Tuesday, September 2, 2008

non-instant apple cinnamon oatmeal

I make this for the baby and I to share every morning. The following makes probably 2 servings.

1/2 cup quick cook oats
1/4 cup chunky applesauce (I usually use the unsweetened cinnamon kind, because it's what we have around)
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup water (use more or less water for desired thickness or taste)
brown sugar (to taste) (I usually use around a tablespoon and a half
cinnamon to taste (maybe a 1/4 teaspoon)
pinch of salt

I usually spoon the applesauce, juice, and water into a 1 cup liquid measure, then add to the oats in a microwave bowl.
Sprinkle sugar, salt, cinnamon, and whatever other spices you want in (I'm going to try nutmeg, to make it taste more like pie... mmm pie)
microwave for 2-2 1/2 minutes
Stir again and let stand for a minute or two.

Add milk, or sprinkle more brown sugar over to taste.

I love it, baby loves it, even the dog loves it. It's really easy and tastes really good, The chunks of apple really make this great, and i'm thinking of sticking some blueberries in at some point.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I was being lazy this week (I thought). Playing a lot of Warcraft, skipping my exercise. Yesterday and today, I blew all that away.

I mowed the grass and gardened a little yesterday plus vacuumed and tidied up... though lately, tiding up seems to signal to Eli that it's time to get all his toys out and throw them all over the place again. I also pushed the dead car out of the garage and then out of the driveway. Cars are heavy. And don't push them when there isn't anyone in them to hit the breaks. O_o

Today I painted the stairwell and the side door frame, cleaned the garage thoroughly, sorted through and cleaned up some stuff I'm selling, bought 4 baby trees, planted 3 of them, moved 4 giant boulders out of the yard with my step dad, cleaned up some brush, saved a giant spider and her eggs from total destruction, mulched and watered said trees... and I think that's it.

Now my feet and back hurt, and I'm sunburnt, but I feel very accomplished to have finished in one day what I have been procrastinating and have believed would take me forever. Tomorrow I'm going to attempt the second to the last leg of the Gerard trail that i want to hike. My hope for doing a 1 or 2 night backpacking trim seems to be growing slimmer as the days are getting shorter... and we seem to have something planned every week from now until the end of fall.

Well, a least i kind of know what I'm doing this weekend...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My hiking misadventure

So i prepared last night for a long hike with baby and zoe. Packed everything up, so i could just hop in the car early this morning and get to my favorite hiking spot.

Was up at 6, on the road by 7, on the trail before 8. We walked, and it was pretty... then it all went downhill when i fell down.

It was only a minor stumble. My hiking stick slipped on a slick bridge, and I went down, catching myself with the heel of my hand on a rock. Baby was ok. My hand was numb, but seems only bruised. I got up, dusted myself off, and we continued. I took lots of pictures of this beautiful pine forest. I went to mark the spot on my gps, and my gps was off. Hmm... battery dead. !@#$!# I'm trying to chart the entire trail using my gps... so i fail at that today as well. We continue walking. I notice baby doesn't have his hat. !@#$#@! I walk back a half mile, and hooray - I find it on the ground. Stuff that in my pocket, and continue on. We come to a split in the trail leading to a waterfall .5 mile. I, against my better judgment, but going with the explorer part of me, travel down the trail. And I mean DOWN. Steep. I curse myself as I think of how hard this will be to climb back up with 30 odd pounds of baby and gear on my back. I reach the stream. No waterfal. !@#$!#@ I climb back up the hill. I rejoin the trail.

I hear a slight booming in the distance. Hmm I hope that was a truck or some piece of heavy machinery on a nearby road somewhere. I hurry my pace a bit. I hear more booming. !@#$@#! I go faster. Poor zoe is gimping a bit, we've walked so far. I can't turn around, I've already gone probably 3 miles. I know I have 3 miles at least more to go, but I know if i reach the bike trail, at least it will be flat and paved walking. More rumblings. I find the split in the trail that leads to the bike trail. I step on to paved surface. More rumbling behind me. I walk faster. I jog. !@#$!@# sky opens up. Baby screams, not quite understanding the concept of rain on his poor little head. I know there is a shelter up ahead somewhere. I keep going. soaked, baby screaming. I see lightning. !@#!@# I think about if baby will live if i get struck by lightning. I see a shelter up ahead, and 2 bikers are there. They generously offer me the shelter. I scurry in, give zoe a treat, and change baby's diaper and feed him a little while we wait for the rain to calm down. It calms down. I wait for zoe to finish her bone. It rains harder. I leave, knowing it's about 2 more miles to the car. Baby screams again. Parental panic strikes, I think i've killed my child with hypothermia or pneumonia. I hobble/walk/jog/hobble as fast as i can. baby screams and cries. The rain lets up, baby continues to scream and cry. I start singing annoying songs, and baby calms down. The sun comes out. The gnats come out. The gnats try to devour us. I see the car! YAY

I get baby changed into dry clothes, i put zoe in the car, I get baby in his seat, I cover him up so he gets warm. I change my shirt. I make small talk with old biker guys who stop. (thankfully they did not see me changing my shirt). I lay all my soaked gear out in the trunk, check the map, and head out the scenic way. I get back to the nearest town, get myself BK, and then drive home.

I'm scrubbed, anti-poisonivied, baby is changed and playing, and zoe is de-harnassed and sleeping.

It was still a good hike. I can't wait to go back this weekend :D But maybe I'll kayak this time.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

not enough time

the last couple of days have been fast paced, but good. Dad and his wife were in town, which was good. It was nice seeing them and the baby loved playing with them. I also got to visit with my aunt and uncle that I haven't seen for a couple years. It's amazing how easily you can reconnect with family even after a long period of time. I wish I had more money to travel... It would be nice to go to AZ to visit them... and get out to visit other people I've been missing as well.

I've been having my usual summer nostalgia about the upcoming Medieval Faire. Tuesday was one of those days where I just couldn't shake the idea of wanting to search for some of the people I had known back then. It's been eleven years. Wow... typing that makes it seem so much longer than my head ever thought it was.... it's poignant. I always wonder what i'd do or say if i bumped into him on the street...

Anyway.... I finished reading the robin hobb trilogy i was on... I think i'm going to take a little break from reading for a bit... I tend to get too sucked up into the book and don't do the other things that i should be doing...

So today I think i'm going to relax and play with baby... calling for rain much of the day, so I think the most i'll be doing outside is weeding the garden.

Off to lay down for a little while as baby takes his morning nap.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another Day, Another Hike

So this morning, I woke up too early (well, baby woke up too early), so I did all my morning stuff, took care of baby, then put him back to bed for a little while, then went back to bed myself. Roused both of us around 8, fed him some oatmeal, then we went on our way.

I wanted to go hike the Trolley Line trail, because I haven't been there since last spring, and though it's COVERED in poison ivy, I couldn't dissuade myself.

Trail Map Here

So I started at the little hiker dudes on the right, followed them all the way to the left, then back. It's a 3.5 mile hike. It was great. Zoe found a pool of water, jumped in, and lay down. This is one of the nicer trails that I've walked. It follows an old abandoned railroad grade. The only problem, and a big problem for me, since I hate the stuff, is the poison ivy. I actually gave the dog a bath as soon as I got home, because i didn't want to get poison ivy from her. I also washed everything i was wearing.

It astonishes me that some of the trails I hike have absolutely no poison ivy what so ever, while this one is COVERED with it. Pretty much 90 percent of the trail is covered with it. I wore jeans and hiking boots, and I'm going to have to wash the boots with something... I don't know why I let the stuff bother me so much... It's one of my least favorite things about nature. I don't mind bugs, I don't mind the heat, I could walk through brambles until my skin was gone... but get me within 10 feet of a mass of poison Ivy, and I will go crazy (sort of) I don't even get THAT bad of a reaction to it... just normal... but blah... I just hate how insidious of a plant it is, and with no real benefit. It's not pretty, it doesn't make food, it doesn't have pretty flowers... It just makes this oil that when it touches skin, makes itchy, craptastic blisters.

So... I had a nice walk, but I probably won't be going back here soon... at least not with the dog or the baby... I at least can control where I step, and how thoroughly i can scrub my skin to try to get that invisible oil off of me.

Ok - Crazy rant over - I also got my ipod nano today, so i'm going to play with that for a while, then off to mom's to eat lasagna!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Perfect morning

At 64 degrees, it was a beautiful day for a hike. This is my favorite weather. Sunny, just a touch cool, and a soft breeze. We saw baby geese on the walk, and a big snapping turtle, which zoe was interested in/afraid of at the same time. I saw her looking at something, go towards it, then back away, then go towards it. So I told her "leave it" and went to see what it was. It was sunning itself on some rocks. It hissed and glared at me when i went to look at it, and not wanting to loose a finger, I left it be, and continued on.

Zoe was in her element, chasing every chipmunk that made it's little beeping squeaking noise. Baby was excellent, just hanging out in the baby backpack, every once in a while, giggling at the dog. He's so quiet in the woods, I sometimes forget he's with me.

Anyway - it's still beautiful out, so I'm going to hang up some laundry, and do some gardening with baby.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


It's been a pretty good day today. I woke up a little later than i wanted to, but the house was cooler than it was while trying to sleep last night. I opened everything up, even though it was threatening rain. I fed myself, the pup, and the baby, and just enjoyed the morning sitting around.

I did a little mapping with my gps stuff, plotting my trails out on google earth - which worked pretty handily. I need to get my old map data from my pc onto my mac now. I played with baby, and got lunch together for him, and my mom arrived to watch the wee one while I ran some errands.

First I wanted to get a couple of cards for father's day. Personally, I don't see the point in cards. I mean... they're nice. It's nice to get a card in the mail. But at the same time... I'd rather a phone call... or send me an email, or one of those virtual card things... Then I'll know you care, and you'll know I care, but we didn't have to chop down some trees or use post consumer recycled paper for something as frivolous as a card. Anyway.... I don't have that big of a problem with cards... and my parents generation seem to have a fixation on, if you don't send a card, you're out of the will, or the black sheep of the family... anyway I digress

So I go to Hallmark in downtown meadville, and pick out two cards. One for my Dad, and one for my stepdad (my husband saying he'll disown me if i get him a father's day card and couldn't I just get him father's day chicken and biscuits instead. He's my kind of man.). So I go to the counter, lay the cards down, and am in the process of pulling out my credit card, when I see the sign at the register: $10.00 minimum purchase to use a debit/credit card.

I stare at the lady as she stares at my credit card. "I don't carry cash." I say. She agrees, she doesn't carry cash either. I give her the "I'm annoyed." Look. She stammers and tells me I just need to buy another card or two and I'll be over the limit. *sigh* I capitulate. I'm a polite and genial person most of the time, so I buy 2 more cards that I deem all purpose enough to cover my rear the next holiday/birthday/any occasion, and I make my purchase of 10.38 and leave. So i wasted $5 that I could've spent on a book at the used book store, or something else that would've made me less crabby. This is not a policy in most halmark store, I know. It's the "welcome to the podunk town of meadville" So I have sworn I will never buy a card there again. Or anything smelly or papery in appearance that Hallmark sells.

So I reward myself and extend my baby-free time by going up to the used bookstore. I have a couple author's in mind, and I'm really nervous about buying books anymore, because I've bought so many duplicate copies of all the books I own, because I don't carry a list of them around with me. :x They don't have any books by the author's I want, that I don't already own, so i leave, and head to the library.

I find many books by one of the author's I want, check them out, get my name entered in the annual summer prize drawing, and walk back to my car in a gentle rain, and head home.

I checked out 3 more Robin Hobb books. I really enjoy her writing style. I started with Assassin's Apprentice and though it started a little slow, I couldn't put the series down once I got into it. I even ordered the last on from Amazon's used book people, cause I enjoyed it. She builds a very solid and detailed world. So I got the next trilogy out from the library. I'm kind of amazed at the large number of scifi/fantasy books the meadville public library has. It makes me happy.

So now I'm going to immerse myself in the book with a cup of tea while the baby naps, listening to the rain, and then probably go running or work out on the elliptical.

cranky stubornness

So, as some people know, I bought a new computer (a mac) a few weeks ago. It is slim and bright and beautiful, and I'm really really happy with it.

Last week, my husband and I noticed, on apple's website, that a week after we had purchased our computer, apple now has an offer that with a purchase of any mac with an educational discount (hubby works for a college), you get your choice of a free ipod touch or nano.


Frustrated at just missing this offer, today hubby calls apple. After much hemming and hawing, they agree to send us a free ipod nano! Yay!

So soon, in the mail, I'll have my first ipod. I'm so excited!

Yay for complaining!

Monday, June 9, 2008


Some old poetry, now that I have a word processer installed on my mac...

critique welcome.

He wrote simple haiku
to make her believe
how much he loved her.
Comparing her to sunrises
and rain showers
and smiles.
She smiled
and loved back
until it hurt
until it withered
from the force
of her unbelieving.

He knew;
felt her trying
to believe in a love
that she was weaker than.
Diluted sunlight
reversed rainbows;
she could not
hold on hard enough
she could not push away
fast enough.

Her own haiku
melted into
too many syllables,
like these…
trying to speak words
that her lips
were never
made for.


So my hike with the baby and the puppy, that I thought would take... maybe an hour or two, turned into a 6 mile romp that took 3 hours. I had food and water for baby and puppy and myself, so though it was long, and tiring, it was great! The woods were so pretty and the walk was in shade, and now we are all tired (except for the baby, who rode on my back the entire time).

It felt so good to get out there. I'll try to post the few pictures I took once I download them and fix them up a bit.

I was reminded of the time [info]cresida and I were "lost" in the woods. I had a map! I promise! It just took longer than I expected.

Now i have a headache, so I think I'll take a brief nap, while hubby is involved with the baby, then I'll work on mapping out the trail I walked and posting some pictures.

Hope everyone else is having an exciting weekend!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Run Down

I'm not sure if it's the opressive heat that we've had yesterday and this morning... but I haven't been feeling quite right. Yesterday started out great... Took the baby and the pup out for a lovely walk in the steamy rain soaked woods. Had to cut the walk a bit short because of the rolling thunder in the distance. I saw a huge amount of forest snails crawling around in the woods, climbing trees, enjoying the humidity. It was perfect. I think rainy, damp mornings are my favorite walking time.

We got back around 11, and there were some HUGE storms rolling in. They were actually very relaxing. The rain came down hard, and it thundered and lightning, but nothing was damaged, and it made things a little cooler, if stickier.

I finished my book that I was reading in 24 hours, and the ending was kind of a let down. And I think that is what started my mood.

Today I'm a little better... I'm going to take the baby swimming after his nap, so that should relax both of us...

I hope so anyway...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I have a problem. And it's Lost.

I continually tell myself, that I don't need to watch Lost. Then I watch it and go flipping nuts. I definately have a love/hate relationship with the show. It makes me sooo crazy. The season finally... wow... just... blargh! At least it gives me something to ponder, chew on, and go crazy over during the summer.

I'm going to rent the seasons on netflix and re-watch them. Or convince hubby that we have to buy them.

Ok, off to play WoW or NWN 2 until i'm too tired.

Our Love is Like Dungeons & Dragons


This website is so much fun. Devote an hour or so just to listening to some of the stuff this guy comes up with.

I really like Never Been In Love and Theme Music for a Man With No Hands Who Learns How to Juggle

Much fun.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Dear Inconsiderate Littering Asshole,

I was hoping to enjoy a relaxing walk with my dog at the wildlife refuge today. Instead I find your garbage all over the path, shoved in places, and stuffed into and onto things. You are not an accidental litterer. I did not find your leavings accidentally fallen on the ground, which, though I can't condone, could be tolerated as carelessness. Beer bottles do not tend to blow upwards and invert themselves onto fallen branches 3 feet off the ground, nor do used tissues fly with the force of will to cram themselves into the hollow knots of pine trees, or stuff themselves in the crevasses in between interpretive signs to help hikers find their way. These acts are unforgivable, and if I ever find you, I will personally shove a beer bottle so far up your ass, that you will be making that beer bottle blowing noise when you try to talk.

Lets have a little respect for nature, more than a little respect for the people that are going to follow you on this trail, and a whole hell of a lot of respect for our children, and the children of the future, that are going to have to cope with the future, and who we should try to leave things at least as nice as we found them, if not better.

So, I hope you burn in a special circle of hell reserved for your littering, selfish, douchebag kind.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Reason #7 why my tea is always cold.

Have finished hanging laundry outside while baby is playing happily on the floor. Come back, check on baby, go make tea. Put tea in microwave.

Go pick up baby. Baby has fouled himself. Baby Reeks.

Take baby upstairs, begin to change diaper.

Baby decides to explore his poo-covered genitals with his hand as soon as I open diaper. Wipe hand quickly with wipe. Baby sticks (cleanish) hand in mouth while i clean his bottom. Hand wanders down to explore genitals again, again is wiped. This continues until new diaper is in place. Baby wiggling prevents clothing from being buttoned easily. Do a last wipe on baby's hand. Place baby in office with his toys. Start to play with baby. Tea is forgotten.

Remember tea 20 minutes later.

Reheat tea.