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Showing posts from July, 2012

Catholic Woman's Almanac :: Vol. 3

The boys and I have lots of beach days ahead of us for the next three weeks.  Unfortunately, at the above outing I was stung in the ankle and bled while swimming.  It was probably a sting ray but it freaked me out and now I am paranoid.  My husband said, "It is the ocean you know." Exactly. My. Point.  :{ Fortunately, the boys are completely undaunted and are having the time of their lives in the waves. Moments of Gratitude ~a week of daily swimming at my sister's pool ~KC (age 4) learned to jump into the pool and swim to the edge all by himself ~a date at the beach alone with my husband (we have never been able to swim without the kids before!) ~thunderstorms and plenty of rain ~waking up this morning to the scent of strong coffee already made by Mr. Mornings  Beauty in the Ordinary a doozy of a t-storm brewing Friday night From the Kitchen Berry Gallette for Baking with Julia on Aug. 7th Lots of fresh veggies from the farmer'

One Room Schoolhouse

"We walked a mile to school, uphill, both ways" goes the old saying.   It's not that far off in this case.   While out exploring the old farms in my husband's family this summer, his father pointed to this lonely building and said, "That's the one-room schoolhouse we attended growing up."  He turned and pointed in the other direction, "We walked about a mile through that field to get home."   "Even in the winter?" someone asked. "No, in the winter Dad brought us in the sleigh.  That was kind of fun." I imagined riding in a horse-drawn sleigh to school. How very Laura Ingalls Wilder it seemed. I am quite sure my imaginations are far more romanticized than the actual event would have been. These are North Dakota winters we are talking about, wind-whipped open prairie plummeting the temps far below zero.  I bet the last place I would want to be would be in an open sleigh. Still, it is fun to romanticize this di

Old-Fashioned Frosted Brownies

I am glad to be sharing my mom's favorite brownie recipe today  at Dianna Kennedy's blog,  The Kennedy Adventures .   She recently had a precious baby girl and if I lived near her,  these homemade brownies would be the dessert item  I would bring to her house as a congratulatory treat.   I've shared a few extra photos below  but the super simple recipe can only be found here .    Please click over to The Kennedy Adventures blog to find my recipe and add it to your must-try file. 

Growth :: Our Family Apple Tree

In my mother's backyard stands an apple tree that is roughly 40 years old.   The trunk diverges, v-like, forming a perfect spot for standing or a nest for young children to sit in while surveying the seemingly endless backyard.   My childhood is fruited with its apple-tree memories.   I remember the heavy branches in the fall, sagging with ripe red-green apples, many dropping to the ground for birds to peck and nibble.  Those tart apples still make the best apple pies I've ever had, especially when baked by the hands of my Grandmother, Dorothy.  One bright day each fall was designated for apple harvest.  Out came the tall wooden ladder and as many paper sacks as we could gather.  We picked and filled and picked and filled until the tree was emptied of her fragrant offering.   When we were back home in June, I wandered out to that old apple tree and looked up into its healthy branches.  Clusters of golf-ball sized baby apples appeared to me like Christmas ornaments,

Catholic Woman's Almanac :: vol. 2

abandoned farm house near Linton, North Dakota where my father-in-law first viewed television Moments of Gratitude ~naps (for me, too) ~phone calls with family much missed ~stacks and stacks of juicy good books to read ~my four-year-old getting a new bike ~massages Beauty in the Ordinary a surprise snail-mail from a blogger in Germany made me smile From the Kitchen I canned two batches of jam .  One just plain strawberry and one I call Two-Berry which is the same recipe just replacing half the strawberries with four cups of fresh blueberries.  Both batches turned out perfectly (yay!) and I was able to send a few jars out to neighbors and friends.  Now the boys want toast and jam for breakfast everyday so I had better get to baking more bread! This photo does not do justice to the delicious steak and veggies I made last week.  I am so afraid to make steak that I almost never do it.   This recipe combined with a commercial for WalMart

Five Free Apps I Love

I love finding new apps for my devices  and I especially love it when they are free.   Today I am sharing a list of five  of my recent favorite free apps  at Catholic Mothers Online .   Please click over to read about them and then  share your latest app finds  with us in the comments.  I can always use more apps!

Catholic Woman's Almanac :: my first edition

Moments of Gratitude ~my month of vacation in my home state full of many more moments than I can share in this small space ~finding enough coffee grounds left in the cupboard this morning to be able to make a full pot of coffee (after standing in the coffee aisle yesterday and not purchasing coffee because I was certain I had an extra bag) ~a break in the heat wave ~air conditioning ~doctors, nurses, medicine and x-rays ~friends who welcome me home Beauty in the Ordinary honeybee at the farm From the Kitchen farmer's market shopping Stopped at the Farmer's Market yesterday and picked out some lovely scented strawberries.  On the docket: strawberry jam .   I am also looking forward to grilling some chicken and veggie kebabs this week.  Plus this post from last summer is also calling out to me.   As for baking, I have missed out on three Baking with Julia recipes and so must get back on track. I believe the next recipe on tap is Semolina Bre

A Different Path :: 52 Photos Week 11

I am so happy to be home from vacation.  We have been away for exactly one month. While I loved every moment of our time with friends and family and I sincerely wish we lived next door to each of them, there is nothing as comforting as returning to one's own space, especially for an outgoing~introvert like me.   I need my down-time, my sacred time alone with my family of choice: my books, my blogs, my pens and journals.  Yet, as I poured only one cup of coffee this morning (rather than the three or four for my relatives over the past thirty mornings)I found myself a tad lonely.  Oh the contradictory nature of living far from those you love the most.  Selfishly loving the freedom and independence it allows while missing being a part of their everyday lives and sharing the beauty of simply being in their presence. The photo above is one I snapped through the windshield of our car as we bumped along the gravel road to visit the several North Dakota farms in my husband's