Wednesday-Bensday! Special Ch-ch-ch-changes Edition

I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but there have been a lot of dog posts around here lately. Like, a lot a lot. I’ve tried to break up the dog posts with non-dog posts, but even on what I consider a good blog week these days, I only manage two non-dog posts. And those “good” weeks can be few and far between. Most weeks I’m lucky to get one non-dog post hammered out. With two guaranteed dog posts per week, the dog-to-actual-content ratio around here is getting disturbing.

So, since it turns out that I am not such a good at-home blogger (one of the troubling side effects of having a satisfying, enjoyable job that keeps me from spending all my time at work blogging), and I’m not happy with 50% or more of my blog content being about my dogs, it’s time for a change. I’m going to go back to only one dog post per week, and then hopefully I can re-claim this blog for myself.

Ben, never a fan of change, is naturally skeptical about this idea. He’s a little concerned about sharing his weekly time in the spotlight, and he’s not sure he’s ready to part with his charmingly absurd post title “Wednesday-Bensday.”

To help Ben get used to the idea of sharing his Wednesdays with Smalls, we won’t be implementing these changes immediately. Smalls is only 5 weeks short of celebrating one full year of Smalls Sundays, and I think it’s only fair that we let her finish out the year. Come February 9, however, Smalls Sundays will be no longer.

To address Ben’s other concern, I need your help. I know I want to keep my weekly dog posts on Wednesdays, but I’m not sure what to do about the post name. I really like Wednesday-Bensday, silly as it is (Ben is, after all, a very silly dog), but I don’t know if I can reasonably keep that name when I’ll usually be writing about both dogs (and some weeks may not mention Ben at all). Unfortunately, I’m having trouble coming up with an acceptable replacement name.

So, tell me — what do you think these new two-dogs-in-one posts should be called? If you have a fabulous idea for a new post title, let me know. If I get a bunch of good suggestions, maybe we’ll have a vote sometime in the coming weeks, and maybe the person who suggests the selected name will get a prize. Or, if you think I should just keep calling it Wednesday-Bensday, regardless of how often Smalls is featured, let me know that, too.

I very much appreciate you guys helping Ben come to terms with this change. Almost as much as I appreciate you helping me re-claim my blog from my dogs.

Do Kaya, Rufus, Bailey, and Daisy have good ideas for the new-and-improved Wednesday Bensdays (with special guest star, Smalls)? If they do, I hope they speak up!

A Post Not about the Dogs

Well hello, Internet! Long time no see!

Y’all. Things have been crazy busy, but in a really good way. My new job is still kicking ass. I’m actually sitting in a hotel in Tempe, AZ, right now because they flew me and the other new editor at my office (who is awesome) down here to train with the senior editors of the company (who are also awesome). Not only did the company fly us down here and put us up in a decent hotel room, they are also letting me drive around in a snazzy-sexy-cute rental car (a Mazda 6, if you know what that is, which I didn’t, but now I know it’s snazzy, sexy, and cute). And as an added bonus I have really cool family down here who I’ll get to see while I’m in town. Win-win-win . . . Win. (Except add one Lose in there because I miss Tim and the dogs.)

One of my goals for this week in Tempe, besides obviously becoming an expert at editing for my new company, is to get caught up with the Internet and get into the habit of blogging in the evenings. And then hopefully when I go home at the end of the week I’ll be able to keep up the blog-at-night habit rather than just zoning out on the couch while my brain tries not to implode from everything I’ve learned at work, emerging from my stupor only long enough to throw a picture of one or both of the dogs up every Wednesday and Sunday. I promise to do my best to get back to regular posting if you promise to bear with me through this adjustment period. Deal?

Okay, the other point of this post was to tell you about the meal I made last week for Whip It Up. I know I’m late posting about it, but I didn’t cook it until Saturday night, which was my last night at home, and Tim and I made a date night out of it, and the better part of 2 bottles of wine later . . . well. Suffice to say it would not have been a very coherent blog post. And besides, it was a night for quality time with Tim, not for quality time with the blog.

We followed RA’s example and made spinach and artichoke stuffed portobello mushrooms. I followed some of RA’s ideas on how the recipe might be improved (roasted the mushrooms a little longer, added bread crumbs to the cheese mixture) and also copied RA’s side dish by making oven-roasted asparagus (except I added parmesean cheese to mine).

 

Was it easy to make? Yes, it really was. I put Tim in charge of roasting the mushrooms on the grill while I threw together the filling, and everything came together smoothly.

Then we popped it all in the oven. And we waited. And waited. And waited. Between this and the other cook-time issues we’ve been having lately, we’re beginning to suspect our oven is not getting as hot as it is supposed to be getting. Maybe this is our kitchen’s way of welcoming us to the world of people who make decent money: “Looking for a way to spend your newly expanded paycheck? Look no further! You — yes, you! — could soon be the proud owners of a brand new oven!!!

Luckily we weren’t super hungry, so we didn’t mind waiting an extra long time for everything to finish cooking.

Did it taste good? Eh. Kind of. The asparagus was delicious, as I knew it would be, but the mushrooms were nothing special. They were fine, but they lacked a certain oomph factor. Tim thought the filling needed to be creamier, or at least needed some sort of gravy poured over it to balance out the grittiness of all that ricotta cheese. We ended up pouring a balsalmic vinegar/brown sugar/garlic mixture over it, which helped add a little oomph, but overall the dish was just not a favorite.

Will I make it again? Probably not, no. We have too many other good recipes in our book to re-make something that neither or us was too thrilled with.

So, there you have it. One new recipe and hopefully one step in the direction of returning to the land of regular blogging. (Of course, if this hotel’s “high-speed” Internet continues to be so painfully low-speed, I may get super frustrated and thus have a harder time getting back into the blogging grove than I hoped to this week. But I will do my best, I promise!)

Maintenance

Just a head’s up: I’ll be switching my domain hosting service over the next few days. If you read this through a feed reader this may mean that you have to re-subscribe once the switch is complete.

Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend!

Plot Holes: Filled

When I asked about plot holes last week, I got some really good questions. Today I’ll do my best to answer those questions in addition to giving you updates on a couple of things that nobody asked about but that I know could stand to be updated.

All-Important Updates on the Dogs

Ben is peeing on Smalls far less frequently lately. We invested in a squirt gun (and when I say “we invested” I mean “we spent $6 on”) and kept an eye on him for the first few days after I originally posted about the issue. Far as I can tell, it only took one squirt of the squirt gun mid-leg-lift for him to learn his lesson.

Smalls occasionally lays on the dog bed, but does not actually sleep on it. Exhibit A.

Abbie asked: What I want to know is, do you and Tim ever have arguments, you guys seem so perfect to me and logic screams that’s impossible. I do adore you guys and someday I hope to find someone to love as much as you two love each other.

Yeah, of course we argue from time to time. But that’s not something I’m ever going to blog about. Nic said it much better than I can in her post earlier this year about Unbloggables, but what it ultimately comes down to is this: I don’t feel that an online, public forum is an appropriate place at all for me to write about bickering with my husband. There are a lot of private parts of our life that I don’t write about here, and the occasional disagreement is one of those things that falls under the private label. Posting about that kind of thing is only going to embarrass us both, not to mention that we would then probably argue about me blogging about us arguing. Furthermore, what disagreements we do have are hardly a defining aspect of our marriage; our love and happiness and support of each other are really what define our marriage, so that’s what I write about. Additionally, in the event that we do argue, it’s usually over some small thing that we’ve both completely forgotten in a few days anyway. What would be the point of permanently documenting such insignificant, petty disagreements? I blog about things that I want to remember and revisit in the future; I see no reason to clutter my blog archives with something unimportant that I’m not going to look back on fondly.

On a related note, I like my blog to be a place to write about the more positive aspects of my life. Even if I’m not having a good day, it can be really helpful to try to put a positive spin on something or, at the very least, find a way to laugh at whatever is causing the not-so-good day. I’m not trying to come off as perfect; I’m just trying to have fun.

Kat asked: When did you get so CRAY-ZAY? I’ve been waiting on that story for like 10 years.

Funny, we’ve known each other for a little more than like 10 years. Seems awfully coincidental that I’ve allegedly been so CRAY-ZAY since shortly after I met you, doesn’t it?

Britt asked: I’m left hanging whenever you talk about tap dancing. Where are the pictures? The videos? What songs do you dance to? Help me out a little! The suspense is killing me!! and Erin asked: I have to agree with Britt about the tap dancing! Can we see pictures? What made you decide to take tap? Can you make a little video blog recital for us? Please?

Honestly, I had no idea y’all would be so interested in my tap dancing. I always figured it’s just this thing I do, and I love it, but surely other people don’t care that much. I stand corrected.

I started to write up a response to your questions, Britt and Erin, but it quickly turned into a monstrously long answer that is best left to its own post. I’ll keep working on that and post it another day.

Hope this has helped answer those burning questions of yours. (Unless you’re Britt or Erin, in which case I know this hasn’t helped at all, but answers are coming soon, I promise!)

Plot Holes?

Quick question: Is there any story on which you feel I’ve left you hanging? Any plot holes that need filling? Anything I wrote about previously that you’re waiting for an update on?

Let me know, and I’ll see what I can do about helping you off the edges of your seats. Whether I’ll do this by giving you updates so you can finally sit back and relax or by simply pushing you forward off of your chair and mocking you for sitting on the edge of your seat for such a ridiculous amount of time has yet to be determined. You take your chances here at SangriaLover.com.

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