Monday, August 30, 2010

Puppy Update

Well...we soul searched like crazy over Maya, and we just decided that with our lifestyle and the size of our condo, we were not the right family for her. And, it was the right thing to do; today the shelter contacted us and said a volunteer there was interested in adopting her. I have a feeling that by us putting her "on hold" (which means if someone else wanted her, they'd nudge us to make up our minds, but it wouldn't keep her from getting adopted) the volunteer had an "Oh, crap! I think I want her!" revelation. I e-mailed the case worker and said we were thrilled that Maya was on her way to a real home and to let us know if it went through. I have a feeling it will.

Meanwhile, a friend of ours tipped us off to a yorkie-poo that belonged to a high school pal of hers. She'd seen her friend's post on Facebook, got her info, told her we might be interested and even brought her own dog up to our local so we could get a feel for the breed.

Tonight, we arranged to meet with the friend and her dog, who we'll call K. K is a mixed breed pup, fifteen months old. He looked like a white Benji instead of a yorkie-poo. Considering that she told us she'd got him from a shelter (puppy mill) that has since been shut down, I think they lied about his breed. Not that we're breed snobs, but we were expecting small.

To summarize our half hour with K and his long bark. K hated us. He hated our house. He hated how we smelled. He hated our hands that were tentatively extended for sniffing purposes. He hated our faces, which he intently barked at. Loudly. He basically gave us the finger, insulted our mothers, threatened our heritage, cursed our loins and then flipped us off again.

He loved his family. He circled them, suspicious of why they'd made this trip. He barked and looked around and barked some more. And then barked. You know, because barking was accomplishing so much.

I gently said that we could tell that he loved them very much. Her oldest daughter started to cry. It broke my heart because she knew that this was bad...she didn't want to give up her dog, but she didn't want to take him home, either, because they just couldn't keep him. I patted her foot (we were sitting on the floor) and said, "It's all going to turn out fine."

The Mom offered to come back later this week but Steinvic and I talked and we agree that this dog would not be happy with us. Our dog will have to be comfy with "strangers" and love change. My Mom wants a granddog and hopes to come by and take the pup to her place some days. We have friends and family that come to our house to stay. Most importantly to us, Young Man loves dogs and I want him to have a friend he can cuddle when he visits.

(K was not a cuddler.)

So I will call her and thank her and tell her that we would love to help her out (really, we would) but that we don't feel like it's the right fit. I will wish her luck from us.

And ten minutes after they left (after my big teary eyes because the whole thing was so sad), Steinvic was looking online for puppies. "We need a little one we can raise ourselves."

He is totally right...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Am Not A Feminist

I read this article and many of the comments at the end of the article.

And I have to say, I am not a feminist and it's not because I am ashamed, old fashioned, beaten down, self-loathing, or afraid people will think I'm a lesbian.

Some of the comments by feminists at the end of the article are the very reason I don't want the label slapped on my forehead.

If I had to put a label on myself, it would be "humanist."

It is rude, judgmental and inaccurate to suggest that anyone who doesn't want to be labeled a feminist "think(s) she will always have a man to take care of her or, poor thing, hasn't got the sense God gave a tire iron."

Well, I never! (just kidding...) But seriously, I certainly went through some life experiences(including a hellacious marriage and divorce) frightening enough to turn any one against people in general. Instead of letting it ruin me, I am self made, intelligent, very strong, outspoken woman who now has healthy, successful relationships. AND, of course I do think that women should have the same rights and make the same wages as men.

But I also believe that men shouldn't be discriminated against when working in a sea of women, that Hispanics shouldn't experience racial profiling or that African Americans shouldn't be treated like second class citizens. It also enrages me to see Vietnamese folks get treated like their own businesses. I didn't like seeing kids with special needs get picked on when I was in school, either, and one of the only scuffles I ever got in was when I stepped in to defend one of the kids in that program when she was about to get touched by a group of disgusting, ignorant high school guys. (The other scuffle was when a wannabe skinhead made a racially inflammatory comment toward me because I was walking with my guy pal who happened to be bi-racial.) Not proud of fighting, but I wouldn't take either encounter back, either.

I think that everyone deserves respect. It doesn't make me a sell out or a chicken to not specify women. It doesn't mean I'm weak. It just means that I'm going to high five any situation where someone is treated fairly and respectfully, and not just when my "sisters" are treated that way.

And, it means that no matter who you are, I'll only let you hold the door for me if I'm allowed to return the favor in the next doorway.

See the benefits of writing an isolated blog? If this blog were a hotbed of readers, I'd have a bunch of people sounding off in the comments... instead, I'm thinking crickets...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We Are Kind of Crushing...

On Maya.

Steinvic took me to an animal shelter on Saturday. Just to look. And we saw three puppies that were beagle mixes, and before we left, the case worker brought us Maya.

I didn't mention her to Steinvic after we left, because I knew she was bigger than what we'd agreed on beforehand, but tonight, Steinvic mentioned her personality.

She'd come into the visiting room, circled the whole thing one time and then sat next to the case worker.

Then she sat with me. And she took a treat from my hand like it was glass. And she let me rub her ears and tilted her head back to look at me upside-down and that was pretty much it.

And she sighed. Wow...

So, Maya is a maybe. She was purchased from a pet store by a teenaged girl who hadn't gotten permission from her parents and Maya had a hidden talent: scaling fences. (That wouldn't be an issue where we live.) So, she wasn't welcome to stay.

We have questions and need more talking, but maybe this is our new friend...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Where does a week go?

It's Tuesday, and Steinvic was home for the weekend and then outta here this morning at 6:55. (Aren't you glad I didn't say, "then was outta here this morning at 6:55 a.m."? That morning + a.m. thing is one of my pet peeves...) We had a great weekend of catching up and cozying back in...sure wasn't ready for him to head back out today. But, he'll be home tomorrow, so I'm just looking forward to that.

Since I last posted, I've been to a couple stores (okay, five) looking for a suitable dress. So far, no luck. I know what I want, and just have to hope that what I see in my brain will appear before my eyes as well.

At some point in the last 100 hours, it occured to me that in just two months, Steinvic and I are getting married. And that is an awesome thing.

However, it also means we need to get our butts in gear on the planning and doing of it all.

Never fear...this isn't going to become a wedding blog. But...the wedding is what is on my mind right now and since this blog is a peek into my brain, I will probably be talking about it a little bit!

We now have a venue for the wedding party - we're not calling it a reception, because it's way less formal than that - and we've preshopped a bunch of things, including Steinvic's suit, meaningful favors, menu items... We just need to wrap up the details.

But it's's really, really happening. And I couldn't be happier...

More soon... (I really didn't mean to be away for so long, but I got stuck on a different post and decided to nix it.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Don't Like It One Bit!

It's been a long time since Steinvic has been gone for more than an overnight. We've been in the same place together, living, loving and getting into a routine since April.

On my birthday (yeah!) Steinvic's favorite co-worker (who kinda does similar work to him) gave birth to a beautiful little girl, (I mean WOW...she is so adorable...) so his buddy won't return to work until September.

And at the end of last week, his boss went on vacation for the first time in almost two years.

So, his boss asked if he could stay in Columbus all week long. We're so fortunate that they've been flexible by letting him work from here, we certainly can't complain when they want us to be flexible in return. Plus, his company is letting him stay in their apartment building for most of the week, so he felt good about not having to "put out" his family or spend money on a hotel.'s all good, right?

NO! I don't like it one bit. I totally miss him already, and even though I've stayed super busy tonight, I'm already going, "Really? A whole week of this?!?!" It's just not the same without him here.

What do I do when I'm alone? I have been playing with my NEW camera. I rode my bike. I am cooking up a week's worth of Black Bean Veggie Chili. Here is a photo of that which I took with my NEW camera. (LOVE the NEW camera! Isn't this picture super crispy fresh!?!) And yeah, that is my little good luck candle and charms sitting there...I light it for luck every time I cook. Call me weird, but I've knocked out some friggin' awesome meals from our tiny galley kitchen, so I think my candle ritual works!

(I used to make my veggie chili using Morningstar Farms Garden Crumbles and beer instead of water, but since I'm avoiding processed soy and looking to reduce overall calories, I'm omitting those ingredients in this revised recipe.)

You'll need about seven large blanched tomatoes (just get some big fat organic tomatoes, put them in a pot of water and heat on high - not boiling - until you see tiny bubbles and a little bit of splitting happening on the skin of the tomatoes. Drain them off, let them cool and the skin will slip right off. Then dice them in a bowl so that you can keep the juice, too.

  • Okay, seven large blanched diced tomatoes in their juice
  • Two finely diced celery stalks
  • One small finely diced red onion
  • One small finely diced green pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Pinch of organic sugar
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • McCormick's hot chili seasoning
  • Allspice
  • Two regular cans of unseasoned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Olive Oil
  • Hot Sauce (Tabasco is my preference or a touch of Dave's Insanity Sauce)

Here's how you do it:

  1. So, heat up a little olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan. Add the onion, pepper and celery. Saute.
  2. Add in about one cup of water, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the tomatoes with their juice in. Bring to a simmer and then add the pinch of sugar.
  4. After a minute, add in the hot chili seasoning. Put in about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of Allspice.
  5. Let simmer for about five minutes.
    Add the black beans and remaining dry spices to taste, reducing heat to very low. I know I'm not putting exact measurements on the dry spices, but I know everyone likes something a little different and you gotta taste.
  6. Add about five dashes of Tabasco OR a little Dave's one tiny drop.
  7. Cook on low, stirring regularly to keep the beans from sticking.
Boom! You have lunch for tomorrow and the next day and the next. Eat it as regular chili with some oyster crackers and cheese on top. Cook off the moisture for a rockin' black bean dip or burrito insides. You will dig it.

That's enough from me for now...I'm going to watch something mindless and hopefully go right to sleep. And Steinvic, if you're reading, you better come home to get some chili! If you wait til Friday, you'll have to wait for the next batch. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More Birthday...

Are you birthdayed out yet? Because mine was yesterday, and Steinvic made it really special.

We had a nice drink at home after work, then went to Asiatique for dinner. He'd even gone through the trouble of checking it out for me beforehand, to make sure it had good vegetarian options, which it did: YUMMY crispy, spicy tofu. And, he also thoughtfully tried the creme brule dessert flight on that sample lunch he'd know, just to make sure it was good and that I'd like it, since I'm not a dessert person. (The sacrifices we go through for those we love...) That treat was one of the best I've ever had and I'll never forget it: four little shot glass sized creme brules and two baby spoons to taste them with, and a smudge of blackberry syrup across the tray. Each brule was different and included unusual flavors like green tea, espresso, mango and berry. Very amazing and a perfect compliment to our great service and dinner.

We stopped at our local, just for a little bit, and then home. I'd asked Steinvic to keep my birthday simple, and he ignored me. I received a Nook WiFi, which I'm learning all about and it is so very cool. And a gorgeous 14 megapixel Sony camera, since he was feeling bad for me, having to apply Scotch tape to ours each time I charged the battery (I still love that camera and it's captured a thousand special memories for us...) And an hour long massage from our friend's salon. REALLY extravagant gifts that he didn't have to treat me with, but that I know we'll use, enjoy and have for a long time.

The greatest gift? My life here with him. Tonight I got home, rode ten miles on the bike and caught up on True Blood. He came home and started ironing, while I tossed us a big salad made with produce my parents had brought to us. Now, we've got the TV on and we're just here, cozy, and it feels so normal and wonderful and precious...just a really nice night. I would have none of this feeling without him. Everything I ever wanted and never thought I'd have. Yeah, I'm a big sap. A big, grateful, happy sap.

OH...and before I forget, my parents took us to Bravo on Sunday night and it was the best visit. They gave us generous gifts, too...promise to do a photo post with the new camera in the next day or so. For now, I'm going to play with my Nook. :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I have waited for WEEKS to post this entry...

On Saturday, we had a surprise party for Steinvic in Columbus. I've been planning it for months and months, with the assistance of Young Man.

We had it at a cafe/pizzaria in German Village, and I have to say, they were brilliant about arranging it.

I contacted lots of family and friends and they all gathered in the back room of the cafe, waiting for us to arrive.

Young Man told his Dad that one of the bands he plays in was having a CD release party, and asked us to come to Columbus to see them play. And, since a good friend of his worked in the kitchen at the cafe, would we mind stopping by there to drop off a CD, since the friend couldn't make it? It was the perfect set up and Steinvic fell for it: hook, line and sinker.

These things aren't about "getting someone," although that part is fun. The whole point was to show Steinvic how loved he is. He was totally surprised and definitely moved. J and my parents even came up, which I really appreciated, and so did Steinvic. He said it many times that night, and several times since..."I can't believe they came all the way up for that!" And I told him, "Of course they did. They care about you..."

And, we had a cake. But...that cake is going to be a whole post all on it's own, because it was a TRIP.

The worst part was scheming...I've been catting around, sneaking and scheming, for months. But the best part was that it was all worth it and I had a BLAST working with Young Man to make it all happen. So...that is where I've been!

It was a blast and I'd do it again...though I've promised to reserve the big stuff for big milestone birthdays... wink! :)