Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day One at The Lake

Despite getting up later than I had planned, we managed to get packed up, loaded up, hitched up, and piled into two vehicles in pretty good time.

Babyman and Michael ready to go.

It wasn't a very long drive to the lake, even with multiple stops. David and five cubs went in the Sequoia, and KitMama and I went in her van with one cub and four dogs (two were dropped off elsewhere...only two came with us to the lake). It was definitely hot when we got there, but we got Popper set up and were down at the lake in plenty of time to enjoy the water.

J and Babyman.

David even got in a little fishin' time...

Note the all-important beer...

essential for catching fish.

And, as always, S had her camera out and took lots of fabulous pictures...

The photographer.

This trip seemed like a good opportunity to check out some iPhone/iTouch apps for diabetes management. Thomas was good enough to let me use his iTouch, I downloaded a couple of apps, and started logging data while we were still at home. It is really convenient to be able to load data straight into the iTouch, rather than mess with a written log. There's a fairly decent food library with carb counts, and the timer on-board is very helpful. But, you have to have the ratios, correction factors, etc. in your head to calculate doses. Not a problem for me, but would be for anyone else filling in at dose time. I'll be hunting for the "perfect app", I'm sure...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Getting Ready

We were invited by S and family to join them at Lake Sinclair for several days. Their family has a small house there, and because a few other families would also be there, we decided to take Popper along for additional bed space. So, in addition to packing the usual stuff for camping and laking, a big portion of Sunday was spent preparing food to take along.

Michael was my kitchen helper. He learned how to break up, peel and mince garlic. Lots of garlic!

Michael doin' the garlic.

Very carefully chopping.

In addition to garlic, we used a ton of cilantro. Half a bunch for the salsa, a full bunch for the sofrito, and two full bunches for a new recipe I was trying out, Mojo Verde. The cilantro I was able to get at the store was looking a bit tired, and was very unlikely to survive the three days or so until Taco Night at the lake. So, instead of using fresh cilantro for my infamous Fresh Avocado Salsa, I decided to try making it with Mojo Verde. Although the sauce turned out good, I think next time I'll try substituting lime juice for the apple cider vinegar.

Oh, yeah, the sofrito is something that I tried a couple of weeks back. I was getting jarred sofrito at the store, but it has MSG in it, which I'd like to avoid. So, I found this recipe on line for a fresh, green sofrito. But, I wanted the tomato-pasty version, so I popped the green sofrito into a saucepan with 2 cans of tomato paste, 1 T paprika, 1 T garlic powder, and 1 t salt, and then simmered til it cooked down to the consistency I wanted. It made up three small jars. For Spanish Rice, I simply put two cups of brown rice in the cooker with one jar of sofrito and the appropriate amount of water. Very tasty ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life Lessons :: Finances

Thomas decided that he absolutely HAD to have an iTouch before his overnight at his buddy's house on Thursday. His buddy already has an iTouch, which is the coolest thing ever, and there are so many cool things they can do together if they both have one. Etc., etc., etc.

Thomas already had a fair bundle of cash stashed away, but definitely not enough to buy the unit he wanted. We talked about which unit he wanted, the cost, about shopping for the best price, about how he could best get it before Thursday, and about warranties. Then we talked about how he was going to pay for it, and we opened up the idea of Thomas taking out a loan with The Bank of Mom and Dad. We talked about Principle, and how much the Principle would be after taxes, shipping, warranty, carrying case, and his downpayment. We talked about interest, and decided on a fair interest rate. We talked about his anticipated income, his anticipated expenses, and what he felt he could reasonably commit to paying off each month.

We took the idea to Dad, he hopped on board, and arranged for a trip to Best Buy today.

I think many of us can identify with the post-shopping high (in this case, ecstasy may be a more appropriate term). Thomas is eager to get his loan paid off (he mowed two lawns today and paid the full $20 earned toward his loan), and is looking for ways to earn extra money so he can do so.

Regardless how this works out in the end, I can't see how it can't be a valuable life lesson. Either Thomas will learn the pain of using credit foolishly and having to continue paying off a shiny new toy even after the shine has worn off (or it's been put through the laundry), or he's going to learn to use credit in a way that is smart and beneficial.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this all shakes out.

In the mean time, I think I really want a iTouch ;)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yes, this did scratch the hardwood floor. If you don't already know where he got the idea, check this out:


Friday, May 13, 2011

Mom's Night In for Craft Hope

This is Grace. She is making a bracelet.

Grace is great about pulling our little group together to participate in Craft Hope service projects. Last month she banded us together to make Safe Birthing Kits for Haiti, which my goofy little bears were tucked into.

Project 12 is Bracelets for Russian Orphans (the deadline for submissions is June 15th, so there's plenty of time to participate!). Grace's daughter, Ella, decided that for her birthday she would like to have a bracelet-making party in support of Project 12, which resulted in a baggie full of bracelets. Because we couldn't make it to the party, the following week Grace brought all of her materials to our house where the Huey-Bee clan made more bracelets.

Thomas' macrame'd masterpiece.

This past Wednesday, Grace hosted "Mom's Night In". We all brought appetizer-style edibles, sipped wine (or water), and made bracelets. I brought along bracelets I had made since Grace announced the project and made several more throughout the evening, and we ended up with nice a pile by the end of the night that looked like this:

And the "total collection" baggie looked like this:

So, when Grace first brought this project to our attention, I immediately set about finding a way to make bracelets that I could put together fairly quickly and would look decent. I'm really not very good about putting together beaded things that look like they were put together like that on purpose, like Kit is:

One macrame'd and three beaded bracelets by Kit.

Although I did manage to make a few macrame'd bracelets...

...my favorite technique turned out to be...you guessed it...knitted:

I saw a tutorial on line for incorporating beads into a knitted project and went with that.

Knitted beaded bracelet.

I also made non-beaded bracelets (including matching Friendship bracelets for Butterfly and I), and discovered how to make a twisted knitted bracelet (which I am making for the kiddos). So far, my contribution to Project 12 (both knitted and macrame'd) looks something like this:

Since we've still got about a month to go before the submission deadline, I'm hoping to have another dozen or more ready to go by then.

How many bracelets do you think you can squeeze out between now and then?

Thursday, May 12, 2011


The Pirate and Michael. Michael is wearing his brand-new, fresh out of the package skivies. The expressions pretty much say it all.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day

First, Happy Mothers Day to every mother out there! I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful day, full of love and sweetness and blessed peace (like that last part ever happens if you've got kids around!).

Second, I just have to ask, "What's with the apostrophe?" Every time I see it written out, it's written "Mother's Day" but that just doesn't make sense to me, unless it's "My Mother's Day." If it's supposed to be everyone's mother's day, then it should be "Mothers' Day" right? So, I blew off the whole apostrophe thing and called it "Mothers Day."

So, yes, I did sleep in. Kind of. Since I'm not really an early riser on most days, "sleeping in" can result in rising at dusk, and that's kind of not possible in a houseful. Also, I was treated to breakfast in bed...fresh baked scones courtesy of KitMama, orange slices, and coffee fixed just like I like (Thank You Michael and Little Man!).

I was "planning" to go plant some bulbs in the garden today (thank you, honey, for all the new bulbs!) and even dressed in my scrudgy garden get-up. But, other things gently tugged me in other directions. Most of my time today was pleasantly spent reviewing photos of the past year-plus for a project (which at this time I am unable to divulge). I love looking at pictures of my boys as they change, remembering the things we've done and places we've been. It was a great way to spend a chunk of Mothers Day.

David and our boys presented me with a couple of nice's; a mother-of-pearl Celtic knot pendant (from hubby), a tin of Tiger Balm (there's a story behind that...but another day), and a heated massaging pillow...soooooo awesome! Thanks, guys, for making me feel special!

Then, on to overseeing "crafts." Yesterday David took four-of-six boys to Home Depot for their monthly kids craft, and they made tulip planters. David picked up an assortment of acrylic paints, and the kids set to work.

Michael "going red."

The Pirate getting tips from Papa.

Thomas applying earth-tone to the base.
The t-shirt says neither "got art" nor "got fart!",
but "got peart?" It's a RUSH thing.

Little Man applies concentration to his craft.

Babyman was too little to do the craft,

but made a lovely painting of a purple jello pool.

We recently saw "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."
Several times.

The final masterpieces.

Another wonderful treat today was the opportunity to meet for the first time a dear friend of mine. I've known Butterfly for over two years now, originally finding one another on line through TJEd and continuing our friendship through major changes on both sides, always supporting, inspiring, accepting and loving one another. For me, our relationship is the living embodiment of not just tolerating, or even accepting, but genuinely appreciating differences and embracing the person as a whole.

Anyway, David and I drove downtown to pick up Butterfly at the ATL airport for a nice dinner (at a restaurant...without kids!) during her lay-over. Actual grow-up conversation! It was fabulous! And, just to knock my socks off, Butterfly presented me with this...

...something she knows I have wanted for quite a long time now (probably only TJEd'ers will appreciate this puppy...check out the date!). She hauled that sucker (and, it IS heavy!) from Colorado to the Virgin Islands to Atlanta in her backpack, not knowing for sure whether or not we would be able to hook up (our family's plans were changed just a few days ago...after Butterfly was already in The Islands). What a Super Serindipity that David and I had no plans and she happened to end up on the earlier flight home so we could spend some time together!

On a purely corny note, I bestowed upon Butterfly my first ever friendship bracelet. I know, what planet have I been living on that I've never given a friend a friendship bracelet. But, better late than never, right? Thanks to Craft Hope's Project 12, I've been working on making bracelets. And, my favorite bracelet to make so far happens to be....knitted! Go figure. But, more on that later. For now, it warms my heart to know that a dear friend is on a plane zooming to Colorado with MY knitted friendship bracelet on her wrist, which happens to match the one on my wrist right now.

Okay. All for now. I really want to say something....actually a lot of somethings....about how awesome it is to have Kit Mama and her family living with us, and how awesome each individual member of that particular family is, and how fabulously our two families have blended for our co-hab. But, that really deserves a completely separate post, which I will try to get to in the near future. Along with catching up on everything that has been filling our days for the past few months that I haven't had time to write about. I'll do my best to keep up, and possibly even catch up, from here on out, even if it's just posting pictures.

'Night, All!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Garden Haiku

My garden trampled
By hundred pound dumb-ass dog
Children, close the gate!

Okay, I'm not sure this qualifies in terms of the "spirit" of haiku, but at least the sylable count is right.

Once I've finished schlepping the ump-teenth load of dirt and/or mulch, I'll post a couple of pictures of what I've been spending to much of my time and energy on (since, obviously, I've not been blogging!). I hope I mange to actually grow something edible ;)