Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Olive, The Other Reindeer

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ho, Ho, hmmmmm

Dear Mom,

They did NOT look like this on Pinterest.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Favorite Things Friday

Dear Mom,
This time of year, I want to say my favorite things are brown paper packages tied up with string!
Today's favorite thing is a shop with some bright copper to tie up in those packages.

Last year, I gave 5 Golden Rings (stitch markers) to some knitting friends.

I won't share what this year's gifts will be because I don't want to ruin any surprises. Everything I've ordered, all the pretty things I have from this shop- from stitch markers, to marker holders, to a charming necklace- are exquisite in their beauty and craftsmanship. Kate is a generous, gifted artist.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Dear Mom,
I have been on a winning streak in the Try New Recipe department. We (meaning I) have changed a lot about how we eat around here. Mostly because we'd  (I) stopped recognizing ourselves (myself) in photos. We were in there somewhere, but Fat People were in the way.
I am not done yet, but today there is 30 pounds less of me than there was 6 months ago when, after stepping on the scale at my ahem "annual", I drove straight to the closest Weight Watchers and declared that to be my Last Fat Day. I will never be embarrassed to step on a scale again.
So, motivated by Good Health and Weight Loss, I've discovered some very delicious new recipes. But actually, the one I am going to share with you was one My Hero grabbed in the seafood department at the grocery store. I tend to ignore all those little recipe cards. I just want to get in and outta there as fast as I can. My Hero inherited the shopping gene from his mother, however, and even the grocery store is good shopping for him. He can find stuff at the store that I didn't know existed. He looks in refrigerated sections and on shelves I would never. Neh-verrr. We often do our weekly grocery run together. Sometimes I get irritated when his "let's take our time and shop"  collides with my "GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!!!". But most times it is very good. I can ask what he is hungry for, how is our egg supply, which is the better deal, etc. He is there to help load and unload.
So, one of those times, he handed me a stack of recipes he'd browsed through in the seafood department. I must have been in a generous mood, because I saved them rather than immediately pitch them as if they were unwanted solicitations. This one had me at the Title. Thankfully, it did not disappoint.

Salmon and Wild Rice Salad
serves 4

Wild Rice Salad
1 cup wild rice, prepared according to package directions- I used Uncle Ben's fast cooking wild rice
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 T. olive oil
3 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
1 cup finely chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T chopped, fresh dill

4 (4-5 oz) salmon fillets
1 t paprika
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes  [I used a pinch. I am a red pepper wimp]
1/4 cup lemon juice

1. Place rice in a large bowl. Add vinegar and oil; toss well. Add spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, garlic and dill. Toss to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.
2. For the Salmon: preheat broiler. Coat a broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle fillets with paprika and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with lemon juice. Broil fillets 5 inches from heat source for 7-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Per serving: 360 calories, 11 g fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 90 g sodium, 39 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 29 g protein. 9 WW points.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Favorite Things Friday

Dear Mom,
I don't know where November went. It was lost in a flurry of airport runs, family visits, a very bad cold,  Thanksgiving here which involved a whole lotta much needed long overdue house attention, and a blissful long weekend away, in a cabin in the woods, with my 3 dearest of knitting friends.

I have lots to catch up on….

But first!
Favorite Thing on This Friday- Two Hour School Delay!

Oh, how we love 2 hour delays! For me, they are better than snow days. We get to sleep in, our mornings are more leisurely, and I still get a good part of the day to myself! Added bonus- the roads give me all the reason I need to stay home and snuggle in.
I'll pull some Roasted Tomato Soup out of the freezer (made from the summer's tomatoes) and we will have that with grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner tonight.

I took advantage of the snow scene this morning to take a Christmas card photo, featuring Olive. Despite my intentions, I never got a photo of the family or of the kids during the Thanksgiving Break and decided on a clever use of Olive.  What a dear, patient, dog she is- especially when Milk Bone Dog Biscuits are involved.
Earlier in the week- before inspiration struck- I took a series of photos like this one ( inspired by something I saw on Pinterest).

Total Sweetness.
Yes, Santa, I have been a good girl.
Olive and her left elbow are doing well. We can't let her get too wild, but she is a dog who likes to chase squirrels. She's had Rimadyl evenings, but not many. We've done as much as we can for her, surgically. She gets a daily dose of Glucosamine/Chondroitin and fish oil.  Rimadyl on the days she needs it. And there are further pharmaceutical options if we need them, but I am hoping not. She won't be a marathon runner ( but then neither will I!) but not a long walk dog, either. This makes me a little sad, but she is such a good dog and the best sort of snuggler that I willingly give up walking her just to have her with me. She is my car-riding companion, nap-time buddy, and curled-up-at-my-feet or next to me on the couch faithful friend. I've loved all my dogs, but Olive has been a gift.

In November, I did knit a bee sweater for Bonnie.

The rest of my knitting has been gift knitting and therefore, secret.

I've tried some delicious, healthy new recipes over the last weeks and I'll share those later.

The past few evenings I settled in with my knitting and started re-watching Downton Abbey from the very beginning. I will never tire of looking at the hats, beautiful dresses, aprons and the lace edging on Mrs Hughes collar. I'd forgotten how much happens in those episodes and how much I did NOT like Mary in that first season. I watch and want to wear Mary Poppins-ish shoes and long skirts with thick warm tights. And aprons. And hats.

So for today, on this snowy day, after catching up here, I'll be drinking hot tea, puttering and tending to the house and laundry, with hopes of spinning and weaving and knitting, too. Thankful to be warm and with nowhere to go.