Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanks Giving.

I am eternally grateful for my family, my incredible partner, my amazing children. I am grateful to our friend Zami, and all the other animal friends that have come and go. I am grateful for reasonably excellent health, for myself and so many of the people that I love. I am grateful there are clear streams and wild forests left. I am grateful for change, more so for the ++ than the negative, but it takes both kinds. I am grateful for the little things, like a working camera and enough money for christmas and chanukah gifts. I am grateful for a resilient economy, smart people helping me make hard decisions, and leadership when we really need it. I am grateful there are people doing it better than the USA, people to reach up to and admire. I am grateful for merciful death and joyful days of life, bright sunshine on hot sand and cool oceans, lakes and rivers. I am grateful for my own life, and for the time I have here to spend with people I really truly love.

So what's for dinner???

Well, I'm bringing some delectables...a veggie lasagna with tofu ricotta and home made spinach and tomato garlic sauce, plus a sweet potato stuffed squash (garahm marsala and pumpkin pie spiced), and coconut cream pumpkin pies. And cool whip, of course! Saraine will be bringing her green bean special, which is super nourishing. And I think there will also be bread, if Mary doesn't butter it. I think I may buy myself some corn bread stuffing to make down there, because tbh it's tough for me to think of Thanksgiving (capital T) without stuffing! I can totally do w/out the turkey, but no stuffing? Seems too harsh for moi. So I will likely do my own, though Mary has occasionally thought to make some outside the bird (but then she puts butter in it!). I'm a tough nut to cook for, that's for sure! And cranberry sauce is always nice, plus wine (always yummy!). And to me, folks, that is a MAJOR celebration of THANKS-GIVING! WOOT!

Monday, November 10, 2008

WHMS made prime time news this week, w/the new kinetic/solar water pump that Grace and Daniel's Mom and Dad, the Cavannaghs have built on the new playground. Sabre Technologies Inc. has done an incredible job getting the kids into the project, and helping them to learn about scarcity, poverty, peace, and giving - not to mention some science!

Lions and crocodiles and buffalos, oh my!

Holy mother of all animals - this is an impressive piece of natural wonder! It's about 8 min. long, and worth it!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Halloween Party 2008

Although somewhat out of sequence, I hadn't uploaded party pix before writing that bit about the election (which I am STILL in disbelief over, happy, but disbelieving!). So this will be out of chronological order, but hey - sue me!

Getting ready for the party:
- bowls of cool whip w/worms inside!
-getting the pile of hay ready!
-JAC at the BBQ making 'bat wings'

Hay hunt for kids, and adults!

It was loads of fun, everyone found something, some interesting stuff, some just fun! Over $10 was won in scratchies, I feel like it brings good luck to our household financially! Hey, a girl can hope, can't she!?

The kids also enjoyed some other activities, like a pumpkin pinata,

and a worm finding contest - gummy worms hidden in bowls of cool whip!

As well as a few things like a cluck hunt (quite a riot, actually), and a costume parade. The kids had a blast, the adults drank an astonishing amount of green punch - all in all a really fun party!

Gratuitous pics:

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

November 4th through Jan 20

November 4th we vote for the 44th President of the USA. Hail to the Chief! January 20th we bring on board the 44th President - on my son's 4th birthday! I have my reservations about them both, but I have so many about McCain that I just don't think it's worth going into here. Over a beer, maybe. ;-) Barak, I think, has just one potential failing point - so get ready to get po'd at me about that!

So what do I agree with that Obama professes he will either attempt to or accomplish? Well, for one, he's pretty honest about not being able to get it all done. He's said it, and I believe him. It's not likely he's going to change the face of American international diplomacy in the next 4-8 years. Or our economy, or our energy usage. Even if he tried really, really hard. That sucks, but it's honest.

Next, I think he's on the right track w/health care. It's a tricky subject, and one that state's right'ers will fight tooth and, well, the rest of their bodies, I suppose, but National Health Care is really the wtg. There are just too many Americans w/out jobs, insurance, savings, trust funds, and rich aunties who will bail them out if they get sick, or even just need something like a tooth pulled. Did you know it cost $200 to get a tooth pulled? Forget about replacing that tooth, just getting it pulled will cost a weekly allotment of food other than pasta for 10 weeks!

Further, I agree with his wisdom about leaving women to care for and decide about their bodies. Their pregnancies, their fertility (or sterilization), these are not national issues. How we got that backasswards, I just can't fathom.

I think Obama has a pretty good idea of where we need to get to in our energy policies, and I think he's got a pretty good plan for how to get there. Incentives to both the companies and individuals to make and use energy efficient houses, cars, appliances, lights, and figuring out how to recycle more of our waste is really a long term plan that can't be put off any longer. Seriously!

They are pretty close in their immigration policies, but honestly, I think McCain's idea of making it harder for the illegal immigrants living here to subsist, including prohibiting them from being insured, is cruel and not going to get them to leave - it'll just fill up emergency rooms and will cost MORE than the insurance itself. So not smart, imho.

I think where I might fall off the wagon w/Obama (though McCain was not really a better 'choice') is his national economic plan. He's inheriting a godforsaken mess of a national economy, and I really don't 'get' his plan to whip it back into shape. I googled it, I listened to it, I read it. I just don't quite get it. It's maybe too far from the macro econ. I took 20 years ago, or my head is totally not economically organized, or maybe it makes no sense (to me, to others? I dunno). But like I said, McCain's policy isn't any better.

The US Government is currently spending 600,000,000,000$ on wars (but not veterans). That's a lot of 0's. We've got the Emelda Marcos of tanks over here, and a tank cost a pretty penny these days! But, seriously, to spend that much money on something that has no positive impact on the American people is like totally wasteful and disrespectful to the Americans who work hard and pay taxes. So Obama has a plan that will wean us off this expenditure, and like all good addicts we will need to make the adjustment slowly. Having a bit more tax money around than we are used to is likely to shake things up a bit (and let's be honest, we could spend that money paying down debt or putting it into mortgages or investing in alternative energy, but why not just blow it on goofy stuff, since it's extra anyway!). I DO think it's only fair to give the Iraqi and Afghan people a chance to realize that w/out our soldiers there, they CAN make their countries livable, so a slow return to 'normal' will benefit them, and give our soldiers a segue into a peaceful reality. Poor soldiers. :-(

Well, that's about it - I could spew on about McCain and Palin, but tbh I just am sick of them. I really really really hope Joe and Barak get the chance to make a dent in the issues and problems we are facing - my gratitude to them for their incredible energy and hard work!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Omnivore’s Hundred

Here are the instructions:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (I wrote never, 'cause I can't figure out how to cross off in html)
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

Andy's Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros (but I've made a tofu version)
4. Steak tartare -never
5. Crocodile -never
6. Black pudding -never
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari -never
12. Pho -never
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart (as a kid in NYC)
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle -never
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream -never
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras -never
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese -never
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche -never
28. Oysters -never
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda -never
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl -never
33. Salted lassi -never
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea -never
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo -never
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects -never
43. Phaal -most likely never
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu -fever!
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel -truly would starve first. never
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin -never ever.
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi -never
53. Abalone -never
54. Paneer -never
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal -seriously doubt it.
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads -never
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs -never ever ever.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Haggis -truly never ever.
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette -totally never.
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini -oh no. not ever.
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost or brunost
75. Roadkill -unlikely
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail -never. period.
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini -never
81. Tom yum - probably never
82. Eggs Benedict -probably never.
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef -never
86. Hare (as in rabbit?) never.
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse -probably never.
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam -never ever!
92. Soft shell crab -never
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor -never
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake -never

Not eating seafood or dairy makes many of these moot, but also being vegetarian eliminates many that I once ate (like catfish and a hot dog from a street vendor (and lox!) that I actually miss sometimes.