Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Leave it to Little Man...

...to make me laugh and remember how much I love being a mom.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Connecting With My Past

My mom had this bracelet made for me.  They are spoon handles from my Great Grandmother's silver setting.  I love wearing it and remembering my grandparents with every clink of the bracelet. 

I've been feeling a shift lately.  Shifting of my outlook on life, my curiosity in the after-life and past-lives, and even my reevaluations of my core belief systems.  I feel like something big is happening.  Many talk of 2012 as the end of the world, or major changes.  I believe that shift has already begun with the unrest in Egypt, Tunisia, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, now Libya and all the other countries where the people are fighting for their own personal freedom.  It's a snowball going down a mountain, gathering snow and people and becoming a boulder that can't go unnoticed.

The changes are having me take a step back to remember who I am, explore who I will be and even who I was in other times.  Do past lives really exist?  I'm almost over the fence, but still not quite sure I buy the "I was a princess in a past life" or the "I used to be a chemist". 

I'm not sure what's going on, but surely it's something.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eggs

Back in Chicago, I was successfully doing the South Beach Diet.  I was losing weight, it wasn't a diet that made me feel deprived.  I was eating eggs every single day.

And then, one Sunday I had scrambled eggs and home fries at my brother's house.  Approximately 30 minutes later, I was in excruciating pain.  Cramping, general pain.  I stayed in the bathroom and bedroom for hours.

A couple days later, I had eggs again.  The same feelings came up, faster and less painful, only because I had only a little bit of eggs as a test.  I stopped eating eggs as a main dish.

I would eat eggs cooked into something else; cookies, breads, pancakes, and meatballs.  Since I already have so many food restrictions, I was determined to conquer this egg enemy.

Two weeks ago, we had a lovely baby shower for my sister (in-law) Brooke.  It was at Anne's house.  More than just a fun person and great artist (see here), Anne can cook.  She made a quiche with potato slices as the crust and it looked so delicious.  Feeling brave, I took a slice.

One bite.  So delicious, no issues.  Second, third and fourth bites were even better.  I only ate half of the slice, just in case I'd feel like crap.  And you know what...?  Nothing!  I had no reaction.

Still a little hesitant, I made myself French Toast for dinner when the boys got a gluten filled pizza. 

Friends, I can eat eggs again!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gliding Star(s) Lucas

This is Lucas.

He is the sweetest little boy. 

And my nephew.  He is so incredibly smart and a big fan of the Excelerator Hand Dryer - Feel the Power!

He is recently famous.  You can read about him here and even more here!  (I told you he is famous).

We are so proud of you, Lucas! 

If you have the opportunity, check out Gliding Stars, Movies and Musicals on Ice. My father did the artwork for the posters and shirts once again.

Oh, and nice job, too, Dave!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spoonbenderarts

Join me in welcoming Spoonbenderarts to the wild world of ETSY!

This picture above is the Forkament, available here.  You can hang it from a hook on your window, or on your Christmas tree...it's not just for Christmas anymore.


Anne has lots of interesting items, all really wonderful hostess gifts.  She even has these extraordinary bud vases that can be hung from a window, a mirror in your bathroom or any glass surface.

She is slowly, but steadily, setting up her Etsy shop.  Please check it out and support a local artist!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Piles

I have piles.

Piles of piles.  That never go away.

I move them, I sort through them.  When I sort, they go into other piles.  The shred pile, the deal with this pile, the junk email pile, the save for later pile.

Not having time for the piles, they all get 'sorted' into one big pile.  Alas, another big pile.

More and more piles.  I tried to join in with the "Simplify" project (as I show the button on the right column of my blog), but I was too busy.  Which yes, is the whole point.  Tonight I will try to rid this house of piles.  At least for a week or two.

One week at a time.

One pile at a time.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Gluten Free Cream Puffs

You've seen these before.

And that's okay, because this isn't just me showing off my puffs.

This was my struggle.  I've never had problems with these before, until I wanted to make them for the baby shower last weekend and because they remind me of my Aunt Kay.  She (and my mom) love a good puff!  I feel very connected to 'something' when I make these.

When I tried them last Friday night, they flopped.  Majorly.  Well, not so much flop, but more of a flap.  They were much too runny.

Last night, since I had all the ingredients, I tried them again.

Big flap.  Again.

(major expletives)

Try one more time.  I used an extra 1/2 cup of flour, used some tapioca, white rice and sorghum and omitted 2 eggs.

They worked, kind off.  The shells were good, are good.  Just not quite there. 

But what I loved the most, is the custard filling.  I've always just used vanilla pudding and cake frosting for the top.  I followed this recipe for the filling (and chocolate topping) and it was FANTASTIC!  Just like those Bavarian cream donuts I used to love.  And the chocolate drizzle, yum.  It's a rich, almost dark chocolate taste, with the smoothness of a syrup.

Oh, and sorry God.  I ate one (two) last night.  I know I gave up eating after 7 pm for Lent.  But...they are cream puffs for heaven's sake.  I know you will pardon me for this one.

I may have squeezed some custard directly from the pastry bag into my mouth as well.  We cool?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

AHA Moment (with Pancakes)


 Pancakes are clearly my favorite breakfast food.

Hands down.

Since going gluten free (8 years!) I've been searching for the perfect pancake.  I'm almost there.  These had the best flavor yet.  They are the mix from NutsOnline.  This webstore is my new favorite outlet for gluten free flours, mixes, and fun stuff.  The family that runs this is fun! and funny!  I love that personal side of a webstore that you usually don't get.  And super fast shipping.

That is all great, but what I smacked my head and called myself silly was my 'AHA' moment.  My kids aren't all that great with cutting their own pancakes.  And it drives me batty.  It's a selfish thing.  I want hot cakes.  Not cold cakes.

So...
...introducing our super duper pancake chopper!  It's our pizza cutter.  Just a simple plastic wheel in a housing that prevents little fingers from getting cut, but cutting the hot cake.

Why didn't I think of this before?

Hot Cakes for me and my boys.

Love!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Got Lost

Lost in the days.

The days that became weeks.

The nights that turned into days.

I feel like I've been so busy caring for kids and myself and work that the last several weeks have whisked by and I can't remember much.

I was ready to show you all the cool things I made for my soon-to-be-born niece.  Guess what?  I never took a picture of the nappy bag...it was a vibrant green with white cherry blossom like flowers with a nice green and blue stripe inside.  Even the guy cutting that fabric for me at Joann's was impressed with my combination.  I think I'm 'gettin' it.  He was going to buy the same fabrics, not sure what he will be making...hat?  apron?  pillow case?  Who knows.

This is the little sweater I made with the Silk Bamboo yarn.  I made a matching bonnet...with no picture.

I also finished a boat load of flannel burp cloths.  My o my, there were a lot of them.  I'm sure they'll be used.  I remember always needing more towels and things to wipe and protect and snuggle on with my boys.

I love that little girl already!

Coming up...

So much for tidying up my closet.  Missed that week on Simple Mom.
This week is papers.  Those, I have plenty of.  Maybe tomorrow.

Working on another big bag for a great gal.  I'm just really slow.  I need to work on that.

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Apple


I'm very intrigued by psychic abilities.

I was never quite sure if I was feeling something or not.  Then, Nancy told me to picture a green apple in my mind.  I did.  Then she said, that is how you see spirit. 

Really?  It's not a giant ghost-like apparition, a smokey blob, a cold spot?  It's just an apple in my mind?

Yesterday was a strange day.  One of those days where you feel like people are talking about you.  All around.  But this time it wasn't earth-bound people.  It was something more.

In church, I often day dream about places and people.  When I listen to the choir (voices of angles, just phenomenal), I can see members of the congregation that have passed, sitting above us in comfortable chairs enjoying the beautiful sounds and voices of the service.  I was thinking about how things appear. And disappear.

It was Transfiguration Sunday.  


"Jesus became radiant, spoke with Moses and Elijah, and was called "Son" by a voice in the sky, assumed to be God the Father."


I guess it was a small moment.  Not a glaring, punch in the face, moment.  But one that still has me confused.  Confused in a good way.  As the sermon went on, Pastor Bang mentioned just that...the small moments of clarity or spirit like connection.  Whack me in the face and call me blind.  What am I supposed to see?

And then, Kate Goodwill Anderson.

Kate and I worked at the same company in Chicago.  She worked on the 'garden' level and I on the 8th floor of the Wrigley Building.  We were cordial.  We may have had lunch together once, but we rode the same train home.  She'd get off before me.  And that was it.  I liked her, though.  Adorable, kind, sweet, quiet.  Just seemed like a nice all around girl.

And then, one day she didn't come to work.  She committed suicide.  Reports afterward from her sister were that she took pills, called her sister to come help, but they couldn't get into her building in time.  She didn't really want to die and it was a mistake.  That has stuck with me for a long time.  I would say that I think about her once a week.  Which seems to be a lot now that I calculate it in my head.  This was over 10 years ago.

But yesterday...it was huge.  I couldn't shake the feeling and thoughts about Kate.  My mind told me (because I'm still not sure if I'm making this up in my mind or it's really spirit coming through) that at the time, she made a mistake, but she is okay and just fine.  And this will be a lesson for me.  I needed this to happen for my lesson.  And I kept replaying this lesson.  I need to know this lesson to share with others. 

My kids?  Friends?  I just don't quite get it.

Maybe someday I will.

It was my transfiguration.

It was my green apple.

It was Kate.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More Bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Chia Flour.

Yum!

Sadly, this loaf is a mere memory.  The boys each had two slices.  I ate the rest.  It was so good. 

I didn't have the mini chips that I like so much, the big chips were probably why the boys tore through it like boys with hollow legs.  My grandpa always said that...I love it.

I'm back to standard blogging.  Things at work are extremely busy.  Which is great, it keeps me busy, makes the time fly.  I've worked the last couple nights not to catch up, but to get closer to catching up.  Sometimes I feel like I'll never get there.  Just when you think you have a handle on things...another 20 come via email.  After 5:00 pm.  Sneaky little coworkers!

I went to my follow up appointment with my primary doctor.  He has asked me to get a sonogram of my gall bladder, to rule that out as well.  I don't think we are going to play "Test Everything for an Answer" but I'll humor him on this one.  He also looked at my toe.  He didn't want to.  I don't blame him.  Toes are gross.  Especially stinky ones.  I'm going to live with it, maybe the pain will go away.  I might try meditating it away...does that even work?  Heck, I'll  try anything.

Olistrode is on his way to the Netherlands.  So cool.  I love doing commissions.  My next one is an octopus with suction cups.  Yes, I must really like this customer to make suction cups for 8 tentacles...wink wink.

Also contemplating doing UBCon - UB's Comic and Gaming Convention.  Tables are free and the gal thought my wacky monsters would fit in well.  I'm open to ideas for usage of monsters that a guy would buy for himself.  I'm thinking belt buckle? Messenger bag?  iPad cover?  Throw me some ideas if you have any.  And if you've ever been to a ComicCon - please let me know.  I'm curious.  Is there a game or comic that is the BIG thing this year?

Okay, enough procrastinating...off to work.

Thanks for reading!