sometime during his night so I get to wake up to a special treat when he sends a new email. We have exchanged stories, snippets of our lives over the past 20 years and current pictures. So--during my summer of lemons, I recently had a picture taken of me with the girls. I decided to send him that picture since it was literally just taken. He told me my girls are cute and then those magic words, "You haven't changed a bit"!! WOW. I was instantly a 17 year old girl again with smooth, unwrinkled skin. I didn't have my 3 babies bread-dough belly or any of the stretch marks!! I was witty and flirty!! I was larger than life!! I repeated those words to myself on an almost giddy, happy sigh . . . . . you haven't changed a bit!

And then--my "baby" came to me, asking in her faux-British accent, "What can I do for you, my love?" and I realized that it was okay, great even!, to have changed--a little bit.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Project Runway

Dear Mom,

Thursday night I kept an eye on the time, and kicked the Young Man out of the family room (the Young Lady was already in bed) and commandeered the remote control so I could indulge in the long awaited return of Project Runway.

I love everything about Project Runway. The pressure, the clothes, the creativity, the time limits, the challenges, the tears, the challenge of creating a red carpet gown out of office supplies or whatever in 3 hours and 12.762 minutes and having it ready for the runway. Maybe not so much the tears. The nervous breakdowns take me back to board exams and the early days of my dental hygiene education when each of us, in turns, had a breakdown of one sort or another. If we had Tim Gunn mentoring us and talking us down, I can tell you there would have been a lot less crying in the dental materials lab.

On each show, the designers are given an assignment. They sketch, shop for fabric in something like 30 minutes (unless they are given auto parts or something to work with) and put their sewing machine pedals to the metal and get to work. It always seems like there is like 8 hours to work the first day and then like 10 minutes the next morning. This is usually when there are tears and drama and little bits of sniping like the time one designer had a hissy fit because somebody changed the thread in the sewing machine, or when the dress won't fit on the model like happened last night. And since it is a competition, the designers are only friendly with each other for about 3 1/2 days before they start watching their backs and sort of spying on what the designer across the room is doing instead of paying attention to their own work. But I don't watch it for that stuff.

I really like seeing what different designers, given the same challenges, resources and time limits, create. I like to watch those creations walk down the runway- some of them truly inspired and creative and some of them dreadful. I pick my best and worst and listen carefully to the panel of judges (I even like the judges, Heidi Klum, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia) and then hang on in suspense wondering to whom Heidi will bid "auf wiedersehen". I worry a little about the feelings of the person who is "aufed", but sometimes I am glad to see them go. Last night was a glad night. When Miss Designer said she didn't sketch and did head stands until it was time to go shopping, I had the feeling she wouldn't last. She didn't.

So now to wait until next week for my next episode of slightly guilty viewing pleasure and an excuse to stay up late and knit on a school night.
Like I wouldn't anyway.



Lemons, II

Dear Mom,
Not to be outdone by the girls yesterday, the Teenager and his friends decided they would make Lemonade today!!

There was some level of organization in their chaos, everyone worked very well together cutting lemons, squeezing lemons and guesstimating at the sugar/lemon/water ratio. It is clearly time to go back to school.

But the lemonade was quite awesome!



Thursday, August 20, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons

Dear Mom,
My summer has not turned out in any way like I thought it would. It was a summer of changes and growth. A summer of lemons . . . . I chose to spend my morning baking LEMON BREAD!!!
Do you remember this recipe? It's from little Carresa Rogers, who is not so little anymore. She is probably married and may have children of her own!! The recipe is incredibly, laughably easy and yields the most delicious loaf of bread. The kitchen was abuzz with activity as the Diva gathered ingredients, Pipsqueak stirred, and the Teenager hung around with several friends, pretending not to be interested in the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen . . . .

Lemon Bread

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

After baking:
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. The top will crack. Remove from pan. Blend together the 1/4 cup of sugar and lemon juice. Brush top and sides of loaf with it while bread is still warm. Enjoy!

Seriously?! If you bake this bread for friends, family and/or neighbors, make sure you do not let them know how easy this bread is to bake!! Trade this bread for a homemade cheesecake or a souffle. Maybe go for an entire homemade dinner!

And when your summer gives you nothin' but lemons, please pass me more lemon bread!



Tomato Basil Cheese Pie

Dear Mom,
Right about now, some of us are wondering why we planted so many tomato plants last spring. We are swallowing Prilosec OTC in an effort to manage the heartburn produced by eating 38 grape tomatoes every day.
There is no better tomato than the one eaten fresh off the vine, hot and dusty, right there in the garden with the juice dripping off your chin. Unfortunately, tomato plants won't thoughtfully produce just one or two ripe tomatoes per day. The tomatoes ripen in caboodles over here, and I can't stand out there all afternoon, eating hot dusty fresh tomatoes. I've got knitting to do.
Last summer I found this delicious recipe for Tomato Basil Cheese Pie, that uses 4!!! tomatoes. It also mixes in mayo with cheese before baking which sounds gross if you think about it, so don't think about it. It could be a side dish, but My Hero and I make it our meal and since they won't eat it, I fix something like Bagel Bites for the kids.

Tomato Basil Cheese Pie
makes 1 pie - serves 6-8, unless it is a main dish and then it maybe serves 4

8-oz shredded mozzarella, divided- take time and shred it yourself, it is worth it.
4 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup fresh basil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese, again shred it yourself! Don't you dare use the stuff in the green can!!!
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Garnish: fresh basil ( I never take time to do this part, but it would be a nice touch)

Pastry for pie crust:
Yes, you could buy a 9-inch pie crust at the store and save yourself some time, but this is what I do and it is easy...
Soften 6 T butter. Add a dash of salt and whisk together it together with 1/4 cup BOILING water. Add 1 cup flour and mix together until the flour is all mixed in. I do all of this in my Kitchenaid mixer with the whisk attachment. Take the lump of dough and roll it out into a big circle, or if you are in a real hurry, plop the dough right into the pie pan and moosh it around with your fingers until the dough is evenly covering the bottom and sides.

Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese into the pie crust. Top with tomato slices.
Sprinkle with minced garlic and basil leaves. Mix remaining mozzarella, mayo, Parmesan cheese and pepper together and spread over tomato-basil mixture. Bake at 375 for 35- 40 minutes, or until golden.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Keepin' It Real

Dear Mom,
Yesterday afternoon.
Me: "HEY! Young Lady! Come here and see this! My little blue dress is on a website!!!!!!!!!"
Young Lady: "oh. What's the dinner plan? I'm hungry."
Me: .....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh Happy Day

Dear Mom,
After months of anticipation and with breathless, lightheaded excitement, I present to you THIS! My girls dress, designed and knit by ME! (yay me!) and published, right there LIVE! on the INTERNET thanks to Classic Elite Yarn company. I am dizzy, I tell you. Dizzy. And just a little weepy. Partly because all the other designs in my head are dancing around yelling "Pick me! Pick me! I want to go next!" And partly because I think this must be how it feels when dreams come true.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Julia Child!

Dear Mom,

Today is Julia Child's birthday! After seeing the movie Julie & Julia, I have become infatuated with this fascinating woman. I want to get her cookbook so I can make beef bourguignon and boned stuffed duck (Pate de Canard en Croute). According to on-line news sources, her cookbook sales have soared following the release of the movie.

I hope you can find time to see this wonderful movie; you will want to have her cookbook too!

Bon Appetit!

Love, Bonnie Jo

Friday, August 14, 2009

Photo Shoot

Dear Mom,

Having finished a pair of socks for the May 2010 issue of Creative Knitting magazine, and needing to deliver them along with my pattern instructions, I was invited by the editor, Barb, to meet her at a photo shoot yesterday.
The location was only about 15 minutes away, but I felt like I was in another world for a little while.

The models were breathtakingly beautiful, as you would expect, but read that again. I didn't just say beautiful. I said Breathtaking. Stunning. Photogenic has a whole new meaning for me now. And the models were polite and friendly. I was equally struck by their poise while being photographed and STARED AT as I was by their looks.

Fascinated, I asked if I could take photos of them taking photos.

Here is Editor Barb, writing down an identification number and the sweater's name on a dry erase board. After the photos are taken, the model will hold this board and have another photo taken. She will also take an additional shot holding a color board. This is Liz:

Liz was fluffed and styled, special attention taken to showing the sweater to its best advantage.

And Liz's legs were probably ended at the height of my waist.

This photo shoot is for the January 2010 issue. Special care was taken that the backgrounds won't look too summery, and those models, wearing wool sweaters in August didn't even appear to be overheating.
In addition to the photographer and the hair and make up professional, there was also a stylist who coordinates the sweater, clothes and accessories for the models. She would pick up the models when they were done, whisk them away in her van and return with them wearing a new look.

This is Brittany, a former Miss Indiana. Make up touched up.

And beautiful.



Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Dear Mom,

Since reading this blog post the other day, I have been thinking about Peas. And how much I hate them. Snow peas are good in stir fry and Sugar Snap Peas are acceptable (probably because they have sugar in the name) but plain old green peas? No thank you.

I can be a big girl if I have to and eat them in that layer salad because they are coated in that Parmesan cheese/sugar/mayo salad dressing and because they have not been cooked. Or in vegetable soup when they can be camouflaged in my mouth by the broth and better vegetables. But that is it.

And the only reason there is a bag of frozen peas in my freezer is because it makes a handy first aid ice pack.

I hate peas so much that I don't think I have ever made my kids eat them.

My hatred for peas is deep and long suffering. I have a history with peas, and I can remember precisely when my pea-dislike turned into pea-hatred. I bear emotional scars.

I don't exactly blame you. After all, I am a mother now, and I have used the "eat your _________ or you won't get any dessert" line a time or two hundred. But did you have to serve peas on the day we had Captain Crunch Ice Cream Bars for dessert? Did you? Why not on the day (like most days) that we had Jello for dessert? Or even a day we had Jellolayeredwithcoolwhip? Because even though I Tried, and watched Bonnie eat her peas and her Captain Crunch Ice Cream Bar, and even though I cried and choked on peas and cried some more and even went into full out gag reflex over those peas..... I could not eat them and I did not get my Captain Crunch Ice Cream Bar. And I think probably Daddy ate all the rest of them because I don't remember getting one the next day, either.



and p.s. I don't think they even make them any more. I've been looking.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to School

Dear Mom,
Hear that? No?! That's because there is NOTHING TO HEAR!!! I am home alone! And, yeah, it is way too early for school to start. WAY to early. I think I need to change the lyrics to Alice Cooper's song from "Schoooooool's out. for. Summer." to " Schoooooooool. Starts. in. Summer."
Summer should have lasted another two weeks. But, now that the big yellow bus has taken them away and I have had time to do the math, and realize that the next SEVEN HOURS are mine to spend in solitude even if that solitude includes cleaning bathrooms, well.... maybe it isn't so early after all.
We took the obligatory Front Porch on the First Day of School picture. And then another because the Young Man was yawning in the first. And another to capture the enormity of the Young Lady's new backpack, stuffed with school supplies. I hope she doesn't lose her balance before that thing is unpacked. The image of a turtle on its shell comes to mind.
So, for the next several hours, I will clean without interruption and it will stay that way until the bus comes. I'd like to think I will have time to read and knit and maybe take a power nap and listen to the dog's heavy breathing as he sleeps the day away. And then take a breath before the bus brings home stories of the first day. And hopefully not too much homework.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Field Day

Dear Mom,

As I was winding my way around country roads, seeking the perfect spot to relocate the raccoons and possums I keep catching- you know someplace they would be safe and happy, but far enough away that they would become roadkill before they found their way back to my backyard, and I know, I know!, it makes no sense that I am humanely trapping and relocating an animal that I would prefer got hit by a car before it came back here to live - I stumbled upon the future home of a park. Perfect. Creek, weeds, trees.

When I saw that a path had been mowed into the "park" and then couldn't stop thinking about it, I started wondering why. Why is it that a grassy path with high weeds, Queens Anne's lace and thorns was calling to me?

Because some of the best parts of growing up on Harmony Road were spent playing in the fields. We could build forts, wander to our hearts delight, climb the biggest best tree in the world, a tree so beloved it was named and every kid in the neighborhood knew Harry. Heck, every kid in the neighborhood could probably have fit into Harry. Harry was better than any playground. With a low hanging branch perfect for sitting on, several of us could push off the ground with our dusty Keds and swing straight up high into the air. Harry had the thick, low and perfectly spaced branches that made for perfect climbing. We discovered a nest of baby mice beneath that tree and all of us checked on the mice, careful not to disturb them as we climbed and played.

We forged paths through the grass, some paths worn down enough that we could ride our bikes through the field. One of the older girls had scavenged discarded building materials and constructed an underground fort for herself that was so totally off limits to everyone and we were so scared of her that we all stayed away. Except for one time. I can remember we were all feeling brave, (and probably because we knew she wasn't home or something) and dared to investigate the underground sanctuary. I don't remember too much about it, I think because I was looking for booby-traps to really notice anything about the fort.

We came home tired and sweaty and sun-kissed. Tick discovery and removal, while not routine, was no cause for panic, and just part of playing in the fields. And every so often, in the heat of the summer, and probably 'cause some kids went to the field to play with matches, the field would catch on fire. The Dads would all go out and beat the fire with brooms and spray it with garden hoses. Harmony Road's Volunteer Fire Dept.

We were free in those fields, no one had to keep an eye on us, and we could disappear as long as we were home for lunch and dinner, knowing to head for home when we heard the church bells rang at noon and 5 o'clock.

So, as an adult, with open fields like that disappearing, I couldn't wait to get out on that grassy path. This was a place I could take the dog and let him off his leash. A place he could run ahead and sniff and wait for me to catch up. A place I could only hear birds and bugs chirping and a farm tractor running. I place I could wander into and not see the road, or my car, or another person.

I could almost disappear. Except as a responsible adult and former Girl Scout (Be Prepared!), I did have my cell phone in my pocket. Just in case. Which I was glad I had when I stepped into a deep hole and fell down like a toddler taking her first steps. "What if I had broken my leg?", I thought. "See, it is a good thing you brought your phone!"

I found thorny wild black raspberry bushes.

(Edited to add: I have been told that these are blackberry bushes and would make great jam. If only I made jam...... Kim 8-10-09)

And could appreciate the beauty of "weeds" that I would never want growing in my own yard.

And I will be going back.


Thursday, August 6, 2009


Dear Mom,

If you listen carefully, you can hear cooks across the state flipping through cookbooks, muttering softly as they search for something new to do with the zucchini their neighbors gave them.

I am blessed to have the Zucchini Queen as my neighbor. Our gardens are the halfway point between our houses and a common gathering place. ZQ manages to raise mammoth zucchinis which seem to appear overnight, or manage to stay hidden in the zucchini foliage until their weight and length makes hiding impossible. ZQ and I have had many occasions to be doubled over in laughter- the kind that leaves your cheeks aching from smiling so big- over our gardens and her zucchini discoveries. We've also been known to share a few laughs on the porch over a bucket of frozen cosmos, but I won't be sharing those stories here.

This is a typical zucchini for ZQ, and I have cleverly cropped part of her out of the picture to protect her identity. I wouldn't want her stalked by the folks from Burpee or hounded by Food Network papparazzi.

For all those cooks looking for something to do with their zucchini that isn't zucchini bread, I offer, as a public service, this zucchini recipe.

Zucchini Queen Patties

makes 6-8 patties

3 1/2 c. grated zucchini

3 T. onion (I omitted the onion when I made these for the sake of My Hero's stomach and they were still good, but would probably be better with the onion)

2 T. fresh parsley, minced

1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese- take the time and grate the cheese yourself, it makes a difference!!!

1 c. soft bread crumbs

1 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 c. dry bread crumbs (I used the Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs)

1/2 c. butter

Squeeze as much juice out of the grated zucchini as you can and combine with all the ingredients except for the dry bread crumbs and the butter. Shape into patties and coat with dry bread crumbs. Place on greased baking sheets (or silpats if you have them) and put a pat of butter on top of each patty. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until golden.



Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pajama Party

Dear Mom,

Not since the newspaper delivery man's station wagon caught on fire in the wee hours of a Sunday morning about 10 years ago has the cul-de-sac seen so much activity. Or so many neighbors gathering in pajamas.

Last night, just after I climbed into bed to read myself to sleep, there came the sounds of heavy truck engines from out front. I was pretty settled in and trying to ignore the noise and finish my book when the Young Lady walked in and reported police cars in the cul-de-sac. Having not heard any sirens, I got up to confirm the eyewitness report and found 3 police cars, a rescue vehicle and a fire truck. Concerned about a recently widowed neighbor, I went to investigate. A step onto the front porch revealed clouds of white smoke from somewhere near the entrance to our cul-de-sac, but not near the widowed ladies house. I am glad. No medical emergencies for her.

Grabbing a windbreaker instead of a robe because it was handy, I ventured out, barefoot, through my Fit Neighbor's yard toward the epicenter of activity. An older white van was coughing up clouds of smoke, quickly fogging up the area. Fire hoses snake through the street. The kind policeman (who didn't seem to mind answering the questions of a woman wearing a red coat and pajamas which thankfully were the cute Susan Branch summer watermelon pj's and not the little shorts and tee shirt with cherries on them from Target) informed me that the vehicle was empty and no other vehicles had been involved.

Neighbors begin gathering. Most of us in some variety of sleepwear. Through the smoke I see teens clustered and pointing. And nothing makes a person look older than when he/she is standing in his/her pajamas near a gorup of teenagers. Just something I noticed last night.
Now, I do believe that every neighborhood has A Woman Who Knows, and if they don't, they need one. That Woman lives just down the street, and having had toddlers at home at the same time, we became friends over miles and miles of stroller walks. I have not had my finger on the pulse of the neighborhood since our kids outgrew their strollers and we stopped walking together. Not even close. Anyway, I had only just finished listening to the Policeman's answer to my question when I looked up and saw her. Smiling and waving (the area is taking on the atmosphere of a street fair/carnival now), she comes over. With the whole story. I would have been stunned by her information gathering skillz since she knew more than the policeman I just spoke to, but the story begins at her house, so I don't need to be scared of her or anything.

Turns out, her daughter's boyfriend, who has borrowed his family's backup vehicle ~the other 2 vehicles in this family having been totalled/involved in wrecks this past week- which are 2 more stories that I didn't get because it was late and we were in our pj's, and all I need to know about that is that no one was hurt and that not I nor any family member of mine will be driving with the boyfriend or his family: 1, because we don't really know them that way, and 2, because they probably don't have a car to drive right now anyway~ but back to the excitement of last night- boyfriend leaves for home in van, drives about 50 yards and van catches on fire. He safely extracted himself from the vehicle and returns to girlfriend's house to call for help.

A few of us, now having the facts, begin noticing each other's pajama's, recalling the time the paper man's car caught fire (which is now, 10 years later, being described as "The Time The Paper Man's Car EXPLODED and Caught on Fire) and how it left a mark on the street for a really long time, relating to each other how we came to discover that there were all these emergency vehicles in front of our homes, did you hear sirens?! I didn't hear sirens! and then, well, it's late, we better get back to bed, see ya tomorrow! And off we disperse, back to bed.

Where I find My Hero. Who slept through the whole thing, and will probably not know about any of it until he reads the blog.
(Do you think my reading light bothers him?)


Monday, August 3, 2009


Dear Mom,
While the Grandpa is napping on the couch and before I take the Young Man to tennis practice, I will, as promised, share the treats I purchased for myself at the D'Vine yarn shop in Shipshewana last week.
This first is Opal Sock yarn, which I totally bought because of the Harry Potter label and it was the last one. Plus, luckily for me, the colorway is called Lupin, one of my favorite characters.

The next photos show some yarn that was grown, dyed and spun at a local Shipshewana farm. Since I would never find this anywhere else, and this is all that was left of it, I bought it, too.

There isn't a lot of yardage of either of these, but I have some scarf/kerchief/neck wrap ideas I may try with them.

I also found these buttons and bought them because they are simple and pretty. That shop had more interesting, unusual and beautiful buttons than I could absorb. I wish I had easy access to that kind of selection, but it is probably a good thing that I do not.

Aren't those the best! Just looking at them makes me want to knit a pretty sweater for them.