Several months ago, my local Stop & Shop installed barcode scanners so that you can scan and bag your groceries as you go along. Can I just say how much I love doing this? Granted, most times I start shopping this way I end up having to go to a cashier, regardless (either something won’t scan or I find some meat with a coupon… something like that). But still, just the fact that it adds up my total for me as I go along is great. Plus, very often it gives me “coupons” based on my shopping history. Since you pretty much never get a coupon for strawberries in the Sunday paper, getting on on the scanner is awesome. Does your grocery store offer this service? What do you think of it?
Please excuse the remnants of dinner on the table in this photo. (Ravioli cooked with tomato sauce, onions, and peppers in the Crock Pot, by the way. It was really good!) Yesterday afternoon I picked up our final CSA share for the season. I was disappointed we didn’t get any butternut squash (I’d been hoping for it so I could make soup), but it is still a great share. We got a head of lettuce, arugula, greens (I chose kale), broccoli, carrots, parsnips, rutubaga, turnips, garlic, three delicata squash, and “take what you want” for peppers. I’m not even sure what the dark ones are or the long, skinny ones but I was excited to try them. Drew and I both love peppers.
With the kale and potatoes I plan to make a copycat recipe of the Zuppa Toscana served at The Olive Garden. I just need to pick up some cream or half-and-half. I’ve been planning on roasting a chicken this weekend anyway so I think the parsnips and carrots will go well with that. I’m determined to make something with the rutubaga. In the newsletter there’s a recipe for maple roasted root vegetables with walnuts that I might try.
So that’s that. We’re not particpating next year, but I do plan on making better use of local farmer’s markets for fresh, local produce. And I don’t have to purchase things we don’t eat (I’m talking to you, bok choy). Of course, now the challenge will be to keep our veggie consumption up over the winter when I don’t have a big basket of pre-picked veggies every other Tuesday. I think with a little inititiative I’ll do OK.
Yesterday was my birthday. I am now thirty-four years old.
I was filling out a sign-up form and my age group was 18-34. My last year in this younger group. Sigh… I’m trying to tell myself it’s just a number
Sticker-shock aside I had a lovely day. Drew and the boys gave me a basket full of vanilla-scented bath gels and lotions from Bath & Body Works as well as a couple extras, including a small lotion in their new fragrance “Twilight Woods.” It smells so pretty! I was also given this beautiful necklace that Drew and Jake found at the flea market a few weeks ago. I don’t have anything like it and I absolutely love it!
I also decided to open a bottle of Mas de la Dame Coin Caché Blanc 2005 that we’ve had for a while. I’d planned to drink it on my birthday last year, but I was pregnant at the time. I originally had it at a distributor-sponsored tasting when we had the wine shop. I love this wine! It’s a blend of 80% Semillon and 20% Clairette. So delicious.
Drew wanted to take me out to dinner, so we went to Red Lobster because I was craving shrimp. I wasn’t sure how it would go over with the boys, but they actually loved it too. Noah just had mac & cheese, but Jake tried popcorn shrimp and ate every last bite. I went for the scampi and coconut shrimp — my two favorites. Drew also ordered me a slice of key lime pie and the waitresses brought it over and sung “Happy Birthday.” I am quite sure I turned beet red, LOL! The pie was super yummy, too.
I also was overwhelmed with birthday wishes by friends from all over the world, thanks to the wonder of Facebook. It might be silly but it does make me feel closer to people I don’t get to see often.
It was a good day.
I feel like this has been such a long weekend, and yet it seems weird that it’s already Sunday night. The time dragged, yet where did it go? Friday morning we were off early, heading to WMass to my grandmother’s funeral. It was very nice and I think she would have approved of her send-off. My mom kept things simple, just as Babci would have preferred. The service was private, just immediate family. Afterwards we had lunch at Steaming Tender and everything was delicious! I opted for a bowl of lobster bisque and a garden salad and I really enjoyed them both.
After lunch we headed back to my parents’ house. Drew and Jake stayed for a few minutes before heading back here. Jake had a birthday sleepover to attend on Friday night and there was no reason for him to miss that. I stayed up at my parents’ with Noah and Laura. My cousin gave me a much-needed haircut and I basically hung out with my family for a couple days. It was quite relaxing. I came home early this morning and then we all picked up Jake from his religion class and then hit Friendly’s for lunch.
As for Drew’s aunt, she continues to do well. It is still crazy to think that a week before all this happened she was in Sicily. If I ever do extensive travel I think I might consider travel insurance after all this, just in case.
So now I am just hoping for a boring, quiet week. Noah is on the mend from a slight case of pneumonia. I think my cold is finally gone and Drew is fighting off something. I’m thinking that a week of comfort foods might be in order. I’m done with excitement for a while, thankyouverymuch.
Wow, I can’t believe how long it took me to finish this. What should have been a relatively quick project took over three months. But I’ve finished it and I’m pretty happy with my attic24 bag. Noah seems to like it a great deal. He tried to sneak off with it and use it to store some Hot Wheels cars and toy truck accessories, but no — this is my new project bag.
I altered the pattern slightly by crocheting two decrease rows before the scallop edging. I wanted the bag to go back in a little bit. I think one row would have been sufficient, looking back on it. If I do another one, I’ll also not make the bottom so large. This makes a very B-I-G bag. But now I can focus on some smaller projects:
… a few more pumpkin hats for some sweet little babies with cold heads! Then winter hats for my dad and Drew, some fingerless mitts for myself, and oh yes I still plan to cast on for Colonnade. Hopefully I can breeze through the hats because I’m really itching to switch back to knitting and start working on this shawl.
My last remaining grandparent passed away yesterday. My Babci had spent the last five years in a nursing home and the last few days had been especially bad for her. She’d been sick for a long time and although my mind knows that this is for the best (she hated living like this, when really for the last year it was merely “existing”), my heart is still understandably sad. Though, truthfully, knowing that she is at peace and in a much better place now does make it easier for me.
The other day I read this quote, “Remember how they lived, not how they died” and I have been thinking about that a lot. My grandmother was a wonderful, amazing person who (and I mean this in the best possible way) could also frustrate you beyond belief with her stubbornness. It’s who she was.
She loved reading the Boston Herald and Star magazine. She was incredibly interested in politics and volunteered every election day to help with voting, as long as she could.
She canned gallons of string beans and tomatoes. She made the best pierogis, cabbage soup, and churst. She loved clothes, but rarely bought them new — she loved second-hand shops and her closets were jammed.
She swore like a sailor, which was pretty funny considering how very proper she acted otherwise.
When we were kids, on half-days of school she and our great-uncle would take us to either the Sunset Restaurant for the lunch special or to Ponderosa for the buffet before we walked around the Eastfield Mall. It used to drive me and Mike crazy that she had to stick an apple and a couple rolls in her purse.
Every spring she planted alyssum and marigolds and these small purple flowers (I can’t think of what they’re called) in the raised bed next to her house. She loved the Red Sox. And talk radio. And news programs. Every night she sat on her front porch and prayed the rosary (while simultaneously keeping a very close eye on the comings and goings of everyone on the street, LOL….).
She had the best laugh.
She sewed matching outfits for me and my brother for many holidays. She used to let me use her sewing machine and scraps to make blankets for my Barbie dolls. (And now I have heaps and heaps of unused rick-rack, binding, zippers, buttons and other notions, as well as a stack of fabric that she never used.)
She was a hard worker. She mowed her own lawn well into her 70s.
She got to meet and hold Jake, Noah, and Laura. (She was so relieved when she found out that our third child was going to be a girl; apparently girls take good care of their mamas when they get old — a testament to how amazing my own mother is, I think).
Having lived next door to her from birth until my Junior year in high school, I have so many memories as you can imagine. These are a just a few snippets of who she was. She was one of a kind and didn’t take guff from anyone. She was a great person and a wonderful grandmother.
I’ll miss you, Sophie.
As I mentioned, I hadn’t planned on going to Sheep & Wool due to weather, illness, and the situation with Drew’s aunt. Saturday (the day I’d originally planned to go) I was sulky about being stuck home even though I still felt pretty yucky. In the afternoon I began to feel a lot better so I was sulky because I was feeling better and knew from previous experience there that it would be near-impossible to enjoy myself if I brought all three of the munchkins. Drew got home mid-afternoon and we ended up getting take-out and a movie so the day turned out all right, but I was still a little bummed.
Sunday the weather was cold and rainy. Drew and Jake were at a “Show & Sell” over at William’s Lumbers for the Cub Scouts popcorn fundraiser. William’s is just down the street from the fairgrounds. When they got back around 2:30 he mentioned that it seemed like there weren’t that many people over there. I think he knew I wanted to go I said, “What the heck, right?” and threw on a sweater, grabbed my Scrunchable Scarf and headed over. Every light I hit turned green as I approached, I was flagged into a great parking spot, and the rain seemed to stop as soon as I pulled in. Even though I would only have about two hours there, it was two hours to myself, surrounded by yarn.
I hustled through the buildings and tents to get an idea of what I might want. Probably not fast enough to burn fat, but I kept a pretty good pace. I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money because I have a pretty big gift card for WEBS. I saw a lot of pretty things, but nothing that was really calling out to me. I decided to browse through the food building and saw Cascade Mt. Winery. I hoped they might still have some of this spiced wine that I love, and sure enough they did! Even better, because the show was close to closing it was discounted, so my $12 bottle of Heavenly Daze only cost me $8. It will be so good on a snowy evening.
Wandering back through Building B, this yarn caught my eye. I don’t usually go for these colors, but… this is what was calling out to me. I think it shall become some kind of shawl or wrap. The festival was pretty slow late on Sunday and it was nice not fighting crowds. It was exactly the kind of thing I needed.