Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekly Farmer's Market booty

Lots of goodies at the downtown Farmer's Market today. We got there at 8:15am and it was already hopping. We had planned to meet Jess, Mike, and Mike's parents there, but they took too long to get ready and I really wanted to get there as early as possible. We ran into Korrina and Benson (newly married and back from their honeymoon-- AND Korrina is preggers), baby Sebastian (Grace was working so K&B were babysitting), and Taryn. It was like a Hopkins Weinberg 5B meet-up.

This week will be an abbreviated home-cooking week, as we'll be heading up to the Finger Lakes later this week for camping with the Joslyn clan. I was very pleased with our bounty though.

A walk-through of our haul:

-Mushroom mix for pizza tonight
-Jess & Mike are coming over for dinner on Tuesday. We'll be having "garage steak" (some of the meat I get from my grass-fed, raw milk, super secret Co-op...that deserves its own blog post, so more on that later), fried green tomatoes, and grilled corn with feta and old bay butter. Sour cherries pictured are for a dessert of cherry pie.
-Peaches for snacking
-Currants for jam
-Zucchini with blossoms for Zucchini blossom quesadillas (Monday's dinner)
-Sunflowers and cosmos for cheer

Thursday, June 24, 2010

For your listening and viewing pleasure

I've had this song in my head all day. I really like the dancing in the video.

It sort of reminds me of the ballroom scene from my favorite movie, Labyrinth. When I was little, I used to want to BE David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. They are both beautiful in that movie.


Please go and watch this clip from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Hulu. It will change your life.

And now I shall put on my crazy cat lady hat. Ahem...

As many of my TENS (!) of readers know, our cat Louis is deeply disturbed. No, seriously, he is. He has to take Prozac because he has such horrible anxiety issues. He was living in the wall of an apartment complex when he was rescued as a tiny kitten, so I can only imagine what horrors of life got imprinted on his sweet little cat brain. He also has FUS (Feline Urinary Sydrome), which means that he gets UTIs constantly because he has painful crystals in his urine. Our vet had us mixing Methigel (a urine acidifier) twice a day, Cosequin (a cell wall stabilizer) once a day, and prescription dry food in addition to the high quality wet food we had been giving him. STILL he was getting UTIs, pretty much once every few months. Last month we spent over $300 at one visit to the vet, which resulted in Louis having an allergic reaction to the Penicillin the vet prescribed him. His coat had also been looking dull and he was shedding a lot more than usual.

I did some research and found that the primary ingredient in Methigel is CORN SYRUP, and the prescription dry food we'd been giving him was pretty much junk too. We were spending all this money and time trying to help him, but it seemed like the best we were doing was simply staving off the inevitable UTI or GI infection for a few weeks or so. I read this book and this book on natural cat care.

We have since stopped all his medications, with the exception (for now) of the Prozac. I have started all the cats on a homemade raw food diet, made with organic meats and veggies. I enjoy making them their food-- it makes me feel like a good cat mommy. I've started giving them a daily multi-vitamin and a few supplements. At first, they screamed and refused to eat their food, and would cry and cry for their crack kibbles and addictive tuna. I also stopped feeding them large ocean fish. If I need to limit my tuna intake to 3 cans a week, why would I give my 10 lb. cat tuna twice a day? Mercury city. Now they seem to have accepted their fate. They all look shinier and healthier, and they are more playful. We are actually spending LESS money doing this, not even including the vet bills that I expect to not have to pay. Good stuff. Look at this happy kitty (Winston).

Steph and I are committed to eating organic food, and mostly local food as well (save for olives and avocados and such). Now the cats are eating the same way and I think we are all better for it.

I do want to learn more about homeopathy and such for ourselves and the cats. I am starting to grow wary of typical Western Medicine. As with the cats, I think the tendency is to alleviate symptoms and maximize the time in between flair ups, instead of treating the underlying cause of disease. On Friday I am going to have my first ever acupuncture appointment. I am excited but nervous about it as well.

Other stuff on my mind lately...

Foursquare: I am one check-in away from earning a free frozen cappuccino from City Cafe. YES!

Pinterest: This is a great idea and an incredible website. Excellent resource for inspiration about pretty much anything. Love.

Steph's 30th birthday party: I've decided on a date in October. I am torn between wanting to have it at the house (more intimate, cheaper, total control over all aspects) and wanting to have it at a restaurant ($$$, but won't have to worry about cleaning up the house/yard, setting up, cooking, or post-party clean up). I am open to thoughts and suggestions on the matter if anyone cares to weigh in. I am also looking for ideas for DIY decorations.

Upcoming Upstate New York Camping trip: Excited, but nervous about camping for so long. The longest I've ever camped was two nights and this will be for four nights. Eek!

Disgusting heat: It's been in the upper 90s here all week and it's foul. Last night I barely slept because I was so hot. The A/C is cranking full blast, but it's so hot that it just can't cool the house completely. I want to install an attic fan up in the attic (or rather, I want Steph to do it as she is our resident electrician), but it will take a few hours and it's probably over 100 degrees up there right now. Perhaps a good winter activity. We've been having dinners like watermelon and guacamole because it's too hot to turn on the oven or use the stove. The only thing that's been getting me through the week have been nightly sno-balls and the idea of going tubing on the Gunpowder River again this weekend.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lady Gaga dance party

I couldn't resist posting these photos of Steph, her mom, and her sister dancing to "Bad Romance". I wish I had been able to take a video. As you can see, Danika STOLE my University of Delaware snuggie from me that evening. Damn her! I am very attached to my UD snuggie. I know it is ugly as hell, but it is so warm and comfy.

Lobster boil at our cottage

Our cottage had a really nice, fully stocked kitchen, and I was craving lobster, so we invited the family and Ellen's friend, Amy, over for a traditional New England Lobster Boil. We indulged in guacamole, lobster, boiled new potatoes, corn, and Steph's delicious blackbottom cupcakes. We got the lobsters from Mac's Seafood and they were fresh and delicious. I will admit that it pained me a little to put the suckers in the lobster pot (especially after Danika insisted on PETTING them), but I got over it in the end. The key is to NOT pet them, not name them, and not look them in the eye.

Quality time with Danika

The three of us were able to spend some time just hanging out together. We went for a hike at Fort Hill, a short walk from the cottage where we stayed. We got lost in a creepy swamp, but it all turned out ok in the end. The marsh views were beautiful and we all had fun goofing off.

Party time

We went to two graduation parties over the weekend. One was a party at Steph's family's house, and the other was a pool party at Jordan's house. I'm pretty sure this was the first time in my life that I've attended two parties in one weekend. Good times.

Danika's High School Graduation

The reason we went up to Cape Cod was so that we could see Danika graduate from high school. She is a great artist and will be attending Mass Art in Boston, beginning in the Fall. Exciting!

The graduation was a pretty standard graduation-- lame speeches by administrators, happy teenagers, and sitting outside in the hot sun for hours and hours. We all got bad sunburns. Ouchies!

It was all worth it though to see Danika so happy. Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen her smile so much.

Here are a few photos I took at the graduation ceremony.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun Times with Wildlife

Greetings from Cape Cod, Massachusetts! We arrived at our cottage last night just after midnight. It was a LONG drive. Traffic in NY and CT was pretty bad. I think we are getting too old for this road trip thing. It was fun when we were 20, but now it has lost some of its appeal. I get tired and cranky and this morning I was so stiff. 10 hours in the car is just too much for me.

The cottage we are renting is lovely, quaint, and quiet. This morning I woke up early and saw a HUGE bird on the fence. At first I thought it was a decoy, but then I saw it move. I ran for my camera and went outside. I was able to get quite close to it. I sent the photos to Mike, as he is a bird expert, and he says it's a Red-Tailed Hawk. So cool! I had never been so close to such a large bird before.

My tummy has been acting up, so I am at the cottage resting while Steph has dinner with her family. On deck tomorrow is Danika's graduation ceremony and a party at Steph's parents' house.