Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I am dressed (don't ask much more of me!).

I packed carefully chosen outfits just perfect for my Thanksgiving trip, and then was sick and/or lazy and didn't photodocument them at all.

But for Sunday, I did the it's-starting-to-get-cold-but-it's-actually-still-pretty-nice-out thing and wore my fuzzy tall boots with this dress that I found at Ross and wear rather a lot because it is ridiculously comfortable and reasonably nice-looking:

I liked it, anyway.

And yesterday I dressed up for work and maybe also because it was my anniversary but today I'm back in the slacks and a t-shirt rut (with a sweater, because have I mentioned how it's 55 degrees in my office year round?).

Intriguingly I received coupons in the mail yesterday to two different haircutteries. I haven't cut my hair in more than two years, guys. IS IT TIME? It may be time. But I can't commit.

So there you go!

Please tell me I'm not the only one who's bad at this.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What I am into this month.

The leaves are slowly disappearing.

On My Nightstand: I finally finished Zeno's Paradox. Yay me! Mostly what I got out of it was that string theory sounds COMPLETELY MADE UP.

I'm sort of still reading the Artemis Fowl books, but guys, they're not very good. At all. I would not recommend them for a child/teenager. Honestly, once you're past the 123ABC level of book, if it is not in some way worthwhile for an adult to read, it's not worthwhile for a child to read. There are so so so many Good books out there. Why waste anyone's time? This is not to say that I don't totally read books that aren't good but are fun. Like maybe the Animorphs. Don't judge.

Other than that, I've been so busy (and also not babysitting that much, which is when I get most of my reading done) that I haven't been reading.

Want to Read: Which leads me to...suggestions, anyone? I have somewhere a book I need to read for work but I am just so not committed to books on finance and the investment world. Anyway. Give me something fun and or entertainingly edifying. GO.

TV Show Worth Watching: Castle is having a standout season, IMHO. Bones is consistently pretty good. Community is...not. The DDH and I watched the entire first season recently, and I just have to say, what happened to this show? It used to be so good and now it's just...depressing.

The jury's still out on my two fairy tale shows. I want very much to love Once Upon a Time and Grimm. So far, though, I don't. All the characters on OUaT irritate me (that kid is tremendously obnoxious and neither of the mothers really make sense). The little flashback fairy-tale scenes are the best by far. The best part of Grimm is the cello-playing, Pilates-practicing Bludbad sidekick. Hilarious. Also I do enjoy all the tremendously mispronounced straight-up German they use for naming everything (Bludbad, btw, means bloodbath. What a lovely name for werewolves!).

Movies I've Seen (in or out of a theater): I'm not sure I've actually watched any movies this month! Any recommendations?
In My Ears: Still pretty much Mumford & Sons and Florence + the Machine. BUT the day after Thanksgiving marks the day the DDH officially gives me permission to break out the Christmas music: so it's suddenly all Mannheim Steamroller and Amy Grant and random carol singers all the time for me until Epiphany.

What I'm looking forward to next month: Not Christmas. By which I mean, we had been planning to go visit my family this Christmas and now we can't, so it will be another Tulsa Christmas. Holidays here are always slightly awkward because it's the DDH, his mom, and her new husband and all of his family. Which, they're all very nice, but it's neither my family nor his, so it's...strange. And I only get one day off, so it's not like there's a big break to look forward to.

BUT that's okay, because I still enjoy the Advent/Christmas season. I've accepted that I'll just be working through the whole thing and I've (mostly) accepted that I won't be able to go home, and I'm determined to enjoy what I've got--which, frankly, is a lot. There's the all-Lutheran performances of Handel's Messiah this weekend (which I'm singing in for the first time, yay), various Advent caroling and music services, probably some nursing home caroling, parties galore, lots of lights and pretty decorations, presents that I know will make their recipients happy, cozy cuddle time with the DDH and the animalZ, and tasty food everywhere. It's a good time of year, and I love it even when I don't.

Also this still cracks me up.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I am playing catch-up.

Because missing two days of work and three days of house maintenance means mountains of to-do lists everywhere!

The house that Jon built.

We had a successful and enjoyable trip to Illinois to visit the DDH's extended family. Unfortunately, I spent Wednesday night/Thanksgiving sick as a dog, assuming dogs are sick with feverish colds and noses that won't. stop. running. So I did not at all enjoy the time with that portion of his family in the beautiful house his uncle built, which is a shame, but how many people noticed when there was a shiny new six-month-old to play with?

Not many, thankfully.

So I didn't really taste Thanksgiving dinner (which is a great way not to overindulge!), but I mean it looked good, so I'm sure it was (this also saves me from the inevitable comparisons of other people's food with my mother's. Bless her, she's ruined me).

Actually, plates of mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes,
and cranberry relish don't look at all appetizing.
Enjoy this photo of the pre-food table, instead.

Suffering from snot-induced insanity, I agreed to tag along for a midnight round of Black Friday shopping. And enjoyed it, of course. My arms were sore for the next three days from standing in line holding a giant box of Pyrex for two hours. But hey. PYREX. FOR CHEAP.

Yeah, that's my Healthy Thanksgiving tip list:
  1. Be sick so you don't feel like eating any food.
  2. Lift weights in the middle of the night.
  3. Sleep for ten hours straight + lots of naps.
  4. Still manage to gain five pounds.
Anyway, once I awoke Friday afternoon, mostly cured of my sickness, I quite enjoyed the rest of the day hanging out with his family (a smaller portion of it, as we had moved over to his cousin's house). The DDH spent all day helping his little second cousin build a GIANT Lego Ninja temple thing, which led his mom to drop lots of hints about what a wonderful father he'll be (that was actually sort of what the whole weekend was like with his mom, whom we drove to and from Illinois. "So when are you going to have kids? Don't you want a baby? Look at this cute little baby. Don't you want one? When do I get to be a grandma?" blah blah blah. I mean, I know that comes with the territory, but srsly).

Also I may have impulse-bought the dogs matching penguin Christmas sweaters.

The drives there and back were pretty unfun, though. I was stuck in the backseat and woozy with imminent carsickness. For ten hours. Each way. Blargh.

Aaaaaaand, bonus to never having taken the lights down last Christmas, we were able to just plug them in and turn them on Saturday night when we got home! So at least the outside is decorated. The inside looks like ten boxes of decorations threw up on the living room table...that will be this evening's project.

So excited about carols I can't even tell you.

Despite (or maybe because of?) being sick for fully half the trip or more, I am back feeling rested and finally excited for the Advent/Christmas season. I've been too stressed and drained recently to be feelin' it, as they say, but I think I've gotten a bit of an attitude readjustment and am looking forward to the fun stuff. Yay.

This might have something to do with it. :-D

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am thankful.

Thank you, God:

  • That my voice is maybe finally a little bit possibly I don't want to jinx it but perhaps it is healing.
  • That the DDH passed the Bar and loves his job.
  • For always providing enough, and teaching me that enough is abundance in its own right.
  • For new friends.
  • For stories to read and stories to watch.
  • For Facebook, which a) is tailor-made for introverts and b) amazing for reconnecting with long-lost everyones.
  • For family near and far and mine and married-into.
  • For the cuddly Beagle and entertaining Labrador and DivaBun Extraordinaire.
  • For a roof over our heads, cars that work, clothes that warm, and countless other silly material concerns.
  • For sunshine.
  • For our daily bread and so much more, sustaining, nourishing, delighting.
  • For the work of my hands and of my brain and the chance to use them.
  • For days of rest.
  • For the best of husbands.
  • For health.
  • For music.
  • For all that I've forgotten and all that I neglect and all that I despise when I should not.
  • For Grace. For a Son. For a cross and for an empty tomb.
Praise and thanksgiving, Father we offer
For all things living, created good.
Harvest of sown fields; fruits of the orchard;
Hay from the mown fields; blossom and wood.

Lord, bless the labor We bring to serve you,
That with our neighbor We may be fed.
Sowing or tilling, We would work with you;
Harvesting, milling, For daily bread.

 Father, providing Food for your children,
Your wisdom guiding Teach us to share
One with another, So that, rejoicing
With us, our brother May know your care.

Then will your blessing Reach every people;
Each one confessing Your gracious hand.
When you are reigning No one will hunger:
Your love sustaining. Fruitful the land.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I am up too late.

But I'm packed and the rabbit has a clean cage and the housesitting instructions are printed and now the bun-bun and I are enjoying some Internet and freeplay time before she goes back in the cage and I get to work making some hostess gifts.

Internet Bunny.
 The DDH has headed to bed, which is good, since he'll be driving. But I don't mind being tired since that will help me sleep in the car and thus avoid carsickness.

Though it shouldn't take me long to make up some hot chocolate mixes and package them cutely. Right?

Monday, November 21, 2011

I am drained.

The firm I work for was audited today, which means I spent all day running around pulling up the information the auditor wanted. All day too nervous to eat, jittery with fear (unreasonable, surely). All day waiting and rushing and waiting some more. All day here early and staying late and after all that he'll "send us his report next week." Surely it will be okay. Surely.

And now I have to go to a meeting...not just attend, but lead, because I'm the president, and it's too much for my little introverted self today. Too much adrenaline and sugar and new people and old people and it's-all-up-to-me.

Too much everything-left-to-the-last-minute in life. Too much to pack before leaving. Too much to check off the list: work, clean, pack, prep. Make sure the office will be okay while I'm gone, that the animals will be okay while I'm gone, that the world will continue to function without me for a few days which of course it will but will it really?

Just plain too much.

And after spending much of the weekend making the hugest pile of delicious and natural homemade goodies (granola! yogurt! protein bars! granola bars! fruit leather! dried fruits! cocoa! okay maybe cocoa mix isn't natural but it's tasty shut up) I'm going to go eat the lukewarm taco the DDH fetched me from a fast-food restaurant and I'm going to drag myself to my meeting and I'm going to try to still make it a good one.

And then I'm going to sleep forever. Or at least until it all begins again six a.m. sharp tomorrow.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I am going doggone green.

Linking up with Megan at SortaCrunchy and some other wonderful bloggers for "Your Green Resource."

"Going Green" is a marketing catchphrase applied to a broad spectrum of actions. You can "go green" by buying $20 bottles of "natural" cleaners or by using $1.50/gallon white vinegar. You can buy designer clothing made from organic cotton or "recycled" clothing from the thrift store. You can buy carbon credits to "offset" the effects of your transatlantic jet flight or ride your bike to work every day, and all of you can pat yourself on the back for "saving the planet." (Quotation mark abuse, much?)

Most of us, though, seem to take a common sense, flexible, and yes, frugal approach to this whole green lifestyle thing. And if you're "greening" your human life, it makes sense to green up your critter life while you're at it.
Bunnies are friends, not food.
Pets are not little people in furry suits. Each kind of animal has its own requirements and specifications. What is best for humans is not necessarily what is best for pets.

However! A lot of practices that are good for humans, like limiting your exposure to certain chemicals and eating real foods, are good for pets. I only own/have owned dogs and various small mammals (rabbits, rats, guinea pigs), so I only address their concerns here. I know nothing about cats, birds, or reptiles/amphibians, so feel free to add your own tips in the comments!

Going Doggone Green

Evaluate your pet's diet.

The most important factor in your pet's health is his diet. Now, if things like free-range and organic are important to you in human food, you can make them important in your pet food as well. But let me tell you something. Organic, free-range, etc. commercial pet foods are expensive as hell. Maybe that's not a big deal if you're Paris Hilton and her three-pound Chihuahua. But if you're an average middle-class family with an eighty-pound Labrador, you would need to take out a second mortgage to buy that kind of chow. If these sorts of considerations are non-negotiable for you, don't have a big carnivorous pet. Get a rabbit or a guinea pig or something.


I could write a whole post on dog food. There's a huge range of options, depending on how much time and money you want to invest, from feeding him BARF (Bones And Raw Food) to making your own dog food to using dehydrated dog food mixes to a whole range of commercial foods. I'll just say two things here:
  1. Changing your dog's food can fix some of his minor and even not-so-minor health problems. Stop feeding him corn and cardboard and start feeding him something made of meat and grains he's less likely to be allergic to. Sites like give great in-depth reviews that help you evaluate foods based on the criteria that are important to you.
  2. Check out a feed store or local pet store for dog food and supplies, rather than the mega-chains like PetSmart. A lot of excellent food manufacturers won't sell to the big chains, and pet food especially is often cheaper at these stores.

Small Mammals:

My rabbit eats a plain pellet food made from timothy hay (I originally said this food was organic, but when I double-checked my new bag, I noticed it no longer says pesticide-free. I guess they changed it and I'll have to find a new one), timothy hay from the WalMart of the pet food world, Kaytee, and mostly-organic and/or homegrown veggies. I try to limit her pesticide exposure, but hay is freaking expensive. Small mammals should eat:
  1. A pellet food formulated for their species (you can't feed a rabbit guinea pig food and vice versa) and get lots of fresh fruits and veggies.
  2. Hay is important for many small mammals to aid in their digestive systems (fiber, y'know).
  3. Fruits and veggies. Check out a list of foods commonly toxic to your animal and those ok for it to eat; this will vary some. Guinea pigs are like furry garbage disposals and can pretty much eat any of your plant trimmings; rabbits are a little pickier.

Choose Pet Supplies Wisely

Stainless steel and ceramic/glass are best for pet dishes just as they are for human dishes. Besides whatever chemical/petroleum/BPA concerns you may have with plastic, plastic dishes harbor bacteria and mold, are harder to clean, wear out more quickly, and are more easily destroyed by anything that chews (Labradors, rabbits, toddlers, etc.). You can get stainless and ceramic bowls in all sorts of cute colors and designs, or you can buy ueber-cheap plain ones. Perhaps you even have some old people bowls or buckets lying around that will make excellent food and water receptacles for your pawed friends: recycling bonus!

For leashes and collars, I prefer leather. I guess if you are a veg*n type person, you maybe wouldn't. But leather is much easier on the hands than nylon (which, after all, is another plastic), looks nice, and wears well. Trust me, if you have a dog that pulls, your hands will appreciate a leather leash! Leashes, collars, and choke chains (the collars you use for walking most dogs; this will depend on your breed!) are all commonly available from Made in the USA manufacturers. There are also all kinds of recycled/reused/plant-based-type leashes and collars available, made out of everything from hemp to used tires. Go to a pet store and buy basically anything but the made-in-China nylon nonsense and you'll probably be okay.

Jayne and his Kong.
As for toys, you may remember the 2007 recalls of a bunch of Chinese-manufactured pet toys due to high levels of lead and other toxins found in the toys. Look for toys made in the USA just to be safe. You have two routes you can go with dog toys, depending on your dog's personality and/or jaw strength.

  1. You can look for toys made with sustainable or recycled materials.
  2. You can look for toys that will last for-freaking-ever regardless of what they're made of.
The Labrador owns a Kong Extreme and a Kong Extreme ball, which are rubber toys (made in the USA) that are well-nigh indestructable. Seriously, he can defuzz and crush a tennis ball in less than ninety seconds, but he has had this Kong for almost a year and there are no signs of wear. We don't buy fancy Kong stuff to stuff the Kong with; I just shove his normal treats and peanut butter in there. I like to stick it in the freezer overnight so it takes him longer to get it out. The Beagle doesn't like toys.

The rabbit has a knotty wood thing and also gets paper towel/toilet paper tubes to shred. She is quite the interior decorator and will build statues out of the stuff we give her.


There are possibly even more options for treats than there are for food!


I usually buy grain-free treats for the dogs that they get each morning and when I come home for lunch. Wellness makes some good ones that are reasonably priced at my local pet store. The dogs also usually get the innards from any whole bird I cook (bonus if it's still got the neck). Sometimes I'll buy them cheap meats for a treat, too: chicken necks, organ meats, etc.

Note: RAW poultry bones are fine for dogs. They are pliable and digestable. COOKED poultry bones should never be fed to your dog, as they can splinter and puncture his intestine.

Chewing is great for your dog's dental health, and of course you want to direct his chewing energy to something other than your couch and shoes! Those big "bone-shaped" rawhides that you see are not really a good idea, as the rawhide can become impacted in the dog's intestines and generally cause digestive issues. Instead, choose:
  1. Real bones are always good (and the dogs will love love love them); they're about the most "natural" option around--what do you think wild dogs eat?
  2. Our dogs enjoy the occasional pig's ear, but these can cause digestive issues as well. They should be reserved for an occasional treat, and if your dog has a bad...experience...don't give him one again.
  3. Bully sticks (aka bull's penises) are an excellent choice if you can afford them; they don't last very long if you have a determined chewer, though.
  4. The best thing I've found for the Labrador actually is an antler. Our local pet store sells elk antlers in various sizes. Because they're not hollow and marrow-filled like bones, they last longer (it usually takes him a week or two to work through a good one, as opposed to a day for a similarly-sized bone), and he loves them.
The Beagle doesn't really understand chewing and will pretty much only take something to make the Labrador jealous.

Small mammals:

Small mammals should receive pretty much exclusively fruits and vegetables as treats: they love them and they're good for them. The commercial bunny etc. treats sold in pet stores are filled with sugar and often other questionable ingredients. Find a list of toxic foods to avoid and have fun experimenting with everything else! Meg loves cilantro and apples, and also happily eats chard and other winter greens as well as carrots, pumpkin, and various herbs.

If you have ever owned a small mammal, you know that they will chew pretty much anything and everything. Make sure everything within mouth reach is nontoxic. Untreated wooden toys made out of a non-toxic wood, whether made for animals or humans, are excellent choices, as are cardboard tubes.


If you have a dog with dry, flaky skin or who scratches a lot, try 1) switching him to a corn-free, soy-free food and 2) giving him fish oil. You can get special dog fish oil and liquid fish oil to squirt on his food or, honestly, depending on his size, you can give him the same fish oil capsules you take. Both Beagle and Labrador get one of these each morning; when we first got Labrador and he was having some skin issues, he got two a day. For reference, they weigh twenty-five and seventy-five pounds, respectively.

Labrador also has joint issues, and supplementing him with glucosamine has really helped. I do notice a difference in his movement if I stop giving it to him for awhile. He gets one tablet a day, same as I do. I put peanut butter on their pills and they eat them right up.

My rule for supplements: I find the similar product in the health aisle of my pet store and compare it to my human version. If they have roughly the same amount of the same active ingredient, I feed the dogs the much cheaper human version. I AM TOTALLY NOT A VET THOUGH, and you should consult yours before doing any such thing.

Cleaning the Animal


Frequent baths are not good for your dog's skin! He builds up a layer of oils that help protect him. Honestly, unless the dog rolls around in a dead skunk or something, you probably do not need to wash him more than once every two or three months. When you do, look for a gentle shampoo specifically for dogs (cat person warning: do NOT use dog shampoos on cats!). Their skin is completely different from humans' (has a different pH) and very sensitive.

Dogs, really, are sort of like babies: delicate and sensitive to all kinds of things, and they put everything in their mouths, so avoid essential oils. Diluted vinegar will work, as will heavily diluted castile soap. Otherwise, look for a gentle, unscented commercial product--dogs have a much more sensitive nose than humans, and that juicy shampoo that smells so delicious to you is overwhelming to him. If you have a homemade soap routine that you use, make sure to research all of the ingredients and their suitability for use on animals.

Small mammals:

Do not need to be bathed. It's actually bad for them and can lead to respiratory infections. Some animals have special requirements; chinchillas, for example, need to take dust baths in special volcanic rock powder. If your other small mammal somehow gets really dirty, wipe it off with a damp cloth and make sure to keep it warm until it is completely dry. Don't use soap. The animal will eat the soap residue when it washes itself and get sick! If you absolutely must, get a special small mammal or cat shampoo (NOT dog shampoo). In fifteen+ years of owning rabbits, both indoor and outdoor, I have never needed to give one a bath.

Cleaning the House:

Dogs and small mammals, like toddlers, explore the world through their mouths. They lick that carpet and chew on the couch and generally are closer to a lot of surfaces than adult humans. They'll appreciate it if you use natural cleaners in their areas. I use vinegar and baking soda to clean the rabbit cage; most of my household cleaners pretty much involve vinegar, also.

For pet messes, an enzyme cleaner such as Nature's Miracle will help break down the fats in the urine that a) make everything stink and b) tell the dog, hey! dude! this is a good place to pee! you should totally pee here!

Flea Treatment:

We do not treat the animals for fleas and ticks with Frontline or anything similar. This is one of those situations where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Frequent vacuuming (seal and throw out the vacuum contents after every vacuum!) and bedding washing can nip an infestation in the bud. Dawn dish soap kills fleas just as effectively as any chemical-filled shampoo; wash the dog every week at the first sign of a flea until you haven't seen a flea for four weeks. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled at doorways and window sills will help keep fleas out naturally.


I use aspen chips and pellets for the bunny cage so that I can compost her waste; it also makes excellent mulch. Bunny waste is AWESOME for your garden; dog/cat waste is NOT. Carnivore waste spreads diseases. Throw it out.

What are some of your favorite ways to go dog(or cat or rabbit or bird or lizard)gone green?

Disclaimer: I'm not a vet or in any way licensed to give animal advice. I've just owned (and showed) dogs forever and small mammals almost that long. ^_^ Consult an actual expert regarding your own animal and its needs.

Disclaimer two: Obviously, this post was mostly just an excuse to picspam you with Fotos of the animalz. ;-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I am dressed (don't ask much more of me)!

I like to peruse "real fashion" blogs. You know, real people showing off how they turn real clothes into cute, always-put-together, stylish-with-personal-flair outfits, as opposed to blogs dissecting the latest runway weirdness.

But, confession: pretty much none of this makes it into my real life. I own all sorts of clothes; too many, I'm sure. I have no idea how to put them together, though. I suspect I sometimes own the exact same pieces I see women wearing on these fashion blogs, yet I would never think to put them together into the adorable outfits they do. (I suffer from the same problems when it comes to interior decorating, actually: the house is just a hodgepodge of nothing-matches-but-I-liked-it, while my wardrobe is a mess of it-all-matches-but-it-doesn't-look-interesting.)

Every once in awhile I am inspired and print out color wheels and study up on belts or whatever. But honestly? It is too much effort to coordinate an outfit every day. Also, it's cold in my office, so even though I have a whole pile of dresses I bought "because they're nice enough to wear to work," I never wear them thence, because I would freeze. To death. Literally.

So every day I end up in one of my five pairs of slacks (two black, two grey, one brown) and some sort of shirt. I always called these shirts blouses, because to me they are nice, as opposed to a Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt or something. Apparently most of the world still considers them t-shirts, though, and blouses are some fluffy concoction I would normally only wear to a fancy-dress party. This is what happens when you grow up poor in the relaxed Southwest with a mother who hates shopping and a father who occasionally wears shirts with holes in them to work because "it's just a little one on the side there and I can never find shirts with pockets like I like."

You see why I think this is too much effort. I also never wear makeup, and I have long straight hair that I wear exactly one way: twisted up in a claw clip. "Effortless" is a nice way of describing my personal style, but it doesn't look like the "effortless" style advertised in magazines, that's for sure.

Occasionally, though, I feel inspired in the morning and put something together that I think actually qualifies as an outfit.

Exhibit A:

I wore black heels to work, but shoes come off once
I come in the front door and don't go back on until I leave.
Turquoise is possibly my favorite color, but I tend not to wear it often because it's so bright, and I'm a muted-neutrals sort of girl. I've had this shirt since high school, I think. It's old and pilly and doesn't really fit right and it almost went into the give-away pile recently.

But then I spied this belt I snagged at Goodwill last month and thought perhaps the shirt could be saved after all. And I think it was. The wide black belt broke up the vast expanse of brightness, and nipped in the shirt to give it a more flattering fit--otherwise, it and the slacks basically make one straight line from my armpits to my ankles.

And in my second bit of fashion news, allow me to show off the handiwork of my beautiful and talented friend Tiffany.

Exhibit B:

"Effortless" also describes my approach to lawn maintenance.
Isn't that just the best of hats? It is the best of hats. Tiffany is the best of knitters and crocheters, and she kindly knit me this excellent hat in my favorite muted-neutral: gray. Yay!

The trees dress much better than I do this time of year.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, oh my!

So Oklahoma's been having a fun year so far as weather extremes go. Though of the three quakes in the last three days, I only felt the biggest one, on Saturday night: I slept through the first and did not notice the one last night. Also, our dogs are total failures at this earthquake-alarm thing.

In other news, we are once again being invaded by cockroaches. Little ones, maybe a half-inch long (not like the monsters I was used to in Albuquerque). But they seem to think our kitchen is a fun place to hang out. I disagree. I'm not sure what to do about them. We squish all the ones we can, we keep the kitchen clean and all the food stored in airtight containers...and yet there they are, every day, chilling on the countertops, crawling out of the dishwasher, darting up the wall and behind the stove and into every tiny crack.

Last year, they got bad enough that the DDH brought out the Raid and heavy-duty chemicals and sprayed the kitchen down every day. Which, really, is not ideal for either the counters where I prepare the food or the floor the dogs are always licking. They're not that bad this year, but...any ideas? Squishing is obviously only getting us so far. Though once it does get cold, they'll get slower, and we'll gain on them.

I made meatballs last night, substituting pretzel crumbs for breadcrumbs, since that's what I had on hand. Unfortunately (and, yes, to my surprise, though I'm not sure what I expected), this made the meatballs taste like pretzels. Meh. Maybe they'll be better after an overnight soak in the sauce.

The trees are looking pretty, though.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What I am into this month.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte with homemade whipped cream.
Also featured: Adorable fall leaf lamp found in the dollar spot at Target. :-)

On My Nightstand: Oh, October has been a Reading Fail month. I finished the Sisters Grimm YA novels I was reading in September. I've worked a little further through Zeno's Paradox, the one about the nature of space and time. I started reading Artemis Fowl, which, honestly, is not very good. I have a feeling I read another book there in th emiddle somewhere. OH yes! Mistress of Spices, which was excellent, except the ending. I thought it was sort of a cop-out ending. But still, a beautifully written book. (Apparently, I learned when googling a link to the book for you, it was made into a movie in 2005. Who knew?)

At my Bible study/fitness class at church on Wednesdays, we are working our way through the book The 52 Greatest Stories of the Bible, which is more interesting than it sounds. It's a devotional-type study, how-these-stories-apply-to-our-lives sort of thing. I've appreciated looking at some of those old familiar tales from a different perspective. The DDH hates it, though.

Want to Read: Oh goodness. Probably something not-YA, before I lose several grade levels off my vocabulary.

When I picked these, I said they were the last of the year's peppers, but
I'll be darned if those things don't continue to produce.

TV Show Worth Watching: Blue Exorcist is over. This makes me cry. BUT. Hulu has kindly been providing us with Castle and Community and I haven't really been following anything else, though my parents and the DDH have both been enjoying Top Shot.

Movies I've Seen (in or out of a theater): I don't remember any. The sad thing is, I'm almost certain that I saw a few. I know I spent money to watch movies that I don't even remember watching. Yikes. I know we went to see one. We invited our roommate along...what was that that we saw? Oh dear. This is going to bother me now.

Oh yes, and also, we watched Cannibal the Musical for Halloween. On Hulu. For free. Hilarious.

Did I mention that one Saturday this month, our office building was evacuated because of a fire?
You'd think my boss would realize this was God telling him not to make us work on Saturdays.

In My Ears: I cheated and bought the Mumford and Sons CD and between that and the Mumford and Sons/Florence + the Machine station on Pandora, my ears were full all month long. Seriously wow. Also, my car got a new battery and I lost all my pre-set radio stations and haven't bothered to reset them yet, so a CD is my only option. EXCEPT that yesterday, in an attempt to recover my old stations, I stumbled onto a classical radio station and that makes me happy.

Bunny vs. Beagle

Newest Blog Reads/Internet Interest: I have been following Frugally Sustainable and The Humbled Homemaker on Facebook for a few weeks now, and let me tell you, my emailed-to-myself list of Totally Awesome Things to Try Making At Home is twenty-five emails long and many of those emails include more than one item. Obviously, my goal for November should be to clean out my craft room so I can actually do some of these. Also so that I can be sure I'm not accidentally breeding vermin in there.

My friend Tiffany made me this hat. She's amazing.

What I'm looking forward to next month: October, thou favoritest month, you were something of a disappointment this year. The weather, at least, was nice, and today, on the first of November, the high is supposed to be 79 degrees. Yes, please-and-thank-you, I'll put off winter as long as humanly possible.

But! November. Let's see. Some crazy-busy stuff at work, combined with an attempt to actually take two days off of work and go to some state beginning with I (not Idaho) to celebrate Thanksgiving with the DDH's extended family. I've never been out there, so this should be interesting.

Also, when I took one day, one measly little day, off of work to watch the DDH get sworn in to the Oklahoma Bar, I spent most of that day on the phone with work because everything exploded. Seriously, it made me scared to ever leave again, but I so so so badly need a vacation. I'm anticipating some tension at work because of this.

I'm approaching November with no small amount of trepidation. Still! If October was worse than I thought it would be, perhaps November will be better than I think it will be.