Saturday, December 31, 2011

Vacation and Chillin with the kids

We've been on vacation this week.  Chillaxin as my daughter would call it. Christmas day we opened presents, had a nice breakfast, hung out and had a great dinner.  We checked via phone with a few and had a quiet day. Aaaah!

The next day we headed up to Vermont for a few days - a change of scenery.  We had dinner with hubby's brother and his family.  Stopped at the Vermont Country Store. The next day we checked out the Church Street market place and took a drive through the islands on Lake Champlain.  Heading home we took a tour of the Vermont Teddy Bear factory.  And the hay bale sculptures on the drive up were so cool I had to take pictures.

Since then it's been oil changes, chiropractor appointments, cleaning and grocery shopping.  The Christmas decorations are all put away.  We decided to leave the furniture we moved out of the living room out.  It looks so much more open.  I've been cooking in my new apron and splurged on a few items at the kitchen store with my Christmas money.  Hubby made a dump run and a box of items for the tag sale room went with him.  I'm really trying to bring something in only if something else is going out.  Hubby cleaned his man cave and now I really need to work on my office/pantry/craft room.  Although I look around and it's really not as bad as I claim it is.  It's been fun to just putter around the house.  We've been reading, napping and playing games.  I have a few needlepoint projects I want to start. 

Tonight we celebrate the New Year with the kids.  It's been our tradition to not eat supper but have an appetizer party.  Everyone plans the menu and I cook.  I'm happy and so are they.  It also helps me stay awake that long.  We have friends coming over with their kids as well.  I see a night of food, wii and laughs.
steamed clams and mussels
shrimp cocktail
peperoni bread
anti pasta bread
veggie platter and dip
mini veggie quiches
meatballs with chipotle sauce
buffalo wing dip & chips
buffalo wing won tons
pig in a blanket

Tomorrow we head to my brothers to celebrate the holidays.  I can't wait to see my niece and nephew.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Yule Dinner

Last night a friend hosted a potluck Yule dinner.  She made a ham.  One girl made a pork tenderloin.  One made mashed potatoes and I made a potato and leek gratin and green beans with cranberries.  The food was yummy.  The company was great.
Our host made each of us a wine glass with our name, crystals and our favorite color painted on the bottom. I had picked yellow - how fitting for the return of the sun.

Her husband bought us each a wine pourer in the shape of a stag.  The picture doesn't really do it justice.

After dinner we played quelth.  It's a board game where you must do silly things according to the cards as you go around.  Sort of an adult candy land.  It was a lot of laughs.

May you dive deep into your own darkness and emerge as the sun shines brighter each day - refreshed, renewed and blessed.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Part way through my menus

Dinner with MIL and FIL was nice.  Dinner went well and we played dominoes with the kids afterwards and just visited.

Yesterday I made soup from the ham bone in the crock pot for dinner.  Mini quiches were baked and brought to temple.  The questions what are you birthing? and what is dying? were held.

Today a friend comes for lunch.  It has been far too long since our last visit.  I need to get a few in before her spring semester starts and we are absent until summer.  I'm thinking wild mushroom risotto.  And hopefully the last of my cookies baked this morning.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I sat down with the family and pen in hand to determine menus for the up and coming holidays.  Or in our house feast days.  Everyone wanted to stay home chilax as my daughter would say and eat my homemade goodness.

Saturday my mother and father-in-love are coming for dinner.
Crab cakes
Scalloped potatoes
Brussels sprouts
pumpkin cheesecake

Sunday Women's Council gathers at Temple and each of us bring a dish to share.  I'm making mini vegetable quiches.

For the Yule dinner I'm attending I'm contributing green beans with cranberries and a leek and potato gratin.

For the Litchfield County Fire Chiefs meeting (and my boys at TFD) I'm supplying a tray of assorted cookies and fudge.
Chocolate Fudge
Peanut butter Fudge
Peanut butter and white chocolate cookies (for Phil)
Snowball Cookies (for the double meaning)
Spritz (my favorite)
Cowboy Cookies (for hubby)
Double Chocolate Pecan (gluten free)
Treasure Chest Bars ( a throwback to childhood)

Christmas Eve Breakfast with my parents
Sausage gravy and cheddar biscuits (son's favorite)
Ham & Broccoli strata

Christmas Eve open house at my girlfriends - scalloped sweet potatoes

Christmas Morning
Pancakes (for youngest)
Baked French Toast (for son)

Christmas Dinner
Bacon wrapped fillet mignon
roasted potatoes
corn (son)
broccoli (youngest)
creamed spinach (me)
Maple Pecan Pie (hubby)
Apple Cobbler

New Year's Eve appetizer dinner - the kids hang and I just keep serving food throughout the evening,  Come join us if you are out and about.

buffalo wing dip
buffalo wing won tons
pigs n blanket
shrimp cocktail
steamed mussels and clams
pepperoni bread
veggie platter with spinach dip

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sometimes I do bite my tongue

Those who know me know how hard it is for me to keep my mouth shut when I disagree.  I belong to a group at work that discusses balance - diet, exercise, etc.  We have one member who listens to half of what is said and jumps in to turn the conversation back on himself.  Luckily this group meets twice.  Once in our building and once in another office building.  My solution to this annoyance is to attend the meeting in the other building.  I really enjoy these meetings.  Each group has a different dynamic.  I miss the rest of the people from the group in our building.  I tried once again to attend.  HE was late coming.  We were having a great discussion.  We were laughing so hard we were in tears.  Then HE came.  We went totally off topic, the laughter stopped and the judgemental comments began.

We were discussing someone who advocated a raw foods diet.  This person appears to be in awesome physical shape and we were discussing what we knew (not much - we must do some research). And HE says, he must be gay.  The looks on the group said it all.  HE missed that.  I did say something.

Then we mentioned the company Christmas party. HE was the only one to attend.  I mentioned that my husband and I were going for a quiet dinner alone instead.  It will cost you more money HE replies.  A night alone with my husband is worth it.  Well, I'd rather celebrate surrounded by friends.  HE says this in the most condescending tone.  (I'm thinking what friends - oh you mean your poor co-workers). 

Then in the middle of discussing food origins he brings up buying a foreign car.  And goes on and on even after one person asked how this became part of the conversation.   Then he goes on and on about how Christmas Eve service is the greatest thing for his kids and how they love it.  I'm glad they go to church and it fulfills them.  I do not deny anyone their beliefs.  What I object to is how he tones things, words things and implies that if you are not doing the exact same thing as him you are evil incarnate.

This is the same person who assumes because I'm an herbalist I smoke pot on a regular basis.   He assumes a lot of things about me and voices them at inappropriate times (during meetings) not that any time you accuse someone of something is appropriate.   And if I didn't work with him I'd give him a real peace of my mind.  I'm just not sure how to do it in a professional setting.  So, I will no longer be a part of this group.  I will continue to head to the other building to meet.

And I know it is not all me - at the end of the meeting one woman leaned over and asked me what day the other group meets. So here is what I would say in part (at probably to high of a volume).

Dear Mr Know-it-all:
You do not know it all.  In fact I think you know very little especially about me.  If during a conversation you would not only stop talking for a minute but actually listen to people you might learn something.  Our group meetings are not a free counseling session for you.  The meetings are about balance in all of our lives, they are not about you.  You don't need to explain your religion to me or shove it down my throat.  I spent years in the church and have a masters degree from seminary.  I understand.  And it is people like you that give organized religion a bad name. You are the last person I would discuss my religious beliefs with. I don't care if you have a problem with me doing what is best for me and my immediate family rather than bowing to what society would have me do.  Because I'm gathering in numerous small intimate groups for the holidays rather than one chaotic one does not mean I don't care about my family and friends.  In fact it might mean I care more because I want to spend more time with the individuals rather than getting lost in a crowd.  You are a huge reason we can not grow the balance group.  I have had several people express an interest but say they just can't do it as long as you are a part of the group.  I really understand why.

Friday, December 2, 2011

This Year's Holiday Letter

We hope this letter finds you well. This has been an amazing year and we are grateful for all that we are blessed with.

Oldest Son continues to live in Arizona. He has moved from his grandmother’s house and is now living with his girlfriend Delen and their son Hunter who was born in April. Their address is …..Oldest Son is playing Mr. Dad while Delen works.

Oldest took the train to her mother’s on her eighteenth birthday. Three days later she arrived in Kingman. She completed her senior year there and Hubby surprised her and flew out for her graduation. He was able to spend a day with her, Oldest Son and his family showing them the sites before flying home. She has enrolled in on line classes in forensics. Her address is…….

Son is a junior this year. He continues on the fire department and joins his Dad on the rope rescue team. He started ROTC this year and has his head set on the Marines. He has taken up running and I’m hoping to see him run a couple of races next year. He has completed all of his driver’s training and is just waiting for a test date to get his license. This will be great for all. He will have a little more freedom and we will no longer need to drive him to and from work.

Youngest continues to blossom. She became a teenager this year and is really coming into her own. She finished with Girl Scouts in the spring. She is waiting not so patiently for her birthday to arrive so she can join the fire department. School is going really well for her. She loves cars especially old muscle cars and plans to design and fix cars when she’s older.

Hubby is the deputy (assistant) chief at the fire house again this year. He continues to train having just completed instructor one. Now he can take the officer classes that he wants. He really enjoys his time there and on the rope rescue team. This April he will be going to the FDIC conference.

I’m serving my second year as clerk of the Barkhamsted Fire District. I continue to work 3 days a week at Bozzuto’s Inc. I spend a lot of time reading, cooking and making soap and potions. My soap is now for sale in a local shop and I am so excited. I’m even more excited about the class I signed up for next year. I will be at Sage Mountain retreat center studying advanced herbalism. The class is one full week end a month for six months.

We traveled a lot this year and that was great fun. Spring break brought us to Vermont and several day trips. This summer we spent a week in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. We did a lot of hiking and sight seeing and had a great time. In August I took Youngest to the New England Herbal Conference in New Hampshire. It was awesome as usual. Hubby and Son enjoyed a man’s week end while we were away.

May it be well with your soul,

Blessed be!

Love, Kim, Hubby, Son & Youngest