Ginger Bok Choy Udon Noodle Soup

Here’s a rough recipe for the “Ginger Bok Choy Udon Noodle Soup” I came up with today from our CSA’s small share (Tomato Mountain Farm) of bok choy…

-Homemade chicken stock (made from the excellent chicken from Hasselmann Family Farm)
-2 to 3 inch hunk of ginger, peeled, simmered, then removed from stock
-Add diced bok choy stems
-Add pre-cooked udon noodles to heat
-Add sliced bok choy leaves until wilted
-Top with “french fried onions” (the stuff you put on green bean casserole)
-Salt/pepper to taste

YUM.

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Our very first camping trip

We went on our very first camping trip. I chose Ottawa Lake Campground in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine State Forest. It turned out to be an excellent place with tall the amenities we like (flush toilets, hot showers, electricity). Here are some visuals…

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And now I would like to document some successes and some, uh, “learning moments.” Seeing as this was the first camping trip we’ve taken as a family and my first since I was a young teen, we were bound to learn a lot this go round.

Things we did right:

-Set up immediately upon arrival. The sky opened up into a thunder/hail storm just moments after returning to our site after we had set up and taken a little walk around.

-Packed loads of aluminum foil and baby wipes. I think we could have accomplished anything with those two items well stocked.

-Packed fresh foods for snacks, just like if we were to be at home.

Things we could do better next time:

-Invest in some vacuum seal bags. The car was PACKED on the way up. We were able to condense a bit for the way home, but the pillows, bags, and blankets would take up loads less space if vacuum sealed.

-Don’t pack anything in paper Whole Foods bags. They will rip.

-Invest in an electric (or battery? or both?) heater and fan. We didn’t need the latter, but borrowed the former from my aunt and were very happy to have in when it got down to the high 30s/low 40s at night.

-BUY DISPOSABLE EVERYTHING FOR EATING. Yeah, we safe the earth all day long at home. We don’t even use paper towels in the kitchen. But for camping? Washing dishes sucks. I would much rather invest in some bulk Costco buys and have more time to enjoy that have to think about washing everything all the time.

-Put aluminum foil around anything you want to put near the fire and don’t want soot on (think tea pot, cast iron skillet).

-Buy more wood than you think. Maybe we’re sucky fire-builders, but more wood is good.

-Triple check the food list. I forgot the fresh veggies for snacking and ended up only packing the fruit. We survived, but I sure did miss it.

-Use suntan lotion like woah, even when it’s cold. Art got the worst of it, followed by Lily, and even my nose is a little red. Because, duh, we were outside during every waking hour for three days.

I’m so excited that the trip was such a success though and that we get to do it whenever we want now. I’m going to research some local campgrounds so maybe we could do little two day trips too since set up and take down wasn’t a big deal.

Yaaay, camping!

Big Exciting Decission

So, this being-a-parent thing has obviously changed me (us) forever. There are hard, annoying, frustrating parts of it all, sure. But as a whole it has been–and likely will always be–the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced. I really don’t have the words to describe how fantastically awesome parenthood has been so far, even with the bad parts mixed in. That said, Art and I are pretty darn sure we want only one kid, our fantastically awesome Lily.

And now with that said…

I want to share the fantastic awesomeness that is parenthood with someone who can’t do it themselves, someone who otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

And that leads me to gestational surrogacy.

Yup.

For two men. Two men that want to be daddies. And this here uterus can make it happen.

With the help of an egg donor and IVF my fantastically awesome baby factory can grow a fantastically awesome kid for a fantastically awesome couple. And we plan to do just that.

We’re still in the matching process through a local agency, but with any luck in a few weeks there will be Big Exciting Preparations being made and in a few months some Big Exciting News to share.

This blog has been my go-to for projects and the like to this point, and I plan to keep it that way. But for those moments when I feel like getting personal publicly (even if my subscriber list is tiny), I thought that spreading this all out on the table was a decent idea.

So, yay for baby making!

Sudden urge to quilt

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That’d be 96 half square triangles. Since I took these photos I have sewn and pressed 16 complete pinwheels. The urge to quilt struck fast and hard today, and I obliged by cutting/sewing/ironing for about five hours. That likely maxes out this week’s time and energy quilting allotment, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Fiiiber

Spun it
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Knit it
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Kid loves it
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This was just a small sampling of fiber from a friend and I had a lot of fun getting the hang of spinning on my drop spindle with it. I have a long way to go with my spinning skills, but this was great practice!

Up next?
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