Missed a Monday Muse…and some miscellany

So 3 weeks in and I already missed a Monday! Not totally my fault, I was babysitting a friend’s offspring yesterday. Well, a day late but good timing – this week’s Monday Muse is Karen Marie Moning: one of my favorite authors.  I am not much for re-reading novels, but with her stuff I make an exception…especially if I have been feeling especially crabby…an evening in with one of her Highlanders is sure to put me in a better mood (even better if some form of alcoholic beverage accompanies my reading time). I say good timing, because she just announced an incredible contest (see sidebar) today.

What I love about KMM is the connections she strives to make with her readers – and how open she is about her writing. The fact that she made the leap and took a chance on herself and her writing so inspires me…way to go Karen, keep up the incredible work!

And now for the miscellany (isn’t that such a great word? I love it).

Sometimes I impress myself – like today -by 10:30 a.m. I had:

Run 2 miles and did 15 minutes of abs

Made the bed and vacuumed the 2nd floor

Washed, folded, and put away 3 baskets of laundry (and started2 more loads)

Cleaned, dressed, and fed Lil G and Miss A (and got myself ready too somehow…that usually tends to be a blur…)

Took Miss A to her swim class (yikes was it cold for that today!)

Gave the freezing Miss A a hot bath after swimming

Changed the now-soaked-because-she-had-to-try-and-get-in-the-tub-too -Lil G

Kept Lil G occupied while Miss A did her summer home school stuff (we are keeping it light and easy, but still trying to do a little something each day, the focus is phonics).

Phew! Somedays at 10:30 a.m. we are all still in our p.j.’s and I’m hard pressed to make it to Lil G’s gymnastics class at 11 on time! But other days I really have my S together and knock off all sorts of stuff.  Laundry and a made bed may not seem like much to you – but in my world it is an accomplishment, even if more of the same are always waiting…

And more miscellany:

As mentioned earlier we picked us some berries last week. Not let’s make jars and jars of jam amounts, but 2 healthy baskets.  I made a very yummy strawberry sauce with some of the berries. Usually I make a sauce that requires corn starch and lemon juice…but I didn’t have any lemon juice, and was in the mood to try something different…so I googled strawberry sauce recipes and then after skimming a few, got a little wacky and made my own. I really didn’t measure anything, it’s more fun that way. I washed and sliced about 1 1/2 lbs of berries – put a pound in a sauce pot and saved the rest. I added about 3/4 cup of sugar and a healthy splash of vanilla to the pot and heated it up til it was simmering away. I whisked the mixture while it bubbled to mash the berries up a bit. Then I turned off the heat and mixed the remaining 1/2 lb or so of berries in to the pot. Results: wow! The vanilla really makes a difference.

Continuing with my zany chef-self, I took a quick mix banana bread that had been minding its own business in the back of my pantry and mixed it up (it’s one of those lovely shortcut deals that just needs water). Now, let me defend myself by saying that I can  bake an awesome BB (banana bread) from scratch, and have no problem doing so…but today was just not going to be that kind of day. So I mixed up the  mix and layered the strawberry sauce in the middle. I used a little less water than the box called for since I knew the sauce would add its own juiciness.

Let me say…this bread was delightful. Oh so yummy. Strawberry and banana are like Lil’ G’s fav combo, so I’ll be picking up extra bread mix and cranking out a few more of these. I’ll wrap up a few loaves and hand them out to friends…and I bet you anything they will surely think it was made from scratch BB. If you won’t tell ’em I won’t either.

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