pork, pork chops, and poop.

I have been, until very recently, a TERRIBLE housekeeper, simply awful–the kind of person who doesn’t allow people in her house at all, because it’s just too messy/gross, the kind of person who if myparents didn’t come to visit once a year, and I was forced to do top to bottom cleaning, would end up on “Clean House” or “Hoarders” in a few years.  People think I exaggerate this, but I do not.  That is until I became unemployed.  T supports me fully at this point, and there is no job in sight yet.  It seems only fair that if he is paying all the bills, buys all my grocieries, takes me out to dinner once a week, etc the very least I can do is keep the house clean, cook, do his laundry etc.  This isn’t some weird gender role stuff, it’s simple courtesy and exchange.  If I made all the money, and was supporting him, I would expect the same courtesy.  So, I find myself for the first time since my kids were babies being a full time home maker, and when you have kids, well, the focus is slightly different. I’ve discovered a truth I may have known once and forgotten, or might not have noticed when the kids were little.

The more you clean, the more you have to clean.

Today, I did the floors.  Now, I sweep pretty much every day, cuz we have wood floors (oh, how I love my wood floors!) but I got proper floor cleaning stuff, and was excited to have them all shiny and pretty.  So, I did the floors in the dining room.  But, then I noticed the windows had dog nose prints all over them.  The clean shiny floors made this far more noticeable.  So, I cleaned the dog nose prints off the windows.  While doing that, I became aware that the windowsills were looking a bit dusty, so I cleaned them.  Oh, look there is a tiny lil bit of paint on the floor that I missed when I cleaned up from painting the other day, now let me scrub that up.  Oh, dear, the tablecloth looks all wrinkly surrounded by all this pristine goodness.  wow, I really wish I had an iron, so I could iron the tablecloth, so I’ll just go throw it in the dryer instead.  Wow, these napkins look kind of boring, maybe I should fold them all pretty, let me just google “napkin folding”

and so on.  Cuz when everything is messy, a little bit of dog nose prints or wrinkly table cloth don’t matter so much…..but the cleaner the things around these things are, the more noticeable become.  I guess, the next time I go to the thrift, I’ll look for an iron.  For the tablecloth.

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Adventures in Cooking

Tonight, Rebekah (I love the spelling of her name, btw) and Andee are coming for dinner.  Squee!  I’m preparing pulled pork and coleslaw, steamed green beans, vegetarian BBQ for Beka, and we have a guiness cake .  Full details tmw, but here is a little preview.  I forgot to take the big piece of dead pig out of the freezer last night.  The pulled pork has to cook for, like at least 7 or so hours, so it really needed to be in the crock pot by 10 am.  So, here I am in the kitchen with a frozen solid piece of pork at 9 am, trying to figure out how the hell to thaw it.

This is the meat, soaking in hot water.  It laughed (in my brain) at my attempts to run cold water over it.  At one point, I’ve got the meat soaking in the hot water, pouring boiling water into the sink as well.  It never thawed all the way, but it seems cooked all the way through, and still 2 hours to go, so it ended well.

Or, I presume it will.  We’ll see come supper time.

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104 in 2011

Last nights insomia read was “When will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops

Now, I love me some George Carlin (RIP).  However, I will admit I was a bit dissapointed in this book.  I suppose, after the other two, I should have expected that it would be another rehash of his stand up stuff, but I had really hoped that it would be something I hadn’t heard already.  Don’t get me wrong, I snickered, and giggled, and probably would have LOLed if Terrence hadn’t been sleeping like a baby next to me…that is, if a baby snored like a bear.   But, some original material might have been nice.  I really only mention it, cuz it was number 17.  So, I”m still far behind, but perhaps the fact that I’m off of Ambian for the first time in about 3 years will allow me to continue the pace of a book a night.

I’m still wading my way through “Why People believe Weird Things”  The last few chapters have a lot to do w/ physics, and space, and science.  There’s big words, and lots of numbers, so I’m kind of dragging through it.  I have to confess, though, I’m quite eager to begin “Persepolis”

It’s one of those books I’ve meant to read forever, and just never seemed to get around to it, but it is next!

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Furbabies.

Kind of like marriage, and babies, there are things that people don’t really tell you  about pet ownership before you get involved in it, and you have to find out the hard way.  Here is one of those things.

Poop.

Just like when you have a baby, you will worry a lot more than you ever expected to about poop.  Oh, no, the dog pooped in the house again!  I’ve walked him for twenty minutes, and he still hasn’t pooped!  Oh, jeez, he pooped in the wrong spot, where’s the pooper scooper?   Crap!  Not in the neighbors yard, not in the neighbors yard!  where’s the poop bags? You may even find yourself discussing these things with your co-pet-parent.  Did they poop?  Oh, Thor pooped an awful lot today, maybe the new treats don’t agree w/ him, did you clean up the poop? Occasionaly, albeit not often, you will have to examine the poop, if the dog is sick, or you suspect it may have worms.  If you’re very, very lucky, this may even be how you find out your dog has worms….Um, am I crazy, or is there something moving in that poop?

Well, in the words of a famous philospher, “Shit Happens.”

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Don’t eat the potatoes! They aren’t potatoes!

Or:

The kind of cooking catastrophe a nascent housekeeping blogger can only dream of.

Last nights dinner was to be a simple affair.  Paprika Chicken, Mashed potatoes, boiled cabbage.

It, however, did not work out that way. at. all.

The first problem was minor.  The first time I made paprika chicken, I used a recipe from a library book, which I had fully intended to type out, save as a gmail document, and would then have handy for my cooking pleasure.  As you probably gather by the phrase “fully intended” I did not do this before I returned the book.  Oh, well, no big deal, I think–surely the internets has a paprika chicken recipe, it’s not exactly esoteric.  Well, the internets did, but none of them were quite as I recalled.  So, I muddled through.

2 smallish onions (in place of one big one)

3 chicken breasts (in place of the whole fryer chicken)

3 tablespoons  of paprika (in place of the 1 tablespoon, 1 because well, I like paprika, and 2 because I spilled a bunch of it)

an unmeasured amount of sour cream (in place of the 1.5 cups, cuz by then I was tired of screwing w/ it)

half a stick of butter (which was precisely the amount the recipe called for)

brown onion, add paprika and chicken and water, cooking, add sour cream.

It was ok…not as good as the last time I made it, but ok.

but the real disaster?  The disaster which set me howling w/ laughter to the point where I could barely eat?  The disaster for which this blog entry is titled?

Mashed potatoes.

Now, gentle reader, you should know that mashed potatoes are like my crack.  I love mashed potatoes rivaled only by my love of doughnuts, good danish, and a multitude of other things diabetics should eschew.  So, it was with great excitement that I thawed the leftover mashed potatoes from the freezer, mixed them w/ fresh mashed potatoes (instant, I’m ashamed to say, we’re out of potatoes) added salt and pepper and butter.

I sat down at the table, and went straight for the potatoes.and my internal dialogue went a little something like this

..mmmmmm, mashed potatoes…..

wait…..these are awful sweet…..potatoes aren’t sweet……did I accidently add something sweet to them……the texture is off, too…..Self, are you sure those were potatoes in the freezer cuz these potatoes taste an awful lot like……..

DONT EAT THE POTATOES!  THEY AREN’T POTATOES!  THEY’RE COOKIES!!!!!

Yup, I had mistaken frozen sugar cookie dough for mashed potatoes.

let the mockery commence, I deserve it.

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Engagement pictures are being done tmw.  In preperation for this “epic” event—and by epic, I mean we’re going to the target photo studio, because we are too broke to afford a proper photography session…..I’m experiment w/ hair styles.  This involved rag curling my hair last night.  I was a sexy beast, let me tell you.

This is not me, as I didn’t have the presence of mind to take a picture to delight and amuse last night.

This, however, is me after the curlers have been removed, and brushed out a bit.

(please ignore the face, I had just woken up)  I like the curls, though they are a bit out of control, I think perhaps a bit less brushing, and a bit more mousse and crimping should do the trick nicely.

This is how it looks w/ my hair pulled back from my face:

(I’ve had a bit more caffeine at this point)

and a final option: The hat

I have to say, I’m leaning towards the hat, or around my face, but slightly less pouffy.

Thoughts and opinions are certainly welcome.  And fear not, I will not be wearing the little house on the prairie nightgown for the engagement pics.  I’ll be wearing a little black dress, which manages to be flattering and show off my tattoos a bit.  I tend to view my ink like I would jewelry–I paid good money for them,and I when it can be managed, or is appropriate, I like to show them.

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Just finished watching all the Harry Potter movies w/ T. (I seem to have abandoned all my fine upstanding moral views on getting films from the internet fairies) .  It was fun watching them with him, as I am a huge potterhead, and have been on a real HP kick lately, and he never had any desire to watch them, but I convinced him (season 5 of Dr. Who, Here I come).  It would get a bit frustrating at times, however, because T would do this…(here there be spoilers)

during “Prisoner of Askaban”, the first time we see Mad eye Moody drinking surreptitiously from a bottle .

Terrence says:  Oh, that’s polyjuice potion, that must be Barty Crouch jr.

or, during “Deathly Hallows 1”, during the tale of the three brothers–

So, that’s Dumbledore’s wand, and Harry’s cloak.

GAH!  Stop figuring everything out!!!!

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in the News:

Earthquake in New Zealand kills 65. Apparently, lots of historic buildings were destroyed, and the epicenter was something like 3 miles from Christchurch.  I find myself wondering which buildings, and following the story a bit more closely than I often do world news concerning earthquakes in far away places, because of a little movie called Heavenly Creatures.

For some reason, I felt a strange affinity for this film, and have watched it at least a 100 times, never failing to sob at the closing scene– (this is the closing scene, so you might not want to watch it if you plan on watching the film).  The movie is based on true Parker-Hulme murder, and is very much a story of Christchurch,touching on class relations, gender roles, etc etc.  I can go on about this movie for hours (in fact, I have) but suffice it to say that part of my concern for the city of Christchurch is directly related to the movie, which actually opens with a clip of a tourist film on Christchurch.

Also, it goes without saying that we should think positive healing thoughts, and for those of who are so inclined, prayers for the people of New Zealand.

 

 

Day Two: The furbabies, what I’m reading, and in the news

T and I have two dogs.  Thor, who was mine coming into the relationship, and Baldr, an American Eskimo dog we recently rescued.

I’ve had Thor for around 11 years, since he was a few months old.  My mother gave him to me for christmas, and she had been told that he was half beagle and half poodle.  This turned out to be only half true. He is without a doubt part beagle–he is ruled by his nose, and has that piercing, howling bark common to beagles.  The kind of bark you can hear 4 houses down, cringing, knowing that it is your dog making that horrible racket. However, at about 6 months old, it became apparent that the there was little, if any, poodle in him, and there was in fact marked terrier parentage.  I suppose, if I was into the whole designer dog thing..(which I’m not, and I”m sure there will be a rant on this subject eventually) we could call him “Berrier” or a “Teagle”–but he’s a mutt.  I wouldn’t have him any other way.  He’s old now, his black and tan coloring liberally sprinkled w/ white.  He’s not as spry as he once was, but he will still barrel out the door to parts unknown, chasing the scents of cats, kids, and other dogs if given half a chance.  His favorite place to sleep is on top of the radiator, though before coming to CT it was the back of the couch.    When I left AL, he traveled a 1000 miles on my lap.  He’s completly ruled by his nose…I’ve seen him be oblivious to the cat a foot away from him because he was following a scent trail of another cat. Thor is not a beautiful dog, but he is painfully cute.  Color and size wise, he looks like a rottweiller and Benji made sweet sweet love.  Kellye calls him “Mr. Scruffs” and this is an apt name, as is Terrence’s nickname for him, “fuzzy butt.”

Baldr is the new addition.  He’s a noble beast, and while we’ll never know, looks like he’s probably a purebred American Eskimo.  We’re not sure how old he is.  Hell, there was even some confusion about his sex!  Baldr was rescued from the  city of hartford animal shelter, (http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/cityofhartford.html)  and until the day I went to pick him up, he had been posted as being a female.  However, as Thor is meeting this new dog, and I”m making conversation with the animal rescue officer , she says, “oh, THAT’S a penis!”   He was found running down a busy road, he’s not fearful, and he’s overweight and is (mostly) housetrained, so it seems that he got lost and his owners never claimed him.  Part of me mourns for them, he’s a good boy, and beautiful.  Smart, too, though he can’t quite seem to master the “down” command yet.

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Now, I’m going to change topics.

A semi-regular feature that will be included on this blog:  2011 book challenge:  104 books in 52 weeks.

The book I”m reading now.

http://www.amazon.com/God-Not-Great-Religion-Everything/dp/0446697966/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298132286&sr=8-1

It’s pretty scathingly merciless in it’s arguments on organized religion, and is causing me no little mental distress.  For you see, unlike the vast majority of my social group and family, I still believe in God.  Oh, not some white guy w/ a beard god, who snoops around bedrooms and love lives, worrying endlessly about who is shtupping whom, or what kind of meat we’re eating, or what direction we face to pray, or how our hair is did, or what we’re wearing.  But some sort of….ineffable, unknowable something that started it all.  As a younger person, I developed the “science project theory”–the idea that God started it all, just to see what we would do with it.  I’ve experimented w/ lots of religions, trying to find the ONE that worked.  Currently, I label myself a Buddhist, with pagan leanings. But what I really believe is that “God” (whatever you want to call it) is really just too big and ununderstandable, so what we do as humans is create “boxes” to try to fit God in.  Some people just accept the box they’re given by they’re parents, and never really examine it, cuz it’s they’re box, dammit! Some people decide they don’t need a box at all.  And some of us spend a lot of time looking for just the right box.  But “God”   is too big for the boxes we make, and nobody has the right box.  Because there is no right box.

However, I’ve always been comfortable with my belief that there is something to try to put in that box, even though I’ll never get it quite right.  But this book makes me question even that, makes me wonder if not only are the boxes man made, but what we’re trying to put in the box.  What if there really is….nothing?  I don’t like thinking that, it makes me uncomfortable and frightened.  I don’t like it, but if I’m to be honest, I must at least consider the idea, and if I do choose to reject the idea, understand why.

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In housewifery news:  Tonight’s dinner is pulled pork.  Following Seth’s suggestion, I’ve got a giant hunk of dead pig currently in the slow cooker in ginger ale.  As I side dish, I will be making home made cole slaw.  And since Thom and his boys are coming for dinner, I think I will make some sort of dessert item.  Which means, gentle readers, that it is time to get off the puter and into the kitchen.

Tune in tomorrow for dinner reviews, shameless navel gazing, and thoughts on conservatives and reproductive control.