All posts by Nichole

Everybody knows that popcorn isn’t an acceptable dinner. What this post presupposes is: Maybe it is?

To paraphrase the iconic philosopher Bob Wiley, there are two kind of people in this world: Those who like Wes Anderson movies, and those who do not. Seeing as this website is named after a line in “The Royal Tenenbaums,” it should be surprise that folks here at Butterscotch Sundae headquarters are decidedly in the “Those who like Wes Anderson” camp. And so we are very excited that his new movie, “Isle of Dogs,” comes out this weekend. What does this have to do with Menu Plan Monday? Zero things, except that we might eat popcorn for dinner on Friday night.

Also, I’d like to say that I wish I’d publicly announced the “Isle of Dogs” / “I love dogs” connection when I first noticed it months ago so I could, I don’t know, reap some internet fame or something.

Monday: Chicken Taco Soup
This is one of those Open 16 Cans And Throw It All In The Slow Cooker recipes, which means it’ll be either hideous or divine. I’m trying to find several recipes of this type that are more divine than hideous so people can just eat dinner whenever they get home on our wacky-schedule days.

Tuesday: Tacos
Rockford invited one of his co-workers over for dinner. I tried to plan something fancy, but Rockford said tacos would be perfect. So tacos it is.

Wednesday: DIY
It’s another day when everyone has a weird schedule, so I’m just going to have the materials available for sandwiches. Or cereal. Or whatever, man.

Thursday: Balsamic chicken
This is one of my favorite heart-healthy recipes. It’s simple and really flavorful.

Friday: Popcorn?
Or not, if we decide to see “Isle of Dogs” on Saturday instead. All hail the matinee.

Hungry for more? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie.

A blizzard is not in my plan for this week

I was 14 and my brother was 10 when The Great Blizzard of ’93 hit. We woke up to almost two feet of snow, which is certainly enough to shut down a small town in Western North Carolina.

We didn’t have power or water for two weeks, and we couldn’t get to town for about six days. My brother and I got a little stir crazy and went for a long walk on the empty highway after the first few days, but we didn’t have the wherewithal to hike 7 miles into town. I think we just kicked snow around in the elementary school playground and then headed back home.

We did have a wood stove in the living room, though, and my mom kept it blazing constantly. She used it to melt snow so we’d have water to drink, and she cooked a lot of fried potatoes and eggs in a skillet. I think she tried to make biscuits in it, too, but I don’t remember if it worked.

We also had visitors for a couple of days. My Granny had been calling to check in on some of her friends who lived on our road, and she hadn’t been able to reach one couple. So she called my mom and asked her to check in on them. Mom bundled up and trudged a few miles down the road. She found them huddled up under every blanket they owned. Their electricity was out, too, and they didn’t have a wood stove. They did have a couple of bottles of Wild Turkey, though, and that’s what the lady had been using to keep warm. Mom bundled them up and brought them back to our house to stay for a few days until things thawed out.

That storm was 25 years ago this week, and we have snow in the forecast again today. We’re just expecting a few inches, though, which is good because I don’t think I have any potatoes in the pantry and I know I don’t have a wood stove.

Monday: Breakfast for dinner
Forecast calls for toast and veggie sausages, with a 95 percent chance of soft-boiled eggs.

Tuesday: Chicken piccata
Rockford originally made this week’s menu plan, but it was pretty heavy on eating out and heating things in the microwave. I figured I could cook a real meal at least one night.

Wednesday: Frozen pizza
But not every night, obviously.

Thursday: Tacos
I don’t think I ever really thought about what I’d eat as a grownup, but I think YoungNichole would be surprised at how often OldNichole eats tacos.

Friday: Ordering in
I’m going to pick up dinner from a nearby foodery, and I might not leave the house again until Sunday.

Hungry for more? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie.


I am grieving.

I am grieving, but I am hesitant to say it aloud because it feels somehow wrong and small and silly to grieve for a cat.

But she wasn’t just a cat. She was my constant and my comfort. She was waiting at home 14 years ago when our first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. She was waiting at home 12 years ago when we brought our first baby home. She always knew which one of us needed her, be it because we were sick or sad or just a little bit cold. And she was always there.

I wanted her to be the Oldest Cat Ever, but it wasn’t in the cards for her. We’ve known for a few months that she was in her final days. We took her to the vet after a sudden and dramatic weight gain, and we learned that she had advanced heart disease. We could try to treat it, the vet said, but the medication would hurt her already-struggling kidneys.

She was a strange, funny little cat. She was the runt of the litter, and she chose us. She loved to be carried, and she liked it when we danced around the living room with her. She always wanted to be where her people were, even if it meant being dressed in Santa suits, doll dresses or cowboy hats. She never met a person she didn’t like, and she adored every member of our household.

I thought I was ready. She was always a communicative cat, and she let me know she was ready to go on Saturday morning. I was not ready. I carried her to my bed and woke the kids up, and we gathered around her and thanked her and told her we loved her. Then we took her to the vet and said goodbye. It was peaceful, and it was horrible. I was not ready. I would never have been ready.

I’ve been struggling a lot this week. I cried when I put some ice cubes in my cup, because she wasn’t there to remind me that she too would like some ice cubes in her water. I cried when I walked past her spot on the couch and absentmindedly reached out to scratch her head. I cried when I drove past the vet’s office and when I cleared away her litter box and when I heard a sad song on the radio.

Marsha T. Cat was the finest of felines. I am so grateful to have had her in my life, and I am heartbroken that she’s gone. She was 16 years old, and she was beloved for each and every one of those years. I hope she knew it.

On Joy and Sorrow
“The Prophet”

by Khalil Gibran

Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the reassure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.