Awwww. Thank you so much for the support of Rylie’s letter… particularly the no-Sears-photos part. We all feel so very loved over here. And you de-lurkers! Bless your hearts. Not one of you is a stranger to me, as I have been secretly reading you as well. Now we can be all out in the open about it. Thanks for making my day. Tracy, this photo of Ry in her Chucks is for you- because it reminded me of you and I thought you’d be proud of me (or at least my camera).

advocacy: (n) active support of an idea or cause etc.

The Boy was in charge of finding a movie for Friday night. When asked what I was in the mood for and given a shrugged-shoulder response, he said, “Oh. So, a kissy-kissy one then?” That boy. Naturally, I had no idea what he’d come home with. I didn’t recognize the name or the cover or even the synopsis on the back. But let me tell you, it was glorious. And not kissy-kissy… though it is indeed a love story. But it’s a love story about the land and the community and lastly, 2 people. The cinematography in this movie is absolutely stunning… the wide shots leave you with deep field green, sky blue, and chapel white in your mind. It’s just an achingly beautiful story. If you’re looking for something this weekend, go for it. And, invite me. And, also, have popcorn.
Rylie, like most people, loves to stand up in her chair, wave her hands around like she just doesn’t care, and then crawl on top on the table. Strap her in, you say. Yes, thank you. She is strapped in. Tightly. To within an inch of her life. I began looking for a portable chair for camping and travelling and such… and came across this one. The amazing this is that the clamps are very, very short- 6 inches long! No huge counter-balance arm for under table. This one slides right into a restaurant booth, if you’d like. And, it holds up to 40 pounds of cuteness… which, for Rylie, means she can sit in that chair until she is a freshman in high school. It has now replaced her everyday highchair and she swings her feet happily (if not wildly) in support of our decision. [The hat is from Jami… God bless her for passing it on.]
You heard me. In a search for non-chemical, shorter drying time science, I came across this website. I was immediately hooked by the clip art and packaging. It doesn’t take much, folks. You use these in your dryer in place of dryer sheets. They bounce around like crazy and cause your dog to think he’s under attack by the minature pincher down the road. Canine confusion aside, these guys work wonders on cutting down your drying time [mine is easily half what it used to be] and are perfect for comforters and rugs and such. I do find they leave a bit of static cling, but we make do with using just a teensy bit of liquid softener in the wash cycle.


Tracy’s Dad’s Creamy Onion Soup

Keeper’s Swap folks, you already have this. For the rest of you- allow me to change your world one soup bowl at a time.
8 cups beef broth
3 onions sliced – not too thin
3/4 cup of flour
1 cup of heavy cream
1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

In a large stock pot, heat the beef stock and add the onion. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for an hour.

Make a slurry of the flour (you do this by adding a bit of water and stirring it up till it is the consistency of thin glue – this is so that when you add the flour to the soup it doesn’t get all clumpy). Add that slurry to the soup, stirring gently. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the cream and cheddar cheese. Simmer an additional 5 minutes, just to get everything warm and melty. Serve hot with a sprinkle of Monterey Jack cheese.

Oh, Friends. It’s just lovely and thick and warm and sweet and dare I say, better than Panera’s. I suggest having it with crusty bread and friends. Perhaps friends who have driven an hour to visit with you for the day, gotten stuck cross-wise in your road between the ditch and the driveway, pulled out by a young man in a Chevy truck behind her (while the County snow plow was waiting behind him), and all with a soon-to-be three year old in the backseat asking when her Strawberry Shortcake party is going to happen. Have it with friends like that and make it a beautiful, sunshiny, take-a-walk-with-your-kids-on-a-sled kind of day.
I am off to pay bills and tackle Mount Laundry. Spaghetti for dinner. What are you having?

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

13 responses to “advocacy

  • CortneyTree

    Hmmm, I happen to have a nice big batch of homemade beef broth in the freezer…and I was just perusing this recipe last week when I was looking at our book. I think we may have a Tuesday Night Winner ( Tuesday because 1) it’s school night for Matt, my traditional soup night, and 2) it will give me a day to make bread to go with it). As for tonight–I’ve had a big weekend of lots of rich food, and I need a break. Clear fluids and carrot sticks, maybe? Don’t know, but I’m working on it…

  • Shanna, Adam and Gracen

    we’re having spaghetti for dinner too. with soy meatballs. go ahead and say yummy.

    to avoid falling asleep, i think i’m off to amazon or ebay a new high chair seat and some nellie balls. i’m pretty sure i need them both. i’ve actually been looking at that high chair for months, but am unsure if it will work with my table. how ’bout, you come visit and bring yours so we can try it out first. and rylie would have somewhere to sit here in chapel hill. please also bring the snow.

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    ohhhh we are trying the nellie balls…

  • thekooiet

    I’m making Trace’s Soup tonight! (I wanted to make it Friday…it was actually on the menu for Wednesday…but you know…so tonight it is…I think?)

    I agree, it is better than Panera’s.

    Thanks so much for letting us play at your house even though I did get stuck in the driveway! Mr. Chevy truck driver, he was a nice young man.

    We had a berry lovely time. With berry good fiends.

  • thekooiet

    I amend that…it was not your driveway. I won’t blame it on your driveway. It indeed was the road.

  • Mandi

    The Nellie Balls sound like a winner. I think I will order some today.

    Dinner will probably be left-over Creamy Chicken and Mushroom casserole–unless Jeff is inspired to whip up something fabulous for us, which he often is, so you never know.

  • sunday

    well tonight we are going to La Paz, but last night i made salt and peppper shrimp with thai fried rice. oh so good! Tomorrow night I am going to make smoky corn chowder and of course the bread!!!!

  • Miss Laura

    I had a Clif Builder’s Bar. Alone at my desk.

    Pity party at my house in five minutes!

    Also, I have the Bed Bath and Beyond “As Seen On TV” version of those balls. I agree, static cling is still a bit of an issue, and I can’t say anything for sure about drying time because our dryer is The Devil anyway. We lost one of the balls about a year ago…I am excited about our big move because we might actually FIND it!

  • the dicocco gang

    I missed the excitement yesterday because I was in NYC having GLUTEN FREE PIZZA and BREADSTICKS and even an enormous icing filled cookie sandwich. Yes. I am a happy girl.
    And I DO love that picture of Rylie’s baby Chucks! The colors, the shadow to the right, the lighting… it’s a great shot! Frame that one and put it up in your house… or mine.

  • Anonymous

    Katie Kate! I just want you to know that i love the redstripe bag… and have gotten many compliments on it at school. 🙂 Also, the picture of baby converse is now my desktop background… so sweet it is. And you made me hungry for spaghetti so that’s what I ate tonight…! I hope you’re all well! <3

    Miss Chris

  • Dan, Annie, Will and Mocha

    When I read the letter to Rylie, I thought that you would love the book I’m reading.
    It’s called Gilead, it’s by Margaret somebody, it is a book of letters from a Dad on his death bed to his young son. It is making me cry, but o so good.
    By the way, even though I’m a princess I still talk to the peasants and Will eats A LOT of bread too. I love the big ol’ teeth in the back, they are chompers aren’t they.

  • Dan, Annie, Will and Mocha

    and…..I forgot…I love Dryer Balls. But, I miss the good smell, any solutions for that?

  • Jason and Jennifer Haynes

    Mmm the soup sounds Delice! I have a feeling it will be showing up on the lunch table tomorrow…who cares if it’s warm in Hawaii!

    Thanks for the info. on the Dryer Balls! I’ve been trying to come up with ways to reduce our waste (being on an island makes you ponder that a lot…especially when the news just announced that the landfill will be full this year and they don’t have a back up! Yikes!)

    As for the p.s. on your letter to Rylie…I’m in on the belief that you’re doing your child a favor by not taking them to Sears. Maybe I’m just a photo snob but I’d say that your photos kick studio pictures’ butt any day of the week! … I mean, what studio is going to capture a pic. like the one with her and string wrapped around her head (earlier post)!

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