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Friday, December 31, 2010

Adios, 2010 and a big, fat, see ya

Since tomorrow is a fresh slate--a whole new year to write on--what do you want to write on yours?  Have you given it any thought and if not, OK, but do you want to stay just like you are or are you someone who wants to improve, change, or grow?  Count me in the later category.  I'd like to peel back another layer and learn more about myself.  Nobody says it will fun or comfortable, but I'm still willing to do it.  And I definitely want to exercise more, simply because I feel better when I do it.  I'm not talking any of those teeth grinding workouts--I'm talking about something fun like grabbing my Ipod and either dancing or walking to music I loveGood music.  And lots of Soul music, too, like all that Motown stuff.  Add in lots of C&W stuff and if I learn the lyrics, I'm gonna SING while I walk or dance, and if you don't like it, either don't listen or turn down another damn block, because honey, here I come.  And I'm singing.  Loud.

And freedom....I plan to practice lots more of that.  Saying no when I mean it and saying yes when ever I can, when it is not detrimental to me.  Yeah, ME.  I'm done with people pleasing and care taking where it's not needed, since both are harmful to ME.  They are also insulting to the people I do them to, so that's another great reason to stop.  If someone doesn't like the choice I've made, that's OK.  My job in life is not to please everyone I meet or know--it's to be kind.  And sometimes the kindest thing I can do for someone else is to say "no, thank you", and take care of myself.

Now, I can see your eyes rolling back in your head like "she is THE most selfish person ever".  I'm not--I'm just willing to take care of myself, since it is my job after all.  I understand that to some people that will look selfish-- and that's OK with me.  I know the difference between being selfish and practicing self care, and they are two entirely different things-- and sometimes they are even the same.  It all depends on my motive.  Sometimes you have to choose yourself first 'cause I guarantee you, nobody else will.
And to close out 2010, that's just how I see it.


My latest invention

There's just nothing like cutting roll dough first thing in the morning, in your pj's, on the last day of the year.  Now, that's the way to ring out 2010 and bring in 2011.  I've included a shot here and note my trusty favorite dough board that Fred turned a burner on next too years ago.  You may not be able to see the scorch but I can and it makes me laugh every time I see it.  Look towards the bottom right side.  Who but Fred would turn a burner on with a wood board next to it...

Four pans of rolls are resting in the refrigerator awaiting delivery to their rightful owners.  Fred's already made a run by Cowboy John's but he's not home and his big dogs are not trustworthy.  Like Sister, they will eat anything.  If you haven't seen the Internet funny about a dog eating uncooked roll dough, and the ensuing flatulence and Portland cement poop, it's enough to make you do the Harris "donkey bray" laugh and then get the wheezies.  Adre', a wonderful and hilarious follower, sent it to me and I liketa died. Even I brayed.

Just for fun, I've also included my latest invention: the phone light dimmer or the "phone condom", if you will.  The light on ours has no dimmer--read old--so I decided a plastic cup would work.  And it did, until the phone rang.  Geeze, louise...it sounded like the ring at the Fire Station.  So, back to the drawing board I went and I think my white sock works just fine.  You can flip the foot part forward or backwards, depending on your desired degree of darkness and when the phone rings, it doesn't scare the liver out of you.  A wise older owl told me for every problem there are at least five solutions, so don't quit until you find the one that works for you.

Lastly, Sis and Po send their warmest wishes for a safe and happy New Year.  Bring it on!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cybersmell?

Ahhh, the coziness of an over cast Thursday morning, with my coffee to my right, Wiggins snoring below all burrito-ed in a fleece blanket, and most of all, Fred across from me on his computer.  We both look like two homeless people since we are not exactly foofed for the day, but whatever.  Vogue isn't scheduled to be here today for a photo shoot so we are good.  Fred's taking today and tomorrow off, so having him here is extra fun for me.  I get to pester him all day long.  Sis is in his chair with him right now so I guess I'll have to share him with her.  Rats.  I just don't like to share.

I think the current El Nino effect has El Nino-ed our two enormous oak trees out front.  In over thirty years, I've never seen our trees still have leaves left by this time of year, but this year they do.  A tad more of this wind and they'll be totally off, but this is a new one for me.  The yard guys across the street just drove up so this should really be fun watching them try to blow up leaves, as our trees just keep adding more.  Add that to list of jobs I do not want.  Ever.  Mowing?   Fine.  Leaf blowing?  Never.  Too unpredictable.

Last night, I just had a hankering to make the old biscotti recipe that I love, so I did.  I may need a 12 Step program soon for cooking but I just love to do it, so I'm just going to.  Period.  I emailed my sister that I'd made a different biscotti recipe--my fav-- and to come try it today if she was in da 'hood.  Two seconds after I hit send, the phone rang.  She said she'd definitely be by.  See....it's just that kind of response that  makes me want to go turn on the oven.  I think it's called positive reinforcement and you can just call me Pavlov's dog.

I need to make roll dough today since I said I would, and, I want to drop some rolls by for Fred's brother, Cowboy John, whose birthday is tomorrow.  With a New year's Eve birthday, we fellow December birthday people have to stick together, and since he's not a dessert guy, rolls are his downfall.  I love to see men eat homemade rolls......who knew a humble roll could be soooo powerful and elicit such joy...and did I mention the smell.....oh, Lordy......Too bad there's not cybersmell.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Phones--any kind of phones

I just got back from a run to the store for vitamins.  We seem to be sucking down quite a large amount of the cholesterol lowering ones these days so it was time to re-stock.  Anyway, as I'm standing there to pay, the store's phone rings and the man waiting on me excuses himself to go answer it, and proceeds to help the person on the phone until another gal and I, wave his plane to another gate.  We both lit into him as if we were a tag team from way back when, and we took a total scorched earth approach to our rant. We even took turns telling him what poor customer service it is to take a phone call, when we have actually driven over to the store and are standing there trying to give him actual money, while the person on the phone just wants information.  We whupped up on him so bad, that the other clerk guys were laughing....sort of.  It was clear at any moment we might turn on them, so they were a tad more careful.
  And then he tried to save himself by throwing the "customers on their cell phones when he's ringing them up", card.  Ohhhhhhhh, no, you didn't....you did not try to save your bacon by playing that card.  We both looked at him and in unison said "I agree"--- and then asked him if he saw us holding our cell phones.  He admitted he didn't, and we thrashed him some more because we could, and because by now... it..was...fun.

On the way home and for the sheer hell of it, I counted the number of people I saw either talking on phones, reading, texting, or fiddling and it was almost every car.  As handy as they are, we have become a society of mannerless boobs who must have our cell play toy at all times or we get gritchy.  Have you seen the couples and families out to dinner where no one is talking-- and they are all playing with their phones?  Are they texting each other instead of talking??  I doubt it.  And the ultimate weirdness is, they don't see a thing wrong with it.  Forgot your phone??  So sorry...you'll need to sit quietly and not bother us since we're busy playing with ours.  Seriously, this is epidemic and not something our kids even understand is inappropriate and bad manners. 

Oh, yeah....manners are what now?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Oh, yeah, baby.....rock that pink cast.
Had actually does have two legs--the other one is just curled up under the blanket.

Moonshine part 2, and other ramblings

Apparently, Moonshine has now gone mainstream or at least according to Southern Living magazine.  For the second month in a row, they've had an article on on it.  This month it's in their Best of the South Travel Awards section under Best Legal Moonshine and one is even sold in a jug.  The strongest one is called Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash #1, and at 125 proof "this raw whiskey delivers an authentic moonshine burn".  I guess that's a nice way of saying it's gonna deeeeestroy your liver and give you a headache you'll never forget.  Shooooweeee.
Me?  I think I'd lots rather have the Best late night Burger (Atlanta), on the opposite page.  All of the fun, none of the hangover.


I was reading a fellow blogger this morning and OK....this guy is the real deal.  He's an American living in Paris with his French lover, Romain, is an ex-chef, and is totally hilarious.  He was a former pastry chef and has written lots of books.  He was blogging about how he is always the designated dessert maker, and even though  there's a bakery on every corner in Paris, just picking up a little something might get him killed.  Especially for Christmas Eve dinner.  The resulting uproar would just not be worth it.  So, thinking that the French were well acquainted with a bombe glacee', he told Romain he "was making a bomb for Christmas".  He said Romain had no idea what he was talking about, and even became a little frightened.  Don'tcha just love it?  Making a bomb for Christmas Eve.  I am still laughing.  So far, that's my favorite Christmas story.  Anyone else out there who has one, send yours in, and I'll post it here.

P. S. A bombe glacee' is a frozen layered dessert made of several layers of ice cream or sorbet.  Light, tasty, and an easy do ahead dessert.  A bomb?  Lots more trouble to make.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Hola, tamales!

Oh, happy day!!  Senora Maria arrived around lunch time bearing a bag filled with her homemade tamales and her homemade hot sauce.  Oh, hallelujah and pass the chips!  The tamales are actually a gift for the boys--I gave her lots of venison chorizo so she could make them some, as a Christmas present from us.  Harris guys can be hard to buy for, so sometimes I try to get creative.  I've bagged each of them about two dozen so they can either have with friends, or divide them up and throw them in their freezer for din-din some night when it's nippy outside.  I'm divvying up the salsa also, and that really pains me....some things I just don't want to share,  I don't care if I gave birth to you or not!  I've done it anyway so case closed. I emailed Brian to come get his tamale loot and he responded he'll "be picking his up sometime today. Love, Shrek". 

Sis seems none the worse for the two chocolate cookies and Wig is asleep in one of the beds in the den.  He's usually an under the desk napper but not today.  I'm getting ready to make a post office run and then come home and rip, and I do mean rip, down my minimalist Christmas dec's so I can be ready for 2011.  I am ready beyond all readiness, and I feel this same way every year.  I start getting really antsy at the end of each year just to have a clean slate to write on.  And every time I say that, the following year throws out some pitches I don't see coming--some good, some bad, and all just part of life. 

Benji is packing up to head for the Farm tonight and then straight from there tomorrow, on to Nash.  He's ready to get back, has work to do, and I'm sure is ready to have his life back to normal, too.  He's has to go  buy a cooler to stash all his stuff I made him, to take home.  Somebody for got to bring one.  No word yet on Hadley and whether she's rockin' a full leg cast.  More later.

Harris yoga


As promised, here is yoga a la Harris in our den with furniture shoved in every direction to accommodate those Warrior poses.  See...I told ya it was funny.  I thought I got another one with their heads down and one leg in the air that was a scream.  I'll see if I can find it.

This appears to be the only one....I must have missed the nano second of a leg in the air.  While I'm laughing and making fun, at least these two are doing something and someone else we know sure as hell isn't.  I'm a bad dog and speaking of bad dogs, Sis ate the remaining Chocolate Crinkle cookies, Andrea, Benji's GF, had made us for Christmas.  It seems Mr. Nashville left them on the coffee table with the zip lock bag open, and a certain fat black girl somehow managed to hop up just high enough to snag them off the table and wolf them down.  The Vet said to watch her for nasty side effects that should have started by now, and Sis is asleep, beside Wiggins, in the dog bed below.  I guess old cast iron gut will weather the dark chocolate just fine.

Benji has mastered the Hawaiian version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow on his new ukulele and is going to record it and send it to Hadley, to make her broken leg feel better.  If you haven't heard the guy on youtube singing it, give it a listen, just don't watch as he sings.  He's this enormous Polynesian guy that looks like a Sumo wrestler, and in parts of it, he's shirtless in the water.  Whoa. Way more information than any of us probably wanted so, dude, put your shirt on, please.  Otherwise, the music is beeeee-u-tiful!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Shrek Harris

I need to get my normal back.  It's time.  Enough of this holiday stuff.  And no more food.  At least for awhile.  This afternoon, I was treated to Benji and Fred doing a cardio and yoga work out via Fred's laptop that Benji does in Nash, and of course, Fred had to join him.  It was without a doubt the most hilarious thing I've ever seen and oh, yeah....I snapped pictures.  Now, if I can just figure out how to get them in the right place--I'm working with a new camera--and I sure can't ask Fred for help.  Oh, noooooso.  Hopefully,  I can load one or two here later.
At first the grunting and groaning worried me a little--especially the pose changes between plank and warrior, to downward dog.   And then they started the "pass and shoot" part of the work out, and it sounded like a herd of elephants were in the den.  How the guy narrates the whole thing in his Brittany Spears headset while he's demo-ing the moves, is beyond me.  It goes on for 45 minutes and he never even sounds winded.  Get real.  I'd need an ambulance after ten minutes.  OK......five.


Below is a shot Fred took of Brian, and decided he looked like Shrek. OMG.  He does.


Never a dull moment

T'was the day after Christmas and all were pooped out...  Some more than others, but pooped nonetheless.  I just heard from Hud and Had's mom in California, and it seems that Had broke her leg yesterday jumping on her cousins trampoline and spent most of the night in one ER or another--they went to two.  I don't have hard facts yet and it's too early to call or text since it's two hours earlier, so all I know is she's getting a hard cast Monday.  Why Monday and not today?  Don't know yet but apparently Had has been a trooper--she's been singing Christmas carols to her mom, and telling her next year they need to leave chocolate ship cookies for Santa, instead of the pink decorated ones they left this year.  Luckily, Had has 3 older girls cousins,(known as the Keekas), her family, and her aunt and uncle, to help keep her entertained.  Avery's first birthday is the 28th so it's going to be non-stop pedal to the metal for all of them. 

I found this on the Internet and almost died--the worst gifts ever.  I'll only include my favorites but here's a few.




Animal weighing scale.  Wonder if it makes animal noises, too, when you hit the rhino or elephant?? 

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's the reason for the season

In the middle of the night, I had a menu make over, due to sensitive tummies around here.  Mine and Fred's.  Yeah, still.  This bug this is gross.  As a result, the rich fancy potatoes I was going to do got jettisoned in favor of simple roasted quartered new potatoes, tossed in a little olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, and Kosher salt, cooked crispy on the outside.  Ditto roasted carrots that have been cut on an angle in 1-2 inch slices.  They can all go together in the same pan, spread out so they get that caramelized crust on the carrots, and crusty edge on the potatoes.  The lamb is busy marinating since yesterday in lemon juice, a whole roasted garlic bulb that you roast and then squeeze out the cloves into a bowl, snipped fresh rosemary , and a drizzle of olive oil.  You mush it all together and then rub on the lamb.  I forgot the olive oil yesterday so short of canceling Christmas, I'm just going to drizzle a little on it before it hits the oven or the grill.  I just finished doing the tenderloin and hallelujah, I not only trimmed it but I tied it all up, before I put it in the freezer, back when I bought it.  Oh, Lordy....that was wonderful and saved me lots of time--and energy.  I'll wait to season it until later this afternoon.  The tenderloin is definitely going on the grill, and I'm thinking the lamb is, too.

OK...enough on the food.  Time to discuss who and what I am most grateful for and topping the list has to be Fred, Fred, and more Fred.  They just don't come any better than him and when I saw him outside in the backyard this morning, with his head phones on listening to The Ticket, blowing leaves in his robe and pj's, I just allllllllll most lost it.  He's still feeling puny but has helped me finish setting the table, and sshuzzzzzing it where I just can't.  Sometimes I have to rein him in, but usually his artistic side comes roaring out and if I just shut up, he does something I would never have thought of...that's just how he rolls.  And a big old thank goodness for that.

After lunch, we are all headed over con los perros (with the dogs), to see mom.  We'll make it a short and sweet run, since she's not a big conversationalist these days and can get overwhelmed fairly easily.  Since she loves our dogs, especially Wigman, this will be really fun for her--and him--and Sis will be beside herself.  She's all about visiting and she's never been to The Edge so she'll be in heaven, greeting everyone. My sister was going to join us with any of her crowd who wanted to come but now I'm not sure if that will work for them, and that's cool.  They may go tomorrow instead or whatever. 

Lastly, I am grateful that anyone would read my blog and for the chance to just tell it like it is, in my world.  All of you have been so kind when you've commented you enjoy it and even if you haven't, that's OK, too.  I'm just grateful to be able to unload and laugh at what life shoves my way.  Love, laugh, be grateful...it's the reason for the season.  "God bless us everyone."

Merry Christmas to All!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Thursday, December 23, 2010

He's a Jif man

I fear I've gone 'round the bend.  Instead of giving Wig his meds wrapped in cheese, as is our long standing custom, I have now gone the way of peanut butter.  I got so sick and tired of him spitting out his meds --especially the narcotic one.  Because the cheese just wasn't strong enough to cover up the bitter taste,  I had to pull out the big guns.  Enter peanut butter.  And now I am a slave to it--and him.  I just gave him his meds and he's still mewling, probably because he wants more.  Since he is also having "issues" due to the constipating side effects of a narcotic pain pill, I've even hidden a stool softener in the peanut butter, and though he seems to chew a little more, it's still going down loads better than the cheese did. Does this sound half as insane as it feels?  I cannot believe I am doing this for an ancient dog. 

And, I think the old man has gas....dare I say it?  If I give him some Pepto, it'll constipate him more, and I just can't face the thought of giving him a dog enema......I just can't go there.  But, I know I will if I have to, and if I finally relent and do it, I'll have to do it soon, before Fred gets home.  Fred cannot even be near me or I'll laugh too hard.  This is just sick.  I probably should to seek professional help.


The good news is both puppies are ready for Santa.  They been bathed, and had all their required ministrations--ears cleaned, and other things done you don't want me to discuss here.  Their beds--all three of them--have been washed, fluffed dry, and remade for any napping that might spontaneously occur.  After his bath, Wig couldn't figure out where the donut bed was that's usually under this desk, and decided he really didn't care, after I made him a temporary bed out of his white warm duvet, straight from the dryer.  It was all toasty and warm and when I burrito-ed him in it, he was out like a light, for hours.   A nice bath mellows him out but oh, noooooo, not Sis.  It rev's up her engines and makes her all feisty.  Now, all beds are back to their original locations, so all is right in dog world, and both pups are side by side, like bacon slices, snoozing in the bed below me.  And someone is dreaming....I keep hearing a muffled "miff....miff...".  Ahhh, it must good to be a dog.  My dog, anyway.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oh, Lordy....

Someone around our house isn't feeling real swell today and it's not Wig or Sis, so that leaves me.  I don't have full on Fred's disease; I just feel tired, gross, and have a four alarm headache.  That said, I wish all a happy day and one free of  dis-ease.  Me?  I plan to stay in my pj's all day unless I suddenly get to feeling better.  Hugs to all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh, well....

Wow.  We're now suffering the first causality of this holiday season.  Fred took a direct hit to the gastrointestinal track a few hours ago and is in the bed, limp as old underwear.  Man...I've never heard noises like he was making, and despite the fact he thinks I "poisoned him", I reminded him that I ate what he ate last night, or at least for dinner anyway and if I really wanted to poison him," honey, you'd be dead".  I'm not responsible for his post din-din cruising of the pantry, and other extracurricular snarfing, so he may have done a number on himself.  My money is on a bug, and a nasty one at that.  Nurse Sis is patrolling the door to our room hoping to shoot through it next time I go check on him.  She always thinks she can make him better, if she can just get under the covers with him for a nap.  She's twisted like that. 

I emailed my brother a few minutes ago to see if they are under water in LA.  See....I told you moving there wasn't a great idea....he's just one more big deluge away from being washed out to sea, and becoming shark bait.  I knew it.  I even said it here earlier and I'm sure glad it's not me.  A wet Christmas sounds awwwwful even if you are going to Seattle, which is just going from wet (LA), to wetter.  And they are. I just heard back from him and he says LA is like "Hell, with palm trees".  We'll...I guess they aren't floating.  Yet.

Sis is here in the chair with me and keeps nudging my arm to 1) love and scratch on her  2) let her go check on Fred so he can love and scratch on her.  Wig is moaning after just coming in from the back yard and the translation for that is, he wants me to get up and go let him out on the driveway side, because the backyard was underwhelming and more importantly, unproductive.  Egads.....this could be a long day. :)



Monday, December 20, 2010

I've been naughty

I had to make an unscheduled run to the mall this morning and was gnashing my teeth the entire way preparing for the great hordes, no parking spots, loud music, and screaming children.  What I got was quite the opposite and I think that had largely to do with the fact that I went right around 10 AM, and because I said my prayers as I drove.  I even ask God for parking places and tell Him only if it's His will, and I usually get a great one.  I was in and out in a nano second and all the happier for it.
  It was at the mall, however, that I did spy my seventh Christmas vest or sweater of the season and it was so awful, I laughed out loud.   Now while you are thinking I'm the meanest blogger you know...oh, go ahead.... this ensemble was on an adult mother- daughter duo, that should know better.  The daughter had on a necklace made of the old timey big fat lights and matching earrings, while the mother had on the God awwwwwful sweater and matching pants.  Judging from their big hair and short bangs, I think they were either cloggers or members of the Rodeo circuit.  Now....I did not say clowns, but you can say it for me.  Those are the kind of people I want to take a picture of but can't figure out how to ask them.  What do you say??  Do you complement them on that beautiful blue eye shadow and rockin' red lipstick or ask for the name of their stylist??  I just smothered my laughter and kept walking.  Barely.  I'm guessing they were in the big city wrapping up their final shopping, and are probably heading back right now to Armpit Town, Oklahoma, with all their stash.  There must be a Schepler's somewhere at that mall. 

I know what you're thinking and you're right....I better be nice or I'm in for some real trouble come Saturday.  "Luccccyyyyyyy, you have some splainin' to dooooo".


Sunday, December 19, 2010

My journal

I just had an interesting revelation.  On cleaning off my desk, I found my journal shoved under a stack of other things, and I started leafing through it.  I hit on almost this exact time last year, and except for a few "other circumstances", felt almost the exact same way I do now, which leads me to the question: are our feelings cyclical and driven somewhat by the seasons or are they driven by past experiences of the same seasons?  All of the above?  None of the above?  I can't prove it but my money is on a little from column A, a little from column B--in other words, both.  And now I'm wondering if that's just how it is for me, or are most people like that as well?  Another thing to add to my ever growing list of things I just do not know.  If you have an opinion or are willing to weigh in here and spout off how it is for you, feel free to comment, since I am basically a committee of one.

What also astonished me after reading some of my journal entries was how many of the things I was worried about this time last year, have now been resolved.  Wow.  And none of these were small things--at least not to me--which tells me God has been very busy taking care of me, even when I didn't think it felt like He was.  He was.  He really was.  Sometimes I don't realize what all has happened until I s-l-o-w down long enough to look back, and see the progress that's been made.  And if I look really carefully, I don't see my hand prints all over everything, but I sure see His.  Cool.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Can you relate?

I heard a piece of sage advice the other day from my wise old owl friend.  She said her dad used to say it when she was growing up and I thought it was worth passing on, especially in view of the coming week.  His saying was : Do something for someone you love today--leave them alone.  Considering that I tend to get overly excited and stressed as Christmas approaches, it makes perfect sense that the best gift I could give my loved ones is just to let them be who they are, not who I'd like them to be.  Can I get an amen on that one?  I can hear every member of my family, on both sides, heaving a sigh of relief and breaking out into a big old grin.  Woo hooo ...May-May (the boys name for me) is gonna let God do Christmas, instead of trying to orchestrate the whole thing herself. ( If you listen really hard, you will hear the Hallelujah Chorus playing in the background as you read this, and see people rejoicing.)

I know wanting to control stuff is just my default setting--to be sure things comes out the way I think they should.  I also know that when I let go of the results of anything, it always turns out better--MUCH BETTER-- than when I have it in a death grip, choking the life right out of it.  So, today, and just for today, I'm going to 1) finish wrapping the big presents I haven't wrapped simply because they are big and sort of hard to manage  2) I'm going to make roll dough because I am still enamored of that dough hook and love watching it make dough  3) I'll remember to be loving and kind to all I meet today, even if they are driving a car, and I don't like the way they are driving.  That should all keep me really busy, just for today.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Twister and a swimming dog

The cookie party is in the bag and included are some pic's : there was even a one man game of Twister by Hudson.  Had was over the top funny and was ably assisted by Go-Go, since spreading icing is a tad bit advanced for a not quite three year old.  Aunt SuSu, anticipating we might need some serious girly colors, made a Barbie pink frosting so Had was totally in her element and I'm fairly sure at least one cookie was a pink and purple extravaganza, with all kinds of added decorations--think glittery and girly.  Hud's Star Wars guys were plenty cool and Yoda always seemed to come out best and easiest.  We love ya, Yoda.
                                                                                                                                          
What I forgot to photograph was Uncle Lizzard's (Hairy's) dog, Hattie, jumping in and out of my sister's pool, and digging up something, in her freshly planted flower beds.  Hattie is a chocolate brown lab so she was just being true to her breed and loving every minute of the pool time, while the kids shrieked and wanted to jump in with her.  I could have watched her play all afternoon, she was that funny.

On my way home, I stopped by to see mom, and she was as goofy as a run over dog, and I say that lovingly.  Since she had not heard from my brother since he left a week ago, I suggested we call him, and that's when I realized she wasn't exactly sure how to do that...whoa.  I asked her if she'd like me to call him and she said yes, so I did, and then handed her the phone.  They chatted--mostly she listened-- and it's clear we are losing ground with her FAST.  I know I've said that before but it's especially obvious when you haven't seen her for a few days, and then there it is, right in your face.  Yeeesh.
And then to round out the afternoon, it seems she is giving checks to all the grandchildren like she does every year, and her bookkeeper brought them by earlier for her to sign.  Wanna guess what she wrote in the signature line, on each check??  Love, Babe.  That's what they call her.  So, in the future, my sister will be signing all checks--of any kind--with a signature. When you think about it, it's really kind of funny.  Laugh or go crazy...it's a choice.


Wellllll, rats...

Dang.  Don't ask questions you don't want the answers to, and I just did.  I just asked Friday Maria if she was coming next Friday (24th), praying she would say yes, but alas, bad news for me--she wants to be off, and who wouldn't??  So, that said, I'll be my own housekeeper that day and possibly burn a few extra calories as I cook for Christmas Eve and clean.  She is such a gift to our family, I still can't figure out how we got so lucky to find her.  The bad news is Benji, the one man tornado will be home by then, so I may have to ratchet down my ideas about neat and clean, and "Let it go, Let it go, Let it go". 

My elderly neighbor called me Wednesday morning and wants me to go with her tomorrow to The Texas Pecan Company.  She said "if you aren't afraid to drive with me, I'll take us" and I said "Sure".  There aren't a lot of people I would forgo my coffee, computer, and newspaper time for, but she's just one of them, and I can always read the paper later.  Coffee?  Helloooooo, styrofoam cup and off we'll go.  If she wants to go, I'm all over it.

Since I forgot to report in on the biscotti, here's the scoopage. It was quite simply out of this world, and dipped on one side in top quality vanilla white chocolate, blew it right out of this solar system.  The recipe had said to use vanilla candy coating, but that just sounded waxy to me.  So, I headed to Central Market to converse with some real foodies for their expertise, and was not disappointed.  I was led over to the bulk section where all the really cool stuff is and got to taste two different types white chocolate, before deciding which one I wanted.  Ohhhhh, the torture of that.  Perhaps I need to go back...


One last Sister funny: she's been sneezing a lot since last Wednesday and I wasn't sure why.  And her eyes were watering on Wednesday, too.  Weird.  Then, I remembered I had left some towels with bleach on them by the washer, waiting to load them for the next load.  I'm no forensic expert but I'm betting old Snoopster got in there and got a big whiff of bleach, and sent her nasal and eye mucous membranes into orbit.  It just doesn't pay to be snoopy, Sis.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cookie Surgery

Since the cookie party is tomorrow, I figured little people aren't going to have a lot of patience waiting for cookies to bake, or to cool, so I've made two loads ahead for those who just have to get their fat little starfish hands in the colored icing, sprinkles, sanding sugars, and all those other Martha Stewart doodads.  It's been a real revelation (duh) that some of the cookie cutters I inherited from mom are OLD as fire, and sort of a mish mash of holidays.  I have some Easter rabbits in with the Christmas ones so I think after this year, I'm hiking it to Sur la Table or W-S, and buying myself some new gear.  Mom's still work, sort of, but here's the deal:  the angel who is supposed to be blowing her horn, when cooked, looks like she's pouring water, and when the reindeer is cooked, he looks like a flying dog....or, at least one of mine did.  I had to perform surgery on a few of them since they stuck in the cutter, and had to be assisted out, a la tooth pick.  One reindeer's head and body had to be surgically re-connected via a pat down, but he's fine now and will still work for the smalls.  They aren't real picky.

Last year, Hudson had so much fun with all the colored icings, he used the same spreader in lots of different colors.  Suddenly, a new color was born---Greige.  It just goes to show you how up tight we adults are... we all steered clear of it-- and he loved it-- and thought it was mahvelous.  This year Greige could really rock-- tomorrow he's bringing his Star Wars cookie cutters.  May the Force be with us.

Lead me not into temptation....

I am already there.  Yep....temptation has got it's ugly gnarled fingers around my neck and it's got me wicked BAD.  A Lurker, and old friend, dropped off a gift on my front porch yesterday--actually several, but there's one that's got me on the ropes.  I won't out her here since she is a lurker and I'm going to respect that, but I am going to find out where she gets this stuff because it almost kills me every year.   AND I LOVE IT.  It's called Texas Trash, and it's the only chex mix that passes my lips.  This stuff is the heroin of all chex mixes and there ain't no methadone program for it either.  Once you start, you are done for......O-V-E-R.  No wonder it comes in such a big bag because they already know you're gonna get addicted.  And I am.

And now for the really bad news:  I'm hiding it from Fred.  Every year, he eats all my gifts.  Every last one.  I used to have to hide my cookies, from the same friend, until I finally just gave up and threatened to kill him.  He and Brian would eat my favorites first, too--the sugar cookies---and then move on to the ginger ones.  Yes, I can share but sometimes....I just don't want to.  Get your own.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gettin' my cook on

Oh, man what a great day!!  I've made the sugar cookie dough for the cookie decorating party on Friday with my sister and her grands, and the dough is doing the required 'big chill" before I cut some out and bake them.  Phase two of "Cooking for Benji" is now complete. I have three pans of chicken enchiladas with verde sauce and my kitchen looks like a bomb went off in there.  Don't care.  Never do.

I have texted Brian to come have enchiladas if he's so inclined & now  I'm taking a break with a big old glass of Lipton's diet Green Tea.  Then I'm heading back for the crowning glory: the Chocolate Chip-Cinnamon biscotti that I'm about to have a large cow to make.  I finally got the recipe for it on Monday and unless I totally hit the skids, it's on.  I'm doing it...'cause I can.  And nothing makes me happier than clanging my pots and pans in the kitchen, especially this time of year. 

This weekend I may make homemade roll dough.  If you were a reader last year, you know I had some "issues" with last years batch.  The rolls tasted fine--it was just that I decided to use a smaller bowl to allow them to rise for the first rise in the refrigerator, because I just wanted to.   The next thing I knew, the dough went all Aliens on me, pushed up the foil covering, and crept over the side of the bowl.  DANG.  We're lucky it didn't crawl down the hall and strangle us to death.  This year, I'm going back to my trusty old yellow bowl or I might have nightmares.

Yikes!

I just finished looking for a roast leg of lamb recipe for Christmas Eve.  I know how I always do mine but it never hurts to get new ideas.....and then do what you know works.  Hey...it's just how I roll but I do enjoy the search.  The Food Network, my go to cooking recipe stash when I am too lazy to walk in the kitchen to my cookbooks, had millions of recipes for lamb.  A lot were very similar...OK, make that real similar, but one especially got my attention.  It's title??  Silence of the leg of Lamb. 

More lamb, Clarice??  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

UPS vs Fed Ex ....no contest

It's clear, all is not well in Wiggles World.  Sis just tried to get in bed with him and he got mad and sort of growled.  He never does that.....OK maybe occasionally, but not like it just sounded.  He was all warm and snoozy and I think she butted in, no pun intended, at precisely the wrong moment.  Well, yeah, that would be Sis, now wouldn't it?  But, truthfully, I am worried about the old man dog....he's groaning way more than seems normal, but then what do I know about geriatric dogs?  Last night he whined non-stop until after Maria left, and, no, it wasn't because of her.  Last time I took him to the Vet it was "to keep him comfortable" and I didn't want any "let's find out if he has cancer" tests run.  Now....maybe I do....I don't really want to know, but I also don't want him suffering needlessly because I am a wuss.  And a big wuss at that.  Denial is a great thing 'til it stops working for you and being a grown up just really sucks sometimes.  The good news?  He's snoring away and Sis is beside him, so we are good for this moment.

If you didn't read Steve Blow's article in the DMN this morning it's worth a read, and made me roll my eyes, laughing.  I won't spoil it here so just read it and see what you think. 

I've taken an unofficial, very unscientific poll with just me voting, and the results indicate that the UPS delivery people are head and shoulder ahead of the FedEx ones, in the personality and general sense of humor department.  The UPS ones are so sweet and nice, and when you yell "Thank you" at the top of your lungs, they actually yell back "Your welcome...Merry Christmas!"  OK....now that's cool.  Fed Ex is just not connected at all.  They stop, they deliver, ring the door bell, and are gone.  Even when you yell thank you, they don't engage.  Fine....be that way.  I'll ship with UPS 'cause they are fun.

One year I chased every UPS truck I could find to see if they had a package I desperately needed for Benji's Christmas.  I had called UPS and they said it was on a truck-- out for delivery.  For some reason, I had to have it by  a certain time--can't remember why, and I literally chased one UPS lady inside EZ's, the burger joint that's now gone, waited nicely while she ate her lunch, and then we checked her truck.   She thought it was hilarious that I was such an insane mother, driven to such lengths.  I don't know if she even had the package, but we sure had fun looking.  Yeah....UPS is just better.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Is it soup yet?

I have just finished making a double recipe of Tortilla soup in a big pot in the kitchen.  I thought the pot was big enough, but I barely squeaked by this time.  Especially when I had to add more chicken.  I called Benji to check and see how much he wanted in it, and I should have known better.  He like a little soup, with his chicken.  Benji wants some to take back to Nash after Christmas and I know I'm not going to want to cook then so I'm throwing it in the freezer.  I feel sure the sight of food after Christmas will make me want to barf.  It almost does now.

Last night was the Holiday Candlelight dinner thing with mom and my sister.  When we arrived, mom's hair was gorgeous and looked the best it's looked in ages.  It was her black velour warm up suit my sister and I took exception with.  We tried everything to pry her out of it but she wasn't buying, so we swapped out a lovely new jacket for the one she had on, and I doubt anyone noticed, and even if they did, big whoop.  My sister and I just locked eyes and shook our heads...this from a woman who would have wanted to be dressed to....her....gum....line.   Just when we think we can't be shocked anymore, we get a new revelation.  Dinner was lovely, pictures were made, and I was glad to make it home for some no brainer TV, to wipe out my sadness. 

When I got back last night, Wiggins requested that his bedding be washed because it was a little stinky.  Mild understatement.  For some reason, he likes to lick it, and since his breath is buzzardy at best, I happily agreed.  Both of his white fluffies are now fresh, as are his covers underneath the desk on the donut bed.  After I take them out of the dryer, sometimes I wrap him in them while they are still warm, and he will audibly groan with pleasure.  Hey....he's no dummy.

Sister is doing the hound dog howl and "talking" in the den and now Wigman is chiming in...oh, Lord...I wish I could record her "talking" as she howls, and put it on here.  There's just no way to describe it other than "houndy".

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Such a waste

I know some people don't believe in Hell and I don't believe in the kind with a Red Devil running around with a pitchfork, in blazing heat, though I am about one hot flash away from it.  I believe in both the Hell on Earth --- the kind we create for ourselves-- and the kind after we die, when we have to sit down with God and have "the talk".  You know the one I'm talking about.....it's just like "the talk" you had as kids with your parents, when you were in b-i-g trouble, only the one with God is exponentially worse, if you really have done some doozies.  I think he pulls out your dossier, with a big old smile on His face, and just waits for you to try and skip over something so He can gently (or not so gently) say, "Wait....what about....."? "Oh, yeah....that....".   Eeeeeeeeeesh.

Enter Bernie Madoff.  And speaking of Hell on Earth, can you imagine the hell of knowing one of your son's committed suicide because of things you had done--choices you had made??  Wow.....it is HOT in here or is it just me??  Never mind all the other stuff Bernie has done, can you imagine living with that?  I'm thinking that Bernie probably isn't "living" at all--he's just killing time here on Earth.  What a horrible limbo to face each day.
  Other than praying like a mad man, what can you do to atone for those kinds of misdeeds?  As a parent, I hope and pray I never have to find out what that feels like.  Clearly, I have made lots of mistakes in my parenting, and the boys and I have had long talks about things I wish I had done differently.  No cop outs--no excuses--just me owning up to my own short comings.  To see the recognition in their eyes that "yeah, mom, you did do that", when I admitted things I wish I had not done, and then the forgiveness in their eyes after admitting my shortcomings, has been a relationship builder for me and both sons.  Admitting my own faults and taking the heat for what I've done, has cleaned up any "schmutz" that might otherwise still freight our relationship.  And my plans is to keep it that way.  I keep my side of the street hosed off and they are responsible for theirs. 

Man...Bernie is going to need a Fire hose....  I think I'll put him in my prayers.  He's going to need them.

Whew....that was close

Well....I declare.  I knew I was hatin' on my Tom Thumb and now I really am.  Friday I went to do my weekly "frustration cruise", only to find that once again, The Flagship Tom Thumb on Northwest Highway is the lamest Tom Thumb on the planet.  I was told they had received their last and final shipment of Blue Bell Peppermint ice cream, and that was it--finito.  No condolences, no offer to call another store, zip zero.  So, I went home and called my favorite little Tom Thumb, and scored right off the bat.  They even hid one in the "big freezer", so no one could snag it before I got there.  I would have bought two, but I couldn't find the other one they supposedly had.  Soooooo...I let it ride until today....and then my hands got clammy, I broke out in a sweat, and decided one just might not do it, and lawsie mercy....what if this baby ran out???  Would Christmas be cancelled??  

Since I did NOT want to find out what kind of horrendous consequences might be unleashed upon us if we ran out, I put on my PI badge, called around, and sure enough, a competing grocery store right near where we were going for dinner, had some.   Take that, Tom Thumb.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Willie Lee Anderson

This morning I received a phone call from someone I hadn't spoken to in a while and I was thrilled to hear from him.  It was none other than our yardman and Mr. Do Everything, Willie Lee Anderson.  He's been a member of our family for over fifty years and I told him this morning I can't look at a Christmas tree, that I don't think of him.  He was the one mom made me decorate our tree with, every year, until I finally just threw a total rod and said "NO".
He wanted to know all about us, our kids, mom, and when I told him my sister had three grands--the only ones--he couldn't believe it. I told him I wanted some bad, but since none of mine are married, mine were still just "practicing".  I love to say stuff like that to him because he always acts shocked, and then laughs, and I know he isn't shocked at all.

I got his phone number and then sent out a blast email to our whole family telling them about his call, and passing on his number.  With mom doing the fast fade, I was glad to know how to reach him, should we need to, even though I know the office has it.  What a hoot to hear from him, and I'm glad to know he's doing well, since he's almost as old as mom.  He allowed as to how he'd been in the hospital recently with "man trouble....couldn't pass his water", and said it was his gallbladder.  Now, I'm no nephrologist or urologist, but that sounds more like kidney and bladder issues, so that probably means it was a combo of things, and I just got the condensed version.  Man trouble....I am still howling over that one.  I swear....people will tell nurses anything.

I have just finished phase one of cooking some favorite foods I volunteered to make Benji to take back after Christmas, to fatten up his freezer.  He's never openly admitted it, but I can tell he gets a tiny bit bent out of shape when he knows Brian's over here eating, even though he knows he could, too, if he lived here.  When he hits town, he wants all his favorite stuff, and to go to all his favorite restaurants.  Sounds pretty normal to me.  I would, too. 

Oh, Lordy...Sister is doing her "I have a squirrel in a tree" bark, so I better go get her.  Maybe I'll just take the pellet gun and shoot her.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Oh, no she didn't....

Yesterday afternoon, I got an email from Hud and Had's mom, Nicole, in response to an email I had sent her about holiday traditions they might like to start.  She said she'd think about it and then emailed right back wondering if Fred would call the kids, pretending to be Santa.  OMG....the biggest ham since Arnold Ziffle?? (pig on Green Acres).  Would Fred play a starring role in making a phone call from the North Pole, to two little kids who would totally have a freakness cast upon them, in total excitement?  In a heartbeat he would, so, such was last night's "entertainment".
First, I called to find out when Nic wanted Santa to call, and Santa had to get into character, FAST.  When she saw it was me on caller ID, she answered the phone, "Hi, Mrs. Claus", and I immediately heard screaming in the background.  They were heading out to dinner shortly, but had time for Santa to talk to the kids right then, so Hudson got on first.  Fred said Hud was all giggly and excited at first, but that after Santa asked him a few questions, Hud got serious FAST.  He went right into what he wanted for Christmas, no bones about it.  I stayed in the kitchen while Santa talked, and Santa was back in our bedroom, in case Fred and I got tickled and started laughing, or the dogs started barking.  (I'm not thinking there are wiener dogs at the North Pole--too chilly).

Next, it was Hadley's turn.  When she got on the phone, Fred could not make heads or tails out of what she was saying, so he was essentially flying blind.   "Smalls" can be hard to understand, if you aren't around them all the time.  Luckily, he didn't know that most of her conversation centered around one thing---the fact that she was n-a-k-e-d.  Yep, that's what she told him, and apparently talked about it for quite some time, as her parents and older brother choked back laughter.  Since she forgot to tell Santa goodbye when she hung up, they called right back so she could, and that's when I found out about the nudie conversation.  Thank God Fred was clueless....he'd have gone to pieces and brayed like a donkey with that Harris "I have fallen apart", laugh.
Jeeeze, little kids are soooooo fun. 


Christmas Memories

I realized this might be a repeat from last year, some of it anyway, but it's my blog and I get to repeat stuff if I want, so here goes.  As tiny little kids, my siblings and I hid in our shared bathroom on Christmas Eve squatting on the rug, as my brother told us he'd just seen Santa's shadow on the wall, in the den.  More like my Dad, but whatever.  As I remember, we each had a Hershey bar, and ate them square by square, scared to death Santa would catch us.  I was a whopping three or four years old.

I vividly remember the Christmas when my brother and I both got Strep throat and were sick as two dogs.  Mom was sooo frustrated that on the 23rd, she loaded us both into her station wagon, in our pj's, and took us to our pediatrician, for a big old repeat harpoon of penicillin, in our respective behinds.  Wow....big fun.  Nothing says Christmas like Strep.

Then I remember the year one of our less than intelligent maids put an entire foil wrapped log of Canadian bacon under our tree, that a neighbor had delivered.  It even had a red bow around it, as I remember.  The next thing we knew, my  then black and tan girl dachshund, Liebe, inflated like the Hindenburg.   Foil was everywhere, and she was one very thirsty dog.  My parents had to call the neighbor to find out what they'd given us, so they could tell our Vet.  We didn't know what in the world she'd eaten and the maid sure didn't know.  My parents didn't feed that damn dog for a week, and I still remember how hard my parents laughed.  Liebe was a clone of Sis.  And just as big a pig.

I also remember the year I tried to re-hang an ornament on our tree, when no one else was around, lost my balance standing on a chair, and fell.... on... the... tree.  Hey, I was just trying to help.....and I was little.  That was back in the day when all the ornaments shattered like glass, cause they probably were, and flew everywhere.  I didn't even have to admit it was me---everybody already knew.

I remember the red felt Christmas stockings mom made us....OK, somebody made us--- and now that I think about it, it probably wasn't mom.  I remember a white reindeer on mine with sequin's for eyes and a green wreath thing around his neck, and the stocking had a white felt cuff.  Back in the 50's, I think everyone had a red felt stocking ....it was the law back then.

I also vividly remember the year I wanted a ring for Christmas and my mom picked one out for me, and I hated it.  I tried to cover but she knew, and got mad.  Well, hell.  Whadya gonna do?  I was grateful I got a ring---just not that one.  I remember her taking me to exchange it and let me just tell ya, that wasn't pretty either.  After Christmas, there ain't nuttin' left you'd want since every thing's been picked over, so as I remember, I ended up keeping that ugly ass ring, and that made her even madder.  The funny part is, she's even pickier than I am, especially about jewelry.  I'm not sure what ever happened to that ring, and I don't much care.  I can still see it perfectly in my mind's eye, and it's still ugly.

Lastly, I remember eating smoked salmon, with my parents, in the kitchen of our house that was dozed earlier this year.  Someone sent wild smoked Alaskan salmon to my parent's every year, and it was the real deal--none of that farm raised nonsense-- and it was incredible.  Hence began my love affair with good smoked salmon, on toast points or a good cracker, with a tiny dollop of diced onions, a little squeeze of lemon, a few capers, and a small dollop of sour cream.  Food for the God's

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Moonshine

I have a nurse friend who was raised in Kentucky, and is the youngest of nine kids.  She told me growing up, her older brothers always made Moonshine, and here I thought Moonshine was something only hillbillies like The Clampit's made, out back somewhere in the backwoods, in their shotgun protected Still.  She says they were plenty country, but maybe not quite that bad. 
My friend said it's the best stuff you've ever tasted and will blow...the ...hat...off....your.... head.  Yeah, white lightening.  And, it has a bigger kick than a mule, but after the first taste, you don't much care.  She said it's really sweet, too.  OK...that's the end of what I know about Moonshine, until last Sunday night.

I'm sitting in bed reading the December edition of Southern Living magazine only to find an article entitled "Get in the Spirit with Christmas Red Cranberries".  Sounds tame enough. I look down, and the first two recipes include some form of Moonshine, with duh, cranberries.  At this point, my brain goes haywire and I'm wondering where in the world do you buy Moonshine?  Do you just grab your keys and head for Arkansas?  I'm not thinking any of the chic-chic Dallas hooch emporiums are going to stock it, but then what do I know.  And then I hit the note at the bottom of the first recipe:  "We tested (the recipes) with Junior Johnson's Midnight Moon Carolina Moonshine (piedmontdistillers.com)."  Case closed, and I am still laughing.  Junior Johnson's Midnight Moon Carolina Moonshine???  The name is purrrrfect.

** Their other brand is called "Cat Daddy"--- and I swear I'm not making this up.  Google it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Time for New Traditions

The other day I realized that for the last 50+ years of my life, I have lived out someone else's traditions:  my grandmothers, my mom's, and my mother-in-laws.  And I have none of my own.  So, since some of the matriarchs are now gone, and mom's pretty much out of the picture, it's just time to pass the torch.   My sister and I are discussing new traditions we'd like to start, and will be asking our kids after this holiday season what they'd like to do-- ones they'd like to start--or not, as the case may be.

  And once again, we realized we are just not our mother.  As kids,Mom used to make us put ketchup in a silver and crystal container, to have ketchup with our fries.  Apparently, the ketchup bottle was just a tad too gauche'.  As teenagers, we just blew her off but as kids, seriously, she really did.  OMG....overkill much?  When we touched on mom's Christmas Eve dinners and their gorgeous grandiosity, my sister and I were screaming laughing.  I told her since she is older than me, it's now her job, and she told me to **** myself.  And we laughed even harder.


One tradition I had totally forgotten about involved my brother, Doo, his wife, Moo, and their girls, and Moo's teenage nephews.  When Moo & Doo's girls were small, close to Christmas, they'd go reindeer tracking / hunting in an unfamiliar to the girls, woodsy park.  They would previously have enlisted the help of the teenage nephews to sprinkle dry dog food ( for reindeer poop), candy corn dropped on the ground like it had fallen out of Santa's pocket, and a set of old deer hooves to make hoof prints.  And though that would be enough to convince most kids, they... went.... even... further.  The nephews would hide a ways away in the bushes, and make "reindeer noises"--snorts, grunts, etc., and would even jingle some jingle bells....just a little.... for that total Hollywood effect.  Once the girls were scared and excited out of their minds, they'd take them somewhere for dinner.  Please....like they could eat after that?? 

My sister and I decided that next year, Reindeer Tracking is going to be ON, for Hud, Had, and Avery and for any other grandchildren that appear over the next several years.  When I told Fred about it last night, he was ready to pull out his old Santa suit and scare the living daylights out of them.  No, Fred, nooooooo.  That's just wrong.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stuff I will never know

1.  How does it feel to be a fetus inside a female jogger?  Is it like being in a washing machine on the gentle   cycle?
2.  What does Heaven look like and will my animals be there?
3.  How do I look to other people and what does my voice sound like to them?
4.  How do other people "feel"...?  Is it like me sometimes and other times not even close?  I think that might be accurate.
5.  What does it feels like to die..... a lot of that must depend on how it happens.
6.  How much do my dogs really understand and do I underestimate their intelligence?
7.  Why does someone else's recipe for the exact same thing always taste better?
8.  Why are little children always funnier when they aren't yours?
9.  Does the color I see, look the same to you?
10. Do other people think about weird stuff like this?

A little of this & a little of that

I just saw on FB where Benji's band's lead singer, Aubrey, woke up with total laryngitis, right when they are trying to break in a new fiddle player, and the guy needs to learn all five of their already recorded songs, backwards and forwards, so he can play them upside down, if necessary.  Hmmmmm...sounds like Benji will be singing Aub's (Aubrey's) part all day, and the good news is, he can.  Benji says this is when he really misses their old fiddle player, minus all the accompanying drama he dragged along with him.  Ahhh, nothing like a curve ball, no?

I was sad to hear Elizabeth Edwards is now saying her goodbyes to friends and family.  There's never a good time to say goodbye, but it just seems especially sad when the holidays are upon us.  Even when I was totally hoodwinked by the Edward's ---especially him---I am just sad, sad, sad, for them as a family, (even though they are technically separated.)  Word on the street is, Elizabeth has requested that their oldest daughter essentially raise the two younger kids, with John around to financially support them.  Holy cow.....what a crap load of responsibility for a 20-something.  I understand where Elizabeth is coming from, and a lot of it sounds like anger and revenge at John, understandably.  I get why she wouldn't want John raising their two youngest--he's a lying, cheating, dog --but I'm still thinking most about their oldest daughter.
  I feel part of responsible parenting is letting my kids--all of my kids-- be kids, and have their own lives.  And when they are adults, like mine are now, they don't need to have any responsibility for problems they did not create--especially ones that are marital .  It's not their stuff, and it's not their job.  Can they help out a little?  Sure, and that's my hope for the Edward's oldest daughter.  I hope she is strong enough to tell her mom that John needs to raise their kids, and that she will be around for support--not the other way around.  We'll see.  Goodbye, Elizabeth.



Monday, December 6, 2010

Elf update

After visiting with my sister this afternoon, I have more Elf news to share.  It seems she was chatting with a friend at work and they got to talking about the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon.  The friend said she knew of a family where one Elf was just not enough---after awhile, with three kids, each child needed an Elf, because one Elf just was completely out gunned.   So that's what the parents did.  They made sure each child had their own personal Elf. 
One night, after everyone had gone to bed, the three Elves had a pillow fight in the family's den, with cotton balls.  You know...Elf sized pillows.  When the three kids woke up the next morning and saw the cotton balls strewn all over the den, suddenly the Elves became way more fun.....and a lot more likeable.  And now, occasionally, the Elves get in as much trouble as the kids Brilliant.


The Elf in the Trash

For any old timers out there, there's a fairly new thing this Christmas season to help parents keep wild children under control, and it's called the Elf on the Shelf.  You adopt (buy) one of these Elves, take him home and put him right where your kids can see him, and any time they are acting up, you just remind them the Elf is watching, and will tell Santa.  Then every night when they've gone to bed, you move him some place new so they think he's magic.  Cool, no?
In theory yes....unless you happen to be Hudson (my sister's grandson) who tried to throw the Elf away, so he could be bad again.  Is that not just the funniest thing ever?  I rolled.

And speaking of the most adorable kids ever, I loaded up my sleigh yesterday afternoon to deliver Christmas gifts.  Hudson and his mom were making cookies, and Hadley and Avery (little sisters) were both asleep, so before I left, Hudson wanted to open his Christmas present.  Well, duh....what almost five year old wants to stare at a wrapped present they know is theirs, for two more weeks, when they could rip right into it now, so rip into it he did.  Below is a picture of him in his Dodge Ball Tag vest with the Velcro target.  The balls are soft so they don't hurt even if you miss your opponent's target.  Keeping the balls away from, Finley, their dog
may prove interesting but we'll see.

Then when Had woke up, she opened her Super hero cape and matching reversible mask.  Coupled with her underwear, I think it's especially fetching.
Little kids just make everything fun!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kitty Poo Poo

It's a pattern and it's already started-- again.  Two kitties are doing the "hobo" thing around our house and hanging around by the driveway door.  This is NOT good.  We already succumbed to our very first cat by the exact same game.  And it worked on me and my mom, back when I was a teenager, with a honey butter colored girl cat that hoboed her way into our family for 23 years.  Dad did the usual lecture at dinner about "not feeding that damn cat" and were assured him we weren't, though mom and I would pass each other going in and out of the back door with food and water every day.  We never said a word to each other about it until Kitty Poo Poo was a done deal and inside the house.  And, no, I did not name her that.  Mom did, but it somehow fit--- even as horrible as it sounded when mom would stand outside on the front porch shrieking "Kitty Poo Poo", at the top of her lungs.  Dad ended up loving that cat as much as we did, and she outlived him.  She was a piece of work, for sure, and the whole reason I like cats to this day.

For a knock your socks off gift, Friday I received a business gift from our attorneys that was beyond great.  It was a huge pecan pie that arrived in it's own custom branded wooden box, from Goode Company in Houston.  Since Fred had snarfed the remaining fudge pie, I decided I needed to open up this shrink wrapped pie and see if it was indeed worth the calories.  It said to warm the whole thing at 250 degrees for a few minutes, but I didn't, and it still rocked my clock, Mary.  It was that good.  The Goode Company also sells BBQ and other foodie items on their website, so if you are in a pinch for something new to send that difficult to please someone, give this pie some thought.  It's b-i-g and I think weighs three pounds.  That should feed a herd.

 I got a call late yesterday afternoon that mom's new sofa was ready and would be delivered between 1-5 PM on Tuesday and I cannot wait.  I had checked last week to see what I needed to do about getting her old one removed and was told by my contact at the Plaza that I could donate it to their Employee Garage sale, if I wanted, and they would store it there at the Plaza, until they have the next one.  How great is that???  They'll have the Plaza maintenance guys remove the old one sometime on Tuesday morning or even while mom is at lunch, and then her new one can be plopped right into the old one's spot.  I swear....that Plaza staff is worth it's weight in gold, and I could not be more grateful to them.

Lastly, next Sunday is the Christmas Candlelight Dinner, at 5 PM, for all of the Assisted Living residents at the Plaza, over at the big dining room at the Independent Living part of Edgemere.  It's bigger, and will more easily hold residents and their guests.  My sister and I are going and taking mom, and have not a clue what we are walking into but I know it will be lovely.  Then we can both go home and have a good cry, if we need to, and we may.  Or better still, maybe a great laugh and a heart full of gratitude.  Or, maybe both.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

And the winner is.....

For most atrocious Christmas yard art....the winner is, the house above and below.  On the way home from dinner last night, I got a wild hair to go by and see what it looked like not only at night, but as a finished product.  And I must say, I was not disappointed.  Since I wasn't driving, I had to give instructions to my chauffeur and as we came up the block, I could see the lynched Santa's way before he could, and could barely contain myself.
  Boy, howdy, ....they went full bore on this one.  I had to go stand in their yard to get decent shots and could barely shoot, for laughing.  Note the random pig on the far left of the hanging Santa's.  Why?  I don't know.  And why did they decide not to hang all of the Santa's...?  I don't know that either.  And didn't you think the palm trees were a nice touch in the next one?  And lastly, what about that pink elephant.....nothing says Christmas like an elephant, I must say.

Friday, December 3, 2010

She went visiting....yea!

Oh, man...I am feeling the holiday pressure.  I have already received three gifts from wonderful friends and I'm barely in the starting gates.  Eeeegads....how do they do it?  I am just not that organized these days.  I know in my head what I'm doing, and have done lots of online shopping but as for doing the real deal ah, no.  I think what also threw me big time is that Hanukkah is really early this year and going on right now, and I used to gauge myself by that, on the calendar....not sure why but I'd just see it on my calendar and use it as as a deadline.  Since one of my close pals is Jewish, I've got to get the lead out today and get her gift!

I tried a friend's crust less brownie pie recipe on Wednesday, and let's just say my life has changed for the better.  Holler if you want the recipe because this one is easy, quick, and will make chocolate lovers weep.  It's over the top--- but when has that ever stopped any of us. 

Our front yard is covered in the first layer of leaf carpet, with many more layers to follow.  Our front trees are usually totally bare by Christmas, but it's the continual volume of leaves up until then, that present a "decorating" issue.  We've put lights out before, early, only to have them look like there's a blanket over them, due to the leaves.  It's the same look  you get with a flashlight turned on inside a tent..... cozy, just not real Christmassy.  I drove by a house yesterday and almost had a wreck.  Hired guys were hanging no less than fifteen three foot plastic light up Santa's, suspended from a tree, and it looked like a Santa group lynching.  It was disturbing. I'll try to go by today and see if I can get a picture of it to post here.  This is one of those you just have to see to really get the total weirdness effect.

And in closing, I just have to relate yesterday's funny of the day.  Since I can't meet mom for lunch today, I went by yesterday afternoon to see her, but I couldn't find her.  Since this has never happened before, I checked around in all the places I thought she might be and even asked at the front desk where the short, little recluse in #107 might be.  After checking, they said she'd been seen heading down the hall in the opposite direction, on her walker, a few minutes prior.  OMG.....she was visiting someone!!!!  When I called her around dinner time, I told her I'd come by, but she hadn't been home, and said "You must have been out visiting someone".  She said she was, and I dropped it like a hot potato, so as not to make too big of a deal out of it.  When I called my sister to tell her mom had finally left the launch pad, she immediately wanted to know who she'd been visiting and I told her I wasn't about to ask.  We both had a great laugh like the mother's of a kindergartner. 




Thursday, December 2, 2010

Vote for Coop

I am going round and round online, trying to leave a comment on the GMA website for a friend of Benji's who's in the hunt as a finalist as the new GMA Guru.  His name is Cooper Boone--actually Dr. Boone, as he is licensed therapist, song writer C&W singer, fabulous cook, and all round hoot.  And here's the problem:  I can get in to leave the comment but when I have to log in, it throws me back out saying there's already someone by that email name.  No kidding...'cause it's ME, damn it!!  Anywho.....such is my dilemma and another cuppa joe has not improved the situation one iota, so I may just have to pull lout the heavy artillery and go take a shower.  Yep.  It always works.  I get in there and talk to God about whatever is on my mind, we visit, we laugh, sometimes I cry or get mad, and when I get out, whatever it was that was bugging me is either gone or just no longer matters.  Or, HE tells me another way to get where I'm going.  What a relief. 

I checked on Had last night and she was awake, eating ice cream with a fork.  OK...did that make you laugh because it sure did me.  It just goes to show ya that there's always more than one way to do something.  And if you are a little kid, whatever it is, is gonna be funny.

Last night, Wigman was groaning while Brian was over here.  After checking with the Vet, we decided to give him the stoner pain pills we'd gotten a few weeks ago, that made his legs go baby turtle since he just seemed uncomfortable.  Soooooo, since he's figured out the hiding the pill in sliced cheese trick, I decided we'd try peanut butter.  And since Brian was the one who was bugging me about it, I told him to give it to Pigglesworth.  Ohhhh, noooooo.  He couldn't possibly do it......so I had to.  And that's when the party started.....I practically had to mop afterwards.  We were both rolling on the floor watching Wig try to lick the peanut butter, off the roof of his mouth.  He loved the taste you could tell.....it was just that big old hunk he couldn't quite get his tongue around that was the problem.  And the more he made weird faces, the harder we laughed.  I finally had to help him a little, and then we went to pieces, again.  Who knew an old dog could provide such laughs.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Owwwwww!

This morning, the cutest small gal in the world had her tonsils and adenoids removed and is resting comfortably at home this afternoon, and I should know, because I just left after seeing her with.... my.... own.... eyes.  As a nurse, I'm just like that.....I want to see them for myself so I can get a handle on what I think.  None of this phoning it in stuff--nope.  I gotta see 'um.  Other than looking a little pale with some dark smudges under her eyes, she rooked mahvelous.  And when she wakes up, other than feeling droopy with one hell of a sore throat, she's going to do well since she's a tough little bird.  I took her some orange, lime, something else swirl sherbet for later, and her mom said she'd been really excited about eating ice cream and drinking Sprite. 

Her surgeon said her tonsils were so big they were touching, so it's great those are gone.  Ditto her adenoids.  Giver her a couple of weeks and she's going to be a brand new gal who can actually swallow, for Christmas.  I may just have to take her to Chif-a-laaaaaay when she feels better.




Red Alert

 Since it's December 1st, it's time to start your recognizance for Blue Bell Peppermint ice cream for the holidays.  I know this doesn't sound like something you need to stake out at Tom Thumb, but you seriously do, if you plan to serve it on top of anything chocolate for the holidays.   And if you're not, well, fine then 'cause I'm sure not coming.  On top of warm brownie pie, brownies, or Ina Garten's brownie pudding, its enough to make your holidays "bright", regardless of whatever else happens.  This stuff is like crack cocaine so you may have to ask for it, if it's not in the case.  Sometimes they keep a private stash in the back-- just like drug dealers. I had to ask for it last year and when the guy came out with two, I bought both of them.  And then the lady behind me saw them...... and all hell broke loose.  It was uuuuggleeee.  I got the last two.  Now, Braum's also makes a good one--- but I'm not going over to Braum's.  Nope.  Too dangerous.  It's too easy to get mugged by a hot fudge sundae.



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ohhhhhh, yes he did....

It's a real good thing Benji is back in Nash as he borrowed my car while he was here, and spilled booze in it.  Yep...my car now smells like the Boozemobile.  And yesterday I heard a weird clanking sound and wasn't sure where it was coming from, so I started the hunt.  Bingo...the trunk, and two bottles of remaining booze, thank you very much.  Since I ran out of time and energy yesterday, today's mission is to head for the car wash to remove the scent of Eau de Booze.  Fred's solution was just to leave the windows open...I'm having the carpet cleaned AND the car washed.  When I commented to Benji on the new fragrance, he wanted me to know he had "washed it (drive thru) and filled it with gas".  Yeah...nice job....the spill was on the inside, though, and we both laughed.

I have started my Christmas decorating and if nothing else, it should assure anyone visiting that I indeed have some form of ADD.  I started doing the mantle in the den but then got distracted looking at old pictures and  I haven't been back to the mantle since.  My Christmas juices usually take awhile to get going so I figure I'm actually ahead of where I usually am around this time of year.  Rationalization is great, isn't it?  And in a moment of true Christmas heresy, I am once again not putting up the big tree and I probably never will again. 
I always hated those small trees and thought they were soooo chuuuky until I had to put up a big one, year after year.  Now, I loooooove those little trees.  No muss, no fuss.  It works great in our big den for Christmas morning and unless I get a wild hair to change things, I put it back in the closet fully decorated, for the next year.  I call it Christmas a la easy.

I realize we have another month left to go but I've decided I'm already ready for a new year.  This past year has been a real doozie for lots of us, so I'd like to just fast forward to 2011.  I'm ready for some consistent cold weather and then some spring blooms, new leaves, new grass, etc. 

And lastly, I think my mantra for the holidays is going to be "Let it Go, Let it Go, Let it Go" sung to the tune of "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow".