Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dancing Penguins Meet the Living Dead

They told my son that having your tonsils out at 29 years of age isn't quite the bounce-back sort of thing it is when you're in Kindergarten, that recovery is measured in weeks and if you skip even one of the every-four-hours pain doses in the first week, you'll wake screaming to regret it.

He agreed to stay at Mom's place for the first couple of days after surgery.
So Mom prepared.

Jello, of course.

And a fridge full ice cream, popsicles and lots of stuff to drink.
The docs said that staying hydrated helps minimize the pain but the patients tendency is to get dehydrated anyway because it just hurts so darn bad to swallow anything.

My son is a manager for Best Buy and owns every kind of electronic gadget you can imagine. His computer set-up looks like Mission Control at NASA. Mom, on the other hand, lives a more primitive lifestyle. No satellite, no cable.

I own one DVD. It's called Happy Feet and it stars a little dancing penguin.

The day of surgery, David arrived with a survival kit: a nice little book about zombies and a collection of DVD's about zombies and stuff like that. Flicks like Day of the Dead and Diary of the Dead, which I understand to be big favorites with fans of the living dead, it's just that I'm not a huge fan of the living dead.

So while I cooked up pans of Ramen noodles and chicken soup
a parade of zombies marched through the living room while he dozed in and out on the couch.

I really tried, but I'm just not much into the whole thing of watching zombies rip off peoples feet and chew on 'em. This was a real nice girl 'til she got zombied somehow and then she just turned real creepy, walking funny and doing bad stuff like biting peoples faces off.

I kept retreating to the kitchen, closing my eyes and thinking happy thoughts.

But they just kept on marching.

Forty-eight hours later my David went home to the comfort of his own bed, taking all of his living dead friends with him, mentioning on his way out that I'd become a bit of a "clear liquids Nazi".
He may have a point, but after all these years he's been out on his own, it was kind of nice for Mom to get to fuss over him for a couple of days.

I sent the ice cream and packets of noodle soup home with him, folded up the blankets and spent some quality time with my favorite penguin this afternoon.
All that remains...........

.......are the empties.
(Ok, so maybe he had a point....?????)

Cows and Bulls 101

I live in farm country.
But I don't live on a farm.
I can talk for a long while on the subject of seed corn, crop rotation and the price of hogs, having learned by osmosis. But there are plenty of things I don't know about life on the farm.

I took a nice drive out into the country Friday night and was sitting at Linda's kitchen table enjoying a beer and laughs with a few friends when she gets up and excuses herself from the group for a moment, explaining "I've got to go feed the bulls. I'll be right back."

Well shoot, that sounds like my kind of fun and I asked her if I could come with her. She looked at me kind of funny, sort of the way you'd look at someone if they asked you if it was ok if they came to your house every week to scrub your bathroom floor for you, just for the fun of it. But she indulged me and off we went to the bull pen.

As we got close to the barn, Linda told me "They're kind of skittish right now because we haven't turned them out yet."

Sure enough, they were staring us down and I wasn't sure what "turning them out" meant.

She explained this means they haven't been allowed into the pasture with all of the cows yet and that's their get into the pasture and service all the cows. (Yknow, make little baby cows.) And apparently, not unlike a group of college boys heading to the bars on a Friday night, there is significant enthusiasm for this responsibility. The bulls are pretty much interested in getting right to it.

I looked up and noticed that all of the cows in the adjoining pen were lined up, head to head, along the fence line looking toward the bull pen where we were standing. Obviously there was some enthusiasm building in the girls dorm, too.

"So is that why the cows are all lined up over here looking over at the bull pen?
Are they lined up because they know they are going to get laid?"

"No Deb," she said.
"They're lined up looking over here because I'm holding the feed bucket."

A matter of priorities, I guess.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Whizbang Chicken Plucker

My city-girl-moved-to-the-country sister tells me the great part about having a little pen full of baby chicks is that they grow and you end up with some nice, fat, frozen chickies in your freezer. Mmm. Mmmmm.

Gettin' them birdies from pen to freezer is a bit of a project.
Do you think the birds just spontaneously die and slide themselves into freezer bags? No indeed and as a matter of fact, they do not.

And once expired ( necessary but not necessarily fun part of the projects) do you think they just spontaneously shed all three zillion of their feathers so they don't get stuck in your teeth when you fry them up for a proper Sunday dinner?
No, in fact, they do not.

But help is on the way. Thanks to some brilliant fellow with a great mind for making life for weekend chicken-farmers simpler, there is now a device that can be built for less than $50 bucks (instructions available on the internet) that makes the proper plucking of a chicken quick and easy.

Just watch.
If you have a soft spot in your heart for all things furry and/or feathered, take a moment and think about a nice, warm plate of Chicken Alfredo. Yummy. Tastes sooo good. Yup, you're thinking about chunks of chicken meat now, not your little fun, feathered friend the neighborhood chicken.

Ok. You're ready. You can watch these boys prove there is more than one way to pluck a chicken:

Yeah, looks pretty plucked to me. Now mix up some cornbread stuffin' mama, I smell dinner.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dirtin' Day

Love playin' in the dirt. Cool, fresh, black black black dirt.
Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm.
My favorite rite of spring.

I lose more steak knives this way.
There's a proper garden trowel around here somewhere.
Dang if I'm gonna waste time looking for it.

Geraniums. Marigolds.
Some of that...........uhhhm....some of that purple stuff.

I don't even like them, really.
But they are so cute to plant.
(Remember -- it's all about the dirt, anyway)
And the little peppers are sooo cute when they're ready to pick.
A couple of months from now, I'll show you.

Yup. 'Taters.
They grow the coolest vines.
The greenhouse sells the little vines in pots, already started, nice and green, for a coupla bucks a piece. It's a lot easier (and cheaper) to just tuck a potato into the dirt and wait. I plant carrots and onions, too. Lettuce. All of it in pots since I don't have a yard. And eggplant. I have no idea if eggplant grows in pots very well. But I love how shiny and purple they are. So I'm giving them a try.

Now THIS little fella was the zit on the complexion of my perfectly appointed day. It's the hose hook-up in my garage.

The hose easily (yeahh. WHATEVER) screws into this little thing and when the handy little handle is turned, water comes out. That's the idea anyway. I couldn't get the hose to thread on to this thing, no way. I tried and tried and tried. All morning long it was me vs. brass connector. I lost.

Dear Kids - is one of you going to be in the neighborhood tomorrow?
Help. My little plants are thirsty. Could you come over and help me hook up this thing???

Mom is tired from all the playing in the dirt.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Derby Day

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky.
Perhaps that explains my fondness for the liberal use of freshly grown mint.
You don't have to put on a foo-foo hat and drive all the way
to Churchill Downs to get into the Derby fun today.
Just stir up a traditional Julep and flick on the tv.
A couple of these and you'll be standing on the back
of the sofa, cheering on your favorite pony.....

(Be careful! More than a couple of these and you'll be riding the back of the couch like a horse, whipping the pillows and screaming,
"Run, Flicka, run! One more furlong and we got 'em beat!!!")

Traditional Mint Julep


  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups water, heated
  • 2 cups sugar
  • cracked ice
  • bourbon (Kentucky, of course...duh!)


First, make syrup:

Heat water. Whisk in sugar. Remove from heat.

Add mint & allow to steep for at least 20 minutes.

For each Mint Julep:

Add cracked ice to Julep tumbler or glass. Add 1 1/2 oz Bourbon.

Add 2 1/2 teaspoons syrup. Stir lightly. Garnish with fresh mint leaf.

Mint Juleps are traditionally served with two short straws.


Friday, May 02, 2008

They tell you not to worry.

The doctor called a couple of weeks ago.
You need more tests , we don't like the way this looks.
(But don't worry.)
An ultrasound. Then a biopsy.
I lost lots of sleep.
Finally my tests came back : Negative. Whew.
And life got back to normal.

Not so much for my buddy Bucky.
Why haven't we talked in months?
I've been thinking about all the emails we could have written, phone calls we could have made, laughs we could have had over an occasional cup of coffee.
Why do friends lose touch.
Hmm. I wonder.

These are called hairy cells.
Bucky has them, I guess.

Leave it to him to choose such a testosteronishly masculine-sounding cancer.
He's going through chemo.