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Showing posts from January, 2011

It's Summertime...Somewhere

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OK.  I'm am officially over Winter.  I would like it to leave...to exit stage right...to just go away.

I checked the weather channel for Sydney, Australia (where I would someday like to go...if it didn't take so long to get from here to there...:), and it is 82 degrees.  It's 79 in Wailea, HI, where we were four months ago.  Sigh.  Of course, we are still weeks (or months, maybe) away from warmer weather, so I'm taking matters into my own hands.  I decided we were going to have Summer on Saturday, regardless of what the thermometer said.  (It said "29" at the time...:)

We brought out the beach T-shirts.  Mom put on a lime-green one from a trip to Myrtle Beach, and I found a long-sleeved yellow one from Pawleys Island.  Mr. T's was from Florida, I think.  While I got the rest of the party started, he whirred us up some Strawberry Daiquiris in the blender.  Complete with little umbrellas!

  I got a pan of Manale's BBQ Shrimp under the broiler and a po…

Just in Time

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We're back at the roost...apparently just in time for the next round of arctic blast and blowing snows.  May I repeat myself?  I have had enough of this...!

We made the 8-hour trek over the mountains and up the WV turnpike ($6 in tolls, each way...) to Missy M's house in Louisville last weekend.  There was still a good deal of snow on the side of the all the roads along the way...as the old saying goes "waiting for the next snow storm."  I delivered the Just Enough Ruffles scarf (photo, left), and we had a pleasantly uneventful visit with her and the pups, Ella Rae and Dixie

This was our first time to meet Dixie, who is a bea-U-tiful Basset girl.  She is a tad on the smallish side for a Basset, weighing in at "only" 53 pounds when she went in for her snip-snip operation and teeth-cleaning last week.  [While 53 pounds is indeed a large dog, remember our Drool Gang for reference: Gus weighs about 63 pounds, Duchess tilts the scales at 74 pounds (!), and

Rejection and Redemption

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 The prize is a cookbook.  Not the MegaMillions jackpot.  And, certainly not a contract for a book.  I won a cookbook.  Truthfully?  I'm grinning like I just matched four numbers and the MegaBall on my last lottery ticket.

Last month I was reading a new-to-me online magazine called Deep South and noticed an article about a new cookbook called Southern My Way by Gena Knox.  There was a request for readers to share their own family food traditions by leaving a comment or sending an email, and they said they'd pick a winner in January.

It was one of those really cold December days, and I had just stirred up a pot of Brunswick Stew.  Faithful readers know that I have written far more than they wanted to read on the subjects of stew and the Stewart family tradition.  Still, there might be one or two or a million folks who have never heard my ramblings.  Thus inspired, I wrote a few lines in the comments section and returned to whatever I had been doing before that.

Firing up m…

The Snow that Almost Didn't Show

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We waited.  And we waited.  And we waited.

We had been warned...repeatedly...that snowfall was imminent.  Familiar locations and friends to the south and east of us were reporting inches of the fluffy, white stuff.  We saw pictures of the half-foot of snow that Wrightsville BEACH (!) had received.  Even Charlotte, only about 90 minutes to the south, had snow...causing havoc on the streets and at the airport, I might add.  But, no, no, no...we had no snow.

What went wrong?  We'd done as we were supposed to: gone to the store for bread and milk; put a pot of stew on the stove; and dressed in layers to combat the cold (which we DID get).  Mr. T had filled all the bird feeders to the max, and they had attracted hundreds of our feathered friends.  That told us that the birds agreed with the weather folks:  we were in for snow.

Still, nothing was falling.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.

Gotta do something 'cause we all know I hate to wait.  As I had finished my "Just Enough Ruffles" …

Quick! To the Grocery for Bread and Milk!!

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Well, I'm happy to report that we finally got all the outside Christmas decorations down.  Woo hoo!  Good thing, too.  Weather wonks are predicting rain this afternoon, followed by rapidly falling temperatures and snow for this evening and overnight...and more snow for Monday.  Before I dash out the door to the store (for bread and milk, of course...:), I thought I'd dash off a post.


Uh oh.  We may have a problem with that weather forecast.  No, the snow isn't really the main issue.  It's the bitter cold temps that concern me the most.  You see, more than a few of the spring-flowering bulbs (photo, left) and bushes have tender, green shoots and tentative buds popping into view.  The snow actually will protect the new growth...kinda like a blanket.  However, temps going as low as the mid-teens won't help the tender tissue at all.  Not at all. 

[The Phrase Dictionary says that's where we get the expression "nipped in the bud."  The earliest version …

Sunshine in My Eyes

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What in the world is that noise? And, why won't it stop?

That was my sleep-befuddled reaction to the dulcet sounds of Interlude, coming from my cell phone. I'd set the alarm** the night before, just to make sure I'd get up in time to get to the Master Gardener Mentor-Intern Breakfast (all the way across the county) by 9:00. Good thing I did 'cause I'd probably have slept into next week at the rate I was going on Wednesday morning.  Made the mistake of staying up late, knitting and watching the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday night; had to watch to the bitter end, thinking that the Hogs would pull it out over the Bucks...no joy there, however, as hopes died with an interception with a minute to go.

**RE:  an alarm clock.  I gave up both my wrist watch and my alarm clock when I left the corporate life for consulting.  I do have to make meetings and scheduled sessions, but I find that my computer, my cell phone and wall clocks keep me on time...most of the time.  Additionally, …

Think Happy Thoughts

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"Your success and happiness lie in you.  Resolve to keep happy, and (together) your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties."
                                              -- Helen Keller (emphasis mine)It's another one of those cloudy and cold days that tend to populate the thirty-one days allotted to January on the calendar, making it difficult to remember a New Year's resolution to keep happy.  As I gaze out of my droffice (where the dining room and I share a space...:) picture window, I see the once-beautiful Christmas tree, now stripped of all ornamentation and lying on its side at the curb.  I know that it is awaiting its next mission in life:  to provide healthy mulch for the city's planting areas; but, I am nonetheless sad to see it looking so forlorn.  Even the outdoor decorations look like they are wishing they were all packed up and back in the attic, where at least it is a tad warmer.  Still, it is too cold for me to tackle tha…

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

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Good morning!  And, welcome to the New Year!!  After two days of rain and drizzle (AKA:  yucky weather...:), the third day of 2011 dawned bright and beautiful...albeit a bit on the nippy side (still in the 20's at 9:00 a.m.).  This photo (right) of an Eastern Bluebird was actually taken with Mr. T's new BirdCam last week/last year, but I still thought it was appropriate to the title.

We spent yesterday watching the pro football games on TV, while taking down the tree and packing up Christmas around Casa 3917.  It may take us a week or two to de-decorate the outside, though, since we'll have more of the same type of weather throughout this week, with snow expected again next weekend.  Having reindeer in your yard on Valentine's Day isn't too terrible, is it?  We could start a new trend in Sailing Point.  Hey, if one of my neighbors can have a live goat, who could possibly object to a couple of lighted, white-wire reindeer?

You'd think we'd be sick and tire…