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What’s For Dinner?

So here’s a little something I thought I’d try – a weekly dinner schedule (plus some fun with coloured pens). I’m really not a routine/schedule person, but I do love rituals, and the buying, preparing and eating (especially the eating) of food is one of my favourite rituals. Josh and I often talked about doing a weekly dinner schedule when we had kids (you know, one day, in the future – it’s still so surreal that that time is now), so I thought – why not start now? It’s more of a thematic guide, really, with lots of room for spontaneity. For Thursday night’s dinner, for example, we had Annie’s Naturals Macaroni and Cheese with some organic, free range pork sausages. (Gaaaad, I love sausages. I must track down some free range farmer sausage!) See what I mean – lots of room for menu maneuvering. It’s all about having fun, not being regimented. (Yuck.) Plus, when it comes to decorating to dressing to eating, I’m all about Themes. Maybe we’ll have to do a British-style roast dinner complete with Yorkshire puddings for Meat Night. Hmmmm….

And speaking of meals, someone turned 6 months old this week, got his first tooth, started sitting up on his own (tonight!) and became very, very interested in food (although mama milk is still his entree of choice):

In other news, I’ve decided to commit myself to Laini Taylor’s March “Crack Your W.I.P.”-athon. The challenge is to finish your work-in-progress by the end of the month. As she so astutely says, here is the chance for a completed draft, “[a] beginning, a middle, and an end. A big, juicy, messy word-count boost to your work-in-progress.” I’m not a prolific writer by any means, and on my current w.i.p. I seem to have bogged myself down by going back and editing as I go – the ultimate writing sin, the very thing you’re told in all creative writing classes never to do! Maybe by declaring my intentions here, and on adding my name to the list on Laini’s blog, I’ll actually stick to it. I want to finish the current draft of my second hi-lo middle grade novella (here’s a link to my first book), and I reckon I need about 12,000 more words. I’ll keep you posted!

Listening to: Scratch My Back by Peter Gabriel – Every time I hear a new song and/or album by this man, I’m reminded of how brilliant he is. On this new album he’s backed only by strings, which really highlights the gorgeously gruff quality of his voice… one of the best voices in popular music, in my humble opinion. The perfect late-night baking music (which I’m doing right now – baking my little sister a 30th birthday cake!)

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Oh, the promise of a new year! And there’s nothing like the accompanying fresh, as-yet-unadorned calendars to go along with it. (Plus a pencil and sharpener at the ready!) I absolutely love filling my new calendars and day planners with birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other notable occasions. In filling in all these things I look back at my last year’s day planner and review all the dinners out, get-togethers, theatre dates, pub quiz nights (at my beloved Cascade Room), etc. etc. Such an interesting snapshot of a year. Looking back at my 2009 book, it’s all chock-full of outings and other busyness up until late August, and then almost totally blank after that. Oh right, that’s when I had a baby and became a shut-in.

With the new year also comes the whole idea of resolutions. I don’t make ’em, usually – why set myself up for failure, right? Ahem. But the feeling of a fresh start does make me want to look at my life and priorities and further commit to things I’m already doing. (Hmmm, is that just another way of making a resolution? I dunno.)

Things I want to become more committed to in 2010 (in no particular order):

1. Attachment Parenting. ‘Cause breastfeeding on cue, co-sleeping, wearing Keaton in a sling and responding to him gently and compassionately are what feels right to me.
2. Being creative no matter what. I love this idea of SARK‘s.
3. Learning/re-learning how to do arts and crafts, and blogging about it here.
4. Being more authentic with myself, who I am and what I want. Maternity leave is giving me an amazing opportunity to do things that I’ve been meaning to do for so long, but was always too busy to do before, like cooking more foods from scratch and just generally slowing down a little (although I still think I try to do too much, which is why I’m typing this at 2:44am when I really should be in bed).
5. Doing the splits. This has been a goal of mine for some time now. I can do them with my right foot forward (something I kept up from my acrobatics days as a kid), but I want to learn how to do them left foot forward, too. Forget doing them straddle-style. I couldn’t even do that back in the day.
6. Keeping up with Strongbad‘s email updates. Because is he funny or what.
7. Celebrating the seasonal solstices.

What are your Commitments? Feel free to share.

Reading: Room Temperature by Nicholson Baker. This is the book I always told myself I’d re-read when I had a baby. Love it.

Listening to: Sufjan Stevens’ Seven Swans; The Big Chill soundtrack (oh, I rarely tire of the Motown)

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Well, sorta. In a flurry of Christmas preparations, cinnamon bun making (Tessa Kiros’ amazing recipe for Cardamom & Cinnamon Buns – http://whowantsseconds.typepad.com/who_wants_seconds/2005/01/cinnamon_cardam.html), integrating a new cat into the household (the lovely Peabody, who Josh and I are fostering for the next few months for my friend Laura) and baby tending, I haven’t posted in a few days.

Also, I haven’t sewed a darn thing in a few days except, somewhat ironically, for a sewing machine cozy that I made out of an old pillowcase (love the mod 1960s styling!). So, I sewed a cover for my sewing machine so that it won’t gather dust, because I don’t have time to use it at the moment. Hmmmm….

Reading: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder – It’s one of my annual Christmas traditions to read this sweet little book. I loved all the Little House books when I was a kid, but this one, the first in the series, was always my favourite. It’s so pure and innocent and lovely, and the Christmas chapter is the best. One Christmas I asked for a tin cup and a shiny penny, just like what Laura got. (I also asked for a Cabbage Patch kid and a Commodore 64 game – hey, life in the 1870s sounded fun, but I was still a child of the 1980s.)

Listening to: Basia Bulat; Bat for Lashes; Christmas music (it ain’t Christmas until I hear Roger Whittaker’s Time for Peace album!)

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I ask you: how is a girl supposed to concentrate on re-learning how to knit with nails like these in the way? Wow. Are those press-ons, or the real thing? (I got this DVD from the library – “Learn to Knit” by Tracie Wunderlich… she’s actually a very good teacher.)

For me, knitting is kind of like the game of cribbage: I don’t get it. I’ve tried to learn many times, and in many different ways, but I just seem to have a mental block. Crocheting I get (but that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily any good at it). Maybe Tracie and her wundernails can help me out…

Currently reading: Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes (satisfying my current Brit chick lit kick)

Listening to: Islands; Stevie Nicks; Wolf Parade

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