What I’ve Learned in a Month (U.B.C. – Day 30)

What I've Learned

Here it is:  the last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  I’ve spent the last month ensuring that I posted some content each day, and it’s been a learning experience in many ways, some good, others not so much.  To make it a little easier on myself because it’s late, I’m tired, and I’ve got a sick 6 year-old sleeping next to me, I’ve put all the lessons learned in list form. Read more

The World Will Dwarf You (U.B.C. – Day 29)

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The weather here has been absolutely lousy the last few weeks. We’ve had a few beautiful sunny days, but they’ve been far outnumbered by the rainy and raw spring days where the temperature hovers in the low 50s, just warm enough for the flowers and trees to begin peeking their heads up, but not nearly warm enough to make the people hibernating want to poke their heads out the door. Thinking about being anywhere but here naturally makes me think about all the wonderful places I’ve been and all the amazing places I’ve still yet to see. Read more

When I Ruled the World (U.B.C. – Day 28)

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Cleaning my office, aka the laundry room over our garage, recently, I found a batch of photographs from my first trip overseas. A friend from high school had moved to Paris after college and routinely sent me postcards and letters regaling me with his adventures living the life of an expat. Everything sounded so glamorous, and I knew I just had to get my foot in the door so that I, too, could become cosmopolitan and mysterious, just as he had. Read more

Pasta alla Norcina alla Madness of Joy (U.B.C. – Day 27)

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Traditional pasta alla norcina is a dish that combines flavorful pork sausage in a light cream sauce. I loved this type of a dish as a child, however, since making the decision to keep a vegetarian diet, I’ve been trying to rework many of my old favorites. Because a large number of standbys are so dependent on meat, I’ve ended up creating entirely new recipes, and the one below is no different. Read more

Rainy Day Fun (U.B.C. – Day 26)

When The Boy was in Pre-K last year, one of the parental duties was making and providing the class with modeling materials, one of which is known as Flubba.  You may recall the Robin Williams movie from 1997, Flubber, in which he plays an absent-minded professor who discovers the super-bouncy rubber-like polymer.  That’s exactly what Flubba is, and the kids love it. Read more

Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip (U.B.C. – Day 25)

A perennial favorite in my house, it always gets gobbled right up.  I could eat a batch of this by myself for dinner.

This recipe makes 10-12 servings.  Although I call for Parmesan or Romano cheeses, you can use just about any type of cheese you want.  Cheddar always makes a good dip, and Fontina makes a really mild dip that goes well with lighter flavored crackers.  I use white pepper in all my recipes, as it provides the flavor without so much of the bitter taste so common in peppery recipes, but it’s all a matter of taste.  Make it your own! Read more

Reading Quest (U.B.C. – Day 24)

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I belong to a book club. We meet once a month throughout the year, taking a break only in July when most people’s summer plans tend to get in the way, and in December when we all go out to dinner in lieu of meeting at somebody’s home and deconstructing our latest read. The group of women who comprise the “membership” are a fantastic bunch. Accomplished and bright women all, each has her own unique brand of grace and charm, and I am honored to call them my friends. Read more

The People’s River and the Gift of Time (U.B.C. – Day 23)

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The Charles River snakes through the southern part of my town, approximately three-quarters of a mile from my front door. On the western side of the bridge is a small waterfall, the size of which belies the fury of the water tumbling over. One the eastern side is a calm in which an observer can lose themselves watching the pattern of the current. Read more

National Jelly Bean Day (U.B.C. – Day 22)

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Today is National Jelly Bean Day (NJBD).  Who knew there was such a thing?!  According to the National Confectioners Association, there are a plethora of fun candy holidays throughout the year, including one I’m quite sad to have missed back on January 8th:  National English Toffee Day. Read more

Castle Island (U.B.C. – Day 21)

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Today was a gorgeous day here in eastern Massachusetts, sunny and although the temperature reached the high 60s by late afternoon, for the start and running of most of the marathon, it was in the mid-50s to low 60s; perfect running weather for the Boston Marathon.

Because the majority of roads around us close at 8:30 am and stay that way until late afternoon, I decided to get out of dodge and scheduled a playdate with The Boy and a friend of his from nursery school whose mother just happens to be a great friend of mine, as well. We decided to go biking with the boys at Castle Island in South Boston. Read more