Saturday, March 28, 2009

finishing the unfinished. . .

As the dust settles, I'm looking back at the birthday list from last year. . .pondering a new list, new goals in a new year. . . [I know, New Year's is long past, but as Spring arrives, I find myself feeling the world new]. . .

Last year's list . . .

37 things my 37th year

1. finish this list
2. make my own clothes (made Halloween costumes. . .so much fun)
3. get to know photoshop (yep. . . and taught myself to scrapbook digitally)
4. take a photography course (Karen Russell's online course)
5. be more girly (wanted to wear skirts more, but just never did . . . but I did streak my hair and painted my nails a few times)
6. buy red shoes (OK, really tried for this one, but couldn't find any that I liked. . .this is one to pass on to this year)
7. create a geocache
8. make homemade lemonade
9. donate to a women's shelter (I have a bag in the kitchen waiting. . .)
10. wall tree art
11. write a children's story (loved writing Jack and Luke little stories. . .this year, I'm branching out)
12. write my memoirs (Uncle Zane would be proud) (maybe blogging counts)
13. start a blog (here I am)
14. landscape the front yard (well, at least started this one. . .and ripped out the hedges in the front. . .sigh of relief)
15. zeli beach: slip and slide and a sandbox (ah, childhood memories) (bought a slip and slide for the boys' birthday party. . .they weren't so impressed. . .oh well)
16. fave photos wall
17. go yard saling
18. visit 5 different antique stores (I think I got to three)
19. paint the living room (check)
20. buy bookshelves (one set for the living room)
21. phtography field trip with Jack (had lots of fun taking pictures at the zoo together)
22. make art with Jack for his room
23. host a tea party
24. finish birds cross stitch (not finished, but worked lots on it)
25. read Sherlock Holmes (0ne story. . .very interesting)
26. play Faithfully on the piano (tried, but beyond my difficulty)
27. watch every X-File episode. . .in order (not even close, but got well into the first season. . .rediscoverd lots of cool stuff I had forgotten. . .and although I was disappointed, did see the movie, and enjoyed it)
28. reread Spoon River
29. bake linzers
30. paint a landscape with Luke (watercolors on the front porch. . .loved it)
31. write a "v" story (attempted. . .but didn't get far)

And today, we conquer the unfinished. . .

Specifically, #8 . . . . Making homemade lemonade.

I remember finding this recipe standing in the checkout line at Giant Eagle. I was flipping through the spring Martha Stewart and drooling over the lemonade recipes. Mmmm, the thought of homemade lemonade. . . just felt like something my Grandma Smith might make. A feeling of old world and home all mixed into one.

And, as I always do, I put the magazine back. Thinking I could never buy a magazine for just one recipe. Silly. . . But I thought and thought and thought about it so much over the next few weeks, that I convinced myself I should buy it anyway. And, of course, as always happens, when I returned for it, the next month's issue was now on the shelf.

About a month later, I was online and it struck me that I should search her site to perhaps luck out and find that recipe after all. . . And, Grandma Smith must have been smiling down on me, because I found it.

And, finally, today the boys and I conquered it together.

Lovely moments. . . showing Jack how to handle a knife (yikes! my Rachel Ray Furi) and cut the lemons in half. . .which he handled very well.

Then he juiced them on my handheld Walmart juicer. . . Fun. . . Lukey thought he might like to squwwwaaaash the lemons too.

Then we watched as the thick, sticky honey magically disappeared into the lemon juice. I'm not a honey person, but it sounds so refreshing in this lemonade.

Right now, it's chilling in the fridge. And I'm so very excited to sample once Sam gets home (he's at the Youngwood Gun Bash with friends) later this afternoon.

Here's the recipe:

Martha Stewart's Orange Pekoe Lemonade (sorry, Martha, I don't have the link)

3/4 cup freshily squeezed lemon juice (about 5 lemons. . . it took us 6)
1/2 cup honey
3 cups freshly brewed Orange Pekoe tea, chilled (I just used one of the big lipton tea bags I had here already. . .no pre-chilling because it's chilling now)

1 cup water, cold

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and honey; stir until honey has completely dissolved (Lukey especially loved this part). Transfer to a large pitcher (I don't think large is especially important). Add tea and 1 cup cold water; stir. Fill pitcher with ice (sadly, the ice maker is gone for good, so maybe that's why the large container isn't so necessary around here). Garnish with lemon wedges.

Will let you know how it turns out. Very exciting.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

lighter moments. . .

Mr. Congeniality. . .

My first visit to the hospital for the first blood test. And full of apprehension (I still hate that whole needle thing). We had run there as soon as I got off of the phone with the doctor. Lukey with his cup of milk and bowl of squares (the current breakfast favorite: Frosted Mini Wheats).
He sat on the floor munching squares, as I readied myself for the pinch.

Mama, whooos dat? [pointing to the nurse as she readies that beautiful and shiny needle]

[I glance at her badge.] That's Miss Stacy.

Oh. Hi, Miss Stacy. I'm Wuke. [pointing to his face]

[She grins.] Hi, Luke.

[He points at me] And that's my friend Mama.

And then I had to laugh. Where does this come from? Our congenial, socially savvy little boy. Surely someone switched him in the night. But it's sweet and wonderful. Right now he is all about letting the world know who he is, and that he's happy to meet the world right back.

coming back. . .

slowly. . .

A few weeks, and so many changes. But today, the rain is soft. And kind. A blanket around my broken heart.

A crockpot kind of day. Comfort. I put some chicken in this morning, with italian dressing mix. And now I am dreaming with smells of dinner tonight, yet hours away. . .

The last three weeks seem almost like a dream. A nightmare. A dream. A nightmare.

Shocked to find out I was pregnant, while on the pill. How?

And then embracing a pure miracle for us. The two who never thought we would have a baby. Dreaming, and crying, and disbelieving. . .for six years we waited for our Jack. . .and six months for our Luke. . . We who never thought we would have one were now preparing for three.

Plans, plans, and plans. . .Where would we all fit in our little white farmhouse? And our smallish vehicles? But, we embraced the change. Cleaning out the attic for our new bedroom, so the new little one could have our room. And the boys still having their own spaces. [Although Jack insisted Lukey could sleep in his bed with him, and that he would happily share his room.] Bookmarking bedding and sweet little birds for the baby's room. Dreaming of that little white round table in the corner where we would draw pictures and have tea parties. Soft yellow walls and a view of our beloved woods. . . Learning to knit sweet little baby socks, and beginning the first baby blanket. . .

And just as suddenly. . .in the darkness of 2am. . . the bleed. . . Confusion and panic. . . Frantic morning calls to the doctor and a blood test. . . and the wait. . . Forever. . .

A hand clutching my heart. . . turning cold. . . then clay. . . then stone. . .

So I am here. A week later. . . Three blood tests later. . . Waiting for the doctor's appointment tomorrow. . . The one that I was supposed to hear our baby's heartbeat for the first time. . . Now, waiting for the answers to so many questions. . .

But I feel myself starting to move forward. Feeling that maybe I can move my feet again. And that my heart will heal.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jack Wisdom #104

You know how duct tape is the boss of all tapes?

Captain Crunch is the boss of all cereals. See? Because it says Captain Crunch.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

he sent me kisses. . .

from the Today show this morning. . . .

Sam is in New York doing some training. Staying in Times Square. . . sigh. . .

And I have been trying to catch sight of him each morning on the Today show. And this morning, they panned passed where he was standing, and he blew me a kiss.

And I have been grinning ear to ear since.

How can you not have a great day after that?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

inspired by. . .

Our Pizza Hut dinner. .. .

A smallish Pizza Hut (looks like they need to expand), run by Captain Rex and his Clone Trooper Army.
A restaurant complete with little menus and a pizza oven. And, a delicious meal of paper pizza, enjoyed by Indiana Jones, his alter ego, Hans Solo, and of course, the young gentleman's favorite, Ahsoka Tano.
Bad guys, including Darth Vadar, will have to dine elsewhere. Maybe Mc D's?

snowy roofs. . .

on our sleepy little village this morning.

Letting the big boy sleep in for his two hour delay. . . ah, the sweetest sleep. . .

The littlest boy and I have a quiet morning. . . watching goodness on youtube, while he lays his sweet head on my shoulder. . . so tired, so snuggly (for the record: doctor visit #2 and antibiotic #2 for a now double ear infection).

Inspired to paint a little, and listen to the childhood sweetness of Jack Johnson (the Curious George soundtrack) on Rhapsody.

Even the puppies snuggle quietly this morning. . .

Sunday, March 1, 2009

sunday night. . .

Very low key. . .

some weight lifting with Dada. . .

(he brought them out himself. . .and came over to join my friend Dada)

some light sabering. . .

some dog snuggling. . .

the best times. . . when not much happening. . .