July 24, 2010

Jelly Winner

And the winner is....

True Random Number Generator  3Powered by RANDOM.ORG

What's crazy is that if I'd done the drawing yesterday like I was supposed to, I wouldn't have to mail Becky her jelly since I saw her this afternoon. Oh well. She'll still love it ... only later.

July 20, 2010

Purple Potatoes

My fond memories of purple potatoes started the afternoon that Tymon proposed to me. We were at a great restaurant overlooking a tremendous waterfall. We had a cozy private dining room for the two of us and a giant picture window to look out. I don't remember a lot about what we ate except that it was really good. But what does stick out in my mind was a purple mashed potato dish that was to die for.

So when I came across some purple seed potatoes in the garden store this past spring, I had to have them. Until that moment I didn't realize that the potatoes I had year ago were actually purple. I thought the restaurant had added something to them.

The only issue I encountered with them was in the planting phase. I didn't know that I was supposed to cut them up. That each eye gave a new plant. So, I only got 5 plants. And enough harvest for one meal. But I did save a few to put in my cupboard. To grow eyes. To plant next month.

Have any of you planted/harvested potatoes? Talk about a great time. It's so fun digging in the dirt and finding the treasure. Jett helped me. He jumped up and down every time I found one and excitedly put it in our collection bowl.

Dear PURPLE POTATOES, I like you ... a lot.
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July 16, 2010

Raspberry Mango Jelly

Sometimes, it's hard for me to say no to this face.
He and his brothers wanted to help make raspberry jelly. (They were jealous of Jovana getting to make strawberry jelly a few weeks ago.) It's almost like the boys don't realize that I purposefully make jelly late at night so they don't get to help.

Sometimes, when it's so much faster just to do it myself, I have to remember that if I don't take advantage of their enthusiasm now, they won't want to help later. And later they'll be able to complete various tasks faster and better than I will.

They worked hard to strain the seeds and ended up all covered in raspberry juice. I worked hard getting all of the red splatters wiped up. And when I found a mango in my fruit bowl I got the grand idea to put it in one batch of jelly. I won't lie. It's really good. Sit on the couch with a jar and spoon and ridiculously excite your taste buds eating it good.

I'm giving one lucky reader an opportunity to win a jar.

To enter:
Follow my blog (click the link in the side bar) and leave a comment telling me so. Entry deadline is next Thursday, July 22, 2010. The winner will be posted on Friday, July 23, 2010.
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July 11, 2010

Something Fishy

June left me basically incapacitated by my airborne grass/pollen allergies. My Facebook status "gouging my eyes out" produced comments for a couple of days. Luckily NO one "liked" it. That's a relief. Otherwise, I may have had to poke them in the eye and drop in a thousand eye lashes. Because that is what it felt like was in mine. And I want to be kind to others.

I should have had my LDA allergy shot on June 12th. But I cancelled it. We were having Evan's birthday party and Jovana's welcome home party then. I didn't want to do the LDA diet. I wanted to be able to eat and socialize. By the mid-June I was dying. Seriously. The itch was taking over and I ceased to function normally. I know I fooled all of you with my fantastic posts but all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and end the misery.
I wanted to wait until after Jovana left for my shot. But I couldn't do it. On July 1st I got it and life turned beautiful. Except not for my stomach. The LDA diet leaves much to be desired. It's pretty much a handful of vegetables and limited meats. About that. Meat. I don't like the taste of lamb. Rabbit and venison are not readily available for purchase. And well, I hate fish. 

DON'T EVEN LECTURE ME ON FISH. I don't care about the health benefits. I will get my omega 3 fatty acids from flax. Please don't say that I just haven't tried the right kind. I have. Probably 25 different varieties. Remember I lived on Mainland China for a spell. And under most circumstances, I won't offend my hosts by refusing to eat something. 

In China, we often chose our meal from an aquarium in front of a restaurant. It was just about as fresh as you could get. As in we saw it swimming 10 minutes prior to being on our plates. It was there that I discovered my anaphylaxic reaction to crab. Like as in throat swelling and difficulty breathing.

I want you to understand that the smell of anything fishy creates a gag reflex and is despised above all else. It is seriously a huge deal for me to even sit next to you if we go out and you order seafood to eat.

I also want you to understand that the LDA diet leaves me hungry for 3 days. I try to be creative with the ingredients. But it's super hard. And I have been losing 3-5 pounds with each shot. Not that I'm complaining about that. I've finally shed my pregnancy weight for every kid. But I long for satiety during the LDA shot days.

So which is more important to me? Starving and my fish-free future? Or getting a little protein and feeling full during my LDA diet days? It was a tough call. Really tough. Starving tough. Tymon assured me that Tilapia was mild. Super mild. So mild that I wouldn't even know that I was eating fish.

And there you have it. My potato/rutabaga/carrot cabbage rolls and tilapia. Unbelievable. And delicious. Seriously. I'm sure it will be even better when I can season it with more than just sea salt on non-LDA diet days. What's crazy is that I still have a mental aversion to fish. It's just not as strong as it was before.

July 9, 2010

Vacation Life

Sometimes, when I wonder what life would be like if I didn't get married, didn't have 5 children, didn't own a business, and didn't have responsibilities. I dream of vacations. Of reading books. Of lounging in the sun.

Then I remind myself that to some people (like Jovana), my life is a vacation. Something to be a part of and have fun with. And how lucky I am to have it. To be who I am. Living each day with the family that I love. Sometimes I forget. Like tonight when I yelled about doing our 10-minute-miracle housecleaning at 10 pm. Thanks Tymon for trying to remind me that my children don't deserve to be yelled at. Sorry it didn't work. Maybe next time.
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July 8, 2010

On The Way Home

The evening sun is streaming through my window as I type. It's warm. And hard to concentrate. This afternoon, I've been meaning to reflect on all that has happened the last several weeks.  But the sun distracts me and lulls me into a sleepy state. I fought it off by filling water balloons for the boys. The wet refreshes me.

This afternoon we put Jovana on a plane back to Serbia. She doesn't know it but I caught her giving Evan a clean headstone right before leaving. I am so glad that he was a part of her life. And a part of mine.

We ate lunch with the apes in the Rainforest Cafe. We've never been there before, but it was only a few minutes away from the airport. What a great atmosphere! The kids loved it. And so did I.

It's hard to believe that the month is over. When she came back we picked up where we left off. It was as if she'd never gone. But she did. And had so many experiences to share of her first year at college.

We teared up a little at the airport. But this goodbye isn't like the last one. More like a "see ya later". Because I think we may just see her again soon. Maybe this year. Thank you Paunovic Family for sending Jovana to us once again. We appreciate you and her so much.

July 4, 2010

Pull Out The Big Guns

The glue gun wasn't enough for Jovana.
She needed to hold a bigger one.
Well, this afternoon we all did.
But why do we love guns so much?

I think it may be the feeling of power.
Like no one can mess with you.
We're giddy passing the gun around.
And getting photos.
Like we're the coolest beings in existance.
Guns, big and small
Create an interesting dichotomy.
A force for destruction.
And peace keeping.
All wrapped into one.

The USS Abraham Lincoln is in port.
It's huge ginormous.
It can hold 60 aircraft.
They can distill 400,000 gallons (1.5 Million liters) of water,
Give 250 sailors a haircut,
Make 20,000 meals,
And eat 900 pounds (400+ kilos) of fruit per day.
Now that's a lot of bananas.

Unfortunately, kids under 6 couldn't go on the tour.
So we're a partial group here.
One sailor offered to take our photo.
I asked if we could get one of his buddies in the photo with us.
He called one over.
Nice touch.

One of the most impressive capabilities of the boat is the elevator.
This photo shows about how many people can fit on it.
The elevator has started to move here.
The people are a foot or so below the flight deck.
Planes are stored underneath and can be brought up in 5 seconds.
Seriously amazing.

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July 3, 2010


We've been getting crafty tonight.
Making flowers.

Jovana will probably be coming home with a gun.
Of the glue variety.

Because apparently they don't have any of those in Serbia.  
Will a Serbian please confirm this for me? 
Is it that you don't have them? 
Or that Jovana doesn't usually frequent craft stores?

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