Saturday, May 31, 2008

Earrings Or Lipstick

The fashion magazines by the checkout in the grocery store may have different movie stars on their covers every month, but they've been recycling the same articles over and over for years.
10 Great New Hairstyles for ____ (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter).

The Fabulous Fashion Issue.

How To Make Your _____ (Husband, Partner, Children, Boss, Pet) Happy.

Our Best Room Makeovers Ever.

It doesn't take a genius to see what's going on here. They're playing on our need to rearrange furniture and be up to date on make up colors. But my favorite articles are the ones that ask important psychological questions like, What Does Your Car Say About You? and How Many Years Beyond Forty Can You Wear Dangly Earrings?

There was an article once (I'm not making this up) titled Earrings Or Lipstick, Which Is Essential? The author had done a survey about which item you wouldn't dare venture forth without and what it says about your personality. Now, unfortunately, I don't remember what it said about personalities, but it did make me think about it and I won't leave the house without earrings. If I do I actually go looking for a store where I can buy some before I go anywhere else, but that rarely happens. Is this a character flaw? Apparently not. Many women suffer under the same affliction and just as many can't leave the house without lipstick or won't let their husbands see them without lipstick. Not me. I keep one in my purse and in my bathroom drawer, but more often than not I go without. Unthinkable to the lipstick girls just as I wonder what's going on when I see a lady going around without earrings. What was she thinking? Should I offer her my extra pair? Maybe she's on the way to a store to buy some.....poor thing. She should just put on some lipstick in the mean time.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Congratulations Graduates!

Every year this time the announcements start showing up in the mailbox with photos and invitations to parties. Each one makes a statement about the person who sent it. These are the graduates. One announcement shows a demure young lady wearing a sweet sundress, another a confident woman in an elegant gown. One young man chose to wear a traditional kilt in his family tartan while another wore modern jeans and a vest. These images freeze a moment in time that we identify as the first day of the rest of your life. Time to start living, get on with your life. All the plans and dreams take off now.
Those of us on the other side of graduation day offer our congratulations and advice. We're ready to dispense knowledge from years of experience such as "Live your life to the fullest" and "Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way". These vague directives mean very little to an eighteen to twenty-something year old person as they usually don't recognize those opportunities until years pass and living life to the fullest probably means spending nights in coffee shops and days in bed. These graduates need some very specific direction just like what they've gotten used to hearing everyday for the last twelve-odd years in school.

MONDAY- throw away all the pizza boxes and drink cans from the weekend.

TUESDAY- decide which of your dirty jeans are clean enough to wear this week.

WEDNESDAY- stay up all night to catch up on schoolwork for tomorrow. Thank you RedBull.

THURSDAY- find your toothbrush under the pile of towels and brush teeth before going out.

FRIDAY- use your day off school to catch up on sleep.

SATURDAY- show school spirit at football game by painting your face school colors (body if male) and covering your hair with glitter.

SUNDAY- reflect on your week and vow to use your time more wisely.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Back In The Saddle

Brain fog - a condition suffered when returning from a long trip then trying to get back into one's home routine.
I've got it bad. Hubby and I spent last weekend and most of this week in Louisville, Kentucky and I just haven't been the same since. Was it all the late nights? The sippin' whiskey and mint juleps? Did someone at the Louisville Slugger factory conk me on the head while I was looking at a Jeff Francoeur bat?
Did one of the horses at Churchill Downs kick me in the head while I was looking at the roses?
Maybe I just had too much fun and my brain is revolting against the sink full of dishes and dust bunnies collecting in the corner. How can I vacuum when the vision of Victorian mansions on St. James Court still lingers?
If I lived in one, there would be staff to take care of these little inconveniences like laundry and weed-pulling. But my brain is slowly coming back around. I'm starting to recognize my family and the stove. My old friend the dishwasher is looking more familiar. The washer and dryer and I are back on speaking terms now that the pile of laundry is down to a managable size.
But we'll always have Louisville.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cottages And Kings

"A little cottage is always very snug."
Fanny Ferrars Dashwood

"It's not a cottage, more of a villa, really."
Cecil Vyse

There is room in the smallest cottage for a happy loving pair.
Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
Some of the very best fairy tales begin in a cottage. There's a beautiful girl who's longing to escape her little life and go live happily ever after with a prince in his palace. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Gretel all spent part of their lives in a cottage. Well, if they were as charming as these, I don't know why they'd want to leave.

The Dashwood girls in Sense And Sensibility had to leave their comfortable home to go live in a cottage. It was the envy of every rich young man in the county.
Is that a handsome prince come to carry off a fair maiden? Or an evil wizard with an evil plot on his mind?
These are the condos of cottages......all in a row. There are enough cottages here to hold all the heroines of the Brothers Grimm and Mother Goose.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Personality Test

According to Type theory there are 16 basic personality types and human behavior isn't random. Your likes, dislikes, career choice, how you get along with others can be predicted by your personality type. Take this quick test to find out where you land on the scale.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Jenna's Wedding

White House weddings are a rarity. The last one was in 1971 when one of President Nixon's daughters married and before that Lynda Bird Johnson in 1967. Then you have to go back fifty-three years to find the next wedding of President Wilson's daughter, Eleanor.There have only been nine weddings in the White House even though twenty-three presidential children have been married while their fathers were in office.
This Mother's Day weekend, Jenna Bush married Henry Hager at the family's Crawford, Texas ranch. The alter was built from limestone slabs and decorated with white roses and oakleaf hydrangeas.
Jenna chose her colors from the wildflowers that are blooming in Texas this spring. The couple said their vows just as the sun was setting on the lake.
All the details of the wedding were kept secret so the Bush family could enjoy a private moment of joy with their daughter and new son-in-law.
all photos White House photos by Shealah Craighead

Saturday, May 10, 2008

With Love To Momma

Where to begin? How does one begin to thank the lady who carried babies for fifty four months of her life, then many more years worth of carrying with twenty grandchildren ranging in age from 26 years to 10 months old. Grandmother with blessing #20-Emory Ann.
She's always been the first to rush to the side of a needy family member or friend, whatever the trouble may be. She's the first one to want to celebrate milestones with family gatherings no matter how many people are included on the guest list. How does she remember all those birthdays? That's a feat in itself. The sewing, gardening, fishing, driving, cooking, and life lessons have been overseen by her with unlimited patience and humor. Mom, we can never thank you for all your generosity and unconditional love, but we'll try for the rest of our days.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom! We love you.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Majesty Of Creation

Here are some incredible photos of a volcano erupting in Chile.
The mingling of lightning and ash seen above may be a "dirty thunderstorm." The little-understood storms may be sparked when rock fragments, ash, and ice particles in the plume collide to produce static charges—just as ice particles collide to create charge in regular thunderstorms.
The full story from National Geographic here.

Hummus With Pesto

Hummus has become a necessary staple at our house and buying it in those little bowls from the supermarket is just too expensive. We can get through about six of those a week and that adds up to $20 for hummus. I can make the same amount for about $4 so it doesn't take a genius to see that's the way to go. Starting with dried beans would make it even cheaper. My family likes to dip hummus with chips or carrots and use it as a spread on wrap sandwiches. A half cup serving has 5 grams of protein and is low in sodium and fat and it's delicious.


1 19 oz. can chick peas (drained and rinsed)
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon pesto
1 Tablespoon olive oil (use less for low fat)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of pepper
1/4 cup water

Blend all ingredients in a food processor with blade. Adjust consistency with more or less water.

Alternate ingredients for pesto: roasted red peppers, olives, capers or all of the above.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


There's a blog I check in with everyday that's celebrating 100 posts. It's Sheila at pieces of me and she has a wonderful giveaway to mark the day. Those of you who are familiar with Sheila's artwork will love the piece she's featuring and she has news of some other things happening with her clay sculptures.
Please give Sheila a visit and help her celebrate.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Funniest Television Show Ever

Listening to radio this morning, and the host asked what's the funniest TV show ever. He liked Gilligan's Island which I would say falls under silliest ever. People were emailing in their choices and The Carol Burnett Show got two votes which I remember laughing at because the actors were always cracking up at each other. It happened more on that show than any others and made it look like they had the greatest job in the world....getting paid to laugh. Johnny Carson was mentioned and I remember him getting so tickled at his guests and his great laugh. Think how hilarious some of the scenes were on I Love Lucy. How did they get through a taping without losing it?
Just the looks on Lucy's face would make me laugh out loud, not to mention when she lit her fake nose on fire or tried to get in Ricky's show with impossible-to-manage Carmen Miranda head gear. Jackie Gleason's Honeymooners and his sketch show were guaranteed funny every time. The banter of Gleason-Carney was perfectly timed as was Gleason-Meadows. I can just see Audrey Meadows with her hand on her hip and a look of disdain on her face and the way she said,"Ralph!" you knew the fireworks were coming.
Some people mentioned Jack Benny, Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, and Laugh-In and I agree.....all of these made me laugh out loud and the Celebrity Roast made me laugh until I cried. What about Sargent Bilko, David Letterman, Seinfeld, and Red Skelton? All classic and very funny. Is it possible to choose the funniest ever? Well, you'll definitely have a good time trying.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Lifelong Love

For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by books. At first it was Mother Goose and fairy tales............................
then Peter Rabbit and Maurice Sendak's Pierre were my favorites.Before the words made any sense I was anxious to learn to read so I could pick up any book and enjoy it.
My grandmother from Columbus, Georgia would read Uncle Remus stories to us in an authentic dialect. It rolled of her tongue as easily as if she was speaking in her everyday voice. She made the antics of Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear and Brer Fox, who were always trying to out smart him, come to life.
My grandmother from Augusta, Georgia would read us ancient mythology and the history of the classical civilizations. When she read from Richard Halliburton's Book Of Marvels, her eyes would light up and she got as excited as we did to hear about the Great Pyramids and the Great Wall of China. Now my bookshelves are groaning under the weight of all the books. Everything from history to gardening and art to sports are covered. Of course there are still plenty of story books and I can't resist John Grisham's new offerings. There are some loves you just never outgrow.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Welcome Aboard

Aarrr! Welcome aboard, me beauties. Any mate of Miss Donna is a mate of this here ol' bucket. There's a tankard of me finest grog for ye, so drink hearty. It be nigh on twenty grand glorious years we be cruisin' this here water, though it once was the territory of ol'
Jose Gaspar. Any ship can drop anchor now since he lost all his teeth and got fat and happy on cigars and sangria. Avast, me ship is me pride and joy so landlubbers can linger awhile and listen to the cabin boy play beauteous melodies on th' hornpipe.
The deck be swabbed and ready for company, but stay away from that scallywag of a bosun's mate.....he'll rob ye blind.

I see ye left yer cutlass behind so have a peek at me booty that was captured from yonder lagoon.

Shiver me timbers! Yonder caravelle is gaining on us and we'll have to teach them lily-livered bilge rats a lesson.
Raise the Jolly Roger an' stow the pieces of eight!
The scallywags won't touch a single doubloon of this here grand fine ship. Ye sprogs get ready fer some fierce swashbucklin' on the open the guns and we'll be keelhauling the scurvy dogs!

Thanks to Talk Like A Pirate Day for the language lesson.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Herd Of Peacocks

This morning's visitors.

A flock of thirteen peafowl wandered into the backyard this morning. Not an unlucky number in this case.....peacocks are welcome here. Tampa has a large population of semi-wild peafowl descended from the "watch birds" citrus farmers put in their groves. Their call would alert the farmers to intruders while dogs slept through the trespassing. Now these flamboyant birds strut through neighborhoods and shriek from cypress swamps. We're always glad to see them when they decide to grace our home with their presence.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Brain Aerobics

How would you like to spend this morning taking a college chemistry exam? That's what baby girl is doing and I can't imagine anything worse! Well I can but you know what I mean. My brain hasn't been that exercised for a long time. Just memorizing a periodic table would over-extend my brain power at this stage of maturity. The math involved with chemistry is enough to make eyes glaze over and thoughts drift to what's going on outside the window. Not only learning all the formulas but when to use them. It conjures up that age old question, "Will I ever use this in my adult life?" The closest I've ever come to using chemistry is when I bake a sour cream pound cake and have to make sure to use the correct amount of salt and soda. And does cleaning the kitchen with chemicals count? I know it's bad chemistry to mix bleach and ammonia because it says so right on the didn't take hours of labs and lectures to learn that. Of course if I was a doctor or a pharmacist I'm sure I'd see the value of learning chemistry, but when you're Doctor Mom it's amazing how far a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a box of butterfly bandages will take you. Once again...not taught in class. Once I got a late night call from son Jack that went a little something like this: Hi Mom. Have we got any butterfly bandages? If not I'll stop on the way home. That's my boy! We don't need no stinkin' ER doctor! He had been skate boarding down a ramp and neglected to see the chain a security guard had stretched across the driveway. Cut his nose wide open. Thank goodness he's not a little taller. Butterfly bandages aren't much help on necks.