31 December 2007

happiest of newest years to everyone

well, i and my guy are staying in tonight.  yes!  and i'm ready to quickly shower and then take some fresh from the oven bread to my landlords.  and i hope to spend a quite evening with my guy who will be soon running hither and thither so we want to eek every minute we can.  be safe, dudes, be safe.

30 December 2007


mmmmmmmmmm, hot chocolate.
mmmmmmm, donuts.
mmmm, shower.
mm, nappage.


29 December 2007


Sometimes commercials provide more comic fodder than they intend.  My guy and I both latched on to an exclamation made by one of the weight-loss women.  "...the fat was just melting off and my husband says, 'look at you!!'" she screeches with ecstasy that is so commonly feigned by most manically smiling actors extolling the wonders of cleaning products, feminine products, laundry products, and other scented products.

The "look at you!!" cry is also common at holiday gatherings, luncheons, and other chance meetings we'd rather not engage in but have no choice but to acknowledge the other party's presence.  That falsely exuberant greeting grates on my ears, making me cringe even when it isn't intended for me.  The muscles in my face freeze and begin to ache and my jaw locks, and my ears bleed whenever I hear it.  Although, I admit, it is fun to crow:


27 December 2007

last week

tis the last week of the year, only a few days til the newest one dawns in greys and dreary rain.  i spent the last few days with my guy's family, altho it feels ages since i've been home.   i missed my comfy queen sized bed with its feather bed and quilt and pillows that are just so, meant for me and my head and my body.

the best part of the last few days was watching the delight of the kids as they unwrapped their gifts.  the clear joy radiated and i couldn't help but smile in return.  the littlest boy, 2, was bewildered with all the clutter and the urging of his parents to tear paper and toss it about when earlier in the evening they scolded him for doing just that very thing to his grandmother's magazine.

everyone loved their hats and scarves and blankets and oooohed and aaaaahhed.  it was good and i am glad it is all but over.  i'm exhausted.  we're going back up to get my guy's bed liner sprayed in tomorrow and i need to drop off a few last minute things; a coffee bean grinder for his sister that i gave a pound of whole beans to, she didn't ask for a grinder but i know she would appreciate one...they have bought christmas for 4 boys of their own and i think are a tad strapped for cash at the moment.  this way they won't have scald their mouths while gulping boiling water to wash down the chewed coffee beans.

my guy is off hunting today.  he doesn't take much time off and so i am hoping this is a good day for him.  he will be busy as can be within a day or two again and then he will be off and going here and there for interviews (tennessee, arkansas, maine, georgia).  makes me tired just thinking of it all.

i hope everyone's holidays have been wonderful and that all the best will come in the newest year!

21 December 2007

don't be a drunken wrapper

When I was a teenager, my mother's closest brother, Larry, and his wife, Kay, would have us come to their house for Christmas.  It was awful and I hated going, because the couple was usually drunk.  Kay was a bit of a ditz (ok that was being generous, she was a huge complex set of pieces of work) and Larry was a huge condescending snob who needed to put others down in order to secure his pompous place of piousness.  But my mother loved her brother and so she would ignore most of his oafishness; I'm sure there is a lesson there I am to apply to my own brotherly situation.  But not this year, maybe next; but not this.

However, Kay and Larry would provide for tons of comic relief, even if it was unintentional.  But I usually was not in a loving accepting benefice mood on Christmas afternoons, imagine that.  And it wasn't cuz they were drunken morons, it was cuz they were morons.  And I was a teenager, so even less tolerant of morons than usual.  Having been around drunks for many years, as I worked at the local VFW; I know that as a general rule mean people make mean drunks, happy people make happy drunks, smart people make drunken idiots, and stupid people make drunk stupidity.

Larry had an interesting method behind his present wrapping.  He'd go down to his basement bar and fix himself a drink.  Drink it and clear off a section of the bar for the presents, and keep his drink freshened (often meaning that he would finish the one and mix another, cuz really, ya can never get the portions of various alcohols just right when trying to freshen a drink; like the waitress that tops of your coffee which you have just now gotten the right ratio of coffee, sugar, and cream right before she adds a dollop of coffee, thus throwing off your ratios and undoing your carefully achieved balance).  Larry would then clear a section for wrapping paper, tape, scissors, and gift tags.  He'd drink some more and then decide he needed more wrapping paper cuz there is an awful lot of presents.  Once he added more paper to the pile, he'd drink a few more drinks just to get festive, doncha know.  He may decide to find a radio station of Christmas music, or attempt to do so only to settle on a station which blares rap (which Larry mistakes for very contemporary Christmas music); please keep in mind this was in the mid to late 80s, when rap was a different breed than what we have now.

Larry then lays out some wrapping paper from one side of him, and chooses a present from the other side.  He proceeds to wrap and dance in place and screech along with misconceived lyrics, while merrily throwing the drinks back, which are now mostly alcohol and less mix cuz it is too much trouble to worry about additives like ice, oj, or soda.  Within a very short time, Larry has run out of presents to wrap and yet has tons of wrapping paper left.  So he begins to wrap items which are easily at hand, just to use up the paper, cuz he couldn't have made a mistake and mismanaged his paper/present ratio, now could he?  Half emptied bottles of creme de menthe, rock and rye, and wild turkey sport gaily sledding santa's and snowmen and elves.

Now Larry is no longer using a glass, but is swilling straight from the bottle.  Now he is no longer even attempting to sing with the lyrics, but is muttering along with an internal monologue.  Now he has run out of paper, so is rummaging through the dirty clothes of the neighboring laundry room (this is the basement after all) and using the soiled shirts to wrap his willy-nilly items he has continued to grab from around the basement, a hastily emptied ashtry, an empty bottle of bleach, and oh look! there is the trash pile waiting to go out to the drive to await pick up.  There is bound to be some good stuff in there!

Larry has now discovered that he had forgotten to appropriately tag the gifts.  So, he sloppily scrawls names and tapes them haphazardously amongst the strewn odd assortment of presents.  There are a few items which receive a few tags, for folks that may or may not be in the same country, let alone the same household.  He has had a blast, but now, oh his aching head, now, his body is completely wrecked and he heads to bed.

Christmas afternoon finds him hustling around the kitchen and then look! it's his baby sister and her family!  He ushers us downstairs, and flicks on the lights, only to have the evening before come rushing back with the sight of sickly strewn gifts and even the handle for the beer tap has been wrapped in a sock with duct tape.  He covers his dismay with extra bluster, as tho he intended to do exactly this all along.  He waves us all over to the heaped with trash bar, and settles us in with offers of beer, drinks, and then discovers that he cannot find the bourbon, whiskey, vodka, tequila, or any other relevant bottle.

So Judi asks for the funniest gift we have ever given or received.  I can't really say, but I'm sure that it is one that has been wrapped by Larry.  It may have been the dead dog's half gnawed bone.

20 December 2007

December's Artsy Essay

Judi HeartSong's call for December's Artsy Essay is here.  Please go see and then go write, and then go link, and then go share.  Share, folks, share!

This month's theme is:

The Funniest Gift I Have Ever Given or Received

There is no explanation needed... let's light up the holidays with some laughter here and make sure you spell-check, use colorful and descriptive language, and tell your tale in an engaging way!

You have until the very last minute of the last hour of the last day of this holiday month to spin a yarn to share.

Go write, snicker, chortle, and chuckle!!

one last hat

I've packed the presents to take to my guy's family.  I've been knitting, crocheting, and looming for about a month now.  The baby's blanket; a preemie hat for her lil head and just in case her head isn't quite that lil, then a dolly can wear it and she can wear another hat that I made a size larger, along with a mini-baby scarf; hats for the older five children (ages 2, 5, 7, 8, and 8); four one pound bags of flavored whole-bean coffee (hazelnut, butter rum, pecan, aztec) for each of the households (my guy has two sisters (who are married, with children) and his mother, and lately his father has been attending family gatherings); and a bag with a note to remind myself to retrieve the bread (the pumpkin with raisins yeasted dough) from the freezer for everyone (two elongated loaves, a larger round loaf, and eight smaller round loaves).  I'm ready for the gatherings to begin!

Once I get this one last hat done.

missing walt.

19 December 2007

baking bread, again

Well, I gave several loaves of the Christmas Bread away, one to Leona of coffee shop fame, and another to my counselor, and one to my gp.  They are all close to me and important to the continuation of my mental health.

So today, I decided to make bread with pumpkin and raisins.  It is in the second rise now and looks and smells and feels good!  I've been having lots of fun.  It's a large batch, so I will do the three loaves and a glass bowl and maybe try making some smaller pats, on cookie sheets.  Then maybe I'll freeze some so that I can take stuff with me to Christmas dinner and other festivities with my guy's clan.

I just made the loaves and punched the other dough down (it's in the smaller metal bowl).  It's looking good!  It's a orangey color with raisins studding it nicely.  It feels good, nice and elastic and firm without being too gunky.  I used some of the wheat gluten, cuz I used the rest of the 50/50 and some regular flour.  The main reason I used the gluten tho is because of the amount of pumpkin I used and there is no risibility in pumpkin.  I can tell that it will be scrumptious when I dive into the test loaf!

The bread turned out very tasty and very pretty!  The little round loaves are about the size of small dinner plates or large saucers.  They will make nice Christmas gifts with bags of coffee (I had bought some backs of various sorts of coffee from Leona last week, I'll repackage the coffee into smaller bags and make gift bags for the adults).  I'll freeze the bread and keep it til closer to the time.

I also mixed up some softened butter with clover honey.  Very tasty on the test loaf, mmmmmmmmmm.   yummy.

b'bye LJ's Coffee and Bakery; HELLO BookMart!!

LJ's is closing tomorrow BUT BookMart downtown asked her to come open and manage a coffee shop in their store.  He already has plans for Leona to then open and manage and train folks for the BookMart on campus and also longer range plans for Leona to open/manage/train the coffee shop in their BookMart in Oxford.  Leona is lots happier cuz the hours are more reasonable, no more 16 hour days.  And altho there is still lots to worry about as a manager, slightly less than an owner with less stress.  Leona is really looking forward to that!  He (BookMart) bought all the equipment from LJ's and so she doesn't have to worry about finding a home or storing that stuff and Leona already has the contacts made with the vendors for the supplies and such, so she is ahead with all that.  The opening date for the BookMart coffee shop is slated for mid-January.  So, I'll still have a place to hang out for a few hours and I'll know folks and it will feel familiar in some ways.

18 December 2007

Le Mon cross dresses


with his personally made purse and mini-skirt.


Remember last month's excitement regarding pattern making and skirt sewing?  Today and Thursday we are finishing up what we started back then.  Or that's the idea, tho I think some of us will need more time yet, or at least we want more time.  Actually, most of us were done and only a few of us showed up today.  The others have had experience with sewing, and everyone but me had brought their own machines.  I used one that they had there.  That was cool.

Last month, I was also involved in a purse-making class.  The class was cool, but for the woman who was determined to be a bitchy whiner; Joyce was her name and she was not amused.  Altho she had said that she would bring her own machine, she decided not to and then got very angry that they didn't have an extra for her.  She then got very pissy because I was not moving as fast as she'd like.

Well, today I cringed (oh, horrors!) when I saw her come in to the room, carrying a huge piece of fabric that was folded up.  I thought it was a blanket, but no, it was the fabric that she wanted to make her skirt from.  Now the amusing thing was that the class today was billed as being a continuation of the skirt making class from last month.  Joyce was irate because it was pointed out that she was not in the class last month and so missed the actual pattern making classes.

Joyce got loud, then louder, and finally loudest.  This did not endear her at all with the instructor who told her that no, the instructor couldn't just whip up a pattern for Joyce and that no, no one else could do so either.  And no, complaining to the supervisor would not help (altho she was welcome to try).  Finally, Joyce stomped off, and I swear the tension didn't ebb from the room; it fled in proportion to Joyce's retreat.

Le Mon screams,


17 December 2007

Le Mon says,

No.  Thank you.  Really.  NO.

Baking Bread, the verdict

This time, I used 50/50 flour (whole wheat/regular white) and I added raisins, dates, and candied fruit mix.  The bread is more like a Christmas loaf.  It is sweet, but not like a cake.  It has a great texture, due to the whole wheat grains.  It smelled great while baking.

The three loaves are cooling and the two round loaves in the glass bowls are in the oven now.  I've tried one of the small loaves with some butter (testing it, doncha know) and I think it's alright to give a few loaves away.  So the finally verdict is in.  Very good.

baking bread update

The bread feels good, the dough is nice and elastic, while firm and spongy.  It looks good, too.  My oven holds four loaves, but I only have three pans, so that works well.  I still have about half the dough left.  So when this batch comes out, I may put in two round loaves placed in glass bowls.

Next up, how does it taste?

Baking Bread

Today is the first time I've used the bread bowl and the bread board my mom had given me when she was here visiting last month.  It's finally been cool enough to bake during the day, and bread is too much of an involving process to start at night.  I'm trying something new this time, and I think it will turn out just fine.

I've already punched it down from the first rising, and it feels good, so maybe I'll give a couple loaves away along with a few Christmas cards.  I'm hoping it tastes just as good as it looks right now.  I'll let ya know!!

Le Mon sniffs


16 December 2007

Inner Snowy

Last year, I was visiting my friend Greta just before Christmas.  We always have so much fun, in huge part because she has such a quirky sense of wit that suits me just fine.  It's such a delight to be embraced and to be able to embrace.

Greta knows I drink tea so she had a stunning variety that she had acquired just so that I would have a choice.  She's wonderful like that.  So I was standing in her kitchen, getting a contact high from the myriad of tea blends that were wafting from newly opened boxes, when I saw a very curious oddity.

There, sitting on the sugar canister, was a stuffed snowman, a beanie baby named "Snowy", holding a note and looking for all the world as tho he were reading it.  He had a slightly bemused expression, as tho the sticky with Greta's writing brought him as much laughter as she did me.  I recognized her pen slashings, yet couldn't read it from my angle, because the note was situated for Snowy's little black shiny button eyes only.

Feeling like the snoop I was, I quickly peeked at the message.  "Keep an eye on the house" was Snowy's missive from Greta.  A clearing of the throat startled me, and I guiltily backed away from the counter, muttering that the stuffed snowman was sharing his orders with me, honest, he was.

Later that night, I entered my room to get ready for sleep.  Perched on my pillow was Snowy, with a new note.  This one said, "Watch over Debra".  I slept quite soundly under his vigilant eye.

The next morning, as I climbed into my car to leave, Greta handed me my present, saying, "we all need our inner Snowy."  It was my very own snowman (a beaning baby named Freezie) sitting inside a Santa mug, both wearing encouraging gleeful grins.  Only Greta would give me such an appropriately touching gift.

Freezie oversees my sessions here on the computer, sitting on the bookshelf just to my right.  I feel so safe, knowing that he approves, encourages, and applauds my every effort even when no one else does.  And he never melts away.

Le Mon Overeats

Holiday Stuffing

15 December 2007

Le Mon Returns

fa la la la la


For the past week, Stray Biter has been increasingly friendly with me (although not with my guy) especially when my Shaddow and Ziggee are indoors.  In fact the other day, I went to see my neighbors to take them their Christmas card and also to give Millie (Perry's, my landlord's, mother) an update.  She was ecstatic and rushed to give me some wormer meds cuz she thinks that may be why the Stray Biter is so skinny (in spite of everyone feeding him for over six months).  She also gave me three months supply of bio-spot (flea/tick treatment and prevention). Then she asked what name I gave him.  I said the first thing that came to mind.


Besides sounding like "biter" (given the german pronunciation of d's with a harder more definitive sound, like a T), he seems to have been biding his time to get closer to someone.  It's a bit of an honor that he chose me, but I think he was apologizing for his very bad biting behavior.  Poor form, doncha know.

Millie and I agreed that he most likely is a mix of Australian Shepherd (Aussies originated here, in the US, and not Australia) and black lab.  He is actually a smaller framed dog, maybe 40 pounds, with a neat head (wide in the jaw/cheeks, with a shorter snout), mostly a longer black hair coat with a white/dappled chest and socks.  Eventually, I may take him to the vet, to be neutered.  But I'm not in a real big rush.  Imagine trying to get this guy into the car, and then to the vets.  shudder.

That'd put a real kink into the tentative friendship we have.

Happy Birthday, Dad

So after I saw my guy trundle down the road, then I called my dad.  Today he finishes his 61st year and starts his 62nd.  Seems just last month, he was 45.  But since I'm 37, I know that's not possible, now, is it?

Dad told me about his latest activities and next week's appointments at the VA in Fort Smith (Arkansas).  He talked about going to get another cord of wood for the upcoming cooler weather and how he was glad that they didn't get nailed with the ice to the north or the sleet to the west, but have only had the rain-slicked roads and muddy yards to mess with.  He told me about the special dinner that mom was making for his birthday.

He told me he loves me.

Goings and Comings

My guy sighed, "guess I can't put it off any longer."  So we kissed and hugged and wished each other well, completing our farewell til next I see you rituals.  I watched his white truck ramble down the dirt road thru the wet dreary grey day, white exhaust trailing as he turned and dwindled out of sight.  Finally, I closed the door and set to rights those lil things that restore order, that's my ritual when he leaves.  Tidying up the bathroom, picking up any stray socks or damp towels, gathering shoes to dump by the door, and hanging up the forgotten shirt and khakis that he decided not to wear, instead choosing jeans and a Reed's for the long drive to Augusta, Georgia.

Last week was his first of interviews for internships to start next summer and end the following.  Monday is Augusta, then Little Rock, Memphis, Knoxville, Charlotte, and even a site in Maine.  There are still five places to hear from yet.  The interviews stretch through til the end of January, with Match-Day in February.

It isn't the actual interviews that he is reluctant face, it's the long drive, the travels, the turn-right around and make the next appointment; for his life continues to be crammed with all the other activities.  He still counsels clients, writes book chapters, directs the other counselors for the campus counseling center.  It isn't even any one thing that is wearing him down, it's all of it piled on and no relief in sight.  This semester has been very intense and he hasn't been able to relax, to breathe, for more than the occasional afternoon here, with me.  I hate to see him this stressed, this worn out; but we both know that he is at a crucial stage of his career, education, and life in general.  And it could be oh so much worse.  He could not have any of those things and he could not be so busy.  He actually has it pretty good.

And we both know it.

13 December 2007

My Reservation at the Nutcracker Suite

Hello!  Welcome to my version of the nutcracker suite, were we are all nuts and crack up whenever possible.  C'min 'n' setta spell.  You know me, and I love to laugh, especially when it isn't at anyone's expense, not even my own.  Cuz my gov'ment check doesn't stretch all that far anyway, rent here is cheap, but not that cheap.  And ya know, there's the utilities and the upkeep, like toilet paper and other essentials.

To the right, I have a link to Dooce, a blog I read regularly.  Hell, sometimes I browse thru the archives; think of it like that extra dose of fiber that is needed to keep it all flowing smoothly here in the Suite.  She often has very cool stuffs and delivers it with a sharp wit, just like I like it.

Today, she wrote of something we all can identify with, either ourselves or someone we know and most often care about.  I'd like to send you all there on a field-trip of sorts, so thru the magic of the internet...POOF!  here we are!  Couldn'ta said it better myself.

But if you are too tired to travel, just plop down on the lovely fold-out-into-an-extra-bed-good-if-you-have-children-and-are-traveling-as-a-family here in my Suite, enjoy the popcorn I've made in the handy-dandy microwave, crack open a root-beer from the mini-fridge or have a cuppa pipin' hot tea I made in their coffepot and take a look-see at an excerpt from Dooce's entry of the day.

"I think many people are afraid that if they take medication or even agree to see a therapist that they are in some way admitting failure or defeat. Or they have been told by their boyfriend or their mother or their best friend that they should buck up and get over it, and that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Well then, let me be weak. Let me be a failure. Because being over here on this side, where I see and think clearly, where I'm happy to greet my child in the morning, where I can logically maneuver my way over tiny obstacles that would have previously been the end of the world, over here being a failure is a hell of a lot more enjoyable than the constant misery of suffering alone."

12 December 2007

Kenya hear me NOW?

I've been listening to Audio Books lately, while I am crafting away.  It's hard to read and knit at the same time.  I'm sure you can relate.

Some books are good, some not so.  And some readers are awesome, some suck.  The ones that I don't care for are overly dramatic and tend to stress the wrong words.  Ya know, they put the wrong emPHASis on the wrong sylLABle (as Mike Meyer says).  Everything comes out sounding like Jim Carrey impersonating Wm Shatner.

But the right book with the right reader is so worth the listening.  Almost makes me forget that I'm regretting not reading it.  Almost.

11 December 2007

knit wit

right now, in mississippi, we are having some very unseasonable hot and humid weather.  for this last week, for this next week, the daily temps are about 80 degrees and the nightly temps are not much cooler.  the far off forecast shows cooler temps in about ten days.  not only is it to cool off, it is to be downright cold.  ach, such extremes.  not good.  jawohl, what can you do?

so just in time for christmas, all those hats and scarves i've been making will be appreciated.

well, i'll be...

Friday, a stray dog that has been hanging around the farm for at least six months, if not longer, bit me.  I was pissed and hit him over the head with the same hand he had just bit.  Damn dog.

I called the animal shelter, but since I live in the county, they couldn't send the dog-catcher by.  If I called the sheriff, they'd come out and shoot him dead.  DeLisa (who IS the animal shelter and the humane society along with her husband Glenn) suggested I call down to my landlord's parents (Millie his mom did the books for the animal shelter for years) as they are huge animal (esp dogs) saviors.  So I called Millie to see if she had any advice.  She said that they were trying to catch the dog to give him flea/tick treatment and maybe get him fixed.  She suggested I keep him penned in my yard and then call my landlord (her son) when he got home from work.  So I take myself to the gp, get my tetanus shot.  I also am up on the info on rabies and know that it is very rare for a dog to carry it (even if it is a stray, even if it is out here on the farm and not an indoor dog).  And since I've been acquainted with Stray Biter for many months, and he is not exhibiting the signs of rabies, I wasn't worried about neurological damage from his bite (besides, what's a tad bit of neurological damage added to the resident nut anyway?).

When I got back, I go see my landlord.  He's already heard that I've been bitten and has a bug up his ass before I even open my mouth.  Then he really doesn't like what I have to say, which is that if he wants to catch the dog, he is in my yard.  If not, fine, I'll put him down (shoot him).  Perry assumes his best condescending lord of all he surveys and proceeds to ream me out, including a line of how it isn't fair to the dog.

That may be so, however, I've always heard that once a dog goes bad and bites unprovoked, then it needs to go down cuz he's not predictable within reason.  And ya know what folks?  I do ask my landlords to help me with things, but I think that nothing I have asked has ever been unreasonable (indeed some are landlord duties like replacing a bathroom floor before I step out of the shower and fall thru it) and some has been outlandish, but Lisa has always had the option of saying, "no" and not only hasn't she done so, but she has also reassured me several times when I think that perhaps I am asking too much (like feeding the dogs for me while I go out of town).

So Perry goes off on me, yells at his son who ventures outside to see what the yelling is about to go back inside (this doesn't concern you), and I think (I don't KNOW this for a fact cuz I wasn't there to witness it) that he also instructs his wife to not have anything to do with me (to do me any favors).  I let him have his say, and tell him I will do as he wished (which was to let the dog go about his business...my guy had to chase him out of my yard, cuz he wouldn't leave just cuz the gate was open).  Later that evening, I had something I wanted to remind Lisa that Leona is closing LJ's and to let her mother know (Lisa's mom is the co-queen for a local chapter of the red hat society that meets at LJ's monthly) cuz we are friends and speak of other things besides renter/rentee things.  So when Lisa came to the phone, I said that I was leaving town for a few days, can she take care of the dogs?  Then I quickly assured her that I was kidding, esp when she hesitated (usually she says oh sure, no problem).  We chatted and it was pleasant.

Then tonight, because I have been showing Lisa stuff about crochet, I stopped down to demonstrate the knitting loom (since I knew that she was going to be working on making palm trees for a christmas show).  We chatted while she scrunched up bags and hot glued them to the trunks and the kids made costumes and I loomed, explaining the general steps and why I did what I was doing when I did it.  People always understand better when they know the why-fers behind it.  Lisa also appreciates hands-on thru the stages, and really, what person doesn't?

I did make a comment for her to remind me to tell Perry that he needs to repair a window pane cuz I tossed a project out the window when I got frustrated with it.  She drew her breath in sharply and I reassured her that I was kidding.  I wouldn't waste yarn that way.

Because sometimes I know I can let my paranoia stray too far from the healthy range into where the bitter grass grows, I almost convinced myself that Perry was over his snit-fit.  Uhm, no.  When he and his son got back from scouts, he stormed in the living room and glared at me and then stormed into his bedroom and changed.  Then he stormed back and glared at Lisa.  I had greeted him when he first came in, and was laughing along with Lisa and the kids when I did so.  I looked at Lisa when he was glaring at her and she seemed fine, relaxed, laughing, and he just kept on glaring at her.  Then he stomped off and that was that, for then.

Ok, that's a lot of he saids and she saids then I said and then we did and then he did and what I meant was and I thought this that and the other.  And I think I went around the moon to explain the cheese.  I wanted to give you an idea of why I was and am thinking what I am and did.  Make sense to you?  Makes sense to me (but then it would cuz I'm writing it and telling it my way and I'm biased).

When I left, Lisa thanked me muchly and sincerely and I didn't feel that we were strained at all.  I drove home and Shaddow bolted out the gate when I came into the yard.  I usually am not wild about her roaming, but don't usually worry about it.  But with Perry in the mood he has been in, I really don't need another tick on my score card (Shaddow's being loose was bitched about, altho all the dogs out here roam and the only ones that are sometimes contained are mine).  So after a few hours, I went out to see if Shaddow was around yet.

Here's the thing, the whole reason for this incredibly long and rambling entry:  the Stray Biter dude?  He came up to me, tail between legs, head down, and then nudged me gently.  Then he licked the hand that he bit.  Then he sat on my foot and leaned on me, looking up with those big ol brown puppy-dog eyes and lifted his paw just a tad.  So I sat on my steps and let him come up and scratched him and petted him and talked to him and picked off the ticks and he let me do all that and didn't tense up not once, even with the tick-pulling stuff.  And no one, but no one, out here on the farm has been able to touch him, let alone give him a pet-down.

huh, i'll be.

09 December 2007

The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Oh, horrors!  It was bound to happen sometime, and frankly, I am surprised it hasn't happened sooner.  But it is still such a disappointment.  A cringing erk moment which has now become intense scrutiny of replayed actions and what did i do wrong and how do i fix it.  Worrisome, it is, downright worrisome.

I've been baking cookies for over thirty years, and yesterday was the first time that a batch was horrible and didn't improve.  The first sheet I retrieved from the oven brought tears to my eyes.  All the cookies were melted into one big burnt edges with raw center mess.  I adjust the temperature of the oven and made sure that i had mixed the dough thoroughly.  Then, I tried again.  The second sheet was slightly better, at least they baked evenly, no burnt edges and raw centers.  But the sheet looked like a topographical map with lumps and bumps and deep ravines and bare spots and clumps dotting the landscape.  So, I checked the dough again.  And the third sheet was an improvement, but not much of one.  The cookies crumbled and were very dry and didn't taste right at all.

So I covered the rest of the dough, stuck it in the fridge, shut down the oven and the kitchen, and called it a night.  I may attempt it again tonight.  I probably need to add flour and an egg.  I've never ever had problems with an entire batch of cookies.

First time for everything.

08 December 2007

Lillian's Last Project

You may remember that I had written about Mr. Charlie a few months ago.  Earlier this week, I entered LJ's Coffee and Bakery to find Mr. Charlie already seated waiting for me.  Leona is closing LJ's in less than two weeks, and we are all sorry to see the end of the business but we all have made lasting friendships and have been talking about where we can still meet up.  Mr. Charlie often drives to town specifically so that he can come to LJ's and chat with all the regulars.

So the other day, Mr. Charlie waves me over and asks me if I do needlepoint.  He was searching for a postage stamp last week and opened the center drawer on his wife's desk.  The last project she was working on when she had died was tucked away there, needlepoint canvas from Portugal featuring two lovely ladies in all their finery.  Mr. Charlie said that he thought of me straight off and I was so deeply touched that he would do so.

This afternoon, Mr. Charlie brought me a small bag and wiped his eyes quickly as he handed the needlepoint canvas with Lillian's needle pinned into place as though she set the work down only a few minutes ago while she fixed dinner for her husband.  I thanked him so much so that he grew rosy and pleased.  Theirs was truly a fascinating relationship that I am slowly uncovering, as Mr. Charlie feels fit to share, at his own pace, in his own way.

The cold medicine has kicked in and now is not the time to tell their tale.  But one day, I will.  Hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later.

'snot fun (pout)

a few nights ago, i started to experience an increase in post-nasal drainage, which irritates my throat and ears something awful.  i also had the chills and a fever (sounds fluish, but i had the flu shot).  fortunately, i didn't have the body aches and since i was in the gp's office yesterday to get the tetanus shot, i asked about the ear/nose/throat stuffs.  she thinks that something is triggering my allergies more so than my antihistamine can handle and not to worry.  last night, i drank jasmine tea til my molars floated and my throat felt much better, while i was drinking that is.  this morning, nothing is draining as it should so i have these big ole tears accumulating in my eyes (cuz the tear duct is clogged).

snot fun, no it's not.

07 December 2007

Labors of Love

If any of you have been wondering what in the world I've been doing cuz I've certainly not been posting much original material, drawings, sketches, good solid witty entries; then let me show you an example of my latest endeavors:

Behold!  The knit hat!  It fits an apple quite well.  Or the head of my guy's six pound niece.  She is tiny.  Not premature, but lil.  Course then she comes from a family of lil people.  On her mom's side at least.

This hat is so cute that I almost left the drawstring dangling from the top and made it into a Christmas tree ornament.  And if she wants, when she gets bigger, she can put it on her dolly.  If she has a dolly, cuz some lil girls don't do the dolly thing.

And that's okey.

(on a totally different line of thought:  i got bit by a stray dog today (so went to get a tetanus shot, no biggie).  the thing is that this dog has been around the farm for over six months and has not been an overly friendly dog but has never given me problems, til it bit the hand that feeds.  My daddy always said (ala roseanne roseanna danna) that once a dog goes bad, ya gots to put it down.  but for some loftily principled reason ("it isn't fair to the dog, debra"), my landlord spoke for it, and that's just fine.  til it bites one of his kids.  cuz it's all fun and games til someone important gets hurt.)

05 December 2007

Gorey Dogs

Earlier this evening, I went into the closet to retrieve the God's Eyes that I had made several years ago so that I can use them for gift tags for this Christmas when I found the boxes of yuletide holiday greetings that I purchased in January on clearance at Barnes & Nobles.  So I have 54 of these:
which would normally cost $42, but which I purchased for $3.00 (cuz I thrift and nifty like that).  I love the elegant simplicity of the winter pirouette by Doug Garrabrants with the all encompassing message of "wishing you a happy holiday season".

I also added a box of Edward Gorey's Yule Dogs to my acquisitions for a buck.  There are four different choices, as pictured below.  Guess which is my fav!  I adore Gorey's work as seen at this site.  Check it!

04 December 2007

Personal Lubricant

Since I was so frank a few entries back, I thought I'd share my frustrations some more and also solicit advice (feel free to advise, suggest, comment, lament, observe, critique, moan, groan, whine, bitch, or sniff snottily).  For a very long time, I had lots of sinus problems and as a consequence had no idea what chicken tasted like (turns out it tastes suspiciously like chicken) til I was 16.  It also meant that I didn't have a sense of smell (Siella's or my own) for quite some time.  Now, however, I am very sensitive about scents and like some but find others extremely disturbing, nauseating, and repulsive.  Unfortunately, KY Jelly (and the generic house-brand equate personal lubricant) has a strongly off-putting smell that defeats the purpose of using the squishy slick slimy stuff in the first place.  Baby Oil (and other mineral by-products of that ilk) when used in high friction situations acts as an exfoliant of sorts with little weird curds that also seem to defeat the purpose of using the stuff in the first place.  It's hard to feel uninhibited when experiencing distasteful detractions like offal odors and pasty residue.  Decidedly unsexy.  AstroGlide is wonderful stuff, but it too has a lingering odor that I not only detect, but detest.

So, I'm open to input regarding suitably sensual personal lubricant.  Let the shock and awe commence.

colored pencil on fabric, experiment


the dishes are washed, dried, and put up.  the laundry is swishing around in the washer.  the knitting looms are full.  cho's are coming along quite well.

i've cleared the table and set up my colored pencils and pads and am almost ready to draw a few things.  winks.

03 December 2007

( )<--me drawing a blank

I hate when I draw blanks (      ) <----me, drawing a blank.  But I seem to be doing lots of that lately.  As Russ would advise, time to draw an octopus.

02 December 2007


My guy has several interviews lined up over the next few weeks.  He has been fitted for a new suit and is having a blazer altered.  He also bought new dress shoes and a very nice tie.  New slacks have also been added to the wardrobe.  He has always been a sharply dressed man with good taste and sense of colors and styles.  He always looks better than I do, and I think that that is just fine.  Particularly since he is the professional and I am not.  When we do want to step out, we do make a striking couple.

There is an interview in Little Rock, Arkansas in several weeks.  This week, there is an interview here in Mississippi.  Next week, there is an interview in Augusta, Georgia.  I am certain there will be more scheduled over the next month.  I wish him all the warm wishes in the world.