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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Land sakes....I've never been so embarrassed in my life.  I just took Sis on a walk and as we walked down one block, a front door opened and out shot a small gray poodle, Precious, who was very intent on getting to know Sis.  My stars...I looked down to see my fat black squirrel killing girl, terrified of a poodle half her size. Sis proceeded to do the "choke your own damn self", on her own leash, trying to get away.  I will say Precious is a mite forward, so no wonder Sis was unglued to the point of squatting, to avoid a cold nose.  Precious doesn't seem to mind any better than Sis, either, as the last thing she does when called, is actually come.  I will tell you she is a lot more fashion forward than Sis, given that she had a small orange feather tied into the fur of each ear, from her last trip to the groomer.  It was a look all right--just not a particularly good one.  Feathers on a dog??  Uh, no.

The Emperor, across the street from us, had a large lightly flocked Christmas tree delivered this morning and dropped off in their front yard.  I thought it was kind of weird that it was left in the yard, but then they do "interesting things" a lot.  As Sis and I returned from our walk, I noticed Penny (the mom), one of the Hispanic maids, and their son, all out front decorating the tree.  It's one of the nicest shaped trees I've seen in a l-o-n-g time--really fat and fluffy-- and I told Penny I had wondered this morning how they were ever going to get it into the house.  She said when they saw it, they liked it so much they went ahead and bought it, and decided to put it outside, knowing they'd never get it through any door they have, into their house.  True that.  The bad news is, she says it's taking a boat load of lights to cover it, but they are almost to the top.  I can't wait to see the finished product.  It's already really beautiful so this should be fun to have across the street for everyone to enjoy.  Neat idea!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A new Security idea?

Yesterday when I made a brief stop at North Park, I was surprised to see two Policemen riding two huge horses throughout the parking lot.  These horses almost seemed like draft horses, only a little bit slimmer.  They definitely got people's attention and one African American guy could not take his eyes off of them.  A car finally had to honk him back to earth.

It's got to be tough on a horse to run full throttle on an asphalt surface, if the need should arise.  Even with shoes on, that's going to be one slippery surface and maybe that's really not the plan anyway.  The plan is just to make you think twice about stealing, or robbing some old lady in her fur coat, like what happened last year.  They have those Police surveillance towers but unless you put a sniper up there--which seems a little anti-Christmas--wonder what they could do instead, that would be cost effective and a crime deterrent?

We have to allow for cars zooming in and out of the parking lot, and fractious, stressed out drivers, so what about electric powered Segways??  There could be tons of them and worst case, if you don't stop running, they run over you.  All of them.  Now, if the perp(s) is armed, and most will be, we're back to the same old problem.  Maybe the answer is robots on Segways.  Now that would be something to see.

And here's one for da 'hood. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Local Tsunami

Saturday afternoon, I was hit with a wig wearing tsunami and not in a good way either.  I had been lying down reading when the doorbell rang, accompanied by some serious banging.  Fred was blowing leaves so I wasn't sure why the doorbell was still ringing.  I opened the door, and that's the last time I got a word in edgewise.  A youngish African American gal immediately went into her spiel on a cleaning products she was selling, and proceeded to spray part of a window, showing me how clean and nice it was...then she blasted past me into the kitchen and showed me how well it worked on stainless steel, telling me she had a stainless steel refrigerator "jes lak dis 'un".  Whaaaat?   And that's why she's going door to door, right?  That big booming career path she's got going has enabled such a purchase.  OK...that's lie #1, I'm thinking.

OK...I am beginning to recover enough to head her towards the front door, when Fred blows through the back door, to make sure I have not been killed my this purple velour sweat suited, pony tailed wig- wearing woman, who has a mouth on her straight outta South Dallas.  Twice she told me "I ain't here to clean yo' hole house", and I'm thinking that's because she's really a serious career woman.  She wanted me to buy one of her bottles of cleaner, and she'd drop it back by.  OK...there it was.  Lie #2., I am blonde...but I am not that blonde.  When I told her "I heard ya and no thanks", her lightening fast reply as she shoved off down the block was " Wellll...iffin yo dun 'herd me, then yuda baaa wun", and off she went in a snit, with that wig  a'slidin back and forth on her head.

I swanny.....I did not know what had hit me for about 10 minutes, and thank the good Lord above that old leaf blowing Fred was here, or no telling what might have happened.  When she left, all he could say was what the hell was that??  And I had no answer.

And speaking of fast talking women, it seems Hudson told his mom the other day that "Hadley talks too much to me, mom...make her stop!"  Isn't that hilarious?  His dad said "Yeah...your mom and Hadley need to get... a.... room". it's a woman thing.  Deal with it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Yesterday afternoon, Fred and I spent a few hours putting up the Christmas dec's and the lights out front.  Our lights are a little on the skimpy side so we may have to amp it up in that department.  Fred says "no" but then he always says "no"--it doesn't matter what the question is--it's always a "no".  This is a l-o-n-g standing joke around our house and whenever the boys are here and he does it, we all just roll.

  With a roaring fire and Christmas music on, this was not exactly tough duty until the music got cheesy.  It subsequently got the hook.  We did have a few issues: a couple of ornaments hit the floor, the need for more extension cords presented itself, but nothing that a trip to CVS or Walgreens couldn't fix.  My mission today is to take over the removable hanger for mom's door to her room, attach it, and hang her wreath.  That's probably about as Christmasey as she's going to get this year, other than maybe a blooming Christmas cactus.  The danger there is, the staff may over water it like I did mine one year, and you suddenly have blooms all over the floor vs on the plant.  A poinsettia might be a better bet.  Or not.  We'll see.

I ran by yesterday to check in on her and she was on top of her bed, all covered up with a snugly blanket, sound asleep.  Shoot.  They had just brought her back from lunch not five minutes before. One of the staff said a lot of the residents were really tired.  She was sleeping so hard that when I put my hand on her to be sure she was breathing, she didn't move a muscle.  Now that's what I call sleeping.  Good for her.

One of my friends told me she has not cooked a turkey and the whole nine yards for her kids, ever, at their home, so today is the day--she's cooking TG for them and her husband.  I applaud her willingness and effort, and the thought of eating any more turkey is off my list.  I've eaten about all the turkey and leftovers my pants will safely accommodate.  Back to my little eating plan and the treadmill I must go.  Otherwise I'll be in a muu-muu by Christmas. 

This is the time of year when I start seriously thinking about my final donations to charities for the year.  I like to spread it out over the year especially to the North Texas Food Bank because people get hungry all year long.  Ditto Parkland.  People need care all year long.  Last night while watching Rick Steves Christmas in Europe, I called my sister to see if she was OK with me making a donation for mom, to KERA, since they are having their Fund Drive.  Mom LOVES KERA and last year made four different Christmas donations during the Fund Drive, because she would forget she'd done it.  I didn't find out about it until the box from KERA arrived with four sets of the same books and DVD's .....yep...Rick Steves Christmas in Europe.  This year, we're getting just one set.

Friday, November 25, 2011

OOOO, ahhhh.  The best thing about Thanksgiving has to be the leftovers.'s like the feast never ends and tastes even better the next day.  I haven't had to unbutton my pants, yet, but if I eat any more tonight I could be in serious trouble.  The years we've gone to the Farm for TG are always fun but there's never any leftovers of the stuff you'd want.  Those Harris-Carter people can eat, let me just tell ya.  The stuff that is left over is still there for a reason, if you get my drift.  Cranberry sauce or some of those weird looking jello salad thingys are not even a "round one" pick for me or mine, so you can bet they aren't going home with us. Noooo siree.

I just had leftover sweet potatoes, green beans, turkey and dressing with gravy, and a piece of chocolate pie and the smile I have on my face almost hurts.  As Fred just said, I went the "full monty."  I think those Harris-Carter people must have rubbed off on me after all these years.

The other thing I wanted to discuss is trains.  Why?  Because I wish we were a nation of train travel like in Europe.  I adore the relaxing ride, the people watching , the space, and watching the country side roll by.  You leave the driving to them and unless you hit  cow or something, or derail for some reason, it's not a bad way to travel.  I don't need the super speedy Japanese trains that move so fast everything is one big blur.  I kind of like to see where I'm going.  Give me a Eurostar(Leisure Select) any day and I'm one happy gal.  Being served lunch is right up my alley.  I don't even mind riding the local if it's clean.  Standard class is just as fun and I always hope people are reading, so I can study them without being noticed.  I have no problem walking to the bar for my own cup of tea or coffee.  It's always nice to stretch your legs and you don't lose any time getting to your destination.

Now, I do remember riding the train in Russia some 35 years ago, and that was one interesting train ride.  There were Russian soldiers, and peasants, and us--and lots of the peasants had chickens in cages on their laps.  The speed of the train was so damn slow, I could have run along beside it, had it not been below zero outside, and the heat inside was oppressive.  Let's just say the air inside was not particularly fresh, what with the chickens, cigarette smoke, and general Russian BO.  But I DO remember it-- and that might be why.  Stinky or otherwise, I still love train travel in Europe. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Turkey Day



Food is cooked.  Rolls are made.  Monkey Bread is rising.  Happy, Happy to All.                     

Fatty Fatty 2x4...

Wow.  I just read the article about the man flying on United who had to stand for seven hours due to the over sized man sitting next to him.  The obese man required both armrests to be raised to fit into his seat, and then dunlopped over into half of the other man's seat, to the point that the man with half a seat was unable to fasten his own seat belt.  The man approached the flight attendants and told them of the problem, but was told the flight was full and there was nothing they could do.

Whoa....I said Whoa.  If that happens to me, that plane is NOT leaving the gate without something being done.  I am entitled to sit in the seat I purchased and so is the obese man.  He is not, however, entitled to spill over into my seat, and if he does, he needs to be pulled off the plane, as HE is the problem.  If he requires a seat and a half, the airline needs to require him to purchase just that--actually that would be two seats--but whatever.  If two seats are not available guess who has to get off and catch the next flight?  Yep, he does.

Let's get real here.  If he was that large, he should have been pulled aside at the gate before boarding, and given the information that he would not be allowed to board as he had only purchased one ticket and actually required two.  Everyone is so afraid of offending people who are overweight.  For whatever reason someone is overweight, it's still their problem, and as such, should be treated that way.  And none of this seat belt extender stuff either.  If you can't fit yours around you, then you have to buy two seats, and use those belts.  Everybody will be more comfortable and probably safer, too.

I am not in favor of offending anyone--overweight or thin--and I think it's high time normal sized people spoke up and demanded to be treated fairly.  Can't you just imagine the next Airline lawsuit that will be filed?  It will be for being discriminated against for being normal sized. 

C'mon, Airlines...grow a pair and either protect normal sized people or make larger seats.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today has turned into yet another interesting day.  It's almost my bedtime and I have: been to a family business board meeting, started and run an IV on my sister who is sick, made my dressing and vegetables, took mom her supplies, and was about to brine my turkey when disaster struck.  My brine-ing cooler was AWOL.  The rest I can handle, but my special cooler gone???  No can do.

Interestingly, neither of my sons admit to "lifting" it so regardless, despite attempts to improvise, I just had to have a soft sided cooler so I was able to fast talk Fred into getting me one from Sam's. turkey is now swimming in Alton Brown's brine from the Food Network.  It needs to be made ahead and refrigerated so it's icy cold, then gets mixed together with a gallon of cold water and ice.  You brine for an hour per pound of your turkey, and then cook with some of Alton's other "aromatics" stuffed up your bad boy.  It makes for a killer juicy turkey and it's just fun to do, so there ya have it.

Mary brought over some home made rolls this morning for me to let rise and then have for dinner tonight and she may be 82, but, honey, she has not lost her touch with flour and yeast.  Far from it.  They were small little ditties but Fred and I snarfed every single one, and thank heaven there weren't more or we'd have polished off those, too.

Nighty, night to all.  I am whooped.  That's a combo of whupped and pooped.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I don't think I've told you all about one of my bosses at Medical City, way back when, who was almost my age, and Canadian.  Her name was Kathy and she had a hilarious sense of humor.  It was just sometimes hard to tell if she was kidding or serious.  One day she called me into her office and said "Do I look weird to you?"  OK...that's a pretty loaded question.  You know the right answer is "No", but if you're bad like me, you scrunch up your face raising an eyebrow, cock your head, and try not to laugh.  No sooner had she asked, than she yelled out "I look like Marge freaking upper lips is all swollen and my lip is jutting out!!"  And OMG...she did.  We both collapsed in her office wheezing with laughter and decided all she needed was blue hair.  Apparently she had eaten something at lunch or touched something she was allergic to and then touched her face.  The more I tried not to laugh, the worse it got.  (I finally had to go into my office and shut the door but she called me on the phone to tell me she could still hear me.)

This is the same gal who told me she hated Thanksgiving because she didn't like turkey.  I told her because she was living and working in this country, she owed it to America to celebrate Thanksgiving, and that any good Canadian would at least try this custom. So, she did.  She and her family had lobster.  Man, I still miss her.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I love going to the Farm.  You just never know what you're going to find these days.  If it's not a snake on the back porch, it's likely to be just about anything, which brings us to Friday night.  A certain someone would not stop to let me investigate a ginormous smoker in the parking lot of the Church of Christ on Willow, where we turn.  It was belching smoke and a man was standing there in the flood lit parking lot keeping that smoker company.  I have never seen a smoker like this but on we went.  Cut to Saturday and our post King's, lunch cruise around town.  I begged to run by and finally, Fred relented.  Up we drove and shyly asked what was going on.  It turns out that every year the church does a Fund Raiser and smokes brisket, pork butt's, and pork roasts, and sells them to anybody who wants one.   The man mentioned he still had some pork left but that the briskets were all gone.  I look at Fred.  Fred knew he was in deep, deep doo-doo.

Anyway, out we hopped out to find out the scoopage on the smoker pictured here and here's what I know:  This thing is older than I am and was made by some German guy.  It lives in Krum, and rents out, but you better not be going far because the tires on this thing are the originals and look like they are about to blow.  The man said they are 23 ply--whatever the hell that means.  The inside has rotating shelves that circle around and will hold 100 briskets or a combo of meats there of.  It takes 2 cords of wood to cook everything to perfection, and  its an old water tank from WWII.  I swear I'm not making this up.

This thing is so huge, I could have stood up inside it and not touched the ceiling.  The rotating shelves inside used to go in reverse until some guy "worked on it", and goobered up that part.  I would need to stand on a ladder to load this thing and the rub they use on everything is the same one some brisket cooking champion gave them the recipe for, after he quit competing. Note the double doors.  Somebody really knew what they were doing.  And the smell still wafting out from the inside made your mouth water.

Here's the pulled pork from the last pork butt he had, and note the bone in the background.  Boy, how I wished for my latex gloves pulling this stuff.  Yes, you can shred it with forks, but you can't get all the fat out that way and the fat grosses me out.  Yish.

This is who got to have the bone, even though I knew we might pay a high price for letting her have such a num-num bone.  We did. And she did, too. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

BON...get it together

This morning I tried yet again to renew my Nursing license with the BON(Board of Nursing) online, post finger printing, to no avail.  The FP lady told me to give it 3 to 5 days after she electronically transmitted my FP's, which she did last Friday while I watched her.  Swell.  Just another state bureau that isn't quite working up to snuff, as my mom would say.  I'll try again on Monday.

Since I know I'm going to get all busy next week, while it's calm, I wanted to post my list of things I am grateful for.  It's a good exercise for me and usually brings up things I've forgotten about from the deep dark recesses of my brain.
1.  God because he takes such incredible care of me even when I get in his way
2.  For the workers at the Edge that take care of mom--I could NOT do their job
3.  For animals--any of them--because they make me laugh, bring me joy, and let me do dumb stuff to them like bathe them in the kitchen sink, blow them dry, clean their eras, and still love me afterwards
4.  For giving myself permission to be me--not who other people think I should be--it's not always easy but it's worth it on so many levels.
5.  For my children  because they bring me such total joy and make me laugh like nobody else can
6.  Fred -- the list is endless
7.  For following my intuition regularly and listening to it vs. blowing it off
8.  For a new DIL (Andrea) that is beyond anything I could have hoped for
9.  For three smalls that let me be a part of their world and provide me with entertainment par excellence--dead squirrel in the bed, dancing to Put a Ring on It, knowing and singing all the words to Adele's Rolling in the Deep, snort like a pig just because they can, and general things they say and do
10.  For readers of this blog--you all make this fun for me--nobody else would read this but I'm grateful somebody does.

Happy Friday to All and we'll talk about surviving relatives for TG, next week.

  Send your suggestions via my email ( and I'll compile the list and post next week.  The email idea is to CYA--(cover yo' a**) so you can really say what you want.  I won't ever out you.  The more creative the better and, Massanelli, that means for you to make us all howl with laughter. (You are from Arkansas, so you already have a huge advantage.)

  If you have stories about a relative(s) that drives you nuts, send it, and just don't use the person's name.  This is supposed to be a fun, stress reliever for everyone.  A chance to peek into other people's families.....laugh your a** off, and then be glad for the nuts on your family tree.  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monkey Bread update

Oh, Hallelujah!!! (spell check says that's right but it still looks weird to me)  It appears that it's actually a small Monkey Bread world, as my very own almost DIL, Nicole, is in the process of getting her mom's recipe for Monkey Bread for me.  I could just scream with joy!!  In fact, though I am not a screamer, I think I just WILL!  It seems that, GiGi, Hud's other grandmother and Nicole's mom, has already made this for them and Hudson is now hooked and loves it.  In fact, Nic says ocassionally he asks her "to call GiGi and ask her to make him some."   Is that not just the best, and exactly what grandmothers were designed to do....make Monkey Bread for small monkeys?? 

Thank you Nic and Shelia for sharing it with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can't wait to make it and see how it turns out!

Monkey Bread

My sister called a few days ago wanting a recipe that yanked me back to my teen years.  My grandmother's maid, Virginia, was a cook extraordinaire and made Monkey Bread that sent us to our knees.  Now, this isn't that MB you see on the Internet with the cinnamon and sugar--no, no, noooo.  This is the homemade roll dough, pinched off, rolled between two pale pink palms (Virginia's), dipped into melted butter, and layered in a tube pan the size of a wagon wheel.  (Not really on the size of the pan but considering how much we loved it, it might have been a good idea since we fought to take it home with us after lunch or dinner.)  I can still hear Virginia's shriek of laughter as I'd sneak in the kitchen after lunch to make sure some was left over.  Hey, snooze ya loose.

Once the layers were complete, she'd set it somewhere warm to rise before putting it in the oven and here's where my memory goes dim.  What temp and for how long did she cook the MB...and why do I have a vague memory of a pan of water at the bottom of the oven to keep the bread light and moist and not dry out??  I vividly remember her saying because there was a lot of bread you had to cook it slow at first and then bring up the temp to brown it, but that's about all I remember.  And the worst news of all is, Virginia's gone now and with her went all that MB information, as well as her chocolate meringue pie of death.  I don't think any of it was ever written down anywhere--it was just all in her head and hands.  Sooo, that said, I may try this holiday season to re-create the MB of my youth.  My children and nieces and nephews have never had it and Virginia's legacy will die with her unless I can resurrect her MB.  Oh, lordy...that's a tall order and though it may take me several tries in the cooking department, I'm going to consult with Mary, my next door neighbor, on bread baking and see what she suggests.  And last ditch, I can always go read and see what Miss Julia has to say about bread baking.  She might just know a thing or two.

MB, toasted the next morning, and slathered with butter will cure everything for ingrown toenails to a hangover and possibly more.  Since you tear it apart with your hands to serve yourself, it breaks apart into these soft little pillows of rolls that melt in yo' mouth, baby.  And toasted to crispy??  Worse than Meth...much worse.  One bite and you're hooked.  BAD.

I went to see mom yesterday, and again, she was down the hall with the gang watching TV.  Word is, she likes that enormous TV.  I think the staff likes getting them all out of their rooms, and putting them all together where they can see them, to offer them snacks, etc.  I'm all over that idea.  One of the staff told me mom is the TV Nazi and tells people to be quiet if they yak to much and she can't hear.  While I was there she yelled out "she's gonna KILL you" to the man on TV.  This from the TV Nazi....  It took everything I had to smother my laughter.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Slow down and look

I'm not commenting on the news of the world today as it's so appalling it's a real stomach churner.  Wow...we do not seem to learn from our mistakes which dooms us to repeat them.  I can't remember who said that but, boy, they were on the money. 

On a much more positive note, if you haven't noticed the trees around town, s-l-o-w- d-o-w-n and notice because they are beeee-u-ti-ful.  The reds, the oranges, the yellows....proof that their is a God and he's busy, even when it feels the least like it.  Sit outside for a few minutes or even just pay attention as you drive around town and notice what is right before you, totally for your enjoyment.  I watched an enormous tree at a friend's house yesterday literally rain bright yellow leaves, as the wind scattered them.  The show didn't cost me a penny and it swelled my heart to bursting.  Check out the leaves at White Rock Lake.....they are a real stunner.

I have to remind myself as the countdown to the holidays ramps up, to slow down and enjoy the small stuff.  Yes, it means every little thing on my to-do list won't get done that day but realistically, there was too much on the list to get done anyway, so though slowing down sounds counter intuitive, it's the way to go.  Less stress, more laughs, more fun.  Being realistic and in the moment is not something I'm always hard wired to do...usually, it's quite the opposite.  I think I have to do more, be more, make it happen.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  I am enough, I have enough, and I don't make it happen anyway.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oh, yes they did...

Get a load of this.  And I shot it a week or so ago.  This house has all the swagging on the side of the house's fence, too, complete with more wreaths.  Now, never mind I just ran into Hallie, a follower and family cousin, at the Container Store buying my wrapping paper and ribbon for Christmas, but the house decorations up this early??  NOOOOO.  And nothing says Christmas early like a white Longhorn below your bay window.  Just know this...if I catch you with your Christmas dec's up this early, you are fair game and I'm gonna romp on you.

Since it's been way too long since I've done one of my "experiments", I started one yesterday.  It's my "see how long it takes the birds to find this--DIY-- bird feeder".  So far, we have the dumbest birds I have ever seen.  I was actually hoping to snare some doves via my handy dandy feeder but maybe the bird food I put out is to high tone for the birds in our 'hood.  Ours has sunflower seeds, some peanuts, and loads of other seeds and according to the bag is supposed to attract some really cool birds.  So far we haven't had even one.....I'd know because there would be a mess-- and it still looks just like this.  I may have to help them a little and throw some on the driveway....picky damn birds.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's not even noon yet and already so much has happened.  First, Finley, Hudson and the girl's dog, brought a squirrel into the house that "Eee-ya" , better known as Lydia (housekeeper), thought was a toy until Fin put it down, and it took off running.  This was on Thursday before she left for the day.  She tried to explain to Hud's dad what had happened, but I'm thinking there was a little issue with her Spanglish and he remained pretty clueless.  Anywho, on Friday, the dearly departed squirrel was found in Hadley's bed, having either smothered, or died from internal injuries inflicted by that murderous MaltiPoo, Fin.  Let me just say this:  since Fin's not much bigger than a squirrel herself, although loads cuter, I'm thinking it was a pretty fair fight.  Here's the picture and OMG is all I can say.  (Sorry it's flipped on it's side--it's so wide it won't display it normally.)  The following is the squirrel removal by their neighbor, since Nic doesn't do squirrel removal and, honey, I don't think I do, either.  There's just never a dull moment anymore.

Then last night was the kick off to the next family wedding since one of Benji's cousin's on the Harris side got engaged, and her mom and dad threw an engagement partay, on the sly.  Yeah, we go again.  As the youngest of Neil's girl's, I'm thinking wedding planning for Kelly goes into high gear yesterday, and I'm also predicting lots of hunting trips by Neil to the Ranch, to avoid what is likely to be a boat load of estrogen over the next several months.  No word on a date yet so stay tuned.  All I can say is I hope they have one tenth as much fun planning and having this one, as we did with Andrea and Benji's.  That bar's up pretty high, though.

Crashman Harris is officially vacating the Harris Hilton this weekend for an apartment of his choosing farther north and closer to work.  Although I will miss his bright and shiny face and hilarious one liners, it's time to reclaim our space and be able to walk around in your underwear, if you want.  I'm talking about me here--the other two walk around in theirs all the time.  It's like their uniform.  Sis and me?  Not so much.

That's it so far.  Heaven knows what else will happen this weekend.  Happy weekend to all!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

My best friend, fried chicken

This morning, I need to talk about fried chicken.  Why?  I'm not sure, other than the fact that I think it's the cure all for anything that ails a body or soul--particularly, the soul.  There is something about fried chicken that just says everything in the world is gonna be OK.  If it seems like disaster is looming, bite into some fresh, hot crispy chicken.  If you are so happy you could explode, eat some fried chicken.  Life will look even better.  There's just not a situation other than a stomach bug, that can't be made all better, or even better, by fried chicken.

Fried chicken has some powerful mojo.  It brings back loads of old memories, tastes fabulous, and makes you laugh.  The smell alone can make you time travel.  It can transport you back to childhood with one whiff....the crunch of that first bite.  The sound is beyond any beautiful music ever created.  Who doesn't fall in love with all that flour, salt, pepper, and hot, sizzling grease?  How can you not? 

We're all so concerned these days with our health and that's not a bad thing.  It's just not always real warm fuzzy.  How many of us really get that snuggly feeling from grilled chicken ?  Admit it...ya don't.  Fried chicken?  Oh, hell, yeah...ya know you do.  This stuff even makes Rick Perry look smart.  See... I told you it's powerful.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Wow...looks like I'm not the only person who has trouble remembering these days.  Rick Perry can't and neither can Herman Cain, though I sure hate lumping myself in with those two.  Ick.  And the firing of Joe Paterno?  My faith in our country's sense of right and wrong just edged forward, slightly.  After seeing the "two faces" of old Joe on TV last night, I was reaching for the Tums.  I don't care if the man is 84.  When you make a mistake of the magnitude that his was, you are NOT in a position to "negotiate" your departure.  His EGO  knows no bounds.

Now, though I have not seen him (her?) this week, I did see Bun, my rabbit pal, one day last week and there's just something with him, and the corner house on his block.  When I see him, he's usually hanging down there, all stretched out in the grass, chillaxin', as Benji would say.  And all stretched out, he's l-o-n-g.  He's a lot longer than I realized.  I don't know why I am so nuts about him, but I just am.  He makes me want to go fix him a salad.

Now, we have lots going on this weekend.  Family doings, Brian's move, and heaven only knows what else is in store.  That's sort of how weekends are around here.  They seem to just amp up all on their own.  Last weekend, Fred did teach me how he cleans out my Big Green Eggs so she's spotless, awaiting my turkey.  I read online where one BGE aficionado did a "practice turkey" before his Thanksgiving debut.  Honey...that's a lot of turkey and I'm not going there. 

Yesterday I went to get my hair cut and my hair dresser is one of my MOST favorite people.  Our mission when we are together is to yak, but it's usually on a pretty deep level, and once that's done, we get down to the funny.  I told him I was bored with my hair, that I wanted it short but long, and to cut it, but not to cut it.  Then I told him about the hairdryer attached to the wall in our hotel in Sorrento, that blew like a jet engine.  It made the back of my hair ducktail perfectly and that my dryer here at home just won't.  My solution?  I told him I was gonna get our leaf blower, and give that a shot. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weird Guy

Today is certainly shaping up to be an interesting day so far.  After repeated attempts to renew my nursing license online, I was finally able to ascertain that I have been randomly selected (sounds like a game show) to be ....finger printed.  Lawsie, mercy...could they not have just said that on my postcard, so I didn't have to call every where but the White House to find out why my renewal wouldn't go in?   So, tomorrow I will have the pleasure (?) of not only being fp'ed, but will also enter that enormous Big Brother data base run by the Fed.  I never quite thought of myself as a fp type person but I guess we all will be, sooner or later.

I just made a run to Fiesta for crema.  For some reason, I got a wild hair to make sour cream chicken enchiladas tonight but I needed the real deal crema, or it just wouldn't be right, so off I went.  On my way, I had a sighting of Weird Guy walking near the Tom Thumb close by us.  Now...we don't know much about weird guy other than 1) he is a strange cupcake  2) he's always walking--I'm talking all day, every day, and if the weather's bad, sometimes he heads for North Park  3) he is fond of his black trench coat but I don't think he flashes people.  I've seen him at NP with an older couple and they talk, but he never seems to say much back, so here's the story I've made up about him: Since he's middle aged with snow white hair, something awful and/or tragic happened in his youth, to turn him white headed, overnight.  He's mute, due to the same horrific event, and he must keep moving to allay his anxiety--hence all the walking.  The black trench coat is just a "security trench"--something to help him feel safe and keep him company while he walks.  Seems a little Stephen King doesn't it??  Now, I'm still working on the rest.  He could be a serial killer, a psych patient whose brain is sort of mush after lots of electroshock therapy, or just a strange-ling, like I said earlier. I haven't decided yet but I'll let you know when I do.  He could even be a tortured spy who snapped it big time....hmmmm....sure explains the trench coat....

Time to go get the enchiladas going and give my imagination a rest.  No wonder I'm so tired at night!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Up to now, I have studiously avoided this topic but I no longer can.  I must get it out of my system so here goes.  I am up to my eyeballs in all that is Kardashian and not in a good way.  I don't see how you become newsworthy simply by self promotion.  The sleep around part I get--and the looks--but the rest?  I don't get it.

Which brings me to the Twlight actors who just recently were given stars outside Grauman's Chinese in LA for being vampires and wolves.  That's it.  Period.  It used to be that it took years to earn a star, if you ever did, and now all you need to do is be a predator, and bite people.  Sort of cheapens the whole thing, no?

There are some other topics I'd like to weigh in on today featured on the Internet but it would shoot my blood pressure through the roof and I'd probably stroke.  All I'm going to say is North Carolina.  Period.  And even that makes me mad.  This same thing was done to someone I happen to know, by her own mother, and it galls me no end.  Unbelievable.

Lastly, RIP, Jack the Cat, who was euthanized Sunday.  This was the cat that was lost by American Airlines at JFK, after his crate was dropped--bet that felt good--and he escaped.  Lost for two months with big wounds on his back, he later fell though the ceiling, and was caught.  (Lots of dropping/ falling going on there, Jack, but whatever.)  May he rest comfortably in the big kitty playground in the sky and may American Airlines fork over a sh**  ton to his owner, for her pain and suffering, Jack's, and their dumb a** negligence.  And, baby, that's just how I see it this morning!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A local turkey I'm having a design breakdown.  I can't quite get this thing like I want it and I finally threw in the towel--at least for today anyway.  I'll keep trying new stuff until I get it like I want it or you all email me to tell me you're going blind from all my choices.  This site has a new program I am trying to learn so in the meantime slap on your shades if necessary and buckle up, because I'm sure there are numerous goofs to come that will entertain you and leave you shaking your head as to why, why, why is she still goofing with this damn thing.  Because I just am.  If I can't knock down my house right now and re-do it, I'm going to have to re-do something, and this seemed like a natural fit. 

Among other quandaries I have decided this weekend, I will once again be brining my turkey because it's just worth it and....I'm going to throw down a la fellow Big Green Egg owners, and cook it on mine.  I went online to google recipes and I must say the BGE cooked turkey's look awfully dark (shoot...they almost looked burnt to me) but the word is, that's just the smoke that darkens them, just like it darkens a brisket.  Not only am I going to brine that unlucky bird, but one BGE cook said to air dry it in the refrigerator for 12 hours after brining, to allow the skin to dry, so I think I'll try that, too.  The post online said as the bird cooks, the dry skin becomes golden and crispy and the meat stays moist, due to the brining.  Well, allrighty then.

My mission now is to go give my old BGE gal a clean out and make sure she's not plugged up with ashes.  That's the super big no-no that will cause you all kinds of temp control problems.  I just can't have that.  Nooo, sirrrree.  So I'm just not.  Lord, sakes...  I'm not going to know what to do with myself having my oven free-- and my turkey outside. 

Lastly, I'm going local this year and buying my turkey from a grower in the area, via Whole Foods.  My turkey is a Natures Rancher from Hillview Farms in Buckholtz, Texas.  That's somewhere in central Texas, Milam County, with a population of 395.  187 males and 208 females--people, not turkeys. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Computers.  Why do they have to be such a pain in the butt sometimes?  I went online to order some things for Thanksgiving on a particular website.  I entered all my information to set up an "account".  Fine.  Now the damn thing wants to send me what I ordered, even though the place is here in Dallas, and I clicked the "will pick it up" button (about 3, 000 times-- and counting).   So I figured when the computer fails, I just pick up the phone and order, right?  Well, not so much.  At least not until the lady who takes orders comes in at 11 AM.  Well, la ti da.  Even after closing out and logging off the whole order and then going back in, I still got the same thing.  Fagedoubit.  I'm calling at eleven.

I am sad to note that Andy Rooney, the rumpled curmudgeon on Sixty Minutes has died after complications from an undisclosed surgery.  I always thought he was hilarious, though he did always make me want to comb and trim, his eyebrows.  I guess at 92, that was the least of his worries.

Last night after two stops for new, warm, clothes for mom, my sister and I finally smartened up together by phone, and I went online looking for clothes for the elderly.  You know... the "adaptive" kind.... easy in and out kind that are comfy, and not totally heinous looking.  This purple pair had a 20 inch zipper on both sides for easy dressing, and they have all kinds of other stuff.  Boy, I never pictured myself shopping for this kind of stuff.  Egads.

  I think I've found a winner at Buck and Buck--it even has stuff for "undressers".  OMG.  Thank heavens that's not mom's deal, yet.  My sister-in-law, Margie, told me a hilarious story about a lady whose daughter got a call one day from the nursing home where her mom was living.  It appears the mom had been found sitting naked as a jaybird, in some man's room at the nursing home.  Always the lady, at least she had her legs together.

Happy weekend to all!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The power of laughter

Out front of our house, there is a place next to our curb where water collects.  It drives our neighbor, Buz, crazy but he doesn't get to see what I get to see, as a result of it.  Right now, there are tons of birds, flapping and bathing in that cold dirty water, and loving it.  From where I'm sitting, I can't see the birds as much as the water droplets flying everywhere.  The birds are down below the curb level so they are tough to see.  After their curbside bath, they dine a la' front yard, on what ever bugs and seeds are available in the grass.  Sort of like we do....clean up to go out to dinner or the case may be.  OK...that was a stretch, but what ever.

The latest on mom is, the nurse manager thinks mom could possibly have Parkinson's.  She says mom's sudden inability to walk could be a part of that, if mom has it.  She's discussed this possibility with the PA (physician's assistant) and he's not on board with the idea.  Frankly, at first neither was I, but now I'm willing to think she may be on to something.  Mom doesn't have the traditional shakes all the times but she does shake some and I'm beginning to see it more.  That said, I'd be willing to try a trial of Parkinson's meds for mom and see if it helps her.  I asked Diana (nurse manager) to tell Martin, the (PA) that I wanted to check this out and she laughed.  She said she's waiting for Martin to decide this is HIS idea, therefore it's worth checking out.  The age old manipulation of men....make the suggestion and watch them balk.  Wait for them to "get it" and think it's their idea, and it's a done deal.  Yes, I can enter in here and request it, but for now, this is loads more fun. Waiting to see how long Martin can hold out....tick...tick...tick.

Mom's not going anywhere.  Martin may even be correct.  Never mind he only seems mom occasionally and Diana sees her several times a day-- but he may be.  I'm going to give him until the middle of next week to come around and if he doesn't, I'll give him my two cents worth or go over his head.  But in the meantime, Diana and I can't even make eye contact without laughing.  And in a painful situation like this, you take the laughs where you can find them.  :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Andrea Gonzalez Photography

There's someone I've never blogged about but I just have to.  This woman is just too fabulous to keep under wraps one more second and never mind she's my DIL (daughter-in-law), Andrea--that's not why I'm blogging about her.  It's because she's an incredible photographer.  She's soooo good, I'm not really sure she knows how good she is.  But she is.  I was on FB earlier and never mind I've seen lots of shots of Benji's band before.  This was different.  This was a CD cover, easy.   As outstanding as some of her other group shots have been, this one was just superb. It was of one person, and a woman, and was GORGEOUS. Really sexy in a down home way -- (it also doesn't hurt your shot at all when the woman you are shooting looks like (and is) Aubrey freaking Collins)-- but that's not the point.  The shot was just a killer.  (I almost put it here but since I had not asked permission and it didn't have her tag at the bottom, you're just gonna have to gnaw your gums wondering what it looks like.)  Or, look at it on this same FB page, dee-duh. 

I think her shooting and shot set up is totally instinctive.  She's artistic as all get out and it comes through in her photos.  Now by artistic I don't mean they're weird or edgy...or gross.  They're just full of shadows and light and interesting backgrounds that have texture.  Places and people that make you think you'd like to see more.  I've only seen some of her shots of  Scarletta, so I'm hoping she's going to branch out.  I'd love, love, love to see what she might do with newborns.   Or kids.  Or families.  Or brides.  Oooo, yeah.  And  head shots or even fashion shots.  OMG...she could do any of that, I bet.  And did I mention she's smart?  Yep, she is, and if you could see the wedding she put together in Capri, from Nashville, you would just drop... your.... load.
Wow...she is just something else.  Me is soooo lucky.

Cheaters broth

Yesterday I did an experiment to see if homemade cheater's broth really makes a difference taste wise or if it's just a bunch of hooey.  I got out my Splendid Table cookbook, doubled the recipe figuring if it really is all that much better, I'd use it for the Tuscan Tomato soup recipe they have, and fix that for dinner.  Any cookbook that advertises cheating immediately goes to the top of my list.  Welllllllll...let's just say there is no question that it is head and shoulders above any old Swanson's, Kitchen Basics, etc. broth.  Yeah, it takes a little more time but for the taste, it's worth it.  Since I doubled it, I put the leftover recipe in the freezer to use in my Thanksgiving dressing.  I noticed in the same cookbook, they even have a recipe for cheaters mole and though I'm not a huge mole fan, I may have to make it and let Senora Maria see what she thinks.  She's my cooking partner extraordinaire.  If I find something that's good, I always make her a copy of the recipe on the scanner.  Mole??   I doubt she'll need a recipe for that.

Once I got my Tuscan Tomato soup made, I decided it just had to have croutons.  Since I'd just run to Eatzi's for bread, I took a few slices of Rustic Multi grain bread, cubed it up, drizzled it with olive oil, salt and pepper and some garlic, and slid it in a 350 degree oven for 10 or so minutes until crispy all the way through.  Who knew a lowly crouton could taste... so... good.  The cookbook authors said you can put homemade croutons on anything, and kids will eat it.  I believe it.

I've started my Christmas and birthday list because every year I get in trouble when I can't think of things I really want.  Under holiday shopping pressure for others, I just go blank, on me. As of yesterday, I already have 5 things down and they are all either cooking gadgets or cookbooks.  Thank you, Sur la Table and W-S catalogs for making life easy this year. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Bulletin:  Halloween wrap up.  The candy I thought I might have w-a-y over bought, held out, and we have some left in the basket for this week's TV watching.  We had one near fatality on the front porch.  Our neighbors one house away have four kids--3 girls and the youngest is a boy.  God love him...he really tries to keep up with those girls and they always out walk, out talk, out think him, and he's left in the dirt.  All I can say is " and learn."

They all hit the front porch last night, rang the door bell and the youngest one tipped over into our mail basket, bonked his head on the wall, and exploded into tears.  I'm sure the rest of the trick or treaters wondered what in the world we were handing out.  Fred did his best to calm him down with candy, but he wasn't buying it.  One little Hispanic boy had on a Scream mask and told Fred to "look at my face", as he made blood run down it.  Guy starts sooo early.  The rest of the evening was uneventful, though our trick or treaters seemed to come a lot later this year. 

This morning with my coffee, I decided I needed to make a gratitude list, as it always makes me feel great any day I am willing to do it.  If I wake up grumpy (me?) or in a funk, as my mother used to say, it gets me back on track.  If you do it every day, you'll feel so good you won't be able to stand yourself.  :)

Happy November 1 and onward towards Thanksgiving!