Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

My heart is aching today. It has been a year since the Bumper's dad died. This past year has both flown by and passed agonizingly slowly. Last year on this date I was in shock. I was numb that day and for many days thereafter. I was fortunate that I took the chance to make amends and make peace. There are many others who never get to do so.

I still have nightmares, and sleepless nights. There are still times when I close my eyes and I see him as he lay in his hosptial bed. Sometimes I am tormented by the what ifs and if onlys. Every so often a song, a smell, or a place will bring back memories that shake me to the core and nearly bring me to my knees. I am told this will get better with time, but right now I still hurt.

What makes this even harder is the Bumper. I tried as much as I could to shield her from all that happened last November, but she remembers more than I gave her credit for. She asks about him now, she doesn't understand why she can not go visit him with God nor why Goad does not send her daddy back to her. I have no answers to those questions, save only to say I don't know, but God does and we must trust Him even when we do not understand or are angry and in pain. We (the Bumper and I) lit candles for him at church on his birthday, our wedding anniversary, Father's day, and All Souls day. She likes to tell her classmates her daddy is in the clouds with God. I do not dissuade her.

Everyday it gets a little easier. I have our daughter to raise, to enjoy and to spend time with. I am unable to answer all of her questions just yet, but she seems content with my honest responses. As she gets older we will continue to have this conversation, and her questions will get harder, and she will not always like my answers, but we have each other and in the meantime we will keep living the life God has given us the best we can-- as a family.

Today I am sad and that is okay. I will not always be this sad and the holidays won't always be this painful. The Bumper and I have much to look forward to. There are many firsts to explore and many new discoveries to be made, but the past and the future will both have to wait, because I right now I have a sick Bumper to tend to for that too is part of life and the joy I have at seeing her well eclipses all else.


The fuzzy pilgrims have landed
I went to the Bumper's Thanksgiving play yesterday. This is only my second year of having a child old enough to participate, so I am still very excited to see her perform in things. The three and four year olds put it on, the four years olds  dressed as the Pilgrims, and the three year olds dressed as Native Americans. They sang songs around the fire together, thanked God together, and sat down to their Thanksgiving feast together. The whole thing was so cute I could hardly sit still, this mother's heart melted when the Bumper shouted out "Hi Mom!" Setting of a chorus that took the teachers a good five minutes to settle down.
Wonky but nice
My heart also melted when I realized I was witnessing the true spirit of Thanksgiving. These little ones did not care that the costumes they wore were stereotypical and historically inaccurate,they did not care that the feast they reenacted probably never took place, nor did they did not care that they were eating cold cuts, corn muffins, and crackers instead of perfectly browned turkey, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings. The kids were happy and excited to be with their friends and family, they were hungry so the snack was good and they were grateful to have something to eat.
A moment I will treasure forever was when the Bumper looked over at her paternal grandmother and upon seeing she had nothing to eat offered her a grape.
This for me is the heart of the holiday: to give thanks to God for what we have, take joy in our friends and family, be mindful of those among us who are in need and to be willing to share.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday

After a day spent playing outside with the Bumper it is nice to curl up with some soft warm crochet.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Meatless Monday - Comfort food

Tasted better than it looks
When the weather looks dreary and feels worse I want good old fashioned comfort food. The kind that sticks to my ribs and makes me feel warm from the inside out. I think today's meal did just that.

I made the Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf Revisited from Oh She Glows http://ohsheglows.com/2012/10/05/glazed-lentil-walnut-apple-loaf-revisited/, paired with steamed broccoli and jacket potatoes.  All I can say is I will definately be making this again, even if it did take me all day to make. I am sure it doesn't really take all day, but I was also trying my hand at apple butter and that had to be montiored constantly.

I followed the recipe as written except I used pecan instead of walnuts because Nana is allergic to walnuts and I used a cup of oat flour because I was unable to find the bread crumbs. It was a big hit! The Bumper nibbled at it before it was baked and had a whole slice afterwards. Nana asked me to make it a regular part of the menu!

The apple butter turned out yummy as well. I don't have any pictures because apple butter isn't really very photogenic. Lovely to eat-- not so much to look at. I think the taste was well worth the effort, but next time if I only have six apples I'll stop at homemade chunky apple sauce-- equally tasty and not as much of a hassle to make. On the plus side the house smelled wonderfully of cinnamon all day long and cheered us all up. Sometimes just the act of cooking a good simple meal is comfort enough.
Nana's hat and scarf


Friday, November 14, 2014

I've Not Gone Away

I've not gone away or decided to stop blogging, or anything like that. I have been busying writing on my novel, crocheting-- did finish Nan's scarf but no decent photos yet--, still struggling with the sock of doom as I have now decided to call it, and doing various other things to keep my mind off of the time of year.

I am alternately really productive or I am sad and listless, becoming overwhelmed with memories both good and bad from this time last year.

I am attempting to organize myself -- an ongoing process-- and I hope to resume menu planning next week. The Bumper, Nana, and I all eat better when I plan,it has just taken me awhile to realize that. I guess I feel like a bad mom because I can't just stand in front of the pantry come suppertime and work out something nutritious, vegan( but convertible to omnivore for the Bumper and Nana), and yummy for all on the spur of the moment. I know that is silly, but it is how I feel nonetheless.

The first frost is scheduled for tonight so Nan's garden is officially done for the year. In the meantime the Bumper and I have been taking advantage of the warm weather to go to the park everyday.

I am going to attempt to make apple butter this weekend. Wish me luck!

Have a good weekend


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Randomly on Thursday

1. This past week the trees around here have started to really show their colors, even on grey days the golden yellows and fiery reds cheer me up.

2. I think I am aiding and abetting the secret fruit fly plot for world domination. The little beggars are everywhere!

3. The orders have been placed and for the first time ever I will be hand knitting / crocheting gifts for my family this Christmas. Of course if all else fails gift certificates also work.

4. We are headed out of town for Thanksgiving, and I am glad. I am having a hard enough time keeping myself together without the added stress of cooking for a large number of people. This time of year is bringing back some especially painful memories for me and most days I have a hard time not crying or screaming.

5. The Bumper has decided she wants to build rocket ships, fortunately for me she is content with crayons and large boxes.

6.  I am still working on the sock, but Nana's scarf is done and I will post pictures tomorrow.

7. Both baby hats were well received by the Moms and I am glad. I like making things and it is a double bonus when those things are useful and give pleasure to someone else.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Moment of Silence Please

Nearly two weeks ago the shootings in Ottawa, ON and Seattle WA took place and dominated the headlines, but because November mid-term elections were coming up, the tragic got turned into the political and then forgotten.  Since All Saints day and All Souls day was this weekend I want to draw attention to the lives lost and the families shattered. Every life is important and everyone was someone's child once. Bethany over at The Apple Cider Mill said it better than I, so I am going to redirect you to her wonderful post:  http://applecidermama.blogspot.com/2014/10/not-disposable-response-to-marysville.html


Monday, November 3, 2014

Meatless Monday- Serendipity Version

Sometimes I cook by the book and other times I just  throw things together and hope they turn out.
The first time I use a recipe I follow the directions to the letter, after that (if it is a repeat recipe) I play with it to my hearts content. When I throw things together I just hope for the best. This past weekend I was delighted on both accounts.

My just wing it dish was baked Barbecue Tofu. I just thought to myself: I wonder what would happen if I put barbecue sauce on tofu and baked it in the oven? I did and it was good.  So good in fact that the only pictures I have are fresh out of the oven because I couldn't stop nibbling long enough to stage a photo. As an aside the Bumper likes tofu, but only if it is uncooked, while prepping this recipe she kept taking little pieces from the block and eating them, but once it was baked she would have  nothing to do with it.

Here is what I did:

One container of extra firm tofu
Pat dry and cut lengthwise in triangles
Coat shallow baking tray with olive oil. (I used a spray)
Brush tofu triangles with about 1/4 cup of Barbecue sauce of choice.
Bake at 350F for 30min
 Let cool and enjoy!

My follow- the- recipe- then- mess- with it dish was this vegan coffee cake from Vegan Mother Hubbard :

 I made these changes:
Dry Ingredients:
I used 1/2 cup of brown sugar
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Wet Ingredients:
I added 2tsp vanilla

I used 1 cup of rolled oats instead of flour
and I only used 1/2 cup of white sugar.

The Bumper liked this version so much she ate four pieces in an afternoon!

Happy Eating,