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Scaifea's 2012 Challenge - Thread #5

This is a continuation of the topic Scaifea's 2012 Challenge - Thread #4.

This topic was continued by Scaifea's 2012 Challenge - Thread #6.

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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1scaifea
Edited: May 8, 2012, 2:09pm Top

New thread!

New Picture! This one is of a Roman fresco depicting the sacrifice of Iphigenia at Aulis, the anguish of Agamemnon is so wonderfully done, I think, and this always reminds me of the beautiful description of her death in Aeschylus' Agamemnon:



Below you’ll find an explanation of my reading habits, which, I warn you, is a bit crazy. Usually I have about 10-12 books going at once, one each from the following groups (and occasionally other books slipped in there too):

1. A library book. In Library of Congress call number order. So, yes, from the beginning of the library's shelves. Crazy? Or crazy like a fox?...

2. A book from the 100 Banned Books book (at least currently. As soon as I finish this list, I'll replace it with another, and oh, I've got tons of lists).

3. A children's book, for Charlie's library. I'm trying to collect books from various award lists, and I like reading them before reading them to Charlie or deciding to add them to Charlie's shelves. For this category, I’m working through a few different lists:
Newbery Winners list
1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Die
Parent & Child 100 Greatest Books for Kids
John Bellairs' bibliography
The Black Stallion books/Farley bibliography
Beverly Cleary's bibliography

4. A book from the Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List, in chronological order.

5. A book for the Presidential Challenge. Books for this category are read in chronological (presidentially) order.

6. An audio book, which I listen to as I knit/sew/otherwise craft.

7. For this category, I cycle through 10 different stacks:
a. A book from my shelves which I haven't yet read
b. A CYOA book - I'm trying to collect as many of these as I can, again, for Charlie.
c. Agatha Christie's bibliography (in chronological order)
d. Stephen King's bibliography (in chronological order)
e. Neil Gaiman's bibliography (in some order other than chronological (don't
ask)).
f. Christopher Moore's bibliography (in chronological order)
g. Stephen Fry's bibliography (in chronological order)
h. The National Book Award list (in alpha order by title)
i. The Pulizer list (in alpha order by author)
j. The NEH Timeless Classics list

8. A bath-time book: I read aloud while Tomm gives Charlie his bath.

So, now you've got a glimpse of just how neurotic I am.
Please feel free to post comments, recommendations, or whatever else strikes your fancy. And Happy Reading, everyone!

What I'm reading now:
-John Stuart Mill Autobiography, Essay on Liberty/ Thomas Carlyle Characteristics, Inaugural Address, Essay on Scott (library book - call #AC1.A4. v.25)
-Women in Love (banned books list)
-The Egypt Game (Charlie book - Newbery Honor Book found at library book sale)
-The Faerie Queen (The Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List)
-James Madison (Presidential Challenge)
-For One More Day (audio book)
-Making History (Fry bibliography)
-Paddington Abroad (bath-time book)
-The Children's Hour Volume 9: From Many Lands (I'm working through this series of old volumes that were my brothers' when they were little.)

In addition to these, I have some classics-related texts that I'm working through (quite slowly):
-Asinaria by Plautus (reading in Latin)
-Iliad by Homer (reading in Greek)
-Latin Literature by Gian Biagio Conte
-The Cambridge History of Classical Literature Volume 1 Part 1
-History of Rome by Michael Grant
-A History of Greece to 322 BC by N. G. L. Hammond

Books Read:
61. The Magic Pudding (1001 Children's Books list) - 2 stars
60. The Dutch Twins (1001 Children's Books list) - 3 stars
59. Terrific (public library book) - 4 stars
58. Nothing (public library book) - 4 stars
57. A Dirty Job (Moore bibliography) - 5 stars
56. Milo's Hat Trick (public library book) - 4 stars
55. My Rhinoceros (public library book) - 4 stars
54. Paddington Helps Out (bath-time book) - 4 stars
53. Mary Poppins and the House Next Door (NEH list) - 3 stars
52. Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane (NEH list) - 3 stars
51. The Swiss Family Robinson (NEH list) - 3 stars
50. Rempelstiltskin's Daughter (Charlie book) - 3 stars
49. Night of the Gargoyles (Charlie book) - 3 stars
48. The Children's Book of Virtues (Charlie book) - 3 stars
47. The End of Everything (audio book) - 2 stars
46. Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (a gift from the In-Laws to Charlie) - 3 stars
45. Stuart Little (NEH list) - 2 stars
44. Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose (a gift from the Ladies Next Door) - 3 stars
43. Blink (audio book) - 3 stars
42. Mickey's Easter Hunt (Charlie book) - 3 stars
41. Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs (Charlie book) - 3 stars
40. Dinosaurs Roar! (Charlie book) - 3 stars
39. Treasure Island (NEH list) - 4 stars
38. Mary Poppins in the Kitchen (NEH list) - 2 stars
37. Mary Poppins from A to Z (NEH list) - 2 stars
36. Mary Poppins in the Park (NEH list) - 4 stars
35. Mary Poppins Opens the Door (NEH list) - 4 stars
34. Mary Poppins Comes Back (NEH list) - 4 stars
33. The Children's Hour Volume 8: Myths and Legends - 3 stars
32. Coraline (Gaiman bibliography) - 4 stars
31. Four Past Midnight (King bibliography) - 4 stars
30. Duck and Goose: Here Comes the Easter Bunny! (Charlie book) - 3 stars
29. Are You My Mother? (Charlie book) - 3 stars
28. Blue Hat, Green Hat (Charlie book) - 4 stars
27. Moo, Baa, La La La! (Charlie book) - 4 stars
26. Barnyard Dance! (Charlie book) - 4 stars
25. Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! (Charlie book) - 4 stars
24. Mary Poppins (NEH list) - 4 stars
23. The Know-It-All (audiobook) - 2 stars
22. The Children's Hour, Volume 7: Favorite Mystery Stories - 3 stars
21. A Dance with Dragons (series) - 4 stars
20. Ulysses Annotated (for help with #19) - 2 stars
19. Ulysses (Banned Books list) - 1 star
18. Socks (Cleary bibliography) - 3 stars
17. The Mansion in the Mist (Bellairs bibliography) - 4 stars
16. The Black Stallion's Ghost (Farley bibliography) - 3 stars
15. Ramona the Pest (Cleary bibliography) - 3 stars
14. Heidi (NEH list) - 2 stars
13. Bridge to Terabithia (Newbery list) - 4 stars
12. The Black Stallion Challenged! (Farley bibliography) - 3 stars
11. The Black Stallion and Flame (Farley bibliography) - 3 stars
10. The Secret of the Underground Room (Bellairs bibliography) - 4 stars
9. The Light in the Forest (NEH list) - 3 stars
8. Orlando Furioso (for a group read, of sorts) - 5 stars
7. The Horse-Tamer (Farley bibliography) - 3 stars
6. Kids Go! (found in Walmart sale bin for $4!) - 3 stars
5. A Gathering of Days (Newbery list) - 3 stars
4. The Chessmen of Doom (Bellairs bibliography) - 4 stars
3. The Black Stallion Mystery (Farley bibliography) - 4 stars
2. The Growing-Up Feet (Cleary bibliography) - 2 stars
1. The Trolley to Yesterday (Bellairs bibliography) - 4 stars

2calm
Apr 11, 2012, 7:51am Top

Hi Amber - still lurking:)

Hope everything is going well with you and that Charlie is feeling better.

3Morphidae
Edited: Apr 11, 2012, 7:53am Top

Ooooh! I'm first! Whoo hoo! What's my prize. Do I get a cookie?

ETA: Oh man! Someone snuck in before me. *sniffs*

4Ape
Apr 11, 2012, 8:50am Top

Helloooo! :)

5scaifea
Apr 11, 2012, 9:06am Top

Calm: Good to see you!

Morphy: You're in luck - the first three to show up get cookies! I'm making Rosemary & Honey cookies today...

Stephen: That means you get a cookie too, although, sadly, mine aren't the time-travel kind.

Well, Charlie is still sick to his pants. It's like I'm in a horror movie called The Poopening. Sigh. Poor thing. So, he's parked in front of the TV this morning in an effort to keep him resting. He's playing My Sims Kingdom, which he seems to like.
My aunt passed away last night. I feel guilty about not being able to go, but my mom is so great about these sorts of things - she knows that it's right for me to stay home with Charlie since he's sick and she's completely understanding about it. Instead, once the funeral is over, she and dad are coming up here for a visit, which will work out nicely - they haven't been to visit us in Wisconsin yet, and it will give mom a chance to get her mind off of her loss.

6scaifea
Apr 11, 2012, 9:47am Top

What's a new thread without a new picture of Charlie? Here he is in his Easter outfit:

7PaulCranswick
Apr 11, 2012, 10:12am Top

Amber - congratulations on your latest thread. Charlie looks very smart and obviously gearing himself up for a share of the Rosemary & Honey cookies.

8scaifea
Edited: Apr 11, 2012, 10:54am Top

Paul: Good to see you here! I'm hoping to have some time today to get over to your new thread - I'm looking forward to vacation pictures!

Well, the Rosemary Honey cookies turned out really tasty!



They're good for someone who maybe doesn't have a super-sweet tooth - the rosemary gives them a nice little kick. Here's the recipe, which comes from Taste of Home Cookies, for those interested in giving them a try:

Ingredients:
• ½ cup shortening
• ¼ cup butter, softened
• ¾ cup sugar
• 1 egg
• ¼ cup honey
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 2 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 325⁰.
2. Cream shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in egg, honey and lemon juice.
4. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.
5. Using tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, drop onto greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
6. Bake 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned.
7. Cool on wire rack.

9cal8769
Apr 11, 2012, 12:03pm Top

AAWWWW (Charlie) and YUM (cookies)!

10ronincats
Apr 11, 2012, 2:04pm Top

Checked in hoping to hear that Charlie was feeling better--sorry to hear he's still not, but hope he recovers soonest!

11bell7
Apr 11, 2012, 5:41pm Top

Doesn't Charlie look charming in his Easter outfit! Thanks for sharing the picture.

Saving the cookies to Favorites to try sometime...mmmm...

12Luxx
Apr 11, 2012, 9:40pm Top

I'm sorry the man is still sickly, but he was super snazzy on Easter!

13msf59
Apr 11, 2012, 10:09pm Top

Hi Amber- Charlie is really stylin'! And wow, those cookies look good!

14dk_phoenix
Apr 12, 2012, 9:18am Top

Oh man... I haven't had breakfast yet, but those cookies would hit the spot... haha.

15scaifea
Apr 13, 2012, 7:31am Top

Carrie, Roni, Mary, Luxx, Mark & Faith: Thanks for stopping by!

I wasn't around at all yesterday because the Poopening claim its next victim. Sigh. Was sick in bed all day. I think I'm feeling better this morning, hopefully.

16maggie1944
Apr 13, 2012, 7:55am Top

oh, hunney, so sorry to hear. Yogurt!

17scaifea
Apr 13, 2012, 7:58am Top

Yes! I've been giving Charlie yogurt every day this week (he loves the stuff anyway) and I usually eat it for breakfast myself. Magic stuff, really.

18maggie1944
Apr 13, 2012, 8:04am Top

yup. And I guess milk products in general can be "binding", as in: do not use if you are constipated. Ha ha ha.

So, cheese!

19lauralkeet
Apr 13, 2012, 9:07am Top

Oh yuk, poor Amber! I didn't realize yogurt's magical qualities in that department. I'm hooked on greek yogurt these days so it's good to know I'm "inoculated"!

20ChelleBearss
Apr 13, 2012, 9:40am Top

Poor you! and poor Charlie! Hope you are both better now!

He looks completely handsome in his easter outfit!

21scaifea
Apr 13, 2012, 10:36am Top

maggie: Unless you're lactose intolerant, of course; Tomm is, so milk, ice cream, cheese - all that good stuff he misses out on!

Laura: I haven't yet tried greek yogurt, but I should - what makes it greek? Is it made of goat milk?

Chelle: Thanks. Charlie seems much better; I'm still on the mend, but getting there; at least today I can stand up without passing out, like yesterday!

22lauralkeet
Apr 13, 2012, 11:18am Top

>21 scaifea:: what makes it greek? Is it made of goat milk?
Amber, I'm no expert on this, but I'm pretty sure it's made of cow's milk -- at least, the brands mass-produced and sold in US supermarkets. If we were actually in Greece, it might be made of sheep's milk. Greek yogurt is thicker and tangier, and I find it more filling even though it's low fat & low cal. I also like the flavors available in the Chobani brand. I was probably just tired of Dannon & Yoplait and in the mood for something new!

23lycomayflower
Apr 13, 2012, 11:41am Top

@ 21, 22

I am a huge fan of Greek yogurt, though I also don't know what, exactly, makes it Greek yogurt. It's also got a bajillion times more protein than other yogurt. (Okay, maybe not a bajillion. It's probably something like double.) But it's being filling and a great source of protein makes it a favorite for breakfast or snacks with husbeast and me. The "filled up" feeling lasts! /advert for Greek yougurt

24scaifea
Apr 13, 2012, 11:41am Top

Laura: I should give it a try. I'm usually not very adventurous when it comes to food, but I did recently (finally) try cheese curds and loved them.

25scaifea
Apr 13, 2012, 11:43am Top

Laura #23: That settles it, then. Onto the grocery list it goes! PS: Love "husbeast" - must try it out myself...

26lycomayflower
Apr 13, 2012, 11:55am Top

@ 25

Hehe, "husbeast." I actually kifed that from geatland, who generally, I think, is not about on the threads. (Alas.) But you should use it, too. And we shall cover all the lands in a new shared idiolect.

27lauralkeet
Apr 13, 2012, 12:00pm Top

>25 scaifea:, 26: the two of you in combination kinda frighten me.

28scaifea
Apr 13, 2012, 12:12pm Top

*dons innocent look*
Me? Oh, surely not.

29scaifea
Apr 13, 2012, 12:12pm Top

#26: *snork!*

30Morphidae
Apr 13, 2012, 12:42pm Top

And don't call me Shirley.

31scaifea
Apr 13, 2012, 12:57pm Top

Morphy: *snork!*
I know a guy who got hit on by Robert Hays (the main guy in that movie).

32lycomayflower
Apr 13, 2012, 1:11pm Top

@ 27

I, for one, am the innocentest of all innocent innocents.

33scaifea
Apr 13, 2012, 1:12pm Top

Indeed - I don't know what that other Laura is talking about...

34lauralkeet
Apr 13, 2012, 1:36pm Top

* rolls eyes *

35scaifea
Apr 13, 2012, 1:45pm Top

Huh. That happens around me so often, but I can't for the life of me figure out why...

36scaifea
Apr 14, 2012, 11:49am Top

So, we went to a pre-school open house today and signed Charlie up for the fall. Sigh. I'm not ready for him to go to school yet! The nice thing is that it will only be 2 mornings a week next year, so we can both ease into it.

37maggie1944
Apr 14, 2012, 12:21pm Top

The youngest of my little gaggle of kids started doing 2 mornings a week of preschool recently. She is blossoming and loving it so much I do not have the heart to be sorry she is there. But it is true... they grow older so damn fast!

38scaifea
Apr 16, 2012, 7:36am Top

Had a lovely weekend, although it was blustery and rainy here. Corn and black pepper scones for Sunday breakfast; I tried a recipe for Sugar Pie that was amazing - and I managed to eat only one small piece!; I made good progress on my assembly-line purse-making project (I'm working on 4 at once); Charlie's plants are growing nicely and it's fun to check on them with him every day; and, I even got a bit of reading done!

On today's agenda: s part of Charlie's story time at the library, we participated in a reading challenge, wherein we read 6 books together, listed them on a special bookmark given to us at the library, and now we'll take it back to the library to get it signed, and then off to Dairy Queen to have lunch and get Charlie's free ice cream cone reward! We'll linger at the library for a bit, of course, first. Then, this evening after dinner, we're all going down to Dubuque for some grocery shopping, since my parents are coming for a visit starting Wednesday. They haven't been to visit in WI yet, so I'm excited for them to see our new house and the area. It'll be good for my mom, too, to get away for awhile; my aunt's funeral is today.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

39scaifea
Apr 17, 2012, 7:42am Top

It turned out to be a lovely day yesterday (not so much weather-wise, though: chilly with *very* gusty winds); Charlie and I had a great time at the library, where I found two Paddington books that we didn't have on the ale rack for only fifty cents each and Charlie got his book list signed for his free ice cream. We headed straight for the Dairy Queen for lunch and Charlie's sweet reading reward.
I'm excited about my parents' visit (they're coming tomorrow), but lots to do before the arrive: some cleaning and grocery shopping and cooking and baking. Charlie and I will try our hand at a new project today: decorating flower pots and planting flower seeds - his garden seeds-turned-sprouts are doing so well that I thought we should try some flowers too. I'm going to try to get some purse-sewing done this afternoon too, but we'll see if that happens. So, a full day ahead of us.



40lauralkeet
Apr 17, 2012, 8:31am Top

Adorable, absolutely adorable. My day is off to a great start thanks to getting my "Charlie fix"!

41barney67
Apr 17, 2012, 10:49am Top

Serious guy. Even with ice cream on his face. What's he thinking about?

42scaifea
Apr 17, 2012, 11:55am Top

Laura: Aw, nice!

deniro: I suspect that he wasn't exactly happy with the ice cream mustache - he doesn't really like having a messy face/messy hands.

43norabelle414
Apr 17, 2012, 12:55pm Top

The only thing worse than having a messy face is having a messy face and having mom say, "Wait, don't wipe it off! I have to take a picture!!"

44scaifea
Apr 17, 2012, 1:03pm Top

*snork!*
I've taken his picture at least once a day for his entire young life, so he's used to it.

45scaifea
Apr 17, 2012, 1:31pm Top

Well, here are the pots Charlie and I decorated with scraps of fabric. Charlie planted zinnia seeds in his and I planted Gaillardia seeds in mine:

46alcottacre
Apr 17, 2012, 4:25pm Top

*waving* at Amber

I love the look of those pots!

47lauralkeet
Apr 17, 2012, 4:40pm Top

I see Curious George! I love him!!!!

48scaifea
Apr 17, 2012, 5:06pm Top

Stasia: *waves right back* Good to see you!

Laura: We do too!! A favorite read in our house at the moment. That fabric, as all of the Charlie pot fabric, is from material I've got to make him some pajama shorts for this summer.

49FAMeulstee
Apr 17, 2012, 6:53pm Top

Love the icecream pictures, the pots look great, will be even better with the Zinnia and Gaillardia :-)

50scaifea
Apr 17, 2012, 8:16pm Top

Thanks, Anita! I'm still very much a beginner when it comes to growing things, so I'm just hoping that they sprout!

51ChelleBearss
Apr 17, 2012, 9:49pm Top

Great pots, such a good idea!

I need to start some seeds inside sometime soon. Nate made me a new mailbox yesterday and made it so that I can put a planter on the other side. I need to find some pretty plants that will hang down the side of the post.

52scaifea
Apr 18, 2012, 7:21am Top

Chelle: Oh, I love those mailboxes! They're always so pretty.

I got the flower pot idea from Hi Five Magazine, which is the toddler/preschooler version of Highlights Magazine. I can't recommend it enough for people with wee ones - I get so many crafty ideas to make and do with Charlie from them, plus they have great stories and activities for him.

My parents arrive this afternoon, so this morning will be full of last-minute cleaning, cooking and baking. Busy day, but in a good way - I'm really excited for them to see the house and the town we're living in now.

53lauralkeet
Apr 18, 2012, 11:41am Top

>48 scaifea:: Kate has a shrine to Curious George in her bedroom, and a plush toy that's been her snuggle object since she was a baby. George even went to Kenyon, but he stayed home after spring break (*sniff*). I think he's been displaced by a new snuggle object (*snort*).

54scaifea
Apr 18, 2012, 11:52am Top

Laura: Tomm and I both still have our favorite stuffed animals from when we were little (we call them our daemons, as in His Dark Materials), and I admit that I kind of hope that Charlie will leave his group of favorites (they always go to bed with him and such - there's 6 of them) at home when he goes to college - I'd miss them too much!
"new snuggle object" - *snork!*

55AMQS
Apr 19, 2012, 6:33pm Top

Hi Amber, hope everyone is feeling better at your house. I imagine that Greek yogurt would make anything better. I concur with Laura -- authentic Greek yogurt would be made of sheep's milk (as is authentic Greek feta), and has a distinctive tang. I've copied the recipe for the honey-rosemary cookies -- they look delicious! And... wonderful photos! How could you go wrong with such a perfect subject :) Thanks for sharing!

56DeltaQueen50
Apr 19, 2012, 7:36pm Top

Hi Amber, just checking in, I see you are still doing great cooking and crafting. Your plant pots are really nice, I particularly like the Curious George/Disney one!

I remember sending my grandson off to pre-school for a couple of mornings a week, very difficult - not for him, he loved it but I missed him!

57Luxx
Apr 19, 2012, 8:12pm Top

Oh, what good, sweet fun! I hope Charlie enjoyed the reading and the treat. I, for one, enjoy Charlie, and your wonderful flowerpots.

58scaifea
Apr 19, 2012, 8:26pm Top

Anne: My scatered brain forgot to pick up Greek yogurt at the store this last trip, but hopefully I won't forget again this weekend - I'm excited to try it. Let me know how you like the cookies!

Judy: We certainly had fun making the pots, and I like the Curious George fabric muchly myself - I'll have to post pictures of Charlie in his pajama shorts, once I get round to getting them made.

Luxx: Thanks! Hope all is well with your monsters!

59scaifea
Apr 21, 2012, 9:50am Top

Well, the parental visit is over - they're now on their way back to Indiana. We all had a lovely time, although Charlie was quite distraught when they left. No matter how delightful the company, I'm always exhausted at the end of having guests, so today will be a bit of a recovery day. Charlie and I need to do a bit of transplanting today - some of his pumpkin plants have really gone crazy in their little pots, so I bought some bigger peat pots while we were out and about yesterday. I'll try to remember to take and post pictures of our mini garden-in-progress...

60PaulCranswick
Apr 21, 2012, 10:05am Top

It is always the way when visitors depart. My best friend over here is a Dutch chap who works 6 weeks on and 6 weeks off in Argentina on a dredging vessel as a chief engineer. His brother had arranged a holiday here and it coincided with a change in my friends work schedule. SWMBO stepped gamely into the breach with Johan's( the brother) SIL (my friend's wife) and spent two weeks entertaining both Johan and his young daughter (Bodelina). They spent the last week at our place and when I took them to the airport Hani was in floods of tears.

61scaifea
Apr 21, 2012, 10:23am Top

Paul: I love the idea of your home as a haven for all - it sounds so welcoming.

62PaulCranswick
Apr 21, 2012, 10:27am Top

Hani - for all my fooling is actually a very warm person who loves to have people at home - possibly because the husband is so boring or is always ensconced on LT!!

63scaifea
Apr 21, 2012, 10:28am Top

Here's the progress report on Charlie's plants:
Pumpkins:


Watermelon:


Sunflowers and more pumpkins:


I can't believe how well they're all doing! In fact, I need them to slow down a bit until we stop getting frost warnings up here!

64scaifea
Apr 21, 2012, 10:28am Top

Oh, and Charlie's zinnias are up already:

65scaifea
Apr 21, 2012, 10:34am Top

And here's Charlie and my parents having a ticklefest during their visit:





66maggie1944
Apr 21, 2012, 11:13am Top

A super sweet scene! I know Charlie will love seeing this picture when he is older.

67lauralkeet
Apr 21, 2012, 12:28pm Top

Some of us here tried to tell you pumpkins and melons would go berserk ... :)
Charlie and your parents look sweet together.

68scaifea
Apr 21, 2012, 12:36pm Top

*snork!* Yeah, I know, but I'm still just amazed that anything came up at all - I'm a complete gardening novice here, remember...

69lauralkeet
Apr 21, 2012, 1:22pm Top

The hubster and I were just at our local plant farm this morning, having our annual argument about how many tomato plants is too many. We bought far fewer than the last time we had tomatoes (2 yrs ago), but still too many IMO. He lives in fear that nothing will grow, but tomatoes ALWAYS grow.

70scaifea
Apr 21, 2012, 1:30pm Top

My parents always plant way too much stuff and end up giving lots of it away. They do love doing that, though.

71tloeffler
Apr 21, 2012, 2:13pm Top

I am such a Charlie fan...

72DeltaQueen50
Apr 21, 2012, 2:47pm Top

Your parents are the very picture of proud grandparents, Amber. Charlie looks very happy in their company as well. These are pictures to treasure, for sure.

73maggie1944
Apr 21, 2012, 3:14pm Top

Never too many tomato plants... IMHO

74ChelleBearss
Apr 21, 2012, 4:40pm Top

wow your plants are doing very well! Good job!

Charlie and your parents look like they are having a great time!

75scaifea
Apr 21, 2012, 5:13pm Top

Terri: Aww, youve just scored yourself some points right there.

Judy: Ohmygosh, you don't know the half of it - they are extreme grandparents in their pride in him. It's ridiculous.

maggie: Ugh, you can keep 'em. Not a fan, myself.

Chelle: Yeah, I'm really excited about the plants.

76Whisper1
Apr 22, 2012, 1:05am Top

I love the photos of Charlie and your parents...How very, very special!

77Storeetllr
Apr 22, 2012, 2:18pm Top

Hi, Amber ~ Just stopping by to get my Charlie (soooo adorable) and gardening (so inspiring) and classical subject (fascinating!) pictures fix. Have a lovely Sunday! (And do try greek yoghurt when you get a chance. I love the Fage brand plain nonfat. It's great for breakfast with fresh or frozen berries and just a little bit of sweetener (I use Splenda, but that's just me) or mixed with cottage cheese and crumbled gorgonzola cheese as a veggie dip for a light lunch or dinner.)

78ronincats
Apr 22, 2012, 11:44pm Top

Great pictures of Charlie and your parents! And Costco has started carrying Greek yogurt--yay!

79Luxx
Apr 23, 2012, 7:21am Top

"Whose those pictures of?"
"That's Charlie."
"Whose are those guys?"
"Those are his grandparents. That's his grandmom and his granddad."
*Big sigh* "They're funny."

-- Conversation with B

80scaifea
Apr 23, 2012, 7:23am Top

Linda: I try to take lots of pictures of Charlie with my parents when we're together so he'll have them later on. I only have one picture of him with my brother and I very much regret not taking more.

Mary: I saw the Fage brand in my grocery store, but chickened out - I don't like the fruit-on-the-bottom kind, and that's the only kind I could find. The dip sounds fantastic!

Roni: We don't have a Costco, but we do have a membership to Sam's, so I should look there.

81norabelle414
Apr 23, 2012, 8:36am Top

>80 scaifea: Because of the way Greek/strained yogurt is made, almost all of it is fruit-on-the-bottom. Probably the only other option is to get flavors that are not chunky, like Key lime or honey

82scaifea
Apr 23, 2012, 9:07am Top

Huh. Well, I don't know then. Maybe I'll just chicken out...

83lycomayflower
Apr 23, 2012, 9:09am Top

Chobani does a plain and a vanilla.

84maggie1944
Apr 23, 2012, 12:25pm Top

The honey flavor is very palatable; nothing to be afraid of, nothing at all! Greek yogurt is much easier to eat than ther other kinds, IMHO.

85scaifea
Apr 23, 2012, 12:30pm Top

Okay, okay, I'm back on board the Greek yogurt wagon - ha! I'll try to remember to pick some up next weekend and report back...

86scaifea
Apr 23, 2012, 12:40pm Top

I've finished up a few more purses; one is already sold, the others are for the etsy pile:





87lauralkeet
Apr 23, 2012, 3:01pm Top

cute bags!
I'm not a fan of fruit on the bottom either, but the Chobanis don't seem very chunky to me, and I can just stir it all up and enjoy. As noted, plain, vanilla, and honey are all smooth. Apple-Cinnamon, Lemon, and Pineapple flavors are all fairly low on the "chunkiness scale," too.

Go for it!

88Storeetllr
Apr 23, 2012, 7:59pm Top

Very cute bags. I'll take the bag on the bottom, the milk-chocolate colored one.

The Fage greek yogurt I buy is plain ~ no flavorings or fruit. I've never seen it with fruit-on-the-bottom. I love it that even the nonfat greek yogurt is so rich, it seems like the full fat kind.

89scaifea
Apr 24, 2012, 7:22am Top

I'll look again and see if I can find the plain kind, or maybe the honey, which sounds pretty good...

90scaifea
Apr 24, 2012, 7:30am Top

Speaking of trying new stuff, on impulse I picked up a package of Pomegranate Black Tea at the store the other day, and I'm just trying it this morning - quite nice, actually. I mean, it's no Earl Grey, but it'll do.

91norabelle414
Apr 24, 2012, 8:32am Top

If you like Key lime pie (or Key lime anything), the Yoplait Greek yogurt in Key lime is my favorite yogurt ever. Possibly one of my favorite foods ever. And it's not at all chunky. They do a honey flavor which is not at all chunky either.

You can also get plain or vanilla and put honey in it yourself. That's what I used to do before Greek/strained yogurt got popular and it only came in plain or vanilla.

Mmm, pomegranate! I should keep an eye out for that tea. Pomegranate flavor always reminds me of when I was a little kid and I would make my mom buy pomegranates for me, and then I would only eat 6 seeds at a time. You know, so I could pretend I was Persephone. I wasn't nerdy at all. Nope.

92scaifea
Apr 24, 2012, 9:01am Top

Ha! That's adorable about the pomegranates, Nora! The tea is Bigelow brand, or at least the kind I found.

93CatyM
Apr 24, 2012, 10:35am Top

*wanders through, catches up, waves hello*

Like the bags. :)

94scaifea
Apr 24, 2012, 12:18pm Top

*waves*
Hi, Caty - good to see you!

95Storeetllr
Apr 24, 2012, 4:04pm Top

My parrot won't eat her breakfast unless I sprinkle some pomegranite seeds on top. I give her 6 because of the Persephone myth. (Nothing nerdy about it at all, Nora!)

96ChelleBearss
Apr 24, 2012, 4:08pm Top

Love the bags! Do you have your etsy store set up yet or just stock piling still?

I have to be careful with etsy, there is just too much stuff I like on there!

97scaifea
Apr 24, 2012, 5:05pm Top

Mary & Nora: You'll get no argument from me on the coolness of the Persephone but - 'twas my bread and butter, after all.

Chelle: Nope, not yet - I feel like I need more than the 6 items I've got finished before I open up shop!

98scaifea
Apr 24, 2012, 6:11pm Top

I've got sausage and potato soup in the crock pot and I'm getting ready to put some curry biscuits in the oven - the house smells delicious right now!

99PaulCranswick
Apr 24, 2012, 6:12pm Top

Amber - curry biscuits - sounds intriguing!

100Donna828
Apr 24, 2012, 6:38pm Top

Hi Amber, so much to comment on here. In no particular order, and with no message references...

Cheese curds and Wisconsin go together. It's a good thing you like them, or you'd have to leave the state!

Charlie is adorable, and so photogenic. Loved him in his Easter duds, with ice cream on his face, and having some good times with the grandparents. Preschool? Wahhhhh. They grow up too fast!

I'm still in awe of your craftiness. Lovely purses and pots. Good luck with growing plants. It looks like the pumpkins are off to a good start. I can almost see the Charlie-in-the-pumpkin-patch pictures.

101scaifea
Apr 24, 2012, 8:11pm Top

Paul: They were delicious! Possibly not the kind of biscuits you're thinking of (not in the British sense of biscuit, anyway) - there are baking powder quick bread biscuits (i.e. not cookies). Just the normal recipe, but with a 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder added to the mix.

Donna: Good to see you! I'm excited about the pumpkins, too. Charlie had such a great time watching his grow last year, so I know he'll love it again. He helps me water the pots every day.

102PaulCranswick
Apr 24, 2012, 8:36pm Top

Amber....erm no...still sounds delicious!

103lauralkeet
Apr 24, 2012, 9:47pm Top

Paul the biscuit discussion is over on YOUR thread!!!
(chocolate digestives ... Yum)

104PaulCranswick
Edited: Apr 24, 2012, 11:26pm Top

Amber / Laura - I need scant encouragement to discuss biscuits savoury or sweet.

105scaifea
Apr 25, 2012, 7:07am Top

Wait, you're talking about biscuits over on your thread, Paul? I need to get over there... Chocolate digestives are my favorite!

PS: Having a cold curry biscuit with my cuppa this morning, and it's lovely.

106scaifea
Apr 25, 2012, 7:39am Top

Oh, I forgot to mention my exciting book news - Charlie and I went to the library yesterday, and I picked up these gems from the Sale Shelf:

The Beautiful Cigar Girl
How to Rule the Waves
Thunderstruck

I'm excited about all of them (they're just the kind of non-fiction I love), but especially the Larson. And all for only $0.50 each! WOOHOO!

107PaulCranswick
Apr 25, 2012, 7:52am Top

Amber you are always welcome and I notice you beat me to my thread already!

108lycomayflower
Apr 25, 2012, 8:56am Top

@ 106

Weird. I was thumbing through my copy of How to Rule the Waves this morning. I'm thinking of reading it next month for my Reading Seasonally Challenge (May is "The Sea.")

109scaifea
Apr 25, 2012, 9:14am Top

Laura: Neat! I likely won't get around to reading it for good long while, but I'm excited about it nonetheless.

110dulcibelle
Edited: Apr 25, 2012, 4:11pm Top

106 - I've read both The Beautiful Cigar Girl and Thunderstruck and thoroughly enjoyed them. Lots of great info on how the mystery genre came to be in "Cigar Girl", and Larson - well, what can you say. He makes history exciting.

111scaifea
Apr 25, 2012, 5:52pm Top

Riva: He does indeed make it exciting; for me, he's second only to Simon Winchester in that respect.

112msf59
Apr 25, 2012, 6:00pm Top

Hi Amber- Congrats on the book haul. I'm a big Larson fan too and really enjoyed Thunderstruck. How to Rule the Waves sounds interesting too.

113scaifea
Apr 26, 2012, 6:53am Top

Mark: Both books seem to be the kind of non-fiction that I enjoy most - interestingly narrow topic, told by a great story-teller.

Evidence that I have the best husband on the planet: Yesterday, Tomm had to leave the office in the middle of the day to get a haircut. Instead of just going right back to the office, he made a detour and brought me a DQ Blizzard. He called me during Charlie's nap and said, "can you meet me in the driveway in 2 minutes?" And there he was, holding my favorite ice cream out the car window. No special occasion - he just thought I might want a treat. What a sweetheart, eh?

PS: I shared with Charlie - there's no way I can eat ice cream without sharing it with my little guy.

114tiffin
Apr 26, 2012, 12:13pm Top

Caught up with Charlie, sprouts, cookies, ice cream, purses, laughs--

115scaifea
Apr 26, 2012, 12:15pm Top

Good to see you, tiffin!

116FAMeulstee
Apr 26, 2012, 1:05pm Top

> 113: How sweet of your husband!

117scaifea
Apr 26, 2012, 3:23pm Top

Anita: He's definitely a keeper. :)

51. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss (NEH list, 325 pages) - 3 stars
The classic tale of the shipwrecked family who makes a life for itself in a deserted shore.

This one was a disappointment for me; I'd not read it before, nor have I seen the movie(s?), but knew of their existence and heard people's proclamations of love for them. Meh. The story got old after the first 105 pages, and I found the self-righteous aren't-I-so-clever-and-such-a-great-father attitude of the narrator really grating. Still, I wanted to know what happened in the end, so, 3 stars.

NB: There has now been a change to the ridiculous reading schedule/list of lists in the first post: Up to now, the NEH list has resided under the sub-category of Charlie reads - books that I'm reading/gathering for Charlie's shelves. It has now migrated to my own lists, since I've now finished (well, almost - I've still 2 Mary Poppins books to read, but they're sitting here right next to me and will be read shortly) the K-Grade 6 category and now have left the Grades 7 & 8 and Grades 9-12 lists. For these 'for older children' books, if I like any of them, they'll live on our general house shelves, not specifically Charlie's, since I feel that by the time he's in middle school, he can choose any book on our shelves to read if he wishes.

Updated Current Reads List:
-John Stuart Mill Autobiography, Essay on Liberty/ Thomas Carlyle Characteristics, Inaugural Address, Essay on Scott (library book - call #AC1.A4. v.25)
-Women in Love (banned books list)
-Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane (NEH list)
-The Faerie Queen (The Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List)
-James Madison (Presidential Challenge)
-For One More Day (audio book)
-A Dirty Job (Moore bibliography)
-The Children's Hour Volume 9: From Many Lands (I'm working through this series of old volumes that were my brothers' when they were little.)

In addition to these, I have some classics-related texts that I'm working through (quite slowly):
-Asinaria by Plautus (reading in Latin)
-Iliad by Homer (reading in Greek)
-Latin Literature by Gian Biagio Conte
-The Cambridge History of Classical Literature Volume 1 Part 1
-History of Rome by Michael Grant
-A History of Greece to 322 BC by N. G. L. Hammond

118Ape
Edited: Apr 26, 2012, 4:54pm Top

I'm stealing Tomm.

*Gets a sudden craving for an Oreo Brownie Earthquake sundae thing*

119scaifea
Apr 26, 2012, 5:35pm Top

Stephen: *snork!*

120scaifea
Apr 26, 2012, 8:57pm Top

52. Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane by P.L. Travers (NEH list, 89 pages) - 3 stars

53. Mary Poppins and the House Next Door by P.L. Travers (NEH list, 75 pages) - 3 stars

The last two entries in the Mary Poppins series. Not as good as the first few, but much better than the two preceding them.

-John Stuart Mill Autobiography, Essay on Liberty/ Thomas Carlyle Characteristics, Inaugural Address, Essay on Scott (library book - call #AC1.A4. v.25)
-Women in Love (banned books list)
-The Egypt Game (Charlie book - Newbery Honor Book found at library book sale)
-The Faerie Queen (The Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List)
-James Madison (Presidential Challenge)
-For One More Day (audio book)
-A Dirty Job (Moore bibliography)
-The Children's Hour Volume 9: From Many Lands (I'm working through this series of old volumes that were my brothers' when they were little.)

In addition to these, I have some classics-related texts that I'm working through (quite slowly):
-Asinaria by Plautus (reading in Latin)
-Iliad by Homer (reading in Greek)
-Latin Literature by Gian Biagio Conte
-The Cambridge History of Classical Literature Volume 1 Part 1
-History of Rome by Michael Grant
-A History of Greece to 322 BC by N. G. L. Hammond

121Storeetllr
Apr 26, 2012, 11:31pm Top

I don't want to steal him, but could I borrow Tomm for a day or two? :) (He would be SOOO glad to get back to you after spending a couple of days ~ heck, a couple of hours ~ with me. lol)

Such an ambitious reading list, Amber. A couple sound really intriguing. And I haven't read A Dirty Job yet. Maybe I should buy it when I go see Chris Moore at Vroman's Bookstore this weekend so he can sign it.

122scaifea
Apr 27, 2012, 7:17am Top

Mary: Oh, sure, just waltz in here and rub it in that you're going to meet Christopher Moore. Sigh. But, yes, definitely do go pick up A Dirty Job - it's hilarious so far. In fact, I was laughing out loud within the first 5 pages.
Maybe I should start a rental business with Tomm...

123Donna828
Apr 27, 2012, 7:36am Top

Wow, an unexpected Blizzard, That gives new meaning to "afternoon delight!" You live with two delightful keepers, Amber.

124scaifea
Apr 27, 2012, 7:38am Top

Donna: *SNORK!!* That nearly made me spew my Constant Comment all over the keyboard! Hahahaha!!

125tiffin
Apr 27, 2012, 9:43am Top

Enjoying this conversation.

126lauralkeet
Edited: Apr 27, 2012, 9:52am Top

>123 Donna828:: ROFL! That's a very spew-worthy quip, Donna!
Sadly I now have that song lodged in my brain. I'll have to get some music going here soon.

127scaifea
Apr 27, 2012, 10:08am Top

"Sky-rockets in flight..."
I can think of worse songs to have stuck in your head. Although, Charlie and I are off to his playgroup this morning, and it's probably not the proper kind of song to be humming around the other mothers...

128Riefz91
Apr 27, 2012, 10:16am Top

This user has been removed as spam.

129ChelleBearss
Apr 27, 2012, 10:30am Top

Wow, Tomm is one great fella! Nice of you to share with Charlie too instead of scarfing it down during his nap lol

130scaifea
Apr 27, 2012, 12:33pm Top

Chelle: I would have had massive guilt if I hadn't shared. Plus, he's fun to eat ice cream with - after every bite he says, "Oh, Mommy, that's delicious!" Ha!

131Storeetllr
Apr 27, 2012, 6:55pm Top

Ha! So cute. I'd be tempted to ply him with ice cream every day to get that reaction. :)

132PaulCranswick
Apr 27, 2012, 7:21pm Top

Amber - Tomm sounds like a thoughtful and romantic fellow, doing what I should be doing to keep SWMBO in smiles. Did surprise her by arriving unexpected at the Mall she was at to treat her to dinner last night. Belle is the ice cream princess in the house - Azmi brought her to the office on Wednesday and she insisted I stop off for ice cream on the way home - as she was lining up the flavours, the normally reticent young lady, turned to her Daddy and said..."Dad I'll love you forever". Pur right a bad day.

133scaifea
Apr 27, 2012, 8:33pm Top

Mary: He is a sweet little charmer.

Paul: Oh, it's just lovely to be taken to a spontaneous dinner - good on you! And it gets one right at the core when they turn say "I love you", no? Sigh.

134scaifea
Apr 29, 2012, 8:53am Top

54. Paddington Helps Out by Michael Bond (bath-time book, 128 pages) - 4 stars

In this entry in the series, Paddington goes on a picnic on the river, attends his first auction, helps out when the family is ill, goes to the movies, and has a fancy dinner. And gets into all sorts of pickles, of course.

We love Paddington here in the Scaife house. Charlie even has a bear that we've named Paddington, even though it's not 'officially' a paddington bear (it, in fact, looks more like the original illustrations of Paddington than the retail bears do today, though). So, on to the next in the series for the next bath-time read.

Updated Current Reading List:
-John Stuart Mill Autobiography, Essay on Liberty/ Thomas Carlyle Characteristics, Inaugural Address, Essay on Scott (library book - call #AC1.A4. v.25)
-Women in Love (banned books list)
-The Egypt Game (Charlie book - Newbery Honor Book found at library book sale)
-The Faerie Queen (The Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List)
-James Madison (Presidential Challenge)
-For One More Day (audio book)
-A Dirty Job (Moore bibliography)
-Paddington Abroad (bath-time book)
-The Children's Hour Volume 9: From Many Lands (I'm working through this series of old volumes that were my brothers' when they were little.)

In addition to these, I have some classics-related texts that I'm working through (quite slowly):
-Asinaria by Plautus (reading in Latin)
-Iliad by Homer (reading in Greek)
-Latin Literature by Gian Biagio Conte
-The Cambridge History of Classical Literature Volume 1 Part 1
-History of Rome by Michael Grant
-A History of Greece to 322 BC by N. G. L. Hammond

135barney67
Apr 29, 2012, 8:17pm Top

My brother and I both had Paddington bears when we were kids. He told me one of the best memories he has of childhood is of sitting on a chair with Mom, holding his bear, while she read him Paddington stories.

136scaifea
Apr 30, 2012, 7:08am Top

deniro: Oh, wonderful! I hope Charlie keeps good memories of Paddington, too. I know Tomm and I both, neither of whom read the stories or had the bear when we were kids, are very much in love with them now. I'm thinking of trying to fashion Charlie's Paddington a hat...

137scaifea
Edited: Apr 30, 2012, 7:57am Top

We had a nice, relaxing weekend: I went with a friend to a church rummage sale and found some books for Charlie - an older Little Golden Book that he didn't have, plus a couple of Dr. Seuss books, all for $.50 each! - and then we to a meeting at the same's friend's house about a dessert social she's in charge of for her church (I'm not affiliated, but agreed to help her out if she can't gather up enough volunteers). She wants people to decorate tables in themes (? Never heard of this before, but apparently it's a thing? At any rate, it sounds fun). So I may get roped into doing that.

I got some small amount of reading done, and a nice chunk of sewing done; I'm working on two more playhouses like the one I made for Charlie. These two will be more girly, since they're for Tomm's niece and my best friend's niece. Plus, since I'm assembly-lining these things, I'm making another one for Charlie; for this one I'm modifying the pattern a bit to make it look like a barn. We'll see how that turns out...

The weekend's new dessert recipe was a big success: Gingerbread Pudding Cake, made in the slow-cooker! Delicious.

Oh, and Tomm and I watched Taken this weekend. Wow. Liam is amazing in that movie! Loved it.

Last Friday a man from the construction crew (they're starting a massive road project just two streets down from us) came round to tell everyone on our cul-de-sac that our power will be out this morning from 8-12. So, Charlie and I will be headed to the library this morning to avoid as much of that as possible. Then, this evening we're all off to Dubuque for a bit of provision shopping (our bi-monthly trip to Sam's).

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, too!

138ChelleBearss
Apr 30, 2012, 10:58am Top

Wow sounds like you had a busy and fun weekend! Have a good morning at the library!

139dulcibelle
Apr 30, 2012, 11:18am Top

>>137 scaifea: Amber - I've done the themed tables many times before. I've done tables in a Teddy Bear tea party theme, a Teddy Bear picnic theme (complete with ants), and a general Teddy Bear theme. (There seems to be a theme to my themes). Some folks take this as a chance to use the "good" china for something other than holidays. Lots of fun and usually lots of cute ideas. Please share pictures if you do take part.

140scaifea
Apr 30, 2012, 1:08pm Top

Chelle: Well, we did have a really good morning, but not at that the library - the same friend who is organizing the dessert social is the friend who has 2 boys just about Charlie's age, and we have playdates frequently. She called this morning and invited us over to play, so we did that instead. We'll travel to the library tomorrow morning.

Riva: Oh, neat! I like the teddy bear theme. I'm thinking that I'll either do a Hoe-Down/bluegrass theme, or a pirates theme. We'll see... Do you have pictures of your tables? I'd love to see them.

141laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Apr 30, 2012, 1:14pm Top

So I may get roped into doing that. CAUTION, CAUTION!!!! Once you start that you'll be called every time anybody needs something similar, because you're too good at it! Your name will be at the top of everyone's list. You think it was hard to say "No" to a two-year-old?

142scaifea
Apr 30, 2012, 1:17pm Top

Linda: I know, I know. I'm terrible at saying "no" to people (although, with *lots* of practice, I'm getting better at it with Charlie!). Sigh. But there's no way you can say I'm good at it - I've never done this before! :) It does sound fun, though...

143dulcibelle
Edited: Apr 30, 2012, 4:17pm Top

I like the Hoe-Down/bluegrass theme - so much you can do with it.

I KNEW you were going to ask for a picture. This was MANY years ago (10 or more), but I'll see if I can find a picture or two. Don't hold your breath though. :-)

I found one!! Let's see if I can figure out how to show it.

144maggie1944
Apr 30, 2012, 5:18pm Top

so cute!

145scaifea
Apr 30, 2012, 5:40pm Top

Agreed - v. cute! Thanks so much for sharing the photo!

146scaifea
May 1, 2012, 7:16am Top

Tomm and I watched Role Models again last night. Hilarious movie. I'm a huge Paul Rudd fan.

Today will be what yesterday was going to be, I think; expecting the power to go off this morning (since it didn't yesterday), so Charlie and I will make our trip to the library, and then, maybe, if the rain holds off long enough, we'll stop by the park before heading home. I'm hoping to get some cross stitching done during his nap time today, since I haven't in a long while. And maybe some reading done, too?

147maggie1944
May 1, 2012, 8:27am Top

I hope your day is very enjoyable and not a pain in the butt because "I can't go home". Being kicked out has its advantages...sometimes.

148scaifea
May 1, 2012, 8:36am Top

Thanks, Maggie. As long as I can find something to do until lunchtime, when we'll go get a "sandwich burger", as Charlie calls it, we'll be fine, I think.

149scaifea
May 2, 2012, 7:09am Top

One more reason why I like this guy (besides the fact that his books are fantastic):

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/30/stephen-king-tax-me-for-f-s-sak...

NB: There's a bit of language in here, so if you don't like that sort of thing, don't read it.

150scaifea
May 2, 2012, 7:13am Top

Thunderstorming here at the moment; supposed to continue all day long.
I'm taking Charlie to the doctor's office this morning - nothing too serious, just a little rash that just won't go away and which I think he got from something outside. I've been putting Caladril (sp?) on it, but that seems to be doing nothing.
Then, since there won't be any outside time today, we'll be making cookies - peanut butter chocolate pinwheels.

151scaifea
May 2, 2012, 7:22am Top

Oh, and I can't believe I almost forgot to mention this: Our new niece (Tomm's brother and his wife's new baby) will be arriving today (Ginger - the wife - is being induced today)! This will be their second child, both little girls. They have a 2-year-old, Bella; this one will be Bridget. (Remember the baby quilt I recently made? It's for Bridget.) We won't get to see her in person until we visit Ohio in August, but I'll try to post pictures when I can.

152lauralkeet
May 2, 2012, 7:24am Top

Cute baby names! Congratulations to the parents of B&B! And to you too, of course, it's always fun to welcome a new family member.

153scaifea
May 2, 2012, 7:27am Top

Thanks, Laura! I like the name Bridget quite a bit, and Bella is good with me, of course, since it's Latin for beautiful. I suspect, though, that Ginger got the name from a much less venerable source...
I'm excited to have another wee girl for whom I can make frilly dresses!

154norabelle414
May 2, 2012, 8:35am Top

>153 scaifea: I suspect, though, that Ginger got the name from a much less venerable source...
When I was in the airport the other day, there was a toddler girl named Renesmee sitting across from me. *shudder...*
Her parents looked about 16 years old and were feeding her beef jerky.

155scaifea
May 2, 2012, 9:44am Top

Nora: *snork!* That's horrible. Just horrible.

156scaifea
Edited: May 2, 2012, 1:11pm Top

Bridget has arrived!



And here's one of her big sister, Bella:



157maggie1944
May 2, 2012, 1:15pm Top

Sweet! sweet! babies and little kids! The best.

Thanks for posting pictures which give a smile!

158Whisper1
May 2, 2012, 1:19pm Top

ditto what Maggie said. How very, very adorable these children are.

I want to reach out and hug them!

159lauralkeet
May 2, 2012, 2:21pm Top

Awwwwww. So soft and sweet. Thanks for the baby fix Amber!

160msf59
May 2, 2012, 7:28pm Top

Congrats on the new arrival. How wonderful and Bella is a doll! Those big brown eyes.

161alcottacre
May 2, 2012, 7:32pm Top

*waving* at Amber - I am only 100+ posts behind :)

Cute kiddos in the pics! Congratulations!

162ChelleBearss
May 2, 2012, 8:04pm Top

Congrats Congrats!
Two cuties! Hope momma and babe are doing well

163tiffin
May 2, 2012, 8:46pm Top

Congratulations, Auntie!

164Luxx
May 2, 2012, 9:31pm Top

I nearly copied Tiffin exactly; I skipped after the photos to offer my congratulations, but fortuitously looked up before hitting "Post message."

I hope all is well!

165scaifea
May 3, 2012, 7:26am Top

Thanks, everyone! Ginger and the baby are doing fine, I've been told. We won't get to meet Bridget in person until we visit in August. Sigh.
I'm actually an old hat at being an aunt; y brothers and sisters are quite a bit older than me, so I grew up with my nieces and nephew, the oldest of which is 2 years younger than me.

166Morphidae
May 3, 2012, 7:45am Top

How adorable!

And loved the article by SK. Thanks for posting it.

167scaifea
Edited: May 3, 2012, 1:02pm Top

Morphy: You're welcome. What makes it even better: Stephen Fry was praising it and posted the link on his twitter account. Sigh.

Charlie and I made our weekly cookies today, and this recipe is a doozie (in a good way)! Definitely good enough to share:



Peanut Butter Pinwheels
(from Taste of Home: Cookies)

Ingredients:
• ½ cup shortening
• ½ cup creamy peanut butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1 ¼ cups flour
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375⁰.
2. Cream together shortening, peanut butter and sugar.
3. Beat in egg and milk.
4. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.
5. Roll out between waxed paper into 12x10-inch rectangle.
6. Melt chocolate chips and cool slightly.
7. Spread chocolate over dough to within ½ in of edges.
8. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a long side.
9. Wrap in plastic wrap.
10. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
11. Unwrap and cut into ½-inch slices.
12. Place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets.
13. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light browned around the edges.
14. Cool on wire rack.

168lauralkeet
May 3, 2012, 3:48pm Top

Oh wow those look delish. Maybe I will make them this weekend!

169scaifea
May 3, 2012, 5:10pm Top

Laura: Oh, do! They're super-easy and really good.

170ChelleBearss
May 3, 2012, 8:34pm Top

Ohhh you are really testing my diet, those cookies look delicious!!
I'll be saving that recipe for after my wedding!

171scaifea
May 4, 2012, 7:28am Top

Chelle: Ha! Yes, do keep it until post-wedding, then let me know how you like them!

Well, it got *hot* here yesterday (in the 80's), so Charlie and I went to the park. There's one slide there that he's a bit skiddish about and won't go on (it *is* pretty steep), and yesterday he decided that he wanted me to go down it with him. Well, since there wasn't another soul in the park, I agreed to go down it with him on my lap, hoping that after one go he'd be able to do it himself. Nope; going down with Mommy was way too much fun, apparently, so we spend half an hour going down again and again. I hadn't been down a slide in *years*, and it was so much fun! Just one more reason I don't regret at all leaving my job to be with Charlie. Sigh.

This afternoon, once Tomm gets home, I'm headed down to Dubuque for some quilting supplies. Charlie is getting too long for his toddler bed, so we'll have to break out the twin bed soon (my gosh, he's growing up TOO FAST), so I need to get it in gear and make him a new, twin-sized quilt. I liked how his current one turned out, so the basic pattern and colors will be the same, I think (blocks of flannel print fabric, mostly in blues, and with his favorite characters, if I can find them (Mickey Mouse, the Muppets, Sesame Street, any Pixar characters I can find)). I'm, of course, excited about a sewing-shopping trip - woohoo!

172Ape
May 4, 2012, 7:30am Top

OMG *Drools*

173scaifea
May 4, 2012, 12:29pm Top

Stephen: Ha! I assume you're drooling over the cookies. There are a few left, so help yourself!

I forgot to mention that I *finally* tried the Greek yogurt - and *love* it! Wow! Who knew yogurt could be not gross! Definitely getting more this weekend.

174lauralkeet
May 4, 2012, 2:27pm Top

>173 scaifea:: I'm glad to hear that, Sam I am!

175scaifea
May 4, 2012, 3:42pm Top

*snork!*

176Ape
May 4, 2012, 5:36pm Top

There are really only two things that make me behave like that, and food (especially baked goods) is one of them. :P

177Luxx
May 4, 2012, 6:52pm Top

Yup, making those cookies this weekend. Oh man.

I'm getting ready to make my monsters new quilts, too! When we move this summer we'll be putting Max in a full-sized bed, so he'll need a bigger quilt. I can't wait - I'm planning on robots and trains (his two favorite things atm).

178scaifea
May 4, 2012, 8:41pm Top

Stephen: Nice.

Luxx: Oooh, I saw some adorable robot fabric today, but sadly none of it was flannel. Charlie loves the robots too.

179PaulCranswick
May 5, 2012, 12:14am Top

Great photos for a proud auntie. Love the cute little hat on the new born! I want one (wouldn't mind the hat either) - hey isn't it only you girls that are supposed to get broody!

180Ape
May 5, 2012, 7:16am Top

The other one is libraries. I know you were thinking other thinks, pfft! :P

181scaifea
May 5, 2012, 10:27am Top

Paul: I think I'm not a typical lady in that respect - I definitely do *not* want any more little ones myself. I adore the one I have, of course, but I hated being pregnant, and I don't want to go through all those sleepless nights again with an infant. Plus, having just barely come out the other side of potty training with Charlie (finally!), I really *really* don't want to do that again. Ever. Also, I have siblings myself - I'm not making Charlie suffer through that.

Stephen: I *never* think other thinks. Ever.

Well, I got most of the fabrics I'll need for Charlie's new quilt, although I'd like to find a flannel Mickey Mouse to include in it (he's a big fan of the Mouse right now), plus I still need to decide on the two borders, which I'll likely wait to do once I've got the middle blocks put together and can see how it looks. But first, I need to finish those dang houses I'm working on. Sigh. Hopefully I'll get some time to work on those this weekend.

Also on the agenda for the weekend:
-Get the plants in the ground. The pumpkins especially are going crazy - our bay window is beginning to look like a jungle. Tomm is, even as I type, outside working up the ground.
-Weekly new dessert recipe: Cinnamon Rhubarb Cake. My friend, Elizabeth, has a rhubarb patch in her back yard, and has said that I'm welcome to as much as I can handle - she's already overrun with the stuff, apparently.
-Possibly make doughnuts. I've never done this, but I remember how wonderful my Mom's were when she used to make them, so I want to try her recipe.
-Some knitting? I've got three projects going right now and need to make progress on all of them.
-Some reading, maybe? Possibly? We'll see.
Oh, and Tomm will be grilling us up a steak dinner tonight. So excited about that. We're very much enjoying the grill that came with the house - it's attached to the house gas line, so no propane tanks to futz with!

182lauralkeet
May 5, 2012, 11:38am Top

>181 scaifea:: our bay window is beginning to look like a jungle.
*shocked, wide-eyed look*

mmmm .... doughnuts.

I'm definitely going to make your peanut butter pinwheel cookies but decided to postpone them a week to welcome home the college student.

183scaifea
May 5, 2012, 12:44pm Top

Laura: *snork!* I know, I know! Charlie and I are pretty excited about them, though. I think Tomm's not so much, since he's the one putting in the hard labor outside right now...
The cookies will definitely be a welcome treat for the Kenyon Lady. :)

184maggie1944
May 5, 2012, 2:44pm Top

the idea of rhubarb makes my mouth water *must get some rhubarb plants!

185scaifea
May 5, 2012, 5:42pm Top

55. My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee (public library book, picture book) - 4 stars
A boy buys a rhino at the pet store then thinks he may regret his decision, but ultimately realizes his pet's worth.

56. Milo's Hat Trick by Jon Agee (public library book, picture book) - 4 stars
Milo is a mediocre magician, until he goes out looking for a rabbit for his act and stumbles across a bear instead.

I picked up these two books (along with a couple of others by Agee) during our last visit to the library. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the others with Charlie, since we liked these two so much. Great illustrations along with delightfully quirky stories. Definitely recommended.

186scaifea
May 5, 2012, 5:44pm Top

Plants are now in the ground, and we learned that our outside spigot (today's the first time we've used it since we moved into the house) doesn't work properly, in that it floods the basement laundry/utility room when one turns it on... Sigh. Tomm's not a happy guy right now.

187Donna828
May 6, 2012, 8:04am Top

Amber, I was worried when I saw your week end plans included reading...maybe? I'm glad to see Charlie didn't get shortchanged. You have some beautiful nieces. Let Tomm's brother and wife have the sleepless nights and potty training chores. You can have the fun of cuddles and games when you visit w/o responsibilities. Smart thinking!

188scaifea
May 6, 2012, 11:20am Top

Donna: Ha! So far, I've only had a few minutes' reading time, right before falling asleep last night. Oh well.

Cinnamon-Sugar Rhubarb Cake, anyone?

189bell7
May 6, 2012, 1:29pm Top

>188 scaifea: Ooh, that look delicious!

190maggie1944
May 6, 2012, 2:07pm Top

Yes, it does. Mouth wateringly good!

191scaifea
May 6, 2012, 4:03pm Top

Thanks, Mary & Maggie! It did turn out really well - definitely a keeper recipe. Right now I've got a beef & barley soup simmering on the stove and it smells lovely; can't wait to try it.

192Ape
May 6, 2012, 4:09pm Top

OMG *Drool*

193RosyLibrarian
May 6, 2012, 6:10pm Top

188: Don't mind if I do! Yum!

194scaifea
May 6, 2012, 8:38pm Top

Stephen: *snork!* Oh, and hey, stop drooling all over my thread. Sheesh. Oh, also, I'm about to type up my thoughts on A Dirty Job, and now that I've finished it, I think more than ever that you *need* to read it. You'd love it.

Marie: *waves* Hi!

195scaifea
May 6, 2012, 8:47pm Top

57. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (Moore bibliography, 384 pages) - 5 stars!
Charlie Asher is an average, beta-male kind of guy; harmless, a bit bungling and a bit of a germ freak, but generally easily unnoticeable. Oh, and he's Death. Well, not really; he's a Death Merchant - someone who goes round collecting people's souls once they've passed on, or are about to. This is the story of how he came to be a Death Merchant, how long it took him to accept it, and what happens when he finally does.

I love Christopher Moore's books. Love them. And, to date, this is my absolute favorite of his, hands down. Within the first 5 pages, I had already laughed right out loud and nearly cried. Amazing. Takes the title of My Favorite Read So Far This Year. Go read it, please, then thank me later.

Replacing Moore in my current reads is the next Stephen Fry book on the list. Hoo. I'm excited. I care for Fry a great deal.

Updated Current Reading list:
-John Stuart Mill Autobiography, Essay on Liberty/ Thomas Carlyle Characteristics, Inaugural Address, Essay on Scott (library book - call #AC1.A4. v.25)
-Women in Love (banned books list)
-The Egypt Game (Charlie book - Newbery Honor Book found at library book sale)
-The Faerie Queen (The Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List)
-James Madison (Presidential Challenge)
-For One More Day (audio book)
-Making History (Fry bibliography)
-Paddington Abroad (bath-time book)
-The Children's Hour Volume 9: From Many Lands (I'm working through this series of old volumes that were my brothers' when they were little.)

In addition to these, I have some classics-related texts that I'm working through (quite slowly):
-Asinaria by Plautus (reading in Latin)
-Iliad by Homer (reading in Greek)
-Latin Literature by Gian Biagio Conte
-The Cambridge History of Classical Literature Volume 1 Part 1
-History of Rome by Michael Grant
-A History of Greece to 322 BC by N. G. L. Hammond

196PaulCranswick
May 6, 2012, 8:50pm Top

Amber never thought to put cinnamon and rhubarb together before - intriguing. My home area of Yorkshire used to be the centre of rhubarb production in the UK and we spent happy times as kids in the farmer's fields relieving him of some of his produce!

197scaifea
May 7, 2012, 7:09am Top

Paul: It's essentially a coffee cake, so that's where the cinnamon-sugar comes from. It also works nicely with the tartness of the rhubarb. Growing up, we had a rhubarb patch in our garden, and I, too, have great memories of raiding it as a kid!

198scaifea
May 7, 2012, 8:32am Top

58. Nothing by Jon Agee (public library book, picture book) - 4 stars
59. Terrific by Jon Agee (public library book, picture book) - 4 stars

Okay, Charlie and I are officially fans of Agee. Clever, quirky stories with excellent illustrations. Definitely recommended.

199Ape
May 7, 2012, 2:43pm Top

Okay, I really really really want to read A Dirty Job...

200scaifea
May 7, 2012, 3:00pm Top

Stephen: Yes! Now, hitchhike to the library and pick it up!

201Ape
May 7, 2012, 3:21pm Top

Anyone crazy enough to pick me up on the road would scare the crap out of me.

And yes, that sentence is totally logical...

202Ape
May 7, 2012, 3:21pm Top

Anyone crazy enough to pick me up on the road would scare the crap out of me.

And yes, that sentence is totally logical...

203scaifea
May 7, 2012, 3:31pm Top

So logical you said it twice. ;)
And yes, it makes sense to me (the logic part - not that I think you're crazy/creepy).

204scaifea
May 7, 2012, 3:33pm Top

60. The Dutch Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins (1001 Children's Books list, 190 pages) - 3 stars
A series of small adventures had by a pair of 5-year-old siblings. Cute, but quite dated.

Updated Current Reading list:
-John Stuart Mill Autobiography, Essay on Liberty/ Thomas Carlyle Characteristics, Inaugural Address, Essay on Scott (library book - call #AC1.A4. v.25)
-Women in Love (banned books list)
-The Egypt Game (Charlie book - Newbery Honor Book found at library book sale)
-The Magic Pudding (1001 Children's Books list)
-The Faerie Queen (The Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List)
-James Madison (Presidential Challenge)
-For One More Day (audio book)
-Making History (Fry bibliography)
-Paddington Abroad (bath-time book)
-The Children's Hour Volume 9: From Many Lands (I'm working through this series of old volumes that were my brothers' when they were little.)

In addition to these, I have some classics-related texts that I'm working through (quite slowly):
-Asinaria by Plautus (reading in Latin)
-Iliad by Homer (reading in Greek)
-Latin Literature by Gian Biagio Conte
-The Cambridge History of Classical Literature Volume 1 Part 1
-History of Rome by Michael Grant
-A History of Greece to 322 BC by N. G. L. Hammond

205Ape
May 7, 2012, 6:01pm Top

I didn't think it was possible to double-post with the new message system, and I've done it twice the past 2 days. o.O

206scaifea
May 7, 2012, 6:12pm Top

You're just a talented guy. ;)

207Ape
May 7, 2012, 6:23pm Top

Well, it certainly isn't a result of skill, so it's possible... :P

208Luxx
May 7, 2012, 10:24pm Top

I made your cookies for our family dinner tonight. Oh man. I doubled the batch so I could keep some at home for the boys, which was both an excellent and terrible idea. A terribly delicious idea.

209DeltaQueen50
May 8, 2012, 1:52am Top

Hi Amber, your Cinnamon-Sugar Rhubarb Cake looks delicious. It isn't Spring to me until I've made something with rhubarb. This year I made a rhubarb-Orange Pie, yummy.

210scaifea
May 8, 2012, 7:03am Top

Stephen: *snork!*

Luxx: Ha! Yeah, I'm glad I didn't double it - I ate too many as it is.

Judy: Oh, I'd love that recipe, if you don't mind sharing - that sounds amazing!

211norabelle414
May 8, 2012, 8:13am Top

Stephen reminds me of Charlie Asher a bit. It's the adorable beta-male thing, probably.

212scaifea
May 8, 2012, 9:40am Top

Nora: That's partly why I think he'll like the book so much.

213scaifea
May 8, 2012, 2:12pm Top

61. The Magic Pudding by Normal Lindsay (1001 Children's Books list, 169 pages) - 2 stars

A young koala venturing out into the world meets up with a sailor and a penguin, who are co-owners a magic pudding. They all travel along together, trying to keep their pudding from being stolen, without much success.
Yeeeaaah, not really my thing, I think. The kind of early-20th century satire that I don't normally care for, and then on top of that, it's disguised as a children's book, which I don't think it likely should be. Didn't do a thing for me.

214DeltaQueen50
Edited: May 8, 2012, 11:30pm Top

Amber, not really a special recipe, I just make regular rhubarb pie and add the shredded peel of one orange to the sugar and flour mix before tossing it with the cut up rhubarb. It adds a really nice tang and compliments the rhubarb nicely. I love rhubarb pie, next to apple pie, it would be my favorite.

ETA: Don't forget the freshly whipped cream!

215scaifea
May 9, 2012, 7:12am Top

Thanks, Judy! I'm pretty sure I have a recipe for rhubarb pie, but I've never tried it (along with pineapple pie) because I'm afraid that it'll turn out too runny. Must brave up and try it soon.

216scaifea
May 9, 2012, 7:48am Top

Tomm and Charlie went out shopping for Mother's Day yesterday evening, which left me in the house alone for a little over an hour. That hasn't happened since, well, since Charlie was born ("BC" ("Before Charlie"), as we call it here; "AD" is used for "After Delivery"). I was looking forward to it, but then found myself just knocking around the house aimlessly. Sigh. This doesn't bode well for preschool days next fall. Must put together a plan for what I'll do on those days...
This is the first year AD that we'll be 'doing' Mother's Day and Father's Day. Tomm and I don't get each other presents for these days, because it seems weird to do so - he's not my dad and I'm not his mom, so no gifts necessary, and we're firm believers in not pretending that Charlie understands things when he doesn't (he hasn't 'given' us presents for our birthdays or Christmas yet, because he hasn't been old enough to get it yet). But, we thought that this year he's old enough for us to explain what it's all about and to go out with us and pick out a gift to give. Plus, especially for this one, it gives Tomm and Charlie some Dad-and-Charlie time alone together, and that's nice. I think they both had a great time. And when they got home, Charlie burst in the house saying, "ice cream surprise, Mommy!" and Tomm was carrying in treats from DQ. Excellent!

Today, not much on the agenda besides a quick outing to the grocery store - Tomm's department will be hosting a banquet for their graduating seniors tomorrow evening, and faculty families are not invited. My friend, Elizabeth, whom I've mentioned several times, is wife to one of Tomm's colleagues, so she and her boys (who are great friends with Charlie) would be on their own for dinner just as Charlie and I would be, but we've decided to have dinner together tomorrow night, with a playdate beforehand. So, off to the grocery store to buy supplies for what Charlie and I will be taking to their house for dinner (She's supplying the beverages and Mac & Cheese (hers is amazing!); I will be making chicken salad and homemade bread for sandwiches, plus a Graham Cracker Cake).

217Morphidae
May 9, 2012, 8:02am Top

Can I come? Macaroni and Cheese AND chicken salad? YUM!

218scaifea
May 9, 2012, 8:43am Top

Morphy: Yes! Consider yourself invited. Elizabeth's Mac & Cheese is the best I've ever tasted, too.

219Morphidae
May 9, 2012, 8:52am Top

I'll bring some croissants for the chicken salad. And brownies. With nuts.

220scaifea
Edited: May 9, 2012, 9:38am Top

Excellent!

ETA: Oh, no nuts in my brownies, please. Ick.

221Morphidae
May 9, 2012, 9:49am Top

No Nut in Brownies? ICK!

:D

222lauralkeet
May 9, 2012, 10:53am Top

I'm up for Mac and Cheese. What's a graham cracker cake like? Any chocolate in it?!

I love your story about knocking around the house aimlessly. Having time to yourself IS weird at first, isn't it? May I direct your attention to that book list in your first message? Or your sewing and future etsy shop? Or maybe you should just sunbathe or get facials or something. :)

223scaifea
May 9, 2012, 12:46pm Top

Laura: Nope, no chocolate; it's crushed-up graham crackers, butter, brown sugar, eggs, half-&-half, vanilla & baking powder. Comes out super moist and comforting.
I did end up sewing some while they were gone, and I suspect that I wouldn't have been so restless if I were enjoying my current sewing project more. Facials? Sunbathing? Ha! Not my kind of thing, I'm afraid.

224scaifea
May 9, 2012, 1:13pm Top

Before the grocery shopping, Charlie and I made a quick stop into the Goodwill; here are the results:

Inside Inside
The Ugly Little Boy
Quentins
Messenger of Truth
Plus a lovely hardcover of The Prydain Chronicles that I just couldn't leave sitting on those shelves. Charlie already has these books on his shelf, but this version is so nice, I'm sure I can find someone who'll give it a good home.

225lyzard
May 9, 2012, 8:47pm Top

>>#213

it's disguised as a children's book, which I don't think it likely should be.

Uhh, actually, it is a children's book. As a matter of fact, it's one of the books my mother taught me to read from, and I can recite most of Albert's poem to this day.

I'm curious why you thought it wasn't? Mistaking native Australian weirdness for satire, perhaps? :)

226scaifea
May 9, 2012, 9:33pm Top

Liz: No, I know it is a children's book, or that the author meant it to be one; that's what I meant by "disguised as" - the author pegged it as a children's book. I realize, too, that it's Australian and certainly that it's weird, but it *is* a satire, in that it fits the genre. I'm happy that you have good memories of the book - whenever I don't like a book, I'm always glad that there are those out there who do like it; otherwise I'd be sad for the poor thing.

227ChelleBearss
May 9, 2012, 9:36pm Top

Mmmm we had mac n'cheese yesterday, but from the pretty blue box instead of homemade. I haven't tried homemade yet because the kraft stuff is like 99 cents and yummy

I bet that graham cracker cakes tastes delish! Have fun tomorrow

228scaifea
May 10, 2012, 7:13am Top

Chelle: We're huge fans of the Blue Box Kind of mac & cheese here in the Scaife House - so easy, so cheap, so delicious!

Busy day today, with lots of cooking/baking. So, likely no reading or crafting will take place. But, Tomm went back in to the office after Charlie went to bed last night, so I did get some good progress made on History of Rome. I'm reading about my absolute favorite part of history right now (Caesar in Gaul, Caesar crossing the Rubicon, all heck breaking lose, Cicero, Pompey, Octavian!), so it's going quickly right now.

229Morphidae
May 10, 2012, 7:59am Top

We like to make Burger Mac or Turkey Mac with the Blue Box. Ground meat, mac and cheese, bag of mixed vegetables... yum.

230scaifea
May 10, 2012, 8:21am Top

Morphy: Oooh, that sounds good!

231maggie1944
May 10, 2012, 9:02am Top

I like to throw a little Parmesan on top of the Blue Box mac and cheese! A little more flavor! But my kids would boycott it if I got all Morphy about it.

232scaifea
May 10, 2012, 9:09am Top

We mix in different cheese sometimes, too. Smoked gouda is excellent melted in there.

233Morphidae
May 10, 2012, 11:00am Top

Yep, we add cheddar and parmesan.

234laytonwoman3rd
May 10, 2012, 1:02pm Top

*Whew* Caught up, at last. All this wonderful sounding food....and someone just came into the office with lunch from the Electric City Grill---it smells like mac & cheese, but I suspect it's their deluxe hand-cut french fries with chili and cheese. And I brought fruit and yogurt (Greek!) for my lunch.

235scaifea
May 10, 2012, 1:11pm Top

Linda: Just think about how greasy and heavy those chili fries would be in your stomach, then enjoy your healthy lunch! I'm completely hooked on the Greek yogurt now; it's just amazing.

Bread is in the oven, and the house smells SO GOOD. In addition to the 2 regular loaves, I've got 3 mini loaves in the oven as well, one for Charlie and each of his friends, Peter & Luke. Those tiny loaves always look so adorable, and I think they'll like having their own.

Chicken salad is made and chilling in the fridge, and the cake is cooling on the counter. Once the bread comes out of the oven, I'll be done with all the baking! Whew!

236laytonwoman3rd
May 10, 2012, 1:24pm Top

I really want to move to your house, Amber.

237scaifea
May 10, 2012, 1:34pm Top

Ha! We do have the guest room ready now, complete with working fireplace! Fancy, no?

238jnwelch
May 10, 2012, 4:58pm Top

Good news on the guest room, Amber! With a working fireplace - what guest could resist?

That Magic Pudding book sounds really odd. "A koala, a sailor, and a penguin walk into a bar . . ."

239scaifea
May 10, 2012, 5:09pm Top

Joe: It sounds schmancier than it is, really, but we're happy with it for now. Nearly every room has at least some wood paneling on the walls, and that all needs to go. Soon.
And, yes, the book *is* strange. And for me, not so much in a good way... I suspect that it's one of those books that, if you like it, it's because you have memories of it as a kid, but if you came to it for the first time as an adult, it wouldn't appeal.

240scaifea
May 11, 2012, 7:10am Top

Dinner last night was great - the boys has a great time, and Elizabeth and I got some nice chatting done, including plans for our Saturday morning outing together to the town-wide yard sales. But now, this morning, I am completely knackered. All that baking, then being out late (late for Charlie, at least) is not restful, apparently. And this morning is playgroup morning. Sigh. It's a two cuppa kind of morning, methinks.

241maggie1944
May 11, 2012, 8:54am Top

*drive-by waving*

hope your day becomes easier as it goes along! Have fun at the yard sales, sounds great, to me!

242scaifea
May 14, 2012, 7:20am Top

Oh, I had an amazing weekend! First the yard sales were so much fun, and Elizabeth and I got some great deals. The best of all: I found this for only $20, which, some of you may know, is an unbelievable bargain:



It's a Viking Husqvarna machine, just like the one my mom still uses (which is the machine I learned to sew on), and it's an amazing machine. I'm so so excited to have it - and it works like a dream! I bought it without even asking if it worked, because for $20, it would still be a bargain even if I had to take it in to get it fixed. Sigh. So excited.

Then, Best Mother's Day Ever. My first real one, really, since, as I mentioned earlier, we were waiting for Charlie to be old enough to understand before we started celebrating these sorts of things. He was so excited for me to open my presents, which he picked out himself and helped to wrap: a candle (Tomm said that he insisted on smelling each one in the store before picking the one I'd like best) and a box of chocolates. And, Tomm and Charlie made french toast for my breakfast. I'm so lucky that I get to be Charlie's mom. And it's pretty nice being Tomm's wife, too.

On the agenda for today:
This morning, after our daily room cleaning, Charlie and I will be heading to the library for a bit, and then the dry cleaner's on the way back home (I also found a really nice shift dress/long jacket combo for only $1, and I want to get it cleaned). Then, this afternoon we'll likely go to the park for a bit to break up the rest of the day, since Tomm has an evening final to give and won't be home until late. So, it's just me and the Monkey for dinner tonight.

243maggie1944
May 14, 2012, 7:33am Top

Sounds like a great day! You and Charlie do seem to know how to have fun every day, and I think he's one lucky kid!

244Morphidae
May 14, 2012, 7:42am Top

Agreed. I wish you had been my mom! :D

245scaifea
May 14, 2012, 7:47am Top

Oh, ladies, you're making me blush! There are, of course, the occasional exasperating moments, but Charlie and I laugh every day, and that equals heaven in my book.

246laytonwoman3rd
May 14, 2012, 7:50am Top

Visiting your thread is always such a bright spot in my day, Amber. I think you and Tomm and Charlie are all very lucky people. I'm never tempted to remind you to enjoy every minute of Charlie's fleeting childhood because I can see that you do that very well.

247lauralkeet
May 14, 2012, 8:20am Top

>246 laytonwoman3rd:: what she said. This was a lovely way to start my day too. I loved reading about your first real mother's day.
And that sewing machine is definitely a fabulous find!

248scaifea
May 14, 2012, 10:20am Top

Linda & Laura: Oh, many thanks for that; you've made my day in turn for saying so.

Cleaning's done; now, off to the library!

249jnwelch
May 14, 2012, 12:33pm Top

Sounds like a great Mother's Day, Amber! I'm clueless when it comes to sewing machines, but I can understand your excitement over this one.

250scaifea
May 14, 2012, 12:42pm Top

Thanks, Joe!

Back from the library trip; Charlie is very much excited about browsing, picking and checking out his own library books now. It's so sweet to see him get excited about it, and the ladies at the library just eat it up. He's a librarian-charmer, for certain. And, of course, it pleases me right down to my book-loving soul that he enjoys the library and books so much. Sigh.

I had forgotten that I bought some blueberries to make muffins for Sunday breakfast, but then was surprised with Mother's Day french toast. So, I saw the blueberries in the fridge this morning and thought that, since Charlie and I will be dining sans Tomm this evening, we'll perhaps have some muffins as a dessert-y after-dinner treat. Oh, and the weekly new dessert recipe this weekend was a chocolate-banana cream pie, which turned out just lovely and was super easy, too.

This topic was continued by Scaifea's 2012 Challenge - Thread #6.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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