much merries from the @furkids

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

2016 X-mas Card, Final

Since Jayne passed away in July, we’ve been down to “just” three dogs (not counting the fosters, of which we’ve thankfully had four since. They keep me busy and distracted, okay.) I know that three is still more than most households have, but we haven’t had such a critical low number since we adopted Kaylee and Jayne (dogs #4 and 5) in 2006 – so basically a decade! Not coincidentally, 2005 was also the last year I was able to squeeze all our dogs into a single photo. I gave it ye ole college try in 2006, but it was a hot mess.

Anyway, I took a bunch of pictures of Rennie, Mags, and Finnick, both individually and as a group, and the result is what you see above. This wasn’t my favorite shot, but it begged the best captions, so there you go.

I kind of stumbled when it came to the message on the back of the card. 2016 was a dumpster fire from beginning to end, and 2017 is looking even worse. Not much to celebrate, you know?

2016 message label

That’s David Bowie’s Rochester mug shot in the background. I chose it both because I’m from Rochester, and it matched the picture I made for the address labels, which was a montage of photos of Bowie, Prince, and Gwen Ifill, run through the charcoal filter in Photoshop so they’d be all nice and matchy. It took awhile to find a good one of Prince (his face always tends to be turned and in shadow more often than not), but I think it came out pretty neat.

2016 address label montage

For the return label, I just went with a simple pawprint and heart design.

2016 return label

These dogs are my world and they each carry a slice my heart with them. Some days this arrangement works out better than others. Sigh.

Yeah, I’m feeling pretty melancholy today. The fog and thunderstorms aren’t helping, but at least there’s a Golden Girls marathon on TVLand, and plenty of cookies and chocolates in the fridge. (Yes, there will be pictures and recipes in the new year!)

After the jump are a few of my favorite pics. Look out for each other, people. Be compassionate and RESIST.

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The Christmas Post: Better Late Than Never

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

2016-01-05 - O-Ren - 0004 [flickr]

The title pretty much says it all. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a month now, but what it lacks in timeliness, it makes up for with cute doggy pics.

Shane and I didn’t do much for Christmas, on account of being in mourning and all, but I did spoil the dogs with a ton of gifts. Buying dog toys is a bit of a gamble, since they can be kind of random with their preferences. That’s okay, though; if my dogs don’t like a certain toy, sooner or later a foster will come along who does. (ALWAYS send the fosters home with a gift basket!)

Rennie does have one weak spot: BALLS. She was big on tennis balls for awhile, but once she lost most of her teefies, she switched to plush balls. Her all-time favorite is the medium Skins ball made by Aspen/Booda. Made, past tense: while I was doing my holiday shopping, I discovered that they discontinued it. I was so bummed, you guys! I imagine this is how parents feel when, rushing around on x-mas eve, they spot the very last Barbie Saddle ‘N Ride Horse on the shelf, only to have some stranger beat them to it by a millisecond. I SHOULD HAVE FILLED A WAREHOUSE WHEN I HAD THE CHANCE.

So I did what any good mom would do, and I bought every single other kind of plush ball I could find. Something like 48 of them, when all was said and done. Rather than wrap them all individually, I put them all in one box and dumped it over Rennie’s head. The video was not as dramatic as I’d hoped.

But she loves her new balls and really that’s all I could ask for. Still, she has not abandoned her six original Booda balls, which are scrappy with saliva yet in surprisingly good shape considering how much she uses them. I guess she treats them with extra loving care. Most of her balls look like swiss cheese or fluffy amoebas after just a few days.

Sadly, Rennie was more or less alone in unwrapping gifts this year; Peedee was the only other dog who was super-into it. Jayne helped, a little – but she was more interested in eating the paper than playing with the gifts inside.

2015-12-25 - Christmas Doggies! - 0074 [flickr]

Mags and Finnick want nothing to do with our human nonsense. I even tried wrapping a few treats for them – like I did for Peedee’s birthday – but even that wasn’t enough to pique their interest. They just are not accustomed to working for their meals. (Mags has trained me to feed her by hand, yo! Diva much?)

After the jump you’ll find some more x-mas pics, mostly of Rennie since she’s the only one who really performed for us. Most of the presents were for her, so…fair’s fair I guess.

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The Rat Terrier Review: Paul Blart Edition!

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

2015-05-27 - Five for Paul Blart! - 0012 [flickr]

Last night we ticked another item off Peedee’s to-do list: the drive-in! I’m happy to report that, while it was not an unqualified success – I spent much of the night in a state of hyper-awareness vis-a-vis his big damn mouth – the trip went much better than expected.

Way back when it was just three dogs, we tried taking Ralphie, Peedee, and O-Ren in various combinations – it’s hard now to remember the exact configurations – but all three were such big barkers that we quickly gave up. (I have vague memories of slinging blankets over their crates to keep them quiet, like birds.)

And then I fell in love with Kaylee, and she became a regular. She was happy just to be near me; the popcorn was a bonus. Needless to say, Kaylee was not a big barker; she saved her voice strictly for communicating her demands. Kaylee and Rennie grew so close that we eventually decided to give her a second chance and – surprise! – Rennie was much improved. After Kaylee passed, we handed her spot over to Mags, who was equally well-behaved.

So. Last night I’m loading the van up: blankets, pillows, crate, water, food. Mags and Rennie, both well-versed in the routine, work themselves into the usual excited frenzy: WE’RE GOING OUT! MOVIES AND TREATS AND A WHOLE NIGHT ALONE WITH MOM AND DAD! WALKS AND STRANGE SMELLS AND DISCARDED GREASY FOOD EVERYWHERE!

I can’t bring myself to look Mags in the eye, because it’s her spot Peedee’s taking.

Like, I seriously cannot describe how bad I felt: here she is, just two days off crate rest, and Mom and Dad and her BFF O-Ren are ditching her for the evening. Possibly other evenings to come. And she looked so happy, you guys! OVER-FUCKING-JOYED.

But we didn’t know if we’d be able to handle three dogs, especially when one of them was wild card Peedee.

Shane offhandedly joked that we should just bring her. And so it was decided.

2015-05-27 - Five for Paul Blart! - 0009 [flickr]

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A Very Canine Christmas, Redux

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

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I had a blast spoiling the dogs last x-mas, so I decided to carry the tradition over to another year, even though they’re not exactly hurting for toys. Ditto: crates, bedding, games, clothing, costumes, or treats. (Even if they’d rather do without some of these items.) As my mom would happily point out, my dogs have more toys than she did as a kid. But seeing as I tend to send all our fosters home with a toy or two or three, we have enough turnover to justify at least a small pile of goodies under the tree.

Our current foster, Tiny Terror, threw a wrench into the plans on Christmas Day, just as I knew she would. (See: her nickname.) She tends to rush, bark, and sometimes nip at the other dogs whenever they do anything that so much as hints at signs of life: bark, whine, chase toys, run from one room to another, jump down from the couch, and/or attempt to enter or leave the house. Or make noise of any sort, whether intentionally or not. This behavior represents a huge improvement over her first days with us, when she’d try to pick fights constantly, and at random. (I use the term “fight” liberally; they resemble Peedee and Finnick’s slap and tickle fights more than anything else.)

2014-12-25 - Opening Presents - 0104 [flickr]

As per usual, Mags is not amused.
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Anyway, the gift giving went just as I predicted: Tiny Terror was completely disinterested in the shiny presents, preferring instead to bum rush the dogs who were excited about it (so basically Rennie and Peedee; Jayne and Mags are only interested in eating the paper, and Finnick just wants to be with his dad). Eventually it got so bad that I put her in the bedroom for a little time out. But by this point everyone was so exhausted that we only got to half the presents. So I guess we get to do it again…tonight? (Yay?) In any case, it won’t be the first time we’ve carried a few presents over to a second holiday.

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A Very Canine Christmas

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

2013-12-24 - Testing the New Camera - 0013 [flickr 1]

So I may have went a little overboard with the dogs’ presents this year.

Usually I get them a little something – and if I don’t my mom sure does (this year it was a box stuffed with Halloween outfits!) – but it’s been awhile since I put together a whole basket filled to overflowing with gifts. 2005 to be exact, the year we adopted Rennie. They have enough toys as it is, but really the gift-giving was as much for me as it was them: I have so much fun watching them tear open the packages, destroying plush toys and devouring wrapping paper as they go. It’s, uh, quite a spectacle. And if the time stamps on my photos are accurate, the mayhem lasted nearly three hours this time around!

2013-12-24 - Dogs' Gift Pile - 0001 [flickr]

I had to stash the basket of gifts on the freezer in the weeks leading up to x-mas, since I was afraid that the dogs would run off with the packages if I left them somewhere accessible, like under the tree. (Our presents? Perched carefully out of the way on the spare desk. I don’t need Jayne destroying more of my books, mkay.) Right before we were to start opening presents Christmas morning, I arranged them neatly around the tree so that I could take a few before shots

2013-12-25 - X-Mas Decorations - 0019 [flickr]

and, within ten minutes, Rennie was rooting around the basket, flinging all the things across the office floor. She went straight for this rubber puzzle thingie, in the middle of which sits a nice, shiny new tennis ball. There’s only one space where the opening of the cube is big enough to allow the tennis ball through, so it’s a bit of a brain teaser. Normally O-Ren is not much for brain teasers, but I was hoping that the tennis ball would provide some extra motivation. Anyway, she must have smelled the ball, because she dove straight for that one package. She liked it well enough, but the plush ball and mini lady hedgehog (Shane: “How do you know she’s a lady?” BECAUSE SHE HAS PINK TOENAILS AND RU PAUL EYELASHES, DUH! Could. Not. Resist.) proved her favorites. Peedee liked all the things that squeaked and, as per usual, Jayne was only interested in the wrapping paper. (Yum!)

This is Mags and Finnick’s first time unwrapping presents, and they seemed both confused by and not a little irritated with the whole affair: the noisy fuss generated by Rennie and Peedee was bad enough, but the kicker? Not enough attention from mom and dad, respectively. Mags was downright put off. I did manage to get her interested in a stuffed rabbit, and she’s been attacking the rope toy with some abandon since, so I think it all worked out okay.

After the jump: some self-indulgent pics of the dogs on x-mas. Plus some photos of our decorations, just because. (We added some of our Halloween decorations to the mix, a stroke of genius of which I am particularly proud. Scarved skeletons swooning? Priceless.)

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So this is Christmas…

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

I almost didn’t bother decorating this year – I was just feeling too damn depressed. But then I figured that I’d be even more bummed without all the shiny happy tinsels and ribbons and be-pirated stuffed animals brightening up the bleak winter landscape. (There’s a reason I leave the decorations up through February, people!) Plus I knew I’d regret skipping the holiday cards further down the line; some of my favorite pictures of the dogs are from our x-mas photo sessions (see, e.g., Kaylee in her shindig dress and Ralphie the pizza poo). So X-Mas came to the Garbato-Brady household after all!

fsmas card 2013 - tis the season

For this year’s cards, I decided to keep it simple: instead of complicated outfits, I opted for ribbons taped to dog collars. My original idea was to photograph everyone in pairs and, long story short, I have no freaking clue how I was able to get Ralphie, Peedee, and Rennie to sit still (AT THE SAME TIME!!!) for our very first card. No one was having it, and I think the treats meant as bribery actually made things worse – everyone seemed to be competing with their partners for the noms. The good news is that everyone made it on the card – even Lemmy, who spent most of his photo time chewing on the ribbon strings.

Ralphie and Kaylee were even represented on the back of the card…though only those who know us will pick up the meaning.

2013 message label

I still couldn’t help but make a second card with the paired pictures, though. At first it was just for my own benefit, but I decided to print them up and mail them out as well. Actually I think everyone looks okay save for Jayne and Lemmy. Those two did NOT want to have anything to do with each other.

fsmas card 2013 - silent night

And then of course we have the individual “outtake” cards. I didn’t have a theme to speak of, so I just went with Supernatural quotes. Totally irrelevant, but totally hilarious.

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Pumpkin Spice Banana Ice Cream

Friday, February 15th, 2013

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Despite the chilly weather, Shane’s been super-into banana ice cream lately – which can only mean one thing for me: experimentation time! I’ve been meaning to try this one since Thanksgiving-ish, though the version I had in mind was slightly more unhealthy. Maybe with some tiny chunks of spiced cream cheese mixed in? But that kind of negates the whole point of banana ice cream, don’t you think?

Anyway, you can dress it up by adding some toasted pecans or raisins along with the spices, or sprinkling them on top of the ice cream before you serve it. So healthy you can eat it for breakfast.

Pumpkin Spice Banana Ice Cream

(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
a dash allspice
maple syrup or another vegan sweetener, if needed
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Combine the bananas and pumpkin in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but maple syrup is perfect here.

3. Add the spices and pulse until blended. Sample the batter and add extra spices to taste.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

5. Serve topped with vegan whipped cream, a bit o’ maple syrup, raisins or pecans, or pumpkin flavored granola. (Recipe for that last coming soon!)

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2013-02-10 - Lemmy Wants Some - 0002

Lemmy wants some!
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Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun*

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

2013-02-02 - Afternoon Reading-slash-Napping - 0001

This has been the scene come four o’clock the past few days. I’ve been getting in more reading when time allows, and this is pretty much the perfect reading spot in the house most afternoons. As the sun makes its way west, it travels from the left side of the office to right, until it’s slowly warming the spare couch. Drag the ottoman and some blankets over there, and there’s room enough for everyone. Still, at least one dog always ends up on my person. Everyone has to be closest to mommy!

The sun often sends me off into dreamland along with the dogs, usually in the most ridiculous and uncomfortable positions. (I’ve turned into my own mother; I can fall asleep anytime, anywhere. She once dozed off on a class trip she was chaperoning, to one of those old-timey schoolhouses. Drooling on a log table!) It’s not super-obvious in the photo, but Rennie’s draped atop my legs, length-wise, and my body’s bent sideways at the waist at a 45 degree angle. I have no idea how I drifted off like this, but I sure felt it a half hour later. Gonna pay for that in yoga tomorrow.

Only six of the seven dogs are represented here. Jayne started off with us but after five minutes of too much closeness, she retreated to the dog beds on the other side of the office. Lemmy’s over there too, sunning himself on his new cardboard scratching lounge thingie.

Thanks to Shane for taking this pic – one can never have too many photos of oneself sleeping, don’t you know!; at first sight of the camera, Fin fled to my side of the couch, where he promptly stole my pillow. Back to my book, I guess?

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"That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet." *

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

After last year’s elaborate space pirates fsmas theme – complete with canine Firefly cosplay and a tree full of handmade pirate ornaments – I decided to take it easy(ier) this time around. (At least with the decorating. The baking is another story!) So this year’s fsmas card theme was a little rushed and last-minute, but awesome just the same: Carl Sagan. More specifically, Carl Sagan quotes.

Truthfully I just really, really wanted to use the starstuff quote on a holiday card. It’s my favorite and I get choked up and leak strange, salty liquid from my eyes every time I think of it. To think that our bodies – hearts, hands, heads – are constructed of the remnants of long-dead alien stars. Such a strange and beautiful and wondrous idea. Yay science! (Adam’s rib or fallen stars? No contest!)

This year, Mags served as our coverdog, both because she’s never been and, perhaps more importantly, her pictures came out quite nicely. This main card is the one I sent to friends and family but, as per usual, I made “alternates” for each of the dogs (and Lemmy too!). I can’t stand to leave anyone out and besides, I welcome the thinnest of justifications for spending the day with Photoshop. For each of the animals, I chose a different Sagan quote – mainly for consistency, but also because he’s an eminently quotable guy.

As much as I love how the main card came out, I think Kaylee’s is my favorite of the bunch. There’s just something about her face and the way she’s addressing the camera. And the apples and the apron! It’s all just too perfect. Like she’s ready to bake a motherfucking apple pie and you’d better get the hell out of her way. NOW PASS THE EARTH BALANCE PLEASE! and thankyouverymuch.

Finnick was surprisingly well-behaved during the photo-taking; turns out his fear of the camera almost dissipates when there’s food around. We dressed him in a pirate tie that we originally bought for the cat (OH THE SHAME!); it was the only piece of clothing we thought he’d tolerate. And he did! I might make him wear it 24/7 now, just for my own amusement. His look is reminiscent of Cartman the fetus salesman, I think.

And for Lemmy, I couldn’t help but make an extra-snarky version of his card, just because. (By which I mean, just because he’s been snacking on the garland and batting my ornaments off the tree all month. CATS.)

Unfortunately, I forgot to include each dog’s name on the card (doh! me) – but if you hover over the image or click through to flickr, they’re right there in the file names. Easy peasy!

 

2012 Holiday Card - Mags (Main)

“The nitrogen in our DNA,
The calcium in our teeth,
The iron in our blood,
The carbon in our apple pies
Were made in the interiors
Of collapsing stars.
We are made of starstuff.”
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2012 Message Label

(Against the backdrop of the aurora borealis:)

May your star shine bright this holiday season!
Best wishes from all of us in the Garbato-Brady Pack:
Kelly, Shane, Ralphie, Peedee, O-Ren Ishii, Kaylee, Jayne,
Mags, Finnick, and Lemmy (otherwise known as “The Cat”).

I printed these out on 4×6″ sticky labels and affixed them to the back of the main card.
Way easier than handwriting on 50+ cards!
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Shiny Happy Spaghetti (It’s FSMas decorating time!)

Monday, December 24th, 2012

2012-12-21 - FSMas Decorations - 0149

 

For several years now I’ve been meaning to do a “31 Days of FSMas” series, with tips and tutorials for giving your holiday festivities a flying spaghetti monster flair. (Two words: pasta and pirates!) Between Vegan MoFo and real life holiday chores, I always run out of time. Sigh. Maybe next year? (Famous last words.)

Instead of a series, a big old roundup featuring pictures of this year’s decorations. I didn’t go all out with a theme like last year, when I made all the holiday tree ornaments by hand (to match Kaylee and Jayne’s Firefly-inspired costumes) – but luckily I had enough existing decorations to deck the house in swag just the same. (…is the understatement of the year.) Lots of sparkle, but not much organization. Just glitter. EVERYWHERE.

So here are my principles of FSMas decorating, in no particular order:

 

1. You can never have too many flying spaghetti monsters.

2012-12-21 - FSMas Decorations - 0074

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Deck the Casbah

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

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Enjoying a bowl of Casbah brand lemon spinach couscous in between my fsmas decorating. It’s been sitting in my cupboard forever, which is a mystery – it’s pretty tasty, and impossible to screw up, too. I’m well known ’round these parts for leaving things unattended to burn on the stove. But this? Just boil some water, add the contents of the box, bring to a boil again, and then remove from the heat and let sit, covered for five minutes. So easy my 24-year-old brother could do it! (Maybe.)

In other news, my house now looks like Santa Claus and a Bedazzler got hammered and threw up on all the things. The tree is up and strung with pasta, the counters are littered with gold coins, and every surface is sparkly with glitter. I can’t wait to see what the cat does with/to my decorations this year.

 

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The penne garland has already taken quite a hit.

…and there were zero fucks given that day.

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Yesterday morning after breakfast, Kaylee wandered into the office, threw up everything she’d just eaten, and then proceeded to eat it all a second time. At first I started to yell at her to stop, and even took a step toward her, as if to snatch her away, and then realized – you know what? I should just let her eat it, then I won’t have to clean it up. Let her take care of her own mess and be happy doing it.

null

Welcome to my life.

Filed alongside: “silently watching Lemmy rub his balls on the kitchen counter” and “leaving Mags’s pee puddles sit until morning.”

"I got heathens aplenty right here!"* Merry CriFSMas from our crew to yours!

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

2011 FSMas Card MAIN

May your holiday be bright and shiny,
and your ‘verse, filled with shindigs and thrilling heroics.
– Kaylee and Jayne
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Happy holidays, y’all! As I said the other day, I’ve been dying to do some holiday cosplay with Kaylee and Jayne ever since we adopted them five years ago, and this year I finally got to it! I decorated the entire tree with pirates in their honor (The crew of Serenity? Space pirates! Totally relevant to Pastafarianism, since doctrine holds that the decline in pirates is correlated with global warming – and thus in order to avert the apocalypse, we have to bring back piracy. Check and mate.), which was no small feat seeing as I made most of the ornaments by hand over a two-month period. I also hired someone to custom-make Kaylee Frye and Jayne Cobb outfits way back in August. Oh, the planning that went into this holiday card!

Unfortunately, my seamstress totally flaked (Updated to add: full story here!), leaving me to cobble together costumes from off-the-rack pieces at the last minute. Instead of a green mechanic’s jumpsuit and floral blouse, Kaylee is wearing her shindig dress – that is, a Cotton Candy Dog Dress by East Side Collection. And while Jayne isn’t sporting a trademark brown Jayne Cobb ringer tee, she does look pretty badass in a green army jacket – really an Army Green Utility Jacket by Zack & Zoey.

Of course, the Jayne hat is the star of the ensemble; I actually had three custom-made for me by two different etsians: Sam’s Crochet (that would be the adorably floppy, Rasta-style hat Jayne and Peedee are wearing) and Whitaker Knits (the smaller hats with the orange tie, as seen on Ralphie and O-Ren, below). Rounding out Jayne’s look is a Browncoats logo pin I scored on Amazon. (It’s on her chest and not clearly visible in all the photos.) I also picked up some cute ID badges on eBay, but couldn’t find a place for them in the final outfits. Instead, they became ornaments for the tree.

Here’s a little character collage I put together for my family, who are not Firefly fans (THE HORRA!) and thus didn’t get the reference. Side-by-side comparison time! How do you think I did?

2011 FSMas Card - Kaylee-Jayne Comparison Collage

All’s shiny that ends shiny, I say.

Outtakes and extras after the jump!

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furkid friday: WANT.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

In which Jayne comes face-to-face with her great white whale, known to the humans as “Lemmy.”

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Actually, some days they spend hours this way, scoping out one another from their respective sides of the dog/cat boundary line. Lemmy knows enough to stay away from Jayne when there’s not an insurmountable obstacle preventing her from mauling him – but from his side of the glass, he becomes quite the provocateur: taking swipes at her, rolling around playfully (and occasionally right off the desk he uses for a perch), yawning and showing off his kitten belly and general lack of fear. And all she can do is quiver! High comedy, I tell you what. The two should star in a buddy film together.

furkid friday: scenes from a vegan marriage, redux

Friday, May 20th, 2011

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Shane: Hey, come look at this! See Lemmy’s new favorite spot? [In the closet, sandwiched into my old monitor stand.]

Me: OMG, that’s ADORABLE! Did you get a picture? You have to take a picture!

Shane: [pause] I’m not gonna be one of those people who shares cat pictures online.

Me: What! I’m one of those people!

Shane: ….

Me: Well, I’m taking a picture then.

I bet he’ll share this post on Facebook.

furkid friday: lemmy (is no longer new, but still kitteh-like)

Friday, April 15th, 2011

2011-04-05 - Lemmy - 0004

Me: Okay, the afternoon sun is shining on your side of the house.
IT’S PICTURE TIME!

2011-04-05 - Lemmy - 0017

Lemmy: Silly human. The only times I recognize are “mealtime” and “playtime” and, since I don’t see any nomz around, YOU WILL ENTERTAIN ME.

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furkid friday: stunt kitteh (hope he kept his day job)

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Shane shot this video of the cats Wednesday night. The way that Ozzy and Lemmy were scoping each other out, he anticipated either a bout of playing or fighting (or some combination of the two) – but what came next was much more hilarious:

You can practically hear Ozzy laughing on the inside.

(By the way, that weird sparkly eye effect later in the video? That was just Shane messing around with his camera’s effects. It’s kind of creepy, actually, like Lemmy’s half-anime or something. *shudder*)

Pistachio Pudding Ice Cream

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

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In a New Year’s-inspired bid to clean out my kitchen cabinets, a few weeks back I finally cracked open one of the pistachio instant pudding mixes – Jello brand – that my mom gave me a few years ago. Firstly, I know what you’re thinking: Jello!?! That’s not vegan, woman! It was my first reaction, anyway, and my mom’s too. But as far as I can see, certain Jello pudding mixes are free of animal products. At least, none of the usual suspects – not gelatin, nor milk powder, nor even whey – are present. And the pistachio mix in particular is included in a number of “everyday vegan” lists (and not just PETA’s).

Anyhow, either I messed up the recipe – which would be really, terribly sad – or the mix was just too old, but the batter never did firm up into a pudding-like consistency, not even after an overnighter in the fridge. Stumped, I decided to freeze the batter until I could figure out what to do with it. And then, it finally hit me: if life gives you runny pudding, make frozen ice cream!

As you can see, the dessert shaped up nicely: rich, creamy, and oh-so-pistachio-y! I don’t really have a recipe per se, but you can try this with any instant pudding mix. Just make as you would normally, adding a little extra nondairy milk so that the batter doesn’t thicken too much, chill in the fridge for several hours, and then process according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. This also makes a nice fix if your pudding doesn’t come out quite right, as was my dilemma.

By the by, the ice cream in the photo above is shown nestled in a four-ounce shot glass because I forgot to take a picture prior to eating most of the batch, so delicious was it! Even your nonhuman friends will agree; new arrival Lemmy kept sneaking bites from my glass,

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while Kaylee damn near strained her tongue muscles whilst licking it clean!

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She lives for dirty dishes, I tell you what.

Oh, and did I forget to mention? The night I found Lemmy, I was scarfing down the rest of a quart of vanilla SoDelicious, flavored with maraschino cherry juice; the little scrub tried to stick his head in the container, so I let him have a little lick from my finger. Big mistake. He became more and more excited – pushier, you might say – until he finally started nibbling on my cherry-stained finger. That freak loves ice cream! Popcorn, too.

Errr, not that I’m spoiling him with junk food, mind you. He just happened to catch a few stray kernels from the popcorn machine Friday night. Pinky swear!

Ceiling Cat approves.

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

OMG GAIS I HAS FOUND A KITTEH ON MAI DOORSTEP!

funny pictures of cats with captions

NO SRSLY! DIS B HOW TEH STORY GHOS. *

* BUT WE IS STOP WIT TEH LOLZ SPEEK KAY? I KOOD KEEP DIS UP ALL DEY, BUT I DUNNOWS BOUT U, C. U MAY KNOT B SEW AWESUM!

Okay, so. Here’s the scene: Tuesday, early evening, about 5-ish. The dogs are starting to work themselves into a frothing frenzy in anticipation of dinner, which is usually served at 5:30. As I’m walking through the living room, massaging my throbbing temples – having just spent the afternoon playing stimulating mind games with the cabin feverish dogs, which left me more mentally exhausted than them, a headache of epic proportions was in the works – I hear a meow coming from…somewhere. Somewhere on the “dog side” of the house, where normally the only animal noises one should hear is barking and such.

(Yes, we have a “dog side” and a “cat side”! The rooms in our house are arranged such that you can divide the house in half by closing the office and living room doors. Or gating them; we usually do a combination of the two. And on the rare occasions when we need/want to leave those doors open, Ozzy has his own dedicated room on the “cat side” – the doorway to which is blocked from the dogs by a large wooden box we made specially for the purpose. Ozzy can clear it; the dogs, not so much. Double protection: score! Anyway, it’s AWESOME! We were so lucky to find this place. The only thing it’s missing is a basement…which can be a BIG THING when you live in Tornado Alley. But I digress.)

At first, I thought that Ozzy had slipped through while the dogs and I were playing games on “his” side of the house. It was difficult to tell where the meowing was coming from: not only were the dogs being rather noisy, but sounds tend to bounce off our concrete floors and mostly-empty walls. After herding the dogs into another room, I started searching the house for a wayward cat, which by this time I was fairly certain was not Ozzy. (Hey, a mom can recognize her kid’s meow/bark/chirp, yes?) Closets, cupboard, corners: no cat. Finally, I had the bright idea (cue: duh moment) to check in on Ozzy; yup, napping on his chair, just as he should be. I chalked the mystery meows up to my headache and/or imaginations.

Later on, after feeding the dogs, I plopped down in front of the tv with a snack. (Ice cream, natch.) After not two minutes, I heard the meowing again; this time, over both the din of the television and the dogs. LOUD and INSISTENT. In that moment, it clicked: there must be an animal outside in trouble! Back into the bedroom with the dogs, who were Not. Happy. to be there. (Bark, bark, BARK. Whimper, whine, sniff-scratch-sniff. BARK!)

By this time, it was obvious that the animal was lurking outside the front door. Not really knowing what to expect – should I put my shoes on? coat? will I need to chase the little guy, wrestle him into a carrier maybe? – I opened the door, and..in he walked. Strutted, more like it. Like he already lived here. As though he’d done so a million times before. Meow, meow, meow. “Feed me, mommy!” Freaking. Adorable.

(More below the fold…)