2016 total: $9901.02


Genetic Vegetarianism . . . Or Not

I have gone WAAAAY out of my way to make sure the decision was Alexis'. To eat meat or not to eat meat, it's her call.

I, for one, have been a vegetarian for . . . um . . . twenty . . . TWENTY! OMFG TWENTY! years. (GET OFF MY LAWN, WHIPPERSNAPPERS.) It's not a Save the Animals Thing or Animals are Our Friends Thing or anything like that. It's more of an EWWWW! I Don't Want to Eat That! sort of thing. I just plain don't like the taste of meat. I also don't like the idea of eating something that might have been mooing and pooping and munching on heaven knows what a few weeks prior. It's kind of gross, if you think about it.

The husband, however, is an omnivore. He's on his own if he wants dead animal when we're eating at home because HELLO! I don't know how to prepare decapitated birds or bovine or swine. That usually means he eats meat maybe once per week, and usually only when we eat out.

So, really, there haven't been all that many opportunities for Alexis to chow down on some chicken or whatever. It has always been her choice, but with a slant towards it being almost, sort of, kind of impossible.

Until recently.

Recently she has become mature enough to realize that her friends at school are eating different chicken nuggets than the ones she usually has in her lunch bag (she gets Morningstar faux nuggets when we pack her lunch). She started to ask about it all, so I gave her a generic explanation. I essentially told her that there were chicken nuggets that were made out of chickens and there were some made out of plants. I like the plant ones, but she can eat whichever ones she wants.

That conversation, of course, wandered into the land of What Is Hamburger? and Where Does Bacon Come From? and all of that fun stuff. I didn't really know what she thought of the whole thing as it was pretty much a factual conversation devoid of any opinions from either of us.

Fast forward a few weeks. We were driving down the road, on our way to dance class, when a bunch of deer crossed the road in front of us. Alexis, of course, started shouting, "LOOK! DEER!" She finds the car-destroying, garden-munching monsters to be fascinating.

Mr. Husband, because he likes to torture me, was all about being obnoxious. He started saying things like, "Mmmmm . . . Tasty Deer!" and "They look delicious." Like I said, obnoxious.

Alexis was totally and completely indigant. She began to yell at Mr. Husband, lecturing him about how it wasn't nice to eat deer. She went on and on and on and on and on . . .

Fast forward again. This evening Alexis and I drove past some cows on our way home. She, of course, was all sorts of excited and started yelling, "LOOK! COWS!" She's very predictable in her observations. Truly.

Once she was done telling me what I had already seen, she went on to ask, "Hamburger is made from cows, isn't it?"

I confirmed her recollection.

She went silent.

She stayed silent for a full minute and then began to SOB. Choking on her tears, she screeched out, "It's not nice of daddy to eat cows."

I guess we know where she stands on the whole To Eat Meat or Not To Eat Meat thing.



The anticipation flows in waves. It peaks when a stray fluffy flake is spotted in the sky. It dives into a valley when temperatures climb the mountain of No Coat Required. Alexis has been waiting for months for another opportunity to go sledding, a chance to build a snowman, and a day filled with playing in the snow.

Years past, she has been spoiled. For as long as she can remember, there has been a major snowstorm that led to a day or two or ten of play.

January 2009

Somehow she knows that the Big Storm is late this year. We've had snow, but not enough to really embrace with reckless abandon.

December 2009--Two seasons out of one snow suit! RAWK!

When I picked her up from school today, she looked to the sky, eyes wide and hopeful, and asked, "Is this it?"

She wanted to know if the few flakes that were falling were indicative of the arrival of the Big Storm.

I don't know if they were, but she placed her sled at the ready. Just in case.

Bring it, Mother Nature. We're ready and waiting.


It's WAY Past New Years, So They Can't Be Called Resolutions

The only thing that makes me twitch more than incessant whining is incessant whining about something that can be controlled. Whine about the weather, whine about your boss' love of singing hamster screen savers, but for the love of my sanity, don't whine about how you're bored or you're hungry or you're too fat or your shirt is ugly or whatever. Just do something about it.

And that is why I don't do New Years resolutions.

I've always been of the opinion that if I wake up one day and think something like, "Self, you eat worse than a goat walking through a landfill after smoking a joint. You really should start eating healthier food," I should probably just go ahead and make that change right away. Waiting until the calendar says it's a good day to start new things is the exact sort of procrastination I just don't need.

And, yet, this year I've been itching to make a list of somethings that might be mistaken for New Years resolutions.

I don't know if the itch is because I'll be turning 35 in a few weeks (O.M.G. ACK!) or if it's because last year really kind of sucked. It might be because this year started off so very perfectly. I dunno. I just know I feel like making a few . . . um . . . let's call them "goals" so I can keep a little bit of my dignity.

  • I have GOT to start using my tripod and the remote for my camera more often. (Er, if you, um, maybe read between the lines, I'm saying I need to take more pictures that have me in them. EEK!)
  • The playroom. It *IS* going to be fully decorated in the next few months. Hound me on this one, internet.
  • Get some stuff hung on the walls all over the house. It's sort of embarrassing how bare many of our walls are.
  • Get with the cooking. Before Alexis, I was pretty good about preparing meals filled with fresh and healthy stuff. We were essentially HFCS-free before it was cool to be HFCS-free. And then that whole time suck thing happened and I got lazy. She's independent enough now for me to not use her as an excuse. Besides, I fear that she may think that mashed potatoes come out of a box, and we can't have that.
  • I'm working on having more days like this because I know it's up to me to decide to have them.
  • Get better at using light effectively in photography.

Not resolutions. Goals. Actually, no, they're promises.

And, hey! I'm off to a good start on a couple of those, thanks to a day with this little one:

(That's Jack's baby brother.)