The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. -Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.-Proverbs 4:7

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Review

(Click on the pics to make them big, Grandma.)

So, I have this class; Pre-Engineering. It's all by itself in the line-up I teach. Not since I was in charge of the engineering academy at my first school have I had a class like this.

The kids are just at a different level. And the class is less than half the size of all my other classes...16 kids.

All my other classes are the same and this is the third year I've been teaching that class...over and over, all day. It's weird to go from that to this and back again all before lunch. I explained this to them (in the event they were wondering why I was all erratic with my style). They said they would be patient with me. :-)

The truth is, while I love, love, love my other kids, I'm able to teach the way I think teaching should happen with a class like this. I gave them a vague-ish (open-ended) assignment to go along with the "History of Engineering" unit. They were to research Leonardo da Vinci's sketches and were to build a model of one of them using whatever they could find in the lab to build it with. (Because Leo didn't have Michael's or Home Depot down the street, right?) I told them to make it theirs and gave them very few rules.

Here's where it gets all sketchy (and is probably in violation of all the teacher rules). I didn't give them a due date. I told them to discuss it amongst themselves and when they were in agreement to let me know. They chose today...a month ago. Ahem. (I was a little concerned about the length of time they thought they needed...because, well...teens sometimes want to take advantage of things. I raised my eyebrows, and laughed a little...but in fairness, they did what I told them to do. And this wasn't the only thing I had given them to do.)

Turns out, it all worked out like I wanted it to work out. I'm pleased they took it seriously and am pleased they all had very different projects.

In other news, I'm the world's slowest knitter. (In reality, I start projects and forget about them.) Progress is being made. I have a fraction of one glove knit, lol.

Dinner was curried rice noodles with tofu and broccoli. (Minus the cilantro, because Alicia says cilantro smells like stinkbugs. I can't argue with her...because she's I left it out.)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This deserves some fancy, gourmet name.

Brown rice and bok choy with mushrooms and caramelized onions.

Need a devotion for today?

This is good. Read it.


I learned about something new over the past weekend. At first, I didn't believe it. Because...???? Don't people have stuff to do? Evidently not.

I was just getting the idea of planking. Not that I have time for all of that (or even understand why anybody wants to do it). But, now there is owling. Yes, owling.

And my kids and their friends wanted to do it in Ocean City.

But, one of them didn't quite get it.

And I was thinking to myself "Hey, maybe there could be koalaing." (Thinking I was all cutting edge.)


Hmmm... These are the times when I must be old. Because I don't get it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Squash Soup

Feels like soup weather to me.

Peel and cube a butternut squash and 2 onions. Saute with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper to marry the flavors. Add some broth (I usually use vegetable, but we are out.). Out of a box is's a school night after all. Simmer for awhile. Top with fresh chives from the garden.

I'm crazy about this soup. I've got the man on board with it. The kids...not so much.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Sometimes words are not needed.

The weekend:

Thursday, September 22, 2011


For one day, I am always 22. Today. Every year.

22 is young.

When I really was 22 (every day of the year), I used to wonder in the dark if ever a day would come when I didn't think about it all the time.

It eventually came. I don't think about it all the time. Just a lot of the time. Sixteen years later.

Time does not heal all wounds.

It is unfathomable this could go to this in a split second.

She was beautiful, but I didn't know it until it was too late.

Sometimes I wonder who I would have become if I had not known her.

I looked into my t.v. set
and saw the world outside.
A raindrop fell
My eye blinked twice.
my life went crashing by.
A smoky stream of thought
rolled off my cigarette.
My skin grew cold.
My eyes fogged up.
Inside my baby wept.
Reflections of my past
were painted on my face.
My hair fell out into my hands
and pain was all
my soul could taste.
-Josh Weter 9/95

(P.S. I totally stole the above pictures without giving credit. So, know, they aren't mine.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grandma Pat's Secret Recipe it isn't all that secret. But, if you haven't been to Iowa, you probably have no idea what a tenderloin is. I think it was named "Iowa's state sandwich" or something. For real. And, as far as I know, you can't get them anywhere else (except maybe a neighboring state).

On the "How tired are you?" scale, I'm about this tired. Because working with kids all day takes all my energy.

But if I don't sit down, it's all good. Cooking keeps me awake.

Just a warning...making them generates a huge mess.

You are going to need some pork loin chops. Without the bone. And a mallet.

You are going to beat the chops until they are thin-ish and tender. If you lived in Iowa, they would just run them through the tenderizer at the store for you. If you live in Maryland, they'll tell you at the store it is against the law for them to do it. Probably, but whatever.

Since the whole process is going to make a glorious mess, you might just as well make a ton of them. Season them with salt and pepper and put them in a stack.

You can guess where we are going next.

You are going to need three things for the breading; flour, beaten egg and cracker crumbs.

First, you coat the meat with flour. Then you dip it in the egg. Then you press it into the cracker crumbs.

Fry them over med/high heat in the best canola oil you can buy. Ahem. I used Safeway brand. For real, the meat isn't organic or free range and you will be eating essentially fried cracker crust. And we are all might as well taste good while that's don't worry about the oil. It is worth mentioning you need an oil that can take some heat. Olive oil won't do...learned that the hard way.

And then you end up with this.

The kids just eat them with catsup on a bun. I like to make it an event. If we had red onions and lettuce, they would be here too.

P.S. Eating avocados is not something Iowans typically do. I was 20 years old before I tasted one and discovered they are possibly the best thing to come from trees. I eat avocados with everything. But, you probably already figured that out.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What feels like a ton of cooking.

All this rain and cool weather revived my basil. :-)

I was thinking I'd gotten a little lax with cooking, but then I thought about it and realized...not so much. While it's not "pretty" per se, food is still happening around here.

For the cross country "pre-meet carb load" dinner...baked ziti. A ton of it. Like 4 lbs of uncooked pasta...which makes a ridiculous amount of cooked.

For the actual meet, a sea of banana muffins. They are all different sizes as I had to use whatever muffin tins I have. I don't typically make a quadruple batch, so I don't have enough of the same size pans to accommodate that. They are topped with cinnamon and sugar. Because cinnamon and sugar is good on everything.

Polenta (they call this cheese grits in the south) stuffed red bells. This is possibly my #1 comfort food. Sometimes, I put mixed vegetables in the now.

Butter chicken curry...remember that I've mentioned it's hard to make Indian food look attractive. Tastes good, though. We don't typically eat avocado with curry, but we have some that need to be eaten.

Swedish meatballs. Because curry is one of the few flavors my kids complain about and if I feed them something else, that means more curry for me. We are out of red potatoes, so they got rice.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fabric Friday!

The best thing about fall is cool weather fabrics. So much depth, so much texture, so much richness...

For my circa 1966 coat:

Italian Plum wool flannel lined with pistachio satin. On the way home from the fabric store, I remembered I bought this yummy, light pistachio yarn in Ocean City to make gloves. I forgot about that, hence only the beginning of that knitting.

When I signed up for Colette's Fall Palette Challenge, these were not the colors I had in mind. Not at all. goes to the store and has to buy what there is. How do people choose their perfect colors and then go shopping later, anyway?

I don't have anything planned out and I'm already behind. But...hey....I work and have people to take care of.

I would like to make this coat and dress set, a blouse and a skirt. And maybe knit that pair of gloves for my poor, (raynaud's syndrome) suffering fingers. All of this is for work.

Maybe for winter challenge I'll choose something a little less uptight.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I never wrote about it. I was waiting patiently for words, but the right ones have not come.

2.5 months have passed. I've mentally composed this entry so many times and it's never good enough.

I have tons of pictures and none of them say what I want them to say.

Maybe some things are meant to be word-less.

All you are going to get is a tiny video clip and one picture from the night that's still too big for me to write about.

You should know these do not say anything about that night and yet they say everything.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Just stuff.

1. Seriously thinking about getting that tat this weekend. Wonder if I will still feel this way over the weekend.

2. I wasn't planning on getting any more animals...really. (I know, that's like hearing me say I wasn't ever planning on eating again.) Meet Oscar:

I'm not sure if he's going to be a "forever pet", but he's here for now. He was slated to be put down last weekend (because nobody wants him). He's a good dog. Officially, he is just here under the premise of being fostered. But, umm...I suspect we just became a two dog family. (Add that to the cat, gerbil and 3 chickens who already live here.)

3. A random, without explanation picture for my girl E. She knows what it means.

4. I am halfway done memorizing Ps. 119. I started that (and took a lot of breaks) mid-March. I'm giving myself 12 more weeks to get the rest done. Because, for real...I really could drag it out until forever.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I'm not really a gadget kind of person in the kitchen. I have a couple of things I could not possibly live without-like my garlic press and a good knife. But, for the most part, any gadgets I do have, I forget I own until after I've already accomplished whatever it was I could have used a machine for.

I used to roll my own tortillas. It took forever and they weren't usually perfectly round. Not that I needed "round", just sayin'.

And then I realized I could buy a press for around $10. For real. $10. (For the record, tortillas cost $4 a package at Safeway now...WHICH IS RIDICULOUS...I could make a stack of tortillas as tall as me before I spent $4 and mine are much more delicious.)

When we cook together, it's Ryan's job to make the tortillas.