Monthly Archives: April 2015

I Might Be a Crazy Cat Lady

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know we have been trying to find a harness that fits Whiskers, our portly cat, for quite some time. I posted this picture last night, and my sister commented that it looks like we’re a heartbeat away from pushing him around in a stroller. This is when I realized that all my followers probably think I’m a mega creep.

Whiskers Harness

So I just wanted to clear things up: We don’t roam around with our cat on a leash, and I have never put clothes on him (although I’d probably force him to wear this if I thought I could get it on him without losing half my blood supply in the process).

No, the harness business all started because of Whiskers’ assholery every time we hang out on our back deck. If we’re out there, he paces up and down along the sliding glass door, making loud, obnoxious meowing noises that I can only assume are nasty words in cat-language. If you have to go inside to grab something, you have to execute a three-step maneuver that involves slipping your body between a three-inch crack in the door while simultaneously kicking your leading foot out blindly to dissuade him from darting outside, and then slamming the door shut as fast as you can behind you. After a few beers, this task turns into a Mission Impossible scenario, and we start questioning if it might be easier to just crawl in through the air ducts and rappel down into the living room.

Mission_Impossible

You know you wanted a visual.

Dave’s solution to this problem was to create a little cat run along the side of the fence. That way he can be outside with us, but he can’t jump the fence. (Our property butts up to a big field full of all kinds of animals who would love to eat our cat for dinner.)  Only finding a harness to fit his considerable girth has proved to be quite the fool’s errand. We could tell that none of the cat harnesses at Walmart would be big enough, so we figured we’d be safe with small dog size. When that was too small, we moved up to medium dog. Which looked like this:

Fat cat in a little co-ooat

Chris Farley, the cat.

Essentially, our cat is the size of a Rottweiler. Anyway, we finally found one that seems to be working. He hung out with us for about a half hour last night after dinner, eating grass and sniffing rocks and talking to birds. Apparently all that excitement tuckered him out, since he spent the rest of the evening passed out on our laps. My friend Corinna posted this on my Facebook, and I realized that I probably am a little bit of a crazy cat lady because I would totally buy it:

Cat beltSo yeah, maybe I actually *am* a little bit of a crazy cat lady. But at least this hasn’t happened yet:

cat-lady-alert

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Fooood

My department at work put on a three-day kids’ event last week, and between the prep leading up to it and actually working the event, my diet and exercise routine kind of fell off the rails. I tend to not eat when I’m busy/stressed, so I’d go all day without eating a proper meal, then come home and The Hunger would kick in. And The Hunger? It is not satisfied by healthy food. It wants carbs covered in heavily processed meats and melted cheese. tumblr_ln8ddo7XVZ1qawe6co1_500Also, Cadbury Creme Eggs.

So between that and my lack of exercise (I think I ran once last week?), I woke up feeling pretty awful this morning. I did a 25-minute cardio interval workout at home before work, and I’m so glad that nobody was watching but the cat, and I think even he was judging me a little bit. I decided that to help keep myself on track, I’m going to do a food journal week on the blog. If this kind of thing makes you stabby, you may want to skip out and check back in next week. And if you’re a voyeur like me, here’s what I ate yesterday: IMG_4763.JPGBreakfast: Oatmeal with stevia, cinnamon, and raspberries. I only eat old fashioned oats, because the quick-cook kind are mushy and tasteless and essentially evil in food form. Also, aren’t our new Target dishes pretty?IMG_4765.JPGLunch: Avocado egg salad on an English muffin. Between my pastel blue egg salad (thanks, Easter!) and those carrots that look like they have leprosy this was kind of an awful-looking lunch, but it tasted awesome.

Dinner: Cauliflower crust pizza, topped with chicken, a little barbecue sauce, onions, and mushrooms. And a couple slices of crispy bacon because Dave demanded it. I did not take a picture, because it would have required pausing between taking it out of the oven and shoveling it into my mouth, Buzz McCallister-style.

buzz-eats-pizza-o

Beat that, ya little trout sniffer.

All in all, it was a delicious day of eating, and I feel so much better when I eat good food instead of crap. Shocking, I know.

Fake Spring/Back Yard Plans

Every year in late March we get a week of gorgeous, warm, sunny weather. Everyone on the block pulls out their lawnmowers, we start prepping the garden beds, and I break out the fake tanning lotion because LO, WE HAVE SURVIVED ANOTHER WINTER. And then we’re hit with another week or two of rain, snow, and sub-freezing temperatures. Seriously, this happens every year. And every year I’m out there with all the other idiots during fake spring, rejoicing in the streets and buying $50 worth of flowers to plant, only to have them die two days later.

sarah-silverman

This year I only spent $30 on a hanging flower basket, so I guess I’m making progress? It actually hasn’t died yet, which is kind of amazing since I keep thinking I should move it into the garage to protect it from frost, and then I keep not moving it because … well I don’t know why. I was going to blame it on forgetfulness, but I can’t use that excuse since I’m typing about it RIGHT NOW and I could have moved it twice in the amount of time it’s taken me to write this paragraph. So I guess we’ll call it laziness.

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Speaking of laziness, let me tell you about my plan for our back yard this year, which Dave will carry out while I drink fruity cocktails. Just kidding. (OR AM I?) First, here’s what it looks like now. Before you judge, know that what you’re about to see was essentially a big pile of dirt when we moved in:

img_4580

Beaver dam or pile of firewood that still needs to be chopped? YOU DECIDE.

We’d like to plant some sunflowers in that raised area behind the giant stack o’wood, which will hopefully be gone in the very near future. Believe it or not, there’s a little cement pad with a fire pit on it hiding behind all that wood, and I’d like to put a few chairs in that area for easy s’more making once the warmer weather hits. Mostly because I need to utilize my lap in order to assemble the perfect s’more without dropping it. (In case you’re wondering, the perfect s’more = honey grahams, a Reese’s cup, and a ‘mallow that’s been burnt beyond recognition.) Someday I’d like to find a way to put solar panels back here – it gets a ton of sunlight. However, the area I’m most excited about is the deck:

10 Deck 1

Hopefully the site of many future barbecues.

12 Deck 3

Note to self: power wash the house.

My parents moved to Hawaii last month, and they left behind their pretty patio furniture set for me to use. We’ve currently got an old table and some plastic chairs out there, which I’ve conveniently not included in the pictures, as the table is covered in six months’ worth of dirt and an old candle jar full of cigar butts. It’s very chic.

Anyway, once I pick up the new patio furniture, we’ll just need a few things to make the deck party ready. I’ve included my top picks in a graphic, mostly because Dave is watching hockey highlights and I needed a way to pass the time:

Deck essentials

Railing planters  |  Solar Twinkle Lights  |  Melamine Plates  |  Illume Citronella Candles  |  Beverage Tub  |  Outdoor Turtle Shell Speaker

For the record, when Dave saw that beverage tub, he rolled his eyes and was all, “we already have a cooler in the garage.” So that is how this project will go. Wish me luck.

House Progress

It’s been forever since I posted a house update. Actually, it’s been forever since I’ve blogged at all. It turns out, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want to. (Actually there probably are; I just choose to devote too many of them to watching shows about serial killers on Netflix.) Anyway, since I have today off work, I decided to create a little house progress report. Dave and I agreed when we moved in that we should tackle the inside before attending to the outside. So far we’ve replaced all the flooring (and portions of the subflooring/drywall in the kitchen where the dishwasher had leaked), painted the walls, fixed several plumbing issues, and built a little indoor bar area. It looks a bit different in here these days: Before and After

Dining Area

Our last major project inside is the kitchen – we bought a really pretty glass mosaic tile backsplash to install, and we will also paint the cabinets white and replace the counters with something dark.

Backsplash

This tile is so pretty I just want to stand around taking derpface selfies with it all day long.

We originally planned to do the kitchen last fall, but then I got a new job and a new car and the holidays happened, so it got put on the back burner. But now the kitchen is officially back on the front burner, and we are also ready to begin adding some curb appeal. We hope that one day we can stop avoiding eye contact with our neighbors, who all seem to have meticulously-kept lawns. If you’ll recall, the front yard when we moved in was less than ideal:

1 Exterior

Worst yard on the block? Very yes. Worst yard in the world? Possibly.

That was in August of 2013. Here’s what it looks like now. It’s not spectacular, but I think we can agree that things are moving in a better, greener direction:

Spring 2015

If you drink two beers and squint, it almost looks great.

Our original plan was to lay sod in the front yard, but thanks to the drought California is experiencing and the subsequent water rationing imposed by our city, we are only allowed to water the lawn three days a week. Sod is clearly not going to happen, since you have to water it twice a day for the first few weeks after you put it in. Instead, we’ve just been sprinkling grass seed and hoping for the best. It may not be lush, but it’s better than the scorched, brown “before” shot.

You may have also noticed that we removed the dead rhododendrons along the front of the house. It only took a year and a half of walking by them every single day for us to take on that task. At this rate we’ll finish our landscaping in about 2060, so we’re trying to pick up the pace. Other curb appeal projects on the horizon include:

– Adding flower boxes under the front windows
– Edging the lawn with river rock
– Planting flowers along the front of the house
– Begging Dave’s grandpa to help us construct a front porch in that area to the left of the sidewalk leading up to the front door
– Applying stone veneer to the exposed foundation (like this)
– Getting a screen door that doesn’t look like it was ripped off a life-size gingerbread house

Eventually I’d love to paint the exterior a different color, but unless I receive a mysterious inheritance, that will be put off for a few years. We’ve also got some plans to make the backyard more barbecue-friendly for the summer, but that project deserves its own post. Hopefully it won’t take until my next work holiday to write it!