Winter flowers

Today was a good day to clean the pink nail polish off the table. And to rearrange the beautiful red carnations my husband brought me last week. Carnations are my favorite because they're pretty, they smell good, and they're cheap and last a long time.


More baking

More whole wheat bread and some pumpkin rolls. Not pictured: black bean soup in the slow cooker. Also not pictured: two beds' sheets changed, dishes done, and laundry done. A good day at home!


Pip lately

Pip, as usual, keeps himself busy!

  • Loves hippos. It started out with the book But Not the Hippopotamus, then we enabled him by showing him YouTube movies of hippos eating watermelons and having their teeth brushed. He is currently the owner of a stuffed hippo, and his favorite activity is brushing its teeth (although it doesn't have any).
  • Is starting to name his colors with increasing accuracy.
  • Throws things when angry. That means that his favorite wooden blocks have been put away, since they're quite formidable projectiles! (He is an excellent block stacker when he's calm.)
  • Hates snow days. Poor Pip, his schedule was all thrown off for a few weeks when it snowed and we got sick and we didn't go anywhere. It made him grumpy. He is happy to be back to normal. 
  • Is learning to draw. He can draw an almost recognizable smiley face. He does the eyes beautifully. The mouth is usually straight or down, but he still calls them happy. 
  • Loves songs. After each hymn in church he pleads, "more songs?" After a song on the radio ends he chirps, "more songs?" He loves music, all kinds.
  • Gets his basketball in the hoop sometimes and loves playing catch.
  • Still identifies as a baby. Not interested in being a "big boy" yet. I'm 100% okay with that.
  • Favorite foods: pasta with "sprinkle cheese," oranges, apples (whole only, please), cocoa.


Pajama pants

I made my last batch of pajama pants after Tiger Lily was born, about seven years ago. Needless to say, I need some new ones. I got started with these, which clash wildly with my bedspread, but I like them. I took care to sew along the top of the casing to keep the elastic from twisting, and as always, I tucked a coordinating ribbon in the back so I can tell which way to put them on.

Ahh. Who knew that new pajamas could feel so good? I must make more.


Almond cookies

Almond cookies, oil-free. Pretty good, although oil-free cookies will never be the same as regular. All the same, they disappeared quickly.


Pip and the potato

For weeks now, Pip has been whacking at the same potato with a play knife. I had to take several photos to get one with his hand still: he really goes at it, and most were quite blurry.

Every time I make dinner, he sweetly offers me his potato. I think I'll let him keep it, though, since it brings him such joy.


Christmas catch-up

I forgot to share these pictures before Christmas. Here is the set from a production of Little Women that Tiger Lily and I attended together. It was the fastest version I've ever seen: done in 45 minutes! I enjoyed seeing a friend acting, and I adored the set. The background is made from books!

Red Chief learned how to make these fancy snowflakes at school, so our home was well decorated.

We even made one into a crown for Tiger Lily! She wore it to the church Christmas party and received many compliments.

The obligatory gingerbread cookies, sprinkled with gold sugar. The ginger newts are a nod to Harry Potter (book 5), and they are a family tradition.


Bread rising

We've been enjoying this recipe lately, with the addition of about 1/4 cup of gluten. I was happy to find an oil-free recipe, as I'm trying to get the oil out of my diet. I'm still greasing the pans, though: this particular recipe sticks badly.


Planning from the pantry

We've still got some garden food from the summer in our freezer, and I've decided it's time to clean it out. I planned a menu from the freezer and pantry this week. We'll need to pick up a few things, but starting with what we have will save us a lot!

Also, a more long-term goal is to eat down some of our black beans. Eight years ago I bought five (!) five-gallon buckets of them, and it was too much. We're down to two, but I want to be down to one. Think we can eat a whole bucket of dry black beans this year? I think we'll take care of it if we eat the equivalent of two cans per week. But I'm getting to a good start this week with four cans on the menu.
Vegetable chowder, French bread
Green tomato stew, brown rice
Black beans and rice extravaganza, corn on the cob
Eggplant caponata pasta
Black bean soup with sweet potatoes
Tempeh stir fry with green beans, mushrooms
Split pea soup, cranberry bread