Friday, March 31, 2006


Now I know why Lyman chose the 6" chef's knife.

It's worthless.

The 8" works for chopping, and that's a chore he doesn't like.
I think that Glenn Reynolds' grandmother looks just wonderful in these pictures, especially the one in Daytona.

I regret that I won't leave a record like that.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Charlie has a new phrase:

"I know it."

As in:

"Charlie is a cute, sweet, cutie pie boy. I know it."
Nice to have a plan that works.

The hood and backsplash are as clean as new using the steamer and Simple Green.

I should be ashamed to have let them get into the condition they were in, but I'm not.

I like to cook better than I like to clean. I like to cook better than I like to eat, too.

Lyman loves to cook, but doesn't like to clean at all.

On to the top itself tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


This is what.

And this is why I wanted one of those.

Don't be envious. I wear a $5 wedding ring, drive a 9-year-old Ford, and have to clean the contraption besides.

That's Jim's cauliflower in the pan. I like it.

UPDATE: Jim's cauliflower recipe is a keeper.

We made it without the chicken, and can imagine it being a good side for any number of meats or fish.

Lyman and I prepared a whole head of cauliflower for the recipe. I finished it off this morning, eating straight from the pan, at about 5:15 after satisfying a call of nature.

Thanks, Dr. Smith.
I asked for one of these for my birthday. (See, I'm honest, Dave.)

It has come in right handy working on grease in the kitchen. Steam with one hand, Simple Green in the other, and the chores moved right along.

Ooooohhh, now what?
Nothing much to see here. The hired troupe came and blew off all porches, patios, roof and sidewalks, vacuumed all the leaves off the yard, mowed and edged for $80 -- a bargain at twice the price. The yard is set for spring.

Lucy has not laid an egg for 15 days. She is still sitting a wooden egg. How she'll know when to stop is a good question.

I discovered British author Dorothy Simpson at the library this week. She wrote police procedurals. I find her engaging.

And we've decided to try Jim Smith's cauliflower recipe this evening.

UPDATE: And I have been cleaning the exteriors of the lower cabinets in the kitchen. Yechhh!

How long have I been away? Oh, I haven't, have I ?

UPDATE II: Just a note. The troupe I mentioned is David Jenkins and his crew. David and Michael went to school together. There were two that day, and they have high-powered equipment.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lyman's son, Jason, graduated from LSU with Shaquille O'Neal. He has met Glen "Big Baby" Davis.
I have said before, self-esteem is not lacking in our house:

"Sweet, sweet, sweet Charlie ...
Sweetie boy, sweetie pie boy ...
Charlie sweetie boy...
Sweetie birds ...
Cutie pie boy ...
Sweetie pie ...
The bird is the word ...
Cutie pie boy ...
Chars is sweetie pie boy.
Chars is sweet, cute, sweetie pie boy."

He doesn't get that "pie" is the operative word here.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

One dollar?
I am waddling around today.

We had some cool days this week, so last night I was in the mood for comfort food.

I cooked a meat loaf using a recipe from a 1963 (oops, my fault, Peg) Good Housekeeping cookbook, a tomato sauce, and mashed potatoes. Then ate like an infantryman.

The meat loaf:

2 cups fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced green pepper
2 eggs
2 lb. ground chuck
2 T. horse-radish
2-1/2 t. salt
1 t. dry mustard (a dollop of plain yellow prepared mustard will do)
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup ketchup

Prepare bread crumbs, minced onion and green pepper.

Beat eggs slightly in large bowl. Lightly mix in chuck, crumbs, onion and bell pepper. Add horse-radish, salt, mustard, milk, 1/4 cup ketchup. (I added a good dash of black pepper.) Combine well.

Shape loaf in shallow baking dish. (Never mind, I used a Corning dish.)

Spread top with 1/2 cup ketchup. (I laid a few strips of bacon on top, too.)

Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.

8 servings

The tomato sauce:

1 medium onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
Chopped garlic, to taste
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
Oregano to taste, about 3/4 t. for us
Salt and pepper to taste (I used a little Cajun seasoning and black pepper)
Olive oil

Saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil until transparent. Add garlic, saute a minute or two more.

Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, then oregano.

Let simmer for 20 minutes or so uncovered until sauce thickens just a bit. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve under, atop, or beside meat loaf.

Good with mashed potatoes and any green vegetable or salad on the side.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A few census figures for our area in this story.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lucy is still sitting her wooden egg. The real one is neglected in a corner of the cage.

Today I have a routine visit with the hygienist and the dentist.

I might be the only person I know who is not fazed by dental appointments. My dentist is a young, handsome, charming man who grew up with Lyman's boys. We tease each other.

The office staff is frank and funny. I leave laughing.

But then, I've never had a root canal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Monday, March 20, 2006

Oh, no, Miss Indigo.
Lucy sat on either of the two smaller wooden eggs last night and this morning.

The real egg is larger, and perhaps more uncomfortable.

Whatever trips her trigger to quit laying the darn things.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Oh, my precious Lucy.

What have we done to you?

There are four eggs in the cage. Three are wooden dummies. One she laid on the 14th.

She's sitting on a wooden egg tonight.
Big weather in Australia.

Good luck down there.

UPDATE: Here's an ugly picture from Mr. Blair's comment section.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Interesting thing to pick up, Charlie.

He has been listening on bath days.

Lucy would rather go to the playtree than sit in front of the heater now. Sometimes I'll ask, "Are you cold?" I'll then offer to transfer her to the perch in front of the heater.

"Are you cold?" is now part of Charlie's vocabulary.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Good grief, IMDb is the Earth's biggest movie database if it includes this movie.

It was a tiny little movie, done as a sort of resume piece by the director, Mike McWillie. I was doing some junior college theater at the time. I didn't remember its name.

I also worked on sound or something else.

Yeesh, what else will come out of my past onto Google?

UPDATE: And I have been blogging under a pseudonym -- my married name, Janis Gore. The name my parents gave me is Janis Davenport.

Someone is looking for me. And that's okay.

UPDATE: I wonder if Jim Beaver put my name out there. He's a film history buff, and likes a complete record.

Several years after we split, he married Cecily Adams, Don Adams' daughter. She died of lung cancer in March of 2004, leaving behind James and a daughter, Madeline Rose, who is about 5 now.

Past differences do not preclude great sympathy.

I 'spect a little girl was never loved more.
Radley Balko has a post here regarding the Monster Engine, that might be of interest to some of our younger artists.

basket buddy

Lyman ordered this gadget from a fellow in, I think, Baton Rouge.

It's for handling the basket inside the crawfish pot.

Young friends of ours were married in Baltimore in December, and are having a crawfish-boil reception for locals this weekend.
Speaking of Gracie and George, the peregrine falcons -- they have nested on a ledge on a building adjacent to the PPG&E building in San Francisco. The camera there will come up next week.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I just don't know anymore!

Lucy still had the one real egg in the big cage. At about 7 this evening she finally decided to mosey on down and sit on it. (Gracie the Falcon she ain't.)

At 7:40 Charlie was both tired (I was up at 7 this morning) and ready to stand guard.

When I put Charlie in the big cage, Lucy went after him like ... like an aggressive hormonal female Eclectus can. I was afraid she would hurt him. So I whacked at the cage to get her attention and separated them. She bit me hard.

So her hateful little red butt is spending the night in the travel cage with her precious egg. I thought that better than putting Charlie in the smaller cage. Left in the larger cage, Lucy might just claim a larger nest area.

You got to watch those redheads. They can be right mean.

And she ain't sittin' on no egg, neither.
Some people just go about their business, and interesting things happen to them.
In other bird news:

One of the women who run the desk at the clinic adopted an African grey of unknown age or sex that was found, along with a number of other birds, in the house of a man who committed suicide in Natchez.

I forget his method, but his body was not found for three days.

She has had the grey for several months. He eats well, follows commands, and is not ungentle, but hasn't been particularly cheerful.

I suggested that she sing to him. Any song she likes.

Yesterday she told me that he hasn't started to sing yet, but that morning he ruffled his neck feathers and danced to her rhythm.
Michael's ladyfriend dropped by with her 10-year-old son. He wanted to see the birds again.

Being an inquisitive young thing, he of course asks the question that's hardest to explain:

"What are all those eggs doing in the cage?"
(This morning, there are three dummies and one real one.)

"Who made her pregnant?"

"Will all those eggs hatch? That'll be a lot of babies."

Mom said, "Son, I'll explain it all later."
"We got the cutie, we got ... cutie,
We got sweetie pie birds ...
We got ... sweetie girl ...
Charlie sweetie pie boy, Charlie boy ...
The birdies, the birdies, the bird is the word ..."

And this, kids, is why you don't teach parrots foul language.

At this stage, you'll hear it over and over again, day in and day out.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Okay, there's another egg this evening, between 9 and 9:30. That's ten, excluding the two in December.

That's a carton, hon. You can stop now. Anytime.

The doc today said she looked fine and felt strong, and to keep giving her plentiful sources of calcium.
Lucy had a grooming session at the vet's today.

She didn't stress out at all.

I suppose most things short of having one's posterior parts probed with a greasy thermometer aren't so intimidating after all.

Monday, March 13, 2006

For crying out loud, my favorite Canadian gentleman, Colby Cosh, knows not only more than I about my adopted state, but my hometown, too.

In my defense, I was at school in Oregon.

Click on for an interview with the crew of Monty Python's Flying Circus just after the release of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Now I'm in the juice soup.

I've given this blog address to my BIG brother in Oregon. He's retired now, and has a spanking new Dell. That he can turn on.

He's welcome.
A happy birthday today to Dane Britton!
Lucy laid another egg on 3/10 between 9 and 10 p.m.

That's nine since 1/21.

At least she's slowing down.

I added the last of the three dummies to the cage.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Oh, how silly!

Charlie is learning the song.

It goes like this:

J: "the birdies ..."

C: "Oh."

J: "the birdies ..."

C: "Oh."

J: "the birdies."

C: "Oh."

J: "Yeah, man."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Oh, dear.

I have stopped the NPS (nail-patella syndrome) message board cold. Maybe I was rejected.

This is what I posted:
I'm not ashamed, but I don't know quite what to do with it.

I have a mild case, and I haven't suffered so far, except for choosing to not have children. I've never been up to seeing a child through a few years at a hospital.

My doctors have been pretty ignorant (dictionary definition), and didn't help me much.

If I'd had more information as a youngster, my life would have been straighter, stronger, and better directed.

Not that I'm complaining.

I have been thinking a lot about the education campaign, but my area is small. I am the one.

I am a spontaneous case.
Apparently, I have caused offense.

Who let the dogs out ...?

One of the line items in the budget at the coast that bothered people was a 3X increase for cable TV -- up to $36,000 per year from $12,000 for 192 units.

So Lyman called the provider. The responsible saleswoman called yesterday, and said she had no idea where they got that number. She quoted $4.95 per unit per month, or $950.40.

Um hmmm.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Dual drunken chickens

Oh, for goodness' sake!

You can guess what this is.

No wonder I can't sleep at night. The elves are afoot.
Unless she's sneaked one past me, which she can't, Lucy hasn't laid an egg for eleven days.

One piece of advice that Ms. Swicegood offered was to change the arrangement of the cage, if not the cage and its position.

I changed out all the toys in the birds' area, and started feeding in a dish other than the one I'd been using.

Something is helping.

Charlie has added "cutie" to his vocabulary. And "I", as in "I cutie pie bird."


Sunday, March 05, 2006

What the? I just tuned into the Oscars with Jennifer Aniston at the podium. What's wrong with the sound? It's out of sync by an iota. It's something else. They seem to be lip-syncing. Is it, like, a protest, or something?

UPDATE: Call me shallow, but I liked the skit between Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep.

I can always use a little Lily Tomlin.

I like Robert Altman, too.

UPDATE II: John Travolta looks terrific for a man of his age, if a little thick in the middle. He did "Saturday Night Fever" in 1977.

Lyman tells me he was in Natchez once. He'd dance with the local girls and awe them with his moves.

UPDATE III: Screenwriting (well, best adapted screenplay) went to Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana. Who is Diana Ossana? There's a confident woman for you. She'll rope your calf and kick your ass in the same minute, and you'll goggle at her beauty at the same time. Think Jerri Hall with smarts.
I'm a fool for a boy with a foreign accent.
Do all birds tease, or just ours?

So, Lyman and Charlie are talking together. (Want to make something of it, Bozo?)

C: Charlie is a sweetie bird. The birdie. Sweetie pie bird.

L: Yes, Charlie is a sweetie pie bird.

C: Charlie boy. Charlie sweetie boy.

L: Yes, Charlie is a sweetie boy.

C: Sweetie girl?

L: Lucy is a sweetie girl.

C: Charlie sweetie girl?

L: Nooooooo, Charlie is a boy, a sweetie boy.

C: Nooooooo, Charlie boy. Hahahahahaha.

Or something like that, about 15 times a day.

He also did a Woody Woodpecker today, and I have no idea where he got that. Far as I know, he hasn't heard the cartoon character.

Birthday cake

Sarah's orange cake with crushed pineapple.

Happy birthday, Girl!

Friday, March 03, 2006


Lyman had to buy equipment to play with the other boys, so he bought this chicken cooker from Tipsy Chicken here in Louisiana.

You can't quite see it, but stamped onto the plate is "Super Swamper Tires". You can't get that from Williams-Sonoma.
Homemade biscuits are not my strong suit. I've made few attempts to bake them from scratch over time.

I'd nearly always prefer toast, a croissant, or English muffin for breakfast, cornbread or crusty bread for dinner. Bagels are too substantial a breakfast for me, though they can be a fine snack during the day.

But none of those are appropriate for sausage and cream gravy.

The recipe I used yesterday came from Cooking with Cajun Women. It was a simple mixture of flour, salt, baking powder, shortening and milk.

They turned out pretty well, though next time I plan to roll them thicker and cut with a smaller cutter. They were flaky enough. Just a bit on the thin side.

I don't use baking mixes. I don't make pancakes or biscuits that often. Mix would clutter the pantry shelves and go stale before I finished a box. (By the way, Betty Crocker has a delicious, light pancake recipe.)

I learned to make cream gravy by watching my mother. (She didn't make biscuits, either.) Now that was mighty fine.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I fell asleep last night while reading Peter Mayle's Anything Considered.

Charming and urbane, I'd say, but that's irrelevant.

I woke this morning at 4:30 and haven't accomplished a thing besides talking myself into making biscuits with sausage and cream gravy after the birds wake up.

UPDATE: To honor my Aunt Glenda, who died this past Friday, I'll mix the biscuits in the stainless steel mixing bowl she contributed to my first kitchen when I was 19.
Shellie Tomlinson is working on a book about the advice Southern mothers gave their children.

Click on the link and see if you'd like to contribute.

I offered a couple of things, neither of them funny:
More by example than advice, she taught us that you needn't feel particularly poor if you keep your home and body clean and if you cook food from scratch using inexpensive products.

And she was quite strict about me respecting and caring for my in-laws.
I didn't include that she forbade me to eat veal, because of the way it's raised. I rarely do.

You Are Austin

A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.

You're totally weird and very proud of it.

Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.

Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

So, I'm surfing around the 'net and I find this site at Marc Velazquez's blog.

I look up our birthdays -- Lyman's and mine -- Sept. 12, 1946, and Feb. 11, 1957.

The number one song on the day Lyman was born was "Five More Minutes" by Frank Sinatra.

The number one song on the day I was born was "Too Much" by Elvis Presley.

Are there potential problems in this relationship?