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What I was up to this month-September Edition

September 30, 2013

This month, I decided I am going to get my post done in time.  I will!  I will!

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My guy is #2.

In September, we settled in to school.  We have our routine of homework, soccer practice, and weekend relaxing.  The boys have sticker charts, working on such things like not getting into our bed at bedtime and getting completely ready for school before you can play.  We’ve done more doctor appointments and dental appointments this month then I care to think about.  The broken arm is healing well, two and half more weeks in that pesky cast.  On the upside though, the cast has been shortened and is not so bulky.  The cast also means we are juggling just two soccer schedules right now, which is very, very nice (especially looking ahead to next week when all three are supposed to have a game at 9 am on three different soccer fields).

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Someone learned how to ride a bike with pedals. He’s almost independent–just needs help getting started.

For all of September, our good camera was in the shop, so very sad.  Thus, we have a shortage of pictures of this month.  I started working on the kids scrapbooks again and realized I should have taken seriously the calls for the “last chance” to order Creative Memories supplies before they closed for restructuring for bankruptcy.  I am currently three years behind on Madeleine and John’s book, but I have Isaac caught up to only a year and a half behind.

The highlight of my month happened just last weekend, though.  For date night, Curtis and I went to hear Nadia Bolz-Weber and Sara Miles do a reading/book signing at a church on campus.  Nadia Bolz-Weber is a tattooed Lutheran pastor.  Her language is rather colorful, but she said some brilliant things.  Curtis likened her to a prophet, which I think isn’t too far from the truth.  Sara Miles is a lay leader in an Episcopalian church in San Francisco.  In addition to occasionally preaching, she also does extensive work with her community.  Her book, which is coming out in February, is called City of God, and is about celebrating Ash Wednesday with a community in the Mission district.  I am looking forward to reading her book!  We bought Nadia Bolz-Weber’s book, Pastrix.  Curtis started reading it.  I’m going to claim it when I’m done with my current book.  Regardless, it was one of the best date nights we had in a while and it gave us lots to think about and talk about.

Books:

Bury your Dead and A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny.  I continued to cruise through the Chief Inspector Gamache mysteries.  I really enjoyed Bury your Dead, partly because it was set almost completely out of Three Pines (where most of the books were set).  I hope to read Beautiful Mystery again before it is finally my turn for How The Light Gets In at the public library (I’m up to number 35 or something like that on 10 copies of the book).  I am almost ready to move on from these, I believe, which is a good thing since I only have two left to read.

Unbroken by Laura Hilldebrand.  This was our monthly book club book.  I am still a bit surprised I finished this book and went to book club.  The beginning of the book (the entire Part 1 and part of Part 2) was rather clunky and hard to read.  It didn’t have a lot of flow or voice.  However, the book hooked me more as it progressed.  Unbroken is a biography of a man named Louie who was a bomber in WWII.  His plane went down over the Pacific.  He and the pilot were the only survivors and spent 47 days on raft, dodging Japanese bullets and vicious sharks (there was a third man who survived the crash, but died on the raft).  The raft eventually landed on a Japanese occupied island and Louie became a POW, subject to brutal treatment.  He was ultimately freed after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  He suffered PTSD upon his return and became an alcoholic.  It wasn’t until the last 10 – 20 pages or so he found redemption, through a Billy Graham tent meeting.

I knew this was a book about war, yet I went to book club.  I knew my book club wasn’t in a Mennonite, mostly nonviolent group, yet I went.  While I spoke up some, on the subject of war and the importance of dropping the atomic bomb, I kept my mouth closed.  I still don’t believe the ends justify the means.  I don’t think the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified because the Japanese intended to kill all the POW’s otherwise.  While this could start a great debate, I think war is evil and terrible.  War makes us think the lives of our citizens are more important the lives of the citizens of the other country.  Needless to say, so much about this book club got me all riled up and I was thankful I could sit with a child with bad dreams before I went to bed, so I could calm down a bit.

Cooked by Michael Pollan.  I’ve written about this book a lot already, so I’ll say just two things.  I need more fermented foods in my life, like sauerkraut, wine, and pickled vegetables.  I want to pickle some of my own vegetables too.  Second, I think the one of the favorite things Pollan wrote was when he quoted a cheese making nun.  Pollan noted that as part of the Eucharist/Communion, we use bread and wine, both fermented in some way (the yeast in bread and the obvious fermentation that makes alcohol in wine).  Pollan suggested that cheese would be fitting for Communion as well, because it is a symbol of total transformation–of being broken and changed into something new.  I love cheese, so I thought this sounded like a great addition to Communion (although I can’t quite imagine the liturgy said over the slicing of cheese….).  Maybe this is sacrilegious, but as you know, I think the sacred can be found in many every day things.

Food:

I continue by cookbook checking out frenzy from the library.  In September, I checked out Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu.  I didn’t make any recipes, but I copied a few for later use, including a few for pickled vegetables (see Cooked above).  In our CSA box, we get a lot of Asian vegetables, like Japanese eggplant, shiso peppers, bok choy, and mizuna.  I look forward to trying a few of the recipes.  Most of them seemed too inaccessible for a variety of reasons, like ingredients and time involved.  I also tend to make a main course that can double as a complete meal, and not many of the recipes lended themselves to that.  I loved reading the book, learning about Japanese cuisine and culture, and looking at the pictures.  However, it’s not a book I’ll buy because there aren’t many recipes I’ll ever actually make.

I also checked out Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi (author of Jerusalem, one of my favorite cookbooks).  I intend to buy Plenty at some point because there were too many recipes to copy that I wanted to make.  I’ll let you know next month some of the recipes I made.

I cooked mostly basic, everyday meals this month…nothing special.  We dropped to getting our CSA box every two weeks, because I just couldn’t deal with all that eggplant and summer squash.  However, potatoes started showing up–regular and sweet potatoes, which is rather exciting, as well as hardy leafy greens like kale, collards, and bok choy.

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That wonderful bread! And the butter!!! The butter!!!!

I didn’t eat any where exciting this month except for my night out with girlfriends at Arro.  It has a constant Prix Fix menu, plus a traditional menu.  The lobster bisque and french onion soups were incredible, as was the bread and the mushroom salad and mussels with frites.  (We order and share).

Otherwise:

Thirteen hundred words later, that’s it.  Not much in the line of movies or TV–just Grey’s Anatomy Season 4.  We finally saw Star Trek Into Darkness and Kings of Summer (a wonderful independent movie.  I’ll never look at Boston Market without smiling now).  Curtis also watched World War Z.  I just couldn’t quite bring myself to that.

This post is linked up to Hopeful Leigh’s What I’m Into

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2013 10:20 pm

    I love Michael Pollan. I haven’t read “Cooked” yet but I will soon. I love cheese so the addition to communion sounds reasonable to me. Ha! I’m not Mennonite but like you, I’m anti-war and find it hard to understand how it can be justified.

    I enjoyed your post. If you’d like to see what I’ve been into this past month, here’s the link:
    http://teawithdee.blogspot.com/2013/10/what-im-into-september-2013-edition.html

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