Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Welcome, Skywalker!

We were heartbroken about losing Jasmine. But we knew that we had so much love to give, and there were so many kitties without homes. We spent time with a few candidates before this kitty chose DD. Literally. He claimed her. She kept looking at the baby baby kittens and he insisted that he was the one she was looking for, even though he was a bit older. And who can argue with those blue eyes? Skywalker came from the Humane Society. We were surprised to see him there, a flame point siamese. No idea how anybody could give him up. He is loving and wonderful and adorable and hilarious and soft like a cotton ball. In fact, I often hold him like a baby and tell him in a baby voice that he is a cotton ball. If he is bitey, I say he is a mean old cotton ball, and yell "The cotton ball bites!". If he is purring and lovey I say he is a widdle wovable cotton ball. Why are you looking at me like that? Of course, the house is trashed because everything is a toy and he climbs like a monkey. He cannot stand to see a picture frame standing on any surface. Not sure what I did to deserve another being in this house that feels the tea towels belong on the FLOOR and not on the handle of the stove. At least the others don't SWING on said towels before pulling them to the floor, then dash away like the hounds of hell are chasing behind. Skywalker is a kisser, too. Kiss kiss kiss, purr purr purr, and he says "yummy yummy yummy" while he eats :). A talker, just like Jasmine. Actually, more than her because he will talk to the other animals when there are no people in the room. He has complete conversations with Ruby, although she mostly sits and looks around nervously while he does all the talking. Max adores him. They play together, and Max would lick the kitty's ears right off if we would let him. Xena? Well. Xena has taken over the closet and pretty much won't let Skywalker look at her. Not that he cares. He tromps through as fast as he can before she can swat him LOL. Now if we can just get him to stop begging for food.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Good-bye dear babies

We lost two of our furry friends last night.
The older of our cats, Jasmine, has not been well. We were hoping to have her a little longer, but last night I could tell that she was ready to move on. This picture is from a few years ago before she started with her health problems.
She was a cuddle bunny, and loved to have conversations for as long as you would listen and answer back. Her claim to fame was digging to china in the litter box. One of her favourite things was to sit on your lap, headbutt your hand, knead your leg, and drool all over you while purring like a maniac.
Jasmine could find the lone chicken bone in the middle of a stuffed garbage bag, and extract it with the skill of a surgeon. She loved straws and elastic bands (contraband!). Often you could find her perched on the foot stool in the kitchen watching the goings on, like a lion in the circus waiting for the tamer to crack his leathery whip. She often spoke the name "Raoul". We aren't sure who you are, Raoul, but Jasmine told us all about you.
We loved you, kitkit. And you will be missed.
Dazzle? well Dazzle had NOT been sick. She did not look hurt or damaged in any way. Just curled up in her little corner among her "hidden" piles of corn and sunflower seeds. She looked like she just went off to peaceful sleep, curled up, and adorable as ever.
We called her "Dazzle the Ninja Hamster of Death" because of her ability to dangle from the top of her cage and make her way from one end to the other, before dropping down on her platform and ambush the food dish. She loved pumpkin seeds ("pun tin teeds"), dried corn ("corms"), and especially dehydrated banana chips. She came when she was called, liked to climb on her pal Jasmine when given the chance, and was the light of our DD's life for the short time she was here.
We were better for having known her.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Heaven on a plate!

I wanted to try something a little different (to suit my tastes) while still somewhat familiar (to keep DH and DD from running screaming away from the dinner table). I also wanted to use up some ingredients in the fridge, ingredients that I don't generally have on hand but had leftover from other things. I hodge-podged a few ideas together from recipes I've seen on the net or on cooking shows. Did it turn out? DH licked his plate, and DD went for seconds even though there was TOMATO in the sauce. Something this successful just BEGS to be shared: Penne with Blush Sauce 3 slices bacon, chopped 1 pound mixed ground turkey and chicken Onion powder to taste Garlic powder to taste 1/2 tsp italian seasoning (mixed dried herbs) Freshly ground black pepper 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 can tomato sauce 1 cup whipping cream (which is Canadian for Heavy Cream) In a saute pan, cook the bacon until the fat renders and it is crispy. Remove bacon bits from the pan and set aside. Add the ground meat and brown it, breaking it up with a spoon. Add the garlic and onion powders, italian seasoning, and some pepper. Stir to combine. Add the balsamic vinegar. Stir and cook until the vinegar evaporates. Add the tomato sauce and stir well. Bring to a simmer, and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes (careful, it spits!). Stir in the cream, mixing well. It can simmer until your pasta is ready, but don't boil it. Taste for seasoning (I waited for the end because bacon is salty, and sometimes the tomato sauce can be as well). Serve over hot cooked penne, sprinkling with some of the crispy bacon bits. DH added moza-cheddar mixed cheeses to his, DD ate it cheeseless, and I plated it with steamed broccoli and grated pecorino pepata (a sheeps milk cheese with peppercorns). I think any firm grating cheese would go well on this...romano, parmisan, ricotta salata. The ground turkey/chicken was excellent, but sliced browned chicken would be great. Oooh, or a chicken breast that has been grilled and then sliced. Heck, I would make it without the meat, use a real onion and garlic, add sliced mushrooms, and serve it over broccoli and cauliflower - with or without the pasta! As for the fact that it contains that cup of cream and that bacon? Oh hush. I drink skim milk. Give me a break on this one, 'kay?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Guacamole Coma

It seemed like a good idea at the time. The whole bowl. Sure, it was only one avacado worth. And MAN was it good. One avacado, cubed. 1/2 tbs of mixed lemon and lime juice. 1 tbs of sour cream. And 1 1/2 tbsp of a guacamole seasoning mix. Stir, chill, then eat. Every so often I hiccup seasoning mix. *Groan*. I guess I should have shared. Not that my darling husband nor daughter would ever deign to eat something so green. I bet Max and Ruby would have enjoyed a sample, but I think I read somewhere that avacadoes are toxic to animals. So it was mine, Mine, MINE! *hiccup* Blech. Seasoning mix.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Future Therapist Bill

DD's best friend moved away some months ago. Their house had been rented out, but that went awry, so they came back to clean the place and ready it for selling. We had her over one night, and the next DD spent over there. They found a brown caterpillar in the yard. Knowing it would not survive a 6 hour drive in a car with no air-conditioning, DD decided to bring it home. She was sort of invested because it was her FRIEND'S caterpillar, you see? After a good luck I had to inform the dear child that it was a cut worm. No beautiful butterfly was going to emerge from this thing. DD was afraid to have it in her room while she slept, and afraid to leave it in another room lest it get out and a dog or cat make a snack of it. While I was trying to convince her it would be more fair to "return it to the wild", she dropped the container. Twigs, grass pieces, leaves, everything went flying. She was PANICKING, because Max was coming over and would surely slurp the poor thing up. "So pick it up!" I said. "I don't want to touch it!". I move the chair to get a better look where the container dumped so I could get the thing, and wouldn't you know it? Ran the thing over with my chair. It was quite a scene...DD sobbing hysterically, me apologizing profusely while trying to hide horrified laughter, and DH diligently insisting that this pile of squishy goo was perfectly fine and not hurt at all. "Some worms can be cut right in half, and both ends can live". Perhaps this man has a lazerus machine somewhere that I don't know about, because the poor thing didn't have an inside, an outside, or a middle left - never mind ENDS.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Apparently not a fan

> Cutting watermelon for the kids, I offered a small bit to each dog.
> Max ate his, then waited for more.
>
> Ruby sniffed hers, then turned her head. I offered it to her
> again. She looked up at me and gagged loudly. Then she sniffed a
> bit of juice that dripped on the floor and gagged again.
> Dramatically. She even made a face when she did it. It made me
> giggle.
>
> So. She can eat bugs, sock lint, litter box crunchies, and
> underwear. Watermelon however? Offensive. Interesting, no?
>
> Sent from my iPod

Monday, May 24, 2010

Radish for your thoughts

Ahhh radishes. Is there anything tastier than the first radishes of the season? Well, how about the radish TOPS? That's right. You can eat'em.

Raw in salads is an option, but frankly, I find them too picky for that. Cooked though? They lose all their pickiness when cooked. Not a fan of cooked greens by themselves, I do like them in other things. Sliced and simmered in soup (not as slimy as spinach and have an interesting meaty texture). Creamed in a sauce (over smashed potatoes....heaven!). Excellent in a cheesy quiche.
But for something simple and satisfying, pureed soup is the ticket. Green soup. Soup as green as spring. How can a person be depressed looking at such a bright green? Add some fresh crusty bread and good butter, and man oh man you got nirvana. Top that bread and butter with thinly sliced radishes and a pinch of salt and it just might be too much to handle. And just think. You were going to toss those leaves in the compost bin.
I use a recipe that abounds on the internet:
Sweat an onion in butter until translucent (I add a bit of olive oil to keep the butter from burning, and if you have a couple of bunches of spring onions, that is even better than the diced onion). Wash your radish tops well (they are usually quite gritty) and pick out any withered or excessively insect damaged leaves. A few flea beetle holes are fine. I chop through the pile a couple of times just to get smaller pieces, but it really isn't necessary.
Add the leaves to the onion, and stir. Allow to cook and steam a bit until the leaves wilt (it doesn't take long, and soon the gigantic pile looks like almost nothing). You can add some diced potato now. Add four cups of chicken or vegetable broth.
Bring to a simmer, and simmer until everything is tender. I usually skip the raw potato and add leftover mashed potatoes at this time. Stir to distribute and bring up to temperature with the rest of the ingredients - it makes for a better texture. Let cool a bit and blend in batches until smooth. Place back in the pot, and bring back up to temperature. You can add some cream now, but I prefer to leave it out and add it to my bowl. It reheats better this way. Taste for seasoning.

It kind of reminds me of cream of spinach mixed with cream of broccoli, with a slight bitter edge (the cream tames most of this bitterness). You can add cream or milk, I have used soy milk, soy creamer, and unsweetened almond milk and all were good. I bet sour cream would be good for a tangier version, maybe mixed with some sorrel?

For a sweeter soup I could forsee adding some fresh or frozen peas to the mix. To make it milder, some spinach or other greens. Why not toss in whatever veggies you have on hand? Maybe some herbs? A good base to be tinkered with, I do believe.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cough cough, hack hack!

Ever have one of those coughs that starts as a tickle at the top of your lungs? Makes your eyes water and your voice break? Then you cough and it sounds horrifying but it just does not satisfy. When you try to take a breath, it starts you coughing even harder. Between the coughing and the gasping and the eyes watering and the nose running, it's a wonder people aren't pulling their shirts up around their faces and avoiding me like the plague. Silly people. Don't know what's good for 'em. I've been sleeping propped up, because if I lie down I feel like I am drowning. Every coughing fit during the night, Max "harumphs" and changes his position. I think at one point he was kicking me to get me to stop. I can tell the noise bothers Ruby too, because I can hear her concerned snort in the dark. Oh, I don't think she is worried about ME per se, but rather she hears a strange noise and is concerned it might be something scary coming to get her. I had gotten some prescription cough medicine, but when Ruby starting talking to me I realized it might not be sitting well with me (I mean really talking. Her little lips were moving, and she was telling me all sorts of things) . That was traded for your basic, off-the-shelf cough medicine. Which I will only take at night. I figure if my body seems to want to get something out of there so bad, who am I to try and stop it? I just wish it would JUMP OUT already. Could you imagine? Sitting in the middle of a meeting, having a coughing fit, and a big lump of boogie coloured evil comes jumping out and lands on the table? For some reason I then picture it doing a short soft-shoe number, ending with "jazz hands" before giving us a salute and escaping into an air duct. Hey, it's my evil and it can dance if it wants to. *Cough*

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some things I learned just today:

  • A dog that fakes a bathroom trip because the grass is frosty will poop in the house while you are in the shower.
  • Both dogs will look guilty even though clearly only a certain dog is the culprit.
  • You will question your normalcy after you realize you can distinguish between dogs by their poo.
  • Just because a person smiles and nods when you ask if they understand, it does NOT mean they understand.
  • Blueberry Muffin Shredded Wheat makes a great tasting snack munched dry at your desk. However your innards will make strange noises for the rest of the day, alerting the rest of the office that you upped your fiber intake.
  • When a person bounces a key off your forehead in anger, it leaves a red mark you don't see until the next day. Oddly enough, this red mark is not key-shaped.
  • If you put mixed Easter chocolate in a candy dish on your desk, people will dig out the peanut butter cups first.
  • Then the fudge filled bunnies.
  • Then the pure chocolate eggs.
  • Office workers desperate for an afternoon sugar high WILL resort to eating the "Chocolate Bunny Munny Krispee Coins", but they will sigh deeply and look punished.
  • Grown adults will peel foil off of chocolate easter candies and leave them in little piles on the desk, filing cabinet, or even put them back in the candy jar.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Scritch Scritch Scratch

I keep getting this odd rash on the inside of my elbows, and now in the middle of my back. Right between the shoulder blades, precisely where I cannot scratch it myself. I have been daydreaming about those bamboo back scratchers (that look like a hand on a stick) they used to sell in discount stores. Now THAT would work perfectly! I have resorted to trying a chopstick (does not work), and rubbing my back on a door frame like a bear. Not. Helping. I am sure that people must think I am an intervenous drug user, because I am constantly scratching my arms. Sometimes I sort of cross them and scratch the insides of both elbows at the same time. Between that and my other twitches (running my hands through my hair, rubbing my eyes, rubbing the outside of my arm, and massaging my leg absentmindedly) I would appear an unsavory character indeed. It's not hives. It kind of reminds me of prickly heat, only it doesn't come on from being warm or anything. And I can't imagine what I am touching with the inside of my elbows and the middle of my back. It can appear, itch intensely for a couple of hours, and then just as quickly receed. Sometimes at home, sometimes at work. Long sleeves, short sleeves, fabric softener, no fabric softener, pure soap or laundry soap. Maybe the universe is trying to send me a message. I'm off to examine the inside of my elbows for "patterns in the chaos" of the raised bumps. Maybe I will see something spelled out in there. Or perhaps I will find symbols, kind of like reading tea leaves. Or maybe I just need to go to bed because I am getting silly. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oh, that was yucky!

While making dinner, I was transferring things back and forth from the fridge. Stupid me left the door open as I walked back and forth. Lately these two puggin-muggins think they can help themselves in there - ever since they realized the open bag of baby carrots "lives" on the bottom shelf. So there he was, helping himself and browsing around. I came around the door, saw his rumpus where it shouldn't be, and called his name. Immediately he booked it! He knew he got something he wasn't supposed to have, so better get scarce before I take it away. I followed him, scolding, but I had no idea what he got. His head was down and he was facing away from me. I finally got him to stop and look at me (used my "mommy voice, I did). What the heck??? He had slime dripping from the edges of his mouth, just hanging there. Then ploop! Out comes a glob of yellow, splat onto the floor. EGG YOLK! He got a raw egg! Silly thing, bit down too hard trying to make a quick get away LOL. A person would think he had some awful disease, the way he looked...long strings of egg white hanging from the corners and yellow yolk drooling out over his chin. Blech! I got it away from him pretty easily (what a mess!), and Ruby helped him clean up whatever had dripped on the ground before I could get there with a paper towel. I think she might have helped clean off his chin too ;). Just as an aside, tearing off the cover of the egg carton and tossing it (it had something sticky spilled on it) makes it easy for a fridge-raiding pug to steal eggs later on.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bad, Bad Mommy

DD has been home sick all week. Bad cough, and a low grade fever. She is in the office doing crafts at the other desk. I am in the office because I am doing some work. Every time she coughs and hacks, the good-mommy part of me wants to gather her in my arms and cradle her and make her feel all better. The bad-mommy half wants to run screaming to gargle and snort bleach lest I catch the plague she harbours at the moment. If I tell her "go wash your hands" one more time, she is going to develop a complex. Poor thing. Poor poor germy plagu-ey thing. Pardon me. I have to go wash my hands. *got the itchy cootie feeling all over now*

Monday, January 25, 2010

Orange Season

You know those chocolate oranges that are like wedges wrapped together in a ball with foil? You whack it against something to separate the pieces so you can eat them. DD got one for christmas and liked it so much that somebody gave her another one. Somehow it got left in a bag and placed on the living room floor under the piano. Now, we won't discuss the state of housekeeping that allows a bag to be placed under the piano and not noticed for days at a time, got it? Ruby is the master chocolatier in this house. She can sniff a crumb of the good stuff from two rooms away. I can't so much as eat a chocolate chip without her insisting on immediately smelling my breath and checking me all over in case I might be harbouring a chipit on my person. Every time she has gotten into something food wise, it has been chocolate. Ruined a couch with individually wrapped, caramel filled chocolate bunnies. Wallowed in a container of fudge. We are talking fudge between the pug toes, in the ears, smooshed into the nose wrinkle. Ate an entire plate of chocolate chip cookies. Her stomach was so bloated she had to lie on her side, and would toot so loud and powerful that her back legs kicked out. We are very thankful that - other than a sleepless night of panting with an upset and very full tummy - she has suffered no ill effects from these instances. Needless to say we have learned to be VERY careful about leaving chocolate where she might get it. Turns out, she does not like ORANGE flavoured chocolate. In fact, she can't even bear the smell and will turn her head with a pronounced "mmmph!" when she encounters the substance. We discovered this when she objected to DD's orange scented breath one night. DD giggled and offered her a sniff of the wedge, and nearly rolled off the couch laughing when she got the disgruntled snorf of rejection LOL. But guess who does NOT hate orange flavoured chocolate? Max, that's who. And he's sneaky about it, too. We never knew he had done anything until DD saw the bag and remembered about the chocolate, and found this: How do we know it was THIS pug: And not THIS one? When we found the evidence, Max got all droopy and crawled across the floor on his belly ROFL! The box was dry, so who knows when he actually did it. Silly thing. Ewwwwwwww! That's a lot of dog licks, to do THAT damage. Blech!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Taking a deep breath

Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Not exactly yogic breathing, but pretty close. Except I have a bit of a cold, and one nostril is not working properly. If I were to do that thing where you plug a nostril with the opposite hand and breathe through only one I just might smother accidentally. I have not blogged in quite some time, I see. Not intentional. Not due to neglect. I assure you, not due to lack of love or anything. It is the wiring in my brain, messing with me again. I have known something was wrong these past few months, but not sure what and not sure what to do about it. My attitude over christmas solidified it for me though, something was definitely broken and needed fixing. Let me put it this way. I haven't been feeling "myself" for a while now. I thought I was just busy. Stress at work (end of year projects). Stress at home. A cold here. A sinus infection there. A pinch of ear infection on top of that. MIL madness. A death in the family. Was it any wonder I was a little run down? But now I know there is more to it than that. And I am working on it. So. More bloggings to come, okay?