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Archive for April, 2009

owlie-wow-wow!

You know what having a dental phobia, combined with bad teeth, means? It means you don’t go to the dentist any oftener than you can help, and definitely a lot less often than you should.

I went to the dentist yesterday. Yeah. Good times.

The broken tooth that’s been causing me agony since last Thursday or Friday has an abscess. So he prescribed penicillin. He also said that a root canal and crown aren’t feasible because of my sinuses. I didn’t know that sinuses affected the roots of one’s teeth, but apparently they do. So because I’m a long-time sinus/allergy sufferer, the sinuses on the right side of my mouth are so big that the roots of that tooth are all curvy, which makes a root canal difficult, if not impossible. So I have to see an oral surgeon for an extraction.

The extraction will probably be on Tuesday. Guess what else is on Tuesday?

Dad’s and the Monster’s 25th wedding anniversary & dinner. Even if I weren’t vegan, I obviously won’t be in the mood for steak or salmon. Dry potato and steamed veggies, that’s what I’ll be chowing down on. But that night isn’t about me. It’s about them. And they’re pretty cool, in the dorkiest sense of that phrase.

Anyway, this dentist is a lot more house-of-Josephy than the last one I had. That’s a good thing. It means I felt comfortable enough to call this afternoon when the penicillin was making me incredibly nauseated, and to ask for a couple of pain pills to get me through until the antibiotics start working. And his office was fantastic about it. Called me right back, called in the prescriptions, and I just took my first dose of the new antibiotic and a pain pill. I’m really hoping it works–I’ve spent most of the day with one hand over my mouth hoping I wouldn’t barf, and the other hand putting pressure on the right side of my mouth hoping the pain would go away.

Joe should be back home tomorrow. I told the dogs. I don’t know quite how much they understand, but they will definitely be doing the Papa’s Home Polka (TM) tomorrow afternoon. Scout was doing his patented Rocket Dog routine for me this afternoon. I wish you could see it, it’s so cute. He starts squiggling and squirming, and then jumps down and bolts out the back door, races around the back yard, runs back into the house, jumps up to get some loves. Lather, rinse, and repeat ad infinitum.

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The Meatrix

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The Stranger

Tonight while I was at Half-Price Books and waiting in line for the necessity, the girl in front of me (who was waiting for her sister) started telling me how weird it was that this Japanese comic book read from the back to the front. Then she decided to show me how well she could read, and began reading in a very dramatic voice.

Her sister came out of the bathroom, put her hands on her hips, and said, “Mom told you not to talk to anybody! I’m telling!” and she dragged her off.

I’m a stranger that kids aren’t supposed to talk to! Yikes! And I was about to encourage the kid to take drama in school!

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Good News

Not major news, just good news.

My job looks like it’s going to be shaping up. This month has been very odd. After 3+ years of being an administrative assistant at my company, working for the same people, doing the same job, working at the same desk (until we moved to our new building in November), I got moved to a different group and new management. I also am not an admin anymore. That’s good, because I’m just tired of it. No more admin, okay? But I didn’t really know what my job was. It’s been very s-l-ow-l-y getting figured out. But today I learned that it’s going to be very much better, with another new supervisor (but I’ve worked with her a lot, so we click. She also knows I’m Wonder Woman, which is a good thing.) and a spiffy new job title. Yay!

Izzy and I decided to postpone our getting together until tomorrow evening. It’s just such lovely cosy sleeping weather. I was hoping I’d be snuggled up in bed with a little dog, but he’s still hoping Joe will come back tonight, poor guy. Molly’s under the bed, because it’s been stormy today. And then I was going to stop on the way home and get some tofu for a tofu scramble for dinner, but I talked myself out of it. And then I was going to make some hummus and have it with some flatbread, but I talked myself out of that, too. I think I’m going to skip dinner tonight. I had a good-sized breakfast (Amy’s Organics black bean burrito and a banana) and a good-sized lunch (yes, Seven Salsas will make you a spinach and mushroom quesadilla without the cheese, and will leave the sour cream off your plate if you ask, although they may look at you funny, and it will taste very good and will have no grease at all), and I don’t really feel like eating. Shocker, I know. But I’ll make up for it tomorrow. Saturday, you know. That means oatmeal (squick).  But Izzy and I will go to Spiral later tomorrow afternoon, after my haircut and her laundry, and we shall feast. Dessert will probably happen, too. Spiral has yummy cake. They also have yummy cookie sundae thingies.

Speaking of Spiral, they’re having a cooking class that I’m eager to take, about vegan sources of protein, and they’ll teach us how to make seitan from scratch. Jehara’s taking the class with me, which will make it even more fun.  I’ve been wanting to try making some seitan but have been nervous about trying it. I think after seeing it made in front of me I’ll feel a little more confident.

P.S.–remember the cheeseless quesadilla I mentioned above? You’ll probably want to eat it with a fork, because there’s nothing to hold the veggies on, and it can get a little messy, what with spinach getting stuck in your teeth and mushrooms slipping out the sides. Not to mention guacamole on the fingers. But you can lick your fingers. And if it’s really good guacamole, you probably should lick your fingers. Don’t want to waste any.  Seven Salsas didn’t use any oil on it, so the tortillas were nice and dry and crispy. I’d recommend ordering it that way even if you’re not lucky enough to be near Seven Salsas.

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It’s So Nice!

I took a peanut butter sandwich for my lunch today (hint–crushed strawberries are even better than jam or jelly) along with some sliced orange bell peppers, mushrooms, and chopped tomato. However, since I just *had* to go to Half Price Books during lunch today, there wasn’t much time for eating, and the veggie compartment in my new Tiffin was still almost full when I got back home.

Sooooo…when I got home, I got some whole wheat angel hair pasta going in the pot and some olive oil in our big honkin’ skillet. I sauteed a few sliced shallots, some roasted garlic cloves, the remaining dressing I whipped up this morning (red wine vinegar, olive oil & herbes de provence), and the rest of the veggies until the pasta was done. After it was drained, I threw it into BHS (big honkin’ skillet) and tossed it until it was sizzling and everything was all mixed together. Joe gave it two thumbs up, and told me to write the recipe in one of my cookbooks. So I did. Not that there’s a recipe or anything,  but there you go.

Poor Joe had a double-plus unfun accident today. He was putting some stuff away in the cupboard, and saw a glass starting to fall. Just as he put his hand up to stop it, he realized that it had broken and the jagged edge was headed straight for his wrist. He’s got a nasty cut and, I think, only just escaped needing stitches. He’s even more frustrated by the fact that it means he can’t play guitar for a while, and he just got his hand back into playing form. He’s going out of town tomorrow to work on a project in Kansas City, so I’m hoping that being so busy will help distract him from things while his wrist heals up.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow night. The incomparable Izzybella is coming over to hang. We were originally planning to go have dinner at Spiral, but that was before Joe got sent out of town tomorrow morning. I always feel guilty when I’m at work all day, and then rush home to give the dogs a few minutes out before heading off again. So Izzy graciously consented to come over here. What shall I fix her for dinner?

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Still Cooking

What, you may be wondering, have I made?

Cuban Black Beans – from Vegan Planet

Applesauce Raisin Muffins – probably from one of Sarah Kramer’s books, but I’m not sure.

Chickpea-Broccoli Casserole – from Vegan With a Vengeance

Dinner tonight was fat-free refried beans with some salsa blended in; a mixture of black and jasmine rice that Joe prepared in the rice cooker, and doctored up by me with a little olive oil, chopped shallots, garlic, cumin, chopped orange bell pepper, and sliced mushrooms; a couple of sprouted corn tortillas crisped in the oven; and some chopped avocado and tomato.  Mmmmm. That didn’t come from a cookbook, though. I just made it. 

I’ve lost 19 pounds since making the switch to vegan, and it’s the most painless 19 pounds I’ve ever lost in my life. I feel like I’m eating like a queen in addition to rediscovering the joy of cooking. Of course, I need to lose plenty of 19-pounds, but all in good time.

Not much else is happening. My job is still evolving, but I think it may still end up being bearable.

Scout’s most upset that he doesn’t get to clean off our plates anymore. I’ve explained to him that carrying extra weight isn’t good for him, and will make his back hurt. He’s explained to me that he doesn’t much care. He just wants the food.  It’s funny. When I first noticed that he’d gained way too much weight, I was really careful about what I gave him, and found it ironic that I could refrain from giving him treats, to help him lose weight, but I wouldn’t do the same thing for myself. It’s nice to know that’s not the case anymore.

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Oatmeal Again

I think in the course of this blog that I have pretty thoroughly documented my distaste for oatmeal. Nasty stuff. But I really like having breakfast with Dad & the Monster every Saturday morning, so oatmeal it is.

Dinner last night (and lunch today), on the other hand, was fantastic. I rummaged through my cupboards to see what I could come up with. Southerwestern seasoned quinoa. Sounded like a good  base. I found a thing of a Mexican bean-tortilla soup, and made it. Oh, nasty nasty disgusting yuck-o revolting slop that I poured down the sink.  But the quinoa was already halfway cooked. Convenience was obviously not to be had, but I’m trying to move away from pre-prepared & highly processed items anyway. I found a can of kidney beans, and I had just a teensy bit of onion and half a yellow bell pepper in the fridge. Okay, that gave me something to work with. I sizzled the onions & a fat clove of garlic in olive oil, sauteed the pepper, then added the beans and about half a jar of salsa. There was no need to add any additional seasonings, as the salsa was so flavourful. It came out great, and there was just enough left for Joe and me to finish it off for lunch today with fresh strawberries for dessert.

I think dinner tonight is going to be grilled portobello mushrooms and roasted potato wedges.

It was interesting today when we were at the grocery store. I had my list of a few recipes I’m aiming to try this week, so got the needed veggies for that. And we got some fruit (I’m in love with ambrosia apples and jazz apples, and clementines were still on sale for $3.99 for a big bag, and they had some blood oranges), some rice milk, some dried beans, and a little of this and that. When I was at the check-out stand (Joe having gone to get the car), I was very pleased to see the grocery bill only $85. That included a packet of dog treats for about $4.50, and a few other items that were around $4-5. We’ve been known frequently to leave that store having paid nearly $200 (gourmet cheeses, French butter, roasted turkey breast). So our changes in cooking and eating are having as huge an impact on our bank account as they are on my butt. Think of it–in the last couple of weeks, I have not once gone for fast food; I’ve been cooking at home and taking left-overs for lunch; we’re eating like royalty; and we know exactly what is in virtually everything we eat.

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