Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is the Circus in Town?

Well it's naptime. We have become much more consistent around here with naptime right after lunch. We clean up out lunch mess, usually load and run the dishwasher, and then we head in for naps. Some days I nap too, other days Marek naps and Ardyn watches a movie quietly in her room. Sometimes we all nap. Sometimes just they nap. It's at least consistent timing, and consistent in the fact that Marek always gets some sleep, Ardyn gets some quiet time, and I get a break.

Today I have decided on "bubble bath" and have shut myself in the bathroom with the little electric heater and my laptop while I watch the tub fill. Then I will settle in with the new issue of Good Housekeeping and the JoAnn flyer for this week. I look forward to that!

Last night instead of getting right on housework after the kids went to sleep, I decided to watch Circus on PBS and do some crochet. It was fascinating, and it gave me a new outlook on the circus. When Ardyn was a baby I saw a special on TV about poorly treated circus animals and the elephant that went crazy and broke out of the tent during a circus, with a mother and children on her back. In a way I don't blame the elephant. But it was a vivid reminder of the time my sister rode the elephant when the circus came to Walnut. And it was very eye-opening as the elephant turned over cars and charged through the circus grounds, until he needed to be shot with a tranquilizer gun... all with innocent people... CHILDREN on his/her back. It was sad. But it was a strong reminder that these animals are just normal animals. They can be frustrated and depressed and in an environment where they are very scared or angry. I came to the conclusion that it really is not safe to put your child on the back of a circus elephant. What do you REALLY know about those trainers, or the condition the elephant lives and works in. What do you know about that elephant's temperment? It's scary. To me it became common sense that Ardyn would not ride a circus elephant. if she wants to ride an elephant let her go to India and ride a working elephant who is in it's natural habitat and respected by his owner. Let her make that decision as a responsible adult. But of course then I had this inner moral dilemma (which I suppose most people don't think about) about even going to a circus. I thought about our safety trapped inside a tent with tigers and elephants and whatever other animal may or may not be happy in their current conditions. I thought about the fact that merely by attending, we were supporting (monetarily) the possible unethical treatment of these animals that were in captivity. I longed for the days when I was a child and saw the circus as wonderful and amazing. As an experience that everyone should have at least once. I wondered exactly how I would react and what I would decide when it became time to see a circus. Would we go? If we didn't, how would I explain that to Ardyn and Marek? If we did go, how would I explain that we shouldn't ride the elephant. Oh choices. The last time the circus came to town I didn't know until it was already there and performing, so in a way I was secretly disappointed, yet secretly happy that I didn't have to make those decisions yet.

But then I got to thinking, we go to the Zoo. We assume that those animals (who were likely bred in captivity) are happy and well cared for. But do we know? No, not really. We hope. And then I think, if I were born in a concentration camp, instead of taken to one, would that make it right? Um. No. I can understand the protection of endangered animals, but aren't the rest of them there more for our amusement? Or is it for education? Or is it both?

I know that there are those of you who are thinking I am OVERthinking this, and that I am some nut job, but I really want to hear from those of you who have had this internal debate.

And I want to say that the circus special was a phenomenal look at families who are just like us, but live on the road. They have supper and they go to "school" on the road. The kids ride their bikes and the parents tell them they can't have coke to drink. It's all pretty normal. And the most fascinating thing is that most of them were BORN in the circus. And they are often 7th or 8th or even 9th generation circus performers. And what was also amazing was that this was a REAL Circus. We are talking tightrope acts, flying trapeze, dogs doing tricks, the whole gig. From my circus experience, i remember it being more of a zoo on wheels. I don't remember there being "talent" and artistic expression. So this led me to decide that IF I take my kids to a circus, I would like it to be a REAL Circus. with REAL performers and people who have done this their entire life. Not the circus that I went to where it seemed more like carnies with animals. What have your circus experiences been? as a child or with your own children? Did you see a big name circus? Was it a different experience? Did you feel safe there? Curious.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rose Whitcher's Pizza Dough

So, I love to make pizza dough. Rose provided me with her recipe, which is my favorite. She has given me permission to share, at the request of many... so that her legacy of pizza will live on :) I love to make giant batches and freeze them. Each of the batches below will make two crusts, either 2 cookies sheet sized pizzas, or 2 large round pizzas (like on the PChef Pizza Stone)

One crust will fit in a quart sized freezer ziploc. After the first rise, you punch the dough down, and put it in the labeled freezer bag, and put it in the freezer immediately so it doesn't rise again on you :)

Here are Rose's Directions:

Pizza Dough
Makes two cookie sheets, thick crust

Mix together
1 ½ C Warm water
1 Package of fast rising yeast
3 T Sugar
2 T Olive oil
Add Flour (Meagan uses White Bread Flour)

I use a kneading mixer or a whisk if you don’t have one. Start adding flour a couple of tablespoons at a time until you have to use your hands. Flour your hands and keep adding flour until it isn’t sticky anymore. It will turn into a nice ball of dough. Cover with clean towel and let rise. Punch it down and work out on your greased cookie sheets. Don’t use the fancy double ones; it won’t have a nice crust. My pans are older than you and look like they need to be tossed but they make the best pizza.

Meagan's Notes:
I make mine on pizza stones and have been INSANELY satisfied with the results every single time. Keep in mind that if you aren't a bread baker, you need to be careful at the temperature of your water. 100 degrees is ideal for proper rising. I let mine rise in the kitchen (keeping it warm in there!) and put the dough in a greased bowl (LARGE) and I put the dough ball in the bowl and turn it once so that the whole ball is greased and it doesn't dry out when rising. I cover it with a flour sack towel. If your kitchen is cool, you can place your oven on warm, and then once it heats up, TURN OFF THE OVEN and then put the bowl on the top rack, covered with your towel, and close the door to keep it slightly warm inside. Any questions let me know!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Got a hat. Guess it's getting cold.


I really get frustrated by society's tendency to figure your worth based on your monetary value. I wonder if I would still say that if I were rich? LOL.

I've got money on the brain lately. I need to do a massive purge of possessions and I also need money, so somehow I have to make the two coincide.

Trick-Or-Treat went really well. The kids' costumes were great, although finished right on the deadline. Marek was as rockin as ever in his big hair costume... although he decided that the best addition for trick-or-treat was a hot pink pacifier and a fluffy white bunny. That's hardcore.

Ardyn did great. I basically had her pretty inaccessible in that costume, and was really worried about when she was going to have to pee. Luckily it worked out great and we just took it off and had a break between the costume party and trick or treating. Late last night I realized that it was in fact the eve of November, which by the calendar I ascertained that the next morning was Ardyn's Snack day at preschool. So I took both exhausted kids, who hadn't had naps but had plenty of sugar, in the van in their pajamas and ran to get snack. We chose Apples and Yogurt :) Yum!

I took Ardyn to school this morning and then came home for a while. Marek and I loaded and ran the dishwasher and then I switched the big whiteboard calendar from October to November. Marek and I ran to get Ardyn and we made a day of it. We took our Trick Or Treat coupons from McDonald's and BK and made the drive-thru rounds getting free lunch. Then we went to Wal-Mart to get our Halloween stuff at half-price. By this I mean that we had Halloween stuff that we purchased before it went on clearance, and then today when the prices went down, we took our receipt in and they paid us the difference. We used the difference to get a Christmas sewing magazine (mwaaahahaha!) and hats and gloves/mittens for the kids.

After that we went to Sherwood Antique Mall and both kids hopped into the $15 double umbrella stroller and we went around the whole place. We were looking for two items. A replacement for my vintage chopper, which I have had for about 12 years and just broke last month, and a corn dryer, which we want to use for hanging wet mittens above the heat vent on the front porch :)

We found both, although the corn dryer wasn't the exact one I had been looking for, and so we put our name down in case they came across one in the future.

I was also fortunate to register and receive a scholarship for an upcoming spiritual retreat that I am SUPER excited about. It focuses on ways to find God in everyday life (and I am buried in everyday life over here :) and also some really interesting types of prayer that are right up my alley. It also helps that the retreat leader is one of the more fascinating people I have ever listened to, and seems to speak exactly to me, and to my beliefs. It's almost spooky sometimes when I am thinking about a subject and I hear it straight from him in a sermon or prayer or song. He helps lead a musical and talented family, and I can't wait to learn more and have a few weekends of some clear-headed relaxation and thinking (quiet!) If you are local and would like more information, check out for a peek.

Tomorrrow night is our MOPS meeting and this time I don't have much in the way of actual duties to prepare.... but the few that I do have, I have been postponing as usual, and this means that tomorrow I will be busy with them. Really I just have a few updates to our directory, putting our newsletter on the website and checking the calendar, and also making printouts for our discussion group leaders.

As I type this Ardyn is belting out the chorus to her new favorite songs. Tommy James and the Shondells "My Baby Does the Hanky -'Banky'..." Most of you know that I love oldies and 60's/70's rock, and she is catching on quickly to the iPod. :)

The foster kitty has been doing well. He is getting more "underfoot" lately, but I think he's really pissed off that he is trapped inside. Otherwise I have seen him catch two mice and suspect that he has caught and killed at least two more. Yay!

This evening the kids and I were out in the yard for a while and I used the Worx Leaf Blower to clean up in the yard a bit. I love that it's electric and I can mulch them, because they don't blow away inside the picket fence. I am so against leaf removal. They were MEANT to fall on the ground people! Just LEAVE them there. But apparently society wants me to rake my leaves. I just want them to blow into my neighbor's yard. Seriously?

I got about half of it finished before Ardyn had to come in for a potty break.
Related Posts with Thumbnails