31 January 2009
After college, I was extremely fortunate to travel around South East Asia for several months. I started out in Bangkok and saw a bit of Thailand before heading south to Malaysia, Singapore and finally Indonesia.
All of these countries were amazingly beautiful. The people were so kind and generous. And the food! Oh. My. The food was so incredible.
On a small island off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia I was first introduced to Black Rice Pudding. Often served as breakfast with strong sweet tea, Burbur Injin with coconut cream became and instant favorite. I haven't had it since and there is a craving I can't shake - even more than 20 years later.
I am now officially on a quest to find a source for black glutinous rice and to perfect a recipe. My soul needs it.
• 1 cup black glutinous rice
• 3/4 cup white glutinous rice
• 2 pandan leaves (found at Asian markets)
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 6 cups water
• ¼ cup palm or brown sugar
• 400ml tin coconut cream
Wash the rice thoroughly and soak it in cold water several hours or overnight.
Drain rice and combine with the water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to a simmer. Add pandan leaf and cook, partially covered, about 30 minutes or until rice is very tender stirring occasionally.
Add sugar and stir until it dissolves into the rice. Remove pandanus leaf.
Rice may be eaten warm, but is preferable at room temperature or cold.
Serve rice drizzled with coconut cream
30 January 2009
Good News: Owen continues to become the Master of the Potty! Yay!
Bad News: He's become enamoured with the toilet brush. I caught him dunking it in the bowl while he was peeing. My reaction startled him and as he rushed to remove it and return it to the holder, he sprayed the wall and floor making a disgusting mess.
My version of Neil's classic: A Mom Needs a Maid
29 January 2009
This morning, we were all going about our usual routine. Daddy-O happened upon O in the bathroom peeing all by himself.
"Wow Owen! Nice job! Raise your hand if you're a big boy."
Both Owen and Daddy-O raised their hands.
"I'm a big boy too!"
"No, Daddy! You a Daddy!"
It put a big smile on my otherwise grumpy face.
23 January 2009
22 January 2009
When he was a young boy, he and his brother were playing “swords”. Their mother, listening from the kitchen, warned them to be careful; “Stop that before someone puts an eye out.”
Fateful words. Haunting really.
With one swift jab, Pete’s left eye would be damaged beyond repair.
He lived his life like a normal boy – just only with sight in one eye. It never stopped him from doing anything his friends did. I can only imagine it might have taken him longer to make those friends; how the staring and taunting by too honest children would have made him feel.
But he grew up. His mother taught him confidence and never treated him differently. He married; became a skilled woodworker; a world traveler; a loyal friend; a friend who is outgoing and fun. He makes friends easily. But he always has to live with the fact that people who don’t know him well and don’t know his story yet will look at his face, first with a nervous glance and try not to stare in to that dark, dead eye.
Pressure began to build behind the eye a year ago. He’d get awful, debilitating headaches. A trip to an eye specialist diagnosed glaucoma and fluid problems and warned it would only get worse.
So it was with nervous excitement that he prepared for the surgery to remove the eye and prepare for a glass prosthetic. It was supposed to be a simple procedure and within a few weeks he dreamed his life would be dramatically different. No more pain. No more stares and awkward questions.
The operation went as planned and he wore his pirate’s patch with pride and offered to show us what was behind it.
Um. Nope. Thanks though!
But the healing didn’t happen as everyone had hoped. It took months of pain and disappointing check ups, but it healed. Slowly. And the day finally came, 4 months delayed, but Pete finally got his new eye!
I am so excited to finally see him and eagerly anticipate forgetting which eye is the bad one. But I will always cringe when I see my boys pick up a stick to play “swords”.
Congrats. PG! We’re so happy for you!
21 January 2009
20 January 2009
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of sub-freezing temperatures and ice storms. Nor do I much care for patchy, old, dirty snow. But there’s nothing like a foot of fresh powder to blanket an otherwise dreary view.
And as long as the temperature is above freezing and there's no snow in my boots, I’m a happy camper. So are my guys.
14 January 2009
12 January 2009
09 January 2009
06 January 2009
The kid is beyond excited about everything this milestone will reveal: Kindergarten, new friends, organized activities he can finally participate in. And, of course, the actual BIRTHDAY PARTY itself. Oh wait. That might be all he's anticipating.
I might actually have to change his name to Martha because he has already started planning the party and all the things he and his friends will do, eat, play - or more likely what his friends will bring him. (How did I raise a greedy child?)
The problem is, his birthday is at the end of February. And we live in Maine. It's damn cold out there. Why couldn't he have been a summer baby? Then we could just go to the beach!! (Oh, wait, that's my fault for PLANNING a February baby. Idiot. Must learn to think things through!)
Our house is too tiny for his small army of pals. I despise Chuck E. Cheezit (as Bii calls him) and all of the other organized birthday party ideas cost a small fortune. The Planetarium sounds like a cool idea (for me anyway) but he's never been and then there's the added frustration of coordinating food, drinks etc that they don't provide. We did a bowling party last year and it was terrific. But we can't do that again. There's an indoor play place but it's nearly $20 a kid. Renting a hall and a magician just doesn't seem like enough. sigh
Even though I'm sure he won't remember it as an adult, I long for him to have a memorable and unique 5th birthday party. (Yeah, I'm an overachiever) I need your help, oh creative blog friends. Do any of you have any ideas for a party for my nearly 5 year old baby?!?
I'll go sob now while I wait for you geniuses to save my ass. Oh, and thank you in advance.
03 January 2009
I feel like a new person and know that I'm not going completely insane.
Funny how these cycles elude you when you're not keeping track.
01 January 2009
I knew I'd have to log in to my work a bit each day - I am a one person IT department after all - and I was okay with that. I could take care of a few things so my desk wasn't a complete disaster when I returned. Yay for remote access!!
When I was called on Christmas morning, I was annoyed but happy that it wasn't during the ripping and tearing. It happened during a lull and I was alright with the diversion that was driving to the office to bring our servers back on line after the power outage.
When I was called on Monday morning I was a tad more annoyed but knew a lot of people were depending on me to bring the systems back up so they could get their work done.
The New Years Eve call wasn't a thrill, but I'd only had a couple of glasses of wine and the children had just gone up to bed - so at least the drive in to the office didn't compete with our celebration. I was home by 11:00 and actually stayed up to see the ball drop - a first in several years. It would have been more fun if Daddy-O was still up too...
The call this morning, though, sent me over the edge. The issues are thankfully minor and are fairly quick to take care of, but seriously. This is my VACATION. I'm so tired of this and I don't really know what to do. There isn't a simple fix. I know this is "job security" but come on. I have no doubt that I'll be called several more times over the remainder of the weekend.
The smile you saw on the picture below is gone. All the good this "vacation" has done is gone.
I'm sitting at my desk right now trying to calm myself and convince myself not to write my resignation letter and leave it on my boss's desk.