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Monday Musings: 07.12.2010 July 12, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Giveaway, Musings, random stuff.
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Happy Monday!  Peeps’s mom is back home, safe and sound – we had a nice visit with her last week, and finally, the morning she left, the dog even decided that she wasn’t a dangerous stranger!  In fact, the visit went so well  that it looks like we’re going to have a new neighbor in a couple of months!  I’ll let Peeps tell you more about that later on this week, though.

And before I forget, be sure to check back here tomorrow for an exciting giveaway – I’m not going to tell you any more than that right now – just check back tomorrow!



Meanwhile, I received a coupon in the mail from PetSmart – the pet store.  It was for $15 off a $60 purchase.

Now lest you think that was ridiculous, let me remind you that we have a Large Breed Dog.  Large Breed Dogs – they eat some food!  We’ve always fed him Iams brand food  -meat is the first ingredient and it’s easy to find.  The LARGE bags of dog food run about $40 – so I could spend an extra $20 and save $15 – OK.

We got him a couple of toys (a Wubba and a tire to chew on) and we got the kitty a toy too.

He really liked the Wubba – maybe too much!  It’s already lost an ear. . .



Even though this was an off- week for the market (I only go every two weeks – and with good reason!), with Peeps on vacation and his mom here, well, we made a special trip.

And I found figs – yum!  Last year, I went nuts trying to use up the case I bought, and I determined then not to do that again.



And the kitty reminds her papa that it’s FEEDING TIME.


Mew.  Mew.  Mew.

Constant, almost nagging reminders.  She evidently does this every day – I’m not usually home from work early enough to get to enjoy seeing her dash into the kitchen every time Peeps steps into the kitchen after about 2pm.

She evidently doesn’t want to miss the early bird special, I guess.



Remember last spring when I made cherry sorbet?

And how it was good, but not great?

Well, I found a basket of in-season raspberries, and Peeps picked up some rasperry lambic for me, and, well, the rest is history.

Raspberry Lambic Sorbet – yum!  Only . . . straining the seeds out was a pain in the neck.  But I’m glad I did it.



Don’t forget this week is the Third Thursday of the month!  Already!

Please feel free to join us for this month’s Third Thursday event – just “borrow” a recipe (or any other technique) from someone else’s blog and tell us about it!

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



We also picked up a new pad for Jarly to sleep on – it was supposed to be for the back of the car, but, well, it was too pouffy.

He may have been OK sitting or lying on it, he didn’t fancy jumping up into the care and onto it.  So we did some switching around, and the flatter bed is in the car, the older one is upstairs, and the new, pouffy one is in the living room.

Sleeping beauty needed to try it out.



Green beans!

Would you believe that Just Last Week I was going to take a picture and show you the wee baby green beans?  I forgot to bring the camera out to the garden and couldn’t be bothered to go get it.

Then, a few days later, will you look at that!  Green beans for dinner.

Must have been magic beans. . .



Wow, can you believe it’s already the middle of July?  And this year, at least in our neck of the woods, it’s a hot one!  But we’ve still got to eat, and once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.


Monday – Last week, we did a lentil and sausage dish that came out quite well – in fact, I’ll be telling you about it later on this week.  However, it went further than we’d anticipated (who wants to eat when it’s so hot?), then we were on vacation and had company for most of the week, well, we’ve got a fridge full of leftovers food to be re-purposed.  We’ll try this with a bed of rice and maybe some green beans.  After all, we’re gonna have green beans to burn.

Tuesday – Cooking from the freezer is one thing – but cooking from the refrigerator?  The thing is that one you make something and stash it in the fridge, the clock is ticking.  We grilled a bit too much chicken over the weekend, so we’re going to cook some chick peas, toss them with the leftover chicken, and serve with new potatoes (boiled and tossed with butter, olive oil and fresh herbs) and something green.   Salad?  Chard?  Something.

Wednesday – The forecast says we may be able to grill, but it’s still going to be mighty warm. We don’t want anything too heavy, so we’re going to do a bean burger with some frozen fries and (again) something green.  Salad?  Chard?  Green beans?  Whatever looks good in the garden, I guess.  Maybe beets, which, while not green, are red, which is just about as good!

Thursday – Peeps reminded me that we’re trying to clean out the freezer and that there’s still barbecued pork from last summer in there.  Since it just wouldn’t be right for him to barbecue any more meat until last year’s stash is gone, we need to really get busy!  A little barbecue, some mashed potatoes, and some . . . green beans?  (It’s a good thing we both like fresh green beans, huh?)

Friday – And it’s pizza night!  Always a great end to a long week. . . which I know, after taking most of the past week off from work, this will be.

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



You Know What They Say May 6, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.
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. . . about good intentions, right?

I had every intention of telling you all about the most awesome recipe from this month’s Cuisine at Home – it was. . .

But no.  I’ll tell you about that later.

I was driving home from work, and the weather was absolutely spectacular – bright, blue, sunny sky, temperature right around 80°, low humidity – the LAST thing I wanted to do was sit inside and write about . . . anything.

PhotobucketSo I said to Peeps – “Let’s go on a field trip.”

Jarly was more than willing to join us, so we loaded him in the car and went for a ride.

He likes riding – usually, his rides end at swim class, but this time, we went the wrong direction for that.

And he noticed, too, and wondered what he’d gotten himself into, I think.

PhotobucketBut we finally stopped the car and got out.

Wherever could we be?

Of course, Jarly could hardly contain himself – he had to get out and smell all the smelly smells. . .

He likes smells.

Since it’s only the beginning of May, the beach isn’t officially “open” yet – which means dogs can be off-leash, even during the day!


My goodness, we haven’t been here in ages!

Let’s have some fun!

So that’s exactly what we did – Jarly met a new friend to frolic with, and we just enjoyed the sun and the sand and the perfect afternoon.

And you know, that slacker didn’t even actually swim?  The tide was too low and the water wasn’t deep enough, so he just . . . walked. . . in the water.  He still enjoyed it, though – and we enjoyed his enjoyment!

Let It Snow! November 19, 2008

Posted by Toy Lady in Big Lug, Family, Home.
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Seriously, though, we’ve been pretty fortunate this fall with the weather, haven’t we? We’ve had some, erm, frosty mornings, sure, but we all know it could have been so much worse. . . and really, it couldn’t have been much nicer, either. 🙂

But here it is. A week from Thanksgiving – can you believe it? 😯

And we’ve got what looks to be shaping up as our first measurable snowfall of the year. Actually, from our house, it’s pretty much the first snow that’s actually stuck to the ground. 🙄

The maintenance guy was at the office this morning when I got to work, shoveling the walkways. 😥

And I actually had to brush my car off this morning – it’s just a good thing I never put away my snow brush last spring, isn’t it? 😆

Heh. I’m a Rochester girl – we know better than to let the snow brush and ice scraper stray too far. rotfl.gif

Ah, but here’s the fun part. Taking the Big Lug for his first walk in the snow!


A few steps across the yard (actually, just across the driveway), and . . . hey!

Wait. A. Minute.

What have we here? I’m gonna SNIFF it!


Jarly sniffing – every couple of feet. Apparently, things just smell . . . different when they’re covered with snow, I guess. I mean, he was sniffing his regular, uh, sniffy spots, sure. But he was REALLY sniffing them, if you know what I mean. 😕

Yep. Talk about stop and smell the roses – I know he’s peed in those leaves. More than once. I’ve watched him. Pretty much daily. 🙄


And apparently, he was still smelling the smelly smell in the afternoon, too . . . the afternoon walk was just as, erm, sniff-alicious as the morning walk. 🙄


And then there’s the whole slip-sliding thing. 😆

While not exactly Dog Slips On Frozen Pond, watching him try to stop short on the slippery sidewalk mid-frolic, well, let’s face it, there’s not an awful lot else to laugh at at 5am, is there? 😆


On the other hand, maybe he’ll think twice before he decides that he wants to go squirrel-chasing. 😉 Skidding to a stop would certainly make me reconsider. 😳

And you know, things just sound different in the snow, don’t they? Mr. Protective doesn’t like anyone else sharing his street in the morning. Scratch that – he doesn’t like random people walking alone in the dark when we’re walking. I guess he’s sort of the suspicious sort.

As if anyone’s going to bother a Glock-carrying middle-aged fat lady (not that they know about Baby – it’s not called “concealed carry” for nothing!) and a Big Scary Black Dog. 🙄

But you just can’t reason with some people, I guess. Or dogs. Every morning, this guy walks down the street, around the same time we’re just starting our walk. Young guy, maybe 22-ish. Wearing sweat pants and a black hoody, smoking a cigarette. Every morning, all alone.

Jarly does NOT approve of this guy. And he waits and watches until the Night Stalker is completely out of sight, no matter how long it takes.

And in the crispy fresh snow, he hears footsteps long before we see the dude. 🙄

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

We’ll wait.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

We started waiting for the footsteps to make an appearance about 2 blocks before they actually did.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Evidently fur provides enough insulation that it’s no bother to just sit down in the snow and wait. 🙄


Was the Night Stalker here? Is he gone? What did he do? What did he want? Can’t I sniff him?

Regardless, it looks like we’re all in for an, um, interesting winter. 😉


An Excellent Puppy September 26, 2008

Posted by Jarlaxle the Wonder Dog in Big Lug, Family, random stuff.
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Hello. I am Jarlaxle and I am Most Excellent. :mrgreen:

PhotobucketI have been having a most wondrous summer. Mom and Papa take me to the Beach every weekend. And sometimes, you just never know, even more often. It’s always good to be ready, isn’t it? 😉 I’m not dumb. 😆

Sometimes, though, they try to fool me. Mom goes to work and Papa takes me back inside then he goes, too. 😦

But still, it’s important to be prepared, isn’t it? 😆 After all, I’d hate for them to have to wait for me to go to the Beach!

You know, though, they have this door in the kitchen. I know there’s something behind it – I can smell it. And hear it. I think it’s a big, smelly squeaky toy, I think, but they won’t let me see. Maybe it might be a surprise for me for later, huh? 😛

You know, I’ll bet, if they’d let me peek behind the door, there might even be a bunch of kitties down there! I love kitties – they’re all fluffy and they make the coolest rumbling noises. . .


No matter. Sooner or later I’ll get a chance to see what’s behind Door Number One. Or whatever’s back there will come out and see me. Either way is good. 😀

So every day, Mom and Papa take me out for a nice long walk before dinner. That’s a lot of fun too. 🙂 We walk and walk and walk. And I even make sure to stop at each corner and remind them to look both ways before crossing.


You know, I’ll bet a dog could make a pretty good living doing that, couldn’t he? Just something to keep in mind, you know, for the future. rotfl.gif

Another thing I like to do to help is to carry sticks. I always like to help Mom carry her sticks around. I’m not really sure why she needs sticks, but I’m always very happy to help her carry them. :mrgreen:

Yup, that’s me, all right. Mr. Excellent Helpful Puppy. 🙂


Then, after dinner, we like to sit and chew on some ice. It’s a cool, refreshing dessert, kind of like sorbet. yummy.gif I love to chew up a cup-ful of ice in the evening, but it’s kind of like Chinese food – half an hour later, you’re hungry again. 🙄


PhotobucketBut you know what the best part of all is? The best part is when we get home from our walk, and after dinner, we get to play. I have my ropey toy that’s fun for tugging and pulling and just chewing. I love chewing my rope. It leaves the most delightful threads all over the carpet. It’s like leaving a trail – so I won’t get lost. 8)

And the tennis ball is super cool, too. Mom or Papa drop it, and it rolls across the floor, and I bring it back for them. They seem to have trouble holding on to it, though, because I have to keep bringing it back. 🙄 That’s OK, though. They always tell me what a good boy I am when I do. And do you know why? Because I am Excellent, that’s why! :mrgreen:

The Walking Wounded August 19, 2008

Posted by Toy Lady in Family, Home, random stuff, Stupor Kitty.
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Sunday I decided that it was time for Stupor Kitty to re-join the land of the living. She’s been holed up in the basement for over 4 months now, and, let’s face it, she’s getting a little strange. 😦 She’s starting to remind me of Mr. Rochester’s mad wife. . . only in the basement rather than the attic.

The longer she’s down there, the worse it’s going to get. Obviously. She won’t come up on her own, and she’s not cleaning herself properly (again) and now she’s been, uh, leaving surprises on the floor. This has Got To Stop. 😦 So I carefully picked her up and brought her upstairs and oh-so-quietly walked into the living room, all the while shielding her from view safely in my arms.

Unfortunately, the Big Lug noticed. It may have been his keen sense of smell. Perhaps it was my unnatural walk across the room. Or maybe, just maybe, the subtle growling-snarling-hissing that was coming from the general vicinity of, well, me, was kind of like a beacon to the excitable boy. 🙄

Did you ever really, really piss off a psychotic cat? Well, it turns out that they don’t like being barked at and jumped at and slobbered on and, well, held. I don’t recommend that. Not at all. 🙄


I do accept full responsibility, though. I brought her upstairs, and I, while trying to make her feel safe, apparently made her feel confined. She eventually dashed upstairs to the bedroom, where she was safe from marauding puppy dogs.



And there she stayed until Peeps took Jarly out for an extended before-bed walk-and-pee, and I was able to coax her back downstairs with a treat. . . back to the safety of her nasty dungeon. I’d so hoped we’d have made a bit more progress by now. 😥

However, that’s a problem for another day, I fear.

Today was for dealing with the immediate problem – that would be the entire mouthful of kitty teethmarks in my forearm. 😯


We cleaned the wound thoroughly, and, since it was Sunday, we decided that the best course of action would be to, rather than go to the emergency room for my past-due tetanus shot (you know, once you’re past about 30, you really don’t tend to get hurt as often as you used to, and, therefore, don’t worry so much about things like tetanus shots, do you?), anyway, I would call my doctor first thing in the morning, have them sneak me in at some point during the day.

I swear, the Plan of the Health Care System is to break the patient. Reduce her to the point of tears THEN she’ll do whatever you want.

Yes, doctor, I’ll sign the consent. Go ahead and cover me with leeches and dance naked around me. Just please – please in the name of all that’s holy – please let me go home soon!

A brief summary of the Health Care System From Hell.

8:30 am. Doctor’s office opens. I place call. I’m placed on electronic-hold for approximately 10 minutes before a real live person picks up. (All of our representatives are busy. Your call is important to us. Blah-dy Blah-dy Blah.)

Basically, I just need an appointment sometime today to come in and get a quick tetanus shot because I was bitten by my cat.

“Date of birth?”

I told her. Along with my name, in case she was interested.

She wasn’t.

“When was your last tetanus shot?”

It’s been well over ten years. In fact, I’m not even sure I remember exactly when it was, which is exactly what I told her. I’m past due for one.

“I’ll have to (get this) go look at your file and have a nurse call you back.”

OK. You will look at my file, and you’ll see that in the well-over-ten-years I’ve been a patient here, I have not had a tetanus shot, and you’ll have a nurse call to set up an appointment? Well, all righty.

9:00 am. So I waited.

9:30 a.m. And waited.

10:30 am. And waited some more.

11:00 am. Don’t get me wrong. I was working, so it’s not like I was sitting there watching the phone not ring. But still.

11:30 am. I didn’t dare even step out for a few minutes for fear I’d miss the call. Do you have any idea how much coffee and water I drink in the mornings? And we all know what drinking a pot of coffee and several glasses of water in the space of about 4 hours does.


I called them back. Less than happy. And sore.

I explained (again) my situation and added that I’d called several hours previously, was still waiting for the return call, and, if I needed to take time from work, I needed to know.

She put me on hold again.

11:40 am. Then came back and told me that they didn’t have an available appointment and I’ve have to “go to ‘After Hours.'”

Huh? After Hours? What is this and how does it work?

And why was it such a big secret 3 hours ago – the first time I’d called?

You’ll need to go there and they’re going to have to give you an antibiotic.

An antibiotic? Don’t they do tetanus shots anymore? 😯

“They’ll take care of it at After Hours.”

OK, I guess we’re going to have to back up. I am not familiar with this “After Hours” of which you speak. Where is it? Do I need an appointment? Do I just walk in? Come on, lady, give me something to work with. I’ve been sitting here for 3 hours with a sore arm and a full bladder waiting for you to call me back. Just try to work with me, will you?

She gave me the phone number to find out for myself. And she was done with me. Nice. 🙄

11:50 am. I phoned After Hours while simultaneously looking up the service online. So it seems that they’re basically a 7-day-a-week emergency back-up doctor’s office – but not the Emergency Room. If I’d KNOWN about this, I would have just gone there when The Incident happened on Sunday afternoon. 🙄 It’s great to know there’s such a valuable service available in the area, isn’t it? Too bad they didn’t actually ever bother to tell anyone. . .

12:05 pm. Still on electronic hold. But it turns out, after you’ve been holding for 10 minutes, your call goes from just being “important” to them to being “very important” to them. Huh.

12:10 pm. Eureka! A live person! I explained the situation, gave her my date of birth, assured her that, yes, it was my cat, and yes, the cat is, in fact, up to date on rabies shots, and no, I have not had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years. Or 5 years. Or any time in recent memory. NOW can I get a shot? Yeah, it sounds kind of crazy put like that, doesn’t it? Kinda wondering if Stupor Kitty’s Feline Psychotic Vampirism was contagious, aren’t you?

So they’ve got an available appointment at 1:45. Do I want it? Normally, I’d say, well, do you have anything a little later, since I have to leave work early, and yadda yadda yadda. Not today. Heck no. You’ve got an appointment for me – GREAT! I am SO THERE. And as it happens, this office is literally on my way home from the office anyway – you can practically see it from the highway – just exit, turn once, and you’re there. So, regular doctor’s office, HA! No having to drive way the freak out to North Greece today. 🙂

PLUS getting out of work early. On a Monday. Yay!

1:45 pm. I’m there. Shifting hurts. My arm is red and sore. The place is quiet (maybe because no one knows about it?), and I check in, and within 5 minutes, I’m taken into an exam room. Wow. If only I’d known. . .

They gave me an “extern.” At the time, I assumed it was like an “intern” – maybe someone on loan from another facility? Well, it appears that a medical extern is a medical student. And, apparently, a really new one. 🙄

So after new chick takes my blood pressure, and we figure out what medications I’m on (all two of them) (she wasn’t really familiar with them), then the real nurse came in and, uh, clarified matters. . .she also took Stupor Kitty’s information – I sure hope the Health Department doesn’t come knocking on our door. . . 😦

Then along comes the doctor. Or at least I think he was the doctor. He acted like one. Evidently, cat bites are a problem. They tend to get infected (nasty redness and soreness of my arm, I’m guessing). And do I remember when my last tetanus shot was? I’m gonna need an antibiotic.

OK. Fine.

Problem. The most common antibiotic in this situation is amoxicillan. And the last time I used that, it made me itch. A lot. In my girly-parts. 😳 So we’re not prescribing that anymore, thankyouverymuch.

Now we evidently have a problem. The doctor is convinced that, because my arm is already red and swollen and sore, I need to have antibiotics intravenously. Fine. Bring it.

Not so much. He’s not equipped “here” to shoot me up with anything but amoxicillan-the-itchy-drug. I’m going to have to go to the emergency room.

W.T.F? 😯

You can’t prescribe something?

Not so much.

Yeah. I can either go to General which is right there or up to Park Ridge, which is closer to home. OK. Park Ridge it is.

Then the nurse came back and gave me the tetanus shot, anyway.

2:30 pm. North Greece, here I come.


3.00 pm. I’ve called and explained the situation to Peeps, I’m hoping to be home by 4-ish (based on our prior experience with Park Ridge ED) and I’m in the actual Emergency Room.

Waiting. I’ve checked in, gotten my little “just in case you lose consciousness while you’re waiting and can’t tell us who you are” bracelet, and now I wait.

They’re in a “code red” situation, so it could be a while. Thanks.

On the bright side, I read the current City magazine cover to cover while I was waiting. And the July issue of Country Living. Twice.

4:00 pm. A guy came and got me for X-rays. Erm, excuse me? Cat bite. My bones are fine. She didn’t bite me that hard. Really.

Nope, he checked my date of birth. It’s me he wants. They want to make sure there are no broken teeth or anything under the skin. And again, I say W.T.F Fine. Whatever.

4:20 pm. Back to the waiting room. Oh, good. I was in the middle of an article about, uh, designer sheep and their wool. Or maybe it was regular sheep and their designer wool. Country sheep and their living wool?


Obviously, there must be some kind of blood pressure monitor or something in the little bracelet they stick on your wrist when you check in. They seem to realize just when you’ve reached the quiet desperation stage.

4:30 pm. Then they take you away where the other patients-in-waiting can’t see or hear you.

And they (guess what) tell you they’ll be right back. Yep. Heard that one before. 🙄

Fortunately, I had grabbed the Country Living magazine and read that again. :mrgreen:

4:45 pm. Along comes the Physician’s Assistant. Date of Birth. Yes, it was my cat. Yes, she’s up to date on her shots. It happened yesterday. Afternoon.

And on her way out to get, presumably, a prescription pad (why don’t they just carry those things in their pocket, do you suppose?), she asked about the status of my tetanus shots. Um, I just had it about 3 hours ago.


Full stop.

“You’ve been to your doctor and they didn’t give you an antibiotic?”

W.T.F? Do any of you people listen? Or talk to each other?

MY doctor’s office couldn’t fit me in, so they sent me to “After Hours” at Wilson on my way home from work. THAT doctor said that I couldn’t have amoxicillan.

“So he couldn’t prescribe something else?”

Well, that would have been my question, but I just figured that he, being a doctor and all, well, you know. 🙄

“Hold on. I’ll be right back.”

Dear GOD. Do all of you people suffer from ADD?

5:00 pm. So she eventually comes back with another guy and, presumably, a student or intern or extern or something. I don’t frickin’ care at this point.

So they all looked at the Lady With The Hideous Cat Bite Arm. Yeah, exciting stuff there, huh? Bet you never saw anything like that in your medical texts, did you? 🙄

I’m getting hungry. Can we move this along?

So new guy, in quite the official, making-up-statistics-as-you-go-along way says to me:

85% of cat bites get infected. Do you know why?

Um, because they’re filthy skanky little beasts that lick their own butts and have crap attitudes?

Curiously, that was not the right answer. It’s because they have “sharp little teeth that carry germs that get in there and don’t come out.” Duly noted. Can I go home now?

The trio left after warning me to “watch” for “signs of infection” and to call my own doctor if the redness in my arm spread. Any more than a half inch or so, anyway, because it’s going to take about 24 hours for the antibiotics to start working.

Antibiotics? You mean the Reason I’m Here?



5:15pm. Completely new chick comes in with two prescriptions, which she proceeds to read aloud to me. Thank you can I go now? And she doesn’t show me the way out, so I end up . . . I don’t know where. I mean, I saw a sign that said, in big red letters, “EXIT,” but evidently it wasn’t what it really meant. But fear not, I found my way out.

To the “discharge desk.” Where I’m stuck with a $100 co-pay. After the $35 co-pay at the After Hours place. When if my regular doctor’s office had just dealt with me in the first place, the co-pay would have only been $25.


5:30 pm. I am so out of there. I got out to the car and called Peeps to let him know the deal. He’s gonna have to take Jarly Mon for his long-ish walk alone, because I have to stop at Wegmans and get my prescriptions filled and GOD KNOWS how long that’s going to take. 🙄

5:50 p.m. “It’s going to be at least 40 minutes for your prescriptions. Sorry, we’re a little backed up this afternoon.”

Noooooo. . . . ..

I’ll come back after dinner, OK?