Monday, December 20, 2010

Holy Cow

At the thrift shop the Cristmas music was playing.  Not my favorite tune but it kept building and building until it took my mind off the search for designer presents and I thought... that woman is singing her guts out here, and she is darned good!  Just as I was thinking that, one of the workers passed behind me in mid sentence  " So's I told them to go to Sears and Robot"..
Yes SHe Did!
Celine Dion finished O holy night, and we got on with our day.

A very Merry to any of you who are left.  There's no computer in the house, so my midnight rambles are turned to library nocturnes.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Which Hand?

Nory went to see her friend in Brooklyn.  It took a lot of effort because she did not like to drive far, or to places where she had never been before, or not driven to before.

They wandered around the streets, stopping for snacks, and watching the beautifully costumed children trick or treat from store to store.

As they crossed one street, Nory noticed something sparkling on the asphalt. She scooped up a crystal drop earring.  Scanning the street for possibly the other earring, she found a steel nut that had come loose from something or other.

Jon was waiting on the other side of the street, looking quizzical.  What's going on? he asked.

Putting out two fists, Nory said choose one hand, and Jon picked one.  It was the nut.  So he took the nut, still looking at Nory like; what gives?

Nory opened her other hand, showing him the jewel inside.

You found that on the street?  he asked, And I got the nut?

You chose the nut, Nory told him while pocketing the earring, and taking his arm in hers, they continued down the street.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

CSI Home: The Case of the Missing Redhead

Waiting for an important call, I realized I had ignored the state of the house for about 6 weeks.  I decided to get with it.

While swabbing the kitchen floor, I decided to break at the oven and spray it with cleaner.  That should take about 2-3 hours to eat through to enamel. (for more on this see: Accidents in the home).

Climbing the stairs, I noticed: they were disgusting.  All manner of dirt dust and hair remained on the treads.  Wearing my trusty Platex Living Gloves, (I think they actually might call them that although outside of the bubble boy I don't know who would call that living..) I climb one stair at a time rubbing furiously at the back edge and then sides and middle.

The resulting debris resembled a hairy bowling ball.  There was soooo much hair!  Obviously I had been there at least once.

This put me in mind of all those detective shows.  Come on, they find one hair on the victim, and it's crime solved?  I had enough evidence to convict myself a billion times over.  I had hair there from when I was a redhead.

Wait a second.... I've never BEEN a redhead! 

Case open pending further investigation.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Soup's On!

Let me just run this one by you:
Rotisserie chicken soup.thrifty or pathetic?
Discuss amongst yourselves.

Recipe:
One mostly denuded chicken carcass
4-6 cups of water
large carrot cut up
stalk of celery with leaves on
half an onin large hunks
salt, pepper
parsley whole
include that dark jelly stuff on th bottom of the plastic chicken garage thing, that's the flavor package

Boil till it smells like grandma's house,( 2-3 hours) taste.  If it's too weak cook it down some more.  Eventually it should taste good.  Then you can add:
leftover chicken
more smaller carrot and celery and onion pieces, sweated,
lentils (handful)
rice (some)
whatever...
maybe kale or spinach
maybe little pale meatballs
red bell pepper, if your stomach can take it
cumin, curry or Chinese 5 spice powder
you can take it from here,
I'm just waiting for the broth to cool.
And that's che sera cooking for today. enjoy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sexy Costumes

I was tooling about the web the other day, when I saw a link for interesting Halloween Costumes.  I am interested in costumes because they allow us, for a limited time only, to wear the stuff that would be ridiculous, outre', or just plain unappropriate most of the time.

I was disgusted to find that most of the costumes for women consist of mainly undergarments.  It used to be that you would go to a party and everyone was a French Maid or wearing a catsuit, but now, everyone who dares, just puts on some underwear. 

Even if it's unusually pretty, I don't want to see you without clothing.  My friend Bob once went as Jesus Christ, but due to his stocky build, we all thought he was baby New Year.  That loincloth looked way too diaper for us. Plus, it was cold.

One year I went as the Bride of Frankenstein.  Too bad, I don't have a photo for you, but Mom was out of film or something.  As I was driving through the turnpike, lightning in my hair, eyebrows severely altered, black lips, and bandages hanging from my arms, the toll guy leaned out of the booth and remarked: you look really hot tonight.  He did not know me, and so he did not know how I looked every other night, and the party was about a week from Halloween.  I'm still not quite sure what that was about, but it's a good story, and it's true.

When I got to the party, there were a load of catsuits, but I had my choice of suitors, and eventually chose a gorilla with an oversized tie.  I thought the tie was an extra effort.  He turned out to be Mr. wrong, inviting me over by saying "why not come over and make me dinner?   I bought some kind of meat."

He was not sure what kind of meat he had bought, and from experience I knew he had not even salt and pepper with which to season said mystery meat.

I told him in no uncertain terms that it was not a good invitation.  "You say, come over I have a mink coat, and some kind of meat, or perhaps; I have roses, champagne and chocolates, and some kind of meat." I suggested.

He did not think I was funny, or even helpful, which I really was, and when, a couple years later, he was to marry a young woman, I wondered how he had managed to convince her.  It certainly was not his manner.
Maybe it was the gorilla suit.

Weather or Not

I was going to go out today, but the threat of near-flood conditions deters me.  In fact, I would probably just spend money, and I'd just as soon make money as spend it.  I should be listing my entire house on different sites, but as of now I only have a hundred or so listings split between Amazon, Etsy (chandeluse), Ebay and Craigslist.

It's kind of boring, listing things online, and yet, when someone buys your stuff, you get such a happy rush, it's instant confirmation either of your good taste and refinement, or of your canny observation of the market.  Either way, it makes you feel good to have a little cash come in when you have not worked yourself to the bone to earn it.

I could spend this time writing, listing, or making things to list.  So far, the making things to list has been the most useless, as my main site sells Vintage items, and evidently Etsiers prefer their home-made to be separated from their vintage.
  To go farther, it seems that they prefer their shops to sell only one item at a time, such as; soaps, party invitations, or portraits of Marie Antoinette.
  I'm not sure why Marie is so popular, other than, we kind of wish we could march around looking like an elegant parade float or custom cake, more than we wish to wear the type of boring, don't pay me any mind couture we generally have around the house.  It's kind of interesting, because most of us would rather be Marie Antoinette than Lady Gaga.  Think on that, for a while, and get back to me about it.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Pumpkin Carving 101

I tend to digress a lot here, so bear with me.  Probably I should have edited more generously, but frankly most of it amuses me, and so you can be the judge.

 Pumpkin Carving 101



The first thing you must do is find a suitable child. You might think that a pumpkin would be the first item on your list but you would be mistaken.

I don’t particularly recommend using children for many activities, but they are the most fun to carve pumpkins with.

My mother used to buy unusual shaped pumpkins and keep them around the house for indefinite periods of time. One year around January, I felt that this had gone far enough and enlisted my 6-year-old sister to help make the Jack-o-lantern. We had the very best time and the next day; no one at school would believe her story of pumpkin carving while there was snow on the ground. I got in trouble for destroying the squash. I still do not know for what purpose it was intended that we had to keep it for so long.

I do not recommend  borrowing a child without parental permission, it is just not done, but let’s say you have a kid, maybe you are related to one of an age that will still be captivated with an activity where knives are wielded at vegetables for no practical purpose, and you can go together to get a pumpkin. I am going to leave you to your own devices at this point, buy, grow, pick, steal, whatever, depending on how fast you can run towing a small child and one or more pumpkins.

Once home in the kitchen, arm everyone involved with smocks or aprons. Count on getting everything sticky and messy.

On another occasion, ( I know, I TOLD you about the digressing) I had baked a large hubbard squash in the oven to use as pie filling. Lifting the pan proved slippery and the entire pan fell to the floor and splashed up to a spectacular height of seven feet. As I was slipping around the kitchen in orange goo, a telemarketer called, and like a fool, I answered the phone, thus applying gunk to one more surface. “I can’t talk now, I told the woman, I have pumpkin up to here.” She failed to believe me.  That's the problem with my life, too many true incidents that just seem like they must not have really happened.

Newspaper is the traditional covering for your table. It is plentiful in most homes and in addition to slime; you can get newsprint all over everything. This is part of the gestalt of the deal. Note: Papers were plentiful before the national newspapers went to hell, and also before the advent of recycling, but I know of a house that is standing mostly because of the newspapers amending the strength of the walls.

The next step, planning the decoration, is a good place to use the child. Give it a large marker, be specific that it can draw only on the pumpkin or the paper, and let it go. Try not to be picky. If you are not happy with their design, you can make your own as the pumpkin has continuous sides. I kind of like making 2 or 3 faces per pumpkin, and they cast more light that way.

Cut the top off of the squash in question. An irregular cut will make you look like less of an idiot trying to make it fit again. Any attempt to make it an even circular cut will result in you spinning it endlessly over the opening and dropping it back inside with some frequency. A zigzag somewhere along the edge will remedy your lid conundrums.  Also, try to cut at an angle with the widest part at the top and the smaller part towards the inside.

The next step is everyone’s favorite, and if it is not, you will thank me for advising you to invite a small person. Put all hands inside the hole in the top and wiggle your fingers and squish the seeds between your fingers, making jokes with your small person or not, as you wish. This part engenders merriment whether or not you have good comic material, and kids have their own ideas as to just what constitutes humor, and will let you know, whether you are interested or not.

You will probably have to scrape out the insides unless your child is particularly adept, as well they might be, knowing it is your child, who is, as we all know, smarter than ours.

All that is left is to cut out your pattern, and the powers that be are not holding us to faces anymore. You can make spooky trees, owls, ghosts or perhaps a replica of Mount Rushmore, as you please.

I would do this part myself, as handing tots cutlery is tantamount to mayhem and that parents frown on getting their child back with missing parts. During this boring (for them) interval, give them a bowl of the seeds to play with, that being the most delightful part of it anyway, and try not to be too hard on yourself if things are not perfect.

Put a candle inside, leave the lid off and turn off the lights and make spooky noises at each other. This should kill at least another one minute until your child lender comes to retrieve their progeny and berate you for overindulgence.

What a happy life! Rid yourself of the messy small persons, or rush them to the tub to clean off the excess squash. Pour yourself a drink and congratulate yourself on a job well done. You are now ready for Halloween. Or perhaps not, but you have made the attempt, and that is what matters.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The women are smarter

I was in the GYN office, not particularly wanting to be there, and feeling kind of tired.  I was resting my head on my arms which were crossed over one side of the chair arm, much akin to napping in school but to the side.

From somewhere in the middle of the line of chairs a woman reads aloud from a magazine; "A man does not know anything about a woman  until he gets married."

From my odd perspective both physical and mental,  not missing a beat, I reply "A man does not know anything about a woman  until he asks her."

A man's voice sounds from the far corner, "That's the smartest thing I heard all day".  Then a lively discussion ensued.

Glad to be of help, I said, just as my name was called.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Midnight Ramble

When you are alone in the house, you don't have to play by the rules.  You can get up, walk around, eat stuff you are not supposed to, blog all night, etc.  Frankly, my eating is off, and a good thing too, I am losing weight like crazy but my clothes still fit. (drat!)  Also, I am not eating like a hog, but I decided not to cook for a while.  You do not know what a relief that is! 

I picture myself just tossing out what's in the fridge, day by day, as if in a short film:
Monday: smell milk, if questionable, spill down sink, rinse jug and put in recycling container.  All of this is taken from a rear view as if the camera is behind me.

Tuesday: Attack the veg bin, look for leakage or soppy vegetables, put in compost pile, clean out drawer.

You get the general picture.  I can take all the canned stuff to the food bank at the church across the street.  For some reason they specialize in harboring immigrants.  Go figure people out, I sure don't understand it, but maybe they will love my old cans of chinese mushrooms and water chestnuts. (I like to be prepared for all contingencies).

So, the big deal is that I got a glass of ice water, and came up to write this.  I was asleep but a wrong number woke me at 12:30 and I spent some time switching back and forth between Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson.  They were both pretty funny, but I hate the comercials.

I'm sleeping on half the bed.  It saves a lot of bed making time in the morning.  That's another rule you can break.  You can sleep any way you want, sideways, for instance, but I don't recommend it. Bad feng shui.

This is not as funny as I had envisioned it.  I had some deal in my head about making something with the "magic bullet blender" that you buy on paid for TV.  I forget what I was thinking of making now, so that's lame.  Those deals are so bizarre.  I can just see people at home thinking; yeah, that seems like such a great deal, and I can give the extra (fill in the blank here) to my sister... but of course, they are mostly crap, plastic crap, made in china and guaranteed to break very soon after opening and quizzling around with the chinese goofy translated instructions. (as if anyone ever reads instructions).
The Ikea instructions are goofy too, in that they are mostly pictograms, but odd.  Why should I put the dried cod in the sofa bed, you are wondering, looking at the booklet.  Where can I put all these stupid allen wrenches after the book case is together that I won't lose them?  They end up in the kitchen junk drawer, and eventually you find them and toss them because you forgot what they go to, and then the book case starts to wobble..... you know how that works.

The other night I went to the movies alone.  It's  little screening room, and I was the only one there.  I took a seat in a minimally uncomfortable tub chair with a table, arranged my water and gummy bears, and had a little show just for me.  How decadent, and indeed how wonderful.

I saw The Extra Man starring Kevin Kline (he was in A Fish Called Wanda).  This one  was kind of a strange movie.  He was a down on his luck ex-playwright who is a walker for old women in New York, and he rents part of his crappy apartment to a young man with a curiosity about women's undergarments.  Yeah, it got a bit wierd, but it was oddly uplifting, and had a happy ending.  I laughed, I cried, yada yada yada, I'm not so good with book reports or movie reviews, as you may have noticed.  Anyway, it was pretty stupendous.  And then I walked the 2 blocks back home where I could do anything I wanted, and didn't.

What do you do alone in the house?  Tell me a story.  I'm thinking of sending a prize to the winner.  It's a secret prize.  Might be on my Etsy Store.  http://chandeluse.etsy.com/  tell me what you might pick.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I fall Down

the garage

Well, I fell down the other day.  I wanted to tell people "I took a header" but no one knows what that means any more. 

I did not break a hip.  In fact, I don't think I broke anything larger than my humility, but I can feel a bruise high up on my chest.  I think I actually bruised a rib.I can't see anything though.

Oh yes, and my knees, you don't want to see that.

So now, I am just achy and scabby, like  a couple of cowpokes out on the prairie.  My sister asked if I went to the hospital, but I don't think that's where you go for skinned knees.

I'm not sure why I'm telling you this.  I should really tell you about the neclace and broken bracelet I bought at the yard sale right before this, but I have not taken a photo yet.

Man! this computer keyboard is really loud this morning!

So, I was at my neighbor's yard sale, she is in the friends of the animals, (no kidding) and was a professional estate sale type.  She's sort of retired, but cannot resist other people's stuff.  She always wants to get together for lunch but continues to forget that I do not know her last name or phone number, so when she called later to see if I was okay, I still did not have her phone number to call back.

I gotta walk over there.

I gotta walk a lot, because in the fall, I get so achy, I could die.  If you walk, it takes all the pains away, don't know why.  It's as if nature just sucks all the ache out of you.  Try it, won't you?  It could not hurt.  Just do a couple of blocks and build yourself up.  At one point I was doing about 4 miles each morning, if I can believe my pedometer.  I'm going to say it works, and that it was four whole or part miles I used to walk. 

Git along, lil' dogie, but don't fall down.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Better Living Through Chemistry.

It's definitely fall and I'm so relieved.  This summer has been a veritable hell, what with the weather and the health decline, etc.  I've had just the most terrible day, and yet, right near the finish line, I have sold an item, and that cheers me up again.

It was my grandfather's mortar and pestle.  He was a chemist, and being born in the 1800's, chemistry was tantamount to alchemy.  He loved everything natural that could be produced artificially.  It was new, exciting, and he had tons of ideas.

He was kind of old already when my Dad and his Brother were born, so he was not a ball player, or  anything like that, but he had his charms.

He looked like Teddy Roosevelt.  He made us bubble bath and a giant bubble wand to play with in the yard.
He grew hydroponic tomatoes in the 1940's in his basement.  Dad said they were as big as your head, but tasted like water.

 Also, he gave me a solar motor in the 1960's.  It was set up in a cigar box, and spun a striped circle so you would get dizzy watching it.  He also gave me a black light, and a bunch of metallic stones that glowed under it.  That was fun, sort of.


He also figured out how to blow artificial scents from the fronts of stores so that people would be lured in to buy coffee, or pastries, anything like that.  He left a formulary, which tells me how to make cosmetics out of chemicals, so backward, but for him so modern.

So, I'm a little sad about letting it go.  Aside from that I have a few tiny little chemistry pots and lenses, and that's about it.  I have the memories, and that is what I will keep.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Looks at Books

courtesy of Amazon.com
photo courtesy of Amazon.com


This week's favorite: Aimee Bender's the Particular Sadness of Lemon cake.
It's about a girl who can taste the emotions of the people who have made the food she eats.  It's  a terrible experience, but she follows it along, and makes peace with it eventually.  Her family is of course, disjointed and disaffected and do not believe what she is saying.
I loved the writing.  And needless to say, I was entranced by the story.  You might want to find this one.  It's very popular.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer Corn

Do me a favor.


Go to Johnson's farm. They have turned it into the kind of circus that will hurt your stomach, but you'll live.


In fact, I'd be surprised, if by the end of the day, you have not taken over.


Buy some corn, a couple of ears. Okay, maybe you have corn in the yard, maybe you don't eat it anyway.


Boil it for 6 minutes. If the stove is in the same shape as the truck, build a fire outside and boil it for 6 minutes.


Cut it off the cob. This goes against all reason, but since the braces went on, and even when they came off, I have done this, and the corn falls to the plate in little sections.

 I used to call them books of corn.


Eat them that way (use a fork). No butter, no salt, no anything else.


That's the way I'd do it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Little Night Music

Nory was not sleeping at all.  The air was cool but damp, and it was difficult to acchieve the right combination of warm and tired.

She was thinking about an ex of hers who was living in Cape Cod one winter.  He came down to get her and brought her back to a knotty pine house barely furnished but for a grand piano and a couch in the living room.

He had a bed, of course, and they would listen to the radio at night, falling asleep.  The radio had no knobs so they had to put a dime between the prongs to turn the dials. 

When she got there, she found a jazz station that played wonderful soft nightime music from the thirties.  Together, falling asleep they heard big bands play slow numbers and Billie sing the sad blues.

When Nory went home for a while, Kenneth called her to say he could not find the station anywhere.

It is as if it only plays when you are here by me, he said.

What happened to clock radios? Nory thought just before drifting into slumber.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Two great books


Both these books are wonderful!  I would love to write like either one.  The Contssa's New Machine is a twisted little fairy tale, but plausible story, beautifully written by Carey Wallace.                                        

How Did You Get This Number is stories and observations by Sloane Crosley who just kills me, you will love the way she thinks.  Also by Sloane is I Was Told There'd Be Cake. A similar book with different stories.   Happy Reading!   
                                                                                                                                             










Breakfast of Champions


In which we find out that all new recipes need a trial run or three.
 At the farmer's market last week I found a free sample of peach- nectarine cobbler and the recipe printed nicely on heavy weight cardstock.  The cobbler was delicious if a bit too sweet so I took the recipe and bought a basket of nectarines, nice name, that.

No one really knows what nectar tastes like but the nectar you get in cans, surely must not be a food of the gods, should  it?

So yesterday I decided that I would make this dessert, even though I was a bit short of  the actual ingredients.

 This I have called Che Sera Cooking, which is kind of make do and usually does, but with caveats.  For more of this style see: oatmeal cookies.
Okay, so, it was supposed to be made with peaches and nectarines, but having way too many nectarines, I decided to go with them.  They tell you to use the largest pyrex pan and I was melting the butter in it so I would not have to wash another pot, and I notice there is only one cup of flour in the recipe.  That spelled disaster right there, so I pulled it out of the oven and transferred the half melted butter to the next size down, oblong baker.  I was talking on the phone to my sister while this dangerous exchange was going on, and holding the phone with my shoulder and giving her a blow by blow account of the proceedings.

Then, you are supposed to use whole milk, but I had buttermilk which needed to be used,  so I use that. With buttermilk, you should use baking SODA not Powder because of the acid thing, but I used  it anyway.  I used the full 1 T of Powder even though that seems to be a ludicrously large amount given the low ratio of flour.

Also, it's supposed to cook at 375 degrees but on my oven 375 is actually 400 but I forget and it cooks at, what, 350?

And it still is incredibly tasty.

I started this blog to write short stories, and there are some early on if you want to go back there, but now I am writing hair complaints and recipes, and I suppose that could get me more readers,which would be great, but it's not the glorious prose I had planned.  Please, feel free to send people to the recipe and the blog.

Here's the recipe:

Melt one stick (1/2 C of unsalted butter) in the smaller of the two pyrex rectangles, about 8x11.
Take two nectarines and two peaches and peel if you want, but I did not.
Slice thinly (not too thin) and put in a pot with 1/2C sugar and 1T lemon juice and boil lightly about 4 min  the fruit will be wilted and the juices will start to thicken.

Mix in a bowl: 1cup flour (it says one, but I think it might need more), 1/2 tsp salt, and 1T baking powder, and another 1/2to3/4C sugar and whisk to mix.

Add 1 cup of whole milk and stir to make a batter.  Really, use the milk.

Pour the batter into the butter in the pan, spread around (I did not quite do that right) and then add the fruit mixture on top, try to blob it all over instead of just in the center like I did, and put it into a 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top. put a cookie sheet underneath in case it boils over.  I don't know if it will rise more with the real milk.

There you go.  Foolproof, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Farmer

I have a friend whom I have known for most of my life.
He has of late become a recluse, a rower, a musician, a hoarder, living in ever mounting levels of squalor and deshabille.

He is the smartest, most self reliant person I have ever met.
He is also quite manipulating.
And
He is barking mad.

It's a conundrum.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Tees

I have a pile of t shirts on the floor of my craft room.  I was supposed to be making skirts or something else useful out of them.

The fact is, I'm procrastinating.  The first skirt, though I wore it several times, was not quite right, with the picture showing right at crotch level. 
 I should have cut it out, and made it into a pocket or something, but I did not want to cut it into so many bits, and it was still to be proved that my sewing machine would work on t shirt fabric.

I did not realize, until I took that photo, quite what a mess my studio has turned into.

Everywhere are piles of things to be sold on the internet.  Maybe it's just under that one table that things have gone completely wrong.  I know a lot of people who live in piles of junk.

I am the one who organizes their stuff and makes them give up a lot of it to recycle, or donate or trash if they have to.  How is it that I have come to this junction?
I blame it on the people who are not buying the stuff I need to get out of here.
I could blame myself for not cleaning up.  I am something of a neatnik, but lately, I need to find things that have sold, that are found at the bottom of that pile.  Actually, they are in a box, or were until recently.

Fantasy being preferable to admitting slobbery, I'm going with that.


Banking Blues


I got an email saying there was something wrong with my bank log on.  I called the bank and they said it was a spam, but since I could not log on online, they looked into it. 

"You responded to a spam in March, they said, so we disconnected your online log on".

What?  I've been getting bills, and paying them.  I check to see what I've bought that costs so much, and I don't see anything fraudluent going on.  There was a lot of who's on first with various Indian and non Indian persons. I could not decipher the names of any of them.

What they never made clear was how I could tell if the "spam" was really pork or something they sent me.

Now my card is cancelled.  No more fraudulent purchases from me.  I have to go back to March and see if there is anything odd there.  Another headache courtesy of the 21st century.

Ben Franklin didn't have to put up with this crap.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Concert Disaster

Last night we went to a concert of the orchestra.  Our neighbor gave us free tickets, as she was playing that night as a percussionist, her actual job.

The guests were Condoleeza Rice and Aretha Franklin.  I don't know who would make such a connection between the two, but someone did.

Miss Rice, Condie came the shouts from around us, was elegant and played the most simple part of the most simple piano concerto that exists.  She did not play as a professional, and might rather have played in someone's living room, but backed as she was by a major orchestra, performed competently, and made no big fuss.  She had a large contingent of strident fans in the audience.

Miss Franklin sailed onto the stage as an ocean liner, her giant silver satin dress and coat breaking the non- existant waves before her.  She looked as beautiful as she ever could. She was easy and made jokes for the crowd.  She moves with grace, and large sweeping arm gestures.

Behind us were some women who were students and singers classically trained.  They were excited to see the concert, and said so.  There was plenty of time before the concert, and surrounding us were  a lot of people, maybe 100 or so, all sitting on blankets on the lawn.  It was almost cool,and no insects annoyed us.  People  were  serving picnic dinners that ranged in complexity from full course meals, to wine, to water and a large bag of cherries.  Everyone was excited but relaxed.

It was an unfortunate choice, but Aretha, instead of simply hiring back up singers, brought with her, a piano player, a synthesizer guy, and two women dressed in black and dangerously wielding tambourines.  It seemed that there was also an electric bass and a guitar who were not part of the orchestra.  There were still a good lot of the orchestra on stage, but against their will, the orchestra had to put up with sometimes playing with a CD in the background that added all the funky bits and backup singers.

What was left of the orchestra were stuck on the stage not playing for the better part of an hour.

I ask you; you get a world class orchestra to play behind you, and you make them sit still while you play a CD of the Blues Brothers ?  Why not let them leave the stage?  Why pretend?  I will tell you, the orchestra members were really peeved.  They are not old fuddy duddies, they like Aretha, the crowd loved Aretha, but that music switch was a major mistake.

And then... she tried to sing opera.  Yes SHE DID!  Oh baby, it was not good at all.  Her voice is strong but failing in the slightest way, and several times she dropped her voice by an octave, just to get on with it.

By the end, we all felt badly for her.  She was making those ear splitting sounds mostly related to Patti LaBelle, but not in key, and we were in misery.  People in the audience were howling like dogs.  I only hope that she did not hear them.

One of the women behind us crawled to speak into my ear, "I am classically trained, and this is not good!"
No, I replied.  It is not good.  The lawn crowd was dashing for the exits.  The singer behind me left even though she needed to use a cane to do so, and she split so fast I did not even see it.

Then Aretha invited one of the Isley Brothers onstage.  He was in his mid to late sixties, wearing a white suit.  It was hard to tell if he came from backstage or the audience, and he was either not a fan of Streisand, or just did not know "They way we were", or could not get a note in.  It was an odd choice, but we felt like she had a connection to this man in the past.  People cheered wildly, ignoring the quality of the singing.
  It was out of respect mostly.

THEN she announced that she would sing the National Anthem and we all stood up.  And instead, she sang Our Country 'tis of Thee, and we all sat back down.

We waited by the stage entrance for our neighbor who was driving.  The Orchestra members rushed out, clutching their instruments to their chests, lips tight, ears ringing.

We did the breakdown in the car, describing what we heard, and what she heard at the back of the stage behind the percussion instruments.  By the end of the ride we were laughing a lot, enjoying the night, and the company.

We had a really good time. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

I write like.....

I went to http://iwritelike.com/ and put in two different blog posts.
Evidently, I write like Margaret Atwood, and David Foster Wallace, high praise indeed!

It's some kind of computer so it doesn't know I actually write like Erma Bombeck.  You may not know her as she has shrugged off this mortal coil, but she was hilarious!  She wrote about her home and life as many of us do, but things go awry in her life, as they do in mine.

Anyway, I'll take that misplaced praise any day.  Please, pass it on, I need more readers, but I love my two faithfuls!

I must mention that it rained last night, and I finally had a great night's sleep with the windows open!! (party horns sound in the background)  How about you?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dog days

I don't know why they call it the dog days. As far as I know, dogs don't like it any better than we do but since their "sanitary facilitiy" is outdoors they gotta go and drag their humans with them.

I suppose that picking up your dog's  stuff is better than leaving it in the park for others to step in, and having at least once stepped in it, I gotta say the whole world is better off not having to wipe anything off their shoes.

It's a good thing dogs don't chew gum, but if they did, they'd probably swallow it.  Humans think it's okay to stick under furniture or spit out on the ground where... yes, it gets on your shoes.  Particularly when it's hot like this.

One time when I lived in the city I had to change a headlight.  I took the car ( white honda civic) to a parking lot where I could sit on the curb to perform this operation.  I was wearing my red Italian jumper and white faux ostrich cowboy boots.  (Shut up! it was adorable!)

When I went to pull my legs out from under the car, they did not come???  How does that work?  My legs were stuck, yes, stuck in gum.  For no known reason I did not at that point take off the boots.  That would have been sensible, but I thought I would just put a napkin from the glove compartment on the gas pedal and it would be okay.

It was not as okay as I would have liked. I drive a stick, so as I drove the thin crappy napkin form a fast food chain stuck to all three pedals, tearing to bits.
The more I drove, the messier it became, and when I opened the window the pieces of napkin swirled around my head like I was a post modern snow globe. I flailed my arms wildly, trying to see the city traffic around me.

Sometimes my life is a situation comedy.  I tell these stories to people and they think I it's hyperbole.  My nephew said about one story: Aunt Meg, that is not a story, that's a movie.

And so although my dreams of stardom went unfulfilled, at least my life is cinematic.

I don't know what became of the dog story.  It was an interesting premise, but not having a dog shortened it up a good deal.

Have a good day, won't you?  And please, pick up after yourself, and the dog.

Thank you.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Caleb Hawley


I went to a free outdoor concert last night.  It was a young man singer, songwriter who came to our town at the behest of the local musical impresario and harmonica artist, Bob Beech. nice guy, that Bob.

Anyway, he was sort of James Taylor meets Paul Simon. 

He was adorable, infectious, energetic, had a wonderful singing voice and presence.

It was quite enjoyable even though I chose to sit on a tree root, which was dicey.

Look him up. listen to his songs: calebhawley.com.

Hair

I haven't washed my hair in several days, despite the heat.
It feels like it might crawl off my head.
And still it looks quite gorgeous,
though I've just jumped out of bed.

I don't photograph well, so, no pic.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Unhealthful Eating


I am fighting the dreaded GERD, reflux, that is. Evidently my whole family has some version of it, and I have had to give up seltzer. What the heck next, I ask. No coffee, no tea, no fruit juices, all herbals are suspect, no mint in the no tea.... I gotta say, there's got to be a positive way to say this, and I'm really trying.

 How 'bout: I can drink all the water I want! Woooooooo!

Yeah, I thought as much.
In other words, if it keeps the phegm out of my throat and brings back my singing voice, then I've got to be all for it.

Here's a laugh.. remember all those fruits and leafy greens and whole grain whatsis we are supposed to be eating? They told me not to. I don't know what to replace them with as french fries, chips, guacamole, anything with a tomato or onion in it or vinegar or dairy food is also out of the question. It's a trial and error thing.

I went to Barnes and Noble but they only had one book which, after telling you what not to eat, told you to eat everything they told you not to.  Yes, I concur.

Let me know if you have a good idea.  I see Jello in my future.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What to wear?

Okay troops, Sorry about that last entry, it was on my mind, but sometimes, I should just keep it to myself.
This one is more all inclusive.

I have to go to a christening.
I have to find something to wear.  You can make the call
They are not necessarily in that order.  You will be able to identify and assess the outfits named.
1. Blue flowered April Cornell dress, white shoes.  It's one piece, but it gaps at the bust, makes my ass look gigantic, and maybe it's a little out of date or frumpy?

2. Black gaucho pants with a lively flower print,  (so cute) a sleeveless black knit top (gaps at the armpits) and black shoes.  2 pieces, the waist of the pants is 3" high and elastic.  I had to take some of the elastic out so I would not lose a kidney, they were bothering me there.  And the top is almost fine,which means not quite fine, and at least one sister will make a remark.

3. Linen pants, silk top, silk cardigan, all shades of beige.  This is my possible favorite?  But the pants have gotten quite thin, I don't know if you can see through them, the silk under top has really long armpits and my bra shows, so I have to keep the sweater on.
It's 95 degrees. None of that is going to look crisp for more than 6 minutes.  I am not a beige person but I thought it would be elegant?  I don't know who I'm trying to kid.

4. The black and white nylon knit dress.  Makes my rear look huge, and I have to suck in my gut the whole time.  The V neck is too low and I have to pin it shut.  The place where it is now pinned is good but shows maybe too much cleavage, so...

You be the judge.  Don't hold back, just tell me.  Okay, I gotta add pictures, but not with me in them, that just does not work.  P.S. Keep in mind, that the dummy is a size 4-6 and I am a very short waisted busty size 12, and that while I can see things may need more pressing, this it.

Thanking you in advance.  I know you'll do the right thing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Traffic of the Dead


I was driving to the thrift store today when I was thrown off by constuction.  I had to go out to a major artery and make a left turn on a busy street where there was no light, and constant traffic was not stopping to let you in.

Anyway, there were 2 cars in front of me and a school bus in front of them. What is the holdup? I wondered.
It was a humongous funeral.  I know this is a touchy subject, so bear with me.  It was a long line of cars with those little flags on the fronts and placards in the window.  My view was though the gas station pumps to the left of me.  If there were a building there, there would have been nothing to see at all.

Who died?  Could have been a policeman?  That happens a lot lately in Philadelphia.  But then people die every day.  I knew it was not George Steinbrenner. He does not live anywhere near here.

 I often think that when I die, no one will attend.  Possibly one of my sisters,  but that's it.  There was no funeral for Mom, nobody was up for that. But that's my family.

A lot of the time when someone you know dies, or even when it's a relative of someone you know, you feel obligated to go to the funeral.  Not always, but you know which ones you just have to attend.  If you are powerful, well loved, or knew a lot of people, your funeral will be well attended, and like the funeral I saw this morning, tie up traffic for blocks.

Traffic is funny.  People get all bent out of shape if you are not going fast enough, or forget a turn signal (which is dangerous, and rude at the same time), but everyone stops and gives the right of way for a funeral.

It's as if you rate higher on the respect scale dead, than you did alive.  What's that about?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Where is the New Yorker when you need them?

I just went back and read the first year of this blog, and I have to say I was amused for several hours

Try it: just go to the end, or like February of 2005 and start there.  See if you don't have some fun.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Heat Wave

It's been so hot out, it was difficult to move.  For the first couple of days we acutally camped outside in relative luxury.  We put up my craft tent that the hub and I made to go to craft shows.  The bad thing: it is not waterproof.  The good thing: shade, beautiful shade.

Being unwilling to move, we sat there, getting up only to hose down once in a while and reading magazines and books.  This week's favorite has been Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith.  This is not the original sendup of Jane Austen's famous novel, but a prequel to it, and written by a different author.  I am told that the original is more violent and has more acutal Austen to it, but this was light reading (yes, I do heavy lifting but light reading) and pretty hilarious if you can get past the putrefying people.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Learning Curve

Today I have been trying to learn something, anything that will help me with technical stuff online.
First, I found the New York Photography School site: http://digital-photography-school.com/learning-exposure-in-digital-photography which is complex but eventually I hope to make it work for me.

Next, I was directed from Etsy to another store site whose name I have not entirely mastered,, it's like Matsui, or something, that has a store AND a blog stuck right to it, and other bells and whistles.  Only thing is: I could not see any of the stores.  Maybe it's a closed system like a paramecium or something?

Next, I hooked up to tweetup? possibly, these things just swirl past my vision and create imaginary waste o' space in my brain.  I feel like I now have the brain power of a cat, or a pancake or any other inanimate object.  Anyway, after hours of trying to figure the RSS feed, (yes, I am that much of a dweeb), I hooked that up so that my twitter will lead you to my blog.

I am not that sure about twitter.  Evidently, the way to self promote on twitter, (and that, more than anything seems to be what it is about) is to connect to as many people as possible and have them connect back to you.  Right now, I have like 14 connections, and dumped a load of people/companies I was following, because they were not all that amusing, and they took up space that the people's posts that were interesting formerly occupied.

I guess it's not about what I want to read, it's about who I want to read me, and that's where the moral dilemma kicks in.

I would like my vintage shop to be a success and then maybe move on to a photography shop, but do I have to have giveaways, and tutorials?  It's just possible I do.

My best online friend is spreading herself very thin these days, joining other craft groups and making things for her blog and 5 others, and going to work AND having a life.  I asked her one time, how is it that you are able to produce so much?  Her answer was simple; she does not have a television.

I know there's nothing on, but mostly I like to read while I'm watching bad television, and therefore do not make a load of stuff because I am lazy.  I guess that's what it comes down to in the end. If I had paid more attention at school I would have a career that I was laid off from and collecting a large slice of unemployment, thank you President Obama, instead of blogging my life away and trying to sell used stuff online.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hot time in the old town

I'ts been 90 degrees out for a couple of days now.  Yesterday, we had a very large storm, possibly a tornado by the looks of things.  On the next street there are 4 giant trees down, and on several streets after that.  Most of them missed houses, but completely blocked the roads.

We went out for a tour.  It had been cool last night after the storm and then again in the morning but it kept getting hotter.  It felt like Charleston S.C. in August, but it's still June, and we are about 13 hours north of there by car.

I kept changing clothing.  The wrap around skirt was comfy but nothing matched it.  The palazzo pants were cute but the elastic waist hurt my kidneys.  I tried to cut some of the elastic out, but it was not enough, and there was no electricity to sew through all the layers to put it back together.  None of my shoes matched anything, but if they did, my feet hurt in them.  It's as if hot weather makes me lose my sense of style completely.

I put on no makeup which makes me look tired, and wear a baseball hat to keep the sun out of my eyes.
I never in my life thought I would be with a man who wears clothing bearing sports insignia, but I have, and that's hardly unusual, but I could not have guessed after being a milliner for years, that I would adopt a baseball hat.  It's not attractive.  I am not some tall rangy girl with a tomboy wardrobe.
I am a short woman with big hair, and women's clothing and it's looks just awful.  I gotta say, it's practical.

A bit later I was in the kitchen and the refrigerator started making noise.  I yell this out to Lou in the yard.  He says open it up!  Yes!  Electric is back on.  I know they are going to turn it off again eventurally, but tonight I sleep in air conditioned bliss.

By the Sea

Nory went to the shore with her sister Lila.  They were dressing for the beach, and Nory was putting on an old t shirt like flashdance meets Hokusai, and a skirt she made from old t shirts.  It was her first attempt at cutting up shirts for skirts, and it was a success except that the design on the shirt ended up at her crotch.  She spun it to her hip, but the shirt covered it anyway.

Lila said I bought a bathing suit.  This was the one that did not make me cry.  Boy, is that ever true.  After a certain point in time, and with our mom's fatty gene pool, there's just no fighting off the distortion of the flesh. (see: legs of Dorian Gray)

Nory looked at her sister in the bathing suit and it was black and white polka dots.  She herself had never gone in much for the dots, but we do what we can.  It was not good, but if it was okay with Lila, then what the hell.

They trekked down to the ocean and the cool wind blew over them.  They flopped on towels, just as if they were not middle aged women and sighed, looked at the water for a while and picked up their respective reading.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Drug Trials

Here's the thing.  Well, two things.  I went online to make a new post, and got a message that my blog name was available to register.  What the hell???

So I came to blogger, and here I am.  Now I'm just confused.  And dizzy.
I went to a dozen docs, and particularly one of the "top docs" for dizziness in the city.  They did terrible things to me there, just to see IF I was actually dizzy.  Oh yeah.  I was sick for a week after those wonderful tests.  They did brain scans, cat scans, and every kind of expensive thing, but did not find anything broken.

Now, as a last ditch effort, they want me to take diuretics.  I remember my mother taking them to get rid of water on her ankles.  I don't remember how much she was in the bathroom, but it was not as often as I already am.

I have not felt like this for months.  Really bad.  So maybe I take just one more drug.  Or maybe I go on the all raw diet.  I am not sure about those people.  They claim it brings health and vitality if the most you heat anything is 118 degrees.  Why?  I just don't know.  It sounds totally arbitrary.  Obviously animal protein is out, as is sugar, although maple syrup is okay with them.

What you don't know about maple syrup: it's not a sweet as you thought.  It's the corn syrup pancake liquid that is sweet.  I like it.  I am used to my food tasting bright and delicious.  I can go without some things but the sugar thing: that's the killer.

I really should ditch any baked goods, and all sugar.  I should live on lettuce and water as a friend told me.

Then he put me on embargo, so I don't know how good a friend he really is.  Okay, that was something you don't need to read, but I'll leave it there anyway.

I gotta go out now.  I'll be walking so if I collapse someone will find me, covered with ants (the ants are really getting to me these days) and wrappers discarded from foods at the Wawa convenience store.

Okay I sound nuts, but I can delete this all later.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Beauty Therapy


Nory went to a therapist recommended by Lou's therapist. The new therapist was supposed to adress her propensity to anxiety and try to get Nory off some medicines she was taking.

First of all, Peggy (the therapist) decided Nory should take more EPA fish oil. Then she decided that Nory should see another more integrative doctor .

Then the therapist decided her vitamin D levels were low (from a copy of blood samples from her G.P.)

AND she sent Nory for even more blood samples and thought she might want to find out if she had yeast in her intestines. Well, thought Nory, between the bread and the yoghurt, I must have some yeast somewhere.

So to sum up: 2 added supplements, 2 added health professionals to see.

Nory went on Thursday because she could not read the invisible writing of the receptionist, and since it was not the correct day, and her hair was all gray in the fluorescent light of the bathroom, she went to the hairdresser next door. She had never gone there before, but it was pretty and the hairdressers seemed friendly and knowledgeable, so she decided to go in.

The first thing Nory annouced was: Do NOT dye my hair black!

Guess what? Black hair.

She asked her sister Lila what she thought. Lila said "I was not going to mention it, I thought you just had an accident with the dye".

The next day, after her acual appointment with Peggy, Nory went back and said "honey, (in the nicest tone)you dyed my hair black".

The Hairdresser looks like that Amazon from 3rd Rock, Kirsten somebody. She said well, you wanted dark brown. Nory said "I wanted brown". Greta said well, it will wear off a bit in a coupla weeks.

Well, thought Nory, not hideous. I just look like a goth girl in Talbots clothing.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

12:45 Ironing

Generally when I creep upstairs at night, it is cold. I am wrapped in layers of flannel and fleece, socks and slippers, almost gloves if I could, but tonight is so balmy after a very hot day that I wear a slip of a nightgown to sit at the computer.

It's nice to find an order on the computer. I sell my odds and ends, not a business so much as lightening up my stuff stash. It's a national holiday, so I did not expect anything from my computer, and mainly left it alone today. When I came up, I found my order and went to work re-ironing some fancy tea napkins in the heat of the attic. I must be mad. It was near 90 degrees today, and we spent it all outside, lolling in the shade.

I am not getting so very much from these napkins, but on the other hand, I did find them literally on the side of the road, while I was walking one day. There was a load of vintage linens, and I picked up what I could and carried it a mile back home.

I should have gone back. I left lace table cloths, and who knows what else there, but I was in a very karmic dilemma, and decided to leave stuff for others. I hope someone took the rest, or my good will has gone wasted.

I probably should not write at night when I have not much to say.

Yup, officially at a loss for words.

Goodnight, sweet prince.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Girl Scout Cookies


I know I'm going to get a lot of flack if anyone ever reads this, but I have a rule about girl scout cookies; I don't buy them unless the girl scouts bake the cookies themselves, which they never do.


The girls (and mostly their parents) sell the cookies which have become increasingly smaller, with less cookies, and more artificial and unhealthy ingredients. Why don't the leaders teach the girls to make cookies, and have them sell fantastic cookies?


I saw a segment on SNL last night about this. The writer on TV wanted to buy the cookies all year in a store rather than be harrangued by small girls in berets and sashes only once a year.

He has a point, but I think if you had the cookies all year you would notice after a while, that they aren't as good as you might remember them being.


I went to a boy scout spaghetti dinner last night. I was ready for the worst and I got it. The food was like a school lunch. I was considering going to the kitchen and teaching them to cook, but they would not have had the ingredients, and frankly, they were not going to listen to me, a non christian in any case.


The scouts were sort of stunned like small cattle in an unfamiliar setting, but they followed directions, and tried to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. Some were better than others. Our waiter, not knowing us, was wary and seemed to have no sense of humor at all. He was unable to communicate further than what he had been told which did not include the fact that Spaghetti is also the plural for the word, and whether or not there was sugar in the iced tea.
I don't know how many diabetics went into shock after that carb and sugar loaded meal, but that is neither here nor there.

The kid at the next table called it paskettis, and even with some coaching by the men at his table, could not master the word. The pasketti kid, a small, white nerd type, while unable to pronounce the dish, was a lot more personable, and hung around the two large black men he was serving, making jokes, and having a great time.

What I wanted to point out here is that the boys were doing something more ambitious than the girls, and though it was for one night, the community was supporting them. Whether or not they made more money, I think the boys learned a little more real life experience than the girls.

I have gone up to a girl scout and taught her how to sell cookies. She was lackluster, and unwilling to speak to strangers. (probably from many years of indoctrination, and I cannot argue with the inntelligence of that).

She stood in front of me and wanly held a box of cookies with a limp wrist, and took no other action. I am not going to describe my lesson, but by the end of it, she was selling boatloads, and was also able to convince her parents to send her to Europe with a new wardrobe as a reward for being so enterprising. And no, I did not buy her cookies.

So, I really wish everyone would learn to cook decent food, and I wish the scouts of both sexes would find another way of making money. I know child labor has been abolished by law, but there's plenty of it going on. Perhaps they could become telephone solicitors.




Sunday, March 28, 2010

Of Frogs and Men

I forgot to tell you. We had dinner at the London grill the other night, and there were frogs all over the place. Stickers on the wall and statuettes of every material known to man strewn over every surface.

Finally I asked someone. It has to do with a plague they said. Something about Passover. They have books by the cash register.

The Haggadah, I said.

Yes, he said, surprised.

So, I guess the locust theme would have been too much for L&I I mused.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Fat Again


Wow, am I fat. I took a photo for a hat that was not selling on my site. It is a flapper hat, and I think the main reason for it's not selling, it that it was not on a person. While it's true, I have been ill for 3 days, and eating almost nothing has lost about 5 pounds, the camera tells me I am gigantic.

I am wearing a large skirt which helps not a bit. Looks like an Army tent, sounds like a flag flapping in a strong wind.

Jeff suggests that I continue to not eat. Easy for him to say. It's 12 now, and I have not had anything, but I am going to have to have something. Yesterday it was 3 minute eggs, chicken soup, and jello, not much of any of that, and I gained a pound. I'm pretty sure it was just water that I lost.

Most of the time, I just forget about it, and then I see a photo. Of course, one year I lost 25 pounds and the pictures STILL made me look fat.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bad Habit

Every night when I am too exhausted to read any more, and my wrists ache from holding the book up, I put it down, and turn off the light. Immediately I get too hot to be comfortable in bed, and outside of the bed, the heat has been turned down to nothing, which generally registers somewhere between 54 and 61 degrees Fahrenheit (just in case).

I try to drift off, but my mind starts dictating prose that it thinks I should write, and often, I get up, and those words are no longer available to me, so I write whatever comes to mind.

I should not get out of bed, but when you cannot sleep, it is hard to stay put.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shopping

I could not stand being bound by the snow any longer. No, I was not buried under a mound of snow, but was just stuck inside because I don't think slogging about in 30 inches of snow is a lot of fun. Plenty of people do enjoy it, and when I put it that way, it sounds fun, but no thanks.

So, I went shopping. I am too big, I know it, you know it, every one is aware that I should not be buying clothes in this large size, but I've been good all winter. Not a thing. Not even from the Sal (salvation army). And I bought odd sale type items, and was fairly happy.

Then I went to Bloomingdale's. I saw stuff I loved alllll over the place, but even though I had mad money, I just could not spend 300 bucks on a blouse, jacket or anything else, for that matter. I am not a millionaire, and I tend to ruin my clothing almost immediately. It broke my heart, but I left all the flowery flirty, ruffled, chiffon peasant blouses in the store.

I came home and put on my new mud colored skirt that I would never have bought at regular price, or even on sale, but I had two different 5% offs, 50% on all sale items plus a $20.00 cupon, so the skirt was dirt cheap.

I went running up the stairs, and the skirt made the sound of a sail unloosed, luffing, as they call it, in the wind. Yeah, that's why they go on sale.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

More about Brownies...


The Che sera Cook February 6, 2010

Here’s the thing. I used to go to this place in Philadelphia that had giant brownies. they were over 2″ tall and about 3×3 square. They were the best brownies I ever had, and I cannot for the life of me reproduce them. They were very moist but not fudgy,and also not cakey and they were consistent all the way through. Of course that place closed, but I did ask for the recipe and they acted like they did not know where the brownies came from. But I know, they came from heaven.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Appliance Mutiny

I don't know what's going on these days, but my kitchen seems to have a grudge against me.

I have had some trouble baking for about a year, and finally invested in an oven thermometer.It tells me what the actual temperature is, as opposed to what it says on the dial. Just as I suspected, it was at minimum 25 degrees lower than it should be and at max, 75 degrees lower.

The interesting part of that, is that it is not consistant, and coincidentally neither are my baked goods. I have tried adjusting the temp to match with spotty results.

The refrigerator has also started to act up. Suddenly the lettuce is frozen in two days. Ever see frozen lettuce? It does not stay frozen for long. It turns into green slime. Nice. BUT: when you turn the refrigerator to colder the freezer gets warmer. I think that's okay because the freezer was making things frostbitten. But this time, the freezer was too warm so I changed that, and then the refrigerator got too cold, and I am stuck in a circle, never having anything at the right temperature. On the other hand, and this is my go-to these days, I don't live in Haiti, so what's the problem?

The dish washer front fell off on my foot about a year ago. Turns out the crappy almond color that my husband made me buy all appliances to match, and which are going wonky, was actually just paint. The dishwasher (with the permanently stuck soap dispenser) is Harvest, Gold, a color which I presume was popular in the '70s. Swell.

The Water company has been doing a lot of work lately, and I caught one of them in the driveway with one of those wheel counters. I said: why don't you fix the pipes here?

WG: We have been fixing the pipes that are concrete from 1905, yours are cast iron from 1926, so it's going to take a while for us to get to it.

Our water is slowing down to a trickle, and guests won't stay because out of 3 showers, only one gets enough water to use. No baths, nohow.

Used to be I only had trouble with watches, and then with doorbells, two other stories. I don't know what's going on, but as long as they work marginally and stay rooted to the floor instead of roaming the house at night, I can probably deal with it.

I love the night lights..


I went to the dollar store where I loitered, goggling at brightly colored gee-gaws and mylar ballons, tube sox and amazing stacks of multi-colored plastic crap of all manner until Marilyn could extract herself from the long line in the Acme, and stalled in front of a Johnny Depp - Captain Jack Sparrow Pirate night light, realizing suddenly that I was listening to Gloria Gaynor singing "I like the night lights, I love to boogie, yeah...) and realized it was night life, but that it worked for me.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Etsy Blues


Sales have slowed down to a trickle though I have listed my heart out.

Okay, lame Valentine joke, but really, I gotta do more. They suggest the dreadded facebook or Tweeting, but I don't know about that.


So, I reduced the price of 3/4 of the shop to around five bucks. I may be taking a bath, but it might motivate all of you to spend your little pockets off. I sure hope so.

Monday, January 04, 2010

And speaking of Brownies


I decided to help my friend Lolly shorten her video time for her blog. She is a cute 30 something who is a great crafter, and web designer who I befriended. She does not have a TV. Good for her, and she gets a whole lot more than the rest of us mortals. But then I have to explain TV references, because she really isn't lying, she just does not know about what's on.
Find her blog at Lollychops.com and see if you can resist her.
I was telling her that to make her videos shorter would keep people watching instead of wandering to the kitchen for some fortifying brownies:
And speaking of brownies: Dr OZ (an Oprah TV doctor who, in real life is a brain surgeon, who incidentally, my sister caters affairs at his family's house and says he is real life cute)

Ok, he's a guy that people trust and who wrote a book: You, on a diet, (see local bookstore or Amazon) told everyone to dump the fridge of sugar, syrup, (he did not mention jams but I suppose...) fat, transfat, and saturated fat, white flour, etc. This is just not real life. I mean, okay, I switched to the whole grain bagels, but I have got to have butter, brown sugar or syrup in my oatmeal, or it would just be library paste!
I usually add some kinda fruit, and cinnamon. Mmmmmmm.
Aaannd, I like my pasta just the way the Chinese invented it. Plain semolina or wheat, no "good for you kind of stuff" I am sorry, I am just not getting used to it.