Saturday, December 31, 2011

Let's all have a happy new year!
But Lucy likes it out there. It's 72 degrees today:

Ahem. I have already cleaned Charles Gore's cage. He does not want to go outside. Can you tell?:

Friday, December 30, 2011

Now, the next project is the sluggish sink drain in the master bath.

Since lawyers are a lot cheaper than plumbers around here, Lyman has taken that job on. He has disassembled the drain pipes under the sink and found that the clog is somewhere between drains.

Today we are going to try the Clog Buster to clear the drain. I'm sure this will be fun.

We've used one effectively before in the kitchen. That's after a mishap that left us mopping water for half the night.

UPDATE: Nah. That didn't work. Somewhat improved, but....

Time for Roto-Rooter. Unless you have a suggestion.

We tried an auger, but couldn't get it past an elbow not far past the wall.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I have assembled my three receipts and the address to write a letter to Jenn-Air about this disaster of an oven we bought in 2000.

Those receipts are for repair of two control boards and one set of broken hinges. This double oven cost about 2 grand new.

The right hinge on the upper oven has broken again. It was last repaired in July 2009.

What a disappointing (pos) appliance.

UPDATE: The good news is that the hinge broke the day AFTER Christmas. And there is another usable oven.
Better. These are a quick-dry cotton. I like the non-banded look, even if I don't particularly like the hemmed edges. $4 each on sale:


I bought one towel of this kind ($5) that I'm not crazy about. It's large and dries the body well enough but feels flimsy. I'll use it for swimming.

Reviewers with hair do like the towels for wrapping after a wash. And if I had a house full of kids, it might be nice to have affordable towels that dry quickly in the laundry. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some years ago we had a discussion here about face cloths, wash cloths, flannels and wash rags. These are obviously "wash rags":


















Yes, that ugly beige does match the fixtures in our 1962 bathrooms. Lyman's mother let those pass when she and Lyman's Dad built the house. She doesn't know why she didn't choose white, either.

And no, the cloths in the guest bathroom do not look as though they've been chewed by the birds.

Penney's has a 30-70% off sale in bed and bath until the 31st. Here I come!

Monday, December 26, 2011

My gosh, I'm glad there wasn't a bike under the tree for a youngun at my house. It's been raining nonstop for two days now.

Saturday, December 24, 2011



Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011



See also The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and thank you Andrew Sullivan.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

We have foul weather today -- chilly and rainy across the state. Stay safe, you travelers.

I finished my running yesterday, thank goodness.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today is a shopping day for stocking stuffers. I'll go all over town. Pretty fun work.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One of my new swimsuits is this one in the "storm" color.

That crossback makes it easy to get into and out of, and provides support in the pool.

I've never owned a suit this good.

The other is this one in brick red. It's a good-looking suit but not as supportive.

Monday, December 19, 2011

We are home.

I'm glad to be here, but I said "Goodbye" to that pool sadly.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And so ends this day at beautiful Orange Beach:

I left the condo for shopping at 7:15 am. I didn't finish until 3 pm. It wasn't a long list, but I had specs. One place to another until I bought my list.

The swimsuits were a snap. I bought those at Beach Bazaar in Gulf Shores. The nicest and most helpful 19-year-old woman waited on me.
I don't know what I got hold of yesterday, but my eyes were streaming. I rarely have allergic reactions to anything, but something set me off.

Two new things yesterday: microfiber towels and oatmeal soap. I don't have time for that today.

I am taking time today to shop for a new swimsuit here in swimsuit market city. A nice one-piece. The one I have is at least fifteen years old.

UPDATE: Ahem. Maybe two nice one-pieces.

UPDATE II: Has to be the oatmeal soap. Everything else is the same today.

And I am spoiled rotten by this bath-warm salt-water indoor pool.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Today the furniture and carpet cleaners come.
Here's to a new day:
A peaceful vacation, it's not:
He says it's even less peaceful on the scaffold.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

That swim was just dandy. The pool house was empty. I could have shriveled all day in a dead man's float in that blessedly warm water.

Ahem. Now on to getting the HVAC fixed. It was chilly last night.

UPDATE: That wasn't so bad. One of the heater sequencers was sticking. That's been replaced.

Now the new front door is being painted. They've had lousy weather here the past couple of weeks.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's time for a trip to the coast again to prepare for the snowbirds.

That indoor pool sounds really good this week. I hurt all over. This coming February I turn 55, and so can use the pool at the Natchez Senior Center. Never thought I'd look so forward to becoming a senior citizen.

And I let the yoga slide, which was foolish, foolish, foolish. The tape is cued up in the player. All I have to do is turn it on.

I'm taking my brand new Kindle with me. It's an early Christmas present. Isn't that Lyman a sweet boy?

We leave tomorrow morning. I'll be in touch.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The garlic soup went over well. Here is the recipe.

Friday, December 09, 2011

I'm so glad this is over.

What's the menu for next year?
Done. Went off like clockwork: pretty poinsettias, candles on the table, a fire in the grate. A bag of freshly-picked satsumas for the guests, and gingersnaps if desired, then they were gone.
And Lyman says, "You better taste this, you better check that..."

I better move to a single-wide trailer in the woods.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Tonight's recipes: croutons, Bobby Flay's Chipotle Caesar salad dressing (we're doing only the dressing, not the hominy croutons or cheese crisps), and green-chili grit cakes
Today's recipes: gingersnaps and pumpkin chiffon
Ahem. I'm a little behind. (I need a maid the week of this event.) Back to you soon on the cookies.

UPDATE: These gingersnaps are pretty yummy. The orange adds a slight edge of bitterness that might not go over with some folks. Easily left out.

The recipe made just on 4 dozen approx. 2-1/2 inch cookies. Seven minutes didn't get them anywhere in my oven. I settled on 15 minutes.

They're so flavorful I can't eat more than two at a time. And I wish I were serving just these with vanilla ice cream for dessert tomorrow. That would be plenty fine.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

If I've heard "What you doing, Sweet Baby?" once in the past few days, I've heard it a thousand times.

Do parents of young children ever have the impulse to say, "It's none of your d**m business, and you can't help anyway"?
I'll be baking gingersnaps this evening:

GINGERSNAPS

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon powdered cardamom
1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup coarsely chopped candied orange peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, cream together the brown sugar, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses, and incorporate well. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture. Mix well, then gently fold in the candied orange peel.

Place dough in the refrigerator until chilled. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, dip the top half of the cookie in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, coating them well. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Use a spatula to remove the cookies from the sheet and let cool.

Makes 12 to 24 cookies. (Beats me. It's what the recipe says.)
Diane says it's time for cookie exchanges. This is a good cookie that Lyman likes to bake:

OATMEAL PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 12 ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated

In a food processor pulse 1 cup oats until ground fine. In a large bowl stir together ground oats, remaining 1/2 cup whole oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy and beat in vanilla and peanut butter. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and gradually beat in flour mixture. Add chocolate chips and grated chocolate, beating just until combined. Chill cookie dough, covered, at least 2 hours and up to 1 week.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Form rounded tablespoons of dough into balls and arrange about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten balls slightly.

Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven 15 minutes, or until just pale golden.

Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes and transfer to racks to cool completely.

Makes about 60 cookies.

Dr José A Bowen: Hook, Hants, England

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Tonight's recipe: bread machine kneaded French bread

UPDATE: When baking these two loaves I used the same trick the authors use in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I put a shallow baking pan on the rack underneath the loaves where I poured a cup of hot water just before closing the oven door.

The crust was much crisper.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Tonight's recipe: Simple Candied Orange Peel

UPDATE: Very good alone with hot tea, would make a nice gift
Why, yes, I did wash windows the day before a downpour. That or play in the water outdoors in 50 degree weather.

Cleaning this house is thankless and hopeless.

"Charles Gore! Quit chucking bird pellets!"

UPDATE: Ahem. I toddled into the 21st century with a $3 purchase of microfiber towels from Family Dollar. These are better than Magic Sponges.
Busy week of the Christmas luncheon.

MENU
Traditional shrimp cocktail
Susan Spicer's garlic soup
Mixed greens with Bobby Flay's chipotle Caesar dressing
Susan Spicer's shrimp with tasso cream over green-chili grit cakes
Pumpkin chiffon with gingersnaps

Off to the store. Not to forget the vitamins.

At least we have decor:

Saturday, December 03, 2011

A picture of Lucy always makes the place look better. This was taken today after cleaning her cage:


UPDATE: Lucy says, "Hey, muscle boys, there's more than one kind of champ from LSU."

Thursday, December 01, 2011

I took ten dozen freshly cut satsumas to Magnolia House today. We're finally making a dent in the produce from the loaded satsuma tree. That brings the picked count on that tree to 320.


Little guy is no better a sharer than the birds, but cuter about it.

Teddy Bear is a North American porcupine at Zooniversity.

(Thanks, Viral Footage.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And so the Byzantine Empire comes to a violent end.

Brought to a close largely because of differences between the western and eastern Christian churches. Not to mention the ongoing trade war between Genoa and Venice.

So where to take the reading next?

The Papacy?

Venice?

More Byzantium?

Medieval theological disputes?

Beats me. Time to return these books and see what else my brother has on his shelves.

UPDATE: For kicks, Tony, I found Justinian by Turteltaub for $4 used.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blogger James Joyner lost his wife early this morning to an unknown cause. She was 41.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Last trip to the library, I picked up Cleopatra the Great: The Woman Behind the Legend, written by Egyptologist Dr. Joann Fletcher.

Apparently, there's a resurgence of interest in Cleo. There's a touring exhibit in the US now, focusing on underwater excavations in coastal Egypt.

There's another biography by Stacy Schiff.

What I learned from this book: If you wish to wear your snake arm bracelets in the manner of Ptolemaic and Roman ladies, the one on the right curls up the arm and the one on the left curls down.

And, as I haven't read a lot of Roman history of the period, the Fletcher biography does a good job of elucidating the politics surrounding the death of Julius Caesar and the aftermath.

World history has been charted by a murderous bunch, including Cleopatra VII, Living Isis, Female Horus, the Great One, Lady of the Two Lands.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Can't we just skip all this and go straight to the turkey gumbo Lyman plans for tomorrow?
The boys are fans of the classic green bean casserole.

I'm not. As a compromise, today we're trying Cheddar Green Bean Casserole. I'm sure it will go over well. Son1 will eat boot soles with cheese on them.
Now, I like fried turkey as much as the next Louisianan, but look at these costs:

3 gallons cooking oil $25.00
Refill butane gas $25.00
Injection kit $ 4.00
13 lb. turkey $13.00

Total $67.00

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I am tempted to try Homesick Texan's recipe for Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries and Pecans this Thanksgiving.
I registered for the free features of the Financial Times a while ago.

A few days ago the magazine offered a few headlines that might be of interest. I followed one and came upon this odd story about an art forger who creates pieces to donate to museums.

The forger, who sometimes passes himself off as a Jesuit priest, claims that his motivation is to honor his deceased parents. He feels that they weren't suitably recognized in life.

Of course he's southern. We do eccentric.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Reid Stott's granddaughter Cecily revels in "princess power."

Isn't she a hoot?
All right, then. Dessert is settled.

I tried Dave Schuler's recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie. It whips up into a light, fluffy, spicy pumpkin treat. I plan to serve the filling only in dessert glasses. Dave recommends gingersnaps as a garnish.

Anyone have a good gingersnap recipe?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nix the satsuma tarts. Flat-tasting for my purposes.

I do not like this part of planning the luncheon. I don't even like sweets.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A standard Owari satsuma:

And so Charles isn't jealous because "You put Lucy's picture on the Internet but didn't put mine," here's one of him:

Here's Lucy today:

No headline from today. I use papers our friend G. collects for us.
Here's the crazily generous dwarf satsuma tree:

Here is Lucy last month:

And today is a housekeeping day. I ran across this quote from Phyllis Diller:
Children are allowed to write their names in the dust, just not the year.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No tarts today. I've been bird wrangling, bribing, intimidating and watching.

Once a month, I roll the cages onto the back patio to give them a good cleaning and disinfection with a garden hose and Pet Focus.

Charles is not a cage-bound bird but, like the other Gore boys, he resents any disruption of his fun for something as vulgar as cleaning. It took two hours for him to come out of and off his cage and into the lexan cage (which he happily lived in for years) so I could roll the big wire cage out.

Idiot child, I planned to give it back.

It took half an hour to clean the cage.

Because Lucy is so much more tractable, she spent most of the overcast but warm afternoon outside.

A couple of cats turned up at a safe distance. Their brains must have been working overtime: bird, bird, bird, water, water, bird, water. I said loudly, "I like kitties fine but I ain't never met one that deserved an $800 dinner."

A NOTE: The other day Charles said, "I want a bath. ::snicker, snicker, snicker::"

Birds.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I tried Cleo Coyle's Colonial Cranberries a couple of days ago. Lyman said, "I would not order this twice from a menu."

And I agree. Perhaps as an unusual side dish. So that's that.

But in e-mail we have Satsuma Tarts.

The trees are loaded with fruit just about ripe. The Christmas luncheon is Dec 9 this year, so they will be available.

Saturday, November 05, 2011



LSU 9. Alabama 6.

The boy makes a difference.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Look at that.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Yikes. The jury was given the case at midday on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The case.

Check out the second comment:
"Thirty-six of the 45-person jury pool answered a questionnaire that "they believe that Mr. Bordelon is guilty, that public officials who have been indicted are probably guilty "

Uhhh, Mike, 45 of the 45 jurors , if asked, would believe the person guilty because they hired you.
A dubious distinction to be sure, but nonetheless factual.
You're that good.
That's too true. I thought the most prejudicial thing in the courtroom was Mr. Small's appearance there.

On the other hand, Lyman says it's best to have a good lawyer before you tell the Feds more than your name. There are too many traps they can lay which can result in conflicting testimony and perjury charges.

Back to the case, that 16-month delay before the report to the Louisiana Board of Ethics looks funny.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yesterday was another long, boring day. The selection process continued all day long, most of which we spent waiting. The jury was finally announced at about 4:30.

While it's still running 85 degrees in the afternoon, the courtroom was as cold as a hospital. After the day before, when I'd worn a sleeveless pullover under a heavy cardigan and boat shoes, I wore a wool blazer over a long-sleeved top and ankle boots with heavy socks and was still uncomfortably cool.

The court clerk shuffled the seating arrangement after lunch, and I was moved from my padded armchair to a bare bench. Next to me sat another middle-aged woman who was a deputy clerk of court in another arena that I don't remember. She was much concerned that work was piling up back at the office. Of the three women who work together, she was out for jury duty, and another had called in sick, leaving only one to handle the workload.

When the jury was announced, she quietly, desperately said, "They called my name."

Monday, October 24, 2011

We didn't finish voir dire. I have to go back to Alexandria tomorrow. But I can start in daylight. I report at nine. Starting at seven should get me there with time to spare.

One of the best defense lawyers in the state is defending the accused. If it weren't a daily 150-mile round trip, I'd welcome the chance to watch him work.

The prosecuting attorney is African-American. One of the general questions to jurors was "Have you ever been a juror in a trial. What type of trial was it? What was the outcome?"

One potential juror said, "It was a state trial. A black man raped a white woman. He got off." Won't they call that a strike for cause?

LATER: Lyman says the prosecutor might try, but to remember that the juror thought the defendant was guilty, and that's what a prosecutor wants.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My luck ran out. I report at 8:15 tomorrow morning in Alexandria for jury duty.

Rats.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oh my. Another oversexed parrot:



Does the parrot look owl-like to you? Around the face? And the shape of his body? The markings on his feathers?

(Thanks, Daily Dish.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I welcome that. Potential jurors are required to call the evening before their reporting dates for instructions.

The recorded voice told me to call again next Sunday. No drive to Alexandria at the crack of dawn this week.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oh, my. A film crew is in Natchez. My brother has been cast as a Southern planter in a vampire-zombie film.

How about that for your resume?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

I don't understand the culture of "papering" trees, never have. You do know what that is? You fling rolls of toilet paper over the high branches of trees and make a mess of a yard.

That happened last night to the empty house next door. Usually, it's a statement of some sort. "We hate you" or "Whoa, so you're a cheerleader?"

This time, it was what? Pretty much petty vandalism, I'd say.

I walked over and picked the stuff off the ground. Funny thing was, it was not Charmin, but good quality toilet paper. They left the plastic bag in the yard. "Maker's Mark."

I hope this isn't a new advertising scheme.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I have been summoned as a potential juror for the US Western District Court in Louisiana. It meets in Alexandria.

Let me tell you, if I have to wake up several mornings in a row and leave home at 6 to drive a two-lane highway to arrive at 8 am, I can guarantee that someone is guilty. Now whether it's that poor defendant in the dock, I'm not ready to say.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Now that was a fun, jubilant wedding ceremony. First of all, the program was a church fan. It was an outdoor wedding on a glorious autumn day.

First procession was a black gospel choir singing Down by the Riverside.

A more solemn hymn was sung while stragglers were seated, and the bride walked to "Love Me Tender."

Ceremony.

The newly-married couple exited to "O, Happy Day."

The bride's maids were dressed in the same teal color, but in styles flattering to their figures. The bride wore a gorgeous beige dress with train. No veil.

That's what happens when you've been seeing the same guy for seven years and you're 36.

I've never had so much fun at a wedding. But I like black gospel music.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm going to another niece's wedding this weekend, so I stopped by the hairdresser for a cut.

I was put aside for a while and happened upon Martha Stewart's version (which is not this recipe) of Broken Glass Cupcakes.

Scares me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A newly discovered James M. Cain novel.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I spent $5 in gas today to find $2 shoelaces. And didn't.

Thirty-inch tan shoelaces are not to be found in this town. Thank goodness for ShoeLacesExpress.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I ran across this story about online custom shirt-makers while pursuing something else.

Just putting it out there. One of my brothers in Texas has shirts made by a tailor in Dallas.

LATER: Comments to that article provide some other sources:

EPIC -- good prices
Modern Tailor -- $19.95 introductory offer for fit
My Tailor -- large selection of ties and cufflinks (I like the handpainted coins), luxury fabrics

Gentlemen, a good quality soft shirt makes you touchable.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Good news on a Monday morning!

The thief was caught driving the car. The car is back, in all its laughable glory. The stepson took it to the repair shop to replace a side window and check out an exhaust leak. The mechanics guffawed at the thought that someone would steal it.

I guess crackheads will do anything.

Thanks, Natchez Police Department!

Friday, September 09, 2011

I am channeling Mama.

Just after school started, she'd take after the housekeeping. It was always as close to immaculate as a mother of many can keep it, but once we were outsourced to the schoolroom she'd go after the pantries, cabinets, closets and light fixtures. She'd move furniture to dust and sweep and mop and clean baseboards. Then rearrange it to give a new prospect to old furniture. Wash windows.

For me, it started with the office, proceeded to our bedroom, then to the pantry. Tomorrow begins the outdoor storage room, as the weather has broken.

Before tropical storm Lee we had summer, now we have fall. It feels good.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Well, nothing on the car. I'm afraid it's a goner.

We all liked that car. It was a good size and shape, you could put $5 worth of gas in it and run for two weeks.

On a better note, we had three days of lovely slow rain (about 5 inches), and predictions are that we won't break 90 degrees for the next week.

This recipe for General Tso's Chicken from Chef Tony is a keeper. We reduced the sugar to a 1/2 tablespoon.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Do tell. Someone stole my 1997 Ford Escort Wagon. It was parked outside the Bienville Apartments.

After my son took it, I wouldn't drive it. I have some hygienic standards.

Ferals.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I was running around yesterday doing errands.

After I'd walked into the house for the last time, Charles Gore the grey asked, "What you doing, sweet baby?"
Irish writer John Banville, writing under alias Benjamin Black, uses an Alvis TC108 Super Graber Coupe in Elegy for April.

He doesn't treat it well.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm not crazy about sweets. If I have three cups of grated zucchini, I prefer to put it in a colander with some salt and let it sit for half an hour, then squeeze the liquid out.

Meantime, I've sauteed onion and garlic in a dab of butter and olive oil until tender. Add the squeezed zucchini, toss it around until it's hot and serve it as a side with nearly anything.

Hmmm. I think I'd like that tomorrow.
Chef Tony sent me this cake recipe a while back.

I rustled up the gumption to shop for ingredients this morning. It's in the oven now.

I'll let you know.

LATER: I baked it for 60 minutes. Were I to do it again, I'd stop at 55 min, even if the tester shows a little underdone.

The tender crumb melts in your mouth. I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet chocolate chips. It's rich. Needs a cold glass of milk on the side.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So I'm reading a bit of fluff by Laurie Moore, Couple Gunned Down: News at Ten.

A character describes another as mean and bitchy -- "a couple of terrorists short of a jihad."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Shelling a bushel of pink-eye purple-hull peas. We're feeling lucky. Most of them went underwater around here back in the flood.

Someone trucked these in to the Natchez Farmers' Market.

LATER: Okay. Those are all blanched and packed away in their blanching liquid in freezer boxes -- about 14 meals' worth.

Heretofore, we've packed whatever we'd prepared in bags. Boxes make much more efficient use of space and are reusable. Easier to fill, too.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Did you notice that I'm posting again? That's what happens when you treat the drought-stricken rural folk with four inches of rain. It's taken three weeks of scattered showers, but we no longer feel so sere.

Oh, Diane, what is the name of the writer who writes the coffee-shop mysteries? The one with the lovely chocolate-covered cherry recipe?

A few chocolate-covered cherries with a side of ice cream and a cup of coffee would make a good dessert at Christmas, no?

UPDATE: Cleo Coyle

Colonial Cranberries with ice cream?

Shouldn't somebody step up and do noir cozy mysteries about the Hummingbird hash house in New Orleans? They'd read like Tom Waits lyrics, but they'd have some characters.
Oh, look. Here's a Baldwin County phone book from 2006.

And a Cook's Illustrated mag from 2007.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A friend sent me an email with the results of the Bulwer-Lytton bad prose contest. A comment from the the writer of the article and the entry follow:
To take the prize for best purple prose, Mike Pedersen of North Berwick, Maine, relied on a thesaurus'-worth of synonyms:

"As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue."
Those are not synonyms, darlin', those are different shades of blue.
Umm.

My SIL Karen has a point. Though she doesn't do it, and keeps a spotless house, she advocates moving every five years so we go through all our "collectibles" and discard those without use or meaning.

Now, we renovated our house in around 2000. In the lefthand cabinet under the counter in the office, I found a stack of Southern Living magazines from 1999 today.

What can I say?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

No more experimenting. That way, we get to eat the rest of the grits ourselves.
So I'm looking at the luncheon this way:

Traditional shrimp cocktail
Ms. Spicer's garlic soup -- just a few sips
Caesar salad -- light and subject to change
Ms. Spicers Shrimp etc.
And a cool, fruity dessert -- perhaps a fruit compote over ice cream
So, the deal went down in the parking lot as expected.

Figuring out how to cook and cut this product is something else.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ain't that cool?

I need some stone-ground grits to do Susan Spicer's recipe properly. I found a listing for the Louisiana Pride Grist Mill in Pride, LA, up the road from Fred. (Gotta love that -- I live in Fred, or Alice, or Nancy, or Thomas.)

The upshot is that I am going to meet the miller at the local McDonald's for delivery of freshly milled stone-ground grits around 7 am on Saturday. He and his wife will be on their way to a camp at Larto Lake near Jonesville.

Monday, July 04, 2011

While we're at it, let's add Lisa Fain's Homesick Texan to the blogroll. She offers lots of tempting recipes.
Let's put this here.

Now we may be getting somewhere with proper Tex-Mex enchiladas outside of Texas.

Adding this cookbook to my wish list.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

Today I lost a nearly brand new pair of shoes. I'd worn them once (and they are comfortable), and thought I'd tucked them under the bed (since son 2 is living in the big guest room where my closet is).

I remembered taking them off and changing into cloppers, then nothing. I looked high and low, under chairs and sofas and counters and tables, in cabinets and drawers, on shelves and mantels. Nothing. They were gone.

Lyman said, "Don't tell me they were walking shoes."

I was sitting on the edge of the bed wondering who would do me such a dirty trick when it occurred to me that I had put them in the shoe sleeve hanging on the inside of the foyer closet door. Voila!

It's gonna be a long middle age.
Now is the time to reach into our can of tricks and start seriously considering the annual Christmas luncheon. These recipes need testing, and tend to be costly.

I'm for Susan Spicer's Shrimp and Tasso in Cream Sauce with Chili-Cheese Grit Cakes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The first comment beneath this article is one of the best I've seen:
My mom always gave me a choice...between what she wanted me to do, and something much, much worse.
Thanks, Mr. Sullivan.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm working with a local framer to have this sweet Christmas gift shadow-boxed for the coast:



Does the Eurostile font look okay to you? I need something legible and compressed. It also looks '30ish to me.

The size of the text block is 2-3/4" by 1" for scale.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day to you pops out there!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dave Schuler has posted pictures of his grandmother's wedding dress, from the early 20th century.

It is romantic and innocent. Just lovely.
All right. I used King Arthur's bread flour and saf-instant yeast in the bread machine to combine the dough for French bread. The dough is light and pliant.

It's resting right now, then I'll form it into loaves and let it rise for an hour.

We'll see.

MORE: We won't be killing any fatted calves, but we are talking alligator scallopine.
My sister, the Harley girl, is here!

She came with her beau, and there is a $25,000 motorcycle parked under the carport. Don't touch it. He's a police detective.

The menu tonight is shrimp maque choux with corn fresh from the field, Caesar salad and French bread.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

We're doing a second crawfish boil today.

Quoth Lyman: "These are the meanest crawfish I've ever seen. They drew blood."

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Well, %^&$&!

Yesterday, I changed my order of the fridge part from two-day to overnight delivery. But they didn't ship it last night, which means that the part will come when we expect to be on the road.

Maybe Sandy will save the day.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I ordered paint from Sherwin-Williams, but you can't get there from here, not without waiting a half-hour for the stoplight at Canal Road. Maybe things will settle down tomorrow.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Am I just snotty crazy, or do you find it odd that the plastic veg bin cover in the fridge down at beautiful Orange Beach has a big chunk out of the side? The glass is fine.

What y'all been throwing in there? Whole hams? Large turkeys? Small children?

Friday, May 20, 2011

The river has crested here at 61.8 feet, according to NOAA.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The expected crest of the Mississippi here has been revised downward to 62.5 feet.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Mississippi is rolling.

The estimate for the crest here has been revised downward to 63', still due on May 21.

(Thanks, Natchez Democrat.)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Morganza Spillway is to be opened this afternoon.


It's a big river on a good day. Here it's at about 59.5 feet, topping both '27 and '37 levels. It's expected to grow.

The mighty Mississippi. The Army Corps of Engineers is expecting the "Father of Waters" to pass here at approx. 2,720,000 cubic feet per second at 64 feet.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I haven't seen a Blogger glitch in some years.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The oyster fishermen on the Louisiana coast can't catch a break.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Huh. Email that is not idiotic.
My concern with the southern floods? I live five blocks from the Vidalia levee.
Oh, c'mon y'all cynics, you have to love the South:
"I want to say this: Graceland is safe. And we would charge hell with a water pistol to keep it that way and I'd be willing to lead the charge," said Nations, the county emergency official.


Great-nieces, 4 and 19 months. Lyman and I went up together to cook rehearsal dinner when their parents were married eleven years ago.



I didn't take many pictures on the trip, and none were good, but this gives you an idea of the view from my brother's house. The zoom is too strong on this one. That's the Columbia River, where you can glimpse it.

A somewhat interesting article in Christianity Today about the predominance of the King James version of the Bible in history.

(Thanks, Real Clear Politics.)


Of the three airports I used on this trip -- Baton Rouge, Dallas and Portland -- only one (Baton Rouge) had such a clearly marked facility for nursing mothers. And it was a small, separate room with a comfortable chair. That's all I took in at a glance.

There are frogs on the banks of the Columbia River that actually say "ribbet."

Around here we mainly have bullfrogs that "croak" -- sounds more like a belch, really.

Monday, May 09, 2011

The original:

Here's a story from the Baton Rouge Advocate about the flood of '27 and current fears.

Greenville is about halfway between here and Memphis, TN.
The Natchez Democrat has plenty of stories describing the activities and mood here.
Hey, y'all!

That was a good visit to the northwest. That sister-in-law of mine is just the same -- and a wonderful hostess. We picked up right where we left off eleven years ago. If I'd eaten as much as she tried to cram down me I would have put on ten pounds.

She still treats me like a baby.

Here at home, people are packing up precious belongings and taking them to higher ground. They worry that the levee will break under the stress of handling waters that have never been so high in recent history. The expected river crest will be higher than that of the floods of 1937 and 1927.

The mayor and the sheriff are trying to calm people's fears. They are in constant touch with the Corps of Engineers, who assure us that the levees will hold.

If not, Charles has offered us his spare bedroom in Natchez. One of my other big brothers in Dallas has offered his home as sanctuary should it come to that. But that is too far away. I appreciate the thought, though.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Y'all can get rang'upped stupid any day you want, but I'm going to see my big brother.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'm a few pages into the second volume of the Byzantine trilogy.

I've been thinking a little about what person I'd like to be in the empire. I can't think of one. Maybe a nice, busy nun, far from the seat of power. The kitchen garden would be pleasant.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Goodnight, Irene. She was the first empress of the Byzantine empire when Charlemagne was coronated emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Umm, she mutilated and murdered her own son to attain the position. And so closes the first volume of the Byzantine trilogy.

Charlemagne asked her to marry him. Didn't sound like such a bad idea to her, but her citizens flipped. She was overthrown, exiled and dead shortly after.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oh, well.

I consider it a mission to remind people that Fleetwood Mac wasn't always a pop band.
Now the driver has a valid Louisiana license. I'm done.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

That's the story, Kate.

Without the parts that recount how little the left hand knows what the right is doing in GA -- positively, ambidextrously obstructive.

The whole business was stupid, avoidable, boring, frustrating and expensive.
Kate wrote to tell me that I've been too cryptic about the Georgia saga. Now that the boy has a valid driver's license and insurance, I'll try to recount events to the best of my knowledge.

It does not involve anything so heinous as an accident or DUI. It's a tale of ignorance and neglect, a failure to recognize that valid "communication" in our current society extends beyond text-messaging and Facebook.

Let's go on:

On a spring day in Decatur, GA, the boy is stopped by an officer for "driving too fast for conditions," whatever that means. In the course of writing that citation, s/he finds that the registration of the vehicle has expired, the car has not been registered in Georgia, the driver's license has expired, the driver has failed to transfer his driver's license to GA, and there's an "open container" in the car, which the driver insists to me is an empty beer can.

A smart, responsible person would have hustled his butt to the nearest office of the GA Department of Driver Services and taken care of four of those things, and presented evidence to the Dekalb Recorder's Court. Not this one, though. He drops the citation in the glove box and never looks at it again.

He does get the GA driver's license sometime down the road.

The court date comes and goes. The driver doesn't look at regular snail mail. Who uses mail anymore? Duh.

Years pass. At Christmas in 2010, he re-registers the car in Louisiana, the Dekalb Recorder's Court grows impatient, issues six warrants for arrest and suspends the driver's license for "failure to appear." The driver doesn't know this because it didn't show up on Facebook.

The driver is caught driving with a suspended license and gets hauled off to the pokey. The driver calls Daddy.

Daddy bails the driver out with the help of the driver's local friend, and finally, the driver appears in court. Daddy pays fines.

The driver goes to the DDS to reinstate the license. No go. Daddy calls the driver's mother. There are more charges outstanding. The driver goes to the courthouse, pays fines, and finds that there are more charges outstanding. These are turned over to a probation service.

And that's where I come in, dealing with the probation service, the Recorder's Court and the GA DDS. I am doing this because the driver has relocated his sorry self to Louisiana and is working.

And here we are.
Good food is always good news.

Lyman and I have been erratically trying to develop a go-to stir fry recipe for years. The other day he came across Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry.

We've made a few changes to bring it more in line with our tastes. First, a teaspoon of grated ginger ain't nothin'. We use a tablespoon of minced. Second, two tablespoons of sugar is way too much for us. If we want something sweet we'll buy ice cream. So we dropped that to a pinch, about a teaspoonful. Third, we added about five minced dried Thai chiles for heat. Fourth, we added a carrot, thinly sliced so it would cook quickly.

And for variation, last night we used pork tenderloin sliced into thin strips rather than chicken. Rather than browning that early, we waited until the veggies were nearly done, so the pork wouldn't dry out.

It was good. Worth doing regularly.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I feel sharpish. Don't ask me to cook. Or help you.
It was an amicable parting.
Georgia and I are quits.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good Lord. I've talked to Alice twice. She was much more cooperative when we'd paid fines.



I call it inspirational music. I caught up with this woman in 1978.
Got it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nothing better than a Byzantine background when you're dealing with a Georgia court.

I'm loaded for bear. Now I need to find the bear.

UPDATE: The comments have lapsed because I am dealing with real life. If you have anything to say to me you can use the email address in the header.

Friday, April 08, 2011

That's enough of that.

The main heresy running around Byzantium and the Eastern Empire as opposed to Rome is iconoclasm.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

It doesn't improve my mood when I tell someone I'm from Dallas.

"What part of Dallas?"

"Dallas, the city."

"But what part?"

"Dallas. I mean Dallas. Oak Cliff, Oak Lawn."

"My dad lives in Dallas. He's lived in Garland, Allen, and some other places."

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I do not know how many times I have to admonish you to stay street-legal, you idiot chilluns.

We are looking at $4000 worth of cascading expenses because you wouldn't take the time to register your car in Georgia, of all places -- stringent traffic laws. Or bother to address a ticket.

You are not bulletproof.

UPDATE: For two days, I have been talking through closed loop telephone systems. I want to shoot somebody.

Friday, April 01, 2011

I can do entirely without Stephen Tyler, but where are the other choirs doing "Lean on Me"? Do you have some?

Of course, there's the classic:

Maybe this one:

For kicks, because there's a pretty woman backup saxophone:



That alto sax is Kate St. John. She's just a few months younger than I. Now, I know I have worse genes than a lot of people, but really.

She works with Marianne Faithfull, which, if you're my age, gives you confidence in the resilience in the human race. The women, anyway.


Unanimously we will flow into the mystic.
Maybe we'll go with this one:



It soothes me, if not his mother.


I don't think that music exists to describe the conversation that passed between the boy's mother and I this morning. We're civil. We might even like each other, given time.

She doesn't sleep under stress, and I don't eat. We're very helpful.

What would you posit?


The outside scent is orange blossoms. Yes, the satsuma trees need spraying for smut.
Our big, bubbly, bouncing, blond 35-year-old baby boy is coming in.

I've been making space. I wonder if I could have fit into those black jeans I bought in 1991. Or breathed, if I did.

And I took those dresses I bought with my mother in 1990 off to a Baptist mission store. The dresses were pretty, still are, if more befitting a thirty-year-old than a 54-year-old, but they did represent the last shopping trip I took with my mother. She always pushed me a little harder than I would have gone, and I never regretted it.

The boy will be hungry, and that spells some serious expense.
When I married Lyman I thought I was surely out of the woods with children. I had chosen not to have any, he had a vasectomy.

April Fool's!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I don't typically think of myself in a rural area. We live in a small town.

But sometimes I do wake up to "moos". I don't know why these cows have been isolated in the lot behind a neighbor's house.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I am something more than halfway through John Julius Norwich's Byzantium: The Early Centuries.

Heresy, heresy everywhere.  We're up to our necks in heretics: Arians, Nestorians, monophysites.

And all those barbarians: Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Huns.

Western Emperors, Eastern Emperors, and lots and lots of murder -- families, rivals, possible rivals, traitors, so-called traitors, and whole stadia full of people.

And that's just halfway through the first book of the trilogy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I have been talking to my BIG brother all day long.  His son picked up the phone and  said, "It sounds like one of your sisters."

Quit being such a punk, child, I'm coming with the gumbo recipe.
Ok, then.

My brother Charles and I are scheduled to fly to Portland, Oregon to see the Major Dude in May.  We tried last year, but Charles was put down with osteomyelitis.  That's gone.

If he can't go this year, that's too bad. I love the brother's wife. I have loved her since I saw her walking down the concourse from gate whatever at Love Field in 1966. Some combination of pleated beige chiffon and strawberry blond tripped my love button.

Lyman and I both went up in 2000 to feed the crowds for their first son's wedding rehearsal.  Lyman made red beans and rice, crawfish pies, and seafood gumbo.

I will carry those responsibilties on my shoulders.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

When Mama cleaned her old round-shouldered refrigerator in the '60s, she'd empty it, take all the wire racks and enameled metal bins into the backyard, hose them down, swab them with a bleach solution, hose them again, then let them dry in the sun while she wiped down the box and defrosted the freezer.

With all this crappy plastic and glass, I spend twice as much time cleaning the fridge.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Lyman has his very first sauerbraten in the oven.  We are going to attempt spaetzle tonight.  I do not think we'll be doing it this way:


Okay, so my Valentine tulips are a little late.

Friday, March 04, 2011



Recipe.

Regarding the recipe: I had eight-inch pans when I made it before. They work fine. The proper size pan for the recipe is a nine-inch, which I have obtained since.
Tomorrow is my mother-in-law's 91st birthday, so I've spent most of the day working on an Italian Cream Cake.

It don't get any easier when you do it so seldom.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let me preface this by saying that I have worked in newspapers, both weekly and daily. (No, never, I didn't work for the Dallas Morning News. Nothing that large.)

And I understand that the time pressures of publishing do push proofreaders to the max, but, can you make any sense of this sequence out of context?:
A group of women in down coats went through the door; behind them a quartet, the two men black, white haired, distinguished, both in suits as though they'd been to a board meeting, their while wives dressed in for coats.
It could be a too elegant expression about women the men were running with, but I don't know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My husband fed me Susan Spicer's "Spicy Shrimp with Tasso Cream and Green Chili Grit Cakes" for after-Valentine's. We all doing just fine.

UPDATE: Scott provides a link to the recipe, p. 67.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I really shouldn't laugh, but here goes:

Yesterday, I took a tiny miniature rose bush, a pretty Valentine card and a Whitman's Sampler to Lyman's mother at the assisted living center. She'll turn 91 on March 5.

The great current irritant in her life is the woman in the next room over. A group of ladies were chatting after lunch one day when suddenly this woman stood up, looked directly at her and loudly said, "You're a liar, and you're lying right now!"

Girl was flabbergasted and hurt. She said the woman was hard to get along with anyway, and she'd made a special effort to be her friend. The upshot is that there are some papered-over bad feelings.

Now, Girl's memory is shaky. I suspect the other woman's is, too. Who knows what they've talked about or how they remember it, or how much they remember? Who could ever tell if they're deliberately lying? Girl can't even remember what she said to prompt the outburst.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sometime before Christmas I read Anne Perry's The Sheen on the Silk, a novel about Constantinople after the sack. I'd read many of her mystery novels.

Which led me to the history I finished reading about three weeks ago that I started on New Year's, The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople, from my brother's library. The book had a lamentable lack of a good map of Constantinople that was remedied by a reference to Wikipedia: Constantinople.

He also has the trilogy of the history of Byzantium by Julian Norwich, which I will read as time allows after he drops them by.

Commenters at Amazon say that Warren Treadgold is a readable historian who pursues more of the cultural aspects of Byzantium.

As a separate offshoot, Charles has a couple of books on the history of Venice.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

If the illusions were pretty cool, this is WAY cool:



Have at it, Sarah. The kids will love it.

(Thank you, Nate McCord.)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Pierre saw his shadow -- a short spring and a long summer for Louisianans. New Iberians say Pierre's prognostications are strictly local for Acadiana.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tomorrow is February 2:

Down in the swamp lives Pierre C.Shadeaux,
where the nutria tells how the seasons will go.
If the sun wakes him up on Groundhog Day,
summer comes early and spring goes away.

Happy Cajun Groundhog Day!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Because it's always good to be grateful, we gave a hefty portion back to Nancy, the hairdresser. She called to say that it's the best gumbo she's ever eaten. She wants to become Lyman's assistant.

The ducks were a wood duck, a small female mallard, and a shoveler.
Mmmm. Mmmm.

Lyman finished his duck and sausage gumbo last night.

It started weeks ago with him begging ducks from local hunters. Finally, our hairdresser's husband brought three ducks by on Thursday -- two wood ducks and a spoonbill. I took one look in the bag at those pretty little orange feet and pretty feathered breasts and said, "Tell me when it's over."

He plucked and cleaned those ducks in the kitchen, making less mess than the parrots do on any given day. I was pleasantly surprised at that. Friday he made the stock.

Then last night settled into the finish. He used something near this recipe.

It's good. Really good.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I've found this tutorial to be effective at achieving the line sketch effect in GIMP. I won't be using it this time.

Malgalin is good, but a little beyond my reach. I'll watch a cute young Aussie anyday, though.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's been nearly 20 years since I worked much with graphics programs. I downloaded GIMP to work on the Groundhog Day card.

The big difference between then and now (apart from free software) is that I can find free tutorials online. Then I went to workshops at the Dallas Infomart.

UPDATE: But I can still get just as d**ned frustrated.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Neither Lyman nor I cared much for the paratha.

I admit to be being shaky on the execution, and the product was not beautiful. But it was the flavor that put us off. My experience has been with paratha stuffed with potato or cauliflower. And I used Madhur Jaffrey's suggestion to use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white flour. I would have been happier with all white flour.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tomorrow we'll try Onion Stuffed Paratha with Vindaloo:

Chicken Vindaloo

Ingredients
For the vindaloo curry paste:
2 t. whole cumin seeds
2-3 hot, dried red chilis
1 t. cardamom seeds
1 t. fenugreek seeds
1 stick of cinnamon
1.5 t. whole black mustard seeds
5 T. white wine vinegar
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 t. light brown sugar
10 T. vegetable oil or ghee (ghee is preferred)
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
5 tablespoons water

For the rest:
2 lbs. boneless chicken (I use thighs) cut into small chunks
a 1 ” thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
A small, whole bulb of garlic, separated & peeled
1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 bottle Bass Ale (optional)

Method

Vindaloo Curry Paste

Grind cumin seeds, red chilis, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon and black mustard seeds in a grinder. Put the ground spices in a bowl.

Add the vinegar, salt and sugar. Mix and set aside.

Heat half of the oil in a wide, heavy pot over a medium flame. Put in the onions.
Fry, stirring frequently, until the onions turn brown and crisp. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and put them into the container of an electric blender or food processor. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the blender and puree the onions. Add this puree to the ground spices in the bowl.

The rest of it…

Dry off the chicken chunks with a paper towel and remove large pieces of fat, if any.

Put the ginger and garlic into the container of an electric blender or food processor. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and blend until you have a smooth paste.

Heat the oil remaining in the pot once again over a medium-high flame. When hot, put in the chicken chunks, a few at a time, and brown them lightly on all sides. Remove each batch with a slotted spoon and keep in a bowl.

When all the chicken has been removed from the pot put the ginger-garlic paste in the same pot. Turn down the heat to medium. Stir the paste for another few seconds. Add the coriander and turmeric. Stir for another few seconds. Add the chicken, any juices that may have accumulated as well as the vindaloo paste and 1 cup of water or Bass Ale. Add the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently for an hour or so, until the chicken is tender.

We're substituting pork for the chicken this time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011



Boring housewives need some glamour in their lives.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Yeah, yeah, I know. "Collard greens? Ewwww." "Hog Jowls? EWWWWW."

They were delicious with a sprinkle of black pepper, Tony's and salt.

Hog jowls run about $1.30 a pound in local supermarkets vs. nearly $4 a pound for hamhocks. We'll be using them more often.

Smoked neckbones are a fine seasoning meat, too, but they fall apart in cooking. Eating becomes an adventure of picking through beans or greens for bones.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Y'all, it's chilly here in the Deep South. Yesterday the temp never rose above 34F (that's 1.1C for you metric measurers). Today won't be much better, so I'm looking forward to spending the day in the kitchen making chicken and dumplings.

And today is our 17th wedding anniversary. Of the divorces I've known, most happened right after 18 years. So I'm on guard until 2013. Not for any cause, mind.

UPDATE: Exploring new depths in a mature relationship, we're adding collard greens cooked with hog jowl to the menu.

"Old man river, old man river..."

Monday, January 10, 2011

All right. I hope that Auburn appreciates that I am loaning my #1 Tiger fan to their base tonight:



But those War Eagles can go "weagle, weagle."

UPDATE: Auburn 22, Oregon 19

Good job, Charles Gore. Treats tomorrow.
And Mother Jones has done some reporting. What a novel idea.
I have read a lot of words in reaction to the shootings in Arizona this weekend, but the only ones that seem appropriate are the ones found in comments here.

The shooting is a political event for many people, but not for these.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Maybe I'll just leave this blog right here, with Alberta Hunter and two pretty redheads on the front page. Lucy's always in the mood.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Norman here is a nutria. Look at those feet.
Send the children to another room:

Monday, January 03, 2011



For contrast. I saw these men in a small concert hall in New York, about 1980. Full Indian regalia.

I read in comments to one of the videos that a person didn't like Aaron Neville's voice.

Someone replied, "Have you SEEN Aaron Neville? You gonna be the one to tell him he can't sing?"


Miss Alberta, young. What a woman.


I saw Miss Alberta in New York, about '81. Maybe earlier.


An interview with an older Miss Elizabeth here. I had the great privilege of hearing her play in person at Reed in or about 1975. She wrote "Freight Train."

She played left-handed upside-down. Didn't know no better, she said in concert.


Then I will.
I'm all up for suggestions to push the Christmas music off the front page on this site. We are into a new year. Scott? Paul? Sarah? I take in Gregorian chants, Jordana?


I like her.


Oh, shut up you drug-addled rock singer.

Have some Betty Crocker recipe pancakes and a dose of genuine maple syrup. The back bedroom is clear, and necessary toilet articles are in a basket beside the sink in the bathroom. Clean towels in the pantry behind you. I'll listen for your breathing.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Quip of the day from comments at Kimberly Stuart's blog:
Thank goodness I'm not the only one aging. It's like all mirrors have suddenly gone HD.
UPDATE: Let's change the name of this feature to "Quote of the Day," which is probably more accurate, and allows more leeway.
Kate has a good idea.

She was too busy to send out Christmas cards on time. Read the post and you'll see why. You'll also see that she brought up the idea of sending out Groundhog Day cards.

Now, I don't normally do cards. But it occurred to me that it would have been a welcome gesture to send cards to our service providers at the coast, particularly the cleaning service staff.

I'd like to find a good picture of Pierre C. Shadeaux to use for a card for Cajun Groundhog Day (even if Pierre is a nutria). Pierre does not predict the length of the winter, but the length of the spring. If he sees his shadow, we'll have an early summer.

Unexpected, fun and serves the same purpose.

(I did speak to the service people at the coast while we were there, but only to the manager of the cleaning service.)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

The dinner menu: battered, deep-fried pork chops, black-eyed peas, mustard greens and hot water cornbread. Good luck to you, too, in the coming year.