Friday, October 28, 2011

Just Call Me a Malcontent

It's Friday y'all.

Now's the time to wrap-up the week and gloat about all our accomplishments.

You start.

Or we could talk about last night's World Series Game 6 and how it gave me hives.  Really.  During the last three innings I began breaking out in itchy bumps on my arms and chest. (Could I possibly paint a more attractive picture of myself?)  I was here at the farm alone in the middle of nowhere alternately jumping up and down in front of the TV and running out the door to DEMAND! that the wind stop blowing out the satellite reception. I actually missed the home run by Josh Hamilton.  Missed it.

And he's so cute and such a great guy and all.

Occasionally I would also have to tear myself from the TV or computer to kill a scorpion or catch a gecko that had darted inside during one of my trips out to GIVE THE WIND THE WHAT'S WHAT.
And there was also that creature thing that was wandering around out in the back near my car - I kept hearing something and I saw the figure of some animal-type thing in the dark but I simply did not have time to investigate.

I was in a baseball frenzy.

And my goodness sakes, could the Rangers just not get it done or what? Or was it just that the Cardinals did get it done?  The whole winning and losing thing is SO hard to figure out don't you think?

Anyway, I'm not sure if I can stand another game like that one- at least not until I go get some kind of prescription medication for the hives and also a bottle of Benedryl. 

The good thing is I slept great as the weather here is, I believe we used to call it COLD, and I turned the ceiling fan and!! the oscillating fan on high and slept under some BIG, FAT, COVERS as The Chief was not here to suggest that I do otherwise.

Take that Chief.

Living on the edge...


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Every Moral Has a Story


I know you've all been wondering what's up around here.  You probably all thought I was swept away on some exotic vacation or had been spending the week at a spa.

You did, didn't you?

So sorry to disappoint.


Not really.  I just like saying it.  It sounds like I just made a touchdown and/or also ran a marathon.

My knee hurts, but I don't think it's a major thing - I simply got a little too wound up on the treadmill yesterday and before I knew it I couldn't bend my knee. Which led to another unfortunate injury in the dark last night when I got up to go to the bathroom and all the hobbling caused me to catch my toe on the bathroom door.  I think I may have whimpered or SCREAMED AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS in pain, but The Chief didn't seem to hear.  The man has ignoring down to a science. Which is very surprising to me because, as you are well aware, I never say anything unless it is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT.
  Anyway I was pretty sure that when I woke up this morning and actually saw the extent of the injury I would be headed to the hospital and maybe asked to guest star on one of those "how did you survive the awful pain" shows on the Health Channel, but sure enough my toe is fine and there seems to be no ill effects from the injury except that maybe I really resent the fact that The Chief didn't offer to go outside and get some snow so I could ice it down and all.
I am quite obviously still delirious from the pain.

And speaking of going to the bathroom, I have yet another story.  Because, hello, WHAT ELSE COULD BE MORE EXCITING?

I took The Chief's truck to have the windshield replaced yesterday morning and in the 45 minutes or so that I had to wait, I had to go to the bathroom approximately 17 times because I had wisely chosen to drink a HUGE Diet Coke on the way to the glass place.  And to top off the fun of all those public bathroom trips (in a house that had been converted to a business) all of the currently non-busy glass/mirror technicians sat enjoying their coffee at a table approximately 3 inches from the door of the bathroom. And the moral of this story is once again: YOU WOULD THINK I COULD FIGURE OUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF DRINKING ONE HUNDREDY OUNCES OF LIQUID EARLY IN THE MORNING BEFORE GOING TO A PUBLIC PLACE.

And although I know that you mourn the end of my bathroom tales, I really need to go get ready for ZUMBA.

Because today I plan to just DAZZLE everyone with my sassy and salty Latin dance moves made even more attractive by the bulging swell on my knee and the large white mummy-type bandage I have lovingly placed on my toe.

Don't be jealous of all the glamour. 


Friday, October 21, 2011

Did I Mention I Have ZUMBA Arms?

Sadly, I don't mean Zumba arms like all toned and in shape.
I mean Zumba arms as in sore and barely able to lift them.
And while you could probably care less, I relay this information to explain why there will be no exciting action shots in the step-by-step recipe that follows.

It was all I could do to hold the camera.  Much less a spoon or whisk at the same time.

But listen.

Y'all all need to come go to Zumba with me.  It was fun.  We did the merengue, the salsa, the samba and mostly the sweat.  After the whole treadmill/pork butt debacle of earlier in the week, I completely got through the class without creating any kind of spectacle.  So SCORE!

To celebrate, I decided to bake something.

I am nothing if not a puzzle.

(And as The Chief would say, "with a few pieces missing")

But I see absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating my introduction to the spicy, Latin, exercise world with a seasonal baked good.

I think you'll all agree.

But first, I need to talk about pumpkin.

I'm not the biggest fan.  The taste in baked goods can be too pumpkiny, too pumpkin-ish, and sometimes a little overly pumpkin-esque for my taste.

So, I'm always intrigued when I find an appropriately season-celebrating recipe that has a little twist to it.  Like the Pumpkin Cheddar muffins I plan to share with you next week, or today's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf.

Here's the recipe, but the pretty pictures are after....

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf
From Baked Bakery, Brooklyn, New York

3 ¼ c. flour                                                                                 1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. cinnamon                                                                          3 cups sugar
½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg                                                    4 large eggs
½ tsp. ground allspice                                                                1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ ground ginger (optional)                                                        1 ½ cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 ¾ cups (one 15-oz. can) pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans.  Dust them with flour, and knock out excess flour.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, baking soda, and salt.
In another large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and oil until combined.  Add the sugar and whisk again.  Whisk the eggs into the mixture, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.  Add 2/3 cup room-temperature water and whisk until combined.  With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet.  Do not over mix.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans.  Gently knock the bottom of the pans against the countertop to even out the batter.  Use the spatula to smooth the tops.
Bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through the baking time.  Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.  Invert the loaves onto wire racks and cool completely before serving.

 Here's what's what.

Butter the pans, dust with flour.

Gather your ingredients.  I used Canola oil instead of regular vegetable oil, and vanilla bean paste instead of regular vanilla.  Why, you ask?  Because it's what I had...

Whisk the dry ingredients together...

Use your favorite big bowl.

 Uh.  I hadn't whisked yet here.  My arm was hurting.

In another bowl, also a favorite, mix together the pumpkin puree and the oil.

 Now add the sugar and whisk well.

 Yick.  Kind of Halloweenish, no?

This is much better.

Now add the eggs, one at a time.

 Whisk until each egg is combined. 

Now add the vanilla.

 Stir well.

Now add 2/3 cups water and the chocolate chips- stir well.

Then dump in the dry ingredients and mix 'er all up...

Here's what you get...

 Divide the batter evenly into the two baking dishes.  Bake in 350 degree oven.

 Bake for between 1 hour and 15 minutes and 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on the disposition of your oven...

 I may or may not have eaten a piece in celebration - you know, of the Zumba arms and all...

I won't say either way - one would be an unnecessary confession, and the other a complete lie.

I think you'll like it.

Have a great weekend,


Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Few Little Things and Some Other Stuff

1.  Ahem... Have you been outside?  No, like I said...Do not thank me.  I did it for all of us.  I think it's clear that I frightened Mr. October into compliance.  I know some of you didn't think I had it in me.  I've told you before I can be sufficiently bold when the occasion calls for it.  Like when the shelves are empty of TAB at the HEB or when Weegie entertains some wild idea about cavorting around with the skunks.  We all have to speak up when we see things that are wrong.
So remember, don't thank me.  Unless of course you've already purchased the gift card from Pottery Barn or loaded up your truck with TAB.

Far be it from me to seem ungrateful...

2.  Speaking of shopping.  I recently had a discussion with some girlfriends about their favorite make-up foundation.  The votes were more or less evenly split between some of the really expensive brands purchased only at a department store or on-line, and the pretty cheap stuff you can just pick up yourself at the Wal-Marts or pharmacy-type establishments.  I've been pretty determined to find some new foundation because, y'all... Something has happened to my skin.  It has been in a decidedly-non rosey/youthful/firm state for a while now and it seems unable to find it's way out.  I'm pretty sure that I could solve most of the world's major political and other problems if I could just discover the right base make-up.  Well.  I was in Wal-Mart yesterday and after I jogged by the pharmacy area holding my breath (look people, it's already flu season and people were coughing up a lung...) I determined that I would look for one of the foundation brands that someone had mentioned during our little discussion.  I'm just sayin', but I suppose one of the little perks of those white-jacketed cosmetics experts at the department stores is that they test out the color shade and everything on your skin, because it became clear when I got home and tried out the shade I selected that just like paint in a 5 gallon can, it's easy to make a major mistake.

The shade you see through the pretty little make-up bottle is going to be considerably different when you slap it up on your living room wall - or whatever. I like the little spongy-roller thingy, and the easy application, but Sweet Mother of Pearl... You should see the color.  I have a very light complexion.  OK, I'm really drab and pale.  I took about 20 minutes deciding between Buff Beige and Lighter Than You Wanna Be.

Last night before taking off my make-up and taking a bath I decided to try out the new stuff.  Well.  Evidently Buff Beige is for those lucky people with a more zombie-like skin tone because, MAJOR COLOR FAIL.  I even frightened myself.  I think I can salvage the $9.98 and use it as under-eye concealer/HIGHLIGHTER, or perhaps desert camouflage or something.
No harm.  No foul.

But honestly if I have to take a couple more shots at the color-matching, I may as well go buy the high dollar stuff from one of the ladies.  Oh, and also the blush, lip gloss and face firming exfoliating scrub/hydrating/anti-aging creme that she talks me into, Amen?

3.  And now the really exciting stuff.  I joined a gym.  I did.  I went in on Tuesday and had a little tour.  The lady who showed me around was so nice and normal and not all buff and fit ( of course she wasn't not-buff and not-fit, but you know what I mean...) and what I saw was exciting and scary and made me very nervous- but a good nervous, you know.  And anyway, I won't go through the whole tour/joining story but I know you all want to hear it, because, hello, REALLY WHAT COULD BE MORE EXCITING?

Anyway, I went yesterday for the very first time and you know what I was most nervous about?  Using the lockers.  Yep.  If you're a longtime reader of this little blog you know I have some horror stories/situations in my personal history that involve lockers and combination locks and forgetting and books and some possible locker demon possession that have molded me into the very odd and highly paranoid person I am today.
I was very concerned that 1) I wouldn't be able to safely lock my stuff into the locker, and 2) I wouldn't be able to get my stuff out of the locker.
But.  I'd by lying if I didn't admit to a little smidge of pride in being able to say that I conquered the whole locker thing without so much as a hitch.

Thank You.

The only real problem came in when I was on the treadmill and couldn't understand why several very slim and trim and fit and perky ladies were giving me the eye.  Were they intimidated by my very obvious physical superiority or maybe the big grease stain on the front of my gray workout shirt?  I think I stumbled upon the answer when I realized that my earphones were not completely plugged in the little hole all the way and the volume on my treadmill's fancy personal TV was blaring the Food Channel's Pat and Gina Neely explaining how to correctly season a pork butt.

I guess after I thought about it a while it was somewhat ironic.  But no less tragically life-altering.

Today I'm trying Zumba.  I'll let you know how it all goes down.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Don't Look Now, But You've All Been Behooved

No need to thank me, but I believe that it will become quite clear to all of you today that I've taken care of this whole unseasonably, unacceptably, un'autumn'ish weather issue we've been having.
Once and for all.

I mean I've wondered for a while if it wouldn't behoove me (and of course, you too, my friends - if in fact it is possible to do something that behooves someone else- I think you'll agree that the whole "behooving business" is nothing short of a conundrum)  to just call October on the carpet, so to speak, and give him the what for.

And although I know you all must be very curious, and I suppose also a little, well, in awe of what I have done,  I feel an obligation to protect October's reputation as the traditionally fine and upstanding month that it usually is, so some of the little "tete a tete" that he and I had will have to remain confidential.

I know you understand.

Here's a little of what I said:

"Look.  October.  Dude.

You've always been my favorite month.  Really.  I'm not just saying that.  You're the month when my bare legs usually no longer stick to the leather seats in my car.  The month when I dare to wear things with actual sleeves.  Sleeves, October!  The month when I don't just admire my cowboy boots on the closet shelf, but I actually pull them down and put them on.  You're the month when I venture outside during the day and no longer cry when the sun touches my skin.  

The good month, that's what you are. I've always felt this way.

And it's not as if you've been completely bad this year.  We did have a little rain a week or so ago and LOOK October!  Look what happened in the front yard!

The mums bloomed.  On your watch October!  

This was just excellent work on your part.  It even inspired me to do some things to encourage you along.

I put up Fall Wreaths, October.  I did.  

I thought it might motivate you.

Don't you like the wreaths, October?  I'm wondering because you've really disappointed in the last week or so with the unseasonably warm weather.  The hot sun.  The humidity.  The sweaty car seat leg thing.

If I thought there was something else that I could do, something more from me that would help you along I'd do it.  But I'm tired October.


Tired of the shenanigans from you and your little friend Mr. September.  Simply exhausted from your blatant insubordination.  Your reluctance to cooperate.

So let me tell you how it's gonna be.  And listen good, October, because I'm only saying this once.

Today you're gonna cool off.  You might even provide a little rain for some folks.  You are going to make it possible for me to open my windows and let fresh air blow into my house.

Non-humid air, October.  Do you hear me?

Then you are going to let loose with  some days when I not only dare to wear sleeves, but I might even wear a sweater.

Yes, I said a sweater.

And listen, Sir, maybe even my scarf.  

The kicky one.

So don't get any funny ideas about returning to your rebellious ways.  They're over Buddy.
This is just the way it's gonna be.

And while you're at it, you may as well just go ahead and warn your upstart homeboy, November.

I'm gunnin' for him."

So, that's just a little of what we  I talked aboutReally, what could he say?

I'm just a little bummed that I didn't read the riot act to July and have a little "sit down" with August.

Like I said though, I was happy to do it.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Please Forgive Me, Mr. Governor

When we were packing up on Friday to go to the farm I made a point of cutting a cookie recipe out of the newspaper and packing it along with some other food-type items to take on our trip.  I thought it might be nice to try the new recipe out on Saturday evening after I helped The Chief build fence.

Somehow I always forget how tired, dirty and just generally worn out I'm going to be after building fence.

On Friday, before getting to the farm it's easy to imagine leisurely whipping up a new recipe for tasty cookies on Saturday evening while The Chief and Weegie sit on the cool front porch and enjoy the lovely view to the lake.

Of course I also packed several changes of clothes and even a kicky little scarf that coordinated with a kicky new blouse I just bought.  On Friday, before arriving at the farm it's easy to imagine changing into these fashionable outfits and enjoying myself as I frolic through the green fields and photograph the cattle and the donkey.  Maybe even having  The Chief photograph me as I frolic or lean back against the mule in a smug pose. Looking, of course, very kicky.

It's so easy to imagine these things on Friday before arriving at the farm.

And then we get there.

And the lake is dried up.  There is nothing green in sight.  The cows have all wandered over into some other pasture and are nowhere to be found.  The scorpions have taken over the farmhouse.  We high-side the Mule on a fallen tree while trying to get out into the dried lake bed to build an extension on the fence.  We have to use the come-along (a fencing tool) to winch the Mule off the tree.  The weather is not cool.  The cracks in the dried lake bed are so deep that the first time I accidentally step into one it reaches my mid-thigh. I pray that my leg is not broken.  It takes me at least 15 minutes to carry 3 steel fence posts (my maximum carrying capacity per trip) out to The Chief where he is beginning to extend the fence.  There are 50 posts in all...

It never occurred to me even once to change clothes.  I do believe I changed socks on Sunday morning.  The kicky clothes were still folded neatly in my bag when we got home Sunday night.

I did manage to drag myself into the kitchen Saturday evening to make the cookies.

The Original Recipe was for Texas Governor's Mansion Cowboy Cookies.

I didn't have enough butter for the recipe.

The main ingredient was oatmeal - didn't have any.

But by golly, I was making  those  some cookies.

So, say Howdy to   "The Fenceman's Farmhouse Cookies"

(and church friends, these are the cookies I brought to the picnic Sunday)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Beat 2 sticks butter and 1/2 cup shortening on med. speed about 1 minute.  Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar.  Beat about 3 minutes.

3.  Add 3 eggs one at a time.

4.  Add one tablespoon vanilla.

5.  In a separate large bowl stir together 3 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Stir until combined.

6.  Add the flour mixture slowly to the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla mixture.

7.  Stir in 3 cups chocolate chips, 2 cups shredded coconut, 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal, and 1 cup slightly crushed Special K cereal, and about 1/4 cup Oatmeal Crisp cereal...

***Note:  I was pretty desperate at this point to find some things to replace the oatmeal originally called for in the recipe.  Just combine whatever dry cereals (within reason please, no Fruity-Tutti things!) that you have.

8.  Stir in 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts and 1 cup toasted pecans.

9.  Drop by 1/3 cup measurements onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes.  Don't let them get terribly brown.

They even taste good from an orange plate.

Did I mention Gig'em?


Thursday, October 13, 2011

A "Two-Fer"

This is a two part post.  A double whammy so to speak.

The first part?  A little sneak peek at The Weege.

The second?  A plea from me.

So all you Weegie-acs! don't forget to check out the end.

Thank you.


"Mom, I asked you not to take any pictures of my hindquarters."

"And seriously, Mom, do you realize how boring it is to be confined to this courtyard as my only outdoor option?  There is NOTHING to do out here.  No squirrels, no skunks, no opossums, no nothing.  How am I supposed to occupy my time?"

"And your really bright idea about me playing hide and seek with myself?  Boring.  That's what it is."

"I beg you, Mom, REALLY.  Puh-leez let me out in the back yard.  Do you realize what has been GOING ON back there since I've been banished?

"Well let me tell you.  All kinds of UNAUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES, that's what.  Activities that are banned, frowned upon, and just generally unacceptable.  Am I the only one who sees it?"

"And Mom, could you get the Windex?  I've slimed up this window pretty bad."

So that's a little re-cap of Weegie's situation.  Please pray that he can find contentment (at least for another two weeks or so) - he does so enjoy being part of a prayer chain.


Part Deux.

Please promise me something.  Promise me you will go to the HEB or Sam's or something and buy some of these

Honeycrisp apples.  I got these at Sam's.  They aren't nearly as big as some that I got at the HEB last season, but still - go get some.  I don't ask for much, do I?

Then, make this cake.  I've already posted this recipe, but it is good enough to post again.  Trust me.

The Fresh Apple Cake

1.  Chop and toast 1 1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts).  The toasting is SO important.  Let them cool completely.

2.  Peel and chop 3 cups Honeycrisp apples.  Pour 1/4 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice over the apples.  Set aside.

3.  With a mixer, combine 2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 c. vegetable oil, 2 tsp. vanilla, 2 eggs, and 1 tsp. salt.  Just mix until well combined.

4.  In a separate large bowl combine 3 c. flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg.

5.  With a wooden spoon, mix together the sugar mixture and the flour mixture.

6.  Stir in the apples and pecans.

7.  Bake in a well-greased and floured tube pan at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

8.  Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes.  Run a sharp knife all around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan.

9.  Invert onto plate.  Glaze with a mix of powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice.

So good.  So so good.

And all because of these...

Let me know how it turns out.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Totally Fictitious Tale

Just a Note:  Over the weekend I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful little event celebrating my friend and author Bev Nault.  Bev is a talented writer and just an all-around lovely person.  She's recently written two popular books (one fiction and one non-fiction) and is set to release another fiction work in the very near future.  I encourage you to click on her name to visit her website!

I had the chance to ask Bev a couple of questions about how you go about writing fiction, and as everyone knows, I'm a really, really quick study so I think I have the whole fiction-writing thing down to a science now.

I think you'll all agree.

Here's my first piece of fiction.  File this under Sub-genre "Really Short Story".

First, a little business This is a work of fiction.  Names characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

And while we're at it - No part of this really short story may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form.

That's a road that can lead to what I like to call a "plagiarism lawsuit" my friends.

OK.  Here goes.

A Tail of Two P's

Once upon a time there was a dog.  (See, the whole point of fiction is to catch you off guard - you would never expect me to write about a dog).  Anyway, there was a dog.  His name was Partial Pants. He had acquired this name recently as a result of an unfortunate hair shaving incident necessitated by a "corrective surgical procedure".  One leg, hip and most of one side of his buttocks was now exposed.  Shorn of the lovely reddish brown and white fur for which he was often admired.  And also which constantly covered the upholstery in the home in which he lived.  At first he was embarrassed by the haircut.  Double P had been known to struggle with an inflated ego problem.  But he had come to enjoy his attention-getting "do".  It made people notice him.  It even generated what you might call a sympathy response from some passers-by, frequently resulting in an extended tummy rub.  And 2P kind of liked how as a result of the shaving, you could better see the muscles in his leg.

Now 2P was much improved/recuperated/rehabilitated from the surgery.  He was feeling good.  But unfortunately his Mom (let's call her Lo-D, because she so strongly resembled the popular J-Lo in looks and in talent (look people, this is fiction - anything goes...)) still insisted that he not 1) run  2) jump on the furniture or 3) use the stairs.  And Lo-D insisted on these things because  1) the doctor said,  and more importantly  2) Cochise (Lo-D's husband and 2P's favorite person in the world) had emphatically stated that he would not be paying for another "corrective surgery" if in fact 2P did not behave himself and screwed up the first one...

Anyway 2P was getting very hard to live with.  He could not be let out into the backyard alone to lay on his chaise lounge chair because he was not disciplined enough not to chase every bird and squirrel in the neighborhood.  He tired quickly of being confined in the courtyard area in front of the house as really there just wasn't a lot of action up there.  He wanted to be with Lo-D all the time.  He liked to walk so close to her legs that she tripped over him three or four times a day.  He liked to bark at the top of his lungs at his Squeaky Toy that he so slyly pushed under the furniture.  He liked to bark at the birds that he spotted out the window.  He liked to bark at Lo-D while she broke his antibiotic capsule in half and mixed it with some chicken and a little broth.  He barked at Lo-D when she had no chicken.  He barked at Lo-D while she made dinner for Cochise and dared to use cheese.

And of course, Lo-D always got down on her hands and knees and rescued the Squeaky Toy, assured him that the birds were not out to get him, boiled some more chicken and gave him some cheese.
She even, without fail,  rubbed his tummy on every quarter hour.

Because Lo-D?  She had a heart for the pitiful.

And quite honestly, she just wasn't very smart.

The End

P.S.  Bev, I know you're proud.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Armed and Dangerous?

Those of you who know me personally know I'm not a big talker.  And I've never once in my life been described as what you might call "bold".  Never.

So you can imagine my shock and surprise when one day (in Sunday School no less!) one of my friends described me as a "word assassin".

Well, excuse me, WHAT?

I was, needless to say, completely taken aback and I daresay a little dumbfounded. I mean it sounded like something for which one might be arrested.  Or at the very least something you might want to stop by your friendly CVS and get immunized against.

I could tell he meant it in a very kind way (because this person, he is, one of my VERY favorite people) but I needed a little more clarification.  So after class I expertly wound my way over to him and ask him

"What Up, Dude?"

I'm kidding.  I politely ask him what he meant by comparing me to a killer with a gun and a penchant for rooftops. Wait.  That's a sniper.  Nevermind.

Oh Bless His Heart.  He spent the next 10 minutes trying to make sure he hadn't hurt my feelings, all the while explaining that he meant because I don't say much it's as if I lie in wait for an interminably long period of time before saying something and then shoot with deadly precision.

All of which, quite frankly, made me snort Diet Coke out of my nose and choke on the lovely cinnamon roll (which in fact contained the absolute perfect ratio of sugar to cinnamon!) that had been provided for refreshments.

It was a compliment. Albeit a somewhat misplaced one since my tendency to stay silent has a lot more to do with the fear of messing up than stealth.

Isn't it funny how differently we sometimes see our own actions? Or those of others?

I love words, I do.

I love the way some of them sound ( skirmish, for instance, or perfunctory), I love the emotions they can evoke (beloved, lingered or quiescent) and some that are just plain fun (like squishy, loopy and cackle).

But most of the time words simply stay in my head or on this blog or maybe in a letter or an e-mail.  My tendency to err on the side of timidity or shyness when it comes to  saying words usually results from two questions that always flash in my mind before I speak:

1) Will it hurt someone's feelings?
2) Will it make me look like an idiot?

And although things slip out sometimes (oh the regret...) I usually decide to just hold off.  Many people consider this a weakness, and I guess it is.  Especially given that some of my very favorite people in the world are unquestionably bold and somewhat outspoken (I love you Chief!).

But I suppose in the end "it takes all kinds to make the world go around" don't you think?  I mean how exciting would it be if everyone clammed up like me all the time, or always had an opinion about every single little thing?

Anyway, I say all this to tell you how much I love it when someone comes up with just the perfect way of saying something.  Just the right words in just the right way.  That's one reason I love Pinterest.

Not only do you find the best little sayings, but someone has also gone to the trouble to pretty them up into spiffy posters, etc.

Here are some of my recent favorites:

Well, isn't that the truth.

Oh my goodness, yes.

Call me guilty!

Dori had such a positive outlook!



The Chief.

Except The Chief.  He's always there BEFORE punctual.  Darn it.

When I'm feeling like I need to be pampered...

And finally, this new one from pioneer Steve Jobs

Words. Use them wisely.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Please Call Me Ivana

I've always said that if I ever suddenly became a gabillionaire the only indulgence I would allow myself would be fresh flowers in my house every day.

Well, I think I said it once and then The Chief said "Trust me Lu, you shouldn't waste a lot of time worrying about it."

He's such a stinkin' realist.  A bubble burster.

Anyway, I love fresh flowers.  Have never been a fan of the silk, plastic, or other synthetic varieties.   Most of the time I just cut something out of my yard (like roses or coleus) but sometimes I can't pass up one of the little bouquets at the grocery store, especially if they're on sale.  Anyone who's ever bought one knows you get one or two "fancy flowers" and the rest is all filler greenery.


So one must let one's creative juices flow.  Or basically just grab some other flowers out of the yard and "embellish".

My courtyard is looking a little overgrown these days, but I just don't have the heart to cut anything back since there's so little living plant matter that has survived the drought.

Check out the lemons on my tree- I have over 30!

I don't even want to cut back the blooms on the coleus - I like the extra color!

Even my pretty coral roses have been hidden by the monster coleus.

The more I cut, the bigger it grows.

I clipped a few pieces here and there, got stung by two bees in the process, and ended up with this.

And just think how much better it could look if I had any kind of clue about floral design!

Like shape, and dimension, and form!

So today, I say spoil yourself like you were well, the Trumpster's ex!

Or whatever.

Just don't let The Chief hear about it.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Did I Hear Someone Mention the SEC?

I was hoping to start this post with a rousing "Well how about them Aggies!"

But of course that's typically reserved for a situation in which your team either a) wins or b) actually participates in some physical form during the last, let's say 30 minutes or so of the game.

Even though defensive football strategy is a little 'outside my wheelhouse' so to speak, I'm going to climb way out on a limb and say that the Ags might want to re-think theirs.

Defensive strategy I mean.

Oh, and not necessarily the first half kind.  I'm thinking maybe the second half kind.  The kind that makes you lose.

Just call it wild conjecture on my part.

Granted, I'm most likely not the first person  you'd think of when it comes to football knowledge, although I can say with purpose and abandon that I am quite the fan of the shotgun formation, the single set back, a nice gap crush and yes, the touchdown.

I always enjoy those.

So it's really not like I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. Although you might argue it's pretty close.

And I do love my Aggies.  Win or lose.

We are the Aggies, the Aggies are we.

But there always comes a time when we all need to re-visit a plan that we've made, or may have just completely forgotten to make.

And I think for my Aggies that time might be now.

Before it is no longer this year and it is in fact next year and we show up at the big party still dressed in our pajamas.  Or worse, having completely forgotten to dress at all.

Gig'em and God Bless!