Friday, May 16, 2014


We will be out of the country for ten days. We leave in a week. I just had to delete some exclamation points. There are so many things I don't know: obtaining money, where to wash clothes, how to get enough water on a transatlantic flight. So I know I'll learn things on this trip. Which frightens me, you know how relaxing learning new things is. But we're all very excited. I think we could recharge small gadgets on Kat's aura alone. She begged to help me pack last night. Crazy packing loving organizer child. Maybe over the weekend.

I mowed for about an hour last night and am proud of my accomplishment. Less achey afterwards than I expected. I think it's due to my walkjogwalk routine. I haven't noticed other effects after a month. It hasn't made me noticeably smaller. I am pushing down any vain desire for 'toning' and cultivating an attitude of observation. This is another science experiment and I am open to seeing what really happens rather than demanding an outcome. It feels good to be moving more.

I remember my father going for runs in the evenings when I was 7-10 (he was 36-39). It was during his runs that he noticed weakness or hesitation in his left leg. I think he fell a couple of times and decided to stop running. Eventually he was diagnosed with Parkinson's syndrome, they didn't classify it as Parkinson's disease because he was too young. He was old enough for the full disease by the time he died at 71. The VA established it as related to his service (probably exposure to Agent Orange and similar). I don't run like he did, I haven't gone through boot camp. But here's to having two legs that work and the ability to get out and move.

I've been listening to Jim Gaffigan's King Baby CD in the car. It made me laugh til I cried. Kat heard some of it and thought he was a hoot as well. Raiding the library's comedy recording collection is slightly educational and has enhanced the drive to work. In general I would say Aziz Ansari is not speaking to my generation. I preferred Flight of the Conchords' I Told You I Was Freaky to their self-titled CD. Fashion! Fashion is danger... But now I'm craving the full effect of their Kiwi accents and am going to have to find the show to watch. I think I've only seen season 1.

Monday, May 12, 2014


I made a rhubarb pie on Sunday. Yes an everloving pie with a crust and all. It was gone Sunday night and Nod was sorry the next morning he hadn't saved his 2nd piece for breakfast. I used this recipe for the crust and this one for the filling. But I put the crust in a pie pan and put the rolled out scraps on top. I loved it and I might do it again some time. I'd follow the JOC baking instructions next time, starting at 400.

I had quite a haul for mother's day. Nod gave me flowering plants for the pot on the porch a week early. The kids gave me hand-drawn cards, earrings, and an artisanal coaster. We went out to the park in the morning to play frisbee. It was gusty already and I thought we would be out of luck. But we went to the sunken basketball court that was enough out of the wind. Good fun. Bun can catch with one hand all of a sudden. I realized that our foursome is pretty well matched for disc flinging, we're not having to coach the kids with their throws or catches.

Nod and I went to see Grand Budapest Hotel in the afternoon. I'd been pestering him about it for a while and am glad we caught it at the indie movie theater. Kymm's review is on point. I loved the first half but didn't care for the second half as much. I think Moonrise Kingdom and The Royal Tenenbaums are my faves. The A/C in the theater had me chilled to the bone by the end and it was a relief to go outside into the windy, muggy heat.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Turnips and Greens

The Spontaneous Tomato technique for cooking kale sounded good. (Short version: saute garlic in oil, add chopped greens, stir to coat then add some water and cover, steam 10-15min., S&P.) I tried it with our chard/kale/spinach mix Nod brought in from the garden. Less steaming time since this stuff is young and tender, I added the spinach halfway through and finished with a splash of balsamic vinegar. It was delectable and reminded me -- in the best possible way -- of how much I loved canned spinach when I was a kid. I also made mac and cheese from the box and they were pretty much a match made in heaven. Then I mowed grass and then I had intestinal distress. Done now but I feel tired this morning. I don't blame those greens but perhaps the microgreens I put on a sandwich? They looked tired.

I'm sorry to say that I'm having trouble getting through the third E Bear novel in her Eternal Sky trilogy. Even after the dragon showed up it's still requiring effort to turn the pages. The dragon encounter reminded me of the Avatar series and its lion turtle. Although these dragons are more petty and snarky, more like European fantasy dragons. The narrative has slowed as we prepare for the Final Confrontation with the big baddie. Much too by the numbers, harrumph.

I wonder what I'll bring to read while we're traveling. Nod and I have to get our budget agreed on. I have to talk with the bank and the credit card to let them know we'll be spending overseas. And a thousand more things. I'm also getting a head start on worrying about the dog. Sigh.

Willa Cather's One of Ours is the next book group selection. I will probably end up liking it but going in, it sounds like a plate of turnips.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Frozen Glory

I had a small oj margarita last night but not for Cinquo de Mayo. Just because it was a warm spring evening and I had finished many good efforts. I sipped on it as I took the dog out for a short promenade. The Pioneer Woman has posted her blackberry margarita recipe. I love the idea (except for the sugar on the rims, eek too sweet!) even without the booze. Here's an all purpose sorbet recipe that will work with my Cuisinart freezer if I can acquire 4 cups of berries. I figure I could make the berry sorbet stuff and mix up the marg booze and have something for all, the youths, the pure, and the impure among us.

Over the weekend I made beef fajitas for the first time. My original intention was to use this oven recipe (I'm hooked on the site but still confused by seeing the prices next to every effing ingredient). But I feared overcooking the meat. I don't cook beef very often and it would be a shame to have it come out gray and blah. So I did everything in a very hot iron pan on the stovetop. It was very good.

We still need to find a new swimsuit for Kat. I always forget that we have a JCP in this town, that'll be plan C if we don't turn up anything sooner. Target didn't have quite the right thing, too many ruffles in general.

We're going to see her Night at the Museum event tonight. All the grades have done projects on a wide range of topics, there should be much to goggle at. Kat's group is staging the Ancient Greek Olympics.

Friday, May 2, 2014


Time to check in on what Nina Paley is up to. Looks like animation and quilting and sometimes a very unexpected combination of the two. She also had me reading about the Chad Gadya, the "one little goat" song sung at the end of the Passover seder, completely new to me. It reminds me of the Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly.

I'm striding onward through the second book in Elizabeth Bear's steppes series. This one is Steles of the Sky. I kind of hate the titles of these books. All three are the names of mountain ranges in this world, very so consistent. But bloodless and hard to remember, no hook for my memory. It's my only big complaint at the moment. I think the healer wizards are a little too holy and scientifically rigorous but that doesn't mean I'm not enjoying them. Characters are too compassionate, what a shame! Edene is about to give birth and is commanding a djinn in her role as the cursed queen. Excellent drama.

We went to see Kat in her middle school production of Alice in Wonderland last night. She is the 5 of Hearts and has lines in multiple scenes. She's having a wonderful time being in the production and spoke up quite audibly on stage. It's been a good opportunity for her to make friends outside her classes. It was fairly tedious for the audience but cute in spots. I think the greatest accomplishment is the choreography of moving 45 middle schoolers around on- and back-stage for the show. I was sorry there wasn't more language from the original book. As Louis CK says, there is no happiness like the moment you leave your child's performance. Whew. She performs again on Saturday evening. I will take photos afterwards but plan not to sit through it again.

I saw this retweeted by mimismartypants and it makes me laugh and laugh: