Monday, February 29, 2016

Blue Apron

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First, thank you so much for your words of wisdom regarding our little Maddie Mutt. Your kind comments were very helpful.

So, for a more uplifting post! This weekend my first Blue Apron order arrived!

A couple of months ago, my middle daughter decided to go vegetarian, 
and her mother is not much of a vegetarian cook!
I have to say as much as I want to support her, 
she has always been my non-fussy, non-picky
best eater child.

This new diet has been a big change for all of us.
I needed some ideas, and I didn't want to make a big investment in new cookbooks.
She is a teenager, after all. Who knows how long this will last?

I'd been hearing about Blue Apron, and I even received a $20 coupon in the mail
(which I forgot to use when placing my order).
Anyway, the box arrived on Saturday.

Three vegetarian meals.
All ingredients, save for salt, pepper, and olive oil.

And I do mean ALL ingredients.

On Saturday evening I made the first meal.

You still have to cook it, friends. 
If you're expecting an elderly mother type to show up in her blue apron, 
you're out of luck.

The prep and cooking were typical of a nice meal.
Not super easy (mac and cheese from a box), 
but not super difficult (beef bourguignon), either.

Everything was neatly packaged, totally recyclable, and fresh.

Yes, I could use some new sheet pans, don't you think?

I am no food stylist, so please be forgiving of these shots.
Plus, I don't really like taking pictures whilst cooking. It's a little odd.

The meal was delicious. Even my meat and potatoes husband loved it.
And my "little" lover of animals, who is proud to display her
"I don't eat cows" button, was very happy!

The cost is about $60 per week for the vegetarian meal, 
and slightly more for meat options.

We had plenty of leftovers.
You can cancel meals you don't like and opt out for weeks when you don't need the service.
I can't say yet if this will become a permanent thing, but I was pleased.

And, I have some new recipes to keep, too.

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Good Dog Gone Old

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We are dog owners, and we love our "babies." It can be tough (and messy and exhausting) to own a dog when children are young, but now that my girls are older, pet ownership is a real blessing. My teenagers don't greet me at the door with tails wagging (that would be weird). And they don't cuddle up on the sofa and gaze up at me with adoring eyes. There is nothing like the love of an animal.

That is until you're facing the end of an animal's life.

Maddie Mutt, as we affectionately call her, is SEVENTEEN. Yes, you heard correctly. She can no longer see very well. She can't hear. She is incontinent. A few months ago, we made the tough decision to relocate her to the garage. We heat said garage throughout the winter, which, of course, leads to exorbitant bills. She also has a heated dog bed, a cute sweater, dog booties (that fall off regularly), and plenty of food and water. When we bring her inside, she must be on a pee pad, but it seems she has little interest in us anyway.

Iris, our ten year Jack Russell, used to sit close to Maddie. They played together and sometimes even slept side-by-side.

It seems Iris has said her own kind of goodbye. She has stopped paying attention to her sibling. Her only interest in Maddie these days is to swipe her leftover kibble.

We have a difficult decision to make and that is whether or not we should put Maddie to sleep. We scour the garage. Just today, my husband bleached and cleaned and scrubbed the space, and he laundered the bedding. The groomer suggested we not make appointments for Maddie, as the whole process might prove too painful (she is also arthritic).

Is this any way to live? No matter how clean or warm or well-fed, how happy can this old dog possibly be? Honestly, I don't know. How does one know when it's time to let a furry loved one go?

Our dogs are symbols of our marriage and our youth and our early family days, when the girls were still little. Maddie and Iris are in so many family photos. Still, when I touch Maddie, and she is sometimes unresponsive, it seems she has little left of her good dog life.

What do you do when your good dog has gone old?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Girl Can Dream!

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Yes, we are still waiting for all the snow to melt after getting a record 
29.5 inches of the white stuff a few weeks ago. 
But, I went for what I call my "loop walk" today, 
and guess what.

I smell spring. It's burbling just beneath the surface of things.
The trail was mushy and slushy and icy, 

but birds were singing!

Yesterday, my husband said, 
"Is it too early to put the porch together?"
I replied that it was, sadly.

Still, a girl can dream of 
sun and porches and flowers and gardens.

Here are a few pictures in case you feel like dreaming, too!


Just a few more weeks and then we can start anticipating summer.
Tonight, we're cooking burgers on the grill.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Get Me Outta Here!

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Yes, snow days are nice, that is until you have SIX IN A ROW and are stuck inside with teenagers who demand that you venture out into blizzard conditions to take them to the mall! I did not do that, mind you, but it wasn't because my girls didn't try. They did have multiple "play" dates, though, and I spent a good chunk of the week driving them all over creation.

At the last second, my husband and I decided Calgon would not cut it. We had to get away for real. And just so you don't misunderstand, my husband would go dirty for weeks rather than take a bubble bath, but I digress.

Anyway, we headed to Maryland's Eastern Shore for a one-night stay in this gorgeous place,

Okay, so it wasn't summer, and there were no hydrangeas blooming, but it was toasty and heavenly just the same. We had a wonderful time, and when we returned, we found the teenage drama right where we left it.

In case you can't get away just now, feel free to use these images to take you away.

Yes, it was heavenly! Only 24 hours, but heavenly nonetheless! I hope you're all surviving this 


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