Holiday Happenings

Some pics of the festivities around our house:

(This is Joe and his two cousins, at aunt Sarah's house on xmas Eve. )

Joe's favorite gift (from Grandma) - a Lionel Train set!!

And...Making a Gingerbread house with Aunt Barb....

That's about it for the holidays. We are staying around the house, and keeping warm. We have nowhere to be at any given time, and we are loving it! (Even though I have watched the "Curious George" movie about 6 times now....)

All for now - I'll let you know how our New Year's Celebrations go...(Little Joe is having a sleepover at Grandmas house!)

Have YOU done your New Year's Resolutions? I'll share mine if you share yours....


Lefse. It's a Norwegian Thing

For as long as I can remember, my family makes lefse on holidays. It is a time consuming, tedious and MESSY event. but the end result is well worth it. I simpy love lefse. I am making some for Xmas dinner...and Little Joe decided to help me.

Here it is...on the griddle.

The finished product...colling under a fleeceless towel.

This year, I tried a new recipe, as my Aunt Pat's recipe just hasn't turned out very well for me in the past few years. Here is the new recipe I tried: (which turned out GREAT!!)

lefse from scratch

6 cups riced or mashed russet potatoes (I put mine through the food processor)

1 tsp. salt

3 T. margarine or butter

1 T. Sugar

2 T. heavy cream or evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Combine all ingredients except flour; refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Add flour; mix well.

Heat griddle to 400 degrees.

Roll small portions (walnut/golf ball size) into a small ball.

Roll out very thin with cloth-covered lefse or regular rolling pin on cloth-covered board or other surface. Dust board with flour when turning lefse dough.

Bake on ungreased griddle until brown spots appear. Flip and bake other side. Stack lefse between 2 towels to cool. Store in refrigerator in plastic bags. Can be frozen.

And the best part???


All is Well...

Big Joe has recovered, well sort of. In the sense that he is awake, and sort of moving around. He is sleeping in the zero-gravity recliner chairs (like the ones that My Aunt and Uncle in Oregon have on their porch). He is taking his pain pills when needed, and being a good invalid. :)

We had a snow day yesterday (8 inches of snow), so little Joe stayed home with us. I got to play in the snow with him too. Whoo-hoo!! I did brave the snow and roads to go to Meijer, and got stuck three times between there and home, including right in front of our driveway. Ugh. Stupid car. Stupid snow.

Other than that, we are hanging around the house, staying in our PJs. I might have to go back out, as Little Joe ran his xmas train set until the batteries died, and we want to make sure that the train is running when Santa coems to visit!!


Waiting Room Thoughts...

I’m writing this in Word, and will copy it over to Blogger…

I’m sitting in the waiting room for the surgical room at the hospital. Big Joe is having his shoulder surgery right now. I am having a harder time than I thought with this. I brought work with me, to keep my mind off of things, and all I can do is think about his surgery. Ugh. I can hardly even pick up the book I brought with me, because that won’t work either. My mind is so jumpy, I can’t concentrate on a darn thing.

I should be doing work, I am slammed at work, and I anticipate no slowdown. It’s just that people always want so much, and I have a hard time saying no. Most of these things are my responsibility; it’s just very tough getting everything done. Sigh.

And to top things off right now, I cannot connect to the wireless network in the waiting room, which is frustrating me even more, because I had planned on doing work here, and being able to connect to the internet. Grrr. This is frustrating. I’m also sitting on the floor, underneath the coat rack, as this is the only place with a plug, and I have to plug my laptop in, as the Dell battery sucks and won’t hold a charge. I have 5 memos/emails/letters completed, and I can’t send them to where they need to go. Dammit. I think I need to get off of the “poor me” box.

I’m looking forward to Christmas, maybe I can get more into the holiday spirit. Big Joe came home last night with a Christmas train that goes around the Christmas tree. How cool!! Little Joe LOVED it! He played with it for almost an hour straight last night. Goofy kid. I kept telling him that Santa was going to play with it, because it was such a cool train.

Ok, the doctor just called, he is in recovery, so I’m going to pack all of my stuff up, and get ready to get him and bring him home. Poor guy. He’s going to be in pain, and so out of it…


Mexican Train

Paying homage to my grandparents (they know who they are...), I taught Little Joe how to play Mexican Train last night.

He loved it. And he really got into it too...I have a feeling that this might become a family game for us. We don't have the official "game", but we have the dominoes, and we used little Star Trek ornaments as our "markers". That's all you need.
On a side note - I have wanted to do a family night for some time now. Turn off the TV, sit at the dining table, and play a game. However, playing Chutes and Ladders for an hour just didn't really make me jump with glee. So, I am infinitely glad that Joseph now knows how to play Mexican Train.

Cramming Culture into my Kid

On Saturday morning, Little Joe and I went to the DIA. I was able to score free passes through the Museum Adventure Pass Program. (There are usually no DIA passes, so when I saw them on Tuesday at the Library, I grabbed them).

If you haven't been to the DIA in a while....Go. Seriously. Go there. They have great interpretive things for kids (and adults). It is isn't a stuffy, silent, be quiet museum. We had a GREAT time!

They have taken the main hall, and installed sparkley mirrors across the entire ceiling, hanging down. This. Was. Cool.

On the thrid floor - we enjoyed a French dinner from the 18th-century. The official description:
“Visitors to the museum’s decorative arts gallery sit at a table onto which is projected an aristocratic dinner service. Visitors feel like they are participating in the dinner as three courses of historically accurate food are served using porcelain and silver on display within the gallery itself. The installation includes a sound recording of native French speakers that adds an air of authenticity to the experience.”

No clue. Seriously. No clue. But, Joseph LOVED it!

Me and Joseph in the Great Hall, with a backdrop of sparkle!

Joseph, dwarfed by the Great Hall.

And...video of the newly cultural-ized kid. :)


The long-awaited list

Here it is, as promised. 101 things I want to do in my life. WHERE'S YOUR LIST!?!?!

1. Go skydiving
2. Finish making the quilt I started 6 years ago
3. Run a 10K – without taking ANY walk breaks
4. Do a short triathlon
5. Get my RLA
6. Read the Fountainhead – not just skim it.
7. Go to Italy for a wine tour
8. Be a barista
9. Own a coffee shop
10. Be debt-free
11. Own a hot tub in a landscaped backyard
12. Buy a vintage convertible
13. Visit Norway
14. Sew a Halloween costume for myself (a really cool fancy baroque dress)
15. Play French Horn with a group
16. Make my own wine, in the basement.
17. Sing in a choir
18. Be an adjunct Professor for a College/University
19. Own a home on Lake Superior
20. Take a photography class
21. Drive the whole Hwy 1 from South to North
22. Write a book
23. Breed German Shepherd Dogs
24. Raise a Seeing Eye Dog
25. Be clutter-free
26. Play the piano once a day for 15 minutes
27. Share a steak dinner with my son.
28. Not have a car payment for a year straight.
29. Watch my son play high school sports
30. Drywall a room, without the help of a contractor
31. Host a big party at our house for all of our friends.
32. Go whale-watching
33. Go scuba-diving
34. Go to Indonesia again
35. Go to a yoga retreat for a week
36. Get season tickets for UM football
37. Be a regular tailgater at UM football.
38. Take a class in stained-glass
39. Go camping for a week on Isle Royale
40. Go for a girls weekend every other year with my cousins from TRF
41. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
42. Visit a farmer’s market every Saturday
43. Eat at least 80% of our food from a local organic source (farm, garden, etc.)
44. Have season tickets to the DSO
45. Go ziplining over the rainforest
46. Go for a hot Air balloon ride in northern Michigan for a fall color tour
47. Learn how to cook really good fall off the bone ribs in the smoker
48. Go whitewater rafting as a family
49. Work on a ranch for a week – a working vacation
50. Grow peaches and apples in our yard.
51. Have a meaningful collection of Pewabic tiles
52. Teach my son to snow ski
53. Have our neighbors over for dinner
54. Volunteer at a shelter once a month
55. Go on a cemetery tour of New Orleans
56. Go kayaking in Northern Michigan
57. Make digital photobooks of all of our vacations
58. See a choral and full orchestral performance in the National Cathedral in Washington DC
59. Have an art studio
60. Have chickens – from which we can get fresh eggs!
61. Have a bathroom with a chandelier in it.
62. Rent a beach house in the Outer Banks and spend a week of vacation there with lots of family
63. Go hang gliding in California
64. Get my teeth straightened (again) with braces.
65. Take a cooking class
66. Have a pet frog
67. Have a yoga studio
68. Take a class in ceramics
69. Make a set of dishes
70. Knit a sweater
71. Visit a psychic
72. Have a house with a porch and two big rocking chairs side-by-side
73. Make a ring with both of my mother’s wedding stones
74. Live on a lake
75. Be a member of the Boosters when my son is in HS
76. Have a cutting garden so I can have fresh flowers in the house all summer.
77. Forgive all those whom I feel have ever wronged me in some way
78. Keep a sketch journal
79. Play on a golf league
80. Have an organized walk-in closet
81. Have a wall of family photos in all different silver frames
82. Get a facial once every 6 months
83. Organize my basement
84. Park my car in the garage
85. Have a Greenhouse/Hothouse in the backyard
86. Make lefse every year.
87. Sew a quilt made of Joseph’s baby clothes/blankets
88. Go on a walking tour of New England
89. Go to Washington DC during Cherry Blossom time
90. Be a Polar Bear once (jump into a frozen lake or river)
91. Drive a race car in a driving school (and GO FAST!)
92. Have a fridge that FITS in the kitchen.
93. Have a cleaning person come once a month.
94. Have a place for everything, and everything in it’s place
95. Learn to the play the guitar
96. Sing at an open mic night at a coffeehouse or somewhere.
97. Make spaghetti sauce every year from our garden, and give the jars away as gifts
98. Have a pond in the backyard, with a gazebo hanging/floating on the edge
99. Take a 21-day (or more) cruise to Alaska
100. Get into a habit of a 5-minute meditation before bed every night
101. Learn to appreciate Good Scotch.

Star of the Week

This week, Joe is the Star of the Week in his class. We had to put a poster together all about him. However, due to some discipline issues, he was sent to bed early on Sunday morning. Therefore, I woke him up at 6AM on Monday morning, and we sat in the kitchen together, drawing the pictures for his poster. I did the frames, and titles, but he did all of the drawings. I then asked him question, and I wrote the lists you see at the bottom of the poster.

The words read:
Birthday: April 24
Zodiac: Taurus
Full name: Joseph John Lawson IV
Special Talent: I can Make Coffee & I play the French horn
Fav. TV Shows: Thomas the Tank Engine, Ghost hunters, Monster Quest, Curious George, Dirty Jobs w/ mike Rowe, Clifford, Modern Marvels

And here is breakfast, all over his face. Powdered Donuts, oh yeah.


Getting the Christmas Tree

We drove down to Ypsilanti, then down to Sumpter (by the old Lincoln Junior High) to get our tree...Joseph "chose" the tree for us.

The finished result....after almost falling over. :)

Food Oddities

I love these..
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal (or email to me~), including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) RED Font any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes - grew some this year
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill - several different kinds
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash - both kinds
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

(It's OK if you don't know what some of these are - I had to Google too!!)

And YES - I want to hear back from you!!

I love Sundays

Here is the scene - Little Joe is on our bed, wrapped in blankets, watching Harry Potter. Big Joe, napping on the couch, listening to football, and me, in my PJs, blogging, drinking coffee, and preparing to roast a chicken for dinner. This is heaven. An odd heaven, but still heaven to me. The house is quiet, there is nobody running, yelling, no sirens or train whistles. There is stuff to be done, but it isn't pressing.

Sigh. I'm going to refill my coffee cup. Maybe with eggnog this time.