Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Prendo Molte Decisioni Difettose

I love Italian. Gorgeous language.

Anyhow, as the title says (for anyone who reads Italian) I make a lot of bad decisions. My last post was all about how much I love fostering and I think life is funny in how quickly it changes. Today is not a good day to be a foster mom, today is also a day I realize how selfish I can really be sometimes. Every time I foster an animal (or two) it's always MY decision. I simply say to Tyler something along the lines of, "Oh my gosh! Tyler they need someone to foster (insert foster pet)! Look how cute! Oh my gosh, we need him/her/them! I'm gonna get him/her/them!" There's no "Can we", "Do you want", "What do you think of", "Should we" and worst of all there's never really a "we". I'm not a "we" person. I don't discuss details of my relationships or feelings and that's how I've always been and always will be. You'll probably never read about what Tyler and I did for said holiday, what we got each other for said occasion or how we spent a particular evening/day. I don't think this is something I should change about myself, but I do think that it's something I need to be aware of and something that occasionally needs to be addressed.

Back to fostering. As Fuzz continues to pee every 20 minutes on the floor (though to her credit, not on the carpet) and Tyler continues tot get angrier and angrier I realize that this idea could have been a mistake. I am always thinking about others. Other animals in particular. I became a vegetarian for that reason. I rescued TJ and Armani for that reason. And I've fostered Little Black and Little Blonde, Little Fluffy (Fluff) and his sister, and now Fuzz for that same reason. But I never think about others the way I should, as in, the others in my life and more importantly, the other PEOPLE in my home. I do everything for me and that's something I need to change. Don't worry, I'm not ready to walk down the aisle or anything but I really need to start becoming a "We" instead of just a "Me". And that's hard for someone like me. I thrive on independence. If I'm proud of anything about myself it's my independence. And I think that's what I'm afraid of losing.

I don't know if this blog makes any sense. I had a really big Strawberry Daiquiri with dinner tonight. Well I guess before dinner. *insert marketing plug for El Nopal*

Monday, February 14, 2011

For the Love of Love

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm the opposite of affectionate, mushy, lovey dovey, all that stuff but in honor of Valentine's Day I've decided to discuss something I love...BEING A FOSTER PARENT! I absolutely love bringing in silly little babies and helping them grow, mature, get better and ultimately find a new home.

Foster Experience #1
Little Black and Little Blonde

[slideshow]

These pups came from LMAS where their abandoned mother was taken after being found in some park somewhere. She ended up (surprise!) giving birth to 6 babies! For those of you who don't know, puppies and kittens do not do well in kennel/shelter environments. It's like taking a newborn to the ER. It's like filling underdeveloped immune systems with very developed diseases...if that makes any sense. Anyhow, these 8 weekers needed out so I felt it my civic duty to take action. All 6 needed fosters and mom too. So long story short, I ended up with 2 pups. Little Black and Little Blonde. Little Black was a worried little boy who was all skin and bones. He was super cuddly but very sneezy and sniffly. But once let out of his crate he would instantly pick up a toy and bring it over to you. Little Blonde was a brute and I loved her for it. She was just such a bully but not necessarily in a bad way. She was just the bigger, stronger, faster sister who was always sure to eat first, drink first and have the best sleeping spots. As my first foster experience, these little ones were a bit much. So energetic and so much work considering they were sick and were NOT potty trained but in the 2 weeks I had them they matured tremendously. They were introduced to another dog and a cat and learned to use pee pee pads not to mention how much their health improved.

Please stay tuned for our next installment of Foster Love but for now my friends, I am way too tired to continue. So I'll sign off with my favorite Italian word, attraversiamo!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crock Pot Potato Soup Recipe




This is the first thing I've ever really made completely without a recipe. I was searching and searching and couldn't find a recipe I was satisfied with so I just kind of went for it. Keep in mind that I'm a vegetarian so there obviously isn't any meat in this but I'm sure you could add ham and/or bacon or something as you wish. I loved it so maybe you will too :)

Ingredients

* 2 cans of vegetable broth
*2 stalks of celery
*2 carrots (I used baby carrots since Tyler and Alexis don't like them so the pieces were smaller)
*1 diced onion (or less if you don't like onions much)
*4 red potatoes
*1 4oz block of velveeta cheese
*1 2oz block of colby/monteray jack cheese (mixed)
*Imitation bacon bits
*Shredded cheddar cheese
*1/2 cup of milk
*1 stick of margarine

1. Boil potatoes until they are tender when poked with a fork.

2. While potatoes are boiling, add vegetable broth to the crock pot and chop celery, carrots and onions and add them to the broth in the crock pot. Once potatoes are finished, drain, peel and slice them into bite sized pieces. I left the skin on the potatoes but it came off once they were in the crock pot. I don't mind the skin but some people might not like random bits of potato skin.

3. Add potatoes to crock pot, cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.

4. Close to the last hour of cooking, begin melting cheese. Put water into pot just so it covers the bottom. Set on medium heat and add blocks of cheese. Stir as cheese melts so it will blend together. Once cheese is melted and smooth add to crock pot along with milk during the last hour of cooking.

5. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes once everything is together so the cheese will blend with everything else. Add shredded cheese and bacon bits as garnish or during cooking, your choice.

That's it! It's really easy but I also really like to cook. This potato soup is much thinner than normal potato soup because I don't use cream. If you do want a thicker consistency you can try 1/2 cup of flour (I use unbleached all natural) or of course, try adding more cheese :)


Rennay, Julie & Julia

Today I watched Julie & Julia (thanks Redbox!) and it was really good. If you haven't seen it, watch it. Anyhow, it really made me think about my life and blogging and cooking and all. So at this moment, I vow to be a better blogger...although as of right now I'm the only one affected by this decision.  Not that I think I'm terribly interesting, a very good writer or someone with things worth saying, however, I do think I have things that I want to say and if someone finds those things interesting...well that's just great.

I recall asking my mom and other people pretty regularly, "What's wrong with me?" and/or "Why am I such a weirdo?" Lately it has been occurring to me that maybe I'm not a weirdo and that I'm just different. I'm a vegetarian, I love to read, I'm a foster parent to unwanted animals and I volunteer with middle schoolers for at least 4 months out of the year coaching speech and drama. I've graduated college with a bachelors degree, run a marathon, had a poem published (albeit the source may not have been 100% credible), become a national junior public speaking champion, attended 2 national speech, drama and debate competitions and came home with 3 trophies (1st, 2nd and 3rd) not to mention the dozens of trophies in general accumulated over the years, completed six internships, been to Europe and moved over 800 miles away from everything I knew. Honestly, I do a lot of things that a lot of people wouldn't do. Why? Because it's hard! Public speaking is terrifying! Running is exhausting! School is expensive AND time consuming! But I did those things. I'm not conceited as it may seem at this point. In fact, I probably have the lowest self esteem of anyone I know. But at some point a person needs to learn to recognize themselves, appreciate themselves and congratulate themselves. So that's what I'm doing.

This blog is going to become an outlet for me and also just a way to recognize myself, my family, my boyfriend, my pets and anyone/anything else I find to deserve recognition. Hopefully now I can just keep it up :)