Spinning Bats and Plump Cats

Because school starts up in less than two weeks, we’re currently spending a lot of time trying to tie up loose ends and do some of the things we’ve been talking about doing since the summer began. (We STILL haven’t gone out for a Pancake Breakfast! Unacceptable!)

Tomorrow evening is our last chance to cash in the free River City Rascals baseball tickets the girls earned at school last year. I’m a HUGE baseball fan. (I’m not a huge baseball fan.) The only thing that will possibly keep us away from the stadium tomorrow (other than my complete lack of enthusiasm) is the fact that the temperature is supposed to hit 98 degrees, which along with being a terrible band, is about 38 degrees too hot for me to plop down in a stadium seat. Meredith has decided that if we cannot deal with the heat of the game, we should go with Plan B, which involves a Chinese buffet. All I Can Eat Crab Rangoon, or feeling sweat run down my back while eating peanuts or Skittles or some other crap because I tend to not think ahead and the concession stands at these places typically offer nothing but fried up dead animals that are all too often served on sticks. Hrm. This is a tough one. (This is not a tough one.)

Do you remember back in May when I bought my juicer? I’ve used it exactly three times, and I haven’t been terribly smiley about any of my concoctions. (The promise of apple season is the only thing preventing me from trying to sell the blasted thing.) Luckily, unlike the juicer, my spinning wheel purchase has officially stuck. This is my latest bobbin.


It has some thick and thin and slubby bits, and although I wish my bobbins were even and beautiful when full, I haven’t yet mastered the hook adjustments. Anyway, for the spinners out there, I have one more bobbin to fill with this fiber before I attempt to Navajo ply it. I’m not so great at the spinning thing, but it’s all about the practice, right? Right! Any advice would be appreciated.

Hey! Do you remember when Harper took a hole puncher to Sidney’s ear? Although we haven’t seen much of Sid since Scout became part of the family, I wanted to assure you that she does still exist. (AND, so does the dent in her ear.)

In Hiding

She’ll be hiding in the basement (with that amazing pillow globe that I bought when I was pregnant with Meredith) until the dog is no longer a threat, which should occur sometime around the 12th. The 12th of Never. Also, do you remember learning how to put your shoulders back and stick out your neck and tilt your head and suck in your stomach and push your tongue against your front teeth all in an effort to make yourself appear a bit more photogenic?

Sidney hasn’t learned that yet.

Suck it in, Friend. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Some might say I’m trying to fill some sort of hole in my life…

It seems that we’re now in the home stretch of our summer vacation. This week we finalized our backpack and school supply decisions, delivered our blank t-shirts to the embroiderers, and tentatively decided to add another dog to our family.

Next week the girls have College for Kids, and the week after that we’ll find out who their teachers are.

School starts on August 15, and my tubes will be tied on the 19th.

I’ll be finishing The Namesake before the weekend is up and giving Room a shot.

I’ve been working on my Christmas knitting list.

Also, I’m now taking a magnesium supplement every night before bed.

Did I mention that we’re thinking about adding another dog to the family?

Do you have a dog? Two dogs? Three dogs? Two dogs are better than one, right? Can you imagine how smiley our house would be if Scout had a brother? A Dachsund mix brother?!

New bottom tooth and new tag!Chip!

After the 19th, I’ll no longer be able to have human babies. BUT, nobody said anything about canine babies!!!
Wait. I’m knitting a hat or gloves for a lucky reader. You can read all about it right here! (Your chances are really good!) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

It’s about to get cat-eyed all up in this place!

Fluid Pudding first came into existence back in September of 2001. Since that time, I’ve been asked for a headshot something like six times. Maybe. AND, if we were to play the association game and you were to say Headshot!!!, I would come back with Distressing! or TheCraterousPoresOnMyCheeks!! or IrritableBowelSyndrome!!! Anyway, last week it came up again. SO, I flipped around through my Flickr set and found a photo my mom took of our family sitting on a couch during the holiday season.

Family 2010

Because it’s not a headshot unless it contains One Head, I cropped out my family and cloned my sweater over Meredith’s face to come up with this.


Heh. I know. I know! Jeff says it looks like I’m sort of sad and wrapped up in a blanket on a couch in an undisclosed location (enjoying a bowl of roz bi laban in Egypt with Anderson Cooper).

Anyway. I finally ate an amaretto-flavored sucker and contacted a friend and am getting the wheels in motion to have an actual photograph taken of my head in about a month. (I need a haircut, and the woman who cuts my hair lives five hours away, so I’m sort of on her schedule for these things. Have I ever mentioned that my life is sometimes decorated with quirky spoons and wrenches?) I’m thinking I would like a serious photo in case I ever decide to become complex and need a photo to represent the reflectiveness, plus a photo that’s a bit more whimsical? Maybe? Can one be whimsical at this age? Oh dear God, why am I crying? HEADSHOT!!!

The real reason I invited  you over here today is to tell you that I ordered some liquid eyeliner last night, and it’s only a matter of time (about nine days, actually) before I start looking a little more like this.

Liquid Eyeliner

How do you like me now, Anderson Cooper? ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Sidney. Bono. Yoda. Apples.

Sidney and Bono

Jeff and I were watching a documentary about U2.

Sidney began to mimic Bono’s posture.

We all laughed and laughed.

(All of this to ask: Do you have a favorite variety of apple? I just did a side by side comparison of SweeTango and Honeycrisp, and SweeTango was definitely the winner. I know at least three people who would slap me for saying such a thing, but look at me. I just said it.)
You are cordially invited to admire my senior photo from high school and take a chance at winning $150!

Please read about my extraordinary family, and follow the links to win all sorts of prizes! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I’ll kick your can!

So, Thursday evening found us Jeffless and without kitty litter. (Jeff was in New York. The litter was doing what litter tends to do, which is Clumping.)

After calling four different stores, we (meaning I) finally found a place that carries our (meaning My) favorite litter, and that litter is called Scoop Away!

Pet Store Lady at Register (P-SLAR): Ah ha! Did you just call here about Scoop Away!?

Me: That was me! I couldn’t remember where I bought it last time, and I didn’t want to settle for Tidy Cats.

P-SLAR: You should NEVER settle for Tidy Cats! Scoop Away! is the only litter I use. I HAVE SIX CATS!!!

Me: I have only two cats, but you’re totally preaching to the choir. We’ve tried just about every brand out there, and Scoop Away! is the only thing that really clumps and—


Me: What?!

P-SLAR: If you’ve tried everything out there, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

Okay, people. I know she probably meant to say “doesn’t SMELL like piss and perfume,” but the fact remains that I’m 40 years old (see how I’m throwing that around now?!) and I really have no idea what contaminated litter tastes like. And I realize that I will probably die NOT knowing what it tastes like (my best guess really would have been Piss and Perfume), but that doesn’t change the notion that there are SO many things of which I have absolutely zero knowledge! I really need to start attacking with a bit more energy, because what if I die before I realize an undiscovered passion?! (Feta cheese and chocolate chips stirred together? Surprisingly good! Also, I’m a big fan of the Hooey Stick! Knowledge is Power!)

Goal For the Day: Say No when Yes feels like too much of a compromise, and say Yes when it’s more adventuresome than No!

Even Better Goal for the Day: Pulled Smoked Pork Sliders!


The Puddings are drinking juice and rolling on the river! Come over here for a chance at a $50 Visa gift card from BlogHer! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

It happens every year! Like a national holiday!

So, I’m making a shrimp thing this evening. (I purchased the Hungry Girl 1-2-3 cookbook a few weeks back, and I love it.) Anyway, this particular recipe calls for one pound of raw deveined tailless shrimp. I went to the grocery store and studied the fresh seafood, and there was no uncooked deveined shrimp to be found. Because I cannot stand the thought of touching raw fish, much less ripping out veins (and poop!), I knew I needed some serious help.

Fish Lady: Do you need some help?

Me: Well, I need one pound of raw deveined tailless shrimp.

Fish Lady: You’ll have to get that in the frozen food. Aisle 15. And, let me warn you: It’s really expensive. If that bag has more in it than you need bring it back to me, and we’ll talk.

Me (really confused at this point about what we need to talk about): Aisle 15.

Harper and I carted on over to Aisle 15 where we found a two-pound bag of raw deveined tailless shrimp, and it was selling for $19.99. I took the bag back to the fish lady and said, “It has one pound more than what we need.”

Fish Lady: Go ahead and give me that bag and I’ll open it up and split it for you so you don’t have to pay twenty dollars. AND, if you want, I’ll flash it really quickly so it’s thawed out for you.

Me: You would do that for me?

Fish Lady: Yes, Ma’am, I would.

She took the bag, divided up the shrimp, flashed it (I have no idea what that means, but her shirt remained tucked), and repackaged it. $9.99. I then did that thing that I do where I started thanking her over and over again and had you passed us, you would have thought that she had just saved my kid’s life—not simply repackaged some shrimp.

As I walked away from her, I was actually fighting back tears. (Seriously! I know!) Human kindness, People! Sometimes all it takes is a kindhearted fish lady!

And because I do this every year, let me just puke it out right now: I haven’t yet been able to put together a workable New York BlogHer plan, and I’m feeling sorry for myself because the party invites are starting to arrive. Waaaaaaahhhhhhhh! I know. I went in 2006 and 2008. I was going to drive to Chicago last year, but my innards were all messed up. Anyway. That’s all I’m going to say, because if I allowed myself to continue, I’m afraid your eyes would get stuck in the back of  your head, and that’s not a smart look for spring. (With that said, I’m hearing that yellow shoes are still a good thing.)

(I learned something last week: I was always under the impression that season names required capitalization. They don’t, unless the season name is the first word of the sentence! Also, I’ve been making chocolate cherry smoothies, and they’re delicious! Once again, it’s Hungry Girl!)

Today for lunch I had a veggie burger cheese scramble thing. I cooked it in a coffee cup in the microwave, and then dropped ketchup onto the top. Hungry Girl!


(That’s my LeahPeah cup, by the way. She gave it to me at BlogHer 2006. That was the year I had to make a $3,492 cab run to Walgreens to buy a breast pump and Swedish Fish. Argh! Titanic! Here I go again! You should be SO happy that you’re not in my house right now. With Ellen on the television, it’s only a matter of minutes before I’m crying. Here’s hoping Eva Longoria doesn’t mention the word Shrimp.)
I concocted a Pop-Tarts recipe, and now I’m giving away a $100 Visa gift card! Follow this link if you’re interested!

I’m drinking lots of juice and diving into the Tropicana Juicy Rewards Program. (AND giving away a $50 Visa gift card!) You can follow along right here! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Swinging dead cats and wishing for the perfect naan.

I once made the statement that you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a gifted kid. After saying it, I sort of regretted saying it, as I tend to regret many of the things I say out loud. (“Quarter Pounder with cheese, mustard, pickle, and onion” is an excellent example of this. Also, the fact that I’m constantly chewing on my foot (figuratively!) is one of the many reasons why you’ll probably never see me in person! I like to stay in my (mostly soundproof) house! I sing songs to my cats! Anyway!)

I wasn’t going to share this with you, but I suddenly feel like I should: Meredith was recently accepted into the gifted program at school. After consulting with us, her teacher recommended her, she tested surprisingly well, and Wham! Every Thursday morning she now reports to the middle school where she has her own locker and she changes classes along with an entire hallway of first and second graders who are also in the program. And I’m being intentionally vague, because it’s such a thin fence between bragging on your kid and not bragging and I suppose it’s not wrong to brag about your kid, and gheez. It’s just sort of new to me, but I will say this: Meredith LOVES her Thursdays, and I like to think of it as her song to sing—not mine.

This might seem like I’m changing the subject, but I’m not: Meredith gets car sick, and because of that, she can’t/won’t ride the bus. This morning I had to take her to the middle school at 9:00, pick her up at 11:00 (it was an early dismissal day), drive her to the elementary school, return home and feed Harper lunch, take Harper to the elementary at 12:30, go back to the middle school for the parent/teacher conference at 1:20, and then back home where I currently sit typingtypingtyping until 3:06 when I make my way back to the elementary to pick them both up. AND, because Jeff is in California and I slept like a horse last night (mostly on my feet, lots of fidgeting and swinging my tail at imaginary bugs), I’m feeling a bit raw.

And now I’m going to change into an even more opaque hat: Something was brought up at today’s conference that should have been brought up at last week’s conference with her elementary classroom teacher, and I’m currently stuck between a rock and a hard place (Ah! Clichés! Rattlesnakes!) because I feel the need to confront someone, but I secretly know I can’t because there’s a 17% chance that it might affect a friendship, and because I am who I am, this is going to bother me for days, and hey! I’m really liking that sick mom from American Idol, aren’t you?

After actually feeling tempted to taste goat meat last weekend, I am now 100% committed to learn how to cook authentic Indian food of the vegetarian variety. (Live long and prosper, Goats!) It seems that whenever Jeff and I get the chance to hit a restaurant, we always go for Indian. I’ve asked for cookbook recommendations on Twitter, and I’ve now added a few to my Amazon wish list. (Whee! A list of wishes!) I’m now wondering if you have any words of wisdom. What I really want is to figure out exactly how the place down the street makes their Delhi’s Chaat. From there? Saag paneer. And on and on until my house smells like an Indian Palace. (Don’t worry. I’m not going to go all Julie and Julia: The Indian Version on you. I’m not nearly that perky.)

Look. I knitted a hat and some washcloths for Meredith’s kindergarten teacher. There I go again, getting all twirly and knitting gifts for teachers!

Gifts for Boys, etc.


Internet? You’re going to think I’m crazy.

Okay. Do you remember me telling you that I knitted hats and mittens for a few of the teachers at school? If you follow that link, pay special attention to the part about the coach who gets Meredith out of the car every morning with a smile and a “Good morning, Meredith!”

Anyway, I made this hat for the coach, and we gave it to him two days before Christmas break began.

On the day before Christmas break, I saw him in the hall, and he (wearing the hat) came up and said, “My wife told me today is the last day I get to wear this hat, because she’s taking it for herself!”

I told this story to a good friend of mine, and her first response was, “Don’t do it. Don’t tell me you’re actually thinking about knitting a hat for his wife.”

Oh, people. Because I’m so “La la laaaah! Everyone should get what they want for Christmas! Benevolence!”, I DID knit the hat—the same hat, only black. I also gave it a lavender rinse, and it’s currently drying on my dining room table.

This morning when I took Meredith to school, the coach was not wearing his hat. And suddenly, I was struck with hesitance. What if that whole story about the wife taking the hat was his (very clever) way of telling me not to expect him to wear that stinking hat to school every morning?! He covered himself the same exact way I often cover MYSELF. But maybe he wasn’t covering. Maybe he really did dig the hat.

Wait a second. Can we take time out for me to sing that Paul Simon song with the “Maybe I Think Too Much” lyrics? No? You have no time for that? Well, okay then.

My question for  you: Should I give him the extra hat, or will he then feel like he HAS to wear the first hat to school?

Do you torture yourself like this? (And don’t even tell me how ridiculous I’m being, because I know! Believe me, I already know! I have a Xanax prescription for this very reason!)

Oh! A few of you asked about the recipe for the warm salad I mentioned earlier in the week. It was the Insalata Toscano from Brio. Hooray for Christmas gift cards! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

The Golden Mean

Let’s tie up all loose ends here, shall we?

The Cat’s Ear: As of today, Sidney’s ear has completely healed around the hole. She now looks like a cat who has a battle scar, and has already forgotten who scarred her. She actually jumped up onto the couch this afternoon and curled up right next to Harper. The Puddings would like to buy the world a Coke. (By the way, I’m still holding a grudge against a girl named Kelly who embarrassed me during one of my sister’s slumber parties. I was in the fourth grade at the time, meaning this particular grudge is thirty years old. Two days after being cut with a hole puncher, Sidney has forgiven Harper. Obviously, Sidney and I need to grab some peyote and sweat lodge it out or something.)

NaBloPoMo: This is the final entry. So, there’s that. Thirty days of not very much. However, Mrs. Flinger has stirred me.

You Didn’t Even Know About This: I’ve been feeling itchy to grab the family and head out of town for a weekend. SO, this weekend we’re going to take the kids to Indianapolis to visit the Children’s Museum, the zoo, and whatever else sparks us. (I’m looking at you, Mass Ave Knit Shop.) The kids have no idea. This will be good.

My Hair: I just got back from the haircut place. I let her shave up the back and sides of my head and let the top go floppy. We’ll see how long it lasts.


I’m  holding paper behind my head so you can sort of see what I mean by Go Floppy. Otherwise, the flop would be lost in our refrigerator magnet collection.

Weird. Do you see that red spot on my neck? What IS that?

Today is Mark Twain’s birthday! To my knowlege, he never said anything quotable about Pudding, but he did have this to say about the Pterodactyl:

“The less said about the pterodactyl the better.” ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>