Monday, February 23, 2009

Excuse Me While I Die.

February 22, 2009

Dear Lil Buddy,
Unlike your Daddy I was never really a cat person. A bunny, bird, and special poodle were more my style. Then I met your sister. She was in a small cage at a pet store because her Mommy had passed away, and she was very lonely as her brother and sister had already been adopted by other families months prior. I went up to her and called her by her first name, Princess (pretty appropriate don’t you think?), and she walked right up to me purring away. She was beautiful…a perfect duplicate of Garfield. I called Daddy and asked if I could bring her home and he said, “Sure!” After a few days of getting through the red tape, I picked her up and brought her home. She peed in her cage on the car ride over.

It took some time for her to settle in but she was soon sleeping in our bed and showing interest in our everyday activities. After a few times of her chasing her own shadow…into the wall I might add…we started talking about getting her a playmate. Afterall, she was used to having two siblings already so she must be lonely. We mentioned to a few of our friends that we were thinking about adding another cat and one week after Mommy and Daddy’s wedding we brought you home.

I remember the day I picked you up. It was raining outside and the traffic was horrible. I arrived at the kennel a little bit later than I had promised. Mommy’s friend Lisa, the one who always calls you Handsome Boy, took me over to the place where you were. You were born in a litter of six or seven kitties. She pulled you out first and handed you to me. At first I was surprised because you weren’t orange. I guess because your sister was I just assumed you would be too. I told you I wasn’t a cat person! One look at me with those big blue eyes which would later turn green, and it didn’t matter though. You were so tiny, so full of wonder, and absolutely perfect.

I didn’t have a carrier but you fit in my little purse. I zipped you up and your little head poked out looking around. You didn’t seem to mind riding in the car so I decided to take you by the grocery store for a quick stop. Daddy was at home and we were hungry for lunch. I remember standing in the deli line and people not noticing you at first. Once they did, they couldn’t believe how tiny and well behaved you were. I told them you were our new kitty and I was getting you a special treat. Daddy and I had reubens for lunch that day.

Your first introduction to Princess, aka Big Momma, didn’t go so well. When I introduced you to her she hissed and ran away. I could not believe it. She had grown up with other cats and we both thought she would take to you as a mother figure. How wrong we were. Shortly after, she climbed on our bed one night when we had just fallen asleep. She peed on Daddy’s foot and then pooped on mine. That was her way of letting us know that she was not thrilled with her new little brother. At that point it didn’t matter though. We had fallen in love.

Your early days were full of exploring. You loved climbing under the couch and even up inside of it. Every time we opened a cabinet you jumped in to check it out. One day I came home for lunch and heard you crying. I couldn’t find you anywhere and then I realized you were in the cabinet where we keep the Ziploc bags. You had jumped in when Daddy was making his lunch and hid so well you got stuck inside while we were at work. When I opened the cabinet you jumped out and were meowing away. I felt so bad that you had been in there all alone for so long and thought for sure you would stay out of them from then on. But nope! Your fascination with the cabinets never waned. You had to know what was inside everytime one opened up.

You also had a great love of people food. We had to lock you up when we ate your first few weeks at home because we couldn’t keep you off our plates. Tomato sauce, chicken, and fish were your favorites. You always helped Daddy eat our leftovers and he always made sure to bring you a special treat home. A special treat for a special kitty. I adored when you were tiny and you would lay on my chest for a nap under the green blanket. You loved that blanket! You would jump up on it and start kneading, then came the purring. You were never a huge purrer for me but just a few weeks ago you jumped up on my lap for the first time in what seemed like forever and started kneading and purring on that blankie. I didn’t want to move because I loved when you did that so much.

You were only a few months old when you started jumping in the window peering outside. When springtime finally came we took you in the backyard for the first time. You were so precious tip toeing through the grass. I remember watching you chase a yellow butterfly and wishing I had my camera. Pretty soon you were running all around and Daddy and I would chase you, sometimes even throw the Frisbee. You loved the Frisbee. We also had fun squirting water from the water hose at you and running sticks through the grass. You always wanted to play and you loved being in the backyard paling away with Daddy. I would watch you both from the kitchen window and think about how lucky I was to have two such fine men. You both looked so strong back there and the name Lil Man couldn’t have fit you any better. You knew how to be the perfect companion to both of us and we will miss that so much.

Once you got more comfortable in the backyard you started venturing towards the front yard as curious kitties do. I hated that as I was always afraid you would get hurt, but as much as we tried, we couldn’t stop you from venturing away. You loved the neighbors plants because you could hide in them and see everything that was going on. I was also worried that you wouldn’t come back. But you always did…sometimes on your own terms, but you always returned. I liked to think it was because you wanted your Mommy and Daddy but it was probably because you were hungry. Daddy trained you to ring some bells we had on the backdoor and it made us light up everytime we heard them. We thought you were so clever to know how to tell us you wanted in. Both of us still hear those bells just like you’re there ringing them.

As you got older you enjoyed your outside time even more, even when it was cold. You would get restless around 5:00 am, sometimes earlier if you had been inside all day, and start jostling the blinds to wake Daddy and I up. You wanted out! We couldn’t keep glasses of water around because you would knock them over. You were always knocking things over for attention. So much so that Daddy and I couldn’t even have reading lamps by the bed! One time you picked up an entire antique globe and smashed it on the floor. We were finding glass for months. I think it was after that episode that you earned the nickname Focker.

You had a girlfriend that would come and visit. I think you were in love but you still would chase her out of the yard everytime Daddy or I came into view. You were protecting our home and while we were happy you had a friend, we loved you for wanting to keep us safe. We even had a chuckle when you got those noisy birds. You looked so funny with a bird in your mouth! Most of the time we were able to catch you and make you let go of the bird so they could return to their mommies and daddies, but just recently, you managed to drop a bird at Daddy’s feet…inside! Very gross Little Buddy, but I know you were bringing your Daddy a gift and he was very proud of you for it.

Mommy’s new office is only a few minutes away and lunchtime was the highlight of my day. I was able to come home and spend some time with you and your sister and catch you at the time I craved most…you sleepy and cuddly with a trill greeting and ready to lick my hand as long as I wanted you to. Your sister doesn’t like to give kisses and I cherished yours so much. Yesterday when Daddy was in the shower you were taking a mid morning snooze on our bed. I came over to pet you and you started licking me all over. I kissed your face and you licked my nose. I kissed you again and then you licked my mouth. I remember thinking that if anyone saw that exchange they would think I was the grossest person ever. I don’t care. I cannot stand the thought of never feeling your sweet kisses again my baby boy.

Your Daddy and I are so, so, so sorry we couldn’t protect you from getting hurt. I am trying very hard not to dwell on why you darted in the road but it is so hard. Were you spooked out of Rob’s yard? Were you chasing a bird to bring to your Daddy? Were those squirrels ticking you off again? Were you coming home because you wanted to hang out in your own backyard with Chase? I just don’t know. What I do know is that our hearts are broken. We are absolutely devestated that you were taken from us so soon. Our hearts literally ache we are hurting so bad. We had big plans for you Lil Buddy for many, many years to come. You were the funnest, bestest, greatest kitty that anyone could ever ask for and we wanted to give you the best life possible. I hope you know that we tried our best to do that for you. We really, really did.

Our home will never be the same without you. You were so much more than just a pet to us. You were our best friend. We will attempt to find solace in the fact that we loved you more than words can say and that your ending was quick and without suffering.

I love you always and forever my sweet boy,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?


Last week I was in Orlando for work and was lucky enough to catch up with family, and then spend the weekend with one of my besties, "A." Overall it was a fantastic trip and hey, 80 degree weather! What a shocker to return to Virginia and the temperature be 39!

The visit with "A" did leave me with a bit of a helpless feeling and I've been worrying about it for days now. "A" has been friends with "M" for almost 25 years. Understandably they have been through a ton together and have witnessed the ups and downs of each other's lives over the years. Only thing is, "M" is a complete a$shole. While he is polite and tolerable to everyone else, he is degrading, jealous, disloyal, mean, and downright cruel to "A". It hurts "A" very deeply but despite how bad he is treated and how many times he has asked "M" to stop, he continues the friendship.

I, as well as many of his other friends, have tried expressing our concern about this relationship many times. NOBODY deserves to be treated like this, especially "A." He has a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone. He is there for his friends no matter what with no strings attached.

Even though "A" and "M" are not romantically involved, "A" is in a textbook abusive relationship. He is in denial and constantly makes excuses for "M"'s behavior. He can't seem to move past the excuse that he and "M" have history, and it's important to keep those ties in your life. I appreciate the history, but I can't make him see that the history he has been creating the last few years is full of hurt and very unhealthy. Friends are supposed to build you up, not tear you down.

Can anyone recommend any books or support groups that I can suggest to "A?" Even though I am 14 hours away, I would like to get some resources in his hands. I doubt they will help, but I have to try. Afterall, that's what real friends do.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Greetings! It's time for Not Me! Monday. Hop on over to MckMama's blog to find out more so you can join in on the fun!

I did not stay home from work today and tell my boss it was because I had cramps. My boss is not a male!

I did not eat bits and pieces of EVERYTHING because I am craving everything.

I did not get a tiny bit disappointed that not one soul seemed to find my turkey meatball recipe enticing. I was not at all sad that they weren't a hit. *sniff*

I am not even a tiny bit excited about my trip to Orlando this week. Seeing one of my bestest friends does not make me smile from ear to ear.

I am not leaving my hubby alone on Valentine's Day.

I did not have a great weekend enjoying some warm weather.

I did not eat out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. We would never make dinner plans with people three nights in a row.

Have a great week!

Monday, February 2, 2009


GOOP is one of my favorite newsletters I get each week written by Gwenyth Paltrow. Each issue shares information on a different category: make, go, get, do, be, see.

I have been curious about turkey meatballs for sometime so last week's "make" post was a Sunday dinner that I had to try (minus the peas). I did make a few minor adjustments: spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti (trying to stick within our calorie limit for the cleanse!), asiago cheese instead of parmesan (it's what was in the fridge) and a little extra garlic all the way around...ABSOLUTELY delicious!! I made a double batch in an effort to use more of the fresh herbs and froze 1/2 of them without the sauce.

Definitely a keeper!


TIME: 15 minutes
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) lightly salted butter, room temperature
5 cloves garlic, pushed through a press
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 baguette
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Stir together the butter, garlic, parsley and pepper until well combined. Cut the baguette in half horizontally and spread each cut side with the garlic butter, being sure to use every last bit. Sandwich the bread back together, wrap in a sheet of tin foil and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler, unwrap the bread, evenly sprinkle the parmesan over both sides of the bread and broil until the cheese is melted and browned. Check after one minute. I burn mine by accident 50% of the time, so keep an eye out! Cut into pieces and serve.


SERVES: 4 (makes about 2 dozen small meatballs)
TIME: an hour, plus at least 20 minutes of simmering
2 tablespoons olive oil plus 2 additional tablespoons
1 large yellow onion, very finely diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
coarse sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, pulsed in a food processor with their juice or crushed by hand
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 pound ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
1 egg
1 pound spaghetti, cooked just before serving
1/4 cup basil leaves, roughly torn

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about eight minutes, sweating it without giving it too much color. When it’s soft, add the garlic and fennel seeds and season generously with salt and pepper (about a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of pepper should do). Sauté for an additional three or four minutes. Remove and reserve half of this onion mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add the tomatoes and their juice to the remaining mixture in the pot, turn the heat to low and simmer while you make the meatballs. Be sure to put a little water in the tomato can, swish it around and add it to the pot (don’t waste a bit!).
To make the meatballs, combine the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, parsley, thyme and rosemary with the reserved onion mixture. Add the turkey and egg and mush it all with your hands (the best tool for this job) just until everything is well-combined, don't over mix. Form the mixture into 1-1/2" balls with your hands (of course you can make them whatever size you like). Heat the last two tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Making sure not to overcrowd the pan, brown the meatballs (should take about five minutes). Put the browned meatballs into the simmering tomato sauce and let them cook, shaking the pot occasionally to roll the meatballs around, for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour and a half. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Serve with spaghetti and the torn basil.


TIME: two to three minutes
2 cups freshly shelled or frozen peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
a squeeze of lemon
a pinch each of coarse salt and pepper
a few leaves of basil, torn

Steam the peas for two to three minutes. Serve plain for the kids and dress with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and basil for the adults.

Not Me! Monday

It's "Not Me! Monday" time! Thanks to MckMama for hosting the fun! Glad you, PC, and Stellan had such a great time on a well deserved vacation!

I did not resume my old habit of blog stalking and not post a single time on my own blog. I am committed to posting everyday and would never regress back to a said stalker.

I did not cheat on our cleanse a few times when the hubby wasn't watching. That would be SO unfair to make him stick with the rules while I did my own thing on occassion.

I did not skip my weekly happy hour in favor of a massage instead. I am way more social than that!

We did not just buy our SECOND truck in six weeks. We would never have the bad luck of two vehicles dying around the same time.

I did not skip out on ALL the Super Bowl parties we were invited to in favor of my couch because I did not have the energy to go to three different places in a four hour period of time. I would not send my hubby out to deal with the masses on his own. The giant zit on my chin would never hinder me from going out either. I am not that vain.

Have a great week! Even though I am headed to Dallas this week I will do my best to do better about posting!