Thursday, November 30, 2006

What a good prospect for kitchen art.

(Thanks, Possum.)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lyman knows his business. How sore can a middle-aged woman stay listening to Aaron Neville?

Buy for "You Send Me," sixties jazz background; "Respect Yourself," with Mavis Staples in background; "Let's Stay Together," because his and Chaka Khan's voices don't mix all that well; and "A Change Is Gonna Come," because he says so.
We have now taken 440 satsumas from the satsuma tree.

There are more.

UPDATE: Final count is 483.
Almost done. I still have the inside of one large bedroom window and the insides of the porch windows.

What isn't sore? Laying floor was easier on the muscles.

It must be all the reaching. Thank goodness we have only one floor.
I'm not quite done total, but I am done today.

Can't say I'm whipped, yet.
Hmmmm. Washing pleated shades.

Hmmmmm. Washing six-foot wide pleated shades.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I got your $4 tacky Dollar Store capris on.

I got your oversized "Splish-Splash" library t-shirt.

I got your sponge wand from Fred's and the soft brush from the hardware.

I got three days of warm weather to wash windows and blinds.
Oh, Lucy.

She has another egg this morning. That's four for November.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Paula Deen said one of my favorite things the other night.

She was working one of her shows and addressed a young woman, "You have a diamond growing out of your nose. Can you teach me how to do that?"
Let's talk about my 10-inch knife.

It would have been much harder cutting a head of cauliflower lengthwise with a smaller one, and it knocked out a minced shallot in seconds.

I still take it out of the block with a little trepidation, but confidence will come.

That bolster WILL become a problem in the long term, but in the meantime it is a nice knife to use.

For all the talk about keeping a knife for a lifetime, it can't and won't happen if a person uses and sharpens it frequently.

TIP: Because I am not confident with the knife, I always settle a large, round object on a clean dishtowel before I even try to cut, to stabilize it and prevent a slip.
Looking for something to serve for the luncheon Friday next, I tried the Two-Cheese Squash Casserole on this page last night.

A small serving would complement the stuffed bell peppers well, and provide that "over-prepared" holiday twist that people seem to like so much.

I'd prefer lightly steamed green beans with butter and lemon, but I'm serving others, aren't I?

Friday, November 24, 2006

I'll take you one better, Dr. Reynolds.

Sarah J. Hale established Thanksgiving as a holiday in this country. She lobbied Lincoln for it, if I remember right. She was editor of Godey's Lady's Book for 40 years.

She lived in a frontier time, and would advise women on the western front in economical ways to make their homes liveable. She provided patterns, so women could dress well.

She was widowed young, with five or six children, and wore black until she died. (It has been said that black was quite flattering to her, too.)

I don't have the paper anymore. My journalism degree is still not entirely worthless.

Men find the silliest things to argue about.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Back off.

We cooked roasted cauliflower according to a recipe in Cook's Illustrated, with a recommended curry sauce.

No, you can't have any.
We just picked another 20 satsumas to send to Lyman's sister. Lyman's parents will be eating there today.

That brings us to 340 that we have picked from the one tree so far, and another 100 or so remain.
I'll tell you one thing I'm NOT thankful for today, and that's turtleneck tops.

When I dressed the other morning to leave town the temperature was in the high '30s. I pulled out a long-time favorite little black turtleneck to layer under a crewneck sweater.

That black fabric up around my chin emphasized every line, wrinkle and incipient sag on my countenance. Applying mascara was a nightmare. Why, I looked like a turtle!

Time to start wearing a warm muffler that can be discarded indoors.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We'll just be two for Thanksgiving this year.

Chicken stuffed with a rice, sausage and mushroom stuffing, roasted cauliflower, and, um, something else.

No call for pity. We had a boisterous family gathering when Lyman's son visited two weeks ago, and there's plenty ahead for Christmas.

On this holiday, I am thankful for quiet.

And a good one to you, too.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I did something I have never before done today. (That I can remember offhand.) I went shopping with a girlfriend.

Glenda showed at 8:30 this morning and we drove to Monroe, LA, to the Pecanland Mall. She was working from her birthday and Christmas list.

There are some fine things about living in a small town in the South, but shopping ain't one of 'em. Oh, I can pop over to Natchez right now and find a lovely Victorian dry sink for your home, but it's harder finding a chic boot. Not that I wear boots.

It has been, I bet, 15 years since I've even looked at clothing for myself at Dillard's. What a sad note for a Dallas girl.

Glenda dropped me off at home at 6:30 this evening.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Three days of trimming and no casualties.

Here is the large oak, trimmed.

We have some very confused and disappointed squirrels around these days.
Go, Radley!


More cool tool.

UPDATE: We rented this thing locally for $175 from Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. until 8 a.m. this Monday morning. We were warned that dropping a log on one of those hydraulic legs could cost about $2,000. The boys avoided that. One of our better buys.

And we will need it again to shave the suckers from a lot of limbs. The boys were too tired to do that this weekend.


Cool tool.

Mickey says, "It beats climbing trees."

Saturday, November 18, 2006

That day of trimming passed without casualties.

Charlie, who usually rises chattering, hasn't had a word to say all morning.

UPDATE: Two days of trimming with no casualties.

Charlie has said about 15 words today, all variations of "Charlie a handsome boy."

Friday, November 17, 2006


What a pretty picture of the birds. Lucy doesn't even look real. They're on the stand on the enclosed porch.

They get along well enough when they're both scared to death. Lots of big noise here today.
Another loquacious grey, with another accent. Thank you, Sylvia.

Oak Tree 2

We have rented a cherry-picker lift, have hired a man with some experience, and impressed Lyman's son to do some trimming on this live oak this weekend, and a few others if they can get to them.

Lyman hasn't shown me all that he wants done, but I know he wants one of the big limbs to come down.

I think we should have an emergency vehicle and a roofer on standby. A few simple thoughts for everyone's safety would be welcome.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Satsuma - 170

My, oh my.

We've now picked 170 satsumas from this tree.

UPDATE: Make that 200. Many more remain.
Oh, Lucy.

She is sitting another egg this morning. That's three for November, too.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This is a listening tape. Charlie just acts a fool in front of the camera right now, flapping his wings and bobbing his head. I haven't had it out for a while.

He has been working on this for a couple of weeks, and boy, is it hard.

Also, you'll hear "Charlie be good boy" at the end. He has, ahem, found the window frames.

At 1:38, it's longer than I like. Maybe for you, too.
You want a lousy weekend?

I've had a head cold since Lyman's sons left Friday evening. The highpoint of the weekend was an online discussion of proctalgia fugax.

Don't even ask.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.

The Inland North
The Midland
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Not hardly. I have spoken on the telephone to Terry Oglesby, Fritz Schranck and Peg Britton. And to Aardvark and Mercy in person. Not to speak of the birds' grandparents. What do y'all say to this result?

I have taken this quiz several times, and can't see fit to change my answers anywhere. It's not measuring something that makes my speech Southern, which is probably the drawl. They didn't ask how many syllables any of those words had.
Lucy laid the second egg of the November clutch on the evening of November 11. No time on this one, as I was in the back reading.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Brian Doherty at Reason's Hit and Run has no great love for the South, but the man is fair:

Read here.


Just for kicks, these are my parents with my brothers and sister.

I wasn't around yet.

I think my mother's expression is a reaction to the notion that I might come along.

"Not really," she says.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Alrighty, then. Just about on schedule for November, Lucy laid an egg at 8:28 this evening.

Ripening satsumas

We have picked 120 satsumas from this satsuma tree so far this year, and you can barely tell they've been taken.

Lyman tells me that's not rare on trees in South Louisiana.

What a crop!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The early election slid past me, so today was the first time I voted on one of the big electronic boards where you poke the white square beside your choice.

Provided they register votes properly, they seem a pretty good deal, especially for the elderly who might have a hard time with the old lever machines.

And it twinkled when it registered my vote.

Do you think they'll let me do it again? I like that sound.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I took a book with me across the street today.

John McEvoy was, according to his bio, a Midwest editor and senior correspondent for the Daily Racing Form.

Riders Down is just his second novel, and is as fun as his first, Blind Switch.

I've never cared about the track or horses or horseracing, but like to read his books.

(Just a clue, y'all -- his writing is nothing like that of Dick Francis. I'll read a Francis when nothing more interesting is at hand. McEvoy is sillier and wittier than Francis ever thought of being. Think, maybe, Elmore Leonard as a track man.)
It's a miserable day for a funeral.

It's already rained 0.70 inch with more to come. Miss Alec would probably be pleased with the rain after our dreadful dry summer, but she wouldn't want her girls out in it.

I'm going to sit the house during the ceremonies.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

What a terrible loss to the community:
Louise N. Alexander

March 13, 1924 — Nov. 3, 2006

NATCHEZ — Services for Louise N. Alexander, 82, of Vidalia, who died Friday, Nov. 3, 2006, at Natchez Regional Medical Center, will be 1 p.m. Monday at Laird Funeral Home Union Street Chapel with the Rev. Dan Glenn officiating.

Burial will follow at Greenlawn Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. today and from noon until service time Monday at the funeral home.

Mrs. Alexander was born March 13, 1924, in New Orleans, the daughter of Lane and Adele Lyle Nunnery. She enjoyed planning meals for her young people as cafeteria manager of Vidalia High School for 17 years. A resident of Vidalia since 1948, she was known as a surrogate mother or friend to all who knew her, and she will be sadly missed.
She was my neighbor across the street.

When I moved here, she brought over a dish of brownies and fudge and divinity as a welcome to the neighborhood. That was just a foretaste of the sweetness that woman had in her. And did she love to laugh. We'd giggle like schoolgirls together.

She will be missed.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I deleted that post because the emotional implications are complex.

Since we were escorted by two squad cars off our property in 2005, I've never felt the same about the place.

Ann and Bill were great helpers through about 4 years, before Hurricane Ivan, but I've never trusted her taste.

They have always been sweet and kind and capable and helpful. And this is the first time they've been back. They have a place in a retirement community at Hilton Head, SC, now.

Today I gave her a gift. And she gave one to me in return. She's a shopper, besides.

She's a sweet girl.

(Not to mention that the post relied on someone else's copyrighted image.)
Speaking of design and decorating, Kate of Kate's Stuff has a good post up today.

Uh oh.
If any of you know of any online sources for proper bedspreads, please pass them on to me.

I'm searching for the traditional throw-style, king-size, with the allowance to tuck a fold under the pillows, in a print that will coordinate with this picture. The room has pale blue walls.

A friend suggested that I talk up one of the local hotel managers to see if I can scrounge up a hotel supplier connection. I'll try this first.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Oh, for goodness' sake.

C. put us in touch with a woman painter who wants and needs work. She does mural work, too.

She can work with white she says, and I do have a portion of wall...
Oh, my.

I've gone and done it.

When we were at the coast I noticed that the blind in the front bedroom wasn't in good repair. Renters have had trouble with these miniblinds for years. I don't know why, but children might factor in somewhere.

Well, I took measurements of that window and brought them home. After some consideration, Lyman and I think that something else might be better. Though they've been rather outdated in the design world, we've been thinking pleated shades might be a way to go.

But for a uniform appearance, we should go with those in the kitchen, too -- but I didn't have measurements for that window.

We knew an owner who would be down there this weekend, and asked if she would be willing to go into the condo and take measurements for us. She agreed. Lyman (God bless him) also asked her to look around and see if anything else needed doing. Baby, let's not make that mistake again.

C. was a manager for a Sally Beauty Supply Store for 25 years. She now calls herself an interior decorator. She makes up flamboyantly, dresses flamboyantly, and decorates flamboyantly. (The only person I know who can wear a boa as part of her daily costume and get away with it.) I think she's a hoot. But my taste and hers do not coincide.

She has come back with a half dozen suggestions for making our condo more attractive -- to her. She wants colors and murals. I happen to like white walls that showcase the art we have in the space. I have been to her condo -- it is maniacal with palms and monkeys and parrots, and all that crap just makes me claustrophobic.

I like the clean, silvery feel of our space. It's not intrusive, and picks up on the clarity and light of the beach. She likes to impose herself on a space. I just want one that lets me be. I want light at the beach. I'm hunkered in a world of color and texture and shade under the oaks at home in Vidalia.

But she is right on some counts. We need to paint the living room and kitchen space, and I desperately need a new bedspread in the front bedroom. That's a "bedspread," kids, not a quilt, or a comforter set.

And I hate to buy one of those considering articles like this one.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The big knife came in today.

I haven't used it yet, but the handle is slightly rubbery, which feels good.

It balances like the Henckels.

We'll see tonight.
These knives are out there if you're feeling sporty.

This desktop is giving up the ghost now that a new one is on order.

I could search up all your phone numbers and tell you this personally in the time it's taking me to type this post.