Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
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
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.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
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
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
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.
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
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
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
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
Friday, December 09, 2011
What's the menu for next year?
I better move to a single-wide trailer in the woods.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
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
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"?
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
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.)
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
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
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.
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
UPDATE: Lucy says, "Hey, muscle boys, there's more than one kind of champ from LSU."
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
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?
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
Saturday, November 26, 2011
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
3 gallons cooking oil $25.00
Refill butane gas $25.00
Injection kit $ 4.00
13 lb. turkey $13.00
Sunday, November 20, 2011
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
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
Monday, November 14, 2011
Children are allowed to write their names in the dust, just not the year.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
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::"
Friday, November 11, 2011
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
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
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 "That's too true. I thought the most prejudicial thing in the courtroom was Mr. Small's appearance there.
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.
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
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
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
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
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
Thursday, October 06, 2011
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
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
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."
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
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
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
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
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
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
After my son took it, I wouldn't drive it. I have some hygienic standards.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
After I'd walked into the house for the last time, Charles Gore the grey asked, "What you doing, sweet baby?"
Monday, August 22, 2011
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.
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
Sunday, August 14, 2011
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
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.
And a Cook's Illustrated mag from 2007.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
To take the prize for best purple prose, Mike Pedersen of North Berwick, Maine, relied on a thesaurus'-worth of synonyms:Those are not synonyms, darlin', those are different shades of blue.
"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."
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
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
Figuring out how to cook and cut this product is something else.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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
Friday, July 01, 2011
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.
I'm for Susan Spicer's Shrimp and Tasso in Cream Sauce with Chili-Cheese Grit Cakes.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
It's resting right now, then I'll form it into loaves and let it rise for an hour.
MORE: We won't be killing any fatted calves, but we are talking alligator scallopine.
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
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
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
Sunday, May 29, 2011
What y'all been throwing in there? Whole hams? Large turkeys? Small children?
Friday, May 20, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
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
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
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.
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.
Around here we mainly have bullfrogs that "croak" -- sounds more like a belch, really.
Monday, May 09, 2011
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
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
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
Sunday, April 17, 2011
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.
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
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
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
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
"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
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
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.
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?
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.
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
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
Quit being such a punk, child, I'm coming with the gumbo recipe.
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
With all this crappy plastic and glass, I spend twice as much time cleaning the fridge.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Friday, March 04, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
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
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
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
Saturday, February 12, 2011
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
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
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
The ducks were a wood duck, a small female mallard, and a shoveler.
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
Sunday, January 23, 2011
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
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
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)
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
Friday, January 14, 2011
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
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
But those War Eagles can go "weagle, weagle."
UPDATE: Auburn 22, Oregon 19
Good job, Charles Gore. Treats tomorrow.
Friday, January 07, 2011
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
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.
Then I will.
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
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.
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.)