Idiosyncrasies

We all have them. Some of us have more than our share. Some of us only have a few. I am far from being classified as suffering from OCD, but there are times when my family questions the lack of diagnosis.

They never question it when it comes to housekeeping, though.

For example, I have to drink hot tea from a teacup, with a saucer. Not so with coffee, though. I can drink coffee from a mug or travel cup or straight from the carafe with no issues. But hot tea MUST be served in a teacup, with a saucer. Oddly, the saucer doesn’t have to match the cup in pattern. Sometimes it looks like I am hosting the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party around here.

Then there’s grocery shopping. I have to group all the boxed goods together, all the produce together, and all the cold stuff together. I am not Jewish nor do I observe the whole dairy-separate-from-meat thing. But I want it organized so the kid bagging my groceries does it right, as in TO MY SPECS. Not the store’s specifications, but mine. Because I absolutely loathe to have canned stuff in the same bag with a box. But I don’t care if the eggs are with the pasta.

And of course…..books. I love books. Reading is the cheapest way to have a vacation. Even though I have both a Nook™ and a Kindle™, I still fall back on the feel and the scent of paper. But one thing I will never do to a book, no matter how old, how worn, or how torn, is dogear the pages or break the spine. Ironic, seeing as I have NO PROBLEM folding pages to create book art. But while I am reading a book? I treat it with the reverence due a reliquary. I even use coasters when I put them down.

And those are but a few of my not-quite-OCD quirks. I know I am not alone. Maybe I should found a group for this and get some support from other quirky peeps. But if we serve hot tea, I’ll bring my own cup, with saucer :D


Thursday Sithy

I may just end up in Hades for laughing so hard at Piano Man.

billy joel darth vader lol

Trust me, it ain’t just you :D

Have a great pre-Friday!!


Mom Day Gifts, As Seen On TV Edition

I haven’t done a shopping guide in a while. Y’all really do not need my help, for one, and there are only so many wineglasses one can own, for another. But there is a niche that is not quite ignored, but usually given a pass. That’s the “As Seen On TV!” stuff that you roll your eyes at until you are in Walgreens and see the display and wonder if the Sham WOW™ really works.

It does, just so you know. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, I figured some people are at wit’s end trying to get a nice gift for pocket money, or maybe just a gift for the mom who has pretty much everything. So I have gone and searched for y’all, and for my kids. Just in case they manage to read the blog. If they don’t, then I will remind them this weekend while there is still time.

One of the handiest gifts I ever received was Aqua Globe. My German neighbor gave me one when I lived in Germany and it was a handy way to water potted plants.

aqua-globes-watering-bulb

I think those were the only potted plants to survive Aggie’s German reign of terror. And the bulbs look very pretty, to boot.

Some things that women never tend to think about getting for themselves are foot pampering tools. I am partial to the Amope foot file. Ok, it sounds odd for me to say this would make a nice gift, but trust me: women often forget to take care of their feet. Throw in some nice body cream and a foot soak and BAM!! You are done. And if you really feel like sealing the deal, give her a foot massage to go with it. And peel a few grapes while you’re at it.

If all else fails, treat her to a nice picnic by a lake or a fountain and make sure to tell her thank you for putting up with everything. You don’t have to break the bank to make moms feel appreciated. The thought does count, even if it’s as simple as a jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou ;)


Humming Along Again

This past Sunday, I got the urge to commit some floracide, so Hubby and I headed to the local home improvement and garden store to get some grass seed and some plants willing to sacrifice themselves to the Sith way of gardening. I am partial to calla lilies and petunias for containers but the lilies tend to be pricey, so I was going to settle for marigolds instead. And taking a turn towards them, Hubby discovered a damsel in distress.

hummingbird

Poor wee thing was on the floor by the marigolds, looking exhausted after battling the early morning storm, most likely. First order of business was to gather her up and cradle her to get her warm. So while I chose my sacrificial flora over in the clearance section, he walked around warming her up and rousing the curiosity of customers. Once my victims were chosen and paid for, we then journeyed over to the pet store to get a hummingbird feeder. We needed to replace the one that broke during a previous storm, and also needed snake food. Two birds with one stone (Bada BING!!). After the clerks oohed and ahhed over the hummingbird, we went home and set up some nectar and then ensconced her in the master bathroom with it.

This is where I left the house to go get some stuff at the antique store. This is also when hilarity ensued.

Hubby (via text): The hummingbird is gone.

Me (via panic): *calls home* What?? Define “gone”!!

Hubby: Well, we can’t find her in the bathroom.

Me: Oh, thank goodness. She’s probably hiding in the floral swag over the window.

Hubby: Wait….no, she was behind the toothbrush holder.

Me: I’m on my way home, so don’t lose her again!

Once home, I joined the rescue party going on around my shower stall, where the bird was sipping on her new-found manna from heaven. She was showing signs of recovery as she flitted about, so we left Hubby to catch her so he could release her outside. As he brought her out we noticed her recovery was complete, listening to her annoyed chirps while cradled gently in his hand. Once outside on the patio, he opened his hand slowly to let her get adjusted. She tried out her wings, and flitted around him before taking off over the trees.

It was a wonderful Sunday, and one spent catering to one of the least of us. I hope she is out and about enjoying the day, telling her friends where to find some awesome nectar, and that we puny humans aren’t as bad as they think :D


Tuesday Sithy

It has been a very long week already, but I figure everyone can always use a laugh.

DarthVadersfirstchoiceforamask

Hope y’all have a great Tuesday :D


Sugar is the Best Hallucinogen

I love sugar. I really do. It’s not an argument about processed versus organic versus natural. I like sweet. Always have, and always will. And I especially enjoy it in chocolate or baked goods. And chocolatey baked goods. Ok, straight from the sugar bowl.

But there is now a Dark Side when it comes to ingesting the forbidden sweet late in the evening. I thought that when I ate cake while listening to Warren Zevon that it was a fluke. Seriously, who would ever dream of drinking at Trader Vic’s and annoying werewolves? Maybe some people, but not a whole lot. Late last night I had one Tim Tam™ cookie (biscuit, bickie, whatever they call it in Australia), and of course that set off probably my most ridiculous dream sequence ever, because it was about Johnny Manziel.

Johnny-manziel-rehab

You see, Johnny needed an interior decorator, which I’m not. But his problem was that he wanted someone to decorate his room so that no one could disturb his pet monkey. And he hired me because I was the only Aggie with an Anthropology degree who could possibly understand life with a monkey. And I looked around, and between the large ping pong table and the poker table, there was a monkey sitting on a huge L-shaped couch, playing Super Mario Brothers on a Nintendo thing (I assume) while Johnny was explaining how he wants to give the monkey room, so while brandishing a hockey stick (I did say this makes no sense) he opens another door and shows me a huge ballroom area with tall windows and marble floors and I tell him it is best to keep the monkey in the smaller room and for Johnny to move his stuff in the ballroom, to which he replied, “That’s awesome!! When can you do it??” And I kept telling him he needed a wrangler not an interior decorator and he asked what was the difference and before I could charge him some obscene amount of money, I woke up.

Aside the obvious weirdness of the whole scenario, I’m not even sure why Johnny would make an appearance in my subconscious. I’m more of the Jason Isaacs/ Bruce Willis/ Sean Bean school of thought, really. A dream with any or all of them would have been awesome. Can you imagine???

Maybe a dram or two before bed, and I just might :D


Simple Observations on Southern Living

This weekend was full of surprises. I am not one who is fond of surprises, bad or good. But it’s an observation that the bad ones happen without consent, and the good ones always require planning.

In the years I have lived in Texas, the A/C unit has gone out a few times. And it is a solid observation that it always goes out during the weekend, when A/C repair is not available.

Iced tea comes with both sugar and ice. Though unsweetened is no hardship to order, it is an observation that you will be looked upon suspiciously by the server if you ask for no ice.

Country roads are narrow. Though usually two-lane roads, it’s an observation that it’s just a wide one lane road. One can drive down the middle, as long as A) you scoot back to you lane with oncoming traffic, and 2) wave as they pass you by. The latter is mandatory.

Wildflowers are abundant and pesky, in a charming way. It is an observation that a lady will always appreciate any flower picked for her over one bought randomly. It takes guts to go out and pick out flowers on the side of the highway instead of ordering them by phone. All Southern ladies know this. However, all will appreciate any and ALL flowers anyway.

Football is a big deal in the South. It is an observation that we will talk trash with each other over our teams, and in the same breath defend them to those outside of our state who know NOTHING about football etiquette. We can trash our own state teams, but it’s always State over Team*, any day.

Anyway, time for me to get going. It is an observation that my presence is required early in the kitchen on days ending in “Y”. That’s not a Southern thing. That’s a regular thing :)

*Except for t.u. That’s my exception and I’m sticking to it.


The Best Way to Enjoy Snow

Well, best way to enjoy it outside of admiring it from afar, like in a photograph,while on vacation in Fiji.

My sister Reno Queen posted a delicious cocktail recipe on the social-site-with-faces last week that had me drooling. Being raised in Puerto Rico, I have a deep love and respect for the humble coconut, so I am overjoyed to post her contribution to my Pinterest Mixology board.

sex on the snow bank cocktail

Sex On The Snow Bank

  • 6 Large ice cubes
  • 1½ oz Malibu™ rum
  • 3 Tbsp. Cream of coconut
  • Shredded coconut, for garnish

Put all ingredients save the shredded coconut in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into a cocktail glass (martini as shown is pretty) and garnish with some shredded coconut flakes. You can also rim the glass with the flakes but it can be overkill, not to mention a bit messy.

You can try this on the rocks instead and call it a K-12. Just don’t forget the TWO DOLLARS.

Sometimes I amaze myself ;)


Anchors to Compasses

As some of y’all know, Eldest is serving in the US Navy. One of the things I had to get used to was dealing with the fact that she is an adult and I have no control over her wants for a tattoo. I admit it is…. difficult to untie the apron strings, and I have managed to do so. For the most part. Oh, like *I* am the only parent who has ever gone through this???

Yeah, I thought so.

Anyway, blogger friend XBradTC has a post about a Russian nuclear sub catching fire. The first thought to pop into my head was Red October. And then my friend Mark commented about reminding him of the movie Hostile Waters. And that brought to mind a survey done by USAA long ago about the best submarine movies of all time. I have told y’all how my mind wanders from one thought to another on skewed lines. This isn’t news. And I began to recall my favorites.

the-hunt-for-red-october

Das Boot is by far my favorite. I fell in love with Jurgen Prochnow watching his portrayal of Capt. Willenbrock (not his name in the movie but the real life character on which it’s based) dealing with the immense claustrophobic conditions and the grittiness contained in that sardine can. He broke my heart in Beverly Hills Cop II but I soon forgave him. The movie gave us a slice of that unforgiving life served raw and rotted. And the look on his face as he dies in the air attack has never been equaled.

In not-too-distant second place it’s Gray Lady Down.

Two words: Charlton Heston.

Sure, you have Stacy Keach and Keith Carradine and even Christopher Reeve. But none of them come close to Heston. NONE!! As captain of the “Gray Lady” he balances hope against certain death masterfully. And Carradine’s act of ultimate sacrifice makes me cry every single time.

I think the first submarine movie I ever watched was my third place contender, The Enemy Below. It was dubbed in Spanish, and let me tell you, the guy who dubbed Robert Mitchum’s voice didn’t even come close to doing him justice. Technically, the submarine was not the protagonist in this movie. But the cat-and-mouse plot between Capt. Murrell and Capt. Von Stolberg brings you to the edge of your seat, and you can’t help but admire the German’s brilliance.

Tied for third place is the film that got me thinking about all of this in the first place. The Hunt for Red October had everything you could want in a movie: mystery, subterfuge, action, drama, humor, frivolity, major eye candy (don’t judge me), and even a touch of romance. Oh, not the “chick flick” type of romance, but rather romance in the simplicity of Capt. Borodin’s wishes to live in Montana. Respect for each other is definitely earned by all of the characters as the leadership of the Russian sub lies to its crew in its fight for survival on both sides of the ocean.

Last but not least, I have to say the “guilty pleasure” addition to my list is Down Periscope.  Though the entire scenario requires a complete and thorough suspension of disbelief, it’s still manages to instill good lessons in raising morale and dealing with the worst hand ever dealt. Kelsey Grammer’s portrayal of Commander Dodge is beyond hilarious, from deadpan to outrage to outrageous. Forcing the XO to walk the plank was hilarious. Christening the Stingray as the U.S.S. Rustoleum was genius.

Well, now I am feeling nostalgic. I may dig up my VHS copy of Red October from the bins upstairs. Yes, I still have VHS, and that cassette is rather special, since it’s red instead of the conventional black. Besides, one can never have too much of Sean Connery ;)


Lemons and Lemonade

Last week, I was in a cooking frenzy. I have no idea what overcame me, but my family was quite happy about it. As with every new endeavor, I ended up purchasing some herbs in greater quantities than I needed. Waste not, right? But there was only so much cooking I could do. Well, at least until I needed a break from it. The sage was easy to preserve, but thyme is tricky. But I found a way. Oh yes, I did!

meyer lemon and thyme sour

Lemon and Thyme Sour

  • 1½ oz. Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Meyer lemon juice, fresh
  • 1½ oz. Thyme infused simple syrup*
  • Lemon twist and thyme sprigs, for garnish

* Instead of making simple syrup from scratch, “cheat” and buy simple syrup and warm it up with the thyme sprigs until fragrant, about 2 cups of syrup and four sprigs of thyme. Rebottle what you don’t use but discard the sprigs.

For the sour, combine the bourbon, juice, and the syrup in an ice-filled shaker, and shake well. Strain over ice into a old fashioned glass, and garnish with the lemon and thyme. Mmm, mmm gooood.

If ain’t nobody got thyme for that, just fix without. ;)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 192 other followers