31 December 2008

family dining

Menus from the blurry week of Christmas:

Menu One:

*Winter Vegetable Marinara with Spaghetti 

*Campbell Kids' Favorite Garlic Bread

*Garlic Roasted Broccoli Spears

*Mixed Greens with Vinaigrette

Menu Two:

(Boxing Day Party)

*Christian's Black-Eyed Pea Beef Chili

*Lara's Four Bean Potato Chili

*Brown Rice

*Chili Toppings--Lime, Cilantro, Scallions, Shredded Cheddar, Sour Cream

*Dian's Corn Bread

*Dian's Guacamole

*Big Salad

*Red Pepper Hummus

*Ice Cream with Grandma Eva's Hot Fudge Sauce

*Some Other Things I'm forgetting

Menu Three:

*Sunday Roast with Onion Gravy

*Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

*Garlic Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

*Peppermint JoJo's

Menu Four:

*Mackenzie's Favorite Eggplant Parmagianna Grilled Sandwiches

*Nappa Cabbage/Apple Salad

*Red Pepper Hummus


28 December 2008

I love Christmas, I hate pronouns

I don't want to talk about the pronouns. Just hate them with me.
Other than that, though, I am Good At Europe! I'll tell you all of my GAE moments, starting with the most important:
I dreamed in German!!!!!! That is right! Your little Ingy is getting more multilingual as the days go by, though I still have trouble with the Platt-Deutsch (sp?) that my Oma and Opa speak.
I got invitied to somebody's house! She is freaking wealthy, but that means that she likes ice cubes and I encountered my first of four months. Hooray!
I ran all the way across town in high heels and a very opressive LBD, which doesn't sound like an achievement until I tell you that our town is paved in cobblestones.
Christmas was great, though I think it's much more about the journey than the destination here. But my Host Family gave me stuff, including home knitted socks (so cute!) and my Biological family gave me stuff, including four different pieces of jewelry that had birds on them. Wonderful! And I watched a crappycute Krippenspiel in the big church and wore my angel wings in public (trying to find the mysterious Ay Caramba, which is a disco that turned out to be for 18-upfolk). While we're talking about birds, though, they're different here, and all very beautiful. There are big brown birds of prey that sit on apple trees and look important, and Blue-gray herons or cranes that walk around on the rolling hill on our way to and from school, and teeny chickadees that I look at instead of the black board. But only sometimes, don't worry.

26 December 2008

boxing day

After the decadence of the past, um, how many weeks has it been since Thanksgiving? I'm eating a slice of whole wheat toast and a lightly poached egg (and a frosty can of diet coke). I feel like an invalid. Especially the way I just jumped out of my skin when I heard, through the dead-quiet house, MoMo's fire truck say: "We've got an emergency. Please respond." No more adrenaline. No more deadlines. My nervous system needs a break.

At least until New Years' Eve, when I am considering throwing a gigantic party (or, maybe just medium-sized.)

My boxing day plan is:

1) Chillax
2)Long Bath
3)Low key chilli dinner
4)Long walk
5)Play games/read stories/watch movies with kids.

What is your post-Christmas antidote?

23 December 2008

crazy beautiful moon

i'm sitting at my writing place looking out the window at 7.13 am.  every couch is occupied by relatives who got stranded here in a snow storm. i can see the entire moon, but only a tiny sliver is lighted.  a shred of grey clouds is passing over it, but the tiny sliver shines through, and then it emerges again.  i'll stay here with the moon until it's gone.

22 December 2008

Family Dining


Menu 1:
*Hawaiian Haystacks garnished with pineapple, coconut, raisins, crispy chow mein noodles, and green onions over brown rice

Menu 2:
*Bright Star Black Bean/Roasted Lemon Soup garnished with sour cream

*Shredded Napa Cabbage and Swiss Chard Slaw

*Brown Rice part deux: Rice pudding studded with almonds

Menu 3:
*Scratch Macaroni and Cheese

*Garlic Roasted Broccoli Spears (I should have made twice as much)

*Emily’s Mincemeat Cake with lightly sweetened whipped cream and candied clementines

Menu 4:

*Mark Bittman's Luccan Farro Soup

*Toasted Sharp Cheddar Cheese Sandwiches on Sourdough Bread

Holiday Treats from neighbors:


*Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

*Candied Almonds

20 December 2008

The Red Pepper Hummus Lady

Tonight at Steve and Janell's party, someone asked me if I was the "Red Pepper Hummus Lady."  The answer is more complicated than it might seem, for, while I did bring red pepper hummus to the party that I did make, the real red pepper hummus lady is Nigella Lawson. Didn't you all hear her on NPR recently?  She suggested adding roasted red peppers to your hummus to make it more festive for the holidays.  I thought that sounded like an okay idea, but didn't really think I'd ever try it.  However, a couple of weeks ago I was making hummus and something went horribly wrong.  Since I have an aversion to following recipes, I had put either too much salt or too much tahini and not enough lemon in the hummus.  As I desperately searched my refrigerator, sure that I had another lemon rolling around somewhere in there, I came across half a jar of roasted peppers.  Thinking that the acidity from the preserved peppers might make up for the lack of lemon and over salted and over tahinied humus, I remembered what Nigella said, and I threw the peppers in the food processor with the hummus.  I still wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I had to go, and I had to bring something to the party, so I threw it in a bowl and left (I had made a double batch, and packed the rest in crockery for book club later that week.)  I've now taken this hummus to three parties, and it's been a big hit every time, and it does elevate your pedestrian dish of hummus to a slightly more intense and festive dip.  Thanks Nigella!  And thanks Janell, who throws awesome parties with tables full of delicious food and a beautifully decorated house.

Red Pepper Hummus Lady Dip
(I think I can call this my recipe, because I created the hummus recipe--but the idea was Nigella's)

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. tahini
1/4 c. olive oil
one fresh lemon, juiced
3 cloves garlic
1/2 of a big jar of roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed*
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 t. smoked paprika (I'm using this in everything these days)
a drizzle of olive oil for garnish

In the bowl of your food processor, pulse tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, 1 t. salt and garlic.  After ingredients are fully incorporated, add beans and red peppers blend for about one minute in food processor.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper and lemon juice if needed.

To serve, make a pretty swirl on the top of the hummus and drizzle olive oil into the swirl.  Grind a few grinds of black pepper on top.

*For anyone who lives in Provo, Albertson's has big jars of roasted red peppers on sale 2 for $4.00.  You might want to get some for your food storage.

p.s.--I decided that from now on I'm going to get one really tasty treat recipe and bring it to every holiday party of the season.  I stocked up on pita chips, tahini, roasted red peppers and lemons, and now I don't have to stress about what to bring to a party.  I have three more parties to go this season and I already know what I'm bringing and have all of the ingredients. 

Maybe everyone else in the world already knows this trick.  I'm admittedly bad at simplifying and streamlining, and this epiphany represents a big step forward for me.

19 December 2008

The Alices

There exists a triumvirate of women named Alice who inspire my cooking, and therefore my entire life: Alice D., Alice W., and Alice T.

Alice D. is my friend from Seattle: activist, artist, cook, radical, friend. When you go to her house, she will cook beautiful, unexpected food in her beautiful kitchen that overlooks the beautiful Puget Sound and then she will take you upstairs to her studio and show you her beautiful paintings. She will cook for you some Korean pancakes, or an organic free range chicken cooked in clay, or an apricot crumble, and you will ask her questions about the world and she will never say what you think she would say, and she will never say what anybody else would say. She inspires me to be less occidental in my approach to food, and I encounter combinations of flavors in her kitchen that I never get anywhere else. And she gave me the Chez Panisse Dessert Cookbook one year, and it is my favorite cookbook.

Besides the one "written by" one of the other Alices, Alice B. Toklas, Miss Gertrude Stein's companion--The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. I put the "written by" in quotes because it has been postulated, and seems quite plausible, that Miss Stein actually wrote the book as if it were the memoirs of Miss Toklas. At any rate, her chicken salad with heavy cream is the best. And her stories of cooking as an ex-patriot American in war-time France for the great Miss Stein are fascinating and delicious. I have a poem inspired/stolen from her coming out in Fence fall 2010. What I come away from this book with is how much the food and the art intersected in Miss Stein's life, and how creative scavenging in hard times can bring about delicious discoveries, which reinforces the last Alice's most important premise: that food is precious.

The last Alice is, of course, Alice Waters. She is frustratingly purist in her approach. No compromises. You are a bad person if you don't procure the best ingredients you can. I sometimes feel angry at her. She has easy access to sixteen varieties of Jerusalem artichokes in Berkeley. I have access to zero. But I also feel inspired by her--what are the best ingredients in my food world? What are they? Where are they? What am I willing to sacrifice in order to buy organic flour? Danish butter? Am I willing to give up my Netflix account? My favorite bubble bath? If not, I'd better have a good reason why, or Ms. Waters will spit on me from her food throne. She is responsible for the locavore movement, for more responsible farming practices, for a resurgence in heirloom varieties, for making Americans care more about food, and is currently working very hard to get schools to provide better food for children by reconnecting them to their food cultures. She claims that food is our number one national security issue, and she is right. Also, I learned to love cauliflower all over again because of her. If you don't own The Art of Simple Food, you should. Ask for it for Christmas. It might make you mad, but it will definitely make you a better cook.

I Heart the Alices.

17 December 2008

Bright Star Soup

Today I was talking to my neighbor Dawn and she told me how when the snow plows came through yesterday she ran outside and begged the driver to plow the snow into the cul-de-sac in a big pile. She said he smiled and took a really long time to make a good mound, patting it down in between scoops. Dawn has four really awesome boys, and I love watching them play. They're always outside using their imaginations in cool ways.

So today after school, Momo, Cecy and Lula put on full snow regalia and played from 3.15 until 7 pm, until it was pitch black outside, on the mound with Dawn's boys. They built a tunnel through the mound and a short tobaggin run, and who knows what else. Moses was in heaven getting to play with the big boys. Their extended no-maintenance play time enabled me to write down a recipe for my favorite soup, the one I've been making for years but only today formalized into a written recipe.

Winter Black Bean/Roasted Lemon Soup

AKA: Bright Star Black Bean Soup

1 heart of celery, including leaves, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 med. Onion, diced
2 med. Carrots, diced
2 med. Potatoes, peeled and diced
4 T. olive oil
3 cans black beans/12 oz. dry beans, cooked
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 Lemon
1 T. smoked paprika*
1 T. chili powder
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
sour cream for garnish

In the winter I rely heavily on beans and canned tomatoes. My family and I adore this soup, which is savory and hearty, but meatless, and brightened by the lemon juice and roast lemon slices. (I love how we don’t get as many fresh veggies in winter, but the citrus comes into make up for it like a bright star against a dark night.)
Soften diced veggies and three cloves of crushed garlic in 3 T. olive oil. Season veggies with paprika, chili powder, s &p and cook for one minute more.
Add stewed tomatoes, (in packing juices), drained and rinsed beans and six cups liquid (your choice of stock or water—I often use water to keep the cost down.) Bring soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Finish the soup by puréeing in a food processor and blender in batches. If you like it a bit chunky, you can purée only half. Stir in the juice of one half of the fresh lemon to brighten, adjust s&p if needed, and garnish with one lemon slice (it can get too sour if you add more) and a t. of sour cream.

Roasted Lemon Garnish
While the soup is simmering, wash and slice the other half lemon into half rounds. On a baking sheet, toss the lemon slices, three cloves of garlic and 1 T. olive oil together with sea salt (coarse ground is pretty and adds texture if you have it).
Roast on high heat until the lemons and garlic are browned and carmelized.
*The smoked paprika makes it taste like you’ve had a ham-bone simmering in the soup, sans the meat.

Here it is. Feel free to add any suggestions for making it even more delicious in the comments section:

Sign a petition for FOOD DEMOCRACY NOW

This is the time when we need a rock n' roll Sec'y of Agriculture.  Help make that happen by signing this petition.

Alice Waters' Food Credo

I kind of got all of my ideas from her, and hers is much more concise and developed than mine:

*Eat locally & sustainably
*Eat seasonally
*Shop at farmers' markets
*Plant a garden
*Conserve, compost & recycle
*Cook simply
*Cook together
*Eat together
*Remember food is precious

I'm still waiting to hear y'alls food credos.  I really, really, really want to know.  Even just one tiny thing.

momo's holiday post-its

We made a snowman outside in the snow and Moses named him NED! So cute!


Miss Kelsey

Moses was such a GOOD FRIEND yesterday.  It was time to line up and put our coats on, so he got his jacket and helped Jayden by giving him his jacket too!


Miss Kelsey

Moses is an amazing singer.  He loved singing our new Christmas songs, especially the one about Santa being "too fat." :)


Miss Christy

Yesterday on the way home from 'benture time, Momo said, "What's touching?"  I explained then he said, "Boundaries!  Let's keep our hands to ourselves."  I decided to drop the subject for now.

16 December 2008


I found out that rice matters at Alice's solstice party one year.  I took a mouthful of the most beautiful and delicately fragrant rice, adorably short-grained, startlingly white, and then had the rice epiphany as the little grain pearls rolled around on my tongue and made me feel like I was eating a mouthful of teeny weeny baby toes.  Without hurting any actual babies.  Oddly, the rice reminded me very much of babies, which is never a bad thing. There was something about that indefinable mother's milk smell and the indescribable texture of baby skin.  And then I bit into the rice, and it had a pleasantly firm, toothsome feel.  I wanted to forsake the rest of the food: (tho of course i didn't) like Alice's tofu aioli (yes, tofu can be delicious! not just tolerable, but delicious.  if you add enough olive oil) and her Copper River Salmon grilled in a packet atop lemon grass and doused in Pernod.  Or her plum tart.  Or the big bowl of puffed Cheetos.  I didn't forsake the rest of the food for a few more bowls of rice, but I dreamed about that rice for years, a short grained sushi variety, but wasn't actually empowered enough to make great rice in my own home.  Then when I met Mikilani and ate delicious rice at her house, I finally determined to find my own delicious rice, and to no longer settle for an side dish with a mediocre texture and flavor.  That led me to First Oriental in Orem.  I'm sorry, but if you live in Utah Valley, you have to go to Orem to get good rice.  So make a list of everything you have to do in Orem and just get it over with.  Then come back to whatever cute place you live in and get out your rice cooker prepare to never eat Calrose again.

And let me know if you think my baby toe metaphor was on the mark or not.

15 December 2008

click on "I meant to do this" and it will take you straight to my boyfriend's latest article in the NY Times

I meant to do this:

but. . .

How do I reconcile how much I heart Bittman with how much I heart Williams and Sonoma?

No Excuses

Check out this post from Bittman:


I heart him so much!!!!!

Family Dining

Some menus:

Menu 1:
*Petite Sirloin and Mushroom Stroganoff over Brown Rice*
*Steamed Broccoli
*Snickerdoodles that Bertie’s nurse brought over in little balls so we could bake them ourselves for FHE

Menu 2:
*Clifford Family Farm Eggs Over Easy
*Sweet Potato Pancakes a la Mark Bittman
*Sweet Italian Sausages
*Hothouse Cucumber Salad with Dill

Menu 3:
*Black-eyed Pea/Red Bean Chili with Baby Potatoes over Brown Rice* garnished with Scallions, Cilantro and Sour cream
*Ghiradelli Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Menu 4:
*Black Forest Ham and Swiss Cheese Sandwiches on Ciabattini
*Mixed Greens and shredded Chard Salad
*Cheetos (shhhhhh)

Movie Night Treats:
*Ghiradelli Chip Cookies part deux, Popcorn, Chocolate Orange
Party Food:
*Clifford Family Farm Deviled Eggs with Smoked Paprika, Hummous with Sweet Red Roasted Peppers

I'm thinking about food to make when you're feeling under the weather. I've been dragging around for a couple of days and woke up with a bad cold this morning. I need to make some thing healthy and easy, and also something I can shop for at the Creamery, or make from the pantry.

*the Brown Rice is Soukayaki Gemai from First Oriental on State Street. I learned about it from Mikilani, who's from Hawaii, so she should know, and it's delish. We buy the same brand of white rice as well, and a big bag of cheaper rice for when we don't care as much. I like having the extra delish rice with a humble dish like chili because it makes it a little bit special.

14 December 2008

Guess who just got to go to church!?

That's write, our spiritually starved little Ingrid. But don't worry-- I'm hungering for righteousness, and Jesus has promised many times to feed me. He just did, in fact! I also got sexually harassed in the bahnhof. It turns out I resemble Pippi Langstraumpf to sexual predators as well as my host mom's boyfriend and everyone at the disco. lols. It would have been a lot funnier, though, had I not been standing alone in the bahnhof in Gotha, which is not quite a safe and supportive environment. But Brother Mohr came to pick me up, and it was all better. We baked cookies. (vanilla sugar. Use it. Worship it. Have a jar waiting for me when I come home and I will feed you the best baked goods in the whole world) The next day was pretty chill-- I made a jigsaw puzzle and played board games and we watched Get Smart. Then we had the branch Christmas fest which was a riot. I liked it. And Sister Mohr told me she was sure I'd been taking German lessons for years before I came here. Hooray! I'm still. dreaming. in. English, though, so I'm not being too pleased with myself. Also, Eva: send me a letter. Also anyone else who wants to. Is it safe to post my address on the Bloggity? No. I don't think so. The man from the bahnhof is probably creeping around online as we speak. Church was great, of course. I almost cried during sacrament. In fact, I did cry. One thing I will say to you all is: do not take your wards for granted. Go to church next week and give the entire building a big hug, because you never know when it will be the last time you go for months. What else has happened this week?
Oh yeah, a BIG HUGE CYBER-FIVE FOR MY AWESOME PARENTS! They sent me prezzies and write good letters and a million books that I love. Give them a hug too next time you see them, because you never know when you'll have to leave the country for ten months.
You know what I realized this week? The Germans are not human. They can't be. There'S no way. I think my main culture shock problems will not so much be missing peanut butter and boys who pee standing up so much as trying to compensate for being a mere mortal.
I think they're actually robots from the future sent to teach the world how to take care of the planet and do EVERYTHING exactly right before we initiate an apocalypse. So I am actually a very important vessel of information. They're going to pump me full of it and send me home to spread my spores of environmental education through the land. Here is a nugget:
Don't use plastic bags. Carry your groceries out all loose and wild in your grocery cart to your car, where you should all have a basket or two. Put everything in there, and then take the whole basket inside when you get home, and return it to the car when you finish unloading.

13 December 2008


I broke out of the cocoon this week and went to some parties, and it wasn't half bad!  I don't know why it was so surprising.  There are a lot of uber cool and interesting people here, and furthermore, I used to enjoy going to parties, but I've been experiencing an intense period of introversion.  Perhaps it's the novel thing, a gestation of sorts.  On one hand, it's like reading a really great book that you can't put down--the real world is such an unwelcome intrusion.  On the other hand, it's not quite that effortless (Don R. says that writing poems should feel effortless, and I've experienced that many times--perhaps I just don't have enough practice at novel writing.  Not perhaps, certainly.) and I think I'm afraid to do anything that will break my concentration. I feel like if I stop thinking about the novel it will disappear.  I'm afraid to look away for a moment, and I know fear is not a good state in which to write, so I have to change that mentality asap.  

And the world in a book or the worlds we create when we write are sometimes so much cleaner, so much more homogeneous and so much easier to deal with.

Anyhow, I've always fought against introversion, because it seems unhealthy and wrong, as opposed to extroversion which tends to make things happen and its owners popular, rich and famous.  But right now I'm giving in to it.  Especially tonight it feels incredibly luxurious:  it's cold and snowing out, I rented Stardust and made cookies, and the five of us will snuggle up on the couch in this most privileged and lucky moment.

12 December 2008

Some Food Heroes

*Alice Waters

*Mark Bittman

*All of the women in my family. All. And three of the men.

*Alice B. Toklas--thank you for feeding such nice things to Miss Gertrude Stein

*Laurie Colwin

*Irma Rombauer

*M.F.K. Fisher

*the farmers who also work two full time jobs at Clifford Family Farm


Some food philosophy and their derivations:

*A bad bagel topped with garlic and parmesan does not = a good bagel. The best food in the world is created with flour, water and salt when those ingredients are given their proper love & respect. (via Alice Waters)

*Good food doesn't have to be hard. Pick a star flavor, just one, and let it shine. (via Mark Bittman)

*Make sure your food is the right temperature. My mother would never serve an uncrisped salad or rolls that weren't right out of the oven. Thanks, Mom.

*Sit down with your people every night and eat together. (Thanks, Dad.)

*Everything is better when Bammy's in the kitchen rolling out a thin pie crust made with tenderflake lard packed in a suitcase and driven down from Canada.

*Your food tastes better when it's beautiful. (Dad)

*Make friends with farmers and gardeners if you can't be one yourself. (Alice Waters)

*Respect the seasons. (Grandma Beth)

I'd love to hear some of your food philosophies, even if you only just now realized that you had them.


Mama Lara

10 December 2008

Do your part

to stave off the fall of our empire by examining and rejecting the so-called baby carrot.

What is this food?

Is it really a food?

I have at times fallen prey to the lure of the baby carrot, fantasizing for a brief delusional moment about how easy it will be to come home and rip open the package and throw them on the table, or for my kids to grab a handful and stuff them in their lunches. In those moments of weakness, I forgot that someone would actually have to eat them. As I was peeling and carrot-sticking some beautiful orange carrots tonight for the kids I thought, really, this is not the same food as the baby carrot at all, with its unappealing dry patina, its woody texture, its un-carrotlike flavor. How hard is it to peel and cut a carrot? I thought. I don't know if the baby carrot is actually different variety of carrot altogether, or if they just salvage pieces of old woody carrots they were going to feed to their hogs and make them into little bullet shaped carrots.

And really, do we need them in individually sized packages?

How hard is it to put your carrots into a container?

The advent of the baby carrot, which led to the even more insidious individually packaged baby carrot, is the ultimate sign, the canary in the coal mine if you will, of a culture in decline. Help me resist this decline by boycotting this little orange Trojan horse.

Furthermore, let me exhort you to choose loose carrots over pre-packaged bulk carrots. It's true, they cost more, but they taste more than twice as good as their woody old ancestors in the large packages (harvested in 2005), and I always end up wasting more bulk carrots because they can be bitter, tough and misshapen. You can even save plastic by letting your loose carrots roam free in the cart and in your shopping bag. You will be washing and peeling them, after all.

Carrots are a delicious and precious food that can sustain the most humble of cuisines through hard times. Let us give them their due, and forsake their predators the baby carrots in both bulk and individually-sized packages.

p.s.--Look for a coming post entitled "The Pre-Packaged Sliced Apple."

09 December 2008

questions/circular logic/animal classification

Can we be rough with bad guys?

Ummmm. . . only if we need to to get away.

Can we go get Spiderman?


Can one Spiderman tie the other Spiderman up with his web?

There's only one Spiderman.

Why are bad guys bad?

They are bad because they hurt us, it's in their nature.

Can we kill them or just stop them?

Just stop them.

What are octopuses?

Sea creatures, kind of like fish.

Why don't they have tails?

They have eight arms.

No, they have eight tails.

Good point.

Why are they not fish?

I don't know , let's call Dad and ask him.

(Calling Dad--dad and mom discuss: are they crustaceans? arthropods? arachnids?)

Dad says we can look it up on the internet.

What happens when we die?

Our spirit leaves our body and goes to heaven.


Because that's where Heavenly Father lives.

Is he our Jesus?

Kind of.

What happens if we kiss?

I don't know.

Will he help us up?


08 December 2008

family dining

Here are a few menus from last week:

Menu One:
*Savory butternut soup (I'm on a quest for a less sweet soup--I'll post my recipe when I've perfected it)
*Grandma Wendy's rolls ( I had a tray of frozen dough, bun-shaped, in the freezer still from Thanksgiving)
*Greens with pomegranate seeds and vinaigrette
*Baked apples stuffed with pecans and raisins drizzled with pouring cream (Allred's apples, local, very good, wish they were organic)

Menu Two:
*Grilled petite sirloin strips from the Creamery (their beef is local too, but not organic or grass-fed) atop baby spinach with pomegranate seeds and grapefruit sections, apple cider vinaigrette
*apple pie with Alice Waters' crumb topping (this too was frozen from Thanksgiving, and was not as delicious as the first time, but still good, and the Jonathan apples from Allred's have great flavor)

Menu Three:
*Savory Butternut Soup part deux (the kids love this soup)
*Sharp Cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches on Grandma Sycamore's bread (local, decadently white and soft)

Menu Four:
*Orrechiette with crispy bits of pancetta, spinach ricotta pesto, artichoke hearts and steamed broccoli (the pesto was inspired by a cooking show I had watched that day--I wasn't crazy about the ricotta flavor, and probably won't make it that way again.)
*Lindt chocolate (on sale for one dollar at Smith's)--this was our movie night meal and treat

I had planned to make sweet potato pancakes, but that didn't happen, and a recipe I've been creating in my head with spaghetti squash, but my squash were all mushy when I took them out to preapare them. Next week.

But do help me out with my recipe: I want to cook the spaghetti squash, remove the spaghettis and toss them in a marinara and then rebake the spaghetti and sauce in the sqash shells with cheese and bread crumbs on top. I'm trying to come up with one more ingredient to give it a little more oomph. Thoughts? Don't you think these will be adorable, all browned and crispy on top, and self-contained in cute little boats, called Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash.

03 December 2008

the children's hour or better than a cuisinart

So ten days ago I purchased my first food processor--a gorgeous stainless cuisinart with frighteningly sharp blades (we were actually given a food processor for our wedding almost twenty years ago, but I returned it to Costco thinking that we needed cash more, and besides, our kitchen on 95th and Amsterdam in Manhattan had literally two inches of counter space and no cupboards.) This machine is dreamy, and I've used it every day for the past ten days to puree soup, make hummous, julienne jicama, shred sweet potatoes, mix pastry dough, and best of all to make fresh bread crumbs.

But today I realized that there is something better for vegetable prep than a cuisinart: small children. Here are the tools and materials you need: one three-year- old, one five-year-old, two butter knives, two chopping boards, two prep bowls, one large prep bowl, and a head of cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower into eighths, and give each child one-eighth of a cauliflower to prep at a time. Instruct the little choppers to cut the cauliflower into small pieces and to break off or trim off the large stems. It takes them a good hour to prep the whole thing, what with the concerted effort of chopping with a butter knife, finding a good angle for cutting, and most of all, moving the cauliflower from the cutting board to the small prep bowl and then eventually from the small prep bowl to the big prep bowl (don't try to save dishes on this one--the time you spend washing prep bowls will be returned to you ten, nay, even fifteen times in the extra time it takes the kids to move the cauliflower around.)

While the kids prep cauliflower, you can prepare the rest of dinner, or eat popcorn and write on your blog. It's heaven. Try it.



p.s.--one more reason why I returned my first food processor to Costco is that I heard some famous chef say that all one should ever need in the kitchen is a good French chef's knife. So that intimidated me into taking it back.

p.p.s.--I feel a tiny bit guilty that I have a food processor and Mark Bittman doesn't, can't fit it in his very small Manhattan kitchen. On the other hand, he gets to live in NYC and I get to live in Provo.

01 December 2008


I love the three-year-old mind, a mind free of assumptions about the world. When Eva was three, we had to make a question limit to save our sanity.

"Why do rocket-ships go upwards?"

"Why do shooting stars shoot?"

"Why is everything everything?"

"Why are the clouds snuggling on the mountains?"

"Why does poop have germs on it?"

"What do ghostes say?"

"Why are ghostes not real?"

30 November 2008

Family Dining

I try to cook dinner every night. Here are a few of our menus from this week:

menu 1:

*cifford family farms eggs over easy
*sweet italian sausages from Harmons (they make their own)
*whole wheat toast with butter
*ruby red grapefruit wedges dipped in sugar

menu 2:

*turkey tetrazzini with fresh bread crumb/parmesean crispy topping
*garlic green beans seared in olive oil
*french bread
*peach cherry crisp with whipped cream and pecan topping

menu 3:

*rice with leftover turkey and gravy
*leftover fresh cranberry/orange sauce
*shredded napa and swiss chard salad with scallions, radishes, jicama, oranges, with orange vinegarette

I already posted our Thanksgiving menu. Next week, be watching for winter squash and sweet potato menues.

Thanksgiving in Weimar!

So, I didn't end up eating anything out of the ordinary on Thanksgiving, but I did try to be extra thankful. I thought about suggesting a Thanksgiving feast in my host family, but I felt a little high-maintainence asking that a turkey I wouldn't have eaten be roasted on my behalf. Instead, I went on a field trip to Weimar, which is the birthplace of Goethe and Schiller. It was neat-- we went to a classical concert but I can't remember the name of the composer... in any case, I was enjoying it very much, but then right at the end-ish I looked to my right and what did I see? Five boys watching an action movie on one of their cell phones.
After that we had some free time, so I walked around with my friends (friends!). We walked past the house where Schiller was born, which was neat, and I bought some postcards. I sent one of them to Boyd, but I still have two more. Who wants one? We also went to a coffee shop where I sat around awkwardly, and a few clothing stores. I was standing by a rack of jewelry, trying to find a ring for my thumb (I only have four! my thumb is naked!), and my friend Julia, who has pink hair, said to me, "Aha, this is your world". It was cute. And then some lady thought I was shoplifting.
On the ride home, I sat by Jahn aus Usbekistan (sp?), who was slightly tipsy and very friendly. We took pictures together and I told him about Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and then he fell asleep on my shoulder. Cute.
Have I talked to you all about the weather? Because it is absolutely the most ridiculous thing I've ever encountered. On Nov. 20 it monsooned ( I know this very well because I went skinny dipping that night... but it's a long story. Just know that there were no boys) and then the very next day it started snowing, and kept at it for several days until Thüringen was buried in a foot-deep blanket of snow. Two days later, all the snow had melted and it was raining again. Do you want to know what the sky did today? It sunshined. I'm just so confused about what the clouds want from me!
But other than that, all is well. I got a letter from a member of the Bundestag (the German congress) and I wrote one back (all in German!) and my family has started putting up Christmas decorations. Hooray!

28 November 2008


I thought I might share some of my rejection letters. Did you know that most lit. journals accept 1% of submissions? Crap.

Dear l*** c******d:

We’re sorry we can’t use "gaunt swimmers ransomed," which you submitted to upstreet. We have received a great deal of work by writers who will not be included in the final selection, but certainly deserve to have their voices heard in other publications.

We wish you all the best with your writing; thank you for giving us the opportunity to read it.

The Editors

"hi my name is moses

and this is my show and tell!" That is how Moses started his show and tell today. So cute!


Miss Kelsey

Moses was laying so nicely at naptime today. He is doing a great job in this class.


Miss Christy

26 November 2008

Before Knocking

Lula taped this sign to the door today (along with a pencil tied to a string):

"Happy Thanksgiving! Before knocking, write down something you're thankful for on this piece of paper."

What are you thankful for?

24 November 2008


I forgot that I also need to make deviled eggs for Lula. If Eva and Ingrid were here, I'd make stuffed mushrooms. Stuffed mushrooms are the most adorable of all Thanksgiving foods, perhaps of all foods in the world, and I love the process of popping the stems out of the cute little caps and then mounding them up with delicious savory concoctions of stems, parsley, basil, garlic, cream, asiago, sour cream, gruyere, pecans, hazelnuts, sausage, bacon, sage, and the list goes on (not every thing at once though--and the mushrooms I made for Thanksgiving One had red chilli flakes, which I thought tasted quite good). Also, I forgot my other favorite things about making stuffed mushrooms--watching the mushroom liquer well up inside the caps when I sear them.

xo, mushrooms!


Thanksgiving One

Last night we had Thanksgiving One with the Jasplund's and Emily at Bam's. It was a magnificent feast. As we speak I'm eating turkey breast dipped in Mayonaise (it's ok as long as it's white meat with no bread.) For breakfast I ate left over chilled sweet-potato cake with hazelnuts and white chocolate frosting. It is the best food I've ever eaten, and the turkey I'm partaking of right now is still ridiculously moist and flavorful. Emily also made my favorite dish of the meal (besides the other Emily creation, the cake) which was a napa cabbage salad with parsley, radishes, pecans and apples. I ate a heaping plateful.

For Thanksgiving Two, a small affair with just the littles, Bonnie, and a stray person from Mexico who has nowhere to go, I'm keeping it tres simple (C. isn't eating these days, he's on a crash diet to try to make his back feel better and the littles eat virtually nothing without their hearty appetited sisters to model for them). Here's the menu:

Brined Turkey--as of yet undetermined temperature strategy
Stuffing with sausage, apple and pecans
Garlic Flash-Fried Green Beans
Mark Bittman's sauteed sweet potatoes with sage and brown butter
Ambrosia (Cecily insists)
Mom's rolls (and I'll make some orange rolls, too)
Bam's fresh cran/orange sauce
Sour cream mashed potatoes
Apple pie with Alice Water's peach crisp topping (the best topping ever)
Bonnie's bringing pumkin pie

I'm thinking of adding an orange/jicama/watercress salad, but I don't know who would eat it besides me. I'm trying not to be sad about all of the people who won't be here and focus on enjoying the littles.



23 November 2008

Lula and Me

Lula and I are sitting with two laptops trying things out. She is quite savvy with Gmail chat and got me set up on it. We tried to chat with the Engsplunds, but they are probably in bed. We also took pictures for our Gmail profiles. Lula also made some awesome hot chocolate. She told me that you need to do it on the stove top because it doesn't taste as good when done in the microwave. Lu also showed me an amazing 12 year old yodeler on America's Got Talent.

Lara, your posts are amazing. Funny and fascinating. Keep it comin'. Last night we watched Confessions of a Teen-age Drama Queen. Very nice movie actually. The moral: even if you're not in New York, if you are happy you have New York with you all the time, or something like that?

I through my back out two weeks ago while taking Ceci and Moses for a walk. It has been plaguing me ever since. Went to Seattle last week for a gig with a solo viola set, and I toyed with not going because the kind of viola stuff I was doing is very physical. So after the concert last Sat. it was so bad I found it difficult to walk or stand and actually spent Sun-Tues in bed essentially. Mom has been doing basically everything for me. She's amazing.

I am now teaching a group of students that has a combination of cluelessness and touretz-esque compulsion about asking questions. Sometimes I will answer the same question three times in a row about something that's in a handout. Fun tho'.

22 November 2008


Did I mention that my house is always clean (by my standards, not my mother's) now? Did I also mention that I went to 7 am yoga today and it made my throw up?

21 November 2008

cecy moment

Cecily: "What if we could call Heavenly Father on the phone?"
Me: "That would be cool."
Cecily: (in the voice of Heavenly Father) "Yes, I can make your allergies go away so you can get any dog you want. Yes I can make your Daddy want to get a pet. What else do you want?"

the same

Life in Provo in the fall of 2008 has wiggled itself into a frighteningly predictable routine. It is comfortable and comforting, verging on dull, and wonderful. I rarely go out or see people, which I haven't missed yet. I'm not sure if this is in reaction to the insanity of the past six (or is it actually the last 20?) years or if I am just sinking into my natural proclivity towards agoraphobia and anti-sociality. Either way, I'm enjoying this banal routine immensely. Here's the way it works:


6.30 am--Snuggle with Moses

7.45 am--Wake up Lula

8.10 am--Give Lula toast as she walks out the door with Lola and Maude

8.15 am--Give Moses cereal/unload dishwasher

8.30 am--Kiss Moses and Christian good-bye

9.00 am--Snuggle with Cecily/story time with Cecy

(listen to Morning Edition from 7-9)

9.30 am--Go out for a 44 oz. Diet Coke in my pajamas (thanks to the Crest drive thru)

9.45 am--After caffeine kicks in, tidy house, gather laundry, start new load (listen to Diane Rheam if her guest isn't too hideous)

10.00 am--Fold and put away clothes while watching Rachel Ray

11.00 am--Take a shower and get dressed while watching The View

11.30 am--Feed and dress Cecily

12.00 pm--Drop Cecily at school

12.05 pm--Second Crest run/44 oz. Diet Coke

12.20 pm--Read emails and eat lunch

12.45 pm--Organize desk/pay bills/make phone calls to doctors, dentists, etc.

1.15 pm--Submit poetry to two journals ( five poems each)

1.30 pm--Read Emily Dickinson/write new poem

2.30 pm--Work on novel

4.00 pm--Pick up Mo, Cecily and Lula arrive home on foot

4.15 pm--practicing, homework, snacks (usually popcorn, apples or cookies), playdates

5.30 pm--start dinner

6.30 pm--eat dinner

7.00 pm--clean kitchen/Mo's bath

8.00pm--Mo in bed, Lula and Cecy in pj's for story time

9.00 pm--Lula and Cecy bedtime, Lara TV/reading time (I watch House, ER, Law and Order and am reading mostly George Pellecanos, Richard Price, the New Yorker, and THE FIVE MINUTE CLINICAL CONSULT that Kindra gave me. Sometimes I check out y'all's blogs and facebook)

10.30 pm--Letterman

11.00 pm--fall asleep watching Letterman with C.

The days have an equally predictable pattern of events:

Monday--Drive Lula to choir at 7.15 am/FHE

Tuesday--dollar scoop nite at Baskin and Robbins

Wednesday--Christian does boys nite out

Thursday--Lula has piano lessons

Friday morning--errands, story time, corn dogs and kudos at Macey's with Cecily

Friday evening--dinner out with C.

Saturday evening--movie night with kids, popcorn and treats

Sunday--Church, nap, make mashed potatoes, pick up Eliza, go to Bam's for dinner, watch Simpson's.

And then it starts all over again.

momo post-it

We are working on recognizing #'s 1-20. Moses is doing great! The #'s he needs to work on are 2, 4, 7, 10, 11, 12, 17, 20. Way to go, Mo!


Miss Christy

Moses was such a good example all day today. Whenever it got too loud, he reminded the class that "it's time to be quiet." So cute!


Miss Christy

When Moses was eating his soup he said, "Yum, I love porridge." Or however you spell that word. It was so funny to me.


Miss Christy

ABC post-it

Moses knows ALL the letters and their sounds. Oh MY GOODNESS!! WOW!!


Miss Christy

p.s.--Miss Christy also added this verbal comment: "And he's the youngest one in the class." I'm so proud!

17 November 2008

momo post-it

No one is obligated to read these--it's so I have proof of his existence when he's older, I mean proof that I'm a caring mother.

Moses was making the best choices today.  When everyone else was talking, Moses was sitting with a HUGE bubble in his mouth.  What a helper!


Miss Christy

When we were eating lunch, Moses asked: "Where do pineapples come from? Do they grow on pinetrees?"  What a fun brain!:)


Miss Christy

At lunch  today we forgot to give a boy celery.  When the boy said he didn't have any, Moses immediately gave him one and said, "You can have one of mine." :)


Miss Christy

long live the queen of the dance floor!

I'm back. Finally. Here is some general stuff:
No, I haven't made official friends yet. I mean, there are girls in my class who I sit with during breaks, and I invited them to go shopping with me today (woo!) and they said maybe we could next week on our field trip, or something like that. Everybody in our school lives an hour away from each other, so I'm trying to feel like that's why they didn't want to do something outside of school with me. And please, don't tell me how pathetic it is that I don't have friends yet-- I already lie awake at night thinking about it. HOWEVER, if you have advice please give it to me.
I am back in the tenth grade. It is hard, but my teachers don't seem to expect me to do homework or take tests. They probably will soon, but for now I am still just a week in and don't know any of the stuff we're being tested on. When the teacher seems to be not busy, I sometimes ask him or her to give me a slowish explanation, and that helps.
I went to church! It was wonderful-- what else can I say on the matter?
I went to the disco! It was also wonderful, and I forgot how much I belong on the dance floor. Everybody called me Pippi Langstraumpf (pippi longstockings) on account of my pigtails, and probably 100 different people came up to me and said (in German) "Well hey there cool tutu girl dancing with uncouth vigor, what's your name?" and I would say, "Hey there neo-80's German scene kid, I'm Ingrid from America" and then we would dance some more. At one point, one of my new friends pulled me out of the fog and was like, "this boy thinks your hot", but then he was bashful so I took the next conga line back into the mosh pit and kept dancing. It was great to make friends without having to talk a lot.
Um, I don't know... host family's good, food's good, weather's terrible. I miss you all and of course advice and letters are always appreciated!

16 November 2008

momo's prayer for flying things with buttons on them

Thank you for that Mommy can get me a rocketship with a button on it, and thank you for that Mommy can get me an airplane with a button on it and thank you for that Mommy can get me a helicopter on it, and thank you that we can fly away. Amen.

brittle portraits

brittle portraits slip

from their albums’ sticky pages

our lord, once wrapped in linen,
sits on a stone waiting to be kissed

the vintage coin, that burnished sun, glints

our lord emerges from his declivity, lids still closed

our father invents a system:
the family’s hustle blooms,
the sisters discover that slender, delectable missives
have shone beyond the albums’ pages
from behind the portraits

our mother’s stricken intensity
swirls cotton into thread
she wants to tie us all together
before she goes
her fern swoops
insects crawl up stems towards her

our lord, once discarded, composes a series,
filling flesh with blood

p.s.--this one's not from the new collection. not sure where it will go, if anywhere. it was written at the same time as the other ones, but didn't fit in there.


Eliza was the best Moses wrangler ever at church today! Thank you so much, LiLi.

imagine my dismay

to come home from church and find NO messages from Ingrid. This is killing me. So Ingrid, if you're out there, you'd best write me a long and very detailed email/yo post right away. I have nothing to tell the millions of people who ask about you every day, and I need to send off your Christmas package before too long, so I need info!!!! I'm sorely tempted to call, but I'm more afraid of your host mother than you are.

Christian's been in Seattle this week, so we're quite bored here. Yesterday I finally got myself back to yoga. It was hard. I did a grueling dress rehearsal for the primary program with the exceedingly naughty assisting, attempted to clean the house, and then went for an exciting girl's night out with Kindra that included stops at BOTH Costco and Sears, where I found the vacuum of my dreams at a deep discount (actually it's my runner-up dream vacuum--first place goes to the expensive and complex Dyson. Maybe some day.)

We had our primary program today, and the children were amazing. They can sing like nobody's business. I took the littles to McDonald's for Happy Meals which they "ate" while we drove out to Utah Lake. We thought we'd play at the beach because it's brilliant outside, but it turns out it was also brilliantly cold, and we were wearing church clothes and sweaters. MoMo is napping, and I'm off for my own little nap time with my new Henning Menkell book from the library, then Bam's for dinner, then Daddy comes home! Daddy, how 'bout a Seattle trip post, and how 'bout a word from Eva?

xo y'all,


14 November 2008

preparing for snow

One more piece from GENTIAN:

gaunt swimmers ransomed

slip across the moat to autumntime
shoeless aught in their pockets
dumb pleas too slight for hearing—
for harebell and jessamine
capering tipplers humming through the chamber of august
to hallow


docile spectres
their clocks stealing humbler and softer ticks
sweep the meadows
scooping out earth’s last pearls


harebell’s and jessamine’s cloaks fall off—
slashes of yellow and purple
against dun


arrange yourselves for winter—
snow outweighs grasses—
the fields shooken down—

13 November 2008

momo post-it

Moses was so funny today. I asked him to put his alligator in his cubby and he told me that he couldn't because it was snowy in there. What a goof!


Miss Kelsey

12 November 2008

the person that lays down and other poems

Among other procrastinations, I began compiling the poems in my new collection THE GENTIAN WEAVES HER FRINGES. It's nearly done, about forty poems. Here's one of them:

september’s escutcheon espied

o preparations of her vestments—
the gauze sun hides her nimble incisions—
winter’s surplice—
spring’s kirtle
the blank easel
composed ditty
we know fall’s ruddy scrabble will end in bone
slewn tattered dandelions
lying in their dark parlors
unnumbered alms for the necromancer’s saucy predictions
(the dandelion’s baffled pall long scattered aforetime)


o struggling rill
that ushers in the amethyst

In order to get Momo and Cecy to behave while I write (I feel terrible--I try not to write when they're home) I told them they could either go to bed or play hospital. They're currently under the dining room table (bumping against my feet) taking turns being the doctor and "the person that lays down."

Procrastination II

Today, in order to procrastinate, I have:

1) watched Rachel Ray in bed

2) spend 140.00 at Office Max on office supplies, and organized said supplies in new organizer (Steven R. Covey calls this "Sharpening the Saw")

3) applied make-up

4) read a chapter in the Richard Price novel I have checked out from the Library

5)eaten sharp cheddar melted cheese sandwiches with tomatoes and freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, mini m&ms, and marshmallow mateys

what I should be doing is:

1) medical paperwork

2) laundry

3) bills

4) helping lula with beaver project


Today is my Special Friend Day!

(Cecily would tell you that the title of this post has an exciting mark at the end of it!)

I like to eat tuna and sour candy.

I like to play with Polly Pocket.

I like to play on the computer with my Mom.

I like to play the drums with my Dad.

I want to be an artist when I grow up.

I had a vacation at the beach in Seattle.

My favorite color is turquoise.

I have 1 brother and 3 sisters.

My name is Cecily A.

Mrs. Whitaker loves Cecily.

07 November 2008

Always a Bridesmaid

I was asked to be a bridesmaid again in another book contest--The St. Lawrence Prize notified me today that I was a finalist in their contest. For those of you not in the poetry book contest world, that means that you will get your name on their website and have something to add to your resume, but you will not be getting your book published by them, at least not in this contest cycle. I figured I've submitted to forty or fifty presses, and been finalist three times. But that was all BEFORE I made revisions to the mss. Now that it's perfect, someone's gotta take it.



MoMo Post-it

Moses loves being a good example. The only way he will not get up from nap-time is if I tell him that he is not being a good example. He loves making good choices like folding his legs during listening time and letting everyone know!


Miss Kelsey

Moses is very loving! Today he decided to KISS everyone! Not the best idea he's ever had, but still so CUTE!


Miss Kelsey

Moses is an amazing storyteller. We were playing add-on story and he had a ton of ideas to say about ghosts and giants and doors. It was good fun.


Miss Christy

Moses is so funny. He kept saying that he "couldn't see" when I told him he had to leave his sun glasses in his cubby. So cute!


Miss Kelsey

Story Time

We've been having the cutest story time every night lately--after their bath Moses asks Cecily to "read" to him, so she gets out a blanket, pillow, and stack of books and they snuggle on the couch, he on top of her arm, and read together. I'm not allowed to come in. It's so adorable I can hardly stand it. And lately, Cecily has been asking to help put Momo to bed. I let her stay in his bed until they fall asleep, and then Lula starts asking if we can bring Cecily down to her bed. Both Moses and Lula like for Cecily to tell them stories. Lula says it's because she want's to hear what Cecily will come up with. I do too!

It's great to see the kids bonding, and to see a special role for Cecily emerging.


Last night I felt a little let-down after all of the election elation. I'm haunted by the interview with John Lewis that night on CNN--did anyone see it? The interviewer asked Lewis, with visible damage remaining from his severe beating in the sixties, if he had cried that day. Lewis said yes, he had cried that day, but that sometimes he felt that all his tears were gone. I'm so happy that we elected Obama, but still so sad that this election was bought for the price of so much blood, so many lives. This week created such a tangible arc between the Civil Rights movement and present times--it's never been so vivid to me before.

Old Mom

Nothing could make one feel older than being a mom over forty at the Provo City Library's story time. I actually didn't spot anyone who looked to be over twenty five. It was an accidental story time-Cecily and I went to check out books and happened upon it--and geared towards toddlers, but Cecily loved it and wanted to stay, and so we did. And I realized that I was slightly depressed by looking at all of the pregnant moms with toddlers and preschoolers not because I am old now, but because it brought back difficult memories from that terrifying and isolating time for me. I was not a happy young mother. Is anyone a happy new mother, or was it because I was so young and our life was so economically and geographically unstable then? Or because I hadn't discovered a treatment for my depression?

It was fun to sit there with Cecily on my lap and feel wiser than the other mom's there, to know that I wasn't going home to deal with putting three young children down for naps or to watch Teletubbies again. I miss my older girls terribly, and our lives have narrowed in scope considerably since their leaving, but it's nice to know for sure that there's life to be lived again after babies.

05 November 2008

Obama Blue

Today Kindra and I went out for a celebratory pedicure, choosing blue for our nails. Then a celebratory Costco run, then a celebratory Kneader's lunch. I couldn't sleep last night I was so psyched. Eva called last night from Harlem (maybe a post about it, E.?) in the midst of a parade or street party or something. It was so moving to hear John Lewis speak. I also finally got my Obama bumper sticker and yard sign today! I put them up. All the haters can talk to me directly about Obama now, instead of whispering about it behind my back.



03 November 2008


No one truly knows the meaning of this word until they are in college, I think.

I have compsci homework to do, reading to be specific--and it is boring as hell. That is the problem with computer science and math and other kinds of sciences... Who wants to read about them?! No one.
Also, the learning curve in computer science has flattened considerably. We are spending a whole chapter on Arrays, which are essentially lists of objects. They are actually really important, but since we haven't gotten around to really programming with them, it's hard to see why they are worthy of an entire chapter/week of my life.
Also, next week will probably be the most challenging of my college career--I missed classes last week because I was sick, and I'm going to have to spend all week catching up. Good thing midterms are over, or I'd be dead meat.

What if I want to major in Russian Lit and marry a rich person and do charity work?
Or be a pilot?
Or develop a luxury airline with gourmet airplane food?
Or be a plastic surgeon?
Or be a curator at an art museum?
Or be a freelance writer?

It's a crazy world out here...

02 November 2008

Red Leaves

I'll try to catch up today, unless Momo climbs on my lap and preempts the post again.  So. . . .

New York:

You can see photos of Eva's fabulous b-day dinner at the Noodle Bar with Julie Turley and family. We also shopped like crazy at Loehman's and found a great coat for Eva, with a quick but productive trip to H&M thrown in at the last minute.  We went to Cafe Sarbasky for lunch, DUMBO to see Black Watch  at St. Ann's Warehouse (Hot Scots!!!!!) and watched the lights of Manhattan turn on from the Manhattan Bridge Overpass Park (while eating Jacques Torres chocolates), The Frick (and I was so happy that Eva seemed to like it as much as I do.  I think it's one of my favorite places in the world.  One night we ordered chinese and watched a television series about a group of single Manhattanites and their love lives.  One night we went to see Eva's friend belly dance at a fundraiser put on by a pan-Asian sorority at Columbia.  It was very long so we went out in the middle and got caught in a rain storm and ducked into that famous Hungarian bakery across from St. John the Divine until the rain (sort of) stopped.  My favorite thing was just hanging out with Eva and seeing her life and getting to talk with her late into the night. She is a terrific companion.  On the downside, it really increased how much I miss her.


We are sort of incommunicado these days.  We send her a once a week letter.  She has no internet and we've been told to phone her no more than once a week.  I'm hoping her family will eventually get her internet working and we'll get a little more information from her.  We did get a letter from her, and it sounds like she's doing quite well.  She's starting to volunteer for a nursing home on Tuesday through the church she's been attending, and she's excited to practiced her German with people she's not afraid of (i.e. the oldies).  She said she goes for long walks and does yoga.  She says nothing about school or her language, so we're in the dark on that topic.  It's hard to believe we're not going to see her for so many more months.  I feel like she's on a mission.

Little Kids:

For Halloween, Lula was a go-go girl, Cecily a spider queen, and Moses a bat.  Things went pretty smoothly this year.  No one had a melt-down about their costume at the last minute, which is my least favorite Halloween occurance.  Lula is doing well in piano and school and is a fantastic friend and helper for me.  Cecily is "adjusting" still at school.  I think she is doing better, but it's still a challenge.  Will I ever have a normal child who goes with the flow at school?  Maybe Moses will come through.  Momo just asked me "Why do skeletons not have ears?" and "Where is the button to turn off the rain?"  Last night for movie night, Lula and Cecy, Christian and I watched Kit Kittredge and ate popcorn and Halloween candy.  Curse that candy that's so disgusting and yet so irresistable.


Viola CD release last week at Muse Music.  He played a beautiful show including prepared viola acoustic stuff, viola and harmonium, viola and wahwah and then the beautiful finale Joseph Smith death scene from The Open Curtain.  We had a little get together at our house afterwards which was fun.  He goes to Seattle with the CD on November 15th, so check it out, Seattle.  He's currently arranging a couple of primary songs for strings for our primary program on November 16th.


I totally revised my poetry manuscript (Alburnum of the Green and Living Tree).  Not really totally.  I guess it was more of a clean-up, so now it's in really good shape.  Even though I hate it now.  I'm not touching it again unless it's being published.  I sent it off to some book contests, and hope to see it accepted somewhere by next fall.  It's such a long and competitive process.  I don't know if it's worth it.  I also wrote a grant proposal that asked for six essays.  It is a large award, but perhaps I shouldn't have spent so much time on something that is such a long shot.    It's hard to know what to spend time on, for me.  

We're on our way to Bam's for Sunday dinner, picking Eliza up on the way.  It's raining out and the mountains are red and gold.  This is my favorite time of year.  

Love you all and miss you.



27 October 2008

eva in ny

Momo is sitting on my lap, so this post may be less detailed than I would like, but I had to write about the fantastic time I had with Eva in NY.
one: dinner at a hip noodle house in the east village, cake from blackhound bakery, birthday song and candles from cute wD

22 October 2008

ingy limerick

Here's the one we got in the mail. Feel free to post your own ingy limerick in comments:

Ode to the (Remaining) Asplunds

There once was a family of five
Who lived in the state of Beehive
There used to be more
But they pranced out the door
To seek fortunes, to learn, to survive.

21 October 2008

Daddy Post-it

I was so proud of Daddy tonight. He performed a 25 minute piece called "Passage" (for piano and sax) he wrote a few years ago for his concerts in Istanbul. It was by turns startling, funny, moving, sweet, and odd in its periodicity--there were at least ten jumps in style, meter, tone, etc. without transition. Near the end, Daddy improvised a several minute long cannon/figured bass type thing. And when the piece ended, the audience stood and cheered. A well deserved standing ovation. Congrats, Daddy!

momo post-it

Good to know that my three-year-old son is learning his abc's, 123's and the basic tenets of the Bush Doctrine at 'benture Time. I guess we know who lives in a very pro-American community.

"Today we learned about soldiers and I taught them about my friend Harper, and how he helps us be "free" and Moses says, 'I'm three.' It was hilarious. We got it all worked out. He knows free and three now, I hope. :) Heart Miss Christy"

20 October 2008

Ceci, Momo, and AZ Odds and Ends

A Ceci story:

This morning Cecily awoke late, about 10 am. She walked into the room where I was lying on the coach reading a mystery novel about Emily Dickinson when I should have been doing dishes with her adorable Christopher Robin-esque bob all disheveled atop her oversized t-shirt pajamas and she climbed on top of me and snuggled into my shoulder. Most of you know that Cecily is not always snuggly. This was a rare moment of intimacy with her.

"You slept for a long time last night, Cecily."
"Yeah. Actually, I was staring at the window thinking of stories."
"What stories were you thinking about?"
"I was thinking about the stories I told Lula last night. She told me to tell her three stories. Actually I tell her three stories every night."

I pondered that scene while Cecily decided we had snuggled enough and was off to play Littlest Petshop.

Two Momo Post-its:

"Moses is very much missed! Class is not the same without him. Heart Miss Kelsey"

"Moses is back. We sure missed him. He told me all about airplanes all day long. Too cute! Heart Miss Christy"

AZ highlights:

--Katie's new patio strung with lights and candles while being served delicious apple crisp

--Usury pass in the evening--jumping cactus, a miniature hike with babies, roasted marshmallows and cupcakes

--MiAmigo's salsa

--Phoenix Zoo--Pearl the Baboon with rocks in her food pouch (long story), turtles, bonding with Charlie, shady picnic with Mom and Katie while kids played in the Swiss Family Robinsonesque tree house

--Shopping with Val at Ross

--Pedis with Kristin (hot rocks, warm lotion, callous removal extraordinare)

--Marble Canyon


--Car trip sing-a-long/harmonizing with Bonnie/Momo and Ceci's long, improvised songs/Lula's gorgeous voice

--Bonding time with the small ones

She's Such a Big Girl Now!!!!!!

Eighteen years ago today my beautiful daughter Eva Snow Asplund was born. I have a few snapshots in my head of the night/day/night it took to bring her out (I was in labor for a protracted forty hours): 3 am at the corner supermarket on 4th Ave. and Geary in SF--I walked the aisles to try to keep the labor going. I wasn't experienced enough at giving birth to know I should have tried to rest instead of wearing myself out. Sitting in the tub in our outer Richmond district railroad flat singing and timing contractions on a hot pink plastic watch I bought just for that purpose. And then (many, many, many hours later), she's born, I'm out of it, and Christian follows her around shading her eyes from the bright lights, as he had read somewhere that bright lights would be traumatic for a new baby. He questioned every move the docs and nurses made, and protected her until I got her and could hold her.

She was then, as she is now, a great beauty, an intriguing femme fatale in the making, and Christian and I were endlessly fascinated by her every move and facial expression. She was an early fan of Hendrix, and an early sitter, walker, teether, crawler and pianist. My main recollection of her as an infant is of holding her in an upright position--she hated to not be able to see everything and could hold her head up from day one--she was always in a perfect posture looking over my shoulder. She has always been beyond her years. As a child, all of her teachers adored her. Her kindergarten teacher even teared up at Eva's conference and said, "If I had a daughter, I would want her to be just like Eva." Though she is so very gifted, she is humble about her gifts and embarrassed about attention she gets for them--she refuses to take credit for her accomplishments, so I sometimes have to do it for her (like right now.) As a daughter, she has been a fun, interesting, and very helpful companion. I rely heavily on her perspective about life, her siblings, politics, human nature, etc. As a sister, she has been a role model, a tutor, and a caretaker with a heavy burden of responsibility. Everyone who knows me knows that I am incredibly proud of her, and can't help bragging about her. She is my greatest accomplishment and joy in this life (along with her siblings, of course). I miss her more than I can say, and I'm sad I can't be with her today.

Happy Eighteenth Birthday, Eva!!!!!!

A to Z

Eva, this one's for you. Mark wrote down all of these quotes when he saw the Andrea Zittel show in Vancouver a few years ago, I think. Hey, maybe we could check out her studio while I'm in town?

Which one is y'all's favorite, and why? Or do you disagree with any of them and why?

Andrea Zittel: These things I know for sure:

1. It is a human trait to want to organize things into
categories. Inventing categories creates an illusion that there is an
overriding rationale in the way that the world works.

2. Surfaces that are "easy to clean" also show dirt
more. In reality a surface that camouflages dirt is much more practical
than one that is easy to clean.

3. Maintenance takes time and energy that can sometimes
impede other forms of progress such as learning about new things.

4. All materials ultimately deteriorate and show signs
of wear. It is therefore important to create designs that will look
better after years of distress.

5. A perfected filing system can sometimes decrease
efficiency. For instance, when letters and bills are filed away too
quickly, it is easy to forget to respond to them.

6. Many "progressive" designs actually hark back towards
a lost idea of nature or a more "original form."

7. Ambiguity in visual design ultimately leads to a
greater variety of functions than designs that are functionally fixed.

8. No matter how many options there are, it is human
nature to always narrow things down to two polar, yet inextricably
linked choices.

9. The creation of rules is more creative than the
destruction of them. Creation demands a higher level of reasoning and
draws connections between cause and effect. The best rules are never
stable or permanent,
but evolve naturally according to context or need.

10. What makes us feel liberated is not total freedom,
but rather living in a set of limitations that we have
created and prescribed for ourselves.

11. Things that we think are liberating can ultimately
become restrictive, and things that we initially think are
controlling can sometimes give us a sense of comfort and

12. Ideas seem to gestate best in a void-when that void
is filled, it is more difficult to access them. In our
consumption-driven society, almost all voids are filled,
blocking moments of greater clarity and creativity.

Things that block voids are called "avoids."

13. Sometimes if you can't change a situation, you just
have to change the way that you think about the

14. People are most happy when they are moving forwards
towards something not quite yet attained. (I also wonder if this extends
as well to the sensation of physical motion in space. I believe that I
am happier
when I am in a plane or car because I am moving towards
an identifiable and attainable goal.)

-Andrea Zittel (as of Spring 2005)

16 October 2008


The littles and I are in Arizona for fall break. At this very moment, Moses is flying with Grandpa in his and Grandpa's plane. Are you proud of how brave I am? The sky is stunning and the air is clean and dry and sage-y. David has hosted us at some fantastic meals at MiAmigos, and the three new babies are beyond adorable. I always feel like crying when I hold Avery because of all she's been through. She's extra special. Eve has red hair and Beck has the coolest, hippest mop of black hair I've ever seen on a four week old. I do feel really sorry for the new Moms. They look tired and stressed out. And I do feel really, really happy that it's not me. Lula is a really great baby holder. She's also a good scooter tutor. I told her I'd pay her five bucks if she could teach Momo and Cecily to ride their scooters fast and without falling off. Cecily is all the way there and Momo is almost there. When he gets back to Utah he'll be able to keep up with his best pals Ruby, Danny and Emerson.

We're not able to hear much from Ingrid because her internet is down and her host mother doesn't want her talking to home too much. She went to Dresden yesterday to take her PSAT. I'm waiting to hear how it went. Her host mother is concerned about the strange man from the Mormon church who keeps calling Ingrid.

We're off right now to the Southwest Children's Museum, Lunch at Meegs, and shopping. Love and miss you all.



15 October 2008

Katie Time!

I will try to be more specific on my personal blog, but here are some highlights of my week with Katie:
FOOD: Marchis (butter lettuce salad, fried lemon custard dough thing, veal and fish that literally melted, etc.), El Malecon (half chicken, excellent riceandbeans), Halal (you name it), the Best Indian Of My Life, Tapas (still don't know what that means, but boy were they good.), and I'm sure I've left somehting out.
OTHER THINGS: Boston (leaves, HeatherandHari, apple cider, chocolate croissants, secret non-coffee mocha freddes, late-night studying), Washington Heights (Katie got one of those necklaces with her name in gold, I got a sexy little jacket thing, we were harrassed, but sometimes flattered by it, we passed up a 6-dollar manicure and I got wax in my hair), Little Italy (Ray's Pizza (THIS is what I left out. SOGOOD. And what else was so good was the smell as we walked down RestauranteItaliano row, I got a yellow hat, Katie's friends, GELATO, is what else I forgot. And a scarf. And a back rub.)
Brooklyn and the youtube party... to sum it up in one abbreviation, lol.
I'm sure I left stuff out, my memory is, you know, not very good.

Going salsa dancing with a live band and a new bra on Friday for my birthday!
Send me presents, bitches!!!
(I mean that in the affectionate, non-sweary way.)

10 October 2008

momo post-it

"Moses is SO FUNNY! The other day he was asking me about Gary, as stuffed animal I had previously brought. He asked where he was. I told him he was a home. He then asked why he was at home. I said it was because he was tired. He asked why he was tired, and this sort of question asking continued for quite some time. Moses is so much fun!


Miss Kelsey"

08 October 2008

momo post-it

"Oh how I love your cute child. I tell my sister cute stories about him all the time.


Miss Christy (hearts over both eyes)"

p.s.--I love that Miss Christy has good spelling and correct punctuation.

plague of grasshoppers

We have a multitude of grasshoppers in our lawn right now, and Moses and Cecily think it's HILarious that they are giving each other "piggyback rides."

07 October 2008

momo post-it

Moses gets notes from his teachers at 'Benture Time on post-its:

Moses was doing show n' tell and he was saying "Hi, my name is Moses aaaaaaannnnnd heeeeeerrrrre isssssss mmmmmy show n' tell." He was really dragging out the words to keep us in suspense while he took off his back pack, unzipped it and pulled out his train. What a character! :)


Miss Christy

06 October 2008


A potpourri is different from highlights. I sense that the highlights are not a hit, and the potpourri format allows for more flexibility than the hi-lite format. It goes like this: bam's bouef borguignon-conference/confrince-tamales thrice-ingy twice-eva thrice-grey target dress-cecy's front tooth exit-lula's stations of the cross in bam's basements-matt's waffles w/a quart of whipping cream-nap at matt's beneath the skylight-marni's truck w/extended cab-kindergarten poem recitation-enchanted-mozart's skull-charlotte's buttermilk cake with almond whipping cream-siri hustvedt-tomatoes (almost garden-gone)-Mark's itouch-fabric from india-emily's bacon/eggs with chives-grandpa noel's roasted chile salsa-sundance-mormon democrats-the book of mormon as a guide to social justice-david letterman/tina fey-80's photographs-dieter uchtdorf-mel torme-whoopi goldberg-paul newman-chatting (i just learnt how!)-momo's pj's-fall break-ny plane tix.

Sorry if this is overly long. Haven't posted for a while. Or have I? So great to see the rockin' Mom and Dad and Marni and Mark. So sad to be without Eva and Ingrid. Tell me how you like the potpourri.

01 October 2008


What I MEANT to say about Women's Conference, but perhaps didn't convey clearly in a previous post, is that, although I am a HUGE Relief Society fan, I am a reluctant Women's Broadcast attender. In fact, I wasn't that excited about going, except that it meant having Mom all to myself (sorry Mesa Girls) for a few hours. But I really enjoyed it and was inspired by it and am determined to go every year from now on. And it was soooo great to go with Mom, just the two of us. Thanks, Mom!
All of the muffins at JavaCity are bad muffins. I am reading my cs textbook--"Big Java"--in Java City.
I think people here are obsessed with Java.
What is java, actually? Besides a place and a computer language?

I guess it's unimportant.
I have a hindi quiz tomorrow, though, which is important.
Everyone wish me luck!!!

30 September 2008

cuter scooter

Cecily has been outside on the driveway riding Lula's scooter around and around in circles, in the dark, for more than an hour. She really, really wants to ride it to school, so she's trying to get fluent on it.

Last night Grandma Wendy siad, "Cecily, can we hear your poem?" and Cecily said in her best Grandma Wendy voice, "Only if you don't say 'Oooooh that's so gorgeous! You should be a poet person when you grow up.'"

I know it seems I'm obsessed with Cec lately. That's because I am. We spend a lot of time together these days. She's the new Eva/Ingrid.



29 September 2008

Gunter Lox (not fox, lox)

When I thought Ingrid was lost, I called Gunter Lange in Germany, the supposed local CBYX representative. Gunter Lange told me I actually needed to phone Gunter Lox. I phoned Gunter Lox and he was SO SWEET! I asked if Ingrid was ok and he said, with great enthusiasm and a rich German baritone (do all the men over there have that?): "She is more than ok!!! She is very kindly, she is healthy, she has friends at her school, she learns German in many different grades, and her host mother is very good."

I felt reassured. Gunter Lox is very kindly himself. Sorry I'm too lazy to insert umlauts.

Pre-October Highlights

It's almost my favorite month of the year. Here's what happened last week:

--YAY--email from Ingy. I thought she was dead or being tortured, but she's not.

--Josh's b-day--he's way handsome and grown-up (hope that's not a creepy aunt thing to say).

--Mom and Dad flew in--I attended and survived surprisingly well the dreaded Women's Broadcast, only it wasn't really I broadcast as Mom finagled tix to the conference center. Although it was actually pretty much the same as a broadcast 'cause you can only see the speaker on the screens. Mom gave me a hand rub, which helped me concentrate, and I knew they were taking us to Little America for dinner afterward.

--LITTLE AMERICA rocks. It hasn't changed a bit since I first went there in the seventies. They still have calf's livers on the menu and if you order the meal, you get a scoop of Snelgrove's ice cream in a little metal cup. And they chill their salad plates and warm their dinner plates. It's just my favorite kind of old school goodness.

--The Locust Salon--Dad sang a fab. new setting of "When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes" (I'll give you a dollar if you can remember the sonnet #), and Uba sounded great. A student said, "When I'm a professor I'm going to have a Locust Salon, only I'm not going to call it the Locust Salon."

--Eliza's beautiful personal narrative--Andrea C. better fully appreciate!

--Eva's been hitting the town. Cuban Jazz, the New Museum (is that what it's called) in Soho and some other stuff.

--26 more pages of the B's I.

--Everyone's healthy all at the same time.

--Grandma Wendy asked Moses what he was grateful for after he came out of nursery holding his picture that said, "I am greatful for animals" and he replied, "MoMo!!!!" with gusto. He's also chubby from being on oral steroids for a week. Cute!

--The mountains are scattered with bright splotches of pink, red and yellow.


I don't think my closest friends and family are appreciating this blog enough. Christian thinks it's pretty funny but kind of boring. So I'm asking for a response to this post RIGHT person, RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME from the blog seriouslysoblessed.blogspot.com, so as I can know if it's a guy thing or if I just have bad taste in humor.

24 September 2008


Discovery: who knew that a spoonful of pesto change everything you thought you knew about the genre?

the inch of a worm with a rhyming word

by Cecily Anna Asplund

The inch of a worm with a bird coming by
makes an inch to an inch with a rhyme to a rhyme
'til a worm to a bird to an eating ferd
'til the bird snatches up to eat me.

Well, all it says is, "Just in time for lunch!"
Unitl the inch of the inch of the slimey slime
But the worm is a slime is the deet is the reet
'til the eating section the bird comes over
'til the slime to the slime, every day all he says
when he sees a worm is, "Just in time for lunch!"

'Til the bird takes a rhyme to the bird to the word
to the slime, to the rhyme, to the bird, to the word
to the slime, to the rhyme, with a cry me crime crime
with the bird with the bird with the flerdy flerd flerd.

At night in the snickey flerdy eating that the blue bird eats
in a snickey snacky chew.


Who figured out about how to make their post title into a link? What did I say about instant gratification and commas etc.?

Thanks for posting, mama. I read and reread, and even commented.

Here's what I did today:

Cuz ya'll are so interested in my life.

1. Carried my shoez around in my bagz because me and shoez are so not on good terms right now. Until I had to cross the street to Columbia, because peeps over there are totally judgmental of people who only wear socks, probably.

2. Woke up at 8:40 (that's right, folks) to see a TA at 9 (who was half an hour late) and was late to Econ (but prof couldn't remember who I was because my hair is still straight, and I certainly wasn't going to tell her).

3. Made myself eat salad and only a little bit of pasta because it is time to get my life back on the right track again, and my RM was making me feel insecure with his super healthy meal plus OJ plus milk.

4. Made a real live computer program with inputz and outputz (funny how puts with a z is putz. Not that puts is a word.)

5. Cleaned my room a little tiny bit (it was actually last night, but past midnight, and people here are always pretending like they think of a day as starting at 12:01 am instead of starting at whenever they wake up, like normal people do).

6. Dropped/spilled a lot of things.

I am finding time to miss each and every one of you (even anonymous blogstalkers who are scheming about how to steal Cecily because she is so adorable/a genius) even with my busy busy busy schedule.
Talk to me about the Serial Comma. Why is everyone so anti-comma these days? My First Year Seminar prof says it is because of the New York Times (which is why I am boycotting the NYT) but I think it must be something deeper. More sinister.
Akin to the instant gratification generation phenomenon, and also probably gangsta rap.

EDIT: Puts is a word. Excuse me.

hilarious blog

23 September 2008

Lula in the Herald

Lula was interviewed by a reporter from the Daily Herald yesterday in her art class at the Provo community center. Lovely Myrtle brought the paper over to show me since I don't take it. Here's the quote: "'Maybe the reason we're so quiet is because we're so into it,' said 10-year-old Lula Asplund of Provo after being asked why the class was so quiet. Isn't she adorable?

Her art show happens the end of October.

She's been glazing and firing ceramics lately.

22 September 2008

snap cup

We finally had the Snap Cup FHE that Lula has been planning for nigh unto a year. It was a great success! After a nice dinner with Bam (I made spaghetti with italian sausages, salad, zucchini, bread--lula made whipped cream and served us all pumpkin pie), and a small recital where Lula played some piano pieces and sang "Jubilate Deo" that she's been learning with Dr. Jaccard, we all wrote snaps and read them and snapped. Here are the snaps:

Mommy to Cecily: Cecily has a cute new haircut, has a great rock n' roll voice, and wrote a really good poem last week.

Cecily to Lula: Lula is a lover. She looks like the queen of Provo and her new bangs look great. I never imagined anything like it. I never imagined a girl like Lula. I think she FEELS like the queen of Provo.

Bammy to Lara: Lara is a great hostess.

Daddy to Bammy: Bammy is always ready for fun. She is happy when other people are having fun.

Lula to Daddy: Daddy always has something to play on the piano.

Momo was asleep.

snaps to Eva: Eva has amazing hair, is rocking her challenging classes, and has a terrific new job.

snaps to Ingrid: Ingrid is rocking Oberdorla, has been conversing on the bus, and helps Uta with the chores. She has a great attitude when she faces challenges.

Memory Wipe

I keep trying to post, but I keep forgetting what I was going to say. Really, one year past forty and my brain cells are shrinking at an alarming rate. Anyhoo, here's what I can remember of last week:

--Momo's voice went bye-bye when he had bronchitis. He's now much better , what with the oral steroids, antibiotics, and nebulizer.

--Farmers Market! Bought green zebra tomatoes, armenian cukes, little green round summer squash.

--Haircuts for me (just a trim--it looks exactly the same), Cecy (chin length stacked bob), Lula (straight across bangs), and Mo (short with some spiky spiderman hair in the front).

--Cecy's poem "The Inch of a Worm is a Word that Rhymes" poem.

--Cecy's rock n' roll singing.

--Massage, by Cecy (try this some time): an ice cube with lotion on it slathered across the calves.


--Ingrid's possible kidnapping (no one has heard from her stateside). I'm kidding, of course, sort of.

--Momo kissing kids at 'benture--teacher: "Who do we kiss? Right! Just moms and dads!"

--Fall Festival--I actually didn't loathe it this year, and Cecy and Lula got awesome rock n' roll updos from the gals at Paul Mitchell who were workin' for free at the Fest. Then their hair got spray painted. And they had yummy home made'ish cupcakes.

--Got 14 pp. written in the BI. Fewer than I wanted 'cause Momo was home sick.

--Hannah Montana concert movie for Movie nite with Lula and Cec.

18 September 2008

Java City

I just ate a bad muffin.

Barnard makes us buy 125$ at this horrible cafe on campus as part of our meal plan. I am trying to find good things to use it up on, and so far only the steamed milk is good. I've been drinking a lot of whole milk since I've gotten here.

The internet works here, though, which is nice.

15 September 2008


--Momo earned a helicopter with a button by pooping on the toilet.

--Happy B-day Emily!

--More peach pie from Bam, a caramely roast, and a many-varietied tomato salad from the Jasplund's garden.

--Phone call with Ingrid.

--Eva's first Barnard paper.

--A tour of the Clifford Family Farm (the only certified organic farm in Utah Valley) from Farmer John. Momo and Cecy got to pick and eat tomatoes and arugula, pet baby chicks and bunnies and see peacocks and a very large, very beautiful flock of chickens.


--26 pages written of the B's I.

--Daddy's Book of Mormon overview using Minerva Teichert paintings in home evening.

--THE FARMER'S MARKET is now my favorite event of the week.

--Primary rocked my world this week.

--The Gingerbread Man--written and illustrated by Cecily Asplund.

--Crazy muscle response medicine with one of Grandma Beth's far out doctors.

--Lula's new recipe for hot chocolate with pumpkin spice called "Lula's Cocoa Loco"

--Choir with Dr. Jaccard.

--Lula's new math class.

--Provo Reads--the whole town is reading "Tales of Desperaux" together.

--Clfford Farms eggs--the most beautiful and delicious I have ever tasted. For reals.

--Early fall skies.

14 September 2008

I shaved my legs, am pursuing a boy with a rainbow mowhawk, and eat Nutella every day (or, how Europe has changed me)

First week of school. I am a little bit scared. Fortunately, I am in a class with Leander, and I have learned much of what they are teaching us already, but even so I rarely have any clue what is going on around me. I tear five 3 by 5 cards into quartes every night and make twenty flashcards, which I learn on the two different buses that I take to reach school. So it's not as though I'm not learning twenty new words a day, but it's also not as though I'm not scared to go back on Monday.
About the legs and underarms: On Monday, my sister pulled me aside and told me that I would not be accepted socially if I didn't shave. I resisted the urge to burn my bra right there in the kitchen and determined that I was already going to have trouble making friends, and should probably shave. So I did. I am exceedingly sad about it, though, and decided that I would give myself body hair as a Christmas present, because I will speak German and have friends by then.
About the boy: I said something (was ist dein leiblingsfarbe in dein haar?) that I'm sure was around 30% coherent, and he smiled at me, and I decided that he would be my boyfriend. Not that I've said anything to him since, but you know... don't want to be forward or anything.
About the Nutella: Does this need explaining? I think not.
I visited Erfurt yesterday, which was neat. Me and some family/ friends went shopping, and I admired all of the street performers and buildings. In the evening, I went to a party with big sister Annagret, where I was offered alchahol (I said no, but keep in mind that it would have been legal, as the drinking age is 16)and answered lots of questions (I won't lie, though: they were in English). I am kind of loving it a lot over here, though I really miss being able to talk to people. And here's something interesting: I haven't known a single person who I currently talk to for more than a week. I think that is a new thing for me.
I'm sorry if my English is getting worse. They said that would happen, and I am certainly getting no opportunity to use it.
It's really cold here, I want you all to know that. And not just between the house and the car-- Germans love fresh air, and the house is always the same temperature as outside (hopefully this will stop by the time it starts snowing, which will probably be next week). I wore my long johns to bed last night, and seriously considered getting my scarf, before I realized that that would mean getting out from under my comforter.
You know what else Germans love? Southern Utah. There was a delicate arch poster on the wall of one of my classrooms this week, and I tried to say, "I've been there!", but ended up with "Ich!....gehen... *blushes, sits down*". Which is cool.
I have no idea what to do about homework. I've tried to ask my brother for help, but I don't think he understood me. I would love advice on that aspect of things, because I don't even know what our assignments are.

10 September 2008

For once in it's sad old life, the Hewitt Dining Hall was brimming with excellent food. My dinner consisted of (in this order):
Stir fry on rice noodles with broth and lime.
Carrot Cake.
4 fairly large pieces of brisket with gravy (so good.)
"Confetti" rice pilaf (not good.)
Salad with too much blue (bleu?) cheese dressing.
"Rosemary" polenta with tomato sauce.
To be fair, I didn't eat much salad. I did eat way too much of the bad pilaf, though, before I realized there was polenta to be had. But even still, I think Mackenzie would've been proud.
Now my dilemma is what to do next. The theme of this entry is: It Never Rains But It Pours. For the last few days I have been bored senseless. Bored to the point of cursing loudly alone in my room... But to be fair, not to the point of cleaning my room.
My to-do list today is as follows:

(Old things I have been putting off:)
Go to B.Babysitting office and find job.
Fold laundry.
Acquire fridge.
Clean room.
Clip fingernails (**acquire nail clippers)
(New things--assigned today:)
Switch stupid CompSci book for newer, bigger, 160 dollar Textbook entitled "Big Java".
Do first Econ problem set (algebra, mostly).
Read last 200 pages of Ragtime.
Fix painfully long Hindi assignment from last week.
Memorize Hindi vocab--pronouns and corresponding "to be" verbs.
Read first three chapters of OTHER compsci textbook.

And, last but not least, watch House season premiere at 8.
And also... buy Hindi books.