Friday, August 29, 2014

Seven Book-and-Food Pairings [Quick Takes]

[Cross-posted at my other blog, Books for Mom]

While of course the classic is

Remembrance of Things Past (Proust) and a madeleine,

please don't scorn

1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Lewis) and Turkish Delight,

2. Jacob Have I Loved (Paterson) and soft-shell crabs,

3. The End of the Affair (Greene) and onions-- maybe onion soup?

4.  Little Women (Alcott) and lobster salad,

5.  The Portrait of a Lady (James) and afternoon tea... "Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable..."

6.  Harriet the Spy and a tomato sandwich,

7.  Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Hardy) and any dairy product....

Can you think of others?  Please comment-- I'd love to hear from you!

[And check out Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!]

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

[Cross-posted at my other blog, Books for Mom.]

Audiobooks once seemed a little weird to me (uh, listening in the car, or while working out?  I'd miss something important!!!), but motherhood has made me a convert of sorts.  While that fear of "missing something" still makes me hesitate to tackle fresh material via audio, I find that listening to Jane Austen makes the dishes fly and the laundry fold itself.  All right, overstatement-- but you get the idea.

Librivox offers public domain audiobooks for free; and I hear that public libraries lend audio online, too, although mine would require me to download and install a separate application.

The catch to audiobooks, of course, is that you have to find a voice (as well as text) that will agree with you for hours on end.  Weeding through the samples can be frustrating... So far my favorite Librivox readers are Karen Savage and Elizabeth Klett-- each so clear and pleasant!-- who have recorded a great many comfort classics, such as Burnett's A Little Princess, Montgomery's Anne of Green Gablesseries, Charlotte Bronte, and (oh yes!) Jane Austen. 

What is your favorite source for audiobooks?  In your opinion, is an Audible membership worthwhile...?  I've considered it, although the price made me balk.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Here we are! (Quick Takes, February 7)


Me:  "Three-year-old, please help me sweep the floor."

Three-year-old:  "Who's coming over?"


Me (offering two-year-old a bit of candied ginger):  "Would you like to try some?  It's good for your tummy."

Two-year-old (shoving the ginger into her belly button):  "Here you go, tummy!"


Three-year-old (closing the dishwasher door):  "I do ALL your work for you, Mommy!"

One can dream...


Two-year-old (pausing the screamfest): "I upset!  I upset!"

Um, we figured that one out-- and so has the entire church.


Me: "Two-year-old, what kind of cake would you like for your birthday?"

Two-year-old:  "Orange!"

Three-year-old:  "I'm sorry, Two-year-old.  We don't have any oranges.  We just have onions.  It has to be an onion cake."


Three-year-old is currently obsessed with the art-themed storybook Katie Meets the Impressionists-- and so of course, I recommend it!  (Yay, she's chatting to nineteenth-century portraits!  Mickey Mouse, beware.)  We definitely plan to collect the other books in this series.


Me:  "...You'll understand this better when you're driving.  When will you learn to drive?"

Three-year-old:  "Ten."

Me:  "You'll drive when you're ten years old?"

Three-year-old:  "Yes!  And I want a purple car."

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Seven Quick Takes~ May 10

[hosted at Conversion Diary]


Mother's Day approaches-- which for us, means compiling another installment of photos for our daughters' birthmom.  And this time, as I sift through onscreen folders, I'm ridiculously grateful for this post by author/blogger Kathy Lynn Harris...!

Reading it, I think back-- and wow, yes, when you put it that way, there's no wonder that the "tangle of my mind" has seemed unusually messy!  We've been through a lot. While adoptive parents work to set aside their own feelings in deference to the birth family (whose sacrifice is unspeakably immense),  we, too, have experienced stress... The validation leaves me teary-eyed.


By the way, this time I'm also constructing a Shutterfly site so as to share photos continuously with birthmother.  She may find it easier to check in on her own schedule, when her own feelings permit; and we'll appreciate the added convenience, too, once we're over the initial hump of uploading photos from years past.  Hopefully a win-win!


 Catholic blogger Elizabeth Scalia recommends Save Send Delete (by Polish-American author Danusha Goska) to "Catholic readers in search of good Catholic fiction that reflects something of what it means to be passionately Catholic in a post-Christian, secularist and politically correct era."  I'm intrigued-- especially as the Kindle edition currently goes for only $3.49.  Compare that with $16.96 for the paperback...


Speaking of Polish Americans, singer Ewa Angeli has rendered many traditional Polish Christmas carols in English-- probably the first recording of this kind that I've run across!  Interestingly, too (and I don't quite know what I think of this!), she lends the koledy a pop-music, even somewhat "country" sound that pulls them out of context.  They seem modern, American, flimsy:  you'd never guess the age or origin or traditional weight of these songs...  Sad?  A big part of me says yes.  But then, classics are classic because they can withstand re-interpretation without sacrificing respect and cache.  We're meant to live with them...  So, I'm not sure whether I'll purchase or not.  Do I like the results enough to listen at length?  (For what it's worth, her accent is so winning...!)

Here's a promotional sample from YouTube:

And of course, you can also sample individual tracks here at Amazon.  ...Oh yes, her version of "Lulajze, Jezuniu" ("Lullaby Jesus") could grow on me!  Definitely buying that one... Maybe more.  I'm weakening.


As you see, in the past few weeks I've finally learned how to embed YouTube videos within my posts! So I'll share this wonderful "cruise of the Danube" (our toddlers love it, too!) in a more direct way...

...and also link back to my previous post, in which I identify some of the landmarks shown in this virtual journey from source to Black Sea.

As I wrote once before, I think that this could make an engaging homeschool lesson in both geography and music.


Mix purchased frozen hash browns with diced ham and shredded cheese (chopped green peppers would be great, too), and return to freezer.   Cook as much as you'd like, when you'd like it.

Why hadn't I thought of this before?  It's so simple.  Add an egg (hardboiled for added ease), and breakfast is ready.


Finally...  I hate to admit it, but I will:  My husband and I totally forgot that yesterday was a holy day of obligation!  Catholic fail.

Have a great weekend, everyone-- and Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

While perhaps I should have planned for May...

... in the end, I constructed a crude, last-minute crown out of beading wire, three small rosettes, and a heavier bead (in back) for balance.  Not perfect, but it does the job.

(This Marian display-- at Grace in My Heart-- is so simple and lovely! The sight of it smoothes my mood and calls up a smile.)

I'm looking forward to our girls' reaction (excitement? puzzlement?) to our church's May Crowning ceremony this Sunday!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Because I have talented friends!

My moms'-group friend Yvonne Jones has written a children's book!  Look for it this Fall.... In the meantime, though, here's a glimpse:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Can I get my act together for Seven Quick Takes?? April 26

It's touch and go around here (isn't it everywhere?), so completing this post will be a minor miracle...!


Two-year-old is entering the "why?" phase, although right now it manifests as a relentless demand for definition.   "What plate mean?"; "What food mean?"; "What eat mean?"; "What tummy mean?"; etc., etc.-- and all with that adorable driving-you-crazy smile!  Someone give this girl a dictionary...


On to math:  She counts "poops" in her potty.  While she's going...  As in, she'll be sitting there, and you'll suddenly hear "One!"  Huge smile on her face.  (And someday she'll want to kill me for sharing this!)


Both of my girls are devouring these Zucchini-Oatmeal Muffins with a gusto usually reserved for goldfish crackers!  I'm astonished, because the titular zucchini and oatmeal are actually filled in with healthy ingredients, such as Greek yogurt, natural applesauce, and wheat flour.  (No oil, and white flour and sugar together form only 25% of the picture.)  While the results aren't fluffy and sweet, they aren't bricks either, and I find that they do very well at breakfast-- in that they're actually eaten. (Long may this last!!)  There's a stash in our freezer...


Likewise, I continue to be amazed at my two-year-old's enthusiasm for matching games (such as Delena has developed; and these also).  Match one thing to the other, nearly identical thing... My adult mind says "boring,"but apparently she finds challenge in it-- because then she wants to do it again, mama!  These simple exercises are a lifesaver.  


Remember that laundry pile from last week?  Same pile, different clothes!   At this rate I'll never be rid of it.


Today, in a fit of optimism,  I seeded bare patches in our back yard-- the work of our labrador retriever, who unfortunately likes to dig.  Fingers crossed!


Husband's home... I'm done!  (Yeah, I know... cop out.  :)  )

Thanks for stopping by (sorry so mundane!  I'll try to do better), and have a great weekend!!

(hosted at Conversion Diary)