Friday, August 31, 2012


Our cat, Smacky, is going to a new home tonight.

It doesn't feel overly real yet, although it is sinking in today.  As I cleaned the cat carrier this afternoon, my heart felt heavy.

Once it was clean & dry I put it in the house with it's door open, so he could get used to it.  He sniffed it thoroughly, then tentatively went inside, and then lay down and promptly fell asleep.  It showed me that, yes, he will get used to a new home, despite all my misgivings if we are making the right decision.

Why are we giving him away?  The reason is twofold.  1)  We are moving soon, hopefully this Fall but at least this Winter.  I want a fresh start in a new house, without the smell, fur, and messes that come with a cat.  2)  As you know, we're adopting.  Don't know when, but eventually we'll have a baby.  And although lots of other people have babies & pets together, I simply don't like the idea of Baby lying on the floor putting handfuls of fur into their mouth.  (Oh, and I'm also allergic to cats - the allergy doctor recommended I "get rid" of my cat a long time ago, but I haven't listened.  This is not a deciding factor in Smacky moving, but I am hoping it helps clear up some of my allergies.)

So he's going.  And despite it being our decision, we're still really torn and sad.

I asked Hubby yesterday when we went to bed if he was wondering when the tears were going to start.  He said he had been wondering.  I assured him "tomorrow night - when he's in his new home and we're back here without him and I'm wondering if he's okay".  Yup.  Almost guaranteed.  At least I'm not in PMS, lol.  That should make things easier!

Silly thing is, I know he'll be okay.  He's going to my brother & sis-in-law's, so we'll get to see him whenever we want.  And really...he's just an animal...AGH, I have to tell myself that all the time, so I stop putting human emotions on him!!  But, man, it's hard not to!!

Sometimes I list the things I won't miss about him, to help make myself more okay with our decision.  For example:
-fur EVERYWHERE (he's long-haired)
-smelly basement
-biting me
-stray turds
-loud meowing (he's VERY vocal)
-crumbs of litter that stick to your feet and somehow make it onto the clean sheets
-people sitting gingerly on the edges of our couches so they don't get furry/people complaining about getting furry
-cost of litter and food (mild, I know, compared to a baby's needs)
-not having to watch the door so that he doesn't escape

Of course, though, I also will really miss:
-his cuddling (he is a very affectionate cat - not one of those aloof ones)
-pure entertainment (read:  midnight crazies)
-how well I know him (what every different meow means, for example)
-the comfort of knowing what that "bump in the night" is (whether it really is him or not is moot point)
-our routine (his reaching up to be picked up every morning)
-conversing (like I said, he's talkative)
-hugs (yes, he does)
-being greeted when we get home
-his adorableness, especially when he's sleeping
-and much more!

We've had him for about 7 years (he's about 7 1/2 years old) and I've amassed a LARGE collection of pictures of him.  Here are just a few for you to enjoy:

Silly kitty lost all 4 limbs and his tail again.  Ah well, he's just a furry slug now ;)


Aha, fuzzy belly!!

Awww.....!  Curled up in a ball next to me on the computer.

And again - awwww!

Perched comfortably in his usual spot.

Mr. Handsome.

Our little family.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Birthday

My 30th (gulp!) birthday was a couple weeks ago, so I figure I'd tell y'all what I did to celebrate it!  (Celebrate turning 30?  I'm not sure if that's what I was doing, lol - I just like any reason to have fun!)

On Saturday the 11th, the day before my birthday, I had my family over.  My family has been going through some tough times lately, and this was one of those days.  I had been planning this party for forever, though, and decided to go ahead with it anyway.  I spent the day before and the day of making food.  There's 12 of us, so I made a lot, but there was plenty left over (lots of leftover yummies for me!)  There was:

-ham and cheddar mini quiches
-red pepper, goat cheese, and spinach mini quiches
-mushroom tostadas with garlic mayo
-tomato avocado goat cheese crostini
-tortilla chips & salsa
-salt & vinegar potato chips
-strawberry marshmallow salad
-veggies & dip

I think that's everything!  It was a LOT of work but everything turned out yummy and all-in-all I enjoyed all the cooking :)  You can follow the links above to some of the recipes but keep in mind that I do tend to tweak everything!

I left my hubby in charge of dessert and he came through with chocolates as well as a Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard cake! 

Here's some pics:

My 13-year-old niece gave me a paper crown she'd made that I put on and then completely forgot I was wearing it as I rushed to finish up the food!

I didn't have a chance to put on something nice before it was time to eat.

I bought some flowers and decorations from the dollar store including those nice white platters.

My cake!

My previously-mentioned niece stayed for the night and then the next day, my actual birthday, we brought her back to my moms. On our way to the city my hubby gave me some small gifts (a set of 3 glass cutting boards and an iTunes giftcard) and 2 great cards.  Hubby and I did some shopping - his present to me was new shoes, which I desperately needed.  Thankfully there was a big shoe sale on that day and I found 1 pair in my size of exactly the kind of shoes I was looking for, for 40% off!  We did some more window shopping, we ate supper at Boston Pizza, and we went to see the movie Step Up Revolution.  It was a good time.  

Chicken Salsa Wraps

This recipe comes from a Jean Pare Company's Coming cookbook.  I've tweaked it a touch, so if you want the original it is in the Year-Round Grilling book, pg. 31.  Here's my way:

Make the marinade the evening before:
1/4 cup salsa
1 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. sugar

Combine in a big Ziploc freezer bag; add 1 frozen chicken breast.  Seal and place in the fridge overnight.

The next day, combine the following in a tin pan:
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
half a red pepper, julienned
8 mushrooms, sliced

Preheat your gas BBQ to medium.  Grill chicken for 5-10 minutes per side.  (Discard marinade.)  At the same time, grill the veggies in the tin pan on the BBQ for about 10-12 minutes, turning or mixing occasionally, until pepper is tender-crisp and mushrooms are browned.

Combine 3 Tbsp. sour cream and 2 Tbsp. salsa in a small bowl.  Divide and spread over 2 10" tortillas.  Sprinkle about a quarter cup of shredded cheese on each tortilla (optional).  Slice up half an avocado and divide over each tortilla.  Cut the chicken into slices and divide over each tortilla.  Divide up the veggies and split between the tortillas.

Roll up the tortillas as best as you can and secure with toothpicks.  Melt a little butter (1/2 - 1 Tbsp) and brush over the wraps.  Grill wraps on BBQ for about 2 minutes, turning once, until crisp and grill marks appear.

Serves 2.  Very yummy!

Happy Things

Lately life hasn't been ideal, but I don't feel comfortable writing about those things here, since this blog is really public and everyone I know knows I have it (something I occasionally regret doing because it would be nice to write more freely at times). 

So a couple days ago I decided to write down 10 things that make me happy, to remind myself that life isn't all bad :)  Here they are:

  1. How much work my husband has gotten done on finishing our porch.
  2. Finally getting a couple items ordered that I need.
  3. All of our reference papers sent to our referees.  Feeling like we're closer to getting paperwork done.
  4. My sister E giving me baby clothes she bought second-hand for me (a pink sleeper and a blue outfit).
  5. Re-hearing the gospel explained so clearly and simply.
  6. The little sunflowers in my flower bed that bloomed after I let them grow there from fallen bird seeds.
  7. My 7-year-old niece complaining about a sore throat: "I can't swallow my illness." (???)
  8. Sleeping in with my hubby 2 mornings in a row.
  9. Eggs fried over-easy.
  10. And I saved the best for last:  My 8-year-old niece, spontaneously: "Auntie Rhonda, you're gonna be a good mommy!"  (Which was rewarded with a highly-deserved, gigantic, scoop-off-the-floor hug from me.)  (Oh, her reason for the statement?  "Because you laugh with me, and you'll laugh with your kids.")