Thursday, July 31, 2008

Well, Hello Dolly!

After what has been a very dry spell, Hurricane Dolly has come to our little corner of Texas bringing showers. She went in around Brownsville and then into Mexico then over to New Mexico and now is coming back through North Central Texas. It was such a wonderful surprise to wake yesterday morning and see the streets wet from rain. It was only a small shower, but so very welcome. The sage (see picture above) has been blooming like mad for a week, and we couldn't figure out why. It blooms usually two days or so before rain. There were no forecasts for rain in our area. The weather forecasters said west or north of us. But it did rain! And it rained a really good shower again in the evening. I'd gone to the fabric store to pick up some embroidery floss and could see the black rain clouds coming. Just as I was leaving there were huge raindrops falling and I was so happy again. It is the simple joys of watching, smelling and totally enjoying rain for me. I have pictures in the camera, but haven't had time to download them. They only show rain falling in the pool and a couple more.

I still haven't gotten started on the vast embroidery projects I have planned. The knitting needles and yarn keep getting in my way. Hubby asked me to look and see if I had all the embroidery stuff I needed before I bought more and there were the knitting needles and some yarn that had been hanging around for years. Anyway, I'm reteaching myself to knit, and occasionally it is a good thing the internet has little videos showing how to do a stitch. The leftover yarn is now scarves for this winter. I'll snap a few pics to bore ya'll with my handiwork. OH daughter called last night to inquire about the scarves and wanted to know if I could teach her to knit. I told her I could try. She requested I knit her something, but only in natural materials, which she would be happy to purchase. I wished her good luck in her quest. There are so many really soft man made yarns now, that I'd so not want wool. I'll give it a whirl, but I'm teaching her with a plain Red Heart yarn so she can see what the stitches are.

While we were attending a luncheon last Saturday I mentioned to a gentleman in our group that I'd started knitting again. He said his wife was knitting a lot these days, because their church is involved in a project making layettes for newborns at our charity hospital. He told me that if the baby doesn't have clothes to leave the hospital they wrap them in newspapers. That was the saddest thing I've heard in a very long time and I just could not fathom that our county didn't have receiving blankets in which to send a newborn home. Anyway, I'm not a member of their church, but may be soon. While I was at the fabric store I picked up an ad and they are going to have flannel on sale this Saturday for $2.99/yard. I don't know how to crochet, but I can put a pretty blanket stitch on them to finish the edges.

A friend is moving to a retirement center this weekend and I'm taking her to lunch today. Her husband died about a year ago and the house is very large for her. This center is a really nice one out by a local lake and she wrote in an email that I must come visit, because she has a great view of the lake. She was on the waiting list for nearly two years. It just bothers the heck out of me, because she is only a few years older than I. The main thing is, though she have a smaller house in a very safe environment. They have a guarded gate and you have to have business in there to get in. I'm happy for her. I'm not ready to settle that far down yet, though.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

Our Ruby Tuesday host is Mary, the Teach. On Tuesdays you can post any photo you like (it must be one of your own) that contains the color RED. Your photo can contain lots of RED or a little bit of RED.

What type of car are you?

Someone sent this to me in an email and I thought you might get a kick out of it, although, I'm not convinced of the accuracy of the test.

I'm a Porsche 911!

You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite,and you know it.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Monday, July 28, 2008

hot, hot and more hot

Have I said how very HOT it is here this week. It was 105F yesterday and headed for that again today. We are laying low and keeping it dark in the house to try keeping the a/c from over heating. Maybe the "frigid" pool would be a good option, but the house is a mess today and I do need to clean.It is going to be hot all week with no rain or relief in sight at all.

To see the unbearable hottness of it all click here at NOAA.

Maybe a trip back to Ruidoso in New Mexico in the mountains would be nice and cool. I think all the cruises to Alaska are booked. But I may look anyway.

Ray Migration

The other day "Dont'Try This at Home" posted several links to weird stories. This one is about a huge number of rays that were migrating off the Yucatan Peninsula. We used to go to Cozumel frequently because the water is so clear there. I'd have fainted to have seen something like this. There were several times I nearly fainted there without seeing the rays. There are some huge fish in Chankanaab park....and there are parrot fish that try to bite your fingers when some idiot is feeding them from the bank. There are some huge fish there period. There are beautiful fish there, too. Cozumel is an island I love off the Yucatan.

Click to see the ray migration.

Holy Cow! I was just reading the link to Cozumel and Chankanaab Park...and MAN has it been "updated"! When we used to go it was free, there was nothing there but sea and sand and some wonderful coral reefs...and some large caves with huge fish in them. I think I mentioned that. But costs $16 to get in, they have snorkel rental places, all sorts of pricey things. I'd heard it was more costly to go there now, but good grief! I guess we got the best of it a long time ago when we rented a jeep and drove all around the island. I'd just returned from studying in Mexico and thought I was something with the pathetic amount of Spanish I knew. Anyway, it is a miracle we lived through that trip. We stopped to swim in a secluded area and were just about to get in the water when we noticed there were two smallish sharks in the very shallow water. We forged on around to the other side of the island in a hurry. Over there on the Atlantic side there is some big surf. We were tossed around like nothing by the waves and were very lucky indeed to not break our foolish necks. With bathing suits full of sand and nowhere to shower it off we headed on to the Mayan ruins. I engaged a boy to watch our jeep....well it was not the best vehicle in the world, but we had rented it, while we took the tour. The tour guide told us that used to be an area for honeymoon's and I'd be wise to make sure my birth control was in good shape for one never knows when one has been in such a fertile area. Anyway we finally got back to where we had rented the jeep and got home. No hassles...not a lot of money and a lot of fun. I figure not so much nowadays.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Big Fish

My grandson's birthday is coming up soon and I've been keeping an eye out for weird things he might like. I found this gigantic fish pillow the other day and think it will make a good addition to his tree house. He loves that retreat and has actually allowed me up into it once.
The fish is about 5' long...and I thought for a little while hubby was going to take it and I'd have to go buy another for the kiddo. It really is pretty neat and will make a good floor pillow to loll around on...when it cools off some.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The visitor

The other day our grandson came for a visit while his mother went shopping. He wanted to watch a documentary about "Star Wars", his favorite movie ever. He was totally absorbed in show and even enlightened me on some of the finer points of the saga. He also wanted to watch "The Mummy" with Brenden Frasier, and I'm thinking that might be another one he likes. Hubby was talking about taking him to the IMAX to see "Journey to The Center of the Earth". I think that would be great fun.

After a while we went outside and he reluctantly let me take a picture of his lack of teeth...which was sort of shocking to me. He lost one a pretty long while ago then another about a month ago...then he started losing them fairly rapidly. He is a sweet little snaggletooth, though. He usually smiles like a professional model, but that day not so much.

He checked out all the swim gear his mom had brought for him, but after we sat with our feet in the pool he decided it was too cool for him to swim that day. The pool water is 81 right now and the air temp was about 102 , so there was a big difference when you just stick your feet in. It is best to just jump in and get wet all at once. It works out better that way, but he didn't want to swim even after considerable discussion.We finally decided to go to the Dollar Tree to look for something to do. He has "no toys" here. There is a huge basket of them, but he wanted to get out of the house for a bit. After much consideration he chose a basketball game that was surprisingly difficult. I think the little ones are harder. Anyway, we were getting better with each turn and narrowing in on the range and how hard to press the lever, when my husband came through and asked if he could try. We said of course and he nailed the first one and left! TJ looked at me and said, "Your dad is really good!" I looked at him with a startled look and we both laughed like a couple of goons.

We got better and better at the little game and it took about 30 to 45 minutes to play a least it took us that long. He packed it up carefully and took it home with him.

I think he decided we didn't have much money because our pool isn't least that is what he reckoned it was, since it was so cold that day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dolly is no sweetheart

Hurricane Dolly is causing havoc along the Texas coast with sustained winds of 100 mph. Fields are flooded and tornadoes are occuring. My friend in Galveston says so far they have only regular rain, but will keep me updated. She has to go into Houston today. That is scary on sunny dry days.

Just talked with my daughter and she is fine in Kemah...near Galveston. I was concerned about the storm surge.

The eye will cross the Texas Mexico border in the next little bit and the winds will shift to the other direction.

Here is a link to the yahoo newstory about the hurricane

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Children Talking About the Ocean

My friend Quilly pointed out that 6 and 7 year olds don't write this well. She is so right and I should have remembered, because my grandson is 6....nearly 7.
1) - This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. (Kelly, age 6)

2) - Oysters' balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age 6)

3) - If you are surrounded by ocean you are an
Island. If you don't have ocean all round you, you are incontinent. (Wayne, age 7)

4) - Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily Richardson. She's not my friend any more. (Kylie, age 6)

5) - A dolphin breaths through an asshole on the top of its head. (Billy, age 8)

6) - My uncle goes out in his boat with 2 other men and a woman and pots and comes back with crabs. (Millie, age 6)

7) - When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes when the wind didn't blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind come. My brother said they would have been better off eating beans. (William, age 7)

8) - Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and I like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like, really? (Helen, age 6)

9) - I'm not going to write about the ocean. My baby brother is always crying, my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my b ig sister has just gotten pregnant, so I can't think what to write. (Amy, age 6)

10) - Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting. Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves into chargers. (Christopher, age 7)

11) - When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes my willy small. (Kevin, age 6)

12) - Divers have to be safe when they go under the water. Divers can't go down alone, so they have to go down on each other. (Becky, age 8)

13) - On vacation my Mom went water skiing. She fell off when she was going very fast . She says she won't do it again because water fired right up her big fat ass. (Julie, age 7)

14)-The ocean is made up of water and fish. Why the fish don't drown I don't know. (Bobby, age 6)

15)-My dad was a sailor on the ocean. He knows all about the ocean. What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom. (James, age 7)

So now you know all there is to know about how the ocean operates. My grandson is coming today, so I'll see you in a day or so.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The other radio

This radio is mine, too, but my hubby loves it out on the patio so he can listen to Oldies on it while contemplating life and what he might do next after he finishes his beer. Wonder what the tape that is in it might be. Project dead of night is about to begin....the tape is "The Best of Italian Opera"...not so much hubby's.

Riding the Black Wave ....microwave that is

The microwave in my kitchen is black

If you look closely you can the reflection of the back yard and me and my black camera reflected in my black microwave.

This is the black and burgundy prayer rug that is in front of the can't see it in the reflection in the is there so I can pray the food comes out fit to eat.

When I turn around I can see out the kitchen window over the black and brushed chrome weather husband's that is. That is coleus in a glass. It makes a cute little bouquet and the stems will root in the water making other plants for this fall.
My Aunt taught me that trick about how to root them in a glass of water. She was a wonderful gardener and so is my cousin...her granddaughter.

To the left is the cat, the real one, sprawled out on the chair at the head of the table on her back and the leaf bag that didn't get put away yet.

On the right is a seating area...Neither, the rocking chair nor the big rattan chair's cushions aren't on them...well, because there was a slight risk of rain the other night...and we are slackers for not getting them back out there. The shadows are going to have to count for the black part in this shot, though.

If you look really closely you can see the window screen. I was wondering why the picture looked a little funny. That is why.

There is still so much to be done out there, but we have gotten a lot sorted out this summer. We can make plans for getting it back the way I want it and better this winter when it is too cold to do anything else.

This was already set up for Project Black which is over now...but I still like the pictures.
I'll get back to posting my ramblings later in the week....for now I'm riding the wave if the rest of the project black pictures.

Project black patio things-all done, over, kaput

Was sort of surprised when Anna announced the end of Project Black, but it was fun. I still have a bunch of pictures, but will re-title them and you will see them anyway. *grin

This is a black wrought iron garden swing my daughter gave me for Mother's Day one year and I keep it on the patio, because the cushions aren't it matters that much right now here where we are in droughtland again.

My sophisticated black cat

She gave me this little black cat that is sitting on one of the tables keeping watch over the backyard. Below is where he usually lives under the caladiums

Head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the other
Project Black entries.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Precious Day 11

I keep my rings and watch in this little black box when I take them off for the evening. It makes it so easy to find them in the morning....and I just love this little box with its jet black mirrors and little shiny beads.

I think I must have been a crow in a past life or something...I love shiny stuff so much.

Head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the other
Project Black entries.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Project Black and sooty-Day 10

Somehow you just feel so, how do you say it, used, the next day.

Head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the other Project Black entries.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Project Black-Black Star-Day 9

The Lone Star in black.

Head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the other
Project Black entries.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Road Trip

Found this over at Melli's the other day and forgot to post it.

The Road Trip of Your Life
You see companionship and loyalty as what's most important in life.

You live a life of leisure. You take your time in every aspect of life and enjoy it to the fullest.

You're willing to take a few risks in life. You may not take the road no one travels, but you're happy to take the road less traveled.

You are able to find a fairly healthy balance between work and play. You work when you need to, but you never let yourself burn out.

In another life, you could have been a great artist. You trust your creative instincts enough to let them lead you.

Loose Lips and other thoughts

When my embroidery books and cd from the movie Juno came the other day I just looked at the books, but today I've been playing the cd and I remember I really liked the music from the movie, but I really like this song. It is such a little freedom song called "Loose Lips" and I found a You Tube on this site. The lyrics are underneath it.

I think kids aren't mean for the most part and especially kids that sing songs like these. They are like the songs you sing when you are a little kid.

"we’re just dancing, we’re just hugging,singing, screaming, kissing, tuggingon the sleeve of how it used to be."
excerpt from "Loose Lips Sink Ships" from Juno

Project Black-Day 8

Black wrought iron fence and black torch
Head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the other
Project Black entries.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Where is Matt

I saw this over at The Daily Coyote and it is such fun and really worth a look.

It is called Where in the World is Matt and it is very cool! :)

Project Black Flag Day 7

Black Pirate Tattoos for my grandson

This is the other side showing the really mean tattoos
sort reminds me of "Captain Ron"

Close up of the really mean tattoos

Head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the other
Project Black entries.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Day Has Brightened

Ok...I can only stay down for about half a day. This could be so much worse and I have nearly two days' worth of a Medrol Dosepak in me, so I'm feeling a heck of a lot better. A little emotional still though...I was trying to tell hubby the ending of "Saving Grace" and started crying so much I couldn't even talk. Not usual for me, but right now is a transitional time.

Got some exercise today while at Wal Mart...all of the cash registers went down and nobody could check out. I left hubby with the cart and went to the other end of the building to the garden area to see if they had anything on the markdown table while waiting. They didn't. The registers were down for about thirty minutes and there was a cheer when they did come back up. I didn't want to leave because I'd found just the right food for starting a diet. Things that are calcium rich and not so fat. I'm planning some more of that black bean with corn soup for this week, too. Complete protein and no meat.

Another bright thing that happened is that I'm getting a handle on portions again. I'd kinda forgotten how 1/4 cup of walnuts is two servings. That just don't seem right, but it was. I weighed them out into snack bags so I won't forget again. We had a wonderful lunch of mozzarella on a slice of toasted bread with garlic baked into it and homegrown tomatoes and roasted peppers with fresh basil. It was so good. Dessert was some Ranier cherries. Tonight we had salmon cooked on the grill in wood papers that had some teriyaki on it, some brown rice with a quarter cup of leftover corn and three asparagus cut up. I'm very full and haven't had near enough calories for the day. I promise not to make this a food journal.

My embroidery books came in the mail today...and that was a real surprise. I knew somewhere in the back of my mind they would ship on the 14th, but never thought they would have gotten here so quickly.

To top everything off we were sure we would get some rain this afternoon. It has been going around us all week...and guess what.

Went right around us here in Fort Worth again and everyone got rain...except us. Oh well, our time will come. I hope, but

Me and Miss Lilly feel like this about it all.

Maybe get some pills that chick on the side of the radar is selling to increase libido and get rid of cellulite...hmmm.

Black Day

Yesterday and today have been very black days healthwise. I got the results from the physical and the it is not a happy picture right now. The osteoporosis is much worse in my spine, but surprisingly better in the hip. That is the bright news. The lipid panel was as dismal as I've ever had. So much for quitting smoking. All the dire warnings about smoking have come true, except I haven't smoked in a year and a half. Oh well, it is time to go pick up the prescriptions for the out of control triglycerides and decreased HDL (all this has been fine for many years including last year of smoking) and one of the scrips is for nicotinic acid. Go figure. Also, my cat is going to LOVE me. The only osteoporosis treatment I would agree to is a nasal spray made of salmon. There were just too many drawbacks with Fosamax, such as osteonecrosis of the jaw where you lose the bottom jaw and that would be just so inconvient with trying to eat and all. So anyway, onward and upward.

And if you are coming to my blog and getting pops, I have done NOTHING to make them be there. Some people have stopped coming by because of that. I have to say I don't have the skills to hijack anyone with an annoying pop. So, come if you will or not. This apparently is only for me to post my joys and sadness to the universe with no hope of hearing anything back.

Project Black Day 6

Black wrought iron hook for fern planter.
Head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the other
Project Black entries.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Project black-Day 5

The black plastic under the rocks is coming up....the root from the tree is pushing it up. It really isn't a daschund burial site.
Head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the other
Project Black entries.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Project black-sunglasses-Day 4

Day 4

I found this in an antique store and it just tickled me that a sunflower needed sunglasses. I don't think it really was an antique.

Head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the other

Project Black entries.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Project black-Day 3

This little radio has been with me for more than 35 years. It has been there for listening, for taking with me to the school while waiting to pick up kids so I could hear the last of my soap, and it has entertained me with everything from country western to opera while I painted innumerable rooms over the years (you can see little paint flecks on the front of it), and it has been there to tell me just how bad the weather really is during a storm. It has a NOAA weather radio switch on it. This was truly one of the coolest portable radios, ever and it entertained me many nights when there was nothing on tv....before cable. It has a TV band, AM and FM music band, and public band. I used to could listen to police calls on it. I hadn't really thought about how old it was until last year someone noticed it in my office and commented on how they used to have one like it AGES ago. Oh my...everything I use is getting to be antique.

Head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the other Project Black entries.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Project Black day 2

This is the sign we put out in our yards to let the rest of the Neighborhood Association know where we are going to meet. I need to change the place or they will not be meeting with the rest of us. Head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the other Project Black entries.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Project Black=Day 1

Anna over at Anna Carson's photography has announced a Project Black. Here is my little photo of the new crock pot we got a while back. It is on its maiden voyage as I type. It is so pretty and shiny and black and weird looking right now.

I took lots more pictures of black things. The memory of project blue is still with me and I didn't participate in it. I'd just started blogging when I noticed it.
Now head on over to Anna's Blogspot and check out all the black entries.

The Shed of the Year

The Shed of the Year has been announced and it is a doozy!

Please stop by and have look at the octagonal shed that has a five foot bar in it with more liquor in it than I've ever seen in a bar, and a hammock and windows and skylights and a ceiling fan of all things. You really have to see this to believe it. It is the most awesome shed I've ever seen and I've been reading Shedworks since I signed up for this blog a couple of months ago. For real take a minute and look at what some very creative minds have been doing while we were doing other things...I don't think you will be disappointed.

A few words to the wise...or in my case advice from real life stupidity

Never ever use your shoulder/chest area as a fulcrum when using loppers to cut a largish branch. (A fulcrum is the support or point of support (pivot) on which a lever turns in raising or moving something around.) It results in a lot of pain in your shoulder and chest which has its own fulcrum business to tend to, and you won't sleep very much until you get to the doctor.

Just some advice gained in a very painful way while trimming a shrub the other day. Probably serves me right for working on Sunday, except I never consider gardening work. Today is Thursday, if this thing posts properly, and as of Wednesday night I'm feeling better...and I did find my favorite rocks that are my "sculpture". I have reclaimed that part of our garden.

Tonight, while we were waiting for So You Think You Can Dance to come on and tivo to a point where I don't have to mess with commercials *gasp* do you think they might have thought of that and make me watch hours of commercials or other weird stuff like in that movie...A Clockwork Orange? Will I wind up like he did, all crazy and stuff...I'm just could happen.

Anyway in the waiting period we watched some 3o minute shows and one was P. Allen Smith, who I think is on PBS. He had some women on that show, which was all about him and his new home, who had made some of the most fabulous embroidered pillows. They were AWESOME...I just got off Amazon from ordering some books and transfers. I think these women don't do transfers, but I need to get started again somewhere....and it might as well be a tea towel or something. However, these transfers are Jacobean, so probably not a lot of cutesy things. I'm going to have to watch that show again to see who they were exactly. They used a fern leaf design for one largish throw pillow. Now that would be a nice gift for one of my children. The others are barbarians who drink out of jelly glasses. One made me mad today.

The xeriscape garden is coming along well. Hubby is so happy I hurt myself just when it was time to start digging. I did go out and tell him how wonderful it looked, but wouldn't it look just so much better if that plant that looked exactly like the stones was in a pot. And that way it it actually did get REALLY cold this winter it would be saved in the greenhouse that would utilize the plastic windbreak I used to use in the winter to knock the harsh wind off me when I went out on the patio for smoking purposes. Those days are long gone and that plastic is just going to waste out in the shed and there is a fire pit thing (like anyone in Texas needs a fire pit except on those days it is below 0) that could heat the greenhouse when it gets cold. Which seems like never right now. It is still 90F at 11:20pm here. However, I may sleep with one eye open tonight. You never know.

I'm always looking for a way to save money and to be ever so green. These days it is just the thing to do. My cousin posted the other day about going to one of our favorite shops to get some more yard goodies and holy smokes they had the Christmas stuff out. I could have told her, it happened to me at Garden Ridge BEFORE July 4th. I guess those "sluggards" who thought they'd wait until the pool warmed up a bit or they had some vacation time and thought they'd throw a party were outta luck on that. There was not a garden gnome or light to be had sometime in June, I'm guessing. They were marking stuff down in June. I just thought I had a bit more time to pick up some extra stuff. I guess summer is over.

The working shed idea is going to have to wait a bit to become anything other than a shed for our gardening tools. There is just a lot for hubby to think about right now. One is that his mom does not have to go back for another MRI. There is some down time right there. I suggested it would be a good idea to check with her doctor's office and all, since she really wants to go to Houston to see the kid who lives there. The nurse told him it would be about 6 months, for real, for the clot area to heal. However, if we thought we could get her there with frequent stops and getting her in and out of the car and moving around then it would be okay. We are going to start this business of getting out some with going to get her hair done. Where I go there is just a tiny little ramp that I don't think will give her any problems with the walker. I talked with my hairdresser the last time I was in and she thought it would help her feel a lot better. It will probably help her feel a lot better to get out of the house where she has been homebound for months, it seems, with the clot. Her hip is really bad, but the only help for that is surgery and she is 89...will be 90 at the end of August and she doesn't think it would be a good idea to jump off into something like that.

That is another thing....a party for her. It will have to be probably at her house, because it is difficult for her to get down the front steps. We'll see. If it is at her house, then I'll have to go over and clean for a LONG time. They won't have someone come in to clean. Last year we had my father in law's 90th here and it was still cool enough to be outside. It was a lovely party and they did enjoy it a lot...but I do think they were expecting to maybe have a surprise party. We just couldn't pull that off. We did have a 65th wedding anniversary party for them at their church a few years back. That was a great time....we weren't thinking and got icing in the anniversary colors and everyone had burgundy teeth. Oh well, live and learn. The kid in Houston will be coming up for the birthday parties. Mine is on the 24th and hers in on the 28th, so we will have them together with hers the main attraction since kids will be traveling to get here.

Hope this thing posts in the morning at 8:30am. It didn't and if you don't hear from me for a few days, my shoulder is very stiff today. I did too much yesterday.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pringles Are Not Potato Chips!

Faux Food and taxes

I knew it all along! In the UK Pringles have been officially classified as not made of potatoes! I am a potato lover from way back...when I was little I'd opt for a boiled potato over cake......weird little kid, but true to my beloved potato. I don't just like potatoes, I truly love them. I've been suspicious of Pringles ever since they came out, because they did not seem to be real potato chips at all. Didn't taste like them and there was nothing about them that was like a real potato chip. And it took the commission looking into this SEVEN years to figure this out. That is job security for sure...well, seven years worth.

The reason this whole thing came up was in England they have a 17.5% called a Value Added Tax, VAT. (I can't make this stuff up!) Procter and Gamble, the maker of Pringles, went to court to say that their product wasn't real potatoes so they shouldn't fall under this tax. The High Court Judge agreed that because of their uniform color, and that they are all the same shape, which is not found in nature and they have only 42% potato in them is what helped them decide that Pringles are not the same as regular potato crisps, even though it says so on the tube. That's just wrong to have a tube of chips. Anyway, they are not subject to that horrific tax. They actually said Pringles are more like a cake or a biscuit because they are manufactured from dough. My reference is BBC news and the blog Inky Circus. I can't think of better sources to check after hubby blindsided me with this bit of information this morning before I'd even had coffee.

17.5% tax on chips is a lot, in my opinion. Even Ebay users are being hit by this VAT tax. I looked around on the net...actually from the BBC news site to try and figure out why they have such an onerous tax on potato chips. I'd go crazy, since I bought some the other day at Kroger for $1.77....we were seeing who could save more money that day. Right now our chips are not taxed. Hubby looked on a receipt from the grocery store to make sure. From what I can figure out from the synopsis on several sites it is a sneaky way to keep from raising taxes. I guess some other tax. I'm sure our government will be on this like wildfire to tax our chips. One site said the VAT was being introduced in India and they were not pleased with it at all.

Thank goodness the VAT is in the UK and not here. When we were in Arkansas last fall we finally asked what the tax rate was, and the people who live there told us they have no idea it is so complicated. That is when I gave up on living there or voting for anyone who lives there.

Other Weirdness Today

This morning I saw women run a foot race in high heels. Kelly Rippa didn't win, but did run in the race that was actually a fund raiser for The March of Dimes. They partnered with Dr. Scholl's and the first prize was $25,000 and a gigantic statue of a high heel shoe painted gold. They said it was for women only, but there were men running in high heels, too. I'm just amazed every morning when I wake up and turn on the news.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Somewhere in translation

Our new little lime squeezer with a good soul (and no it did not come in that box)

I love shopping in ethnic markets and in Texas they are usually Mexican. On some things you can get a really good deal and sometimes that market is the only place you will find some things. I love new gadgets for the kitchen, and that is usually why I can't find a lot of my gadgets. That's ok...hubby loves those As Seen On TV things. So, while we were at a local market the other day my daughter and I found lime squeezers and we both went a little nuts for a minute, and then high fived each other. She had been wanting one, too. They are handy as heck to squeeze lime juice for say limeades or maybe margaritas. Who knows the uses are many and the tool is easy to use. I had tried to get the writing on the box so it could be seen, but it was not to be. After we got home hubby got my best Spanish dictionary so we could try to decode it. There is not one word of English on the box and I shall treasure it for that. On the side that is white it says:

Exprimidor Para Limones (Lime/Lemon Squeezer) Ha..we are on a roll so far!

Exprimidor con alma de Acero (Squeezer with a soul/heart of steel) How wonderful is that!

A very loyal lime squeezer for sure! The literal translation of alma is (n.) soul, spirit; heart; lifeblood. What a fine squeezer...I'm amazed we were able to purchase this amazing tool for only $2.59 with that much going on with it.

Another thing that is just as cute as can be is that everywhere there is an O they have replaced it with a little picture of a lime. That is so sweet.

However, when I turned the package again it says:

Fabricado de Polipropileno con refuerzo de acero. Made of polypropolene and reinforced with steel. Ah well, it still has a heart of steel to me. I love it for what it is.

Hecho en Mexico esta bien conmigo.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Taking care of vegetarians or how to attain sainthood

Whew....I'm already worn out with cooking. One of our friend's and her husband were in a car accident a couple of days ago. They are out of the hospital now so I cooked some things for them. She is a vegetarian and he isn't, and the people at their church just don't understand about that.

They brought over some chicken and vegetables from Boston Market and she ate the vegetables and he picked at the chicken, she told me. She sounded hungry while I was listening to her so I started cooking last night with some carrot cupcakes with extra crushed pineapple and raisins. There are some eggs in that mix (like 4), but hopefully she won't care. But that was the only slip and it is only a slip if she is total doesn't eat eggs or milk.

I made vegetarian stock for the black bean soup. I wasn't that impressed with vegan black bean soup, but maybe it is better with some chips in it and some tomatoes on top. Actually, I'd would have put some pico de gallo on it, too. I thought it called for a lot of cumin...1 tbls. That is a LOT, in my opinion. However, she called to say how much she liked it. I hope she really does likes it, because it is a good dish and nutritious, too...the beans and corn make a complete protein and that is really hard to get on a vegan diet. I tried it ages ago while I was taking a nutrition class in college, and I didn't last too long. Too much calculating and figuring what together makes a complete you get from a steak. I went back.

Here is the link for the stock if you ever need any, it is pretty good.

Made some penne with fire roasted peppers and olives for my friend, too. Man, I love that stuff. I make it for us from time to time, so that wasn't a whole new ballgame. And I have fresh basil in my little herb garden. yay! I even put some grated pecorino cheese with black truffles for the penne in a separate little baggie...just in case she doesn't do dairy.

Another friend called to give my husband some information for his newsletter for one of the groups to which we belong. When I told her the story about the other couple she told me she had cataract surgery last Friday. She got two cupcakes.

We got the rest of the cupcakes, because we lost a dear friend last Sunday after six weeks in intensive care after a car accident. The funeral was Friday, so I comforted us, too. He will be missed.

And, there is enough stuff for us to have black bean soup tonight, and for my in laws, too. We are rich in black bean soup right now. Hubby has gone to take the soup and some cupcakes over to his parents and I just got out of the shower and am going to turn the a/c down and hop on the sofa and watch some tv. I've done my saint thing for the day and it is now time to rest and read or watch tv. I think everyone is taken care of, or at least has something to eat.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

The Fourth of July...and some thoughts about it that were brought to mind by my friend Quill Dancer today with some questions she posed about our country and about how "green" we are. It was good, because it certainly jazzed me into writing a Fourth of July page today. Here are my thoughts about the Fourth of July.

I'm so glad our founding fathers put their very lives on the line to write The Declaration of Independence for us. They put their lives on hold to make a government for us. This past spring there was a miniseries on HBO called "John Adams" and it was very enlightening about the sacrifices and problems they experienced, not to mention the pettiness between the prinicpals involved. I expect it to get many awards. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney were very fine in their acting and portrayals.

Voting is a right and privilege that my grandmother marched to get for me. She was a Suffragette and there was a movie about that, too. It was called "Iron Jawed Angels". It was 1920 before women had the right to vote, and that was after black men had already attained the right.

Wickipedia has this to say about womens' suffrage (the right to vote):
"Early victories were won in the territories of Wyoming (1869)[15] and Utah (1870), although Utah women were disenfranchised by provisions of the federal Edmunds-Tucker Act enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1887. The push to grant Utah women's suffrage was at least partially fueled by the belief that, given the right to vote, Utah women would dispose of polygamy. It was only after Utah women exercised their suffrage rights in favor of polygamy that the U.S. Congress disenfranchised Utah women.[16]"

Thank you, grandmother for helping obtain the right to vote for me and I promise you I will not disenfranchise myself by not voting. I'll try not to blow what it took 72 years for women to get.

Another thing is the displaying the flag. After 9/11 everyone had a flag displayed...mostly improperly. If you don't know exactly how to display the symbol of our land then please go to the Betsy Ross website to learn how and bookmark it for future reference about flag ettiquette.

And if anyone questions the loyalty of our men and women in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Kosovo remember they have no choice in where they are deployed. They are sent wherever they must go. And they do it without complaint. However, when the suicide rate in the armed services deployed in Iraq is higher than it has been in the past 23 years, that is something to make the angels weep. I hope these "conflicts" are over soon and the next President is able to get our men and women out of harm's way. And I hope the idiots who protest a soldier's funeral with ugly sayings...well, I hope they burn in hell.

And that is my freedom of speech for today.

That ain't all folks....we had hot dogs and potato chips for dinner and watched "I Am Legend" while the cupcakes I made for some friends who were in a wreck the other day cooled. Amazingly the fireworks show came on tv just as I finished icing the last cupcake and put them away. The fireworks and the cupcakes were fantastic!!

In the morning I'm going to make some penne with roasted peppers and garlic and some black bean and corn soup for her. She is vegan and it seems no one in their church really understands that. She told me on the phone today that she is eating the vegetables they are bringing with the meat dishes that her husband and son are eating. Bless her heart...she is going to get some vegan vittles tomorrow as soon as I can get to the main dishes done. I'm making the vegetable stock now. It was sort of a head banger why would I go buy stock? I know how to make great stock and I had all the vegetables for it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


You know how much I enjoy watching So You Think You Can Dance...probably because I can't dance a lick. Anyway, in the auditions there was a guy named Robert Muraine who is a Popper. It is an unusual style of dance that just blew everyone away. I enjoyed it so much and it has been the most watched on You Tube. I can'tget it to load to Blogger, but here is the url so you can get a look at what it is all about...and watch until the end.

He is a phenomenon and he has competition...some guy named Phillip Chbeeb. He was passed onto Las Vegas, but chose to opt out of going. He felt that he wanted to be true to his style of dance and not try to learn the others. Tonight they had him, Robert, back on SYTYCD and there is going to be a competition with Phillip Chbeeb the other popper....well, maybe on the finale

Now you all know I'm a closet "hip hop" lover. Peace out everyone.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

a very serene time was had by all plus some sadness, too

This was supposed to post last I don't know how that thing to set it to post later than you write it goes. Anyway, I'm reposting this, because there were some issues with the pictures not wanting to transload and Melli was on vacation when it was posted....also, I was dog tired last night. And, Quilly, your comment did not get lost during the posting hassles. This blogging thing is very fun until there is a problem.

A couple of weeks ago we went to visit our was very rough at her palace.

We were so miserable that we couldn't stay long at was truly a paradise...and thoughts of Kubla Khan came to mind and hubby got sunburned

Today-we have just returned from a funeral of a long time friend. He and my husband used to work together at one aerospace place or the other. He and his wife were in a terrible car accident six weeks ago, and he finally succumbed to his injuries last Sunday. She was injured badly, too, but not to the extent he was. It really makes one stop to think how we spend time together without really cherishing the time we do have with each other. This visit at our daughter's home with my husband was a lovely get away and we will be able to go other places together again...unlike the widow we just left. God bless her in the coming days without him....and Godspeed, Jim, on your trip to heaven.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Home and Garden

Updates from the homefront

Here are the pictures of the upstairs bedroom that was remodeled a while back and had never gotten blinds and little curtains to make it a little more sleep friendly. I actually had to turn on a light to get this picture. It is the perfect room for company. Far enough away that we don't bother each other and it has a bath of its own. The not so good part is that we have to have an extra window unit for this room so that people don't die of heat exhaustion up there.

See how dark it is! The upside of this is that it is cooler than before, too. I got some very cool kitch at the Garden Ridge while I was there. You know it was calling to me and all. It needed to come home and live in this room that in some weird way is becoming inspired by Diego Rivera. Maybe, it is that game/tv show "Where In the World is Carmen Diego", which would be pretty weird, since I don't know what it is, but this room is taking on a peasant/Mexico feel. Check out the blue vase with the lillies on it. Diego Rivera inspired, I'm telling you.

The curtains and blinds really make it a LOT darker up there. I stopped by Garden Ridge the other day and they had panel curtains for $4.99. I couldn't believe it and they were the perfect color and all. I had gotten mini-blinds at Home Depot for $4.99 each, so it was a good deal and cost about $30 for the window treatment. Here is what they really look like with the flash so you can actually see the silly things. The curtains are a light gold color and go really well with the bedspread and all.

And here is the tiny little curtain for the tiny little window in the bathroom. Melli, these pics are for you, girl. I was standing in the tub taking this picture...that is how small it is. The dimensions were 22" by 23 ".

Updates from the garden

This is that same old pot of flowers we have been dragging around since Easter and it just keeps on growing and getting fuller and more and more beautiful everyday. The bargain bin was a very lucky find the day I picked up a lot of these flowers. The oxalis left over from St. Patrick's Day had been cast aside and is still blooming everyday. The petunias are blooming again and so are the pale pink geraniums. Coleus is in there, too...and some stock. And I just love the thing.

The garden walk to the driveway has begonias on either side and has a hedghog sitting on the bricks beside the flowerbed. Next year I'm going to load both sides up with white begonias and it will be so pretty.

This is the brick walk that goes from the patio to the driveway and is guarded by Spikey Norman, from Monty Python, he is calling Dimsdale out.
He is very small and it is difficult to see much detail because of the light. You never know when the Spikey Norman will appear looking for Dimsdale. Over mountain or building or up from under the roads. The Monty Python Flying Circus was one of my favorite shows.

More Updates from the Garden

Planning has begun for the xeriscape garden.

Bought some new plants for a new project...hubby is underwhelmed with it all....and I guess there will be some digging for me to do on this one. The large gangly one is a red spanish dagger, or something like that. It is too dark to go out to look and that is good enough. It gets a red spike that comes up out of it. The silver grey one with the purple flowers is Texas you hear about in the movies and books. I like it because, well, it is a hardy plant and is pretty, but it also is a rain indicator. It blooms about two days before rain, but it can be fooled. I just know we all get excited when the sage is blooming. The one in front of that is rosemary. I've got some in the herb garden, but think it will do very well in the rock garden. We will see. The one to the far left is a tri-color sedum and it is a succulent, so it will be fine out there. It, too, is a pretty cactus type plant. There aren't any with real spines, so no prickly pears at all.

Here is a closer up picture of the sage.
You can see the purple blooms better and the silver grey foliage looks so pretty with them.

We still have a grey santolina out there and I'm looking for a green one to fill in.

OH! That reminds me, if you are a clematis fan/freak my cousin found a great place to get really good ones online. She has ordered from her and thinks she is very good and has very good products that come wrapped sensibly and promptly. No goofing around for The Silver Star Vinery lady. Great deals!! And what a cool name! Must be a relative with Star for a last name and all.

And here is himself resting up after a long morning of working getting the summer vegetable garden sorted out, and he has been thinking of me digging all those holes to plant the new xeriscape garden.