Blog Patrol Counter

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bring on the 4th!

Since my trainer tried to kill me yesterday, I may take it a little easy on myself today.  She's training for a triathlon in September, so that's what had her so juked up.  What is it with those little teeny twenty somethings that makes them think I can do, what they can do.  Eeesh.  We did scream out laughing over how uncoordinated I am, kidding, I really am... and I know it and don't care.  I was laughing as hard as Emily, my trainer.  I'm sort of a floor show all on my own, especially when arms and legs are supposed to be doing opposite things.

Now, on to the 4th of July and everyone's plans.   I am considering making a small 8x8 peach cobbler with some of my Fredricksburg peaches, but I may go see what peaches Central Market has that are fresh, fresh, fresh.  Fred usually makes his famous Mexican Chocolate ice cream that's just a 4th of July must, or we will hear from Crashman wanting to know what in the hell happened.  I think he's going to Austin-- but he'll be back, and then we'll definitely have some 'splainin' to do.  Since we dumped the old electric ice cream freezer in favor of a serious and much needed up grade, making any ice cream is a snap and soooo much quieter.  The old freezer used to squeal and screech constantly and was just Gawd awful even behind a closed Utility room door.  Fred had to wear a pair of pink hunting ear plugs while the old one did it's thing.   The new one is quiet as the grave....thank you, Cuisinart.

I ran by to see mom yesterday and she was watching Oprah, and loving it.  Every once in a while, she'd come out with an "in tune" statement, but for the most part, she had a confused look on her face the whole time.  She allowed as how she "had a hankering for some Mexican food"--and you all wonder where I come up with half my language--so I just called my sister to see when she and I can take mom to El Frequence (El Fenix), for lunch.  It's not the greatest Mexican food in the world but it's easy and close by, so that'll do.  Lunch could be interesting, since yesterday, mom kept trying to take off her shirt while I was sitting there, but I feel sure by now, El Frequence has seen just about everything  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Someone is still in the snooze bag and loving every second of it.  Never underestimate the power of a good bath, clean ears, and fresh dog linens on your bed, for that is the making of countless hours of delicious snoozing....especially when the den is cool and quiet.  Sis moved around a little when I went into the kitchen to make coffee a little bit ago, but that's been the extent of it.  She's still in bed lolling on her back like a fat black seal. When she's finally ready to get up, she'll jump up in one of the den chairs to look out, and get fully awake.  Since she is not a morning person, this is her "coffee time".

Now while I realize this next topic doesn't sound earth shaking to some, for me it's becoming a problem, and it's Mayonnaise.  How does a South Beach dieter make tuna or shrimp salad without said mayo?  Mayo is on the verboten list and while, yes, I can cheat like crazy, I'm in a quandary as to what a reasonable but tasty alternative might be.  Low fat mayo has too much sugar, so whadaya dooooo?  What if I mixed a little plain yogurt (bleeeech) with a smidge of mayo, and then jazzed up the tuna with legal stuff?  For the shrimp, maybe I could add some Old Bay seasoning to the yogurt/ mayo concoction, add a squeeze of lemon, and see if it's edible, or just a complete gagger?  I have looked though all my SB cookbooks and not one addresses this weighty (pun) issue which means, I may have to go it alone here and "play" until I get something reasonably tasty.  Or, maybe I'll to go online to SB Diet and see what some other crafty SB'ers have come up with...yep, I think that's my plan before I make a huge plain yogurt ick mess. 

I just went for more coffee and Sis is finally up, resting in the den chair closest to the driveway.  She can't see out because the shades are down, but she appears to be contemplating her busy day ahead.  She smells wonderful and fresh-- but one hunting episode out front should fix that, back to her old stinky squirrel hunting  self. Rats.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Advantage Miles?

Well, dang.  My phone just rang and I got some bad news.  One of my favorite people in the world won't be coming this week to iron, since her house was broken into in El Campo, Mexico, and she's had to go home to deal with the fall out.  When the phone rang, I launched into my Spanglish, to visit, only to have her daughter, Gabby, start laughing.  Gabby speaks perfect English so I quickly switched gears.  Her mom, Senora Maria, lets me run wild with my Spanish, but I hated to put Gabby through it.  Anywho, I know what I'll be doing this afternoon and since Sis is absolutely no help, and will nap while I toil away, I'll just turn the TV so she can't watch.  If you aren't gonna help, you're not watching TV with me.  Yes, I realize I could take some of this stuff to the cleaners, but they tear up my stuff, so I'll just do what needs "doin'", and leave the rest for Senora Maria next week. 

Now, we need to discuss air miles and why we all have those credit cards to collect them.  I recently have used the heck out of my credit card to collect them and build back my total, but am now asking myself why.  For European jaunts, and for sure the summer flights, they have absolutely NO seats on direct flights, so in order to use your "free" miles, you have to fly all over the world, just to get where you want to go.  They want to SELL the direct flight seats.
  So what gives?  How exactly is this such a great thing?  Yes, we have flown Business class to Europe in the past, when we were traveling shoulder season, and booked almost a year in advance.  And, yes, we've flown Benji back a forth from Nash a fair amount using miles, with a two week advance purchase, but I'm still trying to remember why I bust it to collect miles in the first place.  Oh, I remember....I like Business Class.  Especially on long flights.  It's roomy and I like watching my own special TV, with my little travel goodie bag they used to give you, which they probably don't any more.  It probably got the hook along with the solo olive on your salad, in order to save $$$, so the American Airlines big dogs can receive an even bigger bonus.   Well, damn.....I still like Business Class, so I guess I'm just gonna keep on collecting.  I may just have to go wherever Business Class seats are available.  Like maybe Iceland.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My kids are brilliant

My oldest and I were having a really interesting conversation this morning but got interrupted, and never finished it, so I'll finish it here, since I've got a bee in my bonnet to get my words out of my head.  We basically were discussing the past, stuff we'd done, decisions we'd made, that we weren't proud of or felt guilty about.  And here's what I didn't get to say because his phone rang.

Today at the ripe old age of 57, I know that living in the past, dragging around shame and guilt, is like wearing a backpack full of rocks, (or even boulders).  It's heavy, it's exhausting, and it's just hell to wear everyday.  Today I have options:  I can unload it, I can sort through the rocks, decide if any are worth keeping, and most importantly why I'd consider keeping any of them, and if it's all just a bunch of rocks, leave them right where you unloaded them.  If you put the backpack full of rocks back on, you are living in the past, and no one has ever successfully changed the past--that's why it's called the past.  If you carefully sort through the rocks (your past) and decide what you learned from each one, put the lessons into the back pack, and move on.  Living in today--just this 24 hour period-- does not include ruminating over old choices you can't change and wish you'd done differently.  You don't ever get this 24 hour period ever again because by tomorrow,  it will be the PAST.  Waste a day, and you waste a 24 hour period to change your future.

Lots of people don't like their past and use it to stay stuck--they let it define them.  The whole point is to get the lessons from it, and go forward.  Use the experiences you've had, to develop new coping skills or ways of living your life, that don't look anything like your past.  And then, Bingo, you've got it.  You are on your way.

Dragging shame, guilt, and regrets never helped anybody get ahead or where they wanted to go.  Doing that is like rocking in a rocking chair--it doesn't get you anywhere--it just gives you something to do.  Me?  I'm movin' on.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


As an addendum to my earlier post on same sex marriage, I ran to the Burger House for lunch, and my usual grilled chicken salad & diet Coke, sitting inside at the counter.  Fred's usually with me and he's a ditto on lunch the lunch menu but today, he was busy.  As a result, I sat next to two guys at the counter, whom I later noticed were wearing matching wedding bands, and, no, I didn't say anything.  We got to gabbing and laughing about this and that, and later, they revealed that today was their Anniversary, and they were celebrating all day long.  I told them "How wonderful!  Congratulations!" and you could tell they knew I meant it, because their eyes got all sparkly.  Now, you tell me.....coincidence??  I don't think so. 

Thank You, NY

I woke up this morning to see that the New York Governor has signed same sex marriage into law and all I can say is, it's about time.  That's probably going to shock the crud out of some folks and others will just laugh, knowing that's just how I roll.  Here's how I see this big old thang:  I figure it's none of my damn business in the first place, who marries whom.  If it's two guys or two gals, big damn deal and, no, that does not threaten my concept of marriage in the slightest.  If two people love each other, let them marry, for heaven sake.  How could same sex marriages have any worse divorce statistics than heterosexual ones--and even if they did, that still wouldn't be a reason for them not to marry.   And if they want to adopt children, and bring them into a loving home, bring it on.  There are w-a-y too many children out there that need homes, and if any couple is willing to take those children, God, bless them, please.

Does this rock my concept of the definition of marriage?  Nope.  Does it rattle my cage about the definition of family?  Hellllllll, no.  I believe family can be whatever you create it to be.  Anybody who can't handle that or doesn't agree with that is still fine in my book.  You don't have to agree with me. I just don't think I have the right to define for someone else, what their family should consist of, and how it should look.  I can decide what works for me, but I sure as blazes don't get to decide for YOU. 

 Next will come the people who say "well...that's not what the Bible says or that's not what God intended".
First of all, I don't really think the Bible is a finished work--I believe it's a collection of stories-- and as for what God intended, the God of my understanding is just pure deee fine with same sex couples marrying because 1) He created them just like He created me 2) anywhere there is true love is where HE is 3) and same sex couples are His children, too.  Does He discriminate?  No.  If He loves all of us just the same, and mine does, where's the big damn deal?

I'll tell you where: it's all bound up in a bunch of FEAR.  Fear of change, fear that people might have to see something differently and that's a change, and people don't characteristically want to do that because it's NEW and uncharted territory.  If everything stays just like it is, then nothing changes = no fear.  Guess what? Change is inevitable and all that fear is in..... your.... head.

And lastly, for those who judge and criticize saying "that's just wrong" and "they have weird sex", I say, honey, LOTS of straight couples have "weird sex", and if you've ever been near a hospital Emergency Room, you would know just exactly how weird.  And as for "wrong", who gave you the right to judge what's OK for someone else, anyway?  It's none of your business or mine.  It's God's. 
And that's just how I see it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

She's home!

I forgot to mention earlier that Mary, my next door neighbor, got home Wednesday around lunchtime, and is happy as a pig in mud to be under her own roof.  Nothing like home sweet home, to cure what ails you, and sleeping in your own bed is pure heaven.  She has a caregiver with her three days a week until she's strong enough to go it alone, before she moves to Virginia to, to live with her daughter.

 That means I have been relieved of my watering jobs and mail pick up at just the right time.  I just hung up with her and while she sounds good, I can tell I'm going to either be cooking this weekend to take her a few things or making a run to the Farmer's Market for some goodies to share with her.  These last few weeks are my swansong to be able to do nice things for her, so I better get busy.  Happy Weekend to all.
I went to visit mom yesterday after a luncheon I had attended to tell her about it, and to see how she was.  We visited for a few minutes before the activities lady, Alicia, came to get mom for an outing.  She made it sound like a few ladies were going but it was more like the whole shebang on mom's floor.  Since Edgemere has a little bus, they were all going to load up on the bus, go for a ride, and then go get ice cream.  I didn't give mom time to say no--I had her up and down the hall before she knew what had hit her.

  Now, never mind I have run a department of up to 21 employees at one time, so I understand a little about people management, but I'll be hog tied if I can figure out how they are going to load all of these mostly walker and wheel chair adults, get them situated and I would hope seat belted in, drive them around, and then unload them for ice cream.  Maybe they don't unload them, but you get the drift.  And the part that got me laughing was this: these people all have Alzheimer's, right?  So, while Baskin Robbins is the logical place for ice cream since it's just right near Edgemere, it has 31 flavors to choose from, doesn't it?  So, how does that work?  Some of these folks don't always know family members, so how are they going to remember what ice cream flavor they like?  Do they just eenie, meenie, minie, mo the flavors, and pass them out, or does everybody just get chocolate?  I don't know why my brain thinks about stuff like this but it just does, and by now, I'm sure they've done this drill enough times that they have some kind of system in place.  And I think I'm going to just have to ask how they do it, or curiosity is just gonna kill this cat.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The In's and Out's of In & Out Burger

Some people are just always on trend.  Such is the case with these two.  In & Out Burger opened not 48 hours ago, and Hadley and Hudson have already been, and are sporting the paper hats to prove it.  With Chif a Lay right next door, this could get ugly.  We may have some Chiffers and some Inners all in the same car, and multiple runs thorough different drive through windows.  And that's not even counting Avery.
I can't wait to hear how the burgers I'll ever be able to eat one.  Nah.  Too many calories.  Maybe I could just have an ice tea and a paper hat.  Wah.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It does make you wonder...

  The house a few blocks down from us that caught on fire a few nights ago, just got another whippin' in the rain blast we had a couple of nights ago.  They were not able to cover the hole in the roof in time, and today, there were eight or nine trucks parked outside their home, with bag after bag of sodden clothes and other items being loaded, to be restored.  Talk about some seriously bad karma rain anywhere near you, until your roof has an enormous hole in it.  I'm sure the fire hoses did their fare share of the water damage, too, but a one-two punch like that will leave you reeling, wondering what in this w-i-d-e world you did to deserve such a mess.  The answer is probably "Nothin'"-- because stuff like that just happens-- but it will make you wonder, that's for sure. 

I remember when I accidently caught our garage on fire.  Ohhhh, shuddddup and quit laughing.  I also melted the front end of my car, which was conviently parked in the garage, at the time.  And did I mention the dove load shotgun shells that were on the shelf in that very same garage, as it burned??  Oh, yeah, baby....when I do something, I do it BIG.  Without going into minute detail let me just say, never use Matchlight charcoal, and never ADD any Matchlight to an already going fire by dumping it from the bag, on to the fire.  It's in the fine print on the bag but whatever.  A spark will go down the bag, you will put the bag back in the garage, you will then put your brisket on the smoker, and catch your garage on fire.  The fire trucks will come, you will scare the crap out of your husband, but your small sons will think it's kind of cool.  They will also enjoy all the power tooled guys who come to repair the garage (and you will, too, if they are young and buff) but that's another story for sure.  All in all, you will definitely wonder what the hell you did to deserve such weirdness, and you will also feel enormous gratitude that it wasn't much worse.  It sure could have been.  Whew.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ohhhh, summer

I am just loving the slower pace of summer.  No hurry, no will get done, whatever it is.  And that rain last night was just heaven sent.  This morning, everything is fresh and hydrated, and that hot, dry, crazy making wind is long gone.  And best of all, I get a day off from watering anything.  I didn't hear a lot of it last night since I had my Sleepmate white noise machine on and that drowns out almost everything, but I did hear the first sounds of rain on the skylight, and just prayed it would continue as I slid back to sleepdom.

My trainer just called and she's not feeling well so today I'll just go it alone.  The bad news is, when I train myself, I count real fast and cheat like hell.  And then I have an attack of conscious, and make myself do it right, plus a few extra, and by the time I'm done with myself, I'm lots worse on myself than Emily would ever have been.  Today is weights and machines so I should be bow-legged by noon, walking weird after all those leg lifts.  But truthfully, I kind of enjoy it....I know that's just wrong to admit....but I do.  I feel good afterwards and know I'm D-O-N-E for the day. 

For any of you having a stay-cation this summer, they can be really fun, I promise.  Make a list of fun stuff you've never done here at home, and then go do it.  One summer that's what Fred and I did.  We'd never been to the School Book Depository downtown and we went and toured it, and then had lunch.  Another day, we went to an Art Fair/ celebration in Ft. Worth.  I'm ready to do it again this year.  I want to go see the Cow Girl Museum in Ft. Worth, visit the Amon Carter to see a special painting, and heaven only know what else I can cook up.  I love the Kimball, too, so that would be loads of fun as well.  And best of all, I heard air conditioning in every last one of those, so I don't even have to get all sweaty.  Maybe I can talk him into going this Saturday.  Whadaya think, Fred?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Enough on the wind already

Not to be a bad sport here but I am just way over this hot wind.  I can't get our house and pots watered before Mary's start to droop,  I run and do hers, and then it starts all over again.  This job sucks-- and that's not including the plants inside Mary's house.  I've had to be extra careful inside, because she does that old lady fake out thing of putting silk flowers in a real plant.  And then others are just regular old fakes--and then some are totally real.  I damn near watered one of the fake-o's the first week.  She needs to get herself back home before I do just that--water a fake-o.

I must say my hands smell pretty tasty right now....I just finished putting one of those Napa rubs on the girlfriends you see here, and even after mixing with a little EVOO, to make it slide right on and keep the meat moist, my little hands smell deeeelish.  (Yes, I washed them but it was a quick job and I can tell Sister would like to lick them but she's not going to.)  If I let her, she'll have garlic breath afterwards and her's is plenty bad enough as it is.

The only excitement we've had recently was the fire that occurred last night, two blocks down from us.  It was on the news, and they've had the Restorations trucks there all day today, trying to slurp up all the water they used to put that thing out.  The wind was a major factor in whipping that thing into a frenzy and the doctor whose house was damaged, was standing out in his front yard this afternoon in his scrubs, visiting with neighbors.  Don't you know he's pissed?  He has a ginormous hole in the back part of his house where the fire went hog wild.  What a royal kick ass mess.  Word on the block is, he can lie in bed and look straight up at the stars tonite.  Give's a whole new meaning to sleeping under the stars.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


We all know some and even have some as family members.  How to deal with them?  Sometimes, I think it's best just not to, but when you must, here's what I've found works for me.  First and foremost, do not engage.  If you hear a topic that you know is a volatile one for you, disappear.  Grab your car keys and haul, get up and walk away, etc.  Every question does NOT deserve an answer nor are you required to give one.  That last part is BIG STUFF.  99% of us grew up thinking if someone asked us something, whether it was any of their business or not, we had to answer.  We don't.  If you need permission not to answer any longer, you just got it.

Don't go where to the bulldozers go and don't hang with them.  If they are family, pick and choose the events you are willing to attend, and decline ones you aren't.  Yeah, you may get a few raised eyebrows but so what?  Ones you decide to attend, make it short and sweet, smile and be kind, and if you aren't in a good place, stay home.  Holidays are a notorious fireworks display when people push themselves to make everyone else happy--and neglect themselves.  If you're going to end up being pissed off if you go, do yourself a favor and stay home.

Bulldozers are strong medicine and their weapons are many.  They also have more energy than the average person because their very life depends on making sure they get what they need. did not hear any mention of anyone elses feelings in that last sentence--just the bulldozers.  Put simply, bulldozers really don't care how you feel--it's all about how they feel.  And don't forget--it's your job to make them, feel OK.  NOT.
It's their job to take care of themselves and your job to take care of YOU.  Manipulation, guilt, shame, name calling, popularity contests, and threats, are just a few of their weapons-- and they are a skillful bunch.  They've had years to master their craft and the sad part is, they have no clue that their behavior is what is destroying their relationships.  They just think you are the bad guy.  Fine.  I can handle that.

Years back, I used to care what people thought about me and I wanted everyone to like me.  Today I'm smarter than that.  If I have to turn myself inside out, in order for someone else to like me, or think I'm valuable, that's a relationship I can do without.  Happily.  See ya, don't wanna be ya.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Addiction--I love mine!

Addiction.  I have a new one and I'm enjoying the absolute hell out of it.  It's shoes, and I just can't quit looking at them and occasionally buying them.  Now these aren't just "entertainment purchases"--I need these--so I'm just letting my fingers do the walking as I peruse different sites.  Being a card carrying cheapo on some things, DSW is my most favorite sight.  I can buy lots of pairs for the cost of a really $$$$ pair other places.  That's not to say that I'm not absolutely salivating over a certain pair of $$$$ fab Italian pumps I found at Nordstrom's, but when I figured how seldom I'd actually wear them, walking away was slightly less painful--but not much.  Why is it the Italians make such killer fitting shoes?  I must have been Italian in a previous life because my fat, square, little feet are just an Italian shoe makers perfect fit.  And then there's that little theory of "you get what you pay for", but if the box is more comfortable than the shoe, I don't care how cute it is--it ain't goin' home with me.

I think I also love DSW because there are just SO MANY shoes to play with.  It's that thrill of the hunt thing that really get's my mojo going.  Invariably, all of the 6-6.5 size gals love shoes as much as I do, because a lot of times they beat me there, but that's also part of the thrill.  Ha!  I got 'um before you did.  Neeeener.  And did I mention it's right next to Gold's Gym in the parking garage?  So that after I work out, I can cruise through as a reward for my treadmill time or weights work out?  Man, that's dangerous.  So may shoes, so little time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Welcome, Sarah!!

I could already tell it was going to be a  great weekend...wanna know how I knew?  Because a new follower joined the ranks, and it's none other than my ages ago across the street neighbor, Sarah!!  Woo hoo and welcome, Sarah! 

This afternoon on a whim, I decided to go see Mary, my next door neighbor, over on the skilled nursing unit (3rd floor) at The Plaza, where mom lives.  In case I haven't mentioned it, Mary had hip surgery a couple of weeks back, and is now there recovering.  She had called the other day from the hospital, telling me where she was moving, and to come see her, so I did.  I figured I could see both mom and Mary, and then head home.  I must have been overcome by the swimming pool sized SF limeade I was sipping, to think this might just be a routine little visit.  There is actually no such thing with old people.

First and foremost,  Mom was not in her room--she was down the hall with everyone else watching a belly dancer.  Now, of all the things I would have thought she might be doing, watching a belly dancer would have been right up there next to performing brain surgery--but if she enjoyed it, I'm thrilled she went.  I'm so glad the elevator was empty on my way up to see Mary, so I could LMAO, and I did, too.  A belly dancer?

Next up was Mary, and post ice cream party, she was as feisty as usual.  Since her only daughter lives in Virginia, you know who is the next best thing--her next door neighbor who she's known for 27 years--me.  I'm her mail grabber, her plant waterer, her yardman payer, you name it.  We have been together through everything imaginable-- and some unimaginable.

We visited briefly, in the stifling heat of her 80 degree room before I told her "Mary, it's too damn hot in here....aren't you smothering in here?"  And here was her reply "Actually, I'm right comfortable, but you better cool it off or I know you'll leave".  At that I burst out laughing telling her "you're damn right I will 'cause you are trying to COOK me".  And then she dropped the bomb.  Her daughter has invited her to come live with her family in Virginia, and while Mary initially pulled off a Golden Globe worthy performance of ain't this great, when I asked how she felt about that, that's when the opened the floodgates opened.  We talked, she cried, we laughed...and we finally just concluded that while, yes, this will be a really tough adjustment, it will be whatever she makes up her mind for it to be.  It will have it's pro's and con's, but so would staying here in Dallas.  So, in August, she'll be leaving to "go try it" for three weeks.  The reality?  She's not coming back, and I already know that.....and I'm sure she does,  too.  I just HATE losing my elderly, feisty, lady friends.  Especially this one. 

Oh, yeah baby

Friends are just the best!  Look what Adre, one of my pals and a follower, sent me.  She knew I was looking for shoes for the wedding, and knew these would just be perfect.  I couldn't agree more.
Hope you laughed as hard as I did!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cotton Candy hair?

I had to laugh yesterday after going to visit mom.  She had been to the "Hair Hut" and I'm not sure what happened, but her hair just did not look like it usually does.  It looked shorter, but more to the point, it looked like swirled cotton candy, like they do at the State Fair when they swirl it on one of those paper cones.  Combined with her recently dyed eyebrows that went really dark, I had to look really hard to find my mom in all  Egads.  She'd kill me if she knew how she really looked but as long as she's happy and clean, that's enough for me.  Yes, I can call the salon and give input, but seriously, how important is it? She thinks she looks fine so I'm NOT rocking the boat.

When I visit her, I always try to ask questions, so I can assess where she is in her disease process.  Yesterday when I asked her what she'd had for lunch, she couldn't remember, but then, I had to think for a second what I'd had, too.  Then when she told me the food had been "wonderful as always" and that she'd "eaten with all her buddies", I could tell she was just making it up as she went along.  (When I realize she's doing that it always tickles the hell out of me and it's hard not to laugh.)  All of her favorite buddies are still over in Assisted Living, and although she's made some gal pals over in her unit, they aren't her main squeezes.  Never mind her previous complaints of the food.   I just played right along and we had a great visit.  I later checked, and they reported she has good days where she's perky and less great days where she's not so happy, but that sounds like everybody else in real life, so we're good from my standpoint. 

I could tell she'd lost some ground when I realized she'd forgotten about Benji's upcoming wedding but that's no biggie.  Lots of people her age wouldn't remember either--not to mention younger people, too.  It's just not the focus of everybody's world, let's face it.  Just mine!!  :)

I'm just so grateful for the care she receives, and the fact that she can afford to be where she is.  Parenting your parents is no day at the beach, no matter what the situation is, and she is one very lucky lady.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

There should just be Rules

I just finished the last of the peaches and am wearing the remnants of a few slippery runaways who thought that jumping might save them.  Wrong.  I got 'um, and they are now all done and in the freezer.  Thank the good Lord above and my sister, that she did NOT bring me the two bushels I asked for.  Shudddup....I thought a bushel was one of those red basket things they have down at the Farmers market...or maybe a little bigger.  When my sister went to get the peaches from the Farm where they were grown, she about died when she saw one bushel--much less two.  So, she got me two big old boxes and that was plenty, even though they were small 'un's.  I swear to heaven if she'd brought me two bushel's, I'd be out front right now, with my little old peach stand, selling from the curb.  And Sis wouldn't have been a lick a help....she never is. 

Yesterday I had to laugh at myself for how totally insecure I am where girl stuff is concerned.  You'd think having been one, it would be easy.  Trust me--it's NOT.  At least not for me.  I haven't the remotest clue what is cool and what is just totally ick these days for younger gals or even ones my age.  I have zero frame of reference, having dealt with jock straps and smelly socks my entire motherhood career.  Take me to the boy's or Men's department, and I'm hell on wheels.  Girl stuff is just too complicated--- and it changes too fast.  I'm always ten years behind.

With Women's fashion,  I freak out over the smallest decisions and become paralyzed that I'll be nominated to The Great Hall of Tacky, and admitted as a lifetime member.  Now, that's not to say I don't know what I like--I do--it's just when it's a clothes type decision, I'm easy prey for some shifty salesperson and if I'm feeling fat, oh, Lordy..  I can't tell what goes together anymore--- and whether it even should.  There used to be RULES for this stuff and there aren't any anymore, so how does a rules girl know what works, and what is hideous?  Throw in a warped fashion perception and body image issues and  see....we're right back to that sneaky sales gal again.  And there I sit....with a total freakness upon me. 

I think the answer is a personal shopper.  Those gals that can tell instantly what will look good on you and what to avoid.  Hell, if you have an interior designer for your house, why not for your body?  Makes perfect sense to me.  A personal shopper isn't going to want you walking around out there looking like a troll, unless she's just really mean.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Makes my mouth water

Aren't these gals beautiful?  I've already peeled and frozen 8 cups so far, and these are next.  Blanching them quickly in boiling water and then plunging them in ice water to stop the cooking, makes peeling a breeze.  Add a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown and a tad bit of sugar if that's how you roll, slice, and into a ziplock and the freezer they go.  Cobblers, ice cream, ....oh, the places they'll go.  The reason they're small is because of this year's drought, but the drought sure didn't affect their taste.  They literally melt in your mouth.  Thank you, Fredricksburg, Texas and my sister, Gretchen.  Deeelish.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where did the weekend go?

After a very full weekend of front yard patrolling and squirrel hunting, last night Sis was one itchy, stinky girl.  As a result, Fred plopped her in my farm house sink and bathed her, cleaned her ears, and attempted to brush her teeth.  I say attempted only because she got so mad, she clamped her jaws shut and yipped really loud every time he tried to pry her mouth open.  You should have heard the two of them going at it.  She sounded like he was removing her ears with a dull knife, and he was giving her hell for not opening her mouth when he told her to.

For those of you who may have been reading for awhile, you may remember my posts on Fred trying to convince me that he could control Sis, by voice command.  Remember all that?  I knew it was hogwash then and last night was just further proof that he can control Sis, about like he can nail jello to a tree.  Fagedaboudit.

We've found a lovely hotel in Sorrento, to use as our home base after the wedding, and booked it over the weekend.  It will be easy to day trip out of it or just collapse by the pool if the spirit moves us.  I emailed Andrea's mom, and they are now booked there as well.  Yippee!

  My wonderful niece, Daley, helped me over the weekend with further Rehearsal Dinner plans.  She has a company called Merry Maps, that creates custom keepsake maps for parties and weddings-- and is opening her new website, Daley Ann, soon, with everything you can imagine for parties, showers, wedding, etc.  WOW, is she talented, and without her help and clever ideas, I'd have been totally flying blind.  She's on FB so check out her site or you can also google Merry Maps.  Her Aunt Caroline is her number one fan!! 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cookie Girls

I forgot to post these two yesterday.  This is Hadley and Avery taking an Oreo break at the pool.  Remember those days? 

I liketa died

I don't think I've ever blogged about this, but in this kind of heat, it's worth repeating if I have.  If you are outside doing anything, please have a bottle of cold water or iced something or other, close by, and keep drinking it.  Alcohol isn't your best idea since it further contributes to dehydration, but if you're gonna, chase it with a big old glass of water, one for one.  Yeah, you may pee like a racehorse but at least you won't have a heat stroke. 

On that same note, if you are shopping indoors at the mall, be careful of the iced coffee at E Bar and Starbucks, if you are sensitive to caffeine.  Some one we know got an iced coffee two weeks ago at E Bar outside Nordstrom's, forgetting to tell them decaf coffee--not a double shot of espresso, over ice, as I later found out is their usual iced "flight fuel".  Geeeemonelli....luckily I was on my way home, because by the time I ingested this nuclear waste, I was nauseated, and my head was spinning.  Hellooooooo, OD of caffeine.  I was sick as a dog for about 4 hours, and even asked Fred to come sit on the bed with me.  What??  I never do that.  This has happened before at Starbucks, but I know that, so I remember to tell them.  E Bar?  Had never had their iced "death", so be advised.  If you are a caffeine wuss, beeeeeee careful or it's gonna be real ugleeeee.

We are headed to wedding today in East Texas--an over and back thing--which should be a hoot but hotter than Hell, not that I'd know.  It's a cowboy type thing with a BBQ reception and even though I have my new boots, unless they make air conditioned jeans, there's just no way I'm doing that today.  And a sundress at 57, with boots?  Dream on.  I am off to scavenge in my closet to see what in the world I can come up with.  The bride said anything goes and to wear shorts if the spirit moved ya, so while I'm not going there, I better get in there and get to diggin'.
Happy Weekend to all and stay hydrated!

Friday, June 10, 2011

What a big beat down

As of a few minutes ago, I've got a itch to scratch and I'm gonna just let it rip.  On DSW shoes in specific.  I found a great pair of flats and bought them and liked them so much, I wanted them in another color, but they did not have my size.  It seems every woman in the US wears a 6 1/2, but I digress.  I got all the UPC numbers and went on line.  I was told in the store, the closest location that had them was Ft. Worth and I'm thinking OK, so, there bound to be online.  Uh, no.  And when I called DSW to have them call Ft worth and have them drop shipped to me, well, "uh, we'll, we aren't set up for that."  I queried the gal further and was told if I wanted the shoes, I had to drive to Ft. Worth to pick them up.  Seriously.  In this day and age, when we can perform robotic surgeries and Skype people on our computers in other countries, we can't (or don't want to) drop ship shoes.  Well....allrightey can just bite me.  Yeah, I shudda bought the damn shoes when I first saw them last week but nooooooo....I waited.  Man, I hate re-learning the same lesson.  What a big ole beat down.

On an unrelated topic, it finally occurred to me the other day, mid walk on the treadmill, where all the anorexic gals hang out.  You never see them out to lunch with gal pals, or shopping, because they're all at the GYM.  Duh.  In the last several days, I have seen way too many girls and women, with bones sticking through their T shirts and compression shorts, slaving away on the stair climber, elliptical, and that other never ending set of actual steps.  It's heartbreaking to watch them, but I guess Gyms have to pay the bills, too, and have to take a "none of our business" approach to clients, whether they're seriously mentally ill or not, and that's just weird to me in some ways.  If someone with Diabetes had a serious drop in blood sugar, we'd call 911.  If a guy was in there flashing people or fighting with all 12 of his multiple personalities, we'd call 911.  But we (me included), stand back and watch someone slowly commit suicide, on a stair master.  Doesn't that seem odd in some way?  Mental illness.  We've got a l-o-n-g way to go.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Italy plans continue, and I have to admit I'm w-a-y excited.  What I'm working on now, is the time we are there after the wedding, and where we want to use as our main beachhead.  Andrea's mother and daddy are going to stay after, too, and while we first thought maybe Naples, we are now thinking Sorrento.  Positano would be great, too, but it's an easy boat hop and lots of climbing.  I'm thinking both families are going to be a bit wiped out after all is said and done, so just give me a beautiful oasis somewhere, and let me veg for a little while.  Fred, on the other hand, is Mr. Activity, and will need things "to do".  Sorrento should keep him busy for a little while.  Marianne and Francisco, Andrea's mom and dad, will play with us some, and I'm sure need to rest, too.  This should be a hoot!

One of the places we are currently waiting to hear from has guess what?  Cooking classes!  You get to choose from 3 set menu's to cook, and from what I've read on Tripadvisor, they are a total blast.  One of them is brick oven pizza and I think a dessert, so count me in.  Another is gnocchi, and what I think is a dessert.  The lady that teaches it all is the owner, and according to Tripadvisor comments, her food is fabulous.  It showed pictures of people in their aprons laughing and smiling, with her brick oven in the background....where do I sign up?  She has an interpreter come so you can ask questions, even though her English is good.  Good thing because I'm not sure some of the stuff I say is translatable, or even should be, for that matter. 

If this place is full, we are looking at another one also.  And if I don't get to take the cooking classes, OK.  Since Andrea's mom is Italian, Andrea already knows how to make gnocchi, from scratch, so I can always sign up for cooking classes a la Andrea!  She's a baker like nothing you've ever seen before (chocolate crinkle cookies-OMG!) and used to keep Benji in fresh cookies all the time.  Now, with all of Scarletta's promo stuff and the wedding in the offing, I'm betting the cookies may be on "hold".  She also makes pizzelle's (I may have spelled this wrong) every Christmas, (chocolate and vanilla) and they are a crunchy waffle cookie, paper thin, with powdered sugar, that are just deeeelish.  And those are just a few of the reasons I love her!!!  And did I mention she is tee tiny?  Clearly she doesn't eat her own cookies. 

That's it from this end.  When I know more, I'll share.  The good news is, Fred's new suit is almost ready at the tailor, Benji's new tux and tux shirt has been shipped to him and should be there by now, for him to go fit.  We are still poking Brian to go get his passport dropped off to get it renewed--some people just do not get in a hurry--and get his suit tailored.  His suit was purchased in his pre- Crashman days, and he was quite a bit larger, so I'm sure it's a big old sag bag on him now.  You know how guys are, though.....why do it now, when I can give myself ( and you) a heart attack later, trying to rush around.  Some things never change!  :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

He's an Oscar Meyer Weiner

I just can't resist.....Rep. Weiner?  Right there, that's bad enough.  Mr. Weiner is even worse.  And sexting explicit photo's of yourself and Little weiner....that's just open season on your stupid self, for life.  I haven't read all the specifics and don't want to waste my time with any of it, but that one is just a gimme to all of the comedy writers everywhere.  Thank you, Dumb Weiner.

Yesterday I heard something great from a friend, so I'll pass it on here.  In your 30's, you're sure everyone's looking at you.  In your 40's, you hope everyone's looking at you.  In your 50's, you know nobody's looking at you.  So true!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

BGE update

Since Fred could not wait to get his hands on my BGE now that's it's cooled off, ( is it just me or does that somehow sound dirty?) I let him see if he could find out what the temperature problem was last night.  Diagnosis:  several plugged up air exchange holes in the firebox and side, which mean not enough oxygen to the fire.  Hence, low heat.  As I went outside to take him some iced tea, he gave me the full report.  He's very proud of himself and said he'd "bill me later".  Yeah, right. 

Whew! Saved again

I nearly had a meltdown last evening trying to get the heat level up where I wanted it on my Big Green Egg.  Admittedly, I am a little rusty, and I had to email for reinforcements to the gal who first taught me how she smokes her chicken.  God, I love the age of the Internet.  I no sooner hit send than she was right back to me.  She gave me a few suggestions and today I may head over to Jackson's Lemmon Avenue Pottery and ask a few more questions.  I didn't have trout and neither did any of the close Tom Thumb's, so I threw on salmon which would have been lots better if I'd seasoned it more but whatever.  Next time I will.  Now, on to the Chicken.

While I was just sure I had a disaster on my hands, and could not get my heat up to the 300 degree mark, I finally just got mad and threw the seasoned chicken on anyway and just shut the damn lid.  It  had hit 300 degrees for the salmon just fine and then decided to get all attitudey on me, for the chicken.  I opened vents, I closed vents.  You name it, I tried it.  Fred wanted to squirt the fire with fire starter and since that is a definite NO-NO, he was immediately relieved of his position as co-cook.  Ideas like that will get you fired around here, quick.  Anyway, I cooked and I cooked and I smoked and I smoked...all at a whopping 250-265 degrees.  I obsessed, I twitched, I puttered, I re-read the directions, as Fred Googled the heat problem, and finally, I just raised the lid, and voila'!!  Most of the pieces were gorgeous but not q-u-i-t-e done, so I rearranged, shut the lid, and went inside.  After another 15 minutes or so, and out I went.

When I started pulling the chicken off, my neighbor, Buzzy stated hollering "what in the world are you cooking because we can be right over--say the word"!  He usually stands up on the edge of the fence, after several beers, so he can see over.  Finally, the fire had gotten itself really going, smoke was really puffing everywhere and it must have smelled like I had some clue what I was doing.  I swanny....that was the most tender, perfectly crisped skin, and juicy meat, I have EVER seen or tasted..... in..... my..... life.  Oh, ye of little faith....I was snatched back from the jaws of Hell by my BGE.  Thank you, God.  And thank you for that BGE.  I luvvvvvvv her.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Plant Shade

If I can get my chicken thawed by late this afternoon, I think I'm going to have to rev up that bad old green gal in the back yard, my Big Green Egg, and commence a smokin'.  I love the thought of some smoked chicken for dinner, and what we don't eat, I can freezer bag up and throw in the freezer, for another night when I don't want to cook.  I might even go get some trout and smoke us a little trout, too.  Since it takes a whopping ten whole minutes to smoke those teeny little fillets, I think that's going to be my plan.  But, if they don't have fillets, that could be an issue.  I know how to fillet a whole fish cooked, I just don't know how easy it is to do, raw.  Cooked is a breeze.  Raw sounds like w-a-y too much trouble....maybe not.  I might actually get into it.  Yes, I could smoke the whole fish, but I just don't think I want to.  By the time I'm finished filleting all of those whole fish, there'll be a string of cats lined up on the driveway, ready to eat. I am not going there.

I also have a new backyard invention.  Because we get loads of late afternoon west sun, some of our backyard plants get scorched every summer.   By August, some of their leaves are burned to a crisp (black) and it takes them months to recover.  So, I went and bought our plants their very own beach umbrella.  Genius, no?  I think so.  I call it The Plant Shade.  I stuck it in the bed, and other than maybe needing a guy wire for wind, so far, so good.  They had lots of color choices, but I went with a subdued turquoise, because you can see it from the den, and it blended right in, with just a dash of color.  The sprinklers can still sprinkle and when the summer sun is over, I can put my umbrella back in it's little turquoise carrying bag, for next year.  Fred thinks I'm nuts.  I think I'm brilliant.  :)

Villa Brunella

OK...we have to talk about Italy a little more.  I emailed our Rehearsal Dinner site, Villa Brunella, to definitely book us, the time, the number of guests, and the rest of my admittedly OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) details since well....I just want it to be nice.  Tick...tick...tick...nothing back by email saying "Got it", "we're on it", or even "you're hooked up, baby".  Zippo.  So, I patiently wait another week and still nothing.  So, last night I pulled the trigger, again, and re-emailed saying I just wanted to be sure they'd received my reservation request. 

BANG!  This morning, Guiseppe had responded saying what I needed to hear, and on Villa Brunella Hotel letterhead to boot.  OK, now we're talking, and I can relax.  My plan is to arrive in Capri bleary eyed from travel, take a shower, maybe eat something, and head on over to Villa Brunella and meet Guiseppe, see where he's placed us, whether we need additional flowers, or candles, give him the table place cards and diagram, and there's just no telling what else I'll ask that poor man, before I'm done.  I think I'll make myself a little list. 

  Now, Guiseppe knows I'm coming on the 22nd and said in his return email, "he looked forward to the pleasure of seeing me" and that part had me howling.  After flying all over, taking a hydrofoil from Naples to Capri, and probably with a duffel bag under each eye, I'm just sure he's going to love seeing me.  Oh, Lordy.

  I figure once I've gotten all of that out of the way and have a good comfort level of everything dinner related for the 23rd, I can then kick back and relax, AND GO TO BED.....  Z-Z-Z-Z-Z.  But who can sleep with a view like this?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ohhhh, no she didn't

I read somewhere that Candice Crawford loved this dress so much, that the second she and Tony Romo got engaged, she called to order it.  Is it just me, or does this thing look like a wadded up duvet at the bottom, with a few bed pillows caught up in it?  And the top??  Do we even need to discuss the possible wardrobe malfunctions that could befall a nice little old Baptist girl who might try to wear this thing??  I was laughing so hard I almost swallowed my own tongue.  And what is that doodad in her hair, and is it on both sides?? 

If this is a "statement dress", honey, all it says is put it back on the bed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I'm a little bit stumped.  My sister and I are aware that mom suddenly is complaining about the food--food she has previously always liked.  We checked around and have found that it all comes out of the main kitchen, the same chef is cooking it, and basically, nothing has changed.  Mom and her new BFF are both adamant that "it's just dog food".  Given that she's on the Alzheimer's unit, and some folks may be at a higher risk for choking, selections might(?) be more limited, but nothing is being blenderized, so what gives?  All we can figure is that mom's found a bitchin' buddy, and since she doesn't really like where she is, but couldn't handle where she was previously, she and her BFF have decided to just let it rip on the food.  Maybe she's just tired of the same food--I dunno, but this is one of those things I'm going to just have to let go.  Mom is NOT in danger of malnutrition by any stretch of the imagination, so this one is going on the back burner  for now, and I'm not going to react to it. If it's not this, it will be something else.  Life just isn't perfect, period.

Last night, I ate my very first cheeseburger, with a bun, at Snuffer's, and it's been three whole months.  And, no, I didn't have any of their fries, but I'd have sold my mother for some, you can just bet on that.  I got the new smaller sized burger, and could have eaten the booth we were in, as well.  OMG...I'd almost forgotten what a bun or any bread actually tasted like, and after working out with a trainer yesterday, I was a meat loving maniac.  I made myself eat it slowly and Fred still finished his larger grilled chicken sandwich in about four bites.  Fred and his brother's tend to wolf down food--forget the actual chewing part.  Their dad was the same way.  Silly me...I like to actually taste what I'm eating, before I swallow it.  Not to mention actually chewing it.  I guess it's one of those primal things with men...stuff as much meat down your throat as you can, as fast as you can, since you never know when  the next Wooly Mammoth kill might happen.  Egads.

Lastly, Sis thought she had really hit the jackpot this morning when Fred invited her to go with him, in the car.  I'm sure she must have thought it was take your hound to work day.  By now she has no doubt figured out that no, it's not, and she's actually going to the Vet for a blood test on her Cushing's medicine.  It's a four hour test and she's going to be really MAD when I go get her.  Nothing new there.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, Sis. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hudson update

Since math has never been my best subject, it took me until this afternoon to realize that since you have to be 6 to start first grade, Hudson has another year, since he won't be 6 until almost the end of February.  Whew!  Even though he'll still be going to school, he'll have another year before the meter officially starts running.  Thank goodness.....I knew that felt w-a-y too fast.

How did this happen?

I don't know when it happened....or even how....for that matter.  Wasn't it just yesterday that I was meeting his mom and dad at their house to help them settle him in, after coming home from the hospital?  I swear it was yesterday....I just know it was.  And he had those tiny newborn little star fish hands and that incredible send you to the moon baby smell.....and he looked just like a baby angel.  He did.  I don't care what anybody says, he DID.  And a couple of times, I got to spend the night with him and feed him in the middle of the night--just the two of us hanging out, snuggling, changing his pants and feeding.  He used to cry with his eyes closed, when he'd first be waking up to eat, and when you'd say his name and he'd open his eyes, he'd kind of startle like "who the hell are are not my mommy!".  It used to crack me up every time.  OK...and did I mention his smell (2nd time) and his soft little cheeks (both sets) that were softer than anything ever made....and his little bowed legs, that all newborns have...and his perfect tee tiny toes...and their smell.  OMG. 

And now look at him.....he's almost all grown up!  He's going to be a first grader in the Fall.  Ahhhhh!!  He still smells divine--like a sleeve of fresh graham crackers---but that baby part is just adios.  And his beautiful smile, perfect hair, and gentle kind disposition.  Yes, he can act like a boy--they all can--but that's just not his basic personality.  He truly is an Angel Boy and I adore him.  I love you, Hudson!!!