Living Maintenance - Maintainers Weekly Chat August 19 - August 25

08-19-2013, 06:58 AM
It's the time of year to revel in the heaps of tomatoes coming from our community garden. Enough for gazpacho and enough for tomato salads.

Today's challenge is to see if I have enough clothes for our vacation in about ten days in order to serve domestic harmony. DW has already gone shopping and stacked all the clothes that she's taking on a chair. I hate people who are that organized. She asked what I was bringing and I told her, "probably some shirts and pants" thinking, whatever's clean when I go to pack my suitcase.

08-19-2013, 07:27 AM
Bill The tomato harvest sounds delicious! Your vacation packing is kinda like mine - enough clean clothes to cover every day plus a couple more items if something "accidental" :eek: happens. Where are you going for vacation - if that's not too intrusive?

I am starting the week squarely in the middle of my "skinny zone" - between 133-135 - at 134 lbs. I haven't seen that number since last year.

Dagmar :dance:

08-19-2013, 09:40 AM
Bill, we are just starting to see peeks of pink on our tomatoes. The waiting is killing me! :) I am envious of your haul. Gazpacho is glorious! I spent so many years on the road for work that I can pack in about twenty minutes - but as you mentioned, that is completely dependent on the right things being clean.

Dagmar - congrats on being in the skinny zone!

Weekend was incredibly indulgent. I am NOT in my skinny zone. ;) It is time for the inner child to have a "time out" - for about a month. :D

08-19-2013, 10:55 AM
I'm envious of everyone's tomatoes.

When I pack, I also make sure I have an outfit for each day plus one or two for "just in case." Cruises are a bit more difficult as you need a day outfit and a night outfit. When shopping this year I suggested DH buy more underwear because we'd be gone 15 days plus a day or two between packing and leaving (packed Sunday, worked Monday, left Monday night for the hotel and flew on Tuesday). He bought some, but it only gave him 14 days worth. Why not just one more 5-pack? Nope. Instead he had the cruise ship do laundry for him. While it was nice as he got some clean shirts it was outrageously expensive (I think 4 shirts and several pairs of underwear were about $18).

08-19-2013, 11:09 AM
Our harvest is well underway here. We've got a bunch of tomatoes and zucchini, as well as loads of lemon cucumbers. DH has been cooking up a storm. (I am starting to feel like a traditional husband these days -- when I get home from work he's got dinner ready for me! :lol: )

I think I'm going to start a food log thread. I could use some accountability for getting myself to not eat junk food.

08-19-2013, 11:10 AM
Hi Maintainers,

I have about 50 thousand pet questions!

We got 2 cats from the Humane Society yesterday. Mine is a wimpy small neutered male, 2 years old (same birthday as me!!!!!) and my roommate's is a headstrong spayed female who is nearly twice his size. She used to be an indoor-outdoor cat but managed to survive life at the shelter and the people there seemed to think she would adjust to indoor-only and get along with other cats. We are keeping them separate for now, mixing Tidy Cats with our Feline Pine litter, and letting each roam the apartment for half a day while one is in a contained room. They crossed paths once and hissed/growled a bit - I hope it will be possible to eventually get them to tolerate and even like each other. They have separate food/water and litter boxes and are using them just fine. Are people here more of the "slow and gentle" approach or do we just throw caution to the wind and give them both full access to the apartment?

I have named mine Dekopon, after the Japanese citrus fruit ( (sold as "Sumo" in the U.S.). Will post a photo soon - he is a very sad and forlorn-looking cat. I was late to work today because I couldn't find him, but had I found him I would be late to work because he's too darn cute to say goodbye to.

In other news, this weekend was an EPIC HIKE (13.3 miles, Mount Dix in the Adirondacks) with my BF and roommate - I probably ate 5,000 calories that day and apparently burned it all off, as I weighed in this AM at 119.2 after the gym. My muscles are certainly a little sore but I can function just fine and even run - I am pleased that the long hike didn't destroy me in terms of sciatica/piriformis syndrome/mystery pain.

Becky - good luck silencing the inner child!

Dagmar - hooray for the skinny zone!

Bill - I don't even double check that clothing I pack is clean! You're way ahead of me.

traveling michele
08-19-2013, 12:05 PM
I'm jealous of everyone's tomatoes! I have some lovely ones from Trader Joes but none in the garden!

Dagmar-- congrats on your skinny weight! Does that mean your bread/butter (or lack thereof) experiment is working?

I'm also not at my skinny weight but I am motivated to get there. Back to work today for me. I meet my assistant principal and principal at a staff retreat this morning (a little nervous!!) and then I go in to work.

Tomorrow is our registration day and I always work it (offering books to adopt for the school library). With 1100 students, it makes for a very long day for me. I tried to figure out some way to fit exercise in tomorrow and I think it may just have to be a rest day. Registration is officially 9-1 and 4-7 but I have to go in early and we never break at 1. I'll be luckly to break between 2-3 and just have time to run home to let out the dogs and grab a bite to eat.

Krampus-- do you know the history of the kitties? They *might* do okay with tough love (supervised of course) but it might be too much depending on their histories. What you are doing sounds smart. They will smell each other and hissing and growling is normal. I would suggest gradually increasing their exposure to each other. If they like to sit in your laps, you might each sit on opposite ends of a room where they can see each other but not feel threatened. What color are the cats? Believe it or not, their colors often give good insight into their personalities.

Packing.... I always tend to either overpack or underpack. I often end up surprised by cold weather or warm weather and am unprepared. Then the next trip I pack extra just in case and don't wear half of it.

I hope my doggies are ready to be lonely during the day again. I am worried about my older doggie-- my 9 year old Great Dane, Jozi. She has had 3 accidents in the house (urine) in the past month or so. She never has had accidents in her life but I think she's having trouble holding it now. She sleeps so soundly that I think she wakes up and goes to the door. If no one is home she can't hold it. I think I'll start her back on glucosamine as that might help her joints.

08-19-2013, 12:33 PM
I'm about to utter a heresy: I can take fresh tomatoes or leave them. I like them best roasted or otherwise cooked down to a sauce.

Has anyone ever dealt with a defective gift card before? After I was flooded out, my very kind friends in L.A. chipped in together and got me a Vanilla Visa debit card loaded with money. I put it away and did not use it during the renovation. The other day, I found it in my business travel wallet. When I tried to use it, it was declined. When I put the number into the Web site to activate it, it comes up as unrecognized. I called customer service, but they require you to enter the card number in there before you can proceed, and since it's unrecognized, I end up going in a circle with no resolution. Now online I see lots of people HATE the Vanilla Visa. I think I may actually write an old-fashioned letter that goes into an envelope to get help with this.

Oh, and as for packing, I have an unthinking business travel routine, but I tend to think out the clothing very carefully beforehand, down to picturing myself as a a kind of paper doll, and of course, that means that I overpack wildly. I've often thought that my lifting sessions in the gym are excellent preparation for hauling around my suitcase & lifting it into the overhead bin.

08-19-2013, 12:48 PM
saef~that't not heresy. Heresy is my sister who will NOT eat a fresh tomato. But she eats hotdogs (which I will not eat).

Krampus~I've always thrown caution to the wind and let them meet (supervised). Yes, lots of hissing and growling and sniffing. They'll probably eventually learn to at least tolerate each other.

Sorry about Josie, Michele. My BFF in Arizona has three dogs including an aging female Lab who also can't hold it. Thankfully she has a doggy door for her. She keeps the other two in kennels and lets the old dog have free roam of the house. If she forgets to open the doggy door, then she comes home to wet rugs.

Speaking of doggy doors, we have two (one to the garage and one from the garage to the side yard). Chico has never had an issue with them, but Misty doesn't like to use the one to get outside. She's fine to go in and out of the garage, but the point is, she needs to go outside. Only once has she used it on her own (she had diarrhea and thankfully went outside for that, but "couldn't" find her way back in. So we're adding a third door directly off of our family room--in the door that she usually goes in and out of. I'm cautiously hopeful that she'll "figure" this one out.

08-19-2013, 02:56 PM
Krampus, can I just say how jealous I am of you and your weight?! I know it is totally my issue, but I can't help myself!!

Anyway, as far as the cats are concerned, this is not how "experts" recommend, but I have ALWAYS just thrown animals together and they have always worked it out! One will establish as the alpha - probably the female - and after a lot of hissing and pissing and moaning, they'll get along fine. It is exceedingly rare for cats - especially "fixed" and opposite sex - to fight to the point of one hurting the other!!

I haven't climbed Dix Mountain - that's one of the more challenging ones! How was it??

I never would eat tomatoes in any form before I lost weight and now I LOVE them in all forms. Out cherry tomatoes are ripening nicely and they are soooo sweet. The larger tomatoes are growing but still green. My garden has EXPLODED this year. We are up to our hips in zucchini, cucumber, yellow beans and green beans. Corn is almost ready. I have never eaten spaghetti squash before and we have LARGE ones growing, but they are still green - can't WAIT to try them!!

Jessica - what are "lemon" cumcumbers?


08-19-2013, 03:15 PM
Jen - Ah don't be jealous, I'm 26, it'll catch up to me - I'm a much slower runner with not-even-visible muscles! I will profess I envy your athletic achievements and dedication - you have a husband, pets, a garden, a house, AND you work out for hours every day!

alinnell - I know "helicopter cat parenting" is a waste of nervous energy but I'm already afraid I mucked it up by letting the shy one access the WHOLE APARTMENT all at once. Think I'll just leave them alone for the time being.

saef - no idea re: gift card, but I hope you can get it worked out and reap the benefits. I love when functional strength from lifting comes into play - and a fist-pound of solidarity for those of us who pack light enough to fit it all into a carry-on bag.

08-19-2013, 04:19 PM
It is exceedingly rare for cats - especially "fixed" and opposite sex - to fight to the point of one hurting the other!!

I forgot to mention this. My cats fight together all the time. I've never seen either of them get hurt, but there is often a lot of yowling when they do it. Tails lashing back and forth and ears laid back with loud growls and sometimes hissing. It's quite amusing when you realize it's just one telling the other to "knock it off" or something. My tuxedo cat will go up to my orange tabby whenever the tabby is moaning to be let out--the tuxedo will bop him and run off, but it's often enough to get the tabby to shut up!

08-19-2013, 04:52 PM
Krampus - you are so gracious! Thanks for trying to make me feel better!

Allison - with 10 cats, that sound of yowling, spitting, hissing is all common place in our house! It sounds like they are tearing each other limb from limb but it's all show no substance.

Just last night I said to two of them "Why do you have to be such b!thches? Can't you be more like dogs that just sniff each others' a$$es and are friends for life?!?!"


08-19-2013, 05:17 PM
krampus The cat meeting all depends on the 2 cats you have. My two (small skinny female and big fat male) have been co-habiting for 15 years now and still don't really get along. They don't really fight either - just maintain their separate peace. The female used to definitely be the boss (the male has a nick in his nose from her reprimand long ago) but since she is dwindling away and getting blind he is now picking on her a bit. Not enough to hurt her.

I would worry more about them territorially urinating all over your apartment if left alone together unsupervised. Cat pee stinks and is almost impossible to totally remove from rugs and upholstered surfaces. And the cats will go back to the same place over and over again to mark - which is why Mudpie poops in DH's office whenever she can sneak in there.

I would let them have free run of the place while you are home and keep them in separrate rooms while you are gone until they seem really at ease with you and with each other. Then i would leave them together alone for a couple of hours and see how it goes. Then gradually increase the time alone etc.


08-19-2013, 11:38 PM
I've never heard of lemon cucumber either. Do they taste like lemon or just look like one? As for tomatoes, i love the little grape tomatoes, ok with cherry tomatoes but only like the regular-sized ones sliced up in salads or cooked in pasta dishes (or, yes, made into gazpacho - yum).

Krampus, when I got a pair of (neutered male) cats from a shelter (a long time ago), I got a baby gate so they could see and smell each other but not get at each other's territory. I kept them like that for about 10-12 days, then removed the gate. They stayed on their own side of the now-invisible fence for quite a while, then gradually started to mix it up on their own, keeping peace the whole time. They never fought because each always felt safe on "his" side of the apt.

08-20-2013, 06:30 AM
We are having some hot :flame: sunny weather here for the next week or so. I'm kinda happy with that as it's already starting to feel and look like fall :( and I haven't really had any summer with the house and all. I'm really looking forward to next year - sitting on the deck looking at the garden, sitting on the front porch chatting with neighbours passing by - I've been waiting a long, long time to have pleasant activities like these and a place that's really home.

DH is working hard on the interior painting of the house most nights. I helped him last night by being spotter while he went up on a weird ladder and painted the hall going up the stairs. He's quite anxious about his work situation - in flux with a sale of the business looming - and I think the painting is calming him down a bit. He's really good at painting and drywall - those were his specialties when he was "on the tools" pre bookkeeping/accounting. I think he has some vague hope to go back to that if the accounting really doesn't work out. Unfortunately he's over 50 and hard physical work is much harder for those of us in that age group.

I hope he figures it out someday. I would like for both of us to be reasonably content with life in the new house. The house itself won't change our lives - we have to do that. But it will give me a sense of security and reduce my expenses enough that I can cut back on work some. That will give me some free time and the energy to do something besides slump in front of the TV every night.

Dagmar :dance:

08-20-2013, 09:19 AM
jessica, isn't it the BEST to have dinner ready when you get home? I have played with some financials to see if there's any way we could afford to have DH retire immediately ... I think everybody would be a lot happier. Not in the cards in the next couple of years because of the college unknowns of DS14 unless certain freaky and macabre scenarios occur.

krampus, cannot help you at all on the cats, but I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures with them! Way to rock the hike, and glad to hear the mystery pains left you alone.

michele, allison's idea about the doggy door is a good one. I'm sure for a big dog, that would be a big door! My unfortunate experience with elderly female dog incontinence is not so much that they can't hold it - they somehow can't feel that they have to go. Our German shorthair eventually began to wake up soaked every morning, much like a little kid sleeping through wetting the bed. She wore doggie diapers for a few months before the end of her life; we'd talked to the vet and the drugs they could have given her to stop the wetting would have accelerated the demise of her kidneys.

saef, no heresy involved there. Cooking tomatoes makes their lycopene much more accessible.

allison, the only place I'll eat a hotdog is in Michigan - and even then, only a kosher one. We have, supposedly, the strictest laws in the country about what's acceptable ingredients in a hotdog - minimal "noses and ---holes", as DH says. He won't eat them, either!

Jen, we too are now on the cusp of being able to stop shopping the produce and fruit aisle in the grocery store. 4 of our apple trees and both of our pears are absolutely loaded with fruit this year - so much so, on the younger apple trees we had to sacrifice some fruit to take the stress off the branches. Hopefully next year, we'll have luck with the rest of the apples, cherries, plums, and peaches. (crossing fingers!) Our garden sounds like yours; we've had to invite neighbors and friends to help keep things from going to waste. :)

dagmar, I too hope that this house gives you some joy and neighborly contacts. You've had a rough couple of years and have earned a pleasant break from the stresses. :hug:

traveling michele
08-20-2013, 11:51 AM
Unfortunately a doggy door isn't an option for us. We only have one door to the back yard and it is a double french door made almost entirely of windows. She had an accident again yesterday. It was odd and I think it may be somewhat heat related. It has been so hot that she has been drinking extra water. I came home from my retreat at 10:30 am and then left shortly after. While home, I let her out hoping she would pee but I think she just filled up on more water. When I got home at 3 pm, I let her out and fed her before going to yoga. The puddle (lake!) was there when I got home from yoga at 6 pm. I didn't watch her when I let her out-- sometimes she just lays down and sunbathes-- so I'm going to watch her and make sure she pees and not just assume. I know she went this morning and I know she didn't drink tons of water so I've got my fingers crossed!

08-20-2013, 12:00 PM
Well, here is a photo of Dekopon.

Roommate's cat hasn't been named yet. Deko pooped outside his litter box and threw up once (barely digested food, not a hairball) yesterday - we think the poop was due to putting a cover on the litter box and him not knowing how to get through the door, since it was right near the box. Poor little guy. He has ear mites too - we need to take him to the vet soon, if we can ever get him out from under the couch. Last night he emerged and explored cautiously while black cat sat in the window - they seemed to ignore each other.

I really appreciate everyone's input - I feel like an obnoxious helicopter parent, and it's been showing in my eating - as in not enough eating. Was 118.2 this AM and am very hungry.

michele - I hope it is just the heat. :( Poor dear.

Dagmar - Thankfully we have no carpet (HAH) - we'll see how it goes.

Andrea - Baby gate is a brilliant idea! I get the impression that they are both interested in each other, but mine is just beyond wimpy and scared of the other. When they were on opposite sides of a cracked door, he went toward the door curiously before getting scared and running away.

08-20-2013, 05:14 PM
Lemon cucumbers just look like lemons, they don't taste like them. :D They are round and yellow and are the perfect size to chop up and put on your salad.

Krampus, cute cat!

Michele, after Carter's surgery we had to watch him every time he went out for a while to make sure he pooped before we left for work. He's improved now but he can't hold it in like he used to (he used to refuse to poop for up to 24 hours if it was raining outside!). Some encouragement to get him to go in the morning was enough to get him through the day without accidents, maybe the same is true of Jozi and her pee?

08-20-2013, 05:22 PM
Krampus - He is beautiful. Can't believe the humane society let him go home with ear mites! He might also have worms - I suggest a visit to the vet ASAP. Some cats will never poop in a covered litter box, especially if they are skittish. Their interaction sounds perfectly normal cat behavior.

What food are you feeding him?


08-20-2013, 05:36 PM
I'm about to utter a heresy: I can take fresh tomatoes or leave them. I like them best roasted or otherwise cooked down to a sauce.

saef, it's not uncommon for people to have an allergy to a protein in raw tomatoes that is destroyed by the higher temperatures in cooking. Sometimes the allergy can be mild enough that there aren't any noticeable symptoms apart from never growing to enjoy eating them. I'm the same way!!

08-20-2013, 05:45 PM
Your kitty is cute, krampus!!!

My cat that was shelter raised (got him at 4 months) never covers ANYTHING in the litter box. I assume it was from being in an actual cage with a wire floor where stuff falls to the next level so he never had do do anything. Granted the rescue pulled him and he was fostered somewhere but he never learned that business about being a cat. And he had ear mites as well as an upper respiratory infection when we first got him. Both went away quickly with the proper medication.

08-20-2013, 08:10 PM
Pretty kitty krampus! Most shelter cats come with ear mites and worms - Mishi had both when we got him. My two used to cover up everything in the litter box but would never, ever use the covered one. We have a basement so it's not so much of an issue. Now they leave everything out in the open.

Most short haired cats that I've had or looked after don't suffer from hairballs. Cats do vomit a lot sometimes - that's their way of clearing out something that didn't agree with them. You'll have to experiment a bit with different foods I think. Could just be due to nerves as well. As for the timidity that wears off with time. Mud was really frightened of everything indoors (she was a feral that they found in a cardboard box, having just had a litter of kittens therein). She became the queen after about two months and has never looked back in the 15 years we've had her.

Gotta go - interview time!

Dagmar :dizzy:

08-21-2013, 12:57 AM
I got a bunch of fancy planter boxes a couple years ago but didn't plant this spring. I was researching taste buds a while back and apparently ripe tomatoes have a quality the Japanese call umami, or savoriness even thought they are from a plant. It got me a lot more excited about them.

traveling michele
08-21-2013, 02:00 AM
He looks like a real sweetie Krampus. I'm very partial to male orange kitties-- I think they are some of the sweetest.

I agree about the covered box. My box is covered but I've known plenty of kitties that won't use a box if it's covered.

08-21-2013, 10:09 AM
Hi all,

Summer is still in full blast here but I think I've finally adjusted to the heat. The earlier sunsets have been helping with walking the dog, too. We've actually done several wogs with the help of some cloud cover at 7pm the last few days, which just doesn't happen in the summer due to both the dog's and my own lack of heat tolerance. I'm ready for cooler weather and pumpkin everything. ;) On Sunday I did something I haven't done in a long time: a big Sunday cook-up. I made black bean and chicken fajita freezer burritos for convenient, healthy dinners this fall when I'm directing a play. Yup, doing that again. Being so far removed last season made me realize I missed it, though I'm still avoiding the board of directors responsibility. I did salsa crockpot chicken with boneless skinless chicken breasts. Umm, why have I not tried this before?! So easy and keeps the chicken so moist. I'm also getting back into roasting veggies for the week. Yum.

I'm trying to figure out a trip to visit my parents and friends for a reunion in the NY/CT area next month. Since I don't live near major airports it will already be expensive to fly and I can't afford last minute flights. I'm having trouble getting friends to commit and am exasperated. I'm not going to spend over $1000 between flights, rental car, and hotels if no one else is going to show up. I've been staring at travel websites comparing prices until my eyes hurt. Instead I would spend that money to go to my parents for Thanksgiving. I had gotten excited about the idea of a fall New England trip but now am wondering it it's just not going to work. Grumble.

We've had so much rain here in the past 1.5 months that most of my tomatoes have cracked and gone bad before ripening. So sad. Becky, your fruit trees sound lovely!

Dagmar, your plans to spend time on your new porches and decks sound so nice. I can't wait until it becomes a reality for you.

Krampus, cute kitten! Good for you and your roommate for giving animals that need them a home. I don't have any cat behavior tips to offer but I hope you get them sorted out.

Michele, have you also checked to make sure that Jozi doesn't have a UTI? I know it's common for older dogs to have less control over themselves but I hear "sudden incontinence problems" and think infection.

Have a good week everyone.

Shannon in ATL
08-21-2013, 11:02 AM
Megan - the salsa crockpot chicken was the recipe I got from Midwife that really sold me on using my slow cooker more. Love it, so easy. :)

Krampus - pretty kitty! I had an orange cat as a child, haven't seen one since.

Michele - I'm sorry about Jozi. I hope you guys figure it out.

Dagmar - I hope you get to enjoy your house and your neighbors, fall can be fun, too. And you will be totally ready for next summer.

I just last year started eating fresh tomatoes and I love them. Just love them. I have had terrible luck with my garden this year - tomatoes aren't doing well at all. Peppers are bursting out all over though.

08-21-2013, 11:30 AM
Would either of you care to share that salsa crockpot chicken recipe?

I'm not feeling well today. My sinuses have been bothering me and today they're much worse. I think my brain is going into spasms from it--I poured my cup of coffee this morning and totally forgot it. I'll have to text DS to have him dump it and start the dishwasher (as I forgot to do that, too). I almost didn't come into work and I might go home early. I just feel icky.

Our poor office kitty! I bought a couple of those Cat's Meow toys and all the cats love it. But Culley has really attacked the yellow rip-stop nylon cover thing on it and has ripped a hole in it near the outer edge. This morning he managed to get his head in the hole, rip the whole thing off of the toy and then ran amok throughout the office trying to rid himself of his self-made cape. DH finally caught him and got the thing off his head, but boy was he upset! I had to hold him and calm him down. I think I'll have to go to the fabric store and get something to make my own cover because this one is thrashed.

traveling michele
08-21-2013, 11:47 AM
Megan--- I'd love to know how you make your freezer burritos? I'm looking for easy dinners since I'm back to work and I'm cooking for one for the time being.

I have thought about a UTI for Jozi and I will take her in if she continues to have issues. I know that my vet will want to do a barrage of tests-- bloodwork, urine, etc. and I don't have hundreds of $$ to drop at the moment. She did fine yesterday which shocked me. I'm usually home by 3:30 and I didn't get home until almost 8 pm-- I had come home at 2 pm and let her out but she made it until then. However, I heard her up and roaming at 12:30 am so I let her out and she did "everything".

Yesterday was exhausting! We had registration for our 1100 students and I was at school from 7 am until almost 8 pm with just the short run home. I have a huge mess to deal with now-- we are doing much of the registration online which brings its own challenges. Of course the gym didn't happen yesterday but I hope to be back on schedule today.

Allison-- LOL at Cully! It's so funny (in a sad way) when kitties get things stuck like that!

08-21-2013, 11:51 AM
On the subject of tomatoes - BF had a potluck dinner/BBQ/party last night and I thought of this thread as I filled my plate with cucumber/tomato/feta salad, pico de gallo and bruschetta topping, all made with fresh tomatoes from a friend's family farm.

I of course left for a couple hours to see the cats - Deko has made exponential progress in terms of coming out of his shell, and seems very interested in Lucy (after Lucy Lawless). Got him to bonk his head into my hand until he got overstimulated and started to kick and bite, and then he flopped onto my lap.

Ordered this cat scratcher/hidey hole ( _dp_1) yesterday in hopes they will scratch it and not the couch. Also picked up some treats, cause I'm all about bribery. Dreading taking them to the vet and traumatizing them all over again but it must be done.

Shannon in ATL
08-21-2013, 12:27 PM
Allison - take care of yourself, if you have what I had it will hit hard. Get lots of rest. The salsa chicken recipe is simple - put boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker, I put mine in frozen, about 1 1/4lb, because I've seen that thaws to about 1 lb. Pour in a jar of your favorite salsa on top of the chicken breasts, cook on low for 8ish hours, high for 3-4. I often let it go for 9 when they are frozen, but they are almost always done by 7-8. I try to pick lower sodium salsa, sometimes I dice fresh pepper or garlic and toss in with it if I have time. I shred the chicken into the salsa mix and serve in soft tortillas or over rice, but you can serve the chicken breasts whole as well. Use a normal sized salsa jar, the ones with 10ish servings? I've used less before and added a can of rotel. I've also done this with green chili salsa and a can of rotel, only takes about 5-6 servings of the green with all the liquid in it. Yummy.

Krampus - love the cat scratcher.

Michele - I thought about you last week when I was doing the childcare at the open houses. We were in the media center and the kids were pulling books and leaving them all over, I kept trying to reshelve them because I felt bad for the poor librarian who would have to fix them the next day otherwise.

traveling michele
08-21-2013, 03:10 PM
Shannon-- that's my worst nightmare. Often I don't realize the library is being used at night and I'll come in to a huge mess in the morning!

08-21-2013, 03:39 PM
Out of our 10 cats, 3 are orange males and in my experience, orangies tend to be the friendliest sorts of kitties, so I'm guessing Deko will follow that mold!

Remember that some cats are "vertical scratchers" and some are "horizontal scratchers". I do not believe in declawing and with 10 cats we keep scratchers of both types all over and they NEVER touch our furniture.

Shannon - I have never eaten salsa because DH and I both HATE peppers. Do they even make a pepperless salsa?

And question for anyone out there - I just discovered that they sell "Miracle Noodles" the carbless low to almost no cal noodle things - has anyone ever tried them?


08-21-2013, 03:51 PM
Jen~Oh how I wish my cats didn't touch our furniture. I've just resigned myself to think that "we can't have nice stuff because we have pets." Oh, and they have plenty of scratchers and use those, too, but the cats have their own preferences on which piece of furniture they enjoy attacking. Ringo likes both the microfiber couch and the leather couch (I'm hoping when we get our new leather couch we can deter him from using it). Louie likes the left arms of our two living room arm chairs. Weird.

I use Miracle Noodles! I find that you really have to rinse the heck out of them otherwise they have a fairly fishy smell and taste. The thicker ones, like fettucini, are perfect in soups.

Mrs Snark
08-21-2013, 04:43 PM
Hi there! I introduced myself in the Maintainer Intro forum, but I hope that I can hop on the weekly chat with you all?

I've returned to the 3fc forums after some time away, and I have spent years going up and down the scale and I really, REALLY, want this to be the time I make that round trip. I want to stay at my healthy weight, and I always knew that for me, the hardest work would begin when I got into maintenance! Not that losing the weight isn't also one of the hardest things ever for me to do. But keeping it off has proved even harder!

I hope to learn from you successful maintainers!

Also, I now want to run out and adopt a couple of cats! My husband is allergic, so we only have dogs, but all this kitty talk -- and cute kitty pix! -- has me missing feline company!

08-21-2013, 04:45 PM
Missing Fritz after reading this thread. He lived among my mother's antique furniture for nearly a decade without scratching anything, nor did he scratch any of my antique furniture while visiting. Perhaps this was because he was a tuxedo cat, and so, since he was always dressed in formal wear, he had better manners & some understanding of etiquette? I don't know.

I dreaded coming into the office today, believing I would have to attend a staff meeting, conduct three one-on-one meetings with my direct reports, run a training session for at least an hour, publish two documents and attend an hour-and-a-half business lunch. (I always get a salad with seared tuna on top of it.) But some of this stuff was canceled or moved to tomorrow, and my day is nowhere near as bad as it seemed when I was getting ready for work this morning.

I think Dagmar sends us her weather whens he's done with it: After some crisp days and sleeping with blankets, we've hit the 90s and high humidity today. At least the business lunch was on the waterfront, overlooking the impressive shining white boats of Connecticut hedge fund managers. I wanted to get on a boat and escape.

traveling michele
08-21-2013, 05:07 PM
Welcome Mrs. Snark! Great progress photos-- I love that you're wearing the same outfit to really see the difference.

Cute doggies too (and I snickered at your nightgown-- I'm often outside walking doggies in mine).

08-21-2013, 07:36 PM
Allison - where do you buy the Miracle Noodles? No one here - even the local organic store has ever even HEARD of them let alone carry them! And I'm not sure that we'll like them so I'm reluctant to buy off of Amazon because you can only get a large amount!

Mrs. Snark - Welcome! What kind of dogs do you have?

Saef - Whenever I read about your work, I have a mixture of envy and a "thank god that's not me"! It seems so stressful, but as someone mentioned earlier, you must be so so so good at what you do!!

I'm enjoying the blast of heat. We're getting rain tomorrow - unlike a lot of the the rest of the country, we actually need it!


08-21-2013, 08:59 PM
Jen~you can get Shiritake tofu noodles, which I can't tell the difference from Miracle noodles, at most grocery stores (in the refrigerated produce section here, near the tofu). The actual Miracle noodles I get at Amazon--I think the smallest amount you can buy is 6 packages, which is 2 of three different types.

Welcome Mrs. Snark! And a lot of us have doggies as well as cats!

I ended up going home from work a couple hours early today. Came home, read a little and fell asleep for maybe 5 minutes before the phone rang. Darn telemarketers! My right sinus still acts like it wants to be sick, but still isn't really there (and I hope it doesn't go all the way there!).

Tomorrow night I have my monthly Wine Women dinner. I missed last month due to our trip. This one is at a restaurant that I've never been to so it could be fun. Meanwhile, I found another group where you go and the chefs cook for you while you either help or just watch and then after you eat you take all the recipes home to do yourself--a kind of cooking class. I'm tempted to try one of these.

08-21-2013, 10:15 PM
Michele, I followed the fajita chicken burrito and sweet potato black bean burrito recipes from this blog post ( The other varieties look tasty, too. I used la tortilla factory tortillas (best "healthy" option available to me) and omitted the brown rice. Not because I don't like it, but I was both too lazy to make it and wanted to fit more veggies in. The only thing I wonder about is the re-heating texture, which is probably dependent on the type of tortilla one uses. I'll let you know when I try them what the texture is. There is a link to salsa crockpot chicken on the "day 1" page, too, but Shannon already posted one that is about the same.

I have never walked the dog in my pj's. :angel:

Mrs. Snark, welcome! Don't worry, we talk about our dogs a lot, too. This is the maintaining plus pets forum. :D

Mrs Snark
08-22-2013, 09:15 AM
Thanks for the welcomes!

Megan -- I generally *try* to put on regular clothes before heading out with the dogs, but apparently I'm lazy sometimes and believe no one will notice if I'm still wearing my nightgown, lol. You are a better woman than I ;)

Jen -- I have a Westie, a Terrier of Unknown Origin, and -- as of yesterday -- a Mini Schnauzer. We were only supposed to be fostering the Schnauzer, but we failed and wanted to keep him ourselves right away. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for old dogs. I think the Schnauzer is maybe 10 or 11. The Westie and the Tuo are also rescues. So now we have a little rescue pack. I'm a crazy dog lady -- I like dogs even more than I like food, which is saying alot!

Thanks Michele -- I've had fun doing the progress photos, though I really wish I'd picked a less awkward pose, I have a hard time replicating it. It takes real effort to look that uncomfortable and make your hands look like mannequin hands! Hey, did you know you're missing an "L" from your name? ;)

Michelle (Mrs Snark)

08-22-2013, 10:40 AM
The house reno has succeeded in making me :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

I'm so jacked up on caffeine and lack of sleep (a vicious cycle that it's too easy for me to fall into) that I'm bursting into tears whenever someone asks something extra of me.

I'm supposed to engineer the return of a bathtub and find a new one. NO. We will figure it out with the one we got - there's a couple of reasons we got it.

The paint colours don't work. One hallway is already completely painted so I'm taking that and the other hall as is - too exhausting for everyone involved to change it. Now I regret listening to DH and having him and his pals do the painting. But we will soldier on.

Know how some people take a month to pick a particular paint colour? Well I have to change 3 of mine this afternoon in a 5-minute window. DONE. I don't care that much - just that it's DONE.

Ditto hallway tiles. I was going to go for slate but that involves a special order and measuring and etc. etc. I'm getting boxes of tiles from a chain store tonite that wil do fine. DONE!

AARRRGHHH! And the dog sit starts tomorrow. I am going to dodge DH for part of that and go and finish the kitchen shopping.

On Sunday I'm going to allow myself to sit for an hour and drink a cup of coffee while reading a newspaper.

Dagmar :tired: :crazy: :faint:

Shannon in ATL
08-22-2013, 11:16 AM
Dagmar - I think you very much deserve an hour with a cup of coffee and the paper this weekend. Changing paint colors makes me INSANE. :) What colors are you using? We have all bright colors, they make me feel happy.

Michelle - welcome! I love your blog pictures, I bet it was hard to recreate the pose. And I was greatly entertained by the 'nightgown over shorts' caption with the puppies. LOL

Michele - I had kids in the media center three nights in a row. The first night the librarian had no idea we were going to be there and when she found out she looked scared, 18 of us the first night. The next day she was a little more peaceful up front and thanked me for leaving things nice (I reshelved the books, logged off and shut down all the computers, put the chairs back under the correct tables and stations so she or the janitor didn't have to do it), then when 72 kids showed up she started to freak again. Sadly, she couldn't stay - the principal was in and out though, and she kept on the kids to put the books back in the right place and keep things clean. We restored everything to the right place again. When I saw her Wednesday night she told me that I could hold meetings in her library anytime because I took care of business, unlike most people. Why would someone just leave the library a wreck when them letting us use it was a favor? People.

Oh Megan, I bet you've wogged in pjs down there. We won't tell anyone. :)

Allison - I'm not sure how I would do in a cooking class. I'm very specific with my cooking and don't do well with people who just throw things into a recipe.

Jen - never seen a salsa without peppers, I think that is part of the definition. Kind of like a gumbo has to have okra?

Krampus - hope Deko is well today.

Saef - I like it when the day is easier than anticipated. It is a nice change.

I lost my Uncle James to cancer yesterday. He was 87, would have been 88 in November. This was his third battle with cancer - he beat it back 25 years ago, then again 15 years ago. When it came back six months ago he said he just didn't have any fight left at 87. My aunt passed three years ago (complications from Alzheimer's) and I think that was part of his reasoning. He said it was time for him to rest, that he had no regrets and was ready to go. He was a good man, the husband of my grandmother's older sister - I didn't know him as well as I wish I had, nor her either, a fact I greatly regret as they were more like me philosophically than a lot of my family. Most of my youth they lived in other places - Saudi Arabia (he worked for 'big oil' all his life), New Orleans, Houston. They moved back to my hometown about the time I went to college and moved away. He made the best fried chicken I've ever had, fixed the only boiled peanuts I would eat, and had a tool chest full of tools he picked up places when he saw them abandoned or thrown away that he restored and put back into use. He lived a good life and will be missed. Cancer sucks.

traveling michele
08-22-2013, 11:48 AM
Dagmar-- your post stressed me out just reading it!

Shannon-- you can come and use my library any time!
I'm so sorry about the loss of your uncle. He sounded like a wonderful man. My only living relative left is my uncle and he is well into his 80s with failing health. I know it is a matter of time for him.

Michelle-- Um, no.... someone once told me (they were also a Michele with one "L") that their mom said she didn't put two L's in her name because then she would have h*ll in her name! So, I think you have an extra L.
You are a sweetie to rescue the doggies. I am an animal lover in the true sense of the word. I've always had multiple pets (except for as a child when we had one dog only) and I currently have two doggies and two kitties.

I found out last night that I'm an aunt again. Tis the circle of life Shannon.....
My brother in law and his wife just had their second baby. Their first, George, is one. The new one is a girl named Viola. They live in London and seem to be choosing somewhat British names! Unfortunately my nieces and nephew all live in other parts of the world-- my other niece is 6 and lives in Hong Kong.

08-22-2013, 11:57 AM
I have never walked the dog in my pj's. :angel:

Oh yeah, that was heavy sarcasm. Sometimes I don't really know how to make my sarcastic comments come across properly on the internet. Over 50% of my 10 pm "last potty before bedtime" outings are conducted in pj's. All 3 am emergency trips are done in pj's. I figure I don't have many neighbors, everyone's asleep, and the rentals down the street are tourists who will never see me again :D. However telling BF "the person in this room who is in real clothes should take the dog out!" really works for me at times. Hint: it's not me.

Shannon, so sorry for your loss. :hug:

Dagmar, hang in there.

I'm trying to get motivation to get in the car in the pouring rain and go to my city office for the afternoon and an evening student reception. Hmm... have a good day all.

Shannon in ATL
08-22-2013, 03:33 PM
Oh, I totally got the sarcasm, Megan. It made me snicker. ;)

I often change early in the evening, I know DH thinks I do it on purpose most weeks to keep from having to take the trash out.

traveling michele
08-22-2013, 03:46 PM
I often change early in the evening, I know DH thinks I do it on purpose most weeks to keep from having to take the trash out.

When I come home from work I immediately change into either my workout clothes or my PJ's!:carrot:

Mrs Snark
08-22-2013, 04:44 PM
I thought Megan looked too sweet and innocent in her avatar to be laying on the heavy sarcasm, so color me fooled. Glad to know pretty much everyone is part of the pj pups club ;)

Shannon -- I'm so sorry for your loss. And you're so right, cancer sucks.

My challenges today have all centered on my husband who asked me to make him cupcakes and also has stocked our fridge with bagels. Bags and bags of bagels! OMG bagels. I haven't had a bagel since April 14 (when I probably had 3 in a row) -- on April 15th I got my act together -- and I don't intend on having any soon, either. Maybe never. But some days he sure makes it hard.

Shannon in ATL
08-22-2013, 04:51 PM
Oh gosh, I love bagels. I haven't had one in ages, except for the occasional bagel thin. Which, really? Tastes like a cheap substitute and so not worth it.

08-22-2013, 04:57 PM
I avoided bagels for a long time - although I like the bagel thins and do eat those. But since my running has inicreased I allow myself one once and a while after a long run. I swear I got through the 15 miler this past weekend by the knowledge I was "allowed" to have a bagel for lunch after finishing!!

Love living rural - at night I open the door, tell the dogs to go take care of business and go brush my teeth. When I come back they have done their thing and are waiting at the door!!


traveling michele
08-22-2013, 05:08 PM
I haven't had a bagel in.... forever? I did eat bagel thins for a long time but haven't had those either. And cupcakes? Haven't had one of those either.

I went in my break room to have my healthy lunch and smelled something amazing. Mind you, I have almost zero sense of smell so if I smelled it, it was strong! It was pizza. Be still my heart.... sigh....

Speaking of dogs on this thread, please keep my Jozi in your thoughts tomorrow. I kept worrying about her and have decided to bring her to the vet tomorrow. Because I worked as a vet tech for 15 years I know too much and I know something is off. I was hesitant to bring her in because where I live the vet bills are outrageous. If I just called and brought her in, I would probably be dropping $500 or more on bloodwork, urinalysis and xrays. I called and spoke to the vet and told her I was hesitant to spend a lot so she is suggesting an exam and a urine test (will still be $100 just for that). The urine test should show if she is having kidney failure or has diabetes which are the two things I'm worried about. I have to collect her first morning's urine-- should be fun with a Great Dane at 5:30 am in the dark! I guess the only weird good side effect of this is my nervous stomach has kicked in with my worrying so my sluggish intestines seem to be working if you get my drift!

Mrs Snark
08-22-2013, 05:09 PM
I was a bagel addict, the way people eat chips I ate bagels. They are a no-can-do for me, sigh, but those were the days... (the days of not fitting into my pants, lol.)

I bet a bagel is a lovely way to refuel after such a long run though, Jen. Are you training for a particular future race?

Mrs Snark
08-22-2013, 05:11 PM
Oh no, Michele, I'm so sorry to hear about Jozi! I'll be keeping her in my thoughts!

08-22-2013, 05:15 PM
I haven't had a bagel in.... forever? I did eat bagel thins for a long time but haven't had those either. And cupcakes? Haven't had one of those either.

I went in my break room to have my healthy lunch and smelled something amazing. Mind you, I have almost zero sense of smell so if I smelled it, it was strong! It was pizza. Be still my heart.... sigh....

Speaking of dogs on this thread, please keep my Jozi in your thoughts tomorrow. I kept worrying about her and have decided to bring her to the vet tomorrow. Because I worked as a vet tech for 15 years I know too much and I know something is off. I was hesitant to bring her in because where I live the vet bills are outrageous. If I just called and brought her in, I would probably be dropping $500 or more on bloodwork, urinalysis and xrays. I called and spoke to the vet and told her I was hesitant to spend a lot so she is suggesting an exam and a urine test (will still be $100 just for that). The urine test should show if she is having kidney failure or has diabetes which are the two things I'm worried about. I have to collect her first morning's urine-- should be fun with a Great Dane at 5:30 am in the dark! I guess the only weird good side effect of this is my nervous stomach has kicked in with my worrying so my sluggish intestines seem to be working if you get my drift!
Good luck with Jozi, I know you will do the right thing.
Some of you know I have been looking for a dog and recently someone offered me one, after much thought I decided this is not the right time for me to have a dog. It was hard to say no.

Shannon in ATL
08-22-2013, 05:23 PM
I'll be thinking about you and Jozi, Michele. :hug:

08-22-2013, 05:39 PM
bargoo~perhaps you can foster a dog? I know our local shelter is very happy to have volunteers take a dog home--even if it is just for a weekend.

Michele~best wishes for Jozi.

On bagels. I do love them but it's one of those foods that I can take or leave. Kind of like donuts. And ice cream. DS will go out and buy stuff like cinnamon rolls (a whole dozen? really?) and I am more than happy to let him eat them all. That said, if I were to buy them, I think I'd feel entitled to have one (therefore I don't buy them!).

If you all want a little food porn I'll post a photo of a cupcake that DD's friend brought to her in trade for moving boxes that she had just emptied from her move. Decadent and absolutely beautiful--I'd be afraid to eat it! But it was chocolate and I also know that if I were to have eaten it I'd get a horrible stomach ache (DD did, too). Why is it that when I was young I could eat chocolate until the cows came home and never suffered and now I can only manage a bite or two! (All in all, it's probably a good thing.)

08-22-2013, 06:04 PM
I was a bagel addict, the way people eat chips I ate bagels. They are a no-can-do for me, sigh, but those were the days... (the days of not fitting into my pants, lol.)

I bet a bagel is a lovely way to refuel after such a long run though, Jen. Are you training for a particular future race?

I am running a 1/2 marathon that ends on the historic Sackets Harbor Battlefield ( on September 1st and right after (September 7) I'm running a 10K race. I need to have my head examined!!

Michele - I will be thinking about and sending good vibes for Jozi. Hopefully this is a UTI and nothing more!!!!!

Don't know what the heck is going on with me - I've have been eating and exercising the same and am just RAVENOUS all the time.

Zucchini casserole for din din tonight!


08-22-2013, 06:21 PM
Logging off from work, planning to change into exercise clothes and attend a Pilates mat session. I like hanging out before class with other women there who've become friends.

From here out, my way at work may be becalmed.

I have sooo earned this Friday.

But I am not looking forward to my weekly Friday morning weigh-in. When I feel like this, the scale usually goes up. I've exercised less and haven't lifted weights since Sunday because my right arm was bothering me, right inside the crook of the elbow. Maybe I hyperextended it with a heavy weight. I don't know but I've been resting it for four days now.

08-22-2013, 06:31 PM
DH will be shunting the bathtubs around tonite - renting a truck from one of the chain stores to do it. I had a mini-meltdown over the phone with him and I think he finally gets how overwrought I am. He feels housework, cooking, gardening, etc. takes no time and can't imagine why I'm so stressed. :rollpin:

I picked the new paint colours in 3 minutes - much lighter and brighter than the original ones. It kinda dawned on me - DUH - that we could eventually paint over the lighter ones if they weren't intense enough.

I also found curtains that are reasonably cheap and don't need to be hemmed (unlnike my original choices) and will pick those up when I go back and get additional paint chips. I will take my fabric samples along everywhere with me now - better than buying something and then having to return it.

Sanity will prevail. Not everything needs to be done before we move. I will keep reminding myself of this.

Good evening all!

Dagmar :yoga:

08-22-2013, 07:23 PM
bargoo~perhaps you can foster a dog? I know our local shelter is very happy to have volunteers take a dog home--even if it is just for a weekend.

It is the day to day care that I don't think I am up to.

08-22-2013, 08:24 PM
It is the day to day care that I don't think I am up to.

I'm sorry. Maybe you can just stop by the shelter from time to time to keep them company for a little. That might make you feel better, too, without wearing you out too much.

08-23-2013, 04:32 AM
Shannon :hug:

Michele, I've never met a Viola. Had they gone to see Twelfth Night perhaps?

08-23-2013, 07:00 AM
Yes, to me, Viola seems a literary name, rather than a British name. (Of course she should have a brother named Sebastian.) To me, some examples of names that my U.K. and Irish colleagues' children answer to & that haven't caught on yet (or maybe ever) in the U.S. are Aoife, Nigel, Gemma, Pippa, Daphne, Simon and Geoff. But I won't be hearing about them on my Monday morning calls, as they've got a bank holiday over there. I am generally envious of the bank holidays, as well as their job-related benefits -- but we've got Labor Day coming to us soon so I'll hold that in check.

Bargoo, how are you? I've seen you posting just a bit more than you had been, and have taken that as a good sign. I agree, you need some animal love. Something calming that would curl up next to you and occasionally look up at you adoringly. Since we can't do that very well through the laptop screen.

Shannon, how I love the sound of your uncle, finding tools and cleaning them up. I meet guys on that mission sometimes in my antique hunting. One of the most attractive things in the world to me is a guy explaining something that he's fascinated with, like what a tool was used for about 100 years ago. They worry they sound like geeks but I think the animation and passion in their faces & voices makes me want to hug them or at least applaud them. I don't mean droning, didactic people, I mean the ones who are genuinely engaged. This is probably why I do fairly well on my job, because I've got to listen to subject matter experts and translate what they're saying into good business English.

And honestly, I think I live an average, unexceptional life for someone employed in a consulting firm, within my salary band, within the greater NY area. I am hardly unique. Thousands of commuters around me in cars & on the commuter rail run their lives in much the same way, even with the same gym schedules somehow crammed in there.

08-23-2013, 10:37 AM
We think you're unique, saef. And we know what we're talking about. :)

Yes, the August Bank Holiday is coming up on Monday. It traditionally rains on bank holidays. We like our traditions so it's slightly worrying that the weather forecast is possibly OK-ish.

08-23-2013, 10:47 AM
I thought Megan looked too sweet and innocent in her avatar to be laying on the heavy sarcasm, so color me fooled. Glad to know pretty much everyone is part of the pj pups club ;)

:rofl: You are not the first person to be fooled. You'll get to know me soon enough. Mwahaha.

Another day of field work cancelled here to due incessant rain. Yesterday's visit to the big office went pretty well. My boss has a new boss. Though he's not actually in my chain of command (it's complicated) I introduced myself to him and chatted with him about my position and some of his ideas. He seems nice and sweet and genuinely wanting to make a few changes for the good of the students. I'm hoping the sweetness is an act and he has thick skin, otherwise he's going to get chewed up by the politics that go on there.

Saef, re: people being suited to their jobs. I took a personality test with a group of people a few weeks ago. There were four columns of different adjectives on the board, you went to the column where most of these adjectives suited your personality. Then you were also told the negatives adjectives associated with your personality type. The point of the exercise was that there is power in knowing how people perceive you, positively and negatively. It was interesting to see who really fit with their types, and re-consider perceptions of others and even myself. Of course you gravitated towards your job because certain strengths made you suited for it. I can also only image how living and commuting in the greater NYC makes you feel like you're in a rat race with so many others. Sounds like you're ready for a vacation to somewhere with more space and less traffic. Maybe a visit to your mom's over Labor Day weekend to enjoy the fall colors and do some birding would help clear the cobwebs?

Michele, let us know how Jozi's vet visit turns out. I'm hoping for the best news, something small and easy to fix.

Jen, I think you answered your own question. All that exercise can make someone hungry! Your workouts need fuel, of course.

More rain is forecast for the weekend which eliminates a lot of outdoor activities. BF and I have talked about going to the city to run some errands: new cell phone for him, picking up a part for his boat, and maybe doing something crazy like going to see a movie or bowling. Anybody have any exciting plans?

08-23-2013, 11:20 AM
We're having some weird weather here. Last night at my Wine Women dinner several smart phones went off with an emergency alert (mine too, but I had mine on silent). Some messages were for a wind and dust advisory and others were for a flash flood warning. We were in the restaurant for a little over 3 hours and when we went out it was as calm and nice as when we had gone in, but the drive home showed us the evidence. Tree parts all over the roads. That usually indicates a lot of wind. When we got home, DS said it had been "crazy windy" and his friend said they had a lot of dust at their house. Apparently it was a bit of a haboob that hit us and the skies this morning are still full of dust. I guess I won't be getting my car washed this weekend.

We met a two new couples last night and had a great time. They may be inviting us to go with them the next time they go down to Temecula for wine tasting. I've never done that, but DH did once before I moved down here. It could be fun.

I'm fighting off this darn cold/allergy/sinus thing. Two days ago I felt wiped out. I haven't been sleeping well due to the sinus issue (finally got a great night's sleep last night). Yesterday I fought sneezing all day. Today I feel better but the darn thing still has it's grip on me. I'm hoping a restful weekend will get me over it.

traveling michele
08-23-2013, 11:36 AM
Yes, to me, Viola seems a literary name, rather than a British name. (Of course she should have a brother named Sebastian.)

Ahem.... her brother's middle name is Sebastian :D

I have no idea yet where they got the name from. I thought my dh was kidding when he told me. :dizzy: My dd's and I just thought of all the poor ways the little girl will be teased for her name. Oh well. I get to shop for a present this weekend! Of course, I have no idea how big she is. Dh didn't get that fact. He's like-- I don't know-- probably 7 pounds something. Duh!

Thanks for the Jozi well wishes. I successfully procured this morning's pee from her. I didn't think that would go well but she was surprisingly non fazed by me following her around in the dark at 5:30 with a glad ware container!

Speaking of dogs and weight-- my Dewey's diet seems to be working! Maybe too well! I put him on the "green bean" diet which is where you substitute part of their doggy food for green beans. He was getting quite portly which is dangerous for a dachshund. He was about 15.5 pounds. Last night I was petting him and realized I could feel his backbone easily. I weighed him this morning after he ate and he was 14 pounds. That's a big difference for a little guy! I can't see or feel his ribs so I think he's still fine but I'll watch that he doesn't keep losing. My dd also put her service dog on the diet. He should weigh 80 pounds tops and he was 85. Last I heard he was 79 pounds!:carrot:

traveling michele
08-23-2013, 11:37 AM
And Bargoo-- I'm also glad to see you posting. Are you doing ok?

My father in law was just diagnosed with prostate cancer and starts radiation next week. It was caught very early so he should do fine.

08-23-2013, 12:02 PM
I have no idea yet where they got the name from. I thought my dh was kidding when he told me. My dd's and I just thought of all the poor ways the little girl will be teased for her name.

A few years back I met a woman and her daughter. The daughter's name was Octavia. Nope. I can't see that girl getting any teasing in school. Of course, when I met her she was in college and seemed quite well adjusted so she obviously handled any ribbing they may have dished out.

08-23-2013, 12:23 PM
Michele, does that green bean diet work for humans? [Makes a note to herself to buy lots of green beans at the produce market tomorrow morning.]

I wish Jozi well on her vet visit, also. Jozi and Dewey are very vivid presences on this thread.

I have to admit, it's Becky's rabbits that I'm most curious about, since I've never known any personally. They seem extremely pettable, and excellent & comforting for a cuddle, but I don't know what their personalities are like.

Megan, yes, I'm longing to go Upstate, but can't, as I've got a lot to do: I have to hire a new person, mostly on my own, for the first time. I've participated heavily in interviewing candidates previously but they've been through a lot of screening before they get to me. I have never done the whole shebang, from obtaining backfill permissions to posting the description to working with the recruiter to screen resumes, making the initial phone calls, etc. I know this will be quite time-consuming on top of my other end-of-quarter activities. I'm also trying to harden myself, since something about the process is going to remind me rather of visits to animal shelters, with all those pets pressing themselves to the front of their cages, seeking adoption.

08-23-2013, 12:38 PM
I'm sure the green bean diet would work for me, if only I had a master who was totally in charge of my food and I couldn't get any more!

But good job to you and your daughter, Michele, for controlling your dogs' weight. I had an overweight dog who died from a fat tumor cutting off his windpipe as a child. I think of him every single time I feed my dog and she begs for more. She is at a healthy weight at 65 lbs, not too skinny but not overweight, but is one of those dogs who always acts like they're hungry. The irony of my meticulous measuring out her food but sometimes being unable to control my own food intake doesn't escape me. :p Is that a proper use of irony, Saef? Anyway, YKWIM.

traveling michele
08-23-2013, 12:43 PM
A few years back I met a woman and her daughter. The daughter's name was Octavia. Nope. I can't see that girl getting any teasing in school. Of course, when I met her she was in college and seemed quite well adjusted so she obviously handled any ribbing they may have dished out.

We have an Octavia at my school. And a Merciful. And a Halleluja (luckily went by Hallie).... it goes on and on....

And yes, I assume the green bean diet would work for us all. High in fiber, low in calories.... sigh....

traveling michele
08-23-2013, 03:07 PM
My dd is interviewing for a job right now (the one in college so this would be part-time). I'm nervous for her because she was super nervous. She would be working for Mad Science as a mad scientist! Keep your fingers crossed if you're so inclined-- she needs spending money!

Mrs Snark
08-23-2013, 03:38 PM
My dogs are also getting green beans, as well as pumpkin, in an effort to trim them down a little. On the other hand my new mini schnauzer is very under weight -- he is getting lots of extra chow.

I have often lamented to my family that there wasn't such a thing as "People Chow", because I would do best if I had no choices and was simply forced to eat the same thing over and over. Now I hear about the Soylent stuff ( (and SEE it, ewww) and think... well... maybe not.

08-23-2013, 03:54 PM
Soylent Green is PEOPLE! Ewwww!

I don't mind eating SOME of the same thing over and over. My weekend breakfast of a homemade egg mcmuffin is really good (so much better than MickyDee's) and I never tire of it. But lunches and dinners HAVE to vary.

My dogs get carrots to fill the void. I had to up Chico's food from 1 cup to 1.5 cups per meal as his oncologist said he can't lose weight. Misty on the other hand could stand to lose a few pounds. They both love pumpkin but I usually reserve that for those times when they've got diarrhea.

Shannon in ATL
08-23-2013, 04:25 PM
I can typically eat the same meal over and over and over and over and over and can just keep eating it. If I don't stop and think about it. If I pause for a minute and lament my fate I go right off the rails. If I just eat it and don't ponder on it I'm all good. I think it comes from working in the restaurant biz for near on to 20 years. Many days I didn't get a break and had to eat whatever was at hand, often the same thing meal after meal. At least now I'm making those repetitive meals healthier. :)

I just read the review by the blogger who did the two week Soylent trial. I find it both intriguing and icky, almost equally. LOL

Mrs Snark
08-23-2013, 05:39 PM
I read the same Soylent blogger experience. I could maybe go there if it was, like, naturally strawberry flavored or something. But I'm having a hard time overcoming the visual.

I eat the same 5 meals, over and over. Works for me. Too much variety or choice and everything goes sideways. Sad but true.

08-23-2013, 06:17 PM
Soylent, ewww. Isn't that sort of like the slim fast idea? Or Special K shakes, etc? There have been a lot of diet iterations with similar ideas, though Soylent adds ecological implications as well. I am often torn between my inner foodie and my inner health conscious person, but ultimately, I like to eat the same things that I like a lot but don't love so much I obsess about them over and over again. I don't eat the exact same thing 5 days a week but when I prep food I prep for several days at once. Of course I do that for money (you rarely buy a single serving of things and I hate to waste) and time (if I'm making one why not make 3?) purposes as well.

I also don't mean to slam slim fast etc if help people get healthier. They just aren't for me.

traveling michele
08-23-2013, 07:48 PM
Just in case you were checking in, Jozi is FINE!! I'm running out the door to yoga but I'll go into more detail later. Thanks for thinking of us. I was so worried!

08-23-2013, 08:07 PM
YAY YAY YAY!!! I needed some good news! Can't wait to hear details!


Mrs Snark
08-23-2013, 08:30 PM
So glad to hear about Jozi!

Shannon in ATL
08-23-2013, 09:29 PM
I was totally wondering about Jozi, I've been stalking your FB all day. :)

08-23-2013, 10:21 PM
Checked in before bedtime to hear about Jozi, and I'm sitting here smiling to myself.

But unfortunately I'll be working on the weekend because of that Ballmer retirement announcement.

I did go get a spa pedicure before returning to the laptop, though.

traveling michele
08-24-2013, 02:19 AM
How sweet you guys. You made me smile!

Jozi's urine showed no signs of diabetes or kidney failure. She was due for her annual exam and she got a full exam. For a dog her age, she's doing fine. She has a few age related changes but nothing major. I'm always trying to get her to gain weight and she was up 4 pounds to 111 so that was great too! I'm thinking she just has been drinking more due to the heat and she can be a sun bum. Sometimes she just lays in the sun and forgets to do her business.

I was thrilled about her but now one of my cats isn't well. I've spent the evening cleaning my bed, his bed, the closet and giving him a bath! Ugh. Hopefully he will be okay and I won't be making another vet trip! When I told dh about the cat, he said we need to get down to one pet. I don't like that idea!

08-24-2013, 12:27 PM
Way to go, Jozi !

Mrs Snark
08-24-2013, 12:52 PM
I'm so glad Jozi is doing well -- though I'm sorry to hear about the kitty.

I used to have Great Pyrenees dogs -- a male and a female -- and they had a long, rough, old age (one lived to 13 and the other to 14, a long time for a giant breed!). I always was a big dog person, but taking care of them in their extreme dotage was so very hard physically! As I've aged I started downsizing. I do miss big dog loving, but my 3 terriers try hard to be big in attitude!

08-24-2013, 10:27 PM
Michele - what does the vet think is causing the incontinence?

13 is an AMAZING life span for a Great Pyrenees! You were incredibly lucky Mrs snark!

My brindle boy just turned 4 and his muzzle is turning grey! !!

traveling michele
08-25-2013, 12:26 AM
Jen... She didn't have any good answers so I think it's that she is developing arthritis in her hips making her hesitant to get up. So sometimes she doesn't do her business when she should. I'm going to make sure I watch her more outside to make sure she goes.

Kitty seems ok to me.

Michelle... I started small and got bigger. I started with mini dachshunds, then we had a Boston Terrier, then Labs, Dobermans, and finally our Great Dane. We also have a mini dachshund so they make a cute pair!

08-25-2013, 09:29 AM
MrsSnark - welcome aboard!

michele - glad to hear Jozi is okay, and that the kitty is doing better! Congrats on your new niece!

allison - the Culley story had me laughing; I know it was stressful for him but your description was priceless. Hope the sinus stuff stops at your head. :( I have to say, "haboob" got me curious enough to fire up Google. What a name! :lol:

saef - work seems to be eating more than its allotted percentage of your life lately. I hope it settles down for you soon (after the Ballmer thing gets settled, at least). Any chance the elbow thing is related to the increased keyboard time? I have to be ridiculously finicky with my ergonomics or my neck/shoulder stuff flares up in ugly ways. Re bunnies - personalities roam the spectrum, just like other animals. And that's yet another darn good reason for adopting from a shelter, as they know who loves to sit in laps, who wants to be picked up, and who prefers to be left alone. Alcide is our little tyrant, but loves pampering, and Jamie will cuddle for treats yet becomes a lunatic if picked up.

dagmar - here's to hoping you get your coffee and newspaper today! I am in awe of your ability to re-do decorating decisions swiftly.

shannon - sorry about the loss of your uncle James. Sounds like he was a good guy. :hug:

Jen - distance runners and bagels seem to go together. After spending the summer training with some folks that routinely log 70-80 miles per week, I've begun to believe they are darn near a staple food. :D Want to dish on any of the details of the zucchini casserole? I need some fresh ideas!

bargoo - good to see you posting. I hope that soon you'll be feeling up to having some fuzzy companionship; Allison's idea of visiting a shelter might be a great option.

megan - trying to send some sunshine your way. I'd love to trade you a full day of sun for a full day of rain!

I have to say that the whole People Chow/Soylent discussion freaked me out a little. I cannot imagine a life without the intrigue of new foods. It's sort of like talking to my friend in California (he started life as a Midwesterner) - he says hello, I ask how the weather is, and he replies every time "Sunny and 75, $#@^*".

Did the 10-Mile yesterday with DS14. In true "I'm immortal" teen fashion, he thought he could do it without training for it. About 4 1/2 miles in, he discovered the truth. I pondered the fork in the road for a moment, and chose to sacrifice what potentially could have been a dynamite time for getting DS through it on a happy note. We did a lot of walking. I confess, I did bail on him at the last half mile and ran full out for the finish. He tried to catch me, unsuccessfully. ;) From here on out, I intend to keep working on the running, but only at the 5k level. It's long enough to qualify as exercise, but short enough not become a drudge (or trudge?).

My galpal and I went for a post-race pedicure. We went for the Deluxe, which included a calf massage, paraffin foot dip, and all the other basics. I think it's why my feet and legs don't hurt at all today. Between that and my freshly polished metallic purple toes, I have only good memories of race day. :)

08-25-2013, 09:52 AM
Michele - We had a 150 lb. Rottweiler with hip displaysia and put him on Glucosamine. It made a WORLD of difference - just a suggestion?

Jen - distance runners and bagels seem to go together. After spending the summer training with some folks that routinely log 70-80 miles per week, I've begun to believe they are darn near a staple food. :D Want to dish on any of the details of the zucchini casserole? I need some fresh ideas!

Incredible easy!

1.5 pounds Zucchini cut into bite sized pieces
1 can mushrooms
garlic powder
mozzarella or cheddar cheese
1 lb. sweet chicken sausage
1 small jar spaghetti sauce
Paremsan Cheese

Combine first 6 ingredients. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 1 hr.

Congrats on the race and the funky toes!!

My 1/2 mary is next Sunday, so I will be decreasing my mileage a little this week. Planned 10 today - we'll see what my Achilles thinks of that!


08-25-2013, 10:05 AM
Thanks, Jen! YUM! :drool:

traveling michele
08-25-2013, 11:05 AM
Becky.... Your race sounds great and especially your pedicure!

We have a race for education that I need to sign up for. I can either do a 5k or a half marathon. I kinda hate running so I'm not sure which to sign up for. I signed up for the half last year but had a bad toe so didn't end up going.

Jen... I'm starting her on glucosamine. Do you remember how much you gave him?

08-25-2013, 04:07 PM
Jen... I'm starting her on glucosamine. Do you remember how much you gave him?

Geez, it's been a while, but I am thinking I bought 1500 mg tabs and gave him 2 a day for a month to get it quickly up to therapeutic levels and then cut it down to one per day and that's all he needed - he maintained very well on that. I also think that I bought the Glucosamine HCI which was better for some reason.


08-25-2013, 07:40 PM
Anyone who has ever grown Zucchini has a lot of Zucchini recipes , I remember carrying a bag of Zucchini every place I went.

Here is another recipe, this one is pretty forgiving, amounts don't have to be exact, depends on what you have on hand.

6 Medium Zucchini
1 small onion
4 slices bacon
1 can tomato sauce
season to taste
Brown onion in Bacon ( cut in small pieces )Pour off extra fat, add Zucchini , peeled and cut into small pieces . Cook slowly until Zucchini is tender. Add a little water if it gets too. dry.

08-25-2013, 08:02 PM
Holy rainstorm Batman!

DH, DS and I went to a movie this afternoon. I took my umbrella for what it is worth. The movie started at 2:10. At 3 PM, the movie stopped, the emergency strobe lights started going and a recording came on stating that there was an emergency and we were to calmly leave the theater. (I'll post a photo later.) Apparently the rain was so fierce that the theater started flooding and the fire department came and closed it for the rest of the day. We hung out in the lobby for a while but decided to go to the car. Wow. Horizontal rain so my umbrella did nothing more than to keep by face kind of dry. We were drenched!

The roads were all flooded (and this had only started 10 or 15 minutes prior). Four and six lane roads were down to one lane each way due to flooding. Our garage flooded 5 feet in as well as our front entry (there is a bit of a slope toward each). Only one small ceiling leak that we've noticed (chalking that up to solar panel installation). It didn't damage the ceiling as it came in through a light fixture.

Those of you that get major rain storms--it is unusual to have constant thunder? We stood out on our back covered patio watching it all and the thunder never stopped. It was if there was a huge airplane hovering over out house. I've never experienced that before (couldn't see any lightening). The thunder has since gone back to "normal" intermittent rumbling.

This is a picture of the theater lobby--it really doesn't do it justice. It's a huge lobby and usually you see no more than 20-30 people in it at once. No one wanted to leave.

And one of our flooded back yard

traveling michele
08-25-2013, 11:38 PM
Oh my Allison! Constant thunder means the storm is on top of you I think?

I have anxiety when it rains like that. When I was a teenager I was caught in a flash flood with my car. I made it out. My car (first car and I'd had it a month) did not.