Small Things 4-15-14

1.  We have


(And I’m rather more excited than the kiddo.)

Who has, nevertheless, been offered naming rights, since he’s, you know, the small child around here.

He tried to get away with calling them One-y, Two-y, Three-y, Four-y, & Five-y, but I ended that idea.  Then I fell in love with the friendly little Buff Orpington who comes a’running when I drop my hand into the cage, and started calling her Buttercup before I could help myself.  Better hurry up, kiddo, you only have four left to name!

So then he decided that ‘Harry Potter’ would be a great name, I agreed (though am rather astonished he’s remembered this book, which we’ve only talked about once that I can recall, to say that someday when he’s older, Mommy will read it to him at night.)  So I was all set for HP, but then The Boy took exception to a dainty little hen having such a masculine name.  So he re-dubbed the sneaky little Rhode Island Red “Henrietta Potter”  Oi.  But ok, better to have some interest coming from both boys, since the chickies are really my passion so far, and if a bad punny name is what it takes for him to feel some proprietary interest in them, well, Henrietta it is…

The third one, Hen was determined to name ‘Snimm’ – from his favorite Dr. Seuss story about the 23 sons of Mrs. McCave, and what she should have named them instead of ‘Dave’.  So, little Black Australorp is now ‘Snimm’.

And the Aurcana is ‘Hoos-Foos’

And the Golden Comet is ‘Lily’ Both for Tiger Lily in Disney’s Peter Pan (Oh, and more on that later!) and for HP’s mom.  She’ll grow up to be a mottled red/white, sort of like the speckles on a tiger lily, so we’re all happy about this one.

2.  Peter Pan.  Oh, Peter Pan.  I remembered mostly that Captain Hook was way scary.  I remembered the song “Never Smile at a Crocodile”.  Cute story about a boy who never grew up, and his band of wacky pals, right?


I did not remember ‘hunting Indians’ being offered as an appropriate game for small boys.  I did not remember Wendy whining that she had to ‘gather firewood with the squaws’ instead of ‘becoming a chief’ like PP.  I did not even remember the rather horrifying betrayals by Tinker Bell, nor that PP was the dude responsible for chopping off Captain Hook’s hand.  Fair fight my ass.  Dude can fly.

Kiddo’s been obsessed with Jake & The NeverLand Pirates, for a few weeks (which, if you’re lucky enough not to know, is this godawful preschooler show in which Captain Hook & Smee are just sort of daft yahoos who keep getting duped by Jake & his buddies: a girl pirate & a little-boy pirate.)  It’s dopey, but not-too-scary, and not-too-objectionable.  Based on  PP’s Neverland.  Sort of.  If NeverLand had lots of Pirate Princesses who wield Rainbow Wands!

But anyway, we’ve been eating coconut, reading Pirate Potty books and saying things like “ahoy, Matey!” every time he wears his (medically necessary) eye patch.  So when I saw the Little Golden Book of PP at the grocery store, I didn’t even look through it, just tossed it in the cart along with a copy of Brave.  We buy books here. It’s what we do.

And reading it this noon with him, I had to skip as much as I read.  Happily he prefers Brave, but I’m going to have to go through PP with a pen and some white-out, because seriously, he’s not allowed to read it as it stands.  Not as a preschooler.  When he’s in elementary school, we can have a talk about subconscious racism, and how to take what one is reading with a grain of historical salt, etc. But right now, I’m not going to let him internalize that shit accidentally.

So disappointed!

3.  Other major accomplishment today was cutting down the bookcase in the TV room that was here when we bought the place, and which has recently become too tempting a ladder for a certain monkey-child.  Also, our old wood floors shake when a certain rhinoceros-child runs through the house, and the bookcase starts to shudder in a most alarming way.  Since the thing is wood, solid, and 6′ x 7′, I was fearing that one day he’d squish himself like a Mor’du child under a large stone (thank you, Little Golden Book version of Brave for that visual!) But it’s been cut down to about 6′ wide by 4′ tall and tomorrow I’ll hit up Home Depot for screw-in feet to level it on our decidedly unlevel floors. Then we’ll reload with DVDs.  His toys will go elsewhere, so I’m hoping the urge to climb will be done away with.

And even if he does pull this one down on himself, it would no longer crush his head.  So yay.

4.  Chicken stew for dinner seemed rather difficult to make since I had to keep interrupting the cooking to go check on my wee little avian darlings.  Er, that would be my chickens.  Who have names.  Any more avian-darling stew, anyone?  Perhaps with a side of cognitive dissonance?

5.  The cat wants those baby chicks with a fiery, predatorial passion.  Who cares if they have names!  The dog just thought she must be in trouble for something and that we were probably going to shove her in that cage and allow the ferocious chickbeasts to peck her to death so she has refused to go anywhere near their cage.  That’s just about right, I guess.  Sums up their personalities as well as anything can.

Going to go snuggle with the stinky little chicks again.  Damn, I’m happy.  And if the rain ever stops, I’ll finish building them an outdoor house!


Small Things 4-14-14

1.  You knew I was going to post today–right?  Only perfect date this year, I sort of had to.

2.  Had a playdate today with another ‘older, non-traditional mom’.  It’s funny, how we recognize each other, we mommies of a certain age. How the same themes come up, when we trade stories–as we all seem to do almost compulsively, how our children came into our lives. How blessed we feel, how all the pain and ‘failure’ was worth it, since it brought this specific child into our lives. Her son had such a rough start to life, and is blossoming into such a wonderful little boy.  He & Hen are fast friends from gym class, and now I hope they’ll be friends in ‘real life’ too.  And I have hopes for developing a friendship with this woman, it’s like finding a secret sisterhood out there, to meet someone and to have so many shared experiences.

So grateful to be in this place where I can nod and say, “yes, it was awful, but it brought me my son, and otherwise, my life would be different than this–and by definition, it would be less than it is, because this child makes my heart complete”  and mean it with my whole heart, and know someone feels the same way.

3.  A windy spring day today.  Play-date kind of ate up the morning, so the coop didn’t get worked on, so I therefore didn’t feel like I could reward ourselves with going to buy baby chicks.  Perhaps tomorrow, if we get a lot done.  (please read, if I get a lot done while the wee one is in school.  Because his help–while appreciated for the spirit in which it’s offered–makes things go a lot slower!

4.  Just finished a book by Sarah Monette writing as Katherine Addison called The Goblin Emperor, and it was a veyr satisfying read.  She’s a writer I’ve always enjoyed, who does labyrinthine palace intrigue stuff very nicely without settling into over-used tropes.  Anyone looking for a not-too-huge fantasy read, I’d highly recommend this one.

And happily, I was able to find it at a sister library to our own small-town library.  The slightly-larger-next-town-over has a reciprocity agreement with ours, and I’d never before taken advantage of it–but I’ll sure start doing that more often.  MUCH bigger kids section, and a rather nice fantasy/SF section as well.  Also a bit livelier feel to the library, which is nice, since ours can feel a little echo-y sometimes.

5.  Just heard a goose honking as it flew past–at almost 8pm.  It’s dark out there. And the wind is blowing hard enough to make this whole barn creak.  Don’t know what the goose was doing – possibly being blown along by the wind & protesting the rough handling?  I dunno.  Not going outside, just going to continue hoping that the barn doesn’t blow down tonight.  I’ll toss in a good wish for the blown-away goose, too.

Happy 4-14-14, everyone.   May your barns remain standing, your geese remain unmolested, and your reading choices prove satisfying.


Small Things 4-6-14

1.  We have a sink hole in our backyard. No, really.  It’s a small one, as such things go. I don’t think it’ll be swallowing the house anytime soon. But at about 3 feet deep & a foot and a half across, my husband nearly broke a leg when he fell through. Very strange.

2.  I’ve been having a problem with going onto specific sites online–ie: any site that MacKeeper advertises on.  And I’m pretty sure they’re loading shit onto my computer, somehow, because it freezes the hell out of my machine. And today, I lost a week’s worth of edits. Most writers would tell you how devastating this can be–because you’re going through the manuscript with a fine-toothed comb, checking for continuity, make sure what they’re talking about here was first introduced there, etc. The thought of losing that work was enough to make me weep.

But, one of the main reasons I work on Scrivener is because it’s constantly backing up. Surely my hard-shut-down would only have lost a few moments of work? (And WHY did I go websurfing without shutting down that program? Why!?) But no. Last save I could find was on March 29.  And my Time Machine program, also seemed to have blinked back to March 29.  Shit.

So instead of curling up in a ball and weeping, I went to seek advice from Dr. Google. Who reminded me that the Library in Mac’s latest OS is hidden. And reminded me how to un-hide it. Whereupon I did so. And found a previous backup that had been hidden in the hidden library.

And then I breathed a deep sigh of relief and told MacKeeper that its nasty, buggy pop-up ads were safe for another day, because tonight wouldn’t be the night I’d be hunting down there server with a bucket of water in hand.

Goddamn buggy ads.  Yeah, I’m talking to you BuzzFeed. Get them off your site.  You too, Salon (or is it Slate?) Damned pop ups.

3.  Guerrilla cleaning for tomorrow’s playdate. I’m nothing if not fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants when it comes to housecleaning.

4.  Did I mention the sinkhole in the backyard? Because honestly, it’s taking up a lot of mindspace right now…


Rogan Josh Lamb Curry

Because someone on FB asked for the recipe…

1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp powdered ginger
2 TB sweet paprika
2 tsp chile powder
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp ground coriander seed
2 tsp salt1/2 TB cayenne
2# lamb stew meat chunked
1 TB coconut oil
2 med onions, diced
1 C coconut milk
1 1/4 C water

(Cranberry sauce!)
(Plain yogurt!)(Rice!)

Sprinkle meat generously with S & P, tossing to coat.  In a dutch oven, heat coconut oil (I actually went & bought coconut oil for this & I’m glad I did, it really did a nice job browning the meat!) and then sear lamb on all sides.  Add onions & cook til they start to soften.  Mix spices together, and add blend to meat/onion mixture.  Stir for 30 seconds or so to coat. Add coconut milk & water. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 1-2 hours.

Ok, I did a few things different.  I used 1# of lamb, not two, because we like lots of sauce.  I used the whole can of coconut milk, because–hey, coconut milk (& what’re you going to do with 6 extra oz.–right?) I realized right off that this was kind of a one-note wonder of a dish–very very hot.  BUT.  My super-secret trick is that I had about half a batch of homemade cranberry sauce in the fridge.  My mind was thinking ‘tamarind would help this out’, but being fresh out of tamarind & with a bowl of tangy sweet cranberries just sitting there–I added it.  And boring, too-hot lamb curry turned into awesome JUST LIKE THAT.

If you’re like me, you have cranberries stockpiled in the freezer since Thanksgiving–I use the basic one on the back of the berry package–1C water, 1 C sugar, boil for 10 minutes, cool & serve. Easy.  (And if you’ve never done this, it’s the way to go. They’re cheap in November, and they freeze beautifully.) This was good enough in this curry that I’ll ALWAYS make it with this addition from now on.  I had some for lunch this morning over rice, with a dollop of greek yogurt to further tang-ify it up.  This is seriously the best lamb curry I’ve ever made.  Yum!

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Small Things 4-1-14

1.  Still collecting sap. And storing sap. And boiling sap.  This year’s syrup is very dark, very flavorful. I love the ‘lower’ grades of syrup, but I suspect all you out there who buy syrup are going to see spikes in the price this year.  It simply isn’t a golden-syrup kind of year, apparently, and that’s most of what gets sold.

(Also, in related news, I’m really tired of boiling.  Very very tired of boiling.)

2.  Had an amazingly bad crick in my neck on the Boy’s birthday.  Like a charley-horse on the side of my neck.  Which made turkey dinner more challenging than it needed to be.  And also made me wonder if I was coming down with meningitis.  Happily, muscle relaxants, heating pad, and a couple of hot showers loosened things up enough that two days later, I’m feeling almost fully functional again (and not at all like I’m in danger of brain damage).  Just don’t ask me to look at anything behind my back.

3.  A friend sold her YA book to Penguin, and I couldn’t be happier for her–and I can’t wait to read it.  Yay for new books! Yay for writers getting their stories out there!  Yay for a new career which I hope will allow her every opportunity to keep writing wonderful things!

4.  My own book edits are coming along, and I think I’ve still got a handle on what the book needs in order to be ready for agent-shopping. I wonder if anyone’s ever done a study on how much one likes one’s computer factoring into the mix for writing effectively? It’s weird. I had my last computer for almost 5 years, and–granted–they were 5 of the hardest years of my life for a multitude of reasons.  But I never felt comfy on that computer when I was writing even though it was a great workhorse of a computer.  It was too big, or too heavy, or the keys felt funny or something. This new computer is smaller, easier to curl up with, for I’m definitely a laptop writer.  So maybe that’s it? I don’t know, but it’s easy to slip into writing mode on it, where it never seemed to be on the previous computer.  Whatever, I’m delighted to be in a writing groove right now.  Long may it last (though my housekeeping is definitely suffering for the minor obsession with getting the words down on the screen NOW!)

5.  Weight loss stalled out because I’m lazy and I like to eat more than I like to move.  This is a truth about myself that cannot be denied.  Also, I have the metabolism of a sloth, not the metabolism of a hummingbird, like my husband & son have.  So, I’m hitching up my too-tight pants and slogging back into diet-hell.  Hoping that I can persuade my lazy self that going for a half-hour walk/jog would be a better use of my time than something else, like writing or cleaning or knitting. But really, I just have to eat less until I’m back down to where I want to be.  Darn it all.


Maple Angel Food Cake

For FB friends (& anyone else, of course) who wanted this:

(& I suppose I should admit that I’m slowly making the FB & twitter plunge–ie: I lurk way more than I speak out, but I AM on there, and I’d love to follow you if you like, & you can follow me if you like, and we’ll all be friendly together, if you like.)

Friend me & I’ll friend you back.  Or send me your FB name.  I’m JettSusan on twitter, since the other way round was taken.  I’m myself on FB.  I’ll get a button one of these days. Maybe.

Or maybe I’ll just wait for the next awesome social media platform.  Because really?

Facebook is not well designed for sharing recipes.  I know.  Can you believe it?


Maple Angel Food Cake

1 1/2 C egg whites (~12) at room temp.
1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C sugar
1 1/8 C flour
1 tsp vanilla
3 TB maple syrup


1/4 C maple syrup
1 TB egg whites
1 1/2 C powdered sugar

375*  With a mixer, whip eggs til foamy.  Add cream of tartar & salt & whip til soft peaks form.  Gradually add 1C sugar while mixer is running. Whip until stiff peaks form.  (My recipe said ~30 seconds, but it took WAY more than that.)  Stir remaining 1/4C sugar with flour to aerate.  Fold into the egg-white mix, then fold in vanilla nd maple.  Spoon into angel food cake pan (ungreased!)  Bake til light golden brown 30-35 minutes.  (I’d probably amend to say darker than light golden brown.  30 minutes was def. not enough for mine, but it was pretty forgiving, even after I threw it back in to finish baking after completely cooling.  Yeah, precision baker, I am not…)  Cool by hanging it upside down over a bottle–half-full wine bottle works great.  Pop it out after it’s fully cooled.

For the glaze, STIR together (my husband always tries to do this with an electric mixer, but that just beats the egg white into something resembling mortar…) all ingredients til smooth.  Dollop it over the top of the cake & spread so that it dribbles artistically down the sides.  Let it set 30 minutes or so.  (Totally not necessary for deliciousness.  I can attest…)


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Small Things 3-22-14

1. A great writer has died, and although we haven’t spoken in a decade(?) the world feels a little smaller and poorer today.  Feeling sad that my previous post about feeling so nostalgic for the folks I knew at Clarion West has come to this.  This man was a huge part of that group & the camaraderie we enjoyed.  Give ‘em hell, Lucius, wherever you are.  You left this sorry, glorious, horrible excuse for a world too damned soon and I’m grieving your loss.  Which is, of course, our loss.

2.  It’s odd that when the Boy is here, I like cooking interesting, unusual things, even though I know he’d rather I just stuck to about 12 things he’s familiar with.  But when he’s away?  My cooking interest degenerates into heating up a can of soup or–better yet–taking the offspring out to eat at Friendly’s.  Hmmm.  Sorry, dear heart.

He’s home tonight.  I wonder what I should make tonight?  Rogan Josh lamb?  Yeah, that sounds about right…

3.  Happily, it’s been so cold that the furnace is still on, so despite boiling sap inside, our humidity levels are low enough that I don’t worry I’m rotting the house from the inside out.  And it does make the house smell like a giant pancake, and that can’t be bad, right?

4.  I watched ‘Hunger Games’ and was pleasantly surprised by how close they came to the feel of the book.  Made me want to reread those, and rather longing for a deep plunge into the pool of YA literature.  That was one of the few things I liked about my 2-hour commute when I worked in Queens.  Lots of time for reading, & easy access to new books.  Need to start reading a lot again.  In all my free time.  (Srsly, I can’t always manage to find half-an-hour to exercise, not sure when I think I’m going to start finding 2 additional hours a day to read more, but there it is…)

It does feel odd, though, to realize I only averaged a book every three weeks or so last year.  All my life I’ve pretty much been a book-every-other-day kind of gal.  Totally slipping.

5.  I am struck by how differently my mind works when I am the only adult in the house.  I introduced my son to the concept of dialing 911.  I listen to every creak and house-groan, wondering about home-invaders.  I’m hyper-alert to sounds of trouble, and my dreams are uneasy.  I miss having an alert dog on nights like this, though it’s probably for the best, since my blood pressure would spike every time she detected a scary-scary car, oh, um, driving on the street.

Small Things 4-16-14

1.  Watching The Grinch again.  The kiddo’s favorite movie, and I think at this point I have it all by heart.  Honestly? There are some pretty scary bits, but the sheer Seussy silliness overwhelms and makes even Boris Karloff-Grinch seem sweeter than he really is.

(Because his teeth are really nightmarish, I have to say.)

I’ve seen it enough, though, that I pick up on all the animation quirks.  Like when they forgot they were showing that he was ‘reformed’ by turning his red eyes blue.  And all of a sudden he’s all demonic again.  Or when the Whos are each eating the same bit of food over again for the whole scene.  Or where the server-Who’s hat changes from white to blue to white to blue again as he walks.

I joined the Disney Movie Club (I know, I know, but our library has no Disney or Pixar movies, and I really do think Hen should have a chance to get to know the movies he’ll be using as cultural currency soon) and am hoping I can transfer some of this Grinchy love to Totoro and Toy Story.

2.  Sap is streaming.  And yeah, I used all my new taps & bags as soon as the temps rose up above freezing.  8 taps, and we’re definitely outrunning our indoor boiling capacity.  Screw it.  Syrupping comes but once a year, and we’re down to our last quart of syrup from last year.

Update: Three quarts bottled today, from the last few days of tapping, so at least the year won’t be a complete bust.  Family won’t be getting nice maple-y gifts unless we end up getting a lot more, but at least we’re set for pancakes for a while…

3.  Aaaaaand it’s chipmunk time again!  Specifically, it’s ‘cage match to the death’ time between the cat & her cornered prey in our dining room (it being the only expendable room in the house that can be closed off.  Sigh.  In a day or so, if she hasn’t handled the nasty little rodent we’ll take drastic measures to try to evict his stripey little butt, but in the meantime, we’re being treated to outraged chirps at random moments.  I’m pretty sure he wants to come in here with us to watch Grimm…

4.  Needing to show my support for Guinness pulling sponsorship from the NYC parade until they allow LGBT paraders, so I cooked the corned beef in a bottle of stout and am sipping another one as I type.  Mmmmmm.  A loaf in every pint.

5.  Went to a playdate today with a couple of boys–twins–we’ve known since they were born.  One of them has been sweet on me for almost that long, and it did my heart good to have this kid try to monopolize me entirely for the whole time.  My own kiddo was in big boy heaven, playing with their new-to-him set of trucks & construction vehicles, and the other twin was happily involved in solitary lego building, so it was a blast to have this little guy chattering up a storm, and absolutely delighted with everything I suggested, from rhyming games to ‘let’s count to ten and see how high you can JUMP!

I hope, even though they’ll be a year behind Hen in school, that we can stay friends with this family as our boys grow up. There’s definitely a piece of my heart in that kid’s grubby little fist tonight.

Small Things 3-12-14

1.  Sap’s running!  A full month later than last year, but we’ll take it!  Of course, we’re boiling inside, which I swore we wouldn’t do again.  I think somehow I just refused to believe that spring would ever arrive, so there was no rush to buy a propane boiler?  Yeah.  Mistake.  It’s in the mail, but the steam is in the house…

However, screw it.  It’s too damned dry in here anyway, thanks to the furnace having been running pretty much constantly since October.

And, syrup soon!  Woohoo!

2.  I ate a chimera apple yesterday.  A Pink Lady with a stripe of dark red running from stem to blossom-end.  Had I realized how rare they are I’d've saved–or at least photographed–it.

Ah well.  Tasty, tasty chimera.

3.  Now that the sap’s running I’d really like this snow to melt so I can plant some peas & spinach, please.  Like, right now, I’d like to.  Can’t wait to get some plants going this year.  Really really REALLY looking forward to the garden (and the chickens, and the canning, and the everything else.  Of course, I also learned that my son’s school year doesn’t end til June 17, which is kind of nice–I fully intend to use that in-school time through the worst of the weeding/planting/fertilizing days to their fullest extent.  Because, yeah, everything takes longer with a preschooler helping.

4.  Speaking of the kiddo, his $350 a month asthma medication just went down to a $15 co-pay thanks to our new ACA insurance plan.  Granted, our new plan is more expensive (and covers, obv. more things) than the old, and granted, we were able to & contented to pay the extra, believing–as we do–that it’s an important thing for this country to insure everyone–but it’s still more expensive. However.  Having much of that extra cost (at least in wintertime) ameliorated by the drug being covered?  Well, that’s nice–and even nicer, it means that there are kids out there who’d benefit as much as he does from it, but whose parents couldn’t afford it before.  Well, now they probably can, and you know what? Healthier kids is awesome.

5.  One of my stepdaughters is accompanying us to the World Fantasy Convention in November.  Which is awesome on all kinds of levels, not least of which is that ten years ago if you’d told me that relations with his girls would have normalized to this point by this time I’d've laughed my ass off.  Never underestimate the potential for things in blended families to heal up & be ok.  Because, really, sometimes they do and then they are.

I can’t wait to show her around the fantasy writing scene.  Because everything else aside, she’s fun to be with, and I really hope she’s going to have a good time here. This is going to be a blast.

Small Things 3-8/10-14

1.  Utter and complete Mommy-Fails this weekend.  First off, I forgot my pajamas–oh well.  I forgot the kiddo’s pjs–slightly worse, but he’s a trouper. He knows how to deal with this since I forgot his jammies when we went to AZ last month, too.

But I did the unforgivable.

Real Bunny somehow managed to get left at home.

Kiddo was brave. He was strong, upon learning the news, only asking in a little, sad voice, who he was going to sleep with tonight?

(Oh, the sad.)  Happily, I had given his niece a bunny just like Real, and his sister let him borrow it, which made things ok. Not great, but ok. He still woke himself up last night searching for Real in the dark.  I heard, “No! No! Where ARE you?” in the most plaintive tone imaginable. He ended up sharing our (small) bed, because, well, who’s he supposed to sleep with, huh, Lousy Mommy?

We’re off to go find him a new stuffed toy of his own, that he can keep (for it was another kind of sad, apparently, that even if he bonded with Not-Bunny this weekend, it would be staying here.)  Happily, Real’s brethren are all over this part of Brooklyn.  We’ll have choices, and maybe it’ll even be a fun outing.

When asked if he was having fun this Brooklyn trip he said very simply, “It’s ok, but I really miss Real.”

Me too, kiddo.

I think I’ll ask another responsible adult to do the packing next time.  Maybe The Boy will be good enough to pack my stuff too, so I can have jammies as well.  Sigh.  This grown-up thing?  Very very tricksy.

2. New sleeping companion for the kiddo has been chosen, paid for, and brought home.  Yet another Not-Real-Bunny, a delightful shade of purple.  His name, not surprisingly, is Purple.

3.  Interestingly, Purple is the exact same shade as the vomit — blueberry-flavored! — he spewed all over the car on the way home.  For a kid who never spit up as a baby, he sure is the pukiest kid ever when he’s got a fever.

4.  Good to be home.  It was a lovely trip, nothing (well, almost nothing) to complain about.  And yet I am so happy to be back home.  This from the woman who used to routinely take 2 & 3 month trips to sate her wanderlust.  I really am getting old.

5.  Clementines all survived the Matty-Catty depredations while we were away.  My FIL bought me a wonderful book all about the inner lives of cats, and how best to meet them on their own feline ground.  Which was cool & very interesting, but not, actually, all that applicable to Matty Catty, who is, I remain convinced, more than half dog.  She comes when she’s called.  She pines when we are away, and hurls her affectionate self upon us when we return home.

It explains a lot about Nellie, though, so that’s good…