Thursday, August 1, 2013

Apples take over

We are blessed with an abundance of fruit growing freely in our backyard. Three apple trees, a plum tree, a peach tree, and grapes that travel over our fence line from our next door neighbor's yard. There is also a grapefruit tree growing in the abandoned yard directly behind our house, where I like to take the kids and liberate the tart little orbs.
This year our apple trees are producing like I've never seen, so I needed to find something to do with the plethora of green fruits. 
Thus, my first attempt at applesauce.

picked fresh today!

I poked around on Pinterest for a recipe, and found (of course) dozens of crock pot applesauce pins. I decided to Frankenstein a couple recipes together to come up with my own.

Step one:
Peel, core & dice 6-8 apples (depending on size.)
after this, I just gave them a really rough chop. not too small.
Step two: Stir together 1/2 Cup water, 1/4 Cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Step three: Add cut apples to crock pot, then pour liquid mixture evenly over apples. 
omg yum.
Step four: Set crock pot to "Low." They cook for about 4 hours total, but halfway through, I gave them a stir. (Ok, maybe I just wanted to get a really good whiff up close, cuz man oh man, did this smell amazing!)
Step five: turn crock pot off and mash apples with potato masher. Let cool & refrigerate. Or serve warm! Whatever you want! 

I'm thinking about making some pie dough & making dumplings with the mixture. Or topping my waffles with it. Or my ice cream, or stirring some into my oatmeal.....
The possibilities are endless :)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Inspired by Sarah

I have this beautiful, amazing, posi, friend Sarah, who I had the fortune to "meet" through twitter about 4 years ago (wow, when I think about that, it's a pretty long time). Anyway, she has started doing these instagram posts that she calls "Daily Words" and it's always some amazing little chunk of wisdom, written up on a handmade chalkboard (did I tell you she's really crafty, too?).
Every day, no matter what, there it is.
So, I was inspired by Sarah to do something similar to try and up my PMA, and while I was at it, maybe up the collective PMA of my community.
I started writing cheese little inspiring quotes on the squares of the sidewalk in front of my house every morning. It makes me feel good.
I hope somebody reads them and they feel as good as I do when I write them.
Anything is possible.

Brand new day

One week from today is my 34th birthday.
There's nothing particularly special about turning 34, and I'm not the kind of girl that expects or needs to be celebrated. But, the last couple years of my life have not been easy.
Ok, so maybe the last 20 years haven't been easy.
That's not what I'm here to talk about, but that is why I'm here.

Most people make resolutions on the dawning of a New Year. Not me. I save mine for my birthday. I hope that doesn't make me sound like a narcissist. I just think that your birthday is the perfect time to reflect on the previous year and all the things you did or did not do.
I have been through the ringer lately, and on many days I have wondered if (not when) I will ever be happy, if I will ever have the chance to live a life free of this onslaught of daily sorrows.
And then I realized that I don't have to wait. Life goes on whether you spend it crying or laughing.

So, for my 34th birthday I have decided to make a promise to myself.
I will do at least one thing every day to make myself happy.
I will do the things I have always been afraid to do.
I will live not just for others but for myself and I will not feel guilty.
I will have a meaningful life.
I will find myself again, and I will be happy.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I joke to my husband that I am made of marshmallow. 
You can lay your head on my ample bosom, my soft swell of belly or my round ass
and be comfortably lulled to sleep.
I am a stacked 5'9, 168 lbs
and when I look in the mirror I know with certainty that I am sexy 
and I don't care if that offends the masses.
I know what people mean when they tell me that I am a beautiful person, 
they want me to know that there is more in life than physical beauty, 
but they don't even know they are blind.
I am beautiful in every sense of the word.
I don't conform to traditional standards of beauty.
I love my body in it's current state and you might think that means I have given up, 
thrown in the towel and decided to attempt to accept this milky, white, 
imperfect fat suit of a body because I just don't care about myself enough,
or can't control myself
or don't feel like I deserve to be what you think I should be.
But I am the picture of health and vitality and
I am a Goddess in a size 12.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I was 17 when my son was born.
I remember laying in the delivery room and listening to the volunteers talk about me like I was trash. 
But I was not trash, I was a mother. 
I had a beautiful blue eyed baby that 
I loved.

I am the mother of a 16 year old half man/half child, who is unsure of everything, and wants nothing
but the one thing his father does not know how to give.
He's so smart, smarter than he thinks he is.
He makes me laugh, 
and cry.

We are a family now with many different parts. 
We move together like a machine, working through life and even when we feel stuck, we push and push 
and eventually we get through.
Our love is a force than can
break through walls.

Today my son is 16.
I wonder to myself, how we made it to this point and I smile because 
we did what nobody thought we could,
and that is something.
He grew, and I grew, and we grew up

Happy birthday to my boy. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tales from the hood

When my family and I made the decision 2 years ago to move from an affluent neighborhood in the suburbs to the heart of Central Sacramento, I knew there would be adjustments. Many of our friends and family had warned us about the area we chose, but the price was right and the house adorable. What could go wrong?
Well, many things. Many, many things could and did go wrong.

2010 was a rough year for our neighborhood. Our house was one of many that were robbed, and it took the entire block holding vigil to get the City & Police department to start enforcing the law on a particularly bad house. The home across from ours housed a degenerate who was prone to engaging in bare-knuckle street fighting with anyone walking by who dared give him the side-eye.
Thankfully, virtually all of the previous "problem" houses are now filled with families with young kids.
The grass is cut and the sidewalks are swept by myself and a nice man who doesn't say much more than "Good morning" every now and then. The street sweepers don't come to our neighborhood, it's up to us to clean up after the folks who use our quiet block as a thoroughfare between 2 major city streets, they leave behind discarded bags of cheetos and the like.
It's not their home, they don't mind the mess.

Many people who don't know any better will tell you they don't feel safe walking down my street.
They cringe when I tell them I ride my bike after 10pm across this city, through what they consider the ghetto, to the bustle of Midtown and back again. I have a light that flashes and no more than a detachable basket to carry what I might need on an evening out with a girlfriend.
I don't have pepper spray or a taser.

I send my son to the grocery store on the corner, and let the kids walk down to play at the Community Center with no escort, and am not afraid for them. Not at all.

This area is poor, it's true. People getting off the bus a block away might not have a problem coming right up to you to ask for change. There is a prostitute that gets free meals at the church and we all know she likes to be called Janet Jackson. There's Miss Tabatha, who may or may not be homeless, it's not the kind of thing you ask someone. She can be seen pushing a double stroller filled with a myriad of trinkets & fodder for the recycling center. She loves babies and won't pass by without stopping to ask you how you're feeling on this fine day.
Maybe these aren't the kind of people you want in your subdivision, and I suppose if I had to plan my perfect community, it wouldn't look exactly like this. But Oak Park is not what you think it is, it's what you want it to be.

It's home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

And then, a decade had passed in the blink of an eye

Ten years seems like an impossibly long time, and yet it feels as small as a moment. 
I didn't think I was going to be able to love a child as much as I loved my first, but then my 2nd came along and it is so easy to love him. He is smart, and funny, and a little nerdy