Saturday, April 25, 2009

Animal Things

Yesterday, we said good-bye to the first puppy to leave the brood.

You can see he's going to a good home.

But let us not forget the sheep. The ram has to be sheared today. Sigh.

I should note it's supposed to get to 85 degrees today.

Okay, no more dawdling! We have a ram to catch, a fleece to shear. Onward.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Big Puppy Doin's

This morning I will be driving with the MiL to The City to help her wrangle the puppies into a clinic for their eye test. Some kind of genetic thing collies can be born with and they have to test negative for before they can be sold as show dogs (I am SO TECHNICAL about these things, I know).

Then tomorrow, the puppies will begin going to their new homes. A family from nearby will be coming tomorrow to pick up the puppy they chose as their daughter's 10th birthday present. Those are some awesome parents, right there. On Saturday, the MiL will be driving two of the female puppies to Vermont to deliver them to their new homes. Those two are going to show homes, meaning they will be shown and probably bred after they get their championships.

What this all means for all of you, of course, is that this is probably the last photo you will see of all the puppies together.

I caused a brawl in The Puppy Penitentiary with this photo.

Don't be sad, duckies. I'm not. I love the puppies, and they are cute, but you realize that if we were to keep them all, we would have NINE dogs. No, thank you. So, to the puppies I say, bon voyage and have a nice life (we know they will), and to you I say, you'll always have the lambs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Code Red

I have a serious problem here, y'all. Remember when I said there wasn't a lot of leftover food from the wedding? That is technically true, in that what was left was mostly chips, dip, and cake, which is not so much food as junk. And this is where the problem arises. Because do you know what happens when you leave me alone all day with chips and chocolate cake? I eat it. ALL OF IT.

And don't start talking to me about moderation and how it's okay to have just a little bit of junk now and then, because I am not capable of that. I know this about myself. It's why I don't normally have this stuff in the house. I will literally eat a full-size bag of Reduced-Fat Ruffles (my particular chip weakness) in two days. Or, maybe hypothetically not that I did this, a quarter of a very large chocolate cake in a day and a half, with some help from A. (Thanks, Aunt Barb! It was delish!)

I am further weakened by the arrival of a certain, ahem, monthly visitor who is a complete bitch and demands fat and sugar in large quantities. AND, the fact that I have not been running lately due to various injuries* (not that I'm using them as an excuse--nooooo) is not helping matters here.

My binge should be over by the end of the week, however. Mostly due to the fact that I'll have blown through my stash by then. I (and the waistband of my jeans) can only hope.

So tell me, duckies, what food makes you lose control? And if you're one of those people who doesn't really like to eat, or forgets to eat, or stops eating when you're full, and you wanted to comment about that? Forget it. I don't want to hear it. But the rest of you, help me feel not so alone: What's your weakness?

* I will neither confirm nor deny that the stab wound on my big toe from kicking a particularly sharp stick while wearing sandals at the wedding was champagne-related.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Name Is Kristin, and I'm a Chucker

You know how people are fond of saying, "There are two kinds of people in the world . . . those who like X, and those who like Y." Isn't that irritating? Yeah, I think so, too.

So, there are two kinds of people in the world . . . those who like to throw things out, and those who like to hoard. I am a thrower-outer, but I live with two hoarders. It's no surprise that I like to chuck things, I suppose. I mean, my family moved every three years, or more frequently, when I was a kid. Packing all your stuff up into boxes that much makes you really take stock of what's important enough to put in a box and ship from Hawaii to Alaska.

Also, I cannot stand clutter. Drives me right nuts. I'm not a finicky housekeeper or anything, don't get me wrong. It's not as if I'm scrubbing my baseboards with a toothbrush on a regular basis (or EVER, if I'm to be truthful about it), but piles of books and magazines and clothes and stuff accumulating everywhere makes me feel all flustered and panicky. So I like to throw stuff out, so I don't have to just put everything into piles and move it from place to place instead of just getting rid of it.

Not that this always happens. But it's such a cathartic feeling when it does.

So tell me, poppets: Are you a chucker or a hoarder?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wedded Bliss

So, besides the alcohol consumption that I already explained, how was The Wedding? Big. And festive. And successful.

Two of the MiL's sisters arrived early to help put together food trays. This family does these sorts of things artistically, arranging the cheeses and meats and crackers all pretty. I think they have a future in catering. And maybe even in gluten-free catering, since my now-sister-in-law and her twin sister have celiac disease and can't eat any kind of gluten at all (think anything wheat-related: crackers, bread, cake . . . anything with flour). The MiL managed to produce an entirely gluten-free menu, with the exception of one cake and some spanakopita.

Pretty! And gluten-free!

Anyway, all four of us were scurrying around in our very cramped kitchen trying to get together enough food trays to satisfy the hordes when they arrived at 1 p.m. We don't have a lot of counter space at the best of times, and this was not the best of times. I was literally sitting on the floor, putting together a vegetable tray. The vegetables weren't on the floor, obviously, but I was and the tray was. Good thing the Health Department was nowhere in sight.

By 12:15 we had enough food together to get started with, so I ran upstairs to take a bath, trying to figure out what to wear at the same time. There was no dress code for this wedding. And when I say "no dress code," I mean there was everything from jeans and t-shirts to suits and dresses. To add to my problems, the weather had been very variable, starting cloudy and cool, then getting sunny and warm, then getting a little breezy and cooler. I ended up wearing a skirt and sandals (and a shirt, OBVIOUSLY--the dress code wasn't THAT lax). And because I was wearing the sandals (unexpected, because I didn't think it would be warm enough), I had to paint my bare toenails. So at 12:45 p.m., I was painting my toenails and hoping they wouldn't smear all over before they dried.

Then I ran downstairs, where the first of the guests were arriving, to get all the food outside and make sure all the drinks were out in ice. The next hour was a blur, as more and more people arrived and food was eaten and replenished.

The early arrivals. There are no photos of the party in full swing, because my hands were too busy with food and empty champagne bottles to take pictures.

At 2 p.m. was the actual ceremony. The bride and groom stood on our front porch, with all of us looking up at them, which worked out pretty well. They were married by Uncle Keith, who did a very nice and, at their request, very brief, non-religious ceremony. The whole thing took maybe 10 minutes, and then it was back to the party.

Immediately after this, the bride changed into jeans and a hoodie, the groom into jeans and a Black Sabbath t-shirt. The better to party in.

This is when the feeding frenzy really began. We had to make more cheese trays, more fruit trays and vegetable trays to replace the ones that had been depleted in the initial stage, and then there were shrimp and sausage and spanakopita and smoked salmon and cream cheese on gluten-free bread and . . . okay, let's just say there was a LOT OF FOOD to be carried out and then replaced when the trays started emptying. Also, I was trying to monitor the wine table to get rid of empty bottles and make sure there were enough bottles of champagne in the ice to be cold when they were needed. And answer questions about where the bathroom was (I should have made a sign), and was there anymore light beer (no), and was there any coffee (no, but I made some).

It was a bit busy.

Estimates on the number of guests who showed up ranged from 110 people to 125. There were definitely over a hundred. But they were outside, so it was actually manageable. Had it been raining, they would never have all fit in the house. There was a tent set up in the side yard with some tables and chairs, but people were wandering all over the place.

Also at this time, there was a band playing on the front porch. We had had no idea until that morning when some guys showed up to set up their sound system that there would even BE a band. They were pretty good, though, and everyone seemed to enjoy them. There was no dancing or speeches or anything. This wasn't a formal kind of wedding, mostly just a party.

Anyway, then we distributed cake, and everyone kept drinking. With the exception of things like washing some of the champagne flutes when we ran out of clean ones and cleaning up broken glass when someone dropped a flute on the stone, I got to relax around this time. At some time later in the afternoon, the champagne and red wine ran out. The keg emptied, too, and had to be replaced with another one. The newlyweds left around 7 p.m., and most everyone was gone by 8 p.m. I was in bed by 9 p.m.

I spent most of yesterday doing the outside clean-up, because it's supposed to rain today and I think trying to deal with soggy napkins and rain-filled, muddy champagne glasses would have been a downer. But now everything is back to normal, the party was a great success, and the MiL and I both feel we can be pretty proud of ourselves. We also feel exceedingly grateful to the MiL's sisters and cousin, who stepped in to make sure everything got done. Thank GOD for family that can be imposed upon.

Out of all of that food and drink, we're left with only some kielbasa, chips, and dip. I really can't believe all the cheese was eaten and ALL the alcohol was consumed. But I think that means it was a good party. The bride and groom seemed to have a great time anyway, which was the point.

So, with the wedding complete, what's next in the whirl of gaiety that is Blackrock? A visit from my sister. Wheee! The party never ends.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I am afraid I'm still too tired and my brain is too fuzzy to produce much of a coherent re-cap of yesterday's Event with a capital "E." I'll do the full spiel tomorrow (yes, with photos, you demanding harpies), but for today, let me leave you with this astounding math equation.

The supply of alcohol we laid in for this wedding:

Four cases of champagne+one case of red wine=60 bottles of wine
One and a quarter kegs of beer+two 12-packs of light beer=224 beers

And it's all gone.