Thursday, May 31, 2012

Is it nap time yet?

I've decided my grandson isn't the only one who benefits from an afternoon nap. I've grocery shopped, made an exchange at a department store and been to Target to get things I can't possibly live without. Is there a font called "sarcasm" available here?

 We had 90-something degree weather over the weekend, today's high might reach 62 and tomorrow is a few degrees cooler with an all day rain forecast. I'm saving housework and laundry for then. All the more reason to take a nap today and rest up for such strenuous activity tomorrow, right?

My sleepiness is all this guy's fault:

Photo Credits:
Just looking at that yawn is catchy, isn't it?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Wednesday!

Hark! 'Tis Wednesday! 
Photo Credits: via
Just in case your weekend was longer than usual due to Memorial Day, I thought I'd remind you that today is Wednesday, not Tuesday and certainly not Monday. Not that I am ever confused or anything like that.....

The above photo was found on boredpanda (see photo credits for link) in an entry titled "33 Perfectly Timed Photos".

I would settle for getting a photo of what I want in the picture. Two year olds don't hold a pose. I did manage to capture the bubbles, but not the expression he had on his face a moment before the shutter clicked.
Anyone need Maple seeds? We obviously have plenty to share.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get....

Anyone else feel this way?

Despite not being personally involved in Saturday's wedding, hubby and I had a long day. When the alarm went off Sunday morning, I reminded it that we are retired, hubby didn't have golf scheduled and it really should shut itself up. Then I  remembered that we were going to the cottage and wanted to get there before the kids.

Unlike hubby who wears clothes that he leaves at the cottage which he thinks are "good enough", I had clothes to pack. And shoes. And since we'd be there for Memorial Day, I needed to pack red, white and blue apparel just as I do on the 4th of July.

I came downstairs with my stuff to find that Bill had taken the box of dry food to the car already. I still had stuff to put in the box. "Stick it in a bag" was his answer. I guess that was better than just telling me to "stick it".

We packed the cooler and an insulated bag with enough food to feed an army. We packed some toys for Colton and his booster seat. We packed the monitor and keyboard that I used before my new setup here. Last week we took an old computer from work that was to be left at the cottage. While slow, it would be ok for Bill's minimal usage and we could use the printer that is too old to use with the new setup at home. What I discovered last week is that I forgot the installation disk for the printer, the monitor would not come into sharp focus, the keyboard had one leg broken and had to sit flat, and the speakers wouldn't work because they couldn't find a sound card.

Soon we were off. Or maybe we've always been 'off', but soon we were headed to the cottage.
Many trips from car to cottage to unload were followed by 30 minutes of putting things away, opening windows, and spritzing Fabreeze air freshener. A neighbor came over to tell us two transformers had blown that morning and our end of the island had experienced a power surge. The electric company was making repairs and should be done within 30 minutes, but we shouldn't run the TV or computer until 11:00. Our appliances seemed ok and Bill used a meter to test most of our outlets which were fine. (Doesn't everyone's husband have meters both at home and at the cottage for this stuff?). We sat for a minute, and then the kids called to say they were delayed leaving but would be there by noon. I swear I could hear my alarm clock at home snickering.

* Sigh  *

Our cottage has commercial grade carpeting throughout. Not our plan, but fairly new when we bought the place. Hubby and I periodically talk about a few things we I would like to change at the cottage. He agrees that the carpet has to be replaced, but if we remodel the kitchen or eliminate an unnecessary door wall, that would change carpet layout. The cottage definitely needs to remain a low maintenance place so structural changes would have to blend and compliment old paneling that would never be matched now.

Until we can decide what to do and find someone to work with us, we must get the carpeting clean. Renting a cleaner and taking it to a cottage on the island isn't happening. Rental cleaners, in my experience, aren't good for heavy duty dirt. The cleaning company we use at home doesn't go as far north as the island. There is a man on the island who cleans carpets, but he doesn't dry them well. Can't you picture very damp carpeting being closed up in a hot, humid cottage for a week between our visits? I have one number to call tomorrow. I hope I can key in the number while my fingers are crossed.

The kids left last night, Bill and I regrouped and enjoyed the quiet while almost immediately missing the little guy's presence. It was now time to see if using a different monitor would eliminate the focus problem, install the printer driver and change keyboards. We turned the computer on and nothing happened. Uh oh. The TV works, the lamp and phone on the same surge protector work, but not the computer.

* Sigh, again *

There was much less to pack coming home. The refrigerated items condensed to half a cooler. Colton's toys and booster seat made it back safely. I thought the whole PC, monitor, keyboard, printer would be going to an electronics graveyard, but no, only the computer came home. Bill wants our techie to look at it and either heal it or pronounce it DOA.

I dream that one day I will write about a week or weekend where everything went as planned, nothing broke or inconvenience us, cost more than expected and didn't result in schlepping stuff home that I thought was staying at the cottage or vice versa.

But then, what would I write about?

P.S.   Anyone else having trouble editing with Blogger? I hesitate to sound like I'm complaining again (which I am) but I've about had it with things not working as they once did here and on Facebook. Facebook I could turn my back on and not have regrets, but I can't leave Blog-land!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Remember brush rollers for your hair?

Remember setting your hair with brush rollers and pink picks or metal clips? That was before hot rollers and before curling irons.  I have all three here, but the rollers are now pick-less and clip-less. I used to do well with hot rollers but my hair was much shorter then. I usually dry my hair and touch it up with a curling iron.

This afternoon we are going to a wedding. I considering having my hair done, but I don't currently have a stylist and didn't feel like experimenting. So here I sit, typing in my robe, hair in large rollers, and with the shoes on I will probably wear this afternoon. I'm still deciding between two pair. I'd wear one of each pair in the house but I would walk kind of funny. Funnier than I already do.

I'd like to think my setting job was as neat as this (and that I was this attractive)
But in reality, the rollers look more like this with larger gaps in back. If I decide to do this again, I need more extra large rollers.

The consolation is that I don't look like this charming woman!
That would be true because I don't own that device, I don't smoke and my skin is looking lovely after yesterday's facial.

Never having had a facial before, I can't say that the woman who did mine was extraordinary, but I can say that I loved it. The one hour facial included (quoting from their web site) "cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, face, neck, and shoulder massage, mask, toner, and moisturizer". Ahhhhhh. It was relaxing and my skin looks and feels so nice! Even my arms. I didn't realize how dry my skin was.

Does that sound silly? My mom didn't use creams and lotions so I didn't grow up with that example. My skin was oily enough for years that I didn't need (or didn't think I needed) anything extra. I took my skin for granted. I plan to lotion up regularly now, making regular use of the facial moisturizer that I only used on a hit and miss basis before. The rest of me needs an economy size jar or bottle of youth replenisher.

I had a pedicure yesterday too. Same tech did the pedi and I liked her technique there as well. The callouses and dry skin are gone without me going crazy over the pumice stone. My feet are very ticklish and sometimes the stone is almost torture.

We discussed gel manicures but I'm not convinced they are right for me. While the polish lasts longer than a regular manicure, it isn't expected to last like it did on acrylics (been there, done that, not going back) and I don't want to schedule the time and expense for manis as often as my polish would chip and dictate it needed re-doing. Do you have the gel or laquer polish that requires a UV or LED light to sure it?

Speaking of polish, I should go finish my hair so that I have time to apply a coat of light pink to my fingernails. Nothing like attending a wedding to bring out the girly in me!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Charlotte's Easy Lace Shawl

I finished a shawl last night, named Charlotte's Easy Lace Shawl by Lily Chen. Here is what it looks like on the pattern.
The pattern can be done with any type and any weight yarn. I can't say I made a mistake, but the yarn I chose is very stretchy and won't block nicely to show the stitch pattern as in either example above. That's ok. I chose Pediwick yarn by Knit One Crochet Too because it was the color I wanted. The yarn is 66% bamboo and 34% nylon. If this yarn would block flat, the shawl would be quite a bit larger, but this is just fine.
No one is around to use as a model and since I am wearing a red shirt and don't feel like changing and attempting a self photo, this image will have to do. Here is a close up:
One skein of yarn is 392 yards (360 m) and weighs 100 grams. I used two skeins with a few yards left over.

We are going to a wedding Saturday and my dress has this shade in it. It is supposed to be quite warm this weekend....alright, it is supposed to be downright I may not need this at all. If I hadn't finished it in time, you know the weather would be otherwise.

I'll need another project by Wednesday when I go to my knitting group, but meanwhile, watching Colton tomorrow evening while Mommy and Daddy attend the wedding rehearsal and dinner, Saturday's wedding and this being Memorial Day weekend, I do have a few other things to tackle before I pick up yarn again.

Here is a peek at a non-knitting project I've just started, a beaded necklace. Ignore the yellow beads and spring like things. They are "stoppers" used to keep the tiny beads from working their way off the loose end of the beading thread. The cross weave pattern you see here will form the chain-like part of the necklace leading to and from the back clasp.

This might take awhile......

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let's talk spas and girly stuff

Years ago I went to a massage therapist for muscle ache in the shoulder and upper back area. She was wonderful. I booked a series of appointments, a pre-paid package. Her technique remained great but she got chattier with each visit. Where the first visit had been quiet except for questions as to how I was feeling, subsequent visits gave me way more information than I ever needed about her unmarried daughter's problems with her grandson's babydaddy (is that supposed to be one word or two?) and the masseuse's sister who never brought anything to holiday dinners.
Should I have said something? Yes, but it all felt awkward to me. It was easier to remain silent, hoping she'd take the hint, get my clothes on ASAP and get back home. I've had one massage since then that was ok, but nothing like the first woman who has since gone out of business.

Years before this experience, I won a pedicure in a drawing for my niece's school. Oh my, that was wonderful! The problem was that the location was far, far from my home and not in the best of neighborhoods. Once again, subsequent treatments have not equaled that first experience. In fact, some pedicures (not that I've had many professional ones) have actually hurt.
A salon called Luv, part of a chain of mani/pedi salons opened relatively nearby last year. The place was clean, friendly and the techs all spoke English. I don't mean that to sound narrow minded, but the time a young man was actually hurting me, he didn't seem to understand when I was telling him to stop. Oddly enough, his English was crystal clear when it came to the bill. Gosh, now I really do sound bad, but I am a victim of a friend planting a bug in my ear about what the techs might be saying about us old farts mature matrons while they work on our callouses.

A woman from my knitting group mentioned that she treats herself to a facial twice a year because her pores are so large. I hadn't noticed but that comment made me look at mine. I look better without my glasses on. I don't mean when you look at me, I mean when I look at me!
I started pricing services for massages, facials and pedicures at salons within a reasonable driving distance. Boy, oh boy...the wide range of services and fees is amazing. I think of myself as a girly girl, but grew up doing that stuff to and for myself. People in average neighborhoods didn't have facials done and I don't think I saw pedicures offered anywhere for more than the first half of my life.

I am about to call Luv's and try to get an appointment before Saturday for a pedicure and facial. If I get it on Friday, I might even add a manicure. We're going to a wedding on Saturday but I know me...if I get a manicure today, I'll have chips by then. I'm hesitant to go with the laquer manicures that require UV lights to set the polish.

Do you indulge in any of these services regularly? Occasionally when you feel the need to pamper yourself? Do you feel like a new woman afterward? Pamela Anderson certainly looks different after work has been done and makeup has been applied.
Don't you wonder if she was able to lay on her stomach for a back massage though? Photobucket

Monday, May 21, 2012

Clean, clean, knit, clean

I like knitting and appreciate clean, but that is all I've done the last five days.

Whine, whine, whine...with no wine.

The hard part about not being 30 anymore. Ok, not being 40...what? You're holding me to telling the truth? Geesh! Not even being a mere 50 anymore is that it takes longer to do things. Now don't be thinking it has anything to do with stamina. I am still woman, hear me roar! Ok, moan might be more like it.

And why is it so hard to get the seal off a new bottle of Ibuprofen?

I can't believe that I used to clean houses for other people. You wouldn't believe it either if you caught my house some days. If you feel the need to inspect my quarters, please hurry over to either the house or cottage now. Right now! But don't look at the cottage windows. Or the stack of stuff in the spare bedroom that needs to go into the attic. On second thought, just close your eyes and imagine clean, neat and happy.

I am attempting to post this from my iPad, something that hasn't always been successful in the past. Speaking of iPads, I should point out that the real reason cleaning takes so much longer now is the Internet. If it isn't someone!s blog begging to be read, it's something on Pinterest that needs repinning or an email that needs a reply or a forward.

If you all would be less interesting, my house would be much cleaner and the shawl with a Saturday deadline would be done by now. We are minutes from home now. Wanna bet dust has somehow gotten in and settled on surfaces that were clean a few days ago? We know the grass is going to need cutting again. Spring's rapid growth plus hubby's fertilizing make a beautiful but demanding lawn. How the heck did we get things done when we both worked?

P.S. This originally posted as one long paragraph despite how I entered the text on my iPad. Anyone know the secret of posting from an iPad, short of using another service like Blogsy?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dancing with my little star

Hubby got hooked on Dancing With The Stars a few seasons ago. I listened and occasionally watched, but was never fully engaged in the series until this year. In past years, hubby has complained that it has been too much of a popularity contest with some dancers staying on long after they felt he should have been sent home. Welcome to reality TV dear.
This week was the last week before the final competition and mirror ball awards. Host Tom Bergeron summed up the feelings of many last night when he said (paraphrasing) that no matter who was going to be sent home, it was going to suck. All four dancers were good and all were likable, in my opinion. I didn't predict last night's outcome and certainly can't guess at next week's.

Thank goodness my own little dancer is hands down, the only contender and forever winner in Grandpa and Grandma's hearts. I must apologize for the orientation of this video clip changing which will cause you to turn your head sideways. The first time he did this dance, it was all about arm movement and an attempt to sing along. When I called Grandpa into the room with the camera, Colton got more involved.

Music is courtesy of Elmo's ABC's on my iPad, not whatever Sprout is showing on TV in the background. On the iPad app, Elmo's friend Grover is dressed like John Travolta's character in Saturday Night Fever, dancing under a disco ball to a version of the ABC song (A,B,C, D, E, F, Let's go!) At one point, Grover's feet are shown close up. Apparently Colton realized his feet need to get busy too.

Colton's daddy thinks he will become a linebacker for the Detroit Lions. I don't know what Twinkle Toes will do to become famous enough to be courted by the DWTS production team, but when you see him in 20 years accepting the mirror ball trophy, think back fondly on this day.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Recipe request

I've been making birthday cakes for my great niece and great nephew for soon to be 10 years. The sweet thing is that they think I can make anything. The horrible challenge is that they think I can make anything.
Soon to be 10 year old Allison recently told me she knows what kind of cake she wants next month. In her words, it should taste like cookie dough but not have any raw eggs in it. It should also look like a zebra. Then she thew her head back and laughed, telling me she was kidding about the zebra.

Dang...the zebra would have been the easy part!

I found a recipe last week and made it this past weekend to audition it before the birthday event. It smelled wonderful baking. There were 7.5 sticks of butter total in the batter, filling and icing. Sweetened condensed milk and a lot of brown sugar were also involved. Five adults sampled it yesterday. Today I am throwing out 3/4s of a cake.

The batter was heavy going into the pans, much more like actual cookie dough than cake batter. It baked a little dry, but that wasn't the real problem. The filling and icing were icky sweet. Both began by creaming butter with brown sugar. I'm not new to making icing, but this was the first time I used brown sugar in icing. Was it my technique or does brown sugar icing tend to feel granular in your mouth no matter how long you work it?

I admit to liking raw cookie dough itself, but only a spoonful (or finger full) when the the last batch is being scooped onto baking sheets. None of the adults that taste tested the cake are crazy about cookie dough ice cream so maybe this cake was successful but we just don't care for this taste in large quantities.

The other matches that turn up most often online include one with raw cookie dough that you chill and form into balls to use in the filling. Baked cookies decorate the sides of the cake. This doesn't appeal to me, plus I am hesitant to serve raw eggs (in the cookie dough) to a large group of people.

Does this mean I don't mind poisoning smaller groups of people? We'll save that debate for another post.
Seriously, the party will be outdoors so temperature is a factor in spoilage and I always hesitate to take cakes that must be refrigerated because refrigerator space is often tight on the day of a party. I don't know what the hosts have going and never assume they'll have room for a layer cake.

Another frequent match to my internet search was a three layer cake that had a chocolate cake layer, a cookie dough layer that did not include eggs, and a cheesecake layer. The cookie dough layer is not baked so even if I skipped the cheesecake, this cake would still require refrigeration.

The last match was a boxed yellow cake mix brown sugar and chocolate chips in the frosting. It didn't sound impressive, especially after my brown sugar icing attempt.

Does anyone have a recipe they've used that tastes like cookie dough and doesn't make your teeth ache?

Maybe I can distract Allison with a rented zebra for her party and some cookie dough ice cream. Renting a zebra might be easier than this cake request!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Nothing beats a true love story

I came home from the Kroger near my home, aggravated and ready to rant here about three unrelated people and incidents but I decided to check my email first. I am so glad I did. I believe the following originated in March of this year. I checked Snopes for veracity (it is all true) but can't site the original source or date. May we all have a warm, loving weekend.... 

For half a century, the world has applauded John Glenn as a heart-stirring American hero. He lifted the nation's spirits when, as one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, he was blasted alone into orbit around the Earth; the enduring affection for him is so powerful that even now people find
themselves misting up at the sight of his face or the sound of his voice.

But for all these years, Glenn has had a hero of his own, someone who he has seen display endless courage of a different kind: Annie Glenn. They have been married for 68 years. He is 90; she turned 92 on Friday.

This weekend there has been news coverage of the 50th anniversary of Glenn's flight into orbit. We are being reminded that, half a century down the line, he remains America 's unforgettable hero. He has never really bought that. Because the heroism he most cherishes is of a sort that is seldom cheered. It belongs to the person he has known longer than he has known anyone else in the world.

John Glenn and Annie Castor first knew each other when -- literally -- they shared a playpen. In New Concord, Ohio, his parents and hers were friends. When the families got together, their children played.

John -- the future Marine fighter pilot, the future test-pilot ace, the future astronaut -- was pure gold from the start. He would end up having what it took to rise to the absolute pinnacle of American regard during the space race; imagine what it meant to be the young John Glenn in the small confines of New Concord. Three-sport varsity athlete, most admired boy in town, Mr. Everything.

Annie Castor was bright, was caring, was talented, was generous of spirit. But she could talk only with the most excruciating of difficulty. It haunted her.

Her stuttering was so severe that it was categorized as an "85%" disability -- 85% of the time, she could not manage to make words come out.

When she tried to recite a poem in elementary school, she was laughed at. She was not able to speak on the telephone. She could not have a regular conversation with a friend.

And John Glenn loved her.

Even as a boy he was wise enough to understand that people who could not see past her stutter were missing out on knowing a rare and wonderful girl.

They married on April 6, 1943. As a military wife, she found that life as she and John moved around the country could be quite hurtful. She has written: "I can remember some very painful experiences -- especially the ridicule."

In department stores, she would wander unfamiliar aisles trying to find the right section, embarrassed to attempt to ask the salesclerks for help. In taxis, she would have to write requests
to the driver, because she couldn't speak the destination out loud. In restaurants, she would point to the items on the menu.

A fine musician, Annie, in every community where she and John moved, would play the organ in church as a way to make new friends. She and John had two children; she has written: "Can you imagine living in the modern world and being afraid to use the telephone? 'Hello' used to be so hard for me to say. I worried that my children would be injured and need a doctor. Could I somehow find the words to get the information across on the phone?"

John, as a Marine aviator, flew 59 combat missions in World War II and 90 during the Korean War. Every time he was deployed, he and Annie said goodbye the same way. His last words to her before leaving were: "I'm just going down to the corner store to get a pack of gum." And, with just the two of them there, she was able to always reply: "Don't be long."

On that February day in 1962 when the world held its breath and the Atlas rocket was about to propel him toward space, those were their words, once again. And in 1998, when, at 77, he went
back to space aboard the shuttle Discovery, it was an understandably tense time for them. What if something happened to end their life together?

She knew what he would say to her before boarding the shuttle. He did -- and this time he gave her a present to hold onto: A pack of gum. She carried it in a pocket next to her heart until he was safely home.

Many times in her life she attempted various treatments to cure her stutter. None worked. But in 1973, she found a doctor in Virginia who ran an intensive program she and John hoped would help her. She traveled there to enroll and to give it her best effort. The miracle she and John had always waited for at last, as miracles will do, arrived. At age 53, she was able to talk fluidly, and not in brief, anxiety-ridden, agonizing bursts.

John has said that on the first day he heard her speak to him with confidence and clarity, he dropped to his knees to offer a prayer of gratitude.

He has written: "I saw Annie's perseverance and strength through the years and it just made me admire her and love her even more." He has heard roaring ovations in countries around the globe for his own valor, but his awe is reserved for Annie, and what she accomplished: "I don't know if I would have had the courage."

Her voice is so clear and steady now that she regularly gives public talks. If you are lucky enough to know the Glenns, the sight and sound of them bantering and joking with each other and playfully finishing each others' sentences is something that warms you and makes you thankful just to be in the same room.

Monday will be the anniversary of the Mercury space shot, and once again people will remember, and will speak of the heroism of Glenn the astronaut.

But if you ever find yourself at an event where the Glenns are appearing, and you want to see someone so brimming with pride and love that you may feel your own tears start to well up, wait
until the moment that Annie stands to say a few words to the audience.

And as she begins, take a look at her husband's eyes.

John and Annie Glenn, February 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Everything old is new again, with a new seal. Hopefully.

We don't use a blender often, but I wouldn't want to be without one. You never know when you might really need a pitcher of frozen strawberry daiquiris, right? Our blender, like the one shown in this photo (image from a Google search), is an Oster Imperial VIII. It is as old as our marriage. I think Fred and Wilma Flintstone gave it to us, but I might be wrong. It might have been Barney and Betty.
We used it on Saturday to make margaritas which nobody drank. None of the five adults present like margaritas. Why did we do this? Because we had a little tequila and half a bottle of margarita mix. We thought maybe our tastes had changed. They hadn't. The mix was used in a cake, the tequila was left from a long ago meeting of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes. Fred was an officer in the lodge back then and really liked to party.
Anyway, during the making of margaritas, we discovered that the blender was leaking at the base. Uh oh. Hubby is better than average at fixing things around here, but I began preparing for the worst, meaning blender replacement.

While at Target, I looked at Osters and Kitchen Aid blenders. In their limited selection, Oster had glass jars (carafes? pitchers? just what do you call the upper half of a blender??) and Kitchen Aid had weighty metal bases. I don't want a plastic base that looks like metal unless I have no choice. I don't want a plastic jar either.

I came home and read reviews. There are blender brands that I've never heard of which are probably amazing machines, but for someone who uses a blender infrequently, do I really need a $400 blender? No, not at all. Some people love (with all caps, italics, underlines and exclamation points) Oster and detest Kitchen Aid. Not surprising, there are an equal number of reviewers in Kitchen Aid's camp. Both brands averaged 4 out of 5 stars.

Hubby got the assembly at the bottom of the jar/carafe/pitcher off last night and while the seal looks whole, he asked me to look online for a replacement. I found one that is supposed to fit ALL!  (those reviewers rubbed off on me!) Oster blenders. Guess how much? Three for 99 cents! Shipping is almost 3 times that, but for less than $4, I may be able to keep my blender and make more frozen cocktails the next time the Flintstones and Rubbles are here!
If a new seal solves the problem, I'll invite you all over for drinks and a brontosaurus barbecue.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What is happening to people?

I have a news flash for people. Wild animals retain their instincts, even if they are trained to perform as our little furry toys. An animal breed doesn't become a domesticated species for many generations, and even then, instincts will surface, sometimes for reasons most of us don't see coming.

Last week, ABC and probably every other news source aired the story of an Oregon woman who took her baby to the zoo wearing a black and white striped hoodie. The baby sat on the floor in front of a glass wall while a lion pawed at the glass, trying to get at the baby. Mom filmed the whole thing, laughing. Click here for this story.

I am not going to say she is a bad mother, but doesn't instinct tell most of us to get a baby away from an animal that could tear it to shreds? The glass could be a foot thick but the sight of a lion trying to get at a baby would make me snatch up the child up and step away.

The baby wasn't aware of any potential danger and went home just fine. Time for me to stop thinking about this, right?


This morning's wild life story on ABC was about the Scottish couple who visited a game preserve in South Africa. The wife wanted to pet two supposedly tame cheetahs for her 60th birthday. She was able to do that, but when one of the cheetahs grabbed a young girl's leg, the woman stepped in to rescue her. The other cheetah attacked the woman from behind and both cheetahs mauled the woman for three minutes (the time was mentioned on Good Morning America but not in print) Click here for cheetah attack story.

Why would the child's parents in this story expose her to this risk? If you haven't read the link, she ran to safety and wasn't physically harmed. Why would this couple expose themselves to the risk?

And the biggest question of all: Why the hell did the husband take pictures for three minutes of his wife being mauled? Why didn't he drop the camera and try to help his wife???

When we go to the zoo with our grandson or great niece and nephews, you won't find us laughing at animals thinking the kids are food. I won't be 60 until this fall, but if hubby suggests a trip to Africa to go to a petting preserve, I'll be saying no. Very vehemently.

If slim, trim Roy Horn (of Seigfried and Roy) looked tasty to a tiger he had worked with for 7 years, I'm sure something with big teeth and no familial alliances would perceive me to be a grand buffet.

I'll probably be here earlier tomorrow. I think I'm taking a few days off from watching the news.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Margarita Cake

Most of us avoid discussing religion and politics unless we really know the people who might partake in these discussions. It isn't that dissenting opinions can't be aired, but we've probably all witnessed exchanges that have turned ugly.

Have you noticed that how and what a person cooks can become a red hot topic? I've heard and read nasty comments about most of the cooks who appear on the various food shows on TV. Don't people have an off button on their remotes? I'm not talking about someone who simply states that they don't like or cannot eat the amount of butter that Paula Deen uses, I'm talking about people who seem to snarl when they speak or write her name. I use Paula as an example but there is some complaint about every one who cooks on TV.

I sometimes cook and bake from scratch and sometimes use short cuts that I find in the store, in magazines or online. This weekend I used an online recipe from Betty Crocker to make a Margarita Cake (Click the link for the recipe). Using a white cake mix and bottled margarita mix, it was very easy to prepare. I didn't have limes so no peel was added (which would have been nice I believe) or used as a garnish. I did not frost the cake with Cool Whip, I added it per serving, eliminating the need to refrigerate the cake.
Photo from Betty Crocker website
The flavor was light and not overly sweet. The pretzel crust was both a nice texture and an interesting taste contrast. Everyone here enjoyed it and I will make it again.

Whether you figure out how to make this without using any boxed or bottled product, or whether you make this according to good old Betty's directions, call me when it is ready to eat. We can enjoy a piece and argue discuss which method of brewing coffee is the only way to prepare coffee. That will be our warm up before we discuss Oprah. If cutting down others is becoming a national pastime, we surely don't want to miss out, do we?

For the record, I do.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cautionary email notice and a cute ad

I had two very authentic looking emails this morning from the USPS (United States Postal Service), confirming orders of stamps and shipping labels. I have ordered stamps online, but not in ages. Odder still, the supposed order dates for these purchases was mid-March.

I did NOT click on the links provided in that email to view tracking, recent orders, etc, all of which looked very much like what I have seen in the past. It has been long enough since I truly did order from the USPS, I didn't have a real confirmation email saved to compare.

Going to the USPS site, I found this warning.  In short, it says to NOT open these emails as unwanted viruses will attack and possibly steal information. Delete the email and everything will be fine.

I can see how a person who has never ordered anything online might open that site out of concern which would be a huge mistake. If you know anyone who might fall into that trap, please pass this information along.

Because this frustrates me so, especially after all that I have gone through with computer woes this past year, I really needed to end this post with something light and amusing. Here is an ad that I believe is running in Great Britain.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April showers brought May painted flowers

May Day!  May Day! May Day!
I so wanted to post yesterday with that title and missed the opportunity!

Imagine me knocking on wood as I say that so far, everything is working well with new electronics and I've been able to find all the files that I need. When I logged in to online banking I had to answer questions as it didn't recognize the new computer. That boggles my mind as the connection (service provider) hasn't changed. I'm not balking at the security though.

Did you know that an non-gardener (me) can be an honorary member of a garden club? It is true, and not just any member, I am a lifetime member. I would love to say that I like digging in the dirt and have a green thumb, but neither is true. I've done my share of planting in years past to keep up appearances, but now that hubby is retired, my spade has happily changed hands.

My cottage neighbor doesn't understand how anyone can say they don't enjoy gardening. I counter with how can anyone not use their computer daily?  She still looks at me warily but doesn't hesitate to ask an occasional favor. A few years ago she asked me to paint a sign that would be displayed in the area that the garden club tends for the island, almost the first thing you see after getting off the ferry. I wrote about that here where you will see the original rectangular sign.  Deteriorating edges of the wood led to reshaping the sign to what you see below. There wasn't much left that could be done...
...except stop looking at me with that raised eyebrow and ask another favor. Another garden club member provided new wood that has been treated on the back. Don't ask with what, I am clueless.  They wanted the same scene and the word 'Welcome' added as you see here.
I have happily handed it off for another island neighbor who runs a hardware store to seal before the sign is reinstalled. While I didn't sign the back as before due to the mystery finish, the same sentiment holds as when I signed the previous one Ucant Affordme. Don't believe me? Just ask my husband!

I may change my phone number before this sign wears out. If anyone would like a lifetime membership via sign painting, please let me know and I will give your name to the club.