Archive for August, 2011

Decide to pour a glass of wine.

Get wine out of refrigerator. Open wine bottle.

Put wine bottle back in refrigerator.

Return to living room.

Wonder “where the hell did I put my glass of wine?”

And scene.


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Beach Birthday

This weekend, my husband and I drove down to Galveston to celebrate the birthday of one of his life-long best friends. It was really fun– we stayed in an adorable condo with three other couples; with a nice view of the seawall:

 The place also had a HUGE pool, which is where we spent most of Friday evening. We swam, we drank, we laughed we played Frisbee; later on we went upstairs & played music & danced half-drunkenly.

You can't tell from the picture, but in one corner of the pool is a little bar, complete with underwater barstools.

Saturday morning the men left early to go fishing. Despite the fact that we were right there on Galveston beach– with all the fishing it has to offer– they opted to drive another 30 out to Freeport. And when they got there– after driving past 20 or so miles of pretty beaches– they fished under a bridge, next to an old marina.

(Say it with me: “Men!”)

The 4 of us ladies joined them around 11:30, and we left the “rustic” fishing spot about 40 minutes later to hit the beach. 🙂 The water was so calm and so flat, there we no waves at all. Some people had waded out chest-deep and were throwing cast nets and fishing (but not catching squat in the heat of the day). I  floated on my back with my ears under the water for a long time– it was so peaceful.

Laying on the beach and playing in the ocean is a lovely feeling. Know what isn’t a lovely feeling? The realization of “Oh God, I have sand everywhere” upon leaving the beach. Sandy pants notwithstanding, it was a lovely day.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I ahve about 900 pounds of salty, sandy laundry to do.

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This morning…

…I was behind a car with a big window sticker advertising FREE WEIGHT LOST. I thought “I feel your pain. I’ve misplaced my free-weights before, too.”

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There are a handful of stray and/or roaming cats in our apartment complex. They hide out under cars, prowl around the fishing hole for discarded bait, and occasionally wander up to an apartment to lounge on its porch. Our porch has been “visited” by roaming cats on at least three occasions– all sniffed around and left after a few minutes. So I didn’t think anything of it when I saw this little fellow up on our porch last Saturday morning:

I said hello to him, petted him for a few minutes (he was super-friendly and started purring immediately), then went on my merry way. When I returned a few hours later (with a new haircut), the cat was gone.

It was cloudy by then, and it got darker and darker as morning turned into afternoon. Just after lunch, a huge thundercloud opened up and we experienced the biggest rainstorm we’ve seen in five months! The rains were so strong that they blew over the tomato cages on our big plants– and threatened to blow over the plants themselves! I rushed outside and moved the plants under the roof and close to the wall, then fixed the cages and straightened up the plants (one was starting to lean precariously to the side). This took less than a minute to accomplish, but in that time I got soaked!

A few minutes after the plants were safe and I was dry, I heard a meowing sound– but not the same meowing sound that our cats make. When  went to the front door I found my little red-furred friend from that morning, soaking wet and squalling on our doormat.

I didn’t want to bring a strange cat into the apartment with my two cats (it might be worth mentioning that at the time, I thought he was actually a she. Apparently, I do not know my cat genitalia very well. I am completely okay with that), so I fixed up a box with some old materials and a little dish of food (hey, I’m not heartless) and it out on the porch. The kitty quickly climbed into the shelter and waited out the storm in there, happily munching on kitty kibble.

The storm went on for a couple of ours– rain coming down in sheets over the lake, thunder loud enough to shake the walls, and some impressive displays of lightning. It eventually slowed and stopped, and the sun came back out at the end of the afternoon.

The kitty was no longer in the box shelter by now, but was sprawled on our front porch as though he lived there. My husband and I decided to take him over to T, a single friend of ours who had been wanting a cat of his own. T loved the cat, texted us the next day about how sweet and cuddly and playful he was, and they lived happily ever after.

Or so we thought.

Cut to the middle of this week, when T is texting my husband asking him to please come and take the cat (now called “Little Missy,” since we still thought he was a girl)– he didn’t want it any more. Kittens are very active at night, and our poor friend works a lot and has to be up at 4:30 in the morning. This…was not working out well.

I contacted the woman from whom I adopted Torgo last year and was told to bring the kitten to Pet Adoption Day today. There, she took a look at him, said that he was pretty (he is) and sweet (he is, and how) and that he would probably get adopted right away (I don’t doubt it).

…She also told me that she didn’t have any cages for him today. D’oh!

Luckily, by this point we had learned A) he wasn’t a female, after all, and B) he had tested negative for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS. I quickly called my husband ad talked it over and we decided that the kitty (now with the less-effeminate moniker “Steve”) would stay with us, in our guest room, until we could bring him to Pet Adoption next Saturday.

So, now we have three cats in our apartment (a scenario which we’ve been trying to avoid, at risk of becoming Those People With All Those Cats); although they are kept separate. So far, everyone’s calm, but I’m a little worried about the first night. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ll update tomorrow–hopefully with pictures!

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Two Months Ago Today

…and it’s going really well so far.

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Rest in Peace, sweet plant.

Our tabasco plant FINALLY started flowering last week. I was so excited! So proud! I had been watering and caring for it every day and it was finally making progress. Yay!

And then…on Saturday morning, while I was taking a modern class at Houston Dance Festival, my husband watered the plants. And when he watered the Tabasco plant…he gave it too much water. WAY too much water. When I returned home hours later, there was still water sitting ON TOP of the soil. I did everything I could to save it (with tears running down my face), but nothing doing. My little plant is gone.

It was so hard to not be furious with my husband, because I know he didn’t mean to kill the plant, but…how could he NOT see that there was too much water in the pot (HE was a farmer!)?  But, I digress. Rant over.

Picture taken on Friday, 8/4/11

After realizing that cats and indoor plants don’t bode well, last Saturday I moved the seed-starting system outside and planted some cucumber and pumpkin seeds. They’ve grown even taller since I took this picture– they’re going to need separating and re-potting sooner than I thought!

I planted some oregano seeds on Friday. They should start popping up at the beginning of next week. I gave up on the okra seeds (because we really don’t need any more okra. Really), and last night planted some more garlic in those rows instead.

And speaking of garlic…


As you can tell, these have all been trimmed back quite a bit in favor of being eaten. We love us some green garlic! It’s got a lovely taste and it smells good, too.

Our basil plants are…a little past their prime, my husband thinks. Once we move the cucumber and pumpkin seedlings into bigger pots, I’m going to plant some basil seeds in those cells. Or I might just buy another basil plant. We might love basil a little too much to wait for it to grow from seeds. 🙂

More pictures to come, after I get my hands on a camera again.

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(We’ve been without internet for a week. I’m now writing posts in a word processor and saving them to post when I have the opportunity. This entry was written August 5th, 2011.)

I’m sure you’re wondering what we did with all that okra.

Most of it was blanched and then frozen (about 7 of the 9 pounds my husband brought home). Here’s what we did with the rest:

– Sliced up several okra and put them in a bottle with extra virgin olive oil, plus some black peppercorns and a piece of green garlic. It’s made a great dressing for roasted vegetables and warm bread– so great, in fact, that most of it is gone already!
– Reserved a bunch of okra seeds for planting
– Made a big batch of stewed okra with tomatoes.

The stewed okra was a big hit with my husband– he raved about it! This is a fast, easy dish to make and it freezes well.

Stewed Okra with Tomatoes
Ingredients (in order of appearance):
– 1 Cup celery, sliced
– 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
– 1/2 cup onion, chopped
– 1/2 large red papper, chopped
– 1/4 cup tomato juice
– 1 pound fresh okra, sliced ;engthwise with tops removed
– 4 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
– 1/3 cup white wine
– 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (or use fresh tomatoes)
– 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp rosemary
– 1/2 tsp oregano
– 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
– 1/4 tsp garlic pepper
– fresh black papper, to taste.

1. Spray a non-stick skillet with olive oil & heat over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, & onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, adding the tomato juice about halfway through.
2. Add the okra and garlic and cook, stirring, for another 9-10 minutes; stirring in the white wine about halfway through
3. Stir in remaining ingredients, reduce heat to low, cover & simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4. Serve alone, with garlic bred, or over basmati rice. Enjoy!

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