I don't really know what I am musing on these days. It's more like an irregular stream of consciousness thing...it seems to be working.


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w July 10, 2003

O Canada

After six years of living in the States, I feel pretty American---one who happened to be be born in Canada, sure, but this is where I chose to make my adult home. That being said, every so often things happen, and I realize while you can't go home again, you do take a little part of it with you for the rest of your life.

Recent Ontario (and now British Columbia) legislation regarding non-discriminatory marriage has caused me to choke up with pride in my native land, province, and city. While I gripe about a great deal Canadian, events of the last few weeks have once again proven that, for all their quirks, Canadians by and large are open-minded, gracious, and flexible.

Reading today's column by Deb Price, Washington bureau news editor of the Detroit News, made me teary again, as she spoke of the multitude of Torontonians cheering her wedding last month to her partner of 18 years. The thought of my beloved city stretching its arms to embrace all who came to City Hall...well, I'm about ready to go run up the Maple Leaf outside our house, I tell you what.

Is this going to push forward similar US or state legislation, beyond the recent Supreme Court decision? Hard to say...we're certainly very different countries in some respects. However, I suspect that as more and more Americans keep trekking back and forth across the border, marriage licenses in hand, the winds of change might finally start blowing a little gustier.

Considering that 18 years is three times as long as my husband and I have been together, one certainly hopes so. We were married in Toronto as well, and I have to say, there's no better place for a wedding.

Congratulations to all you newlyweds...and vive la Canada.

by Heather Hoffman at 2:18 PM

w July 09, 2003

La Petite Gourmet

While I'm not 100% sure that the above French is correct, most people will get the gist, I hope.

We had a semi-rough night with the Bean...she slept from 8 to 1, woke up and gritched and talked and blew raspberries between 1 and 3, needed a binky replacing at 4 and 6:30, had some milk at 7, seemed to want to go back to sleep, but managed to stay awake through until 10 am (there was some breakfast shovelled in somewhere there). Finally, she is napping. I am pouring coffee down my gullet, and thought I'd pen (type?) a Huzzah to remind myself that I do still mostly adore her to bits.

Thus far, we have been blessed with not only a cast-iron stomach (not even motion sickness), but a brave stomach. There is very little, perhaps nothing, that Bean will not at least try. Now, I haven't fed her straight garlic or tripe yet, but we do feel fortunate that we aren't having any food issues. Apparently, many visually impaired kids can be cautious about unfamiliar food, for obvious reasons (different textures, inability to see what's coming at you on the spoon, potentially more sensitivity to smells and tastes)...well, Bean is defying all those expectations. I'm not saying we won't have a picky eater in a few years, but I'm hoping that every spoonful of miso soup or okra that we give her is another penny in the Bank of Dinner Peace.

So what has she tried? Well...cornbread, bbq beef brisket, okra (fried and not), oranges, orange RIND (I gave her one to play with and she started gumming it), miso soup, broccoli, cheese, yogurt, salmon, chicken bones (fun to gnaw on, she looks like a bald Henry VIII), pizza, garlic cheese grits, chili, hash browns, taro, and flan. Even if the first bite was not met with utter joy, she gamely gave everything at least a second pass.

Lest anyone think I'm making full meals out of these items, be assured that these are mere morsels to educate her palate. She still eats relatively boring but nutritious baby foods with lots of vegetables and protein. I'm not that far gone down the yuppie parenting path, fret not.

by Heather Hoffman at 10:29 AM

w July 02, 2003

Channelling Mammy

Okay, before anyone gets frothy that I'm somehow regressing ethically, please know that both my great-grandmother and my great-great-grandmother were called "Mammy" by their grandchildren. As an aside, many books written by Irish authors seem to use "Mammy" as a typical appellation for a mother...it's interesting only in the sense that so many Southern families are Scots-Irish in extraction. Or, to use the vernacular, we're crackers. Yee-haw.

Well, that was a paradigm shift of sorts. The point of this Huzzah was to pat myself on the back for finally attempting fried chicken. Sad to say, it has taken me nearly 28 years to actually try this by myself, at home. If anyone else is interested in tackling said recipe, get a wok. Dead easy. Even made fried okra in the leftover oil...at that point, who CARES what you're frying..it's in chicken grease!

At any rate, this activity got me thinking about different fried chicken recipes, so I did a Google search (I may be Southern in extraction, but I clearly live in Northern California) and found this fantastic website called, very simply, Texas Cooking.

Go rummaging if you'd like to see the food of my ancestry, childhood, and what I will forcefeed Bean.

by Heather Hoffman at 7:49 PM