Terrifying the cat with loving gifts

Last night's dinner: toasted pita and bean salad plus blueberry zombie cake. The salad was nice and summer-y, with mint from the (well-composted) garden, and I swear the cake didn't taste like the undead at all. Unless the undead taste like molasses, which....actually, ew, I'm almost sure is the case.

Yeah, I eat vegetables sometimes, what.

We may have also had it for breakfast this morning.

Since we missed both of our scheduled activities yesterday, we ran errands instead. We went to PetSmart and got Hopper a fancy new electronic water-dispenser-thingy. He's had kind of a tough year, what with the loss of his best frenemy and the addition of the tiny, tail-yanking human. So I think: I will do something wonderful to pamper this poor, ignored kitty. Here's what the cat on the box is doing:

Being super jazzed about his sweet hydration system.

And here is what Hopper was doing:


Seriously, that's about as close together as I could get them in a picture. Oh well. Another rain-out day today, so we're just trying to make do at the casa.

Listen honey, if we're going to be stuck inside you should probably learn to walk or read or something.


Don't have to live like a refugee

Last night's dinner: $45 champagne and reheated Papa John's served on a paper bag. I was helping Kay the Official Homeowner pack up some stuff in her apartment, and that's just how things go down in these transitional periods. You have a little black tie/hobo-style mashup for dinner, you put on some Tom Petty, and you wrap a bunch of glass in newspaper. Circle of life. Pretty sure last time I was moving I paired a Macallan 1947 with some cold beans eaten out of the can, so, kind of the same deal.

Moving: sometimes things get weird.

Which reminds me, if you don't have any interest in what I'm eating or in examining my infant's aging process on a semi-daily basis, following me is probably going to be fairly unpleasant. I guess check in on weekends to see how many more gardening tools I have disabled? And actually, if you want to be useful, I'm taking suggestions for any other clichéd topics I can cover, in the hopes of creating a sort of überclichéblog. Kind of no point in doing things halfway, you know?

I think our afternoon activity is probably going to get called on account of weather plus foul baby mood, so the revised plan is to make Old Fashioned Blueberry Cake from 101 Cookbooks. I'm pretty optimistic about it, despite her promise of "lots of tiny pockets of oozy berry flesh," like it's some sort of confectionary Black Plague victim.


This one is mostly about the kid

Last night's dinner: Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup with Spicy Cinnamon Pecans, again from Homesick Texan. I realize that looking at it, you are probably thinking, hey Erica, why did you make a bowl of pumpkin pie for dinner?

Tastes like seasonal inappropriateness.

And yeah, okay, it's basically a Thanksgiving-flavored soup, which is probably why she made it in November like a normal person. But you know what? It's winter in South Africa, and I believe they are holding some sort of large kazoo festival there right now. So basically, I am just being a citizen of the world. For you traditionalists, take note of the side salad comprised of current-crop vegetables and such.

This morning we went to the Austin Science and Nature Center because I figure Anna might want to shriek at something more exotic than our cat once in a while, and also there is no charge for admission.

I seriously thought it said "snakes" and was like, who is feeding snakes to this bobcat??

She was only mildly interested in the animals, but she did seem to enjoy standing at the handrail. Handrails are also exotic, as we do not have them at home.

Hey, did you remember to bring some snakes for the opossum?

Her favorite part of science and/or nature was dirt, by far.

I will sit still if it is on a large enough pile of dirt.


It's just a yard maintenance blog now

First, a quick addendum to yesterday's edger saga. When I offered to mow in the back, Dan was again hesitant, suggesting that he was better dealing with the tall grass, and I was all, "I've mowed grass before dude, come on," and now the lawn mower is broken, the end.

Anyway, we tried to get a jump on things outside this morning by sticking Anna in her baby cage on the patio while it was still shady. I guess she must have inherited some sort of dormant-in-both-of-us propensity for industriousness, because if there's one thing she hates in this world it is sitting still and playing with toys. The baby cage looks like a pretty fun place to me, but when we put her in there it's all wailing and clinking her tiny tin water cup across the bars. I don't know why we even gave her that thing.

The Pit of Despair.

The only way to get around her need for perpetual motion is for someone else to be exerting a lot of effort on her behalf. She will not tolerate being held by a person in a sitting or remotely relaxed position. The holder must be standing, preferably walking, or even better, doing deep lunges. Ideally, you would do this, balance her on your legs, and scoot around using your shoulders. I actually think that would make her very happy. Today she abided simply adding her 20+ pounds to my frequent bending and standing, so I think I got off pretty easy there.

This is how the pilgrims did their landscaping.

At any rate, it's getting to a point where it looks like respectable humans are responsible for our property rather than drunk raccoons. Win!


In which I notice some irony and also promise to abandon this titling scheme

When I started doing 750 words I added the extra password feature because God forbid someone read what I wrote every day. Now I have a public blog, the purpose of which, I believe, is to attract readers, and I have zero page views. HA! That is awesome. Weirdly, this has only inspired me to write with great frequency and inventiveness. I feel like an apology/congratulations/warning are in order for the two of you reading this now.

In which I am highly in tune with nature

As I have not yet decided whether I am a mommy blogger, a food blogger, or just an unemployment blogger (seems like the field is a little more open on that one), today we're going to talk about: gardening. I will probably also tell you what I ate for lunch.

Hint: the best possible combination of foods.

This morning we were trying to clean up the back yard a little bit and I finally got around to examining the surprisingly Byzantine composting system in place out there. Generally I put my food scraps in a bowl and then set it on the counter as close to the back door as possible so that the Compost Fairy will know it's ready to be taken away. I don't give it much thought beyond this point. But I figured as a public service, I would let you know that if you want a genuinely impressive backyard garden such as ours (this season's yield: 7 cherry tomatoes, 6 peppers, 2 half inch long strawberries, an insane* melon plant (unintentional) and a 10 foot tall sunflower (unintentional)), it's important to have a method of orchestrating compost that involves approximately eight different piles, three of which are nothing but leaves, scattered throughout the patio and yard. It doesn't hurt to have at least one that resembles the talking trash heap from Fraggle Rock. I wish I could be more specific in helping you set up your own multi-pile compost machine, but it seems to require a special, mysterious sort of alchemy, and possibly elves.

You're going to need several of these.

Also, despite having a painfully contentious relationship with the edger, Dan is suspiciously reluctant to let me try using it instead. The thing is, I don't have a years-long history of frustration and resentment with it, and I do have the focused energy of someone who is constantly afraid that her HOA is going to start putting her annual dues toward a "Worst Lawn of the Month" sign for her yard. But still no.

Here is the summary of an actual married person discussion we have had multiple times: E: I would like the lawn to be edged. D: Yes, but I hate our edger because it is made of evil. E: We could buy a new edger? D: No, I just need to fix up/exorcise it. E: We could pay someone to do the edging? D: No, we already have an edger. End scene.

Maybe he's afraid that I would somehow edge through the foundation of the house, or our daughter's leg, or something, I don't know. But I like to believe that he's just protecting me from contact with this hellish fiend of an appliance. It's romantic, in a way, our perpetually un-edged lawn.

In conclusion: pulled pork sandwich with killer homemade barbecue sauce, red cabbage cole slaw, potato salad, iced tea. All recipes from the super badass Homesick Texan.

*In a creepy, bent on world domination sort of way.


This is for purely medical reasons

For some reason my therapist seems to think that hiding from everyone is a bad idea. I disagree, yet she is technically the expert. I've made pretty impressive strides in not physically hiding lately, so I guess I'll give not mentally hiding a shot. For anyone who followed this from Friendster to Myspace to here: haha, you are very old.

Anyway, oversharing seems like what all the kids are doing, so I'm (back) in.