So I’ve learned…

Things lately.

Jamie’s pointed out that lately I’ve been sounding like everything’s pissing me off and I haven’t really noticed. Last night I realized I sounded super pissed when I was explaining which remote to use for the television. I apologized to Rhonda for it and I know being tired and getting to clean up broken glass while trying to keep a cat and a dog from getting into it is no excuse.

But, it really came to a head this morning. I got a phone call for something and right off the bat, the person calling me was hateful and, simply, a fucking bitch. I understand this woman is under a deal of stress, but she didn’t handle the conversation well and it caused me to start screaming right back at her. I had to start yelling to get her to shut up long enough to attempt to explain something (dealing with paperwork) and eventually she continued to marinate in her hissy fit, rudely proclaimed she’d be calling  someone to “verify” what I had just said, and hung up on me. Yay. Jamie calmly explained that both she and I did not take it well and Rhonda calmly listened to me while I went off on a verbal rampage in the living room.

I’m a bit more calm, but my headache has come back and I just really don’t want to deal with this again.

I’ve learned that our NES and the FC3 that we’re borrowing from Fred (the FC3, not the NES) are not compatible with the television. The NES did a spectacular job of trying its hardest to boot up properly while the FC3 only had its little green light notating SNES chosen showing.  This means that we are unable to play our NES and SNES games and I am sorely disappointed. I wanted to play Duck Hunt goddamnit.

While I was trying to set it up, Rhonda asked if we were going to “get one of those dance games” for the Xbox. I had to explain that those kinds of games require the Kinect and while it would be a lot of fun, that accessory is kind of expensive. She said that she’d really want to try one out one day, so who knows. One day we may get a Kinect and Rhonda and I will have a fun time being dorks.

Now I’m kind of meh about trying to see if the Sega will work or even the Playstation. If the Sega doesn’t work, then that means no more Stimpy’s Invention and if the Playstation doesn’t work, that means no more Mean Bean Machine.  I just don’t want to deal with attempting to set up these consoles right now.

On a lighter note: we’ve almost beaten Skylanders. There are a few things we haven’t gotten through on some of the levels, we haven’t found all of the hats or soul gems or treasure chests or scrolls, but we have completed the…doohickie and our next mission is to go off and defeat Kaos. Kaos is pretty much like listening to an episode of Invader Zim when Zim has gone off on one of his speeches. The only difference is that the gremlin dude who plays his minion (and looks like Dobby) does not sound like Gir and does not go off about things like liking Tacos or The Doom Song. The Doom Song would’ve made it more hilarious.

I have also learned that listening to random YouTube videos and knitting while still highly irritated help calm me down so I don’t feel like smashing things with the sledgehammer (like I wanted to do earlier with the NES and Jamie asked nicely for me to not do that)


Crafting and holidays: great ways to make a Manders go crazy

– I am attempting to force myself to write more in hopes that I will A) work on updating, fixing, and writing book and film reviews so I can stick them elsewhere. and B) actually work on story ideas instead of just doing some basic research in hopes of making it believable.


It’s that time of year again. The people have inhaled something to make them fucking batshit insane and mostly rude. Jamie and I became one of those people on Thanksgiving and found ourselves at Walmart. 90% of the people we encountered were pretty cool and much more level-headed than I had expected and we went home with an Xbox 360 and two boxes of Rubbermaid tupperwares. The Xbox came with a game (Spyro’s Adventures: Skylanders) that also came with the portal and 3 Skylanders (Spyro, Trigger Happy, and Gill Grunt) and a free month of Xbox Live, which works out great because apparently Skylanders requires Xbox live.

This is a goofy as hell game, but it’s really fun. We ended up getting another Skylander (Drobot) to even things out for when two of the three guys die and that means we can both play for a little bit longer. Jamie and I have been playing for about an hour or two every night before bed and right now I’m currently loathing every time we have to go into the Underworld because of the highly detailed arachnids that they made for this game (I applaud the designers and the artists on this game). I am just really glad I’m not a little kid who’s highly arachnophobic because I would’ve just died of fright. But, Kaos, our bad guy, is voiced by the same guy who did Zim and it just cracks the both of us up.

And now I get to crafting.

Because I am broke and have two things in large quantities (time and yarn), my brilliant self has decided to make things for people instead of having to worry about what to buy them.

On the one hand, this is a great idea! My mom loves when I make things for her, our friend AJ gets excited over made things, and it seems like there’s a little more effort in something that’s made. On the other hand, this is a…not so great idea. While the list of people to make things for is not as long as it would’ve been, it’s still a lot of people. Then, I’ve got 4 people noted down for one kind of thing and 3 people for another kind of thing. There are four people who are not getting something that are slightly the same as a few other people.

This brought me to the realization that, right now, I do not have the amount of yarn needed for these projects. I figured it up yesterday that I will be needing about 25-30 skeins of yarn, 7 of which needs to be hunted down and set to rigourous rubbing in search of the softest, no-scratchy yarn. I started to stress a little bit more. Not only do I have a set time to get these done by, but now I’m at the realization that holy cow I need a lot of yarn.

Jamie pointed out that he’d help me get some yarn that I need, so now I am working on a different knitting project in hopes that it will turn out decent so I can work on an idea for someone I need to make something for.

I like making things for people. I find it a lot of fun. But, I wish I had realized earlier than last week that I really needed to get this shit done.

So now I am going back to making long, tubey yarn-snakes (I’m on number 4 of 5) and listening to podcasts so I don’t fixate on my interview later on in the day

Getting shit done

This weekend was a weekend of Getting Things Done. And then Jamie really wanted to have a baking day, which turned into a mad dash to Get Things Done and ohmigodBaking!

We did normal house-things, like realizing that we really need a new ladder and there is currently no safe way for either of us to smoosh or nail back a couple pieces of siding. I realized that our garage is kind of like a TARDIS while we pulled 95% of stuff out of it so we could re-arrange things, sweep up, throw down poison (I hate throwing down poison, but it’s either that or Rhonda and Allen finding dead mice in their dresser and/or freezer that we have stored there), throw some things away, and rearrange things so that we could actually find stuff.

Jamie did a mix of mowing part of the back yard to moosh up all of the leaves that our Walnut tree has finally decided to drop, but it never occurred to us to work on trimming some of the branches because they’re getting over the house. While we both love this tree and it’s awesomeness, neither of us want any part of this tree to fall and break the house. Jamie sucked up some leaves with the leaf blower (ours is cool, it’s got a bag to compost them!) around the fence and house, I raked up a good portion of leaves from the Dogwood in the front yard and made a mental note that when I have the money I really need to buy a pair of hand pruning sheers because the tree needs a little trimming up.

I raked out the area between our original fence (this little metal thing that was put in by someone between 1930 and 1960-something, our neighbor says it was there when they moved in) and our neighbor on that side and us have agreed it’d be better if someone pulled it up and replaced it. We’ve gotten into a polite debate as to who is going to do it (it’s hilarious) and over the summer we put up a new area of 6ft fence to make the backyard area bigger for the monkeys. I found out one of  my containers of “the spray thingy comes with the giant bottle!” has had something happen to it to where the spray thingy doesn’t work, so I just opened the bottle and poured the weed/grass/poison ivy killer all through that area. We have a concentrated bottle of another brand that works a lot better for around the house.

Then I did the bi-annual spraying of the Ortho Insects-Stay-Out spray around the house and had to make sure that Rhonda did not take Mr Poedog outside while the stuff was drying. Poe was going insane having to wait the time needed, but the stuff dried and he became a very happy pomeranian.

Then we baked.

All together, we made:

pumpkin cheesecake, red velvet cheesecake (that Jamie was not happy with at all), pumpkin muffins with cinnamon chips, strawberry shortcake, almond short bread cookies, pumpkin cookies for humans, pumpkin cookies for dogs, peanut butter dog cookies, strawberry no-bake cheesecake (that Jamie found out will melt within an hour if not refridgerated), red velvet cheesecake brownies, pumpkin waffles with apple cider syrup (home made syrup! holy cow I made syrup! pain in the ass), fruitcake (because Allen wanted to buy one of those little tiny $4 fruit cake blocks that come out every year), apple pie, and probably other things I can’t think of right now.

Holy crap it’s a lot of stuff. I’m surprisingly low on my cinnamon stash.

I had planned on helping Jamie make some stuff for work and make some pumpkin cookies for one of our friends. I made a batch last year and he loved them to the point of he had all but one, his wife had the one remaining one, and their kids only got to hear about how great and amazing they were. Then we found out that his wife had been the person who had gotten hit by a drunk that our friends were telling us at their “let’s hang out and set stuff on fire in our fire pit, we’ll have pizza!” on Friday night. So it was even more important to make these cookies because getting injured sucks and that’s damn bad luck to be hit in the ass by a drunk. (her tail bone was broken).

We ended up making so much stuff, I didn’t finish baking the pumpkin cookies for them. I have about 75% of the mix left. I’ll finish making them, of course, but it’ll take a little bit.

Then, Jamie got a text message from his boss (she’s awesome, we got Miss Firefly from her) that just said “Look what _____ did” and a picture of a little border collie puppy. So, dog cookies had to be made for both Puppy and his big sister Maggie because Jamie’s boss’s boyfriend said that Maggie is “useless” because she’s spoiled rotten and he’s used to working dogs being used for farm work. Jamie texted her and told her that we’re planning on spoiling the puppy rotten, so we made dog treats.


And then, not baking, I’m working on scarves. I promised one lady a few to “show off” to see if she’s interested in any of them to use for raising money. I’m working on gifts for people because I am still without a job (so no money whatsoever, and I have two totes of colours that I have somehow acquired over the past few months, most of which came from my aunt’s large collection of yarn). And because I was working on one scarf and posted a photo of it on Facebook, I got a couple comments stating that they wanted one too, so instead of just making two, I’m now making four of this one kind. Then, I’m trying to work my way through a Sandworm scarf (because I like sandworms, and it’s the colours from the animated series) and I’m finally using the alpaca yarn I purchased a while back through Sam Starbuck’s RFM ($10, and totally worth it. Not because it’s alpaca yarn, but because it went to a good cause: to help fund a surgery for a gentleman who needed it). Working with the alpaca yarn I have, I didn’t think it was a large amount, but omg it is and I now completely understand why alpaca sells for the price that it does. It’s also very pretty and extremely soft.

And, we got to take Bugbug out on Friday night. She met Puggy for the first time (an elderpug) along with Lilly (the others have met her, but Bugs is special) and we definitely learned that she does fairly well with other dogs in a controlled environment where the owners are cognizant of what’s going on. She hammed it up and was great. I’m really proud of her. By the end of the night, she had gotten scritches from everyone and we had ended up taking off the frog sweater and her harness. She also spent some time snuggled on a small fleece throw (like the ones you can get at Walmart for like $4 or $5) that we had brought. She and Puggy got along great and, while it took some time for her to warm up to Lilly, they did rather well with each other. Lilly, a shy dog when new dogs or new people are introduced (even sometimes when she hasn’t seen you in a while), even play bowed and did zoomies! It was exciting.

It’s been a great weekend. While I hate that I’m still unemployed, I’ve been enjoying this extra time I get to spend with the dogs and the extra lump-time I get with Mr Uggs as well as the extra time–especially on weekends–that Jamie and I get to spend together. He also pointed out this morning that when Thanksgiving rolls around, it will be the first time in 3 years that we’ll get to spend the whole time together.

Thinking about snow

The first freeze for Roanoke was the night before last, which means that pretty much from now on we’re going to wake up to the backyard all nice and crystallized and try not to bust our asses on the back porch. We may get lucky and have a couple days from now until…January or so where this won’t happen, but I’m starting to doubt it. It just looks like we may be in for a winter of actual snow when it’s only been maybe two years since it snowed more than flurries or an inch.

We usually get the joy that is ice, wind, and simple cold. It’s not very often we get something that ends up being more than a couple inches of actual snow mixed with ice and doesn’t melt by 12 pm. Chances are, we’ll have another one of those storms where we end up with three feet of snow. It’ll suck for trying to get to work, but the dogs will love it. And it’ll be weird since we just had one of those three years ago and we normally don’t get “good snows” like that very often (once every 7 to 10 years or so).

This also means that Mr Uggs is getting a bit worse for his wheezing and the morning or evening ritual of wrapping him up in a fleece throw blanket or towel and stuffing his medication down his mouth. Thankfully our vet has an “ongoing” perscription for him just in case we run out and it’s an “as needed” thing.

I’m just really hoping that those without power right now are able to get power back and their lives back on track before any sort of snow hits and it starts getting colder. It’s 30 degrees outside here at 7:51 am and I’m sure it’s a bit colder up north.

Where’s that recipe?

I went looking for last year’s doggie peanut butter cake of awesome, which the dogs devoured immediately, and I seem to have misplaced it. No problem! I have Google-fu. is touch-n-go with exactly what I need, so I just hit up Google for “dog safe cake recipe” and ran across a website that I had come across last year while looking for a dog-safe cake recipe. (maybe I’m just too lazy to look in my own stash of physical recipes). I went ahead an wrote the recipe down.

I had everything except carrot (which had been used when Jamie made tabouleh) and cream cheese (ew). This means I can use the locally…farmed? honey that we had bought while at the farmer’s market and I realized that Jamie was right, I should definitely have gotten the mason jar for $10 instead of the bear. I was planning on only using the honey for when I make the dogs their swirly cookies, not using a large amount of it for just one thing.

But it works out because I don’t use honey for anything else but the dogs (apparently it’s better than refined cane sugar?)

1 c flour (I used wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
¼ c peanut butter
¼ c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c honey
1 egg
(what I don’t include is the shaved carrot and the mystery amount of cream cheese to make an icing that doesn’t tell me how to make it, unless they just mean soften a pack of cream cheese and spread on the cake)

If you use a regular tin, it bakes in about 40 minutes, since I have my mini tins, this bakes in half the time.

We have four dogs, I have four mini cake pans (it’s Wilton’s “Tasty Fill” mini cake pans), this should work out.

It doesn’t.

I had enough for three of the four tins to have two scoops of batter while the fourth had one. So, I made one more batch of the mix (which means I have to use two of Jamie’s eggs instead of one) because I want everyone to have an equal amount of batter. I was able to put about three scoops into each tin and wound up having the perfect amount left over for Mr Poedog.

I found our can of squeezy-cheez and put enough in the holes to smoosh to make a base (each blob was maybe a tablespoon), stuck a dog cookie in, and put a little more squeezy-cheez on to make it look cool and voila. Birthday cake for the dogs.

The last of the batter beside one of the baked cakes. I used a pizza pan to hold all four tins as the cookie sheet was being held hostage by biscuits.


This is what the batter looks like in the tins. Kinda gross. Don’t bother trying to “smooth” this out because it just makes a little round hill while baking anyway.

This is what the cakes look like done. Can you guess which one is Firefly’s? (it’s the one with the big peanut-butter cookie)

Yes, I know I did all this “work” while the dogs are just going to devour these without a second thought anyway. Looks cool though.

A wiggle-butt birthday

Today is Firefly’s birthday.

It’s kind of weird realizing that our oldest is now 5 years old, which means that Hobbes and Bug will be turning 5 in February while little Izzy-butt will be turning three in March. (And while Mr Ugly will be turning 8 in June, he’ll always be around 4 for us). But, this also reminds me of a post from Two Pitties in the City, about how it’s weird for them to realize that Miss M and Mr B are elderbulls.

This also means that we’ve had Miss Fly for a little over three years and she is still Energizer Dog. I don’t know if it’s the pit in her or the hound in her, but she is the dog who will run circles around the others. She’s taught other dogs how to play and taught them to be wary of cats (also taught others to be scared of Mr Ugly and never get in his way), she’s learned a few tricks (both good and bad), and she makes people smile every time they see her.

Firefly’s got a little extra wiggle in her steps today like she knows something’s up. Jamie wants to try to take her to Petsmart to get her a little something later on today and I need to start working on a cake mix (dog-friendly cake mix) since we won’t be able to get doggie icecream like we did for everyone last year.

I also need to find the little party hats, but I’m under the sinking suspicion that I threw them away for whatever reason.


Couple more years and we’ll have some elderbulls on our hands. I hope they stay crazy.