mangofandango: (misc/mintygraphix/hipsterbelle)
We went to Disney World with Ryan's parents! It was great, and also pretty exhausting, so we are kind of still recovering. But it was really fun.

It was Sophie's first flight, and she was so excited just for that part of it, even. (I was really nervous about the flight, because nut allergies, but it went fine and was well-handled most of the time. The first flight, no one snacked and they didn't serve snacks. The other 3 flights, the attendants didn't serve nuts to the rows in front and behind us, and spoke with the people in those rows about the issue and everyone was cool about it. So, it went well.) We had to get up at 3:45 in the morning to get our flight, and she was okay with it, because it meant IT WAS ALMOST TIME. She was cheerful all that day, if a bit stunned by everything she was taking in - and she didn't get to bed until 7:30, so it was an incredibly long day for her.

The first couple of days, Sophie was so excited and so overwhelmed that she just kind of silently took everything in with a slightly agape mouth. "That was fun", she would say seriously, and that was pretty much all. She was just totally on overload. The third and fourth days, she tired quickly because the cumulative effect was so big - and it was really, really hot and humid. So we took those afternoons off and played in the pool or in the hotel room. The fourth night, we put her to bed early and Gramma and Grandad stayed with her while she slept, and Ryan and I went on a Magic Kingdom date. :) The last few days, Sophie was on her game again, really happy and talkative and her normal self.

Sophie's favorite rides and our favorite rides overlapped pretty well. She adored Peter Pan and we did that 5 times. She also really loved The Haunted Mansion. I thought it might be a bit much, but Gramma had discussed it with her a lot and played up how punny and silly it was, and Sophie had heard the music a lot beforehand because we have a recording. She asked us to pick her up during the beginning part, but she was completely nonplussed by the rest. We did that one once without her at night...and 4 or 5 times with her. :) She recites the voiceover sometimes while she's coloring. My favorite was while we were at the hotel taking a break, and she started saying "here are some of our guests in their corruptible mortal states..." She also loved Pirates, which is one of our favorites. Meanwhile she told another little girl on the bus that the Winnie the Pooh ride was "intense". She loved the Ariel ride. Ariel is probably my least favorite role model of the Disney Princess TM madness, but the ride focuses largely on the music and the broad strokes of the story. The rest that Sophie has taken from that ride is that Ariel likes to comb her hair with a fork and that's funny, and, incredulously, "she traded her voice for legs!!" (We talked about how important a person's voice is, oh yes we did.)

The other major emotional highlight was that Sophie got to meet Alice twice, once with the white rabbit. She had long chats both times, and hugs, and she seemed very comfortable and very happy. Both times, when she came back to us after, she was sort of overcome - choked up and stunned, but smiling. When we asked her how it was, she said "It was a lot to take in." (And my heart exploded!)

I worried and researched the food situation a lot. I was assured Disney could handle food allergies and did so all the time, but to actually see it happen was generally very reassuring and impressive. We did several table service meals, and those are where I felt the safest. That's because the chef comes out to the table if you have an allergy in your group, and discusses what the allergic person can eat. Sophie got pretty lucky - she had fish a lot, with rice and vegetables - that's a meal she really likes. At the Yak and Yeti, she couldn't have the lo mein noodles but she could have the same preparation on rice, so she had fried rice for lunch. Quick service almost as good, though we did have a couple more complicated and drawn out lunch ordering scenarios there. Only a couple though - most of the time someone would come right out with a binder of ingredients, you check the things that interest you, they personally place and carry out your order. Smoooooth.

She could eat the french fries everywhere we went I think, and the fried fish and the UK fish and chips spot - which had surprisingly good fried fish! The Moroccan quick service place subbed rice for couscous but otherwise served us a vegetarian platter of total happiness that Sophie could eat, and she was thrilled to be able to eat everything - "this is a special day, because I can eat everything on the table!" (I wanted to cry, but I was also happy for her.) She was also pretty thrilled to get a kid's meal sometimes - pizza, grapes, chocolate milk, yogurt for dessert. ("I've never had dessert at a restaurant before!" I may have had the same mix of feelings at that, too, yeah.)

I've never been with my own child before. It was a very different experience, but more magical for being able to watch her take things in. I'm glad R and I went out on our own one night, both for the Quality Time and also so we could more easily do the grown up rides and do things at our own pace...but even without that, it would have been awesome.

I am extremely cynical about Disney as a corporate entity, so I am sort of uncomfortably aware of how deeply I'm being taken in when I'm there - but you kind of have to allow yourself to be taken in and go with it, because that's how it's fun. It's like a fake world where everything is sparkly and clean and magical! Pure escapism! And I do think there is still a kernel of Walt Disney's interest in honoring imagination, story, and wonder in there. Couched in very powerful and sometimes very poisonous marketing and capitalism, absolutely, but still, the magic - and more powerfully, the nostalgia - exists. :) So yeah, the magic works, but I was still very grateful to be home when we got here. It suddenly became fall-like while we were away, and it smelled so good and fresh here, and there was REAL FOOD in our fridge and I didn't have to walk a ton of miles every day or put on sunscreen upon waking. Sophie was a bit relieved too - she longed to play quietly with her toys and read books, and not have to do anything for a little while. All that said, as I write this we are listening to ride soundtracks, so obviously we miss it a bit. ;)

Do any of you do Disney? If so, what's your favorite thing?
mangofandango: (misc/inawhirl-icons/queenamy)
Woke up this morning and opened the shade, to find half the town assembled in front of my bedroom window preparing for a race of some kind. GOOD MORNING. Now I wasn't wearing pants, and that might be been a bit awkward...but then I saw two women PEEING IN OUR YARD. I do not know if they realized they were doing it in plain sight of the people across the way, or from like 3 windows in our house...but yeah. I may have been pants-free, but at least I wasn't also peeing. I win. ;)
mangofandango: (mango!)
OK, so I had to vent my fear and woe in the previous post, but...honestly, Sophie is actually kind of right. I told myself I wouldn't get all hopeful about the results, but I couldn't help it and did it anyway, and so I was pretty upset. I do that every year, I think. (85.9 is still a scary large number. I truly do feel fear about it, and I expect I always will as long as it's around. But...this is just how life is.)

This gets right at my emotional and psychological buttons and pushes them all really thoroughly. There are a lot of ways that it's hard. But it is also practice - at acceptance, at advocating, at living with my fears, and at gratitude.

Anyway. I'm not entirely there yet, but that's where I'm trying to get my headspace to. Thanks for the kind words and support. <3
mangofandango: (ff/drankmywar/problematic)
And it's not pretty.

Sophie's detailed results of her recent allergy testing arrived today. This post provides a little background about the numbers and stuff, but: last year, her peanut result was 51.9 - strongly positive. (The threshold for "100% likely to react if exposed" is 14.) This year, her result was 85.9. That is a number, when it comes to peanuts especially, that scares the crap out of me.

Eggs went up too, but they are not as dramatic either in increase or level. This year egg white was 27.9 and yolk is 11 (last year it was 18 something and 9). She's still nearly 100% likely to react if exposed, but odds are better with egg in terms of the severity of the reaction.

I used to say that if I could pick one, I hoped she'd outgrow egg. I totally take that back. Egg is something people don't understand as well, and eggs are harder, I think, to avoid. But egg is generally less likely to result in anaphylaxis. Peanuts are generally much more dangerous. And I read that news not too long ago about the 13 year old girl who died because she took one bite of a peanut butter rice krispie treat, by accident, and then spit it out, was given antihistamines and stuck with 3 Epi-pens and died anyway.

Screw making life easier, I just want Sophie to NOT DIE.

(I am grateful that we are as lucky as we are, in so many ways, with her. She is generally healthy and happy and doesn't face certain death or anything. But sometimes I still get really, really upset that she can be killed by a fucking peanut. Or a trace of a peanut. It could happen so easily, and I know that's true of car accidents and everything else but you know, it's a fucking peanut. It's nothing. It's like everyone around us carries bombs that might go off any minute.)

After the results came in the mail, Sophie noticed I was a bit snappy with her, and I decided to be honest. I said "I'm sorry, it's just that your allergy test results came and the numbers were higher this year, which means you're still very very allergic to peanuts and eggs. I'm just feeling a little bit sad about that." She said "You don't have to worry about it Mama, that's just how life is." Yes. And yet, little girl, and yet.
mangofandango: (parksandrec/letsey_x/mooncoalition)
Sophie's annual allergy testing began today (skin test today, blood test hopefully tomorrow). By itself it's hard to know what the skin test means, but it is a little bit hopeful (I am really only allowing myself the teeniest bit of hope here) that her peanut skin reaction was way, way lower than it was last year. Egg was still pretty big, dust mites were really big, and she tested a little bit positive to dog, feather, and birch (they did a little environmental panel too, including dog and cat because we sometimes visit friends who have pets). Birch is interesting, because the only tree nuts she tests positive for in the skin test are those with molecules similar to birch pollen, according to the allergist. I don't really know what that means for her, but it's something I didn't know before!

So hopefully we'll get the blood test out of the way tomorrow. Last year's test was pretty traumatic, and I do not want to put her through that again... so I called the lab today and discussed how we could minimize the trauma this year. (They recommended I ask for a lead phlebotomist who has a lot of pediatric experience, and hydrate her heavily. I'm pretty sure we had a lead phlebotomist last year as one of the rotating cast of people who tried and failed to get the draw, but we'll see.) So um, wish us luck? And lower numbers? I don't expect any miraculous changes, I'd just like to see things moving in the direction we're hoping for.
mangofandango: (amy-freakin-poehler/inawhirl_icons/fisti)

Ok, we've been watching New Girl and have almost caught up. This means I need a new half hour comedy. What do you all recommend? I love Parks and Rec pretty much entirely, I loved 30 Rock despite Pete and uneven quality, I loved Arrested Development but only liked/had mixed feelings about the new season. I usually like Portlandia, though not always - sometimes I just didn't laugh. I actually really like The Mindy Project a lot. I fell in love with New Girl and laughed a lot despite the sometimes problematic elements. I used to like How I met Your Mother but I am frequently pissed off by it now because fat jokes, sexism, and general tedium (they still haven't met the damn mother!!)

I kind of like my half hour comedies to be not-too-dark, because I tend to use them as unicorn chasers. That's not an absolute rule though. My tolerance for -ist bullshit varies, mostly depending on degree, how it's presented, and what the surrounding redeeming qualities are.

And now that you have a sense of the alarming amount of television I am familiar with, please recommend things to me!

mangofandango: (ats/ killprettyx/ fred with book)
Last night Ryan and I went to see Joss Whedon's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, and it was SO FUN. Normally it takes me a while to start being able to parse Shakespeare, but it was well-acted and I caught up very quickly. And it was so pretty, and also having a bunch of Whedonverse actors together is a bit like seeing old friends. And there were many great performances, but I have to say this of Sean Maher's Don John: it was like fan service for Maher fans. So. Much. Smolder. Phew.

After we got mini cupcakes at My Little Cupcake, a place I have never even set foot in because they use eggs and nuts a lot, but since Sophie is weaned and wasn't with us...yeah!

We would have wanted to see this movie anyway because it's Joss, but our anniversary is on Sunday, so it was An Anniversary Date, and that was nice. :)

I think I've whittled my to-do list down to...not a billion things, for a minute anyway. The thing that is proving most difficult to resolve is scheduling swim lessons for Sophie. The tennis club we have a freebie membership to offers private swim instruction to members, which, awesome! They have an email address listed, so I emailed. They responded a few days later and gave me the number of the swim instruction co-ordinator. I called her, and left a message. No response after a few days, so I called again. She said she'd email me...and didn't, so I called a third time. She said the email must have gotten lost in the winds of the internet, and emailed "again", with an instructor's name and number. I have now left two messages for this instructor, a few days apart, trying to get her to call me back and schedule the lessons. I JUST WANT TO GIVE YOU MY MONEY IN EXCHANGE FOR SERVICES YOU PROVIDE, PEOPLE. HELP.

OK. I should go do my new round of PT exercises. I leveled up a little bit! But I have also found a new muscle that I didn't know I had that is super weak and hard to use! Whoo!

I want to come back and add to my list of things I made with my CSA deliveries, if I have time later. It's summer, so the CSA share is like A PARTY IN A BAG.
mangofandango: (mango!)

A few months ago, Sophie famously laughed at me when we were sort of jokingly discussing when she might stop nursing and I said "what about when you're 4?" She said "hahaha, 4 is after 3!" And even less time ago, when a couple of her friends weaned, she told me she wasn't ready to do that. But around the end of June, she told us, practically out of the blue, that she would wean on the third. She talked about how her 4th birthday party could be a weaning party then, and she made her plan. Of her own accord, she drew a smiley on her calendar on the third.

I didn't know if she'd go through with it. I didn't want to push or make it harder, so I mostly just waited to see. At bedtime she asked me to "scritch" her back, and then sit in the chair in her room while she fell asleep. And it took her a while, but she did it!

So in the morning she said it was hard and I told her I knew and I was proud of her. She hasn't nursed since the morning of the 3rd. But she's still having sad feelings about it. She's stuck to her plan, but she's obviously still struggling with it. I think since she decided herself, she must be ready, but it's been a little sad to see it end this way. I expected her to never to wean until she was completely over it and not emotionally invested anymore...I wasn't really prepared for it to be a more complicated thing than that.

So tonight, she was so tired, and in bed she said "Mama, I wish we had done an extra special last nurse on the day that I weaned." I told her what I remembered about the last nurse we did - and admittedly, it wasn't all that special. She said "Could we do one last special nurse?" I said I thought that might be confusing, and she just sort of sighed. I asked how she felt, and she said "it's tiring." She wanted the easy comfort of being nursed to sleep when she was so tired, I get that. But I also think she we right. We didn't do a loving, special send off, and I think that that might help bring some closure. So I think in the morning I will tell her that on her birthday in a few days, we will do one last special nurse, to say goodbye to it. I'm thinking her birthday because its obviously a special day, and she won't get the idea that this will happen on any old day...and it's also a happy, special day to mark the occasion. I will choose a time of day when she's awake so we can focus on it and not have it be about falling asleep. I hope this will be a positive thing, and help her to move on. I hope it doesn't come back to bite me. :) I don't think it will, though.

I'm writing this mostly as processing. But hey, it's a big moment! And here we are.

mangofandango: (community/merlin_borough/biblioteca)
So...I'm not sure this is a real thing, but I'm definitely noticing it. Lately, Sophie has been recognizing words. She has known "zoo" and sometimes a couple others words as sight words for a while because they are unique and recognizable. But the other day, she randomly seemed to read the word "May" without any practice or prompting. (It's possible she got it from context, though, because I read her the sentence and she blurted out the word.) Then this morning, I got her a babycino (frothed milk with a sprinkle of cocoa on top ;)) at Maglianero. Their cups have their name stamped on them, and hers had only a partial stamp. She says, "my cup says 'magli'." AND IT DID.

She also has been "reading" a book she has memorized ("If I Ran The Zoo" by Dr Seuss), running her finger along with the words while she recites. She isn't always in line with what she's "reading", but I have noticed her picking up on context clues and repositioning her finger accordingly ( for example, where this is emphasis in the tone of a line, she notices a word in all caps, an exclamation point, etc., and adjusts to it). She also recognizes that a question mark indicates the end of a question, and based on her memorized text she can reposition her finger to the right spot. A few times, she has seemed to do it based on letters or word shape, as well. I had been editing that book for length when I read it, but now she can tell I am not reading it all based on words she can see and recognize that I haven't I am reading the whole thing now. ;) (I note that "chieftans" are people, it would be wrong to just acquire one for your zoo. Thanks Dr. Seuss! :P)

She can sometimes sound out small words, but isn't always willing or able to do it. She sometimes likes to have me point out words and try to figure them out, or other things like that... but mostly I am leaving this alone and just reading to her... because she is 3 and she is playing, and the playing is also learning. But it's really interesting and kind of exciting to see what look like the teeny tiny seeds of reading forming. "Magli" indeed.

In other news, my staph infection is getting better and the 47 days of rain are over, so things are looking up around here. I biked a lot yesterday and I'm going to yoga today...I'll just have to avoid putting weight on my shin. :P

Lovely day

May. 7th, 2013 10:52 pm
mangofandango: (parksandrec/letsey_x/i care)

Today sophie was super intense and I was super tired...but, we went to her yoga and I went to mine, I bought awesome new yoga pants on awesome sale from the studio, and I made it all the way up the hill from Burlington Bay to downtown on Erin's bike when we went for ice cream after dinner. (Dinner was wild ramp pizza that I made - ohmygod so good! And getting up that hill is no big thing for most bikers, but I haven't been able to get up big hills in years so I am happy that I am getting stronger!)

So I'd say it was a good day. :)

mangofandango: (amy-freakin-poehler/inawhirl_icons/fisti)
Today we did Cycle the City, and it was a beautiful day. It was so much fun that I don't even mind very much that I sunburned the backs of my hands. :) (Next time, I will remember to sunscreen that area more better. It's not one I think about much!) It's a 10-ish mile route, and while that is a short ride to many people, it's more than I've done for a long time. So yay new bike, and newly forming bikey muscles! I kind of want to do it all the time right now. It's probably the warm-but-not-too-warm weather at work, but I have the general urge to get stronger, and the biking thing feels good and is fun and novel right now.

We had ice cream after, and came home, and then I took the most gratifying shower ever, and now I am deciding whether to make myself useful (vaccuuming) or not (reading my book on the deck?). I hope you all are having similarly satisfying Sunday experiences.

I discovered something about myself that I had kind of forgotten, while on this bike ride. The group stopped at a tower overlooking the city, and we went up and it was fun to see everything, but I also had a manageable, but very present, panicky feeling the whole time. I used to have mild height phobia - largely just a little nervousness, though it did result in a little bit of terror the entire time we were climbing the campanile in Florence because it is SO HIGH and the stairs are SO TINY (COMPLETELY worth it, by the way - that view was amazing.) But now that I have Sophie, it's much worse. My phobia used to be largely a strange compulsive fear of spontaneously dropping stuff over the edge or something. Now it's more like a fear that somehow, even in situations where it would be basically impossible, I'm freaking out about losing MY CHILD over the side. So I climbed up with Ryan and Sophie, and I looked, and it was cool... but as soon as we had seen it I was like OK LET'S GO RIGHT NOW PLEASE. So, that's a thing. I do not know if I would feel as panicky if I climbed a high thing without her - I find that once I had a child, some weird emotional triggers just stick, things that didn't before. One of my friends says that since she became a mom, seeing emergency vehicles pass by often makes her spontaneously cry. I actually understand that. I think weird emotional triggers like that once you have kids might be a fairly common thing?

OK, I'm splitting the difference - vaccuum most needed areas, then read on the deck. :)

Argh noooo

Apr. 14th, 2013 09:33 pm
mangofandango: (ats/ crackers4jenn/ felt angel woe)

I was flossing Sophie's teeth tonight and I think I found another cavity in one of her back molars. I feel like the worst ever. :( OK, that's hyperbolic, but I do feel really bad about it. The dentist told me this might happen - we haven't done X-rays yet but he said there might be more hiding, that a bunch more might have formed at the same time, pre-flossing and flouride. But I still feel bad.

They're supposed to do X-rays at her cleaning appointment in June. I shudder to think of how many are in there. :( In the meantime, I am sad to have to break it to Sophie that I'm pretty sure there's another one already.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

mangofandango: (mango!)
I have been following the Steubenville rape trial and I've been struck repeatedly by how much the entire thing, start to finish, is like an illustration of what rape culture is and how we're all living in it. Reading about it makes me so angry.

This is venting, please don't bother reading if you might be triggered by it. )
mangofandango: (btvs/frostthepie/riot)
This is the time of year when I briefly allow myself full flaily screechy fannish glee and turmoil, okay? It only lasts like a week or something - please tolerate me if you do not understand OR JOIN ME IF YOU DO. :)

SO I am in no way a Dan fan - in fact, I couldn't stand him for most of the series. That said, given recent PLOT DEVELOPMENTS and also THIS GRAPHIC, well, I think this is about right:

My other votes lie with Tami Taylor because have I mentioned my deep and abiding love for both Tami and Connie Britton herself? Also under the new rules this is FNL's last year of eligibility, so that's a thing. And also I'm voting for Olivia Fucking Dunham because a)her show just ended and b) OBVIOUSLY.

Since Leslie fittingly took it last year, this year my comedy vote belongs to Liz Lemon. Her show just ended, this is her time. I like Mindy too, but she's new, and she'll have her chance.

Are any of you doing FMM this year?
mangofandango: (ad/ funkybaby/ buy curious)
I am sort of tempted sometimes to write some sort of "How To Be A Restaurant and Address Food Allergic Customers" guide. This is on the list with my "Understanding Food Allergy 101" guide and my "How Not To Be A Condescending Jackass To Your Patients: A Guide for Health Care Practitioners" guide. But today, I am thinking about the first one. ;)

Sophie is dangerously allergic to eggs and nuts. We sometimes go out to eat, which is a risk many food allergic people do not take, but I have found a few places I trust. Sometimes a place seems possibly okay and I want to check it out, so I call and ask if they can safely feed us. Today I wanted to double check a place we haven't been to in a very long time, and got a...very confident but incredibly bored answer, which...I mean, maybe she's just that sure! But I'm not, and it's nice when your service establishment gives a flying fuck about customer's questions but especially as they pertain to SAFETY ISSUES. So, for the sake of my venting:

Say I call your establishment, describe my daughter's allergies, and ask whether you can safely feed us. Here's what you can do wrong:

*Demonstrate total cluelessness. I mean, actually, this is a clear answer for me in and of itself, but it looks bad for you on several levels. Know whether dairy and eggs are the same thing, okay? You serve FOOD FOR A LIVING. Know that mayo contains eggs. Ideally, it would be great if your staff knew what oils you typically fry in, and even whether there is a procedure in place for allergic orders, but I don't mind if they have to ask as long as they do.

* Demonstrate total disinterest. It's bad customer service, and it makes me question your response regardless of what it is. People answering phones and waiting tables should at least know how to act like they give a crap, and when it's a potentially dangerous situation, they should actually care. If it is dangerous, or you aren't comfortable having me there, I won't come in - but I really want to know, if it's a question you can answer.

Things that are annoying but understandable:

* Saying "There are eggs in the building so I can't make any guarantees." I understand why some people feel they have to say things like that. In fact, I'd much rather have a legal CYA response than a totally indifferent answer, because in this case I know that as an establishment you don't want to take me on. That's acceptable.

Things that are awesome and make me feel safe with you:

*Have a very precise and describable routine in place for food allergic orders, if you're going to take them.

*Demonstrate food allergy awareness. Know the major allergens, know what they are in, know how to avoid contamination.

*Have staff that demonstrate an appropriate respect for the seriousness of the allergy, while also treating the allergic person kindly. Act like you want us to be there and you're going to keep us safe, if you actually intend to do the work of keeping us safe.

*When in doubt, don't guess - ask.

*Post allergy statements, give me more information than I asked for, make it known that you can handle this stuff with competence.

I sometimes have the sense that I will be judged for taking my dangerously allergic child to any restaurant in the first place. I get that it's a risk. For us though, a lot of things involve some level of risk - playgrounds are a risk (kids eat nutty granola bars on the equipment), other people's houses are a risk (do you know where your kids last ate peanut butter?), the world is full of food contamination. I do a lot to mitigate it, it's a constant thing. But sometimes, we need food, sometimes when we are not at home. I actually do a lot to avoid that situation, but sometimes we want to be able to eat out. A very few restaurants can really do a very careful and thorough job of taking care of us, and I feel safe in those places. All I want to know is: are you one of them, or not? This is how I keep my child safe. I depend upon your answer being a thorough and thoughtful one.

PS: I read this very long but worthwhile piece on severe food allergies and treating them, the other day. I identified so much with it that I wanted to cry. That precipice that only we can see thing? That is my life. I hope that treatment is available very soon, because I would love for that little girl eating normal old store-bought birthday cake to be Sophie someday. (Ahaha, that sentence. You know what I mean.)

Sick days

Feb. 11th, 2013 01:44 pm
mangofandango: (spn/mediocrechick/castiel is almost out)

Sophie was sick this weekend, with a fever that didn't quit and a runny nose. You can tell she was sick because this happened:

As in, she fell asleep against the palm of my hand at 10am in the living room. She said she was burning inside. :(

And now she is much better - like I would say cured, except that it's only been 24 hours and she says her ears are stuffy so like, knock on wood and stuff. But I have caught it. I am runny and gross, but have no fever. I kind of think her body is smarter than mine, making a fever! But I am trying to kill it without fevers, by taking my elderberry syrup and drinking tea and taking vitamins and whatnot. We haven't been sick all winter, so that's a refreshing change from last year, at least! And I am feeling pretty fortunate, since my friend's family had the flu for 14 ENTIRE DAYS. 14! We are totally lucky to have avoided that.

Stay healthy, friends!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

mangofandango: (parks/hauntes/drunk ron swanson!)
Everybody, I just found a half a bag of maple cotton candy from last weekend's farmer's market. And lo, it is still fluffy! There is one good thing about dry winter air. ;) And so, things that make me happy: maple cotton candy, yesss yes. (When I was a kid, this was the fabled stuff of county fairs. It could not be found anywhere else. Now that I live in Vermont, I can buy it at farmers' markets pretty much whenever! I feel lucky! :))

New friends, wondering about the 100things thing? It's an effort to revitalize LJ and personal posting by choosing a topic and committing to 100 posts about it, over any amount of time you want. I am doing 100 things that make me happy (which is so easy I tend to forget to do it) and 100 things I have made with my CSA deliveries (which requires more forethought and thus I often fail to do it). But you know, no time limit, so whatevs.
mangofandango: (parks/erzsebet/hearmeroar)
1. I failed to watch the inauguration but I did read Obama's speech and get a bit misty-eyed. Also Kelly shared with me this haiku:

Barack Obama
He is still our President
Barack Obama


2. We housed seasons 3-5 of Fringe. I can't remember the last time I got that immersed in a show - certainly it was pre-Sophie, since it took a couple years of Sophie before we had time to watch more than one episode in an evening, often. ;) But this was Buffy-level immersion, complete with dreaming about it and having the characters invade my real world a bit ("Peter is coming over? I wonder how Peter Bishop is doing!" Yes, I am a nerd.) I love getting really into a show like that, it was very fun. I am sad that it's over.

3. We gained a temporary additional housemate, Ryan's little brother! He got an internship at R's company, which will probably result in them hiring him in March sometime. (Hi, Patrick!)

4. You know how Sophie had to have a cavity filled, and I was worried about it? I don't know if I wrote about that here...but anyway, it happened and went pretty well and I am relieved. Also, since they used nitrous on her, I saw my child high. It was Very Weird, and kind of funny, as you might imagine. (The high did not help her much at the time, honestly, but she doesn't seem to remember the parts where she was very upset now. Maybe? It's hard to tell.)

5. I finished reading "Deathless", by Cathryn Valente, and it was amazing. I took tons of time to read it, but in the savoring kind of way. Now I am deciding whether to take a break from fairy tales or move on to Phillip Pullman's retelling of stories from the Brother Grimm. I think Pullman is going to win this mental debate.

6. I made eggplant involtini and it was a-maz-ing. If I do say so myself. I mean, seriously, melt-in-your-mouth loveliness.

You know I am sure there are more things, but I have had this tab open for like 3 days so let's post this sucker, huh? And then maybe I can write things as they happen and not in list form. Hi everybody, how are you? :)
mangofandango: (ff/drankmywar/problematic)
Two soups! Because it's soup weather, natch. (Potatoes, sweet potatoes, stock, garlic, and sunflower oil are local and/or from the CSA. Other stuff not so much, because it's January. ;))

Sweet Potato spinach soup, adapted from Quick Fix Vegan

3-4 sweet potatoes
1 onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
sunflower oil for sauteeing
1" or so piece of ginger root, chopped very fine
1 qt stock
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 14oz can coconut milk
1/2 tsp-ish coriander
2 tbls. or so of tamari
a bunch of fresh spinach, chopped (4 cups, I think? Or so?)
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the onion, garlic, and diced sweet potatoes in the oil for a few minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and cook a few minutes more, stirring often. Add the stock (and additional liquid sufficient to cover the potatoes) and boil 15-20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are done. Add tomatoes, lower heat, simmer a couple more minutes. Then turn off heat and blend as desired (I immersion blended some, while leaving plenty of chunks, just to bring everything together and make it a bit creamier.) Add coconut milk and spinach, stir until the spinach is wilted. Season to taste!

This hit the particular spot that I was looking for: warming and colorful. It's not something I'd make all the time, but I'd definitely do it again.

I more or less followed this recipe from our CSA email:
Potato Cilantro Soup
2 TB olive oil or butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped (or 2 leeks)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 quart chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
salt and pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
lime juice

Saute onion and garlic slowly until tender. Add the broth, potatoes. Cook til the potatoes are tender about half an hour. Add most of the cilantro leaving a few tablespoons for garnish. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree. Serve hot or cold, and garnish with the remaining fresh cilantro. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice before serving.

Optional: add 1 diced, seeded jalepeno pepper along with the broth and potatoes. Add up to 1/4 cup of cream to soup just before serving. Add a couple chopped scallions to the soup after pureeing.

I left out the spicy stuff for Sophie, but she doesn't actually like potato soups in the future, I'd use at least the red pepper flakes and possibly the jalepeno too. It was good like this too, though, and I'd totally make it again.


mangofandango: (Default)

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