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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter lunch lowdown

Lunch is over and for lack of anything relevant to cuss and discuss, I'll rate what we had.  By far, the lamb was all of our favorite, including Sis.  The potatoes were good but not like pictured (newspaper) possibly due to the fact that I used fat free half and half instead of the leaded version.  Mine looked like they were wearing parachutes at one point while cooking.  I know...weird... but it's what it looked like to me.  They tasted good but I've had better, so maybe not repeater for us.  The green beans were forgettable never mind their fancy name.  We will definitely not be seeing the likes of them again.  Just not my thing at all.  The Sister Schubert rolls never disappoint unless you over cook them and today's were great.

Now, on to dessert.  I solemnly swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so here goes.  I thought the Pioneer Woman's Strawberry Shortcake cake was good, but not a mind blowing event.  I followed the recipe and I think the deal is, it's got too much sugar in it for me.  I know...that's heresy...but welcome to the fact that she lives in Oklahoma out in the sticks on a ranch and maybe they like a dessert to give you type two diabetes, but me??  Not so much.  If you had a cup of java with it, that would help but if I ever make it again (doubtful), I'll cut down the sugar.  But I may have to go have another piece later on to be sure. 

We called Benji to wish he and Andrea Happy Easter only to find that Andrea was at work and hoping to be off around now.  Boo hiss.  Working on holidays sucks.  Brian was here and joined us so I felt doubly bad for Banjo....  I've packed Brian a To Go box to take home (minus the groady green beans) but with everything else, including cake. 

Now, I think it's book and nap time.  Happy Easter!           
This isn't Sis but it sure looks like her.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday in da' hood

While I wait for my butter, eggs, and sour cream to come to room temperature I thought I might squeeze in a quick post.  Luckily, tomorrow's dessert can be made 24 hours in advance or I can assure you I wouldn't be making it.  Hey....a girl can only do some much.

Sis is behind me in the chair with her head on the arm rest pretending to be monitoring the front yard, but I keep seeing her eyes shut and then pop back open.  Yesterday when she was doing this exact same thing, I was startled to hear a throaty growl coming from behind me.  Sis is simply not a growler so this was new territory for me.  Turns out it was the big dog that lives down the block that scares her because it's so big, so no wonder.  I'd growl, too.

I tried the fresh chicken eggs a little while ago--I made myself an Anaheim Scrambler (Corner Bakery) minus the bacon and while they were good, their yolks were not the orangey color I'd expected.  The yolks were about the same color as grocery store eggs so it could be food related--what they're fed.  I'll have to ask Keely "Chicken Lady"--she'll know.

I heard Claire outside before lunch and went over to see what was shakin'.  She, baby John, and their dad were outside playing while her mom did some errands.  Claire is learning new words at warp speed --typical female--and sometimes I get what's she's saying and sometimes I just act like I do.  Her dad John said he does the same thing.  I about lost it when she came running to me with her arms outstretched for me to pick her up.  Oh, have no idea what you've just done.  I am now your personal slave.  Name it and it shall be yours.

Here are the Smalls at their Egg Hunt.  Adorable!!   I think Hudson's hands are up his sleeve!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Sis, her dad, and I have just returned from a Vet visit.  Since she's had a drippy nose and been shaking her head and flapping her ears, I wanted to be sure she didn't have an ear infection.  She loves to act like she can't hear you and after a little ear wash, she can sure hear me now.  Welcome to having a dachshund.  They love to pretend they can't hear you or don't have not the slightest clue what it is you want them to do, because they simply don't want to do it.  They are the poster dogs for selective hearing.  We also got her some antihistamines for the drippy nose and chest itchiness those low slung girls get from rubbing their undercarriage in the grass.

On another note, I have called my egg connection and left a message to see if I can pick some up today, for Easter cooking.  On the menu is roast leg of lamb, potato gratin, green bean with lemon, garlic, and parmigiano gremolata, hot rolls, tea, and Strawberry Shortcake Cake.  I can do the cake part ahead so that's why I'm wanting the fresh organic chicken eggs.  I want the cake to be light and fluffy as only fresh eggs can do, so even tomorrow will work for an egg pick up.  All of the recipes for the items above-- except for the cake-- were in Wednesdays newspaper and I decided it would be fun to try them.  The cake is from The Pioneer Woman's second cookbook so even if the entree' tanks, the dessert will still be killer.  Life's all about dessert anyway, isn't it??  You know it is.

As for my Ben Franklin aka Hudson Groth post yesterday, his mom told me after I'd posted it that Hudson also had been wearing Ben Franklin eyeglasses, as part of his ensemble.  Unfortunately, the picture taker missed that part, as Hud had jettisoned them by picture time.  I can only imagine what he must have looked like in them.  Yikes.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hudson and Grand Friends Day

This is simply too funny not to share.  It seems that this morning was Grand Friends Day at Armstrong Elementary where Hudson attends.  It's Grand Friends in case you don't have any Grands that are alive, or that live here, and just leaves things open for lots of flexibility.  My sister went and here's what she sent me.

That was Hudson's report on Benjamin Franklin.  I'm thinking he got some help on it and that's just fine.  He's in first grade after all.  But here's the best part :

His grand daddy said it looked like Benjamin Franklin the crack head.  I love the attempted bald head and that hair is something else.  My sister said she thought this pic was down right scary looking.  I will only say Hudson is lots more handsome that Ben F. 

Hope this made you laugh.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Eggs.....ugh

I have an admission to make.  I don't like real Easter Eggs--the kind you hard boil and then dye.  I don't like the vinegar smell, the colors are always funky unless you are Martha Stewart, and I just think the whole idea is down right weird.  Maybe it's because I'm not the least bit crafty...I dunno.  But I do know if anybody is ever Egg hunting around my house it's going to be plastic ones with candy and goodies inside and the occasional $5, $10, or $20 bill.  The $20 is always in the Gold egg and you know there's no way you're going to dye an egg gold and have anybody want that sucker. 

What do you do with real hard boiled eggs anyway when you're finished hunting and don't e-v-e-n tell me you make egg salad out of yours 'cause now I know you're lying.  You don't.  You dump them in the trash like everybody else in their right mind.  See...that's a waste of good eggs, so go plastic and recycle.  Be all
Eco like me. 

Ahhh.  I feel much so better getting that off my chest. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


As part of my job overseeing mom's care, I try to keep all of her grand kids in the loop as much as possible, by email.  Yesterday I sent them one telling them how funny she is and what she'd said that day that unglued both of us so bad I had to stop and take a break.

When I got back over there yesterday afternoon, she was awake but had slid off her pillow in bed, and was sort of crumpled up, lying on her side playing with her fingers.  When I told her " slid off your pillow...where'd you go??  She answered "Garland" and I almost dropped her.  I was trying my damnest to pull her back up and onto her pillow and I could not stop laughing.  Garland....whaaaat???  When I couldn't stop laughing neither could she.  We'd finally stop, look at each other and start up again.  It's the hardest I've laughed in ages.  I told her I had no idea how funny she was...she'd always just been my mother.

After that, I asked her if she was going to Garland to the Arboretum and she said "yes", and tried to tell me how beautiful it is.  I told her Dallas Blooms was going on right now and she said wanted to see it.  I was able to tell her that right now she'd hate it because it's cold and windy outside, which made me feel slightly less guilty.  Trying to drag her to the Arboretum??  Not gonna happen.  Getting her back up on the pillow was hard enough.

This weekend they are having an Easter Egg hunt outside in her little backyard area with food, drinks, and a visit from a mini horse named something or other-- I can't remember.  Memory Care families are invited, and if you can imagine a bunch of grown up toddlers egg hunting, that's pretty much what it will look like.  I just hope and pray they don't fight over the eggs.  To hear them cuss at each other is disturbing and sort of scary.  They can't help it-- but it's still not fun to watch.  Count me out on that.  Been there, done that.  Mom's not going to hunt eggs anyway.  I'm learning to take care of me while I take care of her.  Good lesson.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Roast leg of lamb

The Today Show must be seriously hurting.  The fact that they would waste valuable air time to interview Jerry Sandusky makes me nauseous.  Didn't watch and have no plans to read about it either.  Baaarf.  Not interested, Today Show, and shame on you for even thinking anyone would want to hear what that kid toucher (Brian's term) has to say.  He's nuts.  The End.

I finished Calling Me Home yesterday afternoon and had an emotional hangover when I was done.  That book packed a serious wallop at the end and just so you know, I'm issuing a mascara alert if you choose to read it.  I loved it--just know it's a weeper in the love department.  It starts off slow so just hang in there until the gears catch for you.  They will.

I'm on to the next one and it's Still Points North-- the story of a little girl whose parents divorce and as a result she has to split her time between summers in Alaska and the rest of the year with her mom in Baltimore.  So far, neither place is exactly what I'd call a stable environment for a little kid--any kid--so we'll see if things improve for her.  My gut says not so much.

My Sunday post did not load on FB for some reason.  Not sure why but you can find it at should you ever want to go that direction instead of FB.  You already know how big a fan I am of FB.  NOT.

Today is busy and includes a visit to mom, a run to Kuby's for leg of lamb, and other Easter lunch prep.  Around our house Easter is just not Easter with out roast leg of lamb.  No matter what ideas I throw out, the chief always wants lamb.  This year I tried selling crab cakes and was shot down, again.  OK, fine.  Lamb it is.  Secretly, I love lamb too so it's not that big of a deal however sometimes change is good--I guess just not for EASTER.

Happy Easter week to all and go grab some fresh coffee.  Remember, it's Monday.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Claire the pincher

Claire's birthday party yesterday was a hoot as only a kids party can be.  There was a Singing Lady who brought bells to shake as the kids and parents all sang, eggs with noise making stuff inside to shake, and Claire was oblivious to all of it.  The older kids loved it but she was way too busy toddling around with a small sucker in her mouth to care too much about singing.  I tried to snap a pic of Claire but she was a constant motion machine.  I'll get one soon so you can see her in all her cuteness.  She has lots of  it.

When the singing lady was finished, everyone went outside for grilled burgers and dogs, and to play on the climbing wall and swing on the swings.  Bruce and I visited with mom Laura and dad John's moms and met some of their friends.  We also got scoop on our neighb's that we didn't know.   Claire's b-day is Monday, John's was Friday, and yesterday was really Laura's.  Whoa.  Birthday-a-rama.  Then they told us Claire has a huge crush on Alex, their nanny's five year old son, and I could certainly see why.  He was the sweetest, best behaved almost six year old and is just a really kind boy.  The problem is, he has a four year old little sister, Hazel, that Claire sees as competition for Alex's attention. Once a while back, Hazel was standing too close to Alex where Claire wanted to be, so Claire sidled over and pinched her.  Uh, oh.  Laura said that when they go out to dinner, Claire doesn't like it when the waiter's try to take her plate away when she's finished.  She'll grab on to her plate and hang on to it.  We were howling over Little Miss Territorial.  She's definitely female and knows what she wants.  I guess there are lots worse things to worry about.

I'm about to finish one of my new books that's supposed to be the new " The Help".  The title is Calling Me Home, was written by an author who lives in Arlington, Texas, and is based on a story she found out about her own grandmother.  As a young teen back in the '40's, her grandmother fell in love with their family's black housekeeper's son, and that's just part of the story.  It took awhile to grab me but it's got me now and I plan to finish it this afternoon.  I just have to find out how this ends.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Power Ball.  Are you playing tonight?  I think I've got a better chance of getting struck by lightening than I do winning that much dinero.  At $320 million with taxes, and the cash option that's not going to leave more than say, oh, maybe 100 million....and then there's going to be all those people you're gonna have to swat off like flies once they find out you've won.  You know what and who I'm talking about.  And then there will be the fights.  "The look at all I've done for you owe me" and the "this is a great it for me and I'll never ask you for another thing".  Then there will be the people who want to help you spend your newly won loot.  They'll no doubt have a laundry list of all the things they....I mean you...need.

Now don't want to go get your coat and keys and drive up the 7-Eleven anymore do you?  I know I don't.  That's just w-a-y too much money to mess with unless you plan to give a HUGE chunk of it away and even then you've got a problem.  If you don't give it anonymously, you might just as well go into the witness protection program because your life is now over.  Forget having an unlisted number because if they want to find you, they will.  Count on it.  At first it sounds really fun but I don't think it really is over the long haul unless you set up a foundation to give the bulk of it away, sort of like being Santa Claus.  But you'll need to set up front office filters to protect you.  Think about it...nobody goes to the North Pole and actually hassles Santa for toys.  Stay anonymous and your good.

OK.  Off to get my tickets.  :)))

Friday, March 22, 2013


It looks like I'm going to have to go cold turkey.  I've gotten hooked on all those remodeling shows again.  All it does is make we want to go get our sledge hammer and get after it.  I love the end reveal--the before and after are interesting-- but mostly the after.  The places always look so much better even if I don't like the style of the design.  I'd love to work for a company that does that kind of thing so I could learn the business.  Once again I'm in the land of pretend but it sure is fun!

Now, on to eye glasses.  I'm still on the hunt and have looked almost everywhere.  So far, nothing has done it for me so I'll continue my research.  Part of me wants a pair that's kind of nerdy and the other half wants a more hip look.  Not sure if nerdy-hip is really a category but the search will continue until I find it.  I always know when I do and eeeeenuf on the tortoise shell, thank you.  I want some color.

I continue to be amazed at the new Pope and how much I like him.  His recent comments (and book) on his difficulty with celibacy is so open and honest I was amazed.  The fact that he's discussing the possibility of married priests in the future thrills me no end.  I've never understood how in the world an unmarried priest could ever counsel a married or about to be married couple with any credibility.  If you haven't been there and understand the drill and degree of difficulty, I just think you're just blowing smoke up my pants leg.  Clearly this Pope gets it and is the right man at the right time.  Wow. 

Somehow Sis knows it's Friday so she came flying into our bedroom wanting to get up in the bed with me early this morning.  Of course I let her and there is dog fur every where as payment for my lunacy.  Luckily the sheets get changed today so that's why I let her.  It's small price to pay for making one slick, black, dog so happy she can't be still.  I've said it before and I'll say it again :  it's good to be Sis.

Happy weekend to all.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday...feels like soup

This might be too much information but I'm going say it anyway.  Laser hair removal.  Gotta say it's changed my life.  Never waxing again.  Ever.  The best part is, it doesn't hurt if you get an RX for Emla creme and slather it on, wrap yourself  in cling wrap for a good 45-60 minutes before your appointment, and then go getter dun.  The cling wrap part is my favorite part.  I literally make shorts wrapping myself all up and look like a big old hoagie by the time I'm done.  Easiest thing ever. 

Now, since there's still a bit of a nip in the air, I'm thinking I need Baked Potato Soup for dinner with all the fun stuff on top.  Some crumbled crisp fried bacon, some chopped green onion, some shredded cheese, and even some chopped jalapeno for those who feel all fancy and kicky.  That just says comfort food to me, baby.  I need to get out anyway to do a few errands so after I pick up a few items, it's soup making time.

Yesterday I got Claire's (almost two year old pixie next door) birthday present and after much mulling, I went with My First Purse.  The thing that pushed me over the edge was the contents of the purse:  car keys, a cell phone, lipstick, and a debit card.   Now you know why I had to get it.  The purse itself is pink and purple--duh--and is soft and just looks fun.  They had one with a dog in it but really....that's just way too Paris Hilton for Claire.  She's much cooler than a dog in her purse kind of gal so that made my decision easy.  I was in and out of there in a heartbeat.

When I told Bruce last night what I'd gotten he just rolled his eyes at me. He simply does not get girls.  YET.  :)))))

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I love me some Fin

In a world that looks a little bit crazy, yesterday I saw one of the nicest things ever.  As I was driving down North West Highway past Keller's drive in, I saw a big red firetruck pulled over and parked, and all the firemen were picking up trash accumulated along the road.  They were laughing and horsing around like guys  do and never mind they were adorable looking--that's not the point--although it sure could be now that I think about it.  What is it about firemen anyway?  OK.  Another column.  It was that here they were, guys who fight to keep us safe, and they were doing something as simple as stopping to pick up trash.  Let's face it......don't most of us think it's somebody elses job to pick up litter?  Wow.  Note to self. 

On another note, yesterday our invitation to Claire's birthday cookout and lunch was in our mail basket so you know where we'll be on Saturday.  Today one of my missions will be to go get her birthday present and since she's a real outdoor girl, the door is wide open for fun stuff to choose. 

I ran by yesterday afternoon to see the Smalls once my quiche was out of the oven.  The plan was to give them their little carrots filled with Reeses pieces but only Finley was home, so after I arranged the candy on the front porch by the door, I had to snap this of Fin.  Fin and I go w-a-y back to when Hudson was just a baby and I kept him over night while his peeps went to a wedding out of town.  Fin was my assistant and even slept with me under the covers, and if I got up to feed Hudson, so did she.  As a result, we're pals and I love her.  Luckily, the Smalls--at least the girls and mom--drove up as I was leaving and I ran back for a quick visit and to love on the Fin Girl.  Look at that could you not love that?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wise older women

I love wise older women.  I'm speaking specifically about the ones with some real life experience--not the ones who spent their years at Tom Thumb and the hair dresser.  I'm talking about the ones with careers, children, kids with issues, their own broken marriages, maybe a remarriage, a few significant deaths--ladies who've really been there.  The ones that really get it and can connect with you at a deeper level in a second with a comment.

This just happened to me at one of my favorite stores.  The owner and I were chatting about a jacket and a pair of pants I'd bought a few months back when mom's trajectory was looking especially grim.  I was thanking her and another lady who had been there at the time for their help pulling me together at a time when I felt anything but "together".  She told me " Honey, we all gain our weight in times of stress so be gentle with yourself...just do it if you need's not a will come back off afterwards when your mom is gone".  I looked into her crystal blue eyes and almost lost it.  She saw me....she really saw me.  She understood.

Some older ladies have that innate ability to just say what they are thinking so gently if feels like a hug.  Like they've just covered you up with a soft blanket as you are nodding off to sleep, exhausted from being a big girl.  They understand.  They've done it.  They've felt the same feelings and you can see the honesty of it in their eyes.  They pull no punches with you.  They are a soft nurturing place to fall when you just can't be big one more second.

I walked out of her store feeling like I'd been given one of the nicest gifts ever.  The gift of being seen.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I just ran by to see mom only to find she was already up, and down the hall at the Singing Cowboy.  I've put myself through that performance once and decided once is plenty.  I'll go back another day this week to avoid that torture.

I have a little while before I need to slice up the brisket and fix the potatoes so I'm chillin'.  We hardly ever have taters but these are supposed to blow your shoes off so I threw caution to the wind and pulled them out to thaw.  Hey, now....I've been sick, remember, so quit laughing and, no, I didn't make these.  They are the Au Gratin smmmHashed  potatoes from Festive Kitchen.  No, that's NOT a typo, for once...that's how they let you know there are hash browns in them.  Oh, sooo clever.  I'll be interested to see if  1) they are as good as everyone says and 2) if I can taste them.

Mary was outside earlier this afternoon so Sis and I went over for a meet and greet.  Sis loves Mary's yard because it has new and different smells and she can lie in the sun and roll around like any old common hound dog.  Hound doggin' is just one of the things she's really good at.  Bone chewin' is another.  Mary was trying to repair an old black Mexican light fixture her dead husband bought years ago and I was a fat lotta help.  All I could do was laugh and wheeze when she told me she'd already tried to get her cousin, Hamilton, to fix it yesterday with zippo success and then suggested Fred might be able to fix it.  Has she met him??  How does she not know by now that there's not a Harris male alive who can fix much of anything, all by their lonesome??  I swanny....some people sure are into magical thinking.

I've just about decided to throw in the towel with Sis and this afternoon walk business.  Today I asked her if she wanted to go and she turned her head away and wouldn't look at me.  It was her way of saying "Awww, hell no".  I sure am glad to know I'm not the only lazy old broad around here.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Playing Pretend

I watched the Pioneer Woman Saturday morning on the Food Network and decided I think I'd like to be her.  I do that from time to time.  I find someone elses life that looks like it might be fun and I pretend for a little while that I'm that person.  Yesterday I made it all the way through her show.  She'd made the hash brown potato casserole, the best green beans in the world, and the skillet fried pork chops for all of the cow hands, her kids, and other family members there to help with the calves.  She may have made the peach cobbler earlier in the show but I was a few minutes late tuning in and might have (sadly) missed that part. 

I was lovin' all of it until I realized I might have to do all that everyday-- all that chopping and prep work myself, cooking, and then clean up all that stuff.  Dang.  She must have fed a small army and when you live out in the back of beyond, it's not like you all jump in the truck and drive forty miles for a quick burger.  Her  freezer must be the size of my house.  How else could you feed a herd like that every day when they're working cows?  And did I mention she home schools her kids (or used to) and they all get up every morning to feed all the animals at 5 AM?   And while they do that, she gets breakfast started-- and other times she goes along to help.  Ohhhh, wait just a dang a minute.

I do think I'd enjoy feeding the orphaned calves at least once, except for all that calf slobber and head butting they do.  Nah.  I'd like it....heck, I'd LOVE it.  I know I'd like getting to shoot them with shots and all, since that's right up my alley but none of that branding or cutting of the you know whats.  NOOOO.  From what I read in PW's book, I already know I don't want to be on the temperature taking end of things when the Vet comes to check the cows to see if they're pregnant--especially if my brother-in-law waits until I've shoved the temp probe to China, and then does his part to make sure the cow poops all over me each time.  Ha, Ha, Funny guy.  Don't forget who fixes your lunch. 

The gardening would be fun and maybe even canning--I've never done that either.  Making jam and putting up a few vegetables would be heaven to have in the fall and winter when you might as well slice up a baseball as what the grocery store tries to pass off as tomatoes at that time of year. 

Sunsets would be my favorite time to be outside on the porch in a comfy rocking chair with a couple of hound dogs at my feet, and a barn cat or two over visiting.  Bare feet up on the porch rail and looking out over the land might just make it all worth it. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fresh chicken eggs?? WANT.

Gorgeous morning and Sis is on a walk with her BF.  Every Saturday she begs until he finally acquiesces and takes her.  She is persistent let me just tell ya.  She'll nudge, bark, and whine until she wears. you. down.  They're just back and the Friend Report is she met a labradoodle cocker spaniel mix....oh, my Lord.... and her dad reports her new friend was about 1 1/2 times bigger than Sis.  No matter.  Sis isn't real picky about friends.   He says they ran wild together up at the church like only dawgs do and now she's flopped beside me frog legged on the floor. Life is always good if you are Sis.

I am showered and dressed in real clothes for the first time since Wednesday.  Not sure how long I will remain vertical but I'm giving it a shot.  I'll be starting my third book for the week today and have enjoyed hacking away at my book list and polishing off every magazine that's come recently.  I'd read a cereal box if that's all there was to read. 

I'm wondering what ever happened about the Chicken Crisis in the Park Cities?  That was such a big deal at the time, and now pfff.  Nothing.  If we ever remodel this house, I'd love to have a chicken coop in the backyard.  Not a huge one... maybe one on wheels so it could be moved around to different areas. Oh, yeah...I forgot about chicken poop.  OK.  Forget that.  All I really want is fresh chicken eggs.  My assistant used to bring hers to the office and I'd buy them before she barely made it in the door.  If you've never cooked with fresh real home grown eggs, you have not lived.  The yolks from hers were almost orange and would fluff up what ever you were making.  Since she had all different kinds of chickens, they were all different sizes and colors.  She said when it was hot, she'd toss the chickens watermelon rinds and they'd gobble them up.  She's also the one that fed her donkey Doritios.  Go figure. I sure miss her.  And her eggs.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A fun read

First a shout out to two birthday girls celebrating on Sunday, St. Paddy's Day:  Happy Birthday Tori and Charlotte.  Torie is my godchild and Charlotte is a friend so woo hoo to both gals.

I have a book recommendation if you are heading to the beach for Spring Break or just need one whale of a great laugh.  The book is The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels and is the story of how Ree Drummond met her Cowboy rancher husband she refers to as Marlboro Man.

She is now a blogger, author of two top selling cookbooks and one novel, and a Food Network contributor with her own show.  Her novel is a love story and a page turning laugh for any city girl who finds her plans for her life radically altered by love.  I laughed so hard last night I almost wheezed and coughed myself to death, and I'm thinking you will, too.

Spoiler alert:  Don't read below if you are going to read the book

My favorite line in the entire book after Ree has had her first baby--a girl-- and her cowboy rancher brother-in-law, Tim, comes to see her in the Big City hospital, having driven in from the Ranch.  Ree is breastfeeding as he walks in, and as she struggles to cover her chest with the sheets he asks "You're feedin' her your own milk, right?" as Ree is thinking uh....that would be breastfeeding, wouldn't it....  Ree answers "Umm...yeah...I'm brrr..breastfeeding". Tim says " Well.... you know... you need to be careful not to get a sour bag".

Ree said little did she know then but it would be the first of many times Tim would draw a parallel between her and livestock. 

Happy weekend.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Quiet time...

Since I'm still under the weather, today is going to be a lot like yesterday.  Quiet--except for me coughing, sneezing and blowing my nose.  Beyond that, I just have to give time, time, and wait to get back on my feet.  That said, I noticed last night my taster is gone.  Homemade pesto on a panini for dinner and I couldn't taste it for squat.  Crispy, crunchy and zero flavor but you know I still ate it.

I'm thrilled with the new Pope and his humble back story.  He sounds like the perfect choice and I read somewhere that when he was in the #2 position behind Cardinal Ratzinger on the last Pope go round, he withdrew his name and allowed Ratzinger to become Pope.  Whoa. 

Yes, Pope Francis might be more conservative than I might like but then he's the Pope.  I'm content to watch and wait, and so far, I feel a real love connection with him.  I adore his humble wooden cross, and I like a big Pope--someone who looks and feels like a father figure.  No, I'm not Roman Catholic but I can appreciate aspects of  that religion that are comforting and spiritual. I think we got a keeper this time.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Surrender to win

Still not feeling too swift.  What I'd thought was just allergies may be something else-- contagious-- so I am back home, out of my clothes and back into my pj's.  Tired of all of it but know the only way to win is to surrender.  Hugs to all and I'll be watching for that puff of white smoke (from bed). 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Random thoughts

If I'm one of the Cardinals here's what I'm taking into the Conclave with me: a Snickers bar for the afternoon, my phone (and charger) so I could read my book when things got dull, a spiral notebook so I could journal, cuticle oil and hand cream so I could keep my nails nice, needlepoint to keep me busy while I listened, knee socks if it was drafty, a blanket and a pillow in case the chairs are hard, and a bunch of take out menu's of nearby places that deliver so I could get fresh hot coffee, just in case.  Beyond that, I could easily hang until dinner time.

Last night while I couldn't sleep, I wondered what odds all the bookies are giving different Cardinals in Las Vegas.  Since people will bet on just about anything, I wondered which Cardinal has the best odds, who is the long shot, the odds on how many puffs of smoke it will take, how many days, etc.

Has a Cardinal ever been voted Pope and turned down the job?  You know somebody has.  That sure wouldn't be a job I'd want.  Maybe you can play the poor health card but I doubt it.  Every groups got a blabber mouth and this bunch is bound to have several.

On another topic, can anyone reasonably explain to me how Sis knows it's exactly 4:30 PM whether it's Daylight Savings time or not because she does?  When we micro-chipped her as a puppy in case she ever got lost, did that chip have "other features" we weren't aware of?  Or do animals just have that natural ability?

I just asked my Eight Ball and it said "Cannot predict now".  Wonder if  thought I meant the new Pope? :))

Monday, March 11, 2013

Feeling icky

Bad allergies.  Feeling puny. Voice sounds like a twelve year old boy's.  Wah, wah.  Come back tomorrow.  :))))

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Drippy Saturday

It's drippy outside and that only means one thing.  Time to get dinner figured out so I can go get my book and disappear.  I found a yummy sounding Baked Artichoke Chicken recipe that Mario Batali made on The Chew and it sounds so easy it's got my name all over it.  The hardest part is cutting up an onion into the same size pieces that you half or quarter canned artichokes and white button mushrooms.  This I can handle.  It has wine, basil, tarragon, garlic (oh, baby!), brown or dijon mustard, a bay leaf, EVOO, and kosher salt, and pepper.  What's not to love, right?  Even if we don't eat it tonight, it would be just as good if not better a day later. 

I'm thinking I'm going to lay a tea tray, too, for when I start to get sleepy from reading.  My plan is to crawl into one of the white chairs, pretend I'm in England somewhere, pull up the ottoman, and grab my Nook.  Then when I get drowsy I can either nod off, or go heat some water for tea to revive myself.  There are two chairs so you're welcome to crawl into the other one.  Sis is right here, too, but she's not snoring and you can just hear the gentle drip of the rain.  Let me know if you want the white fluffy blanket to throw over yourself.... and how you take your tea.....

Friday, March 8, 2013

Angels Among Us

It's on and I'm ready:  the Papal conclave is set to begin on Tuesday.  I don't know why a bunch of unmarried mostly old guys in black robes and red hats fascinate me so much but they do. Holing up in the Sistine Chapel until they agree on a new Pope makes it even more fascinating to me.  I read where they have to be in there except for eating and sleeping.  What about bathroom breaks and what do they sit on?  Can you bring a pillow in with you and maybe a blanket?  I'm thinking its liable to get mighty cold and drafty in there.  I sure hope somebody blabs after this deal is over and answers some of my questions.  I don't need to know the gossip: who got shot down, who was a brown noser, etc.  Just tell me the important stuff.

Since we are on the downhill side headed for the weekend, I thought I'd share a day brightener I read last night regarding airlines.  It seems a man got "the call" from family that he needed to hop the first plane home and that his mom wouldn't last through the night.  He got tickets, got on the first flight of two, only to be delayed on take off, but finally took off.  As a result, it appeared there was no way he'd make his connection to get home in time to be with his mom before she died.  The connection was his only chance as it was the last flight out until the next morning.  As he sat on the plane, tears streaming down his face, a flight attendant handed him some napkins to wipe his eyes and asked what was wrong and if she could help.  The man told her the story, she said how sorry she was, got his name and disappeared.  Before landing, she told the man he would be deplaning first, and to run like blazes to the gate for the next flight.  She never said why--just to do it.

Meanwhile the guy does, rounds the corner by the gate only to hear the gate attendant yell asking if he was Mr. Somebody.  He yelled "YES", jumped on board, the door was shut and off the next flight went.  What Mr. Somebody later found out was, the flight attendant went to the Captain and told him what was going on with this guy, and asked if they could somehow help.  The Captain radioed ahead requesting the connecting flight hold up 15 minutes for this guy, and he'd get him there.  Then he radioed the baggage guys that upon landing they needed to find this guys bag, and get it on board the departing flight, and they'd only have a few minutes in which to do it.  Cue the Mission Impossible music.  Dunh, Dunh, Dunh..da duh Dunh Dunh Dunh...

The man made it to his mom's bedside prior to her death and was able to spend precious hours with her, and his family, before she died.  In the event you think there aren't angels among us, think again.  There are.  Some you can see, some you can't.  Some are in the air, some are on the ground.  But they are here.  Are you one???                          

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Easter candy

Oh, Lord love me.....Easter Baskets.  I was at Target anyway and took a very seriously wrong turn down the candy and Easter basket aisle.  I almost didn't get out alive.  I wanted everything.... so I bought a few little things for people I love that are under 4 feet tall. 

When I got home, one of the recipient's was scampering all over her front yard so even though it's not even that close to Easter, I took Claire her's.  I got her one of those cello wrapped carrots that has the Reese's pieces inside.  She didn't know  what it was but she did know she wanted it in the way only an almost two year old can....with those grunt noises they all make.  Her dad finally got it open for her and now I'm her new bestie.

She held my hand and walked me around the backyard, performed her new jumping trick for me and basked in our new found friendship, based on candy.  The irony of that isn't lost on me, either.  Two girls bonded by chocolate.  Duh.

She is having a backyard birthday and cookout on the 23rd, and we've been invited.  Lawdy mercy... I wouldn't miss it for the world.  Now I have to figure out what to get her.  Guess I'll be heading back over tomorrow to see what she needs. 

Before I close, I want know if anyone else is pissed by the thought of losing an hour of sleep (or whatever) this weekend, in order to go on Daylight Savings?  Now, I like Daylight Savings, I just don't understand why we need to go on and off.  Can't we just stay on it so we don't have to lose an hour every year?  Yes, we get it back when we go off, but that's a sucky trade.....  I've gotten up in the dark, and when it was light, and it's not that big a deal.  Losing an hour of sleep is. It just seems dumb and redundant somehow.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, Nicole!!

First, a Happy Birthday shout out to Nicole, mother of the smalls, and the coolest gal around these parts.  I luzzzz you, Nic, and will drop off your gift this afternoon.

Yesterday afternoon, I went by for my usual check in on mom.  She was awake but her room was hot as blazes even for her, so I cut that sucker way down, got her some cold water for her sippee cup, and she sucked down the entire thing.   Back I went for a refill.  She's always thirsty and with heat like that, it's no wonder.  She told me she didn't feel good so after questioning her further, I went down the hall to get her something for a headache.  She told me whatever it was tasted terrible and thanks a whole lot, which made me howl.  The look she shot me told me she was very "present" and would like to strangle me for my efforts.  Damn, she's funny.....

Once up to her wheelchair, her hair looked like a birds nest so I set about trying to do something with it, playing beauty parlor.  I finally gave up and just brushed it and I could tell it felt good by the way she held her head and the look on her face.  There's just nothing better in this world than having somebody else brush your hair and doodle with it.  She was like a little old cat being scratched in just the right place. 

I've gotten so used to doing a monologue when I visit her that when she responds back to me and its not gibberish, it throws me for a second.  Yesterday was one of those days and it was great to be able to talk with her even for just for a few minutes, and know she was really "there".  It makes it wonderful and awful, at the same time.  She's there just long enough for you to see and feel what you're missing.  Mom looked different to me, too.  I called my sister to fill her in and who knows if she'll go soon.  Quite frankly, I hope and pray she does.  We'll see.  God may have other plans.

Sister wants everyone to know last night she had a bath and thinks she is the most gorgeous, slick black dog ever.  She's asleep in her usual spot right beneath me, which means snoring can't be far away.  I guess with a nose that long snoring is a given.  What a life that dog has......

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I don't usually do restaurant reviews but this one was too good not to tell you about.  It's Baboush, in the West Village, and it is crazy good Moroccan food.  As a starter, we had hummus and babaganous (eggplant) with soft, velvety pita bread and I could have made those dinner.  (The servings are very generous so we ended up bringing some home.)  I'll usually walk miles to avoid any type of eggplant, but their's was out of this world.

Next, we could have had small plates but decided since we'd never had anything cooked in a tangine it was simply high time we tried it.  I went with the Fez chicken with olives and preserved lemons, and Fred had Chicken Teffaya with cinnamon, raisins, honey, and chickpeas and while his was OK, it did not rock my taste buds.  I liked mine best and he agreed, so now I'm looking for a tangine.  Never mind you can cook the same thing in a dutch oven....I. Don't. Want. To.

Last, he ordered a chocolate ganache' slab of something for dessert and I had the mint tea.  The tea came in a tiny silver teapot with two small blue glasses etched with gold, and was both sweet and minty.  Short of going outside to smoke one of their hookas, I felt as close to Morocco as one possibly can in the West Village.  The service was outstanding (Rocco is darling) and if you go on a weekend, be sure to make a reservation or you'll be sitting outside under the standing heaters, with the hooka smokers.  When it warms up, outside might be perfect.  Below is a shot of their usually oh, so busy bar. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Visitor

What a great way to start a Monday morning...a visit from a special small fry that I simply adore.  Miss Avery.  She and her mom were out and about and came by for a quick visit.  I was still in my robe and pj's drinking coffee but that never stops me from going out front.  I'm sure the neighbors wish it did.  That's a daffodil from my front yard since every girl needs flowers.  Ya know they do.  I'm sorry she jettisoned her socks and sandals because it was quite a red carpet look.  Her school days are Tuesday and Thursday so she still gets to hang with her mom three days a week.  When you are number three, that's important.

Avery's mom, Nicole, is having a birthday on Wednesday, so this afternoon I will be out shopping for her  gift.  I know exactly where I'm going but just not what I'm getting her quite yet.  I must putter first and the problem with that is, you forget you're there for someone else.  Oh, yeah.  That.

This afternoon I'm considering making chicken enchiladas for dinner since I have all the ingredients and I've got a hankering to make them.  Plus, knowing Fred, he's got a hankering to eat them, too.  I made a double batch of tortilla soup yesterday simply because you must--repeat must--have some in the freezer.  For emergencies.  Tortilla soup emergencies.  And other stuff.

I'm almost finished with my new book, Wild, and it is.  Egads, I could never go as long as serious hikers do without a shower and clean clothes, and the description of what happens to this gals feet (and other body parts) is not what a nurse wants to read, and not be able to treat.  Naaaaasty and so bacteria ridden, not to mention smelly, I read holding my nose.  (If I ever hiked, and we all know I wouldn't, it would only be with 15 sherpas carrying a bath tub for me, and a cook stove, to heat me up some bath water every day, and to wash my clothes.)

  The book is fascinating and I do love hearing about the solo parts and then reuniting with people, and how that feels to Cheryl.  She literally craves the sound of other peoples voices after being alone for days at a stretch and feels an immediate kinship with hikers she's never met before, maybe because they all smell as bad as she does (?)  One non hiker lady commented on Cheryl's hairy legs and I immediately thought of Julia Roberts at the Oscars, when she forgot to shave her underarms and had that big old Brillo pad....remember that?? 
OK....clearly I need to finish this book...for lots of reasons.  :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

More questions....

OK...I'm still stuck on the Pope so bear with me.  Now I want to know what to call a retired (?) or ex-Pope (?).  Clearly I don't know how this works or what to call Benedict (?) and not be disrespectful.  If you google this you will find all kinds of things he could be called: Ex Pope, Pope Emeritus, Benedict Arnold, Been a Di**, and the artist formerly known as Pope.  There are lots more and a lot worse ones, but given that he was the leader of the RC church, I'm not sayin' them here.  I will say one was so funny it gave me the hiccups from laughing.
 Does he eat whatever is served to him or does he get a menu for the week and just pick what he wants?  Does he eat primarily Italian food or food more from his home country?  Does he ever say "How about a cheeseburger and fries or let's shake things up tonight and have tacos?"  And what about movies?  Does he ever watch them?  I guess what I'm getting at is how real life is the life of an ex-Pope and is it all prayers or do you get to be human and have friends over, go out on the street and meet people, go to water aerobics with other clerics, etc.?

Can he travel?  What does his passport say? Ex-Pope?  Who now pays for his travel since I think he just took one heck of a pay cut?  I feel sure the RC church will take excellent care of him but I also wondered this: are any of the practicing RC's furious at him for stepping down or are some happily saying sayonara with relief, after all the pedo scandals facing the church?  And lastly, I'm just gonna say it because you know you've been thinking it, too:  Why did he really step down?  Health?  Sure.  He's 85.  Attack of conscience over his (lack of) handling of all the pedophilia cases?  You betcha.  That's got to eat at your very soul.  Or, drum roll, please........was he somehow pushed out?

Stay tuned.  More will be revealed.  I simply hope and pray the next Pope has more of an inclusive, loving attitude towards all, a willingness and strength to do what ever needs doing, and will man up and tell his flock the truth no matter how bad or what that might be.  We all could use a leader like that. I'm done.  :)

Saturday thoughts

As usual, I woke up with the "busy brain" wondering all kinds of things.  First, I want to talk about the Pope, or the Un-Pope if you will.  What is he doing?  I'm thinking at 85, I'd be resting, asleep in a comfy bed in Castel Gondolfo.  Does he watch TV at all or just read?  Is he computer savvy?  And what about the people who take care of him?  Once you've been a Pope and stepped down, do you still have all that staff or just one or two people...maybe a cook / cleaner person and an assistant.  Does anyone come in to debrief you, hear your confession, or do you take all your Pope secrets with you to the grave?  Can you write your memoirs or is that forbidden by the church?  Since this is all new turf, maybe the next Pope decides.

I know he can no longer wear his Prada made red shoes (which would be the bitterest pill for me since I love Italian shoes) but don't you think perhaps Prada will gift him shoes for the rest of his life or would that be considered too vain or lacking in humility for him to accept?  Remember when Pope John Paul went hiking near Allenspark, Colorado, and wore the white sneakers with the gold papal laces ?  He rocked.  I loved him and thought he was the perfect Pope.  This last one just didn't do it for me. 

Now, if you missed it, Downton Abbey is going to have some new faces this next season and while it will be interesting, with O'Brien leaving the cast, might Thomas turn over a new leaf and become kind after all?  Nah...that wouldn't be much fun.  Maybe he'll find a lover in the staff and you know that'll get messy.  Carson will have a stroke and Mrs. Hughes will have to calm him down.  Lots of new faces will be added to the cast and Shirley Maclaine will return for more verbal sword fights with the Dowager, so get your tea tray ready.

I've decided to simply glance at the Internet vs really paying much attention to what all is going on in the world.  This is one screwed up planet but I have faith that things will improve.  It may have to get lots worse before people stop fighting each other and try to put their differences aside but then that's nothing new.  Lots of EGO= LOTS of PROBLEMS, and many of these folks need to grown up and get a real life, IMO. 

Lastly, if you missed Gordon Keith's (The Ticket) article in the DMN on religion in yesterday's paper, go dig it out and read it.  Fred will never believe I recommended anything from a Ticket show person but this one was right on the money and funny. Enjoy!