31 October 2006

the soundtrack of my life--part 2

thanks for all the great recommendations in part 1. it's great to get new ideas of peeps i might like to hear.

i listened to music a lot in high school, college and in my early twenties. now not so much. except in the car. i sort of feel like i should miss it. like it means i've grown up too much that i don't always have music playing. maybe i'm just busier now.

the nice thing about my CD collection is when i put one in the player of my
car without really thinking about it. and it happens to be one of THOSE ones. one that feels like the soundtrack to a certain part of my life. do you have those, too?

i can put on joni mitchell's "for the roses" and be instantly transported back to when my hubby and i first met. we courted over late-night talks, tea, cookies and joni. she was always there. when i hear the opening track i'm right back there in hubby's little college apartment. i can remember what the quilt on his bed looked like. and what it felt like to wake up next to him hearing the church bells outside. and even the decorations on his walls.

when i put on "rites of passage" by the indigo girls i'm driving away from my one week at SUNY new paltz headed back to martha's vineyard where i'd left my boyfriend (not hubby). it was so the wrong school for me. i can smell the vineyard air. i can see boyfriend in his green striped sweater. i can feel EXACTLY what it felt like to be me at that time in my life. it's better than a photograph. it brings back all the senses.

i've been a wallower. i've been the kind of person who didn't want to move on and who was always looking back. i've made big strides at living in the present. these albums are 2 instances where i get to go back and it's okay. it's like turning journal pages only better because you can sing to it.

what are your soundtracks?

30 October 2006

Monday Munch!

well, i've been the absentee blogger, haven't i? man, it's been a rough couple of weeks around here. my husband may be losing his job and it's meant a whole slew of "talks."

i'm wiped.

but not too wiped to bring you a new toddler approved recipe!

it's nice to do a "real" mac and cheese instead of a box and this is really easy.

1 7 oz. package of macaroni

Salt and pepper
3 Cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 Cups milk
1/2 Cup buttered fresh bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Cook macaroni until done. Rinse in cold water and drain well.

3. Layer in casserole dish 1/3 macaroni, sprinkling lightly with salt and pepper and 1/3 of the chesse. Dot generously with butter. Repeat twice more. Cover with bread crumbs.

4. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.


at the request of the lovely beth, i have put a link in the side bar to a .pdf file with all the recipe cards for the printing. just print off whichever ones you want and i'll add to it as the mondays come and go.

23 October 2006

the soundtrack of my life--part one.

i've been thinking about music a lot lately. and feeling old. the trouble is that when i turn on the radio there's nothing that sounds remotely listenable to me. it's all crap. and i wonder to myself, "where are the GOOD radio stations?"

i've never been a top 40 kind of person (sorry casey kasum). i always listened to the more alternative stuff. the only exception would be my major Duran Duran infatuation an
d man, it was serious (and i still do dig them). but even back then in addition to duran duran my friends and i listened to the way less mainstream stuff--The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Sex Pistols, Nik Kershaw, B-52's (pre-Love Shack), The Alarm. as my tastes matured, i still found that the music i liked came from alternative radio. thank you, thank you WBRU in Providence for bringing me Tori Amos and the band i've most directly identified with, The Innocence Mission. hearing Tori and IM were the only 2 times i went directly to a music store after the DJ announced the name of the artist and bought the CD--or tape back then.

but now, where's a 30 something who likes music that's not the typical radio dribble to find stuff she likes? is it possible or am i doomed to repeat my parents' words, "music these days! i just don't get it." will i be spending the rest of my life scanning the dial for music from "the old days?" hoping and praying for an 80s flashback so i might have a chance of tolerating something they play? and dude, i take major issue with the 80s
being called "retro." i find it insulting! that's the music of my life! it's not retro! and if it is, then, well, i guess I'M retro, too.

if you're like me and have trouble finding good tunes and you're not into the popular music of today so much, then please, tell me what you listen to. give me something new.

of course, as i've grown my tastes have matured. while i still find i like more "alternative" artists, that term has changed for me. it no longer means angry, black and counter-culture. it means peeps who haven't found top 40 success but who write GREAT songs. i'm into singer/songwriters and mostly female.

here's who i'm listening to. maybe we can help each other. in no particular order.

1. Glen Phillips. he's one of my faves. former lead singer for Toad The Wet Sprocket. his solo stuff is divine. my favorite is "Winter Pays For Summer." it's sorta rock-like, but not real "hard." it's got great lyrics. it's uplifting, but also got real emotion. i heart glen. in a big way.

2. The Innocence Mission. been my favorite band since the day i first heard them. they have a way of making the ordinary events of life totally poetic and beautiful. Karen's voice can be a challenge for some, but i love it. her lyrics just kill me. i'd give anything to write the way she does. my favorite is the newest--"Befriended."

3. Jennifer Kimball. she used to be one half of The Story with Jonatha Brooke. i loved, loved the story. their album "The Angel in the House" is one of my all time favorites. i can listen to it anytime, anywhere. with a fox. in a box. i also love JB, but Kimball is where it's at for me. she only has 2 albums. my favorite is "Veering from the Wave." it's got beautiful singing, interesting intstruments, great harmonies and a lotta heart.

give me 3 you adore and why.

i'm beggin' ya.

16 October 2006

trying to keep it together.

i've found that being parents is not easy on a marriage. hubby and i knew each other for 9 years before we got married. we had our son 4 years after our wedding. we've been together a long time. we've been thru a LOT. breaking up and getting back together, moving across the country twice, living near to poverty, figuring out how to be adults, 2+ years of trying to get pregnant.

we always felt we could survive anything. our friends would say that they envied our relationship and that they hoped to find one even somewhat like it someday.

and then we had a baby. and everything has been tested. our patience, our love, our communication skills. it's been hard. i won't lie. a lot harder than i thought.

my husband is the kind who believes that after a bazillion years together you should still be able to have butterflies in your tummy and romance like you did when first falling in love. is it really possible to maintain that? cause, dude, at as soon as that kid goes to sleep at night i'm done. i just don't have much more in me. frankly, a lot of the time, i just want to be left alone. finally some peace and quiet.

i'm a solitary person by nature, so having a child was a big adjustment. i went from having lots of alone time to none. it used to be a huge part of who i was and how i functioned. my husband would go out on the weekends with friends and i would opt to stay home many nights with a big bowl of popcorn, my cat and a movie.

so, i can't help but feel sometimes that when hubby wants attention that. . . man, i just can't have another person needing another thing from me. i'm nanny to a two year old for 3 hours everyday and of course, have my own two year old.

hubby feels like--why can't i see him wanting time with me as me getting something as opposed to giving more?

how do you do it? do you and your spouse/significant other have any secrets to share in keeping the marriage solid and healthy? do ever get time alone?

i'd love to hear.

10 October 2006

munch a day late

today's recipe is a big favorite around here. i know. i always say that. but it's true! i'm trying to start with all the foods that have been a hit with at least one toddler. then i'll have to get into experimenting. but for now i give you:

BANANA OATMEAL cookies! as i have said before, i'm definitely a health food mom in that bb eats hardly any refined sugar. he eats organic when we can afford it. i bake with whole grains most of the time and he drinks soy milk rather than cow. so, i love this recipe because there's no wheat, no dairy, and no sugar AND he loves them! what more could i ask for?

it's funny when he asks/begs for a cookie and i have to be all, "well, only if you finish your lunch." when really he could eat them FOR lunch and that'd be fine with me.

so here goes:


2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup of almonds or almond meal (if you have a Trader Joe's nearby you can get almond meal there. i go once every few months and stock up because the nearest one to me is an hour away.)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3, very ripe)
1/4 cup canola or safflower oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup raisins (you can also use chocolate chips or carob chips)

1. preheat oven to 350. lightly oil a baking sheet (or use parchment).

2. grind oats and almonds to coarse powder in food processor or blender. pour them into large mixing bowl. stir in baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3. in food processor beat together oil, bananas and vanilla (also add half of the raisins if you want).

4. add banana mixture and remaining whole raisins to oat mixture. mix well.

5. drop cookie dough by tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. bake for 13-16 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.


credit where it's due: the recipe comes from Simply Natural Baby Food by Cathe Olson

05 October 2006

ever done this?

i love fall. the air is crisp. the sun is out, but it's not too hot. the leaves have begun to change. it's a beautiful fall day in new england and i'm feelin' a little sassy. got a spring in my step.

my usual routine has me showering after bb's nap. after his nap he likes to "rest" in his crib. he looks at books, listens to music or stories. his current favorite CD is Victor Vito by Laurie Berkner and lord help me if she were here i may have to have words with her. don't get me wrong, her music is fun and kids love it. she sings about nothing, which they seem to like. but, man. her songs get so lodged in my head that one of these days i'm gonna crack and it's going to be ugly. she keeps me up at night! and i have fantasies of doing the same to her.

but i digress.

so he's resting, i'm showering and i decide after i get dressed to primp a little. that's right, i actually BLOW DRY my hair. put on a little eye shadow. grab my new super soft gray hoodie from the Gap along with my "nice" jeans. they fit well, are a nice deep blue, straight leg (Clinton and Stacy would totally approve--and while i'm ranting--why, o why won't they put that show on DVD for the cable TV-less folk like me?) and comfy. i put on my new black sneakers. no, it's not high fashion, but it's more put-together than this stay-at-home mom usually manages. and i'm clean! no stains on anything. . .yet.

i'm feeling sassy and good. and then i realize that we have no plans today, nothing to do. i must have something i need to do out in the world. yeah, i need hair dye. so, we go to the drug store. good thing i put the eye shadow on and fixed the hair all nice.
thelma the old check-out lady at the store really appreciated it, i'm sure.

i go home feeling defeated. what's the point of feeling / looking all sassy and cute? my life is at home with a 2 year old who couldn't care less what i look like. it should be enough to do it for me so i feel good, right? maybe. but then i just risk toddler hands coming over and putting banana or something gross on my new hoodie.

what's a mom to do?