Sunday, February 28, 2016


March will bring us friends from the north

This will be a welcome respite for us 
after a weighty winter

Looking forward to an enjoyable few weeks

As my friend Vista Woman and I often say "I go to the sea to breathe"

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Cider Glazed Roast Pork with Apples, Sweet Potato, and Sage

Cider Glazed Roast Pork with Apples, Sweet Potato, and Sage
Serves 4  ~  8 SmartPoints

{photo credit epicurious}

4  boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat
2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper  
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 uncooked sweet potato, diced
2 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp sage
1/2  tsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider
1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat pork dry; season with  salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss together onions, sweet potato, apples, garlic, sage,  1 tsp salt and allspice; drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large  skillet over high heat.
Sear pork on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side.
Place chops on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray
Spoon apple mixture around pork
Roast until pork registers 145°F in center, 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile: Place skillet on stove top over medium heat; add vinegar and cook, scraping up browned bits, 1 minute.
Add cider  and simmer to reduce to a syrupy texture; add butter and swirl skillet until it melts.
Drizzle cider glaze over top of pork chops

{adapted from a Weight Watchers Recipe}

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

seeking silence

There is a lot of background noise in my life.
When I sit down for my morning coffee I turn on "Good Morning America"
When I do my morning chores I listen to WHAM 1180
When I sit down to sew I watch a DVR'd TV show
When I drive to Jazzercise I listen to an audio book
When we eat dinner we watch "Jeopardy"
When I read in the evening I tune into a playlist from Google Play
When we have friends over for a game I pop in a CD



After reading this article I will
"make quiet my new default" 

RealSimple Magazine - January 2016 
 article by Jennifer King Lindley. 
Can I have some peace and quiet?!

Noise can affect learning
. . . researchers theorize that the part of the brain that processes auditory signals is the same one that handles short-term memory
. . .mice raised in a noisy environment had a 70% reduction in blood vessel formation in their brains than those in quiet cages

. . . even moderate background noise can interfere with the ability of babies to learn new words
. . . in one study children on the noisy side of a school (near train tracks) had reading sores that lagged a full year behind children on the quieter side of the school

. . . quiet time can strengthen internal focus
. . . this generation has begun to focus on external stimulation rather than reflecting inward

. . . quiet lets your mind wander and make connections between things not previously noticed
. . . constant noise pulls our attention ever outward and upsets our balance

The article also recommends ways to find quiet for all different ages from toddlers to adults.
. . . reduce background racket
. . . institute a daily quiet time
. . . have device free times
. . . dare not to talk

I hope I haven't quoted too much of her article (more that 20%) 
but I wanted you to get a preview of her thoughts. 
I hope that you can find a copy and read it.

{Prince Rupert}

I remember in my teaching days parents who thought their child was bored 
and requested more work/enrichment/challenge. 

What I really wanted to say to them - two things.
When will he have time to think?
Boredom is a choice.