April is the whiniest month

Hoo boy, it has been kind of a week in this house. First of all, we had a mystery cat in the very top branches of one of our trees for almost four days, a situation that I found surprisingly stressful considering my only contributions were to put a plate of salmon on the ground and occasionally ask "Kitty?" (My intrepid neighbor actually climbed up very very very very high in a rescue attempt, but to no avail.) And I know, I know, the have-you-ever-seen-a-cat-skeleton-in-a-tree thing, but I HAVE seen CAT CORPSES on the GROUND. So. Anyway, she climbed and/or fell down at some point Wednesday night. Godspeed, stressful mystery cat.

Also, it was in the mid-80s this week and the beginning of feeling like I can't really take a deep breath and no one is sorry for you when your seasonal depression is off-seasonal.

And mostly, Ivy has thrown all of her energy into her two primary hobbies, which are 1) avoiding sleep and 2) screaming the word "no" at me. SHE'S DOING BOTH RIGHT NOW, RIGHT THIS SECOND. Her devotion is inspirational, in a way. I nearly formulated a joke about the Olympics and a driving-your-mother-to-exhausted-tears event, but I was too distracted by my exhausted tears.

Aaaaaaaaaaanyway! April is swimming lessons month! They happen right around dinner-prep time! To the library for a cookbook solution of some sort! Ah, here we are: Make It In Minutes. Hey, good news for those of you who want to follow along at home, used copies are one cent on Amazon, because it is a Weight Watchers book based on an outmoded points system. No matter, it's only the minutes that concern us here, although technically every dish I have ever made was prepared in some number of minutes. These claim to fall in 15, 20, and 30 minutes categories. Let's see!

I had almost completed my first thought upon seeing "Spicy Hummus with Curried Pita Chips," which was Are they seriously trying to sell hummus as a dinner? when it was overtaken by my second thought, which was YES, SOLD. Prep time claim: 15 minutes.

Actual prep time:

Not bad! I'm reasonably efficient in the kitchen and know exactly where I keep my tahini, so maybe give it a five minute cushion, but it was pretty close. Not accounted for: chopping the vegetables, cleaning the food processor, semi-apologizing to the husband that we are having hummus for dinner.

Pepper-Crusted Flank Steak with Cucumber Relish. Prep time claim: 20 minutes.

Actual prep time:

VERY close. And the first thing said by two different people who walked into the house was "It smells good in here." Not accounted for: psychological recovery from pulling a pan out of the oven that was entirely engulfed in flames. Pretty good start, though. I could get used to this quick whipping up of dinner thing, it frees up tons of time for exhausted tears.

"Hi, I'm Anna and my mother has no idea where to tie on the extra flappy things that came with my dance costume."

On a non-complaining note, the ATX Television Festival made some programming announcements this week, so my obsessively completionist self has started from the beginning of both Bates Motel and Everwood. How am I going to keep these eccentric small towns straight? (Haha, just kidding, one of them is full of murder, but seriously they both have quirky festivals in the first couple of episodes and I think I'm going to have pretty weird dreams this month.)