Friday, November 30, 2007

Almost there...

Much excitement in the Nall house because the Hannah Montana show is tomorrow. One nice thing about going to a concert that appeals to the pre-teen crowd is that the show starts at 4 p.m. So no late night to go along with our permanently damaged hearing!

(Speaking of which, I am picking up ear plugs on the way to the show.)

I'm on the verge of finishing up a long string of deadlines, so I checked out some books to read:

"How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" by Mark Bittman. It's silly that, more than a year into my vegetarianism, I haven't bought a veggie cookbook. Several months ago, I pulled one of the shelf at Barnes & Noble and flipped open to a recipe for "Carrot Paste." It kinda freaked me out so I put it back on the shelf. But "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" looks promising. I'll try out some recipes and let you know how it goes.

And a murder mystery that takes place in a snooty New York state neighborhood. Not the most original idea, but after all the writing I've done in the last couple of weeks, I'm ready to not have to think very much.

Edited my post to add this: Evel Knievel is dead!

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Sunday, November 25, 2007


I subscribe to Better Homes & Gardens. It's got great articles, photos and recipes. Plus I figure if I keep a copy of it and a couple of Williams-Sonoma catalogs on the coffee table, I will appear to have better taste than I actually do. Anyway, I never see anything in the magazine that scares me. That is until I opened up the latest issue and found this:

It's a gelatin salad containing celery, green onions, cucumbers and vinegar. Some people who reviewed the recipe online said not to judge it by the way it looks because it really is good. But I think I'll keep my veggies separate from my Jell-o, thank you.

Scary recipes aside, here are some things we have been doing this month. Here's Jenna performing at the children's program at the Bible study I go to every week...

... and here's Julia outside the Clinton Presidential Library last weekend.

We also visited Little Rock's River Market that day...

...and spent the afternoon hanging out downtown. Isn't downtown Little Rock cute?

I love seeing the father of my children carry around their girly stuff. Jenna is relatively new to venturing out in big-girl panties, so we have to carry a clean-up kit and complete change of clothes everywhere we go.

Then Tuesday we headed down to Houston for Thanksgiving. We gathered with my brother Brian at my parents' house and met my aunt and uncle from Beaumont for dinner on Thursday. On Saturday, we drove through Baytown on our way home and met Julia's best Baytown friends, Natalie and Meagan, for lunch.

The countdowns are on -- Hannah Montana this Saturday and Meagan and her mom coming to visit exactly one month after that!

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Apple of my eye

I'm loving the Vince Gill Fruit of the Loom commercial. I found the full-length version at YouTube. (This one isn't interrupted by the grapes guy's cell phone ringing.)

The Hallmark catalog arrived at our house the other day, containing four full pages of the weirdness that is Precious Moments. I seriously don't get the whole collectible figurine thing. To spend 40-100 bucks apiece on these things to just let them set on a shelf and collect dust. It's just beyond me. Plus they're weird. Look at the picture. Why are these children getting married? Are they members of some sicko cult?

For the ultimate in Precious Moments weirdness, visit the Precious Moments theme park. So not kidding. Wish I were.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On Becoming Veggie

Oh, come on. Not ONE comment on my Ziggy sex post? Oh, well. On to other things.

One of my blog friends named Sarah (and I have a lot of them) asked me to blog about how I announced my vegetarianism and how I deal with people criticizing my decision. Sarah asked me about this a HONKIN' LONG TIME AGO and I'm just getting to it. So here it is.

I didn't go veggie until we moved to Arkansas. I've never liked meat all that much and had fantasized about giving it up altogether but I figured it would be too hard since I live with carnivores. I was reading online one day about going veggie and I decided it wouldn't really be that hard after all. A couple of days later, I was sitting in Burger King eating a salad with big chunks of chicken in it. I thought, "This is the last time I'm eating this stuff." And it was. Upon more reading, I've discovered the health benefits of not eating meat. You can cut your cancer risk by as much as 60 percent, and you also lower your chances of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. All those things run in my family, so I'm just trying to be smart.

What's funny about giving up meat is this. All of a sudden, people who have previously taken no interest whatsoever in your dietary habits are suddenly very concerned that you are not getting enough protein, iron, grease, etc. because you have given up meat. I did have to deal with this somewhat. But what has helped me a lot is that there are several other veggie people at our church, so I just kind of got lumped in with them. "Oh, you're one of THEM now..." So at church functions, the wonderful cooks who know about me and the other couple of veggie people will invariably have a couple of Bocas or other veggie alternatives stashed in the kitchen for us. We have never asked for special treatment, so this consideration is always very much appreciated.

Then there are the people who just want to harass you about not eating meat. We have a teen in our youth group who does this. He's always calling me a vegan (which I'm not) and rolling his eyes and making comments like I'm the biggest idiot alive for not wanting to eat dead animals. (Never mind that giving up meat is actually healthy, and this person is pouring soda into his body every time I see him, and I think he's going to be on insulin by age 40, and I've never pointed this out to him. But I might soon.)

And there's a guy who brings it up every time we are eating together. I went vegetarian "just to get attention," he says. First of all, I am the youngest in my family. Believe me, I can get attention without having to give up an entire food group. Second, I never, NEVER bring up my veggie-ism with this guy. (I really don't bring it up with anyone.) He always does. So if my vegetarianism ever gets me attention when he's around, it's because of him and not me. But I digress.

Here is my basic rule for vegetarians and their friends. This is important, so you might want to take notes. My rule is this: Don't be a jerk. Seriously. If you go veggie and your friend doesn't, do not EVER say, as that person is lifting a cheeseburger to his mouth, "Do you know what that animal went through before it died???" And friends of vegetarians, you also don't get to be jerks. Your veggie friends did not give up meat as a personal attack against you. To be honest, our eating choices are actually private matters and not your business.

The bottom line is that meat-eaters and veggie-eaters can all co-exist in peace. We can go out to Olive Garden without me gagging over your veal parmiagana and you snickering over my veggie lasagna. Let's be friends and leave each others' food alone.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Gettin' Ziggy with it

I never read the comics. I haven't in years.

But today, out of sheer boredom, I opened up the comics page.

And I noticed something shocking. Today's Ziggy strip has the word "sex" in it.

Which tells me something.

I need to start reading the comics again.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sock Monkey

Julia has been wanting one of these sock monkeys from Target. This is the kid who usually doesn't want to play with anything that isn't plugged in, so I was more than happy to add the sock monkey to my mental Christmas list. I went this morning to get the monkey to put it back for Christmas and they are already gone! Surely they will get more in this far away from Christmas. Meanwhile, I've discovered that I like saying "sock monkey" so much that I'm going to try incorporating it into my daily conversation. I'll let you know how that goes. If nothing else, I think it would make a cool name for a rock band.

And now for the official Jenna/Bunny reunion photo:

It was such a happy moment. I gave Bunny to Jenna and she hugged him and said, "Oh, Bunny! Oh, Bunny!" Thanks to the Camp Tahkodah people who made this reunion possible.

Check out these fall colors. Over the weekend, we went to Heber Springs and stayed at a friend's cabin. Chad has more photos on his blog. There was a flock of Canada geese on the river behind the cabin all weekend and Julia was excited to get some pictures:

We went for a walk and Jenna was in such a hurry to see everything that she kept tripping. Here I am attempting to comfort her after a fall.

Excitement builds in our house as the Hannah Montana show is less than a month away. Here's a hilarious concert review I found.

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