Sunday, June 29, 2008
I believe in well-hydrated kids. I have a Gerber sports bottle by or in each of the kids’ beds filled with water. I try to make sure they have water in a place where they can get it whenever they want. They will even ask for water when other things are offered other drinks. I also have a shelf at kid height stocked with the ‘juices’ they can have. I do request they ask first but then they get to pick which one they would like. So far it seems to be working well and they get to make some of their own choices.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
On Wednesday lunch was an English muffin pizza made the night before. I made them with Thomas’s English muffins, Ragu’s homemade style pizza sauce and part-skim mozzarella cheese. I broiled them until the cheese melted. After they cooled I packed them with a piece of wax paper between to make sure they didn’t stick together. Their lunch was rounded out with baby carrots, graham cracker sticks, Philly cheesecake filling with M&M smiley faces, and a fruit cup. One ate all of the pizza the other only took two bites, but when it was offered for dinner she ate all of it all and wanted more. The cheesecake didn’t go over as well I had hoped with either one of them.
On Thursday I gave in to the constant request for mac and cheese for dinner by packing it with lunch. I made a batch of Easy Mac’s larger servings and served it in the silicone baking cups topped with American cheese starts. Lesson learned: add cheese shapes after it has been refrigerated. The evening stars were very droopy by morning so I added some fresh ones. I completed lunch by adding green beans, chocolate cake and a banana for each. One didn’t touch the mac and cheese the devoured it. The one who didn’t touch his also didn’t touch the cake. I took his temperature and talked to his teacher. He evidently had a big snack of rice and wasn’t hungry.
On Friday I decided to try one of the school’s suggestions, pancakes. I packed my homemade banana spelt and buckwheat pancakes. I use the Joy of Cooking recipe for griddle or pancakes. I double the recipe and then substitute the wheat flour with equal parts of white spelt flour and buckwheat flour (or whole spelt flour), increase the sugar by a teaspoon (then we don’t use any syrups etc) and added 3 mashed overly ripped bananas. After serving all the family can eat the rest are stored in the freezer in freezer Ziplock bags with plastic lids (like coffee can lids with the rims cut off) placed between each pancake so they don’t stick together. They then get put into the freezer labeled with the date and what I used (banana, buckwheat, whole spelt, etc). To go with their pancakes I added a Monterey Jack cheese stick, sweet corn, applesauce and a few Trader Joe’s chocolate chip cookies. One set of pancakes came back like the English muffins, just 2 bites missing. But she said she likes the pancakes and usually eats a lot of them, fresh or defrosted. Some of the corn came back too.
I am probably packing too much food and need to find a better balance between variety, new foods and things that I know they will eat.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
This was my first attempt at packing a healthy meatless lunch for a tw0-year-old and a 4-year-old. Lunch was cheese sandwiches, peas, chocolate cake, dried fruit (apples, raisins & cranberries) and a low fat vanilla pudding cup too. Each are packed in a Sistema® KLIP IT® Lunch Cube and organized with Wilton® silicone cupcake molds and a beetle spork. To drink each one has a box of apple juice and a box of soy milk (plain for him and chocolate for her).I was hoping I found an acceptable combination of food and cuteness that they each most of their lunches. Well it looked like it was mostly a success. My son said I packed too much food. He also does not seem to like any dried fruit. My daughter lost her spork and her lunch bag was a mess. Thank goodness for it’s easy to clean plastic liner.
My second attempt was the favorite standby of peanut butter sandwiches (hold the jelly), Snaps crisps pea pod chips, Trader Joe’s chocolate chip dippers, and organic apple sauce. This time I packed a beetle spoon for each of the kids for their apple sauce. A box of soy milk and apple juice for each one and we have a lunch. Luckily everything came back this time including the missing spork. My son said it was his "favorite lunch" and next time he wants even more peanut butter. They both requested to have the same lunch again.
I packed their lunches the night before and stored them over night in the refrigerator. I am hoping having everything chilled and an ice pack will keep all of the perishables safe to eat.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
(Mom, there are little bugs can we just get in the car and go to our new school?)
I spent most of the weekend planning and shopping for their first day at their new school which is currently running their summer camp program. They were both a bit apprehensive and understandably so since they attended their old school since they were each just 3 months old. They were excited that their new school does not have mulch to get into their shoes. They love the springy new padded surface. I also tried to have them help with the shopping for new school stuff to keep them excited about the transition. So after a weekend of shopping for backpacks, beach towels, swimsuits, pool shoes (crocks), and such they were prepared for their first day. I'm happy to say I was greeted by two very happy kids shouting "mommy, we love our new school ."
Monday, June 23, 2008
The homeless shelters can use soap, shampoo, conditioners, lotions, shower caps, toothbrushes, shave kits, and any of the other little toiletries items the hotels normally leave out free for guest. These little items can make a big difference in someone’s life. The shelter puts the items out in a basket so their residents can take what they need. They can have their own personal bottle of shampoo, a toothbrush or whatever they may need.
All of the changing TSA regulations for air travel has decreased the number of items we have been able to collect but those which do make it back to the office are greatly appreciated. With the changing airline luggage policies it may not be possible to throw these goodies into your carry on bag but they are still allowed in checked baggage. If you are traveling by car or bus it is much easier to bring them back.
I have a box under my desk in my cubical to collect what my co-workers bring in. When the box gets full I make trip to the shelter and start collecting for the next delivery. This past weekend I boxed up what has been accumulating under my desk for delivery. Since my first deliver in 2004 we have collected 4,046 items for the homeless shelter.
So next time you are traveling and staying in a hotel which offers complementary toiletries consider who might benefit from them if you aren’t going to be using them.
Pass it on….
Sunday, June 22, 2008
A few months ago I decided to get a cactus for my desk at the office. Home Depot had a variety of cactus garden dishes and one caught my eye. Surprisingly it is still surviving. I usually don’t have much luck with these sticky little ‘critters’. I’m trying very hard to NOT over water it and so far so good.
I’m going to make another attempt at introducing a new plant to my cubical. I have a few juniper plants I pulled out of the lawn. They have been “naturally’ bonsai over the years since the birds planted them in the middle of the lawn. Each time I mow I am on the look out for these sticky little evergreens which are oh so painful when you find them while chasing a ball through the yard bare foot. While gardening, I have found a few interesting large rocks, fist size or smaller. I am reusing the planter and moss from one of the failed replacement plants which withered over the past year. A little excess gravel from the walkway project and a little water retaining 'gel' from a flower arrangement and I think I have it. This is close to a completely recycled planting. Now I just need to see how well it does in my cubical.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
What kind of fish are you? Based on the results (this time) I’m closest to is a Hammerhead Shark! But considering I had a hard time picking answers I suspect it may be different next time. Really how could you choose between vacations at bread and breakfast
Yes this little quiz is to raise your awareness about our oceans. So what is wrong with a little fun mixed with a little education? If you are interested in learning more check out the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) Wave Forward web page.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Next step will be de-cluttering my workspace… well that may just add more stress.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I was having a hard time choosing. Trying to pick a living person can be so hard and politically charged. I wanted to say all of our armed forces who put themselves on the line or work behind the lines to protect us, but unfortunately there are just enough ‘questionable people’ in any group I don’t feel like I can say that. I also regret that those people tarnish the reputation and the service of those who truly are doing their best to serve their country and mankind.
Then there is the world of super heroes. The magnification of what we want our heroes to be like. Some of the new ones are just too dark to choose. Yes, they have more depth to their characters then some of the ones of old but, well some of it is just “TMI” (too much information). So after some consideration I chose Wonder Woman (TV). A family oriented hard working super hero who does her best to help the world be a better place. I also feel I can relate to her. I am trying to take care of my family, work a full time job and do my part to make the world a better place. Okay so I don’t have the cool costume (yet), the magic lasso, or the ability to deflect bullets but I’ve got a good mind and good intentions. I might not have her connections to the Air Force but I do have a compost bin, a garden, time to give to friends and charities, and most importantly time to talk to my kids and read them bedtime stories.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The magnets are just a simple token of thanks and were made using the directions I found on Not Martha.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
His buddy has been watching over the Great Lakes Lettuce since last fall. He was so busy trying to catch water for the butterflies he didn't see the cabbage caterpillars eating way more then their share of the bok choy and wok bok last fall. Since the lettuce should soon sir cum to the summer heat I need to find a non-cabbage or lettuce crop to plant in the bed for the little guy to watch over.
The latest gnome to join the garden patrol seems to be having problems with his new duties. The bed he has been assigned has been planted with corn, zucchini, and carrots. So far I have not seen a single carrot sprout and they should be poking through by now. The corn is only faring a little better. About half of the seeds sprouted but half of those plants were taken off at the ground by something. I didn't see teeth marks so I'm not sure if it was critter or human vandal. This past weekend I planted the remaining seeds in the bear spots in the rows. There were 4 'mounds' of zucchini with 3 seeds each. So far 9 of the 12 seeds have sprouted into healthy looking seedlings and seem to be doing well.
Monday, June 16, 2008
We’ll see how long it last. In the meantime the kids are loving it.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I will admit it. I am a news junkie. Since the children have been born my evening news and Sunday morning political talk shows have been replaced by Noggin and PBS/Sprout Cartoons. I’ve relied on local news radio to fill the void. Since I live in the Metropolitan Washington DC area Tim Russert was just as much a part of local radio as he was on national TV. His questions and insight will be greatly missed.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Since returning from my vacation in
This website has several stations to choose from
Hawaiian Radio Stations
This is the one I decided to listen to this morning.
Honolulu - Hawaiin Radio: http://www.streamaudio.com/stations/asx/kine_fm.asx
Traditional & Contemporary Hawaiian Music
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Hiking in Maui, Hawaii
Trail & Access System
National Parks Service
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
One is a bamboo mat to roll sushi. This may work better then the aluminum foil or in combination with the foil for the candied sushi I have made and loved.
The other two are molds: one round and one square. I attempted to use the square one to make a “beginner" sushi for the kids. I boiled some baby carrots with a sprinkle of ginger and in a separate pot made some short grain sticky rice. I attempted to assemble my beginners sushi and it seemed to work. It stayed together when I took it out of the mold and when I sliced it. It even looked okay. The kids and the husband were not amazed or inspired to eat. I had messed with their beloved rice.
I think I need to find a friend or a class, or two.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I tried an experiment this past trip. My husband had been brining home gifts just about every business trip. More often then not it is a new toy for each of the kids. This trip I tried getting the kids clothes instead. Before leaving, my son put in a request for a t-shirt with a monster riding a motorcycle making a funny face. My daughter said pretty flowers. So I was on a mission to find flowers for her and a motorcycle riding monster for him.
I flew through
Who ever said all the chain stores are the same hasn’t realized the stock is partially dictated by the location. For some stores it might just mean which colors or sizes it is sent and for other it means the location has its own unique items. The Sears on Maui have a wonderful selection of Hawaiian print shirts and dresses, with many of them made in
My host suggested getting the kids shirts which change colors in the sun. He knew they had to have at least one design with a ‘monster’ to keep my son happy. He took me to Del Sol on
I had found my pretty flowers for her and several monsters for him. They loved their new clothes so much they completely ignored the matching glow-in-the-dark turtles I slipped in. I was even forgiven for not finding a monster riding a motorcycle on a t-shirt. He says he’ll wait to see if we can find one at the Maryland Renaissance Festival this fall. (I hope the dragon print vendor returns.)
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
You have no idea how nice it is to walk into a restaurant and not be looked at like some kind of freak when you order a burger without a bun. All of the low-carb burgers I had while I was in
Ruby’s Diner at the
Carl Jr’s is a fast food burger restaurant in Wailuku. Carl Jr’s had a low-carb burger posted with all of their other selections.
The “tourist” restaurant we ate at in Lahania was able to make a low-carb burger option with just a no bun confirmation. Their portabella with feta cheese and avocado was wonderful. I really mean tourist restaurant. When we went to pay our bill the cashier asked how was the food followed by do we want any souvenirs: t-shirts, cups, etc.
To make your own low-carb burger pick out a few nice big lettuce leaves. Arrange them on your plate so they over lap and are spread out enough to wrap around your burger and all of its toppings. Grill your best burger. Whatever kind you want: beef, turkey, portabella and slide it on top of the lettuce. Now top it with all the fixings you like. The kind of toppings you choose will determine how low-carb your burger will really be. Wrap the lettuce leaves over the top and enjoy. Now it is a bit neater with the commercial food grade wrapper around it but either way it is going to be a juicy drippy delicious mess. Enjoy!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Trader Joe’s sells a wonderfully delicious fully cooked, pork free, mango chicken sausage. They also sell delicious fully cooked, pork free, chicken sweet Italian and chicken apple sausages. I usually toss them straight into the freezer when I bring them home. This helps keep them fresh longer and provides a handy “cold pack” in lunches.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The garlic I planted last fall started to look sad, as in dying back. The first few I tried pull out by their tops to harvest left the bulbs securely in the ground. I had to ding them out by hand. It seemed the smaller cloves garlic that I planted last fall needed to be dug out by hand. The tops were small and just too far gone to pull the heads out of the dirt. The larger cloves produced a larger head and more substantial stems and easily came out. All of the heads still attached to the stems were hung up to dry. I tried to braid the stems but failed miserably. I am hoping some of the nutritional in the stems will go into the bulbs. The ones that were broken off were washed and dried before I put them into the refrigerator. The aroma and taste of the freshly picked garlic was wonderful. I used 4 of the small cloves to make a pot of split pea soup. Yes it might be a bit warm for hot split pea soup but I love it and it is good cold, too.
Garlic seems to appear in so many recipes and folk medicine. As usual Wikipdeia has some good information on garlic.
Monday, June 2, 2008
I wanted to make something with my new fabric for myself as soon as I got home. I've been home for a few weeks but I got "sidetracked" making costumes for Balticon and catching up with the yard and house work I fell behind on while I was gone. I have just finished the first dress. I used Simplicity Khaliah Ali Collection to #3805 make my first dress. I choose the pretty aqua print for my first project. I used my new portable machine which caused a bit of confusion as I waded through the manual and learned the different locations for knobs and controls. I also increased the challenge by picking a pattern which used things I have never used before: interfacing around the collar, and bias tape to finish the sleeve seams. To make a more "finished" dress I did most of the seams with a French seam.
Considering how much fabric I have, hopeful this is just the first piece I'll be making and wearing. If I should run out of fabric I can either go back for another visit (I hope to get back soon) or I can shop the same store on line: Hawaii Fabric Mart.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
pages. Guerrilla gardening is a wonderful underground covert operation preformed by gardeners in growing numbers to green up abandoned or neglected public and private lands.
Blogger Richard Reynolds of
This is fun environmental green graffiti art. If I only had the time and the means to join in the movement. For now I’ll just work on making my little plot greener and more environmentally friendly.