Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another Year End Closeout

I'm still here.

It's been awhile since I've sat down to my computer to share a laugh with you. I have been laughing, not as much as I used to, but I'm gradually returning to myself. I would say normal, but that word hasn't been in my vocabulary since Mom gave me the unique name of Gianetta. With a moniker like that you're either destined to a higher power (Gianetta means God in Hebrew) or dinner at your favorite Italian restaurant. (Gianetta's, nice name for a restaurant, don't you think?)

I didn't realize that the loss of my cat, Junior, would have such a profound effect on me. He was only a cat, right?

I gave some advice to a fellow blogger, Rae, about living in the moment. To try and not be so hard on yourself if you don't get everything on your list accomplished. It's okay if you're not out saving the world, curing cancer or able to fit into a super model's size zero jeans.

Isn't it okay to just be who you are? I hope to use this advice myself in the coming year.

Rae has a new blog coming out in the new year. You can check it out on my blogroll.

When I first started blogging I wanted to be funny. I didn't want to share family photos, complain about being a middle-aged fat woman or reminisce about the days when I actually had a job and money in my 401K. Remember 2006, anyone?

I still want to accomplish that!

In the past few months I have toyed with the idea of discontinuing Reflections On A Middle-Aged Fat Woman or changing the name to something else. I have been searching for full time employment and if you google my name you get middle aged fat woman, and to some, particularly those that don't have a sense of humor, or just don't get it, they can become offended and move on to the next candidate.

Or worse, they can realize they might be dealing with a middle aged fat woman and who wants to deal with that. Hormones, hot flashes and swollen feet? Why don't we hire the fresh-out-of-college candidate? They'll accept half as much and just be grateful to have a little cash to start paying on their student loan debt.

But hey, it's a new year filled with new possibilities. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments. They are always appreciated. Live more in the moment and take the time to have a laugh, you'll be glad you did.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Rudd's Christmas Farm


***Enjoy this classic holiday post***

A holiday tradition that many people in southern Ohio enjoyed throughout the years was a visit to see the lights. Actually, it was called Rudd Christmas Farm and it featured almost a million lights by the time it closed in 1999. The light display was nestled in the hills of southern Ohio near the Shawnee National Forest in a town called Blue Creek.

I knew Blue Creek because that's where my Granny and Uncle Tommy lived. Each year after Thanksgiving Mr. Rudd would flip the switch and the twinkling lights would fill the nighttime sky with a dazzling display of electric sunshine. If you were looking for plastic Santa Clauses or mechanized Frosty the Snowmans then this light display wasn't for you. Rudd Christmas Farm celebrated the true meaning of Christmas, which was the birth of Jesus. Some years he would have live animals on display and a manger scene was usually set up in the barn.

We usually went to see the lights on Christmas night. We had spent the day at Granny's house--eating and running down all of the batteries in our new toys. As darkness began to close in it was time to load up in her truck and drive over to see this year's display. I don't know how we managed but we always seemed to fit 23 people in Granny's truck, plus a wheelchair.

The drive to see the lights was an adventure by itself. It was a couple miles back a curvy road with a large stream on one side and a big drop off down into a gully on the other. Throw in some icy weather and a couple tour buses and you got yourself a happening situation.

Once we unloaded and made our way through the display it was time to meet Mr. Rudd. Both Mr Rudd and my Granny had had large families. He didn't know who you specifically belonged to, but he knew you were one of Margaret's kids' kids. Greetings were exchanged and Christmas carols were sang with full-bellied gusto. It was a good time.

I guess the event that stands out the most about my visits to Rudd's Christmas Farm was the year he did something special for my family. Due to horrible weather and a death in the family we were unable to view the lights on Christmas night. We had several family members that didn't make it to Granny's house until well up into January. Granny placed a phone call and asked if Mr. Rudd might turn on the lights for a few minutes so we could witness the majesty of his display. Not a problem, he told my grandmother, come on over.

Now, that's the true meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Gianetta

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Rituals

Some of my fondest memories around the holidays occurred on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t the actual event that was so much fun but the preparations up to that special day.

My Dad would always help in the decorating of the living room. There are certain decorations that had to go in a specific spot each year. We always had red and green crepe paper chains that ran across the ceiling of the living room. We would take branches from the bottom of the Christmas tree and place them on the mantel above the fireplace. We had a fabulously colored gold and shiny tinsel looking thing that hung from one of the doorways.

My job on Christmas Eve was to always set out the different food-laden bowls in the living room. We always had a bowl with various nuts, mainly walnuts. We had a specific bowl for the fruit, mainly navel oranges that we ordered from the FFA each year. And you can’t forget about the cheese plate. (Which was my favorite.)

Both sets of my grandparents would come to my house each year for Christmas Eve dinner. My dad’s mom and my step-grandfather, both affectionately known as Mamaw and Papaw, as well as my mom’s mother and her brother, also known affectionately as Granny and Uncle Tommy. You needed to make sure you called Mamaw “mamaw” and Granny “granny”, or they’d let you know about it.

We would have a very big meal and then get to open our presents from our grandparents. I always knew what I was getting. Mamaw gave up buying us presents when we were really young. Instead, we were given money to go buy ourselves a present, which you had to wrap and then open in front of Mamaw.

Granny had so many grandchildren that all she could afford was usually a dollar bill and a pair of socks. I didn’t mind because I always knew that I would get a new pair of dress socks for Christmas.

Christmas Eve also meant something else too. That night the furnace got turned up to almost 80. Both grandparents were extremely cold-natured and we would have the fireplace going full blast and the furnace wide open. I loved it! I swear that was the coldest house I have ever lived in. The furnace had two vents—one into the living room and the other into mom and dad’s bedroom. There was an exhaust pipe that ran up through the ceiling and on out to the outside. The pipe was right beside my bed and I would hug it (it was warm) before I burrowed into my bed covered with about 15 quilts and blankets.

It seemed we were in bed relatively early and we tried to stay awake so we could monitor the comings and goings of the busy bees downstairs as they readied the living room for Christmas morning. I’m not sure what time they got to bed but everything was always perfect.

Our Christmas Eve dinners were always a lot of fun and something that we looked forward to. Sadly, several of the key players are no longer with us and they are deeply missed. We have a new tradition for Christmas Eve that we started after we lost Dad. I’m not sure why, but now we always go out for Chinese food.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Fun



I came across this video and thought I would share it with you. I hope you're having a festive holiday season. The weather forecasting folks are calling for snow in the Atlanta area on Christmas Day.

Of course, it is supposed to be in the 60s on Christmas Eve!

That's Georgia weather for you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Song

I guess some folks have been offended by this song. I don't really understand why. I guess we wouldn't be Americans if someone (everyone) somewhere (everywhere) wasn't complaining about something (everything).

I've heard every Christmas song about 50 times this year, including that Dan Fogelberg one, well, I've heard it 100 times.

But, my favorite holiday classic? Not once, nada, zip, zilch, zero times I've heard it.

So, taking matters into my own hands. If they won't play it, I will.

Click the play button and sing along as loud as you can. I know you know all the words!







Merry Christmas from the MA Fat Woman!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Something to help you keep your sense of humor during this stressful time of year. Press play...


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 12


On my twelfth day of dieting my body said to me:

12 disappointing weigh ins

11 yucky carrot sticks

10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Thank goodness, that's over! There's always next year! Now, let's eat!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 11

On my eleventh day of dieting my body said to me:

11 yucky carrot sticks

10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated

8 glasses of water

7 slimey salads

6 sugarfree Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 10


On my tenth day of dieting my body said to me:

10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated

8 glasses of water

7 slimey salads

6 sugarfree Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 9


On my ninth day of dieting my body said to me:

9 times I've cheated

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 8


On my eighth day of dieting my body said to me:

8 glasses of water

7 slimey salads

6 sugarfree Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 7


On my seventh day of dieting my body said to me:

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 6


On my sixth day of dieting my body said to me:

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 5

Well, I'm off on a road trip for the next few days. I'll be riding in the car most of the time and that means one thing: Swelling.

I'm sure I'll regain all of my lost water weight and probably add 5 more pounds.

Oh, well...

On my fifth day of dieting my body said to me:

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 4




On my fourth day of dieting my body said to me:

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 3


My crazy neighbor, Miss Merlethem Shatz, caught me outside today as I was putting up my Christmas lights. She said she had been watching me through the window and I looked like I could use a snack. Now, I'm always up for a snack, but she brought me one of those yucky tasting low-carb bars that usually results in a mad dash to the bathroom upon consumption.

I'm nothing if not neighborly, so I ate it and...well...it works great in my song.


On my third day of dieting my body said to me:

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 2


I did really well on my first day of dieting. I only ate two chocolate chip cookies. Now on to day 2...



On the second day of dieting my body said to me:


2 hunger pains...

...and

You're gonna do great! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year II...Day 1


I had so much fun last year doing the Twelve Days of Dieting and since I'm nowhere near where I want to be I'm going to do it again! I know it's hard to diet during this time of year (Tell me about it. I just baked chocolate chip cookies) but I figure if I try to be on a diet, I won't eat as much.

Okay, I'm not fooling anyone, but I have lost 20 pounds since September. That has to count for something, right?


Please join me as I continue my quest to become the MA not so Fat Woman. I'm sure you've heard the holiday classic The Twelve days of Christmas. Well, my version is The Twelve Days of Dieting.

Check back for added days and don't hesitate to sing along!

On my first day of dieting my body said to me, "You can do it, just think how much better you'll feel..."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thank You

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and ate more than they should have. To all of my international readers, Hello Great Britain and Philippines!, the Thanksgiving tradition is one that you should seriously consider adopting. Where else can you get cooking, feasting and shopping done all in a single day?

The stores used to be closed for the holiday, now most are open for the entire day. I'm happy to announce that I didn't shop at all. I am involved in an ongoing game of Rummy with Sister and she is leading slightly by 125 points. I think the score is 1675 to 1535, we were having so much fun that we kept on playing when we hit the 500, 1000 and 1500 point marks.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone that thought of me during the recent loss of my cat, Junior. I received several nice emails and many kind comments were left. Believe me when I say they were greatly appreciated.

I've enjoyed reading many different blogs over the last 2.5 years and have become friends with folks all over the world. Thank you for your kindness.

I hope to be posting regularly again, soon.

G.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...Year II

***Enjoy this classic Thanksgiving post***

It's a few hours before the meal and I'm already stuffed. No, I'm not the turkey. I almost had a major meltdown earlier over the deviled eggs. You wouldn't think that it would be that hard to boil eggs and then peel the shells but somewhere there was a major breakdown in this process. The shells would not come off the eggs and I had to take a butter knife and chip the shells off. This process resulted in four different opinions as to why the shells would not come off more easily.

Mom says that the eggs were too fresh and that was the reason the shells were difficult to remove.

Sister says the eggs needed to be at room temperature before they were boiled.

Niece says the eggs probably came from the chickens outside and have been buried out behind the outhouse for the last few years.

The MA Fat Woman didn't say anything but just kept swearing under her breath.

Brother says the eggs weren't boiled long enough and the shells needed to be removed promptly after boiling.

After this discussion which took almost an hour it was time to make the deviled egg mixture. Again, an hour to discuss how to make the mixture and four differing opinions.

If we're having this much trouble with the eggs I can hardly wait until it's time to mash the potatoes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Sad Goodbye


November 9, 2010

It's nearing the end of day three as I watch my closest confidant fade to nothing. He's never judged me. He's seen me naked and didn't laugh. He's tolerated being danced with, completely oblivious to my singing along off key to our favorite Madonna tune. He's kept me company out on the porch and witnessed the many "seens" that I've written about.

And now, all I can do is sit and cry. My best friend is dying and there isn't anything I can do about it.

Junior, or the Cat, as we like to call him here has been with me for 15 years. He showed up around Thanksgiving in 1995, and was a complete mess. He was small, and probably not more than a few months old. He had every kind of worm imaginable and a case of diarrhea that lasted for weeks.

It didn't matter because it was love at first sight.

Everyone that came into contact with Junior always remarked at how beautiful he was; how striking and cleanly cut his markings were. Once you spent a few minutes with him, you became aware at how gentle and sweet he was. In his 15 years, I never saw him do anything bad or be aggressive. He was a gentle soul.

As Junior aged, he liked nothing better than going outside and going for a walk around the property, watching the squirrels and sitting in the sunshine. He liked to take rides in the car and especially liked to look at the Christmas lights each year.

November 13, 2010

In 2007, Junior was diagnosed with Diabetes and received insulin injections twice a day for the rest of his life. He didn't seem to mind them as long as he had something tasty in his food bowl. Sadly, like a lot of diabetic patients, both human and feline, it was his kidneys that failed in the end.

Junior passed away on November 12, and I'd be in complete denial if I said my heart wasn't broke. I'm out of words for now.

Goodbye, my friend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flax Seed Bread Recipe

I mentioned that I was on a low carb diet and that I have discovered flax seed as a great alternative for flour. The following is the recipe for flax seed bread that I got off the Internet. It's best for taste purposes if you let the bread cool completely and even rest overnight before ingesting. (It's really good used for french toast.)



Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

• 2 cups flax seed meal
• 1 Tablespoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1-2 Tablespoons sugar equivalent from artificial sweetener
• 5 beaten eggs
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/3 cup oil

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare pan (a 10X15 pan with sides works best) with oiled parchment paper or a silicone mat.

1) Mix dry ingredients well -- a whisk works well.

2) Add wet to dry, and combine well. Make sure there aren't obvious strings of egg white hanging out in the batter.

3) Let batter set for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken up some (leave it too long and it gets past the point where it's easy to spread.)

4) Pour batter onto pan. Because it's going to tend to mound in the middle, you'll get a more even thickness if you spread it away from the center somewhat, in roughly a rectangle an inch or two from the sides of the pan (you can go all the way to the edge, but it will be thinner).

5) Bake for about 20 minutes, until it springs back when you touch the top and/or is visibly browning even more than flax already is.

6) Cool and cut into whatever size slices you want. You don't need a sharp knife; I usually just cut it with a spatula.

Give it a try and enjoy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank A Vet

Please take the time to thank a Vet today.






To all of the Veterans out there, I say thank you for your service.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Craving Cupcakes

I'm on a low carb diet. Is there anything worse for a meat and potatoes girl like me? For my whole life, it's been about the white stuff.

Flour.

Potatoes.

Pasta.

Sugar.

Bread.

Did I mention potatoes? Mashed potatoes are my favorite food and I usually eat some form of potato every day. (Must be the Irish in me.) After nearly two months on this plan I've yet to find a suitable substitute for my Mr. Potato Head fetish.


One new food that I have discovered is flax seed, mainly flax seed flour. Yep, I said flour. It has a different kind of taste and texture to it. I've made flax seed bread that looks like Focaccia flat bread. I've made banana and raisin bread and apple flax seed muffins. I substituted Splenda for the sugar, and of course, flax seed flour for the regular white flour. The banana and raisin bread is really good.

I've already cut most of the sugar out of my diet, I'm pretty sweet without it anyway, at least that's what I've been told. But every once in a while, I get a serious craving for a cupcake. I was watching one of those cooking shows on PBS and they made homemade chocolate cupcakes complete with the white squiggly icing on top.



Talk about drooling...


They look good, don't they?

It might just be easier to go buy a single cupcake at a bakery somewhere instead of making a batch from scratch. The idea of flax seed chocolate cupcakes doesn't really sound appealing to me at all.

Sigh.

If only that picture of the cupcakes was scratch-n-sniff...my cravings might just go away!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Clairol Number 9

It seems that for some reason lately, I have more gray hair than my natural blond/brown color. It could be that I am a middle-aged woman and that's what happens when you get older. It's a rare sight indeed to see a woman in her advanced years that hasn't had a chemical enhancement or two to maintain her youthful looks. A nip here, a tuck there, and in my case, a bottle of Clairol #9.

I used to get my hair lightened at the hair salon, but at over a hundred dollars a pop, in this economy, it seems a bit frivolous. So I did the next best thing: went to the new Walmart and picked up a box to color my own hair at home.

Honestly, I was a bit nervous about home coloring. I hoped it wouldn't turn out like the home perm that I received in 1984. Mom said it would be fine and I believed her. The perm didn't turn out very well. Ever heard the term "You look like you stuck your finger in a light socket?"


Well, that's what my hair looked like. It was frazzled and fried. I had to go to school for three days looking like a wild child before I got all of my hair cut off. I went from a sleek looking Pat Benatar look to the mellow and slightly kooky look of Annie Lennox. And when you're a junior in high school too much personal change can make for a very bad day.

I followed the instructions on the box and within an hour I had a totally new look. During the thirty minutes or so that I had the chemicals on my head, the new cat kept following me around with a puzzled expression. I'm not sure if he didn't recognize me or was just concerned about the smell. It stunk up the whole house!

According to the color comparisons on the box, someone with my hair color could expect to end up with shiny, golden blond highlights. It didn't quite turn out that way. There isn't a speck of blond anywhere, unless you count strawberry blond as blond.

To me, it's red. We already got one redhead in the family, and that's Sister, or as we like to call her: Big Red!

I guess I can't be too upset about it, I only paid about 10 bucks for the coloring kit and it only lasts 8 weeks. The gray is gone and I get to look like Annie!

Just don't expect me to break out in song...at least not today...maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Uses For Burlap Sacks

Awhile back I mentioned that I had purchased a bunch of vintage burlap sacks at an auction.



Mom and I decided that we would try our hand at making market bags, laundry bags, grocery bags and even diaper bags.




Blue and white polka dot lining




Yellow flower lining with heavy yellow canvas for handles




Back of the blue polka dot bag



The bags are even reversible.







Mom is pretty handy with a needle and I'm really good at holding things, so we make a good team. She does most of the work and I hold them up for her to admire.


The linings in the bags are vintage too, made from material that I got at another auction last year. The bags are over 20 inches in length and close to 18 inches wide; they hold a lot.

Anyhow, if you're interested in purchasing one just leave me a comment. Christmas is just around the corner and I'm sure you know someone that is interested in vintage, recycled goods~

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cell Phones And Toilets


I found this article in the Sunday paper and thought I would share it with you in case you missed it. According to the Associated Press, the Mumbai slum of Rafiq Nagar has no clean water for its shacks made of ripped tarp and bamboo. No garbage pickup and no power along a bumpy, rock strewn path that serves as a road.

And there is not a single toilet or latrine for its estimated 10,000 inhabitants.

Yet nearly every poor family there has a cell phone. Some families have as many as three. Who do you suppose they are calling? Are they calling the corner gas station to see how long the line is to use the facilities?

It's the year 2010, I'm still amazed at the amount of people that live in poverty and squalor. When I hear stories like this it makes me glad to be an American. It makes me glad that I have running water, a shower to bathe in and a toilet that flushes time after time.

And yes, I do have a cell phone, and a monthly bill. The funny thing is that I keep trying to figure out how to live without it. Oh wait, I have a toilet. Maybe, I should just flush it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Boo!




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...Nice Car

Press play...



video

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just As Good


I went to the movies this weekend and saw Paranormal Activity 2. Without going into any details, it was really good and just as good as the first one, maybe even better.

In the past, I have written about the interesting things that happened around me, I have grown accustomed to the noises on the steps near the same time every night. I don't catch myself taking a second look when I think I see something out of the corner of my eye, I probably just need to get my vision checked.

Anyhow, since viewing the movie, it got me to thinking that I need to become more aware of my surroundings at home again. I'm sure lots of folks have experienced something that can't be explained: a noise upstairs, a tingling up your spine, a feeling that gives you goosebumps. Have you watched a scary movie and then spooked yourself? Were you afraid to go down in the basement? Did you leave a light on?

Happily, my experiences haven't frightened me. I'm usually left with more of a sense of curiosity than a sense of fear. I won't be breaking out the spell books (not that I have any) or burning incense anytime soon but I will keep my mind open and start listening again. You never know, someone may be trying to tell me something.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Expanded Cable

I've been pet sitting for some friends that have gone out of town for a few days. I had wanted to get some quality writing time in, but thus far...it ain't happening. They have one of those very large projection television sets, surround sound and expanded cable.

Once I figured out how to work the remote and turn the channel I've been like a kid in the candy store. I just sit on the over stuffed couch and stare transfixed at the screen.


TV Set Pictures, Images and Photos

One thing about it that bothers me are the subscription channels. There are like 10 HBOs, 20 Showtimes, Encore, Cinemax, Starz and many more. These channels are right in the middle of the channel guide so you have to flip past them to get to the nonsubscription channels. I would think there would be a way to deprogram them or something, but what do I know?

Anyhow, this got me wondering. What would the mothly cable bill be if you subscribed to every possible channel? $2000? $3000? Or more?

I'm sure somebody out there subscibes to every channel. Tell me, how much is your bill?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Good Riddance, At Last

In 2005, I bought a lemon. It wasn't a car, but a riding lawn mower. It lasted only one season before the problems began. I chronicled the frustrations in past blog posts and my attempts to get it fixed. Brother was able to fix it one year and Friend another time.

This past spring I was able to back it out of the basement about 20 feet before it stopped again. It was same problem: the transmission wouldn't engage and the back tires would not turn. To get it to move required a chain or rope hooked up to my car, which I did one last time to move it out of the way. That's where it stood all summer, almost completely engulfed in weeds, sticking out like a big pimple on a prom queen's nose.






I had enquired about getting it fixed but the mechanic and his crony just laughed at me and said they wasn't fooling with anything that wouldn't roll and would give me about 30 bucks for it to use as parts.

I had called the recycle place and from best estimates I was looking to get between 30-40 dollars based on the metal weight. But, they didn't do pickups and I would have to have it hauled there and who knows how much that would have cost.

All of this brings me to the last few days. Instead of selling junk at the flea market, I sold junk out on the front lawn. It was my only yardsale this year. Most people that stop drive on down the hill and turn around behind the house and drive back up. Almost every man in a pickup stopped and wanted to look at the piece of junk mower I had sitting out back. Does it run? Will it crank? How old is it? How much you want for it? Those were the questions that I was being asked.

When I volunteered the information that the tires wouldn't roll, most of them just shook there heads and left. The same mechanic and his crony stopped, gave it a quick once over and said he'd be back later, he didn't have any money. Another fellow and I tried to jump it off with cables but couldn't get it to turn over and we couldn't agree on a price. The last man was with his wife and he just wanted to hear the engine turn over, he was just interested in the engine and would be back later.

On Sunday, the man, without his wife, showed up in his work clothes and spent close to an hour tinkering with the mower. He finally got it to start and then decided he didn't want it after all. (I think he was enjoying working on it and telling me stories more than anything.)

I was just sitting down to supper when the jumper cable guy showed up again. I told him that we had gotten it started and I would sell it to him for his price, which was 50 bucks. Well, then he didn't know if he could get it loaded on his truck. And then he didn't know if he could find a part for it. (He was working me, I know.) He then asked if I would take 30 dollars, I countered with 40 bucks, and we settled on $35.00.

I paid almost a thousand dollars for something that didn't give me any real enjoyment, caused me endless headaches and left a dead spot in my back yard after sitting there all summer. I say good riddance...at last.

Friday, October 15, 2010

****I wrote this last year when I was having a yardsale. I'm having another sale this year and everything is still pretty much the same. Enjoy!****


So, I was crazy enough to have another yard sale before winter set in, by myself. I asked mom if she wanted to come help but she thought I was nuts for trying to have a sale this late in the year and she wasn't participating. (I guess it didn't matter that I was selling some of her stuff)

Anyhow, midway between my umpteenth visit to the basement, attic, and storage building, my back gave out. I backed into the metal part on my utility trailer and gave myself a six inch long bruise and then I sprained my ankle when I doubled over in pain from bumping the trailer.

Needless to say, it was after 10:30 AM this morning before I had put my signs up by the road, and by yard sale standards, that was extremely late if I hoped to make any money.

Since I live at the bottom of a hill I get a lot of folks that slow down and then realize that I am at the bottom of a hill and keep on going. Fine! If you're too lazy to get out and look then you probably want to complain about the prices of everything and want me to sell you a twenty-five dollar item for twenty-five cents. Keep going, I don't want your business anyway.

The first guy that pulled up wanted to by my utility trailer.

The second guy that pulled up wanted to buy my utility trailer.

The third guy that pulled up wanted to buy my utility trailer.

The fourth guy that pulled up wanted to know if I had any mowers I wanted to get rid of. Now, that's a loaded question. I've discussed before about my piece of crap mower and what you don't know is that the danged thing broke down again earlier this year. I took the guy to the basement and showed him the mower and he started asking if my tools, my fishing poles, and my Christmas decorations were for sale. He made me a tad nervous so I hightailed it back up front.

Weirdo.

Later, someone wanted to buy my leaf rake. Another wanted to by a bistro table (which I don't have) and someone else wanted to buy a microwave.

Mom called early afternoon and asked how things were going. I was bellyaching about my bruised butt (which was the part that ran into the trailer), my ankle that I had wrapped in an ace bandage that was horribly swollen and how everyone wanted to buy everything, especially my trailer, that wasn't for sale. Mom's response: "I didn't know you was selling your trailer. How much you want for it?"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Conversations On The Recent Cold Snap

thermometer

It had been awhile since Mom, Brother and I had gotten together for a Sunday visit. Brother had found this new restaurant on the Internet and wanted to try it out, so Mom and I tagged along.

Did I mention that we had experienced our first cold snap? It was a beautiful sunny day, there was a nice breeze blowing, but temperatures were only going to reach the low 60s.

Once we arrived at the restaurant (It took us awhile to find the place; none of us could figure out the GPS.) we were seated by a very nice gentleman. The restaurant was in a barn that was part of an apple orchard; it had a very rustic feel to it. There was a large, after church crowd present and the waitress said they were backed up in the kitchen. We were going to have to wait.

So, we were seated out on the patio, underneath the air conditioning vent, (which, was spewing icy cold air) and underneath the ceiling fans which were set on high. Mom and I were shivering; it was very chilly.

As time wore on I continued to do whatever I could to get warm. I rubbed my bare arms, I bounced my leg up and down. Anything I could think of to stop my teeth from chattering and I kept commenting on how cold I was. Brother shook his head and said he couldn't take us anywhere without a bunch of moaning and groaning. "It is not cold in here," he said. "You won't need any heat for at least another month."

A few days later after another cool morning I stopped off at Mom's house on the way home from selling junk at the flea market. "Cold enough for you?" Mom asked.

"It sure is. I had to run my heater on the way this morning and my feet didn't thaw out until close to noon. It sure feels good in here."

"Would you believe your brother turned on the furnace...?"

We just shook our heads and grinned, we had both come to the same conclusion.

Men!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What Would You Do?


The trapped miners in Chile are on the verge of being freed after being trapped below ground for two months. Surveys have been floating around the Web posing the question, "What is the first thing you would do after spending so much time below ground?"

I asked myself the same question and came up with three answers.

1. I would personally thank everyone that participated in my rescue.

2. I would sit down with my family and have my favorite meal at a nice restaurant.

3. I would spend an entire day just being outdoors, watching the sun rise, feeling the breeze, listening to the birds and watching the sun set.

Well, that's what I would do in my first few days after being rescued---and maybe take a shower. What would you do?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Do They Sing Along?


I had the radio blasting the other day and was just singing along to one great song after another. Some days the radio people get it right and they seem to play all of my favorite songs.

I really don't like the sound of my own voice. I can carry a tune in a bucket, mind you, but I like to impersonate the voices that I hear. Whether I can sing high or not usually depends on the weather. If it is low humidity and no rain I can scream with the best of 'em. (i.e. Axl Rose, Aretha, Janis and Garth Brooks to name a few)

All of this got me to thinking one day as I was midway through Kenny Roger's the Gambler, "Do artists sing along to their own songs?" or do they turn the station. Do they critique themselves? Do they like the sound of their own voice?

I don't know any really famous singers personally, but there might be one reading the blog. Maybe, one of the readers knows somebody. Either way, if you'd like to leave us a comment and let us know if you sing along, that'd be awesome!

Well, it seems like we'll be cruising just as fast as we can now... (Sorry, gotta go. The Beach Boys just came on.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Something For Your Enjoyment

I was visiting other blogs randomly, and came across a French blog that was filled with wonderful videos and photos. This video is spectacular and makes me smile. I hope you enjoy it and be sure to
check the blog that it came from.





Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sealed Envelopes


I'm one of the few out there that still pays my bills the old fashioned way. I address an envelope, filling out both the To and From. I place a stamp in the upper right hand corner and I give the back lip a healthy dose of my DNA by giving it a big, sloppy lick.

Yes, I lick the back of the envelopes, and yes, I know it has probably been places that I don't want to know about. Honestly, I've licked thousands of envelopes and I'm not dead yet and I haven't caught the Cooties!

But, I'll tell you one thing that absolutely drives me BONKERS is when I'm paying a bill or sending a card and I reach for the envelope and it is already sealed. Somehow, some way, somebody has left the envelope in a moist place and caused it to seal itself. What do you do about it?

First, you try to open it and hope that it isn't really sealed or is only sealed in one small area. If that doesn't work, then a firmer pull is required and this usually results in the envelope flap being torn in half.

And then you gotta get out the Scotch tape...and so forth...and so on!

It's enough to make you throw a fit! All you wanted to do was send Aunt Rosemary a card, not perform minor surgery.

Monday, October 4, 2010

When Good Dinners Go Bad


I'd like to consider myself a decent cook. By decent, I mean that I can put a meal together for company and everything is ready at the same time and usually tastes good. I'm not what you call a "fancy" cook, meaning I rarely use the ingredients that they cook with on Top Chef or the Food Network. I'm a meat and potatoes kind of cook.

I think one of the things I like to do best is throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and make a soup or stew or pop it in the oven to make a casserole. Sometimes, it doesn't always work out. One such case was a dish involving leftover pasta. I thought I would create something like the Olive Garden has, a tortellini and chicken soup. It turned out terrible. The pasta cooked down so much it resembled a big pot of congealed bacon fat and I had used canned chicken, which I think evaporated into thin air.

I was so disgusted that I slung the whole thing, pot included out into the back yard. And to make matters even worse, I had left a bag of trash outside on the porch and the wild critters had torn it all to shreds searching for bits of food.

Want to know what was about 10 feet way from the trash? Yep, the concoction I had thrown out the night before, and it was untouched.

You know it's a good dinner gone bad when the wild critters won't even eat it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Recipes From My New Cookbook



I like unusual cookbooks and I picked this gem up at a yard sale a few weeks back. Glancing at the title before I bought it I didn't know if it had real recipes or was just a joke. I also wanted to find out if any of the foods that I liked to cook were inside. There's nothing quite like finding out you're white trash by the foods that you like to cook, and that somebody actually took the time to write it all down.

I've included a recipe from different sections of the cookbook:

Vegetables 'n Meats


Nobody's Corn Topper Casserole
1 pound can cut green beans, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pound can cream-style corn
4 tablespoons chopped onion
2 cups cubed cooked ham
3/4 cup Bisquick

Place beans in a 2-quart greased casserole, reserving a few for garnish. Sprinkle onion on top; spread with soup. Top with a layer of ham. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Combine, corn and biscuit mix. Spoon mixture on top of casserole. Bake for 20 minutes longer. Garnish with rest of beans.


Fish, Cooter 'n Shrimp

Clara Jane Vickar's Creamed Tuna Lunch
Brown 2 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of butter or oleo in a skillet. Add the tuna (big can is best) chunk style and 1 small container half-and-half or 2 cups of milk. Cook over low heat til thickened. Salt, pepper, and serve with toast or rice. Carnation evaporated milk is good in this, too.


Sandwiches 'n Eggs

Oozie's Okra Omelet
1 cup of fresh okra, cut in rounds
1/2 cup chopped scallions
6-7 eggs
1/3 cup of milk

Fry okra and onions in 2 tablespoons of bacon and grease or oil til onions are clear and okra is bright green. Remove okra and onions. Stir eggs into the skillet til they start thickening; then add okra and onions and work til done. 5-9 minutes. Serves 4 to 5. Best with cornbread.

Candies, Cakes, Cobbler 'n Cookies

Post Office Cookies
1 1/3 sticks oleo
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup flour (measure before sifting)
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon McCormick's vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten together

Cream oleo and sugar; add eggs and flour, vanilla and nuts. Cook in biscuit pan in a slow oven (250 degrees) about 40 minutes. When cold, cut in small pieces and roll in confectioner's powdered sugar.

Sweet Pones, Puddins 'n Pies

Sweet Tater Surprise
2 cups warm mashed sweet taters
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 whole egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crushed cornflakes

Combine warm taters with beaten egg, sugar, and salt. Form into balls with peanut butter inside each one. Roll in crushed cornflakes. Brown in oven at 375 degrees. Marshmallows can be used inside the balls with the peanut butter for a little extra treat.

Cornpones, Cornbreads, Biscuits 'n Rolls

Spoon Bread
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 teaspoons Calumet baking powder
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups of scalded milk

Mix cornmeal and salt. Add hot milk, and cook in double-boiler until thick and smooth, stirring it once in a while. Take it off the stove and cool it. Pour in well-beaten egg yolks, and fold in stiffly-beaten egg whites. Place in greased casserole, which has also had one tablespoon of melted fat. Bake in moderate oven, 375 degrees, for 35 minutes, or until firm and the crust is brown.

You should be able to serve a complete meal from the recipes above. Let me know how it turns out.

Are you white trash?

Or do you just cook like it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are You Still Hungry?


Having worked in the restaurant industry in the past what I saw in a restaurant a few weeks ago almost changed my mind about dining there. I was craving Chinese food but I didn't want to dine in so I had ordered takeout.

Now, in my small town we only have three Far Eastern restaurants to choose from. One serves mainly curry inspired dishes which I don't particularly like the taste of. The second is an older establishment that charges way too much. And the third restaurant offers a nice sit down family environment with very attentive and always cleaning something servers.

I had to go inside to pick up my order, went ahead and paid but had to wait a few minutes before it was completely ready. Finally, I had my dinner and headed out the door. As I approached the door, my gaze was drawn to something small and black, laying on the floor, just before the doorstep opened to the outside. Upon closer inspection, I was disgusted to realize that it was a roach. A dead roach, but a cockroach still the same.

Perhaps, things wouldn't have seemed so screwed up if I had noticed the roach on the way inside the restaurant, before I got my food. I would have just turned around and walked out. No extra protein for me, thank you! So, what do you do? The bug could have come in on somebody's shoe. Do I report it to the nice lady that takes the money? Or, do I pretend that I never even saw it....

Well, I was hungry, and it was raining, I didn't want to go back inside. I did get a pic of it; it was on my cell phone and didn't turn out very well. I did pay closer attention to my food that night...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Snooze, You Lose

I had spent a few hours selling junk at the flea market and decided I would take the long way home and stop and see what mom was doing. It was before noon on Friday which still left a few hours to visit local yard sales, which is a favorite pastime of ours. I had noticed several sales coming over the mountain and that's the way we headed.

The first place we stopped wasn't really a yard sale, it was more of a permanent-type set up that is always selling junk. It's not normally where you can find a good deal. We had wanted to check out a few other locations in that area but my sugar started to drop and we went to lunch instead. (Mom and I never miss an opportunity to eat out!)

Mom usually adopts the requirements of the diet that I am on at any given time. The flavor of the month this time is the Adkin's Diet or low carbohydrate diet. Of course, when I have hypoglycemia, I have to have carbohydrates, or sugar, quickly to raise my blood glucose level or I can have a seizure. (Check out Julia Robert's having a seizure in Steel Magnolias and you'll see for yourself; it ain't pretty.)

Mom decided she wanted the half chef salad with blue cheese dressing on the side. They didn't have blue cheese, so she ordered french. I'm not sure if the waitress was hard of hearing or not but she thought mom said ranch and they kept getting louder and louder as the server would say RANCH and mom would say NO! FRENCH! After several exchanges it was determined that they didn't have french, and mom ended up with ranch after all.

After lunch we headed over to the other side of town and were headed back towards Mom's house on a back road. We do like to explore and ended up following signs advertising a yard sale well off the beaten path. In fact, it was way past being out in the boonies and we thought we were heading to Timbuktu or it's neighbor, East Fumble Buck. We pulled up to a house that had it's entire yard filled with junk; our kind of place. The lady having the sale was talking to some fella about medical problems or something but nodded in our direction. I had seen that guy before at sales around town; he'll talk your ear off. The lady had a very large table piled with paperback books and a sign said they were a quarter each. Now, that's a really good price and I was thinking about making the lady an offer to buy the entire table. "How much for the whole table?" I asked.

The lady walked away from Mr. Talkative and over to the table. Now, I had a price in my head and if she was anywhere close to it, I was going to get the whole shebang. "Oh, 'bout ten dollars," she said.

Before I even had time to process that amount Mom walks over and says, "Sold!" The lady and I looked at each other; we didn't know mom wanted in on the deal. I started to say something to mom when she shushed me and said, "Snooze, you lose, go get the car, those books are mine!"

What's a daughter to do? I wanted the books.

You're right, I went and got the car...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Importance Of Walking

****This was forwarded to me in an email. I thought I would share it with you!****


Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old
to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $7000 per month.

My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60.
Now he's 97 years old and we don't know where he is.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I'm doing..

I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Haven't lost a pound.
Apparently you have to go there.

Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say,
'Well, she looks good doesn't she.'

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years,...... just getting over the hill.

We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information in our heads.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

AND

Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a Happy Hour

and by the time I leave, I look just fine.

You could run this over to your friends... But just e-mail it to them

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cuteness Multiplied







Since the new cat came into the house last fall, the original cat sometimes feels a little left out. So, today's post is dedicated solely to him. (I know, he's really cute!)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just How Hot Is It?


I like hot wings, to a point. On a scale of 1 to 10, I think I can handle a hotness level of 6, or maybe 7. I'm not one of those folks that have to go for the hottest level, remember that scene from Dumb & Dumber when the guys pour hot sauce onto the fat guy's food; that was just mean.

Anyhow, I wanted hot wings for supper, but I didn't want to make them. There really isn't anywhere good in town to get wings, I've tried most of them and they leave a lot to be desired.

Another option is to buy frozen wings. I've tried a lot of them and they end up tasting mostly soggy or I overcook them.

I was shopping in Krogritz today and was checking out the deli section. The store had several flavors of already cooked wings that were cold and all you had to do was nuke them. There were at least 3 levels of hotness listed: Spicy, Buffalo and Cajun. Now, what does one do in this situation? You ask the deli clerk of course. I asked her, "Just how hot is it?"

"Well, let me see. Them Cajun wings will have you singing Creole and wish you were down on the bayou in Bayou La Batre. The Spicy Wings will make you reminisce about the time you was Marco Polo and running from Genghis Khan on your way back from India on the Spice Route."

"What about the Buffalo Wings?" I asked.

"Child, them wings is so hot; you'd think the white man was chasing you into extinction all over again. Well, which one you gonna have?"

Posed with the three explanations of hotness, I didn't really know which one to pick. I thought about it for a few moments and decided I would go for the ...You tell me, which kind would you choose?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'll Make A Donation


I was up at the mailbox this morning when my eccentric neighbor, Merlethem Shatz, spotted me and came rushing over. For obvious reasons that I've chronicled before I try to avoid her whenever possible. However, I'm usually not successful and end up with an earful; today was no exception.

"Hey! Middle-Aged Fat Lady! Where you been? You ain't been setting out on the porch lately?"

"It's been too hot," I replied.

"Whew! I know what you mean. I've been chafed in more places than I care to mention. I been through a whole bottle of Goldbond Medicated Powder. Tell your sister I said thanks for those coupons; they really came in handy. Did you watch the Stand Up To Cancer Telethon the other night?"

"I watched most of it. I was amazed that they got all three of the network news anchors to be together on the same channel," I said.

"Well, I wasn't too concerned about that. I've been saving my change and I wanted to make a donation," Merlethem said.

"That's terrific. Did you make one?"

"I did, but it took me all night!"

"Why? Was the line busy?" I asked.

"No. I kept hanging up on them," she said.

"What did you do that for?" I asked.

"I kept getting people I've never heard of before," she said.

"I don't understand..."

"Every time I called I got a volunteer or someone that I've never heard of. I got that Kathy Griffin woman three times. Ain't she on the B list or something?"

"Well, I don't think it's very nice to hang up on people. Those folks are volunteering their time and energy."

"That may be true. But, I'm volunteering my money and if I'm going to make a donation. I want to talk to a celebrity. A real one."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Silent Reminder


In memory of those who lost their lives on that tragic day and for the family and friends that continue to grieve for you, I silence my laughter on this day and fill my heart and soul instead with the prayers and songs of those who remember.

You will never be forgotten and we will never forget.

God Bless America.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Unclaimed Baggage

Recently, I took a trip to the Alabama Mountains wanting to relax and enjoy the scenery. I devoted a whole week of writing to the tale of Mentone, Alabama, because someone told me to tell the story when I was sitting on the toilet. "Tell the story," the voice said. "Tell the story!" Well, I did. And I haven't felt like reflecting since. I guess the voice in the john wants all the attention or something.

Anyhow, another place I visited while in the area was the Unclaimed Baggage store. You may have heard of it. It's been on the Nightly News, Oprah, 60 Minutes, I think, and other various news programs around the country. In a nutshell, if you leave something on a plane or forget to pick up your luggage and don't claim it by a certain time it ends up at this store in Scottsboro, AL.

Below are the items that I just couldn't live without:







Everybody always needs a belt buckle or two. I got a friend in Texas, maybe, I'll send it to her.



You can never have too many wallets!



I'm not big on wearing used shoes, but they looked comfortable. (I sold them at the flea market.)




And lastly, a set of books on wines throughout the world. This knowledge will be especially invaluable when I begin my trip around the world which I hope to accomplish in eighty days.

Of course, the best part of all is if I forget something on a plane, I'll know where to find it.

Or buy it!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin