Warm.

A warm breeze is blowing in our parts today. This inspires many things … like this here celebratory beverage ::

drink

Tons of ice.

Lemonade.

1 shot of your favorite Vodka … or not depending on your age, convictions, and/or time of day.

Delicious fresh mint.

Not rocket science I know, but not bad for a couple of squares either ::

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35 things …

…off the top of my head, in regards to Mister Witt, on his 35th birthday.

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1. His birthday is today, April 8th. He is an aries.

2. He has the same eyes as me.

3. He is a picky eater. More so then you would think, seeing that I have the reputation around here for only eating certain foods.

4. His favorite season is summer and he is currently counting how many he may or may not have left.

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5. He was born in the Sonoran Desert. He loves the feeling of a wide open sky. The kind that you can see for miles in every direction.

6. He makes up his own language. He lives in code terms. It wasn’t until I learned to speak in those terms did we became very best friends.

7. He is the funniest person I know, 2nd only to grandpa Jay.

8. He is a family man, to the very core of his being. All of his passwords contain the word family in them some way or another.

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9. He is a musician. He can play anything you put in front of him.

10. He is an amazing lover. I can say that here because we are both 35 now.

11. He shares my love for the number eleven.

12. He is quick to temper and even quicker to forgive, forget, and move on. He does not hold a grudge.

13. He gives of himself like no one I have ever known before. He gives to us everything from his time to every last cent he earns.

14. I am so in love with him that sometimes I feel as though I cannot breathe.

15. Sometimes I want to punch him in the face.

16. He let’s me cut his hair. And praises my efforts the whole time.

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17. He is terrible at correspondence. Doesn’t call. Doesn’t write. Nothing. Nada. I am the correspondence. 

18. He LOVES the Grateful Dead. I don’t know WHY, but he does.

19. He is very passionate about his interests.

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20. He loves my cooking, most of the time. And he always thanks me for my efforts.

21. He is so excited about growing food this year that he won’t. stop. talking. about. it. Like talking in his sleep about it.

22. He loves his animals and is super good at animal husbandry.

23. He is a writing a book. I can’t wait to see what happens.

24. He drinks his coffee black.

25. He dreams about going to Bora Bora. I hope I can take him there some day.

26. He loves watching The Amazing Race, that’s where he first decided that he loves Bora Bora.

27. He calls me his cuddlestick. He holds on to me as good as the day is long ;-)

28. He loves IPA’s. Like seriously LOVES them.

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29. One time, he was going to buy a gun from our neighbor. For protecting and all. He went over to see about it and when our friend took it out to show him he almost blacked out.

30. He is a pacifist.

31. He has the ability to laugh at himself and allows me to join in. We laugh a lot.

happy birthday darling. We love you very, very , very, very, very much...

32. He named his red prius Salsa Verde, and he will defend its honor to the end.

33. Thirty three was a really good age for him and it’s only getting better.

34. He made up a mating bird dance for me, oh my goodness you guys …

35. He is the very best husband, in all the land. I feel so. incredibly. lucky. to be his wife.

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end of list.

Happy Birthday Darling.

For the love …

My love affair with Iced Coffee began long ago, at a sweet corner shop, back in the Sonoran Desert … and by Sonoran Desert I mean Scottsdale.

Chloe’s Corner was seriously my favorite place to be. Upon entering its doors meant, that in just a few short moments, the very best part of my day was about to take place. YES I had four smushy cheeks that I smooched and sent off to school and YES I had a husband working diligently to support our very comfortable lifestyle and YES to so many other things that should really have been the best part of my day …

but this :: I would stand in line that was filled with culinary eye candy, then upon my turn I would hand over 50 whole cents, the darlings who rang me up knew me well and already had my cup in hand, I would proceed to self serve the most delicious iced beverage currently on the breakfast market to date. And then I would take a sip …

One sec … I need a moment.

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The search for this same experience has been nothing short of excruciating. Either the coffee is too strong, too weak, too sugary, too bitter and most every time TOO EXPENSIVE. I have been diligently working in my kitchen to replicate some decent form of a chilled caffeinated beverage and have come up short every time. UNTIL NOW.  And by God I think I’ve done it.

Let’s proceed, shall we?

1. Ice. This is very important. It has to be that delicious kind of ice. Not the crap you make yourself. This goes for all other summer drinks as well so just go ahead, do yourself a favor, BUY SOME ICE. 

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2. Choosing the right sweetener. What a nightmare this has been for me. But I have finally found one. One that is so pure and so awesome and so abundant here in Vermont. It is not yucky processed dairy creamer. It is not those fake sweeteners that makes you want to barf. And it is not straight up sugar which always makes me go a little crazy eyes.

It’s. Maple. Syrup.

Hallelujah.

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3. The coffee. No more important than any other the other parts to this drink, it is the main part however so we must take great care in its preparation. It is not about the kind I don’t think, it is about brewing and timing. I prefer same day brewing and I prefer it on the stronger side. I make a cup or so in my french press first thing and stick it in the fridge. When I come back an hour or so later it is all ready to go. This could problematic on Saturday morning when there is an immediate need. Plan accordingly!

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4.  I suppose the next step is all about your preference. Mister Witt will most likely stop here. I on the other hand, need to lighten things up a bit. Add to your liking ::

IMG_3273 IMG_3272Yikes, this looks amazing now …

5.  Enjoy.

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xo

Time for Romancing …

Mister Witt and I.

We have been married for twelve years. Together for 14. Our physical selves have known each other for twenty + 2 years total. And I do believe our souls have been together since the beginning of time.

Amazing really.

Amazing to think with all those years, and so much love, that we spent the last week wanting to punch each other in the face.

Yes. That happens here.

It is cyclical in nature. The highs cannot remain high forever and the lows always do turn themselves around. Matt is really good at recognizing the lower points. He understands and can see that it won’t last forever, he seems to just know that all will be just fine. I, on the other hand, am a bit more dramatic then that … and mostly, I think a good punch in the face is just what I need, to deliver that is.

With that said, I must admit that my favorite times are when corners are turned and things begin to look up. Sick man babies get better and angry nurses soften up. The forecast says snow but your heart says spring. And the romancing begins again. It is these times that make me appreciate the darker stormier ones, for they allow us the most precious gift …

to fall in love again and again. 

In honor of that sentiment, tonight I am taking my Mister Witt to see the premier of Wes Anderson’s new movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel. We are going to The Roxy, downtown. This has come at the most perfect time, for it is something we both love so much (Wes Anderson movies that is) and I find it romantic to keep it a surprise. For this is the hard work of marriage my friends. Taking the good, the bad, and the ugly, out to a movie to start anew once again…

movie

 

 

Pita …

During times of seasonal shift, so do the tastes for our food. And despite the 3 feet of snow stuck firmly on the ground, my soul has moved beyond winter and I am fully ready to get this casserole off my muffin top! In my efforts to do so I have found a new bible if you will… my food bible.

Dr. Weil’s new True Food Cookbook.

I will spare you all the gushy details about my love for this man and the most embarrassing way that I met him once … at a True Food’s Kitchen mind you, swoon. If you haven’t done anything for your taste buds as of late, buy this book.  You will not be sorry that you did.

I began the anti casserole muffin top campaign this past weekend while trying to nurse a sick husband, with a spring cold, back to health. From Friday evening until Sunday’s sundown I cooked … It was blissful. I believe the pita bread and the cilantro jalapeño hummus came out grand and I would like to share them with you here. If you are a fan, read on …

Firstly, I would like to give you a run down on why I used spelt flour for the pita instead of white.

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1. It has a lower glycemic index. Meaning it doesn’t turn your blood into sugar quite like white flour can.

2. It has far more nutrients. It is high in vitamin B2, manganese, niacin, copper, phosphorus, protein, and fiber. Amazing that most meat eaters will ask where you get your B12 and/or protein from if you are a vegetarian. It is possible people, it’s possible!

Also, I must add that there is white spelt flour and whole grain spelt flour. I have used both for making the pita bread and I prefer the white for this task. However, I make my quinoa pancakes with whole grain. So you know, there are benefits to both…

>Whole grain has far more nutrients and offers more protein

>Whole grain also offers up much more fiber.

>White spelt flour is lower in calories, though I don’t count them personally.

>White flour has a lower gluten level than its counterpart.

So consider yourself slightly educated on spelt and if you have more questions, ask the Goog.

Let’s get to it shall we??pita bread

IMG_3115 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe next part to this 2 part recipe is the cilantro jalapeño hummus. This is the humus that I enjoyed so very much when I was fortunate enough to dine at True Foods, mostly with my grandfather during our weekly lunch meet ups… I made a batch of this and it didn’t last the day, kid approved!hummus

Oh goodness my friends, enjoy!

 

Just So We Are Clear …

The other day Noah presented to us, his portfolio of work, that he accomplished in the 2nd trimester of 6th grade. Let me just say right now that he did an awesome job. Noah is not a perfect person, that is because no person is perfect. However, one of his strengths as a human being is in academics. He has a touch of the ol’ OCD, sorry about that kiddo … and this makes him extremely organized and detail oriented. To say the least, I was impressed. Well Done.

During said portfolio conference we got to chatting with Noah’s teacher about the fact that we are going to be taking him out of school in May for a week or so. Our dearest Grandmother Ruth is sending us off to England once again BLESSING and we are also having the great fortune of visiting Paris. Holy Smokes, that is exciting! Anyways … the teacher went on to say that she will have any work they have coming up organized to take along and certainly they could email back and forth so that Noah could stay caught up. Then Matt chimed in, “Oh yes, we are totally planning on keeping in touch and keeping Noah on task while we are away.”

And that is when I looked at him and said, “We are???”

He kind of looked at me sideways and then we moved on, back to Noah sharing his work …

This brings us up until right now. This is where I would like to share with you two of my currently favorite rhetorical questions.

#1. Who doesn’t want to eat their weight in guacamole?    no one. never.

#2. Who doesn’t want to miss school and/or work to go on a huge adventure!?    no one. never.

Just so we are clear, the very last thing I want either of my kids thinking about, while they are being blessed with the gift of travel, is what the hell they have got going on back home. I want them immersed in the culture. I want them in awe of the Eifffel Tower. I want them to lose themselves in the sights, tastes, sounds, and smells. I want them at their grandfather’s pub sipping a J20 listening in, not doing homework.

I want this experience to be their education for the week.  I want these to be their lessons of a lifetime.  Furthermore, I want them excused from all the work going on at home.

I realize that making plans for the children to ‘not fall behind’ during their super amazing experience abroad is really just making face. This is what our culture has trained us to do. work work work work work work work work. No time off. No way out. No real end. Culturally we have to play this game with each other and say these things … that we will keep up with our work & we won’t fall behind because 24/7 is our M.O.  That God forbid we just say what we really want to, which is …  Au Revoir! Don’t call, don’t write, we will catch up when we get back and  tell you all about it. Wait, what did you just say … sorry, cannot hear you. Our ship is sailing. Too much excitement … gooood byyyyyye.

Soooo…. My 10 and 12 year olds with not be checking emails, they will not be doing mathematics, and they will not be thinking about book group while we are away. It is hard to say when they will ever get this experience again, so we are totally going to go ahead and Live. It. Up. my friends!

YOLO.

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besides … look at us ^^ do we look like we could even pretend to keep up when we go far away? That is a resounding NO. This is just me protecting myself and my reputation as a mother, not pretending for one second that I could keep my kids on an academic schedule while away. no way, no how.

xo

PS :: I love guacamole.

Dear Winter,

I know people say a lot of mean things about you.

Don’t listen.

I love you.  For all that you are.

For every temperature degree drop, every beautiful snowflake that floats to the ground, every pellet of ice you hurl in our direction. I love all of you.

I think you are my favorite.

There is nothing more adventurous than living through a winter. Wood burning, cider drinking, pot pie making, couch cuddling…. this all screams adventure, no? How about cookie making, and sledding, and living in our pj’s??

I know that spring and summer are on their way and I will sing their praises too. Porch sitting, gardening, back yard bar-b-quing … but I won’t forget you frosty old man. In fact, I will be secretly waiting for you to make an early return.

-me

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February …

Yep. That happened.

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I cannot express to you, how thankful I am, how so very very thankful I am, that February is the SHORTEST month of the year. I feel like this is the only blessing that this month even comes close to offering.

I typically head into February with unadulterated jubilation. I am blinded by candy hearts and cream cheese frosting. I have red velvet cupcakes to make and valentines to dream up … dates to go on and matters of my little one’s hearts to attend.

it’s all bull#@$%

Every. Single. Year. is the same … I get the coughs, which turn into the snots, which turn into infections, which turn into mis.er.a.ble. 

No hearts, no date, no love, no frosting.

So let’s just leave it at that, shall we? It is March now and things are looking up! I am only coughing a little bit and we are still in sub zero temperatures.

No seriously. It’s March, things are looking up! Seriously.

>insert photo dump here <

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^^Kids are awesome, just sayin’

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^^We still have a whole month AND maybe more of this to look forward to!

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^^I have a best friend. Whom by the way, took care of me during said horrible month.

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^^Truer words have never been spoken.

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^^These guys came to visit and were super awesome company!

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^^ We had such a good time DESPITE the fact that it was February.

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^^Red House is busy!

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^^What do you think?

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So things are looking up. Seriously. It’s March.

Seriously.

Witt(isms)

Hello fellow humans.

I have rose, back from the dead, with a still raging headache, to rejoin you after a bout with a minor cold turned sinus nightmare. My headache is a result of the exactly 1 hour I spent sobbing into Mister Witt’s shirt today that had been pent up from the exactly four prior days of h.e. l.l.

end of story.

Instead of taking you though the multitude of painful moments after painful moments, I am going to pretend that Valentine’s day didn’t include snotty tissues shoved up my nose or that I dyed my hair a brassy orange… Instead I thought it would be fun to go completely off topic and share some of the peculiar things that we say, around this house, that somehow only translate to each other. I am wondering if you and your families have secret languages in which you are able to communicate??

If we are being honest, a lot of these originate from Mister Witt and trickle down to me and then the smaller Witt’s. But regardless of their origin, eventually we all succumb.

Witt(ism) #1 :: It’s a technique. We basically use this for everything. having to do with accomplishing something in a certain way. Its origin comes from me self teaching myself how to cut Mister Witt’s hair. When I would pull some hair on either side to see if the length matched or held his hair in my fingers and cut with wreckless abandon, he would say, “I think that’s a technique.”  Now, the other day, Gabrielle was showing us something about her shoe … i think … and she used the ism and both Matt and I smiled at our spawn.

Witt(ism) #2 :: Just a tits. When we want just a little bit of something this is what we say. This ism originates from sweet Gabrielle mistakenly asking that her window be rolled down just a tits, instead of a titch.  It was an instant hit.

Witt(ism) #3 ::  Six eggs in one hand, six eggs in the other hand. I could just not say the proper phrase. I stumbled every time. I won’t even try and write it for you here, you know the one I am referring to. Nowadays, due to laziness, I often say, “it’s all eggs.”  That’s a technique.

Witt(ism) #4 ::  It’s worth all the weight in the world. Mister Witt said this with great confidence. I will never forget the moment for as long as I shall live. We were getting onto the freeway, in Lake George, literally driving on the onramp, when I said, “I don’t think that means what you think it means.”  The kids and I went from giggles to full out pointing and laughing … He wasn’t so amused at first, but now it’s a thing. Now, when things are super important, we describe them as such … as being worth all the weight in the world.

Witt(ism) #5. ::  As ______ as the day is long. This is a new one we are working on. We basically like to just fill in the blank with just about anything we can think of. I think Mister Witt referred to something as being as clear as the day is long … yep.

Witt(ism) #6 :: It’s the tops/It’s the pits. There are just no better ways to explains things. They simply fall into one category or the other. Easy peasy.

Witt(ism) #7 :: Code Terms. This derived from one of our sleepover nights. We have code terms for all kinds of things. For instance, if something is really irritating you, a code term for that could be, geez that really chaps my brisket. Code term for taking the Lord’s name in vain could be Cripes Christmas or Cripes Almighty. Let’s say that something affects you emotionally, you could say that it really tickles your tenders. These are all great code terms.

I think that about wraps it up for this segment of isms. We have had many more in the past and I am sure our future holds so may more. What I think this tells us is that we are best friends. That we have secret languages in which we communicate with each other. That. We. Laugh.

And also, that maybe I am high enough on nyquil and cough drops that I thought it would be a good idea to share these with you … reading this may be as f’d as the day is long. Who knows.

Love, always.

PS :: Matt had a fill in date for Valentines’s day. She looked radiant.

Gabi

GrandMa Ruth.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have not only lived in close proximity to both sets of my grandparents for many of my younger years, but also to have such close relationships on both sides. It is a blessing in my life that I am forever grateful for.

My Grandma Ruth’s house was like the Disneyland of Grandma’s houses. My memories there were full of art, treasures and wonder. Anything you thought possible, as a child, could happen there. My brother and I would be sent out on explorations, late at night and in the dark with only a few motza crackers and a large bar of chocolate to keep us alive. It was the exploring sticks that turned the Arizona landscape into a war zone full of … god knows what. At her house, we walked the entire parameter of the property teetering on a 7 foot wall, one foot in front of the other. We climbed homemade wooden ladders and sat on the roof.  We made movies and took midnight swims. We slept in all places possible … the hammock out back, the van out front, and dare I say we tried the bathtub once. We decorated homemade gingerbread houses and took late night desert drives, over bumpy dirt roads. We took a jeep tour and shot a gun.

The adventures were endless.

The best places in that desert ranch were the two rooms, at the end of the hallway, that housed the supplies to literally make anything.  My Grandfather was a sculptor. His room was filled with clay and tools and a kiln. My grandmother was an artist. She had everything. everything. Once she helped me build a Greek theater, we spray painted it silver. I got an A.

When visiting her home in New Jersey my children feel the same wonder. Everything is a treasure. They play and explore and enjoy music and stories. They are safe and they are loved.

They are also greeted with the warm hugs and smooches that I loved so much. When we left they said the trip was way. too. short.

Blessed.

I tried to capture my childhood in this video. It barely scrapes the surface. I could spend weeks filming and talking about almost everything in her house and what it means to me. The rocks from around the world labeled in with her handwriting. The magnets on the fridge with sentiments that explain her fully. The bizarre looking tree jar that has a face and held candy. The crooked broom stick. The fish tank, the puppet theatre, the organ, and Mash playing on the television.

Kiel, remember the diving shows we would put on … you were the pronouncer.

okay okay, it’s too much!

Last memory ::

Mister Witt came over once, to visit me there. He sat at the piano and played us a song.

We were thirteen.