Dear Ginger,

That right hock is mine!

Muuahahahahaha….

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Dear Journal,

Boy, what an interesting Christmas Eve we had!

The day started out normal enough. Mama L. made omelettes in her new flip-over gadgetty thing. The first one smelled really good — that was the one she made for Mama M. But by the time she got around to the second one, I think she got impatient and turned the heat up too high. Anyway, the handle sort of melted and it smelled terrible. Mama M. threw the pan away.

Then Mama M. went to get her nails done. But before she went to get her nails done, she told Mama L. that she was a little sad because we don’t celebrate Christmas around here and that we’ve lost the Christmas Spirit. And then Auntie Juniper came over, and Mama L. thought what a great opportunity that was because Auntie Juniper came over in Uncle Steve’s truck! So off they went and got an impromptu Christmas tree! Mama L. also came home with an armful of lights! It was supposed to be a complete surprise to Mama M. because she wasn’t expecting it at all. Little G! and I were a little nervous because we didn’t know what they were up to. All we know is that we had to keep out of the way.

Auntie Juniper and Mama L. were rushing around, trying to get the tree up before Mama M. came home. Auntie Juniper said “let’s put the tree in a 5-gallon bucket and fill it up with some water”, and Mama L. said “okay”, even though there was a little voice in her head said “let’s think about that for a second”, but she ignored it.  I think that’s the same little voice in my head that keeps saying “do it, do it”, even though I know I’ll get in trouble later.

But before they can finish, Mama M. came home, and was really surprised and very happy to see a tree! Her faith in the Christmas Spirit was restored! She spent the next couple of hours putting lights all over the tree. Well, that is, before the tree fell over and 5 gallons of water went all everywhere over our living room. Then Mama M. got really mad and went off to get a real tree stand. Then all was ok again.

Later, Mama L. drove up to El Cerrito because she was looking after her friends’ cats while they were away vacationing in New York. She had been doing that for a couple of days, but this time around she forgot and left the keys inside the house and locked herself out! And she didn’t have her cell phone with her, so she couldn’t call anybody. So she had to break in the house! Mama L. had never broken into anybody’s house before, so it was a little scary. And “exhilarating”, she said. She had to figure out how to get over a tall fence and then climb through a window. She was happy that the neighbors weren’t watching and didn’t call the police. I’m just happy she’s not a regular lawbreaker!

And then later, much later, the Mamas went to CVS. They went a little crazy and brought home even more lights! I have to admit, it looks great around the house. It looks like Christmas!!

Dear Diary,

Madeleine finally told me that she has a real fan club devoted to her. She has a kitty cat named after her. She even  has a No. 1 Fan!

I don’t have a fan club. I don’t even have a fan. Nobody writes me loving letters like Miss Karen did to Madeleine.  Now I know why Mama M. calls me “Eeyore“. I might as well go out and eat worms. Except for the Mamas, I don’t know anybody else who loves me.

I suppose I am very lucky, though. Mama L. cried when she read through the Soi Dog Foundation website. They were asking for donations to take care of the animals, and so that they can have their very own place because there were so many dogs that nobody wanted. The dogs all look so hungry and sad; they need so much help. I am so lucky! I came from one of those places where nobody wanted us. If it weren’t for the Mamas, I might have been eating worms after all.

Today was a good day. I spent the day at the spa along with Big Sis! We smell good, and the nice folks at All About the Dogue put Holiday Bandanas on us! Everybody there loves Madeleine as well. Mama L. took this picture of me making a big wish that I’ll get my own fan club someday. I may not be as smart or as cute, but I am a very good girl with a very big heart.

Dear Karen,

I know we have never met, but Mama M. told me that you’re my No. 1 Fan!  I appreciate that very much, because I have always wanted my own fan club. I know Little G! looks up to me and all, and that is as it should be because I am smarter and cuter, but it would be really nice to have human fans. And I know you’re my No. 1 because Mama M. said that you even named your new kitty cat after me! Thank you , thank you. There can never be enough Madeleines in this world!

And, in honor of that, I asked Mama L. to put on this very cute shirt that Grandma and Grandpa B. got for me while they were out here visiting. It’s bright and colorful and happy, and that’s how I feel having you for my No. 1 Fan!

Really quick, really good tofu loaf!

Ingredients:

1 lb. tofu, medium soft
1 C. bread crumbs
1 egg (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ C. diced carrots
½ C. corn
½ C. diced zucchini
½ C. chopped mushrooms
½ C. peas
½ C. seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, whatever you have on hand)
½ C. chopped parsley
½ C. ketchup
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. soy/tamari sauce
Olive oil spray

Total prep time:  20 minutes or so, just to chop everything up.  Preheat oven to 375.  Sautée onions with all the vegetables (except parsley) in a skillet, until the onion is translucent. Add seeds and sautée for another minute or so. Crumble tofu into a big bowl. Add bread crumbs and mix well. (You can do this in a blender/mixer, too).  Add egg and mix well (you can omit this step – I never use the egg and it works well.) Add everything, including the parsley, to the tofu/bread mixture.  Spray a baking dish/loaf pan with olive oil. Smoosh the tofu into the loaf pan, and pat down top to flatten. Squirt some extra ketchup and a drizzle of worcestershire on top. Bake for an hour.

 Note:  You don’t have to use all the vegetables listed. You can mix and match. You can add additional. My favorite combination is carrot, corn, peas, and mushroom. Keep in mind that the more veggies you add, the less cohesive the loaf will be, and it will fall apart instead of remaining in the “loaf” position (that’s where the egg comes in, I suppose).

Note:  Same thing with the seeds. You can use all or just one. Or none. I like a little bit of crunch to the tofu loaf though. If you use bigger seeds like walnut, you should chop them up.

 Note:  Picture is “borrowed” from the internet – but it looks pretty similar to what I made.