iscribblings

Charting life's circuitous path


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Purrfect Love

midoriOn February 14th, we fell in love.  With green eyes, soft head butts and a beautiful coat. The green-eyed girl who gave us the biggest “take me home and love me” look from her Petsmart kennel became our newest family member.

We weren’t planning to buy a cat.  Even though we both loved cats and wished we had one, there were always too many worries in the back of our minds.  Could we afford to keep a cat?  Could Eddy, our African Grey Parrot, stand a cat or would the cat spring at him for target practice?  Would a cat fit in with our lifestyle and work?  Would it just be one giant mistake? I grew up in a house full of dogs.  Would I go all “dog” over the cat and freak her out?

These worries kept us immobile.  We fretted and didn’t do anything but look wistfully at kitty pictures on Pinterest and Buzzfeed (and there were a LOT of wistful sighing going on).  We made promises to each other that “one day” we’d get a cat.  Occasionally I’d go out to the library and bring home every cat book on the shelf and flip through them until I grew sadly frustrated and returned the books.

Camera360_2015_2_17_103021_jpgSo that snowy Saturday at the Petsmart was a surprise.  It was surreal.  We stood like  nervous parents as we waited for the family in the Petsmart meeting room to JUST GET OUT ALREADY and let us see the girl that had quickly stolen our hearts.  We saw a book on the turnstile about African Greys as we waited and the same old worries kept wanting to intrude and make us turn around, but those eyes…

Meeting her for the first time was filled with confusion.  We told the Petsmart attendant that we wanted to meet Midori and she voiced how happy she was to hear that.  We were pretty happy too, until she brought in a black and red cat.  Not the beautiful striped cat we had eyed through the plexiglass.  We sat there awkwardly and wondered about what to do.  This cat was nice, but wasn’t the one we had hoped to see.  Had we gotten the name wrong?

After the attendant figured out her mistake, we got to see Midori.  And all she wanted to do was play. She leaped onto the cat tree and tried to attack the toys, but through all of her excitement, we saw that she also loved people.  She wasn’t afraid of us and came up for a pet and a rub as she played.  We thought she’d fit right in.

Of course, the feather chasing was a bit of a worry.  :/

We went straight home and filed our application and then we waited.  And waited.  It felt like we were actually adopting a child.  I realize that adopting a real child is probably even more stressfull, but I could now relate at least a bit to how one feels when waiting for the decisive call.  We wondered if we had answered the questions to their standards.  I read horror stories about agencies that refused adoption for even the smallest thing and imagined Eddy as being the big red X on our application.

“When can I call to talk to you about Midori?”  Came the email question and then it was like I was waiting for a job interview.

After a long conversation with the very nice adoption agency lady, we decided to give it a try.  She knew that Midori was a good cat around other cats and dogs, knew that she’d love to be the queen cat of the house and promised us that if it didn’t work out, they would take her back.  So, on February 17, right after the snowfall from frozen hell, we picked up Midori and brought her home.  11018898_10205266163526173_8441720212712325398_n

We’ve only had her for about a week and a half and already it feels like she’s an inseparable part of our family.  We learned that she loves to nap on me at night and that I love her deep purr and her small soft paws.  We learned that she’s very adaptable and handled a visit to the cat groomers with no trouble (except for a few grumpy mews).  We learned that she loves to bat balls and play with shoestrings. We learned that Eddy, the parrot, didn’t register on her feline radar after she gave him a good look and decided the birds outside were more fun.

We learned that adopting a cat can be one of the most rewarding life moments.  Every day she’s opening up a little more to us and we’re seeing a very playful and loving side to her personality that we only saw the hint of through the plexiglass at the store.  They say that it takes cats about 4 months to fully adjust to a house.  Seeing as how our girl has gone from safe room kitty to full out queen of the house in under a week, we’re looking forward to seeing what she has in store for us as we live our lives together.

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A sketch made clean.

sky

Waking with grey skies across dull eyes,
Blanket weighs heavily on weak limbs.
Coffee mugs scattered across cluttered surfaces.
One after another, brown rings overlapping into moons.
But no moon rises for a new day to begin.
I’m feeling low.

A silhouette that’s fading around the edges.
Dark smudges, opaque with fears, sadness and loathing.
Sugar highs pass like brief sunbursts through weeping clouds.
Floods soon follow and loathing roars with triumph.
Rainbows are for the morning. A hope held between limp hands.
The clock ticks down the hours.

Shake the grains loose one more time.

Begin again.

cupI woke up this morning and I instantly knew it was going to be a bad day.  A heavy day filled with all of the doubts, fears, anger and self-loathing I could muster.

And I hadn’t even hit the alarm yet.  :/

I had a very bad night with little rest and the grey skies today aren’t helping me bounce back.  I know that waiting it out and getting back to a routine will help me, but it’s so hard sometimes to just get through the day.  My brain knows one thing but my emotions are saying another and it’s hard to shut them off.

So I’m having a lot of tea and coffee and trying to stop the sugar binge from destroying my self-esteem.  I wish there was a way to just “get over it” all, but that way lies deception.  Accepting where I am and feeling it for the moment as what I am makes me stronger.  There’s always tomorrow.

And if not that, another.

Cup of tea, that is. ;)


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Vegan Baking Butter

butter3

I never thought I’d be the kind of person who would make her own butter.  When there are countless varieties available at the store with a range of prices to fit any sized pocket, there really isn’t any justification for making your own except for the thrill.  Or if you owned your own cow and wanted to get back to the basics.  Mooo. :)

Our house is now vegan.  And not quite by choice. The hubby has found that dairy prompts headaches so we’ve given it up in house.  Going shopping for dairy alternatives felt odd since I found myself looking for a “vegan” label.  I’m not vegan. I’m definitely a vegetarian (and have been for over half my life), but I can quite happily drink milk and eat toasted cheese sandwiches. Eating vegan was inseparable in my mind with “being” vegan.  I almost felt like I had to cut my hair and invest in a new, hip wardrobe so that when people saw me they’d say “ah, I bet she’s vegan”.

In a lot of ways, I am vegan.  I try not to buy chemicals that are tested on animals and I am a vegetarian because of my love of animals.  I’m not quite sure how my idea of vegan became a lifestyle that fit a type of person, but it had.  So I felt a bit like an imposter buying my vegan and gluten free food.  I felt like someone would point me out and say “she’s a fake!” and I’d have to shuffle away in shame with my basket of almond milk and daiya cheese.

But here I am, making my own vegan butter.  butter2

And loving it. :)

I found myself seeking out a recipe when I found my trip to Whole Foods cut off and hence my source of Buttery Sticks.  I didn’t trust plain margarine for anything and my only alternative was to buy the sticks at a huge markup.  So I went cheap and looked around online for ideas.

I found this recipe on Vegan Baking and after finding a jar of soy lecithin in my local health foods store, I whipped up a batch in less than 10 minutes.  I then went on and made more batches to freeze for future use.  It’s easy, tastes “clean” and bakes up really well.  I even made it to go in hubby’s Victoria Sponge birthday cake with great success!  (It makes a yummy frosting and whips well.)

butterI did adapt it slightly from the original recipe. I use slightly less soy lecithin since I find the taste a bit overpowering.  I double the recipe each time I make it since I find that it stores well in the freezer and you get more in one go.  I also just use a silicone muffin pan to make my rounds of butter since it’s the only silicone pan I have on hand and it works really well (they just pop right out once frozen).

Please see the original post here for all of the interesting details about vegan butter.  It’s very informative and made me more confident about making my own.  In all honesty, though, it’s one of the easiest things to make.  I’ve yet to have it fail on me and I’ve tweaked the amounts of oil, salt and even soy milk with no ill effects.  It really is fool-proof. :)

Vegan Baking Butter (Coconut Oil Based)

Ingredients

1/2 cup soy milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup refined coconut oil, melted but not hot
2 tbsp vegetable oil (you can use other oils such as olive, canola, etc)
1 teaspoon liquid soy lecithin
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

Directions

  1. Mix soy milk, salt and vinegar and let sit about 10 min to thicken/curdle.
  2. In a food processor, add oils and process for about 30 seconds, or until blended.  Add milk mixture, soy lecithin and xanthan gum.  Process again until mixture if thoroughly mixed (it will thicken to like a pudding texture).
  3. Scoop butter into a silicone mold.  Freeze for 10 minutes, pop out and store in an airtight bag or container.  I freeze mine but you can keep it in the fridge for a softer consistency (but it will still be solid).
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