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Kate Bassett, Alison DeCamp, Deborah King
Northern Michigan
A peek inside our scrambled lives.
Interests: Laughing, wine, writing, reading, cooking, sewing, making glass beads, playing with our kids, complaining about our kids, wine, whine, traveling, eating
Recent Activity
Kate Bassett, Alison DeCamp, Deborah King is now following Bow and Annie
Mar 27, 2011
Beautiful. As usual.
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2011 on starts and stops at A Life Like This One
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Hi, Kate! I actually don't really like to cook. I'm a reluctant cook, as in, if I don't cook something no one will eat. That being said, I do own a copy of "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," but didn't get past the part on high-fructose corn syrup, which we all quickly quit eating. :)
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I love today and all its seemingly-warm-sunniness. The light coming through the windows is a punch in the shoulder of endorphins. And I don't even know what that means. It sure should feel warmer when you step outside than it does today. It doesn't. So I'm forced to read Islands magazine in the dentist's office and play this song incessantly. It makes me happy. And if I crank up the heat to a balmy 67 degrees, I almost feel warm. Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2011 at Cluck and Tweet
This is one of my family's favorite meals. Except for Jimmie. Subtract the mushrooms. And the sauce. And the sausage. And the broccoli. And add a pound of butter. Voila! Jimmie's favorite meal. But I digress. And don't forget the parmesan cheese. But I'm getting distracted. Blame it on my age. Or hormones, because those guys are great for taking the responsibility for my actions off my sloping shoulders. We, however, love this meal, brought to you mainly by the kind manufacturers of portabella mushroom sausage. You could, however, use another sausage. I'm not being paid by Chef Bruce, or even being sent free samples of their products, so you're not being disloyal. I'll let you know if that status changes. First, take sliced portabellas and saute with garlic and olive oil. We like LOTS of garlic. So throw in a lot of garlic. And then some more. That's how much we like garlic. We are seldom bothered by vampires, which is a little added bonus. While these are cooking, slice up the sausage. Sam likes them thinly sliced. I'm lazy, so I just slice them quickly and haphazardly. And guess what? They still taste the same. Meanwhile, back at the castle, start cooking the noodles. Any kind of noodles will do. Jimmie happens to favor the very gourmet-style bow tie noodles, which I find happen to add a bit of whimsy to dinner. And every dinner needs a bit of whimsy. Oops! That's not a picture of bow tie noodles! They were absent for picture day, so I have substituted rombi noodles, which, if you're a homeschooler, now would be a good time to insert a little geometry/math lesson on what rombi pasta is shaped like (a rhombus!). You will amaze your friends and neighbors with your knowledge and annoy your children with your ability to make everything a teachable moment. Win-Win, I say! Using either bullion and water or prepared chicken broth, add to the mushrooms and thicken with a little flour or corn starch. I like to shake up some of the broth with flour in a jar and then add to the mixture when boiling. Then I stir until the sauce has thickened, adding more flour if needed. Add the sausage to the mushroom sauce. Serve over noodles. And top with parmesan cheese. Because everything is better with parmesan cheese on it. Except ice cream. Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2011 at Cluck and Tweet
Things that scare me. That really shouldn't. Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2011 at Cluck and Tweet
This is simply beautiful. The words and the pictures.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2010 on In the garden at A Life Like This One
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I live a most glamorous life. Most glamorous. I'm a stay-at-home-mom. Well, that's the common term. I prefer, the term-- mostly-stay-at-home-but-I-go-to-Target-a lot-mama. Very glamorous. You too can be glamorous. I will share my steps. I do lots of laundry. You too? awesome. You are well on your way. I have two boys. You do not have to have two boys- you could have an assortment of children and their friends tearing your place up. It's all very glamorous. I also prepare meals several times a day, to ensure the health of my growing boys between baseball practices and games. Only to have them share a GIANT bag of CHEESEBURGER DORITOS when I'm not looking. Cheeseburger Doritos? Seriously....a 15 year old must be on the Frito-Lay board. A chip that tastes like meat? Glamorous. Last week I took a step out of my glamorous life because I was invited to a little music concert. In Grand Rapids. Two hours away. However, it took three with all the detours. Not my detours, but the state of Michigan's detours. Grand Rapids appears to be lovely. From my very glamorous mini-van. With my dear friend, Penny. Here we are before leaving for the gig. And before some of that lip gloss wore off? This little music concert was awesome. Ingrid Michaelson opening for the Bare Naked Ladies (who were fully dressed). (here's Ingrid and Allie) I am friendly with Allie Moss's mama. Allie is a tremendous talent in her own right and is a part of Ingrid's band. So, I left the kitty-littered bathroom floor and piles of laundry to sing along loudly, yet poorly to both scantily-clad Ingrid's songs and those of the Bare Naked Ladies. Glamorous. Most glamorous. ~deborah~ Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2010 at Cluck and Tweet
Please do not read any further if you know what's best for you. Seriously, you've been warned. You think you can handle a simple little website. I thought I could, too. What's the harm in looking? I mean, what could go wrong? It is just looking. That's what I told myself when I read about a friend of a friend finding a puppy on I'm not a dog girl. I like dogs. Who doesn't love a puppy? But, dogs are more work than I'm willing to give and since I've been bit three separate times....I'm a little cool towards dogs. So I like dogs, mostly from a distance. Where they cannot bite me. Kitties warm my heart. But, because I am honest with myself I knew that just browsing the petfinder site was innocent. We've been living quite happily pet-free for several years. Our beloved Sage, an American orange cat had died and we hadn't been ready to get another. Then, so much time passed that not having cat hair everywhere was kind of nice. So, I'm still scratching my head how we ended up with: and I swear I was just looking. And then I decided we'd get one and then we ended up with her sister, too. Such a good decision. Our home is so much nicer with cat hair. We've had the girls (true and indie) since October and we are all smitten. So, you've been warned. Please, proceed with caution. ~deborah~ Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2010 at Cluck and Tweet
I've been brainstorming names for a new Etsy shop. The one I have now (GlassAli) evokes images only of glass, and I'm okay with that since I do make glass beads. But I also make jewelry outs of gem stones and crystals with no glass beads in sight, so shouldn't I have a shop just for those items? Feel free to chime in any time. I've been brainstorming names. WhimsicAli (someone already has this on Twitter). Glimmer in the Woods (too long and does it really evoke pretty jewelry? Or 25¢ that someone lost while on a nature walk?). Creek Side Studio (um, already taken about 5 times). Lakeside Studio (already take about 500 times). Some name that rhymes with "Ali." Like ClassicAli (except that my jewelry isn't necessarily classic). Not so easy, is it? So, for now, I'll be GlassAli. Even though, unbeknownst to me when I claimed the name, there's already a GlassAllie on Etsy. And she makes glass beads. And jewelry. And I thought I had covered all the bases when I checked out the name. If I had a Personalized T-Shirt Shop, I would name it PersonAli-T. But I don't. Yet. So, lest you think this is completely a post on self-promotion, which I in no way intended it to be, I decided to mention my real intended theme: Spirituality. Which I like to call SpirituAli-T like it's all about me. Not really. It's about the fact that today is Sunday and that for over a year now I've felt very ostracized and a bit betrayed by my church for a couple of reasons that I won't go into here. The events that precipitated these feelings have, on a very positive level, led me to question some of my beliefs (not the big ones, just the ones where humans are involved), and shown me that the church building along with blind faith is not enough. And that confrontation, when done right, is not only good, it's necessary. So today I attempted to "attend" church through its live feed. I lasted about 3 minutes. And then we all watched this: And I got more out of 10.5 minutes than 3 months of sermons. It's genuine, as Sam says. A couple weeks ago I posted this on my Facebook status: Does going to Wal-Mart instead of church count for something? Tammy responded: yup! feeding the hungry! :) and Tom, a minister for his whole adult life, responded: @Tammy, my thoughts, too! BTW, Alison, what's for dinner today? Sara, a former student of mine, who has a baby (this absolves you of all guilt, in my book), was also looking for assurance and wrote: Does sleeping in like a sloth instead of going to church count for something? Tammy, bless her, had just the right words: yup! restoring the body, mind , soul.... Tom let her know that he is more than ready for some sloth-like behavior fairly soon. Which we'll believe when we see. I appreciated the genuineness. The non-judgmental responses. And the fact that when my dad called later that day he didn't ask if I had gone to church. You know, I think Christianity is all about the people. Well, of course it's all about God and Jesus, too, but I think that They want us to be all about the people we're put on earth with. To comfort them and help them and deal with them and forgive them. Which is what I'll have to remember the next time I go to church. Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2010 at Cluck and Tweet
I'm in a mood. A really really good mood. Why? Sun. Shine. Light. The prospect of SPRING. Mostly, it's the sunshine. The sunshine for the last 5 days. Warm, mellow, yummy sunshine. I would like to scoop it up with a spoon and lick that spoon clean. SO, because the sun is shining, I've accomplished nothing. Well, I've accomplished sitting in the living room or front porch reading in the sunlight. I've watched the boys play catch in the yard for hours. And I let them do this without asking about their homework. I've opened some windows, to bring in the fresh March air (really, because we shut our windows for good in November and that only means we've been soaking in some really really old air) I've thought about painting the whole house Sherwin Williams--champagne. Because it looks like any room painted this color is sunlit. So far, only the downstairs hall is champagne. I've got a way to go. (it looks a LOT better in person...on a wall) I've decided that the light fixtures should be changed. ( These are my in-sunshine thoughts...they are not deep) This is what I'm thinking: from Ikea. and I'm thinking about this one: also from Ikea. Not to forget to mention this: from Yep, I'm making decisions today. On the porch with some lemonade. In between laundry and bills and carpool and dinner. If you have sunshine where you are...enjoy. If's coming. I promise. --deborah Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2010 at Cluck and Tweet
Oh, I know, Ivy! But I have a feeling that if I say anything here, I'm just preaching to the choir. Each book (if it is actually included on "the list") is assigned AR book points ( and she has to complete a certain number of points (through computerized tests) each marking period. Just makes you want to run out and buy a stack of books to read, doesn't it? I'm fortunate in that both kids are readers, but what if they weren't? And I also lament the fact that a deeply intelligent book like The Giver, which has so much to discuss on so many levels, doesn't work because it's too low on the list. You don't want to get me started. :)
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I Am the Messenger: a "young adult" book that may not be right for your young adult but may be perfect for you. Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2010 at Cluck and Tweet
Kate Bassett, Alison DeCamp, Deborah King is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010
Sam and Anna read The Hunger Games...I started it and am a little reluctant since it seems so dark. And I don't read books that don't contain some sex in them. Apparently. :)
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Kate and Alison are still firmly planted in Northern Michigan. I'm from the Metro Detroit area where Cincinnati is only 4 hours away:) @Leigh, it is actually a chili. Not a spaghetti. I know, unless you've grown up on's kinda weird. But, weird good:) best Deborah
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There are days when I crave junk-food. Ususally candy. Junk candy. I'm most certain it's the sugar. Sugar is crack. Really. Well, technically it's not, but it's addictive. But, sometimes I crave a three-way. Yep. All steamy and yummy. And cheesy. Keep reading. I spent a lot of time in Cincinnati in my early 20's. I had a "friend" from Cincy. He turned me onto the three-way. Then became a vegetarian. But I haven't seen him in 17 years except for the 14 seconds he walked past me in Whole Foods last Thursday. (and didn't notice me, that's a whole other story) Anywho, when I get these cravings, driving to Cincinnati and pulling into a isn't always feasible. It's a 4 hour drive in good weather and easy traffic. And that would mean it is a 4 hour drive back as well. But, after searching the internet for a reasonable fake-out recipe and tweaking it a bit, I think I've found my answer. It goes like this: 1 tbsp olive oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 1-2 pounds ground turkey ( I use the 97% lean turkey, but you can certainly use ground beef, like Skyline does) 1 tbsp chili powder 2 tsp ground cinnamon 2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp ground allspice 1/2 tsp ground cloves 30 oz beef broth (but I think you could go with vegetable broth or chicken broth) 30 oz tomato sauce 3 tbsp cider vinegar 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper shhhh...the secret ingredient, semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 1/4 cup 1 box whole wheat spaghetti ( Skyline uses regular spaghetti, but we like the whole wheat pasta) lots of finely shredded mild cheddar cheese 1. Heat oil in pan and add chopped onions. Stirring frequently, until tender. 2. Add all liquids and spices into crock pot (I LOVE my crock pot). Add ground turkey (or beef) RAW to the crock pot. Add cooked onions. 3. Add secret ingredient. Mix well with a fork to break up meat and dissolve spices into liquid. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally. 4. Serve over hot, drained spaghetti. Top with shredded cheese. It is even better the second day, if you have any left. To make a 4-way add diced white onion or red beans. 5-way adding both the onions and beans along with the shredded cheese. My boys EAT. THIS. UP. They are beginning to crave the three-way, though I think we will rename this meal, Spaghetti-the Cincy way. Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2010 at Cluck and Tweet
Thanks, Ivy! I will definitely look that up. Here's the other problem. Anna is in 7th grade and all of her books during the school year have to be at or above a certain reading level or she doesn't get points for them. Oh, don't get me started on this. :) Fortunately, "Sorcery and Cecelia..." looks like it's a 6.7 reading level. And if you think of any others, throw them my way!
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Yeah, I'll be having the sex talk with Jimmie soon. As will Sam. And the respect talk. We already have the Spongebob talk. That's my favorite. ;)
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I find it hard, too, Marinka, when you have a kid who reads at a higher reading level (our son Jimmie, who is 11, apparently reads at an 11th grade level....this the kid who left his winter coat at the doctor's office and can barely tie his shoes...:) to find anything that will keep his/her interest while not being too mature. Another thing to keep me up at night.
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I am the adult. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this. Back in the day, when I had a room full of teenagers held captive by classroom rules and truancy laws, I would sometimes pause my words of wisdom and think to myself, "I think they're actually listening to me! Do they know I have no idea what I'm talking about?" And then I'd wax poetic about tone of voice, or symbolism or how I've always remembered the difference between metaphor and simile by remembering this pneumonic device: Smile like an as(s). Because the word simile reminds me of the word smile. And similes use like and as. Not ass. But close enough. And just so you know, I never actually said the word ass. Actually, if I had they probably would have listened to me. Now I sometimes pause and think to myself, "I am the parent." And then I have to do some parent-y job like talk about s-e-x (because no one else is going to do it) or proper table manners, or how to remember the difference between metaphor and simile. Now as the parent I find myself reading young adult literature in an effort to keep my daughter from reading things like Judy Blume's Forever, which I read in sixth grade. And probably shouldn't have. Because it is nothing like Are You There God, It's Me Margaret. And it's pretty much the opposite of Super Fudge. Fortunately I love young adult fiction. One of my favorite books ever was Little Women. And Eight Cousins. And my heart warms a little when I spy Anna curled up over Anne of Green Gables. The Book Thief is close to brilliant, and because it was written for a young adult audience, the book is cheaper to buy. Bonus! I'm always on the lookout for new, well-written young adult books that don't have main characters who are on the prowl or going to camp in an effort to find a guy to sleep with. But I don't always have the time to read them before Anna gets to them. Here are some brief critiques of books I have read. Maybe it will give you insight into whether or not your child is ready for them. Twilight series: I've read them all. And really, really enjoyed them. That said, I'm 44 years old and can separate fact from fiction. Most of the time. One of the first things I said to Anna was, "Edward Cullen does not, and will never, exist." Because the romantic aspect of these books is incredibly, well, romantic. To have some hot, hot guy think that you are the most desirable person on the planet is a bit heady, to say the least. Obviously geared to girls. Or women. What I like about this series: 1. There is no sex until the characters are married. 2. Edward is chivalrous and quite chaste. 3. It is swooningly romantic. (Really? "Swooningly" didn't come up in my spell-check? I thought for sure I made that word up!) 4. It's a very imaginative premise that carries you away from the first chapter. What makes me hesitate: 1. Bella is very forthright in her desire to become a vampire. Which euphemistically means that she pressures Edward for sex. This is not a characteristic I want to promote in my daughter. 2. Some of the sections are quite violent. And a bit scary. And I'm a chicken. I told Anna that if she wanted to read the last two books, we'd have to have "the talk." She has never expressed any desire to finish the series. Even after we had "the talk." Graceling: I'm not a big fantasy fan. I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but didn't finish the series until a couple of years ago. And that was by listening to them on tape. That being said, I was entranced by this book. It's about an 18-year-old girl who is born with a "grace." Gracelings eventually expose themselves when their eyes develop into two different colors. And a grace can be anything from being able to cook a mean hollandaise to being able to kill people effortlessly. Which happens to be the grace bestowed upon Katsa. I was immediately swept away with the story. Katsa is a strong heroine who also has quite the chip on her shoulder. Again there is sex. Anna read the book before I did (Sam also read it and thoroughly enjoyed it), but after I read it I made sure to talk to her about the sexual relationship in the book: it's between Katsa and a young man whom she trusts implicitly and who would never betray her, but whom she will never marry. We talked about how important trust is in a relationship. And how deciding to have sex is not a decision to take lightly. Truly, any opening into this type of conversation is good. It's also good to know before running out and buying the book for your child. Have I mentioned that this is mainly a one-sided conversation? And that I think she might be humming a Taylor Swift song in her head as I blather on? Fire: This novel is by the same author as Graceling, Kristin Cashore. You might want to check out her blog since it has fascinating insight into her process as a writer. Fire is a companion to Graceling. Not a sequel. Not a prequel. A companion. A story that takes place almost at the same time with a character or two in common. It's about Fire, a female monster who is so beautiful that she causes men to want to possess her. There's mention of rape. And men wanting to harm her. What was really valuable was when Sam mentioned that he found it disturbing that Anna may read this. So we decided that he should be the one to talk to her about the treatment of Fire by many of the men in the novel. How it is unacceptable to treat a woman this way. Again, was she humming a Black Eyed Peas song or nodding in agreement? I don't know. It's just our job to keep talking. Fire also has sex with her best friend. When she is 15. Enough already, people! Why? Why? Why? I just had to get that out. Thanks. Anyway, there it is. There's sex in this book, too. So we talked about that, too. And how this act seemed very nonchalant to Fire but not necessarily to her friend. And how it's definitely not an act to take lightly. No matter what you read. This reading thing is hard work. But not as hard as this parenting gig. If you have favorite young-adult novels, feel free to share them here! And next week I'll tackle The Dairy Queen series and perhaps something more appropriate to the male species. Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2010 at Cluck and Tweet
Thanks to all of you. It's amazing how much comfort one can take from something as simple as a comment. :)
Toggle Commented Mar 2, 2010 on Old Age Is Not for Sissies at Cluck and Tweet
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It's never too early (or late) to start planning those Halloween costumes 1 Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2010 at Cluck and Tweet
Isn't is funny how the world works? I mean, how today's world works. It's pretty amazing. The internet (of which I did NOT invent) has changed us. And how we "know" each we find each other in the big Big BIG world. We can find our people, our people that do not share our DNA or weird cowlicks. You know, people that get you. People that you connect with as soon as you begin reading their words. Even if you've never hear the tones of their speech, you've heard their "voice". Even if our people live hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. Even if a large expanse of water separates them. That's amazing. So, here I am writing a little post with some of my people. Alison and Kate. People I've never shared a meal with nor have I knocked on their front door with a casserole pie. I have never sat on their porches with a glass of wine or sent them home with soup or muffins. But, I feel like I have. These chicks are my people, my peeps. I've teared up and cried with them from more than one of their stories and I've laughed out loud more times than I can count. The world is funny in how it works. And it's amazing. In this big world of ours we can find our people and the world becomes smaller. And tighter. And better. What's not to like about that? It seems to work best when we each find our people. And when you do, hold on to them and bring pie. So, if you hear knock on your door someday soon and weren't expecting company, just grab the forks. I'll bring the pie. -deborah glad to be here:) Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2010 at Cluck and Tweet
Today I went to visit my mom at the hospice house where's she's been since December after my dad spent two consecutive nights in the emergency room for what turned out to be stress related symptoms. It's a lovely spot (the hospice house, not the emergency room), kind of French country provincial with a beautiful new solarium and green and wine and gold colors. I could probably live there. Plus, they have good food. I brought my camera to take pictures of Mom's new surroundings and to update how she's doing. But first I lost my camera. And I had to run back to the beach where we had been earlier. And I found it on the rocks where Sam said I would find it. It is quite annoying being married to someone who is often right. I would not recommend it. I also would not recommend standing next to anyone (who shall remain nameless) who likes to throw snowballs. Because chances are that person will be the target for someone else. And I would recommend not using the "snow" setting on your camera. Unless you like a dreamy, ethereal feel to your photos. And the feeling that your eyes aren't focusing correctly. Once I arrived at the hospice house I greeted my mom and told her who I was. She gets the most delighted smile on her face when she greets me. And she usually exclaims, "OH!" like I'm just the person she wanted to see. And then she gets distracted by other conversations going on around us. Much like a teenager texting while talking to you. But not as rude since she has dementia and teenagers just have hormones. We talked a little. Really, I talked. About her cats when she was young. How every one of them was named Billy. Regardless of gender. She laughed at that. Then I asked where Dorothy was and the women who work there said she was "gone." Dorothy never smiled. She couldn't feed herself. She had no affect whatsoever. And one day she was sitting next to my mom and my mom tried communicating with her in that very uncommunicative way she has; a mixture of recognizable words and syllables that make no sense mixed with forgetful pauses. Then my mom reached out her hand toward Dorothy. And Dorothy took her hand. And they sat there. Holding hands. That part of my mom who consoled and took care of others emerged in this setting. After that the two of them often sat and held hands. I set my camera on the table and worked up different ideas of how to take my mom's picture. I reached for it once or twice. Took the lens cap off even. And then I couldn't do it. I couldn't take her picture. I don't quite know why. Perhaps it's because it wouldn't show the woman who takes care of others, who held Dorothy's hand. I don't know where Dorothy went. I was afraid to ask. Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2010 at Cluck and Tweet