Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I received this email from a popular diaper company.  I subscribe to their email list in hopes of getting free offers and coupons.  I wasn't really expecting this??   Seriously?  So what they are saying- in my spare time (what little I have) I want to play games with pirates and dirty diapers filled with poop???

Luvs Poopdeck - level 2

However, it is free..... maybe I will download it............

Monday, March 28, 2011

Maple Syrup Season in New England

Last weekend was the big weekend for maple syrup farms in Maine to open up their sap houses to the public.  We were lucky enough to be invited to a private sap house to watch how syrup is collected and made.  My kids loved it.  But I have to be honest-I think the biggest kid -my husband- enjoyed it the most!  Maybe it was the beer or the male bonding, but he enjoyed learning the whole process.   In fact, he has already offered to help again next year.

It smells SOOO yummy inside!

 Syrup face.

While the males bonded and processed the syrup the moms cooked about 100 pancakes, bacon and sausage to bring back down to the sap house for dinner to be enjoyed with all the fresh maple syrup! 


Friday, March 25, 2011

Feeling like Gardening

We had snow yesterday.  Today when I woke up it was 26 degrees.  The fire is going, it has been going all week despite this being the first week of spring.  In order to keep my chin up I have pulled out all the seed packets and have started to think about getting ready for the garden and planting seeds indoors.

and looking at last years garden pics make me happy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I can see why you would be confused

One of our favorite book series is the Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson.   On each page Olivia is able to pick out the bear, the wren, the raven, the gopher, the mole, the badger, the mouse and the hare. Phew- it takes us a while to get through each book-but a fun game.

When we get to this page below we run into a problem.  She refuses to see that the gopher in this picture is indeed a gopher and not Plumpy.   (He's the fat one in the middle)

I guess I can see where she might get things mixed up. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Day of Spring?

This was out my window today.  Not looking very "springish" to me??

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Moving forward...

or at least getting into a new routine since the loss of our dog, Tia.   As you can imagine grieving with children is very different.  There are lots of very tough questions to "try" and answer and some that just make you laugh out loud.  and some, well, are just plain not helpful.........

Olivia " Mommy, don't cry, we will just get another one"

Abby "Mommy, how does Tia get to Heaven, is there some special kind of vet car that takes her there"

Olivia "Mommy, boy you are gonna be sad when Plumpy dies"

Abby (this is asked of me on a daily basis)  " Mommy, are you still sad about Tia.  Are you gonna cry again?"

On a special note, this little reminder arrived at our house this past week from our vet.  It was all wrapped in tissue paper and a ribbon.  A very nice imprint of her giant paw.   They were very kind about the whole thing.

and some really nice friends sent us this fruit bouquet.  The girls loved it.  You would have thought they delivered a basket of kittens and money the way they were so excited.

Yes, Abby is wearing a bathing suit.  I have no excuse-it was just easier to let her wear it vs. argue.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Meatloaf

Actually it is called Turkey Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Jam AND it was GOOD!  Really good and even the littles liked it!

Turkey Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Jam 
Recipe from Country Living
  • 3 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) olive oil
  • 1/2 pound(s) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon(s) finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoon(s) diced roasted red peppers
  • 2 pound(s) ground turkey (1 pound each white and dark meat)
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) bread crumbs
  • 2 clove(s) (medium) garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground ginger
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 can(s) (14.5-ounce) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoon(s) balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup(s) light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) allspice

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Sauté mushrooms until just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and 1/4 teaspoon thyme. Continue to brown mushrooms, stirring, about 6 minutes more. Stir in roasted red peppers. Transfer mixture to a plate and let cool.

2.Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix turkey, bread crumbs, garlic, sage, ginger, half the onion, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons thyme. Using your hands, pack half the turkey mixture into a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. Top with an even layer of mushroom mixture. Cover with remaining turkey and pat down. Bake for 40 minutes.

3.Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining oil and cook remaining onion until softened, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushed red pepper, vinegar, brown sugar, and allspice; simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes.

4.Remove meatloaf from oven and spread 3/4 cup tomato jam on top. Return to oven and bake until meatloaf reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 30 minutes more. Let cool in pan, about 10 minutes. Turn out and slice. Serve with remaining tomato jam on the side.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Did somebody say chocolate?

Do you remember the Food Network show Cooking with Nigella?  She used to make this tasty looking number called Chocohotopots.  She made it look easy-but mine never seem to come out well. 

When I saw a similar recipe called "Baked Fudge" over at The Pioneer Woman I knew I had to give it another go.

There are no words for how good this was!  My husband even took a bite and declared "You've done it.  You have made the chocohotopots!"


■2 whole Eggs

■1 cup Sugar

■2 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa

■2 Tablespoons Flour

■½ cups Butter, Melted

■1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300 to 325 degrees.

Beat eggs until light in color. Beat in sugar until just combined. Add cocoa, flour, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Mix gently until well combined.
Pour batter into four large ramekins or one 8-inch square baking dish. Set ramekins or pan into a larger pan halfway full of water.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until upper crust is crispy and the rest of the batter is firm but not set. Toothpick should come out…not clean, but mixture should not be overly runny. If you pull it out of the oven and have second thoughts, stick it back in for ten more minutes.

Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream; whatever makes your skirt fly up.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Desperate for cinnamon rolls.........

 Ok, so they are not really soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls, but the kids liked them and I did say desperate.....  
Lay out a left over pie crust flat on the counter.  Mix butter, cinnamon and sugar together.  Spread on the pie crust.   Roll into a long tube shape.  Cut into "rolls" with dental floss or a serrated bread knife worked well too.   Bake at the temp recommended on the box-about 20 mins.  We made pink icing with powered sugar and milk.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You are so pretty, why must you stink so!

A friend of mine mentioned that she had grown Paperwhites before and while they are very pretty they stink a bit like cat urine.  Really, how could this be.  I inquired about them from a few others and each said -yes, they do have a bit of a smell, but you get used to it.  Well, the girls have been amazed at how fast they have grown, they definitely are pretty and I just love this teal colored vase that I found for them, but yes the do smell a bit.    Olivia summed it up best when she was standing in the vicinity of the flowers-"Mummy, I think I smell Plumpy's bum".  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Yeah, that's me in the pool.  Cute eh? 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Saying goodbye

We had a tough weekend.   We said goodbye to our dog Tia that has been with us for 10+ years.   Our house is quiet, you don't realize how much noise and room an 88 pound dog consumes until they are gone.  The girls are dealing with it differently.  Abby is more aware that she is not coming home.  Olivia will probably ask me next week where she is.

I think maybe I am the most sad.  Being a stay at home mom during the day sometimes the days are long and the hours are longer.  She was company for me.  She entertained the kids, she herded them from room to room and was never very far from all the action.  She watched while Abby got on the bus, she followed Livy and I upstairs for books and nap time, she was always in the same room with me while I scurried around cooking, working, blogging and cleaning during my 2 hour reprieve from children.  She waited patiently at the front door for Abby to return. 

She was our protection when sometimes it felt like I was the only person home in the middle of the day in our neighborhood.  She would bark and growl at anyone that approached the door.   She was always the first one in to "secure the area" when I would hear something strange in the basement or in the walk up attic.   I would feel safe when the kids and I were exploring in the woods.

I now have to vacuum the floor after we eat dinner or enjoy a snack on the couch.  There are crumbs leftover and nobody to eat them.   I throw that last bite of meatloaf, that nobody could eat at dinner, in the trash thinking of how much she would have enjoyed it.

She slept on my side of the bedroom for 10+ years and now when I wake up that corner of the room is empty.  

I miss you Tia, you old stinky dog.  I hope wherever you are now there is no more pain and you continue to watch over our family.