Sunday, November 29, 2009
Here's the link:
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Oh! The Brockville Santa Claus Parade!
the famous Shriners' mini-vehicles (how did that tradition start, anyway?)
the propeller blades were a little unnerving...
and, of course....
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
At the same time, I've been to landfill sites enough times to be able to picture it just lying in a pile of garbage. I think that's why I'm such a pack-rat. I don't keep it for me. I just can't picture this stuff outside in the dump. So much plastic...
How many times do we fix something that just won't work properly? Why can't appliances last longer...like they did in the previous generation? Now, things are designed to break and we go back to buy more, often from the same company.
I've never been particularly hard on this vaccuum. We don't even have carpet. Now, it sounds like a jet taking off--with rocks grinding in the engine. And the suction is sad. The other day it passed over the same piece of lint over and over without picking it up. Honestly...
So, do I pay to fix this AGAIN or do we chuck it? Maybe someone will take it for parts. Who knows? All I know is that a vacuum that isn't even used on carpet should last longer than ten years.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
how satisfying to throw rocks in the river
"Hurry up, Mom!"
"Which one should I throw?"
my boy still loves the sand...still throws it at people way too much...
my happy boys
this is sooooo Shari...quiet resolve...caring and calm...
beauty...makes me think of Mrs. Harvey, my favourite teacher
Friday, November 20, 2009
There is no one way to be a perfect mother, but there are a billion ways to be a good one.
Ah-ha. That's it.
In the early days of Kieran's life, when it felt like advice flowed as freely as the breastmilk he refused to drink, I remember thinking that I really sucked. I would certainly be rotten mother. As I fought against the instincts that told me to keep trying to nurse, to let my baby sleep beside me, to answer his cries, I remember one day stopping in my tracks and realizing something that has carried me through some pretty tough parenting moments.
There are many ways to raise a child.
What works for one person, doesn't work for another. What helps one child sleep sends another into a frenzy. One baby might nurse like they've discovered the nectar of the gods, while another (like mine) will scream and arch for two weeks until he makes up his mind about the whole situation.
I'm not against getting advice. Much of the advice from other moms has helped me greatly. But, as Jackie says, it's not all or nothing.
So...I've been thinking about what makes me a good mom. How often do we truly pat ourselves on the back?
This is what I cherish in my own mothering, because these things work for our family...
I stay with my child until he falls asleep.
I count his blessings with him every night--and I try REALLY hard not to react when he says he's thankful for shopping...
I read to my son.
I try not to "teach" him things--I do things with him and hope he'll glean the skills.
I bake with him.
We go for aimless walks around the neighbourhood.
I sing to him...poor little soul.
I feed him good food.
I make sure he gets his rest.
I hug him...a lot.
We do lots of art...and I try not to take over...sigh...
I repeat his feelings to him...and I don't insist that he be happy and agreeable all the time.
I laugh with him.
Of course, the list of things that make me feel guilty is much longer. But after making this list, I feel pretty darn good that I'm doing okay. Do it now. Make a little list of the ways you're a good parent. It's important to know what we're doing right. We need something to hold onto when we get clocked in the side of the head with an airborne Lightning McQueen or accidentally drive down the road with the car door open.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
It reminds me that friends and family are such an important part of healing. Thanks to everyone who hosted, participated, and donated. What a great idea!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
A little boy counts his blessings...
Thank you for my family.
Thank you for my cat.
Thank you for my neighbourhood.
Thank you for sleeping.
Thank you for sideways walking on the balance beam.
My niece won the "Optimism Award" in her Senior Kindergarten class. My brother told me this story as an example of this quality.
Briana was drawing at the kitchen table. Her intention to make a Christmas tree was thwarted when she realized she'd drawn the triangle upside down.
"Oh well, Mommy. It can be an ice cream cone now."
Aw...the glass sure is half full...
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Okay, as with most mother-child art projects, I took over a bit. I let Kieran stick on the eyes. Then, I found myself adjusting and re-arranging to the point where my son was a spectator. Sigh. Must work on that...
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
the church in Donaldston
a red island road
Monday, November 9, 2009
So, before the sun even rose, we got to work trying out two recipes from my new Baby Cakes cookbook. Since becoming gluten-free and sugar-free, I've desperately missed banana bread and corn bread. And so the experimenting began.
The thing I like about these recipes is that the ingredients are whole foods. Some gf cookbooks I've tried have dubious ingredients. I also have mixed feelings about chick pea flour. I know it's healthy and it works well for texture, but sometimes, it feels like I'm eating a "banana flavoured dry crumbly felafel" instead of banana bread.
Sunday morning felt like real baking. The house was filled with that smell, that baking smell. When we came back from our walk, there were two lovely things cooling on the stove--just like old times.
My boy helped me mix. Everytime I'd put another item into the bowl, he'd stir softly and whisper, "ingredients."
And the results made me weep. Well, not quite, but almost.
The banana bread is moist and holds together beautifully. The corn bread...well, I think it's worthy to accompany my chili. That's something that has been missing from my life for the past three years. A good cornbread recipe to go with my chili. Yay!
Now, I think this Erin McKenna woman is a genius. I'm grateful that she spent the time to test all of these recipes for those of us who struggle in isolation, trying to find good things to replace our comfort foods.
So, if you're gluten-free and want to decrease the refined sugar in your diet...need I say more. It is vegan but I don't see any reason why you couldn't replace rice milk with dairy milk, if that's what you prefer. I followed the recipes closely because I wanted to see how they worked.
Make sure you check my two new links. You can read my columns in The Brockville Voice by clicking on the link to the left.
I also set up a link to my story "Getting Set," which was published in the Brockville Recorder and Times on Saturday.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
"Kieran. Gazebo. Happy."
So we met up with our good friends, the Gardiners, and walked on over for some sunshine and a play. Then, across the field, we saw the good ol' Mulville Boys running towards us.
view from the 1920s gazebo
three-year-old Zen meditation
"Mommy, come see!"
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The summer before last, while on the island, I went with my mother and sister-in-laws to see a traditional rug-hooking studio. The pieces they made were so beautiful, I decided I'd like to learn. Along with two other friends, I signed up for a course at Picket Fence Fabrics in Brockville. Our first project is a "Welcome" sign. I thought it would be funny to pick a more random word like "Surprise." Everyone seemed to want to stick with "Welcome." So predictable...sigh...
We're hoping to move into using recycled fabrics to make rugs..."upcycling!"
Here's Jackie working away at my place (wearing the beautiful sweater she made). She's a bit of a hooking prodigy, having sped past Shari and me. I'm still only on the "O" and Shari's on the "M."
In this photo, Jackie's rug looks a little frightening, like she's writing "OMEN" in blood.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Every now and then, I get really worked up.
Then, I take a deep breath.
I remember that fear makes us do silly things--at least, it makes me do silly things.
I take a few drops of Bach Rescue Remedy (a homeopathic medicine for stress). Our whole family uses it when Kieran has a seizure. It works. I've even heard a rumour that Jennifer Aniston uses it--hey, we all copied her hairstyle back in 1994-ish...
When homeopathy doesn't work...
There's always wine.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
There's a story behind so many of these. Chantal gave me ExtraVeganZa--some of her dishes are in the photos because it's her friend's book. Klaudia gave me The Compassionate Cook, which contains my all-time favourite chilli recipe. Anyone who knows me has tried it. A Great Bowl of Soup was a birthday gift from Shari--I love the tomato-lentil soup. I found Cooking With the Dead in a used bookstore one summer when I was feeling particularly crunchy. Then, there's my Moosewood Cookbooks: samosas, butternut squash soup, zippy cheese sauce, Moosewood Brownies (oh...my old gluten guzzling days). The famous BUDDHA'S JEWELS can be found between these pages. That's another story.
Mike bought The Joy of Cooking when we first met because he wanted to cook for me.
I'm still waiting.
A good friend of mine recently switched over to a gluten-free diet. She bought me a new cookbook called Baby Cakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery by Erin McKenna. Love it! Yesterday, I roasted a small pie pumpkin and had just enough puree to make pumpkin-spice muffins and pumpkin gingerbread. There's even a recipe for icing--I haven't tried it yet but it's on my list. I'm so happy to be baking for my son, finally. These recipes work. And trust me, because gluten-free ingredients are so expensive, when a recipe doesn't work, I growl.
Here's a collection of ingredients I used to make my muffins and gingerbread. As you can see, they aren't really in-line with a 100-Mile Diet approach. However, we can now get buckwheat flour close by and honey can be used in many recipes in place of sugar with a bit of tweaking. Here's some new ingredients I've been using that certainly aren't local but I couldn't live without: