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MEB does a good ponytail

While I am not totally ready to retract the ‘observations’ shared with you in ‘The Girls Guide to Living in Chicago’ (which may or may not have been slightly embellished as I am told I have a flair for the drama) I do want to point out that MEB did truly redeem himself this past weekend, once again warranting a blog post dedicated solely to him…okay, well maybe me too.

How did he bounce back from sending his girlfriend out in the wilds of Chicago to wrestle a skunk all by herself, or for leaving her to shovel 3-feet of snow with a torn up glove and a hole in her boot you ask? Simple, by tackling the one thing us ‘ear breathers’ hold dear, the ponytail. (And no, I am not writing this under duress… MEB is long gone, once again leaving me here, alone, with a useless watchdog, to fend for myself. Kisses!)

Damn gatorade bottle

Damn gatorade bottle

After getting up close and personal with the pavement on York Road the other week I am operating one arm short of a pair. Many things that I used to take for granted now pose a challenge, (opening that damn bottle of Gatorade that has been calling my name for five long days, tying my shoe, peeling the dog off the mailman, zippers, showers, buttons, fixing the bed, commenting on facebook, my job…) the most critical to my well being however, that ponytail. I mean who am I if not a ponytail wearing only child with imaginary friends??

Yes, with surgery looming, MEB came to be by my side (so romantic!). As you are well aware MEB is an Engineer (well duh!), but what you may not know is that he is also a professional shopper, toenail polisher AND big fan of both “The Hills” and “Gossip Girl”. As a result, I figured that building the aforementioned ponytail “just like Lauren Conrads” was going to be second nature for MEB. While it clearly wasn’t, MEB is nothing if he is not persistent, so with the same resolve that he displayed when trying to convince yours truly to watch “Arrested Development” he exhibited in the pursuit of the perfect ponytail.

The following details the evolution of this pony.

Friday morning. The “Pre-op Pony”: Spending the week totally scared to death that my hand surgery would lead to just that, death, (yeah, so what if I spent a little too much time watching ER growing up… I love you Dr. Carter!!!) I was determined to “look good” going under the knife. I showered, dried my hair, put on my favorite chapstick, my best (mens) green zip front sweatshirt and elastic pants. Yeah, I looked h-o-t. Ready to go ‘clubbin’….or something. Heck, I figured if I was going out, I was going out in style. At this point my hand was still mobile enough to provide some assistance getting that pony on my head so I consider this more of a training exercise then anything. MEB paid very close attention and took notes with his favorite Hello Kitty pen.

Saturday afternoon. The “Post Op Pony”: Having survived general anesthesia and a night of arguing with Myles over the pillow used to prop up my hand, the “Pre Op Pony” was now in a knot at the back of my neck. With a hot date at Panera to break up a day otherwise spent in bed feeling sorry for myself, I needed to do something with my hair ASAP. With some heavy coaching MEB was able to get some semblance of a pony on my head. Granted it wasn’t winning any awards but yeah, it wasn’t the worst.

Sunday sometime. The Penultimate Pony: Yeah, I can’t think of a story for this one. I mean honestly there are only so many ways you can spin a story about a ponytail but the point is he got better, if only slightly.

Monday. I wore a baseball cap. No pony needed but I did catch MEB practicing on the dog.

Tuesday afternoon: The Perpetual Pony: This was the one that had to go the distance. Somehow this ponytail had the responsibility of lasting the four weeks that MEB was in sunny California while his gimpy girlfriend, “The Claw”, was subsisting on food she could eat with a spoon and/or have fed to her by the dog. This time MEB decided to fly solo with no assistance from yours truly. Passable, no doubt, even his friends were impressed.

Yeah, truth be told this “Perpetual Pony” went south by sundown but I actually decided to take it as a sign that it was time for me to shower. Is that too much information for a blog post? What do I do now you ask? After researching several options, including the living the next x weeks in a swim cap I have swallowed my pride and started dragging myself to the gym every morning, scrunchie in hand, and asking people in the women’s locker room to do my hair. Pathetic I know.

laff out loud.

laff out loud.

A special shout out to all those who kept me in their facebook status’ and twitter posts over the past weeks. Also to “Uncle Dave”, the anesthesiologist, for providing an excellent explanation of what ‘goes down’ when you go under the knife. Even though Ma Self, the art teacher, would like to someday have the opportunity to explain to you how anesthesia really works I am going to go out on a limb here and stand by your description. Oh, and yeah, thanks Ma Self for the tub of laffy taffy. Yes, I agree, someday we will all ‘laff’ about this one, very creative.

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A really great granola recipe…

That I managed to completely, um, misinterpret? (Yeah…misinterpret ☺, that’s how I’ll describe it.) And now, as a result I am left with nearly six pounds of uneaten granola (in the form of one really big granola log) that even the dog turns his nose up at. And no, mom, this isn’t like the “apple oatmeal cookies” incident of ’02 when I tried to substitute butter with applesauce, or the “Valentine fiasco” of ’98 (apparently you put the red hots’ in the sugar cookies AFTER you bake ‘em); No, this time I actually attempted to follow a recipe given to me by Mr. Engineer Boyfriends’ Lil’ Sister (MEBs – note, the little ‘s’, pretty creative, huh?). It’s just that when she made “the granola”, it was edible; when I did it, well, see picture below (paying particular attention to the un-flake like consistency of said granola).

The problem lies with the recipe. You can see below that the recipe calls for ‘oats’. Nowhere does it specify the specific shape, size, consistency or brand of ‘oats’ and so as I stood in front of the two aisles of ‘oat products’ at the local Trader Joe’s I was awarded a bit of ‘creative license’. Never a good thing — at least for me.  So while I have later been told I should have gone with the standard Quaker Oats, I decided to go all European and chose something called “Scottish Steel Oats”.  Apparently all oats are not created equal and this little ‘shout out’ to the motherland resulted in the demise of my granola. So while I can’t blame IBM’ for this one (or maybe I can, there must be a way…please hold ☺ ) I will have to go for the next best thing, none other then Mr. Engineer Boyfriend. (who can’t cook to save his life either) I mean guilty by association I guess.

I am including the recipe here in hopes that you will have better luck then I had. And yes, I know it is completely ridiculous to “make your own granola” when you can go out and buy the stuff on just about every street corner for half the price of just one of the ingredients listed below. (And, might I add, not have your kitchen cabinets chock full of eighteen pounds of dried cherries! Damn you Costco!) But it’s all about the experience. And making sure that no one tries to spike your granola with a little bit of coconut. Yuck. Total yuck. Like why not just lather the stuff with mayonnaise. Gross.

Oh, and while I’m at it. I should confess to the fact that yes, MEB, I’m the reason why there is now a thin layer of plastic caked on the inside of the microwave. Oops. No one told me I had to take the microwave popcorn out of the plastic before I nuked it. You said, “just throw it in there for 2:30”. So I did, just as I was told. Next time it’ll be different.

1 c chopped walnuts
4 c of rolled oats (I mean honestly, can we be a bit more specific!)
2 c of sliced almonds
1 c of cashews
1 c of sunflower seeds (total rip off)
3/4 c vegetable oil
1/2 c good honey
1 1/2 c dried cranberries
1 c dried cherries
1/2 c dried blueberries
1/4 toasted flax seed (no idea what this is)
1/2 c raisins (I left these out and added more cherries)

Toss the oats,almonds,cashews,sunflower seeds together. (Don’t include the dried fruit). Whisk the oil and honey together. Mix together until all the nuts are covered and throw in some extra honey for good measure. Pour onto a 13×8″ baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 stirring occasionally until golden brown. (20-30 mins).

Allow to cool and throw in the dried fruit. Fingers crossed and hope for the best!