home life

It may happen to you at some point in your life that, while slightly intoxicated from an impulsive shot or two of Rumplemintz, you realize half-way through a recipe that you have run out of the necessary red food coloring for the 4th of July chocolatey snack you are attempting to prepare for a family BBQ.

A warning:

Don’t waste your time and risk your safety by driving out to the grocery store at 11:45pm to buy said food dye before the stores close.  When you get home and attempt to use it, you will learn the hard way that the water-based food coloring sold in most grocery stores destroys melted chocolate, so you won’t be able to finish your tasty snack anyway.  Stay home, enjoy another shot, and finish the recipe tomorrow.



6 months ago, I promised to love this guy for the rest of my life:

I’m the luckiest girl in the world. 🙂

Miss Meggie Whitestripe, the family beagle, decided to shake things up this morning.  I wish she’d let me know these things ahead of time.

The day started as normal.  Matthew left for class early, leaving Meg and I to our leisurely Monday routine of sleeping until 9am, checking email, making coffee, and going outside for the morning walk.  I had an Arabic exam later in the afternoon, so I had planned to spend the morning studying.  With Meg outside and safely occupied, I got my coffee ready and gathered my study materials.  After about 15 minutes, I called her back inside before the cram session began.

Now, Meg is a beagle, so her stubborn nature is pretty standard, breed-wise.  She sometimes takes her sweet time getting back around to the porch, unconvinced that you really do mean it when you command her to come “Inside!”  This was such a morning.  Also pretty standard, the longer she takes to get in the house, the louder I yell, and I was getting particularly frustrated this morning as she was cutting into my Arabic time.  By the time she made it back, I had a pretty good volume going and made sure she knew how mad I was once she was inside.

Except this time, not standard at all, she simply cowered at my feet, holding her left paw in the air.  Baffled by this, I reached my hand out toward her…and then I saw it: one of her poor little toe nails had twisted backward and was pointing up at her.  It took a second or two to register what I was seeing.  I thought maybe she had just chipped it, that it wasn’t as serious as it looked.  Until I saw the blood pouring off her foot.

When I was little, my dad insisted that I go to medical school.  He figured that since I was a good student, I should be a doctor.  The fact that the sight of blood and gruesome wounds make me light headed and prone to fainting didn’t seem to be a factor for him.  I was destined for medicine.  That random memory was one of the many things flashing through my mind as I watched the drip, drip, drip coming from Meg’s toes.  It was all I could do not to pass out right next to her.  But looking at her big, brown eyes begging me to fix her toe, I realized it really was up to me to figure out what to do.  Ok.  Whooo.  Breathe.

She had to go to the hospital.  That fact was clear.  I called Matthew and told him to meet us there.  Meanwhile, I put Meg in her crate, got most of the blood cleaned up (no small feat, I might add, as it was everywhere), then I somehow managed to carry her safely into my car, despite the fact that she fought me. The. Entire. Way.   This is a dog who refuses to be carried.  Remember the stubborn thing?   She also happens to weigh about 30 pounds.   In an epic battle of wills, despite her constant wiggling, fighting and a few near crashes, I managed to get her into the car and on our way to the emergency care vet.

It took 30 long minutes to get her in to see the vet.  30 minutes of whining, barking, wiggling, yelping, bleeding, and all other manner of doggy drama.  When the vet arrived, I’m not sure who he was more concerned about, I was so clearly frazzled.  Thankfully, despite its gory appearance, Meg’s toe was fine but the nail bed was destroyed.  The vet took her immediately into surgery to remove the nail and fit her paw with a cast, complete with hot pink bandages and covered with purple hearts (for bravery – ha!).

All told, she’ll be given pain medication and anti-biotics for a little over a week to help her recover from surgery.  The nail will never grow back.  We’ve already started calling her “Stumpy.”  The best part of the fiasco was that I’m pretty sure doggy pain meds are at least as awesome as people meds.

As soon as she got home,  she limped straight to the couch, where she basically face planted into the back cushion and slid down until she collapsed.  She’s pretty much been there all day.  We were instructed to watch her closely as she came off the medication, so I never did make it to class today.  Technically speaking, that means I had a day off.

I think the Arabic exam would have been more restful.  Oy.

Little known fact about me: I am an obsessive DIYer.  Most of the furniture in my house has been thrifted or garage saled and then refinished.  I like the satisfaction of working on something that’s been thrown away or outcast and turning it into something fantastic. I’m also uber-thrifty (read: cheap) and while I love the finer things in life, I don’t like the price tags that are typically attached.

My most recent project: a vanity tray for my dresser.  I’ve got far too many bracelets, rings, perfume bottles, and other paraphernalia cluttering up my dresser. Organization, please! My inspiration piece was this beauty from Urban Outfitters:

I loved the scroll work of the metal and the gorgeous (albeit faux) patina. And although it was priced at only $24, which was reasonable compared to some others I’d seen for $100-$200 or more (!!), I still thought I could do better cost-wise.  I made a quick trip to my local thrift store and, after rummaging through a bin of old picture frames, I found an antique frame with a comparable filigree:

The frame’s velvet stand had long since broken off and the glass pane was split in two.  But the $.99 price tag and the additional 50% off sale meant I couldn’t pass it up.  The poor little broken frame came home with me.

I thought at first about trying to replace the glass with either a mirror or a new pane and then maybe spray painting the frame a fun color, but since my goal was to keep this refurbish under the total cost of its Urban Outfitters equivalent, I decided not to replace or paint anything. Instead, I bought a single sheet of pretty, scrapbooking paper from Hobby Lobby. Of course, the paper was 50% off (woo!) so it only cost me another $.14.

Once home, it only took a couple of quick coats of Mod Podge to seal the paper to the glass, one coat on the back to seal the broken glass together, a few hours to dry and blamo!  My new vanity tray was ready for action!

Pretty gorgeous, right? I actually like my version better than the Urban Outfitters’ one.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

Frame:  $ .99 @ 50% off = $.48

Paper:  $ .29 @ 50% off = $.14

Mod Podge: already had some left from a previous project


My total cost:  $  .62

Urban Outfitters’ version:  $24.00

TOTAL SAVED:  $23.38

Mission Accomplished!!

You know how your favorite TV shows end each season on a cliffhanger?  Like “Game of Thrones” or “True Blood,” they make you wait months and months to find out what happened to characters for whom you’ve invested your time, energy, and attention.  Will Lafayette be freed from Antonia?  Can Sookie finally make up her mind about Eric/Bill?  Who are the White Walkers?  And will winter ever arrive in Winterfell?!  By the time you get around to the new season, so much time has passed that you’re a little lost trying to remember precisely what was going on when last you saw them.

To that end, I offer you a quick summary of events in the life of super shiksa, since last we spoke:

I started teaching at another university, bringing my total number of jobs to three.

I got engaged,

planned an out of state wedding,

went back to school,

bought a new car,

got married over fall break,


honeymooned in New England,

combined households and fur kids,


and did it all in time to celebrate three Thanksgivings,

and four Christmases.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

once upon a tuesday night, as dinner time was fast approaching, our heroine decided to offer something unlike any other heretofor: pizza.

“pizza?”  thou might protest. “that is not an unusual delight.”

true, while pizza was certainly no stranger to the typical tuesday night table, this time it would not be Father Angelo who prepared the feast. oh no. on this particular eve, our brave narrator would attempt from scratch to provide the meal herself.

calmly and carefully, she measured the ingredients. 2 cups wheat flour. 1 and 1/2 cups white flour. a dash of salt, a spoon of oil, and one mysterious substance called Rapid Rising Yeast. nervously, she coaxed the ingredients to behave, mixing them thoroughly until finally, they formed dough.

this first, small victory being achieved, she breathed a quiet prayer and gently laid a warm towel over the bowl. now it had been more than a fortnight since the autumnal equinox and the house held a slight chill. our narrator had heard whisperings of many a failed dough-rising as a result of such temperatures and attempted to create a more encouraging environment by slightly warming the oven and allowing the dough to rest therein.

the next hour crept along wearily, waiting for the magical rising to occur, fearing to sneak a peek at the process lest the sudden rush of cold air stymie all progress.  finally, she heard the bell toll. the hour being passed, she opened the door, gingerly set the warm bowl on the counter and removed the towel.

it had risen! it had risen, indeed! a quick and happy jig was danced before endeavoring the next task: the great separation. as before, steady hands and precise movements were of the utmost importance, lest the dough, overworked, become tough and chewy. great pains being taken to prevent its agitation, the dough was cleverly divided in two.

once more, the warm towel protected its inchoate ward. another span of time meant for waiting. another sabbath for our bread.

not so long as before, however, the proper season eventually arrived: it was time to add the trimmings. one bejeweled in glorious crimson, the other in shy green. both were laid upon a warm stone and nestled back into the dark, dry bosom of the oven, now piping hot. within the merest matter of moments, our narrator’s great ambition was ultimately and deliciously achieved.

all the company rejoiced! wine flowed freely and good-natured compliments joined in. and thus went the tale of that tuesday night’s happy adventures.