Monday, September 25, 2006

Playing With Picassa

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I thought I needed another photo of Sam here.

Tonight we went to Burger Night at the Starlight. Yum. It was late for the kids, and they were a little cranky. Sam fell asleep as we pulled into the parking lot. Awyn woke up when we stopped the car. They both did really well despite the lateness of supper. Luckily we were seated right away, even though there was a line. We also tipped pretty well for the bump in seating; I think the wait for a table was actually supposed to be 45 minutes, and we waited less than 5. No, I didn't bribe the hostess; she saw the kids and thought it would be better if we didn't have to wait. She was also the daughter of a park employee and has seen us around and has seen what happens when Sam gets hungry and cranky.

Awyn ate her entire burger! I was expecting to box it up and take it home. Of course, I ordered her a veggie burger like mine. She started out eating it with this giant burger, bun and all, in both hands, gnawing bits off as it was too big for her mouth. Then about halfway through she ditched the bun and finished off the patty. The waitress brought us applesauce instead of fries. Sam got fries anyway, and didn't finish his hamburger. I ordered him a regular cheeseburger like his daddy. (two for one burger night; made sense to get two of each). I sure wish we'd brought the camera; Awyn and the burger was hilarious, and Sam made a new friend and danced with her to the live music down on the dance floor. The new friend might be living full time in Terlingua, so they might get to see each other again. She's only a few months older than Sam. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pet Peeve of Long Standing

Last night I was reading our latest issue of Newsweek. Anna Quindlen had the Last Word, as is appropriate in an issue that was mostly about women in high placed jobs. I'm not going to gripe about that; actually she made some fantastic points and I enjoyed reading what she had to say. She also got me thinking about one of my pet peeves. Now, I don't know if I qualify as a true die-hard feminist. I believe in equality - pay, voting, job status, etc. I've deliberately upset people just to get them to think, even for a minute, like the 'bill' I tried to pass in my high school gov't class 'senate' that would include women in registering for selective service just like men do when they turn 18. Most people totally missed my points: A) the draft is wrong for both men and women, and B) if men have to register then it is sexist not to include women. One teenaged mother in the class had a cow because women have babies. Sheesh. So they do, and men are fathers.

But that's not what I wanted to ramble on about. I want to get you thinking about sports. Not title IX, but mascots. Now, when I went to high school there we were the Roughriders. And we were the Lady Riders. Whoa, boy, get off my back! It gets worse, and so far, this is the worst that comes to mind; in college we were Razorbacks (woo pigs!) and the Lady 'Backs. Anyone care to make the requisite derogatory comment? Well I will! Ladies-on-your-backs! Ugh. Both cutesy nicknames for the girls' or womens' teams make the think of poor sex jokes, always have. And that's not even the part that really gets me going!

Why do schools need to separate out their athletic departments into mens and womens - Hornet and Lady Hornets, Panthers and Lady Panthers. If I'm a Razorback, why can't I be a Razorback? Why do the men's teams automatically get the mascot, and the women get the leftover sexist version 'Lady'. What about calling them the Tigers and the Gentlemen Tigers? Before you tell me that adding the 'lady' makes it honorific, I'm going to say no, it's a modifier, and it's not intended to elevate, it's intended as a diminutive. If we must differentiate between the genders of our athletic teams, then find a way to work boys or men into the name, and don't let us all assume that when a news anchor tells us that the Sooners won the game they mean the men! That we even need a modifier is overtly sexist.

Perhaps this just isn't a big deal to most people. Honestly, I didn't worry much about it before I moved to Kansas and got my first taste of midwestern manners. There I couldn't find anyone else who found it sexist. In fact, I found pride in the division. They weren't just plain old Jayhawks, they were Lady Jayhawks. Ack, if you are a Kansan, you are all Jayhawkers! (yes, even you PowerCat sporting K-Staters)

It got worse when I moved to Arkansas, where the lady was clearly a diminutive and the girls teams did not get nearly the attention of the boys.

So I've gotten over my high-school need to lift as much weight as any guy, refusal to ask for help or prove in any way that I'm just as tough, smart, fantastic as any guy. After all, I'm a woman. I'm better. I just can't get over the fact that girls don't get the mascot title unless it's prefaced by 'Lady'.

When I hear that the Hogs went 9 and 0, I want to have to ask, "which team?" and be referring to gender.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Awyn & Sam frolic in the flowers

After supper we drove out to Tornillo flats and took some pictures of the kids playing in the flowers. There are thousands of little yellow flowers blooming out there from the late summer rains. Sam and Awyn did not want to pose for pictures, so mostly we just took pictures of them playing around. I have plenty of pictures, so I'm sure I'll post more later.
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This picture was pretty typical. We were trying to get them both to look at the camera and smile, and neither one of them wanted to. They were more interested in playing with sticks and dirt. Awyn was trying to pull up the flowers. Posted by Picasa
Panther Junction is just over Sam's shoulder on the side of the mountains. So you can almost see our home. Posted by Picasa
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Eric at the entrance to Santa Elena Canyon

Eric had the opportunity to float the Rio Grande through Santa Elena Canyon on Tuesday. He got a little sunburned, but had a great time. The Rio is currently at around 12 feet going through the canyon, up several feet from the norm as Mexico is releasing water from a Dam into a major tributary. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Awyn does the laundry

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This was taken in July, so it was pretty big that she was telling Tasha to hush.  Tasha is just outside the door, barking occasionally to come inside.  Awyn moved the entire load of diapers from the washer to the dryer.  It was probably late afternoon/evening and I didn't have time to hang them on the line.  I'm testing this to see how well photobucket does videos.  This was the killer video that got me banned from zippy videos, that or they didn't like Sam dancing to Metallica.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Not quite as planned

Today we were going to clean the house, and maybe go camping, as we both have a couple of days off together. Well, plans change. Last week Eric dropped a big rock on his foot while moving the limestones around the yard. It was getting worse rather than better, so we decided a trip up to Alpine and the doctor was in order. We also decided to take Tasha up, as she's still not using her front leg very much. Eric was sent to the hospital for X-rays, we'll find out tomorrow if his toe is broken. Neither of us thinks so, but he'd get a post-op boot to keep his foot still so it could heal better if it is broken. So he was given a pain medication and an antibiotic because his toe was looking rather infected too.

Tasha was Xrayed as well, at least her leg and shoulder were. We were able to rule out cancer, but while it's not a dire pronouncement, the scans did show that what she's got is indeed advanced arthritis, and her leg may improve some with a better diet and glucosamine supplements and we'll continue to try the pills - trimadal (of course I'm spelling it wrong). And guess what Tasha's pain medicine is? You bet, Trimadal. Daddy and doggy are on the same pill. Tasha's pills were cheaper. The vet said there are several pain management plans we can follow, and she wants to start out with the kind that we can continue long term with minimal consequences. Tasha is still perky, happy, and loving life, and we will continue to see that she isn't in too much pain. The vet would still like to biopsy the lump on her chest, as well as clean her teeth, but I think we're going to wait and see on that for now.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

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Ant bites

Awyn stood in the anthill again on Friday, and these are the bite marks today, Sunday. They look worse in real life than in these pictures. Poor baby, still hasn't learned to stay away from the ants. And yes, I am trying to kill the anthill. I've dumped all kinds of poison on it. Nobody has diatomacious (ok, so just how do you spell that?) earth. It really bites having a red ant hill right next to the front door. Posted by Picasa

Truck Rider

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Yellow Bandaid

I think this bread predates the diet plan as it has a lot of butter on it. This is probably whole-wheat banana raisin bread. Posted by Picasa

Cranky Sammy

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Diets are never easy

I'm trying to follow a non-diet diet. It's the American Heart Association's No-Fad Diet. It makes a lot of sense, and parts of it appear to be very easy. We've been slowly working our way into this diet. It's a total lifestyle type change. The book covers meal planning, balancing diets, excersize, etc. After helping you calculate the calories you need to just maintain your weight vs the calories you need to be at the weight you should be at, it then offers three choices for how to achieve this. They even include recipes and two two-week meal plans, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. Dessert, even! I decided to start using the ready-made meal plans to start, and then venture more bravely into creating my own meal plans.

This is where I hit a snag. You see, the meal plans assume I live somewhere near a metropolitan area. Instant barley pearls. Fresh herbs, like oregano and basil. Low fat cheese. Hey, I found Orzo, once I figured out what it was, and then decided I'd rather have couscous. Heck, I couldn't even find a cantaloupe, and we shopped in two different cities, multiple grocery stores. The other problem is the book assumes I can go shopping once a week. Honestly, we usually go once a month, and all the fresh wonderful veggies it calls for don't stay fresh for two weeks, like the fresh spinach. We hadn't been eating much salad because keeping fresh lettuce is difficult. I love those bagged salads with all the different kinds of greens in them (iceberg lettuce is pointless and I don't even like it). Also is the ability to make lunch at lunch time. Not always easy. So I'm having to substitute meals right from the start after a five page shopping list to find all the ingredients for two weeks worth of meals. Oh, the pumpkin curry soup is divine and I love the blackeyed pea salad. yum. The food is really good, and filling. I haven't wanted to snack, I'm still feeling full from each meal and snack. Of course, not having the ice cream it calls for makes some of the snack difficult, but we are finding appropriate substitutions. I'm riding my bike at least three times a week, pulling Awyn in the trailer. We're thinking about buying tennis rackets so we can play on the court. The kids are loving our outside activities, and they are even eating the food. I'm not low-fatting the kids stuff unless it just happens that way. Awyn still drinks whole milk.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Banana Bread and other things

Today I wanted to make banana bread. Not just any banana bread, but a recipe I tried out a few weeks ago off a package of whole wheat flour. It was fabulous, and I wanted to repeat the bread. Well, I didn't save the paper sack the bread came in. I told Eric to recycle it, and he did. I searched the internet, and didn't find anything that sounded quite the same, despite my use of the flour brand name. After much pointless time spend on finding this recipe, I walked out to the garage and picked the bread sack off the top of the recycling and brought it back into the house. I now am about to type the recipe up so I will have a better copy of it. It doesn't use any white flour, just whole wheat. I use olive oil for the vegi oil it calls for, and while it calls for nonfat yogurt, I don't always keep yogurt on hand, let alone plain yogurt, I used non-fat sour cream, and it worked out just fine. Oh, and I cut back on the salt, as an entire teaspoon seemed a little drastic. Now if I were only brave enough to cut some of the sugar. It comes out a little sweet; a cup and a quarter of brown sugar seems high for two little loaves of banana bread. Oh, and it has raisins in it, something I'm generally opposed to in almost anything, but I tried adding them, and yes, raisins actually work in this bread. The bread turns out moist and the texture just perfect for a quick bread. The whole wheat adds a nice flavor. I won't post the recipe unless I see some genuine interest, but I'm liking it. Next I might try substituting in some soy flour. Lately I've been using soy milk in my cooking and in my tea. I like milk in my tea, but I'm trying to get the most benefit for my calories. Banana bread is good for the soul; it tastes good, smells good, and is very dense and filling.

I went to a Princess House party today. Lots of beautiful things to see and order, but the price was a bit high, although I bet the quality is just fine. The catalogues were in Spanish, but the prices were clearly marked, and obviously if I don't know what something is, I don't need to order it. I fell in love with a teapot and a steamer set. The steamer set clocked in at over $100, and I think I could find something that would work well for less. The only thing I know I'd use it for is making tamales, and for that much money I can buy tamales from somebody else. My friend Romney is willing to teach me to make tamales and tortillas and all that sort of thing. I've been experimenting with the corn tortillas, but need more practice. Apparently it is a two day process, or an all day with friends process to make tamales, and is best if double or triple batches are made so everyone can freeze the extras and we can go for months between tamale parties. I'm looking forward to this. I've looked the process up online, and sure enough, a real tamale has two kinds of meat, pork and chicken, stewed to extremem tenderness, shredded, blended, mixed with various things, put into the masa (the masa is made with the broth) and the corn packet is then steamed.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sleepy Dancing

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Pizza Dough

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Making Pizza

They really enjoyed helping me with the dough. Posted by Picasa


Poor Tasha is 12 years old. She's starting to lose some mobility. I took her to the vet on Wednesday. She has advanced arthritis, with her back legs and hips being severely affected. She also has some variety of breast cancer and isn't using one of her front legs. The vet said that she is not showing pain, and the pain managemt course will depend on what kind of cancer she has and what an xray of her shoulder shows. She needs her teeth cleaned too, and as this vet has very reasonable rates, I think we're going to see what we can do to make the rest of her life comfortable and pain-free. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Spinach server

Awyn served our spinach, although her brother ate much more of it than she did. Posted by Picasa

Sam reads himself to sleep

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