Liz' s Musings's

Liz's musings on life – mostly her kids though.

Knock, knock … June 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Liz @ 6:31 pm

Christopher is learning how to tell jokes … not exceedingly well but he thinks he’s a kick in the pants! We were in the van and we had this conversation …

C: Mommy, let’s do Knock Knock jokes.

Me: Ok

C: Knock, knock

Me: Who’s there?

C: Boo!

Me: Boo who?

C: Boo boo silly face (lots of laughter)

Me: Let me have a turn.

C: Ok

Me: Knock knock

C: Who’s there?

Me: Banana

C: Banana who?

Me: Knock knock

C: Who’s there?

Me: Banana

C: Banana who?

Me: Knock knock

C: Who’s there?

Me: Banana

C: Banana who?

Me: Knock knock

C: Who’s there?

Me: Orange

C: Orange who?

Me: Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

C: My turn! Knock knock

Me: Who’s there?

C: Banana

Me: Banana who?

C: Knock knock

Me: Who’s there?

C: Banana

Me: Banana who?

C: Knock knock

Me: Who’s there?

C: Banana

Me: Banana who?

C: Banana butt silly face (lots of laughter)

I definitely have a four year old!


My mom’s birthday May 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Liz @ 12:59 pm

My mom is at a point in her life where I would rather make a happy memory for her than give her something to put on her shelf for her birthday. Partly because she doesn’t need anything and partly because I’ll eventually have to deal with her stuff and the less she has the less I have to deal with. To make a nice birthday memory for her Thomas & I took her to King Estate winery for a tour, wine tasting and fabulous dinner. Growing up in SF it is sort of obligatory to take out-of-town guest to the Napa Valley so, needless to say, I spent my fair share of time showing guests my favourite winerys there. Now that I live in Oregon we decided to start exploring our local wineries. Well, I’ve been to two … so that’s not really much of a list. But of the two we have a favourite so far and that’s King Estate. Their facility is gorgeous, the view is spectacular, and the wines are good! We had brunch there in February for a tweetup/birthday celebration and were treated quite well so we knew that mom would enjoy the experience for her birthday.

We started off with a tour of the winery. It was easy enough for mom to walk the entire way since there was a lot of stopping in between all of the walking. It’s a French styled winery so they use oak barrels made in France and boy are they expensive! I’ll bet they have over a million dollars in oak barrels alone!

After the tour we got down to the tasting. My favourite is the 2008 Signature Pinot Gris and since I’m such a drinker I worked on that while Thomas and mom tasted about 4 other wines.  My second favourite was the 2006 Domaine Vin Glacé. It’s a dessert wine and has a hint of apple. Just thinking about it makes me want to open the bottle we bought. We also bought mom two small (375ml) bottles of the Pinot Gris and a Pinot Noir. Hey, you’ve got to send the birthday girl home with a memento!

It wasn’t until after we were done with the tasting that we decided to stay for dinner. (Thanks for babysitting Micah!!!) Given that it is May and the weather changes on a dime one may wonder why we chose to eat outside. All I can say is, when in Oregon act like an Oregonian! It was a decent enough evening and the view of the Lorane Valley was stunning so we risked it. It’s always tough chosing something from a menu when you’ve never had anything but we suffered through it. However when our server (Elizabeth of all coincidences) told us the specials we were back at square one … sort of. Once she told us the specials mom and I changed our minds and each chose a different special.

The meal started with an amuse-bouche which was a nice surprise!  We were given one when we had brunch at the winery but did not know it was a regular event. It was goat cheese coloured with beet juice on a little toast and it was sprinkled with an arugula … um … drizzly stuff. Whatever. It was really freaking good!

Thomas ordered their special soup which was white bean and asparagus. For some reason I was expecting it to be cream but it wasn’t and for some reason I really enjoyed that.

Mom ordered the porkchop on creamy polenta. I ordered the braised short ribs with potato gnocci.  And Thomas ordered the grilled NW salmon.  I always encourage him to order salmon when we go out because my ability to cook fish is down around zero.

By the time dinner was over the weather was quickly changing and we were escorted inside to a nice fire in the fireplace for dessert and coffee. Mom had the French Meringue  and Thomas and I split the flourless chocolate cake.

At the conclusion of our sumtuous meal mom said that it was the best meal she’d had since she moved to Oregon. She’s lived here for over five years …

As usual, I apologize for the formatting of where the pictures end up. I still cannot figure out this stupid program. Jonah told me to type my blog entry and put the pictures in at the end. As you can see, that didn’t help. I am sure, my estimable reader, that you can figure out which picture goes where.


Little Bits of Wisdom From Many Places April 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Liz @ 8:17 am

My sister posted this on her Facebook Notes and I blatantly stole it because it is so awesome!

Came across this today in my bookmarks, little bits of wisdom from many places — I still like it:

Regina Brett’s 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on
Originally published in The Plain Dealer on Sunday, May 28, 2006

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.


Henna March 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Liz @ 8:31 pm

I forgot how much I don’t like putting henna in my hair. I have this thing about gloppy stuff. And before I stopped henna-ing my hair I was spoiled because I only had to do the parts of my hair that just grew in … I suppose that’s something like a “fill”? Today I had to do all of my dang hair! I guess I need to take a picture. Now you may be thinking that I was trying to colour the grey. Well no. I was trying to get the brown to be a more interesting colour. Over the last 15 years or so the brown in my hair became very drab. I didn’t like chemical colour and when I was introduced to henna I was hooked! Not only does henna make the drab brown more of a chestnut but it makes my hair so soft. I didn’t realise how wonderful the texture was until my hair grew out after having Christopher. I kept talking about henna but not getting any.  Jonah bought me henna for my birthday two years ago and it’s taken me this long to get around to using it (sorry Jonah!) In my defense it is something that has to be planned for and with two small children this can be difficult. All in all it is a process that takes over 4 hours where you can’t leave the house without serious risk of embarassing yourself. Not only do you have to wear old clothes that could be already stained with prior henna drop stains but you have plastic wrap on your head. It is not a pretty sight.

(10 minutes later) Ok, Thomas took a picture of my hair and here it is …

Liz's Hair


Boeuf Bourguignon Redux February 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Liz @ 5:01 pm

Really this is Redux II because way back in 2007 I made Beef Burgundy not knowing it was a version of the famous Boeuf Bourguignon. Taking what I started with, Beef Burgundy, and applying some things I learned from Boeuf Bourguignon I remade the dish and it is now officially Liz’s Beef and Red Wine stew. I refuse to commit to a specific variety of wine because I don’t know what I will have. Here is the revised recipe …

1 lb crimini mushrooms, quartered

½ white sweet onion, chopped

1 T butter

1 swirl around the pan of olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic

4-6 slices of bacon, sliced into ¼” strips (lardons?)

2 lbs stew meat, left to dry on paper towels

2 T flour

1 10+oz can of beef consommé

1 10+oz can worth of red wine (use the consommé can)

3 bay leaves

1 tsp dry thyme

1 ½ cup sliced carrots

1 lb egg noodles

In a large skillet, sauté mushrooms and onions in hot butter, olive oil, and garlic until golden brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add bacon to skillet and fry until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Add stew meat to skillet and brown in bacon fat.

Return mushroom and onion mixture to skillet and add flour, toss until flour disappears.

Add wine, beef broth, bay leaf, and thyme. Simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. At the halfway point put the water on for the noodles. Once the water boils cook noodles according to package directions.

Add carrots and cooked bacon, and cook covered for 15 minutes longer.

Season with salt and pepper. Add noodles and stir gently to coat noodles.

Before serving, remove bay leaves.

As a funny coincidence I saw a show on The Food Network on Beef Bourguignon by Tyler Florence. He used *much* bigger pieces of beef than the average of beef stew meat. This is probably what Julia Child used also, so that would explain the necessity of a 2 1/2 – 3 hour cooking time. He also used a sweet Le Crueset pot! I think I am going to have to add that to my wish list!

I have also been playing with making bread. I found Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day a blog that discusses a book called … funny enough, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It’s really easy. For the basic recipe you mix yeast and salt in water and add flour. I found a 6 quart plastic tub with a lid at this place called Cash & Carry (for those of you in California, it’s like Smart and Final but not as nice) for $5. Much cheaper than anything they suggest on Amazon. I made the second loaf today (each batch makes 4 loaves) and it is so yummy!

Here is the dough …

It looks kind of gnarly but it’s quick. From here it rises for 2 – 5 hours then you make a loaf and bake it. You can refrigerate the rest. Here is the lovely baked loaf …

Uh, don’t pay any attention to the fact that it was half eaten …


Spring is around the corner … February 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Liz @ 12:25 pm

As evidenced by …

and …

and this …

I know the last one is a grape hyacinth but I forget what the other two are. Please enjoy this evidence that soon the trees will have leaves and the flowers will bloom.

[edited: What the f**k? Why can’t this stupid editor just put the pictures where it says it is going to put them? Well you’ll just have to figure it out.]


Stats of a 2 year old girl February 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Liz @ 10:48 am

They say that you can tell how tall your child will be if you double their height when they are two. Unfortunately that is a crock. I did not end up being 5’9″ so I do not want to predict that Sarah will be 5’11”. But she’s awfully big for her age! Here are her stats …

Height – 35.5″ >98th percentile

Weight – 34lbs >98th percentile

Christopher’s stats were:

Weight – 31.3lbs

Height – 35.5 inches

Head – 19.75 inches

So she and Christopher have the same 2 year old height but she has a couple of pounds on him.

My stats at 2 were:

Height – 34.75″

Weight – 29.5lbs

She got out of having shots today because she has a minor ear infection. Since she had the fever a week ago (we didn’t know why), she’s probably on the mend and won’t need antibiotics.

Naturally she charmed the doctor. She’s very friendly. Christopher stole the show by spelling his name for the doc. Very impressive since his name is 11 letters long!