Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Friday, October 30, 2009

old friendships never die

Had a visit from an old Jr. High school friend over this week. She was supposed to be in the country for an event with her grandmother. However flight delays and 'mechanical problems' caused her to miss the very thing she was coming for.
But- I got to have dinner with her and her siblings (whom I have not seen since they were in elementary school) and you know, it was like stepping back in time.
Not a beat was missed. We are all still as goofy and sarcastic as we ever were.It was as if she had not moved away. As if we were still the pre-teens, walking to school and making up our own languages.
I am so glad that she found the time to get out with us while she was here.

Now- If only I could get my darn car repaired so I can save up for my ticket to France to see her and her own territory.

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

I love you Darlene! Oh and double thanks for the french chocolates! Rachel thinks are hers alone --not

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Baby John

My niece is a young mother. Turning 20 this month and her baby is already six months old. I was a young mother. I understand how frustrating that can be.
She is also in a financial strain and her mother, my one and only sister, is also in the same predicament.
On a whim, my daughter decided we should take the baby and give my neice a break. The man she is living with, not the babies father, is out of town a lot and she was feeling overwhelmed. She was also fighting a bout of swine flu and just didnt have the energy needed for him.
Thursday night after working a full shift at work, I drove the 40 minutes home to grab my daughter then we hit the road for the 2 hour drive to pick up the baby.

It has been a great weekend playing mom again...being that my baby is now sixteen. It has also been an awakening for my girls. Babies are great fun, and we love having him here to cuddle. However he has been teething and also fighting an ear infection and had some challenging moments.

My older daughter put up his port-a-crib in her room and was great at getting up with him at night. I have faith in my girls that they will someday make great mothers. I also think that this weekend just might help them to hold off a few years before haveing children of thier own. It is great when you can send them back home.

I am also proud of the fact that they both seem to take on the challenges of the cranky baby on thier own but are open to help and input from me. I watch my older daughter watching me with the baby and she is learning patience and how to keep the stress to a minimum. My younger daughter still gets quite stressed and tries to calm him any way she can...she cannot handle crying for long.
It has been a fun time and a lesson for them.
And just in time to send him home to mother... I feel a cold coming on... great!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

As promised- easy roasted vegetables ( and potatoes)

Last week when we decided to try our trusty cooking skills on some yummy chicken Marsala, I also tossed a few of our home grown garden vegetables into the oven. The cool fall weather hit that day and the warm oven was just the thing to warm the house slightly.
Here is a simple easy way to warm up that abundance of vegetables we are all seeing this time of year.

Start out by chopping the vegetables into bite sized pieces. We only used potatoes, mushrooms and peppers this time. However, many will work.

Here is a list I have tried:
Potatoes- sweet, russett, red, yukon gold, fingerlings, new potatoes or even Blue.
Butternut, zucchini, crookneck or other squash
Red, yellow, orange, or green sweet peppers
Mushrooms- use different varieties for varying flavors
Carrots, Parsnips, artichokes
Vidalia, white or red (purple) onions, leeks or celery
Garlic cloves

 Roasting any combination of vegetables from this list is one of the easiest ways to add a lot of color and flavor to any dish.

 After chopping chosen vegetables into bite sized pieces, Simply place into a gallon sized reclosable bag. Season with your choice of herbs and some seasonings. I used Italian seasonings (as they were also used in my accompanying chicken dish), some paprika and some garlic. Most any seeaonings will work when roasting vegetables.
Pour 4-5 Tbls of olive oil over all.
Close bag tightly.
Turn over to coat vegetables, and shake.
Shake and roll the closed bag until all are well coated with oil and seasonings.
Pour onto a cookie sheet or into a shallow roasting pan.
Place into a 425 degree oven for approximately 35 minutes.
(Cooking time may vary slightly depending on the vegetables used)
Note: I like to turn up the broiler just a few minutes before they are done to add a little more color. But watch them closely under the intense heat.

A summertime variety: prepare similarly in bag, pour onto a large square of 3-4 layers of tinfoil, wrap foil around vegetables, fold foil to seal tightly place on a hot grill aprrox 25-30 minutes or until tender.