Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Buckle Up

Whew! If 2009 is anything like 2008 I need to buckle my seat belt and hold on tight. Last year blessed me with 2 new grandchildren, a two month Grecian hiatus, a bumper crop of giant cherry tomatoes, a 7 week (and still counting) trip to frigid Wisconsin, a three week trip to sunny California, foot surgery, retirement, and three new housemates. It was a lively twelve months. Today was Jesse's 33rd. B-day and Ted's 61st. In the past they always got together and cooked a birthday meal. In honor of that culinary tradition I made homemade macaroni and cheese for lunch and Jesse and Evelyn made a mile-high apple pie which we all enjoyed before Kevin drove Jesse back to Milwaukee. Surgery to close up Oliver's chest is scheduled for Friday morning.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year

By next year I should be able to smile and play at the same time.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Link to Oliver

It's taken me forever, but I have finally made it easy for readers to find out the latest on Baby Oliver. Click on Truncus Arteriosus at the bottom of My Blog List (to the left of this blog.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Night Night Mama & Papa

I like youxcfdgwyyytywyu7e3725526
I love Turnip from me to you.

E is for Evelyn

Evelyn ate the first three letters of the alphabert for breakfast. Tomorrow she'll have D, E, and F.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

Evelyn insists on having her stuffed animals arranged just so every night as she goes to sleep. Tonight Mr. Zebra and Teddy Graham were tucked safe under her pepe.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Evelyn helped form the turkey meatballs that we had with our spaghetti.

LaLee's Helper

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Assembly Required

It's Spreading

Any diagnosis???

The Newest Family Blogger

uyuuuuc6c7x/vyuz/cuc;xxxx8x9x;ghh/p 8888888888888ciiiiiigvgooooooooooooooooooovoppox689
I love mama and papa and baby Oliver.
mvbvxnzgzkkzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz/ocudvkxcccc/xiffffffffffffffidffvddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddzfdddiffu /oxcxk/;dsssssssssssssssssfggfgdddd.
The love from me to Turnip. That's what I love, Turnip a lot.

Merry Christmas

This is the most unusual Christmas I've ever had, but Christmas music is playing, snow"s piled high and the calendar says December 25... so Merry Christmas. Teddie has already called and I saw Oliver (on the net) dressed in his red reindeer outfit. He looks like I remember Alex looking not too long ago. Evelyn is prancing around and almost ready for some of the whole wheat/buttermilk pancakes I keep in the refrigerator. It was good to talk to the birthday boy last night. (My father celebrated his 89th birthday with 20 other family members.) Next year I will be there, too. I promise. I felt like Ted was here with me because he posted so many comments on my latest round of blogs. I know he takes time to make thoughtful comments and I appreciate that today more than ever. Won't be long and I'll be swimming in that gorgeous pool, riding the crowded buses and walking my husband to work!! I miss all of my family but know we're together in thought. I'm expecting a barrage of Christmas photos posted by all you bloggers in the next few hours. Love, L.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hibernating (temporarily)

Peculiar Rash


Pink and purple are Evelyn's favorite colors.


Our mailbox is normally chest high on me.


next door's run

Another Snowy Day

shots taken in front of the house

For Great Aunt Jane

Thank you for the hat and the purse. I love them.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lowest Yet

Sunday morning 7 a.m. Later in the day it was -30 due to wind chill.


Jesse left her new laptop with me... so I can communicate much easier. Weather dictates all our moves. Kevin returned from Milwaukee today at 12:30. I immediately jumped in the car and ran to the store. Mary arrived and we opened Christmas presents together, then ate a simple meal together. With snow expected tonight, all day tomorrow and into Wednesday morning, Jesse and Kevin headed back to the Ronald McDonald House tonight. They will be all set to be there for Oliver's surgery at 7:40 on Wednesday morning. Evelyn is here and should be easily entertained with new toys and more snow. We will probably open more presents when all the hullabaloo dies down. Packages from RI Peshes and Kansas Andersons arrived after everyone had departed.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cranberry Chipolte Cheese

WI cheese at its best. The Carr Valley Cheese store is two blocks away.

Another Cooking Project

Top photo shows bowls of finished gnocchi. Everyone who helped shovel our driveway got some. Bottom one is of Evelyn, half-dressed, kneading the dough.

WI Sunsets

View from the back window. Twenty degrees out. 4:45 pm.


Am sitting in the Middleton Library, alone. Ahhhh. Kevin and Jesse surprised Evelyn and me just as we were getting ready top throw birdseed out the back door. What a welcome surprise. Turns out their cell phone died so they couldn't call to let us know they were on their way. I have 40 more minutes till I need to return home so that Kevin can get back to Milwaukee. Jesse will stay in Middleton till Monday when she will return with Kevin and Evelyn. They are settled at the Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee. We had a huge snowstorm that left 10 " of snow everywhere. I shoveled for 2 hours, but luckily two neighbors stepped up and finished the job. I met more people while I was out shoveling than at any other time. Baby Oliver was born on Dec. 15 and is doing well. Check out Jesse's blog for more info. He is scheduled for surgery on my father's 89th B-day, Dec. 24. Evelyn will return to Middleton on Monday with her great aunt, who will be returning from N. Wisconsin. Shuffling of bodies. Evelyn was ecstatic to see her mama and I'm sure after 6 weeks of hospital living Jesse is relieved to be home. Hope to post some photos when I get home. Am going upstairs now to get a fresh supply of 3 year old reading material and then on to a local cheese store where I'm going to treat myself to a chunk of cranberry chipolte cheddar.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

WI Christmas Tree Hunt

Only a ten minute drive from Evelyn's home... Summers Tree Farm.

Evelyn's New Pet

Evelyn's early Christmas present from Grandma Lalee

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chasing the Moon

Kevin, Evelyn and I jumped in the car at 4:20 this afternoon in search of a WI farm with the largest moon in 15 years hanging over it. We only went 10 minutes from their house. Roads were icy and crowded with commuters. We might try to get a shot tomorrow morning.

WI State Capitol

taken a few weeks ago before the snow had begun

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eight Inches

Final snow fall amounts for that latest storm were about 8 " where we are. It is 0-10 degrees when we wake up every morning. Snow is piled up to the bottom of the four foot high mail box and banked along the driveway. I can't imagine any of it melting in the near future. Kevin commented that he thinks we've had more snow this year to date than last year. Last year was a record breaker for Wisconsin. Evelyn is coughing a bit so yesterday we did not go outside. Instead we built a fort with chairs and blankets, made a pinecone mobile, and rode our scooters in the basement. My cooking skills are quickly deteriorating. Yesterday I made chocolate chip cookies and forgot the last 1/4 cup of flour. I also tried jello jigglers, but did not have a recipe. I left them in the hot water to unmold them a bit too long. Then tried to rechill them. Evelyn ate the blobby stuff at 7:00 and was awake till 10 pm. She won't be eating anymore after 3 pm!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


It is only 9:30 am and already the driveway and front walkway have been shoveled twice. About 7" this time and it is supposed to continue thru the day and night. Maybe 12" when it's all done. This is one snowy place!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


When I retired I decided to look into playing a musical instrument that would be portable and that my stiff fingers could manage. Everything obvious was out of the question because my right fingers don't bend very well. I finally decided that the dulcimer would suit my needs. y right hand only strums, the left one does the picking. I went on line and was overwhelmed trying to figure out what type of dulcimer to get. I had no idea what to do and spoke to some musical friends of mine. No one was much help. Not many dulcimer players in Wakefield. But whenever I spoke to someone I'd let them know what I was planning. Jesse told me that Aunt Mary played guitar with a little group at the Barneveld Library and the group included a dulcimer player. To make a long story short... The very helpful librarian at Barneveld gave me a one hour start up lesson on the dulcimer AND let me borrow one of her dulcimers. I am now practicing when Evelyn goes to bed and finding that YES.... I CAN PLAY AN INSTRUMENT! She even loaned me a book of songs, and recommended what type of instrument I should get. She was so helpful. The library was a 30 X 20 foot building..... Amazing what you may find in a small snow covered town in WI.

Barneveld, WI.

Evelyn and I spent the past day and a half with her Great Aunt Mary in the countryside, 45 mintes from Madison. We can only see two other farms from her house. It is peaceful and quieter than quiet. After the snow falls its fun to follow the deer, mouse and rabbit tracks. Evelyn especially enjoyed sliding down the berm on the side of Mary's garage and sitting in the red sled as Mary pulled her 1/4 mile and back up to her mailbox on "H." Evelyn is pretty obsessed with the road names and likes watching the signs on the side of the county roads. They are all named after letters. She told me in no uncertain terms that the roads we took to get the Mary's were 18-151, then "K", then "H." We had a great time out there. You don't even want to know how cold it was when I took these photos.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Third snowfall of the year in progress. Buses still running, but Kevin and Evelyn have cancelled their trip to Milwaukee today. Weatherman says we will get 3-5 inches. Temperature this morning... 25. Cold.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pretend Patient

Smirky Turkey

Evelyn looking festive in her turkey hat that she made at "Play and Learn," a free preschool program offered through Madison Public Schools. We go once a week on Tuesday morning.

Two buddies

Evelyn wrapped up like a burrito in her pepe with piglets all over it. Laurie looking like the ocean in her new tie-dyed hoodie from .... SAVERS. Some things never change.

Noodle Maker

We had a great time making noodles a while back. Kevin was kind enough to load my few photos on his computer this morning. Whenever I begin the process of making a well in a mound of flour and cracking the eggs in it, I think of my grandmother, who taught me how to make noodles. I can still remember the day she taught me. We lived in Oregon. There were no children in our lives. The kitchen wallpaper, which we struggled to hang, had blue and yellow flowers all over it. My 85 year old grandmother leaned over the table giving directions as she demonstrated. Everything was "a bit of this' or a "handful of that." I couldn't help but think of her as I watched Evelyn roll the dough (and ate bits of it.) Not too long ago Jesse stood on a stool doing the same thing . Time blurred.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday Special

Got up at 5 am to take Aunt Mary to the Madison Airport. I had mapped out the route and did just great. Twenty minutes there and twenty back. Very few cars out at that hour. Kevin, Evelyn and I went shopping at Target, Copps (Food) and some other places. I now know that the post office is within walking distance of their house. Evelyn and I went swimming at the nearby indoor pool. This is the same facility that is a madhouse when she goes for her lesson on Wednesday night. What a relief to go in and find only 5 other people in there. We stayed in about 45 minutes. By that time she was freezing so she sat in the hot shower while I got dressed. Weather is still 30 degrees during the day. She and I walked to the park down the street at 3:30 but it was so cold that we only stayed 10 minutes. Way too cold. I will eventually figure out when to go outsidfe and when to stay in the warm house.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Waunakee, WI

Departed at 9:45 with Evelyn and drove 15 minutes north of Middleton to Waunakee where a young mother with three kids had invited Evelyn for a play date. It was amazing to drive 10 minutes from Jesse and Kevin's house and be in farm country complete with silos, barns, cowns, plowed fields, tractors,.... Waunakee looked like a once very small town that was built because a railroad came along. Many WI towns have tracks paralleling Main Street. Now Waunakee is a suburb, mostly a bedroom community for Madison. I enjoyed seeing the countryside. The color of this type is the same color of the corn stubble I passed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wisconsin Day

Evelyn and I began walking to a nearby bakery at 10:30 am. It wasn't far but it was 30 degrees. Once inside she was easily distracted by the candies, cakes, and a giant gingerbread house that she sat in. I wish I had taken the camera. We arrived home at 11:30, just as it began to spit snow. By 12:15 it was snowing hard. That lasted a good 45 minutes, then the sun came out and melted everything. Weather is very changeable and grim. Until arriving here I had never seen a Dora the Explorer Cartoon. Evelyn is hypnotized by them and the library has quite a collection... so yes, I am letting her watch cartoons when I run out of energy. She has been great. Very sweet and pooping and peeing right where I want her to. Yeah!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Milwaukee Visit #2

Left Middleton at 3:30 after Kevin had his eye appointment. Drive was uneventful and not too bad. We began in congestion, drove thru 25 miles of farmland, then back into sprawling traffic. Jesse loves seeing Evelyn. The two of them are in the shower together as I type. She looks good and seems to be in pretty good spirits. Evelyn and I will be going to a nearby hotel for the night. Kevin has a fold up bed and can stay with Jesse. Tomorrow morning we will return to the hospital for more visiting then we will return to Madison. Evelyn and I made flat bread this morning. She ended up with one piece to play with and had a great time rolling it, squishing it and pounding it with a meat tenderizer. (We ended up a throwing her piece away.) Aunt Mary came to dinner last night and helped Evelyn and me rake the back yard. It was 50 degrees then, almost balmy compared to some of the 20 degree mornings we've had.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Day

Evelyn woke up at 6:15 and came to play with me. We have Jesse's eggcate mattress from the Madison Hospital on my bed now. It is great. I slept better last night than any other night. Kevin is in the shower and before too long we are taking off to Milwaukee to visit Jesse. She will remain in the hospital up there till Turnip joins us. It is an hour and a half away. She traveled from Madison to Milwaukee by ambulance late yesterday afternoon. Weather has warmed up to 40 and is much warmer than yesterday. Yesterday I took Evelyn to a playgroup that is sponsored by Madison Public Schools. There were 25 kids there. But it was fun and nice for Evelyn to see some friends. She was especailly attentive during snack time!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Madison, WI

Am sitting in Jesse's hospital room while Kevin pushes Jesse and Evelyn around the halls in a double wide wheelchair. It sounds like a decision might be made tomorrow as to whether Jesse returns home or travels to Milwaukee for the rest of the pregnancy. No decision as of yet. From her 6th floor window I can see two older brick buildings that look like old schools. In the distance the tops of brown trees with clouds and blue sky floating above. Woke up this morning to 20 degree weather, but it only seemed like it was the low 40's due to the lack of humidity. My foot is 100 % better here than in RI. That tells me that most of my foot problems are due to arthritis. This morning Evelyn and I took a shower together and she screamed when it was time for her to get out. She had a dental appt. at 9 am. Since this was her first visit to the dentist, she was a bit apprehensive. All they did was clean her teeth!! She came out smiling, gripping a toothbrush in one hand and a toy in the other. While she went to gymnastics with Kevin I went to Cub Foods and bought food for a week. I made a weeks worth of menus last night, so I knew what to get. Evelyn does not like casseroles, so the menu is pretty plain. Tomorrow night we are having her favorite ... pepperoni pizza!!! All of you who know me as a timid driver would be very proud. I've driven to church, to the grocery store and even to downtown Madison. No problems and it's a stick shift!! My day began at 4:30 am. I guess my body is still on RI time. So although it's only 1:20 I'm going to stretch out on Jesse's bed and get some rest.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chicken Curry in a Hurry

1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 - 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
1 rotisserie chicken
2 cups cooked white rice
cilantro for garnish

Heat oil in a large skillet. Saute onion for 7 minutes. Sprinkle with curry powder and cook for 1 min. Add yogurt and cream and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in seasonings and tomatoes. Re-move from heat. Shred chicken and add to curry. Spoon over rice.

These recipes will be needed in Wisconsin.... thus the appearance of 3!!

Bran Flax Muffins

1 and 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup flaxseed meal
3/4 cup oat bran
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 and 1/2 cups grated carrots
2 apples, peeled and grated
1/2 cup raisins, optional
1 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

mix together all dry ingredients and fruits/vegetables in one bowl. Mix all wet ingredients in another. Stir everything till it is just mixed. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 350 for 15-20 min.
makes 15 muffins

Super Flatbread Wraps

recipe taken from Healthy Cooking p. 31, August-September 2008

1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour

I'm not writing the instructions.. ran out of time. The ingredients are listed for me. Check out the magazine for complete instructions. Makes 4 pieces of flatbread.

One Busy Day

Just made a reservation to fly to Madison on Saturday. Jesse has been hospitalized for 5-7 days. Then they will figure out what to do next. See her blog. Tomorrow will be spent getting ready - banking, washing and packing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Last night my world turned yellow.
Today the yard was alive, gasping.
Fighting to hold its own.

By sunset the battle was done .