Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
We drove to New Hampshire today so I could visit SNHU - say I've actually been where I work! We just mainly wanted to drive through NH - all the pretty leaves and scenery. We even managed to hit a corner of Vermont on the way back (and of course we go through MA).
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Dad is busy with his to-do list - we have to keep him busy. He is working on replacing the downstairs vanity and medicine cabinet right now. He just finished replacing our garage door opener, which will be really nice for me come winter.
Dad, Mom, Adam and I cleaned up wth the yard for winter yesterday (pulled the garden, put away Adam's toys). We also baked a TON of cookies as I noted to send overseas, plus some to Billy and we still have a bunch. So we've been busy. I've also been grading heavy (end of term for my 8 week courses) and we've been trying to squeeze in things like the COSI (which was fun, just a 2 hour drive each way).
This was his favorite - he was good at tossing the balls continually!
Adam rather liked this one - it sucked up the balls and tossed it in the air - he did this for like 10 minutes!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Helping Mommy put up Halloween decorations.
Modified from Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke [this is her newest....it was good read, but my one disappointment is she still hasn't chosen a boyfriend from her two. And really we are seeing that Mike is just in it for her cooking/home skills....not for her...she SO needs to dump him and marry Norman!!!!]
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup white sugar
2 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 beaten egg (you can just do this in a bowl first)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup flour (make sure to pack each down...I don't normally, so this was something I had to watch)
1 1/2 cups dry oatmeal (quick cooking or old fashioned work, I used old fashioned)
Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. Melt the chocolate (there are instructions on the package, but it is about 30 seconds in two parts then do 10 seconds increments until melted) and then add to the creamed mixture.
Make sure the mixture is cooled enough (remember you just added hot chocolate) before adding the egg (as you don't want to cook it), then mix in egg. Next, mix in baking powder and salt. Now add the flour and mix it thoroughly. Finally stir in the oatmeal.
Drop by spoonful on a baking sheet (I used nonstick, but if you don't, you might have to grease it). Bake at 325 for 13-15 minutes (I had to go a little long, but I made rather large cookies). Let cookies cool a little (about 2 minutes) before putting on cooling rack (the oatmeal will make the cookie fall apart if you try to move them too soon).
Makes 3 dozen cookies (I didn't get this many, but I make big cookies).
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Adam is interested in his potty chair - he likes and asks to sit on it (which we never deny for obvious reasons), but he hasn't actually used it yet. I think eventually we'll catch it just right and then he'll "get" it - he doesn't like diapers or the changing process so once it clicks, I think he'll fall into it.
We are having issues with getting him to eat "real" fruits and vegetables. The kid is a complete meat man and nothing else. We'll keep working with it because if I can get him to just eat some, I can completely toss the baby food. But at the moment, it is my way of making sure he has complete nutrition!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Very dreary here today. We got a lot of rain last night - we actually didn't have power for most of the night, but it was back on by 9:30 this morning, which was good.
Well, I need to catch Adam and see if he'll "help" with the laundry that is buzzing before its tubbie time.
Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese
From The Big Orange Book by Rachael Ray [this is slightly different...you don't broil it and it seems to be slightly larger, but same general idea]
1 pound pasta [she used cavatappi, I just used what I had]
2 tbsp oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
black pepper and salt
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
2 cups shredded provolone [I bought a bulk and shredded it myself - you can't buy pre-shredded where I am]
1/2 cup beef stock
3/4 pound deli roast beef, thinkly sliced and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring it to a boil.
Once the water boils, cook the pasta according to package directions. Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain it and return it to the pot it was cooked in.
While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat the oil. Add the onions to the pan and season with salt and pepper and top them with a lid or piece of aluminum foil for 2-3 minutes, just to get them cooking. Remove the lid or aluminum foil and continue cooking the onions until tender and lightly caramelized,12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the onions are caramelizing, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a medium-size pot.
Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and cook the mixture for about 1 minute. Whisk the
milk into the butter-flour mixture slowly and bring up to a bubble to thicken. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and reserve.
Preheat the broiler.
To the skillet with the onions, add the beef stock and the roast beef. Cook to warm through.
Add cheese sauce and onion-roast mixture to the pot with the drained poasta and toss to combine. Put in a 9 by 13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. [her cheese doesn't add up in the book...the online recipe is slightly different...I used 1 1/2 in the sauce and then just coated the top of the casserole.] Place under broiler until bubble, 2-3 minmutes.
Garnish with parsley.
Serves 6 [more like 12...I halved this and still got at least six servings].
It is undeniable that someone attacked Hatshepsut's monuments after her death. Archaeology indicates that the bulk of the vandalism occurred during Tuthmosis' reign. Why would he do this? At first it was imagined that this was the new king's immediate revenge against his stepmother; he was indeed cursing her with permanent death. The image of the young Tuthmosis seething with impotent rage as Hatshepsut ruled in his place is one which has attracted amateur psychologists for many years. However, it does not entirely fit with the known facts.
Tuthmosis was to prove himself a calm and prudent general, a brave man not given to hasty or irrational actions. He did not start his solo reign with an assault on Hatshepsut's memory; indeed, he allowed her a traditional funeral, and waited until it was convenient to fit the desecration into his schedule. Some of the destruction was even carried out by his son, after his death, when most of those who remembered Hatshepsut had also died. It is a remote, rather than an immediate, attack.
Furthermore the attack is not a thorough one. Enough remained of Hatshepsut to allow us to recreate her reign in some detail. Her tomb, the most obvious place to start the attack, still housed her name. Hatshepsut may have been erased from Egypt's official record, but she was never hated as Akhenaten 'The Great Criminal' would later be.
So what does she think happened?
What can we conclude from this tangled tale? We should perhaps rethink our assumptions. Hatshepsut did not fear Tuthmosis; instead of killing him, she raised him as her successor. Tuthmosis may not have hated Hatshepsut. Initially he may even have been grateful to her, as she had protected his land while training him for greatness. But, as he grew older and looked back over his life, his perspective would shift. Would Egypt's most successful general, a stickler for tradition, have wished to be associated with a woman co-regent, even a woman as strong as Hatshepsut?
By removing all obvious references to his co-ruler Tuthmosis could incorporate her reign into his own. He would then become Egypt's greatest pharaoh; the only successor to Tuthmosis II. Hatshepsut would become the unfortunate victim, not of a personal attack, but of an impersonal attempt at retrospective political correctness.
Tuthmosis set his masons to re-write history. Their labours would last well into the reign of his successor, Amenhotep II, a king who could not remember Hatshepsut, and who had no reason to respect her memory. Meanwhile, hidden in the Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut still rested in her coffin. Tuthmosis I had been taken from their joint tomb and re-buried, but she had been left alone. Tuthmosis knew that as long as her body survived, Hatshepsut was ensured eternal life.
I find this story - that Tuthmosis was trying to improve his image - as more pausible. It makes sense with the partial destruction and shows that while he was trying to negate her role, he wasn't trying to kill her memory - merely change it to suit himself.
Chocolate Zucchini Tea Bread
Modified from The Jasmine Moon Murder by Laura Childs
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk [I always use lemon juice and regular milk, so in this case 1/2 tbsp lemon juice and the rest of the 1/2 cup regular milk.]
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips [this said chocolate "bits," which probably meant to chop up a larger block, but that's too much work for me. While I think you would get better saturation (smaller pieces), I thought this turned out quite well using the easier chips.]
Combine first nine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour batter into two greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool, slice and serve (they suggest cream cheese and orange marmalade...I thought it was great plain). This actually really improves on sitting overnight.
Before the advent of hospitals and doctor-assisted births, most women gave birth at home with female relatives and possibly a midwife. Women had plenty of support from these female attendants and so men were usually redundant. According to the article in 1938, 1/2 of babies were born in hospitals, by 1955 it was 95%. With hospital assisted births, women were usually alone or with strangers during the long birth process while men were put in the waiting room. Starting in the 1940s, men started to get more involved in the process:
Beginning in the late 1940s, many men began to find this isolation intolerable. As they wrote and read comments in “fathers’ books” that many hospitals provided as semi-public diaries, they took action, as one father put it, “[to] grab hatchets and chop through the partition” separating them from their laboring wives. Fathers joined with the natural childbirth movement, childbirth educators, and the emerging women’s movement to revolutionize hospital birth and make it less impersonal. The men contested the separate hospital spaces and the exclusionary routines of medical authority to find a place for themselves and, in so doing, created unprecedented new masculine domestic roles while enhancing the birth experience for mothers.
With the advent of the 1950s and 60s, men became more involved, staying with his wife during the long process:
In the 1950s and 1960s men succeeded in entering labor rooms with their wives. Here, “alone together,” couples shared intimate moments, holding hands, reading out loud together, playing cards; husbands often rubbed their wives’ backs during contractions. One woman in labor said, “It made me feel peaceful and confident, somehow, just his sitting there.”
As this became more common, men were finally permitted in the delivery room by the 1970s (although I know my father refused this honor! But my mother had my grandmother). The entire process became a couple bonding time as they, together, waited for their child to come into the world. Now most hospitals have modified the process to be friendly to "birthing partners" and family and made birthing rooms more comfortable for the long period women were in them.
I don't know about you all, but I would have been a mess without my husband when Adam was born! I'm glad men can be there for the entire process - Ray was even able to be with me during the C-section.
Myth #8: There is a subterranean archive center underneath the National Mall.
Fact: The Smithsonian’s storage facilities are mostly located in Suitland, Maryland.
Backstory: The notion that a labyrinthine network of storage space exists beneath the Smithsonian museums, under the National Mall, may have started with Gore Vidal’s novel The Smithsonian Institution and was most recently popularized by the movie Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Unfortunately, no such storage facility is to be found. The archive center depicted in the film is based on the Smithsonian’s storage facilities in Suitland, Maryland. However, there is a staff-only accessible underground complex of passageways that connect the Freer, the Sackler, the Castle, the African Art Museum, the International Gallery and the Arts and Industries Building.
There is also a tunnel that connects the Castle with the Museum of Natural History. Built in 1909, it is technically large enough to walk through; however, a person has to contend with cramped spaces, rats and roaches. A quick jaunt across the National Mall is the preferred means of traveling between the two museums.
Certainly banning alcohol sales hasn't fixed the problem from what I hear from friends who live in Bethel. Instead, people are resorting to drinking things that most of us would consider disgusting as a way to get their "fix" like lysol! They drill a hole in the bottom with a nail and drink it!
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Daddy and Adam swimming
Friday, October 02, 2009
An abbreviated "what's up" list and a promise to catch up!
- Ray had a really busy start to this term - with a trip to DC on top of the normal fall stuff.
- I've had three weeks of grading insanity - I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have to update my Term 2 class for SNHU this weekend and then hopefully I'm caught up for awhile.
- I'm teaching a new class in the spring (Elem. Stats - Math 210), which I'm thrilled about, but it does mean I have to prep it from stratch. I plan to do most of the work while my parents are here.
- We canned tomates last weekend with Ray's dad and grandma. 46 quarts and 7 pints. We are set for awhile - I'm making spaghetti this week.:)
- I'm SO sick of rain - we've had almost two weeks of rain and Adam just is going stir-crazy - he is used to being outside a lot. Yesterday was gorgeous and so I did get him out then, but it's raining again today.
- We were all sick, but seem to better.
- We found out last week that I'm pregnant, which means I've been having some nausea issues. [I know this is buried - I put in on Facebook and I'll post a bigger post when I have a due date to report - next week with my ultrasound]. That means we've had more doctor's appointments.
- I got Adam's regular flu shot scheduled and Ray and I will set ours up next week. We had terrible bouts of the seasonal flu last year and don't want a repeat. We are probably also going to do swine flu shots with Adam being so young and me being pregnant.
- Life Chain in this Sunday.
- I just got a bunch of new books that I'm really excited about - hopefully some posts on them later.
Okay, well, I think that is our basic life recently. Really it has just been work and Adam, but it has kept us hopping this month.
- I got shanghaied into a poet's tea at the end of this month at the National First Ladies' Library. I'm reading something from Jackie Kennedy.