Day 2, and A Contest

I’d beg you all to excuse my maudlin post from last night, but I’ve become convinced that if my family were sucked up in a cyclone and deposited in Oz without me, I’d do nothing but eat popcorn, swill Shiraz, work myself into a coma and cry on the dog.

I suppose it would be heavenly if this “alone time” were of a shorter duration – like a day or two – but this is going to go on until August 19, when The Young One comes home from visiting his dad’s family in Texas and Beloved gets some sort of a break from all this business traveling. I’ll probably wish I had spent more time savoring this solitude when the back-to-school frenzy begins (oh, and don’t I have a post ALL ready to go about that), but for now?

It still sucks.

Speaking of the dog – I’ve posted about him before, but he deserves another spotlight.

This is Scooter. He is a beagle/dachshund mix, with a good measure of kangaroo thrown in (the dog can JUMP). He was abandoned as a puppy and we rescued him when he was about six months old. Scooter is nearly six now, and you will never meet a more loving, loyal creature. He weighs all of 18 pounds and would willingly fight a grizzly bear if he thought it was threatening one of his humans. We all adore him. In fact, if Beloved and I were to have a parting of ways (right…who else would have us??), the only dispute would be over who gets Scooter.

It would be me. Just to let you know. He’d insist on it. He loves my cooking.

Speaking of which – aside from the chocolate martini, I haven’t posted a recipe in like three weeks. So, Sunday I’m going to be whipping up brunch, just for me. Because I deserve it. What I want, from all of you, is recipes.

What’s your favorite, best breakfast/brunch recipe? Send them on in to jpooh22(at)gmail(dot)com. It doesn’t matter how many I get, I’ll make one each Sunday until they’ve all been cooked and eaten. And each time I make a recipe, I’ll spotlight it on this blog and link the recipe back to the contributor’s blog.

That may not seem like a lot, but I get a LOT of web traffic from my recipes. And I’ll give you a nifty little graphic “award” to post on your site as well.

So send in those recipes! Because I need something to do besides work and cry on the dog.

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On a completely unrelated note, if you take a look at my sidebar over there on the right left, because I can’t tell my right from my left, but fortunately Nanny Goats In Panties can, you’ll notice a couple of new things.

For those of you who don’t frequent MidLifeBloggers.com, I have become a contributor – I’m sort of the tech go-to person. So, mosey on over there – you can get a good look at me, and find a lot of other things of interest, as well.

I’d also like to welcome P.S. Original to my blogroll. I don’t wear earrings, but I’m tempted to start just so I can buy one of her shrines. They are GORGEOUS.

Lastly, I now have a link on Alltop.com, under the Midlife listings. I’m absurdly thrilled about this, even though I know I sort of piggy-backed in with other, far more noteworthy midlife bloggers.

A meme, an award, a contest and a listing on Alltop.com! I’m hitting the Big Time now!!

Brother, Can You Spare A Pork Chop?

I was behind a woman, about my age, in the checkout line at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago. She had a slightly glazed look in her eye and was clutching a major credit card in one hand and an application for a second mortgage on her home in the other. Her basket was overflowing with cases of soft drinks, chips, hamburger and hot dog buns, the necessary protein items to fill them, and various other foods of dubious nutritional value.

“Having a cookout this weekend?” I asked her.

“No,” she replied wearily. “The kids are home for the summer.”

Oh, I can SO relate. I’ve been buying food that seems to mysteriously disappear mere minutes later for years.

Last night I made quesadillas and Mexican risotto for dinner (which was FAB, by the way, for something I just sort of threw together – I will be posting the recipe for it). The Young One, eschewing the risotto because it had stuff in it, ate two huge quesadillas and drank an enormous glass of milk, afterwards declaring that he “had eaten WAY too much.”

I swear I turned my back on him and he was stuffing his face full of Hershey’s kisses.

“I thought you’d eaten too much!” I yelled, as I picked the wrappers up off the floor where he’d flung them in his ravenous frenzy.

“A lot can happen in ten minutes, Mom,” he replied.

Apparently so. Like your legs going hollow.

If it were just your run-of-the-mill teenage bottomless pit syndrome, I could probably deal with it, but some of it is just plain stupidity. We used to have a pet hamster; a teddy bear hamster, to be exact, named Hammy (because we’re just original that way). Hammy was neurotic as hell and absolutely loathed captivity – I can’t begin to tell you how many ways he found to escape his little plastic prison – but he adored Darling Daughter. Why? Because she was feeding him Macadamia nuts and fresh spinach! That stupid hamster had a better diet than I did.

Then there’s Yousteder, who was here for 12 days. She has this thing for raw cookie dough, so every time she comes to visit I buy her a roll of the slice-and-bake stuff just for her personal consumption. The morning of her second day here, Beloved came into the kitchen from the deck clutching a half-eaten package of raw cookie dough that had been left outside all night and subsequently feasted upon by chipmunks who previously had no idea what they’d been missing out on.

We won’t even go into the twelve boxes with half a cup of stale cereal in the bottom lining the counter. Not that they’d eat it if it were full and fresh; I’ve had a loaf of bread sitting on the counter going moldy because The Young One would rather have a corny dog, peanut butter cheese crackers and Mountain Dew first thing in the morning. To quote Samuel L. Jackson, “The cornerstone of EVERY nutritious breakfast.”

Oh, and the reason I haven’t posted the recipe for peach cobbler? I haven’t had a chance to make it. The peaches keep mysteriously disappearing. The only question is, is Darling Daughter eating them herself, or feeding them to the dog? He’s been getting all of the string cheese lately.

There’s No Place Like Home

My 21-year-old daughter moved back home, and believe it or not I’m rather relieved, if for no other reason than we won’t have to leave the dog at the kennel if we go out of town.

We feel guilty about leaving him there, and the little bugger knows it. And he plays up to the fact.

First of all, unlike a lot of (obsessive-compulsive) pet owners, we don’t take the dog in the car with us every time we run to the store for a gallon of milk and a can of Drano. For one thing, he’d never leave the car because we run to the grocery store approximately every 24.5 minutes. At any rate, the only time he ever gets to ride in the car is when he either goes to the vet or the kennel. Since he hates both, you’d think he’d get the idea, but just taking him into the garage transports him into paroxysms of joy that will leave your shoes wet if you stand too close to him. Putting him in the car creates a leaping frenzy in the back seat where he batters his skull repeatedly against the windows until you lower them enough to let him hang his head outside.

Once we get to the kennel he’s still pretty happy – he’s outside and on his leash (he’d prefer to be outside without his leash, but he’ll take what he can get). It’s not until we take him inside that he wises up; he immediately turns and tries to run back outside, taking the leash, the nearest display of cute little doggie toys and my arm with him. He then whimpers and stares at us with terrified eyes while we check him in, and as a last act of defiance gives us a look that says, “I’ll remember this” and poops on our shoes.

It’s not that he’s being mistreated, and I do realize that even if I am sobbing hysterically while my husband asks for the umpteenth time, “Oh, will you please stop that!!” It’s just that Scooter doesn’t realize he’s a dog. Nor does he care for the company of other dogs – they don’t let him lay all over their lap and feed him popcorn or bits of tuna fish and Dorito sandwiches while he watches television. They don’t stand at the stove and drop food all over the floor while they cook dinner and they certainly don’t pour the leftover bacon grease all over his dog food.

Once home, the dog can give us the cold shoulder treatment like no one else can – and it affects me worse than the same cold shoulder treatment from anyone else can. With a kid, it’s like “Fine – you’ll run out of peanut butter and AAA batteries eventually, and we’ll see who’s talking to who then!!” But for some reason I find myself following the dog, who is pointedly ignoring me (and looking for a pair of my shoes to destroy) around the house, crooning, “Scooter…Scooooooter….want some cheese? A steak and baked potato? A massage?”

Things do go back to normal eventually, after I’ve sufficiently humbled myself and the dog gains 5 pounds.

The Most Important Member of the Family

I thought the best way to start off my new blog would be with something about the most important member of the family.

The dog.

Well, just ask him – better yet, ask one of the kids. (My husband maintains the dog is not the most important member of the family, he’s merely the boss.)

Scooter Looking CuteMy husband and I, long before we ever became husband and wife, decided we didn’t want any pets. Period. We had more than enough kids, what the heck did we need with something that wouldn’t be able to exploit us in our old age? Then, in the late spring of 2003, one of them brought Scooter home and it was all over but the crying.

Now, keep in mind that it was not my idea to name the dog Scooter. Personally, I think Scooter is a dumb name for anything, even a dog, and voted to name him “Killer” but was overridden by the 5 other most important members of the family: the children. (When it comes to order of importance, I’m afraid I fall in dead last. Unless I’m cooking.)

Scooter is a beagle/dachshund mix, but if he could talk he’d tell you he’s not a dog – he’s a four-legged person. He’s certainly more entitled than any human being I know; he has his own dishes, his own food, his own toys, and his own bed, which is more than I can say for myself. He’s also afflicted (or privileged, depending on your point of view) with a case of terminal cuteness. This has probably saved him from being assassinated by the neighbors, for he has absolutely no idea of property rights – he’ll poop on anyone’s lawn. And since fences aren’t exactly numerous here, he has access to anyone’s lawn.

Admittedly, this hasn’t been much of a problem lately, for everyone’s lawn has been buried under the snow, and Scooter – not being the brightest (even if he is the most lovable) critter in the world – can’t find them.