Monday, October 31, 2011

Obligatory holiday post

I just realized that I've been blogging for a year! Actually, Saturday was the anniversary of my first post, which sucked. I did post a pretty awesome one a few days later, in which the wider world was introduced to my father-in-law. In the year I've been doing this, I've posted 281 times, which equals one post every 1.3107142857 days (if you want to be technical about it). In this time I also have not been offered a book deal, I was not invited to Fashion Week (or even Aldi), no one has offered to sponsor any posts of mine (even Wegmans), and I haven't mobilized an army of supporters against William Shatner. I will still call it a net win, though, because I have at least three people a day stop by and read whatever bullshit I'm thinking about when I happen to sit down and write. I'm not exaggerating about that number. Tell your friends to read my blog, or something, because I think we can see that I'm not exactly aces when it comes to marketing myself.

Anyway. It's Halloween. Our party on Saturday night was pretty good. Andy and I dressed up as Grimace and the Hamburglar, which was a huge hit. Other notable costumes included Lucille and Buster from Arrested Development, and a hobo in an actual union suit with a bindle. It's always a little hard to mix all of our groups of friends together, and we were missing some key players in the "let's get everyone to mingle!" category, so it wasn't the best one we've thrown. Oh, and some girl, a guest of a guest, BROUGHT HER AUNT AND UNCLE. A girl we've met literally once - because a friend we invited brought her to our party two years ago - brought along her mid-fifties aunt and uncle. They were the oldest people by about 20 years, and they knew a total of two people there. So, so weird.

Andy's family is going slightly less all-out this year than they usually do. They used to have this huge, scary setup in the front yard that would have inspired Childhood Rachael to skip their house. But the demographic in the neighborhood has changed, and there are a lot less kids of trick-or-treat age, so it's not worth three hours' worth of work in almost-freezing temperatures for only 50 kids. I'm hoping this means I get to hang out with Andy, but don't worry: I'll have my cell phone handy and ready to record any ridiculous shit spouted by Andy's dad.

How were your Halloween parties? What did you dress up as?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Three things I like and one thing I don't

1. It's Friday, and we're having our party tomorrow, and Andy has done 100% of the decorating for it.
2. I really like grocery shopping with my husband. Is that weird?
3. There's a new comic up over at Hyperbole and a Half, and it's fucking good. The comments that are all "you're too awesome to be depressed! cheer up!" are seriously misguided and come from people who almost certainly have never dealt with depression, but most of them are awesome. (Also, I thought I had talked about my depression here before, but I just checked real quick in the googles, and it seems to indicate that either I haven't really talked about it much (I mention it here) or I used secret key words I no longer remember. In summation: I have dealt with depression. It fucking sucks. Telling a depressed person to cheer up, or trying to put depression "in perspective" by pointing out how much worse other people have it, will not help. Ever. Also, I'm much better now, thanks.)

1. Knitting lace. So, so awful. Reading charts takes a million percent of my concentration, so I can't even zone out on a good movie while I knit. Ugh.

What are you planning to be for Halloween? WANT TO COME TO MY PARTY?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fostering: we're certified!

As of 12:32 this afternoon, Andy and I are officially certified foster parents and our home is open for a placement. Woo!

It's seriously weird to think that we could get a call any minute now to take a placement. There was a dude in our very first meeting who got a placement his very first day of certification. We know it's more likely that it will be a while, so we're still hosting our Third Annual Awesome Halloween Party on Saturday, and we're still planning to host Thanksgiving at our house.

I want to paint the ugly nightstand in the guest room/nursery, which will have to wait until after the party this weekend, so it would be kind of cool if we didn't get a placement till after that. Otherwise, I'm set.

Do you dudes have any questions about this shit that I haven't answered yet? 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Computer issues

Ducklings, my laptop is still not happy with me, and Andy's is being borrowed, and I still can't figure out how to post from my phone, so you will all have to wait patiently for the hilarity to resume.

In the meantime, check out these three things to make you happy:

Animals talking in all caps

Homemade mustard on Food in Jars (Andy LOVES mustard, so I am thinking of making this for him for Christmas)

Absolutely spot-on list of Things For Which There Should Be Punishment by Amy at Just a Titch

I can still read and reply to comments, so maybe share something awesome too!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fostering: still waiting

We're still not certified.

By all accounts, this is what I should expect from foster care. Our final home visit was great. Our caseworker got our homestudy finished and to us to review within two days. We got it back to her the same day - last Friday. She said she'd turn it in to her supervisor on Monday.

Now, the supervisor is in charge of 17 caseworkers, and is the only person who can sign off on our homestudy so that we can officially be opened for placements. I get that there are things that are a lot more important and urgent than reading a six-page thing about people you've never met. But seriously, how long can it take to flip through it and give it a stamp?

My mom and sister threw us a fucking awesome foster shower a few weeks ago. We have everything we need and a whole lot of stuff we wanted. We could get a kid today and only have to buy clothes and diapers and formula (if the kid is young enough to need 'em). But we have absolutely no control over when that paper gets signed, and no control over how long after that we'll get a kid.

I texted my sister that every time my phone lights up that I'm getting a call (instead of a text), I jump. I pretty much never get actual phone calls, so for a split second each time I think it's the county. I told her I'm irritated at having to wait. The Kid, in a fit of wisdom, pointed out that the universe knows that we throw a really awesome Halloween party and wants to make sure it happens this year too.

I finally got the list of approved daycares in our area, so next week I'll at least have a project to keep me a little busier. I'm going to call around and see if any of the approved places keep an open spot for foster kids, and if they have any availabilities, and if Andy and I can come in to check things out. We like the looks of one place that could be on the way to work for either of us, and found out today that they're on the approved list, so I'll start there.

Any tips on how to be patient when there's no way to know how long stuff will take? Also, any questions about any of this shit?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How we met

Did I ever tell you all about how Andy and I met? It isn't really meet-cute, tell-the-grandkids stuff, but it's funny, I guess.

I went to school with a bunch of dudes who were in a band together. I had a major crush on the bassist, for, like, ever. He dated the same girl pretty much straight through high school, so I never told him how I felt, besides flirting outrageously at any chance I got.

Andy was in a band then too, and the two bands were often booked together at a terrible, disgusting dive bar not far from us. The dudes in the two bands would hang out a bit before and after shows, until Andy somehow became a peripheral and then a regular member of the group I hung out with.

I want to remind you all that I have an absolutely terrible memory, and that I count on Andy a lot to remember stuff for me. In this case, I believe this is how it happened, but man, he comes off looking way better than I do.

The day we met, the bassist I had a crush on was coming over to pick me up for some group event - I didn't get my license until I was 19, so someone was always coming over to pick me up. I had great friends. ANYWAY, this dude stopped by, and Andy was with him. Or so Andy says. I honestly had such a crush on the bassist that I don't even actually remember being introduced to Andy! I just know that he became part of my group of friends that summer.

Later that summer, the bassist's long-time girlfriend (the same one from high school) was revealed to be a horrible cheating scumbag, right around the same time I broke up with a douchebag I had been dating for a little while. The stars aligned - by which I mean we got varying degrees of wasted and talked on the phone - and I told the bassist that I had had a crush on him since eighth grade. No big deal, right?

Bassist-guy and I dated that summer for a few months, but agreed neither of us were really in the right place for a relationship. Plus, being with him wasn't as awesome as I had expected it to be. There was nothing wrong or anything; we just weren't the right fit. We broke up very amicably and continued hanging out with the same group of friends as always. While I had been dating that dude, though, I had started to develop a real friendship with Andy.

At the end of the summer, our friends all started drifting back off to school. Our big group of friends dwindled, until it was just me and Andy and one other guy/girl pair. The more time I spent with him, the more I realized how awesome he really is (my sister is gagging right now) and the rest, as they say, is history.

Oh, and I'd like the record to show that I remember our first kiss very well, as I'm the one who initiated it.

How did you meet your beloved? Do you at least remember it?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I shook off yesterday's grumps and got a lot done today. In addition to my usual eight-hour workday, I have done the following things:

  • Read the entirety of a former classmate's blog. The girl who was my neighbor when we were kids got into some serious shit when we were in high school - like, drugs and trouble with the law and stuff - and I hadn't heard anything about her in probably five years. Recently, a friend sent me the link to her blog, and it turns out she was into even worse stuff than I had heard about, by a lot, but has since found Jesus and has been clean for over a year and is working on becoming a minister. So, good for her. 
  • Called the Western New York something-or-other to get the list of approved daycares that my county works with. We don't have a placement yet, but our caseworker suggested it's a good idea to start looking for places with available space and interview a couple, so that we're not scrambling to find a place we like and that has room once we get a kid.
  • Made granola bars for the friend who diagnosed the problem with my netbook. She didn't actually do anything to fix the problem, so she insisted that granola bars weren't necessary, but she contacted Samsung for me and found a few possible solutions, which means baked goods are in order. Today I added dried cranberries and golden raisins. Should be awesome. 
  • Bought a Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk cake (from Wegmans, which is the only store ever with amazing store-produced bakery items. I will fight you on this one). I'm trying to decide if I feel like going to Pints and Purls and bringing the cake to share, or if I want to stay home and watch Arrested Development on Netflix for three hours and have the cake with Andy.
Sometimes I like to do a review of my day like this so it looks like I've gotten so much done. I'm also one of those people who rarely remembers to make a to-do list before getting stuff done, but who loves making one afterwards so I can cross everything off all at once.

What awesome stuff have you gotten done today?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I got home from work today and had my grump on, for no good reason. Then I wrote a whole post about all the awesome stuff we got in our CSA share today, and Blogger ate it. Then I made awesome whole-wheat mac and cheese with broccoli for dinner, and for some reason my sauce wouldn't thicken, so basically I made the world's weirdest soup accidentally, plus I had to clean up the giant mess I made while trying to make awesome food and failing. (Note: Andy still ate it with gusto and insisted it was delicious.)

Now my glasses have a smudge from where my eyelashes hit the lens, which happens every fucking day with these glasses and are you freaking kidding me, I've worn glasses since fourth grade and I've never had this happen, so what the fuck, Warby Parker. Also, I am writing this on Andy's giant MacBook, because my precious little netbook, which he got me for my birthday two years ago, is currently out of commission with what the internet says is a really common issue (the little power slide tab thing appears to have broken its spring) and which Samsung is claiming they've never heard of.

All I'm trying to say is, thank god for Honey Brown lager and Netflix.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lovely autumn Saturday

Did I ever tell you that autumn is my favorite season? Well, it is. I hate summer, basically, because I get heat exhaustion really easily, and I don't love winter, because my toes are always cold, and in spring everything is muddy for four months. But autumn? Cooler weather, pretty leaves and mums and cloudy days? That's just wonderful.

I had a really boring post written telling you all about what we're up to today, but it boils down to this: We're hanging out, eating good food, taking care of our home and each other. That's pretty cool, right? Right now it's super windy out so I'm sitting at the kitchen table writing this and watching the leaves and pine needles flying around my backyard and feeling grateful for how awesome my life really is.

Is that too cheerful? I can say more cusswords next time if you like.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Because pills fix things, right?

So I just took Pancakes to the vet. We were there to have her checked for a UTI, which my sister suggested might be the reason she's been peeing in the house. The vet confirmed that she did have a UTI (way to go, Kid!) and gave us some pills, which should eliminate the peeing-in-the-house nonsense.

I also talked to her about our frustration with her inability to focus on anything. Like I said, she can sit and lay down, but by the time we go to praise her for following the command, she's standing or jumping again. So we got a prescription for something called trazodone, which is basically doggy ritalin. We're supposed to give her half a pill at a time when we need her to chill out and/or focus. I'm hoping it helps calm her down enough to actually learn to obey. The best part is, we got the UTI pills at the vet, but we have to get the ritalin stuff at the actual pharmacy, so Wegmans is going to think I'm absolutely insane when I drop off a prescription for Pancakes [LastName].

While we were there, I noted that Pancakes is way more awesome than a lot of other dogs. I think I saw maybe a dozen dogs go through the waiting room while we were there, and I'd say more than half of them flat-out ignored the owner. Some of them were big dogs, like labs or whatever, and just pulled the owners around whenever they lunged to try to smell something. Pancakes stopped pulling at her leash when I told her to, and didn't lunge anywhere (except she did try once to make a break for it to play with a huge dog who would have eaten her). So, you know, it could be worse, or something. Except I don't like big dogs, because I'm a sissy and at least if my dogs turned on me I'd have a fighting chance because I could throw them, so I wouldn't get a big dog anyway.

Have you ever used doggy ritalin? Also, what's your favorite trick for giving a dog a pill? This is time-sensitive.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

If I had been born in the 1800s, I'd have died young, I think.

I'm just sitting here reflecting on how awesome Midol is. I'm not kidding. Every few months, for some reason, I spend one day a month in absolute misery. Pain all day, aching (lower back and uterus, in particular), shaky, and generally cloud-y-brained. The crappiest part of it is that Midol doesn't really do much to help on the very worst days, even though it's pretty useful the rest of the time. As you might guess, today is one of those it's-not-helping days, which is why this post probably won't make very much sense.

I got ear infections sometimes as a kid. That's where the title of this post came from. I was thinking about how if I had been a lady in the 1800s, I would probably have either been ignored or given, like, opium for my mysterious lady problems, but also they wouldn't have had amoxicillin to fix my ears. (I looked that up to confirm it, and can now state with confidence that amoxicillin was discovered, or invented, or whatever, in 1972.) I also don't know if an untreated ear infection could kill a child, but I do remember getting a terrible ear infection on Christmas Eve when I was six and we were visiting my grandparents in another state, and I can tell you that the several hours it took to find an open doctor and then an open pharmacy was enough to reduce me to tears.

I came home from work and put on pajamas and am applying a hot pad, but instead of staying here in my jammies and watching NOVA for five hours, we're going to Andy's parents' house for Andy's dad's birthday dinner. The real shame is that I'm so exhausted I probably won't even be keeping a running commentary by text message, so whatever gems Andy's dad comes out with will probably be lost to history. Or something.

This doesn't make any sense.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On Pancakes

So a lot of the stuff I'm about to write isn't actually official, and is mostly me just processing feelings and stuff because I don't actually know the difference between having a blog and having a Livejournal. Oh, and it's also pretty boring, probably, so maybe just go read my archives or something.

Andy told me yesterday that he thinks we need to find Pancakes a different home.

You've read about Allie Brosch's simple dog over at Hyperbole and a Half, right? Well, Pancakes is an awful lot like that simple dog. She wants, very badly, to be a good dog. She just doesn't have the mental capacity to do so a lot of the time. This causes Andy a lot of stress and unhappiness.

Pancakes is part Jack Russell. This means that she is really, really into finding stuff to do outside of, say, our backyard. She has managed this by finding a weak spot in our fence and worrying at it until she got it loose enough to slip through, then by doing the same to any fix Andy has made to it. Now that he has it on serious lock-down, Pancakes has apparently discovered that she can, in fact, just jump the fence.

She jumped the fence and disappeared last night, while I was asleep, and refused to come back when Andy called her. He had to find her in our dark neighborhood at midnight. He came to bed and told me what had happened, and then said, quietly, that he didn't know if he could keep dealing with this. When I asked him what that meant, he told me that he thinks it might be time for us to find a better home for her.

It's not like we haven't tried to train her, and she is in fact loads better than when we got her. But she also does completely bizarre and unacceptable things sometimes. For example, I put the dogs outside, waited for them to pee, let them back inside, then went down to the basement to get something. Pancakes followed me down there and peed on the carpet. What the fuck is that about? She's housebroken and had literally just been outside.

I have more patience with Pancakes when she does stupid shit like escape or chew on stuff, because I know we need to give her more exercise than we do. I guess I see it as a failing on our part instead of hers. But the peeing in the house? Oh, no. That needs to stop.

Andy has agreed that we can try a) getting a long lead for the backyard, so that Pancakes can't go past a certain distance but can still run around, and b) trying an obedience class so we know she'll come when we call her even if she does get out. We'll do that before we start talking about who we know who might be willing to take her (even if we do find another home for her, it absolutely wouldn't be the pound).

Ugh. I'm PMSing, so obviously I'm even more emotional about this than I need to be. I see how stressed Andy gets when he has to go out looking for a dog who has plenty of room to run in our backyard, and how pissed he gets when she pees in the house. He doesn't deserve to feel that much stress in his own house. He deserves to not have to worry about what she's getting into. But at the same time, I feel like he's giving up without doing any of the extra stuff himself: he is okay with ME finding her an obedience class, or taking her for walks more often, or whatever, even though he's the one with the problem with her behavior.

Like I said, this post is just me sorting through what I'm thinking and feeling, which can be summed up as follows: this fucking sucks, no matter how I slice it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More craigslist joy

So you all remember my paranoia about buying that crib mattress off of Craigslist, right? Well, I wasn’t murdered then, but I still remain wary of Craigslist transactions.

On Sunday afternoon, I listed a bunch of landscaping rock on the “free” section of CL. I got, like, fifteen freaking responses. And it turns out, more than being full of creepers, it’s full of lazy people and/or flakes. I’ve had two different people tell me they were on their way to get it and never show up. I even stayed home from going to the bar for football last night, because some stupid lady was supposed to come get it and never did. (I had beer at home, though, so it worked out okay for me.)

This morning I emailed my home address to four people who indicated they were still interested. I assumed I'd get home to find my house destroyed, but at least the rocks would possibly be gone. Turns out they weren't. So I have given at least six people my name and/or address, an idea which is terrifying, because of crazy people, and these fucking rocks are still here.

Oh, and I forgot that I put my phone number in the email I sent to people yesterday, and I was seriously freaked out that I’ve gotten four phone calls today from unrecognized numbers, so I didn’t answer any of them. Turns out I did put my number in there, and asked people to call for the address. Oops.

I'm going to re-post the ad, with the address in it this time, and say that they're down by the curb. I seriously want them gone, and I'm feeling reckless.  

Have you ever been irritated at how difficult it is to give things to strangers? This is crazy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Birthday list

My birthday is in early November. When we were kids, my parents made it a rule that we couldn't start asking for things for our birthdays until one month beforehand, because my siblings regularly started asking for stuff ten months in advance. So, that habit has stayed ingrained in me and now I don't start thinking about what I want for my birthday until it's so close you'll probably have to pay extra for shipping.

I also have never really been good at asking for things. When I was six, my entire birthday list was "a skirt for my Barbie." Thing is, they really didn't make many Barbie skirts, and when they do, they sell them with summer stuff. So my poor mom schlepped all over town and finally found one in some weird toy store, probably at an exorbitant price. A few years later, for Christmas, I asked for "an elf and a beanbag chair." Same story - everywhere you looked there were toy Santas, but no elves. My mom says she finally found one on Christmas Eve, after looking for a solid month.

So basically, I like to make giving me things difficult.

Anyway. Here's what I'm asking for this year:
1. Skull earrings. Small enough to not be super-obvious, large enough to be awesome.
2. Art to put in my upstairs bathroom, now that it's painted and looks good. I really like this print. Anyone know if having it laminated at, like, Kinkos will keep it from being ruined in the very humid bathroom when I refuse to use the fan all winter because it makes me so cold?
3. An actual grown-up winter coat like this or this that will keep me warm. I've been wearing an Old Navy winter coat for two years. I'm not fourteen, so this is no longer an acceptable state of affairs. The first of those links is majorly on sale and comes in navy and pink, but the second is mostly wool, which I really prefer, but also a lot of money and out of stock in my size in the good colors. Looks like we'll be heading to the Lands' End outlet twenty minutes from my house to try some stuff on, hmm?
4. This pattern series from Etsy and someone to make me some pajamas. I understand that knitting with jersey is not easy, and also I can barely sew, so maybe I can find someone to custom make it. Also, and somewhat unrelated, it looks like that seller FUCKING MAKES COSPLAY WEIRD SHIT FOR GROWN-UPS WHO WANT TO PRETEND THEY'RE BABIES, AND IT LOOKS LIKE I JUST FOUND THE KEYWORD FOR MY PAJAMA SEARCH. I am a little uncomfortable adding "cosplay sicko adult-baby onesie thing, to be worn as pajamas in a decidedly unkinky way" to my birthday list, though, so we'll just stick with the patterns for now.
5. Knitting 24/7 and some new size 6 bamboo circular needles.

What's on your birthday list?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Baby names

This week I ripped the baby name section from the paper and left it on the table for perusal at my leisure. Andy picked it up and had a lot of fun reading some of the names to me. The best part is that Andy's dyslexic, so some of them ended up even more bizarre than they were on the birth certificate. He also walked around chanting "bry-ny-sha-ha!" for about twenty minutes. Fun.

- A'naiya Charvae
- Hiram Junior [Last Name] III (Junior is his middle name, and he's a third)
- Seratice
- Raihne (Rain? Ra-heene?)
- Yazir Ackylles-Malik (The middle one there is Achilles)
- Zero [Last Name] (Andy actually really liked that)
- Pipper (Combining Piper and Pippa [which is itself a nickname for Philippa]?)
- Lajha'Lyece
- Luv Faith
- Harmonni Deziree
- Mi'Kel
- Mykel (Really, is "Michael" that complicated?)
- Brynayshah Jamiyah Bryonna
- Jah'Mere Camr'yon (How the hell is that middle name pronounced? Like Cameron? Ugh.)
- Karizma
- Mattingly Sky (You better hope she grows up to be a baseball fan.)
- Jorddy
- Jetson David
- Emmaleigh (Emily was too pedestrian?)
- Sevin
- Fenix (Phoenix was too hard to spell?)
- G'Marceo
- James'Michael (WHAT)
- Regmyr "OB" JaQuez (How does he already have a nickname??)
- Isra'il S'amir (THE FUCK? Israel and Samir are perfectly reasonable names.)
- Jurney Nevaeh
- Twins: Kay'Monnie Ja'Siayah-Mon'Nay and Kar'Marrie Jo'Siayah-Carl'Edward (Two different people thought it was reasonable to combine full, normal names by just jamming an apostrophe in there. NOT OKAY)
- Dynasty Bonita

Lots of winners this week!

Friday, October 7, 2011

On being picky about stuff

I don't think it's any secret that I love getting rid of stuff. If it's not useful or beautiful, it goes. I've mentioned that telling people we're becoming foster parents somehow causes them to give us lots of stuff. This has created some conflict for me.

Yesterday I went through six boxes of stuff that people have given us. Most of the stuff inside was toys, for infants all the way up through five or six. I just got back from dropping off easily 80% of the stuff at Salvation Army.

Something I learned while working at the shelter was that people will donate all sorts of damaged, broken, dirty, stained garbage, because "the poor" can use it! As if "the poor" have more time, ability, and energy to mend the broken zipper on a pair of jeans, or should somehow be grateful for a puzzle missing a sixth of its pieces. People feel guilty about throwing things away, so they donate them instead. The problem is, a lot of the stuff that's donated is only fit for the trash, so shelters (and thrift stores) have to spend time and money on sorting through and disposing of this stuff. Seriously, I once spent an entire eight-hour shift sorting through Christmas donations, moving stuff from a general "incoming" heap into trash piles or bins sorted by age. People donated things like ripped bedsheets and stained stuffed animals, and about a third of the stuff I sorted went into the trash. Fortunately, people have been much better to us, probably because we're friends with good people and because we aren't faceless "people in need."

In fact, almost all of the stuff I donated today was in perfect condition. The problem was, most of it made noise. The very vast majority of the toys required batteries and had some sort of electronic component. Several of the things I donated today were Leapster or other pseudo-educational things that yelled out colors or letters or whatever when you pushed the buttons. Andy was especially surprised that I wanted to ditch those. However:
  • I learned in my eight years working with kids that my tolerance for noisy toys is very low. 
  • If I cannot make the sound stop by pushing the button a second time, I will very quickly learn to despise the toy.
  • I have seen many toys end up with faulty wiring and start making startling noises in otherwise quiet rooms without having any buttons pushed. I do not want that to happen in my living room, or in a bedroom where a foster child has just fallen asleep.
  • The batteries and mechanisms add some considerable weight to otherwise basic toys. I have seen heavier toys do real damage when used as weapons. If I'm going to get hit in the face with a toy (which, considering the age range we're looking at, is a likely event), I want that toy to be as light as possible.
  • In my experience, toys that make noise do the imagining for the kids. A basic wooden wand can be a magic wand or a spoon or a light saber or a pony, but an electronic light-up light saber can only ever be a light saber. I'd rather have fewer toys and more imagining.
So all of this means that I've been quite up front with people about what we want and need, and have happily volunteered to take whatever they're offering, and if it isn't right for us, I'll find it somewhere else to go. Sometimes that's to other friends and family, and sometimes it's to a thrift store. If the person offering it to us would rather hang on to it than see it donated, that's great and no hard feelings.

I feel like this is a good habit to be in, letting our friends know what we'll keep what works for us and find better homes for things that aren't. That way I don't have to feel guilty for donating a gift that is really not a good fit for our household. Now I just need to work on developing the same habit for weird Christmas gifts I'm given.

How do you handle being given things that you don't want or need? Any advice?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Regular occurences

Three things that happen pretty often in my house:

1. I eat beets. I remind myself while I'm preparing them and while I'm eating them that beets make my pee turn pink, and that pink pee doesn't mean I'm dying. I go about my day. I go pee. I note that my pee is pink and immediately think I'm peeing out, like, my kidneys or something. Every goddamn time I eat beets, the next time I go to the bathroom I have a minor freak-out.

2. Many mornings, Andy wakes me up just before he leaves for work. He does this because he's noticed that I'm not up yet, despite both of my alarms having gone off and the fact that I'm now ten minutes late. Instead of immediately getting up, I kiss him goodbye and spend ten more minutes in bed, reading the weather and news updates on my phone. It's really, really rare that any of the news articles I read are in fact useful to my life. Then I rush around like a madwoman trying to get out the door on time. I'm relieved that my job is flexible enough that I can be ten minutes late whenever I want, but I wonder if they were stricter if I'd be better at getting the hell out of bed.

3. I pick up something heavy or bulky, like a laundry basket, from next to a coffee table or end table or dresser. "Oh," I think to myself, "better watch out for that coffee table!" Then I immediately turn and crush my finger or jam my toe or scrape the everloving fuck out of my shin on the exact thing I just reminded myself not to hit.

The moral of the story here is, I don't exactly have it as together as I sometimes make it seem on this here blog.*

*Having said that, our corned beef dinner was fucking perfect.

Do you do this kind of thing too? I can't be the only one!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Death row meal!

If Andy were ever on death row, he says his last meal would be corned beef and cabbage. I think mine would be some sort of extravagant seafood bonanza, with a whole steamed lobster and fried clams and scallops (ideally, from The Red Barn in Maine) and french fries and corn-on-the-cob, except that I always cut off the kernels because they get stuck in my teeth. And a green salad, which I probably wouldn't eat because I'd be saving room for the lobster and clams and scallops. And a Coke (NOT DIET SO HELP ME) and also a good lager beer. And chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. And now I'm really hungry.

Yesterday our CSA share included both cabbage and potatoes, which are two of the four ingredients necessary for Andy's favorite dinner - the other two, of course, are corned beef itself and carrots. I pulled a big hunk of corned beef out of the freezer to defrost, and will have to grab carrots from Wegmans later, when I stop to get beer, because drinking anything else with that meal will be silly. Oh, and here's a fun thing: turns out that putting corned beef in a Crock-Pot on low for nine hours is just about the perfect way to cook it. We like the vegetables to still taste like vegetables, so we don't cook them together, so I'll just cook that shit up separately when I get home, and we will eat like convicted inmates, or something.

You all might as well know now that I seriously love corned beef. It was the last meat I ate before I became a vegetarian twelve years ago, and it was one of the first I ate (after my body was used to animal protein again, so I didn't get sick) when I started eating meat again two years ago. It remains the only meat I will ever "snitch" - like, I'll open the door to the fridge to get some cider, or whatever, and, oh, while I'm in here, might as well grab a bite of corned beef. Oh, what's that, honey? Want me to grab you something from the kitchen? Sure. While I'm in here, I'm going to stand in front of the open fridge and eat a chunk of this stuff with my hands. It is the only meal I cook where I will fight Andy for the last bite. We buy slabs of it at Sam's when they're cheap and keep one in the freezer for corned-beef emergencies. It makes me happy that it's one of Andy's favorite things, because then I have an excuse to cook it more often, and still seem magnanimous and caring and wifely instead of gluttonous. This paragraph isn't going anywhere. It's basically just a love letter to corned beef. Dang, I'm pumped for tomorrow.

Only sort of related, but interesting: final meal requests from Texas's department of corrections, updated through 2003. Made me hungry and also slightly sick to my stomach at the same time.

What would your death-row meal be? Be creative!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hello, home!

We had an awesome time in Boston! I brought knitting and didn't knit a single stitch, and I didn't miss the internet, and I ate really delicious things that were absolutely terrible for me. Now we're home, and I just brought in the newspaper and put my thumb straight onto/into a fucking slug, so I guess things are back to normal?

Our CSA has been giving us apples for weeks, and last week we got our first squash (butternut! yay!), followed by a cabbage and a spaghetti squash this week, so I'm loving all the autumn foods. I was going to celebrate not having plans on a Tuesday night for the first time in ten whole weeks by staying home and roasting some root vegetables and squash, but then our good friends reminded us that a really awesome farmer's market is held tonight, and it's only open for a few more weeks before closing for the season, so we're going to go so I can stock up on homemade natural shampoo bars and also some of the best baked goods I've ever eaten.

I think that's as good a way as any to celebrate, right? Especially as it coincides with dinner time, which will mean I'll have their baked goods for dinner, then probably come home and make an apple crisp for dessert. 

Do you have an awesome, can't-fail recipe for butternut squash that isn't soup? Please share it, because I hate that soup and get tired of just roasting this stuff all the time!