Monday, February 27, 2012

Memorization, Memory and Mug

"Mom, what is his number?"

J poses this question to me on a regular basis. Daily. I was on the couch the other day looking into the kitchen as my able boy- I mean he was riding a bike at 3, can left hand lay up, I mean.... on and on. But here he was looking to me for his friend's phone number that I have extracted from the cell phone directory a ga-zillion times.

It isn't his fault, necessarily, we put him in this modern tech world where phone directories are custom built. But I couldn't help but look at him with a lan line in his hand and feel... pity....

Back in the olden days-when I was growing up, it took just two or three times of looking at the ward directory, or opening the phone book and I had my BFF's numbers engraven in my brain. Those numbers are still engraven in my brain.

Becca. Chelsea. Maren. Cindy. Yeh, maybe I couldn't rattle it off to you if put on the spot but if you just put the phone in my hand and my fingers to the dials- they remembered; as if on auto-pilot.

"Jaden". I said from the couch. Where do you think that number or ONE of their numbers is?" he stood there, helpless. Looked at the directory. the phone book. then to me.

This is a complication for our kids, too. The parents have cell phones. So, in their minds, their like: "I have to memorize a house phone number, the mom's AND the Dad's. Oh, and their MOM"S and Dad's work number?"

Our kids see our cell phone directories with fax numbers and work phone numbers and they simply dig in their heels and rebel. Sure, they are tech savvy. They are not intimidated by technology in the classroom! Heck, they will teach Gma how to start up a blog and a business online in their spare time. If they can remember that there are such things as 'Grandma's'.

Lest, I be too one sided- I have to admit I am lazy in the phone number dept. and memorization as well. If I am obtaining a new phone number, or someone needs mine, I have often said:

"Here let me just call you."

I call their number, it's in my phone who I called. And since I am so enormously in a hurry, I can go back and 'Save' their number and they can do the same with mine when they have the time. This has been a bad habit of mine. And sometimes I get so lazy I let it go and DON'T save the number. The memory span for the phone has lapsed and then that means:

1. I can re-ask the person. Which reveals my laziness to the person.


2. Go to the cell phone bill and try to guess.

Have you seen your cell phone bill lately? How much time I wonder is "wasted" trying to figure those things out? Which is what they are hoping. But I just didn't expect to have to go to law school to undertsand the terms and conditions, let alone the cell phone tallies of my bill.

J.'s first Econ. 101 lesson occurrred after Padre exited Verizon wireless sometime back before Christmas. We were locked in on errands with Padre on a Saturday. J. had an early game across town. To conserve gas, we combined our trips. Like in the old fashioned days. Or at least it felt old fashioned.

I had a bit of nagging feeling that mayyyybbeee, it wasn't a good idea. Why? Well, I think I need to explain Padre a bit.

He is very... t h o ro 'ugh'... in his shopping.

- He is NOT going to be swindled by say the fact any new phone you need today will require your first born.

He is determined. If you aren't prepared for the elements such as a summit attempt to climbing Mt. Everest; you are screwed if you go with Padre on a Saturday.

Like I said, it was winter. But, if you can believe, the sun was shining and the temperatures in the car were getting up higher than it was in August. Like the guy who thinks he should shed his coat in a snow storm cause he's hot, I was peeling off layers of clothing as I sat languishing in the front seat while Padre was in Lowe's. I even had the windows rolled down.

My tongue was so thick, my mouth so dry. I tried to make contact with J. who was in the middle seat.

"Son?" I said weakly. No answer.

He had been complaining earlier but the dehydration and dillusions had set in. We'd been to Verizon. Learned about the evil sales people there and the 4 different options with all the bells and whistles with each package by the time Padre had gas filling the car.

J. had endured the taunting/tantilzing aspects of Padre discussing an Ipad as Padre talked the amazingness of them only to learn it could take a summer for J. to earn the money to OWN one himself.

"Mom! he complained while was still coherent, "Papa just does that to make me jealous!" he cried out as if in physical pain.

I poo-poo him on this. And told him to wake up and smell reality. He is a kid.

But now, as my child lay listless in the back of the car, I tried to summon the courage of a Navy Seal. Luckily, Padre always has a mug of Coca- Cola with him. This is part of his ritual. His daily routine, his mantra. Like an alchemist he mixes just the right amount of ice and pop. And it gets better as it melts- somehow.

I am not a big pop drinker and everyone sips out of Mug behind Padre's back. It becomes communal. He has purchased many mugs, just so this very thing would not happen. We could have our OWN mugs. But we can't re-create his concoction.. It still makes him livid. Unless, of course you are a grandchild,Under the age of 1 and then Padre just thinks it is child abuse if you tell him to not let the kiddies nurse on his mug of Coca- Cola.

Summoning all of my strength, I reached for the big yellow mug with its signature red straw; a heavy duty one that he can 're-cycle'. i.e. clean and re-use. But the mug has its own spot in the car. Sandwiched inbetween the divide of the driver's seat and the passenger's is a "nook" for his mug.

(yes, I know it's sideways. I have tried a bazillion times to turn it)

You have to be careful to not cross your legs incorrectly and knock Mug over. Spills have happened and it isn't fun to stick to the bottom of the car or fun to hear how you mowed over his favorite straw with the bottom of your shoe.

My hands finally reached the mug. I took it to my lips and sipped, a long refreshing gulp. As the caffeine quickly took effect, I was able to turn, lean over the seat and put the straw to J's lips. Faintly he felt for the straw like a person feeling around in the basement for the light switch in the dead of night.

slowly, he too, began to regain consciousness. The last few drops of sugar syrup were drained from Mug. We sat up and by the time Padre came to the car, looking like he were talking to a pre-tend friend with his wireless headset, a faint smile came to our lips. Home! We could be going home!

Padre slid into the cammander's chair and started the engine. Like an airline pilot he went through his several checks. Air conditioner on, check. Sunglasses put on, normal glasses put into case on arm rest. check.



"Now where's my mug?" he asked perplexed.

I immediatly looked into the back seat where mug sat next to J. He handed it to Padre who put it to his lips to find it... empty... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Well, great!" he said. He no doubt was looking forward to that sip.

"Well, at least it is only 15 minutes until home. Sorry! I will fill it up for you."

"You say you don't like pop!" he is incredulous that I would say one thing and then do another. Which has some validness to it.

"I know! I was desperate! And it tasted soooooo good!" I begged for forgiveness.

"We are almost home, we can get more!" I reassured putting my hand on his arm.

"We are not almost home I have to...." and then he went on to tell me of several stores, errands and things on his list.

I felt like someone who has not acclimated to the short amount of oxygen available on top of Everest. And was getting whatever sicknes that induces. I was showing signs. My pulse weakened as I began to add up the hours and possible stops along the route. Confusion and dissyness set in. thankfully my seat belt was still on, or I could have slid down off the seat like butter on a hot cob of corn.

I gave an apologetic look to my son. And swallowed hard, blinking out into the blinding sun licked my sunburned lips.

Because of bball J. was in better condition than me and was able to summon whinning, and complaining that did feel like mental frostbite under the conditions. I think I mumbled something about children, food and dehydration to Padre. But then I was gone.

Thankfully, that little boy's compaints got us home. Padre was intent that he finish his errands. As we drove home I tried to engraven the saying into my head like those phone numbers. "Do Not go on Errands with Padre. Do Not go on Errands with Pad. Do Not...."

I hope I can remember! I was in a comatose state of mind.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Frog and Plant

The green frog is the extent of my Leap Year decorations--

until I inherited this lovely plant!
(dubbed a decoration because it is green... the color of leaping frogs, I guess.)

It was a gift from my neighbor's children after the beautiful funeral of their mother a week ago. Do you remember Mr. and Mrs. Claus from a few posts ago? Mrs. Claus made it through January and passed on the 12th of this month. I think dates are significant for some reason and like the way 2/12/12 rolls off the tongue.

The last few weeks were very special. This whole last year was interesting to "watch" my neighbors' flow of visitors as the cancer continued. I felt a reverence for life when I turned onto Corinne Ave.; it usually caused me to turn the radio down when I leaned into the well worn right turn. It seemed inappropriate to slide up next to the curb and park beneath the pine trees that tower and connect both our yards.

J had some sweet things to say about it as we drove to meet his Dad. At the same time, the funeral procession was headed to the cemetary, near the Tetons. We reflected on where Mrs. Claus was- because as we talked he felt that she was there. But then he thought maybe she was actually with her family, driving through the beautiful sunny day toward her spot.

Then he said something profound that felt true-

"Mom, she's everywhere. She's in the air, the sun. She is with us AND with them at the same time."

It made goose bumps jump up on my arm and felt pretty much true. However it works there in heaven, those loved ones can be in more than one place at one time!! Which is pretty convenient.

Friday, February 24, 2012


I was in the hospital.

What does that have to do with the pic of J. (above) with the young man and our dear friend, McKay above? Let me tell you.

It is nice when your nieghbor and friend is your nurse. This is what happened for a couple of days while I was at EIRMC. (Yes, when you are chronically ill you are expected to visit the office on occassion; put in some real work hours.) Thankfully, I had the nicest, caring people.

When you have been on and off prednisone for a good 17 years, your veins go to pot. The skin becomes "thin" and painful when the needle touches it and seemingly prominant veins will dissolve at whim after much time is spent getting the needle and subsequently the medicine, into your body.

It can be the most excruciating moments of the whole field trip to the hospital. Or the moments where you feel the most vulnerable and so those moments are some of the purest forms of pleading in prayer that I imagine God receives up stairs.

I had just gotten moved from the ER to the 5th floor- The Forgotten Floor- as I had dubbed it in my mind. Maybe some of you know what this means. It means you aren't necessarily in the ICU. We'll just put it that way. But it was amazing that they had to bring in heli-medic nurses in whenever I needed a new port placed. And when those guys walk upstairs, in their clean-cut uniforms, carrying black bags- you know you are #1.

So, the nurse, my neighbor greeted me and my folks as I made this transition. She is McKay's mother.. She asked if she could tell McKay that I was in the hospital. "Sure..." I said and wondered if it would "worry" him. But Demaree assured me he would want to know and pray for me.

McKay praying for you is a big deal.


Well, you have to know McKay. Where he had been and know that if anybody's prayers are getting answered, it's his.

I watched Mckay as a child, crawl around the pews of church, noticed when he and his siblings sat with other members when their mom worked every other Sunday. For years.

My first hand friendship came with my Mom's calling to be a teacher for his age group, and I was a team teacher with her. Which was code for: "We can't put you in a calling because of your health, you are available on an inconsistent basis, so you help your mom." Which was/is just fine.

I sat between the girls and McKay and took it upon myself to help him read the scriptures. Because he'd suffered brain damage, it was difficult for him to speak, read. There were moments that I couldn't understand him before, and even now. And I just nod my head. But he's too smart, and knows when you are faking that you understand and will repeat it.

However, his repetitions can also be uncontrollable. This is only the speech area that I am referring to. McKay as a result of drowning as a child. Being dead for sometime. Resucitated and brought back to us, here, also deals with a slew of physical mountains as well.

Did you catch that? He died? As his mother visit taught me and mine over the years I learned that McKay had fallen into a little decorative pond in the yard while his mom was at work. The water was cold. We don't know exactly how long he was in that water, but it was the fact it was cold that meant McKay came back. His little personality changed. McKay became.. well I guess the purest form of himself. Which is why when his mom says he is praying for you-- you better be ready. And you better understand what that means.

Angels don't just come back from the otherside to hang out and bother those of us that are still trying to work out our salvation in the normal sense.

I have to tell you the miracle that happened as I sat next to this young boy who I am privileged to be friends with. I became to understand what he said. It was almost as if I had been given the gift of tongues, but it was for a different language altogether; it was the one God and His Son speak... the one that you must feel first and then put it into symbols and sounds that end up in what we call language.

With McKay's age he has gotten to bless the sacrament. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and there is a specific prayer for the bread and the water. Have you ever been nervous for someone to get up and sing a solo? Well, I never felt that way when McKay kneels to pray. And I know it is going to come out very much not the way you have heard it before. Each young man has to look to the bishop for a head nod on how he gave the prayer and sometimes you are so darn nervous for that head nod you'd think it was An Amercan Idol competition. I don't know what McKay's ramifications are for the prayer- if the bishop has to go by the spirit when he "grades" it. But I DO KNOW that those prayers, when McKay has said them. Have transported me. They are... pure.

It is hard to get through LDS 3 hour church when you are sick. Even if you are healthy. Maybe especially if you are healthy. I have been meaning to talk with those at the top about the time schedule, but think maybe I just need to go home if I am thinking it is too long. It's hard to gauge when you think you've hit your max of church time. You wonder: "Am I being a light weight?"

But the times that I have hung around long enough for the Sacrament, I have been rewarded by McKay's voice.

Every month we have what is called Testimony meeting. Without fail, Mckay stands and bears his testimony. It is rare when someone can beat him to the pulpit and that is saying something for McKay because for years he has worn braces on his legs. Every day he has had to walk with pain.

Another great moment for me has been when the sub teaching calls paired me with McKay. The pay is cheaper for some reason. He has an aide and they aren't paid on the same scale. If the School District knew that I'd do if for free, I'm afraid they would hire me. But he needs consistency.

I've carried his back pack, only on a few occassions and it is the heaviest bag I have ever carried. He had to cram all his books in order to make it to class, even though they let him leave early, to make the bell.

One time he hyperextended his knee when he hit a hole in the grass out behind the Jr. High. That meant a brace over his usual braces on his legs. Can you imagine? Just getting out the door would make me tire. But not McKay. Thankfully, I have never seen anyone tease McKay. I have seen them wait as what he said took up a few more moments of the teacher's time in class. And I have felt a need to "translate" for him when possible to keep the class rolling. But I look back at those times that I put my hand on his shoulder to "queit him" so that maybe we didn't "disrupt" class and I feel that I had kept someone from experiencing something beautiful, maybe.

Actually, he and I both know and have an understanding I guess of eachother's impediments and trust that one or the other will know when to step in and say what needs to be said.

Thank you, McKay. For your friendship. For sacrificing and coming back from heaven to endure who knows... but it means everything to me. And sometimes I think it was just for me. And I'm glad my son has gotten to be around you all these years. To learn to not be afraid of someone who is different than the norm. To get to love you, too. You are a part of all of your neighbors' lives and we love you. Know that. I think the most important message you brought back with you all these years was the reminder that God loves us; me.

Thank you. Thank you. I can't wait to see you next. (It's usually a surprise visit and we usually drop by our visits to you, too. I am thinking we shouldn't make them so far apart. That they should be more planned and more treasured.

That is McKay.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"February Sucks"

The Pedicatrician was concurring with J's assesment of my month as I was cringing at how his feelings were wrapped in such a nice word in public.

So while I was squinting my eyes and covering my head like someone had hit a pop-fly, the Dr. went on to explain that, yes, February, is dreaded by all Pediatricians as well.

Don't get thinking that the way J's comment came out, isn't as common as Corn Flakes in conversation, it's just sometimes you think your kid knows when it makes you cringe in certain corners. hmmm.... I need to work on that, I suppose!

My shoulders shrunk. I'd attempted to make this, the shortest of all the months- AmaZiNg!! But on the 15th, when I pulled down the cheesy white and red hearted Christmas-like garland from the window, where it had been taped in the SHAPE of a heart, I was already feeling the full effects of February.

1. I don't have any Leap Year decorations, really.

2. I was getting annoyed with J's unrelenting cough.

When he told me his teacher threw a cough drop at his head (Mrs. C. I sent him to school with a pocket full!! I swear!)I had to laugh. And appreciate others who endure February too.

All those games inside atheletic clubs, HS gyms, and where germs play, mate and have children: at their schools- February is when it all collides with mankind and we have to not only celebrate Presidents, Valentines and eat chocolate with our reality.

Which in Idaho Falls the other day meant 70 mph winds in some places, too fast of snow melt in town and some flooding. Awesome. There were some pretty stoked emergency workers out there the last few days. And I imagine a scouting project could be made of all the mess that was strewn about the yards, parks and city in general.

Thank heaven for comic relief that you have to derive from all the junk, eh!

hmm. what was that, that was so funny?

hmmm. Well, when I can recall the funny parts- I will post them right away! I spent some time just thinking of all sorts of posts lately that I'm sure I will never get on here! But it was fun to write them anyway!

Instead of the funny, I will go for the gratitude. There are simply some certain things that I am so grateful for:

ice water to wet your whistle. a warm bed. a happy, smiley kid. basketball (college right now).
good friends. neighbors. a good book or colorful pictures in a magazine. nice people. a kind act. boy scouts and their leaders. uh-oh, this could go on and on. I will transfer to my journal. Another thing I'm grateful for because it holds all the things that I forget to be thankful for!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Best of 2/14/12

Well, this year's Valentine's Day was simply a love fest because Skyline won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

J. almost didn't make the game. Before the 7 o' clock game time, I dropped the mom bomb:

"I dunno, Son. Sometimes we have to miss games.. I know you really wanted to go- but I need to stay home and your hacking like Doc Holliday."

"MOM!! This is like the last time they play each other in THEIR lives." he came back with such intensity you'd have thought a life was on the line, our nation's honor and freedom was at risk, or something of serious import.


The Seniors!!

he rattles Senior's names and their jr. teammates that will be as equally effected if the night ends in a loss. He follows this plea with animated description of their new uniforms, and finally, his eyes wide, pupils dialated while making a fist and drawing his hand down in a V; appeals to my practical, alumni mom-ness:

"It is our RIVALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" that begets: Have you lost your mind?

So I make the call to my BHF-- best helping friends. Within moments J has his Fiesta Ole dinner in a brown sack, money in his pocket to buy his ticket and whatever else at the concessions, and butterflies racing in his stomach as he exits the car-leaving me faster than Landon Austin's buzzer beater against Highland.

Within seconds he joins up with his fellow basketball mates in the gym bleachers, no doubt inhales his burrito and nuggets as the hoopla commences.

But lets back up to the moment he raced home from school with his orange Nike box (I could make a whole post about the many uses of this orange box with the swish)

full of Valentines. It was undecorated and still holding some of the Valentine's he should have passed out. Two to be exact. He swears they were "re-peats" but I still feel bad that possibly two kids think he purposely skipped them. Oh, dear.

J commences to pull out all the different Valentines, smiling and reading each one to me. And THIS one totally brightened my day. I looked at the packaged candy, it had a to and from on it. But nothing else signifying anything out of the ordinary. Except that it was from a girl he must be sweet on. Which is a relief because at this age you worry because recess is brutal with the girls chasing the boys. And I shudder to think I was once a boy chasing girl at recess.

However, I never dropped down a grade. So when I hear that a couple grades above J. are chasing him- I get concerned.

So all his Valentine's were Kosher!! Yay!

Back to the game. I turned on every radio in the house to hear the game. Talk about butterflies in the stomache that had nothing to do with a man but everything to do with an orange basketball and a group of kids I barely know but my son knows how to re-enact their every move on his Nerf hoop at home. And after taking stats for them at points, I feel a parental/fan love for them and hope the best every time they get their hands on that ball.

Thankfully, we won. I could barely take the last 4 minutes and debated turning off the radio.

The fan was returned home by the BHF and he came in and hugged me-- his hair was... wet! Do you recall in my previous post how he had promised to sub in if anyone was hurt or fouled out of the game????

I thought this happened. But, no. He assured me that it was the result of serious cheering. Mixed with asthma, I think. I received the game's highlights on his Nerf Net.

I received a hand a centimeter from the face as I tried to brush my teeth when he displayed Dennert's intense defensive coverage. I was speechless!

It took a good 45 minutes for him to play off his excitement on the nerf net, and long bath and re-hashing the game with me before he could settle down and get ready to sleep.

It is very obvious that, for J., flowers and chocolates take a back seat to Basketball.

check out video coverage of the Grizz at

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine Dedication

Tuesday, Valentine's Day. While lovers are exchanging chocolates and flowers, we have more important matters of the heart to attend to:

Skyline High plays their rival, I.F.

"If someone gets hurt, I'm going in- we are winning that game!" J said adamately at breakfast today.

You aren't on the roster.

I reminded him while taking a spoonful of instant strawberry oatmeal.

"I don't care. I'll put my name on it while they aren't watching. With permanent marker.
It could get wet and my name will still be on there!"

You don't think the coaches will notice?

I asked while he dipped his toasted french bread in the center of his egg.

He just returned my smile and deviously lifted his eyebrows a couple of times.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Heart beats and a Heart's view

" 'Stay' is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary." Louisa May Alcott (and the charming typewriter word I chose for February)

J. said a couple of "heart themed" comments worthy of the lovey, leap month:

"Mom, you make my heart beat better."

We were winding down with a book when he said the Hallmark comment. I heart those moments; When my own pace slows down, daily events are digested in time with the rythmn of a good book. During those final moments, before sleep overcomes, gem-like thoughts and refelctions are shared. And deep questions from J. That I always promise to google later.

And when Jaden usually says his most quotable words. (This one was just so... sweet...)As the book ebbed and nudged him toward sleep he said this sweet sentence that I will treasure til only the end of time.

It made my heart smile. I know that the comment isn't really just my doing; that it stems from the power of our routine reading of good books- at night- that make his heart, and mine, beat "better".

This month we have been reading Holes by Louis Sachar. And the one below by E. B. White.

The next heart comment is strictly out of anat and phys. perspective. Yesterday, at his Apple Athletic Club bball practice, his team had been sent to the line to run a number of times and they when they missed free throws- they had to drop and give 5 push-ups. J says it was 10. But I think he was exaggerating.

Despite his hard practice, he wanted to read. So we opened White's book and found out all about the cygnets being born, seen by young Sam Beaver through his binoculars as he sat on a log deep in the heart of Canada; the Cob's cermonial introduction of his 5 furry baby Trumpeters to Sam because he'd earned the trust of the Swan family. And finally we laughed at the one litte Trumpet Swan, who couldn't beep, as he tugged at Sam's shoelace until it untied. Jaden and I looked at the pencil drawing picture of Sam, in his cozy bed, writing about the miracle he witnessed but shared only with his journal.

Despite it being late and being tired, we had to hear more of Stanley Yelnates adventures on God's Thumb in the book Holes. Drowsily we pictured Zero and Stanley stumbling down the steep mountain and the two of them trying to not drink any of the bottled water they'd retrieved from digging a hole in a meadow below the large rock resembling a philange; until they needed it most. We stumbled with both of them as they tried to navigate the dried up lake to find the location where they would dig one, last hole. And that's where J. and I stopped, said the short feeble attempt version of prayer, smooched his cheek and he knocked out cold, without another peep, or moving another muscle curled up in his bed.

He remained in that exact spot until morning When I was coaxing him up he was stiff from the previous night, which explained why he remained in the exact spot I'd left him in the night before.

He attempted to explain to me the muscle pain he was in: "Mom,it is like my heart is in there and can look over and can actually see how much pain those muscles are in."

"Yeh? I bet your heart can see how ripped you are getting!" I tried to say with personal trainer-like enthusiasm to help him get up for the day.

Animatedly I said: "The pain means your muscle is growing. It rips, (I slashe through the air like a wild cat clawing) then as it heals, it gets bigger. Once you get up and get the blood flowing, the lactic acid will lessen and you won't feel as much pain. Sleeping just lets the lactic acid pool in those muscles, and when it sits in one spot, it just kind of freezes in that position and locks in the pain. So when you start to move, it pushes it out."

From a lying down position he listened to me with wide-eyes, gradually he moved to the sitting up position, slowly flexed his muscles, looked left then right as if he were watching traffic before crossing an intersection.

Once he was in the "awakened awareness" position and saw what his heart had seen earlier, he said in astonishment: "They DID grow!"

Finally he moved into a proudness position which was exhibited by full eye contact with me that had conquer written all over them.

The adrenaline rush pushed him outta bed, and into his dressed position. (after exiting the bathroom he flexed again in front of the hall's full length mirror before covering his sore, and newly ripped physique, with a shirt)

And- most importantly- he was propelled forward in a position of catching the bus.

All the above make for a healthy heart!

One more thing- I DID not realize that Dickens' 200th bday was earlier this week.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

How we Celebrated and Cornbread Recipe

"Happy Ground Hog's Day!" I exclaimed as Jaden strode through the door the other day.


"Today is Ground Hog's Day! Didn't you talk about it at school?" I inquired.

J shrugged and dropped his coat and bag right where he was and I pointed to it and then at the coat rack is one foot to his left.

"Well, I made you some pie for the celebration of Punxy Phil's winter conclusion."

(It wasn't rhubarb. Just plain 'ol caramel apple that I found in the food storage)

J was pleased as punch and asked me more about the rodent's shadow, residence, and whether or not he liked all the media attention.

As he ate he said: "Well, there was the word 'ground' mentioned in one of our spelling test sentences. But 'hog' wasn't in there at all. That's the closest we came to talking about Ground Hog Day, mom." he said with his mouth full of Ground Hog celebratory pie.

"uh- huhhh." I said. "They must not have had time to talk about the weather predicting practice in Punxatany, Pennsylvania. Poor teachers have too much to cover these days.

So that's how J and I kicked off Phil's prediction on a bright, sunny day; we enjoyed pie and vanilla ice cream together and talked about basketball, the Super Bowl, and such.

I also found a recipe that I meant to share on here, that I thought I lost. DO NOT lose this recipe! It is the best Cornbread recipe I have ever had. It is so delicious with chili, or any soup really. Especially Clam Chowder.

However, my favorite thing is to slice an avocado and tomato and place them on top of a halved piece of the cornbread. Add a dash of sea salt and savor.

It is heavy enough for a mid-afternoon meal. It's satisfying, especially on a cold day.

When I was a tenant at a particular apartment, the owner's wife loved to cook and so he brought me by a couple of his favorite recipes of hers. Isn't that nice?

I TREASURE it! It makes me think of the East coast, ships (like these off Mass. coast by Fitz Hugh Lane)

and another favorite recipe for Clam chowder...I will share it another day. I'm sure Idaho has another random blizzard left for, us despite Phil's feelings about spring, so you can try it out.

THE Cornbread

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Cream the first three ingredients. (Beat the heck out of it!)

1 C. sugar

1 Cube butter (let this soften outside of the fridge. it tastes better than being stuck in the microwave)

2 eggs, beaten separately, and then added to blender.

Add the next ingredients to your blender bowl:

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 C. Cornmeal

Blend this and then pour 1 1/2 C of milk, set aside. Put 1 1/2 C of flour in a bowl.
While blender is mixing add a little of each of these alternately. So a little flour, a little milk. Blend. More flour then milk. Blend.

Grease a 9x9 inch glass dish and pour the mixture into it. Bake 30-45 minutes. Depending on the weather, and your oven it can vary that much. so just check the center of it with a toothpick. When it comes out clean you know it's done!

Let it cool on a rack but serve while warm.

Serve with Brownings Orange Blossom honey- (browning'

no need for more butter unless you are a butter fiend and then go ahead and add another slab of butter or concoct honey butter to drizzle atop.

Finally, share some with a neighbor in need! It goes a long way. But the leftovers last and the very last crumb will be eaten!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Ground Hog's Day!

I did not know there was a song for this day. OR that it mentions my favorite pie and is the name given to the ramblings of my story.

"We'll light the big green candle and eat some Rhubarb Pie...

Gimme a kiss, it's Groundhog's day, and Groundhog's do not lie!"

Well! I tell you, I am proud to share my Leap Year month with such an honest critter.
Who whistles, is vegetarian, and has 22 teeth.

Who knew. Thank you google.

J and I are going to really celebrate this month because it is a REAL YEAR for me. 2012. So we will start by celebrating Groundhog's Day. I failed to wish him a happy one before he left for school so I'm going to get my creative juices flowing and find a way to make today special!

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