Monday, February 02, 2015

Ramblings, Part III

Beef stock... looks delicious with all those vegetable chunks floating around in there, huh?  Well, it was, after I strained it, that is.  We made beef stew with it a couple weeks ago and froze the rest, although I should probably just thaw it and have us drink cups of it.  Maybe that will help us with these little colds that we seem to keep catching.  Cecilia has been coughing since about four days before Christmas, literally.  Right now I have chicken stock simmering on the stove to use in cream of carrot soup tonight (I know, sounds gross, but it is absolutely delicious, I promise, and my kids all love it).  I still can't get my stock to gel and considered being a cheater and just adding this gelatin to it myself, ha ha.  We have used it to make our own lemon gummies and also to just add into smoothies, so maybe that makes up for my gel-less stocks.

I have been on a health food kick lately (I mean more than usual, if you can believe that is possible).  Coming off the Christmas season, I wanted to get back to normal since we had been eating more treats and junk food than usual.  And I figure that has made us more susceptible to illnesses.  So, lots of nourishing foods lately to help us through this cough and cold season, and also to give my body lots of nutrients to recover from my miscarriage and to get me on track for healthy eating should I get pregnant again soon.  I have also been adding some good-for-fertility vitamins to my own diet as well as daily flax oil.  The kids are taking vitamins C and D daily, and we are all taking elderberry syrup as a flu preventative every day (so far, so good, crossing my fingers)... except we just ran out, and I can't make more until our local health food store gets more raw honey.  I may have to see what honey options they have at Kroger.

Lucy has been developing her palate impressively in the last few weeks... we have been eating lots of vegetables lately: broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, beets, parsnips, carrots, kale, spinach are just a few from the last week off the top of my head.  Lucy has been my most reluctant eater-of-vegetables so far, but she is catching on suddenly!  I always put a bit of everything on her plate, even if she has said she doesn't like it, and we always have them take at least one bite.  So, most of her solid-food-eating life, she has been given the head of one spear of asparagus on her plate whenever we eat that as a part of dinner, and she would take a little nibble as her one bite.  She gets a small salad every time we have it for dinner, and she has started eating several bites of that on her own.  She will now eat an entire spear of asparagus without any prompting from us (she had to ask for more the first time because she only had the one token piece on her plate).  I cooked eggplant slices under the broiler and then baked them with marinara sauce and mozzarella, and she asked for seconds.  When I was cutting up some raw kale, she begged for some.  Then she thanked me profusely, ha ha.  She did the same with raw cabbage while I was chopping that up to go in a salad.  She ate the celery sticks instead of just licking the peanut butter out of her "ants on logs" snack.  And she likes cauliflower in most of its forms at this point (covered in cheese being the favorite).  When we were at the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga a couple weeks ago, she noticed some kale growing in a planter on the rooftop area and asked, "Can I eat this?"  It is exciting to see how accepting she has become of a lot of our commonly-eaten vegetables.  I figured she would start to eat some of them eventually since the older two did... I am a believer in the exposure method.  We eat them frequently and they see them on their plates often, and eventually they eat most of them.  Lucy still won't eat corn or peas... but hey, who needs corn, anyway?  It is funny because most kids who don't like many veggies will eat corn! 

On the topic of healthy eating... I have been debating whether to keep drinking decaf Irish breakfast tea or to switch to decaf coffee for my morning cup of enjoyment.  The thing is, I have to have a little sugar in my black tea.  I have tried to like it with honey, tried to like it with stevia, and I just can't.  I use raw sugar from the health food store bulk bins, but still... sugar.  I like to try to only have sweeteners like raw honey, maple syrup, and the occasional baked item make with sucanat.  And... I love coffee with no sweeteners.  All it needs is cream or milk to be perfect for me.  So... decaf coffee with a little whole milk?  Or decaf black tea with the same milk plus a teaspoon or so of sugar?  Which is the healthier option, especially for somebody who hopes to become pregnant?  It is good quality decaf, both the coffee and tea, decaffeinated by the water method, which is supposed to be gentle and chemical-free.  Feel free to weigh in with a comment!

Gabby selfie
The morning after we went to the Emerson Hart concert, Gabby was being her usual friendly self, laying on top of people and shedding on us as a token of her love.  my brother was on a trip to the Holy Land at the time, and he had been sharing photos from his trip on Facebook, including one where there was a cat in one of the shrines that looked very similar to Gabby - Gabby's scraggly Middle-Eastern cousin, I assume.  So Gabby texted a picture of herself to him using my phone, since she was sure he missed her, and she didn't want to get replaced by some cat in another country!  He responded with, "What, no Mason photo?"

Mason selfie attempt
So he got this a few hours later when Mason took a break from her aloofness and graced us with her presence briefly.  I was surprised that she actually approached the phone while it was focusing and sniffed at it... her PTSD must be wearing off for her to not be afraid of approaching a strange object held by the Bringer of the Loud Two-Legged Ones.

Also in Atlanta was this sad sight...

This used to be the house across the street from my parents.  It was there at Christmas, and it was gone two weeks later.  It is sad because they are knocking down all these houses and building McMansions that cost over half a million dollars each.  The houses take up most of the space on the lots so they barely have yards and they tower comically over the older homes that are still left.  I am so glad my parents' house is safe because nobody wants their lot since it has a creek on it that has occasionally flooded into the basement.  My parents are probably not so thrilled as I am, ha.  They don't get sentimentally attached to houses, although they have lived in this one since before I was born!  But I think their lot is great - a corner lot, creek, woods, plus a flat yard area... perfect for kids.  My brothers and I practically lived in that creek in the summers!

And here is my favorite place to go when at my parents' house: Trader Joe's.  My mom and I discovered the little clothing store next to it, the Lemon Drop Shoppe... it is where she got me the legwarmer thingies I talked about before.  As I was there taking this picture, it struck me that I have likely spent months of my lifetime in these two shops... Trader Joe's only in the past seven or so years, but before that, in high school and college, I was in the space where the Lemon Drop Shoppe is practically every few weeks for many, many years... because that used to be Wolf Camera.  After I no longer seemed to live in the creek, I seemed to live at that Wolf Camera, ha ha.  It only closed with maybe the past five or so years.  I spent much time and much money in there!

And finally, a piece of what appears to be some kind of deep poetic writing from Caroline.  I found this written on a napkin.  Chris and I thought, "Wow, that 'death is not an expirement' part is really deep!  Especially with how the word 'expirement' is set off by being alone and a few spaces below the rest."  Nope, it is actually a misspelling of 'experiment.'  And it was apparently based on a fortune cookie that my brother Tim got when we went to Restaurant with him several months ago.  So... yeah. 

Well, that is enough rambling for now, I suppose... maybe more soon! :)

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