Sunday, January 02, 2011


I mostly ignored this blog in 2010. Sometimes it was the elephant in the room. Mostly, however, it simply didn't cross my mind. At all. I had a lot on my plate, both because of job searching and then starting a new career, and because of other, very fundamental, changes in my life. And I found myself not writing.

Sometimes I tried to write. I began a few posts, then got completely frustrated or disgusted or bored, and deleted each one. The posts were trite, the posts overshared, the posts were pointless.

For the past few weeks, I've missed it. I've missed writing itself, or participating in the blogging world, or maybe just the navel-gazing that blogging often allowed me to do.

So. It's a new year. For about six seconds, I considered launching a new blog. But that seemed grandiose. A more reasonable thought is just putting up a new post. So, now that I've addressed my long absence, I guess I need to address a few more things. Because of my new career, I'm going to be more circumspect in my posting. Before my new job started, I took down a lot of posts. Since this blog isn't anonymous, I don't have the luxury of posting whatever I think. Because I like being employed, and I like my current job. Also, my kids are old enough that they have a vote, and they prefer to not be the topic of my blog. Or be mentioned at all. And I think that's reasonable.

Which makes the whole thing funny, when you think about it. This blog's address is "", and I won't be writing much about work or my kids. Let's enjoy the irony together for a moment.

Did you hear the crickets chirping? Or was that my imagination?

Okay, I think that actually explains my long hiatus better than the first few paragraphs. Without those two topics - the two topics that were the original inspiration for this blog to begin with - I'm left to write about, well, um. I don't really know. I won't be writing about my cats and dogs, and I don't cook or garden or craft enough to write about that.

I'm going to leave it to the readers, since I don't really have a clue. What should I write about?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Dog spelled backward

I woke up yesterday morning with an extra person in my bed - my daughter. She's twelve now, and hasn't climbed into my bed in years, so I asked her what was going on. She explained that she had thrown up in her bed a few hours before. (*She also told me that afterward, she slept the rest of the night in her bathtub.)

The night before, we had a strange bit of behavior from "her" dog, Biscuit.

For background, our dogs stay downstairs in our house. We used to have a baby gate on the stairs to keep them from venturing upstairs (because they had occasional accidents up there), but have removed the gate and they stay down.

**For more background, Biscuit, now seven, is a sensitive dog, especially to weather. She gets very nervous when it rains, and generally hides in my closet during storms or even hard rain. Sometimes, however, she sneaks upstairs and hides under my son's bed during bad weather.

So, Sunday night, Biscuit kept going upstairs. Instead of hiding, however, she kept going upstairs, then halfway down the stairs, then back up, then down, and so on. She finally laid down in my daughter's room, still agitated.

My daughter has a day bed with a trundle, and she uses the trundle as an auxiliary night table, piling books, purse, and other items on it.

When I went upstairs to check out the situation, and to tuck in the kids, the girl and I decided that Biscuit was up there to stay, so we removed the books and other items from the trundle so that Biscuit could sleep there.

The dog stayed up there a few minutes, then came downstairs.

A few hours later, my daughter had thrown up all over both beds. As she correctly noted later in the day, if Biscuit hadn't been acting so strange, she would have thrown up on her homework, her school books, her beloved Harry Potter books, her purse, and more.

She concluded that it was a great stroke of luck. I, however, remembered that dog spelled backward is God. And I thanked Biscuit for taking such good care of her girl.

*Yes, in her amazingly rational adolescent, fever-addled brain, my daughter figured that, even with an extra bed upstairs and a perfectly comfortable sofa downstairs, the best place for her to sleep was the bathtub. Because it was near a toilet. She went to the spare bedroom and got pillows and bedding and removed all the shampoo, soap, and other containers from the tub, and made a little bed there. The best I can figure is that she was running a high fever and was completely out of it. Because that's one of the most bizarre things she's ever done.

**We got a surprise snow event later that night, waking up to 3+ inches of snow that were not predicted, but I don't think this was why Biscuit was so agitated.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Not sure what this means

So, this is what I saw when I was making mashed potatoes tonight.

Doesn't it look familiar?

Where should I start the bids on eBay?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ten days into '10

We've made it ten days into the year, and it's probably about time for an update on my non-consuming progress.

I'm delighted to report that I've remembered to bring reusable bags with me every time I've grocery shopped this year. Sure, on freaking January freaking first, the cashier at the store insisted on wrapping my meat in a plastic bag and putting my milk into a plastic bag, which pretty much negated my use of two reusable bags, but every other time it's worked out okay. I didn't know, until today, that Target gives you a five-cent discount for every reusable bag used in your order. I also didn't know, until today, how much a cashier could fit into a reusable bag. Impressive. Well played, Ms. Cashier, well played.

Frustrations? The big one is how few plastic containers are recyclable in our community. Memphis recycling only takes the type 1 and 2 plastics, but most of the products I buy that come in plastic tubs are the type 5, which has much less carbon impact in manufacture, but it darn near kills me to throw away those tubs. Sure, I could reuse them, but there are only so many sour cream cartons a girl needs! We haven't purchased yogurt in quite a while (the kids lost their taste for it), but I may start making my own, and substituting that for sour cream.

I started some sourdough starter a few weeks back, and that's reduced my family's purchases of yeast and sandwich bread. I'm baking every three or so days, and the recipe I'm using slices very well and has a soft crust. I've substituted whole wheat flour for half the white flour in the recipe and it still turns out very well. It's not a San Francisco-type sourdough...more just a solid bread recipe. My starter is pretty basic...a tablespoon (or one package) of yeast, a cup of flour, and a cup of warm water. Mix in a large bowl, cover, and whisk it frequently for a few days, then put it in a smaller container (mayonnaise jar?) and refrigerate. I make sure to use mine at least twice a week, feeding it with equal parts flour and water when I use it. (Basically, if a recipe calls for 1 cup starter, after measuring out the cup of starter, replace it with 1/2 cup each of flour and water. No need to replace the yeast unless the whole thing goes bad or dies.)

My consumer addiction is very easily swayed by television ads, I learned. We already know that I'm hooked on cosmetics, despite the fact I rarely use them. But a major makeup company has brilliantly bundled some eye makeup products by eye color (three shadows, an eyeliner, and a mascara), and I found myself in a bit of consumer lust. (No, I didn't buy them. I'm not insane.)

One concession I made to the kids: the gift cards they received as holiday gifts? They got to "buy" brand-new products with them. The girl and I went shopping today, and she really enjoyed it. However, she seemed to enjoy our trip to Goodwill too. I think the paradigm can shift, even for a tween girl.

All in all? The first ten days of '10 have gone well.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


Yesterday, the first day of my year-long experiment in carbon-footprint-shrinking, we had an early fail.

At the grocery store, I had brought in my reusable bags (yes, I did have to go back to the car to get them, because that's still not a habit), but I still got home with two more plastic bags because the cashier was quite insistent that my meat and milk needed to be in plastic bags so they wouldn't leak onto my other items. And I was tired enough (and polite enough) not to argue.

Yes, we reuse all our plastic bags (when the husband delivers papers, when I walk the dogs, etc.) but I still hated bringing them into the house.

Only one impulse buy at the store, and it was something we do purchase frequently. It was on sale and had coupons displayed alongside, reducing its price to about half what we'd usually pay. If our freezer were less full, I'd have bought more.

The daughter is resigning herself to the no buying new stuff part of the experiment. She was horrified for a moment when she realized she hadn't spend her Christmas gift cards, but I assured her that such purchases were perfect exceptions to the rule, especially because they were technically 2009 purchases.

Too bad it's so cold outside. I'm ready to take down the holiday decorations and put 2009 entirely into the past.