Monday, July 31, 2006


Wednesday's image showed a band of precipitation moving from west to east.

This shows a band moving from east to west. The arm there to the west of the blue marker reached right around us, then upward.

We are shunned!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Off to Mostly Cajun, for a joke.
So we tried it.

Just okay. The recipe took the edge off my craving, but still didn't quite hit the spot.

And in fairness to the ...let me see... Stevens, we didn't quite follow their recipe.

Lyman wound up buying the meat at Wal-Mart, since he had to go there to find canned enchilada sauce. Wal-Mart packs chuck in pound packs. He came home with two pounds. Rather than freeze 1/2 pound of meat, I went ahead and used it, which threw off the balance between meat and tortillas.

The only enchilada sauce that he found was a Pace product. It was good out of the bottle, good enough for table sauce, but rich for the dish. Were I to do the recipe again, I'd make an ancho chile-based red sauce without tomato. (Mr. Stevens' is here.) And if I'm going to do that, I'd just as soon make enchiladas proper.

Just a note: When we fried the tortillas, I found that the process went faster if I halved the tortillas before frying. More could fit into the skillet.

Will I try it again? Probably not. Lyman is not fond of Tex-Mex food as it is.

But if I had teen-aged boys to feed? Double-yes.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Oh, how I miss good Tex-Mex food!

So I'm trying this recipe today.

I'll let you know.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Today marks four years that I have kept this site.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Even with a radar image like this, I wouldn't bet you a quarter on our chances of getting much rain.

UPDATE: 0.25 inch. Just amazing.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The kitchen smells odd.

Tonight we are making a recipe that we have used before from chef Ming Tsai from the Food Network.

It's a 5-spice beef soup.

Here is the recipe:

Soup with Five Spice Beef Short Ribs and Wonton Noodles

Wonton Noodle Soup

2 quarts chicken stock
2 large slices ginger
4 heads baby bok choy, washed and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon naturally brewed soy sauce
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound fresh wonton noodles, blanched in salted water right before serving.
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Five Spice Beef Ribs

Heat the stock in a stock pot with the ginger and reduce by 20 percent. Add the bok choy, white pepper, and soy sauce. Cook 3 minutes until bok choy is soft. Check for seasoning. Place the hot noodles in 4 large bowls and top with stock and bok choy. Place ribs on top. Garnish with scallions, cilantro, and drizzle with sesame oil.

Five Spice Beef Ribs:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed peppers
8 thin slices fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
2 pounds beef short ribs
1 cup soy sauce
4 cups red wine
1 tablespoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon salt
3 pieces star anise
Dash cinnamon powder
1 large piece rock candy (1-inch cube)

Prepare a large non-stick stock-pot coated with oil over high heat. Add the crushed pepper, ginger, and garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Place the beef in the stock-pot and cook, covered, about 4 minutes on each side. Add the soy sauce, red wine, five spice powder, salt, star anise, cinnamon, and rock candy and bring the mixture to a boil for about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat and let simmer for 2-1/2 hours. Remove the ribs from the pot and add to the Wonton Noodle Soup.

We make substitutions. Wonton noodle is not common in the grocery stores here. The chef himself suggested angel hair pasta as a substitute. Baby bok choy ain't likely. Napa cabbage is a substitute, or we use the larger bok choy when we can.

We leave the rock candy out altogether.
We moved from basic cable services to a dish satellite service for TV a couple of weeks ago.

HBO offers a few months' free service as a hook to subscribe.

Lyman has been watching "Deadwood." I haven't watched much of it because I have usually retreated to the bedroom with a book by the time it comes on. It's interesting to look at, and the West sure isn't sugar-coated in the series.

I am not a prude, but it hasn't escaped my attention that every second sentence uses the word "f**king" as a modifier, if not a verb.

Charlie is caged-up and tucked-in by the time the show comes on. I sure 'nuff hope he can't absorb things subliminally. I don't know how many times I want to hear "I a f**king cute, sweetie boy" in a day.
Over the weekend, a huge front came over the south, dropping rain everywhere in its path. It edged its way all around us. We received .32 inch of rain.

Last night, a small front came up from the south, settled just below us, then dispersed as the evening wore on.

Today, a large front is moving northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

I am not carrying an umbrella.

If this front doesn't bring a decent rain, I'll have to wash the car. Maybe both of them. That usually works for me.

UPDATE: Okey dokey. How far do the hoses reach and where is the nearest outlet?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mac Thomason, in his role as ichthypundit, has a summat disconcerting fish pic.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The thief was described as a white man, about 6 feet tall and 170 pounds. He was wearing a T-shirt, jeans, work gloves and white underwear on his head.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Medpundit is blogging again.

She says her children told her to take her rants away from the dinner table and put them back on her blog.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I packed a few pieces of Lucy's birthday bread for the doctor's macaw and Quaker, and took Charlie back to the vet today.

She removed the scab again, gave Charlie another injection, and told me to continue treating him as we are, and to bring him in again in a week or so.

The sore is getting better, but it's taking time.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The square bit of terrycloth that you use in the bath or shower -- I (Texas) grew up calling it a "wash rag" or "wash cloth," as did Kim (Wisconsin).

Lyman (Louisiana) called it a "bath cloth."

I grew up working class. I don't know about Kim. Lyman grew up business class.

What did you call it? Do you know why?
Here is the recipe for "birdie bread":

Bird Bread For Eclectus

This recipe makes a "heavy" bread, not as light as you would prepare for yourself, but the birds love it! Notice that it contains very little baking powder (some baking powders contain aluminum), no added sugar or other sweeteners, and no added salt.

In a large bowl combine the following ingredients:

2 cups yellow corn meal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup currants or raisins
1 cup nuts (pine, almond, walnut, pecan)
1 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1 twenty-nine ounce can of solid pack pumpkin
1 thirty-two ounce bottle of papaya nectar
1/2 cup of sunflower or safflower oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking powder

Add enough water or juice to make a pourable batter. Use two large well-greased baking pans. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until done. Cool and slice. Can be frozen.

This recipe comes from the kitchen of Carolyn Swicegood.

I substituted cooked sweet potato for the pumpkin and apple juice for the papaya nectar. Since I've never found unsalted shelled sunflower seeds here, I buy a pack of salted and rinse them well in a strainer.

Cheerful crowd

Maybe they'll brighten your day, too.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Here's an interesting post from Damian, Paul Palubicki's blogging partner at digitalwarfighter, pointing to a weather radar recording of mayflies hatching.
Today is Lucy's birthday!

She is five years old.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Rejected towels.

Understand, the kids didn't and wouldn't take one of these. They took the $25 bath sheet. And bath cloth to match.

Look at that pink towel. It's one that Lyman's mother bought for the coast. It's not big enough to dry a watermelon.
What is it with me and towels?

My mother didn't teach me to hang onto every one until it was frayed in the center. When she had two nickels to rub together she'd buy new ones.

I rolled the collected change a few months ago.

Today I went to K-Mart and bought a half dozen fluffy new white Martha Stewart towels and bath cloths for the guest bathroom. (I used to call them wash rags. Maybe that's the tell.) I like Martha Stewart's towels. They're as good or better than the ones I bought at McCrae's a few years ago.

They replace the motley array of crap that dated from as far back as when Michael was a teenager.

They can be bleached and they can be easily replaced. Young mothers do not know that even good kids will be taking your dinner glasses, your towels, perhaps your cooking equipment as they leave home.

Some years ago I talked to another father who described helping a child pack for college. He noticed that the kid had packed his favorite cast-iron skillet.

"Wait a damn minute. Who said you could take that?"

"You said you'd give me everything I need."

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A new challenge!

Charlie has had a little sore on his breast, likely a nip from Lucy in one of her fits of meanness, that hasn't healed.

The vet yesterday removed the scab, swabbed it with like-Betadine, applied a salve, and injected an antibiotic.

She sent me home with a bottle of like-Betadine, a tube of salve, and two weeks' worth of oral antibiotic.

Charlie is a willful and strong little critter with a formidable beak. How will we get this all done?

Being a "sweet birdie boy" doesn't necessarily extend to cooperation in this scenario.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Staying mainly at home these days, I do less to keep my appearance up than I did when I worked in public.

I had been looking askance at my creeping cuticles until two things happened:

1) I followed the link at this post at Peg Britton's.

2) I had lunch with my brother. He was scheduled for a manicure afterward. The man's nails looked handsome and healthy. Mine looked ragged.

So I found a Sally Hansen kit for pushing back cuticles, and used it.

It had been so long, my cuticles were rough and hurt after that maneuver.

After doing a little research on the Internet, I found a reasonably-priced, highly-recommended product in Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream.

I have been applying it twice a day to both my finger- and toenails. It's really too early to say, but they look and feel better already. Is it the reflexology?

My toenails have been particularly dry and brittle. It would be a boon if the stuff will help them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lucy's claws were gripping too far around, and her flight feathers had nearly grown in, so I took her to Dr. Debbie for a trim.

We waited.

I had a spirited conversation with an older woman from Wisner (married 44 years). She was in with a standard female cocker spaniel with what might be "tick fever."

We were talking about our pets and she said "what I know about birds could be put on the head of a pin with the angels singing the Lord's Prayer beside."

What a fun woman. A good day.

Lucy was as top-notch as a girl can be when she is assaulted by Dremels.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lucy and squash

Our friend Glenda has been harvesting fat little squash with lots of seeds for the birds to enjoy.

This one was shaped almost exactly like Lucy. You can see that she is appalled by the comparison.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork

The Traditional Princess
You are generous, graceful, and practical with both feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend to be a little on the old-fashioned side. You value home, hearth, and family life and love to be of service to others.
Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian
You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent for spinning straw into gold.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

This is a crummy result. I've been working my way up from Cinderella since I was nine years old. Am I a romantic princess? A fairy princess? A noble princess?

Nah. Just Cinderella in a bigger house. Bah!

(From Sarah G.)
The quiet hum emanating from this blog is the sound of procrastination.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Charlie has whistled the notes of the LSU Tiger fight song for months.

We're teaching him "Go Tigers!" to follow it up.

He has it down pretty pat. Now to stop following that with a smacking "sweet kiss."
And Lucy laid another egg on July 5 sometime between 9 and 10 p.m.

She somehow broke the one she laid earlier and ate it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lucy will be five years old on July 17.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

To keep this up to date as a diary, let me record that Lucy laid an egg at approx. 9:10 p.m. on July 1.