Monday, October 31, 2011

Who you gonna call?

A Ghostbuster of course!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

A wee bit too ambitious

I've never been very good at carving pumpkins.  Triangle eyes and a toothless mouth (I start off with teeth, but usually slip and cut them off during the carving) is usually the most I'm willing to try.  Last year we managed a fairly decent looking Puffle, so on that success I got it in my head to do something a bit more ambitious......

Who you gonna call?


This is our fruit bowl.  We hope that this will last us a week.  And Hilary doesn't usually eat apples or pears, and I might have one a day, so can you guess who is going to eat it all?

Food continues to be a struggle with Liam.  What he will eat is limited and how much he will consume is appalling (humming birds eat more).  BUT he will eat fruit.  Lots of fruit.  We often have to limit him when he's on his 4th pear for the day.

So we will continue to fill the fruit bowl.   

Friday, October 28, 2011

A peculiar assortment of books. . .

I read a lot, when I have time.  Below is a list of books that were listed as the top 100 books people can't live without, based on a poll.  It was first published in 2007 - I wonder if the Twilight series would make the cut if they did the poll today?

I have made bold the books that I have read in entirety and italicized those merely attempted.  You can see my final count at the end of the list.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy.
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth.
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt.
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
 90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Total that I've read: 25
Total that I've attempted: 12

How many have you read?

What book would add to the list?  Do you have a favorite on the list?  Mine is "The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery" because of course it's not a hat!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Open Adoption Roundtable #31

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don't need to be listed at Open Adoption Bloggers to participate or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. The prompts are meant to be starting points--please feel free to adapt or expand on them.

Prompt #31: Write about open adoption and being scared.

There is really only one thing about open adoption that scares me.  The adoption NOT being open.  It scares me that Liam may never have a chance to know his mother or his siblings.  It scares me that he will grow up with the same hole and emptiness that I did when I thought about my first family.  It scares me that he may one day have to have a "reunion" instead of just having the chance to grow up with open adoption as part of his day to day life.

It doesn't just scare me, it makes me sad.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I don’t have to learn French, I’m adopted!

Liam is currently struggling with French at school. It is the only subject that he HATES. Given the type of learning disability that he has, we aren’t very surprised that he’s having a hard time with it.

Liam’s dislike of French is not new, nor is it related just to school. I am fluent in French, having gone to French school from Kindergarten through grade 10 and having lots of French relatives. When Liam was a baby I would try to talk to him in French, read books or sing songs. He was fine with the songs (all of his lullabies were French) but any reading or talking would elicit “No Mama! Engish!!!” I still sing French songs and he often joins in, but talking is still verboten. Single words (Bonjour, Au Revoir, Merci, Je t’aime…) are alright, but if I go as far as a full sentence he starts demanding English again.

So last night at bedtime I started throwing out a few French words with mild success. In English I told him how our family comes from a French background, how Grandpa was French and how proud he had been anytime Liam would call him and sing Happy Birthday in French to him. I even mentioned that our last name is French, hoping to get Liam to take some pride or ownership in our French heritage.

And that is when Liam seized his opportunity. “I don’t have to learn French, I’m adopted! My real last name isn’t French”. All of this was said with a very smug Aha! gotcha now look. He was sure he had found the best loophole to my argument.

Too bad for him that I was adopted too!

It took the wind out of his sails when I reminded him that my first last name wasn’t French either, but I still grew up speaking French. That we can get our heritage not only from our first families, but also from our adopted families, or even from family members that we marry. He seems to be sitting on that one for now, perhaps trying to find another loophole.

Until he does, he’ll be back in French class on Thursday!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Daring Kitchen - Moo Shu Pork

This month's daring kitchen challenge was a much easier one!  Not as technical as consomme, or as hands on as homemade pasta.  It was a one dish meal, essentially a stir-fry, served with home made Hoisin sauce and fried "pancakes".
Blog-checking lines: The October Daring Cooks' Challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cook and her sister Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood. They challenged us to bring a taste of the East into our home kitchens by making our own Moo Shu, including thin pancakes, stir fry and sauce.
The first thing I made was the Hoisin sauce.  The recipe called for either black bean paste or peanut butter. Since we had peanut butter on hand, I went with that.

After following the recipe, I found it tasted too much like peanut butter.  So I started adding a bit more of this, a dash of that, tasting as I went.  I finally got it to taste how I wanted, but it had become quite thin.  So I threw it in a pot and heated it till it had reduced to a nice thick consistency.

The stir fry itself was rather unremarkable to make.  Chop a lot of stuff into matchstick sizes, add one by one to the pan and, stirring constantly, cook until done.

The pancakes seemed easy enough; they only had 2 ingredients - water and flour.  And they did work out very well, the first night.  The problem we have with most recipes is that they always make too much for just the 2 of us.  We each ate 3 pancakes with our meal, but the recipe made 20+.  Since you have to cook them just as you eat them so that they don't dry out, I put the extra dough in the fridge to have the next night with our left over Moo Shu Pork. That part didn't work out very well.  The dough on the second night was VERY sticky, hard to roll out and needed the addition of a LOT of flour to be able to work with it.  That led to flour burning in the frying pan (you dry fry each pancake) and was overall frustrating to work with.  They still tasted pretty good though!

It's great to have another relatively simple recipe to add to my repertoire.  With each month I'm feeling more and more confident in my cooking and even have found myself cooking on the weekend without the push of a Daring Kitchen challenge.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hair today....

Oh the dilemmas that hair can cause!

In the last 10 years my hair has gone from a 1/4 inch of shaved shortness to well past my shoulders and back again.  My favorite cut is the shaved look with a bit of bangs.  That was how I kept my hair all summer, and it's just growing out enough now to have me thinking of what to do next.  I'm leaning towards just having Hilary shave it all off, but it's starting to get cold around these here parts.

What is a girl to do?

I guess I could always revisit the early '90s...........