Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Almost 100% on the road to somewhere

I asked the assistant for her recommendation when I stopped in at thrive [small t] for a mid-afternoon lunch.

"Are you 100% raw?" she asked.

Apparently this is not only a vegan place. Its an almost-raw-vegan place!

"No" seemed the best answer.

"Then I recommend the [small 'a'] awaken."

I follow her recommendation and add a 'magenta love' juice. I am now sitting enjoying an utterly delicious bowl of steamed bhutanese red rice and quinoa tossed with marinated kale, avocado, toasted nori, marinated (raw) mushroom, grated carrot and sesame-ginger sauce. The juice (of beets, ginger, apples and cucumber) is going to make me pee pink for a week, but its worth it.

As you can see, my new Almost-Vegan lifestyle has led to me to discover new things in our neighborhood. Who knew we had an almost-raw restaurant a mile from our house? Who knew there was a vegan pizza parlor (where we whisper sweet Almost-vegan nothings wearing whisps of velvet).

Sorry, that was just an aside. I am often taken by the awkward ambience of words. You know, the exotic connotations of a parlor versus the reality of cheese and gluten. Another one I encountered recently is 'manure lagoon'. This term is a euphemism for a football field sized swimming pool of animal shit but evokes somewhere you sip cocktails out of green coconuts while wearing a bikini.

So, anyway. Getting into the vegetarian thing is very easy in Seattle. Plus, since I was a vegetarian for 6 years in my 20s (and a vegan for 2 years) this is not really very hard for me. Frost is still confused about the change. He said to me:

"Its strange. When I wouldn't eat meat then you wanted me to eat meat and now I like chicken nuggets you don't want me to eat meat!"

He speaks the truth. I am fickle. Sometimes. I'm not feeling fickle about this food though. Must return. Must feed children raw food.

Uh oh.


We had a long weekend of chilly rain in Seattle but the sun broke through on Memorial Day afternoon, providing Frost and Alex with their first outdoor swim of the season. It must have been freezing, but both boys swam in Greenlake. Alex wore his footy wetsuit but Frost just had a swim-shirt.

This morning, heading out the door, Frost asked me what the weather would be like. I told him it would be like yesterday.

He immediately returned to his room and fetched a fleece. This was unexpected. Frost never leaves the house with a warm layer. Even in the rain, he just likes a long sleeved shirt.

"Are you cold?" I asked.

"It was very freezing yesterday in Greenlake," he said. "It looked sunny but it was like ICE! I couldn't even do crawl stroke on our challenges because I didn't want to put my face in the water."

So, Frost is suffering from Post First Swim Trauma - otherwise known as PFST - and has gone to school in fleece pants, long sleeved shirt and coat.

Wren and I were wearing sandals, insisting on a walk to the playground this morning.

"That's a ripoff! That's a total ripoff!" shouts Wren from the iPad (its iPad half-hour in the morning )

"Why's it a ripoff?"

"Because I did not win and the bad team won. Its a ripoff!"

He is iPadding while I am on hold to PSE to try and get a refund of that $6000 dollars I paid them by mistake. Oh, you don't know about that? I switched to our credit-card billpay and forgot to enter the decimal point when paying our electricity bill. The bill, for $59.89 was paid to the amount of $5989.

I now learn it will take five days to issue the refund which will be mailed to me. I wonder if this counts towards our reward points?

PFST also stands for Payment Fuckup Shock and Trauma.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Almost-Vegan Love For Sale

"Mommy, I LOVE YOU" announces Frost (8), at breakfast.

"Why?" I ask, immediately on guard. Love is one of the child's greatest points of leverage in the family and often accompanies a request in some form.

"What?" asks Frost, having lost his train of thought playing sword poker on the iPad [1.]

"Why do you LOVE me?"

"Oh! Because we are now Sort-of-Vegan [2.], we bought the iPad and you bought us new sugary breakfast cereal!"

I am relieved. Apparently love and joy can be bought.

Frost is very happy we are now Almost-Vegan. He has become a mini food activist. Since I explained that the book Eating Animals had shown me how badly animals are treated when raised for food, and we would not be eating them, he has declared that vegetarian chicken nuggets are "even better..."

Yesterday, Fred took him to Trader Joes and they stopped at the snack bar. Apparently Frost found that there was pork and chicken in the snack samples and told the store employee that he would not eat it because he was Almost-Vegan and that it was not nice to eat meat because animals were treated very badly.

"Animals are nice, how would you feel if you were put in a small fenced off area with only a little space and you knew that later they were going to kill you and even if you didn't know, when you are being killed then you know."

Me: "Wren, do you eat meat?"
Wren (Age 3): "Yes!"
Me: Why?
Wren: Because I JUST like chicken!"
Frost [speaking very slowly] "But Wren... Don't you want to eat fake chicken that is just vegetables and tastes very good or real chicken which is a badly lived animal. They don't get a nice home like we do they only get a very small bad space. So, do you want to eat pretend chicken that tastes good or real chicken that is not happy?"
Wren: "Argh, stop talking, this is annoying."
Frost: Just say "yes" or "No."
Wren: YES!

Apparently, small children are not yet active in their moral choices - or my small child is a tenacious omnivore. As is my prerogative, I shall make choices for him.

We have found that Trader Joes Organic Whole Grain Drink is actually pretty good as a milk substitute and is cheaper and less sugary than the Coconut milk drink (which we love too).

1. Sword Poker by Frost: "Its sort of like a bit tic-tac-toe on a grid and you try to make poker hands on the grid and they do damage to the enemies"

2. Sort-of-Vegan / Almost-Vegan : This means we eat eggs from our hens, have not yet used up other animal product from the freezer and may continue with some dairy products if their farming practices are exemplary (not for me, but for some other family members) but are seeking animal-free alternatives.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday morning

Frost is checking his email while Wren squeezes flubber into a small juice glass to make farts.

"Can you hear this?" he laughs. Absolutely delighted with the results. He has the technique perfected:

1) Insert flubber with hand.
2) Press it in firmly with fist.
3) Prod it with spoon to release farts.
4) Remove and rearrange
5) Repeat

He has been doing this for about 20 minutes with dialogue like:

"is that YOU farting?"
"Did Mummy FART?"
"LISTEN... listen"

Apparently, its very very amusing if you are three.

Suddenly, it occurs to me that Frost (8) is typing an email.

"Who are you emailing Frost?" I ask. I'm supposed to monitor this sort of thing, aren't I?
"What are you emailing Fred for?"
"Reasons....... SEND."
"Like what?"
"Argh.... can email addresses have spaces in them?"
" No"
"Argh... it doesn't work!"
"Lets see. OH... "at" is not written a-t its a symbol @"
"oooooh. Good. SENT!"

Frost now chortles wickedly at his cunning. I later find the email invites Alex to a PLAYDATE I know nothing about and have not sanctioned.

Its raining. My corn is overgrown for the window-box but would get shocked outside. I have no plans beyond indulging this farting, emailing kind of day.