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Monday, May 31, 2010

Miles Davis

Uh, oh....somebody smells bad and it's not the kind that a bath/shower or brushing teeth will fix. It's an internal bad that's got to either clear up on it's own or will require a trip to the Vet. It seems yesterday, on the trip home, Wiggles got car sick and though he's all rehydrated and has eaten, he's still a tad on the stinky. Post bath (me) and tooth brushing (Fred).

Since he turns sixteen tomorrow, that's not real surprising but for a man who has always smelled PERFECT, this is just wrong. My plan is to give him a few days to recover and then pursue it. Since he's never gotten car sick before--EVER--I'm hoping this is not bad news. Just maybe more heat and excitement than one old man could handle, since when he goes to the Farm, he barely eats at all, as does Sis. Too much to see and do or too many naps to take, in his case. He gets a half of an acid reducer every morning, wrapped in cheese, since he tends to be stinky breathed anyway, but this smell is different.

I have been known, on occasion, to fix him cooked ground meat and a little rice, to settle his tummy so that may be his dinner. And, yes, I always give Fat Girl some, too, although since she was out in the backyard "hunting" at 3 AM, barking and yelping, I may skip her.

We have a new wiener dog in the family. My niece, who just graduated from UT, got herself a long haired chocolate and tan man-dog she named Miles--for Miles Davis--since he's a brown man and a cool dude. That makes six, since my brother has two, and his oldest daughter has one, Jack, who looks just like Wiggles. Now that his youngest has joined the crowd, we technically have enough to hold our own wiener dog race, minus Elvis and Wiggles. Elvis is older than Wiggles, so those two could just hand out the prizes. And since Miles is so young, we'd have to let him win. He's little....

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blue Lake Green beans sans can!

I just trudged up to the garden to water and this is what I harvested. There are more that need just a few more days to be the right size and we'll be having them for dinner. This may be about the only thing we ever get to eat so I'm hoping they hurry up. The tomatoes still look good--they just seem to be s-l-o-w growing. Ditto the squash.

Last trip up there I gathered some dried poppy flower heads to harvest the seeds. Since I was in a hurry with no container to put the seed heads in, I just tossed them in my purse for the ride home which would have probably been OK, if I'd remembered they were in there. Several days later I reached down to a handful of tee-tiny poppy seeds, all over the inside bottom of my purse. Awwww, hell....guess I needed to clean it out anyway and now I have them labeled in a zip lock (which I probably need to change to something paper, to avoid moisture.)

I'm not exactly sure when to broadcast the poppy seeds for later growth. I know they bloomed here in April and May so it looks like I may have another research project. I know when they die back they have an enormous root below ground but that's about all I know right now. Bruce says if I get really good at raising poppies, maybe I can start my own Black Tar heroin business.
Funny guy.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ready to GO!!

I should be packing but I'd much rather drink coffee and blog. My red cloisonne (Chinese) clock from mom is happily ticking away in the living room and I LOVE IT. Yesterday, we had a minor problem when the clock face got loaded on the truck for the re-sale place but the guys located it and delivered it here. Since my old floors are a tad uneven in places...hey, this house is older than I am....we had to level the clock to getter' ticking accurately. Oh, baby...not only is she ticking but she's keeping great time and I'm waiting to see if she chimes the hour. She always has but if she doesn't, that won't bother me in the least since at midnight, that's a lot of chiming. (And, no, she did not chime and it's a little past 9 AM.) Minor detail. Doesn't make the list for today. Maybe next week.

We haven't told Sis and "Mr. Pigglesworth" that we are going to the Farm but their farm radar is on and once we start putting stuff in the car, the frenzy will begin. From a previous post, you all know they will camp out beside the car and will not come inside. They will not go potty or come get a last minute drink of water--they're not budging. It's like a dog sit-in. Muff doesn't care that we leave but he does like to climb in bags to "roost" so you have to be sure he's not in one. He does enjoy watching all the action, though, as Bruce tries to fit everything we own, into the car. It's for one night but you'd think it was for a week. I guess he just likes to take his toys.

OK...time for a coffee refill and to pack up steaks, twice baked potatoes, salad gear, and dessert (ice cream and fresh sliced strawberries.) We've got to eat, after all. Rocking in the rocking chairs on the screened in porch burns calories. Not to mention the visitin'.

This last update: I just got back from the garden and my Blue Lake green beans are almost ready to pick, my squash are putting out like a slutty high schooler, and the tomato count is up to seven big ones and some smaller guys lagging behind. The basil variety I chose to try up there is just weird. It's starting to kick into gear but the leaves are so small, and I'm used to the big old Genovese ones that almost cover a tomato slice. A few random Genovese basil plants are coming up from last years crop--fine by me. I have two in pots outside my back door that I've already cut back! Two beets are trying to make a go of it and the carrots are down to two twiggy little things that are just sad looking. I'm going to keep at them because ya just never know. They might surprise me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hadley in Scooter-mode

Day is done...almost gone, the sun, and I am pooped but delighted that both of my pals sailed through their respective surgeries, my stuff got delivered and arranged, and I am pulling together stuff to take to the Farm for tomorrow. We ran to Snuffer's for a burger and decided to barricade Sis in the Utility room while we were gone so that Wigman could eat his dinner unchallenged and in relative peace. I put up a doggie gate and out the door we went. Oh, not so, Kemmosabe. Do you even wanna guess who knocked down the gate, appalled that we would have the audacity to do such a thing to a girl of her ilk?? Yep, Sis did, and her voice commander didn't even reprimand her. What a pushover. She has that man totally whipped.

One of my pals today had surgery where I found out Bruce will be having his, so I got to give it the once over, early this morning (6 AM), and then again this afternoon. Wowser. Vedddy, veddy nice and when I went back after the move to see my friend (she's spending the night), I was visiting with the staff, and when they found out I was also a nurse, they comped by parking. Well, hell yeah! That works.

I also made an afternoon run by to see Hudson, Hadley and Avery and hit a total home run--all three bases were loaded (awake) and though a little tired from swimming lessons, Hudson and Hadley were funny as always, and Avery was just one big gummy grin. Hudson had to dig in my purse for "yife savers"---my mom got him started on this so the tradition has to continue. Red is always the favorite and since I didn't have any, my sister Go-Go saved the day with some in her purse. Well, I hope so....they are her grandkids after all.


The weekend's almost here and since I know everyone will have a lot going on, I'm posting early. Two dear friends are having surgery today and I am sending my love and prayers to both. You go, gals. Let's getter dun'!!
One is having "elective" surgery after losing 100 pounds and has asked me to be there, and I'm going. I can't stay for the whole procedure (5 hours) because coincidentally, today is also the FINAL move of mom's stuff out of her condo. So, I'll be at the hospital at 6 AM for my pal, shag to mom's around 8:30 AM to meet the trucks (yep, 2 of them) , follow one of them to my house to unload some things and move a few things I can't move, and then if necessary, shag back to Presby. Meanwhile, I'll be waiting for an update on my other pal, whose surgery is right nearby as well. I'm going to drop dinner off to her house mid afternoon so I'll get the scoopage then. Her sister will be with her or I'd have to go lie down on a copier somewhere to clone myself, since I'd want to be with her as well. Truthfully, I don't think the world needs two of me. One is almost too much sometimes. Just ask Fred. He knows.

We are off to the Farm Saturday with some friends we haven't seen in literally ages, never mind their oldest is one of my Godchildren. They are the kick back, put your feet up, and laugh your fanny off types where nothing is ever a big deal. I have some hilarious stories about the four of us that I'll have to share sometime. I included the stories in a cook book I wrote for the boys, Shut up and Cook, that ended up going out to most of my side of the family--nieces and nephews, who wanted a copy. One of my nieces found the stories rather enlightening and very entertaining, and wanted to know if I knew any on her mom, my sister. I had to take the 5th on that one. I'm not touching that.

Shooooweee...Sister got in some kind of trouble last night with her Daddy. Apparently there was some kind of voice command failure on her part--an act of "squirrel drop" defiance. By the third voice command to drop it, she finally got thumped on the lip and still hung on to her kill. That girl is playin' with fire. The tug of war that thus ensued was nasty and I hit the den door pronto. Their kill count for the week is now up to three and I think she may have to get put on hunting probation until her manners improve. And truth be told, I'm tired of finding dead squirrels in the trash cans. Yick.

Happy Memorial Day to all and keep it safe!

For some reason, this did not post, as scheduled.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fred, Fred, Fred...

Oh, looks like I'll be opening up Parkland North again, with Fred as my patient this go round. In his quest to cease snoring, he has opened up a real can of worms for himself ranging from the need for braces and some oral work to sinus surgery and a tonsillectomy. All of this at 56 years of age. I told him I could do the tonsillectomy if he'd just lie still long enough for me to either insert my pliers or the old wood burning set the boys used to have. You know...the kind where you burned your initials into stuff. could work....I might need to practice a little, though. That's why the pliers might be more fun...all I'd have to do is grab and snip, then use the wood burning thingy to cauterize. Or, just burn the tonsils out. No muss, no fuss. Either way, I'm good.

He tried to tell me that when they remove the nasal packing, post op, "there's no more painful thing IN THE WORLD". restraint at NOT biting for that was other worldly. All this from a man who has never even had surgery, except for his wisdom teeth. He's been on every message board and website reading about what he has to have done and while I agree it won't be any fun, easy on the drama, wouldja? I've already told him the tonsillectomy alone will be ugly and while he can do this in one surgery or two, he might as well do it in one since HE WON'T GO BACK AFTER THE FIRST ONE. And besides, anything he has to have done is always fifty times worse than anyone else, 'cause it's him.

Can you even imagine the fodder this will generate for me to blog about?? And while I wish he didn't have to do this, part of me can hardly wait to see how Fred copes with this. The clue truck is just about to hit him and my guess is it's not gonna be a four cylinder one.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Funeral plans...and Kate G.

Got any? Me, either, but after watching CBS News Sunday morning, I'm thinking it might be a good idea. Specifically, they had a thing on caskets--and not just any old caskets. These were over the top. There was the double one for two that looked like it came with everything except room service, the one shaped like a green onion for the mom who was a terrific gardener, and an eagle with folding wings, (to fit into the burial hole) for someone so inclined. Side bar:There's also some guy in North Texas buried in his favorite car which just seems odd to me. That just seems like a waste of a car but whatever.
All I could think of was three Harris males trying to decide what to bury ME in. A large cake pan? (since I do like to cook) A giant coffee filter? ( since I do love coffee) Now, I'm as eco friendly as the next person so I've had to re-think my burial idea. I've always told Bruce and the boys that I wanted to be "char-barred"(cremated), and then put in a zip lock bag to later be sprinkled where ever I decided. At first it was going to be in a few special spots in Estes Park and they were supposed to go, take me, and make a fun trip out of it. Now, I'm having to re- think the zip lock idea. Not very eco friendly. A paper sack, maybe?? And what about airport security?? How do you explain "that's my wife/mother inside this sack, so don't spill her"....wellllllll......they may just have to drive.

And if for some reason you missed the final of DWTS last night, and Kate Gosselin's l-a-s-t attempt at dancing, go on line and watch it. I had left the room for a second and when I returned, I thought for a second she was just walking to her place to start the dance. Uh, noooooo....not so much. She was actually almost to the end of her walk, and if her performance doesn't slay you, watching Tom Bergeron and Brook Burke try not to laugh hysterically afterwards, will. Best laugh I've had in ages.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Surprise....another layer peeled back

Just about the time I think I know myself fairly well, I get a curve ball I didn't see coming or that reveals another layer of myself, to me. While in the shower, where I do my best thinking, I realized several things about yesterday's jury duty. The first was, lump a bunch of Texans together for an entire day from all walks of life, and by the end of the day, some of us will have made new friends. People we would not otherwise have spoken to are now people we yuck it up with, to pass the time, or have heartfelt discussions with. I watched a youngish black man sitting on one of the benches outside the court room having a really searching conversation with a slightly older white lady about what reasonable doubt was for him. Or so he thought. And the responsibility of listening to the facts of a case, and deciding the fate of someone else, with his one vote was ultra real for him.
Secondly, it was clear he was frightened of the responsibility and fully aware of the job involved, and that's where I realized I was, as well. Sure we all read about murders in the paper everyday and even see reports of them on TV. We either turn off the TV or skip over the Metro section when we've had enough or just can't read them anymore. Hopefully, we have no other personal experience with murder. But to actually sit 15 feet from someone who is on trial for murder, and see their very humanness, was unnerving for me. Since there were so many of us, some of us had to actually sit in the Jury box, when the bench spaces ran out. I was one of them and I realized very quickly that the feeling I was having that just felt awful, was FEAR. I.... was..... scared.... to.... death. And I couldn't turn off the TV or throw away the newspaper. This was just in my face and this guy's future was dependent on 12 people and his magician/Oscar nominated defense attorney's performance. Those 12 people and their willingness to listen, were what stood between possible probation and a cell door clanging shut on him for from 5 years to life. Scary stuff. You can't help but think about how he must feel and what if you were him.

And what if he'd been my son??? He clearly is some one's son --murder or otherwise. There was no one in the courtroom with him yesterday other than his attorneys, but is anyone there today? IF I was his mom, could I watch the trial? Could I be there for him in the courtroom or would I have to wait outside, to keep from losing it? I don't know the answers to any of that and I hope and pray I never have to find out. Too scary.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jury Duty Hell

What a whippin'.....Yesterday I had Jury Duty and got home at 6 pm. I knew it was possibly going to be bad--I was just not prepared for HOW bad. And bad just does not adequately cover it. The first group I was assigned to rode the escalator up to the fifth floor court room only to find the guy copped a last minute plea, since he was a child molester. I nearly hurled at that revelation. There is no way I could have sat on that jury. Back down to the Main Jury room we went. Across the room I spotted a friend and since our numbers were called together for yet another potential case, we clung to each other like barnacles on a sinking ship. She is also a legal assistant so that made it even better--I could get the skinny on the defendant's attorney. Turns out the charge in this case was going to be first degree murder and the guy looked like a big blond young ex-football player, and he just made my blood run cold. He must have pretty deep pockets, too, since his attorney was one of the top criminal defense attorney's in Dallas. Enough of that. I am not a murder gal.
I made sure I got myself disqualified by raising my hand a couple of times when they asked if you could or could not, do something. And it was the truth--it just also happened to be my ticket out of there, not that they were even interested in me in the first place. I was just making sure.

And if all that wasn't horrifying enough, the Courtroom next door had either a witness or a male attorney, who was a dwarf. I saw him as he walked towards the courtroom door and almost lost it. Oh, my GOD....I am in Frank Crowley Courthouse hell. My friend didn't know about my little issue with dwarfs--she just saw me turn white, spin around, and look panicked, and when I finally told her, she laughed so hard other jurors wanted to know what I'd said. Luckily, she didn't out me to all of them, but all we both could think of was what if we'd been assigned to that courtroom as potential jurors? How do you tell the court, or even the judge privately, that you can't be on this jury because somebody in here is a dwarf???

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I'm off on another random post so be advised. If you haven't seen the Gorilla reunion on the internet, get on and watch--it is so heartwarming you'll feel all warm and fuzzy for the rest of the day. It's similar to the Lion one, just as moving and so sweet. My only question is this: what must those two wild animals have smelled like? I guess if you're used to wild animals maybe you just don't care? Don't know. And it's a miracle both guys were not beaten(gorillas) or eaten(lions)..... Well, yeah, maybe but I like the happy ever after version better so I'm just going to stick with my Disney moment.

And what about the rat that scurried across the concrete, in front of the President's podium, in the Rose Garden of the White House, right before the President was about to speak? When I heard about it, all I could think of was, which rat? Washington is FULL of them. Human and rodent.

And, lastly, if Kevin Costner's solution works to stop the oil gushing into the ocean, I will be thrilled. Even if it does mean he'll want to re-release Water World.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bad is just ...well...bad

It hurt...but I had to tell. Nothing would have been better by keeping it to myself. And it was just so brazen. That's what did it for me. I had to call Bruce and tell him Sis was/is two timing him. This afternoon, Wig wandered (and I do mean wandered) in the office here at home and fell asleep by my feet. When I got up to get my book, he woke up, how, I do not know since he is deaf after all.
Once I settled in one of the white chairs with my book, nothing would do but I had to hoist him up as well. With the ottoman perfectly positioned under my legs, in comes the Big Ho herself, all sleek and black and beautiful. To be fair, I had to let her up, too, but I did not have to share 2/3 of the chair. But I did. And then she started her "dog draping"--she leaned back and lounged all over me, while licking and kissing my face. While I sniffed around her face and ears, and alternately scratched and rubbed her tummy, she swooned across the armrest of the chair, leaving a wide trail of black fur all over the white chair-- and ME.

The sad part is, she pulled this exact same game on Bruce last night as he sat in the white chair. Has she no shame??? Honey....I have seen this game before. And truth be told, I am highly likely to see it again. Tomorrow.

Reality and TV

If you missed last night's season finale of Grey's Anatomy, you missed a pretty chilling episode. And for me, it was a really uncomfortable look at what could have been, when I was still working at Medical City. We used to have to drill for just those types of events and after the show was over, all that stuff came flooding back to me. My office was on the 7th floor of Building D--the top floor--right next to the Newborn Nursery. While we never had a shooter, we had some pretty tense situations between estranged new mom's and dad's, estranged families, and baby kidnappers (an unsuccessful one walked in right behind me early one morning according to Security video). And then there's just the plain old crazy people. While I never saw a gun on anyone, I know the ER staff saw them on a regular basis from rival gang members to revenge hunters. I used to hear Code Purple (aggressive person) called overhead fairly often and was glad my office had an outer door leading to it, that could be LOCKED. And you thought hospitals were just for sick people. Well.....yes and no.

I remember after one big upper management staff meeting being told that if we ever had to go on lock down, it would most likely be from a deliberately planted terrorist's biohazard, and we might not be the only hospital attacked. And we were most likely going to die--and no one was leaving. We could call home and say our goodbyes, but that was it. We'd just be taking the contamination with us, to kill our families and friends. We were even shown the slides depicting the likelihood of it happening and where we fell on the top ten list. Since I don't remember our exact number, let's just say it was in the top 5. Yeah....try drinking your coffee at the meeting after that revelation. I remember thinking, well, who in here do I really like and would be fun to die with, if it comes to that? And oddly enough, there were several people that I decided made the cut. And not one was a doctor.

I decided when all was said and done and I couldn't help another living soul, I was going to head for the Pharmacy, with my like minded posse, and have one last Kool Aid party. Hey...we could have made it fun, and it sure beat the alternative.

Scary? You bet. Could it be reality ? No question.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Secrets. Everybody's got one but man, are they dangerous business. And the bigger they are, the more dangerous they are. And family secrets are the worst. Boy, I will never forget knowing a secret about my cousin's mom, that my cousin didn't know, but was soooo close to figuring out it was eery.
She knew her parents marriage was not a happy one and had even gone so far as to check the dates on their marriage license to be sure she wasn't the reason they had gotten married. You know...the old shot gun wedding. The worst part was, I had to sit back and watch her wrestle with the situation when she was only missing one big puzzle piece. She even went to therapy over this (and some other stuff) prior to the two of us becoming close and her talking to me about why her mom had married her dad.

This went on for two years with us just talking until one day, she completely lost it and told me "I know there's a secret....I just don't know what it is." Oh, Lord....what to do now. Do I tell someone else's "business" and risk losing the relationship of both she and her mom, or do I just watch my cousin cry and stumble around blindly so close, yet sooo far from the actual truth. What would I want for myself? If she asked for my help, was it OK to give it and under what circumstances.? I fretted, I prayed, I consulted someone I trust, and I prayed some more. I finally decided that if she asked me again, I would help her. And, of course, she did.
When she brought it up, I finally acknowledged for her that indeed there was a secret--but it was not mine to tell. I told her to ask her mom , at a time when it was just the two of them together to please tell her the secret she was keeping. I told her "Your mom may not be able to tell you the first time you ask so I want you to ask her on three separate occasions, in a really safe environment, so hopefully she can open up, but if she doesn't, after that, I will."

Wanna guess what happened? Her mom wouldn't cough. Seriously. Three separate occasions, three separate denials. C'mon......I'm dying here. So, my cousin in tears, asks me, and I woman-ed up, and told her. The result? A little initial shock, and then total relief. She said "I knew it was something like that...I just couldn't quite put it all together". As it turns out, her younger brother already knew. Case closed. No one died. And now, her mom is a real person, instead of someone who was too afraid to be honest, with her own daughter. No secret is worth that. And now everyone is free. No more secrets.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Business of MORE

I was just thinking about wanting MORE--whatever that might be for you. More money, more cars, a bigger house, etc. You know what I'm talking about. The "gimme's". Before, when I've thought about MORE, I've never really considered what having MORE really means--I've only thought about the "stuff". I never realized before that with MORE, you actually get MORE--of everything. Good and not so good. With MORE, you have more responsibility, more employees to protect and take care of all my MORE, MORE decisions, MORE requests, MORE "friends" . More accountants, more assistants, more meetings, even when/ if I'm using all that MORE for good things. And don't think for a second MORE isn't a business. It is. Whether you like it or not. It is.
Yeah, the Gulf Stream jet would be fun, the vacations homes would rock, and the philanthropy would REALLY light my hair on fire, but at what price?? Less freedom than I currently enjoy, less responsibility, less anonymity, less privacy. Pretty quickly it becomes clear that with MORE, you actually have LESS.
I'd LOTS rather have what I currently have, and I guess I just never realized what a trap MORE could be.


Have you been outside this morning? Well, of course you have if you are at work or have kids or animals, but the sheer gorgeousness is almost overwhelming. I let the puppies out earlier and followed them out with my coffee for " dog policing", and if I'd had a lawn chair on the driveway, I'd still be there (until I ran out of coffee). I can hear the birds singing from inside the house, and the the cool breeze feels like Colorado, minus today's humidity. This is the time of year that makes me want to throw the windows open but if you have allergies, DO NOT do this or you will pay for it dearly. Fred is in bed feeling crummy and I didn't even throw the windows open--he got his allergy shot and that's what threw him under the bus. And those are supposed to help....swell. I don't remember people having allergies like this when I was a kid. I know people had them, but it seems like now a days everybody's got them, and they are b-a-d. Way bad. Pollution?? Probably. And weird weather. For sure.

Since my partner is under the weather, my mission is to keep it quiet around here for optimum snoozing and finish up some random cooking projects. I made zucchini bread last night right before the zucchini went south, and today is basil mayonnaise and maybe pesto. Since both involve either the blender or the Cuisinart, so much for the quiet idea. Why do both of those have to sound like a 747 taking off from the kitchen? Can't they put a muffler on them? I realize they only run for a short amount of time but is that a reason the decibel level should shake the filings out of your teeth? I don't think so. Dishwashers are quiet these days...why not small electrics? OK...enough of that or I'm going to work myself into an unnatural frenzy over something I cannot control. Maybe I'll just blend and food process in the Utility Room--with the door closed.

One of my favorite people in the world comes today to iron and she is a combo of friend, therapist, comedian, fellow foodie, and just all round good time pal. The minute she gets here I fix her iced coffee, hot coffee, or water (her call) and we get busy kvetching over life in general. She is as much a part of our family as the beloved Wiggles, and Bruce discusses the Hispanic soaps (Secretos) with her to see if he's learning any Spanish by watching them. This is his latest idea. Please.....ya know he's not, but I laugh my head off listening to them chat. She's way too polite to tell him he's full of horse puckey and you can tell she loves every minute of it. When he leaves, she and I scream out laughing. That Fred...he's just something else.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


For someone who earlier today was ready for the lazy pace of summer, we have about killed ourselves today with projects. Since it was my morning to get up with the puppies, naturally Wiggles started his wake up bark at 5:45 am. I stalled him for an hour but after that, he wasn't buying, and I was afraid he'd wake up Fred.

Today, we have been on a roll. We have moved my large wall hanging board in the Utility Room from one wall to another in hopes of installing more shelves for cookbooks and an appliance garage or just a general de-clutterer space for more storage. Mission complete? Check. We are still deciding on what kind of shelving we want--Elfa or Home Depot's knock off--and exactly how we want it configured. Read: work in progress. Next was a trip to Home Depot for hanging gear from my hanging baskets pictured and new black out shades for our bedroom windows. I also had to get more potting soil, the fern, (a steal at 19.99 and huge!) and other needed items. Home we trudged and while Fred hung the shades inside, I started planting the baskets. On the driveway. In the sun. Chasing Sister constantly. I finally got all three done and if you are so inclined to try this, peanut packing stuff works great for filler at the bottom of the baskets, with potting soil on top, so they aren't so freaking heavy. Whew. Ready for hanging. Enter Fred. L-O-T-S of cussing. Two different ladders, all kinds of contraptions, and an electric drill, but they are up. Still cussing, though hanging is complete. All hanging baskets watered. Check.

Since I just wasn't quite sweaty enough, I finished planting the rest of my pots I wanted to devote to caladiums, and watered them in, as Fred started his OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) weed pulling. Then I gave two of my big basil pots m-a-j-o-r haircuts and brought the basil inside to become basil mayonnaise and possibly a small container of pesto, tomorrow.

Finally, since I'll soon be receiving some large items from mom's estate, I don't even have the nerve to tell Fred what needs doing next week.


Yesterday I was reading an article on following your passion, listening to your your gut, and being willing to try new experiences if it's something you truly want to do. Forget what anyone else thinks--just do it. Then, Bruce tells me about one of his good friends who got up early this morning to catch a flight to Tokyo, with his wife, for a week long bicycle riding trip around the city. This guy is the essence of cool, hip, fun, and quirky, as is his wife. They are both arty to the max, live in Oak Cliff, and have their lives together in an almost enviable way. Although I am personally passionate about not riding a bicycle all around Tokyo, I can hardly wait to hear about their trip. If cool fun stuff is going to happen, you can bet they'll be right smack in the middle of it.

Then yesterday, as Bruce and I were both reading our emails, we each find a coupon for $80 off a sky diving opportunity. Really? Knowing the mere thought of doing something like that will render me totally comatose, Bruce can't wait to suggest we do it. Talk about being passionate and listening to your gut....I am almost in a fetal position merely thinking about hurtling myself out of a plane, dependent on a flimsy parachute for my very survival. And yes, there's the tandem jump. No thank, ya. And he wouldn't do it either. He just has to torture me.

Right now, here's what I'm passionate about: Summer. I'm ready for the relaxed pace and laid back atmosphere that just screams summer. I'm ready for leisurely reads and staying inside where it's cool and shady, in the heat of the day..... bathing the dogs outside on the driveway so they can air dry in the sun and watering pots in the early morning.
Icy cold drinks just seem to taste better in summer, lite dinners are fresher and somehow taste more nutritious. And the fresh vegetables....unbeatable. Weekend trips to the Farmer's Market for Mrs. Lemley's tomatoes, cantaloupe, and baby new potatoes and Central Market for Frederiksburg peaches are as much a part of summer as July 4th fireworks. And making ice cream....oh, lordy.'s definitely time for summer.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

City Huntin'

Holy is on in the front yard. Bruce heard a crow (of all things) squawking in the front yard, grabbed his pellet gun conveniently located by the front door, and has fired off several shots as I type. And the squawking is outrageous....I can't believe one black bird can make so much noise but this one can. I haven't heard a thud yet but boy, it sure just got real quiet. Meanwhile, Sister, his ace hunting and retrieving wiener dog has just gone into a frenzy to be let out to join the killing frenzy. She's doing the hunting squeal that's almost worse than the crow. And it's only 8:45 am. Presley (above) from next door has joined in. I'm just waiting for a police car to pull up. Ya know.....some people get up on Saturday morning and drink coffee, read their paper, and otherwise act normal. Not a Harris male. Never. Just can't do it. They have to "hunt" in the front yard in full view of the entire neighborhood.

I'm just back from getting more coffee and uh, oh....there was a knock on the kitchen window. As I look up, wanna guess what Fred was holding, by the feet, with a big old smile on his face? Sister was beyond thrilled and once again thinks he's George Clooney. Me? I'm thinkin' more Jed Clampitt.

In fairness to the previously maligned Presley, I'm going to have to say that when I ran out in my robe and slippers to take her pic (some people just have no couth any more) she was as calm and well mannered as anyone could have wanted, never mind that was her Dad (Buz) on the other end of her leash. Ahhhh, maturity. What a gift.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I am enlisting your help since I have just hit the iTunes wall. I received a gift card for the App store for my iPhone for Mother's Day from Brian and have loaded said card. The problem? iTunes won't let me in, saying my password is incorrect. OK, fine. So I changed my password. No luck. So, I did it two more times. I have even spoken with Apple support. I still cannot use the gift card so I'm heading up to the Apple store sometime today or tomorrow to work this out. Gadgets are fine until you hit this kind of insanity. Criminy. Anyone willing to offer suggestions other than not the gift card (smarty pants) , I'm all ears.

My neighbors whose house is for sale next door, just went from having the mom living there while the husband worked in Austin and the three kids were either in college or working, to having EVERYONE return to the roost--at least for a while--with the older daughter's BIG dog, Presley. Now, honestly, in the past, Presley has been the dog from hell. She has eaten one of their den chairs (anxiety at being left alone too long) , barked and raised fifteen kinds of hell while you were trying to nap or sleep (night) , jumped up on short people dressed in white and gotten mud all over them, howled incessantly, and jumped up and slathered your face in dog spit as an "I'm sooo glad to see ya", before you could knock her down. Believe me, she's fast. She's mostly white with a few black spots and has the general composition of a dalmation but there's something else in there, too, I know not what. Yeah, yeah....she was a puppy and all that but good grief...she was also just a big moose. Any dog that can almost knock me down isn't small.

As much as I have wanted to kill her, on numerous ocassions, I find she is just too hilarious to hate. Before she moved to Houston with my neighbors oldest daughter, I was right on the edge of tossing a poisoned steak over the back fence but somehow when I'd actually see her, all that frustration would just give way to hysterical laughter. And we have bonded over numerous times I have saved her bacon, letting her out when the kids "forgot", feeding her when I knew they hadn't, cause the kegger wasn't over yet and were probably too drunk to drive home anyway, and let her out to potty because no one was home. My neighbors always left their back door open (for their convenience) but also (I think) because they knew old softie mama Harris was gonna go let Press out or feed her, if she needed it. Yep .......diagnosis? I am a sucker. Oh, well....I guess there are worse things to be and I can't wait to go see her since now that she's a mature lady, she doesn't jump as much. And I know better than to wear white.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Warning: read with caution

I had to think long and hard about whether or not to post this but it's so off the wall, I decided I had to. That way you all could really get a handle on the insanity that is ours. OK, here goes but if you are squeamish, you might want to skip over this part. It seems that Muffin is a fan of dental floss--in particular, used dental floss that he somehow paws out of the trash can. And then eats. See....I warned you this was gross. Anywho, what goes in must come out and yesterday, that was just one of the problems I faced. I won't get any more graphic but let's just say it was neither in nor totally out--more like halfway--and I could not catch him. Off he went, running through the house and jumping up on furniture. 'Nuf said, but is it any wonder some women run away from home?
And, of course, it's the first thing Fred wanted to know this morning since he had choir last night and was gone..."Didja get it?" And since now you are dying to know, yes...I did, but nurse or no nurse, I'm not doing that again. Ever. Eeeesh. Muffin has also had "other issues" this week, and his time is about to run out with me-- I am beyond grossed out.

On a happier note, it's heartwarming to see all the C&W stars who are donating their time for a concert to help out Nashville on June 22nd and now Jerry Seinfeld has joined the posse and will donate all of the money made from one of his shows, to the cause. Benji's trio donated their proceeds from the small show they had last week at the RED ROOSTER to the Nashville Red Cross, and while it was certainly not in the league of Seinfeld's donation, I was proud of them for the gesture. Every little bit counts and just doing your part is the real thing that matters.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I'm struggling....and it's just not getting any better. My job is usually to be the vacation planner for Team Harris and I am failing miserably at my job. In the past, I've always had somewhere I was dying to go and it's not that I don't have places I'd like to go, I just can't get a big head of steam up to make a decision. Now, don't get me wrong...I realize this is a pretty high class problem to have but what I realized is, I'm really happy right where I am. Yes, I love seeing new places and having new experiences but right now, I've just got a case of the travel ho hums. And be it ever so humble, home is just good right now. I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be. But come August, when it's sweltering, I may be in b-i-g trouble. Anybody with great ideas of where to go, let me know. My only request is someplace cool and Fred likes to fish so that leaves it pretty wide open. The funny part is, Fred can't decide either...we name places back and forth and just blah out. Unless or until we can come up with someplace that at least speeds up our collective pulse rates even just a little, we're probably staying right here.
Or.... maybe we're both just worn out. ZZZZ...... ZZZ..... ZZZZ... Yeah...maybe that's it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nashtown update

I spoke with Benji this afternoon and it seems his GF Andrea's car (a hot little white 4 door Mercedes) was totaled from the flood damage. She l-o-v-e-d that car so even though this news was not unexpected, it still hurt. When we spoke, she was hunting for another car and I dared not ask what kind. Thank goodness Benji's car survived--hoopty that it is, after all the abuse he's given it, he still needs to be able to drive it. He better get famous fast before that car d-i-e-s. He sounded pretty worn out even though he is in a lot better shape than a lot of folks. I think the collective stress of a city can get to you after awhile and since this week is slow, due to the flood, he's really feeling the drag. Not surprising. Since I couldn't do anything else for him, I told him to head for the Honey Baked Ham store and get some goodies for he and Andrea, figuring they could use the comfort food, and the store could use the business.

While Nashtown continues to dry out, it's clear it's going to be quite a while before it's back to normal. Quite... a...while.

Hadley v Nick Nolte

Just when I thought life was about to get boring, I sat down to my computer, with my coffee, to this. It's from my niece and she happened to mention to her older brother, Harrison (Uncle Lizard), that this particular picture of Hadley looked like Nick Nolte. Since they work together, I can only imagine the screaming and laughing that ensued but here's what Harrison managed with a little creative computering. It's gonna take a little while for me to mop up all the coffee I spit but it was worth it.

And speaking of funny little short people, I needed a love connection something awful so yesterday afternoon, I ran by to see the love monkeys. I don't know what it is about little kids that makes them so damn funny but these just are. They met me at the front door and Hadley immediately wanted "up", with arms raised to me--OK...if that doesn't melt ya somethings really wrong with you and Hudson was all smiles wanting to know if I knew how old he was. I showed him four fingers and passed that test with flying colors. Whew. Next came the back & arm scratching/tickling that makes them suddenly silent and get that far away dreamy look in their great aunt used to tickle my back until her arms would fall off and then I still beg for more. Next we played with Hudson's Batman (3) and Robin (1) action figures, each with their own bat mobile/ helicopter thingy. Shoot...I don't know what to call them but Had has learned from Hudson how to make "guy noises" like they are taking off and I almost bit my tongue off, laughing.

Lastly, Hudson decided to go outside in the backyard and "water" and we all know good and well what that translates into and yep, it happened. Hadley was standing right near the wall of windows to the backyard and he sprayed the windows and she loved it. Ahhhh....the big brother "bait" is in the he just has to lure her outside. Bazinga....she bites and wants to go outside, and I let her. Hudson gives her a smile that can only mean one thing-- You...are....TOAST, and lets loose on her with the hose. And that's when the party started. The water was fairly chilly, she was fully dressed, and worst of all, UNARMED. You could have heard her screaming over at our house and man, oh, man did she make it fun for Hudson. He soaked her head to toe, and with the door being too heavy for her to open, she was right where he wanted her--flat against the windows, wailing. I got to her in seconds and wrapped her in a beach towel, took off her wet dress, warmed her up a little, and she was ready to fight. Geeze.....she's every older brother's dream come true.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Peonies, roses, hydrangeas..oh, my

Holy's at it, again. Saturday she got confused, didn't check her calendar (s), and told the Plaza concierge she was due at the hairdresser and needed to go--it was 10:30 am. The problem? That's what time she leaves on Wednesdays and this was Saturday. Saturday's she goes at noon but she forgot to look. They believed her, took her, and brought her right back. Then took her back at noon. all have to be sick of this because I'm about to pull a Brittney Spears and shave my head, I'm sooooo tired of it. But since this is my therapy--getting it out on a blog--either keep reading or don't-- and I'll certainly understand if you give this the hook. My sister is equally tired of this so before we drop the hammer on mom and make her stay at the Plaza to get her stuff done, I have put in a call to the Senior Living counselor for her input. Lord knows she's heard it all, so she may have some suggestions. Since this is not the first time mom has goofed up, her hair salon is getting pretty tired of all the drama. No kidding.

I took her some beautiful flowers for Mother's Day and Fred took his mom some also. If you haven't been to the new larger Cebolla on Maple, it is a feast for the senses and they have an enormous fat cat named Sofa, who adds his own brand of charm as he lazes around on the entry mat or wherever he decides he needs to snooze. He used to be at the smaller Cebolla on Lovers Lane but when the family moved their living space above the new building, he went with them. He's so fat he looks like he's been inflated--I can relate. There's just something about a snoozing cat that I cannot resist. He barely roused when Fred scratched on him. He just stretched a little.

I was swooning over the peonies, roses, hydrangeas, --you name it-- and in every color imaginable. While other places had peonies, none looked as fresh or well hydrated as these. If they have those weird brown spots or look rotty/ mushy, no thanks (Central Market). It was fun to stand in the refrigerated case and just breathe in the fragrance of those flowers. I also found a set of six standing antique single candle holders at different heights that would have gone home with me, if they'd been for sale. They apparently use them for weddings and I know they would have been just as fabulous at my house--inside or out--but they weren't parting with them because believe me, I tried.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to all mom's of two legged and four legged children. We work hard so put your feet up.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Busy is good

For a short week (since we were gone) , a lot has been accomplished. Fast is just not a speed that usually happens around here but I guess the stars must have lined up right, because it did. The trees are almost done--Santos is way high up in one of them as I type. Ahhh....the purrrr of a chain saw and the thud of a dead to my ears.
Our 4 wooden outdoor Adirondack rockers just finished their stint in "paint rehab" and they "rook mahvelous" if I do say so myself. Since we've been known to leave them out year round, they've taken quite a beating and I was almost going replace them until I spotted my neighbors painters, and got a quote. I figured what the hell....I might as well give 'um a chance. Anywho, after some sanding, a coat of primer, and four coats of white paint, they are in the backyard lookin' some kind of slick. The painter also graciously tightened them up with an Allen wrench so currently they don't shimmy, but give 'em a little time and they will. It's inevitable with those chairs. But for short folks, they are the berries. (to quote my dad)

My sister and I met over at mom's condo yesterday (yep, still have it until the end of the month) to tag stuff for consignment, and for each of us kids. We got a boat load of stuff tagged, cars loaded with stuff for us, and we were done--for yesterday. She and I speak a kind of short hand that probably only the two of us understand so that makes working fast and easy. Thank heaven she's out of town at a wedding this weekend or we'd be at it again today. I am currently scheduling a pick up with Brian for mom's washer and dryer for his new place---I have a distinct feeling I'll be housing them in our garage until June, when he moves out of his current place. Our garage already looks like a small Goodwill or Salvation Army. Holy cow. More stuff.

Well, lookey here....old Wiggins Piggins just walked in here to have coffee with me. He tends to do that if the doggie gate gets left open. Shortly, there'll be a loud wheezy snore coming from his direction. Land sakes....he's up... and headed back to the kitchen. And now he's back in here again. Now he's going back to the kitchen. Geeze....welcome to dog dementia.


Geeze....I feel like there's an elephant in the room, because there definitely is, and no one wants to acknowledge it. It's an elephant not of my making, and one that has lived a l-o-n-g elephant life in my family of origin, that everyone walks around and pretends isn't there or that they do not see--and it's a BIG ELEPHANT. In the 1950's and in some families, this is what families did--"they pretended". A lot. It "wasn't nice" to point out a large gray elephant even if it was pooping all over you, everyone around you, and "poop" was getting tracked all over everywhere. We all just bit the bullet and shut up. It wasn't "nice" to get angry or point out the truth because nobody wanted to face the truth. Fantasyland was just easier--for the elephant--and that was one powerful elephant. Make no mistake about it.

Well, welcome to 2010 because I don't do that anymore and haven't for quite some time. Ditto my sister. I have learned to say what I need to say as long as I say it in an acceptable manner which for me means, I have to script it out on paper first, if it's really emotionally loaded and honey, this one is. It also means I don't capitulate at the first signs of trouble--anger, raised voices, hot tempers. That's my signal to call a time out for myself ( and possibly others.) Then, I am ready to finish the conversation.
I can now sit in my discomfort and know that I can take care of myself--I have tools I used not to have. I know what to do-- where as before, I was just flat terrified, and acted straight out of that fear, for my very survival--or at least that's how it felt.
Today, I don't think there's a conversation I can think of, that having, will actually kill me. Some are possibly going to hurt like the devil but I can survive that. I have before and I will again. Speaking and actually giving voice to what I think, feel, and need, is so freeing. Even if it doesn't go my way, I have still honored myself by nuttin' up, and saying what I want. And if it doesn't go my way, I asked. Before, it was too risky to stand up and take care of myself. Somebody might get mad or not like me. And then what would happen?? OMG.
Today?? It's too risky not to.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Garden update

I needed a fresh air break so I hiked up to the patch to see how things were and on the way, I was surprised at how much I missed my little patch of dirt. I am thrilled to report we have two whole squash plants, lots (maybe 6 or so) of bush bean plants and net zero pole beans that someone else I know planted. I had to laugh and his only saving grace is another guy doesn't have any either, despite his little marker stating that's where they should be. Our tomatoes look good and so does the parsley and whatever flowers that have decided to come up, are giving it a try. I just can't tell what they are going to be yet.
And that fresh air I was hoping for? Well, if you don't mind the smell of fresh black top, you might have enjoyed it. The breeze is still lovely and sitting up there in the chairs, minus the tar smell, is just dandy. All you need is an big tall iced tea and a hammock, and you are set for the afternoon.

But since they just resurfaced the church parking lot, man, oh,'s a smeller. I watered and high tailed it back home but not before I did a little "service work". The guy who REALLY knows what he's doing has plants that are just blowing out of the ground. But some of his tomatoes are growing so fast, their arms/ stems are growing outside the supports so I did a little repositioning. Some of the branches are the circumference of my fingers so it takes a little doin'. His two sunflower plants are already almost taller than me and while that may not be tall to some of you, being eye to eye with a plant is a little strange. A little too Rocky Horror Picture Show for me. I'm also struggling with wanting to water other people's plots whose plants look really thirsty even though that's a "boundary" I probably need to respect. Oh, life.

One of my favorite people in the world will be here tonight. None other than Santos Velez, my tree trimmer man extraordinaire. NO ONE else is allowed to touch our trees--only Santos-- and it's sooo time for a trim I can hardly wait. He and his guys put on the harnesses and belts and climb so high up in our trees, sometimes I have to go inside--I just can't watch. Freaks me out completely. Tonight I'm planning to man my post on the front porch (Adirondack chair with a red back pillow) until they get up higher than I can handle. When that happens, I'm gone.


Wow. Talk about a disaster up close and personal....Nashville has really taken a left hook to the jaw. The pictures are not exaggerated and downtown is literally under water...I saw it with my own eyes. One of the big labels on Music Row even took a big hit--all of Keith Urban's equipment and other stars stuff was flooded and totally ruined, but the good news is, they have insurance and can replace their stuff. Some folks lost EVERYTHING and had no insurance. The Hard Rock Cafe was flooded so Benji's big gig there was canceled. I (like any typical mother) suggested he find another venue---sort of "the show must go on" mentality--and just go ahead and rock on. I felt sure those people might enjoy a cold beer and some great music after mopping, water- vacking, and dragging out wet stuff all day. And Lord love 'um, he did, and they came! It was a blast.

Benji's band was able to relo to The Red Rooster ( there were 2 giant red ROOSTERS out front, I swear) so the place was hard to miss. ( Actually, I think they were chickens, but somehow The Red Chicken just doesn't have the same cache'.) Fred wore his Johnny Cash shirt, we got to see one of Benji's old pals from a previous band (Gary), and we fed and "watered" the entourage prior to the show. Benji's trio really knocked my socks off and the fiddle player (Nathan) is classicly trained, and unnnnnnn-real. I thought he was gonna saw that thing in half. And Aubrey, their female singer, has a set of pipes on her that would not quit. That girl can sing and she's great to look at also. Benji sang several solo's and when he did his (cover song) version of a C&W Michael Jackson song, Gary, his pal, got up and did a totally spontaneous MJ moonwalk and dance, complete with throwing his hat, like MJ used to. People....were....rolling. It was hilarious--and sooo Gary.

Earlier in the day Benji & Andrea had taken us to his music label (see picture above) and given us the grand tour and we got to meet all of the owners/producers and see their brand new recording studio, that Scarletta, Benji's trio, may get to "christen" later this week. Music Row was much more humble than I expected and very neighborhoody looking. If you didn't know where you were, on those three blocks, you could easily miss the most famous three blocks in recording history.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry were closed due to flooding so, the Grand Ole Opry moved it's shows to another venue, and kept right on going. Luckily for me, they went right on--without me.

Fred and I went to Bell Meade Plantation and toured it and loved every second. It's an old thoroughbred horse farm with a dairy, slave quarters, horse barns with a collection of old carriages, a winery, and a guided tour of the home itself. We wanted to go to the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home ) and see it as well but it's closed on Monday and Tuesday. Bummer. We had planned to go see Vanderbilt but had to make do with driving past it numerous times which brings me to my one gripe about Nash. What crazy person named and planned their streets and highways and then made them as confusing as possible?? Benji's street, Woodmont, changes names four times, and who ever created their maps and signage should be forced to go to the Grand Ole Opry EVERYDAY for the rest of their life, as punishment for such a crappy job.
If you're going, take your GPS or you...will... go.. nuts. More on Nash later.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hello, Nashville

I am mostly packed and ready to roll as we have to blow out of here early tomorrow for the airport. I've already gotten one phone call from Benji stating that his downstairs flooded a little due to the storms, but nothing that couldn't be cleaned up with copious numbers of towels. FUN. Then his GF, Andrea, sent me a picture of their apartment building from the outside and it was not a good look at all, unless you like to kayak. And then there was the You Tube video of the Tennessee portable school building floating by, going so fast it had a wake behind it. If you are totally bored, watch it. I've never seen a building going that speed before.

I won't try to blog from Nashtown as I plan to vacay all the way. But you can bet I'll be taking notes. See ya on my return and please, Lord, don't make me got to the Grand Ole' Opry....

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Busy day with lots going on. A double rabbit sighting--the fatso white with the gray ears bunny across the street (me) and a regular old brown bunny by Fred, up at the church where we have our garden. It seems Sis was not responding to voice command, so her dad had to go after her. He saw the bunny; she didn't and I can only imagine what flavor of hell would have busted loose, if she had. For a city gal, that would have done her in. A wild bunny right here, in her 'hood? Just... too... exciting. She'd have done that squirrel screech she does when they taunt her. I'd rather listen to a kid play the cello.

Fresh hot chocolate chip cookies are cooling in the kitchen since I needed to make some for our critter sitter, Crashman, for next week. (It's a perk ( more like bribery) of staying here along with anything he wants to eat while he's here.) He'll be here while we are in "Nashtown", visiting Benji, Mon-Wed. since Benji has some big gig he wants us to attend. Frankly, it will be nice just to be out of Dallas for 3 days. I've done the grocery store run so Brian be well stocked if he gets his inner chef going and wants to cook himself something. He thinks he'd like to get a dog so this ought to be real interesting with him taking care of all three animals. I'm thinking this is gonna stall out that dog idea for quite a while. Plus, pet eldercare is gonna be a whole new ball game for him. Sis is easy--it's the old ones that will make him nuts. $10 says he'll never do this again. I can hadly wait to see how this shakes out.