Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How to hard boil an egg

Sometime around my oldest child’s 2nd year old life I discovered that I had no idea how to hard boil an egg.  Seems like an easy way to make a quick protein-packed snack for a hungry, pregnant and nursing mother and her small, picky child.  My mother made them all the time.  How difficult is it to hard-boil an egg?

Harder than it looks, folks.  Harder than it looks.

My mother made perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs.  With a gentle come-now, the shells of my mother’s hard-boiled eggs peeled easily off.  The yolks were firm and softly yellow with no hint that nasty gray ring that plagued my first 10 tries at making hard-boiled eggs.

For years I searched the internet from hither to yon (while reading Dr. Seuss to my babies) for the perfect hard-boiled egg recipe.  I tried this recipe and that.  I ended up with either still-slightly-gelatinous yolks or greying sulfuric yolks.  Blah!

And then, one magical day, I discovered the most genius egg-timer product.  Somewhere between the unique wine glasses and Asian dinnerware at World Market I found the Eggsact Egg Timer.  Place the Eggsact Egg Timer right in the pot with the eggs and water and fire up the stove-top.  When the egg timer turns from red to dark purple, take the eggs and the timer out and place them into a bowl of ice water.  When the Eggsact Egg Timer turns from dark purple to red, the eggs are ready to peel.  It doesn’t get easier than this to hard boil an egg.  And if it does, I don’t wanna know.  I’m only sorry I didn’t think of it first.



Garden 5-31-11

I took these pictures over the weekend and am amazed at the growth in just three days.  At this point I have to start giving away summer squash to the neighbors because I can’t eat it as fast as it’s growing.  I don’t think I will grow summer squash next year.  I’m kinda over it.

Here are the latest pictures from my garden:

A hot pink lady bug.

Baby peppers! After all of their struggle, they are still growing.

The prize-winning squash. Thirteen inches long and twelve inches around. The squash beside it is one that I would have considered large before now.

Baby butternut becomes a toddler.

Tiny tomatoes.

And more tiny tomatoes. Pretty soon I'll be giving those to my neighbors as well.

Can you see the tiny watermelon?

One single cucumber, way ahead of the rest. It's lonely at the top. I bet it's yummy, too.

Corn. Purple corn. Awesome.

Square Biscuits

My life has just gotten better.  Easier.  You know how Oprah always quotes Maya Angelou’s “when you know better, you do better”?  Well, now I know better.  And I’m embarrassed that I didn’t think of this myself.  Afterall, I’m a T4–we perfect things, don’t we?  I can’t claim the credit for this one, though.  The genius bf of a fellow gentle christian mother just changed my life.  (Btw, I think I’m a secondary T1 and may be prone to hyperbole a smidge.)

Square biscuits.  Yes.  Square biscuits.  We all know that re-rolling biscuit dough overworks it and makes for tough biscuits.  So stop it!  Roll them out once–into a rectangle or square–and cut them once.  I suggest using a pizza cutter.

Genius.  Enjoy.


WUWU?  What’s up with us.  This is a WUWU post.  Because I’m sure everyone is hyperventilating to know.  Right?

A week ago, ds5 graduated from preschool.  My baby.  Graduated from preschool.  Already.  So far I’ve done some sad sniffling in the shower, but no full-blown sobs (yet), over this stage of our life ending.  My oldest was two when he first attended this preschool and it has been a huge part of our lives for the past eight years.  No more car lines, holiday parties, field trips, Thanksgiving programs, snack baskets, and hand print artwork.  For eight years this has been our normal.  Now we must move on to a new normal.  And I can’t call these extra pounds “baby weight” anymore.

Last Saturday ds9 competed in the State Track and Field meet and came in second place in the 800m.  I am so proud of him.  He has really worked hard.  His dedication to sports amazes me.  His body is a machine.  Exercise is playing and play has a purpose in his world.

I have started a new part-time job.  I work from home and enjoy the work, but am finding it difficult to work the maximum number of hours I’m allowed.  So far, I’ve only been able to work the minimum number.

I’m nearly 1/3 of the way through this semester.  It’s not been an easy one.  I have a paper due weekly, as well as other assignments.  I was hoping for an easier summer semester, but it is not to be.  My goal is to have all of the papers written by week 8 of the semester, but leaves me only three weeks to write 6 papers. Here’s to hoping.

Our car broke down last week.  I was alone, on my way home from my internship.  It was the transmission.  Last night the van began to behave in exactly the same way that the car did before it broke down.  I don’t feel safe driving the commute into work, so I cancelled my clients for tomorrow.  Hopefully our car will be fixed then and we can leave the van with the mechanic.  Two transmissions.  Ugh.

And today the plumber cracked open a toilet in our driveway–the same toilet on which all of my babies were potty trained–to free his auger and the freight car of one of Thomas’ friends.

And this is life our way.

Garden 5-15

The Fed-Ex man likes my garden.  I bet he also likes that the combination of my addiction to books (which I never have time to actually read) and Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping keeps him in a job.   Just sayin’.

Here are the latest pictures of the goodies I’m growing.

The first fruits! Pretty little summer squashes.

We're going to take first prize at the county fair with this one. 'Okay, not really. But we are going to leave it in the garden to see how big it gets before it starts to rot. So far, it's longer and wider than my forearm.

Butternut squash! My favorite of the squashes.

Cute baby squash. I can't wait to purée you come August. Grow for mama, little one.

They think they can, they think they can. I'm not so sure, but I encourage them anyway. These are my carnival mix bell peppers.

Corn. Wishing I would have planted more.

I may or may not have gotten a little curious to see what color carrots I had under the ground. They are as pretty as I imagined, but still so tiny.

Carrot tops

bea-u-tiful broccoli

. . . give us the greens of summer, make us think all the world's a sunny day . . . oh yeah

Tiny tomato blossom.

Cucumber blossom peeking out from under the leaves.

Pumpkin plants

Something (watermelon?) growing from the menagerie of zucchini, eggplant, honey-dew melon, and watermelon.


Somewhere in this garden there are strawberry plants.  Of course, we won’t get any berries until next year, but they are thriving so far.

My new cheerful new pots for my herb garden.

All my lovely herbs!

The curious little fellow who hitched a ride into the house on my husband's backpack.

He's so bright and adorable and squishy. And fast. Oddly fast.

Who do I have to pay to get more hours in my day?

Oh wait.  I don’t have extra time or money.  I suppose I’ll have to thrive with the 24 I’ve been granted.

I think it’s awesome that the first post I saw on the Word Press homepage today was this one.  I feel ya, girl.  I also love everything I do.  Most of the time, anyway.  Except when I’m fretting over whether I’m doing it perfectly.  And usually I’m not.  ‘Cause who does?  Often times I think I should.  Often times I’m convinced I could.  If there were just more hours in the day.

September-November and March-May are especially busy times for us around here.  I often have to remind myself to breathe.

So, what’s going on now?  What has kept me from posting more often?  Well, it certainly isn’t for lack of topics.  There are a million different things I’d love to blog about.  Hyperbole, for one.  Instead here’s what I’m doing:

Grad school–A year ago I was on track to graduate in August 2011. Unfortunately, it took longer than I expected to find a clinical site and it set me back one semester.  A graduation date of December 2011 was disappointing, but I was so relieved to have found an internship that I adjusted easily.   About half through Spring semester it became very clear that I would not have all of my clinical hours completed by December.  Apparently this is no surprise.  To everyone except me.  I wallowed in my frustration for a bit (was diagnosed with high blood pressure) and then sucked it up and forged ahead with the new plan of graduation in Spring of 2012.  Unfortunately, it is not a given that I will be able to graduate then, either.  What can I do but relax and go with it?  Nothing.  Not unless I want to add more stress to my week and take away more hours from my family.  And I’m not interested in any of that, thank you, kindly.

Internship–My commute is one hour long.  I work two days per week.  I lose 4 hours per week to driving.  Instead of bellyaching about that I choose to reframe it as gaining 4 hours of thinking/recharging time.  As an introvert I’ve come to appreciate the commute.

Home schooling–Yeah, we’re doing a lot of unschooling now.  We school year around, and Spring and Fall are our down times.  The boys spend more time outside, exploring and improving athleticism.  In Winter and Summer, school days are more structured.

Extracurriculars–Ds9 is doing soccer and track now.  Ds5 is doing soccer.  Several evenings per week and most Saturdays you’ll find me, my husband or the whole family at one field or the other.

Preschool–Yes, I know that having my youngest in preschool should be a break for me.  But it’s not.  It’s four mornings per week that I have to be out of the house by 8:30 am.  The commute is 15-20 minutes and almost makes it pointless to come back home while he’s in school.  I love his preschool, however, and all of my children have graduated from the program.  It’s worth it, but I’ll be glad when I get my mornings back.

And, as if that’s not enough stuff, I somehow have to fit in time for two dogs, two cats, cleaning the house, tending the garden, couponing and, of course, blogging.  I am never bored.  Never.  I also don’t ever answer the phone .  Ever.  I simply do not have time.  And if I did, there would be a major crisis outbreak among the children the second I said “Hello”.  Always.

Still, we (and by we, I mean I ran the idea past hubby who thought we should just go ahead and do it NOW.) decided that last weekend we should change the school room/office back into a bedroom so that each boy could have his own room.  It has been more peaceful, but my dining room table is covered in things I won’t have time to sort and reorganize for weeks to come.

And, I applied for a part-time, work at home job.  Because I totally have 10-20 extra hours lying around.  It’s not because we needed the money to survive.  We don’t.  But I want a vacation and I’m willing to work for it.  I’d also like to off-set the cost this internship.  You know, the one I’m doing for free.  I know, I’m being “paid” in clinical hours and supervision.  Somehow, though, that isn’t putting gas in the tank for that commute.

Who wants to guess how many hours it took for me to write this post?  It’s just before 5 pm and I’ve been working on this post since mid-morning.  A minute here and a few seconds there . . . eventually it will all get done or it will cease to matter.  Which ever comes first.


Today I clipped dill from my herb garden right into my bowl of egg yolk mixture for the deviled eggs, marking the first item I’ve used from my garden this year.

Yesterday, a baseball slammed into my summer squash marking the first item damaged in my garden this year.  Hmph.  If the squash weren’t so easy to grow I’d be a little more upset, I’m sure.  With the right amount of rain, we’re about six weeks away from this or this or just eating them raw with some garlic and salt sprinkled on top.  Really.  Summer squash =  the taste of childhood summers.

The garden is doing well, for the most part.  My pumpkins never did great.  I believe a squirrel ate the seeds.  I replanted, straight into the ground this time and won’t know for a while if they will germinate.  Here’s to hopin’.

Here are some pictures from today.

Summer squash w/ butternut squash at the bottom right

Mesclun, getting more bitter by the day. I should probably eat it!

Beautiful butter head lettuce





Eggplant--still hanging in there.

Watermelon--also chugging along slowly

More tomatoes

Strawberries--not likely to produce fruit this year.

Carrot tops

oregano, chives, dill, sage, thyme, cilantro, and parsley. Not shown--basil and the little rosemary that could. Or at least I hope it can.