Friday, November 26, 2010


My life is so very full these days...and mostly just full of wonderful things and people. I would love to sit and reflect upon all of this, but it's time...

to load of for our baby tree fundraiser! Very excited about this. Tired, too, after such a week, but mostly just excited excited excited. 

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend full of the best kinds of love

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holiday Fundraiser for the SPCA

I have been thinking a lot about the idea of being of others, to the community, be it our local community, or the larger global community. These are not new thoughts for me. We did volunteer work with our parents from time to time when I was small, and it has always resonated with me strongly, this idea of thinking beyond my own doorstep, and giving outside my immediate circle.

I have been thinking and dreaming more along these lines since becoming a parent, as I think about the values I'd like to pass on to our daughter. Service is high on that last. 

Paradoxically, these feelings of wanting (maybe even needing) to be of greater service, have come at a time in my life where I feel like I have the least amount of free time to share. When the demands on me and my time are greater than ever before. Who knew (ha ha, some of you veteran parents are laughing at me now), that parenting would be quite this demanding.

Yet this fullness in my life also really drives home the need to do some of it now...the important stuff, that is. One of the bigger gifts of parenting has given me is to teach me (it's still teaching me daily) to prioritize. If there's one thing I've learned in recent years, it's that if I don't make the important things a priority, they WILL NOT HAPPEN.

Apparently, I could go on and on about this topic, I feel like I'm just warming up. But more at a later date. Let's get to the point.

Somehow, I got this idea to sell trees. We have these huge, gorgeous spruce trees surrounding our property. And they make lots of baby trees. These mama and papa trees are about 50 years old and quite hardy. Who wouldn't want such a tree in their yard? 

Well, now's your chance!

On black Friday, November 26th, we will be selling baby spruce trees at the SPCA Annex at the Shops at Ithaca Mall. We'll be there from 10am-4pm, or until we sell out, whichever comes first. We have a few friends helping out and we think it will be a lot of fun. Moreover, 100% of our proceeds will benefit the Tompkins County SPCA

Trees will be from 3"-15" tall and the price range is from $2-$10. We plan to have around 40 trees available for sale.

If you're in the Ithaca area, please help us spread the word about this fundraiser. We would love to sell out completely, and may repeat this again in December if the first round is a success. 

If you can't make it on the 26th, you can also donate directly to the Tompkins County SPCA here. Or web search your local area & SPCA to find a shelter in your region to donate to. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

When Life Gives You a Broken Refrigerator....

Make yogurt....sigh...

I'm feeling a bit wry, but also stretching for gratitude today. 

We have been sick, one or the other, if not all three, since late September. Not with anything really serious, just nasty, tenacious flus and colds. Ugh. Helena has been the one most persistently ill with a cough that keeps coming and going (and finally seems to be going, thankfully!), with me feeling vaguely ill for the last 4 weeks or so, and only developing strong symptoms (coughing that won't quit) this week, and Patrick getting hit fast and hard, also this week with flu. Blah.

So here's the gratitude I've mustered up on behalf of this lingering malaise....

- I'm truly, deeply grateful that in general I'm fit and healthy. I can somewhat imagine what dealing with chronic illness must be like, and I'm thankful that this is temporary.

- I'm grateful for the ability to keep some levity in our days despite the often overwhelming cranky vibe around here these days. We have had some truly light, fun moments as a family despite feeling icky that I'm grateful for.

-I'm grateful for the wealth of natural resources at my disposal that bring us comfort and healing. Growing up the daughter of a studied herbalist and otherwise naturally inclined mama has been and continues to be such a gift to me. 

-I'm grateful for the flexibility that our combined self-employment gives us, especially at times like these. The freedom to rest when the need arises, and work when we're feeling more up to it (if not really raring to go), is a huge gift which I never take for granted.

And now, on to the refrigerator, which today (weekend of course), seems to be malfunctioning.

- I'm grateful that the freezer is functioning perfectly despite the rising temperatures in the refrigerator. It's keeping our more perishable, more expensive items safe, and this also indicates it's probably a fan, and not something more major like the compressor....

- I'm grateful that it's winter nearly, and cold enough outside that popping most everything in coolers is a viable short term solution.

- I'm grateful that I caught it time to salvage tonight's chicken and that it didn't happen when I had a lot more meat around, like earlier in the week.

- I'm grateful that I caught the milk in time to turn it into yogurt, for surely it's too warm to keep at this point.

- I'm grateful that we have the resources to fix this problem, even in tight times.

- I'm grateful for the opportunity to thoroughly clean out said refrigerator (okay, really stretching here!), which, less face it, doesn't happen all that often. 

- I'm grateful to have learned enough to only let this issue derail me for about 15 minutes, when in the past something like this could have ruined a beautiful day. I'm back to enjoying these moment.

What are you grateful for today?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Soups for the Season, November 4, 2010

It is most assuredly soup season here in the east...currently about 44 degrees and raining, although next week promises some sunshine and a slight warming trend.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE chili! I have become quite passionate about legumes in general in recent years, and they end up in our meals often these days. This recipe comes from my dear friend Lynn, although I'm not sure of it's beginning origins. It's fairly simple and really delicious. I like it best served over brown rice and topped with Monterey jack cheese, but the blue chips are great too.

Crock pot adaptation:
I recently served this for a party and did it early in the day in my crock pot. Brown the turkey with the onion and garlic, then add in the peppers and cook a few minutes. Then just put this mixture plus all remaining ingredients into your crockpot on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Doubled, this recipe nicely fills a 5-6 qt crockpot and leaves enough for leftovers. I like to freeze some to have handy when we don't feel like cooking, or want chili dogs or chili nachos!

Rainbow Chili

1 lb. Ground turkey
1 med. To lg. yellow onion – finely chopped
3-5 cloves garlic – finely chopped

While browning together – chop the peppers then add in:
2 med. To lg. poblano peppers – chopped
1 orange bell pepper (if doubling recipe add a yellow bell pepper)

After a few minutes of cooking add all the canned stuff
1 can blk. Beans - drained and rinsed
1 can white Beans - drained and rinsed
1 32 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce

add spices to taste after sauce
fair amt. of dried basil
good amt. of chili powder
less amt. of dried sage
A tiny sprinkle of brown sugar

Serve with blue corn chips to complete the rainbow!