May 27, 2010

mystery plant

Dex, Livvy and I have been spending lots of time outside this week, planting and weeding and enjoying some sunshine and birdsongs. (Note: Not enjoying the neighbor's yappy dogs who like to dig holes and escape into our yard, but that's another story...)

Yesterday, I remembered a little forgotten, makeshift garden tucked behind a bush on the north side of our house, and went to check it out. We've never grown anything in there, and I'm curious about what previous owners have grown as it's in the least sunniest spot--not very ideal for gardening.

I didn't find much, except this plant. It looks somewhat healthy and interesting--no flowers at this point, just leaves. It's some sort of vine--I picked up a few leaves and they had attached themselves to some of the rocks. I'm thinking about training it up a trellis, but I'd like to know what it is first--I don't want to display/propagate a weed! Any ideas?

Dex wants to know, too...

May 26, 2010

dollar days

My neices Courtney and Lauren are coming to visit mid-June! I am so excited, and have been putting together a little package for them for when they arrive...

Gotta love the dollar bin at Michaels--it's my favorite place to find cute stamps these days. Lookie! A whole stamp set for $5!

It's been almost a whole year since we've seen the girls, and a lot can happen in a year; it's so hard to stay close when you live in different states, but I know that's no excuse. Becoming a Mom has sensitized the Aunt in me, and I look forward to giving them even huger hugs than usual and spending quality time with them. Hopefully at ages 12 and 14, your aunt is still hip & cool to you... right?

May 13, 2010

the right bite

R has loved oatmeal raisin cookies for as long as I've known him, and I have yet to bake the perfect version. I just seem to mess it up every single time--they're usually these flat, oily discs of a cookie, and who wants to eat that?

I'm getting closer, however. I finally realized that I overmix the dough with my mixer, and I also don't follow high altitude directions. Mixing with a wooden spoon and adding more flour yielded this tasty batch. {Most of you are probably saying "duh."}

But I'm new to this cooking stuff, so bear with me. I don't know how many batches I've tried, but it's been many, and I'm a little embarrassed I didn't tweak my technique sooner. Maybe I didn't care? "At least I baked SOMEthing," was probably my thought as I bit into poor-excuse-for-a-cookie-that-I'd-eat-but-hubby-wouldn't-touch.

Suddenly I'm home with a baby with time to try new things and a desire to please my husband. It feels good to break my old mold and actually care why I'm not getting the results I'd like with something as simple as a cookie. You bet I care, because I'm mom now! And aren't moms supposed to know these things...? I don't want my baby's friends to come over years from now and refuse a cookie. So baking R's favorite is a great place to start. Yesterday was a great time to bake, too: cloudy, rainy, drizzly, crummy... The kind of day I love because we don't get enough of them here, as my grass can attest!

Anyway, I halved the recipe and increased the flour to 1 cup, and when they were done I brought one up to Raul in the study for approval. He tasted thoughtfully and nodded, which I knew was a good sign; the batch years ago with way too much salt had a much different face to it... :)

Olivia and I also ventured out yesterday to meet a couple of friends for lunch, and Liv sported the flapjack hat I knit last November for the first time:

Isn't that such a Charlie Brown face? She wasn't such a fan, but warmed up to it once nicely bundled in her carrier. Sigh. I so love this girl.

May 11, 2010