Learning a Word

My daughter was playing those good for nothing video games, then she ran to me and asked me: What is stamina? I don't know, I said. Can you please look in the dictionary, mom? Well, it may be good for me to learn that word today. I went online and found out what it means. She read the meaning, said "hmmm, now I know", and ran back to playing. I guess something good does come out of video games.


Daffodils coming up!!

Okay, its only January, some parts of the country are still under feet of snow, and nobody here is thinking about Spring. I just got over the Fall and was thinking that mind as well get used to the Winter, but it looks like the daffodils didn't get the memo. Here they are! coming up, telling me that Spring is just around the corner.


My garden in the middle of winter

I finally went outside to see what is going on in the garden. When it began to get cold I stopped going out, because of the pain I get in my joints. I only went out to decorate the house for Christmas, and when it was over, it took me like 2 weeks to take the decorations away, I know some people leave theirs for awhile, but we built a manger and the wind really messed it up, it looked very disrespectful, but because of my condition I had to wait until it warmed up a little. I saw that my yard was not tidy, but I was not to get all sore because dead branches of my plants all over. I know some people leave them to put some "winter interest" in their garden, and since people that drive by don't know the reason of brown stuff all over, it looks as if I was trying to put some "winter interest" on my garden.
Hopefully they have me as a very unique gardener. I wonder if I'm the only gardener that worries about what other people think about our gardens.

But I will pay for not picking up in the fall. Do you see all these seeds below? Some of them fell down, and when spring comes, I will be doing a lots of weeding. These seeds are from a plant called blanket flower, I like these plants, I planted them and took care of them, but if they come up where I don't want them, they become weeds.

This plant is called Goldilocks, but it becomes browneilocks in the winter.

And not everything is brown, I have a mixture of greens and browns. like these dead branches of mums in the back and foxgloves in the front.

Here is a patch of green, these are some of the tough plants for this zone, the shasta daisy on the right, and the foxglove on the left, they are some of the spring blooming plants. below is another plant that is green. It is called Achillea (Yarro) it blooms pink, I put it together with blue salvia, and looks really good, I wrote about this plant here.

I was surprised to see that my thyme made it trough the cold weather we had so far. The seed bag said it was perennial. but some where else, I read that it would not make it through the winter in this zone. So it made it, and I didn't even mulched it!

As the weather warms up this rose bush will begin blooming, and even though now it looks like a pile of sticks, it is the pride of the house, once it begins blooming it does not stop for anything. Friends ask me of what do I put on the soil? What kind of rose is that? How come it doesn't stop blooming? Well, its a Knock Out Rose, given to me, by one of my best friends, with lots of love. I put some fertilizer like 3 years ago. I think it is happy that it does not get too much sun. That is the way Knock Out Roses are, once they find their favorite place, they can't stop blooming.


Little Pinata

The little pig that Razor got for Christmas became a little pinata.Very careful she painted squares in one side.And in the other side she painted lines and squares.
Pinatas are a mexican thing, and most mexicans have bigotes (mustache), so she made sure this pinata had one long and curly mustache, just like the Emiliano Zapata's. I would love to be invited to a party were the pinata was full of money!


Happy Birthday Cutie

Two years ago on a very, very cold morning we heard some cats meowing. When we opened the door we found out that our cat Ricky brought his two little friends, or maybe they were his kids. What a responsible Tom Cat! It wasn't easy to catch the kittens. One of them, Mufasa, was really wild and he never got used to us. I really liked him. He had grey, soft, puffy fur and I tried everything I could to tame him, but one day he was gone. The weird thing is that Ricky was gone that same day, so we are left with Cutie. The kids said that his "birthday" is on January 2nd, the day he came to our house. We are some type of cheap owners, because I don't buy treats for my pets. Once in awhile I give Cutie a little bit of butter or a piece of cheese, and that is all the treats he gets. So on his "birthday" the kids asked me to buy the cat a treat and they had a "birthday party" for Cutie. And what do I think? Well, I think the cat wished he would eat something else, and I think that he is giving us a hint, he keeps looking at the cage, that is the hint! That's what the cat really, really wants for his birthday.


Sunny Day

We are having some warm weather. For the longest time it has been cloudy and really cold. I sent the kids outside to get some sun.And I even took a picture. Here they are taking the sun, getting the sun, looking at the sun, its just that they are getting really pale. Also I wanted them to get some vitamin D. The white stuff is not snow, the dog got so bored in the backyard that she tored up the cushion for our outside chair. I'll clean it one day, today I can only take pictures and run back to my warm hole. Here is the "shredder", this face means do you want to play with me?

I pulled the rope for a little bit, that's what she likes to play.Add Image

The cat was happy to see us outside too.Then they got on the fence.

But the reason I left my warm hole was to come and see this ice, I know some people in other parts of the country are tired of ice, but for these kids its like finding a treasure. And Mom has to take the pictures and write about it.A girl will need to have on some gloves.But no need to have gloves for a boy, he is tough.




Some Time ago we found out that we were not eating the right way. I think I have mentioned about our triglycerides problem. Since then we have changed our diet. One of the things we have gotten rid of, is the boxed cereal for breakfast. Now when I go grocery shopping instead of coming home with a box of cereal I come with a old fashioned oats container to make granola, the kids love it!

4 cups rolled oats, wheat, or barley (any combination, I use the oats above)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds sesame seeds (I use sunflower seeds)
1/2 cup honey, maple syrup, or a thick syrup made with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2-3 tablespoons water (I use the sugar and water)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla and/or other extract
3/4 cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts(optional, I used pecans)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together except for the dried fruit. Set the dried fruit aside.
2. In another bowl mix the sweetener, oil, and extract together.
3. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. The liquids will be absorbed and the granola will become darker and shinier.
4. Spread the granola in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for ten minutes. Use a spatula and turn the granola on the baking sheet. Place the granola back in the oven and bake for another ten minutes or until fairly dry and starting to brown. Remove the granola from the oven and stir in the fruit. Right after taking it out of the oven it will be a little moist, it will become crispier and crunchier as it cools. Also because of the oil, granola will not stay fresh long. It needs to be store in an airtight container and use within two weeks or freeze it for longer storage. Making granola for breakfast or snacks has now been part of my weekly chores. I make 2 batches per week.



We are enjoying the visit of our friend from Norfolk, well she lives in Norfolk, but she is originally from Samoa. She is Razors best friend.
She also has a hamster, its name is Gabriella. Gabriella is really cute, she got her name from the beautiful Gabriella from High School Musical.

They made plans for their little pets, they thought that they would be happy together, but this was not what happened, they are very aggressive towards each other. I'm not sure if this is the way hamsters behave at the beginning of meeting another hamster and then they become friends or if they will see it as enemies all the time.


Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread

I had some bananas about to go to the trash, but I found this recipe. I substituted some ingredients and everything came out good, the kids loved it.
Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( I used whole wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup quick cooking oats (I used Old fashioned oats)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the banana and vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat into creamed mixture. Stir in oats and nuts. Pour into prepared pan.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

This bread was delicious, and very easy to make the only trouble I had was cutting it, it crumbled a little when trying to cut through the pecans.


Get Going

The girl doing Phonics

Finally back to reality, December was fun, but too many temptations for me that I'm trying to eat healthy and not spend in things I don't really have to. I wish there was a way for me to just keep it simple, but that is to much to ask. I did, somehow, manage a little, to stay away from shopping crazy and eating too much sugar, this is my first year doing this.

Doing Math

I'm so ready to get going where I left some weeks ago, ready to cook only what is good for us, and go to the store and see stuff that is more appropriate for me to buy.
Doing Reading

I just called my family to say Happy Birthday to my Pa, (Dad), today he turned... let me see, if I'm 15 now and he was 35 when I was born ,that makes him almost 40 something or 50 something, yea, I'm very good in Math... as you can see.

Then Almond woke up

And talking about Math the kids are back doing school, it wasn't easy to put down the DSi, but after some of Mom's screams, they are trying to forget that for the last week or so they were doing almost nothing, but playing with their new toys, and doing Holiday's stuff.

Here Almond joins the Reading lesson.