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taygete

adventures, by accident

Month

October 2012

Scurry, Scurry, Sandy’s Coming

After many years living in the Chicago area and Massachusetts ( Boston and western MA), I believed I had seen it all when it came to weather. (Except heat, which I gleeful avoid whenever at all possible.) Seasons in Chicago can be extreme, and fluctuate wildly. But since moving to Maryland, I’ve experienced some crazy weather – blizzards, land hurricane, ice storms. Another prime example may be on its way, in the form of Hurricane Sandy.

On the one hand, it’s nice to have the warning to stock up on non-perishables, and the kick in the butt we needed to take care of a few things around the house, like hanging curtains in the living room and taking out the window AC in the kitchen. And really, an excuse to buy chips and boxed pasta mixes? I’ll take it! We’ve been lucky in our neighborhood, keeping power on during most storms, not much flooding in our hilly neighborhood. The worst case scenario for us is likely candlelight game night with our neighbor while we chow down on a freezer full of noms, or maybe a branch onto a car. Not ideal, obviously, but we’re in pretty good shape.

On the other hand, I hope this is a Y2K style overreaction, since bad storms are a real pain in the ass around here. Power lines in the mid-Atlantic seem to go down if you breathe funny, Baltimore drivers are truly atrocious even under ideal circumstances, and there’s no street cleaning to get the leaves out of the gutters. The storm might interfere with our hopes of getting the oven fixed soon, or other social activities we have planned in the next few days. Don’t even get me started on the mess that would be voting problems from prolonged power outages.

Either way, I’ve got my cell phone charged and plenty of kibble.

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Fall (Apart)

As it turns out, having to be at work 6 days a week, even if it’s still for 40 hours total, can be pretty exhausting. I’ve been spending most of my evenings on the sofa, trying to keep the cat out of trouble and yelling at various sports and political events. You can guess which is more fun.

Cookie on her new playpad
Cookie on her new playpad, a gift from Grandma and Grandpa M.

I’ve checked out piles of cookbooks from the library in anticipation of baking season, but then it’s been pretty unseasonably warm. Also, our oven stopped working, and there’s been no progress on getting it fixed, so my baking urges have been stymied. Thank heavens for a generous neighbor who let us use her oven the other evening so we could have a nice, hot dinner (Red Rooster’s Mac and Greens via SeriousEats.com, very much worth the effort, though I cut way back on the bacon and cream).

Stay tuned for:

  • Christmas knitting season! Get your requests in now!
  • Holiday cooking & baking season! Can hardly wait!
  • Hopefully further adventures in Baltimore!
  • Return of cookbook club v.2!

Money Can Buy Happiness

That is, if it’s used carefully! I’ll confess to recently “splurging” on a few things that have increased my happiness in various ways.

For example, I entered the lottery to win a chance to advance purchase some playoff tickets for the Baltimore Orioles. I did get two sets of tickets that I won’t be able to use, but just knowing that I had the chance to see live playoff baseball meant I was much more keyed in to the last few weeks of the season. I even rooted for the Os when the Red Sox were in town this past weekend, which is crazy for me. I’ve been a Chicago Cubs fan my entire life, and a Red Sox fan for approximately ten years now. I like the Os and have enjoyed their surprising season, but it really took playoff tickets to get me to really excited.

I also splurged on a few birthday related items, including a new pair of shoes and a nice dinner out. I’m not a big birthday person, really, but it’s nice to have an excuse to ‘treat’ myself (and T) to the sort of dinner we wouldn’t normally indulge in.

Most importantly, though, T and I adopted a cat from a local animal rescue. Cookie, as we’ve named her, was a stray when she came to the shelter. She’s about a year old, and we think she must have been a house cat before – she was already spayed* and has pretty good indoor/people manners.** While adopting the cat wasn’t expensive, just a $10 city registration cost, she’s come with other expenses, for food and litter and veterinary care. We discovered after adoption that she has a heart murmur, which may be an expense in the future. Luckily, for now, she seems happy and pretty healthy, and we’re both really enjoying our furry companion and all her strange ways:

Picture of our cat, Cookie
Cookie, enjoying some quality lap time.

*From my perspective, neutering/spaying your pets is a really important part of being a responsible pet owner. There are so, so many homeless, discarded or unwanted animals out there who need the safety of a good home, and who have to be put down because somebody didn’t fix their pet.

** With one exception: she’s a nibbler, and did recently nip a friend at a dinner party. Now that we’re done deworming her, time to train her not to nibble on our guests!

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