Monday, December 31, 2007

Farmer's Market

Last Wednesday, the Boy and I took a trip to the Farmer's Market. A local organic farm that also has a CSA program, started this up in early December. I can say it easily surpassed my expectations. It was fruit and veggies galore. It all smelled so delicious and fresh. It was refreshing.

We were members of this farm for a couple of years. We stopped for awhile because we moved and weren't planning on staying in Florida. I'd like to join up again next season. For now though, this is fantastic.

We filled our basket with young Tatsoi, beautiful kale, strawberries(tis the season!),tangerines, bell peppers, and some huge globe cherry tomatoes. I can honestly say, if we had purchased these in the organic produce from any of our local stores, we would have easily paid double. It definitely wouldn't have tasted as good. I'm already planning to get some fresh herbs this Wednesday along with more produce.

Happy New Year's!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It was very merry here on Christmas

Christmas was so much fun this year. It definitely is going to be memorable, especially for the Boy. He had the awareness a lot more this year, and the excitement was contagious. We didn't do as well with the Homemade Pledge as we had hoped, but I feel OK with that. Our gifts seemed to have a theme of creating, reading, games and music. My parents spent the morning at my home, and we later spent the early evening enjoying a meal together at their home. It was very casual and nice.

I hate to take all the decorations down that we so lovingly put up. So, we are lingering a bit with them. Maybe we'll have it all down by New Year's.

I will mention that the Boy is enjoying the new drum set he received. Of course, that goes along with mentioning my Husband really loves his new guitar amp. If we could just throw in a entire family would be making music together nightly! I think I'm going to pick up a pair of ear plugs though, I have sensitive ear drums.

Hope the season has been enjoyable for everyone out there reading!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The shortest day, the longest night

On Saturday we casually celebrated the Winter Solstice. It was actually a beautiful day here, and it started out cooler than average. After we spend the morning with Bubba, we went home for some lunch and planning.

The Boy and I decided to string some puffed corn with fresh cranberries. There was no popcorn in the house, but I had read puffed corn is OK. This worked out well, but I'm pretty sure the lizards and ants are the ones actually eating it. I'm hoping the squirrels see it too. The birds do not seem to be interested, of course there are a lot of natural berries available for them right now. They aren't searching the way they would if we had snow.

The Boy picked a spot to plant his Solstice tree. He wanted to be able to see it from the window. We both dug the hole, added some good soil and planted it. I think it will enjoy it's home. Most of the plants around that section of our yard have flourished.

We also enjoyed the beautiful night. We went for a drive to the country. There is a family who decorate, which is an understatement, with lights all over their fields, house and pond. I couldn't get a decent picture, but it was amazing. The moon was huge over us, and while staring up into it an owl landed right above on a telephone pole. Majestic is the only word that comes to mind.

It was a beautiful day and night. We are almost fully prepared for Christmas, but lots of baking is going to be happening on Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Winter Solstice

Tomorrow we are celebrating the Winter Solstice. It is different getting used to the rhythms of nature here, but there is a change in seasons. The subtle difference you can feel in the early mornings and early evenings is nice.

The Boy and I are planning on celebrating with some cookie and muffin baking. I also have some seed I plan to mix with nut butter and hang for the birds. I was thinking of putting something out for our squirrel family too. They provide a lot of entertainment while we play out back.

I'll have some pictures this weekend. Have a very happy Solstice.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The scent of cinnamon

I've been wanting to make cinnamon ornaments for a couple years now. I never seemed to get around to it, but this year I made it happen. The recipe I had previously disappeared, so I had to find a new one. I ended up using this one. Since it was Saturday the Boy and I were accompanied by Bubba. We searched all over our town for a large amount of cinnamon. Finally, on a whim, we found really inexpensive jars of cinnamon and purchased ten of them. I figured it wasn't for eating, only for "scenting".

Though there are only two ingredients, this was actually more work than I expected. But, I'm sure by next season I'll be ready to do this again. My nose still can feel the cinnamon burning inside. The Boy did a lot of kneading and rolling, but his favorite was using the cookie cutters he picked out. He was a pro by the end of it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Because they were so delicious, I decided to take some pictures of our meals the past two nights. I am glad being vegan is actually so delicious. So many people misunderstand and think we only eat lettuce. These pictures are variations of recipes from the only cookbook I seem to talk about on here, Vegan With a Vengeance.
Seitan with bell peppers, onions and BBQ sauce over brown rice.

Tempeh sausage pizza with "cheeze" sauce on homeade pizza dough.

Tempeh Cooking:



Friday, December 14, 2007

Over the fence

We had a new spotting in our back yard recently. On the way out Saturday morning, I forgot our sunglasses. The Boy stayed in the back yard doing his routine of "running faster than the cheetahs". All of a sudden I heard him running through our lanai yelling "there is a boy on the fence and he's talking to me!!" I immediately had all sorts of visions, none of which turned out to be the situation. There was a quick sighting of a red head peeking over the fence. He jumped down once he saw me. He did pop up one more time, and my son took advantage to tell him every single thing we were going to be doing that morning.

The Boy has been keeping his eye out for the red headed fellow. We never get the chance to actually know the neighbors behind us because it is a rental. No one ever seems to stay very long. After a while, we figured he was a rare sighting.

Until last night. Those little hands were seen on the fence. Shortly after, the red head popped over. Oh, the humor of a four and six year old talking. The words that clenched my heart were from my son, "I've been waiting to see you ALL week!!" There was a lot of name spelling, talk of spiderman, soccer, football, golf, get the idea. It all lasted a short while until our new friend needed to go in to eat.

I'm hoping this works out. We don't have much luck finding friends in the neighborhood, so my son is really hoping to see him again.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Curious about what exactly was cooking in that pot? It's my family's beloved seitan. The recipe is a modified version from Vegan with a Vengeance. I'm very anxious to purchase a copy of her new cookbook, Veganomicon. I usually either make the marinade for it or use a bbq sauce for marinade. Saute it up with onions and green bell peppers, and I serve it over some brown rice. So delicious and fairly easy.

I've also been working on some knitted gifts. That black hat is a modified version of Crazy Aunt Purl's knitted hat directions. Apparently though, my math was incorrect or maybe my son's head has grown. Either way, the green in the picture is a new hat I'm knitting for him. The boy has the same size head as his Dad, and he's 4.

And that is my coffee this morning. I know it looks really light, and that is how I drink it. I try not to get a lot of caffeine in my diet. My coffee is usually a half a finger coffee, and the rest of the mug is vanilla soymilk. A vegan cafe au lait, sort of. I didn't sleep well, as my neighbors left their poor dog outside all night and he barked the entire night. Of course, then there was the fighting cats for the other half of the night. I'm going to need a nap I think.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I've never been good at telling jokes. It doesn't matter how simple or complex the joke is. If I'm telling it, there will only be me laughing hysterically before the joke even hits the punch line.

My husband on the other hand excels at joke telling. He also keeps a register of thousands of jokes in his head at all times. I can't even guess the number of times I have been asked "Who is the most famous vegetable???". Give up? Elvis Parsley.

My son has taken quite an interest in joke telling. At this point he likes to take a favorite joke, such as: "What did one egg say to another egg??? Get CRACKIN!!", and turn it into another joke. Some variations are: "What did one bear say to another bear??? Get Crackin!" "What did one Christmas tree say to another Christmas tree??? Get MOVIN!" "What did one candy cane say to another candy cane?? Get Striping!!" I think you get the routine.

I love these jokes. He gets such happiness out of telling them because he loves to make people laugh. I'm hoping he inherited his Dad's joke telling capabilities, because one will know how funny some of the jokes he is trying to tell are.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cooking Muffins

The Boy and I decided to make some muffins today from our tattered Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook. This cookbook has been used so frequently that I'm afraid I'll need a new copy! These are the Carrot-Raisin Muffins from page 47. For some reason the food that I cook doesn't always look "pretty". It tastes delicious, really. Or maybe I'm just unable to capture the yummy-ness in my pictures.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Two Trees

We have two trees this season. Our new artificial tree which is beautiful, and you cannot mistake that it is fake. We did this on purpose, plus the boy really wanted a white glittery Christmas tree. We love it, and are glad we picked this one.

We also have a live tree, which is tiny but equally as beautiful. What isn't beautiful in nature, really? It is our solstice tree. My son keeps it in his room and after we celebrate the solstice it will be planted in a special spot in our yard. It was grown locally and is meant to live in our area. It is too small to hold any lights or heavy decor, so we have some tin ones on it.

Our yard and house is decorated and lighted this year as well. I enjoy this time of year, and I enjoy sharing it with those I love.