Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy New Year!

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year's!

Chinese New Year's is a huge celebration in China and there are lots of traditions attached to the celebration.

One year I messed up greatly and had my hair cut on new year's and then swept the house! Grace was distraught! I have to admit that was one of our harder years, especially financially and sweeping your house does represent sweeping out your good fortune, if done on New Year's DAy. It is required to do it the night before, but have to admit, I am too tired to sweep!

It has been a long day as I volunteered to help with the new "farmer's store" where our organic co-op is delivered. If you volunteer, you get a credit toward your purchase and I thought it would be interesting to see the process.

But when I volunteered, I did not know you had to be there at 6:00 a.m. and that it would be after a record snow fall AND there is NO heat in the place!

Since I was sure I would oversleep, I guess I decided not to sleep at all! So after my two hour shift I was ready to call it a day! But of course SAturday requires more than a couple hours of work!

One of the traditions with Chinese New Year's is to buy children new clothes, preferably something red, but since neither girl will wear red I knew that was not going to happen!

We have been so fortunate with people giving the girls clothes that we really and rarely do buy any. But this was different and I wanted to start some traditions for us, so we headed to the mall exactly when everyone else in Dallas decided to go.

As soon as we got in, both girls became quite glum and complained loudly about shopping! You want to scream and yell or something, but I just ignored it and thought if I could find something they liked, it would turn things around.

Annabel and I worked together, but Grace wandered off by herself. Both found the "exact" things they wanted and I even splurged for a new necklace for each.

When it came time to find something for me I decided I did not have that much energy!

We headed on to the Chinese market with a stop first at a favorite Chinese restaurant known for their dumplings.

As we waited for our table, the girls spotted pork feet in the refrigerated case in the front. Their mouths began to water.

Now I only have a few rules in my life and they all have to do with food.

Rule 1: No organs, which I am going to expand and now include the feet of any animal and/or the head.

Rule 2: No game

Rule 3: Nothing unborn. Think veal, eggs.

Now with kids, I might have to insist that everyone at the table follow my rules!

But trying to be the good mom, I ordered the pork feet, which Grace corrected me were not pig's feet. Oh wait, pork and pig are the same. Yes, they are!

This was followed by an order of spicey seaweed, pot stickers, dumplings, and orange chicken. They provided a serving of "Chinese" style rice, which was served on a contraption with a stick in the base so you could pass it without burning yourself. It looked a lot like refried beans and rice, but I am such a chicken on all of this, I would not try it.

I have to make a true confession:

I really am not much of a fan of Chinese food.

There, I said it!

I like Panda Express, but that is like saying that Taco Bell is Mexican food!

These items were the real deal and as my girls chewed on their pigs' feet, I mean, pork feet, I began to lose my appetite!

We came home with two additional servings of the spicy seaweed so they each could have their own as a special treat, as well as two of the sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves.

We also bought traditional Chinese candy, which is to be eaten in an unlimited amount tomorrow, as well as four of their favorite pastries covered with dried pork.

So after a much longer shopping excursion than I meant to have, we still needed to clean the house before tomorrow morning! But my girls were forced to take showers or the other choice was cleaning house! Easy choice for them!

I have a bag of traditional decorations that need to be put up, dollars that need to be put in their red envelopes and slipped under their pillows, AND I have volunteered to cook tomorrow's meal for my boss who just had a baby!

Good night! Oh and Xin Nian Kuai Le!

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