Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Clowing Around

I'm just beginning to organize our hundreds of Florida vacation pictures. This one caught my eye this morning. Jani took it at Downtown Disney outside some shop. Very clever of Rowan to sneak under the hand of the statue and don't you just love Gemma's Snow White finery with her fanny pack? (-:

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fondue Feasting

I don't think it was a desire to relive my youth or join the retro craze that inspired me to host a fondue party for my 44th birthday - it just seemed like a blast of an idea! It turned out to be a blast in reality. No not "that" kind of blast - thank goodness, though one could fear that with nine cans of denatured alcohol and sterno all burning at once - the kind of blast that means very fun!!

Nearly 20 friends gathered to help celebrate, all gathered around nine pots of simmering goodness, laughing and having a grand time. It was great fun!!

We feasted-
*two cheese fondues - one of them made of soy to pleast our vegan friends and dairy-allergy daughter - I gotta say though that soy cheese fondue is rather scary - tasty but a bizarre consistancy.
*two Mongolian pots - one vegetarian with tofu and veggies to cook in the boiling broth and the other meat based with marinated chicken and veggies to cook in the boiling chicken stock.
*two B-B-Q pots - one tofu and one meatball.
*three dessert fondues - a dark chocolate with cinnamon, a white chocolate and a respberry.

Guests brought the dippers and I got the fun part of preparing the fondues. It was fun to mix 1970's cuisine with the dietary needs of our times (vegans, dairy-allergies, wheat/gluten allergies and a desire for a bit more healthy, whole grain foods). Jani and our friend Marsha were marvelous su chefs at my beck and call to get all the pots lit (yes, that's right nine flames all going at the same time) and set pots out.

Now where would one gather NINE fondue pots you might ask. That's a story in itself. I posted an email to my extensive connections here in town soliciting pots and really scored. We had one of our own - one I"d acquired at an auction at Rainbow Family Camp last year from a gal who'd gotten it as a gift and never used it. A friend lent us her original 1970's pot in its lovely orange color complete with wooden lazy susan to set the pot and sterno upon. Other friends let us their pot - a commitment cermony gift they'd never used and barely recognized as their own at the party. The best part was getting a lead on six pots from another lesbian couple we don't know who used them at their commimtent ceremony to hold soup at each guest table. They'd bought 18 of them on QVC!! They would have happily lended more, but six seemed sufficient to me!! They heartily encouraged us to give away a few of their pots as "door prizes" as they really couldn't imagine what they might do with 18 fondue pots!!

And, the great thing - the sterno doesn't have the pungent odor I remember from the 1970's. Some used sterno and most of the posts used denatured alcohol which had no odor.

We now have a Melting Pot restaurant in town, but I think our fondue feast surpassed what we would have experienced there with gathering so many of us together all amazed at what we could do with nine fondue pots, cooperative efforts and good compnay.

Rowan's Version of the Old "I Used to Have to Walk 5 Miles to School Uphill both Ways"

Last night we were preparing Gemma's wardrobe for today's trip to the nature center with her kindergarten class to see animals in winter. Her teacher had sent home a picture of a line-drawn kid properly attired for the trip with notes in the margins to help bring the kids on board with taking responsibilty for their own preparations with adult support.

Rowan saw the drawing on the bathroom counter and piped in with a voice of utter indignation - "Hey, when I was in kindergarten we had to DRAW our OWN picture of what to wear. These kindergaterners have it so easy. Their teacher gave them a picture already drawn. I can't believe it." This comment from a kid who loves to draw so I'm guessing she wasn't under too much stress when she had to draw her own picture.

I replied, "So, I suppose you had to walk to the Aldo Leopald Center too - 5 miles in the snow, uphill both ways." Clever to catch on to such teasing, Rowan replied with equal indignation as before, "that's right Mom."

Gemma, hearing our conversation got all worried. "You mean we have to walk there. I'm too little to walk there. I don't want to go! It's not fair to make kindergartners walk 5 miles."

We cleared that one up (hopefully). So we'll see if Gemma asked her teacher if they had to walk to the nature center today. I can imagine her relief when she saw they were going on school busses.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Perfect for You-Tube

You know there are those moments when I really wish I had a video camera at the ready...

We were at Disney. It was the end of the day - about supper time. An announcement came over the PA system about that evening's light parade. The annuncement ended with a tag line about Disney being the "happiest place on earth."

All around me there were scenes of less than happy Disney visitors. Kids of all ages who were over=stimulated, hungry, tired - some crying and some begging and some defying any parental requests. There were over-stressed, over-stimulated parents - some threatening loss of privilegs to their small charges, others railing their discontent to their life-partners. All with the PA blasting the line of the "happiest place on earth."


So is it
a) Disney - the happiest place on earth?
b) Disney - the most over-stimulating place on earth?
c) both of the above?
d) none of the above?
e) some other reality?

I heard from a couple of folks that the link to the Diseny Poto Pass pictures I posted yesterday doesn't work. )-: Sorry about that. Disney and other Florida pictures to come.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Disney Pictures

Happy New Year!!

My goddess, its been a busy month - ranging from Solstice planning, to a religious discrimination issue with Jani's employer over Solstice (again this year - we have engaged an advocate and are moving forward to hopefullly resolve this once and for all), to heading to Florida to visit my folks in Naples and then head to Disney..WOW!!

I have many reflections about all of this - and of course limited time to post. So for now, here's the link to some pictures we had taken at Disney on our Photo Pass.

We have oodles more that we took of both the Disney part of the trip and our visit to Naples, so will get those in an on-line photo album in the next couple of weeks.