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August 4, 2002
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Monsoon Season and HHhhooooooot Chicken

7:55 pm: Jet's parroting words. For the first time in a long time he sat in my lap and listened and watched as I read to him. He's started pointing at things and asking, "'uts aht?" I tell him and he goes on to the next one. When he pointed at some chickens I said, "Bawk bawk chickens." Jet immediately started saying "Bawk Bawk!" "Bawk! Bawk!" When John said, "Bawk bawk chicken" at the beer butt chicken we had for dinner, Jet grinned and said, "Bawk bawk!"

Not that we could get a word out of him at church, when some people asked if he was speaking yet. One lady asked because her grandson, who is 19-months-old hasn't said a word, yet. Jet simply smiled at people. He finally did say, "Up!" when he wanted to get back into my lap for the cake. So he said something.

Jet had a mildly weird night. He went to sleep just fine last night, and stayed asleep until, probably 4:30. Then he stayed up for two hours and didn't get back to sleep until 6:30. Then he stayed asleep until 8:30, which was the latest we could start breakfast in order to make it to church in time for John to set up. John showed a video clip for the service.

In Longmont, this last week, a group of racially prejudiced folks got vocal. They spread leaflets, did a demonstration in town, and said, basically that non-whites should go away as they were bad for the town. The flyer just enraged me. The pastor was just as enraged, which reassured me. He then wrote a great sermon based on Acts 10: 1-35, which is by Peter, and ends with the line: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him."

What was interesting to me was that Michael then said was that "Whether one is black, brown, yellow, red or white, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Shintoist, Buddiest, whether Shaman or Sikh we are all God's children." I've always liked that phrase, but I've always been leery of applying that to those who might not want to be owned by the Christian God. It's the application of my understanding and decisions over how I have experienced God to other people, which I've occasionally found problematic.

But the central sentiment is something I share, that bigotry is wrong. And, for me, it's even more evil when someone says their bigotry has a religious basis.

The clip that John showed was from Ghandi and it's the scene where Ghandi and an Episcopalian Priest meet to talk and as they walk they run into three bigots who threaten to beat Ghandi up. The confrontation is very tense and an embodiment of how I feel about the 'turn the other cheek' bit (especially the look them in the eye part of that), and ends peacefully. The Priest says, "That was lucky!" and Ghandi answers, "I thought you were a man of God?" and the priest answers with something about not being prideful enough to think that God's schedule always included him.

It amused me greatly.

I'll have to see that movie some day.

Jet did great in the nursery. He had two other boys to play with and the lady in charge of the nursery loves Jet's personality. So I was glad. Jet also had a sense of the time, as at the exact minute we normally get out of the service, Jet went to the door to look for us. He might have gotten my exact time sense. I'm normally within a minute or two of the cooking timer and nearly always wake up just before the alarm goes off.

He came to me when we went to get him. I hugged him solidly and then we laid the changing pad out and he actually got down to put himself on it. Wow. So changing him was a quick thing to do.

We then went out to eat cake and play on the grass. When we headed for home, we stopped at Tanaka's, the Longmont local farm stand. They had sweet corn for 5 for $1. They pick it every day, and I went over and had an interesting time picking ears. It's good to pick an ear that's heavy for its size, especially during this drought year. I went through three ears for every ear I found that felt heavy enough. That's not very good.

On the way home, Jet went to sleep, and John put him in his room. I vowed that I'd take a nap and never really got around to it. I made salsa, first, in preparation for making lunch. I used the two gold heirloom tomatoes, one small red tomato, a few thin slices of red onion, a single clove of garlic, a slice of green pepper, and a third of a bunch of cilantro. I chopped everything up fine and stirred it together in a canning jar.

No, nothing hot in it. I just wanted something tasty, not hot. The weather was warm, in the low 90's, but it was also 50% humidity, which made it feel as bad as when it was high 90's.

I froze the chicken thighs and the flank steak after cutting it up into portions. I washed up after all that. I tried to take a nap, failed miserably, and got up and decided to finally make lunch. I scattered black corn chips, lumped the last of the refried black beans and taco meat on the chips, and then grated cheddar over it all. I then tucked it under the broiler of the toaster oven and let it go. I had a great time watching the cheese melt, bubble, and then sizzle. Yum.

John shared it with me and we ate half the jar of salsa with the single pan of nachos. The fresh salsa was yummy and John liked it even without the heat. Yay!

Jet woke up soon after that, and I got him. He was pretty cranky. So when he nursed, he got happier, and started playing. I was glad of that. That was when we got to read books together. Jet brought me all kind of books. His tiny animal baby books, a couple of Dr. Suess books, and his cars and trucks book. He would hold them towards me and say, "Mine!" while trying to give them to me. I guess some of it is because I say, "Mine." when I take it. He hasn't gotten "Yours." and since "Mine." works, I guess he doesn't really have a good reason to change.

It started raining at 4, and cooled the air down considerably. The whole weather system seems to have changed, with hot weather moving to the east with a high pressure ridge out there. So the wind is coming from our southwest, which pulls water from over the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico. When the high winds have a lot of moisture in them when they hit the heat on the east side of the mountains they're forced up and the water gets squeezed out of the air and we get rain.

They're calling it the monsoon season, though it always makes me giggle to think of an area that gets less than twelve inches of rain a year as actually having a 'monsoon' season. I'm glad of the rain, though, and the cooling affect on the afternoons. It felt wonderful to dance in the rain and to have the day cool off to the mid 70's from the low 90's in nearly no time.

We opened the house.

I then drank a can of seltzer, and then stuffed garlic cloves and onion chunks into it. I filled it with beer, and then prepped a whole chicken and tucked the can into the body cavity. It stood up just fine on the can and its two legs. It took turning the BBQ sideways before it would light, but light it did, and in went the chicken. Fifteen minutes later, John turned down the heat. Fifteen minutes after that we had Flame Butt Chicken...

Oops. The chicken fat caught on fire and the flames were bright and high and drew an "Ooooo... hhhhhoooot!" out of Jet. I fell over giggling.

John spilled the can while moving the chicken and doused the fire with beer. It went out. Yay! The chicken didn't burn after that, but we had the fires lower. I also turned on the other burner to get the temperature in the BBQ a bit higher so it would, effectively, bake. It did well. The thermometer went in at 152, and came out at 161 for the breast meat. It rested while we cooked the corn and I toasted some garlic bread from the last of a frozen loaf of bread.

Both freezers are now stuffed, after the meat sale. So we're going to just have to eat out of our stores for a while. I brought the boa up from the downstairs freezer as I wanted them for lunch, pretty badly. I think I can also make up my own taco seasoning for taco meat, from all the chile powders, onions and garlic powders, cumin, and other stuff I have. I will need to get a tube of good tomato paste to help it out, but I think I can make American style taco meat. It can't be that difficult without MSG.

After dinner, John and Jet went out for a walk and left me to write. They ended up with the neighbors, playing on their trampoline and swing set. Sammy, who is two, was on the trampoline with Jet, and Jet was trying to walk around as Sammy was bouncing about. Sammy got one good bounce right next to Jet and Jet upended and went splat right on the mat, and he was giggling like crazy at the spill. I'm glad he likes that and isn't scared by it. John did catch Jet once before Jet nearly hit the springs, so Jet doesn't get to do the trampoline by himself, but he did well with supervision and someone to catch him.

Once back home, John took Jet's shoes off outside, brushed as much sand as possible off him and popped him into the tub. Bath time! Jet stole the clear cap off the Baby Magic foam soap and used it as a much smaller cup and started pouring water himself. That was cool. He would start pouring far too early, and most of the time didn't get water into his target. By the end of the bath he was doing far better at it, and hitting the crows nest of his pirate ship more often than not! Pretty cool.

He was pretty tired afterwards and protested getting pulled from the tub. Once he was downstairs, though and nursing, he was fine, and went to sleep while eating pretty quickly. When John picked him up, though, he woke up and protested for a while, but John lay with him and he eventually went to sleep. Yay!

So I'm sipping a Sprite from the stash Joan gave me, and eating a cookie from those John baked yesterday and I'm going to go to bed soon, as I'm tired.

I got to talk with Mom a little today, too, as John and I talked about going to San Diego sometime and we realized that we had to know when their vacation was in order to plan anything. Mom was great and told us when it would be okay to go and when it wouldn't. I also talked with her about other stuff and felt better for doing it. It's good having an open communication channel with her and with Dad. It's very nice to know, now, that I can say stuff that they don't agree with and it's okay.

I think, a long time ago, I gave up on my parents ever really listening to me. Especially when I disagreed with them. The only way I could be comfortable about disagreeing was by being very far away and simply not telling them. It was only when Jet came along that I found a reason to try it again, to try and say out loud when I disagreed and when I wouldn't do what they wanted me to do. It was really hard to do. Jet, however, was worth doing it for when I was sure that I wasn't. It's interesting, now, to see why and what it was that finally motivated me to say something. I know, for sure, that a lot of the lack of communication was simply that I'd given up. I didn't think it could work.

And now it has.

That's very cool, indeed.

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Copyright 2002 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.