Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Hula: "Memorize that amaretto scone recipe!"
Teen Angel: "It wasn't in there."
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Guess what happened last night with dinner. When Hubby checked in on Papa T. and Mama J. he noticed Papa T. hadn’t eaten his mashed potatoes. He asked him what was wrong with the mashed potatoes. Papa T.’s reply? “Nothing. I’m just trying to watch my weight.” It was so funny I couldn’t be mad.
Oh, and Teen Angel has named the raccoon Chester. From this post forward he shall be called Chester. Chester apparently likes macaroni and cheese. That’s what he dined on when he came back to the yard today. The neighbor also saw a skunk back there Monday night. Just call me Marlin Perkins.
Today’s story brought to you by ABC, the network for middle aged women.
There’s still a lot of discussion about the conclusion of Lost. I will miss the show. It was a rare bird in the circus called network television. It was intelligent, humorous and sometimes downright heart wrenching. Raise your hand if you DIDN’T cry when Charlie drowned with his hand against the window desperately sending the message “Not Penny’s Boat”. And who didn’t cry when Sawyer and Juliet were reunited in the finale? Mmm hmmm. That’s what I thought. While I will miss the puzzles and the passions, I have to be really honest and sheepishly admit that one of the things I will really miss is the eye candy.
Now that the hotties of Tuesday night are gone, who is this forty something menopausal housewife going to ogle? The other networks don’t seem to have anything that holds a candle to the men of the island.
Oh, Jack. You may have had daddy issues, but you certainly knew how to fill out a pair of jeans. And those biceps. Love the guns, man.
Sayid. That long curly hair and those piercing dark eyes made me forget that you were an assassin. You may have been a killer, but I was completely willing to overlook that character flaw when you pranced around the beach in a tank top.
And then there was Desmond. That warm smile and charming accent could lure me anywhere. Lure me, Desmond. Please.
Sawyer, Sawyer, Sawyer. A bad boy, yes. But completely irresistible. Have I mentioned that I've always had a thing for bad boys?
The producers managed to find a way for you to lose your shirt on a regular basis and for that I say thank you, Jesus.
All of them brightened my Tuesday nights for the past six years, and now I am...well…lost. I need some new eye candy. I mean there’s always the occasional movie on TNT with a little pinup action. Like that scene in Road House where Patrick Swayze slides out of bed and we get to see his bare butt. I always stop whatever chore I’m doing to catch that. In fact, the last time it was on Hubby hollered at me to come check out the TV right before that scene. He’s such a good husband. Matthew McConoughey jumps across the screen every now and then in swim trunks. That’s nice. But a weekly viewing appointment with handsome men would be better. I could say I like all of my television viewing to be enlightening and educational but that would be a big fat lie. Sometimes I like a little scenery. And Jay Leno just isn’t going to cut it.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Ready? Set? Go!
-Our weather went from feeling like early spring to mid August overnight. It’s like someone flipped the humidity switch onto “high”. I love summer, so I’m not complaining, but my body has not acclimated to it yet, and when you add hot flashes? Holy cow! I’m gonna have a lot of shirts and dresses with yellow stains under the arms this year. On the up side, I could use some new clothing.
-The season finales to my favorite TV shows have been outstanding. Grey’s Anatomy? Great. While the whole premise of a hospital shooter making it to each and every floor before getting taken down was totally unrealistic, it still had me on the edge of my seat. I was all, “Oh my gosh he killed HER!” and “He just shot HIM!” and “I can’t look; he’s pointed a gun to Bailey’s head!!” Silly or not, it was an entertaining two hours, and I’m relieved McDreamy didn’t kick the bucket, especially since all of my favorite eye candy on Lost is now gone from television.
-Everybody’s debating the ending to Lost to which I say, “People, shut your trap and focus on the economy!” Hubby and I have watched Lost for six years, and you can count on one hand the number of episodes we missed. I liked the ending. Watching the characters pass over into the afterlife together, reunited with their loved ones satisfied me emotionally. I didn’t need all of the answers. Of course, that’s probably because I’m an emotional thinker. I scored a capital “E” with an underline and an exclamation point on that portion of the Meyer’s Briggs personality test. I suspect the folks who liked the ending are like me and the folks who didn’t are engineers and other sorts of folk who are most comfortable when there is an answer to everything and the rules are followed. Ha! I’m a rule breaka’.
-If you do not watch Breaking Bad, you are missing out. It is one of the best shows on television. The premise of a financially strapped high school chemistry teacher who resorts to making meth to provide for his family before he dies of cancer is just superb. It is smart, funny and well acted. The moral dilemmas this character deals with are fascinating, and I haven’t missed one episode of this show. Can I get an amen for DVR? I have been on the edge of my seat all season long now that he’s in over his head with these big time drug distributors. Run to the Big Red Box, rent the first seasons and catch up on this one.
-I don’t watch as much television as this post would lead you to believe. I am one of only two people in the United States who has never watched American Idol. Hubby is the other one.
-The man in front of me at the McDonald’s drive-thru today insisted that his shake be served in the Styrofoam cup because a shake melts too fast in the cardboard cup. I wanted to hop out of my car, shake his hand and say, “It’s not just ME! Someone else demands the Styrofoam cup, too!” After all of those dirty looks from McDonald’s servers I’ve gotten in the last year, I was beginning to think I was difficult.
-Speaking of difficult….Papa T. has been hard to satisfy with dinner lately. I’ve cooked a week of meals that didn’t really suit him for one reason or another. Last night he didn’t like “that *#@% pasta salad” and I didn’t put enough food on his plate. Never mind that he told me last week to cut back because he wanted to watch his weight. Normally, I can overlook it because of his condition, but I’m having a week where I feel like I’m all give, give, give and everyone else is all take, take, take. So for dinner tonight I slapped on my martyr badge, made minute steak with vegetables and piled his plate with enough carbs and meat to pork up half of Philadelphia. I stuffed him tighter than a tick. I’ll be over myself by tomorrow. And feeling very guilty when he complains of indigestion. Please don’t ask me what Jesus would do on this issue, ‘cause I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t stuff Papa T. full of mashed potatoes and minute steak out of spite.
-Today was the last day of school for Teen Angel. She is officially a senior. Somebody get me some smelling salts. I can’t even talk about it at this point.
-Coon in the yard! Coon in the yard! The latest critter to wander up into the backyard was a raccoon the size of Rush Limbaugh. I didn’t see it this morning, but Hubby and Teen Angel did. They said he was the mother of all raccoons. In fact, they even called me at work to tell me about it. Great, one more mouth to feed. Hope he likes minute steak and taters.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
(By the way, that PVC contraption is Hubby's watering system for the garden. More on that in another post.)
Hubby grabbed his bird watching binoculars which were sitting on the table and passed them around. We spent the better part of dinner watching the little fox eat. She had the loveliest profile.
Pardon the fuzziness of the pictures. Oh, Nikon, oh Nikon where art thou, 70-200 mm F 2.8 lens?
Through the binoculars she appeared to be pregnant. After a little internet research, we discovered the red fox’s mating season ended recently, so we’re guessing she’s pregnant and in search of food. That would account for why she bravely came so close to the house. All kinds of critters have crawled out of the woods behind our house in the last six months but never a fox. We live in a somewhat rural area, but our neighborhood has many houses and is very active with people and cars, so we’re surprised she came so close.
She visited us again Sunday evening, eating more feed. We have enjoyed her presence. More so than the snake. Much more.
Oh, and it’s certainly helping to persuade Hubby that I need a telephoto lens.
Monday, May 17, 2010
The Hula-gen’s are not snake fans. I’m scared to death of them, and believe it or not, Hubby’s even worse. He may be 6’4” and built like a linebacker, but he runs like Usain Bolt when he stumbles on a snake. I was cooking dinner one afternoon early in our marriage, when Hubby came running into the house with a terrified look on his face and running back out with his Dirty Harry .44. Next thing you know I heard six shots in rapid succession. If you’ve ever heard a .44 go off you know it sounds like a cannon. I secured Teen Angel in her crib and ran outside, expecting to find a masked intruder with our valuables in his hand. All I found was Hubby standing over a wad of mangled up unidentifiable flesh. He looked at me and said, “THAT was a BIG *%&$@# snake!”
There had been no go ahead punk make my day ultimatum. He had just fired until there was nothing left. And may I remind you this is a man who was licensed to shoot at criminals at the time and was certified at the shooting range yearly. When confronted with a four foot long snake, he forgot all of that training and just fired like a wild man until he ran out of ammunition.
The snake Thursday night did not go before the firing squad. He got the hoe. He wasn’t big enough to require a bullet. He was actually alive when I got home from work. Hubby had captured him in a bucket after practically stepping on him. In flip flops. The little sucker struck at him, so Hubby scooped him up with a stick and into solitary confinement until we could identify him as poisonous or nonpoisonous and make a decision about his fate. For a brief time we considered turning him loose into the woods behind the house where lots of other slithery things likely reside, but then our neighbor declared him to be a pygmy rattler, and the death penalty was declared. There was no appeal. Just like Texas, baby. Straight to the hoe.
Now before all you do gooder reptile lovin’ nature folks shower me with your blah, blah snakes are an important part of the food chain and they eat rodents arguments, let me stop you right here. See my hands over my ears? La, la, la, la, la. I don’t want to hear it. I know they are an important part of the food chain. And I am well aware that I have a phobia regarding snakes. An intense phobia.
I have tried over the years to rid myself of it. I held a boa constrictor in fourth grade. I forced myself to stare at pictures of them in the Encyclopedia. I went inside the reptile house every time we went to a zoo. In fact, the Cincinnati Zoo is where I literally bumped into a man who apparently had the same phobia because he jumped even higher than I did when we brushed shoulders. I totally enjoyed the turn of the century architecture at the St. Louis Zoo’s reptile house. And loved the colorful frogs and the playful turtles. The snakes? Made me want to run for the door.
I am 40-something years old, and I am tired of fighting this fear, so I’m just going with it. I have given up. I don’t care anymore. I am embracing the snake phobia. I am declaring that the only good snake is a dead snake. I don’t care if they eat rats. I don’t care if they’re nonpoisonous. I will jump when I see them. I may even scream, and I won’t be embarrassed about it. Any snake that comes into my yard is a goner. Swift and sure execution. No jury of his peers. No trial. Just a ruling by the hangin’ judge who goes by the name of Hula. It’s either that or move to a new house, and frankly I have spent way too much on that new tiled shower to leave. Besides, I don’t think we’d find another living room that could accommodate Hubby’s Big Arse Chair.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Function: transitive verb
Date: 14th century
1 : to disturb greatly in mind : disquiet
2 : to throw into confusion : disorder
3 : to cause to experience a perturbation
synonyms see discompose
Used in a sentence: "Hula was greatly perturbed when just two hours after finding a tick on her hip crawling toward um...the dark side of the moon, another tick crawled off of her scalp and down the side of her face."
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Grace Episcopal, as its known, is aptly named as it’s a graceful building, beckoning warmly to those who pass by. Its intriguing exterior sucks you in and begs you to walk inside the gate.
Even the fence and gates have character.
I love the little birds in the ironwork. Seriously, how charming is that?
*It’s actually the oldest church structure in our city. The original Episcopal Church was damaged during the Civil War when it was used as a hospital, so a new church was built after the war. Church history has it that the New York architect who designed it, Henry Congdon, drew up two sets of plans, one more expensive than the other. Church leaders intended to use the cheaper of plans but the wrong set of blueprints was used, leading to a larger more expensive church than expected. The church was eventually finished, but it took years to furnish it and for a long time the congregation used the old pews damaged by the mules and horses of Union soldiers. Its bell tower is one of its most beautiful assets, I think.
The old Carnegie library which burned in the mid-60’s left an empty lot next door which is now a church garden. It’s where I photographed Mama J. and Papa T. recently and is a lovely place to sit and meditate.
When snapping these pictures there, I met the gardener, John, and he takes his work very seriously. What a wonderful gentleman he was. It’s as if he understands the pull that building has on passersby and his role in preserving it. As a resident of this community I appreciate that. As a wanna be photographer, I really appreciate it.
*Source: Portrait of a River Town by Richard Holland
Monday, May 10, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
By now, you have likely seen news coverage of the severe flooding in middle and western Tennessee. It is a mess down there. Some fifteen people have died, hundreds of homes are under water and major roads are closed. Nashville is scrambling to get control of its roads and infrastructure, and for those of us familiar with that city, the scenes there are startling.
Above photos from The Tennessean-anonymous contributors
Those of us who live in this part of the country frequent Nashville or Nash Vegas as we call it. It is a hop, skip and jump from my city, roughly two hours. We go there for concerts and special events. It’s touristy enough to spend the weekend there when we need a quick getaway. And because of the country music industry, it’s a fun place because you never know who you’re going to run into. It’s also a popular place for specialized medical care for folks in this region, and many of us use the Nashville Airport for air travel. In my opinion, it’s a great city. It’s big enough and slick enough to be a big city, but it still has somewhat of a small town feel to it. When I worked in television, I had a couple of job offers from stations in Nashville, and Hubby and I considered moving there. For a variety of reasons, we chose to stay put, but if I were going to move to a bigger city it would likely be Nashville. All of this is to say that the streets and sights around Nashville are very familiar to many folks in these parts, and it’s shocking to see them underwater.
For those of you who have never been to Nashville, the Opryland Hotel is probably the most recognizable sight. It’s known for its lush gardens and dramatic Christmas light displays. As of two o’clock this afternoon there was ten feet of water in the Opryland Hotel and it had been evacuated. It is closed indefinitely. WKRN has some pictures of it on their website, and the damage has to be in the millions of dollars.
Downtown, which is where we were Saturday, was evacuated earlier today when water from the Cumberland River had risen onto Second Avenue covering the corner where Hubby and I stood Saturday afternoon while trying to decide where to eat. This photo from The Tennessean was apparently taken not too long after we walked through there on our way to the car Saturday night.
This evening, I saw video where flood waters are now four feet deep in the Bridgestone Arena where we sat for the concert Saturday night. There are plenty of amazing photos on various websites. I recommend the live streaming coverage from WSMV. I have practically no photos of my own since it rained so hard the whole time we were downtown Saturday I didn’t take my camera out of the bag but once. I didn’t want to risk damaging it, and it promptly started raining about thirty seconds after I whipped it out. On a positive note, I can say the built in rain cover on my new camera bag works swell.
Apparently, Hubby and I arrived in Nashville at just the right time and left on the right roads at the right time. We arrived downtown about 2pm and the roads around town started flooding soon afterward. I have never seen it rain so hard for so long. All. Day. Long. As the non stop driving rain put a halt to any tailgating, the party moved indoors. Parrot Heads from all over the country gathered in bars on Broadway near the Bridgestone Arena and watched the nonstop news coverage of the waters closing in without a care about how they were going to get home.
Jimmy even made some kind of comment about it when he took the stage that night. The arena was full, so people found a way to get there, and I suspect a few of them came by ark.
We left the arena in driving rain with small rivers of water pouring over the sidewalks and parts of the streets. People huddled in the doorways of Tootsie’s Lounge and The Wheel as we splashed our way to the parking garage. I was having flashbacks of the night Sissy and I stood outside in tornado weather to see Eric Clapton. (For a chuckle, you can read part 1 of that adventure here and part 2 there. ) Given that experience I had brought with us towels, plastic ponchos and a change of clothes, including shoes, when we left the house that morning. It was the smartest thing I’ve done in a long time. We changed clothes in the van and scurried out of the garage to beat the crowd. The elderly gentleman working at the gate gave us his best suggestion for getting out of town without hitting roads blocked by water. His idea proved to be an excellent one, and we slid out of town pretty well. The thought of getting a hotel room crossed our minds, but we wanted to try to get home. It seems we made a good decision as it was harder Sunday to get out of town amid the higher waters. The only issue was the pounding rain and storms we drove through all the way home. As we neared home we hit three separate counties under tornado warnings. I used my BlackBerry and the radio to keep on top of the warnings, while the lightning flashed nonstop around us and the sky churned. I usually don’t get too worked up about storms, but I have to tell you my backside was pretty tight for about sixty five miles. And I am now officially in love with my BlackBerry.
We made it home around 2am, safe and tired. My grass skirt and parrot flip-flops are drying in the garage. A good time was had by all. The concert was great, and we have an interesting story to go along with it. But seriously, I really hope it’s dry when we go back to Nashville in June to see Neil Young at the Ryman Auditorium. Dry and uneventful. Oh, and to the other Parrot Heads in Rippy’s Saturday afternoon and evening, thanks for the good time. There's no one I'd rather experience a flood with.