weekending + what’s cooking

My weekends have been mostly lazy for a while. A long while. I mean, I do the basics. I feed my children. I catch up on laundry and dishes. Well, sort of. If you’re a parent you know catch up is an impossibility. As soon as all the dishes or laundry are done, there’s suddenly more.

But I’ve been trying to cook something for the week each weekend, so this weekend, as we headed off to a prep meeting for our big Grand Canyon rafting trip, I made spicy turkey meatballs to take, and to have extra for the week.

Spicy Turkey Meatballs
courtesy of Grandma Sustainable
(can also be made with beef)


  • 3 pounds ground turkey (or beef)
  • 3 cups bread crumbs
  • 4 small onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons horse radish
  • 8 eggs
  • (3 teaspoons salt)
  • 2 teaspoons pepper


  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 8 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons minced onion
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • (2 teaspoons salt)
  • 4 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 12 drops Tabasco sauce (+ or -)

Mix meatball ingredients, roll into small balls (rounded teaspoon), and then brown in skillet with oil or bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.



Mix sauce ingredients in crock pot. Put meatballs into sauce and cook on low for 1-2 hours or longer. The longer they cook in the sauce, the better they are.


Sorry, forgot a picture of the final product!

this moment: disney world

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
–from SouleMama

Sorry. There’s more than one. Highlights from our recent trip to Disney World. The girls’ first.
Sunshine, 8 1/2; Moonglow, 5


Went thrifting this weekend. Always a good time. Looking for non-jeans pants for Sunshine who has decided she doesn’t like jeans. Sigh. Struck out on that note, but found other treasures, as always. A variety of bargain books, including Anansi, a favorite, and several of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe series. Plus a cool Jeep toy, a handful of silverware for camping, and a few beanie babies (not pictured).  

A Lands End party: winter coat for a couple years from now on sale less than $10!), and two dresses for Moonglow next year.

 Next year jammies for Sunshine and an extra pair of REI rainpants for this year. All told, $52. Score!

I also did some baking, whipping up three batches of pumpkin muffins and a loaf of pumpkin bread. I even had an epiphany. Ok, perhaps that’s an overstatement. :) The girls love pumpkin muffins but often only eat half when I send them in lunches. So I made most of batches as mini-muffins! Huzzah!


christmas jammies

Months ago, I was at the fabric store and saw an array of cute flannels. I had finally finished Sunshine’s quilt for last Christmas, and was feeling fairly confident that, despite the fact that I’d never sewn clothes or used a pattern before, that perhaps I was ready to use a simple pattern to make jammie pants for the girls for Christmas. So I let the girls each pick a print they liked, and proceeded to get more than enough for two pair of pants.

And then, a few weeks before Christmas, I realized, yeah, I had never actually gotten around to making said jammie pants. So I got out the pattern. And this is what my face looked like.

FullSizeRender (43)

Needless to say, I was in over my head. So I quickly asked a friend who sews if she had ever made jammies (yes) and if she would be my guide (yes). Thankfully, the week before Christmas she guided me through the process on one pair, and then I stumbled through the process on my own two days before Christmas to finish the other pair.

On the ones I did on my own (Moonglow’s), I had a dark moment when I realized I sewed the wrong outside edges together and what I had no longer resembled pants. I got very friendly with my seam ripper and persevered to fix my mistake. It was very gratifying.

One lesson I learned was not to make them too big. I made them a size bigger for both girls, thinking it would give them more growth room. Yeah, a bit too much, as the pictures show. But the girls assured me they are warm and comfy. And the WIDE legs combined with the double-rolled hem I put in so I could lengthen them should mean they might still fit NEXT Christmas. So maybe I won’t have to try this experiment again until Christmas 2017? Unless I decide to tackle pants for Mr. Sustainable and myself! Hmmmm. Or with the extra, perhaps I’ll tackle matching jammie pants for their dolls…

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lunch peeks: january 12

One of the blogs I follow, 100 Days of Real Food, also has a Facebook page that I follow. Periodically the author posts snapshots of her “real food” lunches for her two girls on Facebook, which is always nice to get some ideas from. So I thought I would take a cue from her page and post an occasional pic of Sunshine and Moonglow’s lunches.

Uncured salami to deal with Sunshine’s penicillin allergy. Mango fruit pouch only in Sunshine’s lunch, to avoid Moonglow’s cashew reaction (did you know mangoes are in the same family as cashews?). Leftover panda gummies for one, so the other one gets the last bag of bunny gummies for a treat. (It’s all got to be “fair,” right?)



this moment: advent spiral

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
–from SouleMama

Sunshine, Grade 2, age 8.5; Moonglow, Starlight Kindergarten Year 1, age 5
Top pic is early childhood spiral. Moonglow’s candle is one front middle. Bottom pic is Sunshine’s candle in the grades spiral, tucked carefully in a little nook. So like her.

weekending, part 3: holiday prep

The last part of our long weekend (which I mean to post yesterday, but was home with an under the weather birthday girl–Moonglow), was consumed with preparing for the holidays.

First I took advantage of home time with the girls to let them paint some canvases I bought that will make some holiday gifts (try to act surprised!). I also had them work a little on signing holiday cards and start making some ornaments to give their classmates, but not sure we’ll finish that in time. Hmmm.


We also went and got the family Christmas tree, which then I had to get lights and garland on before the girls could giddily put on ornaments. It only took me three tries. First time, I put the wrong light set on first, so I had to undo and redo. Second time, despite testing them all BEFORE they went on the tree, I did the whole durn tree, only to find that half the lights stopped working. Grumbling a few choice words under my breath, we opted, after a little research, to buy some new LED lights. Good for the environment, good for my sanity. And, thanks to a special sale that was still on Sunday, we got them for a lot less than most LEDs. Only $6 for a strand of 150 lights! And then, finally, the girls could happily decorate. Not that they nagged me a little. (No, really, they didn’t. They nagged me a lot. :) ) But it’s done now, and those lights are supposed to last 15 years. We shall see.