Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween



We don't get many Trick or Treaters here, which is sad, except that means I get to eat  the chocolate I had bought for them.  Mac always carves Jack O'Lanterns and this year he did a traditional one and then did one based on a picture I'd seen on Pinterest, it's all full of holes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

At first the prediction was that Sandy would stay out in the ocean, then they predicted she'd weaken and perhaps touch along the northern part of the US.
Well she missed us completely, one cloudy day and some wind that's all.  But unfortunately she's going to hit the mid-Atlantic states, affecting people from North Carolina to Massachusetts.  And right in the middle of that is Maryland where our daughter is.
Her job is having people stay at home and work from there for the next 2 days and that's good.
Talked to her on the phone earlier, she says it's very rainy, very windy, but she still has electricity.  She's stocked up on supplies, phone is charged, has batteries, non-perishable food, gallons of water  and is as prepared as she can be.  She doesn't seem to be overly concerned.
I'll worry till the darn thing is completely gone, and probably drive her crazy phoning and tweeting.

Just a quick note, it's Tuesday afternoon and daughter came through fine.

Fussy Eater

I'd be the first person to admit that I'm a fussy eater.  The list of things I won't eat could fill a small city telephone book.  I won't eat:

snails

tuna casserole

mussels

clams

oysters, except when they're fried

boiled chicken

anything with coconut

most things cooked with cheese

anything cooked with a white sauce

most fish, unless they don't taste like a fish

most organ meat

macaroni and cheese

anything with cilantro in it or its Asian cousin coriander

anything cooked with curry

most Chinese and Japanese food

The list goes on forever, but the food that deserves a special category  of dislike is liver.  I more than hate liver, I hate how it looks, both cooked and raw, I hate its smell, I hate its texture.
There are a number of things that Mac likes to eat that I'll fix (think Chinese food), but I refuse to cook liver.
My Mother was always a stickler for making us eat whatever we were given to eat (we were rather poor and food could not be wasted) and we couldn't leave the table until  our plate was clear.  One time when I was about 5 we had liver, cooked to the consistency of shoe leather.  I choked down a bite or two, but my stomach rebelled, so I sat there long after the rest of the family had left the table, I knew I could eat no more.  I looked around the kitchen and realized I could hide the rest of it under the stove and refrigerator, so that's what I did.
My Mom cleaned the kitchen when I was through and swept under the stove and refrigerator and of course she found the liver.  I was punished, but she no longer made me eat when I didn't like.  Instead she said that I didn't have the eat what I didn't like, but there would be no more food until the next meal.
I could, and did, live with that.  I'd much rather miss a meal than eat something I don't like.
When our daughter came along we never made her eat anything she didn't want to, but we did ask her to taste everything.  Now she's the most adventurous eater I know.
Have I gotten better as I've gotten older?  A bit, I now eat rice (which I would never eat), shrimp, crab,
mushrooms and other (to me) exotic foods.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Are You a Barometer?

The weather forecasters are saying we'll probably not going to get any rain from Hurricane Sandy, but my right knee is telling me we probably will.
Now my right knee, lower back and left elbow all forecast rain at one time or another, but my right knee is the most accurate.
For years people have said they know when it's going to rain because their joints ache.  Scientists who have studied the phenomenon now say there is some validity to this, but that the actual culprit is not the rain or humidity, but changes in atmospheric pressure.
So I guess my knee is not a rain gauge, but rather a barometer, though it swears it's going to rain today.













Thursday, October 25, 2012

No Wonder We Get Lost

You often hear of folks getting lost, walking in circles, even when they were not too far from where they wanted to go.  MythBusters did a program on this and it was fascinating.  They put themselves in a wide open field, put a blindfold on them and all they had to do was walk to the top of the field.  Turns out they not only couldn't do it, they didn't even get close, they just kept walking in tighter and tighter circles.
Research at the Max Planck Institute explains why.


Wide-open spaces
We walk in circles when we traverse terrain devoid of landmarks, such as the desert. Even though we'd swear we're walking in a straight line, we actually curve around in loops as tight as 66 feet in diameter. German research from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics reveals why: With every step a walker takes, a small deviation arises in the brain's balance (vestibular) or body awareness (proprioceptive) systems. These deviations accumulate to send that individual veering around in ever-tighter circles. But they don't occur when we can recalibrate our sense of direction using a nearby building or mountain, for instance.

I've got to be honest, that even with landmarks some folks have trouble walking in a straight line, maybe they just don't recognize the landmark.  I know that I have a much better since of direction than Mac and our daughter says she has no sense of direction at all.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Secret Keeper

I have been a fan of Kate Morton since reading her first book.  I loved them all---The House at Riverton, The Distant Hours  and The Secret Garden.  When Amazon notified me that she had a new one coming out on October 16 I pre-ordered it and couldn't wait for it to get here.
I read it in 2 days, all 496  pages of it and I have to say that I liked it, but I didn't love it like I did her earlier books.  Not sure why, perhaps it was the two main characters telling the story, Dorothy (Dolly) and her daughter Laurel.  I didn't like either one of them.  By the end I had figured things out and it explained one of the mysteries that had been  bothering me, do people change?
The story begin when Dorothy is very old lady waiting to die and her daughter Laurel who is struggling with the memory of having seen her mother kill a man years ago.     At 16 all she wanted to do was to protect her mother, now she wants, before it's too late, to know the real reason her mother had  killed the man.

The rest of the story is done in flashbacks, beginning when Dorothy was a rebellious teenager in the 30's and the events that changed her life.
If you liked her earlier books you'll probably like this one too.

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Paintings

Through the years Mac has done a number of animal paintings and I always claim the best of them to hang them where I can see them each day.  I still love the Spaniel, I mean, just look at those eyes, how could you not love him.  And the fox still brings a smile to my face.
A week or two ago when he was looking for something to paint I asked him to do a bear, I love bears, they're all over the house, but there are no bear paintings.
So we searched on the internet for bear picture, I picked out 2 that I really liked and he painted them for me.  The first is a bear cub hanging on a tree, he is so sweet.  But the one that touches my heart is the Mama Bear with SIX cubs.  Normally bears  have 2 cubs at a time, occasionally 3, but 6 is almost unheard of.  Somewhere though it happened and someone took a picture of them.  Now they're a painting waiting to be framed and put on my wall.  I think they're wonderful.



Still So Sweet


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pansies!!!

I'm a Messy Potter
I've been potting Pansies, and as Wodehouse would tell you, that's a much better Sunday morning activity than potting a gnu!
Love Pansies and Violas.  They do really well here and will keep on blooming until the heat of next summer wears them out.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Banana Bread Thoughts

While making a loaf of banana bread this morning my thoughts turned to "Dancing With the Stars".  A favorite show of mine you ask, oh dear Lord NO !  I can't imagine anything more boring than watching a bunch of D list stars (Pamela Anderson), non-celebraties (Bristol Palin) and exjocks dancing.  I'm not into rhinestone and feathers so their costumes do nothing for me, hearing them talk is about as interesting as watching paint dry and their silly dances are what you use to see on Arthur Murray a 100 years ago only sexier, if you consider that sexy.
Yet it is one of the most popular shows on tv.  My sister insists I watch it, everyone I know watches it and spends the next day talking about it.  I don't get it.
When we go out dancing I see other people dancing, some good, some not so good, but pretty interesting anyway.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Well, finally, an explanation of why I can't remember things.  An explanation that doesn't blame me. My daughter had this on Twitter.
Check out what Reader's Digest has to say about Doors.

Doors

Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was? Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses. Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what's known as an event boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.
So all we have to do is:
Stay in one room
Remove all the doorways in our house.
Live outside
Or realize if the doorway didn't make us forget something else would have.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ....

NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!!!!
No, no, no  it's not, and Target to the contrary it is not Christmas time.  Running your ads this early will not entice me to shop at your store, it will only make me angry.  I saw their first ad before Columbus Day, that's not funny!
So I don't want to see any Christmas ads, but that doesn't mean that I haven't started making a few things.  I've had these pieces of material laying around for a while and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them, but they were just so luscious I had to have them.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Queen of Catalogues

It's that time of year.  Every company that makes a catalogue from catalogues for really large ladies to pet supplies to toys for kids and everything in between,  is absolutely convinced that I need one of their catalogues and so hundreds of trees are being sacrificed, when in truth I never order from catalogues.  I either shop in person or online.  If there were some where I could send these folks a message, like----Woodman, woodman, spare that tree, I would.
If you're having a sale or there's something I've bought from you in the past send me an email, I'll check you out.
I don't want your catalogue!  I feel terrible when I trash them.  I'd keep some of them and use them for craft projects but the house is full and can hold no more.  Enough!  Stop sending me  catalogues.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Enchanted Amore

The Meek House
As we drove down the road about a mile from our house we kept seeing signs saying "Enchanted"and pointing down a side road.
When we looked down the road we could see a ton of cars and trailers.  I told Mac that I thought they were making a film there, that's where the Meek house was and that's where they had filmed parts of the John Travolta film "The General's Daughter".  So I went online and sure enough that's what's going on.
The movie is Enchanted Amore: A Very Unusual Love Story and is the story of 2 grieving people, he has lost a child and she has lost her parents and been blinded in a car accident.  They meet in Italy and then return to his home where is family is not happy about his relationship with a blind woman.
Rusty Joiner
Nadine Vinzens

Haven't heard of any of the actors, the principal leads are Rusty Joiner and Nadine Vinzens.  Found a lot of information about the movie on IMDB (the Internet Movie Data Base) that always seems to know everything.
Kind of cool having a movie being made so close to home though.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Another Gorgeous Day!

Fall in our Backyard
The weather has been perfect here, mid to high 70's.  Mac has been busy planting peas and beans in the garden and I went out to attack the weeds that have been laughing at me all summer.  I pulled until my eyes, nose and lungs formed a protest group and threatened to leave.
Inside I've been sewing, but they're Christmas projects so I can't show them.
As a reward I made myself chocolate chip muffins.  They won't last long because chocolate and I can't exist in the same house and I'll be forced to eat them.  Mac isn't much help, he'll take a bite or two and leave the rest.  I admire his restraint, but don't understand it.  Doesn't he know how good chocolate is for you?
Studies have shown that eating chocolate can:

Reduce body mass  (you should see my slim form---NOT)


Prevents blood clots and so helps prevent heart attacks  (I hope)

Improves numeracy  (so what happened to my math grades when I was in school?)

Can control coughs  (and yet when my allergies get bad I sound like the last act of Camille)

Can strengthen your brain ( I wish)

And will make you live longer

Now I don't know if all of this is true, but, damn, it does taste good!

YUM!











Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's Here!

Yes it's here, Fall is here!!! We briefly touched 59 degrees last night and it was in the low 60's when we went to walk this morning.  I'm wearing jeans!  I haven't worn jeans in nearly 6 months.
And even better, I'm cooking cool weather food.  We decided that we needed to make one of the meals we'd had in Spain----Chorizo and Beans--- and it's bubbling away on the stove.  I'll fix a Tortilla to go with it and pretend we're still in Spain.
As soon as the beans are done I have sewing to do, but if I go upstairs to sew I'll completely forget I have something cooking on the stove, so I have to stay near it.  If I can smell it, and my nose only works at short range any more, then I'll remember it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Handbag

It's Isabelle at In This Life fault, she showed the neat contents of her purse on Saturday and asked what was in ours.  So I emptied mine out on the couch and here it is.
I carry a black leather mini backpack as a purse, that sort of spreads the weight around and keeps my hands free.
Starting at the top left is a pamphlet and prescription for a shingles vaccine that our doctor would like us to have.  We're considering it, but we're not sure.
Next to that are 3 different types of lip balm, I have desperately dry skin, lips and eyes, so under the prescription are a couple of lipsticks, cover up sticks for the circles under my eyes and drops for my eyes. The medication I take for my glaucoma makes the circles look like I've been on a 3 day drunk so I always carry lots of cover up.
Next to that is my iphone in its little case .  I don't use it much and I guess Sari hangs out with the lipsticks talking girly stuff.
Next to that are Kleenexes, have I mentioned that I have allergies and spend my life sneezing my head off?
Below the Kleenexes is my brush, affectionately known as my broom because half the time neither Mac or I can remember the word brush---ain't old age grand!
Back at the top is my wallet.  It's fat, not because it has lots of money, but rather because it holds my check book that I never use in public, and if I had any sense I'd buy a wallet that didn't have space for a check book.  It drives me crazy when people in front of me in check out lines write checks, and it's always some old pooh about my age, never anyone young.
Below the wallet are Handiwipes, cause you just never know, my EPI pen, in case of bee sting, and a notebook that I make all my lists on.  It's an absolute essential cause without a list I'll never remember anything, with the list I should be able to remember half of the stuff on the list.  Below that is the spare key to my car, it's huge and has to have a whole zipper compartment of its own.
Back to the top are the 2 proofs of address I had to take to the DMV last week and I haven't managed to put them up yet.  The red and yellow book is a Spanish menu book I'm still carrying after our trip to Spain.
Below that is a small brown address book that's almost too small for me to read, a Cath Kidston address book that's a much better size, plus I love the cover,  and 3 pens because you know the first 2 aren't going to work.
My camera would be in there too but I had to use it to take the picture.
Not too bad, I try to clean it out fairly regularly so it isn't too heavy.
What's in your bag?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

October

Mac has gotten our  display up for Halloween.  That's a black cat up to the left sitting on a pair of black wings.  Love this time of year, if we can get through today, which is forecast to be around 87, we have a lovely Canadian cold front coming that's supposed to drop our temperatures to the 70's with overnight lows in the 50's.  It's been a long time since it was that cool around here.  I'm all smiles.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I Apologize

I know I said I wouldn't talk politics and technically I won't.  I'm still an undecided, reluctant voter, don''t even know if I'll vote.  I feel like I'm d****d if I do and d****d if I don't.  Didn't watch the debate last night, haven't looked at much of the reporting on it, but some of it is so funny I have to say something.

Reasons President Obama lost the debate:

The high altitude in Denver

The moderator didn't do a good job

Romney's strategy, lie quickly

The President debated the etch a sketch man (?)

And today the President is making jokes about Big Bird

We deserve better, but unfortunately we're probably not going to get it

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Donations

A Big Thank You
Having gotten my new couch and mattress I needed to get rid of the old ones.  A friend thought he'd found a home for them, but that fell through.  So I called Goodwill and asked if they would take them and they said yes, if I'd bring them in because they don't do pickups anymore.  Well with a Miata and a Mazda 3 that wasn't likely to happen.
I asked them if they knew of anyone who would pick them up and they suggested the Salvation Army. That was my next call and they said yes they'd pick them up if I didn't mind waiting until October.  So glad that someone would come and get them I'd have waited till December.
They said they'd be here the 3rd of October between 9 and 12, and they were here shortly after 9.  I now have floor space in my livingroom and bedroom again.

I appreciate them coming out to take them away.  I donate to several charities, Salvation Army among others, and they'll be getting a nice donation from me to say "Thank you!".
Doing too Well to pick up Donations

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It'll Only Hurt a Little While

Conversation with Melisandre my dermatologist yesterday.

"Are you going to give me a shot in my nose?"

"Yes."

"My nose hates you."

"I'll try not to hurt you."

"I'll try not to cry."

All because I'm of Irish descent and we grow skin cancers recreationally.
I've had 8 so far.
Yesterday my nose was sliced for a biospy, today my nose is fiery red.
I need to find another recreation.

There will be no pictures with this post.

Monday, October 1, 2012




Ok, I was really happy to hear that the real referees were coming back to the NFL.  After the debacle of the Green Bay game last week they had to come to terms with the regular refs.  It was all going to be better, except that it's not!  I watched this week's Green Bay game, the Atlanta Falcon game and the NY Giant game and I could have sworn we still had replacement refs.  The officiating was atrocious.  If this is going to continue we might as well have the replacement refs, or PeeWee League refs or no refs at all.
As for the Raiders, my team sadly, no amount of reffing could have helped them, they're pathetic.