Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

Small Cat wants to get this party started .

Spring in the winter.

I am not just sitting around watching TV and playing with my cleaver. I am also reading my mail

Did you know they make blue potatoes? I'm sure I have said nasty things about them in the past, but this year I want them and I want them bad. Not bad enough to buy them from Burpee, but bad enough to do a quick Google search to find them cheaper. And I did! A third of the price too! for more!  Suck on that Burpee! and while I was cheating on Burpee, I learned that another  fancy variety of spud I had wanted from them is not as pest and disease resistant as I would like. The more you know... I think the rest of the seed potatoes I get this year I'm going to get locally. And there will be "the rest". This spring should be spudtastic.

I know those look purple but they are blue. They are the official carb of the DNC.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Leave a message!

Hello Children!

I'm pretty sure I'm writing to an empty room. This is always the slowest, lowest readership time of the year. You are not around your computer and have other ways to keep yourselves occupied - perhaps you are spending your winter break Occupying , which is terrific and more power to you! or you are just sleeping late and catching up with your DVR - whatever. I feel you.

In honor of all these things keeping us all busy, and because it seems that none of the sites I read on a daily basis are active until after the New Year, I also will be taking off. More or less. I'll be around but not posting on my regular schedule, because  if no one else is putting in the effort, and I don't want to be the lone grade grubber making everyone else look bad with my dedication to providing new content to the masses. Totally.

Oh, I got a cleaver for Christmas. I will never be laughed at by food again. Roll away from me now... whack, whack, whack! Tonight, for the first time, I had a normally insolent chicken breast call me Ma'am. I wanted it cubed and damn it, it cubed.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging, Christmas-Style

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I worked all day and spent only briefest of time face down on my keyboard, went to Broskey and Alphagals' for Broskeys Birthday and had a fab time, came home coughed up only a minimal portion of spleen, thought about emptying the dishwasher, didn't. Went to bed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I finally got in touch with my doctor who got me in touch finally with some antibiotics. I'm feeling much better all ready.

I'm feeling so much better that I was able to (finally) wrap Broskeys birthday gift and then I spent an extended period of time digging around in the attic for another gift  and even after all that, I was still able to go to the store to pick up some things I had been needing but not able to get because I needed to be asleep by 7:30. This is a lot! I haven't got this much accomplished in a single evening since, since, two weeks ago? And I did a grand total of almost nothing.

I'm feeling so well that  when I went to the store, I actually remembered to buy everything I needed! I now have adequate bathroom paper products to make it through the new year. I have a lot of paper products now, I have stacks of toilet paper and mounds of paper towels. I can spill anything and clean it up immediately. Lately I've been just letting the animals take care of spills, because I can't - a much more environmentally responsible solution to household spills, but sticky if the animals  aren't through enough quickly enough.

But, here it is after eight and I'm not all ready asleep! And I can do this and follow interact with Dogger while following a TV show without getting helplessly confused and anxious. Wow. And I'm pretty sure I'm not high on cough suppressant.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Dogger just doesn't understand I want to  collapse on the my chair and read my magazine and be still, ideally, with Small Cat in my lap. Dogger won't let me just be! She wants to sit in the door way and whine and whistle and whimper while Small Cat and I are trying to relax.

If I go and get Dogger so she can lay next to my chair and be still, she wants to jump and spin around and be active. I want to recover which precludes "activity". To calm Dogger down, I take Dogger outside to pee, but the outside is cold, and she wants to wander around. I want to sit on my chair and heal, I can not heal in the yard. I bring her back in the house and she wants to play. She does not get it! Small Cat gets it, he wants me to be still so he can curl up on sleep.  He does not "get" coughing.

In addition to all this my teeth hurt. It feels like the second day with braces or I spent the day with Helga the Nazi Hygienist getting a very through teeth cleaning. And my head hurts. On the upside, I did buy approximately a metric ton of  kleenex so I do have a handy solution to this pain but I also feel that I do not want to look like Rudolph, even in the privacy of my own home. And blowing my nose scares the cat.

Oh, and my entire rib cage hurts. Front and back.  Cough. Cough. I called my doctors office today to say I have these symptoms and should I come in and in any case could they please write me a script for a cough syrup that could make all this stop. I need two, one for night and one for day. I could get one at the store but they have a bad habit of being great at stopping coughs but not great for the rest of my health. OTC is for young people.

We were all at lunch and  some one said something funny and I laughed and then I had a fun coughing spasm. In front of my boss.

Boss Buddy - Is she all right?
Boss - Why are you looking at me? I'm a social worker! You're a nurse! Is she all right? Be a nurse!
Boss Buddy 2 - Lets move on from here.

I feel the need to point out that BB2 was my  boss for years. Clearly, I was fine but damn.

Monday, December 19, 2011

In sickness (mine)

Hello! I'm hack, hack, choke, gag back! And depending on when you catch me, I may or may not be about to die. For example, right now I am not going to die but earlier, I really was ready to go towards the light.

I  was able to stay up until 10pm Saturday night but that might have had more to do with Mucinex that I'm not taking anymore. The Mucinex by the way earned a big FAIL by the way.  I don't think it helped much and it made me speedy. I didn't have access to the directions while at the store but it says quite clearly that it should not be taken by individuals with high blood pressure and thyroid disease - They don't talk about that in the adds and it might have well come with a sticker that said "Diana! Don't buy this! , so of course I did . IN my defence, I did not feel well at the time.

I do not feel well a lot of the time. I closed on the house refi on Friday while feeling not well. I'm sure there were a lot of questions I should have been asking but the drive there and then having to sit up the whole time was just making me very tired. It would have helped if I had been notified more than twenty minutes ahead of time that I was closing!  I told them I would not be closing in twenty minutes and that we would have to reschedule the appointment . So we changed it to 2:15.

In their defence, they did call every number in the building trying to reach me. A lot of people wanted me know that a lawyer had called for me. Oddly, no one thought it was for a benign reason. Do I seem like someone who would have lawyers after them for non-benign reasons? I was a little concerned by their concern.

Hack, hack, cough, choke, gag

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

I have been a very patient kitty Santa, for Christmas I want my own everything!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Still sick. I have much more voice but much more sore throat and sore muscles and a new and improved constant hacking cough. Yay? progress? On the upside it is now 7:39pm EST and I'm not  surprised by this and feeling like it must really be much, much later because I am so exhausted.

As long as I don't swallow or breath deeply, I feel almost normal.

Tomorrow I'm going to check out the gas station to see if they sell hot chocolate. This morning, after I recoved from the triathlon of brushing my teeth - I had to stand up, I had to hold my hand up while griping  the toothbrush and I still had to keep myself upright - I picked some up at McDonald's and it set me back some bills. I know I said large but I know I did not say drain my wallet. They must think morning customers are just stupid. I, at least can say I'm sick so I have that going for me. The minute I'm feeling better though, no more McDonald's hot chocolate for me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Typhoid Ace

Okay, my side of the story.

Monday night I was digging through a box of left over Christmas decorations and ran across another box that as it turned out, contained a cat sized Santa suit. A complete cat sized Santa suit. I thought that since Tex had enjoyed wearing it that perhaps Ace might also enjoy being festive.

Tex was a supermodel and he traveled with his own personal hair and make-up people and he knew his key light. Tex loved getting his picture taken and even seemed to enjoy wearing costumes. I have over a thousand pictures of him throughout his life time, attesting to how genuinely photogenic and co-operative he was. Ace is not a supermodel. Ace is  barely an adequate model. He's young, he'll learn.

Anyway, the costume comes with a hat and a beard= but I want to make it clear that I at no time put the beard on. I didn't even make him keep the hat one once it became clear that Ace is not a hat person, I respect that.

He did look very cute in the coat and it was a bit chilly, so I left it on. I decided that he would thank me when he noticed how toasty warm he was. Well, after a while it became clear that he is by nature, cool, and he didn't really like being warm and he was  laying on the floor looking really festive but oddly flat, fine, I took the coat off. It turns out he can be seasonally appropriate or walk  but not at the same time. Who knew?

And then later I went to bed. I woke up with laryngitis, a sore throat, a stuffed head, a raging chest cold and a headache. A normal cat would have just thrown up in my shoes.A real curb buster our Ace. I'm not sure that being some sort of feline Typhoid Mary is a marketable skill, but Ace has it in spades.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
                                                      Far as, far as, the curse is found.
(I have never heard this verse)

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,

And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Why am I joyful?

Those are the cards and the dog cookies and they are going out,out,out! I mailed out the last two cookie boxes and I finished up the cards and mailed them out all ready. I am giddy about labels! The treats and cards for the people at the office are set to be delivered tomorrow. Yay!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Adding to the pile.

Did lots of Dogger-centric things this weekend ( made cookies, took Dogger to see Santa, made her Christmas cards), did not spend a lot of time with Dogger. I also saw every single house on the Historic District Christmas Tour of Homes. All eleven, on foot thank-you-very-much. In order. In order damn it! No skipping around for me. They call me hardcore.

All this did not kill me, no it only made me stronger. I took this new personal growth and  bought plastic sheet protectors and a binder - No. I did not steal these items from work, where we have lots of them that no one keeps track of other than myself  which would be easier and cheaper but morally wrong, and put all my recipes that I've run off the computer or tore out of magazines. Prior to this burst of organizational  do-gooding, they were folded up in the front of a cookbook. On topic but it wasn't easy to find things. Now it is easy to find things. Yay.
I also put up my creche set and brought out my Christmas paper. No word as to when I'm going to to wrap anything, but its good to be prepared, because I might just get crazy and wrap stuff. I think I would rather just tell people where their gifts are and have them go get them. Maybe play hide and seek or something or "guess which gift is meant for you". I think that one would be fun and telling.  Good for the environment too. I think its something to pursue, maybe I'll alert Moveon and the Conservation people.

I made more dog treats because there is nothing I need like more dog cookies on premise. I got rid of most of them but there are still some on the shelf and I thought they were lonely. To cure this, I made some big cookies for the big dogs. It didn't make near as many as the little cookies for the little dogs. Double edged sword, that. I also experimented with a cookie sheet I bought that looked like it would make neat, shaped cookies. It didn't. It made un-neat, shapeless cookies that made me sad. Lesson learned.

Another lesson learned? LABELS I can make labels for my cards! I don't have to struggle with my lousy handwriting, I can just print out labels and be done with it! It was a real light bulb moment. I went through my list from 2004 and added all the lose envelops I have scattered around and made a nice, neat list of everyone I know.  Yay me. And NO, labels are not impersonal.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

Small Cat is very tired of being asked about spots on the carpet.

Pack up your troubles

And how was your evening? I only have two more boxes to get mailed.  One, I have cookies but no address and the other I have an address but no cookies. Pro-tip: Packing tape is something that you get what you pay for and it is no place to save pennies. Lesson learned.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Checking my lists

Yay! One more thing kind of off the list, kind of part one  of a multi-part  project done!

I bagged up the cookies!



left overs!

I came out with eighteen bags. I had them all made and discovered I had sixteen instead of seventeen as planned  and I was not happy but I resisted the urge to destroy the dinning room even though I had all ready put everything up and thought I was finished with the endless circles around the table and the counting to twelve by twos over and over and over again - eight flavors times sixteen times each -  and  without any self directed rage at all, simple filled another bag and then I decided that I could send my friend on Facebook with the brand new dog, cookies from this batch, because if you are filling one bag you might as well fill two. And she didn't need special puppy cookies anyway, I think the dog is at least half grown.

I think  with the left overs I could still fill a few more I inadventanly forgot someone or three with at least six of the eight varieties and still  have some extras for Dogger.

 Today at work I wantonly misused state resources making  ingredient stickers for the bags only to  forget a couple of add ins, so tomorrow I'm going to miss use state resources again to make corrected ones. Wantonly

And now I need to get address labels made - hello more  miss use of state resources! then I need to remember to insert Christmas cards into the packages, which will get me going on getting the cards out, another Yay!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sing a song

I decided to go shopping for some new Christmas CDs for work so to avoid another day listening to boy choirs squealing in Latin. True, most of those squealing boy choirs are my squealing boy choirs but after eight hours with them it makes you almost not vomit when someone slips in a Yanni. Almost. To correct this Yanna positive climate, I bought  Brian Seltzer and Ella Fitzgerald.  Seltzer rocks the Grinch song.

Today we listened to  a selection of  perhaps the most funereal Christmas music recorded. It seemed designed  for play as the musical accompaniment  burying your murdered Grandmother on Christmas Eve, in a dungeon. It made me dream of the soothing sounds of protestants in flip flops singing Ave Maria in August - another CD we listen to too often. Its only been two days and I am already a little over our selection. I am also over being the designated  office Christmas  Music DJ - hense the squealing boy choirs. They feel my pain.

While I was at Wallyworld again - it turned out Dogger was down to food crumbs, which I didn't notice because it was thick crumbs, two meals worth of thick crumbs. It also trues out that my Wallyworld in Knightdale is the worst Wallyworld in the world. The one in Garner is much nicer. I had gone out to hit the Sam's Club, also, by the way, better run than my Wallyworld in Knightdale.  I discovered cat dust in a 42 pound bag. I like this, how many of those plastic boxes do you really need? I mean, unless you are building some sort of extension on your house with them... I imagine you could fill them with cement and do something with them but, really, the bag is a better choice, much less waste. In the future, this will be my go-to dust buying method.

Earlier, speaking of Dogger and her food. Dogger woke me up at 1:15am. I feel much better about my dog mama-ing skiliz - I heard her whimpering through a closed door, up a flight of stairs, under three blankets and deeply asleep.I went out in my pajamas and a heavy coat and discovered that at 1:15 it was surprisingly muggy and featured a rather lot of pedestrian traffic. You miss so much hidden behind your burgler alarms and locked doors. Dogger made like a whole herd of goats and left my front yard looking like a new recruit. Then she dry heaved for a while before puking her little doggy guts up. Fortunatly, for Dogger this time it wasn't her guts, this time it was her food.

She seemed fine in the morning but when I left she had made herself into the smallest dog ball ever. I vowed to come home and if she hadn't unballed herself, we were going to the vet. I left her under a blanket. Happily, when I came home at lunch she had unballed herself and kicked off the blanket. She was very hungry at dinner and everything else seemed to be coming out okay too. I always worry when Dogger has any kind of health complaint because Dogger doesn't usually do best case scenarios. Thankfully, this time she did. Thus far.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making a list.

Dog cookies  - done. I was going to make a couple of batches of red and green stars but I did a quick count and I don't really think the padding is necessary, in fact, I might end up having to cut the number of cookies each because I'm afraid they might not all fit in the bags - a real trauma. Also, I ran out of room in the refrigerator for more cookies.

Of course, the dog cookies aren't "done" until I get them into the mail but before I get there I need to figure out how much of each make it into the bags, get all the cookies bagged,  get mailing boxes, prep the boxes for mailing, get the long distance cookies in the mail and get the rest to the office. I also have to make ingredient list and come up with labels. I'm trying to think positive thoughts.

I had to stop with the cookies because it was time to start decorating for Christmas - its about priorities. Decorating the tree is a big job so I asked my parents and niece and nephew to come over and help with the job. It was really fun. Later I decorated the mantel and the next morning I got the out door stuff taken care of. On top of all that, I got my cards into their frames.

I can't wait do go back to work so I can get some rest.

You better watch out

You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He's making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town
He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

Monday, December 5, 2011


Apropos of nothing, I have to say, when left to my own devises I make a really good chicken pot pie. I would have started on this earlier but Dogger and I were very happily dozing on the couch admiring the tree and the mantel. We would still be there except I got cold and I decided that Dogger and I needed to go to Walmart.

I tried to avoid a trip to Wallyworld but after touring three thrift stores looking for a table for my office Christmas tree, I gave in to the inevitable. I found my table and a couple of rows over, shipping boxes for cookies. Two birds one trip to Wallyworld. Score. Sadly, it was a low score.

And then I went to check out and I lost the game. I walked up and down the row of check outs, most of them without a checker because why staff up for the holiday? I thought I found the best of the long lines and settled in for a wait.And waited and waited and waited. It turns out I found the only Wallworld employee in the world who had never seen a WIC check before. I thought working at Wallyworld made you eligible for WIC checks and this girl was completely befuddled.  An hour later I was going to just leave but I really didn't want to have to make a second trip back to that place if I didn't have to. I all ready have to hit Sam's this week and I don't want to give those people anymore of my time than I have to.

Tuesday, I'm going to get back to work and get the cookies in bags. I took a good look at the bags I got and they seem small and I see some stress and over thinking ahead. Maybe I'll think about getting my cards addressed instead.

Friday, December 2, 2011

FRiday Cat Blogging

Christmas Carol fu!

I did not make cookies. I came home, took Dogger on a brisk walk through downtown, returned home and fed her and changed clothes.

And then I sat down in front of the TV, just to rest a spell to catch up with my DVD and in short order decided that the TV was very annoying. I decided that what I would really rather do was watch the tree. It did not help that Small Cat joined me.

Small Cat  likes me much more in the winter.  So long story short, I fell asleep in front of the TV and didn't do anything useful.  I will be useful though, I got my cards! and it turns out they are lovely! and exactly what I wanted. The opening is a bit on the smaller side, but I think its going to work out. I should be loading those cards right now.  My to-do list gets longer every day.

I was going to go out and get dinner, but instead I made a cherry tart for dinner. I had a huge, awful lunch so I think it all evens out. I had thought that Burger King was the height of  lunch timeself loathing but I was wrong, Pizza Hut buffet is the worst and not in a good way either. Its disgusting, it was like eating grease covered mattress.  On the upside, I think my new and improved lack of appetite comes at the ideal time! All I have to do is think about that meal and immediately become nauseous! Christmas Cookies? yuck!, brownies? gawd! , pie? blergh . Yay!!

1. We wish you a merry Christmas,

We wish you a merry Christmas,

We wish you a merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year!


Good tidings we bring for you and your kin;

We wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2. Now bring us some figgy pudding,1

Now bring us some figgy pudding,

Now bring us some figgy pudding,

And a cup of good cheer! Refrain

3. We all like our figgy pudding;

We all like our figgy pudding;

We all like our figgy pudding;

With all its good cheer.2 Refrain

4. We won't go until we get some

We won't go until we get some

We won't go until we get some

So bring it out here!3 Refrain

5. We wish you a merry Christmas,

We wish you a merry Christmas,

We wish you a merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year!

And a Happy New Year! Refrain

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Days of whine and cookies

11/29 - Another day, three hundred and fourteen cookies. And as it turns out, the secret to increased bulk in broth cookies is "add more flour". I also learned that playing Christmas music in the background is a good way to make the whole tedious process less tedious. It turns out doing the entire tedious process total silence was a bad idea, it actually adds to the tedium.

Also, eat a slice of excellent pie before you start said tedious process.

Tomorrow I make bacon cookies and after that, banana and after that a batch of  milk cookies, a batch in  red and a batch in green. These will be larger stars. See , "tedium".

11/30 Well, yet another day, I was thwarted by my Google Tool Bar disappearing and not coming back. It wouldn't be a big problem except that the tool bar has custody of the spell check and I really need the spell check feature.  Even while dealing with this lose, I still managed to produce two hundred and sixty-four more cookies. I went off the rez a little though, instead of going with my scheduled bacon cookies, I went crazy and made banana instead. I was surprised that about a cup of creamed bananas did not add significantly to the amount of dough I ended up with and in the end the yield was less than I wanted. I'm going with the idea that the cookies will be more dessertish in nature due to the addition of some molasses and vanilla to the mixture so maybe they won't need as many. I've also changed my mind about the bacon cookies, I'm still making them but I think they are going to be bacon/cheese cookies. High yield city.

Oh, and after I made the cookies...

And so it begins...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Aunt Cooking

Tired now. The beef boullion didn't make as mnay as the other vaireties.I think its because the broth no matter how beefy, doesn't add bulk, and bulk is good. The parsley and mint took up more room!  and prodused more cookies.

I'm going to have to think of something else to add to the mix to up my count of these. I guess I could add wheat gern or something, thats healthy as well as bulky but I don't want to go to the store and buy anything. I guess I could just adjust my cookie yeld expectations and embrace the  seventeen dozen cookies I did end up with.

Next year? Bigger cookies.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Think Small.

Gawd, I'm hungry, and its not because I haven't eaten, I had dinner. I'm hungry because I have two pies in the refrigerator and they are calling to me. I had dinner and I finished up pie number three and still the pies are calling to me. Bastards.

One of the pies is a nice polite little key lime pie. A good pie, a no-pressure pie. I know it isn't the siren. I know this for a fact because I had a piece and I'm still hearing voices. The offender is the Greek walnut pie. A pie that tastes so good while at the same time being so bad for you, that you have just gained a pound because you are thinking about it. I'm hoping it loses its voice soon.

I'm being strong. Mostly because there isn't much there and I want to save it.

For good.

I need to put a dress on and visit with it though because I am in the midst of Operation Aunt Cookie and I need the room. My freezer is full of actual people food, so I am pulling the refrigerator off the bench and putting it into the game. When I was planning OAC, I thought about how many I would need : Lots and lots. What kinds I would make: Lots and lots. What shape they should be: Small. If you want to make a lot of something it pays to think small.

I thought small would be good because a quick survey of  the dogs I make for discloses that they are overwhelmingly small dogs, small dogs need small cookies - Another reason to make smaller cookies is that the small the cookie the higher the yield. I like a high yield. And smaller cookies are lighter cookies and shipped costs are up.

And then I started to makes these small cookies. And make them. And make. And make them. The smaller the cookie the higher the yield - Sounds great until you come face to face with making these big yield small cookies by hand. Over and over and over. When I make the bone cookies each batch consists of a hundred and forty-four cookies, not counting whatever the oven takes as its own. Fine. These demon small cookies are running about three hundred and twelve per batch. 312 individual cookies. By hand.

My arms are tired and it takes days to get a tray filled. I have to take breaks! I'm going to have to man up because I have a long way to go to finish the job. I have four varieties made thus far: cheese, turkey gravy, mint and parsley and peanut butter. I had planned to get two additional varieties done today, but the idea gives me the vapors and arm cramps. So, Monday is going to be beef bouillon, Tuesday will be chicken bouillon, Wednesday will be bacon and Thursday will be banana. Whew. I'm going to be tired but my upper body will be oddly toned.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I had to use the machine like a phone today! I felt bad about that but my boss had a health issue today and I needed to find out the gory details (quite literally) . It is a phone after all and if I can arrange to go another few days without using it I'll make up for the time I used today. Like a week without using it.

Dogger and I took a lovely walk today. We went all over downtown. We started at the post office and treked all the way to the tip of Fayetteville Street to the convention center and then back up Wilmington. I've never walked the route although I drive it everyday. I got a chance to check out some store fronts I've never been able to really look at as well as being a looky lou  in the windows of the condos  ( attention first floor residents, your windows are on street level! Your exorbitant monthly condo fees do not guarantee invisibility) and got a chance to check out a price list for some empty units.  If I had 265K to play with for a glorified closet, I would keep them on the list. If I had 265K.

Along the way I saw fliers for interesting events they have scheduled, of course about half the fliers were for stuff that happened months ago, but I did learn about a pig pickin' on December 2 and Winterfest a couple of days later. I also found the ice rink and a Starbucks I didn't know about it.

I like walking downtown and I wish I would have started sooner, its quite nice and there is almost no chance of encountering loose dogs and gosh, its cleaner then the nabs. Dogger seems to really enjoy having new sniffs to check out, as  much as she clearly enjoys it, she was being a bad girl. Years ago when we were in Puppy School and when we walked the neighborhood I trained her to sit at corners. We would come to a light or a cross walk and I would say "Dogger, sit" and Dogger would sit. We worked on this a lot for a long time and she eventually did it on command. And then she hurt her knees and sitting on command was off the table.  I had thought that enough time had past that we could go back to her  sit on command habits but apparently, this is not the case. It would be just so cool if she would though, the audience downtown would be so impressed. Dogger seems to suffer from stage fright.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Santa Talk.

The Experiment is moving along. It has now reached pornographic stage of development, food porn if you will. If I was really clever I would have arranged for a time lapse camera to keep an eye on it for me, I could hook it up to the Internet and instead of a  wildly successful puppy cam I could have a even more wildly successful shroom cam! It really seems to change hourly and every day its completely different. It is much more interesting on a day to day basis than a watermelon and I thought watermelons were fairly breath taking,  growing and development-wise.

Its too bad that the Experiment is not something I eat, I would enjoy growing another one, m maybe over the summer when the basement is humid as all hell and well warm enough . Maybe I can be a fungi foster parent? Who here likes mushrooms?

I decided that the booklet that came with the kit is not providing the constant reassurance and 24-hour-handholding that I require, so I went online to see what information was out there. It turns out, a lot and there is a lot of information that is not in my booklet, for instance, I need to be on the look-out for "gills" on the mushroom head. My booklet wants me to be mellow and chill and keep up my misting schedule and just let things be. I don't like to let things be. I want to know every minute of every day that the Experiment is progressing within normal parameters and it is not actually a block of styrofoam with a skin problem.

My research showed me that the Experiment is fineish, its not ready to be harvested and won't  beby Thanksgiving, which was not in the plan anyway, but would have been nice, and the block doesn't have enough brownness, which I think speaks to how young it is, I'm guessing-  but it looks like a mid- December hand off is very doable. I am hopeing however for an early December drop date because I am not looking forward to having to bring it with me in the car if I go away for the weekend. Its like having a very delicate, very young pet that requires my almost but not quite constant attention all day. I could not leave it alone for the weekend under any circumstances. I have enough pets.

 In the interest of his - and it is a boy all right, delicate nature, I moved it from point A to point B  to now Point C because I think that the indirect light it was in may have been too indirectly direct. I noticed that its dark side seems more successful than the light side. If the dark really suits it, I may move it to the back of the basement where the light is very, very indirect and where due to the proximity to the water heater, there might be more of desirable humidity for it. We can't have him catching a chill.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend Adventures

Saturday morning it was so cold! I was wrapped up in a coat and gloves, by Sunday afternoon while I was raking the yard it was so warm I wanted shorts.

Mother Nature wants my nose to run forever.

I was up early on Saturday because I went to Durham to the DPAC go see The Rockettes! The real, live Rockettes, not Rockells, not Rockbelles, the genuine-Live-From-Radio-City Rockettes!  They aren't your high school drill team or even the Kilgore Rangerettes. The real deal. Anyone who has ever tried to fake their way through a half-assed kickline, is, in their hearts, trying to be a Rockette, And failing. It doesn't matter how many awards they have won or  how sharp your drill team is, they are not the Rockettes.

My Mother and neice and I and a couple thousand other women ands girls had a great time. I do not understand where the men were though. A couple of dozen hotties in tiny costumes and there were three men in the entire audience!  Hot chicks cavorting in tiny costumes and there were no men.  I mean the Rockettes are hardly a burlesque troop but gee whiz. They were fantastic though and the show was great. They are going to be in Durham for a while, Local Raleigh readers and if you have a chance you should go see the show, in addition to the really fun show, it feature terrific if computerized stage craft, interesting lighting and beautiful costumes.

It was a weekend of firsts. My first Rockette show as well as my first home made pizza! They sell those blanks at the store and I never bought them because they seem expensive. I found one at Poverty Barn and waited for the right time. The time came. I bought some cheese and a handful of pepperoni and a can of tomato paste and did my thing. I added my own herbs and spices and a sprinkling of turkey. It was so good! It wasn't swimming in cheese  soup or cluttered with crap I don't eat. It couldn't have been better. The next time Poverty Barn has them I'm going to stock up.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Cats Blogging


And next week is Thanksgiving! Are you freaking out ahead of time or are you planning on saving your freaking out for the actual day? I suggest going halfsies.

I'm going to make three pies, one I know only through its recipe, one that I'm only guessing will work because I'm substituting B for A and one I know works. Both A and B require a disturbing amount of  egg separating and tempering. I feel fat all ready and I haven't even sat down at the table yet. The closest I've come to using the exerbike is moving it from one location to another, twice.

Speaking of food, I was finally able to get my scallops into the larger part of my  chowder.  Before I added them, I sauteed them with parsley, fresh garlic and white wine. Nummy. MY chowder is now certifiably fab-u-lous. When Lent is looming, I'm going to make it again and be set for the whole 40 days. I might even explore my clam juice options.

I also need to be working on my Christmas Dog Cookies. I am definitely cutting back on the varieties this year because I think I'm cutting it too close to make as many as I have in the past. I'm also pretty sure I should have started all ready and I have a small concern that they may turn out to be Happy New Year Dog Cookies but I want to avoid that. I also have to start worrying about Christmas cards, I have the photos and I've ordered the cards but they warned on the site that they are shipped on the slowest possible boat and so that is another thing to worry about. I can see myself doing cookies and cards simultaneously. Festive but furious, and I'm not sure I want to work that hard and I haven't even thought about my decorations yet.

But first things first, tomorrow I'm going to see the Rockettes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hearts and fungus

The Amazing Experiment seems to be changing or growing and development or it has Amazing Experiment Mumps or it's growing toad stools.  Its hard to tell with Amazing Experiments, I'll keep you updated.

I had to use the not-phone today. It was only for a couple of minutes but I feel like a total back slider. I thought I was making the number larger so I could read it  at the Real Phone but it actually dialed it instead and I was forced to speak with a vendor but its Its okay though because I didn't use any of yesterday's 7.5 minutes so today I had 15 whole minutes to burn through. Tomorrow, hopefully I will do better. The  vendor  explained that instead of actually showing up at 4:15, as we had agreed on, they are going to be there at some point between 4:30-6:30! I am hopeing its more the later than the earlier because there is a cool 99% thing I should go to because honking and waving at them seems so not enough.

I have just bothered both animals. First I bothered the cat while he dozed on the bed, by dozing on the bed. I thought  that he would like some quality time with Mummy but he did not. Then I went to see Dogger and stretched out on her futon - I also thought she would like some quality time with her Mummy but she also did not. My animals can not share.

Speaking of Small Cat. I got a notice from Catster alerting me to the fact that it was Small Cats birthday. He is three, which also alerts me that Tex has been gone for three years. As much as I  lurve Small Cat, I miss Tex so much some days. Tex was a cat evil super genius and Small Cat is well, super but no genius and he is certainly not evil. At all, and I think Tex just got me in a way that Small Cat just can't.  I think it was the evil super genius aspect that made him so good at reading people. Small Cat loves everyone, Tex loved me.

Enough about Tex. Small Cat is going to be in a calender! The Animal Rescue lady at work wants Small Cat to be Mr. February in her animal rescue groups' 2013 calender! I can either submit  a picture I have a work featuring his little chest heart or I can take another picture of him with his little heart front and center. I almost told her that Dogger also has a heart on her chest but I didn't want to be a calender hog. I can now say almost all my pets have appeared in calenders. Clearly because I am so awesome.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I hate everything II

The upside of having a cell phone I can not use as a phone, is that in two years when the contract is up, I won't need to sign up again as I will haven gotten  so used to not having a phone  I won't  feel obligated to  turn around and pay out the nose for the privilege of carrying another useless paper weight around! Yay! Two years!

Speaking of phone issues. I got rid of the useless add-ons on my home phone as well. I get fee-ed and taxed to death with my local service - Thank you AT&T! you 1% and financial supporter of fringe right wing candidates! That I decided to see what I could do to my bill. It turns out I was paying almost as much in fees and taxes as I was for the service, so I cut everything but phone calls. No more call waiting, no more voice mail - that thanks to my stupid phone I can't access anyway, no more anything>/i>. Sorry friends and family and robocalls, its the return of the busy signal and endless ringing from here on out. I looked for alternates but most services were either very sketchy or only wanted my long distance service - I have a long distance services that I like well enough, of course, I liked it better when I had cell service so I didn't have to use it, but still...

Anyone know of any goof lefty phone companies that provided local service? I'm also about to clean house of my satellite provider as well. I could move to the competition and get all the channels I want and pay half - for a while, and then it would shift to its regular price that they are very uncomfortable putting into print for some reason. But it would be at least a year of really, really cheap and after the second year (I presume) I could switch back to what I have now.

Oh, the one bit of pro-Diana I have to cling to while I hang balloons for my pity party.

I stopped a jackass from illegally dumping a couch on Dix campus on Monday. I was eating my lunch and this former Ryder truck drove up and parked. Then I heard the back door open and I watched the driver pull a dirty white couch out of the truck and casually slide it down the embankment into the creek! I jumped out of the car and stood there alight with my righteousness and I told him to Put It Back! and to Put It Back Right Now! Hands on hips, hair un-pony tailed. The guy came from around the truck  he said "I didn't have anywhere to put it, I'm just storing it there" and I said "BULL SHIT. Put. It. Back . Right NOW!" and he did and drove away. I'm sure he dumped it elsewhere. But not right there and not right in front of me. Damn it.

What I would have done had he come at me with a tire iron or worse, I do not know. What I would have done had he not been a pussy, I also do not know.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I hate the world.

Today I learned if I want to keep my phone I have to stop using it as a phone. I have to go back in time to when cell phones were for emergencies only and use it accordingly. It's not my computer - can't use up that data time! Can't use the phone, most preserve those precious shared minutes! and its not my friend, it lied about both.

I now have to wonder what I'm getting for my money. Phone use? Well, using for a mere sixteen minutes a day was using it too much, and to stay within my allotment I can use the phone seven minutes a day. Data? about that... as it turns out, its just for show. Other than making my purse heavier, exactly why do I have this thing? Its costing me way too much to end up as a paper weight, but that looks to me where this is heading. This is not what I signed up for.

Before I sound ungrateful, I'm not, I'm very, very grateful for the chance to have it! I just have to remember my place and what it is and what I am and use it accordingly - spareingly, rarely and only when I have no other choice. In the future folks, the magic word is: UNLIMITED. Now, I'm going to go back to my land-line and my dial up connection. The nineties were nice.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chef Me

Why do we dress our poultry in  fetish suits?

I made my turkey breast! Yay! It took a lot longer than the TV chef had said, her's was smaller I guess, while mine was I'm thinking, much more culinary than hers. I know this because I had to remove all these yucky turkey parts, and she didn't. I think they involved turkey procreation and  I think some where on its little fetish suit should have come with some sort of warning label mentioning those. I wanted a "G" rated bird and I ended up with a hardcore freak in a fetish suit.

Okay, step one, after I peeled it out of its fetish suit.

A turkey breast is almost like a whole turkey but no cavity but it still comes with the stuff so its almost like a real turkey but without all the excess turkiness that some may find too much.

Several hours later*

Actually, this was the first time I took it out of the oven, its just the last time it was photogenic. I kind of hacked at it after that,  it took a little while longer than the directions had suggested and what the girl on TV had indicated. When it was done, it was browner and significantly less attractive due to the hacking I did to search for pinkness. It was however, very, very good and juicy and it was delicious. Put flavored butter under the skin it really makes a big difference.

Stage three

All is not lost though! It worked hard, it was a major player in that turkeys life and it was a good life! For real. After it turned in a good days job, it went on to its second job as Soup Stock! The carcass went on to do great things

This soup is so good it cured me of things I didn't even know I had yet! The meat you see there isn't actually the turkey's meat because I wanted it to do some multi-tasking, so I needed to hold it back for the time being. The meat is from a whole chicken - the worlds smallest chicken and yes, ladies, I chopped  up that little bitch up without cutting off any of my fingers - I had been warming up for this, but I manged to keep all my original parts. I also was able to use tomatoes I froze summer before last and a handful of pepper slices

And what was left Turkey after the soup? Almost nothing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remember, remember that day in November.

November 11 marked the official end of a brutal, vicious, deadly conflagration that destroyed Europe and solved nothing while sewing the seeds of another vicious, deadly conflagration that destroyed Europe; and because it was over for a long time and we moved onto to other, sexier wars,  a few years later it was demoted to Arbor day and then a few years after that it was promoted to Veterans Day. Yay soldiers.

There are no more WWI survivors in America. You would think we should be prompted to remember it officially. You remember WW1? Killed millions, introduced chemical warfare? Had the sad fate of  sharing the lime light with the flu pandemic and the Russian Revolution?

That World War One. Lest we forget.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Angry Girl

You know what some ambitious Angry Bird player could do if they wanted to make a quick buck? They could set themselves up with a store front and all they would have to do is solve Angry Bird levels.  Their customers would simply hand them there phone and standby while the expert delivered them from whatever bird hell the customer was stuck in. Whatever level you are having a problem with, tearing your hair out over, crying over and they would just solve it! Can you imagine? I would pay money to move on and out of Angry Bird hell.

The expert or experts, after the business caught on and you know it would -  would be battle tested professionals and would know in what order to wreck what and they would just let you move on to the next level and the rest of your life. The freedom! I can really imagine people mailing their phones in just make it stop.

I mean back in the day we figured out how to fix our Rubik cubes, I can't believe no one has come up with a way to hack Angry Birds and force it to let you leave a level behind or how to add that extra bird that you so desperately need, or a way to remove hard hats from frogs. Is there no industrious fourteen year old out there who sees a need?  No angry virgin with time to kill and a plastic girl friend to impress in a basement somewhere? Come on!

For instance. I've been stuck on level 3-10 for approximately, eight hours, after all this time and so many thousands of tries, I can now tell from about a third of a second in, how badly I am not going to win this level this time. I have more or less mastered the tiny initial bird, and most times I can knock out the top level birds right off,  if I am really cooking with fire also the bird on the ground. I hate that bird. That  is the part I am good at. I have not yet figured out why the yellow bird is involved at all, he has speed but no purpose, mostly I over shoot the mark with him and he bounces uselessly out of frame. With the two final egg dropping bird I can usually knock out two of the remaining three birds, I can not get them all. Ever.

I have checked the cheats and the tips and the walkthroughs. I have watched the videos on You-Tube and all I can say is that those people are my heroes. I hate them, but they are my heroes. If Angry Birds were created by decent people, they would have mercy, they would say Hmmm. After three thousand go-rounds, you get a free pass to the next level! but they are not decent people, they are evil people who want you to spend eternity in their avian purgatory.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Merry Tuesday!

Angry Birds is a stupid, stupid game but since I am teetering on the razer edge of the end of my data allotment, it is all I can do with my phone. I have spent the last two days having to look at web pages and log onto my email from my desktop computer! The horror! Its like being sent back to last year!

And then I came home from work! And it was Christmas! Well, not really Christmas but I got a lot of neat stuff in the mail. I got my mammogram report  and both the girls are doing fine and I  also got my doctors' report from my physical and I am going to live another year and if I am feeling particularly hateful while at the same time, in a giving mood,  I could bring my lab report to the Red Cross and force to to let me give blood because I am clearly not anemic. Spin this Asswipes.

I also got my Great Experiment! Yay! I'm so excited! It is going to be like having another pet for a while but its more like a fostering situation - I get to enjoy it for a while but before he becomes a real responsibility, it will go to a forever home.

Also in the mail? My refi paperwork! Yay! It really is a Christmas Season miracle

I decided to put the turkey into the freezer as it was totally thawed and I am not ready for it yet, its going to be I think a Friday thing, because we have it off and I'll have plenty of time to work with it and maybe make myself some side dishes to go with it - if I play my cards right, a little cooking then could save me from a lot of cooking in the coming weeks - when I am supposed to be making dog cookies. Lots and lots of dog cookies and I may have also volunteered myself to make even more too.  This years cookies are going to be star shaped because it ups my over all yield without having to actually to increase how much I produce and most of the dogs on my list are smaller breeds any way.

And even the few who are larger, they are treats not meals!

Oh, and my finger wound has finally stopped bleeding and I may only need to wear a band-aid for another day. If its very good, I may go without a band-aid over night. For a small wound it is just a bitch! its a good thing we walk on our feet and not our hands because  I would have a serious limp.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Little Chicken

My turkey breast is starting to unthaw, slowly. I haven't taken it out of the fetish suit it came in yet because I'm not going to cook it until Friday and I think it should stay in its original packaging as long as possible. I might even slip it back into the freezer Tuesday if it seems to thawed out and worrisome. Thursday night I'll make its vegetable raft cum rack and then I'll slip  my fancy compounded butter under its skin and slather the top with more of it. On TV it turned out beautifully.

One of my cooking shows told me to use the butter because it would make the meat taste really good, the other told me why the meat taste better with it. As it turns out, white meat is very lean and meat that is very lean tends to dry out in the cooking because there isn't any lubricant, i.e fat, to keep it from getting dry. Dark meat has more fat and thus it is juicier. We add butter under the skin of the breast to make fake fat! See, TV is good for us.

And now I know how to make compounded butter! Which is apparently the best thing since sliced bread and I should have had a roll of it my freezer always and how have I lived with it all these years? I would guess, I have been eating frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts and they don't require compounded butter, or they do but we eat boneless/skinless to avoid extra fat as well as the evils of chicken skin. So, yes, I have lived without just fine, TV chefs. All compounded butter is, is just flavored butter, you can add garlic and rosemary and salt and pepper or you can add honey and mustard to it.  Its like a wonder tool. You make it ahead of time and keep it rolled up in your freezer.

I have also been talked into attempting to make my own chicken broth. I don't know where I'm going to put the broth when I'm done, and Im not a huge eater of soup, but maybe I'll make some nice chicken noodle soup and keep it around instead of Raman. Who knows?

 Because this is also the start of Dog Cookie Season so maybe I'll wait on the broth- perhaps until after Christmas and by then Santa will have brought me a new stock put because my existing pot, I think, is developing some kind of pot dementia and that it may not really want to simmer things for hours. It gets mad and gets burny and impossible to clean and I think its time for a new one, Santa. And a double boiler.

I got notice that my Great Experiment is set to arrive today. I haven't worked with this kind of thing before so I hope I don't mess it up. No guts no glory.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The bloody gourmet

No photo blogging today, sorry.  I am too, really, I tried to slice the side of my finger off earlier today and the bandage is not making typing easier. Also, its still bleeding and I'm pretty sure you are not supposed to get your keyboard wet.

Anyway. I am going to see how well I can type one handed. Badly, as it turns out, almost as badly as with the aid of the band-aided finger. Lovely. I cut my finger cutting up the Jack O Melon. I felt bad because I  wantonly threw away the rind of the  ice cream melon, so I decided to offer it up my not throwing away the Jack 'O Melon. Did you know that melon rinds are slippery? Yes, yes they - knives just slide right off them into innocent finger flesh. Now my finger is wearing a burqa. And throbbing.

After I successfully chopped up the melon ( and bled all over the bathroom before staunching the blood flow and discovered that off brand band aids are for crap)  I went a step further and put the pieces into a processor and really ground them up, I thought they they would be more composty if they were in really small pieces, also the smaller the pieces the less likely for the garden to turn into some sort of all you-can-eat rat buffet. I'm not sure what ground up watermelon rind is going to do foe the over all health of the garden, but every little bit counts. I hope. The road to hell and all that.

I also improved my fish chowder! I bought some scallops at Wallyworld and I simmered them in a pan with some garlic and parsley and  butter and white wine and then added it all to the soup I had put aside for dinner. I'm going to thaw out the larger portion and do the same with it. Nummy.

Also on the subject of food. I need a door mounted spice rack. I have a lot  of bottles and jars and boxes now and I can't see easily see what I have.  The lazy susan is nice, but my spice needs have expanded. My spice collection expands because I watch cooking show and they make demands. One of those demands is that I make a turkey breast very soon. The turkey breast the girl on TV had  as her example was huge and completely defrosted. Do you know how small and completely frozen turkey breasts are in real life? and I think hers was from a steroidal weight lifter turkey, because mine looks like it came off a fourteen year old  anorexic super model turkey. It could also be that she clearly got hers from an actual butcher and I got mine from the frozen meat section at Wallyworld.  She also demanded I buy sage but at least at Wallyworld it was cheap, although there is a chance that it is actually marijuana. Score.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

Small cat would not look me in the eye and kept his back turned to me the whole time he was in costume. Too bad, because I think he would make a terrific Cindy Lu Who for the holidays.

Photo Geeking

The Internet is full of peoples cats in costumes. In response to this geekery, I present pictures of my dog.

Daisy, as Sky Masterson in a  radical re-imagining  of Guys and Dolls

 Daisy as the Headless Horseman's' Horse, Halloween 2012

 Daisy as a giant Hot Dog, Halloween 2010-11

Not a costume, Daisy's' new winter coat. Doesn't she look great?

Oh, and in case you think I do nothing but dress up my dog. I also cook.

Home made watermelon-chocolate chip ice cream made with a home grown watermelon.  This is by far the best of the tree varieties of watermelon ice cream I've experimented with. It does still have a bit of ice crystal-ness to it, but it gets made without the benefit of an ice cream maker, which I'm sure greatly adds to the creamy nature of ice cream not frozen slowly in the freezer. This recipe turned out much better and made more ice cream than the others, it also included heavy cream, eight egg yolks and two cups of sugar and it introduced me to the concept of "tempering". If you do it right you end up with a lovely mixture, if you do it wrong you end up with scrambled eggs. Note the lack of scrambled eggs in the above picture. I'm sorry! I felt all rock star when I did it right.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Welcome my new room mate!


Fern has been an outdoor pet since I bought her last spring from the mental patients at the hospital who had raised her from whatever ferns start off as. I brought Fern home and did absolutely nothing for it, I occasionally remembered to water in its direction but other than re-potting it when I brought it home, I have done nothing for it, and it thrived! Look at it! Its gorgeous! And then it got cold.

I do not want Fern to die. If the intractably mentally ill can keep fern alive, the very least I should be able to to do is not kill it. So I brought fern in. I've never spent this much time with fern.

Once it became clear that fern had to be re-homed, I had to figure out where in my home fern was going to live. If it wasn't for Small Cat, fern could settle just about anywhere and be a happy plant and most likely, would live through the winter and be able to escape back outside in the spring. But, there is a Small Cat and Small Cat thinks fern is a cat toy.

Fern is not a cat toy and small cat needs to learn about boundaries. I tried to teach Small Cat to not eat fern because fern lives here too and it would be mean to eat fern. Fern now lives in the back entry way. In back entryways defence, it gets some lovely indirect light and it is significantly warmer than front entry way, which is an icebox. I'm not sure how I feel about having a fern in my back entry way, it seems rude. And now its in the way. I went from having no interaction wither fern to having perhaps too much interaction with it. I'm pretty sure fern is going to die from too much me.

I thought about putting fern in the basement with the other plants I got from the hospital, but  I'm not sure how happy a fern would be unwatered in the dark all winter like the other plants  I don't think are going to like it either, but I am hopeing they will fall in to some sort of horticultural coma over the winter - and that's what happens when a plant is left unwatered in the dark all winter, right? Its their fault for not being as pretty as fern.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hi, my name is...

I noticed to day on our walk that no one said "hello" to me. Not a soul and we were out in prime time for people greeting, everyone greeted Dogger like a long lost friend. We walked passed a woman and her child "Hi Dogger!" we walked passed a group of older guys standing on a porch "Hey Doggy!". I was invisible. When people do greet me, they call me by Doggers name.

Oh, well, she has a better personality than I do anyway. At least I always know where I know random people  from who come up to me at the store. People I should know but can't remember who they are or where I know them from, call me "Diane or Donna", people I know because I see them every few days because we live blocks from each other, call me "Daisy". It makes it easy to figure out where I don't know them from.

On to other things. My Jack'O Pumpkin was a hit, or the just couldn't figure out what it was but it must have been not something anyone wanted to mess with because no one stole it or tried to destroy it! Yay! I also got rid of most but not all of the nasty fake fruit roll ups I bought to give out. I thought an early scouting party had spread the word I was only handing out fruit rolls and to avoid my house but later on a whole group of teeny children and their Mothers came by and they seemed to like the roll ups just fine. I think they liked them because they had Scooby Doo on them. One party asked where Dogger was. I think I would have gotten a lot more kids to my door had I just parked Dogger outside with the bowl of treats.

Certainly would have limited my exposure to the cold and rain. Dogger, for her part, spent the evening sprawled on her futon. Spoiled thing.

Oh, speaking of being spoiled Free Cooking Channel is back! Woo! I thought something was up when DIY came back but Cooking Channel is the real deal. Everything is years old and features weird disco inspired cooking music, but yay! Two Fat Ladies, French Cooking at Home, Bitchin' Kitchen! My DVR has something to do again!

Now, I'm going to Target to see if there are any discounted dog costumes I need. Doggers' hot dog is showing its age and there were some really cute entries this year that featured tiny riders strapped to the dogs back and I thought those would be great for her because the costume wouldn't involve her deep, difficult to fit, costume-busting chest.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dive right in

In honor of it being winter, I thought it would be a good time to try a chowder recipe I found last summer, it was too warm then to make it but its perfect now.

Grandpa Thrills Fish Chowder

In a soup pot, using as little water as possible (I would substitute white wine or fish stock)

1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup cubed potatoes

(I would substitute -  a frozen bag o' veggies, they even sell a "soup starter" variety with the needed vegetables, or you could buy the whole shebang in a can and add an additional can of potatoes)

Add to the veggies and the cooking medium

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

(I substituted two cans of soup instead of the suggested 1 can of each, its nicer to have left overs. I would also buy the nicest store bought versions you can find, it makes a difference)

Stir to combine, cook until almost boiling


1 pound skinless fish, cubed
pepper to taste
celery salt to taste

(I added in addition to the above,  liberal amounts of powdered garlic and dried parsley, and a touch of cumin and a squirt of lemon juice and salt to taste. In the future I would also use 1/3 pound of three different meats, say, a firm bodied fish, clams and maybe musells)

Cook stirring, for another 7-10 minutes or until fish is cooked.

Monday, October 31, 2011

How To Cave A Watermelon like a Jack'O Lantern

Just in time for Halloween!

First, get a watermelon, in October. The watermelon should be ripe, but not too ripe, because the riper your melon the thinner the rind, if the rind is too thick and carving will be a nightmare, too thin and it will collapse.

You will need

- a watermelon, size is up to you. How much watermelon to you want to eat?
- a big, sharp knife
- a good sized serving spoon
- a pumpkin carving tool
- a large bowl

The first thing you will notice about your watermelon that unlike a pumpkin, is that it is not naturally hollow.

You have to cut a larger "lid" for your watermelon than you would for a pumpkin. This is also where the large serving spoon, pumpkin carving tool and large bowl come into play. Hollowing out your watermelon isn't actually all that much work and this is a quicker job than I had thought it would be. Watermelon is also significantly less slimy than pumpkin and there is no yuck factor to deal with.

Continue to remove as much melon as you can. I was not prepared for how wet the interior of the melon was. I kept having to drain puddles of water out of mine, even after I had scraped it as clean as I could.

Once you have removed the flesh, move on to carving.

An eye here, a nose there. Just like a pumpkin. Only cooler , I put newspaper inside the melon  over night in the refrigerator to help sop up the excess water.

Much red-er, none of that cheerful orange glow nonsense! The deep, scary red eyes are much more haunting.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

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The game

I would have a real entry today , but to be honest, I wanted to watch the game on a working T V. Go Rangers!!!!
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Another brick in the wall

I came home, I put on my little Rangers shirt and I planned my evening around watching the game. I even went to Target in my shirt to spread the Ranger love, apart from trying to proselytize to my fellow customers, I needed to get my 2012 calender for work and I heard they had some nice ones in the $1 section.

In years past, I had to pick out what kind of calender I wanted and sometime in December a new calender magically appeared - as office supplies tend to do. But then last year, my boss decided that the tax payers of North Carolina should buy my sticky notes, pens and printer ink but they should under no circumstances be asked to buy my calender! She removed the all ready delivered calenders that the unit had ordered and replaced them with versions she bought at the Dollar Store. I wonder if she wrote them off her taxes?

This year I didn't  even get the form for ordering the state sanctioned calenders. I hope the wacky  right wing taxpayers for whom my boss stands get  warm glows of satisfaction as a result of my being denied a decent calender -  Oh, wait I'm a tax payer and we don't get to pick and chose what our tax dollars go to because God knows I have a long list of things I object to having my state and federal tax dollars wasted on and I demand a refund for the Shrub Years as well.- I do not object to buying every other state employee a calender. I do not see a huge savings in denying  calenders to seven people. Freaking Tea Party idiots, they should be afraid, the more money I save buying discount calenders the more I have to donate to Democratic candidates and left-wing organizations and the more often I have to buy my own office supplies because they are such hateful bitches, the more I donate. Keep it up assholes, I've been saving up.

We are the 99% you jack-holes!  You will be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes. I think tomorrow in honor of having to buy my own office supplies because you hate me, I'm going to Sam's and buy some soup for the Occupiers.

I came home with my el cheapo discount calender and found that The Game had been rained out! I'm wearing my shirt and everything! I have my rally flag out too! This means that Thursday I have to put my shirt back on and make sure my rally flag is on stand by and try to get my groove back.

GO   RANGERS !!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The time it is a changing. Soon.

On the way into work this morning I decided I would have chicken wings with watermelon BBQ sauce for dinner., by the time I left work for the day I had forgotten all about the chicken wings and decided what I really wanted for dinner was pizza.

I casually passed my street and  went to the store and did a little wandering around and waited at the check out but really didn't care and then went on my way home.  I got home, took Dogger out to pee then fed her ,then fed me. While I was waiting for my pizza to heat, I changed clothes and caught up with my DVR. All very casual. I can do whatever I want  because it stays light for hours, I can take it easy. I don't have to rush around, I don't have to to do anything.

In a couple of weeks there will be more more trips to the store, no more casual post-work schedules. I will come home, I will change shoes and I will walk Dogger. Quickly. Its going to get dark early. Its not as pressing as it was, I'm not afraid to take Dogger out after dark any more but I do like taking her for a longer walk than our pre-dawn and evening walks around the block.  I really don't love rushing home to  hurry Dogger out the door for a brisk march around the nab. Its not really relaxing or enjoyable.There is an upside to all this rushing, after the initial flurry of activity, Dogger is much more likely to get her third walk of the day and I suddenly get a lot of house work done and even I get even more exercise in because suddenly riding the exerbike is much less of a chore - its too hot for the summer but once the house cools down, its a great way to get warm.

When its warmer and lighter I skip riding the bike and walk her later as to limit our exposure to hot air and hotter pavement and if I'm not walking her until seven, I'm not likely to take her for another walk at nine. I'm really going to miss casually coming home and watching TV and changing clothes and making dinner or maybe, instead, running errands or going by the store after work.  Tomorrow after work I think I'll go by the really nice Poverty Barn and check out their Christmas lights and then maybe hit the Sam's Club and then, eventually, head on home.  Slowly.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fix up

The back yard is officially back to being a "yard", the with the harvest of the melons complete and the removal of the voluminous vine, the cultivation season is officially over. Over the winter, the next step in the post-tree fall yard recovery  is going to be turning the non-cultivated portion of the yard from the missile site it is now back into a lawn. It is to dream the impossible dream.

But before all that gets started, I have two lovely melons waiting for me to do something with them. One is going to be a pumpkin but I haven't decided how I am going to exploit the other one. I may be radical and just eat it.

I pulled up the watermelon vine and returned the yard to its natural condition. I looked out the window a minute ago and I am all ready praying for snow. On the upside, now that its winter I have no real reason to go out there and I don't have to look out the windows. Speaking of windows, I have brand new curtains for the downstairs bedroom!  More ways to not look outside! I'm excited even if you are not. In fact, it makes the discovery of the sheers even more fortuitous. I bought  rods for them but I underestimated  just how wide the windows were and had to make a quick substitution.

I'm going to need to return the short rods because I'll need the bamboo poles I substituted for curtain rods back in the shed for the spring. I think the windows look so much larger now

The new curtains  ( not pictured) are full length,  fully lined and  insulated. They are useful and beautiful. The windows are going to look huge. I'm not sure what kind of light control they are going to offer but I can always get some pull down shades to keep the light out if it is a problem.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yay, Monday.

Okay. I would have had a new entry for today except that I was gone all weekend and then I got back and had to wash the dog and then her stuff and then me - Pro-tip, do not take a shower at the same time you are doing a load of luandry because your shower and your washing machine do in fact, use the same water. There isn't some special  "laundry only" water supply. Its all the same water and you can't use it all at the same time, no shareing allowed. Not very friendly at all. The city of Raleigh loves me though, I just paid for a whole new water treatment plant.

Oh, and I had to not watch the Lamegers, so I watched Bridesmaids instead, which turned out to be a lot more touching than I had thought. I thought it was a The Hangeover for girls but it really isn't. Kristin Wiig is so good.

Okay, the dog is clean, I am clean, the dogs laundry is clean, my movie is watched and the Lamgers aren't as lame as they were last night - thus far.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

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Real food.

My plan was to "watch" the game on my phone and actually watch Bridesmaids on the TV, but here I sit, the TV not even on. I'm not sure I want to start a movie at this late hour of if I could even sit still long enough to watch it. As late as it is, and it isn't late, I've missed the window of opportunity to start a movie.

I have places to go and people to see and stuff to move from one place to another. I also wanted to find a compost tumbler because now I think I need on. I can't have a compost pile because of my pre-existing rat and cockroach issues and I don't produce enough vegetable peelings to kept a proper pile fed. I could however, probably keep a garden tumbler maintained - I am totally willing to sacrifice and allow fast food places to pollute my meal with  salad if it means I could take the leavings home and feed them to the compost-er. I'm good like that. I mean its not like the lettuce and tomato they put on those burgers are meant to be edible or anything, they are just there for looks. I worked at a fast food place and you do not want to know what the shelf life for a sliced tomato can be, trust me. And those salads? I made a lot of those but I do not remember ever throwing one away.

I'm also avoiding the game because I'm pretty sure I'm bad luck. The games with the Tigers were not televised in my market and so I couldn't watch them and they won the series, most likely because I was not watching, They did do spectacularly well in the game that brought them to the series, but I was not watching at that point!, I didn't tune in until after and they only scored a handful of times after that.

 I watched the game against the Cardinals on Wednesday, and they lost so I am going to experiment and not watch tonight's game to see if it makes a difference. If they win, I'll stay away, if they they lose, that will be two in a row and its hard to come back from that so I won't watch because I really,really wanted us to win and I have spent years watching them lose all ready.

The prison system also wants to recover my couch and build me a personalized fire pit.

Back to the composting bins. I was under the impression that as a state employee, I could buy them cheap from the prison system and I think once upon a time I could. Those times are past because I went to the site and they weren't pictured. I could get my prescription glasses done through them if I wanted and I don't think I want. I am surprised that since this is offered that it is not mandatory and part of our insurance coverage. Perhaps right hand does not know what left hand is doing?  Hands not available for comment.

The prison system also wants to recover my couch and build me a personalized fire pit and sell me shirts and hats with their logo on them.