Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Wow, it happened again -- I ran to my computer to blog, poised my finger over the keys, and my new thought jumped out of my brain and is gone!

Therefore I will report on my darling 6 1/2 year old, Aaron, who once every couple of weeks at bedtime poses the question: Can you guess who my girlfriends are? Loverboy keeps a running list. Last night's included: a girl in his class (I will keep her name private), a friend's 2nd grade sister, a third grade girl who he knows through his own sister, the "unknown girlfriend" who he says he met at the park once last year and tried to track down through the neighborhood (he had me inquire at one house where he thought he'd seen her go, but no children lived there), Ginny Weasley (from Harry Potter), and my current favorite, "dream girlfriend" who he met last month in, of course, his dream! Apparently she was very nice.

He prefers them smart, pretty, confident, a little bossy, and usually with an older brother at home so she's not fazed by Aaron's antics. I believe this is what having an older sister does to boy. Being fictional, imaginary, or quasi-imaginary does not get in the way. He's an open-opportunity boyfriend.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lisa's Deep Thoughts

Hi. I've been told I'm not blogging enough. I AM SORRY! Sometimes it feels as if all my time gets sucked into a black hole. It certainly hasn't been used cleaning my desk. I had my list of 34 things to do to day -- lots of mini projects. Today was the only day all week where I had several hours to get things done. I thought I'd make the list and do a few things, then get to the "real" work. Guess what? You probably guessed. I only got to about 20 minutes worth of "real" work before school pick-up.

It was a beautiful day. Somehow I thought get a bunch of the aforementioned things out of the way and head off for a swim at the JCC or to the beach, and still have time to get to Aaron's teacher conference. Hmmm. I stood outside for about a minute. I brought in the mail, I think. OH, no, wait, that's the mail truck pulling up now -- hold on--

Okay, now I brought in the mail.

I read part of the New York Times while drinking Numi chai tea, looked at a graphic of California falling into the sea and dragging the rest of the country with it. I didn't know that we (California) have the lowest credit rating in the nation. Yikes!

I've been having a lot of deep thoughts lately. But when I go to the computer they flee and I'm left staring at a blank screen.

I've been taking a 6-week posture class with Esther Gokhale. Her book Eight Steps to a Pain-Free Back is pretty darned compelling. I've looked at the photographs on her walls for years and it's giving me a completely different perspective on posture in our culture and other cultures. So much to relearn! She teaches posture secrets from traditional societies, including our own pre-1920's, and babies. Yes, babies. Apparently we are born doing the right thing but lose it along the way because everybody's slouching here. This is no sitting-up straight manual, though. You have to see it. The pictures say it all I'm still a newbie and getting used to it -- lots of years of incorrect posture plus back and knee and now shoulder problems -- to overcome. But I feel the difference already. The coolest part is what I've never heard talked about before -- it all starts in how you orient your pelvis. Apparently the tuck your pelvis to avoid back sway is all wrong! The evidence isn't so much convincing as it is obvious once you look at diagrams of the spine and discs. When you tuck your pelvis you're not resting on the base of the spine. It's been a century of bad posture and back problems. In traditional societies, even older people are free of back pain and disc problems, where here about 90% of us end up with some kind of back pain. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

So, I'll try for some deep thoughts next time.

Happy Memorial Day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Homework vs Play

I thought this New York Times Magazine article from yesterday was interesting on homework and academic work starting younger and younger...and the balance of play and stress-free social time for kids. Should elementary school kids have more time to play and have free-choice time and less homework?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Kids' Cookbooks

I decided to try Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook, Deceptively Delicious. The idea being that you puree up various vegetables and sneak them into recipes the kids are sure to adore. So far we've sampled:

-tofu nuggets rolled in broccoli and breadcrumbs (thumbs down all around).
-sloppy joes with red pepper and sweet potato purees (I thought it was pretty good but my kids detected pieces of onion which apparently I should have pureed, too, or left out entirely, and wouldn't eat it. Sophie also refused to eat her sloppy joe on a hotdog bun, even though Jessica said kids would think it was "fun." Really, I should have known better.
-green eggs (spinach puree) and ham. Kind of souffle-like. Aaron ate a little. Sophie - none.
-pink pancakes (with beet puree, ricotta cheese and grated apple). Aaron and I liked these for dinner last night. Sophie ate none. (Are you detecting a pattern here?)
-A few more left to try: A fruit punch, a fruit and yogurt combo that gets frozen like popsicles, and an artichoke and chickpea dip for veggies. *Update: Sophie refused the dip and the yogurt pops, too. After I pureed away the afternoon. So predictable.

So, not a huge success overall. Though sometimes I wonder if Sophie will eat anything.

I MUST put in my two cents about something, however (*updated with links): I have SO MUCH MORE FUN reading Ann Hodgman's cookbooks. One Bite Won't Kill You is obviously for kids and is fun to read whether you try out any of the recipes or not. Ann is happy if you put bacon or chocolate in every recipe. She includes a recipe for deep-fried onion rings and serves them for a main course (with the caveat "No way am I doing all that work for a side dish.") She does use spinach in some recipes. Her (adult) cookbook Beat This includes cool recipes like "Best-Named Recipe - Gall Bladder Cake." Okay, I contributed that one. It's a plug for my grandmother's recipe. She made it when my grandfather, who was a doctor, didn't need the buttermilk for a gall bladder x-ray for a patient. (Apparently drinking buttermilk makes the x-ray show up much clearer - but sometimes the patient didn't need the x-ray after all, or there was some leftover.) It's a nice plain chocolate cake, really. "Suitable for breakfast," Ann says. Check out Beat That also.

See, Ann Hodgman is much more fun than Jessica Seinfield, whose book is, you have to admit, kind of prissy, with lectures about table manners and how her kids just love those green eggs.

That is all I have to say today, because I am off to revise my book manuscript once again. Happy May Day to all!