Cub Scouts

This is our first year enjoying Cub Scouts. As a former Brownie and Girl Scout, I appreciate the fun of campfire singalongs and building ice sculptures with friends (yes, we really did that one year). My husband did not belong as a boy so he is enjoying for the first time. Of course, Cub Scouts is a bit different. They do Pine Wood Derby races and recently did a winter camping trip (large heated cabin with electricity but you'd think they'd visited the Arctic Tundra and slept in a Yurt).

We love watching him have a good time learning basic skills like compass reading. Is there a badge or belt loop for putting one's clothes in the hamper?


Not long ago we took advantage of one of the few weekends thus far this season with snow. I even wiped out myself (auspiciously to avoid a child or two but truly because of my poor steerage of plastic death traps). Is there more fun in life than laughter, snow down your neck and friendship? All that and a child so worn out he conks out after just one bedtime story (followed swiftly by his parents).

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Although I've been trying to eat mostly plants this winter, this past weekend I made
a meal my family occasionally requests on cold, winter Sunday afternoons. 
Chicken and Dumplings are so easy to make and yet one of the ultimate comfort foods. You can leave out the dumplings (or give to someone else's bowl) for a healthier version.

Here is my "go to" recipe:

  • One organic rotisserie chicken/less bones (or you can cook your own, retaining the broth)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 3/4 pound new potatoes, quartered

  • 3 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 celery ribs, sliced

  • 1 medium onion, cut into eighths

  • (shortcut tip - use the ready cut containers from Trader Joe of onions, carrots and celery to save time)
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas

  • 6 cups organic chicken broth

  • Dumplings:
  • 1 1/2 cups best bread flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

  • Directions:
    1. Saute the vegetables in a tablespoon of olive oil for five minutes before adding the chicken, broth and all other ingredients. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk and parsley. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls into simmering stew. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the dumplings are tender.      
     Note: This recipe is adapted from Ms. Elizabeth Durance via AllRecipes. Thank you, Ms. Durance!

    Being Lucky

    Like many people, I've spent a lot of time considering why I never win the lottery. First of all - I almost never play. Secondly, I never really think I am going to win.

    I typically calculate my chances and end with the same decision- a dollar saved is a dollar earned. Although I do understand that it's just fun to play with the anticipation that one might win.

    This same philosophy can be applied to just about anything. Yet who is to say that we are not ALL the "lucky ones"? Taking a chance on something meaningful is never a waste when you focus on the best possible outcome. Lottery aside, most success is a result of preparation and hard work. Anyone who has read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell will get that.

    So when I became my household's Knock Hockey champion today, I knew it was the result of a decade of dedicated play time that won me this coveted title. My son called me 'lucky' and I had to agree. Call it kismet, call it fortune...or one could just call it life. Anything worth doing is worth doing well - whether earning the Nobel Peace prize or a champion right flip of a hockey puck.


    This strange time of year between the holidays and Spring has captured me completely. While insanely busy at work, my weekends and nights have been divided between family and...more work. It seems that I am surrounded by women who feel just like me. And women are magic - somehow able to recharge our batteries in the stillness between moments. In the quiet of giving backrubs at bedtime, in the routine of folding laundry, in the shared glass of Belgian lager with one's spouse as our young splash nearby in the bath. We find it in the hour before sunrise and in between the craziness.

    Of course a month in Bora Bora would really help out - until then I'll slip in a personal day for yoga, coffee and silence. Who said finding one's bliss was easy?