Monday, October 17, 2011

Warning: This is a boooooooooooring catch-up blog. If you need a nap, do continue reading!

I switched blog sites about a month ago, but I have yet to figure out how to post on my new site, so I am back on blogger until that gets sorted out. Plus, I haven't organized or named my new site, so it's pretty pathetic if you check it out right now. But I have high hopes for the future! Blogger makes me totally crazy (at least when my blog is private), so this new site should be a great relief. The site is:, and to view the posts you have to enter our password, "playground". I'll post another Blogger blog announcing when it's ready for actual viewing. (Right now we've just imported all of my blogger blogs and just put them onto the new blog, so there's nothing original or fun to see.)

Here's a quick review of fun things we have done since the last blog.

My friend, Thalia, Randall, visited us in mid August for a lovely week! She is from South Africa, and we had such a wonderful time with her. We did a two day Moab stint wherein she biked Sick Rock with Jere, and then we all swam in the pool. It was Lydia's first time in the pool! I don't have any pictures--story of my life--but Thalia bought a gorgeous new camera, and she has some. Eventually we will get those pics (plus some of us hiking to Landscape Arch in Arches National Park) and I will post them here. We also had a mini-mini mission reunion party in her honor, and it was so fun to see friends from the mission again.

Abe and I have made so many trips to Moab that by this point I've lost track of how often we've gone. We have hiked a number of different hikes in Arches, including Park Avenue, the Windows, and Landscape Arch. Next time we plan to hike in Canyonlands National Park. If you ever go to Moab, our most recommended restaurants to date are Peace Tree and Jay's Pasta. Peace Tree has a ton of vegetarian fare (since we are now officially vegetarians) including a to-die-for hummus wrap and a lovely mushroom-and-roasted-veggies bagel. Jay's Pasta has a great dish with pasta, tomatoes, artichokes and mushrooms...mmmm! I am kind of drooling just thinking about it. There's a really promising Mexican place too, but it is only open certain hours in the evening, and so next time we'll schedule ourselves time to wait in line and get a spot.

We also just got back from a trip to New England. Abe's little brother, David, is getting his Ph.D. at Harvard, so we visited him and took a trip to see the leaves. It was glorious! Suzanne planned the whole trip, and every day was packed with fun and interesting things. We visited a Shaker village in New Hampshire, toured the Ben and Jerry's factory in Vermont, explored a glass blowing factory/shop (Simon Pierce?), visited and hiked around Joseph Smith's birthplace, strolled around a Fall Foliage Festival in some cute little New Hampshire town, shopped at the fun little Vermont Country Store, and ate lots of yummy food. We also spent an evening in Cambridge and took a little tour around Harvard. I broke my two month long no sugar streak and drank some hot chocolate from Burdick's. I couldn't believe how rich that stuff was! I remember downing about a cup a day when I lived in Cambridge, but after not having sugar for two months, just half a cup was almost too much to handle. Wow. Although I wish I could have seen more friends from Boston, I was deeeelighted that the last minute timing still allowed a beautiful (short!) visit with my dear friends, Sherelle and Jean. It was probably the highlight of my trip just to see those two!

On the Lydia front, all continues to be sugar, spice and everything nice. She has been turning the pages in her books for about a month now, and she is rolling all around and sitting up. At her most recent doctor's visit, she weighed 15 pounds and was 28 inches long. She says "mamamama," "bababa," and, occasionally, "mamababama." My heart leaps every so often when she says, "mama," but I'm never sure if she knows what that means. On our trip, she sat in her first high chair and delighted us all with her darling expressions as she tried new foods. Abe was appalled that she initially appeared to dislike beets, but upon several subsequent spoonfuls, she decided that they were okay. At that point, Abe declared that she was definitely his daughter.

We are leaving for Idaho today and will be there until Friday or Saturday. I am dreading trying to keep Lydia entertained for a week in one little hotel room, but we are getting used to this traveling thing. The good news is that they have a pool, so that should provide at least forty five minutes worth of entertainment per day. And then I get to see my friend Candace on Tuesday and Wednesday, so that should make the days much brighter. She is having a little girl in January, and when we get together on Wednesday we will craft in anticipation of this exciting event. I am SO excited!

Okay, since I'm a little hungry, I'll end by posting links to some great recipes I've tried lately:

A sweet and savory Macedonian strudel from Moosewood Cooks for a Crowd. It's a little rich, but very delicious.

Whole wheat walnut bread from Anna Thomas' book, Love Soup. This bread is a yeast bread but it's actually easier to make than many quick breads.

And I wanted to post a recipe to the tofu stuffed cabbage rolls from Moosewood Low Fat Favorites, but unfortunately it's not on the web. So I am instead recommending you check out that book from the library or, if you have it already and haven't tried the cabbage rolls, try the cabbage rolls! Seriously, that recipe is great. I think the miso is the key secret ingrediant. Also, just a plug for that cookbook in general: by this point, I feel like I've almost cooked through the whole book, and I've only found one dud recipe (the tamale-ish recipe, if you're wondering). It's a great book.

Okay, I should probably pack for our trip--especially since we're leaving in less than an hour!!

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