Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Plant

This plant has a story. It started over two years ago at my brother's funeral. We were bringing all the flowers, baskets and plants back to the house for the wake. Afterwards, my mom told us to pick something to take home. Out of the corner of my eye I spy this plant and was drawn to it. I didn't want flowers because they would be dead in a few days and I was sick of death. I decided that this plant was coming home with me so it could be a reminder of my brother.
The plant stayed in it's original sad green plastic planter for over two years. Over those two years it has been forgotten about, then remembered. It has survived many weeks of drought (there is a reason why I don't have live plants) and hung in there. It had to be hidden, way up high away from the cats, but the little plant was always stretching it leaves towards the bedroom light. It never gave up, no matter how harsh the enviroment.
Fitting. It truly has my brother's spirit. He too stretched toward the light and wouldn't give up. He too was hidden away, forgotten and then remembered. So today, memorial weekend, this little plant got a new home. He is a reminder of just how tough we can be.

Happy Memorial Weekend

Yesterday we kicked off the weekend with our very first vegan BBQ. I know I said this before, but if you would've of told me that I would be serving vegan food over Memorial weekend I would've thought you needed to increase your medication. But here it is 9 months since I made the commitment to be a vegetarian and I am hosting a bbq that didn't have a hamburger in site. It felt good. It felt really good. Partly because we had a ton of great food, but mostly, because we had great people to share it with.


Trac and her husband came over and Trac made the BEST CUPCAKES EVER. Seriously. The kind of good that makes you moan when you take a bite. Holy crap I am drooling just thinking of them. I made a total pig of myself and ate THREE. It was totally worth the stomach ache. Trac also brought over what I call - 'Crack' It is this bean/corn dip that you can't stop eating. Bazu and Daiku brought over yummy potato salad (which I am eating right now) and coleslaw (which I plan to eat after I am done with the potato salad). We dined on grilled eggplant, which wasn't as easy as I thought it would be to make. One, I learned that olive oil and the grill combo will create a small inferno. On a side note: thank you to the local fire department that posted the sign - keep grill away from structures.

We also attempted to grill some corn. Attempted the key term. Then came out the bbq ribz, and for the final course - tofu kabob's with everyone creating their own kabob. I do have to say, the tofu came out damn good. I found a recipe for Hong Kong Chicken and decided to use that marinade for the tofu. It came out very tasty and spicy!!! (recipe at the end).

To signal the beginning of summer I made the first batch of Sangria. It is damn good shit. Easy to make and very refreshing (recipe at the end). Tons of fruit, wine and gin. Who could as for anything more!

Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures because I was running around trying not to burn down the house :-)

Hong Kong Tofu marinade:

2 Tablespoons curry paste
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oil (I used olive oil)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic minced

Marinade tofu overnight.

Sangria

1 bottle red wine (I love using Cabernet Sauvignon, but you can use Merlot, Shiraz, etc)
1 lemon cut into wedges
1 orange cut into wedges
1 lime cut into wedges
2 Tbsp sugar
Splash of OJ
2 shot of gin (use good gin)
1 cup of sliced strawberries or raspberries (may use frozen, but I prefer fresh)
1 small can of diced pineapples (with juice)
4 cups ginger ale

Pour wine in pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange, and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving seeds out) and pineapple then add sugar, orange juice and gin. Chill overnight. Take out wedges and strain to remove the pulp. Add ginger ale, berries and ice just before serving.

Neighbor's

My husband has been eagerly waiting to see if any birds have taken up residence in the mini-bird condo's he put up in our backyard. He didn't have to wait long! We have two families of house sparrows that have moved into the neighborhood. One even has babies in it! You can hear them squawking all the way in the house when they are hungry.








Thursday, May 24, 2007

This is for my friend Jen who thinks she is the only one of us that has weird phobia's. Plus, she pretty much knew everything I wrote so I am doing a Mulligan.

Here are my 7 weirdo things about me:

1. I pick my dogs nose. Yes, it is gross and I don't know why I do it or why he lets me, but I do.

2. I can't leave the house and/or go to bed with the dryer going for fear of the house burning down. During the summer, I have a really hard time leaving the fans on in fear of them catching the house on fire!

3. I have a HUGE fear of the ocean. I love to look at it, listen to it, but you couldn't pay me
enough money in the world to get in it...even up to my ankles. When there are things that can swollow me whole or nothing underneath me for miles, and miles, and miles....shiver. And birds. Big fear of birds.

4. I was banned from a haunted house because I was screaming so loud I sent a girl into an asthma attack. Along the same lines, I didn't go completely through a haunted house until I was sixteen. Before then I would be the one screaming and running back out - even though I knew it was fake. I still have issues about going through haunted houses.

5. I hate shopping. Worse than regular shopping is shoe shopping. Can't stand it. I've had friends raid my closet to throw out shoes that were literally falling apart.

6. Before I leave on a trip I have to clean the house for the sole purpose that if we die, I want the house to be clean when they come in to collect our things.

7. Drink glasses. I have this thing where I will get a glass of water or some beverage, drink a little, then get another glass, then another glass so by the end of the night there are 5 different drink glasses around the house...full. I also do the same thing with soda cans. Drives my husband nuts he walks around picking up all the open full cans of soda :-)

Jen I hope at least SOME of these things you didn't already know.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tagged!

I've been tagged by Bazu to write 7 random things about myself. Hmmmmm...where to start?

1. In my blog I talked about my brother Pat, but didn't mention how he died. Pat died from Huntington's Disease at 37. It is a genetic disease and each sibling from an affected parent has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the disease. We had no idea about the disease until Pat was diagnosed in his early 20's. I was tested in 1998 and was found to be negative. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make and the hardest thing I ever had to hear.

2. After high school I worked as a vet tech for 5 years for a very mean man, but a great vet. Working for him gave me a very thick skin and the desire to be the best at my job just out of spite. It also gave me very warped sense of humor.

3. I believe you should live your life in the now and try new things. There are so many things to try and explore. For instance, I thought quilting would be fun. So I learned. I thought letterboxing would be cool. So I went. I wanted to see if I could do a Sprint Triathlon. I could. When I am old and sitting in a nursing home I want those experiences in my memory to keep me company.

4. Random act of kindness. Everyday I try to pay attention outside the 'me' world and be watchful to help others. Nothing makes me happier than to bring a smile to someone's face with a random act of kindess. Be it holding open a door, helping them pick up something they dropped, giving them a ride, helping them carry something heavy. It is nice to think that one little gesture you make could make a person's day better and they in turn will do something nice for another person.

5. Although I act like an extrovert. It is a cover. I am actually an introvert (at least till you get to know me). When I am in a social situation I will find ways to work or do something other than socialize because I feel very awkward.

6. I think the cutest animal on the planet is a baby Walrus!!! They make me squeal in delight!

7. I love to laugh and make people laugh. It is rare that I cry and when I do it totally freaks people out! :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Big Red

Introducing 'Big Red' the cardinal that visits our feeder daily. He is such a handsome guy and he knows it! He is like the supermodel of the bird world.

I am gorgeous, aren't I

Bow down to my sheer beauty you silly two legged human!




Monday, May 21, 2007

Race Report

Saturday was the 'Race For The Cure' breast cancer 5k event. The race was held at the NYS Fairgrounds in Syracuse and approxmiately 7,000 people attended. What was cool about this race is that it was a nationwide and while my husband and I were running in NY, my sister-in-law was running in Ohio. It was her first 5k and she kicked butt with a time of 34.52! Holy crap! We are just so damn proud of her! WAY TO GO BECCA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (she is probably kicking herself for sending me photos...hee, hee.)

Before and after the race. What a group of good lookin' people! Sheesh!

The event was very timely because Bill's mom just had surgery a few days before and just got out of the hospital on Friday. She is doing really well and has to continue with radiation for awhile and then will be done with treatment and will (hopefully) be cancer free! Woo hoo.The race Bill and I ran went great and it was very upbeat and inspirational! There was a band playing at every corner of the course so you didn't really need your headphones. People were so supportive of each other and it was just a helluva lot of fun! My husband kicked ass with a time of 24 and something minutes! He ran a 7.53 pace. Good God. My pace was about 10:30 and I finished around 32 minutes. I felt really good throughout the race and just enjoyed myself. The best part though was Sherri! She is one of the ladies in our running group. She has come a long way with her running and Saturday....she...beat...me!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sure in the hell did kick my butt at the finish! We saw the home stretch and she just pulled away and flew. She not only beat her personal best...she CRUSHED her personal best. Both of us couldn't stop smiling. Very cool.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Since I have no desire to actually do work this morning (it is Friday), I figured I would post a little story for a fellow blogger - Iowa Greyhound who just recently bought and moved into his new home.

Bill and I purchased our home in 2000 from its original owners. When we walked in the house we fell in love with it and knew it had to be ours. It is a house that was built in the early 70's and retains much of it's Brady look. The couple we bought it from was retiring and moving to Florida (of course) and were in their early 60's.

We've been in the house for about 2 weeks. My husband was down in the basement and when he was checking out the ceiling he noticed something hidden in the rafters.
Hmmmmmm...what could it be? It was a black box. Money? Jewels? Nope. Neither. Suddenly I hear my husband stumbling up the stairs. He runs in the the family room with this black box in his hand with a look of total HORROR on his face:

Husband: OH MY GOD look what I found hidden in the rafters down in the basement
Me: What the hell is that?
Husband: It is a board game!!!
Me: Board game? Let me see that?

Sweet jesus it was a board game indeed. A SEX GAME FROM THE 70's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jet black with one word on the front and I can't write it, but if you really want to know leave a comment and I will tell you. At this point I have conflicting feelings - horror, laughter, and fascination. The latter won and I HAD to open it. The instructions were typed and I swear some of the rules I didn't think were humanely possible!! But the best part was the spinner on the wheel of sex acts. Oh yes. The spinner you had to hand cut and put on the wheel yourself. Any guesses as to what it could be? What is part of the male anatomy that might have a pointy end?

So Bill and I were horrified to know that the house we bought was used to literally express "free love" Thank god for hardwood floors or else I would've had to re-carpet the whole house. To add insult to injury. We still get their nudist magazines in the mail!! These aren't the airbrushed type of nudist magazine either (yes, of course I had to look). We are talking naked seniors having a bbq, playing volleyball, etc.

We still have the game somewhere because we were too embarassed to throw in the trash! Plus I am thinking....how much would it go for on Ebay?

When Good Dogs Go Bad


I knew it was a matter of time before John got into some type of naughtiness! He was being baby-gated upstairs until a few weeks ago when he figured out how to bust down the babygate. Shithead. He is too smart for his own good!

Yesterday, my husband came home to the above! Now mind you, all our guys are muzzled when we aren't home so things were smashed, dragged and ground trying to get at it. NAUGHTY NAUGHTY DOGS!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Letterboxing in CNY

On Saturday, Jen, Trac and I headed out to do some letterboxing. It was a gorgeous day in Central New York! The sun was shining with clear blue skies. It was a little chilly, but the temps were perfect for boxing because there were no bugs!!!

Trailhoundz: Lucy and Clifford. And Jen. I snapped the picture just as Lucy decided to pee. Sorry for the unlady like picture Goose.

Jen scoring a box and trying not to stomp on any foliage.

Was there a flash flood warning in the area???Trac's response to my comment on her pants.

Now that is a log.
Random pictures from the trail....

BBQ Seitan Ribz

I am *thinking* about hosting a vegan bbq over Memorial weekend, but haven't committed to it yet. Do I want the pressure of cleaning the house, cooking, etc.? Forcing my husband to socialize?
While debating these questions I wanted to try out some recipes just in case I go ahead with it. Tonight I made BBQ Ribz from FatFree Vegan Kitchen. Look at how real they look! They were very tasty and I ate three of them before the grilled vegetables were done. Seitan is wicked easy to make too. All in all I would say I would definitely make these again.


Friday, May 11, 2007

First Video!

Ah ha!!! Figured out how to make a video with our new camera! Of course, I chose Rimmy as the subject. He is doing really well after his dental. So here ya go...


FINALLY!

Today I finally had a decent run. The past two weeks have SUCKED! Each run I did in the past weeks I've had to walk and one was for a mile run!!! WTF?! Pissed me off. The other was when I didn't drink any water during the day and tried to run over 4 miles. DUH! *smacking the crap out of myself* Can you say dehydration. When I hit campus I had to walk to the Dean's office and ask for water because I couldn't make into my building.

Today I was just pissed off more than a wet cat and was determined to finish 3 miles without walking. Started out feeling pretty good and at 2.5 hit the brick walk and almost walked, but pushed through it and finished 3.10 in 30.30! Woo hoo! Of course I was sweating like a whore on dollar day and the only deodorant I had in the office was Old Spice. Don't know why it was Old Spice? So for the rest of the day I smell like my Grandpa.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

1000 reasons to brush your dogs teeth!


Look at this face. This poor, sad, hurting, tired face. Rimmy came home today from his dental yesterday. Poor guy had thirteen teeth pulled! Thirteen!! He is one hurting puppy.

They kept him overnight on pain meds and to keep an eye on him. Trac went with me to pick him up and OMG when they brought Rim in the room he looked so pathetic!! Our hearts just broke looking at him and then....his tongue fell out the side of his mouth. We couldn't help it, but we laughed.

Rim came home took a huge drink of water and went immediately to the couch. I gave him some warmed up tuna mix I made for the dogs dinner and he zonked out. He hasn't moved since except to potty once. Thank God they sent home pain meds for my little pooper scooper.

Tomorrow I am sure he will feel much better and hopefully be back to his silly self.


Wooo hooo we had another successful SVS (Syracuse Vegan Society) dinner last night. We had 24 guests and it seemed (or I hope) everyone had a great time. It started out a little rough, but once the food was out it was smooth sailing.

Trac got a call from the owner at 5:30 p.m (dinner was at 6:30) asking about the menu and how many. This set us in panic mode because we agreed and thought we confirmed a buffet with serveral different items. Guess he forgot. There wasn't a buffet and once again, Trac and I ended up plating and serving the food. Which is okay. Honestly we don't mind it because we are more concerned with getting everyone fed! However, it would be nice to be able to sit down, eat and socialize AND we will because now we have a plan on how to avoid this at the next dinner. We hope.

Anyway, the food was FANTASTIC. There was so much of it and see it in all its glory visit Bazu's blog. But I warn you. Have a napkin to wipe the drool from your chin!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Party!

Remember those drawings where there was a scene of either a barnyard or forest and you had to find animals hidden in the picture? Well, here is one for you. There are nine squirrels in the photo. Can you find them all?

Not only did we finish the dog yard, we finished the bird yard. Well, my husband did. From old logs found in the back woods he created a nice border. Not only that! He created a bird bath by using one of the log pieces as the stand.


There has been a gang of young squirrels partying and vandalizing the place. Check out this photo of them in action!
Check the ones on the feeders! They are young and not fearful of people at all. The dogs were at the window drooling and these guys were basically giving them the finger.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Future

Next weekend is graduation and students will disappear from campus. Some I will miss. Some I won't. But the ones I will miss the most are in the following photos.
I manage a busy student career office and couldn't do it without a fantastic talented crew of student workers. Three of them are graduating and will go on to have fantastic careers. Although it breaks my heart to see them go, it is with great excitement that I wait to see where life takes them. Plus, I have pictures that I can blackmail them with later.

Dave, Eric, Kelvin, Paul, Christa (back row) Shannon and Francesca (front)

What a good looking crew!!

The CDC girls - Shannon pulling her 'I am so sexy look' and getting ready to do a kick ass internship at CNN- Christa the ring leader and peacekeeper of the CDC, and Francesca, future casting director of the world (and mother of the CDC - she took such good care of us!).

The men of the CDC. Eric (new and already has girl groupies), Dave (who will win an Oscar someday), Kelvin (goof ball and wicked talented sports writer) and Paul (who will most likely make a million bucks by the time he is 30).
This is what happens when you ask your co-workers to hold your camera!!!!


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Holy Vegenaise Batman!

Here is my poem to my favorite vegan product, Vegenaise...

Where have you been all my life,
I ask when I spread you with my knife (oh god that sounds pornographic!)

Enough of that!

Tonight I made a kick ass gasalious meal of Tofurky Beer Brats (on the grill) with a slice of soy bacon, sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard with sides of vegan potato salad and waldorf salad. Holy Mary Mother of God I love eating.
Vegan Potato Salad

2 medium cooked potatoes , salt, pepper and tumeric to taste, throw in some chopped celery, carrot and onion. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of cider vinegar. In a seprate bowl mix the vegenaise and mustard to taste. Add to potato mixture.

Waldorf Salad

1 Gala apple, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, raisins, walnuts and seedless red grapes. In separate bowl mix vegenaise with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar (to taste, I like mine a little sweeter). Add to fruit mixture and refrigerate for 1/2 hr.