See, I had been meaning to call Tracey (studiozoe) and let her know we would be in the area, but kept not getting around to it. Finally, last week, I remembered that I had her cell phone number in my phone saved from an SMS she had sent when she came down for the slumber party I hosted in January. So, I called and left a message telling her we'd be in her neck of the woods next week and hoping we could meet. And then she called me back, all excited, except that after a few confused moments, I realized that it was Tracey (natooke), who had ALSO come to the party in January that was on the phone with me. DOH! So I had to disappoint someone and feel like a total fool, and I STILL had to call Tracey the first to let her know. I usually only have this sort of problem with Jennifers and Lisas.
Today the damn weather could not make up its mind. First it was cold, then it was warm, then cold again. Then the sun came out, then it rained, then the sun came again. Then it REALLY rained. Then it stopped for a bit, waffling, and then it rained some more WHILE THE SUN WAS SHINING. And all this was in the space of about 2 hours. If you don't like the weather in Sweden, just wait five minutes.
During one myskväll this weekend, we watched Ever After (with Drew Barrymore) with the kids and Karin bounced about restlessly through most of it, declaring it boring and too kissy. At the very end, however, nestled in my arms, she was quiet as Cinderella pulls a knife and a sword on the bad guy and demands her freedom. Moments later, as she walks out of the door of the castle, just as the Prince rides up, a little late, Karin whispered to me, "She saved herself." Struck by this rather mature observation I hugged her. "I know," I said, "Wasn't that cool? The princess didn't need him to save her."
"But now they're kissing again," she said and made gagging noises.
Karin: Which of you is stronger, Mommy or Daddy?
Karin: *surprised* No, you are! Aren't you strong?
Liz: Strong enough.
Karin: But Daddy is stronger than you?
Martin: I know one way you are stronger: in words.
Liz: What's that supposed to mean?
Martin: well, for one thing, you're louder.
Anders: *giggles madly*
Things I Did Not Do This Weekend, Despite All My Good Intentions: walk, collage, work, write poetry, HTML anything
Things I Did Do This Weekend: planted pansies, colored eggs, hid eggs, found eggs, ate eggs, packed awesome Easter baskets for my kids*, made 2 delicious and easy recipes (see below), did my U.S. taxes, slept in every morning, read 4 books (well, 3 and a bound short story)
I read The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, which came highly recommended and physically in the mail to me from my brother. Not normally a fan of Gothic-style mysteries, this one was pretty good, and kept my interest until the middle where it dragged quite a bit. It picked up again toward the end but by then I had already figured out the ending. I read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, that 3rd vampire book on my list. It was excellent, and I whipped through it, wishing it was longer. I googled the author afterwards though and found out it IS longer. She's published a sequel and has a third book on the way. Then I read Gifts by Ursula Le Guin, which was very sedate and rather soothing in the beginning, but which suddenly became quite gripping and hard to put down halfway through. In some ways, the voice and the style reminded me of Pamela Dean's The Dubious Hills, which I'm now feeling the urge to re-read. And finally, I read Annie Proulx's (and how in the HELL do you actually pronounce her last name, anyway?! Prowl? Prow? Prox? Proulix?) Brokeback Mountain, and while I'm sure the movie is worth every nomination; the story, which literally took me 15 minutes to read and that was purposely slowing myself down to get the most out of her writing style, was awfully threadbare. Yay for gay cowboys and boo for intolerance, but um, was that IT?
Amy's Amazingly Easy Artichoke Dip
1 can artichoke hearts
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated fresh parmesan
Drain and chop the artichokes. Combine in fondue pot OR heat on stove OR heat in microwave, and stir to blend. Serve with Triscuits or Ritz or other fancy crackers.
pasta of your choice (approx. 500 grams)
3-4 boneless breasts of chicken
1 package of bacon
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 can artichoke bottoms
2 cups broccoli, sliced carrots and water chestnuts (or your choice veggies)
1/2 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup milk
Spices: garlic powder, white pepper, chervil and thyme
Cook pasta according to directions, drain thoroughly. Put back in pot and add soup and milk on lowest heat setting. While pasta is boiling, drain and chop artichoke bottoms, sauté on medium heat with sliced mushrooms, cut up chicken breasts in bite-size pieces, add to stir-fry. Season generously with spices, but go easy with the white pepper. Fry bacon separately and chop it after cooking, then add to stir-fry. Thaw (or cook) veggies according to directions and add to stir-fry. When chicken is cooked through, throw everything together back into the pasta pot, mix well, let cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Serve with grated cheese to melt on top! Serves 6.
*Awesome baskets by reebert! Filled partly with American candy brought by the awesome e11en! Thank you both!