Monday, November 2, 2009

November Opening Thoughts

So...we really didn't celebrate Halloween this year. I don't know's not really something I ever go crazy over for several reasons including candy stresses me out, and we are lacking a sense of community here. I have fond memories of trick-or-treating everyone we knew. I'm sure typical kids don't care, as long as they're getting candy. But since we're not going to eat all of the candy, we'd only be doing it to visit people/show off the kids' costumes there's not much incentive, since we don't really know many people. Our church doesn't have a "harvest party"; we could crash a random one, but that's not really fun. We usually go to the library party, but I somehow missed it because they changed the dates. The little ones did fun pumpkin-y stuff at school, though.

I told myself I wasn't going to spend any money on costumes this year - we'd just make or rewear...and slowly that evolved into not dressing up at all. My kids had talked about what they wanted to be early on, but really they never seemed to notice we didn't end up dressing up. Really, this whole thing goes back to the fact, I'm not doing so well in life right now...I'm busy in a way I've never been before, and it's making me not myself. I made myself set out a few pumpkin-y decorations, but...when we were building our house, I very adamantly wanted a front porch I could decorate during the holidays. There were no scarecrows or bales of hay this year. I went to a pajama party recently, and I didn't even wear pajamas. Why on earth would I have passed up the opportunity to be so very comfortable and so very festive? I don't know. I'm just going through a slump, I guess. Hopefully, festive, cheesy, celebratory, overboard Jen will be back before you know it.
Our Halloween included the kids watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown while they ate a little from their treat bags I put together...candy I can live with...Liz Lovely Peanut Butter Lovely Oh's (Liz Lovely cookies are great ones to try if you want to test out vegan cookies), Halloween individually wrapped chocolate peanut butter bites, Mambas, Seitenbacher Vampire Lunch, Yummy Earth Organic lollipops, Tropical dots from Whole Foods, B-Fresh Bubble Gum for the little ones, and B-Fresh fruity mints for Tornado, because he can't chew gum without swallowing it.
Even though we didn't dress up, our pumpkins did!
I saw Chocolate-Covered Katie made some very cute Fudge Baby Ghosts, and I knew we had to try them. They're not scary ghosts; they're friendly ghosts, like Casper. Speaking of Casper, he was my "imaginary friend" when I was little.

We made these for Papaw. Well, technically for Papaw and Googie, but I'm sure that Googie "wasn't hungry" at the time. Please, please click on Katie's site, at least once (you could go see all of her chocolate-covered recipes...or maybe you could read about her path to veganism) , and if you are interested, click on more pages. She gets money for every hit, and she's donating it to The Enough Project. She makes the very good point that we're posting pictures of our delicious food, when there are so, so many people who would just love to have a bowl of plain white rice...makes me feel really icky about myself. Click on her links, everyone. And read more about The Enough Project, while you are at it.

More snippets from the weekend:
Eavesdropping...the kids playing beside our house...they were building "a city."

My diet has been going pretty well all week. I am down 2 pounds. Breakfast on Sunday, we made smoothies consisting of fresh kale, frozen cranberries, green superfood powder, and peaches. It was pretty green super food powder-y and kale-ish, I'm not going to lie. I didn't let it "puree" as much as I should have, so it had texture. I chugged it down as I told Ryan, "I'm doing this for you, baby!" (good for dramatic effect) Tornado took a shot of it, then came back for more. Of course, he did. Then I added a banana and frozen strawberries to it, and the kids all drank glasses of it, too.

I tried to eat pretty "raw" on Sunday (grapefruit and a handful of almonds for lunch...a couple of Fudge Babies for a snack), besides pumpkin soup for supper and roasted pumpkin seeds after that. Monday, after walking on the treadmill (soon, I will start running, soon I will start running), Sissy and I made juice for me, her, and Papaw: celery, apple, pear, zucchini, grape. She loved getting to toss the grapes in the hole.
I've been trying to not eat several hours before bedtime. That, I think, is one of the things that always works the best for me. It's hard for a lot of people; it's not that hard for me because I'm not a snacker. (I'm okay, as long as I get my supper in early enough.) In fact, I need to be a better snacker; one of my problems is I'm a big meal person. I eat too much at meals, even though I know it's better to spread it out over the day. Today, I didn't get around to making a smoothie or juice because I was cleaning all day (the insurance nurse was coming)...I had cereal and a banana for breakfast, a big salad and piece of Amy's pizza for lunch, and for supper I had one pecan/sweet potato tamale (65 calories), a grapefruit, water, and 3 almonds.
This picture says a lot about my little Sissy. Tomboyish enough with boots and dirty face with a Princess dress completing the look (Did you read Sweet Valley High books?...a red scarf and gold earrings completed the look...a chunky beaded necklace and white beret completed the look). When I was taking a bunch of pictures of her standing her, she spontaneously busted out in prayer (that's what she's doing in the picture). All on her own, she started saying, "Thank you, God, for my food. Thank you for my house. " Etc.
For the very first time ever, I baked a pumpkin. I felt very pioneer-ish just because I had never attempted cooking a pumpkin, and we had gotten it as a "party favor" at Dash's friend's b-day. So, it was kind of free food. Felt almost as gratifying as if I'd grown it myself. Or went out and hunted it myself.

I made soup, using my friend Karie's recipe. (You can look around her blog for great, Martha Stewart-ish decorating ideas, not to mention awesome photography.) It was delicious. I don't think I've ever eaten pumpkin soup before, but I'll definitely be making it again! (There is a ground flaxseed sprinkled on top.)

We devoured the pumpkin seeds, too. I can't wait to crack open another one of those babies and make some more roasted seeds and pumpkin soup.


CCV said...

Oh Jessica, I don't even know what to say. I can’t tell you how much your compassion means to me (and the people who will be helped by generous souls such as yourself). You truly are amazing :). And I was so excited to see that someone made Spooky Babies!

Thank you so much!!

CCV said...

Ahhh! I meant Jenny!!! I'm so embarrassed. I don't know why "Jessica" was in my head! And it won't let me delete my last comment. Sooooorry!
*Hides in embarrassment*

Annette said...

Hi Jenny,

I hope your slump ends sooner than later...and the long nights and short days don't impact you.

I could relate to much of what you wrote (except the vegan foods :) )

Your children are wonderful making cities together. Sissy is too sweet.

Take care!!

Karie Lee said...

Yeah! I'm so glad that you liked your pumpkin soup! Ground flax seed on top, what a great addition, we'll have to try that next time :) I hope that you are back to "yourself" in no time!