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summer

July 20th, 2015

The sparrow's companion

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Monday Recipe: “Almost Ali’s Oatmeal Cookies” & the Pioneer Woman’s Mexican Macaroni Salad

July 6th, 2015

American mermaid

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

This mermaid says, When in doubt, bake. Or make a salad. Or just slice some vegetables and dip them in some kind of dunk. I wouldn’t mind a good recipe for Spinach Dunk, by the by, if anyone has one to share? The pre-made stuff is too salty.

This is my friend Helen’s recipe, and she borrowed it from the Oregonian, “with a few minor changes.”

Bon appetit, babies!

Almost Ali’s Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 -1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 -1/2 cups uncooked oats (quick or old-fashioned)
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
1 cup finely diced dried apricots
1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:
Heat oven to 350ºF.
Combine butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix until well blended.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Beat until well blended.

Stir in oats, nuts, apricots and white chocolate chips; mix until just blended.

Shape into 1-1/2 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Flatten balls slightly. Bake 10-12 minutes or until just beginning to brown around edges and slightly moist in center.

Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

As for this delicious salad… we made this one for Mother’s Day? A party? Something, anyway, awhile back. It is so yummy.

Mexican Macaroni Salad
a la the Pioneer Woman

For the salad:
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked to package instructions, drained and rinsed with cold water
2 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
1 can (15 oz.) black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped black olives
6 whole Roma tomatoes (or 2 large tomatoes), chopped
3 whole green onions, sliced thin
1/2 whole red onion, finely diced
Chopped cilantro

For the dressing:

1 cup jarred salsa (spicy is best)
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 limes, juiced (optional)

Preparation Instructions:
Grill the corn on a grill pan, or just place it in a hot skillet to brown some of the kernels. Remove from pan, allow to cool slightly, then use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cob.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined.

Place the macaroni, corn, beans, olives, tomatoes, green onions, red onion, and cilantro in a large bowl. Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the top and gently toss until all the ingredients are coated. Add the final 1/4 of the dressing if you think it needs it. Cover and allow salad to chill for 2 hours.
Garnish with cilantro, lime wedges, and any other extra ingredients you have.

oh, what a haul!

June 25th, 2015

Minus tide = plus agates

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Thursday Book Review: “The Bump: Book of Lists for Pregnancy and Baby,” “The Bump: Pregnancy Planner and Journal” and “Mission: New Baby… Top-Secret Info for Big Brothers and Sisters”

June 11th, 2015

New to the bookshelf: “Mission: New Baby… Top-Secret Info for Big Brothers and Sisters,” by Susan Hood, illustrated by Mary Lundquist, 2015, $16.99, Random House Children’s Books, unpaged; “The Bump: Pregnancy Planner and Journal,” by Carley Roney and TheBump.com, Potter Style/Crown Publishing, 2015, 95 pages; and “The Bump: Book of Lists for Pregnancy and Baby,” by Carley Roney and TheBump.com, Potter Style/Crown Publishing, 2015, 191 pages.

“Mission: New Baby” is a charming new picture book that helps prepare the big kid (brother Mason) for the little kid who’s arriving soon. The author (Susan Hood) and illustrator (Mary Lundquist) have collaborated nicely on this one. Mason and his robot toy “train” by briefing themselves on the new baby, testing “gears and gadgets” (crib, stroller, etc.), meeting the “new recruit” and everything else that’s involved with transitioning to becoming a sibling. Sweet art, and a fun story.

Now, working backwards, we have “The Bump Book of Lists.” Pregnancy can make a girl hyperventilate. You don’t want that — it’s bad for you and the bebe. For some of us, making lists helps; for others, it can bring on a panic attack. This is a handy book — good size, good format. Chapters are broken down from conception, through months 1-9, delivery, newborn and “Baby’s Next Steps.” The crew from the Bump have included lots of details on knowing what to eat, what you’ll need for vitamins and supplements, and some fun stuff, too (announcing the gender, making baby announcements). I would recommend scribbling away in this one. The accompanying planner and journal is great for scrapbooking — lots of room for photos, notes, ultrasound pix and all that.

Great gifts for yourself, or as gifts for any mamas-to-be you might know.

hey, what’s happening?

June 10th, 2015

A short, sweet list, just for you:

1) No one else blogs, why should I?
2) Ha! That’ll show ‘em ;)
3) Seriously. What day is it?
4) Is the school year over yet?
5) It’s hot here. (Those of you who live in Louisiana: Ha, ha, ha, no it’s not.)
6) We need to upgrade this machine, it’s ancient and slow. Also, I can’t figure out how to insert photos here anymore and that has shut me down.
7) Thus, no art.
8) Thus, boring.
9) I am happy/so are kiddos/so is Stevie
10) Baby the Cat, however, not so happy. Cuz it’s so frickin’ hot in the Portland metro area, that be why. And he is furry boy. It was, like, 90 yesterday? 93 the day before?
11) I’m sunburnt as hell right now, but it’s fading (see: field day at my school; see: overcast day at beach; see: floating in pool for hours and it felt good at the time, but not later, so much)
12) I usually don’t burn but damn, this time I did. Also? Still have my tan lines from last summer, ha. That’s a new one.
13) I love summer, do you?
14) That’s all.
15) ps — have had much success at school this year, teaching kids how to write code, keyboard, write in Google Docs (hello, cloud! say hi to my students!) and READ. Oh, my gosh are they reading.

xo

wm

happy Sunday!

April 26th, 2015

Always tri

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

(Just a shout-out for my girl Judy Blume.)

letter from my friend/note to a friend

April 16th, 2015

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Going through old letters and cards — am unable to part with many of them because that’s just how it is around here. Found the best letter from my then-friend, who I am happy to report is also my now-friend, i just had a nice long talk w/ her the other night, well. We’ve been friends for many, many years. Circa 1987, she xeroxed an interesting essay that ran in the New York Times, about a woman who had to go through her aunt’s papers, after she passed. (Only her aunt wasn’t really her aunt, she was her mom’s friend… and she saved everything.) (Sorta like yours truly.) She xeroxed different sections of the article, so it didn’t cut off the edges.

“Hope you can put this together enough to read it,” she wrote. “The last line is, ‘I put it down in ink, all of it.’”

(love.) (love, love, love. and I wish people still wrote letters, sent clippings, poured their hearts out.) (do they? yes or no, you decide.)

also, RIP, dear Tami, 4/6/1964-3/25/2015

Book Review: The Brothers Grimm

April 12th, 2015


(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Sunday Book Review
On My Nightstand

“Grimms’ Fairy Tales,” illustrated by Fritz Kredel

I picked up this copy from the free shelf because I liked the cover (red, cloth, not battered) and I’m always on the lookout for something my students might like. They love old books and anything they consider “primitive.” I did a lesson this week on stamp collecting, with the third graders, and had to dial it way back when I realized how few of them knew what postmarks were. The stamps were from “the olden days” (circa 1980), and once they realized a few of the stamps were dated from the ’40s and ’50s, they were in awe. Old books, coins and stamps are all treasures to them.

So the Grimm collection is a find — pristine condition — but they’re not getting their hands on it, sorry, kiddos. I’ll take it in for them to look at, but I’ll keep it as part of my permanent collection. The translations were done by Mrs. E.V. Lucas, Lucy Crane & Marian Edwards. Fritz Kredel’s illustrations are cool — simple, with some splashes of color. It was published in MCMXLV (for those of you who aren’t up on your Roman numerals, that’s 1945) (according to Google, anyway).

Those Grimms… they were kooky, eh? Here are openings from a few of the stories:

“Fundevogel”
“There was once a forester who went into the woods to hunt, and he heard a cry like that of a little child. He followed the sound and at last came to a big tree where a tiny child was sitting high up on one of the top branches. The mother had gone to sleep under the tree, and a bird of prey, seeing the child on her lap, had flown down and carried it off in its beak to the top of the tree.
The forester climbed the tree and brought down the child, thinking to himself, ‘I will take it home, and bring it up with my own little Lina.”

“Jorinda and Joringel”
“There was once an old castle in the middle of a vast thick wood. In it there lived an old woman quite alone, and she was a witch. By day she made herself into a cat or a screech owl, but regularly at night she became a human being again. In this way she was able to decoy wild beasts and birds, which she would kill and boil or roast.”

“Cinderella”
“The wife of a rich man fell ill, and when she felt that she was nearing her end she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, ‘Dear child, continue devout and good. Then God will always help you, and I will look down upon you from heaven and watch over you.’
Thereupon she closed her eyes and breathed her last.”

“The Wren and the Bear”
“Once upon a time a bear and a wolf were taking a walk in a wood. It was summer, and the bear heard a bird singing most beautifully. He said, ‘Brother Wolf, what kind of bird is that singing so beautifully?”

– 30 –
(which means: The End o Fin)

Buddha

April 9th, 2015

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

happy April, happy spring, happy, happy (almost) everything

April 4th, 2015

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Doesn’t Steve take pretty pictures?

My baby is a teenager now. My other teenager came to school with me and volunteered, ohmyGod the babies love her. Love. One of the kinders flung herself, as kinders are wont to do, into Wacky Girl’s arms.

I love you! (hugs one of the other aides, then me, then the other aide again.) I love you! And I love you! I love everyone!

Runs down the hall. Runs into us later, loves on Wacky Girl some more.

She is my friend, she tells two of the other littles. Runs down the hall, yells, Bye, friend!

#bestthingsinlife #free

ps #missingmydadbutsmilinganyway

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