Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On Blabbering (or Blabbering on)

When Safety Man thinks I use too many words to make my point he will, sometimes, tell me that I'm blabbering. He says it jokingly, but I think it's insulting. Today, however, I'm embracing the word and will be blabbering on about whatever comes to mind.

This is Joe.

Tomorrow is Joe's 17th birthday. 17 is so old for a kid!  Boys, back in the day, joined armies at 17. Alone they ventured west, immigrated across oceans and marched out into the harsh world to conquer and became men. Joe will not be doing any of that - yet - but he is prepping for the SAT, tweaking his resume and filling out applications to get a job. Every Saturday he's up before dawn to head off to the mountain to snowboard. The kid is growing up like all children do. He'll be out of the house and college bound in less than two freakin' years. We all know how fast that'll go. Pretty soon the past will be one big parental blur. I find myself staring at him now, even trying to hang out with him, attempting to soak him all up before he leaves. He hates this and thinks I'm weird.

This is Lily.

Lily's social life could be the envy of any celebrity party girl. There's gymnastics, birthday party's, weekend sleepovers with a huge posse of girls, football and basketball games, cheer leading tryouts, track and school. She needs her own personal secretary. Oh wait..... Her personal secretary can't imagine what it will be like when she's 16. Well, I can imagine it. It just scares the Hell out of me.  When she gets her license and sits behind the wheel I may never see her again. Poof. Here one minute, gone the next. For now, however, she's safely (s)trapped in the car with me while I chauffeur her to and from her too numerous activities, giving me plenty of time to catch up and debrief. So I don't complain about the drives (usually). I love them (usually). And her.(usually)

This is Kicks.

I love my dog. He's perfect, as I've said before. Because of this affection, I've made a major dietary change for him. For the past 10 years, he has gotten a lot of indulgent treats from my kitchen. He has dined on prime rib bones left over from Christmas, bacon and sausage grease from breakfast, left over steak from get the idea. He LOVES us fat. But I recently read that fat is very bad for dogs. It poisons their pancreas. Oopses. After learning this, I went for a walk with a friend who coincidentally volunteered that her dog died after they gave her some fatty chicken skin, like they had for years. Too much fat said their vet. No more fat for my pooch! Poor Kick's doesn't understand the deprivation. He's sad and confused. Substituting chicken jerky dog treats in lieu of bacon grease slathered all over his dog food is far from his expectations. Not the same nosh at all. But alas, I want him to be around for many years to come so I'm cracking down and standing strong in my resolve to be a better pet owner. (Now I wonder what all that bacon is doing to my pancreas?....)

This is Granola
I've been making granola lately since my friend, Lori gave me a jar of her homemade stuff at Christmas. It's easy to do and very delicious, even healthy. Here's the recipe. Lily can't live without it.

  • Preheat oven to 300°. Combine 1 large beaten egg white, 3 cups old-fashioned oats, 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (such as almonds, pistachios, pecans, or walnuts), 1 1/2 cups coconut shavings, 1/2 cup agave syrup, 1/4 cup olive oil or warmed coconut oil, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon in a large bowl; toss to combine. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake granola, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and dry, 40-45 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet (it will crisp as it cools).
  • Mix in 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries. DO AHEAD: Granola can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store airtight at room temperature

  • This is today.


    It's gray today like it often is this time of year but travelling back and forth into town I've been appreciating the cold beauty. I took these pictures on my way to pick up the kids from school.

    It's not this:
    But it ain't this either:
    It's just gray.
    Blog Note:
    Last year I did quarterly family updates because it was an efficient way of spreading the abundant family news. But this year, so far, no one is pregnant, there are no weddings planned and only Ben is graduating this spring. I don't see a lot of other big news down the pike so I'm suspending the quarter synopsis's until needed. 
    That is all the blabbering I can do for now. I'm off to deliver the kids to Gymnastics & SAT prep class then I'm watching Downton Abbey with my sister.

    Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    The Year End - It's a long one.

    My sister and I travelled to Rome in October on a pilgrimage to the canonization of St Kateri. A child from our parish (Jake Finkbonner) was healed miraculously with the help of her intercession so we joined the group from our Archdiocese to be there for the magnificent Mass at St Peters Basilica. It was a trip of a life time.

    This is St Peters with the banners of each saint who was canonized that glorious Sunday.

    The day was warm and very crowded with the most diverse group of people I have ever been in.
            (And I'm from the Bay Area.)
     People from all over the world came with a communal appreciation and love of the saints who inspire us to be better people.  
    Look at the beautiful blue sky.

     Jake receiving communion from our Holy Father.
    You can read more about Jake and St Kateri here:
    Jake with his friends inside St John the Lateran.

    Pope Benedict in the "Pope Mobile."

    Jeri & me on the flight home.

    Sister Theresa who was arrested in Germany on her way to Rome.
    But that's a story for another post. 

    This is a 600 year old crucifix in St Sebastian's, above the catacombs, on the Appian Way.
    I think it's beautiful.
    While we were in Italy Atticus Allen was born. The 3rd son of Kirby and Gina came into the world a week late but just a day before we returned.
    Two weeks later Catherine Marie was born. The 2nd daughter and fourth child to Evan & Elisa.
    She makes #11 grand baby for my sister and her husband, Chris.
    That's A LOT of babies (6 and under!)

    Also this quarter - Poor GP had a tough time. ( Grandma Pat - my mom) 
    After many months of misery she was diagnosed with a broken leg. She had surgery the day before Thanksgiving to screw a plate to her femur to fix the problem - Finally! and Thankfully! Now she's good to go. Shrew! But sadly for her she was in the hospital recovering while we were here for the festivities.


    I was thankful the turkey was juicy and cooked through.
     Lily went to her first dress up dance in October.
    After shopping for a dress, shoes, undergarments and the perfect jewelry and arranging for the hair, nails, and make up to be done, I'm pretty sure planning her wedding will be a breeze in comparison.

    14 ain't what it used to be. Enough said about that.
    There's a bit of bad news to report, I'm sad to say.
    Murphy RIP.

    Murphy was the dog my mom got after my dad passed away.
    He was a good dog who loved  lived on his cookies and loved my mom.
     He had a very good and very pampered life.
    We'll all miss you, Murphy.
    I'd also like to give a nod to the Seahawks who have played FANtastic football this quarter by
    slaughtering their opponents in the last 3 of 4 games including a nice & tidy win against the Rams.

    Evan and Kirby are happy, happy, happy and so am I.




    Lily & Harvey

    2 of the 3 grown up tables. 

    Here's the kids table. They got Mac and Cheese. The Christmas tree candle with Peanut
    M& M's had to be moved so they'd focus on the meal ...
    that included a chocolate dipped Oreo cookie with sprinkles on it.
    We adults (27) got 32 lbs of Prime Rib. All devoured - thank you very much.
    1 of 2 roasts - 16+ lbs each.
     Where's the beef? You're looking at it. 
    Chris and Chris

    Lucy Jerilou

    Max & Kicks kicking back.

    Peter and Andrew

    Katie, Suzanne, Karen & Aileen.

    Rob, Marcel & Katie
    Joe having fun with Dashel, Lucy & Harvey.



    Elisa holding Catherine. 

    Gina & Atticus. 

    Me & Lily

    One Lord a leaping.

    Catherine Marie

    Safety Man

    A French horn. 

    My daughter.

    My son.

    Do you think the Sugar Plum Fairy is dancing in Kirby's head?
    The Sugar Plum Fairy.
    Joe woke up on the 26th and said - Only 364 more days until Christmas! I bet it will be here fast.-
    I'm sure of that.
    Happy New Year.