Musing on food and cooking ...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top 25 List of Celebs I'd Like to Know

So, I am sitting here waiting for a dozen photos of a grant-funded project to load at the funder's website, and I thought I would participate in Little Merry Sunshine's Top 25 Celebs (Male) I'd Like to Know, and by "know," she means in the biblical sense. This was a difficult exercise for me, as I actually don't find many celebrities all that attractive, so I had to include some dead ones and some that are just plain weird to make it to the magic number. Without further ado, here goes ...

Viggo Mortensen - a true chameleon, liberal, and damn smart, too.... what is not sexy about this man?

Gary Oldman - he may be a crab, but he has taken some incredible artistic risks, and they have paid off brilliantly.

Patrick Stewart - bald Brit with a killer accent - Captain Kirk has nothing on Picard!


Julian Sands - the hair, the androgynous features - I do like them a little girly.




Robert Sean Leonard - is no longer the pretty boy he was in Dead Poet's Society. Now older and heavier, he wears a subtle weariness on his face that makes him all the more real, and therefore, handsome.

Djimon Hounsou - his smile just knocks me for a loop!


Liam Neeson - I do have a thing for the craggy, less than perfect, guy.



Ralph Fiennes - I think I find him hot simply because I am jealous of his cheekbones.


Edward Norton - I do have a thing for the intellectual types, don't I?


Clive Owen - dark, brooding and sensitive. Yum-o...


Mario Batali - men who like food are the best! And I am a sucker for a redhead ...

Michael Ironside - I've liked him ever since V. Go figure!


Alfred Molina - again with the chunky types!


Stellan Skarsgard - another craggy, Nordic type ...



Geoffrey Rush - because he pokes great fun at himself



Hugh Jackman - because he does song and dance!

Forest Whitaker - Another one with the killer smile - and interesting, too!




Liev Schreiber - because the first film I ever saw him in, he was in a dress.



Adam Beach - because I loved him on SVU and I was mad when his character got carted off to jail.




Dennis Storhøi - because short men are tres sexy. The apple dumpling cheeks don't hurt either.



David Wenham - because I am a sucker for a redhead


Oded Fehr - something about that nose ...


Johnny Depp - because I know my sweetie likes him and I was running out of sexy celebs!


River Phoenix - because his loss was far too early and it would have been interesting to see what he did with a full life ...


Thomas Jefferson - because I covet his garden.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Oh Me, Oh My


So, I went with some friends to the world's most crowded arts and crafts fair this weekend. That was fun, but the best fun came later...

We were hungry and so we went to this little place to get some burgers. Only to discover that they had an hour wait for a table. It was 4:45 and they had an hour's wait! My goodness... So as we were heading back to the car, I said, "Let's look at the place on the corner."

It was a Romanian place - Kelly's or Continental or some such. And we said, sure. And walked in.

Everyone inside looks startled. The place smells heavily of cigarette smoke. There are a great many men inside. I begin to wonder if we haven't stumbled upon a restaurant serving as a front for the Romanian mob (is there such a thing?). A very nice woman takes us to a table and brings out the menus. Everything is about the same price, pretty much. Goulash, soup, and all very pork heavy. She comes back to take our order and I order goulash. They don't have it. She tells us the specials. I end up getting the stuffed cabbage with mashed potatoes. My friends get the sausage and the bean soup with a salad.

We start the meal with a huge basket of bread. It is quite good. My cabbage is good, and seems to have been made with a pickled pork. Which was a touch odd, but tasty. The sausage was incredible, and apparently the soup was as good as my friend's granny used to make.

So, all in all, it was a good experience. Although we giggled a lot. And I am pretty sure this guy was sitting in a corner somewhere!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Yup, They Was Weird

So followers on my blog probably also read Boxer's blog and, by now, no doubt know about the weird foods he was subjected to during our recent northern Wisconsin Thanksgiving. I gotta say, that coon was the best coon I had ever eaten. Tasted like fantastic BBQ beef. And deer heart is fantastic and so good for the iron levels; I don't care if my poor sweetie looked like he was gonna barf when I tried to coerce him to just taste a small piece.

But those microwaveable pork rinds? Gack!

I took them to my office today, because it is the only place I have a nuker. First off, they don't "pop" very well. And they smell weird...like burnt pepper. And they pop weirdly on the tongue and they don't taste good at all. I chucked mine in the trash.

Who in the hell is buying those things, enough that they sell them in bulk?!?!?! I am not sure I want to know!

Friday, November 28, 2008

We So Need One of These

Think I could get one of these at the after Thanksgiving Shopping Insanity?




Thursday, November 27, 2008

In Lieu of Turkey

You might want to consider the following option:

http://www.adoptaturkey.org/index.htm

In their own words:

"Adopt-A-Turkey Project seeks to end the misery of commercially-raised turkeys by offering a compassionate alternative for Thanksgiving. Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary has rescued more than 1,000 turkeys, educated millions of people about their plight and provided resources for a cruelty-free holiday. Anyone can sponsor turkeys residing at our sanctuaries in California and New York, and some even choose to adopt turkeys into their homes through our annual Turkey Express adoption event."

Just don't butcher and cook them once you get them home.....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ohhhh, Fun With Names!!

Stolen from Politits....

Other Names Meme:

1. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names): Ann Warren

2. NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother’s dad, father’s dad): Russell Joe

3. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 2 letters of your last name, first 4 letters of your first name): Brheat

4. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal): Purple Cat

5. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you live): Ann Waukegan

6. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite alcoholic drink, optionally add “THE” to the beginning): Green Virgin Mary

7. FLY NAME: (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name): Hewn

8. GANGSTA NAME: (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite cookie): French Vanilla Kisses

9. ROCK STAR NAME: (current pet’s name, current street name): Kali Lincoln

10. PORN NAME: (1st pet, street you grew up on): Maxie Evergreen

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bitty:Feet Under Blanket as Fox:Mouse Under Snow

So Bitty is a crazy beastie. Her latest game, the game of greatest fun, is to hunt the wiley feet. Now, this is cute now, when we are buried under blankets, but it won't be so fun come summer, with only a sheet to protect us.

What's so amazing to us though is that she is so ferocious. We have no doubt that she would actually be able to hunt and kill a mouse in the wild. Unlike Pele, who has servants to do those sorts of things.

Friday, November 21, 2008

An Anti-Immigrant Wing-Nut's Worst Nightmare



I am fairly certain they believe this is what truly is happening.....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Whoa Nelly!

this is totally cool!



Monday, November 17, 2008

Poor Sweetie

In addition to forcing him to move from balmy locales in the Carolinas, I have also forced Boxer to become a handyperson. Well, at least a handy helper.

First, I had him mowing the lawn. And then he put on a new doorhandle to the basement door (well, tried to put on a new handle; it was uncooperative and tricky, to say the least - joys of old houses).

And then came the ultimate:

"Ugh, sweetie, I am going to try and take the bathroom sink pipes apart because there is some weird crud down in there and nothing is draining right," said I.

"Just use Draino," said he.

"Yeah, I think this is beyond Draino."

So, on Friday, while I was home hacking up a lung and working from my couch, I took a look at the pipes and realized that the crude was in the part of the pipes that I can't take apart, so that evening I sent Boxer out for some foaming pipe snake, and we foamed it and all the crud fell down into the gooseneck.

Not good.

So, on Saturday morning, I said, "Let's take the pipes apart. The crud is now in the section of the pipe that I can take apart."

I crawled under the bathroom sink and started taking the pipes apart. Boxer grabbed a towel so we didn't get water all over, and then I handed it to him - after nearly forgetting that the pipes were apart and attempting to pour it down the sink (le duh).

The gross pipe with the horrid crud.

"What the hell is that! What do you want me to do with it?"

"Put it in the trash and then wash the pipe out."

"This is so why I lived in apartments and would just call maintenance."

Well, he has a point there.

Anyway, we got the sink back together and now it flows like the clearest stream.

Just wait until we start tearing insulation out of the attic and carpet out of the basement!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The Raccoon Jamboree

I teach late Wednesday nights, a course on female images of the divine in the west, aka the goddess class. I wasn't feeling the greatest last night (or today, either, for that matter), and so after a rather spirited discussion on the evils of 1 Timothy, Augustine, and our friend Tertullian and some confused looks during my lecture on the Eve versus Mary celebrity smackdown in the pre-350 AD Christian Church, I cut class 30 minutes short, and headed home.

Driving home, I came across a very cool sight. I wish I had a camera that actually could have taken good night images. Because there, around the base of a huge oak tree, were six or seven raccoons dancing in a circle. I swear to god/dess! They were on their hind legs, waving their little front paws in the air and doing the hora.

Of course, I had to stop and watch them for a few minutes, upon which they noticed me and gave me the dirtiest looks ever (I mean, I was totally dissed!) and disappeared into the brush.

It was truly a magical moment...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Let Sleeping Cats Lie


When Kali, MD (mini-destroyer), aka Bitty, sleeps, she really sleeps. Like dead to the universe sleeping.... Don't believe me? I have photographic evidence!



Here, she really stretches out. If you open the picture in a larger window, you can she she sleeps with her mouth open just a wee bit....







And here she is, doing the bunny feet o' tremendous cuteness.....



The Cuteness! It burns!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thank You, Hilary Clinton



Without you and the hard race you fought, your graciousness in defeat, and every effort you made during this election season - Without you, I truly believe Barack Obama would not be President today. You made him a better candidate. And if he is truly wise, he will find a way to let your talents, energy, and passion shine in the new administration.

And here's to hoping that a woman will be President of the United States sooner rather than later. The reign of the old, white male is over.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Solemn Samhain, Happy Hallowe'en

Today is actually probably my favorite annual holiday. Candy and craziness. Tis all good. I wish I spent more time doing costumes and whatnot but I admit I don't really go out anymore, so I just don't go bonkers. Today, I, at the last minute, decide to go as the ocean and so threw on my blue, Minoan-inspired bathrobey thing and declared, "I'm the ocean!" So far no one has challenged this; then again no one has actually seen me.

Boxer gets to go a little more crazy, what with being a preK teacher and all. He is going as a Jack O'Lantern in a very cute and goofy costumer that I hope his kids find adorable. When he put it on today, I had to say in great wonder, "You look just like Charlie Brown." If I can snag a picture, you can be sure I will be a posting it!

We both are very irritated with the whole slut costumes for girls and women thing that has been going on for far too long. We actually stopped at a Hallowe'en shop and they had two full walls of slutdom; it was disgustingly impressive. Here is a great video satire about "sexy" costumes....


Monday, October 27, 2008

For My Students

Who greatly enjoyed the Annanuki video from our evening YouTube comedy moment a couple of weeks ago.......


Cindy McCain Claims She’s ‘Just Like Any Other Female Human’

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An Idea of What Boxer Deals With Every Morning

So, after I had finished recounting my nightly dream to Boxer this morning, he suggested that it was time for me to put it down on my blog, so that everyone "got a bit of an idea of what I have to deal with every morning."

Well, my dreams are strange and entertaining, and I remember most of them. I have had some particularly fine ones lately. Not quite as wild as I used to have when I was younger and spent a lot of my dreamtime swimming with sharks or actually being a shark. But still some very cool ones. Like the one where I was president of the United States but, for some reason, was living back in the trailer park where I grew up. I was pregnant with triplets and went into labor in the living room. I gave birth to one, a boy. And then the other two refused to come out. Very strange. What is even stranger is that Boxer, who almost never remembers his dreams, woke up that morning and turned to me and said, "You know. If we want to reproduce, we need to get started sooner rather than later, as you are no spring chicken." Which is true. I am a summer chicken now.

Anyway, back to this morning's dream. In my dream, Boxer and I were living in a different city and our house was this delapidated shack on what my dream told me was a lake but which the behavior of the water indicated was an ocean. I mean, it had high and low tides. And salt water marshes. In the dream, it was some point in the future but was also now, or somehow the future was a repeat of political activities happening now. Barack Obama had just won the election over John McCain in a landslide, McCain getting something like only 46 electoral votes. Obama was doing a victory parade down our street, and in front of our house, a sniper started shooting at him. The Secret Service was missing in action, and so I grabbed Obama and hid him in the basement, which was just a packed dirt, root cellar type thing. I was wearing a frilly apron and a polygynous-housewife-like dress. Unfortunately, the tide started to come in, flooding the basement, and we had to balance on top of tables and stuff so we didn't get wet. And while all this was happening, several goats were swimming through the basement, and I was cooking us some dinner.

Strange, no?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Ten Things Meme

My friend Kristin posted this on facebook. It was thought provoking so I decided to take it.

Here are my answers ---

Ten Things I Wish I Could Say to Ten Different People
1) You are a good person but you keep making bad choices.
2) I would rather you were honest instead of diplomatic all the time.
3) For someone who is so smart, you can be very, very stupid.
4) I am really worried about you.
5) You are an emotionally selfish bastard.
6) I have never seen someone so accomplished and with such potential have such low self-esteem.
7) I am glad that I no longer have anything to do with you.
8) Grow up, already.
9) You are not the center of universe.
10) I know that sometimes what we see in other people is nothing but smoke and mirrors, but I am very envious of your life.

Nine Things About Me
1) I am not nearly as smart as everyone thinks.
2) I am so tired of being strong all the time.
3) Sometimes, I don’t want to make all the decisions.
4) I actually am a stereotypical Pisces – dreamy, unfocused, and escapist.
5) I sometimes feel very isolated.
6) I think I was born in the wrong century.
7) I am often filled with self-doubt.
8) I love to cook for others, but would just as soon eat out when I am on my own.
9) I often feel like a fraud.

Eight Ways to Win My Heart
1) Be present, and I mean be present emotionally, mentally, and physically.
2) Be open to trying something new.
3) Do a household chore unexpectedly.
4) Understand that I am a serious person with a tendency toward worrywartism. Accept that these are important tendencies that got me as far in life as I have gotten. They could be moderated but I don’t want them to go away entirely.
5) I don’t take care of myself very well. Help me be better at this.
6) Occasionally, go away.
7) Talk to me and listen too.
8) I often mess things up. Be patient and forgiving.

Seven Things that Cross My Mind
1) Life would have been so much better if I had grown up to be a ninja T-rex princess.
2) Why is life so damn hard?
3) The rat race is a complete waste of time.
4) Why do I still have acne at almost 35?
5) Why so many weird dreams?
6) My house is so messy right now, it is causing me distress, but I have no idea when I will be able to get it back in order.
7) Why do I go to such lengths to help others be successful when I won’t do the same for myself?

Six Things I Do Before I Go To Bed
1) Lock the front door
2) Turn off the window fan
3) Pee
4) Open the bedroom door
5) Put on my nightgown
6) Lie awake for just about forever.

Five People Who Mean A Lot to Me
1) Mia Madre
2) Donna
3) Jenn N
4) Tambone
5) Boxer

Four Things I'm Wearing Right Now
1) Glasses
2) my ivory shirt, that seems to have shrunk in the dryer
3) brown pants
4) shoes that are too big and need a heel pad

Three Songs I Listen to Often
1) Viva la Vida (Coldplay)
2) Haunted (Poe)
3) Stupid Girls (Pink)

Two Things I Want to Do Before I Die
1) Figure out my purpose in life.
2) Be debt free

One Confession
1) I often feel like my life is filled with nothing but failure. I don’t understand why I feel that way. I don’t know how to fix it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Could Deal With This....

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?



An accomplished diplomat who can virtually do no wrong, you sometimes know it is best to rely on the council of others while holding the reins.

There are some words which I have known since I was a schoolboy. "With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably." These words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie -- as a wisdom, and warning. The first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we're all damaged

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I Have Been Enjoying This Song Far Too Much Lately

Possible because it is more thoughtful than the normal crap that gets on American radio.....

Still, his Elmer Fudding of Catholic (he sings it Kwatholic) does irritate me a bit....



Monday, October 06, 2008

What a fantastic day

My 401(k) lost 13.75% of its value. Fantastico!

All I can say is thank goodness I won't ever be able to retire and so don't truly have to worry about having any money upon which to live in my not-so-golden years.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

This is too cool!

Everyone, go and play this game. I imagine you will all do much better than the current occupant.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why Sears Is Losing Money Every Quarter

As Dear Readers know, we melted the stove and had to go and purchase a new one. We selected Sears as I have a Sears card. We went in last Saturday, found a stove we could deal with that wasn't $1500, and purchased it with a service plan. The sales person checked the schedule and said, "We can have it there tomorrow!"

Fantastico! Living without a stove sucks. So, Saturday night we get a call from Sears Home Delivery saying, "Your stove will be delivered between 1:45 and 3:45 pm.

Fantastico! We clear our schedule. We go out Sunday morning but make sure we are back in time to clear out the old stove and make a path for the delivery. At 2:30, we get a call from Sears Home Delivery. "So sorry, but we don't have the stove. We'll have to reschedule for tomorrow."

Not so fantastico, but it does happen. I am very clear with them that I am disappointed with them, that this has happened before, and that they need to accomodate my schedule with the redelivery. And that schedule is that I can receive a delivery any time after 4 pm. The customer service person says she enters it in the system.

Sunday night, we get a call from Sears Home Delivery saying, "Your stove will be delivered between 9:15 and 11:15 am. " Um, that is not anytime after 4. I call. The customer service person apologizes and reschedules for Tuesday, again making the special note.

Monday night, we get a call from Sears Home Delivery saying, "Your stove will be delivered between 9:15 and 11:15 am. " Um, not anytime after 4 pm. I call. The customer service person says, "We have no note that you requested after 4 pm. And I see we are also supposed to be delivering a new freezer to you, and there is another delivery on September 30th for something else."

Um, no. First the delivery needs to be after 4 pm. Anytime after 4 pm, but no one will be home before 4 pm. Second, as I have told the customer service people before on at least three occassions, a whole new freezer was not needed, only two replacement parts, which were ordered and came via UPS. And finally, the only thing we need delivered is the damn stove. before September 30. Thank you.

So, the customer service person again makes a note and reschedules our delivery.

On Tuesday night, we get a call from Sears Home Delivery saying, "Your stove will be delivered between 9:15 and 11:15 am. " Um, not anytime after 4 pm. I call. This is getting pathetic. The customer person again says, there is no note; she will reenter it. I inform her that I am beyond irritated and about to cancel the order and go with their competitor. She doesn't seem to much care. sighs

Wednesday night is the night I teach, so I work from 8 am until 10:15 pm. Boxer was home minding the circus and so he got the call from Sears. "Your stove will be delivered between 1:15 and 3:15 am. " Um, not anytime after 4 pm, but closer. Boxer calls and tells them we can't do it, it has to be anytime after 4. We both work. The customer service person is incredibly rude to him. "We can't guarantee times. Take it or leave it." "Well, we will only be there after 4 pm." "They can call you 30 minutes before they get there." Which would be fine if we could be there between 1:15 and 3:15. Especially knowing they are likely to (1) not show up at all - which has happened to me or (2) show up at some random time. He informs her again that we will only be there after 4 pm. And she - get this! - hangs up on him. Hangs up on him! For our nearly $900 purchase! She hangs up on him!

Boxer relays this exchange to me when I get home after class, and I am exhausted and just cannot deal with this crap anymore. We talk a little bit and figure if we can talk with the delivery person, we can just say come after 4 pm and the delivery guy will be more helpful.

So, I get up and expect to get a call early on my cell, which is where Sears always calls. Nothing. I get to work, and guess what is there? A call from an unknown number. "Hola? This is Jerry from Sears. We will deliver your stove between 1:15 and 3:15 today. Ok? Bye!"

No number I can call him back at. Nothing. No notice that he will call us 30 minutes before he gets there. Nothing.

So, now the conundrum. Do I bow to the evil pressure that is corporate America and attempt to work at home this afternoon? Which I can do but don't enjoy as I get easily distracted. Or do I let Jerry show up there at his appointed time and wait for him to call, wondering where I am to accept the delivery?

It is no wonder Sears is in the proverbial crapper, business-wise. Their customer service sucks and their products are cheap and can't withstand anything but the lightest of use.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Today's Episode, in which We Melt the Stove

Yes, I know it has been a long time since I posted. I have been battling illness again; first Boxer and then Mia Madre brought to the household various chest cold type illnesses and I got nailed. Such is life. We have also been busy preserving the harvest (tm).

First, I did a lot of dehydrating of green beans, yellow beans, carrots, and sweet peppers of various extractions. The hot peppers are strung up, as I very much learned never to dehydrate them on my dehydrator a couple of years, when I did so and suffered from the self-induced equivalent of pepper spray to the face for over a week from the volatile oils released into the air.

We also canned. And canned. And canned some more. Our primary focus of canning was maters and salsa. We had three bushels of maters, most of which we got from a local organic farmer who specializes in heirlooms. Mia madre also brought her maters for the making of her salsa.

Here is Boxer washing the maters so that I could scald them.


And here is mia madre skinning and cutting the maters, and getting in a quick taste. Yum!


And here is the finished result of our first batch of yellow mater salsa, made with our homegrown hot lemon peppers. Which are really hot. Like go to the hospital hot.


We also made lots and lots of jam: forest fruits (mixed wild blueberries and raspberries), raspberry, and blueberry. We ended up doing a batch of salsa for mia madre and were going to do apple butter and pickled beets, too. Only one major problem though.

We melted the stove.

When we started doing major canned maters, apparently everything just got too hot (hell, you gotta vigrously boil that stuff for at least 20 mins). The electronics that control the oven and everything appear to have melted. We got the dreaded F11 code, which means a short. And yeah, we can reset it, but it keeps going off and the buttons all work intermittently, and we were afraid to even try to turn on the oven in case it exploded. Unfortunately, it would have cost more to fix it than it would to get a new stove. And so we have ordered a new stove, which was supposed to be delivered today, but Sears called at the end of our delivery time window to inform us that they actually don't have it. Bastards.

So, our basement is filled with goodness and we anxiously await the new stove. And we all hope that all illness will go away soon!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Roundup

Just a couple of quick pictures today, because my throat is a bit sore and I have to save my energy for some other stuff.

Despite pepper thieves, we have had a fairly decent harvest... this is from mid-August, and right now some of our spaghetti squash and maters are pretty much ready....


And this is life in our household...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

When I Am Dictator...

Humans filing tax returns will be able to declare their pets as dependents. Why such an odd thing, you might ask? Because pets cost nearly as much as kids (hyperbole, I know but still!).

Pele has a tooth issue. She needs to go in for x rays, which in cats, require sedation, and while she is knocked out, they insist on doing a dental cleaning. Just to knock her out and look at what is happening is $350. Depending on what the x ray shows, it could be a cavity. The tooth might need to be pulled. That, right there, is going to be another $400. $400 to pull a damn tooth! And it could go much higher, if cancer or some other long-term debilitating illness is involved. Who has that kind of cash in hand? Not I! When I asked the vet if I could do a payment plan, they faxed me a copy of a credit card application. Just what I need ...

I just spent four years of going through this with Leo. Thousands of dollars in medical bills, some of which I am still paying. Hell, I have three cavities myself that need filling that are going untreated due to lack of money.

I am so tired of struggling financially. Every time it looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel, I get hammered again. I feel like no matter how hard I work and how much money I make (and I make well above minimum wage), I feel like I can't earn enough to cover costs. I am so tempted to say, "Screw it," and just walk away from everything, drag Boxer off to Mexico, and become a beach bum....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

August Updates

Well, Dear Readers all know that work in August is kicking my ass, so I won't go into that here. But there have been other happenings as well....

Pele spent most of the month of August, since Kali was allowed to come out of quarantine and socialize, doing this:


But more recently there has been some moves towards, at the very least, tolerance, as evidenced by this:


Still not a lot of friendship while fully conscious, but they actually both slept with us in the bed last night, albeit as far apart as possible.

The garden has also been going gonzo. I had to give away cucumbers, because we had so many. But there has been a lot of garden sadness, too. A damn rabbit ate several of our spaghetti squash and I will now count us lucky if we get four squash from the plant that ate New York. Our maters are at least three weeks behind schedule. If they ever turn, we will have a lot, but we were talking today about if we wanted to buy some at the farm stand in order to make sure we had at least a few bags of sauce in the freezer.

The greater unhappiness has been related to our gorgeous, heavily loaded pepper plants:


Notice anything? Or rather, notice that there is nothing on the plant?

The plants have been loaded, but not quite ripe. Boxer has been wanting to pick them for a couple of weeks, and I was all, "No, no, they aren't ripe yet!" I came home last night and saw with joy that they were ready. So we were planning on picking some today and having baked stuffed peppers this week, with quinoa and sweet onion and maybe fresh sage. I was particularly looking forward to eating the yellow ones with the blush color. My, they looked tasty.

We came out this morning to go and do our grocery shopping and discovered that, during the night, someone had stripped two pepper plants completely bare.

Now these are not the first plant and vegetable thefts we have had. I had two poppies stolen this spring, and sometimes a few cukes would be off the front, particularly those overhanging the sidewalk. But this was two whole plants, at least two dozen peppers completely gone. Inside the fence, at least ten feet from the sidewalk. Including all the blush stuffing peppers, and the red giants, which had not even started to turn red yet.

So, after we got home from our running this morning, we went out and picked everything, even if it hadn't really turned color yet. Why leave them for someone else? And then we went in back, and it appears that someone has also been taking some zukes, which I would actually thank them for, if they hadn't ripped the plants out of the ground. And we were very short on beans, even though I noticed that a bumper crop was coming and and would like be ready for today.

This development has made me very sad. I mean, if someone is truly hungry, I can understand it, just ask and I will give! But the stealing in the dead of night? It also makes me feel unsafe; like I cannot safely leave my house to go anywhere without fear of someone stealing all of my stuff - inside or out. And it makes me feel used, because someone has obviously been watching for these peppers to get ripe so they could come and pluck them.

It makes me wonder if we should have a garden at all. I mean, why put in $400-$500 worth of plants and all if someone is just going to steal everything? We could join a CSA for that amount. Yeah, it might mean less produce than we would get growing our own, but if someone is going to steal it all, we might end up with more from the CSA anyway. Or do we have to grow stuff that none of the neighbors would enjoy? I could try putting everything in the back, but the front is sunnier. I had even thought about moving all the maters to the front, but I won't do that if they are going to get stripped...


What's a sad gardener to do? Damn Pepper Thieves!

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's the little things

The last few weeks at work have been insane. I have a deadline coming up for a major proposal early next week. It's a totally cool project but also incredibly complex - involving more than 15 major partners and an almost $700,000 budget with multiple subcontractors and in-kind cost sharing. Trying to explain the whole thing in 25 pages is nigh on impossible and has been made more difficult by the fact that the two leaders of the project are like oil and water in terms of their working styles. On top of all this, I have a major report and a proposal that I just haven't been able to get to, more than 15 students interested in applying for Fulbrights, class is starting, and all manner of insanity.

Needless to say, I am a little stressed out. I am tired but suffering from insomnia. My back hurts. My hip hurts. And all I can see are things that need to be done - mowing the lawn, the garden, sweeping, cleaning the bathroom etc etc....

Anyway, there is a shitstorm of crap that is swirling around my general area and an implosion was imminent. It happened last night.

Now, dear readers will know that I am more of a feline than a canine person. That being said, the boxer is a nice dog. Big and smelly and clumsy, yes, but usually endearing. But it has been hard adjusting to living with a dog. For example, it is practically impossible to go away for a weekend, especially on short notice. Cats watch themselves; dogs need sitters or boarding kennels. If we take him with us, it can be hard to find a dog-friendly hotel. And really, how much fun would a dog have sleeping in the back of a car for hours on end? We couldn't even go into a restaurant in the summer because the dog can't come in and it is a death sentence to leave him in the car.

And did I mention that he is big and smelly and clumsy?

Now, the boxer has taken a major shine to me. When I come home from work he practically does somersaults of joy. If I happen to get home before Boxer and am napping on the couch, the boxer barks at Boxer when he comes home. The boxer also likes to sleep on the floor near my side of the bed. Now, this wasn't a huge deal at first because he slept a lot towards the end of the bed, and, although I get up a gazillion times a night, I knew I could swing my legs over, stand up, and then slowly nudge him out of the way. Nudge, nudge, nudge.

Recently, however, he has started sleeping in ever varying places along my side of the bed, including half under the bed with just his front shoulders and head sticking out. Twice, earlier this week, I stepped on him while getting up. Once, I tripped over him and fell down while coming back to bed. Last night, I was reading on the bed and my leg slipped off the edge and wonked the boxer in the head, whereupon he yelped and nipped at me.

Now, I don't blame him. If I accidently kicked me, I would probably yelp and nip me as well. But everything has just been too much lately and that was the last straw. I put my head down on my reading material and sobbed. Boxer got busy rubbing my back and telling me it will be ok and I just really wanted to die or for everyone to just go the hell away. I went into the bathroom and washed my face and all those feelings disapated, but the initial moment was very difficult.

I am so thankful that Boxer is patient. And we are working hard on figuring how to handle the boxer, because I will no doubt step on him again and it not only makes me feel like a shit, but eventually I could hurt him and then he will hurt me. I am glad that I am centered enough to know that all my reactions to things are overly ramped up right now because I have reached critical exhaustion. But it is hard; and it's the little things that are the hardest. I guess all you can really do is manage each one, one at a time.....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Omnivore's Meme

Here’s what I want you to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (but not intentionally)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Notice how nearly everything that isn't bolded is alcohol or tobacco related?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Today's Episode, in Which I Purchase a New Appliance and Ruin a Perfectly Good Green Curry,
Two Activities Completely Unrelated


Dear readers will remember that when I moved into my current abode, I had to replace the stove, washer, and dryer in the house. Lovely, big purchases made slightly easier by a Sears credit card (12 months, no payments, no interest - love love!). At the time, I did not replace the frig because I wanted to see if I could eek it out a bit longer.


Well, it finally was heading towards its last legs, sounding like a dump truck, not keeping frozen food frozen. Poor thing was nearly 20 years old!


So, Boxer and I went to Sears and purchased a new frig. It is beautious, although Blogger won't let me upload a pic so you can covet it.


It is a bit different though. It is actually a freezer that converts into a refrigerator, and vice versa. It works good for us, as we have a lot of produce and tofu and cheese and frig related food items. And not so much frozen foods. Or so we thought.


We managed to fit all the stuff from the old freezer into the downstairs freezer, but I will admit it is a tight fit. I have got to start eating venison and pork to free up space, so we can can all that summer squash we have!


Speaking of summer squash, last night Boxer and I decided to use a portion of our tremendous zuke and summer squash bounty to make a delicious squash and tofu green curry with lemongrass jasmine rice. I had everything going. It was almost together. Just spicy enough. Just enough ginger. Just needed a touch of salt. So I grabbed my salt grinder and gave a few grinds and *PLOP* the damn top fell off and into the curry. I quicked grabbed a spoon and scooped it out, hoping to have caught the worst of it, and asked Boxer to come and taste to assess the damage. He took a spoonful and yelled, "The salt! It burns!" and promptly spit it into the trash.

Well, hell.


So, in a vain attempt to save dinner, I poured it in a strainer and rinsed it and threw it back in the pan with some ginger and oyster sauce and sweet chili garlic sauce and heated it through. Not bad at all... but it wasn't the delicious green curry, either.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ah, cats....

So, peace is coming to our household. Pele has given up being offended all the time, and she and Lil Bit have actually, OMG, touched on a couple of occassions. Pele is still refusing to sleep in the bed, but at least she is coming out of her cave more. Lil Bit is not so high-energy obnoxious all the time, but is still kittenish. She has seemed a little off the last couple of days, but I am hoping it is just a minor set-back and not an illness. We will watch her closely to make certain.

We have had a couple of potty problems with Lil Bit. Last week, one evening not long after Lil Bit had been allowed to join the whole house rather than languish in quarantine, Boxer and I were getting ready for bed and smelled a horrid smell and discovered that lil Bit had pooped on his side of the bed. We stripped the bed and sprayed with anti-stink spray, but then she did the same thing in the morning. Perhaps tummy troubles? Perhaps she was still a bit scared of the boxer? Perhaps she wasn't sure how to get over the babygate?

No idea, but she is now in love with the dog and can hop the gate no problem, and we clean her three boxes everyday, and there has been no more pooping. Thank god/dess. Of course, we also keep the bedroom closed off, except when we are in it.

There has sadly been one episode of peeing. Boxer was busy sorting laundry on the bed, and Lil Bit was hanging out with him and peed on my side of the bed. Again, no idea what that was about. It's always so hard to know with cats. So we cleaned the bed and all that, and I just got the shelter to agree to spay her early (thank goodness!), so if it is a marking issue, hopefully that will also be solved.

Man, cats is some crazy!
A Great "Found" Poem



I am very fascinated by the concept of the "found" poem. Poems can be found in recipes, emails, letters, interviews in articles. They are just standard, everyday communications, but something about them lends themselves to arrangement, or they have a certain rhythm, or, well, something intangible. I have only in my life ever found one "found" poem. I arranged this in the mid 90s, using the words of Phan Thi Kim Phuc in an interview she gave to Time magazine. Phan was pictured in the iconic photo of napalm victims at Trang Bang in 1972.



Nong Qua/Too Hot

I see
the bombs. I run,

run, and run.
My feet are not
burned. My clothes ...

I tear them off. The burning
doesn't stop. I keep running.
I yelled - too
hot. Too hot.

I run, run, and
run.

My sister came to see
me. My mother
said, "Don't
cry. Don't cry anymore.
We can take care of everything

but
the pain. You alone
have to suffer it."
So I don't cry
anymore. I try.
I try. I run, run,
and run. I see
the bombs. I see

the fire.
Too hot.








I received a beautiful poem in an email yesterday. I don't think the sender intended it to be a poem, but it is... I post it here, and yet omit the author's name, to protect the guilty....





my phone is ringing

from off campus.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.

I see a man in the water, arms flaying, . . .

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chupacabra


So exciting! Some weird looking animal was recently filmed in the desert Southwest, home of the infamous and potentially mythological chupacabra, aka, the goat-sucker. Perhaps this notorious beastie has finally been caught on tape....




Between the chupacabra and the lovely Montauk Monster:





well, it's enough to make you wonder if the stuff of legend is becoming reality, or if are animals are getting totally genetically wonked up because of all the crap we are polluting the earth with.....

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

So Boxer took Kali to the vet yesterday so she could get her Feline Leukemia test and we could begin the process of fully integrating her into the house. We were going to wait until she went back to the shelter for her final shots and spaying and all that, but she cries at night when she is isolated - cries loudly like unto a banesidhe - and was driving me bonkers.

And so, in she went. She is Feline Leukemia negative, by the way, so yeah Kali! She is about six months old as she has her permanent canines. But she is also incredibly tiny, only 4 pounds 3 ounces. And the vet does not think she will get much bigger. She must have been the runt of the litter!

When I got home, we put the boxer out in the sunroom and decided to let Kali and Pele get to know each other face to face, rather than through the door, as they had been (kinda sorta). Pele was in her hidey hole behind the couch and Kali, aka Lil Bit, jumped down near her and Pele started grooming her. I was shocked. Was it going to be that easy!? Was there going to be no hissing, no grumbling, no being offended? Not likely. Apparently, Pele had started the grooming out of some sort of involuntary response to being startled out of sleep and, once she was fully awake and realized she was snoorgling an intruder, went all hissy, and remind hissy and crabby for much of the rest of the evening. We brought Kali in to sleep by us, so she wouldn't cry, and at one point Pele came in to snuggle with me and realized the kitten was in the room, and proceeded to spend about an hour making the most displeased groaning moaning near-growls ever and finally left for kitten-free climes.

I imagine the bitching and moaning will continue for a while. I asked Boxer to give Pele some special loving today so she knows we still love her. Maybe that will help a bit, but really, I think it is just a matter of time....

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Not a Winner

Sadly, it has become obvious that I am not going to be a finalist in the Cooking Light recipe contest. As a friend said, maybe my food is too strange to appeal to a majority of the magazines readers. Possibly. I might also have disqualified myself as I forgot to put serving sizes on my entries. Oh well. I still think the recipes are very good, and so, share them here with you!

By the way, feel free to ignore the brand-name ingredients in the recipes. They were required by the rules of the contest.

Asian Pear Crisp


5 Asian pears (about six cups, diced)

juice of half a lemon

1 Tablespoon Chinese five spice

2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, diced

2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour

Topping

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup steel-cut Irish oats

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup Kerrygold butter, melted

2 Tablespoons honey

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Wash the Asian pears. Core them and then dice them into a large dice. Place the pears in a mixing bowl and toss with the juice of half a lemon.

3. Toss the fruit with the Chinese five spice, diced ginger, and flour.

4. Spread the mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 11 (or similar size) baking dish.

5. In a small mixing bowl, combine the two types of oats and the dark brown sugar. Mix well to be sure the ingredients are well incorporated.

6. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. When butter is just melted, add the honey, stirring until the honey is dissolved.

7. Pour the honey butter mixture into the oat mixture. Mix well.

8. Spread the topping over the pears and then bake for approximately 40 minutes in the 400 degree F oven, until the topping is nicely browned and the pears are tender.

Serves 8

Indian-style Shepherd’s Pie

1 ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

1 teaspoon dried fenugreek

1 Tablespoon cumin seed

1 Tablespoon ground coriander

1 Tablespoon sweet curry powder

1 bag Birds Eye Steamfresh mixed vegetables

1 jar Newman’s Own marinara sauce

Topping

½ pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

½ pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

3 cloves garlic

½ t. brown mustard seeds

½ cup chopped cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces, trimming any excess fat.

3. Put onions into a large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Once the onions are just starting to turn translucent, add chicken, garlic, and ginger.

4. Cook until chicken is nearly cooked, at least 15 minutes. Then add fenugreek, cumin, coriander, and sweet curry powder. Mix well, and then add the package of frozen mixed veggies.

5. Cook the chicken and vegetable mixture until the vegetables are thawed and have released a lot of their liquid. Then add one jar of marinara sauce. Stir well. Turn off heat, and let rest while you prepare the potato topping.

6. Put the russet potatoes, sweet potatoes and three cloves garlic into a sauce pan and cover with water. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Drain water and return potatoes and garlic to the pan for mashing. Mash and then stir in the brown mustard seeds.

7. Transfer the chicken and vegetable mixture into a 9 x 11 baking dish. Top with potato mixture. Put into a 400 degree F oven for about 30 minutes until the chicken and vegetable mixture is hot and bubbly. Before serving, sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Serves 6-8.

Sweet and Spicy Lentil Sloppy Joes

2 cups dry French green lentils

1 bay leaf

1 T dried savory leaves

2 T olive oil

1 medium onion

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup diced poblano pepper

½ cup diced sweet green bell pepper

1 t chipotle powder

1 T tomato paste

1 Jar Newman’s Own marinara

1 T rice vinegar

1 T dark brown sugar

Pick through the lentils removing any stones. Place lentils, bay leaf, and savory into a five quart sauce pan and fill pan with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain lentils in a colander and remove the bay leaf. Put the lentils back in the sauce pan and set aside.

Put olive oil in a 12 inch skillet and heat. Dice one medium onion and mince three cloves garlic and put them in the oil. Sauté until onion is translucent. Then add the diced poblano and the green bell pepper. Cook until the peppers just starts to soften and then add the chipotle powder and the tomato paste. Stir and then cook the mixture for about three minutes and add the marinara sauce, the rice vinegar and the brown sugar. Cook until heated through.

Pour the tomato mixture onto the lentils in the sauce pan and stir well. Cook on low heat until mixture is hot. Serve on a whole wheat bun.

Serves 6-8.

Smokey Chickpea Salad

2 cans Bushes Best garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

1 bunch green onions, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

1 T honey

1 T smoked paprika

1. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the chopped green onions and mix gently.

2. Put olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and smoked paprika in a small lidded jar and shake to mix.

3. Pour dressing over the garbanzo beans and toss gentle. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the salad rest for at least one hour before serving.

Serves 6

Italian White Bean Soup

2 t olive oil

5 links Al Fresco Sweet Italian Style chicken sausage

1 t fennel seed

2 32 ounce cans of fire-roasted whole tomatoes

2 14.5 ounce cans of Bushes Best cannellini beans

1 bunch fresh spinach, washed and chopped.

1. Place 2 teaspoons olive oil in the bottom of soup pan. Remove casings from the chicken sausage and crumble it into the olive oil.

2. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the sausage is almost completely cooked and then add fennel seed.

3. Pour in the two cans of fire-roasted whole tomatoes. Use your soup spoon to break up the whole tomatoes. Then add the two cans of cannellini beans. Cook soup on medium heat, stirring often, for about 30 minutes, or until it is hot.

4. Just before serving, add in the fresh spinach.

Serves 6

Wild Rice and Blueberry Sausage Muffins

1 cup cooked wild rice

2 Eggland eggs, lightly beaten

3 T olive oil

1 cup low-fat milk

1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour

1 T baking powder

½ t salt

1 cup blueberries

8 links Al Fresco wild blueberry breakfast chicken sausage, diced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Mix the wild rice, eggs, olive oil, and milk in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Sift flour, baking power, and salt together in a separate bowl.

4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing thoroughly, but just until all the ingredients are blended.

5. Stir the blueberries and the blueberry chicken sausage into the mixture gently.

6. Place muffin liners into a muffin pan and spoon batter into the liners. Fill each liner about ¾ of the way full.

7. Bake in the 425 degree F oven for 15-18 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown.

Makes about 18 muffins. Serves 18.

Curried Bean and Rice Salad

1 small can of Bushes Best black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups cooked brown rice

¼ cup slivered almonds
1 cup golden raisins
1 bunch green onions, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

1 T honey
1 T sweet curry powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put beans, brown rice, almonds, raisins, and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir to mix,

2. Put olive oil, lemon juice, honey and curry powder in a small lidded jar and shake to incorporate.

3. Pour dressing over the bean and rice mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for at least one hour before serving.

Serves 4.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our First Child

As Dear Readers know, I lost Leo not long ago after a devastating battle against a chronic long-term illness. I was very sad. Pele was bored and sad. So, I have thought about a new kitty for a long time, to help Pele, ayup. But I have stopped at adoption events and either cried or the cats didn't really like me all that much, and so I didn't take any home. After Boxer moved in, we would also stop and the cats at the adoption sites were starting to warm up to me, but we still hadn't really found one that Boxer liked as much as I.

This last week, we saw a pretty Bengal mix that Boxer adored while looking online, and we went on Saturday to check her out and, just our luck, she had already been adopted. So, we looked around and saw some we liked but not enough to really want to take home. And then one of the techs said, "Did you see Jody over there?"

And there, hidden in the window behind a sign, staring out into the mid-morning sun, was a little grey cottonball of fluff with dark gold eyes. Obviously yearning to break free. We went over and opened up her cage and she grabbed onto me and instantly turned her belly up to me for scritching. Then she grabbed onto Boxer and noodled all around his chest.

And so it comes to pass that Boxer and I have been adopted by our first child, a squirmy wyrm of a beastie who was stuck with the terrible name of Jody.

Now named Kalidas (meaning either "Servant of Kali" in Hindi or "Most Beautiful" in Greek), our kitty was born sometime in the height of winter and brought to the shelter on February 2, when her human family moved and decided to take the mom with them and leave the kittens, sadly not long after they were born. Little Kali (as she is nicknamed) was apparently not the cutest of kittens, what with the flyaway fur and all. Long after her brothers and sisters went to new homes, she languished at the shelter and then in foster care and then back to the shelter.

Kali is currently residing in our guest room, where she will have to stay until she has her Feline Leukemia test in September when she is spayed. As much as she is a good kitty, if she is positive, she will have to go back to the shelter, and I will cry. However, she and Pele can at least look at each other, if not really interact at this point. And, she and Pele have seen each other. Kali could care less; Pele was offended.

Boxer and I take turns going in and visiting with her. She uses the litter box well. Her current favorite toy is a dried leaf. I am using Lion Mother Goddess techniques to train her to not insist on snuggling next to my face. This mainly involves using a gentle paw to push her over and firmly hold her when she is doing something I don't want her to do. Nova - it is a wonderful thing....

I know Boxer really had his heart set on a Bengal or Bengal mix, but that day will have to wait, as a little squirrel has wiggled her way into our hearts.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Very Sick

Update: The triage nurse, after some new symptoms deevloped yesterday, is fairly certain I have salmonella. Joy! Boxer stopped at Walgreen's on the way home from work and got me some Pedialyte, which is surprisingly not horrid. And it seems to be working some. Pains in stomach is not as bad. And I am not living on the toilet, but, man, this is terrible. If this is a mild case, I can't imagine what a bad case is like. Must be like death!

Yours Truly is very sick. So sick that I called the triage nurse yesterday to see if I should go to the ER. Diarrhea, extreme bloating in my stomach, a killer headache, lack of appetite, and such pain in my entire abdomen - pain like I have never felt before, except for maybe after my gastric bypass when they, you know, cut my guts into multiple pieces. The pain was so bad I was thinking not stomach flu or anything mundane like that. I was thinking gall bladder attack, stomach rupture, ovarian cyst rupture, bowel obstruction, stomach stricture, appedicitis, something awful requiring surgery.

Well, the triage nurse, after making some snide comments about my medical knowledge ("Not many people know terms like "abdominal rigidty. Do you spend a lot of time at the doctor's office?"), seemed fairly certain I wasn't having any of those serious problems but she was worried about me becoming dehydrated and recommended I go home, have some flat ginger ale and perhaps some chickie soup, and rest, calling back if I spiked a temp or had any other symptoms indicating that I was, essentially, dying.

So, I managed to get home at 5:30 and went right to the store, thinking I would be home by 6, and so I didn;t leave a message for Boxer as to where I was.

Well, I didn't get home until almost 7 and Boxer was understandably worried, as he knew I was feeling really awful and didn;t think I should have gone into work at all yesterday.

I will admit to being a bad girlfriend, and I made sure to bring my cell with me to work today.

And yes, I am working today. Which is probably stupid. I am feeling better, although I am running a temp of 100.5 (my regular body temp is 97.8), but I can at least walk upright today without hunching over and my stomach doesn't hurt when touched gently. But I have a meeting this morning and 70 letters to get out and a letter of support to write, and then I can go home and rest. Maybe.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Forgot ...


my 2 year blogoversary ..... which was on July 19.

Happy Blogoversary to me!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Post 200 - Garden Update

So, on this, the occasion of my 200th post, I am providing a mid-July garden update!

Things are beautiful. Huge. Green. Tons of blossoms. But I am also not seeing a lot of fruit setting, and what fruit is setting, especially on my kheera cukes and squash are dropping early. The drop I am attributing to the tremendous amount of damn rain we have had, but I am worried that I don't have enough pollinating insects. Next year, I may need to buy some bees.....


The front garden - there are extreme amounts of peppers and the snow peas have also been prolific.

The spaghetti squash plant that ate New York has relocated to my garden.

Welcome to the jungle.... the tomato jungle!


The first summer squash of the summer - a crookneck variety... it is bumpy and ugly but tasty good.... as is what can be made from this fantastic produce - a quinoa and snow pea salad, dressed with a homemade lemon and olive oil dressing: