Thursday, January 29, 2009

I knew this day would come

As you know, Eddie is a large cat and has struggled for a long time to stay on my lap when he wants lap time. He'd tried Kent's lap but Kent generally changes into slick athletic pants and a sweatshirt when he gets home from work. Eddie slides right off those pants and after trying a couple of times last year, he gave up on Kent.

It's chilly enough in this apartment that Kent has gone into what he calls his granny look: he drapes a small blanket over his legs for warmth. In addition to keeping Kent warmer, it also provides a nice soft spot for Eddie where he can stay put. I'm kind of sad because in addition to being warm, Eddie is very soothing to have on your lap.

I sent off my graduate school application today but had a little scare first. I tend to procrastinate on deadlines and while I wasn't quite at the last second, I was close: the application is due on Sunday, February 1.

My plan this morning was to work out, review my letter of intent a final time and then get cleaned up and head out to send the packet overnight to UMass Boston. I had no sooner put the work out DVD in the player than the power went out. I'd already put my documents on a flash drive so I knew I could go someplace else to print them, but I was still frazzled. Fortunately the power was off for only about 20 minutes, just long enough for the apartment to get pretty chilly. As I headed out to mail my application just now, I learned from a neighbor that the electric company had told her we would be without power for two to four hours. I'm really glad I didn't know that at the time!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I miss our 75 gallon hot water heater

Yes you read that correctly. In Kansas City we had an old 75 gallon hot water heater. That thing was ancient, the installation date was sometime in 1978, and we figured when it went out we would get a smaller one, although not as small as the one we have here in Boston.

Actually I don't know what the size is of this one. All I do know is that it runs out of hot water by the end of one shower. Yes, one shower. With the cold weather we've had, those showers end up being shorter because the hot water goes away even faster. I'm sure it's not as costly to keep the water hot but right about now I don't care. I want a hot shower that doesn't get tepid right as I'm ready to shave my legs. Brrr.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Saturday night

Saturday night Kent and I had dinner with another couple. We’d originally planned to go to Toro, which is in the South End. We’ve heard good things about this restaurant and wanted to check it out. We’d also heard that they fill up fast and don’t take reservations so we figured if we got there at 6, we would be OK. We were wrong—even at 6 PM the restaurant was packed and we faced a 90 minute wait for a table. So we switched to Plan B and tried Persephone (warning, their web site uses music), which is close to where Kent works. I must say the food was amazing, and I even found a really cute wool hat. I’m still looking forward to trying Toro but we’ll go there on a week night when (hopefully) they aren’t so crowded.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

When was this taken?

Hoping my mother knows and if not her, perhaps Uncle Doug? This is my G'Pa and if I had to guess I would say he's in his late 40s, early 50s? That would date this picture in the late 1950s or early 1960s if so.

Got my scanner hooked up

So I scanned a lot of pictures in. Take a look at the slide show to the left. The top one has pictures of my grandmother, my mother and some of my family. You can click through to see bigger versions of them. The second slide show is from when I was small--I was used in some billboard/print ad campaigns and these pictures are from one of those sessions.

I almost forgot to include this picture. Wasn't Kent just the cutest baby? He's about 8 weeks old in this picture. If you look carefully, you can see that his hair was red even then!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Digging out the car

We'd planned to drive to the store on Monday but as you can see from the picture taken today, the car was well and truly buried. To complicate the situation, we have to park next to a fence, and our neighbor's car is super close to us by necessity. It's tight enough quarters that all of the cars in our little row fold in their mirrors or risk losing them.

Today I need to take dinner to the family I mentioned in yesterday's post so I either drive or take a cab (they are not close to a T stop alas). Kent headed out this morning to start the car and also dig it out from under the snow. He got it dug out but we have two tires that are really low, probably from the cold weather. Or at least we hope that's the cause. Later this morning I think he's planning on trying to drive it the three blocks to the nearest gas station where we hope they have air for tires.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cooking for a crowd

It’s been years since I’ve regularly cooked for more than two people—Ben graduated from high school and moved out almost eight years ago. However the small group I go to on Wednesday evenings also eats dinner together before we start the Bible study portion of our evening. Food can get complicated because we never know for sure how many will show up; we’ve had as few as seven or as many as 12. At least two don’t eat meat, but will eat cheese, eggs and milk.

Last week I brought a double batch of corn muffins to go with the chili someone else brought. I made one batch with cheese and one batch with diced adobo peppers and both kinds tasted really good. I also brought an apple crisp which was really yummy. Well how can you go wrong when you have good apples and butter in something?

Someone else was scheduled to bring dinner this week but she is unexpectedly on call this week so she had to bail. I offered to bring dinner instead. On top of that, one of the small group leaders just had her baby yesterday and I’d offered to bring her family dinner tomorrow night. So I just now got through making four batches of steamed rice to make four batches of my mother’s chicken and rice dish. I just left chicken out of one of them for those who don’t eat meat. The house is well hydrated now and also smells pretty good.

PS I saved two servings for Kent because this is one of his favorite dishes.

PPS Do you like this template better? It’s not the same one I had up for the poll.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hey National Weather Service

You may want to recalibrate your measuring tools. This is not two to four inches of snow.

A bored Wally is never a good thing

Sometime after midnight, an out-of-place noise woke us both up. Kent is really good about hopping out of bed to check out those kinds of sounds, partly because he's on the door side of the room and partly (maybe mostly?) because I elbow him. Anyway, he checked it out and came back to bed and told me everything was fine. Communicating while mostly asleep isn't his strongest suit so really he just grunted OK noises at me.

This morning he was awake enough to tell me that Wally had knocked the empty Crock Pot (the part that holds the ceramic container) off the counter. And had then knocked my orange off the counter. Well this morning my orange was off the counter again.

Just a minute ago, Wally was on the counter again. So we scolded him and off he ran to the bathroom, where he closed the door. I guess he wanted his privacy. I swear this is a lot like having a teen-aged boy in the house.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy birthday, Doug

Not that he'll read this :-)

Today is my brother's birthday. I don't have a current digital picture of him mostly because the laptop that might have any of him is out of commission. So you'll have to make do with a picture from our childhood that I've posted before.

Doug is 11 months and a couple of weeks younger than I am. When I was a small girl, I hated it that we were the same age for two weeks and two days. He knew it and would run around taunting me for those couple of weeks. Now that we are getting older, the tables have turned. I positively love to call him up, wish him a happy birthday and point out that we are the same age.

But mostly I wonder how my mother felt getting pregnant again so quickly. She's told me it just seemed like the thing to do, and wasn't a big deal. But after having my own two children (spaced out by two years and nine days), I really wonder how my mother coped when she got pregnant while she had a tiny infant around. That had to be a sleepless few years for her.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cat heater

Did you know that the normal temperature for a cat ranges between 100.5F and 102.5F? I didn't know that until this morning, and the reason I know it now is because I wondered why it is I get so dang hot when Eddie lies across me under the covers at night.

I generally sleep on my side, and last night he draped his fat belly across my right side and BAM! I was hot. That's saying something since our room had cooled down to a nippy 63F. I just hope he doesn't do that this summer.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Random snow thoughts

I’ve always thought tucking pants into those big ugly UGG boots was just plain hideous and done solely to follow some celebrity fashion whim. I still think the look is ugly, especially when done with UGG boots but after being in Boston this winter, I see why pants need to be either tucked or rolled up a bit. If you don’t, you’ll get salty water wicked up the back of your legs probably to your knees, and your jeans will end up disintegrating from the salt. So I roll my jeans now, because I can’t find boots that let me tuck my pants in them AND stay on my feet. That’s just one downside to having narrow feet (the other being the ridiculous prices I have to pay to get narrow shoes. You never find narrow shoes at someplace like Payless.).

The other thing I’ve noticed with the snow is that Boston—or at least the South End—has a lot of dogs. I know this because of all the yellow snow and the piles of poop that rude dog owners aren't picking up. They can't help that their dogs are pee machines, but c'mon PICK UP THE POOP.

Boston is a smoke-free state, so any smoking not done in a private residence must be done outside. The saddest thing I see as I walk to the grocery is when I walk past a nursing home with residents parked in their wheelchairs outside in this freezing cold, smoking a cigarette. I am so very glad I never started smoking.

Finally I will just say that last year when I bought my North Face coat and my Santana boots (which are close to these, but mine are both waterproof and lined with Thinsulate) I really thought I spent too much money. I don’t think that any more. They’ve more than earned their purchase price this winter.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Oh Wally

I having a gaming kitty. See? Bonus points if you can name the game and the zone.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I've mentioned before that Eddie likes to get under the covers and sleep with us. The first few times he did it were rather startling, because he is a big boy. He prefers to sleep smack between us, and he will sort of swim over and around us until he can get in just the right position.

I've also mentioned that we have a hard time regulating the temperature in our apartment at night. Since we have electric heaters that aren't connected and don't have thermostats, we've often found that the temperature has dropped to the low 60s when we get up in the morning.

This morning we were both semi-awake and I could tell the room was cold because my face was cold. All three kitties were circling around on on the bed and then Eddie went into his meow-and-paw-the-bed routine which is how he lets us know he wants under the cover. He crawled in and then swam over me to pour himself into a tiny space between us. Picture this in your mind: I was on my left side, I had a long fat cat spooning me, and Kent was spooning him!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monorail kitties

I don't need to say much about these photos.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wally helped today too

Kent ended up having to replace the motherboard on his computer, and used the pass through in the kitchen to do his work. Wally wanted to help in the worst way.

And let me take a second to pimp Kent's blog. He's quite good at photography and now has a very cool camera that does more of what he's looking for. Check out his work.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Computer issues

Not mine but Kent's. And they are ongoing and probably require an infusion of cash aka a new motherboard. While Kent was troubleshooting today, he had a lot of help.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cold in Boston

We got about a foot of snow yesterday. Fortunately we didn't have elaborate New Year's Eve plans, we had dinner reservations at a restaurant about four doors down from our apartment so we didn't need to drive or take the T anywhere. Today's high was 15F, and even the kitties shivered. Wally isn't normally a lap cat, but he was today.

Yes, he's under the blanket. He seemed to like it when I pulled a bit of it up over him, at least judging from his purrs.