Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where in the world is Scarehaircare?

I had a flu shot in October. Apparently it doesn't count for getting the flu in March.


So please excuse the omission of Sunday Gratitudes last Sunday. I was in bed. I made the kids miss the first two days of Spring Break. It wasn't much fun for them. I didn't even make the Chocolate Birthday Cake with sprinkles for World Down Syndrome Day. That will have to happen next Sunday. Pics will be forthcoming.

Now we are in Utah visiting family. The kids are enjoying a Spring Break full of snow. I am spending time with my mom and twin sis at my grandma's house. We're going through things and taking home mementos (I will post pics later). Mom saved me one of Grandma's many pickle crocks so I can make my own crystal pickles. I have a few books (one of my absolute favorites when I was growing up was Brigham Young and Me, Clarissa. I was thrilled to get it.) I also have a beautiful watercolor print of antique dolls that my cousin painted. It will go in The Love Magnet's room. Lastly, I have my grandma's Ableskiver pan. If you don't know what abelskivers are, I will show you in a later post. It requires photos of the finished product.

I hadn't been in Grandma's house in over a year. Longer than that - since she left to go into assisted living. It was bitter-sweet to be there - it's hard to believe that Grandma has been gone for 6 months. I looked into a closet and saw her sweaters. Tears came into my eyes - I wanted to wrap myself in a sweater hug. There was one sweater she wore the most, a white thing. I almost took it with me. I wish I did. I really miss my Grandma. I miss her reading Shel Silverstein to me. I miss making raspberry jam in her kitchen. I miss her showing me how to make holly hock dolls every year. I miss her taking me on a tour through her incredible flower and vegetable gardens (My sis-in-love was right - Grandma ran on solar power.) I know I've stated that I miss Grandma's Sunday suppers with the pickle dishes and "yucky" rolls. I miss being able to call Grandma when I needed to hear an adult voice. I miss hearing the family history stories.

Afterwards, we went to the local ice cream parlor for sundaes (raspberry chocolate brownie for twin sis and me and Almond Joy sundae for mom) and cheese fries. (I KNOW!! My inner health-nut was cringing!) There was a reason for this choice of menu: My twin sis brought Grandma S to the same place about a year ago. Grandma fell in love with cheese fries and sundaes. she had never eaten cheese fries before. Grandma wasn't eating much of anything at the time so when anyone found something she liked, they would encourage her to eat all she could. (There is a photo of that trip here.) So this afternoon we toasted Grandma with ice cream and cheese fries.

I won't be eating supper tonight. Someone will have to roll me to bed. This was worth all the calories I'll have to run off next week.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


The Love Magnet and her family hope you celebrate this day appropriately by:
1. Completely eliminating the words retard, retarded, or 'tard from your vocabulary.
2. Ask everyone you know to eliminate those words.
3. Hug a person who has Down syndrome.
Since this is a day for celebrating, The Love Magnet insists that you also make her favorite dessert: Chocolate Birthday Cake. Be sure to include candles and sprinkles. The Love Magnet believes all cakes should have candles and sprinkles.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mr. President, I'd like you to meet Sarah...

Obama's joke at the expense of Special Olympics. Oh, yes he did say that. Without blinking an eye. I wonder if he thought anything wrong right after that remark or did his PR group have to point it out?

Mr. President (and world) I'd like you to meet Sarah. Sarah has left me comments on this blog for a few months now. She has incredible wisdom as you will see. Her response to the whole situation is respectful and to the point......absolutely perfect. See it here.

(Mr. President, I really think you should invite Sarah to the White House. She is one smart cookie. I shall count myself very blessed if I ever get to meet her in person.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

picture by Michael Brandy of The Deseret News

These recipes come from a fab Irish pub in Utah (I know, unexpected). I'm making this for supper tonight.
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup raisins
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Sift flour, soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add raisins, mix eggs and buttermilk into flour mixture. Knead lightly for a few minutes. Spread on floured cookie sheet or pizza pan. Bake in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.

3 pounds red potatoes, cut in quarters
3 carrots, roughly chopped
Olive oil
1 head celery, roughly chopped
2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1-2 quarts chicken stock (or vegetable stock or water)
2 quarts heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons roux (butter and flour in equal parts, cooked together)
2 pounds gravlax or smoked salmon (MacCool's cures and cold-smokes its salmon. At the supermarket, look for gravlax or smoked salmon)
2 ounces (about 3 tablespoons) chopped dill

Quarter the potatoes, then boil or steam until slightly tender. Drain and refrigerate.
In a heavy-bottomed sauce pot or braiser, saute carrots in olive oil, then add celery and onion and cook until they become soft. Don't let them turn brown, or it will discolor the chowder.
Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes. Add the stock to cover the veggies completely, and bring to a boil. Add heavy cream and bring the mixture to a boil again. After the chowder has reduced somewhat, mix in the roux to thicken it slightly, to the consistency of a stew.
Pour the chowder into a plastic container or bucket and place in an ice bath.

While the chowder is cooling, add the salmon, reserving some for the garnish. (The salmon is already cured and/or smoked, so it's cooked.)

Add the potatoes and dill, and stir gently but thoroughly. The chowder is best if made a day or two before serving. It seems to get a more intense, sweeter flavor after sitting in the refrigerator.

To serve, thoroughly reheat, garnish with some cold thinly sliced gravlax on top, and add a nice hunk of Irish soda bread on the side.
and just in case you want to try MacCool's yourself:

MacCool's Public House locations:
1400 S. Foothill Drive in Salt Lake City
855 W. Heritage Park Blvd. in Layton
11610 S. District Main Drive in South Jordan.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pink Eye

Ugh. And more ugh.

What I thought yesterday was just goopy eyes from blocked tear ducts (it happens sometimes to my darling little girl) was most definitely a full blown case of pink eye this morning. I kept TLM home from school and called the family doctor first thing this morning.

Midmorning I get a call from the elementary school: Thirdborn has pinkeye and will I come and get him? (Why on earth didn't I see it when I looked at him this morning? He looked fine this morning.)

I called Mr. Wonderful to tell him the news and......his eyes are itchy. Oh, lovely. So are mine, come to think of it. The Love Magnet and her brothers spent yesterday afternoon all together in my bed, watching movies.........infecting my pillows........

So it's a round of eye drops for everyone at this house. And my profuse apologies to anyone else who might have picked it up from my kids this weekend. I shall repent from my not-so-nice thoughts of whomever infected my kids.

One smile: the nurse offered my kids a pair of their very own blue medical gloves so they could handle things without infecting everything. The Love Magnet immediately put hers on, turned to me and said "Mom, give me your arm". She proceeded to do a perfect imitation of taking my blood. She wanted to take everyone's blood - and hug them afterwards for being brave patients.

I had always thought that she would be a teacher's aide when she grew up. Now I am wondering of the possibilities of working in a doctors office. Not doing anything technical.....just offering love to teary patients.

Sunday Gratitudes (on a Monday)

I'm grateful for datenight. I put together a group to continue on the tradition of game night here. These people are great fun. The food is fabulous (there has been a small competition going on for bragging rights to the best meal - I think its a three-way tie so far). Last night I made a Blackberry Almond Tort based on a recipe I found here. Since there wasn't flour in the sponge cake ingredients list (I thought it might be an error) I used the sponge cake recipe from America's Test Kitchen Best New Recipes cookbook. The cake turned out divine. I had enough pastry cream left over to make a trifle for Family Home Evening treat tonight.
I started running last week. It will still be uber hard for another week or two but persistence will pay off. I'm so grateful that K got me started on running. I never would have dared try on my own if it weren't for her. My sweet sis-in-love has registered for the Richmond Marathon in November. She told me that they also have a half marathon and suggested I come with her. Hmmm. Seriously considering.....
The weather has been warming up. My tulips are starting to poke out of the ground, including the tulips I planted a year after I bought the bulbs. So here is gratitude that the bulbs are forgiving. I absolutely love spring flowers.
This week past week was harder than most. My boys and Mr. Wonderful were so good at helping out. Or should I say that Mr. Wonderful was great in rallying the troops to help out? In any case the kitchen was clean and the carpets vacuumed. I'm grateful for my family's love and support. Now I am making it up to them by getting the laundry done today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Running update

After not running in ages, and getting on the scale only to make myself miserable, I dusted off my running shoes and strapped on my Garmin. It was cold outside. But the skies were a combination of blue and white and the sun was shining. It didn't help that I was given a nasty cough from Mr. Wonderful and the kids. Add that to trying to run against a stiff wind......
Yeah, I know I am complaining. I'm a complainer. The only disability is a bad attitude. Chalk it up to being angry with myself for stopping my running habit and gaining weight as a result. I am not happy with myself at the moment. At least I got out. I'm proud that I did run (1 mile non stop at 11:30/mi. and the second mile off and on because I was coughing so much. I didn't get the third mile in at all).
Last night I got online to check out blog and saw that my sweet Sis-in-love had a similar idea and dusted off her running shoes, too. I feel a kinship with that woman. She is one of my heroes.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sunday Gratitudes

One huge gratitudes for meds. We've had a sick Mr. Wonderful, followed by The Love Magnet, Thirdborn Son and now me. The only things that seem to help are Vicks vapor products and Mucinex. While I am at it, I am grateful for the stores in easy distance and plenty of products stocked.

Gratitude for a wonderfully supportive church family. These people would walk through fire to help. This week our dear Relief Society President has been just incredible in helping me work through a few minor trials and teaching me humor through it all.

I'm incredibly grateful for a doctor who could give us a name for Thirdborn's learning disability. Thirdborn does have a form of dyslexia. We were even referred to a center that will help Thirdborn retrain his brain how to work with this disability. This doctor did all of this in a fun way that made Thirdborn comfortable. My son came home laughing and telling me about the silly things he had to do. He was more excited to show me the prize he picked for doing so well. I'm also grateful that Thirdborn has already started resource services to help him at school. He has had such a great attitude through it all and that is a big result of his wonderful teacher. I wish I could keep her for every grade.

I'm grateful for Mr. Wonderful. He was all set to take me out to dinner and a dance last Friday when he was sick. I told him that we could cancel and he replied that it wouldn't be fair to me that I needed a datenight. Well, yes I did. I convinced him to put on pjs. Then I ran to the store and splurged on three imported cheeses, a few antipasto items, crackers and non-alcoholic sparkling pear juice. I put everything together on a tray along with a high quality chocolate and toffee bar. We watched Cold Comfort Farm at which I laughed uproariously and Mr. Wonderful was baffled. When I told him we did not have to watch it he told me that he was just happy being with me. Isn't Mr. Wonderful wonderful?

Friday, March 06, 2009

Oh, the Simple Joys

Wearing your softest pajamas to school.
Green eggs and ham.
Watching the movie Horton Hears A Who.
Cuddling with your favorite princess fleece blanket.
Reading The Cat In The Hat.
Blue frosting - your favorite color.
Best. School day. Ever.

I wish I could wear my pajamas to school, eat green eggs, watch movies and read fun books all day, and really truly enjoy blue frosting'd cupcakes with wild abandon. Unfortunately, 40 year old moms in college just don't get to do fun things like that.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Be a Duck- God loves them, too.

duck Pictures, Images and Photos

Have you ever been offended? Really, really offended? Hurt? Feel a bit bitter about it all?

This rarely happens to me. Most the time I have no idea that someone offended me until they come to apologize and I just blink at them wondering what on earth they are talking about. No harm, no foul. No worries.

But once in a blue moon something happens (like this last week) where someone does offend me. This one happened anonymously. I won't say what it was other than that being anonymous must make them braver. (Please, next time you have a problem with me, come and tell me. I won't get offended. I won't yell or scream. We'll have a great conversation over herbal tea and a sweet. You might even like me, after all.)

In the mean time, you've read my Gratitudes where I learned to Be A Duck. Just let it roll off my back. The thought makes me grin and want to quack. (I know a bit corny, but right now, whatever helps me to lighten up is a good thing.)

Another piece of great advice came from someone whom I unknowingly offended (who held the grudge for two years and then used the situation as an example for a Sunday School lesson. It was the first time I had ever heard about the problem - had I known sooner, I would have apologized profusely. Instead I got to hear the story unfold along with the rest of my ward. They were staring at me out of pity along with some trying to hide smiles, knowing - hoping?- that I would laugh at this later. I had more than a few people come up to me afterwards to ask if I was offended that he publicly humiliated me like that. Oh, good grief. I wish I knew about Be A Duck back then). His words of wisdom that day were a mantra: God loves them, too. That is how he said he finally got over it, by realizing that God loved me, too, no matter how many faults I had. Turn about being fair play, I repeated that mantra about him. It worked. I got over it.

I've been thinking a lot about this today. There has got to be more wisdom like this out there.
If you have it, let me know. I'll start a collection.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday Gratitudes

I regret having missed my Sunday Gratitudes last week. I had the week from The Vortex of Doom (what I prefer saying rather than you-know-where. Just humor me, okay?) But the week ended much better than it started. I have much for which to be grateful.

I am grateful that Firstborn blessed the Sacrament for the first time today. Firstborn turned 16 at the beginning of February. Since our ward boundaries were reorganized at the same time, his ordination to become a Priest had to wait a few weeks. He was ordained last week and today I was a proud mom as my son reverently blessed the sacrament. I am so grateful that he honors his priesthood. He has a great example in his dad.

I'm grateful for the wise counsel "Be a duck" (meaning 'let it roll off your back'). This week, after a particularly hard trial, I was told this by an amazing woman. You know who you are. Heavenly Father blessed me by putting you in my path. You were his angel when I really needed it.

I'm grateful that we were able to learn the results of the testing for Thirdborn and his learning disability. We weren't given a name for it, but results did qualify him for resource help. I'm happy that he will get this extra help and I pray that it helps him be successful. Thirdborn has an appointment this month with a medical doctor that specializes in diagnosing learning disabilities. I am grateful that we were able to finally get an appointment with him. I want to better understand what Thirdborn is enduring and how best I can help him.

I'm grateful that Secondborn is doing so well in school that he has been asked to tutor other kids before school. He loves helping his classmates. I love that he is giving service.

I'm grateful that Mr. Wonderful is finally on the upswing after catching an awful virus. He has been coughing and feeling 'blah' for over a week now. It's hard for him to keep up the work schedule he has when he doesn't feel 100%. But today he was starting to sound like himself again.

I'm grateful that I aced my math and Child Psych exams last week. That felt great to know nearly all the answers. I didn't ace my stats exam (far from it) but the professor said I can still get a good grade if I keep doing well on my homework and do better on future exams. While I am on that subject, I am grateful that the Statistics TA's are patient. They are going to see a lot of me during the next few weeks before exam #2.