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January 17, 2017

Last week we said goodbye to an old friend.img_0520

We bought this club chair at Target more than ten years ago, when Alistair was an infant. It was in my bedroom for many years – I intended to use it a nursing chair, but mostly it held clothes.


We moved it downstairs in 2012 when we bought our living room sectional, and there it was a lot of heavy use. At this point the springs were all gone, so sitting down in it felt like sinking into a warm bath – cosy, but not at all supportive.


We put it out for recycling, and actually saw the recyclers pick it upand crush it in the truck as we were leaving for school. The boys were sad. I was a little melancholy myself.



January 12, 2017

Last night we had my pick of the week:  Crack Slaw. I made it with this recipe, but there are many MANY other variations.

IT WAS DELICOUS!  My family scraped their bowls clean.

I substituted ground turkey for ground beef just to lighten things up a bit. Not sure it made a big difference in flavor, to tell the truth.

I think the next time I make it I will make a bigger batch; the kids were asking for seconds but I had already stashed some away for my lunch…





January 9, 2017

We got our first solid snowstorm over the weekend. We were lucky that it started midmorning Saturday; I was able to do the food shopping and even go for a run beforehand.

Larry went out a few times through the course of the afternoon, so Sunday morning cleanup wasn’t too bad after all.


Our little snow gauge said 9 inches in the backyard, but that includes a little bit of snowdrift; I’d say we got somewhere between seven and eight inches.


Alistair  went sledding with some friends, so it was just me and Larson tromping around in the backyard.


Truthfully, it was a little short-lived, it was COLD out there! I think the high temperature yesterday was 15 or so.



January 6, 2017

Given the holidays and school vacation, we’ve fallen into a little bit of a dinner rut over the past week or so.

But the new year is in full effect now, and we are back into the groove.


Anyway, in a nutshell our weeknight dinner plan is this:

  • Each family member chooses one dinner menu a week.
  • In exchange they lose the right to complain or veto any other dinner menu during the week.
  • We have takeout every Friday.
  • Weekends are wild-card dinners. Sometimes we are at a relative’s house for a dinner, or sometimes we eat leftovers, or sometimes we decide as a family what to have for dinner.

It’s been a few years since we started this strategy, but it’s still going strong – almost six years later.

(I have to tell you, when I went back and read that post, I had to stop and close my eyes for a minute. Holy moly, how the time does fly.)

The picks are generally announced on Friday nights, so that I can buy any necessary ingredients during my Saturday morning shopping trip.

Oh, we are a normal family, and everyone has their moments. Who has suddenly decided to not like broccoli, who only likes mashed potatoes not roasted, etc.  In general, I would say 98 percent of the time there is very little argument at the table.

For my picks, sometimes I pick comfort food I know they’ll eat without complaint, but more often I try to experiment. I have almost 500 pins on my “delish” board on Pinterest, so I often skim through that list to see if anything rings my bell. Sometimes they are a hit, sometimes not. These experimental dinners are rated by the family with thumbs-up, thumbs-down, thumbs-level.

My favorite is when something I tried ends up as someone’s pick of the week a few weeks later. It makes all the rest worthwhile.

This past week’s experiment was from Skinnytaste: One Skillet Chicken with Bacon and Green Beans (thumbs up all around).

Going forward I will keep you in the loop periodically with dinners and recipes.  I used to post recipes pretty regularly, and they’re all archived over here, but I’ve fallen off that wagon too.  I will try to get better.


January 3, 2017

As expected, Alistair stayed up til midnight on New Year’s Eve. Larson made it til 9:30, then fell asleep on the couch, so we woke him at 11:45 to see the ball drop.

We all slept in on New Year’s Day, and then went on a little neighborhood geocache walk. We found three in the space of about 40 minutes.


Over the course of the break I managed to add another strip to the scrap-yarn blanket.  All of the scrap sock yarn I have has been used for one strip of it now.


I have enough scrap left for two more full rounds, so I will start the sequence again and see what happens. I don’t think any of the remaining yarn will make a strip unto itself, so things should start to get a little crazy-looking from here on.

This is really the perfect at-home project.  All of the yarn was already on hand, so it hasn’t cost me a nickel. Each square takes about an hour, so I can work on it here and there as I have bits of downtime. And there is no deadline other than running out of yarn.

I’m hoping to get this to close to 4 foot square – right now it’s 33 inches square. I keep changing my mind on whether it needs a border edging, and if so what type of border. Plenty of time to figure that out, of course.

With the ending of one year and the beginning of the next, comes the closing of one book and the opening of another. Behold my 2016 journal (orange) and my 2017 one.


I read this article a couple of weeks ago and it rings very true in my experience. Why You Should Write Things Down.



December 31, 2016

We don’t go out on New Year’s Eve. We prefer to stay home and look a big-commitment dinner – not necessarily the most expensive, or the most complicated, but something a little more elaborate than our usual weekend dinner.

Tonight we’re making a rib roast, salt-crusted potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and green beans.

After dinner we will watch a slideshow of our 2016 photos and realize how truly blessed we are. 

The boys are determined to stay up till midnight, and even if they don’t make it we will wake them up for a toast (champagne for us, ginger ale or Pellegrino for them) and kisses all around.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and peaceable 2017. 


December 27, 2016

We had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you did too.

On Christmas Eve we made cookies for Santa,


sprinkled reindeer food on the lawn,


put on our new Christmas pajamas and went to bed early.


Santa came through as always and brought the boys exactly what they asked for



And mom and dad got them a pile of gifts too.

Larry got me a gorgeous shawl kit – the yarn is cashmere.  Swoon…!


On Boxing Day we dropped off a few items to a few different charity collections, and then went for a walk at the local conservation park.  Everyone wore the Christmas hats I made them, which made me very happy.


And then after supper we used 24 batteries to power the laser tag set the boys got…


It’s the time of year when people are thinking about their goals for next year.  Mine are essentially the same as they were last year: continue on the path of eating healthily and getting plenty of exercise.

A quick check-in on the specific goals I set for myself in 2016:

  • I ran 275 miles in 2015 and set myself a goal of 300 for 2016.
    As of this moment I’m at 307 and we still have a few days to go.  One of the other gifts Larry got me was a six-month subscription to a running-challenge box shipment, so my plan for 2017 is to follow the beginner challenges from January-June and the intermediate ones July-December. No specific mileage goal this year, although I would like to get a little faster.
  • I also hoped to read 12 books in 2016 (a book a month).
    I’m thrilled to report that I have read 34 books this year. I don’t expect to smash that record anytime soon, but if I could complete another 12 in 2017 I’ll be content.

Lastly, for the past few years I’ve tried to reach my daily step goal 15 days a month, which is 180 days a year. As of this writing I’ve met my goal 213 days in 2016, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t continue that in 2017.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2017.