Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Sort of Repeat Post

A friend and I were chatting earlier about preschools, we both have children that will be going in the fall, when we suddenly veered into high school territory and the obsession our country has with STEM at the present moment. While I get that technology is the favorite frontier of most everyone, I am a little annoyed that with all the energy being put into STEM, schools get to inflict cutbacks to the arts, languages and other subjects that actually make you a well rounded human being.
This then brought us to the fact that some young folks today are seriously lacking in self sufficiency skills. Our world is made to order. You want food? Call out or go out or tell your personal chef what you want. You need your lawn mowed? Pick up some guy on a corner or sign a contract with a landscape company. You have an apartment to clean? Get a maid. Don't misunderstand me, they are the first to outsource things they need done, but there seems to be a much larger group doing it than when I was a twenty-something. Though I think eating out, for a lot of us, was and is a great social event.
My friend and I also wondered what would happen to children who have no interest in STEM. Would they just be regaled to the back of the room? Will schools still have shop classes and work study programs for those that lack the desire to go to college, but prefer a career as a car mechanic? I am curious to see how our education system handles this considering it needs serious restructuring.
We both agreed that home economics is something that should be brought back into the school system. No, public school should not be where you kid learns life skills, but for all the people who are too busy or who have no idea how to balance a checkbook or do a budget, it would be a life saver for their progeny.
I have posted this video before, but I felt the need to share it once again. It is from 1951 and like all things 50's in the USA, comes across a little hokey, but the main message is clear and should be implemented today. One of my favorite statements made by the narrator in regards to the young ladies observing a nursery school class for child development is at the end of the following paragraph. "Home economics means much more than a career. It's the study of everything that makes up a home. Including those who live there. The girls learn a lot from the children of the nursery school. How habits and attitudes learned at this age are so important in later life. They learn how much depends on getting along with others. For after all, we live in a world where people are more important than things."

We need to remember that.


Monday, March 24, 2014

A Sunny Monday, But No Sunny Disposition

We had a nice weekend with many visits and warm weather. Now we are getting ready for snow tomorrow.

Yes, snow.

Winter, I hate you, now go away.

The threat of a snow storm does match my mood. Cranky and listless with a touch of cynicism. Perhaps I need to watch a good comedy? Perhaps Mama needs a Bloody Mary and a trip to Australia. Hell, a trip a few towns over could work. Haha. Also, major TMI alert here, my period is not helping. Wretched uterus. I am glad it works and all, but why must the hormones go off the rails? It really can dampen so much.
I also feel sort of useless because I have not written much here or with my novels. Some of it is because I have been busy and some of it is that I don't have much to say right now. With the blog, I just feel like I have nothing of serious interest to share I guess. I assume most bloggers have this happen. You write and share and then one day, poof. You got nothing.

As for my novel, well, I have hit a wall. I suddenly don't know what to write or why and if I even begin to think about it I feel overwhelmed. I think it is just not time for me to go back to editing and working on it just yet. I want to get this done and get it shopped around and I start to panic that someone will beat me to the punch and without fail I cause myself to freeze. It is irrational and silly, but it tells me that I need to clear my head and settle down. Once I am ready to start again I will and I won't care about all of the above nonsense I just mentioned. I do hope to get my groove back soon my dears, this is a drag!

Anyhoo, because I feel so blah and somewhat wordless, I have decided to play aggregator and share some stuff that could be of interest to you. has these awesome and easy kids' fleece cowl pattern.

The closest Aldi to us is in Rockaway Township which is about 20 minutes east from me. I have not shopped there yet, but I have read many a person worldwide who adores the store. Honestly, that store should start paying all the bloggers that rave about them and give them free press. Or at least realize they need to expand a bit here more in the US or at least in NJ ;-) has posted a 2 week Aldi meal plan which I believe can be helpful to anyone who is looking to save some cash on food. A 2 Week Aldi Meal Plan.

The Yellow House has a delicious looking Marmalade Cake Recipe.

Frugal Feeding has these chickpea burgers which are officially on my "to make" list.

Sometimes food is just so beautiful and this Blood Orange Cake with Salted Caramel from Kitchen Vignettes by Aube is a fine example.

The Inspired Room has a neat idea. In place of the Housewarming Basket, how about a gift tray instead? Imagine how much fun you can have. You can buy or make napkins, washcloths, soap, candles, spices or little snacks for someone. I like this gift idea very, very much.

Well, that is it folks, I am off now to take the little one to the library. Have a wonderful day.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Coming of Spring and The Apocalypse

As I took my dog out this afternoon, I wandered over to an area of the backyard that used to be a wasteland of brambles and broken wood and bricks. Since we have been in this house we revitalized it all by cleaning it out and planting lemon balm, bee balm, horseradish and grasses. It looks lovely when all in bloom and is getting better.

One thing that we have not tinkered with are the random daffodils that have been planted on our property. I have pulled a few bulbs and planted them with others, but mostly we have left them and a skip was brought to my step as I spotted their first signs of life.

I then proceeded to the front of the house to get the mail and walked over to a certain spot with hope.
Imagine the smile on my face. The Crocuses are coming!


Now, I have posted about the unbelievable GM recall and how my 2005 Saturn ION is included in that craziness. The parts for the faulty/deadly ignitions will not be ready until Mid-April. To be safe rather than sorry, my husband decided his wife and son were no longer going to travel in the ION.
Let me back up a bit. Due to his Honda CRV needing a catalytic converter, my husband decided to go and get an  excellent deal on a 2014 Toyota Camry. The Honda is older and has many miles, but is in excellent condition. My brother, whose car is not part of the Saturn recall but needs serious repairs will be taking the CRV. He did not need it just yet, so I have been able to drive the CRV, leaving the Saturn to chill out in the garage.
Whew, okay, back tot he recall.
We received the recall notice from GM in the mail which did not say much more than what was in the press. BUT there was an article that had mentioned that GM was allowing dealerships, at their discretion, to take the recalled cars and give the inconvenienced driver a courtesy car. We called a local GM dealer who kindly got approval for the courtesy car and yesterday we went and filled out paperwork, left my Saturn there and trotted over to Enterprise for my rental.

For those of you who know me, this is pretty much the sign of the Apocalypse.

I am driving a minivan.

A KIA Sedona.

And let me tell you, that thing hauls ass!

Seriously though, when I mentioned it to a friend he said, "I have always believed minivans are underrated."
He just may be right.
The car is pretty choice and I am actually excited to have it for a bit. My Saturn will have to be traded in one day, just not yet, so this is sort of a cool way to test a car out. Though I don't really see me needing a minivan since there is only three of us, it does intro me to the KIA brand.

And that my friends is that.


Monday, March 17, 2014

A Quick Tasty Supper

We use the Indian Market near my husband's workplace for all of our lentils and nuts. They are far cheaper than the supermarket and because you buy large bags, they last quite some time. I have a pretty good amount of yellow dals and the other day I was debating on how to use them. I found a simple recipe that can have things added to it veggie or fish and meat wise. I also used ghee instead of margarine or butter. As for what to serve it with, I chose to make garlic flavored rice and peas in our rice cooker. A hearty meal with a fair amount of leftovers.

Yellow Split Pea Dhal Recipe


Thursday, March 13, 2014

From NPR: Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who's Been There

Most folks in society think the working poor are slovenly and just out to get food stamps, welfare and all sorts of public assistance because they won't help themselves.

I hate the generalization, the stereotyping because it is not always so dammit.

JuJu Harris has experienced the tough road. Small children to feed, not a lot of money, she decided to begin gardening, making bread and cooking better, more nutritional meals for her family. What makes her extra special is she has been sharing her experience and her knowledge with others who are in the same situation she had once found herself in. She is helping these low income families choose healthier foods and teaching them how to prepare them.  And she has created a cookbook as well.
You, my lady, are a shining star. An example to us all.
THIS is what needs to happen instead of accusing those with less than as sucking the "system" dry. THIS is the model the government needs to push forth. We need to teach people HOW to take care of themselves instead of expecting them to come out of the womb armed to the teeth. Not everyone is privileged enough to be well educated on all sorts of matters including nutrition. This program in Washington DC is a damn good start and I hope it spreads like wildfire. This comment from JuJu is perfect.

She says she's just doing her part. "The problem of food insecurity is so big, I just do what I can do. And I can cook." She hopes the Arcadia cookbook will show that "it's possible to eat healthy on a budget. Not easy, but possible."

She also answers people in the comments section so take a look.
NPR - Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who's Been There

Thank you JuJu Harris and Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture, you are the bomb.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Do You Feel That Heatwave?

It was 59 degrees here today. I almost ran out in shorts. No, not really. I don't even own shorts. Sort of sad, but capris and skirts are more my style. Though being a short woman, I should not don capris, ever. But I digress.

This weather made me round up the toddler and head out side. We had a nice long walk in the stroller. If only he could push mommy...then we stayed outside a bit to kick the soccer ball around and stamp on melting snow.

On Thursday our weather loses it's mind once again and tosses us back into a ridiculous cold freeze of 23 degrees. At night it will be 3. 3 friggin' degrees. Dude, it is March. Though I should thank my lucky stars that the huge snow storm named Vulcan, seriously this naming of snow storms needs to stop, will not be visiting my area at all. And may I say this pleases me to no end.

Look we have grass showing in our yard! A miracle!

Our patio is puddling like mad so I keep sweeping the water away.

I know I can't get too excited because another snow storm could come our way. But I really am hoping what you see here is the last of it. Winter, you need to go to bed, then head to the Southern Hemisphere pronto.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Things One Overhears

We were at that behemoth known as IKEA today and while my hubby waited in line to pay, I decided to take our son for a little trot around the area where they sell all their foods. As my son played with a fake bright pink cardboard Easter egg, I hear a voice behind me that is a combination bored and exasperated i.e. a teenager, announce, "Why is everything they sell here Swedish?"
I turn to hear the mother respond with a touch of surprise to her voice, "Because they are from Sweden."
I sort of gave the young lady a look, but I really wanted to do this:


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Trolling For Recipes

I did not have dinner tonight. Just one of those things. Not a bad thing. I was actually buying a pair of jeans at Marshall's which is a discount retailer here in the USA. I got a pair of Irregular Levi's for $14.99. Rock on! I also got this really nice black duster, but apparently when the cashier removed the "don't steal this or it will explode" tag, it put a hole in the garment. Now I need to return it tomorrow and hope I can get one that has not been damaged by someone putting a heavy plastic tag through the fine material. Duh.

The reason I did not eat is that when I got back from the store, the hubby, toddler and I had to go and pick up our other car from the mechanic. We get there, the guy was still working on it and was delayed, so we waited, then I drove home with the toddler because he was just not going to sit in the car waiting any longer.

So, since I did not eat, I am hungry, but will wait until the am to chow down. In the meantime I have been perusing recipes and decided to post ones that sound like something I would have if I had every ingredient and was feeling remotely ambitious. Shall we?

Lemon Lavender Shortbread from Annie's Eats. These would go fabulous with a nice cup of tea.

Salmon Salad with Pan Fried Potatoes from Mennonite Girls Can Cook. I could eat this all by myself.

Apricot and Lavender Brown Butter Tea Cakes from Tartelette. I want these. NOW.

Ginger Lavender Tonic from Food Loves Writing. My name is MissFifi and I have a lavender fetish. Thank you.

Rice and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Kale from Nourishing Meals. Must make this.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin in Cream and Blue Cheese by Kitchen Vignettes. Holy Decadence!!!

Okay, I gotta go to bed so I can wake and eat ASAP. LOL