Sunday, December 30, 2012

What's for dinner


That is because we are on a strict eating plan as we are both fat, fat the sewer rats. I know this because today I finally found an interview outfit. And I had to go to the official fat lady store. It was hell, although I must say the store was not quite as bad as I expected. Half the clothing was definitely trashy  but there were some decent things. And I bought a belly squisher so I don't look like Honey Boo Boo's cousin. Yes, I am vain. And I am in the smallest size in the fat lady store. The weird thing all the sales people were larger sized ladies. I wonder how they do that as that would be against the law to not hire thin people but then I remembered most people in retail get a discount. Thin people cannot really take advantage of that perk.

I tell ya if you need a kick in the butt to change your physical form, get undressed in the fat lady store. Oh yeah, it was not pretty.

And we had to drive all the way out to Partridge Creek mall, which is an outdoor mall. WTF, it is fine in nice weather but this time of year not so much. And dogs are welcome so every few feet is some idjit telling some other cretins what kind of dog this is-right in the middle of the walkway. Come on, move it to the side people.

Sammy dog is mad at Big Daddy. The snow removal people came and cleaned up again last night so when we put Sammy out this morning he had no poop spot. He was quite comical though, on his second trip out he went right to the spot-looked at Big Daddy over his shoulder-and pooped on the sidewalk. Yep, we gotta get this fixed with Mr. Snow Guy, leave the poop spot alone.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Those were the days my friends

Christmas decorations not on sale.

Well we painted some areas with the test paint and I think it is fine. I had them match the trim paint to the paper flower and then go 3 shades lighter for the ceiling and walls.  There is some prep work left to finish and then we can begin painting. Big Daddy had to get some new light bulbs so I could see the paint and ceiling with a critical eye. First he went to Ace Hardware and was told that he was a cretin and moron from hell for wanting a light bulb over 40 watts, and he was not green to boot. So he went to Ex Way Electric and learned that the manufacture of 100 watt are no longer allowed. WTF. Well they still had some so we can now see to paint and don't have to worry about mercury from broken light bulbs. When the day comes that I have to pay more for a light bulb than a pair of underpanties, well I am gonna be one cranky bitch. Hell, I remember when the bulbs were free, you took the burned out bulbs back to Detroit Edison (they had little stores) and they gave you new ones for free. Then you went next door and got a case of Faygo pop, any assortment you wanted. Those were the days.

Then we found out that China has perfected the Great Fire Wall and most VPNs are no longer operative. The is one that can currently be used, it is the same type as most corporate VPNs and they are terribly expensive. Also some personal VPNs (isn't that an odd phrase) can be used at times. I am so glad we are gone from there, the also banned the New York Times and I can't go without my crossword. It sounds like they are also going to ban Amazon and iTunes, almost as if suddenly they are afraid of the outside world. Big Daddy dropped his VPN and will deal with whatever when he has to go back.

Well, tomorrow is hairdo day and I think we are back on track and can go back to every 4 weeks as it seems like I am living at the hairdresser lately.

17 degrees F this morning and another inch of snow today. Will have to wear my fur tomorrow so I don't freeze. Wow, sounds like Big Daddy got the snow blower working, that thing has sat in the garage for over 3 years. Yowza. And man does it smell horrible.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Let it Snow

Well you can tell we haven't seen snow in a while, we are the only ones excited. While we wait for the snow removal guy Big Daddy forgot to make a poop and pee area and Sammy Dog is not amused.

Sammy Dog went to the vet yesterday for his meet and greet and to find out if his cough is a problem, he has been coughing more in the colder weather. He seems to be okay and we know what to look for if things change. And he got to have fun at the vet's office, an older couple came in with their pup and just our luck it was a dead ringer for the black dog across the street. The hated black dog. The sight of the black dog sends Sammy into a state of enragement*, so of course exactly the same thing happened at the vet's causing the black dog doppelganger to cower and pee on the floor. This of course upset the old people (the guy was using a walker) as I am certain they made sure that their dog was peed prior to the visit.

Speaking of dogs, once again Grosse Pointers have proven themselves to be the cheapest people on the planet. There were 2 Golden Retrievers out for a walk and their owner had wrapped them in bath towels held on with Bungee cords. WTF.

*I invented a new word.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's a Merry Christmas

This is the spot on our afternoon walk where we discovered both of our phones were on the fritz. Don't know what was wrong with Big Daddy's Blackberry but mine was still recovering from BD playing with it the day before. He discovered an app on my phone that will talk you to your destination. As it was in my purse and muffled it took me awhile to figure out where the noise was coming from.

Sammy dog was ecstatic as there were others dogs out walking and he barked his head off all the way. The only time he barks like that is when he is outside, it is so funny. And he is a big wuss with very few teeth so I don't understand why he keeps painting the devil on the sidewalk.

Our feast was wonderful-stuffed mushrooms, meatballs, brie encased in dough, cheese and olives and vegetables. Oh and my homemade Parmesan crackers, they did not turn out so well. We never got to A Christmas Carol so that is for today. And the strata was a disappointment ,it was okay but the middle was too gooey, need a new recipe because the concept is great.

Well today is the long awaited ham and fancy sweet potatoes. It snowed again, just enough to look like snow on the ground.

So Merry Christmas to all and peace be with you.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve and we are still eating

Last night's duck was a wonder of flavors, first was a layer of white bean cassoulet topped by seared and roasted duck breast finished with sausage and escarole. Delish. Oh yea, there were croutons made with the duck fat. Oh yea, there is not much better than duck fat for cooking up some flavor.

Today we got the wrapping paper and ribbons and had our traditional Christmas Eve lunch, this year at The Hill. It was wonderful, they make their own potato chips and serve them with blue cheese dressing.  Big Daddy and I split the premier burger made with a special grind and he also had crab bisque. He did comment on the way to park the car that we had not purchased a Christmas decoration from the League shop-another old tradition, I told him we will hit the after Christmas sale.

I made him change his shirt before going out so I could surprise him with his bohemian garnet cuff links and he loved them.

Well we are home and "A Christmas Carol" is ready to roll on the VCR and just a few treats left to make for a party snack dinner. First a walk and then the final kitchen work. I will let you know tomorrow how it all turns out.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

All food all the time

Big Daddy is hunting for Brioche for the strata recipe, this is not easy to find. Thank goodness he got the ham yesterday, he forgot to order one and he said it was almost hand to hand combat to get the few remaining hams. Our salmon was okay last night, just okay. Tonight is duck breast of some sort.

Punkin Head called and his bread was not pretty, but for a first time cooking in the clay container it sounded not bad. They are going to be late leaving for Vermont-working today and still have to pack- and I will worry, worry, worry. They have a room in Buffalo reserved and I will not rest until I hear all is well. At least they breaking the trip up and not driving through the night.

I am working on my New Year's Resolutions, I never did them before so I am trying something new.

And tomorrow I must buy wrapping paper and gifts bags. So til tomorrow . . .

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Well what to my wondering ears should appear

But a recruiter on the phone the Friday before Christmas week, actually late in the afternoon of the last working day before Christmas break. This reminds me of Kramer vs Kramer except they are calling me. This has to be a desperate recruiter or I am perfect for this job. He loved my resume and the hiring dude is in til noon tomorrow, on a holiday weekend. And the recruiter dude is in most of next week. We will see. And these people are actually in the pay range I would like.

Punkin Head also got an interview this week. Maybe it is Santa giving early gifts.

Quite a few of our public schools were closed Thursday and Friday as the Mayan bullshit caused some threats to safety. I cannot comment on this other than to say this is probably the same group of people that damaged the buses last year and are now behind the Mayan violence.

We have perked up a bit here, there was a modest snowfall-just enough to say there is snow-and I am enjoying watching Sammy decide if he likes it or not. Big Daddy got into the spirit and we made plans for holiday food. He is off to get a Dearborn ham and I am waiting for him to call and say there are no hams. Today we are having salmon, Sunday is duck, Monday is hor d'oeuvres and Christmas day will be the ham. Oh and strata for breakfast.

When BD was going through his old menu folders he found the cheese straw recipe and the last menu from Antoine's we had autographed. We collect menu's from restaurants we love and have them signed by the staff. My favorite is from Chef Morimoto in Philly.

Well I must get organized for the holiday but I will report back on our food and merry-making.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's not beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Okay it is starting to get on my nerves about no Christmas here at the old homestead. Well, we do have the wreath on the front porch but I am not gonna sit outside and look at the decoration.

The wallpaper is not in so we can't get the paint matched yet. Project on hold.

It is raining cats and dogs. Not really is raining copious amounts of water. We were supposed to get snow, but no we are getting rain. So it will be soggy and damp tonight. Rain is boring

We need to go get wrapping paper as we did not get a gift of present wrapping necessities this year. I forgot we used to get gifts from Big Daddy's suppliers in the good old days. If we wait (which I know BD is going to think is a good idea) all the stuff will be gone the day after Christmas and we need to wrap for the kids as they are coming after Christmas to visit with us. They are going to Vermont for Christmas with The Fiancee's family.

We have not spent Christmas here for years and years. We always went away for Christmas. In China we were certainly away and BD took some vacation days to make it seem like a holiday. We usually went to New Orleans, though once after Hurricane Katrina we went to Montreal. I have never been so cold as we were in Montreal, mostly because I did not dress properly for freezing your ass off temperatures. I wore a full length beaver coat and gloves and boots and bought a fur hat and still felt like a popsicle.  And we walked everywhere in the snow and Montreal does not shovel sidewalks and walkways.

We need a plan to get through this Christmas and start fresh in the new year, just dust this past year off our shoes and carry on.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I am not nosy

We watched the Iron Lady last night and it was one of the oddest movies I have seen in a long time. Not my cup of tea and made Margaret Thatcher look like a loon or an over the top dictator. But I must say Meryl Streep never gave it up, one time I barely glimpsed Meryl and that is because I was really looking for it. Excellent acting, poor script.

I think my biggest audience is a travel sports team as now the Philippines are a major stat for me. Or the Survivor crew really likes me. They are shooting the next show there too.

Sales of guns have surged since the massacre in Connecticut. There is a bill going to the Governor here in Michigan to allow guns on some property including schools by CCW holders. The kicker is it outlaws open carry on school property which is now allowed. Who knew. I am thinking of buying one myself, while I can. Of course if I don't get it done-which I won't-before the Mayan end of the world it could be a moot point. NOTE: The Gov did not sign the bill so we will wait and see what shows up next.

On a serious note my oldest, dearest friend, Miss Florida has recommended 2 books by Kate Morton who also wrote Riverton House. The Forgotten Garden  and The Distant Hours. Just nice romantic mystery stories. But not total fluff and nonsense. Punkin Head recommended Fargo and Magnolias as excellent Steve Buscemi vehicles.

I still have not finished the Widow of the South. Damn.

And to address my non-nosiness the Slavs are at it again. Sammy Dog asked out and I was taken aback to see a huge diesel truck parked at the curb and blocking my driveway. Now why would this truck be blocking my driveway? It was out there forever with no activity and I am sure I missed the loading or unloading of the cargo. And just what cargo do I suspect was delivered, hmm, maybe more Slavs.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sometimes ya gotta punt

I am only dealing with what I can control. I cannot control the Detroit Lions as Mr. Ford is not now and has never been an owner interested in winning football games. Losing to Arizona this season is as ridiculous as Sammy Dog thinking he and Bo  are going to have a doggie sleepover. WTF is wrong with this organization that we cannot get a semi-decent team? Did Bobby Layne really put a hex on them? The curse of QB?

The problem of which trashy TV show to watch solved itself. I watched Survivor last night and The Wedding this morning. I love this Comcast on-line shit. Survivor cracked me up, people's true personalities come out when the going gets tough and the boys turned out to be petty assholes and the female villain of the season turned out to be the most normal of the bunch. Denise won and more power to her, she did survive the bullshit.

The Bachelorette Wedding was trashy to the hilt with a few cute moments. Too few to make it worth watching. Trashy,YMMV, Maid of Honor looked liked a sales brochure for a tattoo parlor, Groom did not shave. Cute, Groom had a charm bracelet of their romance delivered while the bride was getting ready.

I did watch one other show on the computer that I am really liking, Nashville-that usually means it will be canceled as everything I like early on is usually canceled.

I had to send an email to my Czech friend about Big Daddy's gift, he sent one back telling me to go and get it from the Post Office. Think the Czechs have a different way of getting mail than we do. Well lo and beheld Oscar showed up on my porch yesterday with the present. I told him about Ilena being scared of Sammy and he cracked up. Oscar is always on my porch, we have door to door mail delivery here, I wonder how the Czech would like that.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Embarrassing secrets

I am addicted to trashy television. There are so few interesting shows anymore and not as many episodes as in the past. Other than some of the cooking shows and a handful of greats it is slim pickin' in the world of television. Honey Boo Boo aside,  there just isn't a lot to pick from. Ice loves Coco was fine at first but not much substance. And now I have a dilemma. Two of my trashy shows are having a face-off.

On Sunday evening The Bachelorette Wedding, showing those crazy in love kids who are getting married in a television special-with special events like the bridal gown fittings and parties that lead up to the nuptials. Opposite is the finale for Survivor Philippines with Lisa Welchel from The Facts Of Life and Michael Skupin the idjit that fell into the fire a few seasons ago in the final 3. I am at a loss on what to do.

Of all the horseshit on television the piece of garbage shows I watch are having a special on the same fucking night, not even close to the night they regularly air. I guess I should just be thankful that Barbara Walters is not having a special the same ass night. And that Nucky Thompson is hunkered down on the Boardwalk waiting for a sign by the HBO gods that there is another season.

The only decent new show, new to me-not the world, that I have found is The Big Bang Theory. Watched it by accident and laughed my ass off. Not as good as Modern Family but better than most of the others.

What is anyone else out there watching? Esby likes Breaking Bad and I am looking into that one next.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The decorating commences

Well using my old negotiating techniques I led with the highest priced paper and when Big Daddy was getting used to it I showed him my other choice. Much more palatable to him and I think we have a winner. I did forget to check on the rug and that must be done tonight before we place the order. The paper is 3 dimensional and should be just enough change to make me happy.

I was searching for a jewelry site yesterday and found one with a very interesting article on the Jeffrey MacDonald murders from back in the 70's. The blog is Wendy Brandes Jewelry Blog and the article is by Gene Weingarten for the Washington Post. I had forgotten about this case and MacDonald is still fighting this in the courts. A library visit is necessary for the original book, Fatal Vision written by McGinnis who is also writing The Rogue about Sarah Palin. I also need the Widow of the South one more time to finally finish it. There is a second book about New Orleans the finishes the story, that one I will have to look up.

By the way Wendy does nice jewelry too. I saw a picture of a custom wedding band she did and it is gorgeous and unique to the owners requests.

I have the Christmas shopping almost finished if Punkin Head would give me his list, if not it is money and I hate to do that. Now I am just waiting to see if the postal service gets it all delivered. One is coming from the Czech Republic so that is the dicey one I think. It is Big Daddy's present so I am hopeful Santa is helping it along. Ho Ho Ho.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fat Fat the Sewer Rat

I don't know where I first heard that but it has stuck with me forever. I learned how to take the photo where you can't really see my face. I think that it is great to learn something new, but as I wear the same outfit or variations of it, this knowledge is not really bankable.

That rug is in the next batch to go to Hagopian for cleaning.

This necklace is Artini from China, from what I can find on the Internet the founder is in a Psychiatric hospital and the brand has disappeared. This was the Christmas ornament from 2009 when I first arrived in Shanghai. Artini was costume jewelry of fairly good quality.

I also learned how to take pictures in the mirror. Woo hoo.

Remember the idiot arrested for trying to hire a hit man to kill the hit man he is alleged to have hired to kill his wife? Well he was sentenced to 6-20 years for that little felony. Still waiting for him to be charged in his wife's death.

The Right To Work law the legislature passed last Thursday becoming quite the controversy. Some schools had to shut down today as the teachers are in Lansing protesting. I don't think much will change in the near future with the current union jobs, unless something crazy happens. The culture is too ingrained in some areas. The Gov is going to sign it today and we will see how this shakes out.

Now I have to go and finish the wallpaper fights with Big Daddy.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Blah, blah, blah

December view of the lake. The weather is still quite mild here.

Mr. Slav is very proud of his Christmas lights, he told Big Daddy it is his first lighting decor ever. How odd as this is not his home he gussied up, maybe Mrs. Slav hates lights on he can't wow it up at home. I have to get out and take some Christmas pictures soon.

I had my hair done this morning and we are getting very close to normal. That is if normal is a trashy blond with a tendency to show too much cleavage. It is hard to find fat clothes that cover the boobage.

I walked into the Benjamin Moore store and had my wallpaper in 15 minutes. I have saved the image and specs online for Big Daddy and we will see how this progresses. BD groused that he only liked Shelby Paint and Wallpaper and guess what? They own this store too. The dude in charge said if you can hang paper this particular paper will be no problem. And he can custom make a coordinating paint. After we get the paper. Which is at least a week to order. And wallpaper suppliers shut down like auto suppliers over Christmas holidays. Order soon or wait until January. Sometimes when I get ideas like this it is almost as if I am physic and it was just meant to be.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

I am untrainable

Try as I might I cannot flush the toilet properly. I am giving up the quest for proper toilet training and am planning to hire a flushing person for those times it is necessary to clear the hole, so to speak.

The Slavs have meticulously decorated their shrubbery. They still have their summer planters, with plants, on display along with the Christmas lights and baubles.

The newspaper guy has the tackiest stuff up ever, I will have to take pictures of this and the new people, Dead Man Walking's clan has put an Easter wreath on their front door. I knew they were Mormon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Much too busy

Sorry I have neglected writing this week but I have been swamped with so many things requiring my attention. The largest issue in my life is the toilet. Yes once again the toilet and I are at odds. It makes this weird noise-like a loud surge or rush that lasts about 6 seconds. As I paid to have the entire toilet rebuilt just a couple years ago I found this quite maddening. Big Daddy said I was ripped off. So he spent the majority of Saturday repairing the toilet. Saturday night it still made the noise, but not as often. So he spent the majority of Sunday re-repairing the toilet. Now when you flush bits of paper float back up. As this is our regular toilet paper and not some holiday happy toilet paper I am thinking it is the toilet fucking with me once again. And the toilet is in cahoots with BD as he has decided I need toilet flushing lessons again. I don't know which is worse, a woman who cannot properly flush her toilet and must be constantly retrained-or-a rogue toilet that is out to get me.

Yesterday there was a huge thud on the roof. I was in the family room when it thudded and everything here looks okay from the inside. BD can't get up there to check it out until this weekend as it is dark when he gets home from work.

The delays in the plaster repair have a bright side, I have decided to paper the dining room. I am thinking a light bronze.

I am back into a reading mode so I must go and read and get on Amazon to order more books.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

It was bound to happen

We had a relief mail person yesterday. Ilena. I know this because we had a long conversation. This was because she was afraid of the Sammy dog. He has this habit of running and chasing as if he is the kin of junkyard dogs. I think he pretends his former owner was bad, bad Leroy Brown. He barks as if his life depends on taking over the block.

This is only when he is outside and someone approaches the property or the black dog and old lady are wandering about. When the cop banged on the door and woke me up he never raised his head or moved. When he asks out it is the softest bark ever.

I told her he was fine, he only has 4 or 5 teeth. He wants you to rub his belly. She was not buying this and stayed far away from the beast. Then the little asshole growled at her. For all that is holy this dog is no threat. Why he would growl at her I don't know he and Oscar get along great. Oscar is the regular mail man, I know this because Ilena told me his name.

She also told me I should be very careful letting Sammy out because of the huge hawk population in the Pointes. I mean really if someone is going to see hawks eating and grabbing up small animals and flying off with them, who better than the mail person who walks the routes everyday? Was she being kind or getting back at The Terror?

I remember watching that eagle tear up that squirrel in the front yard, it was not pretty. And that bird was huge in comparison to the hawks I see around here. I wonder what the ratio of bird to prey weight factor is. I am not a math person but there has to be a general spec on this.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cleaning up my thoughts

This is Big Daddy's favorite clock in the world, it is at his mom's house. It is very old and has a lot of wooden gears and mechanisms. It has been in the family forever. It was in the original farmhouse and he thinks his great grandfather acquired it but he does not know the story. BD remembers as a boy there were about 15 clocks and that every day he would help his grandpa wind them up.

Goodness I just looked at that title and cracked up. I meant to say finishing up with any stray thoughts, but I will leave the title because it made me laugh.

These are just a few of the antique books, I think this might explain Punkin Head's interest in Library Science. I still have a few books here he borrowed and they are still in my little book case.

Watched Liz&Dick on a repeat showing Monday night. I went to bed halfway through the movie. I feel sorry for "Lilo" as they call her. Who the hell thinks they can portray Elizabeth Taylor so soon after her death. Especially if you have no bosom.

So I have run out of things to say today. Except Pearl left a comment yesterday about DVD's at pawn shops. I asked Big Daddy if he thought that was true and he said it could be, they are worth a lot more here than in China. I may have to check out our local pawn shop which I believe is on the TV as a smarmy show. I went into the local pawn shop in China, it was not far from my apartment. They had very small items  very carefully displayed, kinda like a tacky Saks if you can picture it. The prices were quite high but I thought that could reflect not seeing gold and diamonds in China very often. I never asked to see anything as I had no interest in purchasing so I don't know what they would have taken versus the asking price. Thanks Pearl, a new adventure The Pawn Shop.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Entertainment Reviews

Some recent movies, books and television shows demand my reviews. That is sad as I am not known as a great reviewer. More of a voracious consumer of these items. The tackier the better it seems.

The Girl, HBO movie with a bunch of nobody actors. Sienna Miller is the star and I have barely heard of her. She is playing Tippi Hedren in 2 Alfred Hitchcock movies,  The Birds and Marnie. The whole movie was creepy and she was no Tippi Hedren. And then there is the ick factor that once again someone waited for the other person to die to tell their story. And she always looked like her hair was fake and the big thing in the movie was natural blonds for Hitchcocks's obsession. Bad Hair was the star.

Treme season finale, it is getting better and worse. The next season is the last so we will see how it rises to the occasion or ends up in the trash bins of hell. LaDonna who owns Gigi's deserves her own damn show. But sometimes Gigi seems to have nasty nails like she forgot her manicure appointment. I was there after the storm and manicures were important.

Survivor Philippines is the best reality show I have seen in years. Lisa Welchel from the Facts of Life is on and so far very few people recognize her. This season there are actually some players and it is fun watching. This show improved about 1000 percent. It does make me wonder though why some people have dirty fingernails and some don't. I mean you can go down to the sand and surf and scrub your hands and feet so what is the problem with the grubby people?

The Price Of Politics by Bob Woodward, God knows I tried to slog through this book. I have liked Bob in the past and this one just killed me. It was like reading the paper and reading the book and reading the paper and reading the book. Someone stop this merry-go-round. Quit halfway.

Mad River by John Sandford, a Virgil Flowers novel that was phoned in. I hate that. And I usually love John and Virgil.

Boardwalk Empire, the last show is the best ever. On the edge of my seat. Why in the world would I root for a gangster and sniper? Because they are the nicest of the whole cast. And I loved it when Nucky's hair looked greasy when he was on the run.

Netflix, Country Strong with Gywneth, this was the worst movie in recent times.

666 Park Avenue, I am sorry this has not been renewed because I love a little paranormal but this chick needs a toner on that hair now. Yellow hair is not good even if you are scared out of your skin. But I did love at the end when she got out of the hospital and went home and tried to open something she had really nasty nails. You just can't get a decent manicure in the hospital if you are nobody.

Next up reading is Low Pressure by Sandra Brown, still have not seen Liz&Dick on Lifetime and I have a list for Amazon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Once upon a time

The bitter end. The remains of the stump.

There once was a tree in front of the farm house, the tree was 75 feet tall, more than 20 years before it fell down. The measurement was calculated by the angle of the sun versus the length of the shadow, Big Daddy says it was trig thing that he used. This was confirmed by the cousin who climbed as high as he could with a rope in hand.  BD says the circumference of the trunk was 9 feet. Actually there were 2 trees but the first one died by a lightening strike. The second had the same fate, lightening struck again. Anyhoo there was a huge stump left and my MIL always talked about getting rid of it but she never did anything about it.

Then one day this summer there was a terrible storm and lightening struck again, this time at the old farmhouse barns.

The barns were used for cows, originally a dairy farm and then pigs were added. The barns were quite sturdy with the floors laid like bowling alleys-maple floors laid 2inches up for strenght. All of the beams were held together with wooden pegs. The foundation was boulders and the silo was probably limestone slabs.

The two big barns were ignited by the lightening and burned down. It is amazing nothing else burned. An ember from this fire flew to the stump in front of BD's  family home, 300 yards away approx. and burned out the old pine stump. The fire department said the smoke was so thick they could hardly check the property. Thank goodness MIL was at the lake and did not have to evacuate and witness this.

The original family home, above, and the small tutor's house next door were unscathed. There is a large structure behind the old house that was the wood shed, it is original wood and in my mind scary old and dry wood and it survived. Amazing. The family no longer owns the original house above, nor the tutor's house or the barns so I was kind of trespassing to get the pictures.

BD saved all the pictures he could from the video fiasco and I hope he enjoyed seeing the pics. None of the family members wanted to see the devastation so I went with my wacko BIL. My MIL suggested we take the shortcut thru the bush but I told her I was a pavement kind of gal. And of course I had open toe heels and on the way back I got sand in my shoes. WTF. That is me though, I also moved households in heels-I am not a hiking shoe kinda gal. Dress for looking good and then wade through the scrub. Punkin Head used to get mad at me for wearing "prancers" and then complaining my feet hurt on vacation.


The last leaves in the backyard from the Maple tree. This tree is always the last one in the neighborhood to drop the leaves. I am so glad Big Daddy mulched them all up yesterday afternoon because . . . .

Last night we got our first dusting of snow. And wet leaves are no fun.

Sammy had to decide which he hated worse, the cold crispy grass or the snow. The grass is his new favorite. We got the shovels out, the broom and pooper scooper, the snowblower and the big lighted wreath on the front porch. Guess we are ready on the outside now we have to work on the inside. Sanding blocks are needed.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Camper for a family of 6

This camper has sat in the back of the in-laws yard for years. It is used for storage. I have told my MIL for years to sell it, people pay good money for these and renovate them. She said every once in a while someone stops and wants to take it off her hands for free. Hah, I say, there was a show on TV about clubs for people with these campers.

Every year we have our own Thanksgiving dinner, Big Daddy has to cook his own turkey to be happy and that is happening today. He is cooking a butterflied turkey which he tells me is spatchcocked turkey. I think he is planning on grilling outdoors; I am not sure if he will do that as it is supposed to snow today. There were flurries yesterday afternoon.  I think we missed our opportunity for a fire in the chiminea with all the leaves it is too dangerous.

Today is garbage day and then the last cleaning of the eaves troughs as all the leaves are off the maple tree. Then we can finish the sanding of the plaster and prepare to paint. Hooray.

I had some great pictures for a tale of woe but instead of taking pictures I took video. If I can't fix it I will be sad.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The old homestead

Big Daddy grew up on a farm and his mom still lives there. It is a Centennial Farm, the same family has owned and lived there for over 100 years. BD thinks that his family home was originally the caretakers house.

This is the land across the street my MIL rents out, it is planted with corn and this time of year at dusk she watches the deer from her living room.

There are many antiques and signs of the past on the property. I have more pictures to share with their stories at a later time.

My tomato pie was a big hit as was BD's sausage nut stuffing. Punkin Head made herbed biscuits and The Fiancee did a fantastic job with roasted vegetables. And of course pecan pie. I need to learn how to make pretty pie crust.

There was a huge sale at Brooks Brothers this morning but only for 2 hours. BD bounded out of the house at 9:30 only to be stymied when he reached Fisher Road. There was also a Christmas Parade at about the same time. When he called to bitch I said "get pictures".

This is it, he said he wasn't waiting for Santa, he had shirts to purchase.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Back to normal

My hair is back to normal and it only took 2 and 1/2 hours. My hairdresser said next time I suggest a change she will throw in some highlights or low lights and call it good.

The fog was so thick today I could not see the water or more than 100 feet in front of the car. So no picture taking.

Making lentils and sausage for dinner. We have everything for the Thanksgiving feast so that should be easy. Oh I forgot, we need to buy the wine that Punkin Head tells us to buy. Not looking forward to the trip but it is what it is.

Update, Punkin Head says to buy a Barbara or a Brunella at Trader Joe's or a more expensive La Crema Pinot Noir. I will let you know. I told him the trick of taking wine over the river and through the woods to grandma's house, take twice what you think you need and leave it in the car. Bring in a couple of bottles at a time and if the cheapo wine sucking relatives did not bring anything or only want to suck yours down, you have reserves.

Okay tomorrow we have to cook, yes the tomato pie again, and Thursday is travel day. I may not be back with you my fine blog friends until the weekend. Have a happy holiday or a happy week whichever one works for you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

This is not right

Those big lumps in the front are mud lumps. I asked Big Daddy what could make mud lumps like that and he did not know. Those are geese in the background and you can't see it but a swan in the right rear.

The water here used to be at least 4 feet deeper. There is some talk that the river from Lake Huron is silted up and the EPA will not allow dredging. Don't know if that is true but the upper lakes are supposed to be way high.

My newly elected 8 time convicted felon state rep has had his Land Rover repo'd since the Novemeber 6 election. This is getting serious as he previously had a Jag repo'd and the rumor is he only had 4 cars and was being evicted from his house for bouncing checks. Were do we find these upstanding people to vote into office.

And the biggest thing not right is my scary hair. Tomorrow is rework day. I would take a picture but I really do not want any reminder of this hair.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Harvesting the back 40

Don't say it.

Freshly harvested horseradish

No matter where we go we always have a back 40. In China both the front and back balcony served as our garden plots. We grew herbs and peppers and lots of flowers that died pretty quick.

Now that we are back at home and trying to get the garden and landscaping back under control  we have made huge efforts to mulch. This weekend during the mulching we noted the horseradish leaves had heaved over and given in to the cold and frost. That means we can dig up the roots. Hurray. Not really, have you ever really smelled this stuff.

The first year Big Daddy planted the horseradish is the year he was exiled to China before the hard frost came. We had never harvested or worked with this stuff before.

We are making prepared horseradish. It makes your entire house smell and it makes your eyes burn. It is some nasty stuff. Big Daddy added some vinegar, salt and sugar in the food processor and we have something that is excellent. Note: Some people use the old fashioned grinder outside for this reason, but the smell does not last that long.

We ended up with about a quart of finished product. And it is some hot stuff.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Me and Jerry Lewis

The Shores have started the Holiday decorations but it looks like this year they are only doing every other lamp post. How chintzy.

Every once in a while I check my stats. Mostly when I am bored and no one else posted on their blog yet.

I noticed a week or so ago big changes in my stats. An odd older post being read by tons of people and different countries were showing up in the audience. Not a random country as I know a couple of people who travel a lot but strange countries and a huge shift in readers. Suddenly people in the U.S. were not reading my blog so much, and Russia turned her back on my too. But somehow I had attracted a huge following in France. Now more people in France read my blog than all other countries combined.

Do you think it is because my dog is half French Poodle? Or that someone discovered my intense love of Foie Gras and French Fries? I might have to get a French manicure even if they are tired and dated. I do have the fleur de lis trivet I bought in China. Vive la France.

And they make some mighty fine wine.

Friday, November 16, 2012

No good deed goes unpunished

I collect jewelry and one the types is gutta percha. It is commonly mourning jewelry from the Victorian era made of early resin. I read something recently that reminded me of a lovely gutta percha brooch I gave my mother for Christmas one year. This was before she became a born again Jew and stopped celebrating pagan holidays. Anyway I called to ask her if she had kept the brooch.

Well, she was not at home as she was running the kitchen for the bingo game in her neighborhood. Mr. RV answered the phone and wanted to talk so I listened for quite a while. No skin off my nose and he seemed to want to talk to someone new. Today is a big day for them, he is going into the hospital for a real crappy test so I said don't worry about me, tell mom to call me this weekend.

Mom called anyway. We chatted about the brooch, yes she has it. Then the line went dead. I did not think much about, it happens once in a while. There is something wrong and we never have figured out the problem. I locked up and went on to bed. Big Daddy was in Chicago so just me and Sammy home alone.

I awakened suddenly to a loud knocking on my front door. I am terrified, who is knocking on my door at 9 pm. I went into the living room and there is a man staring into my house, he is standing on the front porch. He sees me and then shines a flashlight onto his police badge. I have to go turn off the alarm and I opened the door to this nice policeman who knows my name (probably from last time) and he asks if I am okay. You see, my mother called the police to tell them my phone quit working and told them to come to my house and see if I am okay. Yep, mom called the cops.

I called my mom and explained to her about calling on my mobile phone if she was worried. For some reason she lost the number. Though it might not have mattered, remember when she called the land line and screamed to answer (thinking it was the cell phone) when she was lost in New Orleans?

At least the police did not break the glass out this time.

There is no read more, I hit that button wondering what it would do and I can't get rid of it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The new neighbors almost have a name. I am trying very hard not to give them an X-rated name like the assholes but it is getting hard to find one that is both appropriate and not too hard core nasty.

Mr. New Neighbor, we will call him Dead Man Walking as he is so old he is barely walking, has spent the afternoon clearing his yard of leaves. Here in the mid-west we have these tools called rakes. You put the tool on the ground and pull it towards you and the little pesky leaves come along in a group. It is commonly called raking the yard. When you have a yard as small as we have here in the poor section of the Grosse Pointes it takes about 20 minutes to rake the yard. Mr. DMW  took 4 hours to use a gas powered blower to blow his leaves into the street. The last 15 leaves were a bitch for him to chase down as he only moves at the speed of of a zombie.

Why can't I get a normal neighbor?

He just blew his granddaughter or Mormon wife off the driveway as she was trying to rake. Oh my goodness.

Big Daddy told me to chill out, it is an old guy with a new toy and he will probably have a heart attack soon.

The City says they pick up leaves on the curb on Monday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Surprise, surprise

On an Animal Planet note I looked out the back doorwall yesterday and a hawk was sitting on the electrical line. That is only about 12 feet away and he looked fierce. I have never seen a hawk in the yard before. I asked Punkin Head if the hawk would attack Sammy dog and he said maybe. AAAAAAAAAAAAAh. He was magnificent when he took to flight.

My old boss sent me an email upon receipt of my resume to call him today. As I know him so well I called at 7:30 and learned some startling information. The new CEO of the company is going through the ranks with a scythe and my old department was hit the worst. Seems the new investment company believes they got screwed on the sale (this is why due diligence is important and not just a cache phrase) and wants to make all the money back this week or at the latest before Thanksgiving. But he will keep me in mind for occasional contract work. 

Let me explain my old job. I was the gatekeeper of all things holy. If someone screwed up, I fixed it. Sometimes, mostly all the time, 4 or 5 different people would all screw up the same day. And I would fix it. Sometimes it took more than me to fix it and my boss would send me underlings to help. Some of them had specialties. And we would fix it. Sometimes I got sent to be an underling. Fixing it required very long days in sometimes uncomfortable surroundings while multiple people yelled at you. This is not a job you do once in a while on a whim for cheap. And if most everyone was let go this could be going from fire to fire with a patched up water hose and holes in your boots.

At least the guy (from another company) that originally asked for my resume responded that he hand walked it into HR. Whew.

I talked to my former co-workers and there is a lotta bad feelings over how this was handled. And with automotive going gangbusters right now this is just screwy to treat people this way. We will see how this one works out.

Monday, November 12, 2012

It pays to be nice

I have always treated my hairdresser extremely well as my hair is my greatest vanity. It is also the one item I have the largest control over as long as it does not fall out. My hairdresser called me this morning on her day off to ask how the scary hair is going. It is now field corn yellow on top and ugly as sin. I had a really nice hat to wear yesterday to our late lunch. She offered/demanded to try and fix my hair next Monday on her day off. I asked Big Daddy what he thought of trying to improve on this experiment or go back to boring blond. He loves boring blond and hates my hair in its current state. That answers that.

We did not take one picture yesterday on our travels. Now that is boring.

The Fiancee gave me a lovely candle and a book for my birthday and Punkin Head produced a lovely bottle of wine.

The new neighbors got rid of the shitty curtains and now have blinds. They also moved t he clothes off the sofa.

It rained very hard today and no leaks in the dining room, hooray.

Last night on our way home it was dark when we drove down Lakeshore Drive. There were a couple freighters out their all aglow and then I noticed the wind turbines. They blink on and off red lights about every 15 to 20 seconds. Don't know that I would like to live near that. Since they don't seem to generate enormous amounts of energy how do they pay for the cost of the blinkers and the aviation lights?

Friday, November 9, 2012

I am getting used to me

Looking into the mirror no longer makes me jump and cringe. I am so used to looking like a freak that I only have a mild wince and sorrowful thoughts.

I need to come up with an outfit for Sunday as we will be dining out with Punkin Head's future mother-in-law. Of course it will be the last warm day of the year, not helping me on the wardrobe side, and I have to find a hat to go with the attire.

I think I need a new Avatar, the one I use was just a last minute choice by Big Daddy of some shoes I wore in New Orleans that everyone loved. I was stopped everywhere about those shoes and you can't really even see them in the picture. Anyway it think it is tired and needs to be freshened.

The neighbors are still entertaining me. The new neighbors, as yet unnamed, are using their living room sofa as a laundry hamper. It is so charming to see their clothing strewn about and their curtains mushed and crumpled as the furniture is too close to the wall. Mrs, Clampett was putting her trash in the Slav's trash this morning which was quite odd as Mrs. Clampett had her own trash at the curb. Its not like there is a limit.

Oh, my limelight hydrangea never made the burgundy stage, they went straight to brown. There is a house down the street and theirs are gorgeous. Big Daddy said it is because ours were neglected for so long. My bittersweet berries are turning darker orange so I will try to get a picture of them.

Sammy has a new "thang" I need to get a photo of, he puts his head down sideways on a throw rug and sticks his rear end straight up in the air. And stays that way like he is sleeping or doing some heavy thinking. Silly dog.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Let us see where this all ends up

The elections are over and some people are happy and some people are sad.

The guy elected as my new U.S. Representative is either the felon with new charges against him last week or the lady who sat on the worst Detroit City Council ever. Did not vote for either so I really don't care, its not like they will set foot in my town.

The Emergency Manager Law was struck down so now everything fecked up in Michigan has to go to bankruptcy court or the legislature will write a new law to be struck down. I say let them go to court and get it over with.

Michigan can build the bridge to Canada. With Canada paying of course.

Someone I used to work with asked for my resume. I really got to make a decision on this.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Look down a bit from the nose and you can see where the tree is trying to make a mouth, a yelling mouth.

As I have little of interest to write about today I will fulfill Pearl's wish of more Slav tidbits. I have many different neighbors, the Cookie Lady, the Clampetts, the flower lady, the chorale man, and the Sheriff to name a few. The Slavs moved into the old Al Qaeda house. George, Mr. Al Qaeda, was a real estate agent and was the first on the block to be foreclosed on. The house sat vacant for over a year or two but as the best deal ever it sold to the Newlyweds father. Dad bought the house for the kids. He is Mr. Slav. The kids were in college and not allowed to move into the house until the ink was dry on the marriage license.

It was fall 2009 when we started seeing furniture going into the house. Heavy, dark European style matching sets and the traditional American family castoffs. His and her family contributions to the household. A few weeks later we saw the bridal party taking pictures in the front yard. Typical pictures where you have two different cultures trying to mesh. Mr. Slav was directing, he speaks with a very heavy accent in broken English, somewhat hard to understand.

The newlyweds move in. We move to China. Punkin Head is installed in the family hearth and home and watches the neighborhood. Hey, he grew up here he knows the stories. The newlyweds leave. The house is vacant again. We move home, well I move home, it is now 2012.

Moving vans start arriving at the vacant newlywed house and I recognize the groom and Mr. Slav. Tons of people and 3 or more vehicles move in. There is a ton of excited slavic talk on the deck every morning. There is the groom and his bud re-positioning the vehicles every morning around 5:30.

One day there is a car parked at the end of my driveway when there are many other options available. I am outside thinking this is bad when the Slav parade comes around the corner of the house. I ask, is that your car sitting at the end of my driveway waiting to get T-boned? The Slavs cannot respond as they do not speak the English. They go and get a lady that speaks the English with a heavy Slav accent. She indicates that yes that is their vehicle waiting to get T-boned. They move it and they all smile and wave.

The only one I cannot explain in the Slav house is the black man. He gardens.

It has always been quite common to have foreign workers here in SE Michigan, and sometimes there are short term workers. It is not inconceivable to me that with the low prices here in the Pointes  people would try to use these homes as dormitories for workers. Not to be cynical but we are extremely close to the border crossings, the lake and the river. Many a truck has been found at the crossing with people without papers.

I will never complain about the Slav group home as they are the best neighbors I have had.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

We do not seem to have one normal household around here. Everything this guy has, he has multiples of. And he has had a garage sale every decent weekend since we moved in. Around 20 years of garage sales.

It is a good thing I like hats because Saturday I finally went too far and now have scary hair. If I was younger I would cry. There is no help in crying and hats will be my friend for awhile. I cannot get it fixed until I can get a couple oil treatments.

The roof is fixed so we can plaster later in the week. The chimney will be in the backyard until garbage day.

It appears new slavs moved into the group home this week. We wondered what happened with some of the blinds that disappeared. A truck showed up with more furniture.

I did see something interesting yesterday. Canada went ahead with putting the windmills in the lake, you can see them from Lakeshore Drive in the right weather. I think they started last fall and of course it was a very mild winter here. Wonder how the ice and wind will affect the poles. Guess it depends on how deep they sunk the poles. I need to read up on this.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just how many boring pumps do you need?

Please excuse the mess, the dining room is in the living room while we are repairing plaster and fixing the leak. This is the fabulous air mattress. This is the backside.

I am awaiting to hear from Punkin Head on his blow up air mattress bed. They are in a one bedroom and The Fiancees mother is coming for a visit. When I told Big Daddy what the Punkin Head bought he exclaimed, "We have one up in the attic." I was stunned. When and why did I buy a blow up mattress? BD brought it down and tested it out, it is great nicely quilted with nap on one side, the blower upper thing is re-chargeable and it is a full size sleeping surface. Then it all rolls up into a bundle the size of a fat sleeping bag. It even has a patch repair kit. I do not know what I was thinking when I bought this one

I braved the cold and wind to venture into town and get my mani/pedi for my birthday Monday. This year it will be a quiet time so I am just getting myself a present. The gossip was unbelievable. The rich are crazy and hanging it out for us all to see. Stores are moving and changing being shoved into new spaces, whether they like it or not. We now have a new shoe store, womens, at the expense of a beloved section of another store. I certainly hope this does not go the way of the last shoe store where you could only find the most boring, conservative, same color shit that only a handful of people purchased. They rest of us shopped elsewhere. And the shoe store closed.

I was laughing at the political yard signs I saw today. My favorite is vote biblically. That is all it says that I can see. Here in the Detroit area you can take that many ways. It is amazing to see who is voting for whom, or at least is advertising them in the yard. I am a true believer that people just will not tell you the truth on what happens behind that curtain.

And I think that is the proper way to vote.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Bad picture of the streetlight decoration during our Hurricane Sandy wanderings.

It is still cold and nasty and yucky for the Halloweeners. I remember poor Punkin Head was always sick on Halloween until he reached his teens. Asthma and allergies just did not get along with the nasty weather we usually had. The few times he did get out he usually ended up in the ER or the doctors office.

A few years ago they started having indoor parties for the kids. They said it was for safety I think it was for making sure that "certain" types were not on the streets. I am not sure what they do now.  I don't see many decorations on our streets.

Our roofing guy is coming Saturday morning so we will only leak for a few more days. It is not dripping water it is just getting surface bubbling on the fresh plaster.

Have a happy Halloween unless you are the scary spooky type.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Who do you trust

The old gas station in Grosse Pointe Park that is under renovation, it will be a restaurant with a wood burning oven. The exterior is gorgeous. You can see the fabric fence blowing in the Sandy wind.

Big Daddy and I drove down to the lake to take pictures of the huge and monstrous wave action. It is less than half a mile but the wind gusts and rain did not make for a nice walk. Well, I have seen choppier lake water on a bad day in any weather. Not a biggy. We drove around and took a few pictures but nothing really stood out.

The wind was horrendous all night, hard to sleep as it was so noisy. It appears the storm outer bands parked over Michigan and made themselves at home. It is noisy but there were no limbs down or stuff blowing about. The worst is my Sammy dog got blown over trying to pee pee. I need safety goggles for him  to sit outside and watch the wind go by.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Sometime between when I quit paying attention yesterday and this morning that fucking storm has changed her plans and my plans. I live in Michigan. Hurricanes should not be a factor in my life.

I feel really bad for everyone in the east that thought this was a joke. It is no joke and very serious. Serious enough that my roof guy cancelled as he almost got blown off a roof this morning. Looks like I will leak a couple more days.

I asked Big Daddy to try and get home today while it is still daylight to see the lake. They are saying the waves will be higher than the lake is deep. Lake St. Clair is large but not really deep.

I am concerned about the trees that always manage to shed a few limbs. I hope we don't lose power but I am sure we will. Becs talked about some wind-up powered flashlights and I told BD we should look into those. Well, we did not so I am sure we will need them.

And I do need to know, where do all those people on the east coast evacuate to? And how since they mainly do not own cars and Teterboro is shut down?

This is a mess.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturday and Sunday Snippets

This is my Gargoyle. Big Daddy has one too. They guard the backyard for us.

I have asked Big Daddy not to stand next to the microwave when he heats up the water for his coffee. The Homer Simpson thing. This was suggested by Punkin Head.

Roofing guy coming Monday to fix the leak in the roof. It is the old furnace thing that sticks up there. We don't want to talk about the roof anymore and how we got screwed on the roof job we had done before.

The electrical switches are what they are until we rewire the entire house, so we need to think of them as whimsical reminders of kinder and gentler times. I think I will just ignore them.

The gutters are clean, the fountains drained and covered, leaves mulched and we are ready for winter. More or less. BD still has to shut off and drain the spigots.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Indian Summer

The paper said we are having Indian Summer. I don't know if I agree with that but everyone can thank me for the warm temps this week. I went ahead and ordered winter clothes in fat sizes thereby guaranteeing warm weather. Today is the last day for 80; tomorrow the temps will be back in the 60's. Unless I order that sweater I have been musing over.

I am in love with Google Chrome tabs. When I have a word or topic needing more information it is so easy with the tabs. Today I looked up Durst and badgers, which are archaic dared and weasels. About the weasels they eat them in various locations like northern China and Russia. Everyone else uses  their fur in shaving brushes. And paint brushes. And England likes to mass murder them.

My hypochondria is alive and well. On one of the Google Chromes tabs I ran across a bit of information that smelling burnt odors were there is none is a sign of brain tumors. So yea, everything smells burnt now.

Big Daddy and I are having the house decorating wars. As we are only starting room one, this is a bit early. Our switches may or may not be able to be replaced. I forgot they are all low voltage. WTF. BD did get the new registers put in and the plaster is almost done. Now I must pick out the paint.

Now I must Google light switches.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

On being approachable

This tree has fascinated me for years, it is one of our walking tours.

Big Daddy has evolved, actually he is a new man.

On his recent trip to Mexico he was being wanded at the airport in Monterrey. The 2 senors were obviously talking about him, to him, and laughing about it. As it was all in Spanish and BD is not fluent in that language he had to keep saying, "No Spanish speak English" which elicited no response. Finally one guy took pity on BD and told him the security guard said he looks just like Homer Simpson.

Yes, he has gone from Dick Cheney to Homer Simpson in a matter of months. I am sure everyone will have an opinion if this is a promotion or demotion. I have not decided. Although I must say Dick lost quite a bit of weight and has aged dramatically with his last heart surgery.

I have made a startling discovery with my new optical store bought glasses. I have to watch some TV programs on the laptop because that is the only one I have figured out so far. And the shows on the laptop must be HD because the picture is so much crisper and cleaner. First was Hell on Wheels, a western about building the railroad across the continent. This was recommended by Anne Rice, the author. The detail and photography was stunning, absolutely mind boggling. The rest are any show with an actress over 26. The camera is not kind to these women and I am amazed that I am not the only woman in the world with not perfect skin. If I could only see Susan Lucci on the laptop.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Bittersweet Vine

The leaves are supposed to be dark green and the berry is supposed to be orange. I think I accomplished what Punkin Head said was impossible. I killed the bitch.

The hydrangea is still turning, losing some green and gaining some more pink. The white is the in-between color.

I need Big Daddy to come home and help me with the chores.

Neighbors across the street, new owners, are getting the place painted before they move in. But the painters are doing the apartment thing and tying up the curtains and pushing them back and forth to paint behind them. Yuck Yuck Yuck.

My musical career, or why I went into automotive

Tribute to my dad. These were his peeps at a run down shack in the delta where people went to hear music.

For some long forgotten reason I started playing the flute very young. I do not have an ear for music. I could not tune in my own instrument. I was technically proficient and as an A type personality I practiced. But I was never the best. I always sat second chair because of the tuning thing. After my parents popped for the flute I was stuck playing it for rest of my school days. Almost. I quit in my senior year and you would have thought I had killed a fatted calf in the parking lot. Private lessons did not help, I just never had it in me.

My brothers escaped, the oldest was supposed to play guitar and that petered out after a time. The younger knocked all his teeth out pretending he was Evel Kneivel, that kinda shut down his using his mouth to play music and my parents were not gonna go the drum route. My son, Punkin Head is a drummer and a very good one.

I had favorite songs I played and none I hated. I hated the marching band and the wool uniforms in summer. I hated that concert band performed on nights and weekends and my parents never came.

Favorite always. And Audrey, oh my, and to this day I have nothing from Tiffany's.

This was an experiment in hell. The band director wanted us to do the long version for the spring concert and  very few in our band could handle the range of this music.

So I got my love of music from my dad and we never shared it. He shared with Big Daddy, not even his sons. Big Daddy loves music and so does our son.

So here is my all time favorite. Period, hands down, the best of the best.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Am so, Are too, Nah na na nah na

I am reading so many opinions on why Democrats and Republicans are idiots and assholes. As I belong to neither party it does not personally hurt my feelings. I do wonder though why people who seem to be rational and purport themselves to be ladies and gentlemen can publish opinions that are hateful and hurtful. And then act like they are the better person for pointing out that the other person is a bigger asshole than they are. 

People, anyone going down this road of "I am better than you" because I wear a certain color coat needs to take a deep breath and make sure that generalizations based on "groups" is where you want to plant your flag. 

Lets just do a couple generalizations:

Works under the table, never gives to charity, spends no money on personal medical/dental maintenance, loves Walmart. 

Signs up for government benefits immediately, volunteers often, has great teeth, loves Costco.

Does not claim tips and cash payments on taxes, eats and feeds their kids fast food, thinks Outback is fine dining, loves-loves-loves JC Penney. 

Is pretty sure the guy who killed JFK lives next door to him. 

Is not a racist, sexist, homophobe, asshole or in a cult because he is friends with all these people. 

Substitute he for she where it is appropriate unless you then have to question if it is suspect. 

Oh I forgot some:

Belongs to the union, heroin addict, losing house, car and family. 

Regular person, goes to work, pays their bills, wishes they could do something special this year. 

So I think everyone should vote and let me know which group is which. And of course which group you belong to and support. And I would also like to know if you think all the people who think a little differently than you do should be drawn and quartered, because you are the smartest tool in the drawer. 

Oh, and I personally know all of these asshats including the JKF guy. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Avant debate and apres voting

I certainly hope no one does something so egregious tonight that I have to apologize for the next 4 years, just because I voted for the putz early. We have voted for many years now by absentee ballot as it just became too difficult to count on being able to vote in person. And no boss really gives a shit if you vote or you get your task completed. My boss did my job before he was the boss and he always referred to the job as that scene in Pulp Fiction where the clean up guys came in. That was us. And it is usually better if that stuff happens with no witnesses.

I am not positive I know exactly what the jumping of the shark phrase means, but, when TV shows that showcase B Listers, has-beens and almost made its have to resort to recycling them into the All Stars of the Hopeless shows, well I think that is really sad.

I have to find a new bottled water to drink. I am a huge fan of Fiji water which Punkin Head hates. He says it is a huge energy waster and so stupid, but I really do think it tastes the best. Well, I have a new project and I need round water bottles. Who would have ever thought someone would be shopping for plastic water bottles by size and heft.

Big Daddy narrowly averted disaster this evening. He went to dinner and ordered soup and salad. As they set the salad down and he looked at it a big light bulb went off in his old bald head. WTF was I thinking, he said. In developing countries salad and diarrhea seem to go hand in hand.

For some reason this week is remembering my musical days. This was another favorite I played back in the day. Another 8th grade I think.

I also babysat and that home had this album and I loved it. This could explain why I turned out the way I did.

Too many books

Just stacked on the newly polished marble. These are unread.

Every surface has books.

Every Sunday or Monday we go through the NYT book reviews and look for new books. We have books on the list that we have not read. We have books that we are waiting to go to paperback. We collect books. We have books out the yazoo.

I am currently reading Creole Belle by James Lee Burke and am undecided if I like it or not. Big Daddy is reading an old Jonathan Kellerman paperback. I have the new JK Rowling "adult" book- Casual Vacancy, Bob Woodward's The Price Of Politics and too many more. I need to start reading faster.

The dining room baseboard has been replaced, the ceiling plaster is 3/4 finished and we still need to order the switch plates. Then paint, paint, paint. The rugs are ready for Hagopian to pick up and clean.

Sammy has a new hobby. When the frost comes we have crispy grass and he finds it quite appetizing. He doesn't want to stand on it, just nibble on it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cringe worthy stories from the past

The Graduate, Punkin Head and the Fiancee.

The 999 roses wrap.

For a while now I have been remembering incidents from the past that just make me wince. But some of these stories make me wonder why they bother me now when they did not phase me at the time. When I was first at Plant Loco one of my cohorts was leaning on a new vehicle in the audit bay waiting for the main  ass kicking meeting of the day. The Plant Manager walked in and as he started speaking he came over and gently removed her from the vehicle. She said she wore that skin for a long time.

I am wearing the skin now and wonder why it sometimes did not phase me at the time. Okay, sometimes it did but today's story did not.

We moved so many times when I was growing up I forgot counts of the places. I do remember I went to 12 schools in 12 years. Amazing as I spent the last 3 years of high school in the same school and 3 years at the same lower school. Anyway in the 8th grade (or so) I moved to a new school and was enrolled in band. This band director wanted me to audition, I thought this was a hoot as it was a first but okey dokey. I played Georgy Girl which is quite difficult on the flute and he said okay, sit last chair. We had a football game that weekend and for some reason he had me play the cymbals. The large, hand held, slap together cymbals. I had no clue how to do this and the drummer told me he would stick his arm out when I was supposed to crash the cymbals. This did not work out well and I just smacked the hell out of those cymbals during the fight song on the field. I was never asked to play the cymbals again.

What I can't believe is at the time it did not embarrass me a bit. I had never been in marching band, never marched in formation, did not know one person in the band and just went out and made a total fool of myself.  Today I would never have the nerve to do that.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It is all about the hair

All I have to say about the VP debate is:

Joe Biden had a shitty haircut, just look at the back sticking out like a ledge. Maybe he borrows Hillary's hairdresser.

Paul Ryan looked like Eddie Munster all grown up.

Martha Raddatz did a fine job and had great hair.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New ideas for a change of seasons

My Porcelain Berry vine is making a comeback. The berries are all different colors.


The limelight Hydrangea is just starting to turn color, when finished it should be brick red and then I let it dry on the bush for the birds to have cover.

Big Daddy and I need to go out and discuss the yard when he gets off his conference call. Yep, he is back at it with work stuff. When I originally designed the plantings I wanted some color and silhouette year round for eye appeal and the birds. Now I am pretty much into a redo and need to figure out a new direction. BD's horseradish experiment behind the garage has exploded and we think there are three plants back there now. That has to go and 2 areas need to be totally wiped out.

The dining room is almost bare and plaster is being readied for repairs. I need to pick out the colors and my peach ideas are not going to work. The rug is mainly a dark wine color, forgot about that as I had a different rug down. So we are probably back to all white again. And we need to discuss and figure out the electrical switches and seek out replacements. These are from the fifties. The house was built in 1954.

Last night we went took the kids to dinner for Punkin Head's graduation. Just to brag it is his second Master's and from U of M. He was quite proud as U of M does not like to take alums back for graduate work. His other Master's is from Temple. Anyway, we went to the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe and it was fun. The food and drinks were on the high side and okay, the main entertainment was the crowd. We don't have many spots for live entertainment here and this was an all kinds crowd. There was no cover so that may have shaped the audience as mid-week is not the top draws. My favorite was an old guy that every once in a while just had to  "chair" dance. He was so cute. And he was drinking dark beer and then it looked like Spanish coffee. Gotta love it.

Sammy and I are gonna put on our coats and sit by the door waiting for BD to come out of the office.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I must be odd

Even the birds took a vacation.

Big Daddy will never retire. I know this because he cannot take a vacation. 

When I used to take a vacation from work I never answered my phone unless I was sitting at the Touche Bar in New Orleans or on a balcony in Northern Michigan. And I only did that to piss people off. I never even checked my email when I was working until I went to work. Granted some days I started at 5 AM, but even with the Blackberry I was never tempted to peek unless it blew up. And even then sometimes I chose to let it wait. Of course my boss had my home phone number but those calls were rare, not rare enough, but rare.

This week Big Daddy has checked his email every morning, was asked to do a tool tryout Friday, found a replacement for Friday after he saw my reaction, and reported he is going to Mexico next Tuesday. Oh yes, he went to the office this morning to drop off the part for the trial on Friday for Mr. Replacement.

And it is only Wednesday morning.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Project Pomandor success

My handmade pomanders.  Cloves poked into oranges.

My grandmother had the most amazing closet. She was quite the stylish dresser and she was quite beautiful. She also knew she was beautiful and some of the pictures of her posing in her finery outdo the fashion magazines of the day. In her closet by the shoes hung a pomander, not far from the fox stole with the head and feet. When I was young I loved her closets and drawers.

I finally found a recipe that was easy from Joseph The Butler, you simply bake them at 200. Now that I have a few I may also try some different techniques and fruits. I am also thinking of making dried orange slices for decorations. Big Daddy has a mandoline and I can work the oven now.

So in the evening while we are watching television and having tea we make pomanders.

Monday, October 8, 2012

October fun

Some industrious neighbors, I thought it looked like a happy house.

Today I got my first eye checkup in many many years. And I bought my first pair of custom glasses. I like that better, custom glasses versus I need glasses to see glasses. My dad was hilarious, he had seeing eyeglasses and hearing eyeglasses. My eyes are as good as can be expected for a woman of my age and I can still wear readers for shopping and eating out.

I bought the final touches for my big project and I think I can take pictures and post on that tomorrow.

We took Sammy dog to the pet store as he needed a winter coat. He was shorn on Saturday and has been sleeping under the quilt the last few nights. I am sure my mother-in-law who hand made the quilt will love that. Finding a dog winter-covering is as difficult as finding me fat clothes. And according to the owner of Lou's Pet Store, not profitable. Sammy squealed and squirmed when we put the coat on him; I am sure he has had a coat before. When we put it on him this afternoon for an outing he showed the same enthusiasm --both booty shaking and vocally.

Our Detroit Police Chief with the wayward peenee has retired, at 44 years of age. The woman who started all of this by publishing a picture with her gun in her mouth, has been given her gun back and ok'd for return to duty. She works in Internal Affairs. I sat next to a woman at lunch today saying a bunch of these women are ready to sue. She was saying it into her phone. In a very tony restaurant. WTF. And the Mayor says he knew a lot of this stuff but thought the Chief  had changed his ways. Like a leopard changes his spots?

Tomorrow is hairdo day to get ready for the Wednesday graduation party.