Monday, April 23, 2012

Nielson Ratings


For years, as I sit and gripe about television offerings, I wondered aloud to myself and all who would listen, "How does one get to be a Nielson TV family? I want to let them, someone, anyone KNOW what I don't like and what I would like to see more of."

Last week, we gave up TV and cable for at least a one year commitment. Time to explore our horizons of free time not being tethered to a shiny black box. Reading. Games. Friends. Socializing. Gardening. Resting.

TODAY, about one week to the day, we received our heads-up blue and white Nielson ratings postcard, with orders to watch for the soon coming blue envelope.

Sheesh. Now my voice will NOT be heard and we will continue to have endless variations of reality shows, murder mysteries, police dramas, info-mercials, and hospital scenes ad nauseum. All the cheerful stuff.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chickpea Salad

Oh, I can feel it! Summer and fresh garden produce is coming. I had to make this cold salad to marinate for dinner tonight.

Chickpea Salad

1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion, diced
1 small zucchini, cut into bite size chunks
3 green onions, sliced, including greens
1 red pepper (minus 3 slices for the cook to nibble), diced
3 inner celery stalks, sliced
1 T. of fresh oregano, thinly sliced (I am pleased that my oregano survived the winter and is already close to
juice of 1 small lemon
4-5 T. olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Prepare all veggies and mix with beans. Add oregano, juice, oil, and salt and pepper. Mix well to coat all ingredients. Taste a bite to make sure you don't want anything else added (I KNOW I will add more produce from my garden when it is harvest time). Cover and chill.


John Smith

It was warm outside and Captain John Smith was looking a bit washed out...

Oh the conversations I have with myself.

I crack me up.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Stalker

He has blue eyes. Shaggy unkept hair. Gleaming teeth. Compelling mannerisms. Dedication to his stalking. Intensity.

I see him almost every day. I've grown used to his advances and mostly continue on my way. I sort of miss him when he isn't at his usual stalking section of the roads I travel. He has his favorites to lunge for, and I believe I am one of them.

He also has bunched muscles. Creeping claws. A banner tail.

My stalker is always on early, before 7 AM, morning duty. He used to have a partner in crime and they synchronized their stalking. But I haven't seen the buddy in a while. Occasionally, my stalker will take up a stalking post around the corner and heel new victims.

He's my furry working dog stalker. He loves my white Mazda. Is never bothered by the fact that my Mazda is a CAR and he is a dog. He has his work to do! And he is goooooood at it.

Best plan? Stay at the 25 mph speed limit, straight in line with the traffic lane, keep going. He has it all figured out to best make

the front approach
the swing around the driver side swoop
the dart in for the kill

and finally

the successful fly behind the car and line up for the next stalk-ee.

Maybe one day I'll find out his name.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Phone

Bubba, aka Hayden, was out helping papa dig up my front yard. (Side note: yes, it was a mess, and yes, it was worth it to have the sprinkler lines fixed). I was at school so I missed the fun. But Bubba was definitely helping papa dig dirt.

(Phone - never leave home or pants without it.)

Suddenly, Hayden stopped. "Oh, just a minute, I got a phone call."

He then proceeded to pull an old cell phone out of his back pocket and talk on the phone.

"Mmm-hmmm. Yes. Ok. Talk to you later. Good-bye." And he put the phone away in his pocket and went right back to papa, ready to work.

"Did you get a phone call?" asked papa (secretly dying of laughter).

"Yes," said Hayden.

"Who was it?" asked papa.

"Daddy," said Hayden.

We were laughing again as we relived the Hayden on his phone moments (he has repeated this several times) and Kevin observed that we never did this when we grew up.

Because our phones were attached to the wall! We didn't walk around and stay connected every minute of every day. Those phones certainly didn't fit in our back pockets. They could be used as weapons, as heavy as they were. We had to sit on a chair or floor or something close enough where the phone cord would reach. Do kids even know what a phone cord is today? I mean besides a phone cord charger for the cell phones? When we had toy phones to play with, that's what they were. Plastic phones with tinny sounding ringing bells to make noise as the little round circle with holes was spun to the specific numbers we wanted to dial. Boy does that sound antique. And those cords were even shorter than the 'attached to the wall' phone cords.

What did we do back then? I mean besides actually walk to our friends' house or run around outside until it was dark or climb trees or dig holes or have bike races or generally spend all of our time using our imagination and energy to create our pretend worlds.

I suppose kids are still using their imagination, just in a slightly different way. I know Hayden does. And in this instance, at least he was outside playing, I mean digging, in the dirt before he had his phone call.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dick and Jane are So Cool

I'm hip and I know it. I carry around my little Dick and Jane (and Sally and Puff and Spot) tote bag. Lovin' the retro look. Brings back memories of when I learned to read way back in the dark ages with Dick and Jane.

See Dick run. Run, Dick, run.

I carry my Dick and Jane bag all the time, especially on Saturdays when I go shopping. For within the Dick and Jane bag are my treasures of money saving - coupons and sale ads. Also my lists and any book I happen to be reading.

A while back, I was proudly, and cutely, toting my Dick and Jane bag.

"Oh, I love your bag!" said a woman behind me in the coffee line. "Where did you get it?"

Smile. Gush. I'm so with it and hip (hint: if you use hip as a word, then it signifies that in fact, you are not hip, but belong totally to an older generation).

"Oh, I found it at Inklings," I quip, pleased to attract this attention. Also happy that I resonate with this younger crowd, who must think I am perfectly accessorized.

"I have to get one," she said, "My MOTHER will love it!"

Shrink, wrinkle, slump. Hit by the my mother loves Dick and Jane...not the in crowd, the cool crowd, but my mother...

Still, I carry my Dick and Jane bag, no matter how uncool and out of hip I look. Because I love it. And it does bring good memories of elementary years to mind.

Until today. Again.

I was talking to a young man who I've known from church. Still toting Dick and Jane, prominently displayed in the seat portion of the shopping basket. Easy access for procuring my coupons.

"Hey," he says, "where did you get that bag?" He smiled very nicely and hinted that he liked the bag. I was hip!

"Oh, they used to have them at Inklings," I said proudly, pointing and showing off my era icon.

"I was just there yesterday," he said. "I need to get one for my mom. She loves Dick and Jane."

And so on and so on. Again with the my mother.

Blah, blah, "And she has a first and second edition"...blah blah..."had to look for a long time"...blah blah blah.

I am THE MOTHER who carries a Dick and Jane bag. The old mother, apparently. Not hip.

P.S. No disrespect intended towards those youngsters who love my bag - for their mother's sake. I'm glad they like my choice and I remind them of their mother. It does tend to make one feel a bit old though...

P.P.S. Anyone know where I can find a first and second edition of Dick and Jane?

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I'm trying to establish cool traditions that I keep with my grands (grandbabies). So far I have something for Christmas (gingerbread houses) and fall harvest (pumpkin patch trip). Two and counting...

Ta-da! Today we started the next tradition. "I need something, Nana," says Haydster.

Easter egg dyeing and perhaps chalk art on the patio are the new craze at Nana's. Bubba had a blast.

"Oh, I need more," he says. Oops, only a few less than 18 eggs to dye. Next time, more eggs. And more crayons because, "Oh, I didn't color that one" and "I need a truck, Nana." Comments from the peanut gallery.

And little Chevy. She was just havin' some peaches, chillin' with mom.

Next year, baby, next year.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Never Leave Your Husband Alone with Tools

Ok, maybe it's just MY husband.

Seriously. I think one day I am going to find him missing an arm or leg or not home because he was taken to the hospital. Or worse.

Today he is safely painting the ceiling. Minor crashes and bangs coming from the bedroom. But I am home to watch him.

From a previous 'find out everything that's wrong with our house' escapade, he discovered what happens when you leave a metal tape measure on an outlet...

Now, many people ask him for help on home fix-up projects. Especially his daughter. Maybe even his son, one day, when they buy a home.

Just a few tips. Do not leave him alone. Do not leave electricity on. Take away metal tape measures. Clear the floor for tripping disasters. Do not let him have wire clippers.

Everything else should be just fine.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Well, well, well.

We were egged. Sometime last night. Apparently.

I guess that means, "Happy Easter!"

My guys are not amused. Good aim though. Straight onto the windshield of the Caballero. Excellent follow through, as evidenced by the splatter effect. Egg shells on the lawn, the driveway, the back of the truck. YOLK everywhere. Funny, I thought there was more egg white inside the egg, not yolk. But what is showing most is yellow. All the way up the my window garden. NOT on the house. Amazing. I mean, egg shells on the roof (???), but I can't find any egg guts on the bricks or windows.

Reported. Check.
Photo documented. Check.
Washed off? Next in line. (Please, mom, can you? If that dries on there...too late buddy. But I will go wash it off as soon as the pumpkin bread comes out of the oven.)

I think I will blame the science departments of local high schools. Since they usually have some sort of experiment teaching students how to cradle an egg and drop it from great heights in order to see how to:

a) package a fragile item and not allow smashing said egg,

and b) how to accurately judge distance and aim for the best effect.

Thereby, also the opposite is true = how to NOT be careful and avoid breakage and how to achieve the maximum splatter effect - when combining aim plus velocity of projectile - upon landing of the eggs on chosen target.

Yay! You go, science programs!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rainbow Rice

There's a surprise waiting for kindergarten when spring break is over. Rainbow rice!

The cool design only lasts about 2.7 milliseconds until the hands swirl the colors. But then rainbow rice is lots-o-fun to play with from then on.

Here's what I did:

1. Purchase a 20-25# bag of white rice.

2. Divide out 2 c. each of rice into 6 zip bags.

3. Working in shifts, I did two colors a night and let them dry until the next evening, six colors in all.

4. Ingredients and equipment: liquid food colors, rubbing alcohol, large bowl, spatula, cookie sheets covered with paper towels

~ Pour about 4-5 T. alcohol into the bowl. Add many drops of chosen color (one color at a time).
~ Dump one bag of rice in the mix and stir well, coating all the rice with the dye.
~ Spread on the paper toweled cookie sheet and let dry overnight.

REPEAT for each rainbow color ~ purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red

5. Dump remainder of white rice in sensory tub. Carefully pour each bag of colored rice into a rainbow shape.

6. Enjoy!

Steer Manure

Apparently, there is a new way to apply steer manure. My honey must have read up on the newest trends.

Can't wait to plant my gardens!

PS - A funny from my little guy, as I was telling him we got cow poop for the garden while we were out shopping. "Oh, dog poop on the grass," he said, pointing.

Haha. It was the turd-lets from having our lawn aereated. Plugs of mud and grass roots. Have no idea how to spell that word. But Hayden got the connection.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Total: 62 cards.
Completed: Yesterday.
Used already: 7 (sympathy, anniversary, get well, thinking of you)

About 7-8 hour marathon with my college roommate, and I am already burning through the results! Better plan the next card-a-thon very soon.