Sunday, December 18, 2011

This 'N That

I'm never "ready" for Christmas. However, I do have a bunch of cards ready to mail tomorrow - maybe they'll get there on time....

And - I've been trying for 2 days to order gifts online. I got a couple squared away, but messed up on the rest. For me, it really is faster to go to the store (but hard on the feet).

Think I might visit the Super Walmart tomorrow.

One thing I won't do is shop on Christmas eve. I did a few years ago and had a bit of a disagreement (shall we say) with a lady at Target. Back then I didn't have a cell phone. If I had, I would have called the cops.

She was no "lady" - and neither was I!

So I'm spending my days cleaning up after the puppy. She's getting it - slowly - and is probably wondering in her little head why Momma is so interested in her bodily functions.

She eats like a little pig. Gained 2 pounds in the first 10 days we had her!

On another note, there's nothing like a good movie to take one away from holiday stress and puppy stress. Last night I watched Super 8.

If you're a sci-fi fan, make sure you see it some time. And if you're not, I think you still might like it. It's got kids, zombies, a space monster, a sweet romance, lots of action, explosions and mystery. It might scare little kids, but for grown up and half grown kids it's a great movie:

The Kids - Amateur Movie Makers
Here Comes the Space Alien!
.... And There It Goes!
Did I mention it was produced by Steven Spielberg (think ET)?

That's it for now. Hope you're having a wonderful day - and don't worry about being "ready" for the holidays!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Family Addition

Faith speaks:

Y'know, they just won't leave well enough alone!

When I adopted these two mommas, there was a dog in their house already. The dog refused to leave, so I have been nice enough to let him stay.

But now they've done it. They've really done it!

Last week they brought home a puppy.

That thing piddles and poops everywhere, barks at me, and even had the nerve to sneak up behind me, with her tail waggin', like it was a game or something!

The first time she piddled in the living room I covered it up with my own pee and that made Momma Carol very angry. Well - if you don't want my help - OK, I won't do that again!

I explain to this dog with every creative growl and hiss that I know, and I've bopped her on the head a couple of times too, but she just won't leave.

Man, can she let out a yelp - somewhere an octave above high C - so loud and so high that I'll bet they can hear it for miles! She does that when I bop her one - heh, heh.

I'm tellin' ya, she'd better learn her place around here or there's gonna be blood!

Faith's momma (Carol) speaks:

No, there won't be blood, Faith.

The new puppy is Chica. Chica is a street child from Puerto Rico. We were told that there are a lot of dogs there who run loose on the streets and don't use birth control (shame!). Chica was three months old and weighed seven and a half pounds when we adopted her. She's very lovable but also quite feisty. She just won't back down from Faith.

Faith comes to me and "talks" about her unhappiness, in a variety of growls and whines. I feel for her. She's getting extra petting and brushing these days to make up for her stress.

I have no doubt Faith will continue to be the "Alpha" here, and the puppy will survive, and peace will prevail once more, but for now the adjustment is quite entertaining.

I also believe that eventually piddles and poops will learn that outside is where you put it!

Family Nap Time (dogs)
Family Nap Time (Alpha Cat)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

OK OK!

OK I'm back! I'm OK!

You're OK!

No reason for the long break, really; just lost interest for a little while.

So, October 19th was my one year anniversary on this blog. In that time I had over 11,000 page views, from 10 different countries. My posts prompted 254 comments this year. Thanks y'all!

I wrote 123 posts this year. That's almost one every three days.

By far my most popular post was, Flying Purple People Eater (FPPE). It was viewed 366  times.

I have a theory about that, which was suggested by a bit of spam that came through. In the spam comment there was a hint that FPPE may have been some sort of communication code involved in the "Arab Spring." Really! It was not the usual spam, which is full of advertising links. Instead, it was a message about prison and being captured, etc.

I hope the guy got away, at least I think I do....! The Internet is a fascinating place!

My second most popular post was Still Life, With Potatoes - a recipe post, of course. My recipe for hash browns prompted several comments and 2 recipe contributions (french fries in the oven and sweet potatoes in the crock pot). Thanks, Jude and Paul!

I have 4 followers, and thank you for your extra support. Folks who read me regularly, would you like to become a follower? It's relatively easy, I think.

You don't get a prize for becoming a follower - just my thanks, praise, gratitude, prayers for a good life, etc.

The folks who have found me by accident have "googled" some interesting phrases, such as:
  • dali
  • eggs and hashbrowns
  • purple people eater
  • sad momma pictures
  • purple people
  • tupperware cat
  • a mopping refrigerator               (now, there's an idea!)
  • dish pan purple
In the meantime, I've been busy with projects and so on. Here are some pictures for you. Art Basal is in town:




This shoe thing has gone too far!


Look carefully - at the visitor's hand!
 
Art Basel is in Miami but not literally on the beach - and neither are these ladies!

What is it!
Sorry - no drawings from me this time. I have some, but my scanner is giving me problems....!

Hope you're having a wonderful day. I am!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What the Heck is Turmeric?

For me, it's the wonder drug!



Here's the thing: I've known for a long time that when I eat curried chicken at our favorite Chinese restaurant, well, I just feel so - - -

Satisfied?

Comforted?

Satiated?

At Peace? ....Yes, that's it - at Peace!

I never knew why until Dr. Oz mentioned turmeric on his show. Turmeric is the thing that makes curry yellow and contributes to it's unique flavor. It comes from the root of a plant native to India, and is used frequently in cooking and medicine in that area of the world.

"Turmeric is recognized for its medical ant-inflammatory properties," says Dr. Oz, "Researchers are evaluating its use to treat high cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis, scabies and irritable bowel syndrome."

Well - no wonder my gut feels good!

Turmeric is listed among the best antioxidants, per Dr. Oz and the Mayo Clinic. It is said to be good for fighting infections, reducing inflammation, possibly helping prevent Alzheimer's and cancer, and is a great fabric dye also!

You can add turmeric to rice or couscous.

You can add it to the bread crumbs, flour or cereal coating you use to make baked "fried" chicken.

Or you can try one of these:

Corn Relish:
  1. In a large saucepan, mix corn, cabbage, onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, white sugar, ground dry mustard, celery seed, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, apple cider vinegar and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to sterile containers. Seal and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
Southwestern Rice:
  1. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the green pepper, onion and garlic in oil for 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, rice, cumin and turmeric; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Add beans, tomatoes and corn; heat through.
The exact ingredients for these and other great recipes can be found at http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/main.aspx

Of course, I like to do my own thing, so the other day I cooked half a bag of frozen cauliflower (in the microwave - about 12 minutes in plenty of water), drained it and mashed with a potato masher, and flavored it with salt and pepper and a tablespoon of turmeric. The result looked like rice, so I stirred it up in a skillet with an egg and a few more vegetables. It was delicious "fried rice" without the rice.

Any time I can substitute a vegetable for a carb is a good time for me!

So I hope you give turmeric a try, because it's good for you.

If you've told yourself,  "I would never eat that stuff!" here's some news: Turmeric is a major ingredient in mustard. Guess that's one positive for hot dogs!

If it's still really not your thing - well - brew it up like tea and dye some fabric! Or make a paste and rub it on your face; they say it removes facial hair!

Am I......

the only one......

with facial hair????


 
By the way....

Benny was released from the animal hospital and is recuperating nicely at home. We're relieved and grateful for his return to health. (See my post dated September 21.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"If you be outside....

....'n you see it comin'....

Run!"

- advice from Lottie Williams, only person known to have been hit by a piece of space debris ( in 1997, weighing about 6 pounds)


The Sky is Falling!
 So this thing is supposed to rain down on our heads Friday afternoon and as I write this they don't know where.

They said yesterday a person's chances of being hit are about 1 in 3,200. Better than having a car accident; much better than buying a winning lottery ticket...

Hmmm....

And they're saying today that there will be about 26 pieces that will actually make it through the atmosphere.

And the largest will be about 300 pounds!

OK - hmmm....

If you're religious, I'd suggest prayer.

If you believe in karma - ah - do a good deed today. Maybe two.

If you're an optimist, make plans for the weekend.

If you're a pessimist, organize your desk and lay out your will.

If you're depressed, go back to bed and wish it to be over soon.

If you're paranoid, put on your tin foil hat and keep an eye on the sky.

If you're Henny Penny, go tell the King - and don't talk to wolves on the way.


The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

Boggles the mind doesn't it - a 300 lb piece of space junk!



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Benny

Benny (in new shirt) and Odie (in birthday suit)

Benny - the most lovable little doggie I've ever known. Benny is all wiggles from head to toe.

Benny never barks.

Benny's motto is, "Love food, never argue, pee where you feel like it."

Benny's mission in life is to give love lavishly.

Sadly, Benny has been feeling poorly lately and had to stay overnight at the Animal Hospital. He's ten years old and he's developed some of those same conditions that plague many middle aged people.

We all know that dogs and cats age faster than we do, but the knowing doesn't make it any easier to deal with. We're all very sad here, but hoping he makes a full recovery soon.

In the meantime, some quotable quotes, and pictures:


Benny is my "nephew" dog, Odie's cousin

" No Matter how little money and how few possessions
you own, having a dog makes you rich."
Louis Sabin
All About Dogs As Pets


Benny & His Boy


"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy
licking your face."

Bern Williams


 
 
 
 
"Plays well with cats."
 
Benny's a bit overweight because he's such an accomplished begger. When he gets over this crisis I suppose he'll be dieting. I feel for ya, Benny!


 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What Were They Thinking!!!

I have to talk about the latest of several recent beatings and arrests of disabled individuals: This time it was a young man with Down Syndrome.

He was strip searched, punched and body slammed by two officers, right in front of his house at 9:00 in the evening. He had been walking home from a friend's house all by himself.

The newspaper report says he is 5 foot 3 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds.

And two trained police officers couldn't get this little guy under control without hurting him? Yeah, right!

It just so happens that the "suspicious bulge" under his clothes, which was what attracted the police, was - are you ready for this - a colostomy bag!

What is it with people (police) that they have to be so violent!

Here's the thing: I don't know this particular young man, but I have experience with many DS individuals, including my daughter.

Beth, a DS individual, actually takes 10 minutes to process and respond to new or unusual information. I know this is true because I have timed her.

Does anybody get it? She's retarded. "Retarded" is not an insult; it is a highly accurate description of people with Down Syndrome. "Retarded" means

S L O W.....!

If your thinking is very slow, you might adjust to this fast paced world (and police officers) by freezing your actions, taking a defensive posture, maybe shouting "no" or "stop it," etc. What else can you do if you're scaired and you can't comprehend the demands that are coming at you way too fast!

I'm trying to train Beth to say, "Just a minute," or "I need time to think," so that people might slow down a bit when confronting her. (And then she'd better 'fess up if she is indeed the guilty party!)

Down Syndrome people are said to be stubborn. No, they are not. They're just thinking (and constantly trying to keep up).

Authorities of all types - and especially the Police - need to have constant training in how to deal with disabled individuals. I can't emphasize this enough, because they (the police) are armed and dangerous!

When I was working as a case manager I had a client who was retarded (not DS), about 20 years old, and not looked after very well by his family. He was hyper-active, and always hungry, and very thin.

He was also very polite, shy, and cooperative. Truly a gentle soul.

One morning he walked into the convenience store in his neighborhood and stole two small bottles of juice.

For that, a police officer chased him down all the way back to his apartment, and shot him dead.

There were no complaints, no investigation, nothing happened to that officer. Nobody cared about Kerby alive, and nobody cared that he died.

Sorry, I can't add a happy ending to this post.

Sometimes we just have to sit with the fact that bad things happen. When I think about Kerby, I know, guaranteed, that he is in a better place, because this world just wasn't good enough for him.

I'm not bitter. Just determined to do what I can to help. So this morning I sent my comments to the Miami Herald and Channel 10 News. And I am publishing this post to inform and educate.

Now I think I'll call a friend. And maybe sew something nice.


"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."
– Virginia Satir



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Henny Penny


One day Henny Penny, a chubby, likeable, not-very-bright chicken experienced - as they say - a life altering event.

She got hit on the head by an acorn.

Just an acorn. That's a seed from a tree for you city folks.

But Henny Penny was prone to hysteria, so she immediately concluded that total annihilation was at hand.

"The sky is falling! The sky is falling! I must go and tell the King," said Henny Penny.

So she went along and she went along and she went along until she met Cocky Locky.

"Where are you going, Henny Penny?" asked Cocky Locky.

"The sky is falling! The sky is falling! I'm going to tell the King," said Henny Penny.

"Can I go with you?" asked Cocky Locky. "Of course," said Henny Penny.

So they went along and they went along and they went along until they met Ducky Lucky.

"Where are you going, Henny Penny and Cocky Locky?" asked Ducky Lucky.

"The sky is falling! The sky is falling! We're going to tell the King," said Henny Penny.

"Can I go with you?" asked Ducky Lucky. "Of course," said Henny Penny.

So they went along and they went along and they went along until they met Goosey Loosey.

"Where are you going, Henny Penny and Cocky Locky and Ducky Lucky?" asked Goosey Loosey.

"The sky is falling! The sky is falling! We're going to tell the King," said Henny Penny.

"Can I go with you?" asked Goosey Loosey. "Of course," said Henny Penny.

So they went along and they went along and they went along until they met Turkey Lurkey.

And Chickin Lickin.

And Rooster Booster.

And Pigeon Figeon.

And Sparrow Darrow.

And Robin Sobbin. And many others that you may have heard of.

All of them said, "Where are you going, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky," and so on.

All of them asked to go with Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, and so on.

And, "Of course," said the inmmitable, unflappable Henny Penny, who by now had forgotton her fear and was enjoying the crowd of friends she was bringing with her. "Boy, won't the King be impressed with how many friends I have!" thought Henny Penny to herself.

So they went along and they went along and they went along until they met Foxy Woxy, who asked, "Where are you going, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, Goosy Loosy, Turkey Lurky, Chicken Licken, Rooster Booster, Pigeon Figeon, Sparrow Darrow, and Robin Sobbin?" (and others you may have heard of)

Upon learning that they were going to see the King with this questionable news, Foxy Woxy recognized his golden opportunity.

"Let me help you," he said, "I know a short cut."

Henny Penny couldn't wait to impress the King, so she and her entourage eagerly followed Foxy Woxy to a cave in the woods. "This is the way," said Foxy Woxy at the very dark entrance to his lair. "I'll go in first, and you follow, one by one because the way is narrow."

OK, Parents. Cover the children's ears, or send them to bed, because modern children are too delicate to be exposed to the violence which is about to follow. Ready? OK:

Foxy Woxy waited in the cave and all those silly fowl filed in one at a time.

And one at a time he broke their necks and stacked their bodies in a corner.

Foxy Woxy had a full pantry throughout the winter, and emerged from his cave in the spring just fatter than a fox should be!

And the King never found out that the sky was falling.

Moral: If a leader uses fear to motivate you, be cautious. If you turn off your brain and just follow the crowd to fit in, stop and think. And if a fox lures you into a dark cave, take a flashlight and a neck brace.


Th th th th aat's all, folks!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Don't Panic, Arthur Dent*

ABC News just gave a five minute rundown of what "ordinary citizens" can do to stop terrorist attacks. The gist of it is, be on the lookout for:

Strangers in heavy clothing on a warm day.
People taking pictures at football games(???) because they might be taking pictures of security.
People talking to maintenance personnel at games or in malls, etc.
People asking about fire drills and bomb drills.
Full trash cans; maybe holding a bomb (I kid you not!).

All right, already. Those al qaeda guys must be surprised and thrilled that, ten years after the fact, they're still terrorizing the American population.

We need to chill. Let the professionals do what they're hired to do and protect us.

And then we all need to remember that the next moment could bring anything - disaster, joy, death, wonderful news, devastation, millions of dollars, a great job, a new love, a wonderful experience, a horrible experience, and on and on.

The point is, don't ruin today by worrying about tomorrow.

In 1953 The Communists were going to get you. It said so in the January 1953 issue of Woman's Day magazine, in an article titled "The communists want you!" written by J. Edgar Hoover. Really!

(There was a recipe on the back, which is why the first page of this article got saved in Mother's cookbook for many years.)


And I quote:

"....a Communist National Women's Commission is in charge of preparing special programs for the indoctrination, recruitment, and training of new members....The enemy is here, invading your back yard, your home, your school....They detest our way of life; their allegiance is to the Soviet Union....everything our nation does is wrong, everything Russia undertakes is right....Communists want to make every nation - including ours - a Soviet state."

And on and on.

There's always something to be afraid of. If we let the fear take over, they've won already, whoever "they" are.

Well, they're not getting me, this particular weekend or any other.

Go out and make it a wonderful day!



*Arthur Dent - Character from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a sci fi novel. The guidebook within the book had on it's cover the most important instruction for traveling through space and time: "Don't Panic!"

Love Those One Dish Meals!

I came up with this, inspired by one of my Mother's 1940's recipes. Not being a professional food photographer, I didn't do so well with the picture, but this will give you the idea of it anyway:


Five ingredients:  Chicken, broccoli, rice, cream of mushroom soup, french fried onion rings

Cook the rice. I use whole grain rice, which takes about half an hour. I also like to flavor it with turmeric, which makes it yellow, but flavor yours however you like.

Brown the chicken. I used boneless thighs.

Layer the ingredients as I have listed them, with chicken on the bottom, then raw broccoli, cooked rice, one can of soup diluted with about 1/2 cup water, and then the onion rings.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. If the onion rings start to get too dark, cover with foil.

We had this for dinner last night - yum!

And the best part was almost no dishes to wash after because I washed all the prep pans while it was baking!


"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate." -- Julia Child, celebrity chef and cookbook author

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On Organizing - And Being "Different"

I am organizationally impaired, deficient, disabled.

My daughter Beth, on the other hand, is a super organizer. She gets that from her Dad.

Beth comes to our house for the weekend and the first thing she does is organize her clothes - the clothes that stay here that go through the wash between visits but never get put away until she comes back. I tell myself that she'd rather do it herself - whatever!

After she's done with her own stuff, she starts organizing our stuff, cleaning dirty coffee cups off the desks, putting eyeglasses and car keys where they belong and - without being asked, I kid you not - emptying all the wastebaskets!

We love it when Beth comes to visit!


These photos were taken a few years back, but she hasn't changed very much. That is, except for quite a few grey hairs and her age. She's 37 years old now. Since coming to Florida she has attended an adult day treatment program where she gets instruction in academics, social skills and activities of daily living. Beth's favorite part of the program is the workshop, because she earns real money there.

Thirty-seven years ago I would get up at night and rock this little baby and cry and cry. Then one night I looked down at her sleeping peacefully and realized she didn't have a care in the world. She didn't know she had Down Syndrome. She didn't know her life would be substantially different than most people's.

It was then that I started taking her life - and mine - "one day at a time."

I started noticing that my worries about the future took up space in my head and drained my energy. I also noticed that what I wasted time and energy worrying about almost never came to pass and, if it did, was never as bad as I thought it would be.

So my motto for life is "one day at a time" or, "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

Makes for a peaceful life. Although, I think I should tweak it somewhat when it comes to housework....!

Hearts In A Basket
Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's With the Weather, Right?

I can't believe how damp everything is!

It's so wet that we have toadstools in the front yard:


In true Florida fashion, even the toadstools here are fancy, with scalloped edges like petals. I outlined their shape with pen and added a fairy:


The stepping-stone tile in the picture is covered with moss. And so is my front sidewalk:


Think I'll have to go to Home Depot and see what they have for moss, because it's slippery.

This is a serious problem: I'm concerned that the Chinese Food delivery man might fall - or the Pizza guy - causing long term negative consequences for our happy home, if you know what I mean....!

As for my gardening project, well, due to the rain I haven't done much. But I was able to get everything stacked in the back yard, thanks to Tyler, who mows our lawn. So, heavy lifting done, all I need to do is set up the fame and cut open the bags of dirt!

On a totally different subject, but because I just couldn't wait to show you this picture, look at this neat idea for a snack:



It's a waffle ice cream cone filled with grapes.

Well, yeah, I'd rather have ice cream too (sigh).

Anyhow, time to say bye for now. Go eat something tasty!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Back to School (sigh)!

Hi Everybody.

Odie here.

My Momma's been in a funk lately so I'm trying to help her out.

But, hey, I've been feeling pretty bad too. You see, school has started back up and my Momma Caroline is gone all day - every day!  She leaves at 7 in the morning and doesn't get home 'til 4 or 5 o'clock and, boy, do I miss her!

Now my Momma Carol, well, I think she's just feeling her age. You see, she turned 65 this month:


She looks happy enough here. But that's what you get with a couple of beers and a silly hat!

Now she says she's feeling fine again. Whatever it was that got her down earlier this month - depression, infection, aggravation, imperfection - she's better now. She's cleaning off her desk, cleaning up the house (sort of), getting back on track. She even went and bought materials for that raised bed vegetable garden she's been talking about!

I'm glad for that, 'cause her bad mood was getting me down!

It's tough enough having to wait at the front door for the other one to get home.


Now, don't mope around like I do. Check out these two poems (limericks) and see if they don't bring a smile to your face:

County Down

A young lass from old County Down
Was arrested for painting the town.
"It just got in me head
to go paint the town red."
Which she did in her night-sleeping gown.

by Denise Rodgers
And this one is not about me:

My Long-Eared Dog

My long-eared dog is very sweet
He loves to lick my stinky feet.
And that is why I'd use my mace
before I'd let him lick my face.

by Denise Rodgers



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bye Bye Pool!


Well, we finally did it. We finally got rid of the above-ground pool.

There was nothing wrong with it. It's been nice to have - when it's clean; when the weather's good, etc.

Unfortunately, swimming pools take a lot of work to maintain and keep clean. A few years back we hired a pool man.

First, the owner of the pool service came. He was a wrinkly old man who stripped to his Speedo in our back yard and did a great job patching and cleaning our pool.

After that, though, he sent a kid every week. The kid didn't seem to know the job and even caused some damage. Not so great.

And pool service isn't cheap either.

So we - Caroline! - struggled alone to keep it clean. It was not easy.

Remember when the frogs took over the pool?

But now the problem is solved, and we have a nice flat (and grassless) patch which is perfect for a vegetable garden!

Can't wait to get started!

By the way, here's my colorized version of Ridin' Along:


Hope you're having a wonderful day!


Friday, July 29, 2011

Hang the Debt Ceiling!

So, as I write this they're still wrangling about the debt ceiling in Washington.

Republicans are fighting Democrats.

Tea Partyers are refusing to play.

"an no one's gettin' fat 'cept Momma Cass!"

Sorry - 60's flashback. (People under 30, ask your parents.)

Anyway, here's what I've noticed:

I get mail from the Democrats. I see ads from all kinds of political organizations on Facebook. I see the President on TV.

And this is my conclusion:

They'll get it done. We'll all survive. The world will go on. And all this will have served it's purpose.

What's its purpose, you ask?

Money. Of course. This whole thing has been terrific for fundraising and gathering the troops for the next election. Think about it: When people get all fired up about something they get involved - and they send money!

You may disagree, but since this is my blog I get the space up top. Would love to read your comments though.

In the meantime I, unlike those clowns in Washington, am doing something useful.

Like drawing pictures:

Riding Along

That's it, and I hope you're having a wonderful day!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011



I've been playing with my blog design a bit. Something I've been trying to include is a little game, like "Bubbles" that I had before. I'm not totally thrilled with what I've found so far (see right ----> ).

If you wish to try it and comment, please do. I only know what it does on my computer.

When I was recently on vacation, I went to Boston to visit with my sons. I stayed at the best bed & breakfast in town (thank you Andy) and ate at some really nice restaurants.

But the very best part was hangin' with two of the finest young men in the world! Also, my wonderful daughter-in-law, and another young lady who would be a great daughter-in-law also and - always the star of the show - Penny the pug!

I'm looking for interesting blogs about Boston so I can feature them here. It's a wonderful city.

On the home front, I can't wait to tell you about the terrific coleslaw I made recently:

Wedding Bouquet

Oops, that's not it! My mind wanders.

Let's try it again:


The ingredients: Cabbage (1/2), carrots(4) and apples(2).

The equipment: Tupperware Quick Chef

I chopped everything in small batches and mixed it up with a bit of purchased coleslaw dressing and there I had it - a super simple, very easy salad.

It was so much fun I went ahead and chopped up a couple of raw potatoes, skins and all, for hash browns. The hash browns were good, but next time I'll add an onion - yum!

That's it for now, except I have to say this, to our representatives in Washington: "Why can't we all just get along?" (Thank you, Rodney King).


Monday, July 25, 2011

Therapy, Rest and Relaxation


The sewing machine is always set up and ready to go at Mother's, so of course I had to make a quilt when I went to visit. This is a baby quilt for Project Linus:  http://projectlinus.org/




The Project Linus mission is "to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans."

This quilt, like most of the quilts I make, is about 3 ft by 4 ft, with a very low loft, pieced on the front and backed with a corresponding fabric. I did something a little different with this one. Here's a detail:


I made each 9-patch block, and then I joined the blocks with a thin strip of a red print. It was made by cutting one inch strips, folding in half lengthwise, and placing on the seam when I joined the blocks. I like the effect, so I think I'll do it again.

I machine quilted it on the diagonal. That was different for me and, because I don't do straight lines well, I had to draw every line before I stitched it. I like the way it came out, though, and it was actually easier because the bias of the fabric eases better and doesn't pucker.

Even more fun than the sewing at my Mother's house were the long conversations, about politics, family history, Meadville doings and good books.

She loaned me Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama, and suggested another book she has read called The Peabody Sisters of Salem. I ordered the sisters from Amazon.com while I was in Meadville, and it arrived today. I love the cover:




So - my suitcase is half unpacked, because we had Beth over the weekend, went to the grocery store, watched movies, etc. And I have a long "to do" list at the house, but I will take time to read.

A good book is the very best therapy, escape, R&R, etc.

Maybe even better than drawing and sewing.

What are you doing for rest and relaxation?


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Momma Got Lost in the Cell Phone


Hi.

Odie here. That's me, above, getting my teeth brushed.

I don't talk a lot; mostly just wag my tail and look cute, 'cause that's what pleases my Mommas (and gets me treats).

However, I have to tell you about the terrible thing that happened to Momma Carol. This is the honest to God truth:

Momma Carol got stuck in the cell phone!

It's happened before but she always got out pretty quick. This time she was gone for 12 whole days!

Well, I think it was 12. You see, I really can't count past 2.

Once or twice a day my other momma would talk to her, and she would let me listen, but no matter how hard she tried Momma Carol couldn't get out of that phone.

I listened. I looked at the door to the office, where she is often sitting by the computer. I looked at her car, but she never got out and came into the house.

It was awful.

My other momma said Momma Carol was "at Grandma's house." I don't know what that means.

By all my observations, she was stuck in that darn cell phone! I know it. I could hear her there!

Then one glorious day, just out of the blue, she was knocking on our front door and hollering at me. I couldn't believe it; I was so excited I 'bout wagged my tail off and almost peed on the floor (most embarrassing)!

So, Momma Carol is home again and I can sit on the couch next to here and lie on the bed and watch her sleep. Life is glorious again!

Momma Carol says she has lots to talk about on this here blog, as soon as she gets organized. She's got pictures and all.

Just as soon as she goes through the mail and unpacks her suitcase.

I was sooooo happy to see my Momma back at home!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Escaping Reality

The Reality is I fly out of here on Saturday, headed for parts North.

I need to finish a couple of painting jobs and then pack, but I got my "druthers":

I "druther" draw pictures. Fantasy:


The Leprechaun and the Wolves
 Caroline and I watched a movie called "Skellig The Owl Man," a fantasy based on a children's book. That's what I was doing when I drew the leprechaun.

Don't remember what was going on when this came out:


Old Man of the Mountain Grows a Tree, or
Now I Know Why My Nose Has Been Hurting

And then things started making sense again:

Waiting In Line At The Carousel

All of the above will be available on FineArtAmerica, of course.

And now I better get back to my chores.....!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On Getting Away With Murder

So, a young lady about 20 years old has a baby; no father is mentioned.

Her parents "help" her with the baby. Don't know anything about the grandma; the grandpa is a former police officer.

Casey, Baby's Momma, also has a brother, who seems to be a very emotional kinda guy with a victim mentality.

Casey accuses her dad, the cop, of molesting her; also, her brother.

Casey's in and out of the house, travels a lot with the baby, leaves baby with sitters not known by the grandparents. The child is away from her grandparents for an unusually long time.

The grandparents - and this is the part that shocked me - accept Casey's lame excuses for a month before they start really wondering what happened to their grandchild. What is that about?

My Social Worker instincts tell me that this is a very sick family and a family in denial - about a lot of things, most likely.

My Social Worker instincts also wondered why the lawyer for the defense didn't try to plead mental illness; she clearly is a young woman with - shall we say - issues?

I realize now the lawyer saw how weak the case was and banked on getting Casey off Scot-free.

Which is exactly what happened.

Sad to say, if I had been on that jury I would have voted "not guilty" also - because the proof wasn't there.

My gut says she's crazy and probably killed her baby.

My gut also says she needs a lot of help and close supervision.

And she shouldn't have any more babies.

But I think, probably, she won't get the help/supervision, and she probably will produce more children.

I think the down side of our American freedoms and our excellent justice system is that sometimes this stuff happens. Because people can't be convicted on gut feelings; evidence is required.

In which case I, personally, believe in God, Karma, natural consequences, etc. She'll get hers.

As for me? Yesterday I renewed my drivers license and in the process donated an extra $5 to the fund to help prevent child abuse. It's not much, but if everyone who feels bad about this case puts a little toward a good cause - well, maybe it'll do some good....


“More children 0–4 years of age in the United States now die from homicide than from infectious diseases or cancer.” - David Finkelhor and Richard Ormrod in “Homicides of Children and Youth,” Juvenile Justice Bulletin, October 2001

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Froggie News - Disaster Hits Fort Lauderdale



Breaking News From Frangipani Pond in Fort Lauderdale:  Disaster struck today in Frangipani Pond (named after Brad and Angelina Frangipani, prolific propagators of froggie progeny). At about 9:00 this morning, Frangipani Pond was infiltrated by poisonous chemicals, leading to the disastrous demise of thousands of tadpoles and young frogs.

The details - as reported by four young frogs who miraculously survived - are sketchy, but this is what we can report:

The poison spread immediately to every corner of the pond, and froggies and tadpoles jumped and crawled to dry land as best they could. Some faced a second threat, THE NET, but THE NET could not move fast enough to catch most of our folks.

Froggies who survived did so by clinging to the blue and white cliffs on the edge of the pond, and a few clung to a floating yellow island, but many of our brothers and sisters succumbed to the fumes and the strong current which took them down stream and trapped them in a small pool which some know of as THE BUCKET.



Survivors, now homeless, are thanking the Great Frog God for their deliverance, and ask sympathetic readers to send donations to: Frangipani Frog Relief, c/o Faith Shoemaker, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Faith, we are told, is a CAT, but can nonetheless be trusted with the money.



For more news of froggie doings in Fort Lauderdale, we refer you to this story: Daredevil Froggie Kisses Ugly Princess - Disastrous Result.

(Ed note:  We neglected our back yard swimming pool to the point that it became populated with tadpoles. Caroline tried to fish them out with the net, but they swam and jumped away from it. When she finally gave up and put in the chemicals we had a "mini holocaust." It was very sad - and messy. We have resolved to take better care of the pool in the future.)

And how was your day?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Home Improvement - Or Not

A man named Stuart Hamblen was out hunting with his friend, John Wayne (the actor), when they came across an old tumbled down shack out in the middle of nowhere. They opened the door and discovered the place was a broken down mess inside as well. They also discovered a body. The guy who lived there had apparently died alone, in that old house.

The experience inspired Mr. Hamblen to write "This Old House," - or so the story goes.

Some of the lyrics:

This ole house once knew his children
This ole house once knew his wife
This ole house was home and comfort
As they fought the storms of life
This old house once rang with laughter
This old house heard many shouts
Now he trembles in the darkness
When the lightnin' walks about

CHORUS:
Ain't a-gonna need this house no longer
Ain't a-gonna need this house no more
Ain't got time to fix the shingles
Ain't got time to fix the floor
Ain't got time to oil the hinges
Nor to mend the windowpane
Ain't a-gonna need this house no longer
He's a-gettin' ready to meet the saints

This ole house is a-gettin' shaky
This ole house is a-gettin' old
This ole house lets in the rain
This ole house lets in the cold
On his knees I'm gettin' chilly
But he feel no fear nor pain
'Cause he see an angel peekin'
Through a broken windowpane

This ole house dog lies a-sleepin'
He don't know I'm gonna leave
Else he'd wake up by the fireplace
And he'd sit there and howl and grieve
But my huntin' days are over
Ain't gonna hunt the coon no more
Gabriel done brought in my chariot
When the wind blew down the door

This song has been going through my head for days, instigated most likely by our recent hiring of a plumber to fix a couple of leaks that were causing huge water bills (like, $200/month).

I remember it well from my childhood, many years ago. Back then we lived in an old house and my Dad was always making repairs. But even as a 10 year old I got it that the guy wasn't just singing about a house.

And I definitely remember a man singing it, although Rosemary Clooney is the singer who made it famous.

I like the simple faith expressed in this song, and it's tone of cheerful acceptance.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yes, You're In The Right Place

How do you like my new header?

It's symbolic of my tendency to escape into fantasy whenever I get the chance. That, and, Caroline brought home these kits for making cute little fuzzy critters. Here's the whole crowd:


I chose the lady in the tutu, but I do so love the doggie with the green eyes! The following picture would have made a good header, but it was too long - took too long to load, that is. It suggests, though, how I feel about housework:

I'm way too little for this big job!
Over the weekend Beth and I watched "The Incredible Shrinking Woman." I think it stuck in my mind....!

Or, it could be the fumes. You see, today I started staining a book case. When it's done, it will sit in the kitchen and hold about twice as much as our old "pantry" did. You may notice the stacks of canned goods, etc. on the table; it's been like that for a week and I'm sick of looking at it. The book case this stuff came out of is actually a book case again, in our spare bedroom / office.



We do this every summer - move stuff and re-arrange everything.

Caroline says it's the best way to clean.

To which I say - why clean?

If it weren't for her, I'd just sit in the dust and draw. Here you go:


Trying To Keep Up

And, I bought some nice PENCILS at the art store the other day. My first effort:

Growing Like a Weed 2
"An' that's all there is 'cause there ain't no more,"

Says Faith.

Gotta feed her.