Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Angus' Trading Card

Early last year, Bridge, Jen and I loaded up the dogs and headed towards Buffalo to get some portraits of them taken. Yesterday, Angus' pictures finally came. We already packed them securely away so they won't get messed up with the move but here is his trading card.....happy now, Jen? :-)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

PS Hello Alyssa

PS Hello Alyssa
December 1996-August 2006

Bridget's Alyssa was diagnosed with bone cancer several months ago. It is untreatable and she has been on medication to manage the pain. Last night she took a turn for the worse so tonight Bridget and Bill are going to say goodbye to her and send her on her way. Alyssa is their first greyhound.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Change Is Gonna Come

Props to Sam Cooke for my title :-)

There've been times that I've thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come

This is something I have been thinking about lately. I spent probably an hour talking Jen's ear off the other night about it. I think that there might be a societal shift in the offing as far as animal exploitation goes. Now, I am fully aware that in our history, this is probably by far the worse time to be an animal.....almost 10 billion are slaughtered in our country alone each year. I can't even hardly get my mind around that number. That is billion with a B. It doesn't bear thinking about.

I gave up eating meat in 1993. I went vegan in the fall of 1997 (wow! 9 years!). I have seen a shift in the public. Yes, in a social event, a vegan is going to be odd man out. It still sucks to try to eat out sometimes. People still look at you like you are a tree hugging freak sometimes (well, I am a tree hugging freak but know what I mean). But it *is* getting better. I have seen this in the past 13 years. Grocery stores are carrying more natural food. There is a strong local agriculture movement. It is easier (not easy, but *easier*) to eat out. We are invited to a wedding in October that offers a vegan dining choice. There are major vegetarian magazines published. And I am starting to see some of the issues so dear to our hearts being discussed in the popular media.

In the past year, two of Newsweek's columnists have written positively about vegetarianism and animal rights, George Will and Rabbi Marc Gellman. Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, published in 2001, indicted our food industry practices. Supersize Me by Morgan Spurlock was a documentary hit in 2004. What is amazing to me is that these aren't the 'usual suspects' with this subject matter. Part of what I fear is that things have gotten so bad that these people are compelled to speak out against the horror and travesty. They are not specifically advocating vegetarianism but argue more along the lines that our current system is out of control and we have to establish a more reasonable and compassionate model, for our health, our environment, our animals, our workers. But I don't care what their reasons are, I am happy they are speaking. They are reaching an audience that needs to hear what they say, an audience that might be receptive to the ideas if it comes from them instead of us. How does the saying go? It is always darkest before the dawn? As bad as things are now, I hope, hope, hope, that I am right and that the dawn is coming, that a change is gonna come.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bringing some home

Saturday, Bridget and I drove a leg of a haul that brought two retired racers from the track to an adoption group that would place them in homes. Frannie (race name: Sveet) and Adam (race name: Mahzora) came off a track in Massachusetts.

They were approximately four years old and littermates.
They were so well behaved and sweet - they were no problem! They hopped right in the car and settled right down. Somebody is going to be lucky to get these dogs - they will be wonderful companions. It was a fun and rewarding way to spend a few hours on a Saturday morning. Frannie is the black tuxedo girl. She was very vivacious and outgoing. You could tell she never met a stranger.

Adam is the big brindle. He was also very friendly but a little more reserved than Frannie. He was very watchful and observant.

Whenever I do these hauls, I think what it must have been like for my two boys, coming off the tracks, being passed from car to car, volunteer to volunteer, in 1, 2 or 3 hour drive legs, making their way to our family and home. I wonder what they thought as it was going on, if they could somehow sense that their lives were going to be opening up and changing. I wonder if they remember that time of transition today and think back on it. Especially for Mal - he was brought over from Ireland to race and I often wonder how....probably by plane. Oh well, I would just love to know what goes on in their minds and what they really think :-)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

My Dog Has Issues, Part III

Today, we were on the highway, heading towards the park to meet up for the greyhound walk. Tooling down the highway at 65 mph, I notice Cosmo standing in the back of the car, circling around. Now if you have seen his previous video, you know he nests. I thought he was digging in the car beds, and I told him to settle down and lay down. I look in the rear view mirror and what do I see?

In our little greyhound community, there are a few things Cosmo is known for. One of those things be blunt......his poop ability. He is a good pooper. He poops a lot.

I looked in my rearview mirror, and, yes, Cosmo was pooping in my car. I guess he really had to go. He pooped in my car. And as I just said, he poops a lot. This time was no exception.

Angus, who, as a terrier, has never witnessed naughty behavior he didn't want to participate in, was in the back of the car and he launched himself like a bullet over the back of the passenger seat to the front. He did not want to be associated with that crime scene, in a way, shape or form. I holler at Cosmo to try to keep him from stepping in the pile but I really didn't need to. He was standing, frozen in horror at what had just happened, unable to move, in complete noncomprehension.

I pull over, hit the emergency flashers, grab a poopbag, some napkins and with the dog water supply, try to clean up as much as possible. We drove the rest of the way with the windows open.

We joined up with the group and had a great walk. Here are some pictures of Mo that Jen took Friday and I scarfed from her blog:

He is very handsome.....

The silly boy had been eating grass and left some hanging out the side of his mouth like a hayseed farmer....

Friday, August 25, 2006

A cause for celebration!

Things have been busy so I haven't had time to write much - I will do a recap soon - I have a lot of things on my mind! In the meantime though, I got a bit of very welcome news.......

We have a new member of our family (the Veg family!) Bridget of 5CrazyGreyhounds is giving meatfree life a shot. Yep, that is right, she is contemplating leaving the dark side and coming over to the light!!! If you get a chance, drop by her blog and lay on some words of encouragement.......we all know that these habits are hard to break and it is so good not to feel alone on this journey.......

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Self censorship

I just deleted my last two posts. I went and took a good long shower and played in the backyard with the dogs for a bit and decided that I didn't want them to stand as my thoughts for the day. The world sucks sometimes but it is our duty to fight the good fight and not wallow in self-pity. Check here if you want to see what got me so down:

Candi's blog (caveat - I read Candi's blog everyday and love it......Holla Candi! I just found the pictures from her slide show to be such affecting and powerful images. They really felt like a knife in my heart - which is good because it means they will have the power to affect change in people)
Final Salute - Rocky Mountain News
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
and my own personal 'push a person over the edge' - Involuntary Marine Recall

Anyways, instead of the depressive wallowing, I am going to focus on the positive (Accentuate the positive, Eliminate the negative, Latch onto the affirmative.......not a bad theme song, heh?):
This weekend is the second annual Syracuse Vegfest. Gonna be there and it is gonna be great!
We have a day trip planned in September for the New York Farm Sanctuary. Gonna hang with some pigs and goats!
Dewey Beach in October. Gonna hang with the hounds!
And lastly, Eric's End of Active Service date is November. So long, Marine Corps!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Separation Date

Eric called yesterday. He has submitted his terminal leave papers. If they are accepted, his separation date will be October 5... after four long years and many sleepless nights. As KleoPatra put it best... Semper Fi Goodbye!!! He has seen an awful lot in the last four years and I hoped learned from it all.......the desperate poverty in Haiti and his 7 months in Iraq....

So my boy is out and all in one heart bleeds for those still caught up in the mess over there, carrying out ill-planned objectives for unjustified reasons and those trying to recover from their injuries and all the families left behind trying to get by, day by day, without their loved ones......... When I think of what is going on over there, it reminds me of the Thomas Jefferson quote, "Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever." I know he was talking about slavery but I think it can also apply to our country's recent misguided policies.
All of our pictures are packed away, but I came across this one of Eric with his cousin Kimber, up at my parent's house
And here are some from his Iraq deployment:

I could put a gazillion more up, because I just love looking at him. Instead though, just because I am (according to our illustrious Sec of Def, Rummy) a nazi/fascist appeaser, without a clear understanding of history, that believes America is the root of the world's problems and we should negotiate peace with terrorists, here are a couple of videos. Bruce Springsteen's version of Pete Singer's Bring Them Home, June 6, 2006 in San Francisco, CA.

And just because he rocks it, here is a video of Pete Seeger, doing his original:

My friends are the best! :-)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Our house guest

After the race Saturday, Bridget and Bill headed out to PA to spend the weekend with family. We usually watch three of their dogs when they travel, Rimmy, Sally and John. This time, because of all the move upheaval, Bridget found someone else to watch Rimmy and Sally and we just have John. Now, John is a very good, good boy. He is a big brindle guy with a sweet face and expression:

Due to a couple of unfortunate incidences, early after his retirement off the track, John was labelled a 'biter'. He was passed through a couple of groups, as people tried to work with him to avoid him being put down. Eventually, he ended up with Bridget and Bill and the rest is history. Being in a dog-savvy home, with lots of consistency, routine, affection and training increased John's comfort level and his days of acting out (towards people at least) are over. Dogs are another story but that will have to wait for another time :-)

We had him out in the back yard today and Jim was playing with him, getting him running

The maniacal growling you hear is from Angus who I kept a tight grip on.
Later on, as you can see, Angus was fascinated with the video!

That evening, we went out to a ballgame. Mal, Cos and Ang were shut up in a bedroom and John was left in the kitchen. Now, my dogs don't countersurf so I never think to clean off the counters and get all food put away. Guess what? John does countersurf.
While we were out, it seems John ate what he could get off the counter, 2 rosemary and olive oil bagels and 1 blueberry bagel, and then took what was left and stashed it in his bed!

What he has there is a bag with an everything bagel, a bag of oreos, a bag of dog food and an empty plastic bowl and napkin! Right now he is sleeping behind the couch and we can hear his grumbly tummy, making all sorts of noises, trying to digest his feast. He was a happy boy!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Momentous Day

Today was the running of the Willow Bay Race for Women. It was the culiminating race for the 12 week Y Run. The Y Run is a beginner running program that takes non-runners from nothing to running a 5k road race in twelve weeks. This is my second year running this class. There were runners who finished the 12 week program and today was their first race.

Last night we met out for dinner. The runners had a card and a 'Great Coach Award' ribbon for me and they bought my dinner! :-) We ended up hanging out there for about 3 hours, just talking away. Everyone was full of excitement and anticipation for the race. The one thing I love about participating in this class is that the participants always build strong, lasting and supportive relationships amongst themselves.

Today, it started rainy and overcast. Perfect race weather :-) I arrived at the park to find Sue and her sister (who was not in the Y group but wanted to run the race with her sister) already there. Shortly, everyone else arrived, including Bridget and her husband Bill there to spectate (they were leaving for a weekend with family in PA right after the race).

The Willow Bay is always such a great race. It is a women-only race, very small but a great crowd. They also have lots of door prizes :-)

Everyone in the group finished and finished strong. Sue and her sister Theresa even took 2nd place in the sister/sister division! Results aren't posted yet but everyone finished with great first-race times. And not only did all my racers finish, but after the race, I found them all crowding around the future race applications table! I think it is safe to say that their first race was a positive experience for them and I am very, very proud of them all. Running is not easy and to see these women, start from nothing with only their own determination to keep them going is very inspiring to me. I took lots of pictures and they are on my website.

Congratulations, runners!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Some good news!

The realtor informed me that the buyers of our house have sold theirs but won't close on it for another month. They are willing to close on our house and let us stay, post-possession at $35/day. I guess they decide the money will be useful paying two mortgages :-) Now, we can move from one house to another - no hotel living, no farming the dogs out. Although the dogs are so good, we have plenty of offers from people who were willing to put them up for a while - but very few offers to put US up. What is that all about???? It is sad when your dogs have a better reputation as houseguests than you do :-)

Not considered good news but I was informed that I will be attending a Tesla concert at the State Fair this year....Oh well, it will give me a chance to check out Jen's art entry (because I know it will be accepted, I know it will, I know it will.....)

Is it a full moon?

The crazies are out in force! I co-moderate a local yahoo group. I am tired of the wackos who use our board to further their stupid personal vendettas. How do these people have this much time on their hands to plot and connive? Do they think I am stupid? That I can't see what they are doing? They think they are so clever and when they are called on their behavior, the excuse is always, it was just in fun, I didn't really mean anything and when those pigs don't fly, I get the, "you are so mean, you never liked me" shit. I have had it. I am calling it like it is. I just want to tell them that they can't bullshit a bullshitter. I have forgotten more about passive aggressiveness than they would ever know. Sorry for the rant and the profanity but this is my declaration to this snide, stupid, shallow person.....our board will not be co-opted into your bizarre behavior.


I nabbed this pic from Jen's blog, just because it cracks me up every time I see it :-)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Happy, happy, happy day!

I blogged a little while ago about seeing the film, An Inconvenient Truth. I got an email from Bridget today that the SU Student Association is bringing Al Gore and his show to town in September. She asked if I was interested in going. Excuse me????? Interested????? Hell to the 'yeah'! You know it, baby! I can't hardly wait. The movie had such an impact on me - really challenged my way of thinking. If you get a chance to see the movie or even see him speak in person - go! Here is the movie trailer to whet your appetites :-)

Missing the outdoors

Reading KleoPatra's blog, Pisces Place, and her recent post, she talks about hiking Cowles Mountain and there is a picture of her at the top overlooking a beautiful scene with a resevoir in the background. It made me so envious. This new house construction and move has consumed all my energy and time. Seeing her picture just made me think how long it has been since I have been out. Combined that with a nice change in our weather - ideal for hiking - and I am feeling sorry for myself :-)

Wen and I were able to get out a lot at the beginning of the summer but now - she has started a new job and I am swamped. The summer of Wen and Trac was nice while it lasted LOL

The last hiking we did was last month up at Lake Placid which was great but it was dogless.... My letterboxing stuff is all packed away.... I haven't made any books lately outside of the aborted State Fair entry attempt that was disastrous. Jen keeps putting stuff and ideas on her art blog that are making me envious......

It will be nice when everything is settled and life is back to normal - just in time for prime fall hiking weather in CNY (at least until the hunters take over all the state land :-/)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I got a present!

I picked A up from the airport tonight. He was in Chicago for 2 days for a seminar. He went to the very famous Chicago Diner twice. He said it was great. Usually we go to a restaurant and have a few choices that are vegan or could easily be made vegan. He said it was almost overwhelming to view a menu that he could eat everything on! He bought me back a shirt :-)

The above is not me :-) but a photo from The Chicago Diner's website. Too cool- I am happy to have A home and the shirt!

Yay! YouTube is back!

YouTube down

For those of my readers (all 6 of you - I used to say 2 but I have picked up a few....thanks for reading my blog!) waiting anxiously, with bated breath to watch Cosmo in all his neurotic glory.....Sorry.....YouTube has been down all day. Hopefully it will be back up soon.

Conflict - warning! non vegan friendly pictures!

I aspire to a vegan lifestyle. As much as possible, I refrain from using products from animal sources. This goes for my diet, my clothing, and my footwear. My dogs aren't vegan. I have given this subject a lot of thought. I do know that some people successfully transition their dogs to a vegetarian diet - I just don't think that is the right choice for my animals and myself at this point in time. I don't like having this type of food in my house, but I have resigned myself to it. My way of thinking is that as much as we try to be compassionate, nature isn't. My dogs are omnivores - left to their own devices in the wild, they would hunt down prey animals and eat them. Left to my own devices in the wild, I would be eating grass and berries (probably poisonous ones!). My compromise is to buy the best dog food I can - one of human grade meat so at least I know that my animals aren't consuming the remains of poor euthanised animals :-(

Mally's teeth are not good. It is common for racing greyhounds to come off the track with nasty teeth. I think it is because the track diet is mostly soft food and the dogs don't get to chew hard things - Jen can weigh in on this, she probably knows. Mal is also 8 years old. To have a dental he would have to be anesthesized which I like to avoid as much as possible. Little know fact outside the greyhound community - because racing greyhounds are used to being handled so much at the track and because most of them have a natural placid demeanor, they usually don't have to be anesthesia for minor vet procedures. Mal has had staples with only local painkiller and he has been x-rayed, all with no anesthesia. I brush his teeth but that only helps so much. I give the dogs rawhide to chew, and while I think that helps their gums stay healthy, it doesn't help the teeth. Bridget's Rim has teeth as nasty as Mal's and they have improved vastly by chewing knuckle bones. So today, I stopped at the pet store and picked up some knuckle bones. Nasty, nasty things. I hope the dogs appreciate my sacrifice. I bought a bag of three for $9.99. One of them was the hugest thing I have ever seen!

You can get a sense of how big this thing is by Angus' and Cosmo's faces.

You know Angus was ready to light into this. Look at him licking his chops!

All three boys chewing away:

Of course, Mal got the big one but I don't think the other two were complaining. Angus took his under the coffee table as if that would hide him! By the way, I refused to touch any of them and handled them with the grocery bags. Bleech!

I have made my peace with this issue as much as I can. I am interested in how other's who strive for a compassionate life and have companion animals deal with this.

My Dog Has Issues Part II

Poor Momo. He thinks by digging at the floor, he will make it softer. It is a good thing he is so cute and loveable because he isn't the sharpest crayon in the box :-)

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Anyone know how long miso will keep in the fridge?

Friday, August 11, 2006

book survey

Scarf-ed from Trailhoundz who nicked it from Julie N's blog because it is always good to talk about books:

1. One book that changed your life:
Diet for a New America by John Robbins (this is the book that inspired me to go vegan)
2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser (I love, love, love time travel!)
3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
4. One book that made you laugh:
Hmmmmmmmm, don't read many funny books - Maybe Bridget Jones' Diary????????
5. One book that made you cry:
The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd
6. One book that you wish had been written:
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Hmmmm, another hard one, there are so many :-) The Left Behind books, any Danielle Steel, etc.
8. One book you’re currently reading:
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Remembrance of Things Past - Marcel Proust (all of it!)


Remind me never to let her talk me into anything ever again.

Another finder for the Wonders!

Scout (who boxes with Maggie and Eagle Eye) notified me that they found 7 Wonders. Scout is one of the more prominent searcher and planters in our area - really dedicated to boxing. But she lives about an hour from here. Given the fact that the 7 Wonders are planted about another 45 minutes away - that is dedication for you. She said they biked the route and of course, she was full of praise for the stamps. I hate to sound like a broken record - but these stamps really are awesome :-) I think I might try to get this crew to carve another series for me to plant!

It was inevitable

When I get stressed, my body breaks down on me. It ticks me off that I can't rely on it, that I can't trust my body. Last year, training for the 10k, shingles took me out. This year, training for the tri, I got shingles again (not badly like the first time - thank goodness). Right now, between not knowing when the closing is and when we have to be out of the house and not knowing when the new house will be finished, I am at my wit's ends. Add to that, all those blasted back-to-school commercials reinforcing the fact that for the first time in 16 years, I have no one to buy supplies for. Waaa. I feel sorry for myself :-)

Anyways, you knew it was coming so here it is:
Plantar fascitis is back - I couldn't run even if I could scare up the motivation to.
Nagging, sharp pain with inner right knee - this is new, who knows what it could be.
Carpal tunnel - both hands aching all day long even though I have been diligent wearing my braces to bed.
Sore throat - slight and nagging, going on about a week now.
Sinus infection - tell-tale signs arrived about 2 days ago
Sleep - finally had two nights in a row without waking up - Yay!

Maybe I will delete this posting when I get over my pity party :0)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Some clarification

I received a comment privately so I want to elaborate - the greyhound is leashed! LOL

Seriously, greyhounds are sighthounds and are trained to give chase. They can be up to their full speed in three strides and that full speed can reach 40 mph. If one gets away, they are very difficult to catch. Greyhounds should always been kept securely on a leash or in a fenced area. In these pictures, Wilson is leashed and you can see his leash in the water if you look closely. Never take a chance with your hound - they rely on you to keep them safe :-)

Props to the Brits.... MI5, to New Scotland Yard, etc! Way to go! Somehow pre-emptively catching the bad guys doesn't do much to help my flying aversion but I am glad they caught them :-)

Hollywood, here they come!

A monster has been released upon the unsuspecting internet populace. Spark has figured out how to use the video on her digital camera and post to Her first film, Cookie Time:

And with the miracle of modern technology - actually she stood in front of her tv and filmed a vcr tape! - we now have one of Lucy's races on the internet:

It is a good thing that Lu and Cliff are cute enough to warrant all this video attention!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

7 Wonders of the Ancient World

I got an email the other day from Infinity saying she found the 7 wonders letterbox series. All of them! W00t! I usually have my clues checked by a friend but couldn't find anyone willing to drive 45 miles to hike 12 miles in one of our hottest summers to check them. Babies! My account of Seekher and I planting them is here under May 30th. I could have sworn I posted pictures from that hike somewhere but can't find where. Well, here are a few:
I love the one of Wil standing in the water. It was so hot that day. He stood there, literally not moving for almost 20 minutes. As you can see, both my boys were wiped out afterwards :-)

Anyways, Infinity was first finder and gave me a few things to change on the clues which I shall do today. And she also gave a shout out on the NY section of the AQ board. These stamps really are so awesome, carved by a local group of boxers. I don't think you will find any where else, a series this large (8 stamps) with this high a quality of carved stamps.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My dog has issues

Of course, those of you who know him, already know about his myriad of issues - this is just one. Cosmo does not like thunder. I do have an herbal remedy I dope him with and that helps alot. Mostly though, when it starts storming (and this has been a stormy summer) he heads to our bathroom. I don't know why but I guess it is common for thunderphobic dogs to find comfort in bathrooms. Maybe because it is cooler?

Anyways, now Cosmo has decided he likes the bathroom. All three dogs sleep in our bedroom at night - Angus in bed with us or his own bed, as he prefers, and the two greyhounds on their own dog beds. Now, every night when we head up to bed, everyone settles down where they are supposed to be. 2 minutes later, Mo will hop up and start pacing. He will go into the bathroom and start digging at the floor, trying to nest. Take a look in the picture - it's linoleum. Dig, dig, dig. He will come out to his bed, lay down. 2 minutes later, hop up and pace, his nails clicking on the hardwood floors and the bathroom linoleum. Finally, I get out of bed and haul his bed into the bathroom. He settles in his bed, most the time looking like a drunk college student with his head on the floor next to the toilet. In case, I miss his complete portrayal of contentment, he sighs and moans deeply. And then he sleeps all night through without a sound, lifting his head to observe us if any late night, ninja-move, contortion producing visit is needed to the bathroom. We now just automatically drag his bed into the bathroom every night when we go to bed.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The robot dance

This is for Spark who was trying to convince A to do the moon walk and robot dance in the driveway Saturday :-) And yes, Spark, you can play it, it won't crash your work computer!

A correction

When writing about An Inconvenient Truth (go see it people!) the other day, I said I voted for Gore in 2000. Sunday, while A and I were headed to the co-op, we were discussing honesty and politics (how's that for an oxymoron?) and he mentioned Ralph Nader. His point was that no matter how you might feel about any of his stances on the issues, you have to be fairly comfortable that Ralph Nader isn't out to fleece you for his benefit or his cronies. There would be no war for oil with that guy. No tax cut for the top 1%. No corporate welfare. The man is virtually incorruptible in the traditional political sense. And that got me thinking. I didn't vote for Gore in 2000. I voted for Nader. I don't know what I was thinking *smacks head hard*. I live in NY so I felt comfortable voting for the Green candidates in the last two presidential elections. *Duh, smacks head again* :-) Go Green!!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Celebrate! A one year anniversary!

The book discussion group that Spark and I started on a whim is celebrating it's one year anniversary. Actually, whim is kind of overstating it. :-) The two of us have always talked about books a lot - a real lot. One afternoon, after talking and discussing how much we like to talk about books and how a book group would be interesting, I set up a discussion group on smartgroups (since moved to yahoo groups) and sent out invitations to members of a group that I moderate. Spark had taken off for the weekend and I sweated for days wondering if she would be ok with what I did - especially since I chose for the first selection a book she said she wanted to re-read....and she would have to lead the first discussion! Well, she was ok and people jumped at the offer. It kind of surprised me - I really thought that it would end up just being me and Spark, maybe a few others, and we would have to badger Budge into joining. We have just passed our 1 year anniversary and are on our 8th book and still going strong.

We have read:
On the Beach - Neil Shute
I am Legend - Richard Matheson
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
A Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks
A Northern Light - Jennifer Donnelly
Stranger in a Strange Land - Richard Heinlein (our current selection, which I must say I am enjoying more than I thought I would)

I would not classify all the books as great or ones that I loved. But, I can say that, no matter what I thought while reading them, I walked out of every one of our discussions with more appreciation and respect for each book. Listening to everyone's comments and views on each book deepened my understanding. They are quite the group of smarty-pants! It has been a great year for reading and I hope this continues for many more :-) Thanks everyone!


Cooking While Intoxicated

Budge came over last night to pick up the tables I borrowed for the garage sale. I poured us each a glass of wine and we composed an 'official' moderator email (pending Spark's approval, of course) to a miscreant on the e-group. Because of the booze, it remains to be seen if it will ever be sent but I do think it struck a highpoint in literacy and moderating for us :-)

Anyways, after she left, another glass and a half of wine was consumed. Now, the caveat here is I am a cheap drunk. Very cheap. As in snockered with 2.5 glasses of wine over 3 hours. It doesn't take much to get me blitzed. In fact, I read about a vegan wine tasting in a blog I check occasionally, Yeah, that Vegan Shit and I thought it might be a nice idea to have one when we got into the new house. Well, I am now reconsidering that idea. :-) Anyways, I was determined to cook and had my recipes all chosen and ingredients bought. So I started....
I made brown rice and asparagus and cannellini beans with basil from the FatfreeVegan website. I didn't have cannellini beans so I used great northern beans which substituted fine. Didn't have fresh basil or oregano so I substituted dried which also worked. Don't know why I didn't buy fresh....after all it is August in Central New York and the whole state is a blooming garden. I used brown rice and field blend of black and mahogany rice which really gave the dish a nice texture. This is the asparagus added to the rice to steam:

The beans cooked up really delicious. I don't know why I thought this would be a good picture (blame the wine!):

But here is a better view of them cooking (I don't know how an asparagus piece got in there - blame the wine again!):

I use Westbrae organic canned beans. They are superior in texture to regular canned beans.
Tofu was the accompanying dish to all this but I forgot to take a picture of it cooking (blame the wine!). I made Panfried sesame tofu from the Whole Foods website. Well, I didn't follow the recipe exactly as you were supposed to fry the tofu and then top it with a sauce. I dumped everything in the non-stick fry pan and cooked it all up. It actually came out quite good. The finished product:

The sous chef and floor cleaner:

And one casualty:

Untitled update

I have not run in a week.

Cosmo has not run in over a month - it has been way too hot to get him out. He has been handing out lots of Momo enemas - as in any move we make, his head is right up our asses! :-)

I have no idea if I will be able to do the Willow Bay run in two weeks.

I have not cooked and we have resorted to eating what little vegan fast food we can find.

I find my life completely overwhelming right now but I am going to cook tonight. I am, I am, I am! I am making brown and wild rice with asparagus from Fatfreevegan site. My plan was to make this yesterday for Budge and Spark when they were over helping with the garage sale but that plan bit the dust and a cheese pizza and tomato pie (vegan, thank you very much) was brought home and devoured in record time! I thought this recipe had tofu in it so I bought a little extra today at the co-op but it doesn't. So I am going to make Pan-fried sesame tofu from the Whole Foods site. to go along with it. I hope it turns out ok. The last recipe from them kind bit the big one. Yuck. Zesty Quinoa with broccoli and cashews. It had sundried tomatoes in it and they were completely overwhelming. I couldn't even eat it. First recipe from them I tried that didn't work out. Hopefully it is an anomaly. As a service to my 2 readers, I will report back on the success of this recipe :-)

No garage sale today - we got rid of most of what we needed to and I am freecycling the remainders.

We have had some gorgeous days here the past 2-3 days. Beautiful, clear skies - reminding me of the mediterrean skies of Rome in August. It has been hot in the sunny but breezy and cool in the shade - PERFECT! Makes me happy to be in central New York.

The moving/storage unit will be delivered tomorrow and we shall start loading it. The dogs are a little hinky. I think they sense turmoil and our house is in such disarray.
Good new though....things should start happening fast and furious with the house. We bought a new fridge yesterday to be delivered right before we move in. And yes, thanks to Al Gore, we made sure to get one Energy Star certified :-)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Official start of the move

Day one of the garage sale - I'm exhausted :-/ We scheduled it to run Sunday but hopefully tomorrow will be enough to get rid of all the stuff.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

moral authority

Coming home from the co-op yesterday, I had Fresh Air with Terry Gross on. Her guest was Thomas Friedman. Now, I have been a fan of his inciteful and educating writing for years ever since I read From Beirut to Jerusalem back in the 80's. He lost me a bit with his support for the Iraq war - ok, let's be honest, he lost me a lot and really pissed me off :-) His support for the war, while for different reasons then the administration gave for going to war, struck me as just not computing. After all, they are the ones running the war for their reasons, not his. It was like trusting the inmates to run the institution competently. Anyways, yesterday on Fresh Air, I had to smile when I heard him say that this administration has enormous moral clarity but no moral authority in the world because of the Kyoto treaty, Abu Ghraib and the administration of the Iraq war. How true, how true.