Monday, October 31, 2011

What You'll Find In The Hills And Hollers Of Tennessee

I'm not dressing up for Halloween this year, so I thought I'd post pictures of my best friend doing in her "Peg Bundy-esque" costume:
She actually kinda looks like someone you'd find on the back country roads outside of Nashville - a washed up country singer, wearing her reptile print pants and big hair just to do chores around the house.


Way to go, Vick! With friends like you, I'll never have to dress up for Halloween again!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Three Coins In A Fountain
2 YEARS AGO:
Truck Or Treat
3 YEARS AGO:
Spooktacular
4 YEARS AGO:
Isn’t He Comcastic?
5 YEARS AGO:
Trick Or Treating With All Ten Toes
6 YEARS AGO:
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Inspired

Years ago, I saw a segment about a teenage mother who started making jewelry as a way to make money to support her and her daughter. I wrote a letter to her mother Darcy Rosner and we wound up connecting via Facebook and then recently connected on LinkedIn. You can see the video of her daughter Anna Sullivan, here:



And you can see their jewelry on their site, Sweet Bananaberry. I love that these pieces are handmade in Massachusetts; it's so nice to find something not made in China these days.

Seeing this creative jewelry, hand made by people with creative minds, makes me really want to get my act together and start doing something crafty again. I used to do a lot of sewing when I was younger and I've made a simple pair of earrings for myself and friends, but I've never really done anything elaborate.

I love having a creative outlet and I continue to be drawn to this medium - every time I'm in Barnes & Noble, I leaf through the beading and jewerly making magazines. One of these days, I'll make something like this:

Until then, you'll have to get them from jewelry makers like Anna and Darcy. Do your part to support local artists!!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Lucky To Be A Woman
2 YEARS AGO: I Feel Like A Thief
3 YEARS AGO: Emulating The Brazilian Bombshell
4 YEARS AGO: HMMWVs
5 YEARS AGO: She’s Still Learning
6 YEARS AGO: Woof

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Off The Board And In The Air

My oldest nephew loses his skateboard during a mid-air jump over one of those large, curbside garbage cans.



Friday, October 28, 2011

Tango Hotel Alpha November Kilo Sierra, Charlie Company!

While home with my step-father this week and going through some old pictures with him, I found this Soldier's Handbook from when we was in the war. Used as the Basic Field Manual, this book was issued by the "War Department", which is now known as the Department of Defense. The book is pretty interesting, although it doesn't look very read; the spine on it is barely cracked. But to still have it? Kinda cool.


In the foreword of the book, it states "Making good as a soldier is no different from making good in civil life. The rule is the same and that is - know your own job and be ready to step into the job of the man ahead of you. Promotion is going to be very rapid in this Army. Be ready for it."

It goes on to say, "If you will make a part of yourself the following characteristics of the good soldier, you will be doing your part in upholding the glorious reputation of the Army of the United States." Those five things are; Be obedient. Be loyal. Be determined. Be alert. Be a member of the team.

The table of contents contains chapters covering things soldier's will need to know; responsibilities of group life, relations with civilians, care of clothing, safety precautions, packing individual equipment on a horse, carrying the automatic rifle, camps and
bivouacs, first aid, etc.

There are illustrations on how to display your equipment...

How to put on your gasmask (this cockeyed way is wrong)...


This one, with the eye pieces level, is the correct way. You want to make sure you get this right.


They even illustrate the proper way to hide behind a rock...

In the back of the book is a chapter on Pay And Allowances. The first paragraphs states, "When you first enter the military service, your rate of pay will be $21.00 per month. This pay is in addition to the food, clothing, medical, and dental attention whic the government provides you without charge. After a period of 4 months, however, and provided you have not demonstrated inefficiency or other unfitness, your pay will be raised to $30.00 per month."

Wow, a whole $9.00 raise. Woo hoo! These soldiers, young boys really, went to war and put themselves in harm's way for twenty-one dollars a month. You couldn't get me to get out of bed for twenty-one dollars a month, let alone go fight someone; possibly resulting in my death.

The following will be best understood by people who are familiar with military ranks, or grades. These are the various grades, with their rates of montly pay as authorized by Congress in the act of September 16, 1940:

First grade - Master sergeant: $126.00
Second grade - First sergeant and technical sergeant: $84.00
Third grade - Staff sergeant: $72.00
Fourth grade - Sergeant: $60.00
Fifth grade - Corporal: $54.00
Sixth grade - Private, 1st class: $36.00
Seventh grade - Private with over 4 months' service: $30.00
Private with less than 4 months service as described above: $21.00
If you were a specialist, depending on your class ranking, you can get an additional $3-$30.00 per month.

Frank never really told very many stories about his time in World War II, but in the last two weeks, he was talking a little bit more about it. Mostly what he couldn't understand, was why God let the little children die. He wondered why God didn't turn the dropping bombs into food, since that's what the people needed. It's certainly a question I can't answer, but it is one that I agree with.

He always said the horrors of war should never have to be experienced by anyone, especially the young boys they send to fight but specifically by the innocent people who get caught in the battles. He lost a lot of friends in the war. And he remembers everyone in his battalion.

So for that, I'd like thank Company C of the 759th Military Police Battalion for their service.

You are remembered by many.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
It Always Pays To Take The Full Coverage Insurance Option On Your Rental Vehicle
2 YEARS AGO:
It’s Here! It’s Here!
3 YEARS AGO:
U.S. Route 287
4 YEARS AGO:
Room 328
5 YEARS AGO:
This Could Be The Day You Have A Date With Destiny
6 YEARS AGO:
Go See It

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Perfecting The Paillard

Last night I made a recipe I saw in the New York Times; Chicken Scaloppine al Limone.

The key to this beautiful dish is perfecting the paillard; a french culinary term referring to a thinly sliced or pounded piece of meat. Most of us know it as a cutlet.

Chicken Scaloppine al Limone

THE INGREDIENTS
1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour, more as needed
1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs, more as needed
3 eggs
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, more as needed
¼ cup dry white wine
½ chicken or vegetable stock
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, more for garnish
Lemon wedges for serving

THE PROCESS
1. Heat the oven to 200. Slice each chicken breast open lay flat between two sheets of plastic wrap (I used freezer paper, waxed on one side). Using a meat pounder (or any heavy item) pound each piece to a ¼” thickness. When done, put a large skillet over medium-high for a minute or two and while it’s heating, salt and pepper the chicken and set up your flour and bread crumbs in individual shallow plates or bowls. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and set aside. Season the flour, bread crumbs and eggs with salt and pepper.

2. Add 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter to your skillet and swirl around - I never use the stated amounts when it comes to butter or olive oil, I just do it by eye. When it’s hot (a pinch of flour will sizzle in it) dredge a piece of chicken in the flour, then dip it in the eggs and then dredge in the bread crumbs. Add the chicken pieces to the pan. Cook the chicken, rotating occasionally and regulating the heat if necessary – you want it to sizzle, not burn. When the pieces are brown, turn over. If you want to use more than one pan, that’s fine – it’ll just make the process go faster.

3. Cook on the second side until the chicken is firm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Cut the center with a thin-bladed knife, it should be white or very slightly pink. Transfer the chicken onto a platter and put it in the oven. Wipe the pan out with a paper towel and repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil and butter as necessary until all pieces are cooked and transferred to the oven. When done, use a spatula to clean out the buttery chicken juices – set aside in a small bowl.
4. Add a tablespoon each of butter and oil to the pan and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and stir and scrape the bottom of the pan until the wine has reduced by about half. Add the stock and lemon juice and cook, stirring, until the mixture is slightly thickened and a bit syrupy, another 3 to 4 minutes.

6. Add another tablespoon of butter, the chicken juices from the small bowl you set aside and the ¼ cup of parsley. Stir until mixed, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges (or a lemon twist, like I did!).



7. Enjoy!

I served the chicken with a side of Steamed Broccoli Florets and Garlic Sour Cream mashed potatoes. The lemony sauce was amaaaazing. Ed LOVED it, so this is definitely something I'll be making again!


Click HERE to get a copy of the recipe to print out.




Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Old School Meets New School

This hotel has been in Tucson since the fifties. Construction started on the hotel in 1947, and it was finished in 1952. It was originally along Highway 89, which was the main highway through Tucson until Interstate-10 was built in 1960.

Originally it had 208 rooms, but now part of that block is occupied by Pima County Community College. Currently, the hotel has 66 rooms. I'm not really sure what kind of traveler stays here, as it's in a seedy part of town, but it's still in operation and receiving guests. I've never been inside and I've never seen any of the rooms, but the mint green building and the original sign screams 1950. I took the original photo I took of it (old school) and jazzed it up with photoshop (new school). The accented edges give it a little oomph.

If you're interested in checking out this old time motor inn, you can find it at:

127 West Drachman Street
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.624.8531

And if you need a hooker while you're there, I don't think you'll have to go too far to find one.

Just sayin'.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
There For The Climbing…If You’re So Inclined
2 YEARS AGO:
I Need A Thing That Ain’t No Big Thing
3 YEARS AGO:
Race To The Head
4 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Fresh From A Nap Friday
5 YEARS AGO:
Forever Yours
6 YEARS AGO:
Blur

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Goats Make Good Pizza...And You Don't Even Get Onion Breath From It

Yesterday, I put together one of the most deeeelicious lunches I've had all month; Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza. I've seen recipes for this all over the place, but have never made one. This isn't even an actual recipe, it's just a mish-mash of a few things we had in the house that I threw together for my version of a pizza.

I had a ball of dough and some goat cheese in the truck which I needed to use and my mother had the onions, garlic, bacon and jalapeño jelly. Score!

Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Pizza

THE INGREDIENTS
1 16 oz. ball of frozen pizza dough
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, thinly sliced, rings separated
3 oz. of goat cheese
2 slices bacon, diced
¼ Fiji (or Gala or Pink Lady) Apple, very thinly sliced
Jalapeño jelly
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

THE PROCESS
1. Coat bottom of large heated frying pan with olive oil. Add garlic and onions, salt and pepper (to taste) and then sauté until soft and brown. The more you cook, the more the sugar from the onions will caramelize them. I like mine nice and brown, so I let them get a hair’s breadth away from burnt.

2. Remove the onion mixture from the pan and set aside. Put diced bacon pieces in frying pan and cook until crisp.

3. While the bacon is cooking, prepare your dough. I started to stretch my dough to fit a 12 x 15 baking sheet; keep stretching and pushing, using fingertips to tap out the dough. When it was the right size, I took it out of the pan, sprayed it with cooking spray just to make sure the dough wouldn’t stick, and then stretched my dough thinly over the rectangle surface, tapping around the edges with my fingers to make a crust. The edges will be a little thicker, making it easier to form a crust. When your bacon is crispy, take the frying pan off the heat and just set it aside until ready to use.

4. When the dough is all stretched out, take the jalapeño jelly and smear it all over the surface of the dough. I used a very thin layer, to give a little sweet and a little hot flavor to the pizza. Next, take the thinly sliced apples and cover the surface of the pizza evenly.

5. Once that’s done, distribute the caramelized onions across the dough, sprinkle on the crispy bacon pieces and drop crumbles (they don’t really crumble since it’s mushy) of goat cheese all over the pizza.

6. Pop the pan into a 450° degree oven and bake for 10-20 minutes or until brown and cheese is melted.
7. I served the pizza with a salad of mixed spring greens with chopped apple, pecan and tomato, tossed with Marie’s Caprese Dressing. I just happened to have that on hand, but if I didn’t, I would have just used my own balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

8. Enjoy!


See below for the recipe. Use the buttons at the bottom of the image to share or download.Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Pizza

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
When Medieval Equals Pretty
2 YEARS AGO:
A Great Celebration Of Abundance
3 YEARS AGO:
Dormers Of Sweetgrass
4 YEARS AGO:
Old Power
5 YEARS AGO:
At Your Service
6 YEARS AGO:
Clothing Identification 101

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's All Greek To Me

Yesterday, I got some new magazines in the mail. One of them had an article about the wonders of yogurt; specifically when used as a "face saver".

The dermatologist quoted for the article said that yogurt contains lactic acid, which is a component in some in-office chemical peels. That it "gently exfoliates the top layers of the epidermis, which can clear up blemishes and discolorations, and may even reduce wrinkles." Well, I rarely if ever have blemishes and I don't have many wrinkles, but I have noticed that my skin isn't as evenly colored as it used to be. So I figured what the hell?

The do-it-yourself mask is as follows: Mix 1 cup of Greek yogurt with 2 to 3 drops of almond or olive oil and a tablespoon of honey; apply to face, leave on for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse and pat dry. You're supposed to have more radiant skin afterwards.

I couldn't find the magazine article when I thought to do it, so I just used yogurt, no oils or honey. My skin felt smoother afterwards, so I just might continue to do it to see how it works out. Can't hurt, right?


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Italy On A Shoestring
2 YEARS AGO:
What The ELLE???
3 YEARS AGO:
Weird And Random
4 YEARS AGO:
California Burning With Need
5 YEARS AGO:
Walking Into Another World
6 YEARS AGO:
Fall Into Winter

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Little Grease More Often Is Better

We had the truck in the shop this weekend to install Ed's latest truck upgrade, an automated lubrication system. Sounds a little dirty, doesn't it? I assure you it's not.

The Lincoln Quicklub system applies lubricant "through a fully automated system using electric pumps and progressive metering valves." What this means is, every part of the truck that needs to be greased (kingpins, cam shaft bushings, tie rod ends, slack adjusters, brake cams and even the fifth wheel!) will be greased, automatically. Even while the truck is going down the road! How sweet is that??

It cost us $2,000.00 to install, but the system will save us a fortune over the course of its use; in both time and money. The informational brochure for the system can tell all you truck fanatics exactly what it does. I fear if I write it here I will fall asleep mid-sentence.

We're putting the greasing system on the trailer too, which won't be automated, but by using a grease gun to insert the grease into one lube point, it will distribute the grease through the lines and lubricate all eight points on the trailer. No more climbing underneath the trailer for Ed.

This is the latest addition to Ed's investment into his investment; you can see the other items in
Part One and Part Two of "Investing In Your Investment".

Next up, a hot tub on the catwalk.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Scenes From Florence
2 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Palm Sketch Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
Moabulous
4 YEARS AGO:
Ready To Draw The Future
5 YEARS AGO:
Red Fish, Blue Fish, One Fish, Two Fish.
6 YEARS AGO:
Beautiful Enough To Lick

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shopping For A Disguise

The ears are a little ridiculous, but with those twinkly eyes and that cute smile, I just might let this cat burglar in my house.



Friday, October 21, 2011

A Daunting Task

Earlier this month I printed out my email address book so I'd be able to clean it up a little; I haven't laid a finger on it since. I know it's going to be a time-consuming project and I've been procrastinating on getting it started. There are some doubles that I need to eliminate, people I no longer communicate with, mailing addresses that need to be fixed, etc. I'm not really looking forward to it, which is why its taking so long.

But since I since my computer address book with my iPhone, I need to get it done so I can have the same information in both places. I'm tired of having to search two locations when I can't find the information I'm looking for. I'm overwhelmed just thinking about it.

I think I need to hire a secretary.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Salivating Over The Salumeria
2 YEARS AGO:
The Cheapest Entertainment Around
3 YEARS AGO:
Proud To Be A Liberal American
4 YEARS AGO:
I Don’t Think This Is What The Gideons Had In Mind
5 YEARS AGO:
Ten Reasons Today
6 YEARS AGO:
The Big Five Oh!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's Exhausting Imagining You In These Pants

I was in Nordstrom Rack and saw a woman in her early sixties looking at sweatpants that had the above printed on the leg. The way she was fondling them, holding them up against her and checking sizes made it appear as if she were shopping for herself, not someone else.

I don't understand people who wear clothing with stuff like this printed on it. It's never appropriate, or cute, or clever no matter what your age, but when you're pushing retirement, it's just disgusting. No one wants to imagine you being "juicy".


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Florentine Youth
2 YEARS AGO:
What’s In A Name?
3 YEARS AGO:
Farming The Wind
4 YEARS AGO:
Eddie In The Big Little City Friday
5 YEARS AGO:
Photograph It If You Think You May Never See It Again
6 YEARS AGO:
Why??

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jane's Addiction

The restaurant Kim and I ate at the other day offers zucchini bread as one of their bread basket choices. It's so delicious that I decided to go home and make a few loaves myself. My mother has a recipe that she's been making since 1979, given to her by her friend Jane Ercolani. I decided to make that one. Here's the recipe:

Jane's Zucchini Bread

THE INGREDIENTS
3 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
1 ½ c. sugar
2 c. grated zucchini
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour unbleached
¼ tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1 c. each nuts, raisins, chocolate chips (optional)

THE PROCESS
1. Beat eggs slightly. Stir in oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a bowl.

3. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until blended. Stir in raisins, nuts or chocolate chips.

4. Spoon batter into greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until center springs back.

5. Cool on rack for ten minutes, then remove and cool completely.

6. Enjoy!

I started by shredding a couple of zucchinis. I decided to do a mixture of a fine shred and a medium shred because I love when I get a piece of zucchini in each bite!
Then, as the recipe states, I mixed the zucchini into my frothy beaten egg mixture. Once everything was all deliciously intertwined, I slowly added it to the dry ingredients.
After that was all incorporated, I poured my batter into loaf pans. I made one pan with chocolate chips (and sprinkled a few on top to tell them apart after they baked) and one without; both loaves had walnuts.
As you can see, they baked up gorgeously. I like mine topped with a cool schmear of cream cheese. But it's perfectly delicious all by itself. So much so, it's addictive!



Click HERE for the printable recipe.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Isolated Iesolana
2 YEARS AGO:
WWJD?
3 YEARS AGO:
Where Angels Arrive And Depart
4 YEARS AGO:
Diamonds In The Deep Blue
5 YEARS AGO:
Everyone Is Doing It
6 YEARS AGO:
En-Gulfed Coast

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Great Idea

Yesterday my friend and I had a little girl time. I've been home a week, helping my mother with my step-father, when my friend Kim texted to ask what I was doing; she was going for a pedicure and wanted to know if I wanted to join her.

Want to? Are you kidding?? Of course I want to. I checked with my mother to see if she'd be okay if I left the house for a little while and she said yes, so I texted back that I was free to go with. I felt like I was sixteen, checking with my mother to see if I could go out.

We got pedicures (we both did our toes in
Lincoln Park After Dark by OPI) and then went for lunch. I texted Ed during the pedicure and he wanted to know if they were going to charge me more for using the belt sander on my heels. He's such a gem, isn't he?
Not only did I get a nice little break, but I returned with beautiful toes. I love that I have friends with good ideas. Makes my brain have to work that much less.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The Real Deal
2 YEARS AGO: This Should Keep You Busy For A While
3 YEARS AGO: Plenty Of Room For The Ladies
4 YEARS AGO: It All Began With The Cheese
5 YEARS AGO: Zig Zag Wisconsin Color
6 YEARS AGO: Made In China

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Warrior Waging A Noble Fight, Fueled By Chocolate Ice Cream

I took this picture of Eddie at the $50,000 Silver Bar gift shop in Haugan, Montana. Ed has a face for hats and can transform his look in a matter of seconds. He's a chameleon and every I.D. he has looks different. If you were to find his wallet, you'd think he was on the lam, using multiple identities.

Seeing him in this helmet made me think that "warrior" is the perfect word for my step-father. He's been home since his two day stint in the hospital and has been essentially bedridden. He wants to get up, but he's really weak and it isn't really suggested by the nurses. He has such incredible will, though. He's a fighter. And very determined.


Each night, we put him to bed, tuck him in, give him his meds (and a sleeping pill as recommended by the nurses) and bid him goodnight. Two mornings in a row now, we've been awakened at five in the morning with him halfway out of the bed. He pulled the oxygen tube from his nose, unbuttoned his pajama top, threw back the covers and pulled his legs over the side of the bed, determined to get out. This morning, one foot was firmly planted on the floor, and the other had just the toes touching. It must have taken him quite some time to get to that point since he doesn't move very fast to begin with. What the hell?? I keep asking him where he thinks he's going and he says he's "bored" just lying there in bed.

He's physically declining, but his mind is extremely active and he's talking a lot. Ed said to him, "Frank, I've known you for almost eight years now and this is the most I've ever heard you talk." Frank laughed heartily at that.

Every morning, when Frank wakes up, he asks for Ed (slowly and deliberately forming the words...Where. Is. Edoardo?). Freakin' Ed, man. Everyone asks for Ed - my nephews, my parents, my friends. WTF?? My mother and I are the ones feeding Frank, giving him his meds, making sure he's drinking enough fluids, adjusting his blankets, listening to his stories, playing music for him, etc. and the only person he's asking for is Ed! Sonofabitch!

It's really amazing though, to watch how he fights to "get back to normal", as he keeps saying. But what is normal at almost ninety years old? He was doing seven miles on the treadmill just a few years ago. Daily. I haven't walked seven miles in the last year. I think he expects to still be doing that, but it's just not going to happen. He's extremely lucid and his memory is outstanding; we looked at a video slideshow recently that had photos in it that were over sixty years old; he was able to identify everyone in them.

When he's groggy, he sees family members who have already passed; his mother, his sister-in-law Anita (at a buffet, no less!), his three brothers. Some documents say seeing dead people is a sign that the person is dying themselves. Could be, but I don't completely believe it. Right now I'm listening to him have a lengthy conversation with my mother. His voice is strong and he's talking about when we went to Las Vegas in the early eighties; we stayed at The Dunes and ate at the Sultan's Table, the fanciest restaurant in the hotel. We even pulled out the photo of the four of us from that night. It seemed to support his memory.

There were a few minutes of silence before he spoke again.

He took a deep breath and slowly said, "Where's my ice cream? I asked for it more than twenty minutes ago."


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Ragazzo dell’Ombrello
2 YEARS AGO: Eddie It’s Not Even Halloween Yet Friday
3 YEARS AGO: Not So Different, Are We?
4 YEARS AGO: Quite Uneducated If You Ask Me
5 YEARS AGO: Sometimes Identity Theft Can SAVE You Money
6 YEARS AGO: Mina In Fifty Years

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Thing About Things


Thing I always suspected: That couples who say they don’t fight have the worst relationships.

Thing that I like but it makes me cringe: Eating the skin I bite off my cuticles.

Thing that I wholeheartedly support: LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Rights.

Thing that seems to be multiplying: Stupid people.

Thing that should be illegal: People having children they can’t afford to take care of.

Thing I'm worried about: Republican rule.

Thing that is out of control: Reality shows set in New Jersey. And any kind of housewife.

Thing that is wrong with summer: It’s entirely too long and thanks to climate change, entirely too fucking HOT.

Thing that was a miscarriage of justice: The Casey Anthony acquittal.

Thing that seems a distant memory: Rotary phones.

Thing that bothers a lot of people but doesn't bother me at all: Illegal immigrants.

Thing that doesn't bother most people but bothers me a lot: Incompetence.

Thing that most helps me get to sleep: Reading.

Thing I couldn't do without: My computer.

Thing that I feel really stupid doing but do it anyway: Talk to a drive-in food joint’s speaker.

Thing I would do over if I could: Spanish class.

Thing I always find really, really irritating: People who don’t answer a direct question.

Thing that I didn't write but wish I had: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity,and I’m not sure about the former.” – Albert Einstein

Thing that men can do that women can't do: Write their name in the snow.

Thing to which I am absolutely addicted: My iPhone.

Thing a person says that means you have seen them for the last time: We should get together sometime.

Thing most often said right before a dog attack: He loves people.

Thing that I most enjoy about exercising: Watching it on TV.

Thing I would love to see God strike with lightning: The Fox News studio.

Thing that I have a thing about: Magazines.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Friday, October 14, 2011

Satan Called. He Wants His Weather Back.

It's October 14th. Almost halfway through the month. I'm in Arizona and it was 99 degrees today.

NINETY-NINE. Hell is cooler than here. I'm not kidding you.

There are tons of people out there who enjoy this weather, I think they have serious mental problems. It's not even summer and it's ninety-nine degrees. Does that sound right to you? They have two seasons in Southern Arizona; hot and hotter. There is no reprieve.

I'm dressed in the bare minimum; even capri pants are too hot for me. I'm staying in air-conditioning and trying not to do anything outside while the sun is in the sky. The more I spend time here, the more I want to purchase (or build?) an igloo.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: If Only I Looked As Good As He Does
2 YEARS AGO:
What Grandmothers Do When Their Grandchildren Grow Up
3 YEARS AGO:
The View Of The Valley And Meadow
4 YEARS AGO:
A Beautiful Dimple In The Earth
5 YEARS AGO:
Dive The Sky
6 YEARS AGO:
G-Y-M

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shopping Hysteria

Nordstrom Rack has finally come to Tucson. You'd think people were lining up to see Jesus Christ in concert. I love Nordstrom Rack, but I've been to them all over the country, so it's nothing new for me. Yes, I'm excited that it's here, because now I don't have to drive to Phoenix to shop in one. Tucson has NO upscale department stores; no Nordstrom, no Saks Fifth Avenue, no Lord & Taylor, no nothing.

When I got an email that today was the grand opening, I thought I'd go. How many people could there be? I said to myself. The opening was at 9am and I thought I'd get there around 8:15. What the hell was I thinking?? There was a line from the front door, around the side of the building and then snaking back and forth like long concert lines. It was ridiculous. There was ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I was going to stand in line to go into a store. No way in hell.

So, I took a few pictures and went back to my car. Before I left, I drove along the curb to listen to the countdown on before they opened the doors; five...four...three...two...one! The throng of people surged forward, some actually running. The woman on the loudspeaker actually had to reprimand them - adults, mind you - not to run in the store. Can you imagine that?? I'm sure it'll make the paper and the local news, since there isn't much going on here otherwise to get excited about.

I drove out of the parking lot shaking my head. I hit Starbucks for a latte, Einstein's for a bagel, and then headed back to the house. I'll go in the new year, when the excitement dies down. Until then, I'll shop online.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging For A Word From Our Blogger
2 YEARS AGO:
Here, Let Me Get You A Tissue For That Eyeball
3 YEARS AGO:
The Secret Lies With The Twinkies
4 YEARS AGO:
Where In The World Are You Carmen Sandiego?
5 YEARS AGO:
Paraskevidekatriaphobia
6 YEARS AGO:
Love’s Language

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Still Flowering

This is an Ocotillo (pronounced, Oh-coh-tee-yo) plant. It's got thorns on it, like a cactus, but it's not a true cactus. Right now it's still flowering, as it does during the spring and summer. Normally, it is bare like this.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Wishing I Could Trade My Feet For Wheels
2 YEARS AGO: And The Winner Is…
3 YEARS AGO: Palm In The Dirty South
4 YEARS AGO: Ed Makes Out With Fair Fluff Friday
5 YEARS AGO: Blue Light Special
6 YEARS AGO: Blue Collar

Monday, October 10, 2011

Con Los Años Que Me Quedan

I have been singing this song all week and when I'm not actively singing it, I'm humming it. It's rubbed off on my mother because she's humming it now too. From the Gloria Estefan album, "Mi Tierra".

Sunday, October 09, 2011

I May Be Old, But I'm Not That Old

We are home right now because my step-father isn't doing too well. He recently came out of the hospital and has taken to bed at home. The other day when my nephews were visiting, my brother was telling them about all of the things their Papa had seen and been through in his life.

"Papa's almost ninety years old. Do you know how much he's seen in his life?" he said.

The boys were listening with rapt attention.

"He was in World War Two, storming the beaches in the Normandy Invasion, traveling through Germany, Italy and South Africa with the troops in his platoon..." my brother said.

"Did he drive a tank??" they asked.

"Yep. And not only that, he had to learn how to pitch a tent, he ate food called C-Rations and he slept in a sleeping bag."

"In the woods??" said the middle one.

"Yep. He's seen so much! He watched the first man land on the moon, he was around when there were silent movies, he saw President Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Senator Robert Kennedy get assassinated; and he watched it all on a black and white TV."

It was then that the youngest one said, "Was he there when President Lincoln was killed too?"

My brother just laughed and said, "No, that was way before Papa was born."

"Oh." said my nephew.

He's only eight years old, but I think it might be time to break out the visual "timeline-of-events" chart.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Today’s The Day!!
2 YEARS AGO: Ed Getting Jiggy Among The Sunflowers
3 YEARS AGO: The Bridge To Everywhere
4 YEARS AGO: Scared Into Anorexia
5 YEARS AGO: A Good Hot Cup Is Desperately Needed
6 YEARS AGO: Am I The Only One Who Noticed This??

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Music Sets The Stage

Not only am I a big movie fan, but I also love movie soundtracks; sometimes, they can make or break a film. Here are some of my favorites.
The Gospel
Best Soundtrack EVER for me. “He Reigns/Awesome God”, “Glorious”, “Now Behold The Lamb” and my absolute favorite, “I Need You To Survive”.

A Star Is Born
I know every word to every song on this album and have been singing them since I was nine years old. My favorites are “Lost Inside of You”, “The Woman In The Moon”, “I Believe In Love” and the very sad, “With One More Look At You/Watch Closely Now”.

Woman On Top
Hot Brazilian tunes. It's so hard to choose a favorite.

August Rush
“Bach/Break”, “Moondance” and “This Time” - not only do I like the songs, but I like the vision of hotness who sings them.

Above The Rim
This soundtrack contains some of the greatest rap hits of the early nineties. Pure west coast flava. LOVE it.

The Bodyguard
I liked the movie, but I love the soundtrack. Not every single song, but ones like "I'm Every Woman" (Chaka Khan's hit) and "I Have Nothing" will always be on my favorites playlist. And how can you not love her killer rendition of Dolly Parton's classic, "I Will Always Love You"?

Once
This is a movie that I found on a hotel in-room movie list. Never heard of it, didn’t know who was in it, but the synopsis intrigued me. Turned out to be a good movie with a great soundtrack and was talked about in all the magazines and TV movie review shows. I love “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova and “The Hill” by Marketa Irglova

Shine
My friend Greg got free tickets to this movie when it first came out – it wasn’t on any big screens, just playing at Iittle, artsy movie theaters. He asked me to go with him and we were both shocked how much we liked it. It's a great story, about pianist David Helgott's life and I enjoyed the music so much, I had to have the soundtrack. It's the only classical stuff I own; easy to listen to, great background music and actually quite beautiful.

The Fighting Temptations
Beyonce, Cuba Gooding Jr., Gospel. In my eyes, a total musical movie hit.

Felicity
I LOVED this show. Following Felicity’s life in NYC, trying to help her decide between Ben and Noel? I loved Ben….but then there’s Noel…he was so smart…but Ben, oh my, he’s so gorgeous. Impossible to choose. They always had good music on the show, many of the artists ones I’d never even heard of. I love “Heart And Shoulder” by Heather Nova and “Angels” by Joe Henry.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Tacky Prevails
2 YEARS AGO:
Not As Hot As It Looks
3 YEARS AGO:
Burst
4 YEARS AGO:
Stockholm Syndrome
5 YEARS AGO:
Playing In A Dream Near You
6 YEARS AGO:
The Greatest Story Ever Told

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Not Even Technology Can Fix Stone Cold Stupid

Last night Ed came out of the truck stop with a story:

He said to the girl behind the counter, "You know who Steve Jobs is?"

"Nope." she said.

"He's the guy who created Apple...he died today." Ed said.

"What's Apple?" she said. (Seriously!?)

"The company that makes the iPhone, iPod, iPad..." Ed said.

"Oh."

That's it. Just "oh". I can see her not knowing who Steve Jobs is, but Apple? The iPhone??

People are fucking idiots.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Three
2 YEARS AGO:
Not Exactly “Daily” By Definition
3 YEARS AGO:
I Almost Married This Man
4 YEARS AGO:
Greeting Fair Lovers For Over Fifty Years
5 YEARS AGO:
The Infinite Wisdom Of A Grandfather
6 YEARS AGO:
Swingin’ Good Times

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Living Deliberately But Not Without Scars

This is from my favorite poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox.


Life's Scars

They say the world is round, and yet
I often think it square,
So many little hurts we get
From corners here and there.
But one great truth in life I've found,
While journeying to the West -
The only folks who really wound
Are those we love the best.

The man you thoroughly despise
Can rouse your wrath, 'tis true;
Annoyance in your heart will rise
At things mere strangers do;
But those are only passing ills;
This rule all lives will prove;
The ranking wound which aches and thrills
Is dealt by hands we love.

The choicest garb, the sweetest grace,
Are oft to strangers shown;
The careless
mien, the frowning face,
Are given to our own.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.

Love does not grow on every tree,
Nor true hearts yearly bloom.
Alas for those who only see
This cut across a tomb!
But, soon or late, the fact grows plain
To all through sorrow's test:
The only folks who give us pain
Are those we love the best.


I feel this poem ties in to this fantastic post from my friend in Italy, which focuses on loved ones not being supportive or encouraging, and not really providing unconditional love when it comes to the choices that are made for your own life. And as Michelle said, "some of your loved ones not only won't get it, they won't even care to try."

Our loved ones are really the only ones who have the power to hurt us the most. I think all of us know that first hand. So I guess we all need to try to "care enough to try".


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Maybe They Just Don’t Like Oklahomans
2 YEARS AGO:
Mexico? Derecho.
3 YEARS AGO:
Juxtaposition
4 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Sports Pigtails Friday
5 YEARS AGO:
Gambling Under The Big Sky
6 YEARS AGO:
Sleeping Beauty

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Big, Delicious Mess

Last night I made my grandmother's Ciambotta. I wasn't even sure how that was spelled until I utilized the ever accomodating Google. My grandmother always said, "Chom-bott", clipping the word and not pronouncing the "a" on the end.

After finding this article in the Los Angeles Times, I not only discovered the correct spelling (I was searching for something starting with "ci" since I know that's the "ch" sound in Italian), but I found another tidbit in the article describing another way the word is used, which is also how my grandmother used it: "It seems to be a dialect word that indicates not only a vegetable stew but also a mess. When someone gets confused telling a story or putting something together, people of southern Italian extraction might say they have made a big ciambotta."

I decided to do mine how my grandmother did, using just onions, potatoes and fresh string beans. I bought some beautiful string beans the other day and had potatoes I needed to use. It's such a simple dish, there's really no way to screw it up.

In the first picture, you'll see just the onions and potatoes, cooking until the potatoes begin to get soft. In this second photo, you'll see that the string beans have been added. Isn't that color beautiful? Now just let everything cook and get all familiar with each other until you don't know where the potatoes end and the string beans begin.

Here's what you'll need to duplicate this delicious dish. The ingredients and the steps to make it are few.

THE INGREDIENTS
Olive Oil
1 large white onion, sliced
8-10 small white potatoes, cut in 1.5” pieces
1 lb. fresh string beans
2 cloves of finely minced garlic or garlic powder
1 small can tomato paste
Salt & Pepper
Parsley
Oregano

THE PROCESS
1. Coat the bottom of a large pot or skillet with olive oil. Sauté the onions until soft and caramelized. You can also add your minced garlic at this point, but if you’re using garlic powder, you can add it in the second step with the other spices.

2. Once the onions are soft, add the potatoes and the can of tomato paste. Add a few cans of water until everything is coated. Don’t worry if you put in too much water because you can always cook it down without the lid to make it thicker. I add all my spices at this point; salt and pepper, garlic powder if you didn’t do it with the onions, parsley and oregano. Cover the pot and let this all cook down until the potatoes get softer. Keep checking and stirring because you don’t want it to stick to the pot or burn. But cook enough to soften the potatoes.

3. Once the potatoes have softened a bit, throw in your string beans. Continue to cook until everything gets soft and the sauce gets thick and it looks like a stew. Keep tasting, you’ll know when it’s ready. Serve with a crusty Italian bread and you’ve got a satisfying, hearty meal.

Enjoy!

Click
HERE for a copy of the recipe to print out.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Race To The Finish
2 YEARS AGO:
The Way To A Man’s Heart Isn’t Only Through His Stomach
3 YEARS AGO:
The Monarch Of Style
4 YEARS AGO:
I Walked Around The Building For An Hour Looking For That Door
5 YEARS AGO:
Home On The Range: It’s Not Just The Place Where The Deer And Antelope Play
6 YEARS AGO:
Mina Clarkson