Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Such a Rebel

I've been participating in some rebellious behavior lately, and I have to say, I could get used to this.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I made some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  I've made them countless times, enough to have the recipe memorized.  Everything was going according to plan until I got to the chocolate chips.  I usually only put in a half-bag of semi-sweet chips, but this time I put the whole bag in.  You heard me right, I doubled the chocolate chips in a normal batch of oatmeal cookies.  I violated the recipe in favor of a gluttonous load of sweetness.  And then I had to eat them.  Rebelling all the more, I taste-tested two cookies instead of just one.  After they cooled properly and I'd eaten a meal, I had to resample to confirm that nothing had changed with such a heavy chocolate chip to oatmeal ratio.  And oatmeal is healthy, right?  By the end of the day, with the help of my sister and The Man, four dozen cookies had been reduced to just over two dozen.

(Apparently I need to be a rebel more often.)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Sister's Return

Two weeks?! I haven't blogged in two weeks!?  I apologize for the break, but I've been so busy lately with our yard, family and friends, and living life that I haven't had a chance to sit still.

Our cats are healthy and back to normal.  Well, sort of.  I've been working on training them to obey commands, and they do a pretty good job with "come" now.  We have been able to get them to "come" into their bathroom in a hurry once or twice when we really needed them out of the way.  About a quarter of the time, when called, they sit and stare at us.  That isn't my favorite, but they're cats, and I'll take what I can get.

Our yard is looking fantastic.  I mowed the lawn for the first time ever (in my whole life) last night to surprise The Man.  I even edged our many edges of overgrown grass.  We've figured out how to mow and on what length and frequency to mulch so that our yard benefits the most, but all of the lime and fertilizer are definitely paying off as well.  We have the greenest yard on the block--a total change from two months ago.  The only problem with me mowing was the horrendous allergic response I had toward the end of my tasks.  My snot rockets had snot rockets.  I ran inside wheezing and sneezing, tore my clothes off, got in the shower and washed the pollen away, poured a full neti pot of water through both nostrils, and took a Benadryl.  One hour later, I was back to normal.  Well, zonked out of my mind on what can only be described as the best legal hallucinogen on the market.  Benadryl and I have a bad history, but it works, and that's what I needed.

My sister informed me last week that she had her orders as was coming home from Texas on Saturday, and she wanted to surprise Mom and Dad with her return.  I cleared my schedule, worked myself to exhaustion to make sure everything was lined up and ready for her, and went to pick her up on Saturday afternoon.  I had made a pretty sign to welcome her home, but she beat me to the airport, so I didn't get to embarrass her as much as I'd wanted.  I haven't seen her since Thanksgiving six very long months ago, so it was really cool to be able to be the one to pick her up at the airport.  The ride home from the airport was filled with "It's so green here, you just don't know! Texas was ugly, dirty, and gross!  I can't believe how beautiful/picturesque/happy Oregon looks!" Suffice it to say the mountains, trees, grass, and flowers were sorely missed.  Our surprise to Mom and Dad went well, although apparently they were both catching on pretty quickly and weren't as surprised as we hoped.  Glad to have my sister home for a few weeks before she heads to her first overseas base!

The rain has returned, overdue and much needed, and while everyone else is lamenting the cool, wet weather, I am enjoying every second.  We're considering buying an air conditioner for our house this year, and the longer this cool weather lasts, the more we can save up, price shop, and get bids.  Also? less watering in the yard.  I'm a big fan of natural sprinklers.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Can someone else learn to clean this up?

The Man and I took Friday off last weekend to enjoy some quiet time at our house together since my brother-in-law flew down to be with my sister for a few days.  We got a ton of stuff done, visited with family, and took care of sick cats.  On the whole, it was a pretty good weekend.

We had another meeting with our financial adviser, and she really built up our spirits with some kind remarks.  We both get frustrated seeing The Joneses live lavish lives as we stick a few more pennies in our piggy banks.  It is hard to save, hard to plan for the future, and hard to not be able to do, see, buy!  But we're chugging along doing this the hard way.  It was nice to have someone else tell us we're doing well, because sometimes it is hard to step back and see that for ourselves.  Noses to the grindstone.

I was able to do some cooking and have The Man's parents down for dinner one night.  My parents later joined us for dessert.  Lots of good conversation and food.  Also got our first watermelon of the year, and it is delicious.  We'll be eating on it for the rest of the week.

On Sunday morning, The Man went out for a run with one of his friends.  He came home with a huge scrape on his shin.  Between the last mud race he ran and this weekend, we've used more Neosporin than in the last two years combined!  I patched him up once again, reminding him how lucky he is to have a wife that isn't grossed out at the sight of blood.

Saturday morning's surprise was opening the door to the cats' bathroom (they sleep and spend the work days in a half-bath, but they roam the downstairs when we are home with them).  One of the cats, possibly both, got sick overnight.  Green and yellow and brown goo everywhere.  Major grossness.  They were still eating and drinking, so we kept an eye on them.  Just a little bit of icky gross floor goo on Sunday morning.  On Monday, nothing!  Yay, on the mend!  And then... Monday night... oh. my. word.  Somebody is still very, very, very sick.  I cleaned projectile vomit off the walls, the floor, the cabinet containing their litter box, and all around their food bowls.  We took them to the emergency vet near our house, and thankfully the vet was super cool.  He gave them fluids and anti-vomit meds, and they haven't hurled since we got them home.  We have scoured the house looking for reasons why they might be sick, but we have no idea!  Perhaps one of them ate a bug.  Less likely, maybe they nibbled on one of my plants.  No chemicals they could get to, no pesticides, no garden stuff, no oil or car drippings, no craft supplies, nothing.  Here's to hoping our kitties are good from here on out, because I am not fond of cleaning up vomit at this point!