Let’s hear it for Kentucky boys


This isn’t exactly what my savior looked like, but pretty close.

This week, let’s give it up for Kentucky men, shall we? What a great bunch they are, don’t you think? Talk about knowing how to treat someone like a lady.

Take just a few minutes ago. A warning light turned on in my car indicating that I needed 1 psi of air in my passenger rear tire. Obviously, the first question this prompted was: What’s a psi? Second: How was I going to get 1 psi of air into my tire? And most importantly: How was I going to get 1 psi of air into my tire without screwing anything up?

I’ve seen those air hoses at the gas station hanging in a weary tangle on the wall. I’ve seen that my tire has a nozzle on it that should theoretically accommodate such a hose. However, the process of getting the air from the hose into the nozzle and thus into the tire, well, that just seemed overwhelming.

So of course I went to O’Reilly’s Auto Parts (now we have to sing: “O-O-O-O’Reilly’s! Autoparts”) because that’s where I go whenever anything is wrong and that’s the auto parts store I choose exclusively because of its catchy jingle. I breathlessly explained my problem and was patiently directed to Walmart, where they (who knew?) have a lube and tire place around back.

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Jet-set pet at the vet

So there we were at the vet. It was 9 a.m. on a Tuesday and Fitzi, our brand new Boston terrier puppy, needed booster shots.

This wasn’t our first rodeo. The first time we’d gone, Fitzi was plunked on the scale to be weighed. Had his mouth pried open to be inspected. Had his testicles prodded fairly rigorously. Finally, when the tech shoved a thermometer up his bum to get his temperature, Fitzi just looked at me and said, “Are you serious with this?”

The vet hadn’t been the bearer of great news either. First off, Fitzi had worms. Second, he had fleas. Third, one of his testicles hadn’t descended. Fourth, his heart sounded “pretty good.”

Anyway, this go-around, Fitzi was going to get stuck with needles in addition to the rest so I was feeling pretty sorry for him even before we arrived. Was he going to be sore? Would it make him nauseated? Would he have a reaction?

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Let’s talk about smoothies, baby

50992472427__970d6c28-1a88-4b63-9c73-060b38e574ebThe smoothie. Oh me, oh my, what a complicated little drink. At first glance, it could be synonymous with a treat, an indulgence. Not quite a milkshake, you say to yourself, but pretty close. But then you start mulling things over. There’s not going to be chocolate or vanilla in there. And the smoothies of today are not the creamsicle-like concoctions of the 1990s.

It’s at this point that the smoothie starts to be connoted with slight apprehension, maybe even dread. Because if we really think it through, we know exactly what’s going to be inside the glass in the year 2017: a whole bunch of healthy stuff that doesn’t belong in what we would normally consider a drink.

I was intimately introduced with both these concepts of indulgence and reluctance last week when I started my first cleanse. It was Monday morning and I was standing beside my blender hovering a kale leaf over the top of it wondering how in the heck it had come to this.

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Baby mine

img_4498If someone sounded like they were performing verbal cartwheels in our subdivision at 4 a.m. last night, that was me. Dressed in a 20-year-old fleece and my cooking clogs, it wasn’t a pretty sight. But our new baby boy puppy Fitzgerald pooped and peed outside and I was willing to throw him a party.

In fact, I’m learning I’m willing to do just about anything for this dog. Right now, he is conked out on his bed, his chin settled on the fuzzy corner, and is moan-barking slightly in his dream. It is taking everything I am just to sit here and continue typing instead of going closer to stare at him. Everything he does, in my opinion, is so ridiculously cute that I don’t want to miss a second.

Last night, our routine game of Yahtzee was frequently halted because the three of us simply wanted to watch the dog. I mean, I didn’t even want to tally my points and I won the second game. But Fitzi was going ballistic with his Kong pacifier and then with his sock monkey squeaker toy and then decided to nose dive into every corner of his bed. By the end, he was so riled up he was on his back writhing and barking at himself.

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Just two more sleeps

16387365_1701486873477922_1700657066013080432_nWell, my friends, the stage is set for Fitzgerald’s arrival. The food bowls are waiting, the gates are up, the baby bed is soft and cozy, the crate is assembled and we have, possibly, every type of puppy toy imaginable. Did you know, for example, that they make Kong Binkies, which are in the shape of pacifiers? He now has two.

On Sunday, we get to pick up our little bundle of joy and I couldn’t possibly be more excited. I mean, I guess I could be if I wasn’t slightly nervous too, but maybe being nervous is the same thing as being excited, just a little less fun.

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The terrible, no good, very bad recipe

stove-fire1Last night, I stood over the stove and knew I was screwed. No matter how much I mixed, there was a frightening glob in the pot that was slowly but surely sticking to the bottom, thus turning into a frightening glob that was burning. I looked frantically around, wondering if there might be a Food Network star nearby who could help me with this culinary horror. But, alas, no one was there.

Actually, that’s not entirely true: My husband and Gabrielle were there. And, frankly, they looked pretty hungry. But guess what they were eating if this glob didn’t suddenly turn into a lovely meal? Yeah, that’s right: toast. They were going to have to eat toast.

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To January, the beautiful

fullsizerenderIt’s that time of year where the kitchen has become a place of atonement. The holidays are over, every piece of clothing in your closet is tight (I had an infinity scarf feel too snug this week), and you can’t even use the excuse of East Orthodox Christmas anymore (celebrated Jan. 7, mmmmmm, 12 meatless dishes). Essentially, reality has set in hard. You have weight to lose, that’s one. You’re big into self-improvement, that’s two. And the fact that January has 31 days? Not. Nice.

This used to be my most hated time of year in the kitchen. By middle of January, I’d already eaten my fill of lentils, broccoli, frittatas and other foods that can feel like the nutritional equivalent of self-flagellation. Summer was a long way off so I couldn’t even look forward to a good tomato. I’d be looking around the place starving, searching for any excuse I could possibly find to reward myself with some cheese. By the end of the month, I’d usually lost two pounds, but my mood? It was sour. And February wasn’t looking much sweeter.

But last year, I decided to shed this attitude and turn to my cookbooks. Over the years, I’ve been gifted and have bought a lot of them, though through the summer, when I cook very simply, and through the holidays, when I rely on traditional stand-bys, they don’t get cracked open very often. But last year, I decided that they were the key to saving me from the culinary doldrums.

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Introducing pup talk


Just 23 short days left and our perfect baby boy puppy will be ours. And, oh readers, oh lovers of mine, I’m in full nesting mode.

Last night, William, Gabrielle and I sat around the kitchen island looking at collars online. We’d decided on the Blueberry brand with the help of one of our friends, so now it was time to choose color and pattern. You’d think we were picking out a prom dress with the amount of deliberation that went into it. Scottish tartan? Too fussy. Flamingos? Too Floridian. Cupcakes? Too gluttonous. Was he a red man? A blue man? Both seemed too predictable. We finally decided on yellow, which we felt would go nicely against his sharp black and white coat.

Our baby is a Boston Terrier, and was chosen thanks to our friend Hannah’s dog Pepper, who is also a “roundhead.” It took just 15 minutes of being around that little charmer before my husband, who would never be accused of being overly demonstrative, was on his haunches yowling, “Who’s my good girl? Who’s my good girrrrrrl?”

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The chipmunk and the chompers

wisdom-teethIt is the year of the rodent for the Kaprowy/Baker household. First, we had frequent (and damaging) visits from a screen-licking, wood-eating squirrel. Now we have a chipmunk living upstairs. Yes, our dear, little Gabrielle has reached the ultimate oral rite of passage: wisdom tooth extraction.

It happened yesterday morning and we are T-minus 23 minutes from reaching the 24-hour mark. While Gabrielle has been an exceptional trooper, she’s had a rough go. The poor kid had not four, but five wisdom teeth removed, the eerie fifth lodged near her sinus, which required considerable rooting around to retrieve. As a result, she swelled up like a balloon and went through a few bad hours as the freezing wore off and she was dealing with the anxiety that consists of, “Umm, just how bad is this going to get?” In answer, she has taken to walking around with icepacks on her face that she keeps in place using an ingenious tying technique she developed with a Caribbean-hued scarf. Think brassiere meets babushka meets top knot.

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Apology to a schnoz

noseDear Nose,

I’ve taken you for granted. I’m not making any excuses, and it’s not that I don’t think you’re great. I mean, you’re as much a part of me as my hand or my little toe or the elbow I broke twice so it doesn’t straighten out like it’s supposed to. It’s just that usually you’re so reliable I don’t even have to think about you. It’s not fair to take something for granted that is so good to a person. But that’s exactly what I’ve done.

It’s only since I’ve had this cold that I realize just how important you are to me. Yes, hardship is what made me separate what’s what from what’s what. I realize that is a little despicable. Remember, I am not making excuses. I’m just saying: You are very, very important to me, and I realize that now.

For example, last night I tried to brush my teeth with absolutely no help from you. You were so blocked from the cold, I had to brush my teeth using only my mouth. I never realized how hard it is to brush your teeth when your nose is inoperable. I mean, I was out of breath. There was froth everywhere. Toothpaste is minty fresh, except minty fresh on the inhale isn’t that useful when you’re wanting to cough at every opportunity.

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