The Marsh

Hi Friends! How are you? I am snuggled up on the couch with Little Man away from the cold that is hovering outside my front door. We got some snow today. Yuck, but I am thankful it was only a little bit. Some people have been hit really hard.

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It is pretty, I just don’t like driving in it and because it was so cold the roads were quite slick.

So on Friday I told you we were hoping to go to the Marsh over the weekend and we did! We layered and bundled ourselves up and went over to the marsh for a wonderful walk. I could have stayed there all day but the men aren’t quite as keen as i am to be doing all that walking in the cold but I took some pictures to share our walk with you.

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This is when we first got there. Then we started walking on our favorite trail but Little Man wanted to do it in reverse this time.

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You can see that the water was completely frozen in places and then there was a section where the water started flowing over the ice.

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This is a part of the marsh that is normally filled with water but you can see there isn’t much in there right now. I love seeing the changes from season to season.

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My men playing with their sticks :)

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Love that pop of red within all that brown. It isn’t as bright in the picture as it was there.

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Me all bundled up in my handknits!! That the Gap-tastic cowl and the Wurm hat. I had warmed up a bit by then since we were further into our walk but before that I had my cowl wrapped around a third time and all you could see were my glasses.

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Along the way we found that the beavers in the area had been busy!! They had chewed five trees and started a sixth one but didn’t it. then you could see the drag marks of the trees going down to the water. Little Man thought it was so neat and we both too some of the shavings that they left behind.

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It was hard to get a picture of but here is where they have built their dam a little ways down from where the trees were taken.

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Bubbles under the ice that Little and Big Man had to “free” with their sticks.

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Mushrooms growing on trees.

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That was our walk, enjoyed very much by all.

By the road that leads to the marsh there is a sign for a farmers bakery in the area. it has been there forever but we never checked it out so today we thought we would be adventurous and see what it is all about. It turned out to be super cute little place that had some delightful looking pastries, donuts, pies and even fresh-baked bread. We got a loaf of rye bread and some sweet treats. Then I came home, made some coffee and enjoyed my treat with a book.

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I borrowed the book from a friend, it’s Wild Tales by Graham Nash. It is his autobiography and when I read the back of it, it sounded really interesting. I am about four chapters in and while still interesting for me it has slowed down a bit so when I was at the library on Monday it was very easy for me to be tempted by a different book.

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This is the third book in the Century Trilogy that started with the Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. This is the Edge of Eternity. It just came out last month I think so when I saw the library had it in I had to check it out. I really enjoyed the first two books, they are very hefty, both close to if not over 1000 pages long but they really pull you into the lives of the different families that you are following starting in the early 1900’s. Book three is starting in 1961 and with the American families it is about segregation and Communism in Cuba. The German families are dealing with the split between East and West Germany and where I am at the Russians have just put up the fence that divides Berlin. The Russians are dealing with JFK and playing nice or maybe not so nice and they have their own kind of revolution going on. We have only seen a little bit of the English family but they all have their struggles whether it is personal, professional or with the country they live in. I can’t wait to read more later tonight.

Hope you are all well. Tomorrow I am hoping to show you a couple upcoming crafts that I am planning on starting, not knitting but I must do something!! Have a great day!

Two Dinners

Hello Friends! How are you all? How was your week? Mine was pretty good. Work has been busy and I have been busy taking Little Man to Boy Scout activities this week.

My self change has gone great this week! Today is the first day that I splurged a bit with a couple of pieces of Halloween candy as a bit of a Good Job reward. I am already feeling the benefits of going back to my healthy ways of eating.

Joanna, it is so true about going back to working out and how much just even a little bit of time away can change you and make you weaker! I am so glad that you will also be trying to improve yourself. I will cheer you on for sure, and I know together we can totally do this!!  Thank you for the well wishes for my wrist, I hope as well that I can move past this. I usually use circular needles but it seems like the big needles are hurting me. I thought about changing the style of my knitting so I am using my hands differently, but I tried that a couple of years ago and I was so clumsy. I use my hands a lot at work too, and then I come home wand want to spend my evenings knitting so that probably doesn’t help ;).

Today I am sharing another dinner with you. A new recipe I tried this week. Actually two but the other is from another blog I read so I will just share the link. The pictures are the best but I hope they give you a pretty good idea of how it all looks.

Yesterday I made chicken drumsticks with sweet potato coins. The sweet potatoes were so good, we all could have eaten a plate full of them.

The Recipe is from The Can’t Cookbook. I found it at 5 below for 5 dollars and it had some recipes in it that I thought made the book worth buying even though its supposed to be for newer cooks. It shows you how to cut onions and garlic and tips like that. It has great pictures in it so it really is a great beginner book. This was my third and fourth recipe from the book and we haven’t been disappointed.

So you marinate the drumstick overnight for best flavor. She had four sauce options. I chose the barbeque and the lemon and sage.

Barbeque

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Lemon and Sage

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I put them on a baking sheet.

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and popped them on the oven at 425F for about 35 minutes.

They go in together with the sweet potatoes that cook at the same temp and cook time. For those you take 3 medium size sweet potatoes and cut them into 1 1/2 inch slices and put them on a baking sheet and drizzle some olive oil over them.

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Then you are going to make a mixture of brown sugar, salt, cumin and black pepper.

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Pour that over the potatoes and give a good mix.

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Pop those in the oven with the drumsticks and when they are done they should look like this:

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And here it is plated up.

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Like I said earlier the potatoes were delicious!!! Best I have ever made and we kept munching on the extras. This was the first time I made drumsticks and they came out really good too. Little Man and Hubby really liked them and everyone agreed the Lemon and Sage one was delicious. My husband especially liked them, he said he could really taste the sage.  I am always hesitant to try new recipes because my husband can be very picky and unsure about new recipes. But this was a success!! Which of course makes me super happy.

Dinner tonight was Italian Wedding Soup from Jcasa.  I have been making it for over a year now and it is a well-loved dish in this house. It was perfect tonight in our super cold weather.

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I normally use smaller noodles but I forgot to get some so I used the smallest I had on hand. It’s very easy to make. I don’t use as many bread crumbs and cheese as she uses for her meatballs. I eyeball about 1/4 to 1/2 cup. If you so try this recipe try what you think sounds best for you. The main reason I used so little is because when I first made this I was at the peak of my diet and that was just too much in my mind to put in my meatballs and they taste great so I have never tried using the full amount.

We don’t have any big plans for the weekend. Tonight is camp out night for Little Man and I. We are going to watch the movie Eragon. Then we are sleeping in a fort in the living room. Tomorrow we are supposed to go for a nice walk at the marsh and then just relaxing around the house. Reading. Playing. I am hoping to start sewing on a project I want to make for my Oma for Christmas. Just playing it by ear, the weekends are usually not rushed or over planned, we do that enough all week. If we do manage to bundle up and head out for our walk, I will get some pictures of the marsh to share with you. So I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Dinner and some weekend stuff

Hello My Friends! How are you today? It was a typical Monday, I didn’t want to get up and out of bed this morning and it dragged in the normal Monday way. Day one of my changes that I wrote about yesterday was successful! I was a good girl when it came to my eating and my water intake so I am really that happy that I didn’t crash on day one! :)

On Friday I tried a new product and decided to share my whole dinner with you guys instead of just the product since it was part of my dinner anyway!

I have made this dish tons of times,It’s a basic meat and gravy dish, I don’t really have a name for it and the only thing I ever really change is what I serve it with. It could be rice, mashed potatoes or Spatzle (a German egg noodle). On Friday we went to a local market that carries quite a few European items and I came across something I haven’t had in a super long time.

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The best way to describe these is like a dumpling, my grandma of course makes these homemade but a girl has to get her fix somehow! I have gotten something like this before but the didn’t come in their own little dumpling sacks. In the other stuff I got you mixed the ingredients and then made your own balls and put them in boiling water but with these that’s basically all taken care of! you just toss them into a pot with cold water and salt.

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And bring them to a boil.

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You can see how they have already puffed up a little in their sacks. Then you turn down the heat and let them simmer for 15 minutes.

While those are cooking, we start the meat.

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This is turkey loin cut into 1/4 in slices or so and season with a seasoning that my grandma sends me from Germany. It’s from a well-known chef over there called Herr Schuhbeck. This is the steak and grill seasoning. Then you toss it in a pan over medium high heat.

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And cook until the turkey is cooked through, it doesn’t take long. Then we are going to add about 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste.

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Give it a good stir until the turkey is all covered with it and cooks for a minute in the pan. The we are going to add gravy. This is where I cheat and just use a powdered gravy.

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Add a splash of heavy cream or milk, whatever you have on hand and give it another stir.

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Once everything is warmed through and nice and thick, the meat and gravy is all done. Now back to the Knodel! This is how they look after the 15 minutes and you are supposed to run them under cold water.

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The you free them out of their little sacks and put the on the plate.

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Lol, I got a bit rough with the one on top but this is how they look all done.

And here is the final product…

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Yummy!! it was so good, and one Knodel would have been enough for me, they are very filling. I will be getting these again. Just a note, these are not something you really want to eat by themselves, they need some kind of sauce or my grandma has also put them in a chicken broth and made a soup. Also really good.  So, hope you liked that. If you want to see more, let me know.

Over the weekend, Little Man and I built a Fort in the living room and we really didn’t leave it much. We even slept in it at night.

We played some games.

Memory

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Labyrinth, this is one of my favorites.

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Also some Battleship and some Rauber Rudi.

I also got some reading done.

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That’s Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. I am about 3/4 of the way through. It is a book for kids but its a quick read and sometimes you need that. I was at an activity at the library for Little Man and it was laying on the table by me, so i picked it up and started reading it and didn’t want to stop when it was time to go home, so the book came home with me. It’s about a sister and brother that go to spend a couple weeks with their grandfather and find out he is the caretaker of FableHaven, a sanctuary for mystical creatures. And of course when kids start sticking their noses into things, trouble starts. It’s part of a series, i am not sure how many books there are but I do want to read the others at some point…just making my list longer and longer.

If you remember in my first post back to blogland, I mentioned having to take a break from crafting, most of all knitting because of my wrists. It has been since the end of September and it’s like all i can think about but I am behaving!! I have been wearing my wrist guards at night and trying to watch what i do with my hands during the day. I am giving myself until December and then i will very slowly get back to working something. When i was working on Little Man’s socks my hands weren’t bothering me. It was when I went to a project with bigger needles that i started to feel the ache again. So we will see, wish me luck.

I better get off to bed. Have a great day!

Change!!

change

Hello My Friends! how has your week been? Mine was really good, Little Man had some days off from work and school and we did some shopping, hanging out and enjoyed each others company. I’ll share some of that and a dinner I made with you tomorrow.

Today’s post is a bit more for me but I am sharing it with you as well in the hopes that it will help me stick to my changes a bit better.

In August 2012, I had reached a point with my health and weight (mostly weight) that i just was not happy with. I had hardly any energy and could happily have spent my days doing nothing. I decided, No More. I changed my diet and started exercising. Blogilates was a huge inspiration to me and made me feel like I could do this. A lot of her workouts were a bit to hardcore for me, some still are. She is just so positive and such a cheerleader that even though I wasn’t following everything she did, she totally helped. I did a lot of her recipes and tips. I also started walking several times a week. Since this wasn’t my first time “dieting” i had several workout dvds and a whole Zumba set of dvds and I got to work! it was not easy but it wasn’t long before i started feeling better and wasn’t so tired all the time. After a year I lost 35 pounds and i felt awesome and was so much more confident in myself and in my body.  The best part was not having some lame excuse for my son when he wanted to run around or do something outside. The following six months I kept up with everything and was doing good.

The last six months, not so much. I am tired and lazy again. I have returned to a lot of my bad eating habits the #1 of those is just killing the sweets when any are in the house. I have quit exercising, or i will do it for a couple days to a week and then i let the excuses kick back into gear. I hear my smart me yelling at me to Stop! But I don’t listen to her, I have put 15 of the pounds I lost back on. You can’t really tell but i can tell you…I am feeling it.  And I don’t like what I am feeling. I don’t want to become that Woman or that Mom again. Not only that but i know that eating this way is harming my body.

So, tomorrow I am back on the Healthy Wagon, I am back to taking care of myself the way I should be. I am back to being the better me that I know I can be.  I am mainly focusing on my eating to start with. I do plan on making a schedule for myself to do some sort of workout activity, but i am going to ease in with that. I don’t want to overwhelm myself and I know that my eating habits are really my greatest concern.

Thanks for reading my story and if any of you out there are contemplating a change, don’t wait!! Set a Goal, make a plan and let me know about it, I’ll be happy to cheer you on! We could all use someone standing in our corners supporting us through it all, especially the slip-ups.

Have an awesome week!

A Day Off

Hi all! Thanks for the pumpkin love! I always look forward to carving the pumpkin every year, even though I groan about cleaning it out. Halloween was fun, Little Man got lots of candy and the rain held off until the last half hour. My husband’s umbrella was blown inside out twice much to my enjoyment. I couldn’t stop laughing, especially since his umbrella is so big and he had a hard time getting back the right way…Yes, I did just stand there and laugh instead of helping him and I am not ashamed to admit it.

We had the day off school and work today because of elections so Little Man and I went off gallivanting and did a bit of shopping. I found a new tea Joanna, and since you have shared yours a few times i thought I would share the one I picked up at TJ Maxx (TK Maxx for you).

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I had one after we got back and it was very good. I don’t add any sugar or honey, What about you fellow tea drinkers, do you put anything in your teas?

After shopping, Little Man and I then made some Apple Bread. It’s one of my favorites and it has been much too long since i have made it. While we were out we got some more Honey Crisp apples.

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Here is most of our supplies, there are two bags of flour because I wasn’t sure I had enough but in the end we just made it.

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Here is the end result. Yummy!!!!!

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We are down to almost one loaf already, but it’s not all in our bellies, I made a few baggies for some ladies I work with because we are always sharing new recipes or treats with each other.

After cleaning up, making dinner and then cleaning up some more, I went for a quick 15 minute walk around the neighborhood. It was so nice and peaceful and I didn’t have to worry about walking alone because I had this guy with me…

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Yep, that’s right, Batman is my own personal bodyguard. :)

Good Night my friends!

Weekending

Happy Sunday! The weekend always flies by.

The rest of the week went by smoothly. Hubby is back home from his business travels and we have just been relaxing before the week starts back up again.

Saturday started bright and early(was too early for my liking on a weekend morning, I was a bit grumpy) because Little Man had his soccer tournament.

IMG_1672They lost their first game and then had to wait over and hour before the next game started.  But happily by then the sun was out.

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Sadly, they lost that game too. Little Man was disappointed. They had beat this team twice before and thought for sure they could do it again. But the other team had learned and Little Man’s team was just not playing at their best.  While disappointed, he was not discouraged and said “I am signing up in the Spring”.

After Soccer we did some yard work. The front lawn was covered in leaves and one of my front plant beds needed some tending. I had some help.

IMG_1686I also trimmed my hydrangea and even all brown and dried up I thought it still looked beautiful (they are normally all white) so I brought some in to have in my craft room.

IMG_1687This morning we had breakfast with a friend and then back home to do laundry. I also worked on getting my table cleared in the craft room so i can do some sewing since i am still trying to be good and give my hands and wrists a break from the knitting…its so hard!! i want to knit so badly. But i must behave if i want to get my hands back on the needles. I have considered teaching myself to knit differently. I knit the Continental way so maybe switching could help. We will see, its so hard to break from what you are used to and what my hands could almost do in their sleep!

Joanna, my mom actually ended up doing another batch of yarn and it turned out a much deeper blue, i still haven’t seen it but she is supposed to send me a picture, if not i’ll try and get one next time i see her. I did think about dyeing over it but I am going to leave it, as a memory of my first time. I really didn’t have any specific expectations i was just doing it for fun.

I hope everyone else had a good weekend and has a good start to the week.