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Snow, garden, cookbooks, train wrecks, et al

December 6th, 2013 at 11:17 am

Today was a snow day for the kids. Yesterday, it was 60 and raining. Good thing the boys and I wrapped up the fall garden tasks yesterday, because as you can see, there is snow all over everything. We're supposed to get 6 inches today.

Well, under that snow, is my ambitious garden project. I'd say 2013 was a success on that front. Starting from nothing, we now have 432 square feet of raised garden beds, plus established perennial herb garden, a peppermint garden, and tubs with horseradish and bee balm. We've also prepped a giant strawberry patch, a raspberry patch, and a popcorn patch that will be ready to plant in spring. It's very fulfilling to make your vision happen!

Take a peak!


Since we'll be growing tons more veggies, I've been looking for good family-friendly vegetarian cookbooks to help us make the most of what we produce. I also want us to start eating meatless more than just one night a week. It's better all around.

I'd love some suggestions for some of your favorite vegetarian or garden-themed cookbooks. Right now, I'm in love with "Veggies Please" by Carolyn Humphries. There are a lot of good suggestions for what to do with the tons of zucchinis you grow every year, and plenty of interesting, more ethnic recipes. It's not the same-old.

I'm less impressed with the Betty Crocker family vegetarian cookbook I got at the library. Seems like it's very carb heavy and is a collection of side dish or other random meat-free recipes they just happen to already have. It's not as interesting or inspiring.

On the job front, I mentioned before that one of my co-workers was hit by a drunk driver (while on his bicycle) and will be recovering for months. My bosses had asked me to fill in for him part or full time for three or more months. Well, the higher-ups killed that idea before it got off the ground, and I'm not really sad about it. It would have been a real pain to rearrange my childcare mid-year.

Anyway, I suggested they just dole out more projects to me as a freelancer. Everyone wins. They get help and only have to pay me for actual work,and I don't have to make any major changes. They think it's a good idea, so we'll see if we can work out more details.

More work will be hard, but the temporary bump in income would be welcome.

Oh yes, and that train wreck. In my huge woe-is-me post about my work life balance a few months ago, I mentioned the only friend who was in a similar position as me-- freelancing, at home with kids too, went off the deep end. She stopped cooking at home, stuck her kids in day care from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and no longer seems interested in being a mom.

Well, we had ladies night last night, and it's worse than I thought. She and her hubby (who have been our friends for 9 years) are separating after the holidays. She says she doesn't want to, but he is fed up, etc etc. AND she admitted she's having an affair with a D-list rock star, because he tells her she's pretty and makes her feel special. The guy is twice our age people! Anyway, it's a wreck. I've tried to be supportive, but today I'm overwhelmed.

I'm sad. None of our friends have every had kids and gotten a divorce. This is the first for us and it's hard.

8 Responses to “Snow, garden, cookbooks, train wrecks, et al”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Awesome snow garden! Wink Sounds like you are doing better and that is the most important thing. It is sad when a marriage ends, but usually it is for the better, although tough on kids for sure.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    I like "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" by Deborah Madison; if I need to make a veggie side dish that's simple yet tasty, that's my bible. It has lots of entrees too, a few that are beloved regulars on our menu, but I mostly use it for its encyclopedic section on vegetables and different preparations you can do with them.

    I heard she's coming out with a vegan version soon (or has already) and am very excited to try that out!

  3. Looking Forward Says:

    Is the raspberry garden going in between you and the back neighbors?? Wink (or was that the poison ivy?)

    Well good on the addt'l freelance.. I was hoping you could get more work. Smile
    It's a shame you have to see your friend's marrage fall apart. ((hugs))

  4. ThriftoRama Says:

    Too funny about the poison ivy garden...
    No, the popcorn and sunflowers are going between us and the neighbors, because both are big enough all summer that they'll block out my view!

  5. littlegopher Says:

    If you like using a Crockpot, there's a vegetarian version of the Fix-it-and-Forget-it series - maybe you can get it from the library.

    Stay warm!

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    You might want to check out the blog/website plantbasedonabudget.com - it has lots of great vegetarian recipes, mostly based on veggies.

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    I don't have a cook book for you, but I was very impressed with two recent vids from Linda's Pantry on youtube. One is a pizza that uses grated cauliflower for the crust, basil pesto for the sauce, fresh spinach, cheese, tomatoes, olives. She also uses diced chicken but that isn't necessary. (You could put bell peppers on it instead of olives, I did). The other is a Thai based cabbage vegetable soup. Both are shockingly delicious and low carb.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5F3TAL-Bdo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RAMaCaF0Mk




  8. ThriftoRama Says:

    Cauliflower crust? I'm intrigued.

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