Blog Patrol Counter

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Squirrel Cage Brain brain is going at warp speed with all of the things I'd like to do or be doing.  I'm thinking a magic wand would be really handy about right now so I could just flick my wrist and it would all be done.  Yeah, well.
My planter in the backyard, filled to over flowing-- "fluffy"-- with sweet potato vine, I moved to the front porch a week or so before we left town, for some front porch color.  I had yanked up the potted caladiums, so something needed to go there.  Then, one of the hanging baskets needed a little R&R out of the brutal sun, so I put it there as well.  Voila'...instant color--problem solved, or so I thought.  I noticed the sweet potato vine was beginning to look sick a few days before we left with some webbing like stuff on it, and by the time we got back, it was DOA.  I don't know what bugs got it, but I sure hope they enjoyed it.  Short of a burr haircut and some bug spray, this may be more trouble than it's worth trying to coach it back to life.  I may just cut to the chase & and go buy new stuff---  forget the plant ICU.
  Yesterday, I had a moment and went nuts with Mary (my neighbor's) electric hedge trimmers. I finally just pulled all the Asian Jasmine off the house wall on the  driveway side.  I started trimming, but then the over growth just started  peeling off the wall in a big sheet, so I went with that.  It looks great-- now I have to go clean it all up.  I hate that part.  Then I'm hitting the back yard.

And I want to bake, do errands, make a quiche, bathe the dogs, wash their dog beds, and clean the baseboards.  Why??  Hell...I don't know...maybe because it's Fall.  Perhaps what I really need to do is take a nap, and think about it.  All of it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back to Real Life

Whew......Now I think I know how astronauts must feel upon re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.  The G-forces are definitely pulling on me.  No sooner did we get home but there was the shooting at UT, and Farm projects kicked right back into high gear.  Full on pedal to the metal.  Since we are having a party in two weeks for one of the cousins who is getting married, dock repair, Barn repair and painting, little house repairs, tree trimming, and a new big flat screen installed, all are in the process of happening, thanks to Fred.  We will go back up this weekend, with our assistants, Wig and Sis, to oversee and work.  I may take my gardening gloves and finish pulling any weeds that have cropped back up since my last overhaul and layer on some mulch.  I just don't do weeds.  They.... drive..... me.... nuts.  Just not the look we are going for, thank you very much.

I think the Wigman may either have allergies or a cold--his bark is a little hoarse--but very manly.  It's still monotone--one note over and over and over--but I'll take it.  It just means he's still here and kicking.  He is asleep in his dog bed right under my desk so things must be good in his world.  I just heard a delicious leisurely moan, so he must be dreaming.  He's already had some of my cinnamon raisin swirl toast, with butter, so no wonder he's happy.

  I decided while we were in Colorado, that this year I'm going to do my Thanksgiving turkey, a la Egg.  I'm not going to smoke it--I just want to cook it on my Egg, and see how it turns out.  So, next on my list is researching that.  I'm going to brine mine again since that makes for the most juicy turkey ever.  I can't wait to pull out my Big Green Egg Cookbook (thank you, Adre') and get busy reading.  I got gourds and little white pumpkins for inside, yesterday, but am going to hold off on outside pumpkins for awhile.  The High school age boys in my neighborhood just love to get drunk on the weekends, and smash pumpkins.  As the mother of two grown men/boys, I know better than to point the finger...mine have surely done lots worse.  And, no, I don't want to know.

Just a reminder to those that do flu shots--it's a good idea to wait until at least October to get one so it protects you during the height of flu season.  If you've already gotten one, no big deal.  At least you are organized.

Just a little slice of  Heaven, no?  This is from Snowmass.

Monday, September 27, 2010


In my earlier post, I forgot to mention that it's bear season up here (pre-hibernation) and the place where we ate last night had one come walking in the front door one night, about three years ago, and almost scared a guy to death.  He was eating dinner and  looked up and was staring at a big old bear.  Luckily, Taster's has two doors (entry and exit) fairly near each other so the bear left pretty quick.  They've had numerous bears in houses up here, and all over Colorado.  Any trash for pick up is put inside wooden trash garages with heavy duty doors to discourage bear foraging.  They are in the process of changing the door handles on the doors from a lever to a round knob, since bears are fairly intelligent--or maybe just persistent--when they are hungry.  The same restaurant said they've had two red foxes visit lately, right around dusk.   One is younger and smaller and must be developing a taste for Italian food.  My kind of guy.  Or gal.

We are sitting in the Aspen Airport listening to a C&W band with a fiddle player, banjo, bass, etc.  Fred's already videoed them on his phone, and sent it to Benji--as a potential gig/ ski trip.  Not.  We just love pestering our kids. It's a full time job.

Basalt, Co.

Cutest town ever, bar none, and as friendly as can be.  Their Farmer's Market did not disappoint--organic everything- fruit, vegetables, beef, from local farmers, a holistic healing lady with her products, local honey, pasta, and loads more.  I succumbed to the Sweater Jeanie, and bought a darling wrap type thing made of cashmere, viscose, and something else I can't remember.  It is light as a whisper and warm as toast.  And, it has the most adorable wooden buttons that still look like the tree. She has a website where you can order them in all different colors but she even has more colors now, than are currently on her website.  I've seen the same wrap in Dallas made out of cotton, but it just looked bulky on me.  These drape, and I like that.  Perfect for slipping in your carry on for a cold plane or a freezing theater.

It's time to pack up and leave all this beauty behind.  All of the big fancy private fancy jets have left so I guess it's really time.  I was prepared to blog that we had seen absolutely no elk or other wild life, other than road kill, but last night saved us.  Coming back down Owl Creek Road--the back and more scenic way home from Aspen-- there they were, at almost dusk, a total of 14 Elk--and the bulls were huge.  Two small doe's were right on the roadway about 3 feet from us, but they got scared as I fumbled to get the camera ready.  Oh,'s not like we don't have a gazillion pictures anyway but these gals were definitely photo worthy, and so girly.  Such gorgeous gals.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Yep, he did.  I almost couldn't believe it myself until I remembered who I was dealing with.  Fred got all the way down to the drop off point to fly fish, before he realized he had forgotten his waders.  Boots?  Check.  Waders?  Nope.  Short of forgetting his fly rod, waders seem to be mission critical, to me, considering the water is colder than hell.  Driving back up to the condo, I was schooled on how I was not to tell this on my blog.  And in a moment of sheer lunacy (his), he almost said the "F" word--forbid--and then bit it back quickly, as I cackled hysterically.  Oh, about green lighting something.  You even hint at the word forbid, and you can just consider it DONE.  For future fishing trips, I think we're gonna have to employ the time tested, no fail, gear check list.  Otherwise, next time that water's gonna be pretty chilly on his bare skin, in his shorts.

Now that I finished that, I have to say that he has been one heck of a tour guide.  Usually, that's been my department but for this trip, I turned it all over to him.  We just returned from the glass blower, dinner at Cuvee in Basalt, and the art gallery opening for a new show.  All of it was fun and the food at Cuvee was easily as good and maybe better, as any pricier, see and be seen spot in Aspen, and just as charming.  It was on our list but the glass blower said to definitely try it, so we did.  We both had lamb and it was the best I've had in ages.  And my salad was to die for : spinach with a wonderful garlicky dressing, toasted pecans, dried cranberries, a mysterious unidentified dark but tasty mushroom, and little "tater tots" of fried cheese as garnish.  We sat outside and as the sun began to drop, so did the temperature.  Right as we were finishing up, out came my fleece. Puurrrrfect.

Since tomorrow is our last full day, we are planning to chill out and maybe go back to Basalt to their Farmers Market.  It's supposed to be lots more normal and fun than the Aspen one. " Mr. Activity" has gone full throttle since that's what happens to him when he doesn't take time off for himself, for too long.  He just gets wired and then ultimately fries out.  A lot of Harris males do that so it's nothing new and you can't prevent it--you just stand back and wait with a pillow, until they drop.  And they do. 

I can't get over how dog friendly everyone is.  Two older dapple dachshunds, Oliver and Stanley, walked by with their dad, as we were having dinner.   We had to speak and they stopped, briefly, to chat.  Sis would have had a cow.

Somebody wanted you all to see his big brown trout.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wig and Sis

I'm gonna go ahead and out myself, since I'm all about honesty---I have texted our critter sitter, once, to check on Wigman and The Sis.  I'm trying to restrain myself and enjoy my time off dog duty but I had to know. She said she thought they missed us, and Fred immediately rolled his eyes.  I bet they do, since both are rotten stinky spoiled--all done by us.  We've been able to get a dog fix from several of the pups in town and around here, so we are good.  I even checked out the Aspen pet store yesterday and it's self service dog wash.  Yes, to the idea of a clean dog; no to taking it outside in the cold, even after drying it.  Brrr.

I found some of the most fabulous purses in Amen Wardy that if I was Lady Astor, I would have snapped up in a heartbeat.  They were small evening purses ( I often does anybody use those?) but I still wanted all of them.  Or, at least several, since they were just so damn neat.  AB, Nic, & Fern, you all would have freaked over them.

Last night, we cooked steaks out on the balcony and when we finished, I thought Fred was throwing a few bites off the balcony to any lucky pup that might stroll by.  Wellllllll....that was the intent, however, he did not count on  birds eating the scraps.  And these were enormous birds--and loud.  This pic makes them look normal size--they're not.  They're fat and big.--probably from all the steak bites.  He's still kind of pissed his local dog friends didn't get to enjoy his largess, but those were some lucky mountain birds. 

OK..out to the deck to finish my coffee and enjoy all God's work.  Maaaaan, He does great work, no?

The Grotto

Man, oh,man...this town is filling up due to the Fall leaf color.  On one of our treks today, we went past the backside of the airport and I've never seen so many private jets all lined up, coming in for all the beauty.  I'm betting there were at least 25-30 jets, and that's about double from earlier this week.  More fun facts??  It seems over twenty of the worlds top art collectors have homes here either in Snowmass or down the road in Aspen, and you can just feel the style quotient amping up, with all that moola hitting town. 

I've never seen a Friday afternoon start so early but this place was kicking back all over town, by about 1-2pm, -- and it was actually kind of nice.  You could just tell people were ready to relax.  And I'm not talking about a bunch of was more just people talking and laughing together, and being nice to each other.  I ran in Amen Wardy for a couple of quick gifts, and didn't want to leave.  Not only was the service great, but there were just too many fun people and beee-u--ti--ful things.   One man who worked there could have sold me my own purse ten times, he was that good.  I saw a lady walk in and tell him she needed a "nothing gift", (read inexpensive) for a couple, and he walked straight over to a set of inexpensive cheese knives that were fabulous, and she whooped.  She told her husband she always just tells them how much she wants to spend and what the gift is for-- then they walk around and choose things for her and she's always happy, and the gift is  always perfect.  Love that.  Too bad their Dallas store closed.

Today we did a short hike to The Grotto, with two waterfalls, and ice caves below the rocks where we were standing.  I got Bruce to take a picture of me to prove to our boys that I was actually on a trail, and not in a store.  I am about a half to a one hanky hiker, so if it's straight up hill, let me know how it was, when you get back.  No thank ya.  Today's hike was barely even a half a hanky hike, so I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Tomorrow, Bruce is planing to fish again, and then we are heading down the road to a glass blower, an art opening, and dinner.  Ohhhh....I could get used to this.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I was this close...

The adventures continue.  I drove to a shop between Carbondale and Glenwoods Springs yesterday based on their Ad in a magazine.  While the Ad was drool-worthy, with an old Farmhouse  table with a zinc top, and an old enormous wooden mirror I would have bought on the spot, those were long gone.  The rest was interesting but nothing worth dragging/shipping back to Dallas.  Which brings me to this notion: no matter where you go, everybodys got the same old, same old, unless we're talking antique pieces.  I'm more of a Gustavian, Farmhouse French, with a curve ball of English and Belgian thrown in.  Think Vintage Living, in Snider Plaza, minus the price tags, and while not exactly the look I like, it's close enough for description purposes.  And I thought I might have scored something here.....  Damn.

I am thrilled to report my friend's surgery went perfectly with the best possible outcome: no node involvement, and reconstruction was begun.  Prayers were answered and while I'm sure she feels like a truck hit her this morning, there are drugs for that, and healing has begun.  And, there are wonderful Angels in the world, one specifically named Adre', who emailed me last night offering her help to someone she's never met, because she's been there, too.  Women rock.  **I'd never want to be a man.

Yesterday afternoon, we drove to Maroon Bells, a famous often photographed area that left us almost speechless.  The leaf color was outrageous.  Fred had a brilliant idea to try to photograh out of our car's sun roof, until I pulled the plug on that idea.  When you can get out of the car to shoot, what exactly is the purpose of shooting through the sun roof??   ** Must be a guy thing....I don't get it.

One of the pups below just howled.  I may have to go visit.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A cool front last night

After the rain stopped yesterday, we hopped in the car and headed down the highway to Basalt, a tiny little town about 15 miles away.  Cutest... town... ever.  While Fred fishes today, I'm going back, and then on down a little further to Glenwood Springs.  Way too many places left for me to discover--especially a furniture store in Glenwood that I saw in a magazine.  Art, antiques, and no Prada, thank you very much.  Then we'll head up to Maroon Bells late this afternoon for some photography, and more nature and Fall color.

Real life has intruded somewhat in that a close friend is having a double mastectomy right now and she is just never far from my thoughts.  She is in great hands and will do fine but I just hate that powerlessness feeling.  Thankfully, hers was caught early but the nurse in me just never gets too far away from my scrubs and clogs.  Not like I can do anything but I can sure spiritually suit up, and send LOTS of prayers her way, and I have.  I'm not in the results business but God is, thank goodness.  Sometimes if I just write worries here and get them out of my head, I feel better.

The sun is out, it's in the 50's again, and a crackling fire is already going....ahhh...... pyromania is good.

Snowmass vs Aspen -no contest

Yesterday was a tad bit rainy and in the 50's.  So, after lunch in Aspen, we decided to come back and make a fire, I made a pot of chili for dinner, and otherwise chill until we had a hankering to do something else.  Driving past the Aspen airport to Snowmass, I sure was glad we weren't trying to fly in or out yesterday.  If the visibility is not four miles or more, they cancel flights and since the runway is short, if you don't hit it right, you're toast.  There's a plan in the works to extend it and I'm wondering what's taken them so long.  They've got the room, so it must be the $$$$. 

The fall color is almost at it's peak and the mountain side of Snowmass is ablaze in color.  Yellow, gold, orange and some red, mixed in with the dark green evergreens and the blue spruces, is simply breath taking.  We've found a back way to Aspen, up Owl Creek Road, and one whole side of a mountain is almost solid yellow.  Down a little further and you can see where they've just finished haying, for fall.  The meadows are all neat and smooth and freshly mowed in a circular pattern, that's almost restful to the eye.   That's another reason I like Snowmass better--it's much more picturesque and open than Aspen.  Aspen is OK, but I'm more of a Snowmass gal.  Give me things w-i-d-e open and more natural and pastoral, so I can see for miles.  In Aspen, everything is just all piled up on top of each other.

Plus, the real truth is, Aspen's just too damn foo foo for me.  You can't tell me the ladies who live here are the ones buying in Prada, Ralph Lauren, Gorsutch, etc.  Oh, hell no.  They never get out of their workout gear.  It's the East and West coast gals who are in there, during ski season and summer they don't have these same stores at home?  Hmmmm.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another first

A triangular shaped shower?  Never tried it until today, but both showers are triangular in our condo.  They are not huge, but actually quite lovely with the rainfall shower head.  I love those.  Admittedly, shaving my legs in a triangular shaped space is a bit tricky, but after looking around, I'm not thinking a lot of leg shaving actually goes on up here.  Which brings me to a not so nice observation.  These women are rough looking.  They may be athletic and in good physical shape, but they are uggggleeee.  Admittedly their bod's look killer--until they turn around.  Geeze, louise...they don't need masks for Halloween.
  Can you all say moisturizer??  And sunblock...ever head of it??   Is a shampoo out of the question, after your 10 mile run??  And here's some conditioner for that bale of hay on your head.  I honestly can't tell if the ones I'm seeing are just older, or if living here just makes you look 95, but either way these gals need some help.  I've never seen so much skin that looks like mule hide, and isn't a mule's.  And the "wrinks" up here are DEEP--I'm talking facial crevasses-- even Fred has made a few cracks about people he's seen.  We saw one gal last night going into the Pharmacy with her 10-ish looking son, and as we passed her, Fred made a face that made me hoot out laughing.  Prune City.  Now, I realize Texas women are lookers and that my comparison might be a tad unfair.  C' know Texas women are gorgeous, but they also work at it. We also don't have the dryness that they do up here.  Face it...we all still have great skin, so thank God we're from Texas.  Yee haw.

Fred's fishing outing was a success--he caught several trout and his guide is emaiing a shot of him holding a  particularly nice brown trout Fred caught, or at least that's the story he's telling.  Since it's catch and release up here you can lie really big (or use your guide's fish).  You can also hold your fish closer to the camera to look bigger, so I'm waiting to see the pic

P.S.  I'll post it when we get home, if it's a nice one. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sunny and cool

OOOOO, la la!!  I'm sipping my coffee with the balcony door wide open and cool air pouring in.  Last night, we drove over to Aspen to piddle, shop, and eat dinner.  Since my stomach is still on Dallas time, I just feed it when it's hungry (duh), so by the time we got to Mezzaluna, it was almost 6:30pm Dallas time.  Unbeknownst to us, it was also happy hour and three pizza's were included at half price, for the next few minutes.  We had to pull the trigger fast-- so we did.  Fine by me since Aspen prices are pretty inflated.  The pizzas DID NOT disappoint and we brought some home with us.  The veggie pesto was my personal fav and is calling me right now from the refrige.  I'm not giving in--too college, cold pizza for breakfast.  Please....who am I kidding.....I'd still eat it in a heartbeat.

Fred is gathering all his fly fishing gear together for his guided fishing soiree in a little while.  His waders are hanging on a coat hook by the front door, and almost look like a person.  Kind of creepy.  Since he's not familiar with the area, a guided trip is the way to go for a first outing.  I just turned around and caught him putting on his waders, over his pj's, and slipping his wading boots on, for a test run.  You had to see it to believe it.

We have found an older dog friend one level below us who comes out to sit on the balcony.  He/she appears to be a golden retriever and while we thought maybe he/she was deaf at first, we got a tail wag this morning with our greeting vs a blank stare yesterday.  Of course, yesterday, we were strangers.  Now we are friends.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Never a dull moment if your name is Harris

Well, as usual, traveling for us has been another adventure.  We arrived in Aspen yesterday, drove to our condo, and the door was locked.  No problem---we were early.  Then Fred checked his phone.  It seems our hostess, Erica, had accidentally double booked our condo for one night, but had a back up plan.  Her mom has an incredible "old Aspen" cabin that feels like you are out in the woods somewhere, but is actually close to town.  Her mom's house is close by, but far enough away so that it didn't feel weird.  It was our option to stay there or she would find us a spot in the same complex as our condo, but for one night, we figured what the hell....and went for her mom's place. I'm soooo glad we did.  In some ways it was like going to a Colorado version of the little house at the Farm, only with beams in the ceiling, a cool tin roof & cable TV.  Both places used to be feed sheds way back when, so the vibe was just so familiar and comfy.  We have pic's of the place so I'll have to load them later--I can't post them from here since we don't have a certain thingy.

We got to meet Indigo, Erica's mom's Blue Healer female dog, who promptly tinkled in the grass around the cabin to welcome us.  Nothing says welcome like a little fresh tinkle.  Erica and her mom, Marcy, came down for a drink and to make sure we were OK with our decision.  On our little porch was an old lift chair bolted into the ceiling, for additional seating, with the other furniture, and we sat outside and visited.  While adorable and cozy, by today we were ready to see what we'd actually rented, and we were not disappointed.  If you ever want to rent something somewhere, try VRBO (vacation rental by owner) and give it a shot. Or, let us know as this one is for sale.

Before I close, I want to leave you with a little "visual"--the sliding screen door to our second floor porch, is WIDE open, a la Fred, and the view from where I am is of a solid stand of Aspen's, beginning to turn yellow and gold, and a few blue Spruce mixed in, loaded with pine cones.  It's dry and cool and might rain tonight, as a cool front is expected.  Oh, bring it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Benner--Happy b-day

Twenty six years ago today, a little "round faced pumpkin boy" was born at Baylor hospital, at 5:09 PM, and it was another of the best days of my life.  Wooo Hoo, Benji!  Happy B-day, baby boy.  We love you.  While he was home last week, we were discussing the state of his hair, since as part dirty rocker, part C&W singer, his hair was somewhere in between.  I attempted to play stylist--always fun with sons--and it was clear that in order to get some cheek definition (ie. skinnier looking face), he needed to head to his hair stylist in Nash, and cut more layers in his hair.  Now while Steve, Dallas and Bruce, my only male followers are gagging over mother and son playing Beauty Parlor, I have to say it was a hoot.  Even Benji had fun.  I put some of my hair "products" in--a little of this and a little of that-- and it's just a really good thing there were no scissors nearby or I might not be alive today.  And watching a guy primp in front of a mirror??  Priceless.

Anyway, Benji said they (the trio) were told to get in super shape for their upcoming publicity and he was worried that his face was too round.  Always the supportive mother, I proceeded to dissolve into a puddle, laughing my brains out.  I told him if anybody--producer, manager, whatever--thought he could reduce or change the shape of his face, to..... give..... me.... a..... call.  He's been a "round faced pumpkin boy" since I saw him half way out during my C-section, in the delivery mirror, (yeah...I really did watch my c-section) and he looks exactly the same today.  We both ended up laughing our heads off over the lunacy of  such a thought.  Are there a few tricks to make your face look more angular and defined?  Oh, hell, yes.  Women do it every day-- but unless you want to wear bronzer (and maybe some war paint), just cut your hair to make your face LOOK more narrow.  Case closed. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Had and Sis

It's about that time of the afternoon, and I am jonesing for a really good chocolate chip cookie.  None of that bag stuff or even a regular bakery one.  Nope.  I gotta have the real deal--the 3 gabillion calorie one from Creme de la Cookie, in Snider Plaza.  Nicole and AB turned me on to it last summer after Brian's crash, and I'm thinking I might like to have my ashes sprinkled out front, in the event of my untimely death, should I OD on their cookies.  There's just nothing like a little mid afternoon jolt of chocolate and sugar, to keep your motor humming.  I could do almost the same thing by fixing an iced coffee and then eating one small, teeny, tiny piece of dark chocolate, but stack that up against a deeeelish cookie and, well, I'm just not feelin' it.  Just pass the damn cookies. 

The news on Sis is, it's her brain.  Quit laughing.  I know that was a no brainer, but it appears her pituitary gland, located in her brain, is somehow stuck at 10,000 RPM's and is sending the signal to her adrenals, to floor it.  I just gave her the first dose of her medicine, and we will do it for a month and then probably re-check her. ( I haven't told her that part since she enjoyed it so much this week (not).    I thought I'd keep that part to myself until we actually have to do it.)  This may be reversible, depending on Sis's brain, and that part right there has me shaking my head, " No...not so much".  I'm just not thinking Sis' pituitary is any more compliant than the rest of her. 

And speaking of cookie eaters....get a load of this one.  Forget the cookies.  I'll just eat her.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Romeo and Juliet, RPM & MTM

Yesterday afternoon as I was about to leave, I happened to glance over to be sure both puppies were in the den.  Not only were they both in the den, but were lying like two slices of bacon, side by side, in the same bed, with Wiggins rear hanging off the bed, since Sis was hogging.  Nothing new there.  But it was when I stopped briefly to love on both dogs, that the reality of the two of them together hit me.  They are just an old married couple.  When I tried to love on Wig, first, Sis rolled over on her back, for maximum scratching when it was her turn.  Seeing Sis sunny side up, with her legs flopped to either side just made me stop, sit down, and visit.  I scootched her over some to give Wig a tad more room, and he barely moved at all, so delighted was he to be with his lady love.  I haven't caught them together that much lately but it was truly sweet to see, especially since they may not have that many more, as Wig ages.  I should have stopped to take a picture but I knew I'd be late if I did.  Now I really wish I had.  Sis, spread eagle, with ears flopping, is truly a sight to see and the two of them in the same bed, is just the best.

I didn't know it was possible, but I seem to have a cleaning hangover.  My whole self is worn out but it was fun getting there.  The weeds got pulled out front of the big house and a big layer of mulch is what needs to happen next.  When Fred got up there Sunday after choir, I headed home on the highway about 2:15 to feed the puppies, run two loads of laundry, run the dishwasher, and mow the front so a tired Fred wouldn't have to.  Let's just say, I was showered, shampooed and the rest, and in my pj's, by dinner time.  But that's a good kind of tired, to me.  The kind where you can see the results of your hard work.  But sometimes it makes me have weird dreams.  Must be all that cleaning!

It's official-- we now have a professional songwriter/recording artist in the family.  Benji inked his contract with RPM, who has just recently merged with MTM management, in Nashville yesterday, and he could not be more thrilled and excited.  They are also recording & promoting the trio Benji is in, so you heard it here first!  The band is changing it's name since there are already two other established bands somewhere with the name Scarletta, so they are working on a suitable C&W, southern but not hick, name.  The one they've come up with the Producer (RPM) likes--the manager (MTM), doesn't.  Ahhhh, turf battles.  Benji said he doesn't care what the name is so he's going to stand back and let them fight it out.  One or two big hits and suddenly nobody cares what your name is.  Ain't it the truth.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hurry up and wait

That's sort of the mode we are in with Sis...tick, tick, tick, waiting 72 hours to get the results of her test for Cushing's, from yesterday.  She's acted like she'd been let out of a concentration camp ever since we picked her up last night and she's asleep in the dog bed Fred put under our office desk, right at my feet.  Plus, she's dieting to lose two pounds, so that's never fun.  Face it...she has just been to dog hell.

Today at noon is the thank you  lunch at Parkland, and a list of things they've purchased with the grant money given to them and a tour of the Rehab Gym.  It will be fun to see what they've done and hear their plans for spending the rest.  It's my dream to be able to continue to give grant money every year and in this economy, that may be a challenge, but we'll just have to see how creative we can get.

The little house at the farm gets the rest of it's make over today, and Fred said he thought it would be another 4-5 hours on it.  Thank goodness it was a set fee and not an hourly amount.  Fred said he also found two shed skins of  bull snakes inside the little house, in a chair he unfolded (director's chair) and I nearly passed out.  I know exactly where they got in and that hole needs repair FAST.  Since the past repair has been comprised of a Coke can shoved in the hole, with the big clean out, this hole is getting fixed.  Period.   No one really stays in the little house much and we've just been remiss in doing much to it, but  once the repair is done, that's likely to change, since the little house holds so many memories for all of us.  It's a sweet little place and fun to remember putting our kids on Traveler or Freckles (old, small horses who are now Elmer's glue) looping the reins around the saddle horn, and watching them plod around and around the house, inside the fence.  Yippy yo ki yay.....  excellent babysitting.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Wow....doesn't it just make you want to snatch someone bald-headed when they try, repeatedly, to get you to do what it is they want you to do, even after you've said "no thanks"?  The more miles I get on my chassis, the more aware I am when it comes to manipulation--even my own.  Both of the boys know to call me on my stuff immediately and I don't get to round on them, make it all about them, and get mad.  I have to stop and honestly take a look at what I've just said or done, and see if they are on target, and they always are.  Then it's my job to clean up the toxic spill and set things right.  Same deal with Fred....only now he just says "manipulation" and I start laughing.  Crap.  Busted again.  And ditto me to him.

With this sort of open door policy with the four of us in our family, it makes dealing with other people rough sometimes.  My sarcasm meter immediately ramps up and I have to bite back everything my mouth is just itching to say.  And body language....oh, Lordy.  It's best if I just roll into a ball or exit because what I'm not saying, is shooting out all over me in clearly readable language--even my hair gets into it.  The hip toss, the eyebrow, the necktitude--it's all there.

Trying to manipulate someone else is so disrespectful and arrogant.  In a sense, what I am telling someone is, they don't know what is best for them, but that I do.   And if you are secretly saying to yourself "Well, I do know what's best for them!", get help.  You don't.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

This and that....

Yesterday at the Vet,  I slipped and called Sis, Meatball, in front of the Vet Tech and then corrected myself to "Double Meatball", after Sis got off the scale.  We were in our doggie room waiting for the Vet when I heard a burst of laughter and the Vet opened the door asking to see "Meatball".  Poor Sis ran and hid under one of the plastic chairs.  She has to go in tomorrow for a test to confirm what they suspect is Cushing's disease--adrenals in turbo mode.  She gets to spend all day there for two blood draws 4 hours apart.  Since we are heading out of town for a week next Sunday, I want to be sure she's on med's before we leave and feeling OK. 

This weekend there was the big Sanger Sellabration on Saturday, around the square.  There was a big BBQ cooking competition but most of it was all over by the time I got there.  I have never seen so many enormous smokers in my life and trucks to pull them.  Some folks were really serious about the competition and had come on Friday.  They had their easy up shades, trailers, music, coolers, tables and chairs--the works.  I never did find out who won--the guy I asked said he'd gotten forth in brisket and sixth in ribs.  Forget him.  I'm looking for who won.

The cleaning people turned out to be good cleaners and real characters, so what could have been miserable turned out to be fine.  Shirley is the owner and did the least amount of work, I guess because she's the owner.  She couldn't come today so Rick and "Shirl" met me up there this morning.  I say "Shirl" because that's how she said her name.  I couldn't tell if it was Cheryl or Sheryl or Shirl, so I just said it like she did.  Countreeeeeeee.  Rick would have benefited greatly from a shower this morning but since we didn't hire him to smell good, oh, well.  He was as nice as could be and as hooked on sugar as anybody I have ever seen--even Fred.  He had leaded Dr. Pepper's in the fridge and a sack full of chocolate candy--for lunch---and back stock in full view in his car.  Hoooooly.......made my teeth hurt.  They have to come back on Tuesday to finish up the little house as this has turned into the never ending cleaning saga.  Fine by me.  Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Civil Courts--what a joke

Frustration update: Our Civil Court system.  No wonder people go Postal--I could go Civil in a heartbeat.  We are probably going to waste additional attorney's fees on Monday, because our judge's staff and quite possibly the judge himself, are not doing the jobs they were hired and elected to do, in a timely fashion.  We don't even know if the judge has read our attorney's and opposing counsels letters, so there's a good chance we get to waste EVERY ONE'S time in court, again, on Monday on a issue that for all purposes is over.  If nothing else, this has made me rabid on the subject of electing future judges to our Civil Courts.  So, if there's anything good that can be gained from this, maybe that's it.

For those in the vicinity of NorthPark, take cover.  Tornadic activity has been spotted since Benji is on his way up there in my car for a little lookey loo--- which always translates to $$$.  He's mine all doubt about that.  Sis is back from the Vet and is being tested for possible Addison's disease, Cushing's, or Hypothyroidism, among other things, since she's having a few problems.  Cha-ching....all can be treated with medicine...we just have to find out what we are treating.  We'll know tomorrow and get started on meds then.  I told her I'm rooting for Hypothyroidism since I have it, too.  Just another girly thing we could share.  We could even take our meds together. 

Odds and Ends

Lots going on this weekend and the to do list is getting shorter.  Since Bruce is the Farm Manager right now, that automatically really means I am.  Hey.....ya know it does....or we both are, which is fine with me.  I love doing stuff like this with a list of things to fix.  The cleaning lady I found in Krum--seriously, that's how it's spelled--is right down the highway from us and is meeting us Saturday, for A DEEP CLEAN.  Ahhhhhhh....doesn't that just make you want to squeal and shout?  It does me, since she sounds like she really knows what she's doing and the best part is, I don't have to do it.  I can stroll around like Lady Astor of Sanger, Texas, while both the little house and the bigger one get scrubbed to death.  What's not to love???

The best part is, the cleaning company's name is Odds and Ends, and that's exactly what they do.  Bruce asked Peggy if her company could do several little things, and "yes" was always the answer.  Minor carpentry, Barn painting and minor repairs, and even screen replacements, I think, are all in the que for a repair bid.  I just love seeing things that really need fixing, get fixed.  Peggy has been in business for over twenty years, is bonded, insured, and guarantees her work.  She's a hoot on the phone and I can't wait to meet her.  I may have a new gal pal. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010


You can sure tell the season is changing....this week has been  non stop runnin' and gunnin' --and it's been a short one.  A longer week might have killed me.  Yesterday was an attempt to drown both Mary, my neighbor, and myself, on our outing to visit The Forum.  I offered last week to take her and yesterday was the day I could do it.  I kept praying she'd call and say the weather was too bad, but oh, hell no.  I figured if she wanted to go that bad, by gosh we were going, and it was actually kind of fun, if you think getting wet and walking yourself to death are fun.  We looked at several places and were able to identify one floor plan she really liked, and between the two of us, asked every possible question known to mankind.  We got her all the brochures, recommended movers, cleaner-outer people, plan your space and move you in folks, so now it's her kids ball.  It's time for me to bow out.  Mary had no idea all those people were even available and while she knows the services aren't free, you could just see her relax, knowing she doesn't have to do it all herself.  Or burden her kids with it.  Amen.

Today was fun "girl day" with some other ladies I didn't know well, but after yesterday's set up and today's Fall Fashion Show, and tear down, I feel like a have a new group of gal pals.  Women can just be so women that is, and these were.  I used to think I just liked professional women.  Not so, Kemosabe.  I like capable women-- ones with a lot of life experience.  The ones you can learn from and know how to do everything--- and make it all look easy.  The ones that aren't into competition and just love to share whatever they know, and to teach nimrods like me how to do it, too.  I admire the hell out of women --certain women--who just have that unshakable sense of fun, coupled with a "can do, hell yes" attitude, that are creative down to their cuticles.  Now that's my kind of mentor.

Tomorrow baby Benji, Mr. NashTown, arrives around noon at DFW with GF, Andrea, in tow.  She is the cutest gal ever so it's a toss up who will get a hug first.  They will be here through Monday so I'm trying to steel myself for the birthday carnage that's likely to happen.  I guess I should recognize it since it's exactly what I used to do, birthday or otherwise.  When I lived in Austin and came home for the weekend, I used to strafe Northpark, and then the drugstore, stock up, throw everything in the trunk, and head back to Austin on Sunday, before the bills hit my dad's desk.  No wonder this sounds so familiar.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nuh, huh

Hello, Houston....we have a problem.  Pantyhose....... and, I just can't face them.  I have to go to this lady doo tomorrow and unusually for me, I'm wearing a dress.  Yep, I am, or at least that's the plan.  But it's this hose thing that's really thrown me.  I don't do hose.  E-v-e-r.  But whadaya do in a dress?  My legs are just not suitable to be seen by the naked eye, naked, and those one legged thigh high things either look like a tourniquet or might fall down.  Now, yes, the easy answer is just to wear pants....I know that.  But what does the rest of the world of fifty somethings do?  Do you struggle into those body maiming pantyhose or do you have a better solution?  If you have an idea, comment quick because I have to be there early tomorrow and I am plotzed.  And don't say leg tanner--I think I'm allergic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Office Depot and God? Who kew?

I've been hunting for something to use as a God Box for several weeks and nothing seemed to be quite "it".  For those who don't know what a God Box is, its any box you want to use (think sort of a mailbox) where you can put slips of paper (or pages) of things you'd like to let go of, and give to God.  As in permanently.  The object is not to take the top off the box and take stuff back.  You leave it there.  Ultimately, you can take the top off and read all the stuff you gave God and see how it all worked out but not for a l-o-n-g time since God's time and yours may be radically different.  It usually is in my case.

This morning I needed to add some paper to the printer and voila', a Office Depot copy paper box--- with a big ol' Office Depot written in red all over it.  Admittedly, it's not fancy but I'm free to make it all beautiful if I want--quit laughing....I know you know I'm not gonna, but I just had to leave the door open for the artists in the group.  Anyway, I'm going to cut a mail slot in the top and I'm in bid'ness.  At first I wondered for a second if God would be offended by my lowly God box......I mean was it good enough??? And then I started laughing. think maybe he's got bigger stuff going on than to take offense at my box??  He doesn't give a rats fanny what my box looks like...He just me wants me to use it.  The more I look at my "spiritual mailbox", the more I like it.  It's just soooo me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Welcome, Fern!!!!!

So glad you joined us!  Welcome, welcome!

Remember her?? I cannot forget her

But for the grace of God it could be me.  99 lashes??  I am so angry I cannot even speak or type.  Heaven help her.  Men will not.  But they sure will have sex with her.  Unbelievable.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Yeast-- what a pain in the butt

Two loads of pizza dough later and I figured out all my yeast is dead.  Every single one of the packages--even the unopened ones.  Well, thank you very much Fleishman's, especially since it says good through April, 2011.  Fred is on his way to get me some that's live, since tonight is Pizza Night on my Egg and homemade dough is just soooo goood and sooo easy, if you have live yeast.  And since it needs to nap (rise) for an hour and a half, I'm burnin' daylight here.  We needed some AAA batteries, too, and forgot them earlier, so now he can knock out both.  I could go harvest the last of my basil but that requires getting up, and I'm just sooo comfy here in my chair, yakking.  After two loads of dough making, a girl needs her rest.  And a big old glass of freshly made iced that's what I'm talking about.  OOOOO, ahhhhh.  And perhaps a Wigman or a Sister girl in my lap.  On second thought, nahhhh....they chair hog too much.  I might as well get comfy since Fred is known to spend forever at the store.  I guess when you don't go much you don't remember where they put stuff and they constantly re-arrange stuff so it can get frustrating.

 Hallelujah the dough is made and actually seemed like dough this time.  It's covered and resting on top of the freezer in the Utility room, where it's toasty and warm.  And I made the pesto, too.  I filled four of those little bitty round Glad containers with the pesto to share or add to the freezer stash, and I saved some for tonight's pizzas. (I roast the garlic and the nuts and I think it really does make a difference when you do that.)  The flavor is just fuller to me. lured Fred in to the kitchen from just the smell.  My one remaining basil bush was decapitated-- but all for a good cause.  Knowing that bush, she could still put out some more leaves before Fall but she's no longer pesto worthy.  Bruschetta, maybe.  Even that might be a stretch.
So, stick a fork in me, I'm d-o-n-e.  But I sure am ready for pizza......'s not exactly a Dove....

Oh, yes, he did.  Again.  When the birds quit flying, Bruce decided to try to call up a bobcat.  Again.  In an earlier post, I showed you the first one.  He said at first, he didn't see a thing.  Zero.  Squat nuthin'.  Then right as he was about to quit calling, he saw something at the base of a tree, sitting.... right... there.... just itching to be shot at.  He said this one took two shots and it tore it up a little, but not so much that one of Brian "Crashman" Harris's pal's, Jeff, still wanted it.  Jeff's a Marine so I guess that figures.  Bruce said when he got back to the big house and walked in with it, Brian just started laughing and shook his head.  Those two are each others biggest fan.  They are legends in their own minds.

When Bruce asked Brian how the hunting / shooting had gone, Brian said he'd had some trouble seeing clearly with his right eye, since that's the eye that suffered some permanent damage in his motorcycle crash.  He's always been the best shot in the family and we always called him Dead Eye Harris.  He said he decided to try shooting more with his left eye as the predominant eye and he got a dove just fine so his plan is to switch eyes.  Please.  I couldn't hit my car in the driveway, and he can hit a flying bird with his non-dominant eye.  C'mon. 

Bruce said using a shot gun you use both eyes, just one more than the other--with a rifle you use one.  Deer season ought to be real interesting.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dove: the only good one, is a cooked one

True to form and the first days of opening season, two out of three Harris males from our family are at the Farm playing war games with small birds.  And may the force be with them.  Nothing says Fall like a freezer full of dove and wood in the wood rack.  Though I gave it a good shot, I didn't manage to burn all of our wood from last year so I am probably set for this year.  Once it cools down a tad more, I'll finish filling up the wood ring by the back door, so I'm just steps from pyromania heaven.  And, truth be told, I'll no doubt do my fire pit on the driveway again, just because I can. 

The great white hunter says no birds yet--we are texting back and forth.  The birds got annihilated on opening day by another Harris and some guests, so they may be laying low.  Wouldn't you??  Dang....I would.  They may also be back in the trees in the back pasture and if they are, they aren't coming out.  They're there for the night, so you might as well find another spot.  It's awful early for that to be the case, so I'm hoping they start flying in soon.  I just texted Fred and said if there aren't any, there's one in the backyard and it made him nuts.  He just texted back that that one is next.  And he isn't kidding.  He and Mr. Pellet gun shoot dove year round but I don't think he lets Sis retrieve dove.  Squirrels, yes, but dove she might eat.  Too delicious to risk.

I have a smothered dove recipe that Fred makes ten times better than I do, or at least that's what I tell him.  Heck...I'm not stupid.  If it gets him cooking, fine by me, but he really does make it better than I do.  He texted he just got one. Looks like the war has begun.

Long Live The King!

Elvis has left the building....

At 8:30 AM this morning, my brother's old man dog, Elvis, caught the train to Dog Town.  Yep.  Another one bites the dust.  My brother claims he named him Elvis because he "ain't nuthin' but a hound dog, cryin' all the time" and that was Christmas Eve almost 17 years ago.  We were all at mom's for Christmas Eve dinner and Elvis was out in the old laundry room at mom's until after dinner, waiting to meet everyone.  Our kids made it a whole nine more months before we had to have a dachshund puppy, too.  And we've been dachshunding ever since.  And so have they.

At lunch last Friday, I had asked my brother if Elvis was doing the baby turtle like Wigman, with his back legs going out from under him, and that's when I got way more information on Elvis than I really needed, but what the hell.  My sister and I both told my brother that when "dogs become incontinent, they are gone" and I think it was just the permission my brother needed to do what he already knew needed to happen.  My family is such a bunch of softies that when it comes to our animals, we are just pathetic..... to be one of our animals is to live in dog heaven--on earth.

Lunch at the Plaza

Lunch yesterday with mom was fun. Because all of the tables in the Dining room are four tops, we were seated in the little private dining room, since it can seat ten.  There were only five of us but I think it gave mom ideas of how she could have another group for lunch in the future.  Another plus was it's fully enclosed, so mom could hear better in there, than in the larger dining room filled with other residents and their visitors.
It's really heart warming to see how the staff remembers the residents particulars.  Mom likes a glass of milk with her lunch, and sherbet--any sherbet--for dessert.  She gets a real kick out of them remembering and bringing her her favorite stuff, without even having to ask.  Occasionally, she'll throw them a curve ball but for the most part, she's the same old, same old, every day.  It's also a hoot now to hear her refer to other residents as her friends--thank the good Lord in heaven for that.  When she first moved in back in April, everyone was "old" and "uses a walker", and we weren't quite sure how she was going to settle in to this deal.  Case closed.  She loves it and that is no small or minor MIRACLE. 

The other day in the mail I got a letter from the Plaza asking if mom would like to have her flu shot (swine, and what ever the flu du jour is for this year) right there at the Plaza.  I asked her and we both said "Oh, hell, yes", and I turned in the paperwork today.  I thought she might have wanted to have it at her doctor's office but nooooooo.  She wanted to have it right there--- with all her buddies. Yee haw. 

There was one spot of news yesterday that was distressing to me.  It seems the man I had hand picked to be mom's boyfriend, because he's adorable and has a precious male Schnauzer that lives with him, is moving.  And, mom said, he has a girlfriend.  Drat.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Fear.  That deep down feeling of terror that things are somehow NOT going to be OK and that it's all over.  I was strolling down memory lane last night realizing all the stuff I'd been through in the last three years--a lot of it I can't share here but you can just take my word for it--it's been one hell of a ride.  An acronym I learned for FEAR--False or Future  Events Appearing Real has helped a lot to bring me back to this planet vs way out there in Scared As Hell Land.  Some of the stuff was real as it gets, and there's no debating that, but the rest of the stuff I spun way out there into tomorrow-land, never actually happened. But the feelings were there--- so I got scared as hell anyway.  Feelings aren't facts (and I know that intellectually) but in my head, good luck selling that idea when I'm really afraid.

I've decided that FEAR is just my default setting.  I'm human and I'm going to get scared, regardless.  It's what I do with that fear that's important.  Denial is one option but that just doesn't work for me--my "Deniar" must be broken or functioning at such a low level that I just don't get any relief from using it.  Punt that.  So that usually sends me to my time worn tools of journaling, talking with someone else who isn't involved so they can point out reality when I can't see it for the trees, and always, prayer.  In fact, prayer is the first one I use and not just the foxhole kind either.  I like to stay close to God just in case I need Him (which is everyday, all day) --that way He remembers me and I don't have to re-introduce myself.  Beyond that, being patient and giving time, time, is helpful, but only if you are patient, and I'm not, so that's another steep hill for me to climb as well. 

Sometimes just sitting down and making a list of all of the stuff God's already gotten me through and reading it out loud to myself, will put things back into perspective.  By the time I finish reading the list out loud, I'm usually totally reassured that God's got all of it and I can quit trying to do His job-- and just LET HIM DO IT.
Today I know, there is a God and it's NOT me.

P. S. There is another acronym for FEAR:      F***  Everything  And  Run -----just in case you'd rather.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mr. Mertz makes a funny

Somebody around our house thinks he is just hilarious.  Woo hoo.  Big funny, Mr.Mertz.  He sent me this with an ad for Pole Dancing classes --3 classes for $35.  And, he said he'd spring for the $35.  Ha...Ha...Ha.  If I looked like her, I'd take the damn classes.  Whadaya think the chances are that I could hoist myself upside down, on a pole, in the first place?  And most importantly, I don't have long hair.

You better sit down.....

Just when I thought I'd almost seen it all, I got an email yesterday that blew my scrubs off.  A lawsuit my siblings and I have been involved in and have been waiting for a ruling on, we found out was actually decided and signed off on---in JUNE--but neither side was ever notified by the judge or the court.  We won, thankfully, but here's the kicker: some other people are involved in an almost identical suit, and their attorneys and ours, were all in court MONDAY.  Yeah.  Of this week.  And the judge didn't remember he'd already heard, and ruled, on our half, and we didn't know he had either. And the meter was running for both sets of our attorneys.  If they are almost identical, wouldn't you think he'd have ruled on the other half ?  Hello....anything sound familiar?  It's the same case--just different people--even the lawsuit name is the same. 

Wanna know how we found out we'd won?  Our attorney happened to log on to this new website for attorneys to be able to check the status of cases that are pending a judge's decision, and there was our suit.  He signed our order on June 26, 2010.  Seriously.  I am not kidding.  Now the attorneys for the identical suit are trying to figure out how to tell the judge he FUBAR -ed, without embarrassing him.  Unbelievable, no???  They don't want to totally piss him off since we want him to nail the side that brought the suit, and make them cover our attorney fees.  I wish I could tell you I made all of this up but I don't have that active an imagination.  If I did, I'd write for a Soap Opera.  Oh....that's right...this is one.