Friday, February 29, 2008

Fashion! Um...Really???

I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THIS DESIGNER'S INSPIRATION WAS!
(And it's not pretty!)
Good LORD! Shouldn't he have concluded from THIS
that THAT would NEVER work????

~~~
When I saw that first picture, all I could think of
was Carol Burnett's Scarlett character.
Hey - I'm ancient so I remember her show well - and loved it, too!

~~~
xoabb

Monday, February 25, 2008

King of the Side Table


Maybe I could make him into a lamp...
~~~
xoabb

Saturday, February 23, 2008

2004: 6 Crabs, 4 People

2008: 200 lbs. Crab, 150+ People
~~~
Crabtacular V
Tequila MockingCrab


Imagine This:
  • 2 perfect hosts, both w/5 years crabbacious experience

Our Bbum & Chrissy - thx for the pic whoever took it - I did not
  • 1 perfect party house - totally open floor plan (an Eichler - 'k?)
  • approx. 1500 square feet blue tarp to keep off continual rain
  • 1 very good, tarp hanging-inclined friend (thank you BEN!)
  • 2000 or so square feet astro-turf for a mudless backyard
  • 1 Big Green Egg for perfectly smoking 50 pounds of...
  • ...BBum's perfect pulled pork ~ & EVERY DANG BITE EATEN!!!!
  • 200, COUNT 'EM, 200 POUNDS DUNGENESS CRAB ~ & EVERY DANG BITE EATEN!!!!
  • 1.5 cases tequila from Julio Bermejo, Tequila Ambassador of the World, of Tommy's Mexican Restaurant in San Fran.... ~ & EVERY DANG DROP CONSUMED!!!!
  • equivalent amount Tommy's Heavenly Margarita Mix ~ & EVERY DANG DROP CONSUMED!!!!
  • 1 case of Los Abuelos/Fortaleza provided by - and served by - the honorable Guillermo Erickson Sauza, fifth generation tequila maker making the best heartlands tequila on the planet - this one's for sippin' ~ & EVERY DANG DROP CONSUMED!!!!
  • plus Bbum's personal barrel of aging Tequila ~ WAS EVERY DANG DROP CONSUMED????
  • many fabu pot-luck dishes brought by the attendees ~ & EVERY DANG BITE EATEN!!!!
  • 2 dogs, Janice & Ruby, for dropped-food clean-up duty - job very well done, girls!!!
  • 150 - 200 Crabtacular invitees ~ & EVERYONE THRILLED TO BE THERE!!!!
  • 1 perfect nephew/godson ~ see Mr. Wonderful's picture just below!!!

Love love love you, dodgie - xoxoxoauntie nanas & uncle gbxoxoxo


Now Imagine THIS:
(see you there next year for VI!)

~~~

P. S. - Until I figure out how to do that Flickr thing, go here
for more (of my quite ordinary) Crabtacular V photos.
Don't forget to visit my bro's blog for more Crabtacular V!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pescadero & the Land of the Gnomes

On the way up the mountain from Pescadero,
Driving into "The Gnome Mobile" land (lovely old Disney movie).
Winding in and out of the Giant Redwoods. So very beautiful.
That's the actual Redwood Forest where the gnomes live. GB and I saw them! We did! We really did!!
Don't you see them too?

It's Friday - the day before Crabtacular V!! GB and I hung around in the morning with Dodgie so my bro (bbum) and his friend, Ben, could run last minute errands.

That afternoon GB and I headed back to Pescadero, as Bill (bbum) had told us earlier that the tavern there had some of the best food around and we really should try it - especially any dish that had artichokes in it as the town and valley are known for the best 'chokes around. We'd already brought back the best artichoke bread the day before from The Country Bakery - and if the quality of that was any indication, it was certainly worth the trip back. (The brick oven pizza at the general store on the left just before the bakery is touted to be some of the best as well. I'm sure there's an artichoke pizza on their menu.)

There are two ways to get to Pescadero from San Jose. You either go 25 miles north on a major highway (280N) , then 8 miles west on a skyline highway (92W) and finally about 20 miles south on Route 1. We did that route the day before on the way to Santa Cruz. It was breathtaking....and long. You can also take the "short cut". 32 miles straight over the top of the mountains separating our valley from Pescadero's valley. We took the "short cut". It took us an hour and a harrowing half. If I hadn't been driving I would have been in the back seat whimpering with a blanket over my head, (no, GB isn't a bad driver, it's just that I'm much better behind the wheel on that kind of road - psychotic isn't far away otherwise).

As we were driving out of Saratoga, CA, the last town it turned out, before Pescadero, I asked GB if maybe we should turn back and get a wee bit of petrol as the gas tank was on 1/4 tank. "Not to worry", he said - "this is a Subaru and we only have 32 miles to go!" HA! We nearly lived to regret that! (Of course we had done the same thing the day before...1/4 tank of gas with 40 miles to go to Santa Cruz...we like living on the edge, baby!)

We took the same road we had taken Wednesday to the top of the mountain above the Savannah-Channelle Vineyard, but this time at the top, we turned right onto a perfectly reasonable, and I use that term loosely, highway called Skyline Boulevard. We meandered along that for a while and then turned left onto Alpine Road. The width of the road immediately began shrinking from that point on. As GB said at one point: "HOLY SH#T, Ann, one little mistake and we're 200 feet down the side! O MY GOD there's a TRUCK coming!! GET OVER. WAIT, if you get over, we're over the side!!! JUST STOP!!!" (I'm writing this so we obviously survived the top of the mountain, though we took nary a picture going TO Pescadero because we were too busy praying.)

As we were coasting to the bottom of the mountain and Pescadero, (and I do mean coasting because by that point, the red "almost-out-of-gas" light was glowing madly, and according to the google directions we had 10 very twisty and slow miles to go), the climate/landscape very suddenly changed and we drove right into "Gnome Mobile" land....the Redwoods....they were simply stunning, magnificent. And I fully expected gnomes to pop out from behind the trees at any moment! We sweated our way through these magnificent trees not really enjoying their beauty because we just knew we were going to have to walk for gas the last five miles. (We really must have had an angel with us....we cruised into Pescadero with a few fumes to spare!)


After we'd fueled up the good old "I'll certainly last until the next station, thank you!" car, GB and I had a wonderful lunch (read over-the-top feast) at Duarte's Tavern. Homemade warm sour dough bread served with the cream of artichoke soup, a steamed artichoke and fresh caught out of Half-Moon-Bay fried smelt. Then abalone sandwiches on homemade toasted bread. All was over the top. (Well, we've had better abalone in San Fran, but everything else was the tops.) Duarte's is across the street from Pescadero's general store and bakery (first small picture), and is definitely worth the trip!


We found the road home was much easier - because we'd done it, we were going uphill so for the most part were on the inside lane of the mountain, we'd had a glass of wine - who knows, but this time we stopped and took pictures, with no heart palpitations experienced. The one comment GB had, and I have to agree, is how can anyone live there for very long. As beautiful it is, surrounded by the magnificent redwoods, it is always so damp and there is never much sunshine to speak of. But the gorgeousness? Absolutely indisputable!









Top of the mountain between the valleys, 4:30pm. Half-way home. Such beauty.

~~~
xoabb

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dear Old Friends...

(I've lost all the photos for this post - don't know how and it pisses me OFF!)

Last night GB said to me, "Ann doesn't Fiona (tho we all actually call her Fi, pronounced ~fee~. We used to call her Fiona on Fire...but that's another story for another time) and her family live close by?" O my GOD! I had totally forgotten about her being here! (Since I've started working I'm having the worst time staying in touch. FOR SHAME!) We decided to call her and see if we could get together. GB dialed her number and her husband answered. He cautiously handed the phone to Fi because when she heard it was GB calling, she was convinced it was horrid news as last time GB actually called her, it was because someone close to all of us had unexpectedly died. Her husband became fully convinced something was wrong because she immediately burst into tears upon hearing what GB said. All he said to her was "Hi Fi, we're in town and would love to see you if you have a day free." Really. That's all he said. After trying to understand her for about 15 minutes, he finally just handed the phone to me. "Here, maybe you can understand her. Between her blubbering and her d*mn British accent, I can't understand a word!" It took me about 20 minutes to figure out she was crying because she had been so homesick lately and it was so WONDERFUL we were here and, yes, she was totally free to get together! I finally talked to her hubby just to be sure all was well. It was.

GB, Dodgie & I just got back from a wonderful day spent with her and her fambly.

We met for lunch on the Santa Cruz Wharf at Carniglia's (quite fabu!!). Fi had picked up her son, Jack from high school so we could have time with him since he had lacrosse practice at 3pm. We've known Jack his entire life - matter of fact I will embarrass him one day and tell of changing his diapers. (I'll wait for the appropriate girlfriend!) After lunch we went back to their home so we could meet for the very first time, Fi and Billy's son, Bubby. That's the adorable Bubby there in GB's lap. Fi said to him: "Bubby, go introduce yourself to GB and give his hand a shake." Bubby walked over, told GB who he was, stuck out his hand and when GB took it, Bubby climbed into his lap. GB melted, just melted right away. My Dodgie is a sweetheart, don't get me wrong. Bubby.....would melt the heart of Ivan the Terrible. What a dolly!


Notice the bottle of wine on the kitchen counter. Oh please do! Fi stopped and got that on her way home. She knows our past. And it nearly always involved grapes in one form more than any other. We have not changed anything other than our geographic proximity - the friendship and all that involves remains strong. As you can see, the boy had a great time. Matter of fact, Dodgie announced to us on the way home that those were "really fun kids". He's looking forward to seeing them again!

Here Dodgie, Bubby and his big sis, Riah, are feeding Bubby & Riah's miniature guinea pig, Greenie. There's a plastic ball that Greenie is put in. He can then scamper all over the house without getting lost. Riah told me he's very fast and it's a big mistake if he's allow to roam without being in his ball.


I had the good sense to leave my coat at their home so Billy, Fi and Bubby are coming on Saturday for the Bum's fifth annual Crabtacular. I'll fill you in on that soon!



~~~
xoabb

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Vineyards Above San Jose

Today GB and I went on a little adventure to visit, among other things, one of my very favorite places in the whole wide world - and here in California there are so many of these wonderful places, it would take many many days to see every one of them. Can you guess what it is?

Some of the grape vines at the Savannah-Chanelle Vineyard.The Santa Clara Valley (and San Jose) is in the distance.

Vineyards, baby, we're talkin' vineyards!
We visited this vineyard on the recommendation of my both my brother and seester. Aside from the Napa Valley, it's Care's and brother Bbum and his wife Chrissy's local favorite. I think the views might have something to do with this as well as the fine wine they produce.


We drove to the top of the mountain first to see the sights - and sights we did see! When we rounded one corner our friend pictured there was peeing away on the tree, just like any good old male domestic dog. I stopped in the middle of the road - never a particularly wise thing to do on a curvy, narrow mountain road - to take this. Wish I could have captured his insolent face of just seconds before this was taken. Mr. Coyote (I'm assuming female coyote's do not lift their legs to pee, thus that is a male) had just given me his equivalent of a human flipping someone off. He then turned to lope off to do those things coyotes do.

This next picture is the view from the top of the mountain. We went up Big Basin Way. When we got to the top we had a choice of Skyline Drive toward San Francisco, or down a road to Santa Cruz. Hmmm...maybe tomorrow we'll venture there, but today? We're turnin' around and going to the winery. I see a tasting in my future!



While we have snow back east, here it's spring!


Another vine field at Savannah-Chanelle. It was incredibly beautiful. 
Tho February and March is the rainy season here, 
there is still so much beauty!



We came, we tasted and, as you can see, we stocked up!
If you can find Savannah-Chanelle wines, they're good!
The pinot noir is my favorite. GB's is the syrah port.


~~~
xoabb

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Delta... Our FAVORITE Airline to Fly!

Today GB and I are off to sunny (I hope) California to see by my bro, bbum and his fambly. Top of our morning, my first look at the weather situation…..90 minute delays on the east coast; 3 HOUR delays at San Francisco. Lovely. However, our flight isn’t until 7 pm this evening so with any luck….

I putter the day away, doing laundry, packing, re-packing, wondering what I’m going to forget because I ALWAYS forget something, re-packing….it’s really better for me to fly early in the day – not that much time to over-think everything. Must admit, though, that this is the first time traveling – ever - I’ve actually gotten a good night’s sleep. When your flight leaves in the evening, it gives you all day long to worry, so you don't have to during the sleepy hours.

Our driver drives us to the airport. It’s maybe a 39 mile drive from our house. We leave 3 hours before our flight; after all, it’s the metro area, rush hour and winter break for every school in the tri-state area. We fly along the interstate until we get about 8 miles from the airport….dead stop….30 minutes for the last 8 miles – but HEY, we were expecting that!

During our drive, I call Delta to find out if the west coast delays have improved. It’s all auto-voice as one would expect these days. I am asked our flight number. I speak it. “I’m sorry,” comes the disembodied voice, “I don’t think I understood what you said.” (These voices always strive to be warm and fuzzy, don’t they?) I repeat myself and am finally told that all is well in the entire universe and our flight is taking off on time. I then say “HELP” as I have another question and that’s what the voice told me to do in the beginning of our ~conversation~ if I did. Voice then comes on giving me three options: "Please say your flight number (did that), or say the departing city (won’t do that – redundant) or PRESS THE # KEY TO END THIS CALL." At that point, of course swearing a blue streak under my breath, I start pounding on the “0” key. Voice finally comes back: “I’m sorry, I wish I could help you. I will now connect you to the next available agent.” (Coulda done that 10 minutes ago, THANK YOU!)

Live agent: “Your flight number please.” (Do you really believe it’s not right there in front of her on her dang computer screen??) Me, sweetly: “I know my flight number, I know it’s on time, I just want to know what the weather is right now in San Fran. and if there are still flight delays.” Agent: “I can’t tell you that without your flight number.” Me: “Ok, it’s 768.” Agent, perkily: “Your flight is leaving and arriving on time!” Me: “______” (speechless) Agent: “Are you there?” Me: Yes – you work for Delta and Delta is flying me to San Fran. Since your airline is flying me to San Fran., do you think you could tell me what the weather is like and what the Delta traffic delays might be now?” Agent: “Why, your flight is on time.” Me: “_________” (speechless…again) After regaining my composure; Me: Please, you MUST know what is going on in San Fran!!” Agent: “Oh no, sorry, my computer only gives me flight information and that is all.” Me: “_________” CLICK. Agent is gone gone gone! My phone would have been as well but the car window was rolled up.

GB and I have a seamless check-in, (that should have clued us in that things would soon be going further downhill), and are walking to the gate when I hear him mutter under his breath, “Damn! I forgot my magazines at home!” At that precise moment I can clearly see the two paperbacks I bought specifically for the 6 hour plane ride sitting on our kitchen table. We go to the ONE AND ONLY KIOSK in the ENTIRE Delta terminal. It is tiny. It only has between 25 and 30 book titles to choose from, the majority of which are some kind of self help stuff. I do not need to learn how to be a beautiful, self-fulfilled bajillionaire for the next 6 hours at 36,000 feet. I need to be entertained and I’ve already read all the gossip mags. Eventually we both find reading material and go to check out. There is ONE PERSON checking everyone out and the credit card machine is broken. Think sloooow. Oh. My. God.

GB hates airline food so I suggest we go to a restaurant, as there's still plenty of time before we board. Aside from Starbucks there are EXACTLY TWO RESTAURANTS in the ENTIRE terminal, and one of them is Burger King with a line at least 30 people deep! We opt for the Sam Adams pub – it’s not as busy so reason it will take less time. Silly us! GB orders a pizza…they are out of pizza. Well then, how about the quesadilla? Sorry that’s out too, and so are the crab cakes and the chili. He becomes totally disgusted and decides to return to the kiosk and buy a dinner of candy bars. (This really isn’t a hardship at all for my GB.)

In the meantime, I order lime-grilled chicken. Time is ticking...and ticking. I still hadn’t gotten my chicken. I overhear the bartender tell one customer the pulled pork takes 25 minutes and another that a take-out salad would be 30 minutes. PEOPLE!! WE'RE IN AN AIRPORT!! THERE ARE PLANES TO CATCH!! THIS IS NOT A FINE DINING EXPERIENCE!! (Point well proved when my insipid chicken finally arrives. It was hot so I ate half of it. Desperation does that to me.) As soon as I gulp it down, I join GB at the kiosk. He is at least 10 people back from the check out. We finally have to give up and leave without getting anything or we would have missed our flight - which we were the very last to board.

We get on, and thankfully the flight isn’t full so we have three very narrow, with no leg room, seats across. (Didn't Delta hear about that customer perk where they remove every third row of seats to offer more LEG ROOM???) Ahhh...It's announcement time. First we're informed that the ventilation isn’t working very well and we might be a wee bit toasty during our flight (MentalM, are you all over that??). Oh yes, the movie screen isn’t working either...matter of fact, the head phones seem to be on the fritz as well...Oh yes, and did we mention there’s an average 55 minute circle time over San Fran. once we get there? Finally? You must purchase anything you want to eat or drink tonight. (Do ya think they should have offered each of us at least one free cocktail??) My God! Nothing was working!

And just when we thought it couldn’t possibly get worse……

“GB, do you hear a cat?” GB looks at me like I’ve gone completely around the bend, never to return. “Yeah right, Ann, I hear a cat!” “No, listen, it’s a CAT!” A look begins to steal over GB’s face and it’s that look we better halves all love so much... That “O sh*t, she’s right!” look. He turnes to me, “And we have to listen to that for six hours???” Ahhhh…..the joys of traveling...you get so much for your money!

~~

P. S. It’s amazing what a little hunger will do to you. GB, because he was famished and the power bar I so generously supplied him with did little to abate his starvation, actually ordered and ate Delta Chef, Todd English’s “Roast Beef Steak Cobb Sandwich”. I nearly fainted when he said it was as good as any sandwich he’s ever had at a deli. He must have been delirious with hunger.


~~
xoabb


P. P. S. It’s hotter than hell in here!

Monday, February 18, 2008

We's Such Good Friends.....


...Today at Least

P. S. Pic was taken by that son of mine with his cell phone.
Not bad, considering the quality of the "camera"!

~~~
xoabb

California Here We Come!

We're off to visit my bro & his fam tomorrow in sunny (it's the rainy season) San Jose, California!
It's been too long and I can hardly wait to see all three of them - especially my nephew, Dodgie. We're also here for the Bum's Crabtacular IV party. My brother and his wife, Chrissy started this tradition three years ago and we're thrilled to be able to be part of it! I understand between 150 - 200 people come. It's pot-luck EXCEPT for the approximately 150 lbs. of dungeness crabs, which are supplied by the host and hostess....that's many barrels of 'em!

Must go and do all those things I've put off until the very last minute! As Jules would say, ttfn!

~~~
xoabb

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Family Dinners

As often as we can, cousin Jules and I gather our families together for Family Sunday Dinners either at her house or at mine. Aside from our own families, Julie's two brothers and their families (GB's and my cousins) usually join us and there's always the various friends joining us too (MentalM and her crew often). Jules and I have definitely created a family tradition that will be carried along by our own children, pictured above. Matter of fact, the kids get quite crotchety with us if we miss too many Sunday's in a row.

Last Sunday we had Cedar-Planked salmon and yummy roasted veggies a-la Rachel Ray served over brown rice. Below, behold the glorious feast:

Delicious! Here's the recipe:



Cedar-Planked Salmon
The amounts aren't really exact - add more or less to your taste

2 - 4 Tbs. canola oil, just enough to make a paste
3 or so Tbs. brown sugar (brownulated or regular brown sugar)
1 Tbs. dried dill (don't bother with fresh for this)
1 tsp. to 1 Tbs. Williams-Sonoma Potlatch Seasoning (love it) OR
cayenne pepper to your taste

Combine the above ingredients


juice of 1 lemon (to squeeze over the salmon)



Soak cedar plank in hot water at least 20 minutes, weighing it down so it’s completely covered. I personally think that hot water better seeps into the wood. I have no idea if this is factual or not. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high; adjust to med. low after 15 minutes. (If cooking over charcoal, allow the coals to burn until they are covered with white ash.) Above is the drained plank.

Place the salmon fillet skin-side down on the drained cedar plank. Score salmon down to the skin into serving-size pieces. That last slice on the right is made up of a bunch of little pieces that were hanging over the side of the plank. Cut a lemon in two and squeeze it's juice all over the salmon. This time we had farm-raised salmon. While it's delicious, I really prefer wild salmon, but at $15.99 a pound.....
Pat the brown sugar mixture evenly over the entire salmon surface.
Place the planked salmon on the grilling grate and cook, with grill covered, about 15 - 20 minutes or just until the surface fat begins to turn white or when fork is inserted, the salmon easily flakes. Rainy Day Method: Preheat oven to 325ยบ. Prepare the salmon as described above, then roast on the cedar plank for about 25 minutes.
Serve on the cedar plank, but do set it on top of a wood platter, or, as in our case that night, just carry it back in on the cookie sheet and serve it from there.
Here are the roasted veggies. Jules followed Rachel's recipe pretty much. She didn't use eggplant and served it on brown rice instead of the whole wheat pasta Rachel called for. It was wonderful!
~~~

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to e me - or leave it in the comments section here!

Bon Appetit!

P. S. Tonight Sunday Family Dinner is Jules' Italian Roast Beef -
it's fabulous, and NO you won't be getting that recipe! ;-)

~~~
xoabb



Saturday, February 16, 2008

Kacey's Black & White Challenge


Kacey is running a Black and White Challenge over
at Wine on the Keyboard. Below, behold my entry:Very Grey Day.
This is the below photo converted to black and white.
It was so foggy and overcast this day that I really
didn't need to convert to black and white for
it to BE black and white. But
taking all the color out makes it much
eerier than the (below) original.

In Living Color - Believe it or not, this picture was taken at 3:00pm
and it is in color.

~~~
xoabb

Friday, February 15, 2008

Word of the Day

Superfluous

superfluous \soo-PER-floo-us\, adjective:
More than is wanted or is sufficient; rendered unnecessary by superabundance; unnecessary; useless; excessive.

For Example:

There seems to be a inordinate (another favorite word) number of superfluous politicians in the United States.

~~~
xoabb

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Clean-Up

WW Clean Up:

UGH! Nothin' lost.....HOWEVER, nothin' gained.......and that's good.....RIGHT????

O BOTHER!!!

~~~

Snippets from the Nurse's Office (NO):

Kindergartner comes into the NO, sits down and grabs his ankle: "I don't know what has happened, but my knee really really hurts!" Nurse: "That's your ankle you're holding, not your knee." Kid: "Ohhh, you're right! I'm always getting those parts mixed up!"
Kindergartners! Think it's time for a bones-in-the-body lesson?

Kid: "My eczema is acting up, I'm feeling dizzy and I know I have a fever because I'm over-heated." Nurse: "What were you doing that got you overheated?" Kid: "I was reading."


~~~

As my friend Jules says, ttfn dear friends!!

~~
xoabb

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I've Decided I'm...

...postponing the Sunday Family Dinner post till tomorrow......

Just got back a few minutes ago from a brain-storming dinner to discuss what our theme will be for the annual fund-raising gala for our local hospital. I'll keep you abreast, and always briefly, of the progress we're making just because it's such a worthwhile endeavor, (but also know it's boring to those who aren't locally involved).

Must say we had TONS of laughs trying to come up with THE party theme. Among them: Remember the '80's (don't think so), Bring it on Down Home (must we milk the cows??), Fashionistas (who do we think we are - NYC runway divas???), Elephants & Asses (yeah, right, let's use a political theme in an election year - that'll go over so well with everyone), Honky-Tonk Town (OK - whatever), Half n' Half (dairy...AGAIN? Moo!).

When we finally come up with a/the winner, (and maybe we did tonight, but not tellin' no one yet!), I'll let you know.

Last year was a HUGE HUGE success for the hospital. We made more $$$ than anyone expected.

And we ARE going to succeed our success!!

~~~
xoabb

Monday, February 11, 2008

Disgusted

I can't stand it when I find a recipe in a magazine, make it and it stinks!

1.5 lbs. shrimp for said recipe: $15.00 to buy it. 30 minutes to clean it. 10 seconds to throw it in the garbage can. Nice.

I should have known better. For cryin' out loud, the recipe also called for black beans as a part of the dish....along with the shrimp - ewuuu! Should have tipped me off RIGHT THERE. Turns out that's my equivalent of putting fish and mushrooms together in the same dish! Both MAJOR yucks, in my book.

I'm pretty sure my thought processes went along the lines of "Shrimp and black beans together? That's so odd and sounds so not good it MUST be good, or this very popular with a huge circulation magazine would never allow it to be printed within its covers." My thought processes won't be using that logic ever again. Instinct, baby, that's what to heed, instinct!

Tomorrow I'm thinkin' I'll tell you about our wonderful Sunday Family Dinners (always with Jules and a lot of times with Mental). Those dinners are the best, from the food to the friends and family who always look forward to them. No shrimp & black bean dishes allowed, thank you very much!

~~~
xoabb

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Word of the Day

And it's one of my favorites:

Cantankerous

Dated from: 1772

Definition: difficult, irritating to deal with

You could also simply imagine my hubby, GB, who is the walking definition of cantankerous...at times ;-)

~~~

P. S. an "Oh Bother!" update:

Antibiotic
Eye drops. Conjunctivitus
It's gone! Thank you!

~~~
xoabb

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Oh Bother!

Conjunctivitis
Right eye is pink, ITCHY
YUCK! Please, GO AWAY!


~~~

P. S. I love this photo! Look at it!
~~~
xoabb

Friday, February 08, 2008

Boy, Do We Have Bloomage!

Above behold our ever-blooming Miss Amaryllis in all her magnificent glory. (I've decided that any flower that's as pretty as an amaryllis must be a girl flower, and no, don't go sendin' me botany lessons, this is just my romantic opinion, 'k?) Though she's still beautiful, she's no longer perfect like she was the first year she bloomed. The blossom, that the first year was purely red is no longer (like this one that Kacey photographed), the four buds on each stalk never bloom at the same time, and some of the blossoms are usually deformed - but still beautiful (to me at least) in their own way. Though I don't remember there being two bulbs, there are now, and the second bulb has two bloom stalks growing out of it. I wonder what color they'll be!

Aren't they just beauteous?


We have other bloomage going on as well. It's a crazy year! The bougainvilla never blooms in the winter time. Guess Miss Bougie up there thinks it's spring - she's covered with blossoms.


I know, I know, I really should trim back this pathetic-looking hibiscus. But nearly every stem has a bud on it...
...and when the flowers are this pretty, I just can't bring myself to trim.


Even Miss Geranium is getting in on the act.

~~~

Flowers in winter.
Aren't they a beautiful sight?
They warm one's soul, yes?

~~~

xoabb




Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ah-HA!! Thursday's are to be My Clean-Up Day!

I've decided that on most Thursday's here on the old Tombstone Chronicler blog, it's gonna be a loose-ends, clean-up kind of day. There could possibly be little snippets of info, maybe a WW update (good or bad), some questions answered (if there ever are any). I've also decided to include several of the things I've been told that kids say when explaining why they're visiting the school Nurse's Office each week. That about covers it. Oh wait, whatever else I may think of just might be included as well! Tra-la!
~~~
WW Clean-Up:

I actually could have used the title from yesterday's post for my WW week as I had so wished to be able to do. I actually lost 2, count 'em 2 pounds. Of course, since I started WW, I've actually lost 5 pounds, actually regained 4 pounds and actually lost 3 of the pounds....again. I think this is called a yo-yo kind of way to lose weight. That's not good....not good at all! Uh-oh, just think!! This could be nothing more that water weight gained/lost....DAMN! I plan on doing better in the coming week......of course I always plan on doing better. It seems my execution skills need some work. (Of course, it has nothing to do with my self-discipline ;-)
~~~
Snippets from the Nurse's Office:

Do you remember having a Nurse's Office in your grade school? (This question is mostly directed at my generation, we ~Baby Boomers~.) I don't. I remember the one or two times I got sick in school, I was sent to the principal's office and he/she called my mom. The same if we fell and hurt ourselves - to the principal we were sent where bandaid was affixed to boo-boo. End of story. Today the story is quite different. Just about every school has a Nurse's Office.....and they are very well used! The bumps, tummy aches, paper cuts, etc. are never ever ever-ending! Below, behold some elementary school snippets.

#1 same kid each time:
10:00am "I just know I have a fever." "Your temperature is 98.6"
11:00am "I just know I have a fever." "Your temperature is 98.6"
1:30pm "I just know I have a fever." "Your temperature is 98.6"
3:15pm "I just know I have a fever." "Give it up already! It's time for the bus - outta here, bud!"

#2 "What's your name, lovey?" "Esmerelda." "What's your last name, Miss Esmerelda?" "I do not know what my last name is. My mommy hasn't told me yet."

#3 (Said by a student who transferred from Spain...English is not her first language...)
"I have, what do you say it? Oh yes! I have a head hurting."
~~~
Other business Clean-Up:
Hmmmm.....there isn't any, oh wait! Yes there is! I was tagged once again by that Mental friend of mine for another meme. This one is different - it involves a book. Read below the rules and my book response.
  1. Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.
  2. Open the book to page 123.
  3. Find the 5th sentence.
  4. Post the next 3 sentences.
  5. Tag no one or 21,000 people, whatever floats your boat (or as my great-aunt used to say, "whatever blows your skirt" Never did understand that one.)
So here I go. I picked the nearest book in my bookcase, that's located downstairs in our family room, which I really loved, and then decided I liked page 51 MUCH better than page 123, so I'm doing the 3 sentence thingy from page 51. Don't like me bending the rules?? Tough nuggies, my friends, tough nuggies!

P. S. - This is from Bill Bryson's most excellent book, A Walk in the Woods

Here it is from page 51:

"She was from Florida, and she was, as Katz forever after termed her in a special tone of awe, a piece of work. She talked nonstop, except when she was clearing out her eustachian tubes (which she did frequently) by pinching her nose and blowing out with a series of violent and alarming snorts of a sort that would make a dog leave a sofa and get under a table in the next room. I have long known that it is part of God's plan for me to spend a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth, and Mary Ellen was proof that even in the Appalalchian woods I would not be spared."

Same book. Here it is from page 50:

"We seemed to be looking out for each other. It was very nice. I can put it no other way."

Actually, those above three sentences and their sentiment are just exactly, perfectly right. That's how I feel about my best........

~~~
xoabb





Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I LOST! I LOST!! I LOST!!!*

I am completely inconsolable. Bereft. Depressed. I don't think I can bring myself to talk about last night....Ok, I can, but it's going to be so so hard to do. And a little embarrassing, unfortunately....(sigh)

The fairy-card goddesses were good to me and I messed it up all by myself.

I lost at bridge last night and I should have won just like last time, but I didn't keep an accurate count of the cards in my hand vs. the dummy hand and ended up with 6 cards in my hand and 4 in the dummy's. DUMB DUMB DUMB, DUMMY!!! Especially sad since I had the Ace through the Jack, all in hearts! (I think that's called a ~Grand Slam~. {{UPDATE at 4:26pm on 2/6!! Mental just told me I had HONORS - duh!}}) I tell ya, if anyone else in our group had had that hand(probably anyone else who plays bridge), they would have counted correctly while taking every trick (THAT would be a Grand Slam!)! (Hey! I'm just a beginner here! Oh, and by the way? I plan on staying a beginner for at least the next 5 years.)

That Mental friend of mine won the whole dang thing!
(I just know she cheated.....I'm just sayin'.)



Oh, and the junk-snacking was much better as you can see from Miss LaLa's picture. This time around, we dipped our carrots and celery....and potato chips (nobody's perfect)....in garlic or pesto hummus. We topped off our much better food evening with a delicious low-calorie Costco chicken pot pie. Just look at the pie's nutrition facts below! See? It's nice and low-cal. A true diet food. Low in sat. fat and salt. Have two servings! Won't hurt 'cha a bit. Not one bit!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (about 6 oz.)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 484
Calories from Fat 262

% Daily Value based on a
2000 calorie per day diet

Total Fat 29.1g, 45%
Saturated Fat 9.7g, 48%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 12.5g
Cholesterol 41mg, 14%
Sodium 857mg, 36%
Total Carbohydrates 42.7g, 14%
Dietary Fiber 1.7g, 7%
Sugars 7.8g
Protein 13.0g
Vitamin A 46%
Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 3%
Iron 11%

I AM just sayin'...

~~~

*title of my next WW post, and don't tell me that's wishful thinkin'!

~~~
xoabb


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It's Bridge Night!

Tonight we're at that Mental Mama's home. I sincerely hope to be reporting back later that my winning streak is continuing. Those fairy-card goddesses were sure good to me last time. Do sit on my sholder again....please...F-C G's?!
And do let me repeat the hopes and dreams for last bridge night's junk food consumption we all so miserably failed to heed:
I'm also hoping to be able to report that our consumption of junk food was reasonable this time. Of course, that would be a first. (Refer to this Mental Pause Mama post. See what I mean??) HA! Do ya think we'll do any better this time? I'm taking bets!


~~~
xoabb

Monday, February 04, 2008

A Salute to a Very Nice Man

Yep, you read that right (sigh). This is another tale of a miracle happening in the life of my son, Bly, and his poor beleaguered wallet. As you might recall, in the very recent past, Bly lost his wallet and it was returned to him by a very nice and honest woman with everything intact. Read on, dear friends, read on - the saga's only getting better!

About a week ago, as GB was driving Bly to the train, he asked his dad for some money.

"Why do you need money?"

"For train fare to the city." MOS replied.

"Why do you need that when you have a monthly pass?"

"I, uh, well I must have left my wallet on my desk at work."

Of course, the two of them then had that very special father-son exchange I'm sure many of you are familiar with. I won't go into detail here other than to say I'm quite sure sarcasm and swearing was involved.

Fast forward several hours later when GB returned home. Well, looky there! Just look at what was waiting to be discovered!! Why, it was a brand new, just sent, never been read, fax. Imagine that, it was a fax from some unknown person asking that he be contacted as HE was in possession of a wallet which belonged to a GB, and he would like to return it. (I just knew this had to have been the exact moment GB began to mutter under his breath: "Dammit, and with this kid's unbelievable luck, his damn wallet will ONCE AGAIN be returned with every damn thing in it!" GB later confirmed to me that this, in fact, was quite true.)
Since both husband and son share the same name, GB quickly checked just to reassure himself HIS wallet was in his pant pocket - and of course, it was. (Considering the fact GB hasn't been commuting to the city by train for many many years, don't you think he should have just known this and not had to check? I'm just sayin'!) GB then jumped to the brilliant conclusion that Bly, aka GB the Younger, had once again lost his beleaguered wallet.

GB the elder then put in a phone call to Bly, aka GB the Younger, to tell him that once again he was the luckiest luckiest human on earth. Of course, once again, the two of them had that very special father-son exchange (sigh). Again, I won't go into detail here other than to say this time I know sarcasm and swearing were most definitely involved.
Bly called Mr. P. and they arranged to meet at the gentleman's office in the city the next day. Of course, the wallet was given back to him............of course with everything in it.
I'm thinking we're going to start calling it The Miraculous Boomerang Wallet, no more beleaguered wallet, because it's obviously not!

As was written before:

Nice, decent folk still exist! That's so lovely, don't you think? Thank you Mr. P. for being good to my very very lucky boy. You're the best!

~~~
xoabb

Sunday, February 03, 2008

It's a Sad Day In Bean Town

Too dang bad!....


In honor of Peter, son of my co-bud, Jane
and Connor-Man, my nephew:

YOU ROCK, GIANTS!!!!!

YOU'VE WON THE SUPER BOWL!!

GIANTS ROCK ROCK ROCK!

......at least this year......

GB is fervently hoping that NEXT YEAR is
~THE YEAR~
the BEARS bring it all home
and win the whole dang thing.

All of this I really don't understand.

...Oh well.

~~~
xoabb

Friday, February 01, 2008

My First MEME!!

I've been ~memed~ by that Mental Pause Mama, my lovely friend Ms. Lauren. I'm quite new to this and was thankful that both she and the person that meme'd her, Wine on the Keyboard gal Kacey, supplied some rules and guidelines to this new thingy (to me at least) we're doing.

Below, behold the meme rules:

(1) Link to the person that tagged you.
(2) Post the rules on your blog.
(3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
(4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. (In my case, I probably won't tag six people as I'm pretty darn sure I don't know six bloggers well enough yet to tag them.)
(5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website. (Or do as Kacey did and don't tell the folks you tagged. Let them find out when they visit your website!)

Hmmmm............6 random facts about me.......hmmmmmmmm.
AH-HA!

Below, behold the randomness:

1. I can't stand to go to bed if the kitchen's a mess. The rest of the house? Couldn't care less!
2. I always read the first and then the last chapter of every book before I read the middle chapters. If I like those two, I'll read the rest of the book.
3. I'm a mush that has easily lowered myself to crying over every Hallmark card commercial I've ever seen. My friend, Jules, does too. She is a bigger mush than me. That makes me happy. Her two daughters think we're both nuts. They could be correct.
4. Like Lauren, I also either cut or burn myself every time I entertain. I'd say that it must be a Southern thing, but it happens to Jules, too and she's from the Windy City.
5. I cannot abide fish and mushrooms in the same dish. It is gross.
6. I want to know the end of the story. Now. The story, whether it's my life, my family's/friend's life, a movie, a book, whatever, I want to know the end of the story NOW!
7. (I know, there's supposed to be 6, but I was just talking to my seeester and she told me I had to include the following because it is so how I converse with her.) On a fairly regular basis, Care will tell me "ANN, you're channeling William Faulkner again! STOP IT!" She accuses me of ~speaking~ in a "Stream of Consciousness" kind of way. She also claims it's quite annoying. Hmph!

Tag, you're it! (a note from 7/16/16 - all the folks I originally tagged are no longer blogging, so no reason to link to them!)

~~~
xoabb