Monday, January 9, 2017

Thanks Dr. Google...

My cat, Meeko, is getting on up there in years.  As best as I can figure, due to her being a feral rescue and the number of years I have been her slave, she is 16 to 17 years old.  She is slowing down, can't jump as high as she used to, and has some areas that are tender and achy.

The hard fact is that she is getting old..and health concerns are starting to appear..

This afternoon, I was hanging in the front room with Bacall when Meeko came in and wanted some affection, but when she jumped up on my lap, her back haunches were decidedly wet and slightly sticky.  As this is an area where she is tender, I was immediately afraid a cyst or something had ruptured, but it was not the case.  Next, I was concerned that she had 'wet her pants' and then had just laid in her own urine, not realizing it.

Needless to say, I was CONCERNED!!!  I immediately started googling loss of bladder control in cats, because my normal vet was closed and I wanted to get an idea of what I was dealing with before I called the emergency vet.  Worst case scenarios started popping up on my screen....

However, Meeko was not acting sick or in pain, in fact, she cruised into the kitchen to try and get some food out of the situation.

Meanwhile, I'm sniffing her wet blanket making sure it wasn't urine.  (Isn't the life of a cat owner glamorous?)  No urine smell....

I take the damp blanket to the washer to throw it in and realize something....
and then burst into laughter, which made Meeko infuriated and annoyed.

A bit of a side story, that is vital for your understanding...
I, for the past number of years, have made my own laundry detergent (non toxic, environmentally friendly and WAY cheaper) and keep it in a 5 gallon bucket near the washer on the floor in the laundry room.  

The lid on my 5 gallon bucket isn't always attached as it could be.  Meeko likes to hang out in the laundry room as an exploring base.

Do you see where this is going?
She jumped on the lid, which flipped off, and in she went.  Fortunately, it was only about a third full, but her bum definitely dunked.  I would of paid big money to witness this event.  The lid flipping, her going in and immediately coming out, then the sauntering off like nothing happened.

Soapy...aka Meeko
I made sure I wiped her off as best as I could, and now that she is dry, her fur on her bum is soft, fluffy and she is static free (hahahahahahahahahaha!)

So Thanks Dr. Google, but it turns out it was just an embarrassing situation for my cat.....

Sleeping with one eye open, cause I laughed....

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


A couple of days ago on Facebook, a friend of mine defended New Year's Resolutions in a succinct and powerful way.  She posted,

 "It has become fashionable to put down the tradition of making New Year's Resolutions.  To be cynical ('you won't stick to them').  To be judgmental ('why do you need a date on the calendar to decide to change?').  No.  Make your best New Year's Resolutions ever.  Infuse them with resolute sacred intention.  Claim them:  "You know what?  THIS is the year that I will....."  And then lean in.  Right now.  This is a ritual that we actually need.  Love your resolutions and encourage those of your loved ones.  xo"

That post summed up better than I have ever been able to express why I still make Resolutions.  It's a chance to challenge, grow, explore and build upon my experiences in my life.  People ask 'Why?', and I say 'WHY NOT?'  Because even in the missed attempts and errors, you will still learn and move forward.

So with that, I hereby present my 2017 New Year's Resolutions.....

1.  Limit social media and screen time.

Facebook, Instagram, apps and all of that have a place, but throughout 2016 I felt them going a bit sideways sometimes and it made me realize that at times, I was not in control of it and it was starting to control me.  Not good.  With a lot of my groups that I get together in real life communicating and organizing things on Facebook, I can't leave, but I can make sure that I set limits and involvement.

Update:  I set limits and found my balance with social media.  I found my reason for being on them and just as importantly I found I can be without them.

2.  Write letters, cards, in my journals, etc.

Picking up a pen and writing....what a concept!  This came out of a realization from a 2016 resolution that I found really value something hand written, so why shouldn't I spread this to others?

Update:  As you know my absence from this blog, I found my voice off line this year.  I also found that I LOVE drawing little doodles on envelopes I send, so now I look for a reason to send a card to someone.

3.  A New (to me) Restaurant a Month

I live in an insanely wonderful neighborhood for food!  The local and healthy options outnumber fast food options.  While I eat at the local options, I still have a tendency to eat at the same one over and over again.....  Eating good food and supporting local businesses, sounds like a good deal to me...

Update:  I missed a couple of months, but had multiple restaurants in others, so this was a success.  I am working off of a list I found and will continue this in 2018.

4.  Be a tourist in my town and state

This one started simmering in my mind in July when some family came to visit and I had done NONE of the things we were suggesting for the group to do.  Really?  Not only will I have a better idea on what is worth it and what is not, I will break up the mundane of day to day life.

Update:  I went to more museums, attractions and events this year than I have in multiple years.  What I found, SLC has a lot to offer.  What I learned, if you want to attend an attraction (zoo, aquarium, etc) more than once in a calendar year, a membership will pay for itself and then you can go more than once!

5.  Take time for self care

I admit I am not always the best at this.....  I don't mean taking a spa day, I mean taking 5 minutes to breathe or turning off my phone during the day or any of the other little things we can do for ourselves to calm, protect, energize or whatever else we need.   My resolution of last year of a daily walk started this realization, so I decided to expand a bit.  The reasoning behind this is the classic airplane safety instruction, 'Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others.'  No matter our situation in life, married or single, with children or without, young or old, we all need to take care of ourselves.

Update:  Just having this as a reminder this year helped.  I journaled.  I rested.  I knitted.  I let go.  I hung on.  Self care took many different forms and really didn't take time away from other things, in fact, I think it opened up time, because it helps you figure out what is important.

6.  Do at least 3 30 Day Challenges

I consider 30 Day Challenges mini resolutions.  I have a couple picked out-- a cardio/exercise one, a photography one, and a self care one and will probably add another.  It's a way to focus and make a jump forward in things in my life.

Update:  I LOVED this! I did a couple of exercise ones, a gratitude one, a happiness one and considered all of them successes!  They ended up being jumpstarts for new habits.

7.  Travel solo

There is something freeing in travel to begin with, but to do it on my own (not meeting a friend or family member somewhere, but knowing absolutely no one) seems both freeing and comfort zone pushing at the same time.  I have an idea where I am going to go, but am still working on the details.

Update:  didn't happen, but I'm ok with it.  In 2018, more solid plans are in place.

8.  Reduce my and done, straws, bags, etc.

I'm pretty good about using reusable grocery bags, but I wanted to do something tangible for the earth and environment and reducing my plastic use seems like a good place to start.

Update:  I changed my toilet paper, it's no longer made from trees and everything about it is better for the environment.  I have pretty much eliminated ziplock bags thanks to Bee's Wrap and food grade silicone bags.  I do not use disposable utensils, I keep a set of recycled bamboo utensils in my purse along with a glass straw.  This was a mind set change and it was a daily thought pattern of "What can I do to eliminate my throwaways?'  and it is now a habit that I will continue.

9.  Do something once a month out of my comfort zone.

I have a pretty eclectic life, but still have a tendency to stay within my comfort zone.  I'll probably vary the way I do this, but if you never try something, you'll never know....

Update:  Every month, something cropped up that challenged me a bit.  Some were easier than others, but others took a bit of courage.

10.  Bucket List items (shocker I know, as this has been on the list for the past 4 years)

It always surprises me which items get done each year and which ones that I had planned to do don't, but every year, I have crossed items off my list.

Update:  A trip to Rocky Mountain National Park was the only one that I really expected to do, but it wasn't the only one that was completed.  I love having a list of things I want to accomplish in life...

It's funny, I say that I need 10 Resolutions, but the last couple of years, I have ended up at 10.

Here's to another trip around the sun...

If you are really curious about how last year's turned out, I updated my post laying them out with the results.  You can read it HERE

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Rumbly in my Tummy...

As the year comes to a close, I am realizing that I didn't quite finish my food challenge.  :(  But I have a plan for the 6 items I didn't complete, they will be done in January.  I never tried a food that scared me...I didn't make a layer cake from scratch...I haven't taken my tour, but I did buy the groupon to do so...I didn't make mac and, January is going to be a good food month.

But I did do a lot of things, very yummy things....
Instead of going thru all of them, I thought I would just hit some of my adventures.  As you will see, some were wonderful, but others are a work in progress....

49.  More dutch oven cooking, especially during the summer

May 14th, I got the charcoal out and had the first of what I plan to be many dutch oven meals.   The smell alone of it cooking just made my saliva pool.  I ended up using my dutch oven almost once a week during the summer.....

18. Make a condiment from scratch.

May 16th, I blended up the blend that had been marinating for lack of a better word for two days and viola, I had made mustard.  I also made ketchup, in my crockpot and then canned it!

21. Make a soufflé.

It turned out pretty well, but I think it could of been fluffier....

23. Cook a steak to perfect doneness.

I think I eat steak once a year, but I managed to grill it to the exact doneness I prefer and to the preference of those I was cooking for...  YA!!!

42.  Cheesecakes without the cracking

Well, I'm going to have to do this one again.....  I did not have the right size pan for my water bath and it went dry, so my cheesecake got dry and dry cheesecakes crack....  It tasted fine, but grrrrrrrr...
oh, well, I make another one down the road...

27. Feast on an ethnic food you've never had before.

Groupon helped me with this one, I now can say I have eaten Ethiopian food at Mahinder Restaurant here in SLC.

33. Make homemade pasta.

I actually took a class at The Salt Lake Culinary Center and learned how to do it, and let me tell you the difference between fresh made homemade pasta and dried pasta is MASSIVE!!!  The best part, it is soooo easy to make!

5.  Make tomato sauce from scratch.

Tomato Basil Simmer me it's good, and the bonus, I canned it so I will be able to enjoy it year round.

34. Flip pancakes without them folding.

Here's what I learn with pancakes and eggs and flipping, control and speed help, but as folding prone flipper, size matters....  make your pancakes a little smaller so that they fit with little overlap on your spatula, you'll gain confidence and no more folding...

20. Visit your neighborhood farmers market.

I went to my mid week Sugarhouse Farmer's Market!!!  Not as much as I wanted but I did go this year!

I have no regrets attempting this challenge and not accomplishing all of them.  It pushed me to try new recipes and got me more aware of my food and my approach to it...


Fly By February....

If I thought January went fast,  February upped the game and went warp speed..... my view of February as it flew on by... I kind of ha...