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Thursday, August 28, 2014

"In all my born days..." and Accidental Windfall

I would never imagine anyone giving me $20 for returning a Visa card.

After I paid for my gas, I went out to pump it. There, right beside my gas tank on the ground was a Visa card. I picked it up, put it in my pocket, intending to take it inside. But, I pumped my gas, went on my way. I took off those pants and two days later was going to wash them. There was the Visa card. I left it on the bathroom counter so I would not stash it somewhere "safe" and never find it.

I called today and talked to the woman's husband. He said that only moments before my call did she realize she did not have it. So, he said he would come get it anywhere, anytime today or when it was convenient. Then, I discovered I had no bread or buns for the turkey sandwich planned for lunch. So, I called him back and told him we would meet him at Burger King as we were going through the drive-thru.

He met us with a smile, an older man, very fit and with a strong gait. As he took the card, he slipped a $20 into my hand and kept backing up and folding my hand around it as I objected to taking money. If he weren't faster than I am, I would have gone to his car and put the money inside. And, I think it so rude to toss a gift of money to the ground. Sooo, guess who paid for our lunch. Of course, we used a coupon, bought a fifty-cent Coke from a machine and sat under the picnic tree. (a former post shows the tree throwing shade to park under, right at the back of the parking lot.) We are not spending $4 on fountain cokes! Now, exbf is working his meal off while I sitting with ear drops in my ear, trying not to let them run out soon.

Still, I feel almost ashamed for taking the money.

As we ate, I told exbf, "Never in all my born days would I expect to get money for returning a credit card or anything!"

Now, that is a good old Southern expression that I heard all the time from my Mississippi relatives and people in Memphis and Jackson, Mississippi.

Your turn
Have you ever heard that expression? Where did you hear it? State? Relatives? Slugmama, how about you?

Would you feel guilty for taking a $20 bill for simply being honest and caring that a woman got her cc back?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What is This Weed?

8 feet tall

 

Sometimes, I allow a weed to grow just to see what it is.  Do you know what it is? The very top has cylindrical things, pink, that will soon flower. I DO NOT want to disperse the seeds unless this weed is edible.

6 feet tall
Here is a picture with the setting sun shining on it, making the dark green leaves very pale. Both these were in open areas that the last mower did not mind leaving unmowed!

Your turn
These need to be beheaded, at least, before the seeds disperse. Does anyone have a clue as to what these might be?

In a Fever and Second Chances

Literally and figuratively! This is long and not exciting at all.

Last Monday, I was not feeling well and did not lock the hens in their pen. Yes, I know. Since I had a lunch to attend on Tuesday, I needed milk, so I washed my hair at 2 am and went to Walmart at 2:30 am. At 3 am, I went straight to lock them in. Well, Patsy Cline and the little one were standing up, looking at me, and acting agitated. Usually, they are all sitting and sleepy-eyed.

Thelma was nowhere to be seen. There were feathers on the ground, her feathers. I did it again and was so upset. I was heartsick!

Finally, about 6 am I got to sleep and awoke to go to the bathroom about 9 am and stayed up. I was miserable feeling in more ways than mentally. I dragged myself to the lunch and came home with the remains of four dinners--grilled chicken quarters, slaw, baked beans and one slice of bread.

Imagine my surprise when I found Thelma walking around near the back of the pen! She fussed at me all the way to the pen and once inside. It was a small growling sound, continuous and accusing (to my mind). I think the cat attacked her and she escaped! The three of the hens gobbled the food I brought from the lunch.

Thelma is 5.5 years old and the best layer I have. I got a second chance to do better for her.

Having fed them, I left with a lighter heart to go to the doctor. My wait at Urgent Care waiting room was maybe five minutes. My wait in the exam room was maybe ten minutes. This doctor agreed last time to be my family doctor. He is the one who came in the door telling me what prescriptions he was going to give me and left without my having a chance to talk. Besides, he held the door open when I talked to him, telling him I was not finished.

Yesterday, he was so nice. Unbelievable! He listened and even asked about my being a teacher. Marvelous! Either he remembered or wrote it down. Either way, he is a winner in my book. Have you ever been to a physician who asked if you were married, or what kind of work you did, or if you had children? Most have written down at least a smidgen of personal information. Dana's doctor even denied having given her certain prescriptions!

His PA said he had a shoulder problem that needed surgery and a neck problem that needs surgery. The more serious neck problem causes him pain when me raises his head. He must have the shoulder surgery before he has the more serious neck surgery. So, he walks about looking straight down, sort   with his chin on his chest. He is in pain many days, so he is not so friendly those days. The PA said he was lots of fun when he was not in pain. He was never mean to me, just in a hurry that first time. I'm glad I gave him a second chance. Maybe there is a lesson here on second chances. And, I really like him.

I went back to the doctor only because he said he would be my family physician and I needed four things yesterday: 1) form filled out for cataract surgery 2) referral to endocrinologist 3) swimmers ear in left ear and what is wrong with right ear and my throat hurts/sinus problems/fever 4) levothyroxine prescription.

Left ear has swimmer's ear (antibiotic drops and steroid drops); right ear has earwax buildup (mineral oil drops and some sort of peroxide drops); sinus/ear/throat infection (antibiotic).  So, I only had two degrees of temperature, but I was miserable, sleeping way to much at all the wrong times. Being ill almost cost me Thelma.

It's  been a rocky week as is evidenced by my lack of posts for a few days and no photos. Plus, if you could see the house and stack of dishes, you would know something is wrong, very wrong.

Your turn
Do you have animals that hide to be safe? Have you been on the search for a good doctor? There are plenty out there, but I cannot find one or the one I want to try is not taking new patients.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Honestly, It's Okay to Laugh! Ruined Food

While reading Rural Revolution yesterday, I was reminded of a funny incident involving cooking, a ruined meal or dish. But, my husband was the one cooking. Okay, I remember a big mistake on my part and added it.

I only made one inedible meal or dish,  and that was very early in my marriage. My husband loved the mess of meat/soup/goulash/casserole or whatever I made and ate several helpings. I thought it was disgusting. I refused to eat it and had a sandwich. He was not just being nice about it since he ate the rest later, and told my mother is was really good.


The Main Story
About five years after I married when I went to my mother's house for a week, my husband decided to make brownies that first night. He doubled the recipe. Not only did he double the recipe ingredients, he doubled the size of the pan, doubled the temperature, and doubled the cooking time.

Even children reading this know the disaster that ensued.

He said he soaked and scrubbed that pan for the whole week and asked me what went wrong. Oh, I laughed as he complained he could not even eat one bite of it. He did say he thought that maybe the fact he could not double the temperature (350) or exactly double the pan (8x8) size might be part of the problem. Thankfully, the oven did not reach 700 degrees, what he wanted. Clueless! That was the first and only thing he ever cooked in fourteen years. Would you still be laughing like I am 45 years later?

No, he did not notice the scorching smell. He thought it was chocolate he smelled.

Your turn
What is your worst dish you have cooked? Or, a terrible cooking mistake made by you or someone you know.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Madness and Cataracts?

When I went to the eye doctor on Wednesday several weeks ago, I had to have my eyes dilated for the exam. The doctor gave me the little dark eyeglass insert for my eyeglasses as I left. Okay, I put them inside my glasses and went on my way. That night when I went to the church dinner I forgot to take the inserts. The drive there was straight into the 4:45 pm setting sun. I squinted and frowned at my friend, Fred, as we talked outside the church. When we went into the building, I mentioned that indoors was much better on my eyes and I had forgotten my dark inserts.

He said he still had his in the car from last week when he had his eyes dilated. Did I want to use them? His had the pieces to go over the ear, just little sunglasses. They helped immensely. But, I could not wear my glasses with these on.

As I sat at the table, I thought that I had a bug in my hair because I could see movement in my peripheral vision on the left. I gave a little at-the-table-appropriate shriek and exclaimed there was a bug in my hair. Now, let me tell you, if you ever want to see a woman go nuts, just watch me with a bug in my hair. I knock my hair all around as I beseech those around for help in searching for the bug so I will know where to hit my hair and fluff it out. Okay, so maybe it is only lint or a leaf; it is scary.

Fred examined my hair and declared it bug free. So did the woman next to me. In a few minutes, I saw the same thing on the right side! Fred examined it more closely after I had flipped my hair around on that side of my face. Finally, he concluded it was my hair I was seeing and moved the stray pieces away from my peripheral vision. The funky cardboard/plastic ear pieces on the glasses must have pulled my hair into a funny place. ??? I am still convinced it was a bug!

As I drove home, there were flashes of light all around me. Light flew across the headliner and into my vision, onto my hands and arms and across the dashboard, over and over. It appeared from the left then from the right and back again from the left. Light flashed onto all surfaces of the car inside and caused me to think something bad was happening. Maybe an 18-wheeler was bearing down on me in a residential section? I have no idea what I thought was happening but flinched each time,  nevertheless. To say I was a nervous wreck is an understatement.

When I got out of the car at home, I realized there was a full-length mirror still in the back seat of the car, lying up about shoulder high and slanted a bit. It was just high enough that it caught the setting sun as I made several turns, causing light to flash all around the car....sigh

That Wednesday night after the dilation, I went to bed at 12:30 am and awoke at 2:30 pm on Thursday. Even on Sunday afternoon, my eyes still hurt. The dilation, exam, bug-in-my-hair scare, flashing lights that ran around in the car--all together did a number on my nerves that Wednesday. While I had not had adequate sleep the night before, there was just too much added to the pain in my eyes, eye sockets, and head.

Yes, I do sound like a skittish old lady. Exbf and Fred thought the "bug" was funny. They thought the mirror effects were hilarious.

Eye dilation seems to cause a headache that lasts for a week for me even though the nurse said that never happens. 

Oh, it seems I have mentioned the mirror before. Have I?

Your turn
Does having your eyes dilated cause you pain for so long? Any idea why my pain lasts so long?  Have you ever had strange things (like my flashing lights) happen that stressed you and made you wonder about your sanity even without the eye pain?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Walk Slow and Stay in the Shade" Plus: Catwalk

view as I exited the the car at my house--catwalk
 

Walk slow and stay in the shade. This is the Southern way to stay cool. Of course, sitting in the shade works, too. This saying was in evidence well before the advent of air conditioning. About 95% or my yard is in full shade. But, the part that is not in full shade is on the west and against the back side of the house.

(Yes, I know the proper word is "slowly." But that is not the saying.)

That back side of the house has a 1 foot thick rock wall about 4' high, part of the basement. So, the heat is especially horrendous back there. As I go across the back of the house, the hens' pen is in full shade always. If I walk slowly to the hens' pen, I will die in the heat. I hurry across the torrid, sunny part of the yard. Back to the cat.

 
closer view of the nimble cat
 
Sitting in the car, watching the cat, I wondered how cats do this. The squirrels often skitter across the tops of the 2x4s. If you notice, the guy who put up the fence has the boards lying flat. I have never seen a fence constructed this way.
 
 
This is the hottest weather of the year so far. I am going to go a step farther than walking slow and staying in the shade. Under ac is my plan.
 
 
cat easily steps over the vertical board

 

Days like today are why Southerners sat under the back-yard scuppernong arbors in a straight-back chair with a woven white oak seat and plucked one grape at a time, trying not to exert any energy.
 
I have not written lately because I have swimmer's ear, feel awful and had no will to write. Since I don't know how to cure swimmer's ear without visiting a doctor, I suppose I will go to Urgent Care.
 
 
Your turn
Have you ever heard this saying? Are you from the South in the US?  Do you ever wonder how cats can balance on things and walk? Well, what I really wonder if their seeming lack of fear. 
 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Red Velvet Brownies

a little underdone, but delicious

My neighbor around the block who takes my garbage to the road has a religious group meet at his house. They are mostly young people and are not associated with any church. I have made several sheet cakes from mixes for them. One time I mentioned something about brownies or cookies or something. He said, "We are more brownie or cookie people than cake people." A gentle hint? Yes.

Since I had all these free cake mixes that I was going to give away, I decided to look for a way to turn them into brownies. My mood and back were in no mood to make cookies from the cake mix like I have done in the far past.

The brownie above was cooked in a cup and accidentally taken out of the oven too early. So, the bottom you see is a little moist. Okay, it was gooey. Theirs are done.

 


I used a Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix.
Why not?
 
Recipe for brownies from any cake mix:
 
Preheat oven:350 F
 
Place in bowl:
box of cake mix
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup water
 
Beat well. Put into 9x13 inch pan (or whatever size you prefer).
Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (I did not do this).
 
Could anything be easier? There are many recipes online to make brownies from cake mix. However, some of them have a dozen more ingredients. Why bother? I wanted simple. I am quite sure a cup full or maybe less of any add-ins would work.
 
Now, don't put the box in the bowl like I said. Empty the ingredients into the bowl.
 
I took the brownies out of the oven after I turned off the oven. I went straight out the door and drove to his house. No, no frosting since I cannot afford frosting today and did not want to stand and make frosting. The girl who took these looked happy.
 
I have a white cake mix that is going to get some special add-ins, just not sure what. A German Chocolate cake mix will get the icing on the brownies. The Double Fudge cake mix brownies will probably stay here.
 
A bunch of young people were painting his porch! I will take a picture because it is striking.
 
Your turn
Have you ever had Red Velvet brownies? Do you make cookies from cake mix?