Friday, January 29, 2010

Florida Day One

We left Atlanta this morning about 10:30  and are on our way to see friends in Lady Lake (Orlando area). Sam has done most of the driving. I took a nap (finally)--and awoke to see this

 Tomorrow we head for the beach and it will be nice to have only a two hour drive.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kindle Care Gone Awry

Two weeks ago Tuesday was my Bunco night. I made dinner for Mom and Sam. Just before leaving, I set Mom up with the Kindle to continue listening to Beverly Lewis' The Shunning, a story set in the Amish region of Lancaster County.

When I returned home two hours later, I went to her room to turn off the device. Mom was listening, but had a strange expression on her face and said, "That was NOT my book--but I listened to it anyway. It was like one of those "True Story" magazines." I don't think Mom's ever read a True Story magazine. But she knew someone who did. Or maybe she knew somebody who knew somebody who did. Anyway...

Then I remembered. After Mom had listened the previous night, I was browsing through some of the books I had downloaded. There were a few free "romance" novels so I put them in the mix. I must say I enjoy reading the occasional trashy novel on occasion. However, a few pages in (OK, so maybe it was more than a few--but as God is my witness, less than 50), I realized that this great work of literature was closer to female erotica than romance novel.

When you turn the Kindle back on, it will automatically pick up where you left off. I didn't pay any attention to what was on the screen when I set it up for Mom. She doesn't know how to start or stop it--I guess it was basically a hostage situation.

Except for the fact that she could have simply taken off the headphones.

She didn't.

Sam was sitting in the living room and I told him what had happened. I also read him this brief passage from the book,
His whiskey tone promised incredible delights, seducing her word by word. "I can indulge in the feeling of you wrapped around me. Not moving, just savoring." 

I understand if you feel the need to go take a shower right now--I inadvertently let my 91-year-old mother listen to porn  a  sexually explicit romance novel for 2 hours.

Special place in hell, here I come--right next to the author of Slow Hands.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kindle Care

Last night as I was making dinner, Mom was sitting her chair watching the news. We were chatting and she was talking about the book she's currently listening to on the Kindle, The Confessional by Beverly Lewis. Mom says the story moves slowly but that suits her just fine because if she nods off, she doesn't miss much.

Mom mentioned that Kent (my brother) was asking her about how the Kindle works. This is what she says she told him, "Remember when Nina's kids were little and she put them in the baby swing while she made dinner. As long as she kept winding it up, they were fine. It's kind of like that. She puts the headphones on my head, pushes the button and it's instant quiet. She checks every now and then and plugs it in if the battery is running low."

Had her comparison not been so accurate, it might have occurred to me to either feel guilty or offended.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's the simple things

The snow is piled deep on the deck. A cold rain falls intermittently. It's only a matter of time until it turns to a thick coating of ice. But all is well here, because in addition to a perm and a haircut for Mom and fresh color and new highlights for me, we have:
Summer in a jar.

Mom canned this mixture at the end of the summer. It took her several days to accomplish all of the chopping but she was determined to use up some oversized green beans, the last of the summer tomatoes, the onions that wouldn't keep over winter and a few of the hundreds of carrots still in the garden.

I'll admit to being less than enthusiastic about the finished product. I'm kind of a purist when it comes to tomatoes: Whole, juice or Mom's home-canned creamy tomato soup. Period. I will add my own vegetables thankyouverymuch.

Until tonight. Tonight was special. Tonight I fell in love.

Earlier this afternoon, I looked through every one of my local cookbooks for a Snowmobile Soup recipe. I've eaten it in a local restaurant--and it's a richly flavored hamburger soup I think made popular being served by the local snowmobile clubs at the end of a long day of riding. It felt like a night for soup and I had picked up some fresh ground beef yesterday. Since I couldn't find any recipe for Snowmobile Soup, I came up with a "rogue" version.

I browned about a pound and a half of the ground beef with a shallot, then added two jars of "summer" and some finely diced potatoes. For seasoning, I added salt and pepper, a sprinkle of Italian seasoning and a bay leaf. When the potatoes were cooked, I added a pint of Mom's home canned tomato soup. From start to finish was only about an hour and the soup was delicious. I warmed some home-baked dinner rolls to dunk in the soup. Ahhhh, bliss. 

Now I know the true meaning of the best of both worlds: While we're eating summer in a jar, here is the view from our living room window.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Today's the day

I'm starting my pre-wedding weight-loss effort (refuse to use the d-word). Lukas and Denise have set the date for 10.2.10.

The proposal on Christmas night

Aren't they a cute couple!

 OK, back to the subject at hand:

I just ate the last vestige of leftover holiday food--some stale chex mix. Excuse me while I go scrounge up a little chocolate to get the stale peanut taste out of my mouth.

I'm back. Found 8 Hershey's Kisses--also a little on the stale side--but chocolate is chocolate. Ate 2 3 4, saved the other 6 5 4 for an emergency.

So, here is my first diet tip that will demonstrate how seriously I am, indeed, taking this:

Half Sticks of Butter

Baby steps, my friends, baby steps.... 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In case there was ever a doubt..

I have now clearly identified the genetic source of my flair for the dramatic.

Mom was talking to my brother on the phone this afternoon and I heard her tell him, "I try to keep moving so I don't just curl up in a corner and die."

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Background information, Mom has been listening to Jeannette Walls' Half Broke Horses using headphones attached to my Kindle.

Mom just walked out to the kitchen to fill her cup of coffee. Sam was doing the dishes.

She said to him, "I had really crazy dreams last night. My head isn't used to having a book over its ears."

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm sitting here at the computer

Putting off going to deliver the news to Mom that her brother-in-law passed away last night.

Knowing that another chapter in life has concluded in our family.

Mom now has only one surviving sister-in-law on her side of the family.

My heart aches for her--she just lost her last sister a month ago.

We've gone to more funerals this year than any year I remember.

This is really hard.

Chapter 3

Big Rex, the wise but not exactly brilliant elder rooster, got everyone's attention when he announced,
"Gather round my children. If we all work together, pecking in unison, this humble pumpkin will transform into a magical spaceship that will transport us to a land far, far away."

"It will  take us away from this godforsaken country to the warm land of Key West, Florida,land of our forefathers where we can roam free and live a life of dignity and worth"

"To roost atop the local bars and have our pictures taken by drunken  patrons"

The chickens all rushed into the pumpkin and began to peck in unison--anticipating a rapturous moment of harmonious convergence that would transport them to the land flowing with golden mash and sugar coated grit.

Would their fervent efforts be the "key" to a new life?

Or yet another ill-conceived binge motivated disaster?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chapter 2

Speculation about the strange object abounded:

"It's an exercise ball to "Buff" us all up!" exclaimed the Orpingtons.

"Our application for a Habitat for Humanity home has been accepted," announced the Wyandottes.

Larry Leghorn captured the attention of the entire flock as he explained that the object could be converted to a clever carriage capable of transporting an elite operative group across the road to Farmer Dick's stash of cracked corn. He began recruiting volunteers for the mission, "If we all work together, our gullets will be bulging and we will back in the coop before Farmer Zac and handsome Farmer Sam ever realize we were gone."

Punk Rock Freddy, the shy but intelligent little Silkie, quietly expressed his concern about Larry's theory, "But what about the  Mack truck, the marauding dog pack and Charlie the Chickenhawk?"

The group paused for a moment of silence to remember their fallen comrades lost during a reckless excursion after a night of binge beef suet consumption.

Chapter One--Yet Untitled Fable

Once upon a time there was a farm in the frozen tundra. On this farm lived some chickens. Every day, farmer Zac or his handsome father Sam would come to the farm to feed the chickens.

They fed the chickens a lot of crazy things--and the chickens were very happy. They especially liked the cheese doodles left over from one of farmer Zac's wild parties.

One day, this large object appeared in their midst. And the chickens were puzzled.

"What could it be?" they clucked and murmured.

To be continued..

Any suggestions???