Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Are These?

Found these soft, fuzzy leafy things. Any idea what these are? Keep or yank?

Monday, May 28, 2012


First, a big thank you to the neighbor who mowed the tall grass in the back yard at my parents' home.. It was thoughtful of you to help us out. You cut our work time in half, gave us time to enjoy lunch at 5 Guys, and still have time to relax and enjoy the sun room when we got home.

While doing yard work, I came across this yellow flower in the back yard. I'm not much of a gardener, I can recognize common flowers like roses and daisies, but that's about my limit.

The flower is bigger than the small buttercups that bloom in my lawn. Do any of you gardeners know what this plant is? Is it a weed be gone or a weed be stay?

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Friday Five

This week seems to have revolved around food. Nothing unusual there, but I did eat lunch out twice this week. Five things I like about Panera Bread.

1. Vanilla Chai. It comes molten so the top must be popped to let it cool

2. The chips. Thin, crispy, and just the right amount of salt

3. I'm partial to the Napa Almond Chicken Salad or the Tomato and Mozzarella Panini. This time around I tried the Roasted Turkey and Avocado BLT.

4. The bakery items are too irresistible. Hard to choose just one. Thumbs up to the Pecan Roll.

5. The Young One and I stopped in for lunch.Nice to be included in her interests as she told me about her classes and things she wants to work on. She also picked up the tab for lunch. Priceless.

This was the first time I've had avocado. Everyone seems to rave about it. I thought it was pretty meh. If you're an avocado fan, what did I miss?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Double Nickel Club

I heard Uno's was having a special for people over 55 called The Double Nickel Club. It's a Wednesday special. Eat what you want and get a percentage off the bill.

Himself and I had lunch at Uno's yesterday. My reward for sifting through stuff at the old homestead. I like Uno's. Good comfort food. I always end up getting the same thing, the Chicago Classic (deep dish pizza with sausage) and a side salad. Uno's doesn't ruin the salad by topping it with nasty cheddar cheese shreds.

We didn't see any sort of advertisement for The Double Nickel Club even though it was Wednesday.  Table cards hawked get a gift card for Dad or Grad and get a gift card for yourself. Nothing about Double Nickels. We asked about it when the waitress came to clear the table and bring the bill.

"Oh, yes, you get a percentage off your meal." She turned to head to the kitchen.

"Don't you need to look at our license?"

"Nope," she smiled eyeing the snow on our roof.

The bill came with a whoppingly generous 30% off.

Himself frowned.

"Something wrong?"

"No. I just don't know whether to be pleased with the discount or to wonder when the hell did we get old enough to get a senior discount."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'm Sorry

From the song I'm Sorry by The Platters.

I know the heartaches you've been through,
I know I've had heartaches, too.
There's nothing more I can do
But to say to you I'm sorry

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Avengers

As part of Himself's birthday celebration, we went to see the latest release from Marvel, The Avengers. Hadn't planned on seeing the 3D version, but the regular show was being shown in the Director's Theater, which means usher gophers running to and fro fetching patrons drinks, popcorn, and other goodies from the concession stand.  I'd rather go out to dinner after the show than spend my money on over priced popcorn and drinks. Instead we paid a small ransom for the over priced 3D tickets ( $53.00 for 4 adult tickets).

Sibling rivalry rears its ugly head as Loki, Thor's brother, seeks to dominate the Earth with the help of aliens in exchange for the Tesseract, a highly powered energy source. S.H.I.E.L.D director, Nick Fury activates the Avenger Initiative to bring together Tony Stark (Iron Man), Dr. Bruce Banner (The Hulk), and Steve Rogers (Captain America) to stop Loki.

Thor makes his way to Earth to retrieve his brother, Loki, and return him to Asgaard for punishment.  Too much time was spent on male posturing trying to decide who would win a fight if one super hero was pitted against another, and Thor joins the team. Team members have a rough time in the beginning becoming a cohesive unit, but eventually they get the idea with a little nudge from Nick Fury.

I was shocked at the writers usage of an 18c. derogatory term applied to women. Most of the audience will miss it, but c'mon fellas, archaic or not, the word is still a four letter word and extremely offensive. Shame on you, Stan, for approving its use in the script.

As expected Marvel delivers lots of actions, explosions, and special effects. Some witty lines and trying to find Marvel wizard, Stan Lee, round out the entertainment.

Are you a Marvel fan?

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Friday Five


1. My head hurts

2. My face hurts

3. If I turn my head a little, I feel dizzy and nauseous

4. The back of my neck hurts

5. If I wear my glasses, the pressure on either side of my nose magnifies all the above symptoms.

I think it's a sinus headache due to a low pressure off the East coast. I had such high hopes for today, but productivity at least for the morning just went down the tubes.  I hate being a barometer.

 Do weather patterns effect how you feel?

Monday, May 14, 2012

I Am An Artist

Thank you for contacting me. I'm flattered you liked one of my works and would like to use it for an e-book cover project. You said the only compensation I would receive is an attribution in the book for the use of my work. You stated the author is only going "to make pennies" so receiving payment is out of the question. However, I must decline your offer.

You see, I am an artist. My work is not my hobby. Art is my work. I earn my bread and butter from pen, ink, and paint. I have bills to pay. I'm sure you have bills to pay. The bank will not accept an attribution as payment for my mortgage. The electric company, telephone company, insurance, credit card and other companies I do business with will not accept an attribution in lieu of payment.

To give my work away without compensation not only devalues art, but more importantly, devalues and demeans myself. Other people get paid for goods or services they make or provide. You stated your author will be receiving pennies for her writing. The amount aside, she's still being compensated for her work. To do work for free implies that I am not worthy to receive a wage.

Now, from time to time, I do work for charitable causes. When I choose to donate my work, it is for a cause or an organization, church, or school that resonates with me. I get to choose. I also get to choose style, suitable decoration, and deadline. And paying clients come first. Always.

You wouldn't consider asking a "professional" (e.g.doctor, lawyer) to provide services to you for free. Somehow artists and craftsmen, especially if they work from home, are not accorded the same respect. The public perception is we just slap paint on canvas or whip out a pen. That what we do is nothing so we deserve nothing for our skill or time. I, and my colleagues, have spent years, and thousands of dollars, studying and honing skills. I have been blessed to have been able to study with nationally and internationally respected artists in my field. To give away work for free, disrespects them for the knowledge they have passed to me.

I do want to thank you for asking my permission to use my work. You could have just stolen the image, and you didn't. Thank you for respecting copyright.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

The Brother was fond of reciting this ditty for Mother's Day:

When me prayers were poorly said,
Who tucked me in me widdle bed,
And spanked me till me bum was red?
Me Mudder.

Who took me from me cozy cot,
And put me on me ice cold pot,
And made me pee when I could not?
Me Mudder.

And when the morning light would come,
And in me crib me dribble some,
Who wiped me tiny widdle bum?
Me Mudder.

Who would me hair so gently part,
And hug me gently to her heart
And sometimes squeezed me til me fart?
Me Mudder.

Who looked at me with eyebrows knit,
And nearly had a king size fit,
When in me Sunday pants me sh*t?
Me Mudder.

When at night the bed did squeak,
Me raised me head to have a peek,
Who yelled at me to go to sleep?
Me Fadder.

Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Friday Five

My favorite chair in the sun room was uncomfortable to sit on. While roaming through Walmart, I picked up the As Seen On TV Furniture Fix. These 6 interlocking, plastic slats  will supposedly give new life to sagging  cushions. Five things I found when I lifted up the cushions:

1. two previously clean, and now dusty, plastic drinking straws

2. two twist ties

These are Ink's favorite toys. Don't know what kind of attraction plastic holds for him, but he goes wild for drinking straws and twist ties.

3. a large paper clip

4. a few Hershey Kiss wrappers

5. a dust kitty (looked just like Ink, only miniature)

What's lurking under your sofa cushions?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lux in Arcana

One hundred original documents from the Vatican Secret Archives are now on display at the Capitoline Museum in Rome.  How cool to not only follow history through the documents, but to be able to see original manuscripts and the original writing? The exhibit will run through September 2012. You can browse the exhibit here

I gotta go find a dollar to buy a lottery ticket. Who wants to come to Rome with me?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Chalk It Up

I've always wanted blue hair. No, not like your grandma's blue hair, but cobalt blue hair. It's hard to dye dark hair with bright colors, and I don't want to strip my hair. I don't really want bright blue hair that would make me look as if I'm having a huge mid-life crisis. A few years ago, I did have blue hightlights done to my hair. Spent hours sitting in the chair as the stylist pulled strands of hair through holes in a plastic cap. Waited while she spread blue goop over the strands and waited for the dye "to take". When all was said and done,  I had blue highlights, but only I could tell. The dye didn't last as long as I hoped, and I didn't want to keep up with the expense.

Last week on Good Morning America, I saw a segment on chalking hair. Using chalk on wet hair, you color strands whatever color your little heart desires. In the how to, the color was set with a curling iron, but short hair and a curling iron don't mix so I used a bit of hair gel and a blow dryer. Also, a more vibrant color is obtained using artist pastels, but ordinary sidewalk chalk would work, too. The chalk washes out easily though you may want to use a good conditioner as well since the chalk really dries out the hair.

Now I can have blue or any other color hair whenever I want without the expense.

Do you color your hair?

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Friday Five

Macaroni, that's what we called pasta in my Italian home, is near and dear to my heart. I could eat macaroni every night of the week and not get tired of it unless it was Mac Cheese or in macaroni salad. Mac cheese for me is lasagna, manicotti, or stuffed shells, made with ricotta cheese and cold macaroni is nasty. But I digress.

One shape of macaroni I love is fusilli, long (like 18 inch long) strands of macaroni that look like old-fashioned telephone cords. I haven't seen the long stuff in decades. Seems manufacturers got cheap and cut the strands into bitty pieces. But my neighbor, Prissy, found it on her shopping trip to the Mahket, and she gifted me with a package. So five macaroni shapes I adore.

1. Nothing really holds a candle to my grandma's home-made macaroni. She made little hats, cappellini., by hand. She never used a pasta machine. There is nothing in the world better than fresh, home-made macaroni, and nothing better than my grandma's. I blogged about it here.

2. Fussili, curly spaghetti. I'm so glad to be able to enjoy the real stuff again. It's not cheap. You won't find this on sale, but it's worth it.

3. Fiori, a flower shape, but we called them wagon wheels.

4. Farfalle, butterflies or bow ties.

5. Rigatoni, large tubes.

Do you have a favorite macaroni shape?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Weird Dream

A half dozen or so people were sitting around the old, console television  in my parents' house. I didn't know who these people were. The television screen was filled with static and an occasional blip as the signal tried to come in. The group must have been young people as they didn't know about the rabbit ear antenna or the dials. I fiddled with the rabbit ears and John Wayne as he was in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon filled the screen. I was happy to see the Duke, but I wish Richard Widmark had made a cameo appearance.

Do you remember your dreams?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


While waiting, I was looking at the copse. Listening to the birds and crickets.. Thinking how last week the trees seemed to barely have buds and now the trees are green with leaves.  That's when I saw them, The Green Man and his Lady in their endless waltz.

Do you see them?