Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The New Normal

So, it has been 1 month since Vespa was last here, and we're all adjusting in our own way. Thank you for all the kind comments - it was comforting to read them and I would often find myself reading them over and over when I was having a particularly hard moment. 

Mingus was in a funk for a few weeks, which gave us something to focus on other than our own grief. We bought him a bed of his very own instead of the pathetic old bath towels that we place around the house for him. The bed was a hit... With the cats.

Greaseball, now the undisputed lord of the house, especially enjoys the bed and is quite pleased that we abandoned the raggedy old towels.

These tiny woofers also enjoyed Mingus's toy box and his bed. One thing that we couldn't do when Vespa was around was have guest dogs to our house. She was very territorial, and we could think of few things less awkward than having to apologize about our dog beating up a friend's dog. Mingus isn't territorial about anything or anyone, so he's been a perfect host.

Perhaps because he is still not in his right mind, the boy volunteered to go to his first ever college football game. Cal lost (OK, we got slaughtered), he got heckled by a rabid Duck fan (but thankfully since he didn't care, the lady lost interest and moved seats), and he found it curious that I was singing fight songs and pumping my fist in the air at what seems to him random intervals. Being scrutinized like some sort of sociological experiment while doing things that I know are silly and stupid somehow makes the experience of the college ball game diminish, but at least my friend was there to look silly and stupid with me. Go Bears! We'll do better at basketball this season.

Crisp winter weather brings kimchi cravings front and center. I let my last batch age until it was really sour, and then made kimchi stew 3 times in the past couple of weeks and tried my hand at kimchi pancakes. My first pancakes were too loose, so my second try involved adding an egg and some cornstarch to make the pancake extra crispy. While version 2 was better, it's still not quite right. When I suggested making kimchi pancakes for brunch last weekend, the boy sadly asked if we could eat normal breakfast with regular pancakes and bacon and if we could please not have any kimchi in our brunch. Since my stock response is that I will eat anything he makes, we had pumpkin pancakes that day. How boring, but I guess we have been eating kimchi at every meal since I'm in experimentation mode.

This kimchi pancake only looked good in the pan. It fell apart when I flipped it.
Have you ever been to the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley? They have free tours once a month, so as long as you sign up early (we're talking months ahead of time), you can observe some cool classroom action and check out a sweet garden. The tour is mostly aimed towards the program policy, and while I was hoping that it was more about  the plants, I still found it all fascinating.

The man in the corner is made of playing cards
I have compost bin envy. And I want an army of children to help me turn it.
My knitting needles have been on fire lately. This hat was hastily knit because while trying to slink by the local pedicure place (I haven't been there in months), one of the owners saw me and followed me to the next door cafe. Although that soundes really creepy, she was being very sweet because she wanted to invite me to a baby shower that was in 2 days. Since I cannot bear to give babies store bought things, I whipped up a vanilla, stockinette cap and added a couple of crocheted flowers to jazz it up. Those flowers probably took me longer than the hat since I've been really tense, and crocheting was a challenge since I had trouble pulling my hook through the loops.

Another reason my needles are smoking is because I'm knitting samples for an upcoming trunk show! I was contacted by the owner of The Yarn Boutique in Lafayette to see if I'd be open to the idea, and since I was, I picked out some yarn and have been knitting away. Date is TBD since my crafting time has been rather limited due to work and life, but I'll let y'all know when it goes down. Stay tuned...


  1. I laughed so hard about the cats in the dog bed - it's the exact same at my Mom's house with her black lab and three cats!

  2. i will take a look at the ingredients list on the bag of flour my mom buys to make pancakes (the savory kind) and email the list to you. i know that despite the bag instructions, she uses water and 2 eggs to get it to the right consistency and if those eggs aren't added, they take FOREVER to cook in the pan. and i'm jealous that you had kimchi stew. NOM. pumpkin pancakes are a distant second.

  3. Such an awesome post - and I laughed at the dog bed thingy, too. I can't tell you (because you'd never believe me) how many damn cedar beds I've brought home from Costco only to never be slept on and used as the place to barf, poop or pee. Seriously. My vet said dogs don't like cedar. So we are back to old dumpy towels. . . nice and stinky and, well, washable - Towels, that is, when she's not on the bed sharing my pillow. True story.

    The pic with the three dogs is crazy cute.

    You are a good girl for eating pumpkin pancakes. Maybe not as interesting as kimchi pancakes, but much more interesting than a cup of coffee and a half of a brown banana.

    Glad you're back.

    (To MINGUS! - cheers)

  4. Wanderingcatstudio, cats are going to take over the world, one dog bed at a time.

    kimchi THANK YOU!

    Rani, until recently, all the dog beds were also repositories for pee, poop, and barf as well. Now, this bed from REI can be thrown into the washer and dryer, and it smells just like new. It's awesome! http://www.rei.com/product/691179/canine-hardware-travel-bed

  5. Delightful to see that one picture of Mingus smiling again!



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