Monday, November 30, 2009

City Slickers

We just returned from getting Maggie from the kennel. The kennel people again bragged about how sweet and good she is when she visits them.

Pausing now in disbelief.

The Vet came out to say, "hello" and I expressed my heartfelt appreciation for his rare facility.

"We like cats," he stated.

"You just don't know," I continued, "I drive here for miles because Maggie is happy with y'all."

"We're glad you like us."

So now Maggie is sprawled at my feet while I attempt to blog and ignore that pile of laundry waiting for me in the other room.


The trip to Santa Fe was great. Daughter would say the highlight was the horseback riding, but I'll be honest and tell you that the highlight for me was the food.

Our Thanksgiving buffet included the usual items like traditional stuffing and turkey, but also had some pretty unique (at least for me) dishes as well. My favorites were the New Mexican style stuffing with pine nuts and chorizo and the maple butter sweet potatoes with praline topping. I have no idea how to make the stuffing, but my new goal is to replicate those sweet potatoes.

We also tried Native American traditionally baked bread with green chili butter.


Now, to the horses.

Hubs and I were not sure if it was going to be, well, lame. We imagined the trail ride as a yuppy inspired, amusement park level tour with city lights and high wires in the background. We were pleasantly surprised. We rode for nearly 1 1/2 hours. Ouch.

When I signed us up, I was honest and told them we were all beginners. Daughter has taken some lessons, but she is not nearly experienced enough to surpass beginner status. I haven't been on a horse since I was about nine years old. Hubs rode horses as a child, back before the Internet was invented.

I've learned that when you label yourself a "beginner" you end up with the oldest horse in the barn. The guide told us that between the three horses we were riding, he had about 100 years of horse.

If I didn't already feel pitiful, knowing that I was literally being carried by a senior citizen really sealed it for me.

Hubs' horse was named "Goose." He said,"Talk to me, Goose" as he held the reins in his hands. Then Kenny Loggins began to sing in the background.

Daughter rode "Magic" and was in heaven the entire time. I rode alongside her once and heard her tell Magic all about the horses she has ridden during her lessons and their personalities. It was precious.

My horse was "Ray." As soon as we learned his name, Hubs said,"You can call me Ray or you can call me Jay or you can call me..." For the entire ride I had that commercial in my head.

Thanks, Maverick.

At one point, our AARP member horses were lagging behind. Hubs decided to catch up with the group and gave Goose the go-ahead to trot. Well, Ray apparently likes to do everything Goose does and decided to trot, too. You know, those horses are so prone to peer pressure.

Ray began to trot and I was not prepared. I gave him a quick "whoa" and he slowed. Then I yelled ahead at Hubs to give me warning next time.

The guide just laughed. Some sort of cowboy humor.

After that, the ride was uneventful, which was my goal. My other aim was that my horse and I would both live through the experience. I'm sure Ray has much grander dreams for his last ride into the sunset.

An almost forty gringo gal with a beer commercial stuck in her head is probably not it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Leftovers are so over-rated.

We're home from a great Thanksgiving getaway. I'd love to go to the frig. and pull the Saran Wrap from leftovers, but I am totally thankful for our trip.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about the New Mexican style buffet we enjoyed and how I learned that a saddle is not as cushion-y as it looks.

I must go now and scrounge up some vittles. (That's cowgirl talk, ya know.)

See ya then! Hope you had a great holiday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Trails

I'm supposed to be packing suitcases and cleaning bathrooms, but I've never been good at prioritizing.

So here I am in the blogosphere dodging spam emails about Black Friday.

We're off to Santa Fe where I hope to do some really good shopping, and even better eating.

I'll leave you with one thought- me on a horse. We're going trail riding. This is out of my element, but I am going to Cowgirl Up and go for it.

I'll do anything for blog material.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Dozen: Turkey Lurkey Style

Linda, Love the dog.

1. Are you sticking to traditional Thanksgiving foods this year, or are you being culinary adventurous?

Culinary adventurous.

We are headed to the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area for the holiday. I'm hoping to enjoy a nice buffet with interesting New Mexican traditions. The only downside is no leftovers!

No turkey hash.

No turkey sandwiches.

No pie for breakfast.

The upside?

No dirty dishes.

2. Tell me something concrete that you're thankful for. (Something you can literally touch, see, etc., not a concept like "hope.")

Could I say concrete? Really, where would we be without it?

Seriously, I am thankful for my grandmother's cut glass dish that I put cranberry sauce in every year. It rests in the china cabinet next to other family dishes. Lots of memorable meals represented in there.

3. You knew the flip side was coming: Share about something intangible that you're thankful for.

Memories of family meals. We Southerners eat for every occasion- holidays, weddings, new babies, an illness, a death in the family. (Unwritten law- No funeral is complete without a bucket of chicken and a layered cake.)

Most family memories involve good food.

4. Share one vivid Thanksgiving memory. It doesn't have to be deep or meaningful, just something that remains etched in your memory.

When we first married I made a big Thanksgiving dinner. I even had Vidalia onions shipped from Georgia to Arizona so that I could make creamed onions for Hubs. I later learned that, although creamed onions were a tradition he grew up with, they were one he could live without. He'll eat them, but he doesn't have to have them.

Sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce are another story.


I read that you could cook the turkey upside down to keep it moist. I pulled it out of the oven and asked Hubs to slice it. He didn't know it was upside down. He started to slice it, wondering why it was all boney. I finally told him to flip it over.

The dinner turned out great and we had enough leftovers to last us until Christmas.

5. What is one thing that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is going to happen this Thanksgiving because it always does, year after year?

I am going to eat too much.

It's tradition. Why mess with it?

6. Do your pets get any left-overs?

And she laughs hysterically.

Maggie is on a special diet. Before she was on a special diet, she did not eat leftovers. She doesn't even eat leftover cat food. It's fresh or it's nothing.

7. Does your family pray before the big meal? If so, do you join hands while seated, stand, repeat a formal prayer or offer a spontaneous prayer? Who does the praying?

If we are home, Hubs prays. If we are with family, the "man of the house" prays. We don't usually join hands at home because we are avid hand washers (i.e. germ freaks) and holding hands would mean having to get up from the table and washing them all over again.

Feel free to comment on that one.

8. Will you be watching football in the afternoon? If not, what will you be doing?

No way. I don't watch football. If we were at home, we would probably play a board game, eat some pie, then take a nap.

Then get up and eat more pie.

See # 5.

9. There are two distinct camps of people on this issue: How do you feel about oysters in the dressing/stuffing?

I've never had it, but I'd be willing to try it. I prefer no meat in my dressing, but I love it smothered in gravy.

10. Do you consider yourself informed about the first Thanksgiving?

I think so. We just studied it for homeschool, so I just went through a refresher course.

11. Which variety of pie will you be enjoying?

I hope to try something new while we are away. When I get home, I'm making pumpkin and pecan. Pecan and chocolate pecan are my favorites.

12. Do you feel for the turkey?? (This is a humorous throw back question related to the 12th question in another Random Dozen!)

No. I make it a rule not to sympathize with my food. It makes it much more enjoyable.

See Lid for more great, concrete answers. ;>)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Randomness at the dinner table

(Insert random movie clip here) from Hubs.

Turning to daughter, I said, "You know, Daddy loves any movie with British accents."

"In fact, he would have liked the English Patient if the English Patient had been English and not Hungarian," I continued.

Eye roll from Hubs.

"Daddy, what's the English Patient?" asked Daughter.

"It's a movie, an awful movie, where the English Patient gets sick and then he waits, but he is very patient."

Puzzled look from Daughter.

Eye roll from me.

"Then the patient gets lost in a cave and someone crashes a plane and finds him."

"Uh-uh!" I argued, laughing, "he wasn't the one in the cave."

Continued puzzled look from Daughter.

Eye rolls abound.

Dishes clang. Laughter trails off.

Come to think of it, he was very patient...

Friday, November 20, 2009

What God Has Done

Just over a year ago, my family moved clear across the country to a small town out west, very different from any place I'd ever lived.

Let's just say this Southern girl wasn't exactly thrilled...

Join me today at the Internet Cafe for an update on What God Has Done in my life.

Y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Dozen: Banana, Tree, Register Three

1. If you could master one sport, what would it be?

This is going to sound completely lame, but I've always been interested in archery.

Yes, as in bow and arrow.

I have no idea why. I've never even tried it.

I'm sure Hubs would be the first to volunteer to put an apple on his head.

2. When you make a major purchase, do you go with your gut instinct, or do you do research to make an informed decision?

I research to be able to make an informed decision, but I always trust my gut in the end.

I read and read about the item (especially cars.) We tend to keep major purchases for a long time, so I want to be happy with them.

3. There is an old kids' game that says you can find out what your movie star name would be by using your middle name as your first name and the name of the street you grew up on as your last. What is your movie star name?

I have to pass on this. This taps into so many possible password leaks. I'm not even sure they are out there, but it's possible.

4. Would you rather give up your favorite music or your favorite food?

I'd say music. I wouldn't be able to listen to my favorite song, but I could still sing. However, I can't really hum to myself to enjoy Starbucks coffee or Reese's cups.

5. There are two types of banana preferences. One is pristine yellow, almost to the point of being green; the other is spotty and more ripe. Which is your preference?

I'll pick the pristine yellow one because I have no idea when it will be eaten. It could sit on the counter for days or be eaten when it is unloaded from the car. Here in New Mexico, the dry air is not kind to produce. It goes bad very quickly, something I am still not used to.

6. Your favorite tree is?

The Live Oak. They are grand and gorgeous. They live through storms and fires. There are so many throughout the South which have witnessed years of history.

And they are great for climbing. Picture Jenny and Forrest.

7. On a scale of 1-10, how tech savvy are you?

Maybe a 4. I can turn on the computer, navigate the Internet, blog and shop. Once a virus or worm or bug or other critter gets in the way, I'm in big trouble.

8. Has H1N1 touched your family?


And I would really like access to the vaccine, hello government people out there...

9. Are you an analytical person, or do you just accept things the way they are without questioning or scrutinizing?

I analyze everything to death. I'm a psych major who loves words. I pick apart movies and books and sitcoms.

I find meaning where there is no meaning. It's fun. I'm a nerd.

10. Is your personality more like that of a dog, cat, or Koala?

I've never really gotten to know a Koala, so I can't answer to that. Oh, except for that little guy in the zoo, but he was in a cage so we couldn't really chat over lattes...

I'd say cat. I try to be cool and collected, but most of the time I end up with my ear turned inside out.

11. Do you keep in touch with friends you made years ago?

A few. We have a long Christmas card list, but there are only a few that I really keep in touch with on a regular basis via email or phone calls.

Unlike a lot of my friends growing up, I've moved away.

12. You are checking out at a grocery store. In the express lane, there are more people than the regular lanes, but of course, their load is less than those in the regular lanes. Which lane do you choose (assuming you qualify for the express lane) and why?

I have a mental check system for this.

For one, I always choose a female cashier over a male one. Sorry, guys. Women are more efficient at running a cash register. I think it has something to do with multi-tasking.

Next, I look at who is in line. That husband who is by himself will unload his cart slowly and wait until he is given the total to get out his debit card. Same with the little old lady (she can't help it.)

That being said, no matter how long the lines are, I usually end up with the veteran cashier who scans like lightning, right behind the young mom with the screaming baby and cart full of diapers (she's ready to get home.)

Reference Question #9. :>)

Thanks again, Linda!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cat Years

Maggie is up in years. She's almost 13.

In dog years, that's old.

In people years, she should be getting some kind of social security check that I could dip into. The only thing is, with her being a cat, it would be kind of hard to forge her signature and cash it at Wal-mart.

"Um, yes, Customer Service Person, that paw print is totally mine."

In addition to her usual drama, Maggie has pretty much given up on effective grooming. I say effective because she still tries, bless her heart. She licks and licks and rubs her face with her paw. Now, in her old age, she just licks her long fur coat into a matted mess.

She has become that little old lady who sits in front of you in church. The one who always makes the coconut cake every year at homecoming. The one who still wears lipstick and blush, Avon circa 1982. The one who carefully styles her hair but doesn't realize that the back of it still looks like she slept on it.

God love her.

That's my cat.

So now I'm having to comb or clip out the knots in Maggie's coat. You could say I'm her weekly beauty shop appointment.

I draw the line at driving her to the bank.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The post I wish I could have linked to yesterday.

Most of you read Big Mama, but if you haven't read this post, please run right over there and read it now.

As Lee Greenwood says (over and over,) I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.

Thanks, Melanie for an awesome post.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Random Dozen: Grouper and Little Debbies

1. What was the last song you listened to?

Last night I listened to Wild Horses by Susan Boyle online. I'm asking for her CD for Christmas.

2. Have you ever had “buyer’s remorse” over anything?

In the literal sense, those MC Hammer pants I bought freshman year in college.

It is never Hammer time.

3. What is something in your life that you are thankful for now that you didn’t think you would be at the time of the event? (Something that seemed ill-timed, inconvenient or hurtful which turned out to be a good thing)

We moved somewhere and I kicked and screamed the whole way. I ended up having one of the best doctors to take care of me during my pregnancy.

4. Do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade every year? If so, do you have a favorite float or balloon?


I love the Rockettes. I wanted to be a Rockette as a child.

Alas, I am too short. Plus I can't dance.

5. Share a quote, scripture, poem or lyric which has been an inspiration to you lately.

The quote on my Mary Engelbreit calendar for this month-

"Must. Change. Attitude."

That is totally me.

6. This is meant to be a fun question, and this is a G-rated blog, but please share a “guilty pleasure,” something that you enjoy that’s probably not the most edifying, time-worthy or healthy thing you could be indulging in. Did I mention--G rating?

I watch Roseanne. Hubs doesn't get it. He is so shocked that the show makes me laugh.

That family puts the fun in dysfunction. I'm just glad they don't live next door.

7. What Thanksgiving food are you looking forward to?

Homemade dressing.

Not stuffing.


Made with homemade cornbread and homemade chicken stock and homemade celery... okay. You get the picture.

8. What is your favorite book to read to children, or what was your favorite childhood book?

The Little Red Hen. My poor daddy probably memorized it. I loved it.

It makes me chuckle that the Hen totally told everyone what she thought about their attempt at freeloading. The funny part is that I got that as a little kid. I was a weird kid who understood adult concepts.

9. Do you collect anything? (Feel free to post a photo.)

I collect porcelain dolls. On top of them, is my collection of dust.

It is not really hip to collect dolls. People think that if you collect dolls that you also put out fresh doilies when company comes over.

My doilies are all packed away with the Precious Moments figurines, thank you.

10. Gift bags or wrapping paper?

It depends. If it is a kid's birthday party, gift bag! Gift bags have become the answer to shorter kids' birthday parties.

Sometimes I like to wrap some really special gifts in wrapping paper with a nice ribbon or bow.

11. Share an after-school memory from when you were younger. What was your routine like on an average day?

I walked home with my red book bag in one hand and my blue Peanuts lunch box in the other. Sometimes Mama gave me a Little Debbie cake when I got home. Swiss Rolls were my favorite. I always unrolled them as I ate them. After my snack, I watched The Flintstones and I Love Lucy re-runs.

What can I say? Life was hard.

12. True story: Once, in a job interview, I was asked this question and told there would be no clarifying; I simply had to answer the question: “When you’re fishing, do you feel for the fish?” So what about you? When you're fishing, do you feel for the fish??

Okay, Lid. You've got me stumped. All I can say is that I enjoy fishing and catching them, but not touching them. In the literal or figurative sense.

I also love eating them. Preferably grilled amberjack or fried grouper with some really good hushpuppies.

Thanks for the fun and fishy questions, Linda!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Expert In A Cheap Poncho

Somebody tell Mama.

I'm sitting here watching The Weather Channel. If my dear Granny were still with us, she'd be watching it with me, too and we'd switch back and forth between TWC and CMT for some kind of tribute to Dolly or Merle.

Even though we live in New Mexico now, we still own a home in Florida. That nice little pond behind our house drains into a sound which drains right into the Gulf of Mexico.


The thing about tropical storms and hurricanes is that they tend to blow water in the opposite direction of where you'd like it to go. Rain blows sideways and the water that normally drains out of a pond tends to rise into your backyard.

As of now, it looks like our house will withstand Ida. But it's times like these that I become friends with the weatherman.

I kinda feel sorry for the guy. At any other time I tend to ignore him or scoff at his forecast. Give me a good hurricane or some winds kickin' at 70 knots, and I'm adding him to my Christmas card list.

The weatherman, poor guy, is a lot like the dentist. We don't like them, even poke fun at them a little bit.

Until we have a toothache.

Or a house on a pond which drains into a sound that ultimately drains into the Gulf of Mexico.

Right down the road from where Jim Cantore is standing.

Live. Via satellite.

Friday, November 06, 2009

In Sympathy

Just a quick post to express my heartfelt sympathy to the friends and family of those injured and killed at Ft. Hood.

May God bless you and comfort you in your loss.

We salute your loved ones for their incredible service to our country.

God bless our troops.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Y'all give new meaning to Southern Comfort.


If I weren't southern and wordy and long-winded, writing run-on sentences and such, I'd say that your comments about alcoholic sore throat remedies left me speechless. Instead, they had me laughing so hard that I wound up in a coughing fit.

It was very attractive.

I went to dinner last night where I met a few new friends and spent time with old ones. Just before I left, Hubs asked, "How are you going to talk?"

I told him,"I'll figure it out."

Challenging a woman to find a new way to talk is like asking MacGyver to build something out of used toilet paper rolls and crazy glue. One minute everything is quiet and the next, the A-Bomb is going off.

When we arrived at the restaurant I explained that I had lost my voice because of my allergies and that I was not contagious. That last phrase should really be made into a button because I've repeated it at least 100 times in the last few days.


Maybe I should edit it a bit. That's a lot for a button, even for those really big ones we wore on our acid-washed denim jackets in the '80's.

Seriously. The Swine Flu is the new plague.

"People treat me like I have the plague" has been replaced with "people run away screaming like I have the swine flu."

The Swine Flu is really freaking us out. Rightly so. People are becoming very ill.

We're scared to sit too close to someone in church. We're scared to shake hands. We're scared to go to Wal-mart. (Okay, we were always scared to go to Wal-mart.)

The up side (???) is that it gives some folks an excuse to drink whiskey.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Typing in a low whisper

Somewhere along the course of events of the weekend, I lost my voice. It started out as a squeak, then a raspy bark, and now it is a sad little whisper.

I attribute my condition to all the yelling.


Really, it is a result of a Fall allergy of somethingorother. I sound really pathetic but feel perfectly fine. (Let's keep that between us.)

Now I'm sipping herbal tea (blech) and hoping to recover quickly. I'm going to a girls' night out for dinner. I would love to be able to actually order instead of relying on pointing and hand motions.

Fortunately for you (or unfortunately) I can still type.

So, I'll be back. Right after I stop gagging on the herbal tea remedy.

Isn't there some sort of latte' for laryngitis?