Friday, February 24, 2017

FMM - Ask Me (almost) Anything!

A couple of weeks ago, reader Jill asked me in the comments if our cats ever try to eat our houseplants, and while I answered her question, I figured a picture is worth a thousand words:
Half of this plant has been sheared off by Kip - I'll walk into the kitchen to find him on the ledge of the bar, chewing away on that plant.  

This is the only plant he eats, luckily - I'd be really mad if he touched my succulents.

Anyway, her question sparked an idea for a future blog post - Ask Me Anything!  Well, almost anything.  Actually you can ask, I just may not answer if the question is too out there.  So here's your chance - if you have anything you've been wondering about, ask away in the comments today.  I'll compile everything into a post for next Friday.  Edited to add, you can also email me your question if you don't have a ID to comment with  (


Speaking of Kip, he's acting like an old man kitty at times.  I guess he has the right; he had his pelvis broken years ago by what we think was having a garage door come down on him (not ours, but a neighbor's), so I'm sure he's got some kitty arthritis that flares up occasionally.  Some days he misses when he tries to jump on the counter in the laundry room, where his food is (we have to keep it up high or else Paco will eat it all).  But then, just when I think maybe he's winding down his lifespan, he'll be high up on the kitchen bar, eating my plant.  Still, he's become more affectionate toward me and likes to lay on me while I knit, which is a new thing for him:
He was sleeping with his head on the yarn until I tried to take a picture...then he opened his eyes.  Still cute, though. 


Jeff has been watching Kitchen Nightmares online lately, and somehow that inspired him to cook a meal on Sunday.  He doesn't cook very often, and when he does, he usually is not thrilled with the outcome - mostly, I suspect, because he tends to add a lot of extra ingredients to a recipe.  But for this one, he followed it to the letter, except for adding wine to the sauce, because when he shopped for groceries on Sunday morning, he couldn't buy the wine (Texas has Blue Laws, which mean you can't buy alcohol at certain times...and also you can't buy a car on Sunday.  Weird, I know.)  Anyway, the meal turned out really good, and he asked if I was going to blog about it.  I jokingly asked if he took any pictures, and he pulled out his phone and airdropped them to me.  So here's his homemade meatballs and spaghetti sauce:
I can take or leave meatballs, but Jeff is half Italian and is always on the hunt for a good spaghetti and meatball dish.  This one was very good!

The recipe is from Ina Garten, and it's simple enough that a non-cook could mostly follow it with little advice/help from the peanut gallery.  Plus, he cleaned up the kitchen afterward, so this was a win in many ways for me - a delicious meal, with no cooking or clean up?  I'll take it!

Have a great weekend - don't forget to leave your AMA questions in the comments!


  1. That dinner looks delicious! Tell him great job!

    Hannah's baby do Roman isn't much for snuggling with me, unless he sleeps with me and when he first wakes up he'll crawl up and snuggle underneath my neck and it's the cutest thing.

    Happy Friday! Hope you have a great weekend!

  2. Yes my cats like certain ones like spider plants.

  3. Hmmm. I thought and thought about what I could ask you... I know you are living in Texas because that is where Jeff's work is. But if/when he retires, do you plan to stay living in Texas?

    I've never liked meatballs, but I do love good spaghetti sauce. In fact, I'm planning to make a batch today. And maybe finally use my thingy to make veggie pasta!

  4. My tip to get the husband to cook more: when he makes something that's really good, assign that to him forever after. About once a week to ten days, I say to Mr. Helen, "I want you to make your _________" and he gladly does it!

    If you could live ANYWHERE in the world/US where would you choose to live?

    If you had to work a paying job but could do ANYTHING you wanted, what would you do?

    How much does it cost to get a full head of highlights in Texas?

    Where in the USA have you not visited but would really like to go to?

    Do you have a favorite brand of running clothes?

    Ok, I'll stop asking questions now.

  5. I had that exact same spike plant and Pixie chewed the hell out of it. Must be one that cats like. Needless to say, it died. I have found she won't eat geraniums, so I have those.

    Kip looks so sweet! How did he get his name?

    How many other countries have you visited?

  6. You can't buy cars on Sundays in Illinois either!

    What kind of meat was in those meatballs?

  7. I can hardly wait till next Friday :))

  8. I'm interested in learning more about your running / walking deal. Is it based on time or distance? You hear a beep from the Garman? Can you do another blog post explaining how you started and have progressed with the interval training? Thanks! I love how consistently you write in your blog.

  9. I have a lot of questions... okay, I have three. :D

    -Are there any workouts or activities that you used to do that you'd like to return to? Or anything that you'd like to try that you haven't?

    -Would you ever consider living somewhere other than Texas?

    Thanks for the offer of AMA!

  10. Hmmm questions...

    What's your favorite thing to get at Blue Baker? (Have you covered this and I missed it?)

    Have you ever been to the Midwest? (Obviously you should)

  11. Aww, it's hard to see when cats get older (and have injuries too) and struggle with things! But then Kip is there to show you he can still be feisty with the plants. LOL, typical cat!

    That is interesting that Jeff's MO is to add to a recipe! I don't understand cooking enough to do that, so I try to follow it. My husband though, will sometimes completely make things up as he cooks - that is a skill I definitely don't have!

  12. What a great idea for a future post.
    You mentioned in a previous post that you went to school for Journalism. What sparked that interest and why did it change?

  13. How do you carry your Tailwind bottle? Do you have a water bottle belt thingy or do you just carry it in your hand?

  14. I have two Christmas Cacti that used to bloom all the time. Thinking I was doing a good thing, I transplanted them into bigger pots a couple years ago and they haven't bloomed since. What did I do wrong? I miss the flowers!

  15. Love the idea of the Ask Me Anything! AWWW! Kip!!!
    My question: Will you come up and visit us here in Canada sometime?


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