Showing posts with label Dinner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dinner. Show all posts

Friday, September 30, 2022

all set to start

 Navaratri celebrations tonight!


"Take homes" (snack boxes and gift bags) and our miniature magic forest "Golu" are ready for guests!

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

inhale

Checked and cleared off my calendar early today and then I was able to hike with Big A, give Scout and Huck a groom, and make s'mores with Baby A. 

A midweek respite seemed necessary today. Especially since I'll be on campus from 8 am to 8 pm tomorrow (and that's not counting the commute).

It's like the deep breath before a deep dive...

Pic: Pre-s'mores. The bad haircuts I gave the puppies are sadly obvious. (The vet no longer offers grooming, and I didn't want to take them to some chain place because there are so many horrible stories.)

Sunday, September 11, 2022

one more time

A long time ago, At told me he read this thing on reddit about how we sometimes don't know when it's the last time you're doing something. The example they gave was picking up your kid--there's no fancy celebration for that... one day you do and then somehow you never do it again. 

I do know that I was picking up At when he was seven (I only stopped when I got very pregnant with Nu), but I don't even remember when I stopped with Nu.   

So today, I decided that I wanted to pick up my kids one more time. They were game: 

Sunday, September 04, 2022

my joy


The day was bookended by their grandmothers' worried and in tears about them on the phone (Grandma S starting with texts in the morning, Ammama on a video call at night) so it felt especially nice to hang back and watch these two goof off as usual around the dinner table. 

I (have to) believe every little thing's gonna be alright.


Sunday, August 07, 2022

puppy pile


One of the grownups at the get together today was allergic to dogs, so Scout and Huckie had to stay in their room. 

Three of the little ones decided to stay in there with them because "puppies shouldn't be in timeout by themselves." 

(Not pictured: my big kids, At and Nu, who are around somewhere.)

Friday, August 05, 2022

unexpected sweetness

When we dropped Big A off at the train station the other day, I noticed a huge new sports complex on Service Rd., so I took L and Nu to see it on this morning's walk.  

Except--by the time we marveled over how quickly the complex had gone up and commiserated over how we wouldn't be able to traipse over the fields as a shortcut as we used to--there was a very long and slow train stuck on the tracks blocking our way home. 

Thankfully, Nu suggested we go to Chapelure, and thankfully, I carry a credit card on the little pocket on my phone so we did. Coffee for L, tea for me, a three-course breakfast for Nu, a chance to sit on the patio and pretend we were in Paris (Nu had a croissant), and it was an unexpected treat on an ordinary Friday morning.

Pic: When LB and TB came over for dinner, they brought this arrangement of flowers from their garden. It's arranged in a sundae glass and has two straws it it. So cute!

Thursday, August 04, 2022

sweet set

A sweet evening for Nu, Scout, Huck, and me with JG and EM today. A lot of jabbering, joking, and joshing. JG used to do standup comedy in NYC and EM won't take any BS, so it was very lively.

EM brought the most delectable set of sweets from Make it Sweet.  

JG brought me a Turkish porcelain plate to complete my "set." (Nu and I won the first one at a U.N. quiz a couple of years ago; then I picked up the second one when KB was moving offices and discarded stuff; now thanks to JG, I have a third one.)

Pic: sweets and my "set."

Saturday, July 30, 2022

perfection

Whatever else this summer throws at me, I got this one perfect summer day in: not a single looming deadline; a long chat with my sister; a long walk with Nu up to the Spartan statue at the stadium and back (the full Sparty!); yoga with Big A (via Portal); picked up sticks in the backyard with Scout and Huck (and it made them CRAZY); finished my book in the hammock (Cheryl Strayed); ate mangoes and cherries and chocolate all day; soaked in the tub till I got pruney because my phone, which was on shuffle, magically played all the best songs; ate leftovers from dinners past for dinner; shared a mango creamsicle with the puppies; played Truth or Dare with the fam; made plans with EM and SD; got a chat with At and got him on the family calendar for next week. 

My peace. My priorities. My pleasure. 

At the end of the day, perhaps I shouldn't have eaten a whole BAR of hazelnut Chocolove, but at the time it seemed both imperative and enjoyable.

Pic: My view from the hammock.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Sunday, summer, smores...

A quick walk with L to the Horticulture Gardens to see the roses, a lightning UU visit with lots of singing, and then I cleared brush in our woods for HOURS today. 

Nu helped me with the bigger limbs while Big A did our annual mow. After they got tired, it was just me listening to bird calls and dragging stuff out and taking it to the piles by the firepit and being plied with lemon water by Nu and visits from Big A. 

We have kindling for the rest of the year. At least. 

The rest of the day was a nice soak, then Impossible burgers I had prepped at breakfast, smores by the firepit, and so to bed (with a detour to finish Elif Batuman's Either/Or, which I loved).

Thursday, June 30, 2022

normal...

Nu is completing all the school assignments he missed when he was sick, and JG very kindly consented to be interviewed for the "life in the 1980's" segment. 

We'd had a gnarly start to the day where I suspected I'd have to take Nu to the E.R.; so I was particularly glad with how fun and normal the rest of the day actually turned out--first a long visit from JG and then winding down with the new season of Umbrella Academy after dinner.

Plus I updated details of vacation week as #LaterPosts!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Barcelona 1

Woke up in our futuristic space station-themed hotel room to a view of aeons-old surrounding hills. Big A watched a YouTube video to figure out why we were going around in an unproductive loop on the Eurail online pass--and he figured it out! Smooth sailing through all our other train reservations after this.

We had an early guided tour booked for La Sagrada Familia. Nu and I left early and walked around while we waited for the tour to start and Big A to show up after getting our train tickets. The tour started. Big A was in a taxi, but not there yet. When I asked the tour facilitator if we could wait a few minutes for Big A, I was told "He has lost his chance." I suspect we'll be quoting this for ages. 😂 I made up my mind to ask the tour guide a bunch of questions to delay our entry into the cathedral so Big A could join us. And then I screamed because someone ran up to me and whispered "Boo" in my ear. Big A!

La Sagrada Familia was more than I had even imagined. Even Nu was impressed. My sister remembered right away that I used to pore over a coffee-table book on Gaudi twenty years ago.... that's how long I've been waiting to see this. But nothing could prepare me for this ongoing, gaudy, excessive, earnest eruption of construction. And they have plans and reliefs all over the place, but the entire thing is a bonkers celebration of whimsy and religious fervor. 

It was a hot day, and we'd spent much of the morning outside, so after a tapas break we piled into a taxi back to the hotel for a siesta. While we were chatting with the driver he said that his favorite place in Barcelona was Park Guell, which was on our list for that afternoon--that made everyone in the taxi super happy. Post-siesta, however we found that tickets for the Park were sold out--so we peeked at what we could from the outside and headed to the beach. 

Beaches are my happy place, and the Mediterranean was particularly blue and mysterious. We left pink Big A in the shade of the promenade and Nu and I spent a long, long time walking on the pier and sitting in meditative silence by the waves. We had gotten news of the overturning of Roe and the possible domino effect on other personal protections at the start of the afternoon and that was weighing on me. Then began a string of texts from friends urging me to show up at the state capitol to protest.

It made me feel out-of-touch and selfish, but we had reservations for dinner, so we went. It was a small, earnest place that served us course after course of delicious, farm-fresh food for over three hours. And while we were wishing At had come too, he sent us a sweet picture of him at lunch with Grandma S who's visiting Lansing for a Banjo workshop

#LaterPost

Saturday, June 18, 2022

"An Evening In India"

Not sure if that was foolhardy or plain foolish, but in the midst of all the ongoing drama I decided to go ahead and host the "Evening in India" fundraiser anyway.

Honestly, I didn't have the energy to cancel it and communicate with the eight people who bid $80 to sign up, and then have to find another date that worked for everyone, and then I'd have that date looming on the horizon. It seemed easier to just go ahead and make the four-course meal I'd promised for today. 

So I did.

I was on my feet all day and didn't have time to think about anything but taste and temperature and coordinating time. (And unwrapping and arranging the desserts, which I got readymade at Swagath.) 

And then I had a blast writing a menu and talking to a room full of people I don't know very well. 

I'm so weird.

Saturday, June 04, 2022

blessedly ordinary

On StephLove's post about having a tree fall through their roof (I hope your roof is getting the attention it needs, StephLove!) I said something about roof tarps being great--we've lived with ours for over three years now. It has kept the elements out--I can't see it in the winter (covered by snow) or in the summer (covered by trees). Why it has taken over three years and our roof hasn't yet been fixed is its own boring and expensive saga.  
I love our quirky (no central air) house, which was built based on this lead article from an issue of Popular Science magazine (there's a typo-laden explanation here) but it always seems to need attention. Here, the guy who came to prep for the roofers found carpenter ants chewing their way through the outside. It's always something...

Other than that, inside the house, I had a blessedly ordinary day. I watered all the plants, cleaned from top to bottom, soaked, read for hours, had cauliflower pizza (which I would not repeat or recommend), and started the new season of Stranger Things with my cuddly Nu, Scout, and Huck. I'm so relieved... happy... to be doing ordinary stuff again.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

all empty and all full

The city has emptied out--what with the end of the MSU semester, graduating students, and the long Memorial Day weekend ahead of us. 

I was on my own for dinner tonight, so after I fed Scout and Huck, I had a whole column of pistachio baklava and about half of a small watermelon. 

I regret nothing.

Pic: The largest solar carport in North America had just three parked cars on this morning's walk with L. 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

quiet

I started working in the "secret garden" this week. Clearly, I have lots left to tidy, trim, etc... but I went ahead and planted stuff because I knew it would make me happy. And I took a picture, because who knows how long things will last--deer ate the lilacs, hostas, and hydrangeas down to their stalks last year.  

I started this garden in 2020 for Nu, but like many other things, I seem to be the one holding on to something after the kid(s) seems to have lost interest. Nu was the best gardening companion, I hope this'll be something he's interested in again when summer break starts. In the meantime, I'm lucky that Scout and Huck will keep me company for hours while I garden.

Today--it's just the puppies and me at home. Nu is off at a sleepover and Big A is at work. A glimpse of times to come? I suppose. 

[I will note that not having to feed a growing child with allergies or a fussy spouse is very liberating in terms of food choices. I made such a delicious spicy mango salad with peanuts for my dinner.]

Friday, May 20, 2022

book/talk

Book club today. Because we're in the midst of a Covid spike, everyone took a test before they came. 

We'd read Pachinko (2017 and ancient, I know), but someone had liked it a lot. We were fairly divided on it, but some interesting discussion as always. 

One of the things I love about about book club is how even reading the book on my own becomes communal, because I found myself wondering how certain members would react to this or that. 

I hosted this month, and I'd been excited to research a Korean menu--I went with (three kinds of) mandu, (three flavors of) jumeokbap, and an assortment of mochi. I made the jumeokbap rice balls from scratch, found the mochi readymade, and the mandu dumplings semi-prepped at the asian grocery store. It all came together pretty easily--I even had tons of time to putter around in the garden, take a long soak, and read before people showed up.

Scout and Huck loved all the extra attention, Nu took off with his cell phone to practice "self-care" in his room, reemerging for dinner, a show, cuddles, and clean up after everyone had left.

Pic: The people of book club. I'm in this picture (albeit happily blending into the shadows like a ninja). 

Sunday, May 08, 2022

on Mother's Day (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Woke up to a bonus kid (Nu had had a sleepover). Over breakfast, we put together a vase of flowers for the sleepover kid to take home to their mom from all the flowers people had brought to the party yesterday. Spent the rest of the morning at UU. It was nice to see the small bidding war over my UU auction item ("An Evening in India"), then some fun at the food truck, and back home to read in the sun. 

Over lunch, Big A and I watched the final episode of Mrs. America and the epilogue summarizing the slow death of the ERA made me sob. This is my THIRD time watching the mini series (I previously watched it with Nu and At separately), but this week felt "too soon" after the SCOTUS Roe opinion leak.

At came by after his shift, and he looked so tired, I didn't have the heart to ask the kids to help with the garden plots like they usually do. Instead, we took a small walk before settling in to dinner where all of us just lingered at the table forever talking and admiring their card and present. The kids usually pick me dandelions for Mother's Day (as a cutesy reminder of how they used to pick them for me when they were toddlers), but we have none in our yard. We don't use pesticides, so I suppose they're delayed this year... like so many things... like most of us. 

Pic: Me and the kids outside; Huckie is airborne in excitement.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

a Birthday Baby



So happy to celebrate At's 23rd! He'd celebrated yesterday with friends, and today was our turn.

I woke up a 4 am, landed in MI around noon, napped in the car after Big A picked me up, cooked till 4 pm (biriyani and sides)  while Big A made the cupcakes (red velvet) and Nu made a birthday card (My Little Pony) and wrapped presents, and then... At was here!

No big presents this year, but we got him some pre-revolution short story collections (Chekov, Gorky, Gogol, and Tolstoy) and a small bookshelf Big A and I found for his growing library. 

Scout and Huck were delirious with happiness (and so were we).

Monday, May 02, 2022

"the sense of an ending"


It was such a solid workday. The six of us worked from 7 am figuring out and finalizing conference details with no breaks except getting up to stretch on the hour. Even lunch was making notes and sharing docs over sandwiches. 

At lunch, one of the servers asked what we were up to and when I told her we were arranging a huge women's studies conference, she said she wished she'd taken a class when she was in college... in the 70s. She remembers the fight over ERA and how it laid the "foundation for everything." So I was telling her about the Mrs. America show on Hulu, and her name was Sally--so we sang a bit of "Ride, Sally, Ride."

At the end of the meeting I was so tired, especially as there was a lot of new (to me) software and platform-ware. I went back to my room caught up with the fam, and napped for a bit. 

Those of us from the meeting still in town met up for a great dinner at a small Somali restaurant where they gave us a private booth because we were the only women there. This was my first time meeting in person (all of our other meetings had been on Zoom) so there was a strange mixture of familiarity and the excitement of sharing some of our favorite stories about ourselves. 

We were still joking and laughing at something and calling goodbye to our servers as we were walking out of the restaurant, and then we started to fall silent as we passed the TV on the counter and each of us silently read the blithe chyron stating there was a leaked "Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade." 

___________________________

Pic: Sharing on family chat the fancy welcome swag bag the hotel gave me when I checked in and the uninspiring view from my room.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

the day of "no"

I'm ordering these "Saying No To Things Punch Cards" for friends. The idea is that you reward yourself for saying no to things by treating yourself to an ice cream after ten "noes." There's a version with cocktail reward as well, and they're available here

Anyway, I would have earned that icecream/cocktail today. I evaluated everything against back pain and let most things go. A missing submission could wait, family could make their own dinner, someone else should give Scout his meds, Big A thinks we should go for a walk? I think not. My planner looks bereft. I researched elaborate menus for upcoming parties, read for hours, soaked forever, spent time with the fam, and fed myself what I wanted.*

*What I wanted ranged across continents and was delicious: an English muffin with hummus, jalapenos + sliced avocado, sprinkled liberally with furikake. 


all set to start

 Navaratri celebrations tonight! "Take homes" (snack boxes and gift bags) and our miniature magic forest "Golu" are read...