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Summer’s Nook

I know I’ve had the domain name for a while, but anyone who is still using summersnook.wordpress.com will have to change it.

My new place is a little unkempt for now but I’m working on it.
See you over there!

Crumby Kisses

Saturday’s are always busy for me. Today was no exception, and in fact it was even more busy than usual. I disinfected the bathroom, organized and deep cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the dining and living room and did three loads of laundry. I got an awful lot accomplished. That brings a nice feeling, but accomplishing those goals wasn’t the highlight of my day. The highlight of my day was taking a break and getting Angel girl ready for bed.

I sat with her in the recliner feeding her bites of cornbread. In between bites we played peek-a-boo and clapped our hands. Then she took the cornbread from my hand and decided to feed me instead. There I sat chuckling, as I nibbled on the slobbery cornbread she stuck in my mouth. Then, she gave me a kiss. A sweet, tiny pursed lip kiss with cornbread crumbs on the side. Then another one. And another one. I didn’t mind one bit. I loved every crumby kiss!

So from the comments in my last post it appears we are fairly evenly divided on musical preference. That got me curious – just what kind of music do you all like?

While I enjoy watching American Idol, I have never and probably will never buy a CD that any of those contestants put out. They’re talented and I love hearing their unique voices but, and even in spite of their supposed different musical styles, they pretty much all end up producing what I call pop “fluff”. And while pop fluff may be catchy, it’s not what I consider “good” music (ouch! don’t hit me!)

Of course I’ll still listen to and sing along with it on occasion (Shania, Ace of Base, ABBA), but it doesn’t impress. For one, I like the whole package. Not just an impressive singer, but one who writes their own songs and won’t conform to ideas of popular music just to make a buck. That’s why I loved Jewel so much when she first came on the scene. I loved her folksy voice and the beauty of a solo guitar accompaniment. Then the overwhelming background noise along with the conformity of typical pop song beats made their way into her music and transformed her into just another cheesy pop queen.

So, while I do enjoy your average pop and rock from time to time, I really love and appreciate music that is off the beaten path. Anyhow, here is a list of some of my current and all time favorite artists and bands:

*Sufjan Stevens – The first time I heard him all I could think was, “I’ve never heard anything like this before.” My favorite Album is Illinoise
* Beth Gibbons – I love her album, Out of Season. I enjoy that Beth changes her voice from song to song. It’s very cool.
* Iron & Wine – Love this guys soft but distinctive voice
* Wilco – I’ve heard every album and I’ve loved every song. These guys stay awesome even with all the evolving they’ve done. My personal favorite song at the moment is Side with the Seeds. I love to blast it and feel the energy from the guitar solo. It’s awesome!
The Cranberries – I loved this band since I was in Junior High and still listen to my favorite Album of theirs, No Need to Argue.
Jaymay – I just discovered her this week, though I can’t remember how. But I’m hooked.
Depeche Mode – Loved them since I was a teenager, and some of their songs still give me chills. Synthesizers aren’t usually a good thing, but these guys know how to make it work.

There’s plenty more but that’s a good start. So what do you like to listen to? Any artists or bands you recommend?

….COOK?

What?!?

WHAT?!?!?!?!?

Sure he’s good but he’s so generic. I am shocked. Absolutely shocked and yes, disappointed. I think Archuleta is infinitely more talented. I know Archuleta will be hugely successful in spite of his loss, but is anyone else in disbelief over this news?

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Tips for Weaning

There are technically two parts to the weaning process:

1. Weaning the baby from the breast
2. Convincing your breasts to stop producing milk

The following methods may not be effective for every woman but they worked for me

1. Weaning the baby from the breast
Friday May 16 was Angel girl’s last nursing session. I weaned her within a week using the following schedule:

Day 1 – Eliminated one nursing session
Day 3 – Eliminated two nursing sessions
Day 4 – Eliminated three nursing sessions
Day 5 – Had one final nursing session

We went straight from breast to sippy cup. This transition was made easier when I found a silicone spout sippy cup that Angel Girl really took to well.

2. Convincing your breasts to stop producing milk
Weaning your body off the baby is slightly more difficult to do. I must preface my advice by telling you that I was never an over full, milk spouting breast feeder to begin with, so maybe I don’t have as difficult a time as some women might, but here is what is currently working for me:

CABBAGE LEAVES

So, I have a head of cabbage in the fridge and every time I start feeling engorged, I peel two leaves off. I rinse them with cold water, pat them dry, then crush the veins with a rolling pin. Then (and this is easy cause they’re bra cup shaped πŸ˜› ), I stick a leaf in each bra, covering my entire breast. Within an hour I am noticeably less full. If you try this, change out the leaves every two hours or when they begin to wilt.

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Um, how do you end up with a bruise like this….

…and have no idea how you got it?

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Taken from the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building


“The city of right angles and tough, damaged people -Pete Hamill

Well, my mother and I must have been there on a good day because we didn’t run into people any meaner than I was already use to in this trashy city o’ mine, which shall remain nameless. πŸ™‚

So, some of you may have noticed I’ve been rather sporadic in my commenting of late and it’s because I’m still adjusting to life without my wonderful momma. She flew out and stayed with us for a week and oh, was it wonderful! I miss her terribly and I long for the interactions my children don’t get to have with their extended family members. So a visit is always a wonderful thing.

Yes, a visit from my mom means a date night or two with my husband. It means running to the store for something I forgot without having to drag all three kids out too. It means late nights spent playing Boggle, Cribbage, Rummikub and Take Two. And this year it meant taking a day trip to New York City, just me and her. I’ve lived within doable driving distance for 6 years and finally I made it, with my mom who had never been there before either.


Riding the Ferry out to Liberty Island. (Gosh I hope I look as good as my mom does when I’m 50)


At Ground Zero

This is Trinity Church, which was not a stop on our agenda but we happened to walk by it and it sucked me in. Some of you know I am an avid genealogist and am obsessed with love old church’s and cemeteries. This church and cemetery is smack dab in the middle of the city yet it seemed so tranquil there. I was in heaven looking at the ancient headstones (ca. 1700’s) and the architecture inside and out is breathtaking.


Here we are after hiring a bicycle taxi which I highly recommend, as they can veer in and out of traffic and if you love feeling a, gentler than a car with the top down, wind in your face. We had a blast on our short little ride.


Just a small portion of Times Square, from the seat of our bicycle taxi.

We had a great time with gramma around and a fantastic day in New York City!

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Photobucket
So? Did you do it? Did you take the challenge? Did you reconnect with your long lost self? *Which in my case happens to be 20 pounds thinner yet far more insecure*. If you did take the challenge, I want to know about it. Tell me you all did something? Play along and save me from feeling sheepish! Oh, and I took my own challenge in case you were wondering. Here’s my scoop:

Four months ago I started exercising. I started very slowly, as in 2 or 3, twenty five minute cardio sessions per week. For two months I did this, knowing it probably wouldn’t lose me any weight but wanting to feel more fit and build stamina. Two months ago I upped it to four days per week and began adding some target specific toning sessions (ah, but the stomach will never be the same again no matter what I do). I also began substituting the majority of my sweet cravings with low fat vanilla yogurt.

You can imagine my disappointment then, when with the addition of exercise and slightly better diet in my life I saw the scale staying at 140. I pondered how this could be, very discouraged. But then it came to my attention that sometimes nursing mothers have a very difficult time dropping the pounds. I don’t know if there is scientific fact behind that, but most of the nursing mother’s I’ve talked to say they really couldn’t lose all the weight until after they had finished nursing. So I decided to wean the Angel girl.

WAIT! Lest you think I’m a truly selfish mother, I’ll have you know that Angel girl is 13 months old and I had been wanting to wean her for a few weeks prior to learning that weaning might help me achieve my weight loss goal. It was more than I ever hoped for to be able nurse her for a full year, but it was definitely time for us. I knew that when I realized she was using me more as a pacifier than as a source of nourishment. πŸ˜‰

So on May 12 I cut out one feeding. On May 14 I cut out another feeding. On May 15 I cut out another feeding. On May 16 I nursed my darling baby for the last time and it was so bittersweet. But the adjustment for both of us has gone remarkably well. She loves her sippy filled with whole milk just fine and I’ve had very little discomfort in the way of engorgement.

In addition to weaning this last week, I put on a little bit of make up every day. I also upped my workout to 5, thirty five minute cardio sessions (plus I’m still doing the target specific toning). Even though I haven’t lost weight I feel fantastic and have so much more stamina than I did four months ago. But here’s hoping I am finally on the way to a slimmer me!

Click on and sign the Mr. Linky below to tell me about what you did this last week to reconnect with the woman inside.

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Death by Chocolate


β€œThe way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
Fanny Fern (1811-1872)

Hubby knows I’m especially fond of him when I make him something I myself can’t eat

Oh I know, it looks sorta plain from the outside.

But then you cut into it…

…and the gorging begins.

It’s the best homemade present I could give my hubby for his birthday, which is today by the way.

I know ya’ll want some, and it is soooo ridiculously easy to make, so give it a try.

Molten Lava Cake

6 oz. Semi-sweet or bittersweet baking chocolate
10 Tablespoons unsalted real Butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Grease four 6 oz. ramekins and dust with cocoa powder instead of flour.
3. In a double boiler melt the butter and chocolate, whisking every now and again till smooth.
4. Whisk in the powdered sugar and flour. It may get a little clumpy but it doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth before adding the eggs.
5. Add the three whole eggs and the additional 3 egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
6. Pour into the ramekins and place each ramekin on your oven rack.
7. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, or until the cakes are firm around the edges but soft and still somewhat sunken in the center. (Remember to make timing adjustments based on your altitude. You may need to shave off or add a few minutes)
8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Loosen edges with a knife and level off any overflow
9. Invert each ramekin onto a plate, dust with powdered sugar and garnish if desired. Serve warm.

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Fateful Day

We all have one. A day. The day. The day where something in our lives changed drastically forever. For me, May 14, 2005 was that day.

The morning started off with the usual routine. I took my thyroid medication for my Hypo-thyroidism. Then I took a new pill, 40mgs of Celexa. I had been having severe anxiety issues and had asked my new doctor if I could get back onto an anti-depressant. After an evaluation she agreed that I ought to be on one. So I began my treatment. And after that, the details become so very clear.

It was approximately 8:00 a.m. when I took the Celexa.

Exactly 2/12 hours later at 10:30 a.m. as I sat on the couch watching Rolie Polie Olie with my kids I began to feel a little nauseated. I went back to the bathroom thinking I would throw up but then the wave dissipated. I sat back onto the couch when another wave hit, this one twice as strong and with it came the feeling that I was losing consciousness. Suddenly I felt something was very wrong.
My arms were pulsing with warmth. Warmth shot from my head down to my toes. Every muscle in my body began quivering. I dialed my husband to tell him to come home. He could tell I sounded panicked and tried to talk me through what I was feeling. As I started talking to him my body calmed down slightly but towards the end of our conversation that jolting nausea accompanied by struggling to keep conscious surfaced. I told him I was passing out. Then I screamed into the phone that I was dying. I was sure if I lost consciousness I would be dead.

After I hung up the phone I found myself shaking violently again. I knelt down on the floor desperately trying to retch. But I couldn’t. My children were nearby asking me what was wrong. I just told them to watch the TV.

The shaking and zinging feelings shooting from my head and into my arms got worse and worse. I couldn’t even stand. With a prayer on my lips I crawled into the hallway until I couldn’t crawl anymore and curled up next to the bathroom. I couldn’t stop the trembling that had consumed my body. I felt so sick but I couldn’t throw up. My kids came into the hallway and hovered near me and I told them how much I loved them. Then I prayed that my husband would get home soon enough after I had died that they wouldn’t get into any major trouble running around the house on their own.

To be continued…

P.S. I have to continue it. I can’t write anymore. I thought I had worked up the courage to share this story but I’m actually shaking as I relive it.

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