Saturday, December 27, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Wish me luck.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Please, ask me how I'm doing. This will keep me going.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Friday was a crazy day because I was helping in Swan's classroom party, and Jeff had a business lunch and couldn't watch the babies. So I took them with me, and everything was O.K. for the first part, until El Cangri started eating doughnuts and his little system had so much sugar that he couldn't handle himself anymore. He had a temper tantrum of epic proportions, and I'm happy to say I didn't lose my cool. I let him cry until I took him and Chubbers to the car and he collapsed in his car seat.
I did get to rest a little in the afternoon. The children were extremely excited, and they helped with the last minute decorations and food preparations. I made pumpkin soup and sugar cookies, but we didn't have dinner until after trick-or-treating. Once my brother and his family finally arrived, we set out to our round of the neighborhood. I was very grateful that El Cangri agreed to wear the outfit I spent weeks making and that he had requested in the first place (in the morning he preferred being a Power Ranger): Max from the classic children's book "Where the Wild Things Are." The night was very pleasant, until it started raining. El Cangri was painfully slow, and he kept asking me, "Are the monsters there? Are the pirates there?" I saw my brother look at the sidewalk for a long time, and then with incredulity in his eyes he asked, "Who's barefooted?" There were tiny outlines of feet on the pavement. I cringed, and I checked the one kid I hadn't check before we left the house. El Cangri has a pair of black Crocs that he was supposed to be wearing. He had also been wearing black socks, so from the distance (and being so near-sighted I hadn't noticed!) it looked like he had his Crocs on, when in reality he was only wearing socks. My poor, poor child!!!! So I decided to turn back home, but we were so slow that not many minutes had passed when Jeff was coming back home with the older kids.
The kids had candy for dinner (Chubbers was like a chain smoker, only it was suckers she kept putting in her mouth as soon as she finished one), and the adults had soup. Jeff and my brother didn't like it, oh well! Later the babies (all 4 of them including El Cangri and Chubbers, and my brother's M and baby G) went to bed, and Gorgeous very bravely watched "The Haunted Mansion" with his cousin C. Swan didn't want to watch a scary show, so Jeff let her watch a funny movie on his computer in her bed. Later, we watched a horror flick Jeff and my brother had rented for the adults. It was one of the "Saw" movies, so terribly gory, bloody, ridiculous scripted, boring. Bah! Jeff fell asleep, and my brother and his family left after we had endured what seemed like 20 hours of severed limbs and predictable dialog.
When I went downstairs to check on the boys, I found them sharing a sleeping bag on the theater room carpet, each clutching a copy of the Book of Mormon. My brother hasn't been active in the church for years, so his kids don't know about the BOM, so Gorgeous, as he told me the next day, was trying to be a missionary for his cousin. Isn't that the sweetest thing? After all the candy, the scary movies, the costumes, and the craziness, there was time for spirituality and tenderness too.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Here it is!
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been thinking about this story ever since I saw the movie several months ago. I was very hesitant to read the book because I was afraid it would be too graphic, or too scary. Well, it is a scary story, and not because of the vampires, but because it's about a vampirism plague that wipes humanity out of the face of the earth. The main character, Robert Neville, lost both his wife and daughter to the pandemic. I think the scary part for me was imagining I was in his place, knowing that I couldn't protect my children if they were infected, that nothing I did would save them. For this reason I think the book is scarier and sadder than the movie. Even though I tried to picture the character as the author describes him in his book (German-English descent), I kept seeing Will Smith in mind. Will Smith made a terrific Neville in the movie; he really conveyed the suffering and anguish Matheson describes in the book.
The writing is very well done, descriptive, not too harsh or graphic. There's not vulgarity either, so that was a plus. I was worried at first that the language would be bad. I recommend this book, especially during Halloween time, and also if you want to read about a person's determination to live even when there's apparently nothing to live for.
This copy I borrowed from the library contains other stories by Matheson. They are all suspenseful and/or scary. There is one story, "Prey", that I was familiar with. When I was a young girl I saw a film version of it, and it's one of the many reasons I'm still afraid of ethnic dolls or wooden carvings of people. you read it and you'll know why.
When I read "Prey" I realized Matheson's stories are well known, but his name is not--at least in my case, I hadn't heard of him before I am Legend came out as a movie.
View all my reviews.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I've been tagged by Tiffany, and I'm thrilled because it's the first time ever that I've been tagged in almost 2 years of blogging!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I feel like asking, "Have we missed Halloween? The most excellent holiday of the year?"
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
I know I talk about drinking mate all the time (I talk about it all the time and drink it all the time), and many of you who have known me forever have either seen me have my mate ritual or have participated with me. In essence, mate is an herbal tea, more accurately, an infusion. I could write about the wonderful properties of yerba mate, an herb that grows in the semi-tropical climates of Southern Brazil , Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina. I could write about how impressed the Spanish conquistadores were to find the mate drinking South American aborigines were very vigorous and healthy. I could write about how yerba mate is replacing coffee, tea, and green tea as the new energy drink of the century; you get the high without the bad side effects.
I could provide numbers to prove mate is healthy and good for you, but I won't. I'll just give you a basic rules of mate serving and drinking etiquette, and I'll finish with what this drink means to me.
First you need the right tools: a mate (the container) which is a small cup. It can be plastic, metal, a gourd, carved wood, a hollowed out cow horn, etc. Just a container that won't leak and that won't be too hot to the touch. The mate can be very ornate or very simple. Some people (myself included) note the difference of flavor if you drink from a plastic mate opposed to a wood one. Personally, I love gourds and wooden mates.
You also need a bombilla, which is basically a straw with a tiny strainer at the end to filter the yerba. NOBODY likes to end up with tiny bits of yerba in their mouths. Those little bits can get stuck in your throat and itch like crazy.
Last but not least, you need yerba, the actual herb. There are all kinds of yerba, with dust, without dust, strong, soft, with digestive herbs, Uruguayan, Brazilian, Argentine, traditional, wild harvested, organic. People usually like the yerba they're used to. I don't like my mate too strong; I get a stomachache if the tea ends up too bitter.
Optional: sugar, herbs like chamomile and peppermint, orange or lemon zest, you name it. I like my mate clean, occasionally I'll add peppermint leaves from my own garden.
Once you have prepared your mate, you add the water, which will be hot, but not boiling. You don't want to burn your yerba. The cebador (the one that prepares and distribute the mate) drinks the first one which will be very bitter. The flavor softens as the yerba gets diluted. If there's a group of people (a ronda), the cebador will pass it to his right. Each person takes a turn drinking from the mate, and the person taking a turn drinks all of it. No one likes to drink left over mate from the person before (I know, we're all drinking with the same straw already! But it's true; you drink all of your mate). When the person is done, the mate returns to the cebador who will repeat the process with all the members of the ronda. Remember, it's usually family and close friends who share mate. It's no fun to drink with 20 other people, besides being unhygienic, no one likes to wait half an hour for a mate.
One important rule: don't touch the bombilla; if you do, the mate will be ruined and the yerba will lose its flavor. Don't touch the bombilla!
Drinking mate is the opposite of watching TV; it makes you talk with your mate drinking companions, or if you're drinking solo, it makes you think. I've always studied or read with my my mate by my side; it helps me relax.
Families drink mate together in the morning, or in the afternoon, or after meals. When friends come visit, you offer mate to them. My best friend G and I can drink gallons while we talk. If you go to a home where you don't know the family, don't be offended if they don't offer you a mate, but be prepared to accept if they do offer. Rejecting mate is like rejecting food, a personal affront to the hosts. In my family we're very particular with whom we drink mate. I remember when I was a teenager, my next door neighbor, who had known me all my life, finally invited me to drink mate with him. My brother was in shock, but to me it meant that this neighbor had finally "adopted" me as his granddaughter. I loved listening to his stories as a young boy working in the fields and the factories.
In our Argentine culture, the sign that you're finally an adult is when you prepare your own mate, just for yourself, instead of the whole family. I don't remember when I made my own mate for the first time. Was I worried, happy, stressed, in love? I don't know, but I do know it must have been a special occasion. When Jeff and I got married, my 4 best friends from Argentina sent me a super nice mate set. It's not a proper home without your very own mate set.
Mate is present in every Argentine home, be it poor or rich, Canaya or Leprosa (reference to Rosario's football teams), Socialists, Capitalists, young, old, ignorant, college professors, doctors, the president, writers, musicians, group of students, nuns and priests ... the list can go on forever.
Mate means you put up with the most horrible, watered down mate just because the conversation is good, not the mate. It means you take turns, you drink while the other talks and vice-versa; you at least say "Thank You" once a day, when you are done drinking mate for now.
Mate is not only the herbal tea, the health benefits, the ritual; mate is companionship, conversation, confidences, part of our Argentiness. Our neighboring countries drink mate too; especially Uruguayans who are also known as "Panza Verdes" ("Green Bellies"), and mate means similar things to them.
I love it when my kids drink with me; I let them drink it when the yerba is watered down and cool. Once they get a taste of it, they'll never let it go. My kids even have a play "mate set" instead of a "tea set", and they've invited me to many a nice mate ronda, complete with philosophical questions and conclusions and all. Very "Argentine."
Even my very boricua Jeff has become addicted to mate, but he still only drinks it with me; it's our special time to talk at night or even work in our individual projects, joined by this give and take of mate drinking.
We have mate at home, in the parks, at the beach, on the cruises we've been; we've taking it to our trip to Europe, with a well marked package, mind you, in case people think it's an illegal substance or something. We have mate during long drives; I take my mate things when we go to holiday dinners to our extended family's homes.
Mate is an essential part of my food storage; I can do without many things, but not my yerba. When our prophet, President Hinckley visited Argentina back in '96, we were all a little anxious he would say something about this herbal tea. We all sighed with relief when he didn't. And I know for a fact even several of the General Authorities and Area Authorities were relieved too.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
My Gorgeous Son has been attending Boy Scout's meetings for a couple of weeks, and since he's his mama's son, he wasn't happy until I got him his uniform. So here are some pictures of him, and my poor other babies who have to wait all afternoon in the car on Thursdays.
My Gorgeous almost broke his arm last Saturday; his bone actually bended. He wore a splint for a couple of days, and fortunately the Dr told me that his bones had been hit pretty hard, but that they were O.K. Yeah!!!! Gorgeous had stitches and a cast this Summer. Hopefully we'll have no more accidents around here.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The change is also hard for my son. He goes to school from 8 to 3, has futbol practice twice a week for 2 hours, futbol games on Friday, guitar and piano. Don't forget scouts, and homework, and taking care of Coco, and reading, and scripture reading ... The list goes on and on, and I find myself questioning our life. I've tried not to over schedule Gorgeous and Swan, but they want to go to school (I would home school if it was up to me, but they LOVE school), and they love their sports. Futbol and ballet are their outlets. They really love music too, and Gorgeous won't replace guitar for piano, so it had to be both. I don't know how people with more than 2 kids manage to drive them to all their appointments. I don't know what I'll do when the babies start their activities. I just see they're tired and stressed, and they're only 7 and 5! Today, after school, and doing homework, I asked Gorgeous to go get ready for futbol practice. To my surprise, he started crying and saying, "I miss you mom! I haven't seen you all day! I want to be with you!" I want to be with him too, but I don't see a solution; at least we have Saturdays completely free. They are sacred to me; I just let them play all day. I hope the children learn how to do chores just by my example because I can't bring myself to adding something else to their already overflowing plates. Taking care of the dogs is the only chore they'll have for now. We'll see how we do in these following months.
Friday, September 05, 2008
|From New Album 8/24/08 6:35 PM|
|From New Album 8/24/08 6:35 PM|
|From New Album 8/24/08 6:35 PM|