May 28, 2019

Spargelzeit 2019

Recently I had a hankering to go to a nearby port town, another site of genealogical interest. While looking for reasons to go there, I saw that they were having an asparagus festival. So mrguy and I went on a road trip.

It was so much better than the corn festival we went to a few years back. There was SO MUCH ASPARAGUS. This place had beverages and macaroni and cheese (with or without asparagus). Did I mention that the beverages in this booth were in gigantic baby bottles? And something called a "yard bottle". What's a "yard bottle"?

We got some delicious food. I got some steamed asparagus with garlic, and a tiny slider with shrimp.
The margarita stand had asparagus margaritas. They were perfect. Couldn't taste the asparagus, but that's ok.
Are these ears of corn or emojis?

If you wanted to brave these lines you could have asparagus ice cream or deep fried asparagus. IF! I just wanted to see what the fuss was all about.

A photo opportunity is never a bad thing. This spear was pretty cute.

And then we drove home. A perfect amount of asparagus, and we stopped to pay our respects at the genealogical interest site. The drive was beautiful and mrguy's new electric car got us there and back perfectly.

Antiques Roadshow 2019

It happened. We brought the things. We had the appraisals. We even ran into an appraiser who I've consulted for advice on behalf of the forklift factory. A few photos.

The queue for item triage:
The results of my triage:
Lunch of cold pizza next to the river after our Roadshow fun:
And then a swing past a location of genealogical interest: a building where two of mrguy's great great aunts lived at the time of the 1910 Census.

May 27, 2019

My Epiphyllum Bloomed!

Well that was sad, but you know what is not? At long last one of my epiphyllums bloomed. Mrguy mentioned it to me yesterday. He told me that grandpa was blooming, which would have been weird because he's a regular old Christmas cactus and it is almost June. On clarification it turned out that it's my second epi, which I bought from a guy off Craigslist a few years ago.

It's absolutely gorgeous, and it's trying to escape out the window of the breezeway under the house (where all of my Christmas cactuses live).

Chai Ping

My best friend in college had a cat, Chai Ping, that was so old that when her mom took it to the vet to be put to sleep the receptionist looked in the box containing Chai Ping and said "Mrs. Robinson, I don't think that will be necessary".

Such was the case with our dear cat, Nose.

He was such a good cat. He arrived during my last week as a waitress, right before my doctor said I was too injured to continue. He was about three days old, and his eyes weren't even open, so we bottle-fed him. During that sad first year on Disability when I could pretty much only do my physical therapy and then rest, he (and our original cat, as well) was my constant companion. Unlike her, he was needy and a little annoying. When I was in grad school he'd pull the post-it flags out of my research material, making me half-crazy. He and mrguy were my link to that past where we lived on sacks of rice, carrots and expired packaged Indian food that cost 50 cents a package at the local grocery.

Here is Nose at about three days old:


That teensy little cat grew into the hefty boy that the mama called "Mister Tubbo". And at our last house, which had a central hallway, he did what we called "Laps". If mrguy was preparing cat dinner with the kitchen door closed, Nose would trot around the house in a circle, pausing to rise on two legs, put his paws on the kitchen door and listen. If he didn't think the bowl was coming soon, he'd continue circling, each time pausing at the door, as if his laps were causing the bowl to arrive. Occasionally he'd entice another cat to follow him, and they'd start to school, like fish. His highest number of laps recorded was, I believe, around 9. We loved showing this nightly spectacle off to friends and family.

Here he is at 15:

When we moved to our current house, he settled into elder statesmanhood. His closest sibling had paired off with the "kittens" (now ten years old) and he had arthritis and a bladder thing and eventually a tumor in there, but he continued to show his charm and enthusiasm for life and food and ear rubs until just before the end, which came 4 years after we got the number for the at-home euthanasia vet and 15 years after my mom first called him "Old Timer".

He turned 18 in this house. We thought that was pretty old. Here he is on his birthday:


This March, he turned 23. Here he is on his birthday. His eyes are big and scary because he's flying high on painkillers:

Our plan was to have the "final deed" done at home. But things did not go to plan. We met vet #1 who helped us evaluate his quality of life. When we went to make the appointment to put our boy to sleep we learned she was going out of town. Appointment was made with vet #2 for the next day. Mrguy had a gig that night, and when we came home...Nose was gone. We called vet #2 and learned that she doesn't "do pickup". So she told us that we should call our regular vet.

This ended up being a blessing in disguise. It was a sad day, but Mrguy said that he felt like we won the lottery, and I agree with him. He called the vet, and she was working on that day (her usual day off), and all of Nose's favorite people were working. He told them what was happening, and it was amazing. They brought us into a room we'd never seen, with low lighting and prettiness, and almost everybody joined us. Our vet talked to mrguy in private before I brought Nose in. And then we were met by the two ladies who work in the front who loved him and were best friends, and the vet tech who was Nose's very special friend and knew his personality and his preferences. We all stood around him and petted him and told stories about him and cried and hugged. It was like a wake, but for a cat. The vet tech was especially moved. She said that she'd made a promise to herself that she wouldn't get close to another animal after a little dog that she'd bonded with had died, but then Nose just got right in there and she fell in love with him. She knew that he did *not* like sharing a cage with his sister when they need to board, and she knew his likes and dislikes. She says that he passed away while we were out because he wanted to "do it on his own terms".

So all in all, our sweet boy got a good send-off. I'm sad I wasn't there, but his people gathered in his memory, and people who loved him did not have to put him to sleep. And we got to share his passing with them after they and we have worked so hard to give him a good life. 

The next day they sent us flowers.

So ends a cat life well led.

May 6, 2019

Impossible Burger - The Votes Are In

I ordered my first Impossible Burger today. It will likely be my last. 

If you like beef, this is definitely going to be your thing. I do not like beef, for the most part. So now I feel grossed out and burpy.

As I explained to the guy in line behind me at the restaurant, I like fake meat that tastes like its ingredients. I want a tasty burger alternative that fits in a bun and goes well with ketchup and mustard. One that doesn't taste like beef.

Like the classic Redi Burger, by Loma Linda. SUPER old school. As it was shown to me by the hippies of old, you open both ends of the can and push up from the bottom. Then you slice off your circle of whatever Redi Burger is and heat it up in a cast iron pan. When it's nice and crispy you put it on some toast with condiments. Super yummy.

I'm not a vegetarian, and the one burger I will eat is a McDonalds regular hamburger, the flat uninteresting grey thing that mostly tastes like the reconstituted dried onions that I flick off of it and the pickle.

I might have to go to the OG health food store after work and get myself some Redi-Burger.

May 5, 2019

Mourning Lobsters

After Christmas it was clear -- I needed more lobsters to gussy up our Mugo Pines, on all occasions. Like Porkopola and Fritz, geese of yore, but lobsters.

So I bought 8 more lobsters, as you do, and I made bunny ears for them for Easter, as you do, and desported them about the property.

I showed my Easter lobster photo to a colleague who asked what the next occasion was, and I imagined it would be the 4th of July. She said she thought that they should wear little white shoes for the summer season. Fate, however, had a different idea.

Today I had just finished taking the bunny ears off the lobsters and making a new box labeled "Lobster Accoutrements" when we got some sad news: Blick's father, Papa, has passed away. Papa was quite grown up, so it wasn't horribly surprising, but he was so dear and interesting and himself, and I will miss him. I have enjoyed every single time I have spent with them, and Papa and Mama, who survives him, never seemed to mind that I was myself around them. And that was so nice.

I don't always have the most normal way of expressing my emotions, so the first thing that occurred to me was to make little mourning armbands for the lobsters.

We are all very sad.
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