Weddings, chickens and food, hurrah!!

Well, its been a while since I posted, but lots has happend. I finally got my car back which is wonderful. We drove up to Wisconsin for Kevin’s Dad’s wedding… spent around 24 hours in the car, and about 30 hours actually *IN* WI. Not exactly the most fun weekend I’ve ever been on, but it wasn’t bad. Mostly just very expensive – $4/gallon gas is *not* conducive for traveling!!

On Monday when we got back, I called to find out where on earth our poultry fencing was to be told that it still hadn’t shipped! But, then somehow they got it shipped out that day, and it finally came today. Minus the electrifier. Ugh. The fence itself seems very nice though – super easy to set up, move around, adjust etc. I really can’t wait to let them out tommorrow and let them just run around for the first time outside! They about bum rushed me out the gate this morning when I went out to feed and water them. Hopefully the charger will come tommorrow…

On the gardening front, last night I stayed home from Tae Kwon Do and got a whole bunch of peppers planted (like… 24ish??), which was good cause’ tis definetly ‘that time of year’ to get stuff planted, you know? Also got three zucchini plants planted too… that’ll be wonderful. I’m gonna have zuccini comin’ outta my ears! I can’t wait to eat zucchini bread for breakfast every morning again!! 😀 😀 Might just have to figure out a way to preserve it for teh winter too… though I haven’t a clue how to!!

Then, today, I got some tomatoes planted – 23 to be exact. Plus the two we planted a couple weeks ago… I think we have space for about that many yet… so if its nice tommorrow maybe I’ll run over to Skipper’s and see about getting some more 😀 I’d also like to get some more peppers yet, but maybe I’m crazy. We’ll see.

For dinner tonight I made “Piglet DH’s Lentil Curry” from this thread on Mothering.com’s forums. It was *wonderful*! I made my own ‘chili past’ by soaking chili caribe in warm water for a few minutes, then blending it up and mixing in some chili powder to make it extra thick, and Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste. I’ll definetly be making it again sometime, though I think I’ll try draining the lentils before adding everything else to them – by the time enough of the water had evaporated, they were totally mushy. But still very tasty!!

Tommorrow is Fra Diavolo Shrimp, which is one of our favorites. Its soo good and easy to make, especially with fettucini/linguini noodles. I think I have enough but I might make them fresh, haven’t quite decided. I love my pasta rolling machine – its soo easy to use, and really quite fun. We’ll see.

Gardening & cooking

So, tonight I made Spicy Red Beans Indian Style, with basmati rice and a salad. It turned out pretty good, with lots left over to take up to my grandparents tomorrow. Last night I made spaghetti, so we’ll be taking some spaghetti sauce up too. I think dad should be capable of cooking rice and noodles to go with them. I’m still amazed at how much I like cooking and eating vegetarian meals to be honest. I never thought I’d be able to even consider being a vegetarian, but I really think I could do it these days. Mostly, anyways.

It’s been pretty nice outside the past few days, which has been awesome. We got tomatoes & peppers started upstairs and green onions (yellow & red), planted outside on Tuesday. Then today we planted 22 rows of lettuce, spinach, mustard and arugula outside. I really hope everything comes up and does well. Its the first time I’ve planted anything in a really long time. I think the last time I did any actual gardening myself was when I grew a giant pumpkin in like 1997 or 98. A long time ago, basically.

hmmm

Last night my dad moved up to Canton to stay with his parents for two weeks, maybe longer. My aunt’s been staying with them for the past couple weeks helping to take care of my grandma. All of which means that for the next two weeks, and possibly longer, Kevin, Andros & I have the house to ourselves. Which is kind of wierd. We haven’t all lived together, with just each other, in almost a year. So, I think it’ll be nice to have a little ‘us’ time.

Tonight, Kevin got to grill for the first time in a long time – a leg of lamb. It turned out very good, and so we got to feast on lamb, sweet potatoes and sprouts. Mmm mmm good!!

On Wednesday I made mushroom-cheese ravioli with fresh pasta. It was VERY good, though the pasta was definetly too thick since I just couldn’t get it to roll out any thinner. I’ve definetly decided I want/need a pasta rolling machine if I ever think I’m going to be making fresh pasta. And if they’re really as easy to use as it sounds like I think I probably would. Rolling it by hand is just way too hard and way, way, way too time consuming!!

On the sad side, this week include my cousin passing away from pancreatic cancer. He survived for longer than most, but ultimatly he too succombed. His struggles have made all of us think about what we would do if we were diagnosed. And no-ones too sure. He spent lots of time and money fighting th disease… On saturday we went to dinner with most of the family. It was a nice time, nice way to remember him…

Lifeguarding

Today I had my first lifeguarding class. It was a long, but interesting class. The first half was all classroom work, which was basicly going through the book and reading brief passages and being told to study this or that, and what our homework was (of which there is lots!!). Kind of a wierd way to ‘teach’ but I suppose it works OK. The second half, was all swimming. Lots, and lots of swimming. I’m definetly going to be getting into shape, of that I have no doubt. I’m not sure how many laps we did but it was at least 20 or so.

I made blueberry pancakes for breakfast this morning, which turned out very good. I suspect cooking breakfast is going to become fairly standard for me over the next several weeks, at least once or twice a week. That and early dinners.

For dinner I made “wendy’s chili” – which is of course just american chili made in the same style as Wendy’s. It turned out very good, as usual. Tomorrow will inevitably be Kevin’s “Irish Nacho” creation, which is just french fries with chili & other nacho toppings (cheese, jalapenos, onions, etc) on top.

Life & Politics

Yesterday we finally got up to Canton to see my Grandma, who broke her left leg last weekend. She was in the hospital down in Columbus till Thursday when she was transferred up to a rehab center in Canton. She looked OK, but was pretty out of it when we saw her. Personally, I think its the drugs for pain that she’s on that are making her a little loopy.

Anyhow, when we came home I made Braised Lentils Moroccan Style, which turned out very good. I’m having so much fun cooking totally new things lately, its amazing. I haven’t made the same thing twice in weeks, and there’s still a lot of recipes I really want to try. As I cook more and more from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, I like it more and more. The recipes are good, easy, and mostly pretty quick.

On the political front, Clinton’s campaign just keeps getting slimier and slimier. First there were the “3am” commercials, which were far more fear-mongering and rovian than anything that Obama has ever put out. And now there’s talk that she’s trying to play dirty in Texas’ carcases? It’s really pretty sad that she’s ready & willing to do literally anything to win, even if it means breaking the rules and cheating to do it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

So, tonight for Valentine’s Day Kevin & I went and saw Jumper. It was really pretty decent, definetly not the best movie ever, but not bad. An interesting story line that obviously has at least one or two sequels in the pipeline already.

On our way back, we had a pretty decent conversation about outdoor lighting. So many houses have outdoor lights that are just “always on”, for no good reason.  Personally, I can’t figure it out. There is no logical, reasonable reason to have big, spotlights and such on all night long. They are a waste of electricity and are the main source of light pollution. In cities and towns, an argument might be made to have at least some lights on at night – for safety and security – but out in the country that argument just doesn’t hold water. So, I’m urging everyone that has these lights to think long and hard about their purpose. I realize this is all a bit disjointed and not all that well thought out, but just imagine how much electricty might be saved if we all just turned off these lights – there are literally millions of them in this country alone.

I made salmon with lemon butter and brown  rice pilaf. It turned out pretty good, though the salmon was definetly better than the rice. Tommorrow I’m planning on making stuck pot rice with lentils and yogurt. So far, most everything I’ve made out of Bittman’s vegetarian cookbook has been pretty good – last nights was my favorite so far (baked pinto beans enchilada style, with cooked tomatillo salsa).

Swimm’n

So, today we got up early and went in to the Tuscarawus YMCA. I did 30 laps (down and back), in right around one hour. It was a blast. I love swimming, love being in the water, and just swimming… We got signed up for First Aid, CPR & Oxygen, and I got signed up for Lifeguarding too. Kevin ran on the treadmills and did some other strenght training stuff. I went in and was first riding one of the reclining bicycles. One lady came up and was like “good for you!” then some guy came up an was like “YOU CAN”T DO THAT! OMG!!” and so… I stopped, and walked around the track (cause’ Andros just wanted to be doing SOMETHING), an then he was like “OMG you can’t be in here with him!! He’s a BABY!!” So… I left. How stupid. I meant to ask someone else and see what their response was… but meh, didn’t feel like it at the time. They do have childcare… but I’m just leery about leaving Andros with them, especially today as they were packed (cause’ no school, cause’ tis “too cold”), and it costs money ($2 a day or $12 for 10 visits), not a lot but, still. So, I just wanderd around the place untill Kevin was done an then we went grocery shopping an came home.

I made Lentils and Potatoes with curry and basmati rice and indian flat bread for dinner, and it was very good. Definetly the best thing I’ve made from How to make Everything Vegetarian so far. Overall just a really good day..

Food Fun

Ah, what a long, but good day. I had co-op so we went up to canton to work and pick it up. I really enjoy working coop, though I’m not really sure why. Its just a nice, semi-relaxing hour or so every few weeks I suppose. And its fun to see what everyone else is ordering/eating and what came in (and thus what we get to eat for the next month or so;). Sometimes I’ll see something that I didn’t order but that looks good, an then order it the next month (or the next time it comes up on sale/on the split list).

One of the folks who runs the co-op was telling me and another lady about Juice Plus+ and how great it is. She actually gave me a DVD about it by Dr Sears. I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet, but have searched about on-line a bit and am not impressed so far. There just doesn’t seem to be all that much science backing it up, and quite a bit that seems to indicate that any help its giving is probably most attributable to the placebo effect… but who knows 😀

We also stopped by the Raisin Rack after coop and I picked up some other random stuff we’d been needing. For dinner I made Spicy Red Lentils with Spinach, out of Nutrition Action. Nutrition Action is a really neat little newsletter that comes, I think, once a month. Its put out by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, who are totally independent. There’s no advertising, and they don’t take any funding from any corporations, so they don’t have the big conflicts of interest that so many publications do. In any case, the lentils came out very good, which makes me want to try some of their other recipes now too 😀 Its also made me very excited to get my new cookbook… it looks like it should be showing up here around the middle of this week (Tuesday/Wednesday). I can’t wait!!

Eating less meat

So I just ordered How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. I’ve been trying to learn to cook more vegetarian recipes and thereby eat less meat. So far though, I’ve been pretty much stuck on about 4 recipes – spaghetti squash, black beans & rice,vegetarian stir fry,tostadas… So, after seeing this at borders yesterday I came home and read lots of reviews on amazon. Most of the complaints seem to be along the lines of ‘hes not a vegetarian and talks about meat’ – but since we aren’t either, it doesn’t really worry me. In anycase I’m excited to get it and start cooking 2 or 3 or 4 meals a week vegetarian, and saving meat/fish for the weekends and special occasions. I’ll post about how I like it when it comes!

Tae Kwon Do class last night was very good. We did the usual stuff and then take downs and how to get OUT of take downs at the end of class… and then left the mats down so that we could actually practice our fighting steps after class. I’m feeling slightly better than I had been about testing on the 9th, though its still more than just a bit nerve wracking. I’m excited to go again tonight though, and practice some more. Its just very hard to do so here at home what with Andros running around, and the simple lack of space…

We went up to Canton yesterday, so we stopped and got Grandpa a longer printer cable, which made him very happy. Now he can actually pull it all the way out and not have it get caught or anything. We also found out that my Aunt Carol was in the hospital and got her appendix removed! Which got us wondering how you get appendicitis anyways. I mean, is it like a virus/disease or does your appendix just randomly quit working properly?? Maybe I’ll look it up and figure that out sometime…

Thinking

Well, ok, try again. I just had a nice long well-thought out post and its gone now! Bah. Not a good start 😦 So, here goes, again!

I really wish I would have started writing last year about this time. So much has happend in the past year. I got married last august, my son was born in March, Kevin got in a motorcycle accident in June, and then his step-dad in a motorcycle accident in October (insane, I know). Our lives have changed so much, and I have basicly no record of it. It really makes me quite sad when I think about it. But, oh well. I suppose we all have regrets…

Kevin is basicly back to “normal” now, which is absolutely amazing. I was so worried for so long that I would never have him back… and he is now, mostly. His brain’s still not quite where it was pre-accident, but its getting better, getting closer every day. And, at least he realizes it now, somewhat. Which, wasn’t true just a couple months ago. Whether he’s actually getting better or just hiding it well (which implies that he IS in fact better, I suppose?), I’m not entirely sure. But, either way at least it seems like I can talk to him and hold a decent conversation.

Physically hes probably 90% back. He actually went and ran today for the first time He ran about 1.5 miles in just over 11 minutes! Which is just awesome, especially since its what he’ll have to run to pass the OPOT (Ohio Peace Officers Training), course in 8 months 😀 I really hope that it (the OPOT) goes well, and he ends up with a decent job doing something he likes. Even if we do have to move out and get our own place.

Andros is amazing. Theres no other way to say it. He’s gotten so big, so fast its pretty hard to believe that 9 months have already gone by. It seems like he was just learning to roll over yesterday. And, now he’s up crusing along the furniture, learning to stand unassisted, crawling around and opening cupboards and getting into just EVERYTHING!!

I’m trying to learn to cook more different things. Stir fry and pasta are good, but something different is always good, you know? So, I’ve been trying to make at least one or two new things every week. Its been pretty hit & miss, but lots of fun. I find that I’m making fewer and fewer things exactly as the recipe calls for them and modifying stuff more and more. Plus, now that I have deer and lamb to cook with its opened up a whole new area of cooking… I’m a huge fan of AllRecipes.com partially cause the recipes tend to be pretty good, and partially cause of the community’s super helpful reviews… I have so many cook books that just sit on the shelf though, its really pretty sad…. probably should ebay them (along with a bunch of other stuff).

I’m also thinking about going back to school, possibly for something with computers. Both my Dad and Kevin keep telling me I should, so maybe I will. I just have to figure out how I’m going to do it with Andros. Online classes would be nice, but some part of me doesn’t know how I’d really do with just online classes.

Anyhow, thats been our year in a nutshell.