Archive for January 3rd, 2013

Quesadillas for an Army


I don’t know what small country Morgan thought was coming over for dinner yesterday, but here’s her stack of quesadillas. (She doesn’t use any particular recipe, just chicken and refried beans, cheese, etc.) She’s been a lot more domesticated since she got a boyfriend. He likes to cook, which has encouraged her. I’m so glad. I was starting to think I’d completely failed!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn | Permalink  

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Of Christmas Trees


Remember last year’s hanger tree?

ALL of the kids mentioned that tree this year. It was a desperate, make-do idea when I couldn’t see putting up a real tree by myself and had no money to buy a decent-looking fake tree. And yet I think it’s the one the kids will always remember. Morgan wanted me to do it again this year, but over the summer, I’d ordered a nice slim-style, pre-lit (!) 7-foot tree. It sat in a box for months, waiting, prepared for the holidays.
I had Morgan and her boyfriend put it up one evening before everyone descended for Christmas week. It’s still up because I haven’t talked her into taking it down yet and I can’t work up the motivation to do it myself. This tree doesn’t hold my attention. It’s a perfectly lovely tree, but it’s boring.

For a number of years, I’ve had real trees. My favorite was the one Ross and Weston cut down in the woods on my cousin’s farm.

It was too big, too bare, too misshapen, but free, and like the hanger tree, it had personality and character, unlike a Christmas tree-farm tree from the store or an even more perfect fake tree.
I’ve come to the conclusion that “regular” Christmas trees aren’t for me. Putting up a Christmas tree requires effort, and a too-standard tree lacks the inspiration to motivate me. I don’t think I’ll put up a hanger tree again–that was almost too special of a memory now to repeat–but I know that next year, I will do something different, something that will be remembered, something that can inspire me.

Meanwhile, who wants to come over and take this one down? Anyone? Is your tree down? Any great “different” tree ideas out there?

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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