Folks, this is the house I grew up in. I can’t imagine what my mother would say, other than “wow, those boys sure do love our house!” Glad they’re giving the neighborhood some mighty Christmas cheer!
Happy Holidays, whatever they may be, to everyone!
It has been ten years since we lost Mom. September 12. It seems like the past ten years have been a lifetime since that day. I’ve moved, changed jobs, got married, had children and have a whole new life. I could never have imagined how much life would change.
I cannot forget those days though, and want to remember that although we miss her, Mom is in a better place. It is so true what they say – that your life is never the same after you lose a parent.
I want to express a little of what she was, not only to me, but to everyone she came in contact with. Mom was this amaz- ingly quiet driving force of nature. If you needed something or needed something to get done, all you had to do was ask (or sometimes just suggest it in passing). I have never met anyone quite like her. She loved so hard, but never let it show. It came out in her actions. She was our mom, our friends’ moms, town’s mom – she had a coat or mittens or a hat for any needy kid (or adult) in a 20 mile radius. You all know this already – but it’s nice to say it out loud once in a while to people who truly understand it.
She gave so much of herself, and never asked for anything in return.
What I love about my family is that collectively, we all have her traits. Jane has her generosity, Mark has her ingenuity, Paula has most of her everything, Joel has her resourcefulness, Julie has her patience, and I got her hair….how was she able to manage all of us and actually pass it on? I will always wonder and admire for doing what she did for all of us.
Mom, I miss you, and I hope you are still around, watching out for all of us and shining down the love that we all know is still there in our own hearts.
**I wrote this six years ago, and I just updated it a bit – it captures what I want to say today as much as it did then.
GVRC begins in five days from today. This place and these people have been part of my life for 32 years, which is monumentally hard to believe!
The Dash for Destinie is tomorrow – if you’d like to donate or participate, visit http://dashfordestinie.com
My family and I signed up for a half-share in a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Farm this summer. Today was our first pickup of fresh vegetables (all organically grown). I’m totally blown away by the beauty of this food.
I wasn’t able to spend a lot of time at the farm today because it was after work, and I had to get home to the family, but my initial impression is that this place is going to be awesome for us this year.
First, Farmer Erin totally has it together with her technology. Her website is really good (http://www.mudcreekfarm.com/). She sends out email updates, does most of her transactions online, the welcome newsletter was well-done, and she’s doing social media.
Impressed. (Computer geeks appreciate all those things very much)
And she’s super nice, friendly and completely welcoming.
OK, so above all, the food looks and tastes wonderful. I seriously wanted to cry when I saw it all at the farm. Erin and her team have a great setup, you walk in, they clearly show you what you get each week, and you go through the ‘line’ – and pick up your food. Super easy. You can go out back to the pick-your-own section of the farm to pick the ‘extras’. We’ll bring the kids next time for that!
THIS WEEK’S SHARE INCLUDES:
Kale & Collards
We grilled some chicken and I made a bok choi stir fry that was delicious. I used the recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spicy-bok-choy-in-garlic-sauce/ – I used fish sauce instead of oyster sauce because that’s what I had on hand. I added some of the garlic scapes for extra flavor.
We’ll make some salads for tomorrow and I’ll figure out the spinach and cooking greens tomorrow and this weekend.
There are two things I’ve not been so great at in the last couple of years since having the kids. OK, I’ll admit, I’m TERRIBLE at these two things – meal plans and kids’ event planning. I used to be a great cook, full of ideas, lots of exotic dishes were made in my home, but since having kids, it’s become mac n cheese and hot dogs. Ugh, how did that happen? Oh wait, maybe because my husband doesn’t like to cook (but thank GOD, he does laundry), and I work full time. Oh yeah, that. So when the weekend rolls around, we are exhausted from the week and have to find ways to entertain our kids while we somehow catch up on our rest (which, sadly, barely ever happens).
My goals for the meal plan are to know what I’m cooking for dinner BEFORE I’m driving home every night, and to save money on our grocery and eating out bills – which has skyrocketed in the last month or two. I started this weekend by making a couple big meals that we can reheat during the week for dinners and/or take to work for lunches. I also stocked up on a few frozen meal options – I try to stay very simple with those because I don’t usually like the ingredient list on them, and want my kids to eat fresher food. Yeah, right. The mac n cheese will undoubtedly resurface, but I’m trying. My kids didn’t like the big pasta dish I made on Sunday for this week (boo to them, b/c it is super tasty), but I will keep trying. The power of cucumbers and ranch dressing are high in my house, so as long as I keep something fresh in front of them, I guess I’m doing my job.
Anyone have any suggestions for me? I have a crockpot, and I use it, but honestly, my crockpot food never really comes out as awesome as all those crock pot sites will attest. I don’t know what I”m doing wrong with it, or my food tastes are just different from the rest of the world. The only really great-tasting food that I get out of that thing is chili.
Now, on to Event Planning. Honestly, my husband and I are terrible at planning things for our kids to do. We basically wake up in the morning hoping we’ll figure it out. He likes to plan, I don’t. But I know for everyone to happy, occupied and LEARNING, I have to step up and do what I can.
I heard about this today on the local NPR station – 60funthingstodo.com – and I bought the little book! It looks really fun, and we can go explore some local places as the weather gets better. I will update as we visit these places and let you know how they are. I really hope that I’m not alone in my exhaustion and frustration in all this. Sometimes I feel like the worst parent ever, but then I look at my kids and realize they are happy, healthy and loving little people (when the tantrums subside, that is), and that we’re barreling through like the rest of the frazzled, exhausted parents out there.