Cabbage Roll Soup


This is a placeholder photo until I can take a better one that does the soup justice. Or just click on the link. It looks amazing there.

I’ve never had cabbage rolls, so I can’t say anything about how true-to-flavor the soup is, but yanno, I don’t need to have cabbage rolls to know this soup is really good.

I used this recipe with the following alterations:

– no pork, because I didn’t have it (it was delicious with just beef)

– half green cabbage, half purple cabbage, because it’s what I had

– 2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes pulsed in the blender a few times (instead of diced tomatoes, which I didn’t have)

– dried herbs instead of fresh (as a general rule, 1 Tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon dried)

It seems like a very adaptable recipe, and one pot to boot! Plus all the kids liked it, which makes it even better in my book.

Random Bits


I love these pencils. There are too many in the set to share all of them, but these are a few of my favorites.

Edited to add: They are by U Brands and are available on Amazon. (Not an affiliate link, wasn’t paid to share. I just like these.)

This is what practicing piano looks like these days. As you can see, I don’t get much practicing done. Or dusting.


Guess who finally got back to work!


It’s amazing what a hat can do for the bottom of a tool bag. Pokado named it Woody.

And, just when I thought the snow might be done…


Trapping a Song

LK has been up to stuff recently.


Like building a box trap for an elusive mouse. (We caught the mouse, but not in his trap, much to his disappointment.)

He regularly plinks at the piano, usually some tale involving a capture and a rescue, with a big battle leading up to an escape. I’ve been hearing the same phrases for a while now, and the other day I found him writing it down.


I checked his work, and his notes are correct. He still needs to learn the proper way to notate simultaneous notes on music manuscript, but it’s all there. He used his violin music as a reference. I was kind of proud.

Unrelated note: I wrote a short thing! ‘Tis my first go at flash fiction on a time limit. Apologies to Chihuahua lovers and vegans. It’s not personal, honest.

Cuisinart Blade Recall

Anyone who uses a Cuisinart food processor may want to look into the blade recall.

I filled out the form weeks ago even though my blade was undamaged and am still waiting for my replacement. Just in the last week, my blade developed small cracks around two rivets, and I don’t feel I can safely use it anymore.

I receive the occasional update from Cuisinart assuring me they haven’t forgotten me and my new blade is coming soon. Until then I’m back to processing by hand!

Walk, Run

I looked out the sunny window and thought, “Second day in a row of wonderful sun! We need to go for a walk.”

Then I looked out a different window (the one from which I can see approaching weather) and saw Big Dark Swirling Clouds. But I have a decent eye for this sort of thing and thought, “Meh, we can make it easy.”

At our furthest point out, I realized I’d misjudged the storm’s speed. So we picked it up a notch. I told Arc he had to ride in the stroller, because we weren’t going to beat the storm if he walked. I told LK to stop scaring his younger siblings with his “the storm is coming!!!!” drama. I don’t like drama. The Princess likes it even less and ordered LK to stay Far Away from the stroller.

One street away from home, I couldn’t help it. I had to take a couple pictures. Sprinkles fell lightly but regularly, and the wind announced the arrival of The Edge.


“Um, Mom? Can you please stop taking pictures so we can finish walking home? Now?” Said all my kids.

And, actually, we ran the last little way, because I couldn’t see anything beyond the solid wall of rain headed for us. Which is bad.tmp_9843-wp_20170216_15_16_31_pro-1925008265

The kids sprinted down the driveway, I hauled the double stroller onto the deck he-woman style, and 30 seconds later we were all safe inside.


Just in time.

A Gollum in the Snow

I slowly put on the Princess’ boots, coat, hat, and gloves. Then more slowly my own boots, coat, hat, and gloves. I didn’t particularly want to go outside in 20-something degree weather and 4″ of snow. But a promise was a promise, and the kids had been diligent in their school and chores, so Mom was coming outside to play.

“Mom! Mom!” Pokado ran up to me, cheeks already flushed and snow splattered across her back. “You know that slimy guy in The Hobbit? The one with ‘my precioussssss.'”


“Yes! Gollum! Come see, come see!”

So I trudged along, secretly admiring her impression of the creature, not knowing that there was more to her impression than I realized.

She stopped at a clean patch of snow, carefully laid down, then just as carefully stood up.

“Look!” she said, drawing a face on it. “It’s a snow Gollum!”


And I laughed.

And then I took to the back yard and walked with renewed purpose, pulling the Princess in the sled behind me. I still didn’t really want to be outside, but those are usually the days I need it most. tmp_16597-img_20170202_135533-1923581534

I spent 20 minutes chasing my snow Gollums away (referring here to my internal thoughts, although I chased the kids too), and you know what? By the time I left my walking track and returned to the house, the sun felt warmer. The hedge looked a little greener. And I no longer felt caught up in the tunnels of winter gloom.

I thanked God for a beautiful day (but still cold), for my children (who are optimistic enough to put a smile on Gollum), and for the seasons. I feel the hardest part is behind me now, and I can look forward to spring with eagerness.

I hear it in the wind, I hear it in the echoes of geese overhead. In the howl of the coyote, in the silence of the night.

It won’t be long now.