Caraway Cabbage Soup

•October 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is the time of year I like soups, and when “cold season” is in, I start craving garlic, especially in broths.  This is a very easy soup, and was perfect medicine for me and the kids today, what with us having a little bit of a cold:  the garlic, onions, caraway and fennel all support the immune system.  Plus the caraway and fennel are good for boosting a flagging milk supply, sort of a result of poor immune health and too much snot.


In a large pot, pour a goodly layer of olive oil.  Turn on medium/low heat.

Mince 5 cloves of garlic,
Add garlic to pot.
Mince 6-7 green onions,
Add to pot.
Two celery stalks
Dice three potatoes
1/2 head of cabbage.

Add to pot.

sprinkle generously with sea salt.
Add a tablespoon of caraway seeds,
And a tablespoon of fennel seeds.

Cook on medium for about five minutes without water,
Turning with a spatula.

then add enough water to cover.

Put lid on pot and cook for about 20 minutes on a gentle simmer.

Serve with toasted pumpernickel or rye bread drizzled in garlic oil.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie (and oil crust)

•October 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This pie finishes with a tender, flaky crust and a very creamy, slightly spicy filling.  The baby even loved it.



1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup almond milk

Mix flour and salt with a fork. In a single cup, measure the oil and milk. Pour them together into the flour and salt. Blend with fork and then with hands, roll out and lay in pan.


2 c pumpkin (canned or strained/drained pumpkin)
1 c almond milk
3/4 c brown sugar or Sucanat
1/4 c cornstarch
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla1/2 tsp EACH ground ginger, nutmeg and salt

1/4 tsp ground allspice or cloves

Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the filling into the pastry and bake 60 minutes, covering the edges with foil if they begin to brown too quickly. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate overnight before serving.


•October 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

It appears that in November I will be making my first move since coming to the RV park here seven months ago.

I will be moving into the yard of my friends’ house, paying about the same amount as here at the end of the day.  Hopefully.  I can’t afford to pay more.

And then, in January, I’m planning to make a trip to visit some friends, and maybe to work, if I can pull it together with childcare for a few hours a couple nights a week for 4-8 weeks.

I have some goals

* Get enough property to have a fenced-in yard for my children
* and a garden, of course
* 80 gal. solar water heater and solar panels for electricity
* Like, a minivan or something to cart them all around in legally and safely

* I do already have my work-at-home stuff…

* $10,000 in savings LOL

* pay off some debts, a few hundred, but required to keep my driver license and my RV home legal, whoops

* put some money into maintenance on my RV



So that’s what I’ll be working on for the next 6 months to a year.   Of course the $10 k in savings is mostly unrealistic as I live on less than that a year.



Busy, busy.  No boring winter here, hopefully


•September 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I made them a road, made it of scrap denim and permanent marker.  I dug in my fabric scraps and found green flowered fabric for grass, rolled their bed out of the way up in their room and helped them set up their city.

Later on we added Lincoln Logs and wooden blocks, different vehicles and lots of animals and people and boxes for houses.

Zimm drives Elmo car

For Azzo, who has a devoted interest in learning the alphabet, I picked up one of those workbooks for children 2-4.  It is simple, each page devoted to a letter, uppercase and lowercase.  He did a page in the book and afterwards we talked about words that Begin with B, and he drew some B’s of his own on his drawing paper.

This is from the other day, when B was for Bunny.

B is for Bunny

He is really taking off with copying letters right now.  That, and drawing, and coloring are his favorite thing to do.

So proud!

Then he and Zimm played with pom poms and glitter glue and pipe cleaners and GOOGLY EYES we need more of them.

Azzo's Spider

Glitter pom google-eyed pipe cleaner extravaganza

Zimm's collage

Pom Pom and Pipe Cleaner Toy.

•September 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Recently I started using Pinterest.  A photo and website pinning “board”, it reminds me of the old bulletin board I used to have in my room as a kid.  So there are loads and loads of DIY and kid-friendly crafts and ideas, one of which linked to Fun and Engaging Activities for Toddlers’ blog.  I made up two little containers – a flat squat one for pom poms, and a taller one for pipe cleaners.  This morning they played with them, it lasted about 45 minutes!  My boys are 3 and 4 1/2.

How Does the Time Fly

•September 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

…Again, it has been awhile since I’ve updated.

My babies continue to blossom and grow into children.  Azzo is going to be five in no time.  He’s asked me for a pillow pet.  We’ve picked out the fabric (red mock corduroy) and a stuffie whose head and appendages will lovingly be dismembered and reconstructed onto  the body of a pillow.  Pictures to follow.

He’s also asked for a pinata, and fully expects a bouquet of balloons.   His theme will again be Azzo Red, for that is his favorite color.

He is writing his name, everywhere.  ASSO.  *wry smile*  He also writes Zimm’s name for him.  SMM.  Because SMM is 3, not 4.  Only ASSO has 4.

He draws, too.  Draws happy faces, smiles.  You are my sunshines.  Baby sister in outer space with a placenta and cord.

He’s such a big help to me, I try not to burden him too much or place too much responsibility on him.  But he knows, as the oldest, that he has a special place in my heart and in my cupboard – he has his own bag of toffees that he is treated to in confidence for being mama’s helper.  He cleans his room, he occupies his sister, picks up the things I’ve dropped, holds the door open, and he “be’s havin'” when I’m on the phone.

Zimm has astounded me with his sudden vocabular growth spurt.  He is three and talking up a storm.  He has a bifid uvula, which causes him to have a somewhat nasally little voice.  I find it so endearing.  His mispronunciations make my heart melt.   You say tomato, he says glamato.  He’s cut his own hair, he’s picked his own shoes (shiny red shoes).  He has a flair about him that I relish – sparkly, bright, loud, gaudy, starwars and dinosaurs.  He breaks open all the eggs in search of dinosaurs.  He reads out loud to himself, he dances.

Zuli is walking, talking, growing teeth, and using the potty.  She wears under-pants (pens) and wears diapers to bed (dappi).  She goes pehpehpeh in the pot.  And she goes pup-pup in the pot as well.  And waves baibai as it flushes.   She loves bob-bob (nursing) and bubbuder (brothers).  She eats plums, bananas, tomatoes, peaches, steamed carrots broccoli potatoes spaghetti but only a few bites here or there, she still gets the bulk of her nutrition from nursing.  Claps her hands, knows where my nose and her butt and bellybutton are.  We played find-the-bellybutton and she leaned forward, pulled on her own belly and giggled when she found her button – seemed like she outsmarted that big round tummy.

I love my babies.

Here’s something I’m often wont to discuss, though:

I get overwhelmed, more often than I wish.

Azzo asks “why” all the time.  It is a knee-jerk reaction to anything he observes or anything I ever say.  I admire that he “questions everything” but also feel so inadequate because way more often than not, I simply don’t have the answer, or the means (or patience) to find them as quickly as his attention span will allow.  I swore I would never answer “Why” with “…Because” so instead I try to answer more honestly: “I don’t know, child, I don’t know why.”

Zimm flings his body full of pent-up energy and selfexpression life and love all over the place.  “FWEEEE!!” he says.   “IMFINITY EMBEYON!” and, “PIG PILE!”  As someone who grew up with those phrases myself (homage due to Pixar’s Toy Story), I never ever could have imagined that the very phrases I uttered in play would actually be wrought back upon me with such frequency or gusto or lack of regard to life or limb.

Zuli, well, Zuli’s the baby and at this point, is not annoying.

Except when she is standing on my feet and I’m trying to make dinner.  Still too little to enlist help.  However, I can strap her to my back in a mei tai – that works well enough.


And a little of my petty trivialities:  I lost my only pair of shoes, boots that I’d scored at thrift for $6 or $7, I’d nearly walked the soles off them when my friend’s dog finished them off.  She let me borrow her shoes, seeing as how she’s broke like I am.  Then I was blessed by my friends and just upgraded to a pair of used Harley boots I found on eBay.  I’m anxiously awaiting their arrival.  You have no idea how exciting it is for me, to get shoes.  I’ve had three pairs of shoes in the last year.  One pair I’d had since 2009 which were a size too large and shamefully “traded” at a thrift store for a pair that were too small… Then I bought another pair, again a size too small.  And then my boots I just lost, they were great except that they were cheap boots not functional and I wore them out way too fast.   Now I’ll be getting real shoes, in my size, and this will be the first time in 4 years that I have bought shoes that will last, shoes that I picked for ME and not shoes that will do until I can find some another time.

My friend said I seemed so happy.  I was so happy I almost cried.  I am making her jewelry as thanks.

Then I also got two solar water heaters, part of a trade for a custom mei tai.  It works out perfectly in the summer.  I’ll go on about how perfect it is, 10 glorious gallons of hot water at the end of a scorching day in the desert.  It’s so perfect.  I wash each child before filling up the shower-floor with warm water.  On a really hot day, I’ll even have to add cold before they can get in.  Then they spray water at each other with squirty toys and dump cups of water on each others’ heads for about an hour, and yell for me to “make me a burrito!!” and that’s my cue to wrap them each in a towel and line them up, in order of size on the couch and watch them fall asleep.  At some point while they’re distracted I manage a shower *alone* and for all 4 minutes I feel in heaven.  The things we take for granted, living in a privileged world of hot running water.  You’d never think how blessed a few gallons of hot water could make you feel until that’s all you have.  Then you feel like royalty for having it.


All three of my kids had a stomach bug yesterday and now they are fine.  You know what sucks worse than three kids with a stomach bug?  Six loads of laundry after.


My wrists hurt from typing.  I’ll sum it up, that’s my life for the last few weeks.


I love my life, I’m incredibly grateful for what I have.  And I feel so guilty for all that I do have when others have so little.

Still here!

•September 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

So much neglect in my poor blog lately!  I’ve been busy this summer.

The garden was almost a complete failure, we’ve got a few little cherry tomatoes and a few squash, but most of the plants we started this spring ended up stuck in their wee little starter pots, went to seed, or dried out in the wilting heat.

My neighbors were kind enough to save some of my lettuces to transplant in the community garden.   We’ve had a pretty good supply of fresh squash and green beans and tomatoes from there.  And sadly, my energies were not really focused much on gardening this year.  Fortunately there is still time for a second planting,  maybe I will motivate better this time…

Sweet Baby Z just had her first birthday last week!  She’s been walking since 10 months, and fortunately hasn’t started climbing things higher than her chest just yet.  She has 7 teeth, walks, “jumps”, says lots of words, eats food when the mood strikes, but she’s still mostly breastfed, still my little baby.

Zimm is 3 1/2 years old, talking more and more, cutting his own hair and wearing his sparkly red shoes of his choosing.   He is looking more and more like a big boy and less like the baby I still remember so freshly.  He loves to do imaginative play, roleplay, and “dunters” (monsters) are one of his favorite games.

Azzo will be 5 YEARS OLD so soon!  He can write his name, loves to draw spiders and people and copies letters every chance he gets.  My walls, his walls, the shower walls, and the refrigerator and table tops and most of my cabinet faces are covered with drawings.

I’ve been busy with life, children, running errands, going to parks, the woods, hiking, walking, riding, and (shamefully little) gardening…

Nothing really interesting to report, thank goodness in some ways.  It’s generally a struggle financially and most of the time, but I am blessed to be in good health, with children full of life and energy and love.


I’d really like to post more for you, reader.


Thanks for stopping by, I’ve missed you.


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