Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Archive for the ‘music’ Category

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What Does The Fox Say

For my first song on my first ever playlist on my new awesome phone it had to be Ylvis.

But to be honest it was a toss up between “The Fox” and “Someone Like Me“, equally weird and great.

Second song on gmom’s awesome playlist,  Hoo’s favorite, ” Blurred Lines” uncensored.  Hey hey hey….Hey hey hey…

Third song, “Hallelujah”,  Jeff Buckley version, natch.

Fourth, Alter Bridge, “Watch Over You“.

What’s on your playlist????

This is gmom and Hoo.

Livin’ the dream on the Potomac.  

peace out.

Animals, They’re All Animals!

My favorite is the beat-box rodent.

What’s yours?

This is gmom,

peace out.

The Artful Dodger’s Weekend: Hoo At Home

Hoo peering through the peep hole of the high chair.

Hoo’s Momma went away for a few days.

Gmom, Rose and Grandpa took over.

We are having a busy but awesome time.

We bought a Hoo- size motorcycle to amuse him so if he had a meltdown we had a good distraction handy.But the boy is doing fine, so we just gave it to him.

He did take one spill off of it which required a band- aid,several kisses and quick application of one dum-dum lollipop.

The toe scrape was from chasing Cujo with a handful of  sand from the sandbox.

For a special treat we let Hoo use a real screwdriver to meddle in the workings of a broken fan. It’s his current mechanical obsession. Anytime he started walking away with the screwdriver I say, Hoo get back to fixing that fan or give me the tool. He would give me his blue eyed grin and get straight back to work on the fan. I expect with all the banging it will be be working again in due time.

We have watched a fair bit of Baby Einstein videos both in English and Spanish.

The English versions are quite lovely with Pachelbel Canon in D Minor playing beautifully while a soft female voice recites barnyard animal names. The pictures show sweet images of baby cows, chicks and horses.

The Spanish version has the theme to Mama Mia playing with a child reciting animal names.

Rat, snake, iguana and turtle.

I don’t know what to make of that.

Hoo watching Baby Einstein vids

It’s been busy. But a lot of fun.

Hope your weekend was good.

This is gmom.

Wiping the sticky from the keyboard.

Peace out from Hooville.

Flower Children, Still Blooming.

Back in 1979 I first saw the musical “Hair” about a farm boy named Claude Bukowski on his way to New York City for his army induction, only to bump into a hippie “happening”.

He falls in love with the beautiful Sheila, befriends the pacifist George and his band of pranksters and takes a walk on the wild side. The story ends in a shocking twist of fate when George makes a last effort to rescue Claude from going to Vietnam.

The movie version has some distinct changes from the original play.

But whatever revisions it has undergone it is still a wonderful comment on the generation of love.

I am proud to say I was one of them.

I was of the time period.

I sang in Central Park and did Tai Chi when the spirit moved me.

I traveled overseas.

I sought out God to match my love.

I escaped convention.

I awoke to love the sun shining on a foreign city. I loved a bearded boy seeking wisdom of his own in ancient texts.

I grew children, lived poorly and romantically.

I bought food in open air markets  accepting handouts from strangers who saw my tattered clothes and my distended belly.

We gathered with friends and played music by candlelight.

I was happy.

“Hair” defined our generation. It was the way we lived.

30 years have passed me by and we are still living for love.

China, my daughter born in those days. The flower child now a mother herself of little Li.

“How has being a mother changed you? ” I ask her.

“I never needed a child. No burning urges for a child. But now that she is here, I would do anything for her. Every breath I take is for her, every thought is for her.”

…and she kisses the baby over and over.

“I knew you would say that.” (I say)

“Then why did you ask?” (says China)

“I wanted to hear you say it.” (I answer)

Because It all started in 1979, or thereabout.

In an apartment overlooking a foreign Old City.

With a band of pranksters who we ran with, and danced with every Saturday night.

We grew babies in love under the beaming sun and God’s love.

Me and my bearded boy, now 30 years together.

Today on the eve of my 50 birthday, I remember a generation of flower children like us.

See the grown children we raised wearing peace sign t-shirts and tie dyed skirts.

China sings innocently to Li, “Good morning star-shine, The earth says hello.

You sparkle above us. We sparkle below.”

…and they do,

oh but they do.

This is gmom,

Peace out.

Maybe there won’t be marriage, maybe there won’t be sex, but by God there will be dancing!

What a great line from “My best friend’s wedding.”

Has life got you down?

Are you waiting and hoping for better days?

You think you’ve got it hard?

Where is your soulmate?

Why is your family so freakin’ dysfunctional?

Are holidays more like “Fight Club” then a joyous gathering of friends and family?

Where are those children you have been dreaming about for years or worse still why does your ex have them half of the day?

That lump in your breast that needs checking, is it cancer?

That bill you can’t pay this month or next?

The relationship you realize was never going to work to begin with?

The woman you can never do enough for to please?

You are a writer, an artist, a person bursting with creativity,

will  the world never see???

Are you dropping on your knees these days and wondering… why am I here at all?

You are not alone.

There is an old parable friends, and I do mean friends, because when I write this blog I know those of you who are reading it are just regular people like me.

Just doing the best you can in your life.

Anyway..old parable…

God heard the world crying over their hard lives.

All their myriad of problems.

He said,”Okay folks, here is the deal, everyone pack up all your cares and woes into big Hefty garbage bags and take them to the big football stadium at the edge of the city.

Then put those bags in the field, just pile them up there.”

Everyone did as the Lord said and sat on the bleachers looking at the mountain of their problems in life.

“Okay,”said the Lord,”Now everyone can choose any bag they want to take home with them and leave your own problems for someone else to take.”

Well what do you suppose the people did?

Everyone ran down to field and grabbed their own bag to take back home!

You never know what the next person is dealing with in life and your own problems and cares in life are tailor made for you.

Pick up your bag and take one step at a time.

And if it feels to heavy,

let God help you carry it.

There’s a good lesson here.

Now me,

believe me there is plenty I don’t blog about,

problems like we all have,

I  keep in my own four walls.

 I’ll be damned if they get the best of me.

So things might be tough,

life not easy,

but turn the music on anyway,

and dance.

For your own self,

if for no other reason,

dance!

…and as my mother used to say…

“Let the world spin itself today.”

Baked Butternut Squash Recipe(Thanksgiving)

The tools to attack the butternut squash.

The big day is coming and cooking ahead makes life so much easier!

The Chef may or may not be frying the turkey ’cause it looks like rain here in B’more.

I may just slow roast it.

But I love nothing better than to sit with the kids and watch the Macy’s Day parade on TV, and then (I know this is so lame…) the International Dog Show.

I’m probably the only person without a competitor watching.

But me and Cujo we just loves it!

So I don’t want to be in kitchen the whole day.

I want my chocolate spoon in my good Ghiardelli hot cocoa and some french toast.

Maybe some caramel popcorn during the day.

But to get that free time and still have a meal for 15 people come late afternoon I have to cook today (and yesterday).

This side dish of baked butternut squash is another seasonal good one that goes nicely with the traditional foods of Thanksgiving.

Just be careful when you are cutting this hard squash up you don’t cut yourself.

You can soften it first by cooking it in the microwave for a few minutes first then proceeding with the recipe.

If you do that be sure to pierce the squash deeply so if pressure builds inside it doesn’t explode all over the place.

Directions:

Peel the butternut squash and cut it into cubes.

After the squash is peeled cut it into cubes. There will be seeds in a center pocket that you can discard.

Dice up 1/2 cup of an onion.

Put the butternut squash into a baking dish.

Toss with 1/2 cup of oil.

Put the onion over the squash pieces and sprinkle on salt, pepper and a teaspoon of sugar.

The squah and onions seasoned and ready to bake.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Into the oven you go covered snugly with aluminum foil

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Take foil off and continue baking until squash is fork tender, about 15 minutes.

If you are making this dish ahead of time don’t do the last 15 minutes of bake time.

When you reheat the dish on Thursday prior to the meal you will finish off the baking then.

That’s it another yum dish to serve on your Thanksgiving table.

The finished dish after baking uncovered the last 15 minutes will have browned edges and be so yummy.

Enjoy WP friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From gmom and Hoo and Cujo the dog.

Easy Pizza Recipe

This post goes out to Littlequeenjay who lives far far away and doesn’t get good results from her current pizza recipe.

Here ya go girl!
http://losingtheplotinnortherncyprus.wordpress.com/

Be sure to visit her blog she is awesome!!!!

This pizza recipe is so much tastier (and cheaper) then any take out pizza or frozen store bought.

It doesn’t require a lot of time and can be done in under 2 hours including dough rising.


Ingredients:

– 2 cups warm water

– 2 packet of yeast

– 2 tablespoons sugar

Put water, yeast and sugar into a mixing bowl.

When yeast begins to foam like this….

When yeast foams this is called proofing the yeast. You want to see this as it demonstrates that the yeast is active. If it doesn't foam after several minutes it may be old yeast or the water may have been hot and killed the yeast. Start over.

add in:

– 2 teaspoons salt

– 1 egg

– 1/2 stick of softened or melted margarine or butter

– 7 cups of flour

Mix all ingredients.

Knead briefly.

Cover dough with a tea towel and set aside to rise.

Dough has been kneaded and is ready to rise.Leave it for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare your favorite pizza sauce and toppings.

We used portabello mushrooms and garlic.

For sauce I used 1 can of tomato paste(16 oz) plus 1 can of water.

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

After 1/2 an hour or up to an hour or more take your dough and punch it down as it will have risen.

Punch dough down after it has been left to rise and knead for a couple of minutes. Then spread it out in your greased cookie sheet or pizza pan.

Knead it for a couple of minutes.

Spread it on a cookie sheet or pizza pan.

Spread sauce and toppings on pizza dough.

After the dough has been pressed into the pizza pan. Spread the sauce and add the toppings and cheese.

Sprinkle on cheese.

I used cheddar.

Bake at 375 F for 20-30 minutes checking frequently for desired doneness.

Pizza with Portabello mushroom and minced garlic with cheddar cheese ready for the oven

We like ours a little burnt on the edges and very crisp.

Rose home just in time to take the pizza out. There is just a good feeling in a home when you come in after a day of school and work and someone has thought enough of you to make something good to eat. Little gal dug right in!


This is a very simple and delicious pizza recipe.

If you are short on time and don’t want to make your own dough check out Trader Joe’s pizza dough for .99 cents in the refrigerater case. It comes in herb flavour and whole wheat beside plain white dough.
It’s not bad and in a pinch makes a good pizza.

One slice left for any midnight snacker. Don't worry I squirreled away a big piece for my boy Bart. You know where he is. Out collecting oil. Won't be home till the wee hours. There will be pizza a cold beer and warm bed waiting for the boy.

Enjoy WP kids eat pizza today turkey day is coming!!!!

Our turkey is already brining in the fridge.

It’s the only way to make a turkey!

Put a cup of salt, a cup of sugar and a generous handful of spices into a big pot with some water. Bring to a boil. Let cool completely. Put your defrosted turkey in and add enough water so turkey is submerged. Put in fridge. It can sit for 3-4 days until you cook it. You won’t taste a better turkey where every bit is eaten. Will post recipe later.

Turkey sits in the brine in the refrigerater for several days before cooking.

This is gmom ,Hoo and Cujo sending love out there to all you good folks.

Peace out.

Hoo and Cujo

Natural Childbirth: Hypnobirthing (Mom 2.0)

At the tail end of middle age,

here I am.

My eldest child, just now expecting her first child.

I am a grandmom twice.

This child having her own will complete a circle that I have waited for quite sometime.

My girl China, who made me into a mother.

Seeing her now take the place as mother to her own,

now that’s something special.

I will attend her at birth as I have with the other daugher and daughter-in-law,

and have done with hundreds of other babies over the past 18 years or so as a doula.

I have attended hypnobirths, Bradley births, c-sections, stillbirths and of course medicated births.

In hospital, at home and at birthing centers.

I have given birth 6 times myself plus one stillbaby born too soon.

All unmedicated births.

The last 3 using hypnotherapy.

I won’t claim to be an authority but I have a bit of experience under my belt,

so to speak.

China, invited me to her hypnobirth class.

I agreed.

A few couples sat in a semi darkened room with a candle lit.

The instructor sat cross-legged on a footstool with a pashmina across her shoulders like a prayer shawl,

and her hair hanging loose to her mid back,

a good look when you are 30.

Not so much at 55.

She proceeded to speak on birth without pain of any kind.

The contractions as “surges” and pushing as “so yesterday”.

Now as I mentioned I am all for Hypnobirthing.

I think it’s extremely helpful in attaining a natural childbirth if that’s the woman’s wish.

I held my tongue as she led the women through the “full dilation” (or pushing stage of labor) breathing.

“Ladies”, she quietly sang, “You gently breathe in, and breathe out,there is no drama of pushing ,or people coaching you to push your baby out, your baby comes out all on its own with no more effort than your gentle breath.”

Okay, I was done holding my tongue.

I can tolerate varying opinions and means to an end in getting babies born, but telling a group of first time expectant mothers that they won’t have to push their babies out, and that the experience will be pain-free is just plain horsepee.

It will be a sad day for these women when their babies descend low into their pelvis towards birth.

The time when the tendons stretch, and tissues, (it doesn’t matter if you massage in a gallon of evening primrose oil) stretch and often tear with the scope of the coming skull.

I’m not talking perineum here I mean the vaginal canal.

Never mind the “Ring of fire” (straight from a hypnobirth training manual to describe when the head emerges from mom’s body).

“Ring of Fire”

Hello!!!

It’s not called that for nothing!

Hypnobirthing can absolutely get a woman through labor and delivery with much “less pain” then just muscling through the contractions.

But pain-free it ain’t.

“Madam”, I said,”I have attended hundreds of births of all kinds and the disservice you are doing to this group of women appalls me.
Never in all my experience has even the most calm,the most ‘in control’ woman who has used hypnobirth didn’t say post-birth that it was the hardest thing she had ever done.”

I felt my daughter’s hand on my arm.

I was embarrassing her in front of her teacher and classmates.

“With all due respect”,I finished.

We left the class into the cold of the Silver Spring night.

I apologized to China who walked arm-in-arm with her husband.

“I couldn’t abide seeing you lied to,” I said,” Having a baby is going to be the greatest day of your life, a day you never forget, I won’t have someone build you up ridiculous expectations that may leave you feeling afterward like your body failed you.
That if you do end up choosing to take an epidural you will have failed at childbirth.
You are going to have 18 years to raise this child.
This is only one day in your life. Whether she comes natural, by epidural or section she is going to be the same baby. ”

“The truth is giving birth hurts.”

There I said it.

Yogurt Recipe!

When you feed a big family you cut corners where you can.

When you have a bunch that eats strictly organic it’s even more of a challenge to keep the food costs low.

Making your own yogurt is no more expensive than the milk it costs to make it.

It tastes great, can be mixed with honey or agave and fruit.

Hubby eats it everyday mixed with a drop of vanilla.

low-fat milk makes a firmer yogurt.

Higher fat milk makes a creamier yogurt.

The only kitchen tool you will need is a cooking thermometer.

Now eat like Hoo does and make yourself some healthy yogurt!

This is gmom and Hoo, and even Cujo coming to you from chilly B’more.

The leaves are fallin’ here.

It’s beautiful.

Be safe out there.

Heat up milk to 185 degree F. This is just to the point when milk starts to froth. You have to stir it constantly to make sure it doesn't scorch. Some people use a double boiler to avoid burning the milk but if you keep stirring you won't have a problem!

Heat milk to 185 F being careful not to burn it. Stir often and watch carefully.

Let milk cool down to 115 F before adding your starter yogurt.

Once the milk has cooled to 115 F stir in 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt containing active yogurt cultures.

Pour cooled milk now infused with active yogurt cultures into clean containers.

Hoo is helping to put the heating pad into the bottom of the cooler and covering that with a dishtowel. Hoo loves his organic homemade yogurt!

Put your covered yugurt into the cooler to set on top of a heating pad set on low. The yogurt must be kept warm at a temperature at about 110 F.

Once the yogurt containers are in the cooler turn the heating pad on low. It will take 7 hours for the yogurt to culture and set.

Leave the yogurt to set for at least 7 hours. It will be custard like. The longer you leave it beyond 7 hours the more tangy it becomes. You may notice a slightly greenish fluid on top. That's normal and safe. You can pour it off or stir it into your yogurt before eating.

In The Morning My House Looks Like The Bar Scene From Star Wars. (Recipe For Breakfast Bars)

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It’s 3 a.m.

I hear the front door open and close.

Work boots pass over head.

Then a chair scrapes the floor.

Bart‘s home.

He stocking foots it to the laundry room where he strips off his oily work clothes.

I hear the shower go on….off.

He heads to bed for a few brief hours of sleep,  with the tv on.

I slip back into a semi-sleep until Hoo wakes at 6.

I hear Hoo’s bottle hit the floor around 6:30.

The signal he is up and ready for company.

This morning the kitchen looks like the bar scene from “Star Wars”.

It’s a busy day in the biofuel business.

Everyone is on deck.

The center of the constellation is the bossman.

My husband.

The most interesting, constantly evolving  person I know.

He drinks a coffee and nurses a morning headache but always keeps an upbeat attitude.

He sits in the dining room and reads the Wall Street Journal.

Bart rolls out of bed bare-chested in pajama pants and heads for the coffee.

He’s eats a big breakfast.

Eggs and steak or 3 grill cheeses.

Jonesy  knocks at the door ever polite, our fix it man, only 22 like Bart.

All smiles,

happy to make it for breakfast.

He eats whatever I put in front of him.

Genady, the Russian worker is smoking outside.

He never comes in the house.

I’ve stopped trying to get him to come in and instead let Bart take food out to him.

I wave and say “Morning” to him but all he says with his big smile is,

“Nice day,nice day”.

10 years in America and still no speakee English, yeah right!

Edward Norton‘s diatribe from “25th Hour” passes through my head when I see Genady and I wonder if he’s done time and that’s why he won’t come inside.

The last of the motley crew is Aldy, young and shy, and always stinking of trap grease.

I question Bart,

“Are you pouring oil over his head? How is he getting so filthy?”

“Aldy go change your clothes and take a shower man!”

He does and comes back with his thick hair slicked back.

Much better.

We are cornering the market on Tide and Oxyclean.

So another day begins as they all pile out to the trucks.

Genady and Bart lingering over coffee and a cigarette by their truck.

Waving to Hoo who stands by the screen door waving and calling to them.

I pick him up.

Come on big boy.

Time to get dressed.

These breakfast bars although not healthy enough to replace a well-balanced breakfast are good enough in a pinch or for those who won’t eat breakfast.

They make a great mid-morning snack too.

As you adjust the recipe to suit your own tastes just be aware that the recipe does not do well with flax or flax-seed or with drier cereals like chex.

Have a great week WP kids.

Be safe out there.

If you see an oil truck on the B’more streets be kind to them.

They are my boys!

Breakfast Bars

————————-

2 cups brown sugar  

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup butter

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 and 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cup rolled oats

1 and 1/2 cup raisins

1 cup chocolate chips

6 cups Honey Nut Cheerios

1.Preheat oven to 375 F

2. In a large bowl mix the sugar, peanut butter, water, vanilla, and eggs.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt.

Mix into the batter.

Mix in oats, raisins, chocolate chips.

Bars unbaked by the 1/2 to 3/4 cupfuls on the bake sheet

Carefully stir in the cereal.

Drop 1/2 cupfuls of batter onto ungreased cookie sheet leaving space between bars.

3. Bake for 12-14 minutes until bars are browned at edges.

Let cool completely on cookie sheet before moving to storage bags.

Terrific Breakfast Bars with Coffee

This is gmom, Cujo and family,

Peace out.

 

Cujo not allowed in the kitchen with so many people underfoot

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