tweets for 2015-06-30

July 1st, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2015-06-29

June 30th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Apple and Potato Oven Fries

June 29th, 2015 11:59 am by Kelly Garbato

2015-06-26 - Sea Shep Apple & Potato Fries - 0003 [flickr]

From Cookin’ Up a Storm, natch.

I have to admit, at first I was a little skeptical of the pairing of apples and potatoes in a french fry medium. But it totally works! Sure, so maybe the apples get a little mushy when baked; but thanks to the sugar, the outsides caramelize a tiny bit. Not crunchy, exactly, but kind of french fry-ish.

The recipe calls for five potatoes and two apples, giving it an almost 2:1 potato:apple ratio. Since that serves way more than two people – plus generates more potato and apple wedges than will even fit in my dinky little oven – I halved it, kind of. Two large potatoes, one apple. So a true 2:1 here.

I wasn’t sure what to use for a dipping sauce – Dakin recommends lemon wedges to garnish, but I used concentrated lemon juice – so I put some ketchup on the side and only dunked the potato fries. The apples I ate semi-separately, kind of like a sweet kick in between the tomato-covered potatoes. It sounds weird but worked out really well!

Served with leftover pizza for minimum effort. (Hey, we’d just gotten back from walking the dogs, okay.)

Willie Nelson, a fourteen-year-old best friend, and an old dog’s bucket list?

June 29th, 2015 10:51 am by Kelly Garbato

A sneak preview for all our Facebook friends. Enjoy the story of a Subaru Impreza owner taking his loyal, old dog on one more amazing trip. Also, show us how you #MakeADogsDay.

Posted by Subaru of America, Inc. on Sunday, June 28, 2015

Subaru, you have effective destroyed me for the rest of the day.

(The “old girlfriend” one hits me especially hard, since fourteen years on I still feel like a complete shit for taking Ralphie away from Shadow.)

tweets for 2015-06-28

June 29th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2015-06-27

June 28th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

The Rat Terrier Review: Waterworld

June 27th, 2015 8:09 pm by Kelly Garbato

2015-06-27 - Morning Walk at Smithville Lake - 0032 [1024x768 2 water paper]

So remember how last week Peedee had his one-month follow-up x-ray? We finally heard back from the oncologist on Thursday, and her assessment is a little more guarded than our general vet’s. The tumor’s not much larger, which we already knew; but one of the (many) areas of cancerous cells looks a little more advanced. The fluid in his lungs seems to be holding steady, and there’s also a little calcium buildup around the tumor, which suggests that his immune system is trying its best to fight it off. The oncologist is still sticking with her original two- to three-month estimate, although now she’s leaning toward three months. Which means two now, since a month’s already gone by. BUT WHO’S COUNTING? (A: Me, that’s who.)

It’s not the worst news we could have gotten, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping (against my better judgment, natch) for a slightly more positive outlook. Cancer’s tricky, though; it’s always subject to change. The cancerous cells that haven’t yet amassed into tumors could prove more or less aggressive than the tumor – or each other. The tumor might not grow any larger, but the other cells could eventually pose a problem; there’s only so much room in his lung, you know? There’s just no telling how it might progress. All we can really do is take it week by week, I guess. Next x-ray is three weeks from now. Fingers, crossed. But cynically.

2015-06-20 - Watchdog Peedee - 0002 [flickr]

2015-06-25 - Peedee - 0003 [flickr]

On a brighter note, we started him on a few new supplements this week. In addition to the cannabis oil he’s been getting, Peedee’s now on Beta Glucan and Curcumin, both of which supposedly have cancer-fighting properties. Beta Glucan is also purportedly good for the immune system. Nutritional yeast is a good source; since I use it in the dogs’ food and peanut butter balls, I went with a mushroom-derived version of Beta Glucan when choosing the supplement. idk if there’s any difference, but a little variety can’t hurt.

Anyway, on to happier things. It’s still raining buckets in Missouri, hence the subtitle of this week’s Rat Terrier Review. We went on tons of walks, many of which necessitated my giant (and hot! like damn are those things suffocating!) rubber muckracking boots.

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Stacking the Shelves: June in Books

June 27th, 2015 5:00 pm by Kelly Garbato

2015-06-01 - Queers destroy SF Rewards

At the beginning of the month, my rewards for the QUEERS DESTROY SCIENCE FICTION! kickstarter began to roll in. Along with the June 2015 Queers Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue of Lightspeed, I received enough credits to choose six back issues from the Lightspeed store.

Also coming are the special issues Queers Destroy Horror! (October) and Queers Destroy Fantasy! (December). In the meantime, I also got to choose three back issues each of Nightmare Magazine and Fantasy Magazine. Among my top picks? The special Women Destroy issues of each from last year. (I was totes late to that party.)

As if this prize package isn’t epic enough, I also received electronic copies of the annual gay and lesbian speculative fiction anthologies Wilde Stories and Heiresses of Russ. I KNOW RIGHT!

2015-06-05 - Sunshine Girl - 0001 [flickr]

2015-06-05 - Sunshine Girl - 0002 [flickr]

As for book mail, I was lucky enough to win an autographed copy of Paige McKenzie’s The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, courtesy of Teens Wanna Know!.

2015-06-27 - Book Mail - 0002 [flickr]

And brand new just this morning: book mail for review and for pleasure from @penguinrandom and @StMartinsPress: In Wilderness: A Novel, by Diane Thomas (won through Library Thing) and Torn (The Feuds Series #2) by Avery Hastings.

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tweets for 2015-06-26

June 27th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Fredrik Backman (2015)

June 26th, 2015 9:45 am by Kelly Garbato

For Children Aged Zero to One Hundred and Twenty-Three

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review on NetGalley. Trigger warning for violence, including domestic violence and war.)

Miamas is Granny and Elsa’s favorite kingdom, because there storytelling is considered the noblest profession of all. The currency there is imagination; instead of buying something with coins, you buy it with a good story. Libraries aren’t known as libraries but as “banks,” and every fairy tale is worth a fortune. Granny spends millions every night: tales full of dragons and trolls and kings and queens and witches. And shadows. Because all imaginary worlds have to have terrible enemies, and in the Land-of-Almost-Awake the enemies are the shadows, because the shadows want to kill the imagination.

And when the morning light seeps into the hospital room, Elsa wakes up in Granny’s arms. But Granny is still in Miamas.

The mightiest power of death is not that it can make people die, but that it can make the people left behind want to stop living.

Almost-eight-year-old Elsa is what many adults call “smart for her age.” She may only be seven, but Elsa knows a backhanded compliment when she hears one. A precocious kid, Elsa isn’t terribly popular, with children or adults. And most certainly not among shopkeepers, whose grammatically incorrect signage she doesn’t hesitate to correct with her handy, ever-present felt-tipped pen: her all-time favorite gift from her font-obsessed father.

Elsa’s best friend – her only friend, in point o’ facts – is her seventy-seven-year-old grandmother. Luckily, Granny lives in Elsa’s apartment building – right next door! People say that Granny’s “crazy,” and that may be true … but only to an extent. Mostly Granny doesn’t give a flying fuck what others think of her. It kind of comes with the territory: Granny was a medical student, and then an accomplished doctor (a surgeon, no less), before these fields had opened up to women. Heck, during Granny’s first few years on this earth, it was even illegal for Swedish women to vote!

So that’s one part of Granny’s “madness” – the radical notion that women are people and can do the same things as their male peers. Even if that involves traveling the globe, visiting the sites of natural disasters and man-made catastrophes while everyone else flees, rescuing people and rebuilding lives the best way she knows how.

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tweets for 2015-06-25

June 26th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2015-06-24

June 25th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: The Book of Speculation: A Novel, Erika Swyler (2015)

June 24th, 2015 12:10 pm by Kelly Garbato

“Even Pandora’s Box had hope.”

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Churchwarry laughs, and I begin to understand some of his delight in passing books on. There’s a certain serendipity, a little light that’s settled in my sternum.

How could I have known that goodbye meant goodbye?

Simon Watson comes from a long and storied line of performers: travelers, carnies, circus folks. Divers and breath-holders (half-mermaid women!) as well as fortune tellers and tarot card readers (psychics and witches!). Like his predecessors, Simon is a master of reinvention. Rather than taking up the family business, as did his younger sister Enola – who bailed on him and joined the circus the moment she turned 18 – Simon has chosen a more practical vocation: he’s a librarian at the Napawset library. And unlike his distant, nomadic relatives, Simon seems rooted to a single spot: the crumbling, 1700s colonial house that he and Enola called home.

After Simon’s mother Paulina committed suicide – one day, she bid him and Enola farewell, walked into the ocean, and never came out; a mermaid who drowns? how does such a thing even work? – father Daniel became nearly comatose in his grief. It was Simon who looked after Enola; Simon who bandaged her cuts; Simon who taught her how to how to dive and swim and hold her breathe for ten minutes straight, just like his mom the mermaid showed him. And when Daniel finally dropped dead of a heart attack, it was Simon who worked several jobs at a time to put food on the table.

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tweets for 2015-06-23

June 24th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2015-06-22

June 23rd, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Creamy Maple Pecan Ice Cream

June 22nd, 2015 12:22 pm by Kelly Garbato

2015-06-17 - Maple Pecan Ice Cream - 0003 [flickr]

Recently it occurred to me that I’ve never made my own maple pecan ice cream – outside of banana ice cream, that is, which is delicious but doesn’t count. (You can always taste the bananas, so it’s not a true maple pecan ice cream – more like banana maple pecan ice cream. Good but NOT THE SAME.) This is weird because I’ve always been a fan of Tofutti’s Better Pecan ice cream.

The good news is that it’s really easy to make; you just need maple syrup and pecan flavoring/extract for, well, flavoring. You can also mix in some roasted, crushed pecans if you’d like, but I opted to use them for garnish instead. Nuts added directly to ice cream can get a little soggy and lose some of their crunch over time. Thanks, but no.

2015-06-17 - Maple Pecan Ice Cream - 0004 [flickr]

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tweets for 2015-06-21

June 22nd, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Mini-Review: The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids, Ammi-Joan Paquette & Marie LeTourneau (2012)

June 21st, 2015 1:53 pm by Kelly Garbato

Rock that Conch Shell!

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic copy of this book for review through NetGalley.)

I was six years old when Splash first came out; and, although I probably didn’t get to watch it for a few more years, once I did I was officially hooked on mermaids. I used to swim around the pool with my legs mentally fused together, pretending that I was diving to depths much greater than our paltry four feet. I didn’t get to go to the beach often – the nearest one prohibited swimming due to pollution – so on those rare occasions when I was able to visit, my mom practically had to drag me home. To this day, I still have a thing for mermaids (and Daryl Hannah).

I wish I had a copy of The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids twenty-five years ago.

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tweets for 2015-06-20

June 21st, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

The Rat Terrier Review #5

June 20th, 2015 4:04 pm by Kelly Garbato

2015-06-14 - Napping in the Sunroom - 0014 [flickr]

I’m running out of clever subtitles for these things, can you tell?

First things first: Peedee had his one-month (actually four-week, but wev) follow-up x-ray yesterday. According to our regular vet’s admittedly inexpert eye, it looks like the cancer has progressed a little, though possibly not as much as we expected/feared given the time frame. (One month = one half to a third of the predicted life span given us by the oncologist, so.) The primary tumor isn’t much larger, nor has the fluid in his lungs gotten worse. So maybe the semi-secret herbal supplement we’ve been giving him has made a difference? Idk.

2015-06-19 - Peedee & His Moo Cow - 0011 [flickr]

Really we won’t know for sure until next week, after the oncologist has had a chance to look over the newest images and compare them to the last round. Like I said, our vet’s good, but he’s not a cancer specialist. I’m trying not to get my hopes up while also not going too far in the other direction and freaking the fuck out. I was dreading yesterday’s appointment all week, and at least now it’s over. So there’s that.

2015-06-19 - Post-Walk Peedee - 0008 [flickr]

Otherwise Peedee is acting pretty normal so far: no loss of appetite, no trouble breathing, no weakness or lethargy. He’s his normal, anxious, hyperactive self. Though the warm weather has got them all feeling a little lazier than normal. Today it’s supposed to hit 95F, so we went the proactive route and cranked the AC this morning. I HATE to close up the house during the summer – it may as well be winter, without the warm breezes and wildlife sounds – but sometimes it just has to be done.

2015-06-19 - Post-Walk Peedee - 0014 [flickr]

So! This week. It actually hasn’t been overbearingly hot, so we were able to take them walking a ton. Peedee’s already tired of our street, so we decided to take a risk and go traipsing around town. For most of our dogs’ lives – well, the entirety of their lives, save for the first year we had Ralphie – we’ve lived in places with wide, open spaces: acres and acres of private property, or large public parks that mostly go unused. So the dogs are used to long leashes and running pretty much wherever they want. As wild as you can get with a harness. Yielding to traffic? Not so much.

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