Friday, July 31, 2009

7 Quick Takes (Vol 32)

Well, here we are again amigos. The days just fly by.

This little video came via Cartoon Girl. We love cats and we were just talking last week about how much we miss Mr. Crabby Pants. This just made me smile.

I continue to be amazed that when people enter their cars and start down the highway that they become convinced that they are invisible. Do they think that closing the door on the car is like Harry Potter putting on his invisibility cloak? That no one will see what they are doing? On my way to work this week these are the things that I observed:
  • more that one person picking their nose
  • people reading and driving
  • people reading, driving AND texting
  • at least one woman putting on makeup
  • a woman who actually had those pink, foam rollers in her hair!
  • someone singing at the top of her lungs......oh yeah, that was me, never mind.
  • more than one person with not one but two dogs on their lap and hanging out window

Should I figure out how to put another tab on the blog in order to start putting recipes with pictures up here? Do I want to spend that time? Does anyone care? There are so many blogs already that have recipe sections and I wonder what my adding to the glut would accomplish. And I already spend a bigger chunk of time blogging than I ever expected that I wonder if adding another section would be a good use of time. I do love to cook though. What to do, what to do.

I know that this blog is supposed to have a tiny bit of knittin' talk on it, I know that is somewhere in the name of this place that I inhabit so much. I am knitting, I swear it. I just haven't put pictures up. I will, I will I promise. I should be finishing another pair of BGS (Big Green Socks) for Socks for Soldiers tonight. Those things just take an egregiously long time to knit. I am also working on another cute pair of socks that are about 3/4 finished. It just seems that I don't get as much knitting done during the summer months.

And again this morning it is raining. I love rain, we all know how much I love rain. But this summer has to be the rainiest that I remember in many a year. It makes for lush garden growth I will give you that but........I am going to say something that I never thought I would. I think that I am a tad sick of rain. I say that and yet, when I look out and see that there is just a steady rain and think about the fact that I am home all day I do get that lovely yummy feeling of having a whole day stretch out with endless lovely rain. I am sick in the old noggin. Oh well.

Thinking more on the lines of #3 above, I am really going through a "cooking new recipes" phase. I have to say that when the progeny were growing up by cooking repetoir was rather limited, not because I didn't know now to cook but because it was often just easier to make a casserole of some kind. We didn't eat out a great deal so I did cook every night but I wasn't all that into trying alot of new recipes. And then there is the internet. I could sit all day and just look at recipes on the internet. For that matter, you could cook a new internet recipe every night for a year and not exhaust the possibilities. Shoe Queen thinks that I should take on that task next year, to cook something new every day. That is rather overwhelming but I do think that cooking something new three times a week may be doable. I am mulling the idea.

Is it not a tad sad that I am already looking for my planner for next year because I have things that I need to get on the schedule. I am very picky about the planner that I use and Office Max doesn't have the one I use in stock yet. I know this because, like the obsessive individual that I am, I have already made TWO trips over there to see. Man I love my planner, I love writing down what I have to do during the day and I love seeing the things "ticked" off at the end of the day. My planner is where I do, well, all of my planning if you must know. It is where I keep the list of what I am going to make for dinner and what I need to buy and what I need to do at the office when I am there. I love my planner. If I wasn't married to HHBL then my planner and I might have to tie the knot. I am odd, I know, you don't have to point it out. Thats just the way that I roll.

Have a great week everyone.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Technology Sometimes trips Us Up.

OK, Chelsea over at Roots and Rings (I love her blog) has alerted me that some were having trouble commenting on the blog (mom that means you too). I believe that I have fixed the problem, at least I hope that I have. I even did it without the help of Cartoon Girl or Shoe Queen or even HHBL who are all my techno support team.

So, all that to say, I want to see comments. No comments makes me a very lonely girl and then I do things like knit socks and talk to myself. Oh wait, I do that anyways.

Pardon My Drooling

What to have for dinner, what to have for dinner? I usually know what we are having because I spend a bit of time planning the tentative menu for the week. That way I don't get to 5p and stand in my kitchen scratching my head or some other body part and wonder what the heck I am going to cook.

So last night was pizza and let me tell you, since I have mastered pizza dough from scratch life is sweet around here. Yes in deedee.

I am always amazed that this
Plus the addition of these
Becomes this
And then, after the judicious application of a pizza stone and very hot oven you get this.
Oh be still my beating heart. Of course, the green flecks that you see are oregano from the garden. HHBL and I prefer basil on our pizza and that is what I was planning to do. I went out to the garden to get some and was greeted by this
What is this you ask? This was my very healthy basil plant before the rats with hooves deer decided to help themselves. I might have mentioned here how I feel about our four footed friends. I like deer. I like them as venison steaks, summer sausage, jerky, "Bambi sticks", stew..... you get the picture.

Hey, you know, venison sausage on pizza might not be too bad.......

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I am Glad I know

Did you know that July is National Cankle Awareness Month? Who knew? I certainly didn't.

For all of you that are unaware of what a "cankle" is let's have a demonstration shall we.

1. Take off your shoes and socks.
2. Now look down at your feet.
3. Is there an indentation where your ankle is or does your calf merge smoothly with the top of your foot forming sort of a mini redwood tree trunk effect. If it is the later then you my friend are the proud owner of a pair of cankles, just like Hillary Clinton.

The Queen of England also has cankles if you must know and look where that has gotten her - a country in decline, an eldest son who is three cherries short of a fruit cake and terrible taste in hats. That could be you if you are so lucky.

Now that you know that you have cankles - and don't we women all have cankles at some time or another- be aware of them. Think of them for a change and their needs. Those "Roman ankle shoes" that are so popular right now are not for you or your cankles.
These are not a good look for your cankles. They exaggerate the "tree trunk" effect and really lower the self esteem of your cankles. Think of someone else for a change rather than being a slave to fashion.

Take your cankles out for a walk or a nice glass of wine, but perhaps not a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich because bacon isn't good for cankles, the salt you know.

Be kind to your cankles, treat them with the respect that they deserve as an equal, if slightly thickened, part of your body. Be gentle, be loving, take them out for ice cream. And then, tell them thank you for all that they do for you.

You will be glad you did.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You Could Use the Vacuum Cleaner You Know

I have a relatively new house - just 9 years old. When we built it we had an in-house vacuuming system installed and it is the most awesome of things I can tell you. I might avoid using it at all costs but it is still wonderful in it's awesomeness.

I must admit here, in the spirit of "keeping it real" as The Pioneer Woman says, that I am not a big fan of vacuuming. I believe that it is because I was scarred for life, for life I tell you, because Mimi (my mom) made me vacuum. She paid me $5 per floor of her house but for that measly 5 bucks she actually made me vacuum UNDER the furniture and like move things and actually do a good job. The nerve!

When the progeny was growing up I didn't vacuum. A little dirt on the floor is good for the immune system people. OK, I did vacuum but I kept it too a minimum. You don't want to build up bad habits you know, they are so hard to break.

But then, in 2001, Max the dog came to live with us. Max happens to be a combination (we think) of a number of breeds that all shed like there is no tomorrow. We believe that he is a combo of Black lab (shedders), Border Collie (shedders) and Golden Retriever (BIG shedders). Can you see where I am going with this. No? Then let me put it in plain English.....HE SHEDS.

He sheds and I hate vacuuming. It is a bad combination.
Is this a dog hair elephant or is something strange growing in the corner. This is what I deal with on a daily basis people. Pity me.

If is weren't for the fact that he is so darn cute, and who couldn't love that sweet face, I would have to do something drastic like buy a whole boatload of Nair and just make him bald. No, I am not going to actually do that so don't get all worried and call PETA on me. The only person who gets to use the Nair around here is me and that is all I am saying on that subject.

Darn, I guess I will have to get the vacuum hose out today and do something about this before it takes over the house. And here I had plans to finish off that box of bon bons and read the latest Harlequin romance. Shoot.

Monday, July 27, 2009

She's Into the Pictures Again

Because it is Monday and that is usually my busiest day around here and because I am cooking something new for dinner and because there is laundry to be done and we are so not talking about the weed issue in the back garden......I decided to play with some pictures. Really, these are just old pictures that I have in the computer and ones that do not show me in a particularly good light. I live for self humiliation.

I was such a cute little thing.... I am not sure what happened.

Already behind bars. Did they know something I didn't

Caught in the act. My mother tells me that one of my favorite things to do was to empty the cupboards of the pots and pans.

Channeling my inner Bo Peep with that particular hat I am thinking. Dang, where did I put my sheep?

I am on the left. I am talking. I know that is a surprise. Next to me is my oldest friend, Brenda. We have known each other for........... a lot of years. Ha, you thought I was actually going to tell you how many years (46). She is a big time doctor with 6 daughters. I am not.

I am the one in the lower right corner. You know, the one in the strange feather hat. It was pink by the way and I loved it. So did the cat. End of story.

My brother, Pilot Man, performing an early form of mind control. "You will let me have your sailor hat, you will let me have your sailor hat, you will......"

Look! It's Robin Hood and Maid Marion. I have absolutely NO idea why Pilot Man is dressed this way. And I am not sure that I really want to know. The one thing I DO know is that isn't his hair, thank the good Lord.

And the final question would be, why did my mother let me out of the house in that outfit? The shirt alone is mind blowing but the pink skirt - which as I recall was a lovely polyester - is just more than the mind can handle. I am afraid to think what the shoes were that I had on.

Well, I guess I should actually go and do something constructive like clean something.....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, who am I kidding. I am going to go play with my camera. Did you really believe that thing about cleaning something. Man!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Own Tour de France

In this, the year without a summer, where temperatures have not been that hot and we have had more than our fair share of rain, HHBL and I decided to take advantage of a nice day and do a bike ride that we had been talking about for some time. Riding along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Think of it as my own personal Tour de France. The fame, the glory, the sweat.....

Fine, fine, you people are so picky. So there weren't many hills, OK NO hills, and there wasn't any Peloton (look that one up yourself!) and Lance Armstrong wasn't there and I didn't get any champagne at the end. But at least there was a yellow jersey involved.

Now, I need to tell you several things. 1. this may be a long post with numerous pictures. So, if you are looking for pithy commentary, and erudite conversation...this won't be it. 2. I like biking but HHBL LOVES biking and I hadn't been on a bike yet this year and this was a long ride for me (22 miles)and so there may be some whining involved in this post and the use of the words hiney and butt and things like that. You have been warned.

It is always important to dress the part, especially if you want to fool people into thinking that you actually know what you are doing. Because you know it is all about the look. Bike shorts, bike shirt (sort of), bike socks.......

What? You don't think these are biking socks? Of course they are. Just be cause they are a tad more colorful than some of those drab things that other people wear. Who says that you can't add a little pizzazz to your outfit when you are on a 22 mile LONG bike ride. Oh fine, they are just short socks that function as my biking socks. And OK they are this short because Panda Cotton always has too little yarn per skein to make one sock per skein of yarn. So sue me.

This is my trusty steed Hi Ho Silver. He is easy to maintain, doesn't eat much and gets me where I want to go. I just wish the seat was bigger, say the size of a lounge chair, with padding. The hiney would so appreciate it.

Didn't I tell you that there was a yellow jersey involved in this story. And a hunk inside a yellow jersey. Could it get any better than this?

Oh yes! WooHoo!! I get to follow this hiney for the whole day so it can get better. Don't be hatin' now. HHBL looks particularly fine in bike shorts.

The Towpath is full of interesting things to see and you go along on your trusty steed. It winds along side busy roads, some business and then it wanders down into the valley and everything is all quiet and peaceful. You might see this:
a Great Blue Heron who was fishing for a late breakfast. Yum, fish from a muddy canal.
Bridges. Remember, the tow path winds down into the valley.
There she goes again taking those "artsy fartsy" pictures. Oops, I said fart, sorry about that.
LOVE this picture for some weird, architectural reason. Going to print it out and frame it when I have the time. I felt fortunate to get this picture because this old paper manufacturing area is usually restricted behind chain link fencing. But when we passed by I noticed that the fence was open because they were mowing in the area and so I took advantage of the situation and took the pictures.

At about 13 miles into the ride we hit one of our favorite towns in the area and in that town is one of our favorite places to eat so naturally we had to stop and have some of this
Oh I love this "white bread pizza" with garlic and herbs and olive oil. And we added extra cheese because, you know, there can never be too much cheese on a pizza and we were taking a long bike ride and needed the energy.

Yeah, it didn't last long I can tell you. And it was delicious. And I hope to eat some again soon.

Me: I want to take your picture
Me: Stop that! I am serious!
Me: I MEAN IT! Now stop that so that I can take your picture.
Me: Thank you.

After lunch we walked over to the home of some friends, but they weren't there. So we got their dogs all riled up by ringing the doorbell and knocking on the door and then walked back to the bikes. Along the way we encountered this sign.
Only in small town America would you find this. Heck, if you were riding your bike on the sidewalk you would be past this sign before you even realized that the sign pertained to you!

Umm Deb, why are you taking a picture of the branches of a tree? I mean, we all know that you like those artsy fartsy (oops said fart again, sorry) pictures and all but this one is just boring as heck (is heck boring? are you sure?).

Well, you see, at about 16 miles into the ride, after lunch and walking to Lori and Joseph's house in our abortive attempt to visit, my thighs tried to put a hit on me. Yes, the quads decided to revolt against this aggressive attempt at exercise and I had to take a little "break" lying down on a bench and sucking down luke warm water. Normally, water that is the temperature of tepid bath water is sort of gaggy but I wasn't complaining at the time.

Right about the time my thighs were getting back to their normal fleshy appearance rather than looking like Gordian knots I looked to the right, where my trusty steed was parked, waiting for me to remount and I noticed......a slug at the top of my derailleur. So of course because he was there (are slugs a he a she or just an it?) and I was there I decided to take his portrait. Then I realized that yes, he was there alright, but he was dried out and stuck to the metal. Lovely.

Yeah buddy, I know just how you feel.

Finally! I made it through the 22 miles. Of course for HHBL it was a stroll in the park and if he tells me that one more time there is going to be an unfortunate accident. I am smiling and that is a good thing. You see, I can see my salvation just down the track.

Oh yes! Here comes the train that is going to transport me back to the area where the car is located. The Cuyahoga Valley Railroad has this awesome program that will allow you to take your bike on the train for just $2/rider. You read that right, $2/rider. That way you can ride as far as you want to go one way and then ride in the lovely air-conditioned train car on the way back. You see, that was the "carrot" that HHBL used to gear me up for the ride. It was a lovely, tasty carrot.

Look, there's a gnome on the train! I have no clue who this rather strangely shaved fellow was but when I went to take one of those artsy fartsy (oops, there is that fart word again, sorry) pictures he stuck his head out of the train door and into my picture. Thank you sir for adding such an interesting development to my picture. It seemed like a fitting ending to the day.

We enjoyed the ride so much that we are going to do it again in a few weeks and definitely in the fall. If my hiney recovers before then and I haven't succumbed to the hit that my thighs have put out on me that is.

Friday, July 24, 2009

7 Quick Takes (Vol 31)

I have been following Zac Sunderland since shortly after he left for his trip around the world. Can you imagine giving your 16 year old permission to sail around the world BY HIMSELF. Ummmmm, I used to have trouble giving my 16 year old permission to drive around the corner let alone letting any of them sail around the world ALL BY THEMSELVES. Zac is a singular young man but I have to tell you my respect, admiration, down right amazement goes to his parents. Wow.

Did you know that the oldest man in the world - or at least in England - died this past Sunday at the astonishing age of 113! His name was Henry Allingham and you can read more extensively about him here. But can you imagine being one of the last founding members of the RAF, a WWI survivor and an eyewitness to the Battle of Jutland. Yes I know that last bit when straight over most peoples heads but my Dad will get it. Think about all the history, large and small, that this man has seen. The mind boggles.

I am on a 27 mile bike ride today with HHBL. I should have my head examined is all that I can say. I like biking, HHBL LOVES biking. We will ride 27 miles along the Tow Path trail and then take the train back (oh thank goodness for the train!!!). My hiney is hurting just thinking about it. But, I know I will have fun and I will have the camera along so expect a bunch of pictures and a longer post, when I can sit down in my desk chair again. That may be a while in coming.

Do you wonder what some people are thinking - or NOT thinking - when they get up in the morning and get dressed. I had to make a stop at the post office on Wednesday and passed by a fellow that had on a golf shirt with blue/pink/white stripes, LIME GREEN yoga pants and - hold onto your stomach contents - orange Crocs. I mean DUDE, what were you thinking this morning. He was just walking along to his car, happy as a clam in a sand bar, unaware that his outfit was brighter than the sun and more nauseating than liver and onions. And we know how I feel about liver and onions.

Max the dog, or as we fondly call him "Mr. Nimble Lips", ate a CUP of butter off the counter this week. Yes, you read that correctly, a cup of butter or two sticks of butter if you prefer. I had them on the counter, softening, to use in a recipe. I went out to do an errand and when I arrived home I went to start the cookies but....

Me:Where is my butter? I know I left it on the counter right here?
Place call to Shoe Queen who is out shopping with That Nice Greek Boy
Me:Have you seen the two sticks of butter that were on the counter?
Shoe Queen: No, did you look all around? Have you checked the dog's crate?

Mr. Nimble Lips was in his crate all right, looking very guilty, and the only thing left was one tiny scrap of waxy paper that had covered the sticks of butter. He had eaten both the butter and the paper. I guess that makes sense since he couldn't unwrap the butter, not having opposable thumbs and all.

That dog is going to stay outside for a good long time because what was greasy going in will most likely be greasy coming out if you get my drift.

I love looking at those vanity licence plates that so many people have. But, what is the use in having one of those things if no one can figure out what they actually say? Passed one yesterday that said, "1OS GRL". I get the GRL part, that wasn't difficult. But what does the other part mean. I am sure that I am missing something, I must be. If you are going to pay the $75/year that vanity plates cost (at least that is the cost in Ohio) then figure out something that people can get pretty quickly. I nearly did in some little old lady putzzing down the highway in her Mini-Cooper because I was trying to puzzle out what that plate said.

And just as an aside, what a very tiny and very elderly woman was doing driving a red Mini-Cooper I will never know. You could barely see her over the steering wheel!

I have been going through pictures again and look what I found! I have no earthly clue which relative this is but isn't she a doozy. I would love to be able to sit down with her and just ask her what her life was like. At first, when I looked at the picture I thought, "Man, she looks like someone who wouldn't have any trouble taking you to the woodshed." But then, I started to look closer and I have decided that there is a twinkle in her eye.

Have a great week and remember to go click on the Quick Takes picture at the top to go over to Conversion Diary to read all the other Quick Takers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Very Own Baseball Hunk

Ha! Who needs Derek Jeter when they have their own baseball hunk in residence. Yes, I have my own personal baseball hunk living at my house. Try not to be hating.
Here he is, my power hitter. You just have to love a guy in a sweaty baseball uniform. He plays baseball most weekends and I occasionally get to go to a game. The last time I spent most of the game playing papaprazzi with my telephoto lens. Oh I love my telephoto lens, you can get so close to things.
You see, I needed my telephoto lens because I was WAAAAAAAAY out in the field. Well, that isn't really true. I was not too far back from the backstop, but it just sounded better. I really didn't spend much time in the chair anyways. I was roaming around trying to get the best views.
Man, I love to see HHBL get up and clobber the ball. Just makes my day.
Of course when you are playing baseball you have to slide into bases. The object is to get as dirty as possible.The more ground in dirt and grass the more fun the game was. This is Tommy not HHBL. Last year this is how HHBL broke his ankle, sliding into 2nd base. I hope never to have to relive that little experience. Of course, he got up and "walked it off" and then hit again because, it couldn't POSSIBLY be broken or anything. You know, my little nursing degree doesn't mean a thing. What...hmmmm....yes, baseball where were we.
He's OUT! Awesome play Bobby!
Another run scores and then it is time for all that manly bonding stuff. Slapping hands and other portions of the anatomy. This is a family blog so I can't show those pictures.
Dejection. I loved this picture in sepia tones. Someone, who shall remain nameless (but was not HHBL) threw down his helmet in disgust when the ump robbed him, ROBBED HIM I say, of that hit.I liked this picture too. I liked it so much that I had it printed in a bigger size and framed it and now it sits on my mantle.
And then, just at about the 7th inning, I got bored. I usually keep the boredom at bay by scoring the games but not this time. And when I get bored then I start to take those "unusual" pictures that I love so much. I was standing there by the dugout and I just started looking at feet. So, be warned, you are now going to see what the rest of my pictures were about. The above is HHBL taking some practice swings before being up to bat.
These are Billy's very skinny legs, but boy howdy can he run!
And so, as Bobby and HHBL think about how much fun it is for grown men to play baseball on beautiful summer days, we say good bye to my own personal baseball hunk and his friends, his homies, his baseball buds.

Man do I love baseball.