Friday, October 31, 2008

The trouble with Halloween candy . . .

. . . is that it is too small. There is no way I would sit down and eat a whole candy bar. But, with those fun sizers, I just lose track and I'm positive I habitually eat more than a candy bar's worth. Grrr . . .

Pumpkin Carving

Always so much fun!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another BAD Thing

Far worse than even a Lifetime Original movie is tape worm. Stop reading here if you are squeamish (which I am, but I cannot keep this in). I noticed the strangest thing in Pippin's nuisance a couple of days ago. Nuisance in a fancy word for poop. I didn't know this before moving here, but that is what all the neighborhood signs call it. I've converted it to an expletive, "Dog Nuisance!" Anyway, it looked like miniature rice. However, it wasn't moving or anything, so I was hoping he'd accidentally eaten some mini-rice somewhere. Later, he pooped again, and I saw the nastiest thing I have ever seen. The way these little bits of gooey white worm move is the stuff or horror films. I was so grossed out I called the vet right away. They said it wasn't an emergency, but it was to me, so I got him in that day. We got rid of the little nasties and I am hoping he is good as new now.

It was a good chance to talk to the vet. This is my first pet, unless you count the fish I kept as a youngster (which I once bleached and on which I once attempted surgery), and I'm sort of ignorant. For example, I have never brushed poor Pippin's teeth, but we are going to do that from now on. Also, the doctor told me that it doesn't mean he's sick if he falls behind on our runs together; small dogs should not be made to run more than a mile or two. Oops. Our last run together was 4.5 miles. He's such a good dog and friend, and I'm so glad we have him, but he's sort of the burnt pancake of family pets. Sorry, buddy. I'm learning.

Playing in the snow last year.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My list of Bad Things

I would like to add election polls to my Bad Things list. They join brussels sprouts, traffic, belly fat, scrubbing baseboards, pumpkin pie, alien movies, natural disaster movies, talking animal movies, and Lifetime original movies (I suppose Bad Movies should be a sublist). It's a short list, but it slowly grows. I hate how the decision of who's president or which propositions will pass begins in the weeks and months before the elections with these amorphous polls. I understand that it constitutes a whole career to be the person who interprets these polls, and they are probably really concerned with accuracy, but I think it is super lame that what started as a way to get an idea of what people were planning to do has become a thing that affects people's decisions in a big way. I just finished all my Prop 8 phone calls and it makes me think that polls are very inaccurate. One lady told me that she had already voted by absentee ballot and that she refused to tell me what she wrote and I could just find out on election day like everybody else. Even though it was my job to write down what her vote was, I had to respect her stand. I circled the number for "Refused" on my little sheet and thought the world might just be better if we all refused to be polled. Although, I guess all those statisticians would then be joining the growing ranks of the unemployed, which certainly wouldn't be good either.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

They're so ugly, but they taste so good.

We are sweet potato crazies at our house and this is one of my favorite recipes. I got it from Bobby Flay, except I double the amount of scallions (they are so tasty off the grill), halve the mustard (I'm not the world's biggest pretentious mustard fan, but it really works here), and skip the parsley (because I usually have forgotten to buy it). I am personally taking on the crusade to educate the world about non-marshmallowed sweet potato options.

Hot Grilled Sweet Potato and Scallion Salad

4 large sweet potatoes, (microwave them for a few seconds first and they don't take so long on the grill) cut into 1/2-inch slices
8 scallions
3/4 cup good olive oil
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 t. honey
salt and pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat grill to high. Brush potatoes and scallions with oil and arrange on grill. Grill potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes each side, or until just tender. Grill scallions until softened and marked. Remove scallions from the grill and cut into slices (this requires a REALLY sharp knife or else they fall apart).

In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, mustard, vinegars, and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add potatoes, scallions, and parsley and toss until potatoes are well coated. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Gigi and I went to a birthday party for a friend of hers this afternoon. It was a cute party idea: gym bus. Basically, an old school bus is painted and gutted and filled with gymnastics stuff and the kids get to do gymnastics with an instructor for an hour. I thought it looked like fun. Gigi wanted no part of it. She would only get on the bus if I was with her and there just wasn't room for all of us. So, she and I ran around at the park nearby instead. She said, "Let's play 'duck,duck goose.'" I said, "Well, you can't really play that with just two people." She said, "Yeah you can, I'll show you . . . GOOSE!" And then she smacked me really hard on the head and took off running. When it was my turn, I at least walked around her in a circle and said a few "Duck, ducks" But she kept interrupting me, shouting, "Do me goose! Do me GOOOOOOOSSSSE!"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Moon Sand -- Yuck

You know, it's possible that Moon Sand was created by someone who just really missed the beach and wanted children everywhere to experience building a sand castle, regardless of their geography. However, I think it is more likely that the inventor was a spiteful ex-husband or scorned ex-wife, who failed to get the house and kids in the divorce and really wanted to invent something that would sabotage all order and cleanliness for the duration of the wonder years. Don't know what I'm talking about? Count yourself lucky.

Ox once played with Moon Sand at some friends' home and has wanted it ever since. It isn't cheap, so I told him we would have to save up for it. When the grandmas sent money for his birthday, he used it for Moon Sand and I have regretted it ever since! This stuff is not of Earth. I think it might actually be from the moon. Although I try to contain it, the mess that it makes defies all my cleaning abilities. The kids played with it on Saturday and I cleaned the downstairs in a circle and when I came back around, sure enough, there were more bright purple footprints in the carpets of the clean rooms. New rule at my house: Moon Sand is an outside toy.