Thursday, February 28, 2008

Well, I couldn't very well post and NOT include a food picture, right? This was brownies Elisheva made two nights ago (Tuesday)...

Because tonight's supper was already made (lasagna, by Ted), I decided to augment it with fresh homemade bread. Catch was, I was supposed to go out tutoring this afternoon, so I decided to be smart and make a "sponge" for the bread before our library program this morning, then quickly finish the bread between lunch, putting the kiddies to bed and going out tutoring. How do you spell "Ha ha ha" again?

Anyhow, things kind of degenerated around 1:30 when Sara was here to babysit, I was rushing Yerachmiel Meir out the door and I realized Mr. Sponge (I was calling him "Bob" Sponge) was still sitting bulking up in a glass baking dish on the table.

So I basically handed Bob l'Eponge off to Sara, which was, of course, exactly the right thing to do. Came home to a house that smelled yeasty and delicious and the final product was crusty and amazing. It even maybe, just maybe overshadowed Ted's lasagna slightly.

What an awful night last night. Slept fitfully to dreams of my grandmother (mother's mother), somehow still alive but somehow rather demented - she was trying to cook for the whole family but it came out of the pan as an awful half-desserty half-omelette. She was always such a fantastic cook; so glad that isn't a real memory, but it's hung over me the whole day. She was dishevelled in the dream and not speaking very lucidly. Totally the opposite of the way she was in real life.

Then I woke up at 5 to the baby screaming, literally screaming. I think the little guy is hungry... two and a half weeks until 6 months, but I'm thinking of maybe jumping the gun on solids just because he seems so interested when we eat and because he just seems hungry, somehow. I seem to remember that Naomi couldn't have cared less at that age. Even these days, she's just not so into food. Maybe we have another Eater on our hands (YM is Eater #1 around here nowadays).

Speaking of YM, his alarm clock (actually, his palm) woke me up this morning - apparently he sets the alarm and hooks it up to speakers in his room because his real alarm clock that we bought him doesn't do the trick. So in addition to the lousy dream and screaming baby, there was this intermittent beeping. Aargh.

It was going off so early because he's been going to minyan twice a week, building up - I hope - both to next year and, short term, to leading the davening on Jeremy's yahrzeit. What an accomplishment that would be for the weird kid from public school... I really think and hope going to shul every day will have a tremendous impact on his self-esteem. He needs a lot of support to get up and out so early, though. Ted went down tonight to make sure his clothes were laid out nicely for the morning.

Anyway, Ted's coming back in a minute - we're renting an actual movie, from Blockbuster. The library has a new policy that you can't reserve new release DVDs for one year from when the library gets them, which totally puts a crimp in our entertainment regimen which was formerly almost 100% library. Since they brought in this policy, we've been to Blockbuster three times. It's not that we're so fussy that we have to have every new movie. But some new movies, sometimes, can be nice, and now there is no chance of none. Pretty sad, actually.

By the way!
If anyone out there is reading this besides my sister Abigail, it's her birthday this Shabbos, so we should all visit her MySpace Page (not on Shabbos) and hum along moodily to her ethereal "Boston Song." Hmmm.... I wonder if the CJN has ever done a piece on her? Different last name from mine; who would know??? ;-)
And, of course, Happy Birthday to Abi!
I'll post pictures of her prezzies here on Sunday, bli neder. (of course, everybody on Craftster has seen them already!)
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Two more cuties!

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Isn't he a cutie???

So many pictures of Gavriel Zev, I forget sometimes that he's not my only cutie-pie... :-)))

And here's a rare shot I let him take of me pretending to savour yesterday's yummy quiche supper. This is my "hippy regalia" this week - happy-face necklace and all...
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Busy, busy!

Oh, blurg... Naomi's getting a sniffle...
Busy busy during naptime yesterday getting Abigail's present together. Wow! Wait 'till I post it here... that will be exciting!

But I did take a few minutes to make a lovely supper to make up for the great failure of Monday evening:

Tuesday Supper!

Spinach Quiche (hint: start with frozen crust & frozen Tabatchnik cream o' spinach soup)
Rice (because it's all Naomi eats)
Soy / sesame / teriyaki green beans

Tonight's supper was slightly less glamourous:

Wednesday Supper!

Leftover lovelies! Leftover Cookoo's wings from Sunday night, leftover Shabbos meatballs, leftover corn & kugel, and a package of vermicelli rice.

Had to run out in the middle of supper for swimming lessons. It is SO hard in the cold weather. I wasn't sure whether to take Naomi because of her sniffle, but in the end, persistence prevailed and swam we did. Ack. So cold! But next week is the last class and next month is SPRING...

So here's a fun surprise... tomorrow's supper is getting ready already!

Thursday Supper!

Ted-made Lasagna! Aaaaalmost put in red peppers, then realized Sara may well be here so he left them out.
I'm tutoring tomorrow, so he is saving me a ton of work and aggravation. I think the whole family looks forward to the dynamic of our "Sara Thursdays". I'm calmer, the littles are paid-attention-to, for a change, so not whiny and complainy.

Oh - I think Gavriel Zev is getting a tooth, the top-right one. Looks a little whitish along the gumline. Will update!
He is such a playful dolly when I get him on his own and we're both in the right mood. He woke up half an hour before Naomi this afternoon and we had a lovely time together.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaalmost sitting (more a's than the red peppers, above), too! Distract him with a toy, as I did this morning at Mrs ViKi's and he can do it for a few minutes before he notices we've tricked him into being upright.

Had to buy a new Exersaucer today. Don't want to say too much, but to me, this feels like the end of an era. I have an Exersaucer already, bought for YM, that's perfectly good, but it's at a friend's house, and I suspect it is a friend who would rather not see me or us. :-(
Or at the very least, is too busy to care.
Sad. Sad. Sad.
But I have left two messages about the Exersaucer and many more about the legos that have also been in "storage" there after they borrowed them a few years ago. :-(
'Nuff said.

Of course, when I say it's a NEW exersaucer, you realize, this being me, that it's nothing like new... for $15 on Craigslist, it's worth not having to make another nagging phone call about the original exersaucer. Plus, this one's way better, with all kinds of toys and stuff.

But I'm actually p'd off because 1) the guy who sold it to us had a totally different picture in the listing, and 2) this one has a worn-out battery on the little van where you're supposed to push the button to make noise. We pulled it off and opened it up, but there appears to be no way to change the battery. After a bazillion positive Craigslist experiences, of course, number bazillion-and-one had to be a bad one, right?
Well, I wouldn't call this a BAD experience, just annoying.
'Nuff said; Ted wants the computer.

<3 J
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Total supper failure :-(

Sigh... here it is, for posterity.
~ Macaroni (wacky mac)
~ Tinned tomato soup
~ Tinned peas

At least nobody went to bed hungry
And we had a friendly time around the supper table

In my defence, Ted worked late and we had a busy day... went to Avra in the morning, then drove Ted to work, got pizza, took Naomi to her dance class, drove home, nummies, nap...
It was after 2 before I got any kind of a break.

Still, should have planned ahead, I guess. :-(

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I'm done!

Every article these days feels like a major, pulling-teeth level accomplishment. I'd like to think it gets easier with each one, but maybe I'm not quite there yet. Anyway, each one down is some type of feather in my pillow; someday, I'll lie back on the pillow I've "stuffed" one feather at a time and write easily again... oy, what a stupid metaphor.
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm procrastinating!

Supposed to be working on an article, but oh, well...I was actually dreading this weekend, but it's turned out not too horrible.

Took the bigs to mini-golfing last night. I decided at the last minute - Shabbos went out almost too late to do anything, but still too early to send the kids straight to bed. We hadn't planned ahead, but I told each of the kids they could bring a friend. YM's friend was busy, but Elisheva's friend Shula said yes, so then YM said he wasn't going... but he caved and had a great time. I accidentally left the scorecard behind when I returned the clubs (doh!) but kept the dumb little pencil (doh!), so I couldn't tell you who won. Pretty sure it was ME. :-)))

I had a bunch (ok, 3) of Craigslist/Freecycle pickups this morning, but it turned out they were all in the Junction, only about half a block apart. Scored a bag of prefold & flat diapers that I will turn into fitteds someday when the serger is working well again (:-((( sad face); Veggie Tales on vhs that we can maybe watch once or twice then off to Value Village; swapped a pair of Robeez for another pair in a bigger size... yay!)

This afternoon I was supposed to go tutoring, but first we (Ted, me, Elisheva & littles) went to Home Depot to look at stuff to build trellises. I've decided on a conduit trellis - it'll be made of cheapo electrical conduit (like water pipes but for electrical wire). Here's a picture of what one looks like. We priced everything out and it looks like we can get two four-feet-wide, five-feet-high trellises for under $30. I will either use string/twine or netting, depending on what's growing on them. I would like three, actually: one for each of the veggie beds I'm dreaming of, plus one for climbing/vining flowers like clematis. We'll see.

Since we left Home Depot, Naomi has been singing a little shushy semi-tuneless "Home Deeeeeepo" song under her breath. She loves going anywhere with us as long as she can sit in the shopping cart!

I had to run out right away to tutoring but I actually had a pretty good time. She seemed at first like she only wanted to know one thing AND like she was going to tell me what to do each class. Frustrating because she came to this two weeks ago knowing less than nothing about computers. But the truth is, it's nice to have an eager student, and as long as I'm a bit more assertive in response to her pushiness, we get along fine. ("Yes, we WILL look at shutting down the computer but it would be most helpful if you'd practice with the mouse for a few more minutes first.")

While I was up north, I stopped in at Sobeys and Joe Boo's Cookoo's and bought SUPPER for the entire family:
~ Medium wings - SIX POUNDS (doh! - bought way too many! paid $60!)
~ Roasty sweet potatoes (doh! - found out too late that mommy made roasty small white potatoes!)
~ Chinese noodles (doh! - yet another starch)
~ Salad (mommy provided this)
~ Hamentashen - prune

Oh... forgot to mention!
More WinterSowing (Royal Family Sweet Pea) as well as Indoor Sowing - last of the double-decker Echinacea and the goblin-ish Gaillardia.
In downstairs garden news, lots of parsley is up, if it can avoid damping off. I moved some to another level so it's not all crowded in and so if the dreaded fungus strikes, at least some may be spared. Butterfly bush (buddleia davidii) and petunias (free for SASE) are also up, teeny tiny seedlings that I hope will make it!. Bought some "No Damp" at "Home Despot" just in case.

Oh - again! In between all of that, I got Freecycled two bales of hay that I plan to use to grow tired potatoes. There were supposed to be three bales, but I'm not complaining. Took ten minutes in the parents' car and I am so happy to have a potato plan that doesn't involve killing them midway through their growth. If only I had potatoes ordered, but it's definitely on the "To Do" list.

And now, I really MUST write.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Shabbos dinner...

Sweet-sour crockpot meatballs but I did them in the oven.
Strawberry streusel muffins
Broccoli / potato kugel
Chicken Soup
And Shabbos lunch: 
Cholent, butter lettuce salad, rice/tuna salad?  Blah.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Unimaginable Violence

Nobody seems to understand why I find this cartoon mirthfully funny... I think it's British; North Americans tend to spell fish fingers as two separate words, I think. I love how casual the mother is and how prep-school the kids look. And they are genuinely afraid of the unimaginable violence. I can't even imagine it!

I found this coaster back when I was a single mother and it summed up my entire parenting attitude at the time: "go ahead, ask me what your choices are."These days, I like to think of myself as less bat-wielding and a little more flexible. But maybe I should bring back the bat for the upcoming Decade of Teenagers.

Hey! I'm an inventor! See this? (at left) I invented a little pipe-cleaner "spider" that sits on top of drinking glasses to turn them into little vessels for propagating windowsill coleus cuttings. I saw a site that suggested using chickenwire bent over the top of a glass, but really, who has spare chickenwire just lying around... now, pipecleaners, I have plenty! This really just has one simple twist in the middle to make an oval where the plant stem sits. It keeps the leaves out of the water so they don't rot and hopefully helps prevent the stem from "tipping" out of the water and drying up completely. The coleus seem happy so far... ;-)

Oy - what a week!
Abi was in for a visit - nice as always.

I've already told you about Monday... on Tuesday, Ted was off work and I scheduled a million different things. Naomi had her "school birthday" at Mrs ViKi's and then an interview, then tutoring in the evening.

The lady I'm tutoring - the one whose laptop power supply was broken last week - called to cancel because she wasn't feeling well, then decided I could come at 8 pm, an hour later than we'd planned... but by then, I was so tired, having a rough day with the baby, I figured it would throw my entire everything out of whack so I said I couldn't come so late. OK, being totally honest, she sounded like she had a cold, and okay, I'm mildly phobic about catching colds.

Today, she called back to beg me to come on Sunday (1:30 pm) AND next Tuesday (7 p.m.) evening. Money is nice - how the heck can I complain? But I was really looking forward to Rabbi Zauderer's Book of Esther class after the promising first session.

Plus, tutoring is easy work, but I guess I was hoping to postpone doing anything until he's reliably on solids so he's not so dependent on me. Everybody asks why I can't leave a bottle. Funny, the people who ask are the ones who KNOW I'm still nursing Naomi and don't have a boob to spare...

I wish I could write this while I'm standing at the sink washing dishes... I always have my best thoughts then.

I was also thinking about local food, because our Good Food Box yesterday STILL had a surprisingly large quantity of local produce, even though nothing's been growing for months and months. Potatoes, carrots, I don't remember what else. They are not entirely compulsive about local food (they include bananas, for example, and oranges, etc), but the packing list shows an asterisk next to the local items and I love looking & becoming aware of what's local, what's seasonal, etc. Especially seeing almost all asterisks in the summertime... I wouldn't exactly call myself a strict locavore but maybe awareness is important, too.

Of course, that got me thinking about literary locavores because Sara's reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I recently read Plenty, about a Vancouver couple who take on a 1-year, 100-mile diet. I enjoyed the book - I love almost all food books - but couldn't help thinking this is a strange and perhaps disturbing trend, taking something on for one year. Whether it's eating local or living Amish (oy, what was that living-amish-for-a-year book called - unplugged-something?!?!)... I think I could take on anything for a year if I knew a) I could cheat a little sometimes and b) there was a book deal at the end of it.

So is it a problem? Usually, the authors come out changed for the better, or at least, have to have it seem that way for the book to sell.

But I can't help thinking of how long and hard and wearying my journey is and how lousy a book it would make because there are no trite conclusions and the whole story has been kind of messy, frankly. What would I call it? "My Twenty Years in Judaism" (well, not really, because I've been Jewish almost twice that long) I could call this blog "My Year in Suppers" but I don't know if I could keep up a year... and there's never really a way out of suppers; I suppose I'll be making them more or less every night for the rest of my life.

SO. To sidestep all that navel-gazing stuff entirely (if I was in the military, could that be "naval-gazing" ???), here's a glimpse of Naomi's "evil face". It's a regular smile, with teeth. The teeth come out when she's about to bend Gavriel Zev's hand backwards, or taunt Elisheva Chaya, or punch Yerachmiel Meir for "coming into her kitchen" (ie sitting on the sofa). Her siblings all love her to bits, but we could all do without her more demented side.

Gavriel Zev's sleep is still totally messed up. Five months old... night sleep seems to be getting somewhat better but I'm still in the living room until he reliably goes through the night. Ted says he was up every hour last night, but just sighed around a bit and went back to sleep. But his day sleep is completely ruined.

No matter what I do, he cries and screams terribly and won't sleep. If he cries right away, it's a good sign - he may fall asleep and then sleep for a while. If he goes to sleep right away, that's bad. That means he'll be awake in 45 minutes and scream - for hours if necessary - until we pick him up. 45 minutes is NOT ENOUGH SLEEP.

So far this week, I have tried:
~ Pick him up, feed him, change him, cuddle him back to sleep... result: woke up soon after, screamed
~ Let him cry... result: crying escalated to screaming, which never stopped
~ Try to intercept the cry and feed him before he fully wakes up... result: again, didn't get back to a good sleep.

The good: morning sleeps are doing okay. Night sleeps seem to be improving. But I need need NEED him to have a good afternoon nap so he isn't out-of-his-mind tired in the evening. :-(((

Article deadline tomorrow: can you tell I'm procrastinating?


Tuesday: Abi was here... pea soup and what else...? Hmm... Ted was here, he'll remember.
Wednesday: Oven-baked polenta with broccoli, mushroom & onion sauce; muy delicioso! And some winey carrots, yum.
Thursday (tonight): More pea soup! And I ordered pizza (I deserve it after so many great suppers!) And wedgey potatoes on the side.

What did we have on Tuesday...???
Oh, yes!

Tuesday: Ted-made salmon, french green beans (I think) and pea soup. Or were the green beans on Monday? Anyway, needless to say, there was a plop of veggies on the side.

Ted wants meatballs for Shabbos. Maybe I'll make the crock-pot ones again. Doesn't really save time but it feels like it does to use the crock pot.

ONE MONTH 'TILL SPRING. Think I can make it?
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New CJN article - author Sarah Mlynowski

Here it is!
<3 J

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Where do I start?

Yesterday was Family Day in Ontario! So, of course, Ted was working, Elisheva had school, and my father asked if I wanted to earn a few $$$ doing some data-entry at his work, which was closed that day. He gave me the key to the office and said the door was fiddly, but if I played around with the thumb-thingy, it would eventually open. Fine.

Naomi had a playdate (yay!) in the a.m. and then we rushed home for lunch, nummies, nap. YM was home and EC had an early day at school because of the holiday, so I ran around getting all 4 kids organized for 1 pm when my mother was coming to babysit. She came early, I got out the door just a few minutes past and got downtown really fast - no traffic! Quick stop at 7-11 for a productivity-boosting snack and I was on my way across the street to the old U-Lock-It.

Then I couldn't get the door open. There were two keys: one to the padlocked outer gate (because it's right downtown at College & Spadina; I guess to discourage people from sleeping on the stoop), and one to the locked (fiddly) wooden door to the building. So the padlock was no problem; I locked it again behind me because I didn't want to have to lock the inner door again while I was working. But then the wooden door was IMPOSSIBLE! I jiggled it and turned it this way & that and it would not open.

After about five minutes, that seemed longer although thankfully it wasn't too cold, I decided it was never going to open. I opened the padlock, let myself out, locked it again and went to find a payphone to call my father. Fifty (!) cents later, he was on his way and I went back to wait on the steps.

Figuring I'd be productive while I waited, I decided to fiddle with the door lock some more. Open padlock, open gate, close gate, lock padlock, fiddle, jiggle, twist the wooden door key... and guess what? Yeah, it opened. I ran inside to call my dad and tell him not to come, but by then there was no answer. Aargh.

SO - again, wanting to be productive. I quickly booted the computer, ran around collecting all the information cards I'd be entering, loaded up the spreadsheet I'd prepared the night before... busy time! I was looking out the window for my father as I laid out the keys carefully on the desk so I'd take them when I left, arranged my snack, started entering the records, and actually started getting into my data-entry groove when I spotted him out on College Street, peering up and down the street, looking for me.

I knocked on the window but he didn't hear... so out I ran! Through the inner office, outer office, and opened the wooden door to call him. He didn't hear me calling, so I went right to the gate and called him again. He turned around and saw me, looking slightly dismayed that he'd just headed all the way downtown for NOTHING. Looking around sheepishly, because I was all set and ready now (even had a snack!) for an hour or more of steady work, I said, "well, do you want to come in?" He said, "sure."

Then I looked behind me at - you saw this coming, I'm sure, but I had no clue - the LOCKED WOODEN DOOR. With the KEYS INSIDE.
There was just this awful, sad moment of "there is no turning back," just like when you total a car, and you realize immediately that you'll never drive it again (ask me how I know this!). They were my father's keys... they were inside. The office was closed until the next day. May as well go home.

So I looked at him, about to voice this sentiment, when I saw - the PADLOCKED OUTER GATE. With the KEYS INSIDE.
I was locked, not just OUT OF THE OFFICE, but IN the stoop of the building.

Well, well. At that point, there is no awful, sad moment. There is just - wow, this is just about the worst-case scenario. "I'll have to climb out," I said.
I haven't climbed anything since I was about seven, if ever... I don't remember ever being bold about climbing, maybe because I always figured I was a frail child, going back to my broken arm in grade one. Anyway, four kids and a hundred pounds later, climbing is even LESS my strong suit.

But climb I did, using the padlock bolt to steady one foot, then wiggling and wrangling the other foot up and over the gate. Which was TALL. And, probably to discourage climbing over, there were about six inches of exposed square rod at the top of each bar. Certainly, it discouraged me... especially while it was poking my tushie and leaving my skirt extremely compromised.

STILL. There wasn't much choice, although my mother later said we could have called the cops to break the padlock. This was better, right? Better to have an Adventure!
With all my weight on my father's shoulder, not looking down the nine feet or so to the concrete sidewalk, we eventually got me DOWN from the top of the gate, and my father drove me, car-less, home (car keys were inside, remember?).

Later on, my mother drove me downtown to retrieve the car (with Ted's keys)... we needed it first thing this morning.

And that was my day yesterday. Any questions???


Oooh! The yummiest supper! Ted said "there are hamburgers in the freezer" but I didn't really feel like hamburgers. When my mother came to babysit, she asked for pizza sauce and we gave her our last tin, which, of course, made me realize what I really really wanted was PIZZA. So I made a yummy herb dough - dried herbs, but yummy-smelling. Even though I'd just given away (to my mother) our last tin of sauce - I was so frazzled from the Locking-Out Incident; I just wasn't thinking. Then I looked in the fridge: no cheese. ("You know I always have cheese." - Mommy)

Brainwave! I'd make individual mini-pizza-wrapped hamburgers, with tomato sauce, mushrooms and onions inside. And believe it or not... that's exactly what I did. Elisheva helped me flatten the dough into eight little pizzas and the wrapping was surprisingly easy. Wow! These were SOooo tasty, too. I pre-fried the hamburgers because they were frozen and wouldn't cook through in the time the outer bread "shell" was baking. They were incredibly moist and the bread had just the right amount of grease and flavour from the burgers. Lots of potchkying, but definitely worth the effort - I was very proud to produce any supper at all after such an awful day.

With French-style beans on the side. Blah.

(the interior picture looks kind of bloody & gross, but believe me: the tomato sauce, mushrooms & onions in there went a long way, moisture- and flavour-wise :-))))

Oh. More Oy...

I wish I could say that after the locking-out incident, nothing else went wrong yesterday, but Gavriel Zev also refused to sleep all afternoon... he cried and cried and cried before I eventually got him up. :-(((
After a couple of weeks of being not too bad, his sleep is all messed up again from the weekend, I'm afraid...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tonight's Supper - was a BIRTHDAY supper, obviously...

Made by Mommy.
Mommy-made everything:  pasta, onion soup, garlic bread.  Mmm... heavy on those starches, quite light on the veggie stuff that chills me from the inside in the middle of winter.
Ice cream.
MENTAL NOTE:  We LIKE onion soup and it's very simple.  I have ramekins downstairs and a circle cookie cutter to cut out rusks from ordiary bread.  Why don't we eat it more often?!?

This post's all about MEeeee!!!


So proud!

Albeit somewhat exhausted at the end of a LOOoong and exciting evening...
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The beluga

The elephant

More winter stuff!

Today's winter-sown seeds, all from SASEs:

~ Pink cleome
~ Liatris
~ Dianthus (sweet william)
~ Red Peony Poppy

The "boat" shaped supermarket chicken tub holds
~ Sweet Pea "Royal Family"

So many seeds... so little time!

I love how they look on these little benches... like they're just waiting for a bus or something to come along & carry them away.
I've been told it's important for them to get snow, rain and sun even while they're waiting for spring.
So I've lined them all up at the mercy of the elements.
Still SO dubious... :-)))
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Growing stuff!

Coleus Count: 25!

Here are today's new potlings... pretty runty.

Most of the sturdier ones have been moved from the greenhouse to the open countertop; I want to keep the greenhouse from getting too crowded and moist, since the seedlings are having damping-off issues. :-(

Here are some coleus seedlings from an SASE that came up, but now I am afraid they have damped-off and wilted. :-(((
The season is already getting off to a horrid start.

BUT! The butterfly bush seeds (buddleia davidii) have sprouted!!!
Please, please, PLEASE... don't let the damp and fungus of this horrid, horrid house get to them.
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This rocks... ;-)))

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The boy had it!!!

Oy!  I had already offered him a reward, too... he MOVED them!  Yay!  Now, to fit it into the box...
<3 J
(very tired from searching late last night... remind me to wring his neck after I give him his 2 mini-eggs reward)


I have lost one of Sara's birthday presents.  :-o

Friday, February 15, 2008

Shabbos supper

~ Challah
~ Soup / kneidlach
~ Spinach kugel
~ Corn
~ Chocolate chip cookies
~ Hmm... some kind of chicken - but what?  :-)))
Shabbos lunch:
~ Teriyaki salmon w/noodles - not proper udon noodles, though :-(
~ Cholent
~ Spinach kugel left over
~ Corn salad (yes, left over)
So tired.

What have I accomplished?

Here's my to-do list from Wednesday so I can see what I've accomplished.
Make supper!
Swimming lesson tonight
Finish Sara's present
Tutor new student on Skype (aaargh, I have never used Skype, and she's never used a mouse!) (made a mess of this, though)
Coordinate 1 visit and 2 major interviews for upcoming CJN education supplement article (now I just have to do the interviews, write the article, etc)
Decide what to make Naomi (I'm thinking a sock Beluga, but doubt my abilities to create a convincingly cute one)
Make up wipees for someone who's coming to pick up 48 of them on Friday
Feed & care for 2 little ones
Pick up or arrange drop-off of YM's new Palm
Not done:
Make supper!
& care for 2 little ones
Take care of YM over extremely long weekend... (he's off Thursday afternoon, Friday and Monday)
Make Naomi's gift
Prepare more wintersown flats
LAUNDRY!!!  I have not folded a single laundry item this entire week.  Guess what I'm doing tomorrow?  :-(
Shutting down now, I swear...

I'm selling Sara's Jammies!

How cool is that??? A pre-mama ordered 48 wipees, so I made them up using some cast-off partly-shredded jammie pants that she didn't want anymore. The full pants made 16 wipees each, the two pairs of boxers (foreground, left) made 8 wipees. The other side is some yummy sage sherpa that seems to go with anything.

There are also a bunch of teddy-bear wipes from a brand-new (I think) Value Village receiving blanket. Total cost: $0.99 for the receiving blanket, maybe $4 worth of sherpa. She's paying $24 - yes, they're $0.50 each, and make a wonderful baby present for cloth diapering parents. If they're for a gift, I use nicer, newer flannel.

But still... 50 cents apiece for 6" squares of used-up jammies. That's almost more than Elvis's jammies would go for, or chunks of the Berlin wall. (do they still have those?)

Looking at the pictures, these are definitely "seconds" in appearance... the stripes and plaids don't match up at all and many are nowhere near square. Still - think about what they're going to be used for and I think you'll agree that it's a pretty forgiving application.

Elisheva came in while I was cutting up the jammie pants and made a face at the thought of reusing worn-out jammies at all. Then she reached for her Kleenex box - I bought her "mentholyptus" Kleenex for school that she claims smell too disgusting to bring to school.

I stopped her from taking a Kleenex, saying she could use a hankie while she's at home and she said, "Ew! The same one other people have used?!?" She reminds me of her grandmother... who I seem to remember (from who knows where) can't bear the thought of hankies.

I guess this isn't the time to bring up reusable menstrual products with Elisheva, is it? :-o

I was out all day - tutoring, Sara's party, so Ted made pasta with red peppers, frozen p's&c's on the side.

Tutoring was awful. It was new people I've never been to before. And then everything that could go wrong did. I was late for 11:00 a.m., couldn't get the laptop started, first it was Vista, then the Internet connection kept dropping and finally the battery died because the power supply wasn't getting power from the wall to the computer for some reason. I was supposed to be there for an hour, but stayed more than two (they did pay me for two, unlike other people who annoy me by rounding drastically down) and when I left, I left them with instructions to call Dell and solve the power supply problem. Not happy with the way I resolved it, but I kept thinking of Ted home with the frantic baby (he went from 9:30 to 1:30 - eek).

We got some great garden benches! FINALLY... this was a Craigslist pickup that I've been trying to arrange, literally, for months. Two for $20! Also picked up in the garbage two tomato cages, a wooden planter, two bushel baskets... no idea what I'll use those for. They're all in the garage, waiting for spring. Oh, and a bucket from ice melting crystals. I want to wash it out, have Ted drill it, hang it up, and use it as an upside-down tomato bucket.


<3 J
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Is it cheating...?

...To look at pictures on Etsy as I sew and dream of the day my talent will grow in, like wisdom teeth?
~ Superstore supermarket roast chicken
~ Kellogg's Stovetop Stuffing
~ Roasty tinned potatoes (lots of oil & onion soup mix as our friend Modia suggested!  mmmm...)
~ Tinned french-style green beans
Wow!  A well-rounded meal, tons of starch, and only about 3 seconds of "cooking" (ok, dumping out tins into pots - does that count as cooking?)
But today was our early day aka hell day, with Naomi's swimming and me swimming and Elisheva's "knitting" class (they've apparently given up on knitting; she's sewing yet another bag).  And all the snow and Ted getting home late because I had the car.
Anyway, it was nice to have an easy supper.  What did I do with all the time I saved?  You'll see... :-)))  :-P

To Do List

OK, I'm very overwhelmed this week...
Make supper!
Swimming lesson tonight
Finish Sara's present
Tutor new student on Skype (aaargh, I have never used Skype, and she's never used a mouse!)
Coordinate 1 visit and 2 major interviews for upcoming CJN education supplement article
Prepare more wintersown flats
Decide what to make Naomi (I'm thinking a sock Beluga, but doubt my abilities to create a convincingly cute one)
Make up wipees for someone who's coming to pick up 48 of them on Friday
Feed & care for 2 little ones
Take care of YM over extremely long weekend... (he's off Thursday afternoon, Friday and Monday)
Pick up or arrange drop-off of YM's new Palm
Finished Auctionwire article - yay!  Slowly but surely...
I guess this is all manageable.  I wonder if there's anything I'm forgetting.

Overheard on the Internet...

From a discussion of unusual names here:  "don't you think LaTweesha and Shaniqua would find Elisheva and Yerachmiel just as odd?"
Umm... yes... okay.
We have a running joke here now:  on Judge Judy, there was a girl who'd been given the unfortunate name "Latrina".  Okay to that too.  I mean, it sounds SO pretty, but it's just SO wrong.
Did I mention I was going to bed?
Dum dee doo... This is me... going to bed!


OMG, this video has 147 views:
Don't click the link.  It is the dullest, most tedious video.  No sound either; we did it with the old camera.


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New Video

Dumb antics of the big kids from last night can be seen here:

More good food looking gross

So here's how supper turned out. I was so exhausted, I didn't even bother fluffing up the rice, but it was yummy anyway. The fish was on the bland side but everybody ate tons. Carrots well-received; to me, they taste just like tinned so why bother, but I am the only one here who likes tinned carrots, apparently.

Naomi sat in her chair and cried until I let her eat the rest of her bagel with cream cheese from lunch. She did eat all her carrots, but refused to eat the remaining micro-taste portions of supper food - like 1" square of fish and ten grains of rice...
... and here's the weather outside tonight. Doesn't look it, but it's completely awful. But I'm proud of myself: I went to a shiur - for a change! First in a long time. We're doing Megillas Esther. I was so dreading it, almost on a scale with dental work. I figure it doesn't get much more tedious than Purim. I mean, it's one day, ten minute megillah, easy stuff. But it's fascinating.

Did you know the Purim story, that short book that you can speed-read in 10 minutes, takes place over a span of nine years? I mean, I should have known that, but never did. That totally explains a lot, like why Achashverosh doesn't remember the incident with Mordechai and the conspiring guards.

Rabbi Zauderer, who's teaching the class, also described the depth of Esther's tragic heroism in the most fascinating way.

She was married to Mordechai at the start of the story - the tzaddik of her generation, a wonderful, incredible man, but she debases herself to be with the horrid Achashverosh. They couldn't write it that way in the megillah because it was written while Achashverosh was still alive - big trouble unless they find a diplomatic way to word everything. That's also why there's no mention of God in the megillah. There are actually many hints and subtle references, which hopefully he'll get to over the six (?) weeks. Anyway, Esther debases herself to be with Achashverosh, not just for the duration of the story, but forever... she's stuck with him for good, even after the story ends.

He said the gemara talks about Esther sneaking out of the palace to be with Mordechai even after she's been chosen by Achashverosh. How? Because being with the king was involuntary - she would have lost her life if she hadn't - it could be considered a rape... and after a rape, a woman is still permitted to her husband. However, the last time she went to Achashverosh in the story, remember that she was afraid because he hadn't called her? That time, it was finally not considered a rape... she intentionally lowered herself to save her people. But because it was voluntary, she was forever cut off from being with Mordechai.

The good news is that they had a son, Daryavesh (Darius), who was Jewish & brought about the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash. Bad news: stuck with that horrible man forever.

At least, that's what I think he said. The only bit that I'm slightly confused about is that I thought you are supposed to give your life rather than have certain licentious sexual relations... that being one of the three things, including idolatry and murder, that are worth giving your life for. Will have to ask about this next time.

Wrote most of an article! Just have to trim it down to size... almost 1200 words at the moment. Ted reads through it and just says cut this and this and this. Ha. Easy for him to say, and he's always suggesting I cut out my favourite, most essential bits. The infuriating part is that he's usually right.


<3 J
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Supper - and why suppers?

OK, I just realized I never explained WHY I'm blogging our suppers...
Basically, making supper every day is NOT in my nature.  I'm not saying it is for anybody, but I see myself as totally the spoiled take-out princess type.  Before I had kids, I basically did eat take-out or junky non-food, literally for every single meal.  Even when the big kids were little, we often did.  But these days, everybody's growing and I made a conscious decision at some point that we'd have REAL suppers most of the time... maybe it's just called Growing Up - who knows?
Anyway, so I'm doing this to keep tabs on myself and convince myself that regular supper-making is an accomplishment to be proud of.  If staying home is my career, however-many years of decent suppers is going to be quite a notch on my résumé... so to speak.
Tonight's supper:
Oven-baked breaded sole
Oven-fried rice (the same one we had last Shabbos, bc it was so yummy!)
Honey-ginger carrots (fresh, not tinned - yay!)
Naomi's awake - bye!
<3 J

Monday, February 11, 2008

A yummy supper that looks yucky!

But first... more winter sowing! I sure hope this thing works!!!

Yesterday was Rudbeckias, including "Black-Eyed Susan" from a GardenWeb sase that I don't think is really Rudbeckia. Plus hostas, plus cosmos, plus... umm... embarrassing, but I forget. ETA: I remembered! Butterfly weed aka milkweed. Should do fine outside considering they grow wild in the backyard anyway. But these are 4 colours... lovely!

Planted my first indoor tray, too! Tons and TONS of parsley - my goal is to keep those bad bugs off my veggies by luring them with parsley. One little plant last year just did not do the trick. Plus buddleia davidii (butterfly bush), plus Petunias, also free SASE seeds from GardenWeb. Can you tell I'm trying to get more butterfly action here this summer? The cosmos are hopefully to attract other good bugs.

So here's the yummy supper that looks yucky:
~ Somewhat Helped Hamburger

I promise, it's better than it looks... basically beef & tomato stuff (crushed; we're out of diced, plus a tin of condensed tomato soup)
I'll probably just do frozen corn on the side... going into corn withdrawal because of being out 2 Shabbos dinners in a row.
OK, what it really needs is cheese on top. So sue me.


<3 J
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