Sunday, March 27, 2011

watching, watching

This week we have been watching season one of  Men of a certain age, which is pretty thoughtful, relatable and FUNNY.  

When Mark told me that he had ordered this from Netflicks I was pretty skeptical.  I really like both Scott Bakula (ok, I actually have only seen him in "Quantum Leap", but I loved it, plus he is hunky, in that sensitive guy sort of way, that I find irresistible) and Andre Braugher (from Homicide) but I was dubious about anything with Ray Romano involved.  I hated his other show, and his voice gets on my nerves.  He really pulls this character off well, and I have to give him credit for his writing too, which is excellent.

People of science and industry

At risk of sounding all Cat in the Hat the rain was pretty intense this past week.  Hardly what one looks for on spring break.  We were  very housebound and cranky.  Freyja got out a little more often than  Maxwell, as she was able to come to work with me Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, where we don rain gear and head out regardless.  Let's just say Thursday and Friday were LOOONG.

Just as I was about to throw in the towel and start construction on an ark in the back yard, the most remarkable rainbow I have ever seen appeared in the  eastern  sky.  I told Rolf "see proof that god will never destroy the world again" which caused him to look at me funny, with his Catholic lack of old testament biblical knowledge.

For our Saturday dinner I decided we should make salad rolls and that Maxwell should help me.  He was hesitant at first, but got into the spirit after a bit of coaxing.  

We had excellent results, and I was good, resisting the urge to rip the ingredients out of his hands to make everything perfect.  Freyja keeps telling me "no one is perfect Mommy." and "practice makes improvement"
Oh the things they teach in school these days!

We also had a grand mushroom, omelet and rice dish, featuring woodear and straw mushrooms

Rolf and his girlfriend were instructed to bring dessert, and it had to be something pretty great, as this dinner was in honor of our dear friend John, who once again was saving our asses by making electrical repairs on our elderly overheard lights.  Knowing an electrical engineer isn't a bad idea either, now that I think of it.   

They decided to make "liquid nitrogen ice cream", which only really works if you happen to know a bunch of chemists, who can bring a big flask of liquid nitrogen to a dinner party.  

Rolf with the nitrogen, in the mudroom which isn't very pretty, and not usually photographed.

pouring some into a glass for Freyja's entertainment.

Catherine siring the ice cream

Viola! Raspberry ice cream!

Later, another chemist friend dropped by and Rolf entertained everyone by demonstrating the awesomeness of his latest invention, some kind of vacuum flask that insulates so well that he can hold the nitrogen without burning (freezing) his hands.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In addition to feeling sorry for myself I did THIS, this week!

a gal and her mustache!

these are my go to "citrus" vegan cupcakes,  with a coconut cream vegan frosting... basically a yellow  cake made with egg replacer and lime, lemon and orange juice- MAN Oh Man, IS IT GOOD.  I made them in honor of our fabulous gardener at work- she just married her long time sweet heart, so Freyja and I wanted to bring her a little gifty, and the other staff got the enjoy too.                                                                           Both of my kids ADORE this special gal, and we were so happy to see her happy, she brings so much joy to everyone.

These are pistachio, rose water cookies vegan cookies from Veganomicon, I have made them twice and both times tweaked the recipe a little.                                                                                                                                                     I found them a little greasy, so added a little flour and some orange juice.                                                                                They are really GOOD and impressive looking!                                                                                                                                      I like, don't love the book, but then again I am horrible about following recipes.                                                                            I wanted a fancy cookie, and they deliver, just a tad too much oil.

My sweet, lovely, dear and wonderful work friend gave me these beauties, she dumpster dived them from a flower store..  She knows mama loves her some ranunculus. Pictured here in a beautiful milk glass vase gifted to me years ago by the beautiful Ms. Lily.  Am I lucky or what. To know soooo many generous loving women! ?

Rolf snuck Ripley into the theater for Freyja's acrobatics's class performance.   You have to love a poodle that loves the arts!

Maxwell was not exactly glued to the performance.

Take a bow! Stupid camera spoiled all the photos.  Too dark. Wahhhh.

I made a couple of "tooth fairy" pillows for my work fundraiser

little pocket on the back for the tooth.   These are both silk and organic cotton. 

Vegan Devil's Food with coconut dark chocolate ganache,  with almonds and sea salt garnish- for a work friend's birthday!

OOOps! out of order! My girl on the flying through the air on the flying trapeze.  She made Onkel soooooooooooooo happy by rocking the acrobat thing.  The only thing that would please him more is if she were balancing a poodle on the high wire.  He is paying through the nose for this stuff, so it is nice to see her be so amazingly skilled!


Freyja likes to play with the neighbor dog. 

She asks me if she can play with the dog, exactly the way she asks if she can play with the neighborhood children,

"Mommy? Can  I play with Wrangler?"


Sometimes she asks me if she can play on our elderly neighbor's impeccably groom lawn, the same way.

"Mommy? Can I play with Harlan's grass?"

When I think of  her out growing these of these kinds of questions, my heart just breaks.  It is one of the few times I feel weird about the fact that I will never have a little child again, never have another baby and that, that part of my life is over, which is pretty much ok with me, except for the cuteness.

blah,blah, blah

It is one of those days, when I can't seem to find it in my heart to cut myself any slack.
No self love, no self care...
I look within only to find my inner cupboard bare, a few zen tumble weeds blowing through, if you yelled in my soul today, you would hear an echo from the empty hollowness.

I have no good reason to feel this way.

Got some goodish news, I will be working on a project I enjoy, but the project feels bittersweet, because there was no
"Heidi I want you to do this because you are so good at it, and I value that goodness, I am happy to put this in your hands because you will do a quality job."

It was more,
"here this needs doing and you are a reasonably reliable person with a practical mind."

Why do I need to be valued by others?
Why can't I be all self contained and confident and not need propping up?  Why can't I deal with the fact that no one is going to embrace me and tell me how fantastic I am, or care whether or not I am happy, or whether or not my life has meaning

Why do I even think I should have the luxury of a meaningful life? 

There are starving children in Katmandu, so who the hell am I to need meaning?

One more reason to consider therapy I suppose, or perhaps hard drugs.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

watching, watching

we watched "get low"  last night, and really enjoyed it.  It is a small, moving,  charming film, with good pacing and the setting is lovely.  The lighting is good, which sounds like a weird thing to notice, but lately so many indie films look super dark to me, which is annoying, since my sight is pretty bad, without my glasses.
What can I add?  Robert Duvall and Bill Murray, awesome, nuff said.


Much like a magpie, I just can't resist the allure of shiny, colorful objects... purchased many bright Mexican sodas for Maxwell's birthday dinner last Sunday, with flavors like mandarin & guava how could I resist?
the singing and the cake (the coke belongs to my Mother in law, who doesn't leave home without it).
Now for This weekend- sort of dressed up and on our way to the fundraiser for Freyja's school
This wont kill me, this wont kill me, this wont kill me.
The caterer was moving slow as molasses in January and Mark had to stop me from stepping in to  help lay out the dinner.  They had waitstaff walking around with passed appetizers - the deviled eggs & stuffed mushrooms were terrible,  and we were seated next to the stage with a very, very loud band, other wise it was an ok evening.  I liked the little ruffled jacket with my dress and I was wearing my super cool shoes, the ones with the big buckles that remind me of high school, the ones Freyja says make me look like a witch, which is sort of the look I was going for.                                                             I suspect, upon looking at these photos, I may have needed a slip.  Who am I kidding, I will never wear a slip.
Sometimes when Freyja wakes up at 6:00am on Saturday (like she did this weekend), I sneak out with her and Rolf, to our special place -                                                                                                                                                                                     Bob's Red Mill cafe & store for some super excellent, healthfood and a bit of shopping.                                                   If you get there later than 8:00am forget about it- loooong lines and  milling crowds.                                                          Perfect for the family with young early risers.  It is in Milwaukie, so the drive there and back, give Mark lots of extra time to wake up and have a coffee, before having the face the princess.
We like to sit upstairs in the mezanine area and people watch. Rolf bought Freyja a tiny wire whisk, for when they make hot chocolate, which is more often than you would think.  They also have all the gluten free stuff you could ever want, along with lots of cool mixes and utensils.
Freyja, likes to flirt with disaster, by holding her stuffed toys over the rail.  She is proudly wearing a sweater that came in the mail from a friend in New York, which is very exciting for a six year old.  Bob's features whole grains and really lovely little touches like good coffee that you can refill yourself, as well as amazing biscuits and cookies.
When Bob retired last year he gave the company to his employees, all the more reason to shop there!
I came home and made a polenta cake with carrot and mandarin orange, and sour cream frosting, for our Saturday night dinner.  I went all old school and made chicken Kiev for Mark and cauliflower au gratin for the veggies in the crowd.     We also had asparagus with vinaigrette and a really lovely dry wine called "lazy bones" which I bought because I loved the label.
Sunday morning I hosted a little party for Freyja's friends.  Imagine five six year olds whooping it up.
Later in the day, Miss F practiced her hula hooping while I read Vanity Fair and rested on the sofa.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

and they are back

"Best Birthday EVER! Mommy!thank, you, thank you!! " now, that's what I like to hear. 

A new fedora from Aunt Karen, and a very tired boy, got home from Seattle LATE!

Maxwell has a great, time at the comicon, and they met up with Aunt Karen with no problem and apparently this was the best day of his LIFE, so I am happy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I am about a third of the way through Chronic City , by Jonathan Letham and loving it, so much that I want all my friends to read it so we can talk about it.

a constellation prize

My dear cook from work, the one employee that I directly supervise is named Orion, and he happens to make my life a lot easier most of the time,  by being so responsible, and dependable, that I rarely have to give a second thought to the food program, other than to kibitz  and putter and impose my taste on things form time to time.

I thought I would be all fancy and make him a cake with the constellation on it for his birthday.

The problem was that everything brought into work has to be vegan, which I have pretty much mastered, although cupcakes generally turn out better than big cakes.  I can do a pretty good vegan buttercream frosting too, but I really wanted a dark nightsky chocolate ganache, with a nice luster, which is tough to achieve without cream.
I wound up using coconut fat from coconut milk, and it worked well.  I added some cayenne to the dark chocolate which work well with the intense, bitter chocolate, the coconut cream and the sweet.  I happened to have a ton of purple, vegan frosting left over from those cupcakes, so I used that for the constellation.  Not perfect, but I think it looked pretty cool


My baby is twelve today. 
Headed to a comic convention in Seattle with his dad and beside himself with happiness, refusing to pause of a decent photo, or stop making silly faces.  They are going to meet his dogmother there, (much cooler than a godmother) and she will come home with them for a family birthday dinner tomorrow. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

coming out of my shell , or am I out of my tree?

We are attending the fundraiser auction at Freyja's school next Friday.

Event like this usually make me cringe, but since I am attempting to be less marginalized (Since I am the one putting myself in the margin), and less socially retarded, I thought I would give it a whirl. 

We attended this event two years ago when Maxwell was at this school and spent the evening sitting pretty much alone, so this time I have signed us up to sit with other parents from Freyja's class.

I will force myself not to be too shy, and I will attempt casual conversation with strangers, both things are huge challenges for me, but I am starting to freak even myself out, with my level of hermitness, so here we go!

The woman coordinating the table phoned me today to confirm that we had paid, and that yes, we do indeed want to sit there.
It seems that the whole thing is all set.