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Going Crunchy

A friend of mine who has gone entirely organic (and started making all her own dairy products from raw milk that she gets from a local commune), inspired me to read "In Defense of Food." I skipped most of the first 2/3 (a history of the food production industry, mostly), and then only skimmed the last third (laughing at a fair amount of elitism and pseudo-science) - but I was still taken by the main concept - we should eat food, not "food products." So, I'm slowly trying to move towards buying only foods that contain no preservatives and no other ingredients that I cannot easily identify as occurring in nature. I'm not going to toss out all the Campbells soup and sugary cereals that I already have or anything. And I'm sure Lewis isn't going to give up Life or boxes of cookies. But, on the whole, I'm trying for a general shift towards organics (where affordable) or, at least, all-natural.

Also, I'm trying to take up bread making. This was going to be a piece of cake - until my bread machine kneading paddle turned up missing last night. I've looked EVERYWHERE. I'm beginning to become convinced that I must have accidentally thrown it away, mixing it up with a plate of crusts or something. SO, I'm going to give real, by hand bread making a go. Mom says it's easy. But, then, she says that every baking-related thing is easy. We shall see. If it isn't too hard, then the missing paddle may turn out to be a blessing. I've always preferred truly homemade bread to bread-machine bread anyway.

Also, as long as she hasn't killed them by not "feeding" them for too long, Alexandra is going to give me some kefir grains. I'm fascinated by the idea of using and reusing and reusing (I heard of a couple that reused their kefir grains for 6 years before they started being unreliable) globs of bacteria to make yogurt-like stuff. I hope it works out.

Plus, I'm finally trying out a batch of Amish Friendship Bread. Hey, Emily, in 8 days, would you like some starter to make some of your own? Nothing like leaving yeasty paste sitting on your counter for ten days!

Almost time to wake the kiddo up for Mass...

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The Grouchiest Person in the UNIVERSE!

This is a post mostly for the sake of thepresidentrix, but will be of interest to anyone who has read "Giraffes? Giraffes!"

So, I was looking at the Amazon page for "Giraffes? Giraffes!" to recommend it to a friend with several children: http://www.amazon.com/Giraffes-HOW-Doris-Haggis-Whey/dp/1932416978/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237566282&sr=8-1

Noticing that the book had 25 reviews, 23 of which were five stars, one of which was a four star, and only one of which was a one star, I decided to check out the one star review:

3 of 89 people found the following review helpful:
Unbelievably poor!, January 1, 2005
By Elizabeth Goett (Atherton, CA USA) - See all my reviews

"This review is from: Giraffes? Giraffes! (The Haggis-on-Whey World of Unbelievable Brilliance) (Hardcover)
Actually NO star would be the choice. What a disappointment!! There is absolutely nothing humorous or informative on any page! I wonder about the sanity of the author. Absurd nonsense with no redeeming humorous value is a terrible waste of good paper. I agree with the editorial review: Keep this away from children and anyone else you care about!"

HA! Apparently she missed the fact that "absurd nonsense" IS "redeeming humorous value"!
I HAVE PIE!!! I HAVE PIE!!! I HAVE PIE!!! (Also, I had a nice day today - 80 degree weather and a trip to the park with Samuel and thepresidentrix.)
News:

-morning sickness is still almost nill
-the front of the house got a fresh coat of pretty paint last week
-my parents just left on Friday, after a two week visit (Samuel was in heaven having so many people to dote over him)
-Samuel turns 1 yr this Thurs.
-we had an early birthday party for him, so that mom could make him an adorable giraffe cake
-our tax refund was so huge that it bought Samuel a dresser, paid for the house paint, and bought me a new laptop (to replace my seven year old dinosaur that could no longer get online)
-I never post anymore because it seems like I can never muster more than a facebook status update
-I'm sad spring break is over (mostly because it means that Lewis has to go back to work - I don't mind being back to work, but don't like being home alone)
-Samuel just came very close to dropping a large stool on his head... perhaps it's time to get offline...
My dad's helping us repaint our ugly green house. First step - taking off the strange, staggered shakes that separate the two brick halves of the house. What do you think we discovered under those shakes? PINK. Yes. Our ugly green house used to be an even uglier pink house. I guess that I should have expected it. I mean, our main bathroom is covered in pink tile. Anyway, this means that I am currently living in a green and pink house. Lovely. It's like living in a stale piece of Bubblicious watermelon bubble gum.

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I have an AWESOME new bed, thanks to thepresidentrix. She's my hero. Took me and my screaming baby all the way to Round Rock, to then figure out how to tie a box-spring and mattress to the top of her vehicle. Man, talk about a true friend.

Now I'm going to go lay on it!

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Samuel ate his first Cheerio today. Unfortunately, it didn't stay down, as a subsequent one caused him to gag and vomit. Poor kid. Apparently Cheerios are still a little advanced. I was impressed by how quickly he figure out how to pick them up, though. He pushed them around for a minute or two, then managed to pick a few up but dropped them before he could get them to his mouth - but within five minutes he'd gotten it all figure out. In order to let him keep practicing picking up small things, I think that I'm going to buy some of those Gerber puff things - they're like Cheerios but they dissolve easier, so that Samuel won't be as inclined to get them in his throat.

Speaking of Samuel, he's gotten over the sleep thing, and we're back to waking every few hours. I'm praying that it's a phase, and we'll return to longer slumbers.

This lack of sleep has killed my short-lived productivity.

I have a ton of Kierkegaard reading to finish for tomorrow. Ugh.

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Thank goodness for hurricanes?

The local Dillard's got a ton of inventory from stores on the gulf that were damaged in the latest storms, and was selling it all for a few dollars an item. Lewis probably got $1000 worth of clothes this weekend, and paid about $60 for them. His pride and glory: two $400 suits for which he paid $10 a piece. And, currently, I'm staring at a dozen shirts and 16 pairs of pants that we picked up for his friends and my dad as Christmas presents, all for about $60 bucks.

When we got home last night, from our second trip to check out the sale (we've been there Fri., Sat., and today!), we called the Foleys to tell them about it. Lewis got Mike and told him about his suit purchases. I was in the other room and I could hear Mike exclaiming over the phone, "You've got to be kidding! I'm ALL OVER IT!" Then, when we were there this afternoon, we ran into Alexandra and I kept seeing Catherine and Mary popping out from behind racks of clothes, apparently "exploring." Alexandra paused long enough to say hello, but was clearly manic from shopping and fighting crowds. :)

thepresidentrix, Lewis got a suit to out-Foley Foley. It's a Ralph Lauren seersucker, with pants that have little flags all over them. I'm working on convincing him to dress as Mike for Halloween (and to take us "trick-or-treating" over at their house, to see whether they can figure out the costume). All he needs now are big, gold cuff-links. Perhaps we can make some...

All this is a great financial windfall, as Lewis has just purged all the shirts that he doesn't really like and has been hankering for some new ones (all of which were about $50 a piece). Now the craving has been apeased, for a tenth of the cost. However, it's been bad for time. Neither of us has accomplished anything remotely productive this entire weekend. Oops.

"Into Great Silence" is showing on EWTN tonight. I'm so excited. If excited is really the proper emotion to describe looking forward to a 3-hr dialogue-free movie about a monastery...

Lewis got up to change Samuel's clothes at 6am, and grabbed a pair of pjs that were labelled as 12 months, which barely fit. Clearly they were mistagged, and I'm so glad that he accidentally found out, because I love them and would have been so sad if Samuel had never gotten to wear them. They have dozens of green sharks with penciled on smiles all over them. So great.

Soon to come, more monkey hat pictures - because we bought it! It was on "sale" (a whoppin' $1 off), so I had an excuse...

Oct. 14th, 2008

I have many more interesting and important things to write about (such as the RODEO!) and I need to go to bed (as it's nearly 1am and I have to teach tomorrow morning) - but I wanted to make a quick post to say that I finally got to dig out a bunch of skirts and pairs of pants that I can now wear once again! Hurray! It turns out that not eating out is not only good for the budget but also for my waist-line. I haven't been paying any particular attention to what I eat, or particularly trying to work off baby-poundage, so I did not expect cooking to make that much of a difference.

Coming soon: the second photo in the series I have loving entitled "Picture of Baby in Hat We Cannot Afford." Target has AWESOME fuzzy monkey-head hats - but, really, does Samuel need a $10 hat that is too hot to wear in Waco 10 months out of the year? (My heart says yes, but my head [and Lewis] says no.)
A couple of disclaimers and warnings about this video:

First, a warning - this is a short speech by a woman who was born four months premature, as the result of a botched abortion. It's a great story, but not exactly enjoyable.

Second, I'm not posting this in an attempt to start an abortion fight. I realize that I'm in the minority among my friends here in supporting illegalization - but also that we all agree that abortion is an unfortunate thing, which we all want to see lessened. So, anyway, not trying to start anything - just thought that this was the sort of story that should be shared.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEQR1-1OXK4

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"Baudolino" by Umberto Eco;
The Hexaemeron by Bonaventure;
Aquinas' commentary on the Physica

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