Friday, January 29, 2010

Fertility . . . Again

I go through cycles of acceptance and denial about our inability to get pregnant. In this case, acceptance feels like total devastation. I feel emptied out, hopeless, and a little afraid of the future. I cry, and I try to decide on alternate plans. Will we foster? Adopt? Travel?

Denial manifests itself through charting, which I haven't done in about a year, plotting my cycle in my calendar, noting which days were "active" days and which were "fertile." I feel hopeful and determined.

I think I've lost hope, though. I'm 34, almost 35. It's pretty clear that without serious medical intervention, we're not going to have biological children.  We've done all the basic tests and ruled out the obvious, simple things. It's down to either clogged tubes or inexplicable infertility.

I wish I could say that I trust God's timing. I suppose that in a way I do trust it. I think what I really mean is that I wish I could appreciate it. Instead, I find myself thinking about how I'll never know whether our children will have curly hair like Mark, blue eyes like mine, will be tall or short, skinny or fat. I can't know how Burgundy will interact with a sibling. I'll never be able to say, "Oh man, I remember when Burgundy cried like that." I will never breastfeed again. I'll never co-sleep. Wear my baby in a sling.

No, I can't appreciate this. I can just . . . move on. Maybe we'll foster. Maybe we'll just get Burgundy through college and then. And then, well, I don't know. I just can't see life beyond my child.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Are the Zombies After Us?

Every day this week, I've told myself that I would make the time to update my blog. Every day at the end of the day, I've realized I'm tired and cranky and just not in the mood. Which is kinda dumb, when you think about it. There's very little as soothing or reassuring to me as blogging. Even though I've only been here for a few months, I've actually maintained a blog on Livejournal since 2002. Practically an eternity in internet years.

Of course, it's been sporadic there, too . . .

Anyway, a couple of updates. First, a word from Ms. G., Burgundy's  AP Human Geography Teacher, and beloved recipient of the RPatz Poster:

Burgundy's AP Human Geography teacher did in fact receive the surprise of a lifetime when Robert ended up on her wall of fame (formerly known as pictures of old men who talk about geography). As the day progressed, girls screams could be heard loud and clear as they noticed the new face on the wall.  To be sure, there were some who looked upon the poster with disdain but by and large the swooning won.
So, the dilemna became, what to do with the poster? One student suggested auctioning the poster for the Hope for Haiti Relief Drive the class was spearheading.  Truly a brilliant suggestion, therefore the poster is being auctioned next week with 100% of the proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders to aid in the relief efforts in Haiti. The starting bid was 10.00!  There is no telling how high Robert will go.
Meanwhile, Burgundy has been talking for a month or so about how she wanted to start running to try to maintain the fitness she gained during band marching season. It's a terribly grueling experience: For three weeks in Houston's August heat, they march outside getting ready for the start of the school year. Then they march every day after school three hours a day through November. Last year, Burgundy lost 6 pants sizes over the course of three months and started showing signs of real malnourishment (she's a vegetarian and really didn't have six sizes to lose to start with). We had to get creative to figure out how to maximize her caloric intake to counter all the activity.

So last November, I tore a ligament and popped a minor tendon in my leg and had to stop running for a while, and Bugundy's idea provided just the prompting I needed to start over.

Last Thursday, we decked ourselves out and ran Week 1, Day 1 of one of the ubiquitous couch to 5K programs out there. Today, we ran Week 2, Day 1, and while it challenged both of us,  I feel safe saying that we're both enjoying it.

I do feel awfully pretentious talking about running though, because we are not the runners you see in the movies, dead sexy in spandex, gliding effortlessly along some glorious, tree-lined path with ponytails swishing in tandem. No, we were wheezy, huffy, bow-legged and pasty. People leapt off the path when they saw us coming. Our dog trotted along behind us, occasionally making horking noises that effectively distanced us from anyone who might have been brave enough to get near us.

Oh, and we sweat and smell bad after running. Just sayin'. Nothing sexy or glamorous about it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Housework Stuff

I've been cleaning house. A lot. I'm sure many of you have heard of FLYlady. Her basic premise is that taking care of your home amounts to taking care of yourself, and you can do it in very small, carefully proscribed baby steps. She starts with, "Shine your sink." Basically, you empty your sink before you go to be and make sure that it's dry and shiny. That one bright, clean spot motivates you the next day. Shine your sink is the touchstone; it's the starting piece, and the first habit that you make sure you do every day.

I do not follow FLYlady.

I have several reasons. First, I hate to be a negative nancy, but her website is disorganized, cluttered, and difficult to navigate. I recognize that she is not a web guru and never intended to be. I don't think the site's state reflects the FLYlady's state, but the fact is, I have trouble navigating her site and figuring out what I should do when. Second, shining my sink is a big, fat waste of my time. In a home where I rarely have time or energy to make dinner, why would I shine my sink? I assure you, my heart does not leap when I see it gleaming in the pale moonlight.

Here's another reason, one I feel a little guilty about. She's too damn chipper. I'm not. Period. I like fart jokes, and I'm grouchy. I think Rodney Dangerfield is funny (most of the time).  Also, I've never had Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome (CHAOS). Oh, sure, my house is chaotic, but my perspective is, "Hey, if you can't handle it, don't come over." Everyone still comes over. Noone's ever complained about my bathrooms or my dishes. And if they had, I would have smiled and said, "You're welcome to come wash my dishes (or scrub my toilet) anytime you want." And meant it.

Happily, I have a substitute. I have been (in the past but not now) a member of Ravelry's Lazy, Stupid and Godless group.  Now I'm none of the three, but they can be a funny, funny bunch of folks. I unjoined the group because it's horrifically drama-ridden, and I got bored with it. However, there's a spin-off group: The Pod People. And they have an LSG version of the FLYlady: Naggy B*tch.

Now that's my kind of name. That's how I feel about housework, too.

Her basic idea is the same: Find something that you clean EVERY DAY so that it motivates you. But hers is Make Your [Profanity Redacted] Bed.

So that's what I've been doing, and it's going remarkably well. I'm really loving it. Every day, I make my bed, spend 60 seconds wiping down surfaces in the bathroom (notice: Not cleaning up the bathroom; you can't do that in 60 seconds), spend about 20 minutes on a load of laundry, 2 minutes decluttering the crap-magnet in my house, and about 20 minutes putting away dishes and reloading the dishwasher. I have two 15-minute drills I do at least once a day to chip away at larger projects: clearing away paperwork and filing on my desk and putting away Christmas crap. In the last week, I've cleared and kept clean my desk, a place I previously just shut the roll-top lid on and pretended didn't exist. And I've taken care of about 80% of the Christmas crap and designated an area to put the random Christmas knick-knacks I find around the house to be put away.

It feels good. My house is starting to feel like it's under control.

Friday, January 22, 2010

RPatz' Fate

Yesterday before school Burgundy explained her plan for the poster. Its new tormentee is to be her teacher, Ms. G. I'm given to understand that Ms. G hates RPatz. Hates. She told Ms. G that she had a surprise for her, but it was too big to bring to class. So Ms. G agreed to leave her door unlocked for Burgundy after school. Poor, dear lady.

After school, I took the poster, some thumbtacks, and print-outs of my two previous RPatz entries (so Ms. G would understand the joke) up to the school to meet Burgundy and her cohort, Brandon. We gained entry to the school by flashing the poster at unsuspecting youngsters who, in their rush to escape his fatuous gaze, opened the door for us.

We crept (sounding almost as stealthy as a freight train repeatedly ramming a granite cliff) up the stairs and into Ms. G's room, where the cleaning lady tried hard not to stare but failed. Ms. G has a huge banner across the back of her room that reads, "Geographers, Models, and Theories;" of course, we hung the poster under that title (being careful not to stick tacks through the banner) and over the faces of a couple of famous folks on the banner.

Naturally, this occasioned great hilarity. The culprits had to pose with the poster, but they're so stealth and G that they protected their identities.

Happily, having a life with homework, dinner, and all the other things that distract us, we were forced to take our leave of young, fair, vacuous Mr. Pattinson.  I'm sure he won't be lonely there in the classroom.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Juliaisms and Twitter

I admit it; I use twitter. A lot. I basically use it as a pseudoblog, one I can update with a line or two whenever I feel like it.

Meanwhile, I also have an exchange student whose accidental linguistic missteps leave all of us, including herself, in a constant state of giggles. Some of them are just the normal, expected stuff like reversing the order of words. Others are so unintentionally hilarious that I decided to start sending a new juliaism out to my twitter followers every day.

Like cracked out. That was the first one I sent. She'll say, "Oh my God that totally cracked me out that he said that to her." I've explained the difference between being cracked out and being cracked up, and she understands why it's so hilarious to hear, but she still can't remember which is which. So now she'll say, "Oh my God that totally cracked me . . . wait, what is it? Does it crack me out or crack me up?"

So I had to share my Julia joy with the world. She seemed to think it was all very funny; I really hope I can point her back to it in a couple of months and say, "Look! You've got a fan club!"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Skillet-Hit Pattinson

It's 7AM, and I should be in the shower. However, I haven't been able to post in a few days, and I really miss it! So I'm going to run a few minute behind schedule (yay flex time!) and update the world. Because I know the whole world waits impatiently for The Saga of the Grohmans. I bet little Atlas has been dancing on one foot with irritation at my absence. Yeah.

Burgundy came home from school the other day, and she didn't notice the poster. So Julia asked if she could have some index cards. Burgundy went into her room and searched all around her desk (with her back to the drippy eyes of Skillet-Hit Pattinson), turning around and around, and she never saw him. Every time she turned to face the poster, she was looking at the ground, the shelves, the dresser . . . everywhere but the wall.

So I said, "Burgundy, could the cards be on your bookshelf?"

To which she replied, "No, I don't ever put them there." And kept looking around on the floor under her desk. I had to pretend to sneeze, turn into the hallway and press my face against the wall to stifle my giggles. Julia kept a much straighter face.

Finally, I said, "Well, why don't you just give it a look?"

So Burgundy heaved the care-laden, world-weary sigh of the 14-year-old American girl who has suffered untold atrocities at the hands of her cruel parents. Vicious injustices like using the vacuum cleaner and vile Crimes of Suggestion such as, "look for it on the bookcase," and she turned around and flounced yes you read that right she flounced to the bed nook. STILL NOT NOTICING THE POSTER.

She inspected a shelf or two, and mid-sentence, just after the long, drawn out, "Mooooom," of Infinite Patience, she let out a horrendous screech, leapt backwards off the bed, landed on her butt, flipped over, crawled out of the room, and curled into the fetal position in the hallway.

Oh boy, does she know how to react, or what?

Now she's plotting where to put the poster next. She's hoping to sneak it into her AP Human Geography class and hang it there.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bad, Evil, Naughty, WICKED Mom

My daughter has a love-hate relationship with the Twilight novels. She's absolutely repulsed by Edward's character and by RPatz (how can a mom get any more lucky?).

The knitters had decided to have a Crappy Gift Exchange after Christmas, the premise being that everyone received at least one useless, un-re-giftable crappy Christmas gift, and we would offload them onto each other. Hannah brought a gift from her husband: a giant poster of Robert Pattinson grinning like a fool who'd been hit with a skillet.

Her husband had bought it and spent about two weeks springing it on her in unsuspecting moments. For example, once he waited until she was in the shower shampooing her hair, then plastered it against the glass shower doors and held it there until she rinsed her hair, opened her eyes, and [naturally] screamed. Another time, he hid the poster under the covers on her side of the bed so RPatz' Doofus Grin (tm) was the last thing Hannah saw before turning out the lights.

Well, Burgundy saw the poster and gagged. She made a big production of how horrifically unattractive she finds poor, dejected RPatz. Meanwhile, the knitter who "won" the poster is a normal adult with a healthy sexual perspective. Therefore, she had no interest in keeping the poster. So while Burgundy wasn't watching, I snuck it into my trunk.

And this morning, after she left for school, I did this:

[insert maniacal cackling here]

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mmm, Bacon and Marshmallows

With a big deadline here today, my management has asked me to work a "double" (an 8-hour day instead of a 4-hour day) and take Friday off. While on the one hand, I was looking forward to getting into the routine of half-days, my routine of the last couple of days indicates I probably will be safer at work.

Monday: Left work at 11. Called Tabby for lunch, but she didn't answer. Drove home, wandered around the house for a few minutes. Found some marshmallows. Ate the marshmallows. Opened the fridge and saw bacon.

On the pretext of needing to eat lunch, heated up the last of the corn and potato chowder from last week. Made bacon. Ate a piece of bacon. Grated some cheese. Ate some cheese. Ate another piece of bacon. Resisted temptation to eat more marshmallows.

Poured the soup into a bowl and used bacon and cheese as intended: to garnish lunch. Ate the chowder.

Tabby called back and came over with her daughter. Made more bacon. Ate the bacon. Tabby left. I napped.

So let's see: Eat, Cook, Eat, Nap. Not good. Maybe day 2 will be better?

Tuesday: Left at 11:30 (ish). Came home, wandered around the house. Called Hannah to confess unreasonable desire to eat bacon and marshmallows. Found bag of M&Ms on the refrigerator. Ate M&Ms. Called Mom. Grated laundry soap, and made a box of mac & cheese. Ate the mac & cheese. Picked up Burgundy and friend from school; took them to McDonald's. Bought them lunch. Bought a chicken nugget meal. Ate the meal. Washed it down with a Dr. Pepper. Came home. Wandered around the house.

Eventually called Mark in hopes that he would say something like, "I'm out of clean underwear; could you process a load of whites?" Instead, he said, "I don't know, what needs to be done? Maybe you should take a nap." I decided we'd been long enough without balancing the checkbook, so I worked on that.  So diligently that I worked right through the 3:00 PM doctor appointment I'd set for Burgundy, not giving it another thought until about 9:00 last night.

This can't go on. I love bacon; I love marshmallows; I love macaroni and cheese and m&ms. But eating them all together because I can't figure out what I'm supposed to do for myself is both a recipe for expanding the budget to include new clothes (not on the agenda) and for feeling really terribly physically.

So yeah. I'm staying at work all day by request, and I'm kinda relieved.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Update on the Algebra

Burgundy just finished her semester exam in Pre-AP Algebra II, and advanced, junior-level course. Going by age, Burgundy should be in 8th grade. God willing, she'll be rescheduled for Algebra II enriched within a few days. Her teacher recommended it; the head of the math department agreed. I sent the request to her principal this morning after discussing it with her counselor, and I think she's a good, strong candidate.

The chapter 5 exam went really well, all things considered. To Katie: You are our hero. Thank you so much for all your hard work and all your time. I know how difficult it is to give over so many hours of your life to someone, and I (and I know Burgundy does too) really appreciate all that you've given. Without your help, I really don't think she could have pulled this off.

She made an 82. It pulled her nine week grade up to a 71. That's a D, and we're immensely proud of it. There were many times when Mark, with his math and science degrees, and Katie, with her education background and [math or physics?] degree, looked at the assignments and said, "Whaaa?" Burgundy hung in there, and she earned a D with more work than any A I ever earned in high school. I am proud.

The teacher probably will need a couple of days to grade and post the grades for today's semester exam. With all the work that Burgundy put into preparing for it, I prayed for an 80 or higher.

I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

Oh, and last night I made fish tacos. I baked four small tilapia fillets with a spice rub, chopped up some cabbage, pulled out the salsa and tortillas, and voila! dinner.

Tonight, I'm springing for pizza at a friend's house so Burgundy can test the neighborhood's peripheral vision. Last night she tested everyone at knitting and someone's spouse for good measure. She's up to 25 people tested now. We just might make it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Time to Make the Donuts

I have about 15 minutes for a post here this morning. I know, a Proper Blogger would have a backlog of entries prepared for publication on a day like today. I'd have plans and stuff. Of course, I do have plans, and I also have an appalling lack of follow-through. It's broken.

I left the light off this morning for my coffee and blueberry muffin. I'm sitting at my computer in the dark kitchen, searching in vain for the motivation to begin my day. Surfing the web is so much easier than living.

We had Marathon Project Weekend. Aside from the waffles Saturday morning, I made pizza Saturday night and blueberry muffins on Sunday morning. We ate out only once the whole weekend. This is huge.

I did about 72 loads of laundry including double-bleaching my nasty white bedspread, and Mark vacuumed and swept most of the house. I did dishes over and over and over. My hands are chapped; that's how many dishes I did.

Our biggest accomplishment? We finished building the gadget Burgundy needs to finish her science fair project. This thing took all our ingenuity, a circular saw, a skill saw, a dremel tool, and a sander. And sawhorses. We had to mount it on a ladder, and now she has to find 100 people to test. She got 10 last night.

Okay, that's it. Time to get ready for work.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Good Weekend

Oh Saturday, I do love you. I slept until 8:30 this morning. Three decadent hours past my weekday wake time. And noone had to be anywhere until 10:00, so I spent a decadent hour making waffles the old fashioned way.

I do love waffles, especially with real butter and fresh, hot, real maple syrup.  Everyone else loved them too, and I put the leftovers in the freezer for the girls to toast and eat on school mornings for breakfast.

Burgundy's tutoring today at 10, and Mark and I need to build the apparatus for Burgundy's science fair project. It's due on January 20 (the project, not the apparatus).

Meanwhile, Houston's enjoying (ha!) a terrible cold snap, and Mark has rigged up some unused, icicle-style Christmas lights to save our gardens. He arranged the main lines of the lights around the inner perimeter of the garden, then pulled the icicles through the plants in the garden. The heat of the lights alone won't provide sufficient heat to save the plants, but when paired with the standard blankets-draped-over-the-garden approach, it's effectively a tiny tendril heater. Nice, isn't it?

Friday, January 8, 2010

So How'd It Go?

Well, we have no idea yet. She said she thinks she did okay. I'm oddly reassured by this, as when she comes home with a chipper, "I did GREAT! I ACED it!" That generally means that she did quite the opposite. So we're on standby with the test; we'll see what gives.

Last night I made a roasted sweet potato and garlic custard from Steve Raichlen's High-Flavor, Low-Fat Italian Cooking. I bought this cookbook a few years ago when I still believed in the mystical powers of not eating fat. It's a surprisingly good cookbook, and has given me, among other things, my present skillz with asparagus. And they are skillz; it's our family's favorite food. For her birthday dinner, my daughter requested pizza, mac & cheese, and asparagus.

Overall, the custards were very good. It called for 1 medium head of roasted garlic. I used half a large head,  and they tasted a bit too much of garlic. Next time I'll put in four-five bulbs and call it even. I think I will make it again, but not for a while. I spent hours on it, and when the family came to the table, their reaction was, "that's it?"

The good news is that while it's time-consuming, it's simple. Roast a couple of large sweet potatoes and 4 - 8 cloves of garlic at 400F. Garlic should take about 20 minutes; sweet potatoes take about an hour.

Remove skin from sweet potatoes and squeeze garlic from its casing. I mashed these together (no food processor; I know! I, the queen of gadgetry here recently, don't have a food processor.

Put it in a blender with a couple of tablespoons of fresh parsley, some salt and pepper, and a little nutmeg. Slowly add a couple of beaten eggs and blend until it's smooth.

I baked for 30 minutes at 350 it in 8 half-cup ramekins lined with parchment paper and smeared with olive oil. In retrospect, this was just for show. The paper and oil allowed you to dump the custards with the form intact. I think it would have been just as cute to eat the custard straight from the ramekin. Next time I won't bother with the parchment paper.

The kids are off to school now, and I need to shower and finish this coffee.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This is a TEST

Right now, Burgundy is 22 minutes into her Algebra II Chapter 5 exam. She has worked so hard and invested so much time and energy in this class; if she passes this test, she'll bring her nine week grade up to passing. If she doesn't, everything will rest on the semester exam. She has studied frantically for the last four weeks, sometimes for hours a day, and we began to see the payoff in her quiz and homework grades at the end of December.

We prayed together last night for peace and a calm spirit, for confidence and care, and for her mind to call forth the correct equations and formulas for each problem. We did it again this morning, and I told her to pray anytime during the exam. When she felt panic, fear, anything. I'm considering checking her out of school at lunch to come home and rest, but she still has the rest of her classes to prepare for semester exam. So I'll probably leave her there.

And now for something completely different:

Last night I made the most delicious meatballs I've ever made. I used pork sausage and local, pasture-raised ground beef. I modified a recipe from, and I really liked the results. They were flavorful and juicy and just plain wonderful. The recipe made a fair amount, so I froze three meals' worth for future use.

I cooked the ziti and spaghetti sauce that Tabby gave us for Christmas, and it was delicious. The girls scarfed it down without the meatballs, and Mark and I savored every bite with meatballs.

Meanwhile, the blender attachment for my Bosch mixer finally arrived last night, and I made milkshakes for me and the girls.

This is a boring post. I'm really distracted about Burgundy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010: What's Next?

I'm getting a late start to New Year's Traditions, I know. But I figure the 6th is as good as the 1st for deciding how I want the new year to go. One of the greatest problems facing me is our infertility. Mark's been tested; all his junk works just fine. I've already given birth once, and the pregnancy was not planned, so we know I'm not the problem. All my dreams and goals have focused on having a large family. Without intervention or adoption, those dreams die.

Which leaves me a little rudderless, surprisingly. I always thought I had a bigger vision than just the earthly stuff. I believed (believe?) that serving others will lead to more contentment and fulfillment than pursuing your own ends, for example. If I don't have a nice house or an iPhone or a Mercedes, I'll be fine because I have a purpose. But with Burgundy almost grown and no more children apparent, I feel lost and confused.

We could foster to adopt. We could adopt from the US or from another country. We could get Burgundy through college and then be international jet-setters. We have all these options, and none of them really appeal to me right now.

So for lack of direction, mission, purpose, here are my 2010 resolutions:
  1. Save my marriage. Granted, I can't do this alone, but he's giving it everything, too. I can be present; I can serve him; I can show him love and grace.
  2. Tithe regularly at our church. I don't personally believe that all of my tithe has to go to the church, but I am in the unique and somewhat rare position of believing that my church basically is doing all the right things. They're getting out of debt, spending modestly, supporting missions I want to see supported, and they're a strong, essential part of our community. Even before I attended there, I knew who they were and what they did for our community; I want to support our church with our money.
  3. Finish our six-month emergency fund.
  4. Replace Mark's car using cash on hand.
  5. Put the finishing touches on all the projects that JB completed:
    1. Putty and paint the trim in the bathroom around the tub
    2. Install the new vanity and sink in the master bathroom
    3. Putty, caulk, and paint the baseboards and the trim around the new door
    4. Install baseboards in the guest bathroom, putty and paint them
  6. Limit eating out to twice a week. We eat out way too much, so much that it's more like we dine in twice a week. Our health is suffering as a result. I'm perpetually nauseous. I have pretty much everything I could ever hope to need for cooking at home, and now I have Julia Child, too. It's time to use her.
I think that's enough, really. I have a subscription to Mothering magazine that I bought in April 2008 when I found out we were pregnant. It doesn't run out until May of 2011. I think it's the biggest punishment I've ever settled on myself: a reminder every other month of the life I can't have. Let's see what I can make of the life I've got.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Lest I leave it out, Happy New Year! But this will not be a "kicking it off" post. More like a "catching it up" post.

I'm sitting alone in at 6:15 AM in my pajamas at the kitchen table. I have a cup of fresh-perked coffee and two slices of nicely buttered toast from bread I made last night. This moment could be my favorite part of adulthood. The quiet of the appliances unused, the scent of the bread and coffee, the absence of requests for my cell phone, a ride, a list of the weekends plans, or any other input leaves me feeling still and appreciative. I guess it winds my clock.

JB leaves today. It's been another good visit; he's earned some money, and we've gotten the house that much closer to being nice. I made a list yesterday, by hand, of all the things he's done, and it was nearly a full page long.

I hope Burgundy takes it better this time than the last two visits. He's not leaving on a whim or at the last minute. They've had a couple of days of anticipation to say goodbye. She has a very full evening today and won't be out of orchestra rehearsal and sectionals in time to come to the airport with us, so we'll take him up to the rehearsal and let her say goodbye there.

Her grade is improving steadily in Algebra II. She has a major test this week and semester exams next week, and she's only one point away from passing the class. If she does really well on both tests, she could conceivably pull it up to a C. Which means she gets to have her birthday party.

As for me, Sunday evening, Mark and I went to Borders downtown while Burgundy and her dad went to MFAH. Since watching Julie and Julia, I've been feeling the call of the kitchen, but not in a "I'll cook everything in her cookbook and blog about it way," I promise. You're safe from me.

Besides, Mastering the Art of French Cooking is incredibly expensive. The two-volume set is $90. I probably should have done some research, though, because I had no idea that Julia Child had so many books. I settled on The French Chef Cookbook, which catalogs the recipes used on all of her TV shows. I've skimmed through it, and I want to try several things right away: croquembouche (aka the the lactacting spider wasp cake from Cake Wrecks), Boeuf Bourguignon (naturally, it's both famous and made with Burgundy!), chocolate mousse, and a couple of other meat recipes.

Right now, I'd really like a chance to watch the old TV shows. I wonder if it's possible to buy them as a boxed set or something?

Alas, the family has invaded. Lunch had to be made, breakfast eaten, and school attended. I suppose that's my cue to pull myself out of the computer and get ready for work.