Saturday, June 30, 2012

100 and what?!?!

It seems to be everywhere these days....HOT, HOT, Hot temperatures....and, Alabama is no exception. Right now we are at 106.

I walked at 7 a.m. and it was already 85 degrees with lots of humidity.  I think that tomorrow I will stay inside and do the treadmill instead of heading back out into the oven outside.

I hope that you are all keeping your cool wherever you are!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mashed Potato Wars

You would think that Dave and I had something better to do with our time than have a "who makes the best mashed potatoes" contest, right?


He thought that his way of making them was easier and, the challenge was on!

I boiled several cut up potatoes and divided the whole pot in half when they were done.  Dave began to work with his half, and I did the same with mine.

Now, it seems that we have different techniques in making delicious homemade mashed potatoes.  I start the process by putting the cooked potatoes through a ricer.
This aerates the potato making it lighter and fluffier.  I then add some butter to the hot riced potatoes as well as some fat free sour cream.  Next comes a touch of garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper.  The finished product is lump-free and yummy.

Dave, on the other hand, likes to just mash his cooked potatoes with a fork or hand pastry blender as he adds butter and milk.  After whipping this mixture to a frenzy, he seasons it with salt and pepper.  "Simple and good" he says.

So, of course, I did a blind taste test with him.  He tried both samples of potatoes and then gave his opinion on which one was the best.

He picked mine.

Enough said.

:  )

Friday, June 15, 2012


A government report came out saying that a "middle income family with a child born last year will spend about $235,000.00 in child-related expenses from birth through age 17".

I found that interesting in that I think that my grandchildren are already worth a million dollars at least! : )
My floors were sanded, stained, and polyurethaned this week.  I spent the night out at Dave's for a couple of nights to escape the fumes and dust.
Now I have the fun task of cleaning everything up and putting things back where they belong...It is amazing how much dust can accumulate when floors are sanded.  There is sawdust in every nook and cranny.
I am way too old to be dealing with this.... : )
Our local newspaper is going to cut back from 7 days to only three.  The other four days we are encouraged to go to the paper's online site.
There is something so nice about getting my morning paper, sitting at my kitchen counter, having breakfast, and slowly perusing the news.  I will miss that experience.
Reading the paper online just isn't the same....
Modern technology is really affecting our lives, isn't it? I imagine that this is just the tip of the iceberg as we must deal with computers taking over many aspects of our lives.
I remember when I was young and "old people" would talk wistfully about the "good ole days".  I am beginning to understand what they meant now that I have joined the "old person population".
Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, June 08, 2012


As I headed up to bed Wednesday night, I heard a strange rustling sound overhead.  It was coming from my attic and it was right above my bedroom.

It was unsettling to say the least.

As I began to envision some critter up there either running laps or dancing the night away ( Toga party?!) in my insulation, I began to think about whether or not this "thing" could get to the inside of my house.

Obviously, I wasn't going to be getting to sleep anytime soon.

I called "Critter Control"...but, of course, at 11:30 pm no one was going to be answering the phone.  So, I thought that I'd try the non-emergency number of the local police department. No luck with fact, I am sure that the woman answering the phone is probably still getting a chuckle over my phone call.

Eventually I fell asleep and called the local Critter Control first thing in the morning!  A young (and I mean YOUNG!...I'm not even sure that he shaved yet....he looked to be about 13 years old...) guy came to the door ready to save this damsel in distress.

After thoroughly inspecting the attic area, he saw areas where something had been....but, did not think that the "trails" were that of a squirrel or raccoon.  Then he caught the eye of something in the corner staring right back at him.

It was a chicken snake!!! It was a  L-O-N-G and fat chicken snack. Ewwww.

So, my "Dougie Howser Critter Guy"  :  )  began to explain several things to me as he gently removed this snake from my attic....ewwww, again.

1) The noises that I heard may have been the snake going after something else in the attic. (I didn't want to know what that something else might have been!)
2) Most people don't realize that there is a gap between roof shingles and gutters.  This gap, coupled with all of the trees surrounding my house, can be an opening for critters such as this snake.
3)  The best remedy (and, also the most costly I might add!!!!) is to seal off this area with a special kind of gutter guard that they give you a lifetime guarantee on.  A guarantee that no more critters will be able to get into my house once it is installed and the house is "sealed".

Guarantee?  No more critters?  Lifetime?

Hand over the paperwork so that I can sign on the dotted line?????!?!?!? Done.

The only "critters" that I want to hear and see around my home are those precious ones that I call my grandchildren.


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

"Hot" Grandma?! : )

Today I became a "Grilled Grandma". 

No, I haven't decided to suddenly take up grilling....and, I'm certainly not in the mood to get cooked on this hot day in June here in Alabama...but, I was honored to be asked to be part of a blog in which different Grandmas are "grilled" or questioned about themselves and their role as a grandparent.

So, today is my day and you can see my "grilling" at the following site:

While you are there, you might want to read through some of the archives...very interesting, amusing, heartwarming...and, all of those other things that go into being a grandparent!

: )

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


About a month ago I showed my dermatologist a really small red spot on my cheek. I was actually there for something else, but had noticed this little pimple-like place and thought that I'd ask about it. As soon as she saw it she said that she wanted to biopsy the spot.

I didn't think too much about it until I received "the call" from her office several days later.

"The biopsy showed that you have a squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) and we want to refer you to a surgeon who does the Mohs procedure to take care of it."


Now, let's back up about 56 years.....As a young girl growing up in South Florida, spending time in the sun was just an everyday part of my life.  The weather was always pretty and warm so a good deal of time was spent outdoors in the tropical sunshine. (As a child, I would put some of that gooey Zinc ointment on my nose when it got too red...but, that was about the extent of my sunscreen use!)

Once I hit my teen years, having a tan was one of the most accepted (and encouraged) parts of my existence.

Iodine, baby oil and silver reflector panels all were a part of my sun tanning regimen. We would all get tan....but, for fair-skinned me, it was a process of getting red, sometimes blistering, and eventually getting tan.  I had more painful sunburns than I care to remember.

When you live in S. Florida, going to the beach is just a normal part of life.  It was our hangout from the time that I could drive a car there until I left for college.  And, at college (U. of Florida) we continued our suntanning as looking tan meant looking good, healthy, and radiant...making you more prone to get asked out on weekend dates! : )

Fast forward to today...I had the Mohs treatment done two weeks ago on the small spot on my cheek.  Tomorrow I get to stop doing the "vinegar wash" and the bandaging with Polysporin.

After the nurse numbed my cheek, the rest was a piece of cake.  The surgeon scraped at the area and then removed a sliver of skin to freeze and send to the office lab.  Forty five minutes later the dr. came back in the let me know that they would not need to cut away any more skin in that he had gotten all of the cancer the first time.  If they had found traces of cancer cells, I would have had to have more cutting done until the specimen came out clean.  I was one of the lucky ones....I caught it early....before the cancer had a chance to get deeper into my skin.

So, now I will have a standing appointment with my dermatologist every three to six months.  Once you have a carcinoma, you are more prone to get others. 

Sunscreen is now a part of my daily regimen. Even if I am going to be outside for just a few minutes, I make sure that I am covered in spf 30 or above sunscreen.  While many of my sunspots and dots are from many year's ago, I don't want to add to the past damage from today.  This is something that I can easily do, and I will, religiously.
So, why am I posting all of this??....I am hopeful that I might get someone's attention out there.  Someone who still thinks that it is cool to look tan.

Trust me, it isn't.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Assorted stuff.

I had paper crunkle (word?) up in my printer this morning when I was trying to print an important letter to the water company. The error message kept coming on and the "something is terribly wrong" light started to blink on the base of the printer.  Frustration ensued as I searched all over for the product manual....all to no avail.

I tried to look for answers online and found sources that would actually help me get a product manual...however, this became one of those "going around in circles" kind of things.

So, I called the Canon printer help line.

A very cheery gentleman answered the line after a short wait.  He got the usual information from me and began to find out what my issue was.  "'Crunkled' paper somewhere in my printer", I replied. He laughed...and then began to patiently, and with great kindness, help me get to the paper culprit.

It was such a different experience that I have had in the past with technical help that I immediately sent an email to his "higher up" to sing the praises of this gentleman.

I hope that he gets a raise. : )

Summertime means "opening-up-the-pool-which-is-probably-green-from-being-closed-up-all-winter-time"!
And, true to form, it was.  While I dread doing this chore, it is a necessity if there is going to be any swimming done at all this summer.

Dave says that I should write down the steps that we take from year to year....along with important tips from things that we have learned the hard way in past years of opening up the pool in the summer.

Of course, I never did, once again, we had to struggle through chemicalizing, brushing, backwashing, and vacuuming this money pit....making multiple mistakes as usual!

Since taking off the cover last weekend and pouring lots of $$$$$ in the form of chemicals into the green pond   pool, I can now report that, while it is still a slight shade of green, it is clear enough to see to the bottom.  Believe it or not, that is progress.

Maybe this year, I will write it all down.


Believe it or not, I am still dealing with the flood of 2011, where I arrived back home, after a week away, to find my kitchen, den, and downstairs under water.  The guilty party was the little innocent looking tube that feeds water into the back of the refrigerator for the icemaker.

The issue that remains is that the new hardwood floor is still very "cupped" (curled up at the edges....most likely from moisture that remained underneath).  The gentleman who did the floor (a year ago) maintains that he will come over and re-sand and re-stain it for me...but, everytime that we speak, he puts me off for "two more months"!

The contractor on my case is MIA.  No one can seem to get in touch with him....and, unfortunately, he has left many unhappy clients in his wake.

So, I am continually trying to get to the right people to have some recourse in all of this.  It is an exhausting search, but I am determined to find fairness in this mess. In my naivete I keep thinking that the people responsible for this will come forward and make things right.

Maybe it is time to take off my rose-colored glasses...?

With all of this, I can't help but smile as I think about the wonderful Cape Cod wedding weekend with my, I will end by posting a few more pictures of that joy.....

:  )