Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to School

And what new boy in class wouldn't find me smashing in this ensemble?

Every August I get nostalgic for the time when fall meant 'back to school'. When you're in school, every year you get to start anew with a new school, new teachers, new friends. It's a time of shiny school books (unless you had to buy the slightly different, used version that didn't quite match the teachers copy) and fancy new clothes and shoes (that two weeks later your mother was bribing you to wear because somehow what you thought was extra cool in the store was actually less cool for school). It's a time of new possibilities. Maybe you'll be in the cool kids clique (even though later it turns out maybe they weren't so cool). Or maybe that extra cute boy will decide you're extra cute and ask you out (even though the previous year you were too scared to even look his way and probably wouldn't know what to do with a date anyhow). In any event, in the days leading up to Labor Day, the school year is still open to possibility, unjaded by reality.

This year I didn't have the best summer. I guess I can't really complain about June or July, except the weather extra sucked. But August, I don't know, I was just grouchy and not very happy with myself - for various and sundry reasons. Anyhoo, I have decided that this year I'm going back to school. There won't be an huge external changes, but internally I have some ideas for shiny shoes, crisp clean smelling books, and maybe hanging out with the cool kids!

It's going to be a good year. Happy studying! (What would this be, 40th grade or something?)

This isn't back to school, but pretty cute! I think I would have had more luck with the men here than my actual back to school look.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


For today's blog, a poll.

As I've mentioned before, when I first got Otto he was a sad, sad dog. He'd been abused. He was scared of my back bedroom and his own shadow. And he had no idea how to relax and/or enjoy life. All he wanted to do in those early days was lie on the couch. And he was so sad and pathetic, well, who was I to deny him his one pleasure. So, the couch became his home. In my house it is perpetually covered with a sheet and dog hair. I never sit on it!

I'm new and scared!

Lying on my dog bed makes me very unhappy (even when I'm surrounded by toys)!

Ahh, much better.

So, at our cabin we have a bit of an issue. Otto really wants to sleep on the comfy new futon, but it has a light colored cover and my mom, for some strange reason, doesn't want him on the futon. So, the result is that Otto sneaks on the futon and then gets confused when he gets yelled at. It's very sad.

Well, my mom just got a new chair for the cabin and it came complete with an ottoman. Yes, an OTTOman. If that isn't a piece of furniture with his name all over it, I don't know what is.

Unfortunately, and very tragically, my mom doesn't agree. Poor dog!

Please vote, Otto on the Ottoman, yes or no?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This and that

Today we get to talk about some exciting updates in my life (you'll soon see how 'exciting' my life is).

Appliances, new ones!

First there is the fancy stove. It actually doesn't look too bad in the ancient kitchen, though I could use an entire remodel now! And it works like a charm. Well, actually the oven works great. And it's got this cool feature where you can actually fit two pans in the oven side by side! (My old oven was very narrow as much of it's 36" was taken up by a warming drawer I never used). Not to mention that I've actually got two ovens and convection so you could stack everything up and and down and it would still work perfectly. The stove top and I haven' t quite figured each other out, but we're talking. And there is this large oval burner in the middle that I really don't know what to make of. Perhaps one buys an oval pan?

Vacuum! After I saved a bunch of money on the stove (on sale + floor model) I told the sales person to sell me a vacuum. He wasted no time and I left with a shiny blue vacuum. Miele. It's growing on me. I think I had this expectation that if you spend money on a vacuum it should be magic. You should plug it and and ZIP all the dirt and pet hair in your house immediately is gone and everything is shiny clean. There seems to be a little more sweat involved than that, but it does a good job. And it's got this cool hose extension feature that is sucks in those spider webs that had been taking over the crevices of my ceiling.

Old stove. It seems the company I hired to fix the old one no longer has the $375 I gave them as a down payment. The owner got quite indignant when I got upset because she told me she needed to pay her electric bill and rent instead of giving me back my money. It seems my expectations were way too high! She ended the conversation by telling me I could take her to small claims court. Hmmm, she blamed her problems on the economy but I'm thinking a bad economy should actually be a good time for appliance repair??!!?? Perhaps her personality is the issue. (My credit card company has promised to get me back my money!)

What else? Family in town? That's a loaded topic that perhaps should not get public attention. It seems my 16 year old self can surface at any time!

New pet food? I've been buying Otto this fancy raw food and although he has been eating raw food ever since I got him he seems to only want to eat this if I hand feed while coaxing him or cook it. I'm about ready to pull out both his hair and mine! Ingrate. Fortunately, I've got the new vacuum if much of our hair ends up on the floor.

Veggies? It seems I'm supposed to plant fall crops now but I might need a vacation from gardening until next year. There is a lot of work and emotion that goes into this gardening business.

Okay, that's all I got, something fascinating next week, I promise!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Food and cooking.

Oh shit, Roberta is blogging about food and her garden again. Can't she find anything more interesting to talk about?

No, it seems that this is the only interesting topic I have in my life at the moment. Well, maybe I'll expand and rant on the other TOI (topic of interest) in my life.


1. Food from my garden. I just wanted to mention that roasted broccoli and onion greens is the very best food item in the entire world and I eat it at least once a day. When the sun is gone and there are no more onion greens or fresh broccoli from either my garden or the farmer's market, life will be very very sad.

Bye bye.

2. I'm getting a new stove. According to a post on my Facebook profile I have not had a stove (oven actually) since June 8! Despite numerous internet warnings, I managed to hire the world's very worst appliance repair company. (Just say no to Jimmy-Z Appliance). After many moons and many many phone fights with the appliance company, I threw in the towel and bought a new one. (Actually, they are mainly fights with the appliance company voice mail, because they pretty much avoid my calls at the moment. And requests to speak to management are unheeded!)

Here is a partial transcript from my most recent call (after 6 weeks of nothing but promises that never came true.)

me: Can I speak to your manager?
appliance company employee (ace): she's speaking with the owner.
me: don't you think a customer is more important (I didn't actually say that, but wish I had),
ace: Can I leave a message?
me: Um yeah, HAVE HER CALL ME!!!!!!!!
ace: I'll try
me: what does that mean? she won't call me?
ace: oh, i'll give her the message

NO CALL and they haven't answered the phone or responded to emails since.

Anyhow, enough ranting. I'm a bit sad that I will no longer have the cool vintage stove that fits perfectly in my kitchen. In fact now that I'm sitting in my kitchen looking at a picture of the new stove, it is looking very out of place. I will have a crazy looking modern stove that is too narrow for the space and will probably make my entire kitchen appear to be in dire need of a remodel.


But, I WILL have an oven - actually two of them (and convection no less). I will have 5 burners (god knows 4 was never enough). And maybe someday I'll get back the $400 Jimmy-Z owes me!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Things I will be eating in the next 24 hours.


As in the garden is booming.

Some onions and beets!

Check it, it looks like real live grocery store broccoli! *

Purslane, yes some purslane grew. It isn't super tasty and lemony like the stuff I buy at the farmer's market, but I'm sure it's healthy. (Off to the side is kale which you've already heard about.)

Basil finally decided to show up as well!

This squash I will not be eating in the next 24 hours, but I'll be eating it someday!

*For those who are interested, after a sad week, the aphids ditched the broccoli and went flying on over to the kale. For the most part the broccoli is but free. But some of the kale is kind of a disaster. Better the kale than the broccoli in my opinion!