Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's heeeerrrre!

Makes 30 batches - up to 40 pounds of cheese. Fresh mozzarella in less than an hour! What's not to like about that?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Not your traditional storytime

Joe found our collection of Dr. Suess tonight and that made me recall another reading of Green Eggs & Ham. Not the best quality video, unfortunately. For further entertainment you can see Christopher Walken read the Three Little Pigs . Enjoy

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Paradise by the Grocery Store Lights

So, we were driving along in the minivan when I realized that it's Saturday night. Other people in the world were going to movies or dinner, getting ready to go out dancing, or having a party with friends. We, however, were on a family trip to the grocery store (Lucy stayed in the van). In honor of Saturday night we used the car cart. There are occasionally these moments where it becomes crystal clear that your life is completely different than it used to be.

I had another moment when a friend of mine resumed DJ-ing after being off the air for over 10 years. I remember when he was on the radio before and we would go out for a beer, talking for hours about our love lives. Back in the present, and once again in the minivan, I turn up the radio and yell to the back seat "Joe, that's Emma's daddy!"

The most striking moment, though, was the trip to Burger King. We were getting out of the minivan (are you noticing that the minivan really seems to emphasize my life as a parent?) when I look across the street to the porch where Kirk and I met. The porch where we spent many nights sitting for hours with a group of friends, drinking box o' wine and having what seemed at the time to be very, very deep discussions. I thought for a moment about what that 23 year old girl on that porch would think about this mommy with her kids going in to feed them high fat, industrial food. She would not have been kind about my conventional, boring life. Little would she know how happy I am.

Life is drastically different than it used to be. Thank God.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cheesy idea

I'm continuing on with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and last night was reading about cheese. Apparently it's very easy to make - mozzarella in under an hour! Guess what my family's doing at my house this Christmas? I may try a test run in the coming weeks. I don't know how long it takes to receive an order of supplies, but anyone interested in a group cheese event? Could make a great gift.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Warning! This post contains political ranting.

So, which presidential candidate are you supporting? I'm really torn and would love to hear what others are thinking. Of course, as a democrat in Kansas, it doesn't really matter what I think. I'm somewhat resentful that I have absolutely no say in who represents my party in the election. Last time around I had to support this guy that other people thought was the most electable. You have got to be kidding me. I am already preparing myself to vote for the lesser of two evils. I think the problem is that those people who would really be a good president are too smart to run. I'm concerned about the field because I don't think any of them will really address the problems that exist in our country. I would like to believe that someone will actually do something about our health care system, address poverty, end the war, and truly help the country come together to end global warming. But that's not going to happen. I'm trying diligently to not worry about global warming, even as the news reports are getting worse and worse. I just ride my bike to work, hang the clothes on the line, and write to my representatives and the president. Worrying won't do anyone any good.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Flick Picks

I've been loving Net Flix! I have been eating up movies like crazy. It's even inspired me to take another look at what we have at the library. Here's a list of my recent favorites:
Mostly Martha - A German film about an uptight chef who ends up taking on a niece when her sister dies. There's also a guy, of course. Best screen kiss I have ever seen in my life.
Murderball - A documentary about quadriplegic rugby. This movie completely changed the way I look at disabled people. It's amazing.
Stranger than Fiction - Friends gave this mixed reviews but I loved it. Will Farrell plays a boring IRS worker who realizes one day that he is actually a character in a book. This sounds ridiculous, but with a stellar cast it turns out to be rather intense.
Sweet Land - This is an independent American film. Olaf is a Norwegian farmer in the upper Midwest in 1920. His parents tell him they have found him a bride in the old country and if he wants they will send her. They neglect to tell him that she's German, which doesn't go over too well in post-war America. This is a beautiful movie about love and acceptance.
Please let me know about others I must see!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Playing in the park

We played in the park and our friend Katherine took these pics. The beautiful baby that you don't see as often on our blog is her daughter, Ari.

A Truly Merry Christmas

I just finished Hundred Dollar Holiday: the case for a more joyful Christmas by Bill McKibben. What a great book! Kirk and I are constantly looking for ways to make life better while also staying within our means. We probably aren't going to get down to $100, but it gave us ideas for buying happier and better for the world. This has been a long time struggle of mine - to make life simpler, less expensive, and less wasteful while still making life good. I don't want to be cheap or selfish. I want to live my values AND have fun. McKibben has some great ideas for achieving this, talking about how all that commercialism really gets in the way of having a great Christmas.

We're celebrating Christmas with Kirk's family this year. These people have it together. For one thing, the main feature is the meal. Everyone likes to cook and everyone likes to eat so there is always new recipes and great food. The gift exchange is almost a side show after the meal. They also draw names among the adults so that really cuts down on spending. They also like playing games, are actually quite competitive about it.

We picked up some gifts today at our annual church fundraiser. Along with the wonderful German Mennonite meal, they also sell crafts from Ten Thousand Villages and Equal Exchange coffee, tea, and chocolate. I love this stuff. This is the one time of year that we let ourselves go a little crazy with the checkbook. I can't give away details because some of my recipients read this blog!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Can't make it to Howie's?

I’m rarely ever on campus so I’m sure this is old news (the link is to a post from May 2007), but I just found out today and thought I’d mention it. I saw an ad for Go Green Curbside Recycling. Best wishes to the entrepreneurs - it’s been at least, oh, about 10 years since the last private attempt at this. The history has been that the business lasts until the individual graduates and moves on. At least it’s an option again for residents who don’t have the time to make the trip to Howie’s.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mission Accomplished

I finished my Jane Austen breakout session at the Celebrate the Book conference in Topeka! No one booed or threw anything at me. I had a very kind audience. They seemed to be as into Jane as I am, so it turned into a bit of a girl gab fest. Later in the day I saw laying on the bathroom counter one of the folders from the conference and two of the books I suggested, so someone liked what I had to say. AND I didn't start coughing until it was over. I've had a bad cold this last week, so I wasn't sure I'd make it through.

Now I'm excited to be reading something ANYTHING else. I'm reading The Worst Hard Time by Tim Egan. It's our One Book One Community choice for the year. It's depressing, but really well written. He has a lot of personal stories, so it doesn't get dry.

Thursday, November 1, 2007