Thursday, June 30, 2005

last night's dinner

I walked into Rainbow Grocery yesterday, and there waiting for me in the produce section were the season's first heirloom tomatoes! I LOVE heirloom tomatoes! Here's me about to bite into my favorite thing to do with good heirloom tomatoes: tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella bruschetta. Here's how to make it: Thinly slice a loaf of good, crusty bread. Toast in the oven at about 450 degrees. While it's toasting, prepare the toppings: thinly slice tomatoes--maybe three medium--and put on a plate. Sliver fresh basil and put in a small bowl. Slice fresh mozzarella (the kind that comes in a tub packed in water) and put in a bowl. Put all that on the table, along with a pepper grinder and good salt. When the toasts are done, rub one or both sides with a garlic clove half, then brush with good olive oil. At the table, let everyone pile on their own toppings, but don't let the 8 year old son eat all the mozzarella!

Don't skimp on good, fresh, quality ingredients, because that's what really sings out in this dish. And by the way, Hibi, who's a vegan, enjoys this as much as the rest of us, either without cheese or with soy cheese. We enjoy these while camping a lot, as it's easy to toast bread over a campfire or on a camp stove.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hibi at camp

Here's Hibi with some of her buddies at camp, the ones who hadn't left yet when I took this picture. She plans to post her own pictures on her blog (when she gets them) and when she does, I'll link it here. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 27, 2005

Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

I just got home from the bank. I feel humiliated. And I want more than ever to get out of the banking system, and wondering if it's possible that credit unions could possibly be the godsend I hear.

I went in to get quarters for laundry and public transportation, and I also wanted to report that Paul's ATM card had gone missing, cancel it and request a new one. Do you have some time to update your information? I was asked. Sure, I can spare 10-15 minutes. Just about the first question he asked was do we rent our home, own our home, live with relatives, or ??? I hesitantly answered that we rent. Then I was asked how much we pay for rent. At that point, I said "why do you need to know?" Oh, just for identifying purposes, and then the guy goes on to vaguely explain something about if I lost my card and wanted to let them know who I was, and they can also figure out mortgage stuff with the info. I just said "how much of this is optional? 'Cuz this is getting pretty personal." He said something about it all being personal, and then quit with the personal questions. I don't know how deep it would have delved, but it sure didn't take 10-15 minutes after that.

It's not bad enough that banks can charge us all kinds of fees, and we're at their mercy because we have to use them to get by in our society. Another thing that I think EVERYONE should know, that I found out soon after bouncing our rent check, is that nowadays when you make a deposit, the money comes straight out of the other person's account in a matter of hours. However, it still doesn't show up in your account for days. So, if I deposit a check that is supposed to cover the rent, and pay the rent on the same day, I will bounce a check because they are using my money for their own purposes. With electronic transfers, they can get the money quickly, but they still don't have to put it in our accounts until days after, like in the old days.


Friday, June 24, 2005

Walking away from the zoo

So, we weren't planning to go to the beach yesterday.

First, Hibiscus is at camp this week. She's doing Synergia camp, which looks like a load of fun. I hope she "finds herself" at camp. She's always been someone who needs independence, and now that she's 11, I really feel it's time she had some extensive non-parental influence. I think this is just the ticket.

Anyway. When Hibi's gone, I always ask Zac what he wants to do. He immediately said, this time, that he wanted to go to the zoo.

I've seriously altered my opinions of zoos, but I try not to overly influence my children's viewpoints overtly--I try to let them come to their own conclusions (at least sometimes....)

So, on our first day without Hibi or Dad, we got some seriously fun stuff done. We went to the farmer's market and got blueberries. We went to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. And we bought some cheap plastic crap made in China from Target, in the form of a light saber that Zac has been pining for ever since seeing his friend's light saber. Even though we've tried to guilt him out of it, he still wanted it, and he had allowance money.

And then we headed to the zoo. There's a long walk that you have to take now, at the New Zoo, from the free parking to the gate. On the long walk, Zac said, "I think zoos are cruel to animals." I started questioning him about that...did he really want to go to the zoo? I said we still had a ways to walk, and he needed to decide by the time we got to the gate. He talked about how he didn't like animals to be caged so they can't get out. When he made his decision not to go to the zoo, I made sure that he understood that us not going wouldn't free all the caged animals. It will at least be a long time before the San Francisco Zoo ceases existence. Zac pointed out that if there is to be change, someone has to start it. I thought it was quite profound for an 8 year old.

So, we didn't even have to backtrack, because right in front of us was the beach. We just passed right by the gate and continued walking to the ocean. Zac had a blast, and it was free. :-)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Zachary at the ocean

Now that I've started I just can't stop. :-) We went to the ocean, just Zac and me, today. He made a sand castle and lined the moat with small stones. Posted by Hello

Zac celebrates the finished product with a doughnut. Posted by Hello

close up Posted by Hello

Pensive Zachary at the ocean. Posted by Hello

Our vacation to Portland Oregon

Our first night out was in a cabin right next to this beautiful little creek. The kids had a blast canoeing without an adult in the boat with them, as the water was very shallow and there were logs across the creek preventing them from going too far. The man who owns and runs the place, along with his wife, was the spitting image of George W. Bush. Thank goodness his voice was different....I wanted to take a picture, but I thought he probably gets tired of that sort of thing. Posted by Hello

Paul, with the beautiful blue waters of Crater Lake in the background. He later used the imagery of the lake in his sermon at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Posted by Hello

Kids and snow. This picture was taken on June 15 at Crater Lake. Posted by Hello

What's a vacation without a good vacation book? My pick for this time was Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott.  Posted by Hello

Paul and Hibi (the latter of whom is soaked from the downpour) enjoying the porch swing at our Kamping Kabin, along with a cup of hot, or used-to-be hot, cup of tea.  Posted by Hello

The whole family next to one of those waterfalls east of Portland. There were three that we saw, and I can't remember the name of this one. Posted by Hello

Zac playing his African flute he bought at the Global Exchange store on Hawthorne Blvd.  Posted by Hello

Still reading! Posted by Hello

Hibi's self-portrait off the balcony of our room at the hostel on Hawthorne Blvd. in Portland. (Great place to stay, by the way! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Hi! My name is Elizabeth. Welcome to my new blog! I live in San Francisco, and I've been thinking of starting a blog for a while. My friend who blogs here:
encouraged me to start a blog. So, here I am.

What spurred me on to do it now is that I have vacation pictures to share, and this seemed to be an easy way to share them with family and friends. But if you're not family, or aren't a friend (yet!) you're welcome to view them anyway!

So, a little about me. I'm 36. I am married to a Greek Orthodox priest. I have two great kids, a daughter who is 11 and a son who is 8. You'll see pictures of all of us. We homeschool/unschool, and always have. My interests and hobbies are bread baking (100% whole wheat bread, mind you), vegetarian cooking, reading, soap making, hanging out with my kids (which includes reading great books like Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events with them....what a great time to be able to read children's lit!), and educating each other through life.

I'm new at this, so I won't know all the bells and whistles yet. Maybe never. We'll see. I'll publish thoughts about homeschooling, spirituality, cooking, pacifism, and other deep topics.

I'll publish this, then try to figure out how to post pictures. Thanks for reading!