Saturday, July 31, 2010

House Blend Dinner

The House Blend Farmer's Market Dinner is tomorrow night, and my group is going again. We enjoy it. Here's the House Blend blog with the menu posted, but I'll copy and paste anyway. I think I've made my decisions (*) even though all of it looks delicious. I might change my mind.

What would you have?

Starters:

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Garlic Shrimp with Tomato Leek Relish *

Salads:

BLT Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and housemade Ranch *

Watermelon, Red Onion, and Feta on Fresh Spinach with a honey Lime Vinaigrette

Entrees:

Herb Seared Filet of local pasture raised beef with sea salt roasted new potatoes and grilled green beans

Garlic Crusted Pork Loin with Peach Habenero Glaze served over Okra Pancakes with roasted Baby Squash *

Jalapeno White Cheddar Grit Cakes over Summer Gazpacho with Grilled Japanese Eggplant

Desserts:

Plum Upsidedown Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream

Chocolate Honey Almond Tart *

OK

While Rome ruled the world, Jesus Christ, son of Mary, was born in a cave, not in a wooden stable. Caves were used to house animals because they retained heat. A large church is now built over the cave, and people can go inside. The carpenters of Jesus’ day were really stonecutters as wood was not used as widely as it is today. So whenever you see a Christmas nativity scene with a wooden stable, that’s the "American" version, not the Biblical one.

A cave, I think.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wonder Why?

The average person who stops smoking requires 1 hour less sleep a night.

Friday?

Where did this week go? All of a sudden it's Friday again!

Biting the Hand but Funny!


In March 1996, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell cancelled their $5.4 million sponsorship of ABC’s new The Dana Carvey Show after some of Carvey’s humor "went too far." One sketch that offended the sponsors featured a dancing taco that kept telling Carvey that he was a "whore" for pushing the sale of Pepsi products.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What Day Is It?

I'm still discombobulated from the trip to Texas and still not over the 17 hours in the car going down and 12 coming back along with the heat and off-schedule eating and sleeping. During the week since I've been back, I haven't done much better. I'm on a strange sleep/nap pattern that I need to get out of, and I'm not eating right and/or regularly. I need to get back on track and won't make it in time to get a good report from my labs for my appointment with my internist Thursday. Oh well. I'll tell him I know what caused it and what to do about it and will have a good report next time. Besides, I have a lot of questions I need to ask him about other things.

So I have my work cut out for me. It's a Catch-22 and will happen. It's just hard to get motivated and quit being tired. Sigh! I also can't get caught up on TV shows, email, blogs, FB, and Twitter!

Then there is this.

Sound Trivia

Permanent hearing loss can result from prolonged exposure to sounds at 85 decibels (0 decibels is the threshold for hearing). For comparison, a busy street corner is about 80 decibels, a subway train heard from 20 feet is 100 decibels, a jet plane heard from 500 feet is 110 decibels, and loud thunder is 120 decibels.

Wasp Trivia

Never squash a wasp that has stung you. Upon being crushed, it will release a chemical that becomes airborne; this signals guard wasps to come and sting whatever gets in their way.


AND/OR?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mistress Maddie Entertains

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Saturday Night Out

After an afternoon of knitting, a friend and I went to dinner and then to the Fiddle & Pick for an evening of bluegrass by the Roland White Band. I'd never heard of him before, but he's been performing for decades and is well-known by aficionados of traditional music. I enjoyed their performance and the venue which is in a small town between here and Nashville. I'm constantly in awe of Nashville musicians. Although I realize this isn't confined to just those, they are the ones I see perform live most often. The fiddle player was incredible! I didn't catch her name, and it's not on this poster.


David Talbot, the banjo player, was sooooo good and good-looking! He has quite a resume that you can read about HERE in an article of the Bluegrass Gazette. He was a founding member of The Grascals and recorded and toured with Dolly Parton. He's third from the left in this photo.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Trivia for Sure

And in case anyone asks, a zarzuela is an operetta of a traditional type, with spoken dialogue and lyrical music. The word is derived from the Spanish after La Zarzuela, the royal palace near Madrid where the operetta was first performed in 1629. Zarzuela is also the name of a seafood stew.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sculpture Trivia

Sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi of France originally named his most famous work Liberty Enlightening the World. Bartholdi used his mother as the model for the statue’s face, and his girlfriend as the model for her body. Smart!

TV Trivia

Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Dey, Louis Gossett, Jr., Claude Akins, and David Hasselhoff have one lamentable thing in common: they were the lead cast members for ill-fated TV shows that were cancelled within a scant month’s time. Pfeiffer was in B.A.D. Cats in 1980; Dey was in Loves Me, Loves Me Not in 1977; Gossett starred in The Lazarus Syndrome in 1980; Akins was in Nashville 99 in 1977; and Hasselhoff, long before Baywatch, was in Semi-Tough in 1980.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Different Kind of Vacation

Our trip to Austin was primarily for Tina to see where her son Matt would be staying, to say good-bye, and to get a feel for the city. I went because it was a trip. I shot all these photos, so they are typical of my photography.

We got off to a late start Wednesday morning, and then there was road construction, heavy traffic, and Matt to keep up with along the way. We went by the apartment where he's crashing with friends for him to take in his things Tina had in her car. Then Tina and I followed Jane's instructions to the hotel. A friend let us borrow her GPS. After a while, we started thinking of her as a real person and referred to her as "she" and named her Jane after giving her an English accent. It was 2:00 AM when we got in the room at the hotel. We were so exhausted that I barely played with the Sleep Number bed. Tina didn't even think about it she said.

Downtown Austin from the hotel window.

Friends from the Navy I haven't seen in 20 years live in Liberty Hill where he is a chiropractor and she works with him as office manager. It was so good to see them and catch up on Thursday. It's not that far from Austin and is about like Dickson is from Nashville, but it's much smaller. They gave us a tour of the office, and then we went to their house for a longer visit. They took us to dinner there in town, and we made it back to Austin around 10:00 just fine with Jane's help.

This is the building across the street from their office.
Jerry and Pam

Friday we went to see where Matt will be staying, and all of us went to lunch and did a bit of sightseeing and shopping. It was too hot to do much of that, though. Matt had things to do that evening, and we ate at Fridays there at the hotel and had an early night.

Matt outside his apartment.

Matt and Tina at lunch at Chuy's.

We usually go to Yarn Frenzy at home and knit on Saturdays, so Tina googled and found some knit shops to check out in Austin. The owner of the Knitting Nest Stacy was so helpful and a lot of fun. The layout of her shop is organized and creative with lots of places to knit. Her website is HERE.

The Knitting Nest

Next we went to Hill Country Weavers which is full to the brim of products and nowhere to sit and knit at all.

Hill Country Weavers

We walked around and went into some shops and had lunch in that area. There is a good vibe to Austin. It's called a Blue Dot in a sea of Red and feels like it. Matt should be right at home there and love it.

Capital Building in the distance.

Austin has the largest urban bat colony in North America. Each night from mid-March to November, the bats emerge from under the bridge at dusk to blanket the sky as they head out to forage for food. This event has become one of the most unusual tourist attractions in Texas. The most spectacular bat flights are during hot, dry August nights, when multiple columns of bats emerge. Because of this, bats are a symbol of Austin.

The bats are mothers in July and don't go out to feed until later, so we didn't get to see them even though many people tried, as you can see. We watched from the 5th Floor of the hotel parking garage and had a good breeze. I set the camera for night, put on the stabilizer, but still got a shaky photo.

People lined up on the Congress Street Bridge, boats and on boats to see the bats.

We made better time coming back and had help from Sam who told us about speed traps and where we could haul ass. He and I texted quite a bit on this trip. Sam knows about everywhere in the whole country!

It was a good trip and my first time to go to Texas. Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, but we do pretty well in Nashville in that area and not just country music. I've wanted to go to the Austin City Limits Festival and South by Southwest (SXSW) for a long time. Maybe I'll make it there. They're in October and March respectively, so the weather shouldn't be too hot.

Oddly, they call this Hill Country.

This is where I'm from. This is hill country.

Gone Shopping!

They're having a $20 on the 20th day in Dickson today, which means they want us to spend $20 here in town. I have a few places to visit and spend some money there in support of local businesses. See you later!!

While I'm gone, check out these house plans. I'd like to build one of them and would add a bonus room over the garage. C'mon lottery! (See? I'm not greedy) I prefer the first one because the kitchen is closer to take groceries into from the garage but both have features I'd like.


Caption This

I went all Texas and got a Molly Ivins hat. (or is it?)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm Back!

Had a good time and made good time driving back today - about 12 hours. It was soooooo hot and humid but was at home, too. Details later!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trip

Our room has Sleep Number beds, and I can't wait to try out all the numbers. I told Tina she'd better join in the reindeer games and compare the numbers on her bed, too. Otherwise, I'll drive her crazy. Amazing I haven't managed to do that already, isn't it? Some of you know how I run things in the ground. They'd better have what is on our confirmation or I might have an internal fit.

I want to try those sleep numbers. It's part of my quest for the perfect mattress. Have you seen what they cost? The retail price of the Sleep Number 9000 mattress is $3,199.99 for a Queen and $3,599.99 for a King. I have a queen-size bed and can't imagine spending that much for a mattress but wonder what a good night's sleep would be worth.


The room also has a 32" LCD TV we're also looking forward to. Yes, we've been known to watch some TV after an active day of sightseeing and shopping when we travel. I still won't let myself get my HDTV until I get the den cleared out and organized. There will be some redecorating, but just having it back in order will be wonderful since I'll be able to see everything again. It will be like shopping to find out what all I have in this house. No, I'm not officially a hoarder because I want it gone, but it's bad here. Once I get things the way I want them, I've thought about posting before and after pictures, but Maddie and Miss Ginger would have to take to the fainting couch with the vapors and need smelling salts to revive! We can't have that now, can we?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekend

I'm busy and like Tina am looking forward to the drive to Austin. We have some things planned that will be fun while we're there and look forward to that, too, but we said how the drive will be helpful. Tina and her son's cat died yesterday. He was a gray fluffy cat like Cody and Columbo that I had. He had an intestinal parasite the vet said he'd probably had before they got him. Like mine, he was a rescued cat. I wonder if those cats are fragile because Cody and Columbo died young, too. I don't know what happened to Cody (short for Codependent), but Columbo had that feline urinary disorder. All three of these cats who looked just alike died from different problems, but it's just odd.

That's a sad way to begin the trip and for her son Matthew to move to another state. Tina had a stressful year at school and worked all summer teaching summer school and an online class which will continue all through next year, so she really needs to get away and have a vacation. I'll post pictures when I get back.

Sunday my brother Butch, sister-in-law Janelle, cousin Sally, her husband Bob, and I took Mother to eat at Montgomery Bell State Park Inn. We had a table with privacy and got to visit there really well. In true first-born fashion, I usually introduce them as "my sister-in-law Janelle and her husband Butch" and have been known to say I'm an only child with a brother.





Friday, July 9, 2010

Luck

How is it some people have so much luck and others don't? For example, Tina's mother wins scratch-off lottery tickets really often. Earl's daughter wins those and online poker and various casino gambling she does. Those scratch-offs don't require any skill at all - just luck. I don't have it when it comes to winning anything. Others always do. What's with that anyway?

Auntie Social

Well, I've been out and about all over the place for at least a week. I've been going to the yarn shop to get to a point on the cardigan I'm knitting for Mother for her birthday where I can move forward myself without help. Since her birthday is Monday, she'll be getting 1/3 of a sweater but is OK with it. Pictures will be posted when I finish it and later with her modeling it. I told her if it didn't turn out well enough to wear that I don't want her to feel obligated. She's a good shopper and very aware of how things fit and what's in style, so I wanted to give her an escape route.

Mother was adamant that she doesn't want a party even though this birthday is a biggie. She'll be 90, but you'd never know it. Her mind is sharp, and she takes good care of herself. Actually she does everything right, and it shows. So my sister-in-law and I have been on the phone a few times about it and are taking her out for lunch after church Sunday. That's what she wants, so that's what we're doing. It will be fun.

I took Mother to lunch at Lugo's Wednesday for an early birthday celebration. I've told you about that restaurant that's a welcome addition to Dickson. Here's the site where you can see the menu. Check them out on Facebook, too. The owner/chef Victor Lugo is the one holding the scissors on the "Our Dream" page, and his wife (co-owner) and baby are beside him on the right. He's originally from Puerto Rico and she from California. Mother liked the cloth napkins, decor, food, and ambiance. Some of us are planning to go to the second monthly Tapas event there the 23rd. We missed the first one because we didn't know about it. The couple who own it are sweet and make everyone feel welcome. The food is delicious!

A friend is moving to Texas to be with her first boyfriend. They reunited on FB and have been in a Lifetime movie relationship. It's really sweet, romantic, and hopeful! I'm happy for her. She's been through a bad marriage and relationships and deserves something good. So has he. I took her out to brunch Sunday and went over to her house, so we could visit and catch up. She came by a while Monday morning. She's leaving Sunday for a new life in Texas.

Tina, Hope, and I went shopping Saturday since there were sales. Big sales! Yay!! Then we knitted.

In between going out and trying to catch up on blogs, FB games, Twitter, email, and the DVR, I've been doing some housework and laundry. So you aren't going to hear from me much more often for a while because I'm going to Austin, TX, next week with Tina since her son is moving there. He has a job lined up at Starbucks in case the one at the gaming company doesn't come through right away. Later on he's going to school there in software design. She needed to go down to see where he'll be and all that mother stuff we understand. I'm along for moral support and as her vacation buddy. We have some plans for fun while we're there which you'll hear about with photos later on. We're staying at the Radisson downtown. Anyone have any suggestions for good places to eat nearby? (Uh, Miss Ginger? Tug?)

In the meantime, Brigit the bitey cat has been trying to get attention as much as possible. She gets under my feet and will eventually kill us both or me anyway. So I'm doing my best and will be in touch as I can.

How are all of you? I've been reading your blogs and commenting as much as possible but am still behind on some of it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Internet Trivia

There are hefty price tags on some Internet domain names. The highest-selling domain name to date, business.com, went for $7.5 million in 1999. The buyer was eCompanies.

Who do they pay it to?

Sigh

What I'd give for a couple of weeks with the energy and lack of aches and pains I had 20 years ago! I'd get so much done!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Presidential Ranking

The top five Presidents have stayed consistent since a group of history scholars have been ranking them. FDR is #1 and the others shuffle around within that range. Rounding out the top five in the survey of 238 presidential scholars are Lincoln, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. This is from an article in Politics Daily. Rest of the article HERE.
The presidents are ranked according to personal attributes (background, imagination, integrity, intelligence, luck and willingness to take risks), five forms of ability (compromising, executive, leadership, communication and overall) and accomplishments (in economics, domestic and foreign affairs, choosing a staff, working with Congress and appointing Supreme Court justices).

As for the five lowest-ranked presidents, that list is fairly consistent as well, with one new addition. George W. Bush came in at 39th out 44 presidents. He's ranked just ahead of Andrew Johnson (pictured), James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, and Franklin Pierce, all perennial bottom-dwellers.

The second Bush was rated "especially poorly in handling the economy, communication, ability to compromise, foreign policy accomplishments and intelligence."

The current president, Barack Obama, enters the survey in the 15th position.

Read the survey report here and see the complete rankings here.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What a Day!

Those of you who have read my blog for a while know how intensely I HATE low-flow toilets. The one I have as given me trouble off and on ever since I've had it. Maybe something is wrong with it or how it was installed, but I've never hated anything as much in my life as I do that thing. I've finally had it with it and am shelling out for a power or pressure-assisted one. I'm doing research now online and reading reviews. I want the next one to be good and give me no problems just as others I've had in the past before this one from hell.

Yesterday I went to Lowe's, thinking I could handle this myself, and bought an augur. Nope. Called the plumber again who knows the way to my bathroom and just walks back there. We're on a first-name basis now. It took him about 3 minutes. So I spent money unnecessarily. I told him I was getting the new toilet and would probably never see him again. Let's hope so! The money I've spent on the plumber over the years could have paid for one of those power-assisted ones a couple of times, I'll bet.

Anyway, that's my life lately along with knitting, going out to eat with friends, and my usual slothful ways.