Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008 and Hello New Year

The last beautiful sunset of 2008. I am sad in some ways to see the year end - I don't think I've had a better year of so many personal changes, ever. Because of that I am looking forward to 2009, but this 2008 was really special.

Grandson and I came home from the movies to an invitation to go on a Midnight Walk. I wish I had received the invitation before I left for the day, because I really want to go - it's from Doc Lovely and he lives in one of the most beautiful spots on this earth - in one of the most beautiful towns on this earth - - what a treat it would be to go watch the fireworks, then walk along the bay - - - and meaningful to start the New Year focused on health! If it weren't over an hour away, I'd put on my jogging suit, my walking shoes and jump in the car with boy and head that way.

The alternative is to walk here at midnight and join the energy from a distance - not quite the same as face to face, but . . . and I so would have enjoyed meeting this family on a personal basis, and making new acquaintances with other guests. So walk here I will - - - even if it is by myself - just to say to the New Year - "I will be here - present - in so many ways."

Here is something I am passing along from Doc "Lovely" that I thought was good in the "New Year Resolution" department -

1. Instead of making a New Years Resolution to accomplish something (like lose 10 pounds or get healthy), consider making a resolution to have a routine that takes you to where you want to go. Best I think (when it comes to health) is to have a morning routine that if you accomplish that routine you will achieve the health goal you want.

Where do I want to go? And what steps will I take to get there? By writing those things down, I will create a pathway for 2009.

What did you all do on New Year's Eve?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Twas a pretty fine art party

I had been wanting to tackle this.

The story behind the picture: The man had a fire in his home and it killed one of his five dogs.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What Now?

Kids just left, PawPaw is in watching ballgames, and I'm at loose ends. Sigh. The tree is bare underneath. The cats are mad at me because I gave them a flea treatment, and I'm invited to an art party tonight. I should go. I feel uninspired. But I'm going to fix my hair, dig through resource materials and do it.

I feel a bit sad. Perhaps it is just part of the after Christmas let down syndrom. It will pass. I made a big pot of beans today complete with hamhock. They were too good. We watched "Burn After Reading" last night after kids went to bed and laughed and laughed. Now, I have work to do - January is such a blech month - despite birthday (I'll be 64, now THAT blows my mind - I shouldn't tell, but what the heck)- February will bring Mardi Gras and March will bring summer and then it'll be great.

Presents - ah, I love presents: A red velveteen jogging suit - not to jog, for looks only, a new set of very nice cookware - woo hoo - a bosch tassimo, more woo hoo, a cross necklace from grandson, purchased at the school Christmas store - I love to see what kids buy, I love my cross. What else? hmmmm.......oh a gift certificate to Belk Department store - now, what shall I get? Perfume? Clothing? Makeup? I'll take an afternoon and take my time.

Now, I'm going to do hair - again - I really need to go buy a good conditioner - but WHERE? Walmart products just aren't getting it.

Time to begin to hit discipline hard to get rest of pounds off - figure out the sewing machine, start tax info gathering, perhaps start writing that book. Or maybe just brainstorming a New Year's "want to" list.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day draws to a close....quietly, quietly

New recipes for Christmas this year included a cajun 'tater salad (a new invention from my own taster) and my first time for cooking a standing rib roast! Both turned out incredibly good. The roast had a crisp outer crust rubbed with cracked black pepper, garlic paste, salt and rosemary. The inside was slightly pink....I used to love rare meat, but am afraid of it now and most of my family doesn't like it rare. It was tender and perfect anyway. The cajun seasoning we found at our cajun restaurant shopping lunch was the perfect tang to the potato salad. For non-potato salad eaters I made garlic mashed potatoes and homemade brown gravy. Yeh, I said I would not work hard - I did, but didn't mind, it was fun.

Christmas was done by 11:00 p.m. the day before Christmas. We spent most of today lounging about in our Christmas gifts of soft clothing....all three "girls" in our velvet jogging suits and, sported by daughter's husband (from Hard Rock Cafe - the road, not the husband), a robe that is to be envied!

We made green chili for supper. This is sort of a tradition to go with Mexican food, usually red or green chili after our holiday meals. It turned out to be fiery. Now, I truly can get back to regular eating - all this rich food - well, I'm full and ready to "clean it up!" We had Key Lime Pie for desert.

Tomorrow oldest daughter and I are going to the beach, tour PaPa's store, and then maybe hit a couple of sales. I'm buying no more clothes for a whilebut would love to find a jewelry armoir at a fabulous price!

Oh, yes - presents - PaPa was the spoiled one this year - however, I was blessed too - for the first time in my life I have a set of cookware that is true, first class, premium, heavy, marvelous serious cooking tools. Then, a new Tassimo from Bausch arrived too! I have overdone the cappuccino treats today and drank my fill of full bodied, perfectly, brewed coffee.

PaPa is dozing through a movie in his recliner - others are tucked in the magnetic bed - and I'm half heartedly watching the movie while blogging. Contented. And stuffed like a manicotti!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Holidays to all my friends and family!

This photo reminds me of the innocence of Christmas. We make it so complicated, but it is really so very simple that we often miss it...the true meaning.

I'm thinking of the story of the Christ-child's birth - and the amazing vulnerability all wee things possess in their newness and innocence and of the miracle of being placed upon this planet in our complete helplessness.

May your holidays be filled with quiet joy and fulfilling fun and future sweet memories.

Winter Post

Woke up this morning to our outside decorations of crysal ice hanging from everything and lying on the ground like shards of broken glass that crunched under foot.

I should go to the grocery store. Perhaps a shower and doing my hair will wake me up! Grandson is still here with me. "H" went to work early. Will finish wrapping, and be ready for the holiday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

What to Cook on Christmas?

This used to be a Christmas staple - Oyster Stew. I think I'll get a big pot out and get it ready for the day! Oyster Stew and champagne in front of the Christmas tree is always great at the end of the day.

Christmas Day dinner will probably be ham, standing rib roast, potato salad and cranberry frozen whip cream salad, and an antipasto tray. And more crunchy bread and rolls. Maybe a large, cold brocolli salad from the deli.

Looking for a menu for a keep it simple for famly Christmas eve supper. Maybe whole grain crunchy bread, oyster stew, and slices of roast beef and horseradish & brown mustard, left overs from night before, potato salad and a fabulous cake. I would like to go out and eat on Christmas day, but I would feel guilty being served by people who probably would love to be home with their families and friends.

Maybe mufalettas on Christmas day as well with leftover ham, spread thick with olive salad, provologne and other cheeses.

What are your Christmas food traditions?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fog and Vampires

The past few days the world here has been shrouded in thick fogs. I feel like I am in an early Ann Rice novel. Fog, fog, and more fog.

I recently viewed the new teen vampire movie, Twilight. It was pretty sensual for a teen movie. Nothing explicit, however the co-stars were magnificent in their depiction of hot, brooding passion. (I would rather not think of my teen in such throes!) The young man, Robert Pattinson, who plays the lead was really beautiful in the role. He's stared in quite a few movies, I just never really noticed him before.

The romance in the movie holds everything many females' hearts dream of until real life sets in. It was interesting to see how many parents were at this movie with their teens. We all crave romance, I think.

Apparently the ongoing book series has been a huge hit - I picked up one of the series without scanning the book when I was in the mood for a romantic vampire novel and found it much too simple and I was bored. But I would recommend the movie for fun if one is a vampire buff - the movie was sensual and lovely in a sense.

No wonder the vampire myth trails about in our mythology - eternal youth can be an alluring concept. Although sucking blood and no more sunlight would be a drag.

Many depictions of vampires are all about sensuality and romance, but then John Carpenter's vampires don't have much allure to them. Most of his movies are very frightening - full of raw violence and fear, but no doubt truly horror invoking. Perhaps women's ideas of vampires are those of romance, and men's ideas are mostly about power. And, for both sexes, the allure of perpetual youth. Perhaps.

It would be an interesting search for the history and reasons of vampire lore's blending of fear, death, eternal life, and romance. That would be a whole other post.

Perhaps all the lore about vampires has been one way of expressing a desperate quest for eternal life, although I would rather believe that eternal life available to us would be filled with light, not darkness.

Note: If you are a vampire flick fan, this is a good listing of a "top ten." I would also be interested in any foreign vampire flicks that anyone knows of...send them on if you do.

For a listing of HOT vampires, male and female, click here. Aaliya was, I think, the hottest female vampire ever in Queen of the Damned. She was incredibly alluring while being incredibly chilling.

I don't like vampire movies that are extremely gory - really do prefer a romance vampire movie that depict the vampire as someone who really doesn't like being that way....Ann Rice was the master.

And, as the fog lifts, so do my thoughts of vampires and movies and vampire books and center back on the days list of to do's and real life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Faces of Christmas

The faces of Christmas for me are always children's faces. I have been to countless Christmas programs through the years. Last night, grandson's choir performed a beautiful as well as fun Christma Choir special. We then had cookies and then off to a Pizza place on the beach for pizza and antipasta salad with friends and family.

Today, have finished wrapping presents and need to pick up a few odds and ends and I'll be ready! I need to plan a menu for Christmas eve supper. Christmas day will include chocolate waffles with cherry sauce. Hopefully some more of those wonderful salmon things later in the day. If not, a hot dog will do - low stress is needed.

The tree is finally done and looks a bit more lush. Sun is shining after a fog beginning of the day today. My friend in Cheyenne, Wyoming said the wind chill factor there had been 56 degrees F BELOW ZERO! Oh, pour soul, I would absolutely be whining and whimpering!!! Up in Casper, my mother said it was 20 F. below zero.

Despite the fact my hair looks like a ball of salt and pepper, with a bit of blond, black, and purple thrown in, cotton candy, I prefer the luke warm winters of the south despite sometimes this high humidity. Well, at least it keeps the wrinkles plumped out!

I need to go and make out checks for the mission that cares for the homeless and a missionary who is on my heart, hit the elliptical, shower, try to smooth hair, and run errands before picking up grandson. Parents are on a four day vacation. I think I have a teenage granddaughter wanting to live with me next semester - oi! "H" has claimed the extra bedroom for his "den" - we'll see..........

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Food Again

Last night, I left the house in a heavy fog to take the beach road down to "H's" store to pick up prescriptions. It was a gorgeous drive - the humidity must have been as close to 100% as possible as it was drizzling in places too. The fog in the trees was beautiful.

While at the store I saw some crab stuffed salmon. Oh, it looked so good, but I thought it was too expensive. "H" saw me longing and packaged one up for me. It went home and was grilled on the Foreman 360 - oh, so delicious, how could I get to this age, and not have experienced this delight? Added a nuked sweet potatoe with salt and pepper. Oh, so so so good. Looked up the calories and it was under 300, the sweet potato was 115, so I was good to go.

A lifestyle of counting calories, oh I've done it before when "dieting" (always to put the weight back on) but as a lifestyle - I used to think it wasn't worth it. But some shifts have come in my life, particularly when I realized my body was close to sacred - it is the house of my spirit and my soul and it is my responsibility to take care of all three with love.

I have always been a book person, not a physical person. Besides that, having so much trauma and being centered in my mind usually, my body was the last thing on my mind many times and often I was totally out of control and disassociated. Like during my cookie making session. Yeh, true confessions. But I guess if Oprah can confess on TV and in her Jan. issue of her magazine, I can too.

Why some people can eat way more than I and stay slim and never exercise, I don't know. But now it doesn't matter - what is, is. So, I've decided food will be like coffee, I want it to be simply special and delicious. If I eat it, it'll be for two reasons - to sustain me, then, to please me. I love to cook - this will be an adventure.

Exercise will be more of a challenge, I don't like it. But, I'll find a way to make it something besides an unpleasant chore.

The mindset that doesn't want to bother with controlling this part of my life - that will be a challenge too, because if we knew what it was and how to meet that challenge - well, I could write a book and become rich. Open a weight loss center! Like any addiction, it is a very complicated issue involving the whole person, not just the body.

But, unlike Oprah, I will not be mad at myself. After a life time of losing, gaining, losing, gaining, I've realized that it doesn't matter - in the long run, it doesn't matter - what matters is now, today, and I'm going from there and loving myself skinny, overweight, and in between, and I will become a student and then a master of this complicated and myterious battle. And I will remember that I am beautiful young or old, fat or thin or in between. Looking at photos of Oprah through the years, I would wish one thing for her - that she could see that beauty that radiates from her - no matter what she weighs, how "buff" she is....the same with so many women. I wonder if this is a woman thing, or if men pick themselves apart...???

Speaking of men, how often is our battle with our looks tied up with our men, or lack of? I can say that "H" and I have been like two kids with a new toy since we've both dumped so much weight - we're having a blast - as time allows. My rebellious nature has finally accepted, yes, my weight does make a difference in our relationship. He says not, but yes, it does - and vice versa - because we are happier and healthier and better people when we value ourselves and take care of ourselves as best we can. Not perfect - I'll never be a Playboy bunny and he'll never be Bruce Willis. But hey, we're not in the market for either of those types.

I'm an observer of people. And it always amazes me to see how many women "size" one another up - what's that about? I've done it....are we searching, ready to snatch any trails of beauty the one that we are sizing up might leave behind? Are we looking so we can say, "Oh, there's a flaw, now I feel better about myself?" Or are we merely getting a visual feel for who they are? What is at work here?

So, here's to my next delightful discovery of good foods to eat!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


The weekend draws to a close and I will take my grandson to his new house. Then I'll come home - my ideas of many things I could do today have dwindled down, to "I'm tired, give me my house and quiet."

This coming week we have a choir special to attend - its excellent, short and a prelude to Christmas vacation. I have found the misplaced Christmas presents and found I only have three more people to take care of, and they need money so that should be easy. My older grandchildren, ideally, I would like to take each to lunch separately, listen to them, then take them to buy a new outfit of clothing and then grace them with a little money. They are becoming adults. I want to know more about who they are now.

It is possible they would rather take the money and shop with their friends....that would be as it should be as they get ready to become separate while still a part of a family and discover their own lives, ways, friends, and choices.

Family - why do people have children? I had them because I wanted to. I couldn't articulate any reason. It's what people do. Now I look back and see that there are lots of options. Then, I didn't think it through before having kids. "How will I raise them, what will schooling cost, am I patient enough," and in case of couples, "what if something happens to/with my other, can I raise children alone?" I did not even ask the question - does my "other" have the character and want to when it comes to being a parent? Important question that! Am I able and willing to love unconditionally? Is my chosen career compatible with having children? What is my priority, career or children, absolute freedom of movement? Wow.

There are also lots of reasons not to have children: You need someone to love you (what will you do when a very ticked off kid looks you in the eye and says "I hate you!" - They probably don't mean it - if they do, run, don't walk the family into counseling), a family line of addictions, do you want to bring children into the world to battle most of their life - I would think twice, our increasingly pressured world and increasing amount of horrible crimes - fear is a reason not to have children. Realizing my own limitations or goals - do they include children?

I have a friend who prayed and prayed for a child, when one became available she realized that her priority was her ministry and she didn't feel she could do both justice - I respect her for having the guts to articulate her decision and stand by it with her head held high. She is wise. And, definitely not less of a person - her sphere of influence is far beyond a house with children, she is a brilliant person with many, many people she touches along her way. Her choice was neither good nor bad socially, but personally, she chose what was good for her and should be respected for the courage to choose as she did.

On the other hand, with children, there is something very satisfying about that feeling of continuity - of looking at all those who came from you (whether by natural birth or adoption) sitting around a table in all their beauty and glory of existence. I wonder, more so now, I believe that we exist in heaven before coming here - why else would God say that we were known before we were born? And if so, we are here for a reason. We are not guaranteed life without pain - the vast majority of parents want to protect their children from pain - but if we could do that, wouldn't they be shocked when as adults they faced their first big heart break? Having children is agreeing to take a chance on heart break like you never dreamed heart break could exist. It's also taking on a bouquet of love that overflows your arms, more than you can ever hold by any method, other than in your heart.

What about kids who have come here and suffered incredibly? Maybe that person, soon to be child and God had a conversation and the person agreed to come to give certain people a chance at becoming incredibly better humans - but the people didn't take the gift, instead became worse and abused the gift. I don't know. I don't know. I do know because of my son, though he went back "home" early, he gave me an incredible gift....of meeting God. Not just myself, but the rest of my family as well.

My heart is often broken about stories of children in harm's way. But I do know that life is so very very short compared with the we exist could we not......I have been studying quantum physics as much as my poor mind will absorb and most agree that there has to be an intelligence behind the design of the universe. Accidents are chaos. Just the mere fact that we sit here with a beating heart, faithfully beating, day after day, year after year is not chaos. I don't know all the answers - I only know after many times reflecting on my son not living past 27, that I will know someday, but I do know how He longed to meet God face to face, he left the most awesome poetry about those meetings - that I can't make any judgements, I can only wait for my answers.

In the meantime, I am grateful for the lessons, the love, the messes, the joy, the fun, the tears, the pride, even the problems that all come bundled up with choosing to have children - I would have never done it differently, only perhaps planned more wisely to make their lives better, but maybe that wasn't my choice, maybe they chose me, maybe God chose me.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Physical Comforts

Nothing much to post, just every day stuff. A run to the lab yesterday for bloodwork, to be told since I was chewing sugarless gum I did not qualify for the fasting blood draw and that I should call and make an appointment and try again the next day. That translated out to: Instead of driving 42 miles to get bloodwork, I could actually chalk up an 82 miles drain on the environment. When I told them it would be good to TELL people what quantified a "fasting" blood draw before the appointment time, I just got a grouchy stare.

Well, to turn frustration into opportunity and to redeem the time and the mileage, I decided a Starbucks coffee was in order. Yeh. Starbucks two days in a row, yesterday and today. But, heck, gas is 1/3 of the price it used to be, so I rationalized.

Skinny Vanilla Latte. Always the same. Nursed slowly the 21 miles back home. Good thing they don't have Starbucks on this side of town. There is something about this rich coffee, slowly savored....Then two runs to the copy/postal place to copy and return more insurance forms - will it ever end? They finally gave "H" his life insurance policy. I'm still under investigation - imagine that. Doesn't seem to matter grandma and great grandma lived respectively to 102 or 3 and to 97. I would think that calculates up to good odds.

Then a run to a Christmas party at noon, but before that a run to the health food store to get a bottle of sulpher free wine for the party.

Now,finally after two days of running the road, telephone calls, the house is quiet, and its getting closer to the time to crawl into bed....yum, I LOVE my bed, huge headboard, adjustable air pockets for both sides of mattress, a magnetic layer, a tempurapedic layer, another layer, and on top - a bamboo covering that feels like heaven's clouds. Toss on a magnetic comforter that when pulled up around the ears feels like a cocoon of safety and sweetness. I love a comfortable world to sleep in....(especially after a year and one half on a foam pad on the floor)...I love it. Ha, too much! For years we used to sleep on sorry excuses for a, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Let Nothing Ye Dismay....

Come on in, have a cookie and a shot of Tequila! Or hot chocolate capped with marshmallows!

Most of the presents are wrapped - just a few more to go.

The cookies are done - except for one more batch, Clementine Cookies. I'm done with the frenzy of baking tons of them, done with my feeding frenzy, and now think they are rather a lovely piece of art.

What child is this? Tonight he was going to auction off all his toys for an aunt who has fallen on hard times, and give her his $20.00 Walmart card. He prayed, "God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing ye dismay, remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day." Then he laid his hand on my hand and went to sleep. Yeh, I cried at one of life's beautiful moments.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

OOOOOOOOOOOppppppps, or not

During a bodacious governmental wire tap sting op, it appears the Illinois governor, Blagojevich is going down. Naughty to attempt to buy or sell a senate seat - Obama's in particular. Seems like this Blago guy only made $177,000 plus a year and was just not satisfied.

Just another fascinating play in politico land where 100,000 jobs at least are being lost on a weekly basis, and this dude just can't live off his pitiful salary. Where millions have no health insurance. Where ex-politicians gather their favors and paybacks after leaving office and never have to worry about their health care needs or their children's, where they have the best of everything....while stunned families in the land of the free and home of the brave wonder how long they can stay in their homes with no jobs on the horizon.

Despite the fact that I think wire tapping a person's private home phone should be illegal except in cases of treason or nationaly security, I hope this guy sees the error of his ways as he looks through bars into the excercise yard.

And the guy is so blamed arrogant he KNEW they were wiretapping him, and he goes on - and he was deemed smart enough to govern a state like Illinois? Heaven help us. Oh well, just part of a world that buys and sells people like they are don't need brains as long as you have a mean machine.

Pictures of christmas goodies coming up next post!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Found THE Coat

This is actually more of a jacket. It is corduroy, lined, and has a furry hood. Surprisingly warm. And, guess what! $18.00!!!!
Love my coat - temperature dropped to 41 degrees this evening and the coat is toasty warm!!!!

The best part of this is that I did not have to shop! My daughter was out looking for a coat and she found one and called me so excited that she found such a good deal. "Do they have a size larger than yours for the same price?" I asked. They did, and she agreed to pick it up and bring it home - now that's how I like to shop!

Hmmmm, perhaps she could start a business as a personal shopper for people who hate shopping! She loves shopping - will spend HOURS, DAYS shopping.

Oh yeh, never mind the locale of the photos - "H" working weird hours, cats don't know how to shoot pics and stubbornly refuse to even try (rotten attitudes!) so I improvise.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Something to show for it.....

Parrot's almost done - just some finishing touches left!

Tree is up, uh, sort of. Poor thing looks scroungy. Tomorrow want to look for real greens for decoration for the delicious smell. I need to find someone with a magnolia tree - the big green leaves are beautiful when the undersides are spray painted gold.

I am all alone tonight, so thought I'd cook my own version of a gourmet dinner. Baby yellow squash, brussels sprouts cooked with cranberries and walnuts, turnip greens, brocolli & carrots lightly steamed, and I'm in heaven.

Last night, "H" fixed blue cheese burgers on the 360 Foreman grill (we LOVE that thing - the only thing it lacks is waffle plates) burgers were delicious, but that big cheesed up burger with a half pitcher of blueberry-lime margaritas (ohhhhh they were sooo good!) put eight pounds on me over night, so thus, my veggie day. (Or did Thanksgiving week have something to do with that?) We'll see if it works tomorrow. If not will have to patiently plug away until its off.

It's been a treat to eat without my teeth causing my whole face to hurt. I have been telling my dentist here for TWO years that I am in terrible pain when I eat hot or cold food or drink, and had complained to my old dentist for a year before that about my teeth hurting so bad. I hadto drink luke warm water and eat room temperature food so the pain would not kick off. I had began to think that, along with my back, maybe I am just crazy. He insisted I had no cavities, just needed to floss better. Well, I floss when I drive, when I watch TV, and I floss a lot. Yeh, just hope you don't pull up by me at a stop light, anyway I didn't believe him.

So, after xrays (finally) Thursday he decided I had two cavities - he started filling them. I did not think he would ever stop drilling on the one, and then when he was all finished he told me the cavity was quite large and I might need a root canal. I did not do a good job "owning my power" (expressing what I was feeling at the moment-that it was HIS fault for not checking when I first started complaining). Anyway, so far, so good. I have had hot food two nights in a row, hot coffee, and even chewed some ice and NO PAIN! Hoooooray!

We spent about four or five hours today trying to straighten up benefits transfers from the old job to the new one. Shouldn't complain, but my gosh - I have filled out the life insurance questionnaires four times and they keep sending them back with additonal requests for information.

We dismantled shower curtain, washed four loads, cleaned a bathroom today, and I thought nothing was accomplished. In retrospect, we accomplished a lot - guess I was wrong. Don't know what the weekend will bring - maybe I will try to make the tree prettier or something. Seems like with everyone getting older, Christmas shopping is way less involved as they all want "big" presents - no bunches of less expensive toys....just one present each with a couple of "stocking stuffers."

I just had to give poor Psycho a tranquilizer - he has been jumping the cupboards trying to drink dishwater, jumping on the stove - jumping sidewise onto the walls, chewing his feet. He had a baby bird in his mouth this a.m. and ran from front to back, front to back, front to back over and over again - he had to climb a six foot fence each time, but when I tried to rescue him without bird, he was very hostile. I guess animals can have ADD/ADHD just like people....will have do so some research to see if it can be treated with natural products. If he'll lay still long enough, we'll put the magnets on him. SIL just came over and said he was sure it was "Mad Bird Disease." Chuckle. Rather like "Mad Cat Disease." I'm sure he's part Siamese, that might explain everything. Never knew a sane one - they are fun, but crazy.

Grandson was dropped off, so I'm going to keep him company and we'll watch "Sanctuary" (new TV series) together.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What I'd Like to Do and Grown Up Sugar Plums

I would like to go to New Orleans for three days before Christmas, shop, eat a Reveillon dinner and visit the big St. Louis Cathedral. I would like a horse and carriage ride with my sweetheart and stay at the hotel with the big chandeliers in the French Quarter. I want to drink champagne, wear a fabulous cocktail dress, with a nice coat (yeah a coat!) and then have a night of mad passionate love before coming home to have a nice traditional family Christmas. Ho ho ho. Naughty I are feeling, but wouldn't it be fun?

A mere sampling of Reveillon menus:
Hunt Room Grill at the Monteleone Hotel:
At 214 Royal Street, the Hunt Room serves a choice of Warm Foie Gras and Poached Asian Pear Merlot Gastrique and Mission Fig Sabayon or House Cured Gravlax with White Asparagus, and Dill Mustard Sauce Your next selection is between Lobster Bisque with Cognac and cream, or Salad Saint Sylvester. Entrees include Christmas Grille (veal with chanterelles), duck with red currants, and lamb with English mint($53);Salmon En Croute($47), traditional Roasted Goose and Red Cabbage($49), or Petit Filet of Beef with foie gras. Dessert can be either Bread Pudding, Creme Brulee, or Tiramisu.
Upperline Restaurant:
The Upperline at 1413 Upperline, in the uptown area, has an detailed Reveillon menu, including Turtle Soup and Creole Gumbo, Fried Green Tomato with Shrimp Remoulade, or Spicy Crispy Oysters,Duck Andouille Etouffe. Entrees are Cane River Shrimp Saute', Sautéed Speckled Trout Meunière, Grilled Salmon with Oysters, Veal Grillades and Cheddar Grits, Roasted Duckling, Lamb Rack, Filet Mignon, Béarnaise. For dessert, choose Profiteroles with ice cream, Honey-Pecan Bread Pudding, or creme brulee.
Muriels at Jackson Square:
Muriel'sstarts with Fried Oyster Chowder or caramelized Onion and Leek Tart. Then choose Satsuma Salad with Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper Vinaigrette or Duck Confit Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette. Entrees give a Choice of Dijon Mustard-crusted Salmon with Cucumber and Herbsaint-Dill Cream Sauce; Wood-grilled semi-boneless Mississippi Quail, served with a Creole Corn Maque Choux; or Roast Loin of North American Elk with a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Reduction Sauce. For dessert: Warm Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée, or Pain Perdu Bread Pudding with a Butter-rum Sauce.
Rib Room at the Royal Orleans:
For appetizers, the Rib Room offers a choice of Trio of Shrimp Rémoulade, Ravigote and Cocktail or Sweet Potato Bisque with Sage Brown Butter and Toasted Pecans. Then the hearty Rib Room Salad– Crisp Garden Greens Tossed with its famous Rib Room Blue Cheese Dressing and Homemade Garlic Croutons. Entrees are Grilled Yellowfin Tuna Steak with Gulf Shrimp and Artichoke Ragout and Charred Tomato Vinaigrette or the Rib Room Rotisserie Duck with Red Cabbage and Natural Jus. Dessert is Angel Food Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Vanilla Cream.
Get the Menus:

Add this to a night of fine Blues and Jazz.....sigh......

I love Christmas season and wishing for things best kept to myself - unless - some figment of my imagination would produce a companion maybe wafting out from a container on a whiff of smoke, genie like, carrying three wishes in his muscular arms....hahahahahahahah - uh oh, another late night post, giddy with tiredness....night all, and....happy dreams of sugar plums and all that....sometimes I miss my wild, crazy, handsome Irishman who had matching ideas of romance.....

Oh, No, What Else Can Be Marketed?

Wow. While attempting to Christmas shop without leaving the house this morning, I ran across this website - now, both my cats would, like, really wear one of these. Still the concept gave me a laugh. On the other hand if my mamma kitty thought she would look like Cleopatra - she might, but only in an attempt to rule her kingdom.

Or, would my cats be thinking, "Well, humor her, you know she does bring the special salmon, sardine, blueberry, oatmeal, omega 3 cat food to ussss, so what harm looking silly once in a while?"

Monday, December 01, 2008

All I want is a decent coat for a decent price.....

No coyote/wolf hunting from the air, no stalking bears with a double barrel whatever, my idea of hunting is either by camera or shopping. I need a coat. I'se freezing.

Yesterday went to J.C. Penny's third world bargain center. Boy, has ol' J.C. changed! First, there were thousands of crammed up into wrinkled pieces in rows barely big enough to get through without knocking something off. Next, everything marked "Grande" looked like it would fit a grande size 8. And the fabric - oi - what ever happened to good ol' sturdy clothing made in the developed world, close to home? Or if you wanted an import, it woul be a classy Italian shoe or made to order suit. The labels on the clothing were all from developing countries that specialize in child/cheap labor with little or no controls concerning chemicals or safety or fit standards. Fair Trade goods are extremely expensive. It's either or - no middle ground - Sears and "Penny's," once a standard of middle of the road goods, no more.

Finally found the coats and I was stunned. The coats were advertised as 40% to 70% off regular price. The problem was that the coats which were mostly $49.00 coats to begin with (at least all the years prior to this one) were marked $250.00. The $250.00 coats were "marked down" to $99.00. Well, I found one I liked, but something in me was rebelling against what looked possibly like a "mark it up to mark it down" trick. I left the coat and walked out.

I'm having a hard time accepting change. Ol' J.C. is not what I would call a high end store, but what is the deal with department stores carrying merchandise with such high prices at so much lower quality?

Right now, I'm eyeballing the above coat, tall size - J Jilll, versatile - 25% off - - but I'm going to keep looking. When something is advertised - you have to buy it today or you lose, well that makes me feel manipulated as well.

The saddest thing is, I have a gorgeous leather jacket hanging in my closet that is four sizes bigger than me that my daughter gave me for Christmas last year. I LOVE that coat. All my life I wanted a leather coat and was waiting until there were no more children at the spitting up stage or needing a coat more than mom or I succumbed to thinking of the homeless out there on the street with no coats and bought for other children - at least I have a warm bed! - to get one and might have been worth waiting until it wore out to decide to lose weight just so I could wear that coat to pieces.

Well, compared to the rest of the world, this is such a petty problem - I'm lucky, blessed to have warm clothing, clothing at all - I guess the point is, our society and culture is changing and I don't like it. It is most obvious in the marketing world! I might just really REBEL and start hunting bear and wolves, learn to chew the hide as my ancestors did and just make me a coat! Do a whole "back to the earth" movement in my life....yeh, sure, I will. (Won't).

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, for the good ol' days. Oooops have to quit ranting - family emergency - baby with possible pneumonia and complication - going out now.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Telling on My Peoples

This what I think of ________ computer take all her attentions

I haz hard work cleaning up pretzel and strawberry saladz she drop

Friday, November 28, 2008

Family and Friends

Daughter and her "H" - she sure knows how to put a man to work. Two SIL's in one shot, eh eh.
Back from a scary place - it was a privilege to meet this young man at dinner who had safely made it through his service in the worst location of war...his baby is happy too! We were doubly thankful for men like him who are willing to do whatever they have to do for their country.
Its been a long time - friend in the middle was youngest daughter's good friend in high school - now stationed here with army husband
Nana with bad hair day and youngest daughter whose house we had dinner at....
Oldest daughter and my granddaughter
Older daughter's man, and an old family friend and baby
Well, I didn't tap. I fully dove into the plentiful food available and also fully enjoyed being around family and friends. It was a great day. The only bad thing was the baby is starting to climb and pull herself up in preparation for walking and fell off of the sofa and ended up with a hairline fracture in her tiny arm - - - that was a bummer - - - the friend's and her husband's little girls are so sweet - - - it was a boisterous, noisy, plentiful Thanksgiving.

Recipe for leftover Turkey:
tear in stripes one package of corn tortillas, cream of chicken soup dilluted with one can of milk, monterray jack cheese grated, left over turkey, several cans of green chilies, one can of sliced water chestnuts

layer the above ingredients in a casserole dish, bake at 350 for about 50 minutes - enjoy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thankful for blankets, a roof over my head, family, friends, enough to eat, clothing - movies, books, so many, many things to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

'Twas the day before Thanksgiving

I smell food, let me in!

Of all the times for a leak to pop up! I will fix it even if my head blows up! Loosen up the Adam's apple a little bit, won't you.

Where oh where am I going to cook?

Oh joy! No one ever accused me of being fast. It just dawned on me that I can take the SD card out of my camera, insert it in the laptop and it will transfer the pics. Duh! Well, trying to cook - we do have a fresh turkey - oh well - I'm making stuffing (northern style), cranberry sauce is done, cranberry salad is done, I am working on the stawberry pretzel salad and the home made rolls - ohhhhhhhh my back is hurting - ow, ow, ow, ow. Days like this I am ready for surgery. Well, it'll be better later. Grandson is making various types of circuit boards, "H" getting ready for work. Daughter and grandkids coming from Mobile, and daughter who lives here is excited about hosting her first Thanksgiving Dinner in her new house. Pictures will follow. All the anxiety for nothing. But then there are always the Mimosas......coy smile here!