The Name Of The Game Is “Distraction”

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Gentle Reader,

So this afternoon is my date with the Special Dentist.  And I’m enjoying my delicious clear liquid lunch (Herb-Ox bullion are cubes of salty goodness, FYI.) of chicken broth and Walmart-brand Crystal Light and counting the minutes until time to down the Valium.

I’m not gonna lie.  I am scared.  1.  Dentist.  2.  Microscopes.  3.  HAVE YOU READ THE PATIENT CONSENT FORM????  The form was authored by an “H. Lecter”, which I think should have been my first clue.  4.  I have trust issues.

I know that the anesthesiologist does this professionally and has a vested interest in making sure I come out of this alive just like me.  But I am surrendering control of my body to complete strangers and won’t know it if something goes wrong.  (Yes, I know.  I’m not ultimately ever in control, but go with me here.  I’m still not medicated.)

Anyway, this a list of some random First World Issues that I thought I’d talk about rather than watch the clock tick.

1.  We’re up to seven baby zebra.  One more to go.  The male is very skittish right now so he could bolt if anybody got too close to the herd, which could set off a stampede and trample a baby, so we’re giving them LOTS of space and I’ll get pics in a few weeks.  But the babies are currently hopping around and the older ones (toddlers?) are enjoying kicking their legs and running in circles.  In the meantime, meet Duke:



Duke is the one sporting a roll of plastic sheeting in his antlers.  The head on the left is one of his harem.  Duke is one of our Pere David deer (I don’t know how to do the accent grave in WordPress…) and the only male in their herd.  (The Pere Davids are exotic deer and thus are protected in our annual harvest, so I feel it’s okay to give them names and get attached.)

I’m pretty sure that the Honey Badger is Duke’s spirit animal, because he just doesn’t care.  He goes wherever he wants, and does whatever he wants, and generally looks as drunk as Miley Cyrus.  He’s uprooted sprinkler systems, bayonet-ed outdoor playsets, and generally about once a week, we’ll hear the neighborhood news that “Duke’s got a [insert specific object here] stuck in his antlers.  If you see him, try to help him out.”  He’s had lawn chairs stuck in there (we had to cut some of his horns to get that one loose), lots of seaweed, some plastic netting (ironically used around fruit trees to keep the deer from eating the fruit), plastic sheeting, and after one particularly epic New Years party, a lampshade.

And though we all kvetch mightily about him, the reality is that if anybody ever did anything to Duke?  There would be blood.


(Thanks for the pics, Suzy!)

2.  I can stand the wine room no longer.  It started out organized (“organized”) by varietal and region, loosely.  And then it grew like last season’s bangs and got awkward and gangly and stuck out weird if you tried to pull it back with bobby pins.  So we have vintages mixed, newer with older, appellations mixed, vineyards mixed, and it is crazy-making.  I need to take everything out and make a complete inventory again and organize them, and come up with a system for managing in and out.  I’ve got a good source for “drink or hold” information, but I don’t think our collection is big enough to warrant a subscription to a cellar managing software.  (If it is, we’re clearly not drinking enough.)  Strangely, Pinterest is silent on this vital issue.  (“vital”)  So I’m asking you, my reader  (who presumably wants me to continue to enjoy vino because some of my best stuff has come about due to the consumption thereof) if you have suggestions?  Mostly, I’m looking for like a signage system that is easily shift-able to account for the changes in our cellar mix.

Below is our room–


The jugs of water there are only because we have well water and we learned last summer that it is important to have back up water in the event that the well gets wonky.

So it’s a small space, and easily cluttered.  I need some signage ideas-I had envisioned little chalkboards glued to clothespins to label things and pin to the top rungs of the rows (so, “Cabernet”, “Phelps”, “Bordeaux Blends”, etc.) but I made a mock-up of one, and it wasn’t everything I dreamt it would be.  Observe:


(This could be because I was envisioning words written in pretty script with neat little borders, and that’s dang near impossible to do when you are trying to write with chalk.  And also have forgotten cursive.)  So anybody else have any ideas?  Pinterest failed me here.  And I am disappointed.

3.  I’m trying to find a really good tomato soup recipe.  I’m looking for one that has a lot of tomato flavor up front.  Not too crazy on the basil (some is okay, La Madeleine’s needs to chillax on it a bit, though), and I don’t want it to be too creamy, because that can make it almost cloyingly sweet in a not-good way.  And I want it easy.  I had one last week that used harissa spice blend instead of basil.  And LO, IT WAS GOOD.  I’ve had fresh tomato soups (mostly in Napa) that are sensational, but I’m looking for a soup that uses canned or jarred because fresh tomatoes are only here in the summer.  And summertime in North Texas is NOT the time I want a hot and steamy bowl of creamy soup.  So really, my demands are quite simple, no?  😉

Anyway, in this area, Pinterest has proven too bountiful.  Everybody has a tomato soup recipe, it seems.  Tell me I’m not the only one on this quest?  Anybody have a recipe that meets these easy requirements?  😉

Now the valium has hit, and Imma go take a nap now.



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