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Monday, October 31, 2011

A farm weekend

A weekend in the country (OK..not exactly the country but close enough) is exactly what I needed.  The minute we hit the Farm, my blood pressure starts dropping and my shoulders relax.  Since the house was chilly on arrival, I decided I simply had to make a fire so I did.  Yes, we have central air and heat but a fire is lots more fun.  I kept that thing going until I went to bed and I'm sure Sis appreciated my efforts.  It's funny how Bruce doesn't want to make a fire, but he sure wants to take over mine.  Must be that Y chromosome thing again.

Saturday, after we opened the gate early for the Boy Scouts--the electric gate was on the fritz and at 8AM and we hadn't quite figured out what the problem was-- in streamed Suburban after Truck, filled with boys.  I had to laugh at one dad driving a huge Ford F-250, wearing a skin tight pair of wranglers and the typical Cowboy short haircut, who simply could not figure out how to hook the gates back, just like they had been, after he had just opened them.  He ended up hooking them so the cows could only stay in one pasture and the horses couldn't venture back to the tank.  Genius.  Bruce and I stood inside looking out, and laughed our heads off.

The horses look fatter than they previously have and that's good though one of them is looking pretty saggy....his ribs are showing a little and I think he's just old and perhaps ready to go to that big oat feeder in the sky.  One of the big red ones came up to the house after we returned from lunch for some love and apple bites.  This is the smart one that remembers how great they taste vs the other two who are more reluctant to try.  He is just a big old teddy bear and wanted to be loved on and scratched....that is until I went in for the Honey Crisp apples.  Then he becomes a world class lipper and can fit at least 4 slices in his mouth at a time, wanting more....a regular eating machine  There's just nothing like the slightly slobbery lips of a horse nibbling apples out of your hand.....and that velvety muzzle....oh, man.

Here's where we always eat lunch--King's-- and it's the local hot spot.  We really like the couple who own it and Saturday, their already 6 foot tall 13 yr. old son was working.  He looks just like his momma with his daddy's coloring.  Adorable.  

Lastly, look who thumbed a ride with her boyfriend.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lookey heah....she's baaaaack

Gorgeous day, coffee heading down the chute, and it's a Friday to boot.  Can't get any better than that...well....OK, it could, but I'm not saying the word Rangers.  All is good in the world because look who was here yesterday.  Yep, Senora Maria, and here's a shot at just one of the things she does well--ironing.  Yesterday's gab-a-thon left us both with our tongues hanging out, but it was well worth it.  We had a lot to catch up on, and wedding pic's on the computer for her to see.  Her story of what all had gone on with her brother's death would have made Secreto's proud--that's one of the Spanish soaps on TV.  It's one of the ones Fred used to watch, to "practice his Spanglish".  (eye roll.)  Seriously, he did.

I went by to check on mom yesterday and to take them a wine opener.  It seems I was smarter on my first wine purchase--I got bottles with the screw off cap.  This last go round, I forgot.  Hence, the opener.  With mom's favorite helper helping her, I watched her try to take a few steps with her walker, and it was painful to watch.  She just really cannot do it for any length of time at all.  About three steps was all she could muster and most of that was on a wing and a prayer.  The look on her face is what eats my lunch.  She looks terrified and like her body has betrayed her.  OK...enough with the Debbie Downer.

Since we currently have a full time house sitter, Crashman, I think it's OK to tell you we are heading for the Farm this weekend.  (Adre', my pal and follower, always tells me not to say this online but I think I'm OK this time.)  As usual, Sis has not been given this information yet or she would be outside sitting on the driveway, with the remains of her chew bone, waiting.

The most I have planned is to fire up the fire pit, and chill.  The Boy Scouts will be up there also, camping out in the back pasture so we won't be totally alone.  One year, an industrious dad hooked up a sheet between trees and showed a movie for the guys and man, oh, man, was it loud.  We could hear it all the way up at the big house.  Another year we woke up to "tent city" right down near the creek.  I have never seen so many tents. 

For this weekend, give me a rocking chair on the screened in porch and some good mag's or a book, and I'll be quiet for hours. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dreamliner? I don't think so

If you haven't seen the front page of today's Business section in the DMN, go take a peek at it and tell me what you think.  Featured front and center is a guy reclining in a seat of the new 787 Dreamliner, and I'm not thinking it's quite so dreamy.  It's hard to tell how tall the guy is, since he's almost horizontal, but that's part of the problem.  His legs have disappeared under the seat in front of him and not at an angle that looks very dreamy.  Or comfy.  My legs did the same thing in coach, minus the reclining part, from JFK to Madrid, and I could hardly walk afterwards.  I'm definitely a stubb, so I can only imagine what happens to people six feet tall or better.  Maybe it's the picture....I don't know... but take a look and see what you think.  Also note, the guy's face is facing nearly straight up and unless they put a TV screen on the ceiling, we've got another design flaw.  I'm not thinking Boeing or purchasing airlines really care one way or the other, but shoot, I sure do. That seat looks like a chiropractic nightmare.  And, that's my two cents worth.

I'm thinking this kind of overcast somewhat chilly morning calls for a big pot of homemade vegetable soup for dinner--better known as a clean out the refrigerator pot o' soup.  I need to make a quick jaunt down the block to my local "we don't have any" Tom Thumb for a few fresh veg's, and we'll be done.  I throw red wine in my soup because it is high in umami, a chemical component of some foods, which heightens flavor.  That's straight from the Splendid Table's How To Eat Supper on pg 64--Building a Soup.  The two gals who wrote this book have an unlimited knowledge of cooking and used to have an award winning food show on Public Radio.  It's my go-to and has loads of suggestions and ideas for cooking, for beginner's like me.

In closing, Brian gifted Sis the other night with a package of flavored dental chew bones.  To say that she has been in heaven ever since is an understatement.  Last night, Brian leaned down into her bed beneath my desk  for a breath check, only to find that someone was quite protective of her bone.  In fact, a certain giftee actually very gently nipped him on the nose.  Moral of the story: Never underestimate the ingratitude of a slick black girl dog.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


While I'm hatin' on FB most of the time, I must say it is a fun way to stay up to date in a hurry.  One of Fred's people had a precious baby boy yesterday and this morning his parents posted an adorable pic of his MAN CHUNK self, and he is just a big old roast beef of love.  At over nine pounds, he is a chunk, and I want one of those.  Maybe I just need to get a puppy so as not to put pressure on anyone.  Yep....I'm back to that old song.  I saw an ad in the paper for dachshund puppies a few days ago and yesterday I decided if it was still there, I'd call just to see what they had.  Sign from above??  The ad was gone.

Now, this next topic might be a skiperoo for some, so don't say I didn't warn you.  Here goes:  it's menopause and the fallout therein.  I'm not going into the really girly part but I do want to discuss losing your brain.  That is so inconvenient...especially when you are having coffee with two pals and your brain just won't track.  Conversation is flying, information is being dispersed, and your brain just can't cement it.  It's going through faster than crap through a goose and there's just nada you can do about it.  And word retrieval?  Mine's been on "delay" for so long I almost don't sweat it anymore...  Yesterday, Adre (Follower) and I were trying to think of the name of the anesthesiologist we've both used and though I could come up with his first name, it wasn't until an hour or so later she booted up his last name.  Without her, I'd still be in the dark.  Hormones?  You bet.  I don't mind the getting older part...that's pretty cool...but I sure do miss my brain.

Marianne Gonzalez sent me a hilarious youtube video entitled Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder (AAADD) and asked me if I was there.  Oh, lordy.....I could have been in the video.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I've got an idea....those are scary words

I was up early this morning for a breakfast so I've now had enough coffee to embalm most people.  Yahoo 'cause I luv me some coffee.  Anywho, here's my latest idea:  I want to gut our entire house saving all the stuff I really love, and redo the whole inside, and give the outside a much needed upgrade.  You know...change up all the interior space and reallocate it.  Adios living room, and dining room--hello, open concept and space that can be reconfigured easily for whatever you need.  I want to reconfigure my kitchen and have an eat-in kitchen instead of perching like we currently do and eating off the counter top like monkeys.  I don't want more square footage of space--just better use of the space we have.  An addition above the garage would definitely be on my list, as would a screened in porch big enough to have dinner AND have plenty of room for tricycles, when that day comes.  Can you tell I'm eager for that??  Well, I am, so just shudup.

I want a rear entry garage big enough for both our cars and a little room left over.  We're not going to have much back yard since we're going to need an outdoor fire pit and kitchen.   We'll also need more concrete for smalls to play and water each other, and the pots I'd have filled with plants, to keep it from feeling too "parking lot". 

And I want a bathtub even though I'm really a shower gal.  I think I'll have an outdoor shower, too.  I'm thinking a Napa valley farm house feel--not a Texas Hill Country--too ordinary--and not my style anyway.  I have lots more planned but would somebody please go check on Fred.....if he reads this, he's going to pass out.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Candy

I feel compelled to discuss Halloween candy probably because ours is sitting on a table way too close to me, though it is in another room.  Now, if you're like me, you only buy the good stuff.  All chocolate, all your favorite kinds from childhood, that they still make, and none of that filler stuff.  Mines always the top shelf candy on the off chance that if there's any left over, we all get to eat it and I'm not eating that junk stuff.  Like there's ever been any left... but whatever.  It's maybe happened twice in 28-29 years.

I'm not into that filler junk--you know...the suckers, the bubble gum, the cruddy stuff that you can buy in bulk at Sam's and then act like you're all wonderful giving out crappy candy-- even to the parents.  Noooooo...not doin' that.  If your kids don't do chocolate, you'd best skip our house, and parents, you'd better plan on raiding your kid's bag after they fall asleep 'cause I'm not supporting your chocolate habit.  Not happening.

I remember as a kid going trick or treating at this old lady's house that lived right where Ed Cox lives now--across from the DCC.  I was scared half to death because who ever I was with said she was really scary and mean but that we were going there anyway.  Period.  And not to freak out or lose it.  So, we got to her house...or should I say mansion...and it was plenty spooky....though the front light was on.  Sooooo, we sucked it up and rang the doorbell...and waited.  After a little while this tiny lady opened the door... and she was dressed in a Japanese robe, or something sort of like that, for a costume.  I was just sure her head was gonna explode or she was gonna stab us or something.  We all said trick or treat and she got this HUGE grin on her face and I remember thinking "OMG... NOW she's gonna KILL us".  From back behind her stepped her maid, with a tray of POPCORN BALLS--only THE COOLEST thing in the entire world to get on Halloween.  I'll never forget it as long as I live.  How did she know that was the coolest thing to give on Halloween?  She was all alone.  Did she have grandkids?  Who told her??  I just remember thinking she was the most fabulous of lady EVER and I'd never be afraid of her again even though she did live all alone in the big old spooky house. 

We never went back after that and I don't remember why and I'm sort of glad we didn't.  Nothing will ever top that memory for me.  Popcorn Balls.  O...M...G...

Lastly, my favorite Halloween story is my friend's dad who loved to answer the door on Halloween with a half gallon of ice cream tucked under one arm and an ice cream scoop in the other hand, and act like he was going to drop a blob of it in with your candy.  You could hear kids screaming all the way to the corner.  He was hilarious.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


There must be another hawk or owl outside because all the crows and birds outside our back door are having a squawk fit....this went on yesterday, too, and was just as loud.  I realize every body's gotta eat, including the hawks or owls, but seriously, guys, hold it down, would ya?

Yesterday was chore day around our yard and while we snipped, raked, and loaded the fire ring with wood, after the rain last night, there's more clean up to do.  I've also loaded the den fireplace with wood, and the wood holder beside it, so all it will take is a match and a flip of the gas and we'll be in bidness'.   As soon as we get a really good cold front, I'm all set and my fingers are getting itchy to get that first fire going.

Since a certain someone around here placed a request last week for some chalupas, that's what's currently bubbling in the slow cooker.  I used the pulled pork rub on a pork roast last night and let it rest overnight in the refrige.  This morning, I threw in one chopped onion, a can of slightly drained Rotel, a clove of chopped garlic and told all of it to get busy, on low while I play all day.  Later today, I'll add a can of pinto, black, or what ever beans anybody wants, adjust the seasonings, shred the meat, and it's dinner time.  The best thing is, this can go over a bed of lettuce with or without chips, and be sprinkled with cheese, black olives, cilantro leaves, sour cream, salsa, green onions, guacamole or chopped avocados-- whatever.  Or, it can be heated and wrapped in flour or corn tortillas with any of the above add on's-- and you can even eat this stuff for breakfast.  Think breakfast burrito and you're there.  It also freezes great for nights when you don't want to cook but you want something warm and filling for dinner.  Thaw, heat, eat.  Done.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Not in my skill set

When I grow up, here's what I really wanna be, and it's not a nurse.  I wanna be one of those gifted people with an eye for design and furniture, who can take an otherwise plain vanilla space and make it fabulous, duh, but here's the twist.  I want to be able to do it from resale places and places people offload their old stuff, garage sales, inherited cast offs, etc. and I'd love to be able to do it for young couples just starting out.  In other words, I'd want to do it on a budget--the tighter the better.  I do love a challenge.

There's a cool really elderly lady in town, Mrs.Yancey, who back in the day, could do this with half her brain tied behind her.  Her taste and brains were just incredible.  She could always take something most people might walk by and reincarnate it into something cool and unusual--something everyone else who saw it afterwards, wanted.  And wanted bad.  Unfortunately, that's not part of the skill set I got and as much as I'd like to have it, it's not one of those things you can teach yourself.  Lord knows I've tried and my mistakes get real expensive.  Nate Berkus I'm not.

  I know I really enjoy it because those are my favorite shows to watch, while tread milling.  I wish I'd had Mrs. Yancey to help me and teach me, way back when.  No telling what I could have collected over the years with her eye and knowledge, not to mention ideas I could have picked up from her.  I know she wrote a little book for couples and I'll have to see if I can find out what it's called.  As I remember, it was a collection of her ideas of how to "create a home".  Old fashioned and fabulous. 

I just found it and it's still available though pretty generic.  It's called House Warming.  I think I'd want to be the updated version of Mrs. Yancey.  That would just be a blast.  In my fantasy world, I'd be the toast of the cheapo design world, move over Nate, and if you had tons of money, I wouldn't work with you.  I'd only work with the "ain't got much" crowd.  That'd be really fun.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Maria and Maria--no wonder I'm confused

Wellllllll....looks like I'm certifiably crazy and should be locked up.  Nothing new there.  It seems that when I thought I was calling Ironing Maria, I actually called Friday Maria, and spoke with her son.  Friday Maria's English is coming along but on the phone, she does need an interpreter or help sometimes, which explains why her son wanted "to interpret " for her.  I had called the wrong damn Maria!  I finally got what she was trying to tell me  this morning and we laughed our heads off.  Then I started calling the right Maria to find what was up, but there was no answer at her house.

Now,  several hours later, Ironing Maria and I just hung up--she called me-- and she has been in Mexico for 2 weeks after her brothers death, her other brother is in the hospital now also, and she's been at the hospital here with her son, Oscar, since Wednesday, and he's had surgery.  Everything finally fits.  No wonder she hasn't called, and she was most apologetic.  She sounded like she had been run over by an eighteen wheeler and was alllllmost in tears, she was so exhausted.  But here's the best part:  she wanted to come iron tomorrow.  I told her no way, to stay in the bed and rest, and I'd see her this next week--we'd already done all the ironing.  She was so shocked I had to repeat it twice.  That really gassed her...she knows we are totally useless when it comes to ironing and the fact we went ahead and tried anyway, made her laugh.  I think she figured by now we were probably naked or our entire closets were at the cleaners.  And we were damn close, too, before last night's iron-a-thon. 

Suffice it to say, it's all good, she'll be here this week, my ironing/ therapy sessions can resume, and life can get back to normal.  Oh, man...what drama I can create.  :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And a big fat see ya

Always trust your gut.  It never lies. The bad news?  I just finished several hours of ironing.  The good news?  My radar was on target where Senora Maria was concerned, and since she did this exact same thing to my sister-in-law--just quit coming-- as much as I'll miss her, see ya don't wanna be ya.  If you can't big girl up and just say you are quitting, grow up and get a pair.  And take the spray starch with ya.

OK...I'm glad I got that off my chest.  Tomorrow is another day and I'm already on the hunt for a new ironing lady, and yes, Julie, there are some out there.  (Julie, a follower, didn't realize there was such a thing and frankly, it was news to me that some ladies will just iron for you, if you tell them that's all you want, but some will.)   And some really prefer ironing.  Go figure.

If you don't want everything you own tortured by the cleaners, find an ironing lady.  At around $10 an hour, it's the best money you can spend, assuming you get someone who irons well and knows not to put starch on stuff that's dry cleaned.  Beyond that, it's all good.  I plan to ask Friday Maria tomorrow if she knows of anyone who might be interested, too.  You can never have too many contacts.  With any luck, I'll be hanging up the iron any day now.  Anybody with potential contacts, would you ask them for me, and let me know what you find??  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cochise Harris

While the tortilla soup I made rests in anticipation of being snarfed later, I'm taking a load off.  Marianne, Andrea's mom, just called a little while ago and said the pictures from the Dallas reception Saturday night are on the photographer's website, so if you are inclined to wanna snoop, feel free.  Disclaimer: Had I ridden up to the party bareback, astride a Indian pony, I could NOT have looked more like an Apache warrior.   With all that Bobbi Brown bronzer war paint their make up artist put on me, somebody-- anybody--should have dragged me in the nearest powder room and removed at least 2/3 of it.  And I paid her to look like that, just so ya know.  That's the worst part.  She's done my make up before and I didn't look half bad, but this time was just a train wreck, so be gentle when you see the pic's.  Awww, hell...go ahead and laugh your head off.  I did and it's actually funny as hell.  If you can't laugh at yourself, don't sit over by me.

The Photographer's name is Randall Stewart so google that, and then click the site for him.  Once that opens, and the god awwwful music starts, turn it off or risk brain damage, and then proceed to the picture that says A+B=Capri, and click it.  Now, surf to your hearts content and when you hit the food pic's, just know it was every bit as delish as it looks, and I'd love a nice big old plate right now since I barely got to eat that night.  Poor Andrea didn't either.  She made a plate, got up to dance, and the caterer's nabbed her plate.  And the petit fours were amazing--a mini bite of wedding cake--with fondant.  Pass me some of those while your at it.

Lastly, I have a question:  is there such a thing as Man body lotion?  I'm thinking not--except for maybe down on Cedar Springs.  Last night, someone around here complained about the girly smell of mine after applying said "girly lotion " to himself.  I had commented his skin looked dry and to just use mine.  He did, and then wanted me to smell his arm, in protest.  I nearly asked him how many guys at work today would be smelling his arm, but I just decided not to go there.  I simply rolled my eyes instead.  Unscented should do the trick, Crashman.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I am pathetic and I know it.  I just hit on a rustic ranch wedding on an Etsy ad, and never mind Brian's not even dating anyone or that I'd be a MOG again, and not in charge of the wedding, I'm already planning a Farm wedding.  Seriously, I am.  This was the most adorable thing ever and I swanny....somebody in our family has just GOT to have a Farm wedding, and I'm down to my last possible son.  I may just have to fold my cards and let it just be an all out fun party, and pretend it's a wedding....but I still love the wedding idea better.  Soo much more fun and romantic.  You'd think I'd be sick of this stuff by now but I'm not.  Now that I've slept decently, I'm ready to do it all... over... again. 

I ran by this morning to see my main squeeze, Hudson, since he is currently under the weather.  It seems he was put on penicillin for a sinus infection and after 10 days, that nasty penicillin turned on him--he's now allergic to it-- and broken out with a rash, hive looking bumps, raised welts, and swollen eye lids.  (It could have been a great Halloween costume but it's a tad early.)  Anywho, I called to ask him what I could bring him--milkshake, cookies, ??--and he said "you know those red cookies you made...I want those".  OK...just for the record, he was referring to  the Red Velvet cookies from Festive Kitchen and all I did was cook the dough, but I'm still counting that AS ME MAKING THEM.  He doesn't have to know I didn't whip up that dough, and I'm not tellin' him.  He got the requested red cookies and that's all he needs to know!  That's not's just incomplete disclosure.

I'm loving this cooler weather.  I ran by NorthPark looking for something and people there were bundled up like they were in Antartica...I had to laugh.  I guess you have to wear your winter stuff when it's 1) October  2) when it's in the 60 degree range.  Otherwise, you may not get to wear it.  Weird.

Lastly, I want one of these.  I never had a playhouse and I want this one.  Cool, no?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hairball aka Harry aka Rat...etc.

I have run all day like the rabbit around the block from us.  Some Monday's are just like that and now I'm waiting on the fan man to come repair my ancient, but much loved ceiling fan.  Yep...I've blown yet another mother board since it usually goes 24/7, nine months out of twelve.  The last one lasted 15 or so years so I figure it's worth it.  Besides, sleeping without it is  I need that breeze and if Sis is lucky enough to slide under the covers with me, I really need it.  She puts out the heat of a four alarm blaze and even makes herself hot.  When she gets all roasted, she'll come flying out from under the covers and flop on the cool covers, panting.  Rough life, Sis.

My popularity sky rocketed a few minutes ago.  I was slicing up yesterday's brisket and surgically removing the fat (eew).  The minute I removed the foil, my assistant appeared.  Yeah, she scored a few bites but now she's bugging for more, it's in the oven, and I'm not doing it.  So there.  Tough love, Sis.

The best line I heard Saturday night was uttered by one of my favorite nephews --they're all my favorites-- but this one is especially funny, and all grown up.   Knowing how much he hates to dance, I suggested he dance with his sister.  Never missing a beat, he told me "Nah...that's too Arkansas" and I howled.  Soooooo like Harrison to always have a one liner ready.  Not too long ago he and his sister, Dit, went out to lunch at work.  They work together--and he made her pay for his lunch.  He told her it was "the sister tax".  

This is his FB profile pic.  It just makes me melt. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend wrap up

Day is done, just about gone the sun, and life finally returns to normal.  The Rangers won, the Cowboys just lost, so everything is already normal, isn't it?  The reception last night was wonderful and Marianne Gonzalez, Andrea's adorable mom, threw a party fit for a a very special daughter, and her dad, Francisco, got to pick up the tab--like every other father of the bride. 

We left for the Fair around 1pm this afternoon and immediately ran into all the post church Fair goers trying to park.  We found that parking by gate 10 and hopping the shuttle to the entrance, saved feet and lots of energy.  At 91 degrees this afternoon, that was especially important to this old gal.  I really like to walk--just not when the sun is beating down on your head and it's hot.  But walk I did, since Fred had put up with me all weekend.  Plus, we got to swing by the Dickey's booth, where my friend Fern is working until the Fair closes next week.  Fern is a wonderful follower and friend and gifted us free tickets to the Fair. (Man...that last sentence sure was a lot of F's.) 

After Benji raided my refrigerator (fruit), pantry,(chips, salsa, cookies) and freezer (pulled pork, rolls, chili, deer sausage), the newlyweds left to go up to the Farm, to entertain friends, spend the night, and then head back to Nash tomorrow.  Benji has a gig Monday night so he has to get back to work. 

In celebration of a return to normal, I just made a new rub I've never tried, patted it on a lovely brisket whose fat had already been removed, thank you, Lord, and shoved that baby in the oven to snooze.  In a hour, I have to crank the heat down even lower, but that's just fine with me.  I also get to add some red wine and Worcestershire sauce for it to swim around in, wrapped in foil, while it continues to cook.  Oh, lawsie...after seeing all those cows at the Fair, I feel sort of guilty.  Not. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Handwriting is on the wall....damn

Something is up and I'm just not sure what the deal is.  Senora Maria, my best friend and ironing therapist, lost her brother while we were in Italy, and has not returned since.  Her daughter left a message while we were gone that she wouldn't be here for two weeks, as she had gone to Mexico.  No problem.  Fred and I manned the ironing board for stuff we just had to have, and that's no problem.  The problem is, she didn't come this week, and this is week 3 by my count.  Yes, my count could be off, however, here's the ultra weirdest part:  I called yesterday to check on her and her son answered and said he'd "interpret for her".  Huh?  She's always talked whenever I've called her before--she's even called me numerous times-- and we've never needed "an interpreter".  What's up with that?   Maybe she was afraid I was mad, but I'm not.  I'm just worried.

I think maybe she's hanging up her iron and doesn't want to tell me.  I asked if she was OK, and her son said she was fine....Then I asked if she'd be here this week and he asked her, in English, thank you very much, and she said she would be.  Seeing's believing and I'm not really thinking it's gonna happen, despite what she said.  When she quit working for my brother's family, she just stopped coming--no adios, nada.  If  that's where we are, that's where we are and I'll big girl up and deal with it, but nowhere does it say I have to like it. Wah...I'll sure miss her.  She's a part of our family.  Or was.

Fingers crossed I'm wrong.  Anybody know of a good ironing lady????

Friday, October 14, 2011


I don't know about you, but this past week has been a doozie and seems to have lasted forever.  Some weeks are just like that I guess.  I did have to laugh when I read today's headlines and saw where Whitney Houston had thrown a rod on a Delta flight because she didn't want to fasten her seat belt.  Not surprising...she'd probably be the first person in line to sue Delta if they hit turbulence, and she broke a nail.  Yes, she's a diva but, Whitney, don't fly commerical if you can't be one of the great unwashed with the rest of us.  Case closed.

Sis update:  last night in addition to her usual nighttime walk with her dad where he refuses to make her wear a leash because he can control her " with voice commands" (eye roll, smirk, head shake), Sis got her pre-Benji and Andrea homecoming bath.  She is now slick as a slim black seal, sporting a brand new royal blue Capri water colored collar, and is waiting patiently for their arrival.  They probably won't swing by until tomorrow, but suffice it to say, she'll be ready.  I also washed her bed fluffies because you just can't put a fresh clean dog suit on old dog stinky duvets.  No way.  Everybody knows that.  It's the law.

Happy weekend to all and enjoy the gorgeous weather.  I'm sure going to!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beware the's a full moon

I am having one of those full moon kind of days.  You know the's where all the crazy people come out and conspire together to drive you nuts.  And they are the type of crazies who are "always right, never in doubt", "you're wrong and they are right".  Yeah, those insufferable people you'd just as soon invite to play catch with a live grenade.  I think I'm going to just hang it up for the day and stay INSIDE.  I had planned to make a Target run but can you imagine the havoc that might be cast upon me should I go there, on a full moon?  No way.  Noooooo.

But I do have a funny or maybe really just a whaaaat???  I got an email this morning that mom had decided (buckle up) to go to the Fair with the rest of her crowd from the Plaza.  I nearly spit hot coffee all over my monitor...yesterday she couldn't walk, so I'm guessing today she's going to wheelchair it all over the Fair with the crowd from the dementia unit???  I's days like this that just leave me reeling, not knowing what will happen next.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Depression alert: don't say I didn't warn you

Funny how plans somehow don't turn out quite like you thought they would.  I was to have taken mom to the dentist today.  Fine.  No problem.  I got there and she was all set and ready to go and was even coming down the hall.  And that's where the problem begins....she was sitting on the seat of her walker, being pushed down the hall.  Huh??  What the hell is this??  We decide that maybe a wheelchair might be better since she's not acting like she's able to walk, and after taking three of us to transfer her over, peeling her hands up one by one off of her walker, despite us telling her we wouldn't let her fall, we finally get her in the damn wheelchair.  Outside by my car, we attempt to get her into the front seat.  After three tries, again with all three of us, I blow the whistle, call the dentist's office and cancel.  Mom is like a solid sack of reinforced concrete, and I know even if we could get her into my car, I might never be able to get her out--even with help.  Holy moly.

Mom was shuffling --a little bit earlier this morning in PT-- but now it's just a total shut down and while they roll her back inside, I am seated in my car, gulping air and fighting tears.  I finally go back inside to talk with  the Nurse Manager, and to try to get some perspective. While we get mom set up for Mobile Dental to come clean her teeth--yep, there is such a thing-- we brainstorm together whether this is "just where we are" or, is she possibly someplace less permanent?  Answer:  Who the hell knows.

  Now that the dominoes are falling, I am staring down the barrel at sometime soon having to ground my mom from going to church on Sundays and then to Brook Hollow for lunch--something she adores doing every week-- because she is just a lead weight, cannot walk, and is at even further risk for getting hurt.  The ladies that take her can't handle this.  Maybe mom can go a few more times if she can walk...maybe... but right now, it's not looking like it, and I am just crushed for her.  Are ya depressed yet....??, too. 

Lookey heah..

This is Jack.  Now you know why I want him so bad!
BTW, my phone was just constipated.  I fixed it.

The Piddles

I've got a terrible case of the Piddles this morning and just cannot seem to pop my own clutch and get on with things.  I want to do a little of this, a little of that, drink some more coffee, and well....just piddle.  I figure if Sis can do it, so can I.

Fred and I have come to a big decision and though it was tough, we both agree.  We are not going to re-dog.  There it's out there and I said it.  Though we both would love to "puppy", that means we'd be 1) food Nazi's again with Sis, since she eats anything and everything that belongs to another dog  2) we'd be committed to another animal for 16 or so years since all of ours live for ever  3) and lastly and most important, Sis might not like being de-throned by an adorable mass of puppyness.  She can be a real bitch when she wants to and we don't need more stress around here either.  Yes, we could rescue an older dog, but we'd still have all three of the above issues, to a greater or lesser degree AND possible older adopted dog weirdness.  Yeah, yeah...I might not happen on the weirdness part, but the other three still stand.

We did adopt Sis when the Wigman was 10, just like Sis is now, BUT he was THE MOST PERFECT GENTLEMAN DOG ever and well, Sis just does not fit that bill.  Though she is Queen of Everything, she's just a girly girl at heart and does not share her dad with anyone.  In fact, sharing is just not really in her vocabulary.  In years back, she even kicked the old man dog out of the dog bed so she could stretch out.  He must have been thrilled, though, not to bunk with her anymore.

Now, that said, if my niece, Austin, who is in Medical school EVER needed to find her chocolate and tan man dog, Jack, a new home due to her schedule, I'd toss Sis out the back door in a heartbeat.  Not really but you get my drift.  Move over Sis.  There's a new man in town.  The bad news?  That'll never happen.

I have an adorable picture of Jack but am having issues trying to get it off my phone.  Ever since I synced (this word just does not look right) my phone and computer again, I've had nothing but problems.  Moral of the story?  Don't do it.  I'll post the pic 1) if I can ever get it to send from my screwed up phone  2) I may have to head to the Apple store or ATT.  I'd rather be dipped in pig snot.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Well worth the effort

Just to wrap up yesterday's topic, here's the post smoking pork product I pulled.  OK...say that ten times FAST.
Better known as pulled pork.  Whole, and pulled below. was good.  I will definitely do this one again  The secret to the pulling part is not two forks, but a pair of latex gloves and your own 2 hands.  That way you can get off all the groady fat.  Yick.

Now, my mission is to load up a bunch of the above for my other baby boy, and freeze it, before Fred and Brian can devour it all.  Otherwise, Benji will be SOL.  I texted him a pic of it last night and he said to save him some, so I'm gonna try.  Since he's coming for the last of the wedding shindigs this weekend--a Dallas reception for family and some of their friends--this should be do-able.  All the above will need is a container of Sister Schubert homemade rolls (think pulled pork sliders) and a round of Helen Corbitt's BBQ sauce, if I have time to make it.  If not, he can just buy some.  :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ahhhh, pork

I just don't think this day can get much better unless it includes a nap for me this afternoon.  Paul McCartney got married today in London to a lovely looking woman reasonably close to his own age who has her own money and doesn't need his, thank you very much.  Unlike his last disastrous marriage, this one might just be a keeper and I'm all over that.  Next, I was awake at 2:45AM anyway so I was able to pour off the brine for my pulled pork without waking up anybody else, which is always appreciated.  Once I got up for good, around 8-ish, I went out to the garage and got my sack of mesquite chips to get them soaking, pulled out Miss Piggy (pork butt-shoulder) to let her come closer to room temp, while I got my BIG GIRL Egg all set to light.  I had already applied the recipes rub to her bad self, wearing latex gloves as suggested, so the rub stays on the meat, and not on you.  Sis was my able assistant until I realized that was only because she wanted to lick the grate the pork was to go on....not so much, Sis.  Ain't gonna happen, so she was fired on the spot.  She was lousy help anyway.

Once my fire was going, Brian was up and helped me get everything outside and loaded.  Since this old Pig needs to cook for 10-12 hours at 210 degrees, that's about the equivalent of cooking it with a flashlight but I digress.  Once on, Brian and I cackled at just how dam accurate you can get with an Egg.  We've both been outside more than once to check the temp, and it's hovering right about, yes, I realize I could dink around with it to reach exactly 210 but I seriously just don't care.  I'm not thinking 10 degrees one way or the other is gonna be a deal breaker on this big old gal, and while she puffs away ever so gently, with a slight trail of smoke out of her top grate, I am beyond content though I do smell a little smokey. 

Lastly, we got RAIN last night and a much needed rain at that.  Ours went on for most of the night and that's just the best news ever.  Even though it's late, we still got it, and some is better than none any day.  When I went out to light the Egg, I noticed Brian had left an old pair of boots outside just far enough out from under the roof line to get wet.  Real wet.  When I went over to check on them, it was just like in the cartoons--I poured rain out of each boot making a big splash each time.  Good thing those were his old boots.  (Eye roll...head shake).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bring on the butt....or shoulder

For today and this day only, we are a somewhat divided family, and only for a few hours.  With Benji and Andrea as OU alums, and Bruce and me as ex-UT alums, come 11AM, a line in the sand will be drawn.  The first year Benji was at OU, I called him every time UT scored.  I knew we weren't gonna win so I had to get my licks in when and where I could.  We ended up getting pulverized as we have for most of the years since so he graciously got the last laugh.  Fred delivered the bad news last night that UT is not favored to win this year either, but I am holding out hope that all the new trick plays might help.  Then I remembered if I know about the trick plays, OU will be more than prepared for such shenanigans but I still remain hopeful.  It ain't over 'til it's over.  No matter what, it should be a fun game to watch. 

I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to make pulled pork and I still do.  The problem is finding a 5-7 lb. pork butt.  I'm not sure that's a usual and customary item at Tom Thumb since I didn't see any so I may have to order one.  I'm on the phone now and the butcher says he thinks he has one.  I asked him to please go be sure before I drag myself up there.  He says it may be labeled pork a shoulder and a butt are now the same thing???  Apparently at Tom Thumb they are and I guess I'm hung up in "technicalities".  I thought a butt was in the back and a shoulder was in the front.  Silly me.  I should have known better.

The recipe I have says to brine it so now I'm off to see what all I need to get that part going.  I figure we'll be eating this thing sometime tomorrow--probably for dinner.  My big green egg has been wanting to get back into business so I'm headed outside now in my pj's with my coffee to see if I have enough charcoal--I'm pretty sure I do.  Wood chips?  Check.  BGE fire starters?  Check.  Oh,'s gonna be a GREAT day no matter which team wins!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Flying does this to me

I'm sitting here laughing about an event that happened on the trip that I'd forgotten to blog about.  Sooooo, let me set the scene.  We are flying like a bunch of heifers on 737, all scrunched up, and I'm, luckily, on the aisle.  Next to me is an older, crazy, Spanish lady and her controlling Latin husband who tells her nicely, what to do, all the damn time. I know this because I am eaves dropping, and though my Spanglish ain't all that great, I'm gettin' it enough to know what's goin' on.  Behind me are a row of Benji's pals, namely Aubs (she changed seats with another of our group, for awhile) Brett, and Erin.  Everyone is bleary eyed tired and several folks have been indulging in some (OK...lots) of  in-flight cocktails.  Disclaimer:  I won't say whom, here, to protect the guilty, but I luckily was not among the naughties.

Anywho, I can't sleep because I have to 1) eaves drop on everyone and everything  2) because all the stuff that's going on around me is way to damn funny to miss, and lastly 3) because I am totally slap-happy silly from lack of sleep.  Crazy Spanish lady next to me is sporting her shades, as she has been since we took off, we are well underway to Spain, and the plane is dark.  When she and her husband --they are inseparable--motion they are headed for the litter box, I hop up.  That's when, Erin, from behind me, yells "So, Caroline...what's up with your homegirl's shades?"

To say that I lost it just does not cover my complete meltdown....I was still laughing when homegirl returned, in her shades, with her homeboy.  And now for the punishment phase:  I cannot stop laughing.  Just when I thought I had it under control, I'd snort out laughing again.  It's bad...real bad.  We fly and fly and fly--and I'm still laughing.  You'd think I was five and I feel like I am.....  I just cannot get a grip on myself.  Finally, I am all laughed out.

Suffice it to say, I can no longer read or hear the word homeboy or homegirl without laughing.  I saw the word homeboy a minute ago and it brought all of this back up and I am still hope I don't got to hell for this. 

It's Friday...finally

Someone slick, black, and warm just waddled in here, I thought, to sit in the chair with me but she actually just wanted to climb into her bed underneath me.  Sis is such a snooze girl in the morning and really doesn't get her motor going until later in the morning.  She seems to just cruise from one dog bed to another.  I just looked and she's completely buried underneath her red fleece blanket, snoozing away.  Not a bad way to start a Friday morning, or any morning for that matter.

After glancing around this home office of ours, it's clear that while this weekend maybe Texas-OU weekend, rather than partying, we have some major de-cluttering to do.  As hard as I try, stuff just seems to pile up....and I've concluded it's because I appear to be the only person around here who actually throws things away.  That does seem to be an integral part of the de-clutter process.  My system is, if I look at it and don't know what to do with it, I pitch it.  I figure looking at it again is not going to send a lightening bolt of oh, yeeeah to my brain and a great idea of what to do with it.  This actually works fairly well since most of the mail we get is trashola anyway.

And now we need to talk about these bathtubs.
 And this one.

While I think both of these are gorgeous beyond belief, can you see yourself in either of these?  Maybe it's the angle of the shots but both of these look really you couldn't really stretch out and relax.  Do either of them look comfy to you??  I'm not thinking so.  And the top one??  If you gain five pounds you may not be able to get your derriere in and back out of that one.  Can you imagine how long it would take to fill one of these?   I mean, we are already in a serious drought and unless you have a way to reuse your bathwater in your yard, maybe a shower is is a better idea.  And even without the current drought, by the time one of these is full, I think I'd be over it.  Reality check: These are simply great to look at but not very practical and if you can afford one of these, you probably don't much care.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tsunami Avery

Yesterday I ran by to see the three little pigs (Hud, Had, and Avery) and scored on all three counts.  All three were home and the two oldest ones were next door playing at a neighbors.  Nic and I went over to find them and Hud was the first one out the door, so when I asked for a hug, he made a running leap into my arms.  I guess it's a good thing I got a workout dragging my bags all over Italy, or he and I both might have hit the dirt.  From Had I got a more low key howdy, a quick flash of a white peely cast less arm, due to it's removal earlier that morning, and they were off back to play with their pals.  Avery was waking up as we went back to their house, and that's when the poo hit the fan.

Nic had prepared me that if anyone else is there when she goes to get Avery, Avery throws a total rod and thinks the other person is there to babysit, and that her mom is leaving.  At not quite two, I'm sure I don't even need to describe to you what this picture looks like so we'll just leave it at FURY.  I tried not to laugh at her--nobody wants to be laughed at and most especially when they are royally pissed-- but she... was.... hilarious.  She took the front part of her foot out of her sandal, and Nic prepared me that Avery was going to get mad about that next.  And oh, baby, did she ever.

I'm sure once she's fully awake and had something to drink, she returns to her non-Exorcist self but yesterday's flash of fury brought back flashbacks of the boys that I had buried deepReal deep.  A couple of episodes like that in Target, and you just never want to take your kids out in public again, despite the fact that every mother and grandmother within 3 feet of you feels your pain.  Luckily, Nic is the most laid back easy going mom ever and she just rolls with it and by baby #3, she knows to just let the Avery tsunami roll on past.

Steve Jobs

Read Steve Massanelli's  blog post.  Ditto his quote from Steve Jobs.  Amazing men.  Both Steve's. 

While I knew Steve Job's was critically ill, I just did not expect him to leave this earthly plane yesterday.  Way too soon. And he took so many wise and marvelous gifts of his with him the likes of which we won't see here again.
Brilliant man, gone too soon.  RIP, Steve Jobs.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Funky apples Why??

I know this doesn't sound like a big deal but today it is to me.  This morning I am suffering from apple confusion.  I just ate a Red Delicious, that was NOT so delicious, and in actual fact was pretty awful.  Since this is the time of year apples are supposed to be so great, how do you know which ones are best??  Good Lord....have you seen all of the varieties at the store??  There are literally jillions of them to choose from and I'm proposing we get to taste them, before we buy them, like down at the Farmers Market or Sam's.  Then we could get a hand out detailing which ones are the best for eating, cooking, etc.  Or, better still, they could group them according to use.  Yeeeah....that would definitely be more Eco-friendly than a hand out.  I don't know why I get obsessed over stuff like this but I just do.  It just makes purrrrrrrfect sense to me.

While Sis is sleeping in yonder, and not hogging my chair or nudging me to love on her, I am about to place a Christmas order for Kringles.  Now, if you've never had a Kringle, buckle up because it's about the best damn thing I have ever tasted, and with a hot cup of coffee, will not only expand your waistline but put a smile on your face like nothing else.  And did I mention the flavors they come in??  Pecan, raspberry, cream cheese, apple, on, and on, and on...... right on into high caloric heaven.  Damn.....they're so good.  Holler if you want the website or the number to call them.  You won't regret it, but your pants might.

 Ohhhhhh, yummmmm.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Wedding Dinner and wrap up

It's time to wrap up the wedding subject even though I could go on and on about it for another week.  I realized reading back over my earlier posts that not only do European computers not underline typo's for you, which would really help when you are jet lagged, but their keyboard is also different which explains my run on first post and gobs of typos.  All I can say is "Well, hell".  'Nuf said.

I really don't think I gave you the flavor of the Wedding Reception and dinner so here goes.  We cabbed it over from the wedding site to Il Riccio and while we had a drink, they reset us up below the main restaurant on a private terrace, as they were supposed to have done, but goofed.  Andrea and Benji had a private discussion with them and all was taken care of.  Shortly there after, we headed down to the terrace overlooking the water, and to say that it was beautiful is like saying Sister's fur is black.  Duh.

  White table and chairs, several blue runners going across the table--not length wise-- two perfectly stunning flower arrangements of white flowers that just blew your doors off, candles flickering, gorgeous glassware and table settings, and waiters everywhere.  Menus were passed, wine was poured, all while we were laughing and talking, and just trying to take it all in.  Boats with their lights on would go buzzing past and because it was now dark, the sparkling hillside of Capri was all around us, lights flickering.

Dinner was wonderful, the wedding cake came--chocolate with a huge sparkler--that they cut, and then the waiters took over.  Then came the champagne and toasts.  Hankie alert: I won't go into detail about everything that was said, but I will say every single person who gave a toast cried, except the parents.  Girls always cry so that didn't really phase me although theirs were every bit as heart felt and wonderful, as the guys.  I guess I just did not see the guy's emotions coming.  Brett, Benji's best man, and Erin, Andrea's maid of honor kicked things off and started the sob train, but it was brother Brian's toast and Cam's, that put me away.  Those two were just a one-two punch that left us all a tad misty.

After everyone had done their toast, and dinner was complete, we all loaded back up in cabs for a hair raising if you didn't believe in God before, you sure did afterwards cab ride back to our hotel.  I swear it was like a wild roller coaster ride, all downhill at warp speed, and it never stopped--not even for other cars.  Once at the hotel,we all bailed out, the young 'uns took off for dancing and to par-tay, and the peeps headed up to change, and then met on the roof of the hotel, to debrief everything.  We watched them all head down the block in their wedding attire, as people clapped and whistled, for Benji and Andrea.  While we yakked and star gazed, they partied.  A perfect ending to a perfect day.

And now for a postscript wrap up:  Erin, the bridesmaid who had to go buy another dress in Capri because her luggage never came, arrived back in Naples to pick up her "found" bag at the airport, on her way back home to Dallas.  Wanna guess what she found??   Her original dress she had packed to wear for the wedding, had been stolen out of her bag.  Luckily, she has a picture of it on her phone, and her receipt, so I'm thinking American and Iberia should both reimburse her, though both have declined to do so currently.   I'm thinking a nastygram from her attorney might help them see this a little differently.  I sure hope so.  She's now paid for two dresses, and only has one.  I hate Naples.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ain't Fall grand???

It's early-ish and Sis and her sharpshooting sidekick have already gotten one squirrel.  The problem?  He made a run for it once hit and landed with a thud on the roof.  Lovely.  Color me thrilled.  It's so beeeeee-u-tiful outside, I've got a hankering to go rattle my pots and pans.  I don't know why gorgeous weather does that to me but it does.  And bad weather does it, too.  Maybe I just like to cook.... oh, yeeeeeeah.... that's it.

For some reason, I am dying to make pulled pork...not sure why.  Something about putting a big old honkin' seasoned pork shoulder in the oven just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, while I wash clothes--my other favorite past time.  Life is never sweeter than when I have both of those things going simultaneously.  And if you include buying pumpkins for out front, and some fall plants, I am transported to another realm of this stratosphere.

  Yesterday was a chili making day and since I doubled the recipe, I now have two containers for the freezer--a nice back up for days that are wild, when cooking just does not make it on my list for the day.  I love having stuff like that to fall back on.  Makes life sooo much easier.

The newly and truly weds are winging their way back home as we speak.  I'm sure they are ready to get back to normal, whatever that looks like for them.  I think they get in early Monday morning, and Benji is playing that night.  Ohhhhhhh, to be young again and be able to pull that off. 

I went by to see mom yesterday and give her the 411 on all the wedding details and the trip.  She was squealing like a little girl and loving the stories.  I can't wait to get some photo paper to print off pic's for her AND to see the pic's the photographer made, so I can get a few for her to enjoy.  I have never seem my mom so content and that is such a gift.  I am one lucky gal and I know it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I smell cookies

My gal pal and 82 yr. old neighbor, Mary, is back from visiting her daughter and has decided that Virginia is just not the place for her, and she's not moving.  Yahooooo to that news.  I saw her right before we were leaving for Italy and got the great news then.  Now that we're back, I ran over with some warm cookies this afternoon to visit, and get the full skinny on her trip, and vice versa about the wedding.

It seems that for now, she's going to stay where she is, though she may get more help.  I hope she does because otherwise, her house is just too much for her.  She may eventually move to The Forum where we looked last year, but she's not ready to make that decision, and luckily, she doesn't have to this instant.

The phone rang a minute ago and it was Mary wanting to know where in the world I got the cookie dough, because I fessed up and told her I'd only cooked them--not made them.  She was as giddy as a little kid when I told her about my secret--The Festive Kitchen--and their 15 flavors of cookies.  I told her about their frozen quiche that you pour into a pie shell, that liketa killed us it was so good, and she was ready to go get in her car and head straight up there that minute.

  She still has her bridge club occasionally and has tried to make several types of cookies in the past, but she sure won't after this.  I told her to give her old mixing bowls the heave ho and to come on over to the dark side with me.  We were cackling like two old hens.  She never knew the Festive Kitchen existed and I told her I didn't either, until Addie Beth, Bruce's cousin, turned me on to it and once you know, you cain't ever not know again.  With 15 flavors, Mary better get busy trying them fast.  At 82, time's a wastin'. 

Assorted pic's-Italy

Capri harbor, right side.
Brian and Aubs on funiculare up to town of Capri and hotel.

Sister's store in Capri. 

Water inside Blue Grotto

RD with one of the flower arrangements.  You can barely see the votive candle inside the large lemon immediately above the flowers.  At the end, everyone took an arrangement to take back to their room.

Positano. OOOO, la la.

Marianne and Francisco, poolside on the terrace at the RD, for cocktails, before heading up to dinner.

I think I've finally turned the corner on my jet lag hangover and slept almost straight through the night last night.  Amen to that.  I've now decided that my meds I packed in my carry on in the side pocket got "lifted" somewhere between here and Capri--possibly down at the dock before the porters brought the bags up to the hotel.  Good thing I had my jewelry in my purse.  I hope whoever jacked them from my bag enjoys the heck out of my HRT hormones, and if it's a guy, and it probably is, I hope he gets big man boobs. 

Our most favorite new family members, Marianne and Francisco, are on their way home from Madrid to Miami as I type, and have a great Naples story to tell.  Marianne is going to call me when she's rested up so I can hardly wait to hear it.  We saw the weirdest prostitute--I think she was wearing a black hood--so there's no telling what they saw.

There's still so much to tell and so many pic's that I'm going to get Fred to give me the link to the folders he made for Capri, the RD, and the wedding, and then I think he still has some more to make possibly for Pompeii, and Sorrento.  Pompeii was astonishing and I must say the Romans were no dummies.  The streets have ruts from the chariots and other wheeled vehicles, and stepping stones across each corner so when they flooded the streets to clean them, you could still cross them, and not get wet.  We walked ourselves to death and finally Francisco and I waved the white flag on finding the brothel, and went to get a Coke and split a panini, since we were starving. 

It finally took all four of us to find it and other than seeing the stone beds and "pillows", and a few porno fresco's, it wasn't all that intriguing  Above is a shot of the comfy stone beds of the brothel.  Yeow....makes your back hurt just looking at it, doesn't it?  The naughtiest brothel fresco's have been removed and are in the Museum in Naples, so big woo on that.  I did love seeing the Highland Park or Beverly Hills of Pompeii--the houses were huge and the open air aspect was right up my alley.  They weren't "open plan", as I would have liked but were still fascinating to see.  Francisco seemed to really enjoy seeing them since he is an architect.  I did ask him where in the hell the hospital was, since that's what he designs, but we decided the Barber shop was the hospital, and you probably just died vs any kind of nursing care, unless your family did it.  Out of the entire city of Pompeii that was buried, 3/4 of it has been excavated, and they still have the last quarter to complete.  No telling what they'll find--I'd love to go back and see the last part some day.

I loved Sorrento and especially loved our hotel.  They took fabulous care of us and their breakfast was a buffet of caloric naughtiness.  If you couldn't find something you liked there, something is definitely wrong with you.  The staff was very smiley, friendly, and warm, and knew lots of folks by name.   We just adored them.  The front desk was also top notch (gorgeous guys) and gave us several suggestions of places to eat that scored.  The Basilica had the best minestrone I have EVER put in my mouth--ditto their warm bread we swished in olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar, and a little salt and pepper.  (Eye roll here...omg.)

The newlyweds return to Nash sometime on Monday night, I think, and if ever there was a storybook wedding, they had it.  Now it's back to reality and that's a good thing.  Your own bed feels pretty darn good after that long.  Mine sure did.  Below is a pic of them on their way into the Blue Grotto, on their wedding day!

Sis is thrilled to have her people back home and did her "upright dance on her hind legs hop" in the driveway Thursday night, as we all howled.  Brian picked us up but knew better than to bring her to DFW.  She'd have thrown a rod in the car for sure.  She couldn't decide who to greet first but Fred finally won out, as he is her hunting partner, after all.  She's been taking turns following one of us everywhere, to be sure we're not leaving her again.  She's back to bossing everyone around here and just got Fred to take her outside, while he mows, by telling him to get up (small bark and head jerk that says " C'mon"!)  That girl is somethin' else.