Monthly Archives: May 2008

I am leaving on a jet plane


I am leaving tomorrow morning for Atlanta GA until late Tuesday for a conference for work, ” The National Conference on Volunteerism and Service”. Yippee <<insert sarcasm here>>

I really am not looking forward to going, and with the week I had I am not organized at all.  And for those who know me, I am NOT a southern gal at all.  Georgia is not my ideal travel destination.  

However the distance and distraction may be good for me right now.  I have found in the past 24 hours that I have to learn to live completely alone  for the first time in the apartment, how to live without a cat on the couch with me when watching TV, sleeping at the foot of the bed, fighting with me for attention when I read my book, scoot her off my suitcase because I have to pack for my trip,  etc… it is very quiet here, Hocus was such a chatty little lady.

There are benefits (sadly), I can lay my clothes out and not have to worry about her sleeping on them.  I don’t have to worry about her while I am away at the conference.  I can stay out after work and not have to rush home to feed her.  I don’t have the responsibility of having a pet.    

But after 16 years of having another being living with me, giving me unconditional love, always present, never complaining, it is quite odd, eerily quiet and the adjustment is going to be an emotional challenge.

Hocus will be cremated and her ashes will be returned to me, so that she will be with her brother Pocus who was also cremated.  I am trying to work out their final resting place, and have a few ideas that I will share in time.    

I hope to be in better emotional space when I return from Atlanta and plan to post a little “tribute” page to Hocus and her brother Pocus.  (I am not a crazy cat lady if I do a tribute page am I?)

See you all next week, all my love.



the day the Iris finally bloomed…



We have been waiting for this iris to bloom for years now.  And today it finally did.  A touch of beauty on this sad day.

My friend and companion Hocus left us this morning.  And I don’t know what else to say but that right now.

She will be missed.



Pretty Lady


Oh the sun is all mine today!

Here she is yesterday content soaking up the sun.   She had a good day, eating some catnip, enjoying some reiki, and playing with a pipe cleaner.  

I took her to the vet last week to have a second lump I found in her belly checked out.   As the doc said, “yup there it is, down the chain, it will have to be removed too”.   Hocus goes in for her surgery on Wednesday morning.

I am starting to feel a little guilty and selfish about putting her under the knife.  But in thinking about the alternatives, putting down a happy apparently healthy cat or leaving them in – watching and allowing her get “sick”, I have to believe that I have made the right decision.  The vet recommends the surgery and it is quite routine.  The point is that after the lumps have been removed the surgery will give her a better quality of life after she has healed.





TETHFHPHTE Progress to date….


Hee, Hee, Hee….. cannot wait for my niece to meet it!

I added wire to the horns so you can mould and sculpt them.

I hope to work on the wings this weekend.  The wing yarn is a fuzzy “fun fur” purple.  

The best part of all is I made it a chain link leash with fun little charms! ( Oh, the craft store is a very dangerous place!)

Stay tuned for more pics over the weekend!


This one is for Sue, Jamie, Kate & Cam



I feel better today, and when I feel good I cook!

Jenn’s Famous Kitchen Sink Veggie Chili

I used to make this same chili with meat and left over scraps from roasts, prime rib, chicken, pork-chops, sausage…. (hence the kitchen sink name) I would horde the meat in the freezer until I had enough to make a pot of brew.  Now it is the veggie version, healthier, guilt free and full of yummy goodness.   



Large Onion (sweet kind is best)

Large Green or Red Pepper

6-8 very very very ripe plum tomatoes (nearly rotten) you can add even more tomatoes, it’s better  or you can cheat by using a Large Can of whole peeled tomatoes (fresh, nearly rotten is always better)

2-4 cloves of garlic (to taste)

4 stalks of celery

any other “left over” veggies in your fridge (carrots, zucchini, potatoes, ….. the batch pictured above has fresh baby spinach in it that I had to use or throw away)

(All of the above are chopped roughly, keep tomatoes separate from all other veggies)

1 beer or 12 oz of H2O

1 package of favorite chili seasoning mix (any one they are all pretty much the same)

In addition I add my own additional spices, 

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Chili-Powder

up to 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)

1/2 tsp Oregano

Parsley flakes or fresh (handful)

Salt to taste

Black Pepper to taste

Good pinch of sugar (balances acids)

8 oz can of tomato sauce/Goya (unless you cheated and used canned tomatoes) you can also substitute any tomato sauce that you have left over in the fridge

1 cup+/- of frozen corn

2-3 cans of favorite beans (they can be  all different types) Drained and rinsed well

Tofu/Soy Crumbles (enough equal to a 1/2 to a pound of ground beef)

Small can tomato paste


In a VERY LARGE POT sauté in olive oil all the hard veggies: onion, garlic, pepper, celery and other not cooked veggies.  Hold tomatoes & cooked veggies.  

Sweat them for a few minutes until they begin to lose some liquid and soften.  

Add tomatoes and other cooked veggies.  

Cook  on medium for three to five minutes , stir occasionally.  

Add package of store bought chili seasoning and the beer or H2O, stir.   

Next measure out  and add the additional spices….. To be honest I never measure these out, but did for the sake of documenting this recipe.  I usually just shake the bottle enough to cover the top of the brew good.  In my experience you can really only add too much salt pepper and hot stuff like red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.  You can go a little heavy handed on the cumin and chili powder and no one would know the wiser.

At this point throw in a good pinch of white sugar. (tablespoon maybe)

Now add the tomato sauce.  Again you can add more if you have some left over.

Here is the part where you add the volume.

If you want a lot of chili add 3 cans of beans and a whole package/box of crumbles. 

If you want less chili add 2 cans of beans and less crumbles.  

Add frozen corn, again you can add more  or less according to how much chili you want

Bring the chili to a slow boil/simmer, keep mixing every few minutes as to not burn.

Once it starts to bubble lower the temp to LOW  and let the brew simmer on low for at least  20 minutes to 1/2 an hour.  

Slowly mix in the tomato paste to thicken, it is a bugger to get it mixed in so take your time,

For thicker chili simmer the brew a little longer with the lid off the pot to lose some excess liquid.   

If you prefer  a more soupy chili turn it off now, and/or you may choose to add a bit more water at this point.  

Serve over crushed corn chips with cheese, sour cream, olives and chopped avocado.  Add you favorite hot sauce for an extra kick. 

You can use the thicker style chili to make nachos, burritos or tacos too.

It makes a boat load of chili!   I mean many- many- many meals.  It freezes quite well and makes a really good pot luck meal.   I have shared it with friends 🙂 and it is for that reason that I documented this recipe.  Here you go Sue.

Best of luck, be creative  and enjoy it with people you love.  




Diary of one sick chick


Last week I had a nasty ear ache and thought I had an ear infection, but it cleared up on it’s own without treatment.  Just thought is was an after affect of the first round of the plague……..  

Saturday I was so exhausted.  I dragged myself around all day.  Finally around dinner time I felt so tired I had to lay down to take a nap…… ended up getting almost 12 hours sleep.  

Monday night was sleepless with a nasty sore throat that lasted into Tuesday.

Tuesday night mid yoga my head suddenly filled up with fluid and my nose has not stopped running since.  

Wednesday, yesterday, I went home early from work with the ick.  Did not want to expose my colleagues to my germs.  

I called in sick today.  No fever, but the damn nose will not stop running!!! I have zero energy.  And am bored silly.  Daytime TV sucks, but I am too tired to read or be on-line.  I hope to get some good solid sleep tonight and drag my ass to work tomorrow, even if it is for only a portion of the day, I don’t want to fall too far behind.  

Oh, and the generous loving partner that I am I shared it with H! That’s what love is all about, we share everything.  He called a little while ago to say that he’s feeling the start of it again.  

Not that there is ever a good time to be sick, but it figures that we would get the plague redux just in time for the holiday weekend.  

I don’t know what this virus is, but it is inconvenient, nasty and just as misery inducing the second time around.