Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin

I like some things about her. In fact, I like a lot more things about her than I do McCain.

I like the fact that she's not one of the good ole boys from Washington.
I like the fact that she's a lifetime member of the NRA.
I like the fact that she's not independently wealthy.
I like the fact that she supports ANWR oil drilling.

I don't like the fact that she's a prominent member of Feminists for Life.
I don't like the fact that she opposes gay marriage.
I don't necessarily believe that being the mayor of a small town and governor of Alaska for two years constitutes a whole lot of "experience".

I can't help but imagine, though, what was goin through McCain's head when he was searching for a viable VP candidate. I'm pretty sure he didn't choose Palin based solely on her merits.

McCain: "I need a woman. Preferably a Conservative woman. No, a Conservative, Black woman. No, I need a Conservative, Black/Hispanic woman with a slight physical disability. No...wait...maybe a Conservative, Black/Hispanic woman with a slight physical disability and an IQ of 140. Nah...scratch that. I need a Conservative, Black/Hispanic woman with a slight physical disability, an IQ of 140, 20 years of political experience, from a working class background, married and has at least one child with a genetic disorder, no skeletons in her closet and doesn't know what the word "pandering" means."

McCain's Advisors: ".......? Um...."

Update: Ahh...nevermind.
"Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor."

Found here.

Friday, August 29, 2008


With all the "help" (ahem) I have, you'd think I'd have this packin done, wouldn'tcha?

The Agony and the Irony

The Agony:Here it is...the end of summer...and we haven't been to Emo's or Lou's once.

The Irony: Despite all the "breaking the glass ceiling" hoohaa...all the women's rights bullshit...I guess the advertising world still thinks we're all suckers for somethin
  • pink
  • and/or sparkly. Good gawd.

    The Agony: We're headin out for a little vacation tomorrow. Oh, that's not the "agony" part. The agony part is that I haven't even started packing...I still need to spiff up the house so it won't be a mess when we get home...I still need to figure out where to put four litter boxes so our two cats won't crap in the bathtub...I still need to clean out the fridge...yea, procrastination...that's the agony part.

    The Irony: I still need to do all the above-mentioned crap...but here I sit.

    Tally ho! Onward and upward.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Thinking about suicide?

    Go green!

    Don't stick your head in the gas oven or breathe your car's exhaust. You'll be wasting precious petroleum products, not to mention harming the ozone.

    Don't hang yourself using that nylon rope. It's a petroleum product, too.

    Don't blow your brains out with that .357. Guns kill people. And besides, all that blood and other organic matter? That's a biohazard!

    Don't jump from the 18th floor of that high-rise. Remember? Bodily fluids are a biohazard and might harm the environment.

    Overdose? Oh, my...NO! You don't want to put anything in your precious body that might harm you, now do you?

    No, if you're considering suicide, you must go green. Ride your bike in the street...on Knoxville, no less...during afternoon rush imbecilic, khaki-wearin, sprout-suckin yuppie-fuck, you.

    With gas prices as high as they are now, I can certainly understand someone riding a bike to work. And I know you die-hard bike riders will screech and scream about the laws that protect your right to ride in the street. But, I'm sorry...those laws need to be changed. Bicycles have no business on busy city any time...let alone during rush hour.

    Those laws might protect your legal rights. But your legal rights won't do you a fuck's worth of good at your funeral, now will they?

    Monday, August 25, 2008

    36 years ago today...

    ...this beautiful, sweet, funny creature came into my life.

    Ok, she's not sweet all the time...she is, after all, her mother's daughter.
    But she is beautiful and funny all the time. Except when she first gets up in the morning. Like I said...she is her mother's daughter. heh

    I'm so proud of her...I can't even begin to tell ya. Oh, she's had her difficulties...she wasn't a whole lotta fun when she was a teenager. But then again, I'll take part of the blame for that. Hell, talk about kids raisin kids...I had no idea how to be a mother. But despite me, she's become a pretty great person. She's workin three jobs and just bought her very first brand-new car...all by herself. Most importantly though, she's always been a wonderful mother to Karsin. I guess she learned from her mama's mistakes.

    Happy Birthday, sweetie! I love you very, very much!

    Sunday, August 24, 2008


    Faaaabulous day!

    It started like this...

    Only about 80 degrees, sunny and one of those bright days. It was so gorgeous, we figured that it was definitely a convertible day. We decided to do a little Kickapoo.

    We stopped here...

    ...browsed a bit and I found this...

    It's funky and bizarre and I loved it on sight. It's a hand-carved peacock...I think...that's meant to be stuck in a potted plant...I think. Anywho, that's what I did with him...stuck him in my big herb pot.

    All that browsing made us hungry, so we stopped here...

    ...for a cold beer and a home-made tenderloin. Great little hole-in-the-wall joint. First time we've been there, but it won't be the last.

    Then we went furniture shoppin and came home with this...

    Yes, indeedy...a full-sized recliner will fit in a PT Cruiser convertible. We looked like the Clampetts, but we got 'er done.

    After unloadin the chair, rearrangin the living room and grabbin a shower, we retired to the deck with the camera and a glass of wine. Ok, Ziggy had iced coffee and *I* had wine. I caught the tail-end of a big "V" of geese that flew directly overhead....

    ...and I couldn't resist the bright red 'maters, ripening on the deck rail...

    When it started gettin dark, we came inside, Ziggy gave me a massage which, of course, led to...ah...nevermind. And then we had strawberry shortcake.

    I love Sundays.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    Went lookin for a steel...

    ...and found a steal.

    Over the last few years, I've discovered a new-found love of cooking. Now, I always sorta liked it. And even when I just sorta liked it, one of the things I demanded in the kitchen were (was?) sharp knives. I usually bought cheap knives...but I kept 'em sharp.

    We've been using some Taiwan-Bob, cheapie knife sharpener that we probably bought at the Dollar Store. It did the job...for a while. But I decided that we needed a steel, so I checked out the knife section at our local Bed Bath and Beyond the other day. I not only found a steel, but I snagged three Cuisinart knives...for about half price!

    I know they're probably not "chef-quality" can spend hundreds of dollars for really good knives. But I figure these'll be just fine for me.

    Lemme tell ya...this little serrated job can cut through a tough, whole-grain baguette like it was buttah. It does an equally good job slicin through those tender-skinned 'maters, too...

    ...which leads me right into my next train of thought.

    My summer "staples". Really good quality olive oil...fresh, homegrown tomatoes...fresh basil...and
  • McCormick Crushed Garlic
  • .

    I know, I know...I demand fresh tomatoes. I demand fresh basil. But I use jarred garlic? But, I'm tellin ya...this is the best stuff I've ever tried. It's waaaay easier than choppin garlic. I bet we go through a jar every two weeks, I use it that much. It mixes in everything. It makes great dips. I stir a spoonful into my sauces. It's fabulous in topping for bruschetta or in homemade salsa. Anywhere ya wanna use garlic. We just happen to loooove us some garlic, so when I say I use it a lot, I mean a lot.

    Which leads me right into my next train of thought...

    I swiped the recipe from
  • Elisson
  • , who swiped it from somewhere else, I think. I fixed it the other night, and it's fantastic as a light, summer supper. And easy...lemme tell ya...maybe a half-hour, start to finish. And ya only dirty up one pot and one bowl. Aaaaand, it's good for ya!

    Cook up a pound of whole wheat pasta and drain. I used linguine, but whatever's your favorite. While the pasta's cookin, take a big bowl and throw in a couple big spoonfuls of McCormick crushed garlic, 10 or 12 good cranks of fresh black pepper, a couple pinches of Kosher salt, 10-12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, maybe 1/3 cup good olive oil and two or three medium sized tomatoes, chopped. I used about a half pound of our home-grown grape tomatoes, halved.

    When the pasta's cooked, drain and throw it in the bowl. Mix everything up good, top with some freshly grated Parm and serve with some crusty bread. I used the above-mentioned whole-grain baguette.

    The warm pasta just melts all the flavors together. Makes ya feel like you're havin supper in Rome.

    Oh, wait...we have supper in Rome every night. heh

    Saturday, August 16, 2008

    Moon River

    How to change the linens on a king-sized bed... 25 easy steps.

    1. Shoo Cat #2 from dirty bedspread, remove and toss into washing machine. (The bedspread, I mean.)
    2. Remove dirty pillowcases (while Cat #1 and Cat #2 "help") and toss into laundry basket.
    3. Shoo Cat #1 from dirty top sheet.
    4. Remove dirty top sheet, roll into a ball (with Cat #2 still inside) and toss into laundry basket.
    5. Shoo Cat #2 from dirty fitted sheet, roll into a ball (with Cat #1 still inside) and toss into laundry basket.
    6. Place each corner of clean fitted sheet over each corner of king-sized mattress.
    7. Fish out large lump (Cat #1) from center of bed.
    8. Replace corner of clean fitted sheet.
    9. Shoo Cat #1 and Cat #2 off clean fitted sheet.
    10. Unfold clean flat sheet and spread out over clean fitted sheet.
    11. Remove Lump #1...ah...I mean Cat #1...from under clean flat sheet and smooth out.
    12. Chase Cat #2 from corner to corner to corner of king-sized bed.
    13. Throw pillow at Cat #2.
    14. Remove bedspread from washer and toss into dryer.
    15. Return to bedroom and pick up pillow.
    16. Shoo Cat #1 and Cat #2 off clean top sheet.
    17. Place clean pillowcases on pillows, again while Cat #1 and Cat #2 "help".
    18. Shoo Cat #1 and Cat #2 off bed.
    19. Remove bedspread from dryer and return to bedroom.
    20. Shoo Cat #2 off bed.
    18. Shoo Cat #1 off dresser.
    19. Spread out warm, clean bedspread over king-sized bed.
    20. Fish out Lump #2...damn!...I mean, Cat #2...from under warm, clean bedspread.
    21. Pull clean bedspread taut over fresh sheets and smooth with hands while Cat #1 chases said hands across bedspread.
    22. Shoo Cat #1 and Cat #2 off clean bed.
    23. Turn to flip off light switch.
    24. Turn back towards clean bed and notice two sets of yellow eyes, glowing in the dark in center of clean bed.
    25. Remove cold beer from fridge, open, drink.

    I don't know what the hell it is...neither cat sleeps with us. Neither cat spends an inordinate amount of time in our bedroom, other than to look out the window. Neither cat sleeps on our bed when we're not in it.

    But just let me walk into the bedroom and try to change the sheets, and they're both glued to that friggin bed.

    And speaking of clean sheets, picture this...
    You've showered til you're squeaky clean. You've applied your delicious, new body lotion to all your dry parts. You sliiiiiide into a clean, fresh bed, the as-yet unrumpled, soft cotton sheets feel like silk against your skin. Through the open window, a cool, cool breeze wafts in, carrying a lullaby of crickets and tree frogs. Aaahhhhhhhhhhh....

    I'm tellin ya...I bet it only took me 2 minutes to fall asleep last night.

    'Course, I was worn out...from changin the sheets.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2008

    Don't look now...but I'm green

    Don't get me wrong. I'm about as far from a tree hugger as one can be. Personally, I believe us humans are just a minor irritant in Mother Earth's ass crack...a bit of leftover toilet paper, nothing more. She's always renewing herself and she'll continue to do so despite what we do. Or don't do.

    That's not to say I don't believe we should keep our own little space on her neat and tidy. I mean, ya don't shit where ya eat, ya know?

    But I was just sittin here, it or much as I hate to admit the fact...I'm green.

    It's not because I've jumped on the trendy green wagon. It's not because I'm a child of the sixties...a flowerpowersavetheearthbacktonaturehippiedippiedon'tshavemyarmpits chick. It's not because it's the right thing to do.'s because...well, I suppose part of it is because I'm old. I'm old...and green. I'm a damn cheese, fer chrissake!

    But I digress.

    Lemme see if I can 'splain.

    Some of the "green" things that I do now can be directly blamed...uh...I mean my they lived and how they taught me to live... despite all my kickin and screamin at the time.

    I turn the light out when I'm leavin a room. I wish I had a quarter for every time my folks bitched at me about leavin lights on. I'd be a rich bitch.

    I like to grow my own veggies and herbs, though I'll admit, the veggies are pretty much Ziggy's job now. Growin up, we always had a huge garden and Mom canned, froze, pickled or otherwise preserved what we weren't able to eat up.

    I don't waste a lotta water...we had (and do again) our own well, water pump and septic tank. Runnin the water not only wasted it and filled up the septic tank needlessly, but it ran the electric bill up. We still pretty much stick to the ole If it's yellow, let it mellow (but only twice)...If it's brown, flush'er down. rule around here. I don't run the water constantly when doin dishes or brushin my teeth, either.

    I drive a car that gets 30 miles to the gallon. Even when gas was relatively inexpensive (as in under 50 cents a gallon), Dad always bought cars that were economical to operate. I've never been really into the big, cushy gas guzzlers, anyway. I want a car that gets me where I'm goin, in relative comfort, as cheaply as possible with as few bells and whistles as I can get by with.

    We try to do without the air conditioning as much as possible. We had fans when I was growin up, but air conditioning was pretty much unheard of where we lived. Now, we're lucky enough to have a shady lot, a great whole house fan and ceiling fans in every room. That's not to say I ever hesitate to turn the air on. When it's hot and humid, I just ain't a nice person.

    'Course, some of my "green" habits have come about because...well, because I'm a lazy bitch...and they benefit moi.

    Take, fr'instance, the tote bag. I use 'em when I go get groceries. Not because I'm tryin to save the planet. Because they're lots easier for me to carry. And because less plastic bags in the house means less times I hafta chase the damn cat down and pry his jaws open to get the bag out...or worse...pull bits of plastic outa his butt. I have a psycho cat. He eats plastic bags.

    I try to buy the least amount of pre-packaged food...and as much fresh...that I can. Not because I'm tryin to personally solve the world's garbage problem. Because I'm tryin to eat healthier. I'm tryin to cut waaaay down on preservatives and additives and sulfites and sulfates and sodium get the idea. Most of that stuff is just full of all kindsa crap.

    We've nearly switched all our household lights over to compact fluorescent bulbs. Not because it's better for the environment...can't wait to hear all the bitchin 20 years from now when they discover all the mercury in the landfills from 'em. Because they last waaaay longer and we...or I...don't hafta change 'em nearly as often.

    I love to recycle stuff. Oh, I don't mean plastic or glass or newspapers. I mean...well...stuff. I love to make things outa other things. Discarded or "found" things. Like furniture. We found an old armoire (sp?) out by the dumpster at our old apartment. It was missing a bottom drawer, but otherwise was in pretty good shape. We dragged it in, gave it a coat of bright red paint, added a couple of fake hot peppers to use as door handles and used it in our kitchen for extra storage. When we moved out here, we "recreated" it again with a coat of black paint, new door handles, a basket in place of the missing drawer and voila!...I use it for clothing storage.

    I dunno. It seems to me that most of this green-hype is nothing more than common sense. Unfortunately, common sense isn't trendy right now, is it?

    I look good in green...doncha think?

    I have my own, personal LOLCats

    "Whaaaat? Admit it, would, too...if ya could."

    "No photos! No photos!"

    "They went thataway!"

    Thursday, August 07, 2008

    Happy Birthday, Sparky!

    And Happy (belated) 1st Anniversary!

    He wanted to get married on his birthday last year. I might be wrong, but I suspect it was so he could remember it. heh Last year his birthday fell on a weekday, so we chose the weekend before.

    And I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

    I love you!

    Wednesday, August 06, 2008

    Goodbye, Elno

    We buried my mother in law today.

    Technically, she was my ex-mother in law, but she'd been my mother in law far longer than an ex...nearly 30 years in fact, and she was the only one I've ever really had, or ever will have, for that matter.

    As mothers in law go, she was about as good as one could ask for. She was always willing to help or offer advice if asked, but never...ever...stuck her nose in where it wasn't welcome.

    When Julie and I joined her family, she treated Julie as if she were her own grandchild. I imagine it was easy for her to do that...she and her husband had adopted two ex and, when he was 11, a baby girl. Though she wasn't a biological mother or grandmother to anyone, you'd never know it. The "Elno" came about when my then 3 year old Julie was unable to pronounce "Eleanor"...and the nickname stuck.

    She was quiet and, for the most part, uncomplaining...except when it was hot. Then she was like a bear with a sore ass. Ooooo, boy...we knew to just stay away if the temperature got above 85 or so. She had a dry, wry sense of humor, a quick smile and wasn't prone to gossip...something that can rarely be said of one when one lives in a small town.

    Gossip in a small town, is sorta like a hobby. But she had plenty of other hobbies to keep her occupied. She was a Yahtzee player extraordinaire. Pinochle and Solitaire, too. She was an excellent seamstress and cook and she looooved to shop...she could shop me under the table. She was a deacon in her church, a member of the Dorcas Society, Eastern Star, Rebekahs, the VFW and American Legion Auxiliaries. She'd owned and operated her own business and worked as a cook at one of the local schools.

    Elno was a quiet, unassuming woman who'd been married to her high school sweetheart for over 50 years. She kept the home fires burning while he was somewhere in the Phillipines during World War II. After he returned from the war, they weren't blessed with children of their own, so they adopted two. They loved them and nurtured them as if they were their own and provided them with everything they needed.

    Unfortunately, one of them chose to take full advantage of that kindness and love and repaid them with nothing but problems. She didn't even show up for the funeral. That's a story for another time, though.

    In her life, she suffered the outrageous hurts of that same child, buried parents, brothers, sisters in law and a husband. Through it all, her friends, her faith and an inner strength...a pragmatism about life...kept her going. She just...kept on...because that was the way she handled everything. She wasn't a crier and there was never any drama...even when things were rough.

    Even after my ex husband and I were divorced, she treated me with nothing but kindness and respect. She certainly could have chosen to cut me out of her life entirely. She could have chosen to cut Julie and Karsin out. She could have chosen to denigrate and revile me...she certainly had the right. But she didn't do any of those things because she just wasn't like that.

    Towards the end of her life, several illnesses rendered her unable to care for herself and she moved into a nursing home. Even there, she made the best of it...because that's the way she was. Though she would have liked to stay at home, she knew that she just wasn't able to do so and she accepted it...she just...kept on. She really wanted nothing more than to go be with her husband...89 years on this earth is a long time...she was ready and it was time. I was glad I was able to see her a couple times before she died. The last time, I told her I loved her...I don't think I'd ever done that before. I think she knew it, but I'd just never said the words before.

    I like to think she'd have liked her funeral. It was short and sweet and to the point. Pretty much like her. Knowing how she hated the heat, I'm pretty sure she was happy with her final resting place...on a bit of a hill, under a shady sycamore tree, next to her beloved husband.

    Monday, August 04, 2008

    Grannies gone wild

    My bestest bud, Jill, and I spent a three day weekend in historic...and HOT...
  • St. Charles, MO
  • . I don't mean hot in a good way, either. When we got there, it was 98 with a heat index of somewhere around 105.

    Ok, so grannies gone wild might be a bit of a stretch. But we did have a blast, even if a bit...ah...subdued...from our younger, more...ah...adventurous days. Hey, we really are grannies. And as such, of course I forgot my damn camera (fuckityfuckityfuck), so I'll provide a buncha links, instead.

    Ostensibly, the trip was planned so that I could deliver all the cute, "girly", back-to-school clothes I'd picked up for my granddaughter. Having done that, we spent the rest of the weekend shopping, eating, gambling, eating, shopping, talking, get the idea.

    We left after I got off work at noon on Friday. After a stop at my daughter's riverside digs and a brief visit, she suggested we try
  • R.T. Weilers
  • , a downtown St. Charles bar for supper. It's a nice, family-type bar and grill with a doggy theme. Appetizers are served in plastic doggy bowls, photos of dogs of every size and description line the get the whole "theme" idea. Of course, Karsin and her little pal, Riley, loved it. Jules, Jill and I all chose the rib-eye steak sammich...YUM!

    We stayed at the
  • St. Charles Inn
  • . It's clean, reasonably priced and really handy to the downtown area. I did have an interesting conversation with the young, heavily-accented Eastern Indian guy who checked us in. The conversation went something like this:

    Maddy: (that was his was short for something un-spellable and equally unpronouncable in Indian) "Chill-a-cot-ee? That's the name of a town? What is that?"

    Me: It's Chillicothe. I think it's an Indian word."

    Maddy: I am Indian and I have never heard of that."

    Me: "Uh...(I started to say "feather not dot", but figured he wouldn't get that, either)...I mean American Indian."

    After supper, Karsin went to spend the night with Riley, and the three of us decided to try our luck...or lack of the
  • Ameristar Casino
  • . It's a huuuuge, gorgeous casino. And that's all I have to say about that. heh

    Saturday, we spent the morning shopping downtown. We stopped for lunch on the patio at
  • Little Hills Winery
  • . I had a fabulous grilled salmon salad. It was a grilled hunk o' salmon, resting on a huge pile of fresh spinach with croutons, boiled eggs, red onion and topped with a yummy honey-mustard dressing. I figured after all the beer and other junk we had to eat, I oughta eat something reasonably healthy. heh It mighta been healthy, but it was also damn good. I'm addin that recipe to my collection.

    Saturday afternoon, Jules took us on a tour of the subdivision where she used to live,
  • New Town
  • . It's got to be one of the most unique subdivisions I've ever seen. We also stopped to tour...and drool over...a couple of model homes.

    Anybody got a spare half a mil to loan me? Didn't think so. Aw, who'm I kiddin?'s a gorgeous subdivision and the homes were beautiful. But it's a subdivision with postage-stamp sized lawns and nosy neighbors. Definitely not my idea of a great place to live.

    Now, take one of those homes and put it right on the spot where we live now, and that'd be pretty special.

    Saturday evening found Jill and I back at the casino. We tried to get into Pearl's Oyster Bar, but the line was far too long. So we made up for the healthy lunch by stuffin ourselves at the fabulous buffet and then tried to recoup our losses from the night before. Notice I said "tried". And that's all I'll say about that, too.

    After a leisurely breakfast at Denny's Sunday morning, we headed north, takin the "scenic" route home through Alton and the secondary roads. It took longer to get home, but the drive was nicer.

    Jill and I decided that this was somethin we needed to do at least once a year. We made a promise to each other to do just that.

    And I mean it.