Wednesday, September 29, 2010

RIP Murphy! :(

Today, after a long (or, as far as we know, 6 week) battle with cancer, our family dog, Murphy died. She was about 10.. I say "about" because no one remembers if she was one or two years old when we got her.. A big debate in our family. Can I tell you some funny stories about her last days? If only because that's how we Beardmore's deal.. And also because the stories are just plain hilarious.

Let me warn you first.. We aren't what some might call, "Animal Lovers". Few people will actually admit this and I'm not saying we like to torture our little balls of fur, but we're not the kind of clan that ooh's and aahh's over a four-legged friend. It's just not us.

But Murphy was different.. She was like one of us kids! She ate mostly people food, stored up all her energy until someone came over and would just lie around all day.. Sounds like a Beardmore teen to me! When we took dishes to the sink, we'd just open the dishwasher and lay the plates on the door, allowing Murph to enjoy our scraps -- which I'd like to think was her way of contributing to dinner clean up. Whenever the rest of the family was out of town and I was alone at the house with Murphy, she'd be so depressed without all the noise and kids coming in and out.. She'd wait by the door and be all sad and mopey. I think what we all liked best about Murph was that she never took the attention away from us kids. Let's be honest, all eight of us like to be the center of attention and Murph was not one of those high-maintenance dogs; yippy or high strung. She kept herself under the radar, a master at grabbing food from the table or someone's hand, without anyone even noticing. But always there for a good cuddle.

So.. her last days. It all started when Mom took Murph to the vet. She wasn't walking well and the vet came back with the news: Murphy had cancer all over the place and not too long here on earth. Mom sent the news to me and Tommy, the second oldest who also lives out of town. The text read: "Murph = cancer -- 6 weeks to live."


Really, mom?

Don't sugar-coat it!

In fact, a couple weeks later when my brother broke his arm and I got the text, "Michael broke arm, football." I replied, "6 weeks to live?"

When I called home that night we found out the news, Michael got on the phone and sobbed through a conversation. I'd like to be able to tell you what he said but there was a lot of blubbering. I'll be honest.. I have no idea what was coming out of his mouth. I think, based on reactions, he'll miss Murphy the most.

Then Annie gets on the phone.. Sniffing she said that she was doing okay but that she had a question. I expected something about dogs in Heaven but she whimpered, "Do you think now I could get a (sniff, sniff) teacup poodle?"

Yeah.. Really in distress that one! She's 7 by the way and totally into teacup poodles.. It was my fault. I told her about them when I got my dog, Duffy who is a toy poodle. She's now obsessed.

So then I asked Annie how Caroline was doing and she said, "Okay, I guess." She put Niney on the phone and I asked her gently, "Hi Caroline.. How you doing?" She replied, all chipper and peppy, "Fine! How aw you?" (She can't say her R's or L's) I was confused. "I'm okay, sweetie. Everything okay there at the house?" "Yep!" She answered. Hmm.. Maybe she forgot.. "Anything new happen today?" I asked. "Um.. Not weewie.. I gotta go pway wiff my Pawie Pockets! Bye!"

Later mom told me that when she picked up these three from school and broke the news that Murphy didn't have too much longer with us, Caroline watched Michael and Annie break into tears and could not stop laughing. I mean, we're talking uncontrollable, belly laughs! What a freak.

So anyway, we all decide that, sometime in the upcoming weeks, we will all get together and take some pictures with Murphy and the next weekend we all end up at home! But we had so much fun together, bonding over the imminent death of poor Murph that we completely forgot about death actually looming upon our door that we completely forgot about taking pictures with Murphy. Talk about distraught, huh?

Then, a couple weeks ago, I got another text from mom after I asked her how her week was going. "Things = good. Just picked up boys, football. Will and Annie digging Murphy grave and dad got basketball hoop up this weekend!"

I love my mom.

The fact that she can throw grave digging into a text is mighty fine around these here parts!

But there's an even funnier part to this story (there always is)! When Will and Annie were trying to decide where to dig Murphy's grave, Annie said, "How about right next to Mary Clare?" Now, Mary Claire is our sister who died in 1998. Rest assured, she is not buried in the backyard next to the hamsters and hermit crabs. Will answered, "Annie!! Mary Clare is buried at the cemetery! You've been to her grave! We didn't put her in the backyard!!!" And Annie said, "Oh yeah.. That's probably better." (Sigh) Life at the Beardmore's!

So as the weeks went by, I asked my mom, "How is Murphy doing?" She sighed. "Not too good.. She didn't eat her breakfast this morning.." I was shocked. "Really? Her dog food is still there?!" "Dog food?" My mom said. "We make her a PB&J sandwich when we're making the lunches every morning. She didn't touch it."

Can you imagine? Making a seventh sandwich for the dog every morning? Oh, our life!

So that's it. Although I joke (again, just how we deal), we really will miss Murphy so much. She was a good dog, especially for our family. And I'd like to think that she'll miss us too. Or least her daily PB&J sandwich...

RIP Murphy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Online dating, schmon-line dating!

Have you seen those darrrrling commercials that say more people start dating after meeting online than in bars, work, etc. now? Pretty impressive statistic, huh? Then they show two people on an actual date; flirting and feeding each other brie or whatever? So cute, isn't it?

Well it's what the French call.. crapola! When online dating, you just go out on more dates. It's not that they're actually better! Online dating provides the anonymity to allow people to be who they truly are.. Aw! Cute right? Well, it's cute if who they really are is normal! But wait until you have an inbox full of way too personal questions and requests for your underwear.. Then watch one of those commercials and tell me that they're cute!

Last weekend a friend of mine began to divulge her most horrific online dating experiences. Now, for clarification, this is actually a friend of mine.. Not me pretending that it's a friend but really me just trying to save face. Believe me. We're way past that around here! Psh!

Anyway, she told me about one guy who after weeks of texting and talking and emails STILL had not asked her out (Patti Stranger -- the Millionaire Matchmaker from Bravo -- would DIE!) and then ended up avoiding her contacts all together! Rude isn't it? You haven't heard it all! Later, he was found to be open to texting, talking and emailing her sister! (Gasp!) Can you believe it!? I know, I know!!

Then she told me about the guy who asked her if she minded him cross dressing. Um.. 'nuff said! (Dry heave break).

Welcome back.

Another friend of mine (okay, this one is me) finally got the courage to go on a date with a guy she'd (I'd) met online and he never showed! She (I) emailed him and dayssss later got a response that said he'd double booked and been on another date that ran over but that it wasn't much fun and would she (I) like to reschedule.

(Dry heave break II).

Hi again.

I think, for those of us who have given way to the dorki-lameness that is online dating, we think that some computer program will input who we are and the bits and bytes will align and we'll be matched with our one true love. No frogs (or freaks) to kiss along the way!! Right? Truth is, online dating is just as hard as real dating and those cute commercials with those cute people on those cute dates are getting a bit old.. Show me one where the guy brings up his mom twenty times or the fact that he can't be within 100 yards of a retirement home and I'll start to believe that statistic.

Until then, watch out for the guys who date under the screen-names X-Dresser768 and Playa4u772. They're not honest about being height and weight proportionate..

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I won $5 in gas money!

Okay, not really won.. But I prepaid for gas (cuz I'm broke and could only afford $1.82 -- JK.. but seriously, I am broke) and the guy put my amount on a different pump! I started pumping and looked up to see it having gone over by almost $5! Eek! Taking a split second to contemplate letting my whole take fill up and giving him my cutest, "Whoopsies..", I went for honest gal and stopped the pump. I shuffled inside and told him what happened. Thankfully, he recognized whose fault it was (uh, not mine!) and I got to enjoy a few more miles in the old (literally, it's old) Saturn than I paid for.

(Sigh) This is the life!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Wednesday Dinner - Pasta Primavera

I'm cooking dinner every Wednesday from now on.. That way my roommates and I get to have some time together as we are usually passing each other by a mile a minute and I get some time in the kitchen! I'm concentrating on veggie-filled, light meals and will share a few with you here!

FYI - I don't like to follow recipes and will use a lot of "some..", "a dash of.." and ".. to taste" because I never measure out. Sorry about that!

Pasta Primavera (with no heavy cream to scare-a you off!)


1 package pasta (use your fav.. mine is linguini)
Now use any kind of veggies but try to have more than three, like:
-- bell peppers (I'm using green, yellow and red)
-- squash
-- zuchini
-- asparagus
-- broccoli
-- mushrooms
-- peas
-- grape tomatoes
-- carrots
-- green beans (must be fresh)
-- pinenuts
-- you could even use some fresh spinach or arugala, but I would wait to put those in until the end as they will wilt quickly

Olive oil
Salt and (preferably) fresh-ground pepper
Lemon (you'll need the juice and some zest)
Some kind of herbs (I think basil works best in this.. Maybe a little rosemary)
Balsamic vinegar (maybe like 2-3 tablespoons)
Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

So here's what you do:

1. Preheat oven to 450* and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Start #3. Add your fav pasta and cook until tender; drain. Throw in a little olive oil so it doesn't stick together.
3. In a bowl, toss veggies with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice. Arrange vegetables on the baking sheet, and roast 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until tender.
4. Heat some more olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook until tender. Mix in cooked pasta, lemon zest, herbs, and balsamic vinegar. Gently toss and cook until heated through. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with roasted vegetables and sprinkle with Romano cheese to serve.

Thoughts on Farmville

Did you see Elizabeth Ester's article on the Facebook game, Farmville? She talks about how, since most of its players are 40-some year old women, criticism of those spending time playing it is somewhat sexist, as no one criticizes the men for playing Mafia Wars. Now, before you go any further, go check out her actual words.. She be talkin' much gooder than me is.

Now, I've never played Farmville, though my roommate is a big fan. Then again, she also loves this "Phinneas and Ferb" show, so I'm not sure I trust her judgment. But either way, Elizabeth's article got me thinking.. 100 years ago, many of us would have had a little garden, if not a whole dangun' farm! We would actually be out there, hands in the dirt (darn it, and I just gave myself the cutest manicure too!) and helping to grow beautiful food for our beautiful families!

Maybe we ladies have an intrinsic desire to live off the land and be a part of that cycle of life! I'm reading "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan and can't help but think about how we're not meant to get food the way we do.. Processed, shipped across the country in less-than-stella conditions, bought without thought for where it has come from or how it was made/grown. Maybe Farmville is a virtual glimpse into a life for which we, as women, have a natural desire!

Okay, I'm probably over-thinking this, but it's interesting at least!

(P.S. While I was reading this I Google-imaged "Farmville" and browsed through dozens of pictures, many of them like the one above, with phrases or words etched out in the crops. I had a vision of someone proposing, writing, "Will you marry me?" and laughed out loud. No one would be that lame!!!)

("Marry Me Again, Marie!")

Except for Marie's second husband (who I guess was also her first husband). Sorry about that, Marie. Definitely marry him again.. Seems like he's gotten his life -- or at least his farm -- together!

Beauty School Drop Out

Feel free to listen to this song while you read the following:

If I wasn't going into youth ministry or going to be a singer. If I wasn't going to be a religion teacher, a nun, a wife/mom or a perpetual nanny. If I wasn't going to pursue painting or acting or professional realty TV watching. If I couldn't get a job as a personal chef or ice cream flavor thinker-upper, I would be an cosmetologist.

I love painting nails (and yes, those are little purple flowers painted free hand, thank you very much), doing hair, giving make-overs and facials, and waxing upper lips.

Okay, not the waxing upper lip part. But I definitely love the rest!

My friend Theresa used to let me cut her hair, as did my old roommate, Tiffany and either Annie Schap or Sarah Antonio.. Who was it? One time my brother Brian let me but cried cuz it was too short.

He was like 16.

I know, right?

Where did I have time to make my nails so cute? While I was babysitting, of course! I babysit for a little 9 year old girl for each Purdue game and we paint nails, go to the All Fired Up Pottery studio, to the movies.. It's right up my alley! I can't wait to post pictures of the Tracy Porter inspired plate and bowl that I made!

Next week we're going back and I'm going to make something for Betty Beguiles and the new bouncing baby Beguiles! Go wish her a Happy 5th baby! :)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

What is true justice?

We have a group on campus that supports something the Church teaches us God did not intend for us. It's part of the "Peace and Justice" initiative and if it weren't a Catholic university, I wouldn't be as vocal about this, but I have to ask: what is true peace and justice?

Is it making the truth relative and allowing others to live in sin, just so that we don't make waves? Is straying so far from being judgemental that we fail to "admonish the sinner"? What is real love? Is it not wanting to offend someone by giving them the message of God? Or is true justice speaking the truth of love and giving someone exactly what the need: the tools to get to Heaven?

I think this is what I am doing my senior thesis on.. What is wrong with "tolerance" and why we're called to do more than tolerate each other's sin. We are called to help each other overcome it, despite the possibility of offending. We do this in a spirit of love, compassion and humility. Real love is not unconditional approval, it's the deep desire for the person's well being over your own and I can't help but think that this group is encouraging those in their blindness, instead of helping to bring them to the light.

Sad, isn't it?

Don't worry.. I'm prayerfully trying to do something about it.

But could you prayerfully support me?

<3 Caitie