Well, I got one big work project done, so that sure feels good!  How is your week progressing?  My dad is coming to visit for a few days, so that should be fun!


To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.

Pearl S. Buck

I am trying to fill my life with more “joy”, and was looking for relevant quotes….wouldn’t it be wonderful to find joy and fulfillment in everyday tasks, like work, or laundry, or whatever?  As I’ve mentioned before, my goal for this year is to spend more time enjoying the present, small moments of life, and to find joy (or something to enjoy) in even boring tasks, like putting dishes in the dishwasher!  Gosh, wouldn’t Mary Poppins be proud?


January 24, 2012 is…

Beer Can Appreciation Day

Belly Laugh Day 

National Compliment Day 

National Peanut Butter Day

I’ve never liked beer, so I don’t know that I can really appreciate all that Beer Can Appreciation Day has to offer.  However, I DO like belly laughs (aren’t they the best??), compliments (if sincere), and peanut butter (especially with bananas!)


Today’s book was actually published in the 1960s…and to think, when I was growing up, I thought it was brand new!

We Help Daddy

By Mini Stein, Illustrated by Eloise Wilkin

Like a lot of these older Golden Books, I couldn’t really find a new edition online…although, you can purchase a used version here:

We Help Daddy

Eloise Wilkin is a wonderful illustrator, and has illustrated many books that I remember from when I was a Wee One!


Oh gosh, isn’t this just such a classic song from childhood?  It’s funny, I think I know the French words more than I do the English

Frère Jacques/Are you sleeping?

From the album “Let’s Sing and Dance in French!

To purchase and download “Frère Jacques”, click below:

Frère Jacques


Frère Jacques,
Frère Jacques,
Dormez vous?
Dormez vous?
Sonnez les matines,
Sonnez les matines,
Din, din, don!
Din, din, don!

English Version:

Are you sleeping,
Are you sleeping?
Brother John?
Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing,
Morning bells are ringing,
Ding ding dong,
Ding ding dong.

To download the piano solo sheet music for  “Frere Jacques” by Jim Brickman, click here; for an easy piano version, click here.

Oh, well, after looking at the French lyrics, I guess I didn’t really know them EXACTLY…my memory of the words/pronunciations was just a little bit off!  🙂  I would like to learn French, though…it is SUCH a beautiful language!


January 24: A butter from peanuts

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The Mister made a DELICIOUS soup this past weekend, and I just had to share the recipe.  It was PERFECT for a chilly winter’s day!

Root Vegetable Soup with Winter Kale by Fresh by Northwest

Root Vegetable Soup with Winter Kale by Fresh by Northwest (Modified by Rally and Meels)

1 turnip, 1 rutabaga, 1 yam, 1 celery root, 3 small sweet carrots-I would use even more carrots, possibly 5 small, or three large, sweet carrots
3 tbs. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced and chopped
3 winter kale leaves, greens torn from stem and cut into bite size pieces-we added more kale, and would recommend at least 9-12 leaves
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 quart chicken, vegetable or ham hock stock (preferably homemade)

½ cup chopped fresh mixed herbs (basil, Italian parsley, tarragon, thyme) or 1 tbs. dried Herbs de Provence with ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 ½ cup cooked lentils or barley (optional)-we used cooked “acini di pepe”, tiny balls of pasta

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Peel, chop, steam (until soft enough to be pricked easily with a fork), rinse and drain root vegetables separately. Sprinkle them with fresh lemon juice and salt, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium low temperature. Add onion and cook until translucent, stirring to keep onion from browning. Add garlic, fennel and celery and cook for 1 minute more.

Add prepared vegetables, kale, tomatoes with puree, stock and dried herbs if you are using them. Simmer uncovered until all vegetables are soft and flavors are thoroughly blended, about 10 minutes. If you are using fresh herbs, add them now. Add cooked lentils or barely. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Taste and correct seasoning with salt and pepper.

Note: Refrigerated, this soup hold well for up to 4 days.  Ours didn’t last four days!  The second day, the pasta had soaked up much of the broth, and so The Mister called it a Pastoup (Pasta + soup!)  It was even better the second day.

While he was preparing the soup, I copied the bread my cousin KH made last week…it was soooo good, and I just had to try to replicate it.  (Her sister, CH, made THE MOST DELICIOUS lasagna, which I may try to copy as well!)

Garlic Bread

1 round loaf of a crusty white bread

LOTS of freshly diced garlic (I used about one clove per slice of bread, but I LOOOOVE garlic)

Butter (about 1/2 T per slice of bread)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the bread into thick slices, and place on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil.  Melt butter, and mix in the garlic.  Spread the butter and garlic mixture over the sliced bread.  Bake for about 15 minutes (or so?  The Mister was in charge of taking it out of the oven, so I’m not quite sure how long it takes…)  Basically, you want to warm the bread, and get the garlic a bit cooked.  (We tried to broil, but if you do this, keep a watchful eye on it…ours burned very quickly!)


Wee One LOVES hair…pulling others, and her own!

Start teaching “no”.

It hurts when she does this, but I know she absolutely doesn’t mean to hurt anyone!  But, lately, I’ve been trying to say “no, that hurts mama” very gently when she pulls my hair.  I then loosen it from her (tight!) grip, and say “thank you so much for letting go of mama’s hair”.  When you do this, do not get upset, or yell, or say “no” loudly.  Remember, your baby is just exploring her world, and isn’t trying to do something “wrong”.  It’s just an easy way to start teaching “no” without being too firm.


My Aunt C sent us a link to this article from the Wall Street Journal, and I think it’s a “must read”.

The New American Divide by Charles Murray


For most of our nation’s history, whatever the inequality in wealth between the richest and poorest citizens, we maintained a cultural equality known nowhere else in the world—for whites, anyway. “The more opulent citizens take great care not to stand aloof from the people,” wrote Alexis de Tocqueville, the great chronicler of American democracy, in the 1830s. “On the contrary, they constantly keep on easy terms with the lower classes: They listen to them, they speak to them every day.”

Americans love to see themselves this way. But there’s a problem: It’s not true anymore, and it has been progressively less true since the 1960s.

What are your thoughts about the changing socioeconomic climate of our country today?


The Heisman

(From self.com)

Targets: Shoulders, arms, abs, butt, thighs

Stand with feet hip-width apart, elbows bent, arms close to body. Hop on left foot, bringing right knee toward chest as you drive left arm forward, right arm back like a sprinter. Quickly hop onto right foot, reversing motion. Continue alternating for 1 minute.


Wow…my picture taking skills have taking a leap backwards!  I just do not dedicate enough time to this, and need to spend more time working on learning new techniques!

Anyway, I recently cleaned out a BUNCH of clothes from my closet, and donated them…these hangers used to be full!  It feels SO GOOD to get rid of unwanted stuff sometimes, but now my closet feels rather empty!  (And, apologies for the plastic hangers…they’re pretty ugly, and my “someday” plan is to get all wooden hangers…someday!)


I just ate dinner, and yet, I feel like I could eat a NUMBER of the recipes on this site, right now:

Salt Bird

If you are vegetarian or vegan, you MUST check out this site…so many interesting recipes, like Banh Mi with Lemongrass Tofu, or Pineapple Curry Fried Rice.

I think I’d like to try this:

Fried Egg and Braised Kale Bruschetta from Salt Bird

I may need to make this for a weekend breakfast!


What one daily thing brings you the most joy?

I hope ya’ll had a happy day!