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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bristish Etiquette question

I think I read somewhere that the Royals invited 1900 people to the wedding yesterday.  Out of that, 650 were invited back to the Palace for a champagne and canape reception, with cake.  What the hell happened to those 1250 other people? Did they hand them a big ole Happy Meal McFish and Chips on the way out, and cut 'em loose?  Did they even get a parting gift?  I'm serious.  I did not see this addressed anywhere and just wondered what their invitation must have said.  You're invited, sort of?  You can come to part A but not part B?  Lunch and champagne at your place.  Maybe that's how the Royals cut corners but that's veddy, veddy, weird, in my opinion. 

And what about the King of Tonga....that jackass with the 12 or 13 wives.  Do they just invite him and tell him to leave all his wives home in Tonga, or is he a +13?  You know he's not....but I'm just dying to know how those Courtiers handle all this stuff, and what they say.  Frankly, the King of Tonga could have stayed home where I'm concerned, since he chooses a new wife from a huge dancing hoard of bare breasted Tongan women.  Dude...boobs are boobs.  And did I mention he looked like a bullfrog at the wedding....He did...and that's me being nice. 

Lastly, did you notice the Queen and Prince Phillip, Chucky and his Ho', all had to wait before they could be seated, because Kate's Rolls hadn't pulled up yet?  No one can be seated after the Queen, so they had to wait a few seconds until Kate arrived....I bet they've never had to do that...ever.  Making the Queen and your in-laws cool their, that's power.  If only for a few seconds.

Code for Below:
MOB--mother of the bride (Marianne Gonzalez, Andrea's mom, )
MOG--mother of the groom (moi')
FOB--father of the bride  (Andrea's dad, Francisco, who is an architect)

And for my best funny of the day, I got a text from the MOB this morning saying:  MOG- I think we should wear hats.  MOB 

I almost wrecked my car laughing when I found it, so I texted back:  Me, too.  BIG ONES like yesterdays. We need them to be Architectural, too, so we may need FOB's help. MOG.

Her last text was : Definitely.  I'll get him started on sketches. They'll be so easy to fly across the pond. MOB

Isn't she just the coolest thing ever?  I laughed my head off.  I'm a lucky gal.

Mr. Activity update

Let's just say that Sis's throne currently resembles a three legged stool and is really sad looking, while someone outside, is getting verrrrrrrrry grumpy.  It may be time to heat over to PetsMart.  Eeesh.

Mr. Activity

Now that the wedding is over, all of us "wedding watchers" have to deal with our emotional hangovers and wedding withdrawal.  Sounds like something must have happened post wedding, since the reported plan was for them to have a two week honeymoon right after the wedding, right?  We saw all those photos of Kate bikini shopping, so what gives?  Or is this just a another Royal tease?  Either way, fine.  Let's move on....I've finally hit wedding over load. No, I haven't....but let's get back to normal anyway.

Today is chore day around here and Mr. Activity is already hard at work.  Since we've upgraded a few pieces around here, first stop was to the resale place with a few tired, and I do mean tired, pieces.  Next, is my book and magazine holder that is full to the brim--those have to go to Half Price books.  Saturdays are always busy and you have to hang around until they give you their offer, but that's not all bad--I love to play around in there looking through all the cookbooks, novels, dog books, etc.  Bookstores and hardware stores do that to me....I could hang around in them all day, just buggering around.

Mr. Activity has decided to build Sis a window perch and she does need one, since she now thinks my chair in here is hers.  Our friends down the block are building an lovely new house, so he's gotten permission to use some of their scrap lumber for Sis's "window seat", and since we have some left over carpet in the garage, Sis may get a throne, as befits her royal status.  Could Fred buy one of these and save the time to do something else?  Of course.....but he loves having a project so I say go for it.  He built Wig and Sis the little ramps, inside and out, for their doggie door*, and and they work great.  *(Since our doggie door had to be slightly raised off the floor, ramps were needed for aging wiener pups comfort.)  Sis can now hit the ramp to her doggie door in the den, to the outside, doing about mach 1, and never miss a beat.  All you hear is her screeching squirrel bark and the clickety- clack of the doggie door swinging shut.  She never falls and she never misses.  In his last days, Wig was another story.  Not surprising since he was deaf, and half blind.....and usually I'd just go over and open the den door for him.  Hey......he was my man dog and he deserved special treatment. And believe me, he got it.  It's the very least I could do for such a sweet boy.

Time to head outside into the lovely humidity, again, for my walk.  Earlier, I walked Sis down the block to the construction site because she had to go see what Fred was doing....I'm serious....she was running through the house whining, because she just had to go with him, and he didn't want to take her.  Those's just always a power struggle with them.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedding update--Razzie Awards

I just have to be naughty--I can't hold it in a second longer--so let's get down to business.  I'm going to hand out awards to those deserving of such notoriety.

Most Horse-faced, Frumpiest, 1950's hairdo, and not aging gracefully either, goes to :  Princess Ann, by a landslide. All I can say is she should have worn a saddle.

Hottest blondes and a trio of sisters too, goes to:  Earl Spencer's (Diana's brother) three daughters --the Windsors could have used a LOT more of that bloodline. 

Worst dressed females under 30 goes to and it's a tie : Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, daughters of Fergie and Prince Andrew.  Those two looked like they worked in a carnival or a circus. Beatrice's hat looked like she could pick up microwave signals wearing it and Eugenie's dress was "unfortunately floral".  They sat right behind the Queen, which was very bad news for TV viewers.  And gals, lay off the black eye liner, puuuulease.  You look like ho's.

Tallest platform on her shoes, with hat surgically attached to her forehead:  Victoria Beckham    another landslide

Hat Category:   They were ALL awful save one or two that I saw, EXCEPT:  Lady Sophie Windsor and, Carole Middleton.  These two women knocked it right out of the Abbey.  You go, Gals.  You rocked it.

Best B-Maids dress and killer body to rock it with, baby:  Pippa Middleton 

Over all, probably the WORST dressed crowd ever, except for the men.  This bunch redefined uuuugleeeee attire, but, man, was it fun to see.  OK...enough of my naughtiness. I get cranky when I need a nap.

Royal Wedding Partay

The Royal Wedding is in the can and what a doozie it was!  My morning began at 3:50 AM since news coverage began even before then.  Here are a few shots from my friends Wedding Watch Party.

This was her front door and was accompanied by bride and groom rabbit fixtures--the bride in a veil and the groom in a top hat and bow ties.

Here's her foyer, and a shot of the party favors below.
And the tea.....note the crown and scepter.  Tiara's are barely visible.
Dining room without the food!  I shot these last night before the party.  Food: scones with clotted cream, fresh giant strawberries, egg, bacon, and cheese spread for tiny sandwiches, 6-8 different English jams, 8 different English teas, coffee, and lots more!  Such fun.  And now I need a nap.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

T-minus one day and counting...

Since it's somewhat chilly this morning, Sis just asked me to put her fleece blanket back into her bed since she must have dragged it out earlier.  Sometimes after a nap, when she gets up, it will stick on her back and I'll find it in the hall, where it finally slides off.  She does need to get her beauty sleep after all since she may want to get up early with me, for the Royal Wedding.  Who am I kidding?  Knowing her, she'll stay warm and snugly in her bed and sleep through the whole thing.  That's just how she rolls.

Fred reinforced my earlier decision, this morning, NOT to allow him to watch with me tomorrow, as just watching the run up to the wedding this morning, he yakked and yakked.  He had to comment and ask questions while the TV people were talking, and he knows that's just wrong.  If you're talking, you're wrong, so button it up. 

With a busy day ahead, I do hope I can keep myself calm and not get too nervous for tomorrow's events.  While I may not be the actual gal in that white dress tomorrow, just try and tell that to my body, since in my head, I am that gal in the white dress--at least for a few minutes anyway.  After that, I want to be me again and be able to cuss, laugh inappropriately, and be generally naughty.  That's just how I roll.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This and that

I thought our end of the block might have a slight chance to crawl out of the dullness category Sunday night when the Emperor, our neighbor on the corner, appeared to be having a Tiki Bar party, complete with Tiki totem poles on either side of his front door, and a flashing Tiki Bar sign on his house, next to the front door.  Strands of colored lights were strung all over their backyard--we could see them from our house--and Katy Perry and Cee Lo Green were wailing from their backyard sound system.  I was impressed until I realized it was a party for their daughter, who is graduating from HP.  Wah, wah.  I don't think there was any alcohol simply because both parents were right there, highly visible, and are both attorneys.  And, I didn't hear or see any drunk kids.  Once the thunder and lightening started, the party went inside and that was that.  No more street football, no more running around in the mean old bag's front yard, and no more music, so I'm thinking the mean old bag called to complain.  What a buzzkill.  So much for our end of the block.  We suck again.

On a different note, yesterday I ran to get my scones mixes for Friday's Royal wedding celebration.  And, yes, I'm going with mixes because they are easier and, well..... I just am.  I'll make some Thursday PM to run over to my friend's house who is hosting the Wedding Watch party, so she can warm them and have them ready Friday morning, for the 4AM watchers.  I plan to do the wedding watch at home beginning at 4AM and then sail over to her house about 6:15ish, while Wills and Kate are clip clopping their way to way back to Buck Palace.  Since my friend lives a whopping 1-2 minutes from me, I won't miss anything except a few shots of the south end of some royal carriage horses, and I can live with that.  I may invite Sis to watch with me, but not Fred.  He'll want to talk....and talk....and talk.....or he'll ask too many questions or have comments...."who is that"...."that hat is terrible"...who's that old guy"... or do a running commentary.  Nuh huh.  Watching with me is by invitation only.  Sorry, Fred. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

No phone? No problem

We ran by yesterday after lunch for a quick visit with mom and to finish cleaning out her old space.  Let's just say someone was not particularly happy about her new digs, due to the noise and general adjustment.  It was clear she was a little scared, and mad her phone didn't work.  Her phone service has to be transferred over to her new room and luckily, that's not something I thought about, or I might have done it.  Thank goodness I didn't, as it seems she would have been calling both my sister and me, telling us she HATES her new space.  You know....sometimes it seems to me God protects me from just that kind of event, by not letting me know or remember something has to be done.  Now that I know, I'm gonna drag... my.... feet.... about getting this done, so as to give her a little more time to settle in.  In fact, I'm thinking Friday might be a nice day for her phone service to actually kick to life.  Any sooner, and I'm likely to get an ear full of what I already heard yesterday. 

It's not her room that she doesn't like--it's "the people"--and she said she "only knows one person".  Same story we got when we moved her in to the other side a year ago.  Within a few weeks, all "those people" were her new best friends.  And, sometimes it's loud--and, she's right.  Sometimes it is.  People with Alzheimer's yell sometimes, and even bang on doors occasionally.  Alzheimer's is not a pretty disease.

Clearly, the Alzheimer unit may prove to be a challenging adjustment for her, but once she gets accustomed to it, hopefully, she'll relax.  She's had a lot to adjust to in a short amount of time so I may make myself scarce for a few days.  Hey...there's no reason to walk into a gunfight if you don't have to, and I don't have to, thank you very much.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011 is a wrap

 News to report:  I neither wrapped my lips around a fresh, hot, Sister Shubert roll with "buttah" or even a bite of a cupcake.  Nupe.  I did eat one shortbread cookie tonight after dinner, and one small square of DARK 72% chocolate because damn it, it's EASTERI honestly think the cupcake might have killed me...but what a way to go.

Happy Easter! What's for lunch?

The day is finally here and I can shout Happy Easter to all.  I just saw on the Internet the picture of Easter Mass at the Vatican, and it just gave me chills.  What a gorgeous site and fabulous memory.  Several years ago, Fred and I were in Rome on Easter morning, on our first day of a two week vacation and his first trip "abroad".  Being the tactile sort that he is, he kept wanting to touch everything and nearly got us in trouble numerous times, in museums.  The best was when the touring person had no sooner asked that we NOT make flash photo's, and Fred fired one off.  I liketa d-i-e-d.  I ducked behind some people and pretended I didn't know who he was, for the rest of the museum tour.  I can't even blame jet lag on that one.  Nope.  That's just Fred.

Since it's Easter, let's talk about food since everyone will be acting like pigs at the trough know they will.  I have decided to just do what I want and will shortly go in to season my gorgeous boneless leg of lamb that I snagged at Kuby's.  No more of that Tom Thumb lamb.  I'm just not gonna do that and especially not for a celebration lunch.  I have snipped my fresh rosemary from outside the back door, will sliver my garlic to insert into the meat, will mix my salt, pepper, garlic salt, rosemary and let it all get friendly while I give the lamb a nice slather of EVOO.(extra virgin olive oil for the non-cooks)  Them on goes the yummy coating and it can sit for a second until my oven gets  hotter than a hot flash.  Then, in it all goes, and I crank down my oven temp.  I'll also stick in my digital meat thermometer and set it, so after that, it's cruise control for me.  I have twice baked potatoes for Fred and Brian (Kuby's also) since I could possibly gain weight by just handling a potato, and my tomatoes Brook Hollow will be ready to go into the oven a few minutes before Fred get's back from choir.  I've also made fresh yellow squash casserole, with onion, seasonings, and a little cheese-- cheddar and Monterrey jack  on top, because it's EASTER and it's 2% fat cheese. ( The tomatoes and squash I am making in a legal version for myself .)

Brian will get green beans most likely, since squash and a marinated tomato with an artichoke heart on top, and bread crumbs, may not be his speed.  Knowing him, he'll probably give the tomato a shot--the squash?  Uh, nooooo.  I have "homemade" Sister Schubert rolls just waiting to hop into the oven and then be slathered in butter, and for dessert....I ran to Creme de la Cookie and bought two different kinds of coma inducing cup cakes --The Choc-Choc and the Red Velvet ones with the white icing.  I knew not to make anything here or I'd wind up in huge trouble--whatever cupcakes are left will go home with Brian, to be snarfed later, lying on his couch watching TV.  If I have time, I'll make a "legal" dessert for me, since I bought all the gear for it yesterday.  It's the South Beach Chilled Espresso Custard and is delish and most of all, legal.  I'm going to leave the cupcake decision until after lunch and just see where I am.  May the force be with me. 

Get a load of these Egg hunters and petting zoo-ers.  Soo cute!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Uglee, but necessary

Hallelujah, and pass the bubble's move is done.  She is in her new room and seems happy as a pig in mud, although she isn't sure how to work her new chair.  We got her one of those lift chairs and despite the fact it only goes two directions--up and down--she's still working on getting that part down, which is understandable, given everything that was thrown at her today.

I will say this--she never ceases to amaze me.  Even when she's not sure she's going to like something, she'll still gut it up and give it a shot.  And even though the chair is brown--not the most feminine color--we talked them into letting us have it off the floor, since it's the only one they had.   To order one takes six weeks and  well....uh, we need it now.  So, they let us have it.  Just a small plug for Laz-y-Boy -- they are the greatest people in the world to deal with and their delivery guy sounds just like Barry White...and that's not a bad thing either, baby. 

I think the thing I noticed the most, other than how hot I got zipping back and forth from one end of the building to the other, was how all of the people over at the Plaza seem like a little family.  The residents are all close and form little buddy systems.  The man across the hall from mom's old space wanted to know if she could still come upstairs, and eat with "their group".  They used to go to EVERY meal together and sit with the same people, three meals a day.  And the staff.....OMG.  One of the aides came by to check on mom before her move, and I found out then just how close they were.  She calls mom, "Mama", and mom loves it.  At first I laughed at how funny they were together, and then I nearly cried, overhearing them talk.  The kindness, the support, the humor, and the bonds that form were mind blowing for me...  While Alzheimers is undoubtedly a devastating disease, there are gifts in it as well.  You get to see the very best people have to offer, over and over again.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter lunch just blew's official.  I have decided what to cook for Easter lunch.  After South Beaching this long for Lent, nothing really sounds all that great anymore.  Maybe that's the secret to SB--it kills the cells of the cooking /eating part of your brain.  Anyway, I'm going to let myself off for one meal--Easter lunch--and then go right back on.  That ought to really throw my metabolism a curve ball.  The recipe I'm making is Shrimp Risotto with Sweet peas, Leeks and Chervil only since I can never make a recipe the way it actually says to, I'm going to swap chopped basil for the chervil and chopped parsley because I can and I want to.  My basil plants outside the back door are growing at warp speed so a minor haircut won't be a problem at all.  The picture in my cookbook makes me want to just weep it's so beautiful.  I get that way over carbs--especially the bad ones.

The recipe says you could throw in cooked lobster meat in place of the shrimp, and I tremble to think just how spectacular that would taste....or, how many miles it will take to run/walk that off after wards.  OMG.  Or how many Pilates classes...  What a buzz kill.  Here it's almost Easter and now I'm getting seriously afraid to eat something because of what it will mean, post swallow.  And dessert.....are you serious?  I can do one or the other but not both.....the exercise required to work off both would put me in ICU.  I think the solution is, I'm going to have to have legal stuff for lunch--beef, chicken, or fish and vegetables and only a couple of bites of a dessert that will not compromise the tonnage I have already lost.  Or, dare I eat a SB dessert??  That's just sooo sensible and sooo not me.  Crap.
I guess it beats the alternative, though....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


If you missed American Idol last night at the very end, you missed the fiddle player in Scarletta, Nathan Stoops, do what he clearly does best--tear up a fiddle.  He played back up for Lauren, the last girl to sing, and was just over the top great, putting on quite a show himself.  They opened her song with the camera on Nathan, and I almost wish they'd left it there.  I'd have much rather watched him, as he is simply amazing to see.  And his rockin' bod and serious bedroom blue eyes don't hurt either.  That might be a little too much information but, hey.....I may not be 20, but I'm NOT blind either.

  Now, I hope I get this part right and if I don't, Benji can comment and get it all straight, but the way I understand it is, Scarletta has been writing some songs for Lauren, and has played back up for her, so when she needed a fiddle player for tonight's song, she said "Well...just get Nathan to play it--he already knows it."
   So, Idol called Nathan on Monday and asked him if he'd come play it for her, if they flew him in.  Well....what do you think??  HELL, YES, he'd do it, and Benji was screaming in the kitchen when Nathan called to tell him.  The he sauntered in here where Sis and I were, and told us.  Cool stuff, no??  So I simply had to watch tonight and since it was LIVE, that made it even more fun.  What a week this has been.

P. S. For the girls, I tried to download a picture of Nathan, for a little eye candy.  Because I had to get them off FB, the server wouldn't let me use them.  Oh, just be like that, wouldja.

The Royal Wedding

At the risk of alienating my Followers and a few lurkers, I'm going to come right out and admit, I received an invitation to the Royal wedding.  Yep....I did.  Never mind that it was actually an email requesting my presence to view the wedding with what will most likely be a gaggle of gals at my friend's house, in pj's, beginning around 5am on Friday, April 29th, but I am counting that as a Royal invitation.

  Now, truthfully, I have some concerns...will talking be allowed because with a gaggle of women, you know there's gonna be some serious gabbing, commenting, opinion giving (the dress is killer...the dress sucks...the Queen looks like she has the throne up her dress...etc.) and should this interrupt my veddy, veddy, serious viewing, I'll either have to exit, or go find another TV.  You know how it is with a group of women...suddenly it sounds like sunrise on the guinea farm, and the windows are rattling, from all the screeching.  I'm sure all the comments would be hilarious but what you have to understand is, gals, this is a wedding, and a Royal one at that.  You wouldn't be yakking in Westminster Abbey so don't do it here--commercials are a free for all--knock yourself out--but shut up when we go back to air time. Eating is fine.  And I am fine with coffee or tea.  It's just that talking thing that has me feeling iffy.

Now, lest you think I am not easy going about some things, and just a tad controlling...well, duh....have you met me??  As an admitted Anglophile, this isn't just TV for me--this is ME--I am in that white dress looking all gorgeous, and never mind that Kate's brunette and all skinny--I can let that those little details slide.  Just button it up because I need to concentrate.  I have to say all those tricky vows with William's 52 full names, and an entire world watching.  Honey, that's pressure, so shut up and let me get this right.  Jeeze....I'm already getting sweaty palms. I may need to stay home.  :)

Welcome, Ann!!!

Woo hoo!!  One of my most favorite people and one with THE BEST taste in the decorating world, is a new Follower!!  Ann grew up right behind us as kids and is one of my sister, Gretty's, very bestest friends.  She is also a fellow blogger so check out hers at Hill Country House Girl on this same blog site.  Her's is fabola!  Before his death, Ann was married to one of Bruce's cousin's, Mike Harris, (small world, no?) and together they had a beeeeeee-utiful baby girl, Emma, who is now in school in Nashville.  My new mission is to get Andrea, Benji, and Emma together in Nash, so "the cousins" can hang.  Welcome, Ann!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weekend Part 2

What a ride.... I feel like I spent 24 hours on the Texas Giant.  Sunday we hauled it back from the Farm before lunch, so I could meet Andrea, her mom Marianne, and Andrea's friend, Erin Spalding, for lunch, and then for an appointment for wedding dress shopping.  Oh, wow....way fun and I've never seen so many dresses.  Luckily, Andrea had already viewed dresses online and had three she wanted to try, with one being the clear favorite.  Erin told her she had to try it on last, of the three, or she'd never look at anything else.  Excellent advice.  When Andrea walked out in number 3, we all just gasped...and then eyes got teary, and then we all laughed.  Andrea was such a great sport, she let us pull a dress or two that we just wanted to see what it looked like on, including one that was so big, she almost disappeared in it.  She is a teeny little thing so she had to have several pairs of clamps on the backs of all the dresses, to approximate her size, and the enormous fluff one was just hilarious. She looked like the bride figurine at the top of a wedding cake, with the dress being the cake. 

For those not in the know, there was more excitement.  It seems Andrea and Benji felt a Dallas wedding was just getting way bigger and more expensive than they wanted to go, so now....drum roll, please...the bride and groom, their parents, Benji's brother Brian, and a couple of close friends, are all eloping in late September to Capri, Italy, for a wedding!  Wow!!  This old MOG (mother of the Groom) can't wait!  We quickly reversed our engines when this was decided Thursday night, they cancelled all their venue shopping appointments here for all day Saturday, and "chill-axed", to quote Benji.  To say that both families were relieved is an understatement!

The Gonzalez's took the Harris's to dinner Sunday night and I will say this:  Andrea's parents could not possibly be more fun, more reasonable, more delightful people on the planet.  We had Cuban and Puerto Rican food at a wonderful place in Addison (Carribean Cafe), and Francisco taught us all about the food.  It was a so fun to be with them and to try something new!! What a blast it will be to combine our families and to let Sister and Stella (Airedale) get to know one another.  Stella is a pistol so she and Sis ought to be another Thelma and Louise.  Ohhh, Lordy.

Mom's move is set for Friday, and Benji and I ran by for a second yesterday, so he could see her before he headed back for Nash last night.  She wasn't in her room so we went down to Physical Therapy and there she was.  Due to her most recent falls--and there have been many--she has a lovely bruise running down the left side of her face.  Benji told her about the change in wedding plans and she immediately wanted to know if she was going!  Though several of the PT's volunteered to accompany her on a trip to Italy, we told her the trip was too long and too far for her to make safely, but that we'd bring back loads of pictures .  She was fine with that.  And, we told her we'd bring her cake. 

P. S. Benji found out yesterday that Scarletta's fiddle player, Nathan, is going to be on American Idol this Wednesday night, playing a song for a gal they've written songs for --and, of course, I can't remember the gal's name.  Anywho, tune in to see Nathan tear up a fiddle in the solo part of the song Wednesday.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What a weekend!

What a whirl wind of a weekend and loads of fun, packed into 2 days.  Friday night, we left with Sis for two nights at the Farm for some R &R, and with Sis, that's usually sort of iffy considering she has to be by Fred's side 24/7, or she whines, and cries, and then barks at him.  Man, she is high maintenance.  Friday night, we kept seeing a light going back and forth in one of the fields.  And did I mention it was DARK?  By, 10:30pm, Fred and Sis loaded up to go see who it was, and more importantly why?  They arrived to find Fred's middle brother, Neil, discing a field by the full moon, in order to plant something soon, for dove season in the Fall.  At 10:30pm at night??  Can you say nuts?  And how about dangerous??  Anyway, he was back to finish up Sat. after driving all the way back home Friday night.  Don't even ask me why he didn't spend the night...again, I am clueless.  I guess we can chalk that up to straight up Harrisness.  Meanwhile, since there were no gunshots fired, I snoozed right through it all.  Even if there had been gunshots, I'd have probably slept through them anyway.

Though the wind was crazy Friday night, by Saturday, it was purrrrfect.  Just enough of a breeze to stir the air and keep things cool.  If I'd had one of those old timey clothes lines, I'd have washed everything in the house, to hang outside to dry in the sun and the breeze.  OOOO, la la.....fresh smell.  Sis was in her element and ate half a brim Fred caught in the tank, and threw on the bank.  Nothing says lovin' like a dog with fish breath.  No telling what else she ate--I've given up worrying about that. 

I got in my daily walk Saturday before it warmed up, so that was really refreshing.  I went from the house all the way back to the back gate in the back pasture, back to the house, past it, and all the way to the front gate, and back.  Once back near the house, I realized the horses were either too dumb or lazy to walk all the way back around from the pasture they were in, and were thirsty, so I opened the gate and watched them walk single file, to the horse trough.  They slurped and swished for quite a while before ambling off to graze again.  I love to hear them make that guzzling sound down their's just such a thirst quenching sound.

Saturday night, we ate dinner outside and then watched the sun set...streaks of pink and blue sky and a bright reddish sun sinking down past the trees.  Not a word, not a peep....totally silent.  Later, the frogs started up, a little bit, since they are really small, and can't make a lot of noise.  Doors open, breeze blowing through....pure heaven, or at least that's how I envision it anyway.

Stay tuned for part 2.  Lots more to tell.  A quick shot of Sis, fishin'.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I'm taking the weekend off for some R & R. See you back here Monday with loads to discuss. Have a restful weekend.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Oh, it is a dark, dark day in Pine Valley.  I am stunned to think that the world with have to continue spinning without all the machinations of Erica, Opal, Tad, and JR, to mention a few.  AMC has been a part of my TV viewing, on and off since seventh or eighth grade on days that I was home or during the summer.  I even scheduled my classes around the show down at UT, which should give you a real indication of how serious I was about school, prior to Nursing school.  The good news was you could always miss a lot of the soaps and pick right back up if somehow, your schedule didn't permit consistent viewing.  Ah, doubt we'll get another mindless talk show or daytime reality show.  Please, Lord, noooooo.

On another note, there is someone I have not given sufficient time to on here and I need to simply because she deserves it.  Being the third of three kids, a birth position I share, somebody, anybody needs to notice you when you have that much competition ahead of you, and honey, she does.  I am talking about none other than Avery Caroline Groth, the sweetest "small" on the planet Earth (even if she does cry sometimes when she sees me--we're working on that.)  Hey....we all had that stranger-danger thing at one time or another so she's no different than anybody else, and she may even be over it now.  I'll have to run by today and get kisses and see if she's running hot or cold where I am concerned.  She's the last of this brood and still has some of that "baby" about her though she's growing up into a big girl FAST.
  I told mom earlier this week I'd go by the bakery and get some Easter cupcakes for Hud, Had, and Avery and take them by and tell the kids they were from her.  She LOVED that idea and wanted to know where I was going to get them.  Not sure why that was important --I guess it just was.  Anyway, I've included two recent pic's of Avery and just try and tell me she's not the cutest thing ever.......sorry, I can't hear you.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Break out the life boats--floods ahead

Jeeze...I'm trying to shake off, and coffee off, the results of yesterday's emotional hangover.  I did not see my blowout coming, and that's the part I hate the most.  But, it served it's purpose to get it all out and here's what happened.  In all this planning to move mom, I forgot to take care of myself emotionally--I forgot to s-l-o-w down long enough to actually feel my feelings, which is never a good idea, so by yesterday after my Pilates class, driving home, I lost it.  Big time.  I boohooed the entire way from Preston Center to our house, and that was just part I.

Luckily, I remembered that grief is equal parts anger and sadness, so once home, I let my anger rip as well, and told some people who deserve it, exactly what I think of them, in the privacy of my own home, with them none the wiser.  I said every ugly thing I've wanted to say, for years, but knew not to, at the top of my lungs, with only Sis as a witness--and part of the time she was outside in the backyard.  And then Benji called, and when I heard his voice, the dam broke again.  Funny how that works.......and the tsunami hit the shores again, for part II.

I was able to be totally honest with him and tell him how I felt about watching mom deteriorate and how this next move is a tough one for me.  I filled him in on a few other things/people I won't print here, but let's just say, he got it, and was the kindest, sweetest, most supportive son I could have wished for and...yep....another meltdown for me.  Part III.  Gee....nothing like calling your mom and having her pull a tear fest on you.  I had not wanted to tell him all of the "stuff", since planning a wedding is stressful enough without your mom adding to it, and today I know, being straight up honest, is the way to go.  He's not a big boy--he's a MAN.

Let me just close by saying that undoubtedly, I have the MOST WONDERFUL SON and soon to be DAUGHTER-IN-LAW in the entire world, and I love them beyond words, especially considering my command of the English language isn't all that great.  Mature, fun, reasonable, empathetic, and smart are just a few of the words I'd use to describe them.  I am one lucky gal!

 Last night while I was watching the end of Modern Family, Sis somehow knew her old May-May had hit a rough patch, so she preceded to "announce" that she was jumping up into my lap, and then jumped.  During her stay, she loved on me, licked my face, put her head down on my chest, pawed me gently, and did her best to comfort me.  How in the world people live without animals is just beyond my grasp.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Word to the wise:  do not read the paper or the Internet first thing in the morning unless you want to feel sick for the rest of the day.  Eeegads...I'm actually thinking a "fast" from the news might be a really healthy choice.  There's not enough good news and w-a-y too much emphasis on negative stuff.

I did, however, get a kick out of one of the topics I saw on MSNBC entitled:  Think Twice Before You Take that Hotel Bathrobe.  Really?  Does anybody actually do that anymore, and if so, why not just BUY a new fresh one that doesn't have some nasty old body cooties from somebody else.  Yeah, I know hotels are supposed to wash their robes but have you seen how seldom they clean the duvets and bed spreads??  Please...they aren't fooling me.  I've seen enough microorganisms in my days as a nurse, in places that were supposed to be sterile, so don't even try that stuff on me.  Lice, bed bugs, and worse are right there waiting to just jump in your bag and go home with you, so leave that nasty robe where it belongs and head to the gift shop and just buy the damn robe if you want it that bad.   And since hotels are now micro chipping laundry (kind of like they do dogs)  if you take it,  they're just gonna add it to your bill anyway.  Do yourself a favor and go get a brand new clean one, ya cheapo.

Welcome, Carol !!

One of my favorite people is a new follower and I couldn't be more delighted!!  Growing up, she was my across the street IDOL, and frankly, still is!!  She makes the MOST incredible jewelry and I'll have to post her link.  Truly drool worthy stuff.  Welcome, CT!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A little of this an' a little of that

You missed me didn't you...I knew you would. Not.  Any how, what a week this has been and it's only just seems like it should be Friday by now.  Between planning mom's latest move, picking out her new spot, arranging for a truck to deliver furniture to my sister and myself, searching for additional Rehearsal dinner sites since Benji is not sure he's all about the one I had set up--I get that--no worries--but I am ready for a week on a beach somewhere--anywhere.  Right now.

Sis and I just came in from a walk and it was like trying to walk a cat on a leash.  She is terrified of children and goes into a freakness when she sees them, pulling me with her.  And who do you think is outside at this time of the evening, playing soccer, riding bikes, squealing, squawking, etc......the smalls, of course.  We may have to go back to afternoon walks or she's gonna need some Xanax--one of us is going to anyway.

I have intentionally left out some details of what's been going on to keep things on the down low.  I'm keeping great notes, though, so when my book(s) come out and I spill and tell everything, you'll know what happened when, since I'll cue you.  Then you can roll your eyes and say " that's what was happening....I had no clue" and I'll say "Yeah, baby...buckle up...there's even more...and I'll be telling it all straight up."  I can hardly wait!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Oh, puuulease....

Well, damn it, and I am any of you who got an ad for Viagra/Cialis from me or other interesting spam, just know my email got hacked or something.  Not sure which--don't care--but I am sorry for the hassle.  Just one more reason to hate the internet and right now, I'm a hatin'.

Fat old dogs

Good least for me.  I survived my very first one on one Pilates class and can still walk and talk. Frankly, I loved it.  It's hard as hell but its fun, and I especially loved the stretching stuff.  From what I hear, it gets pretty addictive because it makes you feel so good.  I could deal with that.

Sitting here drinking my coffee this morning, I saw a big old fat beagle out for a walk with it's owner--an older lady with the patience of Job.  Old Fatty dog decided our yard was official "break time" and proceeded to lie down in the grass by the Parkway, and rest.  His mother waited....and waited...and waited on him.  He rested, lolled back and grabbed a small branch beside him, then chewed it a little...then played with it...then decided he'd like to take it home.  Watching him try to lumber to his feet, gripping that large branch with his teeth, was hilarious.  It was like watching a fat lady try to get up out of a snug chair.  All the while, his owner was the picture of patience and just let him enjoy himself. 

And speaking of dogs, someone had a rough evening and night, last night, and I couldn't be more delighted.  It seems Fred left a bag of (South Beach approved) popcorn, in a zip lock bag on the table beside the two chairs in the TV room, while we went to dinner.  Let's just say it wasn't even a challenge for a fat girl dog to hop right up into one of the chairs, snag the bag, rip it open and eat every... last... piece.  And then barf it all up--on the rug in the den, several times.  Fred acted all "surprised" when we got home and found the mess.  Really??  Have you met her??

Friday, April 8, 2011

Blocked cell call? What's up with that?

Ever wake up in the morning bone tired?  Man...that's where I am today.  Since I've switched over to half-caff Starbucks every morning, it's taking me twice as long to get going.  I think I'm more emotionally exhausted than physically tired, but really....does it matter?  Tired is just tired, in my book.  I don't care what it's from.

I got a little surprise this morning when I found Benji had called my cell last night and the call had been blocked.  What????  Not only would I not block him, I wouldn't have the foggiest notion of how to block anybody, and according to what I just read on AT&T's site, you can't block cell calls anyway.  So, what gives here??  Just another thing to add to my "I don't get it" list.  The Groom to be was calling to thank me for two books I'd sent him on being a good Groom.  I figured I can't expect him to know what he needs to do, if it's not spelled out for him, and I can sure send the books to him, but it's his call whether he actually reads them or not.  The old "you can lead a horse to water" theory.  I skimmed through both books and I must say they were equal parts good information and horse pucky.  And since Benji is a very smart guy, if he reads them, he can figure out which is which.  Or, he can ask if he's not sure. 

Sis update:  the bad old black girl has been a tad bit under the weather, as her Cushing's disease (adrenals) got out of whack, and she was just not feeling like herself.  A trip to the Vet and some blood work later and she's slowly beginning to feel better.  I swanny....when it rains it pours around here.  She's hinting she'd really like a bath this weekend since, as my walking partner, she's gotten a little "dog sweaty" (and yeah, there IS such a thing) and pollen covered, since she is a "low rider" to the grass.  I may just shove her in the shower with Fred and toss in the dog shampoo......I can always wait on stand by, with puppy towels.  Yep, that's what I'm gonna do.  Those two can just deal with it.

Happy weekend to all and let's all get in some z-z-z-z-z's.....

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Man, oh, man...what a week.  Mom has termites in her bedroom and though they've treated to kill them, it takes about 2 weeks for them to all die.  Nice.  Luckily they did not swarm--not that I think mom would even have noticed.  I happened to see them and that's how we got them taken care of in the first place.  Unfortunately, I've had previous experience with them.  Nasty.

As mom continues to need more help, we are looking at changing her over to a different unit--one that provides more assistance-- and that's where my sister and I were this afternoon.  I had already toured it on Tuesday, but wanted to be there to support her, since the last time we saw it, be both almost cried.  They have freshened everything up and its now lighter and brighter--a huge plus in my book.  Although my sister came in a tiny bit resistant, after listening to all they told us, and having me tell her what I know about mom, since I'm there a lot, after touring, she was totally on board.  I knew she would be.  She's very reasonable and level headed unless she 1) gets backed into a corner  2) gets really scared  3) feels threatened or pushed into making a decision she's not ready to make.  Dang....I think that makes her just like the rest of the world then, doesn't it?  You try to push or make me do something I'm not ready to do, and if I'm afraid, I will plant my feet and not budge.  I can be a real mule when someone tries to push or manipulate me, so I'm not thinking anybody else would enjoy it either. 

IF there's anything funny in this latest move, here it is.  When we first moved mom, it was out of our family home of 50+ years, after a huge upstairs flood.  My sister named it "God's flood" because without it, we'd have never gotten her out of there, and we knew she needed to move.  We both decided God knew how impossible it would be to convince her, so he engineered a pipe break, to help us.  And with this latest move, He's sent termites, or at least that's what we're going to tell her.  Dang.  He's good, isn't He??  And funny, too.   God's Termites.  Maaaaaan.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Metabolism? I don't think so

Boy, howdy....I sure understand why they call it "comfort food" and man, could I use some right now.  I have been jonesing for anything with sugar in it for days, and everywhere I look there's a picture of a pie or a cake or cookies.  And I'm not even looking for those pic's....they are just in my face.  Don't they know I have some beef to shed and that Lent isn't over yet?  And even when it is, sugar and I can never be close friends again, unless I relish watching the scale click away like the gas pump.  Yes, I can exercise--we all can--but have you ever tried burning off three cookies?  You'll be on the damn treadmill for days.  What about bread, or mashed potatoes...that must be at least a week.

OH, HELL, NO....I'd rather just not eat any contraband, than have to do that.  I think the thing that gets me the most is all these skinny gals who don't cop to the fact that they work out, and work out HARD.  They love to just say "oh, it's just my metabolism"...  Metabolism my ass.  When you see them sweating buckets at the Y and come out from class smelling like a mule, is exactly when I want to say "So, how's your metabolism..."  I know.....I am such a smarty pants but lets all just get honest here...there's not a peri or post menopausal woman alive whose metabolism couldn't use a boost, and in my case, a transplant.  I want the metabolism of a lean 20 year old who can eat like a Sumo wrestler, and burn it all off before the next meal. Yep...that's my dream.  And given the fact that there's not a snowball's chance in hell that that's likely to happen, I better go put on my walking gear.  Life can just be so unfair. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Random Musings

1.  My scale from Hell continues to weigh 4-5 pounds heavy the first time you get on so, Fred and I weigh three times, and take the last number, figuring it's the average.  Or, I take the number I like best.  I figure if I have to weigh three times, I get to pick.

2.  Sunday night, the big rabbit mystery was solved.  I knew he lived over on the next block, but wasn't sure what house.  It was almost dark as I was finishing my walk with my Ipod wailing, when I looked in the yard of the third house from the corner, and there he was....all stretched out, front legs and back, just like Sister does.  He almost let me pet him and then hopped two half hearted hops was almost dark and I was a stranger, after all.  He/she is so cool, my new mission is going to be making friends with him/her.

3.  Someone around here got under my covers again this morning was cold and she just needed to.  The bad news?  She now knows if she jumps up on the ottoman by our bed, I will hop out briefly, grab her, and tuck her under the covers with me.  I didn't tell her this--she just knows.

4.  Lastly, as a horse crazed grade schooler, I used to take English riding lessons and jumping.  I also rode in cross country jumping events.  They were my most favorite.  I'm wondering if Cowboy John, Fred's brother, would loan me a cow to try this??    

Monday, April 4, 2011

Margarita mobile

Wanna see who else lives down at the other end of our block.....the fun end?  He has two of these--one with a lime and straw, the other without--both with salt.  Our end has no hope whatsoever.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

End of the block suckage

We went to dinner last night with some neighbors down the block that we love.  They are younger than we are, but not by that much or at least that's the story I'm telling myself, 'cause I like it better that way.  We had taken them to Veracruz awhile back over in the Bishop Arts District and now it's a lock--they loved it and said they feel like they're cheatin' on us, if we don't go with them.  Lemme jus' go grab me my purz, Sweet baby...Ahm readi! 

They are always fun but it's the block scoopage we always get from them, that's the best.'d think they lived in a different city, given what goes on at their end of the block.  Unbeknownst to us, at their end there has been a suicide, a crazy lady, Grace, who is anorexic, with 5 kids who have sex all over everywhere when she's gone, the lady on the corner that I had decided could be our blocks candidate for the show " Hoarders", has cancer, and the gay guy who moved his mom in right across the street from his house--his mom has cancer, too.  And all we've got at our end is a damn occasional rabbit sighting and a mean old lady.  Please.  Our end is just sad.  We don't have anything juicy.  Now, our next door neighbor's mom did fall and break her hip last Sunday, while visiting, and her daughter-in-law did have to help her put on some panties, under her nightgown, before the paramedics came, but that's about as racy as our end gets.  Clearly, we're gonna have to step it up and put forth a little more effort.  

What we really need is a break in, a car theft, or even a fight--even a dog fight would work.  Hey...those can be exciting. Even a cat fight would be interesting....and loud.  Right now all we've got is a crazy man who shoots squirrels and dove in his front yard with a pellet gun, and then lets his wiener dog play retriever....nah...still too boring. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Random caller

This morning I got a wonderful surprise.  While I was in the kitchen, my phone rang and my caller ID said it was one of my nieces so, of course, I answered it, and said "What's up?"  For a few seconds there was no response, so I said "Nic?" and that's when a squeaky little girl voice said "AC!", and I couldn't help but laugh.  I said "Had, is that you?" and off she went jabbering and telling me all kinds of stuff most of which I missed--some of it I caught-- some of it flew right over my head.

We yickety-yakked for quite awhile and then I asked to speak to Hudson, and was told he was upstairs watching TV, so I told her to go call him, and honey, she did.  Next thing I know, he and I are gabbing and he's telling me about the show he's watching.  According to Nicole, their mom, Hadley (3), had gotten Nicole's cell, and just decided to call somebody, and since I am loaded in her phone as AC (Aunt Caroline), she must have just punched me, and then I answered.  I couldn't wait to tell my sister that Had had called me on her mom's cell this morning, all by herself, knowing that my sister would scream out laughing.  At first, I'm not sure she believed me, but when I told her more about it, and it sounded just like something Had would do, she knew I wasn't making it up.

Then at lunch, Fred and I went somewhere we don't usually go on Saturday, and after placing my order, I turned around looking for a table.  I saw a family at a table with this little girl who was grinning at me, waving her arm, while everyone else had their back to me, except an additional lady sitting with them, that I didn't recognize.  Anywho, this little girl and I locked eyes, as I spilled my tea, laughing, and she kept grinning, and yelling "AC, AC, AC!!"  By now, I am a huge puddle of melting butter, and can't wait to go over to kiss her, Hudson, and baby Avery, and tell their mom and dad "hi", and Megan, who I didn't remember. (Fred would never admit it, but he thinks the kids are adorable, can tell by the way he watches them and how he smiles-- a total dead giveaway, and he thinks I can't tell. Whatever, Fred.

Had was still smiling ear to ear, as if this was just THE GREATEST event ever, as she snarfed her lunch.  Baby Avery was not nearly as glad to see me...she always acts like I'm the dog catcher or a kidnapper, until she finally decides I'm really OK after all.  Shoot...that's progress...she used to just scream.  She's still so little that I need to cut her some slack here....she's just got that stranger anxiety thing going on and once she decides I'm OK, I'm as good as in.  It's just the getting there that sometimes takes a little while.  Hud was a quiet mouse, as his feelings had been hurt before we got there, and he wasn't feeling too social.  I could certainly understand that.

As we headed out after lunch, and after telling everyone goodbye, Avery told me "Bye, Eee-ya".  Eee-ya is their maid that Avery adores (all the kids do), so I was thrilled to be called "Eee-ya" ---even when I found out she calls everyone Eee-ya.  I can live with that. 


Friday, April 1, 2011

Garden update

Even though I don't seem to have the gardening energy this year, lots of other folks do.  Jerry is one of the elder statesman gardeners and plants his tomatoes every year with a dead fish beneath each plant, just like the Indians taught the Pilgrims, only they probably weren't planting tomatoes back then.  I don't know....maybe they were.  He also cuts the bottom out of his plastic tomato plant container and sinks the plant deeper, with the plastic rim as further support, since his plants rocket right out of the ground, and are usually prolific producers.

This is the first year I've noticed the flags, so somebody's got their patriotic juices flowing.  There are two of the same size, and they look nice waving over the garden.  My most favorite plot is the guy I've featured here last.  He makes Jerry's plot look like a know nuthin'...he has about ten different things growing at once, all timed to ripen around the same time, give or take, and his garden isn't just prolific, it's BEAUTIFUL.  When it's all going full tilt, you can see what a garden is supposed to look like vs our patch, that looked like Libya must look now.  I am just amazed by gardeners and farmers.  Just putting something in the ground to grow is a lot more difficult that it looks, and it does help to have good soil.  Both of these guys replace their soil yearly.  Me??  Not a chance.  I've decided I'm a lousy farmer and I get mad when my stuff poops out.

  I noticed in the paper that Mr. Lemley is already down at the Farmers Market selling his hot house tomatoes, since it's too early for the real summer blockbuster ones.  They need the heat and sun to really produce, and we aren't quite there yet.  That's OK....I can wait.  I have a tomato gratin with fresh basil that I'm going to make, the second the tomatoes are in.  My basil is already planted outside and is doing the Jack and the bean stalk....I can hardly wait.  YUM.

Lastly, two nights ago there was a homicide at our house.  Sis murdered Mr. Bobo, again, and he may hit the trash this time vs having surgery this weekend.  A new Mr. Bobo would be such a nice challenge for Sis, but, then, old Mr. Bobo has such great memories attached to him, since he's been murdered multiple times.  Fred will have to make the call on that....after all, he's Mr. Bobo's surgeon.