Friday, March 30, 2007

I'm Such a Materialist

Sad, empty kitchen space, lonely and inhospitable.

Now just begging for someone to come and settle in and have a glass of wine!

I love my new bar stools!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

One More Reason Why I Think Gwyenth Jones is Brilliant

"Yes, for sure, it’s the men who go to war, and the women and children who die.More than 90% if you want a bullsh*t statistic, of the casualties of so-called modern war are civilians. That means nearly all; and nearly all of them are women and children. But the men’s womenfolk are urging them on, and it has always been so, the world over. The mothers-in-law are burning their son’s wives to death. The mothers are holding their eightyear old girl children down, screaming, for the clitoridectomy."

From her blog.

It's so hard to accept blame.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Everyday for Six Years

I'm pretty sure that this fits somewhere in the realm of everybody has seen this but me, but it's strangely compelling.

There are a bunch of these on YouTube.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bluebonnets, Cattle, and Oil

Bob and I were in College Station, Texas this weekend for AggieCon. Not only was it nice to go to the con, but it was nice to drive a little across Texas. We don't have much experience with Texas. I've driven through some of Hill Country and to San Antonio, but Bob hasn't yet been anywhere but Killeen. (Fort Hood.) So off we went, through tiny towns like Taylor, which has seen better days but has a place where there are two churches side by side and one across the street. Or past Dime Box, beyond which we saw a sign for Old Dime Box.

In some ways, the country is like it is in Ohio, especially at this time of year when Texas is so green. Small towns, pick up trucks, some places that are neat and tidy, some falling down. We passed a Farm Extension office and a lot of gas stations that were also the nearest place for a six pack and a lottery ticket. Here, of course, the farms are ranches, although a cattle ranch outside Lincoln looks a lot like a cattle farm in Ohio. The cows are different. We saw longhorn cattle. We saw cattle that obviously had a lot of brahma in them--humped and wattled cows with long ears. And not far west of College Station, we went through an area where almost every farm had an oil pump, some of them working, dipping and raising, some of them still. Back east, I saw oil wells. The first big oil boom was actually in Pennsylvania. But these were bigger and for awhile, there were a lot more of them.

The we had apprently driven out of the oil field and we didn't see any more of them.

The best difference though was the wildflowers. It's bluebonnet time in Texas, and along with bluebonnets were pale yellow flowers, bright yellow flowers, pale pink flowers and some almost florescent orange. The flowers of this part of Texas are spectacular.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Poor Shelly

She has been abandoned at the vet where she will be tortured, Gitmo style, with blood draws and an absence of blankets and treats. We're ruling out diseases that may explain her funky skin problem. This photo was taken, obviously, before she started looking like a leper.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm going to AggieCon!

I sold a story! To an anthology called Eclipse, edited by Jonathan Strahan and published by Nightshade Books!

I'm going to ReaderCon!

I bought barstools! (The tall one, on the left. I bought it.)

Life is quite good.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Car Resists Authority

I finally got all my paperwork together and headed out to make my car a resident of Texas. It's expensive to get Texas plates (cost me $177) and takes a ton of paperwork. On my way home I stopped at my local car place and asked them if they would put the plates on for me, because I realized only driving home today that not only was I driving on out of state plates, but that since my birthday is in February and in Ohio, registration expires on your birthday, I was driving on expired out of state plates, it seemed important to be as expiditious as possible.

I am not really a car kind of person. I mean, I like my car, but I'm just not very interested in it.

The guys at the local Goodyear are great. Jake came out and started to take the plate off. The screws are stuck into those plastic fasteners and everytime he turned the screw, the fastener just spun.

I ended up having to leave my car at the mechanic's to get the plates swapped out. But they just called and said the car was read and that it would cost $13.98. I accused Jake of not charging me labor but he assured me he had charged me $8.00 for labor. The rest was parts. They had to get new fasteners.

The picture is just because Shelly is borderline thyroid and so we are to watch to see if her symptoms disappear.

Nutrionally Dense

I posted about my experiment in eating dense over on Eat Our Brains. Do you know how much easier it is to make a big pot of something and stick it in the fridge for a week than it is to think of something to eat for lunch every day? I'm really serious about thinking about good dinners, but lunch often comes in under the radar.

This is turkey bean soup. It's easy to make and it takes substitutions gracefully.

Turkey Bean Soup (base recipe)

1 lb. italian turkey sausage, removed from casing
2 teasp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 can of beans (I used Great Northern)
2 cups of chicken broth

Brown the sausage like it was hamburger and add the onion and garlic and saute until onion is transparent.

Add everything else and simmer for 15 minutes.
It's high in fiber, low in calories.

For today's batch, I doubled the chicken broth and added chard and whole wheat macaroni. Sometimes I added a chopped Serrano chili. That's good, too. If it needs a little more body, add some tomato paste. It's good with more vegetables, too.

It hits a certain sweet spot in my taste palate--I really really like it. Can eat it for breakfast. And it makes me feel virtuous. Most important of all, it takes about four days for me to get tired of it. Since this week I'm headed out to AggieCon on Friday, that about covers the week, lunchwise.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

And Now It's Shelly's Turn

Tomorrow the little dog goes to the vet because she's got some sort of skin problem affecting her ears.

It wouldn't really qualify for a post because while I don't want her to actually suffer or anything, it's not really a serious issue. But it is an opportunity to post another photo.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Smith's test results came back negative! So she doesn't have Cushings. The test readings that indicated the possibility of Cushings were apparently not that out of whack for a Golden Retreiver who will be 13 in August, so he said unless she seems sick, don't worry.

Since she doesn't have most the symptoms of a dog with Cushings (large appetite, incontinence, lethargy, depression) and since the one she has, rear leg weakness, is easily explained by her dysplasia, we're just not going to mess.

I think it's all the dachshund's fault, personally.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I got this from Chris Barzak.

Via Ms. Bond, a work in progress meme:

Turn to page 123 in your work-in-progress. (If you haven’t gotten to page 123 yet, then turn to page 23. If you haven’t gotten there yet, then get busy and write page 23.) Count down four sentences and then instead of just the fifth sentence, give us the whole paragraph (that it comes from).

She was in the back seat of the car, sitting on the hump and pressed between Kale and a guy she didn’t know. She was trying to look out between the driver and the passenger at the headlights on the road. She had her eyes firmly front because sometimes she got car sick in the back seat and she’d had the beer and the shot of Jaeger and she didn’t want to get sick but she didn’t want to be a pain and ask to sit up front, either. She was the youngest person in the car, she knew. Out of her league. Running with the big kids. She didn’t know where they were going, just that they were out in the middle of nowhere on a road with trees and not many other cars. She needed to call Lindsay and tell her.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Smith Goes to the Vet

Smith is settling into Texas pretty well. She's an old dog and the trip across country was difficult for her. But we found a vet, and last week I took her in and had blood work done. She's twelve (average lifespan for a Golden in 12-14) and she takes pills for her thyroid and pills for her arthritis and all those pills can cause her problems. She also takes Pepcid AC and a vitamin supplement and glucosamine.

Her coat hasn't been right. And, for a lot of reasons I can't explain, I just thought something was wrong. The blood tests came back indicating she made have Cushings Disease. It's a disease where a tumor on either the pituitary or the adrenal gland causes a reduction in the production of cortical steroids. The good news is that there's a very good chance this will just mean another pill, and then she'll have more energy and be more her old self.

She goes to the vet for more tests tomorrow. My sweet old girl.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Comfort Food, Maureen Style

Is there anything better than a grilled cheese sandwich and the knowledge that one's taxes are done?