Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Long day...

Didn't sleep well last night (do I ever?). Then went to the wally world early (you will recall my deep feelings of disgust for that hell hole). Then.... drum roll, please.... went to the doctor. The result of which is - I have more Chantix (so that I can actually quit smoking), I have a bottle of prescription strength Zantac (just in case that is what is making my chest hurt), I have anxiety pills (because I have more stress right now than ever before in my life and I'm not dealing with it very well), I have Ambien (because not falling asleep until after 4am in the morning makes it very very hard to get back up at 7am), and I have Nasonex (because I just can't live with these sinus troubles any longer). I spent $220.00 at the pharmacy. Between all my bottles of pills and supplements and Pete's pills and supplements, my kitchen is beginning to resemble a pharmacy. I don't like it. But then, no one asked my opinion, did they? You do what you gotta do, eh?

So anyway, the EKG was fine, but he (the doc) sent me upstairs for chest x-rays anyway and he wants to send me to the cardiologist for a stress test and for "just because we want to be on the safe side". He said that if the x-rays showed something weird he'd call me tomorrow. I sincerely hope he doesn't call. I really like Dr. Hogue. He's a sweetie. He doesn't talk down to you and he has a very comforting manner.

And my sugar was 245. Not good. He's sending me for a glucose test, too. Yippee! I can hardly wait. I have done one of those before, way back when I was first pregnant with Thomas. That stuff they make you drink has got to be the nastiest stuff on the planet that anyone could ever put in their mouth. Back when I had mine before, they told me it was 'orange' flavored. Yeah right. Rotten orange flavored is more like. But the consistency of the stuff was even worse than the taste. It was sort of like warm, half-set jello, only more so, if you can imagine that. It was just gross and I'm nearly making myself ill just thinking about it. And I have until Nov. 3rd to dread it. Wish I could just go tomorrow and get it over with.

And then, as if going to the wally world and the doctor (and having to drive a van that is acting up again, only different this time) wasn't bad enough. I had to go to the grocery store, too. I was so tired by the time I got home and got everything put away and supper fixed, all I wanted to do was go lay down. But then Thomas felt ill and I had to tend to him, and Pete wanted brownies and ice-cream for dessert, so had to do that. I feel really pooped, right now.

So I think I will go take my Ambien and hope for a good night's sleep. I've never taken a sleep-aid of any sort and it's kinda making me nervous. But Dr. Hogue said it was non-addictive and that it would be okay. I trust him, I do, but still... it's kinda scary, even so.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Postcards from a long time ago

Have been busy these past couple of weeks with scanning old family pictures and putting them on a web-page. These things are really a treasure beyond price. You can see the family resemblance all the way back. Truly a treasure...

Another priceless treasure in my keeping is an old collection of postcards that my great-grandmother Edna Teague Bell kept. I believe they are all to her from various family members and friends. The earliest postmark I have seen so far is 1909. I am working on scanning them now. I have about one quarter of them done, so far. I will put them on a page, as well, once I have them all scanned.

I just had to share this one, tho... it is too funny.

The back of the post card reads,
"Hello Edna, how are you. We are having some rain. I forgot when your birthday was. Come down I have got a rich man to give you. May W".

I am not sure who May is, I don't think it is Edna's sister. She is most likely a cousin or other relation. I just thought that was so funny, "I have got a rich man to give you." Edna was my great-grandmother. She married late, for that time. She was in her 30's when she married Thomas Bell. She was a nurse and had been taking care of Thomas Bell's sick wife. After that wife died, she married him. That must have caused some raised eye-brows back then, not to mention whispers behind hands. However, it worked out for them. They remained married until his death, and had 5 children: Edward, Burl, Mattie, Clara, and Utley. Mattie was my grandmother, my Mom's mother.

Well, back to work. Have lots more postcards to scan. My sister and I did this several years ago, but the images were lost. I've been promising her for a year or longer that I would scan them again for her. She is the family genealogy guru. I'm just the keeper of the pictures.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Random thoughts

I used to think that if NASA or some scientist, somewhere would go ahead and find proof of life on other planets that maybe, just maybe it might make us (here on Earth) think twice about whether or not we are so different from one another after all. Now... I don't think that way anymore. If alien creatures from the stars landed en mass all over this planet, it wouldn't stop the anger, the hatred, the killing... we humans would still be prejudiced against one another for one reason or another, color, sex, religion, ethnicity, whatever. If alien creatures did ever land on this planet, why, it would just give us another being to hold up as 'different' and therefore to be despised. Why do people need to hate other people? Why does what religion someone practices make them better or worse than their neighbors? I can read the Bible just as well as the priests and preachers and I don't believe I have ever found any where therein that Jesus said we should despise or hate another being for any reason. But it seems to me that organized "Christian" churches teach nothing but hate. Homosexuality is a sin; women should be subservient to their husband; if you don't take a particular church's word for how things are and how you are supposed to live then you are damned; go into almost any so called Christian church and you will hear that they alone know what God means for us to do and if we don't believe as they do then we are going straight to hell; do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to hell.

I am so disgusted by everything that's been going on. The war, this president going on with his little "I am the King" mentality and Congress just going along with it. The new thing that pissed me off was the thing with the CDC testimony before Congress. The White House diced, sliced and julienned the testimony that the CDC lady was supposed to give. I did not realize that they could do that. I thought that when someone or some department got called in to testify before Congress they were supposed to tell the truth, the whole truth, etc. Not tell what the White House says they can tell and nothing beyond that. The whole system is so out of whack. I feel like I'm in a Twilight Zone episode. I have real bouts of actual vertigo sometimes just watching the news. Nothing seems real. And people seem to be fine with just going on about their lives and ignoring the situation.

And the Democrats are really pissing me off. They are just going on like it's all business as usual. And it's not! Nothing is 'as usual'. Why can't they see that? I don't think that a Democrat will win the White House in '08. They are doing all the wrong things and nothing right. And that damned Nancy Pelosi. She is really getting off with me something fierce! If I have to see her stupid smile one more time I may actually throw something heavy at my television. (I need a new one, anyway) She and Harry Reid have made a real dog's dinner of the whole thing. Well, I can't just lay all the blame on them, I guess. To be fair, I need to spread the blame around to the whole Democratic party. They are loosing the '08 election and they all seem to not realize the fact. They are beginning to all look like grinning idiots. Pisses me off something awful!

And to think that the religious conservatives may well be the one's who bring a viable third party to our nation!? How incredible is that? Just what we need, a conservative Christian political party. Can you imagine what life would be like if that took over the government? No better than the Taliban, eh? The skinheads and the KKK and the neo-nazis and others like them would just love that. Give them the right to burn crosses, lynch anyone who isn't a "true believer". Encouraging hate, fostering strife between the sexes, between races, ethnicities, other forms of religion. Ugh! What a nightmare!

I'm pretty sure this isn't what my ancestors fought and died for.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Faint with hunger...

Ugh! I think I may just fall out.
Had a dentist appointment today, so of course I didn't sleep well last night. Fell asleep at about 4am this morning and my darling hubby woke me up exactly one half hour later. Not on purpose, to be sure, but I was unhappy with him, nevertheless. He knows how hard it is for me to fall asleep, and he knows that no matter the length of time I've been asleep, that if I get woken up, that's it, I'm up, for a while anyway. Did manage to fall back asleep at about 6am, then back up at 8am to get the day started. Dentist at 11am until 1pm. And I have to go back tomorrow at 10am. I surely do hope I get some sleep tonight. I am trying to stay awake as long as I can right now, so maybe I'll actually sleep tonight, no matter what the dear man may do.
And I'm starving. I cannot eat in the morning. It just doesn't work out for me. If I do, it just makes me sick, so there's really no point. I truly did try this morning, knowing I wouldn't want to afterward, but I just couldn't. So now I'm making soup. And it's taking ever so long and I'm starving to death. (Do I sound like I'm whining? I think I do.) My head feels like it's sort of floating away, like my neck has become attenuated and my head is somewhere way up in the clouds. I'm so sleepy and tired.
But the reconstruction of the smile goes on apace. Cannot complete it until after the new year. My dental benefits are just about all used up for this year. But at least I am seeing results. At least I do have some insurance. I would not be able to do this at all, if I didn't. No way, no how.
And I finally made myself call the doctor's office this morning, before I went to the dentist. I have an appointment next week to see the doc about all this leg pain and muscle weakness and general yuckiness I've been experiencing. I am not looking forward to that, I can tell you. I mean, I'm looking forward to finding out what is causing my problems, but I know Dr. Hogue is going to insist that I get my female check-up and I don't want to. You'd think with all the technological advances made in the past decade or two they'd have come up with another way of doing that than how they do it. Wouldn't you? But then, it's for women's health. We aren't the priority, are we? I won't get started on the inequality of treatment between the sexes when it comes to health care. The health care system let my mother die at the age of 55; but I won't get on that soapbox today. Maybe another time.
Anyway... think I'll go stir the soup and get all hubby's requirements taken care of while I'm still somewhat lucid. Lunch for tomorrow, coffee maker set, snacks packed and sitting where he won't forget them, etc. Cancer treatments usually make people eat less, I thought. It seems my man is eating at least twice what he used to since he got that first shot. Don't know what to make of that really. Haven't seen anywhere that eating more was a side-effect of that medicine, but it could be. Will have to research further.

Ta-ta for now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Busy, busy, busy...

Whew! I have been working so hard on getting these pictures scanned. I have been putting some up on a web-site already. If I don't post them as I get them done (in batches) I may never get them on-line. I haven't even scratched the surface, either. And the pictures are all scrambled up. The books aren't in order. The pictures aren't in order in the books, etc. At first I was going to try to tidy them up and organize them then process them. But if I did that, it would be next year, or the year after that before I began to get them on-line. So... once this job is done I will hopefully get things put back into order and I'll never let any one get their hands on my photo albums again. They can look at them on-line as much as they want, but I'm not risking letting anyone despoil my books again.

I really enjoy going back thru the pictures. Mostly it was happy times. I look at Mom and see how skinny she was back when she and Dan first got married. Even then she was convinced that she was 'an elephant'. That's what she always called herself. And she looks emaciated in some of those pictures. So do I, really. Easy to see where my sister and myself got our poor self-image from. Mom had a very bad self-image. She was sure, absolutely, one hundred percent certain that she was fat and ugly and worthless. And she was none of those things. But you couldn't make her believe that. And I'm a lot like her, that way. I can look at those old pictures now and go, "Wow! You were a good looking young girl!" But I distinctly remember the way I saw myself back then. No one could have ever proved to me that I wasn't fat, ugly, awkard, etc.

I know I will never be that small again, that nice looking. But I can look at those pictures now without regret (mostly). I have a goal now. I will get healthier, skinnier, happier. I will like myself more. I can do that, now.

If any one cares to look at someone's old family photos, this is what I've been spending nearly all my free time on.
Click on the picture and the link will open in a new window. You won't leave this page.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Old pictures

Last night I undertook a Herculean task. I am scanning all my old photos into my computer and putting them on a website for my niece Katie. (well, for anyone in the family, really, but primarily for Katie) Looking at those old pictures makes me happy, makes me sad, makes me remember... a Herculean task, indeed. In more ways than one.

Most of the pictures I am working on now are of the kids (my son and my three nieces). There are a few of myself and my sister when we were younger, mixed in. I look at those pictures and I wonder where that girl went. My life is nothing like what I envisioned it being way back then. I've known people who mapped out their life while young and then stuck to the plan until they achieved their goal. I don't understand how they do it. I am so far away from what I thought I wanted when I was a girl, I can't begin to trace the convoluted path backward to find out just where I first turned off the road that was leading me to what I wanted then.

I wanted to be an archaeologist, or a museum curator, or a teacher. And, oh yeah, I wanted to be a writer, too. Instead I ended up a customer service manager for a large department store. And now that I don't work anymore I don't even have that much identity of my own. I'm a wife, and a home-schooling mother. I cook, I clean, I do the laundry, I pay the bills and balance the checkbook, I make sure the school work gets done, I trim the hedges, and do the grocery shopping. And it isn't enough.

I love my son. I love my husband. But that isn't enough. I want something more. Taking care of my family is satisfying in it's way, but it just doesn't fill me up like it used to. I want to be an individual again. Someone aside from the family caregiver. I want to make my own choices, for myself. I want to do something that's in my best interest for a change. I want a job, I want something meaningful and worthwhile to do.

Thomas is nearly grown and will be out of the house in a few years. Pete will be retiring in a few years. I don't think I could stand to be with him 24/7/365. Sorry, but that's just the sad facts. I love the man but if I had to be with him around the clock we'd end up divorced or one of us would be dead. I love the man dearly, but I don't like him very much at all. We don't seem to have anything in common anymore and even worse, our differences don't even compliment each other. Anyway...

I just have to say: that bitch who kept on about wanting to know if Nagano-san was gay or not really got on my nerve. What the hell difference does it make? Why would anyone care? She seemed a bit obsessed with it, really. To me that's just not relevant to how I feel about him. Why not ask him what religion he practises, while you're at it? Jeez. And that other rude fool who posted on Konpira's forum. It kinda got off with me. I know I should just take it with a grain of salt, but... we have such a happy little group there and I hate to see creeps like that come along and ruin the good vibe I get from visiting there.

On the brighter side of things... Nagano-san is still beautiful. Overwhelmingly beautiful. Watched Sasuke #12 both times tonight. He's just that fantastic. Watching him makes me incredibly happy. And that's a good thing. A very good thing. Thank you Makoto Nagano.

Good Night.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Curry for Bunny

This is my favorite Curry recipe in the whole world. It's one of my son's favorites, too. I learned how to make this from my ex-mother-in-law (who was of Burmese/Indian extraction), a horrid old biddy with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, except this: she was a fantastic cook. She didn't want to tell me how she made this, but I sneaked around and spied on her a few times while she was cooking it and figured it out. I couldn't believe how simple it was to make. Crazy old witch! My version tastes just like hers did.
This recipe is primarily for my friend Bunny, but I encourage anyone who likes curry to try it. I'm sure you'll like it.

Burmese Chicken Curry
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 half head of fresh garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces*
dried red chilies (You can leave these out if you like, but I like mine really spicy hot. I use 6-8 chili pods)
2 T Curry powder (use the Madras style curry powder, if you can)
1 T Paprika (can use Indian, Hungarian or Czech, whichever you have on hand)
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 15oz. can coconut milk (Goya brand or like, not the sweet stuff for mixed drinks)
1-2 lemons, quartered
1 bunch fresh Cilantro, chopped
2-4 T ghee or oil

Method: Heat ghee in deep saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute gently. As soon as the onions start to turn golden add the garlic slices and saute until golden brown and crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain well on screen or paper towels. Set aside.

Put your saucepan, with the remaining oil, back on the heat, medium-high, this time and add the chicken pieces (and red chilies, if using). Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through. Lower the heat to medium low and add the curry powder and paprika to the chicken. Stir for one to two minutes, making sure you don't let it burn. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir for a few minutes. When the tomatoes are wilted down stir in the coconut milk. Simmer on low heat for approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over rice noodles or ramen noodles.

Method of serving: Place one serving of noodles in individual bowls, pour curry over the noodles, garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, french fried onions and garlic, and a squeeze of lemon.

If you like a thinner sauce, you can add up to 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth or plain water.

*You can use an equivalent amount of shrimp, or other shellfish instead of the chicken, or you can use vegetables instead of or with the meat. My favorite vegetarian version uses this mix: sugar snap peas, cauliflower, baby carrots, and fresh or frozen whole kernel corn. Spinach is also very nice.

I know I have a picture of the vegetarian version somewhere, but I can't find it. I made a really pretty one and snapped a picture. Hopefully I'll find it somewhere. I like documenting it when I make a really nice dish. (okay, my secret desire is to someday publish a cookbook)

Anyway... there it is, Bunny. It's a really fantastic dish, I hope you'll try it.

My first time...

... making refrigerator pickles.

I've made Indian pickles out of all sorts of things, limes, lemons, melons, mangoes, chilies, etc., but I've never made regular cucumber pickles. These are actually quite tasty. Supposed to be ready in 24 hours, and better after two days. Recipe says they'll keep in the fridge for up to 2 months. We'll see. I tasted them after they'd cooled down and liked them. I put onions and jalapeno peppers in with the cucumbers, as well as mustard seed, celery seed, whole garlic cloves, and dill. Hope they don't get too hot. If they do, Pete won't be able to eat them. All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with them. They look nice, smell nice, and taste good. What more could you want?

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I was a busy little bee today. As well as making the pickles, I made a batch of apple sauce, using granny smith apples with a bit of cinnamon and vanilla bean.
I made a big slab of the whole wheat cheesy bread that Thomas and Pete like. On this one, after I smeared the dough with some roasted garlic, I put on extra sharp white cheddar, crumbled bacon, minced sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and chives.
After that I fixed a full tex-mex dinner, complete with beef fajita meat, re-fried beans, guacamole, fresh salsa, homemade tortillas and all the condiments. We were all quite full after eating dinner, needless to say. I foresee fajita pizzas in mine and Thomas' future. Say... right about lunch time tomorrow.

This cooler weather always inspires me to spend more time in the kitchen. I couldn't believe that they didn't have any squashes or gourds when I went to the store yesterday. My mouth has been watering for Butternut Squash Soup. The recipe I use is actually a recipe for Sweet Potato Soup, but I use an equivalent amount of butternut squash and it's so delicious. They didn't even have any acorn squash, (which will do in a pinch). They had some regular (huge) pumpkins, but... I just didn't need that much. Maybe they will have some winter squashes in soon. Here's the recipe, if anyone is interested:

Butternut Squash Soup

1.5 lb. butternut squash (or sweet potato, pumpkin, other winter squash of your choice)
1 cup chicken broth (can use water or vegetable stock if you prefer)
1/4 cup orange juice (I've used apple juice here, too, it works well)
1/4 tsp. salt (The recipe calls for it, but I usually don't use it. Your choice.)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (You may want to use less if you aren't used to nutmeg)
1 cup half-and-half (regular or 2% milk works just as well)

If using sweet potatoes, bake them as for eating as is. If using squash, cut them in half, remove seeds, place cut side down on baking sheet and bake at 350 F until fork tender; 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven. (You can do this part in the microwave if you want, I just like it better when I roast them in the oven.) When cool enough to handle, scrape the pulp out of the skins and into a food processor. Add 1/2 cup of the broth. Cover and process until smooth. Put this mixture into a 2 qt. saucepan. Stir in the remaining broth, the juice, the salt and the nutmeg. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just before it boils. Stir in the half-and-half and bring back up to temp. (don't let it boil). Serve.
You can garnish this soup with roasted, chopped nuts, a dollop of sour cream, chopped fresh herbs of choice, or nothing.
*If you don't like the idea of the orange or apple juice, you can leave that out and just add 1/4 cup of additional broth or water. The soup is good either way.
*Another way of preparing this soup is to use curry powder instead of the nutmeg. Use a teaspoon or so of good, quality curry powder and add a little dash of cinnamon. Garnish this curried variety with fresh cilantro, green onions, a dollop of yogurt...

Lord! Now I'm really craving this soup! Gonna have to make it soon. Hope you all will try it. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Weddings are a disgusting, degrading tradition.

Went to a wedding today. The daughter of friends was marrying her long-time love. They have two kids already and have been living together for a few years now, so I really didn't see the point, but I suppose they thought it was the thing to do. I didn't know her or her beloved, only her Dad and step-mom, but we were invited, so we went. The groom's mother seemed to be running the show, which I thought was kinda strange, since it's usually the bride and her family that say whats what, but anyway...
It was an outdoor affair, right on the Savannah River. A truly beautiful setting and the sky was such a vivid blue, no clouds. The temperature was not too warm and there was a nice breeze. A pretty scene, all in all. The service was very traditional. The kind I hadn't heard since I was a little girl. The kind where the groom vows to love and protect, cherish and provide for her and the bride vows to honor and obey him, come and go at his bidding and promises that his people shall be her people, etc., etc. I couldn't believe that any woman in her right mind would still put up with that honor and obey crap. Never having had a formal wedding, either time I got married, I never had to do all that stuff. I do's were sufficient and there wasn't any talk about obeying, I can assure you. The first time I got married, it was by a lady I knew who was the county clerk in Orange County, FL and she knew better. The second time I got married was by a Justice of the Peace in Arlington, TX and he was very eloquent, but never mentioned anything about obeying. I guess he could tell by the look on my face that he better not try that with me.
After the wedding and reception when we were driving back home, Pete had a real good laugh describing the look on my face when I heard that part of the ceremony. I thought I had done a real good job of keeping my face neutral and not letting my distaste show, but I guess I didn't. Good thing we were sitting in the back.
Later, at the wedding supper we sat with the bride's sister, her sister's husband and her step-sister. I mentioned that I had not heard such a traditional wedding service in a very long time. The brides step-sister agreed with me that it was strange to hear something like that this day and age. Pete teased me and said something about wanting to stand up and cheer when he heard it and that that was the kind of ceremony he wished we had had. I laughed and told him that I might obey him by choice, but that I would never have vowed to obey him blindly. The sister and her husband, who are both much younger than me, looked so scandalized. I swear, I thought these Southern Belles had progressed farther than that. Bet she vowed to obey him, as well.
I just find it so distasteful, so degrading. So the man is sworn to protect, support, and love his little wifey, and she's sworn to do whatever he tells her to do, to forsake her family for his, to care for him when he's sick, to honor him, yadda yadda yadda. But I didn't hear anything about him vowing to honor her, to care for her, to obey her. That's a crock and anyone with a brain knows it. And I don't go for this, "well it's just tradition" crap, either. If you make a vow before God (whatever you call your higher power) then it's more than just 'tradition'. I don't care to perjure myself before my God. I feel like, if you're going to make that kind of commitment, that kind of promise, you ought to be sincere about it. And if you aren't sincere about it, if you don't take it seriously, then you shouldn't do it at all.
Anyway... I think that is the root of some of mine and Pete's problems. He's really very open minded for a man of his generation. But it aggravates him sometimes that I'm not a traditional wife. Yes, I stay home and I don't have a 'real' job, but that is by my choice, not because it's what he wants. And I do try to do things that please him, not because I feel like I have to but because I like to. I married him because I wanted to, not because society or my family pressured me to. He doesn't like it, but I've had to remind him a time or two that when we got married that piece of paper we signed was a marriage license, not a bill of sale.
So, the day just got me to thinking; didn't that young girl realize how oppressive, how degrading, how sexist those vows are? How could she think so little of herself so as to speak them? And why get married anyway? They've been together for so long. Their little boy is 4 and the little girl is less than a year. I suppose they did it for them, or maybe for the financial benefits, or maybe his mother finally talked him into it (she seemed a formidable older woman). I felt such a desire to speak out and warn the girl. Men change. It doesn't matter that he's a wonderful person now, it doesn't matter that he takes his turn at changing diapers and chasing kids now. After you marry him, he will change. And you probably won't like it. But of course, I kept my mouth shut. I would have liked to give her the benefit of an older woman's experience, but maybe hers won't be the same as mine. Maybe her prince charming will stay charming. Maybe he really will love and cherish, support and protect her. I hope so.
Although I love my hubby very much, and although I would be with him even if we weren't married, I think, if I had it to do over again I would not marry him. Perhaps if I wasn't married to him he would understand that I am with him because I choose to be, not because I'm forced to be.
All in all, I think marriage is the perfect way to ruin a really good relationship.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Chocolate Cake with Cherry Frosting

Hurrah! Yippee! Woohoo!

If you can't tell, Thomas is home. I can't believe the bastard actually brought him home when he was supposed to. Thank you, Lord, I can breathe again.

So... I told you he wanted chocolate cake with cherry frosting for part of his 'Welcome Home' dinner. I made one. The cake is from scratch (a very good recipe from the 1941 Pillsbury Bake-Off Cookbook - Thank you so much Mama, for giving me all those old things) but the frosting was store bought. The only kind of frosting I can make from scratch is boiled frosting, you know, what they call White Mountain frosting, or Mountain Peak frosting, or whatever. It's good, but... Thomas wanted cherry, so it was store bought or nothing. Anyway, I bought one can of Pillsbury's brand Cherry flavored frosting and one of Cream Cheese frosting and mixed them together. Those store bought flavored frostings are always so super sweet. Mixing it with the cream cheese kind of helps that problem. Anyway... to me, one who isn't all that into pink, the cake looks sort of like a Dr. Suess cake. Like something from that old Cat in the Hat cartoon they used to run once a year when I was a kid. Wanna see?

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I have never been good at frosting cakes. And if I use home made frosting (any kind but the boiled) it always ends up sliding off the cake anyway. My inability to make good homemade buttercream icing or cream cheese frosting may be a sub-conscious reaction to my not liking frosting. I always scrape it off anyway. My cakes of choice are things like coffee cakes, or pound cakes or cheesecakes. Things you don't have to frost. That hugely bad for you Dump Cake is pretty darn good too, if you're in the mood for it. I wouldn't recommend eating it more than once every year or two, tho. All that butter! Lord! A heart attack waiting to happen.

Anyway... my son is home, my cake turned out pretty good. (Actually, the cherry cream cheese frosting didn't taste too bad with the chocolate cake.) The truck race was pretty entertaining today, what I saw of it, and tomorrow is the Talladega Cup race. What a wonderful weekend!
Thank you, Lord! Today was simply wonderful.

Friday, October 5, 2007

What I don't get...

is, why is George Clooney handsome? I mean, why are people always going on about how cute, handsome, attractive, fine, etc., he is? I just don't see it. He does nothing for me. In fact, I think he's unattractive, ugly, icky poo, yucky. I wouldn't kiss him. So... does that say something about me? Or about the herd mentality of our society. Someone tells us we should find someone or something attractive and just because a magazine or a TV show tells us to, we do. Or rather, most do. I don't, but being a very paranoid, suspicious, non-trusting soul, I wouldn't just fall in line with the rest of the sheep. Herds stampeding in one direction scare me - they are probably heading over a cliff.

Anyway... I find it hard to get excited about many of today's so-called TV/movie stars. Lets see... who would I find attractive in this day and age? Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen... hum... that seems to be about it. And that's weird in itself, since I never feel attracted to blond men. Not any of the ones I've actually met, that is. I think I've only ever dated one blond guy, ever. And it ended badly. But then again, I find those two more attractive when their hair is dark. That makes sense, I suppose, given my preferences.

And another thing: why the hell is an iconic American institution like the Boy Scouts getting it's little badges from China anyway! If they'd bought them from an American company to start with, they wouldn't now have to take them away from the young men who have been wearing them so proudly.

Have not had even one cigarette today. Pretty proud of that fact. Don't even feel like I want one, so far. I keep telling myself that I can do this. I can quit. It is hard, but I can do it. I just hope the man can do it, too. If he can't, he'll just have to stay away from me. I can't smell it all the time and not want one. I know that about myself. I'm okay as long as I don't have to see it or smell it. Otherwise I have no will power. I just have to stay completely away from it. I really hope Pete will be able to quit too. I'm not sure if he really wants to. I mean, he knows it's important for his health, and he's been pretty good about changing his eating habits, but smoking... who knows? He says he wants to quit, but I'm not sure he really does. He's pretty prone to saying what he thinks is the proper thing, and then doing whatever he wants.

In the news today: Rice orders federal agents to ride with Blackwater in Iraq
These guys must be feeling real happy right about now. Their life expectancy just dropped to about nothing. I wouldn't want to do it. Not because I would be afraid of the missions I might have to go on, but because I would be constantly wondering when the Blackwater goons were going to off me. Cynical? You betcha! Suspicious? Sure. Would this administration and their hired goons do it? Without a doubt.

And it's Talladega weekend baby! Probably won't be on-line much for the duration. Wouldn't want to miss any of the excitement. For those of you who don't have a clue what that means: This weekend the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series are racing at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, AL. One of my favorite race weekends of the entire season. Always great action there.

So... hope every one has a wonderful weekend. I have hopes of one myself. Thomas is supposed to be home tomorrow and the guys are racing at one of my and his favorite tracks. The weather is cool and breezy, and life is good (or will be, as soon as Thomas is here).


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Only Two More Days

until my beautiful son comes home.

That is, if dumb ass actually brings him home on time, this time. Don't know why I'm getting my hopes up. He hasn't yet, in over 10 years, done what he's supposed to in that regard. But... hope springs eternal, eh? 6 weeks is entirely enough to be without my boy. I don't sleep right, I don't eat properly, I'm depressed, agitated... nothing is right while he's down there. And worse, I am always terrified that that monster will kill him for his money, while he's got him in his control. I wish I could get over that feeling, but it's so strong every time I have to send my baby to him. I know what kind of person he is. He would do it and never think twice.

Anyway... I can't wait until he is home. Then the world is brighter, the way it should be. Went shopping today and bought the stuff for his 'welcome home' dinner. He wants fried chicken and chocolate cake with cherry frosting. That part sounds disgusting to me, but oh well. I always scrape all the frosting off my cake anyway. I don't like it. So... if he wants cherry, cherry he'll get. And if I don't over-indulge on the chicken, I should be okay. I've been pretty good, this week. But damn! I do make excellent fried chicken, if I do say so myself. And I do love it so... will just have to be strong.

I just always get so anxious when it gets close to time for him to be home. Worrying about whether dickhead will bring him home, or wait until the day he's supposed to be here and then call me and say he ain't bringing him home until the next week. That's one of his favorite stunts to pull. Or wait until the day and then call and tell me that if I want him I'll have to come get him. Or lately, this has been the most used thing: he tells Thomas that they've got something really fun planned but they can't do it until the week or the month after Thomas is supposed to be home, then Thomas, of course, wants to do it too, so he asks me if he can stay until then, and I say yes. Then... something always comes up and they end up not doing whatever it was that was promised. It's just bull-shit.

Why do men have to be so stupid and mean and uncaring and just, just, awful? I would have been perfectly fine with being on friendly terms with the asshole and his bitch-woman, really, I would have. Tried time after time after we first got divorced. But he has always, right from the get go, been horrible. Doesn't pay his child-support, bad mouths me and Pete to my son, never abides by the court orders, etc., etc. Anyway... enough of that. It just gets me down to think about it. But I worry...

Hope all goes well, this time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I am not a second class citizen!

I am a Democrat. I have always been a Democrat, since I was old enough to reason it out for myself. That's not to say that I am entirely happy with the so called leaders of the Democratic party right now, but that's neither here nor there.

Today, three House Democrats, Dave Obey, D-Wisconsin, Jack Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, and Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts, proposed a "war surtax" to pay for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Personally, I think that's a stupid idea, but none of the other Democrats seem to want to do anything to end the war. Never-the-less, a stupid idea, sure, but then to have to listen to that stupid twat Dana Perino, the current White House Press Secretary, say this (with that stupid little George Bushesque smirk on her face):

"We've always known Democrats seem to revert to type".

So I'm a type?! I'm a lesser being because I don't belong to her party? This is not even close to the first time I've heard a member of this administration speak in a derogatory manner about my party. And quite frankly, I'm sick of it. It's true that I didn't vote for George Bush, but he is the President of the United States. That makes him my president, too. Or it should. But he's not. He refuses to be my President. In fact, this person who is supposed to be my President sneers at me, looks down on me, treats me like a helot. The way I see it, when you become President you become the President of the entire United States, not just the segment of society that voted for you. George W. Bush apparently doesn't see things the same way.

This person who represents our great nation on the world stage has done more to further division, dissent, and down right disagreeableness, in this country than any other ten people I can think of. He fosters discord between the parties. He encourages his minions to fling mud, to cast aspersions on, to out right lie, about the people who belong to my party. I'm so sick of this crap. Why can't people see what this administration is doing? Do the American people really not care?

Anyway... that just really got my goat, this evening, when I saw that heifer looking down her nose at me while she smirked and bad mouthed Democrats. I am a Democrat. I am not a type, I am not a helot, I am not a lesser being, I am not a second class citizen.

I am a Democrat, a citizen, a tax payer, a patriot, a voter, a contributor to my society. What are you Dana Perino? A mouth-piece for a low-down, lying, good-for-nothing, war-mongering, no-serving, drunk-driving, cocaine sniffing, walks like a baby with a full diaper, sorry excuse for a president. So, you are a Republican. That makes you better than me... how?

Monday, October 1, 2007

I HATE walmart!

Oh God! I spent two frickin' hours in the walmart today, wheeling around an ill-handling shopping cart, going around in circles because I never can find what I'm looking for in that cluttered up place. Can I call that a workout? I'm soooo tired.

I can't stand walmart, and only go there maybe once every two or three months. No matter the length of time I spend inside, long or short, when I walk out, I still feel like I've been in there for at least 3 weeks. I can never remember where my car is parked, either. It's most distressing. I think it's some kind of mental block or sub-conscious reaction. I just detest the place.

And then when I got there, they didn't have all that I wanted, anyway. Still have to go to the Publix for the tea. (I know, that doesn't sound so bad, until you realize that there are 5 other grocery stores between me and the walmart and not one of them carries the brand of tea I like, and that the Publix, which is the only other place in town that does carry it, is on the other side of town from where I went today, and the tea was the major reason for me going to either place. I usually shop at Kroger, which is like, 5 minutes from my house, clean, cheap, but doesn't carry my brand of tea.) And besides, it kinda grosses me out to think about buying fresh foods from walmart. Their produce department is just so dirty looking, to me. I can't make myself purchase fresh fruits and veggies from there. So have to go to the regular grocery store, anyway. It was sort of a wasted trip, except all the walking I did and struggling with that wretched cart. That must have been good for something. And I did manage to find some 5 pound weights. Been wanting some of those. Already had some 1 and 3 pound weights, but wanted something heavier.

No, I don't want to look like a muscle woman (not that there's anything wrong with that, if that's what you want to look like, it just ain't for me). But I do want to get rid of this flab that is starting on my upper arms. I do not want to get that saggy-baggy stuff hanging down from my under-arms like you see on some older women. I think I might cry if my arms start looking like Miss Cianne from the church I used to go to when I was younger.

And I need to start researching this stuff better. I think I must be doing something wrong, or something. I don't know. I would have thought that after 3-4 months of walking every day, or nearly everyday, my legs would be over feeling tired all the time. For the past week my calves have been so sore. They feel like they are cramping all the time, it never stops. I don't know. Maybe I need more protein, or more calcium, or both. I do have a difficult time eating meat. It's not my most favorite thing. If I'm not in the mood for it, I have to force myself to eat it, and I'd really rather not do that. And I detest the smell of milk. Unless it's from a totally new, just this minute opened carton, I can't drink it. It smells too weird and bad. I do eat lots of cheese and yogurt. You'd think that would count. Somethings not right, tho. I don't think my legs should be hurting like this. I haven't felt like this since I very first began on this experiment.

Instead of writing this blog, I should be doing research. I honestly don't know anything about working out, or loosing weight, except to be more active and to eat less food and to choose what I do eat with more care. I don't have a clue when it comes to proper exercises, supplements, training, etc. So... I guess I better get busy on that, eh? All suggestions and ideas are greatly appreciated.