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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Best of 2017

To wrap up 2017, here are a few “bests” from my year...

Eight Best Books (of the 52 I read): Cordelia’s Honor (Lois McMaster Bujold); The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Naomi Klein); Lords and Ladies (Terry Pratchett); History of Wolves (Emily Fridlund); A People’s History of the United States (Howard Zinn); Etta and Otto and Russell and James (Emma Hooper); The Shepherd’s Crown (Terry Pratchett); and Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (Lois McMaster Bujold).


Best New Experience: Going to protests – I went to 14 different protests, rallies, and vigils this year, in addition to other activism events and meetings!


Two Best Adventures: My roadtrips with Zach to Maine – to explore Acadia National Park – and Missouri – for the solar eclipse!


Best Harvest: Cucumbers – I harvested 95 cucumbers from my garden this year!


Best Timing: The Vegan Month of Food – Vegan MoFo taking place in October coincided with the absolute worst part of this year for me (Buttons’ cancer, her declining health, and her passing), and yet it helped me keep it together in spite of all of that was going on. I could hang out with Buttons while she rested, reading about all the great food everyone was enjoying around the world; in those moments, I was experiencing the lives of other people instead of dwelling on all the worries and anxieties I had for my dear Buttons girl. Additionally, if I hadn’t committed to posting every day and trying new foods and fun recipes, I know I wouldn’t have eaten well in October; Vegan MoFo kept me cooking, and I sketched my food every day as part of Inktober as well. The Vegan MoFo community was so incredibly supportive during this difficult time; all the comments and love and understanding definitely got me through it. Thank you so much, everyone! <3


What are some “bests” from your 2017, and what are you looking forward to in 2018? I’m excited to read more good books, cook and eat more good food, grow my garden, cuddle with my kitties, make more art, and have some fun adventures! 


Thanks for reading and commenting this year, and I’ll see you again soon!


Peace. :)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas 2017

Hi everyone! We had two Christmas celebrations this year, the first with Zach’s family on the day before Christmas. For snacks, we had Miyoko’s & Treeline cheeses with crackers; fruit; and tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa. Then we had orzo with roasted broccoli and tomatoes and some really good bread. Dessert was lots of vegan goodies, and the only thing I remembered to take a picture of! 


Christmas Day we spent with my family – we had a vegan chicken noodle soup (prepared by my dad) to start, then dinner…


Field Roast celebration roast and agave-glazed carrots (prepared together by me), corn and mac (prepared by my sister), and roasted red potatoes and green beans (prepared by my mom)

For dessert, I had a peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookie and a big piece of apple pie. I took a bunch of leftovers home, including a tin of cookies that I
m still enjoying!

Fitting with all this talk of good food, I got some pictures of the kitties “washing up” after eating one day. Leela, as you can see, take this whole business very seriously…






“What on Earth are they doing?”

…But Cringer and Daisy like to be as goofy and dramatic as possible when cleaning themselves up… 




Might as well have fun with it, I guess, haha!

Peace. :)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Riced Cauliflower

Hi everyone! Something new I tried this week was riced cauliflower; I had it with Gardein porkless bites and broccoli for my dinner on Thursday. It was pretty good, and the leftovers were great, too!



Here are the kitties enjoying the sunshine on the solstice…





And here’s the ornament Zach and I got for our tree this year...



Peace. :)

Friday, December 15, 2017

New Soups & Firebird Pics

Hi everyone! I tried two new soups this week that I’d bought on sale a while ago.





They were both good, but I preferred the black bean soup; it was tastier and more filling than the split-pea. 

Saturday’s Firebird Festival was awesome – it was snowing all day, so there was less of a crowd than usual, but I loved it! I always enjoy it more when the weather’s “bad” – the past two years were a little too “nice” for my liking, haha! I took a ton of photos (these are just a few of them), and it was an incredible experience as always.

Zach and I marched with the parade crowd, which was lots of fun.

And then we found a spot fairly close to the firebird.


There were these really cool mini “tornadoes” blowing around.


The head falling.


Once it had burned low enough, everyone climbed over the netting to get closer.

Here are the snuggly sisters…



And Leela’s keeping warm, too…



Peace. :)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

December MiniMoFo

Hi everyone! The theme for December’s MiniMoFo is “Festive baking!” – I took a short-cut and went to Vegan Treats, hehe! I got the chocolate chip cheesecake-on-a-stick, shaped and decorated to look like a Christmas tree, which was good…


And the cookies and cream cake with a reindeer design; this one was even better and definitely my favorite of the two… 



Colder weather means more kitty cuddles; Daisy is a very patient sister and lets Cringer use her as a pillow… 



And Leela continues to lay claim to the warm corner by the heating vent… 



Today I got a photo of the three of them all in a line in the bedroom… 



Peace. :)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hummus

Hi everyone! The new recipe I tried this week was for hummus. I had some with pretzels yesterday for a snack, and it was really good!


Earlier this week, I visited the firebird (the festival is on December 9th) and took some photos; here are a few of them… 





Here are Daisy and Cringer among some of the many boxes we leave out for them…



And for a sign that winter is on its way, here’s Leela, back in her corner by the heater, keeping nice & warm…



Peace. :)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Lazy Mac and Thanksgiving

Hi everyone! My posts this month keep getting lazier and lazier; I guess I’m just really embracing the November MiniMoFo theme! For a quick lunch on Wednesday, I tried the Upton’s Naturals Ch’eesy Bacon Mac. I really liked the sauce, but the noodles themselves could have been better; they were a bit too chewy for me but were still OK overall.


And here was my Thanksgiving dinner last night…

Onion potatoes, corn & mac, green beans, crescent roll, Tofurky, and butternut squash

This morning, I found the sisters sharing the cat tower; Daisy was being rambunctious on the lower level, and Cringer wasn’t quite sure what was going on…



And here’s a goofy photo of Leela that I caught with hilariously perfect timing; if you look closely, you can see the tiniest little blep…



Peace. :)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Simple Smoky Gravy (VegNews)

Hi everyone! This week I tried the simple smoky gravy from “The Thanksgiving Cookbook,” which was a bonus pullout in the most recent VegNews. My only change was to use all-purpose flour instead of oat flour. It turned out really well; I had a big ladle of it with some mashed potatoes. 


Here are the kitties...


Leela under the bed

Daisy in the sunshine

Cringer being her goofy self

Today marks one month without Buttons. Everything I’ve tried to type here turns rambly and sad, so instead, I’ll share an old sketch. Buttons didn’t get the memo about holding still as a model; she kept rolling around dramatically and then got up before I could finish it, but I still like how it turned out, and I like remembering her so happy & carefree...



Peace. :)

Friday, November 10, 2017

November MiniMoFo

Hi everyone! After cooking something new pretty much every day of Vegan MoFo, trying only three new recipes in the past week counts as “lazy” to me.

Last Friday night, I made pumpkin cookies for an early holiday party with Zach’s family. They turned out really well; here’s some of the leftovers since I forgot to take a pic right after I made them. I couldn’t find the recipe online to link to here; my copy of the recipe looks like it was scanned from a cookbook. The ingredients were brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, vanilla, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and raisins. 



On Wednesday, I made the sweet potato cheese sauce from My cat loves Daiya! It turned out really well; my only change was using soy milk instead of canned light coconut milk. 



And then last night, I made pumpkin applesauce (inspired by Tracy’s Living Cookbook). I peeled & chopped five Granny Smith apples, boiling them in a little more than 3/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. I turned it down to simmer, added ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and stirred it every now and then. I added ½ cup canned pumpkin and ½ tsp vanilla near the end. It turned out pretty well.

 

So those are my “lazy” (and quite orange) new foods I’ve tried since MoFo ended. I’ve also been keeping busy with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), motivating myself, of course, with Victory Smarties.

Here are the kitties this morning…


Leela

Daisy

Cringer

Peace. :)