Sunday, December 30, 2012

They're waffle-y delicious!

Funny that the last post was a gadget  driven recipe. But ever since I got the waffle iron I've wanted to experiment with different uses. So...

Waffle Latkes!

Preheat your waffle iron to medium heat.

2 medium potatoes shredded
2 Tablespoons flour
1 egg
1 tsp salt
few grinds black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Lightly grease with waffle iron with fat of your choice.

Spoon potato mixture into hot waffle iron.

Use a wooden spoon to spread the mixture evenly. Close the iron and if you have the spinning type flip it over.The waffle maker will most likely hiss like a rabid cat. That's okay, it's all the moisture from the potatoes working it's way out. You may even get some of the "batter" leaking out.

Cook the latke for about 10 minute. The ready light on my waffle maker actually came on at about 10 minutes so that was perfect. If yours comes on before the 10 minutes do a quick peeky check. If the latke looks brown and crispy and the interior seems done you are good to go. If not ignore the green light and continue cooking for a few minutes more.

Remove from the waffle iron and separate into sections. Serve it with whatever you like on potato cakes. We like ketchup or brown sauce. Enjoy!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hot Roast Chicken

Gadget Driven.

I don't often cook things that rely on gadgets to insure they turn out right but this is definitely one of them. It's also definitely worth the investment.

The recipe itself came about quite by accident. I had been accustomed to starting out my roast chicken at 450 for 15 minutes then turning the oven down to 350 to finish cooking. One day when I was tired and distracted I forgot to turn the oven down after the timer went off. Because I do use a probe external thermometer I was a wee bit surprised when the 175* degree alarm went off so quickly. However the resulting chicken was a-mazing. Super crispy skin and succulent juicy meat. Now it's the only way I fly. (ha ha)

You will need:
A good quality probe thermometer with external alarm
A heavy duty pan of appropriate size to roast as many breast halves as you need. (I usually roast three or four and use my beloved 10" square cast iron skillet for the task.) Just make sure whichever you use it can withstand a 450 oven. It would also be nice if it could go to the cook top afterwards.)

Skin on, bone in chicken breast halves
For each breast:
1 teaspoon butter softened
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 clove garlic finely minced
1/4-1/3 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme
heavy pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
(Multiply ingredients by amount of chicken breasts you are using)

Preheat oven to 450.

Mix together all of the butter ingredients and set aside.

Gently loosen the skin of the chicken and place a heaping teaspoon of the flavored butter under the skin. Smooth out the skin to distribute the butter and completely cover the meat. Place in a heavy duty pan, skin side up. Repeat with remaining chicken. It's alright if the breasts slightly overlap but don't crowd them in.

Rub the outside of the chicken with any remaining butter and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Decide which chicken breast is the largest. Insert the probe of the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. Set your temperature alarm for: 135 (At which point you would put your roast potatoes in the oven or start your brown rice.) or 155 (at which point you would start your Gadget Driven extra easy home made mashed potatoes{recipe coming soon}or your white rice.) once the first alarm goes off reset the temperature alarm to 175. (You can also start with 175 if you aren't making a time consuming side dish.)

Once the temperature reaches 175 remove the chicken from the oven and place on a cutting board or platter to rest while you make...


If you used a pan that can be put on the cook top go on then put it on the stove over medium heat. Other wise scrape your pan dripping into a skillet and place it over medium heat.

Add 1 cup sherry or dry white wine.
Simmer for a minute or two then add:
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary
Bring to a boil and cook two to three minutes.

Thicken with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup water.

Recipe can be doubled or tripled.

You can also flavor the butter mixture in any fashion you like:

Coriander, orange peel and cardamon
Garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and basil
Sesame seed, ginger and soy
Lemon peel, parsley and garlic
Lime peel, chili powder and cilantro
Lemon peel, curry powder and garam masala
Hoisin sauce, ginger and garlic,
Hot sauce and garlic
Brown sugar, lime peel, red pepper flakes and ginger

Really the combos are endless.

*Look I know that FN chefs say chicken is just fine at 160-170 but I am a child of the 1970's. For years I couldn't even eat chicken unless it sucked all of the moisture out of my mouth for fear of terrible chicken diseases. I will admit if you take the chicken out at 160 that the meat is definitely juicier. I will also tell you that there will be pink near the bone and I cannot eat chicken that is pink near the bone. It's psychological, I know but it makes me happy AND at 175 the chicken is still really moist and juicy. So if 160 makes you happy then go ahead, 160 it.)  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Morning I made Waffles!

                                       Whole Grain Waffles
 Dry ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour (or an additional 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
1/4 cup rolled oatmeal
1/4 cup rolled barley (or an additional 1/4 cup rolled oatmeal)
1/4 cup unprocessed wheat bran (optional but delicious)
2 Tablespoons stone ground cornmeal or grits or polenta
2 Tablespoons flax seads
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk (or change water from wet ingredients to milk)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
a bare pinch of each nutmeg and cinnamon 

 Wet ingredients:
2 cups water (or omit dry milk from dry ingredients and substitute milk)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. (And yes, we are counting honey as a dry ingredient.) Mixture will be lumpy and bumpy.

Pour water eggs and vanilla over the dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined. If batter is really thick add slightly more water. Set batter aside while you prep and heat your waffle iron according to manufacturers direction.

Bake waffles according to your waffle irons directions. If your waffle iron has a ready light and it comes on but you notice a lot of steam coming off the iron cook the waffle for an addtional minute to insre a crisp outside.

Serve with butter and syrup or fruit and cream or leftover turkey gravy if that's your thing.


P.S. I made the exact same batter the following week but made it into pancakes. It worked like a charm which isn't often between waffle and pancake batters. Usually one is too fluffy to make crispy and vice-versa. So hurrah for a multipurpose, multigrain recipe!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Morning Ridiculicious Blueberry Muffins

We are big believers in Sunday breakfast. All week long we eat cereal or waffle sandwiches so Sunday mornings are filled with pop overs or pancakes, sausage gravy and home made biscuits,. Dutch babies, omelets or french toast and on super special occasions Full English Breakfast!

Today we are going out to lunch to celebrate Birdie's 17th birthday. I didn't want to make anything too filling but I still wanted a Sunday morning feel.

These are not healthy packed with bran and whole grain goodness. These are sweet and light with a slightly crisp crust and meltingly tender crumb loaded with pops of blueberries. Yum.

Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest of one lemon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1-1 1/2 cups blueberries (I like more)

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and lemon zest. Stir in the butter until well combined.
Add the sourcream, egg and vanilla and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries leaving a few behind for the end muffins.

Scoop batter into lined muffin tins (I use small tins and got 9 regular size. Mini or jumbo will of course make more or less.)
Drop the reserved blueberries on top of any muffins that seemed lacking. Usually the last two or three)

Bake for 20-30 minutes until tops are golden and pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes (or as long as you can stand.)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Give a little whistle...

Chloe-"Okay if you need me just whistle like this Toowhoo!"
short pause
"But don't whistle like me because I can't whistle."

Monday, September 03, 2012

Chocolate Ice Cream

6 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine sugar, cocoa, salt and eggs beat until well combined and set aside.

Place the chocolate chips in a different heat proof large bowl and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat warm milk stirring frequently until bubbles begin to form around the edges.

While whisking pour one cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Then whisk the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk.  Stir constantly until mixture thickens slightly. Pour the mixture through a strainer onto the chocolate chips and add the vanilla. Whisk  to combine.

Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight then churn according to your ice cream makers directions.

We put ours into individual containers (Portion control!) But whatever has a nice fitting lid. Allow to ripen (get more frozen) in freezer 2-4 hours before serving.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Down on the farm...

This afternoon we went to visit the Martins. Wub had a great time drinking fresh milk and helping feed the calves and steers. Now she want to be a farmer and a Musketeer.

Chloe-"Mommy, are bears delicious?"
Mommy-"Well, I've never eaten a bear before so I don't know. But my Uncle Pat has eaten a bear."
Chloe-"Why did he eat a bear?"
Mommy- "Well he lives in Montana and a bear attacked his house so he shot it and killed it. And My Uncle Pat is a lot like Mommy and believes if you kill something you have to eat it. Otherwise it's a bad wasteful thing."
Long pause...
Chloe-"Well if I ever have to shoot a person, I am NOT going to eat them."

And that is of course, how it should be.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A very small budget...

So the other night while we were watching the "Games of the Thirtieth Olympiad!" a commercial came on for possibly insurance and they mentioned the word budget. Chloe immediately began ranting...
"I can't believe they said budget! Why would they say budget? I can't believe they just said budget on tv! Budget is not a nice word AT ALL!"
Mommy-"Budget means how much money you have to spend."
Chloe-"Well Kaysie calls me a budget all the time and I don't like it!"
Mommy-pause "You mean midget?"
Chloe-"Yeah! midget!"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gotta love that kid.

Chloe-"I'm magic! Wanna know why?"
Mommy-"Sure baby, why are you magic?"
Chloe-"See this?" Pointing to the hot water tap in her bathroom sink."It's rainbow water. When you mix it with soap and wash your hands in it it makes your hands magic! Now you wash your hands so they can be magic too!"

Monday, July 09, 2012

How sweet the sound...

Chloe-"Mommy what's your favorite song?"
Mommy-"Amazing Grace"
Chloe-(in her best four year old thrash metal voice) "Amazing Grace! She's so amazing, so amazing AMAZING!...Is that how it goes?"
Mommy-"No, but that's my new favorite version."

Monday, July 09, 2012

Chloe-"I've got my sword of galasies and I'm going to defeat the villaingers!"
(Ever noticed how villainous villagers usually are?)

Chloe-"Hey! let's tell each other smooky stories!"

I love that kid. A lot.

In other news I just got my fabric from Spoonflower. When I first discovered Spoonflower I was completely enamored with the idea of printing custom fabric. Two or three years later I finally learned enough to feel confident spending money on fabric I designed.

The first five are an homage to the much loved Blossom Festival sheets sets from Cannon. Sold by KMart in the early 70's these were much loved by little girls across the land. (We had the Cannon Malibu Stripe which were also pretty cool.)

Blossom Festival Blue

       Blossom Festival Black and White


To be fair I changed the image size of the monkey toile to a much smaller repeat. I only ordered the extra large repeat by accident. I did make Wub a stinkin' cute shift dress from the mistake. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blackberry Jam

Makes about 8 half pint jars
2 quarts Blackberries rinsed
Sugar between 1 1/2 and 3 pounds depending on your liking
Pectin 2 packages or 3-4 tablespoons of bulk

Canning jars or freezer canning jars or leftover whipped cream cheese containers if you got 'em.

Making jam should be fun. NOT stressful, Not bothersome. Fun! If it's not fun for you, you should not make jam. Really.

That being said I am going to tell you how to easy can and seal your jam. A magic trick really. I don't sanitize my jars in boiling water and I don't use a hot water bath because that is too much trouble for me. However, I don't really have freezer/fridge room for freezer jam so shelf stable is important to me. If shelf stable is not important to you, or you just really like insane amounts of boiling water, by all means use whatever method works best for you.

You will need:
Glass canning jars with their rings and unused lids. (Used lids will not reseal) or whatever you want to put the jam in.
Canning funnel. If using metal you can sanitize it with the jars.
Metal or ceramic bowl  to soak the lids in.
Large wide pot to boil the jam in.
Blender, food processor or a food mill. ( I prefer the blender)
Mesh strainer if not using a food mill.
Cookie sheet.
Clean, lint free towels.
 A Jam recipe you like. I like my blackberry. 

When you are preserving something you want to keep shelf stable the very most important thing is clean. Clean utensils, clean work surface, clean hands, clean, clean clean.

First off turn your oven to 250. Line a cookie sheet with a clean lint free towel. Thoroughly wash your canning jars and rings in hot soapy water place the rings, ladle, tongs. (metal funnel) and jars right side up on the towel lined cookie sheet and place in the oven for at least one hour. This is a replacement for a boiling water bath to sanitize the jars. Do not skip or skimp on this step.

I want to note if you have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle you can use it for the initial wash but you still want to put the jars in the oven at 250 while preparing the jam. 

Take a amount to weigh the bowl you are using. It will come in handy when figuring out sugar ratios later.

Mix the pectin with 1/4 cup sugar and set aside.

Crush your blackberries in a blender or food processor (May take two to three batches.) Pour the puree into a metal strainer set over a bowl to catch the puree. Work the puree through the strainer by stirring and mashing until only the seeds and residual pulp are left in the strainer. Discard seeds and pulp. Weigh the puree (subtracting the bowl weight) Start with the puree weight (Mine was 3 lbs 6 oz) and divide it in half to get the initial amount of sugar to add. (In my case 1 lb 11 oz) Stir this into the puree and give it a taste. If it's sweet enough proceed to the cooking stage. If not. Add more sugar two ounces at a time until it is sweetened to your taste.

Place the canning lids (plastic funnel) in a bowl and cover with very hot water.

Pour the puree into a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Watch it. Don't leave. If you have to leave turn it off. It burns quick, It burns hot. It burns high. No one wants that. So yeah, don't leave, turn it off if you have to. Stir it too.

Once it comes to a boil stir in the reserved sugar/pectin mix. Bring it back to a boil and boil hard for one minute. Turn off the heat.

Now here's the semi tricky part. After the jam has boiled for one minute you need to test it for "set" which is how thick your jam is. Pick up some of the hot jam (maybe a half teaspoon) on a metal spoon and put the spoon in the freezer. Wait a minute  then test it.  if it seems jammy enough you can start canning. More like ice cream topping? Needs another tablespoon or two of pectin and another minute at full high boil.

Once the jam is the way you like it.Take the jars and rings out of the oven. (Leave them on the cookie sheet) Turn off the jam. Place the canning funnel in the first jar you want to fill. Use a ladle to fill the jar to within 1/4 inch of the top. Do not overfill or the magic trick won't work. Remove the funnel, put it in the next jar, lather rinse repeat until you run out of jam or jars or both.

Carefully wipe the rims of the jars with a clean lint free damp towel. Place the lid on the jars then the rings. Working carefully and quickly use a dishtowel to tighten the rings of the jars then flip the jars upside down on the counter and allow them to cool for at least 45 minutes.

This is the magic trick (and as far as I know it ONLY works safely with jams and jellies.) The heat from the jam against the lid melts the sealing compound forming a tight seal while the cooling jam creates a vacuum. Once cooled flip them over and test the bouncer to be sure they are tightly sealed. I've never had one not seal but if you do, put the jam in the fridge. It'll be fine in there for six or so months. (Because it'll last six or so months ha ha)

Loosen or even remove the rings from the jars. Properly sealed lids don't need the rings to stay put. Tightened rings will also hide if something went wrong on a bacterial level. Bad stuff gives off gas which will pop the lids off giving you a good warning "Don't eat me!" So loose or no rings discard if lids pop on their own.

Now go enjoy your jam.
In your jammies...

Friday, May 18, 2012

And I'll kick her sir...

Chloe-I'm gonna be a Hi-Yaher when I grow up.
Becky-Like a ninja?
Chloe- No, a Hi-Yaher! and I'm gonna save the world because I've been practicing all day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One more gift...

The past year and a half has been rough. Losing Dad hit me much harder than I ever knew it would. The economy has been rough. Dear friends have endured hardships and tragedy. The bakery has gone through several major changes, some of which were extremely unpleasant. It's felt like "What now?!?" for far too long.

But through it all I've maintained my sense of humour. Or so I thought.

Last Friday my Uncle George died. I cried. I came home, I listened to Freddy Fender, I cried. I thought about my dad and I cried. I thought about Carol and the cousins and I cried.

They asked us to speak at the service. What could I say that wouldn't make me cry even harder? I sat and I listened to the words others said about George. How giving and kind and funny. Funny...

I remembered as a child when the Clevelands came to town there was always so much laughter. When we were broke and broken there was always something to laugh over.

As an adult I realised that life is hard, often unfair, sometimes tragic and bitter. But life is good and beautiful and filled with joy. You can turn your eyes to the sorrow. You can fill your heart with tragedy. You can swallow down choking mouthfuls of bitter despair or you can feel the true weight of good, find delight in simple beauty and  let joyful laughter spill from your lips.

We can choose what aspects of life are important to us and I try always to choose joy.

But for a while I had lost my way.

Sitting in church listening to people telling their stories of George, of a house filled with love and laughter, of the gifts he gave others, I discovered I knew what I wanted to say. I knew I wanted to tell everyone that I learned that love and laughter are far more important than bitterness and woe and what a precious gift that was.

I didn't say it as well as I wanted and I cried too. But the shadow that had lain across my heart this long time was lifted. My eyes opened to the fact that I had not been "fine". I had let my heart fill with sadness. My sense of humour  had begun to atrophy and I had let cynicism creep up on me. 

I will miss George 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Memory is a treacherous b******.

Tonight after dinner we had to make a run to the store. (For the shop not us.)

We got in got what we needed and were out of the store  in about 15 minutes.

Heading home Karl started singing. He doesn't sing very often at least not seriously so I was enjoying his rendition of "Blueberry Hill".

I smiled because my dad loved that song. He didn't sing very often either but he would belt out a bit of "Blueberry Hill" every once in awhile. Usually directed at my mom.

Then I thought about when he was slipping away from us. His breathing laboured as we sat around him. Holding his hands and patting his head. I didn't want him to be scared. I knew he was dying and I wanted to tell him that I loved him.

He wasn't perfect. He was impatient and cranky and sometimes completely unreasonable.  But he was my dad. He took us on picnics and berry picking and to quirky restaurants. He grew roses like some sort of rose savant.

There isn't enough time to say "I love you and you love me and I remember those times and always will." To say "We didn't always agree but none of it matters because you're my dad and you did a damn fine job of being my dad." So many things you can't say because the words are trapped by the tears you are trying not to cry. So little time to hold his hand and pat his head and hope that he's not scared.

So I opened up my mouth and the first thing that could get past the tears was "I found my thrill, on Blueberry Hill" It was a little shaky but it helped that Cate and Lora joined in. "On Blueberry Hill, when I found you..."

"The moon stood still on Blueberry Hill and it lingered until my dreams came true.
The wind in the willows played loves sweet melody
But all of those vows we made were never to be
Though we're apart you follow me still
For you were my thrill on Blueberry Hill."

So we talked to him as best we could and held his hand and sang a few songs to him. I think he knew we were there. I think he knew the things we couldn't say, didn't have time to say.

I started crying as Karl sang. I didn't want to cry. I liked the singing. I liked the song. I didn't want it to end.

Things do end though. I try to always remember good things about Dad. To laugh when Chloe sticks her tongue out the side of her mouth when she's concentrating and somehow manages to look just like Grandpa Geo. To remember berry picking and farmer's markets, long, pointless drives into the night and the simple joy of knowing the best and oddest places to eat. I want to be happy when I think of him

 but sometimes, I cry.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


So Tuesday I was sewing lapped t'shirts for Ben and Jude and Chloe was sitting at the table drawing. She paused, looked up at me and said. "Mommy, what's a virgin?"

My brain went into panic mode.  

Interior Dialogue-"Where did she hear that word? She doesn't hang around older kids..was it on t.v.? Oh God! how do I dumb this down? The farthest we've got on where do babies come from is 'Mommies and Daddies make them.' Ack, okay calm down..."

Mommy-(very casually)"Where did you hear that word baby?"

Chloe-"Martha Speaks!"

Interior Dialogue-"Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, they wouldn't say that word on Martha Speaks, what word did they say. Think, think, think..."

Mommy-"You mean version?"

Chloe-"Yes, version."

Mommy-(In a much relieved voice.) Okay, see how Mommy is making both Ben and Jude the same type of shirt but each one is slightly different? That means I made two different versions."

Chloe looks at me for a moment then says- "No Mommy, like you don't like something."

Mommy-"Oh...aversion!" (Such as I have an aversion to this topic)

That said...
Lapped T'Shirts for Ben and Jude

Two different versions...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I've been trying to catch her singing this for weeks now. Thank goodness for Terie!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Make it. Made it.

First off a couple of Chloeisms.

Chloe-"What does difficult mean?"
Mommy-"Do you know what hard means?"
Chloe-"Yes, hard means not squishy at all."

While out shopping...
Lady customer- "Aren't you the cutest thing?"
Chloe-(Running by, over her shoulder.) "Yes, I am!"

Note to self: Teach Chloe about vanity.

So, I've been off work for a few weeks recovering from gall bladder/hernia surgery. Can't really deep clean the house or garden or do anything that requires heavy lifting or much bending so I've been sewing. A lot.


Pre-surgery I finished the "Supposed to be her Christmas dress but I messed up the shirring so I lost steam and didn't finish it until early March so now it's her Birthday dress." dress.

Then I made her a separates outfit for her to wear to her birthday party. It was inspired by Michael Costello's outfit for the Broadway Challenge on Project Runway All Stars.

The first thing I made after surgery was my own design. This too was inspired by Michael Costello's Broadway Challenge for Project Runway. Mine of course is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay simpler. I just wanted to capture that fun silhouette. I made her the exact same style dress except white on top, yellow in the middle and green on the bottom and the second version has pockets. For some reason I haven't taken a photo of it even though she's already worn it at least twice.

Then I made her Simplicity 2006 from some lovely and expensive Robert Kaufman Celebrate Seuss Fabric. It felt like it was going to be a bit of train wreck/clown costume but trust Wub to be cute enough to pull it off. I put this on her and she immediately started jumping around because it's, you know...a jumpsuit,

She's outgrown her Threadless "Playin' in the Sprinkler" Tee. I cut it into a tank trimmed it with purple bias tape and added an uber cute seersucker and tulle skirt. It works perfectly with the grey and purple tights Daddy brought home from England. We even found purple shoes that someone had handed down to us!

Next was a foray into the world of nightclothes. Simplicity E1835, some beautiful fabric bought on clearance at the Walmart, lovely butterfly embroidered edging and (not shown) butterfly buttons make this the fussiest thing I've ever made. Love it and her in it.

 Probably not last, but definitely the latest another foray into nightwear. I bought the above pink fabric and decided it needed to be a nightie. So I searched the web for inspiration and found these Gingercake's Pillowcase Nightgown Tutorial  and this Summer Sewing Pillowcase Nightgown on Sew, Mama Sew. (Which is the pattern I decided to go with because I really like bias tape.) Here's the weird part. I was nosing around on Gingercake's blog and found a previous post on Thrifting Treasures. The fourth picture was my Grandma's sheets! Nostalgia! Imagine my surprise when the next day we took a trip to Goodwill and found the exact same sheet and pillowcase!
Exactly the SAME!!!

Friday, March 02, 2012

You say it's your birthday...

She's asleep right now.

All sprawled out, hair a crazy halo about her head, one hand tucked up beside her face. She looks like such a big kid but she's my baby and she always will be.

Not that I'm complaining because damn, she is a pretty amazing kid. She says and does things that make me look at the world in a whole new way. She makes me laugh and cry and makes me want to be a better person. She also made me pretty okay with the way I am now. All in all a pretty amazing product packed into a liitle package.

The other night we were watching A Concert at the White House and though she wasn't fully appreciative of the Blues she did ask many questions about what they were and why they were called the blues. We tried our best to explain the concept of singing about the hard times to remind ourselves of the better times. We even tried to a little bit explain the idea of catharsis. Did she get it? I wasn't sure until Gary Clark Jr. came and rocked the place "Mommy this isn't the blues, this is the happies because it makes you happy!" (She rocks)

So today is her birthday, she's asleep now but soon she'll pop open her eyes and look out on the world in her amazing way. We'll give her gifts and try to make her feel special because she is.

Yes, it's her birthday but four years ago she gave us both the best gift and she keeps on giving.

Happy Birthday Chloe. We love you!

Later on that very same night....

Monday, February 27, 2012


"Hey Mom let's go watch the grats!" (Rugrats)

Whilst telling jokes...
Chloe-"Why was the elephant crying?"
Daddy-"I don't know, why was the elephant crying?"
Chloe-"Because he missed his mom and dad."
Daddy-"That's not a joke."
Chloe-"Yes it is, it's a sad joke!"

We were discussing why roses had thorns and I told her it was to protect them from predators. A few minutes later she was running through the house yelling:
"Help! help! I need to protect myself from the creditors!"