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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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powdered peanut butter

Went to see A.I. last night with Parki, Frank, and Jeff. Despite the excellent acting (especially by the little boy) and intriguing premise, I was majorly disappointed. I was not the only the time the final credits rolled, many of the people in last night's audience were shaking their heads, catcalling, snickering. I will not say anything else for fear of giving away spoilers except that my favourite part of the movie was the Harry Potter trailer.

Annie and Sara have been going to Bug Camp. Both recently came home with pet snails. I can't help but remember the traumatic demises of Snail and Fish last year. Sara has started asking for a puppy.

The photo above is of the dehydrated food I ordered from Walton Feed, in preparation for our hiking trip next month. I have dehydrated mushrooms, mixed peppers, hash browns, diced carrots, diced potatoes, flaked potatoes, broccoli, sliced celery, margarine, butter, cheese powder, tomato powder, sweet corn, sour cream, chicken, beef, milk, eggs, and peanut butter. The dehydrated chicken and beef look like dog food. Our pantry is full of mysterious-looking cans with plastic lids.

To conserve weight, we're going to try taking as much dehydrated food as possible. I've been testing various recipes over the past little while. This morning I made a Bisquick biscuit, cut it in half, and filled it with a mixture of precooked bacon crumbles, powdered egg mixed with water and cooked, pieces of Velveeta (which seems to last forever without refrigeration until you open the package). It actually tasted okay! I'll schedule this for late in the hiking trip...people are more likely to eat Anything by then.

I've been gradually trying out small samples of each type of dehydrated food. My favourite so far is the powdered peanut butter. With a little sugar and water added, it tastes very close to the real thing. Hm...peanut butter and jam biscuits? peanut butter cookies? peanut sauce?

It's going to be more of a challenge packing for this trip than any of our other camping trips, primarily because of the weight issue. We'll be lugging everything on our backs the entire way. So I find myself agonizing over questions like whether or not to take a book, for example...after I'm finished the book, it's just dead weight. Or perhaps I can load up my Palm Pilot with a book, but then do I really want to lug along a recharger as well? There's no way I could survive 10 days without at least one book. I wish someone would hurry up and finish inventing electronic paper. :-)

Jeff and I have also been researching for our trip to Japan. To anyone out there who is familiar with Japan: we are looking for recommendations on what to do and where to go! We have about 9 days, and are staying with our friend Alison in Tokyo. I've been getting lots of advice from my dad, Ruth, Gail Kesner. Take toilet paper (not all public washrooms have it), a handkerchief (not all public washrooms have paper towels), be prepared for the locals to sneer at me (someone who looks Japanese but can't speak the language, just like a gaijin), etc. After browsing through our Japan tourist guides (Lonely Planet's guide as well as the mini rough guide for Tokyo), Jeff and I are realizing that 9 days is way too short to see more than a fraction of what we want to see. Our timing is unfortunately limited, however, because of plans made just before and after.

I'm hoping to take my laptop (hopefully an iBook by then) on all our trips except for the hiking trip, and keep posting my Blatherings and photos along the way.

Today's Blatherpic:

- Annie and Sara.

- Dehydrated canned food from Walton Feed.

- Childhood picture of Frank and his doll.

Feel free to suggest a daily poll question.

Today's Poll: (Courtesy Chris Conway)

Are you a vegetarian/vegan?

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