Jack is suicidal

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As soon as I typed the words I had a feeling of deja vu, I might have used that title before when Rex was still alive.

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Jack used to torment Rex by biting his ears, his tongue, his paws and his jowls, but Rex loved his little guy and Jack was so safe with his protector.

Jack has started the same behavior with Lulu, it makes me nervous because she is still brand new to the household and I don’t think that she loves Jack as of yet. I know that she likes him, but love? I think that it is still a little soon for that strong emotion. Jack has been running beside her, jumping and grabbing her jowls with his teeth which makes her stop and then he keeps on tugging. He even nips at her legs, playfully yes, but still it must be annoying. Jack doesn’t seem to know that she can do serious damage if she wanted to, he thinks that he is the big dog on campus. I feel like calling him Jack the Lion-hearted. He is so cute, crazy, but still so cute. I think that Lulu will continue not minding, and if she does get annoyed, she will be gentle, hopefully.

Daily Prompt: Clone Wars

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If you could clone yourself, how would you split up your responsibilities?

I think that if I were to have clones, I would only have one made of myself and I would put her in charge of finishing my book, the whole kit and kaboodle, editing, writing a synopsis, splitting it up into chapters and sending it out to publishers and literary agents galore.

Since we are living in an alternate reality what with the people cloning, why not go even further? By that I mean to make something that would not only help me with things that I dislike doing, but also give me hours of joy and laughter; I would have a gaggle of minions. Ever since we went to see Despicable Me, both 1 and 2, I fell in love with the minions, I want them and it would be so much fun.

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This question reminds me of a cool science fiction movie The Island from 2005 directed by Michael Bay, starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. The plot from what I remember is that both Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson are clones yet they are more than just copies of their original person, they start to develop their own identities even though they were grown as back up for their original person. The whole area of ethics becomes about: do clones ever get to be recognized as persons of identity? Once a clone says that they have a right to live for themselves, how can the original demand that they give up their organs and their lives? I found the movie both interesting and disturbing with all of the ethical and moral ambiguities and complexities.

So because that movie made an impression on me, similar to the impressions that The Net and Terminator had on me, I am wary of how much of myself I allow across the Internet and I am not a fan of artificial intelligence, I would be hesitant to really take this prompt to its logical end. I prefer to go directly to fantasy land with the minions, they make me smile and they make me laugh. I would unleash them on my house and let the hilarity ensue all the while getting a clean house at the same time.

That’s it, I’m done. Uncle, Uncle, Uncle!!!!!!!

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I am crying Uncle; we have had too many days of below 10 degrees during the day with negative numbers at nights; combined with the outlandish snow, it is getting to be an overload. The last time that I remember having this much snow, the temperatures were in the mid 30’s, and that made all of the difference; it was much more manageable to shovel and to transfer to other places so that you can make trails for the dogs and open up the driveway to see out onto Route 23. This freezing insanity is making winter much harder than it usually is, but I am taking heart that we are nearing the end of February, each day brings us closer to Spring, crocuses and snow drops.

Now this hasn’t only been tough on myself, but also Jack and Lulu. They have gone outside like troopers these past few days, but today they have both reached their limit. Jack has been hiding from me because he knows that I will put him outside; it is so funny because all of a sudden I see his adorable little face peeking out from around the couch and when he sees that I saw him, he bolts the other way out of the room. Lulu is so quiet and ever since I told the kids to feed her a combination of her food, white rice and pumpkin puree, her stomach has recovered, her gassiness is gone, her movements are solid and now we don’t have the tell that alerted us to her need to go outside, so she has been having accidents in the house, but thankfully I have been able to pick them up and flush them in the toilet. Jack knows how to use the training pads that I have put down in his spots but Lulu hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it. Thank goodness for rice and pumpkin; I don’t know if I would be so easy going with a day’s worth of diarrhea.

This week is going to be another week of teens and twenties during the day with negative numbers at night. This is pushing me to my limits.

I am making butternut squash soup as I write and I made pizzas Friday and yesterday was mashed potatoes and my husband made roast beef, so we have been eating serious comfort food during this freezing spell.

A happy belly does help keep the spirits up.

Kingsman: The Secret Service: a movie review

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We went to see Kingsman: The Secret Service and we loved it. I love a well dressed gentleman and Colin Firth, who plays Harry Hart, code name Galahd, was exquisitely attired the entire movie. The young actor Taron Egerton plays Eggsy Unwin, a rather odd name for a hero, he is the one that Harry Hart/Galahad takes under his wing. These two have a sweet dynamic throughout the movie that I really enjoyed. Another character that I seriously liked was Merlin played by Mark Strong who often plays the bad man, he has a rather deep voice which lends itself beautifully to diabolical evil roles but this time out, he imbued his character Merlin with an Irish brogue which made him exceedingly charming and trustworthy.

The gadgets were a lot of fun and very much old school like the ones that we used to see in the old James Bond movies or even in the “In Like Flint” movies with James Coburn, I even saw some glimpses of influences from the Avengers, the ones with Mister Steed and Ms Peale. I loved all of these old time movies so to see a few homages made it special.

I did appreciate the underlying moral of the plot, climate change, though I didn’t agree with the villainous solution which I will not spoil for all of you.

If you want to spend some time not thinking of the mundane or anything stressful, I would say go see this entertaining movie. You’ll get a bunch of different English accents, fun gadgets, superb tailoring, a few surprises and an overall good time. They even have puppies. I love puppies.

Daily Prompt: Sliced Bread

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Most of us have heard the saying, “That’s the best thing since sliced bread!” What do you think is actually the best thing since sliced bread?

I remember the first time that I used my heated seats in my Subaru outback way back in 1997, and to me it truly was “the best thing since sliced bread”. It was a very cold day in winter and I had warmed up the Subaru, pressed the heated seat button on and when I got the children belted into their car seats, about ten minutes later, I sat on a toasty seat and was it a revelation of what civilized living is all about. There is something luxurious about driving with your bum and lower back nice and warm, it makes the cold so much more bearable.

Ever since being spoiled by heated seats, I can’t imagine having a car without them. I remember when we drove down to Disney World in 1997 and my husband had the air conditioner turned up to maximum, I was so cold that I put my heated seat on to warm myself up and it worked beautifully.

These days heated seats are offered by most car manufacturer’s, but if I had to choose only one option, the heated seat would be without question my choice. I would forgo radio, C.D, sun roof, even power windows, anything to have my heated seat.

I am sure that there are many things that would rate being rated as the best thing since sliced bread, but I can’t think of anything better than my heated seats this very moment.

Glasses where for art thee my glasses

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I am still new to using glasses. I haven’t been to the ophthalmologist yet, so I use my husband’s first pair that he purchased at our CVS, the magnifying glasses, I think that these are 1.25.

Today I was using my glasses to finish “Prince Lestat”, but I had to put them down every so often because I was babysitting Lulu for our kids while one was at school and the other at work. She needs to go outside very often because her stomach is still in turmoil and she still doesn’t understand the concept of outside is where dogs go to relieve themselves, I don’t blame her, Jack is still learning that concept.

My issue lies with the fact that these glasses are great when I am reading, not so good when I am walking around so as soon as Lulu signaled, either by passing wind or by pacing, I would jump up place my glasses somewhere and take her and Jack outside, come back inside after praising both of them for going outside, and start the reading glass search. I did this at least six times, thinking that the whole retracing my steps isn’t working so well, there has to be a better way. I had my mother-in-law’s voice in my head telling me “you need a eyeglass chain” I am way to young for that.

Honestly if this is the worst thing that happened to me, I had a great day.

Remember Phoebe’s hit song “Smelly Cat”?

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This is day two with our newest addition; Louise has become Lulu and Jack has adopted her gladly. Yesterday he was being his usual horny self, but after several admonishments of NO! he got the message and now leaves her privates alone. I am very proud of him. In the past he has been so bent on humping other big dogs, it was so embarrassing, but as of today he is being such a gentleman. Lulu is very grateful.

Our kids are being very responsible with Lulu; feeding her and taking her outside, but our daughter this morning told me that she didn’t expect it to be so time consuming, it always seems easier when someone else is doing the work.

The one thing that I didn’t expect when Lulu came to us was just how stinky she is; when she passes wind, she releases WMD’s. I was joking that we can fill grenade canisters with her methane gas and sell it to the Pentagon and make a ton of pennies. I’m sure that once she gets her routine established, finds her comfort zone and gets to a healthy weight, she will be smelly dog no longer, but wow that first whiff made me think of Phoebe and her signature song “Smelly Cat” immediately.

Other than her smelly bouts of gas, she is really an easy-going dog. Jack and Lulu are nice, quiet and affectionate. So far so good, everyone is doing pretty well in this new dynamic. I feel optimistic.

Chicken noodle soup is truly global

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There is something about the process of making chicken stock that makes me feel good abut the universe. I had made two roasted chickens and one of my least favorite things to do in the world is strip carcasses of meat. When I put the carcasses in the pot with onions studded with cloves, crushed cloves of garlic, carrots, celery, a bouquet garnie and covered that with cold water, three hours later I had a rich broth and detached meat, easy to pull apart.

This is what we call a Vietnamese soup, my Tantine Louise introduced us to it in France when she had her Vietnamese themed night, the soup as a starter with Vietnamese spring rolls to follow; that night was a culinary revelation. We were beyond impressed by how delicious everything was and we came back for more, year after year.

The stock that I made was the base for the chicken soup; all that I had to do was julienne carrots and zucchini, chop cilantro and scallions and add them with the shredded chicken to the stock, I beat three eggs and made an omelette which I sliced into thin strips and I opened a can of baby shrimp and these went into the pot as well. The last thing to do was to soften bean threads in hot water and then add them to the bowls after which I ladled the soup with all of the fixings over the noodles.

What makes this Asian is when you add soy sauce and fish sauce, you can also add additional herbs like mint, cilantro, more scallions and water chestnuts if you like; however you dress it up, this is a delicious chicken soup and it hits the spot when it is cold and blizzardly outside.

We are running out of room

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Where are we going to put the snow once this snow storm is ended and the one on Thursday erupts around us once again? It is getting a little scary backing out of our driveway; I had to do so today and thankfully my husband was there to let me know if anyone was coming. We are going to have to figure something out. Our kids helped a bit despite the bone chilling 16 degrees outside, we worked as a team clearing the snow away from both driveways and the walkways.

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Jack was very happy to supervise from the warmth of the kitchen; he had no intention of going outside. We took him outside for all of a minute and his little paw went up and he looked at me with his deep brown eyes “take me in Maman, it isn’t weather fit for man or beast!”

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be sitting in the living room with a roaring fire warming us up from the toes to the fingers. It was especially brutal outside, not only from the low temperatures but the fierce wind that wouldn’t let up while we were moving snow.

Not looking forward to another round on Thursday

Jupiter Descending: a movie review

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Remember when I wrote about the movie Strange Magic and how my husband walked out because it so wasn’t what we had imagined it was going to be and we needed some good old fashioned science fiction and adventure. Well today we got exactly what the doctor ordered. Outer space, aliens, explanations about our origins, intergalactic travel and danger, high speed chases, great gadgets and more.

I know that the critics have complained about the plot and storyline, but I didn’t care, the visual ride was simply amazing. The dresses that they put on Mila Kunis were breathtaking as were the costumes the royal family wore out in space. Back on Earth, the aerial scenes involving Channing Tatum, Jupiter (Mila Kunis) and his gravity boots; all that I could think of was that it looked like a high speed ice dance routine played out in the Chicago sky. He, using his gravity boots as high speed skates, twirled Jupiter (Mila Kunis) around his back and the rest of his body and at one point it looked as if they were executing the Death Spiral move which is a real move for Ice Dancers; it was incredible.

I couldn’t handle gravity boots, my horrible clumsiness would guarantee me a long stay in the hospital after many mishaps with my gravity boots gone amok. At the end however we see Channing Tatum’s character be reunited with his wings, he lost them due to a dishonorable discharge from the alien military, and wings I could see myself doing. That would be AWESOME.

I kept thinking of Vincent van Gogh, my favorite painter, each time we came up close to Jupiter the planet with its gaseous outer atmosphere; it seemed filled with the thick, brush strokes which always seem full of movement in many of van Gogh’s priceless tableaux.

I loved the focus on all of the character’s eyes; Mila Kunis as Jupiter with her big dark soulful eyes, Channing Tatum as Kaine and his superior Springer with their almost canine yellowish glint to their normal eyes, it was so well done, one second at certain angles you saw the golden glint and then when they shifted their stance, it disappeared, it was cool.

There were so many issues taken up within the back story and plot line; each of them interesting, greed, entitlement, consumption, commodities,
capitalism, origins, there could be argued far too many to make for a coherent story, but I don’t care. I loved the almost two hours of escapism that I had with this movie.

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