Thursday, February 25, 2016

I Want To Caucus

Why do some states get to Caucus and others are stuck with a boring old Primary?

I want to Caucus.  

I mean, it seems like a horrible and very exclusive {read: completely and terribly non-inclusive} activity.  It basically excludes everyone who can't for any reason get to their assigned Caucus center at the very specific and often inconvenient Caucus time.  And it seems crazy confusing.  With people screaming and chanting and plotting to get more votes on their team all fifth grade dodge ball style.  It also seems like bully personalities will win and make others feel small and inferior.  Don't get me started on the Caucuses that have crazy candidates show up to make you feel even more bullied. 

A Caucus seems like a total Cluster #uck.  

But I want to Caucus.  

I want to experience all that insanity live and in person just once.  It seems like it should be an American right of passage to get to live through that process first hand.

American politics has taken a total nose dive lately.  Somehow racism, bigotry, and misogyny are en vogue on this season's campaign trails.  True colors are a sad state of affairs.

But in the vein of equality and every vote counts...I'm whining like a toddler over here in no one cares about my true blue Primary state of NY.  I want to Caucus.  Just once.

Oh and I am still completely undecided so it's a darn good thing my boring ole Primary isn't here yet.  I've never in my life been so undecided.  Am #IMWITHHER or do I #FEELTHEBERN?  Tick tock...I need to make up my mind and get behind someone...  So much pressure.

Or not.  Because I'll vote all by my little lonesome in a private booth.  During a Primary.

How are you feeling about this election cycle?  Even if you are on the other side of the aisle, do you have warm fuzzies about it or are you tied up in knots like me?  Does your state Caucus or Primary?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

DIY Homemade Dog Food Crockpot Recipe

My furbaby, Sadie, has had a tough go health wise the past few years.  She's always had issues, including multiple seizures yearly, but when she started having serious trouble with pancreatitis, her health took a turn.  Several times her pancreatitis has made me {and her doctors} believe she might have but a day or two left to live.

She had another super serious bout of pancreatitis recently.  And things have been s l o w to improve.  Our normal go-to bland food diet of brown rice and chicken has failed us.  Because as I've suspected for the past year or two, she now completely associates rice with being seriously ill.  So now, she won't even eat chicken if it is in the same bowl of rice.  Let me tell you how stressful this little live and in my kitchen Pavlovian discovery has been!  Good gracious...

So for the better part of the past week I have been bartering with the dog to just eat some crunches with a seemingly unending amount of roasted chicken and French bread.  I'm that parent.  But worse.  Because we're talking about a dog.  Who make no bones about it, is absolutely the love of my life and my little baby girl.  But also...a dog.

Enter me googling until the ends of the earth to find a recipe that won't take me ages to make weekly, has nutritional value, and most of all, meets the high standard of Lady Sadie's Downton-esque palette.  

Yesterday I tried this concoction out and served it to her for dinner and then again today for breakfast.  She was baffled at first.  While she does like peas, she has never had more than one or two at a time.  Green beans, kidney beans, and apples are totally new to her {I actually don't feed her a lot of "people" food}.  But I tried this out anyway thinking that if she hated it, I would add some onions, garlic, and seasoning and turn it into a soup for myself.  Nothing would be wasted.

After being confused, she got curious and picked out things she liked and didn't like.  She flicked those kidney beans right out.  Didn't even taste them.  She tried the apples a few times and decided they were terrible.  The rest, she sort of liked.  Until eventually, she ate everything, including those dreaded apples and kidney beans.  And today I added a bit of her crunches on top of the mixture, which seemed to meet {eventually} with her approval {begrudgingly}.

I should probably give this a full week before I write up the recipe but I am going to count it as a win until the Princess of Practically Everything decides otherwise.  {If you're a dog person, you get this and are nodding along.  If you're not a dog person, you are bewildered and rolling your eyes in judgement.  There's just no in between.  You either get it or you don't.  That's OK.  We can still be blog pals.}

DIY Homemade Dog Food Crockpot Recipe

* 3lbs boneless chicken breast, small cubes
* 1 cup small diced carrots
* 1 bag frozen chopped green beans, unseasoned
* 1 bag frozen sweet peas, unseasoned
* 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and small cubes
* 2 small apples, peeled, cored, small cubes
* 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 cup water
* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* Add chicken and EVOO to the bottom of the crockpot / slow cooker first. 
* Add everything else on top of the chicken.
* Cook in crockpot on low for 6 hours.  
* Stir well before serving.
* Freeze portions for later use.  This makes an entire crockpot full of food.  For a small dog, it will last a few weeks.

So be you think I am crazy for cooking for my dog?  I mean, even I think I am a little loony here.  But she's my baby.  I want her to be as comfortable as possible with whatever time she has left.  Have you ever made homemade dog {or cat or other furbaby} food?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Moving On From The Sad And Lonely Birthday

My birthday is my Dark Day.  For many reasons I've covered on here in the past, plus a few I've never elaborated on, my birthday is anything but happy.  It's by far the hardest day of my year.

This year though, a few months before my Dark Day, I was told that it was going to be different.  It was going to be changed from a Dark Day into a fun birthday weekend.

While I was completely skeptical for ages, I also secretly wanted {and really needed} this little day dream to play out.  I always want the fun birthday weekend.  Or even just a fun birthday day.  It just never happens.  Things go wrong.  People forget.  People are busy.  I get self-conscious so I don't ask for what I need or want.  I feel unworthy of being celebrated.  But this year, it had built up so big and so long for me that I did something I never ever let myself do.  I believed it would be a great weekend.  I believed that this year for the first time in decades I would have the elusive fun birthday celebration.  I believed I deserved smiles and selfies and being told a million times on repeat "Happy birthday!"

Damn if there weren't unforeseen circumstances.  A lot of them.  Big, stupid, frustrating, unpredictable circumstances.  Sick dog.  Sick people.  Hospital and doctor visits.  Fewer and fewer plans.  To the point of zero plans.  Not one plan happened.  What did happen were worries over health, tears over health, tears over my selfishness that I really wanted the birthday plans to happen, very grumpy attitudes, unkind words said, and a total lack of cheerful birthday wishes and celebrations.  

I tried hard to remedy part of the day by turning it around and spreading the kindness and thoughtfulness that I so desperately wanted to come my way.  Only to be totally rejected.  I was even brave and despite it making me feel so small to ask for this rather than it being offered unsolicited, I requested a rain check on the birthday plans.  

I am really the only one to blame here.  I know better than to expect too much, or really anything, on this Dark Day.  But dammit if this wasn't the first year in a lifetime that I was finally convinced that I deserved a little celebrating only to have it be my second worst birthday ever.  I think I cried a year's worth of tears yesterday.  I've never felt so low and lonely {only made worse by the fact that I had turned down another offer for the day}.  

This is, come hell or high water, my #yearofyes.  I am just hell bent on making changes and doing things that scare me and taking big chances and saying yes a lot.  It took a lot of courage for me to say yes to this birthday weekend.  It took a lot more courage for me to ask for a rain check even though I'm fairly certain it will never come to fruition.  I doubt it will even be remembered.  It took a lot of courage to admit all of this here on a public blog.  But I am so determined this year to not let the bad days bog me down.  They will come.  But I am certain great days will come too.  

For the next month, I am saying YES to myself, even if it means saying no to other people.  I'm determined to check another thing off my list.  As so many sweet lovies suggested on Instagram, I am going to let that dumb birthday day be my lowest day of the coming year.  So here's to moving upward and onward and saying yes to myself!

Have you had a bad birthday or disappointing weekend lately?  How did you pick yourself up and move on to bigger and better days?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Name That Blogger!

At various times in my life, my name has been the bane of my existence.  My nickname, by which I am known to 98% of the people in my life, is KK.  Just those two little letters.  They come from the first letter of both my first and last name.  It seems so simple on paper.  But it can really throw people off.

"Haha...K and K?"
"Two K's??"
"Wait...just KK?"
"KK?  That's your name?"
"What does it stand for?"
"If you add one more K, it would be KKK."
"Do you know what it would be if you added one more K?"
"Does it stand for Karen Karen?" (I have honestly been asked this.)
"People really call you that?"
"I hate initial nicknames."
"I can't call you that because my friends will make fun of me for your name."
"I can't call you that because I know a lot of people with the same initials/nickname."
"I'm going to call you something else that I like better."
"That's a dumb name."
"Wait...what...say it again...K...K?"

And the beat goes on...

Clearly the general public has a strong opinion of initial nicknames.  Or at least my initial nickname.  

That's nothing though compared to my real first name.  That I am sharing for the first time ever on this blog.  Kirsten.  My first name is Kirsten.  The I comes before the R.  No one...and I one likes to give me the courtesy of spelling it correctly.  I have it down to a science when I need to give someone my name.  I never say it first if I can help it.  I only spell it.  Slowly.  K.  I.  {long pause}  RSTEN.  And still almost always gets spelled incorrectly.  

Which brings me to the worst part of this name {take note parents-to-be...unique names = lifelong suffering}.  Pronounciation.  

My senator, Kirsten Gillebrand, who lives up the road, spells her name the same way but pronounces her name differently from me {or I should say, my parents.  If I had been involved in this name game, I would have picked Ann.  Without the E.  Everyone can pronounce Ann.  No one fights an Ann and tells her they don't like her name or she's wrong or it just doens't work for them to give her the courtesy of pronouncing it correctly...}.  

My name is pronounced curse-ten. in I am going to bloody curse you if you pronounce it differently after I so kindly correct you 47 times { know who you are!}.  Not Kiersten.  Not Kristen.  Not Krissy, Kristal, Kristina, Kirsty, Kris, or Karen.  

I didn't pick my name.  I acknowledge that you dislike both my birth name and the nickname that I've begged you to please call me over and over and over again.  I hear you when you say it just doen't work for you.

But hear me now.  This is not funny to me.  This is my damn name.  Part of my identity.  It's not amusing to me or cute to me when you give me a laundry list of excuses you think are valid rationalizations to not give me the courtesy of calling me by the name I requested.  

I am just as worthy as everyone else of the respect to be called by my correct name.  If I introduce myself to you as KK, that's what you have permission to call me.  Just as if you introduce yourself to me as Patricia, I have permission to only call you Patricia, and not Pat or Trishy or Patty or Cia.  I don't get to pick a new name for you.  I don't get to change the way it's pronounced and then laugh when you grovel and beg me to please please pretty please give you the kindness required to just call you by the correct name.  

I am so sick and tired of begging.  It's embarrassing.  My name is tied to my identity.  It's two letters.  I'm in my late 30's.  I'm so over this discussion.  I'm so over being polite.  I'm so over being laughed at and mocked and belittled and told my name just doesn't work for you.  

Across the board, I have officially reached my breaking point.  Call me whatever you want in your head.  But if I am called anything other than KK out loud or in writing, I will simply stop calling you back.

This little crocodile has had one too many people the past few months change my name to suit their own damn needs.  

What's your name?  Does it give you grief too?  Or did you give your child a name that is sure to be a sore subject for decades to come? 


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