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Praying mantis

August 23, 2011 | Family,Missouri,Summer,Vacation

We sat outside in the heat, enjoying ice cream. I watched this praying mantis leave a garden, cross two lanes of traffic, hop up on the sidewalk and continue past our table. The crowd parted, and it kept going. There must have been a big praying mantis party out behind the Dairy Queen. Either that or she’s a regular customer.

(I know. The pictures suck. I took them with my phone.)

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  

These boots were made for walking

August 18, 2011 | Family,Missouri,Summer,Vacation

I stopped in at St. Joe Boot Co. and got some fine boots.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 2 Comments  

Heritage Park field trip

August 10, 2011 | Family,Iowa,School,Summer

The kids had a field trip to Heritage Park during summer school. Every time I go there, I see something new and different.

I love this pin, especially considering that they’d be serving lutefisk at the Heritage Festival the following weekend.

Related posts

Heritage Park
Train train, comin’ ’round, ’round the bend
Howdy neighbor, happy harvest, may your forty acres soon be fields of clover

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 2 Comments  

Hot fun in the summertime

August 9, 2011 | Family,Iowa,Summer

Posted by Becky @ 9:37 am | Comments  

Food: Lefse

July 10, 2011 | Family,Food,Marie's recipes,Norway

This is for Lance, whose people are, in part, Norwegian — from what I’ve heard.


1 large egg
2 cups kefir*
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons hornsalt**
1 cup melted butter

Makes about 15 lefse. The less flour and less preparation time used, the better. After you grill each lefse, cover with a tea towel to keep them from drying out. When done grilling, lay them out and let them cool off. Spread filling on one lefse and cover with another of a similar size. Cut in half. Eat some now; freeze the rest.


1 1/4 cups butter
1 cup sugar

Mix on high speed until smooth and spreadable.

*I find kefir in the organic dairy section of my grocery store. Some people make their own, but I haven’t tried that.

**I usually buy hornsalt when I’m in Norway. Otherwise, I can get it through Ingebretsen’s in Minneapolis. It’s a raising agent that smells like ammonia, and it always reminds me of smelling salts (and, wouldn’t you know it … they’re both the same thing). Seems like a smelly thing to use for baking. But, remember, these Norwegians also soak their fish in lye.

***Prim is a spreadable brown cheese. I’ve always gotten it in Norway, but I bet I could check with Ingebretsen’s or Willy’s Products to see if they could get it. It’s not completely necessary, but it adds a nice flavor to the filling.

Related posts
Breaking in the lefse grill

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 2 Comments  

Food: Potato salad

June 25, 2011 | Family,Food,Iowa,Marie's recipes,Norway,Summer,Vacation

Yes, there are hundreds of ways to make potato salad. One of my favorites, though, is the way my mother-in-law makes it. She shared her recipe.

16 ounces sour cream
6 ounces mayonnaise
3 tablespoons dill pickle brine
1/2 apple, chopped
2 dill pickles, chopped
1/2 leek, sliced
7 potatoes, cooked and diced

Mix all together. Let set. Serve with dinner from the grill.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  

Books: Pirate Girl

May 19, 2011 | Books,Family

I read Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke (illustrated by Kerstin Meyer) in February with the kids. They loved it. I thought it was cute, too.

Posted by Becky @ 10:24 am | 1 Comment  

Books: When a Grandparent Dies


I read When Your Grandparent Dies: A Child’s Guide to Good Grief (Elf-Help Books for Kids) by Victoria Ryan with my children when their grandmother died earlier this year. It uses clear, concise and kind words for children who just lost a grandparent. (It doesn’t hurt parents to read this, either.)

Posted by Becky @ 10:09 am | Comments  

Sweet fortune

March 21, 2011 | Family,Food,Stuff

We went to a Chinese restaurant with friends we visited over spring break. The kids loved the food, and they really looked forward to getting fortune cookies. They had lots of questions about where the fortunes come from, who writes them, how do they think of them and how do they know who will get them. We conjured up a table with a bunch of wise, old folks sitting around it and writing fortunes for others they’ll never meet. (Yeah, we’re a bunch of romantics.)

They wondered if the fortunes in cookies were true and meaningful. I said, well, they can be, and I told them about the fortune I’ve carried for almost 10 years.

I’d just had lunch with my youngest brother. I was up visiting from Florida, just a couple of months after moving back to the States from Norway, hoping his second daughter would be born before I returned home. He looked at my fortune and said, of course, we know what that’s about, right? His baby. I said, aw, hell no. We know that one’s coming. This one’s about my baby.

A year later, almost to the day, my son was born. My dear, sweet boy … the child I wanted for so long.

I tend to crank up the superstition when things seem hopeless. So, yeah. That last one up there about hard work paying off? I’m hoping that has significant meaning soon. I think I’ll hold on to that one. We’ll see what happens.

Posted by Becky @ 1:19 pm | 5 Comments  

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!

March 2, 2011 | Authors,Books,Dr. Seuss,Family

Thanks for my favorite character, song and lyrics: The Grinch Song.

Related post
Last year’s birthday wishes.

Posted by Becky @ 2:10 pm | 3 Comments  

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