Quick, before I get Sidetrack'd

Archive for October, 2007

Isn’t it odd how…

Thoughtfully penned on October 30th, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Sidetrack'd, Things that make you say "what?!"

I might have mentioned that it rained here every day last week. Not just scattered showers, but cold rain all day long. Little and I were longing for a dry moment to play outside by the time Friday afternoon came along.

Every day last week I felt like we needed to do something to get out of the house. Monday we ran errands and had a doctor appointment; Tuesday we went to the mall with a friend; Wednesday we went to Bible Study Fellowship; Thursday we had a play date at a friend’s house; and Friday we went to Target and the mall (to return some things) just to get out of the house, not because we really needed to.

So today it is a beautiful sunny day with a temperature of 61 currently and headed toward the low 70s. And what have we done?

I’m still in my pajamas at 12:20. Go figure.

Fall Into Reading update

Thoughtfully penned on October 25th, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Goals, Reading

We are a little over a month into the Fall Into Reading challenge and so far things are going pretty well with my reading list. As it stands now, I have five books to finish and just under two months to accomplish my goal. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly to date:

The good – Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, et al.

I began reading this book back in the summer but had to set it aside when morning sickness set in and I could no longer handle reading about food. I was anxious to pick it back up as I really enjoyed what I had read and was not disappointed by the remainder of the book.

This non-fiction book records the efforts of Kingsolver’s family to eat locally for a full year. They accomplished the task by gardening, raising poultry (they live on a farm in Appalachia), visiting the local farmers’ market, and dealing with other farmers in their area to procure the food they needed. I found her stories about small-scale farming, canning, dealing with animals, and working with her neighbors to be both good reading and food for thought.

If you are interested in learning more about eating locally (either through growing your own or using local resources), eating organically, or just have an interest in how the modern American food business works I would recommend this book. It is well written, easy to read, and prompted many discussions between Matt and myself.

The bad – The Butterfly Effect by James Swallow

I don’t know that this book is bad per se, but it has been removed from my list. I’m not sure exactly how or when this book was added to my master reading list, but as I looked more closely at the book I decided it didn’t really interest me. I will probably add a book in place of this one; I just haven’t decided on one yet.

The ugly – Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Have you ever looked at a book numerous times over several months, been excited about reading it when you finally get to it, and then been disappointed when you started reading? That is how I felt with this book. I’ve wanted to read it for a couple of years now, so for a while I tried to trudge through it. When I realized that I had only read about 40 pages in almost two weeks and really had no interest in picking it back up, I knew it was time to let it go. Disappointing, yes, but there are too many books to read to get caught up on one I don’t enjoy.

Welcome Fall

Thoughtfully penned on October 24th, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Sidetrack'd

Although fall officially started a month ago, it is jut now making it’s way to West Tennessee. The temperatures over the last few weeks have been in the high-70′s to upper-80′s range, and let me just tell you how silly I feel wearing shorts and flip-flops every day in October.

Things began to change on Monday when the rain started and a cold-front moved through. It has been raining for three days now and is supposed to continue through tomorrow. Rain is tough with a little girl who loves to play outside, but the cool weather is worth the insanity.

So this week we are celebrating the onset of Fall: temperatures in the 50′s; the opportunity to wear long sleeves, sweatshirts, and jackets; soup weather. There is something about the change of weather that comes in Spring and Fall that makes me smile.

And now, a post about baseball

Thoughtfully penned on October 23rd, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Of games and good things, Sidetrack'd, The Great American Pastime

I haven’t written about baseball this season even though we are huge fans of the game. However, a trip to the World Series for our favorite team warrants a few words.

On Sunday night, the Boston Red Sox completed a come back from a 3 games to 1 game deficit in the American League Championship Series to defeat the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 and win the AL penant and a trip to the World Series.

In celebration of their win, Jonathon Papelbon, the Sox closing pitcher, danced for the fans. This video isn’t great quality, but it is still pretty funny to see a baseball player dancing Riverdance.

The World Series begins Wednesday night featuring the Boston Red Sox versus the Colorado Rockies, and you better believe that we’ll be watching. Go Sox Go!!

Apple Cake Recipe

Thoughtfully penned on October 22nd, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Good Eats, In the kitchen

Last night Matt and I were in charge of dessert for our Life Group meeting, so we pulled out one of our all-time favorite fall cake recipes. It had been a couple of years since we made this particular cake, and I had forgotten just how wonderful it is. Enjoy for dessert, as a yummy breakfast treat with your coffee, or just as a tasty snack.

5 apples (smallish) – peeled, cored, and sliced thin (we usually cut them into thin bite-size chunks)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

4 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
2. Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer (or in stand mixer) for 15 minutes on high speed. Add oil and blend in.
4. Add flour mixture and mix well. Add vanilla and blend. Fold apples and nuts into batter.
5. Pour batter into prepared 9×13 inch pan.
6. In small bowl, combine 4 teaspoons white sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over cake prior to baking.
7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

I originally printed this recipe from allrecipes.com several years ago.

Little’s new skills

Thoughtfully penned on October 19th, 2007 and generally concerning E

My baby girl is growing and learning every day. It’s hard to believe how much she has changed in just the last few months. A couple of recent activities from her growing repertoire of skills…

~Yesterday evening she was playing in the dining area (we have an eat-in kitchen) while Matt and I finished eating dinner. We have a chest against the wall behind the table and beside the chest was a gallon can of paint (eventually we’ll get around to using it in the laundry room). I looked up from taking a bite of dinner to see Little climbing up to stand on the paint can. She had decided to use it as a step-stool to reach something she wanted on top of the chest.

~This morning she wanted some dried fruit to eat. I told her it would take a minute to get her snack because we needed a bowl. I preceded to reach into the cabinet to get a snack cup, and when I turned around Little had opened the Tupperware drawer and retrieved one of her small bowls. She was standing there sweetly, holding out her bowl for me to pour her fruit into it.

~And falling into the “makes me laugh” category – a couple of weeks ago she was standing near the baby-gate at the hallway leaned over where her head touched the ground, reaching backward between her legs to grab the gate bars, and shaking the gate.  I wish I had a picture, but, unfortunately, I missed it; so all I have to go on is the description Matt gave me.

You never know what that little girl is going to do next, but it sure is fun to see.

14 weeks – out come the maternity clothes

Thoughtfully penned on October 18th, 2007 and generally concerning J, Pregnancy

The last few days – seemingly all of a sudden – my jeans have decided they won’t button. I’m surviving with a ponytail holder looped over the button, through the button hole, and back over the button; it works but isn’t the most attractive or effective way of keeping ones pants up.

So, right now there is a load of pants in the wash that includes my new maternity jeans and a pair of black maternity pants. On the laundry room floor, awaiting their turn in the wash, is a load of maternity shirts.

During my first pregnancy I didn’t wear maternity clothes until 17 weeks; I knew it would come sooner this time around but thought I might still have a week or two. Little was a late-summer baby which means my wardrobe consisted mainly of shorts and summery tops. This pregnancy requires me to start basically from scratch; that’s a good thing because it means lots of new clothes, but a bad thing because I haven’t done much shopping yet. I guess it’s a good thing that Fall is being slow coming to West Tennessee.

If you happen to know of a good source for petite or short-length pants, I would love to hear about it.  Pants are the hardest part because several places don’t carry petites at all, and the ones that do usually only have a couple of styles.

Family weekend

Thoughtfully penned on October 11th, 2007 and generally concerning E, Family, Grandparents, Of games and good things

Last weekend Matt, Little, and I had the opportunity to visit with my brother and nephews (10 years and 6 years) in Nashville. We only get to see my brother’s family a few times a year due to distance (about 9 hours drive) and schedules, so it is always a treat when we can spend time together. We didn’t do anything very exciting, but it was a great time to just relax, hang out, and play with the boys.

Everyone drove in on Saturday morning and we all met at my parents’ house. Jason and the boys arrived about lunch time which meant a trip to Cracker Barrel – a family favorite. After lunch we came back to my parents’ house, put Little down for a nap, and played around for a while. We started watching the UT Vols game, but by halftime they seemed to have everything under control so we moved on to other things. The boys are both into baseball so Matt, Jason, and the boys played catch and practiced some pitching in the front yard.

Sunday morning we went to church together, went out to lunch (we don’t eat at home much when we’re with my parents), and then Matt, Little, and I headed home so Matt could get ready to head back to work on Monday. Sunday afternoon, Jason and my oldest nephew met my uncle and his grandson at LP Field to watch the Titans take on (and beat) the Falcons. They had a great time even though they came home a bit sunburnt.

Little loved playing with her cousins, and they absolutely adore her. It is so sweet to watch them playing together and to see the boys talking to her and wanting to spend time with her. If Little was awake, one of the boys was sure to be close by her side.

Although it wasn’t a weekend that will be remembered for excitement or adventure, it was a great weekend filled with family. Before Saturday it had been about 6 months since I saw my nephews, hopefully it won’t be as long until I see them again.

The name game

Thoughtfully penned on October 4th, 2007 and generally concerning Meme, Sidetrack'd

I saw this meme over at Adventures in Babywearing and thought it was quite funny…

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Calico Subaru

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Cookies & Cream Chocolate Chip

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl� NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name),

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),
Blue Penguin

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, hospital where you were born),
Catherine Baptist

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (�The� + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),
The Purple Fruit Tea (and exactly what superpower would someone by that name possess??)

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),
William Joseph

9.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),
Ann Michael

10. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),
Coleman Cleveland

11. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).
Christmas Tulip

12. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie� or “y�)
Banana Shortsie

13. HIPPIE NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Bagel Japanese Maple

14. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (�The� + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour�),
The Reading Rain Tour

If you decide to play along, let me know; I would love to read your names.

Hi, my name is Jana, and I blog

Thoughtfully penned on October 3rd, 2007 and generally concerning E, J, Pregnancy, Reading, Sidetrack'd

Well, not recently, but that’s supposedly what goes on around here. It seems like every time I come back to blog it’s been a week (or more) since I was here last. And believe me, it’s not that I don’t want to spend time with all of you who stop by; it’s just that the time keeps slipping away.

Anyway, on to a bit of this and a bit of that…

~Last Monday I visited the doctor for my first prenatal appointment. I was able to hear the baby’s heartbeat, which is always fun. Everything is going well, and the due date is set for mid-April. I thought it might be a little less awe-inspiring this time since I’ve been here before, but I was wrong. I can’t wait until my next visit and the opportunity to hear that sweet sound again. (as an aside: the baby is currently known as Baby Boo and will be referred to as such for the foreseeable future)

~The morning sickness seems to be letting up. I still have my moments, but overall I’m feeling better. I’m very glad at this turn of events.

~Little and I contracted a head-cold last week. I hate having a stuffy nose. Little didn’t sleep well at all on Saturday night because she couldn’t suck her thumb and breath at the same time, which means none of us slept well. Needless to say, we didn’t do much this weekend.

~I finished Memoirs of a Geisha, the first book from my Fall Into Reading list. I really enjoyed the book and found myself caught up in the narrative of the peasant-girl-turned-kept-woman to the point that I didn’t want to quit reading. Arthur Golden does a great job of story-telling and presenting exotic places and people in a such a way that I could picture them in my mind. If you haven’t read this one yet, I would recommend it (but be warned that there are a few parts that are quite risque).

~The “Bookshelf” portion of my sidebar is being updated to contain the books I’ve chosen to read this fall. If I add anything to my list, I will also add it to the bookshelf.

~I love to read on recommendation. If you have a favorite book, or a book you’ve read recently that you really enjoyed, I would love to hear about it. Please leave me a note in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by, and hopefully I’ll meet you here again soon!