Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Garden Planning in Full Swing

Hi All,

I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of the garden during the last ice storm. Crazy stuff, I loved how the chicken wire from the pea trellises looked while crusted in ice. Now, that's high entertainment! The grass also had so much ice caked on it that it did not make it's characteristic rustle in the breeze, it snapped and cracked instead. That was a fun and interesting time for me to snap a few pictures. I actually dug out the Canon and snapped some film photos as well. Haven't developed those, but will soon.

I have received the slew of garden catalogs in the last couple of weeks. For those of you that plant gardens, this is a seriously fun time of year. Even though your soil is buried under layers of the white stuff, you get a little giddy excitement. You sit, make the cup of hot tea while the wind is whipping outside and the snow is falling sideways, and you dig out the colorful little tomes of possibility. I love to draw several diagrams of the beds, then imagine what could go into them. One of my beds is half perennial herbs, and the other is all strawberries, so that leaves me 2 1/2 beds to dream about. I also planted some no-dig potatoes last year outside the fenced in area, and for whatever reason, the groundhog did not bother those. I'm absolutely going to do potatoes again, you remember from my earlier post on this how much daggone fun those were.

Last year I tried out kohlrabi, which did not do so well in my beds, but flourished in my mother's garden. I sent her a dozen seeds or so and her wonderful green thumb had no problem making those prosper. It's a goal for me this year, to have better soil and get that kohlrabi up and thriving. The batch from my mother's garden was so delicious that we ate the 9 huge ones she sent us home with in about 2 weeks. If you grow this, try making a slaw with it. Outstanding! Each year I try something a little new for me, last year I did three new things. The unsuccessful kohlrabi, some beets and the potatoes. The beets weren't great either, but I think the nasturtiums I planted next to them were too close. Nasturtiums sort of take over the world once they get a hold, don't they? I have not decided what this year's newbie will be, but I know it will be fun to figure that out, along with where it will go in the garden.

I have yet to get the kids to weigh in on what their two little beds will contain this year. Maestro tends to want to grow everything that's growing in the main garden and that's a little tough when he can only fit one or two of each plant in his little bed. Last year, he had great luck with his broccoli and pansies. Little Red only wanted marigolds last year, but told me when he saw his brother's growing that he wanted to do some cucumbers this summer. We have big battles with powdery mildew here, so cukes usually only make it about half a season, but I'm willing to let him try. It's all a process of trial and error, isn't it? They totally enjoy growing the food that comes to the table. They have a connection to the food that you just can't get any other way, even though we do buy a lot that's locally grown, it's just not the same as getting it fresh from your own ground. That you've planted and tended with your own little paws. Truly satisfying experience for anyone who does this.

So, even if you don't have room for more then a couple of tomato pots on the deck, just plant something. I guarantee you that you'll get a sense of accomplishment you've not felt before and having that sun warmed tomato that you've nurtured and grown will make it the best tomato you've ever tasted. Seriously, I'm not kidding, it will. High Mowing Seeds and Seeds Of Change are two great companies that sell organic seeds, and if you're gonna plant them, you might as well make them organic. It matters, they are better, you'll just have to have faith in me until you see for yourselves.

Happy garden planning to you! ~Peacemom

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas, Sleighs and Broken Toys, Oh My!

Hello Everyone!
Christmas has come and gone. It's been quite a fun time here at Casa de Peaceable Kingdom. The boys had a fun time with the whole Santa sheebang, and Music Man and I had a fun time watching them do same. It was a low key and peaceful day for all of us. My roast did not turn out the way I wanted for supper, and we had to bring back two of the main gifts for the boys to Santa's workshop because they did not work right (that was a serious bummer all around!), but other then that it was a nice long holiday weekend.

Our festivities really began when I volunteered to make graham cracker houses with 17 six year olds in Maestro's kindergarten class. That was a messy and fun time, the kids had a blast with it and I had fun interacting with them and also getting to know some of the little cherubs that are bound to influence my son's future. They are a bunch of great kids at this age and it was fun for me to have the chance to spend time with them. It was loud, crazy and frosting was everywhere, but we all had fun with it.

The next day was Christmas Eve and we usually get together at my inlaws house and do our Christmas celebration with them. Grammy takes all the kids on the "Light Ride", which is when she drives around and shows the kids that lights on houses in the area. They all look forward to that and they even discovered a new place this year that had their own radio station. You could tune in on the radio and the lights apparently blinked and whatnot in time to the music. Now if that's not cool, I don't know what is! In any case the boys came back to the house full of stories of the lights, and it gives the rest of the grown ups time to chat without the kiddos running amok. They have 4 kids of their own and we have our two and some friends came along and it was a little loud and crazy for a while there, but everyone has a great time. Since my sister-in-law is really Martha Stewart in disguise, there's always good food to be had as well. My South Beach Diet experience took a beating over the last 4 days, but I've managed not to regain anything, and that's all I was asking for this week, just not to regain. So far, I'm succeeding there.
So Christmas morning was fun with the boys getting from Santa what they wanted. They both asked for bongos (which Santa found on a really good sale, so they got some professional ones, quite snazzy), and Little Red wanted a car garage. That's fantastic, it's this three story wooden thing with a car wash and everything, quite nice. Maestro also got an Easy Bake Oven since he LOVES to cook. Okay, the real challenge there is that the oven itself is fairly gender neutral, but the box was all pink and purple, and the tools are pink and purple and all the little food kits are all girly and whatnot. Luckily, he didn't seem to notice too much about that, but what's up with that?? Are there not more boys who might like to cook as well? A little gender biasing there, I think. There were a couple of things that were absurd there, like for one, there's about $.35 worth of ingredients in the food packets, and they cost about $5.00 each. Mrs. Claus got two free ones with the purchase of the oven (gotta love those coupons!) or he would have only had the one that came with the oven. No way am I paying those prices. So, I went online yesterday and found a bunch of recipes that other people have come up with, put a little cookbook together for him in Printmaster and voila! boy specific cooking stuff. When you're watching every dime, you get resourceful.

Then on Friday night, my mother-in-law treated us to our family Christmas gift. We went out to dinner, where we had very good food and enjoyed each other's company. The boys are pretty well behaved in restaurants, so we're lucky there. Then we went to a place that offers sleigh rides with real draft horses. Now, this was a special treat for me on many levels...spending quality time with loved ones, the boys get to have this memory with their grandmother, I get to be around horses for a short time, and it was a fun time with special people. Some of those memories being made, and I know for myself, I will cherish those memories with my mother-in-law as well as the rest of our little family. The air was crisp, it was dark, the horses well cared for and happy and the boys excitement was palpable. Wonderful time. I was having a hard time with the Christmas spirit this year. When we lost power for 6 days, I was already a little into a funk and then I couldn't do the normal baking and things that helps make the season special for me. Not to mention that I couldn't eat any of what I did manage to bake in the end, and that was a bummer as those special tastes are part of the season for me as well. But this sleigh ride brought home for me (and Music Man as well) a sense of an old fashioned Christmas. I am dearly lacking that in my life as I'm a country girl planted in a not-so-country-anymore town and I feel the absence of that simpler way of life tremendously. Someday we really do want to have that little house on a farm, where we come in from chores tired but satisfied and warm up next to the woodstove with a cup of cocoa and hunker down with a good book. And feel the tired muscles of a hard but good days work, and cold toes from working in the barn too long, all those things that I felt as a child with my horse experience. Anyways, I got to connect to that dream for a moment in time and it did my soul good. I'm sure my mother-in-law has no idea how much she gave me with that gift, but I know I will remember it for a lifetime.
So, hoping that all of you shared a peaceful holiday season. I'm looking forward to another weekend of celebrating since my parents are coming down from Maine on New Year's Day and we'll be doing Christmas for my side of the family then. Can't wait to see them and have the boys spend some quality time with their Grma and Papa. I'm going to be careful what I eat since I'm still trying not to regain anything but hope to have one or two special bites of yummy stuff, enjoy too much noise and the warmth of family I've had my whole life. After this weekend, we're into January and a new year. I hope that we'll be able to have a better year on some fronts and stay healthy and happy for 2009.

Wishing you your own country Christmas memories, ~Peacemom

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Winter Solstice...

Just hear those sleigh bells jinglin', ring ting tingle a tune....

How about that snow, folks? I'm sitting here lamenting about how I didn't have any Christmas spirit and then we got a beautiful snow fall Friday night into most of yesterday and now, hear we're gonna get hit with another "5-8"". It's powder. Perfect for skiing and snowshoeing, we're gonna break them out today. The kids aren't as happy about it as we are since it doesn't make great snowman/fort building, but they are enjoying the fun of wooshing down the hill on their saucers.

Music Man and I were discussing the kids and their snow adventures yesterday. I told him, so far, my favorite part about winter has been watching them sliding down the hill on their saucers, giggling like mad men the whole way down. And my most favorite part is that I'm not out there, pulling them back up the hill a thousand times because they can't figure that part out for themselves. Now that Maestro's got the hang of it, and Little Red's legs are long enough to navigate the snow, I get to watch from the warmth of the window as they slide for hours on end. As a child, I used to love to slide. Of those of us fortunate enough to have the luxury of a fresh snowfall to explore, it was a highlight. I'm utterly amazed as well at the number of snow days they call for the kids here. Where I'm from, they go to school. Your bus isn't running because the road's not plowed, oh well, your father can bring you. Streets are icy? Oh well, just be more careful. I had literally 2 snowdays called in the 8 years I went to school in northern New Hampshire. Here, they call it off if there's over 4 inches of snow. Now, Maestro has not had school in over a week because of the ice storm, and that's a little different, I guess, but they're gonna be in school until July at this rate.

Watching my little men sliding, and learning to do things that older children can do makes me tear up. It's no surprise to you that I'm a big softy, I've eluded to that before, so cut me some slack with that. Seeing them grown out of last year's snow pants, carving their path down the newly fallen glitter, hats caked in snow as they twirl around time and again flying down the hill and giggling like it's the happiest moment of their lives. It's a wonderful site to see. And you can be sure, I'm ready with the cocoa and warm popcorn when they come in. We sit at the table and enjoy those treats together (okay, I'm South Beaching it now, so I drink tea, but you get the picture), warming up and talking about this fast run, or that terrific crash and I know that these memories will stay with them.

These are the times as a child I remembered with my barn friends. We'd hook the resident pony, Snooper, up to plastic toboggans (oh, such a dangerous and foolish idea, but hey, we were kids and no one was telling us not to. Seemed like a good idea at the time). We would ride on the toboggan like a surf board, with him merrily pulling us along, often times completely freaking out from the sound of the toboggan behind him, and trotting along way too quickly. But, we'd fly along, feeling the bitter breeze on our cheeks and feeling somehow that sense of perfectness. Moments not to be repeated and unfortunately I can't provide for my children not having that homestead we aspire to. However, I treasure the memories I know they are making for themselves, and we'll have more, now that they are older and can appreciate the fun of snowshoeing and cross country skiing and spending that time together outdoors. We hope that when they are older, we will have the house the friends want to hang out in, and the snowshoeing adventures that include their friends and let them make those memories for themselves in whatever way will come.

Newly fallen snow is a time to rejoice in being a child, isn't it? You don't have to worry about clearing the walkways and driveways and the horrid commute that's coming your way as soon as tire hits pavement. None of those things are your concern. You merely need to worry about who's saucer goes faster and keeping the snow out of your boots and that pesky helmet your mother makes you wear from pushing your hat too low over your eyes. But the moments I hope they also remember are the ones that I take concerns to provide, like warm popcorn and hot cocoa with the BIG marshmallows and sitting around the table talking about the fun runs down the hills in the fading light of day. These are the great memories that form a childhood and a life, don't they?

Have a cup of cocoa and some popcorn for me, ~Peacemom

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter, ahhh, bring it on!

Howdy All,
Well, we survived what I'm sure will come to be known as the "Great Ice Storm of '08". Thursday night, our power went out at about 10:30, which came as no great surprise to any of us, I'm sure. I knew we were in for the long haul with that mess, just no way around that. It wasn't until the next morning that we could see just how bad it was. We could hear trees cracking and breaking all around us, we have woods 20 feet from our house, and it was intense. We prayed that the majestic old oak, that's about 15 feet from our house and quite old, would be able to withstand the pressure and weight of all the ice. It did lose some of it's older branches and all the young birches surrounding our house went ass over tea kettle and were bent over in the road making it impassable for a time. Beautiful, though. Everything glimmering and shining in the sun that made a welcome and brief appearance on Friday for awhile helping to free some of the trees from their icy straight jackets.

After we did not get power back by Friday afternoon, we went digging through our camping stuff and found what we needed. Luckily, because we are on town water supply, we did not lose running water since we don't have a well pump. I was also able to cook thanks to a propane stove, and we used that to heat the kitchen from time to time as well. About 7 years ago, when Ames was going out of business, I found in their clearance section a little propane heater. This was really designed to heat small spaces and can even be used in a tent. No open flame, no carbon monoxide problems. And the little workhorse runs like a champ for 8 hours on one of those little Coleman canister tanks. So, we had propane lanterns from our camping gear, the little heater that saved us, running water and ability to cook. We did okay. The heater was not making it balmy in here by any means, but it did get it up to the low 50's most of the time. We just moved it floor to floor, wherever we were spending our time. The other item that saved us was the little emergency LED lights I bought at Sam's Club earlier this year. I saw them and thought they were a great idea. They come on automatically if the power goes out, have a little rechargeable battery in them and they were just wonderful. Because they are LED, they don't use much power and the kids were able to have their nightlight for 3 nights before they ran out of juice. And for those of you who have young children, you KNOW how important that nightlight is to their sanity. Especially when there's no other light anywhere around them. Those little lights kept the monsters at bay most of the time.

It was bizarre in that it felt like the world was standing still for some reason, like time had stopped and we were reluctant to leave our house. One reason was that we really felt like we needed to stay to keep the house warm. The second night we didn't have power, it was down to about 10 degrees outside, so the little heater was having a challenging time keeping up with that. And we couldn't leave it running unattended, we just didn't feel that safe about it all. After 5 days of no power, well, let's just say I was feeling the frustrations of a frontier wife. Getting a little tired of boiling water to wash dishes, and wearing so many layers of clothes and blankets to try to stay warm enough and the aggravation of having to throw away hundreds of dollars worth of food in the fridge and freezer was getting to me. I have mentioned to you in the past that I'm a coupon crazed shopper, so to see all my hard work tossed in a garbage bag raised the blood pressure up a few notches.

Not having power for 6 days truly helps you see some things. One is, we're completely and totally spoiled with modern conveniences. Our lives are so easy compared to less developed parts of the world, and certainly easier then the generations who've come before us. Lucky and lazy is what we are. The next thing it helped me discover is that my kids are not as addicted to tv as I feared they would be. They could have cared less about the fact that it was not on, didn't even ask about it. I think they were enjoying the differentness of it all and having Mommy and Daddy's attention so much since we couldn't do much else. We played plenty of board games and hung out together and it was nice to have that family time together. Another thing I discovered is that the woodstove that's been sitting in our living room for 2 years unconnected is getting connected in 2009. This time would have been so much less stressful for us if we just would have had adequate heat. We've got the stove, we've go the wood, the piping is our main problem. It will cost us $2,100 to get the piping for it and we've just not got that laying around. But, perhaps I can save enough with coupons this year to make that happen. I've got to, we live in New England for crying out loud. Some form of alternate heat is just good sense.
Something else that I learned is that there are angels all around us. Our neighbor, who is on another grid then we are got power back before we did. He came over on the last night we didn't have power to ask if we wanted to use his generator. At that point, the $800 worth of food in the freezer in the basement was on the verge of trouble and so I jumped at his offer. Music Man had to rewire the furnace so that it would have a plug (which I'm ever so thankful he can do, he's just amazing with the stuff he knows or can figure out, it blows my mind sometimes), and we got heat and cold in their appropriate places and the food in the freezer was saved and we were warm. Our neighbor delivered the generator (no small task, they weigh a ton) brought cords, let us know how to get the plug supplies if we needed them as the hardware stores had been out. Even offered us 15 gallons of gas to run it. All this at no charge, just because he's a nice man. Wonderful to live in a neighborhood where we will take care of each other when push comes to shove. He and his family were our angels that night because we were tired of being cold and stressed out from it all and in that moment, it would have been hard to find a better kindness then that.
I am also so very thankful to the men and women of the power companies. We had crews come from all over the northeast, NY, Conn, Penn, RI, and even Canada come to get us up and running. This was no light feat, let me tell you. We were a mess here, folks. Roads blocked off, trees on lines all over and I told you it was 10 degrees and windy and they were all out there getting it under control, fixing it up and never getting thanked at all. Truly nameless heros to all the people in our area. We did not get power back as soon as some, my sister only lost hers for about 10 hours, but we got it sooner then others. It was so comforting to know that we would get it back eventually if we were patient. We would get it back. That's really something if you consider places in the world where the power goes out and they have no hope of restoration, like Iraq. We knew we would eventually and that's due to the people working the frontlines in the cold, snow and rain, leaving their families behind, making the sacrifices to help others out. Those are angels and heros in my book.

Other angels in those days included our families that offered us a warm place to stay once their power came up, hot showers and a place to go to divert the kids attention from it for a while. Their prayers, even from a great distance for the ones that could offer only prayers, were a comfort for us. We're thankful for the kindnesses we received from so many places in our lives, it was amazing.

The other thing it helped me realize is that solar is the way to go. We'd have lost it for a short time if the panels were too covered with snow, but we could have cleaned them off and been on our merry lives. Solar, wind, it's gotta be done. In our "forever house" we know we'll have solar. Wouldn't it be great if everyone had solar and not only is it totally emission free, but it's here for us just about every day. Amazing and something to think about, huh?

Wishing you warm homes and angels of your own, ~Peacemom

Thursday, December 11, 2008

South Beach what?

Hello All!
I'm in the midst of the phase one of the South Beach Diet. Having heart concerns and blood pressure issues as I've turned 40 has prompted me to get on the band wagon once again. How many times have I lost weight in my adult life? About 120? I could literally be a nutritionist for all I know about food, but I researched a plan I thought would fit into my lifestyle the best while still affording me nutritious REAL food (that's a must, no bars, shakes or whatevers, I only eat the real deal, and no fake sugar either). When I checked with my primary care doctor he gave me the big thumbs up to do this one, said he had a lot of patients that have had success with this one. So...about a week and a half ago, I started the transition.

The first phase of this is designed to help you get past and eliminate cravings for sugar and things that are quickly converted to sugar in your blood. Believe it or not, even corn and potatoes are in this group, they go to sugar in your bloodstream pretty quickly. So, in this phase, no sugar, no grain carbs, no fruit. Now, that's a tough one for me on so many levels, but we'll start with the time of year. I love sugar and sweets. I think it's safe to say I'm a sugar addict. Now, I don't let myself have that much of it because of that, but I do love the sweet treats of Christmas season and will usually let myself get to chomping on them. Two weeks ago, I was told by my doc to get off my bp med for three weeks because I was having all kind of problems with my heart and he wanted to see if the med was the problem. Now, for those who've taken atenolol and tried to lose weight on it, you know, it's virtually impossible. So, I was thrilled to be given a 3 week reprieve from that little pill and decided I would capitalize on that time off to just start the weight loss and getting healthier. My main goal in this process is not just to lose weight, but moreso to get healthy and hopefully off the bp med for good.

Now, when I made this resolve, which I've done countless times before in my life having battled this weight war since puberty, I didn't really consider how much of this would be right in the heart of my prime sugar time. Through this time, I've had to bake 4 dozen cookies for a bake sale, go to breakfast with Santa at Maestro's next year school, with some delicious looking fluffy pancakes. Then there were donuts and cocoa after we cut down our Christmas tree, and onto a Christmas party with wonderfully catered food that included a chocolate fountain with cream puffs and marshmallows to dip in among all the other delicious food offered. I stuck to 3 scallops wrapped in bacon and the vegie tray. There was a brie wrapped in philo with a raspberry sauce that just looked to die for. Then smelling McDonalds in the car on the way home from the party as we stopped to let the kids have the rare treat. I was starving and so grumpy by the time I got home, it was not funny. The next day was a birthday party with cake and pizza. Those of you who know me well, know that cake is my favorite food in the world. I said a polite "no, thank you" and continued on with conversation with someone I'd just met. This is also very stressful for me because I am not the most socially gracious person, and meeting new people is hard for me because the number of times I put my foot in my mouth is incredible. So, I've taken to being more of a wallflower then I ever did when I was younger. I think some time with some of my extended family has taught me that no one really wants to hear what is on my mind most of the time, so unless I can just graciously nod and smile, I try to keep quiet. This does not always work, sometimes that personality gene just bursts out, but I do try. Anyways, so as you could see from the retelling of temptations along with stresses of meeting new people at two separate occasions, I was so set up to fail. But, I'm proud to say, that I kept my resolve and have not touched the sweets, carbs or fruit in almost a week and a half.

Now, come Monday, I will be able to add a little back in with a whole grain choice and one serving of fruit a day for the first week, then increasing it from there as I can do it. So far, I'm doing well, better then I've done in a long time. I think looking at the faces of my loving hubby and kiddos every day is helping me keep my promise to myself that it's time to get healthier. I want to be here to see those boys graduate, go to college, get married, and whatever their lives will bring. And I want to be here to retire with my hubby and do some of the living that we're putting on hold to raise our boys now. Life is so uncertain, for sure, but when I have control over this part of it, it's time to really make it happen. So, I will keep you posted as time goes on with how I'm doing with this, but so far, so really, really good. Keep me in your prayers for continued success.

Sugar plum dreams to you, ~Peacemom

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Good Morning to you!

It's December 2nd and today is my father's birthday. Dad, if you're reading this today-Happy Birthday to you! Just wanted to get that in there. And also tell you that Maestro's best friend, Ashley, shares your birthday, only...she's just six.

On to other thoughts. I woke up at 4:32 this morning thinking about my hand mixer. I have no idea why or how it came into my thoughts, but I was thinking about how they don't make equipment like they used to. Even just 14 short years ago. I bought that hand mixer when I was living alone for the first time in my own little apartment. It was a cute one bedroom in a big place that was a single family home at one time, but then converted to apartments. So, something with character, you see. My bathroom was bigger then my living area in that place. I paid $350 per month to live there and it was quite an adventure to be by myself for the first time, truly alone. There was an older man that lived under me and he used to fish-A LOT. One time, he went fishing somewhere in Maine and caught a bunch of landlocked salmon. He nicely shared some of it with me, some of the best tasting salmon I've ever had, so fresh and yummy. He was a nice man, I wonder what ever happened to him? Do you do that? Meet people along the journey of your life and wonder where they are now? Of course, he seemed older to me at the time because I was in my early 20's, he was probably in his 50's. Now that I'm 40 myself, it's hard to remember that people in their 20's see me as "older", especially when I have kids the same age as they do!

Ah, but back to the mixer. I was thinking that it's really seen my life with me. I love to cook (big surprise there, right?), and so have used it quite a lot. It's seen the first cake I baked a friend for his birthday, the first cookies I made for an ex-boyfriend (who I spent way too much time on), the new adventures in cooking when I learned I truly love to cook, and countless batches of Christmas cookies using my grandmother's sugar cookie recipe. It even has the coveted honor of being the mixer to make over 100 home made corn and date muffins that we served at our wedding reception. With the help of my parents, we managed to get 65 people fed while still doing the whole wedding shabang. A word to the wise, don't think you can do this part of the wedding yourselves. You're not meant to be host and bride (and flower arranger, and decorator, and sew flower girl dresses the list goes on) at the same time, it's too much, just trust me on this one.

It's the mixer our children have used to learn to cook, and if you scroll back, you can see a picture of Maestro whipping up some bread batter with it, and previously I posted a picture of Little Red using it. I feel like this mixer is a true friend to me. It's been there for all the big milestones in my life. Now, my breadmaker that started to flake paint and had to be tossed was a fly-by-night friend, didn't have the fortitude to last through my bumblings at bread making...I got pretty good at it before it had to hit the garbage. Traitor.

I realize that you may be wondering where the heck my mind really dwells. The reason that I've had these revelations is that I have been pondering replacing it with a more modern mixer, maybe even a stand mixer. I know it would get plenty of use here, especially this time of the year when I'm always making cookies, bars or cakes for others. Of course, I've been pondering it for quite some time. I like the idea of a stand mixer...but then there's my trusted friend tucked away in the cabinet behind the grater. It doesn't take up as much space as a stand mixer would. You know, really, they are a bit ostentatious, aren't they? I have a very small house crammed with 4 people and all their stuff, and can I really make that kind of a space commitment? My little mixer works just fine. It does have something loose in it that rattles around as you mix, but it still works just fine. I think I'm gonna hang on to that ol' girl. She's tried and true and never lets me down. Maybe someday I'll look into that stand mixer, but for today, the little white mixer that could will due the duty. I think I need to get a batch of Christmas cookies in the oven today...time to dig her out.

Wishing you trusted friends in your kitchen, ~Peacemom