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Today was a day spent running around, shuttling kids – dropping off and picking up and waiting around in between. It’s easy to be angry that pretty much all the daylight hours of today involved children, getting them up, fixing them breakfast, fixing them lunch, dropping each off at their respective spots and then beginning all over again to pick up, make dinner and now it’s dark. So much for that ski we planned. But it’s also easy to take it in stride knowing that these days, these days where we complain about the boys and how much a pain it is to take them here and take them there, are dwindling. Time to temper the frustration and annoyance at yet another trip to the mountain or Rutland or a friend’s house with the fact that soon, very soon in fact, the house will be too quiet, too still. They will have outgrown their needs for rides. Oldest son gets his license in a few months, middle son gets his permit and youngest son is only a year behind.

While we were waiting to pick up a son today from a sleepover, I took out the camera in the snow and took advantage of the scenery to play. Here are the results.

For the past few days, we’ve noticed that the newspaper has made its way from the entrance of our driveway to the steps by the door. At first, I figured that our neighbor who plows for us, must have seen it and threw it in the area of our door as he plowed the driveway. Yet, the days he didn’t plow the paper still mysteriously made its way from the end of the driveway to just by the steps.

The mystery was solved when TJ commented that he noticed that the dog has been picking up the paper and dropping it by the steps. Once, we figured was a freak accident. She saw the bag in the snow and picked it up, she is after all a retriever. Yet it has continued to happen.

So, who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Heck, who says an old dog can’t teach herself new tricks?

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 5 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2-3 leeks
  • 12 cups chicken broth (or enough to cover the vegetables)
  • milk or cream (about 1 cup)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Process:
  1. Split leeks down the middle and wash thoroughly. Thinly slice all the leeks and place into a dutch oven with about 2 T. canola or vegetable oil.
  2. Saute leeks over medium heat until they are soft but do not brown. About 10 minutes.
  3. While leeks are sauteing wash potatoes and cube into bite size pieces.
  4. Add cubed potatoes (skins and all) to the pot. Add chicken broth enough to cover the vegetables.
  5. Add ground black pepper to taste.
  6. Cover and cook on medium low heat for about 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are cooked through.
  7. Remove one third of the potato leek mixture and place in a separate bowl to be added back into the soup later.
  8. Add milk or cream to the remaining soup. Blend with a stick blender or by putting batches into a stand blender until a creamy consistency.
  9. Return potato leek mixture to the soup.
  10. Taste for salt and pepper.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

I thought that it might be fun to try to incorporate a “my own…” section in on, of all days….Monday! Each week I’ll make a concerted effort to “make” something of my own that Monday. Schedules around here have been crazy busy lately, so not as much time to “make my own” as I’d like.

So, for the first My Own Monday:

Homemade Bread

Potato Leek Soup

Not so bad for a cold, cold winter’s evening? Filled our bellies and now I hear rumors that we’re having chocolate chip cookies for dessert….

The English alphabet, both upper and lower cas...
Image via Wikipedia

In the day of keyboards and keypads, twitter and texting, little thought goes to handwriting. My children don’t write in cursive – geez most times they don’t even write in pen – it’s pencil or typewritten. I remember the first time I asked one of them to sign their name to a form and they printed.

Me: “Sign your name”

Kid: “I did”

Me: “No, you printed your name”.

Kid: “Well, that’s my signature.”

Me: “Signature requires you to sign your name in script”.

Kid: “We never use script”.

Me: “Well for this, you do.”

Exasperated, I think back to when penmanship was a class in school. We spent time, considerable chunks of time, both in school and at home, repeating those letters, over and over again, first one at a time and then joining them together to write in script.

While my kids learned cursive writing in elementary school there wasn’t as much emphasis on perfecting their letters, their style. In fact, I was amazed that all three of my boys craft their letters, even their print differently than I was taught, backwards I would dare say. They start from the bottom of letters and go up instead of from the top down. Despite how they learned, they did learn cursive, yet, they use it little. Their world consists of fonts, characters and emoticons. Cursive P’s and Q’s rarely rear their ugly heads. I doubt honestly that they would recognize the cursive letter Z if they saw it.

Today is National Handwriting Day.

There is evidence that children who use handwriting as a opposed to typing learn better since the act of handwriting leaves an imprint of the information on the brain.

Plus, your handwriting can say a lot about your personality. If your cursive slants to the right – you socialize and are open to world around you. If it slants to the left – you like to be behind the scenes. If you have no slant, you’re guarded and logical. Big cursive – big personality, small letters – introverted.

Happy Handwriting Day!

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Here is the view from my new office window. I’m adjusting to my new space and hope to get it a little more organized this weekend. But you can’t beat the view, especially on a beautiful snowy day like today.

Midterms are over. The week that the kids were dreading, some more than others, has passed without incident. Everyone is happy and relieved. Including me. This week I refreshed my knowledge of Spanish, increased my knowledge base of earth sciences, sharpened map skills and learned not to mix up the index flash cards while multitasking between working and helping kids study. Everyone survived. Everyone is happy that exams are over. Especially me. Long weekend for the boys then back to our regularly scheduled chaos.

We are forecast to get some of the coldest weather that Vermont has seen in two years. Sunday night we’re forecast for -24 below (actual temperature) sounds like a good excuse to cuddle up by the fire and finish reading my book club book.

 

It’s been snowing here consistently all week. While it hasn’t always been snowing off the hill, we have been fortunate to have snow and even if it’s sunny, we’re still getting snow showers. Who can complain? It’s winter after all and this is what it’s supposed to be like. Cold, snow, sparkling. It’s all good. Tonight through the weekend they are forecasting some of the coldest temperatures that Vermont has seen in a couple years. We are supposed to be getting highs during the day of only around zero and lows at night of negative teens and even negative twenties (actual real temperatures, not wind chills). It’s actual real cold winter temperatures with snow. Who could ask for more?

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe — the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God…

So let us begin anew — remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate…

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.

Fifty years ago today, John F. Kennedy gave his inaugural address. It is considered to be one of the best inaugural addresses ever given.

So much of what is in there rings true today….is it a sign of how far we’ve come or how far we have yet to go?

“All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe

Signature of writer Edgar Allan Poe.
Image via Wikipedia

Happy Birthday Mr. Poe. And for those wondering, no one showed up to leave the roses and the cognac again this year. Perhaps the mysterious visitor of 60 years has passed on and will appear nevermore.

 

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MLK weekend is big around here. We refer to it as the “I have a dream” weekend. You see Tom and his best friend Lou share a birthday that weekend and the families always try to spend the weekend together and have for years. So, it’s been a birthday weekend around the T’s house.

Here are the birthday boys….. Aren’t they cute?

 

Here are the birthday boys’ kids arranging the 48 (yes I did say 48 – 47 plus one for good luck) candles on the cake. They were insistent that the cake have the correct number of candles. We were at the ready with the fire extinguisher at the ready but I am happy to report that there was no need.

There was some serious candle wreckage.

Then there was lots of cake eating, present opening, hanging out and laughing. Isn’t that what a birthday is all about?

 

This morning, I took hubby out for breakfast since we had planned on dinner out this evening but the snow day yesterday caused a rearrangement of plans and schedules. Breakfast is what fit. While I was outside taking pictures of the snow (which was beautiful ) and minding my own business while the truck warmed up and Tom cleaned up the snow that had drifted almost a foot deep around the doorway again, my camera and I got slammed by snow. The cause:

SOMEONE thought it hysterical to “accidentally” throw snow at me, repeatedly, I might add.

Here are pictures this morning from yesterday’s storm. Oh, and by the way it’s still snowing up here on the hill.

Evilwife on the move

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© Happenings on the Hill,
https://tammyheff.wordpress.com
2012.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Evilwife and Happenings on the Hill (http://tammyheff.wordpres.com) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

There have to be 5 things even on a really bad day.

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