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Archive for July, 2011

Lobsterface: You know, you don’t have to grill veggies for the grilled veggie pizza.

Me: Then it wouldn’t be veggie pizza.

Lobsterface: It could just be a cheese and pesto pizza!

Me: You just ate an entire bag of Funyuns. You need to eat vegetables, or you’ll die.

Lobsterface: I just ate Funyuns!

Me: Funyuns are not vegetables.

Lobsterface: Well, they were at one point…

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But here’s the progress so far. For the previous sink post (back in April, I’m not even kidding) go here.

We’d cut the sink holes and put Minwax Satin Polyurethane all over everything (including the inside) and were ready to place the Kohler Maratea sink basins.

Here they are!
Sink Basins 1

They’re so pretty and white!
Sink Basins 2

I love Kohler.

Then we attached the Pfister Ashfield Tuscan Bronze faucets.
Faucets

When we started to actually figure out how to split the plumbing so that we could both run water in and drain two sinks from one pipe, we thought it might be a good bet to get a plumber in on it with us. But the plumbers in our town must not own phones. Or calendars. Or pencils with which to make notes regarding the phone numbers of people would like to give them large sums of money. Because they never call us back, or come when they say that they will.

Not that I’m bitter.

While we were feeling sorry for our local, phoneless, calendarless and pencil-lacking plumbers, the old green sink that lived in the bathroom had started to leak everywhere every time we turned it on, so it was time to go it alone.

Now, I picked out the faucets, but Lobsterface did just about everything else, and he claims to remember none of the specifics, except the fact that it took us approximately seven trips to various hardware stores to get the right combination of PVC pipes and joiners. And we haven’t even split the sink yet.

We’re actually going to need a plumber to do that.

If you would like to donate phones, calendars and/or pencils to the plumbers of Rome, New York. Please let me know. I’m taking up a collection.

Anyway, we did get one sink up and running (and draining). Here’s how it went:

First, we removed the grody old sink. It’s so grody that I didn’t bother taking a picture of it. We set the old sink out on the curb, and by morning it had been spirited away by some vintage sink enthusiast. We hope he’s happy with it.

After we turned off the water to the upstairs bathroom, unscrewed some bolts, and heaved the sink off the wall, we were left with two naked supply lines.
supply lines

Please continue to ignore my neglected baseboards.

Then Lobsterface screwed on these bendy, white pipe things. He says that they are ALSO called “supply lines”, and I’m far too lazy to actually look it up. If you want to know what they really are, print this out, take it to your local hardware store and ask them.
white bendy pipes

Then he did some of this:
pipes!

And then there was this!
water!

I’m going to try to ignore this patch of wall behind the sink. You can’t even see it unless you’re craning around to peer back there.
patch

Here’s what it looks like right now:
sink!

With all the plumbing going on underneath, there isn’t any room for the drawers that originally came with the sink/dresser, so we’re going to remove the drawer faces and attach them to the front on their own. We’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to do that. They need to be removable so that we can get in there to finally split the sink, repair the pipes when they need it, and generally fiddle about. We might use heavy-duty Velcro, or magnetic strips, or maybe a hook and eye situation.

If you have any suggestions, let me know!

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Husbands

The guy licking my face is going to be my husband in a matter of months.
weird kisses

In trying to get used to calling Lobsterface “my husband”, the word, in my mind, has gone through somewhat of an evolution.

At first, the word sounded dusty. Stodgy and old, if you will. At twenty-six, I felt that I was far to young to be charged with the care and keeping of a Husband. Husbands were polo-shirt-wearing, golf-playing, Wall-Street-Journal-reading, boring creatures in which I really had no interest.

No offense to you wives who prefer your husbands to be all, or any, of the above. To each her own.

But in the past few months, I’ve started using the term more. When plumbers need to be strongarmed into actually coming and fixing our broken pipes (after two weeks and daily phone calls), wives have more clout than fiancees. So I tell workmen (and women, if we ever encounter any), that I am The Wife. The Lobsterface becomes, by default, The Husband. And so I am getting used to the idea.

I’ve been on board with spending the rest of my life with this attractive, intelligent, amusing man who seems to see those qualities in me for a long while. Now, three months before our wedding, I’m warming to the notion of actually having a Husband, too.

The word, “husband” now brings to mind peace, solidity, companionship and constancy. I no longer feel that becoming “my husband” will turn Lobsterface into someone dull. It helps that we’re planning to get new tattoos together.

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These cupcakes (a variation on my great grandma’s secret recipe) are so insanely summery and delicious, I would eat them every day. And then I would be very fat and not fit in to my slinky wedding gown. So YOU should eat them every day.

Charming cupcake

Ingredients:
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c cake flour (makes them all nice and silky. You can even use all cake flour if you want)
2 c sugar
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1 c water
1 c lemon juice
1 c vegetable or canola oil
1/4 c milk
1 t white vinegar
1 t vanilla
2 tubs cream cheese icing
raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, bluberries, lingonberries, gooseberries, snozberries…really any berries

First things first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a big bowl. A big bowl. I actually don’t have a bowl big enough, so I end up splattering my cookbook and counters with batter every time I make this recipe. I should probably just buy a bigger bowl…

The Dry Ingredients

Then, add the oil.
Adding the oil

Then the water.
Adding the water

Then the lemon juice.
Adding the lemon juice

Then the milk
Adding the milk

Then add the vinegar and vanilla. I forgot to take pictures of those steps, but I’m sure you can figure it out. You guys are smart like that.

Then, using an electric mixer (you can use a whisk, but I’m lazy and have no upper-body strength), beat the batter until it’s smooth. No lumps!
Batter!

Beat, beat, beat…
More batter!

So creamy…
Batter, batter, batter!

When it’s all mixed, make sure you eat a big spoonful of it before it goes in the oven. Really, cake batter is far superior to cake, in my opinion.

Once you’ve eaten your fill of cake batter, if there’s any left, pour it into cupcake-paper-lined cupcake tins. I like to spritz the inside of the paper liners with cooking spray first. This batter tends to stick to them. Maybe it feels like you need to work to consume the deliciousness. I don’t know.
Perfect little cups

Toss them in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a fork stuck in the middle comes out clean. The tops of the cupcakes should be a little bit brownish around the edges.
Cupcakes!

Then, frost them with the cream cheese frosting and decorate them with your berries of choice.
Charming cupcake

I SUPPOSE you could use buttercream or whatever, but cream cheese is the best. Trust me.

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After our attempt to become Corgi Parents (parts 1 and 2), we decided to wait until after our wedding in October to adopt a freshly-minted puppy that we could raise to be awesome and to not murder us in our sleep.

However

We love us some baby animal, so I spent a couple of days on Craigslist and found Pixel. Her mama had shown up on a nice lady’s doorstep, just about to provide the world with a few new kittens. The nice lady gave her a warm place to stay during her convalescence and vowed to find happy homes for her progeny. Lucky for us!

This is Pixel on her way home with us. She looks a lot more calm that she actually was on that ride.
Pixel's first car ride.

She has the most energy of anything I’ve ever seen. She’ll spring about and run in circles and chase our older cats around, pass out for about five minutes, and then spring back into motion again.

When she’s not busy torturing the Old Guard, she loves playing with her papa. Lobsterface is the best Kitty Papa ever. He bought her a special toy that comes with seven (yes, seven) different attachments. Some are fuzzy. Some are shiny. Some are feathery. Some make noise. And he plays with her all the time.

This is Pixel and Lobsterface playing Feather. Next to Eat Mama’s Feet While She Tries to Sleep, Feather is her favorite game.
Pixel playing feather 1

Pixel playing feather 2

Pixel playing feather 3

Pixel playing fether 4

Tomorrow she goes to the vet for her shots. I hope she doesn’t cry too much. I hope I don’t, either.

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Me ( just back from a run, looking in mirror): “What is it about this outfit that makes weird, old men bellow out of the windows of their cars at me?”

Lobsterface (absently, sitting in front of his computer, probably blogging about werwolves): “It’s your boobs”

Me (examining my not-all-that-low-cut tank top and sports bra combo): “You can’t even see them! They’re all squished down and there’s not even any cleavage.”

Lobsterface (swiveling around and peering at me like a beetle on a pin): “Sorry, honey. You have a lot of boob.”

 

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For Part 1, click here.

After our Near Corgi Experience, I was so disappointed and emotionally exhausted that I just couldn’t even think about continuing to puppy shop. I probably shouldn’t have been that emotionally involved in the first place, but that’s kind of how I do everything. Lobsterface wasn’t ready to give up yet, though, so he took over for a while. He searched on Petfinder.com, he filled out applications, and finally, when someone actually called us back, he scheduled the appointment to go see Homer, who would later become known as Aloysious, or Wishy, for short.

At first, we didn’t even apply for Homer/Wishy, because his profile called for “experienced dog owners”, and we didn’t think that we’d get him. We shouldn’t have gotten him, actually, but we didn’t know that by “experienced dog owner” they meant “people who know how to deal with a creature that has both emotional issues and very sharp teeth”. Apply we did, however, and a few days later we were on our way to a town in the southern part of the state to visit the shelter where Homer/Wishy was living. When they brought him out of the maze of crates where the dogs live and walked him across the lawn to see us, I was just smitten. He was calm, a little bit shy, and completely sweet. He let us scratch him behind the ears and generally fawn over him for a while, and when it was time to go fill out the adoption paperwork, he trotted right along with us on his leash.

Growing up on a dairy farm in the country, we had a ton of dogs around all the time, but none of them were ever on leashes. The only time we put leashes on any of them was when it was time to go to the vet, and they were all just terrible leash walkers, so having a dog who knew what leashes were about and accepted them as part of his lot in life was a grand thing.

Anyway, we sat in the adoption room filling out paperwork, and Homer/Wishy just sort of hung out nearby. He wasn’t overly affectionate, but that was just fine with us. I sat next to him on the floor and patted his head while Lobsterface signed papers, copied our drivers’ licesnes, and helped the office staff fix their broken printer. The only hint I got from Homer/Wishy about his biting enthusiasm was when I tried to touch his front paws. He hadn’t been paying attention, but when I touched his paw, he whipped his head around and sort of scrunched up his face at me. I backed right off and attributed it to his nervousness around new people.

Lobsterface and I both know that sheltered and rescued dogs in particular can have long, sometimes difficult adjustment periods while they get used to a new home. That was part of the reason that we kept Wishy as long as we did, we were hoping that, as he got used to us, he’d become less in love with biting.

Not so much.

On the way home, we let him ride in the back seat of the car, rather than in the very back in his crate, because every time we put him in the crate, he freaked right out. He didn’t seem very comfortable in the back seat, either, so I reached back to pat his head in what I thought was a reassuring way. Wishy did not share my opinion, and tried to bite me. I got my hand away fast enough, but when Lobsterface tried the same thing, he wasn’t so lucky. Wishy bit him between his fingers, and held on, even when Lobsterface tried to pull his hand away. There was a lot of blood.

We hightailed it to the nearest Urgent Care (thanks, Droid) and had it stitched up there. What we didn’t know was that you are NEVER supposed to stitch an animal bite. Because their mouths are so full of bacteria, it’s best to just let it bleed if it’s gonna bleed. We also didn’t know that we should have gone straight to a hospital ER, not to an Urgent Care clinic, in the first place and gotten IV antibiotics to flush any unwelcome bacteria out of Lobsterface’s system. But, like I said, we were unaware. We decided to chalk Wishy’s behavior up to nerves and to take him home and try to get him used to us.

We were going to be great corgi parents.

The next morning I noticed that Lobster had some red marks on his arm that looked like he’d been scratching, and I started to feel a bit ill. Red streaks up one’s arm (or leg, or whatever got cut or bitten) usually means that one has a pretty bad infection. When he told me that he hadn’t, in fact, been scratching, we hopped back into the car and rushed to the ER. The hospital, mercifully, is only about a 5 minute drive for us, but that still felt too long. The whole time I was flooded with visions of Lobsterface developing a fever, then chills, then, finally, shuffling off this mortal coil and I wept over his fevered brow in a very operatic fashion.

I am not always the most realistic person.

Anyway, he did NOT die, but he did have to spend 2 days in the hospital because, apparently, Corgipox is a fairly resilient ailment. During those two days, I spent most of my non-working time at the hospital with him, but we still had a Wishy to care for (and two not-all-that-enthusiastic-about-their-new-brother cats to comfort). Wishy and I became grand friends during the two days that it was just us. He was well-trained, obliging, housebroken and, as I may have mentioned, FANTASTIC on a leash. So I started to think that maybe he was going to be ok.

I was incorrect.

Over the course of the next week, Wishy lunged angrily at both of us several times and he bit Lobster on the hand again. That time it was just a scrape because he was able to get his hand away fast enough, but a bite is a bite. That same day we took Wishy to the vet to get his shots, but she didn’t even get a chance to look at him because he was being so unpleasant. She told us that with a dog as old as Wishy, bad habits and personality problems are almost impossible to fix, especially if the dog’s owners are inexperienced. Which we were (and still are). We were starting to feel as though we were going to fail as Wishyparents.

That night, after the unsuccessful vet visit, Wishy took his animosity to another level. Up until that night, his bites had only been in response to unwanted attention or touching, but right before bed, Lobsterface was putting out his food when Wishy came charging in from another room, intent on removing a sizable chunk from Lobsterface’s leg. That was the last straw. We didn’t even feel safe in our own home. He had to go.

The next morning, armed with thick work gloves and leather coats (in May) we loaded Wishy back into his crate, put him in the car, and drove him three hours back to the shelter. When we were going over our experience with the shelter people, they told us that he’d been with another family for seven months, during which time he bit two people. They hadn’t breathed a WORD about that to us before we took him home. In fact, his adoption profile said that he’d spent his entire life with one family, and that they turned him in because they weren’t home enough to take proper care of him.

Wishy got most angry when we put him into a crate, so I’m pretty sure that “they weren’t home enough to take proper care of him” means that they stuck him in a crate for twelve hours a day and just left him all alone. That’s absolutely animal abuse and someone should have rescued Wishy way before he’d spent enough time with those people to become so emotionally damaged. We weren’t experienced enough to help him, but we hope that he finds a family who is. And if he doesn’t, he’s at a no-kill animal sanctuary, so we hope that he can at least be happy there.

Wishy

On a walk in the park.

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