Sunday, January 27, 2008

We were catching up on American Idol last night (TIVO is our savior) and at some point somebody said the word "stupid". Judah announced, "I am *soooo* sick of the bad words on TV." So we asked what words he meant.

He replied, "Words like 'stupid', 'dummy', 'loser'. Those words are so STUPID."

Then, he proceeded to build a CHOCOLATE PUDDING FACTORY with his architectural blocks. He even had a song to go with it. "We work real hard at the chocolate factory..."

When he got tired later, he was lying with his head in my lap and we talked about school for a while. We talked about kindergarten and who his teacher might be and he told me about one of the PK teachers letting them wear the "Crown of Coolness" when they follow directions.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

{Swear Word}

It was only a matter of time.

Dixie decided to eat her house specialty favorite, the "Judah Ankle Sandwich". Judah dragged Dixie along across the living room, she still clamped down on his ankle, he trying to pull himself along the back of the sofa.

With an exasperated look on his face, he said very calmly, "Mooooom! Get the damn dog!" My head whipped up and I asked, "What kind of dog?" Judah: "The DAMN dog." Big ear to ear grin. (Four year olds instinctively know when they've said a bad word.)

Thus began an explanation of how dams are used to block water and isn't it silly to name Dixie after a wall? He agreed and I haven't heard it since.

Now that Judah is old enough to help with basic chores, when the weather is more agreeable, I will begin taking him to the "For the Love of the Lake" shoreline spruce-up at White Rock Lake. It is disgraceful how picnickers throw their refuse in the lake with little care about the impact they make on the wildlife.

Take for example little Six Pack. I am so tired of the discarded waste by careless people. Here we have this oasis in the middle of the steel, glass and concrete city of Dallas...a place with waterfowl, forest animals, a botanist's heaven, restricted paths and roads for pedestrians and bicyclists and Flying Scot sailboats with their bright white masts billowing in the wind. White Rock is full of trails through tall grasses where you may see purple martin houses on tall poles, oak groves full of squirrels and woodpeckers and miles of shoreline with marsh grasses teeming with ducklings...and pollution.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Living in the Kitchen

I still knit when I can, but the new puppy is a yarn thief. Having just lived through my mom's puppy shredding some Size 1s when I set down a pair of Jaywalkers to go get a coffee refill, having my own little beast wait in shadows until I walk two feet away from my yarn and then launch upon it has me needing to plan strategically when I can actually pick up the fiber and create, airplane, bedtime (which is the worst time for me to knit lace...I nod off and get lost in my pattern).

So, cooking has filled the void that no knitting has left.

This week, I have made oven-baked Sweet Potato Fries spiced with cumin and red pepper, whipping cream biscuits -- world's easiest biscuit recipe (1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 cup self-rising flour - dropped by the spoonful onto a baking stone and baked at 425 for 15-20 minutes.) I made my staple breakfast treat of tart cherry muffins, baked some spicy/sweet pecans for salad topping, steel cut oatmeal spiced with vanilla and golden raisins, homemade hot cocoa, baked Chocolate Crazy Cake in a rice cooker, fresh tabouli, and an improvised cornbread made with corn masa instead of corn meal...using what was available in the pantry and turned out to be so creamy with fresh corn kernels dispursed accident that will be repeated!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen since my grandfather died on 20 December. It is therapy for me and a healthy way to grieve. I am filling the bellies of my two guys and I feel a sense of joy by making things that send my husband back for seconds. I baked four Apple Dapple Cakes over the holidays, whipped carrots and parsnips, baked fluffy whipping cream biscuits that melt in your mouth and then created Smitten Kitchen's delectable Icebox Cake.

I baked the Barefoot Contessa's buttermilk soaked oven fried chicken, 101Cooking's Roasted Cauliflower Popcorn, baked acorn squash with a buttery brown sugar & orange peel zest glaze, made a lemony waffle batter for the Texas Waffle Iron and a pull-apart coffee cake that is made with refrigerated biscuits, sugar, pecans and butter.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My ideal presidential match list is rather frightening. Mike Gravel as #2? Golly, I'm more liberal than I thought. I was a certified card carrying lefty lib in my 20s, but thought that now that I've become a parent, I've gotten a bit more conservative...maybe not?

91% Dennis Kucinich (D)
87% Mike Gravel (D)
85% Joe Biden (D)
85% Chris Dodd (D)
82% Barack Obama (D)
81% Hillary Clinton (D)
79% John Edwards (D)
71% Bill Richardson (D)
35% Rudy Giuliani (R)
25% Ron Paul (R)
22% John McCain (R)
15% Mike Huckabee (R)
15% Mitt Romney (R)
14% Tom Tancredo (R)
6% Fred Thompson (R)

Get your results from 2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Young Jedi Knight

Judah & I watched Return of the Jedi last night. The Ewoks aren't so annoying when you watch it with a four year old. He loved them so much that I was able to forget that they were likely added to the movie by George Lucas for the obvious product endorsements that followed the theatrical release of the film.

Something I did not like about the DVD "re-release" version is that at the end of the film when the ghostly Jedis - Anakin, Yoda and Obi-Wan - are overseeing the Ewok village celebration, George Lucas replaced Sebastian Shaw, who played the old Anakin with Hayden Christiansen as the young Anakin, but here's my question....why is Obi-Wan still old (Alec Guinness)...why wouldn't there be a young Ewan McGregor? I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

We're going to hole ourselves up today for the Cowboys game at a local sports bar. Dixie has been wearing her Dallas Cowboys bandana since yesterday.

Micheal nearly made me a widow yesterday. We met our friends at White Rock Lake for a family picnic & sailing afternoon. The weather has been mild this winter and started out very promising with a glorious sunshine and slight breeze. Perfect sailing weather. Once we got the boat lowered in the davit, a norther blew in and the temp dropped pretty rapidly. All of us mamas decided we would rather take the kids to see the new VeggieTales movie than freeze our knickers off on the water. Micheal, Bret & Zad decided to sail.

A couple hours later, I was trying to reach Micheal by phone as he had his Blackberry with him but he wasn't answering. We eventually got Bret on the phone and he said, "Well, first I want to tell you that we're all accounted for..."

The sailboat capsized and in the process, Micheal was projected from the boat into the icy (and unfortunately, polluted) water. He had on a couple layers of clothes, his jacket started to fill with water and he lost buoyancy. He is a former lifeguard, so it wasn't an issue of his skill in the water, it was that he may as well have been wearing a cement block.

Thankfully, there was a regatta and so the rescue boat was out and they retrieved him just as he was about to start shedding his clothes to lighten his load.

The Blackberry is toast, but it is of no matter since the more frightening thought is that he could have drowned or if we had put the children on the boat...well, I can't even think about that.

We drove back to Bret & Tiffany's house after the movie and saw the guys powerwashing the mainsail in the front yard. Micheal was barefoot with Bret's borrowed clothes and holding a brandy snifter.

Jorge is staying with us this weekend. He is visiting from Prague. His social calendar is always full when he is in town, and we're a very active family, so I've not seen him too much except at dinner. I think he leaves today...not sure. We had dinner at Nancy & Marco's house last night. They had their first baby, Luca on 28 December. Marco's mom is staying with them for a couple months to help them get situated. I was in awe of Nancy's ability to birth a baby two weeks ago and yet find time to prepare homemade tiramisu for dessert and has already enjoyed several lunch outings and seems so in synch with the baby. I seem to remember not finding time to brush my hair when Judah was first born.

In other news, I start my new position at work, effectively....oh, now. Hoping it is a satisfying move.