Chickadee: I can do it! I'm strong! I'm strong like a bunny!

Go get 'em sweetheart.

:: read the rest of quotable


Irish Stew

I know I have posted this before, but just in case you missed it, I must post it again. It is thrifty and easy and a perfect recipe for a beginning cook. Chop. Heat. Eat.

Irish Stew

In a heavy deep pot, sauté together:
1/4 C vegetable oil
1-2 lbs stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces

When beef is browned on all sides, add:

6 good-sized cloves of garlic, minced

When garlic is golden and aromatic, add:
8 C liquid: beef broth or water
2 T tomato paste
1 T dried thyme
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T sugar
2 bay leaves

Simmer together for one hour.

In another pot, combine & sauté until golden:
2 T butter
6-8 C of ½ inch pieces of potatoes
1-2 chopped onions
2-3 C ½ inch pieces of carrots

Add veggies to meat. Simmer together for about 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve topped with a dab of sour cream and chopped fresh parsley.

This recipe is even yummier the second day and is ideal for crockpot reheating.

:: read the rest of Irish Stew


Christmas cuteness

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  • Jamie and Chickadee are building a kit doll-house, though I get to take a turn next weekend, I'm told.
  • Chickadee made dinner for us tonight ala Mollie Katzen (the whole thing with ZIPPO mom help, though I did sit in the kitchen for 3.5 hours and supervise).
  • I slogged through the towering pile of medical bills and E.O.B.s and am finally done with 2009, fiscally speaking.
  • Dandy has lost his bedroom (again).
  • My online class open on Thursday and it is all loaded up. As in, every assignment, task, discussion board, quiz, and essay assignment for the entire quarter is in place this very minute. I just have to answer questions and grade from here on in. This is -- in the life of an on-line educator -- indescribably delicious.
  • We are buying daffodils and looking at seed catalogs and fostering a strong denial of how much winter we still have to endure. Can't we just fast-forward to April?

:: read the rest of quickie


hope for America

DIY Chicken Coop!

me! me! me!

Here I chatter about books, parenting, election 2008, recipes, teaching college writing, and the adventures of getting settled in with our two freshly (Fall 06) adopted school-age children from Russia. This blog is chapter two; chapter one is posted at Jamie & Suzanne go to Russia. I live in the City of Subdued Excitement, Cascadia, Land of the Free.

I am the wife of a man I call My Gift from a Generous God. I am mama to two lovely children, Dandy and Chickadee that became ours in September 2006 in a court-room in Siberia. I am the daughter of two people whom I love and admire. One of them, my dad, is a new (Dec 06) paraplegic.

In my previous life (B.C. - before children), I was a college English teacher, specializing in composition and ESL composition.

:: click here to read my 8 things meme



older child adoption


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This blog started life as hackosphere's neo and has been heavily tweaked and widgetized by Suzanne :: I got all the coding for the peek-a-boo posts over at hackosphere :: All my pretty little icons came from famfamfam :: The coding for the rotating banners came from Vince Liu :: The very cool tabbed sidebar widgets are thanks to the very cool hoctro :: The fun "Feeling Lucky?" toy -- which is currently disabled -- came from phydeaux3 (fido 3?) :: The pretty label cloud also came from phydeaux3 :: The elegant and easy to install related posts widget came from Jackbook :: I got all the social bookmarking icons nicely packaged for me at the aptly named Social Bookmarking Script Generator :: The 3 column footer came from Technodia :: The pretty sliding photo galleries are from CSSplay :: The recent comments widget is from Hackosphere::