What is wilson silverleaf? We're organitarians; it's best for our bodies and the planet. We cloth diapered Nina for the same reason. We drive a hybrid car & wish we could afford solar panels on our house. I'm a strong advocate for homebirth, full-time mom, & also a movie junkie. We don't have a tv though; we watch dvds on our computer. We love contradancing. I garden & knit; Larry's a puzzle lover & plays fantasy football.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm super bad at parking

But even I would have either not attempted it or given up sooner.

I have to admit the Italian commentary makes it even funnier to me.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

battle of the csa boxes, week 4

This was our second box from JR Organics, which means we're halfway through this experiment. Nina and I were out of town, so Larry did the pickup and he remembered to write down what was in the box. So here's what he wrote:

*bunch of baby carrots
*pint of strawberries (I haven't tasted them but they look as good as the other ones we got from JR Organics
*5 small heads lettuce
*some herb (it was mint, just for the record, and he wrote "some herb")
*green onions (it might have been young garlic, though)
*bunch of parsley (actually not parsley, but cilantro)
*something I don't recognize (wow, so helpful, it was kohlrabi)
*3 large apples
*5 small oranges (they look like blood oranges, which Nina now describes as a kind she doesn't like, remember when she loved them? more for me, is all that means)

And Larry tried to buy a bunch of flowers but they gave them to him. He promptly put them in water not knowing they were straw flowers. He tried.

Prelude to a Kiss

I know this is a bit late, but I have to talk about last Saturday night; I was pampered royally. My first stop after I left the family at home was my friend Mim's house for an informal (but nourishing in more ways than the food) seder. Her whole family is delightful; she is an amazing soul, her husband is interesting and engaging, and her son (5 years old) is bright and sweet. It was a little odd going to a seder without my family, but I had a really relaxing time.

Then I headed up to New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad. I'm not much of a theatre goer; suspension of disbelief isn't easy for me. But my lovely friend Elaine is the managing director and asked me if I was interested in coming for opening night of Prelude to a Kiss. I was dog tired and not really in the mood, but I had said I would come and was already out of the house sans family. I am so glad I did, it was easily the best small theatre experience I have ever had and up there with big productions I have seen on broadway and in other big cities. I had considered sneaking out at intermission but was compelled to stay.

The actors were spot-on, the male lead has amazing comedic timing, the cast is just superb. The set is mininmalist but just right for every scene. It is also not a super long play, which probably helped, but I will definitely be going to more performances at New Village Arts. You should definitely check it out if you can.

Friday, April 25, 2008

my sister's blog

She just started and new one, and it's really good. She's an amazing writer and makes enough "interesting" choices that she has lots of good stuff to write about. It's insightful, heartbreaking, and witty. Check it out here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

battle of the csa boxes, week 3

This was our second box from Inland Empire, and the quantity of food was certainly a good value. I'm not so sure about the quality, though. Here's what we got:
*3 avocados (really yummy ones)
*small bunch of chard (already wilted)
*bunch of red dandelion greens
*2 bunches of baby carrots (one orange and one white--what's the point of the white ones? they don't taste like anything and they're prone to getting sunburned)
*bunch of radishes
*bunch of baby celery (already dried out and yellow)
*3 oranges (yum)
*3 small heads of leaf lettuce (already slimy)
*bunch of scallions
*bunch of small onions
*bunch of sage (flowering)
*pint of strawberries (tiny, seedy, and already not so great, as opposed to the ones from last week, which were juicy, sweet, and not moldy or overripe)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

no end to slavery in sight

Tonight as many start to celebrate the liberation of the Jews from slavery in Egypt it is important to remember that there are still many slaves today. So easy to forget but tonight of all nights we should not choose to be ignorant.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

productive day

I had a LONG list this morning of things I wanted to accomplish today, and I did every single one of them, including getting Nina out for a hike (or dawdle, as there were two kids walking). It might have helped that I put the hike on the "to do" list.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

again with the purse

Remember before when I was searching for the perfect purse and I thought I had found a pretty good one? Well, I ended up using it for a few months and then just...not. So it wasn't the right one for me. But I have been idly browsing purses online and in stores for a while. On Sunday afternoon I went out (alone!) to get something at Bed Bath & Beyond (I had some coupons) and it's right next to a Marshall's, so I went in on the off chance that a great purse was waiting for me. And it was. The best thing? It was almost half the price of the one I bought but didn't end up using.

Trust me, I am the last person in the world who thought I would love a mint green purse, but I do. Though the straps aren't across the body, they are wide enough to be comfortable perched on my shoulder, which is good enough. It has two perfect spots on the outside for easy access to my phone and wallet

It is roomy enough on the inside for the few things I like to carry around, with room to spare for when I need to carry extra (like a knitting project or my water bottle). It may even fit the bag of popcorn I always smuggle into the movies (mine is so much better than theirs, cheaper, and I know it's not from a GMO). Yesterday I carried 3 packages to the post office in it. It has structure, so it's not going to flop around when I put it down, and it zips on top. Love it!

give me some love

I just uploaded a ton of handmade dish sponges to my etsy shop, give me some linky love if you get a chance!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

awesome babywearing dad montage

Over at Daddytypes, I love it.

battle of the csa boxes, week 2

As of last Sunday I hadn't heard from JR Organics yet, though I mailed out both applications with the checks on the same day. But this week I got a call from someone over at JR Organics telling me that they had gotten my application but it got photocopied and only half came out right, so what plan did I actually want, etc. A little obstacle, but still fine so far. I definitely told the person I spoke to on the phone that I wanted my first pickup to be today and she said that would be fine (I wrote that I was trying out two different farms on both applications, the Inland Empire person said they were interested to hear what I thought in an email). They did send me a confirmation email, but I must not have read it properly, because today I got a call telling me that I wasn't supposed to have a pickup today (I feel bad for the person whose box I got, but the person at the market should have known better). So I'm not super impressed with the communication and customer service so far. But the food is a different matter, it's all gorgeous. This is what came in the box today (as a unique feature, the food comes in a blue rubbermaid-type bin that you return, I have belonged to CSAs for over ten years now, and that's a first).

  • 1 bunch of baby carrots (why do people always think we want the greens attached? they take up space and I don't care for the way they smell)
  • 1 beautiful bunch of chard (not that I like it, but I can appreciate good looking produce)
  • 1 bunch of baby elephant garlic
  • 1 bunch of kale (again, very good looking)
  • 5 small oranges, not sure what kind (valencia?)
  • 6 apples, one a bit bruised looking
  • 1 head lettuce (need I say? it's gorgeous, I should take pics)
  • 1 small bunch of baby turnips
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 4 heads of leaf lettuce
  • 1 pint of strawberries (they look good but haven't tried them yet, it's a more full pint than last week's)

weekly garden roundup--April 13

I thought it would be fun to chronicle the progress of our edible yard; descriptions go with the pic below.

Navel orange, I've had it for a few years but it wasn't in a good spot. Now that it's getting fed and watered more, as well as being in a pot, it has produced a ton of flowers. Let's hope some oranges follow!

Blueberry plant, I was told by the lady in the garden department at Home Depot that blueberries won't grow in San Diego.

Take that, grumpy garden lady! Still a way to go until they ripen, but they look pretty promising.

Nothing to eat on a wisteria, but I just transplanted it from a place where it was unhappy, so I'm interested to see how it does in this pot. I have fantasies about it growing up the sides of the gazebo.

Two crook neck squash plants--I haven't had much luck with this plot in front of the house, but I'm going to try again.

Snap peas. I am anticipating that they will set flowers in the next few weeks. But it's ok if they don't, did you know that you can use pea greens in salad? Not the ornamental, sweet pea ones, of course, but edible pea plants are edible. And they taste like peas.

Strawberries. I suspect these went in too late this year, but they're worth a try anyway, right?

Satsuma. I bought it at Whole Foods a year ago and this is the first time it's had flowers on it, I am hopeful that it will produce.

Meyer Lemon, it had lots of lemons on it when we came home from England last spring that I've been harvesting ever since (just picked the last one this week) but hasn't flowered again. It's ok, there is also a volunteer tomato in the pot, and it has flowers on it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Ever since I saw the movie Excalibur (way, way too young, thanks mom) I have loved the Carmina Burana. And now I finally know what the lyrics are. I hope you appreciate this as much as I do.

Update: my mom wants you to know that once she realized how inappropriate the movie was, she tried to leave and my dad made a ruckus in the movie theater (not surprising) and wouldn't let us leave. Record straight.

Monday, April 07, 2008

battle of the csa boxes, week 1

For many reasons (which I'll probably detail at some point in this series), we have decided to switch csa farms. After some deliberation and advice from friends, I decided to give two a try, and I've decided to invite you along for the ride (most CSA farms will allow you to sign up for a trial subscription to see if it is a good fit).

The two we decided to try are Inland Empire and JR Organics. I love that the JR Organics site has an RSS feed for its weekly box contents, but this week Inland Empire wins by default. I sent out the subscription forms and checks for both on Tuesday and only Inland Empire has contacted me so far; by Thursday I had an email telling me that my first pickup would be on Sunday. That's FAST!

This week's box contents are:
1 pint strawberries, not super tasy, but not bad either (maybe the first of the year?)
1 bunch of aquaponic basil, it's deep purple and beautiful, I haven't tried it yet but am intrigued
1 small head of red and green lettuce
1 bunch of arugula flowers
1 bunch baby beets and greens
1 bunch red dandelion greens
1 bunch spring onions
1 bunch green garlic (looks like spring onions)
1 small bag salad mix, not baby greens, and some of it was already looking yellow by the time I got it home
1 bunch baby carrots, very anemic looking and not very sweet
3 regular sized haas avocados and 2 tiny ones
1 small bag spinach, not too tender looking, I think I will put it in the food processor and hide it in pizza dough (I don't really like spinach)
3 navel oranges (gone already, they were delicious)
1 artichoke (what does one do with 1 artichoke?*)

All in all, a pretty good haul; I'm willing to overlook the not so wonderful bits for now. I don't like bitter stuff and Nina thinks carrots are from the devil so I am fermenting the carrots, arugula flowers, dandelion greens (reds?), and radishes. The avocados aren't ripe yet, but they look promising.

*Here's what you do: make waffles with chocolate sauce and strawberries for dessert, which will distract them from the fact that you're going all Greedy Smurf on them and are eating the one artichoke all by yourself.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

and I thought sending out an evite and having a bouncy house was pretty cool

marvel at the will power

The first episode the new season of Battlestar Galactica is up at SciFi.com. And I have housework to do. I am going to try to wait at least until late afternoon, wish me luck (and clean house).

I hope it is worth the wait (the first episode of the new season of LOST was a bit of a let down but I'm still hopeful). I watched the last episode of the last season a couple of weeks ago so I am ready. Nobody spoil it, please!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

About two days before we left for Chicago I decided to make some warm socks for Nina. I started with some Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino, and got just past turning the heel when I decided to rip it out and add some alpaca also. I think they came out really well, and they allowed Nina to wear the much-too-big boots we borrowed from Anya. They're super soft and warm, and best of all she was willing to wear them.

Posted by Picasa

toddler's eye view

This is what happens when you give a 3 and 4 year old a camera. Some of them are pretty interesting!

These are from our day with Michelle, David, Abby, and Julia. Can I just repeat what an excellent day it was?

carbon & carbide building

Remember when I told you that I got to see my favorite building in Chicago? Well, here it is, the Carbon & Carbide Building.

I used to be so sad when I walked by it because the windows were all boarded up or broken out and it was in bad shape, I was sure it was destined for the dustbin. But I was so happy to see that it has been made into a Hard Rock Hotel (not because I love the hotels, I've stayed in one and it was no more or less special than others but because this beautiful building is safe now!).

You can even see the new Trump Tower under construction in the background of one of the pictures.

obligatory skyline pics

With Navy Pier in the background

And there's the Sears Tower

Posted by Picasa

dragons, horses, and pipefish

What could this picture possibly be?

It's a sea dragon; just watching them float by it seems like they move pretty slowly. But then you try to get them in focus, in frame, and it's a whole different story.

Sea horses, very cool. The next tank over had a whole passel (herd?) of pregnant papas. Just like on Oprah (awesome, by the way, I think).

And a pipefish.

Posted by Picasa

training show at the shedd

Though the ending was a little rough we really enjoyed the aquarium, and we got to see a training show, which is where they just bring the animals out and do some training exercises in front of a crowd to get the animals acclimated. They ask you to be quiet and not applaud or stand up and it's amazing how cooperative everyone was.

While we were waiting for the show to start (and during it) the dolphins in the tank were really showing off and playing. Here are my two favorite shots out of the many I took.

This is how close the lady with the sea lion got, it was pretty cool.

Okay, one more, with a good view of the Adler Planetarium and Lake Michigan in the background. And as an aside, I have never seen the lake as pretty and turquoise green as it was that day, from what I remember it is usually a much darker green. I marveled about it the whole walk home.

Posted by Picasa

I promised pictures

As I mentioned before, when we arrived in Chicago, we spent two nights with our friends Ben & Miriam, who have an amazing condo. Like the nicest one owned by our peers. And behind that rail is the most amazing yarn stash and crafting space I have seen in real life. Also gorgeous bathroom. What can I say? Ben & Miriam are amazing people, and so is their dog Manoush. Click on the slideshow to see the pics bigger.

Ben and Nina had a really great time playing, as you can see, though Manoush seems not to be too impressed.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

monthly engrish

In case you don't look at it every day, here's a roundup.