Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entries from November 1, 2009 - December 1, 2009

Entries from November 1, 2009 - December 1, 2009


Aging With Grace: Pick Up The Phone

I am not an early adapter. My KitchenAid Mixer sat on the counter untouched for about 6 months. It is a scary looking piece of equipment. Then I tried it, and now use it all the time. Once I do adapt, I do it quickly.

I opened a Facebook account sometime this summer. It has been wonderful for keeping up with friends, family and even cousins I haven’t seen in years. When one of my daughter’s friends died, they mourned for her on Facebook, and the family could quickly keep her many friends apprised of the memorial service plans. Social networks are great. Send out a prayer request and people pray and encourage.

Sometimes you just have to pick up the phone. I called a good friend I haven’t talked to in months. We both blog our lives and are on Facebook, so we keep up. It feels like we are connected until I realized months have gone by and we haven’t spoken to each other. There was so much more going on in our lives than we could/would communicate by pixels for any and all to read. It was great to talk to her.

Social networks are great......

Hearing a voice.......even better.


Aging With Adventure:Would You Dance Naked Around The House?

I was taking a shower and realized I didn’t have a towel nearby. With a quick scan of the room I realized there were no clean towels within grabbing range. Grumbling that I would have to put my clothes back on to get a towel, I had a further realization: There was no one home! I could walk, dash, rumba, strut, cartwheel (or not) down to the laundry room, with or without clothes, to get my towel because there were no kids around to shock.

There are turning points as you release from being a 24/7 mommy: from always having to consider the effects of your behavior on a younger person in your care, to being able to make decisions independent of being someone’s mom. The first turning point I remember was when all the kids were toilet trained. No more toting a small suitcase with me everywhere I went. We could jump in the car with less planning, less lugging, more spontaneity.

The next big return to personal independence came when Haggai was about 13. No more babysitters! He was mature enough to leave the younger kids in his care when my husband and I wanted to go out. The younger kids were old enough to rat him out if he abused his powers over them. We both love being parents, but it was a revelation to us to have the freedom to be “we” sometimes instead of always “us”. (We did pay him.)

There was a setback in our freedom as both Princess and Haggai developed active social lives and were no longer readily available to babysit their younger brother and sister. Ichabod was too old for a babysitter and not mature enough to deal with the taunting of Tech Princess, so we were back to parent mode until they both matured and we were relatively certain we would not come home to WWIII if we left them home alone together.

As each child had gotten his or her license, I have a greater degree of time to pursue my own interests. The transition to this freed up time has not always been welcome. I kinda miss my older kids.

As I considered the multitude of options I had in getting that much needed towel, I didn’t have to consider anyone else but myself in how I would go about that minor task.

The transition from us to we or I, as the kids grow up, has me rethinking how I do to some of the most basic things that make up a life. What is the value of time, when time, money and effort are no longer centered on raising children? What does a post child raising marriage look like?

I danced to the tune in my head as I retrieved a towel......

How do you envision a post child raising life and marriage? If you are at this stage of marriage, what have you enjoyed most about this time in life?


Homemade Microwave Popcorn: A Second Cup Recipe Suggestion and Frugal Christmas Gift Idea

This is one of those ideas that you think can’t possibly work but it does. It will save you tons of money if you make microwave popcorn with any regularity.

3T of popcorn

1 1/2t of light flavored oil. I used Canola (what is a canola anyway?)

Paper lunch bag

Salt (Everyone recommends popcorn salt but all I have is regular salt and I was pleased with the results)

Mix the popcorn, salt and oil in a small bowl. Pour mixture into the paper bag. Close the bag by folding it a few times and creasing the fold. (Stapling is suggested but if a fire starts you didn’t read that here. Staple at your own risk.)

Microwave 2-3 minutes until the popping slows down. Be careful not to burn your popcorn. (Unless of course you like burnt popcorn. My mother did.) Open the bag carefully, pour contents into a bowl and enjoy!

Frugal Gift Idea

Package prettily one bag of good quality popcorn, a small bottle of oil, paper lunch bags and salt (or popcorn salt of there really is such a thing.) Find the oil on sale and you will have a very nice, frugal present for under $10. Toss in a set of measuring spoons, and a serving bowl if you want, plus the directions for making the popcorn.

Anyone else have a frugal gift idea?


Home Made Pizza Dough: A Second Cup Recipe Suggestion

I was paging through a baking catalogue and spied a prepackaged pizza dough mix for $6.98!! And the box mix only made one crust!!!! Honestly folks you may as well burn your money and order a pizza for that price. Pizza dough is easy to make. The one hint, do not over heat your water (more than 120 degrees F). If there is any danger you might over heat the water, use warm tap water.

For 2 crusts:

6 cup bread flour (I love King Arthur flour)*

2 pkgs or 2 ½ teaspoons fast rising yeast

½ t sugar

½ t salt

2 cups warm tap water

1/3 oil cup, I like olive oil

Mix the dry ingredients, stir in the wet ones. Mix well, kneed till smooth, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a bowl, spray with Pam type product, flip dough, spray other side, cover with a towel, let rise in a warn place, punch down as needed.

The dough with take some shaping to get it into the pans. Be patient. Top with your favorite sauce and toppings. Bake on the lower rack for 12 minutes at 450 F. Check for doneness after 10 minutes.

Easy peasy and a whole lot less than $6.95 per crust.

*Attention FTC: No I do not get paid to endorse this flour. I just think it is the best. I am open to the possibility though.


Tales From Yesteryear: Fun With Dick And Jane

Dear Aurora,

Thinking of school, for years there was one set of books that united American children no matter where they went to school (more or less) in our quest to learn to read. Fun with Dick and Jane…..iconic reading....

More to follow…..

Love Aunt Carissa

Did you learn to read using Fun With Dick and Jane?

(Altogether now: See Spot run. Run Spot run.)

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