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Harry Potter

I’m reading it! FINALLY. I’m proud to say that I have been a fan since it first came out. My dad ordered it when it was first published because he liked the review. He read it and thought it would be a great read for me. I am proud of this fact because my group of friends became Harry Potter fanatics after book 4 was published. I was like ‘hey, where you been?’ and stuff.

Now it’s coming to an end. I’m only 40 pages in and I’m so tired tonight I was feeling like I wasn’t getting the full experience. I want to savor it. I’ll finally find out how it ends. But I won’t blog it, of course, and spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet. I’ve been paranoid about that myself and have avoided anything and everything about Harry Potter for the past week, and certainly the past 24 hours. In fact I was even worried about drive-by-spoilers, which happened here when the last book came out. People drove by yelling out the big event at the end of book 6 to people in line to buy it at midnight – cruel.

I want to keep reading, but I’ll save it for tomorrow – good night everybody, and happy reading to fellow HP fans.

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AC is good

It was 100 degrees F outside yesterday, people. I don’t know about you, but that’s too hot for me. We just got an air conditioner installed in the bedroom and Jenny loves it. A nice 74 degrees all day long. I’ll leave my sweating to my daily workout.

My regular exercise, by the way, has shifted from running outside to getting on the stationary bike inside. I don’t like getting up and exercising outside first thing upon waking. I mean, for one thing my hair is a giant frizz-ball when I wake up. If I am to run outside in the summer here in Albany, unfortunately the morning is the only good time to do it. I suppose I could run in the evening but young people this town seem to love to shout obscene things to runners from moving cars. I prefer to exercise in public only when the idiots are sleeping off their hangovers… What is it about a moving vehicle? Can you imagine the same person yelling “PENIS!” at me while I run by them and they’re standing still on the sidewalk? It’s like certain people get this high from being assholes while traveling at 20 mph or more. I just don’t understand. Ah well. It’s not like this didn’t happen in San Diego either. Assholes abound where there are moving vehicles and runners on sidewalks I guess.

Another great thing about air conditioning – I get to knit more. Last summer when we were here and had no AC I didn’t knit much of anything. Any part of the knitted item that rested on my lap was like wearing a blanket. I’ll get much more accomplished this summer.

Last night we had a bug problem and I really really hope they didn’t come in through the AC unit. These tiny little katydid moth type of flying bugs that are attracted to light. Well we had a couple dozen in the room last night – Joe and I opted to sleep in the other bedroom… Between the spiders and the wasp that got in through the closed window (eek!), this is an interesting bedroom. But I love the AC! And room is nice and bright and open, very nice for a living space. Buggy bugs, stay outside!

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My parents were married today in 1982 at St. Mary Magdalene Church, the same parish we kids were baptized in, went to the school (so did my dad and siblings), and that my parents sang in/directed the choir until recently. It was an evening wedding and though there aren’t many pictures, due to a film mishap, I’ve been told that the bridemaids had yellow dress and the groomsmen wore brown suits! I’m sure that was the style :) My dad had a white tux and my mom wore a beautiful dress that her mom made for her. Grandma sat in the dressing rooms sketching the dresses my mom tried on, then Mom picked her favorite elements of the dresses and Grandma designed a new dress. Then at their reception Mom and Dad never even got a chance to eat. They went home after the reception and made a frozen pizza :) I love this story. Happy anniversary Mom and Dad :)

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Ok, so the pizza was not great. I guess I’m not a fan of tofu ricotta. But the crust was delightful. (To anyone just tuning in, I tried a new pizza last night from Vegan with a Vengeance.) But the toppings I made – Bleck – I couldn’t take the texture. Although it was extremely satisfying crumbling the tofu in my fingers to make it ricotta-like!

I am not so picky in my foods as I used to be. My eating lifestyle will keep me healthy, happy and just plain alive for longer. I am very happy with my eating lifestyle. Not just the veganism, but the healthiness and the balance where I can maintain my weight. I am in the best shape of my life. I am completely convinced that animals products are harder to digest and therefore are the main contributers in a diet to being overweight. And anyway, you get so much more from a varied plant-based diet. I mean, the amount of beans and nuts I eat alone put me off the charts for my folic acid requirements. I was concerned about that because the majority of adult females do not get enough, according to some such study somewheres… but I get a ton. There will be slim to nill chances that my infants will have spina bifida.

I know I am only one person, but I get so discouraged watching people devour meat after they seem to show some understanding for vegetarianism. I was at a barbeque today and watched chickens cut in half being grilled and thought ‘Look at the massacre. I wonder if there are even any that were once a pair’.

If anyone in my family even becomes half a vegetarian because of me I would be in awe. I still have hopes for my little cousin. She tried it with very good intentions but she’s only eleven and it’s not easy. But I have hope still. We’ll get all the girl cousins veggie someday :) In the meantime, I’ll eat my potatoes and beans and veggie burgers and try to be content with doing my part.

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I have been cooking up a storm lately and I love, love, loves it. We’re in Albany, Oregon again staying with Joe’s mom and soon-to-be step-dad. Joe’s mom bought a cookbook so she could cook us vegan food, but I’m the one hogging the book. I’ve been claiming the “dinner-making” rights since we got here, for the sole reason that I’m having too much fun playing gourmet vegan chef.

The cookbook is called Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. (Isa, you are my new hero.) She is the co-host of the cable show Post Punk Kitchen, a vegan cooking show filmed in her own kitchen. I say “a” vegan cooking show, when I should say “the ONLY” vegan cooking show. I have yet to find out what time it airs, and I assume on the food network? Anyone?

From the book I have made:

Herb Roasted Potatoes – baked casserole style with onions and garlic (Joe’s new favorite dish)
Maple-Mustard Glazed Potatoes – same thing except with the yummiest sauce you can imagine (Jenny’s new favorite dish)
Chickpea and Broccoli casserole – it looked cheesy and casseroley like there was egg and cheese
Indian spiced rice with almonds – substituted some spices and served with the chickpea casserole, they really made a great combo
….and for the sweet tooth…..
Banana Oatmeal waffles – delicious; once with raisins and once with blueberries
Pumpkin muffins – delightful, thought I must admit that I was hoping for more pumpkin pie taste
Peanut butter oatmeal cookies, and crispy peanut butter cookies – both turned out delicious, but the oatmeal ones were the best because they tasted almost exactly like girl scout cookies!

And tonight I am branching out and making my first vegan pizza. It’s a combination of the pizza stuff in the book, but it is the basic dough with the Tofu Ricotta Cheese, which (though I had my doubts) really looks and tastes like ricotta cheese; and a mix of the Garden Blend and Classic Pesto – basically a very green looking puree. That will go over some red pizza sauce in big dabs and will be covered in mushrooms and olives. Oh, my stomach is grumbling.

Oh yes, and we cannot forget the lesson learned tonight. Whole Wheat Pastry dough is NOT a good substitute for all purpose flour when making bread/pizza dough. I started kneading and it broke all over the place. Whole wheat flour is made from hard wheat and becomes tough because of strong gluten strands, and when it says whole wheat pastry flour is means soft wheat. It just doesn’t have the gluten strength to make elastic dough, but it’s great for pastries and baking!

So for dessert tonight we’re havign cinnamon rolls out of the accidental pastry “pizza” dough.

I’m glad I’m going running tomorrow.

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Ok, so I’m going in the opinion column direction for these book reports – but hey, it’s my blog :)

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Yup. While we were house-sitting at Mary and Kristi’s… on the friggin’ coast! When he flew into the trees I was afraid I was going to witness a finch attack, but all was well :) Click on the pics for bigger views.




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