Monday, May 29, 2017

Indian Again, Music with a Mission, and Dog House

 We have another new local Indian restaurant! Himalayan Chimney is the best addition to our little thriving downtown scene. Rob has known the owner for years and we were excited to see him open up another restaurant, but we were not prepared for the beautiful atmosphere of a building that hasn't been updated for almost two decades, the inventive Indian fusion menu, and the fabulous waitstaff. 
Samosas and an amazing avocado appetizer that I can't remember the name of.
Samosas are great and all, but this avocado appetizer and the cauliflower appetizer that I didn't get a picture of...worth the walk downtown on their own. I can totally see going in for the appetizers for a quick lite bite before a movie or a performance. I'm drooling just thinking about it. I'll order them again and get a description.
Masala Dosa!
 I cannot tell you how hard it is to get South Indian food in this town. To get a good dosa, or even a dosa at all, we usually have to head up to Chicago. So glad to have a restaurant, within walking distance even, where we can get our dosa fix. Dosas are the one Indian dish I really don't think we can't recreate adequately at home.
Parker, Josie, Dema, and Rob on Rob's 55th birthday.
As we were walking back home through the park, I made everyone pose for Rob's 55 birthday picture. He had just spent a week at sea helping move a sailboat (not his) from the Bahamas to Maryland so he looks the sea captain part. After the week at sea, he flew from MD to California for work, then flew back to the east coast and drove from MD to VA where his sailboat is docked, slept on the boat for a night and fixed a couple things that needed his attention, and then drove back to Illinois. Sailing is his passion and he's willing to do a lot in order to spend time on the ocean, but we're his passion too so he's willing to stay in the middle of the country so the kids don't have to leave their friends. We'll see how long we can keep that going though. We might have to choose a coast.
Dema getting ready for the Pediatric Stroke Benefit Concert.
Dema's Showstoppers group was asked to help out with an annual benefit for pediatric stroke awareness. We know the family who puts on the benefit and their youngest son who suffered from a stroke in utero, so Dema was honored to help out even in a small way. The theater kids joined the adults and sang two songs and Dema hopes o help out next year too.
Dema messing around before the concert.
The colors for pediatric stroke awareness are black and purple so Josie found a purple dress shirt for Dema at a local thrift shop and it fit him perfectly, but I think we're going to have to update his suit coat...he's starting to hit those teen growth spurts.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Giants, Human Flags, Dogs, Films, and Music

Our dog, Gracie, and our boarder, Blues.
Blues, the dog on the right, was a stay in Ecuador before finding a loving home here in the states with one of our neighbors. She still has ties to Ecuador and spends some of her summer down there, but we miss her when she's gone. Our greyhound, Gracie, also spent some time as a stay so we think they bond over that common street life and they both thoroughly appreciate how good they have it now. 
Josie working on "giants".
All three of my kids are pretty athletic (they get it from their dad), but people will stay say things about them being vegan and not getting enough protein. They usually get three servings of beans a day, plus nuts and seeds, and loads of veggies. It must be working because they are all energetic bundles of muscle. 
Josie working on her "human flag".
 Josie's dream is to be a therapist, she loves helping people with their problems, and she also wants to be on a show like American Ninja Warrior or Ultimate Beastmaster (thanks to Netflix for introducing her to this craziness, I miss the days she was into cooking shows). I walked in the other day to her pulling herself up to be perpendicular to the stairs to make a "human flag". She can actually hold it for a second, but not long enough for me to snap a picture and tell her she probably shouldn't do something like this at home. I told her to save stunts for the gymnastics gym.
Black congo pepper jelly on sourdough bread.
Our vegan friend, Amelia, is back in the area and she stopped by to pick up some pots for her houseplants. It was great to catch up a bit and she gave us some homemade black congo pepper jelly. This stuff is amazing and now it is gone. She is an amazing cook and we really want her to open up a vegan restaurant or at least sell her jelly. Spicy and a bit sweet is my favorite combo.
Josie at the 2017 Annual Feminist Film Festival.
 Last year was Josie's first feminist film festival and now she wouldn't miss it. The boys were going to come too, but Josie wanted it to be a girl thing. Last year, a short film she starred in was on the list of films, Grace's World. This year, one of the films was Fast Rodney, Who Was on His Way Out...a film with Parker cast and Dema, Josie, and I as extras. Fast Rodney won two awards at the festival and all the short films were great!
Dema carrying Josie par of the way downtown.
 We haven't had a lot of family time lately with Rob and Dema sailing, Parker busy with his friends, classes at our local community college, and his projects, and Josie at gymnastics. Our friend, Ryan, was singing downtown at a local bar/restaurant and it was a rare time to see him at an all ages venue so we walked downtown together, ate vegan sliders, and enjoyed Ryan's music and his family.
Dema was just joking in the first picture, carrying Josie is easy for him. I certainly can't carry her anymore.
Josie giving Ryan's daughter a high five.
 My kids adore Ryan's kids and they had a great time hanging with them while we listened to their dad.
Ryan, from Elsinore, singing some "old" favorites and new songs  that will be on their next LP.
Sweet senior boarders, Charo and Velma.
We couldn't stay out late since we had the dogs to take care of, but we needed to get some sleep anyway and we love having these sweet seniors stay at our house.