Yes, I’m still here!

Sorry for being MIA as of late.  Although I have good reasons, I’ve been feeling awfully guilty for being off the radar for so long.  This post is to catch everyone up so we can all move forward…ok, so I can move forward.

Reason #1:  We have new addition to the family…a furry one!

Bright-eyed Riley

We welcomed Riley, a glossy bright-eyed black kitten into our house on August 5th.  It took a lot of adjustment for my husband and I, who haven’t had to deal with a toddler-like bundle of joy for quite a while.  We’d forgotten how much time and energy it took, and how much sleep you have to give up.  It was especially difficult for 6-year-old Starsky.  His brother Hutch, who passed away last October, was the only cat he’d ever known.  Now there was a tiny terror in the house.  After several weeks carefully integrating Riley into Starsky’s home, all our hard work seems to have paid off.  Starsky is getting his daily workouts in again, and we foresee some serious snuggling in the near future.  Riley’s ability to transition from knocked out to cracked out in two seconds flat has presented a challenge for me.  Since I work at home, dealing with his boundless energy and my responsibilities has been a juggling act.   However, he and I are both getting better at our roles.

Starsky and Riley, early morning bird-watching

Reason #2:  I’m writing a book!

So far it’s been exciting and depressing and thrilling and scary and fulfilling and arduous all rolled into one big ball of emotion.  And it’s not nearly done yet!  Right now I’m finishing up my (hopefully) kick-butt proposal to send off.  I got some interest in April when I pitched the idea to agents, but now I’ll be in better shape when I pitch again in October at the IWWG’s Big Apple Conference.  More details on my book soon!

Reason #3:  I’m writing an article that ties in to an upcoming television series!

Have you heard about ABC’s new series Pan Am?  Well, it just so happens my grandmother was a stewardess for Pan American Airways in the 1940’s.  And she wasn’t just a stewardess, she was the ambassador of the airline, greeting dignitaries and historical figures, as well as appearing in magazines and advertisements.  My grandmother has enjoyed recalling her whirlwind years, and had her first on-camera interview by a news reporter a few weeks ago.  Her story has always been amazing to us, but seeing that others would now be interested in it got my cousin and I thinking about pitching her story to newspapers, which we’re in the midst of.  So no more details yet, but if it gets published I’ll post the link here…and if it doesn’t get published, I’ll post the article here.  Either way, you’ll hear about it.

So you see, there are reasons why it’s been quiet around here.  But all the while, I’ve been cooking up some tasty posts to serve you very soon.

Mommy’s Little Helper

Ok, so he doesn’t actually help.  But he is my ever-present companion when I cook.  My 3 1/2 year old either sits quietly on the corner of the table to watch me chop veggies and wash dishes, stretches up to touch whatever is on the counter, or peers inquisitively at my preparations from a chair and lets out a meow or two.  Oh, did I forget to mention he’s a cat?  Silly me.  Hutch, my kitchen companion, has an amusing number of canine qualities such as fetching, needing constant attention, coming when called, and–most pertinent to this post–wanting to sample whatever human food we eat.

He delights in the aroma of meat and the sight of fresh vegetables.  He’s present more often then not when I open the fridge, and he sticks his little head inside as if he’s searching for something too.  On days when I prepare the bulk of my food for the week, Hutch will make his way through the maze of ingredients and appliances on the kitchen table to get a better view of what’s happening on the counter and stove.  Sometimes I pick him up so he can survey the goings-on in full view.  He encourages me (perhaps it’s more of a demand) to give him tastes of food, and I oblige when it’s cat-friendly.

Hutch prefers tasty morsels that are hand-fed, so I offer tiny bits of soft chicken meat above his quivering nose and let him lick the teensy drop of cream from my finger.  Even more enticing to him is eating when he thinks it’s verboten. Therefore, I “forget” to put away items like celery, parsley, and kale so he can sniff and munch at the greenery…he thinks he’s so sneaky.  Hutch most likely does not attach much meaning to our moments, but I do.

Although my husband loves my cooking, he doesn’t love the process, so it’s nice to have company who appreciates and delights in it as much as I do–even if it is for different reasons.  It’s a bond Hutch and I share with each other, these hours in the kitchen.  My husband has moments with Hutch that I don’t have, and that’s fine with me, because these kitchen moments are mine.

Do you have a kitchen companion, either human or otherwise?