Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another Quiet Week

Once I returned from Mom & Dad's, life settled into blessed normality. My box of books from Amazon arrived on Wednesday and I was able to finish the book in time for group on Friday evening.

The weather has been absolutely amazing with highs dancing around 80 and sometimes higher and lows in the high 40s. Sunshine everywhere! Of course, my car is this lovely shade of yellow, thanks to pollen, but my Spring allergies are quite mild.

Dad is doing incredibly well! He is suffering no ill-effects from the seed radiation and has to be reminded to take it easy. My brother-in-law went over yesterday and hung gutter-guards in an effort to keep Dad off of the ladder, but no one was able to prevent him from mowing his grass on Friday.

The book group ran very, very late Friday night (Saturday morning). We spoke for about the first hour or so about the hostess' sick cat and my current soap box issue--TV Guide's 25 Sexiest Men on TV of All Time. My friends, like me, were upset by the fact that James Garner was not on the list. They also suggest Robert Conrad, and I have to agree, tight pants, ruggedly handsome, and a very sexy character.

After discussing the book A Shadow in Summer by Peter Abraham and what we had each been reading, we sat down to a lovely dinner, Our hostess had prepared Giada's Pork Loin with Fig and Port Sauce, a roasted vegetable salad, baked apples, and a barley salad with sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. Dessert was an olive oil cake with blueberry lime whipped cream that she made using the jam I had given her at Christmas.

Today I need to cook. I'm on the late shift this week and won't get home until 7:30 each evening. I'll need to have a good lunch so that I can have a light salad for dinner each evening. I think I'll make chicken and dumplin's, since I have all of the ingredients.

Last night I made Ina Garten's Provencal Scallops from the Barefoot in Paris cook book and they were wonderful! This recipe is a keeper.

I also need to get started on the book for Mystery Group--Flesh and Bone by Jefferson Bass. So, I'm off to fix a little breakfast before I head to church, and then home to cook and read. No wonder I love Sundays so much!

Monday, April 21, 2008

What a Day!

It began at 3:30 this morning when my alarm went off. I jumped in the shower and was dressed and in the kitchen pouring myself a cup of coffee by 3:45. Then I put on my make-up and dressed mom, did her make-up, and tried to tame her hair. Sis showed up at 4:20, and she and Dad headed out the door by 4:30.

Mom and I were right behind, but Mom moves slowly and getting her in the car is quite an accomplishment. I also had to wrangle their cat, Princess, who really wanted to go outside this morning.

I was driving Dad's car because it is easier for Mom to get into and out of than my small SUV or Sis' Expedition. So I hit the road around 4:45, driving dark, winding roads blind because the interior lights would not go off in the Buick. I pulled over to pull out the owner's manual but Mom was fumbling around in the glove box for it already. She really did not want to surrender the manual, and she wanted me to just keep going.

So I drove to the hospital with all of the interior lights on. I told my mother that if I couldn't figure out how to turn the lights off when we got there, I would send my brother-in-law to the Buick dealership at 7:00 when the service department opened.

"Your Daddy can fix it!" was her response.

My blood pressure shot up and I explained to Mom that there was no point in exciting Dad right before he was to have a procedure. As we pulled up, Dad and Sis were waiting for us. I told Mom to NOT say a word about the lights to Dad and unloaded her with them. I parked the car, pulled out the owner's manual, and found the instructions for turning off the interior lights.

By then it was 5:30.

I entered the hospital and was met by Sis, who told me the first words out of Mom's mouth were "Brenda will be in as soon as she figures out how to turn of the lights in the car. We drove all the way over here with them on."

They took Dad to surgery around 6:15. We moved to the surgical waiting room and were given a beeper. Once the procedure was over, we were beeped. We were heading to meet the doctor, but Mom is incredibly slow, so he met us. He explained that the procedure went "great" and that Dad should be able to go home in a couple of hours.

Seriously. We were home by 11:15. I fixed a simple lunch and then we all crashed for a while. I got a 40 minute nap.

I made Parmesan chicken and a salad for dinner. And I baked a cake. I'm almost ready to frost it. Yellow cake with peanut butter frosting. And I'll probably do at least one load of laundry before I head off to bed.

I'm hear for at least another day, just to make sure Dad doesn't try to overdo. Take my word for it, I'm tired!

Friday, April 18, 2008

After I'm Gone

I won't care! Seriously...

I have made it perfectly clear to my friends and family that I want to be cremated when I die. I've studied the subject and feel that burial is a waste of precious resources.

So a few years ago, I received a card on Valentine's Day from my parents that included the papers on two burial plots in my name. Nothin' says love like burial plots.

I explained again (and again, and again) that I do not want to be buried and my mother finally asked what would happen to my ashes. I laughingly told her that I wanted my remains kept in a silver urn on my sister's mantle. It has become a running joke in the family.

Today I got an email from my sister. She has taken out a burial policy on me. I think she took me seriously!

How much more do I have to say to these people to get thru to them that my spirit will be gone and I really don't care what happens to shell that had been my physical form? And why is this such and issue now? Do they know something that I don't?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sexiest Men in Television

I caught this on the TVGuide network this week-end and have to admit I was taken aback by some of the people on the list and more by some who are missing.

On the list:
David Cassidy
Johnny Depp
Henry Winkler
Ted Danson

Now don't get me wrong, like any hormonal 13 year old in the early 70s, I loved David Cassidy. He was dreamy. I had his poster on my wall. But he was not sexy.

Like David Cassidy, Johnny Depp was pouty cute, but also not sexy. He was replaced on 21 Jump Street by Richard Grieco who was very, very sexy.

I love Henry Winkler. I adore Henry Winkler. He is not now, nor has he ever been, sexy. Fonzie was tough guy caricature and quite loveable. Just not sexy!

And like most of America, I tuned in to Cheers every Thursday night. But it was not because of the sex appeal of Ted Danson.

Then there are the list placement issues.

How could Josh Holloway be number 25 and Matthew Fox be number 16? Am I the only woman in America who feels the heat rising from the tv screen whenever Sawyer and Kate have a scene together? The sweaty, dirty, earthiness of a shirtless Josh Holloway as compared to the "guy next door" Matthew Fox...hmmmm. What were they thinking?!

How does Patrick Dempsey rank higher than Jimmy Smits?

Missing from the list

I am a woman of a certain age with fond memories of the hot men from my youth. They are:

Chad Everett--nostrils flaring, the tightest pants I've ever seen, my mother would never admit it, but she made the family watch Medical Center because of Chad Everett. And he had sexy story-lines.

James Brolin--the hot young rebel who shared a practice with Marcus Welby, MD. Also had very sexy story lines.

Paul Michael Glasser and David Soul--What?! Beau and Luke Duke made the top 25 but Starsky and Hutch didn't? I'm sorry. The red Torino was far sexier than that orange thing. Starsky and Hutch were dark, brooding, and had hot relationships with women!

Denzel Washington...Okay! I'll admit it. There were three reasons I watched St. Elsewhere. Mark Harmon, Denzel Washington, and Howie Mandel. And I never found Howie sexy. But Denzel? Oh! My!

James Garner--Maverick and The Rockford Files, two very sexy characters played by a very sexy man.

Oh well! It's just one woman's opinion. Who from you TV past and present have you found incredibly sexy?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Seasonal Change

I began pulling out my spring/summer wardrobe this week. It is wonderful to see the crisp, light fabrics again, but there is one major flaw in my spring wardrobe. It consists of cottons, linens, silks, and rayons that all require ironing. So this morning I had to iron by blouse and my slacks.

Of course, I should iron everything at once but that would require planning, organization, and more energy that I am willing to expend at one time.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Week-end Baking

I started out making Benne Wafers yesterday, and wound up playing with the recipe, "tweaking" it, adjusting quantities and cooking times...and came up with this result.

Benne Wafers

12 Tbs salted butter
1 1/2 c dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c AP flour
3/4 c sesame (benne) seeds
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time until well blended. Mix in flour, sesame seeds, vanilla, and baking powder. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. (I used two, but the cookies were crisper when cooked on a dark (non-stick) pan. Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 9 - 11 minutes or until edges are brown. Cool on rack.

This afternoon, I made Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting from the Barefoot Contessa At Home cook-book for the bake-along. The cupcakes are okay, not great, but the frosting is to die for!


I'm going to make meatloaf, fried okra, and cornbread for supper. I'll probably retire my kitchen for a few days after that.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Well, it's the big week-end here in the small town where I live. People will be here from all over the mid-state for the festivities. There will be a parade, a square dance, music venues, a mule pulling contest, a crafts fair, a liars' contest, and more.

What will I be doing? I have absolutely no intention of leaving the house. I have a clear-cut plan for cleaning, cooking, and reading.

I picked up two books in series that I follow Thursday evening. Latte Trouble is the fourth in the coffee house series of mysteries by Cleo Coyle and I am about half-way through it. And Kitty and the Silver Bullet is the fourth in the series by Carrie Vaughn.

As far as the cooking goes, I found a recipe for benne wafers I plan on trying. If you've never had a benne wafer, you have really missed a treat. They are small, crisp, bite-sized cookies made of brown sugar and sesame seeds. I have family in Savannah and had my first benne wafers while visiting them many, many years ago. They have been a favorite ever since. Nutty and sweet and delicious.

I am a member of an online cooking discussion group and we are doing a "cook-a-long". Someone selects a recipe for that week and we each make it and comment on it, noting any "tweaking" we might have done. This week we are doing Ina Garten's Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting from the Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook.

And I bought the ingredients for a recipe I saw on one of the Food Network shows a couple of weeks ago...Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf from Down Home with the Neeley's. Since I've eaten at the Neeley's establishment more than once, I know how good their food is.

Now. I've made myself hungry.

I went to the Super Target to pick up the groceries I needed yesterday, and treated myself to a new muffin pan. I also picked up some of the most beautiful strawberries the size of my fist! I was surprised to find some so lovely...perfectly ripe with no white shoulders...because I had looked at some on Thursday at Fresh Market and theirs were not as desirable.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Fresh Market. They have the most amazing meat department around! And a great selection of cheeses. I hovered briefly in the coffee section, just taking in the aroma. And I picked up a bag of the wonderful little grapefruit slice candy that I can only seem to find there.

I'm off to find something to snack on, its really too early to call it breakfast. Maybe I'll have a few strawberries.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sleep! Glorious Sleep!

Well, it took some heavy duty medication, but I slept through the night last night. The bad news is, I'm in a fog today and need only to close my eyes for more than a millisecond to wander back into the land of Nod.

I came home from work last night and piddled around the house for a while before making a lovely dinner of a three cheese omelet and a green salad. I cleaned up the kitchen and sat down to my Tuesday night mambo...going back and forth between The Biggest Loser and American Idol.

Then, during Hell's Kitchen, I took some sleeping pills. I don't remember anything after Hell's Kitchen until I woke up at my usual time...10 minutes before the alarm goes off at 5:00.

I made it in to work, but I hear the coffee pot calling my name...even the nasty office coffee sounds good to me right now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


It's 4:30 in the morning and I've been awake since two. I watched Jay Leno interview Peter O'Toole, who told a charming story about the making of Lawrence of Arabia. I've cleaned my bathroom, worked a crossword puzzle, played some Text Twist, checked my email, soaked in the tub, and watched two episodes of Roseanne on Nick at Night.

I can barely hold my eyes open, but I can't sleep!