Monthly Archives: April 2012

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

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I don’t have much time, so I think I’ll save the ‘human sacrifice’ and ‘mass hysteria’ parts of this post for another day. I did have something that upset me -us- yesterday but I’m still having to think hard on it and amn’t ready to talk about it yet.

So I’m skipping right to the dogs and cats living together. Much more entertaining visually, in any case!

I can’t take credit for this one – iDJ took it with his ‘new’ iPhone 4S.

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Yes, she usually looks that depressed. She has issues. Even when getting to lie in the sunny spot at the top of the landing, and displacing the cats.

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It was okay, just this once – because the boys also had sunshine in our room. All those little feet hanging off the side of the bed make me giggle. Hubby also took this one.

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Another day, with me behind the lens (and it shows). Lokii just looked so … melted. Hard to see his little face though, in all that sunshine.

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And this morning Spot took his revenge on Neko for hogging the sunshine. This is what greeted me this morning – I had to use iDJ’s phone as it has a flash and it was too dark for my iPad. Yes, I sleep with my ‘pad and he sleeps with his ‘phone. We are sad, sad, sad. If we weren’t so pathetic, however, you wouldn’t be seeing the cat yet again win over the dogeen.

Spot’s never done this before – he normally sleeps on me like a furry lead weight. I can only guess my mental agitation once again led to physical agitation and I elbowed him one too many times in my sleep, so he turned to His Dog for comfort.

I hates what I hates, and tha’ what I hates

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A new blogging friend, Raising The Curtain, has reminded me of an old memory. One about my lifelong fussy eating habits, and how it all changed for me in a typically dramatic way even if it was unintentional.

I was a fat baby, and I remember my mom saying all it took to quiet me was a bit of zwieback that I could happily gum to death. I turned into a skinny child and teenager, despite the fact that I ate a LOT. Four big bowls of cereal every morning for many years! Oink. That was fine, it was fuel I burned off easily. And how I loved the food that I loved.

But boy, did I hate the things that I hated.

I loved ribs, beef fondue, pizza, my dad’s weird ‘black fungus Chinese chicken,’ grilled cheese sandwiches, especially with Lipton Chicken Noodle soup which is still my ultimate comfort food, ham sandwiches (no cheese) with the ham shaved so fine it was almost like ham mush – no thick slices of meat please and thank you. Watermelon, corn, green beans or wax beans (what the hell are wax beans, anyway?) fried chicken, roast beef, pork chops, shrimp boiled or fried, my dad’s smoked venison, and ‘hot n juicy’ hamburgers. Listing all these, I see that I preferred meat to almost anything else as a kid.

But…and it’s a big but…my hamburger was always plain. I didn’t even have one on bread. It probably didn’t have cheese often, either. Back then we tended to purchase sliced orange Kraft American cheese (not the plastic stuff that is wrapped in plastic. That crap isn’t even called legally able to be called cheese, it’s named “cheese food,” which sounds like something you feed to real cheese), not really worth putting on a good hamburger.

I ate, and eat: no catsup, mustard, or mayonnaise. I didn’t have salad dressing until I was 20, and it was a restaurant’s Italian dressing which converted me. We always had creamy blue cheese dressing. Blue cheese makes my tongue itch.

I would eat sliced raw tomato, if I could sprinkle sugar on it. I would not eat tomato sauce. I peeled the cheese off of my pizza and scraped the excess sauce out – a little was okay, but not great globs of it. I do this still when we don’t make the pizza ourselves. Did you notice I didn’t include spaghetti in my list of favorites? That’s because mine had no sauce; just pasta with salt and butter; and I irritated the shit out of my dad by rolling my meatballs around on a napkin to get the sauce off them, because they were cooked in the sauce. My meatballs had no onion in them, but did include a toothpick so mom knew which ones were mine (and my maternal grandfather’s – but that’s a story all by itself).

Which leads me into my biggest hate – onions. Hate, hate, hate them. Always have, always will. I can taste or smell them in food when no one else can; the aversion is that strong. If you cut an onion up for a salad and use the same knife to chop the lettuce, I will taste it. YUCK you’ve ruined my salad!

Bread and meat cooked together, for me, was – is – gross. No way would I eat meatloaf, or stuffing in a turkey, or even by extension my mom’s ‘porcupine meatballs’ which had rice in them, and possibly tomato sauce on the outside – I’ve blocked that memory.

We didn’t have a wide variety of vegetables in the 70’s/early 80’s. Or, maybe mom didn’t know what the more exotic ones were or how to cook them. Corn, except for creamed corn, was good with me. Spinach, however, was frozen and mushy. I could stand a little bit with enough butter and salt, but I never understood why my sister loved it so much! Potatoes and mushrooms could never be bad, in any form. Carrots were better raw, and I think I even ate mayonnaise when it was a raw carrot and raisin salad (I wouldn’t now). Coleslaw, no thank you – even though everyone raved about grandma’s secret recipe. But the absolute banes of my dinner experience as a child were Lima beans and Brussels sprouts.

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Limas. Ick.

They probably both came ‘fresh frozen’ back then, like the poor wilted spinach. I do know they were never fresh-fresh. I don’t think I’ve even seen a Lima bean in years, so either they are called something else here or they went out of fashion with big collars and pornstar moustaches on men.

I had the same method of attack for both Limas and sprouts: I cut them into chunks small enough to swallow whole, and took them like a pill with a gulp of milk. This was the only method that would win me the prize of dessert. The rule in our house was to eat all of your dinner or you get no dessert. Fair enough, rules are rules, and I tried like hell because back then I was a pretty good kid (that would change) and I wanted that slice of German chocolate cake or bowl of strawberry cheesecake ice cream, and I wanted it a lot!

There came a day, a day that is frozen forever in my mind, when I no longer was forced to eat the things that I loudly, dramatically and continually said I hated. It was a Brussels sprouts day. I cut each sprout into four sections. More pieces meant more time spent trying to swallow them whole without chewing which just prolonged my misery, and of course a longer delay for dessert. They were the only things left on my plate. I’d gotten about one-third through my allotted portion when it happened.

Maybe the sprouts were bigger than usual. Maybe it was just time. You see, my gag reflex nearly always kicked in and caused me to make unpleasant ‘urk’ noises when forcing down the noxious veg – even without chewing they were horrible. This time, it went a bit further and I puked milk and sprouts all over my dinner plate.

I can’t speak to my parents’ reaction, but I was never forced to eat the things that I hated again. My opinion was that they finally believed me, and I was so grateful.

I’ve never eaten Brussels sprouts or Lima beans since.

Anniversary Flowers

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I thought I’d post a quick one, of the flowers my hubby brought me on Saturday, for our seventh wedding anniversary on Sunday.

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Anyone know what the big daisy-like ones are? I haven’t bothered to Google them yet, but am tending toward Gerber Daisies, without having any idea of what those really are… they are our favourites out of the bouquet.

They still look and smell good nearly a week later!

Please note I cut the stamens out of my lilies so they won’t drip pollen on the cats :) The flowers themselves are well out of reach of Bad Cats.

Fabulous housekeeping!

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I’m so proud of myself: I cleaned something that really needed cleaning.

Really cleaning. Not like washing dishes, or rinsing the coffeepot before use, oh no.

Let me tell the long story. I will anyway, it’s my blog…

Hubby made pork chops for dinner. Before he cooked them, they were in a plastic bag. Which he thoughtfully left in the sink, crawling with icky pork juice. I held the lid of our bin out for him and he put it on the inside of the lid (keeps it from dripping on the trek from sink to garbage can, aren’t I clever). I took the contaminated plastic to the bin and promptly dumped it on the floor next to the bin. I made him pick it up since only one of us should have to wash our hands, clever me again. *snort*

Soooo… now I have gook on my floor, and all down the outside of the can, and need to get out the anti-bacterial spray and clean it up. Oh yes, so clever am I, with my clever methods of cleverly keeping nasty shite off my floor. So I cleaned it up, after snarking at him for not doing it himself, of course. He pretended he was just about to do it, of course. Ah, marriage…

But wait! There’s more. I didn’t toss the paper towel in the bin because it was barely used, after all. I left it on top of the bin, with the spray, to remind me of something else that needed cleaning: a place where one of the cats had barfed on our wooden stairs. I saw the distinctly not-clean spot last week yesterday and it had been bothering me ever since.

Eventually I had to pee and actually walked through the kitchen first, and lo! I cleaned the ick off the stairs.

But…the paper towel still wasn’t really, really, nasty. Surely there was something else I needed antibacterial spray for, now that I’d bothered to bring it all the way upstairs?

Well, yes. Way back in…October, I think… Spot got accidentally locked in our box room. This is a tiny, tiny, room that is the place where I hide the plants the cats will eat and any junk I don’t know what else to do with. Spot got locked in there for a few hours, so he had a good old chomp on the greenery. Which, of course, he puked back up. I wiped up the chunks right away, but after that amount of time, there was a sludge dried to the wood that needed more than a wipe.

I go in there maybe once a week to water plants. And have, since October, or whenever it was. But I never cleaned up the sludge.

Until tonight! Go, me! I deserve another rum and Pepsi. Glad the pork chops are almost done, too; after all that work I need a snack.

Socks has a Jicama!

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Ok I’m not going to apologise any more for being bad at updates. The thing is, poor Socks is getting overwhelmed with first-owned-house stuff, and visitors, and an approaching baby shower a buncha states away. She’s probably at the most ‘boring’ part of her pregnancy, as far as updates go, because not much is going on in there except a lot of growth! But she unfortunately doesn’t have a lot of time to meditate on the growing Budda-Belly right now with so much else on her plate.

So…three weeks(!) ago, Button was an ‘English Cucumber’ in length. Hmm. Hard to picture. Google isn’t much help, it seems mostly 26week pregnant women are putting up photos tagged ‘English Cucumber.’ Button’s brain was starting to get wrinkles then – so I guess before then she was really not able to think or remember or learn. Not as if there’s much to learn in there right now! However, she is reacting to loud noises with a big startle reflex, even when the noise is rooms away. Like when Bear decided Button’s closet was dangerous to little fingers – it had poorly made doors – and he made her a whole new walk-in closet, drywall and all! Lots of noise, and the soon-to-be parents both left little secret notes written on the hidden inside walls for Button to discover one day. Aww. Socks said she got a little emotional over the closet-building, too: the idea that they were creating something for someone they were creating was a bit of a surprising idea. Socks made me laugh when she talked about having the air-conditioning company come out to look over their heating and cooling – ‘He better be good, and fast – you just don’t mess with a pregnant woman’s temperature!’

Two weeks ago, Button was a Pineapple! I should have posted then, that’s a way better fruit than this week’s one. Up to 3 1/2 pounds or almost 1.6 kilos! Wow!

They had another ultrasound scan done – a fancy 3D one. You could see Button’s hair! That is just amazing. Button only got brain wrinkles last week, but hair already! Real hair, not the downy pigment-less fur she used to have covering her whole body. Button was also practicing how to breathe, moving her diaphragm up and down. Time for hiccups to start!

They did take time out to take a belly-photo, but she’s not had time to upload it yet. However, finally getting a chance to have a real wash, shave her legs, and actually blow-dry her hair was a welcome break from cleaning the new house and moving their stuff and changing addresses and getting cable and running a business and…
…and dealing with the bizarre, redneck, scatterbrained, possible Friends of Bill W, tattoo covered, greasy, biker appearing people Bear bought a used yard tractor from. The story is way too long for me to relate here: it took Socks a good hour to tell it what with me laughing so hard I nearly wet myself. Suffice to say it ended with Bear buying a new tractor elsewhere and getting it delivered in an hour. Which was a relief after a week or more of buying, using, not being able to use, and helping the nut jobs pick up for repair the used tractor. And that’s the short, short story with huge gaps…

This week! Week 32. This is ‘generic squash week’ or ‘a large jicama.’ I had to Google, and steal, someone’s pic of a jicama – I had no idea what it was even if I could spell it. Here:

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Not lovely, is it? Damn. The pineapple would have been so much more fun! Right, next time the fruit/veg is pretty, I’m posting. No more excuses.

Button is even bigger: already about 4 lbs or 1.8 kg. She’s 15-17 inches (38-43 cm) long from head to toes. At what is ‘officially’ seven months, she is nearly all the way formed. Not translucent any longer, real hair, and all of her senses are working. She usually seems to hang out head down, fingers in face, in all the ‘photos’, and is quite strong when she wants to be! Socks says she has a real sense of Button being a separate person that she can interact with and even play with by poking her belly and getting a reaction that is predictable and consistent (my words: she just said ‘playing with her is so much fun! When I poke here, she kicks me! When I poke there, she does a somersault!’).

Socks did say that she gets a shock when she sees her reflection by accident, like in the window of a restaurant where the server called her precious. (I’d not be able to eat if anyone called me precious. Just…no.)

And the best news for Bear? Her belly button has stayed an ‘innie!’

I’m Reading ‘The Hunger Games’…

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Hubby got me all three of the Hunger Games books…you might not see me for a few days. I didn’t really know what they were about, other than everyone is talking about it because of the movie. And what hubby said, which is its just a retake of ‘Battle Royale’. Donno if that was ever a book first, but I thought the films were just an excuse to kill pretty kids in interesting ways. Not much different than Friday the 13th was back when it was new.

But, I’m over half done with the first book. It’s well-written, believable, and the characters aren’t horrible stereotypes. There’s not pages of annoying descriptions of scenery or people, which I appreciate. And while I think, and thought from the first, that I have a good guess as to how it ends, I’m still trusting the author to throw me a curveball and surprise me.

I think I see what all the fuss is about.

I am a terrible wife…Spouse…Whatever.

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I am a terrible wife. Last night I (finally) spotted an envelope on our fireplace mantle, addressed to the both of us.

‘What’s that for?’ I ask.

‘What date is it?’ hubby replies, smugly. Well, smirkingly.

‘Um… Um…’

Oh yes, it’s about to be our seventh wedding anniversary! And I even got the number of years wrong on my first try.

At least one of us is a romantic (and I’m sure he gets it from his mum, who gave us the card!)

Love ya, babe – every year seems just like the last, and that’s a GOOD THING. I promise :)

Seedier than usual! Betcha didn’t think that was possible.

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It’s been coooold here. Currently, at just about 8pm, the sun is bright but I’m indoors instead of outdoors. I gave it a good try, for nearly two hours, but it’s bloody 10 outside. 10C. That’s 50F. I’m warm-blooded and all, but the breeze makes it even colder and I just couldn’t take it any longer. When my nose runs and a couple of random fingers turn white and numb, it’s time to go in. Sigh.

But from the looks of it, we have at least another hour of sunshine beating in through the windows, which is fantastic. Because on Sunday, I spent a few hours making an unholy mess in the kitchen planting seeds.

Which of course, required me doing a shit-ton of dishes first, so I had room to make said unholy mess. How did I end up being chief dishwasher and bottle-scrubber? Bah. In any case, I put my time in, and took breaks to sit in the sun so the stupid back didn’t get too annoyed with me, and I ended up planting a small fraction of my seedacopia (It’s like a pharmacopeia {eww, the UK spelling for that is just wrong. Reminds me of coprolites} but with seeds). My mother in law works in a newsagent and when no one buys the magazines, they rip off the cover and return it to the publisher for a refund. But gardening magazines usually come with free seeds. Instead of throwing them away, she sets them aside and gives them to me! Hence, I have a lot of seeds.

I’d love a proper and pretty metal seed-organiser, but as ye know I’m cheap and I recycle/repurpose, so a big shoe box holds them for now- until I have too many and need one box for flowers and one for vegetables. Maybe I’ll paint the box I have! That’s a good idea…

Anyhoo, the sun is helping these new lives begin, and I’m thrilled to bits. If you have never grown from seed, start with carrots – it’s amazing something so big and tasty can come from something so damn tiny! I’m amazed every time when my minimal effort, some dirt, water, light and warmth can bring forth a huge plant from a tiny, dry nubbin that seems so very, very, lifeless.

But…as I said from the start, it’s coooooolllllldddd. I didn’t think anything at all would have the moxie to actually make the effort toward life, even though I’m keeping the seed trays indoors. Imagine my surprise when by only Tuesday I had sprouts! It was the morning glories I started for my Canadian friend. She has a long garden at her new rental house, and needs something to grow upwards and be a visual blocker to keep her greyhound from going through the fences. I thought a nice hardy and pretty climber might do the trick. According to Lagitana, morning glory is a bit of an invasive weedy pest, so it makes sense that it was the first to catch the spark of life.

I got a bit smarter this year and actually wrote down what I planted! So here’s the list, and believe me, I’d love to have about eight more seed trays so I could keep going and going and going…

April 15 plantings

Beets, Carrot autumn king, Purple broccoli, Basil
Californian poppy; Morning glory; Ladybird poppy
Coleus mix, Cosmos mix, Dianthus
Rudbeckia, Larkspur, White cornflower, Blue cornflower

I also tried some ancient beans iDJ found in a skip (Dumpster) and raspberry and lilac seeds I collected in the wild – not likely these will grow but what the hell.

So far I have the morning glory, both colours of cornflower, the rudbeckia, the cosmos and either the coleus or dianthus (I don’t know which end of the tray is which, oops), the rudbeckia… And I can’t really figure out what else. Nothing out of the beets, carrots or broccoli yet, but I didn’t have them under cover until today when I decided to put them in a clear plastic bag to help out.

I’m so surprised it took them less than a week. The cornflowers are the tallest, by the way – and I did the blue ones last year in pots out front and enjoyed them – they got so tall and flowered for ages, and the dry blooms looked nice in an unused vase until the cats decided they were a tasty treat…

Oh – last but by no means least is the lavender from seed! Apparently this is a difficult plant to get going from scratch, but a month in damp soil in my fridge (in one of the plastic-lidded takeout containers from our gorgeous local Chinese that I saved. See, being thrifty comes in handy!) did the trick and I now have five little guys about a centimetre tall each in their own 3″ pot – I really hope I can keep them going, as my store-bought lavender died two years ago in our first bad snowy winter.

Yay for some green!

Random Two

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Every time we buy chicken wings I have to wash them, thoroughly, and remove all traces of feathers. I don’t want to eat any feathers, ever. It’s a long, arduous task and kills my back. It’s also boring and a bit disgusting. Every time I clean wings, I think of all of my vegetarian friends and I’m jealous that they will never, ever, have to do this.

But I never think of them once when I’m crunching away on my dinner of on oh-so-tasty hot wings.

Random One

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I had no idea that Cee Lo Green was a woman. And I’m glad. I’ve heard the name, and think it belongs to a musician, but never saw her until just now because she apparently has a cat.

I kind of like my priorities in this case: cats over crappy modern music.

I still think ‘Cee Lo Green’ sounds like a male gangsta rapper, though.