Boo and Bang Post

Today is one of my least favorite holidays of the year. As I mentioned a few posts ago, after 6 p.m. (official hours here are 3-6 p.m.) on Halloween, I turn off all my lights because I'm not going to open the door once it's dark. Especially when there've been a number of gang related shootings within three blocks of where I live.

I'm sorry, but I've lived in LA for 30 years and never heard a gunshot. The first time, was right across the street in front of the apartment building. I though it was holiday fire crackers going off. I looked out the front door and the guy living behind me had run out front and yelled "call 911, gunshots". Welcome to the "hood", I guess.

Every year though, I still buy a bag of candy for the early birds. The little kids who show up when it's still light. After Halloween is over, I'm always left with over three quarters of a bag that I don't know what to do with. Last year, I saw the neighbors across the street get into their van with the three boys and ran over. I handed the wife my bag of candy which she quickly squirreled into the purse at her feet with a look of "don't let the boys see this, please" desperation on her face.

Okay, I got the idea...major sugar rush trapped in the van for a trip. I'd hide it too! Lol! Just then her husband got into the van having seen what I was holding and excitedly said "oh boy, Snickers". She gave him a frosty, withering glare. It was hysterical! Luckily, the kids were all strapped in the back and didn't see any of this exchange occur.

This year I'm not sure if I'll bother buying any candy. Problem is I normally spend most of my evenings in the front bedroom where my computer is. Since my iPod croaked, I can't hole up in the back bedroom and listen to podcasts like I've done in previous years. Not quite sure what to do.

Perhaps move a chair into the kitchen which is in the back and read a book by flashlight? Problem is Blue. He'll bark every time anyone walks up the front walk, much less rings the bell. Very zealous little  watch Corgi :)  So not quite sure what will happen. If I had money to burn, I'd go buy a cheap laptop or perhaps a DVD player and sit in the bedroom watching movies. But I don't.

I know this sounds insane to most reading this, but somehow, if you live with someone or until you've learned to recognize a gunshot from a fire cracker going off (innocence lost), you just may never understand. Lucky you. Boo!

Labels: , ,


The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Post

Just fair warning, I've been unable to fall asleep for the whole night and as a result, am rather grumpy. In an effort to fall asleep, I exhausted shows to view on Hulu; even tried re-watching a few things, hoping for boredom and zzz's. Listened to 6 episodes of A Prairie Home Companion which usually works because of Garrison Keillor's melodic, even-toned voice. Nothing helped.

Being unable to sleep is a rarity for me, usually it's the opposite. I've always been able to sleep without problem, which is fortunate. So the experience of being wide-awake for so long is disconcerting.

I'm still awake and it's 11:02 a.m. on Sunday morning! So I decided to look at food blogs in hopes of nodding off.  Unfortunately, this just annoyed me and woke me up. Why? Because, as I said before, I'm so sick of pumpkin, squash,  yam and sweet potato recipes that all I could just roll my eyes. Not to mention the amount of desserts containing those ingredients and.......and...... and its not even Halloween much less Thanksgiving. It's fine to focus on seasonal ingredients, but to the exclusion of everything else? That's just sad.

Maybe I can't sleep because I'm still in"limbo" as far as living and what to do with the rest of my life. By now, most people are on a course they charted in their twenties or so. If they got divorced, it happened when they were younger than fifty, with time to re-adjust.

When you're over fifty, have limited funds, what are you supposed to do? If I were to go back to school, what would I study? What degree would I choose? After several years of graduate or trade school, would I be able to find work?  Maybe I'm just once again being a negative Nelly, I don't know. I'm sorry you have to read this but it is my blog, my life and you always can "change the channel" so to speak.

Although you may not want to do that. Before all this happened, I thought my life was set and the end pretty much determined. However, the only thing one can count on in this life is change and you never know what the universe or "God" as you perceive her/him to be, has in store for you. You just may need this post so you're not complacent and assume what you planned will happen.

No matter what your age, read up on financing, retirement and be aware of your circumstances. Don't just rely on someone else, who you think you can trust to take care of it all (and you). This doesn't just apply to marriages, but to jobs, friends and so many other areas of life. All you have in this life is "you".

A recent episode of Private Practice just aired where one the primary theme was "people plan and God laughs". So, I should never have forgotten the Girl Scout motto I learned decades ago, "be prepared".

As an aside, I finally fell into yawns at about noon after reading a few tech articles on computers. Have to remember that trick, although I think I did something similar about six months ago when sleep was eluding me and I found that reading my digital camera manual knocked me right out. Lol! Crawled into bed and slept like a rock till 6 p.m. Oh my, that felt so heavenly.

Labels: , ,


BellaKarma Post

Oh sure, just when I "kind of" talk myself out of the ripple afghan, Jill over at the BellaKarma blog posts pictures of even more colorful afghan goodness that she's working on...sigh.
Good grief, how totally CUTE and colorful!
Can't wait till she finishes it! She said she'd post the details plus how to handle all those pesky strands left when switching colors. They're such a pain. I have my own way or two but am always open to new and easier ideas! I really like her blog, there's a lot there to read, she's been writing since 2005 I seem to recall seeing somewhere (actually longer, I looked it up). She also has posts listed by category. (And she also dislikes Halloween...a woman after my own heart.)
Photo of her neighborhood, from her blog.
She lives in a totally different part of LA which sounds really wonderful. It's an old historic district near Disneyland. Love old neighborhoods that survive with new ones! It's amazing how "huge" LA is when you actually see where people live vs. you! So MANY different neighborhoods, each with its own "vibe".
 A finished Afghan being "claimed".
Do you have any yarn projects just begging you to start them? Or maybe a stash waiting to be re-assigned to something new? Go and check: www.ravelry.com.......you'll be happy you did! So very, very many ideas!!
Of course, saying this made me realize I hadn't checked on Ravelry lately, so I went over there and found that BellaKarma had "friended" me, so I wrote back and from there promptly got lost in the crochet patterns for an hour. I didn't dare check out knitting patterns!

Afterwards, I went back to working on my blog. But I noticed The Daily Corgi had a new post, so I popped in to see what was up and segued over to Facebook to vote for a Corgi, Bosco running for a spokespet contest. Do I know a spokespet for what? No, doesn't matter, it's a Corgi! Lol!

Needless to say, I got lost on Facebook for a while. Just joined a while back and still trying to figure out the whole point of it....

Hmm, would seem I lost my way in this post and meandered quite a bit this afternoon. Didn't mean to leave you dangling. Jill's blog, BellaKarma, is a delight, not only to read, but visually. The other thing is that it's not just about yarn, crochet or knitting, she blogs about a wide range things plus her kitters, Kali is such a cutie! She's a very engaging writer and may just have snagged me back into doing something with yarn :D Seriously, take a look at her blog, I think you'll enjoy it!

Added later:  Bosco, the Corgi won!

Labels: , ,


Bliss to Beef and Back Post

As you know if you've been here now and again, I am totally out of the knitting mode. Though I'm still trying to get myself interested in another pair of fingerless gloves I'm not having a lot of success. I am, however, tempted by crochet of late. Seems to go in streaks like this.

While surfing I've run across a few blogs that are tempting me. One in particular, Attic 24 is calling me, or maybe it's the author's picture of a bag full of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn in a rainbow of colors...drool...love that yarn!
*Source: Attic 24
Lucy, the author, is a woman after my own heart. She seems to love color! Her photos of the last dahlias of the year made me just melt. The colors were so vivid, so intense. There's a review of the book "Cute and Easy Crochet" which has a number of tempting projects in it.

Problem I'm having lately is that I can't bring myself to spend money on anything. It's a result I'm sure of having come so close to living in my car at the beginning of the summer. I can't justify spending any money on anything. Even food.

Costco is the only place to get steaks in So Cal that don't taste like cardboard. I used to buy a pack of four fillet mignons, freeze them and enjoy one a month. In the last year or two my beef consumption as a whole has shrunken to almost zero. It's just so expensive...even the "cheap" cuts. I mean, chuck roast at $3.99 a pound on sale? Even my purchases of fish have shrunk due to increased prices. Salmon, $9.99 a pound? About all I can justify is chicken which is often pretty cheap at Stater Brothers.

Last Friday, Von's had beef short ribs on special for $5.49...yikes! They're half bone for heaven's sake! I've never made them, but have collected some mighty tasty sounding recipes for them. Even beef shanks, that horizontal cut of leg meat with the marrow bone in the middle, costs $3.99. Used to find them at a small family owned chain grocery nearby for $1.79 on sale, but that closed when the company consolidated.

All these cuts of meat used to be the cheap ones. I don't even look at steak. The segue this post has taken is all due to the arrival in the mail of the Tuesday grocery circulars. Once again, nothing really on sale.
*Source:  Attic 24
Okay, enough about the cost of everything. Back to happier things like rainbow colors and flowers. As I was saying before the day's mail so rudely interrupted me, Attic 24 is really a nice blog. Lucy has a wonderful explanation for how to do a ripple aphgan, accompanied by excellent photos.

May just have to look through my stash and see what I can come up with that would require very little in the way of purchases to make the ripple. On the other hand, my brain and level of concentration don't have a lot of staying power as of late. So maybe I'll think about it for a few days before diving in.

*Note:  normally I get an author's permission before using any photos, but after searching Lucy's blog I can't find an email, so hopefully she won't wig-out that I used a photo or two, the post was after all, about her blog and wonderful eye for color. You should stop and visit her in her 100 year old house in the UK!

Labels: , ,


Darkness Encroaches Post

It's not even 6:20 p.m. and it's night time! AAAUUUGGGHH!!! With darkness encroaching earlier and earlier with each passing day, I decided to look up when the clocks get turned back. Daylight Savings Time will end Sunday Nov. 6 this year. While I'm very glad that the government expanded DLST a while back, I wish they'd just keep it year round. Darkness at 4 p.m. is just a pain in the neck. I'm already annoyed that sunset today will be at 6:08 p.m. Of course, I don't mind the sun rising later in the mornings...all the better to sleep in. But on Nov. 6 that'll change.

So now begins my love-hate relationship with winter. I love the coolness and the ability to use the "big oven" (have I mentioned this before? lol!). I love the coziness of my bed with layers of quilts and blankets. I love winter clothes although I really need a new coat since mine is over twelve years old and starting to look like it (ditto the rest of my winter wardrobe). I love that so many plants can weather the "winter" so well here, and that many citrus (and my half of the avocado tree) offer their treasures at this time of year. I like that it may rain washing everything off, even if the garage leaks.

What I don't like is the mental race I get into, watching and waiting for the longest day of the year to arrive so we can be on our way to spring and DLST once again. Sounds nutty, I know, but that's how it is. I dislike summer in California extending into late October. It never gives me enough time to get in the mood for the holidays. Poof! They're suddenly upon you and gone! Blink and you've missed them.

I don't know why this popped into my mind this afternoon. Maybe because it's after 5 p.m. and I still have to run out and get something to call dinner, another pain in the neck. Actually I enjoy grocery shopping just hate getting myself out and about. Maybe it's part of the process of trying to leave California.

This will probably be my last move unless someone (heaven knows who...drags/sticks me into a nursing home...) so I want to make sure I pick some place I'll be happy in. I used to be happy with this state when I moved here ages ago, but then I was married, had a job, a home, garden and my Siberians. So much has changed. It's not the same state any more. Now I'm adrift with nothing to really keep me here.

This reminds me of my father, who, when I moved here, could not down-grade it enough. Whatever good thing happened here, something better always happened in Wisconsin. My parents visited me only once in the twenty plus (more like 30) years I lived here. While here, my father had nothing good to say about it. Or my husband...although that, I now understand.

It's so very sad what people "do" to others "they love" with their words. The pain that's forced upon them for whatever sad reason.

Labels: , , ,


Not Snakes on the Plane Post

This is one of the reasons I don't like daytime (like before 5 p.m.) "naps"...nightmares. Doesn't happen too often, but when one hits, it's usually a doozie! I decided while reading an instruction manual online for my old but beloved digital Olympus that I couldn't keep my eyes open one...more....second........zzzz....
I couldn't bring myself to show any slithery closeups so this will have to do.
Do you dream in color? Are you aware of yourself in your dream, can you control things in your dream? I have to say yes to all the above. This time I was a participant and I was transported back in time when my brother and I were young. It was a problematic dream and as it progressed I probably actually screamed out loud. I was left in charge of my bro and a little friend of his. No pets were allowed in the house. (Note:  this is not a memory.)

My brother was being snotty and had a ferret hidden in a shoe box. For whatever reason I went to bed and warned them to behave. While sleeping (in the dream) there was a commotion at the side of my bed. My brother whispered "the ferret got loose". Frankly, I was fine with this, since I thought ferrets were cute.

Well, he lied. What really lived in the box was a snake. It was a very tricky kind of snake because it would twirl back upon itself like a rubber band wound too tight and spring from there. Problem was, you never could tell in what direction due to the way it curled.

Of course, it didn't shoot out it the direction my little brother predicted but rather into bed with me...and so the nightmare begins! I was so "in" the dream, I recall trying to use my arms to roll over or get up so he could grab the snake which was curling around underneath me. My muscles had fallen asleep. So had my facial muscles thus, when I tried to yell at him to roll me over, nothing sensible came out. This feeling of my body being numb continued (this is when I probably began screaming out loud). I could feel the snake crawling the length of my leg.

Rolling my body to and fro, I finally got on my side and there was the snake. It had crawled down my legging and was head-first into my boot. Why on earth I had boots on...in bed?? Anyhow, my brother grabbed it only to have it spring away. Before I could catch my breath, a smaller one jumped onto the bed in it's place. OMG!

Did I mention the color? It had the courtesy to at least be olive green with purple and lime-green stripes. This little one was even harder to locate. At that point I must have hit that point in dreaming where you can make yourself wake up. It was just so gross and slithery!

It was like waking from surgery. All groggy, unstable and exhausted. Have you ever had any experiences like this?

Labels: ,


Coveted Soup Post

You can always tell when I'm thrilled with the weather, because I don't mention it (okay, I did mention it briefly on 10/16 saying that while I was on hiatus you all missed me whining about the heat). Lol! So, to counteract my wailing about assorted temperatures over the last year, I decided to mention how it's been sheer heaven for the last week or so! Not too hot, not too cold, pretty much perfect. Hopefully I'm not jinxing it by saying anything.

It actually might be time to turn on the big oven and make my little peach pies for my neighbors. This means the return of Chicken and Dumplings, Chicken Pot Pie and soups too! As much as it pained me, I contacted (via email) the person I used to be married to (aka doltoid) to get the Curried Cream of Asparagus Soup recipe. I wasn't sure he'd cooperate, but he actually sent it, along with other unsolicited advice. Sigh. Contact with him takes a heavy toll on my psyche. So onto cooking talk.

I haven't had this soup since we split, so...five years +. Can't wait to make it! Several stores have asparagus on sale this week, so I'll be keeping my eye peeled for ones with thick stalks. Thin ones don't work in this because you need to be able to peel them. Here's the recipe by the way. As I recall, he found it ages ago in a Wolfgang Puck cookbook.

"Curried Asparagus Soup
A great spring soup. Not low cal.

1 lb. large asparagus spears
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4-1/2 cup flour
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 egg yolk

Peel asparagus spears from tips down(if you don't do this the puree will be very stringy.
A potato peeler works well for this.
(Do not put asparagus peels in disposal unless you want to call a plumber.)
Cut asparagus into 1" pieces reserving tips
Cook asparagus in stock for 10-15 minutes
Place asparagus and stock in blender and puree
Clean pot and melt butter and add flour to make a white roux. Cook roux for several minutes but do not let it brown.
Return stock to pot
Add asparagus tips and simmer for 5 minutes
In a small bowl add 1 cup whipping cream, egg yolk and curry powder and mix thoroughly.
Add this mixture to stock and heat but do not boil as it will curdle and separate. 
This is incredibly good and can be eaten hot or at room temperature. Frankly, I've eaten it straight out of the fridge!

He actually sent me "his" whole cookbook. It was originally designed and published by me, for family and friends in 1992 with all our recipes. Apparently he rewrote our cookbook in late 2006, removing all references of me and which recipes were mine. He did keep the name of my "private publishing house" though, which I didn't appreciate. It seems he gave this out to his family and new friends passing it off as a cookbook of all "his" recipes. Is it any wonder I go into a tither when I have any involvement with him?

Sorry, back to food. Another recipe I want to make is Gumbo. Found a recipe for this particular version in a thin, little, gumbo cookbook we picked up in New Orleans at the Jazz Festival in '87. Doltoid first made it and changed some things so I had to alter it a bit for my tastes since I don't like ultra spicy things. The end result is scrumptious.

Almost forgot, I keep meaning to tell you about my two favorite soup books. The first is "The Soup Book, Over 800 Recipes" by Louis P. DeGouy. It was published by Dover Books in 1974. You can get a copy for as little as one cent or as much as $29.50. If you're into the history of soup, this has some really old recipes as well as classics.

The other is "The Complete Book of Soups and Stews" by Bernard Clayton, Jr. He also wrote the wonderful "Complete Book of Breads". My copy is a paperback, published in1984, but it was revised in 2006 as a hardcover. The recipes for French Onion Soup and French Red Pepper Soup are incredible. I'm sure both of these can be found in used book stores as well as on Amazon (no relation).

So before you say adieu to asparagus till next season, grab one more bunch of them and try this soup. But remember, don't inhale/consume the whole pot even tho' you want to, it's very rich.

Labels: , ,


Beyond the Pumpkin Post

After my post about being "pumpkin-ed out" before we even got to Halloween, I did find some nice new (to me) food blogs as well as some combo (food and life) sites that I thought you might enjoy. Karen at the Soup Addict has some wonderful posts and recipes. Being a soup lover and one of my favorite things to make, I was drawn in by the name of her blog. She has other recipes too, not just soups.

For example, I found a solution to my quandary about making pies or cobblers for my neighbors as a thank you. A whole pie just seemed a bit over the top, plus, I wanted some of it too. A missing slice out of a pie would be too noticeable. Her "Tiny Pies" are the perfect solution! I'll just substitute my peach filling for the one in her recipe. What a perfect idea.

Her photos are also beautiful. I also liked her recipe for Egg Pouches. They're so cute...poached eggs that look like Chinese dumplings!

Another really good site is the Snippets of Thyme blog. Sarah's blog had me lost in it for over an hour with lots of recipes and gorgeous photos. Her family travels and has lived in many places, her blog is peppered with those tales a pictures and I have to say she's an engaging writer. Her post just before their trip to Ireland was for Irish Split Pea and Ham Soup which I now have on the brain with about 20 other things I want to make! Sigh.

Lastly, there's Rocky Mountain Woman. Her blog has a little of everything...recipes, woodsy photos and a house she's building in Utah. She even had the first Mac and Cheese recipe to ever entice me to contemplate making it! That's a big deal because I usually just blow by most M and C recipes. Of course, it could be I'm just hungry. Lol! Enjoy!

Labels: , , ,


Pumpkin-ed Out Post

Image found here.
In case you didn't pick up on it, I like surfing food blogs. I collect recipes. No idea why, just love the thought of possibly making the item someday I guess. Though the odds of that are slim to none at the moment :)

Seems there are so many cooking blogs out there now compared to just a year or two ago. Some of them I really enjoy and find great recipes as well as stories. Others seem to pick up on a certain food that seems to be "popular" on other food blogs and use it to death. Take for instance "pumpkin". If I see one more pumpkin recipe, I'll choke, seriously! :(  How many versions of pumpkin pancakes can there be?

I like pumpkin as much as the next person in pies, breads, coffee cakes and so on. But lately the theme seems to be 'what can't you put pumpkin in?'. Squash is running a close second by the way. Followed by millions of "S'mores" concoctions on its heels. I disliked s'mores on Girl Scout camping trips and have no desire to return there, at least in this lifetime. Oh, remember the Nutella craze? Serious gag in the overkill dept.

While I admire the inventiveness of cooks, one hits the point of redundancy and that's where I am with all the pumpkin recipes. I don't even want to make the pumpkin cream cheese roll recipe (which is heavenly by the way) that I pull out only once every three to five years. Or my super easy pumpkin pie recipe with the incredible shiny, picture-perfect top.
Cinderella Pumpkin. Source.
I don't mean to be negative, I'm just truly pumpkin-ed out. I can't even be conned enticed into buying one of those cute Cinderella pumpkins for decoration! Nope. No way. Has anyone else noticed this or am I just whining to myself? (Which has been known to happen.)

It all makes me sort of dread the upcoming holidays. What ingredient will be the "blog star" in the coming months? Good grief...Christmas is just a little over nine weeks away!!



Apres Vacation Post

*Warning:  Quite Long........... This is what happens when one takes a writing vacation...I had time to think and ruminate. Thoughts build up! What can I say?
My info has Elizabeth receiving her first Corgi, Susan, when she was 18 in 1944.
While enjoying my time away from this little blog, I wound up cleaning the backlog of partially written and unpublished posts. The files are so much neater now. It's funny, but when I look back through entries, I really enjoy my blog! Maybe it's because I still write it primarily just for me and if anyone wants to go along for the ride, that's great! I appreciate it!

Life is short and each year as we get older, we can forget the small memories, experiences and realizations. Those tiny personal discoveries that one will never remember in a few days. This is especially true when one is under stress. There is so much that went on during my five year divorce that I'd never remember had I not written about it.

There's a great tendency when you're going through something like a divorce (or serious illness or death of a loved one) to start dwelling only on that. I saw that happen in the first two to three years. Though you may not have seen all those posts, writing about what was going on enabled me to see where I was  stuck in ruts of negativity and not moving on.

The fact that I didn't want this blog to become a "wailing wall" but rather a means to grow and get through the experience meant I actually had to "look" at my thoughts. If you throw a party only to moan and whine all through it, guests will leave early and no one will ever return! It provided a rudder that helped keep me on a more even keel. How's that for an old cliche?

I know I write about the mundane, everyday things that go on in life, but maybe that's what we need in this crazy world. Are people able to "stop" and reflect anymore? Time to be just with themselves and contemplate their hopes and dreams as well as the boring stuff too. So many people seem disenfranchised, so lonely. I'd comment further on how the political climate, lawyers and bankers, etc. and the economy they created are not helping this, but you know I try not to talk politics or get on my soapbox.
See, even the Queen is disturbed by it all. Sorry, you know I have an odd sense of humor ;)
So maybe in some way, reading my blog lets me into that rarified air of reflection. Though I try not to look at the stats, when I do and see I've had visitors, I'm tickled. It makes me smile. To those who leave comments, thank you! You all confirm that sometimes what I think is just everyday life may possibly be a little escape from your own world. Time you've given yourself for "you". For me, it's an honor to have you take time out of your day to stop by!

I really think this is why I like blogging. When I see the various countries listed, it intrigues the "pen pal" in me (I've written about this before).  My wee vacation from the Grey House Journal was enjoyable. I was getting stale and boring...even for me!!

Yup, that's life. The ennui of it can make you very one dimensional among other things. Take a break/vacation, however short, it's sooooooo worth it! Even if you don't go anywhere, you come back refreshed and energized. It's been so long since I consciously took a vacation, I'd forgotten what it felt like! Quite amazing.

Of course, being away didn't stop me from surfing the net where I found a number of things including Joanna Goddard's blog, A Cup of Jo. There's tons of stuff to see there. Unfortunately, she mentioned how addicting Pinterest is. This is not the first time I've heard Pinterest associated with the word "addicting" in the same sentence. Up until now, I resisted the urge to look.

So I looked. Holy Smokes! Big mistake! It's like visual crack (sp?). I may be going there for a permanent home since I essentially have had a Pinterest-like file labeled Inspiration in my documents before my Macbook went over rainbow bridge and took everything with it.

I can really see the use for this site. You won't loose your "love this" pics and so on if your computer croaks plus all those photos won't suck up space on the hard drive. Another plus, you'll be able to remember where you found the gem! I try to note where I found something but I'm not always successful and then when I want to go back and refer to it, I'm lost. 

Oh dear. Another thing to do on top of a way to store my photos on the net, not just my computer. Of course once I get the hang of it, I'm sure it won't eat up any more time than my own versions.

Since I'm talking about everyday life and the mundane I have to share these videos with you. I love this one with Queen Elizabeth and one of her Corgis. It's such a collision of worlds! QE dressed to the nines, tiara, long white gloves and all, sitting in what looks like a bathroom, teasing her Corgi into tug of war with her white fur wrap and then her gloves! Just love the dogs and to see the Queen as a regular old dog-lover is just priceless! Despite all the pomp and circumstance, the joy in day to day life can be found in the mundane...and for everyone on this planet, even a queen. Maybe it's what helps keep us sane....

Then there's this with Queen Elizabeth taking her pack for a walk in her "backyard" lol! You won't understand the announcer, but words aren't needed! Lastly, Queen Elizabeth boarding her plane for Balmoral with her pack. I love how some won't go along with the plan to go up the steps...so they get carried! Corgis aren't stupid, plus they don't know a queen from a commoner...lol! The Queen can be quite silly with her Corgis and I don't blame her! Probably keeps her in balance :)
Yes Mum, I work for the Queen! No, I don't do that or that. No that either. Let's just say she is my employer and let it be at that. Okay, okay....fine, I'm a member of her personal staff. No, not that, that either or that. I'm one of her Corgi Carriers. Yes, that's what I said Mum. Oh Mum, please stop laughing and crying at the same time! I didn't ask to be sent through law school. No, tell Dad I'm not a disappointment. Mmmummm....
Well, yes, I do have to carry a little clean-up/pick-up kit. Really Mum, please stop crying! They're very loving little dogs though these've been known to nip at people once in a while. Mum, they're a herding breed. No Mum, that doesn't make me a shepherd! 
Found this tidbit (here) about her Corgis' diet:  "The daily menu for the corgis is typed up and posted on the kitchen wall.  Some days the corgis have chuck steak, and other days there is poached chicken or liver or rabbit.  The meat is chopped up and mixed with boiled cabbage and white rice.  Besides fixing this yummy food for the dogs, the royal chefs also bake buttered scones to serve the Queen every day at tea.  Except she never eats these.  She gives them to the dogs instead."

This last week was in the 100's (37-38's C) so you missed my quacking about the heat :D...checked the gardenias in the backyard...more than two dozen blooms on it now! That's the most I've ever seen since I moved in!

Found more ripe tomatoes and finally tried some. In previous years, their flavor hasn't been all that great. Holy cow! Here I'd been giving them all away! Re-sowing their seeds must do something...because, while they are just as tough on the outside, this year they taste like "tomato heaven"!!! I almost fell over!  I do have other thoughts as to why, but, we won't go there....

So thank you for all your visits and for your patience while I took a little time off. You should try it, I highly recommend it! Wishing you happiness and peace. xox

P.S. Source of all photos is right here.

Labels: , , , ,


No One is Listening

On a holiday weekend, I thought I'd see more visitors, but, no. Therefore I'm taking a break or vacation, as it were, from this blog. Have a lovely week! See you soon. :)


Of Opossums, Blue and Tomatoes Post

Today was a lovely day. No jacket required. I went out to my little plot of earth to see all the gardenia blossoms and loads of buds. Since Blue has made them his favorite "business" bushes, their growth has been outstanding.
The gardenias like Blue and the tomato plant which is using them as its support.
To my total shock, hidden under the weeds which kind of cover the tomato vine, where ripe tomatoes!
Five of them, which I picked. Those are the ones in the foreground of the photo. The rest still needed a few days. This makes at least two dozen if not three, that I've harvested. I'm totally amazed at the plant. Actually there are two, the other one trails off the opposite side of the gardenias.
That black thing is so annoying.
While outside, Mr. B proceeded to do his business at the far end of the yard while I picked up after him. During this, he decided to torture me by rolling on what I thought was a tiny, rotten, shriveled avocado fallen from the tree. When I went to pick it up, he grabbed it and ran away. Little demon.
Mom, do you smell something?
I know I smell something....
Well, you can guess what it really was...AAAUUUUGGGHHHH! He was relegated to the back yard while I went in and got cleaning supplies for his coat and mouth. He was NOT happy being scrubbed down. Luckily there wasn't anything visible to remove, but I wanted to be sure he was fresh-smelling. The remainder of the afternoon was spent "airing" in the Great Outdoors. Just in case.

Since he's really an indoor puppers, when I walked into the yard to check on him a bit later, he was adamant about wanting to come back in the house. Again, not a happy little camper.

Puhleeze let me in. I hate it out here! Mom? Mmmmmommm!!
Look at those eyes! Well, the little man had his dinner outdoors. A picnic! He wasn't impressed. When I brought him new water and removed his dinner dish, he kept trying to dart in the door between my legs. Having had 30 years with Siberian Huskies has, if nothing else, taught me how to block escape moves.

After dark, a ruckus broke out. One of the local teens from the gang of opossums was trespassing in the yard. Will they never learn? The Sheriff had it "tree'd" in a palm and was informing it of its rights or rather lack thereof. You could see the glow of two beady eyes from amongst the palm fronds. Lol!

While out there, the sprinklers went on and the Sheriff quickly lost interest, running for cover. I found an old towel, dried him off, finally letting him in at about 7:30. He has been glued to me since. Such a silly, dear little character.

Labels: ,

Just Ignore This Post

Okay, this is the last time I'll mention it. I'm still miffed about the tree butcher and the pecan tree from June. Yes, I do tend to dwell on things when I see them as a reminder every single day. Frankly, you can just ignore this post. I'm hoping that a final post regarding the event and aftermath will expunge the experience from my mind. Dear Pecan Tree, you were such a lovely thing before the butcher. I'll always remember you as you "were". These are "before" photos:
All the green you see is the pecan tree.
Ah, shade on the west side. Another "before" pic.
Now, ta da, the "after" pic, which you've already seen. This is just kind of for me, especially after higher energy bills all summer and a rent increase.

Not the best photos, but at least something so I can recall how nice the tree and shade were before the tree butcher.



Don't Do This While Driving Post

Things NOT to do while driving and especially not at a long stop light. Just when you think you've seen it all (every form of make up being applied, texting, guys shaving with an electric razor, removing curlers from hair, changing clothes, picking one's nose, examining the results, checking one's teeth and hair and so on). Today, I saw this. I pulled up to a new silver Lexus at a notoriously loooong stop light and when I glanced to my left, there in the Lexus was a thin-ish, 60-ish woman with a white-blonde bob haircut. Are you ready?

She was plucking the hair off her chin!!! LLLLLLOOOOOOLLLLLLL! It went on for the whole light. Not only using the visor mirror, but the rear view mirror, angled for a better view. There she sat, tilting and turning and with a tweezers PLUCKING her chin!!! She didn't even have the grace of tinted windows!

I have NEVER in my entire life seen any thing like this. I was dumb-struck. Actually, in retrospect, I felt sorry for her...not having enough time to get "ready" before whatever she was on her way to. So lesson learned:  relegate all grooming to the bathroom or at least your house. What a sad memory of an unknown person to have.

Do you carry a tweezers with you? Why? Have you ever seen this before???



Charming Link

Okay, I think I've noted my odd (slightly warped) sense of humor in some former post or maybe it's just all in my mind.... The other day I found the Besotted Brand Blog and it's a hoot. Part visual inspiration with great links, part my kind of oddball humor involving dog-lets and part a great future online store that's in the works. Would have posted this sooner but did want to get approval to use the pics...not just "lift" them from her site. Tristan graciously agreed.

I just burst out laughing when I see this photo!
I know, I know, I should be saying "oh, poor sweet little dog" and not laughing but as I said, I have an oddball sense of humor. And laughter is so good for the soul!

Anyhow, you must check out Tristan and Bella's blog, the Besotted Brand Blog for a number of reasons. First, the sweetest little French Bulldog:
Birthday Girl:  The non-Hannibella look.
An assortment of cool Photoshop Actions available like this Apricot Glow:

And she's working on opening an online store. Here's just a sample of the type of items that it appears she'll be offering. Love the script!

Her packaging sense is wonderful, as is her photography. Enjoy!

Thank you Tristan, for letting me share your wonderful blog and pup-let! I'm sure more than a few visitors will be stopping by Besotted!

Labels: , ,


Second Edition Post

After thinking about P's kindness today, I started floating through recipes and food blogs in search of something to bake for him and his wife. I'm thinking a peach pie as I wrote in an earlier post or perhaps lemon bars. I have no idea since I hardly know them. Maybe I'll call them in about an hour, I hate to bother people at dinnertime.

Recipes for lemon bars have been on my radar for over a year now. I had some really good-looking ones bookmarked. Of course, they all vanished with the crash of my Mac :(  I did however find this one that looks particularly yummy. It's over at Anchovies and Lemons. One of the things that attracted me to this particular Lemon Bar recipe is that it incorporates pine nuts into the browned butter crust.
Posted under copyright free on dreamstime.
It's from Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. Here's a photo from the website of their cookbook:
Left:  Tartine's newest book on bread. Right:  The original cookbook.
And What's on My Plate blog had a good review of this Lemon Bar recipe in Jan. of this year.

Just called them to ask if they had any likes or dislikes in the baking department and they're up for anything, so this should be fun.

In the case of peaches, I'm thinking a galette. But I'll close for today since it's now 8 p.m. and I haven't had dinner. For simplicity's sake it's going to be an omelet of Eggbeaters filled with Trader Joe's low-fat shredded cheese mix. Yum!

Labels: , , ,

Rent and Drizzle Post

Again, there are days NOT to get out of bed, much less open the mail. The landlord has raised the rent on this little 800 square foot house by $205 per month. Just swell. Now I REALLY have to find a new place/state to live. Good grief, I could easily afford a mortgage on a decent house in almost any other state!

I almost entitled this "Rent Rape Post" but thought it too graphic, though it's how I feel. California is no longer welcoming in any way, shape or form...okay, in weather only. But for the $$$$$ I have to pay for EVERYTHING, it's no longer worth it. I could get the same elsewhere.....maybe with more weather but at least pay less than half! Enough whining for now. It is what it is.

If anyone really loves where they live, please let me know. I'm totally open to ideas!

Remember how I said I had a feeling I'd regret not doing my errands yesterday? Well, I now know why. It's actually raining today. Okay, from a Midwestern standpoint, it's just average drizzle, but for So Cal? My oh my!

Out of curiosity, I checked www.sigalert.com to see how traffic was doing. Here's a link for the history of SigAlerts. The freeway grid looked like a giant red spider or centipede at about 9:30 a.m. It's really pretty funny. Red, in most cases, means, that the speeds are down below 20 mph! It's only drizzle folks!

Though I'm not a native of California, after 30 or so years of living here, I am picking up some of the natives' weather habits which is not a good thing. Like today, I checked the forecast and supposedly no rain is predicted for tomorrow. I may wait and run my errands then...lol!

Have a great day wherever you are!

Added about an hour later...the softly dropping rain (heavy drizzle) is very hypnotic...I'm ready for a nap!

Added about four hours later...why do I feel the sudden urge for a mocha frappuccino when I'm freezing? The sun broke through at about 4 p.m. and now we have dappled white puffs of clouds in the sky. My neighbor P is apparently applying for "sainthood"...he once again brought my two trash cans in for me. What a sweet person.

The day has been spent working on posts and my soon to be etsy store while I've listened and cringed as I've heard many skids from cars whose drivers did not gauge the amount of distance for stopping on a rain covered street before the sign on the corner. Eeek! So far no crashes.

Labels: , , , , ,


Misty Morning Post

Following my post on seeing the seasons here in Southern California I woke up to drizzle this morning! Surprise, surprise, surprise as Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors) in an old TV sitcom would have said. Checked msn.com and it isn't predicted till tonight.

Tomorrow will supposedly bring rain and Thursday, thunderstorms. This is really early in the season for "weather". Of course the weather people on the news will be in heaven since there's something new to talk about other than sunshine.

If indeed we do get some rain or drizzle, driving for the next few days will be a challenge since once again, everyone here will have totally forgotten how to drive in drizzle. For some reason the whole concept of built up grease and oils on pavement and how when mixed with mist this creates a slip 'n' slide driving experience will have eluded everyone, as it does every year. Okay, all you who live where there's "real" weather can stop laughing now :)

Personally, I'm going to really enjoy the gray day as a lovely change of pace. Kind of gives me the urge to do some spring autumn cleaning around here. Maybe. I do know I'm sitting here in T-shirt and shorts and I'm "freezing".

Once you live here a while, you really do turn into a weather-whuss. (No idea if that's how whuss is spelled, but you get the idea.) Today's high is supposed to only get to 69F with a low of 57F. Seriously, stop laughing! ;-D

Since I have to get some groceries, I may just pick up some of the season's last peaches and make a pie or two. Yay, could it really be time to turn on the "big" oven? It's the little things like this that make life a joy and I try so hard to remember that.

It means I can go back to cooking in my Dutch oven, something I'm way better at than the crock pot. Maybe it's growing up in the Midwest, but somehow we come out with Dutch ovens attached at the hip! In some inexplicable way, a wealth of knowledge about cooking with them is just second nature. Well, at least it was for me.

Might even be tempted to drive out to Stater Brothers market where whole, Foster Farm chickens are on sale through today for $.69/lb.! I really, really want to make Moroccan Chicken with Green Olives and Lemons. But, I'll see how the day goes. More later...

...later...Well, the sun actually made its way out by three p.m. and the drizzle ended around noon. So much for weather. Only one problem, it really made me a sleepy-head and I never ran any errands. I'll probably regret that. No idea why, just a feeling.

Labels: ,


Pin a Note on Me Post

The post below was written on 9/19/11 but I decided to wait and think about it since I try not to be negative or speak of religion and politics on this blog. But, re-reading it two weeks later, I still feel the same, so please accept my apologies in advance for my rant. The rest of today's post, continues below.

9/19/11 While recovering from my assorted injuries, I wrote a number of entries but had not posted them because I wanted to accompany them with pictures. This however, supersedes all of them. Today I received a jury summons. I hate jury summons to begin with so it's bad enough, however, it's not local, it's downtown in the middle of LA.

That means a hideous commute of at least an hour there (for less than a 20 minute drive) and another hour or more back at peak traffic times. Parking is a block away, so it means a walk to the courthouse. This will be a challenge, especially leaving and getting back to the car after all day on my knee which is "good" for only about 3 hours at a time (if I'm lucky) before it swells to the size of a bowling ball. I see a rheumatologist on Oct. 1. I can't wait!

Since I never leave Blue alone in the house for more than 4 hours, it creates another problem. I figure I'll have to kennel him at $30 per day for at least a week. Just swell.

On top of all that, it means I'll have to see lawyers, the absolute scum of the earth. I literally hate them. They are the lowest form of life on this planet, lower than the dirt on my shoes. They have no morals whatsoever. It's no wonder this country is so screwed up...it's governed by lawyers.

After five years of dealing with the scummy slime bags and the "set up" known as the legal system during my divorce I have come to totally question their ethics and morals as well as that of the entire legal system in this country. To top it all off,  it's an "old-boys-club" with all that implies. For example, doltoid's lawyer would play golf with mine. Somehow that just seems wrong on so many levels.

It's a complete racket. Now in these tough economic times, it seems from my experience, the system's goal is to drag out all proceedings to make money. In the end, as always, it's the general public that pays and through the nose. Take all the current machinations going on in Washington with the budget. Look back at the past. The lawyers/politicians spend money like there's no tomorrow and then surprise! "We're" in debt. How did that happen? How will they fix it?

Raise taxes and borrow money of course. It's the answer to everything. Problem is, "they" won't have to pay for it, "we" will.
Edvard Munch's "The Scream"
Continued from above:  After reading the post again, I censored the balance of the rant. It accomplishes nothing and why ruin your day and mine? I'll just leave you with the above work of art as my final comment on what I was quacking about. I think it's a far more creative way to express the last half of my thoughts! :)

Okay, back to the present...the good news is that I saw a rheumatologist on Saturday. He was quite impressed with my balloon knee and even said "wow". Then he aspirated as much liquid as he could, which was a lot...two huge syringes...full. Even the nurses were impressed...lol! It feels soooooooo much better.

The bad news is that I forgot to ask him to sign my jury excuse for a change of venue that would be closer to home. Dang! Hopefully the other Doctor that was watching will be able to do so since the specialist only comes to the clinic once a month! Please cross your fingers.

I swear, I should pin my "to do" list to the front of my blouse when I leave the house, since my memory is off somewhere doing heaven knows what!

Labels: ,