5 Things I Loved About Last Week #celebratelu 10/18/14

celebrate link up

Ruth Ayres hosts a weekly celebration on her blog. I appreciate this invitation to find the positives in my week.

1. Healing words from my son. I spend so much time working with my son on attachment and healing, and sometimes it can seem like very little progress is being made. Healing trauma is one step forward, twelve steps backwards some days. I got plenty of “you’re not my real mom, you’ll never be my mom” this week. But I also got “I didn’t love you when I first came here but now I do. Now I am always going to love you” and “I am yours, and you are mine.”

2. My request for travel funding to take 4 students to NCTE was approved. Kelsey, Maggie, Mariah, Shelby, and I are off to DC next month. I can’t imagine a better group to travel with. I’m looking forward to lots of learning and laughter–and to reading the tweets and blog posts!

3. Exercise. Workouts are often the first thing to go when I get too busy with work, parenting, life. But exercise helps me manage my stress and keeps me healthier, so I am trying to re-establish the habit. This week, I am celebrating six days of workouts! The first couple were hard, but I’m already feeling stronger and calmer.

IMG_2306 4. A visit from Quincy. We dog-sat for my mom this week. I enjoyed hosting Q-dog, who has beautiful manners, but I will also confess to being relieved that it was only for one night! Six cats and two pit bulls is A LOT. I thought all the cats would scatter, but it turns out that three of the cats were unusually and unhealthily obsessed with the new dog. Tiny Frances walked right up to him and sniffed his nose. Normally shy Fergus followed suit. And then Puck spent the day stalking and terrorizing him and occasionally growling.

IMG_2313At any given moment, there were at least three cats in the room watching him. Q is good with cats, but he is a young dog and finds it hard to keep resisting the chase. So he would sit very politely minding his own business until I thought any urge to chase a cat had passed and my attention focused elsewhere. And then–zoom!–he’d be off, and much hissing and puffy tails would ensue. SIGH.

The cats seemed to find his dog bed nearly as interesting as Q himself. The moment he was crated, they’d be all over the bed.


Q chewed on all of Roxy’s toys (none of which she ever touches–but I’m sure you can imagine how interested she became when they were in another dog’s mouth); had some very fine pittie zoomies in the yard; and tried to convince us that he’s actually a lap dog (he’s 70+ pounds!). (Roxy, at 55 pounds, is also a lap dog, and at some moments, they were both trying to get into the same lap. Pit bulls!)

5. Ethiopian food. I discovered the most amazing thing this week: mail order injera! Injera is the sour crepe-like bread served with Ethiopian food.


I’ve attempted to make it a couple of times at home, and it’s been a dismal failure. We love Ethiopian food, and many dishes are extremely easy to cook (once you’ve invested in the right spices), but without injera, you really don’t have Ethiopian food. And since nobody–including me–wants to eat my injera, I rarely cook Ethiopian. But now, for $30, I can get 20 rounds of injera baked fresh on Tuesday and delivered to my door in the middle of nowhere, South Dakota, on Friday. Amazing! Internet, how I love you. And so we feasted. First, I made niter kibbeh, which is the spiced clarified butter that’s used in many Ethiopian dishes. Isn’t it pretty? (You do get a chance to use all your spices when you cook Ethiopian–and I do mean all of them.)

And then I made Red Lentil Stew, Yellow Split Pea Stew, Gomen (which I made with chard–terrific recipe), Shiro, and Cabbage and Potatoes. I don’t know that you’d call it pretty, but it was delicious–and got full approval from my sharpest critic. (That would be my son.)







18 responses to “5 Things I Loved About Last Week #celebratelu 10/18/14”

  1. Earl @ The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Avatar

    Great varied celebrations this week! Ethopian food was such a real treat the first time I tried it. Such an experience. I enjoyed the injera. We have like 5 Ethopian restaurants in my neighborhood.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I have to drive nearly 6 hours to the nearest Ethiopian restaurant! When I travel, all I do is eat–have to fill up for the whole year, LOL.

  2. jarhartz Avatar

    You are so strong getting through the ups and downs of being the parent you need to be. You ending on the positive is healing. I’m going to NCTE too! Hope to run into you and your crew!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Definitely hope to see you at NCTE! I’m so excited.

  3. carriegelson Avatar

    Wow. Delicious cooking. I am starving as I read this and realize I must eat immediately. Won’t be this tasty what I rustle up, I am afraid. I love the words from your son: “I am yours, and you are mine.” Whoa.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Hope you found something tasty to eat! I love those moments with my son–they sustain me through all the rough, rough parts of helping him heal.

  4. Ramona Avatar

    So glad for those healing words that came your way this week. I’m hoping to make it to NCTE for the first time ever. My husband thinks it’s ironic that I still want to go even though I just retired. What a pleasure to attend a conference with no sub plans to write! As always, I love the cat pics!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I hope you can make it to NCTE. Do let me know if you’ll be there! There are so many wonderful talks and presentations by authors–you could fill your schedule just with different authors you love reading. I enjoy traveling with a group of students–I get to learn so much more when we’re all attending different sessions and sharing our thinking at the end of the day.

  5. Ruth Ayres Avatar

    Your first celebration in the list is a landmark. I’m glad you documented it. There are glimpses when we see healing and they are good. Thanks for celebrating.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks, Ruth. I know that you have a good understanding of what life is often like at my house! It’s an amazing journey–so often very hard for everyone, but such moments of grace as well.

  6. kaeleighmuir Avatar

    ahhh! I have a boxer and she looks so much like Quincy! I truly enjoy these posts from you!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Quincy’s a cutie, isn’t he? He is supposedly a pit, but I think he has some other breeds mixed in. Thanks for commenting!

  7. Ali Rost Avatar

    Thank-you so much for linking to a wonderful website for mail ordering all things Ethiopian .. and also introducing me to your blog. I’ve especially enjoyed reading your “Things I loved about last week posts.”

    Have a great week .. Ali

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks for visiting and commenting! We really liked your Kik Alicha recipe!

  8. […] celebration of dogs, mail-order injera, and NCTE […]

  9. Elizabeth Avatar

    That food looks delicious! But my real reason for commenting is…Quincy! What a handsome young fellow! He looks so velvet-y and perky! I can imagine that the cats quite enjoyed his visit….

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Roxy is rather a coarse-haired dog, but Q feels like a velvet curtain. He has a very silly up-ear, down-ear thing going on so he always looks alert and peppy. He and Tiny are really getting along: I foresee much winter snuggling.

      1. Elizabeth Avatar

        Tiny always did like for a pitbull to wear her as a hat!

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