Category Archives: Home and Garden

Calvin’s Tofu Loaf

Calvin is always very eager to “help” me in the kitchen. Usually I’m hurrying to try to get supper on the table and would rather not dance around him. However, I do try to set time aside to let him help me a couple of times a week. I view baking time with a preschooler as the mathematical equivalent of story time for literacy. I’m convinced that cooking or baking is a great way for kids to learn mathematical concepts.

Up to this point, I usually find the recipe we’re going to make, do any necessary prep, and then allow Calvin to dump the ingredients into the mixing bowl or pan. Calvin does enjoy dumping things in. However, he really would prefer that I give him more autonomy. For the last couple of weeks Calvin will dutifully dump ingredients in but then sneak off to the side and start making his own “recipes.” These are usually charming but inedible as he’s making due with whatever odds and ends are left on our counter1. This last week, I decided I should try to create a structure where Calvin could make the majority of the recipe decisions but we would hopefully end up with an edible product.

A couple of years ago I ran across The Magical Loaf Studio. Jennifer McCann is the author of two awe-inspiring cookbooks with recipes for vegan lunches. Her stuff is amazing. I’m completely intimidated by her adorable menus. Anyway, many years ago now she went to a vegetarian cooking class put on by an Adventist church. One of the things they handed out was instructions on how to create your own vegetarian loaf. One day when bored, Jennifer automated it and the Magical Loaf Studio was born. To be honest, I’m not that much into vegetarian loafs (and Jaeger believes they are evil). However, the setup seemed ideal to give Calvin a lot of options while still creating something that was edible-like.

Today Calvin and I tried the vegetarian loaf experiment. I pulled up the page and started out with the “protein” box. I pulled out every protein option that was listed in the box and that we had in the house and let Calvin choose which one he liked best. Predictably, he chose tofu. Then we moved on section by section until we got to the end. Calvin tried to get away without choosing any vegetable or seasonings but I insisted he select at least one. At last, we had a recipe:

Here’s Your Very Own Adventist-Style Vegan Dinner Loaf!

program created by Jennifer McCann for the Vegan Lunch Box Blog


1/2 cup pecans
2 TB margarine
One large carrot, peeled and grated
2 cups mashed firm tofu
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 to 1/2 cup tomato juice, as needed
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8×8 square baking pan
with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8×8 pan makes a crisper loaf).

Grind the pecans into a coarse meal using a food processor or
spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Sauté any vegetables you’ve chosen in the margarine until soft. Add to
the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix
and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create
a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not
need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add
more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.

Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour,
or until cooked through.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto
a plate or platter and slice. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and
vegetarian gravy, if desired.

Cold leftover slices of make a great sandwich filling.

I had told Jaeger yesterday that for dinner tonight we were going to have a recipe that Calvin created. However, I believe he hoped I was kidding. Jaeger was not amused to come home and discover that we really were having a Calvin concoction. To be honest, it wasn’t particularly good. Calvin only took a couple bites of it though Jaeger and I both ate reasonable servings. The recipe could have used a lot more seasoning and potentially more baking (I’m not entirely sure what the texture was suppose to be like). However, it was certainly edible.

I’m not sure I want to try the loaf generator again with Calvin. I’m certain good recipes can be made from it but it probably takes a lot more cooking intuition than Calvin has at the moment. So, I wouldn’t call this experiment a disaster but neither was it a success.

Maybe Calvin would feel more in control if he got to choose the recipe. He does own a cookbook specifically for children that I caught him looking through one night when he was allegedly going to bed.

We’ll figure out something, eventually.

  1. Calvin is always very careful not to add eggs to his recipes, and tell me he’s not adding eggs, as he likes to taste them and knows you “can’t” taste raw food once eggs have been added

Cat5 Update

Too much info about my Cat5:

Cat5 has been having litter box problems for over a year now. Sometimes it gets better and sometimes worse but it hasn’t gone away completely yet. I suspect a lot of this is due to the stress of all the changes she’s gone through this past year. She gets constipated and then we have to take her to the vet to get an enema (this, as you can imagine, is fun for everyone). In addition, she goes in the litter box but has been inadvertently dragging feces out with her. This is a very bad thing with a preschooler around the house.

We boarded the cats over Christmas for 2 weeks while we were in Hong Kong/China. While there, she once again had became constipated. At that time, the vet suggested we try switching food on her to one that is high fiber and specifically designed for cats with intestinal problems. I agreed to try it but Five couldn’t keep it down. She was vomiting 2-3 times a day. I know a certain amount of stomach distress is common when switching food but she kept throwing up for 2 weeks which seemed excessive. Plus, I was worried that she wasn’t keeping enough food down. Her stools were a lot softer but still were ending out of the litter box.

I made another appointment with the vet and took her in yesterday evening. To my relief, he does think it’s unlikely it’s her anal sphixter that’s the problem as that’s apparently quite rare with cats, even those that have bowel problems. Also, when the vet felt her, it didn’t feel like she was constipated at all which is a very positive sign. He hopes that if we just get the proper food mixture, not too hard and not too soft, everything will go back to normal. So, I took home a different bag of cat food with hopes that it provides better results. On the plus side she hasn’t thrown up today. I hope we get this figured out . . .

The House that Keeps on Giving and More Books

Our house appears to have this burning desire to prop up the economy all by itself. The good news is that the tile re-grouting wasn’t as expensive as it could have been and, against all odds, the electrician believes the basement wiring is safe. However, I had a guy come by to service our fireplace and now I realize the only way it passed inspection was by us misinterpreting what the fireplace receipt, forwarded by the old owner, actually said. Apparently the pilot hood (?) is being held together with bailing wire and some electronic part that shuts off the fireplace if it gets too hot has a short in it. So, the fix is less than a new fireplace but more than we truly want to spend for a feature we’re rarely going to use. The good news is this house allows us to stay just as busy as we want to be, sometimes a little more.

In other news, I’ve been looking for interesting chapter books to read to Calvin. A while back I perused the catalog looking for good candidates. I requested several including Have Space Suit Will Travel, by Heinlein, and Cosmic, by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Just for the record, I know that both of these books are way above Calvin’s comprehension. However, he seems to have a pretty good tolerance for listening to me read random things.

I checked out the books from the library today and started with Have Space Suit Will Travel because Cosmic looked thicker than I was expecting. I thought Calvin would be intrigued by a boy getting a space suit but I forgot how much commentary there was in the story. So, we gave up on that one pretty quickly because Calvin didn’t care that Kip’s education is subpar. Cosmic turned out to be a better fit.

Cosmic is the story about how Liam, an almost-thirteen-year-old-boy who looks thirty, accidentally gets lost out in space. He records an audio diary of the events leading up to him being lost in a space ship so he can hand it over to his parents as an explanation if he survives. The writing is amusing and Calvin seemed willing to flip through another picture book while I read it to him (I thought he was going to play with duplos while I read. Me reading was a sneaky way to convince him I shouldn’t build another firetruck/rocket/garbage truck for him).

While reading the book, I found a library bookmark in it with the query on one side, “Why was the dinosaur afraid to go back to the library?” with the answer, “Her books were millions of years overdue.” I tried to explain the joke to Calvin but it’s a little old for him, plus, I didn’t find it particularly funny. Anyway, the book reading experience was going fairly well until Liam recounts attending Waterloo High for the first time and accidentally getting mistaken for a new teacher. Instead of fessing up at once, Liam allows the principal to shepherd him on stage at assembly to introduce him to his future students. For some reason, this particular scene had me laughing so hard I was crying. I kept trying to keep reading only to break down mid-sentence in peals of laughter. Meanwhile, Calvin was still obsessed with the bookmark we had found and kept trying to repeat the joke. I would patiently read it to him, then start reading the book and once again, start laughing hysterically. Calvin believed I was laughing at the bookmark joke and, apparently believing he found the best joke ever, proceeded to mostly memorize the joke. I have visions of Calvin completely confusing his preschool teacher on Monday when he tries to recount this joke to her.

Settling In

Apparently it was the beginning of June when I last updated this. Most of the summer is a blur.

We’re now mostly settled in our house. Jaeger had several epic lawn projects which took a good deal of his summer. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where to put stuff inside the house. Technically our new house is bigger than our old house. However, our old house had a full unfinished basement which we had stuffed with shelving for storage. Our new house has a home-owner finished basement that we’re using as a guest room which drastically cuts down on the amount of storage we have. It seems like I’m continually filling boxes for the thrift store.

Calvin did really well in preschool over the summer. I’d drop him off in the morning and he’d run off with barely a good-bye to me. However, after summer break he became more resistant to me leaving him at preschool. I’m not sure why the change. My best guess is being out of preschool for a week threw him off his schedule. Plus, some of the exciting newness has waned.

In other Calvin-related news, he’s getting a brand-new full-size bed on Tuesday. The first night we were in our new house, Ted couldn’t find the toddler bed (I was still at the old house cleaning). So, he gave Calvin our “yoga mat” to sleep on instead. The next day, upon find the mattress, Calvin refused to sleep on it saying it was for babies. So, he’s been sleeping on the yoga mat ever since. At our old house, he’d been consistently sleeping in the spare bedroom, with the queen bed, because he claimed something in his bedroom scared him (later we figured out in was the fan configuration). A couple of days ago Calvin told me he liked our “old spare bedroom” better because it had a bigger bed (the bedroom next to his room is now an office). I asked him if he wanted a bigger bed to sleep on and he said yes. I decided it might be time to get him a real bed.

Thursday we journeyed to a mattress store and Calvin picked out a full-size bed. I tried to talk him into a twin-size but he kept insisting that the full-size bed was the “right size” for him. Given he slept on a queen in our spare bedroom, I wasn’t too surprised. Calvin tends to wander while he sleeps so I can see why he’d like a bigger bed. I’d like to believe the new bed will solve all Calvin’s sleep issues but I think that’s probably too optimistic. However, I doubt it’ll hurt things.

Saturday we went to church. I was the designated pianist so Calvin and I got there early in time for me to practice. After practicing, I decided to let Calvin run outside instead of going to Cradle Roll. Cradle Roll is, of course, more active than adult Sabbath Schools but they still have a fair amount of structure. Since I wanted Calvin to sit through second service, with minimal supervision from me, I thought I should probably try to run off any energy he had ahead of time. That turned out to be a good idea. The new school principal spoke. She said many interesting things but also went really, really long. We didn’t get out till 1pm. Given that I was playing postlude, I couldn’t leave early. However, Calvin did really well. I had brought a variety of toys with me as well as snacks so he wouldn’t get hungry. Afterwards, the pastor complimented Calvin on how well he did (the pastor was sitting right in front of us) and noted it was a very hard service for a young kid to sit through.

Calvin Moment
As I mentioned, I let Calvin play outside during Sabbath School time before church. We played a little bit of tag and at one point, after I caught him, Calvin put his arms around me and said, “you’re the best!” I’m not sure where that came from but it was awfully cute.

Herbs and Vegetables

Yesterday, Calvin and I went to The Flower Bin to pick up an assortment of herbs and vegetables. I always walk away with more than I meant to buy. This year, I got:

  • Thai Basil
  • Columnar Basil
  • Genovese Basil
  • Mint Julep
  • Oregano
  • Pineapple Sage
  • Lemon Grass
  • SunSugar Tomato
  • Bush Early Girl Tomato
  • Patio Tomato
  • Fanfare Cucumber
  • Bambino Eggplant
  • Cocozelle Bush Zucchini
  • Edamame

I’ve had variations of all the herbs before. I’ve gotten a different variety of sage and mint in the past but I assume it’s mostly the same concept. I’ve had middling luck with tomatoes before so this time I put them in huge containers. The cucumber, eggplant, zucchini, lemon grass and edamame are all new. With the exception of the edamame, all were labeled to grow well in containers and I found an independent source claiming edamame also grows well in containers. Hopefully I’m not being overly optimistic.

herb containers

Two Weeks

We’ve now owned our new house for two weeks. I’m starting to get a feel for which house quirks I can live with and which need to be fixed.

Things I Like:

  • The back yard is fabulious. It needs a lot of work. Jaeger has compared it to The Secret Garden’s garden. Someone obviously loved it at some point and landscaped it beautifully but the last couple of homeowners must not have had the time to deal with it. However, it’s fully fenced so Calvin can wander in and out at will without me worrying about him ending up on a busy road. There’s a door from both the diningroom and family room to the outside so Calvin can wander around the house and outdoors in a circle.
  • There are two beautiful windows in the kitchen that let in a lot of light.
  • I now have a convection oven. At the moment, I’m mainly using the conventional heating part of the oven but when I have more time I want to experiment with the convection aspect. I’m really liking that part. I’m not as excited by my stove. It’s a glass top which is incompatible with my cast iron skillet (which I love). I’ve heard rumors that it’ll work ok if I buy a heat diffuser so I’m going to try that. However, the main problem is I haven’t figured out how to get the burners hot enough without being too hot. It seems like I either can’t get hot enough to saute or I burn my onions. I think a little more familiarity will smooth out some of the worst of it but my last stove didn’t have a learning curve, it just worked. The oven also has a warming drawer which I haven’t used but like the idea of. All-in-all, I really like the oven and will learn to live with the stove top.
  • The kitchen is smaller than my old kitchen but even with more windows, I somehow end up with more cabinet space. I still can’t figure out how this happened. So, in general, I think the kitchen is a win.
  • My piano sounds fantastic in the livingroom with the vaulted ceiling.
  • Our old house had one “livingroom” that was large and a little awkwardly shaped for anyone that didn’t have a piano to take up half of it. Our new house has a family room and livingroom. The family room has a corner fireplace which makes positioning furniture really hard. Google Sketch-up saved me an immense amount of time by letting me figure out where to place the furniture ahead of time. (Jaeger posted my sketch-up models on his site.) I was really excited when I walked in after all the furniture had been moved to see that it worked out exactly like I had envisioned. At the moment, I’m envisioning the family room as the place where Calvin has his toys and art supplies. It’s down a half-level from the dining room and is positioned so that the mess is largly obscured by the viewing angles. I’m planning the livingroom to be an adult reading area. I shelved our fiction books last night in the living room and immediately felt the general relaxation effect that many books have on me (every so often I get light headed walking through libraries, the book ambience is so pronounced). The biggest obstacle at the moment is getting reading seats that will fit. My piano is taking up a disproportionate amount of the floor space and there’s a large, but awkwardly placed, window and heating vent that is making this a challenge.
  • The kitchen and dining room has hard wood-like flooring. This means that any eating messes Calvin makes, such as the mountain of scone crumbs he just left, can be easily cleaned up.
  • Both the windows and the blinds are very spiffy. The windows open both directions. As in, the vertical windows can open from the top or the bottom and the horizontal windows can open from either side. The blinds are cordless and work very well. You just push the blinds up and they stay up. All the bedroom blinds are equipped to either slide up or down.

Things I Dislike:

  • All the interior walls needed a paint refresh. The colors weren’t what we prefer and there was some really weird trim coloring. However, even if the colors had been fine, the walls appear to have not been painted for years and were really dirty. A previous owner had obvious tried to do spot painting to cover up some blemishes but just made it more apparent because the walls were dirty enough the paint ended up a different color. We spent the entire last week getting our house painted. It was really annoying to try to live with our furniture and boxes piled up in the middle of each room but it was worth it. The house looks so much better.
  • I have a love/hate relationship with our master bath. On one end, I love the tub. It’s nice and deep and will be perfect for winter baths. However, the general layout is awkward and the walls and trim are weird. Our painter took one look at the trim and said it’d cost more to repaint it than to replace it so the master bath is the only room in the main house area that wasn’t painted.
  • I’m use to people not putting in overhead lights and most of the time this can be fixed with floor lamps. However, I can’t live without decent light in the kitchen. This needs to be fixed but I’m not quite sure how yet. I’m pretty sure it’s going to involve an electrician though.
  • The half bath in the family room is waaaay too small. It’s hard for me to manouver in much less anyone larger than me. I think some of this may be fixed if we change the door to swing out instead of in. However, that’s a pretty low priority project for the moment.
  • The current refrigerator is a very small top-door freezer. I want to get it replaced but first Jaeger has to see if it’s possible to shave a 1/2″ off the top cabinet. We have 39″ in width so that shouldn’t be a problem but almost ever fridge I’ve looked at has been at least 68 5/8″ in height and I have exactly 68 1/2″ inches to work with at the moment.
  • The shower heads all seem low to me. It works fine for us but I’m afraid they’ll be awkward for some of our taller guests.
  • I think I’ve counted 5 differently colored outlets. We have white, beige, black, metallic, and western. I would like to standardize these all to be white. However, the outlets themselves alternate between white and beige for reasons I don’t understand.
  • The furnace needs to be replaced (we got a seller concession for it) and the air conditioner needs to be serviced.
  • The kitchen has solid-stone tile counter top. It looks nice but it’s not particularly good for baking as when I roll out dough it consistently gets stuck in the grout lines.

I’m sure I’ll find more likes and dislikes the longer we live here but the list is a good start :-)

Since February

I was sadly mistaken in my belief that life would get back to normal after the holidays. Ever since we’ve moved to Longmont Jaeger has been wanting to move away from it. We moved to Longmont because, at the time, it was half way between my workplace and his. However, now that I’m mostly working from home, it’s much harder to justify living in Longmont.

In January we talked to our friendly real estate agent and she suggested we should try to get our house ready to sell as soon as possible because there were very few choices on the market at that point. This upped the timeline I had been considering by a couple of months so January and February we spent frantically trying to get the house up to snuff. This involved donating a massive amount of stuff to thrift stores. We also spent a lot of time and money refreshing the house in hopes it’d look like someplace someone else would like to buy. I started getting a little obsessive and each time Jan, our real estate agent, emailed to see if we were ready to list, I would mention two or three new things I had discovered that needed to be done to the house. Eventually she told me we should go ahead and list now because the house would never be perfect and there would always be something else to fix.

Our house went on the market on March 2. I had been reading staging and real estate books for about a year and one thing they all emphasized was it was important to have an immaculately clean house. Well, I like a clean house anyway but with a toddler, the realty often falls short of my goal. However, for our house showings I think I managed to keep the house to a neat-enough level that Jaeger started worrying about my sanity (and possibly his). We got one offer that was lower than we felt our house was worth. Even with countering we couldn’t bring it up to a level we wanted so we passed. In the mean time, we found a property that looked interesting down in Boulder. It needed a little work but was a level that we could do without bankrupting ourselves (probably). I really didn’t want to offer without having an offer for our house. However, the housing options were really, really low (in fact, there still hasn’t been another house listed we’d consider). This was the first house that both Jaeger and I thought we could live in so we went ahead and made an offer. After a bit of haggling, we agreed on a price for the new house.

I had a weekly cleaning service scheduled to come in on Tuesdays. However, we were getting a lot of showings so it was tricky to make sure the cleaners didn’t come during the showings. One Tuesday afternoon I had a showing scheduled for the morning so I called the cleaners and asked if they could come later in the day. I gave them the time of the showing and they said they’d come in early afternoon instead. Then, I got a call for a second showing later in the morning but didn’t bother telling the cleaners since they were planning to come in the afternoon. Then I got another call for an agent walk-through in the afternoon. I asked my agent if I needed to reschedule or cancel the cleaners and she thought the other real estate agent would be fine with cleaners being there while she evaluated whether it was worth bringing her clients through. So, I didn’t change the schedule. Between the 2nd morning showing and the agent showing in the afternoon I nipped home to grab some stuff before heading out for lunch. To my horror, I discovered the cleaners had already been there. I prayed that they had just been extra efficient and had somehow managed to clean the entire house in 40 minutes.

A couple of days later our agent emailed to say that there was a couple that wanted to make an offer on our house. Apparently they were the couple that were scheduled on the 2nd showing on Tuesday and my cleaners had come while they were there. However, it turns out they were very impressed that I had a cleaning service coming to make sure the house was in good shape. So, it turns out what I had been stressing over was an advantage after all. Also, I felt slightly justified in the obsessive lengths I had gone in cleaning the home since that was obviously important to these people. The offer came in and after a bit of haggling, we accepted the offer.

The next couple of weeks were probably more stressful than anything else. I was stressing over whether our loan was going to work out (we wanted to put 20% down but needed our home equity for that and the lender was dubious about same-day closings) and I worked on packing and all the other details that go with moving. To my surprise and great relief, we closed on time and everything ended up working out perfectly.

We started the move into our new home the last weekend in April. So far, the house has a myriad of little quirks but I’m liking living here much more than I expected. The house has a fully fenced back yard so Calvin doesn’t need much supervision outside. He spends hours entertaining himself outside which frees me up to unpack, work, and do other chores. It’s amazing.

One of the things that needed to be redone was the painting. We basically need to repaint the entire house. This isn’t something I want to take on myself. Among other things, we now have a vaulted ceiling. When the painter came he took a look and told us that painting the house, and fixing some of the existing paint quirks, would take a full week. This is the painting week. So right now Jaeger and I are stuck in a half-packed/half-unpacked limbo. Our essentially stuff has been unpacked and stored. However, our many boxes of books are piled in the middle of each room along with all our furniture so our painters can paint everything.

It’s going to be fantastic when it’s done. Today was the first day they started and already it’s looking much better. However, I’m tired of not being able to live in my house. I will be very glad when we can really unpack and get settled in to this house.


Note: Serendipity seems to insist on adding escape characters for every apostrophe at the moment. I\’m not sure why but I don\’t want to take the time to deal with it at the moment . . .

I just got back from picking Cat5 up from the vet. I have a bad feeling we might be at the middle of the end for her. I guess she\’s starting to get old for a cat. I recall the cats at my parents\’ home living for a long time with nothing more than benign neglect. I mean, my parents took them in to the vet once a year but that once it, they had very minimal intervention. I\’m sure they never got their teeth cleaned or anything like that. I could be wrong, but I\’m pretty sure Midnight lived to at least 15. Nimrod* might have been a little less but not by much. They both wandered off into the woods one night and never came back. Five is probably 11-12 years old. We got her at the Humane society about 7 years ago. This doesn\’t seem old to me but I was reading a couple of sites online that said cats tend to average living 12-15 years.

Several months ago I noticed that Cat5 was having litter box problems. I thought she was just being picky so I was more careful to clean the litter box. Then, I tried adding an additional litterbox in case she just wasn\’t wanting to share with Willow or wanted different boxes for different purposes. This seemed to help temporarily but that could have been my imagination. After Christmas, things got noticeably worse. She was having messes all over the house. I took her into the vet. He tried to get a good feel but couldn\’t without sedating her because she was so swollen and sensitive. So, he gave me some antibiotics with hopes that would hope any possible infection and asked me to come back in a week. During that week, it seemed like she was getting worse. She started leaking pudding-like consistency whenever she sat down somewhere.
When I went back the following week, the infection, if that is what it was, hadn\’t gone away. The vet told me that he really needed to sedate her and get a good feel inside because he was afraid she might have a tumor, possibly cancerous. I can\’t remember exactly what he said but I\’m pretty sure he was trying to gently prepare me for a bad scenario. He said something about not treating colon cancer (I think that\’s what he was talking about anyway) on cats because they have such a poor survival rate. When I came to pick her up that evening, the doctor said that he couldn\’t feel anything that indicated there was a problem and he preferred not to do a biopsy without a specific reason due to infection risks. So, basically he cleaned her all out, injected her with cortisone, gave us a 2-week supply of antibiotics and told us to call if she wasn\’t better after that.

Things seem to improve a lot during those first two weeks. She stopped having messes and seemed to be doing better. However, just this last week, things started going down hill again. She started going places other than the litter box again. Saturday night, I happened to glance at Five when she was cleaning herself and noticed she had a sore right above her anus that was bleeding. I got her an appointment for this afternoon and took her in again. The vet took one look at her and said, \”yes, that look like a tumor\” and told me he wanted to try to feel her again. However, as he picked her up, she squawked and so he looked at Five again and said it looked like there was something weird going on with her tail also (a structural problem of some sort). So, he wanted to do x-rays to double check she hadn\’t had a break or something that was the root cause of this problem. After the x-rays, he didn\’t say about seeing any breaks so I assume those where fine but he said she was so backed up that it was pushing her anus out. He recommended giving her an enema and another cortisone short. If that seemed to help, we might need to give her monthly cortisone shots. I left her, because he suggested I didn\’t want to deal with the aftermath, and was told to call in a couple of hours. I picked her up a half hour before they closed for the day. It turns out they had to sedate her again because she was so sensitive there was no way they could get the enema in her otherwise. She obviously had been through quite an ordeal.

I have a follow-up scheduled for 3 weeks from now (unless she doesn\’t improve or gets worse in the next couple of days, of course). If monthly cortisone shots fix the problem, that\’s great. However, she\’s been so miserable these last couple of weeks that I\’m not sure what we\’ll do if that\’s not the solution. I\’m starting to worry about her quality of life.

I\’m afraid we may be near the end for Five. Five is much better with Calvin than Willow is. Willow is still, perhaps wisely, afraid of Calvin. Though, I\’ve never caught Calvin purposely abusing the cats. In any case, Five lets Calvin pet her sometimes which he really enjoys doing. In fact, when we were at the vets office I told Calvin that Five was kind of scared to be at the doctors office just like he is sometimes and Calvin immediately started petting Five, presumably in some sort of mutual sympathy. Intellectually, I know that Five is old enough that we\’re going to have to explain death at some point to Calvin. However, I cringe at having to do so soon.

*Yes, that was really his name. Being the naive Adventist I was, I named him after the great hurter in the Bible not realizing that was a derogatory term.

This Week’s Menu

Ever noticed that every so often I get serious about my grocery store habit? I’m once again trying to cut back. Also, I’m trying to get rid of all the extra ingredients I have around our house so I don’t have to move or trash them. I’ve decided to go ahead and cook all my dried beans and then freeze them. I use dried beans fairly often but sometimes run out of time so I grab the canned ones. However, freezing works well when I’m organized enough to do it. My slow cooker lets me cook them without paying too much attention to the process.

You’ll notice that both Brussels sprout and asparagus are still on the menu even though they’re high cost vegetables. That’s because they’re one of three vegetables Calvin consistently eats, the other being broccoli. He refuses to touch sweet potatoes though I keep trying. Yes, our child is weird.

  • Sunday – Sicilian Lentil Soup
  • Monday – Aloo Gobhi with Naan
  • Tuesday – Garbanzo Pot Pie with Broccoli
  • Wednesday – Southern Style Black Eyed Peas, Toasted Millet, and Brussels sprout
  • Thursday – Leftovers
  • Friday – Chick peas with a coconut sauce and asparagus
  • Saturday – Spaghetti with Edamame and bread

Menu this Week

Someday I’m going to post more than just menus. However, this will have to wait till Calvin goes back to a normal sleep routine . . .

  • Sunday: “Curried Squash Soup” from The Roasted Vegetable by Andrea Chesman with Steamed Asparagus and Bread
  • Monday: “Millet and Chickpea Pilaf with Saffron and Tomatoes” from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison with Stuffed Acorn Squash and Halloween Candy (Double the Millet dish for freezing)
  • Tuesday: Takeout
  • Wednesday: “Ratatouille” from Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (double for freezing)
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Braised Tofu with Wild Rice and Edamame in the Pod
  • Spinach and Cheese Ravioli with Broccoli