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My garden is not very happy this year, but I grew these heritage blend Cosmos from seed. This is the first time I managed to get more than a sprout from seed, so I’m pretty proud!

Also, we uncovered that bird bath from the back corner of our yard and now I can watch the birds splash around from my bedroom window.

Turning our tiny yard into a happy place!

I distinctly remember being horribly embarrassed of the way my mom would talk to everyone about everything in public places. We would be in line at the grocery store and next thing you know it she’s chit-chatting away with some random stranger and talking about my English teacher or we were down at the marina and she’s telling some equally random stranger about my brothers baseball skills “His nickname is the vacuum!” I would physically cringe. “Not againnnnn! MOM!” Yeah, that’s right. Guess who can’t go grocery shopping without having a conversation with the people in line for lunchmeat? This girl right here. I don’t know what happened. Maybe it’s what happened to my Mom as well, but at some point in the past few years I have become my mother. Everywhere we go I find myself chit-chatting away with random strangers. Not only do I acknowledge this now, but I appreciate it. People are so interesting and I find it fascinating all the little conversations I have with people and how they weave in with life. Ugh, what is happening to me?! I am sorry Mom, for being the bitchy young adult that I was. I get it now. Thank you for passing this trait on to me.  I’m sure my kids will be equally embarrassed soon enough!

If you live in the midwest, chances are you need this recipe. I love zucchini bread, but you can only make so many batches. My mother-in-law sent me this recipe years ago. It is “from somewhere on the internet.” We have both adjusted it many times adding different vegetables and seasonings, I have made a dairy-free version, an egg free version, a whole wheat version, it’s fun to mess around with, but it is the best base recipe for zucchini pancakes that I have found. So head out to the garden or your local farmers market and embrace those giant zucchini’s out there!

Zucchini Pancakes

2 cups grated zucchini (use the larger side for grating)

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 Tablespoon Milk

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup onion-diced small (optional)

Mix everything together. Heat a pan or griddle to medium. Make them the way you would pancakes. I like to use olive oil instead of butter.

*I usually double or triple the recipe depending on how much zucchini I have. Make them in batches and keep them warm in a 200 degree oven.

*Serve with corn on the cob and any other summer favorites and you have a cheap and easy meal to feed a family of four.

*You can also substitute half of the grated zucchini with grated carrot.

* If by chance you have leftovers you could reheat them, but they are actually good cold!

Dear Tooth Fairy: I lost my tooth today. I mean really lost. One minute it was in my mouth and the next it wasn’t. There is no sign of it anywhere. My mom says I may have swallowed it. I hope not but its not looking good. I put a paper tooth that I made in its place under my pillow-don’t worry, the red isn’t really blood, just red marker. Please take this into consideration. Also, I have photographic evidence of my tooth hole:

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Merry Squid-Mas!

We like to get the kids questioning things and making up their own stories. Recently we were sitting around talking about what if Santa wasn’t a fat guy in a suit. The idea of Santa Squid came up. I don’t know why, but the kids think its hilarious and Santa Squid is talked about more than Mr. Claus. Enough that Clint made a special card for the kids. So to everyone out there willing to question reality: Merry Squid-Mas!

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This past weekend I spent some time with my sisters at a cabin Up North.

Maiya(holding an acorn “hat”): When you listen to an acorn, do you hear Up North

Me: Yes, you hear quiet, because it’s so quiet there.

Maiya: I hear it!

That was magical 🙂

I washed my face with ground oatmeal tonight followed by an oatmeal/honey/almond milk mask because my sister has been demanding I try it. It was pretty weird and all kinds of awesome. Worked way better than most face wash products I have tried. I now demand that you try it! The smell reminded me of having the chicken pox in 4th grade and taking an oatmeal bath. The mask reminded me of washing oatmeal off the kids face when they were babies. Lots of weird emotions going on here…

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Maiya let me braid her hair for Aunt Pammy’s birthday dinner. It’s a good thing I took the pic because everything was pulled out by the time we made it to the restaurant.

On an unrelated note, she told me about a dream she had. “I was riding a motorcycle, and aliens came and took me to outer space and they got bit by a monster jellyfish, and then I rode that jellyfish home.”

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Heading out on our third day of driving. We have had a few hiccups along the way, but we are doing well. Thanks to our wonderful friends in Colorado who sent us on our way with travel games and baked goods and well wishes . They have been greatly appreciated. We will miss you all so much! For now, we are headed home.

Life lately has been packing, packing, packing, packing, packing. I have been so busy with this packing business and trying to keep up with day to day goings ons that I have been on auto-pilot. I have been trying to take time out to go for a run occasionally, which is physically helpful, but my mind has been fried. I sat down today and took a few minutes to actually read something that looked interesting. The founders of Patagonia just put out a new book about how they have been trying to be a responsible company for the past 40 years. Reading the excerpt really got me excited. Not so much because it looks like a great book-which it does, but it felt so good to read something that I felt passionate about. It was just a nice little reminder that I am  more than a robot on auto-pilot. I have interests that excite me! Most of them are pretty nerdy, but thats no surprise.

Responsibility is such a powerful word to me. We are trying to teach the kids responsibility and how important it is. It is one of the things that is way more than just teaching your kids to pick up their toys, but shapes them into the fine adult that I hope they may become one day. The book is more about how and why companies should be responsible, but it really resonates with me that maybe by teaching them how important responsibility is and setting a good example, they may one day grow up to have a mind-set more like the founders of Patagonia and less like those companies that feel its ok to focus solely on profit.

So here you go. This may not excite you, but I will share it anyway.

These guys were excited:

“If you have any doubt at all that doing right by the natural world is good for the bottom line, please, stop right now, wherever you are, find a seat, put the smartphone on mute, and read this freaking book. Yvon and Vincent aren’t here to bum you out about a planet turning to desert, or to shame you into anything. They affirm that the ingenuity and hard work required to clean up our offices and industries will be the most rewarding (and profitable) work we do.”

– Brad Wieners, Executive Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek

Here is the excerpt from the book.

http://www.thecleanestline.com/2012/05/what-we-do-for-a-living-an-excerpt-from-the-responsible-company.html?sssdmh=dm23.147381&src=061512a_mi3&dmmid=