Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What does God have against waffles?

Last Friday morning, I started making waffles for breakfast. As I was mixing the dry ingredients, I realized with a sinking heart that I had run out of baking powder. Ratso. I kept the bowl of flour and sugar and sealed it up for a later time. ( Hmmm...that sounds vaguely reminiscent of a passage in the book of Revelation...)( Or is it Daniel?)

Yesterday I went shopping and got, among other things, some baking powder. So this morning, I finished making the batter. I got out our nice little waffle iron ( an oft used and much appreciated wedding gift from the P-----'s of Chestnut Hill) and plugged it in. And nothing happened. I tried four different outlets to make sure it wasn't just a faulty outlet but to no avail. In the midst of this exercise in futility, I heard a small, moist noise. I looked around to see Brad's STUPID CAT up on the counter with his head in the bowl, lapping up the waffle batter for all he was worth. I was SO mad. And I let him know it. All my waffle making efforts- down the drain- literally.

When Grandpa came upstairs for breakfast, I told him about the issues that had prevented me from making waffles. ( He LOVES waffles so I try to make them at least once every couple of weeks.) He accepted the matter quite calmly and said, "Well, maybe the Lord didn't want us to have waffles this morning." Well, I guess NOT! I guess the Lord wants us on a strictly cold cereal breakfast regimen. Okay. Whatever. I sort of doubt divine intervention was necessary but who knows....Maybe one of the eggs was carrying some sort of mutant disease that would have reduced us to foaming at the mouth and generally carrying on in a horrifying manner. Like mad cow disease- but mad chicken disease in this case. ( But I bought special vegetarian-fed hen eggs...so I doubt this is a possibility...) I'll have to keep an eye on Stan to watch for any ill effects of the waffle batter. If he grows a third eye, I'll know that a miracle occurred and that an angel must have come and struck the waffle iron and planted the idea in Stan's head that it would be good to lick the batter, rendering it unfit for human consumption, and thereby saving us from a horrible fate. The canary in the mine thing. If I go out and buy another waffle iron and my third attempt at waffle making is somehow also foiled, I will conclude that, indeed, God wants me to give up waffles in general. Okay, maybe I'm taking it a bit far here.

Later, as I was relating the story to Brad, I complained that the worst part was that the precious ingredients had gone to waste. ( I was thinking particularly of those two vegetarian-fed-hen eggs. Those things don't come a dime a dozen. Nor do they grow on trees.) And then there was the milk and the flour and the... "Hmmmm...all of seventy fives cents worth of groceries..." was his reply. Oh. Yeah. Nothing like a good choleric husband to help you see beyond the supposed tragedy of the thing to the simple, unemotional facts of the matter. I guess I can deal with seventy five cents of loss.

Well, let me know if you see any good sales on waffle irons.

There, Aaron- how's that for a non-anecdote post? ;)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Other Cat

The other day a strange cat came to our back door. ( I should clarify- strange as in new- not strange as in a cat with green and pink hair.) Stan was completely enthralled and watched this black and white newcomer with fascination; I think it's the first cat he's seen ( other than his own reflection which doesn't count anyway) since coming to live with us. The Other Cat would sit and stare at Stan and then suddenly launch himself at the glass between them. Or if he was at the window, he'd lunge and crash against the screen in an alarming way. Most intimidating behavior. Not really how I would choose to win friends and influence other cats. But then, I'm not a cat. ( He/She was probably just trying to play but it seemed extremely menacing to me.) It happened repeatedly and Stan would shrink back, startled, but then go right back to the window to stare back. And he meowed in a quiet, talkative way and moved from window to window as the Other Cat walked around our porch. It was almost pathetic to watch. I was a little tempted to let the cat in. But you know what they say about talking to strangers and letting them in your house - especially strangers who hurl themselves at your windows.

The Other Cat has returned a couple times. It's almost ghostly when you glance out your window at night and see a dark kitty head looking in at you. Stan stirs up the most unholy, piteous, yowling fuss whenever the Other Cat leaves. It's almost got me thinking we should get a second cat just so Stan can have a feline companion...I guess I'm crossing over into a different realm of pet owner. Part of me feels guilty that he's an only cat; but then the other part of me ridicules that first part. In short, I am conflicted. I am afraid that if we get another cat, Stan won't be as apt to cozy up to me and nap in my lap. He'll be too busy playing with his brother cat. ( We will not be getting a female- fixing or no fixing.) And what if I love the second cat more? Or worse- what if Stan hates him? What shall we do? ( Oh WOW- I AM a real pet owner- I just dug grunchies out of his eye!)
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Monday, January 22, 2007

Back from Atlanta

originally uploaded by bradleypass.

I put a few pics on Flickr from our sojourning in Atlanta. Here Claire can be seen getting in some face time with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

Friday, January 19, 2007


My new role in life: chew-toy for my cat. He seems to find great delight in gnawing on my arm.

Some of you might guess that I have been extremely busy because of the lack of posts here. But you'd be wrong. Life continues to drone on boringly. My life is the exact opposite of a Sandford.

Hmmmm. You'd never guess that I made a New Year's Resolution to be less negative. Now that I think of it, that was last year's NYR too. How successful could I have been if I have the same NYR two years in a row? Hello, my name is Eeyore.

BUT- to look on the bright side of things: we are going on a three day vacation this weekend. "WHAT?" you may say. She just said that she is, in essence, a shiftless bum, so why does she need a vacation? Well- notice the word "we." The vacation is not for me- it's for Brad. His life, in fact, rivals the busy-ness of a Sandford...and he hasn't had a real vacation for...well...a long time. Maybe in fact, over a year and a half. The last long weekend we had was back in May, for Jeff and Fritter's wedding, and as fun as that was- it wasn't really a vacation...because to me, a vacation is mostly spent alone- retreating from the world. And their wedding was An Exciting Social Event! And our trip to NH for a week was definitely NOT a vacation. So- the last vacation HE has had was probably....our second anniversary trip to Burlington, VT. ( See July 2005). So he really deserves a vacation. I'm just along for the ride, trying not to feel guilty that we won't be going to church.

ANYway- on to a strange and random anecdote. Recently, as he and I were talking, Brad imitated me groaning about something and he let out this strange, overexaggerated noise. Suddenly, there was a ghostly little echo. We both noticed it and wondered what could be making it. AHA! The headboard! Of the nearby bed! It was acting as a sounding-board. Weird!
( That was my theory anyway.) Brad made the noise again- exactly as before. It was kind of musical. The faint echoing noise came again. Wow! And then Brad realized that it was coming from a guitar, which was also nearby. The exaggerated groaning noise he was making was in fact, in the key of E and every time he made it, the guitar vibrated sympathetically in the same key. I TOLD you it was a strange and random anecdote! If I wanted to be stranger and randomer, I might also tell you about the discussion we had about musical notes and how I thought that E was the first note ever discovered/played/sung and in fact, the key that God talks in, ( b/c E major happens to be my favorite chord), and Brad disputed this and said that it was too shallow and happy and unresolved and that in fact, G must be the key that God talks in because it's much more authoritative and definitive sounding. ( If definitive is the word I want...I'm paraphrasing our conversation b/c I can't remember it word for word...)

But I won't tell you about that discussion. Because it would be too weird. And I'm sure God is no respecter of keys and probably talks in all musical tones.

( I just read this post over the phone to Brad - who is working like a busy Sandford- and as I finished reading it to him, I heard, " That will be $7.48. Would you like a bag for that, sir?" Well, at the time that I started reading, he said that the store was dead. )

As we continued to talk just now, I began to notice a strange little noise niggling at the back of my mind. It finally registered that it was the noise of silverware clanking on unwashed breakfast dishes. I jumped up and ran over to the kitchen to shoo the cat off the counter and mentioned Stan's transgression to Brad and he said, " I was wondering when you were going to notice that!" Unbelievable. That boy has ears like an owl.

Okay- I'd better stop writing or I really won't get anything done today AND I'll bore you all to death. The great unwashed mass of breakfast dishes calls. Yeah- three cereal bowls...MY LIFE IS AWESOME!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

My New 12 String

For those of you who want/need to see what a 12 string looks like...voila. It may be a little blurry ( I took it, not Brad) but it gives you an idea of how it works. But to really appreciate its truly awesome beauty, you need to play it and/or hear it - even just a single chord!- not just see it. So, come for a visit, friends! In fact, bring your own instruments and we'll have a good old fashioned jamming session.
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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Get well soon, Stanny Boy!

( Sometimes I break out into spontaneous singing of, " Oh Stanny boy, the pipes, the pipes are callllling..." His name lends itself well to jokes and nicknames, eh? This particular appellation also works when you're singing, " Can she bake a cherry pie, Stanny Boy, Stanny Boy...")

So we took Stan in this morning for his operation. Oh my word- I was unreasonably SAD to leave him! He was mewing confusedly on the way in and I felt so sorry for him. I have always sort of pooh-poohed pet-owners who treated their pets as if they were human...but I must say, I am becoming like that- more than I ever thought possible. I even signed him up for the extra $20 IV drip to make his recovery less painful. I wanted to hug him before I left, but he was in the cat carrier and the office was busy so I didn't feel that I had time to go through a pitiful, heart-wrenching farewell scene. Good grief, Claire- he'll be back tonight at 5:00.

Brad and I went out for coffee & breakfast after that and then went to Staples to look at office chairs. On our way home, I was saying how devastated I would be if Stan died in surgery today. Even now, the house seems too quiet without him. Then I had a great idea. The next time the neighbor kids come over to play with Stan and I don't feel like having company, I should greet them at the door with the sad news that Stan has passed away. ( MAN! My lying husband's bad habits are really rubbing off on me!) Brad took up this idea and ran with it. "Yeah! We could have this little mound in the front yard with a cross on it with Stan's name...Or better yet, we could tell them that THEY actually ran him over with their mini-van and didn't even know about it. We could get some food coloring and gray hair and make a spot on the cul-de-sac that looks like the scene of the accident...." Oh my word. We are SO awful.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Happy Birthday, Zohrab!

Today is our friend Zohrab's birthday! I just got back from a birthday dinner/party at his home. His mom made a wonderful dinner - as is always the case when we eat there- and there were many friends there celebrating. We had a lot of fun visiting and playing a game afterward...

"Z", as we like to call him, is a good friend, a faithful guy who has been through a lot and continues to persevere. We appreciate him so much. Be sure to go over to his blog and wish him a happy birthday!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Why Today Was GOOD.

First of all, today was good because Brad had the day off. It's his first day off in a long time that he didn't have Something Else Going On, so it's been good to have a low key day together.

Secondly, we went out to a music store this afternoon and tried out a 12 string guitar. Brad was going to get one for me for Christmas but couldn't find one in time. We walked in, saw a beautiful one, and took it to a back room to try it out. Oh my word- playing that thing was like falling in love. That sound just made me so happy; it's so clean and shiny and rich and full. Words can't do it justice. It makes my present guitar seem like a pale, skinny junior bridesmaid compared to the radiant, glorious bridalness of this 12 string. ( Having said that, I should also say that I will always love my present guitar because it was my first guitar and it does have a good sound for the six string that it is.) Anyway- I couldn't get this stupid smile off my face. The sound of it feeds my heart. It makes me see the world differently - to know that such wonderful things exist. It makes me glad I am alive. It was so easy to play, too. It had been a while since I had played a 12 string - maybe ten years- and I remember the last one as a bit of a challenge, but this thing wasn't too hard. It would be an adjustment for sure, but not outside the realm of possibility. I wanted to sit there and just play and play. But I knew it wasn't wise to buy it on the spot. Brad wanted to do some research online to make sure we are getting a good deal. It was almost painful to leave because I sort of wanted to stay behind and guard it, lest anyone else come along and want to buy it.

But I was happy. Happy to know that it was a possibility. Happy that Brad thought of it as a gift for me because I never would have entertained the idea. I would have thought it was too extravagant, something that would be purely fun but not something I really needed, something too big to spend that much money on my amateurish ability. I have wanted a twelve string for a long time but it's the kind of thing like, " I would like a vacation home by the ocean someday..."; you know it will probably never happen but it's fun to think about. I hadn't even thought about it recently; Brad came up with the idea all on his own.

Other husbands get their wives jewelry for Christmas. Booooooring. My husband thinks of COOL STUFF like a twelve string guitar.

Later in the afternoon, he sent me back to the store, with his classical guitar to trade it in for the twelve string. Wow. And it was a NICE classical guitar. He gave that up... for ME.

I think I'm getting spoiled.

I was a little afraid that I would get in a car crash and die before I got a chance to play the guitar again. But it was still there and I brought it home right before dinner time. I couldn't wait to play it so I played it at the dinner table. *Happy sigh.* It is definitely a step up, challenge-wise, and my hand gets tired faster but it is sooooo nice. Thankyou, Bradley!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

This Blogger's First Written Post of 2007

I haven't posted much recently as we have had company most of the last week and a half and so I have not been in the writing frame of mind. But fortunately, Brad has been a little more faithful in the photography area so at least you knew from Flickr that we are still in the land of the living. We are loving our mutual Christmas present of a new Nikon D200...Brad uses it most of the time but I am really enjoying taking pictures on it as well.

Our most recent guests were The Still-Newlyweds: Jeff and Fritha. We had a lot of fun visiting with them. ( See Flickr for pictures...) We're still consuming the cool comestibles they brought. Mmmm....Starbucks Frappuccinos.... And Fritter, you left your white cookie canister here...So you'll have to swing by our place to pick it up next time you're on your way to Florida...Good excuse for another visit, hopefully!

We didn't do Christmas cards this year. Sorry! Actually, I'm not sorry. We were going to do a photo one through Brad's store, but somehow, being the procrastinators that we are, it never happened. I guess the real reason was that neither of us had a good hair day that coincided with the other person's good hair day between the time we had the idea for a Christmas photo and December 25th. Please don't think we forgot you because you didn't get a card from us. Everyone was likewise neglected this year. So stop checking your mailbox.

It's time to get back into the normal routine of things and look forward to the next big event: SPRING. It should be here any day now.

In other news: Stanne has an appointment with destiny next week. He's going to the vet for an overnight visit to get "fixed", bless his heart. I started telling the little neighbor girl this the other day when she came over to play with him. I was just making conversation but I suddenly realized I'd walked into a minefield when she didn't understand what I meant by "fixed." Um....I tried to explain that it would prevent him from...having...babies..."But he's a BOY! Only girl cats have kittens!" Yes...um...whatever. Not being experienced in these types of explanations, Claire mutters something nonsensical and deftly changes the subject...

Monday, January 01, 2007

Relaxing on New Year's Day

originally uploaded by bradleypass.