Monday, July 30, 2007

Visiting with the Family

I took some time off of work and am visiting with my folks. I have been a lean, mean (DO NOT LAUGH) cooking and cleaning machine since I got here. I've cleaned out closets and cabinets and drawers, and believe me...its been a fight every step of the way.

So here is how it's gone.

Saturday morning I accidentally opened a can of sweetened condensed milk, so I decided to make lemon bars and not waste it. This involved a trip to the Piggly Wiggly for lemons and butter. I came back and shelled peas and washed them before putting them on to cook. Then my sister called and wanted to go out shopping. We hit TJ Maxx, Target, and Publix. Back at Mom and Dad's, I made the lemon bars and put some squash on to boil with an onion. And made a meatloaf. Then made a squash casserole. So for supper we had meatloaf with squash casserole, peas fresh from the garden, and sliced tomatoes, also fresh from the garden.

After supper I met up with my sister and her family to go to the Alabama Theater in downtown Birmingham. It is magnificent and I am so proud of the efforts made to presserve this amazing venue. We saw a Tom and Jerry cartoon, and yes, I laughed. Then the curtain closed and the music began. Up from the floor came The Might Wurlitzer and we were treated to a brief concert and then a sing-a-long. The movie is not one of my favorites, but it was such a lovely experience. I thought of my friend Kim when I saw that on the 18th and 19th of August they will be showing Gone with the Wind.

Yesterday was quiet. I fried okra to go with the left-overs from Saturday and made zucchini bread later in the day. I also washed Mom's hair and styled it for church.

I started cleaning house at 7:30 this morning and am only now taking a break. I started in the guest bath before moving into the kitchen. I cleaned up Mom and Dad's breakfast dishes and then started scrubbing countertops. I pulled out the silverware divider and emptied it, putting it to soak in Clorox water. I was allowed to toss one of the three oven temperature guages Mom had in a gadget drawer, but was not permitted to get rid of the handles that convert Corningware casseroles to skillets. (These were last used in the late 60s.) I found 7 pairs of scissors.

Then I moved into their bedroom. While it no longer looks like a sick-room, it was still a bit of a mess. I dusted everything, including Dad's change. Then I scrubbes their bathroom.

During all of this, Mom had her final visit with the home-health pysical therapist. She suggested Mom was dishes to build up her endurance. Hmmmm. After she left, I fixed a snack for the folks, bowls of watermelon, before swinging back into action.

I had done all but the vacuuming when it hit me it was one o'clock, so I decided to fix some lunch. Mr. Peoples had come knocking on the back door this morning with corn from his garden, so I decided to grill it, with some onions and some smoked sausage. I also made cornbread and sliced some tomatoes and cucumbers. I think my Dad was as happy as I had seen him in a while.

I have to admit, I'm pretty full and happy myself at the moment.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Morning News

A few years ago, ABC created a niche by advertising news for insomniacs. I used to catch it around 3:30 in the morning and Aaron Brown hosted. In those days I lived in an semi-rural area and didn't have cable. Local television channels used to air stories from 6-7 before the network morning shows. Then they went from 5-7. Then 4:30-7. Now they start at 4:00 with local news. How many times can a news person read the same story in a 3 hour period.

One local channel starts with news from 4-7. Then mid-day news from 12-1. Then another broadcast 5-5:30, followed by network news 5:30 to 6. Local news from 6-7. Again from 10-10:30. This is rebroadcast from 1-1:30. It is the NBC station, so there is also a 3 hour broadcast of the Today Show.

There is more "entertainment" on CNN than on the local NBC station.


Michael Vick.

What is the appeal of dog fighting. Can someone please explain this to me? I just don't understand.

Lindsay Lohan.



I still haven't read the latest Harry Potter. Hope to get to it over the week-end. I've also got to read the book for mystery book group and I can't find it.

Speaking of HP, one of the upcoming fall series, Pushing Daisies, will feature narration by Jim Dale. If you get the chance to listen to the HP novels, do. Jim Dale is the most phenomenal reader.


Hell's Kitchen

Sad to see Julia go. I have felt for weeks that the final two will bee Roc and Jen and had been secretly rooting for Roc. Until the last two episodes. Now. I. Hate. Roc. Really, really, hate, hate.

The Next Food Network Star

Yeah Amy...The Gourmet Next Door. I hope you shine.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Lunch Lady Strikes Again

So I opened the fridge at work yesterday to put in my small plastic container and there sat a bowl with rice in it and another with a half eaten burrito. Not plastic, covered bowls. Regular, uncovered bowls. Also, there was a box of instant rice sitting on the counter.

Now let me take a moment to describe the "kitchen" area in our office. There is a small fridge and a row of cabinets approximately 8 feet long. One one end of the countertop is a small sink. Hanging from the wall beside the sink is a paper towel dispenser. Approximately 1 foot from the sink is a microwave. Beside the micro is a large coffee cannister, a large container of powdered coffee creamer (yuk!) and a large container of sugar. Then comes the commercial coffee maker. All in all, not a lot of room on the countertop. Certainly not enough for leaving dirty dishes, groceries, making a salad, or preparing a meal.

We work in an office of 30 people. A little consideration for the rest of us is all I ask!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Things My Mother Taught Me....

1. Cover left-over pizza with a damp paper towel and microwave on moderate heat to prevent turning the crust into cardboard. (Seriously, this makes left-over pizza taste like the Dominoes guy just backed out of the driveway.)

2. To remove the smell of onions or garlic from your hands, rub them on a piece of stainless steel. (I used to just rub the faucet while washing my hands, but then I got brushed nickel. Now I use a spoon.)

3. Make your bed every day. (This never, ever happens. Ever.)

4. Put tobacco on a bee sting. (It really does ease the pain.)

5. Don't bring your work home. Nobody else cares.

6. Fight back. I'm really not much of a fighter, but my mom was always rather irritated by my meekness. She does not advocate martyrdom.

7. Read your Bible every day. You'll be surprised at the insight there.

8. Housework is a necessary evil. Do not become a slave to it. NOBODY CARES!

9. Learn from your mistakes. These lessons are invaluable.

10. You don't have to say you love someone, as long as your behavior reflects that love.

11. Dance, even if you can't.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


This has absolutely nothing to do with politics and everything to do with traffic.

George W Bush will arrive at 10:30 this morning, visit a local business, attend a luncheon and be on his way by 3:00.

The former President and/or VP would arrive in time for the motorcade to leave the airport around 7:30 in the morning to go to a local hotel for a few hours before whatever event was scheduled. The motorcade would then head back to the airport sometime between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.

If you've never been sitting in traffic during a Presidential motorcade, God Bless You. If you've never been sitting in rush hour traffic during a Presidential motorcade, you have truly been blessed.

I suppose the fault is my own, for choosing to live east of the airport and by the same respect, east of Nashville. Even worse, I used to work near airport...I had to pass under two runways to get to work each day. So when the President or VP would come to town, things would get interesting.

One morning our FAX machine had died and the boss had run out to buy a new one. Standing in the parking lot that morning helper her unload the new FAX, we were suddenly overwhelmed by cacophony created by helicopters overhead. I looked up to see men with guns hanging out of choppers. It seems one of the braintrusts in the maintenance department had decided to watch Air Force 1 land from the roof of the building...which happened to be directly across the street from the runway.

This is not sanctioned by the good people at Homeland Security.

So Georgie, for making your trip brief and during the middle of the day, I salute you!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


More observations on traffic.

I saw one of my favorite things happen this morning. A white pick-up truck driving 70 in the far left lane of I-65 when he shot across four lanes to exit. My question is, why are you in the far left lane if you are near your exit? Or, if you don't know where your exit is?

Tourists. On I-65 at 6:30 this morning. Driving over 80 in a construction zone.

Did I mention that I hate traffic?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Things I Forgot

I am in the process of cleaning out one of my closets and have been quite suprised. I have found two pairs of shoes and a coat that are brand new, never worn and that I don't remember buying. I now have in my rotation a pair of casual sandals in lime green and a pair of white canvas Mary Jane Keds. I love the Keds. I have always loved Keds. Why don't I remember these?

The coat is black cashmere. Tags still on it. Something I obviously bought on sale at the end of the season one year. I tried it on. It fits. Quite elegant. But ot as pretty as the aubergine cashmere with black velvet cuffs and colar that is my favorite. I suddenly have a wealth of coats. Dress coats. And it is hot. out. side.

I also found a desk chair cover that massages still in the box. A bunch of decorative bottles I bought for the vanilla extract I make, come Christmas lights, and a whole lot of candles. Hmmm.

Oh! and an electric blanket. And an electric mattress pad. You would think that I get cold at night.


Ding. Dong. Melissa's gone. And my girl Julia remains.
I've been a fan of Rock until last night's episode. He was bitter, angry, and childish. Things I do not find attractive in a man. I do expect it to be Roc and Jen in the final two. .

*************NEWS FLASH*********************
John Lovitz beat up Andy Dick! It somehow just seems right.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Harry Potter and Romance Novels

I went to see the latest in the HP series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was not the best yet. I like all of the movies, but this was my least favorite. And the shortest. It lacked the terror and suspense I felt in the book and in the previous movies.

The theater was full, lots of kids. Lots of teens. Lots and lots of teens. Do teen-aged girls have smaller bladders than they used to? Seems to me that I could go all day without having to go to the bathroom when I was younger (now is quite a different matter) but the girls in this theater were constantly up and down. And they moved as a group. 4 or 5 at a time.

Then this week-end I found myself with nothing in particular to read so I picked up a romance novel a friend had lent me. Let me first state that I have reached the point in my life in which romance novels do not necessarily appeal to me and I will really only read one author, Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I cannot remember the last time I read a series romance. But I picked up a Harlequin Blaze Romance by Julie Kenner and found myself laughing out loud. I will definitely read more by this woman.

I'm off to see the doctor today about the pain in my shoulder. Not looking forward to this.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

And I burned my forehead with the curling iron. It is going to be a great day!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blonde or Blind?

As I stated in an earlier post, I'm experiencing some pain in my right shoulder, do this morning I grabbed a bottle of Aleve from my medicine cabinet and threw it into my purse. I popped two while sitting at a traffic light on my way to work.

But once I got to work, I became very sleepy. I had three big cups of coffee and a 20 oz Diet Dr. Pepper. I've taken Aleve before and it never made me this sleepy. But I was a bit perkier and later in the day and thought, "It's been about 5 hours, I should probably take some more Aleve." I pulled out my purse, reached inside, and pulled out....Tylenol P.M. Can you believe it?

It remind

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Book Group and a Mysterious Pain

I went to book group last night in which we discussed The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. We had a lovely selection of nibbles and then could either make tacos, taco salad, or burritos from an assortment of ingredients. Everyone liked the book, but it did promote interesting debate. It is the story of a doctor in 1964 whose wife goes into labor during a snow storm and he delivers their twins with the assistance of his nurse. The daughter is born with Downs Syndrome and he makes a fatal mistake in believing their lives would be better if she were institutionalized. He sends the baby off with the nurse and tells his wife that she died. The book deals with the consequences of this decision.

I have a severe pain in my left shoulder and down my left arm that has become increasingly uncomfortable. It began last week but today has been miserable. Hard to say if it is stress, arthritis, or something else altogether.

Because I had finished The Memory Keeper's Daughter, I was able to start Murder in Chinatown, the latest by Victoria Thompson. I've waited a year for this one and would really like to savor it, but I'm already 1/3 of the way thru. I should have it finished by tomorrow...unless I go see Harry Potter.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Tallying Up

The results of a week-end with nothing in particular to do. The only shopping was a brief stop at Publix. And it is scarry!

Pedicure $25.00 + tip $30.00
Oil change and car wash $63.00
Movie and snacks $18.00
Chinese take-out $14.00*
Trip to supermarket $35.00
Brief visit to eBay $40.00
Tank of gas $37.00
Book from library 0.00

Total $237.00

Yikes! I'll have to carry my lunch all week to fit in a trip to see Harry Potter.

Paris Je'Taime

A friend and I went to see this yesterday and I highly recommend it. If you've not heard, it is a series of shorts by different stories set in Paris. Eighteen stories, sweet, sad, bizarre and all with amazing performances.

My favorites included the young English couple in the cemetery looking for the grave of Oscar Wilde, the Cohen brothers tale with Steve Buscemi, the vampire story with Elijah Wood, the old married couple with Bob Hoskins. There is the bittersweet tale of a nanny who abandons her own child at day care to tend for the infant of someone else. And the older couple saying good-bye with Ben Gazzara and Gena Rolwands. But the most poignant is the story of a man who has fallen out of love with his wife, ready to leave her for his mistress, when they discover she is dying.

The best line from the entire movie...In pretending to be a man in love, he became a man in love.

Now I must vent. Do you remember when the matinee price of a movie was $4.00 and was for movies showing before 6:00. It really hasn't been that long ago. The matinee price kept going up, and the last matinee I saw was $6:50. Still for movies showing before 6 p.m. Yesterday, the movie showtime was at 3:05. The matinee price was $6.50....FOR MOVIES SHOWING BEFORE 3:00. How can you possibly charge $9.00 for a movie that starts at 3:05? The good people at Regal Cinemas may have just seen the last of me for a while.

Hello Carmac!

Friday, July 6, 2007

How Could This Happen?

I stopped by the Food Lion near the office this morning. I was feeling frisky
and decided to bring my co-workers the makings for root beer floats. First, they were out of Diet A&W. I picked up a 2 liter of regular A&W and a 2 liter of the store brand diet root beer. Then I picked up some Solo cups and a cheap scoop before heading over the the freezer section of the store. And guess what? No vanilla ice cream?! No vanilla bean, no sugar free vanilla, nada. Bryers, Mayfield, Purity, Blue Bell, and the store brand and no vanilla. How does a supermarket not have vanilla ice cream?

So I put everything back and headed into treats today!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fireworks, Sunday Gravy, and George Clooney

I went with a couple of friends on Tuesday night to see Ocean's 13. It was good...not gread. Quite forgetable. Better than the last, not as good as the first. But George Clooney looked good. So did Brad Pitt. And Ellen Barken. Wow!

Oh! and great previews! I really want to see Vantage Point. It looks like the kind of movie that will make my leg jiggle all the way through it.

Yesterday I slept in...I didn't get up until 6:30. I was at Publix by 7:30 and I purchased the things I needed to make Sunday Gravy. My lack of ethnicity has started to grate and so I've decided to become Italian. I used Vita Grecco's recipe and let it cook all day. I ate about 6:30 last night and it was excellent. And I'll have more today for lunch, and tomorrow for lunch and ....

Bookgroup tonight and we are discussing my book, so I dug in last night to read it. Red Leaves by Thomas Cook. What a downer! So well written, but the topic is heart-breaking. Eric Moore is an average guy who as made a nice life for himself. A happy marriage with one teen-aged son who is, like most teens, sullen and quiet. When the child his son was babysitting turns up missing, Eric's world falls apart.

And finally, last night my neighbors celebrated the birth of a nation by getting drunk and setting off fireworks...outside my window. Luckily, I had taken precautions yesterday and soaked my grass. I wonder about the mentality of someone who will ignite fireworks in a residential neighborhood in the midst of a drought. Hmmmm.....

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


The day before a holiday. Traffic should be light, but it was rather heavy this morning. Lots of out of state plates. My guess is folks headed for the gulf.

I admit that I drive far too fast. But I've been trying to slow down some and save a little gas. And I always slow down in the construction zones. I pass through one construction area each day on my way to and from work. There is one of those signs on the side of the road that flashes your speed as you pass by...I knew that I was going too fast at 70, but then a gold Impala with so many Mardi Gras beads around the rear view mirror it had to limit visibility flew past me at 98 mph. What was the blond bimbo driving this thing thinking?!

Then, in the quieter portion of the trip, past the mall and into a more rural area, I noticed a two toned car in my rear view mirror. The left of the car was lavender, the right was robins egg blue. It was coming on fast. I was in the middle lane, it was in the left so I felt safe, until he seemed to be aiming for me. Twice. Eventually he found whatever it was he was looking for in the floor of the car, managed to get control of the vehicle, and moved on.

I got to work a little grayer today.

BTW--what is the deal with the Mardi Gras beads lately? I see more cars with them draped over the rear view mirror...from three or so to 30 or more. I remember the trend from when I was in my twenties but I hadn't seen them in years. Why the resurrection of such an annoying trend? They make noise and get limit visibility. OMG! I've turned into a grumpy old lady. How long until I start complaining about the youngsters and their music?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Beauty Shop

Not a hair salon, an old fashioned beauty shop. I took Mom Saturday to have her hair done. She got a cut and a perm and caught up on the gossip. She was, possibly, the youngest patron there. And her walker was not alone in the corner. I remember the days of going with her to have her hair set on Saturday, reading the trashy magazines and drinking soda from a returnable bottle. Quite a trip back into time.

Then, today Dad called me at work. I was terrified. But he just wanted my opinion on something. Seems the big stereo my dear sister and I gave them for their 25th wedding anniversary has become a nuisance. It is big with tall speakers, a turntable and a dual cassette. I think it may be Pioneer. Anywho, Dad wants to get rid of it, but doesn't want to hurt our feelings. He asked if I wanted it. I do not. I assured him that the fact it is still in good condition after 25 years and that they did get pleasure out of it for most of thse 25 years was enough for me.

Now what my sister will say....