Friday, April 27, 2007

I was wrong

An amendment to my previous post. The snack below is not complete until it is A) wrapped with bacon and B) grilled until crispy.

Because today I received this recipe for bacon-wrapped hamburgers in my inbox, and I realized that wrapping something with bacon is a special kind of miracle.

Plus, you may or may not be aware of my food-inside-other-food fetish. For example, cheese ravioli. What's better than noodles and cheese? Noodle-WRAPPED cheese, of course!

You're all invited to the food-wrapped food party I plan to have one day. I'll be dressed as a Hot Pocket.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Power snacks

This is my new favorite thing:

1 crunchy little banana chip
1 craisin or dried cherry
1 yogurt-covered raisin

Gather these three things into your hand and then quickly pop them all into your mouth. Are you with me? Are you experiencing the sweet, crunchy, creamy, chewy, tangy taste/texture explosion?

I only know this because I bought a bunch of dried fruit for my kids to eat after school in place of candy and chips, and they proceeded to laugh in my face.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mulch mountain

What did I do this weekend? First, I let my husband know how glad I am that he came into the world on that cool, spring day in April, 1973. Then I affectionately counted his gray hairs.

And then I moved over 700 pounds of hardwood mulch. No, I'm not kidding. I have mulch in the front of my house. Mulch in the back of my house. Mulch in my shoes. Mulch in my hair. I think I brushed my teeth with mulch. And I'm pretty sure that was mulch I ate for breakfast.

When you say the word "mulch" often enough, you start to feel like you're producing excessive saliva.

Which is unfortunate, because it's now illegal to spit in public where I live.

But it IS legal to replace the word "mulch" with other words in conversation for your own amusement. For example, while surveying your freshly mulched yard with your newly 34-year-old husband, you can remark, "This does look MULCH better!" and then giggle uncontrollably.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pretty is

Gertrude and I are heavily into Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones books. Right now, we're reading Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, which is all about how Junie B. and her friends Lucille and That Grace try to impress the chunky new boy in Room Eight.

Lucille wears fancy dresses that her richie nana buys her, and fluffs her fluffy hair.

Grace shows off how fast she can run.

Junie B. makes a lame joke, and then finds herself rolling in the grass on the playground, unable to stop laughing.

Warren concludes that Junie B. is a nutball.

So at the end of a chapter, we parked Gert's caterpillar bookmark in between the pages and I set the book on her nightstand.

"Which one of those girls would you want to be friends with?" I asked casually, always chasing the reading comprehension monkey.

"Lucille," replied Gert, without hesitation.

That surprised me. Lucille, while harmless, is clearly a vain and shallow little rich girl. She's thoughtless and self-centered, and certainly not very good friend material. So maybe my compassionate little Buddhist daughter was simply sensing that by befriending Lucille, she would somehow be able to address the core of suffering and insecurity that caused Lucille to look down on those less fortunate than her, which would free Lucille to blossom into a kinder, friendlier person.

"Why Lucille?" I asked.

"Because she's pretty."


I was suddenly seized with the horror that all these years of "pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside" analogous tales we had read to our daughters had instead indoctrinated them into the belief that being pretty EXCUSES inappropriate and unkind behavior. Oh crap. Crap, crap, crap.

"You know," I said, "just because you're pretty, that doesn't make you nice."

"It doesn't?"

"Oh, no! I'd rather be friends with a nice person than a pretty person. In fact," I went on, totally making this next part up, "there's a girl at my work who is very pretty, but no one wants to be her friend because she's so mean."

Gert was intrigued. "What kinds of things does she do?"

"Uh." Thinking. Need a believable example. Okay, how about this. "She makes people feel bad. She says things like 'Nice shoes!' but then she laughs at you and makes fun of your shoes when you're not around."

Weak. It was the best I could come up with.

Gert nodded. She seemed to get it. Then she said, "If that girl does it again, you oughta punch her in the beans."

I sighed. For the hundredth time, "Girls don't have beans, Gert."


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I think my cat is having a midlife crisis.

An indoor dweller all her life, suddenly she has decided she Must Go Outside. She stands at the back door and yowls. She scratches insistently at the corner of the door. She comes running when I call the dog to let him out. And then she gets all huffy with me when I push her back with my foot so the dog can pass.

She won't believe me when I tell her there's nothing out there for her.

We've taken to opening our bedroom window so she can lounge against the screen and catch a breeze.

And she's been acting even needier than usual. Instead of sleeping at the edge of our bed, she's been cuddling up between us. Sometimes I'll wake up to find her perched on my hip. The other night, I believe she was actually spooning with Gary.

Okay, but yesterday was the weirdest. I keep my current knitting projects in those satchel-shaped business bags, you know the ones I mean? They look like flat rectangles, and could probably double as laptop cases. (I do this so that when I bring my knitting to work every day it appears as though I'm carting paperwork around with me. Ahem.)

I had one of these bags sitting beside me on the couch with a string of yarn trailing out of it and onto my needles. Kismet jumped up on my lap and sniffed my knitting. I patted her and then tried to talk her into leaving me alone. With her nose on my yarn, she followed the loose string all the way from my knitting down to the point where it disappeared into the bag. And then my cat disappeared into the bag.

This wouldn't be that weird, except that the cat is a whole lot bigger than the yarn satchel. So she had to curl herself up into a furry little donut, dig her way in to the very bottom of the bag, turn around a few times, and then plop down and promptly doze right off.

I poked Gary, who was on the couch next to me, and pointed. "What the?" I said.

We considered.

A cat in a state prior to its being let out of the bag?


Cat and carry?

Nap sack?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bring it, fuzz-butts

I'm completely pissed off at the bastard rabbits in my yard. Or squirrels. Or whatever it is that always eats what I plant.

It's not bad enough that they've nibbled most of my snow peas (which by the way, DID survive the frost) down to little nubbins. This morning I went out and found the chewed and frayed strands of my brand-new maypole-style trellis swinging free in the breeze.

What the hell. Are they calling me out?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Adopt a weasel

Like many people, I ride a bike.

Because I'm extremely fortunate to be able to do so, I'll be riding said bike in the MS-150 this summer to help raise money to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.

Is this a plea for donations? Sort of. I'm actually hoping you'll consider adopting one of these:

Mabel weasel, up for adoption

This is a baby weasel, personally created, hand knit, and lovingly felted by me.

Adopt a weasel

Every baby weasel is completely unique, made of natural fibers and stuffed for extra squishability. Yes, they're ugly, but they are extremely sweet and gentle creatures, friendly toward other pets and children, and completely self-sufficient.

Best of all, 100% of adoption costs will go toward funding the cure for MS and supporting Weasel Knits on our charity bike ride debut.

You can adopt one of these pitiful little creatures for only $12!

Plus, you'll have the privilege of counting yourself among the elite group of official Weasel Knits MS-150 supporters.

Please give a baby weasel a home! And help us find a cure for MS!

You can pick out your baby weasel right over here at my Etsy shop, which conveniently accepts major credit cards, PayPal, checks, and money orders. While you're there, you'll also have the opportunity to purchase weasel knitting patterns and felting kits if you're inclined to make one of your own. 100% of sales go toward the cause.

More orphaned weasels are being added to the shop each day. The conditions there are less than ideal. These weasels are counting on you!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Pea vs. Sheets, round IXV

It didn't seem like too early to plant two weeks ago when March temperatures were in the 80s. Of course, now that nighttime is dipping into the teens tonight, I'm joining the rest of the neighborhood by tucking my little sproutlets in under a sheet.

Maybe they'll be okay.

These are (were? are?) my snap peas:


And for once, in the epic battle of pea vs. sheets in our house, the sheets came out on top:


I'm apparently the only one around here who finds this funny.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Monster poo. RAWR!

This post contains more urine and feces than a Metrolink elevator.

First, the urine.

I'm trying to be healthy. I've been taking vitamins and processing that into the most vibrant of hues. I love it. Mornings are never boring.

And now, I promised Gertrude I would not repeat this story. Which means I absolutely have to.

I was watching TV and Gert peeked her head around the corner. "Mom? I've got a monster poo knocking at the door, so I'm going to the bathroom!"

I looked at her. I have no idea why I needed this information, but I said, "Okaaay…?"

Several minutes later, Gert pranced by on her way to her room. "False alarm!" she announced.

I began to wonder if I'd somehow signed up to receive informative, periodic updates on Gert's bathroom behavior. If so, how could I unsubscribe?

Then Gert came up to me with a concerned look on her face. "Uh, mom? I think I need a little help."

"Why? What's wrong?"

She shifted her weight awkwardly. "I thought I just had a fart, but it came out a little extra."

I leapt up and led the way to the bathroom, calmly explaining that it's nothing to worry about, everyone has a little accidental skid mark from time to time. No big deal. I helped her off with her undies, we'd just give them a quick soak and –


That was no skid mark.