sarahmichelef: (Default)
 No, I'm not abandoning LJ.

I did re-jigger my Twitter today, though, and as part of that turned off LoudTwitter updates here.  If you want to follow my personal tweets, you should follow @sarahmichelef (those have gone protected).  If you want to follow my academic/public interest tweets, you should follow @sarah_m_ford.

That is all.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
 We lived the jet-set lifestyle and went to DC for the weekend - left on a 7:30 flight Saturday morning, came home on a 7:30 flight Sunday night.  On tap was Ethiopian dinner (advantage of mentioning things off-hand to the in-laws: they make them happen!) and the Children's Concert at the Kennedy Center.

Ethiopian dinner was at Meskerem, and it was fabulous.  Ethiopian is some of my favorite ethnic cuisine and we didn't have it in WMass and we haven't found it here, either (though I'm sure we could find it in Toronto and I will gladly drive an hour and a half for Ethiopian food).  We got a vegetarian sampler and then 2 non-veggie dishes (spicy chicken and then a sweetish shrimp dish) and everything was STUNNING.  They were great with TRex, too - she cuted her way into 2 hardboiled eggs (much to Opa's chagrin - M comes by his egg issues very honestly).  It should not surprise anyone who knows my child that she tried everything and ate most of it with gusto, no matter how spicy it was.

The NSO Children's Concert was cool but slightly disappointing from the grownup perspective.  The orchestra is of course amazing, as is the space.  (I have a great picture of TRex dashing towards Maestro Mouse past the bust of JFK.)  The programming was not as kid-friendly as I would have hoped; TRex loved the "compose yourself" piece where the audience got to vote on their preferred melody, who should play it, and the accompaniment.  There was a world premiere story piece for orchestra and one narrator/actress that needed to be about 10 minutes shorter if it was going to keep the four-year-old set interested.

We also managed to go and get manis and pedis for the adult girls (TRex has declared that she's going to get a manicure when she stays with Grandma and Opa this summer) and enjoyed our last chance to see Josh & Jacy before cousin arrives in July.  I took full advantage of my blanket permission to molest Jacy's belly at will and got to "hold" my niece's hand as she stuck it out at me.  At least I think it was a hand - it was the right size & hardness & location to be a hand.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
On August 1, TRex and I will be at loose ends in Boston for the afternoon/early evening.  Who is going to come out and play with us? 
sarahmichelef: (Default)
 I want to remember this weekend, the idyllic times in the sunshine, the bike rides, the good times with friends.  Even the Lord of the Flies- esque birthday party we went to yesterday afternoon.

Saturday I have already posted about.  I hope our gardens do well... we definitely enjoyed putting them in and TRex loves watering them!

Sunday was another perfect day weather-wise.  I was grumpygrumpy in the morning but then I went for a long walk when TRex and M went for their Sunday morning donuts and blasted Liz Phair into my brain and felt much better.  After that we tried out the trailer bike and all tooled around the neighborhood a couple of times.  After lunch and a nap we went to the most lord-of-the-flies fifth birthday party ever.  Seriously... 15 kids, a 15x15 patch of grass, and three toys that weren't water balloons.  Oh, and completely insufficient parental supervision.  Awesome.  Apparently there was one point where a mom lit into her kid (verbally) and M and B just looked at each other like, "what do we do?????"  As M put it, her actions were totally fine (chasing him down and putting him in time out) but the verbal abuse that went along with it was pretty horrifying.  I don't know, I was upstairs where they were doing cake and presents at the time.  More tooling around after that, and grilled chicken salads for dinner 'cause we'd all eaten junky food at the party.  The food - which was potluck - was spectacular.

Today... more perfect weather.  We cleaned the house in the morning because we were having our March for Babies team over for a pizza party (note: not all that easy to get pizza on Memorial Day) at lunchtime.  Hung out with the P family and the L family until all the kids got crispy, with some hilarity and only one minor mishap (Mister T managed to flip over the folding chair he was sitting in, tumbling headfirst into TRex's garden).  They hauled a whole bunch of toys out... Mister T was careening around the driveway pushing a teddy bear and an oversized stuffed Pikachu in the doll stroller, the girls were blowing bubbles, and B was playing whiffleball with his mom/whoever he could get to pitch to him.  After that, another nap, and then we went out on our bikes to take advantage of CWL's invite to swing by later if we were bored... TRex thought that biking to Miss J's house was the BEST THING EVER and the two of them played very well for an hour or an hour and a half while the adults lounged on the deck and laughed at /lamented the crazy dogs.  (Un-fixed one year old male Weimaraner = waaaaaaay too much dog for me.  Said dog PLUS a same-aged female Greater Swiss Mtn Dog = >200 pounds of insane canine energy.)  And then we biked home and ate MORE pizza and salad, watched the Electric Company, and put the girl to bed.

Bliss.  Only now I have to write a lecture for tomorrow.  To that I say BOO.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
We put in our gardens yesterday. We'd broken up most of the soil with the hand tiller over the past week and then hit Lowe's yesterday morning to pick out plants. We already had tomatoes and a couple of sad bell peppers that we'd started in the frankengreenhouse to transfer over to the veggie patch.

Shoshanna's GardenTRex declared ages ago that she wanted polka-dot plants - we had some in our annual bed last year and they fried because we didn't realize how much shade the neighbors' pine had given the back yard until it was gone. Hers is much more shady, though, so they should do fine there. She wanted pansies again but we couldn't find any, so we put in some impatiens (which I cannot find a useful link for) and some orange marigolds along the very front where they'll get the most sun. The white blooming groundcover is montana sandwort that we put in 2 years ago... the second one (which was in the opposite corner) died after the first season; that one is going to take over the whole bed eventually, which is fine - it's very pretty.

My annual bed has red petunias and yellow/orange celosia which I will insist on calling "fire plants" because that's what the blooms look like to me. Those alternate around the edge... I am completely haphazard in my plant selection and placement, and yet it always comes out OK. I really do just go into the garden store, buy whatever appeals to me on that day, and go with it. So I was going to fill out the rest with marigolds but then we had more good tomato seedlings than we had room for in the veggie garden (which has 4 tomato seedlings with marigold friends, a hell of a lot of huge garlic, the two bell pepper plants that sprouted successfully, and I put in 3 zucchini seeds yesterday) so now there are marigolds and 2 tomato plants back there as well. Did I mention that the center of this bed is daffodils and some other late-blooming perennial whose name I can never remember?

We are for sure expanding the vegetable patch for next year, probably to include some herbs. M is quite obsessed with growing chives. We just didn't want to bite off too much this year.

Getting Rollin'In other news, we bought M a new bike and TRex a tagalong bike yesterday. She was terrified of it at first, but now all she wants to do is tool around the neighborhood on her trailer bike.  Her legs are JUST BARELY long enough to reach the pedals - it's a 20" wheel and the charts all claim that those are for kids 48" and taller, which she soooo is not (to say nothing of most of her height being in her torso).  But she can hang on and pedal when we need her to help get moving from a dead stop, so it's all good.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
I have been soooo overwhelmed by STUFF that I have had precisely ZERO time for writing actual blog posts.  Srsly.

BUT!  I made two things that were really good to eat!  Win!

Thing #1: maybe this is not news to everyone, but thick chili over sweet potatoes.  The recipe called it spicy beans and baked sweet potatoes - it was (guesstimating here) 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of kidney beans, a zucchni, some onions and garlic, and chili seasonings simmered for a bit and then served over baked sweet potatoes w/ sour cream & cheddar.  Nom.

Thing #2: pan-fried tilapia.  ([livejournal.com profile] tashadandelion , this might be a good one for you!) Tilapia is my go-to we don't have leftovers to eat but I know we're going to need a quick dinner.  We buy the fillets pre-frozen and individually packaged at Wegman's.  A couple of weeks ago I breaded the fillets with cornmeal and some lemon pepper seasoning and pan-fried them very quickly - it only took a tablespoon of oil and they got nicely crispy and very flaky on the inside.  I don't recall off the top of my head what we had with them - probably cous cous and some frozen veggies.

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