Monday, January 30, 2006

Blogichef Recipe

Blue Witch has a project going on over at her blog which is, as she writes, "An attempt to compile a blog recipe book of as many different bloggers' (and blog readers') favourite tried and tested, quick, cheap, and easy recipes as possible."

My contribution is a recipe that almost every child in American has had for lunch at least once; Cream of Tomato Soup and a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. It's quick, easy, cheap and tasty. My husband and I had this for dinner the other night.

Campbell's Cream of Tomato Soup
1 can Condensed Tomato Soup
1 can milk

Slowly stir together soup and one can of milk in a saucepan. Simmer on stove, stirring often.

Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich
2 slices of bread
2 slices Kraft Deli Deluxe Pasteurized Cheese
softened butter

Heat a small frying pan. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Put one slice of bread in the frying pan butter side down. Unwrap cheese slices and place on top of bread in pan. Put the other slice of bread butter side up on top of cheese. Toast both sides until the cheese slightly melts and the bread is golden brown.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Small Town Life

(It has been hard to get back to blogging this week. I'm feeling fine, have been since Thursday, but I've had no interest in writing. Maybe I just needed something to blog about.)

This has been an interesting week for my husband. He had two things happen to him that rocked him emotionally. The first baby earthquake had to do with one of our neighbors. Back in December of 2003 I wrote about going to this neighbor's Shepherd's Party. Since then the neighbor,"Bea," has lost her husband and seems to have delved deeper into religion as a result of it.

A few weeks ago we were happy to learn that another woman in town would be moving into Bea's house. We were happy to hear this because Bea is an older lady and we worried about her being in that big house of hers all alone. At the time my husband made a stupid joke to Bea's brother about Bea suddenly "going gay" and the joke got back to his sister. It took Bea about a week to get up the courage to drop by our house to tell my husband that she was upset by his joke. She did not want a rumor to get started that she was gay because she definitely wasn't and because, more importantly, homosexuality was a sin against God. My husband apologized and then tried to get her to see it did not matter what other people said. She wasn't gay so why even worry about it? No, no, it did matter Bea said because homosexuality was a sin. My husband apologized once more and promised never to joke about it again.

Last Thursday afternoon Bea stopped by to see my husband. She brought with her a study bible with my husband's name printed on the cover. She also brought a copy of The Case For Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel(an atheist turned Christian), and a slip of paper with a list of all the verses in the bible that condemn homosexuality. Bea said she had been worried about my husband and decided to pray to God about him. All these things that she brought were gifts that God told her to bring to him (my husband) because he (God) thought that he (my husband) needed them. As Bea said these things I sat there just stunned, wondering how my husband was going to react to this.

What Bea does not know is my husband rejected any form of organized religion after his sister was murdered by her husband at the age of twenty-eight . Her husband was a religious fanatic who came to believe that his wife was possessed by the devil. He prayed to God about it and later said that God told him it was his duty to destroy Satan in any form he found him. As my husband said when he first told me about his sister's death, "...and that was the end of my sister."

My husband patiently listened to Bea and thanked her for the books. Then with a gentle sweetness and a sense of sadness he told her that he had been raised a Christian. He had turned away from Christianity because the religion teaches that there is a being known as Satan and that it is the duty of all Christians to fight Satan in whatever form he takes. People had died because of this belief. Bea tried to say something in reply but my husband would not listen and repeated softly that people have died because of this.

After she left I asked my husband what he thought was the reason why Bea thought he needed to be saved. He said it was because she knew he was a good person and some people, Bea included, can't understand how someone can be a good person and not be a Christian.

I agree that there are people like that in this world and for some reason that thought depressed me more than anything that had been said all day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Another Damn Migraine Sunday

I know it is hormonal but I also think they may be triggered by eating nuts. I had pistachios Sunday and I think I had them last time too. This time it did not knock me out as badly as before but that is like saying the car that hit me today was only going 30 mph and not 40 mph. They both still hurt. Trying to come up with ways to get this to stop. My sister and I may have figured something out.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Small Town Life

Story on the front page of the weekly newspaper this week:

is gone

For around 50 years, the mechani-
cal pony at the grocery store has
been entertaining children. Parents
who rode the horse as a child were
now letting their children ride.
But no more. The horse, which
for the last 50 years has cost only a
penny for several minutes of riding
entertainment, was taken out by the
present owners of the grocery store.
Maybe it will be back. The own-
ers did not return the telephone call.

Editorial on page four:

Grocery store horse gone
but the memories live on

 The horse is gone! For years, children have been
riding the mechanical horse at the grocery store.
Through the years, the horse has carried chil-
dren through the imaginary hills, chasing robbers
and crooks, to the sunny meadows. Children came
through the doors armed with their pennies (it only
cost 1 cent to ride for several minutes) and some-
times with their chaps, boots and cowboy hats.
Parents were grateful for the few minutes they
could shop in peace while their children were
riding the horse. If there was a child who was
standing in front of the horse but had no money,
there were clerks who always carried a few extra
pennies in their pocket just for those children.
The different owners have had to make repairs
to the horse and even gotten it a new saddle but
the price has always remained the same affordable
Maybe the new owners of the grocery store will
replace the dependable old horse but, chances are,
it will cost more than a penny.
Things do change but it is hard to imagine that
the grocery store pony has moved on to greener

Why the big uproar? Because this is the straw that broke the camel's back. In the last five years the grocery store has changed owners three times. The store is changing hands again at the end of the month. I do not write checks for my groceries that often but each time I do I have to ask what the name of the store is because I can't seem to remember it.

Each time the store has changed hands the quality of the goods and produce provided has gone down some and the prices of said goods and produce has gone up. I don't know how many times I have found products past their expiration date on the shelves. People have been upset by all the changes but so far have done nothing but grumble about it since this is the only grocery store within thirty-five miles.

But the horse. The men and women at the Senior Center are talking about starting a petition demanding that the horse be returned. The kids at the high school are saying they want to do the same thing. That horse is the main topic of conversation this week. If the owners have any sense they will bring him/her back before people's anger spills over to the real issue; owners thought to be taking advantage of customers who have nowhere else to go.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Wicked Pickett

The great Wilson Pickett died yesterday. His most well known songs are In The Midnight Hour and Mustang Sally. My favorite song of his is 634-5789. I loved the way he sang the lines:
I'll be right here at home
All you gotta do is pick up the telephone and dial now

He died too soon.


If you need some good loving
Call on me
And if you need some good hugging
Call on me baby
I'll be right here at home
All you gotta do is pick up the telephone and dial now

Six three four five seven eight nine
That's my number
Six three four five seven eight nine

If you want some loving
Call on me
And if you want sweet hugging
Call on me baby
No more lonely nights will you be alone
All you gotta do is pick up the telephone and dial now

Six three four five seven eight nine
That's my number
Six three four five seven eight nine

I'll be right there
Just as soon as I can
And if I'll be a little bit late
I hope you will understand

If you want some good loving
Call on me
If you need a good loving baby
Call on me baby
Oh I'll be right here at home
All you gotta do is pick up that telephone and dial now

Six three four five seven eight nine
That's my number
Six three four five seven eight nine
Six three four five seven eight nine

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Slip Sliding Away

I know a woman- became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life
She said a good day ain't got no rain
She said a bad day is when I lie in bed
And I think of things that might have been
Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination,
The more you slip sliding away

-Paul Simon song Slip Sliding Away

I don't know if many of you suffer from migraines but (for me) the worst part is the post-migraine hangover. I have spent the week lying on the couch watching television or reading. I finished reading Wicked:The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West this week. That was not the book to be reading in my post-migraine-emotional-weirdness state but then again maybe it was perfect. The surreal dream world that Maguire created was hard to climb out of each time I laid the book down.

When I wasn't reading I was listlessly mesmerized by the television and playing channel check with a vengeance. I don't think I stopped at any one station for more than 20 seconds the first couple of days. Then I discovered ER is on three times a day on two different channels; twice in the morning and once in the afternoon. Even better the episodes are from Season One and Two. The only problem is that the episodes in the morning are the ones when Carol Hathaway was with "Tag" and the afternoon episodes are the "Shep" as Carol's boyfriend ones. It is a little confusing to jump from one story line to the other because I keep jumbling them all together in my head. While watching I felt like Dorothy in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz when she says, "My! People come and go so quickly here!"

Note: I have a theory. All television programs are done by the end of the third year. At that point the writers are just going through the motions.

This is also the week of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction. The greatest example of unbridled, conspicuous, consumer consumption in the world. A glorious thirty-three hours of it is being televised on the Speed Channel. Each night Speed Channel ends the program with a tally of just how much money has changed hands both that night and during the auction so far. I love every obnoxious second of it.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Lost Weekend

Had a migraine Friday that knocked me for a loop all weekend. Still recovering from the aftereffects.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Designer Dogs Quiz Answers

What do you get when you cross a:

1. Labrador Retriever with a Poodle?

Answer: Labradoodle

2. Beagle with a Pug?

Answer: Puggle

3. Schnauzer with a Poodle?

Answer: Schnoodle

4. Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle?

Answer: Cockapoo

5. Pomeranian with a Chihuahua?

Answer: Pomchi

6. Yorkie with a Maltese?

Answer: Morkie

7. Golden Retriever with a Poodle?

Answer: Golden Doodle

8. Chihuahua with a Pug?

Answer: Chug

9. English Bulldog with a Poodle?

Answer: English Boodle

10. Frog with a Dog?

Answer: My dog Duke

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Designer Dogs

Pop Quiz

What do you get when you cross a:

1. Labrador Retriever with a Poodle?

2. Beagle with a Pug?

3. Schnauzer with a Poodle?

4. Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle?

5. Pomeranian with a Chihuahua?

6. Yorkie with a Maltese?

7. Golden Retriever with a Poodle?

8. Chihuahua with a Pug?

9. English Bulldog with a Poodle?

10. Frog with a Dog?

Designer Dogs are hot right now and can cost up to $1,000 a pup but what are you really buying? Check here to find out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Saturday, January 07, 2006

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Less Like Christmas

Well, Little Christmas was yesterday so I moved the three Wise Men with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh over to the rest of the group in my nativity scene. Like some men they arrived late with two totally useless presents. I've heard they also brought alone a Dust Buster but realized it was inappropriate and "lost" it somewhere in the desert.

I started taking the ornaments off the tree this morning and since my husband was out with the dogs and could not bring in the Christmas storage boxes I laid everything on the living room table. I have also taken the Christmas wreath off the front door and replaced it with a Winter one, removed all the Christmas cards from the bookcase and coat closet door, and packed away the Christmas stockings. I'm feeling a little bit of post-Christmas let down right now.

Friday, January 06, 2006

You're Gonna Miss My Lovin'

Damn, Lou Rawls died today.

You'll Never Find (Another Love Like Mine)

You'll never find, as long as you live
Someone who loves you tender like I do
You'll never find, no matter where you search
Someone who cares about you the way I do

Whoa, I'm not braggin' on myself, baby
But I'm the one who loves you
And there's no one else! No one else!

You'll never find, it'll take the end of all time
Someone to understand you like I do
You'll never find the rhythm, the rhyme
All the magic we shared, just us two

Whoa, I'm not tryin' to make you stay, baby
But I know some how, some day, some way
You are (you're gonna miss my lovin')
You're gonna miss my lovin' (you're gonna miss my lovin')
You're gonna miss my lovin' (you're gonna miss my lovin')
You're gonna miss, you're gonna miss my lo-o-ove

Late in the midnight hour, baby (you're gonna miss my lovin')
When it's cold outside (you're gonna miss my lovin')
You're gonna miss, you're gonna miss my lo-o-ove

You'll never find another love like mine
Someone who needs you like I do
You'll never see what you've found in me
You'll keep searching and searching your whole life through

Whoa, I don't wish you no bad luck, baby
But there's no ifs and buts or maybes

(You're gonna) You're gonna miss (miss my lovin')
You're gonna miss my lovin' (you're gonna miss my lovin')
I know you're gonna my lovin' (you're gonna miss my lovin')
You're gonna miss, you're gonna miss my lo-o-ove

Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh (you're gonna miss my lovin')
Late in the midnight hour, baby (you're gonna miss my lovin')
When it gets real cold outside (you're gonna miss my lovin')
I know, I know that you are gonna miss my lo-o-ove

Let me tell you that you're gonna miss my lovin'
Yes you will, baby (you're gonna miss my lovin')
When I'm long gone

I know, I know, I know that you are gonna miss

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Couple Shellshocked By Condom In Nut

Just when I thought the news media could not sink any lower, I find this story. Wal-mart reacts in their usual "stick-up-the-butt" manner.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)

Right before Christmas my husband discovered Darlene Love. He was listening to Christmas tunes on the radio in the car when her rocking version of Winter Wonderland came on. After hearing all the other sedate traditional Christmas songs that had been played before it, this one just blew him away. So I decide to get him a CD with the Darlene Love version of Winter Wonderland on it. What I found was A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector. Then I decide to see if anything else was out there and found the Phil Spector box set Back to Mono (1958-1969) and was blow away myself. Not only did it contain A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, it contained three other CD's that gave a musical history of Spector's record producing career.

The three CD's had great songs and great artists like: Spanish Harlem (Ben E King); River Deep Mountain High (Ike and Tina Turner); Then He Kissed Me (The Crystals); Be My Baby (The Ronettes); Black Pearl (Sonny Charles and the Checkmates) ; (Today I Met) The Boy I'm Going to Marry (Darlene Love); and You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin' (The Righteous Brothers).

When the CD's got here we played A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector right away. I enjoyed that so much I put one of the other CD's in and on the tenth cut heard The Crystals singing these words:

He hit me and it felt like a kiss
He hit me but it didn't hurt me
He couldn't stand to hear me say,
That I had been with someone new
And when I told him I had been untrue
He hit me and it felt like a kiss
He hit me and I knew he loved me
If he didn't care for me
I could have never made him mad
But he hit me and I was glad

Yes he hit me and it felt like a kiss
And then he took me in his arms
With all the tenderness there is
And when he kissed me
He made me his.

What the hell? The Crystals recorded a song that tells girls that it is OK for their boyfriends to smack them around because it proves that they (the boyfriends) love them?

The box set comes with a book and in the back of it all the songs are listed along with someone's brief remarks about each song. This is what is written about He Hit Me(It Felt Like A Kiss):
Barbara Alston sings lead on this early Goffin-King composition for The Crystals which was withdrawn by Spector before it reached the top 100 because he felt the lyrics were too sensitive for pop radio. Goffin admitted that the lyrics were "a little too radical" for their time. Many would agree with his comments today.

"To sensitive for pop radio" and "a little too radical?" What planet do these guys come from?

Oh, BTW, the "King" in Goffin-King is Carole King. She wrote the music and Goffin wrote the lyrics to this song. She was also married to (Gerry) Goffin at the time. Makes you wonder what kind of husband old "Ger" was, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Angel Story (3)

When I was eleven-years-old my family lived on the old Fort Logan Army Base but by the time we moved there is was a mental hospital. My father worked in the Power Plant and we lived in what was once a major's house on the southwest end of the parade grounds. The hospital sat at the east end of the parade grounds on the main road into the facility. The hospital did not interest me for the longest time because my brother, sister, and I had the many older buildings on the grounds to explore. We managed to get inside quite a few of the empty buildings including the old nurse's dormitory and the house next door to us. We knew we had to see that one after we found out there was a ballroom on the third floor.

Then one day my attention turned to the hospital. I don't know why, it wasn't that interesting, just a bland, boring, collection of shoe boxes attached end-to-end. The main entrance opened into the middle of a long hallway. When I went in the hallway seemed kind of creepy because there was not one person in sight and the building seemed abnormally quiet. I stood just inside the door wondering which way to go next; left, right, or back out the door. I chose right.

The end of the main hallway connected at a right angle to another hallway and when I reached that hallway I turned down it. As I made the turn I looked back down the main hallway and saw another girl, looking back at me, turning down the connecting hallway at the other end of the main hallway. I stopped and took a step back into the main hallway and as I did the other little girl stopped and took a step back into the main hallway. We stood sideways to each other and looked at each other over our respective shoulders. I was confused because the little girl looked like me. I thought maybe I was looking into a mirror so I turned to face the little girl and at the same time the little girl turned to face me. I started walking back down the hall and at the same moment the other little girl started walking toward me. I took another five steps forward and stopped. The other little girl took five steps forward at the same time I did and stopped at the same time I stopped.

We stood there looking at each other and again I wondered if she was me but at the same time I was sure I wasn't looking into a mirror. Even though she looked like me and even though she was wearing a short sleeve blouse, shorts, and sneakers like me her clothes were slightly different from mine. I was just getting ready to take another step forward when the other little girl turned around and started walking back up the hallway and then disappeared around the corner. For some reason this frightened me more than anything that had happened before and I quickly walked to the entrance door and out of the building. When I got outside I started running and did not stop until I was halfway home.

Years later I went back to Fort Logan and walked around the grounds just to see how much of it had changed since I had lived there and I found myself in front of the hospital. The entrance looked just the same as it did when I was a child so I decided to go inside and walked through the door and into the main hallway. I looked to my right and saw the connecting hallway just as I remembered it. When I looked to the left I felt my brain tip forward and then backward. There was no hallway. There was a wall about five feet to left of the door. A solid wall that looked like it had been there since the rest of the building had been put up.

That day has stayed with me and I still wonder about it.


Today Only!
Three Extra Posts!


FREE! Extra Post One FREE

(An update on the dogs that were living across the alley from me last fall.)

All the puppies are gone now but not forgotten. A couple of weeks after I wrote about the dogs "Harry" sold two of them. That left five. Then a week later another one was sold (that left four) but showed up back in the pen the following week. That made five again. Then the next week I noticed one of the dogs was sick, very sick, and I call Harry to come and take care of him. He called the vet and then took the puppy over to his house to doctor him. I was upset with Harry for a lot of reasons at this point but mostly I was angry at him because he never actually took the little guy to the vet. A week later the puppy died. Now there were four.

Two weeks later there were three. I assumed another one had been sold. For the longest time there were three and then I noticed those three were gone. Then about five months after the puppies had first showed up across the alley the puppy that was sold and then returned was back in the pen. When I talked to Harry I found out that he had taken the last three puppies to the Denver Dumb Friends League and two of them had been adopted. The puppy back in the pen had reached the time limit for "adoptavailability" and Harry brought him home. By this time the dog was six months old so Harry decided to keep him.

FREE! Extra Post Two FREE!

(Update on my sister-in-law's granddaughter's mother)

Sometimes, people will change the way they are living their life because they have gone through an experience that makes them look at life in a totally different way. "Lisa," who was in Super Dome during Hurricane Katrina, is not one of them. The last time I wrote about Lisa she was a hurricane evacuee living in Huston, TX. I had written that Lisa had said the stories about children being murdered in the Super Dome were true but that turns out to be false. She did not see anything like that and had only heard the rumors of this happening. What she did see was one man shoot another. It was true that she was frightened most of the time she was in there. It was also true that she was afraid to go to sleep at night. She also said she had small children come up to her begging for what little food she had brought in with her and that was heartbreaking for her. But, as I said, none of this seems to have changed her. She made her way back to San Diego a few weeks after Katrina but not once since she returned has she been to my brother's house to see her daughter. I find this piece of news very depressing.

FREE! Extra Post Three FREE!

Remember when I wrote that I thought my old dog Emma seemed to be with my new dog Duke? Well, I think she is still here with him. He still has all his Emma traits and he still looks like her most of the time. I've noticed whenever we are in Denver visiting my sister Duke looks the most like Emma. He was comfortable in her house very quickly and the from the first day there he played with my sister's dogs as if he had know them all his life.

I tried to take a photo of Duke on one of the days I thought he looked the most like Emma and was surprised when the dog in the photo looked nothing like the dog sitting in front of me. To make sure I wasn't imagining this I took my camera with me the next time I visited my sister. I took photos of Duke and showed them to her. (Since I have a digital camera I could show her the photos within seconds of taking them.) She was just as surprised as I had been when the dog in the photos looked different than the dog sitting in front of us.

He is doing so much better and is not nearly as skittish as he used to be. His tail wags pretty much non-stop now and he feels comfortable enough to work his charm on us whenever he wants something. At this point in his life he is a normal 18 month-old pup- except for the Emma thing.