wADmM5mNLtOv064mhMCS_CYE3Bc Just Dorothy: February 2012

Playing tricks on my family

I like to play tricks on my family.  Food-wise at least.  Most of the time they don't know what I've deleted or what I've added to a dish to make it better for them.  Like shredding or dicing zuccini into spaghetti sauce or meat loaf.  Or using fat free cream cheese for the jalopeno poppers instead of full fat versions.  Cauliflower mashed "potatoes" anyone?  Steve is suspicious at times and asks.  I try to lie.  But I'm not a good liar so I usually just don't answer.  And then he knows for sure that I've done something.  I really need to work on those lying skills.  I made cheesecake yesterday.  And banana bread.  As I started with the cheesecake I realized I was out of sugar but had Splenda.  I can't tell the difference but Steve said it tasted different from when I've made it before.  I think it could have been the bland canned cherries but...until he reads this blog he has no clue I used Splenda. 

Then I made the banana bread, using Splenda, but also using a whole grain baking mix in lieu of white flour.  I have flour but I also have diabetes so...It was delicious!  It didn't cook like traditional banana bread so I might have to tweak the recipe just a little or adjust the cooking time.  It didn't slice like regular banana bread.  But, just like regular banana bread, it's already almost gone and no one has said they taste a difference. 

I'll keep playing tricks to get them to eat better.  And work on those lying skills.

Menu Planning

I love menu planning.  I don't always follow it though, but I at least like to have an idea of what I plan on doing, what I have in the fridge, etc.  And with our house on the market and hopefully selling soon, we're trying to depleat our frozen foods and such.  We don't plan on moving any canned goods or anything so ... let the feeding frenzy begin!

Dinners look like this, this week:

Meat loaf
Smothered pork chops (maybe not smothered...topped? Coated? Ehh, whatever)
Fish tacos (first time trying it so...cereal as a back up? Yes, Steve, this means you)
Garlic spaghetti - love this wonderful standby!
Sloppy Jones with potato side dish
Chicken salad sandwiches with chips
Tamale casserole

I won't have to go to the store to buy anything, this is using everything we already have at home.  We'll have our "supply" gone in no time!

Now if someone would just buy the house....

Romeo, Romeo...I know where you are, Romeo!

So...we have a cat.  I don't think I've actually done a post about it yet, which really surprises me.  Maybe it's because I really don't want to be one of those cat people.  Ok, so back story on how Romeo came to be Romeo and how he even got here to begin with:  Zach = huge animal lover and tender hearted.  Finds kitten at the high school boys football practice one day and the poor little baby is starving!  Tender heart feeds him some sunflower seeds because it's the only thing he has.  Kitten is meowing like crazy and Zach calls to see if he can bring him home.  My response?  NO!  We have dogs that would like kitty bbq and I'm allergic so it really wouldn't work out Z.  But Mom...he's so cute, he's so tiny, he's so hungry.  NO, Zach, I'll be there to pick you up after practice. 
So, I do.  And we've had this kitten ever since.

We thought it was a girl so Ryan names it Ana.  It never really looked like an Ana or a girl so we kept trying different names out.  One day I said to Steve, I just don't know what to call this cat...she doesn't look like a girl.  He says, I'm not so sure it IS a girl.  I said, what makes you say that?  Steve says, he's got balls.  So of course I had to look.  Sure enough, Ana was no longer and we really had to come up with a different name!  The boys come home and they were just as surprised as I was that we had a boy cat instead of a girl cat.  We went around and around with names. I wanted Romeo because he's such a little lover.  Alfonso Soriano was thrown into the mix (Ryan has a thing with all the animals needing a middle name) and Ryan also wanted to name him Warhammer because he is feisty and has zero fear.  ZERO. 

Ok, so now the cat is called Romeo Alfonso Soriano Warhammer the 3rd (I don't know who the 1st and 2nd are but, there you have it) but he mostly goes by Cat. 

I've never had a cat long enough to know how funny they actually are (remember the allergy and dogs?)  but did you know they can entertain themselves for hours, hours! just by skidding stuff across the hardwood floor?  I never knew they liked to do brodies around your living room using every single piece of furniture you have, bouncing around, peeling out, sliding across the wooden tv stand (because you just dusted a few minutes ago and it's puuurrfect for sliding, all slick and shiny).  Romeo likes to used the hallway as his runway, launch himself up onto the arm of the couch, bounce to the 3rd cushion, on to the tv stand, s-l-i-d-e across, jump to the mama chair and run along the back of it, hop onto the end table and then onto the back of the recliner.  Where he sits up high and looks at the dogs as if to say, "Let's see you try that". 

Mostly the dogs ignore him.  Jerry is pretty cool with him and actually seems a little intimidated by him.  If you knew Jerry, this would not surprise you.  Rex merely tolerates him.  Romeo attacks Jerry sometimes, bites his tail nub and his jowly flabber.  Jerry walks away and tries to hide.  Romeo gets to within 4 feet of Rex and he starts growling.  Romeo will get as close as he can to Rex, until Rex just gets up and walks away.  NO FEAR for this cat. 

He also fetches like a dog.  Do all cats do this?  He runs downstairs, grabs a mini helmet the boys (Steve) have collected and comes back upstairs with it in his mouth.  Rolls/chases it around the kitchen floor, over to the basement stairs, knocks it off, chases it down the stairs, carries it back up and starts again.  For hours.  You almost always know where this cat is.  He also likes to play peek-a-boo in boxes.  All boxes, but especially the one that has the plastic around it for the bottled water we buy.  When he was smaller, he would lay in there and hide and poke a claw out when you would walk by.  Or his head would come out the little hole you make in the top to pull water out.  Sometimes the hole was too small and he'd get sort of stuck.  He finally has hops, too.  He can now get on the table and the counter, all those high, out of reach places that he couldn't get to before.  Accckkkkk, that freaks me out!  Furniture is one thing, but the place where you prepare your food and eat is another thing entirely.  I've polished the kitchen table only to come home later and find little kitty footprints across it. 

It's a learning process for all of us.  We need to learn to be cat people and he needs to learn how to quietly approach Jerry from behind so he doesn't see him coming.

TOM'S Shoes!

Have you heard the TOM'S story?  For every pair of shoes sold, they GIVE one pair of shoes.  Click on the link and check them out.  Pretty sweet!

Old Familiar Places

So...we've put the house on the market and as soon as it sells we'll be back in Arizona where we belong.  We are very, very excited.  I'm a little apprehensive too, though, truth be told.  I don't like moving across town let alone cross country.  We're leaving four seasons and going back to 2 seasons: warm and hades hot.  But at least we'll be suffering in the heat with our family and friends and they have swimming pools.  It's our goal to have a house with a pool, too.  But there are other things I'm anxious to get back to.  Normal, every day things like being able to walk into Ulta and buy my Pur Minerals makeup and not have to order it by mail.  I can go to my own personal stylist again, my sister in law Shelly does amazing things with my hair and knows exactly how to do what I like.  That is priceless!  I'm looking forward to the grocery stores there, where there is one on every corner and you can get anything you want, ALL of them take coupons and most of them even double them AND their prices are reasonable. 

We will be able to take the kids to the zoo with only a 30 minute drive away instead of a 3 hour drive.  We'll be able to go to so many of the activities we've missed the last 4 1/2 years!  We'll be there for birthdays again and sing Cha-Cha-Cha.  Concerts, both indoor and outdoor and those that our friends participate in, yeah, we'll go to those too!  I'm getting excited!

With all that said, there are things that I will miss about being here in a small mid western town.  There is little to no crime here, unless you consider city offices but that's another story.  Sometimes there's the occasional vandalism, breaking into cars, trying to break in to the coffee shop or the dollar store, some domestic disputes, but really, that's about it for the most part.  It's quiet here.  I can see tons and tons and billions of stars from my back deck.  No city lights to block them out.  The boys have made great friends and they are a part of this community and that is fantastic.  I will miss that for them.  There are no 5pm traffic jams.  Actually, there's no traffic, period!  We have a non cookie cutter home here, unlike in AZ there are subdivisions that have the exact same houses in the exact same kind of neighborhoods.  We have grass!  In the front AND the back yards.  Arizona has mostly desert landscaping, which is great maintenance wise but no so much for walking barefoot to your mailbox.  Which brings me to the next thing I will miss:  Being able to walk outside in the middle of summer and not fry!  Yeah it might be hot and humid but you don't burn the soles of your feet.  Ever!  I will, however, really love being able to wear flip-flops or sandals almost year round again.  Bring on the pedi's!  I will miss high school football here and how the town pretty much turns out even if they don't have kids or grandkids playing.  They watch just because they are supportive.  But I'll love that my whole family can watch both the boys play football this coming season.  Like I said, the boys have had great support and great friendships here, it will just be nice that ALL of us can be there to yell for them.  I will miss being able to walk to work or if I do drive it's 2 blocks away.  I'll miss knowing I can leave my doors unlocked or my garage door open all night and nothing will happen.  I'll miss the door to door honey sales in the fall. 

We're all very anxious to get back to our family and have the conveniences of big city life.  It will be sad to leave but also a relief to know that we ALL fit in in AZ and the anonymity of it saves you from cliques and gossip and speculation.  Not that it doesn't happen there, but at least you're just another small fish in a really big pond and you can sort of escape it.  And you'd have your friends and your family have your back and no one would leave your cheese hangin in the wind.  You are surrounded and supported by your family.  And that's how it's supposed to be.