Saturday, May 17, 2008

You spent how much on gas?!?

$52. And I was at 1/8th tank. We already drive to very few places. I think we may be driving even less. I wonder where the cap is on gas prices. I wonder how much we will have to modify our lives. I wonder if this will be the stimuli we need to find alternative, renewable energy sources. I wonder how folks with Hummers are doing it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Aunt Flo is back . . .

I saw the return of my menses today. I had mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, I'm happy to know that I'm fertile again but on the other hand, I've got enough on my plate. One of the perks of exclusively breastfeeding is supposed to be that it delays when you get AF back but it seems that mine always returns 4 to 5 months postpartum. I have girlfriends whose kids are 13 and 14 months and no sign of AF. I guess I lucked out in that department. And so birth control/delaying my next pregnancy takes on a more serious tone. I've considered the Paraguard but honestly, the idea of having a metal thing inside me really skeeves me out. I would never do anything hormonal. With a small child, it's difficult to track my basal temperatures accurately and I know from experience that not sleeping enough makes Natural Family Planning more useful for getting pregnant than avoiding it. So, while I'm kind of glad it's back, it's not all that exciting. Add to that the fact that I'm feeling supremely bitchy and, well, there it is.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Music

We purchased Tarrus Riley's new album Parables and it is fabulous. I haven't had an album that I keep playing over and over and over in a really long time. It feels nice. His voice is so smooth and his lyrics are tight. So we bought the album and I burned a CD for the car and I put it on the I-pod--wherever I go, I am listening to Parables. My favorite tracks are Beware, Microchip, Parables, She's Royal, Lion Paw and System Set. Great album!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Can't wait to get started on my next knitting project

My first attempt at one of Ms. Zimmerman's patterns was baby leggings found in the Knitter's Almanac. I didn't like how that turned out at all and frogged it. I think I've come to terms with the kind of knitter/crocheter I am--I'm a pattern follower 95% of the time and an organic craftster 5% of the time. It's funny, though, because I rarely swatch so I guess I'm not the greatest pattern follower. After I've done a pattern a few times, I'm ready to branch out and embellish but the first few times, I follow to a tee. I'm good enough at the crafts to spot gross errors in patterns and correct them. So at least I'm not a mindless pattern follower. Ms. Zimmerman's patterns are just not detailed enough for me (I also have problems following Barbara Walker's instructions in Knitting from the Top). This may be because I can't really focus for long periods of time because I'm usually taking care of my babies and/or up at 4 o'clock in the morning trying to squeeze some "me time" out of a day. Or it may just be me. So I'm thinking of selling Knitter's Almanac and Knitting from the Top. I may keep my copy of the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns but since I bought it eight months ago, I've used it exactly zero times. The patterns I find on the net and/or wing are enough to keep me busy.

My next project is going to be a sweater for Little Baby Boy. I borrowed The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmerman from the library. I'm going to be working on the famous Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ). I've collected notes from everywhere, been reading the BSJ thread on the "Zimmermania" group in Ravelry and looking at tons of pictures. The pattern is really a work of genius and they say the beauty of the design lies both in the process (easy knit using increases and decreases) and in the finished product. Usually, it's one over the other. I decided to use only one color to make the jacket. It looks sophisticated and neat when done in one color. The yarn I'll be using is Cascade 220 in Hunter Green (#8893). I may use my left over charcoal gray to do a border. I'm still working on the hubby's summer hat but I hope to be finished by the end of next week so that's when I'll be starting the BSJ. I am so excited.

I need to organize

My collection of recipes and patterns. This project will take a few weeks because I have TONS of recipes and patterns. I'm going to start with organizing my recipes, though, because nowadays I cook way more thank I knit and crochet. I've collected most of my recipes on the internet over almost seven years. They are haphazardly stuck in a binder that is now too full so they are overflowing into a cheap folder. It usually takes me *forever* to find a recipe and there are some recipes that I have totally forgotten since everything is in such a mess. So, I came up with a classification system (albeit not a sophisticated one) to try to put them in order.

1. Breakfast
a. porridge
b. veggie meats (sausage, bacon, etc . . . )
c. breakfast breads (pancakes, waffles, muffins, scones, etc
2. Veggie Burgers and Other Sandwiches
a. patties
b. spreads and fillings
3. Breads
a. yeasted
b. quick
4. Dinner
a. soups and stews
b. casseroles and pies
c. sides
5. Desserts
a. cakes
b. cookies
c. pies
d. breads
e. other pastries (tarts, baklava, cinnamon rolls, macaroons, etc)
6. Miscellaneous
a. hair and body products
b. cleaning products
c. toys (play dough, etc)

I bought some sheet protectors. Initially, I was going to take some other stuff I had in sheet protectors out but I don't have the time and I think I might want to keep that stuff preserved anyway (it's teaching materials). I will make copies of all the recipes that are old or stained so that they are fresh and then I'll put two recipes in each sheet protector. I think a 100 count package of sheet protectors should do and I think all my recipes will fit into the one binder I already have.

I'm really looking forward to getting this project done. It will help streamline things in the kitchen and hopefully I'll rediscover some great recipes that I've been neglecting.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

His Favorite Dish

My hubby's that is . . .
It is black eyed peas with red stew and plantain. It is one of the few Nigerian dishes that I've been able to "veganize". I had one very ripe plantain left over from the Jamaican Yuca Shepherd's pie I blogged about a week or so ago so I decided to make this dish.

It was so strange. I was posting to one of my message boards and came across a food blog called
Nyam, which is fabulous, by the way. From there, I found a slideshow of foods from the Diaspora and one of the pictures included in the slideshow was Plantain and redred from Ghana. First of all, I didn't even know that Ghanaians and Nigerians enjoyed this dish in common. Secondly, it was so uncanny: I regularly make this dish and I own the same plate--a Corelle dish with the exact same pattern. When I showed my niece and hubby, they thought it was my picture. But it's not (you can see chunks of fish in the beans and I don't generally mix my red stew into the beans and I cut my plaintains thinly). It was still a trip!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

So today is

Mother's Day!

Being a mother is my greatest joy. I am overwhelmed at times with the enormity of motherhood--that Jah, the universe, the Creator thought that I was capable, worthy to be responsible for these two little souls housed in the bodies of my sons. I never knew I could love so intensely, so completely. It fulfills me in a way I didn't think was possible. When I watch them play, grow, laugh, it tugs at my heart and my eyes well up. I watch them sleeping and the peace that's on their face calms me and settles me. They are my meditation.

I remember before I had children how much I longed to celebrate Mother's Day. I remember the year I was pregnant with my first baby and I wasn't quite a mother just yet . . . I just couldn't wait. Now, I'm not a big fan of the commercialism associated with all these holidays but Mother's Day has a special place in my heart and I usually try to let all the Mother's I love know that they are appreciated. Often the work of mothering is so devalued so it is absolutely imperative that we take a day aside to honor the Mother. It's not an easy job. There are days when you just want to throw in the towel. But all in all, all I hope is that I will be the kind of mother Marcus Garvey speaks of and that my children will bless me for being:
The Black Mother

Where can I find love that never changes
Smiles that are true and always just the same,
Caring not how the fierce tempest rages,
Willing ever to shield my honored name?

This I find at home, only with Mother,
Who cares for me with patient tenderness;
She from every human pain would rather
Save me, and drink the dregs of bitterness.

If on life's way I happen to flounder,
My true thoughts should be of Mother dear,
She is the rock that ne'er rifts asunder,
The cry of her child, be it far or near.

This is love wonderful beyond compare;
It is God's choicest gift to mortal man;
You, who know Mother, in this thought must share,
For, she, of all, is Angel of your Clan.

My Mother is black, loveliest of all;
Yes, she is as pure as the new made morn;
Her song of glee is a clear rhythmic call
To these arms of love to which I was born.

I shall never forget you, sweet Mother,
Where'er in life I may happen to roam;
Thou shalt always be the Fairy Charmer
To turn my dearest thoughts to things at home

Of course, DH was a sweetie. He's working actual Mother's Day so he went down to the city on Saturday and picked up some Ethiopian Food from our usual Ethiopian restaurant Awash. It is way to stressful to try to eat out with the boys so it was such a sweet gesture that he would stop all his work here around the house and do that. The food was delicious as always and my Big Baby Boy even ate a good amount! I couldn't ask for more.
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