Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Brother can you spare . . .

The economy reminds me of an egg that has been cracked and poured out on the sidewalk to see if the day is hot enough to cook it. Bring your own knife and fork but be wary of those who carry their own utensils.

There is enough rue and guilt to season this giant omelet (or omelette if you prefer) really well. Dig in, this is a self-serve dining experience.

Antacid anyone?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Different kind of alligator . . .

Last century, after Hurricane Andrew left almost every standing tree strewn all over the city, someone offered to loan us a chain saw. It was so useful that we bought a smaller one of our own. The one we had borrowed was a huge Stihl. It was powerful enough to use on a forest if there was one around here. Which there isn't.

We wore out the little one. It was actually too lightweight. So the people
, in this family, who would like another one have been dropping broad hints suggestions about needing a chain saw. Personally, I am wary about the occasional use of a machine that could kick back and divide a torso right down the middle, or sever some useful bodily attachment, say an arm or leg.

During a cable program called "I Want That," something called an Alligator Lopper was demonstrated. It is a
safer kind of chainsaw which is scaled to use on 4" branches.

I did want that. It is being shipped out this week. And the reason I had to order it from Amazon.com instead of just going out and buying one? Aside from the no-tax, no-shipping,
gas-saving reasons?

Those demanding family members specified that they want the more rare, more portable, 18 volt, cordless model . . .

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hot enough for ya?

We are always looking for lower sodium alternatives. I read the sodium content on containers first, then go to sugars and carbs, when browsing. We have been using Classico's Tomato and Basil sauce as a spaghetti sauce base for adding things like meat/meatballs, garlic, onion, spices, etc. The only thing available locally that is lower in sodium is Flora salt free which I have a hard time finding, lately.

The last time I made spaghetti, it was really spicy-hot. I had added some chili to it as a secret ingredient and had to confess to the diners that the chili must have been really hot. It was almost too spicy for us.

When I went to buy more Classico yesterday, I realized that the jar had an addition to the label: "New, Spicy Tomato and Basil." Whoa, I never buy spicy anything. I must have missed the label changes last time I shopped.

I ended up trying Classico's Fire Roasted Tomato and Garlic as a low sodium choice, instead. We actually like it better.

I did confess that it wasn't the chili, last time, that spiced things up too much. It was the inattention of the cook . . .

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Every day, they want to know . . .

Dinner? What are we having for dinner? Like Scarlet, I'll think about that tomorrow. Let 'em eat cake doesn't work. They might do it.

Pork chops? Pulled
pork barbecue? Tuna macaroni salad? Meat loaf? Eggs and grits? Well, every once in a while we do that for dinner. Spaghetti and meat balls? Perhaps we could, or

Somethin' easy . . . like KFC. Heh.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Is there no end . . .

The calendar says that summer is gone. Google's logo announces, cleverly, that this is the first day of fall. Our car said it was 94 degrees at noon. The thermometer announces 95 degrees on the shaded front porch a couple of hours later. Rain is a non-starter. The Dusty Miller is wilting but it often does, thirsty thing.

I am beginning to believe that global warming had its start here, in our yard, while we weren't looking . . .

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Mensa candidate . . .

I really do need to get out more. I went to visit someone who lives in a gated community. I had the gate code which would let me reach the owner who would then let me in electronically.

In my defense, I have to say that the first time I went there, a gate code had not yet been issued. I telephoned the owner who actually had to meet me at the gate and let me in. This time though, I drove up to the gate only to discover that there was no push button array on the entry box. Just a slot into which to insert a key card.

I backed the car out of the gate entryway and looked around. Luckily no one was waiting to get in behind me. A man
who had been mowing the front area drove his riding mower over and asked if he could help. He pointed out the intercom box far behind my car. It was partly surrounded by decorative greenery and fronted by protective uprights which were painted bright yellow. Oh. That box.

Leaving my car, I walked back and punched in the code. A voice which I did not recognize answered me. I apologized and disconnected. Then carefully punched in the correct code. I was so sure I had the right number that I hurried back to the car and belted in. I could hear, faintly, a familiar voice hello-ing from the box, well to the rear.

I was not about to go back to the dratted box with the gardener watching and trying not to seem as amused as I think he was. Luckily, the gate started moving and I started up.

Next time, I will be so
about it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Morning y'all . . .

I had just handed out the copies of the daily crossword. We each get our own scanned and enlarged copy, mostly because I don't like to share mine. I was sitting at the computer, surfing quietly, when BigEd sneezed explosively from behind me. J and I both jumped and exclaimed at him. It got quiet again and then J started sneezing repeatedly.

That stopped. Then they started asking questions about the crossword answers. Enough surfing, they seem to say, get busy on your own crossword.

Yes. Good idea . . .

Monday, September 15, 2008

A little gift . . .

Late Friday, BigEd backed his car out and just missed the new recycle bin which the county had, in its wisdom, set in the paved area of the swale behind the parked cars. We are so pleased to get it as now we don’t have to separate recyclables.

No more toting and stacking the two, wheel-less, separate bins. Everything goes into the new bin which looks like a smaller, darker colored version of the county-suppled E-Z Go Trash Bin. Wheels go toward the house. Bins must be placed at least three feet apart. That’s all we have to remember.

If we are so pleased to have it, why are we still putting cans and papers in the separate bins which are so conveniently located in the utility room and just outside the back door? Are we lazy? Creatures of habit? Or are we out-waiting one another to see who will take the step of consolidating everything already separately recycled into the one receptacle?

I am taking no bets on this one . . .

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Brookstones, waiting . . .

Five smooth stones. Brookstones smoothed by the running water and destined to be picked up by a youth named David, whose belief in God banished his fear. Besides, he had had practice. He even took his sling along with him during his visit to his brothers in the Israeli Army. So he must have carried it with him everywhere: for constant practice, surely.

When the lion and the bear had come to raid the flock of the lamb, the lad “smote” the beast. He said so in just those words. I do not think he smote it with his fist or his foot.

After he whirled his sling and stoned the beast, it rose against him and he seized its beard and slew it. Perhaps he bashed its head with another rock. More likely, to me, he carried a knife with him for eating, cutting sheep free of brambles and cleaning fish. I would bet it was sharp enough to dispatch a lion whose head was already damaged by a slung stone. I mean, where would you have aimed?

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice. David must have been gifted with wonderful hand/eye coordination by the Lord. His work ethic must have also been strong to allow him to practice with that sling until he was a deadeye with it.

Poor Goliath. In all his pride, he never had a chance . . .

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A rose, by any other rootstock . . .

Monday, the best of the day had gone by when the Ira feeder bands started. Rain came in bucketfuls followed by time for it to soak in. Then more buckets. Today is overcast and humid. One would think we were living in the semi-tropics, somewhere.

The roses J planted were dancing with the wind and losing a few petals. They seemed to like the exercise, though, and put forth more blossoms to get into the spirit of the thing, the next day. The two roses that are on Jackson Perkins rootstock are not much subject to black spot. The third, a different stock, will need some attention. I told J I felt like digging it back up and replacing it with another from the JP rootstock. He just looked at me. I'm not the one who would be doing the digging.

Spraying or dusting, though? That would be me . . .

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What we need . . .

Yesterday, we went to the Rockfish Grill for dinner. It was such a delicious feast: on shrimp in my case. We were celebrating, very belatedly, a long-past birthday. It is probably the most drawn-out birthday on record.

We may not feel any effects but minor ones from the hurricane named Ike. My niece had written to me that it was probably our turn. I agreed with her. And yet, perhaps not, after all.

We follow the advisories at 5 am, 11 am, 5 pm, and 11 pm most intently because the new tracking computer models are available at those times. After one sees the track for oneself and hears the explanation, then the scare tactics of some of the forecasters are not nearly as effective. We have learned which forecasters are more lurid and dramatic. We tend to avoid those channels.

I feel sorry for the people in islands to the south of us who are feeling the real lash of the wind and water intrusion in mountainous or coastal areas.

We need a rainbow, don't we?

Friday, September 5, 2008

What time is it?

Currently, we are living on storm-time. That is the hiatus between having provisions laid in and actually needing them because the power is out. It is the antsy time of loose handles (as in flying off of) and watching the cat to see if her fear escalates. So far, our company is comforting to her.

When she seeks a black hole to hide herself in, it's duck and cover season. Time to hunker down.

We're pretty well hunkered, already . . .

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

East . . .

Downgrade is the word to hope for when considering weather reports. This morning, I heard something so unusual that it sounded unlikely to be true. If it were not for the source being the Weather Channel, complete with storm track, I would not believe that the tropical storm, formerly hurricane, Hanna was moving east. East, I ask you?

East is good considering the matter from our perspective. However, the islands down in the Caribbean may not like the trend. And I do wish them a safe endurance.

East is good for us, however. Let's hear it for EAST . . . however unlikely.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Not for me, thanks . . .

A site which I visit frequently has undergone some visual changes. The changes are fun and funky. But, there is a also a new widget that announces the locations from which visitors come. I was surprised to find that my city and state were announced as being the source of my visit. If I wished to announce to the world where I live, and from what city I blog, I would put that information on my profile.

I won't visit any blog that seeks to publish any of the personal information of its viewers. This is different from showing a map of the world with pins stuck in it to indicate the sources of traffic. This new widget strikes a little closer to home than is comfortable.

No thanks, I won't be using one on my blog . . .