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Thing #32 – She’s Killing Me! June 27, 2012

Posted by Jarlaxle the Wonder Dog in 101 Things, Big Lug, random stuff.
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I am Jarlaxle, and I am excellent.

You know, Mama and me, me and Mama, between the two of us, we’re what you might call messed up.  I mean really.

We’ve got my hip problems and Mama, well, she’s just got issues.  Between the foot thing and asthma (who told her to smoke for all those years, anyway?), well, we’re not big fans of what she calls Exercise.

And then she went and put this Couch-to-5k on her 101 Things List.  And I was, well, what do I care?


Until she decided that OBVIOUSLY she’s not going to be doing this running ALONE – I mean, when would she do it?  After our morning walks?  When she got home from work?

Then Mama found POOCH to 5k – she says it’s a little slower paced, which is good for us – the halt and the lame.

Um. . . just how did I get involved in this undertaking, anyway?

But I am her faithful canine companion, so I agreed to go along with it. After all, those 10 pounds I put on last winter aren’t going to lose themselves, are they?  Besides, it makes Mama so happy!

I got a clean bill of health when I visited my vet, and she printed out TWO PAGES of directions and stuck them to the front door.  I’m not sure what good they’re going to do there – I think, mostly, it’s so she doesn’t forget on our morning walks.  Mama’s a little scattery like that sometimes.

And so we started.

WEEK 1.  We started out alternating 30 seconds of “gentle jogging” with 90 seconds of walking.  (Hey, you try jogging for 30 seconds with weak hips!)  It wasn’t until the third (last) day, Friday, that Mama noticed that it wasn’t supposed to be 30 seconds, it was supposed to be 60 seconds of jogging.  Oops. But she did say we’d start slow.

WEEK 1 Again. This time we’re doing  60 seconds of jogging, alternated with 90 seconds (ish) of walking.  But I’m not doing it 8 times, I’m gonna tell you that RIGHT NOW.

WEEK 2.  Alternating 90 seconds of jogging with 2 minutes of walking.  I don’t feel so good.

WEEK 1 Again.  We took most of a week off, so we’re going back to 60 seconds of jogging.  So I guess this is going to be a thing now.

WEEK 2.  Again.  How’s a guy supposed to stop and smell the flowers (and the trees) (and the signs) (and everything else) (and pee on them) when we’re RUNNING everywhere, anyway?

WEEK 3.  Mama’s knees have been hurting.  She had an appointment with her vet Tuesday, so she wanted to wait until she talked to her vet to continue running.   I don’t know about her, but I am really hating this.  I’m not built for running – I am built for lying around!

Mama’s vet said she shouldn’t run – that she should walk instead.  (Like we haven’t already been walking for miles and miles every day!)  Whew!  I’m glad we don’t have to do that anymore – walking is much more civilized!

Mama thinks that maybe she might try the running thing again, but not until it stops hurting.  Until then, though, we’re crossing it off the list, because it totally counts, and we’re just going to hope she forgets all about it.

Or if she doesn’t forget about it, I just hope she leaves me out of it, that’s all.

After all, I’m a Delicate Excellent Puppy-Baby, you know.

Thing #91 – Dear Fish Wrapper August 23, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in 101 Things, random stuff.
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Dear Democrat and Chronicle:

I can’t help wondering if your organization may be short an editor or a proofreader or something.

Could it be possible that you’re using volunteers to proofread your material?  I mean, I understand that times are hard, circulation is down, and advertisers may be drying up a bit.  All that must make it difficult to get good help, no?

However, it just doesn’t strike me as the best policy to flaunt your lack of mastery of the English language.  Surely, you’re not so proud of your (ahem) mad editing skillz as to truly want to highlight the grammatical errors in your paper, are you?

Surely you’d realize that a notice plastered across the “TV Week” section of the Sunday paper – bright yellow, with “ATTENTION READERS!” in red might – just might! – draw the attention of, oh, say, a reader or two?

It truly is not that difficult to figure out how to work an apostrophe.  “In it’s place we are offering ROCtv”?  Really?  IT’S?

Now I understand that pronouns can get tricky at times and none more so than “it.”  It should not be that complicated for someone whose very livelihood revolves around communication to understand the difference between the possessive form of a word (its) and a contraction (it’s = it is).  Sure, mistakes happen.  Sloppiness creeps in.

But here’s the thing.

As (ahem) media professionals, shouldn’t you be held to at least as high a standard as we hold lesser mortals – like, say, the average middle school student?

Isn’t it your job, as Rochester’s only daily newspaper, to use the language properly?  Shouldn’t you be serving the community by setting an example?

There are several resources available for help with basic grammar and punctuation.  May I suggest, to start, a handy guide on How to Use An Apostrophe?

If all else fails, I am happy to offer my services as a part-time proofreader.   You’d have to pay me though, and I’m not sure you have the budget for that.


Your subscriber

Monday Musings: 08.22.2011 August 22, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in 101 Things, Musings, random stuff, Shopping With Peeps.
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And another week rolls by!  Can you believe how busy this summer has been?

PhotobucketLast weekend, while Peeps was away, I did a mess of laundry and hung it out to dry – I love line-dried laundry, especially sheets.

Unfortunately, before the wash actually dried, it rained.  For about 3 days.

That’s okay, though – now we have rainwater rinsed, line-dried sheets.

I’ll be sleeping like a baby. . .


PhotobucketLast week’s pizza was a winner, for sure.

We brushed the crust with olive oil, sliced up several San Marzano tomatoes and laid them on top, added a few slices of provolone cheese (I love provolone!), then sprinkled some fresh mint – yes mint! over it all.

It was amazingly good!  Who’da thunk?

Photobucket Photobucket
And how about a quick Shopping With Peeps installment?  (Sort of, anyway.)

Have you seen the 3 Muskateers Truffle Crisp bars?   M&M Mars put these out a while back – last year, maybe? – as a “limited edition” candy bar, and we had a coupon, so we tried it.  They’ve got a crispy bottom, they’re chocolate-covered, and there’s this weird not-quite-soft, not-quite-hard middle part.  We loved them, then they stopped making them.

But now they’re back.  Grab one and try it – tell me what you think.



I’m still working on my 101 Things – and with regard to #55, the word for this week is. . .Z. Zugzwang.  Imagine, if you will, a situation where you’re forced to make a choice, with all of the available options being undesirable.  Between a rock and a hard place.  The lady or the tiger.  That’s zugzwang.

And this ends Thing #55 – I’ll post a separate page with each of the letters later on.



Oh my gosh!

Peeps and I had to got to the pet store the other day, and as we were leaving, do you know what we noticed?

It’s kind of hard to tell, but parked right there, in the handicapped spot in front of the Old Country Buffet was a brandy-new Rolls Royce.

Um, really?



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  Although it’s the tail end of August, it’s still summer – and we fully intend to enjoy the summer weather to its fullest.


Monday – I dug a beef roast out of the freezer last weekend, and, as it happens, we just watched an episode of America’s Test Kitchen with Grill-Roasted Beef with Garlic and Rosemary.  We have garlic, and we have rosemary, and, of course the beef.  And we’re gonna do the potatoes from that episode too – along with a nice tossed salad, I think.

Tuesday –  I had one last package of chicken thighs in the freezer, and we thought we’d try something new – grilled chicken with white barbecue sauce.   We’ll serve that with the collard greens that I keep forgetting about and maybe some barley.  We like barley.

Wednesday – Again no swim class – I hope Swim Guy gets feeling better soon – we miss him!  However, we will take this Wednesday evening to enjoy some burgers – we have not had nearly enough burgers this summer!

Thursday – It’s supposed to rain again Thursday, so we’re going to enjoy our bean salad then.  This week, we’re going to cook some white beans and make an herb vinaigrette – one that highlights our Tuscan herb blend.  And, since it’s best after sitting, it also makes great lunches!

Friday – You all know by now how much I love our pizza night – especially when there are fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs to be had!  What more is there to say?

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.



101 FAILs August 10, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in 101 Things.
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Wow, a little harsh, huh?

But seriously.  I started this 101 Things Project, what, in 2008?

Two Thousand Eight.  Oh-Eight.

You’d think I’d have managed to accomplish a few dozen things (that I CHOSE MYSELF) by now, wouldn’t you?

Now I could go into a whole thing about why I haven’t gotten my Things accomplished – I could talk about how I broke my foot. Or about how my mother is still mad at me.  Or don’t even get me started about Peeps’s mom.  Or even how The Boy is home and how disruptive that can be.

But you know?

One of the unwritten, unlisted things was to be a little less hard on myself.  I don’t have to get everything perfect right away, do I?  So, first off, since I’m in a generous sort of mood, I’m going to arbitrarily add 500 days to my deadline.

That’s right.  Now it’s 101 Things in 1501 Days.  Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

I’m basically giving myself until November 7, 2012 to complete my list or die trying.  Only I really don’t think it’ll come to that.

And in the meantime, let’s do a little housekeeping.

10. Front walkway – step fixed; sidewalk installed– We fixed the step (sort of amateurishly, yes, but still) when we put up the clothesline – we had extra concrete anyway.

14. Reorganize bookshelves – Remember back when we pulled up the carpet?  Well, one corollary to that little project was to move and rearrange the bookshelves.  Done.

40. Make hot chocolate from scratch – Surprisingly, I mentioned this, but I never crossed it off the list.  It’s crossed off now.

59. Make and wear one item of clothing – I’ve always sewn, and that’s pretty much what I had in mind.  Three years ago.  Since then, I’ve started knitting, and, most recently, I’ve been knitting socks.

74. Get DVD recorder – I can’t even believe that was a Thing – we ordered it, got it, and hooked it up.  Now to just use it. . .

86. Buy Christmas gifts for needy child (Toys for Tots, etc.) – We actually made a donation to The Arctic League last year, and we intend to continue doing so.

PLUS, I’ve got a couple of things in the works:

35. Take a martial arts class – I was actually signed up for this one (I know, right?) when I broke my foot.  Curses!  But I think I’m ready to reconsider it.

54. Learn the phonetic alphabet – Working on it.

55. Learn a new word starting with each letter of the alphabet – If you’ve ever been here on a Monday, you know that I’ve been working on this one.

62. Do a 26 Things project – I kind of flaked out on the last 26 Things Project, but this month, they’re doing a 31 Things in 31 Days project, which, I think, is close enough. I am IN.  I’ll put a link on the sidebar, so you can check it out throughout the month.  Cool, huh?

96. Fill a jar with pennies – we had to know this would take a while, didn’t we?

See, I’ve been doing stuff, sort of, just not so good about writing about it.

So anyway, there it is.  I’m still working on the 101 Things.  I’ve just given myself a bit of a, well, bit of a grace period.  Yeah, that’s it.  I guess I’m good with that.

Monday Musings: 05.16.2011 Edition May 16, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in 101 Things, Musings, Shopping With Peeps.
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PhotobucketSad news – Peeps came home from work the other day, and he found the wreath (the one that housed Mama Bird and her nest) on the floor of the porch, its contents scattered and Mama Bird in the tree squawking her head off.

We have no idea what happened, whether it was wind (it didn’t seem that windy) or squirrels (nasty beasts) or even Harley Kitty, but it’s sad to lose the little birdie family.



Following along with the Circle-of-Life theme, I got several plants for the garden this weekend, even though I won’t be planting them until next weekend, at the earliest.  We’ve got several herbs, a nice mix of tomatoes, a single pasilla pepper, and some romaine lettuce – since it’s been too cold and wet to start any seeds so far, I decided to cheat just a bit.

Hopefully it’ll stop raining by then.



Don’t forget this week is the Third Thursday of the month!  Please feel free to join us for this month’s Third Thursday event – just “borrow” a recipe (or any other anything) from someone else’s blog (or elsewhere) and tell us about it!   Be creative – challenge yourself!

Complete details are here, and remember, the more the merrier!


PhotobucketOnce again – Shopping With Peeps!

Sponge Bob taco kit?

I ask you – what does Sponge Bob have to do with tacos?  Sponge Bob fish sticks, maybe.

But seriously?  Does the world really need Sponge Bob Taco Pants?



I’m still working on my 101 Things – and with regard to #55, the word for this week is. . .N.  Neologist.  I love this word!  It means simply, from the Greek neo (new) and logos (word) someone who makes up new words!  Language grows by the infusion of new words, and new words can come from just about anywhere.  Like googol, Google, and google (as a verb) – all relatively new words, yet perfectly necessary today.  I think I know what I want to be when I grow up!


PhotobucketOh, hey, a Thing I missed – #40 – make hot cocoa from scratch!  It was so simple, I guess I totally forgot that it was a Thing!

I know it may be a little out of season, but here’s the thing.  I actually made this during the winter, one Sunday when we had about a foot of snow in the driveway.  I whipped up a batch of Alanna’s Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix, we enjoyed it very much, then promptly forgot it was there.

I remembered it while we we’ve been enjoying our recent May weather – cold, rainy, and windy.  Perfect after walking the dog!



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  I mentioned above that it’s been cold, windy and rainy around here – and, while it looks like it’s going to warm up a bit later in the week, the rain isn’t supposed to let up until – maybe – Saturday.

Looks like grilling is pretty much out for the time being, huh?

Monday – Last week, Peeps barbecued a bunch of ribs, and there were a few left.  He trimmed the meat from the bones, and we’ll enjoy that with some of last fall’s red beans and some good old white rice – red beans and rice AND BBQ pork.  (And salad.)

Tuesday – I did some tidying in the freezer this weekend, and found some lima beans that should get used.  The tilapia we did a while back was so good, I thought it might also be tasty with some chicken cutlets.  We shall see,  I guess.

Wednesday – It’s swim class which means soup night.  Again with the freezer tidying – we’ve got some roasted squash that went into a soup.  Since the squash was already cooked, it was a simple matter of heating it, adding some chicken stock and seasonings (we went with fennel and cinnamon and a little maple syrup), and making sure it’s nice and smooth.  When we reheat it, we’ll add a bit of half and half.  Simple and tasty – our favorite kind of dinner!

Thursday – I did some Chinese barbecued pork a couple of weeks ago, and I always make sure there’s enough left for soup and for a batch of pork fried rice.  This week it’s the fried rice – plenty of seasonings, scallions, peas – it’s delicious!

Friday – Friday is always Kong and  pizza night – we have pizza, the dog has his Peanut Butter Kong toy!  What better way to spend a Friday evening than enjoying the best pizza in town and listening to the dog slurp peanut butter from his Kong?

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.