Thursday, January 31, 2013

Modern Market Girl

A girl texting at the Straw Market in Nassau, Bahamas.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: A Berry Good Time
2011: Traveling Through Mountain Ranch
2010: Backroads
2009: If Only I Could Fit All Of This Information On A Bumper Sticker…
2008: Gambling Haze
2007: Published
2006: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Island Graffiti

I saw this on a wall in the Bahamas when Ed and I went for a walk through the town.  The corner we found it on was strewn with garbage and generally dilapidated, but there was just something beautiful about this colorful painting, standing out among the debris. 

I think it would look cool as a print on canvas, don't you?


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: Four Seasons Of Food To Conquer
2011: Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
2010: As Seen On TV
2009: Eddie Polishing His Chrome Friday
2008: Traveling With Your Cat
2007: Getting Wet In The Next County
2006: Down With O.P.P.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Eight Ways To Take It Easy

We have a lot of time off  - six months last year alone - so I know a thing or two about how to unwind.  Surprisingly, the time off I enjoy most is on the road, when we're not actually working.  Being home is fine, there's just not a whole lot to do. 

I'm home now and all I've done in the past week is watch movies - I finished Season Three of Dowton Abbey and watched at least fifteen rentals.  I also did a little shopping and a lot of eating.  To my delight, I lost six pounds since we got back from the cruise.  I don't know how that happened, but I'm not complaining.


In the high I'm experiencing from being so skinny, I've compiled eight ways to enjoy time off - many of which I personally employ.

Choose Your Partner In Sloth Wisely
If you're going to spend the weekend in your pajamas, lay around all day watching TV, or binge eat at the nearest Buffet du Jour, you have to make sure the person you're going to do it with is on the same wavelength as you.  Having someone that says, "OK, sure!" to everything you suggest, makes the day ten times more enjoyable.

Sleep
This is a good one.  And often essential.  I usually get enough sleep, but if you're a person who is constantly on the go - kids, work, husband, chores - you have no idea how much sleep you're missing.  Whether you catch a few winks in the LazyBoy or take a full-on nap, I suggest you do it.  If you're a mom, drop the kids at school, do a few chores or whatever, and then take a good hour (or two) nap.  Yes, in the middle of the day.  Yes, when other people are at work.  Yes, when there are things that "need to be done".  Nothing is that important.  It can all wait.  Trust me.  And if you think you can't fall asleep during the day because there's too much light, invest in one of these.  I have that exact one and it blocks out light so completely, that a fitful slumber is the only thing you'll get while wearing it.

Watch Movies
Go to RedBox, pick up two or three movies you've been dying to see, and go home and watch them.  Back-to-back.  If you'd rather go out, there is nowhere more serene than a movie theater in the middle of the afternoon during the week.  No kids, no crowds, and if you're so inclined, you can also see back-to-back films for one low low price.  Yes, I am advocating sneaking from one theater to another.  Trust me, no one is looking - I worked at a movie theater for years and they don't ever have enough staff in the afternoon - and if it's like every movie theater in America, they employ teenagers who would rather bullshit with the pretty girl at the concession stand than walk the halls and ask to see your ticket.  Besides, you were only going to the bathroom, right?

Do Something Different
Don't get up at five, hit the gym, have coffee at six, get dressed and get ready to face the day.  That's what you do all the time, isn't it?  How about sleeping till eight?  Or going out for breakfast in a restaurant, and not the Starbucks drive-thru.  Your day actually has to be different to be different.  Eat lunch out, get a milkshake, shop on a different side of town, visit a store you've always wanted to go into but have never been to.  What good is a day off if you're going to do the same thing you do every other day of the week? 

Surrender The Device
OK, this isn't one that I'd be able to pull off, but some people can.  I have a friend who often "unplugs".  Don't blog, don't answer emails, don't be tied to your smartphone.  Become temporarily unavailable.  Unless you're running a country, or in charge of who's turn it is to man the nuclear button, you really don't need to be available 24/7. 

Go Outside
Appreciate nature while it still exists.  OK, it'll probably be around after you die, but there are so many strip malls, drive-thru food establishments, malls, superstores and more to forget what it's like to walk under a canopy of real trees.  Drive, even if it's far, to get to a place where you're surrounded by nature.  Watch birds.  Listen to the sounds of rustling leaves.  Clomp through knee-deep snow.  Embrace Mother Nature and tell her how much you've missed her.

See The Sights
Travel is my favorite diversion, and the one thing I encourage everyone to do.  When you think about how much money you spend on bullshit, you'll realize you can find money for a weekend away.  Look for deals, look for free stuff to do, find inexpensive hotels, take advantage of weekend car rental deals like Enterprise has, and just go do something unfamiliar.  Even driving a car other than your own feels fun.

Fill Your Head With Words
There are too many people who say, "I don't have time to read".  In fact, I know one guy who's never read a whole book in his entire life.  You might not be able to get through a whole book - although, I have read books in one day - but maybe you can flip through your favorite magazines at a local bookstore, or start listening to an audio book, or read a new website that you've been meaning to get to.  It's equivalent to learning something new, so absorb as much as you can.

This is the short list.  There's so much more one can do with uninterrupted time.  Plan it if you have to.  Use a sick day.  Let the laundry wait one more day.  Conspire with a friend.  Convince your partner to take the day off with you - make it a date.

"Breathe.  Let go.  And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure."  ~ Oprah



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: Dinner With Friends
2011: This Is What Sheer Joy Looks Like
2010: I’ll Have The Tootsie Rolls And The Butterfinger And The Lollipop And The Gummi Bears And The Hershey Kisses And The Snickers Bar And The M&M’s And…
2009: Meals On Wheels
2008: Mercury Dropping
2007: James Cameron For $79.99 A Night
2006: The Town That Big Tobacco Built
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The First Step Is To Admit You Have A Problem

They really need to have a Cosmetics Anonymous.  I need meetings.

In all 12-step programs, the first step is to admit you are powerless over your addiction and that your life has become unmanageable.  Well, I guess I can admit the powerless part, but I'm not so sure about the unmanageable part.  I will admit I'm a beauty addict, and when I step into a store dedicated to cosmetics, I am powerless, but unmanageable?  Anything is manageable with the right lipgloss.

I received a gift card to Sephora for Christmas - fifty dollars - not too shabby.  So I went to the mall and spent over an hour wandering around the store in a trance.  There's so much to look at.  And so many brands I covet - Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Nars, Laura Mercier, Guerlain.  Skincare and perfumes, tools and accessories.  It's heaven on earth for me.

Eventually, I bought
this because several girls recommended it, this in Mercury - the gunmetal gray color (it’s Vegan!) - because it looked beautiful on, and two of these because I couldn't decide on a color. 

This has been my most productive day so far.  What a great way to start my week.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: The Top Five Sweet Scents In My World
2011: A Weekend Full Of Bright Stars And Not Much Else
2010: I’m Floored
2009: Two Worlds Collide
2008: Girl Crush
2007: Silly Boys
2006: It’s Nowhere Near Mexico, Y’all
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Domestic Cat Life

These two do nothing but eat and sleep all day.  In my next life I want to be a cat, because these two are spoiled brats who are waited on hand and foot. 

This is Miss Lily...
And this is Fat Louie...
The only other cat in the area is the bobcat that roams the yard.  I saw him sneaking under the truck this morning. 

Now you understand why these two don't ever leave the house.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Being Appreciated
2011: Just A Phone Call Away
2010: A Practically Perfect Circle
2009: My Frozen Kentucky Home
2008: On Tour And Collecting Paper As We Go
2007: Finding Your Way
2006: Trivia From The First Tsar Of Russia
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Taking A KW For A Spin

Earlier this week Ed and I went to take a new truck for a test drive - a
Kenworth T680.  After we went to look at the 180" sleeper, we were talking about getting a new truck to go with it.  Not because there's anything wrong with our truck, there isn't, but because of the new regulations that have to do with the environmental stuff.  Ed would love nothing more than to keep our truck, and we may still do that, but we'd have to modify it to meet the new regulations in 2014.  It's not a huge expense, but it's still an expense and the money may just be better suited in something newer. I wasn't sure I'd like the Kenworth because I thought the cab would be a lot smaller - when the nose of the truck is so narrow, you're sitting so close to each other, you can touch elbows - I like the roominess of our cab, so I was hesitant to try the Kenworth.  But I was surprised by the roominess.  We wouldn't get the condo sleeper shown in the photo, because we don't need the sleeper part.  We'd order a day cab with a long frame, and then ARI would just place the new sleeper on the frame.

I'm not in love with all the plastic they use in the interior construction, but I guess they have to reduce the overall weight somewhere.  I think they should use sturdier plastics and fabrics in the areas that get constant, daily use - it's a commercial vehicle, not something you go for a Sunday ride in - it needs to be durable so it'll last.   

The things I do like, for me, are purely aesthetic.  I don't care what the engine does, or what the fuel mileage is, although I know I'll hear about it and absorb what I can from Ed.  I am more interested in the function of the gadgets, buttons, gauges and dials that I'll be using.  I want to know where the trailer brake is located (on the steering column in this truck, which I love), how far I have to reach for the Jake brake, if the radio is in a convenient area, am I going to catch my purse strap on the air brake knobs like in our current truck?  I know there are women engineers, but it always seems men (and not truck driving men) must design these things, because they don't think of the needs of the driver who is actually sitting in the seat.

One thing I do like about this truck is the windshield - it's one full piece, not two like we have in our truck.  The view is entirely unobstructed and while I was driving, I was able to see everything beautifully - it kind of wraps around the sides ever so slightly, giving you a panorama that's unmatched.

I think I can get into having a new truck.  This one has the same transmission and shift pattern as ours, so I wouldn't have to learn something new in that respect.  And it has less guages on the dashboard, which is great, since I don't know what half of the ones on our dash even do.  Shhh, don't tell Ed. 

And it's really quiet.  I know that doesn't seem like much, but when you're driving 2,000 miles across the country, having a cab that muffles as much road noise as possible is a good thing.  Oh, and I like the doors - I thought of my grandfather when I closed the driver side door after I got out - they're really solid and closed with a nice, heavy, silent whoosh.  He would have liked it.

I think I need to take it for another test drive.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: New York And Snow – My Two Favorite Things
2011: Doin’ The Math
2010: Well, Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit
2009: I Even Have Time To Go On Strike
2008: Teaching Them Young
2007: You Gotta Be In It To Win It
2006: Cinema Stupido
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Drop The Flag And Take Me Home

The last night of the cruise when we went back to the room, it smelled like cigarette smoke.  So much so, I swear someone was pumping it in.  I woke up with a stuffed nose and a sore throat. 

Then I had to get on a plane.  What a disaster that turned out to be.  The flight from Miami to Houston was miserable.  First, I foolishly gave up my aisle seat to the claustrophobic woman who had the window seat and asked if I minded switching seats - Ed wound up in the middle - turns out, I did mind switching.

It was so hot I thought I was going to have to disrobe.  I told Ed I was going to take off my top.  I figured I'd just drape it over my front and I'd get air on my arms and back, even though the only air I was getting was coming from the pinhole nozzle on that stupid air thingy above my head.  I had my face turned up to it, enjoying the spit of air like a dog enjoys hanging their head out of a car window. 

Then came the descent.  We suddenly dropped miles, and the free fall seemed to last forever.  All of a sudden, a razor sharp pain shot through my head into my eye socket.  My hand flew up to my face, and I pressed my thumb into the corner of my left eye, near my nose.  My eye started watering.  My head felt like it was going to explode.  I could not get the pain to stop.  My sinuses were trying to kill me. 

I'm still suffering - nose both stuffed and runny, sore throat, no taste or smell - and I also can't hear since my ears are still clogged.  Everything sounds like it's coming through six feet of water.

But at least I'm home, right?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Cottonwood Trading Company
2011: Service With A Smile
2010: Getting The Red Out, One Barn At A Time
2009: Obamaduck!
2008: How A Four Year Old Can Make You Feel Like Crap For Trying To Get Out Of Doing Yard Work
2007: Florida Fro
2006: Hail To The McGriddle Gods
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Who Is A Bahamian?

Sabrina Lightbourn, a Bahamian born photographer, took 100 black and white photos of Bahamian faces - 20 of them adorn public buildings in downtown Nassau - to illustrate the diverse, multi-cultural people who make up the residents of the Bahamas.

The photographer said, “There is a lot of intolerance for people who don’t look and sound the way we think a traditional Bahamian should look and sound. We might look different and we might sound different but we are all Bahamian.”


Hmmm...sounds like a few Americans might want to take a lesson from this.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: Pay No Attention To The Cat Behind The Curtain
2011: Papa Can You Hear Me?
2010: The Err Erudes Them
2009: Sorry, no post for this date.
2008: Addicted
2007: When You Just Can’t Decide Between Dinner And Breakfast
2006: Purple Industrial Skies
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ruling Color

A horse drawn carriage takes some tourists past the Bahamian Parliament building, which has a statue of Queen Victoria in the center of the square. 
Here's another shot of the Parliament - it's located on the main street, adjacent to the shops all the tourists walk through.
We walked up to the top of Mount Fitzwilliam, where the Bahamiam Government Houseis located.  It's the official residence of the Governor General of the Bahamas and it's where he stays when he's on the island.

We were not allowed to take a picture of the house, but we were allowed to take this photo of the view from the front.  In the distance, you can see the cruise ships in the harbor. 

The guard who escorted us through the property told us that all the government buildings in the Bahamas were painted pink, and the police buildings are painted green.  I wonder what the blue ones are? 


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: After This, It’s Time To Close The Left Door For A While
2011: I Think I’ve Seen This Person On Facebook
2010: Eating Crud Is So Much Tastier Than Eating Crow
2009: Chihuly In The Trees
2008: Is It Really SO Hard??
2007: Snowball In Hell
2006: The Southern Family Tree
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Amber Jack

This colorful vessel, owned by the Bahamian government, was docked in the same Nassau harbor our cruise ship pulled into.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: Adding A Poodle To The Mix
2011: If…
2010: How The West Was Fun
2009: Pecking Order
2008: The Sympathy Train Stopped Dead In Its Tracks
2007: Shalom
2006: A.D.I.D.A.S.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

United Tails

A view of the tiny puddle jumpers lined up at the Miami International Airport.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: I Grew Up In The O.C. Too
2011: Snowy Arrival
2010: Not A Pretty Sight
2009: Marking This Day In History With A Vibrant Spot Of Color
2008: Lighting To Do Laundry By
2007: The Benefits Of Dating A White Boy
2006: Shhhhhh, You’ll Wake The Driver
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ten Things I Hate About Flying


The 3 oz. Rule
The 3 ounces of anything in the Ziploc bag rule is insanely ridiculous. I actually had to check a bag, paying $25 to do so, in order to have the things I needed for this trip. I can’t fit shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, sunscreen, foundation, lipgloss, toothpaste, lotion, makeup remover, etc. in a one quart bag. WTF are you people thinking?

Food & Drink Service
If the flight is less than two hours, you should get nothing. The plane barely takes off before they’re rolling their elbow crunchers down the aisle to give people who can't even sit comfortably in their seats as it is, a drink in a small flare-mouthed plastic cup. Do you really need something to drink? You were just in the airport, why didn’t you get something there? You’re only flying a few hours, are you telling me you can’t do it without a Diet Coke? C’mon, people.

People Who Insist On Reclining
Are those extra two inches helping you, buddy? I don’t understand why people insist on reclining their seats in an airplane. It’s not a fucking Lazy Boy. You can’t put your feet up. You can’t even get comfortable leaning back. And the person behind you is trapped. In my case, I can barely raise my arms to read a magazine, and I wind up having to stare at someone's scalp for the entire flight. Reconsider reclining, because when you do, you’re a selfish asshole.

Getting Up To Walk Around
Where are you going?? On our trip from Tucson to Miami, the first segment of the flight was an hour and a half, the second segment was three and a half hours. I know I sit for a living since I’m a truck driver, but I did have other jobs before I this one, I have flown before, and although I'm not an expert at sitting, I can stay in my seat for three to six hours. Unless I have to pee, which is a rare occurence for me on an airplane, I’m generally content sitting in my seat until the flight is complete. Why can’t you?

The Pilot Speaking
Every time I drifted off the sleep, the pilot came on loud and suddenly over the PA System to update us on some bullshit; the altitude, the temperature where we were going, how they were going to turn the seatbelt signs on/off/on again, the time we’re expected to arrive, etc.  Look, just fly the fucking plane and stop telling us what’s going on. I don’t care, nor do I understand why being at 23,600 feet or 30,120 feet affects the turbulence or lack of turbulence.  I don't care what kind of cloud cover we’ll be going through on our way over whatever city happens to be below us. You just startled me out of my sleep to tell me something unnecessary, and if you didn't have a steel door up there, I might consider coming up just to smack you in the side of the head.

The No-Smoking Light
I know the light was probably put in when the planes were built in 1893, so the feature automatically gets activated whenever the pilot does his procedural thing, but I think they can stop telling us that smoking isn’t allowed on the aircraft. Smoking hasn’t been allowed on planes starting as far back as 34 years ago when they first banned cigars and pipes, and a full ban has been in effect for the last 15 years on all domestic flights of any duration. If someone hasn’t been on a plane in the last 10-34 years and is so oblivious to the world around them that they think they can still light up a cigarette in an enclosed metal tube, I can assure you there will be no shortage of people lurching forward to snatch the offending item right from their lips. You can stop reminding us that it’s prohibited.  Yes, even in the bathrooms.

Stowing Things Under The Seat
Is the purse on my lap really going to cause a problem should we encounter turbulence? Or worse, a death spiral into the ocean? People can have laptops out, books and kids toys, stacks of magazines, but my purse on my lap is a problem? I hate being told to put it under the seat. I barely have enough room to bend over (in the three inches of space the asshole in front of me has allotted) to grab the handles and try to pull it up between my legs. It’s like trying to pull a fat kid out of an inner tube float – all of a sudden, pop! and he comes flying out.  Same thing with my purse.  And it usually involves my elbows being in the face of whoever is sitting next to me, and me breaking a sweat struggling to pull it free.  And I hate to sweat.

Standing Up The Minute The Plane Stops
If you’re in the back, just face it - you’re not going anywhere for a looong time.  So sit the fuck down.  There's no reason to get up when you're in row thirty-seven and First Class hasn't even emptied  yet.  Why don't you wait until the rows in front of you start clearing before you get up?  Believe me, you'll have plenty of time to grab your overstuffed carry-on from the bin above.  In the meantime, the line isn't moving. Which brings me to another thing I hate.

Lines
I hate standing in line at the airport. I don’t board the plane until the very last second. I don’t go when my group or row is called, I go when they’re almost ready to close the doors. Why would I want to get up, stand in line to hand the clerk my boarding pass, to go stand in line on a jetway, to go stand in line again on the airplane while people are finding their seats? I want to swoop on, put my luggage up top or under the hateful seat in front of me, and sit down.

Children
Any age, any number, any children at all. I know it’s not practical to ban kids from planes – although I’d do it in a heartbeat – but can’t you at least sit them all in one section? Put them in the back – row fifty-gazillion and back should be for families - kids always need to go to the bathroom, they’re always disruptive, they always ask a lot of questions, and if they’re not talking incessantly, they’re crying. A flight is bad enough, adding children to it makes it a downright nightmare. Just as I’ve said I’d pay more money to dine in a restaurant or go to a theater that doesn’t allow children, I’d also pay more for an airline ticket if I knew there wouldn’t be a kid sitting behind me, next to me, or within earshot.

I think driving around in my home on wheels has really spoiled me.  I have less tolerance now when flying than I did years ago.  And I had no tolerance years ago.

Flying, in some cases, is a necessary evil, and booking First Class tickets to reduce the hassle is just ridiculously expensive and I just can't justify the cost.  Since I fly so infrequently, I might have to consider Business Class.

They probably offer a slightly better environment than the one available in steerage.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Teeth Or Another European Vacation? Ooooh, It’s A Real Toss Up.
2011: Not So Wacky After All
2010: Spreading The Word
2009: He Had A Dream. Tomorrow We See It Come True.
2008: Who Do You Know?
2007: South Beach Blue
2006: Jawl Spake Anglesh??
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Back To Basics

I'm pretty sure In-N-Out Burger got their  name precisely because that's exactly what's it's like when you go there to eat - you're literally "in and out" in just a few minutes flat.

I went yesterday with my mother while we were out running pre-cruise errands.  You'd think I was going on this cruise for three weeks with all the last minute things I was doing.  They weren't all cruise related, but I did need to squeeze some other stuff in. 

Anyway, my mother was thrilled when she got to the menu board and saw only hamburgers and fries on the menu.  Usually, she goes into a place and stands there wondering what to order.  It's as if she's never been in a fast food before.  Which is odd to me, because she watches so much TV, she should could be one of those Nielsen families all on her own. 

You'd think she'd know the menu of every fast food restaurant from McDonald's to Wendy's to Jack in the Box and beyond.  But at In-N-Out, she didn't have to know anything - she just had to choose one burger or two, cheese or not, size of fries and what she wanted to drink. 

I'm telling you - it's the perfect place to take an old person.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: I Can Think Of Better Ways To Spend Hump Day
2011: Can I Appoint Myself The Baroness Of Cattle?
2010: This Time Losing The Wallet Really Means Losing The Wallet
2009: Marley & Me
2008: Eddie Gets Handy Friday
2007: The Perfect Neapolitan Slice
2006: The King Of The Flying Salmon
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Fancy The Castle Life

Since Downton Abbey has been on for two seasons already, I'm clearly behind the rest of the fans who can't live without knowing what is going on inside the walls of the real life Highclere Castle. I've had the series on my Amazon watchlist for a looooong time, but just never got around to watching it.  After seeing several of my friends talking (and talking and talking) about it on Facebook, I knew it was time to get started.

I watched both seasons in less than 48 hours.  Every minute was thrilling for me - the clothes, the accents, the Crawleys who live in the house, the staff who serves the house, the house itself, even the theme song.  I love all the Crawley girls; the wallflower middle daughter Lady Edith, the center of attention and always elegant oldest daughter  Lady Mary, and the ambitious and beautiful youngest daughter, Lady Sybil
There are so many characters I like, it's almost hard to choose a favorite.  I love Mr. Bates, and find him very appealing and quite handsome, but I think my favorite character has got to be Granny, formally known as The Dowager Countess of Grantham.  She has some of the best lines in the series, and is definitely someone you'd want to sit next to at a dinner party.  And her facial expressions alone could win her awards. 
Season 3 has begun here in the states on PBS, but has already played in full over in the UK.  And because of people like this, I can sit down and watch the entire series in one sitting if I want, without having to endure the torture of waiting to see it weekly. 

Seven days is too long to be without some Downton.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012: There Are No Prison Blues If You Have Naan
2011: Now I’m No Longer Alone
2010: Rings Of Spring
2009: Map Schmap
2008: A Willow Weeps In Arizona
2007: Double Team
2006: Turning One Million
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pit Stop At Home

We arrived home in Arizona a few days ago and have been running around doing a few things before we leave for our cruise on Thursday. Mammo, doctor, truck maintenance, trailer maintenance, manicure/pedicure, last minute shopping.  

Oh, and it's freezing here. FAH-REE-ZING. It's been in the forties and fifties during the day and the teens and twenties at night. The news said this is the coldest it's been in forty-one years. I love the cold, as you know, but even I'm freezing my ass off.

I'm not looking forward to the flight to Miami, but I think the cruise might be fun.  Although, we will be with a very large group of truck drivers, so that should be interesting.  Ed was awarded this cruise for 10 years of safe driving and he's looking forward to it.  I'm just hoping to get a tan.

Tomorrow, I pack.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Adding A Few More Wheels To The Big Rig
2011: Again And Again And Again
2010: Hood Ornament
2009: Eddie Out Of Control Friday
2008: My Boyfriend Simon Is Back In Town
2007: A Little Taste Of Miami Beach
2006: Ooooohhhhhh, Jabra!
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Woman Cannot Live On Bread Alone

Yesterday I had a mammogram, today Ed got his cat scanned. He wasn't allowed to have any solid food before the scan, so we decided we'd go for breakfast when he was done. I dropped him off, ran a few errands, and then went back to pick him up. The whole thing took less than thirty minutes.  After the test, rather than hitting the Dunkin' Donuts we usually go to for a quick bagel and coffee, we decided to try a place I head read about and had been wanting to try for a long time - Frogs Organic Bakery.
Before I walked in the door, I knew I was going to have the Almond Croissant, because that's the pastry that seemed to get the most press. But then I saw everything else.
Brioche, Pain aux Raisins, Kings Cake, Macarons, Fruit Tarts, Napoleans, plain Croissants the size of footballs, and the famous Almond Croissant.
After closely skimming Bouchon Bakery, standing in front of the display of the flakiest pastries and biggest croissants I'd ever seen felt like a dream. I'm telling you, these croissants were absolutely withought a doubt, the most tremendous croissants I'd ever set eyes on.
They were  at least ten inches long by six inches wide, and the center of the croissant puffed up a good four inches. I stood there for a very long time staring at them. And taking pictures. In the end, I chose the Almond Croissant and a nice, hot latte.

What I wasnt expecting when I sat to eat the beautiful almond croissant, was that it was split in half, like a bagel, and inside there was the creamiest, lightly sweetened cream, which only added to my delight. Ed had a mushroom omelette with breakfast potatoes and a slice of toast made from bread also baked in house.

I plan on going back again for a giant croissant, and another day for lunch - they have croque-monsieur sandwiches and onion gratine soup - and when I'm done with my lunch, I'll be taking home a loaf of freshly baked bread.
If you're in Tucson, I suggest you plan a visit. The plaza it's in has several other restaurants, a few shops, and a Whole Foods.

It just doesn't have truck parking.


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2012: Why Milk Is ALWAYS At The Top Of My Shopping List
2011: Fun For Sale
2010: Dublin Is Incredibly Corny
2009: Welcome To Snowhio
2008: When Big Hair And Denim Were King
2007: Open 24 Hours
2006: Lucky One Eye
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Slap 'Em Right Up Here, Ma'am

Today I had my first ever mammogram.  The machine above is similar to the one that squashed the girls.  Actually, I hate when people call them "the girls", unless it's Stacy London from What Not To Wear.  'Cause she's funny.

I was in and out in ten minutes - plus the time spent at the front desk signing away my first born.  I don't really think a mammogram is worth $340.00 but since insurance pays, I signed. 

Based on what everyone has ever told me, I was expecting a painful visit.  But it didn't hurt at all.  It wasn't even uncomfortable.  Well, except for the fact that a lady I met two minutes prior to being naked from the waist up was heaving my mammaries with a gloved hand.  One side, other side, both.  Review the film.  Done.

Next scheduled fondling:  January 2014.

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2012: A Documentary In My Head
2011: Weeding Out The Assholes
2010: Does It Fall Under Some Kind Of Secret Guy Code?
2009: Over 140 Million Years In The Making
2008: If “G” Means Good, Then “I” Must Mean Incompetent
2007: Ft. Lauderdale Storm
2006: You Don’t Need Makeup Or Starbucks
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Mother Never Fried Chicken Like This

Truth be told, my mother never made fried chicken at all.  We didn't do fried chicken in our neck of the woods - the closest we came were fried chicken cutlets - fried chicken was reserved for people in the south.  There was a reason it was called southern fried chicken.  But pan fried, now that's something else.

This week on our way home to Arizona, we stopped at a place we've driven past at least a hundred times.  I saw a billboard and couldn't get the words out of my mouth fast enough to make sure Ed would stop quick enough.  I was babbling and pointing.   "Panfriedchicken.  At the next exit.  Panfriedchicken.  Pan fried!  Now.  Next exit.  There!"  What?  I was hungry.


The place was just off the highway (exit 179 on I-44, as you can see on the menu) and had pah-lenty of truck parking.  We parked, hopped out, and ran into a FedEx driver on our way in and his way out of the place.  He recommended the pan fried chicken (duh), some kind of sandwich called The Big Pig, and a few others things.  He gushed about how he eats there every week and that everything was good.

It was late in the afternoon, so the dining room was fairly empty. Once this table left, we had the place to ourselves. Needless to say, the waitress was very attentive.

We told her we'd never been before, that we saw the billboard, and then took a few minutes to look at the menu before ordering the house special - Pan Fried Chicken!  Actually, Ed got the chicken (with an extra breast for me) and ordered mashed potatoes and creamed corn on the side. Creamed corn always looks pretty questionable but is usually pretty tasty.
I got The Big Pig sandwich.  We decided we'd split the meals - I'd give him half my sandwich, and he'd give me that extra chicken breast I made him order. The pork tenderloin on this sandwich was just that - a tender loin. The piece of meat hung over the bun by at least an inch on each side. I ordered tater tots to go along with it.
Everything was incredibly delicious. The sandwich was delicious, but I LOVED the chicken. The waitress explained pan frying - the pieces were dredged in their flour and spice mixture, and set in a pan with canola oil that just covered half the chicken piece. Eighteen minutes on one side, eighteen on the other, and it was done.

The thing I loved about the chicken was the fact that it wasn't at all greasy. Sometimes, with fried chicken, you get a very crispy piece, but the coating holds onto a lot of oil. This breading was crispy, done perfectly, and the inside was super-freaking juicy. And hot. I'm in love, and I'm going back.

We also ordered dessert. The waitress forced us. OK, so she didn't exactly force us, she merely suggested some of their home made items.  I felt as if I really should be having something. They had pies and cobblers, ice cream and bread pudding. I was sort of in the mood for a fruit filled pie, but I thought passing on a bread pudding made with cinnamon rolls, topped with caramel and nuts would be akin to drowning a kitten. So I had the bread pudding, and Ed ordered chocolate cream pie.


Then, the waitress came over with another dessert, and as she set it on the table said, "Just because I really like you guys, I'm going to give you some blackberry cobbler on the house. All I heard was "cobbler" and "free". It was amazing.The fruit was delicious, the cobbler was tucked away underneath, it was warm, and she topped it with ice cream. Ed and I were in heaven. It wasn't cloyingly sweet, which I really liked. We ate the ice cream because it was melting, but we took the rest of our desserts to go. Twice the delight - now and later.

They also have a 66-ounce burger in honor of Route 66, and they do a burger eating challenge similar to the 72-ounce steak deal that The Big Texan in Amarillo offers. They even have a little setup, with a digital clock counting down the minutes as you eat.
If you're passing through Missouri, you should definitely make plans to stop.  Usually, we seem to get through here in the wee hours of the morning, but I'm definitely glad this time I was awake and bored enough with the scenery that I resorted to reading billboards.
Turned out advertising really does work.  Good thing I didn't see one of the many billboards Missouri is famous for, like “Missing Jesus In Your Life?” or “Pure Pleasure Adult Megacenters”.

This would have been a completely different post.


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2012: Shocking
2011: Awesome All-Star
2010: Have Pots And Pans, Will Travel
2009: This One Contains A Young Rider
2008: When She’s Not Sleeping, She Tries To Look Purty
2007: Eddie McSteamy Friday
2006: Pepparkakor Cat
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!