Easter Chocolate Salad

We “Yard Bombed” Nicole and Darren’s place again.  The first time was for Valentine’s Day, this is obviously in honor of Easter.  So much delight in just $3.  Adrienne and Mike love doing this as much as Nicole loves coming home to the surprise of it.


Easter is rapidly approaching. I’ve been planning for over a month. That’s the way things hafta roll around here if there’s any hope of things actually getting done.

Nicole and I finally decided on a menu. We’re having savory crepes with filling choices of chicken, pepperoni, cheddar or pepper jack cheese, sauted bacon, peas, spinach, onion and/or mushrooms. And I am making 4 salads.  Greek, Black Bean/Corn, Asian, and Chocolate.

Recipe for a Chocolate Salad:

Gather your ingredients–


As with a (nasty) raw vegetable salad, be sure you have a variety of shapes, textures, colors and flavors.  Today we have Snickers, Dark Chocolate Kisses, Reese’s Eggs, Malt ball eggs, garnished with mini marshmallows-cuz after all, what’s a salad without croutons?

Peeled or unpeeled, that’s your call.  If you leave the salad unpeeled it’s more colorful, but if you’re looking for a more sophisticated adult chocolate salad, you’ll want to unwrap all your ingredients and let the different shapes speak for themselves. This is a salad for kids, so we’re going with bright and shiny.

The secret to a great salad is in the tossing.  Make sure you toss thoroughly to give all the ingredients a chance to get nice and friendly and so that each serving gets all the ingredients.


Chocolate Salads can be eaten with or without dressing.  If you’re a dressing kind of dude, I’ve found caramel sauce slightly warmed is excellent, especially with a side of ice cream.

And I made sure that I have “to-go” boxes so that the kids can take home the “leftovers”.

 (check out the dollar store-I got 8 cute “to go” boxes for a dollar or 5 “yard bombs”. If you’re too proud to shop in the dollar store, wear a disguise or make your kids go in, I’m telling you it’s worth it.)


  Friends are coming with their kids.  We’ll have 9 kids here from 17 down to 5.  I. Can’t. Wait.  I may not be a Gramma yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t act like one. I bought a frisbee, an 8 pack of bubbles, and Jiffy Pop.  We’re going to have Peeps on a stick, and bunny cupcakes, and chocolate salad. We’re gonna play games and throw the frisbee and maybe fly a kite and get all the stuff out of the dress up box and take pictures of ourselves.  I mean the kids. We’ll take pictures of the kids. (okay, yep, and me too. I wouldn’t be left out for the world.)

With all the creative juices going toward Easter, I’ve got Knitter’s Block. Which is just like Writer’s Block only with knitting. There are several things I’m going to start knitting just as soon as Easter is over.  I just can’t focus right now.  Knitting seems uninspiring when there are Easter crafts to make and cupcakes to bake before Easter has come and gone.

But knitting understands.  It’s a good friend, it knows that I get distracted and busy with holidays so it’s patient with me. Knitting knows I’ll be back.

What are you doing for Easter?

He is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!

Own the Day!

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Mid-Week Break in La Conner


It was a glorious day in La Conner. Eric had decided we should take Adrienne and just get away before his busy weekend.

We drove by the tulip fields, but didn’t stop–we’re hoping they’re still in their glorious splendor tomorrow or Tuesday for a field trip.

10152598_10152036987501476_3764111259668536466_n(photo credit: violinvixen)




We walked through the little town with all it’s artsy farty shops-wood and metal sculptures, paintings, glass work and repurposed art,  and wandered down to look at the boats in the channel. We ate ice cream and laughed and joked and totally enjoyed having Adrienne all to ourselves with her fun sense of humor and the things she points out that we would never have noticed without her.


Then we headed for dinner.  While we waited for our food, the server gave us crayons and paper to keep us happy.  I’m sure he meant it for Adrienne, but I wasn’t about to be left out. So we shared the paper-I drew on one end and Adrienne drew on the other: 001

This is my side of the paper-doodles everywhere.

And this was Adrienne’s, done freehand with a crayon…003

I think she’s pretty amazing.


They shared a wood fired pizza while THIS was my food.  Oh my gosh it was SO delicious. Truth be told, I could live without the salad, but it was fine…for a salad.


Since finishing and mailing the latest mitts to their new home, I’ve reorganized all yarn, bins, bags, scraps, notions, everything.  I found projects I forgot I was working on.  :)  Isn’t that the way?  I get so excited—-squirrel!!! and then I’m off on another.  This is the baby blanket.  I haven’t decided if the colors are really gonna work together. I can’t make that call until after I’ve knit each of the 5 yarns together to see if they are able to be friends.

Own the Day!

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Not Sure There’s Enough

The other day, I got a text from my sis letting me know she’d sent the sweater I left when I was there last month, and that she’d stuck in the yarn she bought me on her trip to Ireland last year. But she wasn’t sure there was enough.  She isn’t familiar with how much yarn it takes to knit something.  She hadn’t thought about that when she bought it.  She really really hoped there would be enough.  I assured her whatever she sent, I could work with and what a lovely surprise it would be to see it.

The next day, the box arrived.  In an effort to give you perspective, here is a 50 gram skein next to my ipod. with this skein I can knit one sock, or one mitten, or most of a cowl.001


and here is a 100 gram skein next to that. With 100 grams I can knit a couple hats, or a baby sweater. These are the 2 “normal sizes” that skeins come in.

Here’s the the skein that my sister bought me:


Yep, that puppy is FOUR HUNDRED GRAMS.  I’m fairly certain that’s enough yarn to make something.  :)  Oh she makes my heart smile.


Here are the mittens that are headed to Oregon for a friend in hopes of brightening her difficult days.  I hope these mittens hug her over and over for me, since I can’t be there.


And finally, here I am with Finn, who couldn’t stand that I was photographing yarn instead of paying attention to him so he jumped into my lap.  He isn’t a lap dog.  He is a high energy, bouncy, happy, hyper puppy.  When he gets in your lap it isn’t to sit and be loved and petted, it’s to make sure you know where your attention should be directed.  I barely managed to get a picture of us before he was on the floor demanding I play fetch with him. And who could resist that face?  So play fetch I did.

Hope you’re having a beautiful day!

Own It.

laugh. dance. learn. create. knit.

or whatever you love to do

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All Thumbs and Sunshine

Believe it or not, Mr. Sun paid us a visit yesterday.







My feet, finally set free from socks and shoes.  Barefoot is the only way to live.


My new knitting bucket.  Gosh isn’t it cheerful?

I’m still working on mitts for a friend.  Yesterday morning before the sun came, Griswold watched the Price is Right with me while I knitted.  (Chocokitty is still AWOL)


I’ve been chronically sick long enough you’d think I’d be used to the fall out that occurs after a whole week of fun outings. I spent 4 days last week not knitting.  Not a stitch.  Not even the project I always have going for foggy brain and headache days was within my ability.  I wouldn’t trade our Spring Break Fun for anything, but it left me wasted every day.  Today, (it’s Tuesday I’m pretty sure) I’m finally feeling a bit better and so I was able to get busy knitting thumbs.


Thumbs take extra care, extra thinking, extra clarity.  One must never try knitting thumbs with bad headache or foggy brain. Trust me, you’ll hate yourself when you realize you’ve got to rip the whole thing out and start over.

Griswold and I are going to watch NCIS and begin thumb #2 after I grab a pop and some headache meds.  With a bit of luck I’ll have these puppies blocked and in the mail on Thursday.  Fingers crossed.

Own the Day!

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Chicks with Swagger

Yesterday friends and I walked on the ferry to Port Townsend.


Port Townsend, Washington

(photo credit: sanjuanclassicdaysailing.com)

Many Victorian homes and buildings were built during the late 1800s, when Port Townsend was a well-known seaport.


Several of the buildings have been recently repainted. They are gorgeous and as I walk down the street I daydream about what these beautiful buildings looked like back in the day.  With their new paint jobs, it isn’t difficult to picture them all gussied up and gorgeous, with women in long flowing dresses and men in fine suits walking the streets.


Chocokitty is AWOL I think he had a sleepover for spring break and hasn’t come home yet, so Griswold offered to take his place helping to chronicle our adventure.



We walked…


and shopped…


ate lunch…


and goofed off…


and goofed off some more…


and looked cute.

When we stepped off the ferry in Port Townsend, I texted Eric to let him know we made the ferry we were shooting for. This was his reply:

“I can just see it now—a group of gorgeous hip chicks swaggerin’ down Main street, owning the place. You ladies have loads of fun.”

I don’t know how much swaggerin’ we did, but we did feel like we owned the place.


And, with Leslie’s help, I tried a little artistic photography, first the reflection of the Victorian building in a window selling antiques, and second…


this is a “tasting bar”, of flavored olive oils and vinegars.


And last, MUST ALWAYS drink hot chocolate from the Seattle’s Best Coffee vending machine on the ferry ride back.  I want one of these for my house.

Spring Break is officially over. Back to school tomorrow.

Own the Day!

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Who messed with the DOL?

When he was 4, we called him Little Joe. It was our Bonanza phase. We had 3 boys with similar temperaments to the Cartwright boys.  Mike was Little Joe all over the place.

A couple days ago, we headed out for the DOL to get Mike a driver’s permit.

Truth: “The days are long, but the years are short.”


When preparing to head for the DOL there have been certain steps I’ve come to live by-

Step 1: Fight or Flight instinct sets in.  I have to talk myself down, knowing I’ve done this before. I’ve scaled this mountain without oxygen 3x for 3 other kids.  It can be done.

Step 2: I go to the “helpful website” to find out what I need to bring, because it’s quite literally different every time I go.  I dutifully read through the information and click on the link that should take me to the document I’m supposed to fill out and bring with me.  That link immediately takes me to another webpage exactly like the one I were just on.  I click on the same link on that page that should take me to the document I’m supposed to fill out and bring with me, and it immediately takes me to another webpage exactly like the one I’m on….lather. rinse. repeat 4 or so times. Helpful website.

Step 3: Finding the birth certificate.  This is where that foreboding feeling becomes more of a panic.  A few years back I went in to get an enhanced license (since we live 5 minutes from Canada, it makes sense that we might need to go there and we don’t have passports, so one can acquire an enhanced license to get over the border)  So, in spite of having a driver’s license for many years, decades even, wherein I had to prove I was born and alive and who my mother is and how I got that scar over my left eye, and why one shoulder is higher than the other, I had to yet again, present a birth cert for the enhanced license. After waiting for nearly 3 hours they rejected both my  AND Eric’s certificates, the ones we used to start driving, get married, and adopt a baby internationally, the ONLY birth certificates we’ve ever had.  I was informed they weren’t  real birth certificates, which led to all sorts of other mishaps and things, so “needing an original birth cert” isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Step 4: Readying the gear for the trip to the DOL. The only positive thing about the DOL is knowing my incarceration there will last a minimum of 2 hours.  I pack like I’m heading into the desert for survival training: food, drink, map, charged cell phone, protection from the elements, flares in case I can’t find my way out, etc.

So we left and I related all the horror stories we’ve had over the years so that Mike knew what he was in for. I figured it might lessen the trauma. Like they staff the place with people that hate their jobs and hate people, they have absolutely no sense of humor, people with the power to refuse you a license-don’t piss them off.

We pull into a largely empty parking lot and I get that sick feeling I got years ago when we got all pumped up to go and they were closed that day.  But we walked into a room with maybe 6 people waiting, right up to the counter, greeted by a nice, polite man, who said our wait would be 5 minutes. (I chuckled under my breath and whispered to Mike, “yeah, riiiiiiight.  Nothing happens here in 5 minutes. I didn’t fall off a truck yesterday.”)

And in less than 5 minutes we were talking to “M” who….made a joke.  I didn’t realize it was a joke at first. They never make jokes. Then she made another, and another.  She was laughing and enjoying her job. It was…shocking.

And finally, after asking Mikey if we wanted to be an organ donor,  she told us that she has had kids who will turn to their mom and ask, “Do I have to donate the organ right now?”  To which M assures them “that’s why they have that extra room in the back…it’s just for organ donation.”  :)

And suddenly we were done. We left. With a permit.  Easy peasy.  We didn’t even get our pops and snacks open.  I didn’t knit a stitch. Mike didn’t read.  We didn’t send texts home updating our progress. And Little Joe is driving now.

It was crazy good. I don’t know who messed with the DOL, but I’ll take it.  And we’ve got another milestone in the books.

Own the Day!

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Adventure Fail

All 5 of us headed for the Whatcom Museum this afternoon.  We hadn’t been for a million years.  ie. we hadn’t been since they built the new huge building with all the windows. (isn’t it gorgeous?)


The Lightcatcher building

They moved the old Children’s Museum into this building along with “exhibits”. The current exhibit is a Native American art exhibit.

I love Native American art.  Love. It.

It’s Spring Break and 1/2 price day so we all went. Eric wore his scrubs so he could go right to work, and Dylan met us there after his classes at Western….




Unfortunately the whole exhibit was one small room of paintings, that was it. Soooo disappointing.  After seeing what little there was to see at the Art exhibit, we wandered down to the 2 original museum buildings hoping they had changed and improved.  Neither had happened, unfortunately. But the old firehall is a lovely building…006


And, thankfully, my kids are great at making the best of these situations with their amazing sense of humor and laid back nature. I love them for it.  That’s Mikey, trying on a mask for us, after touring the incredibly creepy taxidermy room.  Shudder.


They had some baskets in a case. I think Native American baskets are some of the most beautiful things ever made by hand.  I could stand and look at them for a very long time and be very happy.


Then we wandered into the old City Hall building to see if anything there had changed.  It hadn’t either, but it’s got cool old wooden stair rails.

Stock Photo of Bellingham, Washington

Old City Hall now the Whatcom Museum

Not every adventure of exploration ends with an amazing discovery.  Today is an example of that.  But we had fun together in spite of it.  After Eric and Dylan left for work, I took Mike and Adrienne for doughnuts at Rocket and thanked them for being good sports.


Adrienne (11), Mike (17)

new rocket

(Rocket Donuts-if you haven’t been you should go.  Now. Yes, they have gluten-free. Go. They’re amazing and the decor is such fun with their old sci movie posters and stuff. We love it.)

So there you go. That was our Spring Break Adventure Fail.   :)

It’s your day–Own It.

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