Jan 042015

mailbox mail

It is that time of year again.  Garden catalogs are beginning to show up in the mail box.  Soon it will be time to get my seeds out to start for this upcoming year’s garden.

I have added a new Garden Catalogs page listing over 30 different gardening catalogs you can request. Some are specialty catalogs (ex: heirloom) or focused on a particular part of the country.  Some are catalogs you can request through the mail, while others are online only.

If your favorite catalog is not on the list, let me know and I will look into adding it.

Happy Shopping!

Jan 282015


There was one day a few weeks ago, where every thing went perfect during the day, kid wise.  So perfect in fact that I almost literally pinched myself to make sure I was not dreaming.  Then realized if I was, I would not want to wake up just yet.

We made it through the whole day with NO arguing, NO frustration, NO whining, NO having to give myself a break due to my patience being tested, NO breaks given to little boys who think they are the parent, NO breaks given to little boys who think their needs supersede those of everyone else on this planet, NO slamming of doors or throwing of toys, NO having to take little boys from the house not fully dressed because time really does not stop just because you don’t feel like doing your morning routine and want to do (insert non-productive action) instead.

Everything was finished with smiles and laughter and excitement.  Even the act of getting dressed did not cause attitudes of defiance to appear.  It was early afternoon when I turned to said little boy and told him how much I had enjoyed spending the day with him, how he had made my day so much easier and what a delight it was.  It was at this point that I realized this must be what it is like to have non-traumatized kids.

Then the day turned to evening and we added in another boy who was having trouble staying regulated in his emotions and things went back to normal.

That might sound a bit depressing, and it was at first.  However, about 10 seconds later I realized that if we had one day where this happened, then it is possible to have it happen again.

This is what we are working towards.  If you happen to think of us,we would appreciate your prayers for this area of our lives.

Jan 262015

The past is never as clear or uncomplicated as it may appear.  We may think we know the whole story, but there are always new details and nuances to consider or uncover.  Do we ever know the full story?  Is it even possible?

When Miranda Richmond began to look into the reason for her grandparents divorce 50 years earlier, and why they had not talked to each other in all that time, she was sure there was an event, a clear reason for the breakup and resulting silence between them. A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France follows her on the journey to find the answer.

Thinking it was simple act of asking the right questions, she began with her grandmother, but found only vague answers. She new better than to even mention her grandmother to her grandfather, in fear of him blacklisting her too. Instead, she stuck to asking him about his past and what he remembered.  Still getting no where, she decides to retrace the steps her grandparents took, thinking she would stumble across the answers she sought.

Moving to France, she gains more insight into the time period her Jewish grandparents grew up in and the time when they met.  She even gathered information about the war (WWII), the deportations, even finding information about the various places her grandmother and grandfather lived, and work they did .  With all the information at her fingertips, she could barely figure out how it was they were married, let alone the reason for their divorce.

Feeling like she is at the end, yet  no where closer to an answer than when she began, it takes her meeting her future husband to start putting all the pieces together.  With her grandfather’s memory going, her grandmother’s health bringing her life to an end, and Miranda Richmond Mouill0t’s life just starting she thinks she may have figured it out.


Attraction may be what brought them together, but ultimately it was an act of love that caused the divorce.  It was also an act of love that resulted in 50 years of silence between two people who still could not seem to let go of each other.

A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France is not a fasted paced book.  The slower development of the story at first annoyed me.  By the middle of the book, I came to find that the pace of the book very much aligned with the story and only added to the experience.  As often happens in life, events and conclusions do not fit inside a 30 minute segment on t.v. between commercials.  Often they are developed bit by bit over time, a little here, a little there, woven between weeks or years.  If I was frustrated by the lack of development at any point in reading this story, how much more so Miranda who was searching for the answers, not knowing if they would ever be found?

While I may like the ending of a story to have no loose ends and be presented with a neatly wrapped bow placed on top, this is not how life functions and not how A Fifty-Year Silence ends.  Just like in life, the end is never the end.

Miranda Richmond Mouillot does a great job not only summing up her view of her grandparents lives together and separately, but also showing how the story never really ends.  It continues on with those of us who come after, flowing from the story of those who have gone before us.


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

This post contains affiliate links.

Jan 262015
Cooking Amidst Chaos - Our Weekly Meal Plan - January 25, 2015

 This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. When I again think that trying 7 new recipes in a week is a good thing, remind me not to take on such a task.  :)  I had forgotten the mental effort required to try a new recipe, especially one that require me to be [...]

Jan 232015
Putting Together Homemade Potpourri Gifts

Before the Christmas Holiday, our local MOPS group put together “Thank You” baskets for the volunteers who watch our kids during out monthly meetings.  This year, in addition to dozens of cookies given to each volunteer, they also received a jar of homemade potpourri with a tag and a card. This was a quick and [...]

Jan 192015
The Week of Lentils, a.k.a Our Weekly Meal Plan - January 18, 2015

 This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. Seratonin is a wonderful thing.  It is not an ingredient in a recipe, as you might expect on a post about menu planning.  It is well said at Princeton.edu here: Serotonin (pronounced /ˌsɛrəˈtoʊnɨn/) or 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Biochemically derived fromtryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, platelets, [...]

Jan 122015
Weekly Meal Plan - January 11, 2015

 This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. Every year when the weather turns cold and dreary, we find ourselves trying new recipes.  It helps had some excitement to our day, and we have time since we are not spending it outside on other activities. A few weeks ago I found myself facing [...]