Product Review: Amy’s Daiya Cheese Pizza

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

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Shane and I decided to extend our Halloween junk food/horror movie marathon tradition to Valentine’s Day, since once a year is not enough. We got a later start than usual, and only managed to fit five movies in, instead of our usual six or seven: Citadel, The Returned, State of Emergency, The Awakening, and Fido. Thanks to a spring roll and lo mien-fueled carb overload, I started nodding off during Citadel, which actually wasn’t half bad (Aneurin Barnard, meow!); but of the five, The Returned proved my favorite by a long shot. But I digress.

In honor of the occasion, we finally broke out those Amy’s brand Daiya cheese pizzas that we scored from Natural Grocers waaaay back in November. You know what that means: frozen pizza review time!

When I first cracked it open, I have to admit that I was a little underwhelmed. More cheese, please!

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And then Shane gently and somewhat bemusedly reminded me that we tend to load up our pizzas with a ridic amount of cheese, and maybe this frozen pizza is being more reasonable than me? I begrudgingly agreed, and then proceeded to load it up with more cheese (mozzarella and cheddar), along with a heaping helping of veggies: onions, Kalamata olives, mushrooms, and red peppers.

I baked it as directed, and then five or ten minutes longer. I forget, because Bridesmaids was on and commanding my attention. Basically I let it go until the crust got nice and crispy and the cheese was bubbling like a Jacuzzi.

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Amy’s crust has always been my favorite – that is, up until I tried the Vegan Harvest pizza from American Flatbread. Now it’s first runner up, but with a very honorable mention. (I mean, flatbread. There’s just no beating that.)

So it’s tricky to accurately rate a pizza after altering it so drastically, but I’ll try. The crust, as we’ve already established, is aces. I would have liked to have seen more cheese, but it’s more or less (okay, slightly less) in line with other frozen pizzas. The pizza itself has a very strong basil taste – so much so that at first I thought they’d hidden a layer of pesto in there somewhere. But nope, it’s just basil. Potent like whoah. Not bad, but a little obtrusive maybe? Especially if you aren’t in the mood for it.

Size: 4/5. As per usual, the pizza is slightly smaller than the box. Still large enough that I was only able to finish 3/4 in one sitting.

Crust: 5/5. Like it, love it, gotta have it, wanna be it.

Sauce: 4/5. Enough to get the job done.

Cheese: 4/5. It’s a Daiya Cheese Pizza, y’all! Emphasis on Daiya. Load ‘er up!

Toppings: 3/5. Ease up on the basil, mkay?

Overall: 4/5. Daiya cheese + Amy’s crust = my OTP. Replace the basil with more cheese and you’ve got yourself a perfect 5-star rating.

And now, because we were talking movies earlier, this is usually how movie night goes down at the Garbato-Brady house:

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One bowl of popcorn for me, one bowl for the dogs. (They don’t really care for my salt and vinegar seasoning.) Shane? He’s on his own.

Zesty Coconut Lime Wedding Cookies

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

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From The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur! Reminiscent of macaroons, but buttery and with a tangy lime kick. I don’t think mine came out quite as crumbly as they should have, but they’re still pretty tasty. (They should be, given the approximate twenty pounds of margarine that went into ’em!) The glaze is pretty amazing too. The lime is so strong that Rennie’s face puckered when I let her lick a drop off the plate. True story.

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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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Minsky’s Pizza in Liberty, Missouri has Daiya cheese!

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

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I don’t think this is breaking news but, seeing as I haven’t visited Minsky’s since I lived in Kansas (so, like, five years plus), it’s news to me.

This weekend was the last one of the season for the drive-in we usually frequent (which is incidentally also the last of the four drive-ins around us still open at this late date) – so to celebrate, we picked up a pizza from Minksy’s in Liberty, which is (kinda sorta) on the way there. Actually it’s twenty minutes out, so we had to wrap the pizza in several layers of blankets to keep it warm – but it worked well enough, and we needed those extra comforters to stay warm anyway.

We were happy to see that Minky’s started offering Daiya cheese since we’d been there last and, better yet, at no extra cost. Yay! We were tempted by some of the gourmet pie combos (especially the Nature’s Choice, with artichokes, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and slivered almonds), but decided to go with roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and black olives. Minsky’s was super-generous with the toppings (Daiya like whoah!), and carefully layered the red peppers under the cheese so they wouldn’t dry out. And at $23 it wasn’t that much more expensive than a cheeseless piece of cardboard from Pizza Hut. (The local Pizza Hut? Way stingy with the toppings. Sauce included!)

I only wish there was a location closer to our place. Actually, scratch that. Then I’d be eating at Minsky’s on the daily, spending all my book money on pizza. Probably it’s safer this way, loving them from a distance.

Top to bottom: the leftovers the night of, since we obviously couldn’t grab a decent pic at the drive-in; Rennie, ogling my noms (she nearly snatched the first piece right out of my hand during Thor); reheated leftovers the next day, along with a copy of Appetite for Reduction, which I snagged at the latest library sale for a mere buck. AND it’s in pretty excellent shape for a library discard!

family photo day

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

I had the bright idea of staging a photo shoot outdoors on a day when the wind gusts topped 25mph. But we soldiered on because yolo, or something. Also the wind made my hair look glorious on the few occasions when it blew it away from my face instead of into it.

Anyway, here are my favorites:

November 17, 2013 - Finnick Mosaic

November 17, 2013 - Peedee Mosaic

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powered by plants

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

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Rennie graduated from napping in my flowers to snacking on them. j/k, it’s actually the grass she’s after. (Marigolds are non-toxic to dogs, though; I checked and double-checked!) I don’t know what’s so interesting about the potted grass as opposed to the stuff that fills our yard; maybe she thinks that the pot makes it a special treat?

Check out Rennie’s pokey pot belly in that last photo. So cute! I could literally rub my face in it all day.

On another note, I wonder if anyone’s made a poster based on the Poky Little Puppy Golden Book? Because I would pay cash monies for that.

marigolds and miscellany

Friday, July 19th, 2013

I’m not really into the decorative flower thing – if I’m going to throw a bunch of time and water at a plant, I want to be able to eat it, dammit! – but every year I make an exception for marigolds, which I adore. In striking shades of red, yellow, and orange, they bring to mind the cosmos, shrunk down and bundled into little bursts of life. Suns, moons, planets, all in one little flowerpot.

Unfortunately, I’m not having a whole lot of luck with them this year. Part of me – a small yet deliberately fanciful part – imagines that they flowers don’t want to grow; they are creatures of beauty, and my house has largely been devoid of it since May. Of course, the real reason it that I’ve mostly been too tired and depressed to properly care for them.

So I was almost pissed when, earlier this week, I noticed Rennie nesting in the two lone flowerpots that are home to flowering marigolds. (Probably owing to their proximity to the dogs’ water dish; when I switch it out for a fresh bowl each morning, it’s the flowers in these two pots that drink the unused water.) Almost but not quite: the adorable photos I got out of the deal more than made up for a few crushed flowers.

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professor butts

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

So hey I did a thing.

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In case it isn’t plainly obvious, I filled a collage frame with pictures of my dogs in various stages of bathroom-related activities: peeing, pooping, eating poop

(Peedee I’m looking at you! Sadly, I have more than enough pictures of Peedee eating feces to fill one of those ginormous, wall-shaped collage frames. Possibly his poo habit is why he’s nearly toothless, though the vet will neither confirm nor deny this theory.),

and in Ralphie’s case, just plain strutting his butt (it’s so cute!). And then I hung it in the bathroom. Genius, right? Don’t all go copying me at once. By which I mean do, because it’s awesome and you will be the talk of your neighborhood. (Though not necessarily in a good way, but who cares? You’re a rebel and a trendsetter, you do what you want.)

The hardest part was finding a frame; the ones at the craft stores tend to be big and pricey, so I opted for a mid-sized cheapo plastic one and then gussied it up with some metallic spray paint. I was actually going for a weathered, two-tone look, with some of the original black peaking through, but the paint I chose would have none of that. If I were a craftier type, I probably would have picked something more suitable for the task. Oh well. I don’t love it, but the color’s not bad, it matches the walls, and I can always change it later.

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I hung it right over the toilet (classy!), and on the wall adjacent I put up this adorable plaque my mom gave me on my last trip to New York (which was much, much too long ago, I might add). It used to hang next to the toilet in our upstairs bathroom, and as a wee little one I sometimes spent hours (tmi!) staring at it. I didn’t understand the significance of the prunes until I was well into my teens; when I was younger, I thought it was a reference to poo-shaped items: “think about pushing out a prune.” True story.

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Here are the photos that made the cut; the outtakes are over on flickr. (There’s an album! OF COURSE there’s an album.) As you can see, Peedee’s overrepresented, and Jayne and Finnick are nowhere to be found. They hate having their pictures taken enough without being chased down while dropping a dookie.

On that note.

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Going to the drive-in!

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

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Rennie wanted to play fetch in the minivan. Silly rabbit!
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Rennie got her second chance at accompanying us to the drive-in this week – her first one being some time around 2005-2006. That first time (which was possibly still during her puppyhood) she was awful, barking at the other patrons and claiming her territory (the Intrepid! we got rid of that thing last summer! memories.) and stuff. We had to throw a towel over her crate so she couldn’t see. Ditto Ralphie and Peedee. For a long time Kaylee was the only dog well-behaved enough to go with us, and then Mags joined the party last summer. (A development with which Kaylee was none too happy.)

With Kaylee gone, Rennie got another shot and she was AWESOME. She only barked once during intermission, and that was when Shane left to go to the bathroom, so she was already excitable and a little on edge. And the second time (we went twice in one week – World War Z & Now You See Me and This is the End & The Purge – and consequently, I’m still catching up on my sleep), she barked at the end of the feature. I think she’d fallen asleep in the back of the van and with the slamming of a car door, awoke in a strange-to-her place. So it wasn’t so much annoying as silly adorable.

Anyway, I think we found the perfect drive-in pair: they get on well, are mostly quiet, and don’t cause too much trouble. And Rennie’s presence helps to take some of the edge off Kaylee’s absence. This week was our first trip out since she passed – the first time in nearly a year, actually – and I was both anticipating and dreading it.

Now if only I could get through a yoga session without busting into tears.

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Mags is not amused.
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In other news, Mags got a package in the mail today! Girl’s gonna be super-bummed when she realizes that it’s an inflatable pool for water therapy. I predict a looooong summer for one little doggeh.

P.S. Today’s Vegan Pizza Day, and yes – I AM HOLDING A CONTEST ON TUMBLR. Check it.

2013 Vegan Pizza Day Banner

Forget Freddy. Pet theft is where it’s at.

Friday, June 21st, 2013

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I had the most terrifying dream in recent memory last night. Usually I find my “nightmares” – dreams of being pursued by zombies, serial killers, and the like – more entertaining than scary, but last night? Oy.

There was some kind of emergency going on – a hurricane, maybe; or perhaps it was a celebration or big shopping day – but anyway, everyone was gathered at the the local high school (Eastridge, in my mind), which was supposed to be a shopping center, I think. idk, the details are hazy. But I was walking Rennie in the parking lot – along with a bunch of other “pet” “owners”; off-leash, for some strange reason – and, as she rounded a shrub I lost sight of her temporarily. And she vanished. Was snatched. Dog-napped.

Naturally, I panicked. Apparently there was a dog smuggling ring operating in the area and Rennie wasn’t the only dog missing. There were also several rescue groups holding adoption events at the time, trying to place recently rescued animals. On second though, I think it was a natural disaster type situation and everyone was holed up at the high school. Anyway, I got a little sympathy, but not a whole lot of help: everyone was just too damned busy with their own problems.

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“Yummy for Dogs” Vanille Almond Pastilles

Friday, March 15th, 2013

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Mid-week I whipped up a batch of homemade dog treats in honor of O-Ren and Peedee’s adoption day anniversaries: Vanille Almond Pastilles, which is really just a fancy way of saying vanilla almond biscuits.

You can’t quite see them all in the photo, but I used a bunch of fun cookie cutter shapes: stars, hearts, bones, x’s and o’s, and the relevant birthday/anniversary numbers (8, 9, 1, and 0). I didn’t get as carried away as I did with Ralphie’s birthday, when I spelled out his name with cookie letters, but it was close. This time around I saved the middle pieces from the o’s and 0’s (really the same cutter) to make mini-biscuit bites for Mags. Her mouth’s so tiny she makes a mess with the larger treats. Thinking ahead, I’m doing it right.

As per usual, the treats were a big hit. Hell, my mouth even started watering while they were cooking!

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The obligatory furkid photos: O-Ren (top) and Peedee (bottom).
Nothing fancy, but gimme a break: it was only 40 degrees out!
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The recipe’s from Veronica Noechel’s Yummy for Dogs, which is sadly out of print. There used to be a website too, but it’s been offline for ages. Nearly everything is vegan, save for the odd recipe or two which contains honey – easily swapped out for agave nectar, maple syrup, or another liquid sweetener. (Still a bummer though!) There’s a really awesome looking recipe for Rice Crispy Treats that I wanted to try but, go figure, there was nary a box of Rice Krispies to be found in our cupboards. Next time!

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Nine Little Rennie Things

Monday, March 11th, 2013

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…one for each year!

Today is O-Ren’s ninth birthday / eighth adoption day (ugh how quickly they grow up!) and, in honor of the occasion, I’d like to share with y’all a list of nine “little things” that I love about the girl. Since I just started this tradition in the past year (see e.g. 14 Little Kaylee Things, 8 Little Jayne Things, and Fifteen Little Ralphie Things), I don’t think I’ve done this for Rennie yet. Not outside of my journal, anyway. Yes I’m one of THOSE dog people.

Anyway, I love you Rennie! I’m queuing this up in advance, but I’m sure your birthday will be spent on the couch (ew snow! mud! and it’s back to snow again!), chasing your favorite tennis ball, basking in the sun (if it decides to make an appearance), and enjoying copious treats and belly rubs. Here’s to another eight years, love. You may not be a young pup anymore, but you’ll always be my little piglet.

Nine Little Rennie Things

  • Her pokey little piggy belly.

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    She is the baby piglet to Kaylee’s mama sow.

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  • Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun*

    Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

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    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

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    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.

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    rennie parts

    Sunday, June 24th, 2012

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    good will hauling *

    Saturday, June 9th, 2012

    Yesterday’s Goodwill finds!

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    For $75 and some change, I got:

    – 6 books (Body Double and The Keepsake, both from the Rizzoli and Isles series by Tess Gerritsen – I can’t believe those weren’t scooped right up!; The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory; Ladies of Liberty by Cokie Roberts; Wanderlust: Real-Life Tales of Adventure and Romance, edited by Don George of salon.com; and Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury);

    – 6 plates (including some adorable plastic kids’ dinnerware: Hello Kitty, Scooby Doo, and Winnie the Pooh);

    – 6 ice cream bowls (or rather, six teeny tiny dishes that I’ll pretend are ice cream bowls);

    – 1 Pyrex baking dish (because you can never make too many brownies at one time!);

    – 1 bread machine, circa 1998 (we already own one, also from Goodwill, but the pan is beat and we can’t find a replacement – boo!); and

    – 22 t-shirts. I know, right. TWENTY-TWO T-SHIRTS. You can tell that I don’t go clothes shopping very often.

    And I guessed the total! (Minus the change, but who does that? No one. No one guesses change, that’s who.) I RULE. **

    We were also tempted by an enchilada maker, but passed ’cause we weren’t sure how much use it’d get. They’re easy enough to make in a skillet, right?

    The closest Goodwill is ~ a 45-minute drive from our house, so unfortunately I don’t make it there very often. Shane and I just happened to be in the neighborhood, running some errands, and we had five bags of clothes and knick knacks & what-nots to drop off, so there you go. Definitely the longest stop of them all.

    And now if you’ll excuse me, Rennie cannot wait to give the bread machine a whirl.

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    (Pssst, don’t tell her, but we also bought a pool raft at Target. SO I CAN TAKE HER SWIMMING WITH ME! Best mom in the world, I am. Or the worst, depending on your pov.)

    * Shane’s idea of a post title. So many regrets. So. Many.

    ** Then again, a number of the dishes I purchased were displayed in fours – but seeing as I only needed one of each for my not-so-gourmet food critic photography, that’s all I took. That’s right. I AM A SPLITTER OF SETS. The vilest of creatures. The reason why you have six vintage Demitasse teacups but only five matching saucers. THAT person. Seriously, I should be shot on sight.

    You smell like wet dog!

    Friday, June 1st, 2012

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    It was in the 90s over the holiday weekend, so I took Mags – along with some of the other dogs – swimming in the pond (therapy for Mags,* experimental for the others). She’s a good little swimmer, but she hates the water; I have to carry her out and, if I don’t hold onto her, she swims right for the shore and escape. (Ironic, that, given that she and Fin are from District 4, the fishing district!) She picked up the doggy paddle right away; lift her out of the water, and she’ll keep going for a few more strokes, mid-air. (So cute!) Given that’s she’s all of ten pounds, Mags is easy enough to hold up, but I ordered a life jacket online to make things easier. It has a handle on top, so I can carry her like a hand bag! (Joking. But not really.) I’ll have to wait until next week to try it out, since we just hit a cold snap.

    Jayne, of course, came out to where the water was over her head and swam circles around me.

    Rennie is like Mags in that she can swim but would rather not. Though she did make a beeline for the pond once she saw it, wading in up to her ankles on her own. I guess a heat index of 100F will do that to a girl? So overall, Rennie isn’t quite as bad as Mags.

    Ralphie’s reaction was surprising. We took him over by the shallower area that’s usually marsh (but not now), and he ran right for the water and kept on swimming to where it was over his head. He’s a natural, what with those ginormous paddles of paws, but I was worried that his head would bob under and he’d get his ears wet. And to complicate matters, he’s too long and weirdly shaped to easily hold up. I think he needs a life jacket too.

    Shane brought Peedee out while I was already in the water with Mags. His face lit up and he ran for me, but stopped cold once the water got up to his chest. I carried him out further and he freaked, climbing up on top of my shoulders and scratching my arms, torso, shoulders, back. Shane said it looked like Scooby Doo jumping on top of Shaggy when he’s frightened. I couldn’t stop laughing.

    Kaylee, well, I didn’t want to harass her. Kaylee gets plenty of exercise hunting for bugs at night.

    And Finnick? I was afraid he’d try to bite me if I so much as picked him up. Shane will have to take him swimming – but he’ll have to learn how to swim himself, first.

    (More below the fold…)

    you’ve got something on your face

    Sunday, February 19th, 2012

    2012-02-18 - Relaxing with the dogs - 0016

    Mags like to clean the other dogs’ faces, but only Finnick and O-Ren will tolerate it. (Which is a shame, seeing as Peedee’s face is always dirty, and I’d rather turn the job of washing it over to Mags.)

    It occurs to me that when I think of this behavior in relation to Mags, I categorize it as “maternal.” But Peedee does the same thing with ears, and I’ve only ever thought of it as gross, never nurturing. Possibly there might be a difference in motivation – Peedee enjoys the taste of the ear wax, methinks, whereas Mags doesn’t seem to derive a gross kind of pleasure out of consuming eye snot – but still. Internalized gender roles much?

    "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
    ——————————

    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!

    (More below the fold…)