Archive for November, 2010
My dog was in heat again a few weeks ago, and I’m probably going to get her spayed relatively soon. She is a “show” dog, but neither My Chemical Romance nor I want to show her. Other than not having time, energy, or money for showing her, I’m not so sure how she’d do in a ring. She’s incredibly social with other dogs, and I think she would distract everyone — including herself. She would roll on her back and try to get the judge to rub her belly. Plus she has this weird untamed hair — she has like 12 cowlicks that would take me forever to get straight. I’ve tried, when I groom her, to get her fur to lay flat. It likes to be springy and curl up. I’m not going to fight dog hair — I already fight with my own hair and The Informant’s hair. My Masterpiece seems to have gotten better hair genes, along with Animal and Mineral, who don’t count because they get shaved every month or two.
Another reason I would spay her is her Optic Neuritis. If you look it up, you’ll get a vague explanation that it’s an eye condition that leads to temporary blindness which will someday be permanent blindness. Maybe. There’s really no way to tell. She hasn’t had an episode of blindness in nearly a year — but the ophthalmologist vet said it would probably be a year between episodes, so I’m not sure yet. It’s not genetic, but I don’t want to breed her when she’s not 100% perfect, she’s not a champion… there’s just no reason to breed her.
I love her. She loves My Chemical Romance. She loves me, but when My Chemical Romance is around, she’s on him like wild on rice. She loves curling up in corners. Her favorite spot in the kitchen is in the corner, under a row of shelves. Her favorite place in the bathroom is the cubby under the counter where I put my chair. Her favorite place in the office is under the desk. Her favorite place in our bedroom is on our bed, preferably on a pillow. She sleeps on her back with her paws in the air. It cracks me up. Usually sometime in the night she gets off our bed and sleeps in a corner of the room, near the door. She follows me in and out of the bathroom when I pee all night long. She goes in the bathroom with My Chemical Romance when he wakes up in the morning and showers.
She loves a half-deflated soccer ball. She loves stuffed animals. She takes them outside and “kills” them, shaking them back and forth and running around. When I was talking with her breeder about which dog would be appropriate for our family, the breeder mentioned that in her personality test she didn’t show the instinct to kill stuffed animals or balls — so she seemed more easy going. HA. Almost two years later, and the kill instinct has been activated.
She LOVES other dogs. Her main goal in life seems to be to get other dogs to play with her. Too bad most other dogs find her pesky. We dog-sat for my friend Renaissance Woman (still need a better nickname?) and her big brown lab wouldn’t give her the time of day. Same with my parents’ two dogs. Luckily she has a BFF, Wii’s dog.
She’s a good dog. She used to be kind of small for her breed, but now she’s normal sized. We feed her raw, and My Chemical Romance is always amazed at the huge portions she eats.
For the last few days I’ve noticed some hormonal changes, and I’m
hoping wondering if this is my body getting close to labor and birth. I’m starting to have night sweats again, I’m breaking out on my face, and I’m getting more crazy with each passing day. I kind of feel like I’m back in my first tri, except with 40 extra lbs. I originally went to the doctor because of the night sweats, thinking I was having some kind of endocrine issue. Nope! Just pregnancy!
I’m so excited to find out if Tax Deduction is a girl or a boy. I’ve gone back and forth so many times in this pregnancy, first thinking it was a boy, then girl for a looooooooooong time, now boy again. I just don’t know. This pregnancy has been a weird mixture of more and less intense than my others. It’s more intense because of my weight loss; I can feel a lot more than I could with all the others, and I’m more knowledgeable about the process. It’s less intense because — duh! — I’m a lot more busy with the older kids. A clerk at Tar*get will say something to me about how it’s getting close and I’m thinking, “Close to what, exactly? Oh, yeah. I’m having a baby.” I feel like not knowing the sex inhibits the bonding I’ve felt with the other kids. With the others, I would think, “Hey, The Informant, how did you like this Thanksgiving meal? Pretty good huh?” but now I think, “Hey baby who might be XX or XY and we’re still not 100% certain on a name, what do you think of…” and by the time the sentence is out I’m totally distracted by something else anyway.
Last night I was having some intense back pain, thinking, “This is it… maybe…?” but nope. I took a bath and went to bed. It was probably from doing “too much” on Thanksgiving. All that cooking, plus I moved a Graco Nautilus car seat from my garage into the house, so that The Happy Mathlete could borrow it.
Next Friday is My Chemical Romance’s birthday and it might be sort of cool if the baby shared his birthday.
This year for Thanksgiving, we’re hosting my parents, Nice-Nice and her husband, Renaissance Woman and her husband — and the Happy Mathelete and her husband and kids are stopping by afterwards. For the second (or maybe third?) straight year, my parents will be here for Thanksgiving but not Christmas, so we’re opening presents early. My kids are getting a Wii. I have given up — or maybe I’ve just recognized that I’m having a baby and will be trapped nursing on the couch or in My Chemical Romance’s battery charger and want to keep them relatively docile and incapable of burning down the house. So they’re getting a Wii. Also, this means I’ll be able to cook in relative peace!
My portion of TG is turkey, gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Renaissance Woman is making broccoli casserole, sweet potatoes, and cranberries. Nice-Nice is making rolls and pie. This may sound like a ton of food for eight adults and six kids (most of whom don’t actually eat) but I’m worried it’s not enough. I was raised Jewish after all; I really love you only when I try to stuff food down your throat 24/7.
The turkey is coming from Creekside Farm. We were invited to view the turkeys before they were processed but I thought that might be a little traumatic so I said no. In a nod to my heritage, I’m using the recipe “Homestyle Turkey, the Michigander Way.” Is there a more dorky word than Michigander? I’m not sure. I used this recipe last year and it was awesome — same free-range turkey although from a different farm. The only thing that went wrong was that my parents transported the turkey from my house to Wii’s house, and in the process managed to get turkey all over their relatively new car interior, which was mostly cloth. It smelled, and cost a fortune to get it all out.
- 1 (12 pound) whole turkey
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 cups warm water
- 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
- 2 tablespoons seasoning salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Rinse and wash turkey. Discard the giblets, or add to pan if they are anyone’s favorites.
- Place turkey in a Dutch oven or roasting pan. Separate the skin over the breast to make little pockets. Put 3 tablespoons of the butter on both sides between the skin and breast meat. This makes for very juicy breast meat.
- In a medium bowl, combine the water with the bouillon. Sprinkle in the parsley and minced onion. Pour over the top of the turkey. Sprinkle seasoning salt over the turkey.
- Cover with foil, and bake in the preheated oven 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C). For the last 45 minutes or so, remove the foil so the turkey will brown nicely.
Gravy is Easy Turkey Gravy
- 5 cups turkey stock with pan drippings
(10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup— I MAKE THIS MYSELF FROM SCRATCH.
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Bring the turkey stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in soup, and season with poultry seasoning, pepper, seasoned salt, and garlic powder. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer.
- Warm the milk in the microwave, and whisk in the flour with a fork until there are no lumps. Return the gravy to a boil, and gradually stir in the milk mixture. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Be careful not to let the bottom scorch.
Green Beans are Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole. My Chemical Romance is not happy that I’m not using the recipe on the back of Camp*bell’s Cream of Whatever Soup, but I refuse to cook with anything that includes Partially Hydrogenated Heart/Brain Killer anymore. He claims he only eats Partially Hydrogenated Heart/Brain Killer once a year — at Thanksgiving! — but I put my apron down.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup sour cream
3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained— I USE ORGANIC FROZEN GREEN BEANS
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat.
- Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.
Stuffing is Slow Cooker Stuffing (I’m trying to save room in my oven)
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
12 ounces sliced mushrooms— I MAY SKIP THIS; MUSHROOMS ARE NASTY.
- 12 cups dry bread cubes
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram — I’m borrowing this from someone…
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 1/2 cups chicken broth, or as needed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, mushroom, and parsley in butter, stirring frequently.
- Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Pour in enough broth to moisten, and mix in eggs. Transfer mixture to slow cooker, and cover.
- Cook on High for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to Low, and cook for 4 to 8 hours.
Mashed Potatoes is going to be really unexciting — my dad likes very bland food, so I’m not going to put anything fancy like the aged cheddar cheese with garlic that I just got at Cost*co last night that is so freaking delicious I could die — I’ll add it to mine.
Day Before Mashed Potatoes (although mine will probably be “Day Of” Mashed Potatoes. I have made potatoes the day before and you basically end up re-cooking it anyway to get it creamy and hot, so there’s no point.)
- 9 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer potatoes to a large bowl, and mash until smooth. Mix in the cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder, salt, pepper and butter. Cover, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
- Spread potato mixture into the prepared baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven about 30 minutes.
Now I’m hungry. I just made a quiche with broccoli, bacon, and the above-mentioned Cost*co garlic cheddar. I made two so that I can stick one in the freezer.
1. Type. Type. Type. Type.
2. No editing, deleting, backspace-ing, or re-reading what I just wrote.
3. Type at every chance I got, even if it was for 10 minutes while the water for noodles was cooking.
Things I did NOT do:
1. Listen to music while I typed
2. Have a detailed outline or plot
3. Meet up with other local NaNoWriMos. (Although two Jugs members are participating, so we did talk things out a little.)
4. Use a notebook or anything when I was away from my computer or laptop, to jot down ideas.
Honestly, I found it more TEDIOUS than anything. Every day, it was like homework looming over my head, that I had to get done before I could go do anything fun.
I incorporated some elements of my life (the main character is a nurse at an infusion center who treats an anemic pregnant woman who is planning a homebirth; the main male character goes to a 72-hour drug detox — I volunteered at one when I was in collgege; there’s a subplot involving an unplanned pregnancy), some totally random stuff (main male character is an injured war vet; there’s a character who is a seminary student, as well as a divorced dad college professor), and just some random stuff for fun (a character’s mother is a very famous actress). That is pretty much it — I kept the plot simple enough so that I didn’t have to take notes. I didn’t mention any specific details about location or time frame (except several references to September 11).
And that was it. I feel a little more free now — I don’t have anything hanging over my head. Who knew I was an anti-procrastinator?
Actually now I’m thinking of what I NEED for Tax Deduction. I have boobs that are already producing milk. I have tons of cloth diapers. I got a lot of baby clothes at my shower/blessing. I would still like: My Breast Friend (Nice-Nice and Das Cinderella are both giving me their old ones; I’ll have an upstairs Breast Friend and a downstairs Breast Friend), Utterly Yours breast pillow; a TV with a remote so I can watch Netflix while I nurse; and some more freezer meals.