October 31, 2008

I'm a very picky eater.

And I'm fairly thrifty.

And we dropped $20 on pumpkins this year, because we went to a real, organic 'Patch instead of Walmart.

So I thought it might be nifty and thrifty to recoup some of our costs by cooking said pumpkins to use in my favorite recipes (Pumpkin Sausage Soup, Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Bread, risotto. Notice I didn't say Pumpkin Pie, because Costco already makes the best pumpkin pie in the universe AND it's cheaper, easier, faster & a lot less messy than making pie from scratch. End of pie soliloquy.) Pioneer Woman recently posted a fantastic tutorial on roasting & pureeing pumpkin. I just followed her directions and concentrated really really hard on not chopping off my hand (cutting pumpkins is HARD!!). The results follow:

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So what does this all have to do with me being a picky eater? I don't like lumps or bumps or stringy thingies in my food. And I could NOT get this pumpkin puree as smooth as the stuff that comes in the can. So now I don't have a clue what I'll use it in. Certainly NOT a cake (ewwww). Maybe in the soup or risotto if I can push it thru a sieve first??? Bummer.

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October 30, 2008

"Six Random Things About Me" Tag, three at a time... part 2

Number FOUR: I'm going to one-up Julie: she might choose the same restaurant food item each time ... but, if given the chance, I would choose the same RESTAURANT, AND same FOOD ITEM each and every time we go out. Here's my favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant and my favorite fish tacos that I could probably eat every day.

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Number FIVE: Meet my totally favorite coffee maker. It makes a PERFECT cup of coffee every single time. Funny background story: I didn't want this coffee maker. My husband did. I thought it was frivolous. We already had a fine Starbucks thermal coffee maker. Short story shorter: we have this coffee maker now. I LOVE it sooooo much. I can't stand to use our Starbucks machine now. Shown are my two favorite coffee flavors. Yummmmm.... My husband was sooo right. I was soooo wrong.

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Number SIX: Six years ago, when we were first pondering moving from Northern CA to Southern CA to get away from my husband's nasty long work commute and super high home costs, we had three silly requirements for relocation: our new home must necessarily be in close proximity to an In N Out Burger, a Trader Joe's, and a Nordstrom. Our current home is close to all three of these. My love affair with Nordstrom is long over with. My new love became J. Jill. But then Talbot's bought my new love and that ended that affair. But, who needs new clothes, eh? I'd much rather spend the money (what money?!?!?) on camera equipment... :-) Anywho.... we ALL love In n Out Burger (unlike Baja Fish which is NOT well liked by two of my little dudes) and visit it regularly and SOON a new Trader Joe's will be opening about a mile from home! Yippee!

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Thus ends my list of six and my LAST Tag.

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October 29, 2008

"Six Random Things About Me" Tag, three at a time...

Number ONE: (yes, I'm counting this!). I don't do tags, memes, or chain letters (online OR off...). They stress me out. Julie at Journey to Family tagged me. But I don't DO tags. But Julie practically double-dog-dared me. And, I really like Julie. She makes me laugh out loud often. THIS is now officially my LAST tag. But I'm not going to follow any of the stated rules, and I'm not going to tag anybody at the end. So there.

Number TWO: I don't mind critters. That's probably why a lizard lives on my kitchen counter, and currently a large praying mantis resides there, too. That's probably why I didn't freak out yesterday when my Littlest Dude pointed out the following creature right by my foot on our walk:

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I don't mind snakes in the least (except for the kind with rattles - I'm not fond of them). So I didn't mind getting right up close to this little guy and taking his portrait. And to his credit, he didn't seem to mind me, either. ;-)

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He was very long.

Ok, so we've established so far that 1. I don't do tags (after this); and 2. I do just fine with critters.

Number THREE: I DON'T do phones.

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I don't run to answer them when they ring. And even after I hear who's on the other end (often cold-callers, despite the do-not-call registry. argh.), I still don't pick up. I'm just not really a phone chit-chat kinda gal. And wanna know what else? I don't have a cell phone! And I'm easily bothered by those people who have cell phones and choose to carry on their "private" conversations in my midst. I hate that. So much.

Btw, did you want to see my mantis friend???

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She's kind of cute, in a weird space-alien kind of way.

Tomorrow I'll list the other three random things, all having to do with food (hmmm, does that make it not random? )

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October 28, 2008

Keeping it Real: Homeschool Edition, Part 2

The three dudes all share one bedroom. This leaves us with an extra bedroom that we can use as a dedicated school room. It's a great, wonderful, spacious room with bright light, bookshelves, three table/desks, walls for posters, timelines, a whiteboard, and a chalkboard easel (thanks to Aunt C & Uncle G). As a homeschooler who knows many other homeschoolers, I KNOW it's a total luxury to have a dedicated room for school. Here's the irony: we NEVER use it.

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Here's where school takes place: crowded together at the coffee table. Dont'cha love the exasperated look on Eldest Dude's face? Admittedly, it *is* hard to concentrate on tough stuff when Littlest Dude is singing and making machine gun noises while copying out his math work. But they both seem to prefer this set-up than a quieter, more isolated one. So here's our quirky modern version of ye ol' one-room schoolroom.

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October 27, 2008

Keeping it Real: Homeschool Edition, Part 1

I guess he didn't want to do what I asked him to do.

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As you can see/guess, I was terribly sympathetic to his plight... ;-)

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October 26, 2008

Living Stones...

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... like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifrices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

For this is contained Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, A precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed." (Is 28:16)
This precious value, then is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone," (Ps. 118:22) and "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense"; (Is 8:14) for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (Hosea 1:10, 2:23)

1 Peter 2:1-10

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October 24, 2008

Fall Miscellany...

in other words, leftover pictures from the last couple months that I like, that I haven't blogged yet.

Another Christmas card portrait reject (but I really like it!)
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Middle Dude's latest Lego creation:
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Morning regulars here: pockets of fog and pigeons on the lightpost:
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More from the hot days in the canyons:
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The Eldest Dude lightening my load:
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The Tall Ship that lives at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point:
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The beach I love :-)
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October 22, 2008

Poppies

There aren't many left this time of year. But here are some from earlier in the year...

Morning Dew-y Poppies

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October 21, 2008

Dog Dude Antics

So, our beast is an indoor doggie. I have the tufts of hair throughout the house to prove it. But he does like to hang out outdoors, also ... as long as I leave the back door OPEN. The second I close it, he HAS to be inside.

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